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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 February 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: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

1. How did the green revolution affect agriculture, and what factors hindered the adoption of High Yielding Varieties (HYV) across India? Examine the reasons for various disparities in Indian agriculture due to green revolution.

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Agriculture in green revolution states cannot be saved unless a substantial part of rice cultivation is moved from there to eastern states. And that can be done only when the State builds robust ecosystems for alternative crops as it had done for rice and wheat.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the pros and cons of green revolution in India. Also, to write about the constraints on spread of HYV and disparities created by 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: 

Begin by giving context of introduction of HYV in India in the face of acute food crisis leading to the green revolution.

Body:

In the first part, write about the pros and cons of the green revolution. The HYV technology increased agricultural output manifold, increase in yield of crops, fast adoption, modern equipment, self-sufficiency etc. Cons like disparities, ecological impact, use of chemical fertiliser etc.

Next part, write about the constraints that limited the spread of HYV – irrigation, lack of farmer’s knowledge, unsatisfactory land tenure system etc.

Next, write about the various disparities created by the green revolution in agriculture.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the overall impact of the green revolution in India.

Introduction

The green revolution in India  in 1960’s and 70’s refers to a period when Indian Agriculture was converted into an industrial system due to the adoption of modern methods and technology such as the use of HYV seeds, tractors, irrigation facilities, pesticides and fertilizers. The Economic Survey 2015-16 claimed Indian agriculture to be “a victim of its own success—especially the green revolution”, by becoming cereal-centric, regionally biased and input-intensive (land, water and fertilizers).

Norman-e-Borlaug is considered as the father of Green Revolution in World while M.S. Swaminathan is considered as the father of Green Revolution in India.

Body

Pros of Green Revolution

  • Increase in Agricultural Production and productivity: The production and productivity of wheat, rice, maize and bajra has substantially increased.
  • Less Dependence on Imports: After the green revolution, India was finally on its way to self-sufficiency. There was now enough production for the population and to build a stock in case of emergencies. In fact, India was able to start exporting its agricultural produce.
  • A Benefit to the Farmers: The Green Revolution has increased the income of farmers and landless labourers. It enabled them to shift to commercial farming from only sustenance farming.
  • Dispersal of Rice and Wheat cultivation to non-traditional areas: Green Revolution spread the Rice cultivation to the semi-arid areas of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, and the wheat cultivation has spread to the areas of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and some parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal.

Cons of Green Revolution

  • Focus only on Food Grains: Although all food-grains including wheat, rice, jowar, bajra and maize have gained from the revolution, other crops such as coarse cereals, pulses and oilseeds were left out of the ambit of the revolution.
    • Major commercial crops like cotton, jute, tea and sugarcane were also left almost untouched by the Green Revolution.
    • This ultimately led to the dangerous trend of Monocropping.
    • Also, neglect of oilseeds has now led to extreme dependency on nations like Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • Limited Coverage of HYVP: High Yielding Variety Programme (HYVP) was restricted to only five crops: Wheat, Rice, Jowar, Bajra and Maize.
    • Therefore, non-food grains were excluded from the ambit of the new strategy.
  • Led to Regional Disparities: It led to growing disparities in economic development at inter and intra-regional levels. Only 40 percent of the total cropped area benefitted while the rest was left untouched by it.
    • The most benefitted areas are Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh in the north and Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in the south.
    • It has hardly touched the Eastern region, including Assam, Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa and arid and semi-arid areas of Western and Southern India.
    • Only those areas which were already better placed from an agricultural point of view benefitted from Green revolution leading to further aggravated regional disparities.
  • Rampant usage of Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides: The Green Revolution resulted in a large-scale use of pesticides and synthetic nitrogen fertilisers for improved irrigation projects and crop varieties.
    • However, little or no efforts were made to educate the farmers, mostly illiterate, about the high risk associated with the intensive use of pesticides.
    • This caused more harm than good to crops and also becomes a cause for environment and soil pollution.
  • Water Consumption: The crops introduced during the green revolution were water-intensive crops.
    • Most of these crops being cereals, required almost 50% of dietary water footprint.
    • Canal systems were introduced, and irrigation pumps also sucked out the groundwater to supply the water-intensive crops, such as sugarcane and rice, thus depleting the groundwater levels.
    • For instance, Punjab is a major wheat- and rice-cultivating area, and hence it is one of the highest water depleted regions in India.
  • Impacts on Soil and Crop Production: Repeated crop cycle in order to ensure increased crop production depleted the soil’s nutrients.
    • To meet the needs of new kinds of seeds, farmers increased fertilizer usage.
    • The pH level of the soil increased due to the usage of these alkaline chemicals.
    • Toxic chemicals in the soil destroyed beneficial pathogens, which further led to the decline in the yield.
  • Unemployment: Except in Punjab, and to some extent in Haryana, farm mechanization under the Green Revolution created widespread unemployment among agricultural labourers in the rural areas.
    • The worst affected were the poor and the landless labourers.
  • Health Hazards: The large-scale use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides such as Phosphamidon, Methomyl, Phorate, Triazophos and Monocrotophos resulted in resulted in a number of critical health illnesses including cancer, renal failure, stillborn babies and birth defects.

