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Announcements

The Hindu has acknowledged CD’s UPSC Core Mentorship Initiative | Smash Mains 80% Success Rate Mentorship Driven Program can only make you an IAS, IPS, IRS, IFS, Etc.

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure someone was cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”-Civilsdaily.

-Do You Know?

  • Every year, almost 15 Lakhs serious aspirants fill the form of UPSC-CSE.
  • Approximately, 90% of candidates sit for the exam.
  • Vacancy is announced between 700 and 800.

As per the above data, there is a chance of clearing for an aspirant is 0.00054% if he/she gives a try without the guidance of an experienced mentor. On the other hand, this chance% increases from 0.00053 to 80%, if CD’s core mentorship is registered.

Unlock Your Potential…..

Yes, the UPSC-CSE is one of the prestigious examinations in the country as well as worldwide. IAS stands for the INDIAN ADMINSTRATATIVE SERVICES examination and it is conducted every year by UPSC. If you dream to work for Indian administrative services and serve the nation, you should start your preparation way before while being in the college. Since college studies also need enough time, this becomes a challenge to prepare for the IAS examination as well.

You need to know how to prepare for the UPSC exam either without hampering your present job or without hampering the college course. This sounds pretty much tough though everything is possible with a proper plan and hard work. 


And to fulfill your dream of becoming an IAS or IPS, you will very much need a toppersmentor’s guidance. 

–CD’s On-demand Mentorship Program is acknowledged by the prominent Newspaper.
Civilsdaily Hall Of Fame (Our Mentees)

Why do you need a mentor’s guidance?

  • How to understand & memorize the gigantic syllabus! Our toppers echoed hundreds of times that to understand the UPSC syllabus is to get your work half done. And without having a mentor, learn the same by heart infers to look for a needle in a haystack.
  • ‘Pattern Analysis’. UPSC is the most dynamic in nature. So, the most important step is to analyze the pattern of the exam. Find ‘Do’s & ‘Don’ts’. Here, also a mentor, only a mentor can show you the right direction.
  • There is a wide difference between the syllabi of the Preliminary and Main Exam, the nature of questions, and consequently, the preparation strategy needs to be well thought out.
  • How to take Mock Tests with a Pinch of Salt! How to read & revise PYQs. ‘What to read & what not to read’ all these aspects remain at a topper’s mentor’s fingertips.
  • After having passed from the phase of prelims, Thousands of aspirants are very much familiar with the butterflies in the stomach at this point. Knowing the unpredictability of this journey, many believe that only hard work can make them luckier. But shockingly, even after working with all their might, 90% of them remain very much clueless about their “strategy” being right or wrong. 
  • One of the musts is to choose the right sources for preparation. How to read newspapers example: “The Hindu’, etc. Best, authentic, minimum materials for UPSC-CSE Preparation are suggested by experienced mentors. 
  • And the last but not the least. ‘How to choose an optional subject’, ‘How to maintain time & stress’, ‘How to prepare current affairs’, Etc. only a mentor can give you the best suggestion along with a great piece of advice.

And we feel proud & satisfied that we have been mentoring thousands of UPSC aspirants who have already fulfilled their dreams of IAS, IPS, and so on.

Our dedicated mentorship has been acknowledged by the most UPSC prominent newspaper ‘The Hindu’.

What to do!

Civilsdaily’s mentors are highly qualified, with at least 3+ years of mentorship experience and two UPSC-CSE Interviews under their belts. They are well-versed in the many stages of preparation. These mentors will assist you in developing both a comprehensive and micro schedule. They’ll put together a weekly program for you, complete with mentorship calls. This schedule will be created based on a thorough examination of the importance of subjects as well as the interconnection of topics to make it easier for students to grasp the material.

Do join us if you have made up your mind about clearing UPSC-CSE on your very 1st attempt.


This is what our students say about our Allround Core Mentorship…

Wish You All The Best.

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Announcements

Toppers’ Choice: Prime Prelims TS-2023 | With On-Demand Mentorship Program

Prime Prelims TS 2023


44 Tests (14 Basic, 8 Advanced, 6 Current Affairs Based Test, 10 Full-Length Tests, 6 CSAT-Tests)

The new Tests are going to start on 11th June, 2022

‘What are you waiting for….?’

Civil Services Preliminary Exam is the first phase of the Civil Services Exam but not necessarily the simplest. There is a wide difference between the syllabi of the Preliminary and Main Exam, the nature of questions, and consequently, the preparation strategy needs to be well thought out. 

Despite the churnings happening around us, few fundamentals couldn’t be questioned at least about the UPSC exam. Much coveted UPSC civil service has always attracted the best talents from across India. Hence on the flip side heightens the competition. So, you have to strive hard. As a result, a focused and measured approach is always needed, and that too throughout the year.

Those who have already faced the exam would know it themselves. The importance & contribution of the Test series in fine-tuning the prep process.

-Civilsdaily’s majestic mentorship program. The Hindu Newspaper has acknowledged…

Presenting you a few highlights about our Prime Prelims Program 2023

Target UPSC 2023 (Prelims): There are no shortcuts. Only smart work with the most probable questions works for you. Expect many questions in UPSC civil services Preliminary exam – 2023 directly from our Prime Prelims Test Series. You need to revise the solved points provided with each of these tests keeping in mind the nature of questions that were asked in Prelims 2021 & 2022. 

Avoid Last Time Rush..

Students Views: How Santosh Sir’s Mentorship Leads to Success in Prelims

Our Students’ Testimonials.

WHAT ARE MAKING OUR PRIME PRELIMS TS-2023 DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS

1. Complete course revision with Test Paper-based time-plan

The complete course has 44 Test papers, to enhance the exam worthiness of an aspirant. Especially those who have their house (concepts) in order about the course/syllabus. The idea of solving tests or mock papers is with the intent to find out the gaps in our preparation. Sometimes they are also helpful for the mains or subjective type questions.

2. A holistic mix of Static – cum- Dynamic Test series

Course completion is what we care to establish with each finishing module. And this incorporates the aspect of Current affairs and Associated statics as well. Hence an aspirant gets a holistic mix of Static cum Dynamic elements featured in this course.

3. Mentor & Discussion help for 1-1

Civilsdaily Mentorship with tests is going to help an aspirant keep a track of the syllabus, which was earlier either glossed over or paid little attention to. Our Senior Mentors will be the person who would have the responsibility to ensure you end up with all the papers. Also, imparting valuable advice to stay rational and mindful.

  1. Detailed Orientation session
  1. Year-long mentorship till prelims and beyond
  1. Mentor call after every 4 tests or one call/month
  1. Bi-Weekly zoom sessions for doubts and discussions
  1. 24*7 Habitat group mentors support

Civilsdaily’s mentors are highly qualified, with at least 3+ years of mentorship experience and two UPSC-CSE Interviews under their belts. They are well-versed in the many stages of preparation. These mentors will assist you in developing both a comprehensive and micro schedule. They’ll put together a weekly program for you, complete with mentorship calls. This schedule will be created based on a thorough examination of the importance of subjects as well as the interconnection of topics to make it easier for students to grasp the material.

Our highly experienced mentors will guide you with the all-round strategy

  • of How to deal with unfamiliar MCQs by using TIKDAM (Intelligent Guessing)
  • How many questions you should attempt.
  • When to start coding on OMR sheet
  • How to focus on strong areas

4. All India Rankings

All India ranking factors are here to help you deal with the moments of truth vis-à-vis your preparation level. They give you the necessary nudge to focus back on evaluating the current state of preparation. Your mentor would have a lot more to focus on wrt the rankings you achieve.

5. Performance-based Aspirant Cohorts on Civilsdaily Habitat

At Civilsdaily, you would get a community always ready to deal with unexpected roadblocks. We aim to create a like-minded and similarly placed aspirant cohort. For a better discussion of tasks and problem-solving capabilities. So as a member of any Cohort, chat (responsibly) with other learners.

If you have a question, chances are, you’re not alone. Reach out in the discussion forum to ask for help from other learners taking this program.

6. CivilsDaily Habitat Sessions – Ask Anything

Were your queries about courses/syllabus / basic doubts would be addressed to keep you always on the move.

Throughout this course, you will learn about the techniques of time management, and the ability to find a static–dynamic convergence. Also, peace of mind about course completion under the guidance of a mentor. 

The mentor would also provide a lot of reading material from time to time. But sometimes, you may need to look things up on your own for extra learning. Things change fast in our dynamic socio-political setup, so it is critical to do your own research so you can stay up-to-date on what is new.

What is there on Habitat?

  • An ecosystem for co-learning and active learning.
  • A highly motivated community to bring flexibility and consistency to your preparation.


Samachar Manthan Civilsdaily IAS Current Affairs UPSCHabitat – Desktop and Mobile view


Download PDF for better visibility – Prime Prelims TS 2023 Time Table (New Batch)


Program Inclusion

  • 44 Tests
    • 14 Basic tests
    • 8 Advanced tests
    • 6 Current Affairs Based Tests
    • 10 Full-Length Tests
    • 6 CSAT Tests
  • Civilsdaily’s Monthly Magazine Combo
  • Individual Mentorship
  • Economic Survey & Budget Videos and Notes
  • Advanced Static + Tikdam Videos
  • Admission to the exclusive Civilsdaily Prelims club on Habitat.

Where to find the tests?

After enrolling, you will receive a confirmation email with links to the tests and materials. These links are also available in the curriculum section of this course.

Facing any issues with test access post-enrollment?

Share your payment confirmation, name, email id, and contact number along with the issue that you are facing (with screenshots if possible) at dj@civilsdaily.com and cc it to hello@civilsdaily.com

We will resolve your issues in minutes.

This is what our students have to say about our mock tests…

Feedback for 2022 Prelims Mocks

Civilsdaily’s Community: Testimonials

-Still have queries?

All The Best.

Categories
Announcements

Direct Joining Link-Free Official Webinar On Super 100 UPSC Mains: 2023 Year long Program By Senior IAS Mentor Swatantra Dantre

Feel Free to Join the amazing Ask Me Anything open book session & consult your UPSC Mains’ trial for more satisfactory performance. 

Civilsdaily Team is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
*Super 100 UPSC Mains: 2023 Year long Program || By Senior IAS Mentor Swatantra Dantre*Date & Time: *May 18, 2022 @07:00 PM (Please login by 06:45 PM) India*
Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us06web.zoom.us/j/84607414160?pwd=bkFQTGJYWTVVcGtlcldJd1FxS1VWQT09
Meeting ID: 846 0741 4160

Passcode: 261950

Webinar Details:

Grasp the opportunity to get exceptional tips on ‘what is the best strategy for UPSC-Mains’, and ‘how to write fantastic or above-average answers by presenting with a clear structure. This entire webinar is free. All aspirants are wholeheartedly welcome to attend.

Date: 18th May 2022 (Wednesday)

Time: 7 PM to 8 PM

Strategies & Approaches, in This Free Live Webinar by Swatantra Sir!

  • Best, authentic, minimum materials for UPSC-CSE Mains Preparation. Do’s & Dont’s, How to remake ‘Recognition of information’ into ‘recall, analyse & express’.
  • Whether your answers ought to reflect the editorial standards of The Hindu! What should be the foolproof strategy? What subject to pick up first to start your Mains Preparation!
  • How toppers prioritize speed over content, and content over structure. How to fix your answer writing structure, improve the content
  • How to create a basic conceptual framework of the answer before committing anything to paper. Implications of overstretching your imagination.
  • How to fetch maximum score in both ‘Essay’ & ‘Ethics’ papers to enhance your marks in total.
  • What is the difference between ‘Opinion-based’ & ‘Fact-based’ questions will also be discussed thoroughly in this webinar?
  • How & where to present the answer, replete with a Map/diagram/flowchart/, It will help to get extra 0.25-0.5 marks across 80 questions of GS papers.
  • If the question is in two parts, sticking to the word limit, how to address the demand of each part. What is the way to enclose also any critical analysis you should have within the subheading?
  • How to enhance writing patterns, where to take mock regularly, how many mock tests are fit, Etc. will be discussed in this live webinar.
  •  The untold secret of coverage of the Mains syllabus is that the syllabus can be covered 100%. The most brilliant of candidates will testify that even their coverage of the syllabus was not completely 100%. 

About Swatantra Sir:

Swatantra sir is a mentor with Civilsdaily for nearly 2+ years and is now working with Sukanya Rana Ma’am in the Civilsdaily Mains Guidance Program. His experience of scoring 110+ in all the 6 Prelims exams, coupled with scoring 135+ marks in ethics and essay papers and attending the interview twice, makes him an appropriate guide to address this compulsory matter.

All The Best

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Announcements

Live Webinar On How to clear UPSC-CSE 2023 in the very 1st Attempt by studying Only 5 hrs per day! | Free Live Webinar for Working Professionals with UPSC 2017 Ranker Megha Gupta | Direct Joining Link

Civilsdaily Team is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

How to clear UPSC-CSE 2023 in the very 1st Attempt by studying Only 5 hrs per day! | Megha Gupta, UPSC 2017 Ranker
Date & Time: May 16, 2022 @07:00 PM (Login 06:45 PM Onwards) India

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89443358379?pwd=M0JaUjY1d3MrTGZmVGVEdlkxZVhmUT09
Meeting ID: 894 4335 8379
Passcode: 292826

Webinar Details

Grasp the opportunity to get exceptional tips on ‘what is the best strategy for UPSC-CSE for working professionals’, and ‘how to prepare in holistic manner’. This entire webinar is free. All aspirants are wholeheartedly welcome to attend.

Date: 16th May 2022 (Monday)

Time: 7 to 8 PM

Strategies & Approaches, in This Free Live Webinar by Megha Ma’am!

1. The UPSC preparation process is divided into four stages. What should you focus on during each phase? How to manage time & control stress during every preparation phase. How to utilize holidays! will be discussed effectively.

2. Working examinees’ largest challenge is time management, which is critical for studying and taking care of one’s health while working a 9-hour shift. So, how to break down the syllabus into small chunks, and develop an effective & workable study strategy for UPSC preparation will also be discussed.

