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100 MOST IAS

PROBABLE MAINS

TOPICS FOR 2017

A MUST READ COMPILATION TO ACE MAINS 2017

AS WELL AS INTERVIEW
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Table of Contents
Economics

#1. Abolition of FIPB.6


#2. Air India disinvestment: Need & Challenges ....................................................................................................... 8
#3. All about Cashless Economy ............................................................................................................................. 10
#4. Do India require High speed rail ........................................................................................................................ 14
#5. Merger of Banks: Need & Challenges ............................................................................................................... 17
#6. Should agricultural be taxed? ............................................................................................................................ 20
#7. UDAN scheme : Opportunities and Challenges ................................................................................................ 24
#8. Proposed wage code bill: Significance & issues ............................................................................................... 26
#9. Demonetization: An analysis ............................................................................................................................. 29
#10. MPC an evaluation........................................................................................................................................... 33
#11. Advance in date of budget (pros and cons) ..................................................................................................... 36
#12. Port Led Development growth ......................................................................................................................... 37
#13. Banking Reforms ............................................................................................................................................. 41
#14. Recent PPP models (EPC,HAM ) an analysis ................................................................................................ 46
#15. Labour reforms in recent years ........................................................................................................................ 49
#16. A-Z of GST ....................................................................................................................................................... 53
#17. Should India adopt Universal Basic income Model ......................................................................................... 59
#18. Concept of PARA : Need & Challenges .......................................................................................................... 62
#19. Hydrocarbon exploration licensing policy ........................................................................................................ 65
#20. All about the Bankruptcy code ......................................................................................................................... 68
#21. All about the NPA problem in India .................................................................................................................. 72
#22. Should PDS System be Replaced by DBT ...................................................................................................... 77
#23. Twin balance sheet problem ............................................................................................................................ 79

International Realtions

#1. Effect of US president Trump on India .............................................................................................................. 84


#2. Should India Fight For membership of NSG...................................................................................................... 86
#3. BBIN Agreement ................................................................................................................................................ 89
#4. BIMSTEC as counter to SAARC........................................................................................................................ 92
#5. Rohingya Issue .................................................................................................................................................. 96

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#6. India Israel Relations ....................................................................................................................................... 100


#7. Doklam Plateau Issue ...................................................................................................................................... 103
#8. Qatar crisis and its impact on India.................................................................................................................. 106
#9. India-Japan Nuclear Deal : Significance & Challenges ................................................................................... 108
#10. Model Bilateral Investment Treaty ................................................................................................................. 111
#11. Indo Myanmar Relationship ......................................................................................................................... 115

Security

#1. Why India should have an evacuation plan for Overseas workers ................................................................. 120
#2. Cyber security threats Faced by India ............................................................................................................. 123
#3. Do we require a security policy ........................................................................................................................ 126
#4. Fake news menace .......................................................................................................................................... 129
#5. Naxalism Problem faced by India .................................................................................................................... 131

Polity and Governance

#1. Article 35A debate............................................................................................................................................ 137


#2. Do India require All India Judicial Services ..................................................................................................... 140
#3. Should Criminal defamation law be amended ................................................................................................. 143
#4. HEERA to replace UGC, AICTE as a Single Higher Education Regulator ..................................................... 145
#5. Judial activism and overreach: An analysis ..................................................................................................... 148
#6. Should Lateral entry be allowed in civil services ............................................................................................. 151
#7. Should liquor be banned on highways............................................................................................................. 153
#8. National court of appeal ................................................................................................................................... 155
#9. Should national anthem be Made mandatory in cinema halls......................................................................... 159
#10. Proxy voting for NRI ....................................................................................................................................... 162
#11. Setting up of common water disputes settlement tribunal ............................................................................. 164
#12. Should no detention policy be scrapped- An Analysis .................................................................................. 168
#13. Should there be Simultaneous elections for all Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha ............................................ 170
#14. Enemy protection ordinance: issues and analysis ........................................................................................ 173
#15. Should First past the post system be replaced with Proportional Representation system ........................... 175
#16. Curb on VIP Culture ....................................................................................................................................... 178
#17. Skill India (performance appraisal) ................................................................................................................ 179
#18. Swachh Bharat mission (performance appraisal).......................................................................................... 182

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#19.Should Section 124A-be Amended ................................................................................................................ 185


#20. VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) IN PERSPECTIVE....................................................................... 187
#21.Issue of Paid news .......................................................................................................................................... 190

Environment

#1. Kigali agreement: Prospects and Issues ......................................................................................................... 194


#2. Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2016 ................................................................................................... 196
#3. Solid waste managament rules 2016 in perspective ....................................................................................... 200
#4. E- Waste Managament Rules 2016 In Perspective......................................................................................... 204
#5. Plastic Waste Managament Rules 2016 in Perspective .................................................................................. 207
#6. Interlinking of rivers: Significance & Challenges ............................................................................................. 209
#7. Should Culling of animals be allowed .............................................................................................................. 212
#8. Should we Adopt Polluters pay model ............................................................................................................. 215
#9. Legal status to river Ganga .............................................................................................................................. 217
#10. A Direct Shift from BS-1V to BS-VI by 2020: Issues & Challenges .............................................................. 220

Social Issues

#1. Should Section 498 be amended..................................................................................................................... 223


#2. Child labour amendment bill ............................................................................................................................ 225
#3. Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill.................................................................................................................... 228
#4. Medical termination of pregnancy .................................................................................................................... 231
#5. National Health Policy 2017............................................................................................................................. 235
#6. Transgender Bill ............................................................................................................................................... 238
#7. Demand for smaller states (in context of Gorkhaland issue) .......................................................................... 241
#8. Surrogacy Bill ................................................................................................................................................... 244
#9. HIV AIDS Bill .................................................................................................................................................... 247
#10. Mental Healthcare Bill .................................................................................................................................... 250
#11. Why Dominant castes are asking for reservation .......................................................................................... 252
#12.Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 ......................................... 255
#13. National strategic plan for Malaria ................................................................................................................. 257
#14.Should Marital rape be criminalized ............................................................................................................... 260

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Science & Tech

#1. Cloud seeding .................................................................................................................................................. 264


#2. CRISPR ............................................................................................................................................................ 267
#3. Reusable Launch Vehicle ................................................................................................................................ 270
#4. LI-FI .................................................................................................................................................................. 272
#5. IPR Policy 2016 ............................................................................................................................................... 274
#6. Indian Neutrino observatory controversy ......................................................................................................... 276
#7. Pressurized Heavy water Reactor ................................................................................................................... 279
#8. Agri Research (role of ICAR) ........................................................................................................................... 283
#9. GM Mustard debate ......................................................................................................................................... 285
#10.Gravitational waves......................................................................................................................................... 288
#11. Hyperloop ....................................................................................................................................................... 291
#12. DNA profiling technology .............................................................................................................................. 293
#13. Internet of Things ........................................................................................................................................... 296
#14. ISRO soft power ............................................................................................................................................. 299
#15. Hybrid Electric Vehicle ................................................................................................................................... 301
#16. Artificial Intelligence ....................................................................................................................................... 303
#17. Block Chain Technology and Bitcoins ........................................................................................................... 305
#18. Big Data ......................................................................................................................................................... 307

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Economics

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#1. Abolition of FIPB

Note4Students

Creating employment opportunities is a challenge for every reigning government. Indian has ranked 130th in
2017 Ease of Doing Business index.it is important to take necessary actions to transform India into a business
friendly destination. This will attract more FDI and create more job opportunities. So abolition of FIPB deserves
deeper analysis.

Introduction

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was a national agency of Government of India, with the
remit to consider and recommend foreign direct investment (FDI) which does not come under the
automatic route.
It acted as a single window clearance for proposals on foreign direct investment (FDI) in India. The Foreign
Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was housed in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.

Recent Developments

1. The Union Cabinet approved phasing out of the 25-year-old Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB)
SUCCESSOR MECHANISM
2. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the Commerce ministry will be in
charge of its successor mechanism.
3. This includes the old FIPB portal that has now been placed under the DIPP under a new name - the
Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal
4. Henceforth, the work relating to processing of applications for FDI and approval of the
Government thereon under the extant FDI Policy and Foreign Exchange Management Act, shall
now be handled by the concerned Ministries/Departments in consultation with the Department of
Industrial Policy & Promotion (or the DIPP, in the) Ministry of Commerce, which will also issue the
Standard Operating Procedure for processing of applications and decision of the Government under the
extant FDI policy.

National Security
1. In cases of applications where there are security concerns, the home ministry's approval will be
required.
Analysis

Reasoning behind the abolition


1. Maximum Governance and Minimum Government The move to phase out the FIPB is aimed at making
India a more attractive FDI destination and increasing FDI inflows by providing greater ease of doing
business and promoting the Maximum Governance and Minimum Government principle.

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Diminished Importance

1. FIPB was the epitome of license raj, where powerful bureaucrats decided the fate of a foreign investor
willing to pump in precious foreign investment into India.
2. But in todays more liberalised India, the FIPBs role had already shrunk considerably, especially after
the Narendra Modi government further relaxed FDI norms for many sectors last year.
3. Currently around 91-95% of FDI inflow happens through the automatic route, adding that there are
only 11 sectors (including defence and retail) needing government approval.
4. The FIPB has successfully implemented e-filing and online processing of FDI applications.

Concerns And Challenges

1. The Office Memorandum made Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) as the nodal agency
for coordinating FDI proposals requiring government approval and entrusted it with the task of
preparing and issuing a standard operating procedure (SOP) for processing the FDI applications.
2. it is encouraging to see that SOP has explicitly provided timelines for all ministries/ departments
involved at different stages, there still remains scope where these timelines are not strictly
binding
3. While the cabinets decision is seen as a simplification of the existing procedure to seek
clearance on FDI proposals, experts have also raised doubts whether line ministries are equipped
to take such decisions on an expedited manner.

Liberising norms

1. Cumbersome rules, not the FIPB, have been responsible for a less than enthusiastic response from
foreign investors in some sectors.
2. For instance, global insurers can hold up to 49% ownership in Indian ventures but only if Indians
retain management and control over these entities this is an onerous definition of control that has
inhibited deal-making. Despite allowing 100% FDI in food retail, rules prohibit foreign players from using
a small fraction of their shelf space for non-food items, affecting investment plans. This, in a sector that
can create millions of jobs and boost farm incomes.
3. Archaic land acquisition and labour laws continue to make it difficult for large factories to come up.
4. If the government considers liberalising the norms for foreign investors in the wake of the recent
Tata-Docomo dispute, it would go a long way towards creation of a far more stable investor-friendly
taxation regime that will bolster investor confidence.

Conclusion

FIPB has been handling the task of approving and vetting FDI proposals for more than 25 years, it will be
interesting to see how the new authorities fill its shoes under the new regime.
While initial glitches within the ministry or while coordinating between different designated authorities are
expected, DIPP is expected to assume a pro-active approach and hand-holding them to settle down in the new
set-up and deliver the expectations of the business community efficiently.
Abolition of FIPB will propel the inflow of FDI-comment
India needs to create a business friendly eco system to reduce the unemployment. Analyse the statement in the
light of abolition of FIPB

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#2. Air India disinvestment: Need &


Challenges

Note4Students

The Cabinet recently approved the disinvestment plan for Air India and its five subsidiaries. It is being seen as
Governments one of the boldest reform moves till date. The Government is hopeful that the decision will attract a
positive response and will revive Air India. The carrier has already been surviving on a bailout package. Last
month, the NITI Aayog in its report had recommended the disinvestment of Air India

Introduction

1. The Union Cabinet gave its in-principle nod to divest stakes in Air India a wholly owned government
airline.
2. The Cabinet decided to go for Air Indias strategic disinvestment, which means the government is
willing to shed a substantial portion of its stake and hand over the management of the ailing
airline to the private sector.
3. The Cabinet also approved strategic disinvestment in five of Air Indias subsidiaries its MRO unit
Air India Engineering Services (AIESL), ground handling arm Air India Transport Services, Air India
Charters which operates Air India Express and Airline Allied Services which operates Alliance Air and
Hotel Corporation of India (which owns Centaur Hotels), along with a joint venture AISATS.
4. The three profit-making subsidiaries are
5. the low-cost airline Air India Express Ltd,
6. the ground handling company Air India Air Transport Services Limited
7. Air Indias joint venture with SATS Limited for ground handling activities in Delhi, Mumbai, Trivandrum
and Bengaluru.

Analysis

Operational strategy

Three-pronged strategy for the disinvestment of Air India


Demerger and strategic disinvestment of three profit making
subsidiaries.
Hiving off of certain assets into a special purpose vehicle.
Treatment of unsustainable debts of the ailing carrier.

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Group of ministers (GoM) to decide,


1. The quantum of equity to be offered,
2. ays to deal with Air Indias "unsustainable" debt
3. Housing some of the airlines assets into a shell company.
4. This group will also decide whether to demerge three of the airlines profitable subsidiaries and do a
strategic sale of these.
5. This group decides if foreign investors and/or foreign airlines can also bid for the national carrier.

Argument For disinvestment

1. Market competition in a note the aviation ministry has argued that since there are several Indian owned
private airlines operating in the domestic and international sectors, there is no need for the government to
be involved in the aviation business.
2. The Niti Aayog had submitted its recommendations on the strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of
its subsidiaries,
3. Citing the carriers monthly losses to the tune of Rs 200-250 crore as the primary reason why such a
move is required.
4. Air Indias cash deficit is expected to double from Rs 1,050 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 2,069 crore in 2016-
17, according to the provisional figures in a report submitted by the ministry of civil aviation to the
standing committee on transport, tourism and culture.
5. There will ease the fiscal pressure on the union government especially in indirectly servicing the
airlines outstanding debt burden of Rs52,000 crore.
6. The airline has so far received Rs 23,993 crore of the Rs 30,231 crore equity infusion promised by the
government under a financial restructuring plan in 2012.
7. It reported a loss of about Rs 3,587 crore in 2015-16, compared with a loss of Rs 5,859 crore in the
previous year.

8. 50,000 crore could be invested in social welfare sectors instead of financing Air Indias debt.
9. Economic Survey 2017 recommended that the government privatize Air India.

10. Market share Air Indias market share has also eroded rapidly over the years due to competition
from private players from 19.4% in 2013 to around 13.3% in May 2017 in the domestic sector,
which made it unattractive to continue running its operations.
11. Workers Problem Wooing professionals to work with Air India - assuming they come from the private
sector - could be challenging. Many professionals would be reluctant to work with a loss-making entity,
especially in a public enterprise set-up. In India, public sector companies, albeit profitable, have rarely
attracted professionals from the private sector.

Challenges

The government will have to streamline its FDI policy so that foreign investors can buy a stake in Air India. The
Civil Aviation Ministry has also made a case for the sale of non-core assets first to pay off existing creditors, so
that the airline becomes more attractive to private buyers.
The task of strategic disinvestment of Air India is complex.
1. The balance sheet of Air India is not only debt-ridden but has some unusual assets. Air India showed the
traits of Raja Maharaja, over the years there has been huge collection of artwork in form of sculptures,
murals and paintings.

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2. Valuing these assets is a challenge. The other valuable assets include premium commercial space in
major cities in India as well as London, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
3. Air India owns prime slots of the takeoff and landing at the major international airports. Air India's
association with Star Alliance that provides global connectivity to the airline too has commercial value.

The sales purpose should guide the sales rules.


1. Air Indias debt, now about $8 billion, is growing unsustainably. It was bailed out with $5.8 billion of
taxpayer money in 2012. The sales purpose should be to compensate taxpayers for shouldering the
burden of keeping the national carrier afloat. Air Indias disinvestment could deliver this if it results in
reduced government interference and increased competition. Remember, most taxpayers are also flyers.

2. Competition in the air travel market will not increase if Air India gets acquired by a private airline in India.
The rules should provide foreign airlines a level playing field. Sharp scrutiny of objections can expose
and thwart hidden vested interests.

Conclusion

1. The need of the hour is a good assessment of Air Indias assets and liabilities plus a workable plan so
that the airline can be made attractive to any prospective buyer.
2. This decision does convey to the investors that India is serious about reforms and will not throw good
money into something not working out well.

Government should only be a facilitator of business rather than doing business itself. Analyse the
statement in the light of disinvestment of air India

#3. All about Cashless Economy

Note4Students:

Cashless Economy has been in news frequently since Government has taken number of initiatives in last few
years to promote cashless transaction. This makes it a probable topic for mains 2017

Introduction

1. India continues to be driven by the use of cash; less than 5% of all payments happen electronically
however the finance minister, in 2016 budget speech, talked about the idea of making India a cashless
society, with the aim of curbing the flow of black money.

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2. Even the RBI has also recently unveiled unveiled a document Payments and Settlement Systems
in India: Vision 2018 setting out a plan to encourage electronic payments and to enable India to
move towards a cashless society or economy in the medium and long term.

What is a cashless economy and where does India stand?

1. A cashless economy is one in which all tthe


he transactions are done using cards or digital means. The
circulation of physical currency is minimal.
2. India uses too much cash for transactions. The ratio of cash to gross domestic product is one of the
highest in the world12.42%
12.42% in 2014, compared with 9.47% in China or 4% in Brazil.
3. Less than 5% of all payments happen electronically
4. The number of currency notes in circulation is also far higher than in other large economies. India had
76.47 billion currency notes in circulation in 2012
2012-13 compared with 34.5 billion in the US.
5. Some studies show that cash dominates even in malls, which are visited by people who are likely to have
credit cards, so it is no surprise that cash dominates in other markets as well.

Benefits of Cashless economy

1. Reduced instances
es of tax avoidance because it is financial institutions based economy where transaction
trails are left.
2. It will curb generation of black money
3. Will reduce real estate prices because of curbs on black money as most of black money is invested in
Real estate
e prices which inflates the prices of Real estate markets
4. In Financial year 2015, RBI spent Rs 27 billion on just the activity of currency issuance and
management. This could be avoided if we become cashless society.
5. It will pave way for universal availabi
availability
lity of banking services to all as no physical infrastructure is needed
other than digital.
6. There will be greater efficiency in welfare programmes as money is wired directly into the accounts of
recipients. Thus once money is transferred directly into a be beneficiarys
neficiarys bank account, the entire process
becomes transparent. Payments can be easily traced and collected, and corruption will automatically
drop, so people will no longer have to pay to collect what is rightfully theirs.
7. There will be efficiency gains as transaction costs across the economy should also come down.

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8. 1 in 7 notes is supposed to be fake, which has a huge negative impact on economy, by going cashless,
that can be avoided.
9. Hygiene Soiled, tobacco stained notes full of germs are a norm in India. There are many such
incidents in our life where we knowingly or unknowingly give and take germs in the form of rupee notes.
This could be avoided if we move towards Cashless economy.
10. In a cashless economy there will be no problem of soiled notes or counterfeit currency
11. Reduced costs of operating ATMs.
12. Speed and satisfaction of operations for customers, no delays and queues, no interactions with bank staff
required.
13. A Moodys report pegged the impact of electronic transactions to 0.8% increase in GDP for emerging
markets and 0.3% increase for developed markets because of increased velocity of money
14. An increased use of credit cards instead of cash would primarily enable a more detailed record of all the
transactions which take place in the society, allowing more transparency in business operations and
money transfers.

This will eventually have the following chain effect:

1. Improvement in credit access and financial inclusion, which will benefit the growth of SMEs in the
medium/long run.
2. Reduce tax avoidance and money laundering thanks to the higher traceability of all the transactions.
3. The increased use of credit cards will definitely reduce the amount of cash that people will carry and as a
consequence, reduce the risk and the cost associated with that.

Challenges in making India a cashless economy

1. Availability of internet connection and financial literacy.


2. Though bank accounts have been opened through Jan Dhan Yojana, most of them are lying un
operational. Unless people start operating bank accounts cashless economy is not possible.
3. There is also vested interest in not moving towards cashless economy.
4. India is dominated by small retailers. They dont have enough resources to invest in electronic payment
infrastructure.
5. The perception of consumers also sometimes acts a barrier. The benefit of cashless transactions is not
evident to even those who have credit cards. Cash, on the other hand, is perceived to be the fastest way
of transacting for 82% of credit card users. It is universally believed that having cash helps you negotiate
better.
6. Most card and cash users fear that they will be charged more if they use cards. Further, non-users of
credit cards are not aware of the benefits of credit cards.
7. Indian banks are making it difficult for digital wallets issued by private sector companies to be used on
the respective bank websites. It could be restrictions on using bank accounts to refill digital wallets or a
lack of access to payment gateways. Regulators will have to take a tough stand against such rent-
seeking behaviour by the banks.

Steps taken by RBI and Government to discourage use of cash

1. Licensing of Payment banks


2. Government is also promoting mobile wallets.Mobile wallet allows users to instantly send money, pay
bills, recharge mobiles, book movie tickets, send physical and e-gifts both online and offline. Recently,

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the RBI had issued certain guidelines that allow the users to increase their limit to Rs 1,00,000 based on
a certain KYC verification
3. Promotion of e-commerce by liberalizing the FDI norms for this sector.
4. Government has also launched UPI which will make Electronic transaction much simpler and faster.
5. Government has also withdrawn surcharge, service charge on cards and digital payments
6. Launch of BHIM APP
7. A discount of 0.75 per cent will be offered on purchase of petrol and diesel through either credit/debit
cards, e-wallets and mobile wallets.
8. Credit/debit card transactions up to Rs 2,000 will be exempt from service tax.
9. Online booking of railway tickets will get Rs 10-lakh accident insurance.
10. 1 lakh villages with population less than 10,000 will get 2 PoS machines (swipe machines) each, free of
cost supported through financial inclusion fund.
11. Demonetization (Will be dealt in a separate article)

What else needs to be done?

1. Open Bank accounts and ensure they are operationalized.


2. Abolishment of government fees on credit card transactions; reduction of interchange fee on card
transactions; increase in taxes on ATM withdrawals.
3. Tax rebates for consumers and for merchants who adopt electronic payments.
4. Making Electronic payment infrastructure completely safe and secure so that incidents of Cyber crimes
could be minimized and people develop faith in electronic payment system.
5. Create a culture of saving and faith in financial system among the rural poor.
6. The Reserve Bank of India too will have to come to terms with a few issues, from figuring out what digital
payments across borders means for its capital controls to how the new modes of payment affect key
monetary variables such as the velocity of money.
7. RBI will also have to shed some of its conservatism, part of which is because it has often seen itself as
the protector of banking interests rather than overall financial development.
8. The regulators also need to keep a sharp eye on any potential restrictive practices that banks may
indulge in to maintain their current dominance over the lucrative payments business.
Though it will take time for moving towards a complete cashless economy, efforts should be made to convert
urban areas as cashless areas. As 70% of Indias GDP comes from urban areas if government can convert that
into cashless it will be a huge gain. Therefore different trajectories need to be planned for migration to cashless
for those having bank account and for those not having .

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3300738/Why-India-banking-cashless-
economy.html

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/demonetisation-steps-taken-by-govt-to-promote-
cashless-transactions-116112300967_1.html

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/UPu9N5gINQpmk0j1QpkA9K/Moving-to-a-cashless-economy.html

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Questions:

Q.1) What hurdles exist in making India a cashless economy? Discuss benefits of
becoming a cashless economy and suggest how government can speed of this
transformation.
Q.2) What challenges does government face in rural areas in its efforts towards
a cashless economy? How these challenges could be overcome?

#4. Do India require High speed rail

Note4Students:

High speed rail is one of the most ambitious project of the Modi Government. It is also related to Infrastructure
topic in the GS paper 3

Context

The government of India recently decided to build a high-speed rail (HSR) corridor between Mumbai and
Ahmadabad at a cost of Rs 97,636 crore with Japanese financial and technical assistance.

What do we understand by High Speed Rail?

High-speed rail is a type of rail transport that operates significantly faster than traditional rail traffic, using an
integrated system of specialized rolling stock and dedicated tracks.
India has one of the Largest rail Networks in the world, but as of now it does not consist of any line classed
as (HSR), which allows an operational speed of 200 km/h or more. The current Fastest Train in India is the
Gatimaan Express that runs with a top speed of 160 km/h, with average speed of above 100 km/hr between
Delhi and Agra.
The first Proposed High speed Train in India would run some 500 kilometers (310 miles) between Indias
financial capital Mumbai and the western city of Ahmadabad, at a top speed of 320 km/h. Under the Japanese
proposal, construction is expected to begin in 2017 and be completed in 2023. It would cost about 980
billion (US$15 billion) and be financed by Low interest loan from Japan.
Recently Government has introduced Tejas Express which is Indias first semi-high speed full AC train fleet
introduced by Indian Railways, featuring newer modern on-board facilities.

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Points in Favour of High speed rail Corridor

1. Cheap: The negotiated terms the rate of interest of 0.1 per cent per annum and tenure of 50 years
with 15 years grace is the best till now for any project financed through a bilateral/ multilateral agency
in India.
2. Speed: High speed is one of the biggest reasons for the proposal of this idea when it was first initiated in India.
Major cities connecting with towns of economic growth face the problem of fast transportation. This would save
time and boost businesses amongst the connected cities. Reduction in commuting time is greatly required in
Mumbai and other metro cities where a lot of time is consumed in the process.

3. Promote Make in India: Second, the assistance programme involves transfer of technology and a Make
in India component, which will have long-term benefits for Indian manufacturing.

4. Stronger and eco-friendly: Not only these High speed trains are stronger enough to carry heavier
weight but are also eco-friendly as they do not require deforestations to set tracks. It is a modern and
technologically advanced means of transportation which can be a step towards growth and development
in India.

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5. Gestation period is long: Fifthly The bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will cost Rs 97,636
crore and will be built over seven years. Hence, the entire Rs 98,000 crore (approximately) will not be
spent in one year.
6. Will have multiplier effect: Sixthly A growing economy like India needs investment in infrastructure and
railways, which has a multiplier effect. The Indian Railways is not constrained by demand but by capacity,
and any substantial investment in railways will enable economic growth.
7. Will enhance transport capacity: Seventhly The HSR will enhance transport capacity by four to five
times of the normal capacity and facilitate the movement of a large number of people. Train passenger
volume between Wuhan and Guangzhou in China rose by 40 per cent after the construction of the HSR.
Similarly, passenger volume between Beijing-Tianjin increased by 86 per cent within one year of the
operation of the HSR. The high cost of the project is offset by much higher utilisation rates of the network
and rolling stock per km than conventional rail.
8. Highly Safe: Eighthly Since the HSR system is highly safe, they reduce external costs (accidents, air/
noise pollution, impact on climate, etc). There has been no casualty due to accidents on Japanese high-
speed trains since they started in 1964 .

Challenges /Criticisms

The project looks ambitious but challenges are many


1. Land acquisition: Bullet trains require seamless straight tracks on a flat terrain. Though France
managed it in the existing tracks itself, but if new lands needs to be acquired, it can come only at an
expensive compensation in Mumbai-Ahmedabad industrial cluster. It will also demand huge political will.
2. Operation& maintenance: Considering the existing scenario of the quality of O&M in Indian railways,
the maintenance of this new elephant will pose many challenges even if it is privatized. Fencing all along
the track and over bridges at all the line crossings will cost too dearer. The power demand will be more
too. It will require the infrastructure of existing railway stations from where bullet train will pass to be
upgraded as per the specifications which again will cost enormously.
3. Utility: Indian Railways is the lifeline of a common man. Who is going to utilize this service which is
meant to connect mega cities? People who have means prefer swift air services to reach megacities.
Common man will find it expensive. In the era of multimodal integrated transportation, isnt it wise to
better utilize the existing infrastructure more wisely? Invest to improve all existing tracks to make them
sustain 160+ speeds. An airport even 20-25 kms away from Common Business District but well
connected to it by a dedicated link is still quite time efficient. Best example being Shanghai airport at a
distance of 30km or 30 minutes from city centre. Instead we must focus on low cost air services at even
class III level cities for decentralized development. Major part of the city population are middle and lower
income household, who demand more capacity rather than ultra high speed.
4. Cost-Benefit: The bullet trains in china run in losses. China being an infrastructure driven economy
could sustain it. We need to analyze can we bear such a loss. We need huge investment in infrastructure
in coming 2 decades. With limited resources we must ensure that cost benefit ratio is most efficient. A
person earning 1000 rs a day cannot afford saving a day by spending 2000 on regular basis. And for
emergencies Airways offer a good choice

Conclusion:

Bullet train has sets of pros and cons under Indias present situations and they need to be properly handled so
that it brings prosperity and development in the country and not debacles. Every factor must be considered
wisely and safeguarding of peoples living should not be compromised. There are risks in this project but without
risks nothing big can be acquired

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(Q) What do we understand by High speed rail? Does India need high speed rail?
Give Pros and cons.
(Q) The government of India recently decided to build a high-speed rail (HSR) corridor
between Mumbai and Ahmedabad at a cost of Rs 97,636 crore with Japanese financial
and technical assistance. Does India need projects such as this at such a high cost?
Comment.

Source:

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mumbai-ahmedabad-high-speed-rail-
india-2773376/

#5. Merger of Banks: Need &


Challenges

Note4Students:

The talk of bank mergers is thicker in the air now, than never before. Government has started with merger of SBI
and its subsidiaries. This merger has initiated a debate with some economist calling it a landmark decision while
others believe that it will make the financial system more risky.

Context:

Recently The boards of State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of
Travancore (SBT), the unlisted State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and Bharatiya
Mahila Bank approved the scheme of merger with State Bank of India.

Background

1. The various committees appointed by the Government of India have advocated consolidation They argue
that we need to have three to four large nationalized banks in order to improve the operational efficiency
and distribution efficiency. The Narsimhan committee ii has specifically emphasized the need to

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have Indian Banks which are comparable in size with global leading banks.. The Narsimhan
committee proposed a three-tier banking structure in India with around 3-4 large banks to take a stand in
global scenario,8-10 banks to provide national coverage and rest to take care of local coverage.

2. Most of the mergers in the pre-reform period have been forced ones. The post-reform era has
witnessed both forced and voluntary mergers. The forced mergers have been caused by the financial ill
health of the acquired banks. Banks witnessing erosion in net worth, huge NPAs and decline in capital
adequacy ratio have been forced by the regulatory authority to undergo merger. Oriental Bank of
Commerces acquisition of Global Trust Bank is an example of forced merger. Voluntary mergers have
expansion, diversification and growth as the main motives. HDFCs acquisition of Times Bank and ICICIs
acquisition of Madura Bank are a few examples of voluntary mergers. India has also witnessed cross-
border acquisitions in the recent past. SBIs acquisition of a Mauritian bank is one such example.

What is bank consolidation?

1. Bank consolidation occurs when two or more banks become one bank. Bank consolidation can lead to
expansion for the newly merged institution. Banks consolidate for multiple reasons, including to mitigate
competition, gain capital power both domestically and internationally, to compete with larger banking
institutions or to expand the services that the newly merged bank can provide both internally and
geographically by decreasing overall operating costs.

Why do we need Consolidation of Banks?

1. Economies of scale: Assocham Survey has found that size of Indian banks in terms of their assets
stands very small to make optimal use of their capacities to raise funds at internationally competitive
rates. Combined assets of top ten banks constitute less than 60 per cent of the GDP unlike the banking
system of European economies, where even after the global financial turmoil, assets of only top five
banks has grown to four times of GDP.

2. Indian Banks are too small: Even as India is the second largest growth market for banking services
after China in terms of the number of wealthy households, the ASSOCHAM Chief said, only two Indian
banks, State Bank of India at the 64th position and ICICI Bank Ltd at 81st, figure among the global top
100 by tier I capital - a core measure of a banks financial strength that consists largely of shareholders
capital.
3. Similarly, in terms of assets, Indias largest bank, SBI is now the worlds 70th largest bank. On the other
hand, ICICI Bank Ltd, the largest private sector lender has attained the 148th position. None of the other
Indian banks features among the top 200 banks in the world-in terms of size of assets.

4. Many experts in Banking field feels that hampered by the fragmented nature of the banking industry,
Indian banks are not able to compete globally in terms of fund mobilisation, credit disbursal, investment
and rendering of financial services. The balance sheets of top 10 Indian banks suggest the greater scope
of consolidation to reap the benefits of large sized globally competitive Indian banks

5. Merger will increase Capital efficiency: Consolidation will also increase capital efficiency. Merged
entity will have more leg room to raise capital.

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6. Would decrease NPA: At a time when NPAs are high, and banks are putting more effort in recovery, the
ability to recover by smaller number of banks will be higher though a individual banks exposure may go
up. This is because there are smaller number of voices in the joint lenders forum today there are too
many voices and each lender has a differential right with the borrower and they often not agree to a
common recovery programme. With consolidation the recovery will be far more focused. Thus
consolidation could decrease NPA in India.

Advantages of merger of SBI with associate banks

1. SBI will have global presence among top 50 Banks, bringing confidence, investment and greater lending.

2. SBI can become one of the anchor banks to finance large infrastructure projects like dedicated freight
corridor, solar energy, Sagarmala etc.
3. It will increase networking of SBI all over India, thus better services of SBI compared to its associate
branches will be able to reach remote locations.
4. It will reduce duplication as SBI and its associates target the same clients with similar products.
5. It will consolidate resources and infrastructure, reducing the cost on operations, human resource and
technological solutions, overlapping bank branches, reduce inter-bank transaction cost etc.

Disadvantages of merger

1. Presently these banks have huge NPAs thus merger should be planned after sufficient capital is injected.
2. Banking competition may be affected, as SBI is likely to be five times larger than its nearest competitor.
3. RBI has declared SBI as Domestic Systemically Important Bank (D-SIBs) and its failure can shock other
parts of financial system.
4. Past example of large banks and their failure with financial crisis in Japan, USA, etc.
5. Workers resistance from associations like AIBEA calling for strikes
6. India has poor financial inclusion, thus needs variety of banks and differentiated services.

Suggestions

1. The govt should not rush through the process - all stakeholders must be involved in the process
2. In the event of further divestment, the govt. share shall not fall below 51% in any case
3. Acquiring bank shall not dominate the smaller ones- good practices of both should be combined;
conscious and organized efforts to synthesize the differences must be made.

Conclusion

Bank consolidation is a tricky issue. While it is said that the long-term benefits of consolidation outweigh the
short-term concerns, it must not be made a general policy. It is only to be done with right banks for right purpose
with proper safeguards.

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(Q) What do You Understand by Bank consolidation? Do Indian Banking sector need
banking consolidation? Highlight Pros and cons.
(Q) Examine various implications of proposed merger of the State Bank of India with
its five associate banks and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank.

#6. Should agricultural be taxed?

Note4Students

As the focus of the Government is on black money, looking at agriculture for enhanced tax collection appears a
logical corollary. This issue is definitely politically sensitive with several vested interests involved. The
Government has been bold enough to operate the National Agricultural Market which breaks the traditional
stronghold. The next step would be to start reforms in the direction of taxes so as to bring about greater
accountability in the system while plugging the lacuna.

Introduction

1. The recent discussion on taxing farm income is nothing new.


2. This kind of thinking was doing the rounds even in British India, when as early as 1925, a committee was
set up to assess the feasibility of taxing agriculture income.
3. The most famous attempt in post-Independence India was the K.N. Raj committee report of 1972, which
also examined feasibility and implementation issues.
4. The Kelkar task force report of 2002 estimated that 95% of the farmers were below the tax
threshold.
5. The underlying argument in the current discussion is to bring more people under the tax net to expand
the tax base and also curb tax evasion because income from other sources is usually shown as
agricultural income and thus evasion is easy.

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Facts and figures

Fig: growth of agriculture

1. The major problem is identifying the individuals given that many of them own small pieces of land or are
landless labourers
2. 42 million-odd
odd people in the organised sector around 17 million are salaried and pay taxes.
3. In the unorganised sector which has 56 million workers, another 18 million pay taxes. Hence, the strike
rate for a population of 100 million workers is just 35 per cent. In the case of agriculture with 120 million
potential assessees, it will be hard to identify them.
4. During the period 1991 to 2016, the share of agriculture decreased from 32% to 15%.
5. Compared with this, the workforce dependence on agriculture is still very high, at 49.7%
6. During the period of economic reforms, the gross capital formation of agriculture, which is the
capacity to produce and an increase in productivity, has gone down tremendously

Key issues affecting agricultural productivity iinclude

1. The decreasing sizes of agricultural land holdings.


2. Continued dependence on the monsoon.
3. Inadequate access to irrigation.
4. Imbalanced use of soil nutrients resulting in loss of fertility of soil.
5. Uneven access to modern technology indifferent parts of the country.
6. Lack of access to formal agricultural credit, limited procurement of food grains by government agencies.
7. Failure to provide remunerative prices to farmers.

Analysis
It should be taxed

1. 80 years ago Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said he favoured taxin taxing


g agricultural income.He was of the view that tax
should be levied on tax-paying
paying capacity or income of the taxpayer, and that the rich must be taxed more
and the poor less. Ambedkar criticised the land revenue system of the British but held the view that
income
ncome from agriculture must attract tax.
2. Verified income tax returns provide credibility to the farmer which can be used to obtain adequate loans
from formal credit channels.

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3. Banks get easier access to reliable, valid and quantifiable data upon which the credit can be advanced
without fear of default on loan.
4. Adequate formal documentation would help the Government to identify the difference between small and
big farmers by which the targeted subsidy schemes in future can be rolled out to benefit the needy.
5. We can develop our GDP only when our agriculture income is taxed. We do not even have a sense of the
extent of agricultural income right now
6. No taxes on Agriculture encourages laundering of non-agricultural income as agricultural income. e.g In
2014-15, a company made profits of Rs 215 crores, but claiming the agricultural income exemption, it
paid no tax.
7. Have a slab of taxes like we have in other sectors and let each pay according to his income from
agriculture.
8. The farmer with a small landholding of less than 2-3 hectares should be exempted from income tax.
9. If the small farmer is a reality, so also are the big agricultural farmers with their luxury cars and rich
industrialists who own farmlands.
10. Here, if the government takes a decision to levy tax on their income earned from agriculture, the
government revenue will not only rise but there will be an increase in the GDP ratio of agriculture.

Should not be taxed

Taxing agricultural income has not found favour mainly because of two factors.
1. A majority of farmers in India nearly 60% are small farmers, with small holdings and a small
marketable surplus. Their incomes are erratic.
2. There is no climate insurance for them when the rains fail or in the event of floods. Droughts leave them
reeling just as the fury of floods.
3. Very often, when we talk of farmers, we assume they are all men 40% of these farmers are women
who do not have patta (title deed to the land they till) and do not have Kisan Credit Cards either.
4. Given the technological and environmental constraints, the performance of the agriculture sector has not
been encouraging, and consequently, the welfare of the population living in the countryside has not
visibly improved.
5. The average per month income of a farm household in India in 2012-13 as per the National Sample
Survey Office was just 6,491.
6. The income-expenditure gap for a majority of farmers is in the negative.
7. More than one-third of the farmers have expressed their choice to leave the non-remunerative
occupation.
8. The agrarian distress has been deepening, and there has been a rise in farmer suicides. The agrarian
sector is in deep crisis. Instead of finding a viable policy to solve the crisis, floating the idea of taxing
farming income is a great disservice to the sector.

