SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 OCTOBER 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 OCTOBER 2018


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 time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 2


Topic– Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

1) What do you understand by constitutional morality in the context of Indian legal system. What are its sources. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the meaning of the term constitutional morality. We also have to write in detail about sources from which the term assumes its role and powers.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the term, constitutional morality. E.g while the word ‘morality’ has been used only four times in the Indian Constitution (twice in Article 19 and twice in Right to religious Freedom under Article 25 and 26), it continues to be invoked by the courts in many rights claim cases like surrogacy, speech, sexual orientation.

Body-

  1. Discuss the meaning of the term in detail. E.g Constitutional morality means adherence to the core principles of the constitutional democracy. In Dr. Ambedkar’s perspective, Constitutional morality would mean an effective coordination between conflicting interests of different people and the administrative cooperation to resolve the amicably without any confrontation amongst the various groups working for the realization of their ends at any cost; public conscience, moral order and constitutional morality- ethics of politicians, that constitute the core of policymaking, must be very sound and strong if democracy is to survive for the long period of progress and prosperity for the common people; Thus the scope of the definition of Constitutional Morality is not limited only to following the constitutional provisions literally but vast enough to ensure the ultimate aim of the Constitution, a socio-juridical scenario providing an opportunity to unfold the full personhood of every citizen, for whom and by whom the Constitution exists etc.
  2. Discuss the sources of constitutional morality in india. E.g (1) Text of the Constitution; (2) Constitutional Assembly debates; (3) Events that took place during the framing of the Constitution; and (4) Case Law History.

Mention a few cases where the concept has been directly or indirectly applied. E.g the Naz Foundation case which used the concept of constitutional morality to strike down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalise homosexuality; Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • Experts trace the origin of this word and explained how it was first used by Ambedkar during the Parliamentary debates. An important case which employed this concept in an innovative manner was the Naz Foundation case which used the concept of constitutional morality to strike down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalise homosexuality. Therein, the Supreme court had addressed how constitutional morality and not popular morality should guide the Court’s decision while interpreting the constitution.
  • While the word ‘morality’ has been used only four times in the Indian Constitution (twice in Article 19 and twice in Right to religious Freedom under Article 25 and 26), it continues to be invoked by the courts in many rights claim cases like surrogacy, speech, sexual orientation.

Constitutional morality:-

  • Constitutional morality means adherence to the core principles of the constitutional democracy.
  • In Dr. Ambedkar’s perspective, Constitutional morality would mean an effective coordination between conflicting interests of different people and the administrative cooperation to resolve the amicably without any confrontation amongst the various groups working for the realization of their ends at any cost . 
  • Thus the scope of the definition of Constitutional Morality is not limited only to following the constitutional provisions literally but vast enough to ensure the ultimate aim of the Constitution, a socio-juridical scenario providing an opportunity to unfold the full personhood of every citizen, for whom and by whom the Constitution exists.
  • Constitutional Morality is a sentiment to be cultivated in the minds of a responsible citizen but to be promoted by an independent judiciary embodied with values and ethics. Where judicial diligence is absent and judicial integrity is questioned Constitutional Morality cannot be upheld. The fruits of the morality of Constitution are enjoyed where the people can come to the courts to redress their grievances,
  • Constitutional morality are committed to certain features of it such as

    • (1) commitment to liberty
    • (2) constitutional supremacy
    • (3) Parliamentary form of government and self restraint
    • (4) rule of law
    • (5) equality
    • (6) intolerance for corruption, to name a few.

Sources of constitutional morality:-

  • Concept of constitutional morality remains understudied and that there has been no agreement over the exact locations but generally there are four sources of constitutional morality :-

    • (1) Text of the Constitution
    • (2) Constitutional Assembly debates
    • (3) Events that took place during the framing of the Constitution
    • (4) Case Law History.

Conclusion:-

  • Constitutional morality is important for constitutional laws to be effective. Without constitutional morality, the operation of a constitution tends to become arbitrary, erratic, and capricious. 

Topic– Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

2) CBI has been called a caged parrot by none other than the SC. In recent days, we have seen the kind of controversies related to independence if CBI. Explain the measures in place, if any, to ensure independence of CBI and discuss the nature of institutional reforms required by CBI?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

CBI has been in the eye of a storm the past few days which have raised serious questions over the functioning of CBI. This question would enable you to explain the controversy in greater detail and also enable you to prepare the kind of institutional reforms required in CBI.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the details of the controversy in CBI and discuss the systems and processes put in place in terms of appointments to CBI to ensure that it maintains its independence. Post discussing that, we need to bring out the nature of institutional reforms further required to insulate CBI from all political interference.

Directive word

Discuss – here, your discussion should bring out the form, nature and content of the institutional reforms required in CBI to insulate it from political interference.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the controversy in CBI in brief which has brought the issue in news.

