01 Oct 2017 | Target Mains | 6th Weekly Test with Official Answer

Attempt the questions individually by clicking on them.

Q.1) The demand for creation of separate states in India has often been driven by lack of development. In the light of ongoing Gorakahland agitation in Darjeeling, discuss the roots and causes of current crisis. How should the government deal with the situation?

India has seen several movements demanding a separate state such as Gorkhaland, Telangana, and Nagalim etc. are often driven by lack of development. However, the Gorkha land movement has been a long standing quest of the Nepali speaking Gorkhas (in Darjeeling and Kalimpong region) for a separate state in an attempt to break free from years of continued political, cultural and socio-economic subjugation in West Bengal. While it is neither a separatist nor an anti-national movement; it is a classic case of sub nationalist movement seeking identity through a democratic framework. The narrative of this cultural and linguistic domination has many facets that can be understood from the following:

CAUSES OF THE MOVEMENT:

  • Immediate Triggers:
  1. Imposition of the compulsory Bengali language in all schools of the state was enough to trigger fears of linguistic imperialism among the people of hills.
  2. The recent cabinet meeting in Darjeeling, a first in over 40 years without the representation of 3 local MLAs of the hills instilled fears of more political domination to come.
  • Ensuing Issues:
  1. Socio- Economic Marginalization:

      – Low levels of employment in addition to outsiders owning the tea estates.

      – Ethnic and racial discrimination at places of education and work (called chinkis, foreigners, outsiders) resulting in cultural alienation in their own motherland

  1. Linguistic chauvinism through imposition of a different language
  2. Political marginalization:

Unilateral territorial claims, denial of self-governance and political suppression over the years without any substantive historical evidence.

  1. Desire for a belongingness or identity in the Indian nation state with support for the ‘native point of view’.

Reasons for the resurgence:

The all in all desire for a recognition, respect and cultural integration into the nation state is the bottom line for the recurrence of the demand.

  • The stop gap arrangements have not yielded results like Creation of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (1988-2012) and the Gorkha land Territorial Administration (2012-present) has failed to provide meaningful autonomy.
  • Political encroachment of the incumbent government looms large with Tribal Development Boards being created among the Gorkha conglomerate (Sherpas and Tamangs separated within the Gorkha electorate).This is perceived as a clear ‘divide and rule ‘policy undermining the already limited autonomy of the hills.
  • This double bind of colonial nostalgia and neo-colonial regional domination reignites the fears that meaningful progress is out of reach.
  • Carving of a Kalimpong district from within the district has also added the anxiety.

Way Forward:

The Darjeeling hills are too strategic a region to ignore where economic and regional stability is key to national interest. Regionalism is not always opposed to nationalism, as it can also help build up internal cohesion within a country.  So, it is imperative on the part of the Centre and state along with stakeholders to come along in a pragmatic manner at the earliest. Further devolution of financial and legislative powers to GTA and keeping Bengali optional plus larger agenda of cultural assimilation through ‘Ek Bharath Sreshth Bharath’ initiative will assuage the fears and resolve the issues amicably in the near term. Even creating Autonomous state of Gorkhaland within undivided Bengal through Art 244A is also within constitutional norms for a long term resolution. Dragging feet over the matter will only be a loss for both sides and detrimental to national interests.


 

Q.2) Do you think the government’s recent policy of involving private players in the housing sector will enable it to meet the ‘housing for all’ target by 2022? Give arguments in support of your answer.

https://thewire.in/179973/private-investment-affordable-housing/

The ambitious scheme of providing housing for all by 2022 was announced by government in 2015.This scheme also is in line with one of the ‘sustainable development goal’. Government has announced various initiatives to fulfill its targets. Out of these initiatives, one of them is the recent decision of government to allow private sector engagement in this scheme.

The two PPP models for private investment in affordable housing on private land include extending central assistance of about Rs 2.5 lakh for each house as an interest subsidy on bank loans as upfront payment under the credit-linked subsidy component of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). Under the second option, central assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh will be given for each house to be built on private land, in case the beneficiaries do not intend to take bank loans.


With an aim of attracting private player in affordable housing scheme, government has unfolded PPP model which allows central assistance of up to 2.5 lakhs for the houses build by private player even on the private land. Government has proposed Eight PPP models out of which six includes private construction on government land while two consist of construction on private land.