3. Our step-by-step 5-hour learning plan. How to complete syllabus, how to cover mock test series in such a short time! Other toppers’ time-management skills are also discussed.

4. Avoid errors that cost you a chance. How do you get your preparation off to a good start? What is one of the good sources for current affairs? is going to be discussed here.

5. The advantages of being a UPSC aspirant while working. What distinguishes you from the other competitors?

6. Studying judiciously. How can you save time by using the Civilsdaily App/website to acquire aggregated information?

7. Rest other untold many more essential tips that a working professional must know from our previous working topper.

About Megha Gupta Ma’am

Megha Gupta is a core mentor with CivilsDaily for a couple of years. She is a Graduate from NIT, Bhopal. She cleared UPSC-CSE 2017, with AIR 674. She is highly experienced in clearing UPSC-CSE Exam in the very 1st attempt as working as a professional.

All the best.

Categories
Announcements

UPSC Prelims-2022 Special: Collect 100+ Most Probable Topics To Score 110+ | Don’t waste Time | Register At the Earliest To get the Full List

UPSC IAS prelims 2022 will be held on June 5 in pen and paper mode. The IAS preparation is the interaction of important UPSC Syllabus topics. Check out the list of important topics for the UPSC prelims below and pave the way to score 110+.

Certain topics seem to be important for the UPSC prelims exam, but they are not asked in the exam. The UPSC primarily inquires about the context of current events. Ideally, UPSC asks about four aspects of a topic in one question with multiple options, with only one correct answer. Only those perplexing questions can be answered by the candidate who has a firm grasp on the subject. Candidates should balance their preparation in static General Studies topics and current affairs topics so that they can connect the two. 

Prelims is an elimination round. Those who learn & analyze everything may get eliminated. It’s all about utilizing your subjective recognition rather than critically analyzing.

The syllabus for the prelims exam does not go into great detail about the topics. Candidates should understand the prelims’ demand by analyzing the UPSC syllabus and question papers concurrently. Overall preparation necessitates over a year of focused preparation in the right direction with the right strategy. Important Prelims exam topics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the syllabus. Important topics guide will guide preparation in the right direction to sit for UPSC Mains 2022.

So, our highly experienced toppers’ teachers & mentors group has prepared the most trusted list of the most important topics. 

Expect many questions in UPSC civil services Preliminary exam – 2022 (also in mains 2022). You need to prepare 4-5 points on each of these topics keeping in mind the nature of questions that were asked in Prelims 2020 & 2021. 

Must Read Topics For Prelims 2022 (Static + Current Affairs & Combination of Both)

Polity

Electronic voting machine (EVM) 

Balance of rights and duty 

Recent amendments and Bills 

One election- one nation- Amendments required 

RPA 1951 and 1950 

Office of the governor and discretionary powers 

PESA Act, 1996 

ETC.

Economy

Inflation (2 questions expected- conceptual) 

Conceptual questions based on interlinking between fiscal policy, inflation, and monetary policy (2-3 questions) 

Banking in India 

Money market 

Taxation (1 question) 

GDP Estimates (1 question) 

ETC.

Modern Indian Hist.

-Personality (1 question)- focus on prominent freedom fighters, social reformers, viceroys 

– Chronology- focus on the time between 1925-35 and 1939-47 

– British wars 

– NCM, CDM, quit India 

– Congress sessions 

ETC.

History & Culture

 -Adi Sankaracharya 

Kakatiya Rudreshwara Temple 

Moplah Rebellion 

Sun Temple of Konark (In the news) 

Architecture (1 question on temple, 1 from medieval history) 

 Dance (classical and folk)

ETC.

Geography

World Physical Geography: 

– Geomorphology- landforms and major terminologies, origin and evolution of the earth, volcanism and earthquake, plate tectonics and continental drift theory – Oceanography – warm and cold currents, and rests other chapters.

Mapping

Indian Physical Map 

Rivers: Pannchnad, Himalayan rivers(Ganga, Brahmaputra, Yamuna), Peninsular rivers(Damodar, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Periyar)- Tributaries b. North to the south alignment of mountains in Eastern ghat and Western ghat c. Major Cities in India 

World Physical Map as well of various places & regions according to Current Affairs.

Government Schemes 

 Recent schemes on Agriculture, Vulnerable sections, MSMEs, Banking, ETC.

Science & Technology 

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) 

Electric Vehicles 

Dark Genome 

Biotechnology 

Assistant reproductive technique 

Emerging technologies (5G, AI, Machine learning) & ETC.

Social Issues

 Digital education issues 

New acts and amendments (1-2 question) 

ETC.

Environment 

India State Forest Report (ISFR) 2021 

Red sanders 

Zero Budget Natural Farming 

Heat Dome 

Net Zero Producers Forum

Glasgow summit 

National parks and wildlife sanctuaries, tiger reserves and wetlands (mapping)

Reports and indices (1 question) 

Development induced displacement 

Pollution related current affairs & Many other hot topics.

Security Issues

Reverse Engineering 

Top defense dealers and importers 

India’s missile program 

Recent amendments in NIA, UAPA acts etc. 

We have covered all these issues in both test series and current affairs. But if you can give special focus on these topics, you will definitely reap extra benefits.

All The Best.

Categories
Announcements

Toppers’ Footprints: How to best utilize 120 mins in UPSC Prelims 2022 to crack in the very 1st Attempt | Face Prelims More Confidently | Ask Me Anything Open Book Session | Joining Link

Feel Free to Enter the amazing Ask Me Anything open book session & don’t let Prelims faze you out.

Civilsdaily Team is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
*How to best utilise 120 mins in Prelims 2022 exam || Shubham Jatte, Mentor @Civilsdaily IAS*Date & Time: *May 13, 2022 @07:00 PM (start login 06:45 PM onwards) India*


Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us06web.zoom.us/j/89379557388?pwd=TnVYRFh6eWNuV0NjajZYTzluRzVxZz09

Meeting ID: 893 7955 7388

Passcode: 671762

Webinar Details:

Seize the opportunity to get infallible tips on ‘How to face prelims MCQs on the real ground’, and ‘What is the best exam hall mindset’, & ‘How to use Self Mastery to avoid silly mistakes. This exclusive webinar is free. All aspirants are wholeheartedly welcome to attend.

Date: 13th May 2022 (Sunday)

Time: 7 PM to 8 PM

Unavoidable Tips in This Free Live Webinar by Shubham Sir!

  1. What is the importance of having a real exam hall mindset? How should it be your attitude! How to stay focused on the question paper with full of concentration. Best, authentic, Do’s & Don’t, to retain all essential pieces of information for UPSC-Prelims. 
  1. How to avoid silly mistakes? They’re nobody’s enemy but yours own. So, how to stay fully concentrated over the question papers, will also be discussed.
  1. What & how should be your All round strategy for both the papers in UPSC Prelims 2022? To stay emotionally firm in the exam hall is mandatory to give your best on the OMR sheets. The most appropriate firsthand strategy is going to be discussed here.
  1. How many questions you ought to attempt! What should you focus on while attempting MCQs with full of confidence? It’s yourself over whom you have to hold control. So, how to establish a 120 minutes-relationship between questions & you are the foremost thing you should never ignore.
  1. What are those 5 magical principles that exist behind the Elimination-techniques? Our toppers used to utilize & implement these 5 magical principles that proved miracles to maintain consistency of approach.
  2. When is the accurate time to start marking in the OMR sheet? So, even a single second fetch an optimistic attitude in your approach, will be disclosed in this webinar.

About Subham Jatte Sir:

Subham sir is a mentor with CivilsDaily for nearly 3+ years and is now working with other senior mentors of the Civilsdaily UPSC Guidance Program. He has mentored more than 2500+ Aspirants with his huge experience of cracking 4 Mains in UPSC-CSE. He also identifies himself as a certified teacher by preference. He is also known for his love for writing and sharing the best success mantras with aspirants.

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Burning Issues

[Burning Issue] Care Economy

UPSC 2023 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

Context

The importance of care work is now widely acknowledged and covered in various international commitments such as the SDGs. However, the investment in the care economy has not matched the pace.

What is the care economy?

  • The care economy includes child care, elder care, and care for people who are ill or disabled and in need of assistance. That care is provided by home-based businesses, care centers, and individuals who work in the homes of those they care for.
  • The 2019 ILO report ‘A Quantum Leap for Gender Equality’ identified unpaid care work as the biggest impediment to women’s formal employment, as it engaged 21.7% of women between 18-54 years of age, as opposed to 1.7% of men.
  • A medium-term plan to increase public investment in care economy infrastructure offers India a credible instrument to meet multiple policy objectives.

Care work and Care Economy

A system that consists of activities and relationships involved in meeting the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of care — remains an integral but undervalued component of economies all over the world, ensuring the welfare of communities. Care work can be direct or indirect, paid or unpaid, short-term (maternity needs) or long-term (care for the disabled and elderly).

Why is there an increasing demand for care work?

  • Individualization– The trend towards a culture of individualization from collectivism will lead to a higher proportion of dependent people.
  • Demographic Transition-  The proportion of elderly people in the population is rising slowly.
  • Climate change- Climate change has caused water scarcity and rural food distress which increases care burden on women and children.
  • The ILO estimates that doubling investment in care relative to 2015 levels would generate 117 million additional jobs by 2030.
  • According to the International Trade Union Confederation (2019), an investment of 2% GDP in care in India would create 11 million jobs, of which 32.5% would be garnered by women.
  • The relational nature of care also implies that these jobs are less likely to be automated.

What is the significance of the care economy?

  • Employment- An analysis by the Women’s Budget Group (2019) showed that if an additional 2% of the GDP was invested in the Indian health and care sector, 11 million additional jobs could be generated, nearly a third of which would go to women.
  • Greater investment in care services can create an additional 300 million jobs globally, many of which will be for women.
  • Development- This will help increase female labor force participation and advance Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.
  • Lifting burden from women- A combination of childcare infrastructure and parental leave policies will offset the burden on women to facilitate higher maternal employment to population ratio.
  • Reducing Income inequalities- India’s average female daily wage was 59 % of the male wage in 1993-94 and improved to 72 %in 2018-19.
  • Gender-inclusive economic growth- Women’s unpaid work is valued at 3.1% of GDP in India. Recognizing AWWs, ANMs, ASHAs and domestic help (amongst others), as formal sector workers would allow their economic contribution to be counted in the GDP
  • Prevention of “occupational downgrading”- It will help women become less likely to end up with lower pay when looking for flexibility, or part-time roles owing to care work responsibilities.

What is the status of care services?

  • Women’s unpaid work is valued at 3.1% of GDP in India.
  • In recent years, South Asian countries such as India and Bangladesh have begun investing in physical infrastructure which would improve the provision of care services indirectly.
  • India’s Economic Survey 2018-19 anticipates three major shifts in public policy, auguring increased attention to the care economy-
  • Declining working-age population- It has called for suitable regional policies to accommodate inter-State migrant labor, increasing the retirement age in a phased manner, and provisioning pensions and other types of retirement benefits.
  • Declining school-going population- It has shifted the focus of the National Education Policy 2019 on the merger and consolidation of existing elementary schools and emphasizes on quality of school education.
  • An increase in healthy life expectancy has also called attention to developing geriatric care in public health.
  • Maternity leave- India offers 26 weeks of maternity leave, against the ILO’s standard mandate of 14 weeks.
  • Child care- India has a long history of mandating the provision of creches in factories and establishments but there is limited information on its actual implementation.

Gaps in the current policies?

  • Unorganized/ Informal sector- The maternity leave coverage extends to only a tiny proportion of women workers in formal employment in India, where 89% of employed women are in informal employment.
  • Paternity Leave- While increasingly being recognized as an enabler for better balance work and family responsibilities, it is not provided in many countries, including India.
  • Access to quality and affordable care- Quality Services such as childcare, elderly care and care for people with disabilities is a challenge workers with family responsibilities face globally.
  • Implementation gaps- While India has a long history of mandating the provision of crèches in factories and establishments, there is limited information on its actual implementation.
  • Domestic Workers- According to the Government’s 2019 estimates, 26 lakh of the 39 lakh domestic workers in India are female. They also face challenges in accessing decent work.

Way Forward

  1. Comprehensive care policies– Policies that meet SDGs and can be rooted in ILO’s ‘Decent Work Agenda’ principles that begin with recognizing the value of unpaid care work, reducing the drudgery of work, redistributing responsibilities of care work between women and men, remunerating care workers, and representing their concerns.
  2. Strategic Action Plan- In consultation with the relevant stakeholders, the government needs to conceptualize a strategy and action plan for improved care policies, care service provisions and decent working conditions for care workers.
  3. Public good- Care work should be viewed as a collective responsibility and public good.
  4. Investment- Investing in a combination of childcare infrastructure and parental leave policies will have higher maternal employment to population ratio.
  5. Increase spending- India spends less than 1% of its GDP on the care economy; increasing this percentage would unfurl a plethora of benefits for workers and the overall economy.
  6. 5 R framework- The ILO proposes a 5R framework for decent care work centered around achieving gender equality. It urges on Recognition, Reduction of unpaid care work, Redistribution of unpaid care work, Rewarding care workers and decent work and Representation in social dialogue and collective bargaining.

Conclusion

Comprehensive care policies demand increased state involvement in investing, formalizing, and regulating the care economy. In addition to providing care benefits, national accounts should also be sensitive to the contribution of unpaid care to economic growth. Gender-sensitive budgeting, satellite accounts, and tax policy are some of the ways in which economic policy can acknowledge and reward care work. Finally, the state would be an important arbiter in engaging with care workers to realize and expand their rights

UPSC 2023 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

Categories
Burning Issues

[Burning Issue] Artificial Intelligence and Climate change

UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

Context

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies have been often thought as a gateway to a future written in chrome, operating on a virtual cloud.

Even in Budget 2022-23, AI was described as a sunrise technology that would “assist sustainable development at scale and modernize the country.”

In terms of climate change, AI can prove to be immensely helpful in developing environment-friendly infrastructure, making climate predictions and decarbonizing industries. However, ironically, AI with itself brings an environmental cost to the development of the technology.

What is Climate Change?

