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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 March 2022

 

 

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General Studies – 1


 

Topic:Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1. Philanthropy is a critical part of a democratic society as it focuses on the elimination of social problems in the country. Explain. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Key Demand of the question: To write about the role of Philanthropy in solving social problems of the country.

Directive word: 

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the answer by defining philanthropy.

Body:

Write about the how Philanthropy is a critical part of a democratic society – focussing on welfare, reducing inequalities, giving back to the society.

Next, write about its role in solving social problems – provides opportunities, supports projects and endeavours, funding projects which lack widespread support of the general public or the government etc. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning that ways to promote philanthropic initiatives in the country.

Introduction

Philanthropy involves charitable giving to worthy causes on a large scale, but it is much more than just a charitable donation. Philanthropy can include donating money to a worthy cause or volunteering time, effort, or other forms of altruism. Philanthropy is an effort an individual or organization undertakes based on an altruistic desire to improve human welfare, and wealthy individuals sometimes establish private foundations to facilitate their philanthropic efforts. In modern times, philanthropy is often undertaken by those seeking tax breaks, in addition to feeling good and helping others.

Body

Importance of Philanthropy for a democratic society

  • In the early years of independent India, traditional Indian philanthropy has focussed largely on supporting and enabling delivery of essential services and creating livelihood opportunities primarily in the areas of health and education for the poor, and in rural areas.
  • Philanthropy is a critical part of a democratic society. It is different than charity, which focuses on eliminating the suffering caused by social problems, while philanthropy focuses on the elimination of social problems.
  • It supports projects and endeavours from which we all benefit, such as libraries, museums and scientific research; and it also supports efforts that may be too unpopular or controversial to gain the widespread support of the general public or the government.
  • Philanthropy is important to society because governments can’t address the needs of all causes.
  • Frequently, certain government budgets get slashed because of politics or a need to shift the money elsewhere. This can leave gaps in areas where support is needed.
  • For instance,  by combining funding from government, bilateral donors, large philanthropies, and leading corporates, Samridh Healthcare Blended Finance Facility has mobilised a capital pool of Rs 1,875 crore. It provides both grants and debt financing to enterprises and innovators that are expanding the availability of affordable and quality healthcare solutions to the bottom-of-the-pyramid populations.
  • Philanthropic individuals and businesses help fill in the gaps by supporting causes and organizations that don’t use government funding. Without philanthropy, many needs in society would go unmet.
  • Philanthropy is adaptable and can be swiftly mobilized.
  • For instance, think of any natural disaster over the past five years. In the aftermath, humanitarian organizations inevitably urged citizens around the world to open their pockets and donate whatever they could afford to support relief efforts.
  • Philanthropic Donor partners are also deploying hybrid financing mechanisms that directly benefit under-served populations.
  • For instance, During the pandemic’s first wave, REVIVE Alliance, a collaborative platform hosted by Samhita Social Ventures, used direct cash transfers to cover the basic needs of daily wage workers who had lost their income.

Way forward

  • Philanthropic capital enjoys much greater independence than governments and corporations and are better-placed to support complex and under-invested areas by experimenting with novel approaches. This should motivate philanthropists to experiment with innovative methods and plans for development .
  • With the recent emergence of data on deepening incomes and wealth inequalities- and their corresponding differential impacts on various communities and regions, philanthropy must go beyond traditional approaches and projects that address symptoms of poverty and begin to play a part in addressing underlying systemic causes of poverty and injustice.
  • Philanthropic capital must be patient and seek to support longer-term, systemic change as Social change is a long and complex process; success is often not immediately visible.
  • The areas which require long term investment but also provide long term gains are research, developing sector-level institutions and infrastructure, and also .developing the capacity of NGOs themselves
  • Multi-year funding commitments based on trust can allow NGOs to focus on impact rather than worrying about fundraising. Also, collaboration will help in  shared learnings which will have a multiplier effect.
  • Funders should acknowledge that things may not always go as planned and that that require them to re-evaluate their approach or priorities. Having robust feedback loops is will help in this.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

2. The Indo-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership has evolved with collective cooperation and engagement on various issues. Yet, there remains scope for deepening the bilateral relationship especially in the wake of the current geopolitical ferment. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question: Japan has announced $5-trillion or Rs 3,20,000-crore investment target in India for the next five years, following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.

