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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 May 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. Trace the evolution of Mughal architecture under various Mughal emperors with a special emphasis on architectural development under Shahjahan. (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.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the gradual evolution of Mughal architecture under various Mughal rulers by identifying major elements of change.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief, write about the grandeur of Mughal architecture and emergence of a distinct style of their own.

Body:

In the body, trace the development of various styles of architecture, aesthetic awareness with example. Babur and Humayun – Not much progress but cite a few examples of the constructed.

Akbar – A very distinct style emerged. The initial use of styles of Bengal and Gujarat in monuments at Agra. Then a distinctive style at monuments at Fathepur Sikri and Delhi. Jahangir – mention the new features added and changes witnessed with examples.

Shahjahan – write about how Mughal architecture reached its Zenith under him. Distinct features with examples. Aurangzeb – How his reign is marked with less patronage for arts but nevertheless a few buildings were constructed.

Conclusion:

Summarize the contributions of the Mughal rulers to Indian art and architecture.

Introduction

Mughal architecture, building style that flourished in northern and central India under the patronage of the Mughal emperors from the mid-16th to the late 17th century. The Mughal period marked a striking revival of Islamic architecture in northern India. Under the patronage of the Mughal emperors, Persian, Turkish, Indian, and various provincial styles were fused to produce works of unusual quality and refinement.

Body

Important Features of Mughal Architecture:

  • Blend of Indian, Persian, and Turkish architectural style.
  • Different types of buildings, such as majestic gates (entrances), forts, mausoleums, palaces, mosques, sarais, etc.
  • Building material: Mostly, red sandstone and white marble were used.
  • Specific features such as the Charbagh style (garden layout) of the mausoleums, pronounced bulbous domes, slender turrets at the corners, broad gateways, beautiful calligraphy, arabesque, and geometric patterns on pillars and walls, and palace halls supported on pillars.
  • The arches, chhatri, and various styles of domes became hugely popular in the Indo-Islamic architecture and were further developed under the Mughals.
  • It became so widespread especially in north India that these can be seen further in the colonial architecture of Indo-Sarcenic style.

Evolution of Mughal Architecture

  • Babur
    • Due to his short reign (1526-1530), most of which was spent in wars, Babur could not leave any significant construction except the mosque of Kabuli Bagh at Panipat and Jama Masjid at Sambhal near Delhi.
    • Babur also built Ram Bagh, the first Mughal Garden in India (1528) in Charbagh Style located in Agra.
  • Humayun
    • Humayun succeeded Babur, but throughout his reign, he was constantly embroiled in a struggle with Sher Shah Suri.
    • He laid the foundation of the city named Dinpanah but could not finish it.
    • Humayun’s Tomb, also known as the precursor of the Taj Mahal was the first imposing structure of the Mughals which was built by his widow Hamida Begum and designed by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas.
    • The mausoleum built upon a raised platform is a mix of Indian and Persian artistry using red sandstone and white marble.
    • It has a Persian Charbagh style. The tomb was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
    • The Taj Mahal is the climax and therefore perhaps the most famous monument built under the Charbagh layout.
  • Sher Shah Suri (Sur Dynasty):
    • He built the Quila-e-Quanah mosque of Old Fort in Delhi, Rohtas Fort in Pakistan, Sher Shah Suri Masjid in Patna in Afghan-style
    • He also built the famous Grand Trunk Road.
    • His period saw the transition from Lodhi style to the Mughal style of architecture.
  • Akbar:
    • The reign of Akbar (1556-1605) witnessed immense developments in Mughal art and architecture.
    • He built the city of Fatehpur Sikri which was the first planned city of the Mughals and served as his capital from 1571 to 1585.
    • BulandDarwaza (1576, built to commemorate Akbar’s victory over Gujarat kings), Jama Masjid, Diwan-i-aam, Diwan-i-khaas, Birbal’s house, Tomb of Saint Salim Chisthi are some of the important monuments in Fatehpur Sikri.
    • He also built the Govind Dev temple in Vrindavan.
  • Jahangir:
    • The prince had a special appreciation for the paintings over architecture.
    • He built the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula (father of his wife Nur Jahan) displaying the world’s finest Pietra-dura works and completed Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra.
    • He also built the famous Shalimar Bagh in Srinagar, Moti Masjid at Lahore.
  • Shah Jahan:
    • He immortalized himself as he built the Taj Mahal in the memory of his late wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
    • He is rightly called ‘the prince of builders’ as the Mughal architecture reached its zenith under his reign.
    • He built Shahjahanabad, the 7th city of Delhi, today is known as Old Delhi.
    • He made extensive use of white marble as opposed to red sandstone which was preferred by his predecessors.
    • He also built the Jama Masjid in Delhi, Moti Masjid in the Agra Fort, and the Sheesh Mahal in the Lahore Fort brilliantly using pietra dura and complex mirror work.
  • Aurangzeb:
    • He preferred simplicity over the grandeur and repaired more mosques than he built.
    • Aurangzeb is also said to have destroyed numerous Hindu temples as well.
    • A beautiful pearl mosque in the Red Fort, Delhi, and the Bibi ka Maqbara in Aurangabad for his wife are only a few notable mentions in his long reign.
    • Thus, overall the Mughal architecture saw a decline in the Aurangzeb’s reign.

