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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 December 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

 


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. The revolutionary nationalist activities, though ended in tragedy, were undoubtedly brave and patriotic. Discuss the causes for the rise of revolutionary nationalism in India and its impact on the national movement.   (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

Four revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement were hanged on December 17 (Rajendranath Lahiri) and December 19 (Ashfaqullah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh) in 1927. This came two years after the Kakori Train Robbery, in which members of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) had looted a train transporting money to the British treasury.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the causes for the rise of revolutionary national movement and its contribution.     

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.

Introduction: 

Start by writing about revolutionary national movement and its nature of struggle. Mention important organizations and revolutionaries.

Body:

First, write about the causes for the rise of revolutionary nationalist movement – failure of moderates, lack of progress, high handedness of British etc.

Next, outline the major contributions of the revolutionary nationalists – spreading patriotism, creating fear in the minds of British, making them grant concessions, uniting the people of India, inspiring the youth.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

The emergence of revolutionary ideology in India during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was the result of several internal and external influences working on the minds of the youth. Early phase of revolutionary movement in India was in Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, U.P., Orissa, Bihar and Madras provinces, but it predominantly operated in Bengal, Maharashtra and Punjab as these regions were more politically active than other parts of the country.

Body

Factors that contributed to revolutionary nationalism:

  • Failure of Moderate and extremist congress: While the youth of Bengal might have been incensed at the British arrogance and repression, and the ‘mendicancy’ of the Congress moderates, they were also led to ‘the politics of the bomb’ by the extremists’ failure to give a positive lead to the people’.
  • Leadership’s failureto tap revolutionary energies of the youth.
    • In December 1908 nine Bengal leaders including the venerable Krishna Kumar Mitra and Ashwini Kumar Dutt were deported. In 1908, the great Bal Gangadhar Tilakwas arrested and given the severe sentence of 6 years imprisonment. Chidambaram Pillai in Madras and Hari Sarvottam Rao and others in Andhra were put behind bars.
    • This led to leader-lessness and energy of the youths could not be channelised.
  • The Fallout of Swadeshi and Boycott Movement was the immediate reason.
  • The repressive policies of the British government led people to militant and revolutionary politics.
    • The government of East Bengal, in particular, tried to crush the nationalist movement. Official attempted at preventing student participation in the Swadeshi Agitation.
    • For instance, the singing of Vande Mataram in public streets in East Bengal was banned. Public meetings were restricted and sometimes forbidden. Laws controlling the press enacted, etc.
    • One of the most notorious examples of repressions was the police assault on the peaceful delegates of Bengal provincial conference; Barisal in April 1906. Many of the young volunteer was severely beaten up and the conference itself was forcibly dispersed.
  • Nationalism among youth: Most vital factor which contributed to amplify the spirit of nationalism among the countrymen was the ‘economic exploitation’ of Indians by the British Government and the Partition of Bengal.
    • Jathindranath Banerjee, Virendra Ghosh of Anushilan Samiti; Barindrakumar Ghoshexpressed it through ‘Yugantar’.

Impact of revolutionaries in the Indian Nationalism

  • The Revolutionaries ignited the national cause and carried the message of nationalism in the country and outside the country.
  • Their deep patriotism, courage and determination, and sense of sacrifice stirred the Indian people.
  • They helped spread nationalist consciousness in the land; and in northern India the spread of socialist consciousness owed a lot to them.
  • The era of revolutionary terrorism began and very soon secret societies of the revolutionaries came up all over the country.
    • For instance, the Anusilan Samiti, the most famous and long lasting secret society, with its headquarters at Calcutta created revolutionary centres all over India. Their activities took two forms- the assassination of oppressive officials, traitors and informers, and dacoities to raise funds for the purchase of arms, etc.
  • It had its impact on the Congress strategy to involve the youths in the short term programme of rural reconstruction.
  • Revolutionaries like Ras Behari Bose, Chander Shekhar Azad, Lala Hardyal M.A., Madan Lal Dhingra and S. Ajit Singh succeeded in expanding the Indian independence movement to other countries as well.

