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[Mission 2024] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 November 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 – 2


 

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

1. The Indian Constitution is a living document that has undergone amendments to address the evolving needs of the society and the nation. It reflects the commitment to democratic principles, social justice, and the protection of individual rights and freedoms. Elaborate.

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

Following a suggestion by six-time Lok Sabha MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, in 2015, the government started celebrating this day as “Constitution Day” to promote constitutional values among citizens.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about salient features of Indian constitution.

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 of India constitution.

Body:

In the first part, write about the all the salient features of the constitution and explain them briefly with articles and examples.

Next, write about the nature of changes that the constitution has undergone and the purpose behind it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising

Introduction

The Constitution of India, often described as a living instrument, possesses a remarkable capacity for dynamism and adaptation. It is a constitution designed for a progressive society that evolves with the changing needs and aspirations of its people. One of the most significant areas where this dynamism is evident is in the expanding horizons of the right to life and personal liberty.

Body

Salient features of Indian constitution:

  • Preamble of the Constitution:
    • The Preamble consists of the ideals, objectives and basic principles of the Constitution.
    • The salient features of the Constitution have developed directly and indirectly from these objectives which flow from the Preamble.
    • It asserts India to be a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and a welfare state committed to secure justice, liberty and equality for the people and for promoting fraternity, dignity the individual, and unity and integrity of the nation.
    • The Preamble is the nature of Indian state and the objectives it is committed to secure for the people.
  • Democratic system:
    • The authority of the government rests upon the sovereignty of the people. The people enjoy equal political rights.
    • Free fair and regular elections are held for electing governments
  • India is a Republic:
    • The Preamble declares India to be a Republic.
    • India is not ruled by a monarch or a nominated head of state. India has an elected head of state (President of India) who wields power for a fixed term of 5 years.
    • After every 5 years, the people of India indirectly elect their President.
  • Union of States:
    • Article I of the Constitution declares, that “India that is Bharat is a Union of States.”
  • Fundamental Rights and duties:
    • The Constitution of India grants and guarantees Fundamental Rights to its citizens.
    • The constitution of India confirms the basic principle that every individual is permitted to enjoy certain basic rights and part III of the Constitution deals with those rights which are known as fundamental right.
    • The Six FR include- Right to Equality; Right to Freedom; Right Against Exploitation; Right to Freedom of Religion; Cultural and Educational Rights and Right to Constitutional Remedies (Art. 32).
    • The fundamental rights are justiciable and are not absolute. Reasonable constraints can be imposed keeping in view the security-requirements of the state.
    • A new part IV (A) after the Directive Principles of State Policy was combined in the constitution by the 42nd Amendment, 1976 for fundamental duties.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy:
    • A unique aspect of the Constitution is that it comprises of a chapter in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
    • These principles are in the nature of directives to the government to implement them to maintain social and economic democracy in the country.
  • Parliamentary System:
    • The Constituent Assembly decided to espouse Parliamentary form of government both for the Centre and the states.
    • In Indian parliamentary system, distinction is made between nominal and real executive head.
    • The Council of Ministers is responsible before the Lok Sabha, The lower house of union parliament. There are close relations between executive and legislature.
  • Federal structure of government:
    • A federal state is a state where a country is divided into smaller regions and the government is functioning at two levels.
    • The Indian Constitution has envisaged a federal structure for India considering the geographical vastness and the diversity of languages, region, religions, castes, etc.
    • Written Constitution, supremacy of the Constitution, division of powers between Union and States, bicameral Legislature, independent Judiciary, etc. are the features of Indian federation.
    • Scholars describe India as a ‘Quasi-Federation’ (K.C. Wheare) or as ‘a federation with a unitary bias, or even as ‘a Unitarian federation.’
  • Bicameralism:
    • The Constitution provides for a Bicameral Legislature at the Union level and names it as the Union Parliament.
    • Its two Houses are: The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
  • Universal Adult-Suffrage:
    • All men and women enjoy an equal right to vote. Each adult man and woman above the age of 18 years has the right to vote.
    • All registered voters get the opportunity to vote in elections.
  • Single integrated State with Single Citizenship:
    • India is the single Independent and Sovereign integrated state.
    • All citizens enjoy a common uniform citizenship.
    • They are entitled to equal rights and freedoms, and equal protection of the state.
  • Integrated Judicial System:
    • The Constitution provides for a single integrated judicial system common for the Union and the states.
    • The Supreme Court of India works at the apex level, High Courts at the state level and other courts work under the High Courts.
  • Independent Judiciary
    • It is necessary to secure the philosophical foundations of the rule of law and democracy.
    • Firstly, the Constitution makers created a separate Judiciary independent of Legislature and Executive.
    • Secondly, the Constitution has ensured complete independence of Judiciary in the matters of administration and finances.
  • Amending the Constitution of India:
    • Amending the Constitution of India is the procedure of making modifications to the nation’s fundamental law or supreme law.
    • The procedure of amendment in the constitution is laid down in Part XX (Article 368) of the Constitution of India.
    • This procedure guarantees the sanctity of the Constitution of India and keeps a check on uninformed power of the Parliament of India.
  • Judicial Review:
    • The judiciary has significant position in Indian Constitution and it is also made independent of the legislature and the executive.
    • The Supreme Court of India stands at the peak of single integrated judicial system.
    • It operates as defender of fundamental rights of Indian citizens and guardian of the Constitution.
  • Basic Structure doctrine:
    • The basic structure doctrine is an Indian judicial norm that the Constitution of India has certain basic features that cannot be changed or destroyed through amendments by the parliament.
    • The basic features of the Constitution have not been openly defined by the Judiciary.
    • At least, 20 features have been described as “basic” or “essential” by the Courts in numerous cases, and have been incorporated in the basic structure.
    • In Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narayan caseand also in the Minerva Mills case, it was witnessed that the claim of any particular feature of the Constitution to be a “basic” feature would be determined by the Court in each case that comes before it.
  • Secularism:
    • In no other country of the world so many religions co-exist as in India. In view of such diversity the Constitution guarantees complete freedom of religion to all.
    • The citizens of our country are free to follow any religion and they enjoy equal rights without any distinction of caste, creed, religion or sex.
    • The State does not discriminate against anyone on the ground of his religion, nor can the State compel anybody to pay taxes for the support of any particular religion.
    • Everybody is equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion.
    • The Constitution regards religion as a private affair of individuals and prohibits the State from interfering with it. The Constitution also grants various cultural rights to minorities.

