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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 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

1. Leadership is essential for girls’ personal growth and development, as well as for creating a more inclusive and equitable society. A multi-pronged approach across enhancing employability, sport for leadership, and bodily autonomy is the key to strengthening leadership abilities among adolescent girls. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Today the world is home to a transformative generation of 900 million adolescent girls and young women poised to shape the future of work and growth. If this cohort of young women could be equipped with the right resources and opportunities to nurture the 21st century skills, they would become the largest segment of women leaders, change-makers, entrepreneurs, and innovators in history.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the measures that are needed to strengthen leadership among girls.

Directive word: 

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context

Body:

First, write about the importance of leadership in girls – provides representation and visibility, enables them to be agents of change, prepares them for future career roles, and contributes to diversity of perspectives. Developing leadership skills early on can help girls build self-confidence, break down gender stereotypes and biases, and make a positive impact on their communities.

Next, write about the role enhancing employability, sport for leadership, and promoting bodily autonomy can play in inculcating leadership qualities.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Today the world is home to a transformative generation of 900 million adolescent girls and young women poised to shape the future of work and growth. If this cohort of young women could be equipped with the right resources and opportunities to nurture the 21st century skills, they would become the largest segment of women leaders, change-makers, entrepreneurs, and innovators in history.

Body

Background: Why adolescent girls must be nurtured

  • 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.

 

Multipronged approach to empowerment of women and adolescent girls

  • Reduce unpaid work: It is crucial for us to recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care and domestic work, so that women may enjoy economic opportunities and outcomes on an equal footing to men. Policies that provide services, social protection and basic infrastructure, promote sharing of domestic and care work between men and women, and create more paid jobs in the care economy, are urgently needed to accelerate progress on women’s economic empowerment.
  • Decision making and bodily autonomy: Women need to be empowered to make decisions about their bodies, such as whether to have sexual relations or not, when to initiate sexual relations, to use contraceptives or not, and to seek health care when needed. They also need to be free from all forms of violence and harassment. These basic conditions are critical to enable women and young girls to chart the trajectory of their personal and professional lives.
  • Countering stereotypes: Gender norms that disproportionately allocate domestic and care responsibilities to women, representation of men as leaders of STEM, finance, and entrepreneurial fields in the public perception, and institutional mechanisms (inadequate maternity leave, few flexible work arrangements, lack of childcare facilities in the workplace) are some of the barriers that explain why increased women’s representation in STEM education does not translate into work participation.
  • Opportunity to explore: Actively countering these stereotypes calls for the inclusion of grade-appropriate STEM, financial education, and entrepreneurship syllabi into the educational curriculum for girls. Introducing elements such as Olympiads, innovation labs, bootcamps and competitions can expose girls to practical applications and inspire them to build solutions to challenges in their ecosystem.
  • EdTech Solutions: As access to digital technology increasingly becomes an arena of opportunity and basic service for children and young people, EdTech gives us tools to bridge part of the accessibility gap in education through hybrid learning models, even where girls’ access to schooling is restricted by harmful norms. Building and scaling up solutions customised to the language, cultural nuances, and Internet accessibility of individual communities can give girls equal access to knowledge through digital inclusion.

 

Conclusion

To unleash the gender dividend and create conditions for female leadership to flourish, women at all levels of society must have inclusion in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT), bodily autonomy and safety, shared responsibility within the household, and equal participation in decision-making spaces.

 

Topic:urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

2. While there are still challenges to be addressed, the Smart Cities Mission has made significant progress in the development of smart cities in India. The mission has helped to promote sustainable and inclusive urban development and has shown the potential for technology and innovation to improve the quality of life of citizens. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India.

Why the question:

As the June 2023 deadline for completing the Smart Cities Mission approaches, the government has asked 20 of the worst-performing cities — ones that have completed the fewest projects under the mission — to buck up.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the performance of smart city missions to address urbanisation related issues in India.

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 the answer by writing about aims and objectives of smart cities mission.

Body:

First, enumerate the major urbanisation issues which are prevalent in India and needs addressing.

Next, write about the how smart cities mission has been able to address the above-mentioned issues – promote sustainable and inclusive urban development and has shown the potential for technology and innovation to improve the quality of life of citizens. Cite statistic and examples.

Next, mention the limitations of smart cities mission in addressing the above – limited funding, implementation challenges, limited citizen participation, limited focus on social equity and security concerns etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to overcome above mentioned limitations.

Introduction

Cities accommodate nearly 31% of India’s current population and contribute 63% of GDP (Census 2011). Urban areas are expected to house 40% of India’s population and contribute 75% of India’s GDP by 2030. This requires comprehensive development of physical, institutional, social and economic infrastructure. All are important in improving the quality of life and attracting people and investment, setting in motion a virtuous cycle of growth and development. Development of Smart Cities is a step in that direction.