Concerns

1. The other issue is what can be taxed? Should it be value of output or the net income earned by farmers?
2. While the value of output sold can be gauged and tracked to the extent that it enters the market, this is
not net income as there are expenses incurred in growing crops which include seeds, fertilisers, water,
and so on. Also for those owning equipment a depreciation value has to be imputed.
3. This means farmers have to be treated on a par with companies or self-employed professionals and not
income tax assessees. How can one draw up such a profit and loss account?
4. There is a lot of produce that does not enter the market and the marketable surplus can range from
anywhere between 65 to 100 per cent depending on whether it is a food crop or a commercial product
such as cotton and jute.

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5. Hence, a large part of the value will be hard to fathom on this score. Also there is a lot of under-reporting
given the state of logistics in the country.

Way forward

1. A bold and dynamic approach is needed in India whereby all the political parties and all the Chief
Ministers of India organize a conclave to debate and discuss the issues concerning taxation of
agricultural income in India.
2. The discussion should be held primarily with reference to the national outlook and not personal gain or
otherwise to a political party.
3. If this type of debate or discussion takes place in the country, then surely the policy makers may be able
to come to the conclusion that after decades of exemption of agricultural income now is the time that
agricultural income be put to tax like any other normal income of the tax payer.
4. A way out is to tax the product which is presently also being done in some States through a
mandi tax or something else.
5. This tax will be finally passed on to the consumer who will then have to pay a higher price for the product.
6. Such a move will ensure that the tax does not come in the way of the farmers income. Strictly speaking
this would be an indirect tax on commodities, like an excise or sales tax, which will get subsumed under
GST. The income of the farmer will still be outside the ambit of income tax.
7. The procurement policy plus pricing policy and the public distribution system have to be factored in
before there is any talk of bringing the sector in the income tax net.
8. Need to devise a method that takes into account agricultural income beyond a certain threshold
9. Dont give subsidies after a certain threshold.
10. We can devise methods to tax agricultural income.
11. have differential subsidies. Remove subsidies in the case of irrigated farming as opposed to rain-fed
farming. A majority of the farmers are dependent on monsoons.

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#7. UDAN scheme : Opportunities


and Challenges

Note4Student:

UDAN ('Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik') is a first-of-its-kind scheme globally to stimulate regional connectivity
through a market-based mechanism. It is also linked to UPSC mains Syllabus (Infrastructure). Every year
UPSC is asking 1-2 questions on infrastructure related issues. Therefore, this scheme is important for the
exam.

Need for schemes like Udan:

1. There are as many as 398 unserved airports which have no commercial flights and 18 under-served
airports host less than seven flights per week.
2. Besides, a major reason for the poor regional air connectivity in India is that airlines do not find it lucrative
to operate from small cities. The government has tried to address this concern by an adroit combination
of subsidies and fare caps.

Key features of the UDAN scheme

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Pros of the scheme

1. It could lead to development of smaller cities as faster air connectivity will attract infrastructure &
investment
2. It could ease passenger pressure from Railways & Roads.
3. It may provide major boost to Tourism industry in India
4. Smaller Airlines could successfully compete with bigger airlines.
5. 5.Moreover, of the 35 crore middle class citizens, only 8 cr people fly. Capping of fares, enhancing
connectivity will lead to an increase in the number of citizens who can fly and can take some burden off
railways
6. It will give impetus to Indias ambition of becoming third largest aviation market by 2020

Challenges/issues in implementing this scheme

1. Administration of VGF would require scrutiny of airlines balance sheet which would be a messy process.
It has the potential of becoming another hotbed for controversy
2. Vgf would result in additional subsidy burden at a time when economic survey argued in favour of
removing subsidies for the rich
3. Subsidy based regime would be impacted by the vagaries of price changes in oil prices
4. Capping of fares (1200 for half hour, 2500 for an hour) is criticized as airlines argue that it should be
a fn of demand/supply
5. Significantly, the success of RCS depends on the state lowering tax rates and providing security at
airports. Each state has to agree to this and it may not be as simple as the centre has envisioned it to
be.
6. Airports in many Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities do not have big runways, so they cant take regular aircraft. That
means airlines will need to induct smaller aircraft for short take-offs and landings. Such aircraft needs
specialised crew. India produces 200 to 300 pilots every year, and its safe to say that training specialised
crew will take time.
7. There are 476 airstrips in the country out of which 90 are in usable state, among which 76 are operational
currently. It can be challenging to develop so many ports in the span of 10 years.

Conclusion

Analysts say even as the intent of the policy is good and the efforts laudable, its success will depend on proper
implementation and traffic demand/load factors. Itll be a while before the results are visible, and its success can
be measured. Needless to say, if the scheme is successful, it will have a positive impact on travel- and
hospitality-related sectors. Domestic air-travel demand could get a fillip, which will be positive for the aviation
sector from a long-term perspective. Developing regional routes is expected to eventually feed into major routes,
and that augurs well for the sector.

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Questions:
Q.) Discuss the main features and significance of the Udan scheme.
Q.) It is commented that success of UDAN scheme will depend on proper
implementation and traffic demand/load factors.

#8. Proposed wage code bill:


Significance & issues

Why in news

The Code on Wages, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Labour and it is recently cleared by
Cabinet. It seeks to consolidate laws relating to wages by replacing: (i) the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, (ii) the
Minimum Wages Act, 1949, (iii) the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and (iv) the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 and
will ensure uniformity of minimum wage across geographical regions and all sectors.

Introduction

If passed it is expected to benefit over 4 crore employees across the country. At present, every state decides the
minimum wage for different industries and labour classifications .The bill seeks to empower the Centre to set a
minimum wage across all sectors in the country and the states will have to maintain that. The new minimum
wage norms would be applicable for all workers irrespective of their pay..

Context

India is the first country to legalise commercial surrogacy in 2002. By 2012, India had become the surrogacy
capital of the world with surrogacy tourism valued at approximately $500 million annually. In India it became a
way of earning livelihood and are often abused. It has been done usually for a payment with help of agents and
doctors in the market. Currently there is no proper regulation on surrogacy in India. While estimates of the size of
the surrogacy market vary wildly, it is one in which the woman carrying an embryo has been in a grey zone, with
uncertain legal and compensatory protection. Compensation is not the only situation where surrogate mothers
are exploited. For instance, A Japanese couple began the process with a surrogate mother in Gujarat, but before
the child was born they split and there were no takers for the child. Another instance in 2012, an Australian

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couple commissioned a surrogate mother, and arbitrarily chose one of the twins that was born. In the light of
these experiences, the 228th report of the Law Commission of India recommended prohibiting commercial
surrogacy. In Jan Balaz vs. Anand Municipality & Ors., the Gujarat high court had to adjudicate upon a case
relating to the issue of citizenship of twin children who were born out of surrogacy in India when the
commissioning parents home state of Germany had refused to grant citizenship to the children.

Key features of the Legislation

1. The bill defines Wages as it include salary, allowance, or any other component expressed in monetary
terms. This will not include bonus payable to employees or any travelling allowance, among other.

Minimum Wage

1. National minimum wage: The central government may notify a national minimum wage for the country.
It may fix different national minimum wage for different states or geographical areas.
2. Fixing the minimum wage: The Code requires employers to pay at least the minimum wages to
employees as specified by central or state government as National minimum wage. The Code specifies
that the central or state governments will review or revise the minimum wage every five years.
3. Working hours: The central or state governments will fix the number of hours that will constitute a
working day. Further a day of rest for employees every week. The amount of overtime will be at least
twice the normal wage of the employee.

Payment of Wages
.
1. Wages will be paid in (i) coins, (ii) currency notes, (iii) by cheque, or (iv) through digital or electronic
mode. The wage period will be fixed by the employer as either: (i) daily, (ii) weekly, (iii) fortnightly, or (iv)
monthly.
2. Deductions: Under the Code, an employees wages may be deducted on certain grounds including: (i)
fines, (ii) absence from duty, (iii) accommodation given by the employer, or (iv) recovery of advances
given to the employee, among others. These deductions should not exceed 50% of the employees total
wage.

Payment of Bonus

.
1. Determination of bonus: The employer will pay each employee an annual bonus of at least: (i) 8.33%
of his wages, or (ii) Rs 100, whichever is higher. In addition, the employer will distribute a part of the
gross profits amongst the employees in proportion to the wages earned by employees.
2. Maximum bonus: An employee can receive a maximum bonus of 20% of his wages.

Advisory Board:

1. The central and state governments will constitute their respective advisory boards. These boards will
have representation from: (i) employees, (ii) employers, and (iii) independent persons.
2. Further, one-third of the total members will be women.

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3. The boards will advise the respective governments on aspects including: (i) fixation of minimum wages,
and (ii) increasing employment opportunities for women.

Offences:

The Code specifies penalties for offences committed by an employer, such as


1. paying less than the due wages, or
2. for contravening any provision of the Code. Penalties vary depending on the nature of offence, with the
maximum penalty being imprisonment for three months along with a fine of up to one lakh rupees.

Merits of the Legislation

1. Will ensure decent Minimum wage for all which will result into increase in disposable incomes in
turn help in eradicating Poverty, hunger to achive SDGs.
2. Uniformity in coverage. At present, the minimum wages fixed by the Centre and states are
applicable to workers getting up to Rs 18,000 pay monthly and does not cover workers getting a
monthly wage of more than Rs 18,000. If the bill is approved in the Parliament, workers getting a
monthly pay of higher than Rs 18,000 would also be legally entitled to a minimum wage.

3. Multiplicity of definitions will be removed through this change.


4. The wage conditions of unskilled workers will improve.
5. This bill expected to treat contract labour on par with regular employee to have dignified life.
6. Will ensure humane working conditions through minimum working hours,overtime etc. and
prevent exploitation of labour.
7. Formalisation of economy.
8. Also help in reduce regionalism by reducing wage disparity across different regions.

Demerits of the Legislation

1. The Economic survey highlights 78% of indian firms employ under 50 worker and just 10%
employ more than 500 comparable of china are 15 and 20% respectively. Further strengthening
of labour laws will worsen the situation.
2. According to Noble prize winner economist George Stigler, the minimum wages doesnt satisfies
original intentions-elimination of poverty and tend to reduce employment and reduce family
income.
3. Labour comes under concurrent list and different states having different criteria in deciding
minimum wages so there is possibility some states may raise concern.
4. Will facilitate ease of doing business but affect competitiveness of trade and industry, especially
states capacity to attract FDI.
5. Economic theory and its evidences suggest that any price control leads to creation and expansion
of black market. Similarly in this case companies will prefer contractual workers or keep majority
of workforce in informal sector.
6. Negative impact on hiring in tier II and tier III markets.
7. Implementation be difficult may lead to inspector raj.

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Way Forward/Conclusion

1. Bringing four legislations into one is a major step towards labour reforms.
2. Looking at the larger picture, the new wage code is one part of the reforms needed to modernize
the archaic labour laws in India, and hence a step in the right direction. But to make the new code
into reality Government will have to,
3. Generate political consensus;
4. Work on creating an infrastructure to ensure implementation; and
5. Talk to state governments about the nuances of the new wage structure. It is a long process. Until
then, the four crore employees will have to keep their fingers crosses.
Questions

Q.) What is the significance of the proposed Wage code in India? Explain the
challenges that competitiveness in trade and industry will face?

Q.) Recently the government has proposed legislation on Surrogacy. Due to many
reasons it gave rise to mixed response. Analyse the provisions of the bill and explain
its suitability in the present situation of Indian society.

Sources:

PRS India Website


Big Picture Discussion
The Hindu News, The Mint , Financial Express
Ministry of Labour

#9. Demonetization: An analysis

Note4Students

Demonetization was a bold step by the union government. It affected every walk of life. Demonetisation should
be scrutinized to understand the impact. So understanding various macro-economic parameters pertain to
demonetisation would help to realise the state of economy in general and goal achievements of demonetisation
in particular.

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Introduction

Every policy has a stated goal as well as secondary consequences, some of which are unintended. It is still quite
possible that demonetisation will have positive consequences over a longer periodthe growth in the direct tax
base, the switch in the financial holdings of households from cash to bank deposits, the increased use of digital
payments. That is what its supporters are now banking on. The question to be asked is whether the potential
long-term benefits will be greater than the short-term costs that the Indian economy had to bear.

Fact sheet
1. The Annual Report of RBI shows that during the year 2016-17, Rs 41.5 crores worth of fake currency
notes in the form of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were detected in the banking system.
2. This is well above the Rs 27.4 crores of fake currency detected in these denominations in 2015-
16.
3. The estimate of the total fake currency in the system was Rs 400 crores. It is safe to say that fake
currency in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations was eliminated as those notes can no longer be used
anywhere.
4. However, counterfeits of new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes are already being intercepted, which
suggests that the elimination of fake currency is not a lasting benefit and perhaps alternative approaches
are required to address this problem.
5. 98.96% of the Rs15.44 trillion notes invalidated by demonetisation had been deposited with
banks.
6. With limited fiscal and monetary space, any big bang stimulus is unlikely. Inflation is expected to breach
4% mark in January-March 2018. In order to match last fiscals growth performance (7.1%), the economy
has to grow an average rate of 7.6% in next three-quarters, which presently appears to be difficult.

Analysis
Achievements
1. Increase in tax collection: As a result of demonetization drive, there is a substantial increase in the
number of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) filed. The number of Returns filed as on August 5, 2017 registered
an increase of 24.7% compared to a growth rate of 9.9% in the previous year.
2. Curb on Black money: Transactions of more than 3 lakh registered companies are under the radar of
suspicion while one lakh companies were struck off the list. The government has already identified more
than 37000 shell companies which were engaged in hiding black money
and hawala transactions. Around 163 companies which were listed on the exchange platforms were
suspended from trading, pending submission of proof documents.
3. Impact on terrorism and naxalism
i. As a result of demonetization of SBNs, terrorist and naxalite financing stopped almost entirely.
ii. No high quality FICN was found / seized by intelligence operations, including at the Indo-Bangladesh
Border since demonetization.
iii.Further, it also adversely affected the hawala operators and dabba trading venues.
4. Promoted Digital Payment: In 2015-16, the value of transactions for debit and credit cards was 1.6
lakh crore and 2.4 lakh crore, respectively; in 2016-17, it was 3.3 lakh crore for each. Also, in 2016,
the National Electronic Funds Transfer handled 160 crore transactions valued at 120 lakh crore, up
from around 130 crore transactions worth 83 lakh crore in the previous year. Note that the
demonetisation impact would only have been registered in the final four to five of 2016-17. The gains in
2017-18 will be even more.

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Drawbacks

FIGURE: growth slow down

Black money

1. . It was thought that if cash was squeezed out, the black economy would be eliminated.
2. But cash is only one component of black wealth: about 1% of it.
3. It has now been confirmed that 98.8% of demonetised currency has come back to the Reserve
Bank of India.
4. Further, of the 16,000 crore that is still out, most of it is accounted for. In brief, not even 0.01% of black
money has been extinguished.
5. Black money is a result of black income generation. This is produced by various means which are
not affected by the one-shot squeezing out of cash. Any black cash squeezed out by demonetisation
would then quickly get regenerated. So, there is little impact of demonetisation on the black economy, on
either wealth or incomes

GDP growth

1. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017-18, at 5.7 per cent, compared with 7.9% in the same
quarter a year ago, was way lower than consensus estimates by Reuters (6.6%) and Bloomberg (6.5%).
Both supply and demand were impacted due to a combination of demonetisation
2. The big failure of demonetisation is that it was carried out without preparation and caused big
losses to the unorganised sector. This has not been factored into the recent data on growth rate, so
the loss to the economy would be in lakhs of crores of rupees. Farmers, traders and the youth are all
agitating.

Agriculture

1. Another factor that did not support growth as anticipated is agriculture, particularly in view of the record
food grain production in 2016-17.

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2. Agricultural growth declined to 2.3% from 5.2% in January-March 2017 and 2.5% in April-June
2016. In view of record foodgrain production, it appears the shortfall is mainly due to the
underperformance of allied sectors, namely dairy, fisheries etc.
3. The main negative economic consequence of demonetisation has been the disruption of
unorganized supply chains that are dependent on cash transactions; it is still not clear how
smoothly they were being rebuilt as the economy was remonetized.
4. RBI annual report shows a rather dramatic spike in the number of suspicious transaction reports filed by
banks, financial institutions and intermediaries in 2016-17it was up from 61,361 in the previous year to
a staggering 361,214.

Job Loss

Demonetization decision may have resulted in the loss of roughly 1.5 million jobs, according to survey data put
out by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). CMIEs data is based on the result of consecutive
waves of household surveys performed from January 2016 to April 2017 .

Monetary policy

1. The RBI formally became an inflation targeting central bank in 2016 but the liquidity surge in the banking
system that came about in the aftermath of demonetisation complicated the conduct of monetary policy.
2. In addition to the conventional reverse repo auctions (an exercise to remove excess cash from the
banking system), the RBI introduced an array of instruments to absorb demonetisation induced liquidity
from banks.
3. Chief among them was the hike in incremental Cash Reserve Ratio the percentage of cash deposits
that banks must keep with the RBI at 100% on deposits accrued between September 16 and November
11, and the increase in ceiling on the issuance of securities under Market Stabilisation Bonds.
4. While the increase in incremental Cash Reserve Ratio dented banks earnings as banks do not earn
interest on the cash reserve parked with the RBI,
5. The issuance of Market Stabilisation Bonds marked a departure from their traditional role. These bonds
are generally issued to mop up the excess supply of rupees arising from the RBIs intervention to
purchase dollars.
6. While the increase in these bonds represent an increase in quasi-fiscal cost (the interest payments are
made by the government and this shows up as fiscal costs instead of appearing as reduced RBI profits)
to the government, the repeated auctioning of such bonds (as the RBI report acknowledges) tends to
push up the yields which may be contrary to the stance of monetary policy, which may be
accommodative or at best neutral in the present low growth and investment regime.
7. The mopping up of liquidity eroded the RBIs earnings.
Additionally, its expenditure on printing of currency doubled from last year. Overall, while its income for the year
decreased by 23.56%, its expenditure increased by 107.8% resulting in a sharp decline in the RBIs surplus.

Conclusion

1. Available data points to a lingering impact of demonetisation.


2. All economic data points are from the organised/corporate sector. The unorganised/informal sector was
badly impacted by demonetisation and the present data set has not been able to capture its impact. The
annual survey of industries will be able to capture the impact of demonetisation on the
unorganised/informal sector, but this will come with a lag. The organised/corporate sector depends on

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the unorganised/informal sector for provision of intermediate goods and services, which are used in final
production. The Central Statistical Office is using only the database of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
The true picture may emerge only after the annual surveys of industries results are available.
3. Tax reforms and effective monitoring of suspicious transactions are a better alternative for addressing the
issues that the policy-makers sought to fix through demonetisation.

Question

Q.) Demonetisation succeeded in achieving its stated objectives. Critically comment

#10. MPC an evaluation

Note4Students

Recently the Government amended the RBI Act to hand over the job of monetary policy-making in India to a
newly constituted Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The new MPC is to be a six-member panel that is
expected to bring value and transparency to rate-setting decisions. It has started to function recently.

Background/ Introduction

1. Indias central bank used to take its monetary policy decisions based on the multiple indicator approach.
Its rate decisions were expected to take into account inflation, growth, employment, banking stability and
the need for a stable exchange rate.
2. RBI would be subject to hectic lobbying ahead of each policy review and trenchant criticism after it. The
Government would clamour for lower rates while consumers bemoaned high inflation. Bank chiefs would
want rate cuts, but pensioners would want high rates.
3. The MPC is not new and traces back to 2002 when the Y. V. Reddy Committee recommended for a MPC
to decide policy actions. Subsequently, suggestions were made to set up a MPC in 2006 by the Tarapore
Committee, in 2007 by the Percy
Mistry Committee, in 2009 by the Raghuram Rajan
Committee and then in 2013, both in the report of the Financial Sector Legislative
Reforms Commission (FSLRC) and the Dr. Urjit R. Patel (URP) Committee.
4. According to the URP Committee, "Heightened public interest and scrutiny of monetary policy
decisions and outcomes has propelled a worldwide movement towards a committee based approach to
decision making with a view to bringing in greater transparency and accountability in India."
5. It suggested that RBI abandon the multiple indicator approach and make inflation targeting the
primary objective of its monetary policy.

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6. The erstwhile technical advisory committee (TAC) that earlier advised the RBI on interest rates. The TAC
is made up of external academicians and members from within the RBI, including the governor, and it
meets ahead of every monetary policy.
7. The TAC has no voting rights, while the MPC have them. TAC is an advisory committee and the RBI can
disregard its advice, which governors have done in several instances.The members of the TAC, which
was first constituted in 2005, have had tenures of two years.

Newly Created MPC

1. The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (RBI Act) has been amended by the Finance Act, 2016, to provide
for a statutory and institutionalised framework for a Monetary Policy Committee, for maintaining price
stability, while keeping in mind the objective of growth.
2. The Monetary Policy Committee would be entrusted with the task of fixing the benchmark policy rate
(repo rate) required to contain inflation within the specified target level.
3. A Committee-based approach for determining the Monetary Policy will add lot of value and transparency
to monetary policy decisions.
4. The meetings of the Monetary Policy Committee shall be held at least 4 times a year and it shall publish
its decisions after each such meeting

Composition

1. Altogether, the MPC will have six members - the RBI Governor (Chairperson), the RBI Deputy Governor
in charge of monetary policy, one official nominated by the RBI Board and the remaining three members
would represent the Government of India.
2. These Government of India nominees are appointed by the Central Government based on the
recommendations of a search cum selection committee consisting of the cabinet secretary
(Chairperson), the RBI Governor, the secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of
Finance, and three experts in the field of economics or banking as nominated by the central government.
3. The three central government nominees will hold office for a period of four years and will not be eligible
for re-appointment. These three central government nominees in MPC are mandated to be persons of
ability, integrity and standing, having knowledge and experience in the field of economics or banking or
finance or monetary policy.
4. RBI Act prohibits appointing any Member of Parliament or Legislature or public servant, or any employee
/ Board / committee member of RBI or anyone with a conflict of interest with RBI or anybody above the
age of 70 to the MPC.
5. The Central government also retains powers to remove any of its nominated members from MPC subject
to certain conditions.

Working and Functions of MPC

The proceedings of MPC are confidential and the quorum for a meeting shall be four Members, at least one of
them shall be the Governor and in his/her absence, the Deputy Governor who is the Member of the MPC.
The MPC takes decisions based on majority vote (by those who are present and voting). In case of a tie, the RBI
governor will have the second or casting vote. The decision of the Committee would be binding on the RBI.
As per the Act, RBI has to organise at least four meetings of the MPC in a year. (More meetings can be held if
the RBI Governor is of that opinion)
The government may, if it considers necessary, convey its views, in writing, to the MPC from time to time.

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RBI is mandated to furnish necessary information to the MPC to facilitate their decision making and if any
Member of the MPC, at any time, requests the RBI for additional information, including any data, models or
analysis, the same have to be provided, not just to that member but to all members.

International Comparisons:

1. With the introduction of the monetary policy committee, the RBI will follow a system similar to the one
followed by most global central banks.
2. The US Federal Reserve sets its benchmark fund rate through the Federal Open Market
Committee (FOMC). The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend
balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight. The Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System is responsible for the discount rate and reserve requirements, and the Federal
Open Market Committee is responsible for open market operations.
3. Bank of England also has a MPC to decide the official interest rate in the United Kingdom . The
MPC meets every month to set the interest rate and meets over three days. A representative from the
Treasury also sits with the Committee at its meetings. The purpose is to ensure that the MPC is fully
briefed on fiscal policy developments and other aspects of the Government's economic policies.

Conclusion

1. Till now RBI was having complete autonomy over monetary policy rates. But now the same will be
decided by MPC, in which RBI as half member including presiding officer. Though to some extent
autonomy of RBI reduced, but still RBI remains in charge of monetary policy decisions.
2. Monetary policy of Reserve Bank of India will go under review in October. This is the first time monetary
policy review will held under the new regime of a monetary policy committee.

Question

Q. Why a new institution named Monetary Policy Commission was given with the
responsibility of monetary policy?
Q. The Monetary Policy is one of the most important decision in a country. The new
institution will collectively decide and implement the monetary policy in a better
manner. Comment.

References:

http://www.arthapedia.in/index.php?title=Monetary_Policy_Committee_(MPC)
http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/SSiMaHHRH5VFzGOAISg4KL/The-evolving-monetary-policy-committee-
culture.html
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=151264
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/columns/slate/all-you-wanted-to-know-about-monetary-policy-
committee/article8807786.ece

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#11. Advance in date of budget (pros


and cons)

Note4Students:

Like abolition of FIPB and merger of Railway budget with General budget. This is a Revolutionary step taken by
Government which will have wide reaching Consequences. Since UPSC has been asking lot of questions on
reform measures taken by the Modi Government A question can be expected on this topic also.

Context:

Last year The Cabinet has decided in principle to advance the presentation of the Union Budget by a month,
from February to January. The objective is to have the Budget constitutionally approved by Parliament and
assented to by the President, and all allocations at different tiers disseminated to budget-holders, before the
financial year begins on April 1.

Presenting the budget earlier comes with both advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

In the existing system, the Lok Sabha passes a vote on account for the April-June quarter, under which
departments are provided a sixth of their total allocation for the year. This is done by March. The Finance Bill is
not passed before late April or early May. If the Budget is read in January and passed by February-March, it
would enable the government to do away with a vote on account for the first three months of a financial year.

Retired and serving officials say the biggest plus would be that the Finance Bill, incorporating the Budget
proposals, could be passed by February or March. So, government departments, agencies and state-owned
companies would know their allocations right from April 1, when the financial year begins.

It would also help the private sector to anticipate government procurement trends and evolve their business
plans. And, civil society could deliberate on and give feedback in time for the parliamentary discussions.

Disadvantages:

1. One big disadvantage of advancing the Budget preparations is lack of comprehensive revenue and
expenditure data. Currently, work on the Budget begins in earnest by December. By the time it is
finalised in mid-February, data on revenue collections and expenditure trends is available for the first nine
months of the financial year, i.e April-December. Based on which, projections for the full year can be
made.

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2. To read the Budget in January, the centre will have to start preparing it by early October. To go by less
than six months of data and making projections for the full year and the next year, based on such an
incomplete picture, will be an impossible task.

3. Advancing the Budget dates would be fraught with practical difficulties. Effective Budget planning also
depends on the monsoon forecasts for the coming year, making the advancing the whole exercise even
more difficult.

4. Besides, whether the chambers of Parliament and its standing committees will get adequate time to
deliberate on the budget is a moot point. The standing committees of Parliament, whose charter is to
examine the justification of the ministry-wise allocations and funding needs of concomitant programmes
included in the Budget, undertake their scrutiny during a two to three-week gap within the budget session
period, when the houses are adjourned. This scrutiny is an essential element in the parliamentary budget
approval system.

Way ahead:

Advancing the presentation of the Budget, so as to allow Parliament to vote on tax and spending proposals
before the beginning of the new financial year on April 1, is a good idea. It would do away with the need for a
vote on account and allow new direct tax measures to have a full years play. Members of Parliament now will
have to work hard over two months to vet Budget proposals, for this to work.

Conclusion:

These reforms make sense, but Budget reform has to go further, to incorporate a multi-year time horizon and
shift to outcome-linked expenditure management, as had been recommended by a committee headed by C
Rangarajan in 2011.

#12. Port Led Development growth

Note4Student:

Economic Survey Volume II highlights importance of Industry and Infrastructure for India to maintain stable and
sustainable economic growth. Indias ranking in World Banks Logistics Performance jumped to 36 position in
th

2016 from 58 rank in 2014. UPSC last year asked regarding Roadways so this year expected question from
th

Ports and economic growth.

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Introduction

1. World Bank rightly pointed out infrastructure development includes--Ports, Roadways, Railways,
Telecommunication, critical to delivering growth, reducing poverty, building human capability and to
address broader developmental goals.
2. Economic Survey Vol II highlights among the same per capita emerging countries Indias performance is
significantly better.
3. India has a coastline spanning 7516.6 kilometres, forming one of the biggest peninsulas in the world.
According to the Ministry of Shipping, around 95 per cent of India's trading by volume and 70 per cent by
value is done through maritime transport.
4. There are 12 Major Ports & 187 Minor/Intermediate ports.
5. Government is taking various measures to enhance capacity of existing ports and creating new major
ports, Ease of doing business- Sagarmala, Bharatmala, Inland water transport(Jal Vikas Marg), East
Coast Economic corridor etc.

Sagarmala

1. Sagarmala project is a port-led development programme of Ministry of Shipping.


2. A Shipping ministry study has claimed that the project could lead to an annual saving of Rs 40,000 crore
by optimizing logistics.

Need for such a project:

1. India is lacking the high quantity of international trade via coastal line due to the lack of infrastructure
facilities and advanced coastal technologies.
2. The cost of shipping/evacuating goods through Indian maritime transport is quite high compared to that of
China, South Korea, Japan and other developed countries. This makes Indian goods uncompetitive in the
international market.
3. China, South Korea and Japan have effectively used their coastline for port-led development. India has to
replicate their model to stay competitive.
4. So, a plan has to be devised to reduce logistics cost and strengthen Indias EXIM industry. Sagarmala Project
is one such plan.

Objectives of Sagarmala:

PORT MODERNIZATION-

1. Augmenting operational efficiency of ports (more terminals for loading and unloading cargo).
2. 40+ capacity enhancement projects at major ports
3. 68 new ports.

PORT CONNECTIVITY-

1. Optimizing logistics (rails, roads and inland waterways).


2. Port and industrial connectivity.

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PORT LED INDUSTRIALISATION-

1. 14 Coastal Economic Zones, Industrial Clusters Identify capacity additions Modernize Indias Ports to
achieve Ease of Doing business.

COASTAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

1. Skill development.
2. Uplifting fishermen and other local communities.
3. Island development.

Vision of Sagarmala:

Analysis
Impact of sagarmala by 2025

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Other advantages of SAGARMALA:

1. It is a counter to Chinas String of Pearls.


2. It is a security infrastructure envisaged by India in the Indian Ocean region.
3. It is a defense capability enhancement project of Indian Navy.

Current challenges to Shipping Industry of India: Economic survey volume 2

1. Globally, maritime freight rates in most shipping segments endured volatility and overall downward
movements.
2. There has been a sharp decline in the share of Indian ships in the carriage of Indias overseas trade from
about 40 per cent in the late 1980s to 7 per cent in 2015-16.
3. Existing fleets are ageing.

Recommendations to further enhancement of this project:

1. Setting up storage capacities at origin-destination ports to shorten turnaround time.


2. Developing adequate ship-repair facilities in the maritime states.
3. Indian ports will have to upgrade their technology levels to be comparable to international standards.
4. Creating dedicated coastal berth ports for coastal shipping.
5. Establishing new transhipment port (transfer cargo from one ship to another).
6. During the last few years the non-major ports are gaining more share of cargo handling compared to
major ports so the focus should be connecting non major ports to hinterland.(Economic survey volume2 )
7. Fuel tax free for indian tax vessels.
8. Government already proposed Jal Marg Vikas Project (on NW-I:River Ganga), a large integrated IWT
project to end to end connectivity.
Conclusion

Indian ports now need to plan with a 15-20 year perspective. We are far behind other Asian countries, be it China
or a tiny state like Singapore. Emerging innovative port models like Landlord Port development, Coastal
Economic Zones are steps in right direction. So it is imperative to have well developed ports to boost our exports,
play a vital role in maritime security and to realise broader developmental goals.

Questions:
Q.) Enumerate challenges and prospectus of Sagarmala project in India.
What do you mean by Port led development? What are the key objectives and vision
of Sagarmala Project? Its impact on trade,employement?

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#13. Banking Reforms

Note4Students

Banking Sector in India is crippled with multidimensional problems like mounting NPAs, Twin Balance sheet
Syndrome (TBS), Merging banks causing structural problems, loss of employment, difficulty in recognizing
defaulters, falling short of adhering BIS norms. Financial Sector is very much important for UPSC and the current
government gives so much importance to the Banking Sector.

Background/ Introduction
1. Reforms in banking sector started even before independence with passing of The Reserve Bank of India
Act, 1934 (RBI Act).
2. Later Nationalization of banks, consolidation, diversification, liberalization of the banking industry in
1980s and 1990s were part of the ongoing reforms.
3. From the 1991 economic crisis India has grown significantly in terms of economic development. So has
its banking sector Government of India (GOI) set up various committees with the task of analyzing India's
banking sector and recommending legislation and regulations to make it more effective, competitive and
efficient. Two such expert Committees were set up under the chairmanship of M. Narasimham. They
submitted their recommendations in the 1990s in reports widely known as the Narasimham Committee-I
(1991) and the Narasimham Committee-II (1998) Report.
4. Narasimham committee Recommendations revolved around:
5. Autonomy in Banking.
6. Reform the role of RBI.
7. Tighten Provisioning norms- Capital adequacy ratio, Asset classification (NPAs).
8. Entry for foreign banks.
9. SARFASI Act 2002.

CERTAIN FACTS:

1. AS per KPMG-CII report, Indias banking sector expanding rapidly and has the potential to become fifth
largest banking industry in the world by 2020 and third largest by 2025.
2. The share of gross NPAs in India could inch up to 10.2% by March 2018, from 9.6% in March 2017,
according to the FSR-Financial Stability report.

Current problems in banking sector

1. With changing global economic situations, demand for speedy, secure and efficient service delivery from
customers, Information and Communication revolution, big bang long gestation infrastructure projects,
the problems of Banking system undergone drastic changes:

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Twin balance sheet:

1. The public sector banks are burdened with the high non-performing assets (NPAs) while some of the
corporate houses are also under stress due to sluggish global demand. This has been called the TBS
problem or Twin Balance Sheet Syndrome.
2. This leads to incomplete transmission of the monitory policy, unwillingness of banks to lend credit on
account of rising NPAs affecting Credit growth in turn economic activity.

Non-performing Assets:

1. When the borrower stops paying interest or principal on a loan for 90days or more considered as NPA.
2. According to RBIs recent data, the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector banks are just
under Rs 4 lakh crore which is alarming. Reasons for NPAs:
3. Bad lending practices
4. Delay in environmental clearances leading to
5. Wilful defaulters due to crony capitalism.
6. Global, regional and national Financial crises.
7. Poor performance across different sectors like Infra, Steel, Discom etc.
8. Not adhering provisioning norms- BASEL I, II, III.
9. Failure of SARFASI, ARC.

Requirements of Reserve ratio:

1. RBI policy mandates reserve ratios CRR 4%, SLR 20%. And compulsory Primary Sector lending for
social sector projects affects the credit expansion of banks.

Increasing Competition and funding sources

1. Strengthening of Bond Market, External Borrowing sources,


2. Indian PSBs not competitive.

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Crisis in Management
Measures taken by RBI and Government:

a. The Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs)

1. To decrease the time required for settling cases


cases.

Amendments to the SARFAESI Act: The Enforcement of Se Security


curity Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and
Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 includes

1. The SARFAESI Act allows secured creditors to take possession over collateral, against which a loan had
been provided, upon a default in repayment.
2. This process is undertaken with the assistance of the District Magistrate, and does not require the
intervention of courts or tribunals.
3. The Bill provides that this process will have to be completed within 30 days by the District Magistrate
4. Bill empowers the District Magistrate to assist banks in taking over the management of a company, in
case the company is unable to repay loans.
5. Act creates a central registry to maintain records of transactions related to secured assets.

b. 4R Solution
1. Economic Survey 2016-1717 gives 4R solution to solve TBS problem Recognize, Recapitalize (Eg
Indradhanush), Resolution and Reform. Economic Survey 2016
2016-17 Volume II stress more upon last R
i.e. Reform.

c. INDRADHANUSH

1. Indradhanush framework for transforming the PSBs repre


represents
sents the most comprehensive reform effort
undertaken since banking nationalization in the year 1970 to revamp the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and
improve their overall performance by ABCDEFG.

1. A-Appointments: Based upon global best practices and as per the guidelines in the companies act,
separate post of Chairman and Managing Director and the CEO will get the designation of MD & CEO
and there would be another person who would be appointed as non
non-Executive
Executive Chairman of PSBs.
2. B-Bank Board Bureau:: The BBB will be a body of eminent professionals and officials, which will replace
the Appointments Board for appointment of Whole
Whole-time Directors as well as non-Executive
Executive Chairman of
PSBs

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3. C-Capitalization: As per finance ministry, the capital requirement of extra capital for the next four years
up to FY 2019 is likely to be about Rs.1,80,000 crore out of which 70000 crores will be provided by the
GOI and the rest PSBs will have to raise from the market.
4. D-DEstressing: PSBs and strengthening risk control measures and NPAs disclosure.
5. E-Employment: GOI has said there will be no interference from Government and Banks are encouraged
to take independent decisions keeping in mind the commercial the organizational interests.
6. F-Framework of Accountability: New KPI(key performance indicators) which would be linked with
performance and also the consideration of ESOPs for top management PSBs.
7. G-Governance Reforms: For Example, Gyan Sangam, a conclave of PSBs and financial institutions.
Bank board Bureau for transparent and meritorious appointments in PSBs.

e. Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code 2015

1. The Code creates time-bound processes for insolvency resolution of companies and individuals. These
processes will be completed within 180 days. If insolvency cannot be resolved, the assets of the
borrowers may be sold to repay creditors.
2. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) will adjudicate insolvency resolution for companies. The
Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) will adjudicate insolvency resolution for individuals.
3. The Code creates an Insolvency and Bankruptcy Fund.

f. Payment and Postal Banks on recommendation of Nachiket Mor Committee to acheive Financial Inclusion
and reduce banks burden.

Other measures

Economic Survey 2016-17 suggests setting up of a centralised Public Sector Asset Rehabilition
Agency (PARA)
the Agency will look after the largest, most difficult Cases, and make Politically Tough Decisions to reduce Debt
Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) by RBI for resolution of large stressed assets.
Startegic Debt Restructuring involves transferring equity of the company to lenders also enable a change in
management control.
1. The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017
2. It seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to insert provisions for handling cases related to
stressed assets.
3. The central government may authorise the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue directions to banks for
initiating proceedings in case of a default in loan repayment. These proceedings would be under the
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
4. also be applicable to the State Bank of India, its subsidiaries, and Regional Rural Banks.

Merging of SBI subsidiaries as well as other PSBs to

1. improve efficiency in service delivery


2. to become single biggest lender of bigger infrastructure projects and
3. to achieve top ranking in global ranking.

