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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 October 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: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. Ambedkar was not only a messiah of the downtrodden but also as one of the greatest Indians of the modern age. Discuss.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

B.R. Ambedkar is rarely imitated and his techniques of fighting stronger foes are almost never used by Indians.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the political, social and intellectual contributions of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

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: 

Begin by writing a few introductory lines regarding Dr B.R Ambedkar.

Body:

Discuss his role and contributions; His role as a social reformer, chairman of the draft committee of the Indian Constitution, and first law minister of the country is well-known. He was an educationist, economist, jurist, politician, journalist, sociologist and social reformer and worked in the fields of culture, religion and spirituality.

Highlight his efforts towards championing the causes of downtrodden and the vulnerable.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising and his present-day legacy.

 

 

Introduction

Dr B.R Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 in the town and military cantonment of Mhow in the Central Provinces (now in Madhya Pradesh). The nation is celebrating the 131st birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar. He is one leader from the pre-independence times who has gained phenomenal after-life recognition, respect and popularity, not only as a messiah of the Dalits but also as one of the greatest Indians of the modern age. He was a nation-builder with a difference. Unlike Gandhi, Nehru, Subhas Bose and Bhagat Singh, he didn’t fight against British imperialism.

Body

Dr. Ambedkar: Messiah of the downtrodden classes

  • Ambedkar was the voice of the Depressed Classes on every platform. As their representative at the Round Table Conference, he championed the cause of labour and improving the condition of peasants.
  • During the Bombay Assembly’s Poona session in 1937, he introduced a Bill to abolish the Khoti system of land tenure in Konkan.
  • In Bombay, the historic peasant march to the Council Hall in 1938 made him a popular leader of the peasants, workers, and the landless. He was the first legislator in the country to introduce a Bill for abolishing the serfdom of agricultural tenants.
  • His essay titled ‘Small Holdings in India and their Remedies’ (1918) proposed industrialisation as the answer to India’s agricultural problem and is still relevant to contemporary debates.

Dr. Ambedkar’s role and contributions

  • His primary fight was against the evil of untouchability and casteism in the Hindu community.
  • Ambedkar worked to embed the objectives of liberty, equality and fraternity and the concept of dignity of the individual at the heart of the Constitution.
  • Babasaheb always advocated for providingequal rights to women. Women have been given the same fundamental right to Equality as men in the Constitution drafted by him.
  • Ambedkar was the voice of the Depressed Classes on every platform. As their representative at the Round Table Conference, he championed the cause of labour improving the condition of peasants.
  • During the Bombay Assembly’s Poona session in 1937, he introduced a Bill to abolish the Khoti system of land tenure in Konkan.
  • He was the first legislator in the country to introduce a Bill for abolishing the serfdom of agricultural tenants.
  • His essay titled Small Holdings in India and their Remedies(1918) proposed industrialisation as the answer to India’s agricultural problem and is still relevant to contemporary debates.
  • The Reserve Bank of India was conceptualised from the Hilton Young Commission’s recommendation, which consideredAmbedkar’s guidelines laid out in The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution
  • As a member of the Bombay Assembly,he opposed the introduction of the Industrial Disputes Bill, 1937, as it removed workers’ right to strike. He advocated for “fair condition of life of labour” instead of securing “fair condition of work” and laid out the basic structure of the government’s labour policy.
  • Ambedkar out rightly opposed the communist labour movements, their extraterritorial loyalties and their Marxian approach of controlling all means of production.
  • As chairman of the Constitution’s drafting committee, he took meticulous measures to build a just society through liberty, equality and fraternity.
  • Morality, Equality, Self-respect and Indianness were the four most important ideals of Babasaheb’s vision
  • Lord Buddha’s message of compassion and harmony was the basis of his life and politics.
  • Babasaheb stressed the need for politics based on the cultural values of morality and harmony.
  • He was a severe critic of Mahatma Gandhi and the politics of the Indian National Congress for fighting only the external evil of foreign rule while ignoring the cancerous disease within the Hindu community.

Conclusion

Today our legal system is progressing on the path suggested by him on many issues like property rights for women. This shows that Babasaheb’s visionary thinking was far ahead of his time. Ambedkar’s thinking and legacy are reflected in the pro-people, pro-poor welfare policies and programmes of the government

 

 

Topic: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

2. India is historically secular. Democracy and plurality go hand in hand in the country and provide the Indian society the vibrancy that one sees within it. Comment. (250 words).

