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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 24 January 2023

 

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: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

1. Evaluate the role played by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries, especially India during the Cold war era. Did India remain truly non-aligned? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India ,  Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

Highlight nature of engagement of NAM countries with the superpowers. Evaluate the role played by India, as a member of NAM.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Introduce NAM, and the background in which it emerged.

Body:

Elaborate on the role played by NAM in easing tensions between the superpowers by citing examples. Note how NAM did not practise isolationism or neutrality.

Next, write the role played by India as part of NAM, and steps taken by it to reduce geo-political tensions.

Next, write about the nature of non-alignment by India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a balanced opinion on the issue.

Introduction

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was created and founded during the collapse of the colonial system and the independence struggles of the peoples of Africa, Asia, Latin America and other regions of the world and at the height of the Cold War. Throughout its history, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries has played a fundamental role in the preservation of world peace and security.

Body

Role of NAM countries in reducing cold war conflicts

  • In middle of the cold war, NAM ensured that peoples being oppressed by foreign occupation and domination can exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
  • South-South Cooperation: NAM acted as a protector for the small countries against the western hegemony. The third world nations and newly independent countries supported each other in their quest for development.
  • NIEO: During the 1970s and 1980s, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries played a key role in the struggle for the establishment of a new international economic order(NIEO) that allowed all the peoples of the world to make use of their wealth and natural resources and provided a wide platform for a fundamental change in international economic relations and the economic emancipation of the countries of the South.
  • Disarmament: The Non-aligned Movement repeatedly comes out for maintenance of peace, ‘the cessation of arms race and the peaceful coexistence of all States.

India’s contribution to NAM

  • As a leader of NAM, India’s response to the cold war power politics was two-fold:
    • India steered itself away from the great power politics, positioning itself as an ‘interested observer’.
    • It raised its voice against the newly decolonized nations from joining the either bloc.
  • During the cold war, India made a, concerted effort to activate those regional & international organizations, which were not a part of the alliances led by US & USSR, thus maintaining the spirit of NAM.
  • In the General Assembly, India submitted a draft resolution declaring that the use of nuclear weapons would be against the charter of the United Nations and crime against humanity and should therefore be prohibited.
  • Non-alignment has been an influential tenet of India’s foreign policy since its emergence from decolonization.
  • It was based on a realistic assessment of India’s geopolitical situation.
  • Nehru, one of the chief architects of NAM intended to give India room to manoeuvre according to its own interests rather than allowing it to become confined within the limitations of the cold-war alliance.

Critical analysis

  • India’s inclination towards erstwhile USSR created confusions in smaller members. It led to the weakening of NAM and small nations drifted towards either US or USSR.
  • The signing of Friendship Treaty with Soviet Union was a major Faultline and India was considered anti-west for a long time.
  • However, with the end of cold war power politics and emergence of Unipolar World, non-alignment, both as an international movement as well as the core of India’s foreign policy, has lost some of its relevance & importance.
  • The NAM countries did not have any concrete initiative in the context of crisis in Syria & Libya.
  • Many ‘non-aligned’ countries, including India are continuing NAM as a historical legacy and have re-oriented their foreign policy towards strengthening engagements with major powers, such as USA, Russia & China, for their domestic development agenda.
  • The sparse attendance by heads of government/State at 17th NAM Summit (Venezuela) is the key evidence of the crisis of relevance of NAM.
  • According to C. Raja Mohan NAM is in the state of ‘COMA’. It is passing through the crisis of identity and relevance.

Conclusion

Non alignment as a foreign policy is very much alive even today in India’s foreign policy. The strategic autonomy approach is a manifestation of the same. The NAM platform is still the biggest arena of developing nations. Hence it becomes relevant to mobilize international public opinion against terrorism, weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), nuclear proliferation, ecological imbalance, safeguarding interests of developing countries in WTO (World Trade Organization) etc.