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Conclusion

1. Banks are the backbone of every economy. The banks are the lifelines of the economy and play a
catalytic role in activating and sustaining economic growth, especially, in developing countries and India
is no exception.
2. The Indian banking sector is at a critical juncture in its evolution. It is now clear that the slump in credit
growth and increase in stressed assets has affected the profitability of all banks, and threatens the very
survival of some of them. To maintain impetus of economic growth with achievement of SDGs we need
strong banking system.
3. Certain building blocks for the reorientation of the banking structure with a view to addressing various
issues such as enhancing competition, financing higher growth, providing specialized services and
furthering financial inclusion have been initiated but need to focus on implementation.
4. Vision 2020 of banking system should incorporate Transformed Banking models with emerging
technologies like IT revolution,Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and FINTECH solutions to make banking
affordable and accessible.
5. In order to achieve more faster and inclusive growth and to make major govt initiatives (Make in india,
Financial Inclusion etc ) overhaul reforms in banking sector is imperative.

Questions

Q.)Banking Sector in India is crippled with multidimensional problems like mounting


Twin Balance sheet Syndrome (TBS), Merging banks causing structural problems,
loss of employment, difficulty in recognizing defaulters etc. What are the government
initiatives to tackle such problems?
Q.) Banking Reforms is not a new word to the financial sector. Explain the Banking
Sector reforms taken place till now and those which are yet to be rolled out in the
immediate future, in detail.

References:
1. Newspapers: The Hindu, Indian express, live mint.
2. Economic Survey 2016-17 and 2017-18.
3. RBI Site
4. PRS legislative

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#14. Recent PPP models (EPC,HAM )


an analysis

Note4Student:

India offers today the worlds largest market for PPPs. As the PPP market in infrastructure matures in India, new
challenges and opportunities have emerged and will continue to emerge. To address this Kelkar committee
submitted its report Report on Revitalising and Revising PPP models in Infrastructure and Infrastructure vital
part of GS 3 . Makes this topic important from exam point of view.

Definition

Standards & Poor definition of PPP is any medium to long term relationship between public and private sectors,
involving sharing of risks and rewards for multi sectorial skills, expertise and finance to deliver desired policy
outcomes.

Introduction

According to the World Bank, India is one of the leading countries in terms of readiness for PPPs.
Rapid Urbanisation, increase in per capita income and high industrial growth led demand for basic infrastructure
such as water supply and sanitation, seamless transportation and energy. To fulfil these demands India has
systematically rolled out a PPP program with increasing budgetary allocation in 12th FYP for the delivery of high-
priority public utilities and infrastructure.

Context

According to the data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementations (MOSPI) Online
Computerised Monitoring System for projects and infrastructure monitoring, of 351 ongoing projects costing
above Rs 1,000 crore in the infrastructure sector, 127 projects were delayed and 115 were in cost overruns, and
51 were showing both time and cost overruns as of February 2017 .

WHY PPP and its challenges

1. Investment in infrastructure in India has posed a challenge in the last few years.
2. Reports of delayed or stalled infrastructure projects.
3. Rate of growth of Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) have been disappointing.
4. Inadequate acceleration in private sector projects due to unfavourable market conditions.
5. lack of appetite for fresh investment by promoters and
6. Delays in obtaining environmental clearances.

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7. Slowdown in delivery of projects has been attributed to over regulation, problems in land acquisition and
scarcity of funds.
8. Obsolescing Bargain-the loss of bargaining power over time by private player in PPPs due to plicy
changes.

Different PPP models

In India, road projects are awarded via one of the three models: Build-Operate Transfer (BOT)-Annuity, BOT-Toll,
and EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract. An advanced version of (MCA) Model
Concession Agreement HAM model is a mix of BOT (Built Operate Transfer) and EPC (Engineering,
Procurement and Construction) model.

Engineering Procurement Model:

1. Under this system the entire project is funded by the government.


2. The EPC entails the contractor build the project by designing, installing and procuring necessary labour
and land to construct the infrastructure, either directly or by subcontracting.
3. Under EPC model the contractor is legally responsible to complete the project under some fixed
predetermined timeline and may also involve scope for penalty in case of time overrun.
4. In EPC as all the clearances, land acquisition and regulatory norms have to be completed by the
government itself and the private players do not have to get itself involved in these time taking
procedures.

Hybrid Annuity Model

1. In India, the new HAM is a mix of BOT Annuity and EPC models.
2. As per the design, the government will contribute to 40% of the project cost in the first five years through
annual payments (annuity). whereas the remaining 60% is raised by developer from equity or loan as
variable depending upon the value of assets created.
3. Under HAM, Revenue collection would be the responsibility of the National Highways Authority of India
(NHAI).The developer doesnt have right to collect revenue.

Advantages:

The brief picture of Risk Allocation can be tabulated as in Table:

Type of Risks/Models Financing Risk Revenue collection Risk O&M Risk


BOT Model By Private By Private By Private
Annuity Model By Private By Govt By Private
VGF By Govt and Private By Private By Private
EPC Model By Govt By Govt By Govt
HAM By Govt and Private By Govt By Private

Financial burden of private players and even government will reduce.


Will reduce dependency on Banks for loans private player can raise money form equity. Thus NPAs of banks for
long gestation project will also decrease. Helps cut the overall debt and improves project returns.

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Developers will take traffic risk help in expediting project completion. From government side it does take the
traffic risk, it also earns better social returns by way of access and convenience to daily commuters.
Will speed up stalled projects.

Kelkar Committee recommendations

1. Contracts need to focus more on service delivery instead of fiscal benefits.


2. Better identification and allocation of risks between stakeholders
3. Renegotiation clause of Concession Agreement
4. Infrastructure PPP Project Review Committee (IPRC) may be constituted to evaluate and send its
recommendations on any problems of PPP project.
5. Infrastructure PPP Adjudication Tribunal (IPAT) chaired by a Judicial Member (former Judge
SC/Chief Justice HC) with a Technical and/or a Financial member, where benches will be constituted by
the Chairperson as per needs of the matter in question.
6. Institutionalization of mechanism like the National Facilitation Committee (NFC)to ensure time bound
resolution of issues e.g. Clearances.
7. Unsolicited Proposals(Swiss Challenge)to be discouraged to avoid information asymmetries and
lack of transparency.
8. PPP structures not to be adopted for very small projects.
9. Amend the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 to distinguish between genuine errors in decision-
making and acts of corruption.
10. vBuild up capacity in all stakeholders, including regulators, authority, consultants, financing agencies,
developers.
11. Set up an institute of excellence in PPP to inter alia guide the sector, provide policy input, timely advice
and undertake sustainable capacity building.
Conclusion

1. Indias infrastructure deficit-whether congested roads and ports, inadequate hospitals or wastewater
treatment facilities, and slow trains-is a key factor constraining rapid, competitive economic growth and
job creation and thereby imposing huge costs on society. Low productivity, poor competitiveness, high
costs, and the slow pace of urbanization are some of the consequences of this deficit.
2. India will be the worlds most populated country before 2030, outgrowing China. Without sustained rapid
economic growth and the resulting productive jobs, India will be unable to convert its demographic
transition into a demographic dividend.
3. To address the above concerns it is imperative to create quality infrastructure by different means. One of
the most effective mean is PPP.

Questions:
Q.) Examine the features of HAM model? How it is different from EPC? Explain how it
will revitalise infrastructure deficit to achieve broad developmental objectives?
Q.) Recently kelkar committee submitted report on Revitalising and reviving
languishing infrastructure projects. Discuss major recommendations of kelkar
committee.

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References:

Kelkar Report on Revitalising and Revising PPP models in Infrastructure.


PIB
Ministry of Statistics and program Implementation
Ministry of Roadway Transport and Highways.
News on Air and Rajya sabha Debate.

#15. Labour reforms in recent years

Note4Students

There is intense debate on labour market reforms in India today. It is argued that but for restrictive labour laws
that create inflexibility in the labour market, the Indian economy would have experienced a higher growth of
employment. The government has come up with some Labour reforms like: Deen Dayal Upadhyay Shramev
Jayate Karyakram, new social security schemes, convergence of social security schemes with labour welfare etc.

Context/Introduction

The body of legislation that shapes the industrial and labour environment in India is huge. Here is a minuscule
sampler:
Minimum Wages Act, 1948; Trade Unions Act, 1926; Contract Labour Act, 1970; Weekly Holidays Act, 1942;
Beedi and Cigar Workers Act, 1966.
These and much more form a crisscrossing network of chaotic, strangulating, overlapping and often-contradictory
laws that are crying out for overhaul.
Despite low wages, India is not a global manufacturing hub, even while being one of the fastest growing service
sectors in the world. Indias service sector has grown at an annual rate of 9% since 2001, and contributed 64% of
the GDP in 2015-16.The industrial sector, meanwhile, only recorded a negligible increase and contributes nearly
half at 20% of GDP.

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Despite the availability of human resources, India has not been able to leverage its demographics for industrial
development.

Issues in Indian labour laws


Archaic laws

1. In the pre-independence period, British colonialists in India suppressed labour rights, trade unions and
the freedom of association among workers. As a result, labour activism became a part of the Indian
freedom struggle.
2. In 1950, the newly framed Constitution of India looked to undo these wrongs by including fundamental
labour rights, along with complex labour laws. These laws made hiring additional workers increasingly
difficult.
3. Despite several decades of economic progress, these laws have not been amended or reformed in order
to foster a friendlier climate for business.

Labour productivity

1. India has low labour productivity in comparison with other developing nations.
2. As a result, in the early days of offshoring, Western firms showed greater interest in setting up
manufacturing facilities in Thailand, Mexico, China, Vietnam and Philippines rather than in India.
3. All of these countries had as bad a record of bureaucratic corruption as India did at the time, but labour
productivity was found to be higher in those countries.

Politics

1. In Kerala alone, for example, there were nearly 363 hartals between 2005 and 2012, causing loss of so
many working days
2. In addition, in the 1970s and 1980s, Indian politics was dominated by socialists who created the
impression that profit making by private enterprises is undesirable.
3. Policymakers also further strengthened Indias complicated labour laws

Complexity

1. Labour is a subject in concurrent list of the Constitution of India. Thus both centre and states can enact
laws on labour matters

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2. There are about 45 central government laws and more than 100 state statutes, sometimes overlapping or
contradicting

Rigidity

1. India has one of the most rigid labour regulatory frameworks in the world
2. Example- Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 stipulates that a firm with 100 employees or more cannot close
down without government permission
3. Such laws curtail the growth of a firm by forcing it to hire fewer workers and remain small

Cost of compliance

1. There are also high costs involved in complying with several labour laws
2. Example- under the Factories Act, firms with 10 or more workers and firms which use electric power are
required to keep records and file regular reports on matters such as overtime work, wages, attendance,
sick leave and worker fines.

Need For Reforms

1. As early as in 2002, the Second National Commission on Labour suggested the formulation of labour
codes similar to those in Russia, Germany, Poland, Hungary and Canada
2. The commission recommended that labour legislation be divided into five broad areas: industrial
relations, wages, social security, safety and welfare, and working conditions.
3. NITI Aayog has pressed for substantive reforms in labour laws to take the country out of the current
low-productivity and low-wage jobs situation.
4. It is predicted that the size of Indias workforce will swell to 249 million by 2050, while Chinas is set to
decline to 166 million during the same period.

Recent Reforms

1. Recently Govt. unveiled a new roadmap, including measures to end Inspector Raj with a system that is
expected to sharply curb the element of discretion with labour inspectors and a single window
compliance process for companies on labour-related issues.
2. As a step in this direction, all 1,800 labour inspectors will be disallowed from swooping down on
companies and instead, a computerised system will randomly send them on inspections, based on data
trends and objective criteria.
3. Following inspections, they will have to upload their reports within 72 hours and cannot modify them
thereafter.
4. Govt. also unveiled nearly half-a-dozen schemes, including a Shram Suvidha Portal where employers
can submit a single compliance report for 16 labour laws, a new web-based labour inspection system,
unique account numbers for members of the EPFO, a revamped Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana as
well as a new skill development and apprenticeship scheme.
5. Sharply streamlined the cumbersome compliance process, manufacturers can now register online at the
Shram Suvidha portal and file a self-certified single compliance report for 16 Central labour laws.

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6. In return, labour inspections by four central agencies EPFO, Employees State Insurance Corporation,
Central Labour Commissioner and Director General of Mines Safety will be based on a computerised
list of units that are picked up from this database.
7. A panel, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, is mulling converting 44 labour laws into four simplified
codes. They relate to industrial relations, wages, social security and safety.

Criticism for the Reforms

1. Any dilution of the existing laws will compromise employees welfare and they think the government is
insisting on changing labour laws without realizing that it is not a short cut for job creation
2. The government said that 30 million organized sector workers are getting less than 15000 a month.
So, by changing the laws you will put these poor workers in
further trouble.
3. The trade unions have opposed the provision of deducting 8 days salary for one day of strike.

Way ahead:

1. Legislative reforms such as those taken up recently by central government and states such as Rajasthan,
Gujarat, MP are very much needed
2. Empowering women to enter the workplace and providing them additional support
3. Physically challenged- Increasing current 3% reservation in governmental and government-funded
jobs. Also ensuring that workplaces are disabled-friendly
4. Example- Karnataka granted exemptions to IT industries from the Industrial Employment (Standing
Orders) Act of 1946. It undermines the employers autonomy in determining the terms of employment,
working hours, leave grant and similar matters
5. Providing social security to workers in the informal sector would also pave the way for a more satisfied
and productive workforce
6. Training and skilling- India has a demographic advantage but in order to utilize this dividend, India
needs to invest heavily in training its talent
7. Indias supply of labour presently outnumbers industrys demand for them. As a result, the government
and manufacturing firms need to invest in training and skilling

Conclusion:

The guiding principle for Indias labour policy reformers should not merely be ring fencing jobs but safeguarding
workers through social assistance, re-employment support (such as that which is provided in several Western
nations) and skill building, and supporting employers in employee training and development.

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Question
Q.) Recent Labour Reforms balance the concerns of the industries and the workers.
Critically evaluate.
Success of make in India program depends on the success of Skill India programme
and radical labour reforms. Discuss with logical arguments.(2015 GS Paper III)

Sources
http://labour.nic.in/
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/live-prime-minister-narendra-modi-announces-labour-reforms/
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/OeEG5RZFnP7xEX61lV9rYM/Niti-Aayog-presses-for-substantive-reforms-of-
labour-laws.html
http://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/india-has-second-fastest-growing-services-sector/article6193500.ece

#16. A-Z of GST

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS3

The GST is undoubtedly one of the single biggest historic tax reform ever since independence so much so that it
aims to alter the dynamics of the current indirect taxation system and render it a single, unified, modern,
transparent and uniform structure nationwide. This article will look into the nuances of this tax reform from
various perspectives. Though a few questions have been asked earlier but its final rollout on July 1 2017 with its
multiplier implications and impediments in implementation makes it a hot topic for analysis in this year CSE
Mains.

What is GSTOne nation one tax!

1. GST is a simpler, modern and more transparent taxation system that will do away with 500 different taxes
levied across the countrys 29 States and seven Union Territories.
2. GST is essentially a consumption tax and is levied at the final consumption point.
3. It would comprise of two components, a central GST and a state GST.
4. It is levied on the value addition and thus avoids the cascading effect or tax on tax which increases the
tax burden on the end consumer
5. It is collected on goods and services at each point of sale in the supply line
6. The GST that a merchant pays to procure goods or services can be claimed as input tax credit later
against the tax applicable on supply of goods and services

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Key Provisions of GST:

1. The GST with principle of One Nation and One Tax, and a unified market could make the movement of
goods freer across the country.
2. GST was implemented through Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016, following
the passage of Constitution 122nd Amendment Bill
Bill.
3. GST will be taxed at 0.25%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. There is a special rate of 0.25% on rough
precious and semi-precious
precious stones and 3% on gold gold.. The implementation has been complex, as it has
a five layered taxation slab for various commodities.
4. Transactions made within a single state will be levied with central GST (CGST) by the central
government and State GST (SGST) by the state government
government.
5. For interstate transactions imported goods or services, an integrated GST (IGST) is levied by the central
government.
6. GST is a consumption based tax tax, so taxes are paid to the state where the goods or services are
consumed and not in the state in which they are produced.
7. As a parallel development, a Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), a nonprofit organization has
been formed to create a platform for all the stakeholders, government, ta tax
x payers to collaborate on
a single portal.
8. GST tax of 28% on luxury goods is the highest in the world. Even UK and USA dont have GST higher
than 17%.
9. Most economists forecast inflation to come down as GST rates for most goods have been fixed at a lower lowe
rate.
10. GST laws focus on anti-profiteering
profiteering measures
measures-thethe benefits of the reduction in the tax rate and input
credit shall be passed on by a commensurate reduction in prices.

One Nation- One Tax but Multiplier Benefits:

1. End of Cascading of Taxes:: It see


seeks
ks to eliminate inefficiencies in the tax system which results in tax on
tax.
2. A Destination-based
based Tax on consumption
consumption,, as per which the states share of taxes on inter-state
inter
commerce goes to the one that is home to the final consumer, rather than to the exporting
e state.
3. The central and state governments will witness tax buoyancy and the tax collection costs will reduce
significantly.
4. Exports will become competitive.

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5. Make in India programme will get a major fillip due to increased ease of doing business and protection
from cheap imports.
6. All these benefits will add to the GDP growth of India in the medium and long run.
7. The Prime minister added that its introduction was not just a tax or economic reform, but a social
reform that would nudge people on the path to honesty and benefit the poor the most.
8. The practice of giving out kachcha (informal) bills would become history as the GST presented an
opportunity to stop black money and corruption, and give people a chance to do honest business
9. It would end the spectre of tax terrorism and Inspector Raj, as the technological backing for the GST
would do away with grey areas and reduce the discretion enjoyed by the bureaucracy over tax matters
10. GST will also lead to economic integration of the country
11. The GST could make the movement of goods freer across the country.
12. GST seeks to align the Indian taxation system with the global standards and norms particularly with
USA and Europe.

What is in the kitty of GST? Which Indirect taxes get subsumed and which are not?

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Simple working of gst:

GST How does it impact various sectors?

For Business and For Central and State For the consumer Disadvantages of GST
Industry governments
Easy compliance Simple and easy to Single and transparent Services are expected to become
administer- easier tax tax proportionate to the costlier as the expected GST rate
governance value of goods and would be higher than the existing
services service tax rate of 15%.

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Uniformity of tax Better controls on Relief in overall tax Supply of certain category of goods
rates and structures leakage and reduced burden may come down depending on the
corruption effective rate of indirect taxes.
Removal of Higher revenue Problems of anti-profiteering clause
cascading efficiency
Improved Will boost GDP on Regressivity inherent in GST would
competitiveness the longer run result in hurting poor the more
Gain to Balances fiscal
manufacturers and federal relations
exporters cooperative
federalism
Ease of doing Facilitate Make in
business enhanced India

Apprehensions/ challenges in Implementation:

IT Preparedness and Infrastructure


1. It cannot be assured whether all the States and Union Territories in India are currently equipped with
infrastructure and requisite manpower.
2. Except few states like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat, who have pioneered the E-Governance
model, we have not heard about this trend in other States and Union Territories.
Officers Training
1. The unlearning of the old law and learning GST provisions is imperative. GST law heavily banks on
Information Technology and hence proper training has to be given to the departmental officers for
effective usage and implementation.
New Registrants
1. Transition of existing registered assesses and registration of new assesses and resolving of migration
issues is a big challenge.
Pending Cases/ Past Disputes
1. There are many disputes pending in the context of present indirect tax laws (both Centre and State),
which are at various stages, viz, adjudication or appellate level. Government should find ways and means
to resolve these disputes.
2. A possibility of introducing a dispute settlement scheme on the lines of Kar Vivad Samadhan Scheme
needs to be explored which would enable the litigants to resolve pending matters.
Tax Administration
1. With GST, both the centre and state level officers are expected to work under one roof and in tandem by
giving up their differences.
2. Cadre differences may arise, as presently in Central Excise and Service Tax, the departments are
headed by officers of IRS, whereas in the state commercial departments, the commissioner is from IAS
and his subordinates would be from State Administration Service.
Anti- Profiteering Clause:
1. The idea of rolling out GST along with an anti-profiteering clause is to prevent the possibility of
businesses and traders retaining the benefits of tax reduction to themselves rather than passing them on
to the consumers.
2. The steps are being taken to make sure that businesses and traders pass on the benefits to the
consumer-such as setting up an anti-profiteering authority and creating awareness among traders and
consumers.

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3. A National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) is to be set up to ensure that the benefits due to reduction in
costs are passed on to the consumers.
The anomaly of Indias tax revenue:
1. Indirect taxes, now made up chiefly of the nationwide goods and services tax (GST), are inherently
regressive. They hurt the poor more than the rich. GST is a consumption tax. For the poor, almost their
entire income (or more) is spent on consumption, and is hence subject to the tax.
2. The rich have a big share of their income go into savings, which is not taxed (or even subsidized). With
the widening of GST and higher tax slabs, the unfairness of the indirect system becomes more acute.
The global average rate for consumption taxes is 16%. Most Asian countries have rates of 10-15%. But
Indias modal rate is 18%. This hurts the poor much more.
Operational Difficulties:
1. The requirement that taxpayers must register in each jurisdiction in which they operate. If a unit operates
in several states, it must register in each state in which it operates, and be taxed in each jurisdiction, and
also maintain records that allow the tax paid in each jurisdiction to be audited.
Far from Ideal GST :
1. It is very far from being universal and according to some it excludes 50% of the gross domestic product.
Major items such as petroleum, natural gas, alcohol, electricity, and real estate/construction are left out.
2. The second flaw is too many rates: 3% (on gold), 5%, 12%, 18% and 28 %, plus an extra GST cess on
some luxury or socially undesirable items. Multiple rates are an invitation to misclassification and
disputes/harassment arising from suspicion of misclassification. This reduces the efficiency gains which
were expected to generate higher growth.

Way forward:

1. The initial collection figures for GST in India already show higher than expected revenue. The GST
Council should set up an expert group that could assess the performance of the system based on results

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of the first year and work on a revised GST rate structure towards desirability of migrating to fewer rates.
A Progressive and universal coverage should be the step ahead. A systematic effort should be launched
to correct deficiencies over time through the mechanism of the GST Council. The long answer then is to
focus on correcting the unfairness and skew in goods and services tax (GST), with greater redistribution.

Conclusion:

1. Introduction of GST is a very good start. Reforms, however, do not end here. Certain features can be
further streamlined. Rolling out GST on 1 July was the result of more than a decade of discussions,
tussles among states, and between states and the Union government, instances of give and take,
lobbying and compromise.
2. The GST that is being rolled out is far from ideal. The guiding principle was that it is better to have a good
GST instead of waiting endlessly for the best one. Despite its imperfections, Policymakers must continue
to bet on GST to achieve various economic goals in one stroke. Continued follow up of structural reforms
as big as this one definitely needs diligence and reinvention for rich dividends ahead.

#17. Should India adopt Universal


Basic income Model

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Note4Students:

Economic Survey for the year 2016-17 has an entire chapter dedicated to the discussion on Universal Basic
Income (UBI). This shows the Importance of this topic. UPSC loves to ask Questions on issues which are
debatable and controversial and this Topic certainly meets both of these criteria.

Context:

The Economic survey has endorsed universal basic income (UBI) in an annual report. UBI is a powerful idea and
would be more effective at combating poverty than existing state benefits, according to the country's 2016-2017
Economic Survey.

What is a Universal Basic Income?

A UBI would mean every single individual, regardless of their identity or economic status, is guaranteed a
monthly income, transferred directly into their bank account by the government every month. It has three key
components: universality, unconditionality and agency the last condition as a way to give people a choice in
how to spend the transferred money.

Argument Against Universal Basic income

1. Unaffordable-Assuming roughly 700 million people between ages of 18 and 60 will have to be provided
Universal basic income of Rs 5000 in India that will be 3.5 trillion rupees, or about 3 per cent of the
current GDP. That seems huge and unaffordable for a poor country like India.
2. Disincentive to work- It provides a disincentive to work, which in the grand scheme of things
means we produce less as a society. critics state that this system would lead to a reduction in
labour, as more people would be motivated to be free loaders
3. Over-Migration-If a country like India which do not have strong border controls, implements a
guaranteed income, it will become a magnet for immigration. Inflow of migrants from countries
like Nepal and Bangladesh would increase in India.
4. Impractical: Funding it would require raising tax rates to levels that are not politically feasible. For
instance, according to a UK study by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, direct tax rates might have to be 50
per cent.
5. Misuse:The final argument against basic income is that the poor will use the money to fund personally or
socially detrimental activities, such as gambling and alcohol consumption.

Arguments in favour of Universal basic income

1. No direct disincentives: Being unconditional, it does not create any direct disincentives for those who
want to work more and live better.
2. By just letting people have the money and decide what they want to do with it, it gets away from the
nanny state that so many Market economists despise.
3. Many economists believe that a basic income is a means to provide equal opportunity and counter
exploitation.

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4. In country like India there is the question of whether the current, multifariously fractured system of
welfare, where multiple authorities give out different subsidies (money, food, housing, travel,
education, healthcare), guided by their own priorities and targets (the young or the old, the mother or
the child, the poor or the indigent), makes any sense. Why not have one universal basic subsidy that
covers everything (perhaps except health and education) and let people decide how they will spend it,
rather than trying to target subsidies based on our imperfect knowledge of what people need and
deserve.
5. The number of extant government welfare schemes exceeds 350, though most of those programmes
are not much more than a name, an office and a few underemployed bureaucrats. Moreover, many of our
bigger schemes, like MGNREGS or PDS, are far from being well targeted or well run. Why not replace
these 350 odd schemes by a single Universal Basic Income of, say, Rs 250 a week, which entitles
every adult resident to a minimum weekly income as long as they verify their identity using Aadhaar (or in
some other way) every week. The verification process will serve the dual purpose of making sure there is
no fraud and discouraging the rich, who will find it unpleasant and a waste of time, from claiming a
subsidy they dont need.
6. At the very least, this will reduce poverty and free up the bureaucracy to do other things. But
potentially, the benefits could be much larger. For example, the poor, liberated from having to worry
about where their next meal or school fee will come from, might plan their lives better and invest more
effectively in their children and their businesses
7. Assuming roughly 700 million people between ages of 18 and 60 are provided basic income of Rs 5000,
that will be 3.5 trillion rupees, or about 3 per cent of the current GDP. That seems huge and unaffordable.
But, the challenge may be surmountable. For instance, all the subsidies meant for the poor are more than
4 per cent of GDP (Centre plus states).Thus compared to subsidies it is a cheaper option.
8. Experiences with direct cash transfers in a range of countries, including Ecuador, India, Mexico, and
Uganda, have not provided much evidence of any misuse of cash transfers; in general, the cash is
spent on worthwhile goods and services.

What is needed?

1. UBI alone is not sufficient for the overall upliftment of poor. Two distinct sets of reforms are needed:
2. Broad-based economic reforms that would strengthen entrepreneurship, remove barriers to job creation,
and increase the returns to human capital investments by the poor.
3. Specific reforms to allow the poor to gain better education and health

What does Economic Survey says on UBI?

1. ES advocated for the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an alternative to the various social
welfare schemes in an effort to reduce poverty.
2. It suggests that a more efficient way to help the poor will be to provide them resources directly, through a
UBI.
3. It will be an efficient substitute for a plethora of existing welfare schemes and subsidies.

Why ES say so?

1. Promoting social justice, reducing poverty, unconditional cash transfer that lets the beneficiary decide
how she uses the money, employment generation by promoting labour flexibility.

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2. It will bring in administrative efficiency as a direct cash transfer through JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile)
platform.
3. It will be more efficient as compared to the existing welfare schemes which are riddled with
misallocation, leakages and exclusion of the poor.
4. It can help to achieve considerable gains in terms of bureaucratic costs and time by replacing many of
these with a UBI

Conclusion

Proposals for a universal basic income, fancied by utopian socialists and libertarians, may be premature in the
advanced countries. But such schemes should not be dismissed in the developing world, where conditions are
such that they could offer an affordable alternative to administratively unwieldy and ineffective welfare programs.
Basic incomes are no panacea; but for overworked developing-country citizens living in extreme poverty, they
would certainly be a relief.

Questions:
Q.1) Examine the arguments in favour and against introduction of universal basic
income?
Q.2) Critically comment on recommendations made by the Economic Survey in
introducing a universal basic income in India.

#18. Concept of PARA : Need &


Challenges

Note4Students

Economic Survey 2017 mentioned a new institution PARA (bad bank) which could be utilized to solve the Twin
Balance concept. Since it was a controversial institution it has raised debate among experts. A number of op-eds
both in favour and against have been written against this proposed Institution. Therefore, we find this topic as a
probable topic for mains 2017

Context
The latest Economic Survey has mooted a new idea, PARA, as a solution to the NPA problem .

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What is PARA?

The Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency or PARA will be an independent entity that will identify the largest
and most vexatious NPA accounts held by banks, and then buy these out from them.

Need for PARA?

1. To resolve bad debts on sound economic principles


2. Stressed debt is concentrated in larger companies. Bigger cases are difficult to resolve and needs an
independent agency.
3. Banks have difficulty in solving these cases due to lack of coordination, capital etc. Even private ARCs
have failed. International practice has shown PARA like organization to be viable to solve TBS problem.
E.g. Post East Asian crisis
4. Many of the companies are unviable at current level of debt requiring debt write-downs in many cases.
5. Immediate step is needed because delays are increasing the problem

Ill effects of NPA on the economy

1. Lenders suffer lowering of profit margins.


2. Stress in banking sector causes less money available to fund other projects, therefore, negative impact
on the larger national economy.
3. Higher interest rates by the banks to maintain the profit margin.
4. Redirecting funds from the good projects to the bad ones.
5. As investments got stuck, it may result in it may result in unemployment.
6. In the case of public sector banks, the bad health of banks means a bad return for a shareholder which
means that government of India gets less money as a dividend. Therefore it may impact easy
deployment of money for social and infrastructure development and results in social and political cost.
7. Investors do not get rightful returns.
8. Balance sheet syndrome of Indian characteristics that is both the banks and the corporate sector have
stressed balance sheet and causes halting of the investment-led development process.
9. NPAs related cases add more pressure to already pending cases with the judiciary.

How will PARA work?

1. It would purchase loans from banks and adopt value maximizing strategy to solve them. E.g. Converting
loan (debt) to equity etc. Then the government can recapitalize PSBs. In this process, losses would have
to be paid to the creditors.
2. The bulk of this burden will fall on government as PSBs are major creditors.
3. The government can finance this capital by
4. Issuing Government Securities.
5. Capital markets Private sector can take equity floated by PARA. Government can sell its holdings in
PSBs too.
6. RBI is one of the most highly capitalized banks in the world. Therefore, its excess capital like securities
can be transferred to PARA.
7.

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International Experience

Issues/Challenges With Bad banks:

1.Worsen Macroeconomic stability

1. creation of a bad bank puts a strain on government finances in the short term. Even if the government
funds only 20% of stressed assets in the banking system, it would exceed the net market borrowing
target in 2017-18 by more than 30%. Achieving committed targets for fiscal deficit and government-debt-
to-GDP also becomes difficult for the finance minister.
2. Who will have the majority stake in the bad bank? Will it be the government or private investors?
3. A big chunk of NPAs at PSBs pertains to projects that are viable.
4. Why would taxpayers' money be used to buy bad loans of private sector? It would be socialisation of the
losses of the private sector" who can pay but are not willing to pay.

Way Forward
1. Set up a bad bank to deal with NPAs at some of the weaker PSBs, instead of one that picks up NPAs
from all PSBs.
2. It would prove less controversial if the government had a majority stake in it.
3. This must be complemented with other steps.
4. The government must infuse more capital into the better-performing PSBs.
5. It must also create, through an act of Parliament, an apex Loan Resolution Authority for tackling bad
loans at PSBs. The authority would vet restructuring of the bigger loans at PSBs.

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Conclusion:

Resolution of bad loans and restoring the health of PSBs is among the biggest challenges the economy faces
today. Its a challenge that requires a response on multiple fronts. A bad bank cannot be the sole response.

Question:

Q.1) To solve the Twin Balance problem, Economic Survey has suggested setting up
of a Centralised Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency. Critical discuss whether
setting up of an agency like PARA will be feasible?

#19. Hydrocarbon exploration


licensing policy

Note4Students:

The NDA government has announced a radical overhaul of the oil and gas exploration policy. It has launched
Hydrocarbon exploration and licensing policy to replace the existing NELP which was introduced in 1999.
Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) is a policy adopted by Government of India on 10.03.2016
indicating the new contractual and fiscal model for award of hydrocarbon acreages towards exploration and
production (E&P). HELP is applicable for all future contracts to be awarded.

Background

1. Indias offer of oil and gas exploration blocks under NELP since 1999 had limited success in terms of
commercial discoveries and their monetisation. Of the 254 blocks auctioned in the nine NELP
rounds, commercial production started in three blocks with total output of 0.4 million tonnes of crude
oil and 26.11 million standard cubic metres of gas per day.
2. The present New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) has are separate policies and licenses for
different hydrocarbons. Unconventional hydrocarbons (shale gas and shale oil) were unknown
when NELP was framed 18 years ago. This fragmented policy framework is leading to inefficiencies
in exploiting natural resources. For example, while exploring for one type of hydrocarbon, if a
different one is found, it will need separate licensing, adding to cost.
3. The NELP mechanism of profit-sharing where explorers first recovered their costs and then shared
profits with the government was severely criticized by the CAG during an audit of KG-D6 block
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operated by Reliance Industries. The CAG alleged that RIL is exaggerating the costs to lower the
governments profit share.

Key Features of HELP

1. A Single License: A single license for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbons in blocks
to firms offering the maximum revenue to the government would be given.
2. Open acreage policy: Blocks would be allocated under the open acreage policy, wherein companies
can submit bids for areas of their choice.under open acreage policy companies can choose blocks from
the designated area round the year without waiting for roadshows and auctions like in NELP.
3. Revenue Sharing model: production-sharing contract between government and contractors would
henceforth be governed by a revenue-sharing model instead of a profit-sharing one
4. It provides for a common license for all hydrocarbons, including shale gas and coal bed methane, and
does away with computing complex investment multiples and scrutinizing cost recoveries
5. It also provides marketing and pricing freedom for the crude oil and natural gas produced.
6. On the lines of NELP, cess and import duty will not be applicable on blocks awarded under the new
policy.

Benefits of HELP

1. Will promote ease of doing business: In the NELP, contractors gold-plated their costs to artificially
depress profits. This not only led to disputes and litigation but also caused project delays as government
pored over each decision by the contractor to check for possible fraud. Such problems are less likely to
occur under revenue-sharing. Under the new regime, the Government will not be concerned with the cost
incurred and will receive a share of the gross revenue from the sale of oil, gas etc. This is in tune with
Governments policy of Ease of Doing Business.

2. Will allow producers to charge a competitive market price : One of the reasons why domestic oil and
gas exploration has suffered over the years despite the fact that India has a huge import dependence as
over three-fourths of the domestic crude oil demand and about a third of the domestic demand for gas
are met by imports is the inability of companies to price the output in a profitable manner. Now,
instead of pricing being determined by a formula set by a committee, Help will allow producers to charge
a competitive market price for new production, subject to a ceiling determined by the landed price of
alternative fuels, such as fuel oil, liquefied natural gas and naphtha. It would boost investment in the
sector.

3. Help will also allow energy companies to produce whatever form of hydrocarbon is available from a
licensed blockcoal bed methane, shale gas/oil, tight gas and gas hydrateswithout seeking separate
permission for producing each of the fuels.

4. Promote investment: Under the new regime, there will not be yearly auction of a cluster of identified
blocks. Instead, investors can access data about all the blocks available and would be encouraged to bid
at any time of their choice under the open acreage principle.

5. Recognising the higher risks and costs involved in exploration and production from offshore areas, lower
royalty rates for such areas have been provided as compared to NELP royalty rates to encourage

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exploration and production. A graded system of royalty rates have been introduced, in which royalty
rates decreases from shallow water to deepwater and ultra-deep water.

6. Increase Transparency: It would increase transparency and would reduce government intervention in
the sector since government would not face the burden of scrutinizing the cost of the firms involved in the
sector. This is in tune with the government motto of minimum government maximum governance/

Concerns Raised

1. The costs involved in exploration is very high and it is also marked by uncertainty. The shift to revenue-
sharing could prove to be a disincentive as the investment recovery period for producers gets prolonged
since he has to share the revenue with the government from day 1.
2. Blocks already under production aren't covered
3. Banks may not give credit easily to such projects given their high gestation periods and the rising NPAs
4. Since royalty rates over land is uniform, regions like NE may be ignored by companies
5. If the gas prices are set too high, sectors like power, fertilizers etc. may be affected

HELP VS NELP

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Conclusion

Overall, the policy is a step in the right direction. It will not only bring transparency in the energy sector but would
also attract much needed investment in the sector; It should be tweaked in the future to ensure better
implementation. If followed in its letter and spirit, the policy can help India achieve energy security in the long run.

Source:

http://www.arthapedia.in/index.php?title=Hydrocarbon_Exploration_and_Licensing_Policy_(HELP)
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=137638

Questions:

Q.1) Examine how would the new Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (Help) affect
interests of consumers and producers.
Q.2) The new Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy, or HELP, is said to signal
one of the most important market-oriented sectoral reforms of the past two decades.
Examine why.

#20. All about the Bankruptcy code

Note4Students

Bankruptcy code addresses the larger issue of ease of doing business. Economic survey 2016 talked about
chakravyuha problem of Indian business ecosystem. In this context bankruptcy code is important topic to
examine.

Introduction

1. Hitherto India was lacking the legal and institutional machinery for dealing with debt defaults as per the
global standards.
2. The recovery proceedings by creditors, either through the Contract Act or through special laws such as
the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 and the Securitisation and
Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002, has not had desired
outcomes.

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3. Similarly, action through the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 (SICA) and
the winding up provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 have neither been able to aid recovery for
lenders nor restructuring of firms.
4. Laws dealing with individual insolvency, the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act, 1909 and the
Provincial Insolvency Act, 1920, were almost a century old. This has hampered the confidence of the
lender and development of the credit markets in India. Resultantly, credit by banks is the largest
component of the credit market in India and corporate bond market has not yet developed to the desired
level.

Analysis

Highlights of the Code

1. The Code creates time-bound processes for insolvency resolution of companies and individuals.
These processes will be completed within 180 days. If insolvency cannot be resolved, the assets of the
borrowers may be sold to repay creditors.
2. The resolution processes will be conducted by licensed insolvency professionals (IPs). These IPs
will be members of insolvency professional agencies (IPAs). IPAs will also furnish performance bonds
equal to the assets of a company under insolvency resolution.
3. Information utilities (IUs) will be established to collect, collate and disseminate financial information to
facilitate insolvency resolution.
4. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) will adjudicate insolvency resolution for companies. The
Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) will adjudicate insolvency resolution for individuals.
5. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India will be set up to regulate functioning of IPs, IPAs
and IUs.

