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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 February 2022

 

 

NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. During the struggle for India’s Independence the artists from Bengal protested against British way of art. They looked towards the eastern culture for their ideas, techniques and inspiration. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian art and culture – Nitin Singhania.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the emergence of nationalist school of painting art during the early twentieth century.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context that led to emergence of nationalist school of art.

Body:

Write about the artists of Bengal under the leadership Abanidranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose protested against British by rejecting to paint in Western style. Instead, they visited Ajanta and explored the possibilities of painting in Indian way by using natural, powder colours.

Next, write about the inspiration and influences they sought from east – Japanese artists, miniature art, revivalist style etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by the summarising.

Introduction

Originating in Calcutta and Shantiniketan, the Bengal School of Art promoted a distinctly Indian modernism which blossomed throughout India during the British Raj of the early 20th century. Founded by Abanindranath Tagore, this movement was associated with Indian Nationalism more specifically by the Swadeshi movement as a revolt against the tyranny of the British that posed a threat to Indian sensibilities and to revive traditional art forms. The Bengal school of art paved the way for the Progressive Artists Group which now constitutes a major portion of the Modern Indian artists.

Body

Characteristic features of Bengal School of art

  • Rooted in the pride of nationalism, the avant-garde movement transformed Indian art by bringing ‘Swadeshi’ values to Indian Paintings.
  • Bengal school in painting was called the Renaissance School as well as the Revivalist School because this movement endeavoured for revival of the Indian ancient and medieval traditions.
  • Led by reformers and artists like E.B. Havell and Abanindranath Tagore, the Bengal School of Art originated in erstwhile Calcutta and Santiniketan, but spread across the country as a voice against western influence.
  • By synthesizing folk art, Indian painting traditions, Hindu imagery, indigenous materials and depictions of contemporary rural life, artists of the Bengal School of Art celebrate humanism and bring a dynamic voice to Indian identity, freedom, and liberation.
  • The paintings were Simple and standard paintings with attractive colour scheme technique. Bright colours were not used in such paintings.
  • The paintings were so evocative and that they bore the potential to draw the viewers right into it immersing them in the story they told.
  • Every painting was unique given the style factor and displayed immense creativity of the painter.
  • The very iconic painting ‘Bharat Mata’turned out to be a complete deviation from earlier representations of India by other artists. Being gentle yet vulnerable and a subjugated figure, this became a symbol of national movement.
  • The Japanese influence of wash technique is apparent from the soft misty quality seen in the paintings which became a trademark.
  • The turned to the inspiration to medieval Indian traditions of the miniature paintings and ancient art of mural paintings in Ajanta Caves. The paintings of Ajanta and Bagh, Mogul, Rajput and Pahari miniatures provided the models.
  • The continuity of earlier traditions was sought to be maintained by borrowing from legends and classical literature like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, Gita, and Puranas, the writings of Kalidasa and Omar Khayyam.
  • The above experiments called “avant garde” in artist’s parlance, led to the development of the Bengal School of Art. Avant Garderefers to the people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics.
  • One more immediate reason of rise of such artists was the widespread influence of the Indian spiritual idea to west.
  • The other artists of this group were Gaganendranath Tagore, Asit Kumar Haldar, M.A.R Chughtai, Sunayani Devi (sister of Abanindranath Tagore), Kshitindranath Majumdar, Nandalal Bose, Kalipada Ghoshal, Sughra Rababi and Sudhir Khastgir.

Conclusion

With the spread of modernist ideas in the 1920s, the influence of the Bengal School began to decline. But there is no doubt that the revolutionary movement fuelled artists to look for a distinct Indian identity, and in that sense, the Bengal School was the harbinger of Modern Art in India. Till date, the Government College of Art and Craft in Kolkata and the Viswa Bharati University in Santiniketan continue to train students in the traditional styles of tempera and wash painting, carrying forward the legacy of one of the most significant period in Indian art

 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2. Mughal painting is a style of miniature painting that developed in the northern Indian subcontinent in the sixteenth century and is known for its sophisticated techniques and diverse range of subjects and themes. Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian art and culture – Nitin Singhania.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about development and evolution of miniature painting under Mughal rulers.

Directive word: 

Comment– here we must express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Mention the origin and gradual evolution of Mughal miniature painting.