Value Addition

  • The basic concept for the group originated in 1955 during discussions that took place at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference held in Indonesia.
  • The Non-Aligned Movement was founded and held its first conference (the Belgrade Conference) in 1961 under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Sukarno of Indonesia.
  • NAM does not have a formal constitution or permanent secretariat, and its administration is non-hierarchical and rotational. Decisions are made by consensus, which requires substantial agreement, but not unanimity.
  • It has 120 members as of April 2018 comprising 53 countries from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 2 from Europe (Belarus, Azerbaijan). There are 17 countries and 10 international organizations that are Observers at NAM.

 

Topic: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

2. Although the Cultural Revolution largely bypassed the vast majority of the people, who lived in rural areas, it had highly serious consequences for the Chinese system as a whole. Elucidate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Mastering World History by Norman Lowe

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

The problems China faced following the Communist victory over KMT in 1949, and the measures introduced by Mao to address them.

Directive:

Elucidate – 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 writing that an important reason why the CCP had emerged victorious was that it had a large following among the masses. This itself was a result of Mao having been profoundly influenced by the thoughts of Marx and Lenin.

Body:

Write what the problems facing China and its people were, then how Mao attempted to resolve them. In the process, try relating the measures he introduced to the thoughts of Marx and Lenin. Mention the positive as well as negative impact of the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

In 1966, China’s Communist leader Mao Zedong launched what became known as the Cultural Revolution in order to reassert his authority over the Chinese government. Believing that current Communist leaders were taking the party, and China itself, in the wrong direction, Mao called on the nation’s youth to purge the “impure” elements of Chinese society and revive the revolutionary spirit that had led to victory in the civil war 20 decades earlier and the formation of the People’s Republic of China. The Cultural Revolution continued in various phases until Mao’s death in 1976, and its tormented and violent legacy would resonate in Chinese politics and society for decades to come.

Body

Cultural revolution by Mao

  • Mao stated that then leadership was moving from communism to capitalism and he spearheaded the task of restoring communism by purging those that vitiated its purity.
  • He asked the students from schools and universities as well workers to join him.
  • These group of people called “Red Guards” attempted to restore communism by attacking people with bourgeois characteristics.
  • Taking over of educational institutions by the revolutionaries, and forcefully impose Maoist ideology in their curriculum and teaching.
    Assumption of complete authority by Mao Zeodong, who ordered the purging of non-compliant officials, as well as ordinary citizens, on a massive scale, and his insistence on the removal of the ”revisionists” through a violent class struggle.
  • This led to unprecedented violence throughout the country and loss of large number of lives coupled with economic turmoil. The Mao finally ended the revolution by ensuring that the Red Guards were sent back to their education/work.
  • The end of Cultural Revolution ushered in economic reforms by liberalisation and thereby moving towards capitalism. This is exactly opposite of what Cultural Revolution had set out to aim.

Consequences on the Chinese system

  • The Cultural Revolution gave way to the progressive rise of capitalism in China, under the leadership of charismatic leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, like Deng Xiaoping. The features of the origin were as follows:
    • A revision of the manner in which the state-led enterprises worked, in the initial stages, in order to save socialism in China.
    • After that, privatization of a number of enterprises were allowed, where heavy investment by the government had not yielded effective results.
    • Decentralization of foreign trade, and conferring of fiscal autonomy upon the provinces were the next steps.
    • Private farming, and creation of SEZs received a big boost.

Conclusion

In short, both the Cultural Revolution, and the origin of Chinese brand of capitalism are two landmark events in China, having close links with each other. In fact, the extreme brand of communism ushered in through the means of the Cultural Revolution, can be believed to be exclusively responsible for having generated the first push towards the need for liberalization, from excessive central control and domination.


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Basic to democracy is the devolution of power, and with it, welfare from the elite echelons to the ground level. Elaborate on the major features of Indian democracy. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The democracy that is functional around the world today — even as it has a long history of evolution — was essentially a 19th century to 20th century western creation. Every civilisation, of course, claims to have had some form of democratic origin

Key Demand of the question: 

To write about democracy and its major features in 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.

