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[Mission 2023] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 5 March 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: Role of women and women’s organization; Social empowerment.

1. What do you understand by gender justice? Progress has been slow and uneven in order to achieve gender justice, and much more work remains to be done to ensure that all individuals in India, regardless of gender, have access to equal rights and opportunities. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

March 8 has been observed as International Women’s Day every year, since 1975, to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women from all around the world.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about gender justice, various barrier in achieving it and ways to overcome those barriers.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining gender justice.

Body:

First, write about the various causes and impact of gender injustice – violence against women, limited access to education and economic opportunities, discrimination against transgender and non-binary individuals, and limited representation in politics and decision-making roles.

Next, write about the slow nature of progress in order to achieve gender justice and various steps that have been taken in this regard.  

Next, write about steps that are required to achieve gender justice – legal reforms, public awareness campaigns, and advocacy by civil society organizations etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward. 

Introduction

Gender equality in India is the most desired state of form, which our Nation is craving to have for since long. Gender equality is no more a moral pressure or social issue but also a social, economic challenge.  Gender Equality leads to human development and the overall development of the Nation. India being a Nation full of achievement, still lacks few appreciations in the case of Gender Equality in India.

Body

Gender gap in India

  • High gender divide: The gender gap in the country has widened, with only 62.5% of it closed and especially low gender parity in political empowerment and economic participation and opportunity.
  • Wage gap: Women are paid considerably less than men, with some research showing that the gender pay gap between women and men in the same jobs with equivalent qualifications can be as much as 34%.
  • Labour force participation: India, as of 2020, has the lowest female labour force participation rate among South Asian nations, with four out of five women neither working nor looking for jobs.
  • High Job loss: According to Oxfam, 17 million women in India lost their jobs in April 2020, with their unemployment rate rising far higher than that among men.
  • Lesser opportunities for women: Women were found to be seven times more likely to lose their jobs during the lockdown phases, and if rendered unemployed, were 11 times more likely to remain jobless than their male counterparts.
  • Uneven domestic responsibility: Potential reasons for this include the increased burden of domestic responsibilities that Indian women typically had to bear, in terms of not just household chores but extra time needed for elderly care and children’s studies, with schools shut.
  • Even pre-pandemic, a Time Use Survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Office showed that women spent nearly 4.5 hours on childcare and other care-giving responsibilities, in contrast with the meagre 0.88 hours for men.

Ensuring gender justice

  • Behavioural Nudge: For instance, by using taxes to incentivize fairly sharing child-care responsibilities, or by encouraging women and girls to enter traditionally male-dominated sectors such as the armed forces and information technology. , Supreme Court in India declared that women could now hold commanding positions in Army.
    • Paternity leaves for men, to share the responsibility of child rearing.
    • Incentivizing companies to employ women, and reach 50% target.
  • Strong laws and policies wrt equal pay for equal work, maternity benefits are needed to promote women’s representation in economy.
  • Maternity and paternity: . An amendment to the Act in 2017 increased paid maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks. Though well-meaning, this unfortunately fortifies notions of care-giving being primarily the onus of the woman, and thus reinforces and raises the risk of women being subject to the motherhood penalty.
    • An explicit law for mandatory paternity benefits will go a long way towards equalizing gender roles and reducing employer bias
  • Better work conditions: The provision and strengthening of childcare facilities for working mothers are very important.
    • The Maternity Benefit Act mandates the setting up of creche facilities for organizations with over 50 employees.
    • A better policy measure would be to provide mothers in need of childcare with a monthly allowance. This will also help mothers working from home.
  • Political Representation: India has provided 33% reservation for women in the Panchayats and Local Bodies. Capacity Building and training can increase their capabilities further.

Conclusion

Gender equality is a human right which entitles all persons irrespective of their gender to live with dignity and with freedom. Gender equality is also a precondition for development and reducing of poverty. Gender shouldn’t be an unreasonable determining factor curbing the potential of women.

 

Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India; Social empowerment.

2. Caste discrimination is a significant problem in India that affects various aspects of society, including education, employment, and access to basic services. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

On February 12, 18-year-old Dalit student Darshan Solanki died by suicide at IIT Bombay by jumping from the seventh floor of a hostel building, allegedly because of the caste discrimination he faced.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the ill effects of caste discrimination, reasons for its prevalence and ways to overcome it.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by giving background about the caste discrimination in modern India.