Key Demand of the question: To write about the evolution of Indo-Japan times and  scope for deepening bilateral ties.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with a brief history of India-Japan ties and its evolution in the recent times.

Body:

First, Write about the Indo-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership – Balancing security policy against China, Scope for technology partnership, Economic ties, Scope for expansion: Support for key manufacturing initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and Japan Industrial Townships, secure infrastructure investments in strategically vital connectivity projects currently underway in Northeast and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Etc.

Next, write about the how countries can seek a deeper engagement in the current geopolitical scenario.

Conclusion:

Conclude writing a way forward.

Introduction

It is significant that despite the recent developments in Ukraine, Tokyo and New Delhi have managed to present a united front vis-a-vis China. While Kishida condemned the Russian attack, the Indian side called for peace and dialogue. This is in line with the two countries’ positions, and individual strategic needs — and that common interests outweigh the differences.

Body

India-Japan cooperation and bilateral relations

  • Increased Economic Cooperation: Both signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2011 which helped in boosting bilateral trade.
    • Japan has been one of the biggest sources of investment flows into India, accounting for $28.16 billion in FDI between April 2000 and June 2018.
  • Connectivity through Huge Infrastructure projects: Within India- Japan has been a leading financial donor in the form of ODA (Official Development Assistance) to India.
    • It continues to maintain a high degree of interest and support for India’s mega infrastructure projects like the Delhi-Mumbai Freight Corridor, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor etc.
    • North East integrationIndia’s Act east policy has North east development at its core. Japan promises to undertake several projects in the region under north East Forum. It has security (chicken neck corridor) and developmental implications for India.
  • Asia-Africa Growth Corridor AAGC: Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) announced in 2017 and joint projects in some third countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka and in Africa as well will be taken jointly.
  • Defence ties: Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is a strategic dialogue between India, United States, Japan and Australia will be carried out.
    • India and Japan signed an “Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement” that would allow the militaries of the two countries to exchange supplies and services on a reciprocal basis during exercises in which both participate, U.N. and humanitarian assistance operations etc.
    • Trilateral naval exercise Malabar involving the United States, Japan and India will be carried on continuous basis.
  • Global and regional partnership: Both have come together, through platforms like QUAD, Asia-Africa Growth Corridor.
    • Looming presence of China has led to the convergence of economic and strategic imperatives, especially in the India-Pacific region.
  • Space cooperation: India and Japan conducted their first Annual Bilateral Space Dialogue, for enhancing bilateral cooperation in outer-space.

Ample scope to deepening the relations

  • In spite of CEPA India Japan trade it has not produced the anticipated results.
    • In 2011-12, the total volume of the bilateral trade was $18.43 billion, but it declined to $13.48 billion during 2016-17.
  • Both had diverging interest with respect to economic issues like on E-commerce rules (Osaka track), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
  • Both countries do not have a specific China policy. Despite, converging interests of Japan, India, trade with China represents more than 20% of Japan’s total trade.
  • No concrete action on projects like Asia Africa Growth Corridor, despite it being signed in 2017.

Conclusion

India Japan’s relationship has been defined as ‘indispensable natural partners.’ Also, Indian Prime Minister said, there are few partnerships that enjoy so much goodwill in India as our relationship with Japan. To realise the full potential of relationship, both need to expedite work on trade, defence and infrastructural issues. A strong Indo- Japan will arrest the inconsistency being witnessed in the region thus contributing to peace and prosperity in the Indo Pacific region and the world.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

3. What are revenue, fiscal and primary deficits? Examine the impact of fiscal deficit on the Indian Economy.

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Instapedia

Why the question: The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question: To write about various types of deficits and the impact of fiscal deficit on India economy.

Directive word:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining revenue, fiscal and primary deficit.