 

Conclusion

The Green Revolution, which undeniably ended the country’s “ship-to-mouth” existence and transformed it into an exporter of rice and wheat. In spite of the negative impact, the success of green revolution cannot be dwarfed. The spill over effect of green revolution led to the growth of farm mechanization industries to provide tractors, Fertilizer and pesticide, Agro-based industries etc.

However, it has also led to lopsided growth in agriculture, causing regional and other disparities. Now coupled with frequent droughts, Indian agriculture is under distress. Thus, there is a need for a second green revolution.  The second green revolution must be an Evergreen Revolution, which incorporates technology in harmony with ecology.

Value addition

Ushering second green revolution through sustainable methods

  • Micro-irrigation System: It enables optimal synergies of 3 components of Green Revolution-improved seed, water and fertilizer.
  • Organic Farming: Can restore degraded land and improve health benefits.
  • Precision Farming: It is concerned with using fewer resources and reducing the production cost, by analysing the variation in various aspects of field and environment like- weather, Soil, vegetation, water etc.
  • Green Agriculture: A system of agriculture based upon, integrated pest management, integrated nutrient management and it does not eliminate the use of minimum quantities of fertilizer and chemical pesticides.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. Article 32 of the Indian Constitution provides a remedy for the protection of fundamental rights, granting the Supreme Court the power to issue writs in cases where the fundamental rights of a citizen have been infringed. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of SC in safeguarding fundamental rights under article 32.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by giving a brief about article 32.

Body:

First, in detail, about the role of the SC as the “guarantor” and “defender” of the fundamental rights.

Next, write in detail about the various types of writs and the purposes behind it. Substantiate using examples and SC case to show how writs are used to protect fundamental rights.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising and giving views of various scholars regarding it.

 

Introduction

Article 32 falls under Part III of the Constitution that includes the fundamental rights of individuals. It allows an individual to approach the Supreme Court if she or he believes that her or his fundamental rights have been violated or they need to be enforced.

Dr B.R. Ambedkar had once said, “If I was asked to name any particular article in this Constitution as the most important — an article without which this Constitution would be a nullity — I could not refer to any other article except this one (Article 32). It is the very soul of the Constitution and the very heart of it.”

Body

Rationale behind Article 32 called the heart and soul of the constitution:

  • Right to constitutional remedies works on the Doctrine “Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium” which means when there is a right there is a remedy.
  • It gives the power to the citizens of India to go directly to the Supreme Court of India, rather than by way of appeal, if they feel that any of their Fundamental Rights have been violated. Article 32 makes the Supreme Court the defender and guarantor of the fundamental rights.
  • Article 32 came out to be the greatest safeguard that could be provided to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens and “It is a right fundamental to all the other Fundamental Rights”.
  • Courts, as the judicial sentinel of the fundamental rights, are equipped with constitutional weapons i.e., WRITS.
  • Writs which are being performed both by The Supreme Court and The High Court under Article 32 and 226 are for the violation and enactment of the Fundamental Rights.
  • Both the courts have the power to issue directions, orders, and writs, including writs of Habeas corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo warranto, and Certiorari, for the enforcement of any of the rights.
  • On the other hand, Parliament has the right to empower any other court with such authority so that it can act as “Protector and guarantor” of such rights.
  • Supreme Court in basic structure doctrine made clear that right to move to Supreme Court cannot be suspended except otherwise provided by the Constitution. This implies that this right suspended during a national emergency under article 359

Conclusion

The constitutional remedies provided to the citizens are the most powerful orders with immediate effects and results and that is why it has always been considered as the most important fundamental right engrafted in the Constitution of India. The Constitution of our country isn’t rigid and the various cases and court proceedings keep on challenging the basic structure of the Constitution. Article 32 still ensures that the fundamental rights of the citizens will always be protected and enforced by the Judiciary of India. And no citizen will be left unheard and deprived of his/her rights being the citizens of an independent country.