Body:

First, write about the reasons for the prevalence of caste discrimination in India and factors behind it.

Next, mention the impact of caste discrimination and how it is affecting contemporary society. Substantiate with facts and examples.

Next, write about the steps that are needed to overcome the above issues and empower weaker sections.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Caste system refers to a broad hierarchical institutional arrangement along which basic social factors like birth, marriage, food-sharing etc are arranged in a hierarchy of rank and status. These sub-divisions are traditionally linked to occupations and decide the social relations with respect to other upper and lower castes.

Recently, 18-year-old Dalit student Darshan Solanki died by suicide at IIT Bombay by jumping from the seventh floor of a hostel building, allegedly because of the caste discrimination he faced.

Body

Caste discrimination is still widely prevalent in the contemporary society because

  • Indian society has been bearing the brunt of this social evil since the post-Vedic times and continues to bear despite Constitutional and Legal measures.
  • Hereditary: An individual’s caste is determined by the caste of the family he is born in. It is generally hereditary. One’s caste is unalterable no matter what his/her social position is. One inherits the membership of a caste by his/her birth.
  • Persistence is that ancient inequities and prejudices are slow to change. The higher castes, which exploited the lower castes for centuries, continue to discriminate against them both socially and economically.
  • Sense of caste prestige: Feeling of own caste superiority over other castes Is the main factor. It is people’s strong desire to enhance caste prestige. Members of a particular caste or sub-caste have the tendency of developing loyalty to their own caste.
  • Caste endogamy: Caste endogamy refers to marriage within the same caste. Caste endogamy is therefore responsible for the emergence of the feeling of casteism.
  • Belief in religious dogmas: Due to illiteracy, people are governed by belief in religious dogmas, blind beliefs and superstitions. Due to the practice of ‘Jati Dharma’ they take interest in their own caste. It leads to caste feeling and casteism.
  • Social distance: Especially in rural areas, people belonging to the higher caste maintain social distance from the lower castes.
    • Dalits in rural villages are forbidden in Hindu temples and disallowed with their shoes on in higher-caste neighborhoods.
    • They maintain it through different restrictions like inter-caste marriages, Inter-dinning etc.
    • The ideology of an individual is associated with his caste norms and values. This has given rise to casteism.
  • Caste reservation in higher education and the government has served to perpetuate a system that would otherwise have withered away.

How casteism can be removed?

  • Emotional and intellectual appeal to economic determinism, as was advocated by Karl Marx
  • Awareness about Constitutional values, ethics, ill effects of castiesm etc. by debates, nukkad natak, puppetry,
  • Promote and incentivise inter caste marriages as is already done for marrying a SC ST women in some parts of India.
  • Evaluate the existing customs, rituals etc. on thetouchstone of Human Rights. Here judiciary can play a positive role but with due respect to religious feelings.
  • Implement laws and agreements like ICCPR, Protection of human rights, Prevention of atrocities against SC ST etc. with full letter and spirit.
  • Dalit capitalism, check on extra judicial bodies like Khaps etc.
  • Economic empowerment of Dalit through education and ownership of land and capital.

Conclusion

Caste system is a terrible anomaly of society which became more prevalent over time. It is the strong enemy of the concept of social justice mentioned in the Indian Constitution and causes economic, social damage to the country from time to time. Undoubtedly, along with the government, it is the responsibility of the common man, religious leaders, politicians, and civil society to resolve this discrepancy as soon as possible.

Value addition

Caste system is the bane for the Indian society:

  • Segmental division of society:It means that social stratification is largely based on caste. Membership to a caste group is acquired by birth, on the basis of which people are ranked in relative to other caste groups.
  • Hierarchy:It indicates that various castes are categorized according to their purity and impurity of occupations.
  • Civil and religious disabilities:Example, lower caste groups had no access to wells, they were restricted from entering temples etc.
  • Endogamy: Members of a particular caste have to marry within their caste only. Inter caste marriages are prohibited.
  • Untouchability: It is the practice of ostracizing a group by segregating them from the mainstream by social custom.
  • Hindered national unity:The caste system and religion developed a parochial feeling and made the people unduly conscious of their own castes/religion.
    • Many a time caste/communal interests were given priority over national interest.
    • Thus the whole system stood against the very concept of national unity.
  • Hinders democracy: Democracy presupposes human equality, but the caste system believed in inequality and there was a hierarchical arrangement.
    • Today caste has manifested into a subject to gain political benefits, like reservation in educational colleges, government jobs etc.
  • Lowered women’s status: The practice of Sati, child marriage etc  were result of caste system. Women were treated as second-class citizens. This patriarchal behaviour is still prevalent today.
  • Violence and conflict: Dalit atrocities, sexual assault on lower caste women etc are result of such discrimination and exploitation which are in turn a result of caste and communal identities deeply entrenched in Indian society