Body:

First, mention that Mughal rulers further enriched the Indian painting. They introduced Persian court culture into Indian paintings. Then give an account of contribution of different Mughal rulers.  From this period book illumination or individual miniatures replaced wall painting as the most vital form of art.

E.g Emperor Akbar patronised artists from Kashmir and Gujarat; Humayun brought two Persian painters to his court. Mention Baburnama, Akbarnama, Abd-us-Samad Dasawanth and Basawan and their works.

Conclusion:

Form a concise and a fair conclusion on the above issue, based on your discussion

Introduction

Mughal  painting  is  the  style  of  miniature  painting  that  developed  in  the  northern  Indian  subcontinent  in  the  sixteenth  century  and  continued  till  the  mid–nineteenth  century.  It  is  known  for  its  sophisticated  techniques  and  diverse range of subjects and themes. The Mughal miniature painting inspired and resonated in subsequent schools and styles  of  Indian  painting,  thereby,  confirming  a  definite position  for  the  Mughal  style  within  the  Indian  school  of  paintings

Body:

Mughal Paintings: Salient features

  • The Mughal pictures were small in size, and hence are known as ‘miniature paintings’.
  • Though the Mughal art absorbed the Indian atmosphere, it neither represented the Indian emotions, nor the scenes from the daily life of the Indian.
  • Hence, Mughal painting remained confined to the Mughal court and did not reach the people.
  • The Mughal rulers brought Persian painters with them. At the same time they patronized Indian painters and the collaboration between these two schools of painters resulted in the synthesis.
  • Apart from Persian books of fables, themes from Mahabharata, Ramayana were also selected.
  • Indian scenes and landscapes came into vogue.
  • Paintings were based upon close observation of nature with high aesthetic merit.
  • Under Jahangir, the Mughal school paintings acquired greater charm, refinement and dignity.
  • The emperor Jahangir had a great fascination for nature and took delight in the portraiture of birds, animals and flowers.
  • Inspired by their overlord, the Mughal courtiers and the provincial officers started patronizing the artists trained in the Mughal technique of painting.
  • The artists who were employed in the Imperial Government were known as the first grade artists. The works accomplished by these first grade artists is known as the Imperial Mughal Painting.
  • Artists available to the provinces were of inferior merit, thus, the works accomplished in the provinces was known as ‘Popular Mughal’ or ‘Provincial Mughal’ painting, which possessed all the important characteristics of the Imperial Mughal painting with some inferior quality.

Mughal paintings involved a diverse range of subjects and themes

Life and times of Mughal rulers:

  • Mughal painting marks a unique blend of Persian and Indian ideas. Mughal painting was essentially a court art, developed under the patronage of the ruling Mughal emperors and began to decline when the rulers lost interest.
  • The subjects treated were generally secular, revolving around themes like battles, court scenes, receptions, legendary stories, hunting scenes, wildlife, portraits, and the likes.
  • Imperial Mughal painting represents one of the most celebrated art forms of India. It arose with remarkable rapidity in the mid-sixteenth century as a blending of three distinct traditions:
    • Court painting of Safavid Iran.
    • Indigenous Indian devotional manuscript illumination.
    • Indo-Persian or Sultanate painting, which is it is a hybrid of provincial Persian and local Indian styles.
  • The result of this merging resulted in paintings of unprecedented vitality, brilliant coloration, and impossibly precise detail, is something dramatically more than the sum of its parts.

Contemporary social and political life of the people:

  • Mughal Court paintings provide an insight into the life and times of rulers of the period. These paintings also reflect the contemporary social and political condition of the people. Social customs and courtly traditions are vividly depicted in these paintings.
  • Mughal painting forms a dramatic episode in the history of India. Its aims and standpoint are secular and realistic: it is interested in passing events and most typically in the exact delineation of individual character in the portraiture of men and animals.
  • It is dramatic rather than static, aristocratic more than surreal and academic rather than vocational.
  • After Mughal, there came “company paintings” in India. But they were not as realistic and detailed as Mughal miniature paintings.

Conclusion

When the Mughal Empire was in decadence, various other schools of painting with Mughal influence emerged in several regional courts, including the Rajput and Pahari paintings.