Body

  • First, highlight the meaning of caged parrot and why is CBI called so
  • Discuss the safeguards brought in the appointment process – directions laid out in Vineet Narain case, and the changes brought in by Lokpal act
  • Discuss why despite these measures CBI has not been able to perform without external interference
  • Discuss the nature of institutional reforms required in CBI – recommendations of LP Singh committee, 2nd ARC Committee, other reforms eg. 24th report also expressed itself in favour of CBI taking suo motu cognisance of crimes, and said that this would in no way affect the essentials of our federal structure. It is high time that the CBI is vested with the required legal mandate and is given pan-India jurisdiction. It must have inherent powers to investigate corruption cases against officers of All India Services irrespective of the assignments they are holding or the state they are serving in

Conclusion – Discuss the importance of maintaining institutional integrity in CBI and discuss way forward.

 Background:-

  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)is India’s premier investigating agency that handles all high-profile cases. Its job is to ensure a fair and an impartial probe. But, recently in October 2018, two of the top officials of the agency have been reported to be involved in a major feud. This has led the Government of India to intervene in order to restore the institutional integrity and credibility of CBI.

Why was it called caged carrot :-

  • Politicisation of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)has been a work in progress for years.
  • Corruption and Politically biased :
  • This was highlighted in Supreme Court criticism for being a caged parrot speaking in its master’s voice.
  • CBI has been accused of becoming ‘handmaiden’ to the party in power, as a result high profile cases are not treated seriously.
  • Since CBI is run by central police officials on deputation hence chances of getting influenced by government was visible in the hope of better future postings.

Controversies related to independence of CBI:-

  • Real problem for the CBI lies in its charter of duties:-

    • These are not protected by legislation. Instead, its functions are based merely on a government resolution that draws its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which makes the CBI the premier investigative arm of the Union government.
  • Its played a pivotal role in criminal justice deliveryas highlighted in tough cases like Satyam scam investigation , Bhanvari Devi Murder etc. However myriad of responsibilities over categories like Corruption & fraud , economic crimes , special crimes including terrorist attacks has overburdened it and reduced its efficiency
  • Delayed Case Solving :
  • For instance in Aarushi Murder Case even though the investigations underwent for over an decade there was no concrete conclusion.

Measures present to ensure the independence of CBI:-

  • Supreme court:-

    • Supreme Court has over the years been trying to insulate the CBI from political pressures and, in the process, give it a measure of autonomy. In Vineet Narayan vs. Union of India (1998), the apex court laid down that the director, CBI shall be appointed on the recommendation of a committee comprising the Central Vigilance Commissioner, vigilance commissioners, secretary (home) and secretary (personnel), and that he shall have a minimum tenure of two years.
    • The CVC was given statutory status and authorised to exercise superintendence over the CBI in the investigation of offences committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act. 
  • Lokpal Act, 2013, modified the procedure for the selection of director CBI. It prescribed that he shall be appointed on the recommendation of a committee comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Chief Justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court nominated by him.

What institutional reforms are needed ?

  • The first reform is to ensure that CBI operates under a formal, modern legal frameworkthat has been written for a contemporary investigative agency.
  • P singh committeehas recommended the enactment of comprehensive central legislation for self sufficient statutory charter of duties and functions.
  • The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2007) also suggested that a new law should be enacted to govern the working of the CBI.
  • Parliamentary standing committee (2007)recommended that a separate act should be promulgated in tune with requirement with time to ensure credibility and impartiality
  • The 19th and 24th reports of the parliamentary standing committees (2007 and 2008) recommended that the need of the hour is to strengthen the CBI in terms of legal mandate, infrastructure and resources.
  • It is high time that the CBI is vested with the required legal mandate and is given pan-India jurisdiction. It must have inherent powers to investigate corruption cases against officers of All India Services irrespective of the assignments they are holding or the state they are serving in.
  • Besides appointing the head of the CBI through a collegium, as recommended by the Lokpal Act, the government must ensure financial autonomy for the outfit. Some experts have even suggested that the CBI should be given statutory status through legislation equivalent to that provided to the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) and the Election Commission (EC).

    • It is also possible to consider granting the CBIand other federal investigation agencies the kind of autonomy that the Comptroller and Auditor General enjoys as he is only accountable to Parliament.
  • new CBI Actshould be promulgated that ensures the autonomy of CBI while at the same time improving the quality of supervision. The new Act must specify criminal culpability for government interference.
  • One of the demands that has been before Supreme Court, and in line with international best practices, is for the CBI to develop its own dedicated cadre of officers who are not bothered about deputation and abrupt transfers.
  • more efficient parliamentary oversightover the federal criminal and intelligence agencies could be a way forward to ensure better accountability, despite concerns regarding political misuse of the oversight.

Conclusion :-

  • CBI is an agency of Central Government that has wide range of investigating areas and powers.It was formed with a goal to check corruption and other crimes in the nation and so it shall maintain a clean image of itself. Any agency shall have a system of checks and balances and so, intervention of Government, CVC, Courts, etc shall be done if needed.

 


Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure”

3) Examine why 42nd Constitutional Amendment is called a mini Constitution?(250 words)

Key demand of the constitution

The question expects us to paint a macro picture of the changes brought about by 42nd constitutional amendment act and the impact of those changes. We also need to bring out how its effects were nullified.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Give a brief backdrop of the developments pre 42nd CAA

Body

  • Discuss the macro changes brought about by the 42nd Amendment Act such as the changes to fundamental rights, almost made parliament the supreme law making body etc
  • Discuss the impact that these changes would have – threaten the balance between the three organs of government, dilute FRs etc
  • Discuss how the changes proposed by 42nd CAA were nullified.