Various amendments to showcase the flexibility and progressive nature of the Indian Constitution:

  • First Amendment (1951): This amendment introduced Article 15(4) and Article 16(4),enabling the state to make special provisions for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in public employment and education.
  • Seventh Amendment (1956): This amendment reorganized states in Indiaon linguistic lines, a crucial step in recognizing the diversity of the nation.
  • Ninth Amendment (1960): It added Article 31Band the Ninth Schedule, providing protection to certain laws from judicial review if they were intended to implement the directive principles of state policy.
  • Seventy-Third Amendment (1992): This amendment empowered local self-government bodies (Panchayats) with constitutional status, reflecting the shift towards decentralized governance.
  • Seventy-Fourth Amendment (1992): Similar to the Seventy-Third Amendment, this one granted constitutional status to Municipalities, emphasizing local governance.
  • Ninety-Fourth Amendment (2006): Introduced Article 21-A, making education a fundamental right for children between 6 and 14 years of age.
  • One Hundred and First Amendment (2016): Introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a significant economic reform aimed at simplifying the tax structure and promoting economic integration.

Expanding horizons of the right to life and personal liberty:

  • Right to Live with Dignity (Maneka Gandhi Case): The Supreme Court’s decision in the Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India (1978) case established that the right to life includes the right to live with dignity.
    • This broad interpretation laid the foundation for subsequent rulings on personal liberty and dignity.
  • Protection against Custodial Violence: In the D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal (1997) case, the Supreme Court issued comprehensive guidelines to prevent custodial torture, emphasizing the sanctity of the right to life.
  • Right to livelihood: The Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation – 1985, established that the right to livelihood is an integral aspect of the right to life.
  • Right to Privacy: In the digital age, the right to privacy has assumed new dimensions. The landmark judgment in the case of K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India (2017) recognized the right to privacy as a fundamental right, acknowledging that personal data protection is an integral aspect of an individual’s liberty.
  • Decriminalization of Homosexuality: The Supreme Court’s historic judgment in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India (2018) decriminalized homosexuality, emphasizing that sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy and personal liberty.
    • This decision marked a significant step towards recognizing diverse expressions of personal freedom.
  • Environmental Rights: Courts have consistently interpreted this right to safeguard environmental protection and sustainable development, reflecting the evolving societal consciousness regarding ecological concerns.
    • In Subhash Kumar vs. the State of Bihar, the Supreme Court extended the right to life to encompass the right to breathe pollution-free air.
  • Right to Health: In Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity vs. State of West Bengal (1996), the Supreme Court declared the right to health and medical care as fundamental to a life with dignity, making it a fundamental right under Article 21.
  • Reproductive Rights: The right to reproductive autonomy and choices, including family planning and access to healthcare, is an integral aspect of personal liberty.
    • Courts have upheld this right, ensuring that individuals can make informed decisions about their reproductive health.
  • Rights of LGBTQ+ Community: Beyond decriminalization, the judiciary has recognized the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, including the right to equal treatment and protection against discrimination, affirming their right to live with dignity and liberty.
  • Internet Freedom: In the age of information and technology, the right to access information and freedom of expression online has become an extension of personal liberty.
    • In Faheema Shirin v. State of Kerala (2017) Court declared the right to the Internet a fundamental right.