Value addition

Contributions of Mughal emperors to Painting:

Akbar:

  • Akbar ordered the creation of many paintings and also paid close attention to the final output of all these artworks.
  • He was very particular about the details and the artistic elements involved.
  • Akbar had an impressive number of painters in his court. Between 1560 and 1577, he commissioned a number of massive painting projects.
  • One of the earliest painting projects commissioned by Akbar was ‘Tutinama’ which literally translates to ‘Tales of a Parrot.’ There is Hamzanama as well.
  • Akbar and his successors brought revolutionary changes to painting and sensual illustrations.
  • From this period book illumination or individual miniatures replaced wall painting as the most vital form of art.
  • Akbar also encouraged the art of making portraits.

Jahangir:

  • Much like his father (Akbar), Jahangir too had an inclination toward arts, which proved beneficial for the growth of Mughal art.
  • The Mughal painting continued to grow under his reign.
  • It is generally stated that during Jahangir’s time, the art of painting reached its climax and with him departed its soul.
  • Jahangir was not only interested in painting; he was also its keen judge. He established a gallery of painting in his own garden.
  • Since Jahangir was largely influenced by European painting, he ordered his painters to follow the single point perspective used by European artists.
  • This gave a whole new perspective to the Mughal painting.
  • Jahangir even used European paintings that portrayed the images of Kings and Queens as references and asked his painters to take a leaf out of these paintings.
  • As a result, most of the Mughal paintings commissioned by Jahangir had finer brush strokes and lighter colours.
  • One of the major projects commissioned by him was the ‘Jahangirnama.’
  • It was an autobiography of Jahangir and it consisted of several paintings that included unusual themes, such as fights between spiders.
  • Several individual portraits of Jahangir were also made by his painters.
  • However, he also commissioned many paintings of birds, animals and flowers which were portrayed in a realistic manner.
  • Artists began to use vibrant colours such as peacock blue and red and were able to give three dimensional effects to paintings
  • Overall, the Mughal painting continued to flourish and also continued to evolve under Jahangir’s rule.

Shahjahan:

  • Though Mughal painting continued to expand during the reign of Shah Jahan, the paintings that were displayed in the court became increasingly rigid and formal.
  • However, he commissioned a large number of paintings meant to be his personal collection.
  • These paintings were based on themes like gardens and pictures that gave great aesthetic pleasure.
  • He also ordered many works that portrayed lovers in intimate positions.
  • One of the most important works produced during his reign was the ‘Padshanama.’
  • This work was made to look lavish with generous volumes of gold plating.
  • The ‘Padshanama,’ which narrated the achievements of the King, contained several paintings of the courtiers and servants as well.
  • The work was so elaborate that even servants were painted with amazing details that provided a great individuality to each and every character.
  • While the servants and courtiers were portrayed using the frontal view technique, the king and other important dignitaries were portrayed by adhering to the rules of strict metamodeling.
  • During the reign of Shah Jahan, the aesthetics of Mughal painting were retained which contributed to the growth and development of Mughal paintings.
  • Many of the paintings produced under the leadership of Shah Jahan are now housed at various museums around the world.

 

Topic: Diversity of India.

3. Tribal languages are a treasure trove of knowledge about a region’s flora, fauna and medicinal plants. However, when a language declines, that knowledge system is completely gone. Suggest steps to safeguard these endangered languages. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

There are 7,000 living languages in the world and around 3,000 are considered as ‘endangered’. This means that almost half of the planet’s current linguistic diversity is under threat. The situation in India is alarming. Some 197 languages are in various stages of endangerment in our country, more than any other country in the world.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about ways to safeguard endangered tribal languages in India.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving a statistic regarding tribal languages in India and examples of endangered tribal languages in India.

Body:

In the first part, rich repository of tribal languages and its various applications citing examples. Write about the implications of decline of language systems.

Next, suggest measures to safeguard and protect these endangered tribal languages – Mother Tongue Based Multi-Lingual Education, innovative, cultural and entertainment programmes, UNESCO list of endangered languages etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

According to UNESCO, any language that is spoken by less than 10,000 people is potentially endangered. In India, after the 1971 census, Government decided to not include any language spoken by less than 10,000 in the official list of languages. In India, therefore, all the languages that are spoken by less than 10,000 people are treated by the state as not worthy of mention and treated by the UNESCO as potentially endangered.  According to the People’s Linguistic Survey of India 2013, around 220 languages has been lost in the last 50 years and 197 has been categorised as Endangered.