Conclusion – Mention that sweeping changes were proposed by that Amendment which would have made the constitution unrecognisable.

Background :-

  • The Forty-second Amendment of the Constitution of India was enacted during the Emergency (25 June 1975 – 21 March 1977) by the Indian National Congress government headed by Indira Gandhi. This amendment brought about the most widespread changes to the Constitution in its history, and is sometimes called a “mini-Constitution”.

It brought the following changes in the constitution :-

  • Preamble:-

    • The preamble has been amended to substitute the words “SOVEREIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC”, with the words “SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC” and the words “unity of the Nation” was substituted with “unity and integrity of the Nation.”
  • Article 31C:-

    • The scope of article 31C was widened to cover all the directive principles laid down in the Constitution. Earlier Article 31C saved only laws giving effect to the directive principles of State policy specified in article 39(b) and 39(c).
    • Provided that the laws made for the implementation of Directive Principles cannot be declared invalid by the courts in the ground of violation of some Fundamental Rights.
  • Directive principles:-

    • New directives was added by new articles 39A, 43A, 48A which, respectively, provide for equal justice and free legal aid to economically backward classes, participation of workers in the management of industries, and protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife.
  • Article 31D:-

    • New article 31D provides for the making of a Parliamentary law to prevent or prohibit anti national activity and anti-national associations. Further it was provided that article 31D will not be deemed to be void on the ground that it takes away or abridges any of the fundamental rights conferred by article 14, article 19 and article 31.
  • Fundamental duties:-

    • New Part IVA containing article 51A was added to provide lists of fundamental duties of citizens.
    • Article 74(1) was amended to make the President to act in accordance with the advice of the Council of Ministers.
  • Courts:-

    • Article 77 and article 166 relating to the Union government and State government have been amended to provide that no court or other authority will be entitled to require the production of any rules framed for the transaction of Government business.
    • New article 32A was added to provide that the Supreme Court will have no jurisdiction to decide the constitutional validity of a State law in any writ proceedings under article 32.
    • It curtailed the power of the Supreme Court and High Court with regard to the issue of writs and judicial review.
  • Disqualification:-

    • Article 102(1)(a) was amended to provide that a person will be so disqualified if he holds any such office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State as is declared by Parliamentary law to disqualify offices will vest in Parliament instead of in the State Legislature.
  • Duration of Loksabha:-

    • It amended the articles 83 and 172 to increase the duration of the Lok Sabha and every Legislative Assembly from five to six years during a situation of emergency.
  • It provided the Union Government to deploy personnel of armed forces in any state to deal with a ‘grave situation of law and order’
  • Supremacy of the Parliament was established by this 42nd CAA with regard to the amendment of the Constitution.
  • Made the constitutional amendments beyond judicial scrutiny.

    • Article 368 has been amended to provide that no constitutional amendment will be called in question in any court on any ground.
  • Union list, state list and concurrent list:-

    • It transferred subjects like forests, education, weights and measures except establishments of standards, protection of wild animals and birds from the State List to the Concurrent List. New entry 20A was added in Concurrent List which is “Population control and family planning”.
  • President:-

    • Made the president bound by the advise of the cabinet.
    • Extended the one – time duration of the president’s rule in a state from 6 months to one year.
  • Tribunals:-

    • Provided for administrative tribunals and tribunals for other matters (Added Part XIV A).
  • Delimitation:-

    • Froze the seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies on the basis of 1971 census till 2001.
  • Parliament:-

    • Empowered the Parliament to make laws to deal with anti – national activities and such laws are to take precedence over Fundamental rights.
    • Did away with the requirement of quorum in the Parliament and the state legislatures.
    • Empowered the parliament to decide from time to time the right and privileges of its members and committees.
  • Emergency:-

    • Facilitated the proclamation of national emergency in a part of territory of India.
  • Provided for the creation of the All – India Judicial Service.
  • Shortened the procedure for disciplinary action by taking away the right of a civil servant to make representation oat the second stage after the inquiry (i.e, on the penalty proposed).

Most of the changes were nullified:-

  • The 44thamendment of the Indian Constitution was significant as it removed partially the distortions that were introduced into the Constitution by 42nd 
  • It wanted to provide that certain changes in the Constitution  which would have the effect of impairing its secular  or democratic  character,  abridging  or taking away  fundamental   rights prejudicing  or impeding free and fair elections on the basis of adult suffrage  and compromising the independence of judiciary.
  • It modified the emergency provisions of the Constitution and prevented it from being misused in the future.
  • Supreme Court and High Courts were restored with their jurisdiction and power which they enjoyed before the 42ndamendment act was passed.
  • It restored the secular and democratic ideals present in the Constitution.

TopicQuality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

4) What is social audit. What are its objectives and advantages.Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the meaning and scope of social audit. We also have to write in detail about the objectives of doing a social audit and the advantages it offers.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a simple definition of social audit. E.g A social audit is a way of measuring, understanding, reporting and ultimately improving an organization’s social and ethical performance.