Conclusion

Though the revolutionary movement failed it made a valuable contribution to the growth of nationalism in India. The sacrifice and the martyrdom of the revolutionaries did not go waste. It appealed to the masses. Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Surya Sen, Rajguru etc. became household name of the Indian people and aroused patriotism among masses.

Although the revolutionaries had failed to attain set objectives of attaining independence through armed revolt, they were successful in arousing people and remove the fear of authority from their minds and strike terror in the heart of the rulers.

 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government

2. Analyse the causes behind the huge backlog of cases with the judiciary leading to daunting delays in the justice delivery system. Do you think that increasing the number of judges in the higher judiciary, a possible solution to the issue of pendency?  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud stated that increasing the number of judges will not demolish the perennial problem of pendency, and that it is difficult enough now to find good High Court judge material.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the causes for pendency of cases in India, its impact and suggest measures to overcome.

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: 

Describe the current conditions with few vital statistics to substantiate the tendencies.

Body:

First write the causes for it – The cumulative effect of persisting vacancies, strained budgets, inadequate infrastructure combined with the continuous inflow of cases inevitably impacts mounting pendency and the time taken for cases to resolve.

Next bring out the impact of it – faith in the justice system, under trial prisoners their due of justice, impact on Economic reforms and foreign investors, Judiciary becomes overworked and lose its efficiency.

Suggest measures to overcome the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to ensure speedy delivery of justice.

Introduction

The justice system in any democracy is set up, under the Constitution to serve the public without “fear or favour, affection or ill-will” as far as judges are concerned. The Indian Judiciary plays an increasingly important role in the life and the governance of this country. A measure of the justice delivery system is the pendency of cases in courts across the country. There has been a significant deterioration in this aspect. The problem of pendency of cases is “intensifying” due to a lack of the sufficient number of judges.

Body

Vacancies in the Indian Judiciary at various levels

  • The courts are operating at a fraction of their authorised capacity.
  • According to an answer in the Rajya Sabha on August 4, 2022 – the Supreme Court has three seats vacant (out of 34), High Courts have 380 seats vacant (out of 1,108) and district and subordinate courts have 5,342 vacant seats (out of 24,631).
  • Out of 1,100 judges in various high courts in the country, there are about 400 to 500 posts vacant all the time.
  • The lower judiciary presently has around 5,300 seats vacant – over 20% of its capacity.
  • These vacancies are important as around 4.1 crore pending cases are before these courts.
  • One of the main problems is the lack of data about vacancies in district courts.
  • While the Union Ministry of Law and Justice publishes a comprehensive dataset every month noting vacancies in the Supreme Court and High Courts, it has no similar mechanism for the lower courts.

Causes for huge pendency of cases:

  • Shifting role of SC:
    • The key reason for the mounting of pending cases can be attributed to shifting the role of the Supreme Court from adjudicating cases of constitutional significance into a regular court of appeals.
    • According to legal experts, most of the cases that the Supreme Court was handling daily are either appeals from various high courts or cases of gross violation of individual’s fundamental rights. But this role was never meant for the apex court.
  • Shortage of judges:
    • From 1950 to 1921, the number of Supreme Court judges has increased nearly four times. Even then, case pendency has steadily kept rising.
    • Around 5,580 or 25% of posts are lying empty in the subordinate courts, which leads to poor Judges to Population Ratio, as India has only 20 judges per million population. Earlier, Law Commission had recommended 50 judges per million.
  • Frequent adjournments:
    • The laid down procedure of allowing a maximum of three adjournments per case is not followed in over 50 per cent of the matters being heard by courts, leading to rising pendency of cases.
  • Low budgetary allocation leading to poor infrastructure:
    • India spends only about 09% of its GDP to maintain the judicial infrastructure.
    • Infrastructure status of lower courts of the country is miserably grim due to which they fail to deliver quality judgements.
    • A 2016 report published by the Supreme Court showed that existing infrastructure could accommodate only 15,540 judicial officers against the all-India sanctioned strength of 20,558.
  • Burden of government cases:
    • Statistics provided by LIMBS shows that the Centre and the States were responsible for over 46% of the pending cases in Indian courts.
  • Special leave petition:
    • cases in the Supreme Court, currently comprises to 40% of the court’s pendency.
    • It is because of frivolous PILs and various government policies which are challenged by the people that takes up most of judiciary’s time
  • Judges Vacation:
    • Supreme Court’s works on average for 188 days a year, while apex court rules specify minimum of 225 days of work.
  • Lack of court management systems:
    • Courts have created dedicated posts for court managers to help improve court operations, optimize case movement and judicial time.
    • However, only few courts have filled up such posts so far.
  • Inefficient investigation:
    • Police are quite often handicapped in undertaking effective investigation for want of modern and scientific tools to collect evidences.