Introduction: 

Begin by defining democracy.

Body:

First, write about as hot how devolution of power and overall welfare of the society are a crucial part of Indian democracy.

Next, write about the major features of Indian democracy – Popular sovereignty, Federalism, Multi-party system, Political equality, independent judiciary and constitutional supremacy etc. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Democracy is the rule with the consent of the majority —government ‘of the people, for the people, by the people’. It recognizes the paramountcy of the people’s will. Vox pupuli, vox dei: ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’.

India, the largest democracy in the world, has its democratic system struck roots firmly in Indian soil.

Body

Devolution of powers

  • The distribution of powers in Indian Constitution facilitates local governance by the states and national policies by the Centre.
  • the constitution contains features which are of high importance for a federal arrangement, at the same time it contains provisions which fight for a strong Centre, thus making it quasi-federal in nature.
  • The main forms of administrative units in India are the Centre and the States. But there are other forms, too, all set up to address specific local, historical and geographical contexts. Besides the Centre and the States, the country has Union Territories with a legislature, and Union Territories without a legislature.
  • Residuary powers vested with the Center, it is an indestructible Union with destructible States constituting it, Emergency provisions give the Union overriding powers over the States to tackle any adverse exigency, power to initiate a constitutional amendment lies with the Union, President’s Rule, Governor’s office, etc.
  • Article 371 of the Constitution makes some special provisions for States or regions of States that are socio-economically backward, have internal security challenges, difficult geographical conditions, predominance of tribal populations with distinct identity and cultures, etc.
  • Specific socio-economic and political circumstances warrant the ‘asymmetrical’ federal structure of Indian polity. It is important to fulfill the aspiration of social and economic democracy and to promote egalitarian development throughout the country. It also serves to keep regional resentments under check which if neglected can lead to separatist tendencies as manifested in the demands for statehood.

Major features of Indian Democracy

  • Popular Sovereignty
    • Democracy is based on sovereignty. People can exercise their power in democracy. They elect their representatives. The government remains responsible to the common mass for its every omission and commission.
  • Political Equality
    • Democracy is based on political equality. It means all citizens irrespective of caste, creed, religion, race or sex are considered to be equal before law and enjoy equal political rights. Political equality gives the right to vote to every citizen.
  • Majority Rules
    • In a democratic set-up actual government is carried out with the help of the party which obtains the majority of votes. Support of majority is accepted by all.
  • Federal
    • It is another feature of Indian democracy. The Article 1 of Indian Constitution describes India as a union of states. According to our Constitution, the states are autonomous. They have full freedom in certain matters, and in some other matters they are dependent on centre.
  • Collective Responsibility
    • In the Indian democracy, the Council of Ministers both in states and centre are collectively responsible to their respective legislatives. No minister is alone responsible for any act of the government. The entire council of ministers are responsible for all the activities.
  • Formation of Opinion
    • Democratic government must provide institutions through which public opinion on various matters can be formed. Legislature provides the most important platform to estimate and express the public opinion
  • Respect for Opinion of Minority
    • In a democratic set up majority rules but opinions of minorities are also given respect. They are encouraged to give their opinion. Democracy being a government by free discussion and criticism encourages both the positive and negative aspects of any proposal. The majority must tolerate the opinion of the minority otherwise democracy will degenerate into authoritarianism.
  • Provision for Rights
    • Democracy provides the individual dignity by giving various rights to the individual. For example, the right to freedom of speech and expression, right to form association or union, educational and cultural rights.
  • Rule of Laws
    • In democracy there is rule of law. It means supremacy of law over all. Under any circumstance law cannot be compromised.
  • Rule by Consent
    • Democracy is based on consent in general but not on force or coercion. By collecting consent from majority through dialogue, debate and discussion the problems can be solved.
  • Implies open Society
    • Democracy implies free and open society. Every activity of the government is based on the public opinion. Different associations, unions, organisations are formed to discuss the problems openly and to find out solution for the problems.
  • Government by Compromise
    • Democracy is a government by adjustment and compromise. Different opinions are to be considered within the ruling party and outside of the party. There is plurality of ideas to which the government has to take into consideration.
  • Welfare Government
    • Most of the democratic countries have welfare government. Democracy is a powerful weapon through which all round welfare is possible. As a welfare government it retains individual’s freedom, liberty, dignity etc.
  • Independent Judiciary
    • Democracy is characterised by independent judiciary. The judiciary does not depend on executive or legislature. No government organ can influence judiciary.