Body-

  1. Discuss the concept of social audit in detail. E.g A social audit helps to narrow gaps between vision/goal and reality, between efficiency and effectiveness. It is a technique to understand, measure, verify, report on and to improve the social performance of the organization; Social auditing creates an impact upon governance. It values the voice of stakeholders, including marginalized/poor groups whose voices are rarely heard. Social auditing is taken up for the purpose of enhancing local governance, particularly for strengthening accountability and transparency in local bodies.
  2. Discuss the objectives of social auditing. E.g Assessing the physical and financial gaps between needs and resources available for local development; Creating awareness among beneficiaries and providers of local social and productive services; Increasing efficacy and effectiveness of local development programmes etc.
  3. Discuss the advantages of social audit. E.g Trains the community on participatory local planning; Encourages local democracy; Encourages community participation; Benefits disadvantaged groups etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

 

What is Social Audit?

  • Social auditing is a process by which an organization / government accounts for its social performance to its stakeholders and seeks to improve its future social performance. The concept was pioneered by Charles Medawar in 1972.
  • A social audit helps to narrow gaps between vision/goal and reality and between efficiency and effectiveness. It allows us to measure, verify, report on and to improve the social performance of any government effort or organization.
  • Social Audit is different from the development audit. The key difference between development audit and social audit is that a social audit focuses on the neglected issue of social impacts, while a development audit has a broader focus including environment and economic issues, such as the efficiency of a project or programme.

Objectives of Social Audit

  • To assess the physical and financial gaps between needs and resources available for local development.
  • Creating awareness among beneficiaries and providers of local social and productive services.
  • Increasing efficacy and effectiveness of local development programmes.
  • Scrutiny of various policy decisions, keeping in view stakeholder’s interests and priorities, particularly of rural poor.
  • Estimation of the opportunity cost for stakeholders of not getting timely access to public services.

Implications of Social Audit

  • Social auditing creates an impact upon governance. It values the voice of stakeholders, including marginalized/poor groups whose voices are rarely heard.
  • Social auditing is taken up for the purpose of enhancing local governance, particularly for strengthening accountability and transparency in local bodies.
  • Social Audit makes it sure that in democracy, the powers of decision makers should be used as far as possible with the consent and understanding of all concerned.
  • Trains the community on participatory local planning.
  • Encourages local democracy.
  • Encourages community participation.
  • Benefits disadvantaged groups.
  • Promotes collective decision making and sharing responsibilities.
  • Develops human resources and social capital
  • Business:-

    • Provides valuable information to pressure groups and consumers about the corporate responsibility of a business
    • It allows the manager of a business to gain a complete picture of the impact of the business’s activities
    • This can allow the business to make better informed decisions about the impact of its activities upon stakeholders.

Topic – Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the
performance of these schemes

5) Critically analyze the performance of unnat Bharat abhiyan in transforming rural lives through technology and whether there is a need to alter the approach?(250 words)

Financialexpress

Why this question

The article critically analyzes the performance and the approach of schemes such as unnat Bharat abhiyan which seek to uplift the lives of vulnerable section of our population through technological changes. The question would enable you to analyze the impact of unnat Bharat abhiyan and role of technology in altering lives of rural population in India.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the strategy and details of unnat Bharat abhiyan and the positives and the pitfalls of the scheme. Thereafter, we need to give our view on whether technological changes without understanding the needs of population can lead to transformational changes in the lives of people and if not, what needs to be done.

Directive word

Critically analyse – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – explain what unnat Bharat abhiyan is.

Body –

  • Discuss the strategy followed under UBA.
  • Discuss the positive impact of UBA – development of a biogas conversion kit for diesel engines by IIT Delhi, the utilisation of paddy straw into bio-power generation through biomethane and bioethanol production, the modified bio-sand water treatment plant by NIT Manipur and so on. Some of these have managed to solve real problems such as sewage disposal, waste and water management, energy sources, organic farming, provision of basic amenities, and convergence of remote technologies. Students get to learn the practical aspects of the sciences taught in the classroom, while communities benefit
  • Discuss the limitations of the approach – Many developmental organisations, apart from universities, are developing technological and social solutions for rural communities. But there is no concrete example of any such initiative changing lives, The problem with most of these programmes is they carry an urban bias and assume that benefits will trickle down to the masses. Social aspirations of these communities are not given due importance in technical applications. Most of these technologies are made with commonly available resources that aim to keep these ecosystems self-dependent. For example, there are easy-to-make chulhas and bullock carts. Comparable approaches in urban areas do not expect people to construct their own scooters or stoves. Also, developers of these technologies are only able to make minor improvements to existing systems.
  • Discuss what kind of a change in approach is requires ( you can also take a stand that no change is required)

Conclusion – give your view on the efficacy of such programmes and discuss the way forward.

 

Background:-

  • Expectations from higher education are becoming demanding with complex societies asking for greater skills and capacities. The government’s Unnat Bharat Abhiyan deems to create a new learning model for the youth by utilising the raw intelligence of learners in esteemed institutions of higher learning towards the development of communities that surround them, in particular rural communities.