Conclusion

Thus, stating the seemingly obvious, Mughal architecture developed into a one of a kind architectural style which has withstood the test of time. It is appreciated widely by people all across the world due to its distant features as discussed above. It is up to us architects of India to carry forward and preserve our traditional styles of architecture and create something new that is looked upon with pride by our future generations.

 

Topic: Social empowerment

2. Improved availability and access to assistive aids is quintessential to ensure improvements in the lives of the persons with disabilities. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduThe Hindu

Why the question:

More than 2.5 billion people need one or more assistive products, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or apps that support communication and cognition and yet a billion of them are denied access, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where access can be as low as 3% of the need for these life-changing products, said a report released on Monday by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of assistive aids in improving life of persons with disabilities.

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 by giving statistic regarding persons with disabilities in India.

Body:

First, write about the various issues that the persons with disabilities face in ensuring normal lifestyle. Mention the various steps that have been take in this regard.

Next, write about the difference that assistive aids can make in the lives of persons with disabilities.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning a way forward to ensure empowerment of the persons with disabilities.

Introduction

According to Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, “Person with disability” means a person with long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which, in interaction with barriers, hinders his full and effective participation in society equally with others.

The 2011 Census puts the national estimate of the number of people with disabilities at 2.21% of the total population (26.8 million persons), including persons with visual, hearing, speech, locomotor and mental disabilities with the majority in the 19-59 age group. The country’s disabled population increased by 22.4% between 2001 and 2011 census periods; the total population increased by 17.6% however. 

Body:

disabled

 

Importance of Assistive Aids

  • It is estimated that approximately one in every 10 children in the world has a disability and less than 10% of children with disabilities in low-income countries go to school.
  • Around the world, an estimated 93 million children under the age of 15 are living with some kind of disability.
  • Besides poverty and prejudice, the lack of access to assistive technology, as well as inaccessible transport and school environments are major barriers, which restrict children with disabilities to access education and to participate in the community.
  • Assistive technology is a life changer — it opens the door to education for children with impairments, employment and social interaction for adults living with disabilities, and an independent life of dignity for older persons

Barriers to assistive products:

  • Lack of assistive products:
    • More than 2.5 billion people need one or more assistive products, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or apps that support communication and cognition.
    • Yet a billion of them are denied access, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where access can be as low as 3% of the need for these life-changing products, according to report released by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF.
    • denying people access to these life-changing tools is not only an infringement of human rights, but it is also economically shortsighted.
  • Barriers to access and coverage, in the context of AT, is best understood as the 5Ps:
    • People: Related to age, gender, type of functional difficulty, location and socioeconomic status of those in need of AT.
    • Products: Range, quality, affordability and supply of assistive products continue to be enormous challenges. Quality and standards issues such as safety, performance and durability are key concerns.
    • Provision: Information and referral systems remain complex and services are not available across all geographies and populations.
    • Personnel: Significant workforce gaps are not just about numbers but adequate training and education too.
    • Policy: A survey of more than 60 countries reported at least one government Ministry or authority responsible for access to AT with almost 90% having at least one piece of legislation on access to AT; however, current levels of access imply a long road to universal AT access.
  • Poor implementation of policies and schemes hinders the inclusion of disabled persons.
    • Though various acts and schemes have been laid down with an aim to empower the disabled, their enforcement face many challenges.

Way Forward:

  • The Assistance to Disabled persons for purchasing/fitting of aids/appliances (ADIP) scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • It aims to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation, by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential.
  • People with disabilities need to be better integrated into society by overcoming stigma
  • State-wise strategies on education for children with special needs need to be devised.
  • There should be proper teacher training to address the needs of differently-abled children and facilitate their inclusion in regular schools
  • Further there should be more special schools and ensure educational material for differently-abled children
  • Safety measures like road safety, safety in residential areas, public transport system etc, should be taken up
  • Further, it should be made legally binding to make buildings disabled-friendly
  • More budgetary allocation for welfare of the disabled. There should be a disability budgeting on line of gender budget.
  • Proper implementation of schemes should be ensured. There should be proper monitoring mechanisms and accountability of public funds.

 

Topic: urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

3. Analyse the role of public health engineering in ensuring clean water and sanitation as well as addressing the growing demands for water consumption and preservation in India. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

As we confront public health challenges emerging out of environmental concerns, expanding the scope of public health/environmental engineering science becomes pivotal.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of public health engineering in achieving our developmental objectives.

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 writing in brief about the scope of public health/environmental engineering science.

Body:

First, highlight that of public health/environmental engineering science will play a part in ensuring clean water and sanitation. Substantiate with examples.

Next, write about the of public health/environmental engineering science role in meeting the growing demands of water. Mention ways to achieve that.

Next, write about the other advantages of public health engineering.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Public health/environmental engineering science is the application of science and engineering principles that provide a better environment, to give healthy water, air and land for human habitation and other living things, and to rehabilitate polluted areas. In addition, it focuses on finding appropriate solutions in the field of public health, such as arthropod-related diseases, and in enforcing laws that promote adequate sanitation in urban, rural, and recreational areas. It can play an important and significant role in solving environmental health issues.

Body

Importance of Public health engineering

  • It guides us on how our developmental and daily activities affect the environment and how we are affected by changes in environmental conditions.
  • It guides us to create a pollution free environment (which includes clean air, water, land and food) by adopting various methods of prevention and control of pollution.
  • It guides our natural resources such as water, forests, minerals and fossil fuels to be utilized in an efficient way, with maximum utility and minimum waste by adopting conservation and recycling strategies.
  • Adopts the above three characteristics, namely, knowing one’s environmental impact, prevention and control of pollution, and efficiently utilizing resources efficiently in daily activities to lead the general public in an environmentally friendly way.
  • It allows industries to operate in an environmentally friendly mode by adopting clean and efficient technology and installing pollution control systems.

Role of Public health engineering in India

  • In India, public health engineering is executed by the Public Works Department or by health officials.
  • Public health engineering’s combination of engineering and public health skills can also enable contextualised decision-making regarding water management in India.
  • For example, wastewater management systems, especially decentralised and onsite systems, have to be designed based on hydro-geological data and observations of climate patterns.
  • Given the population growth, diminishing resources and risky exploitation of natural resources, various State governments and not-for-profit organisations are looking to hire environmental engineers through whom public health problems can be addressed.
  • India aims to supply 55 litres of water per person per day by 2024 under its Jal Jeevan Mission to install functional household tap connections.
  • In this regard, expansion of the pipeline network, identification of sustainable sources of water which have water available year-round, installation of online systems for monitoring the quantity and quality of supply, and collection and treatment of wastewater become increasingly important.
  • The goal of reaching every rural household with functional tap water can be achieved in a sustainable and resilient manner only if the cadre of public health engineers is expanded and strengthened.