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express Insights on India

Why the question:

Several groups which are inimical to India’s interests have come together to put out a huge advertisement in a leading American newspaper which is full of innuendoes and falsehoods about India with a clear aim of creating social divisions and promoting unrest.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about secularism and pluralism in the India society.

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: 

Start by defining secularism in the Indian context.

Body:

First, write about the how India has been a secular entity rights since ancient and medieval times. Cite examples to substantiate.

Next, write about how India secularism, pluralism and democracy have shaped the nation and provide the society with solidarity in diversity. Cite examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 

Introduction

India always followed the great tradition of ‘Sarva dharma sambhava’ i.e. all religions are harmonious with each other and lead to God and thus one can follow the path he or she chooses. Tolerance and harmony is a weave through Indian philosophy, culture and society since ages.

Body

India is historically secular

  • Born out of the great Hindu Vedic Dharmic tradition,  between 200 BC and 300 CE, Buddhism swept through the length and breadth of the Indian sub-continent catching the imagination of the rulers and the people alike.
  • India from a 100% Hindu nation became a Buddhist majority nation and remained so for nearly 500 years.
  • Many Emperors and Kings converted to Buddhism and so did vast majority of the subjects but never did the converted rulers or their subjects persecute followers of the old faith i.e. Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism, as we know it popularly.
  • The Guptas, who were Hindus, reined greater part of India from 320 CE to 550 CE. They not only ushered in India’s golden age but also presided over a golden Hindu renaissance.
  • Being staunch Hindus they gave impetus to Vedic Hinduism but also continued to patronize Buddhism by donating and supporting various Buddhist monasteries and universities. The state supported and promoted all denomination of faiths with an even hand.
  • Even during the period of Islamic invasion and occupation starting earnestly in 1200 CE many Hindu kings during these very disturbing times continued to maintain Dharmic equanimity and promoted religious tolerance and equality.
  • The Vijaynagar Empire (1336 CE to 1565 CE) the bulwark of Hindu resistance to Islamic onslaught in the Deccan and Peninsular India had a sizeable Muslim population residing within the city wall as well as in various parts of the empire but never during the interminable strife with the Bahamani Muslim sultans were these minorities mistreated.
  • In fact, the rulers of Vijaynagar provided them patronage and privileges during their festivals and daily life. Whereas all the while neighbouring Bahamani Sultans persecuted and mistreated their Hindu subjects.
  • Parsees, the fire worshipping Mazdians of Persia arrived in India around the 10 century escaping Muslim persecution in Iran. Parsees were welcomed and integrated into India society with local Raja’s patronizing their fire temples and have gone on to contribute to India inversely proportional to their small numbers.

Democracy and plurality go hand in hand in the country

  • In the diverse society of India, pluralism is crucial for its smooth functioning.
  • A pluralist democracy, allowing the masses the freedom of association, is necessary for the democratic culture to flow.
  • India has experienced life from every conceivable angle, height and depth.
  • India’s cultural life has a rare quality of richness, variety, and maturity.
  • One of the most glorious aspects of India’s pluralist cultural history is the treatment that her states and people gave to the religious and minority groups that came to India as refugees.
  • Be it the Tibetans under the leadership of HH Dalai Lama or the recent refugees from Myanmar, India has been a safe refuge.
  • Our  age-old traditions of tolerance and hospitality, attracted them and they found their hopes and aspirations fulfilled.
  • We have intense pride for Ajanta caves, the Kashi temple, the Taj Mahal, Gommatesvara of Shravanabelagola, the Golden Temple of Amritsar, etc.
  • Though they embody different faiths, there is a sense of the emotional experience of being Indian. This explains the plurality of beliefs.
  • Concerning language, India never had a monopoly on one language.
  • Various local, regional, national and international languages are spoken and learnt by Indians.
  • We have the willingness to learn different languages.
  • Indian culture encourages the learning abilities of several streams at a time and does not discard one for the other.
  • We do not adhere to the policy of worshipping one God throughout India or following one religion with one or two sects. Each community and caste have different Gods to worship and follow their customs and traditions.
  • At present, Indian democracy is unique for its multi-political party system. Thus, society is seen as different from the position and political power.
  • We also notice that an Indian lives with many identities, such as you can be a Bengali or Tamilian, Goan, a Hindu, Muslim or a Christian, etc. They all have their identities within the structure of homogeneous living.