Positive aspects

1. The new law aims to consolidate the laws relating to insolvency of companies and limited liability
entities (including limited liability partnerships and other entities with limited liability), unlimited liability
partnerships and individuals, Presently contained in a number of legislations, into a single legislation and
provide for their reorganization and resolution in a time bound manner for maximization of value of their
assets.
2. Such consolidation will provide for a greater clarity in law and facilitate the application of consistent
and coherent provisions to different stakeholders affected by business failure or inability to pay debt.
3. This law will thus promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit and balance the interest of all
stakeholders.

4. It is true that some business ventures will always fail, but such failures will be handled rapidly
and swiftly. Entrepreneurs and lenders will be able to move on, instead of being bogged down
with decisions taken in the past.

5. The Code empowers the operational creditors (workmen, suppliers etc.) also to initiate the insolvency
resolution process upon non-payment of dues. In order to develop the credit market in India, in case of
liquidation, financial debts owed to unsecured creditors have been kept above the Governments dues in
the list of priorities (waterfall).

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6. Facilitating early resolution and exit is as important as facilitating investment.


7. The essential idea of the new law is that when a corporate entity defaults on its debt, control shifts from
the shareholders/promoters to a committee of creditors, who have 180 days (extendable by 90 days in
deserving cases) to evaluate proposals from various players about resuscitating the company or taking it
into liquidation.
8. When decisions are taken in a time-bound manner, there is a greater chance that the corporate entity
can be saved as a going concern, and the productive resources of the economy (labour and capital) can
be put to the best use. This is in complete departure from SICA regime where there were delays leading
to destruction of the value of the firm.
9. The Code separates commercial aspects of the insolvency proceedings from judicial aspects.
10. While Insolvency Professionals (IPs) will deal with commercial aspects such as management of the
affairs of the corporate debtor, facilitating formation of committee of creditors, organising their meetings,
examination of the resolution plan, etc.,
11. judicial issues will be handled by proposed Adjudicating Authorities (National Company Law
Tribunal / Debt Recovery Tribunal). One more important institution created under the Code is the
Information Utility which would store financial information and data and terms of lending in electronic
databases. This would eliminate delays and disputes about facts when default does take place.
12. The Code also provides a fast track insolvency resolution process for corporates and LLPs. This will be
an enabler for start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to complete the resolution process in
90 days (extendable to 45 days in deserving cases).
13. The Code also addresses the important issue relating to cross border insolvency by providing the
enabling mechanism on the subject. The Government, at an appropriate time, will come out with a
detailed framework for cross border insolvency.

Key Issues

1. In relation to corporate persons, the Code looks to wrap up the game in 180 days.
2. It warrants a notice of dispute to be issued followed by a response period of 10 days for the corporate
debtor, failing which the creditor is entitled to file an insolvency application before the National Company
Law Tribunal (NCLT).
3. Within 14 days from filing, the application must be admitted. Upon admission, the moratorium
period (freezing of bank accounts, prohibition on foreclosures in relation to financial debts, etc.)
commences.
4. At this stage, the existing management of the company loses complete control and all powers vest with
an interim resolution professional, who has merely 30 days to put together all the relevant information
and call for a meeting of the financial creditors.
5. Once the financial creditors meet, they must appoint a resolution professional who will put
together an information memorandum of the company that forms the basis for a resolution applicant to
propose a resolution plan for the company.
6. The Code fails to define a resolution applicant. All such resolution plans are placed before the
financial creditors. When at least 75% of the financial creditors approve, the plan is implemented by way
of an order by the NCLT. If the financial creditors fail to arrive at a consensus, the default plan is to
liquidate the company.
7. The Code rides substantially on the unquestionable word of the creditors. Neither does the
corporate debtor have an opportunity to put forth his/her case nor is there any scope of discretion
provided to the adjudicating authority itself.

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8. At various stages of admission of the insolvency proceedings, of appointing the insolvency


professional, of finalising the resolution plan the Code fails to provide any opportunity to the
corporate debtor to make a representation, at the very least.
9. In this manner, the Code ignores rights enshrined in the Constitution. (In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of
India, 1978, the Supreme Court observed that it is the duty of the authority to give reasonable
opportunity to be heard, even where there is no specific provision for showing cause when a
proposed action affects the rights of the individual.)
10. The Code is also deficient in providing a yardstick for the qualification of the interim and of the
final insolvency resolution professionals.
11. It allows for any person to access the information memorandum put together by the insolvency
professional without restricting competitors or imposing any confidentiality obligations.
12. This allows for any person to access proprietary information of the corporate debtor and misuse the
same, given that there is no law protecting confidentiality and vitiates the fundamental right to
business under Article 19(1)(g).
13. the Code prohibits withdrawal of the application once the same has been admitted.
14. This means that there is no scope whatsoever for settlement.
15. This is despite the recent ruling of the Supreme Court in Lokhandwala Kataria Construction (P) Ltd. V.
Nisus Finance and Investment Managers LLP (2017), wherein a settlement proposal was taken on record
and the appeal was disposed of. However, this cannot be held as a precedent.
16. Further, the unrestricted access of any person without mandatory contractual obligations in
relation to confidentiality vitiates the fundamental right to business under Article 19(1)(g).
17. Time-bound insolvency resolution will require establishment of several new entities. Also, given
the pendency and disposal rate of DRTs, their current capacity may be inadequate to take up the
additional role.
18. IPAs, regulated by the Board, will be created for regulating the functioning of IPs. This approach of
having regulated entities further regulate professionals may be contrary to the current practice of
regulating licensed professionals. Further, requiring a high value of performance bond may deter the
formation of IPAs.
19. The Code provides an order of priority to distribute assets during liquidation. It is unclear why: (i)
secured creditors will receive their entire outstanding amount, rather than up to their collateral value, (ii)
unsecured creditors have priority over trade creditors, and (iii) government dues will be repaid after
unsecured creditors.
20. The Code provides for the creation of multiple IUs. However, it does not specify that full
information about a company will be accessible through a single query from any IU. This may lead
to financial information being scattered across these IUs.
21. The Code creates an Insolvency and Bankruptcy Fund. However, it does not specify the manner in
which the Fund will be used.

Conclusion

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is a comprehensive and systemic reform, which will give a quantum leap to
the functioning of the credit market. It would take India from among relatively weak insolvency regimes to
becoming one of the world's best insolvency regimes. It lays the foundations for the development of the corporate
bond market, which would finance the infrastructure projects of the future. The passing of this Code and
implementation of the same will give a big boost to ease of doing business in India.

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Question:

Bankruptcy code is a greater step towards the business friendly India. Comment
What are the features of the bankruptcy code. Do think certain provisions undermine
the fundamental right to carry out any profession

Source
The Hindu
PRS

#21. All about the NPA problem in


India

Note4Students:

India has been facing a bad loan Problem from last few Years. According to latest report of RBI, Stressed
assets, which include non-performing
performing assets (NPAs) and restructure
restructuredd loans, form some 12% of
the total loans in Indian banking now. A question on NPA is expected from last 2 years. Probably this is the
year where UPSC will ask question on NPA in Mains.

source

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Context

According to RBIs recent data The pile of bad loans, or stressed assets, is close to Rs10 lakh crore($154 billion)
now, which is more than the GDP of at least 137 countries. And whats more, it is only growing.
Stressed assets, which include non-performing assets (NPAs) and restructured loans, form some 12% of the
total loans in Indian banking now.

What is NPA?

The assets of the banks which dont perform (that is dont bring any return) are called Non Performing
Assets (NPA) or bad loans. Banks assets are the loans and advances given to customers. If customers dont
pay either interest or part of principal or both, the loan turns into bad loan.
According to RBI, terms loans on which interest or instalment of principal remain overdue for a period of more
than 90 days from the end of a particular quarter is called a Non-performing Asset.
However, in terms of Agriculture / Farm Loans; the NPA is defined as under: For short duration crop
agriculture loans such as paddy, Jowar, Bajra etc. if the loan (installment / interest) is not paid for 2 crop
seasons, it would be termed as a NPA. For Long Duration Crops, the above would be 1 Crop season from the
due date.

source

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Impact of NPA on Economy

The problem of NPAs in the Indian banking system is one of the foremost and the most formidable problems that
had impact the entire banking system. Higher NPA leads to following adverse impact on Economy:
1. Depositors do not get rightful returns and many times may lose uninsured deposits. Banks may begin
charging higher interest rates on some products to compensate Non-performing loan losses
2. Bank shareholders are adversely affected
3. Bad loans imply redirecting of funds from good projects to bad ones. Hence, the economy suffers due to
loss of good projects and failure of bad investments
4. When bank do not get loan repayment or interest payments, liquidity problems may ensue.

Reasons for the rise in NPA in recent years

1. GDP slowdown: Between early 2000s and 2008 Indian economy were in the boom phase. During this
period Banks especially Public sector banks lent extensively to corporates. However, the profits of most
of the corporate dwindled due to slowdown in the global and domestic economy, bans in mining projects,
delays in environmental related permits ,Land acquisition hurdles and volatility in prices of raw material.
This has adversely affected their ability to pay back loans and is the most important reason behind
increase in NPA of public sector banks.
2. Relaxed lending Norms: One of the main reasons of rising NPA was the relaxed lending norms
especially for corporate honchos when their financial status and credit rating was not analyzed properly.
Also, to face competition banks were hugely selling unsecured loans .
3. Priority Sector Lending: There is a myth that main reason for rise in NPA in Public sector banks was
Priority sector lending as according to the findings of Standing Committee on Finance , NPAs in the
corporate sector are far higher than those in the priority or agriculture sector. However, even if PSL is not
the main cause but it is still a cause for rising NPA which can be seen from the fact that As per the latest
estimates by the SBI, education loans constitute 20% of its NPAs.
4. The Lack of Bankruptcy code in India and sluggish legal system makes it difficult for banks to recover
these loans from both corporate and noncorporate.

Other factors

1. Banks did not conducted adequate contingency planning, especially for mitigating project risk. They did
not factor eventualities like failure of gas projects to ensure supply of gas or failure of land acquisition
process for highways.
2. Restructuring of loan facility was extended to companies that were facing larger problems of over-
leverage & inadequate profitability. This problem was more in the Public sector banks.
3. Companies with dwindling debt repayment capacity were raising more & more debt from the system.

Why most NPA in Public sector?

1. Five sectors Textile, aviation, mining, Infrastructure contributes to most of the NPA, since most of the
loan given in these sector are by PSB, they account for most of the NPA.
2. Public Sector banks provide around 80% of the credit to industries and it is this part of the credit
distribution that forms a great chunk of NPA. Last year, when kingfisher was marred in financial crisis,
SBI provided it huge amount of loan which it is not able to recover from it.

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3. Less Professional management


4. Political Pressure and interference forces PSB to lend to not so commercially sounds project.

Steps taken by RBI and Government in last few years to curb NPA

1. Government has launched Mission Indradhanush to make the working of public sector bank more
transparent and professional in order to curb the menace of NPA in future.
2. Government has also proposed to introduce Bankruptcy code which will make it easier for banks to
Recover the loans from the debtors.
3. RBI introduced number of measures in last few years which include:
4. Tightening the Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) mechanism,
5. Setting up a Joint Lenders Forum, prodding banks to disclose the real picture of bad loans, asking
them to increase provisioning for stressed assets,
6. Introducing a 5:25 scheme where loans are to be amortized over 25 years with refinancing option after
every five years, and
7. Empowering them to take majority control in defaulting companies under the Strategic Debt
Restructuring (SDR) scheme.
8. Amendment in banking law to give RBI more powers: The Banking Regulation Act may be amended
to give RBI more powers to monitor bank accounts of big defaulters. The amendment in the banking law
will enable setting up of a committee to oversee companies that have been the biggest defaulters of
loans.
9. Stringent NPA recovery rules: The government has over the years enacted and tweaked stringent
rules to recover assets of defaulters. The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and
Enforcement of Security Interest Act or Sarfaesi Act of 2002 was amended in 2016 as it took banks years
to recover the assets.

How to curb the menace of NPA?

#1. Short Term measures

1. Review of NPAS/Restructured advances- We need to assess the viability case by case. Viable
accounts need to be given more finance for turnaround and unviable accounts should either be given to
Asset Reconstruction Company or Management/ownership restructuring or permitting banks to take over
the units.
2. Bankruptcy code should be passed as soon as possible. Bankruptcy code will make it easier for banks
to recover loans from unviable enterprises.
3. Government should establish ARC with equity contribution from the government and the Reserve
Bank of India (RBI). The established ARC should take the tumor (of non-performing assets or NPAs) out
of the banking system. An ARC acquires bad loans from banks and financial institutions, usually at a
discount, and works to recover them through a variety of measures, including sale of assets or a
turnaround steered by professional management. Relieved of their NPA burden, the banks can focus on
their core activity of lending.

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#2. Long term Measures

1. Improving credit risk management This includes credit appraisal, credit monitoring, and efficient
system of fixing accountability and analyzing trends in group leverage to which the borrowing firm
belongs to
2. Sources/structure of equity capital Banks need to see that promoters contribution is funded through
equity and not debt.
3. Banks should conduct necessary sensitivity analysis and contingency planning while appraising the
projects and it should built adequate safeguards against such external factors.
4. Strengthen credit monitoring Develop an early warning mechanism and comprehensive
MIS(Management information system) can play an important role in it.MIS must enable timely detection
of problem accounts, flag early signs of delinquencies and facilitate timely information to management on
these aspects.
5. Enforce accountability- Till now lower ring officials considered accountable even though loaning
decisions are taken at higher level. Thus sanction official should also share the burden of responsibility.
6. Restructured accounts should treated as non performing and technical write offs where Banks remove
NPAS from their balance sheets Permanently should be dispensed with.
7. Address corporate governance issues in PSB- This includes explicit fit and proper criteria for
appointment of top executives and instituting system of an open market wide search for Chairman.

Question:

Q.1) Non-performing assets, restructured loans and written-off assets collectively


called stressed assets have become a major challenge to the countrys banking
system. To combat these, what has government done? Will these measures be
effective? Examine.
Q.2) The problem of non-performing assets (NPAs) in the Indian banking system is
said to be big and might affect economic growth of the country. What are the
approaches that RBI and government are adopting to clean the banking system of
NPAs? Examine.

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#22. Should PDS System be


Replaced by DBT

Note4Students

Government is likely to scrap public distribution scheme (PDS) system and transfer money directly to the
accounts of poor beneficiaries after getting encouraging results from Haryana and Puducherry. This move has
been supported as well as criticized by many economists.

What is PDS?

Under the PDS, central public sector undertaking Food Corporation of India (FCI) sells food grains,
including wheat, rice and sugar, and kerosene through fair price shops in states and union territories .

Arguments in Favour of substituting PDS grain transfers with cash?

1.PDS Prone to corruption and leakage: Proponents of substituting PDS grain transfers with cash argue that
PDS is an inefficient mode of transfer of subsidies, prone to enormous leakages into the black market, and high
waste in costs of transferring subsidies in the form of food transfers. They argue that replacing food with direct
cash transfers would greatly reduce corruption and leakages.
2.Better targeting: It would enable the poor to access goods currently denied them by a PDS beset by
corruption.
3.More Choice for consumers: It would enable people to buy better quality food of their choice from the open
market and not be restricted to items sold in the PDS, which are often inferior in quality and limited in range.
4.Will Reduce wastage: Providing subsidies directly to the poor, it is further argued, would both bypass brokers
as well as reduce the waste and holding costs of storing grains in government silos. The amount of grain actually
required for Indias buffer stock needs could be held in better-quality warehouses, eliminating waste and rotting.
5.Will reduce fiscal deficit: Cash transfers would help reduce fiscal deficit by curbing expenditures earmarked
for the PDS that are siphoned off through corruption, as well as avoiding substantially higher costs of transferring
food rather than cash.

Arguments against Arguments in Favour of substituting PDS grain transfers with


cash?

1. Not leakage proof: it is problematic to assume that cash transfers would in themselves bring about drastic
reductions in corruption and leakages in welfare programmes, as there is nothing intrinsic to cash
transfers which renders them less vulnerable to leakages. Irregularities are empirically found to be high in

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existing cash transfer programmes. Cash transfers of old-age pensions are at least as notorious for
corruption and leakages as the PDS.
2. PDS performing better: Studies confirm that many states have been able to reform PDS and
significantly reduce leakages, as much as some states have reformed pension transfers. Clearly, the
difference between the corruption or probity of delivery of welfare programmes is not dependent on
whether cash or food is delivered, but on political and administrative will and capacities, and public
vigilance and organization.
3. Misuse of Cash: It is also possible for people to spend cash transfers not on more nutritious food, as
proponents suggest, but instead on non-food items, which would decrease the amount of household
money left for buying food. There are significant gendered differences of choice here. Research confirms
that culturally decisions relating to cash in households tend to be made by men, who may or may not
spend the money on food. Decisions relating to food are made by women in almost all cultures, and
therefore food rather than cash in a household is more likely to end up as food in a childs stomach.
4. Weak Banking Infrastructure: There are also worries about how genuinely inclusive of people in remote
rural regions is Indias banking system. Fair price shops exist in three of every four villages, and are
therefore generally accessible. According to one survey, average distance to the nearest bank branch is
between 6.5km to 10km. Distances would be much longer in remote regions, entailing high additional
costs of transport and time.
5. PDS a shield against Inflation: Another advantage of PDS over cash transfers from the perspective of
the poor is that PDS supplies rations at a constant price, irrespective of the fluctuations in market prices.
This therefore provides a shield against inflation, a benefit that cash transfers cannot match.
6. PDS ensures stable income for Farmers: it is a mistake to view PDS only as a means to transfer
subsidies to poor households. PDS costs need to be measured against its other goals as well. PDS
requires the government to procure food from farmers. The government builds up stocks of grains which
are also useful for price stabilization. Indeed, the guarantee of minimum support price purchase by the
government for wheat and rice is the most important instrument for the protection of farmers income in
India, and this would become unfeasible if the government could not offload a lot of this grain back
through the PDS.
7. Cash Transfer leading to exclusion: In areas where pilot programme has been launched There were
issues in transfers, as results show as high as 50 per cent of those entitled did not receive the full or part
cash transfer, especially due to issues in linking of bank accounts with Aadhaar and ration cards.

Way Forward:

1. Certainly, DBT is a novel idea and it could certainly reduce leakages and corruption of PDS system has
proven its record in LPG case where Government saved rs 14000 crore due to better targeting and
elimination of ghost beneficiaries
2. However, DBT in food subsidy is an idea which has many flaws as mentioned above. PDS system itself
is flawed and it needs to be eliminated.
3. Therefore, instead of cash transfer Government should give food coupons as this will solve the problem
of misuse of cash for buying non-food things and it will also give poor people choice to buy food from the
retailer of their choice. Food coupon amount should be periodically revised so that it takes into account
the current inflation. Thus what we require is a system which is somewhere in between the present
inefficient PDS system and the proposed DBT system.

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Question:

(Q) Should PDS scheme be replaced by Direct benefit transfer in Food Subsidy. Give
Pros and cons.
(Q.) Replacing PDS with cash transfers would, in effect, gradually erode and
eventually dismantle this obligation of the government, with an adverse impact on an
already precarious agriculture and farmer protection. Critically comment

#23. Twin balance sheet problem

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS3

The Economic Survey 2015-16 for the first time highlighted the weakening balance sheets of public sector banks and that of
some large corporate houses as one of the most critical short-term challenges for the Indian economy and an impediment to
economic recovery. Terming it as Twin balance sheet challenge, it is clear that the TBS problem is the major impediment to
private investment, and thereby to a full-fledged economic recovery. Undoubtedly, this makes it a hot topic for 2017 CSE Mains
in the context of Indian economic challenges that need immediate attention.

What is this Twin Balance Sheet Problem?

The twin balance sheet problem refers to the ballooning of debt on the books of corporate entities and the
estimated Rs10 trillion of stressed assets that have piled up at banks because of the inability of borrowers to
repay.
Thus, TBS is two-fold problems for Indian economy which deals with:
1. Overleveraged companies Debt accumulation on companies is very high and thus they are unable to
pay interest payments on loans. Note: 40% of corporate debt is owed by companies who are not earning
enough to pay back their interest payments. In technical terms, this means that they have an interest
coverage ratio less than 1.
2. Bad-loan-encumbered-banks Non Performing Assets (NPA) of the banks is 9% for the total banking
system of India. It is as high as 12.1% for Public Sector Banks contributing to four-fifths of the total NPAs.
As companies fail to pay back principal or interest, banks are also in trouble.

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Concerns around this TBS issue

Corporate Sector Banking Sector


Gross capital formation by the private sector has come More than four-fifths of the non-performing assets
down sharply over the past three years. The Gross Fixed are in the public sector banks, where the NPA ratio
Capital Formation has declined from 34% in 2011-12 to had reached almost 12 percent.
27% in 2016-17 which indicates stalled investments in the
economy.

The corporate investment is in the doldrums right now. At its current level, Indias NPA ratio is higher than
New data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy any other major emerging market (with the
shows that new project proposals in the June quarter exception of Russia), higher even than the peak
were at their lowest level in three years. levels seen in Korea during the East Asian crisis.

New data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy The capital adequacy ratio of six banks is likely to
shows that new project proposals in the June quarter fall below 9% in a severe macro stress scenario,
were at their lowest level in three years. dragging the system-level ratio down to 11.2% by
March 2018 from 13.3% as of March 2017.
40 percent of the corporate debt it monitored did not earn
enough to pay the interest obligations on their loans.
While corporate debts are rising, the economic survey The latest edition of the regulators Financial
noted that their profits are low and the situation is forcing Stability Report (FSR), released on Friday, said a
the firms to cut investment and preserve their cash flow. severe credit shock is likely to impact capital
adequacy and profitability of a significant number of
banks.
At least 13 of these banks accounting for
approximately 40 per cent of total loans are severely
stressed

What are the reasons for this issue?

1. The origins of the NPA problem dates back to the decision taken during the mid-2000s.
2. During this period for the first time in the countrys history, everything was going right: corporate
profitability was amongst the highest in the world, encouraging firms to hire labor aggressively, which in
turn sent wages soaring.
3. Firms made plans accordingly. They launched new projects worth lakhs of crores, particularly in
infrastructure-related areas such as power generation, steel, and telecoms, setting off the biggest
investment boom in the countrys history.
4. Within the span of four short years, the investment-GDP ratio had soared by 11 percentage points,
reaching over 38 percent by 2007-08.
5. This time saw extraordinary increase in the debt of non-financial corporations.

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Work in Progress- yet visible shortcomings!!

RBI has deployed several mechanisms to deal with the stressed asset problems, of these mechanisms that are
particularly notable. Success of schemes, however, has been limited. There are several reasons why progress
has been so limited:

Poor Loss recognition: The Asset Quality Review (AQR) was meant to force banks to recognize the true
state of their balance sheets but banks kept on ever greening loans.

Coordination Issues: The RBI has encouraged creditors to come together in Joint Lenders Forums, where
decisions can be taken by 75 percent of creditors by value and 60 percent by number. But reaching agreement in
these Forums has proved difficult, because different banks have different degrees of credit exposure, capital
cushions, and incentives.

Lack of Proper incentives: The S4A scheme recognizes that large debt reductions will be needed to restore
viability in many cases. But public sector bankers are reluctant to grant write-downs, because there are no
rewards for doing so. To address this problem, the Bank Board Bureau (BBB) has created an Oversight
Committee which can vet and certify write-down proposals.

Massive Capital Constraints: The government has promised under the Indradhanush scheme to infuse Rs
70,000 crores of capital into the public sector banks by 2018-19. But this is far from sufficient.

IBC in nascent stage: The new bankruptcy system is not yet fully in place, and even when it is, the new
procedures (and participants) will need to be tested first on smaller cases.

Severe viability issues: At this point, large write-offs will be required to restore viability to the large IC1
companies (those companies whose earnings do not even cover their interest obligations).

Lack of teeth in private Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs)


Many ARCs have been created, but they have solved only a small portion of the problem, buying up only about 5
percent of total NPAs. The problem is that ARCs have found it difficult to recover much from the debtors. Thus
they have only been able to offer low prices to banks, prices which banks have found it difficult to accept.

Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) scheme


Under this creditors could take over firms that were unable to pay and sell them to new owners. Only those
projects that have started commercial production can take advantage of this scheme

Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A)


Under this, creditors could provide firms with debt reductions up to 50 percent in order to restore their financial
viability. Unlike CDR, S4A does not allow the banks to offer any moratorium on debt repayment; they are also not
allowed to extend the repayment schedule or reduce the interest rate.

Way forward:

1. TBS problem can be resolved by taking a four step path that involves recognition, recapitalization,
resolution and reform.
2. First, there needs to be a readiness to confront the losses that have already occurred in the banking
system, and accept the political consequences of dealing with the problem.
3. Second, the PARA needs to follow commercial rather than political principles. To achieve this, it would
need to be an independent agency, staffed by banking professionals. It would also need a clear mandate
of maximizing recoveries within a specified, reasonably short time period.

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4. The third issue is pricing. If loans are transferred at inflated prices, banks would be transferring losses to
the Rehabilitation Agency. As a result, private sector banks could not be allowed to participate and then
co-ordination issues would remain while private capital would not want to invest in the Agency, since
PARA would make losses.
5. A rekindled optimism on structural reforms in the Indian economy, along with implementation of GST and
diligent implementation of Bankruptcy Code will play supporting pillars.

Conclusion:

The twin balance sheet problem is a serious drag on credit growth. The setting up of a centrally-assisted
rehabilitation agency will help in taking difficult decisions which the public sector banks are unable to take. The
past mechanisms of resolving this problem in the form of decentralized approach have failed. There is no point of
delaying this problem because the delay is very costly for the economy as impaired banks are scaling back their
credit while the stressed companies are cutting their investments. Time is opportune to create a centralized
agency called Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency (PARA) akin to that of East Asia adopted during their
crises period. The centralized agency in the form of PARA would allow debt problems to be worked out quickly
as highlighted in this years Economic Survey.

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International Relations

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#1. Effect of US president Trump on


India

Note4Students

Political inclination of US president often affects the diplomatic policies. When Mr .Trump elected as US
president, there was a wide spread scepticism about trumps presidency in India. So discussion about effect of
Trump presidency is very much important for this year mains.

Introduction

1. India-US partnership has been one of the few areas that have been non-controversial and a bright spot
for the USA on the foreign policy front in recent years.
2. India-US relations enjoy bipartisan support in the US Congress and across the board among the US
citizens.
3. India's past experiences with US presidents show that a Republican president is generally better for us
than a Democrat one. But in recent history, Indo-US relations have broadly stuck to a steady path.
4. Donald Trump has hence inherited a vigorous and vibrant relationship between India and the USA. It is
expected that Trump will do all that is necessary to take the bilateral partnership to newer heights.

Analysis

Recent developments

1. H1B: Trump, underlining his America First policy, signed an order last week that he said will reform the
visa program for foreign technical workers. H1B visas admit 65,000 workers and another 20,000
graduate student workers each year. Most of the visas are awarded to outsourcing firms. India is affected
by the order given that its IT companies bring workers on H1B visas. Many Indians are returning home,
thanks to Trumps policy.
2. China: With Trump going back on his questioning of One China policy and requiring Beijings help to rein
in a recalcitrant North Korea, it seems Trump will look to establish a working relation with China. This
could mean bad news for India which had been eyeing the possibility of Trump employing a more
muscular approach vis-a-vis Beijing.
3. Afghanistan: The US priority in Afghanistan seems to be to fight the IS while India would like the Trump
administration to go after the rebel Taliban, which is believed to have the support of Pakistan and is intent
on destabilising the Ashraf Ghani government.
4. US tax cuts could mean bad news for Make in India in case US businesses find corporate tax rates
more attractive at home.

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5. Trump administration also supported India's membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. "The United
States welcomed India's application to join the NSG and it continues to re-affirm that India is ready for the
membership.

Challenges and Future prospects

1. India and the US are natural partners on a range of political, economic and security issues and the
two countries have a mutual desire for global stability, the Trump administration said in a report submitted
in the US Congress.
2. Trump has mostly targeted China and Mexico for taking away American manufacturing jobs and blamed
them for shutdown of industries. Only on a few occasions has he criticised the off-shoring of software and
IT jobs to India. Indian companies In the near future, the US government will be persuaded by its
industry and will realise that the competitiveness of the US industry is critically dependent on the
specialised and technically sophisticated work performed by Indian software engineers etc.
3. Outlining a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, Trump said Washington could no longer be silent
about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations. This position will help India in bolstering her
position against terrorism in various multi-lateral platforms.
4. Trump also keen into active Indian support and help for restructuring Afghanistan, especially in the area
of economic assistance and development. This provides a greater opportunity for India.

5. As part of Strategic Energy Partnership, the US is going to export natural gas at a suitable price thats
acceptable to President Trump and clean coal. President Trump wants India to conclude the contractual
agreements between Westinghouse Electric Company and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India for six
nuclear reactors.
6. India US coordinated development of Afghanistan will generate more influence on Afghanistan.
7. Any negative development between the US and Iran is not good for India.
8. India has long eyed the Chabahar port as its gateway to Central Asia and Afghanistan, areas it cannot
reach by land without passing through Pakistan, its strategic adversary.
9. But the nuclear-related sanctions imposed by the Obama administration against Iran included "secondary
sanctions" - which meant that any company, government or individual that did business with the
sanctioned entities could also face American sanctions.
10. That fear kept India away from investing in Chabahar till the nuclear deal Tehran struck with the five
permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and the European Union in October 2015,
under which the secondary sanctions were lifted.
11. But the sanctions slapped by the Trump administration, after twin Iranian ballistic missile tests, have
forced the foreign office into a quandary: meeting India's commitments could risk the future of its
investments in Iran.
12. Since taking office, Trump has moved to gut Obama's signature climate change regulations, signed
executive orders to aid the fossil fuel industry and installed a critic of the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) as its head.
13. Trump criticized India on Paris climate deal. Trump took a position that India signed Paris climate deal
for availing billions and billions and billions of dollars from developed nations.
14. India should up its diplomatic and policy game in response. Part of this strategy can be to work with
Japan, Europe or even new strategic partners like the United Arab Emirates on accelerating Indias own
transition to renewable energy at an even more aggressive pace than today. It also needs to give more
thought to making the International Solar Alliance more tangible. New Delhis stance has traditionally
been to be a responsible climate player by focusing on its own domestic energy transition. Its
accomplishments on that front are praiseworthy. But Trumps action means it should contemplate a more

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global role.

Conclusion

Ministry of external affairs remarked that, the relationship between India and the US since Trump took charge
were growing with the same speed as was the case when Barack Obama was President. India should employ
its diplomatic efforts to resolve the minor issues.

Questions
1. India USA relationship is in a steady path irrespective of presidency. Analyse
2. Trump administration is expecting more engaging role of India in regional
issues. Comment

#2. Should India Fight For


membership of NSG

Note4Students:

Recent Indian diplomatic effort to get support from various countries. So this portion is important.

Introduction:

What is NSG?

1. The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to
the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of Guidelines for nuclear
exports and nuclear-related exports.
2. One of the critical elements for inclusion into the NSG is that the member countries need to signatories of
the NPT, a proposal which India has categorically disagreed.
3. However considering Indias history of nuclear non-proliferation, the US and subsequently the NSG have
shown some recognition and granted India with the waiver of dealing with other countries for nuclear
technology.

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Recent Developments

1. Present Indian government, embarked to pursue the ambitious goal of NSG membership aggressively.
2. Prime minister visited countries like USA,Netherlands, Mexico, and Portugal to secure the support from
these countries.
3. US administration under Obama and Donald trump reiterated their support for Indian entry to the NSG.
Russia also extended its support.
4. NSG takes decision based on consensus of the member countries. So it is important to secure the
support of each and every member country.
5. China is against the granting membership. Insisted on a criteria-based approach for the non-NPT
(Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) signatory countries.
6. China has also maintained that for non-NPT members some definite criteria should be evolved rather
than granting country specific waivers. At other times, it has stated that Pakistan also has similar
credentials to join the NSG; and that if India is admitted; Pakistan should also be admitted
simultaneously.
7. Some other countries, including Turkey, Switzerland, Mexico and New Zealand, were among those which
have stressed on the criteria-based approach, without opposing Indias application outright.

Analysis

Arguments supporting Indian effort to secure NSG membership

1. Expansion of power generation: India seeks to significantly expand its nuclear power generation and
also enter the export market in the coming years.
2. Joining the NSG will give India better access to low-cost, clean nuclear energy -- important for its
economic growth. Nuclear power is one way India, the third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, could
cut its emissions and reduce air pollution from coal-fired power plants.
3. Although the 2008 NSG waiver does provide significant possibilities for India to engage in civilian nuclear
trade with other countries
4. More certainty in nuclear regime: Membership of the NSG will provide greater certainty and a legal
foundation for India's nuclear regime and thus greater confidence for those countries investing billions of
dollars to set up ambitious nuclear power projects in India.
5. International stature: As Indias international political, economic, military and strategic profile enlarged,
India would like to move into the category of international rule-creating nations rather than stay in the
ranks of rule-adhering nations.
6. Joining the NSG is chiefly a matter of pride and desire to be taken seriously by some of the world's most
powerful nations. Since prompting international technology sanctions and limits on exports by conducting
nuclear tests in 1998, India has been eager to gain legitimacy as a nuclear power.
7. Pakistan angle: If India gets the membership, India can block Pakistan to get NSG membership. This is
remunerative with respect to our security angle.
8. Future prospects: NSG membership would put India on a firmer footing to propose the idea of
plutonium trade for its thorium programme that has been waiting in the wings. An early adoption of
thorium technology would give India enormous energy independence and security.

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Arguments against Indian efforts to secure NSG membership

1. These are the bigger issues in Indias massive expansion of its nuclear capacity, not NSG
membership. Nor is NSG likely to matter materially in terms of uranium supply. India has hammered out
agreements with Canada (April 2013) and Australia (November 2014), and other countries such as
Kazakhstan have been supplying too.
2. Indian impeccable track record has facilitated the civil nuclear deal with Japan. India was the first
non NPT country with which japan signed a nuclear deal.
3. India has access to technology, because of the waiver granted in 2008. No foreign nuclear reactor
supplier is waiting for India to get a NSG membership.
4. NSG is not a body with very firm legal standing for example even IAEA refers to NSG as certain
members states
5. Its credibility as a governance body is further reduced by the fact that it had not be able to stop even its
member country China from non-proliferating.
6. no hindrance for the expansion of Indias nuclear power programme The waiver given to India in
2008 allows for trade in civilian nuclear power, import of nuclear power reactors and fuel under
International Atomic Energy (IAEA) safeguards. And, there is no hindrance for the expansion of Indias
nuclear power programme
7. When the NSG members, including China, realise that India has a huge trade potential, they will
automatically come around someday, and hence there is no point in India approaching them.
8. Sustainability High grade nuclear fuel may not last more than one decade. There is overwhelming
evidence to show that advanced countries moving from the nuclear energy. A Global sentiment is that the
renewable energy is the solution for the energy crisis. (For example, Switzerland is planning to shut down
its nuclear power plants in phased manner).
9. Energy security So future of our energy security lies in the development of more efficient green energy
technology.

Way forward

1. India should convince China that, its interest in NSG membership is not guided by any political or
strategic considerations but only to facilitate the expansion of its clean and green nuclear energy
programme.
2. India to continue with a low-key building of partnership with other NSG members.
3. Meanwhile, India should focus on developing the efficient green energy technologies to meet the massive
energy requirement.
4. Our efforts for the membership should be consistent with our domestic requirements rather than mere
rhetoric sentiments.

Questions
Q.) NSG membership is essential for the Indian energy security prospects. Analyse
Q.) India should aggressively pursue the NSG membership. That Is essential for the
indian nuclear programmes,. Critically comment

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#3. BBIN Agreement

Note4Students

BBIN is part of India's 'Look East Policy'. This initiative can also solve India's longstanding problem of locational
disadvantage and poor connectivity of its north-eastern states. Recently Bhutan upper house refused to ratify the
agreement by citing various reasons. BBIN MVA can change the entire regional trade narrative. India can extend
its trade routes with well-connected ASEAN market.

Introduction
1. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) signed a Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation of
Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic.
2. Aside from facilitating the cross-border movement of passengers and goods, the agreement is
expected to promote safe, economical efficient and environmentally sound road transport in the
sub-region
3. It will help to create an institutional mechanism for regional integration.
4. It may increase trade within the South Asia region by nearly 60% and trade by the region with outside
partners by more than 30% over current levels.
5. But nearly two years after ministers from Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal signed the BBIN MVA in
Thimphu; the Bhutanese government withdrew from the agreement followed Bhutans domestic
resistance to ratify the agreement.

Analysis

Why BBIN is needed.


1. Connectivity: Although countries of South Asia are tied by shared history and culture, they are still not
well connected with each other and integration remains one of the poorest in the world.
2. Economic development: Sub regional initiative is envisioned to improve economic cooperation and
connectivity among these four South Asian countries.
3. Low trade: In spite of having an overarching regional free trade agreement in the form of the South
Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) signed in 2004, and various other bilateral and regional trade
agreements forged since then, intra-regional trade among South Asian countries accounts for only about
five percent of their total trade.

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4. Regional integration: Low level of regional integration in South Asia is manifested by poor intra-regional
investment, and even poorer intra-regional factor movements.
5. The lack of regional integration hurts the region's smaller countries more. Countries such as Nepal is
least developed, access to regional and international markets is crucial for their development.
6. Their very lack of economic and physical connectivity leaves them with little opportunity to create
productive ties with the rest of the world, rendering them highly disadvantaged in a global economy
where such relations help achieve development goals.
7. New literature on trade within South Asia indicates that trade facilitation issues have emerged as key
issues blocking the rapid expansion of intra-regional trade.
8. Hurdles in the existing mechanism :Various travel restrictions at the border Land Customs Stations
(LCSs), delays due to transhipment issues, poor and sometimes non-existent infrastructure at some
LCSs, and other customs documentation and clearance-related problems are significantly adding up to
the time and financial costs of conducting trade among these nations. In this context, the BBIN MVA is a
welcome step.