The evil face of Caste System:

  • Manual scavenging: Manual scavenging eventually became a caste-based occupation, which involves the removal of untreated human excreta from bucket toilets or pit latrines. It has been officially abolished by the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013.
  • Caste based violence in India: Increasing trend of caste based violence are related to instances of inter-caste marriage and assertion of basic rights by Dalits including landrights, freedom of expression, access to justice, access to education etc.
  • Dalit violence: Increasing trend of caste-based violence are related to instances of inter-caste marriage and assertion of basic rights by Dalits including land rights, freedom of expression, access to justice, access to education etc.
    • A group of Dalits were attacked in Una, Gujarat when they had participated in the movement for demand of land ownership for the Dalits.
    • Hathras Gang rape of a Dalit womanwas touted as caste based violence.
  • Jati Panchayat: The status of each caste is carefully protected, not only by caste laws but also by the conventions. These areopenly enforced by the community through a governing body or board called Jati Panchayat.
  • The Concept of Purity and Pollution: The higher castes claimed to have ritual, spiritual and racial purity which they maintained by keeping the lower castes away through the notion of pollution. The idea of pollution means a touch of lower caste man would pollute or defile a man of higher caste.
  • Restriction on Food and Drink: Usually a caste would not accept cooked food from any other caste that stands lower than itself in the social scale, due to the notion of getting polluted.
  • The caste system is a check on economic and intellectual advancement and a great stumbling block in the way of social reforms
  • It undermines the efficiency of labour and prevents perfect mobility of labour, capital and productive effort
  • It perpetuates the exploitation of the economically weaker and socially inferior castes, especially the untouchables.
  • Inflicted untold hardships on women through its insistence on practices like child-marriage, prohibition of widow-remarriage, seclusion of women
  • Caste conflicts are widely prevalent in politics, reservation in jobs and education, inter-caste marriages etc.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Critically examine the performance of Production-linked Incentive (PLI) scheme that has been launched for various sectors as a game changer, leading to transformation of India into a manufacturing hub and reducing its burgeoning trade deficit. (250 words).

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

India’s robust export performance has made a critical contribution to its economic growth in recent times. Despite global economic woes, India’s overall exports, merchant and services combined, grew at 17.33 per cent to $641 billion during April-January 2022-23 compared to $547 billion during the same period last year.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the performance of Production-linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, its successes and limitations.

Directive word: 

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of Production-linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.

Body:

First, write about the various sectors for which PLI scheme was launched and its major features – electronics, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, and textiles. Eligible companies are provided with financial incentives based on incremental sales of goods produced in India, for a period of five years. The scheme aims to make India a global manufacturing hub, increase production of quality goods, create employment opportunities, and reduce dependence on imports.

Next, write about the successes and limitations of the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to overcome the limitations.

Introduction

Production-linked Incentive (PLI) scheme was conceived to scale up domestic manufacturing capability, accompanied by higher import substitution and employment generation. With an outlay of over Rs 2 lakh crore, the PLI scheme, launched in March 2020, initially targeted manufacturing mobile phones, electrical components and medical devices, and was later extended to 14 manufacturing sectors.

PLI scheme is an initiative of the government to boost the local production of domestic industries by providing them incentives. The government provides incentives on incremental sales from products manufactured in domestic units.

Body

Performance of the scheme

  • The Production-linked Incentive (PLI) scheme has been a game changer.
  • It has not only transformed India into a manufacturing hub but has also curtailed its burgeoning trade deficit in electronics and other manufactured goods
  • mobile phone exports rose from “nearly zero” in 2015-’16 to Rs 45,000 crore in 2021-’22. The total production of mobile phones has increased from six crore units in 2014-’15 to 31 crore units in 2021-’22
  • Electronics manufacturing attracted a massive investment and its exports have grown rapidly by over 55 per cent annually.