Conclusion

The Constitution is not a static document but a living framework that adapts to the changing needs and values of society. As India progresses as a nation, its Constitution continues to uphold the principles of justice, liberty, and equality, ensuring that the rights and freedoms of its citizens evolve in tandem with the progressive ideals of the nation.

 

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

2. Highlight the challenges facing the higher education system in India. Analyse the impact of the challenges on the quality of higher education in the country. Suggest measures to overcome the same. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The article discusses the changing landscape of Indian higher education institutions (HEIs) and its rapid evolution

Key Demand of the question:

The write about the challenges facing the higher education system and measures needed to overcome them.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by giving context.

Body:

First, Identify and explain the major challenges facing the higher education system in India – inadequate infrastructure, shortage of quality faculty, outdated curriculum, and limited research opportunities, challenges related to access and inclusivity, including affordability etc.

Next, write about the implications of these challenges on the quality of higher education – outdated curriculum and teaching methodologies on skill development and industry relevance, affordability, regional disparities, and social barriers etc.

Next, write about the steps that are needed to overcome the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world, next to the United States and China. Higher Education sector has witnessed a tremendous increase in the number of Universities/University level Institutions & Colleges since Independence. Some institutions of India, such as IITs, NITs, IIMs have been globally acclaimed for their standard of education.

The landscape of Indian higher education institutions (HEIs) is experiencing rapid evolution, propelled by factors such as changing student expectations, a renewed emphasis on research quality and innovation, burgeoning global collaborations, a fervent desire for international recognition and intense competition in the academic sector among both public and private players. This transformation is also fuelled by accrediting bodies and ranking entities like NAAC, NBA, NIRF, UGC and AICTE, which wield substantial influence, shaping the academic landscape in terms of peer standing, access to grants and funding, student preferences, branding, faculty recruitment and development, and the introduction of new courses.