Advantages of BBIN

1. Seamless connectivity: The agreement will allow vehicles to enter each other's territory and eliminate
the need for transhipment of goods from one country's truck to another at the border, thereby eliminating
a time-consuming and costly process. This is not only going to reduce trade costs between nations and
facilitate smoother transactions and boost trade, but it will also possibly reduce some of the informal
trade that happens among these countries.
2. Cargo movement: It will promote support for containerised movement of cargo. Containerisation of trade
has lowered the cost of trade across the world significantly and it is likely that high trade costs among
South Asian countries will be drastically reduced when containerisation gains more popularity.
3. One of the biggest advantages of containerised trade is that it is multi-modal and therefore, an integrated
and seamless road and rail network will further facilitate containerisation in South Asia and help reduce
trade costs.
4. Development of north eastern region: The north-eastern region of India will also benefit significantly
from the BBIN MVA and rail network programmes. One of the major challenges faced by India's
Northeast has been poor connectivity. The BBIN agreements will reduce distance between the north-
eastern states and the Kolkata port by about a thousand kilometres, as well as allow these states to
access the Chittagong port in Bangladesh. This has the potential to unlock significant business
opportunities in India's northeast.
5. A study by the ADB has proposed 10 regional road networks as South Asian Corridors, out of which
seven have been identified in the BBIN region. These economic corridors will allow landlocked trading
centres of Nepal and Bhutan to gain access to ports in India and Bangladesh. For example, Tripura can
get access to Bangladesh's Ashugunjport; Chittagong and Mongla ports can be accessed from Kolkata
and the north-eastern state.
6. Cultural contact: The BBIN initiative also promises to facilitate the movement of people across borders.
This has huge implications for both business and trade as it can lead to improved people-to-people
contact, encourage business travel and most importantly can give a huge boost to trade in various
services.
7. Development of trade related services: It is also expected that increased economic and trade integration
among these countries will generate demand for supporting services such as logistics, shipping, banking
and finance and express delivery. An integrated market will also boost e-commerce services in the region

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8. BBIN MVA can be seen as a first step towards a broader integration process. The locational advantage
of South Asia implies that it can serve as a gateway for connecting to Southeast and East Asia. The
BBIN MVA network has created the first step of this broader integration process.
9. Improved connectivity will imply much tighter economic integration between India and other BBIN
countries with ASEAN.

Challenges

1. Attitude of Bhutan: Having unsuccessfully tried to ratify the proposal for more than a year, Bhutan finally
declared that it was unable to proceed with the ratification process for now.
2. The Bhutanese fear that the implementation of the deal would lead to an influx of vehicles from other
countries impacting its own transporters and degradation of environment.
3. Non-binding agreement: Being a non-binding agreement, the implementation of BBIN MVA may follow
a best endeavour approach.
4. Insufficient infrastructure: A surge in traffic may cause damage to the existing infrastructure in the sub
region, since it is not equipped to handle the additional load.
5. Managing cross border corridors is another challenge.
6. Visa regime: A liberalised visa regime and efforts to improve synergy between markets in different
countries (such as the pact to bring in sync India and Bangladeshs product standardisation systems
signed during the recent prime ministerial visit to Dhaka) are just some of the other steps that will have to
be taken.
7. Technical challenges: Many border crossing points do not have integrated check posts. Poor road
conditions, the introduction of double-locking system on Nepalese trucks passing through Indian
Territory, technical issues related to customs and tariffs, etc., are pose major challenges in this regard.
8. Synergy between governments: Coordination between inter-ministerial departments as well as
between central and state agencies, especially in India, has been a major problem in implementing
agreements.

Conclusion

1. The BBIN initiative fits well with the new wave of developing massive transnational road and rail
connectivity networks. All these will facilitate intra- and inter-regional trade in goods and services.
2. It also integrates well with India's 'Look East Policy'. This initiative can also solve India's longstanding
problem of locational disadvantage and poor connectivity of its north-eastern states.
3. But India needs to utilize every possible platform to generate a favourable narrative for BBIN MVA among
Bhutan political class as well as people of Bhutan.

Questions
BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement will help in regional integration. Analyse
Though BBIN MVA offers a greater regional integration, it has large number of
hurdles to overcome. Comment
BBIN MVA will reduce developmental inequalities of North eastern India ,critically
analyse

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#4. BIMSTEC as counter to SAARC

Note to students

Strained India Pakistan relationship reduced the importance of SAARC. Attitude of Pakistan has not been
encouraging as it was stalling many agreements. In this scenario, India has to find an alternative forum to
achieve its regional development goals and enhanced trade with more connected ASEAN market.

Introduction

SAARC

1. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established with the signing of
the SAARC Charter in Dhaka on 8 December 1985.
2. The Secretariat of the Association was set up in Kathmandu on 17 January 1987.
3. The objectives of the Association as outlined in the SAARC Charter are: to promote the welfare of the
peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life; to accelerate economic growth, social
progress and cultural d
4. evelopment in the region and to provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realize their
full potentials; to promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among the countries of south Asia.

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BIMSTEC

1. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi


Multi-Sectoral
Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)(BIMSTEC is
a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the lit
littoral
toral and adjacent areas of the
Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. This sub
sub-regional
regional organization came into being on
6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
2. The regional group constitutes a bridge between South and South East Asia and nd represents a
reinforcement of relations among these countries.
3. BIMSTEC has also established a platform for intraintra-regional
regional cooperation between SAARC and
ASEAN members. The he BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around
22% of the global population with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7 trillion
economy. In the last five years, BIMSTEC Member States have been able to sustain an average
6.5% economic growth trajectory despite global financial meltdown
meltdown.

Analysis

Recent developments
1. Indian protest: India expressed inability to participate in the Islamabad SAARC summit due to
prevailing circumstances and stepped up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan after the September 18
attack on the military base in Uri.
2. Bangladesh,
sh, Bhutan and Afghanistan followed Indias decision to stay away from the November summit
to be held in Islamabad.
3. India and other countries cited cross
cross-border terrorist attacks in the region as a reason for boycotting
the summit.
4. Outreach to BIMSTECH During uring the 8 BRICS summit, One of the biggest highlights among them was
th

the BRICS-BIMSTEC
BIMSTEC Outreach Summit, where the BRICS leaders met the heads of government of the
BIMSTEC countries.
5. India chose BIMSTEC over any other regional grouping is indicative of the importance New Delhi
attaches to the Bay of Bengal region.
6. The recent move to club BIMSTEC Division with SAARC in the external affairs ministry indicates the
focus on strengthening BIMSTEC amid Pakistan's continued intransigence in blocking key anti-terror
anti and
connectivity initiatives under the SAARC.

Achievements of Saarc

1. Over the last 25 years, despite extremely difficult political circumstances, SAARC has managed to create
situations, institutions and forums where Heads of State have had to shake each others hands and go
into talks together.

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2. SAARC has tackled important topics for the region such as a social charter, development agreements
and even the sensitive subject of fighting terrorism.
3. The food and development banks, Agreement on Transportation, Energy are important steps in
the right direction.
4. Exchanges in the areas of civil society and science have become one of the pillars of South Asian
integration efforts.

SAARC Failures

1. The intra-regional trade of SAARC amounted to $40.5 billion in 2011, which constitutes just 5% of
member countries trade. The number pales into insignificance when compared with the volume of
trilateral trade between member-countries of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, (the
US, Canada and Mexico) which hit $1 trillion in 2011.
2. No economic integration: while different regions of the world have progressed even to monetary union,
SAARC has failed to even come up with a free trade agreement.
3. Attitude of Pakistan has been blocking connectivity initiatives such as SAARC Motor Vehicles
Agreement and SAARC Railways Agreement, and refusing to cooperate on combating cross-border
terrorism

Reasons for failure

1. Conflict between India and Pakistan: Rivalry between India and Pakistan, the two largest members of
SAARC, has hovered hugely on SAARC. The rivalry continues to restrain SAARC from functioning as a
sub-regional organization.
2. Indian Foreign Policy actions 1971 war, Indo-Sri Lanka Accord continue to haunt the neighbouring
countries. India has not forcefully articulated South Asian Vision; even the progressive ideas like the
Gujral Doctrine have not been implemented on ground.
3. Unresolved Border and Maritime Issues The region is still beset with many unresolved border and
maritime issues. These unresolved borders have led to problems of Terrorism, Refugee Crisis,
Smuggling, Narco-Trade. The unresolved issues continue to mar cooperative relations.
4. Failure in resolving bilateral issues:SAARC Charter Article X(2) of the SAARC Charter mandates that
decisions, at all levels in SAARC, are only of multilateral issues, and only those issues are for inclusion in
the agenda in a SAARC summit meeting on the basis of unanimity. The SAARC platform thus cannot be
used to resolve bilateral issues; this has undermined the scope and potential of SAARC

Why Bimstec Is Important

1. Core policy goal - Delhi needs to get Islamabad-Rawalpindi to drop its support for terror groups who
conduct strikes and attacks on Indian installations as well as civilian lives
2. For India, making BIMSTEC work is important as for years; it has blamed Pakistan for holding back
SAARC. As the biggest member of BIMSTEC, its up to India to take all members with it and show
tangible results.
3. BIMSTEC more naturally lends itself to regional integrationphysical connectivity as well as
economic cooperationthan SAARC which is dominated by India and Pakistan and hamstrung by
tensions between the two. Therefore, BIMSTEC seems an attractive alternative to SAARC.

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4. Economic stability: In the last five years, BIMSTEC member states have been able to sustain an
average 6.5 percent economic growth rate despite the global financial slowdown.
5. Natural resources: The BIMSTEC region has a huge amount of untapped natural, water, and human
resources, from hydropower potential in the Himalayan basin to hydrocarbons in the Bay of Bengal.
6. Connectivity: BIMSTEC has at last three major projects that, when finished, could transform the
movement of goods and vehicles through the countries in the grouping.
7. One is the Kaladan Multimodal project that seeks to link India and Myanmar. Another is the Asian
Trilateral Highway connecting India and Thailand through Myanmar. The highway will run from Moreh in
Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar and represents a significant step in establishing
connectivity between India and Southeast Asian countries.
8. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) have signed a pact for the movement of goods and
vehicles among them.
9. With five countries that also belong to SAARC and two that belong to ASEAN, BIMSTEC can serve
as the bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia. With the lifting of sanctions on Myanmar and a
democratic government at its helm, the country can particularly play this bridging role.
10. BIMSTEC also lends itself to sub-regional economic cooperationsomething proposed by India and
other member countries of SAARC.

Conclusion

1. BIMSTEC indeed has huge potential to emerge as a grouping that can accelerate the process of regional
integration, security cooperation, and inclusive growth in this region.
2. For India in particular, BIMSTEC can be a pivot to the Act East Policy. Through enhanced cross-border
connectivity and interlinkages, Indias northeast region can take centre stage as the gateway to South
East Asia.
3. India as the biggest country in the BIMSTEC is giving special attention to the grouping in the 20th year of
its creation. The grouping, which does not include Pakistan, could serve as an alternative to the
SAARC to give countries in South Asia a new direction

Q.) A strong BIMSTEC will ensure the regional development of India in particular
south east Asia in general. Analyse
Failure of saarc can be offset by a strong bimstec, critically comment

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#5. Rohingya Issue

Note4students

Rohingya crisis needs to understand from the security and humanitarian angle. Rohingya crisis should be
addressed and find a long standing sustainable solution. This crisis has its implications in India-Bangladesh,
India- Myanmar relationship. So this article is an important one.

Introduction

Who is Rohingya?

1. Rohingya Muslims comprise one million out of the 53 million people that live in Myanmar, forming the
worlds largest stateless population in a single country.
2. Universally reviled by the countrys Buddhist majority, they have been oppressed by the government
since the late 1970s when the government launched a campaign to identify illegal immigrants.
3. Serious abuses were committed, forcing as many as 250,000 Rohingya refugees to flee to Bangladesh.
4. The 1982 Citizenship Law in former Burma made the Rohingyas stateless people.
5. They have often been called the most persecuted minority in the world.
6. The 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims squeezed precariously into the north-west state of Rakhine, in mainly
Buddhist Burma, bordering majority Muslim Bangladesh, are stateless and unwanted.

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Analysis

Why No Citizenship Is Granted

1. To qualify for citizenship,


2. Rohingya applicants had to renounce their identity
3. And accept being labelled as Bengalis on all official documents.
4. They also had to prove that they could trace the presence of their family in Rakhine back three
generations, something which is extremely difficult as many Rohingya lack documents or had lost them
in 2012.

Why This Rohingya Crisis Is Happening

1. Since World War Two they have been treated increasingly by Burmese authorities as illegal,
interloping Bengalis, facing apartheid-like conditions that deny them free movement or state education
while government forces intermittently drive out and slaughter them
2. The United Nations has reported that the army may have committed ethnic cleansing
3. The latest military crackdown, which began on August 25, caused almost 90,000 Rohingyas to
flee under fire to squalid, overflowing relief camps across the Bangladeshi border in just two
weeks.
4. Officially close to 400 people had died by early September, but human rights activists claim to
have confirmation of at least 1,000 deaths and believe the figure is much higher.
5. The death toll will inevitably rise after Burma, also known as Myanmar, blocked UN agencies from
delivering vital food, water and medicine supplies to 250,000 Rakhine residents desperately in need
6. The army clearing operations which sparked the mass exodus of civilians in both October 2016
and in August 2017, were launched after insurgents known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army
(ARSA) attacked several paramilitary check posts.
7. Rohingya activists claim the insurgents are mainly young men who have been pushed to breaking
point by relentless oppression.
8. A report released in early September by the Burma Human Rights Network documents the rise of
systematic abuses against Burmese Muslims since 2012, including the creation of Muslim-free zones,
denial of ID cards, and the banning of Islamic holidays.
9. The oppression has been mirrored by an upsurge of ultra-nationalist Buddhist groups who
encourage an anti-Muslim rhetoric

Security Implications

1. The Rohingya issue and its spill over impact on Myanmar`s western peripheral region and security
implications figured in the discussions is not clear.
2. In all probability, the import of the ferment caused by the Rohingya migration, efforts of radical Islamists
to influence some of the Rohingya youth, and the Pakistan ISIs attempts to capitalise on the situation
and promote anti-India activities would not have been overlooked.
3. Rising anger in the Muslim world about the plight of the Rohingya has compounded fears of
home-grown militancy as well as support from international jihadists.
4. Al Qaedas offshoot in Yemen has already called for retaliatory attacks against Myanmar
5. The security aspect of the Rohingya issue has largely been overlooked.

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6. Illegal movement of people, combined with human trafficking and cross-border migration, can weaken
Myanmars relations with its neighbour Bangladesh and its ASEAN partners.
7. It may, in effect, undermine ASEANs efforts towards integration by spoiling mutual trust and confidence
in each other.
8. That, in turn, would engender a stable security environment in Myanmar`s western region, and in the
peripheral areas adjoining Bangladesh and India

Affected Countries

1. Bangladesh and India to the west as well as Indonesia, Malaysia and even Thailand to the east of
Myanmar have been affected by the Rohingya refugee issue in recent years.
2. In India, there are nearly 40,000 Rohingya refugees, with 16,500 registered with the office of the
United Nations Human Rights Commissioner.
3. Interestingly, they are spread over several cities and states: Jammu, New Delhi, Jaipur and some
places in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and the north-east.
4. Some Rohingya refugees have in fact been residing for more than ten years.
5. This only indicates the protracted nature of the crisis affecting the Rohingyas.
6. While some of the Rohingyas are psychologically and socially at ease in India`s accommodative milieu,
there are a few places in the country where politically instigated attempts are being made to re-locate
them.

UN efforts

1. The 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) had passed a Resolution on 24
March 2017.
2. Adopted by a 34 to 22 majority, the Resolution constituted a three-member Commission of eminent
persons in the realm of international law and human rights
3. The Commission was tasked to undertake a Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) to Rakhine province (as well as
areas inhabited by other ethnic minorities) and report back to the UNHRC by March 2018
4. Myanmar State Councillor Aung San Su Kyi criticized the appointment of the FFM and Naypyitaw has
hinted that the members of the commission would be denied visas.

Opinion of India

1. The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, stated that India needs to deport those Rohingyas who are
illegally staying in India.
2. The Supreme Court of India, hearing a plea by two Rohingya refugees, has instructed the government to
inform it about the detailed plans with regard to the deportation of Rohingya refugees
3. Indias tough stand on deporting Rohingyas back to Rakhine State in the midst of the ongoing violence
has evoked criticism from national and international human rights activists.
4. The India-Myanmar Joint Statement, released when Prime Minister Modi visited Nay Pyi Taw, noted that
the situation in Rakhine State has a developmental as well as a security dimension.15 India will help
Myanmar under the Rakhine State Development Programme and both sides are expected to finalise the
implementation plan of this programme in the coming months.

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5. It will cover infrastructure development and socio-economic projects, especially in the areas of education,
health, agriculture, agro-processing, community development, construction of roads and bridges,
protection of environment and so on.
6. The Joint Statement, however, has no specific mention about the recent clashes between the Rohingya
Muslims and Rakhine Buddhists or exodus of the Rohingyas from Myanmar or Indias plan about
deportation of some 40,000 Rohingya refugees who are reportedly staying in India.
7. Indias move to dissociate itself from the Bali Declaration adopted at the World Parliamentary Forum on
Sustainable Development in Indonesia, and which called on all parties to contribute to the restoration of
stability and security ... respect human rights of all people in Rakhine State regardless of their faith and
ethnicity, as well as facilitate safe access for humanitarian assistance, puts into question its respect for
human rights and the treatment of minorities.
8. It weakens Indias moral authority to speak for minorities in other parts of its neighbourhood. Interestingly
Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka joined the declaration.

Way forward

Need for enhanced Indian diplomatic efforts

1. The success of India's diplomacy will lie in the extent to which it can induce Naypyitaw to take a long view
in the interests of its own political stability, internal security and social harmony.
2. If such a process can be initiated with the help of Indian diplomacy, the Rohingyas would be able to come
out of the genocidal situation in which they find themselves at present.
3. India has a stake in the security conditions in upper western Myanmar adjoining the Naga self-
administered zone where the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim operates.
4. A modicum of understanding prevails between New Delhi and Naypyitaw with a view to ensuring that the
internal security environment in India`s north-eastern states is not jeopardised by the activities of the
Khaplang group in Myanmar.
5. New Delhi should strive for a similar approach vis--vis Rakhine keeping in view the larger implications of
the Rohingya issue.

Q.)Rohingya crisis is not a mere internal matter of Myanmar Critically analyse the
statement

Source
IDSA WEBSITE
THE HINDU

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#6. India Israel Relations

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS2

The fact that an Indian Prime Minister is making a visit for the first time in 25 years since we established full
diplomatic ties is significant and termed historic in itself. The focus of the visit signifies 25th anniversary of
diplomatic ties has opened a new chapter in the Indo-Israel bonhomie. At some stages the relationship has gone
faster, sometimes not so fast, but its been a steady upward trend. The experts calling it a watershed moment
which could go beyond the current transactional relationship makes it a hot topic for 2017 CSE Mains in the
context of global geo politics and Indias Act West foreign policy.

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Advantage Israel

1. Israel, led by strong growth of private consumption, low inflation, rising labor force participation, a positive
investors climate because of low interest rates, natural gas finds and responsible fiscal policies, has a lot
to offer.
2. A modern economy like Israel goes well with our own flagship programmes like Make in India. Indian
companies with their engineering and scale and Israeli companies with their innovation and technology
can together stimulate our domestic manufacturing sector, particularly in defense.
3. Israel, at the same time, is considered as the most advanced country in SW Asia and the Middle
East in economic and industrial development. It is a developed country having a highly skilled and
educated workforce. So, developing relations between the two is important.
4. Israel has become one of the foremost technology superpowers in areas such as rainwater harvesting,
use of oceanic water and using that for irrigation in the most dry land.
5. Israel has transitioned from a water-deficit state to a water-surplus state, and has pioneered the water
desalination technique, something thats absolutely significant in the era of climate change, rapid loss of
fresh water bodies, and rise in seawater levels.
6. Israel achieved self -sufficiency in food production despite having 50% barren Land. Its 3.7% of
workforce produces 97% of its own food. India could well follow its path by using techniques from it like
Drip Irrigation, Post Harvest technology , Food Tissue culture , Plastic Culture , Vertical gardens etc

Background of Indo- Israel relations:

1. Since India established full diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992, relations between the two countries have
grown at an astonishing pace, covering a wide range of issues from defense and homeland security, to
agriculture and water management, and now education and even outer space.
2. The formal acknowledgement of the relationship at the highest levels leaving behind hesitations
of history and Indias de-hyphenation of its Israel and Palestine policies for the first time (and
taking the related course-correction measures such as rethinking Indias voting choices on anti-Israel
resolutions at the UN and dropping the demand for East Jerusalem as capital of a future Palestinian
state), is the turning point in the relations of both countries going forward.

Key areas of Camaraderie, cooperation and coordination!

Hinged on defense, intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism on one side and cooperation in water harvesting and
agriculture on the other, there are a number of avenues in which India-Israel ties would be key to the emerging
global order.

1. Economic Engagement: Israel, led by strong growth of private consumption, low inflation, rising labor
force participation, a positive investors climate because of low interest rates, natural gas finds and
responsible fiscal policies, has a lot to offer. Policy initiatives on ease of doing business and the opening
of defense, construction and pharma sectors have added to Indias attractiveness as an investment
destination.
2. Defense collaboration: The India-Israel equation in defense has acquired strategic dimensions but
there is need and opportunity to make it more broad-based through production and manufacturing
partnerships. Israeli defense industries are well inclined towards joint ventures to give a boost to the
Make in India campaign.

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3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Culture: Israel embodies a culture of entrepreneurship highlighted


by power of innovation, global leadership in R&D spending and venture capital investment. A joint
innovation and research and development fund can work wonders.
4. A country that has no automotive industry for example, and yet they are the R&D centre for autonomous
cars (self-driving) in the world.
5. Agricultural Partnership and Water Conservation: Arid land technology, biotechnology and a joint
action plan to research India specific and export-oriented seeds deserve attention. Israel has tackled its
rain deficiency by developing technology solutions for waste water management, purification,
desalination techniques and water reuse in agriculture and industry. The Israeli dairy industry with its
proven know-how and design, technology and genetic material can revolutionize the dairy industry in
India.
6. Medical and Pharma sector cooperation: Medical technologies and devices could be the next growth
areas for collaboration.
7. Diaspora potential: Another important factor in bilateral ties will be the Indian diaspora. Most Jewish
Indians, about 80,000, have all moved here, and there are just about 4,000-5,000 left in India.
8. Academia-Industry- government Connect: We have to learn from their universities, how they have
technology transfer companies based right on their campuses, who help convert theory into useful
products in a very short period of time.
9. Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Sharing: India and Israel are boosting up the counter-terrorism
cooperation and sharing real-time intelligence on issues crucial to national security.
10. Military and Strategic Ties: Israel is the second-largest source of defense equipment for India, after
Russia. Arms trade between the two nations reached almost $600 million in 2016. India has purchased
Barak I missiles, 3 Phalcon AWACS, and Israeli spike anti tank missiles from Israel. Israel is developing
Barak 8 missile for Indian Navy and IAF and plans to purchase 2 more Phalcon AWACS are in progress.
11. Space Collaboration: In 2002, India and Israel signed a cooperative agreement promoting space
collaboration. India has successfully launched TecSAR and RISAT-2 radar imaging satellites of
Israelfrom PSLV of ISRO.

Sticky Points in the Relations:

1. Bilateral Trade and investment still below potential: From just $200 million in 1992, bilateral trade
(excluding defense) peaked at about $5 billion in 2012 but since then it has dropped to about $4 billion.
Also, bilateral trade has not diversified muchdiamonds and chemicals still make up for the large chunk
of the pie.
2. Private Sector still finding feet: Indian companies like Sun Pharma and ATG, a specialty tyre-maker,
have big interests in Israel. But perhaps unsurprisingly, the Chinese are streets ahead of us in bilateral
trade and their companies are investing heavily in Israels cutting-edge start-ups.
3. Connectivity between two countries still poor with just one direct flight from Mumbai 3 times a week
and no direct flights from Delhi.
4. Historical retrenchment: Indias consistent support for a sovereign, independent, viable and united
Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognized borders, side by
side and at peace with Israel and Pro-Arab stance has been a sticky point.
5. Limited People to People ties and cultural differences: Israelis and Indian approach business
differently and often find it difficult to get on the same page. Though formal ties were established in 1992,
but the ideological divide resurfaces time and again.

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Way forward:

Investments to boost tourism, education and cultural ties and building bridges with the Indian diaspora in Israel
can help significantly in this context. Indeed, these are the low-hanging fruits in the bilateral relationship that can
be plucked right away. Taking cues of Israels industry-academia ecosystem, its innovation and start up culture
and the state of art cutting edge technology across sectors; India can build mutual collaborations for present and
future development. Tapping each others potential should be the imperative in the new Strategic
Partnership to truly make India-Israel is a match made in heaven!

#7. Doklam Plateau Issue

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS2 and GS3

Indias International relations with its neighbors has always been under limelight. Be it on the Western, northern
or the eastern frontiers. The tussle between India and China has a long history and has just got renewed
because of the Doklam issue. Given the threat to Internal Security from external threats, this topic has a high
relevance for Mains 2017.

Current Context:

Recent border stand-off between India and China over building of a highway in the Doklam region

Where is Doklam located?

It is located at the tri-junction of India (Sikkim), Bhutan and China (Tibet) as depicted in the diagram below:

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Introduction:

The present standoff in Doklam is a result of the India-Bhutan Friendship treaty of 2007, where India assures
Bhutan of protecting its sovereignty from external threats. As per Bhutan, the construction of
Road inside its territory by Chinese army, is also a violation of1988 and 1998 agreements between China and
Bhutan.

Significance of Doklam Plateau:

The valley holds strategic significance for India, China as well as Bhutan. India sees it as a dagger pointed
towards its so-called chickens neck sector in the Northeast and rapid Chinese road construction in Tibet could
make things difficult for India. At the same time, Sikkim is one of the few sectors where India has an advantage.
1. In the event of war, Indias Brigade-sized military presence inside Bhutan, stationed at Ha, allows it to
attack the Chumbi valley from two sides, potentially cutting off Chinese troops stationed facing Sikkim.
2. But Chinas recent assertions in the area are portentous for Bhutan which has never faced territorial
issues with the Dragon in the past. China, citing the 1890 China-Britain treaty, calls Doklam its own while
Bhutan has disputed the fact saying the convention applies to the India-Bhutan border, not Bhutan and
China.

Why is China intruding into Doklam?

1. The 21st century Belt and Road initiative by Xi Jinping to take a larger role in global affairs includes
similar Silk Road and Maritime Silk road belts. The construction of this highway is also a part of same
vision.
2. There is an emerging strategy from Chinese end to get closer to India through its neighbors for last
decade through Pakistan (CPEC), meddling with Nepals politics, Sri Lanka and now Bhutan.
3. China has been keen to establish its physical presence in this region according to the 1890 Convention.
4. With Chinas Belt and Road Initiative gaining momentum and completion of infrastructure programmes
like Lhasa-Shigatse Railway, China appears to have turned its attention to the Doklam plateau to
establish a strong presence close to the Indian border.

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How should India React?

1. Given the Chinas policy of asymmetric coercion, India has no option but to narrow the existing
comprehensive national power gap between the two countries. Developing strategic partnerships,
initiatives like Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor, Act East Policy and counter balancing
strategies are steps in the right direction.
2. National security policy needs clear articulation, based on a realistic threat assessment. Apex
organizational structures require streamlining to telescope the decision making process. The current
format of military modernization demands a holistic review.
3. In an era of limited wars, a joint military doctrine is a sine qua non and tri service theatre
commands are prerequisites for synergized application of the war waging potential.
4. In the prevailing scenario, facing the Chinas Western Theatre Command are Indias seven Army and Air
Force commands, which is a serious lacuna.
5. In short engagements, the timely application of requisite combat power at the point of decision is critical.
This calls for creating essential infrastructure on highest priority.
6. The border management mechanism needs to be revamped. A single nodal agency is required to
coordinate the functions of the various organs. Operational control astride the Line of Actual Control
ought to rest with the Army.
7. A well calibrated response mechanism must be put in place, with disputed vulnerable areas effectively
dominated and troops fully prepared to meet any eventuality. Paramilitary Forces deployed for
manning the borders require urgent upgrade to match the Chinas Border Regiments.

Way ahead:

Diplomatic engagement can open a way, but a solution that allows both sides to save face is not immediately
visible. Though undesirable, an escalation of the conflict remains a possibility. However, both the countries have
expressed that they will use official diplomatic channels to reach a solution. For now, the most likely outcome is
that both sides back away, giving diplomats and military strategists time to think through their options: Indias
decision to commit militarily in Bhutan has changed the game for all sides.

Conclusion:

Both China and India have one of the worlds largest armies with 23 lakhs and 13 lakhs active troops
respectively, any kind of war between the two will lead to heavy casualties on both the sides. Apart from that,
Chinese economy is also slowing down. Indias economic growth will also be affected if there is a conflict. But no
one is walking away from this century-old game just yet. To deal with China on a level footing, the Indian
leadership needs to make pragmatic assessments, possess the courage to accept home truths and display
audacity for bold decisions.

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#8. Qatar crisis and its impact on


India

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS2

The ongoing Qatar crisis threatens to unsettle the regional stability of West Asia along with its multiplier
repercussions in the dynamics of the geo-politic of the region. The stability of the west Asian region is not only
critical in itself but also plays a crucial role in Indias Look west policy. The stakes are high. The West Asian
region deeply mired in Syrian crisis and the deep Sunni-Shia rivalry of Iran and Saudi has always been a favorite
topic for UPSC and Qatar crisis with its implications on India definitely makes it a potential hot topic for 2017 CSE
Mains in the context of global geo politics.

Qatar Crisis Issues in context?

1. Qatar crisis is the manifestation of the diplomatic breakdown between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and its
allies in the west Asian region that threatens to upset the stability of the region.
2. Four Arab countries out of which three are also the members of Gulf Cooperation Council Saudi Arabia,
the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain along with Egypt have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar as well as
suspended land, sea, air travel routes to and from the country.
3. Libya, Yemen and Maldives have also joined the diplomatic boycott.
4. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have handed over a list of 13-point demand
list to the Qatari regime
5. The list reportedly demands Qatar to conclude all trade ties with Iran, end military cooperation with
Turkey and shut down the Al Jazeera news network.
6. Qatar is however, reluctant to comply with the conditions made by GCC and has remarked the
demands as non-negotiable.

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Trigger points for Qatar Crisis:

1. Qatar has been accused by Saudi Arab of supporting radical Islamist groups like the Muslim
Brotherhood and the ISIS- over the issue of its state sponsored terrorism.
2. Tensions between Qatar and its neighboring countries doubled when the state-run news agency of Qatar
Al Jazeera published an article in which the Qatars ruling emir, Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al
Thani was quoted praising Israel and Iran Saudi Arabs biggest rivals in the region.
3. The growing closeness of Qatars ruling emir and Iran is a sticky point which undermines the hegemony
of Saudi Arabia in the region.
4. Qatars exclusive and independent foreign policy in the region is a sticking point for Saudi Arabia
and its allies, challenging its political clout in the region.

Qatars perspective:

1. Amid the ongoing Qatar crisis, Doha has recently implied that although they are looking forward to work
together with other Gulf nations, they are reluctant to discuss any measures that impinge the
sovereignty of Qatar.
2. Qatar denies that it supports militant organizations, and many experts see the blockade as an attempt
by Saudi Arabia to reign in Qatars increasingly independent foreign policy.

How does the Qatar crisis impact India?

1. Energy crisis: Half of Indias energy import needs from the Persian Gulf and Qatar, small in size, are the
worlds top seller of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Qatars dispute with Arab states will most likely put LNG
market on the burner.
2. Lobby for sides: Given the risky and volatile conditions of the region, India may be drawn into this
ideological war which may disturb the balanced relationship and take part in the Shia-Sunni, Arab-
Persian or Wahabi-Salafi divide.
3. Livelihood crisis: With Qatar hosting 2022 FIFA World Cup and many Indian workers are working there
in terms of the project related to the World Cup, it threatens the livelihood of around 60000 Indians
working there. Indian company L&T have won contracts to construct stadium there.
4. Safety and Security concerns: Apart from that around six million Indians live and work in West Asia and
in Qatar in particular, there are 6,00,000 Indian workers. Remittances of this large expatriate community
are most likely to be affected too.
5. Rise in air fares: Flying restriction on Qatar will lead to sharp rise of airfares from Doha to India as more
Indians are expected to return back home.
6. Tensions may reach backyard: Since Maldives is involved, there might not be an immediate effect, but
if the rift continues and intensifies, there may be negative repercussions for India where Qatar crisis or
rather Gulf crisis may reach our backyard.
7. Regional Instability: Energy imports might not get affected until Gulf countries follow through with
sanctions but in case of countries like Yemen and Libya, any tensions in these regions will have a
consequential impact on thousands of Indian workers.

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Way forward:

The Gulf Cooperation Council countries need to negotiate and find a solution keeping the groups collective
agenda in mind. Qatar needs to choose between aligning its policies with those of regional heavyweight.
Diplomacy and multi-stakeholder cooperation is the key to the resolution to the ongoing crisis. From the Indian
perspective, India should not treat Qatar crisis as Gulf issue and assert its diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia and
UAE to ease the pain of Qatar.

#9. India-Japan Nuclear Deal :


Significance & Challenges

Note4Students

Our growth projections demands greater energy production. Quest for cleaner energy is n never ending. It is
challenging to meet both cleaner and increased energy demands. Indo japan nuclear deal provides a better
opportunity to actualise both targets. So understanding Indo- japan nuclear deal is important.

Introduction

1. India-Japan partnership is regarded as a significant element contributing to the peace and stability of the
Indo-Pacific region.
2. India and Japan, at last, signed an agreement for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Both countries took several rounds of negotiations, which helped resolve several sticky issues.
3. The joint document signed by the two countries lays down a roadmap for bilateral cooperation in the field
of nuclear energy. "
4. This deal would provide for the development of nuclear power projects in India and thus strengthening of
energy security of the country.

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Analysis
KEY POINTS

1. Under the accord, India may reprocess nuclear materials and by-products, but cannot make highly
enriched uranium without approval from Japan. Highly enriched uranium has the potential for use in
nuclear weaponry.
2. The main opposition Party in japan has spoken out against the bill, pointing out that since the
provision to suspend the treaty was not included in the pact, there is no explicit guarantee to limit the use
of nuclear technology.
3. Tokyo has insisted that the treaty enables a strong response by suspending cooperation if India
were to conduct nuclear tests. Unlike nuclear deals with Jordan and Vietnam, however, the India-Japan
accord does not specify nuclear testing as a condition for terminating the agreement.
Chronology

1. The negotiations have been underway for six years, but the negotiations were stuck because of political
resistance in Japan after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
2. Japan and India signed a memorandum of understanding for civil nuclear cooperation in December 2015,
when Abe was in Delhi for the annual bilateral summit, overcoming reservations over Indias status as a
nation which has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
3. This was transformed into a deal in November last year when PM Narendra Modi was in Tokyo for the
summit. Subsequently the Japanese government got approval from the Diet (parliament) for the nuclear
deal with India. ..
4. The landmark deal came into force in July this year with the completion of necessary formalities in both
countries. This will enable Japan to export nuclear power plant technology as well as provide finance for
nuclear power plants in India.

Importance of the deal

1. For a vast country with ambitious development targets, India is in a dire need to augment its energy
resources.
2. India's present level of electricity production cannot cope with the rapidly growing demands of the
economy.
3. In addition, India is the third largest importer of crude oil and the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide.
4. Since nuclear energy would be relatively cheap and clean, India has to go all out to harness it. It is the
only realistic option for ensuring a steady supply of energy to manage the skyrocketing demands for
electricity.
5. At present India's nuclear power accounts for only three percent of its total electricity output, but
it wants to increase its share to about twenty five percent in the next twenty years.
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6. In order to realise that goal, India has plans to build about eighty new nuclear reactors in the
coming decades. If India could count on Japan's advanced cutting edge reactor technologies, it could
accelerate India's progress in the nuclear power generation and take advantage of the convergent mutual
interests with Japan. Japan itself is in the process of boosting the export of its nuclear technologies for
peaceful uses.
7. India is the only non-NPT signatory with which Japan has entered into a civil nuclear deal in what
can be described as recognition for Delhis impeccable non-proliferation record
8. It is indeed a much-needed moral boost for Indias aspirations of getting membership in the Nuclear
Suppliers Group (NSG).
9. The signing of the deal will boost the low volume and dipping bilateral trade.
10. It will also give an impetus to the strategic military and defence relationship.
11. The deal can be instrumental in countering Chinas growing regional influence and in dealing with the
uncertainty of US foreign policy after the US election outcome.
12. From a Japanese point of view, negotiations with US-based Westinghouse Electric are in advanced
stages and they have agreed to build six nuclear reactors in India. Japanese companies, such as
Toshiba, have significant holdings in Westinghouse and other U.S. and French partners negotiating for
nuclear reactors now. Signing of this deal makes it easier for such deals to materialise.
13. Japan will assist India in nuclear waste management and may undertake joint manufacture of nuclear
power plant components under Make in India initiative
14. The finance for the project from the US Exim Bank remains intact and the initiative would start in
2018.

How similar is the Japan agreement to the US deal?

1. The agreement with Japan makes an upfront commitment on safety (addressing post-Fukushima
concerns) and recognises the statement made by India before the Nuclear Suppliers Group in September
2008 in the preamble itself.
2. It also combines several updates with International Atomic Energy Agency in the annexure of the
agreement. Rest of the agreement mirrors that of the US with advance consent to reprocessing rights in
IAEA safeguarded facility.

Concerns

1. Westinghouse is caught in a bankruptcy quagmire and there is no functional reference atomic plant a
pre-requisite to obtain permission from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Indias nuclear
watchdog.
2. Westinghouse, which was acquired by Japanese conglomerate Toshiba in 2006 for $5.4 billion, filed for
bankruptcy in March. Top Westinghouse officials visited India twice since March to assure that the project
is on track.

Conclusion

1. This Agreement is a reflection of the strategic partnership between India and Japan and will pave the way
for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy.
2. It seeks to promote full cooperation between the two countries in the development and uses of nuclear
energy for peaceful purposes on a stable, reliable and predictable basis

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3. The deal is essential for bringing a network of nuclear energy cooperation for India, especially with the
U.S. as prominent American nuclear companies are owned by the Japanese nuclear majors like Toshiba.

Question:

1. Many developed countries have been advocating for elimination nuclear usage
altogether. But India japan nuclear deal provides a better future for Indian energy
security- analyse

#10. Model Bilateral Investment


Treaty

Note4Students

1. Foreign investments are inevitable to expand our infra-structure projects. BIT should offer certain degree
of protection to investor as well it should actualise our developmental goals. In this context, model BIT
deserves greater analysis to understand various features . This topic is important while considering a
host of issues like ease of doing business.

Introduction

1. The revised Indian model text for Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) will replace the existing Indian Model
BIT. The revised model BIT will be used for re-negotiation of existing BITs and negotiation of future BITs
and investment chapters in Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreements (CECAs)/
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPAs) / Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

Analysis

Why the new Model BIT?

1. Main reason for bringing the Model BIT was the constant suing of the country by foreign firms.
2. India was one of the most sued countries during 2015 and 2016.