Conclusion

For a successful working of democracy, citizens’ participation is a must. The corrective measures to meet the challenges can be actualized only when citizens play a proactive role. The citizens must respect the law and reject violence. Every citizen must respect the rights of his or her fellow citizens, and their dignity as human beings.

 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

4. Trans fats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time. Regulating the limit of industrially produced trans- fats in food products has been enacted by many countries as they contribute to significant negative health effects. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

Five billion people globally are exposed to harmful trans fat, increasing their heart disease and death risk, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Key Demand of the question:

To write about trans fats and why are they harmful for human health and what more needs to be done for global elimination for global elimination of trans fats.

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 defining trans fat in brief.

Body:

In the first part, outline the major impacts of trans fat on the human health. Cite relevant statistic to bring out the risk of death or disability caused by the consumption of trans-fats.

In the next part, write about various initiatives undertaken for the elimination of trans fats globally as well as in India. WHO’s REPLACE, FSSAI gradual reduction over a period of years and example of Denmark.

Write further steps that are needed for the implementation of the guidelines and gradual phasing out the trans fat from India’s food systems.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Trans fatty acids (TFAs) or Trans fats are the most harmful type of fats which can have much more adverse effects on our body than any other dietary constituent. These fats are largely produced artificially but a small amount also occurs naturally. Thus in our diet, these may be present as Artificial TFAs and Natural TFAs.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has restricted the permissible amount of industrial Trans Fatty Acid (TFA) in food products to 2 per cent from 2022. In December 2020, the FSSAI had capped TFAs in oils and fats to 3% by 2021, and 2% by 2022 from the current levels of 5%.

Five billion people globally are exposed to harmful trans fat, increasing their heart disease and death risk, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Body:

Artificial TFAs are formed when hydrogen is made to react with the oil to produce fats resembling pure ghee/butter. In our diet the major sources of artificial TFAs are the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO)/Vanaspati/ margarine while the natural TFAs are present in meats and dairy products, though in small amounts.

Health impacts:

  • TFAs pose a higher risk of heart diseasethan saturated fats. While saturated fats raise total cholesterol levels, TFAs not only raise total cholesterol levels but also reduce the good cholesterol (HDL), which helps to protect us against heart disease.
  • It is also associated with a higher risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, infertility, certain types of cancersand can also lead to compromised foetal development causing harm to the yet to be born baby.
  • Metabolic syndrome includeshigh blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. The syndrome increases a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Studies have recently shown that 60,000 deaths occur every year due to cardiovascular diseases, which in turn are caused due to high consumption of trans fats.

Measures to curb their usage and intake:

National level:

  • FSSAI launched a “Trans Fat Free”logo for voluntary labelling to promote TFA-free products. The label can be used by bakeries, local food outlets and shops for preparations containing TFA not exceeding2 per 100 g/ml.
  • FSSAI launched a new mass media campaign “Heart Attack Rewind”to eliminate industrially produced trans-fat in the food supply by the year 2022.
  • “Heart Attack Rewind” is a follow-up to an earlier campaign called “Eat Right”,which was launched in July, 2018.
  • Edible oil industries took a pledge to reduce the levels of salt, sugar, saturated fat and trans fat content by 2% by 2022.
  • Swasth Bharat Yatra,an initiative started under the “Eat Right” campaign is a Pan-India cyclothon to engage citizens on issues of food safety, combating food adulteration and healthy diets.