Body

Current issues in Indian cities

  • Unplanned growth and high congestion: expansion of commercial and residential buildings violating safety norms
  • Urban fires: Delhi 2019, 43 people killed on Delhi’s Anaj Mandi fire accident.
  • Proliferation of slums: 2011 census identified 64 million people in city slums in India with poor living conditions.
  • Crimes have increased with the increasing degree of urbanisation – Delhi crime capital
  • As per CPCB report, 65%of waste water – discharged untreated in open drains.
  • Water and sanitation problem apart from harming environment, also creating economic losses.

About Smart City

  • Smart City:Another very important program for the urban development, especially of megacities, by the Government of India—accompanied by huge investments in these cities—is the Smart Cities Mission, which aims at making the cities ‘smart’ through:
    • Promoting mixed land-use;
    • housing and inclusiveness;
    • creating walkable localities;
    • preserving and developing open spaces;
    • promoting a variety of transport options;
    • applying smart solutions to infrastructure and services in area-based development.

 

Smart cities mission as a solution to these problems

  • Scientific land use planningcan help to avoid high congestion and thus avoid fire accidents and urban flooding.
  • Effective solid waste managementand E- waste recycling facilities will contribute to the environmental health of cities.
  • Modern transportation facilities with Last mile connectivity will help in decongesting the transport sector.
  • Green energy technologieslike Electric Vehicles and required charging infrastructure will help to reduce air pollution.
  • Urban forests, like that of the one developed in Hyderabad will help to create Green Smart cities.

However, Lacunas in Smart city mission like:

  • Marginalised priorities: small area based smart technology enclaves are planned over just 5-10% of the city areas that consume 80% of allocated money
  • Discrimination: neglect of poor and marginalised population, that greatly contribute to the city building process rarely find their right to adequate housing honoured
  • Disregard to human rights:clearances of slums without proper rehabilitation for city beautification
  • Bureaucratisation: SPVs created for the implementation purpose often overpowered by bureaucrats disregarding the power of elected ULBs in city planning

Conclusion

However, for achieving the goal of SDG – 11, implementation of smart cities mission is imperative. Thus, rectifying the above-mentioned lacunas, Smart cities mission can become a sustainable cities mission catering to the needs of present and future generations.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

3. What are the various options available to the governor with regards to a bill passed by the state legislature? Critically analyse the various issues with Article 200 of the Indian constitution. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu , Insights on India

Why the question:

Differences between Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and Mr. Rao came to the fore yet again after the State government moved the Supreme Court, alleging that the inordinate delays in giving assent to important Bills by the Governor is leading to a constitutional impasse and also obstructing Bills passed by both Houses of the legislature in the larger public interest.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the options available to the governor in regards to bills passed by state legislature and indefinite delay in granting assent to bills.

Directive word: 

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context about article 200.

Body:

First, write about the various options available to the governor in regards to a bill passed by state legislature – grating assent, withholding assent, returning the bill and reserving it for president.

Next, begin by giving context regarding the indefinite delay in grating assent and give arguments as to why it is right or wrong. Write abouts the impact of the above.

Next, write about the possible solutions to the above issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward in order to resolve the tussle between legislature and governor.

Introduction

The makers of the Constitution of India did not anticipate that the office of the Governor, meant to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law”, would metamorphose into the most controversial constitutional office rendering the constitutional praxis rugged.

On his/ her discretion, the Governor can reserve a bill passed by the state legislature for president’s assent. However, situations are mentioned in Article 200, when he will reserve the bill, yet he can use, discretion regarding this matter. Governor has discretion to refuse to sign to an ordinary bill passed by the state legislature.

Body

Governor’s powers regarding bill passed by state legislature

Article 200 of the Indian Constitution deals with the powers of the Governor with regard to assent given to bills passed by the State legislature and other powers of the Governor such as reserving the bill for the President’s consideration.

According to Article 200, when a Bill, passed by the Legislature of a State, is presented to the Governor, he has the following options:

Ordinary Bills

When a bill is sent to the governor after it is passed by state legislature, he can:

  • Give his assent to the bill, or
  • Withhold his assent to the bill, or
  • Return the bill (if it is not a money bill) for reconsideration of the state legislature.

However, if the bill is passed again by the state legislature with or without amendments, the governor has to give his assent to the bill or

  • Reserve the bill for the consideration of the president. In one case such reservation is obligatory, that is, where the bill passed by the state legislature endangers the position of the state high court.When the governor reserves a bill for the consideration of the President, he will not have any further role in the enactment of the bill.
    • If the bill is returned by the President for the reconsideration of the House or Houses and is passed again, the bill must be presented again for the presidential assent only.
    • If the President gives his assent to the bill, it becomes an act.
    • This means that the assent of the Governor is no longer required.