Body

Challenges facing Higher Education System in India

  • India’s focus on expanding the higher education sector to provide access has led to a situation where research and scholarship have been neglected.
  • Funding issues:
    • The Central government’s slant toward premier institutions has continued ever since the Eleventh Five Year Plan where in spite of a nine-fold increase in Budget allocation State institutions have been left to fend for themselves with funding mainly directed towards starting more premier institutes.
    • Investment by State governments has been also dwindling each year as higher education is a low-priority area. The University Grant Commission’s system of direct releases to State institutions which bypasses State governments also leads to their sense of alienation.
    • There has been a demand to take spending on education to 6% of gross domestic product for decades.
  • Low enrolment:-
    • The gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education is 24.5 meaning out of every 100 youths eligible for higher education, less than 25 are pursuing tertiary education.
  • Desired levels of research and internationalization of Indian campuses remain weak points
  • It follows a largely linear model with very little focus on specialization. Both experts and academics feel Indian higher education is tilted towards social sciences.
    • Only 1.7% colleges run PhD programmes and a mere 33% colleges run postgraduate-level programmes.
  • Regulatory issues:-
    • The country has a poor record with both the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) being seen more as controllers of education than facilitators.
    • As a regulator of India’s higher education, coordinator of vastly different kinds of institutions, and custodian of standards, the UGC had begun to look ill-equipped.
    • Regulatory bodies with licensing powers hurt the autonomy of professional higher education, leading to serious imbalance in the diarchy they were under, and partitioning general from professional higher education in several crucial areas of knowledge.
    • Privately set-up institutions in medicine, engineering, and other fields created the ground conditions in which strict regulation acquired justification. The power to license led to corruption.
    • The existing model is based on deep and pervasive distrust among regulators over the possibility of universities doing things on their own, and doing it well. The current framework that require universities to be constantly regulated by laws, rules, regulations, guidelines and policies set by the government and the regulatory bodies have not produced the best results.
  • Lack of autonomy:
    • All aspects of academic life, including admission norms, syllabus design, and examination were controlled by the affiliating university.
    • In colleges set up and run by the government, recruitment of faculty was the state government’s prerogative.
    • When certain state governments stopped fresh recruitment altogether and moved over to the practice of hiring contractual or ad hoc teachers, no college could practise autonomy to alleviate its suffering.
    • Autonomy to function through their own structures of governance first began to diminish in many provincial or state universities in the sphere of appointment of vice chancellors. State universities could not resist the imposition by those with political power of poorly qualified and unsuitable individuals as vice chancellors.
  • The vacancy crisis broke the sense of professional community among teachers and their organisations.Even teacher quality was abysmal
  • Ranking systems:–
    • Additional autonomy granted on the basis of NAAC rating and status in NIRF begs questions about these systems of evaluation. They are neither authentic nor valid. The reason they lack authenticity lies in the processes through which they are derived.
    • The NAAC is based on an inspectorial process. Its reliability suffers from both ends involved in any inspectorial system in our ethos.
    • NIRF’s need arose from India’s poor performance in global ranking systems but the question is if Indian institutions of higher learning were found to be generally too poor to be noticed globally, how would they get any better if ranked among themselves
  • Roots of Vulnerability
    • Currently there is a dominant ideology of commercialisation of knowledge and teaching.
    • Higher education is not leading to graduates entering the work sector as the education is not in sync with the needs of the companies.

Measures needed to bolster Higher Education System

  • Restructure or merge different higher education regulators (UGC, AICTE, NCTE etc.) to ensure effective coordination.
  • Amend UGC Act to give legislative backing to regulatory structure.
  • Allow foreign institutions to operate joint degree programmes with Indian institutions.
  • Link University grants to performance.
  • Select Vice-Chancellors of universities through a transparent & objective process.
  • Broaden the scope of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) and Open and Distance Learning (ODL) to provide access to quality educationbeyond geographical boundaries.
  • All central universities should develop strategic plans for getting into the top 500 global universities rankings in the next 10 years.
  • Funding to these institutions should be linked to performance and outcomesthrough the MHRD and newly constituted Higher Education Funding Agency.
  • The goals of the higher education, for that matter any education system of any country is expansion with inclusion, ensuring quality and relevant education.
  • To meet these challenges, there is a need for policyto identify the jet issues involved, to build up on the earlier policies, and to take a step ahead.

Way forward

  • Research cannot be improved merely by regulating universities, instead they need efforts to create enabling atmospherefor which it is imperative to grant more autonomy, better funding and new instruments to regulate work ethic.
  • New initiativeslike Hackathon, curriculum reform, anytime anywhere learning through SWAYAM, teacher training are all aimed at improving quality. These need to be effectively implemented.
  • As India wants to transform its universities into world class institutions, it must safeguard the interests of young researchers and thousands of temporary faculty members by expediting the permanent appointments in a time-bound framework and transparent manner.
  • Establish world-class multidisciplinary research universities
  • Create a master planfor every state and union territory
  • Each state must establish an integrated higher education master planto provide an excellent education for all its residents.
  • Attract the best and the brightest talent to be faculty members
  • One of the fundamental changes India must institutionalize is a radically new compensationand incentive structure for faculty members. A flexibility to pay differential salaries based on market forces and merit must be part of this transformation.
  • Thus a complete revamp is neededto meet the present demand and address the future challenge that India is about to face.
  • To reap the diverse culture demographic dividendand to maintain peace and social harmony among them quality education with values are the necessary area to focus.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

3.  The level of development across Indian states varies significantly, reflecting diverse economic, social, and infrastructural conditions. This regional disparity has profound implications for overall national development and underscores the need for targeted policies and interventions to address the unique challenges faced by different states. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Live MintInsights on India

Why the question:

In key areas like education, health and infrastructure, all states should aspire to catch up with the best.

Key Demand of the question: 

To write about the historical, social, geographical, political- responsible for the economic disparities between various parts/ regions of India, its impact and ways to overcome it.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, Write the about the factors that are responsible for economic disparities in the country and different levels of development.