Way forward

  • Since secularism has been declared as a part of the basic structure of the Constitution, governments must be made accountable for implementing it.
  • Define the word “minority”. The concept of secularism is based on recognition and protection of minorities. The two cannot be separated.
  • Setting up of a commission on secularism for ensuring adherence to the constitutional mandate on secularism.
  • Separation of religion from politics. It is of such urgency that no time should be wasted in bringing this about.
  • It is the duty of the secular and democratic forces to rally behind those political forces that really profess and practice secularism.
  • In a secular state, religion is expected to be a purely personal and private matter and is not supposed to have anything to do with the governance of the country.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

3. The current challenge is to develop technologies that adequately deliver the food and nutritional needs of the country while also addressing climate change imperatives. Analyse. (250 words).

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduThe Hindu

Why the question:

For the second time in two years, the Ministry of Women and Child Development on Saturday rejected the Global Hunger Index (GHI) that ranked India 107 among 121 countries.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about addressing hunger and nutritional needs of the country while tackling climate change.

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: 

Start by citing the present status of hunger and malnutrition in the country.

Body:

First, write about the major causes behind hunger and malnutrition in the country as India tries to manage that with combating climate change.

Next, suggest ways to overcome the above challenges and ensure food and nutritional security while tackling climate change related issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

 

Introduction

India has been ranked 107 out of 121 countries  (under the “serious category”) on the Global Hunger Index released by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. For the second time in two years, the Ministry of Women and Child Development rejected the Global Hunger Index (GHI). India, with one-sixth of humanity, will have to play a critical role to achieve the SDG target of zero hunger. India was accorded a score of 29.1 out of 100 (with 0 representing no hunger), placing it behind Sri Lanka (66), Myanmar (71), Nepal (81) and Bangladesh (84). It referred to the index as “an erroneous measure of hunger”.

Nutrition and agricultural production are not only impacted by climate change but also linked to environmental sustainability. The degradation of soil by the excessive use of chemicals, non-judicious water use, and declining nutritional value of food products need urgent attention.

Body

Present Status

  • India shares a quarter of the global hunger burden.
  • Four out of 10 children in India are not meeting their full human potential because of chronic undernutrition or stunting.
  • NFHS-5 shows many states have not fared well on nutrition indicators.
  • India’s food system faces negative consequences of the Green Revolution technologies.

Concerns / Challenges in Indian Agriculture

  • Adequate food production is fundamental to attaining the goal of zero hunger.
  • India has had an inspiring journey towards better production and achieving self-sufficiency and is now one of the largest agricultural product exporters in the world.
  • During 2021-22, the country recorded $49.6 billion in total agriculture exports — a 20% increase from 2020-21.
  • However, recent climate shocks have raised concerns about India’s wheat and rice production over the next year.
  • Given climate shocks and extreme weather phenomena, it is important to place a greater focus on climate adaptation and resilience building.
  • While Indian agriculture is getting adversely impacted by climate change, it also is a significant contributor to GHG emissions.
  • Agriculture sector contributes 14% of the total emissions.
  • Crop-residue burning has become a huge problem in parts of the country.
  • This is mainly propelled by monoculture and ecologically unsustainable farm practices.
  • Excessive use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers pollutes the environment.
  • According to FAO estimates, 40% of the food produced in India is either lost or wasted in every stage of supply chain from harvesting, processing, packaging, and transporting to the end stage of consumption.

Addressing the threats of climate change

  • Crop diversification to climate-resilient and yet remunerative, especially in those areas where the existing practices are ecologically unsustainable.
  • Incentivising farmers during the transition along with a robust value chain can facilitate the diversification process.
  • Climate-smart interventions like conservation agriculture, organic farming and agro-ecological approaches can address the environmental concerns while ensuring food security and nutrition.
  • Soil management practices include o zero-tillage or no-till farming, o crop rotation, o in-situ crop harvest residue management/mulching, etc.
  • The natural farming practices can effectively bring synergy towards ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation.
  • Use of botanical pesticides, green-manuring, biological pest control, etc. are nature-friendly and such practices lead to eco-conservation.