Global level:

  • WHO launched a REPLACE campaign in 2018for global-level elimination of trans-fats in industrially produced edible oils by 2023.

Way forward:

  • Eat a dietary pattern that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts. Also limit red meat and sugary foods and beverages.
  • Use naturally occurring, unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil most often.
  • Look for processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil rather than partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated vegetable oils or saturated fat.
  • Limit commercially fried foods and baked goods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Not only are these foods very high in fat, but that fat is also likely to be trans-fat.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Do you think that the Ken-Betwa River Interlinking (KBRIL) Project lacks economic sense and defies ecological science? State your opinion. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India.

Why the question:

On January 18, the Steering Committee of the Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP) held its third meeting in New Delhi. It was chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Water Resources, in the Ministry of Jal Shakti, who reiterated that KBLP was a “flagship” project of the national government and that it “is critical for the water security and socio-economic development of Bundelkhand region”.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the challenges in the Ken-Betwa River Interlinking project.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context and reasons for the approval of the Ken-Betwa River Interlinking project.

Body:

First, write about the threats to wildlife sanctuaries and national parks from habitat loss. Loss of tree cover, increased man animal conflict etc. Substantiate with examples. For e.g: Clearance of core zone of Panna national park.

Next, write about the economic issues surrounding the project.

Next, write the need of an effective Environmental Impact assessment to anticipate and mitigate the issues arising from Ken-Betwa River Interlinking project.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The Ken-Betwa River Interlinking (KBRIL) Project envisages transferring water from the Ken River to the Betwa river, both tributaries of the Yamuna. The Ken-Betwa Link Canal will be 221 km long, including a 2-km long tunnel.

The flagship project is dubbed as critical for the water security and socio-economic development of Bundelkhand region.

Body

Time line

  • In Dec 2021, The Union Cabinet has approved the funding and implementation of the Ken-Betwa River interlinking project at a cost of ₹44,605 crore at the 2020-21 price level. The Centre would fund ₹39,317 crore for the project, with ₹36,290 crore as a grant and ₹3,027 crore as a loan.
  • On January 18, 2023, the Steering Committee of the Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP) held its third meeting in New Delhi.
  • It was chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Water Resources, in the Ministry of Jal Shakti, who reiterated that KBLP was a “flagship” project of the national government and that it “is critical for the water security and socio-economic development of Bundelkhand region”.

About Ken-Betwa river water linking project

  • The project involves transferring of water from the Ken river to the Betwa riverthrough the construction of Daudhan dam and a canal linking the two rivers, the Lower Orr Project, Kotha Barrage and the Bina Complex Multipurpose Project.
  • The project has two phases, with mainly four components.
    • Phase-I will involve one of the components — Daudhan Dam complex and its subsidiary units such as Low Level Tunnel, High Level Tunnel, Ken-Betwa Link Canal and power houses.
    • Phase-II will involve three components — Lower Orr Dam, Bina Complex Project and Kotha Barrage.

Benefits of the project

  • According to the Jal Shakti Ministry, the project is expected to provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectares, supply drinking water to about 62 lakh people, and generate 103 MW of hydropower and 27 MW of solar power.
  • The project will be of immense benefit to the water-starved Bundelkhand region, spread across Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The project is expected to boost socio-economic prosperity in the backward Bundelkhand region on account of increased agricultural activities and employment generation.
  • It would also help in arresting distress migration from this region.