Unnat Bharat abhiyan:-

  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is flagship programme of Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) that aims to enrich Rural India.
  • The second edition (Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0) was launched in April, 2018.
  • Aim:-

    • The scheme aims to link higher education institutions with set of atleast five villages, so that they can contribute to economic and social betterment of these village communities using their knowledge base.
    • Under this scheme, higher education institutions will participate in development activities, particularly in rural areas.
  • Objective of the scheme are

    • To engage faculty and students of higher educational institutions in understanding rural realities.
    • Identify and select existing innovative technologies, enable customization of technologies or devise implementation methods for innovative solutions as required by people.
    • To allow higher educational institutions to contribute to devising systems for smooth implementation of various Government Programs.
  • The scheme is inspired by vision of transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge base and resources of premier Institutions of the country to help build the architecture of Inclusive India.
  • It also aims to create virtuous cycle between society and inclusive university system, with latter providing knowledge base, best practices for emerging livelihoods and upgrade capabilities of both public and private sectors.
  • Under it, institutes through their faculty and students, will carry out studies of living conditions in adopted villages, assess local problems and needs, workout possibilities of leveraging technological interventions and need to improve processes in implementation of various government schemes, prepare workable action plans for the selected villages. 
  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0:

    • Under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0, the institutions have been selected on a Challenge Mode and the scheme has been extended to 750 reputed Higher Educational Institutes (both public and private) of the country.
    • Also, scope for providing Subject Expert Groups and Regional Coordinating Institutes to handhold and guide the participating institutions has been strengthened.
    • IIT Delhi has been designated to function as the National Coordinating Institute for this programmeand the Ministry intends to extend the coverage to all the reputed Higher Educational Institutes, in a phased manner. Each selected institute would adopt a cluster of villages / panchayats and gradually expand the outreach over a period of time.

Significance of the programme:

  • Currently 748 institutions are participating under the scheme. In phase II, 605 institutions were selected. Out of these 313 are technical Institutions and 292 are Non-Technical Institutions. 143 institutions had taken part in phase-1.
  • Institutes through their faculty and students, will carry out studies of living conditions in the adopted villages, assess the local problems and needs, workout the possibilities of leveraging the technological interventions and the need to improve the processes in implementation of various government schemes, prepare workable action plans for the selected villages. Such knowledge inputs would make their way into the development programmes in rural areas.
  • The Institutes would be expected to closely coordinate with the district administration, elected public representatives of panchayat / villages and other stakeholders and will become very much a part of the process of development planning and implementation.
  • In this process, faculty and students of such institutes would be re-oriented and connected to the rural realities so that their learning and research work also becomes more relevant to the society.
  • Development of a biogas conversion kit for diesel engines by IIT Delhi, the utilisation of paddy straw into bio-power generation through biomethane and bioethanol production, the modified bio-sand water treatment plant by NIT Manipur and so on are some of the examples of success of this scheme.

    • Some of these have managed to solve real problems such as sewage disposal, waste and water management, energy sources, organic farming, provision of basic amenities, and convergence of remote technologies.
    • Students get to learn the practical aspects of the sciences taught in the classroom, while communities benefit.
    • They also learn problem-solving skills, get feedback and obtain market inputs from grassroots populations. These are relevant industry skills.

Failure/Why there is a need to change the current approach :-

  • Less inclusion:-

    • Large number of NGOs are already involved in developing technologies for rural areas. But these technologies have hardly touched the lives of general rural people. 
  • Urban bias:-

    • The problem with most of these programmes is they carry an urban bias and assume that benefits will trickle down to the masses.
    • Social aspirations of these communities are not given due importance in technical applications. Most of these technologies are made with commonly available resources that aim to keep these ecosystems self-dependent. For example, there are easy-to-make chulhas and bullock carts.
    • Comparable approaches in urban areas do not expect people to construct their own scooters or stoves. Also, developers of these technologies are only able to make minor improvements to existing systems.
  • Perception gap:-

    • There seems to be a gap between the perceptions of national laboratories and research institutions, which have the technical resources but little knowledge of market demand.
    • There are clean and unadorned machines such as the bicycle that could provide a viable mobility solution for movement of light goods and passengers. Yet there is no government support to finance bicycle purchases or improve frames and load-carrying capacities.
  • Technical constraints:-

    • NGOs on the ground have knowledge of social aspirations and demand but no technical resources to act on them. 

Way forward:-

  • Involve multiple stakeholders:-

    • Rural development should best be realised by involving all stakeholders right from inception, market research, concept design and product distribution. Central funding can be obtained along existing lines.
  • Industry linkages:-

    • Industry linkages need to be established so that the mechanism of consumer demand comes into play.
  • Most people agree that higher education has a unique symbiosis with society. Continuous engagement between the two is necessary to sustain progress and growth.Establishing a balance of education and transforming knowledge into skill and measuring the success of development programmes needs meticulous assessment.
  • Self assessment:-

    • A robust registration of outcomes on a national platform will help understand the virtual success of all efforts. While governments need to be vigilant of the practices that institutions are adopting, each institution must come up with a self-assessment mechanism by unlocking the job market for rural youth. 