Money Bill

  • Every money bill, after it is passed by the state legislature (unicameral or bicameral), is presented to the governor for his assent.
  • He has three alternatives:
    • He may give his assent to the bill, the bill then becomes an act.
    • He may withhold his assent to the bill, the bill then ends and does not become an act.
    • He may reserve the bill for the consideration of the president.
  • Thus, the governor cannot return a money bill for the reconsideration of the state legislature.
  • Normally, the governor gives his assent to a money bill as it is introduced in the state legislature with his previous permission.
  • When the governor reserves a money bill for the consideration of the President, he will not have any further role in the enactment of the bill.
  • If the President gives his assent to the bill, it becomes an Act.
  • This means that the assent of the governor is no longer required. The President also cannot return a money bill for the reconsideration of the state legislature (as in the case of the Parliament).

Critical analysis of such powers of Governor

  • Delays in granting assent:Thegovernors sometimes sat over the Bills without giving assent or returning the Bills for an indefinite period, even though the Constitution required it to be done as soon as possible.
    • Thegovernors were also taking months together to reserve the Billsfor the assent of the President even though it was to be done immediately.
    • Thiserodes the authority of the legislaturesand the governors, though heads of the state executive, are appointed by the Union government.
  • Exceptional situations: In addition to above illustrated powers, the governor can also reserve the bill if it is of the following nature:
    • Ultra-vires, that is, against the provisions of the Constitution.
    • Opposed to the Directive Principles of State Policy.
    • Against the larger interest of the country.
    • Of grave national importance.
    • Dealing with compulsory acquisition of propertyunder Article 31A of the Constitution.
  • Case studies
    • Tamil Nadu Assembly in September, 2021passed a bill seeking exemption for students from the state from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) required for undergraduate medical college admissions.
      • This Bill has been with Governor since then without rejection or acceptance.
      • Indecision can prove costly.
    • Manipur Speaker had not decided on defection, until Supreme Court forced him and bound him by giving a time frame. Justice can be denied in such cases to those who are affected.
  • Against the spirit of Constitution:Withholding of assent, though an option, is not normally exercised by Governors because it will be an extremely unpopular step.
    • Besides, withholding assent to a Bill by the Governor, an appointee of the President, neutralises the entire legislative exercise by an elected legislature enjoying the support of the people.

Conclusion

Giving assent to a Bill passed by the legislature is a normal constitutional act performed by the Governor. But of late, even such normal acts have become a source of confrontation between State governments and the Governors. The conduct of Governors in certain States follows a definite pattern which causes a great deal of disquiet to elected governments as well as to those who have faith in the constitutional order.

Under Article 361, the President or a Governor is not answerable to any court for anything done in the exercise and performance of their powers and duties. But when a Governor does not take any decision on a Bill which is put up for his assent, he is not acting in exercise and performance of the duties cast upon him.

 

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

4. Evaluate the performance of Swachh Bharat Mission in making India open defecation free (ODF) by constructing toilets and promoting good sanitation practices. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Yet another recently released government survey has called into question the Central government’s claim in 2019 that all Indian villages are open defecation-free (ODF). Four government surveys/reports released just before or after the announcement, including the latest Multiple Indicator Survey (MIS), have not only disputed the ODF status of most States but also shown persisting levels of poor sanitation in many of them.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the successes and limitations of Swachh Bharat Mission in making India ODF free.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving a brief about aims of Swachh Bharat Mission

Body:

First, in brief, write about the major components of Swachh Bharat Mission

Next, write about achievements of Swachh Bharat Mission – constructing over 100 million household toilets in rural India, providing over 99% of households with access to toilets, raising public awareness about the importance of cleanliness and sanitation, investing in basic sanitation infrastructure etc.

Next, write about the shortcomings of Swachh Bharat Mission – sustainability of the infrastructure and behavioural change it has created, the substantial funding required to construct sanitation infrastructure, limited attention to waste management, an urban-rural divide in achieving its goals etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to overcome the above limitations.

Introduction

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, much can be said about the progress the country has made in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) concerning sanitation. Public-private partnerships are building on successes of the first phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission and setting more ambitious goals for the next phase Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0

 

Body

Issues in sanitation before Swacch Bharat Mission

  • Low coverage: Till 2014, sanitation coverage in India was as low as 39 per cent. Around 55 crore people in rural areas were without a toilet facility before 2014 and this severely affected the health and dignity of our people, especially women and children.
  • Prevalence of diseases: The greatest and perhaps most significant impact of poor sanitation is on health. Exposure to contaminated drinking water and food with pathogen laden human waste is a major cause of diarrhoea and can cause cholera, trachoma, intestinal worms, etc, leading to the “stunting” of huge swathes of our children.
  • Impact on environment: Poor hygiene and waste management practices also impact the environment with untreated sewage flowing directly into water bodies and affecting coastal and marine ecosystems, contaminating soil and air, and exposing millions to disease.
  • Economy suffers: Poor sanitary practices impact the economy adversely. A study by the World Bank states that the absence of toilets and conventional sanitation costs India 6.4 per cent of its GDP in 2006. The economic impact of poor sanitation for India is at least $38.5 billion every year under health, education, access time and tourism.