Rise in number of judges alone will not help reduce the pendency:

  • From 1950 to 1921, the number of Supreme Court judges has increased nearly four times. Even then, case pendency has steadily kept rising.
  • The key reason for the mounting of pending cases can be attributed to shifting the role of the Supreme Court from adjudicating cases of constitutional significance into a regular court of appeals.
  • According to legal experts, most of the cases that the Supreme Court was handling daily are either appeals from various high courts or cases of gross violation of individual’s fundamental rights. But this role was never meant for the apex court.
  • It is because of frivolous PILs and various government policies which are challenged by the people that takes up most of judiciary’s time

Other measures needed to reduce pendency of cases:

  • Improving infrastructure for quality justice:
    • The Parliamentary Standing Committee which presented its report on Infrastructure Development and Strengthening of Subordinate Courts, suggested:
    • States should provide suitable land for construction of court buildings etc. It should undertake vertical construction in light of shortage of land.
    • Timeline set out for computerization of all the courts, as a necessary step towards setting up of e- courts.
  • Addressing the Issue of Vacancies:
    • Ensure the appointments of the judges be done in an efficient way by arriving at an optimal judge strength to handle the cases pending in the system.
    • The 120th Law Commission of India report for the first time, suggested a judge strength fixation formula.
    • Supreme Court and High Courts should appoint efficient and experienced judges as Ad-hoc judges in accordance with the Constitution.
    • All India Judicial Service, which would benefit the subordinate judiciary by increasing quality of judges and help reduce the pendency.
  • Timeframe to dispose of cases:
    • Having a definite time frame to dispose the cases by setting annual targets and action plans for the subordinate judiciary and the High Courts. The judicial officers could be issued a strict code of conduct, to ensure that the duties are adequately performed by the officials.
    • Strict regulation of adjournments and imposition of exemplary costs for seeking it on flimsy grounds especially at the trial stage and not permitting dilution of time frames specified in Civil Procedure Code.
  • Better Court Management System & Reliable Data Collection:
    • For this categorization of cases on the basis of urgency and priority along with bunching of cases should be done.
  • Use of Information technology (IT) solutions:
    • The use of technology for tracking and monitoring cases and in providing relevant information to make justice litigant friendly. A greater impetus should be given to
  • Process reengineering:
    • Involves redesigning of core business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in productivity and quality by incorporating the use of technology in court rules. It will include:
    • Electronic filing of cases: e-Courts are a welcome step in this direction, as they give case status and case history of all the pending cases across High courts and Subordinate courts bringing ease of access to information.
    • Revamping of National Judicial Data Grid by introducing a new type of search known as elastic search, which is closer to the artificial intelligence.
  • Alternate dispute resolution (ADR):
    • As stated in the Conference on National Initiative to Reduce Pendency and Delay in Judicial System- Legal Services Authorities should undertake pre-litigation mediation so that the inflow of cases into courts can be regulated.
    • The Lok Adalat should be organized regularly for settling civil and family matters.
    • Gram Nyayalayas, as an effective way to manage small claim disputes from rural areas which will help in decreasing the workload of the judicial institution.
    • Village Legal Care & Support Centre can also be established by the High Courts to work at grass root level to make the State litigation friendly.