The new policy would bring following benefits to the government:

  • By engaging private players, government would able to timely and efficiently complete the projects.
  • By allowing construction of houses on private land under PPP, government would be relived from the pressure of collecting land for building houses.
  • Since most private players have experience in construction sector, they would bring more efficiency in building houses.
  • Finally, given the limited resources available to the government for implementing the scheme, the engagement of private player would be an attractive option.

Thus, by this new PPP policy government would be able to complete his target of ‘Affordable housing for all by 2022’.However it must also be ensured that engagement of private players would bring in these intended benefits and benefits of private players would be ensured. Only then the benefits of PPP policy could be leveraged. Considering the reforms of a Model Tenancy Act and National Rental Housing Policy coupled with the private participation should be the imperative going forward.


 

Q.3) Compost from biodegradable municipal solid waste along with cleaning up cities will also improve agricultural productivity and soil quality of our farms. Discuss.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/swachh-bharat-mission-solid-waste-management-from-waste-to-health-4862741/

Though waste management to keep cities clean is now getting attention through Swaachh Bharat Mission, it is limited to collection and transportation. The challenge of processing and treating the different streams of solid waste, and safe disposal of the residuals in scientific landfills, is to be equally viewed from the perspective of waste to health rather than just waste to energy. The Ghazipur, Deonar and Bellandur episodes are enough to stir anybody’s conscience. With India generating 65 million tonnes of waste annually out of which only 70% is collected and only 20-30% being treated, depicts the gravity of the issue.

In the light of the above situation, the conversion of biodegradable municipal solid waste into compost will serve the dual purpose of both keeping the cities clean and improving productivity and soil quality. The benefits that entail are as follows:

  • City compost from biodegradable waste provides an alternative to farmyard manure (like cow dung) which has been valued from time immemorial for its rich microbial content that helps plants to take up soil nutrients.
  • Fortification of soil with organic carbon is an essential element of integrated plant nutrient management as it increases the productivity of other fertilizers.  City compost can also be blended with rock phosphate to produce phosphate-rich organic manure.
  • The addition of compost or organic manure reduces nitrogen wastage, as its humus absorbs the nitrogen and acts like a slow release sponge. 
  • Compost from biodegradable waste increases the water retention capacity of soil thus, making the crop draught resistant.
  • By making the soil porous, it makes the roots stronger. By this, it reduces the use of pesticides for crops.
  • There are also evidence that crop prepared from compost have better shelf life, size, color and flavors.
  • It also helps to decrease the water pollution caused by excessive use of fertilizers. It increases the nitrogen absorption capacity of soil therefore; less nitrogen washes off and go to the water bodies.
  • If city waste was composted before making it available to the farmers for applying to the soil, cities would be cleaned up and the fields around them would be much more productive. It would, however, require that delivery mechanisms be set up for the delivery of city compost to farmers.

The Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 making co-marketing of compost mandatory combined with incentive of Market Development Assistance (MDA) of Rs 1,500 per tonne on the purchase and distribution of city compost through the rural outlets are positives. Assuming 15 per cent yield of compost from the total waste generated; this would provide 10 million tonnes of city compost annually. Quite apart from cleaning up the cities of biodegradable waste, this would be a major and sustainable contribution to improving the health of our soil and a marvelous transition from waste to health.  


 

Q.4) “CRISPR technology is much faster, yield better results, and is relatively easy to do.” Examine.

https://www.civilsdaily.com/crispr/

CRISPR-Cas9 a genome editing technology has been in news since 2014 after it successfully corrected a mutation in mice related to human metabolic disease called tyrosinaemia. It is cited as a revolutionary technique that mimics natural phenomenon used by bacteria to disable attacks from viruses. CRISPRs that is, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats are sections of DNA that uses CAS-9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) enzyme as scissors to cut through the DNA.

This technique is much faster and yield better results because-

  1. Site specific genome engineering

In the process of genome editing the Crispr scans the genome looking for the right location and Cas9 guides the RNAs directing them to a particular sequence which needs to be edited.

  1. It yields better results for a particular target because when the RNA cuts the target sequence, the cell repairs the damage by replacing the original sequence with an altered version
  2. It relies on RNA–DNA base pairing, rather than the engineering of proteins that bind particular DNA sequences. This makes it cheaper and can be efficiently used for gene therapy in humans.
  3. This gene editing tool appears to work in nearly every organism and in every cell type: kidney, heart and those, like T-cells, that researchers had previously found difficult to modify.