Body

Endangered tribal languages

  • Examples of such languages would be Wadari, Kolhati, Golla, Gisari.
  • These are languages of nomadic people in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana.
  • Then there several tribal languages as well, such as Pauri, Korku, Haldi, Mavchi. In Assam, there is Moran, Tangsa, Aiton.
  • There seems to be about 250 languages that disappeared in the last 60 years.
  • There used to be languages called Adhuni, Dichi, Ghallu, Helgo, Katagi.
  • The Bolanguage in Andaman disappeared in 2010 and the Majhi language in Sikkim disappeared in 2015.

Importance of tribal languages

  • The primary need to conserve any language is to conserve the cultures associated with them. This includes literature, food habits and lifestyle.
  • As Noam Chomsky put it, “A language is not just words. It’s a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community.”
  • Tribal languages are fundamental to understand the world we live in, our origin, the roots that we all came from and what humans are capable of.
  • An experience of generations is preserved in indigenous languages. Languages serve as the medium of transmitting cultures from one generation to the other.
  • Many tribal areas still follow learning methods wherein the students are needed to repeat the text after the teachers. This is how the transfer of knowledge takes place in these areas.
  • Languages teach us values, respect for others, and respect for ourselves.
  • With a dying language die thousands of stories, millions of lessons, and a lifetime of experience. A language’s death is akin to erasing a part of our history.
  • It is language that distinguishes one ethnic community from another. It is an important tool for mapping out the geographical identity of the speaker particularly in a crisis situation.

Measures to safeguard these endangered languages

  • Tribal languages should be endorsed through innovative, cultural and entertainment programmes, suggest linguistic experts.
  • For instance, a local community radio channel called ‘Asur Mobile Radio’ in Jharkhand launched cultural programmes in the Asur language, which has only 7,000-8,000 speakers.
  • There is a need to promote tribal languages as a medium of communication and education in tribal-dominated districts. It can significantly reduce the communication gap and school dropout rate.
  • It is important to integrate indigenous knowledge systems alongside modern sciences in the curriculum of schools.
  • There is a need to create livelihood support for the speakers of the language. If they have livelihood available within their language, nobody would want to switch from their language to any other language.
  • Digital media allows for their documentation in audio-visual formats now. Simply recording audio or video of folk songs/folk tales in different languages can help preserve not just the language/dialect but also the folk culture.
  • In the same manner, the traditional knowledge about sustainable living, medicines, farming and architecture that tribals store in their memories can also be documented for preservation and dissemination
  • There is a need to set up departments in central universities to study the dying languages and work towards their promotion, introduction of these languages as school subjects in areas where they are spoken, and schemes to mobilise communities to continue the language traditions.
  • The proposed language departments in central universities can set up libraries or museums with audio and video material showing the oral traditions of these languages.
  • Such documentation is expected to help preserve these tongues, and the audiotapes could be used as teaching tools within the communities.
  • Institutions like Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) should take lead in studying and preparing materials in as many minority and tribal languages as possible.
  • It should be a special endeavour of CIIL to promote and document the endangered languages of India, which are very much a part of India’s plural cultural heritage.

Conclusion

The Government of India launched Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL) to document and archive the country’s languages that have become endangered or likely to be endangered in the near future. It is high time for others to appreciate the important contribution of tribal languages in enriching the world’s rich cultural and linguistic diversity. A healthy nexus and coordination between voluntary organisations, linguists, and the government is a must.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

4. Corporate governance in India is in need of structural reforms which will promote transparency, fix accountability and reward efficiency. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Over the past 10 days, the revelations about the functioning of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) during the tenure of Chitra Ramkrishna as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) have had people shaking their heads in disbelief.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the reforms that are needed in corporate governance in India.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining corporate governance.

Body:

First, write about the various issues plaguing the corporate governance in India and substantiate with examples.

Next, write about various reforms that are needed to make corporate governance more effective in India – choosing independent directors, diversity in the selection of board members, penalties and effective regulation etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices, and processes by which a firm is directed and controlled. Corporate governance essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s many stakeholders, such as shareholders, senior management executives, customers, suppliers, financiers, the government, and the community. Ethics is at the core of corporate governance, and management must reflect accountability for their actions on the global community scale.