 

Objectives of SBM 1.0

  • Open defecation Free India: The launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) by the Prime Minister on October 2, 2014, had a unique goal to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to make the country Open Defecation Free (ODF).
  • Toilet construction: By offering financial incentives for building household toilets, as well as community toilets for slums and migrant populations, the government gave a huge fillip to the toilet infrastructure.
  • Behaviour changes programmes: To bring changes to the age old idea that the toilets in the home were unclean, the government ran several programmes with the participation of the private sector and NGOs to educate the population on the benefits of ODF in what is acclaimed as one of the largest behaviours change programmes in the world.
  • From 2014 to 2020, more than 10 crore toilets were constructed. The country declared itself ODF on October 2, 2019.

Performance and analysis

  • Since its launch in October 2014, the SBM, the world’s largest sanitation program, has changed the behaviour of hundreds of millions of people with respect to toilet access and usage.
  • 500 million people have stopped defecating in the open since the SBM began, down from 550 million at the beginning of the programme to less than 50 million today.
  • Over 9 crore toilets have been built across rural India under the Mission.
    • Over 5.5 lakh villages and 615 districts have been declared ODF, along with 30 ODF States and Union Territories.
  • The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) 2018-19, conducted by an Independent Verification Agency (IVA) under the World Bank support project to the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G), has found that5% of the households in rural India who have access to a toilet use it.
  • The NARSS confirmed the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status of 90.7% of villages which were previously declared and verified as ODF by various districts/States.
  • A recent WHO study reports that Swachh Bharat would have led to the saving of 300,000 lives by 2019 and around 150,000 lives would be saved annually thereafter.

 

Challenges persists

  • ODF status: Overemphasis on toilet construction rather than focussing on all parameters. The ODF status has been mainly awarded to the village, district or state only based on the number of toilets built without mention of termination of fecal-oral transmission and absence of visible feces in the environment as major parameters in the SBM guidelines.
    • The ODF status has been questioned by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in September 2018 report.
  • Data: It has also been alleged that there is over-reporting of government set targets of toilet construction. Independent surveys show open defecation continues even in areas that the government has declared Open Defecation Free.
    • The government’s own data shows only 14% of the constructed toilets have gone through the second round of verification.
    • High levels of coercion have been used to build the toilets and behavioural change has been slow to follow.
  • Construction issues: There are concerns regarding the durability and quality of construction of toilets. It is observed that fall back rate of ODF declared villages in the past was high because of the non-sustainability of toilets.
  • Toilet usage: SBM has been primarily a supply-side measure aims at construction of toilets. Though there has been considerable toilet construction, the toilet usage stays unsatisfactory in several areas. The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), 2016-17 found that open defecation remained fairly high in the rural areas of the BIMAROU states – Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Cultural/social factors: Religion and caste play a crucial role in determining whether a person is likely to utilize toilets. Open defecation stays a common practice in several rural areas because of cultural and societal factors that shape the behaviour towards sanitation

 

Swachh Bharat mission 2.0

  • The second phase of the project, which commenced in 2020 and is expected to run till 2025, has set even more ambitious targets.
  • Safe sanitation: SBM(Urban) 2.0 envisions to make all cities ‘Garbage Free’ and ensure grey and black water management in all cities other than those covered under AMRUT, make all urban local bodies as ODF+ and those with a population of less than 1 lakh as ODF++, thereby achieving the vision of safe sanitation in urban areas.
  • Solid waste management: The Mission will focus on source segregation of solid waste, utilizing the principles of 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), scientific processing of all types of municipal solid waste and remediation of legacy dumpsites for effective solid waste management. The outlay of SBM-U 2.0 is around Rs.1.41 lakh crore.
  • The Lighthouse Initiative (LHI):
  • Commissioned by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is to be implemented through PPP, across villages in 75-gram panchayats in 15 states in Phase1.
  • LHI is based on the principle of inclusive sanitation and leaving no one behind.
  • LHI aims to effectively implement solid and liquid waste management structures by employing a participatory and consultative approach through mobilisation of the village communities, corporate, district and block administration and gram panchayat officers. Joint ownership and accountability between local governments, communities and corporates will ensure the success of the initiative.
  • Public private partnership: The India Sanitation Coalition (ISC) is a multi-stakeholder platform that creates meaningful collaborations. These stakeholders include the private sector, government, financial institutions, civil society groups, media, donors, etc. Today, ISC is recognised as the official intersection between the government and the private sector for engagement in helping build solid and liquid waste management infrastructure sustainably.
  • CSR Funding: The private sector will supplement this through CSR funding. Going forward, the ISC will continue to focus on the government’s position with regard to the thematic inter-linkages between WASH and sectors such as health, education, gender, nutrition and livelihoods

 

Conclusion

Sanitation is linked with health, environment and economy. Swachh Bharat mission 2.0 has noble intention. It has to become the citizen’s movement to replicate the success of phase 1 of the mission.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Critically examine the Liberalization, Privatization, and Globalization (LPG) reforms of 1991 which aimed to promote economic growth, increase competitiveness, and attract foreign investment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India ,Insights on India

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about achievements and limitations of LPG reforms in India.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context about the LPG reforms.