Other Applications of CRISPR-Cas9 technology

Agriculture

  • It can be used to alter the DNA of important agricultural crops like rice and wheat in order to improve traits like disease and drought tolerance.

Drug Development

  • Disease modeling using animals has been inefficient due to the difficulty in generating genetically modified animals that accurately recapitulate human pathology.
  • But, CRISPR-Cas9 has allowed for generation of transgenic animals like rats, monkeys etc. which are more suitable for human disease modeling than mice and thus permit better drug-development tests.

Despite such advantages and wide ranging applications, this technology also comes with various concerns like-

  1. It is labour intensive and high cost oriented technique than RNA interference .
  2. It inhibits the RNA polymerase activity in the nucleus instead of complete gene knock down as in RNA interference, thus resulting to be less efficient.
  3. This technique is still in nascent stage and requires further research on its potential drawbacks.

There is a need for more advanced research on this technology to identify and counter its potential concerns so that it can be used extensively in various sectors of socio-economic development like biomedicine, agriculture, human gene therapy, industrial microbes etc.


 

Q.5) India’s choice should be more on becoming a soft power rather than a hard power.” Analyse this statement in the light of relative advantages India enjoys in Science and Technology, especially in Space Technology and suggest ways of leveraging that advantage.

https://www.civilsdaily.com/isro-soft-power/

Soft power as was defined by Joseph Nye of Harvard, as the ability to shape the preferences of others, change and influence public and social opinion through appeal that is without the use of force and coercion. On the contrary the use of military might and force is known as hard power. It uses instruments like culture, foreign policies, political values, religion, science and technology etc.

The advantages of projecting soft power through space and technology especially space programme by India are-

  1. The recent launch of Chandrayan-1 by ISRO for finding water on the surface of moon, the Mars Orbiter Mission(2014) which was even cheaper than a Hollywood movie have helped India become a source of inspiration for many nations.
  2. ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix has emerged as the world’s most successful satellite launching centre, till date it has launched more than 200 foreign satellites.
  3. With successful launch of reusable space vehicle that is going to cut down the cost of space launches by 10 times, Antrix is expected to gain more. It also brings the much required foreign exchange.
  4. Space agencies like ESA, JAXA, NASA has also collaborated with ISRO on various projects.
  5. The SAARC satellite which will help SAARC countries in remote sensing and disaster management will further help India in strengthening its position of leader in South Asia.
  6. India’s becoming associated member of CERN and entering global collaborations in biomedicine like CEPI has made her one of the global powers in science and technology.

Ways of leveraging these advantages-

  1. Incentivising the participation of private sector in this sector through special polices and schemes. .
  2. Requisite investment in infrastructure to produce new facilities and institutions all over India. For example- Niti Aayog has recommended constituting a national Science, Technology and Innovation foundation headed by a distinguished scientist to coordinate efforts on national scale and come out with a roadmap. 
  3. Department of Space needs to be empowered with three F’s that is, funds, functions and functionaries.
  4. Prudent and timely follow up on various MoUs and collaborations(e.g. SAARC satellite,NASA negotiations,)etc.

Science and technology as an instrument of soft power also indirectly helps India to form a security that is beyond tanks, fighter jets and nuclear deterrence. It would help India increase its influence over other states through non-military means.

Thus, it will enhance Indian influence in the global arena and would be a true epitome of India’s rising soft power.


 

Q.6) Nationalism should not be imposed upon the people. It is an intrinsic value of each individual which must come from within”. Analyse this statement in the light of SC judgement on playing of national anthem in the cinema halls.

https://www.civilsdaily.com/should-national-anthem-be-made-mandatory-in-cinema-halls/

The recent judgement of the Supreme Court that all the cinema halls in India shall play the National Anthem before the feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the National Anthem has raised many questions like whether nationalism should be imposed or as an intrinsic value it has to come from within.

The Rational for SC judgement

  1. It is the sacred obligation of every citizen to abide by the ideals engrafted in the Constitution
  2. It is justified on the grounds of fundamental duty that is, Article 51-A (a) which states that every citizen of India should respect the National flag and National Anthem.
  3. The court noted that the citizens of the country must realize that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to National Anthem which is the symbol of the Constitutional Patriotism and inherent national quality.
  4. The moral values and the national pride is not the obligation of only the armed forces, this is the fundamental duty of all citizens.
  5. Right from the childhood the national values must be infused in the minds of the children of the contry.