 


General Studies – 3


Topic – Indian economy : Issues

6) Multidimensional Poverty Index shows that India’s BIMARU states have still not converged with the better off states in India is when it comes to social indicators. Examine why and suggest what needs to be done?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article highlights the data released by UNDP and how the BIMARU states in India have been unable to perform so as to reach the levels of social indicators of developed states in India. This is despite the developmental philosophy that thought that trickle down effect would happen and the BIMARU states would eventually catch up. In light of the MPI figures, it is important to understand the reason why these states have been unable to pick up their performance and what needs to be done.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the performance of these states in MPI index, explain what these index is and what it measures, as well as the reasons why convergence in development indicators is not seen. Finally, we need to provide suggestions as to what needs to be done to correct the situation.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what MPI is and what BIMARU states are.

Body – Discuss what the data suggests about the performance of BIMARU states. Discuss the reasons why these states have been unable to improve their performance so as to keep up with their developed counterparts. Highlight that it is not that improvement in indices is not being seen but that the pace of improvement is quite slow. Discuss the reasons such as institutional, financial, lack of infrastructure etc. Suggest what needs to be done to improve the situation such as allocation of resources, creation of infrastructure etc

Conclusion – give your view on the performance of BIMARU states and what needs to be done.

 

Background :-

  • The multidimensional poverty index uses 10 indicators to measure poverty in three dimensions: education, health and living standards. In its 2018 update, India’s MPI index in 2018 was 0.121, placing it 53rd out of 105 developing countries for which data was available.
  • Poor nutrition was the largest contributor to India’s multidimensional poverty while insufficient access to clean water and child mortality contributed the least. 91 of the poorest 100 districts  are concentrated in the seven states of erstwhile BIMARU states namely Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.

 

Why BIMARU states are behind in social indicators :-

  • Growth rate:-

    • Population growth is the main problem in this states. Due to high population growth, population and resource are not in equilibrium but are disturbed to achieve the goal of population stabilization and sustainable development.
    • Higher population growth in these states is factor which restricts the development of these states. When already ill-developed states would face higher increase in population its pretty obvious for the development rate to go down further.
  • These states are still lagging behind than other Indian states on the basis of literacy, education, urbanization and income. On the other hand, they are very high fertility and low reproductive health of women.

    • Lack of Literacy can termed as the main factor for increase in population of these states which in turn degrades the development rate of them.
    • Orissa have high poverty and high mortality due to shortage of food and nutrition, especially tribal group.
  • Corruption:-

    • Corruption is the major factor in these states which gives a healthy development to the poverty of these states. Corruption-Index of these states is found to be the worse.
  • Political Rivalries is yet another reason which restricts these states to develop further. The political leaders are very much busy in rivalries than planning and executing something for their state which would be in the interest of the common people.
  • Despite being the Producers of many important materials and products like coal, steel etc., they still have no public-sector unit has its head-quarters in these states.
  • Lack of involvement of local people in the planning process of these states is another reason for its limited development. 
  • Lack of investments in Irrigation and Flood control is another vital factor. These states experience the highest amount of flood problems but even then year after year there has not been done any significant development in this department.
  • Under-Utilisation of Funds is yet another reason for less development in these states. Even after allotting a fair amount of funds from the centre these states do not experience any specific advancement.
  • Higher Crime Rate is another factor which contributes to the ill-development of these states.
  • Lack of perspective in the planning exercise:-

    • For example, even though large portions of the national highway schemes: the Golden Quadrilateral and the East West corridor pass through the so-called BIMARU states, its alignment would not serve the population of these states
  • Social :-

    • The persistence of discriminatory feudalist structures that don’t allow the markets to function independently, causing growth to disproportionately benefit the dominant castes

However it is not that improvement in indices is not being seen but that the pace of improvement is quite slow. Consistently high growth in recent years has been observed in some of these states showing that the situation is structurally changing.

What needs to be done ?

  • Need to tackle high fertility, government can work in a Bangladesh family planning approach model with collaboration of united nation population group and NGOs. 
  • Reduce poverty by a community approach by using the self help group formula.
  • Government needs to take crude action against the female foeticide and abortion cases that affect these states.
  • There is a need for effective implementation of government schemes in these states like aspirational districts initiative, Ayushmann Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana etc.
  • Inclusive education is necessary with better outcomes .
  • Sanitation needs to be strictly taken care of to avoid diseases.

TopicIndian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

7) Having missed the first three industrial revolutions, India is now in a position to lead the fourth. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

India is at the critical junction of history. It is the fastest growing major economy with a huge demographic dividend. In the wake of the start of fourth Industrial revolution it is essential to discuss India’s strengths and limitations to become a leader of the 4G world.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our opinion as to whether India is rightly placed to lead the 4th industrial revolution. We have to form our opinion based on a proper discussion and presentation of valid arguments and facts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  fourth industrial revolution.

Mention that India languished on the fringes during the first two industrial revolutions powered by coal and steam and electricity and oil, respectively, and only started playing catch-up in the computer-driven third industrial revolution.