  • It deals with the global phenomenon of climate transformation that significantly impacts the earth’s usual climatic conditions (temperature, precipitation, wind, etc.). 
  • They are mainly caused due to human-made activities.
  • The major source of climate change is global warming, which is primarily caused by the greenhouse effect.
  • Rapid urbanization and industrial revolution are the other main causes that lead to the risk of climate change with increased energy demand and production, especially in the form of fossil fuels.
  •  The growing risk of climate change has a disastrous impact on earth organisms, including human beings and earth’s flora and fauna.
  • It further leads to the destruction of the food chain and economic resources.

Social and Economic Impact of Climate Change

  • The cost of adapting coastal areas to rising sea levels.
  • Relocation of whole towns.
  • Shrinking productivity of harvests.
  • Loss of the capacity to work due to heat.
  • More wars to gain access to limited resources.
  • Freshwater will be short in the supply.
  • Spread of diseases due to higher temperatures.
  • Inflation in food and consumer goods.
  • The extreme meteorological phenomenon will cause widespread poverty.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. Specific applications of AI include expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition and machine vision.
  • In general, AI systems work by ingesting large amounts of labeled training data, analyzing the data for correlations and patterns, and using these patterns to make predictions about future states.
  • AI programming focuses on three cognitive skills: learning, reasoning and self-correction.

How can AI help in the mitigation of Climate Change?

  • AI is a disruptive paradigm that has greater potential to assess, predict, and mitigate the risk of climate change with the efficient use of data, learning algorithms, and sensing devices.
  • It performs a calculation, makes predictions, and takes decisions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
  • By developing effective models for weather forecasting and environmental monitoring, AI makes us better understand the impacts of climate change across various geographical locations.
  • It interprets climatic data and predicts weather events, extreme climate conditions, and other socio-economic impacts of climate change and precipitation.
  • From a technical perspective, AI offers better climatic predictions, shows the impacts of extreme weather, finds the actual source of carbon emitters and includes numerous other reasonable contributions. 
  • This enables the policymakers to be aware of the rising sea levels, earth hazards, hurricanes, temperature change, disruption to natural habitats, and species extinction.

Applications of AI for Climate Change mitigation

The following are the few areas in which AI can directly help mitigate the risks posed by climate change:-

  • AI-assisted prediction models for climate change mitigation
  • Role of machine vision in climate informatics and forecasting
  • Recent trends in AI to reduce carbon footprints for a sustainable environment
  • AI for earth hazard management
  • AI to promote eco-friendly energy production and consumption
  • AI-assisted expert systems for climate change risk prediction and assessment
  • AI-assisted big data analytics Synergy of IoT, big data, cloud computing, and AI techniques in climate change prediction and mitigation
  • Machine learning for a sustainable green future
  • AI in reducing the impacts of global warming
  • Deep learning for sustainable earth surveillance and earth informatics

AI Can Accelerate Our Response to Climate Change

  • Improve Energy Efficiency– According to the Capgemini Research Institute, artificial intelligence should improve power efficiency by 15% in the next three to five years.
  • Optimize Clean Energy Development- AI computational models can find sites for dams that can produce the lowest amounts of GHG emissions.
  • Avoid Waste- Companies, governments, and leaders frequently deploy AI solutions to avoid waste, reduce energy waste from buildings or understand supply and demand.
  • Make Transportation More Efficient- AI is already the technology that powers autonomous vehicles, including shared cars and smart transportation systems in some cities.
  • Tools to Help Understand Carbon Footprint- AI can help build tools to help individuals and companies understand their carbon footprint and what actions they can take to reduce it.
  • Create New Low-Carbon Materials- If AI could develop new materials with similar properties but with a smaller carbon footprint, it could help slow climate change.

What are the Global Trends for the Development of AI Technology?

  • Unfair Start- A few developed economies possess certain material advantages right from the start, they also set the rules.
  • They have an advantage in research and development, and possess a skilled workforce as well as wealth to invest in AI.
  • West vs the World- North America and East Asia alone account for three-fourths of global private investment in AI, patents and publications.
  • Political Advantage- The current state of inequity in AI in terms of governance raises concerns about the technological fluency of policymakers in developing and underdeveloped countries and their representation and empowerment at the international bodies that set rules and standards on AI.
  • Benefits for few- The developing and underdeveloped countries have not been much benefitted by the technology as AI’s social and economic benefits are accruing to a few countries only.

India & AI

  • In Budget 2022-23, AI was described as a sunrise technology that would “assist sustainable development at scale and modernize the country.”
  • Research ecosystem- India has 386 of a total of 22,000 Ph.D. educated researchers worldwide and ranked 10th globally in research.  AI research concentrated mostly at institutes, like IITs, IIITs and IISc.
  • Present Use of AI- Presently, AI is used in India in sectors such as Smart Mobility and Transportation, Healthcare, Agriculture, Education and Smart Cities & Infrastructure.
  • AI adoption across sectors-
  1. COREs– Centres of Research Excellence in Artificial Intelligence will focus on core research of AI.
  2. ICTAI– International Centre for Transformational Artificial Intelligence will provide the ecosystem for application-based technology development and deployment.
  3. AIRAWAT (AI research, analytics and knowledge assimilation platform will be a cloud platform for Big Data Analytics and Assimilation, with a large, power-optimized AI Computing infrastructure using advanced AI processing.

AI in India: Opportunities

AI has the potential to drive growth by enabling:

  • Intelligent automation i.e. ability to automate complex physical world tasks that require adaptability and agility across industries,
  • Labor and capital augmentation: enabling humans to focus on parts of their role that add the most value, complementing human capabilities and improving capital efficiency
  • Innovation diffusion i.e. propelling innovations as it diffuses through the economy

What is the Impact of AI Technology on Climate?

  • Carbon Footprint- The climate impact of AI can be majorly attributed to the energy use of training and operating large AI models.
  • Emissions- In 2020, digital technologies accounted for between 1.8% and 6.3% of global emissions.
  • At this same time, AI development and adoption across sectors skyrocketed and so did the demand for processing power associated with larger and larger AI models.
  • Quantification– A main problem to tackle in reducing AI’s climate impact is to quantify its energy consumption and carbon emission, and to make this information transparent.
  • UNESCO’s Efforts- The idea of sustainability is rapidly entering mainstream debates on AI ethics and sustainable development.
  • Recently, UNESCO adopted the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, calling on actors to “reduce the environmental impact of AI systems, including but not limited to its carbon footprint.”

Way Forward

  • Research: Dedicated studies, more investments in R&D, and better policy interventions are required in this field. AI needs to be developed and deployed so it can meet society’s needs and protect the environment by saving more energy than it expends.
  • Technology + Sustainable Development:  To make sure AI is used to help, and not hinder society, it’s time to merge the two big debates of the present time – digital technology and sustainable development (in particular, the environment). If we use the former to save the latter, this could be the best possible use made out of the resources available to us.
  • Opportunities for the Developing World: Governments of developing countries, including India, should assess their technology-led growth priorities in the context of AI’s climate costs.
  • Recommendation of WEF: The AI developers “must incorporate the health of the natural environment as a fundamental dimension.”

Conclusion

Governments of developing countries, India included, should also assess their technology-led growth priorities in the context of AI’s climate costs. It is argued that as developing nations are not plagued by the legacy infrastructure it would be easier for them to “build up better”. These countries don’t have to follow the same AI-led growth paradigm as their Western counterparts.

It may be worth thinking through what “solutions” would truly work for the unique social and economic contexts of the communities in our global village.

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Burning Issues

[Burning Issue] India-Sri Lanka Relations

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Context

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is aggravating rapidly, putting citizens through enormous hardship.

Reasons for the Crisis

The first wave of the pandemic in 2020 offered early and sure signs of distress.

  • In-migration: Thousands of Sri Lankan laborers in West Asian countries were left stranded and returned jobless.
  • Shut-down: Garment factories and tea estates could not function, as infections raged in clusters. Tourism sector to saw a big dip.
  • Domestic job losses: Thousands of youth lost their jobs in cities as establishments abruptly sacked them or shut down.
  • Forex decline: It meant that all key foreign exchange earning sectors, such as exports and remittances, along with tourism, were brutally hit.

Policy failures of the Lankan govt

  • No strategy: The lack of a comprehensive strategy to respond to the crisis then was coupled with certain policy decisions last year.
  • Ill-advised policies: It included the government’s abrupt switch to organic farming —widely deemed “ill-advised”, further aggravated the problem.
  • Food hoarding: The government declared emergency regulations for the distribution of essential food items. It put wide import restrictions to save dollars which in turn led to consequent market irregularities and reported hoarding.
  • Continuous borrowing: Fears of a sovereign default rose by the end of 2021, with the country’s foreign reserves plummeting to $1.6 billion, and deadlines for repaying external loans looming.

Brief background of India-SL relations

  • India is the only neighbor of Sri Lanka, separated by the Palk Strait; both nations occupy a strategic position in South Asia and have sought to build a common security umbrella in the Indian Ocean.
  • There are deep racial and cultural links between the two countries. Both share a maritime border.
  • The India- SL relations have been however tested by the Sri Lankan Civil War and by the controversy of Indian intervention during the war.
  • In recent years Sri Lanka has moved closer to China, especially in terms of naval agreements.
  • India has signed a nuclear energy deal to improve relations and made a nuclear energy pact with Sri Lanka in 2015.

India’s role in the Lankan Civil War

  • In the 1970s–1980s, the RAW and the state government of Tamil Nadu were believed to be encouraging the funding and training for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a separatist insurgent force.
  • In 1987, faced with growing anger amongst its own Tamils, and a flood of refugees India intervened directly in the conflict for the first time.
  • This was after the Sri Lankan government attempted to regain control of the northern Jaffna region by means of an economic blockade and military assaults; India supplied food and medicine by air and sea.

Why did India intervene?

  • Indian intervention in Sri Lankan civil war became inevitable as that civil war threatened India’s unity, national interest and territorial integrity.

Outcomes

  • The peace accord assigned a certain degree of regional autonomy in the Tamil areas with a body controlling the regional council and called for the Tamil militant groups to lay down their arms.
  • Further India was to send a peacekeeping force, named the IPKF to Sri Lanka to enforce the disarmament and to watch over the regional council.
  • The accord failed over the issue of representations. The result was that the LTTE now found itself engaged in military conflict with the Indian Army.

Areas of cooperation

(1) Political Relations

  • Regular Exchange: Political relations between the two countries have been marked by high-level exchanges of visits at regular intervals.
  • Bilateral Cooperation: A joint statement covering all areas of bilateral cooperation, titled ‘MitratvaMaga’ was issued following the Virtual Summit of 2020.

(2) Commercial Relations

  • ISFTA: The India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA) in 2000 contributed significantly towards the expansion of trade in areas such as infrastructure, connectivity, transportation, housing, health, livelihood and rehabilitation, education, and industrial development.
  • Trading Partner: India has traditionally been among Sri Lanka’s largest trade partners and Sri Lanka remains among the largest trade partners of India in the SAARC.
    • In 2020, India was Sri Lanka’s 2nd largest trading partner with the bilateral merchandise trade amounting to about USD $ 3.6 billion.
  • India and Sri Lanka are member nations of several regional and multilateral organizations such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme, South Asian Economic Union and BIMSTEC.
  • India is Sri Lanka’s third-largest export destination, after the US and UK.
  • Exports: Sri Lankan exports to India have increased substantially since 2000 when ISLFTA came into force.
  • FDI: India is also one of the largest contributors to Foreign Direct Investment in Sri Lanka. According to BoI, FDI from India amounted to about US$ 1.7 billion during the period 2005 to 2019.

(3) Development Cooperation

  • Grants: The overall commitment by GOI is to the tune of more than USD 3.5 billion.
    • Demand-driven and people-centric nature of India’s development partnership with Sri Lanka have been the cornerstone of this relationship. 
  • The Indian Housing Project: India has so far committed to construct close to 62,500 houses in Sri Lanka, making it one of the largest projects undertaken by GoI abroad. 
  • Emergency Ambulance Service: The Service which was initially launched in July 2016 is now expanded to all the Provinces.
    • At a total cost of more than USD 22.5 million, close to 300 ambulances were provided by GOI under this project.
  • Other Projects: India is also involved in projects for renovation of Palaly Airport, Kankesanthurai Harbor, construction of a Cultural Centre in Jaffna, interconnection of electricity grids between the two countries, construction of a 150-bed hospital in Dickoya and setting up a coal power plant in Sampur as a joint venture between National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).
  • Latest Development: India-SL agreed for joint development of Trincomalee Oil Tank farmed in 2022 after 35 years of wait.

(4) Projects under Lines of Credit

  • Sectors: 11 Lines of credit (LOC) have been extended to Sri Lanka by the Export Import Bank of India in the last 15 years.
    • Important sectors under these LOCs include: Railway, transport, connectivity, defense, solar.
  • Infrastructure: Some important Projects completed are- supply of defense equipments; up-gradation of the railway line from Colombo to Matara; track laying by IRCON on Omanthai-Pallai sector; reconstruction of the Railway line; signaling and telecommunication system; supply of engine kits for buses, diesel locomotives railways, DMUs, Carrier and fuel tank wagons etc.
  • Rehabilitation: A project for the rehabilitation of the Kankesanthurai harbor is being executed under a LOC of USD 45.27 million, bringing immense economic benefits to the Northern region of Sri Lanka.
  • Solar Energy: A US$ 100 million LoC for undertaking solar projects in Sri Lanka has been signed for rooftop solar units for Government buildings, rooftop solar units for low-income families and a floating solar power plant.
  • Security: In 2019, a LOC of USD 400 million for development and infrastructure projects and USD 50 million for security and counter-terrorism were announced.
    • These LOC Agreements are currently under discussion.

(5) Cultural relations

  • India and Sri Lanka have a shared legacy of historical, cultural, religious, spiritual and linguistic ties that is more than 2,500 years old.
  • In contemporary times, the Cultural Cooperation Agreement signed by the Government of India and the Government forms the basis for periodic Cultural Exchange Programmes between the two countries.