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3. According to UNCTAD- the international institution that tracks global investment trends; around 17
investor-state arbitrations are filed against the country launched by foreign investors by the end of 2015.
4. The flooding of arbitrations including that of the Sistema, Vodafone, Children Investment Fund etc.
tempted the policy makers to reframe the BITs.
5. The government thus has modified the existing 1993 BIT framework and brought out the 2015 Model BIT.
The move is important as it will help the country to make its treaty more specific in international
arbitrations. The textual consistency of a countries BIT determines its success in BIT negotiations and
disputes.

Important features of New Model Bilateral Investment Treaty

Enterprise based definition of investment instead of asset based definition

1. The Model has adopted an enterprise-based definition of investment that under which investment is
treated as the one made by an enterprise incorporated in the host state.
2. Under the earlier asset based definition of investment included intellectual property and other assets
that whereas these assets are not considered as assets under the new definition.
3. The objective of adopting enterprise-based approach
4. is to narrow the scope of protected investments and reduce the potential liability of the state under
Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) claims.
5. Asset based definition considers every kind of asset - both movable and immovable as investment
and gives protection under treaties, though their contribution to national economic development is
meagre.

Exclusion of MFN treatment

1. The most important feature of the amended model is that it dropped the Most Favoured Nation
(MFN) status previously included.
a. Purpose of the MFN clause for the investors angel is to ensure that a say, a US investor is not
discriminated compared to say, a Japanese investor.
2. In recent years, complaining foreign investors sued India arguing that they have to get the same
beneficial treatment given to companies from other countries. This was happened in the case of
White Industries. The White Industries case is pointed as the main factor that produced the deletion of
the MFN clause.

Full Protection and Security (FPS):

1. In the context of the Model, FPS means obligations only relating to physical security of investors and to
investments.

State government as stake holders:


1. Actions of the state Governments are included under the Model BIT.

Fair and equitable treatment (FET)

1. The Model BIT links Fair and Equitable Treatment to international laws.
2. This is aimed to counter a broad interpretation and risk misuse. Here, customary international law, which is
built in state practice, gives a minimum standard of protection to investors.

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3. Any potential violation listed in the provisions of denial of justice, breach of due process etc, requires a
violation of customary international law for a claim to be justified.
4. When the Model BIT linked FET to international law, it gives more scope for government and
regulators.

Expropriation

1. Expropriation means nationalization of assets of foreign companies.


a. As in other BITs, the Model BIT provides that the State cannot nationalise or expropriate
an Investment or take measures equivalent to expropriation,
b. except for reasons of public purpose in accordance with the procedure established
by law and on payment of adequate compensation.
c. But it gives certain exemptions. Here, the Model BIT says that, any measure by a judicial
body aiming to protect public interest will be outside the purview of expropriation. Similarly,
non-discriminatory regulatory measures were also excluded.

Non-Discriminatory treatment

1. The Model BIT includes a new clause on non-discriminatory treatment for compensation of
losses. As peer the clause, investors can avail non-discriminatory just compensation in circumstances
like armed conflict, natural disasters and in the state of national emergency.

Provision for transparency

1. The Model BIT incorporates a clause for transparency, requiring the Parties (government and regulators)
to ensure that all the laws, regulations, procedures and administrative rulings regarding matters covered
in the BIT are published or are available for interested persons to get acquainted with them. The clause
thus ensures clarity of laws and policies for the investors.

Corporate Social Responsibility

1. The Model BIT mandates foreign investors to voluntarily adopt internationally recognized standards of
corporate social responsibility.

Conditions for initiating arbitrations at international arbitrations


1. The Model BIT stipulates that the aggrieved investor should use all local remedies as well as
negotiations and consultations initiating arbitrations against the host State. Investor can use
outside remedies only five years after resorting to all domestic arrangements.

The model BIT approved by the cabinet excludes matters relating to taxation.

The model Bill thus tries to balance protection to the investor with state regulations. More importantly it
was configured in the context of excess legal arbitration against the state. What is more important is to
renegotiate with the partner countries and attract foreign investment in the context of the change.

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Criticism

Reduced Scope of Protection

1. The Draft Model BIT has limited the scope of protection under the BIT by introducing an
enterprise based definition of Investment: only enterprises constituted in India that have real
and substantial business operations in India and are owned or controlled by the Investor qualify
as Investment for the purposes of the treaty.
2. The enterprise will be considered owned by the Investor only if more than 50% of the capital is
held by the investor. This definition excludes all minority investments unless they are controlled
by the investor through voting agreements or any other agreements of similar nature.
3. The definition of investment in the Draft Model BIT is restrictive. Besides excluding Indian
holding companies and foreign portfolio investments from the definition of investment, it also
sweeps out intangible rights like goodwill, brand value, investments in government debt and
public sector undertakings, in addition to orders or judgments of any judicial, regulatory,
administrative or arbitral authority.

Narrow Fair and Equitable Protection

1. The Draft Model BIT restricts the protection under fair and equitable treatment to only excessively
qualified measures such as un-remedied and egregious violations of due process, denial of justice or
manifestly abusive treatment involving continuous, unjustified and outrageous coercion or harassment.
2. Such narrow formulation of this standard takes away a wide range of procedural and substantive
protection to the investors and their investment, like legitimate expectations which have otherwise
been covered under this standard of protection under almost all BITs, notwithstanding certain variations
among texts of different BITs.

De-Levelling the Playing Field

1. The 'Most Favored Nations' clause, which has been traditionally considered to be extremely
significant in economic treaties, guarantees the investors of a non-discriminatory treatment vis--vis
investors of other countries.
2. However, in its endeavor to restrict the rights of the investors, the Draft Model BIT completely
wipes out this clause. By omission of such cardinal protection, it appears that India is not serious in
granting protection to the Investors but only wants to protect itself from a potential fate such as in the
White Industries case, in which India had to pay the Australian investor over US$ 8 million on account of
inordinate delay in Indian courts to enforce the award passed in a commercial arbitration.
3. The protection of national treatment, which ensures that the investors are not discriminated vis--
vis domestic investors, has been diluted to exclude regional or local government measures.
4. Thus, a foreign investor cannot complain about a state governments regulatory measure favoring local
investment, under the BIT, even if it is for protectionist purposes.

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Arbitration

1. The Draft Model BIT departs from the practice followed in international arbitration disputes by taking
away the authority of the Arbitral Tribunal to review the Host States determination of whether an
expropriatory measure was taken for a public purpose or in compliance with its law or not.
2. While the requirement of exhaustion of local remedies is in consonance with the position under
customary international law, considering the state of Indian judicial system it is an unattractive and unfair
proposition for foreign investors to be subjected to lengthy and unending court proceedings in India.

Conclusion

The new Indian Model BIT text will provide appropriate protection to foreign investors in India and Indian
investors in the foreign country, in the light of relevant international precedents and practices, while maintaining a
balance between the investor's rights and the Government obligations.

Questions:

India was one of the most sued countries in 2015. Will the countrys new model
bilateral investment treaty attract and safeguard foreign investment more effectively?

#11. Indo Myanmar Relationship

Defence& Security Cooperation

1. It has strengthened over the years. Exchange of high-level visits,


2. signing of MoU on Border Cooperation, training, Army, Air Force and Naval Staff Talks are important
indicators in this direction.
3. In July 2017, Sr Gen Min Aung Hliang, C-in-C 3 Myanmar Defence Services visited India, in what was his
second visit in as many years, giving an opportunity to further cement defence ties.
4. Myanmar side has provided assurances at the highest levels that it will cooperate with India in taking
necessary action in preventing the use of Myanmar territory for anti-India activity.

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Rohingya crisis (refer the article of Rohingya crisis)


Myanmars more dependence on China

1. Given that the visit will be taking place after the Doklam crisis, there will be a temptation in India to see
the visit of the prime minister as an attempt to build a robust relationship in the neighbourhood to counter
the growing Chinese presence in the region.
2. It should be noted that the Myanmar government today is more dependent on Chinese support than it
was two or three years ago.
3. Its dependence on China characterised by a largely extractive relationship focused on natural resources
and access to the Bay of Bengal where it already has an oil and gas terminal, concession to build a
Special Economic Zone and seeks a possibly controlling stake in a natural deep sea harbour at
Kyaukpyu that could form part of its ambitious BRI.
4. China has been a major player in the peace negotiations between the armed ethnic groups and the
Myanmar government.
5. Further, because of the on-going conflict in the Rakhine state, the Myanmar government will be
dependent on the support from China on various human right platforms including the Security Council.
6. Successive Indian prime ministers have refrained from assessing the relationship with Myanmar through
the prism of China and instead focused on developing a comprehensive bilateral relationship.

Commercial Cooperation:

1. A bilateral Trade Agreement was signed in 1970. Bilateral trade has been growing steadily to reach
US$2178.44 million (2016-17),
2. of which Indian exports amounted to US$1111.19 million and Indian's imports to US$1067.25 million.
3. India is the fifth largest trading partner of Myanmar but trade remains below potential.
4. Agriculture sector dominates trade, particularly supply of beans & pulses to India ($ 809million, 2016-17)
and timber ($ 156 million).
5. India's exports to Myanmar include sugar ($ 424 million), pharmaceuticals ($ 184 million), etc. Border
trade via Moreh and Zawkhatar reached to $ 87.89 million;
6. India is presently the tenth largest investor with an approved investment of US$ 740.64 million by 25
Indian companies (as of 30Jun 2017).
7. Most India's investments have been in oil & gas sector. 100% FDI is allowed in select sectors.
Indian companies have evinced interest in investing in Myanmar and major contracts have been
won by Indian companies.
8. Besides normal trade, both sides have also taken steps to bolster trade across the land border.
Cooperation in the banking sector is crucial for investment and trade. United Bank of India signed
banking agreements with banks of Myanmar (MFTB, MICB, MEB, and 9 private banks) to facilitate
bilateral trade
9. Myanmar is an important partner in our energy relations with other countries.MOS for Petroleum &
Natural Gas,.

Development Cooperation:

1. We have extended development assistance on generous terms.


2. We are committed to provide grant-in-aid assistance amounting to almost Rs 4000 crore (of total
commitment of approx. US$ 1726 million).
3. These include

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4. support for the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project;


5. the Trilateral Highway Project, which is an East-West corridor connecting our Northeast with Myanmar
and Thailand;
6. the Rhi-Tiddim road;
7. supply of Bailey bridges;
8. assistance for border area development in the Naga Self Administered Zone by financing bridges, roads,
schools and small health centres;
9. assistance in setting up institutions for higher learning and research,
10. namely Myanmar Institute of Information Technology,
11. Advance Centre for Agricultural Research and Education,
12. Myanmar-India Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Myanmar-India Centre for English Language
Training,
13. India-Myanmar Industrial Training Centres,, Sittwe General Hospital etc.

Culture:

1. India and Myanmar share close cultural ties and a sense of deep kinship given India's Buddhist heritage.
2. Building on this shared heritage India is undertaking some key initiatives:
3. Restoration of the Ananda Temple in Bagan and
4. GOI donation of a 16 foot replica of the Sarnath Buddha Statue which has been installed at the premises
of Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon.
5. The Samvad-II Interfaith dialogue was held on 6-7 August 2017, Yangon.
6. ICCR and Sitagu International Buddhist Academy organised an International Conference on Buddhist
Cultural Heritage
7. We have responded to Myanmar's interest in restoring and renovating two historic temples in Bodh Gaya
built by Myanmar rulers King Mindon and King Baygyidaw. These temples and inscriptions will now be
restored with the assistance of the Archaeological Survey of India as a bilateral friendship project.

Indian diaspora:

1. The origin of the Indian community in Myanmar is traced to the mid-19thcentury with the advent of the
British rule in Lower Burma in 1852.
2. The two cities Yangon and Mandalay had a dominating presence of Indians in civil services, education,
trade and commerce during the British rule.
3. There are varying estt. of 1.5-2.5 million people of Indian origin living and working in various parts
of Myanmar.

Bilateral Cooperation in Regional/ Sub-regional context:

ASEAN: As the only ASEAN country which shares a land border with India, Myanmar is a bridge between India
and ASEAN.
BIMSTEC: Myanmar is a signatory to the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement. Myanmar is the lead country for the
energy sector. Myanmar trades mostly with Thailand and India in the BIMSTEC region. Myanmars major exports
to India are agricultural products like beans, pulses and maize and forest products such as teak and hardwoods.
Its imports from India include chemical products, pharmaceuticals, electrical appliances and transport equipment.

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Mekong Ganga Cooperation: Myanmar is a member of the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) since its
inception in November 2000. MGC is an initiative by six countries India and five ASEAN countries namely,
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam for cooperation in the fields of tourism, education, culture,
transport and communication. The chairmanship of MGC is assumed by member countries in alphabetical order.
SAARC: Myanmar was given the status of observer in SAARC in August 2008.

Conclusion

1. In India, we often say Myanmar is our gateway to the East. Against the rhetoric, the existing
connectivity between the two neighbours remains much to be desired. With long land and maritime
boundaries, surely, the neighbours are yet to take full advantage of geography.
2. Historically, India has been a major player in Myanmars socio-economic landscape till the 1960s. The
advent of military dictatorship and its economic policies reduced Indias interactions with Myanmar.
3. As the political transition in Myanmar picks up momentum, it provides an excellent opportunity for Prime
Minister to explore new avenues of cooperation.

Question:
Bolstering relationship with Myanmar is important for sustainable neighbourhood.
Comment
Rohingya refugee crisis should be seen as security threat to the region. Analyse

Source : ministry of external affairs release, The hindu

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Security

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#1. Why India should have an


evacuation plan for Overseas
workers

Note4Students

Escalated tension in the various parts world necessitated an evacuation plan. Considering the size of Indian
diaspora, tentative plans would not be successful in every instance. So this topic is important for mains
examination.

Introduction

India has extensive experience conducting evacuation operations, but given the rising economic
contributions and political influence of Indian citizens abroad and the increasing complexity of these
operations, the incentives to ensure the success of future ones are now even greater.
As Indias diaspora continues to grow, so will the challenges New Delhi faces challenges in protecting
this diverse and geographically dispersed population. To overcome these issues, the Indian government
will have to institutionalize best practices, bolster its diplomatic and military capabilities, and improve
coordination.

Fig: Indian diaspora

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Analysis

Why do we need an evacuation policy?

1. India has conducted more than thirty evacuation operations across Africa, Asia, and Europe, including its
largest-ever civilian airlift of 110,000 people from the Persian Gulf in 1990.
2. With one of the worlds youngest populations, Indias population is expected to peak at 1.7 billion in
2060, and many are likely to seek a new passport and consular support while traveling, working, or
studying abroad.29 Keeping track of and monitoring this growing mobile population will pose a significant
challenge to the Indian government.
3. According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), an estimated 11 million Indian citizens now
permanently reside abroad, and almost 16 million people of Indian origin hold other citizenships.1 The
annual average rate of growth of Indias diaspora population was 4.5 percent between 2000 and 2015.2
Personal remittances are now twenty-nine times what they were in 1990, playing a vital role in the
countrys economic growth and development policies.
4. Given the trend of increased migration and travel from India, it will become increasingly important for
the countrys government to institutionalize its best practices and learn from the experiences of other
countries.
5. According to the United Nations (UN), the total number of international migrants increased
between 1990 and 2015 from 154 million to 244 millionnow constituting 3.3 percent of the worlds
population.
6. Evacuating citizens from abroad is an extremely complex mission in which distance, logistics,
security, and coordination pose numerous obstacles. Such operations can assume various forms, and
the instruments employed depend on myriad factors, such as geographic location, the nature of the crisis
environment, or the size of the population to be extricated.
7. Several states have therefore developed extensive expertise and capabilities to evacuate their
citizens and, most importantly, they have established standard operating procedures for such
contingencies. For example, Brazils National Defence Policy now enshrines the protection of its 3 million
citizens living abroad as a main objective.
8. However, given the lack of any formal doctrine or emergency plan, the success of Indias missions
has mostly been due to the individual sacrifices of officials from its diplomatic corps, flagship carrier, and
armed forces.
9. As more than 11 million Indians now reside abroad, and more than 20 million travel overseas each
year, the government will no longer be able to rely on heroic, ad hoc efforts and quick-fix solutions.
10. Lingering and emerging challenges, including a lack of standard operating procedures and
inadequate coordination, will only intensify as evacuation operations become larger in scope and
public scrutiny increases

Steps To Be Taken By The Government

1. The Indian government should employ significant diplomatic and military resources to assess its
evacuation operations and institutionalize best practices;

2. Develop standard operating procedures, including emergency doctrines;

3. Train and prepare its diplomatic cadre to operate in hostile environments, and increase coordination with
other governments;

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4. Assign a greater role to the armed forces, strengthening their capacity to plan and deploy in tandem with
civilian authorities;

5. Establish a permanent coordinating mechanism that facilitates communication and joint operations
across national, regional, and international levels and bureaucratic and military levels;

6. Designate a civilian air reserve fleet for evacuation operations to reduce the burden on Air India, whose
staff also requires specific training;

7. Explore new communication technologies to develop consular platforms to identify, monitor, and contact
citizens abroad, offering them real-time updates on evacuation procedures.

8. Expand efforts to manage public pressure through diplomacy and a communication strategy that
appropriately prioritizes Indian citizens over people of Indian origin.

Conclusion

1. To secure their diaspora as a prized asset, home states are also more inclined to protect migrants in
extraordinary times of crisis.
2. As a vulnerable and dislocated population, migrants are particularly exposed to various risks abroad,
including natural disasters, political unrest, and violent conflict in their host country or region.
3. They are often specifically targeted by populist and extremist movements or forced to depart after sudden
changes in immigration laws. In such circumstances, governments must act swiftly and decisively to
protect the lives and assets of their citizens, which may require evacuating them safely back home.

Questions

Q1. A proper evacuation plan for overseas workers would serve our national
interests. Analyse

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#2. Cyber security threats Faced by


India

Note4Students

Cyber security one of the most important topics surfaced in this year. Various incidents of cyber-attack
necessitated the engineering of stronger cyber defence mechanisms. In this context, this following article will
provide an insight about cyber security.

Introduction

1. India witnessed more than 27,000 cyber security threat incidents in the first half of 2017.
2. Authorities including the telecom regulator TRAI are also noticing the threat posed by mobile applications
that collect sensitive user data

Recent incidents

1. Two Indian conglomerates were forced to pay $5 million each in order to prevent hackers from disclosing
information that could have implicated them in a wrongdoing.
2. State run Union Bank of India was breached by cyber hackers. The hackers had managed to get past the
banks security systems but the money trail was traced and the movement of funds was blocked.
3. The vulnerability of the banks came into light recently when data of about 3.2 million debit cards was lost
in what is claimed to the India's biggest breaches. SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI, YES Bank and Axis were
worst hit by the breach of the debit cards.
4. WannaCry, a crypto-ransomware that is also called WannaCrypt, affected at least 200,000
computers in 150 countries, including India, described as the largest ever of its kind. The WanaCrypt
encrypts data on a computer within seconds and displays a message asking the user to pay a ransom of
$ 300 in Bitcoins to restore access to the device and the data inside.

Analysis

What is Cyber Space?

1. Cyberspace comprises IT networks, computer resources, and all the fixed and mobile devices connected
to the global Internet
2. A nations cyberspace is part of the global cyberspace; it cannot be isolated to define its boundaries since
cyberspace is borderless. This is what makes cyberspace unique.
3. Unlike the physical world that is limited by geographical boundaries in spacecyberspace can and is
continuing to expand. Increased Internet penetration is leading to growth of cyberspace, since its size is
proportional to the activities that are carried through it.

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What do we mean by Cyber security?

Cyber security is concerned with making cyberspace safe from threats, namely
cyber-threats. The notion of cyber-threats is rather vague and implies the
malicious use of information and communication technologies (ICT) either as a
target or as a tool by a wide range of malevolent actors.

The term cyber security refers to three things:

1. A set of activities and other measures, technical and non-technical, intended to protect
computers, computer networks, related hardware and devices software, and the information they
contain and communicate, including software and data, as well as other elements of cyberspace, from all
threats, including threats to the national security;
2. The degree of protection resulting from the application of these activities and measures;
3. The associated field of professional endeavour, including research and analysis, aimed at
implementing and those activities and improving their quality.

Need For Cyber security:


To ensure critical infrastructure system do not collapse under any situation.
To ensure Business continuity.
To ensure disaster recovery plans are tested regularly and upgraded.
For the success of government initiatives like Digital India, Make in India and Smart Cities.

Indias Vulnerability on cyber space

1. India remains vulnerable to digital intrusions such as cyber-espionage, cybercrime, digital disruption
and Distributed Denial of Service (DoS)
2. The crimes related to cyber world can be multi-layered, multi-location, multilingual, multicultural and
multi-legal, thats why it is difficult to investigate and reach to the criminal.
3. The cases related to cyber-crime have increased by 70% in the year 2014 as compared to the year
2013.
4. There is growing threat from online radicalization.
5. The number of cybercrime cases registered in India has risen by 350 per cent in the three-year
period from 2011 to 2014, according to a joint study by PwC and Assocham.
6. With the growing adoption of the Internet and smart-phones, India has emerged as one of the
favourite countries among cyber criminals.
7. Major security threat: Critical infrastructure: Attackers can gain control of vital systems such as nuclear
plants, railways, transportation or hospitals that can subsequently lead to dire consequences.
8. Despite having a National Cyber Security Policy (2013), risks to our critical infrastructure remain.
9. In spite of instituting a National Cyber Security Coordinator (2014), the rivalries between the
National Technical Research Organisation (the nodal agency for cybersecurity) and the Ministry of
Communications and Information Technology impede cooperation.
10. Lack of coordination among different government agencies.

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11. Chinas emphasis on cloud computing techniques, and the involvement of its Ministry of State
Security in this endeavour, suggests that it is preparing for all-out offensive cyber operations. India would
be a prime target.

What India Wants

1. Bleeding edge technology: Bleeding edge refers to technology that has been released but is still not
ready for the general public due to the fact that it has not been reliably tested. The term bleeding edge
was formed as an allusion to the similar terms "leading edge" and "cutting edge".
2. Big data analytics: it is the process of collecting, organizing and analysing large sets of data (big data)
to discover useful information.
3. Air gapping: Air gapping is a security measure that involves isolating a computer or network and
preventing it from establishing an external connection. An air gapped computer is physically segregated
and incapable of connecting wirelessly or physically with other computers or network devices. Emphasis
on cloud computing techniques.
4. Offensive cyber operations and strengthened cyber security.

International Convention on Cyber-crime:


1. Convention on Cybercrime, also known as the Budapest Convention.
2. The Budapest Convention is the first international treaty that addresses Internet and computer crime by
harmonizing national laws, improving legal authorities for investigative techniques, and increasing
cooperation among nations.
3. The Budapest convention is the only multilateral convention on cyber security considered critical to
economic and national security of a country
4. .Developing countries including India have not signed it stating that the developed countries lead by the
US drafted it without consulting them.

Way Forward

The success in the futuristic space endeavour will depend upon setting up a well-tuned, cyber secure and tamper
proof cyber security system, which can provide surge capabilities to bolster Indias Space programme during
critical period or in hostilities.

Questions:

1. Cyber security, in the near future, will be the main component of the states
overall national security and economic security strategies. Are citizens,
organizations and public institutions ready to face challenges of cyber
security? Critically analyse
2. Discuss the necessity of and measures being taken to introduce strong cyber
security framework for banking sector in India.

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#3. Do we require a security policy

Note4Students

India has been fighting with proxy state terrorists since independence. Nuclear weapon owned neighbours
posing formidable threats to the national security. Moreover as a regional power India has gained
commendable respect among the world countries. So it is important to discuss about to design a national
security policy.

Introduction

1. Unlike other democracies, India does not have a formally declared national security strategy.
2. The threats and challenges to a country's national interests in the prevailing geo-strategic and regional
security environment guide its national security objectives and these, in turn, help to formulate a
comprehensive national security strategy

Analysis

What would be the basis of national security strategy

1. The primacy of national interests in the formulation of national security strategy is unquestionable.The
meaning of national interest is survival
2. The protection of physical, political and cultural identity against encroachments by other nation-States.'
3. National interests may be defined as 'the claims, objectives, goals, demands and interests which a nation
always tries to preserve, protect, defend and secure in relations with other nations.
4. These are classified as vital or survival interests and other interests.
5. Vital national interests must by definition be defended by applying military force if it becomes necessary.

India's vital national interests would include the following:

1. The security of Indian territory on land and sea and that of Indian airspace
2. the protection of Indian citizens
3. the security of India's energy sources, refining facilities and merchant vessels engaged in transporting oil
and gas and trade
4. A peaceful and stable internal and external security environment for unhindered socio-economic
development;
5. The protection of critical infrastructure against physical disruption and cyber-attack.

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Other major national interests comprise the following:

1. An egalitarian world order that is rules-based and promotes free trade and security of the global
commons through international cooperation;
2. The promotion of democracy and respect for universal values at home and around the world.

OBJECTIVES OF NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY WILL BE

1. National stability and integrity.


2. Social political and economic progress.
3. Peace and stability in terms of Indias relationships with other states, regionally and globally.

WHY DO WE NEED A NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY?

1. Maintaining the territorial integrity of India's borders on land, sea and air, as defined by law and
enshrined in the Constitution, including the defence of India's island territories.
2. Defending India's coastline against aggression and infiltration; and, ensuring the security of Indian
personnel and assets such as ships and oil rigs operating in the Exclusive Economic Zone.
3. Resolving the territorial and boundary disputes with China and Pakistan on favourable terms through
negotiations in an early time frame. (In this context, as the territory occupied by the Chinese on the Aksai
Chin Plateau in Ladakh and by the Pakistanis in Pakistan occupied Kashmir is required to be regained in
accordance with two separate parliamentary resolutions, building a national consensus to resolve both
territorial disputes through a negotiated settlement should be an important political objective.)
4. Protecting the lives and property of India's citizens, including during insurgencies and against acts of
terrorism.
5. Maintaining effective nuclear deterrence against the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons
against India.
6. Protecting critical infrastructure and military command and control systems against cyber-attack
from State and non-State actors and developing offensive cyber operations capabilities to deter such
attacks.
7. Ensuring the security of India's energy sources, refining facilities and modes of transportation,
especially the security of oil and gas fields, ships transporting oil and gas and, where necessary, oil and
gas pipelines within India and abroad.
8. Undermining the China-Pakistan nexus and reducing the salience of the Pakistan army in the
country's polity.
9. Ensuring through diplomatic means and in conjunction with strategic partners that India will not be
required to fight a simultaneous two-front war with China and Pakistan.
10. Providing a stable and peaceful external security environment in India's area of strategic interest to
facilitate unimpeded socio-economic development and the free flow of trade. (This may involve military
intervention, singly or in conjunction with strategic partners, when India's vital national interests are
threatened.)
11. Creating and sustaining an effective capability for out-of-area contingency operations through military
intervention, when necessary, to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and the security of the
global commons (freedom of navigation in the sea lanes of communication, air space, cyber space and
outer space).

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12. Being prepared to provide security and other assistance to the Indian Diaspora, especially in West
Asia and on the Arabian Peninsula.
13. Acting vigorously against narcotics traffickers and small arms smugglers and disrupting their
linkages with terrorist organisations.
14. Bringing to speedy justice both overseas and local perpetrators of terrorist strikes in India and against
Indian assets anywhere.
15. Preventing the destabilisation of friendly countries in India's area of strategic interest extending from
the South China Sea in the east to the Horn of Africa in the west, and providing military and other
assistance when requested by them. (In this context, stability in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka, is a major national interest.)
16. Developing balanced relationships with strategic partners, including through defence cooperation, to
deter conflict and manage crises, and engaging with organisations such as the ASEAN Regional Forum
and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to launch cooperative security initiatives, while preserving
India's strategic autonomy.
17. Promoting cooperation and understanding with neighbouring countries and implementing mutually
agreed confidence-building measures to prevent crises through miscalculation.
18. Pursuing security and strategic dialogues to address key challenges before the international
community.
19. Following a consistent and principled policy on nuclear disarmament and international security issues
based on universality, non-discrimination and equal security for all.
20. Working dynamically to achieve the goal of self-reliance (70 per cent indigenous content) in defence
procurement by 2025. (The indigenous manufacture of microchips, the basic building block of ICT
products, must be a national priority.)
21. Investing appropriately in the development of high-end defence technologies in conjunction with
strategic partners to gain an edge in combat capabilities over military adversaries.
22. Developing a pro-active strategic culture by exposing all students in schools and colleges to
understanding basic threats and challenges to national security and the measures necessary to
overcome these. (All government training institutions must also educate their trainees about national
security issues by devoting a portion of the syllabus to the subject.)

Way forward

1. The government should appoint a study group to deliberate over the important issues of national interests
and national security objectives and recommend a national security strategy for consideration by the
Cabinet Committee on Security. The exercise should be steered by the National Security Advisor.

2. Strengthening the national security architecture will be possible if the triad of defence and strategic
studies, defence studies and analyses, and national security policy-making become interdependent
organically, intellectually, professionally and systemically.

Question:

Why needs a national security strategy. What will be the objectives of security
policy?

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#4. Fake news menace

Note4Students

Fake news had incited violence among various communities.it also mislead the people into deep
misunderstanding. Government has to take serious measures to contain fake news. So this discussion will
help to understand various perspectives.

Introduction

1. Fake news is a threat to democracy in a way more perverse than most people appreciate.
2. In these times of easy access to the ability to crunch large amounts of data, unstructured and in
real time,
3. it is possible for political parties or, more realistically, specialist troops employed by them, to
profile individual voters and flood them with news, fake and real, that would accentuate perceived
favourable political propensities or neutralise perceived hostile inclinations.

Recent Examples

1. Earlier this year a major news studio in the country doctored a video of a protest in JNU to raise doubts
on the legitimacy of the educational institute. This video was further propagated by another mainstream
news channel on primetime television without verification. This led to a national furore that culminated in
a public thrashing of students inside court premises by lawyers and a gaping divide in public sentiment.
2. Hoaxes of GPS chips in the Rs 2,000 note did the rounds after the prime ministers November 8
demonetisation speech. Spread by both media and WhatsApp messages (the latter being the source of
numerous misleading stories in the country), it led to wide scale confusion among recipients of the new
note.
3. fake photographs that have been used in facebook to inflame passions after the communal disturbances
in Basirhat and Baduria in Bengal.
4. The face-swapping technology, Face2Face, developed in Stanford University, makes it increasingly easy
to generate realistic videos that will allow a user to impersonate anyone she wants with amazing
accuracy
5. The fake videos that are currently circulating in the Kashmir Valley (originating from both sides) showing
gruesome attacks on the Army as well as inhuman repression of the civilians in order to rouse passion,
may soon look like harmless pranks. With the arrival of the new and highly sophisticated fake videos, the
situation can quickly go out of control.
6. The recent Election in US this has gained momentum to counter each other candidates arguments
among public with social media.

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How bad it is

1. Peoples faith in social, print and electronic media reduces which could affect the benefits of these Media.
2. It can lead to violence between two or more communities thereby creating enmity and hatred between
them.
3. It can disturb the social fabric of the society and tensions among communities persists for long times.
4. It reduces the tendencies of cooperation between different communities.
5. Political parties try to gain political advantages by polarizing the voters mind which further intensifies the
tensions between different sections of society.
6. Politics of development takes back seat and communal tendencies emerge in politics.
7. In its purest form, fake news is completely made up, manipulated to resemble credible journalism and
attract maximum attention and, with it, advertising revenue.
8. Political campaigning has progressed from mere appeals in the name of identity or loyalty or tall promises
to something akin to psychological warfare. Parties that master the tools of such psych ops have a
distinct edge over those stuck in the traditional mud. Fake news spreads on social media.

How to tackle it

1. The government must take the initiative to make all sections of the population aware of the realities of
this information war and evolve a consensus to fight this war. It must also take strict action
2. News being spread using chatbots and other automated pieces of software should automatically be
selected for special screening. Ordinary consumers of news can play a big role by, first, waking up to
the reality that all they read on WhatsApp and Twitter is not the gospel truth, and then, by refusing to
pass on what they cannot independently verify with other sources.
3. Websites that mimic well-known, credible media outlets in their name should be exposed with the
vigour with which jokes are shared on social media.
4. An ombudsman deals with the credibility of news sources, it gains the privilege to ensure facts are
reported
5. Government should have independent agency to verify the data being circulated in social and other
media. The agency should be tasked with presenting real facts and figures.
6. Government should have mechanism for immediately issuing of notice against sites/people/agencies
involved in spreading fake news.
7. There should be a provision of effective balances and check of filtering fake posts before it getting
viral.
8. Social media websites should be made accountable of such activities so that it becomes their
responsibility to have better controlling restricting the spread of fake news.
9. Government should take active measures for promoting awareness among people about fake news
and their consequences.
10. Government should enlist penal provisions to perpetrators of fake news if it causes violence or
deaths.
11. Government should make mandatory for Print and Electronic media to have internal mechanism
for verifying incidents, facts and figures.
12. Public should verify the accuracy and of reliability of any news or data either from government or any
independent agency specifically involved in such task.
13. Public should not blindly trust any sensitive news and should not forward it to others.
14. Public should inform concerned department about any fake post as soon as they come across. They
should act as active vigilant for maintaining peace and harmony in the society.

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15. NGOs and other civil society groups can play important role in spreading awareness about the ill effects of
fake news.

Some Efforts To Contain Fake News

1. Facebook changes to its News Feed to reduce stories from sources that consistently posted clickbait
headlines. Last month, Facebook announced another update so that misleading posts would be
downgraded. Now, Facebook will take into account clickbait at the individual post level in addition to the
domain and page level, in order to more precisely reduce clickbait headlines.
2. Now some websites like Altnews.in, media vigil and Debunked are doing the work to debunk the false
news.

Conclusion

A more proactive measure would be to prosecute those who incite hatred and violence by spreading fake news
and fake images. Traditional media has a big stake in discrediting purveyors of material that is not editorially
validated. Fakery can harm both democracy and the media business. Eternal vigilance against it is, indeed, the
price of liberty.

#5. Naxalism Problem faced by


India

Note4students

Prevalence of peace is the one the pre requisite for the development. Left wing extremism had engulfed many
developmental efforts with its sheer coercive action. A civil administrationpolice coordinated action is required to
bring the peace in the red corridor. Home ministrys new policy of SAMADHAN tries to achieve a multi-
dimensional development agenda through affirmative action.

Introduction

1. India is the largest democracy in the world. However, Left Wing Extremism desires to weaken and make
the roots of democracy hollow.
2. A Naxal or Naxalite is a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The term Naxal derives from
the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the movement had its origin. Naxalites are
considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology.

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Problems faced by government

1. 12000 citizens of our country have lost their lives in violent activities of the Left Wing Extremists
2. Out of these 12000 people, 2700 are jawans of the Security Forces and the remaining 9300 are innocent
and simple common people who are not guilty.
3. The anti-development Left Wing Extremism not only target the Security Forces but also public
property like roads, culverts, railway tracks, electricity and telephone towers, hospitals, schools,
anganwadi and panchayat bhawans etc, that are created by the Government for benefit of the common
man.
4. It is evident from the destruction caused by the Left Wing Extremists that they do not want people to get
facilities and access to the development, in the remote and inaccessible areas, because these facilities
provide the path of economic and social progress, to the local people
5. It also joins them to the mainstream of the nation. The cancer of LWE flourishes in poverty or
backwardness.
6. Therefore, the LWE strategy is to ensure that the people of this area stay without electricity, without road,
without education, so that the vested interest of the Left Wing Extremists continues unabated.

Recent developments

1. The whole country is agitated with the martyrdom of 25 CRPF personnel in the incident of April 24, 2017
in Burkapal, Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. In such situations, the challenge before us is to maintain
focus and move towards our goal with speed, in a planned manner.
2. The Government was concerned but not perturbed by the attack on the CRPF Camp by the Left Wing
Extremists and
3. A new formula of SAMADHAN has been evolved to tackle the Naxalites problem.

The solution to the LWE problem is not possible with any silver bullet. There is no short-cut for it. For this short
term, medium term and long term policies need to be formulated at different levels. There is need to find a
solution for this problem and the strategy is available and encompassed in the word SAMADHAN which means-

S- Smart Leadership
A- Aggressive Strategy
M- Motivation and Training
A- Actionable Intelligence
D- Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas)
H- Harnessing Technology
A- Action plan for each Theatre
N- No access to Financing

SAMADHAN:-

S Smart Leadership-

The key properties of Smart Leadership are: Vision,Mission,Passion and Self belief
A leadership full of self confidence should have a solid vision on how he would envisage the challenges of the
future and prepare his team and energise his team to a mission mode, in order to achieve his objectives. To
make his team secure, disciplined and victorious, should be of paramount importance for him.

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The success stories of many police officers in India are inscribed in the minds of the common people, as to how
they kept their teams alive with energy. On the Left Wing Extremism front, we also need such leadership, who
despite adversity, keep their jawans full of enthusiasm and teach them only to win.
Be it Central Forces or the district police, they will have to work under a coordinated strategy and plan. The most
important thing is that the officers will have to lead from the front. Success in this regard cannot be achieved only
by sitting in Delhi, Ranchi or Raipur..
Unified Co-Ordination and Command is needed in the LWE Front. Along with Strategic Command, Unified
Command is also required at the Operational and Tactical Level. Intelligence sharing is important too.

A-Aggressive Strategy-

1. Need to consider whether to react only after the occurrence of such events? Should our role not be
Proactive?
2. Learning from the old incidents, we need to bring aggression into our policy. Aggression in thinking,
Aggression in strategy, Aggression in deployment of forces, Aggression in operations, Aggression in
development and Aggression in road construction.
3. Have to be cautious that extremely defensive deployment may result in reduction of operational
offensive.
4. Have to consider that although the figures of the surrenders of the Left Wing Extremisms are increasing,
but whether benefit of intelligence from these surrendered LWE cadres is being derived.
5. Must ensure that the States take the ownership of LWE operations and CAPFs cooperate with them fully.
At the same time, the forces on the Ground level should not lack leadership. "Unity of Purpose" and
"Unity of Action" are essential for the success of operations.

M - Motivation and Training -


1. The Government has superior resources, training, technology, than the Left Wing Extremists. But there is
a need for better coordinated efforts to counter the strategy of the LWE.
2. Success on this front cannot be achieved only by being emotional in this regard. The right vision, right
strategy, efficient use of resources, knowledge of enemy strengths and weaknesses, training of their
security forces, their facilities and arrangements of tools are necessary for success.
3. In the camps where the security forces are residing, proper facilities of power, water, connectivity should
be provided so that the Security Forces may remain stress free. They should also be able to contact their
family as per requirement.
4. In addition to information about the place of posting, security forces should also have knowledge of
language, dialects, traditions and culture so that they can adapt to the local conditions and earn the trust
of the local people.
5. Security forces must adhere to Standard Operating Procedures so that they are conscious about their
own security.

A-Actionable Intelligence

1. To develop actionable intelligence it is important that all intelligence agencies and security forces establish a
good network with local people.
2. Surrendered LWE cadre should be used for intelligence collection to the maximum possible.
3. Need to depute Shadow Intelligence Officers to trace the prominent targets associated with Left Wing
Extremism.