Body

Background

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) passed its final order in a sordid saga, involving the country’s largest stock exchange.
  • The order, strongly censuring senior officials of the NSE, including its former MD and CEO Chitra Ramkrishna, throws light on a series of governance lapses at the stock exchange.
  • The stock exchange regulator has levied fines on the parties involved in acts of impropriety, and also barred NSE from introducing any new products for a six-month period.
  • The order highlights the scale of misgovernance, including the violation of several rules and regulations.
  • More worryingly, the episode has exposed the absence of checks and balances at the stock exchange.

 

Need for structural changes in Corporate Governance in India

  • It is common for friends and family of promoters and management to be appointed as board members.
  • In India, founders’ ability to control the affairs of the company has the potential of derailing the entire corporate governance system. Unlike developed economies, in India, identity of the founder and the company is often merged.
  • Women director appointed are primarily from family in most of the companies which negates the whole reform.
  • Appointed independent directors are questionable as it is unlikely that Independent Directors will stand-up for minority interests against the promoter. In the Tata case, these directors normally toe the promoter’s line.
  • An independent director can be easily removed by promoters or majority shareholders. This inherent conflict has a direct impact on independence.
  • Data protection is an important governance issue. In this era of digitalisation, a sound understanding of the fundamentals of cyber security must be expected from every director.
  • Board’s Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is often found unsupportive.
  • Conflict of Interest – The ICICI Bank Ltd fiasco demonstrates the challenge of managers potentially enriching themselves at the cost of shareholders in the absence of a promoter.
  • In the corporate world, much is forgiven on grounds of performance.
  • When a performing CEO chooses to unduly favour a particular individual or individuals, boards see that as a forgivable infirmity.
  • As for dysfunctional or ineffective boards, these remain the norm despite numerous regulations, seminars and papers over the past four decades.

Measures to improve Corporate Governance:

  • Ensure a balanced, competent and diverse Board: Business should strive for directors who are qualified, understand the business and can offer a fresh perspective. Studies show Boards with greater gender diversity result in improved financial performance.
  • The top management must be allowed to choose not more than 50% of the independent directors.
  • The rest must be chosen by various other stakeholders — financial institutions, banks, small shareholders, employees, etc.
  • Review your Board composition on a regular basis to identify any shortcomings and make timely improvements.
  • Build solid foundations for oversight: Establish, monitor and evaluate the roles and responsibilities of the Board and management. The Board needs to have visibility of management actions and key decision making.
  • Gear key performance indicators towards long term value creation not just in the short term.
  • Prioritize risk management: Establish an effective risk management and internal control framework and periodically review its effectiveness. Developing a disaster recovery plan is essential.
  • Ensure integrity in corporate reporting including safeguards such as conducting external audits of the business.
  • Provide timely and balanced information: Providing transparency to key stakeholders both in the good and bad times promotes stakeholders’ confidence in the business.
  • Emphasise integrity, promote ethical behaviours and consult different categories of stakeholders on their interests.
  • Treat shareholders equitably and respect their rights.
  • Ensure adequate disclosures around related parties’ transactions and director’s other interests. This is especially important where a director may have external financial interests that could influence his decision.
  • Regulators must penalise errant directors through a whole range of instruments — strictures, financial penalties, removal from boards and a permanent ban from board membership.

Conclusion:

The effectiveness of the Corporate Governance has become a global concern. Mainly after many corporate collapse (e.g. Enron, Boeing etc.), fraud cases (e.g. Lehman Brothers), shareholder suits or questionable strategic decisions are drawing attention to the top level decision-making body of the corporation and the board of directors, necessitating the need for ethical considerations where in Indian context, Uday Kotak committee recommendations can form guidelines for better ethical corporate governance.