Conclusion

Thus, there is need for developing teaching and training of public health engineering or environmental engineering as an interdisciplinary subject. Public health institutes can play an important and significant role in this regard by engaging themselves in initiating specialized programs in this domain.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

4. Critically analyse India’s efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. What course corrections are required to meet the targets? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

NITI Aayog’s 2020-21 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) India Index detailed the implementation of the United Nations’ SDGs in the country, States and Union Territories (UTs). It gave marks, between 0 and 100 points, to each region.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about India’s performance with respect to SDG’s and changes required to achieve the target.

Directive word: 

Critically analyze – 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context about 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are to be achieved by 2030.

Body:

First, mention the important SDGs in brief and write about the various measures taken in order to achieve them.

Next, evaluate India’s performance toward achieving various SDGs by 2030 and mention the shortfalls.

Next, write about the various course corrections that are required in order to ensure that SGDs are achieved by 2030.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

The Index for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) evaluates progress of states and Union Territories (UTs) on various parameters including health, education, gender, economic growth, institutions, climate change and environment. First launched in December 2018, the index has become the primary tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs in India. It has also fostered competition among the states and UTs by ranking them on the global goals.

All the States managed to score above 50 points in SDG implementation, with 13 States featuring in the ‘Performer’ category and 15 in the ‘Front Runner’ category (the second-highest position) in NITI Aayog’s 2020-21 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) India Index.

Body

 

Progress of Indian States in achieving SGD Goals

  • India stepped into the ‘Front Runner’ category with a score of 66 points, though it dropped two ranks in the ordinal scale.
  • However, our neighbouring countries performed better than us.
  • The country’s overall SDG score improved by 6 points — from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020-21 — on accounts of improvement in performance in providing facilities including clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy among others.
  • While Kerala retained its rank as the top with a score of 75, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu both took the second spot with a score of 74. Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam were the worst performing states in this year’s India index.
  • Chandigarh maintained its top spot among the UTs with a score of 79, followed by Delhi (68).
  • Mizoram, Haryana and Uttarakhand are the top gainers in 2020-21 in terms of improvement in score from 2019, with an increase of 12, 10 and 8 points, respectively.
  • While in 2019, 10 states/UTs belonged to the category of front-runners (score in the range 65-99, including both), 12 more states/UTs find themselves in this category in 2020-21.
  • Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Punjab, Haryana, Tripura, Delhi, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh graduated to the category of front-runners (scores between 65 and 99, including both).

Challenges persisting

  • SDGs on eradication of poverty and hunger, measures related to the availability of affordable, clean energy in particular, showed improvements across several States and Union Territories. The campaign to improve the access of households to electricity and clean cooking fuel has been shown to be an important factor.
  • While this is cause for cheer, the Index reveals that there has been a major decline in the areas of industry, innovation and infrastructure besides decent work and economic growth, again made worse by the lockdowns imposed by the governments seeking to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • But the stark differences between the southern and western States on the one hand and the north-central and eastern States on the other in their performance on the SDGs, point to persisting socio-economic and governance disparities.
  • These, if left unaddressed, will exacerbate federal challenges and outcomes, as seen in the public health challenges during the second wave across some of the worse-off States.