Body:

Write about the ways in which fiscal deficit impacts the India economy – deficits crowd out private borrowing, manipulate capital structures and interest rates, decrease net exports, and lead to higher tax rate and higher inflation etc. Substantiate with statistics and examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to reduce the fiscal deficit in the economy.

 

Introduction

Revenue deficit refers to the excess of total revenue expenditure of the government over its total revenue receipts. A fiscal deficit occurs when a government’s total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates, excluding money from borrowings. Primary deficit is defined as fiscal deficit minus interest payments on previous borrowings. Primary deficit shows the borrowing requirements of the govt. for meeting expenditure excluding interest payment.

Body

Fiscal Deficit:

  • The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit.
  • It is an indication of the total borrowings needed by the government.
  • Generally fiscal deficit takes place either due to revenue deficit or a major hike in capital expenditure.
  • Capital expenditure is incurred to create long-term assets such as factories, buildings and other development.

Impact of Fiscal Deficit on Economy

  • It can mean that the Government is spending money on unproductive programmes which do not increase economic productivity. (For example MNREGA, most of the money is eaten midway by the Sarpanch and Local officers.)
  • As government borrows from RBI which meets this demand by printing of more currency notes (called deficit financing), it results in circulation of more money. This may cause inflationary pressure in the economy.
  • When Government keeps borrowing and borrowing to fill up the fiscal deficit pothole, then bond yield will increase. It is not good because more and more of taxpayers’ money (i.e. Government ‘s incoming money) will go in repaying that bond interest rate rather than going into education or healthcare.
  • Government may be compelled to borrow to finance even interest payment leading to emergence of a vicious circle and debt trap.
  • Fiscal deficit “Crowds out” investment from private sector as Government borrows most of the cash.
  • Borrowing is in fact financial burden on future generation to pay loan and interest amount which retards growth of economy.

Strategies to Reduce Fiscal Deficit:

  • A deficit is usually financed through borrowing from either the central bank of the country or raising money from capital markets by issuing different instruments like treasury bills and bonds.
  • A drastic reduction in expenditure on major subsidies. Reduction in expenditure on bonus, LTC, leaves encashment, etc. Austerity steps to curtail non-plan expenditure.
  • Tax base should be broadened and concessions and reduction in taxes should be curtailed. Tax evasion should be effectively checked. More emphasis on direct taxes to increase revenue. Restructuring and sale of shares in public sector units.
  • Famous economist John Maynard Keynes opined that deficits actually assist nations in climbing out of economic recessions.
  • However, fiscal conservatives believe that deficits should be avoided by the government which should be inclined towards a balanced budget policy.

Conclusion

Thus, all the three measures gives an indication of the health of the economy. It helps to guide the macro-economic policies of the Government for better usage of the public finances.

 

 

 

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

4. FRBMA has taken concrete steps towards intergenerational equity in fiscal management and long-term macro-economic stability by removing fiscal impediments in the effective conduct of the monetary policy and prudential debt management. Critically Examine. (250 words)

 

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: InstaPedia

 

Why the question: The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question: To write about role and performance of FRBMA in debt management.

Directive word:

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: 

Start by writing the aims and objectives of FRBMA.

Body:

First, write about the performance of FRBMA in ensuring equity and macro-economic stability leading to prudential debt management – give an overview where the state objectives have been achieved.

Next, write about the shortcomings of FRBMA – Despite general improvements over time, prudent management of public finances continues to be a challenge, scarce public resources, electoral cycles and at times distorted incentives coupled, there is a tendency for governments to overspend during good years and thereby limiting room for countercyclical response in bad years and that leads to deficit.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward and various recommendations in order to overcome the above limitations.

Introduction

Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act was enacted in 2003. The objective of the Act is to ensure inter-generational equity in fiscal management, long-run macroeconomic stability, better coordination between fiscal and monetary policy, and transparency in the fiscal operations of the Government.

It provides a legal and institutional framework for fiscal consolidation. It is now mandatory for the Central government to take measures to reduce the fiscal deficit, to eliminate revenue deficit and to generate revenue surplus in the subsequent years. The Act binds not only the present government but also the future Government to adhere to the path of fiscal consolidation.