Way forward

  • Modifying consumer behaviour forms an essential ingredient to transform Indian food systems.
  • Breeding of staple crops that are rich in essential micronutrients like Iron, Zinc, etc., should be a top priority for the agriculture research system.
  • The government must ramp up its investments in agri research and innovation.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan, India’s national nutrition mission, can play an effective role in addressing the issues of persistent malnutrition by bringing all relevant ministries and stakeholders together.
  • Winning the fight against food loss and waste can save India $61 billion in 2050 through increased industry profitability and reduced food insecurity, as well as reduced GHG emissions, water usage, and environmental degradation.
  • The linear model of “take, make, dispose” is not economically or ecologically sustainable.
  • Shifting towards a circular economy can enable India progress towards the SDGs including halving food waste by 2030 and improving resource efficiency.
  • Circular model can reduce food waste and enable a shift towards zero hunger.
  • Through circular economy principles, India can transform the way the economy uses resources through reusing, recycling, redistributing food.
  • If India is to meet the Zero Hunger SDG meaningfully, it has to shed climate-harming agri-policies.
  • Thus there is a need for transformation towards sustainable, nutritious and resilient food systems to achieve the goal of zero hunger.

 

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Critically analyse the performance of Skill India in generation of skilled employees and leaders in alignment with the modern-day market demands. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on IndiaInsights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about successes, limitations and the improvements needed to the skill India mission.

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: 

Start by mentioning the aims and objectives of skill India mission.

Body:

First, write about various improvements seen in the skilling ecosystem and vocational training after the launch of Skill India. Substantiate with statistics.

Next, write about the various bottlenecks in the skill India mission – low employability and employment rates like – Shortage of well-trained and skilled personnel, low Female participation in workforce, Skill Deficit in Rural Areas etc.

Suggest steps as to how to overcome them to make India the skill capital of the world.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

 

Introduction

Skill India mission was launched in 2015 with a target of training and skill development to 400 million by 2022, covering each and every village. The main goal is to create opportunities, space and scope for the development of the talents of the Indian youth. To identify new sectors for skill development. Various schemes are also proposed to achieve this objective.

Body

Since the inception of Skill India mission, there are many measures taken under it

  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
  • Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM)
  • Director General of Training – Modular Employable Skills (DGT-MES)
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana
  • National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF)
  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)
  • National Skill Development Agency
  • Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM)
  • Atal Innovation Mission
  • Startup India

The impacts of the above schemes are:

  • NSQF recognises prior learning, through which an estimated 20 million school dropoutscan get a second chance.
  • There is a substantial increasein the number of people who were skilled in FY17 and FY18. Notably, the rise is phenomenal, it has risen more than four times, from over 3.5 lakh people in FY17 to nearly 16 lakh people in FY18.
  • About 30% of the skilled personshave found jobs under the mission in FY2018.
  • With nearly 55 percent successful placements, the Short-Term Training Program (STT)under PMKVY (2016-20) has successfully trained over 13 lakh candidates.
  • Approximately 76 percentof the candidates have been placed in wage employment and 24 percent placed in self-employment/ entrepreneurship.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)is designed for those who already have a job or are self- employed and require up-skilling and certification for better prospects. Till date, more than 4.5 lakh candidates have been certified under this component of PMKVY (2016-20).

Challenges in Skill India

  • The targets allocated are very highand without regard to any sectoral requirement. Everybody was chasing numbers without providing employment to the youth or meeting sectoral industry needs.
  • The focus of PMKVY has been largely on the short-term skill courses, resulting in low placements. There has been an over emphasis on this scheme and hence it is seen as the answer to all skill-related issues.
  • TheNational Skill Development Agency (NSDA), created in 2013 for resolving the inter-ministerial and inter-departmental issues and eliminating duplicates of efforts of the Centre. However, it has been now subsumed as part of the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT). This reflects not only discontinuity in the policy process, but also some obfuscation among policy makers.
  • India’s joblessness issue is not only a skills problem, it is representative of the lack of appetite of industrialists and SMEs for recruiting. Due to limited access to credit because of Banks’ NPAs, investment rate has declined and thus has a negative impact on job creation.
  • The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)has pointed out flaws in the design and operations of the NSDC and National Skill Development Fund which has resulted in falling short of skill development goals. Majority of them also could not achieve the placement targets for the trained persons.
  • The Sharada Prasad Committee, held the NSDC responsible for poor implementation of the Standard Training Assessment and Reward (STAR) programme. It highlighted that only 8.5 per cent of the persons trained were able to get employment. That is what has been claimed by NSDC.
  • The Report also cites “serious conflict of interests” in the functioning of the National Skill Development Corporation. NSDC has not been able to discharge its responsibilities for setting up sector skill councils (SSCs) owing to lots of instances of serious conflict of interest and unethical practices.
  • The skilling courses are not in line with the Industrial Revolution 4.0which is round the corner.