 

Shortcomings

  • Ex RBI Governor Rajan said the schemes are actually subsidising imports and leading to items being resold domestically at a higher price.
  • While the current corpus for IT hardware PLI is Rs 7,350 crore, spread over 4 years, members of the industry has told the financial daily that it wants the corpus to be expanded to up to 20,000 crore rupees.
  • According to the report, the industry believes that additional incentives are needed to make India more attractive than China and Vietnam.
  • A December 2022 report by Credit Suisse highlighted that capital expenditure growth due to various production-linked incentive sectoral schemes varies drastically.
  • The highest annual incremental increase in capital expenditure by Production-Linked Incentive scheme companies will be in speciality steel (processed steel for advanced use) at 17%, followed by textiles (14%) and automobiles (10%).
  • Similar is the case of investment: major investments under the Production-Linked Incentive schemes will come from sectors such as automobiles and speciality steels ($5.1 billion each), followed by textiles ($2.3 billion) and pharmaceuticals ($1.9 billion).
  • In most other sectors, the capital investment is modest, at less than $1 billion.
  • The Credit Suisse report also highlighted challenges such as the lack of experience, poor access to technology, and the relatively small balance sheets of many players that have signed up for the scheme.
  • Besides, across sectors, only a handful of firms have been able to meet the threshold to qualify for government incentives. For instance, under the Production-Linked Incentive scheme for information technology hardware, of the 14 eligible firms, only two or three companies met their first-year targets for the financial year ending March 2022.
  • Companies have blamed either the low incentives and the continued global supply chain disruptions.
  • This points to a couple of other structural problems associated with the schemes. To start with, in many sectors, there are so many eligible companies that the division of the corpus leads to an insignificant allocation to individual companies.
  • Next is the inability of the schemes to distinguish between boosting general manufacturing and boosting the manufacturing of critical materials and parts to build supply chain resilience.
  • Further, the government remains slow to address hurdles in developing India’s manufacturing ecosystem.
  • This includes problems of infrastructure and logistics, such as last-mile connectivity, especially to Tier-1 and tier-2 towns that have a potential to grow, ease of doing business beyond big cities, and physically safe conditions for operations.

Conclusion

To pull off something on the scale of China’s transformation, the Indian government will have to take these criticisms seriously and work to make its schemes more effective. The decision-making apparatus needs to be agile and responsive so that it can align processes, structures and policies with the desired outcomes of the schemes.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Throw light on various types of debt instruments issued by governments, corporations, financial institutions, and others to raise funds from investors. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about various types of debt instruments available in the Indian market.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining a debt instrument.

Body:

Write about the various type of debt instruments – government securities, corporate bonds, debentures, commercial papers, certificates of deposit, and money market instruments. Explain them in brief with suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising their importance.

Introduction

A debt instrument is a fixed-income asset that allows the lender (or giver) to earn a fixed interest on it besides getting the principal back while the issuer (or taker) can use it to raise funds at a cost. Debt acts as a legal obligation on the issuer (or taker) part to repay the borrowed sum along with interest to the lender on a timely basis. A debt instrument can be in paper or electronic form.