Body:

First, in detail write about the LPG and their major achievements – increase economic growth, attract foreign investment, and improve competitiveness. Cite statistic and examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the shortcomings of LPG reforms – increased inequality, dependency on foreign capital, limited benefits to agriculture, and environmental degradation etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a balanced opinion on LPG reforms.

Introduction

The liberalization, privatization and globalization regime launched in 1991 completed its 30 years in 2021. The 1991 was a landmark moment in India’s post-independence history that changed the nature of the economy in fundamental ways.

A severe balance of payments problem triggered an acute economic crisis in 1991. In response, India’s economic establishment launched a multipronged reforms agenda to repair India’s macroeconomic balance sheet and ignite growth.

Body

India’s Post-1990 Economic Strategy

  • It dismantled the vast network of controls and permits that dominated the economic system.
  • It redefined the role of the state as a facilitator of economic transactions and as a neutral regulator rather than the primary provider of goods and services.
  • It led to moving away from a regime of import substitution and to integrate fully with the global trading system.

Positive effects of LPG Reforms

  • By the first decade of the 21st century, India began to be seen as one of the fastest growing emerging markets.
  • India’s annual average growth rate from 1990 – 2010 has been 6.6 % which is
    almost double than pre reforms era. GDP growth rate surpassed 5% mark in early 1980’s.
  • The 1991 reforms unleashed the energies of Indian entrepreneurs, gave untold choice to consumers and changed the face of the Indian economy.
  • Far from poverty increasing, for the first time, there was a substantial reduction in it.
  • 1991 reforms boosted services sector provided opportunities for individuals to develop their skills.

LPG reforms and inclusiveness

  • During the reform period most Indian states experienced high average growth ratesin real unskilled informal wage and real unskilled agricultural wage. This explains the fall in poverty rates.
  • Declining urban poverty and increasing income inequality were associated with growth in manufacturing exports and imports.
  • Among manufacturing exports, during the 1990s, there was a phenomenal growth in exports of skill-intensive high-technology goods.
    • This change in the skill compositionof Indian manufacturing export basket offers a plausible explanation of the rise in income inequality during the 1990s.  
  • Three unskilled labour-intensivemanufacturing goodsclothing, textiles, and leather still account for around 40% of manufacturing exports.
    • Expectedly, their growth had a favourable impact on urban poverty through increase in the unskilled money wage.
  • Growth in aggregate output both in per capita net state domestic product (PCNSDP) and gross domestic product (GDP) is another source of lower urban poverty and higher income inequality.
  • Exports found to be causing GDP growth means that the growth impact of trade may be an important factor underlying the observed changes in poverty and inequality.
    • Growth in exports of high-technology goods seems to be one major source of such trade growth nexus.

Increasing inequalities post liberalisation

  • Post liberalisation, there was more focus on assuring investor confidencefor which the fiscal deficit ought to be well within limitsand the climate for investment to be conducive.
  • Socialist mind set thus far was to spontaneously change to pro-market.
  • This saw an illustration of Karl Marx’s “Primitive Capital accumulation” wherein there was displacement of poor from their places which made them inevitablylose the opportunity to grow out of their livelihood option that they inherited.
  • The job growth has seen only marginal increase of 0.2%in the period of great economic growth indicates this.
  • If we go byGini index pertaining to consumption theinequality is starker as compared with that we obtain pertaining to income, another fact that reinforces the above claim.
  • Thus, poverty has beenreduced in absolute terms butnot in equitable terms making inequality much deeper. India has to rein in over the income disparity to begin with.

Way Forward

  • For reducing inequality, some advocate measures such asredistribution of assets and wealthin favour of the poor via higher taxes for the rich.
  • However, these may not be pragmatic solutions. The tax/GDP ratio has to be raisedwith a wider tax base.
  • Fiscal instruments like public investment in physical andsocial infrastructurecan be used to reduce inequality.
    • The new generation wantsequality of opportunityrather than redistributive measures.
    • Everyone irrespective of caste, class and gender should have equal opportunities in education, health, employment and entrepreneurship.
  • Economic andemployment opportunities improve with education and skills.
  • The new generation wants better quality in schools and higher education.
  • Finally, economic reforms should focus more on efficient delivery systems of public services.
  • Many reckon that poor governance is the biggest constraint in achieving the aspirations of a new generation and reduction in poverty and inequality.
  • A major institutional challenge is the accountability of service providers, particularly the public sector.
  • Recent literature also focused on eradication of corruption for reduction in inequalities.
  • Issues like electoral reforms, crony capitalism, election funding and corruption should be part of thereform agenda to reduce inequalities.

Conclusion

The 1991 reforms helped the economy stave off a crisis and then bloom. It is time to outline a credible new reform agenda that will not just bring GDP back to pre-crisis levels, but also ensure growth rates higher than it had when it entered the pandemic.