Value addition

Landmark cases of Article 32:

  • In a judgment in the L. Chandra Kumar vs. Union of India and Others case and P. Sampath Kumar vs. Union of India case, it was declared that Article 32 was an integral and essential feature of the Constitution and constituted its basic structure.
  • During the 1975 Emergency, in the ADM Jabalpur vs. Shivakant Shukla case, SC had ruled that the right to constitutional remedies under Article 32 would remain suspended during a national emergency. People were unable to seek redressal when their fundamental rights were being hampered.
  • The most recent incidents where Article 32 was discussed, was when Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan languished in jail, and debate around the relevance of Article 32 continued inside and outside the Indian courts, the reason being that the Supreme Court may no longer entertain bail petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution.
  • The court had then said that “The right to approach the Supreme Court under Article 32 is itself a fundamental right and that there is no doubt that if a citizen of India is deterred in any case from approaching this Court in exercise of his right”.
  • In the recent case of Arnab Goswami, where PIL’s were filed against him under Article 32 of the Constitution, Hon’ble Chief Justice had said that Supreme Court wouldn’t exercise its powers for matters under Article 32 and also contended that it should be solely done by the High Court with appropriate jurisdiction so as to protect the interest and rights of individuals.
  • The impact of article 32 has been huge with landmark cases like Shreya Singhal v Union of India where supreme court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, Meera Santosh Pal and Others v Union of India and Others where Supreme Court gave judgment on medical termination of pregnancy of a 24-week foetus etc.

 

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

3. Explain the classification and criticism of the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs). Do you think some of the DPSPs must be made justiciable? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the concept of DPSP and their classification while commenting on their criticism and making it justiciable.

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by explaining what DPSP’s are.

Body:

First, in detail, Discuss the Directive Principles of State Policy, its importance in the Indian Constitution and the history of its conflict with Fundamental Rights.

Next, classify them in detail; Socialistic Principles, Gandhian Principles and Liberal-Intellectual Principles.

Next, write in detail about the criticisms against it. Comment on making certain DPSPs as justiciable and scope for it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising and giving a balanced view on DPSPs.

Introduction

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are the form of instructions/guidelines to the governments at the centre as well as states. Though these principles are non-justiciable, they are fundamental in the governance of the country. The Constitution of India aims to establish not only political democracy but also socio-economic justice to the people to establish a welfare state. With this purpose in mind, our Constitution lays down desirable principle and guidelines in Part IV known as the Directive Principle of State Policy.

Body:

The Constitution does not contain any classification of the Directive Principles. However, on the basis of their content and direction, they can be classified broadly into socialist, Gandhian and liberal-intellectual.

Socialistic:

  • to promote the welfare of the people by securing a social order permeated by social, economic and political justice and to minimise inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities. (Art 38)
  • to secure (a) the right to adequate means of livelihood for all citizens; (b) the equitable distribution of material resources of the community for common good; (c) prevention of concentration of wealth and means of production; (d) equal pay for equal work for men and women; (e) preservation of the health and strength of workers and children against forcible abuse; and (f) opportunities for healthy development of children. (Art 39)
  • to promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor. (Art 39A)
  • to secure the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement. (Art 41)
  • to make provision for just and humane conditions for work and maternity relief. (Art 42)
  • to secure a living wage, a decent standard of life and social and cultural opportunities for all workers (Art 43)
  • to take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Art 43A)
  • to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living of people and to improve public health. (Art 47)

Gandhian Principles:

  • to organize village Panchayats and endow them with necessary powers and authority to enable them to function as units of self-government. (Art 40)
  • to promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operation basis in rural areas. (Art 43)
  • to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control, and professional management of co-operative societies. (Art 43B)
  • to promote the educational and economic interests of SCs, STs and other weaker sections of the society and to protect them from social injustice and exploitation. (Art 46)
  • to prohibit the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health. (Art 47)
  • to prohibit slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and drought cattle and to improve their breeds. (Art 48)

Liberal-Intellectual Principles:

These principles represent the ideology of liberalism and direct the state to

  • to secure for all citizens a uniform civil code. (Art 44)
  • to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of 6 years. (Art 45)
  • to organise agricultural and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines. (Art 48)
  • to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife. (Art 48A)
  • to protect monuments, places and objects of artistic or historic interest which are declared to be of national importance. (Art 49)
  • to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the state. (Art 50)
  • to promote international peace and security and maintain just and honourable relations between nations; to foster respect for international law and treaty obligations, and to encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration. (Art 51)