Body

Performance of FRBM Act

  • The implementation of FRBM Act/FRLs improved the fiscal performance of both centre and states.
  • The States have achieved the targets much ahead the prescribed timeline.
  • Government of India was on the path of achieving this objective right in time. However, due to the global financial crisis, this was suspended and the fiscal consolidation as mandated in the FRBM Act was put on hold in 2007-08.
  • FRBM act has been violated more than adhered to since its enactment. The target fiscal deficit to GDP ratio of 3% for the Union government was achieved only once, in 2007-08, when it was 2.5%. That achievement has yet to be emulated again.
  • The FRBM Act was amended twice, in 2012 and 2015. The revisions in 2015 shifted the date for achieving the 3% target to 2017-18. By this year, the amended revenue deficit target was put at 2% of GDP.
  • Budget 2018-19 has proposed amending the FRBM Act again, which will shift the target of 3% fiscal deficit-GDP ratio to end-March 2021. No target has been set for revenue deficit.

 

Shortcomings of the Act

  • Reduction of expenditure in critical sector: While there is a drastic fall in deficits, it has largely been on account of reductions in expenditure in critical sectors of the economy such as education, health etc.
    • The Union government’s development expenditure as a proportion of GDP has declined over time.
  • Reduced development expenditure: An analysis of revenue account of the development expenditure by states shows that in almost all sectors of development, there has been a decline in the FRBM era.
  • Manipulation: Also, at times it has been seen that the government has achieved the deficit targets by manipulating the revenue and expenditure accounts such as curtailing the capital expenditure; demanding interim dividend from Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in advance etc.
  • No force majeure clauses: Further, the FRBM Act ignores the possible inverse link between fiscal deficit (fiscal expansion) and bank credit (monetary expansion). That is, if credit growth falls, fiscal deficit may need to rise and if credit rises, fiscal deficit ought to fall — to ensure adequate money supply to the economy.
  • Investment starved: Data on money supply growth, bank credit and GDP establishes that both money supply growth and credit expansion have significantly reduced in relation to GDP growth. Thus, the FRBM Act has not only reduced the fiscal deficit but also starved the growing economy from much-needed investment.

 

Reformation of FRBM needed

The government should start by defining a clear objective, based not on arbitrary targets but on sound first principles: It should aim to ensure debt sustainability. To this end, the government could adopt a strategy based on four principles.

  • Remove multiple fiscal criteria: The current FRBM sets targets for the overall deficit, the revenue deficit and debt. Such multiple criteria impede the objective of ensuring sustainability since the targets can conflict with each other, This creates confusion about which one to follow and thereby obfuscating accountability.
  • Target must not be fixed: Around the world, countries are realising that deficit targets of 3 per cent of GDP and debt targets of 60 per cent of GDP lack proper economic grounding. In India’s case, they take no account of the country’s own fiscal arithmetic or its strong political will to repay its debt. Any specific target, no matter how well-grounded, encouraging governments to transfer spending off-budget such as with the “oil bonds” in the mid-2000s and subsidies more recently.
  • Focus on one measure for guiding fiscal policy: In this regard, Arvind Subramanian and Josh Felmanwe propose targeting the primary balance. This concept is new to India and will take time for the public to absorb and accept. But it is inherently simple and has the eminent virtue that it is closely linked to meeting the overall objective of ensuring debt sustainability.
  • Have a long-term plan: The Centre should not set out yearly targets for the primary balance. Instead, it should announce a plan to improve the primary balance gradually, by say half a percentage point of GDP per year on average. Doing so will make it clear that it will accelerate consolidation when times are good, moderate it when times are less buoyant, and end it when a small surplus has been achieved. This strategy is simple and easy to communicate; it is gradual and hence feasible.

 

Conclusion

Economic disruption caused by the COVID has prompted calls for a relook at the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM). The introduction of the FRBM in 2003 reflected the belief that setting strict limits on fiscal deficits, both for the centre and the states, was the solution. But this framework didn’t work. It is time to learn from past experience and adapt. Adopting a simple new fiscal framework based on the primary balance could be the way forward.