 

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

6. Trace the major successes and limitations of five-year plans in India. What were the major drawbacks of the planning commission? (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 successes and limitations of five-year plans and the limitations of planning commission.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving a brief about aims of the planning commission.

Body:

First, in detail write about the growth of Indian economy in the various FYPs from the first plan to the twelfth plan. Write about its successes and limitations.

Next, write about the major limitations of the planning commission – No structural mechanism, Ineffective forum, one size fits all approach, bureaucratic inefficiency, inefficient allocation of resources, limited private sector participation etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning the genesis of NITI Aayog.

Introduction

The term economic planning is used to describe the long term plans of the government of India to develop and coordinate the economy with efficient utilization of resources. Economic planning in India started after independence in the year 1950 when it was deemed necessary for economic growth and development of the nation.

Body

About 5-year plans:

  • After independence, India launched a programme of Five Year Plans to make the optimum use of country’s available resources and to achieve rapid economic Development
  • In India, development plans were formulated and carried out within the framework of the mixed economy
  • In India, economic planning was adopted in the form of Five Year Plans and was seen as a development tool on account of various reasons.
  • The need for social justice as experience of the past five and-a- half decades suggests that in a free enterprise economy, economic gains do not necessarily trickle down and
  • Judicious mobilisation and allocation of resources in the context of overall development programme in the light of the resource constraint in India
  • So far, 12th Five Year Plans have been formulated since the year 12th Five-year Plan (2012- 2017), came into force once it was approved by the NDC on 27th December, 2012.

Achievements of 5 year plans:

  • Economic Growth:
    • Economic planning in India has been successful in increasing the national income and the per capita income of the country resulting in economic growth.
    • The net national income at factor cost increased from Rs. 4393.45 billion in 1966- 67 to Rs.45, 733 billion in 2011-12 (at 2004-05 prices). The per capita income increased from Rs.8876 to Rs.38, 048 during the same period (at 2004-05 prices).
    • The average growth rate has increased from 3.5 percent during 1950 to 1970 to about 5.5 percent after 1990’s. The economy recorded a growth rate of 7.8 percent during the eleventh five- year plan.
  • Progress in Agriculture:
    • The first five-year plan focused on agricultural development. However, agricultural sector did not receive priority in the subsequent plans. Yet, with various initiatives implemented in the agricultural sector such as the green revolution and agricultural pricing policies, there has been a considerable increase in the output of the agricultural sector.
    • The index of agricultural production increased from 85.9 in 1970-71 to 165.7 in 1999-2000 (Base year- 1981-82). The production of major food grains which includes rice, wheat, coarse cereals and pulses has increased from 77.14 million tons in 1958-59 to 252.22 tons in 2015-16. With the introduction of green revolution, the yield per hectare of food grains has increased from 662 kg in 1959-60 to 2056 kg in 2015-16.
    • Similarly, the production of commercial crops has also recorded an increasing trend. Various reforms in the agricultural sector such as the Rashtriya Krishi Bima Yojana and Kisan credit cards during the ninth plan and National Food Security Mission and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana during the eleventh plan have been quite successful in improving the performance of the agricultural sector.
  • Industrial Growth:
  • Economic planning has also contributed to the progress of the industrial sector. The index of industrial production increased from 54.8 in 1950-51 to 152.0 in 1965-66 (Base year- 1960-61) which is about 176 percent increase in production during the first three five-year plans.
  • It went up from 109.3 in 1981-82 to 232.0 in 1993-94 (Base year- 1980-81). Taking 2004-05 as the base year, the index of industrial production recorded an increase from 108.6 in 2005-06 to 181.1 in 2015-16. The introduction of reforms in 1991 relieved the industrial sector from numerous bureaucratic restrictions that were prevalent earlier.
  • This has led to the rapid growth of the industrial sector in India. India has made remarkable progress in cotton textiles, paper, medicines, food processing, consumer goods, light engineering goods etc.
  • Public Sector:
  • The public sector played a predominant role in the economy immediately after the independence. While there were only 5 industrial public sector enterprises in 1951, the number increased to 244 in 1990 with an investment of Rs.99, 330 cores. However, the number of public sector enterprises fell to 217 in March 2010.
  • Very high profits were recorded by petroleum, telecommunication services, power generation, coal and lignite, financial services, transport services and minerals and metal industries. The government has eliminated a number of restrictions on the operational and financial powers of the Navaratnas, Miniratnas and several other profit making public sector enterprises.
  • Infrastructure:
  • Development of infrastructure such as transport and communication, power, irrigation etc., is a pre-requisite to rapid economic growth and development. Expansion of transport facilities enables easy movement of goods and services and also enlarges the market. Irrigation projects contribute significantly to rural development.
  • Power projects help in meeting the growing demand for power by both industrial and household sector. The total road length increased from about 400,000 km in 1951 to about 4.7 million km in 2011.
  • The route length of the Indian railway network has increased from about 53,596 km in 1951 to about 64,450 km in 2011. The investment in infrastructure as a percentage of GDP was about 5.9 percent during the tenth plan and increased to about 7.2 percent during the eleventh plan.
  • Education and Health Care:
  • Education and health care are considered as human capital as they contribute to increased productivity of human beings. Considerable progress was achieved in the education as well as health sector during the five-year plans. The number of universities increased from about 22 in 1950-51 to 254 in 2000-01.
  • The number of institutions in higher education has increased to over 100 percent since 2008. With the growth in the number of institutions, the literacy rate in India has increased from 16.7 percent in 1950-51 to 74.04 percent in 2011. With improvements in the health infrastructure, India has been able to successfully control a number of life threatening diseases such as small pox, cholera, polio, TB etc.
  • As a result, there has been a fall in the death rate from 27.4 per thousand persons in 1950-51 to 7.3 per thousand persons in 2016. The life expectancy has increased from about 32.1 years in 1951 to 68.01 years in 2014. The infant mortality rate has declined from 149 per thousand in 1966 to 37.42 per thousand in 2015.
  • Growth of Service Sector:
  • Service sector is the key contributor to the economic growth of India. The service sector contributed to about 53.2 percent of the gross value added growth in 2015-16. The contribution of the IT sector to India’s GDP increased from about 1.2 percent in 1998 to 9.5 percent in 2015. The service sector has recorded a growth rate of about 138.5 percent in the last decade.
  • Financial services, insurance, real estate and business services are some of the leading services that have been recording a robust growth in the past few years. The rapid growth of the service sector in India could be attributed to the inflow of huge amount of FDI in this sector. India’s share of service exports in the world service exports has increased from 0.6 percent in 1990 to 3.3 percent in 2011.
  • Savings and Investment:
  • Savings and Investments are major driving forces of economic growth. The gross domestic savings in India as a proportion of GDP has increased from 8.6 percent in 1950-51 to about 30 percent in 2012-13. The gross capital formation has increased from 8.4 percent in 1950-51 to 34.70 in 2012-13. Capital accumulation is the key to economic development. It helps in achieving rapid economic growth and has the ability to break the vicious circle of poverty.
  • Science and Technology:
  • India is the third most preferred destination for technology investments. It is among the top most countries in scientific research and space exploration. India is also making rapid progress in nuclear technology. ISRO has made a record of launching 104 satellites in one go on a single rocket. India today has the third largest scientific manpower after U.S.A and Russia.
  • The government has undertaken various measures such as setting up of new institutions for science education and research, launching the technology and innovation policy in 2013, strengthening the infrastructure for research and development in universities, and encouraging public- private partnership etc.
  • Foreign Trade:
  • On the eve of independence, India’s primary exports were agricultural commodities and UK and US were its major trading partners. India was largely dependent on other countries for various capital and consumer goods. However, with the development of heavy industries during the five-year plans, India has been able to reduce its dependence on other countries and was able to achieve self-reliance in a number of commodities.
  • With the liberalisation of trade, India now exports about 7500 commodities to about 190 countries and it imports about 6000 commodities from about 140 countries. The exports of the country increased from Rs. 54.08 billion in 1977- 78 to Rs. 17,144.24 billion in 2015-16. And imports have increased from Rs. 60.20 billion in 1977-78 to Rs. 24, 859.27 billion in 2015-16.

 Major Failures of Planning:

  • Slow Growth:
    • The planning process in India has been able to achieve considerable increase in the national income and per capita income. Yet, the rate of increase has been slow as compared to developing countries like China, which have been able to achieve more than 10 percent growth rate consistently. India was able to achieve a growth rate of only about 4 to 5 percent during the pre-reform period. It was only during the post reform period that is after 1991, that the country could experience a growth rate of over 7 percent.
  • Neglect of Agriculture:
    • The five year plans failed to pay attention to the agricultural sector except for the first five-year plan. As a result, the agricultural growth rate declined from 3.62 percent in 1991-92 to 0.81 percent during 2009-10. And the share of agriculture in GDP declined from about 50 percent during 1950-51 to about 16 percent of the GDP in 2015.
  • Unemployment:
    • The plans have failed to address the problem of unemployment which is a cause of many social evils. The unemployment rate has marginally reduced from 8.35 percent during 1972-73 to about 6.53 percent in 2009-10. It was about 4.19 percent in 2013. The growth rate of employment has recorded a decline from 2.61 percent in 1972-73 to 1.50 percent during 2009-10. The employment in primary sector recorded a negative growth rate of 0.13 percent in 2009-10.
  • Widespread Poverty:
    • Failure to address the problem of unemployment has resulted in widespread poverty in the country. The first four plans failed to address the problem of poverty. It was only during the fifth five-year plan that measures were taken to tackle poverty directly by introducing various poverty alleviation programmes. These programmes, however, have achieved only limited success. The poverty rate in India declined from about 26.1 percent in 2000 to 21.9 percent in 2011.
  • Inflation:
    • Poverty is aggravated under the situation of inflation. The five-year plans have not been able to stabilise the prices due to which there has been a steep rise in the general prices. The inflation rate was around 10 percent in 2012.
  • Rising Inequality:
    • With rapid economic growth, the country has been witnessing a rise in the level of inequality. It has been estimated that the richest 1 percent own about 58 percent of the country’s wealth. Poor performance of the agricultural sector and lack of investments in rural infrastructure are cited as the primary reason for such rising inequalities.
  • Political Instability:
    • Political instability and inefficient administration are the major hurdles in successful implementation of the plans. Though the plans are formulated after complete analysis of the economic situation, most of the plans fail to achieve the targets due to inefficient administration, corruption, vested interests and red tapism.