Next, write about the various limitations of the above and its impact.

Next, write about the steps that are needed to support economic growth and improve the quality of development.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The states across India do not show a uniform growth trend. The Economic Survey pointed out that while the health trends across states are converging, the income and consumption pattern shows a sharp divergence. The progress of the country depends on the progress of each of its individual states.

Body:

Causes Responsible for Regional Imbalances :

  • Natural Resources
    • India’s different regions are endowed with different natural and human-based resources.
    • Some states such as West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh etc. are endowed with better mineral resources while others such as Punjab and Haryana have better irrigation facilities
  • Manmade / Historical Reasons
    • Neglect of some regions and preference of other regions in terms of investments and infrastructure facilities.
    • Historical factors that go back to mughal era and became prominent in British Era, have also contributed to regional inequities.
  • Government Polices
    • Faulty planning process inherited from colonial rule in the post-independence era
    • Despite of the pro-backward areas policies and programmes, considerable economic and social inequalities exist among different States
    • Inter-state disparities in growth of GSDP have increased post economic reforms period.
    • Red tapism, corruption, lack of ease of doing of business environment and political and administrative inefficiency
  • Geography
    • Factors like climate, water ways, terrain and soil are important for development
    • For e.g. coastal states have done well due to their developed ports and waterways for trade in comparison to the inland regions.
  • Social factors
    • The poor and illiterate sections of less developed regions has high fertility rate thus growing population
    • Incapacity of the states to harness rich demographic dividend due to less developed job market.
  • Economic factors
    • High input cost due to inadequate infrastructure and lack of demand driven market
    • Infrastructure like robust transport system is inefficient in poorer states.

Impacts of Regional Disparities

  • In India, the growing threat of left extremism, which has been repeatedly acknowledged as the gravest security threat to Indian state, has its roots in economic deprivation and inequality in access to resources.
  • It has also been recognised that growing social inequality corrodes social cohesion and can destabilise states. Some recent research has found that the likelihood of a country remaining mired in poverty or achieving sustainable growth has a strong relation to the average life expectancy of the citizenry. There, it is argued, that a shorter average lifespan leaves less time to reap the returns on investment in human capital.
  • Inequality also breeds economic inefficiencies and limits productivity. Research by IMF has shown that income inequality slows growth, causes financial crisis and weakens demand. In a recent report, the Asian Development Bank has similarly argued that if emerging Asia’s income distribution had not worsened over the past 20 years, the region’s rapid growth would have lifted an additional 140 million people out of extreme poverty.
  • More worryingly, rising inequality is seen as a contributing cause for the rise of authoritarian leaders, often with a divisive agenda fuelled by sectarianism, xenophobia and nationalism.
  • Rising inequality can lead to conflict, both at social and at national level. Research has shown that in contrast to oligarchic regimes; democracies avoid serious political turbulence only so long as they ensure that the relative level of inequality between the rich and the poor does not become excessively large.
  • Other studies, similarly, indicate that social conflicts are indeed likely to break out in situations where there are large inequalities between different groups. Some studies have concluded that ethnic groups with incomes much lower than a country’s average per capita income are more likely to engage in civil war.

Way forward:

  • Union and State Governments should adopt a formula for Block-wise devolution of funds targeted at more backward areas.Co-operative and Competitive Federalism must be promoted.
  • Governance needs to be particularly strengthened in more backward areas within a State. Aspirational Districts Program is a step in the right direction.
  • The concept of Special Category States was introduced in 1969 (Fifth Finance Commission) for providing special assistance to disadvantaged states with a low resource base, difficult terrain, low population density, inadequate infrastructure and non-viable state finances.
  • The Planning Commission also adopted an area-specific approach in its planning strategy and introduced multiple centrally sponsored programmes.
  • The Tribal Development Programme, the Hill Area Development Programme, the Western Ghats Development Programme were initiated, catering to geographically homogeneous and backward regions.
  • The mandate and role of the Niti Aayog should be redefined and enhanced to evolve models aimed at balanced regional development.
  • Implementation of GST will reduce disparities among the state’s leading to more “convergence”.
  • Business friendly environment in terms of single window clearances, transparency in regulation, tax benefits and providing adequate infrastructure.
  • Given the constraints of fiscal space, seeking greater engagement of multilateral agencies, both traditional and non-traditional, like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the New Development Bank as well as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank would be helpful.
  • Special infrastructure programmes designed for the more backward states will have multiplier benefits.
  • Solving problems specific to backward region –Naxalism; patriarchy; discrimination based on sex and caste
  • By increasing the literacy levels and also providing basic health amenities, to a certain extent the disparities could be reduced.
  • Female literacy is the best antidote to rising total fertility rate (TFR) and female labour participation an effective way to boost per capita inc
  • Scientific and technological developments -Prudent interlinking of rivers; internet access through innovative projects like project loon; prospect of cloud seeding in drought prone areas; e-education; e-health etc
  • Skill development –less than 5% of labourers in India have any skill certification; more attention to skill development particularly in less developed states