Additions by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976:

  • to secure opportunities for healthy development of children. (Art 39)
  • to promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor. (Art 39A)
  • to take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Art 43A)
  • to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife. (Art 48A)

Additions by 44th Amendment Act, 1978:

  • to minimise inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities. (Art 38)

Amendments in 86th Amendment Act, 2002:

  • It changed the subject matter of Art 45 and made elementary education a fundamental right under Art 21A. The amended directive requires the state to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of 6 years.

Additions by 97th Amendment Act, 2011:

  • to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control, and professional management of co-operative societies. (Art 43B)

Yes, the DPSPs should be made enforceable

  • A foremost argument in favour of making the Directives enforceable is that their justifiability will keep the autocratic tendencies of the ruling governments in check.
  • Also, most of the provisions contained in the DPSPs are promises made by the contesting parties during the time of elections.
  • These promises, as is common knowledge, are seldom kept.
  • But if these DPSPs are justiciable in a court of law, the government becomes answerable to the people.
  • Their actions will also be controlled by through these Directives. An example would be the provision contained in Article 44, relating to the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code.
  • This provision aims for a uniform civil law (much like the criminal law in force) for all citizens regardless of their religion, and other beliefs.
  • If implemented, it could play a critical role in uniting India, and making divisive policies a thing of the past.

No, DPSPs need not be made enforceable

  • But it is also argued that making the Directives enforceable is futile, since a large number of laws and policies are already in place for the implementation of these DPSPs. For example, the provision of Panchayati Raj (Article 40) was introduced through an Amendment to the Constitution in 1992. Today, there are 2,27,698 Gram Panchayats, 5906 Intermediate Tiers, and 474 Zila Panchayats in the country.
  • Another argument against enforcing the DPSPs is that their provisions are not very secular. Though it calls for the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code, it also directs the state to ban the slaughter of cows, a cause that is primarily Hindu.
  • The Directive Principles also try to impose morals on the citizens, something that is inarguably outside the scope of law. The Directives contain a provision that calls for the ban on alcohol. Though it has never been enforced on a national level, this provision certainly tries to impose certain morals on the people.

Conclusion:

The directive principles play an ideal before the legislator of India which shows that light while they frame the policies & laws. They are basically a code of conduct for the legislature and administrators of the country. They show the path to the leaders of the country which takes the country to achieve the ideal of the constitution embodied in the Preamble “Justice, Social, Economic, Political; liberty, equality and fraternity”.

 

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

4. It is crucial to prioritize addressing the inter-state disparities in providing safe and sufficient drinking water under the Jal Jeevan Mission, and to establish sustainable infrastructure to achieve this goal. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu , Insights on India

Why the question:

In the Budget address, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman apportioned ₹69,684 crore, a 27% increase, from the ₹54,808 crore from the revised estimates of financial year 2022.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the shortcomings of Jal Jeevan Mission and suggest measures to improve its performance.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about the aims and objectives of Jal Jeevan Mission.

Body:

First, write about the various achievements of Jal Jeevan Mission. Substantiate with facts and figures.

Next, write about the various shortcomings of Jal Jeevan Mission in ensuring availability of safe drinking water.

Next, suggest ways to overcome the limitations.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

One of the most significant commitments of the current government is to ensure piped water to every rural household by 2024. Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, led by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, 10.2 crore rural households, or about 53% of the eligible population, now have tap water access. 

Body

About Jal-jeevan mission

  • The chief objective of the Mission is to provide piped water supply (Har Ghar Jal) to all rural and urban households by 2024.
  • It also aims to create local infrastructure for rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household waste water for reuse in agriculture.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission is set to be based on various water conservation efforts like point recharge, desilting of minor irrigation tanks, use of greywater for agriculture and source sustainability.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission will converge with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.
  • The mission ensures:
    • Functionality of existing water supply systems and water connections.
    • Water quality monitoring and testing as well as sustainable agriculture.
    • Conjunctive use of conserved water.
    • Drinking water source augmentation.
    • Drinking water supply system, grey water treatment and its reuse.
  • Implementation: The Mission is based on a community approach to water and includes extensive Information, Education and Communication as a key component of the mission.
    • JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.
    • The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.