Conclusion:

The achievements and failures of the economic planning in India, thus, reveal the underlying gaps in the process of planning. It is an undeniable fact that the current level of growth and development that the country has achieved could not have been possible without planning. Yet, systematic and efficient implementation of the plans and strategic policies to tackle the problem of unemployment and poverty could take the country to greater heights. It is strongly believed that the NITI Aayog would address these gaps that existed in the planning process in India and would strive to build a vibrant economy over the years.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Work culture, Quality of service delivery,

7. What are the factors that create and maintain a culture of ethical behaviour at the workplace? (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about components of ethical workplace culture and ways to build it.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by describing an ethical work culture.

Body:

Write about the major factors that create and maintain a culture of ethical behaviour – leadership, organizational structure, policies and procedures, training and communication, rewards and recognition, organizational values, and industry norms and regulations.

Next, write about ways to build ethical workplace culture and environment.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Workplace culture is the environment that you create for your employees. It plays a powerful role in determining their work satisfaction, relationships and progression. an ethical workplace culture is one that gives priority to employee rights, fair procedures, and equity in pay and promotion, and that promotes tolerance, compassion, loyalty and honesty in the treatment of customers and employees.

Body

The factors that create and maintain a culture of ethical behaviour at the workplace are

  • Integrate core values into the day-to-day
    • Without core values, it’s nearly impossible to create an ethical workplace culture.
    • Core values educate employees, clients, and prospects about where the organization is going and communicate what’s most important to the organization.
    • Internally, core values are created to build a sense of trust with your employees and shape the organizational culture.
    • They also create a sense of clarity and purpose for the workforce to be clear on what they need to work towards every day.
  • It begins at the top
    • To make sure employees are motivated to live your company’s core values, executives and managers must live it and model the same behavior they expect in their teams.
    • Leaders must be vigilant about their actions and how their employees interpret them.
    • If a manager behaves unethically, so will the employees—it’s a domino effect.
    • Cutting corners to reach a goal, lying about metrics and numbers to the CEO, and engaging in verbally abusive behavior are just a few examples of how leaders can violate ethical behavior.
    • If employees are noticing these behaviors, they will either think it’s okay to do and mirror that behavior or find it offensive and ultimately lose trust in the manager and company overall.
  • Reinforce the message
    • Reinforce the message in a variety of ways, such as training and workshops that teach how to solve ethical dilemmas, open door lunch and learn sessions to discuss potential ethics violations, and internal company newsletters that highlight ethical behaviors, to name a few.
    • Make your team meetings interactive by role-playing examples of ethical vs. unethical behaviors in the workplace and positive reinforcement vs. negative consequences people face.
    • Encourage top executives to speak about company values as well.
    • Another great way to reinforce the message is by posting your core values and ethical guidelines all over the office.
  • Create a safe, open space for communication
    • A safe, open workplace culture motivates ethical behavior. If ethics violations are happening, employees should feel safe to bring it up.
    • Bringing up a potentially unethical issue is a sensitive subject and can make employees feel uncomfortable when talking about it.
    • Employees might think that it’s not worth bringing up or will lead to a harsh and annoyed reaction from a manager.
    • Companies need to live up to maintaining an open space for employees to communicate freely when they see workplace issues.
  • Reward good behavior
    • While recognizing and rewarding good behavior might sound like a parenting technique, companies will see a positive outcome.
    • A few ways to reward ethical behavior include regular positive feedback, extending the employee’s lunch hour, or giving them the rest of the day off on a Friday afternoon.
  • Partner with ethical vendors
    • Motivation and influence not only comes from within the company; it can come from working with external vendors.
    • Ethical investing refers to the practice of using an individual or company’s values and beliefs as the primary decision to select a company, vendor, or individual to invest in or work with.
    • Working and partnering with vendors that have the same ethics and values in the workplace as your organization is just as important as aligning your executives on core values.

Conclusion

Thus, Ethical workplace culture is the mix of your organisation’s leadership, values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviours and attitudes that contribute to the emotional and relational environment of your workplace. These factors are generally unspoken and unwritten rules that help to form bonds between your colleagues.


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