 

 

 

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

5. Forest conservation and restoration play an important role in climate change mitigation while offering plethora of benefits. However, unplanned and unscientific afforestation can cause harm to biodiversity and be counter-productive. Analyse(250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The UN General Assembly has proclaimed March 21 as the International Day of Forests to celebrate and raise awareness about the importance of forests. On this day, countries are encouraged to organise activities such as tree planting campaigns to help increase the green cover, conserve biodiversity, and fight climate change.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how unplanned and unscientific afforestation can cause harm to biodiversity and suggest steps to rectify it.

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 describing India’s as well the global push to restore forests and afforestation in order to mitigate climate change.

Body:

Firstly, write about the benefits of Forest conservation and restoration – climate mitigation, soil retention, conservation of biodiversity and cultural values, promote local economies through direct and indirect job opportunities, such as seed collection and cultivation, plantation of seedlings, timber harvesting and ecotourism.

Next, write about how unplanned and unscientific afforestation cause adverse impacts – broad-scale reforestation might cause the loss of other habitats of conservation importance, such as low-intensity farming systems of high ecological value, spread of invasive species and pests and reduce water availability and fires hazards etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to have a planned afforestation that leads to sustainable management of forests.

Introduction

Forests have a central role to play as the world confronts the challenges of climate change, food shortages, and improved livelihoods for a growing population. If predictions prove correct, the world will need to shelter, feed, clothe, and provide livelihoods for another two billion people by 2050.

Body

Climate change mitigation and Plethora of benefits of forests

  • Climate adaptation: Forests provide many essential environmental services, from absorbing and stocking carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change, to regulating water cycles, hosting 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity (including pollinators crucial to food security), maintaining soil quality, and reducing the risks of natural disasters such as floods at a time when many of these systems are coming under tremendous pressure.
  • Land rights to forest dwellers: FRA is an Act to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generation but whose right could not be recorded.
    • They must be viewed as stewards of forest conservation.
  • Minor Forest Produce/ NTFP: It is well established that most tribals live in forested regions, and their economy is heavily based on gathering from forests.
    • In all about 100 million people living in and around forests derive at least part of their livelihood from collection and marketing of non-timber forest products.
    • The issue of rights and access to MFP/ NTFPs and incomes from them is of great importance to the sustenance and livelihoods for forest dwellers.
  • Sacred Groves: The concept of a sacred grove is unique and mixed with religious beliefs, taboos, purity and environmental conservation.
    • A sacred grove is a small patch of land with a few particular types of trees and creeping plants growing around it.
    • Local community keep the area untouched and treat it as a holy place. They devote it to their local deities and ancestral spirits.
    • The ecological dimension of the sacred groves with an inherent idea of biodiversity conservation represents a deep sense of co-existence.
  • Food Security
    • For centuries, forests have served as a kind of natural safety net for communities during times of famine or other events that impact agricultural and food production; they provide fruits, leaves, gum, nuts, timber, and wood for fuel. Forests feed people and the animals they might depend on for trade or meals when crops fail.

Issues of unscientific afforestation

  • If wrong areas are selected for plantation, the natural habitat may get altered, which will cause habitat specialist species to become extinct.
    • This will make the local environment and ecosystem less resilient.
    • A classic example that we witness is the conversion of natural grasslands to wooded areas through tree planting.
  • The Great Indian Bustard, once nominated to be India’s national bird, is now staring at extinction with fewer than 200 individuals.
    • This is because many areas where these large birds thrived have been lost due to tree planting.
  • The Ranibennur Wildlife Sanctuary in central Karnataka, which was designated to conserve this species, is an example of this unscientific thinking.
  • Similarly, the Jayamangali Conservation Reserve, another grassland habitat in Karnataka, hosted wolves.
    • But now there are leopards there as the whole area has been planted with acacia, anjan, eucalyptus and tamarind trees.
  • Other natural habitats such as woodland savanna, laterite grasslands, scrubland, wetlands and rocky outcrops that have evolved to support unique biodiversity have been systematically transformed from ecologically rich habitats into sterile landscapes due to tree planting.