Inter-state disparities in access to safe drinking water

  • The Government commissions annual surveys to evaluate the success of the scheme. A recent audit, by a private agency, found that around 62% of rural households in India had fully functional tap water connections within their premises.
  • The survey, however, revealed wide disparities in achievement. Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Puducherry reported more than 80% of households with fully functional connections while less than half the households in Rajasthan, Kerala, Manipur, Tripura, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Sikkim had such connections.
  • About 75% of households received water all days of the week, and only 8% just once a week. On average, households got water for three hours every day.
  • Moreover, the report mentions a problem of chlorine contamination.
  • Though 93% of the water samples were reportedly free of bacteriological contamination, most of the anganwadi centres and schools had higher than the permissible range of residual chlorine.

Way forward

  • Adopt innovative technologies: The government need to adopt innovative technologies, especially sewage treatment, in-situ combustion/energy production from human excreta, etc. This will reduce the consumption of freshwater to flush tanks, often seen in urban areas.
  • With the massive deployment of sensor-based IoT systems for measurement & monitoring of water supply, testing of water samples for quality and dashboard for data integration and analysis will ensure transparency, assured service delivery, and grievance redressal.
  • Water Security for Development: India should work on groundwater replenishing methods without polluting the sources. Further, village communities and users/owners should start water budgeting to understand and improve water-use efficiency by changing water usage patterns, shifting to less water-consuming crops, and/ or switching to micro-irrigation, i.e., drip and sprinkler systems.
  • Even a small reduction in agricultural use will enhance water availability for drinking and domestic purposes, enhancing the longevity and functionality of water supply systems.
  • Convergence with other schemes: To ensure the long-term sustainability of JJM, the mission has to converge with other schemes such as MGNREGSAtal Bhujal YojanaPradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, etc., to dovetail resources at the village level.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the progress of the scheme but with the economy now close to pre-pandemic levels, it is likely that the challenges of labour and material have softened somewhat to aid the progress of the scheme. The Centre should liaise better with States that are falling behind in targets and ensure that the infrastructure created as part of the scheme is long lasting and not merely to meet election targets.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

5. The Competition Amendment Bill (2023) aims to prevent anti-competitive trade practices and hold violators accountable, thereby creating a system that fosters competition and fair-trade practises. Evaluate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

Based on recommendations made by a parliamentary panel in December 2022, the government has tweaked its proposed amendments to India’s competition law and is set to introduce the Competition Amendment Bill (2023 Bill) in Parliament.

Key Demand of the question:  

To write about the potential and limitations of the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in ensuring the fair and competitive trade.

Directive word:

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:

Begin by mentioning the objectives behind Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

Body:

First, write in detail the major features of the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

Next, write about the positive aspects of the bill in broadening the scope of ‘anti-competitive agreements’ and ensuring fair and competitive trade practise. Write about the provisions for impositions of penalties.

Next, write about the limitations of the bill.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

The government is set to introduce the Competition (Amendment) Bill (2023 Bill) in Parliament. The Bill, which seeks to amend the Competition Act, 2002, was first introduced in Lok Sabha by the Finance Ministry in 2022 and referred to the Standing Committee, which submitted its report in December 2022.

As the dynamics of the market change rapidly due to technological advancements, artificial intelligence, and the increasing importance of factors other than price, amendments became necessary to sustain and promote market competition.

Body

Highlights of the Bill

  • The Bill seeks to amend the Competition Act, 2002, to regulate mergers and acquisitions based on the value of transactions.
    • Deals with transaction value of more than Rs 2,000 crore will require CCI’s approval.
    • The Bill proposes to reduce the timeline for the CCI to pass an order on such transactions from 210 days to 150 days.
  • The Bill expands the scope of entities that can be adjudged to be a part of anti-competitive agreements.
    • Currently, enterprises or persons engaged in similar businesses can be held to be a part of anti-competitive agreements.
    • The Bill expands this to also include enterprises or persons who are not engaged in similar businesses.
  • The Bill provides a framework for settlement and commitment for faster resolution of investigations of anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position.
  • The Bill decriminalizes certain offences under the Act by changing the nature of punishment from imposition of fine to civil penalties.
    • These offences include failure to comply with orders of the CCI and directions of the Director General related to anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position.
  • Gun Jumping: Earlier the penalty for gun-jumping was a total of 1% of the asset or turnover which is now proposed to be 1% of the deal value.
  • Exemption of Open Market Purchases: It proposes to exempt open market purchases and stock market transactions from the requirement to notify the Commission in advance.
  • Hub-and-Spoke Cartels: The amendment broadens the scope of ‘anti-competitive agreements’ to catch entities that facilitate cartelisation even if they are not engaged in identical trade practices.
The Competition (Amendment) Bill, 20222023 Bill
Salient features:

●        Expands the definition of combinations to include transactions with a value above Rs 2,000 crore.