Conclusion

The fundamental requirement of a good judicial administration is accessibility, affordability and speedy justice, which will not be realized until and unless the justice delivery system is made within the reach of the individual in a time bound manner and within a reasonable cost. Therefore, continuous formative assessment is the key to strengthen and reinforce the justice delivery system in India.

 

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

3. What do you understand by good governance? Discuss the key pillars of good governance and steps required to promote them in the country. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu , nsights on India

Why the question:

As India enters its good governance week (December 19-25, 2022), India has made a lot of progress on good governance beyond motherhood, but it is an endless journey; not a one-off destination to be reached.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about good governance and its various dimensions and measures needed to achieve it.

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 defining good governance.

Body:

First, elaborate up on the various components of good governance.

Next, discuss in detail various dimensions of good governance in India – administration, g-governance, finances, infrastructure, welfare and people’s happiness etc.

Next, suggest reforms to achieve it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the importance of good governance to India.

Introduction

The World Bank defines governance as the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development. Governance is defined as the exercise of power or authority by political leaders for the well-being of their country’s citizens or subjects. A great deal about governance is the proper and effective utilization of resources.

The World Bank defined Good Governance as “the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development”..

Body

Good governance has 8 major characteristics. ‘It is participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.

 

Major Features of Good Governance:

  • Participation
    • People should be able to voice their own opinions through legitimate immediate organizations or representatives.
    • This includes men and women, vulnerable sections of society, backward classes, minorities, etc.
    • Participation also implies freedom of association and expression.
  • Transparency
    • Information should be accessible to the public and should be understandable and monitored.
    • It also means free media and access of information to them.
  • Rule of Law
    • Legal framework should be enforced impartially, especially on human rights laws.
    • Without rule of law, politics will follow the principle of matsya nyaya i.e. law of fish which means the strong will prevail over the weak.
  • Responsiveness
    • This implies that processes and institutions should serve all stakeholders within a reasonable time frame.
  • Consensus oriented
    • Consensus oriented decision-making ensures that even if everyone does not achieve what they want to the fullest, a common minimum can be achieved by everyone which will not be detrimental to anyone.
  • Accountability
    • Good governance aims towards betterment of people, and this can not take place without the government being accountable to the people.
    • Governmental institutions, private sectors, and civil society organizations should be held accountable to the public and institutional stakeholders.
  • Effectiveness and Efficiency
    • Processes and institutions should be able to produce results that meet the needs of their community.
    • Resources of the community should be used effectively for the maximum output.
  • Equity and Inclusiveness
    • Good governance assures an equitable society.
    • People should have opportunities to improve or maintain their well-being.

Steps required to promote Good Governance in India

  • There is imperative need to strengthen and widen the national public information infrastructure through developing information networks for wider access of digital information through wider use of information technologies.
  • Changing the mindset of the government employees is important. This will be addressed to organizing programmes for orientation, training and capacity building.
  • States may be advised to establish an independent public grievance redressal authority to deal with complaints of delay, harassment and corruption.
  • Use of technology is critical in engendering good governance: Some examples abound in Government already, and many more are possible.
  • There are startups such as Avantari and ai which use artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to create “mass personalization” in advertising and communication.
  • Good governance is also the responsibility of enlightened citizens who should give some thought to complex trade-offs like these and not just only demand good governance but also contribute to it.
  • To ensure sustainable human development, actions must be taken to work towards this ideal with the aim of making it a reality.

Conclusion:

Good governance is significant in public institutions to conduct and manage public affairs and resources to guarantee human rights in free of abuse and corruption, and with due regard for the rule of law. Good governance is thus, a function of installation of positive virtues of administration and elimination of vices of dysfunctionalities. It makes the government work effective, credible and legitimate in administrative system and citizen-friendly, value caring and people-sharing.

 

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

4. India will continue to be significantly dependent on coal in the near to medium term. To reduce the severity of the coal shortage that impacts electricity generation and in turn the Indian economy, it is important to work on better planning, infrastructure development and increase of domestic supplies of coal. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Down to EarthInsights on India

Why the question:

India, along with China, is the world’s largest coal producer, consumer and importer. Its own coal production will surpass a billion tonnes by 2025, the annual report of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Key Demand of the question: 

To write about the importance of coal for India and steps that are needed to harness it effectively and efficiently.