Value addition

Importance of Corporate Governance:

  • Ensures that the management of a company considers the best interests of all stakeholders involved;
  • Helps companies deliver long-term corporate success and economic growth;
  • Maintains the confidence of investors and as consequence companies raise capital efficiently and effectively;
  • Has a positive impact on the price of shares as it improves the trust in the market;
  • Improves control over management and information systems (such as security or risk management)
  • Good corporate governance also aims at a faster decision-making process by establishing a clear delineation of roles between owners and management.
  • Gives guidance to the owners and managers about what are the goals strategy of the company;
  • Minimizes wastages, corruption, risks, and mismanagement;
  • Helps to create a strong brand reputation;
  • Most importantly, it makes companies more resilient.
  • An increase in staff retention and motivation can be expected, especially from senior staff, when the company has a well-defined and communicated vision and direction.
  • A focus on the company’s core business will also make it easier to penetrate the market and attract the interest of shareholders.
  • Improved reporting on performance in turn leads managers and owners to make more informed and fact-based decisions, leading ultimately to improving sales margins and reducing costs.

 

Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

5. The Fundamental Duties serve as a reminder that while the Constitution conferred certain Fundamental Rights, it also requires citizens to observe certain basic norms of democratic conduct and democratic behaviour. In the light of this statement, should fundamental duties be enforced? Critically examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre and States to respond to a petition to enforce the fundamental duties of citizens, including patriotism and unity of the nation, through “comprehensive, well-defined laws”.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about whether or not fundamental duties should be enforced.

Directive:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving brief about Article 51 and Part IV-A of the constitution.

Body:

In the first part, write about the rationale behind enactment of article 51, its aims and objectives that it strives to achieve.

Next, write about the advantages of enforcing certain fundamental duties – greater unity, spirit of fraternity etc

Next, wite about drawbacks of enforcing fundamental duties – lack of enforcing mechanism, additional burden on governance etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

In 1976, the Congress Party set up the Sardar Swaran Singh Committee to make recommendations about fundamental duties, the need and necessity of which was felt during the operation of the internal emergency (1975–1977). The committee recommended the inclusion of a separate chapter on fundamental duties in the Constitution.

Government enacted the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1976. This amendment added a new part, namely, Part IVA to the Constitution. This new part consists of only one Article, that is, Article 51A which for the first time specified a code of ten fundamental duties of the citizens.

Body

Need for enforcing fundamental duties

  • Fills legal vacuum making them obligatory: If the existing laws are inadequate to enforce the needed discipline and behavioural change among citizens, the legislative vacuum needs to be filled. This could call for strategies such as making fundamental duties enforceable.
    • In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, the Supreme Court introduced compulsory learning of lessons on protection and improvement of the natural environment in all the educational institutions of the country as a part of Fundamental duty under Article 51-A (g).
  • Promote patriotism: The Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens to help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India.
    • For instance, to uphold and protect sovereignty, unity and integrity of India, to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so and to disseminate a sense of nationalism and to promote the spirit of patriotism to uphold the unity of India.
    • These fundamental duties assume significance after the emergence of China as a superpower.
  • Legislative potentials like DPSP: At times, Directive Principles Of State Policy (DPSP) has taken precedence over Fundamental Rights and some of them have found their way into statute books
  • Guide the elected representatives: The fundamental duties enjoined on citizens under Article 51-A should also guide the legislative and executive actions of elected or non-elected institutions and organisations of the citizens including the municipal bodies.
  • Enables judiciary to examine legislative reasonableness: There have been certain situations, where the Courts have been called upon to examine the reasonableness of any legislative restriction on the exercise of a freedom, the fundamental duties are of relevant consideration.

Drawbacks of enforcing fundamental duties

  • Provides opportunity to implant political propaganda: To attain vested interests under the garb of fundamental duty like protecting the culture, tampering with curriculum is facilitated.
    • For example, omitting and tampering with school curriculum.
  • Redundant when suitable legislative actions are available: For example fundamental duty to protect and improve the natural environment including forests and wildlife only repeat what the existing environment protection laws prescribe for.
  • Futility of legal enforcement without will and aspirations of citizens: Out of the ten clauses in Article 51A, five are positive duties and the other five are negative duties.
    • Clauses (b), (d), (f), (h) and (j) require the citizens to perform these Fundamental Duties actively. It is said that by their nature, it is not practicable to enforce the Fundamental Duties and they must be left to the will and aspiration of the citizens.
  • Difficulty in determining scope: Fundamental duty such as ‘to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture’ leaves the scope of such duties open ended.
    • Such ambiguity enables unscrupulous elements for moral policing.
    • Example recent lyching by cow vigilantes.
  • Voluntary obedience more suitable: Making fundamental duties may facilitate compulsory allegiance of citizenry obligations but that’s not democratic. Even Gandhiji always believed in moral persuasion rather than forceful adherence.
  • Lack of adequate awareness: For the proper enforcement of duties, it is necessary that it should be known to all. This should be done by a systematic and intensive education of people that is by publicity or by making it a part of education.