Course corrections needed

  • Many others, such as ‘no poverty’, ‘quality education’, ‘decent work and economic growth’, ‘industry, innovation and infrastructure’, and ‘climate action’, need a lot more work so that the country can be pulled up to the ‘Front Runner’ category from the ‘Performer’ category.
  • Partnership is the key to achieve this.
  • The current level of collaboration with States, UTs, civil society organisations and businesses should be further enhanced by overlooking any differences in political ideologies.
  • There is a need to aggressively implement SDG localisation efforts at the district, panchayat and village levels so that implementation feedback from the field is available, besides enabling true internalisation of the SDGs by the community.
  • Only work at the community level can make SDGs truly achievable and deliverable.

Conclusion

India’s push in the right direction in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to clean energy, urban development and health has helped it improve its overall SDG score from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2021. India must continue to aggressively take up the goals as a challenge for New India by 2030.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Niche banking will lead to Indian financial sector getting some niche and specialised players of global and Indian origin and create a focus on specific areas, which will help industries as well as the banking sector become more competitive and innovative. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

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 niche banking, its successes and limitation with respect to banking system of India.

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: 

Begin by defining niche banks.

Body:

First, mention a few features of niche banks.

Next, write about the various advantages offered by the niche banks in the India macro-economic set up.

Next, evaluate the successes and limitations of Niche banks in Indian set up.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to overcome the limitations.

Introduction

Niche banks are banks that have a specific purpose, focused on a particular subset of the population.  A niche bank’s entire operations, marketing, and product mix are all developed to cater to the target market’s preferences. Small Finance Banks and Payments Bank are Niche Banks whose concept first came in the year 2007

Body

Niche banks

What exactly constitutes a “niche” is not set in stone. There are a number of Verticals a bank could focus on, for example:

  • Specific Demographics:A bank could target specific portions of the populace, like pensioners or young adults
  • Specific Industry: A bank could have chosen its product mix to meet the needs of specific industries, such as offering loans and payments with the specific purpose of buying real estate or offering services for workers in the gig economy
  • Specific Community: A bank could build up their products to address specific communities or be entirely based in that community, for example, local banks servicing unbanked and underbanked people

Evaluation of Niche banks

  • The issuance of licences to Payments Banks and Small Finance Banks (SFBs) has helped achieve last-mile connectivity in the financial inclusion drive  by lending more to micro, small and medium enterprises.
  • For instance, SFBs had mobilised deposits of ₹82,488 crore and extended credit of ₹90,576 crore to small and marginal farmers, and MSMEs (micro small & medium enterprises) by the end of FY 2019-20.
  • Niche banks have managed to stick to their stated objective of improving financial inclusion by lending more to micro, small and medium enterprises.
  • SFBs have also seen a rapid rise in their deposit base. Since microfinance institutions were largely the entities which converted to small finance banks, their focus has been to get access to cheaper funding by raising deposits.
  • There has been rise in the number of Payment Banks and small finance bank branches.

Challenges faced by Niche banks

  • Niche banks have to compete with existing public sector banks and RRBs.
  • Micro Finance Institution (MFI)/NBFC are specialised in micro lending operations with limited exposure to banking operations; that means they have to hire, train talent from the banking industry.
  • The cost of deposit mobilisation will be higher for niche banks as they cover rural and underserved segment.
  • Niche banks especially payment banks are required to invest minimum 75 per cent of its “demand deposit balances” into government securities. This limits their ability to earn from the deposit base as well.
  • Experience from Jan Dhan Yojana has shown that many such no-frill accounts have remained dormant, thus affecting the viability of the banks.
  • Medium of operation for these banks is the internet. India is struggling with very low internet speeds, which hinders the growth of these banks.