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 giving facts regarding the coal production in the country.

Body:

First, write in detail about the importance of coal to India’s energy security and economy. Cite statistics to substantiate.

Next, write about the measures that are needed for better planning, infrastructure development and increase of domestic supplies of coal

Next, write about the need to cut dependency of coal and move towards renewable source of energy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

India, along with China, is the world’s largest coal producer, consumer and importer. Its own coal production will surpass a billion tonnes by 2025, the annual report of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted. India’s coal consumption has doubled since 2007 at an annual growth rate of 6 per cent. It is set to continue to be the growth engine of global coal demand, Coal 2022: Analysis and forecast to 2025 added.

Body

Extent of India’s Dependence on coal:

  • The installed capacity for coal based power generation across the country was 2.04 lakh megawatt (MW). This accounts for about 5% of power from all sources.
  • Coal based power stations are retired periodically which happens all the time. But is not fast enough nor are new additions being halted.
  • Coal is still most inexpensive compared with other present sources of energy.
  • According to the IEA’s Coal Report 2021,India’s coal consumption will increase at an average annual rate of 9% to 1.18billon tonnes in 2024.

 

Reasons for increasing coal demand:

  • Iron and steel production uses coal and there are not many technologies to replace the fuel immediately.
  • Continued expansion of India’s economy is expected during 2022-2024, with annual average GDP growth of 7.4%, fuelled at least partially by coal.
  • India’s push to domestic coal mining through both Coal India and auction of coal blocks to private companies, coal usage in India will increase as it plateaus in other parts of the world, including China.
  • The central government has opened up coal mining for the private sector, claiming it as one of its most ambitious coal sector reforms.
  • The government anticipates that it will bring efficiency and competition in coal production, attract investments and best-in-class technology, and help create more jobs in the coal sector.

Need to cut coal demand

  • The international cost of natural gas has increased in the recent past from a level that was considered already too high to be financially viable.
  • Of the 25,000 MWof gas based power plants, about 14,000 MW remains stranded, or idle, because they are financially unviable.
  • While renewable energy sources are cheaper than coal, their ability to generate power consistently is subject to the whims of nature, the wind and the Sun.
  • Storage technologies are still not mature enough to help renewable energy sources become reliable generators of power.

 

Measures needed to move away from Coal

  • India must enhance investments in the deployment of clean coal technologies throughout the coal value chain. Government power utilities must show the way by investing in the deployment of advanced clean coal technologies.
  • India should also be very cautious of adding new coal capacity beyond 2030 as it risks locking in resources.
  • With government’s efforts to push renewable energy due to international conventions on climate change, increase in carbon cess and other initiatives for lesser use of coal, there is a need for ‘Vision 2030 for the coal sector’, which takes into account the environmental factors such as reduction of carbon footprint, abatement of global warming.
  • Strategic Decommissioning of Old and Inefficient Power Plants: It may be prudent to let old capacity fade away in due course and saving some of them as they are efficient, while focusing on such detailed analysis and weeding out the needless capacity in the pipeline, to derive long-term economic and environmental benefits.
  • We need an energy transformation through which we would realize the co-benefits of local and global emission reduction. We also need the right to energy for all, as energy poverty and inequity is not acceptable.

 

Way forward

  • Optimal Energy Mix in Power Generation: Power is generated through various sources of energy such as coal, hydro, natural gas, and renewables (solar, wind). This gains tremendous importance as the future generation capacity mix should be cost effective as well as environmentally friendly.
  • Cost Effective Solar Plants: The average cost of coal-fired projects is Rs.4 per unit and generally sees an upward escalation, whereas new solar power plants are being bid out at less than Rs.3 per unit.
  • New Technologies for Coal Based Units: The government has commissioned more efficient supercritical coal based units and old and inefficient coal based capacity is being retired. A range of new technologies (like Coal gasification, Coal beneficiation, etc.) can be deployed to make coal-fired power plants more environmentally compatible.