Conclusion and way forward

  • The aim should not be to only plant trees; it should be to make tree-planting activities friendly to local biodiversity.
  • If we want to restore forests, we need to first understand systematically the native vegetation and the biodiversity that play a critical role in forming these forests. If we plant a range of locally found indigenous species, biodiversity will make a comeback.
  • There is a rule of thumb in the tree-planting world: One should plant the right tree in the right place. And some add, ‘for the right reason’.
  • We should also monitor and examine the outputs of such tree-planting or restoration initiatives.
  • Another solution is to let forests come back on their own through protection. This is called assisted natural regeneration and is cheaper and more effective method.
  • Scientific studies have shown that natural regeneration absorbs 40 times more carbon than plantations and host a lot more biodiversity.
  • But of utmost priority is the task of halting deforestation and protecting existing forests.

 

 

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

6. Account for the various impediments which prevent India from achieving ‘atmanirbharta’ in defence. Suggest steps to overcome them and achieve strategic autonomy in key defence technologies. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Although Kyiv and New Delhi are 4,500 km apart, the reverberations of Russia’s military assault on Ukraine are being acutely felt on Raisina Hill. The impact of this conflict on India, while no less severe, will be different in scope and ambit from Europe.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about impediments to ‘atmanirbharta’ in defence and suggest measures to overcome them.

Directive word:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving the overview of Indian defence industry and its dependence on imports

Body:

Firstly, write about the various which prevent India from achieving ‘atmanirbharta’ – historical neglect, indifference towards national security, Lack of long-term vision for India’s Defence Technology Industrial Base (DTIB), The bureaucracy’s incomprehension of military technology, Lack of accountability for missing time, cost or performance targets etc.

Next, write about the steps that are needed to overcome the above and achieve the defence targets and atmanirbharta in defence.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Defence indigenisation has remained the inner calling of a nation, which has the third largest Army, is the eighth largest military spender and has emerged as the largest importer of weapon systems and platforms in the world. As India inches to achieve its rightful strategic autonomy, it needs to  do  much  more  in  planting  the  seeds  for  a  commercially  viable  and  technologically robust indigenous defence industrial base. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in 2019, India became the third-largest defence spender in the world

Body

Challenges which prevent India from achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence

  • Lack of Defence Manufacturing base in India
  • Primarily driven by Government ordnance factories and poor private participation
  • The public sector (DPSUs/OFs) by far has enjoyed the preferred categorization, particularly for big ticket purchases, when considering the Indian route, despite its poor track record as regards time and cost overruns, inefficiencies and poor financial performance.
  • The defence industry per-se being a capital intensive industry with high risks on investments leaves very few private players in the arena. DPSUs, on the other hand, have not done much to promote proficient business practices by involving the industry and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • The report of the 33rd Standing Committee on Defence – Indigenization of Defence Production: Public Private Partnership was highly critical of the steps taken by the government to promote indigenization
  • High costs and involved and lack of assured market
  • Poor technological transfer by foreign companies
  • Lack of Data
  • Assessment of Degree of Indigenisation:As of today, no scientific system is in place to assess the extent/ level of indigenisation achieved by defence production entities in the country.
  • Bureaucratic delay and licensing issues: there is still no ease of doing business in defence industry.: Investment in the defence sector is subject to compliance with the licensing requirements stipulated by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)

Measures needed to be Aatmanirbhar in Defence sector

  • To boost indigenization, DRDO needs to be given more autonomy like space and atomic energy departments
  • With opening up of 100% FDI in defence sector, giving private players an opportunity would bring in the money as well as competition to the Defence PSUs.
  • Setting up of the planned defence industrial corridors.
  • Robust Defence Diplomacy, for which a cadre of defence diplomats should be created so that new co-ordination with world can bring new idea and innovations.
  • Setting up of a Defence Export Organization to promote export of defence equipments.
  • Instituting an Independent Audit addressing issues of inefficiency and accountability, this shall help in keeping the flow of ideas and innovation.
  • Setting up an aerospace university, can help in bringing new ideas and innovations