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4. There is a need to establish specific procedures between State Police and Central Forces for the exchange
and use of intelligence.

D-Dashboard based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas):-

1. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Key Result Areas (KRAs) should be determined both for the
State Police and the CAPFs. This would not only help to assess the preparedness but also their
performance, regular progress of its unit and individual abilities of each police officer.

H - Harnessing Technology

1. Technology is a Force Multiplier.


2. Many technologies including Space, IT and Communication have brought revolutionary changes in the
world. Many new techniques are also being used in dealing with law and order and the crime. On the
LWE front, there is a need to use more of such latest technologies.
3. Use of some Cutting edge Technologies
4. The use of the UAV is sub-optimal, that needs to be augmented both by numbers and by use in the right
place.
5. The Mini UAVs are extremely useful. Therefore, they should be procured and available in more
quantities. We must try that with every battalion there must be atleast one UAV / Mini UAV.
6. Use high resolution PTZ Cameras, GPS Tracking, Handheld Thermal Imaging, Radar, Satellite Image
etc.
7. Trackers in Weapons
8. Biometrics in smart gun triggers.
9. Trackers should also be embedded in Shoes, BP jackets etc.
10. In addition, unique identification numbers should also be used in Gelatine and other explosive materials.
11. States that do not have expertise in such state of the art technology, the Central Government can assist
in this regard

A-Action plan for each theatre

1. The situation of Left Wing Extremism in different States is not the same.
2. In different States, to fight Left extremism, there is a need to fight on multiple fronts and to create a
specific action plan for each of such fronts, in order to achieve success on a systematic basis.
3. There is a need to create separate short-term, medium-term, long-term strategies, whose goals and
deadlines are clearly defined.
4. The Implementation should be done on a Mission Mode defining the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
for continuous monitoring and Key Result Areas (KRAs), that should also be aligned with these
strategies.

N-No access to financing

1. Economic resources play an important role in any war or any such exercise, because when money is
available, only then will it be possible to buy, eat, drink and possess ammunition and weapons.
Therefore, choking the financial resources of the LWE is the most basic mantra in this fight.

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Conclusion:-

1. We have come a long way in defeating the fight with Left Wing Extremists. In the remote areas, our
young men are constantly working for the development and protection of the area endangering their lives.
2. That day is not far when this mindless violence will be completely finished and once again the
atmosphere of peace and prosperity will prevail and people will rapidly join the main stream along with
enjoying the fruits of development.

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Polity &
Governance

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#1. Article 35A debate

Note4Students

Article 35A triggers the discussion of special privileges of Kashmir. Kashmir had been stirred with terrorism and
other unrest. Another political controversy will drag the region into unrest again. It is important to find a solution.
This article is look into various aspects of article 35A.

Introduction

What is it?

1. Article 35A is a provision incorporated in the Constitution giving the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature the
authority to decide who all are permanent residents of the State and confer on them special rights
and privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property in the State, scholarships and other public aid
and welfare
2. The provision mandates that no act of the legislature coming under it can be challenged for
violating the Constitution or any other law of the land.

Implications

1. Article 370 grants special status to J&K, while Article 35A, added to the Indian Constitution
through a presidential order, empowers the J&K legislature to define the states permanent
residents and their special rights and privileges.
2. Article 35A was incorporated into the Constitution in 1954 by an order of the then President Rajendra
Prasad on the advice of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cabinet. The controversial Constitution (Application to
Jammu and Kashmir) Order of 1954 followed the 1952 Delhi Agreement entered into between Nehru and
the then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah, which extended Indian citizenship to the
State subjects of Jammu and Kashmir.
3. So Article 35A was added to the Constitution as a testimony of the special consideration the
Indian government accorded to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

Recent Developments

1. The threat of abrogation of Article 35A is leading to unprecedented political developments in the
Valley. For instance, it is the first time in recent past that all major political parties in Kashmir, including
the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the opposition National Conference, independent MLAs and
even the Hurriyat have come together on an issue.
2. Attorney General KK Venugopal telling Supreme Court, during a hearing on 35A, that the Centre was in
favour of a larger debate sent alarm bells ringing through the Valley

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3. Recently, a Kashmiri woman called Charu Wali Khan, settled outside the state, challenged the
legality of Article 35A of the Indian Constitution that allows J&K to define its "permanent residents". She
claimed in her petition to the Supreme Court that such a law takes her succession rights away and
disenfranchises her.
4. In 2014, NGO approached the Supreme Court challenging Article 35A on the grounds that it was illegally
added to the Constitution as it was never floated before Parliament.

Analysis

Whats the challenge to it?

1. Article 14 of the Constitution gives a fundamental right to equality before law. But 35A is
heavily loaded in favour of males because even after marriage to women from outside, they
will not lose the right of being permanent residents
2. Outsider vs insider: while a woman from outside the state shall became a permanent resident
on marrying a male permanent resident of the state, a daughter who is born state subject will lose
her permanent resident status on marrying an outsider.
3. It facilitates the free and unrestrained violation of fundamental rights of those workers and
settlers like Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people who have lived there for generations. The
Valmikis who were brought to the state during 1957 were given Permanent Resident Certificates on
the condition that they and their future generations could stay in the state only if they continued to be
safai-karmacharis (scavengers).
4. Children of non-state subjects do not get admission to state colleges.
5. It ruins the status of West Pakistani refugees. Being citizens of India they are not stateless
persons, but being non-permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir, they cannot enjoy the basic
rights and privileges as being enjoyed by permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
6. It gives a free hand to the state government and politicians to discriminate between citizens of
India, on an unfair basis and give preferential treatment to some by trampling over others, since the
non-residents of the state are debarred from buying properties, getting a government job or voting in
the local elections.
7. At this juncture, it may be important to recall a landmark judgment delivered on October 2002, by the
Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which held that women married to non-permanent residents, will not
lose their rights, though children of such women will not enjoy succession rights .

Why does it matter?


1. The parliamentary route of lawmaking was bypassed when the President incorporated Article 35A into
the Constitution.
2. Article 368 (i) of the Constitution empowers only Parliament to amend the Constitution. So did the
President act outside his jurisdiction? Is Article 35A void because the Nehru government did not place it
before Parliament for discussion? A five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in its March 1961 judgment
in Puranlal Lakhanpal vs. The President of India discusses the Presidents powers under Article 370 to
modify the Constitution. Though the court observes that the President may modify an existing provision
in the Constitution under Article 370, the judgment is silent as to whether the President can, without the
Parliaments knowledge, introduce a new Article. This question remains open.
3. A writ petition filed by NGO We the Citizens challenges the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370.
4. It argues that four representatives from Kashmir were part of the Constituent Assembly involved in the
drafting of the Constitution and the State of Jammu and Kashmir was never accorded any special status
in the Constitution.

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5. Article 370 was only a temporary provision to help bring normality in Jammu and Kashmir and
strengthen democracy in that State, it contends. The Constitution-makers did not intend Article 370 to be
a tool to bring permanent amendments, like Article 35A, in the Constitution.
6. The petition said Article 35 A is against the very spirit of oneness of India as it creates a class within a
class of Indian citizens. Restricting citizens from other States from getting employment or buying
property within Jammu and Kashmir is a violation of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of
the Constitution.

Issues Involved

1. The major political parties of the Kashmir Valley, NC and PDP have remained in support to the
preservation and safeguarding of Article 370 and Article 35A.
2. In defense of Article 35-A, the Jammu and Kashmir state Government in November 2015, prepared a
report which read, though Article 368 has been applied to State of Jammu and Kashmir, that would not
curtail power of President under Article 370 to amend any provision of Constitution of India in its
application to Jammu and Kashmir.
3. The constitutional validity of Article 35A is, therefore, well established as it protects legislation passed by
the J&K legislature relating to benefits to Permanent Residents from challenge on the ground of violation
of Fundamental Rights, while extending the chapter on Fundamental Rights of the Indian Constitution to
J&K. Thus this provision is in the nature of a proviso to the extension of the chapter on Fundamental
Rights in the Indian Constitution to J&K. In fact, the Fundamental Rights were extended to J&K through
the 1954 Presidential Order.
4. The ruling party believes that the special status, certain rights and privileges are enjoyed only by the
residents of the state which has given rise to alienation and separatist identity to the people of Jammu
and Kashmir.
5. Scrapping the Article 35A is seen as an assault on the special status of the Jammu and Kashmir by the
state government.
6. Article 35A cannot be challenged on the ground that they affect the fundamental rights of the other Indian
Citizens.
7. The rights of the state legislature are not unlimited and can be given only in the case of Employment,
Property, Settlement and Scholarship.
8. Former chief minister Omar Abdullah also stated that this would create a bigger agitation as was
witnessed in 2008 over the transfer of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board.
9. Any alteration to Article 35A may leave the government at the Centre with a hot mess in its hands,
damaging the vestiges of goodwill that ordinary Kashmiris may still have towards the Union of India.
10. Any attempt to undermine, or dilute, these principles, already enshrined in the Constitution and wrenched
after many decades of violence and bloodshed, can only serve to perpetuate the current cycle of unrest.
In any case, it won't act as a deterrent to terrorism in the valley.

Conclusion

Kashmir has been on the boil since last July, after Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani was killed by the
Indian Army. Since then, hundreds of ordinary people have been injured or killed in clashes with the armed
forces and regular Internet shutdown has crippled normal life in the state. Taking a hasty step to deal with Article
35A under such dire circumstances, out of purely jingoistic or ideological concerns, may prove to be the last
straw in the Centre's relationship with the state.

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Question

1. Article 35A undermines the unity of our nation. Critically analyse


2. What is article 35A. what are the issues involved in it??

#2. Do India require All India Judicial


Services

Note4Students:

There has been lingering issues of inefficiency, pendency of cases and vacancy of judges within the Indian
judiciary. Recently union government sought the opinion of attorney general with regards to the AIJS. So
discussion over AIJS is important.

Introduction

1. Article 309 of the Constitution deals with the recruitment and conditions of service of persons serving the
Union or a State.
2. It empowers the appropriate Legislature to regulate the recruitment and conditions of service of persons
appointed to public services and post in connection with the affairs of the Union or of any State.
3. The Constitution was amended in 1977 to provide for an AIJS under Article 312.
4. Under article 312,if the Council of States has declared by resolution supported by not less than two-
thirds of the members present and voting that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest so to
do, Parliament may by law provide for the creation of one or more all-India services (including an all-India
judicial service)] common to the Union and the States
5. Earlier recommendations: The first Law Commission recommended the creation of an AIJS. It opined
that such a course is necessary in the interest of efficiency of the subordinate judiciary.
6. This proposal was considered in the Law Ministers Conference held in the year 1960, but the proposal
was shelved.
7. The 8 Law Commission while examining the problem of arrears in trial courts, recommended formation
th

of an AIJS.

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Analysis

Problems of subordinate judiciary:

1. Vacancies: There are at least 4,400 vacancies for judges in the subordinate judiciary, including for
district judges.
2. There always 20 per cent vacancies in the courts.
3. Vacancies are never filled in time because the judiciary is unable to attract talent.
4. Not attractive: Today the subordinate judiciary depends entirely on state recruitment. But the brighter
law students do not join the state judicial services because they are not attractive.
5. Career progression: With no career progression, no one with a respectable bar practice wants to
become an additional district judge, and deal with the hassles of transfers and postings.
6. Quality : Consequently, the quality of the subordinate judiciary is by and large average, although there
are some bright exceptions.
7. By extension, at least one-third of high court judges elevated from the subordinate judiciary are
also mostly average. As a result, the litigants are left to suffer.
8. Pendency of cases :As of December 31, 2015, 51.2 per cent of all cases pending in the subordinate
courts have been pending for more than two years.

Why AIJS Required

1. Improved quality: It will improve the quality of judicial officers in high courts.
2. Proved quality: One-third of the judges would enter the high courts through the route of promotion from
subordinate courts. Judges of the Supreme Court are drawn from the high courts. In this process, the
persons eventually selected into the judiciary would be of proven competence.
3. Quality of judgements: Simultaneously, the quality of adjudication and the dispensation of justice would
undergo transformative changes across the judicial system, from the lowest to the highest levels. This
can have far-reaching impact on the quality of justice and on peoples access to justice as well.

4. Accountability: A career judicial service will make the judiciary more accountable, more professional,
and arguably, also more equitable.
5. Time consumption: Well trained and qualified judicial officers would be instrumental to reduce the time
required for the litigation.

Recommendations of the National Judicial Pay Commission

1. The AIJS should be constituted only in the cadre of District Judges as per provisions of Article 312 (3) of
the Constitution. The District Judges directly recruited and promoted should constitute the AIJS.
2. The selection for direct recruitment should be by the National Judicial Commission / UPSC and the
promotes by the respective High Courts.
3. The qualification for direct recruitment to AIJS should be in conformity with that prescribed under Article
233(2) of the Constitution.
4. Service Judges also should be allowed to compete for recruitment of AIJS, by appropriately amending
Article 233(2) of the Constitution.
5. Not exceeding 25% of the posts in the cadre of District Judges in every State should be earmarked for
direct recruitment.

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6. The age limit for recruitment to AIJS should be between 35 years to 45 years.
7. Appointment: The National Judicial Commission / UPSC, after selecting the candidates for direct
recruitment to the cadre of District Judges, must allocate to the States / UTs, the candidates equal to the
vacancies that are surrendered by them.
8. The High Court thereupon will recommend those names to the Governor for appointment as per Article
233 of the Constitution.

Arguments against AIJS

1. Status of Legal education: The Bar Council of India has mismanaged legal education. Within this
incredibly small talent pool, the judiciary competes by offering unremunerated pay and limited avenues
for career advancement.so attractive remuneration will increase the quality of the judicial system.
2. Disadvantages of national exam A national exam risks shutting out those from less privileged
backgrounds from being able to enter the judicial services
3. Inadequate knowledge of regional language would corrode judicial efficiency both with regard to
understanding and appreciating parole evidence pronouncing judgments.
4. Career prospects of state judiciary members: Promotional avenues of the members of the State
judiciary would be severely curtailed causing heart burning to those who have already entered the
service and manning of the State judicial service would be adversely effected.
5. Statistics from different time periods :shows that both the decentralised approach of each High Court
conducting its own appointment and a centralised one of all India civil services seem to have roughly the
same efficacy in filling up the vacancy.
6. Erosion of control of the High Court over subordinate judiciary would impair independence of the
judiciary.
7. Overburdened judicial officers If clerical task of judicial officers has removed, entrusted to non-judicial
clerks , it will help judges to focus on judicial matters. This will infuse more efficiency. AS per independent
studies conducted by Centre for Civil Society and Daksh, clerical tasks constitute almost half of
subordinate judges time.
8. Source of real experience Richness of judiciary comes from experience and exposure to real cases
which the AIJS exam will take away from.

Conclusion

The problems of the Indian judiciary at all levels have reached catastrophic level. The public is losing confidence
in the judiciary despite the latters assertions. Data show that they are acting on this belief by filing fewer cases
year on year. It is likely to be a combination of delays, cost, uncertainty, inefficiency and corruption. So, solution
of these problems lies in the identifying a sustainable mechanism of appointment. That mechanism
should address the negative aspects of the AIJS and de centralised appointment system.

Questions:

1. Do you support the idea of constituting an All India Judicial Service .?


2. The constitution of AIJS will solve the problems of judiciary. Critically analyse

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#3. Should Criminal defamation law


be amended

Note4Students

Supreme Court of India in subramnanian swamy case upheld the validity of the criminal defamation law.
The court pronounced its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of sections 499 and
500 of the Indian Penal Code providing for criminal defamation. It is important to know about Criminal defamation
and its pros and cons.

Introduction

What is Defamation?

1. Defamation refers to the act of publication of defamatory content that lowers the reputation of an
individual or an entity when observed through the perspective of an ordinary man. Defamation in
India is both a civil and a criminal offence.

Sections 499 and 500:

Sections 499 and 500 in the IPC deal with criminal defamation. While the former defines the offence of
defamation, the latter defines the punishment for it.
1. Section 499: Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible
representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or
knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person,
is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person.
2. Section 500: Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term
which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
3.
Analysis

Why it should be retained?

1. Reputation of an individual, constituent in Article 21 is an equally important right as free speech


2. It has interpreted art 21 to provide for right to reputation and brought a new concept of constitutional
fraternity that is, an assurance of mutual respect and concern for each others dignity.
3. The Supreme Court declared that the right to free speech under Article 19(1)(a) had to be balanced
against the right to reputation under Article 21.
4. It has been part of statutory law for over 70 years. It has neither diluted our vibrant democracy nor
abridged free speech

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5. Protection for legitimate criticism on a question of public interest is available in the


6. Civil law of defamation &
7. Under exceptions of Section 499 IPC
8. Mere misuse or abuse of law can never be a reason to render a provision unconstitutional rather lower
judiciary must be sensitized to prevent misuse
9. Monetary compensation in civil defamation is not proportional to the excessive harm done to the
reputation
10. Editors have to take the responsibility of everything they publish as it has far-reaching consequences in
an individual and countrys life
11. Since there is no mechanism to censor the Internet from within, online defamation could only be
adequately countered by retaining defamation as a criminal offence.
12. Also, criminalisation of defamation is part of the states compelling interest to protect the right to
dignity and good reputation of its citizens.
13. Unlike in the U. S, defamation in India cannot be treated only as civil liability as there is always
a possibility of the defamer being judgment free, i.e., not having the adequate financial capability
to compensate the victim.

Why it should be deleted?

1. These restrictions have a chilling effect on freedom of speech; they create an anomaly whereby the
threshold for criminal prosecution for defamation is now possibly lower than the threshold for civil
damages;
2. Constitutional fraternity is not a part of Article 19(2) of the Constitution, which specifically limits
the circumstances under which the state can restrict speech to eight enumerated categories.
3. It is also nowhere in the fundamental rights chapter of the Constitution, so the question of
balancing free speech against constitutional fraternity does not arise.
4. Article 21 which is a shield to protect the individual against State persecution or indifference, is used as
a sword to cut down the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression because of this
provision.
5. Freedom of speech and expression of media is important for a vibrant democracy and the threat of
prosecution alone is enough to suppress the truth. Many times the influential people misuse this provision
to suppress any voices against them.
6. Considering anecdotal evidence, every dissent may be taken as unpalatable criticism. Sections 499 and
500 of IPC prescribes two years imprisonment for a person found guilty of defamation.
7. The right to reputation cannot be extended to collectives such as the government, which has the
resources to set right damage to their reputations.
8. The process in the criminal cases itself becomes a punishment for the accused as it requires him to be
personally present along with a lawyer on each date of hearing.
Given that a civil remedy to defamation already exists, no purpose is served by retaining the criminal remedy
except to coerce, harass and threaten.
It goes against the global trend of decriminalizing defamation
1. Many countries, including neighbouring Sri Lanka, have decriminalized defamation.
2. The United Kingdom abolished criminal defamation altogether
3. More recently, the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe struck it down as an unconstitutional
restriction upon the freedom of speech.
4. In 2011, the Human Rights Committee of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
called upon states to abolish criminal defamation, noting that it intimidates citizens and makes them
shy away from exposing wrongdoing

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5. Investigative journalism can be curtailed and ombudsman would be threatened.


6. The dozens of defamation cases filed in Tamil Nadu to silence journalists show that criminal defamation
can fetter democratic accountability.

Conclusion

1. While the right to reputation may be protected by the Constitution, it should not be at the cost of freedom
of speech.
2. Free speech is necessary because, it enables the media to hold governments and individuals
accountable. Freedom of speech should also protect the right to offend within reasonable limits.
3. If the ability to legitimately criticize is not protected, voices throwing light on important issues will continue
to be silenced by the rich and powerful

Questions
1. Do you think there a need for reform of Indias defamation laws? Critically
comment
2. Supreme Courts judgment on criminal defamation is the latest illustration of a
syndrome Critically comment
3. The Supreme Court verdict upholding the provisions of the Indian Penal Code that
make defamation a criminal offence is retrograde and out of tune with the times.
Discuss

#4. HEERA to replace UGC, AICTE


as a Single Higher Education
Regulator

Note4Student:

The deficiencies of UGC have been highlighted by various reports and committees. At such a time, the idea of
setting up this body has come forward. Its probable a question might be asked.

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Context

With an aim to simplify and consolidate the mass of regulations and compliances that currently operate in the
sector, the Central Government has proposed to do away with the All India Council for Technical Education
(AICTE) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) and replace them with a single body, tentatively
titled Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency (HEERA).

What are UGC and AICTE?

UGC (university Grants Commission)


1. The UGC has two primary responsibilities: (a) providing funds to educational institutions; and (b)
coordinating, determining and maintaining standards in institutions of higher education.
2. Its main functions are: promoting and coordinating education in universities, determining and maintaining
standards for teaching, examination and research in universities, framing regulations on minimum
standards for education, disbursing grants to universities and colleges, liaising between the CG, State
governments and higher educational institutions, and advising the CG and State governments on
possible policy measures to improve higher education in India.

AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education)


1. AICTE is a professional council constituted by the government to govern technical education in India.
2. AICTEs objectives include: promoting quality in technical education, planning the co-ordination and
development of the technical education system and regulation of technical education and maintenance of
norms and standards for technical education in India.

Why does Indias higher education need a reform?

1. The idea to have a single higher education regulator is not a new one, but has been recommended by
various committees set up by previous governments. While the National Knowledge Commission (2006)
had recommended an independent regulatory authority for higher education, the Committee on
Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education (2009) had also advocated an apex regulatory body
by converging multiple agencies in the field of higher education.
2. The TSR Subramanian committee, which had been tasked with coming up with a new education policy,
too called for the scrapping of the UGC and AICTE.
3. The UGC Review Committee in 2014 had also recommended the commission be replaced with an apex
institution named National Higher Education Authority.

What will be HEERAs role and function?

1. HEERA is expected to eliminate the overlaps in the jurisdiction and remove irrelevant regulatory
provisions.
2. It will bring the regulation of both technical and non-technical higher education institutions under one
umbrella.
3. The way UGC and AICTE have been roundly criticised for their poor handling of higher education so far,
HEERA is likely to be structured in a manner that addresses these deficiencies.

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Advantages of HEERA:

1. The introduction of a unified regulator for both UGC and AICTE would eliminate all overlaps in jurisdiction
and also do away with regulatory provisions that may no longer be relevant.
2. Sponsoring bodies of institutes of higher education would no longer be required to approach multiple
authorities for clearances, which is likely to promote ease of development of institutions of higher
learning.
3. HEERA is also expected to have sharper teeth than the extant AICTE and UGC: the HEERA Law is likely
to empower HEERA to take strict penal action against defaulting institutions.
4. The multiple sets of rules and sub-regulations prescribed by UGC and AICTE, unfortunately, seem to
have acted as a deterrent to the development of premier educational institutions would be done away
with by setting up of a single body.
5. India has separated technical and non-technical education which is outmoded and out of sync with the
rest of the world. Having a single regulator would result in better outcomes.
6. Having a single statutory body for higher education will simplify and consolidate the mass of regulations
and compliances that currently operate in the sector.

Conclusion:

1. The multiple sets of rules and sub-regulations prescribed by UGC and AICTE, unfortunately, seem to
have acted as a deterrent to the development of premier educational institutions. There has long been a
need for change in the regime governing higher education in India.
2. The separation between the standards governing technical and non-technical education is seen as
unnecessary and illusory. Therefore, the time is ripe for single unified authority for the regulation of higher
education in the country.

Present situation

Though, Indias higher education sector needs reforms which are pending since long, the governments plan to
replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) with
a single higher education regulator seems to have hit a roadblock with the HRD ministry putting the idea on hold.

Source

http://indianexpress.com/article/education/ugc-aicte-to-be-scrapped-replaced-by-heera-reports-4691511/
http://www.thehindu.com/education/the-heera-conundrum/article19384415.ece
http://www.thehindu.com/education/colleges/new-body-to-replace-ugc-aicte/article18730891.ece
http://www.livemint.com/Education/YitGMlErQCF6PqnJoVWnTI/HRD-plan-to-replace-UGC-AICTE-with-single-
regulator-in-limb.html

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Question:
Q.1) The higher education reforms in India have been pending since long. Do you
think at such a time, the creation of a body like HEERA will be game changing?
Examine.
Q.2) In view of the multiple sets of rules and sub-regulations prescribed by UGC and
AICTE, which have unfortunately, acted as a deterrent to the development of premier
educational institutions, the time is ripe for single unified authority for the regulation
of higher education in the country. In this context, discuss the advantages of HEERA,
a proposed body.

#5. Judial activism and overreach:


An analysis

Note4Students:

There lies a very thin line between the judicial overreach and judicial activism. Considering the recent
pronouncements of SC, this topic has become important for mains.F

Context

1. Some time back, it was commented that judiciary must draw its own 'Lakshman rekha (inviolable
boundary)' and not take decisions that fall in the domain of executive, highlighting the increasing friction
between the judiciary and executive over a perceived overreach by the courts.

What is judicial activism and judicial overreach?

1. Judicial Review" is the process by which a court reviews the constitutionality of a statue or the application
of a statute, and rules either for it or against it on that basis.
2. "Judicial Activism" is the view that courts make political rather than legal decisions to further some
agenda, rather than strictly reviewing the legality of a law under the letter of the law and prior precedent.
It refers to the process in which judiciary steps into the shoes of legislature and comes up with new rules
and regulations, which the legislature ought to have done earlier.

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3. Judicial Overreach refers to an extreme form of judicial activism where arbitrary, unreasonable and
frequent interventions are made by judiciary into the legislatures domain, often with the intention of
disrupting the balance of powers between executive, legislature and judiciary.

What is the need of judicial activism?

Failure of other organs to discharge their duties:

1. When the other political branches of the government viz. the legislature and the executive fail to
discharge their respective functions, it leads to an erosion of the confidence of the citizens in the
constitutional values and democracy. In such a scenario, the judiciary steps into the areas usually
earmarked for the legislature and executive.
Taking proactive steps by the judiciary:
1. In case the fundamental rights of the people are trampled by the government or any other third party, the
judges may take upon themselves the task of aiding the ameliorating conditions of the citizens cited as
judicial activism.

To fill the vacuum created by other organs of government:


1. To fill the legislative vacuum and to meet the societal needs, the courts often indulge in judicial legislation
thereby encroaching in the domain of legislature.

What does constitution say about judicial activism?

1. The Indian judiciary has been constitutionally vested with the power of review to keep the Executive and
Legislature within constitutional boundaries. The Judiciary can strike down any law that is beyond
Parliaments legislative competence or is violative of the Constitution. Similarly, it can strike down any
Executive action, if there is any patent illegality or arbitrariness to it.
2. While Articles 13, 21, 32, 226 and 227 encompass this power, Article 142 extends a unique,
extraordinary power to our Supreme Court to do complete justice in any matter before it.

Criticism of this idea:

Disturbs the balance between organs of government:

1. According to some critics, judicial overreach is upsetting the constitutional balance among the three
organs of state the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.

Viewed as a challenge to basic structure:

The judicial activism, at one point of time, was considered necessary to correct the failings of the legislature and
the misdeeds of the executive. But it has now grown into a situation where the idea of separation of powers,
which should be considered a feature of the basic structure of the Constitution, is challenged.

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Judiciary must perform its judicial functions:

1. Activism can deteriorate into overreach if the judiciary considers itself the sole custodian of public
interest, interprets public interest in its own fashion and seeks to force the legislature and the executive to
implement its version of it. Judiciary has only got to interpret the laws and decide whether they conform
to the Constitution and not more than that.

Understanding thin line between activism and overreach:

1. There is a thin line between activism and overreach. While judicial activism is considered positive to
supplement the fallings of the executive, but the overreach into the executives domain is considered an
intrusion into the proper functioning of democracy.
2. Just as independence of the judiciary is part of basic structure, the primacy of the legislature in policy
making is also part of basic structure and interference by the courts into their domain is not justified.

Way Forward

1. Although, judicial review is legitimate domain of judiciary but then a limit or boundary has to be drawn.
Judiciary, like all institutions in a democracy, should be accountable and know its own limits. It should not
become a super parliament that frames laws and a super executive that seeks to implement them.
2. The quality and speed of the mainstream judicial system can be improved by a comprehensive and
integrative approach, focussed on improving judicial infrastructure and reducing indiscipline. Following
points define the way in which judicial activism can prove constructive:
1. Improving judicial infrastructure
2. Develop discipline in the judicial system
3. Improve strength of judges
4. Develop judicial competence, effective case management and use of information technology
5. Review media role.

Question:

(Q) This is not the first time when questions have been raised on the judicial
overreach and activism in India. Is judicial activism when executive is not able to
efficiently perform its duties justified? Give arguments.
(Q) Judicial activism and judicial overreach are separated by very thin line, and the
judiciary has to be careful of it. If that line is crossed, judicial activism may be
considered an encroachment on legislature? Discuss.

Sources

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/Judicial-activism-romanticism-amp-
overreach/article15177963.ece
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/Disturbing-trends-in-judicial-activism/article12680891.ece
http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/arun-jaitley-judicial-activism-supreme-court-2828018/

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http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/lPqfldPjTc9t4aBYupFZKK/The-judiciary-is-shifting-the-balance-of-
power.html
http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/hB3zoJOiAEKkUd6YUxw0rM/Judicial-boundaries.html

#6. Should Lateral entry be allowed


in civil services

Note4Students

If lateral entry is allowed in civil services, it could be a game changing decision. The government has sought
recommendations in this regard. It is possible students may be asked to analyse this proposal.

Context

Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has been asked to prepare a proposition on lateral entries into
civil services that deal with economy and infrastructure and prepare a broad outline of modalities for selecting
private individuals for appointment in the ranks of deputy secretary, director and joint secretary.

How will it be implemented, if approved?

The shortlisting of private sector executives or social workers would be through a matrix of experience and
qualification, without taking into account their existing salaries. The final selection would be done by a committee
headed by the Cabinet Secretary

Was the idea discussed ever before?

1. The idea of lateral induction is not new. It has been recommended by high level committees appointed by
different governments and a plethora of think tanks.
2. The first Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) had pointed out the need for specialization as far
back as in 1965.
3. The Surinder Nath Committee and the Hota Committee also recommended the same in 2003 and
2004, respectively.
4. In 2005, the second ARC recommended an institutionalized, transparent process for lateral entry at both
the Central and state levels.

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Is there a need for lateral entry into Civil Services?

1. The assurance of a secure career in civil services has discouraged initiative by reducing competition in
the higher echelons of government. The entry at lateral level would keep the competition alive.
2. The quasi-monopolistic hold of the career civil services on senior management position breeds
complacency, inhibits innovative thinking and prevents the inflow of new ideas from outside government.
Lateral entry would help to bring in new ideas from those in private sector.
3. The Baswan Committee has pointed out the huge deficit of officers. Many other reports have shown
deficiencies at higher levels in governments. It is important to bring in new people. Here lateral entry
would be of help.
4. IAS officers get recruited at a very young age when it is difficult to test potential administrative and
judgement capabilities. Mid-career lateral entrants with proven capabilities will help bridge this deficiency.
5. The career progression in the IAS is almost automatic. Notwithstanding sporadic efforts to introduce
meritocracy, very few get weeded out for poor performance. Lateral entry is necessary to push the IAS
out of their comfort zone and challenge them.

Counter-arguments over Lateral Entry into Civil Services

1. The All India Services provide a unique link between the cutting edge at the field level and top policy
making positions as has also been mentioned by the First Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC)
and by the Sarkaria Commission. Bringing people from private sector is not welcomed.
2. The bridge between policy making and implementation, while crucial to all systems, has been of strategic
significance in the Indian context, given the regional diversity of the country. Its important to maintain the
uniqueness of Indian civil services.
3. The exposure and sensitivity to the countrys complex socio-political milieu and to the needs of the
common man, which widespread field experience provides to these Services, may not be available in the
private sector since the private sector does not have the same width and depth of exposure to this type of
field experience.
4. Lateral entry only at top level policy making positions may have little impact on field level implementation,
given the multiple links in the chain of command from the Union Government to a rural village.
5. There might be an issue of conflict of interest when it comes to entrants from the private sector.
6. The larger experience from such lateral entry has not been happy. Lateral entrants have struggled to fit
into the system and understand the processes and dynamics of government decision-making. They
have complained of hostility from the IAS network which, they believe, sets them up for failure.
7. The system of those already in service sees lateral entrants as adversaries who have made their way
in, not through an open competitive examination like they have, but because of privilege and
connections.
8. Once an in-house bureaucratic process is set in motion, it will become a precedent for all time and may
be well be cited and manipulated by future governments at the Centre and the states to bring in people
regardless of their worth.

Conclusion

1. Though an institutionalized lateral entry into civil service will help the government have the best of both
youth and experience and take the system closer to the goal of minimum government, maximum

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governance, but a good system encourages and nurtures talent from within instead of seeking to induct
leadership from outside.
2. The remedy to deficiencies in Indian civil services lies not through lateral induction but through more
rigorous performance appraisal and improved personnel management.
3. Entrusting the job of selection to a body supervised by a speacialised agency like the Union Public
Service Commission would be the only alternative to ensure that merit is the sole criteria and no scope
exists for preferential induction on grounds of region, community or ideological allegiance.

Sources:

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/w9IUEN2qOv4OZxT8ofx4SK/The-need-for-lateral-entry-in-civil-services.html
http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/should-the-government-allow-lateral-entry-into-the-civil-services/story-
Q75UKek5TPGwCrMreb9G0I.html
http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-case-for-lateral-entry-indian-administrative-service-ias-upsc-
government-4788115/
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/dopt-asked-to-prepare-proposal-on-lateral-entry-into-civil-services-
department-of-personnel-training-4749693/

Questions

Q.1) The governments recent proposal of bringing in lateral entry in civil services
comes with its own advantages and criticisms. Discuss.
Q.2) Considering the recommendations made by various committees that there exists
a large deficit of civil servants at higher levels, do you suggest the idea of bringing in
new recruits at middle and higher level. Critically analyse in view of recent debate
going on about lateral entry in civil services.

#7. Should liquor be banned on


highways

Note4Students

Liquor banning brings the larger debate effectiveness of single dimensioned approach to achieve a desired
target. As states are losing huge amount of revenue , effectiveness of this verdict should be discussed.
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Introduction

The Supreme Court has called for a complete ban on sale of liquor along national and state highways.

Supreme Court Judgement

1. All states and union territories shall forthwith cease and desist from granting licences for the sale of liquor
along national and state highways;
2. The prohibition contained in above shall extend to and include
stretches of such highways which fall within the limits of a municipal corporation, city, town or local authority;
All signages and advertisements of the availability of liquor shall be prohibited and existing ones removed
forthwith both on national and state highways;
a) No shop for the sale of liquor shall be visible from a national or state highway
directly accessible from a national or state highway
Situated within a distance of 500 metres of the outer edge of the national or state highway or of a service lane
along the highway
All States and Union territories are mandated to strictly enforce the above directions.
These directions issue under Article 142 of the Constitution.
Later Supreme Court clarified that any such executive action would not fall foul of the law if the highway was
within the city limits.
This allows the executive to decide if it should denotify a highway and lose central assistance needed for its
upkeep and permit liquor joints to continue within 500 metres on either side.

Analysis

Facts and figures


1. A public interest litigation petition was filed by NGO Arrive Safe in the Supreme Court,
2. nearly 1.42 lakh people were killed in road accidents every year, mainly owing to drunk driving.
3. The National Road Safety Council, which was established under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, had
concluded at a meeting in January 2004 that liquor shops should not be given licences along the
National Highways
4. This was followed up by a Road Transport and Highways Ministrys circular to all State governments,
advising them to remove liquor shops situated along the National Highways and not to issue fresh
licences in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
5. The advisory drew attention to the parliamentary mandate of zero tolerance of driving under the
influence of alcohol.
6. The Supreme Court also highlighted the Union governments policy titled Model
Policy/taxation/act/rules for alcoholic beverages and alcohol issued a decade ago, which advocated
a ban on liquor vends situated 220 metres from the middle of the State or National Highways.
7. During 2015, 5.01 lakh people were injured and 1.46 lakh people killed in road accidents, as per
official data compiled by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry.
8. Although driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs accounted for 3.3% of the total road
accidents and 4.6% of the total deaths.
9. The court contended that over-speeding, the prime reason for accidents, could also occur owing to
drunk driving.
10. It further said there was a tendency to under-report drunk driving as a cause of accidents and liquor
was easily available on the State Highways.

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11. revenue loss.: According to estimates by the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of
India (FHRAI), the ban will lead to a loss of 2 lakh crore to the exchequer and 20,000 crore to the
industry. It has estimated that nearly 1 lakh establishments will face the threat of closure.

Outcome of the Judgement

1. State governments face a huge loss in revenue.


2. Smaller administrative units such as Union Territories will be the worst-hit.
3. Such quirky orders have inevitably led to quirky responses.
4. The UT of Chandigarh, for instance, has declared all city roads as urban roads.
5. Puducherry, which includes enclaves such as Mahe, will find relocation of many shops impossible. They
are caught between the highway and the sea.
6. Goa, a small State that depends heavily on tourism, is in a similarly difficult situation.
7. The relaxation of the liquor-free zone from 500 m to 220 m from the highways in the case of areas with a
population of 20,000 or less might only partly address their concerns. More than a third of the liquor sale
and consumption points will be hit.

#8. National court of appeal

Note4Students:

The proposal for establishment of NCA has been discussed over quite period of time. You need to study what
are all aspects of the issue.

Context

The Centre and the Supreme Court have been deliberating on establishment of Courts of Appeal from quite
some time.

What is a National Court of Appeal?

1. The National Court Appeal with regional benches in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata is meant to act as
final court of justice in dealing with appeals from the decisions of the High Courts and tribunals within
their region in civil, criminal, labour and revenue matters.
2. In such a scenario, the Supreme Court of India situated in Delhi would only hear matters of constitutional
law and public law.

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Why is there a need for NCA?

Burdening of SC by regular cases:

1. Due to SC being burdened by regular matters like bail pleas, dishonoured cheques, traffic violations, etc.
reduce courts efficiency, it is not able to perform its real mandate of a Constitutional Court.

Give SC time to perform its mandate functions:

1. The setting up of a NCA would take up the Supreme Courts appeals jurisdiction and will give Supreme
Court its much wanted time to perform its mandated functions efficiently.

Increasing geographical proximity:

1. Since the Supreme Court is situated only in New Delhi, it hampers the accessibility to litigants from south
India. So, there is an urgent need to establish courts like NCA with regional benches.

Reduce burden on higher judiciary:

1. NCA would help in reducing the burden by disposing the mundane cases; and it may also help in
clubbing those cases which needs clarification from the Supreme Court.