Measures needed

  • A distinct disadvantage with India’s approach towards skilling has been to ignore the demands of the market.
  • For the most part, skills have been provided in a top-down fashion.
  • Thus, most skilling efforts focus almost solely on providing certain skills but fail to “match” them with the needs of the market.
  • Experts argue that for skilling schemes to yield lasting results, even matching is not enough.
  • Given the way market demands fluctuate — for instance, look at how Covid pandemic has upended supply chains, skilling efforts must try to anticipate the needs of the market.
  • There is a need to end the artificial separation of the education system into formal and vocational shall end with such enabling frameworks allowing seamless integration.

Way forward

  • Learning should not stop with earning. Only a skilled person will grow in today’s world. This is applicable to both people and countries,” while exhorting the stakeholders to continuously skill, re-skill and up-skill.
  • This needs to be expedited as there is going to be a huge demand for re-skilling due to fast changing technology.
  • The skilled workforce has helped India in fighting an effective battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • India providing smart and skilled manpower solutions to the world should be at the core of our strategy of skilling youth.
  • India needs to learn from technical and vocational training/education models in China, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and Singapore, who had similar challenges in the past, along with learning from its own experiences to adopt a comprehensive model that can bridge the skill gaps and ensure employability of youths.

 

 

 

Topic: Investment models.

5. The advantage of a Public private partnership model (PPP) is that the management skills and financial acumen of private businesses could create better value for money for taxpayers when proper cooperative arrangements between the public and private sectors are used. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

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-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the PPP model and its advantages.

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 explaining the PPP model in brief.

Body:

First, write about the importance of PPP model in promoting and developing infrastructure in the country. Substantiate with fact/examples the achievements of PPP model in the country.

Next, write about how PPP model can contribute to pushing India towards 5 trillion-dollar economy. Evaluate its strengths and limitations.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward on how to overcome the limitations.

 

Introduction

According to World Bank, public-private partnership (PPP) is a long-term contract between a private party and a government entity, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility, and remuneration is linked to performance.  Public-private partnerships typically are long-term and involve large corporations on the private side. Some of the commonly adopted forms of PPPs include build-operate-transfer (BOT), build-lease-transfer (BLT), design-build-operate-transfer (DBFO), operate-maintain-transfer (OMT), etc. A key element of these contracts is that the private party takes on a significant portion of the risk.

Body

Advantages of PPP model

  • Access to private sector finance: India has a very large infrastructure need and an associated funding gap. PPPs can help both to meet the need and to fill the funding gap. PPP projects often involve the private sector arranging and providing finance. This frees the public sector from the need to meet financing requirements from its own revenues (taxes) or through borrowing.
  • Better infrastructure: They provide better infrastructure solutions than an initiative that is wholly public or wholly private. By shifting the responsibility for finance away from the public sector PPPs can enable more investment in infrastructure and increased access to infrastructure services.
  • Increased transparency in the use of funds: A well-designed PPP process can bring procurement out from behind closed doors. The PPP tender and award process based on open competitive bidding following international best practice procedures lead to transparency.
  • Less delays: They result in faster project completion and reduced delays on infrastructure projects by including time-to-completion as a measure of performance and therefore of profit.
  • Risk distribution:Transfer of risks is the most important advantage of PPP projects. In PPP projects, there is a possibility to transfer most or all of the risks to the private entity. The private entities explore opportunities, even though they involve risks.
  • Constant cash flow:The state budget is formed of fixed budgets for each ministry. Major investments are temporary modifications of the budget of a ministry, and this problem can be difficult to deal with within the budgetary process. Avoiding major investments by having a constant cash flow is an important driver when the state looks at the advantages of PPP.