Ecological challenges associated with Ken-Betwa river linking

  • Submergence of Panna Tiger Reserve: According to the National Water Development Agency, the reservoir of Daudhan dam will involve “a submergence of 9000 ha area, out of which 5803 ha comes under Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR).
    • To mitigate this, three WildLife Sanctuaries (WLS), viz Nauradehi, Rani Durgawati of MP and Ranipur WLS of UP are planned to be integrated with PTR.
  • Displacement: The project is also expected to consume nearly 6,000 hectares of non-forest land, with approximately 5,000 homes being submerged as per the National Water Development Authority feasibility report.
  • Unexpected ecosystem changes: The concerns about sediment management, especially on the Himalayan system loom large.
    • When the idea is to transfer water from the ‘surplus’ Himalayan river systems to ‘deficit’ basins of the southern part of India, the differential sediment regime defining the flow regimes need to be plugged into the equation.
    • This will entail changes in ecosystem structures in both parts.
  • Damming India’s east-coast rivers to take their water westwards will curtail downstream flooding and thereby, the supply of sediment—a natural nutrientdestroying fragile coastal ecosystems and causing coastal and delta erosion.
  • States’ dissent: The spirit of federalism is ignored in the river interlinking project. There is dissent on the part of the state governments (Kerala)
    • The top-down model presumes of near-unanimity of every state.

Way forward and conclusion

  • Pan India hydrological studies are required to understand the river flow patterns and also the availability of water throughout the year before water linking project is taken up.
  • Local solutions (like better irrigation practice) and watershed management, should be focused on.
  • The government should alternatively consider the National Waterways Project (NWP) which “eliminates” friction between states over the sharing of river waters since it uses only the excess flood water that goes into the sea unutilized
  • The necessity and feasibility of river-interlinking should be seen on case-to-case basis, with adequate emphasis on easing out federal issues.

Value Addition

  • The National River Linking Project (NRLP) formally known as the National Perspective Plan, envisages the transfer of water from water ‘surplus’ basins where there is flooding, to water ‘deficit’ basins where there is drought/scarcity, through inter-basin water transfer projects.
  • Under the National Perspective Plan (NPP), the National Water Development Agency (NWDA), has identified 30 links (16 under the Peninsular Component and 14 under the Himalayan Component) for the preparation of feasibility reports (FRs).
  • The NPP for transferring water from water-surplus basins to water-deficit basins was prepared in August 1980.

 

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

6. Discuss the strategic importance of submarines to the India’s security. What are the features of a Kalvari-class submarine? What are the reasons for India’s dependence on foreign countries for submarine design and construction? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The Indian Navy on Monday commissioned the fifth diesel-electric Kalvari-class submarine Vagir. It is among the six submarines being built by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai, in collaboration with the French M/s Naval Group under Project 75. Four of these submarines have already been commissioned into the Navy and a sixth will be commissioned next year.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the significance of submarines, features of Kalvari-class submarine and the various bottlenecks in submarine manufacturing in India.

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 giving context.

Body:

First, write about the importance of submarines – Submarines can lay mines around enemy ports and in shipping channels. They can sink surface ships with torpedoes or with anti-ship missiles. They can fire missiles against land targets. And they can insert and recover special forces for reconnaissance missions or small-scale raids ashore.

Next, write about the various features of Kalvari-Class submarine.

Next, write about the various bottlenecks to India having a state-of-the-art submarine-building facility – losing expertise, allegations of corruption, non-deliverance of contracts and highly-skilled workers etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning ways to overcome the above bottlenecks.

Introduction

The latest submarine gets its name from the erstwhile Vagir, a submarine that served the Navy between 1973 and 2001 and undertook numerous operational missions. The construction of the new Vagir began in 2009 and it took its maiden sea sortie in February last year.

Also known as Sand Shark, the submarine was delivered to the Indian Navy in December 2022.