  1. Discuss the scope of India leading the fourth industrial revolution. E.g mention the strengths of India. E.g a large demographic dividend and a huge tech savvy youth population; a democracy that is run on the model of equitable and inclusive growth; It is a rich and fertile ground for entrepreneurship and has emerged as the fastest growing startup base worldwide; the nation is home to the third largest number of technology-driven startups in the world etc.
  2. Discuss the limitations faced by India in this regard. E.g stiff competition from other countries; high unemployment levels and high incidences of poverty etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g India needs to prepare itself for a period of information and digital abundance, adapt itself to the scorching pace of innovation and learn to collaborate on scale, quickly transform the idea into a breakthrough innovation, shift from a system of time-bound education to a mode of continuous learning and create more employment opportunities than what new and disruptive technologies take away.

 Background :-

  • A recent study published by the World Economic Forum states that the world is on the verge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.

Fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 :-

  • Industry 4.0 has highly intelligent connected systems that create a fully digital value chain. It particularly is based on cyber physical production systems that integrate communications, IT, data and physical elements and wherein these systems transform the traditional plants into smart factories.

India missed the first three revolutions :-

  • India languished on the fringes during the first two industrial revolutions powered by coal and steam and electricity and oil, respectively, and only started playing catch-up in the computer-driven third industrial revolution.

India is geared up for fourth industrial revolution :-

  • India provides a potentially huge market access.
  • There is the very appealing demographic dividend with Indian youth representing approximately 20% of the global workforce by 2020. With more than 50 per cent of its population is under the age of 27, India can play a pivotal role in shaping the global fourth Industrial revolution in a responsible, scalable and inclusive manner.
  • There is a rising middle class
  • India is expected to become the fifth largest consumer market in two decades. Within this context, any form of consumption, entrepreneurship, startup or industry, can be viewed as a scaling opportunity.
  • The subcontinent has already taken steps to become an e-government. For example, the government has made efforts to enrol its citizens into a national database. Aadhaar is the world’s largest biometrics database, with 1.2 billion Indian residents enrolled so far.
  • India also wants to become an AI hub with the government recently announcing its National Programme on AI to encourage the development of AI-related technology in the country.
  • India is also quickly rising up the ranks in terms of innovation. Last year, the country moved up five spots on the Global Innovation Index, ranking 57th out of 125 countries. In the category of ICT service exports, India was ranked first.
  • India also has a robust start-up scene, which reportedly has more firms than anywhere else in the world except for the US and the United Kingdom (UK).

    • Today, the nation is home to the third largest number of technology-driven start-ups in the world. Never before has India witnessed such an explosion of entrepreneurial spirit.
  • With one of the youngest labour forces in the world, a sizeable technical aptitude, the second largest number of internet users on mobile devices and the second largest English speaking population, India is well positioned to enhance its global leadership in a post fourth industrial revolution era.
  • With the right mix of accelerators – including regulatory frameworks, educational ecosystems and government incentives – India can lead the fourth industrial revolution, while simultaneously enhancing the quality, equity and sustainability of its own growth and development outcomes
  • The enablers to actualise India’s sustainable transformation to fourth industrial revolution includes

    • Creation of an enabling ecosystem through incubators and accelerators to develop and scale innovations in ‘Future Now’ Cleantech sectors like clean energy, climate-smart agriculture, circular economy, green buildings and e-mobility is critical from the Indian context, to achieve transformative goals.
    • Proactive initiatives and policies to build on the positive aspects of the new industrial revolution and preventing further widening of the inequality gap are necessary. The Government of India, through its unique initiatives like Digital India, Startup India and Make in India Initiative is bolstering the opportunities for industry 4.0 and green entrepreneurs.
    • Participation of relevant ministries (like MoEFCC, MNRE) and Government-led coalitions (like International Solar Alliance) must be leveraged to champion this on-going movement.
    • World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Government of India has set up the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution India to design and pilot practical tools for specific technologies. Such platforms and coalitions must be leveraged to assess the feasibility and scale innovative business models
  • Access to finance commensurate with maturity of the business model and beginning stage of the start-up lifecycle is extremely important to scale innovations. While Government-led initiatives like Start-Up Sangam will play a key role in crowding capital, private sector participation through grants, seed funding, equity capital and mainstream debt is necessary to scale innovations
  • Corporates will have a key role in championing this on-going movement, leveraging the ART Model – Alliances, Relationships enabled through Technology.
  • India is currently at a cusp of technovation revolution and the transition to a sustainable and inclusive growth trajectory will be accelerated by path-breaking innovations, enabling policies and availability of finance. These developments will lead to the emergence of ‘new-Gen’ business models, characterised by DICE – Design, Innovation and Creativity led Entrepreneurship to create social, environmental and economic positive impact.
  • Mobile computing as a catalyst is driving massive data consumption and this has given young Indians a fertile ground for disruptive ideas.
  • Cloud computing and networking technologies have used broadband as a foundational enabler leading to Indian entrepreneurs starting to make a global impact.

 Limitations faced by India in this regard:-

  • Stiff competition from other countries, high unemployment levels and high incidences of poverty etc.
  • Revolution is likely to increase inequality in India as the spread of machines increases markets and disrupts labour markets. 