 

Topic:  Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

5. What is quantum computing? Explain its applications and steps taken by India to promote quantum technologies in the country. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The 2022 Nobel Prize for physics was awarded for work that rigorously tested one such ‘experience’ and paved the way for its applications in computing – which speaks to the contemporary importance of Quantum computers.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about quantum entanglement and it applications.

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 by defining quantum computing.

Body:

First, briefly, explain about the mechanism of quantum computing and how it works.

Next, write in detail about the various applications of quantum computing and its scope. Cite examples.

Next, write about the measures taken by India to promote quantum technologies.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Quantum computing refers to a new era of faster and more powerful computers, and the theory goes that they would be able to break current levels of encryption. Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) works by using photons — the particles which transmit light — to transfer data. QKD allows two distant users, who do not share a long secret key initially, to produce a common, random string of secret bits, called a secret key. Using the one-time pad encryption this key is proven to be secure to encrypt and decrypt a message, which can then be transmitted over a standard communication channel.

Body

Applications of Quantum technology

Applications:

 

  • Secure Communication:
    • China recently demonstrated secure quantum communication links between terrestrial stations and satellites.
    • This area is significant to satellites, military and cyber security among others as it promises unimaginably fast computing and safe, unhackable satellite communication to its users.
  • Research:
    • It can help in solving some of the fundamental questions in physics related to gravity, black hole etc.
    • Similarly, the quantum initiative could give a big boost to the Genome India project, a collaborative effort of 20 institutions to enable new efficiencies in life sciences, agriculture and medicine.
  • Disaster Management:
    • Tsunamis, drought, earthquakes and floods may become more predictable with quantum applications.
    • The collection of data regarding climate change can be streamlined in a better way through quantum technology. This in turn will have a profound impact on agriculture, food technology chains and the limiting of farmland wastage.
  • Pharmaceutical industry:
    • India’s interest in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is huge.
    • Quantum computing could reduce the time frame of the discovery of new molecules and related processes to a few days from the present 10-year slog that scientists put in.
    • For instance, tracking protein behaviour or even modelling new proteins with the help of quantum computers could be made easier and faster.
    • Tackling chronic diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart ailments is a big possibility of the technology.
  • Augmenting Industrial revolution 4.0:
    • Quantum computing is an integral part of Industrial revolution 4.0.
    • Success in it will help in Strategic initiatives aimed at leveraging other Industrial revolution 4.0 technologies like the Internet-of-Things, machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence across sectors will further help in laying the foundation of the Knowledge economy.

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.
  • In 2018, the Department of Science & Technology unveiled a programme called Quantum-Enabled Science & Technology (QuEST)and committed to investing Rs. 80 crore over the next three years to accelerate research.

 

  • In December 2021, the Indian Army, with support from the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) established the Quantum Lab at Military College of Telecommunication Engineering, Mhow to spearhead research and training in this key developing field.

 

  • In 2021, Government also inaugurated C-DOT’s Quantum Communication Laband unveiled the indigenously developed Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) solution.

 

Way forward

  • Both private funding and philanthropic funding should be attracted towards quantum computing. For example, Funds can be used to attract and retain high quality manpower and to build international networks.
  • Connections with Indian industry from the start would help quantum technologies to become commercially successful.
  • Investing manpower and retaining them as quality human resource is very mobile.
  • Participate in development of global standards and requirements for quantum computers.
  • 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.

 

Topic: Citizen’s Charters

6. Examine the limitations of of citizen charters in India and mention the steps that can be taken to make them more robust and effective. (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of Mission-2022 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining citizen charter.

Body:

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

Next, suggest steps to overcome the above shortcomings.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

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

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

Body

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

 

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

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

Problems faced in implementation of Citizen’s charter:

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

Way forward:

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

Conclusion

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

 

Topic: Utilization of public funds;

7. The lack of transparency remains a major impediment in utilisation of public funds, which in turns affects our developmental goals. Examine. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of Mission-2022 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain how transparency in utilization of public funds of the country will improve it efficacy.