(6) People-to-people ties: Buddhism

  • Buddhism is one of the strongest pillars connecting the two nations and civilizations from the time when Emperor Ashoka sent his children Arhat Mahinda and Sangamitta to spread the teachings of Lord Buddha at the request of King Devanampiya Tissa of Sri Lanka.
  • Underlining the deep people-to-people connect and shared Buddhist heritage, the venerated relics of Lord Buddha from Kapilawasthu discovered in 1970 in India have been exhibited two times in Sri Lanka.
  • India in 2020, announced USD 15 million grant assistance for the protection and promotion of Buddhist ties between India and Sri Lanka.
    • It may be utilized for the construction/renovation of Buddhist monasteries, education of young monks, strengthening engagement of Buddhist scholars and clergy, development of Buddhist heritage museums, etc.
  • Transport- In July 2020, the GoI declared the Kushinagar Airport in India, the place of Lord Buddha’s Mahaparinibbana, as an international airport, to allow Buddhist pilgrims from around the world to visit the revered site associated with Lord Buddha with ease.
  • The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC)– since its inception in 1998, is actively promoting awareness of Indian culture by offering classes in Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Hindustani and Carnatic vocal, Violin, Sitar, Tabla, Hindi and Yoga.

(7) Tourism

  • e-Visa- Tourism also forms an important link between India and Sri Lanka. GoI formally launched the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) scheme for Sri Lankan tourists on 14 April 2015.
  • Visa Fee- Subsequently, in a goodwill gesture, the visa fee for eTV was sharply reduced. In 2019, out of the total 1.91 million tourists, 355,000 tourists arrived from India.
  • Sri Lankan tourists too are among the top ten sources for the Indian tourism market.
  • Visa on arrival- On 24 July 2019 Sri Lanka included India in the free visa on arrival scheme and commenced the scheme on 1 August 2019.

Plummeting relations

  • The ties began to worsen between the two since February, 2021 when Sri Lanka backed out from a tripartite partnership with India and Japan for its East Container Terminal Project at the Colombo Port, citing domestic issues.
    • However, later, the West Coast Terminal was offered under a public private partnership arrangement to Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones Ltd.
  • Sri Lanka in a state of economic emergency: Sri Lanka is running out of foreign exchange reserves for essential imports like food. It has recently declared a state of economic emergency.
  • Covid Impact:
    • Sri Lanka increased policy rates after the covid pandemic in response to rising inflation in August 2021 caused by currency depreciation.
    • Tourism sector has suffered since the Easter Sunday terror attacks of 2019, followed by the pandemic.
    • Earnings fell from $3.6 billion in 2019 to $0.7 billion in 2020, even as FDI inflows halved from $1.2 billion to $670 million over the same period.
    • Sri Lanka’s fragile liquidity situation has put it at high risk of debt distress. Its public debt-to-GDP ratio was at 109.7% in 2020, and its gross financing needs remain high at 18% of GDP.
    • Its gross official reserves slipped to $2.8 billion, which is equivalent to just 1.8 months of imports. More than $2.7 billion of foreign currency debt will be due in the next two years.

Major outstanding issues

 Fishing disputes
  • There have been several alleged incidents of Sri Lankan Navy personnel firing on Indian fishermen fishing in the Palk Strait, where India and Sri Lanka are only separated by 12 nautical miles.
  • The issue started because of Indian fishermen having used mechanized trawlers, which deprived the Sri Lankan fishermen (including Tamils) of their catch and damaged their fishing boats.
  • The Sri Lankan government wants India to ban use of mechanized trawlers in the Palk Strait region, and negotiations on this subject are undergoing.
  • So far, no concrete agreement has been reached since India favors regulating these trawlers instead of banning them altogether.
Alleged political interference
  • A media report from Colombo soon after Rajapaksa’s defeat in the January 8 elections of 2015 had said that an Indian Intelligence official was instrumental in uniting rival political parties — the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP) — against him during the polls.
  • In October 2018, President Sirisena alleged that Indian intelligence agencies were plotting his assassination.
Katchatheevu Island
  • It is an uninhabited island that India ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974 based on a conditional agreement called “Kachchativu island pact”.
  • Later on, Sri Lanka declared Katchatheevu, a sacred land given the presence of a Catholic shrine.
  • But Tamil Nadu claimed that Katchatheevu falls under the Indian Territory and Tamil fishermen have traditionally believed that it belongs to them and therefore want to preserve the right to fish there.
China factor
  • Sri Lanka has a history of taking independent decisions even if they cause misgivings in India.
  • In the period of low profile relationship between the two nations, Sri Lanka apparently started favoring China over India.
  • China is Sri Lanka’s largest bilateral creditor: China’s loans to the Sri Lankan public sector amounted to 15% of the central government’s external debt, making China the largest bilateral creditor to the country.
    • Sri Lanka has increasingly relied on Chinese credit to address its foreign debt burden.
  • China’s Exports surpasses India: China’s exports to Sri Lanka surpassed those of India in 2020 and stood at $3.8 billion.
    • India’s exports were $3.2 billion.
  • Infrastructural Investment by China: Owing to Sri Lanka’s strategic location at the intersection of major shipping routes, China’s investment stands at $12 billion between 2006 and 2019.
    • Unable to service its debt, in 2017, Sri Lanka lost the unviable Hambantota port to China for a 99-year lease.
    • Sri Lanka passed the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act, which provides for establishing a special economic zone around the port and also a new economic commission, to be funded by China.
    • The Colombo port is crucial for India as it handles 60% of India’s trans-shipment cargo.
  • Shifting interests due to economic crisis: Sri Lanka’s economic crisis may further push it to align its policies with Beijing’s interests.
    • This comes at a time when India is already on a diplomatic tightrope with Afghanistan and Myanmar.
    • Other South Asian nations like Bangladesh, Nepal and the Maldives have also been turning to China to finance large-scale infrastructure projects.

Why is Sri Lanka important to India?

  • India is Sri Lanka’s closest neighbor. Both sides have built upon a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic interaction.
  • Sri Lanka has always been politically and economically important to India given its strategic geographical position in the Indian Ocean. The relationship has been marked by close contacts at all levels.
  • Sri Lanka sits at the epicenter of the arc connecting the Persian Gulf to the Strait of Malacca. An island nation with an economy that’s mainly reliant on tourism and tea exports, Sri Lanka’s blessed geography puts it at a crucial juncture of the busy shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean.
  • India also has a vital strategic stake in Sri Lanka for its own security interests. An unfriendly Sri Lanka or a Sri Lanka under influence of a power unfriendly to India would strategically discomfit India.
  • For the Indian Navy, Sri Lanka is important as the switching of naval fleets from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea and vice versa requires the fleets to go around the island nation.
  • Both countries share a common broad understanding on major issues of international interest and experience common social-political problems relating to community divides.

What does Sri Lanka expect from India?

  • The humanitarian work by Indian agencies like supplies of medicines, doctors and providing refuge to more than 3 lakhs IDP’s during the decade-old civil war has created a sense of mutual cooperation among the countries natives.
  • SL is one of the leading recipients of India’s Line of Credits.
  • India has always rushed for the relief at the first signs of the rains and floods in SL recently. SL still commends the post-tsunami HADR relief operations carried out by India in the end-2004.
  • India’s military, intelligence and security establishment has maintained its relations with its Sri Lankan counterpart, and both sides have been on the same page at all times.
  • The security environment in the neighborhood will be discussed in light of the 21 April Easter Church bombings, and lessons learned from it.
  • India is also the largest provider of defense training programs for Sri Lankan soldiers and Defence officials.

A greater role for India

 (1) Gathering convergence towards SL

  • Delhi needs to invest some political capital in resolving problems such as the long-standing dispute over fisheries.
  • Beyond its objection to China’s BRI projects, Delhi, either alone or in partnership with like-minded countries like Japan, should offer sustainable terms for infrastructure development.
  • Delhi also needs to contribute more to the development of Colombo’s defence and counter-terror capabilities.

(2) Answering the Tamil Question

  • The second structural factor shaping India’s relations with Sri Lanka is the Tamil question.
  • Delhi has certainly learned the dangers of being drawn too deep into the domestic conflicts of neighboring countries.
  • If the new government in Colombo can advance reconciliation with the Tamil minority, it will be easier for India to strengthen ties with the Gotabaya government.

(3) No china factor indeed

  • Labeling governments in Sri Lanka as “pro-China” or “pro-India” is irrelevant. It is evident that China’s economic and strategic salience in the subcontinent is not tied to the regime leadership.
  • Previous Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena who considered as pro-India came to power criticizing the Chinese projects in Sri Lanka, but within two years into power, it extended full backing to the Chinese projects.

(4) Harnessing the ray of hope

  • Our challenges in Sri Lanka will continue, but we are off to a good start with the new government.
  • The new president has made repeated statements that his government would like Sri Lanka to be a “neutral country” and that “Sri Lanka won’t do anything that will harm India’s interests.”
  • Gotabaya was also critical of the previous government giving Hambantota Port on a 99-year lease to China.
  • He went on to add that giving land as investment for developing a hotel or a commercial property was not a problem but the strategically important, economically important harbor, giving that is not acceptable.
  • The Rajapaksas have acknowledged that India has not interfered in the recent elections.
  • The first visit abroad by Gotabaya Rajapaksa to India has its own symbolic significance, translating into a diplomatic gesture his statement to the EAM that while China is a trade partner, India is a relative.

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Categories
Burning Issues

[Burning Issue] India-Nepal Relations

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Context

The Prime Minister of Nepal made his first bilateral visit abroad to India since taking his oath in July 2021. The visit was a success in terms of launching connectivity projects and signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs). Bilateral dialogues, strengthened economic connections and more sensitization towards the people of Nepal is what India needs to pursue to fulfil the objectives of its ‘neighborhood first policy’.

Historical Background

  • Ancient ties: The relationship between India and Nepal goes back to the times of the rule of the Sakya clan and Gautama Buddha.
    • Initially, Nepal was under tribal rule and only with the coming of Licchavi rule in Nepal did its feudal era truly begin.
  • Cultural relations: From 750 to 1750 AD period saw a shift from Buddhism to Hinduism in Nepal and witnessed widespread cultural diffusion.
    • India and Nepal share similar ties in terms of Hinduism and Buddhism with Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini located in present-day Nepal.
  • India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 forms the bedrock of the special relations that exist between India and Nepal.
  • Nepal is an important neighbor of India and occupies a special significance in its foreign policy because of the geographic, historical, cultural and economic linkages/ties that span centuries.
  • In recent years, India’s relations with Nepal have witnessed some ‘lows’. 
    • The relationship between the two took a nosedive in 2015, with India first getting blamed for interfering in the Constitution drafting process and then for an “unofficial blockade” that generated widespread resentment against India.

Highlights of the recent visit

  • Important Projects in discussion:
    • The operationalization of the 35 kilometre cross-border rail link from Jayanagar (Bihar) to Kurtha (Nepal) will be further extended to Bijalpura and Bardibas.
    • The 90 km long 132 kV double circuit transmission line connecting Tila (Solukhumbu) to Mirchaiya (Siraha) is close to the Indian border.
  • Agreements signed:
    • Agreements providing technical cooperation in the railway sector
    • Nepal’s induction into the International Solar Alliance,  becoming the 105th country to become a signatory to the Framework Agreement of the ISA.
    • Between Indian Oil Corporation and Nepal Oil Corporation ensuring regular supplies of petroleum products were also signed.
  • India called for taking full advantage of opportunities in the power sector, including through joint development of power generation projects in Nepal and the development of cross-border transmission infrastructure.
  • Launch of Indian RuPay card in Nepal: This would open new vistas for cooperation in financial connectivity, and is expected to facilitate bilateral tourist flows as well as further strengthen people-to-people linkages between India and Nepal.

Various facets of India-Nepal ties

1. Cultural ties

  • While enjoying their own peculiarities, both India and Nepal share a common culture and ways of life.
  • Religion is perhaps the most important factor and plays a predominant role in shaping the cultural relations between these two countries, marked by a cross country pilgrimage on Char Dham Yatra, Pashupatinath Temple and some Buddhist sites.
  • A considerable section of Nepalese comprises of Madhesi population which has familial & ethnic ties with states of Bihar, UP.

2. Strategic ties

  • Nepal is a buffer state between India and China.
  • Several Nepali Citizens are also deployed in Indian defence forces as well.

3. Political ties

  • Constitutional turmoil is not new in Nepal. India has played a vital role in the democratic transition in Nepal against the monarch King Gyanendra.
  • Nepali Congress (NC) is one of the country’s oldest parties which supports relations with India, but the communist parties show a tilt towards China.

4. Economic ties

  • Nepal is an important export market for India. India is Nepal’s largest trading partner.
  • Himalayan rivers flowing through Nepal can be used for Hydroelectric power projects which will benefit border states of UP, Bihar and other adjacent areas.
  • There are three major water deals between Nepal and India, namely the Kosi Agreement, the Gandak Treaty and the Mahakali Treaty. India also exports Power to Nepal.
  • Also, Nepal is the largest borrower of Indian Currency in South Asia.
  • Nepal has escalating trade deficit with India. Nepal and India have concluded bilateral Treaty of Transit, Treaty of Trade and the Agreement of Cooperation to Control Unauthorized Trade.

5. Connectivity

  • The 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship was sought by the Nepali authorities in 1949 to provide for an open border and for Nepali nationals to have the right to work in India.
  • The BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) in which Nepal is a partner will permit the member states to ply their vehicles in each other’s territory for transportation of cargo and passengers.

6. Multilateral and Regional Fora

  • Both Nepal and India work in tandem in the United Nations, Non-aligned Movement and other international fora on most of the important international issues.
  • Both the countries have been deeply engaged in the regional and sub-regional frameworks of SAARC, BIMSTEC and BBIN for enhancing cooperation for greater economic integration.