    • Inequality represents the greatest societal concern associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
    • The largest beneficiaries of innovation tend to be the providers of intellectual and physical capital the innovators, shareholders, and investors which explains the rising gap in wealth between those dependent on capital versus labour.
  • As automation substitutes for labour across the entire economy, the net displacement of workers by machines might exacerbate the gap between returns to capital and returns to labour.
  • With this revolution, it is also possible that in the future, talent, more than capital, will represent the critical factor of production. This will give rise to a job market increasingly segregated into low-skill/low-pay and high-skill/high-pay segments, which in turn will lead to an increase in social tensions.
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution will change not only what we do but also who we are. It will affect our identity and all the issues associated with it: our sense of privacy, our notions of ownership, our consumption patterns, the time we devote to work and leisure, and how we develop our careers, cultivate our skills, meet people, and nurture relationships.

What should be done?

  • Governments, businesses and civil society organisations should put together an ecosystem for massive upskilling of the workforce.
  • India needs to prepare itself for a period of information and digital abundance, adapt itself to the scorching pace of innovation and learn to collaborate on scale, quickly transform the idea into a breakthrough innovation, shift from a system of time-bound education to a mode of continuous learning and create more employment opportunities than what new and disruptive technologies take away.
  • There is a need for good quality education to make India’s youth a productive asset.

Topic Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

8) What do you understand by the term, “Great acceleration”. Discuss how it has impacted the wild fauna across the globe.(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question

A recent report from WWF has highlighted the plight of our wild fauna. Their number has decreased drastically in the last few decades of the century all because of the great acceleration. Hence it is important to understand the term and how it has affected wildlife.

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the meaning of the term, great acceleration. It then wants us to write in detail as to how it has impacted the wild fauna across the globe.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Define great acceleration in a simple way. E.g It is the exponential growth over the last 50 years in the use of energy, water, timber, fish, food, fertiliser, pesticides, minerals, plastics — everything.”

Body-

  1. Discuss the great acceleration in detail. E.g The Great Acceleration refers to the most recent period of the Anthropology cene during which the rate of impact of human activity upon the Earth’s geology and ecosystems is increasing significantly. While the Anthropocene commenced with Industrial Revolution if not long before, the Great Acceleration begins in the 20th century with the acceleration rate dramatically increasing after the Second World War.This concept has been further extended to refer to the rate of change in technology and society as a whole etc.
  2. Discuss how it has impacted wild fauna across the globe. E.g From 1970 to 2014, 60% of all animals with a backbone — fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals — were wiped out by human appetites and activity, according WWF’s “Living Planet” report; For freshwater fauna, the decline in population over the 44 years monitored was a staggering 80%. Regionally, Latin America was hit hardest, seeing a nearly 90% loss of wildlife over the same period; Depending on which of Earth’s life forms are included, the current rate of species loss is 100 to 1,000 times higher than only a few hundred years ago; Back-to-back marine heatwaves have already wiped out up to half of the globe’s shallow-water reefs, which support a quarter of all marine life. etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background :-

  • The second half of the 20th Century is unique in the history of human existence. Many human activites reached take-off points sometime in the 20th Century and sharply accelerated towards the end of the century.
  • The last 60 years have without doubt seen the most profound transformation of the human relationship with the natural world in the history of humankind.

Great acceleration :-

  • The Great Accelerationrefers to the most recent period of the Anthropocene during which the rate of impact of human activity upon the Earth’s geology and ecosystems is increasing significantly. While the Anthropocene commenced with Industrial Revolution if not long before, the Great Acceleration begins in the 20th century with the acceleration rate dramatically increasing after the Second World War.
  • Great Acceleration is a unique event in the 4.5 billion-year history of our planet with exploding human population and economic growth driving unprecedented planetary change through the increased demand for energy, land and water.
  • It is the exponential growth over the last 50 years in the use of energy, water, timber, fish, food, fertiliser, pesticides, minerals, plastics etc

Impact on wild fauna :-

  • Species disappearing

    • The index of extinction risk for five major groups birds, mammals, amphibians, corals and an ancient family of plants called cycads  shows an accelerating slide towards oblivion.
    • From 1970 to 2014, 60% of all animals with a backbone like fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals were wiped out by human appetites and activity, according to WWF’s “Living Planet” report, based on a survey of more than 4,000 species spread over 16,700 populations scattered across the
  • Boundaries breached:-

    • Humans have clearly breached two of the so-called planetary boundaries: species loss, and imbalances in Earth’s natural cycles of nitrogen and phosphorous (mainly due to fertiliser use).
    • Ocean acidification and freshwater supply are not far behind.
    • More generally, the marginal capacity of Earth’s ecosystems to renew themselves has been far outstripped by humanity’s ecological footprint, which has nearly tripled in 50 years.
  • Forests shrinking

    • Nearly 20% of the Amazon rainforest, the world’s largest, has disappeared in five decades. Tropical deforestation continues unabated, mainly to make way for soy beans, palm oil and cattle.
  • Oceans depleted

    • Since 1950, Humans have extracted 6 billion tonnes of fish, crustaceans, clams, squids and other edible sea creatures.
    • Climate change and pollution have killed off half of the world’s shallow water coral reefs, which support more than a quarter of marine life.
    • Coastal mangrove forests, which protect against storm surges made worse by rising seas, have also declined by up to half over the last 50 years.

 

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