Conclusion

The inclusion of fundamental duties has helped to strengthen democracy. The moral value of fundamental duties would be not to smother rights but to establish a democratic balance by making the people conscious of their duties equally as they are conscious of their rights’. The provisions for enforcement of fundamental duties should be made considering the multiculturalism and pluralism of India.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money laundering and its prevention.

6. What do you understand by grey zone conflict? How does it impact India’s security? Evaluate India’s preparedness to deal with it. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: New Indian Express

Why the question:

The manner in which the Ukraine standoff is progressing, with opinion expressed by US President Joe Biden almost every day about an impending Russian invasion and the equally prompt denials by Moscow, is one of the best modern-day conflict situations to understand the power of hybrid conflict, somewhat euphemistically referred to today as grey zone conflict.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about grey zone conflict, its impact and ways to deal with it.

Directive:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming an opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining a grey zone conflict.

Body:

In the first part, write various features of the grey zone conflict – pursuing political objectives through carefully designed operations, remaining below escalatory thresholds and military intimidation. Cite examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the impact that grey zone conflict can have on India’s security.

Next, wite about India’s measures to deal with grey zone conflict and their strengths and weaknesses.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Grey zone challenges are defined as competitive interaction among and within state and non-state actors that fall between the traditional war and peace duality. They are characterized by ambiguity about the nature of the conflict, opacity of the parties involved, or uncertainty about the relevant policy and legal frameworks.

The Russian intimidatory military build-up on Ukraine’s borders is accompanied by extreme rhetoric, demands from the country’s legislature and employment of diplomacy to project international linkages of advantage (such as Moscow-Beijing).

Body

Impact on India’s security

  • China’s aggression: A situation manifested along India’s northern borders since April 2020 i.e military intimidation in Eastern Ladakh, attempted salami slicing by the Chinese PLA by activation of friction points, high-intensity propaganda with wolf-warrior diplomacy, and continuous nuances of psychological warfare.
    • China takes 5 steps inside India and retreats 3 steps, thus gaining ground and land. Especially where border settlement is under dispute.
  • Indo-Pak friction: The third among examples that exemplify today’s dynamics of grey zone threats is from the Indo-Pak realm. From 1977, the Zia Doctrine came into play, with the recognition that India could only be tackled through the asymmetric route with extreme hybridity adopted into a tailor-made campaign. Tackling J&K was only just a part of the strategy that spread deep and wide across India.
  • Hacking PowerGrid by Chinese Hackers: The cyber-attack on the Mumbai power grid started from October 10, 2020 onwards. The first power grid that supplies electricity to Mumbai was shut on the day following a ‘technical failure’. Two days later, the circuit of another transmission line tripped

Measures to deal with grey zone conflict

  • Strategic wisdom lies in the anticipation of and preparation for future wars.
    • To instil desired capabilities in India, there is a requirement for an in-depth study of several alternative future security environments.
  • Comprehensive National Power (CNP) will directly bear on our ability to withstand any challenge in the grey zone. The recommended approach in various domains of CNP is, firstly, political and diplomatic dexterity to ensure fail-proof alliances while continuing to engage with China at the desired level, backed up by sound military diplomacy.
  • Military diplomacy needs to be scaled up to project desirable military signals at the intended target audiences.
  • The information age has already stepped into new realities of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics. The strong software base in India needs to be supported by indigenous hardware design and production capabilit
    • Given the growth lag in this sector, India should collaborate with countries like Singapore and South Korea as an offset to trade negotiations.
    • Related challenges of attracting and retaining talent for the national cause need to be dealt with comprehensively.
  • The safety of our information infrastructure and critical data needs to be ensured by creating backup and reducing redundancy in communications, power transmission, aviation and railways.
  • Cyber-attacks are a reality that needs refined, comprehensible, and easy-to-execute crisis management plans along with indigenous offensive capability to escalate cyber deterrence.
  • Lastly, the offensive Space capability needs to be developed on a priority basis. Any defensive architecture is prone to get breached unless the adversary is also conscious that his infrastructure and national systems can also be targeted significantly, if not comprehensively