 

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

4. Managing a diverse border is a complex task, and it involves addressing a myriad of challenges to ensure national security. Examine. (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-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the challenges of border management and the strategies India has employed to tackle such challenges.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by highlighting that India shares borders with several countries, a few of those countries don’t share good relations with India making the task of border management challenging.

Body:

First, Discuss the challenges with respect to border security – non-demarcated boundaries with overlapping, Unilateral actions by some nations to change the status quo in their favour, Misuse of borders (especially porous open borders) for smuggling, illegal migration, etc, Little or no support from counterparts of neighbouring nations and in some cases active support by cross border elements to illegal activities etc.

Mention the various steps taken by India to address these issues and for effective management of its borders.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the need of effective border management strategy.

Introduction

India has one of the longest and most varied of international borders. Historical and political reasons have left India with an artificial unnatural border. Border Management is an integral approach towards borders in which along with security enhancement, infrastructure & human development is undertaken. The challenge of coping with long-standing territorial and boundary disputes with China and Pakistan, combined with porous borders along some of the most difficult terrain in the world, has made effective and efficient border management a national priority.

Body

India has had to deal with numerous challenges with respect to border management such as:

  • Porous borders: International borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh run through diverse terrain including deserts, marshes, plains and mountains. This porosity of borders facilitates various illegal activities such as smuggling, trafficking of humans, drugs and arms and infiltration.
  • Contested International borders: History of mistrustand constant border skirmisheswith Pakistan along line of control (LOC) makes India highly susceptible to cross-border terrorism. Similarly, India’s border with Myanmar is threatened by several insurgent groups that have found sanctuaries in jungles along the border. Political boundary issues of “enclaves and adverse possessions” in Bangladesh have resulted in political sensitivity along the entire eastern border.
  • Inefficiency in Border management: Indian borders continue to be guarded by military and police forces that report to different ministries in the Centre and states, making the border management task arduous and leading to duplication of efforts by the security forces.
  • Lack of critical infrastructure: Critical infrastructure such as observation towers, bunkers, Border Flood Lights etc. are lacking in many border areas which also prevent deployment of hi-tech equipment.
  • Poor intelligence and resource efficiency: Security forces are ill-equipped to handle border management given poor intelligence capabilities and severe resource deficiency.
  • Ethnic conflicts and separatist movements: The situation has worsened due to the changed demographic profile of many Border States and shift in ethnic balance of communities as a result of illegal migration.
  • Over-population in the border areas: Density of population in the border areas at some places is approximately 700-800 persons per square km on the Indian side and about 1,000 persons on the Bangladesh side.
  • Political instability and disorder in its periphery impacts India’s security directly or indirectly. Proxy war between India and Pakistan adds to this security risk.

The implications on the internal security due to the above challenges of border management is marked by

  • increased cross-border terrorism
  • infiltration and ex-filtration of armed militants
  • emergence of non-state actors
  • nexus between narcotics traffickers and arms smugglers
  • left-wing extremism
  • fake Indian Currency network
  • separatist movements aided and abetted by external powers
  • illegal cattle trade

Way forward:

  • Infrastructure along with border has to be improved – rail connectivity along with road connectivityhas to be provided for quick mobilization.
  • Building of additional checkpoints and Border postsalong major and minor trade routes connected with borders
  • Building of floating bridges, walls & electrical fenceswhere there is high probability of infiltration.
  • Taking up of joint Border management with Countries like Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • Improving healthcare, physical infrastructure and digital connectivity in villagesaround borders thus making them stakeholder in Border Management.
  • Madhav Godbole task forcerecommendations on border management need to be implemented.
  • It had recommended that the CRPF should be designated as the primary national level counter-insurgency force. This would enable the other central paramilitary forces like the BSF and Indo-Tibetan Border Police to return to their primary role of better border management.
  • It had also recommended that all paramilitary forces managing unsettled borders should operate directly under the control of the armyand that there should be lateral induction from the army to the paramilitary forces so as to enhance their operational effectiveness.
  • The principle of ‘single point control’ must be followedif the borders are to be effectively managed.
  • The advances in surveillance technology, particularly satellite and aerial imagery, can help to maintain a constant vigil along the LAC and make it possible to reduce physical deployment.