Criticism of the judgement

  1. Past experience: Earlier in 1960s it was mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem after every movie but sadly it was a common sight to see people start leaving the theatre while the national anthem was being palyed, so this practice was discontinued.
  2. Judicial overreach: This is the domain of the executive and the legislature and not of the Supreme Court.
  3. Under Article 142 the Supreme Court decrees and orders are enforceable throughout the country but those are in respect of a matter which comes up for the Supreme Court. There are doubts whether this particular order comes under that category.
  4. Critics argue that feelings of nationalism must come from inside and can’t be forced upon and this compulsion may create adverse reaction which is not good.
  5. Mere standing for the national anthem doesn’t make one fulfill his/her all the civic and national duties
  6. By not playing national anthem in the cinema halls doesn’t make us less patriotic.
  7. There is no empirical evidence to show that people have become less nationalistic or less patriotic
  8. The Supreme Court used an expression “Constitutional Patriotism” but patriotism cannot be constitutional.
  9. Our founding fathers of constitution also did not imposed such forced patriotism.

The recent judgement of the Madras high court regarding mandatory singing of Vande Matram further fuels the debate.

There is a need to imbibe the feelings of nationalism in the students at the school level requiring government to take the needful steps like designing curriculum and textbooks that teach lessons in nationalism. Sports, films, plays can further this goal of imbibing the spirit of one nation that the court highlighted in its judgement.


 

Q.7) What is a National Court of Appeal? Do you think India needs a National Court of Appeal? What are the pros and cons of having a NCA?

https://www.civilsdaily.com/proposal-for-national-court-of-appeal/

Hints:

  • National Court of Appeal is a proposal to set up regional branches of courts in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata which is meant to act as a final court of justice in dealing with appeals from the decisions of the High Courts and Tribunals within their region in civil, criminal, labour and revenue matters.
  • The argument says that it will provide the Supreme Court situated in Delhi to only deal with the matter related to constitutional law and public law.

Does India need a National Court of Appeal?

  • The following facts necessitates for the creation of National Court of Appeal in India:
  • Burdening of SC by regular cases: Due to SC being burdened by regular matters like bail pleas, dishonoured cheques, traffic violations, etc. has reduce court’s efficiency, it is not able to perform its real mandate of a Constitutional Court.
  • Give SC time to perform its mandate functions: The setting up of a NCA would take up the Supreme Court’s appeals jurisdiction and will give Supreme Court its much wanted time to perform its mandated functions efficiently.
  • Reduce burden on higher judiciary: NCA would help in reducing the burden by disposing the mundane cases; and it may also help in clubbing those cases which needs clarification from the Supreme Court.

However, setting up regional branches will have its pro as well as cons also.

Pros:

  • Increasing geographical proximity: Since the Supreme Court is situated only in New Delhi, it hampers the accessibility to litigants from south India. So, there is an urgent need to establish courts like NCA with regional benches.
  • If a court of appeal is established, the majority of appeals from high courts can be addressed in these courts. If the Supreme Court only deals with crucial cases, the process will become streamlined and will save a lot of time and expense, for both litigants and the courts.
  • It would relieve the Supreme Court of the weight of hearing regular civil and criminal appeals, allowing the court to concentrate on determining only fundamental questions of constitutional importance.

Cons:

  • May curtail the powers of the Supreme Court: It is feared that attempts like this are made by the other organs of the state to curtail the constitutional powers of the Supreme Court.
  • Require constitutional amendment: It is held that the establishment of NCA would require an amendment in Article 130 of the Constitution which in turn would change the constitution of the Supreme Court completely.
  • May cost heavily on exchequer: The establishment of NCA would increase the burden on the exchequer and similarly the expenses and hardships of the litigants will also increase.
  • Dilution of the Supreme Court and its aura as an apex court may not be in line with the concept of the Supreme Court envisioned by the architects of the Constitution. An NCA would “completely change the constitution of the Supreme Court” and establishing NCA in between the High Court and the SC would be a dilution of the judiciary.

Conclusion:

  • The issues concerning the Indian Judiciary as a whole are deep rooted for the NCA to offer a solution. The focus should be made to strengthen the base of judicial edifice instead of trying to alter the core structure of the judiciary.
  • The need of the hour is a more robust subordinate judiciary in the place of the feeble infrastructure to support the justice delivery system. A strong political will is needed to effect changes to ensure smooth and effective functioning of the Supreme Court rather than just making infrastructural changes.