Conclusion

There is no model or formula for warfare, but rather each scenario is markedly unique and requires a tailored approach. Therefore, we need to evolve our own solutions both for offence and defence in the grey zone. There will be a requirement of greater synergy between all security architecture components, which needs to be dovetailed in our Foreign Policy Objectives in real time to meet the grey zone threat. To ensure a credible deterrence and responsive capability against emergent grey threats, there is a need to institutionalise the whole nation’s approach to the national security matters. Thus, the national security strategy in the grey zone should constitute – Conflict Prevention, Conflict Management, and Conflict Termination Strategy.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Citizen’s Charters

7. Enumerate the shortcomings of citizen charters in India and suggest measures to make them more effective in order to improve public service delivery. (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Conceptual Tuesdays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining citizen charter.

Body:

First, mention the shortcoming of citizen charters – not formulated through a consultative process, lack of awareness, absence of grievance redressal etc.

Next, suggest steps to overcome the above shortcomings.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on need to make the charters effective to provide high quality public service delivery.

Introduction

A Citizens’ Charter represents the commitment of the Organisation towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redress mechanism, transparency and accountability. The concept of Citizens Charter enshrines the trust between the service provider and its users.

 Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in Government of India (DARPG) initiated the task of coordinating, formulating and operationalising Citizen’s Charters.

Body

The basic objective of the Citizens Charter is to empower the citizen in relation to public service delivery.

 

Importance of Citizen’s charter in the Governance of developing nation like India:

  • To make administration accountable and citizen friendly.
  • To ensure transparency.
  • To take measures to improve customer service.
  • To adopt a stakeholder approach.
  • To save time of both Administration and the citizen

Problems faced in implementation of Citizen’s charter:

  • One size fits all: Tendency to have a uniform CC for all offices under the parent organization. CC have still not been adopted by all Ministries/Departments. This overlooks local issues.
  • Silo operations: Devoid of participative mechanisms in a majority of cases, not formulated through a consultative process with cutting edge staff who will finally implement it.
  • Non-Dynamic: Charters are rarely updated making it a one-time exercise, frozen in time.
  • Poor design and content: lack of meaningful and succinct CC, absence of critical information that end-users need to hold agencies accountable.
  • Lack of public awareness: only a small percentage of end-users are aware of the commitments made in the CC since effective efforts of communicating and educating the public about the standards of delivery promise have not been undertaken.
  • Stakeholders not consulted: End-users, Civil society organizations and NGOs are not consulted when CCs are drafted. Since a CC’s primary purpose is to make public service delivery more citizen-centric, consultation with stakeholders is a must.
  • Measurable standards of delivery are rarely defined: making it difficult to assess whether the desired level of service has been achieved or not.
  • Poor adherence: Little interest shown by the organizations in adhering to their CC. since there is no citizen friendly mechanism to compensate the citizen if the organization defaults.

Way forward:

  • Wide consultation process: CC be formulated after extensive consultations within the organization followed by a meaningful dialogue with civil society.
  • Participatory process: Include Civil Society in the process: to assist in improvement in the contents of the Charter, its adherence as well as educating the citizens about the importance of this vital mechanism.
  • Firm commitments to be made: CC must be precise and make firm commitments of service delivery standards to the citizens/consumers in quantifiable terms wherever possible.
  • Redressal mechanism in case of default: clearly lay down the relief which the organization is bound to provide if it has defaulted on the promised standards of delivery.
  • One size does not fit all: formulation of CC should be a decentralized activity with the head office providing only broad guidelines.
  • Periodic updation of CC: preferably through an external agency.
  • Fix responsibility: Hold officers accountable for results: fix specific responsibility in cases where there is a default in adhering to the CC.

Conclusion

Citizen’s Charter is playing a prominent part in ensuring “minimum government & maximum governance”, changing the nature of charters from non-justiciable to justiciable & adopting penalty measures that will make it more efficient & citizen friendly. The Sevottam model proposed by 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission for public Service Delivery can be regarded as a standard model for providing services in citizen centric governance.


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