[Official Answer] 19 Aug 2017 | Target Mains: GS Questions With Official Answers

GS Paper 1- Indian society

Q.1) While Globalization has destroyed many traditional practices and Industries in India it has also given new lease of life to some of them who were on the ventilator. Examine.

  • Globalization (or globalisation) is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas and mutual sharing, and other aspects of culture
  • Though Large-scale globalization began in the 19th century however globalization in modern sense entered India after 1991 reforms.
  • Globalization in India has destroyed many Traditional Practices and Industries,for example under the influence of globalization joint family system is breaking down as concept of indivisualism is becoming popularized due to greater access to western culture and norms as promoted by globalization.Similarly Pre marital sex and live in were taboo in India but they have been becoming more prevalent as a result of globalization

Similarly some traditional handloom industries were wiped out due to globalization as they could not face the international competition unleashed by the forces of globalization.Industries like jute suffered badly due to competetion from Bangladesh and South east asian countries.

However though Globalization has badly effected many traditional practices and industries,it has also given a lease of life to many on ventilator,Yoga is the biggest example of this because Almost all of India had forgetten this Ancient Indian Practice,however due to globalization ,it become popular in the west ,which attracted attention of Indians themselves towards this almost extinct meditional practice and today Yoga as again regained it’s lost glory..

Similarly we have almost forgotten wearing of Sherwani and Lehenga chunari our ancient and medievel traditional dresses but due to globalization it become popular in the west which reignited our attention to these wardrobes and currently they are again wore by Indians in marriages and functions.

Even Indian classical music which had almost lost it’s audience in India was given relife because of globalization.Since due to globalization it spread much quickly into the west and Sitar and sarod had currently become very popular instrument in the west .Due to this new generastion of musician are emerging in these classcial instruments.

Outsourcing Industry was given a new lease due to globalization and currently 3 million people are employed in IT sector.

 


GS paper 2-Polity & Governance

Q.2) Critics argue that private hospitals focussed on profits will do no good to the poor who can’t pay for their services, so the government must step in to provide free health care. In the light of above statement critically examine the NITI Aayog’s recent proposal for the partial privatisation of district-level government hospitals.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/the-private-route/article19505840.ece

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/a-healthy-partnership-strengthening-of-public-health-services-must-go-along-with-leveraging-of-private-sector-resources-4803143/

  • India since independence has involved various initiatives to improve the health systems among Indians by incorporating many programs and policies. Various Five Year Plans have incorporated some or other good initiatives to impart healthcare facilities to masses.
  • However, still the treatment is not adequate and the government hospitals at district and sub-divisional (lower) level lack various facilities to treat the citizens. Concerning this the NITI Aayog has proposed to bring the government hospitals partially under private hands to serve the purpose better.

However, this initiative of privatization is being criticized by many on various grounds:

  • The policy document has come under sharp criticism for the Ministry’s failure to consult with key stakeholders from civil society and academia.
  • Private treatment involves huge cost which is unaffordable to the poor as private players are for profit making. Affordability is indeed the major issue preventing poor Indians from getting proper health care.
  • A major concern about the policy is that under ‘principles’ of the financial structure, the document states that “there will be no reserved beds or no quota (sic) of beds for free services” in these facilities. This will bring competitive trade for availing beds and will lead to corruption.
  • What is particularly disturbing is the suggestion that only Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients and those in insurance schemes will be able to access free care. This would effectively exclude hundreds of millions of the Indian population from vital hospital services.
  • If implemented, these proposals could threaten to take India away from Universal Health Coverage (UHC), a key sustainable development goal.
  • If the government has to give seed money, share blood banks and other infrastructure, and still not be able to reserve beds for poor patients, it seems like we are not getting much in return.
  • NITI Aayog has no locus standi to make health policy, which is a state subject in India. The logic behind shutting down the Planning Commission was to ensure that policies are not centralised. NITI Aayog was to be an advisory body but here they are rushing through a policy that will essentially hand over public assets to the private sector, leading to a further dismantling of the public services available for free.
  • While it is clear that insured patients will receive free care, it is not at all clear what will happen to the vast majority of the population.
  • In particular, how will these referral arrangements work? Whereas it says that states can, if they wish, refer 100% of patients for cashless care, it is a matter of concern that it also proposes that States can set a cap on this entitlement. How would this work? What happens when the cap is reached? Would people only be able to access services for half the year, or less? These are the probable question which arises with the proposal of NITI Aayog which is not at all clear.

Conclusion:

  • The need of the hour is to sanction adequate fund through budgetary expenditure and hire expert doctors and health workers to serve the purpose in government hospitals. The salaries, remuneration for the health personnels should be increased to make them attractive towards govt. hospitals and also to serve in rural areas.
  • If privatized, the subsidies should be given to hospitals for serving the poor free. Medical Insurance cover should be made universalized and other such facilities especially related to the poor should be brought in order to better serve the masses without any discrimination.