Way forward

  • There is a need for niche banking to cater to the specific and varied requirements of different customers and borrowers.
  • The perception and trust of people in new systems is of utmost importance. There will be a need for creation of awareness through proper communication strategy and depositor education.
  • Essentially, these specialised banks would ease the access to finance in areas such as RAM (retail, agriculture, MSMEs), infrastructure financing, wholesale banking (mid and large corporates) and investment banking (merchant banking and financial advisory services).
  • The niche banking reforms should focus on the need for higher individual deposit insurance and effective orderly resolution regimes to mitigate moral hazard and systemic risks with least cost to the public exchequer.
  • While promoting niche banks, the government should tighten the loose ends by allowing them to build diversified loan portfolios and have cross-holdings to mitigate concentration/market risks
  • Further, Government should establish sector-wise regulators, bestowing more powers to deal effectively with wilful defaulters, and paving the way for the corporate bond market (shift from bank-led economy) to create a responsive banking system in a dynamic real economy.
  • Risk management can be more specific and the neo-banks can leverage the technology to further (digital) financial inclusion and finance higher growth of aspirational new India.

 

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

6. Examine the impact that Industry 4.0 will have on India. Suggest measures that are needed to maximise benefits and minimise losses due to Industry 4.0. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

In spite of low automation and a young workforce, absolute job losses will be the second highest in the world due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the opportunities and challenges associated with Industry 4.0.

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 briefly defining Industry 4.0.

Body:

First, write about the positive impact of Industry 4.0 on India – growth, development, governance etc.

Next, write about the negative impact of Industry 4.0 on India – unemployment, cybersecurity, low technology integration etc.

Next, write about the various steps that are needed to maximise benefits and minimise losses due to Industry 4.0.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to overcome the concerns.

Introduction

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) is a term that describes present technological age. It is the fourth industrial era since the inception of the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. The key elements of the fourth revolution are the fusion of technologies ranging from the physical, digital to biological spheres. Prime Minister gave an institutional shape to the expression by launching the Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution in India.

As described by the founder and executive chairman of World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, “the fourth industrial revolution is a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another”.

Body

Possible Impact of IR4.0 on India:

  • For India, the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings tremendous opportunities to leapfrog many stages of development, hastening its journey towards becoming a developed economy.
  • It can play a major role in alleviating poverty.
  • Better and low-cost health care can be achieved through the implementation of AI-driven diagnostics, personalized treatment, early identification of potential pandemics, and imaging diagnostics, among others.
  • Enhancing farmer’s income by providing them with the latest technologies, improvement in crop yield through real-time advisory, advanced detection of pest attacks, and prediction of crop prices to inform sowing practices.
  • It will strengthen infrastructure and improve connectivity to the very last village.
  • Artificial intelligence can be used to empower and enable specially-abled people.
  • It will improve ease of living and ease of doing business using smart technologies.
  • Recently, India has announced her drone policy, which will play an important role in security, traffic and mapping.
  • Increased automation means more efficient products and processes, faster growth
  • It gives a boost for small scale industries as production gets automatic and cheap
  • India provides a potentially huge market access.
  • There is the very appealing demographic dividend with Indian youth representing approximately 20% of the global workforce by 2020. With more than 50 per cent of its population is under the age of 27, India can play a pivotal role in shaping the global fourth Industrial revolution in a responsible, scalable and inclusive manner.
  • There is a rising middle class
  • India is expected to become the fifth largest consumer market in two decades. Within this context, any form of consumption, entrepreneurship, startup or industry, can be viewed as a scaling opportunity.
  • India also has a robust start-up scene, which reportedly has more firms than anywhere else in the world except for the US and the United Kingdom (UK).
  • With one of the youngest labour forces in the world, a sizeable technical aptitude, the second largest number of internet users on mobile devices and the second largest English speaking population, India is well positioned to enhance its global leadership in a post fourth industrial revolution era.
  • The 4IR may further fuel supply-side miracles as above, paving the way for new avenues in economic growth, supported by the internet of things as a whole new experience of interconnectedness.