●        Earlier, it was mandatory for CCI to give approval of combinations within 210 days (now reduced to 150 days).

●        Modifies the definition of control as the ability to exercise material influence over the management, affairs or strategic commercial decisions.

●        Changes the nature of punishment for certain offences from imposition of fine to penalty.

○        This includes failure to comply with orders of CCI with regard to anti-competitive agreements, etc.

 

Concerns: Acquisitions in the digital markets are valued based on data or certain business innovation of the company being acquired.

Probable changes:

●        The CCI can now impose penalties up to 10% of the total global turnover of enterprises.

○        Currently, penalties are calculated as a percentage of only ‘relevant turnover’ in India.

●        Expansion of the scope of liability of cartel facilitators. The amendments proposed to codify the liability of cartel facilitators which ‘actively participate’, surprisingly, the 2023 Bill has removed the word ‘active’.

 

Concerns:

●        Deviation from committee’s recommendations.

●        In 2017, the SC clarified that turnover for imposing penalty should mean ‘relevant turnover’.

●        The change may have far-reaching consequences, especially for big-tech companies (like Amazon).

●        Such a broad provision raises over-enforcement risks.

Analysis

  • By implementing these amendments, the Competition Commission should be better equipped to handle certain aspects of the new-age market and transform its functioning to be more robust.
  • The proposed amendments are undoubtedly needed; however, these are heavily dependent on regulations that will be notified by the Commission later.
  • These regulations will influence the proposals.
  • Also, the government needs to recognize that market dynamics change constantly, so it is necessary to update laws regularly.

Conclusion

With the new changes, the Commission should be better able to manage certain aspects of the New Age market and make its operation more robust. The proposed changes are undoubtedly necessary; however, these are highly dependent on regulations subsequently notified by the Commission.In addition, the government must recognize that market dynamics are constantly changing, so laws need to be updated regularly.

 

Value addition

Competition Commission of India

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCi) was established in March 2009 by the Government of India under the Competition Act, 2002 for the administration, implementation, and enforcement of the Act.
  • It primarily pursues three issues of anti-competitive practices in the market:
    • Anti-competitive agreements.
    • Abuse of dominance.
  • Objectives:
    • Eliminate practices having adverse effects on competition.
    • Promote and sustain competition.
    • Protect the interests of consumers.
    • Ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.
    • Establish a robust competitive environment through:
    • Proactive engagement with all stakeholders, including consumers, industry, government, and international jurisdictions.

 

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

6.  India has implemented certain measures to achieve self-sufficiency in defence production. Suggest additional steps that could be taken to attain greater levels of localization in indigenous defence production while promoting defence exports. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The perception of the biennial expo Aero India has changed and today it is India’s strength and not just a show that not only showcases the scope of the defence industry but also the self-confidence of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday while setting a target to take defence exports from $1.5 bn to $5 bn by 2024-25.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the measures taken by India in becoming self-reliant in defence production. And suggest measures of what more can be done.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by showing data or facts about India’s defence sector.

Body:

First, write about India’s spending on defence and how self-reliance is important in this sector.

Next, write about measures taken by India – Make in India, Defence procurement from indigenous manufacturers etc. How far they have been successful?

Next, write about the issues hovering indigenous defence industry and what measures can be taken to tackle them.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a forward.

Introduction

The Government has taken several policy initiatives and brought reforms to promote self-reliance in defence manufacturing. These policy initiatives are aimed at encouraging indigenous design & development, innovation and manufacture of defence equipment in the country, thereby reducing dependency on imports in long run.