Conclusion:

Keeping a strong vigil on its border is very important for any nation to check any kind of illegal activities or intrusion through them. For India, the task becomes difficult where terrain and climate is very complex across some of its border areas. Focussing on improved technology will help in making the task easier for the security forces and make its borders more secure.

 

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

5. Various factors contribute to the symbiotic relationship between organized crime and terrorism, amplifying the challenges faced by law enforcement and security agencies. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: unafei.or.jp

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about cross-border links between terrorists, and factors facilitating organized crime and responses to it.

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 giving context.

Body:

First, write about the factors that facilitate the growth of organised crime – poverty, political instability, weak governance, corruption, and social inequality etc.

Next, write about how organised crime can contribute to terrorism – organized crime groups can provide support to terrorist organizations, engage in terrorist activities themselves, and share similar characteristics with terrorism, such as the use of violence and intimidation etc

Next, write about the steps that are needed to tackle the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Organised crimes are done with the motive of monetary gains by illegal means. Organised crimes are transnational in nature. Their presence is a great threat for the country’s security. Interpol has defined organised crime as “Any group having a corporate structure whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities, often surviving on fear and corruption”. Organised crime (OC) is highly sophisticated, diversified, and widespread activity that annually drains billions of dollars from the global economy by unlawful conduct and illegal use of force, fraud, and corruption.

Body

Various factors facilitating organized crime

  • Increasing demands of illegal goods in global market like trade of Human organs, endangered wild life, drugs etc.
  • Geographical terrain and opens borders.
  • Globalisation had brought new opportunity and market for these groups.
  • Unholy nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and criminals
  • Criminalisation of politics.
  • Technology also helped them to operate safely hence reducing their risk.
  • Return compared to the risk factor is very high.
  • India’s proximity with drug producing regions like Golden Crescentin the West and Golden Triangle in the East.
  • The globalisation of the economy has definitely helped the crime syndicates carry out their illegal activities across the borders with great ease. This has been further facilitated by the phenomenon of ‘digital money’. Such organisations, very conveniently find safe havens outside the country.
  • India does not have any specific law to deal with organised crime. It depends on various provisions of IPC and other laws which are scattered.
  • As organised criminal groups are structured in a hierarchical manner, it becomes difficult to identify these leaders. Also, such groups keep changing their leadership to avoid law enforcement agencies.
  • According to the Constitution, police is a state subject. But many states are not in a position to invest resources to deal with organised crime.
  • India does not have any central agency to coordinate with state agencies, for combating organised crime.
  • Some of the crimes are planned in outside the country. Tough terrain in India’s neighbourhood provides safe havens to these organised criminals.
  • There are 3 crore pending cases in Indian judiciary. The delayed justice and poor investigation by police also gives opportunity to these organised criminals to exploit the system.

Linkages Between Organised Crime and Terrorism

  • Terrorist groups need arms and money to fight against security forces. The organised criminals and terrorist groups become client of each other. Organised criminals groups smuggle arms, drugs, cattle, humans to generate money for terrorist groups.
  • Terrorist groups always try to destabilise the country and bring down the morale of security forces. When the terrorist groups are unable to confront with the security forces directly, they turn towards organised criminals. Thus organised criminals indirectly help these terrorist groups.
  • Organised criminal groups generally establish strong communication network. These organised groups act as eyes and ears of the terrorist groups.
  • Terrorist organizations in India, especially in the northeast, mobilize funds by becoming couriers of illegal drugs and arms and at times even human beings from one point to another within the country.
  • Terrorists are always in need of money. As they fail to mobilise large amount of money, they take help of organised criminals to exchange counterfeit currency with arms.