China’s role in Nepal – a matter of concern

  • Once considered a buffer state between India and China, Nepal is now showing an inclination towards Beijing. China is trying to stimulate and tempt Nepal with multiple aids, economic growth and acquisition.
  • China is pursuing a more assertive foreign policy and considers Nepal as an important element in its growing South Asian footprint and being a key partner in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • In 2016, Nepal negotiated an Agreement on Transit Transportation with China and in 2017, China provided a military grant of $32 million to Nepal.
  • In 2019, a Protocol was concluded with China providing access to four seaports and three land ports to Nepal. China is also engaged with airport expansion projects at Pokhara and Lumbini.
  • China has overtaken India as the largest source of foreign direct investment with the annual development assistance being worth $120 million.
  • Recently, the ratification of the Pancheshwar Multipurpose project saw street protests and big-time social media campaigns supported by China.

Indo-Nepal Border Disputes

India and Nepal share about an 1800 Km long border. There are 2 major border or territorial disputes:

1) Kalapani

  • The Kali River in the Kalapani region demarcates the border between India and Nepal.
  • The Treaty of Sugauli signed by the Kingdom of Nepal and British India (after the Anglo-Nepalese War) in 1816 located the Kali River as Nepal’s western boundary with India.
  • The discrepancy in locating the source of the Kali River led to boundary disputes between India and Nepal, with each country producing maps supporting their own claims.
  • However, India has control of Kalapani since the 1962 Indo-Sina War.
    • Kalapani is a valley that is administered by India as a part of the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. It is situated on the Kailash Mansarovar route.

Why is Lipulekh important for India?

  • For India, the Lipulekh pass has security implications.
  • After its disastrous 1962 border war with China, it was concerned about a possible Chinese intrusion through the pass and has been keen to hold on to the strategic Himalayan route to guard against any future incursions.
  • The link road via Lipulekh Himalayan Pass is also considered one of the shortest and most feasible trade routes between India and China.

2) Susta Region

  • It is about 140 sq. km of land in Uttar Pradesh at the Nepal border in the Terai area. India has control of the territory. Nepal claims this territory.
  • The change of course by the Gandak river is the main reason for disputes in the Susta area.
  • Susta is located on the bank of the Gandak river.
  • It is called the Narayani river in Nepal.
  • It joins Ganga near Patna, Bihar.

Issue of Simultaneous floods in Bihar and Nepal

  • Some of Nepal’s biggest river systems originate in the Himalayan glaciers which then flow into India through Bihar.
  • During the monsoons, these river systems flood causing many problems for Bihar.
  • It is a necessity that there is process-driven coordination between the Centre and the Government of Bihar to handle the flooding in Nepal’s Terai and North Bihar (largely the Mithilanchal region).

Which are those flooding rivers?

  • Nepal’s three biggest river systems—Kosi, Gandaki and Karnali—originate in the high mountain glaciers, flow through the country and then enter India through the state of Bihar.
  • During the monsoon season, these river systems often get flooded due to heavy rains/landslides in Nepal which create floods in India’s most flood-prone state—Bihar.

Why Nepal is Important to India?

  1. It acts as a strategic buffer against the aggression of China.
  2. The Pakistan factor: peddling of FICN, drugs and terrorism through the Indo-Nepal border. It makes the cooperation of Nepal important.
  3. India and Nepal share common culture: There are huge Nepali communities in Darjeeling and Sikkim. Many marital relations across the border exist.
  4. National Security: There is a lot of interdependence. Gurkha Regiment in Indian Army is known for its valiance.
    • Nepal could play in the hands of China which could be detrimental to Indian interests. Hence they need to be kept as close as possible.
  5. Ministry of External Affairs term India-Nepal Relation as “Roti-Beti ka Rishta” (Relation of food and marriage)
  6. Energy Security: Nepal has the potential of 80 GW of hydroelectricity. But only 600 MW potential is realized so far.
    • Nepal’s lack of cooperation in this regard has hindered development. The surplus could be used for Indian border states.

Major Irritants in bilateral ties

1) Nepali nationalism and Anti-India sentiments

  • Anti-India Sentiment in Nepal is largely politically motivated as it is wrongly perceived as India’s backing to Monarchy.
  • The widening gap in understanding each other’s concerns has helped feed Nepali nationalism and create a dense cloud of distrust and suspicion between the two countries.
  • The gap widened after India chose to impose an economic blockade in response to Nepal’s sovereign decision to promulgate a democratic constitution.

2) China factor

  • Increasing Chinese presence in Nepal is one of the major concerns for India. China’s move to extend the rail link to its border with Nepal can reduce its dependence on India.
  • Fundamentally these Chinese agencies are building up anti-India sentiments in Nepal.
  • Nepal’s assent for the ‘One Belt One Region’ (OBOR) initiative of China is viewed by India with suspicion.
  • Nepal has been slowly fallen prey to China’s inroad debt trap policy.

3) India has ignored the changing political narrative for long

  • The reality is that India has ignored the changing political narrative in Nepal for far too long.
  • For too long India has invoked a “special relationship”, based on shared culture, language and religion, to anchor its ties with Nepal.
  • The 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship which was sought by the Nepali authorities in 1949 is viewed as a sign of an unequal relationship, and an Indian imposition.

4) Open borders

  • The issue of open borders has also been a point of debate in Nepal in recent years- Nepalese people argue that India is benefiting more from it than Nepal.
  • It has an open border with India which leads to problems such as illegal migrants, counterfeit currency entry, drug and human trafficking.

5) Madhesis Issue

  • Madhesis share extensive cross-border ethnic and linguistic links with India. India’s involvement in Nepali politics and the upsurge in Madhesi have deep roots in history and unless resolved.
  • Madhesis protest and India’s blockade soured the relations for the worst.

Way Forward

1) Dialogues for Territorial Disputes

  • In the best spirit of friendship, Nepal and India should restart the water dialogue and come up with policies to safeguard the interests of all those who have been affected on both sides of the border.
  • India needs to be a sensitive and generous partner for the neighbourhood first policy to take root.
  • The dispute shall be negotiated diplomatically under the aegis of International law on Trans-boundary Water Disputes.

2) Sensitising Towards Nepal

  • The onus is on India to rethink on a long-term basis how to recalibrate its relationship with Nepal provided Nepal should not ignore its relations with India.
  • It should maintain the policy of keeping away from the internal affairs of Nepal, meanwhile, in the spirit of friendship, India should guide the nation towards more inclusive rhetoric.

3) Strengthening Economic Ties

  • The power trade agreement needs to be such that India can build trust in Nepal. Despite more renewable energy projects (solar) coming up in India, hydropower is the only source that can manage peak demand in India.
  • For India, buying power from Nepal would mean managing peak demand and also saving the billions of dollars of investments that would have to be invested in building new power plants, many of which would cause pollution.

4) Investments from India

  • The Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) signed between India and Nepal needs more attention from Nepal’s side.
  • The private sector in Nepal, especially the cartels in the garb of trade associations, are fighting tooth and nail against foreign investments.
  • It is important that Nepal conveys this message that it welcomes Indian investments.

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Burning Issues

[Burning Issue] India-Russia Relations

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Context

Russia’s war on Ukraine has decisively shaped international opinion. Indian foreign policy is also going to be affected in a profound manner.

India-Russia Relation – Background

  • India and Russia have enjoyed good relations since 1947 wherein Russia helped India in attaining its goal of economic self-sufficiency through investment in areas of heavy machine-building, mining, energy production and steel plants.
  • India and the Soviet Union signed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship in August 1971 which was the manifestation of the shared goals of the two nations as well as a blueprint for the strengthening of regional and global peace and security.
  • After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, India and Russia entered into a new Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in January 1993 and a bilateral Military-Technical Cooperation agreement in 1994.
  • In 2000 both countries established a Strategic Partnership. In 2010, the Strategic Partnership was elevated to the level of a “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership”.

Bilateral Relations and Areas of Cooperation

(1) Political Relations

  • The Annual Summit meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation is the highest institutionalized dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between India and Russia. 1
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin held their first informal Summit in the city of Sochi in the Russian Federation on May 21, 2018
  • Russia recently awarded PM Narendra Modi Russia’s highest state decoration – The order of St Andrew the Apostle.
  • Two Inter-Governmental Commissions – one on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), and another on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC- MTC), meet annually.

(2) Economic Relations

  • Bilateral trade between both countries is concentrated in key value-chain sectors.
  • These sectors include highly diversified segments such as machinery, electronics, aerospace, automobile, commercial shipping, chemicals, pharmaceuticals etc.
  • The two countries intend to increase bilateral investment to US$50 billion and bilateral trade to US$30 billion by 2025.
  • In 2019, total bilateral trade between the two countries from January-September, 2019 stood at USD 7.55 billion.
  • Top imports: Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products, pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical machinery, fertilizers, etc.
  • Top Exports: Pharmaceutical products,        electrical machinery and equipment, organic chemicals, vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, etc.

(3) Defence partnership 

  • India-Russia military-technical cooperation has evolved from a buyer-seller framework to one involving joint research, development and production of advanced defense technologies and systems.
  • The first-ever Tri-Services exercise –‘INDRA 2017’ took place in Vladivostok from October 19 to 29, 2017.
  • It has provided significant enhancement to India’s indigenous defense manufacturing.
  • Some of the major defense collaboration programs are: the BrahMos Cruise Missile program, Sukhoi Su-30 and Tactical Transport Aircraft.

(4) Energy Security 

  • In the Energy sector, Russia has built nuclear reactors in India (Kudankulam reactors), adopted a strategic vision in nuclear energy, and offered oil, gas and investment opportunities in the fuel sector of Russia e.g., Sakhalin I, etc.
  • India and Russia secure the potential of designing a nuclear reactor specifically for developing countries, which is a promising area of cooperation.
  • India’s nuclear power generation capacity of 6,780 MW may increase to 22,480 MW by 2031, contributing to the country’s efforts to turn to green energy.
  • Cooperation between the two countries in energy transformation can be seen from the joint venture between India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. and Russia’s Sibur, the country’s largest petrochemicals producer.
  • Both sides are considering the possibilities of building a hydrocarbon pipeline system, connecting the Russian Federation with India.

(5) Space technology 

  • India and Russia have a four-decade strong relationship in the field of space.
  • The former Soviet Union launched India’s first two satellites, Aryabhata and Bhaskar.
  • Russia has provided India with Cryogenic technology to build heavy rockets. Historically, there has been a long history of cooperation between the Soviet Union and India in space.
  • In Nov 2007, the two countries have signed an agreement on joint lunar exploration.
  • Chandrayaan-2 was a joint lunar exploration mission proposed by the ISRO and the Russian Federal Space Agency (RKA).
  • Both are collaborating for the scheduled Gaganyaan Mission.

(6) Global Partnership 

  • Russia has supported India’s bid for a permanent seat in UNSC.
  • It has been favoring Indian entry to the Nuclear Supplier Group.
  • Both countries coordinate each other over various forums including BRICS, SCO, G20, etc.

(7) Cultural Cooperation 

  • From people-to-people contacts (through programs like ‘Namaste Russia’) to sharing educational brilliance of both the countries through institutes like Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre, both the countries have had good cultural links
  • There is a strong interest among Russian people in Indian dance, music, yoga and Ayurveda
  • As Russia and India both desire a multi-polar world, they are equally important for each other in fulfilling each other’s national interests. However, due to the changing geopolitical scenario, the relationship between both countries is not as good as it used to be in the cold war era.

Recent trends in bilateral ties

  • Despite the best efforts divergences are growing in this bilateral relationship as the underlying structural changes in the international environment are pulling the two nations apart.
  • Even in the past, the duo have tried to ground their bilateral relations in the wider realities of changing the global balance of power.
  • Now with the US upending the rules of global governance, there is renewed concern that their foreign policies need greater coordination if only to preserve their equities in the global order.
  • India, of course, has a long-standing relationship with Russia but that is undergoing a shift in light of rapidly evolving geopolitical realities.

Bilateral divergence

  • While the top leadership of the two nations have continued to engage with each other, divergences have been cropping up with disturbing regularity.
  • For India, what should be concerning is Russia’s increasing tilt towards Pakistan as it seeks to curry favor with China.
  • Moscow had historically supported New Delhi at the United Nations Security Council by repeatedly vetoing resolutions on the Kashmir issue.

(1) Military-defence Complex

  • Russia is the dominant supplier of arms to India, with the historic military and defence ties between the two countries continuing to serve as one of the cornerstones of the India-Russia relationship.
  • Strains are becoming apparent as India moves further along the path of military indigenization and import diversification.
  • India’s procurement from the US and France has also been seen as a heated divergence between the two.
  • This was a result of the unreliability of Russian supplies, as manifested in late arrivals, defective parts, and perennial conflicts overpricing and warranties.

(2) Cultural Vacuum

  • On an everyday level, while Indian films and yoga are popular in Russia, no parallel exposure to any aspect of Russian popular culture exists among Indians.
  • This is the most woefully neglected aspect of their relationship, suffering on both sides from lack of funding and, no less important, a shortage of political will.
  • Another aspect of ties is tourism which could be much more vigorous between the two countries than present India’s US affinity.

(3) India-US ties

  • Rapidly expanding ties and growing defence relationship between India and US, and India joining QUAD group led by the US has led to a strategic shift in Russia’s foreign policy, pushing it to align with China.
  • The signing of the long-awaited Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) and other security related agreements, is set to elevate the bilateral defence partnership and give India access to advanced U.S. defence systems.
  • Another successful deliverable for India is Washington’s solidarity on the issue of terrorism expressed during the talks.
  • The two sides “called on Pakistan to ensure that the territory under its control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries.
  • However, a closer engagement with the U.S. is a challenge for India, as this relationship is not likely to be a partnership of equals, for the foreseeable future.

(4) One Dimensional Trade

  • India Russia trade has been mostly restricted to defence trade.
  • Other challenges in boosting trade – number of issues that hinder India-Russia trade, like, connectivity issues, distance, weak banking links, cumbersome regulations on both sides and Russia’s restrictive visa regime.

(5) Change in Russia’s foreign policy posture 

  • Russia is tilting toward Pakistan, China, and even recognizing the Taliban.
  • Pakistan – conducted military exercise; signed a military-technical cooperation agreement for arms supply and weapon development.
  • China – increasing strategic military relations between the two nations; Russia selling advanced military technology to China; endorsing China’s One Belt One Road initiative.