 

Q.8) Do you think a fiscal stimulus package will put the Indian economy back on track when it is witnessing low growth rates? What are the deeper and broader structural reforms that will help attain India sustainable higher growth?

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/HMUPXtW4vAN6BwbJMDf7lJ/Going-beyond-the-idea-of-fiscal-stimulus.html

Hints:

  • Fiscal Stimulus Package is an Economic Measures put together by the government to stimulate a floundering economy. The objective of a stimulus package is to reinvigorate the economy and prevent or reverse a recession by boosting employment and spending. 
  • The Indian Economy has shown slipping growth to a modest rate of 5.7% in the first quarter of the current fiscal 2017-18. This decelerating growth trend has been because of lingering impact of demonetisation and destocking before the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • The idea behind this stimulus is that in the absence of sufficient investment demand from the private sector, higher government expenditure will help boost gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

Analysis:

  • When demand in an economy stays weak for long, businesses stop investing in new projects, unemployment rises, income shrinks and consumer confidence wanes. This prompts consumers to retreat further into their shells.
  • But if the Government can step in with a fiscal stimulus, to deliver a small steroid shot to consumer spending, it revives business confidence, restarts projects, creates jobs and sets off a virtuous cycle of feel-good, demand and growth.
  • But in order to increase spending the government has to borrow money, since its tax revenues cannot meet the shortfall. This borrowing will further raise the interest costs. Further, deficit spending by the government increases inflation, which in turn hurts the economy.
  • Expanding the deficit can complicate policy choices for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as it can affect RBI’s target of keeping inflation around 4% on a durable basis.
  • Also there is no guarantee that expanding the deficit will take India to a higher sustainable growth path. Expanding the deficit by another half a percentage point, for instance, is unlikely to affect the private investment and can change things materially on the ground. 
  • Economic growth has slowed considerably and the economy needs policy intervention that goes beyond running a bigger deficit. Also, as India learned the hard way a few years ago, it is never easy to cut the budget deficit. 
  • India’s scenarios of low growth rate started in the last fiscal year mainly due to a rolling off the windfall from the drop in global oil process and fall in credit appetite due to the de-leveraging of bank balance sheets. The impact of such slowdown will peter out and output affected by these events does not need fiscal support. But since growth started decelerating before these shocks, policy intervention needs to go beyond fiscal stimulus.

Need for sustainable higher growth:

  • Reduce corporate tax to 10 per cent. Cutting tax rates stimulates the economy which in turn increases revenue collection. Research shows that when tax rates are reduced tax revenues increase and inversely when rates are raised government revenue falls.
  • Eliminate the capital gains tax. This tax is a huge impediment to capital turnover and abolishing it will release billions in locked up capital.
  • Simplify GST with a single tax rate across all products and services and quarterly filing of returns.
  • Raise capital by selling the government’s share in public sector companies. The existing market value of all 240 or so Public Sector Companies is about Rs 19 lakh crore. Plus trillions of rupees are locked in real estate assets owned by government undertakings. This value can be unlocked and invested in infrastructure, education and skill development.
  • In order to boost the functioning of banking sectors burdened by bad loans, the government should think of privatizing all banking in India. This will infuse efficiency and will sustain the shock of economy.
  • Develop a vibrant corporate bond market as an alternative source of funding for the private sector. Competition from the bond market will bring market discipline to interest rates and allows companies with good business models but weak collaterals to get capital for their growth.
  • Remove all capital account restrictions on the rupee and make it fully convertible. This, along with the elimination of capital gains tax, will enhance liquidity in India’s capital markets and attract significant foreign capital.
  • Order all government agencies to slash in half regulations that are crippling businesses. This will reassure the private sector that the government is serious about reform.
  • Minimize attempts at coercive tax collection as this has the tendency to further demoralize the businesses.

Conclusion:

  • India’s own experience from the liberalisation of 1991 suggests that reducing the role of government in matters of economics and commerce and incentivising private sector investment is the key to economic growth.

 

Q.9) The scale of the NPA problem at public sector Indian banks is much larger than was thought, and the downturn in the Indian economy has made the need for corrective measures more urgent. Do you think a ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ solution for PSU banks will help to solve this problem? Critically comment.