 

GS paper 3- Indian Economy

Q.3) Discuss the impact of change in repo rate on common man? why it is said that RBI should be more aggressive in cutting the repo rate?

 

The repo rate is the interest rate at which banks can borrow money from RBI for short durations. It stands to reason that, if this is lowered, banks can lend to their borrowers at lower rates. This is the reason why changing this rate usually influences interest rates across the economy and in the same direction.

How it affects the common man?

Borrowing cost increases: If RBI hikes its repo rate, it becomes costly for banks to borrow money from RBI so they in turn hike the rates at which customers borrow money from them to compensate for the hike in repo rate.

Increasing cost of servicing loans: Interest rate for common man will be repo rate plus the rate of interest on which he took the loan from the bank. So, if repo rate increases the interest rate of the loan will also increase, thus increasing the EMI.

Inflation related: It is also standard wisdom that raising the repo rate lowers inflation but also restrains growth, while lowering it pushes up the growth rate but fuels inflation.

Consumer behavior:  Lowering interest rates is to increase demand and once demand starts people will be eager to invest. Little more demand, will prompt people to invest more. Once they are eager to invest they create a demand of its own. This indirectly affects household decisions about expenditure thus fluctuating consumer behavior.

There are several reasons why it is believed that the RBI should be more aggressive in cutting the repo rate and guiding the direction it will pursue in the future:

  • First is the fact that there is no indication of rapid, generalized inflation in India. There may be single-item price spikes, but these are caused by structural factors and bottlenecks, not overall liquidity in the economy.
  • Second, India’s growth needs a shot in the arm. As a result of the liquidity crunch associated with last November’s demonetization, overall GDP growth in India is now down to 6.1 per cent per annum. Some additional liquidity could partially offset this.
  • Third, the long-run slowdown in the amount of investment taking place in the country is a concern. India’s investment-to-GDP ratio at above 35 per cent was a major factor fuelling the country’s high growth since 2003. But this has now dropped to approximately 28 per cent.
  • Fourth, to get back to high investment, banks in India have to be given leeway to lend more. One instrument for this is a lower repo and reverse repo rate, which would allow banks to lower their interest rates and that, would encourage entrepreneurs to borrow more and invest in long-run projects.
  • Further, the world is today caught in a low-interest rate regime. It is evident that this is not good because such extreme low rates are, far from boosting consumption; make people to save more since they are worried about not having enough money at the time of their retirement. This has created a classic ‘trap’.
  • By holding on to high interest rates, India is attracting capital flows into the country, as evidenced by the large foreign exchange reserves. However, this is causing the rupee to be stronger than it should be and this is, in turn, stunting exports, and also growth.

An economy is a complex machine and its well-being depends on a fine balance of policies that have to be crafted by the best professionals. The RBI’s policy action is just one instrument and its significance can’t be understated. At this juncture, it could have played a major role in steadying the Indian ship and even speeding it up a little.


GS paper 4- Ethics & integrity

Q.4) Election Commission has announced general election and model Code of Conduct has come into force. You are sub divisional magistrate and returning officer of an assembly constituency. A candidate belonging to a political party has been permitted by you to hold a  meeting at 12 P.M. to a public place. Suddenly you get a request from a ruling party candidate that chief minister has made a programme of holding election meeting on the same venue and on the same date at 2 P.M. There is no alternative place where ruling party could hold its election meeting. There is every likelihood of clashes between supporters of both candidates.    (20 marks 250 words)

 

(a) What are the options available to you?

(b) Evaluate each of these options and choose the option which you would adopt giving reasons.

The model code of conduct implemented by election commission gives a set of guidelines to be followed by various parties during campaigning and elections. It produces a moral force on the parties to abide by prescribed guidelines.

The various options before the SDM as returning officer are as-

  1. Ask the other party or the ruling party can to postpone his meeting. This will avoid any clashes between the supporters. But the CM may have some pressing engagements and he may think that you did not consider his points of views properly.
  2. He may suggest procuring for private land for meeting. This is a good option but it should be considered only after a written consent, from the concerned party. Necessary initiative has also to be taken by ruling party members.

If the above options donot resolve the issue, the ground can be divided into two parts. The 1st party can be asked to finish its meeting by 1.45 pm, by the time other party can be given permission to enter from back side of ground. Police can be posted in between the two sides to avoid any clash.

The main aim of the officer in the case should be to take into consideration the interest of both the parties. He can take the help of civil or police authorities to avoid any conflicting situation at the site of meeting.

In the end, a meeting of all political parties should be convened to ask them to take permission for such meetings week in advance so that any possibility of such a situation does not happen again.

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