Way Forward

  • Defence offset policies need better monitoring, removing unnecessary restrictions and linking defence offsets with offset in civil sector. That should be encouraged.
  • To boost indigenization, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) needs to be given more autonomy like space and atomic energy departments.
  • Even playing field should be created between the Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and the private sector companies.
  • Indian defence PSUs and ordnance factories have a lot of potential, they need to be “revived, revitalised and made a lot more dynamic”.
  • Establishing courses on defence production across universities and creating job opportunities for the graduates.
  • The government needs to expedite the setting up a professional defence procurement agency.
  • Meeting the objectives of defence exports, encouraging innovation, streaming lining procurements will require robust defence diplomacy. A cadre of defence diplomats should be created to address these issues.
  • The country needs an elaborate ecosystem of innovation of which defence innovation can be a part.

Conclusion

Self-reliance is a major corner-stone on which the military capability of any nation rests. Indigenous defence production is an essential capability to provide strategic independence to a nation, thus making exponential additions to national security through round-the-clock defence preparedness.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7. The middle path is the core of Buddha’s teaching and can be adopted in all walks of life. Elaborate with examples. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about middle path of Buddha and its application in present day.

Directive word: 

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start with a brief middle path of Buddha.

Body:

Write about the concept of ‘middle path’ (madhyamaka) which steers clear of the extremes. Elaborte upon it as it essentially implies avoiding extremes, such as what we are witnessing today-narrow nationalism and unbridled liberalism, religious bigotry and decrying religion, obsession with a glorious past and justifying all things considered modern; in short, blind faith in what one considers right without consideration for the other’s point of view.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning Buddha’s call to avoid extreme ways of practice and walk the middle way of reasonableness is the need of the hour.

Introduction

Buddhist philosophy and doctrines, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, give meaningful insights about reality and human existence. Buddhism teaches the Middle Path renouncing extreme steps like indulgence and strict abstinence. According to him everyone was responsible for their own happiness in life, stressing upon the individualistic component of Buddhism.

Body

The middle path is the core of Buddha’s teaching and can be adopted in all walks of life.

  • It essentially implies avoiding extremes, such as what we are witnessing today-narrow nationalism and unbridled liberalism, religious bigotry and decrying religion, obsession with a glorious past and justifying all things considered modern. g.: blindly targeting a section of people of a particular faith over dress, food etc.
  • In short, blind faith in what one considers right without consideration for the other’s point of view.
  • Buddha’shttps://www.insightsonindia.com/ethics-integrity-and-aptitude/contributions-of-moral-thinkers-from-india-and-the-world/indian-moral-thinkers/the-buddha/ call to avoid extreme ways of practice and walk the middle way of reasonableness is the need of the hour. For instance, the ongoing Ukraine war where Russia and NATO are trying to achieve their own ends.
  • Buddhism inculcates a lofty system of ethics and what is enunciated in the eight-fold path is a simple yet powerful guide for all individuals including those in high places-political and business leaders, religious seers, bureaucrats and professionals.
  • In today’s world of bitter religious and political conflicts, increasing inequalities and inequities, and unscrupulous commercial competition, the ‘middle path’ laid out by the Buddha is the only way to save mankind from the evils of hatred, vituperation and violence.
  • One of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations to be achieved by 2030 is ‘Peace and Justice’.
  • As peace and sustainable development are interlinked, the Buddha’s prism can be the guiding lights to every single stakeholder from local to global institutions and leaders, to work together for promoting dialogue, harmony, and justice based on compassion and wisdom.

Conclusion

The Buddhist teachings inculcate compassion, calmness & composure, joy among humans and they can help maintain a sustainable balance between man and nature. Buddha’s teachings can transform the societies into their better and more humane forms as reflected by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama “the 20th century was a century of war and violence, now we all need to work to see that the 21st century is of peace and dialogue.’

 

 

 


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