(6) Differences over the Indo-Pacific

  • Both India and Russia have a difference of opinion in understanding the concept of the Indo-Pacific.
  • Russia opposes the term Indo-Pacific as the term is primarily a US-led initiative aimed to contain China and Russia.
  • Russia does not accept the concept of QUAD. Instead, Russia supports the concept of Asia Pacific.

Steps taken to address the downturn in the relationship

  • Sochi Informal Summit 2018: The strategic partnership between the two has been elevated into a “special privileged strategic partnership”.
  • Reinforced defense ties: both countries finalized Su-400 air defense systems and nuclear-powered submarine (Chakra III) deal, construction of Ka-226 helicopters in India under the Make in India initiative.
  • Improving Trade Relations: India Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue was started in 2018 to achieve the target of $30 billion investment goal by 2025 between both countries
  • India participated in the Eastern Economic Forum (2020) which aims to support the economic development of Russia’s resource-rich Far East.
  • India has extended a $1 billion line of credit for the development of this region. Also, the proposal for a maritime route between Chennai and Vladivostok has been made.
  • Strengthening Energy cooperation: Cooperation in the development of oil in Russia including its arctic shelf and joint development of projects on the shelf of the Pechora and Okhotsk Seas.
    • For increasing connectivity, both sides called for the development of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

Potential Areas for Deepening Ties

  • Connectivity: There is scope for improvement in trade between Russia and India if the international North-South corridor through Iran and the Vladivostok-Chennai Sea route can be operationalized.
  • Technology: India can benefit from hi-tech cooperation with Russia in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, outer space, and nanotechnology.
  • Education, R&D: India can also cooperate with Russia on upgrading its basic research and education facilities. 
  • Diversifying Economic Engagement: Apart from traditional areas of cooperation such as weapons, hydrocarbons, nuclear energy, and diamonds, new sectors of economic engagement are likely to emerge – mining, agro-industrial, and high technology, including robotics, nanotech, and biotech.
    • Mutual benefits in the trade of natural resources such as timber and agriculture can also be harnessed.

Why is Russia Important to India?

  • Russia’s status in the international sphere: Russia remains, and will remain a pre-eminent nuclear and energy power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council
  • Multipolar World Politics: Since the world is becoming increasingly multipolar, maintaining close and strategic relations with Russia and the US at the same time is indispensable for India. A strong partnership with Russia provides India with leverages to deal with other countries.
  • Support for UNSC seat: Russia has stated publicly that it supports India receiving a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. 
  • Counterbalance to China Aggression: India has no option but to have a close relationship both with the US and Russia and to manage its difficult relationship with China. 
    • So long as Russia’s relationship with the West remains strained, Russia will look toward China. So long as Sino-Indian relations remain troubled, Russia’s going into the Chinese sphere of influence will not suit India.
  • India’s energy security: India to look toward Russia as an alternative source of energy supplies as the situation in the Middle East is escalating with threats to essential oil trade routes
  • Important Technology supplier: Russia can help India build its technological potential by providing access to its technologies, especially in defense technology and nuclear technology.

Recent Developments

As Russia declares war on Ukraine, the impact will also be on the recovering economies around the world, including India.

India’s position on the Ukraine issue

  •  New Delhi has taken a subtle pro-Moscow position on the question of Russian attacks against Ukraine.
  • A geopolitical necessity: India’s Russia tilt should be seen not just as a product of its time-tested friendship with Moscow but also as a geopolitical necessity.
  • China problem: India’s problem is China, and it needs both the U.S./the West and Russia to deal with the “China problem”.

Implications of war on Ukraine for India

  • It will embolden China: Russian action in Ukraine dismissing the concerns of the rest of the international community including the U.S. will no doubt embolden China and its territorial ambitions.
  • Sanctions on Russia will impact India’s defense cooperation: The new sanctions regime may have implications for India’s defense cooperation with Moscow.
  • Russia-China axis: The longer the standoff lasts, the closer China and Russia could become, which certainly does not help India.
  • The focus will move away from Indo-Pacific: The more severe the U.S.-Russia rivalry becomes, the less focus there would be on the Indo-Pacific and China, which is where India’s interests lie.

Way Forward

  • India and Russia have to identify their strengths and common concerns like developing joint projects in third countries. 
    • Such as the involvement of India and Russia in the Rooppur nuclear plant project in Bangladesh.
  • Focus on Eurasia: India and Russia have to explore their opportunities in the Eurasian region.
    • India can study the possibility of expanding Russia’s idea of an “extensive Eurasian partnership”.
  • India must take advantage of Russia’s capacity in helping India to become self-sufficient in Defence.
    • For example, India’s collaboration with Russia in the Brahmos Missile made India export such missiles to countries like the Philippines.
  • India needs to balance its relationship between Russia, China, and the US: This is essential after the US conducted a Freedom of Navigation operation (FONOP) in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • India has to utilise the scientific and technological base in Russia for the development of India’s problems.
  • Cooperation at Multilateral Forums: strengthening ties through various multilateral organizations including BRICS, RIC, G20, East Asia Summit, and SCO – where avenues for cooperation on issues of mutual importance exist.
  • Engaging Russia in Indo-Pacific narrative: India should pursue and facilitate Russia’s engagement in the Indo-Pacific.
    • Russia’s active engagement in the region would contribute to making the Indo-Pacific truly “free and inclusive”.
  • Prioritizing RIC in Indian Foreign Policy: India must promote mutually beneficial trilateral cooperation between Russia, India, and China, which could contribute to the reduction of mistrust and suspicion between the three countries.

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Categories
Burning Issues

[Burning Issue] Groundwater Depletion in India

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Context

The theme of this year’s World Water Day was ‘Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible’. The primary focus is to draw attention to the role of groundwater in water and sanitation systems, agriculture, industry, ecosystems, and climate change adaptation. Groundwater helps reduce the risk of temporary water shortage and caters to the needs of arid and semiarid regions, but its value has not been fully recognized in policymaking. Due to its high storage capacity, groundwater is more resilient to the effects of climate change than surface water. The international conference on ‘Groundwater, Key to the Sustainable Development Goals’ and the UN­Water Summit on Groundwater are part of global initiatives to highlight the significance of groundwater in sustainable development.

Important Facts

  • Estimates: 85% of the rural and 50% of the urban population in India is dependent on groundwater for fulfilling their needs.
  • With an annual groundwater extraction of 248.69 billion cubic meters (2017), India is among the largest users of groundwater in the world.
  • Almost 89% of the groundwater extracted is used for irrigation and the rest for domestic and industrial use (9% and 2%).
  • High water stress: India is one of 17 countries facing extremely high water stress, according to a report by the World Resources Institute.
    • According to the Fifth Minor Irrigation Census, the groundwater level in India has declined by 61 percent between 2007 and 2017. It was further observed that more than 1,000 blocks in India have become water-stressed.
  • Composite Water Management Index (CWMI), 2018 by NITI Aayog: The water demand will exceed the supply by 2050. Groundwater in India depleted at 10-25 mm per year between 2002 and 2016.
    • 54 percent of India’s groundwater wells are declining.
    • It added that about 40% of India’s population possibly would have no access to drinking water by 2030.
  • Extraction value: According to the Central Ground Water Board, the annual groundwater withdrawal is considered to be safe when the extraction rate is limited to below 70% of the annual replenishable recharge.
    • Available data indicate that the level of extraction for the country in 2017 was 63%, from 58% in 2004.
  • Variation across regions: However, the level varied across regions. Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry have crossed the 70% mark.
    • Of 534 districts in 22 States/UTs, 202 districts had stage of extraction ranging from 71% to 385%. NITI Aayog has set the 70% extraction value as the target to be achieved by 2030.
    • Recent studies suggest that groundwater levels are declining in several parts of northern India, especially in regions of high population densities.
  • Quality concern: A quantity­wise safe district may be vulnerable due to deterioration of water quality. Fluoride, iron, salinity, nitrate, and arsenic contamination are major problems.
    • As many as 335 districts reported nitrate pollution compared to 109 in 2006. A high level of nitrate affects human health.
    • Sources of nitrates are mainly anthropogenic and depend on local actions.
    • Biological contamination has also been reported from different parts of the country.

Reasons for Depletion

  • Increased demand for water for domestic, industrial and agricultural needs and limited surface water resources lead to the over-exploitation of groundwater resources.
  • Limited storage facilities owing to the hard rock terrain, along with the added disadvantage of lack of rainfall, especially in central Indian states.
  • Green Revolution enabled water-intensive crops to be grown in drought-prone/ water deficit regions, leading to over-extraction of groundwater.
  • Frequent pumping of water from the ground without waiting for its replenishment leads to quick depletion.
  • Subsidies on electricity and high MSP for water-intensive crops is also leading reasons for depletion.
  • Water contamination as in the case of pollution by landfills, septic tanks, leaky underground gas tanks, and overuse of fertilizers and pesticides leads to damage and depletion of groundwater resources.
  • Inadequate regulation of groundwater laws encourages the exhaustion of groundwater resources without any penalty.
  • Deforestation, unscientific methods of agriculture, chemical effluents from industries, and lack of sanitation also lead to pollution of groundwater, making it unusable.
  • Natural causes include uneven rainfall and climate change that are hindering the process of groundwater recharge.

Impact

  • Lowering of the water table: Groundwater depletion may lower the water table leading to difficulty in extracting groundwater for usage.
  • Reduction of water in streams and lakes: A substantial amount of the water flowing in rivers comes from seepage of groundwater into the streambed. Depletion of groundwater levels may reduce water flow in such streams.
  • Subsidence of land: Groundwater often provides support to the soil. When this balance is altered by taking out the water, the soil collapses, compacts, and drops leading to subsidence of land.
  • Increased cost for water extraction: As the depleting groundwater levels lower the water table, the user has to delve deep to extract water. This will increase the cost of water extraction.
  • Contamination of groundwater: Groundwater that is deep within the ground often intermingles with saltwater that we shouldn’t drink.
  • Constraints in food supply: If groundwater availability faces difficulties then there will be hindrances in agricultural production leading to a shortage of food.
  • Limitations to biodiversity and creation of sinkholes: Water table plays a major role in sustaining biodiversity. Often, sinkholes are created when the water table lowers. These sinkholes are dangerous for buildings and towers.

Policy challenges

  • Estimation of groundwater resources: There is a lack of data available for estimation of groundwater sources and even if they are available, they are indicative and not representative.
  • Crop pricing and water-intensive crops: Decisions such as cropping pattern and cropping intensity are taken independent of the groundwater availability in most areas.
    • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is also available for water-intensive crops leading to widespread cultivation of such crops.
  • Energy subsidies: The challenge is to find a balance between the needs of farmers and the need to ensure the sustainable use of groundwater.
  • Inadequate regulation: Lack of proper regulations and their further implementation has been one of the major challenges in managing groundwater levels in India.
  • Lack of local management: There is a lack of local management of groundwater resources. Local communities have an important role to play in groundwater management and there is a need for devolution of power for local management of such resources.

Government initiatives

(1) National Water Policy (2012) by Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation. The policy advocates –

  • Rainwater harvesting and conservation of water.
  • Highlights the need for augmenting the availability of water through direct use of rainfall.
  • Conservation of river, river bodies and infrastructure in a scientifically planned manner through community participation.

(2) Creation of a new Ministry of Jal Shakti for dealing with all matters relating to water at one place in an integrated manner.

(3) Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal): It is a Central Sector Scheme, for sustainable management of groundwater resources with community participation in water-stressed blocks.

(4) Mass awareness programs (Training, Seminars, Workshops, Exhibitions, Trade Fares and Painting Competitions, etc.) are conducted from time to time each year under the Information, Education & Communication (IEC) Scheme.

 (5) Encouraging farmers to adopt micro-irrigation techniques such as drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers.

  • The government has initiated schemes like the DRIP program, more drop per crop, Krishi Sinchai Yojana to ensure economical water use practices in agriculture.

(6) Use of tensiometer: The tensiometer gives visual information about the availability of soil moisture conditions. Irrigating the field based on this information will help conserve groundwater.

Way Forward

  • Routine survey at regular intervals: There should be regular assessment of groundwater levels to ensure that adequate data is available for formulating policies and devising new techniques.
  • Assessment of land use pattern: Studies should be carried out to assess land use and the proportion of agricultural land falling under overt-exploited units.
    • This will help in determining suitable crop patterns in water-stressed areas.
  • Changes in farming methods: To improve the water table in those areas where it is being overused, on-farm water management techniques and improved irrigation methods should be adopted.
    • Methods for artificial recharge of groundwater are also welcome.
    • Bottom-up approach by empowering the local community to become active participants in managing groundwater.
    • Creating regulatory options at the community level such as panchayat is also one among the feasible solutions.
    • Traditional methods of water conservation should be encouraged to minimize the depletion of water resources.
  • Reforms in power supply subsidies for agriculture: The agricultural power-pricing structure needs to be revamped as the flat rate of electricity adversely affects the use of groundwater.
  • Monitoring groundwater extraction: There should be a policy in place to monitor the excessive exploitation of groundwater resources to ensure long-term sustainability.
    • Water meters could be installed to monitor overuse.
    • There should be restrictions to cut off the access to groundwater in areas identified as “critical” and “dark zones”, where the water table is overused or very low.
    • There is a need to treat water as a common resource rather than private property to prevent its overexploitation
  • Preventing groundwater pollution – Steps to minimize and control the dumping of industrial waste into surface water and underground aquifers should also be taken to prevent groundwater from getting polluted.
    • Problems and issues such as waterlogging, salinity, agricultural toxins, and industrial effluents, all need to be properly looked into.
  • The synergy between Central, State and Local governments – Steps need to be taken to achieve optimum benefits of groundwater conservation schemes.
    • This can be done by ensuring coordination between all the ministries and departments of government at the Central, State, and Local levels.
  • Water to be brought under Concurrent List – If water is brought under the Concurrent List of the Indian Constitution, this can help in the development of a comprehensive action plan.
    • Consensus between the centre and states will result in better conservation, development and management of water, including groundwater.
  • Surface water body management: Restoration of ponds, lakes and other traditional water resource structures should be an integral part of the development projects of urban and rural areas and it will substantially develop groundwater potential.
  • Wastewater management: Dual sewage system for grey water and black water and promoting reuse of the recycled water in agriculture and horticulture.
    • Industries should also be encouraged to increase water use efficiency, effluent treatment, reuse of used water, zero liquid discharge, etc.
  • Implementing Mihir Shah Committee (2016) recommendations: Central Water Commission and the Central Ground Water Board could be united and a national water framework with an integrated perspective developed.
    • There is also a need to work out local­level plans covering water resources in all their forms: rainwater, surface water, soil water and groundwater and the resource use sectors.