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/w59G4qmA8NUxIm5l2ziBUK/A-Sudarshan-Chakra-solutionfor-PSU-banks.html?li_source=LI&li_medium=news_rec

Hints:

    • Indian banks are in deteriorating condition in its performance due to ever increasing of their Non Performing Assets since past few years and the worst sufferer is Public sector banks. This rising NPA of Banks has serious concern in India’s economic development as the credit flow will impact the business opportunities most.
    • To reverse the effect of mounting NPA, the Government of India has taken various initiatives including Indradhanush scheme, setting up ARCs and SARFAESI Act. However, these initiatives have not worked at par with in order to tackle the growing NPA. Now the Government has come up with new scheme called Sudarshan Chakra Solution to solve the rising problem of NPA. This Sudarshan Chakra Solution includes 4 R’s, viz Recognition, Resolution, Recapitalization and Reform.
    • Recognition: RBI’s annually done Asset Quality Review will recognize the bad loans and NPA which is at present at about 12% and suggest the banks to take appropriate action. However, this is an underestimate, because it does not include assets that are stressed but not NPAs. The market assessment is that when these stressed assets will increase, may increase the percentage of NPA by up to 6%.

 

  • Resolution: The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is a major reform with some Sudarshan Chakra like qualities. Once an account is referred by a creditor under the IBC to the National Company Law Tribunal, and is admitted, the powers of the management and the board are transferred to an independent insolvency professional (IP). The IP then looks for someone willing to take over the project on suitable terms, including a write-down of the debt.
  • The extent of the debt write-down needed will vary from project to project. However, this depends on the investors will and capacity to deal with the project. Also the process needs to be completed within 180 extendable by another 90 days after which if not resolved, liquidation will take place which is even worse than haircut which will further impact and lead to erosion of capital.
  • Recapitalization: Fitch Ratings has estimated that Indian PSU banks will need as much as Rs4 trillion of capital by end of March 2019 to meet the capital requirements under Basel III. This mandates to bring more private investment.

 

  • However, the scope for using public funds to recapitalize the PSU banks can only be judged on the basis of a holistic view of the many other demands for government expenditure. We cannot keep talking of stimulating the economy through increased government expenditure, without a clear view of how much of the capital requirement of the PSU banks has to be met from the budget. 
  • Reforms: Reforms in PSU banks are expected to make the banks more efficient and the need for reform is therefore independent of whether public resources are being used to recapitalize them. Reforms like improving governance, upgrading the skill set, improve the quality of risk management within PSU banks apart from merging strong banks with other banks etc. can play a crucial role. The most important reform will be to reduce the government’s equity to 33% in selected PSU banks.
  • Apart from these initiatives, effective implementation of GST, Banking Regulation Act-2017 along with implementation of various regulations of RBI is the need of the hour. Bringing efficiency and transparency in decision making and giving more power to Bank Board Bureau with caution of accountability on them for power and money they held is also needed.
  • Considering the ever rising problems of NPA, there is a need of long term solution which Sudarshan Chakra along with various other concerns may effectively deal with NPA and save the banking sector.

 

Q.10) Donald Trump’s new assertive policy in Afghanistan opens up many opportunities for India. How can India seize the opportunity opened up by this new policy to raise India’s profile in Afghanistan?

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-trump-discontinuity-us-president-policy-on-afghanistan-4810529/

Hints:

  • The new policy of Donald Trump recognized Pakistan as a safe heaven for terrorist groups and asserted India’s role in developmental activities taken in Afghanistan. On Trump’s affirmation that India ought to do more, Delhi pointed to India’s significant past efforts to promote economic reconstruction in Afghanistan. India added that “it will continue these efforts, including in partnership with other countries”. This new policy is significant as it provides more opportunity for India in comparison of other old policies which were restricted India’s role in Afghanistan.

How can India seize the opportunity?