Body

Types of Debt Instruments

  • Government Securities (G-Secs)
    • They are the supreme securities issued by the Reserve Bank of India, on behalf of the Government of India and in lieu of the market borrowing program of the Central Government.
    • G-Secs are issued at a face value with no default risk since they carry a sovereign guarantee. Due to its high liquidity, it can be sold by investors in the secondary market.
    • G-Secs can also be redeemed at its face value on maturity with no tax deducted at source. The maturity of these securities ranges from 2-30 years.
    • Treasury bills or T-bills are issued only by the central government of India. They are short-term money market instruments, which means that their maturity period is less than 1 year. Treasury bills are currently issued with three different maturity periods: 91 days, 182 days, and 364 days.
    • Cash Management Bills (CMBs) are relatively new to the Indian financial market. They were only introduced in the year 2010 by the government of India and the Reserve Bank of India. CMBs are also zero-coupon securities and are very similar to Treasury bills. However, the maturity period is the one major point of difference between the two types of government securities. Cash Management Bills (CMBs) are issued for maturity periods less than 91 days, making them an ultra-short-term investment option. CMBs are strategically used by the government of India to meet any temporary cash flow requirements. From the investor’s point of view, Cash Management Bills can be used to meet short-term goals.
    • Dated G-Secs are also among the different types of government securities in India. Unlike T-bills and CMBs, G-Secs are long-term money market instruments that offer a wide range of tenures, starting from 5 years and going all the way up to 40 years. These instruments come with either a fixed or a floating interest rate, also known as the coupon rate.
    • State Development Loans are issued only by the state governments of India to fund their activities and to satisfy their budgetary needs. These types of government securities are very similar to dated G-Secs. They support the same repayment methods and come with a wide range of investment tenures.
  • Debentures
    • Debentures are a certificate of agreement of loans given under the stamp of the company, undertaking that the debenture holder will get a fixed return (on the basis of the fixed interest rates) and the principal amount whenever the debenture matures.
    • Debentures are issued by the company to raise medium and long-term funds and are not backed by any security
    • They form part of the company’s capital structure, and reflect on the balance sheet but are not clubbed with the share capital.
    • It is generally a long-term debt instrument commonly used by governments and large companies to obtain funds.
    • As debentures are not backed by any security, it carries an advantage by not putting any burden of the asset on the issuer and thereby allowing subsequent financing.
  • Bonds
    • A bond is an IOU in which the investor agrees to lend money to a company or government in exchange for a predetermined interest rate. They are generally issued by large companies, central bank and government and are backed by a security.
    • Bonds also ensure payment of fixed interest rates to the lenders of the money. On maturity of the bond, the principal amount is paid back. Bonds essentially work the way loans do.
    • When a company wants to expand, it can borrow money by issuing bonds at different rates and then selling them to the public.
    • As bonds ensure payment of fixed interest rates along with the principal amount to the lenders, it can be said that they work the way loans do.
    • There are various types of bonds, having different features and characteristics. For example, Government bonds, Institutional bonds, Corporate Bonds, and Municipal Bonds.
  • Mortgage
    • A mortgage is a loan against a residential property that is secured by the collateral of specified real estate property.
    • The borrower is obliged to pay back with a predetermined set of payments, in which failure to do so can lead to seizing of the property and selling it off to recover the loaned amount.
    • The most well-known mortgages are a 30-year fixed and a 15-year fixed. They can be as short as five years and as long as 40 years.
    • However, stretching payments over more years reduces the monthly amount to be paid but also increases the amount of interest to pay.
  • Fixed deposits
    • Fixed deposits also known as term deposits or FDs are money deposited in a bank for a specific time, earning a fixed rate of interest.
    • The interest on the money deposited is paid by the banks. Due to its nature of high liquidity, a depositor can make a premature withdrawal or break the FD by paying a penalty.
    • By doing so, the depositor will be given 1% less interest on withdrawal. Fixed Deposits offer fixed and guaranteed returns.
    • They are flexible in nature as their duration of maturity ranges from 1 month to 10 years. It also gives the ease to raise a loan against it, and also one can even invest small amounts in an FD.
    • However, a few drawbacks of FDs are that returns are lower as compared to other investment options like share and mutual funds, and the interest does not cover the rising inflation.

Conclusion

The public or private investors can use the debt market instruments to get fixed and high returns, depending upon the instruments’ features, tenure, liquidity, and flexibility. On the contrary, large business corporations, governments, banks, and other financial institutions can use these debt instruments for the expansion of their activities and also reach their short-term and long-term goals.

 

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

5. Discuss the various macroeconomic measures that can be taken to contain rising inflation in the country.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the various measures in order to contain inflation.

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 inflation.

Body:

First, write about the measures to control inflation – monetary policy, fiscal policy, exchange rate policy, supply-side policies, and wage and price controls. These measures aim to reduce demand, increase supply, or control prices in the economy. Explain in detail as to how the above impact inflation rates.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

     Inflation refers to the rise in the prices of most goods and services of daily or common use, such as food, clothing, housing, recreation, transport, consumer staples, etc. Inflation measures the average price change in a basket of commodities and services over time. The opposite and rare fall in the price index of this basket of items is called ‘deflation’. Inflation is indicative of the decrease in the purchasing power of a unit of a country’s currency. This is measured in percentage.