Challenges posed by IR 4.0:

  • Studies conducted by the World Bank, Oxford University, etc. on the relative global positioning of our country in the 4IR reveal that India is lagging in technology integration and adequate capital investment needed.
  • In spite of low automation and a young workforce, absolute job losses will be the second highest in the world due to 4IR.
  • Thus, without technology integration, India may lag in productivity as is expected to be achieved through 4IR.
  • India may be adding 138 million new workers in its workforce in due course, which is likely the highest in the world, and it may be a challenge to step up its growth rate to compensate for both high job loss and high incremental workforce.
  • If the country has to grow, it may have to invest heavily in adoption of new technology and reskilling/redeployment of a large share of its current workforce.
  • The threats for India in the Fourth Industrial Revolution may be that the shift of manufacturing towards consumption centres may shrink the net exports, resulting in huge job losses in the manufacturing sector.
  • Machine learning and AI may wipe out most of human analytics and programming-based high-end outsourcing jobs in India known as Knowledge Process Outsourcing.
  • Stiff competition from other countries, high unemployment levels and high incidences of poverty etc.
  • 0 is likely to increase inequality in India as the spread of machines increases markets and disrupts labour markets.
  • Inequality represents the greatest societal concern associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  • The largest beneficiaries of innovation tend to be the providers of intellectual and physical capital the innovators, shareholders, and investors which explains the rising gap in wealth between those dependent on capital versus labour.

Way forward

  • Governments, businesses and civil society organisations should put together an ecosystem for massive upskilling of the workforce.
  • India needs to prepare itself for a period of information and digital abundance, adapt itself to the scorching pace of innovation and learn to collaborate on scale, quickly transform the idea into a breakthrough innovation, shift from a system of time-bound education to a mode of continuous learning and create more employment opportunities than what new and disruptive technologies take away.
  • There is a need for good quality education to make India’s youth a productive asset.
  • Access to finance commensurate with maturity of the business model and beginning stage of the start-up lifecycle is extremely important to scale innovations.
  • Corporates will have a key role in championing this on-going movement, leveraging the ART Model – Alliances, Relationships enabled through Technology.

Conclusion

It is imperative for jurisdictions to continuously adapt to a new, fast-changing environment to understand what they are regulating and to be more transparent in public engagement and policymaking. The countries also need commitment to upskill the labour force in digital technology and to look at the changing threats to national and international security.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity;

7. Corruption erodes trust, weakens democracy, hampers economic development and further exacerbates inequality, poverty, social division and the environmental crisis. Analyse. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the impact of corruption and measures needed to prevent 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 defining corruption.

Body:

First, write about the factors that aid corruption – opportunity costs, quid pro quo, acceptance of corruption etc. Write about its impact on various dimensions. Substantiate with examples,

Next, suggest various measures to break the cycle of collusive corruption.

Conclusion:

Conclude by Summarising,

Introduction

As Gladstone has aptly said, The purpose of a government is to make it easy for people to do good and difficult to do evil”.

Corruption is an important manifestation of the failure of ethics. It is unfortunate that corruption has, for many, become a matter of habit, ranging from grand corruption involving persons in high places to retail corruption touching the everyday life of common people.

Body:

Challenges of corruption:

  • Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines rule of law, leads to violations of human rights and allows organized crime to flourish.
  • Corruption in India is not limited to collusive high-level scams.
  • Petty corruption, which affects the delivery of basic services and rights to people, is rampant.
  • Corruption impacts societies in a multitude of ways. In the worst cases, it costs lives. Short of this, it costs people their freedom, health or money. The cost of corruption can be divided into four main categories: political, economic, social and environmental.
  • On the political front, corruption is a major obstacle to democracy and the rule of law. In a democratic system, offices and institutions lose their legitimacy when they’re misused for private advantage. This is harmful in established democracies, but even more so in newly emerging ones. It is extremely challenging to develop accountable political leadership in a corrupt climate.
  • Economically, corruption depletes national wealth. Corrupt politicians invest scarce public resources in projects that will line their pockets rather than benefit communities, and prioritise high-profile projects such as dams, power plants, pipelines and refineries over less spectacular but more urgent infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals and roads. Corruption also hinders the development of fair market structures and distorts competition, which in turn deters investment.
  • Corruption corrodes the social fabric of society. It undermines people’s trust in the political system, in its institutions and its leadership. A distrustful or apathetic public can then become yet another hurdle to challenging corruption. This especially impacts the poor and marginalized, who are most dependent on public provisioning of rations, pensions, health, and education. Serious cases of several big corruptions have surfaced in the last five years, including banking frauds and the Rafale deal. The popular sentiment that helped the incumbent Government in the 2014 general election was resentment against corruption in public life.
  • Environmental degradation is another consequence of corrupt systems. The lack of, or non-enforcement of, environmental regulations and legislation means that precious natural resources are carelessly exploited, and entire ecological systems are ravaged. From mining, to logging, to carbon offsets, companies across the globe continue to pay bribes in return for unrestricted destruction