Conclusion

Groundwater depletion is becoming an alarming issue day by day. It is high time that the causes are paid attention to and appropriate measures are taken to prevent a possible water crisis in the future. Leveraging schemes like Atal Bhujal Yojana which seeks to strengthen the institutional framework and bring about behavioral changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management is vital.

The new paradigm for groundwater management is a socio­ecological challenge, where localism matters. It warrants technical, economic, legal and governance remediation with space for active public participation and community regulatory options to maintain groundwater balance at the village/watershed level.

UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

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Announcements

Register for Free Live Session on Important Formulas to Ace CSAT – Quantitative Aptitude & Logical Reasioning|| Limited Slots Available, LINK INSIDE

Most of the aspirants don’t think about CSAT preparation until the fag end of UPSC Prelims only because it’s a qualifying paper. You have to get 33% of total marks i.e 66 marks to be clear Prelims. Failure to do so, will prevent you from writing Mains even if you have scored above 100+ marks in the GS Paper.

Since the last two years, the English Comprehension passages are getting lengthier and the Mathematical questions trickier. Let’s take a look at the 2012 CSAT Paper and compare it with the 2021 CSAT paper.

2014 CSAT Paper

Here the questions are asked chapter by chapter and are basic-to-moderate. Questions are direct and straightforward without much combination numerals.

2021 CSAT Paper

There is no particular order of questions asked. Immediately after LR questions, we have a question on time and distance. Also the questions are moderate-to-advanced. One cannot find out the answer in first glance itself. There is no one-size fits for all approach or a uniform formula by which you can crack the sequential questions.

Free Open to All CSAT Session by Civilsdaily Mentor Ravi Sir

If you have to clear the paper, then you have to attempt atleast 50 questions out of 80. Out of these 50 questions, 27 need to be right. There is also negative marking of 1.5 marks for every wrong answer. Hence, for aspirants from a non-mathematics background the challenge lies in practising for CSAT without reducing time for GS Preparation.

Do you want to know how you can complete both the lengthy comprehension passages and tricky mathematical questions within the stipulated time? Then it’s time you attended Civilsdaily Mentor Ravi sir’s webinar on Sunday.

Ravi sir has cleared UPSC Prelims six times and attended the Interview round thrice. As a mentor, Ravi sir is a lifelong UPSC aspirant because he daily reads, checks and evaluates the right study materials for his students. On Monday, he will conduct a session on CSAT which is free for every aspirant to attend. All you have to do is register yourself for the session.

Key Takeaways in the CSAT Session Conducted by Ravi Sir

1. Topic-wise live demonstration on how to solve problems.

2. Examples of easy, moderate and advanced questions to solve.

3. Variety of questions under each topic.

4. Previous year question paper analysis from 2013 onwards. How to be ready for the new paper pattern.

5. Books one can refer for CSAT test series practice and to understand the concepts.

6. How to practice CSAT without compromising on GS paper studies.

7. Topic-wise weightage in Quantitative Aptitude.

8. Ravi sir will solve your doubts in a Q&A discussion towards the end of the session.

Webinar Details

If you want to know the secrets of finishing the CSAT paper in 2 hours, then this webinar is for you! We hope this webinar will help all 2022 aspirants implement the suggestions of Ravi sir

Date: 1st April 2022 (Friday)

Time: 7 P.M.

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Announcements

UPSC 2021 Free Mock Interview [LAST 2 SLOTS] || Unlimited Practice Sessions with India’s Most Experienced & Eminent IAS Interview Panel|| Limited Slots Available, Register Now

After beating lakhs of aspirants to be among the top two thousand UPSC candidiates, you might think the final round would be a breezer and requires no prior preparation. For someone who has prepared current affairs intensively for a year, they feel that they can answer the questions in the interview rounds impromptu.

However, let’s not forget that though the amount of competition decreases substantially in the interview round so much that you have 50% chances of clearing it, the quality of competition increases. You are set up against those aspirants whose average score in Mains is between 900-1000 marks. Most of the candidates fall in this marks bracket. The only way you can create a difference, is by performing exceeding well in the interview.

To understand how seriously Civilsdaily conducts its UPSC mock interviews, watch this video.

Why Mock Interviews Are a Better Way to Practice Than By Yourself or With Your Friends?

Rahul Reddy AIR 218, 2020 tries his best to answer international crisis issues in a diplamtic way

So, how can you practice for Interview round before you attend it? Does it have to be with friends or in front of the mirror? Remember, the most effective option is the one where you are simulating an actual UPSC interview enviornment. .

Casual DAF-II filling can cost you a UPSC attempt and thus, you must start your preparation with DAF II curation. The aspirants who have cleared UPSC Mains 2021 can register for our interview support program without any fee (FREE).

The purpose of mock interviews is to refine your approach, attitude and aptitude to excel in UPSC’s personality test. Mock interviews must support your quest at excelling in the final interview. You must be ready to tackle unexpected questions with your knowledge. You must have a solid opinion backed by data and facts for any issue.

That’s why Civilsdaily has brought the free mock interview initiative for all Mains-Qualified aspirants. You can practice as many times you would like before you are perfect. If you want to analyse your performance, we will share the video for your reference.

Here Are the Distinguished Panellists of Civilsdaily Mock Interview 2022

AIR 268 Nitish Rajora answers questions on Indian Economy with ease

One of the major advantages of attending the free mock interviews of Civilsdaily is that you will gain exposure to some of the finest bureaucrats retired as well as working, subject matter experts, psychoanalysts and faculty members. Our panellists have direct experience in recruitment and personality analysis.

1. Mr. Shankar Agarwal (Chairman)– Retired IAS Officer, 1980 Batch, Uttar Pradesh Cadre. Last held position: Joint Secretary for the Government of India.

2. Dr. SD Singh – Retired IFoS Officer, 1984 Batch, Uttarkhand Cadre

3. Mr. Virendra Pratap Singh – Serving IRPS Officer of 2008 Batch, IIT Kharagpur Alumni

4. Dr. Kulbir Singh – Retired Indian Postal Service Officer, 1981 Batch

5. Mr. Amin Usta – Professor at Jamia Milia Islamia University.

6. Mr. Noor Mohammed – Electoral Management Expert at Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM)

What Will You Learn From the Eminent Panellists?

AIR 17 Sarthak Agrawal answers questions on the three farm laws

1. Understand interviewer’s psychology.

2. Improve your answering style and body language.

3. Current Affairs update by experts.

4. Boost your social quotient and emotional quotient.

5. A video recorded session for critical self-assessment.

6. Personal discussion with experts after UPSC Interview Guidance Programme for a critical assessment of his/her performance.

7. Scientific evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of the candidate by experts.

8. Individual DAF analysis and summary of UPSC interview questions.

9. Overall balanced feedback by experts on how one can ace the questions asked in UPSC Interview.

For more details, Contact Pravin, Mentor Head of Civilsdaily.

Phone Number: 8668582260

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Daily AWE

31st March 2022| Daily Answer Writing Enhancement(AWE)

Topics for Today’s questions:

GS-1         History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

GS-2         Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting  India’s interests.

GS-3         Indian Economy, Issues related to growth & development, Employment opportunities

GS-4       Case Studies

Question 1)

 

Q.1 The Truman doctrine was part humanitarian and part strategic in its objectives and impact. Analyse. (10 Marks)

 

Question 2)

Q.2 India and Australia today represent a partnership with a near-complete convergence of interests and values. Two multicultural, federal democracies are natural partners of the future. Comment. (10 Marks)

Question 3)

Q.3 What are the challenges facing chartered accountancy in India? What are the changes introduced through the Bill for amendments to the Chartered Accountants Act,1949? (10 Marks)

Question 4)  

Q.4 You are the head of a PSU, which has recently been entrusted with construction of a new airport in a metropolitan city. However, the area in the immediate neighbourhood of the proposed airport runways have large tracts of land occupied by dense slum settlements. If the airport is to be constructed, approximately 75,000 slum families will have to be humanly rehabilitated. The sheer scale of this rehabilitation, almost similar to an urban renewal, has thrown up many challenges. Foremost among these is identifying an appropriate location for rehabilitation of slum dwellers. You are faced with the following options in this regard, each of which have their own merits and demerits: (a) There is no reasonably priced land in close vicinity of the present slums. A vacant parcel of land that you have identified close-by will have to be developed afresh along with all civic amenities, and this will entail huge cost for the PSU. (b) There is another location, which is very far-off where a factory once stood. All the required civic amenities are in place here and the factory can be converted into appropriate houses at little cost to the PSU. However, there will be loss of livelihood on relocation to this area because of its distance from the current slum location. (c) There is yet another site, which can be used for rehabilitation at reasonable cost. Neither is it too far nor will it entail huge monetary cost, but exercising this option involves cutting a large number of trees, which may adversely affect the ecology of the area. This is likely to face resistance from environmental groups. Given the above options and the associated challenges, which of these sites will you choose for rehabilitation of slum dwellers? Provide adequate justification for your choice. (20 Marks)

 

HOW TO ATTEMPT ANSWERS IN DAILY ANSWER WRITING ENHANCEMENT(AWE)?

  1. Daily 4 questions from General studies 1, 2, 3, and 4 will be provided to you.

  2. A Mentor’s Comment will be available for all answers. This can be used as a guidance tool but we encourage you to write original answers.

  3. You can write your answer on an A4 sheet and scan/click pictures of the same.

  4.  Upload the scanned answer in the comment section of the same question.

  5. Along with the scanned answer, please share your Razor payment ID, so that paid members are given priority.

  6. If you upload the answer on the same day like the answer of 11th  February is uploaded on 11th February then your answer will be checked within 72 hours. Also, reviews will be in the order of submission- First come first serve basis

  7. If you are writing answers late, for example, 11th February is uploaded on 13th February , then these answers will be evaluated as per the mentor’s schedule.

  8. We encourage you to write answers on the same day. However, if you are uploading an answer late then tag the mentor like @Staff so that the mentor is notified about your answer.

*In case your answer is not reviewed, reply to your answer saying *NOT CHECKED*. 

  1. For the philosophy of AWE and payment: 

Categories
Daily AWE

30th March 2022| Daily Answer Writing Enhancement(AWE)

Topics for Today’s questions:

GS-1          Post-independence consolidation and reorganization

GS-2         Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting  India’s interests.

GS-3         Agriculture and Related Issues

GS-4       Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world.

Question 1)

 

Q.1 The reorganisation of states in India post-independence has been an ongoing process with distinct contributing factors. Analyse. (10 Marks)

 

Question 2)

Q.2 BIMSTEC has huge potential as a natural platform for development cooperation in a rapidly changing geopolitical calculus and can leverage its unique position as a pivot in the Indo-Pacific region. Comment. (10 Marks)

Question 3)

Q.3 Discuss the importance of agri-R&D in the context of India. Suggest the ways to help India attain supremacy in agri-R&D and innovation systems. (10 Marks)

Question 4)  

Q.4 The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others – Mahatma Gandhi. Elaborate. (10 Marks)

 

HOW TO ATTEMPT ANSWERS IN DAILY ANSWER WRITING ENHANCEMENT(AWE)?

  1. Daily 4 questions from General studies 1, 2, 3, and 4 will be provided to you.

  2. A Mentor’s Comment will be available for all answers. This can be used as a guidance tool but we encourage you to write original answers.

  3. You can write your answer on an A4 sheet and scan/click pictures of the same.

  4.  Upload the scanned answer in the comment section of the same question.

  5. Along with the scanned answer, please share your Razor payment ID, so that paid members are given priority.

  6. If you upload the answer on the same day like the answer of 11th  February is uploaded on 11th February then your answer will be checked within 72 hours. Also, reviews will be in the order of submission- First come first serve basis

  7. If you are writing answers late, for example, 11th February is uploaded on 13th February , then these answers will be evaluated as per the mentor’s schedule.

  8. We encourage you to write answers on the same day. However, if you are uploading an answer late then tag the mentor like @Staff so that the mentor is notified about your answer.

*In case your answer is not reviewed, reply to your answer saying *NOT CHECKED*. 

  1. For the philosophy of AWE and payment: 

Categories
Announcements

Do You Know Getting 1-1 Mentorship for UPSC-CSE Increases your Success Rate by 80%? || 41 out of 50 Smash 2021 Mains Aspirants Qualify for Interview|| Need a Personalised Revision Timetable for Prelims 2022?|| Want to Know the 30 Most Important Prelims Topics for Every Subject?|| Then, Register Yourself For Samanvaya Free 1-on-1 Mentorship

Smash 2021 Mentorship Results

As UPSC Mains results were announced last week, Sajal sir (Co-Founder of Civilsdaily and Mentor of Smash Mains 2021 Program) was flooded with calls by delighted aspirants who thanked him for his mentorship. Sajal Sir himself is the topper of GS 2017 Mains paper and mentor of 400 UPSC Toppers.

After a quick check, we found out 41 Smash Mains students are qualified to attend the interview this year. As we are waiting for their interview results, we will not be announcing their names right now. However, we are sharing the testimonials of the qualified aspirants. We wish them all the very best!

Prelims Must-Read Topics for Every Subject

As prelims is round the corner, you would have already started your revision. The main purpose of the UPSC prelims exam is to test your conceptual clarity in basic topics and application of current affairs in subject-related questions.  Since the questions in prelims aren’t direct or straightforward, they appear to be outside the standard book and NCERTs.