Body

Policy measures to keep the inflation under control

  • Monetary policy Measures:
    • Maintaining price stabilityis the foremost objective of the monetary policy committee of RBI. However, during the pandemic, growth has taken centre stage and RBI has rightly cut interest rates.
  • Job creation:
    • A higher allocation of funds for MGNREGS in rural areas, as well as the introduction of similar employment generation schemes in urban areas, should, therefore, be a priority.
  • Bond markets:
    • At the state level, the development of municipal bond markets could be a plausible alternative.
  • Fuel prices:
    • A reduction in the excise duty on fuel prices and easing the fuel tax burden could also supplement the disposable income and reduce the input cost burden for producers.
    • Bringing them under GST would reduce the prices by at least 30 rupees. GST council must agree to this with haste.
  • Commodity prices:
    • GoI needs to remove supply side bottlenecks. For example, GoI can immediately offload 10-20% of its pulses stock with NAFED in the open market.
  • Policy measures:
    • Navigating out of this will need a fiscal stimulus to shore up consumer spending, an investment revival to increase the productive capacity of the economy, and a careful management of inflationary expectations.
  • Other measures:
    • Concomitantly, the government will also need to pursue redistribution of incometo reduce the widening disparity.
    • This also calls for fiscal prudence to cut wasteful spending, find new revenuethrough asset sales, mining and spectrum auctions, and build investor confidence.

Conclusion

With the rise in inflation amidst a second wave, the balancing acumen of the MPC will now be sorely tested. Factors like rising commodity prices, supply chain disruptions are expected to raise overall domestic inflation. Government and RBI need to chalk out a fiscal plan to ensure that the inflation doesn’t burden the common man in the country

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

6. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“The art of persuasion is not about telling people what to think, but about creating a framework for them to think for themselves.” – Steve Martin

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about persuasion is not about dictating what others should think, but rather providing them with the necessary tools and information to come to their own conclusions. It involves encouraging critical thinking and rational decision-making rather than imposing one’s views on others. In essence, persuasion is about creating a framework for people to think for themselves, rather than forcing them to accept a particular viewpoint. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.

Introduction

Persuasion is symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people through transmission of a message to change their attitudes or behaviours. Persuasion is the process of changing or reinforcing attitudes, beliefs or behaviour of a person

Body

It isn’t always easy to change how people think, feel and behave.

Changing someone’s mind can be considered quite a difficult feat, particularly if they’re entrenched in their particular way of thinking. This is because of the cognition of an individual which has the idea deeply rooted.

For instance, Sati was considered a pious practice in the 19th century. Despite efforts, Raja Ram Mohan Roy initially failed to stop the practice in the society. Likewise, despite the graphic warning images that are placed on cigarette packs, smokers continue to indulge in the addiction of smoking.

Behaviour change is complicated and complex because it requires a person to disrupt a current habit while simultaneously fostering a new, possibly unfamiliar, set of actions. Breaking these habits, the Hard to Maintain behaviours, is often not easy as it sets up a conflict between the executive and operational functions within the brain.  E.g.: Smoking for example is reputedly one of the hardest behaviours of all to quit.

Persuasion helps change how people think, feel and behave

Persuasion is one form of social influence on attitude; in fact it represents the intersection of social thinking and social influence of everyday life. At its most basic level, persuasion is about communication. But the art of persuasion is about using a sophisticated mix of communication skills and leadership abilities to bring others around to your ideas, recommendations or proposals.

Persuasion can occur through appeals to reason or appeals to emotion. For example, school-based substance abuse prevention programs using the social influences model consistently produce better results than programs emphasizing only health information.

The government has also utilized this tool of persuasion for the success of the initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan- cleanliness drives; Ujjwala Yojana’s Give it up campaign; Disclosing excess income campaign; Beti Bachao Beti Padhao by making parents understand it is necessary to protect and educate a girl child.

Conclusion

Persuasion can bring a lasting change in people’s behaviour and is highly effective in implementation of public policies provided the tools are used in a right way. It acts as a nudge to encourage people to act in a good manner and achieve certain goals or to remove certain social evils.

 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”  – C.S. Lewis

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about how courage is not just a virtue, but rather the expression of all virtues when put to the test. It suggests that courage is the foundation that enables individuals to live virtuously in challenging circumstances by allowing them to act in accordance with their values. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.

Introduction

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end, requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them.

Body

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

It is easy to live your virtues when things are going well. It is easy to express your values when you are with people who agree with you. It is difficult to live your values in challenging situations or when you are with those who disagree with you.

We live in an instant gratification world. We live in a time when “going with the flow” is often encouraged and seeking the “quick fix” is celebrated. Our virtue demands that we live our values – even in the face of opposition. We value diversity of thoughts and commitment to purpose. This requires that we do the work; it stipulates that we embrace the productive discomfort of doing the right thing even at the testing point.

Conclusion

Have the courage be true to your core values in the face of opposition, face opposition with civility and fidelity of purpose, and be intentional at each testing point you face. 


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