Issues with PPP that need to be resolved

  • Uncertainties: PPPs often cover a long-term period of service provision (eg. 15-30 years). Any agreement covering such a long period into the future is naturally subject to uncertainty. If the requirements of the public sponsor or the conditions facing the private sector change during the lifetime of the PPP, the contract may need to be modified to reflect the changes. This can entail large costs to the public sector.
  • Policy and regulatory gaps:Inadequate regulatory framework and inefficiency in the approval process have been considered as serious disincentives for developers and contractors. For example, more than two years were needed for the Gujarat Pipavav port project to receive the necessary clearances after achieving financial closure. Moreover, most of the large projects involve dealings with various ministries where coordination remains inefficient.
  • Crony capitalism: In many sectors, PPP projects have turned into conduits of crony capitalism. It is worth noting that a large chunk of politically connected firms in India are in the infrastructure sector, which have used political connections to win contracts in the past.
  • Renegotiation: While private firms accept stringent terms of PPP contracts initially, they lose no opportunity for renegotiating contracts, in effect garnering a larger share of public resources than originally planned. Rather than being an exceptional clause, renegotiation has become the norm in PPP projects in India.

Conclusion

The success of Public-Private Partnership to a large extent depends on optimal risk allocation among stakeholders, the environment of trust and robust institutional capacity to timely implementation of PPP projects. To foster the successful implementation of a PPP project, a robust PPP enabling ecosystem and sound regulatory framework is essential.

 

 

Topic: basics of cyber security;

6. With traditional encryption models at risk and increasing military applications of quantum technology, the deployment of “quantum-resistant” systems has become the need of the hour to secure India’s cyberspace. Examine.

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

Last month, there were reports that the Indian Army is developing cryptographic techniques to make its networks resistant to attacks by systems with quantum capabilities. The Army has collaborated with industry and academia to build secure communications and cryptography applications. This step builds on last year’s initiative to establish a quantum computing laboratory at the military engineering institute in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about cyber security threats posed by quantum technologies and counter measures needed against it.

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: 

Start by giving context.

Body:

In the first part, write about the cyber vulnerabilities and potential risks associated due to advancement in quantum technologies – easy encryption, outdated, lack of counter measures etc.

Next, write about the methods and ways that are needed to ensure that India’s cyber security paradigm becomes “quantum-resistant”.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward

 

Introduction

Cyber security or information technology security are the techniques of protecting computers, networks, programs and data from unauthorized access or attacks that are aimed for exploitation. It protects cyberspace from damage, sabotage and economic espionage.

According to Symantec Report, India is the 5th most vulnerable nation to cybersecurity breach. With traditional encryption models at risk and increasing military applications of quantum technology, the deployment of “quantum-resistant” systems has become the need of the hour.

Body

Background

  • Last month, there were reports that the Indian Army is developing cryptographic techniques to make its networks resistant to attacks by systems with quantum capabilities.
  • The Army has collaborated with industry and academia to build secure communications and cryptography applications.
  • This step builds on last year’s initiative to establish a quantum computing laboratory at the military engineering institute in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh.

Current threats to cyber security

  • Outdated protocols
    • Current protocols like theRSA will quickly become outdated.
    • This means that quantum cyberattacks can potentially breach any hardened target.
  • Threat to digital infrastructure
    • China’s quantum advances expand the spectre of quantum cyberattacks against India’s digital infrastructure, which already faces a barrage of attacks from Chinese state-sponsored hackers.
    • Particularly worrying for India is the fact that China now hosts two of the world’s fastest quantum computers.
  • India’s dependence on foreign, particularly Chinese hardware, is an additional vulnerability.

India’s efforts towards quantum computing

  • India is getting there slowly but steadily. In February 2022, a joint team of the DRDO and IIT-Delhi successfully demonstrated a QKD link between two cities in UP — Prayagraj and Vindhyachal.
  • In 2019,the Centre declared quantum technology a “mission of national importance”.
  • The Union Budget 2020-21 had proposed to spend Rs 8,000 croreon the newly launched National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications.
  • The Army has collaborated with industry and academia to build secure communications and cryptography applications.

Way forward

  • Procurement from other nations:India must consider procuring the United States National Security Agency’s (NSA) Suite B Cryptography Quantum-Resistant Suite as its official encryption mechanism.
  • Emulating cryptographic standards: the Indian defence establishment can consider emulating the cryptographic standards set by the US’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which has developed a series of encryption tools to handle quantum computer attacks.
  • Develop quantum-resistant systems: India should start implementing and developing capabilities in quantum-resistant communications, specifically for critical strategic sectors.
  • Funding: government can fund and encourage existing open-source projectsrelated to post-quantum cryptography.
  • Participating in the global initiative:India can participate in the Open Quantum Safe project — a global initiative started in 2016 for prototyping and integrating quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms.
  • Prioritising QKDs over long distances, especially connecting military outposts for sensitive communications, can be prioritised to ensure secure communications whilst protecting key intelligence from potential quantum cyberattacks.
  • Diplomatic partnerships with other “techno-democracies” — countries with top technology sectors, advanced economies, and a commitment to liberal democracy — can help India pool resources and mitigate emerging quantum cyber threats.