Based on our research, we have come up with nearly 30-35 important subject-wise topics for Prelims 2022. In this article, we will be highlighting only 3 topics per subject. Those aspirants interested to get the complete handbook of Must-Read Static+ Current Affairs Prelims Topics can register for our Free 1-on-1 Mentorship Session. Along With the Free Consultation+Handbook, aspirants will Get Free Personalised 60 Days Revision Timetable for Prelims 2022.

Polity

  1. Important Supreme Court Judgements.

Revise  important judgements passed by the Supreme Court in the year 2021 along with those mentioned in your polity standard books like Keshvananda Bharati case, Uman Rao Case and Minerva Mills Case. While reading up the reasoning behind the judgements, you will gain clarity of the constitutional provisions. 

  1. Fundamental Rights from Article 12-35

Every year, a minimum of 2-3 questions mandatorily ask about the basic human rights guaranteed by the constitution, their significance and limitations. Sample these questions from Prelims 2021.

1. Under the Indian constitution concentration of wealth violates

(a) The Right to Equality

(b) The Directive Principles of State Policy

(c) The Right to Freedom

(d) The Concept of Welfare

2. A legislation which confers on the executive or administrative authority an unguided and uncontrolled discretionary power in the matter of the application of law violates which one of the following Articles of the Constitution of India?

(a) Article 14

(b) Article 28

(c) Article 32

(d) Article 44

  1. Non-constitutional Bodies

Questions have been consistently asked about the recent developments in the quasi-judicial, statutory and regulatory bodies set up by the state legislatures. Examples include the National Human Rights Commission, National Green Tribunal and National Law Commission. One must be aware of the corresponding laws around which these bodies were established. 

Economy

  1. Inflation

Inflation has been a persistent issue that has affected Indians every year. Everytime, there is news on how the RBI plans to tackle the issue or how foreign crises result in inflation of goods in India. Aspirants are expected to understand types of inflation like demand-pull inflation, cost-push inflation and wholesale price inflation. Remedies for inflation can be found in the current affairs section. One can expect 2-3 questions in prelims from this section. The prelims questions would test the conceptual clarity in fiscal policy and inflation.

  1. Money market

Aspirants are expected to have a general and not specialized knowledge on the financial instruments with high liquidity and short term maturities. The different kinds of credit that exist for different sections of the society needs to be read. 

  1. GDP Estimates

Every year one question in prelims is about the GDP estimates of a particular year. While reading this topic, aspirants must note down the department that releases this report, the difference between GDP and GVA and the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Environment 

  1. Environment Conventions from 1980s onwards

Aspirants are expected to make micronotes from the standard books they are reading on the role of international institutions in combating environmental pollution through conventions, acts and policies. Examples of such conventions are Stockholm convention, Ramsar Convention, CITES etc. 

  1. Biogeochemical cycles

Aspirants need to be familiar with the process of biogeochemical cycle, the types of biogeochemical cycle and the significance of the same. Questions around this are typically direct and straightforward. 

  1. Mapping of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and wetlands

Every year, aspirants definitely get 3-5 fact based questions on national parks. Some of these questions could be asked due to a recent development in a particular park. For example, the Chilika Lake wetland was recently in news in January due to migratory birds like the Mongolian Gull staying there. The Chilika Lake is the first wetland of international importance under Ramsar convention. Certain aspects the aspirants must note down are the areas where the particular national park or wetland is spread across, the major attractions, the economic and social significance of the place. 

Social Issues and Government Schemes

  1. Reports and Indices

Any report released by an international organisation on the performance of India against other countries under certain parameters must be revised. This includes The Global Hunger Index, World Happiness Report and Human Development Index.

  1. GOI schemes for 2021

Ranging from agriculture, education, MSMEs, vulnerable sections and banking, aspirants need to have awareness on government initiatives in 2021. This will make it easier for them to solve indirect questions as well. 

Science and Technology

  1. Electric Vehicles:
    India’s commitment towards electric vehicles and COP26 of Glasgow might be areas where prelims questions would be asked. Aspirants should understand the various measures to develop and promote the EV ecosystem in the country such as Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME II) scheme, Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) and the recently launched PLI scheme for Auto and Automotive Components for manufacturers of electric vehicles.
  1. Dark Genome 

This is a hot topic in DNA research and aspirants must understand why research in this area is essential for treatment of diseases. Questions on genetics can be expected from Prelims this time. 

  1. Emerging technologies (5G, AI, Machine learning)

In recent years, a lot of questions have appeared about the latest developments in technology, their discoveries and the latest theories related to them. Few of these technologies are 5G, Quantum Key Distribution technology, hydrogen fuel cell etc. Aspirants must micronotes on these topics from prelims perspective. 

Indian Geography

  1. Maps

Aspirants must practice places in the Indian Map on a regular basis. Particularly, they must  focus on himalayan rivers like Ganga, Brahmaputra and Yamuna, peninsular rivers like Damodar, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri and Periyar. Not only rivers, but aspirants must know where exactly their tributaries are located. Apart from this, North to South Alignment of Mountains in Eastern ghat and Western Ghat, Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands and Industrial Location and Ports need to be marked. 

  1. Climatic Regions in India

Aspirants must learn about the onset and withdrawal of the Indian Monsoon system, tropical cyclones, different climatic zones, factors that cause shifts in climate and intertropical convergence zone. 

  1. Continental Shift Theory

Present in the NCERT textbooks, this theory talks about the formation of different continents. Aspirants must keep an eye for one or two questions that might come from this topic in the Geography section. 

Want to Know How a Free 1-on-1 Mentorship Looks Like? Watch This Video

In this video, there is first an initial discussion of the test performance, which is then followed by the mentor discussing the questions which the aspirant had got wrong and then he will ask the aspirant, where did he study the topic and to share the notes he made on that topic. The mentor will find out the problem and suggest the correct method of studying the topics. After the session gets over, the aspirant has to study the topics where he couldn’t score high marks in polity. After this, the next day the mentor will conduct another test only on those topics. This way the aspirant gains an understanding on how to approach the whole subject of polity.

Categories
Announcements

Do You Know Getting 1-1 Mentorship for UPSC-CSE Increases your Success Rate by 80%? || 41 out of 50 Smash 2021 Mains Aspirants Qualify for Interview|| Need a Personalised Revision Timetable for Prelims 2022?|| Want to Know the 30 Most Important Prelims Topics for Every Subject?|| Then, Register Yourself For Samanvaya Free 1-on-1 Mentorship

Smash 2021 Mentorship Results

As UPSC Mains results were announced last week, Sajal sir (Co-Founder of Civilsdaily and Mentor of Smash Mains 2021 Program) was flooded with calls by delighted aspirants who thanked him for his mentorship. Sajal Sir himself is the topper of GS 2017 Mains paper and mentor of 400 UPSC Toppers.

After a quick check, we found out 41 Smash Mains students are qualified to attend the interview this year. As we are waiting for their interview results, we will not be announcing their names right now. However, we are sharing the testimonials of the qualified aspirants. We wish them all the very best!

Prelims Must-Read Topics for Every Subject

As prelims is round the corner, you would have already started your revision. The main purpose of the UPSC prelims exam is to test your conceptual clarity in basic topics and application of current affairs in subject-related questions.  Since the questions in prelims aren’t direct or straightforward, they appear to be outside the standard book and NCERTs.

Based on our research, we have come up with nearly 30-35 important subject-wise topics for Prelims 2022. In this article, we will be highlighting only 3 topics per subject. Those aspirants interested to get the complete handbook of Must-Read Static+ Current Affairs Prelims Topics can register for our Free 1-on-1 Mentorship Session. Along With the Free Consultation+Handbook, aspirants will Get Free Personalised 60 Days Revision Timetable for Prelims 2022.

Polity

  1. Important Supreme Court Judgements.

Revise  important judgements passed by the Supreme Court in the year 2021 along with those mentioned in your polity standard books like Keshvananda Bharati case, Uman Rao Case and Minerva Mills Case. While reading up the reasoning behind the judgements, you will gain clarity of the constitutional provisions. 

  1. Fundamental Rights from Article 12-35

Every year, a minimum of 2-3 questions mandatorily ask about the basic human rights guaranteed by the constitution, their significance and limitations. Sample these questions from Prelims 2021.

1. Under the Indian constitution concentration of wealth violates

(a) The Right to Equality

(b) The Directive Principles of State Policy

(c) The Right to Freedom

(d) The Concept of Welfare

2. A legislation which confers on the executive or administrative authority an unguided and uncontrolled discretionary power in the matter of the application of law violates which one of the following Articles of the Constitution of India?

(a) Article 14

(b) Article 28

(c) Article 32

(d) Article 44

  1. Non-constitutional Bodies

Questions have been consistently asked about the recent developments in the quasi-judicial, statutory and regulatory bodies set up by the state legislatures. Examples include the National Human Rights Commission, National Green Tribunal and National Law Commission. One must be aware of the corresponding laws around which these bodies were established. 

Economy

  1. Inflation

Inflation has been a persistent issue that has affected Indians every year. Everytime, there is news on how the RBI plans to tackle the issue or how foreign crises result in inflation of goods in India. Aspirants are expected to understand types of inflation like demand-pull inflation, cost-push inflation and wholesale price inflation. Remedies for inflation can be found in the current affairs section. One can expect 2-3 questions in prelims from this section. The prelims questions would test the conceptual clarity in fiscal policy and inflation.

  1. Money market

Aspirants are expected to have a general and not specialized knowledge on the financial instruments with high liquidity and short term maturities. The different kinds of credit that exist for different sections of the society needs to be read. 

  1. GDP Estimates

Every year one question in prelims is about the GDP estimates of a particular year. While reading this topic, aspirants must note down the department that releases this report, the difference between GDP and GVA and the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Environment 

  1. Environment Conventions from 1980s onwards

Aspirants are expected to make micronotes from the standard books they are reading on the role of international institutions in combating environmental pollution through conventions, acts and policies. Examples of such conventions are Stockholm convention, Ramsar Convention, CITES etc. 

  1. Biogeochemical cycles

Aspirants need to be familiar with the process of biogeochemical cycle, the types of biogeochemical cycle and the significance of the same. Questions around this are typically direct and straightforward. 

  1. Mapping of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and wetlands

Every year, aspirants definitely get 3-5 fact based questions on national parks. Some of these questions could be asked due to a recent development in a particular park. For example, the Chilika Lake wetland was recently in news in January due to migratory birds like the Mongolian Gull staying there. The Chilika Lake is the first wetland of international importance under Ramsar convention. Certain aspects the aspirants must note down are the areas where the particular national park or wetland is spread across, the major attractions, the economic and social significance of the place. 

Social Issues and Government Schemes

  1. Reports and Indices

Any report released by an international organisation on the performance of India against other countries under certain parameters must be revised. This includes The Global Hunger Index, World Happiness Report and Human Development Index.

  1. GOI schemes for 2021

Ranging from agriculture, education, MSMEs, vulnerable sections and banking, aspirants need to have awareness on government initiatives in 2021. This will make it easier for them to solve indirect questions as well. 

Science and Technology

  1. Electric Vehicles:
    India’s commitment towards electric vehicles and COP26 of Glasgow might be areas where prelims questions would be asked. Aspirants should understand the various measures to develop and promote the EV ecosystem in the country such as Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME II) scheme, Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) and the recently launched PLI scheme for Auto and Automotive Components for manufacturers of electric vehicles.
  1. Dark Genome 

This is a hot topic in DNA research and aspirants must understand why research in this area is essential for treatment of diseases. Questions on genetics can be expected from Prelims this time. 

  1. Emerging technologies (5G, AI, Machine learning)

In recent years, a lot of questions have appeared about the latest developments in technology, their discoveries and the latest theories related to them. Few of these technologies are 5G, Quantum Key Distribution technology, hydrogen fuel cell etc. Aspirants must micronotes on these topics from prelims perspective. 

Indian Geography

  1. Maps

Aspirants must practice places in the Indian Map on a regular basis. Particularly, they must  focus on himalayan rivers like Ganga, Brahmaputra and Yamuna, peninsular rivers like Damodar, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri and Periyar. Not only rivers, but aspirants must know where exactly their tributaries are located. Apart from this, North to South Alignment of Mountains in Eastern ghat and Western Ghat, Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands and Industrial Location and Ports need to be marked. 

  1. Climatic Regions in India

Aspirants must learn about the onset and withdrawal of the Indian Monsoon system, tropical cyclones, different climatic zones, factors that cause shifts in climate and intertropical convergence zone. 

  1. Continental Shift Theory

Present in the NCERT textbooks, this theory talks about the formation of different continents. Aspirants must keep an eye for one or two questions that might come from this topic in the Geography section. 

Want to Know How a Free 1-on-1 Mentorship Looks Like? Watch This Video

In this video, there is first an initial discussion of the test performance, which is then followed by the mentor discussing the questions which the aspirant had got wrong and then he will ask the aspirant, where did he study the topic and to share the notes he made on that topic. The mentor will find out the problem and suggest the correct method of studying the topics. After the session gets over, the aspirant has to study the topics where he couldn’t score high marks in polity. After this, the next day the mentor will conduct another test only on those topics. This way the aspirant gains an understanding on how to approach the whole subject of polity.

Categories
Daily AWE

29th March 2022| Daily Answer Writing Enhancement(AWE)

Topics for Today’s questions:

GS-1         Modern Indian History

GS-2         Governance, Transparency and Accountability

GS-3         Environment Conservation, Sustainable development

GS-4        Ethics and Human Interface

Question 1)

 

Q.1 Discuss the major changes introduced by the Government of India Act, 1919 and its significance as a historical landmark in the Indian freedom struggle. (15 Marks)

 

Question 2)

Q.2 How the use of technology can help in better policing? Also, examine the issues with the use of technology for policing? (10 Marks)

Question 3)

Q.3 What is green hydrogen? What are the incentives offered under the green hydrogen policy? Suggest the way forward. (10 Marks)

Question 4)  

Q.4 The mandatory nature of Corporate Social Responsibility goes against the notion of philanthropy. Discuss. (10 Marks)

 

HOW TO ATTEMPT ANSWERS IN DAILY ANSWER WRITING ENHANCEMENT(AWE)?

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