Body

Measures taken to make India self-reliant in defence production

  • DPP-2016 has been revised as Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020, which is driven by the tenets of Defence Reforms announced as part of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.
  • In order to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ category has been accorded top most priority for procurement of capital equipment.
  • Ministry of Defence has notified ‘First Positive Indigenisation list’ of 101 items on 21st August 2020 and ‘2nd Positive Indigenisation list’ of 108 items on 31st May 2021 for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timelines indicated against them.
    • This offers a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture these items using their own design and development capabilities to meet the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
    • These lists include some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircrafts, light combat helicopters (LCHs), radars, wheeled armoured platform, rockets, bombs, armoured command post vehicle, armoured dozor and many other items to fulfill the needs of our Defence Services.
  • The ‘Make’ Procedure of capital procurement which is aimed at encouraging design, development and manufacture of defence products by Indian private industry, primarily for import substitution, has been simplified.
    • There is a provision for funding upto 70% of development cost by the Government to Indian industry under Make-I category. In addition, there are specific reservations for MSMEs under the ‘Make’ procedure.
  • Procedure for ‘Make-II’ category (Industry funded), introduced in DPP 2016 to encourage indigenous development and manufacture of defence equipment has number of industry friendly provisions such as relaxation of eligibility criterion, minimal documentation, provision for considering proposals suggested by industry/individual etc. So far, 62 projects relating to Army, Navy & Air Force have been accorded ‘Approval in Principle’.
  • The Government of India has enhanced FDI in Defence Sector up to 74% through the Automatic Route for companies seeking new defence industrial license and up to 100% by Government Route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology.
  • An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has been launched in April 2018.
    • iDEX is aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.
  • Government has set up the Technology Development Fund (TDF) to encourage participation of public/ private industries especially MSMEs, through provision of grants, so as to create an eco-system for enhancing cutting-edge technology capability for defence applications.
  • An indigenisation portal namely SRIJAN has been launched in August 2020 for DPSUs/Services with an industry interface to provide development support to MSMEs/Startups/Industry for import substitution.
    • So far, 18023 Defence items, which were earlier imported, have been displayed on the portal. The Indian industry have shown their interest in 3826 items. Out of them, 3190 have already been indigenized.
  • ‘Offset portal’ has been launched in May 2019 to ensure Greater transparency, efficiency and accountability in the process.
    • Reforms in Offset policy have been included in DAP 2020, with thrust on attracting investment and Transfer of Technology for Defence manufacturing, by assigning higher multipliers to them.
  • Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model in May 2017, which envisages establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they may tie up with global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.
  • Government has notified a ‘Policy for indigenisation of components and spares used in Defence Platforms’ in March 2019 with the objective to create an industry ecosystem which is able to indigenize the imported components (including alloys & special materials) and sub-assemblies for defence equipment and platform manufactured in India.
  • Government has established two Defence Industrial Corridors, one each in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to attract investments of Rs 10,000 Cr in each corridor by year 2024-25.
    • So far, investment of approx. Rs 3,750 crore in both the corridors by public and private sector companies have been made.
    • Moreover, the respective State Governments have also published their Aerospace & Defence Policies to attract industries including foreign companies in these two corridors.
  • An Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on “Mutual Cooperation in Joint Manufacturing of Spares, Components, Aggregates and other material related to Russian/Soviet Origin Arms and Defence Equipment” was signed in Sep 2019.
    • The objective of the IGA is to enhance the After Sales Support and operational availability of Russian origin equipment currently in service in Indian Armed Forces by organising production of spares and components in the territory of India by Indian Industry by way of creation of Joint Ventures/Partnership with Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) under the framework of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • Defence Products list requiring Industrial Licences has been rationalised and manufacture of most of parts or components does not require Industrial License. The initial validity period of the Industrial Licence granted under the IDR Act has been increased from 03 years to 15 years with a provision to further extend it by 03 years on case-to-case basis.
  • Defence Investor Cell (DIC) has been created in Feb-2018 by the Ministry to provide all necessary information including addressing queries related to investment opportunities, procedures and regulatory requirements for investment in the sector. Till date, 1325 queries had been received and addressed by Defence Investor Cell.

More reforms that can be implemented

  • The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) could examine the defence acquisitions from a tri-service angle, this may avoid delays and speed up the defence procurement process.
  • Mandatory Transfer of Technology for Subsystems: It is imperative that when India imports any weapon systems, there should be a plan for the ammunition and spares to be eventually manufactured in India so that we are not driven to seek urgent replenishments from abroad during crises.
    • The same goes for repair, maintenance and overhaul facilities for the upgrading of the weapons platforms.
  • Modernising Ordnance Factories Board: Over the decades, ordnance factories have been the backbone of indigenous supplies to India’s armed forces, from weapons systems to spares, ammunition and auxiliaries.
    • Their structure, work culture and the product range now need to be responsive to technology and quality demands of modern armed forces.
  • Overhauling of Existing Regulations and Practices: A long-term integrated perspective plan of the requirements of the armed forces should give the industry a clear picture of future requirements.
    • The next Defence Procurement Procedure should incorporate guidelines to promote forward-looking strategic partnerships between Indian and foreign companies, with a view to achieving indigenisation over a period of time for even sophisticated platforms.
  • Promoting Defence Exports: Investment, Indian or foreign, will be viable when the door to defence exports is promoted with a transparent policy.
  • Resolving Conflict of Interest: The role of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as the government’s sole adviser, developer and evaluator of technologies creates a conflict of interest for entry of private players.
    • Thus, the role of DRDO should be revised, in order to give private industry a level playing field for developing defence technologies.