Body

Strategic importance of submarine for India’s security

  • As per the basic principles of submarine deployment and minimum requirement for India to create a strategic deterrence, there is a specific number of submarines of both types that India needs to have in active service.
  • With China’s String of pearls policy in place, India needs a constant watchful eye in the Indian ocean region; especially near Sri Lanka, Maldives and Horn of Africa.
  • India’s security may be jeopardized by multifront aggression by China on land and water.
  • Currently, India has less number of submarines than what is required with some more of those from both types being at various stages of construction.
  • India operates one submarine in the nuclear-powered class of Chakra and two other nuclear-powered vessels in Arihant.
  • There are in addition to submarines belonging to three classes of Diesel Electric category — Kalvari, Shishumar and Sindhughosh, some of which are ageing.
  • The nuclear-powered and diesel-electric submarines have their designated roles in the Carrier Battle Groups, which are formations of ships and submarines with Aircraft Carriers in the lead role.

 

Features of Kalvari class submarine

  • In maritime parlance, a class of ships is a group of vessels which have the same make, purpose and displacement.
  • Vagir is a Kalvari-class submarine, which includes other vessels, such as the INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela and INS Vagsheer.
  • Of these, Kalvari and Khanderi were commissioned in 2017 and 2019, and Vela and Karanj were inducted in 2021.
  • Vagir has now been commissioned and Vagsheer was launched in 2022 and is expected to be inducted next year.
  • The submarines in the current Kalvari-class take their names from erstwhile decommissioned classes of submarines named Kalvari, which included Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj and Vela classes — comprising Vela, Vagir, Vagshir.
  • Kalvari class features
    • The Kalavari class of submarines have an estimated endurance of approximately 50 days.
    • They also have the capability of operating in a wide range of Naval combat including anti-warship and anti-submarine operations, intelligence gathering and surveillance and naval mine laying.
    • These submarines are around 220 feet long and have a height of 40 feet. It can reach the highest speeds of 11 knots (20 km/h) when surfaced and 20 knots (37 km/h) when submerged.
    • The modern variants of the Scorpene class of submarines have what is called Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) which enables non-nuclear submarines to operate for a long time without access to surface oxygen.

Reasons for India’s dependence on foreign countries for submarine design and construction

  • The Russian submarines are the mainstay of the Indian fleet for the past two decades. While looking for a replacement for the old Foxtrots, New Delhi turned to Moscow and ended up buying ten Kilo-class boats, the first of which came from Russia in the mid 1980s..
  • Two of the Russian submarines are no longer in service. INS Sindhurakshak exploded and sank near Mumbai in 2013 and India gifted the decommissioned INS Sindhuvir to the Myanmar Navy.
  • Seven out of the eight remaining boats have surpassed their lifespan of 25 years but are still functioning thanks to multiple upgrades which cost hundreds of crores.
  • The sole Kilo-class boat still left with some of its designed life is INS Sindhushastra which was commissioned in 2000.
  • In February 1999, the Cabinet Cabinet Committee on Security approved a 30-year plan that envisaged two production lines – P-75 and P-75I – to make 12 submarines at two Indian shipyards.
  • The plan was to use the experience gained in the process for subsequent indigenous design and manufacturing so that the first set of home-grown submarines would come out by 2030.
  • This would line up with when the last few Kilo-class submarines would be at the end of their lifespan.
  • Though the 30-year plan envisaged two production lines operating simultaneously, the government decided to go for only one. This was a mistake.
  • The Scorpene programme was soon embroiled in all sorts of troubles, from political to technical. Even though all the six submarines were to be delivered by 2012, in reality, the first submarine was handed over to the Indian Navy only in 2017.

Conclusion

Euphoric official hysteria over inducting INS Vagir – the fifth of six licence-built Kalvari (Scorpene)-class conventional diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) – into service on Monday conceals the unsavoury history of the long-delayed programme to augment the forces depleted underwater assets.

India must become self-reliant in the true sense when it comes to under water assets for security.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Utilization of public funds;

7. Why is transparency an important aspect in the utilisation of public funds? Explain with examples. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

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

Directive:

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.

sStructure 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

Transparency is a fundamental requirement for the reliability and integrity of public institutions in order to promote public trust and public support. Transparency in public administration guarantees legal assurance and increases the level of legitimacy in decision making process.

‘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

Importance of Transparency in the utilisation of public funds

  • 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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