  • While India must prepare for the possibility of the US slipping back to its old ways on Pakistan, India’s current emphasis must be on taking advantage of the Trump discontinuity in the American policy towards the Subcontinent. A positive Indian approach would involve three elements — economic, security and diplomatic.
  • For economic, India must ramp up its economic diplomacy in Afghanistan to bring immediate benefits to Kabul amidst the deteriorating conditions in the country. For security, Delhi must step up security cooperation with Afghanistan, especially in the training of its police and armed forces and intelligence sharing. On the diplomatic front, India must counter the emerging argument that Trump’s new approach will intensify the “Indo-Pak rivalry” in Afghanistan and the old one that Kashmir holds the key to peace in Afghanistan.
  • Though India has actively participated in developing Afghan’s infrastructure such as constructing new parliament house, Zarang-delaram highway, various hydro-electrical projects etc. The new opportunity provides ground for India to further increase the pace of development in the region.
  • India can get involved in developing more Dams and Hydro-electrical projects which can fulfill India’s energy needs by importing the energy from Afghanistan and in return Afghanistan’s will gain some economic benefits.
  • India has multipronged interests in the region such as Afghanistan as a gateway to central Asia, TAPI project, importing energy etc. it need to play more active engagement role such as creating positive environment for Indian businesses opportunities, countering other nations’ interests, developing pro-India sentiments among Afghan People by providing peaceful environment etc.

Conclusion:

  • Trump’s new Afghan strategy could be a potential game-changer for South Asia or a brief exception to the familiar pattern of US-Pak relations. While recognising the potential shadow between Trump’s words and deeds, Delhi must bet on its own activism that can influence future outcomes in Afghanistan.

 

 Q.11)     “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality”. Discuss leadership as a quality in civil services. Why is it important for a civil servant to display effective leadership for turning visions into reality?                  

 (10 marks 150 words)

Leadership is the action of leading people in an organization towards achieving goals and thus realizing the aims set for the organization. Leaders do this by influencing their colleagues, setting a clear vision for the organization, motivating and guiding the individuals through the work process and builds morale. 

Leadership is an essential quality in civil services. Without effective leadership, it is arguably virtually impossible to achieve and to sustain effective administration, to achieve goals, to sustain quality and deliver good quality services to the public. Leadership plays a predominant role as civil services is all about the collective efforts. It is the team work that yield results. A good leader must know how to motivate his team members and achieve the set goals with cooperation and his effective leadership ability. A team working under an effective leader with quality leadership will always perform the best and set an example for members from other organization’s practices.

In present times, it has become important for a civil servant to display effective leadership for turning visions into reality. The increasing complexities and requirements arising from the constant change in society, coupled with the constant push for higher levels of productivity, require effective and ethical leadership. It is necessary the leader adopts and changes himself as per the needs of the society.


 

Q.12) An applicant filed a RTI application on a plain paper in regional language and handed over to PIO who rejected the application saying that it should be on pre-printed format available outside the office at the cost of Rs 25/-. When applicant insisted, PIO ultimately agreed to accept the application. The request was regarding certain information consisting of 52 pages and one sample of brick for the construction on the premises of office. The cost of information sample etc came out to be Rs 2200, which the applicant deposited immediately and got the necessary information in 52 pages. The PIO intimated the date for inspection at the construction site. The applicant went to the site of construction, and finalized the sample and ultimately, got the sample tested and report obtained.

(a) Do you justify the action and conduct of PIO?

(b) What should be done by applicant to punish corrupt construction agency?

(c) How RTI could be useful to expose corruption in construction industry.

  • According to section 6(1) of the RTI, the applicant who desires to obtain any information has to merely make a request either in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area and such request is to be only accompanied by requisite fee.
  • The PIO was duty bound to provide all reasonable assistance to the applicant making the request.
  • Thus act does not specify any requisite format for application form. Hence to advice the applicant to purchase application form outside the office is unreasonable and illegal.

(b) Since the applicant is already in procession of the certified sample of the brick from the construction site, he should take following steps to punish the corrupt constructions agency.

  • The applicant should ask for the certified photocopy of the plan and estimate which should be available in the office of the public authority who has been assigned with the work of construction.
  •  After getting the above copy, he can make a comparison as to what should have been the quality and pricing of the brick. If the brick is of the substandard quality he can attach the two informations which have been provided by public authority and may insist for an independent enquiry to be done by some one senior to the officer who is incharge of construction.
  •  Enquiry will establish the guilt and accountability will be fixed up on corrupt one.

(c) RTI could be useful in exposing Corruption in following ways in construction industry.

  • Public authorities should be insisted to make suo-moto disclosure of plan and estimate and all developmental schemes.
  •  A copy of the above documents should be made available at construction site for general people to see themselves.
  •  People in turn should be made educated to make them understand the cost of project and qualities of materials etc.
  •  Money/ways paid to labourers and skilled people should also be displayed.
  •  In some selected cases people should ask for the sample and get them tested in laboratories.

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