Measures to curb corruption:

The solution to the problem of corruption has to be more systemic than any other issue of governance. Merely shrinking the economic role of the state by resorting to deregulation, liberalization and privatization is not necessarily the solution to addressing the problem.

  • Adopting effective and coordinated policies against corruption
    • Developing a coherent anti-corruption policy which identifies the causes of corruption and commits to practical, coordinated and effective measures to address these causes is a prerequisite for success.
  • Fair and transparent system of public procurement
    • Establishing a procurement system, built on the principles of objectivity, transparency and competition, is important to both saving public money and to ensuring that the policy and developmental objectives of the government are met.
      • g.: GeM Government E-market Place is a step in the right directions. With this, Public Finance Management System also helps in tracking the real-time usage of funds.
    • Strengthened transparency and public reporting
      • An informed society with free access to information is a strong deterrent to corruption.
      • This underlines the importance of transparency, public reporting and access to information in preventing corruption.
      • Right to Information needs to be strengthened to make the public officials and governments more accountable to the citizens.
      • Citizens must be Vigilant: Otherwise, like Plato said “The punishment suffered by the wise who refuse to take part in government, is to suffer under the government of bad men”
    • Institutional monitoring and legislative reforms
      • Prevalent institutional arrangements have to be reviewed and changes made where those vested with power are made accountable, their functioning made more transparent and subjected to social audit with a view to minimize discretionary decisions.
      • Napoleon who said, ‘Law should be so succinct that it can be carried in the pocket of the coat and it should be so simple that it can be understood by a peasant’.
      • The 2nd ARC recommended that The Prevention of Corruption Act should be amended to ensure that sanctioning authorities are not summoned and instead the documents can be obtained and produced before the courts by the appropriate authority.
    • E-governance
      • The focus should be on e-governance and systemic change. An honest system of governance will displace dishonest persons.
    • Other Reforms
      • All procedures, laws and regulations that breed corruption and come in the way of efficient delivery system will have to be eliminated.
      • The perverse system of incentives in public life, which makes corruption a high return low risk activity, need to be addressed.
      • In this context, public example has to be made out of people convicted on corruption charge

Second ARC guidelines to prevent corruption

  • Vigilance and Corruption:
    • Strengthening pro-active vigilance to eliminate corruption and harassment to honest civil servants including, wherever necessary, limiting executive discretion.
    • Addressing systemic deficiencies manifesting in reluctance to punish the corrupt.
    • Identify procedures, rules and regulations and factors which lead to corruption.
  • Relationship between Political Executive and Permanent Civil Service: Improvements in the institutional arrangements for smooth, efficient and harmonious relationship between civil service and the political executive is needed.
  • Code of Conduct for different organs of Government: This includes Political Executive, Civil Services, etc.

Conclusion

“Rivers do not drink their waters themselves, nor do trees eat their fruit, nor do the clouds eat the grains raised by them. The wealth of the noble is used solely for the benefit of others.”

Corruption needs to be rooted out from the very core of our nation, so that there is justiciable distribution of resources in the country leading to inclusive growth and ‘Sabka Vikas.’


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