Conclusion

Self-reliance in defence manufacturing is a crucial component of effective defence capability and to maintain national sovereignty and achieve military superiority. The attainment of this will ensure strategic independence, cost-effective defence equipment and may lead to saving on defence import bill, which can subsequently finance the physical and social infrastructure.

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

7. Organizations that comply with integrity, transparency, and honesty standards demonstrate probity, which is a crucial manifestation of ethical conduct. Discuss. (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 ‘Conceptual Tuesdays’ in Mission-2023. Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about importance of probity for an organisation.

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 what is Probity.

Body:

Argue on the lines that for a moral society, it is necessary for all the stakeholders- the government, the corporate and the civil society must express the highest levels of probity in public life. Congruence and alignment of morality among the stakeholders is a major prerequisite to ensure a harmonious and ethic al existence of all the players promoting a just society. Illustrate the same with suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by saying that Probity is one of the main pillars for a just society.

Introduction

Probity is “the quality or condition of having strong moral principles, integrity, good character, honesty, decency”. It is the act of adhering to the highest principles and ideals rather than avoiding corrupt or dishonest conduct. It balances service to the community against the self-interest of individuals.

Body

Probity is the evidence of ethical behaviour in organisational processes, adhering to the standards of integrity, transparency, and honesty

  • Integrity and probity in public life are the standards that society expects those elected or appointed to public office to observe and maintain in the conduct of the public affairs to which they have been entrusted.
  • These standards are what safeguard the nation from corruption by politicians and public officials who have been given almost unrestricted access to public resources together with the power to take decisions that impact on the lives of everyone and the nation as a whole.
  • The absence of integrity and probity in public life is manifested in corruption which is a worldwide phenomenon.
  • But its impact is strongest and most pervasive in small states that already suffer from all the known disadvantages that characterise smallness such as unfavourable economies of scale, high per capita cost of government, remoteness, and distance from large markets and centres of large populations among others.
  • In addition to all these, small States also tend to suffer from ineffective parliamentary oversight, weak and undeveloped systems of checks and balances like a strong and independent media as well as civil society groups with the capacity to investigate, challenge and call to account those in positions of power.
  • Leaders who are corrupt will exploit these weaknesses to the fullest to enrich themselves and those closest to them at the expense of the country.
  • In societies where a blind eye is turned to corruption elements in the private sector give bribes to those exercising power in order to curry favour.
  • The giving and taking of bribes leads not only to personal enrichment but also to wrong decision-making with consequential misallocation of national resources into high profile “political” projects that will attract votes at the expense of less spectacular but economically and socially more useful ones.

Measures to ensure probity

  • Statutory Code of Values and Ethics for Public Services– It should be expressed in simple language, easily understandable and should lay down fundamental values that ought to govern the conduct of public servants. For example, British Civil Services Code.
  • Ethical framework –Need for an ethical frameworkthat should provide for prevention and guidance, investigation, disciplinary action, and prosecution.
  • Ethical Guidance –It should include training in ethics, awareness and development of essential skill for ethical analysis and moral judgement.
  • Sanction and punishment –Violation and breaches of the Code of Ethicsshould invite sanction and punishment under the disciplinary rules. A simplified disciplinary regime should be put in place which, while following the principle of natural justice, may speedily and summarily decide cases and take punitive action against delinquent employees.
  • Independent office of Ethics Commissioner– Need to create such an independent office on the US patternto provide leadership in ethics and values. Ethics Commissioner should issue and interpret rules which govern standards of conduct and conflict of interest.

Conclusion

It is a shared belief that the adoption of standards like “accountability”, “transparency” and “responsiveness” will lead to clean and efficient governance. However, standards do not, by themselves, ensure ethical behaviour: which requires a robust culture of integrity and probity in public life. The crux of ethical behaviour does not lie only in standards, but in their adoption in action and in issuing sanctions against their violation.

 


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