Conclusion

India must develop core skills in data integrity and data security fields, to ensure protection of user data as well as security of critical infrastructure. Expertise of the private sector must be leveraged to build capabilities. Meanwhile user awareness is equally necessary to prevent them from becoming victims of cybersecurity threats.

 

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions;

7. The concept of dharma evolved over time, its meaning shifting from a ‘ritual ethics of deeds’ to a more personal virtue based on one’s conscience. Elaborate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Philosophical Mondays’ in Mission-2023 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the meaning of Dharma in the 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: 

Begin by defining Dharma.

Body:

Trace the development of the concept of Dharma since ancient times and how it is core concept of Indian society. Write about as how to its has transformed from ritualistic ethics to that of a conscience-based virtue. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the importance of dharma in present day.

 

Introduction

The word dharma has often been translated as ethics, morality, righteousness and goodness. These English words are rooted in the notion of objectivity. They are rigid and fixed, a tendency typical of Western approaches to management. But dharma is not an objective concept. It is a subjective concept based on gaze. When empathy expands gaze, our notion of dharma changes.

Body

Evolution of concept of Dharma

  • The great rishis of India identified fourfold objectives of life.
  • These are – Dharma (duties and obligations), Artha (material well-being); Kaama (pleasure) and Moksha (liberation).
  • The pursuit of these objectives help an individual to fulfil life’s purpose.
  • The concept of “dharma”, however, evolved over time.
  • It was generally specific to one’s caste and this concept is called – “sva-dharma” (caste duty).
  • Gradually, the meaning of “dharma” changed and acquired a universal appeal.
  • It was about the cultivation of an ethical self, with character traits like – being truthful, not harming others, not getting angry, to name a few. These traits or attitudes determine one’s character and is important in maintaining social harmony.
  • This concept of dharma is called sadharan dharma – the duty of conscience.
  • When the pursuit of the fulfilment of artha (material well-being) and kaama (pleasure) is based on dharma, or the dictates of the conscience, the social order is maintained.
  • It allows for an ordered existence and gives coherence to one’s desires. Dharma or ‘righteous behaviour’ is upheld for various reasons.
  • According to Yudhishtra, if people do not cooperate or trust each other, the social order will collapse. For him, non-violence (Ahimsa) and Satya (truthfulness) are, in fact, rules for cooperation and ensure the moral well-being of society.
  • The Dharma of Ramayana teaches honouring ones ordained duty, in the context; and adherence to Truth amidst temptations. That is relevant today too.
  • The Dharma of Mahabharata asks you to see through the evil and devise appropriate approach and action to safeguard the larger interests of Dharma and to perpetuate a living Dharma, at any cost. That is still relevant. Its call to put Dharma into practice and to experience it in life is also relevant.
  • The message of the Bhagavad-Gita to discover you true potential, to explore it with skill and diligence; and to live an authentic life, is relevant forever. Its emphasis on commitment to work, ethics and detachment is very relevant in today’s world.

In modern times

  • The principles of natural law (Dharma) found its way into the constitution in the way of fundamental rights.
  • Dharma was codified Dharma as we all know was a duty based legal system but the current legal system became a right based one.
  • Like Dharma included every aspect and facet of human life whether internal or external and provided a law to govern it and safe-guard; the same is been done by Article 21 with the help of other fundamental rights. Article 21 is large and wide and has a potential to confer every basic human right that one needs to live a life of a dignified human.
  • The courts have interpreted articles 25 and 26, in line with Dharma, they have said when the articles are read and religion means Dharma that is co-existence with welfare of others, not an orthodox view.
  • The concept of welfare state, which is the nature of state today, is found to have roots in Dharma. The Human Rights and fundamental rights have spurred from Dharma and Rigveda clearly shows ample evidences

Conclusion

Dharma is not a stagnant concept; but it is a living experience. It is evolving itself all the time, constantly interacting with the challenges, demands and needs of the times. At each stage of its unfolding, it acquired a newer interpretation in the context of the life and events of that period while retaining all its other interpretations accumulated over the ages.

 

 


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