Way forward

  • Synchronisation and coherence among domestic lawsof neighbouring countries to deter drug traffickers and also for translational exchange of criminals.
  • Developing Common strategiesto tackle with emerging threat of drug trafficking through maritime route.
  • Further strengthening and upgradation of intelligence network, upgradation of surveillance equipment and future requirements such as the setting up of training academy and drug labs.
  • the Narcotics Actmay be amended to plug the procedural loopholes and to calibrate punishments by grouping the offences.
  • Demand reduction:The strategies should also include demand reduction along with supply reduction. Supply reduction would include enforcement activities while demand reduction would involve rehabilitation and de-addiction measures.
  • Other measures:Investigative skills need to be honed and trials expedited; Inter-agency exchange of information amongst the countries by the quickest possible means coupled with expeditious extradition proceedings.

Conclusion

Efforts to counter the linkages between organized crime and terrorism involve targeting the financial networks that support these groups, as well as working to prevent the recruitment of new members and disrupting the supply chains that enable their operations.  This requires international cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies, intelligence services, and governments around the world.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions;

6. Identifying and ranking personal values is a crucial aspect of making decisions that align with one’s aspirations and beliefs. Elaborate. (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about taking decision and overcoming conflicts by having a hierarchy of values.

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 regarding conflicts in decision making.

Body:

First, write about the ways conflicts impact decision making and its outcome – delays, improper decision making, dereliction of duty etc.

Next, write about how having a set of hierarchy of virtues can help in resolving conflicts.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarizing.

Introduction

There are many putative virtues, and they often appear to conflict: courage against prudence, love against fidelity. honesty against kindness, loyalty against common decency. Such conflicts raise questions about the coherence of the list of traits called virtues. And even when those traits coincide rather than conflict, as when both love and prudence recommend marriage. coherence is a problem because the question of motive is almost always significant.

Body

Hierarchy of values is an illusion

Isiah Berlin came up with the concept of Value Pluralism. Hierarchy of values is impossible. The conflict and ethical dilemma always occurs because the virtues are incompatible with each other sometimes. That does not mean one can rank these virtues and use this hierarchy to solve the problems. For example, liberty is not just distinct from equality, justice or compassion but is in some ways in unavoidable conflict with them. You can’t have everything: ‘freedom for the wolves has often meant death for the sheep’, he writes. In addition, Berlin argues that irreducible diversity and confrontation between moral ends is ubiquitous rather than exceptional within our own lives and in our social interactions. And, finally, we are told that the idea that there exists some absolute and universal moral yardstick that permits us to rank human values and ideals and resolve moral disagreement is an illusion.

Conclusion

Some societies may give higher priority to equality while some in West may give significance of liberty. Decisions involving moral turpitude requires careful circumstantial evidence before taking any decision. Value systems of people differs in different societies and must be taken into cognizance. There cannot be a Universal hierarchy of virtues. In fact, some may think in utilitarian terms, and some may think of individual justice. There is no one size fits all approach here.

 

Topic: dimensions of ethics;

7. Environmental integrity is a foundation for the well-being of both humans and the natural environment. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about environmental integrity, its features and its importance.

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 ‘environmental integrity’.

Body:

In the first part, write about the various features of environmental integrity and its dimensions.

Next, write about the importance of environmental integrity and cite examples to substantiate your points.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

 

Environmental integrity is a condition where the natural processes of a place occur with the strength and frequency expected in the region. Places with environmental integrity experience normal patterns of rainfall, fires, and other processes and contain ecosystems that house the living and non-living species native to the area.

“Environmental integrity” is often used in legal and philosophical writing to refer to an undisturbed state of natural conditions. These are circumstances in which plant, animal, and human life can continue freely. Living beings can receive all of the resources essential to their growth and reproduction, such as water, food, and shelter.

Body

The concept of environmental integrity in philosophy was developed in the early twentieth century by a philosopher and ecologist named Aldo Leopold. His seminal “land ethic” philosophy looked at the holistic relationship between living beings, with homo sapiens as mere members of the land community.

Food webs, nutrient cycling, natural disturbances, and other natural processes have to be present to allow animal and plant species to thrive, reproduce, and populate the area naturally. Any human activity that disturbs the development of a healthy natural system negatively impacts the notion of environmental integrity.

This very intersection between human activity and environmental integrity is an area of continued contention. Humans have exploited the natural environment, particularly in the past few centuries, for their survival at the cost of other plant and animal lives. We’ve turned forests into farms and wetlands into housing projects with almost no regard for the health of the environment.

Conclusion

Establishing a balance between the well-being of humans and other living beings in the environment is the key objective of environmental integrity. As some writers have argued, it’s morally important for the environment to remain intact for all living beings, including humans. Only then can the environment have positive instrumental value for all of its inhabitants.