Directive:

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:

Discuss the importance of transparency and accountability in public funds.

Body:

Explain the lacunae in the country with respect to utilization of public funds such as corruption, nepotism, incomplete works, bad quality work, siphoning funds etc.

Discuss the significance of Transparency and efficiency as tools for monitoring and supervising distribution of public fund.

Explain various mechanisms through which it can be done – Public Fund Management System, Auditing agencies – CAG, Budgeting – Outcome based budgeting, zero base budgeting, Participation and transparency – Social Auditing, Financial Prudence etc.

Conclusion:

Summarize of this will aid in the developmental process of the country as well as reduce corrupt practices.

Introduction

‘Public money ought to be touched with the most scrupulous conscientiousness of honour. It is not the produce of riches only, but of the hard earnings of labour and poverty.’ – Thomas Paine

Kautilya also wrote extensively on handling public funds in Arthashastra which remains relevant even today. Government and public funds are riddled with corruption and only complete accountability and transparency can rid us of this situation.

Body:

Four principles underpin trust in the public finances:

  • Transparency −accurate records that show where money is raised and spent.
  • Assurance − figures and processes are checked by independent experts.
  • Accountability −decision makers are clearly identified and subject to strict rules and review of performance and outcomes.
  • Objectivity − policies are based on accurate information and rigorous analysis

The question of utilization of public funds has different aspects.

  • The first aspect relates to accountability and efficacy
  • The second aspect concerns the manner of fund utilization.
  • The third aspect relates to the outputs and outcomes which result from the fund use.
  • The fourth aspect is the source of funds.
  • Finally, any fund utilization or expenditure has to meet the audit requirements.

Reasons for under-utilization and mis-utilizations of funds

  • Corruption: The large sum of money earmarked for public activities are taken away by officials as well as politicians in form of bribes. This results in funds not able to contribute towards development.
    • Ex: Money allocated for construction of houses for poor is consumed by corrupt officials.
  • Political rivalry: Sometimes political class indulges in act of vendetta where they do not cooperate in allocation or release of funds to their opposition. They hope to reap the anger against their opponents for their political gains.
    • Ex: Government in power not allocating developmental funds to opposition MLAs.
  • Diversion: The funds allocated to one activity is diverted to another in order to meet strict control over finances.
    • Ex: Funds allocated to road repair is diverted to giving freebies.
  • Red Tapism: Colonial bureaucratic attitude sometimes acts as hinderance in carrying out developmental activities. They complicate the process due to which funds are not properly utilized.

Transparency and accountability: Significance

  • It is vital to uphold the ‘social contract’. Citizens must be confident that they are protected by the law and that public institutions and servants will act in accordance with it.
  • Public institutions with operational independence from political control are more likely to be trusted to act in the public interest.
  • A well-informed population is far more likely to be confident about investing for the future. This means both providing appropriate information in ways that are accessible and easy to understand, and educating citizens as well as inviting them to participate in decision making.
  • Effective public financial management requires that decision-makers, citizens and other stakeholders, are able to ‘follow the money’ to see how taxes were raised, why decisions to spend it were made, how the money was actually spent and what was bought.
  • Where government plans and activities are measured against expected outputs and outcomes, citizens and other stakeholders will be able to judge the performance of government. This, in turn, provides the basis for feedback and continuous improvement mechanisms.
  • For the public to believe that public officials will do the right thing, a range of controls to promote integrity and ethical behaviour and to tackle fraud and corruption are required.
  • Most importantly, the public must believe that individuals will be held responsible for their actions, no matter who they are.
  • A climate for investment is created when investors believe a state is stable, well run and that political and fiscal risks will be managed effectively.

Conclusion

Only transparency and accountability can ensure that public funds are being used for the greater welfare and benefit of the people and society. Weeding out corruption is also necessary to ensure funds are not underutilised or siphoned off illegally. Only when we bring in more openness in working of government can there be real productivity and good governance.


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