Listen to appeals from high courts:

1. If a court of appeal is established, the majority of appeals from high courts can be addressed in these
courts.
2. If the Supreme Court only deals with crucial cases, the process will become streamlined and will save a
lot of time and expense, for both litigants and the courts.
Relieve the Supreme Court of regular civil and criminal appeals:

It would relieve the Supreme Court of the weight of hearing regular civil and criminal appeals, allowing
the court to concentrate on determining only fundamental questions of constitutional importance.

Criticism of the idea

May curtail the powers of the Supreme Court:

1. It is feared that attempts like this are made by the other organs of the state to curtail the constitutional
powers of the Supreme Court.

Require constitutional amendment:

1. It is held that the establishment of NCA would require an amendment in Article 130 of the Constitution
which in turn would change the constitution of the Supreme Court completely.

May cost heavily on exchequer:

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1. The establishment of NCA would increase the burden on the exchequer and similarly the expenses and
hardships of the litigants will also increase.
2. Dilution of the Supreme Court and its aura as an apex court may not be in line with the concept of the
Supreme Court envisioned by the architects of the Constitution.

What is the Supreme Courts position on creating an NCA?

1. The Supreme Court itself, as early as in 1986, had recommended establishment of an NCA with regional
Benches at Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata to ease the burden of the Supreme Court and avoid hardship
to litigants who have to come all the way to Delhi to fight their cases.
2. But subsequent Chief Justices of India were not inclined to the idea of bifurcation of judicial powers, and
that of forming regional benches of the apex court.
3. In February 2016, the Supreme Court admitted Chennai lawyer V. Vasanthakumars petition for setting
up an NCA.

What is the governments position on the NCA?

1. The government has rejected the proposal for a National Court of Appeal with regional Benches. It has
cited three grounds for rejecting the idea
2. As per the constitution the Supreme Court always sits in Delhi,
3. The idea of NCA was consistently opposed by the Chief Justices of India in the past,
4. An NCA would completely change the constitution of the Supreme Court and establishing NCA in
between the High Court and the SC would be a dilution of the judiciary.

Conclusion

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

Questions

Q.1) What is a National Court of Appeal? What are the pros and cons of having a
NCA?
Q.2) Do you think idea of having a National Court of Appeal will solve the problems of
Indian judiciary? What is the governments and SC view on NCA?

Sources
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/national-court-of-appeal-the-hindu-explains/article8532094.ece
http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/across-the-aisle-government-should-back-cji-on-idea-of-a-court-
of-appeal/
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/judges-strength-inadequate-to-deal-with-rising-cases-sc/

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http://www.livelaw.in/national-court-appeal-sc-constitution-bench-decide-plea/
http://www.financialexpress.com/industry/do-we-really-need-a-national-court-of-appeal/5254/

Arugments supporting liquor ban

1. Bigger lorry and trucks cause the most of highway accidents. The drivers of these vehicles are poor
people, usually with lesser concern for safety issues that arise out of drunk driving. A report suggests that
almost all truck and bus drivers drink and drive. Government has been trying to keep a check on issuing
license to these drivers but to no effect. Ensuring that there is no availability of liquor shops on the
highway could be a great measure to help them quit.
2. Distraction to those trying to quit: Recovering alcoholics are the worst. Even if these drivers try to curb
the desire to drunk so as to avoid getting caught at check points and losing their license and jobs, the
availability of liquor shops along the highway and their advertisement banners entice them back into the
trap of death. These are tired people who do not have much expectation from life. Some of them are
known to drive for days and nights on a single go. They are much easier to fall back into drinking if there
is availability of liquor nearby.

Arguments against liquor ban

1. Attitude of judiciary: This judgment reflects the growing trend among judges to resort to a rather
questionable form of judicial law-making.
2. Although a well-intentioned order, it is in flagrant breach of the basic constitutional principle of separation
of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary.
3. The court may seem to believe that acting in public interest, as a guardian of peoples rights, its powers
are unfettered. However, such outright overreach can prove to be highly problematic for the entire
system of governance in the country.
4. Availability: People in need of liquor will arrange it .They will pay a local boy to get it from the shops
after 500 meters from highway. It is not even 1 km that would bother them to make it think as a very long
distance before they can fall into the habit that is usually an addiction for them.
5. Where will all the alcohols go? There are huge numbers of liquor shops along the national and state
highways because they must be doing good business there. These are the people who have been
protesting on the ban. They will find the illegal way to supply alcohol to the drivers. Put a ban on anything
and people have natural instincts to have it more than ever.
6. Recklessness: most of the accidents on highways are a result of drunken driving but is drunker driving a
result of liquor shops along the highways? Definitely, no. There are plenty of reasons why there is no
reduction on drunken driving. We do not have stringent laws and whatever little we have there is no
proper implementation of them.
7. Why not cancel more licenses? Unlike other developed countries there is not much done about
cancelling the license of those who drink and drive. They are easily left to go with a small bribery to the
officers in charge.
8. Bad roads: Highways are not in very good condition in India. There are potholes and less broad space
where vehicles try overtaking each other. There arent enough speed checkers in most areas.
Even if a person is drunk, like most lorry drivers, they are more likely to remain in their limits if they have
the fear of losing their license and job but unfortunately that is not the case here.

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Conclusion

1. Road accidents are a much bigger problem in India than it is shown to be. People die. Banning alcohol
shops within 500 meters range from highway to lessen accidents is like trying to deal with a mad
elephants with a string of thread. It needs bigger moves and bigger implication
2. Prohibition as a policy has had a history of failure. While binge-drinking is undoubtedly a health hazard
with serious social costs, bans of the sort adopted by courts and State governments such as Bihar are
counterproductive. Good intentions do not guarantee good outcomes.

Question

Only banning of liquor in the highway will not deliver the required Outcome.
Critically analyse

#9. Should national anthem be Made


mandatory in cinema halls

Note4Students

Debate of patriotism and nationalism gained traction after the judgment of the SC .Critics argued that nationalism
is an intrinsic value of behaviour which cannot be enforced through judgements. And such enforcements will not
be able to instil the patriotic feeling in the mind of people. So, in the larger perspective, this discussion tries to
understand the basic principles of fundamental duties and intrinsic mind set of the people in the light of SC order
.
Introduction

1. The Supreme Court directed that all the cinema halls in India shall play the National Anthem before the
feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the National
Anthem..
2. Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy had passed the order while hearing a petition referring to the provisions
in the Preventions of Insults of National Honour Act, 1971.
3. Supreme Court referred to clause (a) of Article 51(A), Fundamental Duties, occurring in Part IVA of
the Constitution, which reads as follows:

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Analysis

Directives of supreme court

1. There shall be no commercial exploitation to give financial advantage or any kind of benefit
2. There shall not be dramatization of the National Anthem and it should not be included as a part of
any variety show. It is because when the National Anthem is sung or played it is imperative on the part of
every one present to show due respect and honour.
3. National Anthem or a part of it shall not be printed on any object and also never be displayed in such
a manner at such places which may be disgraceful to its status and tantamount to disrespect. It is
because when the National Anthem is sung, the concept of protocol associated with it has its inherent
roots in National identity, National integrity and Constitutional Patriotism.
4. All the cinema halls in India shall play the National Anthem before the feature film starts and all
present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the National Anthem.
5. Prior to the National Anthem is played or sung in the cinema hall on the screen, the entry and exit doors
shall remain closed so that no one can create any kind of disturbance which will amount to disrespect to
the National Anthem. After the National Anthem is played or sung, the doors can be opened.
6. When the National Anthem shall be played in the Cinema Halls, it shall be with the National Flag on the
screen.
7. The abridged version of the National Anthem made by any one for whatever reason shall not be
played or displayed.

Arguments for the National Anthem

1. It is clear as crystal that it is the sacred obligation of every citizen to abide by the ideals engrafted in the
Constitution. And one such ideal is to show respect for the National Anthem and the National Flag.
2. Constitutional patriotism: The court noted that a time has come, the citizens of the country must realize
that they live in a nation and are duty bound to show respect to National Anthem which is the symbol of
the Constitutional Patriotism and inherent national quality.
3. It does not allow any different notion or the perception of individual rights that have individually thought of
have no space. The idea is constitutionally impermissible
4. The moral values and the national pride is not the obligation of only the armed forces, this is the
fundamental duty of all citizens. The Children in the country should be taught lessons in nationalism and
patriotism right from the beginning.
5. Infusion of national values: Right from childhood we should inculcate in the minds of our children respect
to the great National symbols. If the nation doesnt exist, we dont exist. These symbols are the symbols
of sovereignty and honour of the nation. Every citizen has the right to uphold it and respect it and that is
the reason it has been mentioned in the constitution under Article 51A.
6. During the Chinese aggression it was made compulsory for all cinema halls to play National Anthem and
the National Flag will be displayed which was done for a purpose. During that time the emotions were
aroused and the government wanted to inculcate the patriotic feelings.
Criticism

1. Past experience: It was mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem after every movie in the
1960s after the Indo-China war. And since it was played after the movie, it was a common sight to see
people start leaving the theatre while the national anthem was playing, and so the practice was slowly
discontinued.

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2. The ushers in cinema halls tell us that if the practice is started again, it will again lead to chaos and
confusion
3. Understanding the real problem: If the younger generation has been oblivious about national symbols
then the fault lies elsewhere. This problem cant be solved by insisting in cinema theatres to sing National
Anthem.
4. One cant say if we dont play National Anthem in the cinema theatres we will become less patriotic or
less nationalistic.
5. There is no empirical evidence to show that people have become less nationalistic or less
patriotic. Whenever nation faces a crisis people rise as one man and defends the nation as we have
seen in these many years. This shows people are patriotic.
6. Judicial overreach: This is the domain of the executive and the legislature and not of the Supreme
Court. Critics pointed towards the judicial overreach of apex court.
7. The question remains is what if a person cant stand due to some disabilities.
8. Under Article 142 the Supreme Court decrees and orders are enforceable throughout the country but
those are in respect of a cause or matter which comes up for the Supreme Court. There are doubts
whether this particular order comes under that category.
9. People have inherent feeling and respect for national symbols, thats the reasons people
spontaneously stand up whenever National Anthem is sung. No one should be enforced or compelled to
do that and respect should come within.
10. The Supreme Court used an expression Constitutional Patriotism but patriotism cannot be
constitutional.
11. Compulsion from an outside source will create certain feelings and adverse reaction which is not good.
12. Our founding fathers of constitution were aware and that is why they also observed that the respect for
the nation and its symbols should not be enforced by the state.

Way forward

1. Opinions of people should be taken into account.


2. When national anthem is forced down on millions of people, like this, it detracts from the specialty of the
anthem.
3. If court believes that the nationalism is dwindling among the people, SC should direct the government to
take serious steps to inculcate patriotism from school level itself.

Questions

1. Nationalism should not impose upon the people. It is an intrinsic value of


each individual. Analyse the statement in the light of recent SC judgement on
playing national anthem in the cinema hall

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#10. Proxy voting for NRI

Note4Students:

It was debated from long time to give voting rights to NRIs in some form. The govt has proposed for giving proxy
voting rights. Lets see what the debate is all about?

Context

1. The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal to extend proxy voting to overseas Indians by amending
electoral laws.

What is proxy voting and voting by postal ballot?

1. Proxy voting is a type of voting whereby a member can delegate his or her voting power to a
representative, to enable a vote in their absence.
2. The representative can be another member of the same body, or external. A human so designated is
known as a proxy. Presently, only service personnel are permitted to vote through proxy.
3. Postal ballot voting describes the method of voting in an election whereby ballot papers are distributed or
returned by post.

About the proxy voting to NRIs

The proxy voting facility would be provided to overseas electors under the following conditions:
(i) One person can act as the proxy for only one overseas elector.
(ii) Only a person already enrolled in the same constituency in which the overseas elector is enrolled can be
appointed as proxy for overseas elector.
(iii) The appointment of a proxy shall be valid till the time it is revoked by the elector who can then make a fresh
appointment of proxy.

Who will benefit?

1. All Indian passport holders physically not in India at the time their municipality, state or India goes to
polls.
2. What about PIO/OCI card holders then? Can they vote? NO. NRIs are not Persons of Indian Origin
(PIO).

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Which Law has to amended?

1. Representation of People Act, 1950 has to be amended to allow Indian nationals not in Indian territory to
vote.

Analysis

Advantages

1. The governments decision to allow NRIs to vote could emerge as a decisive force in the countrys
electoral politics as there are 114 countries that conduct such voting.
2. It will enable India to provide voting rights to NRIs which are enshrined to be given under Article 326.
3. This decision also, historically, removes an unreasonable restriction posed by Section 20(A) of the
Representation of the People (Amendment) Act of 2010, requiring overseas electors to be physically
present in their constituencies to cast their votes.
4. There are 10 million Indian citizens staying abroad. The additional votes, polled through this way, will
obviously play a crucial role in state and general elections.
5. The traditional argument against such external voting has been that NRIs lack knowledge of domestic
conditions. But, today with increased awareness among people who live in other nations, Indias move
towards enabling voting from overseas is an instance of a larger global trend towards increased citizen
participation.

Criticism

1. There are arguments that a provision of proxy threatens the very core of democracy as how can we give
special privilege of distance voting to some people who have migrated abroad when there are many
times more domestic migrants who also seek to have a voting right at their homes? It is patently
discriminatory. If a person from Bihar moves to Delhi or Mumbai in search of a job or education, he loses
his right to chose his legislator in his village but if he goes to London, he will be entitled to special
privilege.
2. It cannot be guaranteed that the proxy voter will vote as per the wishes of the actual voter. The method of
proxy voting suffers from an inherent problem of trust deficiency and violates the principle of secrecy of
voting.
3. Voting from abroad is fraught with other practical challenges like confirming NRI voters before every
election and ensuring their post is received on time.
4. There can be no guarantee of NRI voters exercising their vote in a free and fair manner as there can be
no check on coercion or inducements by the employers.
5. There is no guarantee that votes would not be sold to the so called proxy.
6. The commission would have to fix the number of votes a proxy could cast in an election. This calls for a
drastic amendment to the Representation of People Act. For, currently the Act permits a person to cast
only one vote and on introducing the new system, it would have make amendments and also fix the
number of vote a person could cast.

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Conclusion

Ascertaining the genuineness of the proxy selected by an NRI for casting vote would be the toughest challenge.
Before experimenting it in Lok Sabha or Assembly elections, the Election Commission would have to devise a
system or work out norms to ensure that a proxy delegated by an NRI is voting as per his desire.

Source

https://thewire.in/165868/nri-proxy-voting/
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nod-for-proxy-voting-for-nris/article19411086.ece
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/government-clears-proxy-vote-move-for-nris-4779759/
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/challenges-aplenty-for-proxy-voting-for-
nris/article19417812.ece

Question:

Q.1) In view of the fact that India doesnt provide option of proxy voting to its
domestic people who migrate to other states, is it fair to give such an option to NRIs
who live far off. Give arguments in support of your answer.
Q.2) The governments idea of providing proxy voting rights to NRIs is seen as a
historic decision in the field of providing voting rights to its citizens. Discuss the
pros and cons of this decision.

#11. Setting up of common water


disputes settlement tribunal

Note4Students:

India is facing a lot of inter-state water disputes. Most of the tribunals that have been set up have failed to arrive
at a solution. Will this new mechanism solve the problem? This is important from context of GS-2.

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Context

In view of the ongoing water disputes in the country, Union Cabinet has proposed to have a permanent tribunal
that will subsume existing tribunals and is expected to provide for speedier adjudication.

Constitutional provisions related to water

1. Water is a State subject as per entry 17 of State List and thus states are empowered to enact legislation
on water.
2. Entry 17 of State List deals with water i.e. water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, water
storage and water power.
3. Entry 56 of Union List gives power to the Union Government for the regulation and development of
interstate rivers and river valleys to the extent declared by Parliament to be expedient in the public
interest.

Constitutional provision related to water disputes

1. In the case of disputes relating to waters, Article 262 provides:


2. Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use,
distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State river or river valley.
3. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament may, by law provide that neither the Supreme
Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint.
4. At present, the resolution of water dispute is governed by the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956.
According to its provisions, a state government can approach the Centre to refer the dispute to a tribunal,
whose decision is considered final.

What are the problems in present set-up?


1. With increasing demand for water, inter-state river water disputes are on the rise.
2. Under the present Act, a separate Tribunal has to be established for each dispute and there is no time
limit for adjudication or publication of reports.
3. Only three of the eight tribunals have actually given awards accepted by the states. Tribunals like those
on the Cauvery and Ravi Beas have been in existence for over 26 and 30 years respectively without any
award.

Features of new structure

1. A single, permanent tribunal subsuming all the existing tribunals is proposed to be established to resolve
grievances of states with speed and efficiency.
2. The proposed tribunal is expected to deliver its verdict within a span of three years.
3. In addition, the proposed tribunal is expected to have more teeth as its verdict will get automatically
notified. Until now, the verdicts of the tribunals were notified by the government. This practice was
causing delays in the implementation of the orders of the tribunals.
4. Along with the tribunal, the amendment has also proposed to set up Dispute Resolution Committee
(DRC) to handle disputes prior to the tribunal.

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5. It calls for the transparent data collection system at the national level for each river basin and a single
agency to maintain data bank and information system.

Present Inter-State river water disputes under the Inter-State River Water Disputes
Act (ISRWD), 1956

Sources

https://www.google.co.in/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.livemint.com%2Fr%2FLiveMint%2FPeriod2
%2F2016%2F09%2F08%2FPhotos%2FProcessed%2Fweb_War_of_Water.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2
Fwww.livemint.com%2FPolitics%2FSD0UuNs3smZFvOHO4RHupN%2FCauvery-faceoff-puts-spotlight-on-
water-wars.html&docid=i0C27wVpQkp7jM&tbnid=XPDAy0Qbv-NmwM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwj19s-
GudPVAhVBOY8KHddfD18QMwgnKAEwAQ..i&w=932&h=473&bih=611&biw=1343&q=Setting%20up%20o
f%20common%20water%20disputes%20settlement%20tribunal%20livemint&ved=0ahUKEwj19s-
GudPVAhVBOY8KHddfD18QMwgnKAEwAQ&iact=mrc&uact=8

Analysis of the new setup

Benefits
1. A permanent tribunal to adjudicate river water disputes between States will undoubtedly be a vast
improvement over the present system of setting up ad hoc tribunals as it is expected to provide for
speedier adjudication.
2. An expert agency to collect data on rainfall, irrigation and surface water flows acquires importance and
looks like an ideal mechanism to apportion water because party-States have a tendency to fiercely
question data provided by the other side.
3. The Dispute Resolution Committee, an expert body that will seek to resolve inter-State differences before
a tribunal is approached will discourage for needless litigation.

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4. Water disputes are highly politicised and a strong public opinion forms around these issues. A single
tribunal would address this issue as it would not be questioned for being politically biased.
Criticism

1. Given the number of ongoing inter-State disputes and those likely to arise in future, it may be difficult for
a single institution with a former Supreme Court judge as its chairperson to give its ruling within three
years.
2. The finality and enforcement of a tribunals award may remain elusive as its interlocutory orders as well
as final award are likely to be challenged in the Supreme Court. .
3. The benches of the permanent tribunal are going to be created to look into disputes as and when they
arise. It is not clear in what way these temporary benches would be different from the present tribunals.
4. There is a severe lack of comprehensive data that looks at hydrology, meteorology, ecology and
economy in an integrated fashion. Without having that data backbone, it will be difficult for a state-level
tribunal or a central body to solve any issue.
5. The new tribunal does not address the problem of non-compliance by state governments like in the
recent Beas-Satluj Tribunal award.

Conclusion

1. Having an institutional mechanism is one thing, but infusing a sense of responsibility in State
governments is quite another. Water disputes have humanitarian dimensions, including agrarian
problems worsened by drought and monsoon failures.
2. The Centres proposal to set up a single, permanent tribunal, subsuming all existing ad hoc tribunals, to
adjudicate on inter-state river water disputes could be a major step towards streamlining the dispute
redressal mechanism. But it alone will not be able to address the different kinds of problemslegal,
administrative, constitutional and politicalthat plague the overall framework. Institutional mechanisms
should be backed by the political will to make them work.

Sources

http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/an-omnibus-court-for-solving-water-disputes-may-not-be-a-panacea/story-
l24SjANHpt9CuXQ9BYb47O.html
http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/JDRZ3dpZdFPes9qiULWUgO/Addressing-Indias-water-dispute-problem.html
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/Grappling-with-water-disputes/article16906692.ece
https://factly.in/major-inter-state-water-disputes-country/
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/government-to-set-up-single-tribunal-for-inter-state-water-disputes-sharing-
problem-4429323/

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Question

Q.1) The Centres proposal to set up a single, permanent tribunal to solve inter-state
river water disputes could be a major step towards streamlining the dispute redressal
mechanism. Examine.
Q.2) What are the existing constitutional and legal provisions regarding water?
Discuss the pros and cons of setting up a common tribunal to solve inter-state water
disputes?
Q.3) Discuss the pros and cons of having permanent river water tribunal in India
where there is significant number of such disputes.

#12. Should no detention policy be


scrapped- An Analysis

Context

1. It has been debated from long that the no-detention policy should be scrapped as it has negatively
impacted quality of basic education in the country. Recently, Union Cabinet has approved the scrapping
of the no-detention policy in schools till Class VIII.
2. Various states, including Delhi, have raised serious objections against the no-detention policy, citing it as
a reason of high failure and drop-outs in classes 9 and 10.

What does it mean?

It means that an enabling provision will be made in the Right to Education Act which will allow states to detain
students in class 5 and class 8 if they fail in the year-end exam.

What is no detention policy?

1. As per the No Detention Policy, no student can be failed or expelled from school till the completion of
elementary education covering classes 1 to 8. All the students up till Class VIII will automatically be
promoted to next class.

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Analysis

Reasons why no detention policy should be scrapped:

1. Negative impact on standard of education: It has led to increased failure rate in classes 9th and 10 . Hence, if
th

the no detention policy continues, it will leave a negative impact on the standard of education and force the
children to face more harsh future.
2. This policy has led to students developing a casual attitude, with there being no risk of failing. The teachers
have also become lethargic & started showing lesser interest towards academics.
3. With the policy in place, the Education Department does not take steps to revamp itself and the teachers do
not take the pain to ensure a good education to the children.
4. Dark future of students: Students will face problem in their coming life because of no good education in the
schools as their learning level would be very low.
5. Zero academic outcome: If no merit is checked while giving promotion to another class, the children will never
learn the importance of studying and acquiring knowledge. It will lead to poor academic outcome in classes.

Reasons why no detention policy should be continued

1. Reducing dropouts from the schools due to peer pressure was the main reason the Right to Education
Act included the no-detention provision, if it is reversed many students would stop going to schools when
they fail due to pressure from peers and family.
2. Section 29 (2) (h) of the RTE Act makes comprehensive and continuous evaluation (CCE) mandatory,
wherein schools are expected to use test results to improve teaching and learning of the child and
visualise evaluation as a diagnostic tool to improve learning. So scrapping the policy is not a solution,
infact it should be modified and corrected.
3. If a student is made to repeat a grade, theres a strong chance he or she will discontinue learning.
4. There can be modification such as each school should conduct exams to ascertain which student is weak
in what subject rather than scrapping the whole policy.

Way forward

1. The phenomenon of poor learning outcomes is the product of many factors which influence learning, and
should not be conveniently pinned to the door of the no-detention policy. The steps that can be taken to
improve learning outcomes can be:
2. measuring learning level outcomes of all children on a regular basis,
3. catalysing a performance-driven culture and rewarding high performers at every level,
4. changing stakeholders mindset and preparing them for new provisions, in which parents are made
responsible or accountable for full attendance of their children.
5. The policy should be implemented in a phased manner and a scale-up to all classes should be
undertaken only after the critical infrastructural, teacher strength and teachers skill-set requirements are
fully met.

Conclusion

Rather than addressing the core issues that affect quality of education in the country, the entire focus seems to
be shifting to bring back the pass/fail model. It is high time steps are taken to remove the other flaws that exist.

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Hence, the policy should either be renovated with adequate changes to neutralize the ill effects or replaced with
a new policy that would take a balanced approach.

Source

https://scroll.in/latest/845915/cabinet-approves-scrapping-of-no-detention-policy-in-schools
http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/right-to-education-act-no-detention-policy-ndp-school-students-
4785429/
http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/simply-put-the-no-fail-policy-may-have-failed-what-now/
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/no-detention-policy-works/article3429830.ece

#13. Should there be Simultaneous


elections for all Lok Sabha and
Vidhan Sabha

Note4Students:

The idea of holding simultaneous elections for both Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha has been recommended by
many experts. This topic is important for mains as it is in news from quite some time.

Introduction

Some time back, honourable PM had recommended holding of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections
all over the country which has reignited the age old debate .In this article we will highlight the pros and cons of
holding elections simultaneously.

Pros of holding elections simultaneously

Allow government to focus on development as frequent elections leads to Governance Problem

1. Whenever elections are announced the normal work comes to a standstill to a considerable extent due to
MCC. This means that the government cannot announce any new schemes, make any new
appointments, and the district administration machinery gets totally focused on elections. Holding

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simultaneous elections will solve this problem as MCC will not be implemented at separate time for Lok
sabha and Vidhan sabha.

Reduce expenditure on polls

1. Holding elections simultaneously is a costly affair since in last few decades. Holding elections together
reduces expenditure made by political parties on election campaigns because of frequent elections.

Allows leaders not to be always engaged in campaigning

1. Holding elections at one time will allow the political leaders to focus more on governance rather than on
election campaigning.

Increase in voting percentage:

1. This would lead to improvement in voting percentage as migrant workers would have to move back to
home town only once for polling their vote.

Reduce money spent on manpower deployment:

1. When elections are held separately, crucial manpower has to be deployed for prolonged periods on
election duty. This idea will save the large amount of money spent on manpower deployment.
2. Overall, conducting the election once will bring down the overall cost of conducting election in terms of
distributing voter slips, bringing the staff, calling the Central personnel, delay in schemes deemed as
popular, etc.

Cons of holding elections together

1. Frequent elections are beneficial in number of ways as politicians, who tend to forget voters after the
elections for five years have to return to them. This enhances accountability, elections give a boost to the
economy at the grassroots level, creating work opportunities for lakhs of people. Holding elections at one
time will close these opportunities.
2. If elections are held simultaneously, this would lead to mixing of national and local issues to distort
priorities. In voters minds, local issues might overtake wider state and national issues or vice versa.
3. Simultaneous conduct of elections would require large-scale purchase of Electronic Voting Machines and
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines. The machines would also need to be replaced
every 15 years which would again entail expenditure. Further, storing these machines would increase the
warehousing cost.
4. There are some Practical problems in implementing the scheme for example Imagine a scenario when
the Lok Sabha gets dissolved too early (in 13 days, as actually happened in 1998), and for the sake of
simultaneity all state assemblies with full or thin majority are also dissolved. And then, in the resultant Lok
Sabha elections, the same party comes to power. This would be unfair to states.

5. The idea of simultaneous elections clearly goes against the constitutional structure of the Indian
Parliamentary system. For eg Dissolution of state legislature before completion of 5-year term will break
the cycle again thereby rendering the whole exercise futile.
6. Administrative hassles in managing all elections at the same time can leads to incidents of poll rigging
and this will put heavy burden on the government in the fiscal year during which elections are conducted.

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Way Forward

Holding elections simultaneously is marked by several practical problems which limits its feasibility. However
even status quo does not solve the problems mentioned above. We need to find middle ground. Following steps
can be taken
1. Its possible to reduce the duration of the election process by half by conducting the elections in one
day. That requires making available to the EC five times the Central armed police force that is currently
provided. Raising a few battalions of various paramilitary forces will also give relief to the extremely
stretched and stressed forces, provide employment and contribute to better enforcement in troubled
areas.
2. The other possible and desirable action is to cut the role of money power in elections. It requires two
things: Putting a cap on political party expenditure and state-funding of political parties (not elections),
with a simultaneous ban on all private, especially corporate, funds.
3. States can be divided into two groups for eg. one group of states going to the polls in November 2018
and another group in June 2021. This way, there will be just two rounds of elections in the country in a
five-year period. In order to achieve this, the tenure of the existing state assemblies will have to be
curtailed or extended by some months.
Conclusion

The similar voting at both and center and states is a concern in case of holding elections simultaneously. Many
votes do not discern the difference due to lack of education, apathy, etc. So understanding individual manifestos
of the parties at the Center and state requires the different election.

Questions:
(Q) It is commented that conducting elections for all 3 tiers of Government
simultaneously would improve the Governance in the country. Comment. Also
highlight the Practical difficulties in holding simultaneous elections.
(Q) Discuss the merits and demerits of conducting simultaneous elections for State
Assemblies and Parliament.

Sources

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/simultaneous-elections-lok-sabha-narendra-modi-save-money-stable-
government-2928409/
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/simultaneous-elections/article18348658.ece
https://thewire.in/131341/parliament-state-assembly-simultaneous-elections-democracy/
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/columns/analysing-impact-of-simultaneous-polls/article9522924.ece

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#14. Enemy protection ordinance:


issues and analysis

Note4Students

Enemy property amendment bill caused large uproar in the parliament. Opposition called it as a anti minority bill.
It also budded as undermining fundamental right guaranteed under article 14. So it is important to understand the
details of enemy property act.

Introduction

Parliament passed The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, incorporating comprehensive
amendments to the law relating to confiscation of enemy property in India.

What is Enemy Property Act?

1. When wars broke out between India and China in 1962, and India and Pakistan in 1965 and 1971, the
central government took over properties of citizens of China and Pakistan in India under the Defence of
India Acts.
2. These Acts defined an enemy as a country that committed an act of aggression against India, and its
citizens. The properties of enemies in India were classified as enemy property. The properties included
land, buildings, shares held in companies, gold and jewellery of the citizens of enemy countries. The
responsibility of the administration of enemy properties was handed over to the Custodian of Enemy
Property, an office under the central government.
3. The Defence of India Acts were temporary laws that ceased to operate after the wars ended. To
administer the enemy property seized during the wars, the government enacted the Enemy Property Act
in 1968.
4. This law laid down the powers of the Custodian of Enemy Property for management and
preservation of the enemy properties.

5. The Enemy Property Act gave enemy citizens certain rights with respect to their properties vested in the
Custodian. But the ambiguity in their rights and the powers of the Custodian to administer these
properties resulted in disputes being raised before the courts. Some of these disputes related to Indian
citizens challenging whether they could inherit enemy properties belonging to their ancestors who were
nationals of enemy countries.

Recent Developments:

1. In 2010, the government issued an Ordinance to expand the powers of the Custodian regarding
enemy property. It sought to permanently vest enemy property in the Custodian even in case of the
enemys death or a change in his nationality. However, the Ordinance lapsed.

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2. The issue of enemy property attracted legislative interest again in 2016 when five more
Ordinances were issued on the subject. These Ordinances went a step further and vested ownership
rights over enemy property in the Custodian. This effectively negated the Supreme Court decision of
2005, and made the central government the owner of enemy property.

Analysis

Importanant sections of bill

1. The definition of enemy and enemy subject shall include the legal heir and successor of an
enemy, whether a citizen of India or a citizen of a country which is not an enemy, and also include the
succeeding firm of an enemy firm in the definition of enemy firm irrespective of the nationality of its
members or partners.
2. The enemy property shall continue to vest in the Custodian even if the enemy or enemy subject or
enemy firm ceases to be an enemy due to death, extinction, winding up of business or change of
nationality or that the legal heir or successor is a citizen of India or a citizen of a country which is not an
enemy.
3. The enemy property shall continue to vest in the Custodian with all rights, title and interest in the
property, and the Custodian shall preserve the same until it is disposed of by the Custodian, with the
prior approval of the Central Government, in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
4. The law of succession or any custom or usage governing succession shall not apply in relation to
enemy property.
5. No enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm shall have any right, and shall never be deemed to have
any right to transfer any property vested in the Custodian, and any transfer of such property shall be void.
6. The amendments through the Ordinance include that once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian,
it shall continue to be vested in him as enemy property irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject
or enemy firm has ceased to be an enemy due to reasons such as death etc;
7. There cannot be transfer of any property vested in the Custodian by an enemy or enemy subject or
enemy firm and that the Custodian shall preserve the enemy property till it is disposed of in accordance
with the provisions of the Act.
8. The Custodian, with prior approval of the Central Government, may dispose of enemy properties
vested in him in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and for this purpose, the Government may
issue such directions to the Custodian that shall be binding upon him.
9. The Central Government may transfer property vested in the Custodian which was not actually enemy
property to the person who was aggrieved by the vesting order issued by the Custodian.
10. No civil court or other authority shall entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any enemy
property or any action taken by the Government or the Custodian.

Issues Involved

1. The new law creates a situation where an Indian citizen who has legally bought and developed an
enemy property after 1968, will be divested of his rights in the property.
2. This situation could be challenged in court as a violation of Article 14 , which guarantees the right
to equality and protects people from arbitrary actions of the government.
3. Further, following the passage of the Bill, judicial recourse on enemy property disputes will only be
available before High Courts and the Supreme Court, limiting the options available to people whose
property rights have been affected.

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4. The thrust of the amendments is to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties
left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China after the wars.
5. The amendments deny legal heirs any right over enemy property. The main aim is to negate the effect of
a court judgment in this regard. The Act gives the sole right of disposal of enemy property to the
Custodian.
6. Once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall continue to be vested in him as
enemy property irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be an
enemy due to reasons such as death etc.,
7. Law of succession does not apply to enemy property, that there cannot be transfer of any property
vested in the Custodian by an enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm, and the Custodian shall preserve
the enemy property till it is disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Conclusion

The amendments are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the Act to ensure that the enemy properties that have
been vested in the Custodian remain so and do not revert to the enemy subject or firm.
Question

Q.What are the prime concerns regarding enemy property act?

#15. Should First past the post


system be replaced with
Proportional Representation system

Note4Student:

After string of victories of BJP in all major elections The Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances,
Law and Justice, headed by senior congress leader Anand Sharma called for debate on reforms in adoption of
First past the post system and also suggested a dual system where separate votes for a candidate and a party
could be considered. India being one of the worlds largest democracy any change or debate on election
methods process is very important from our exam point of view.

Introduction

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India adopted Parliamentary form of government with representative democracy in which legislatures are elected
by First Past The Post system (FPTP) type of election.
Under this FPTP system in India:
Entire country divided in to constituencies now 543.
Each constituency elects one candidate
Candidate who gets highest number of votes declared elected than others. Even if votes share less than
50%.(Bharatiya Janata Partys (BJPs) massive election victory is the claim that they got 31.84% of vote share
and won 282 seats that, therefore, 69% of those who voted did not vote in favour of the winning party)
This system is also known as Single Member Plurality or Plurality Voting system in which winner takes it all. And
all other votes are disregarded.

Analysis

Positives of having FPTP


1. Firstly it is praised for simplicity and easy to understand. No specialised knowledge of elections and
politics required. During parliamentary debates members of constituency assembly representing
Scheduled Caste and General Hindus rejected the system of proportional representation bcz of its
complexity and difficult to understand for illiterate population.
2. It retains link between the constituency, Member of Parliament (MP) and voter.
3. Fosters representation and Geographical Accountability.
4. It allows voters to choose between persons rather than just between parties or balances both party and
candidate. So voter asses performance of individual candidate and party.
5. Gives chance to popular candidate to get elected even without party backing.
6. Cost effective.
7. Ensures stable government in such a diverse country.

Negatives aspects of FPTP

1. It may exclude minority parties from representation in Parliament or Councils if they dont have
concentration areas where their candidates can win. Lesser women MPs, MLAs as they dont have area
of concentration.
2. It will encourage development of ethnic parties i.e. political parties base their plans, policies in favour
of particular clan, religion, region, etc.
3. Since there is delimitation of boundaries, cases of gerrymandering can occur.
4. FPTP system results in Two Party system. E.g. BJP and Congress.
5. It leaves a large number of wasted votes which do not go towards the election of any candidate.

Alternative to FPTP

Proportional Representation

Seats are allotted to the political parties according to their vote share. Here voter vote for party not for
candidates.

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Advantages of PR system

1. Faithfully translate votes cast into seats won.


2. Encourage or require the formation of political parties.
3. Give rise to very few wasted votes, depending on the threshold.
4. Facilitate minority parties access to representation depending on the or the district magnitude.
5. Encourage parties to campaign beyond the districts.
6. Restrict the growth of regional fiefdoms.
7. Make power-sharing between parties and interest groups more visible.

Disadvantages OF PR System

1. Gives rise to coalition governments and a fragmented party system i.e. Less stable government.
2. The inability of the voter to enforce accountability by throwing a party out of power or a particular
candidate out of office.
3. Difficulties either for voters to understand or for the electoral administration to implement depending on
voters education and training of poll workers.

Way forward

1. On the lines of European countries Dual system of election model need to be studied in which voters cast
vote both to Political party and candidate.
2. recommendations of the Law Commissions 170th and 255th report should be implemented:
3. A hybrid of both first-past-the-post and proportional representation should be tried.
4. Both the reports have suggested that 25% or 136 more seats should be added to the present Lok Sabha
and be filled by Proportional Representation.
5. Need to study PR system on pilot basis.

Conclusion

The election process and system should safeguard the following principles: more representation, transparency,
verifiability, fairness, eligibility to vote, free, secret and universal suffrage, and accessibility .
No electoral system is perfect. Each one favours one or more of the objectives of elections - but not all of them.
Broadly speaking, PR systems favour accuracy of representation; While FPTP favours stability. Majority systems
tend to stress strong and stable government. Different electoral systems produce different results. There is no
one objectively "best" system. Need to debate, discuss, to evolve more suitable election system.
Questions
Q1. What is First past the post system? How it is different form Proportional
representation? Is it time for India to shift from FPTP system to PR system? Critically
analyse.
Q2. Electoral system failed to achieve India as a more representative democracy?
Critically analyse this statement and give your views with recent examples.

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#16. Curb on VIP Culture

Note4Students

The Union Cabinet has decided to disallow the use of the red beacon on vehicles on Indias roads. Starting
May 1, only vehicles on emergency services, such as ambulances, fire trucks and police cars, will be
permitted the use of a beacon from now, a blue-coloured one. For this, the Central Motor Vehicles Rules of
1989 are to be amended, so that the Central and State governments lose the power to nominate categories
of persons for the red-beacon distinction.

Introduction

In 2013, a Supreme Court bench had asked the central and state government as to how they plan to remove the
VIP culture. It had also directed States to amend the Motor Vehicle Rules to restrict the use of the red beacon
and impose an exemplary fine on those who misused it. More than 80000 VIPs are given escort by central and
state governments. So the challenge is how to stop the security of such personnel from flashing their sirens. The
privileges given to MPs, MLAs, judges at various places cause a lot of trouble for public. Even these places like
toll plazas and airports have list of exempted people. The President expressed his wish to not be called with
various titles and the PM expressed himself as Pradhan Sevak.

Origin/cause of VIP culture in india

This was a part of the colonial hangover. In India, the beacon became a symbol of VIP and public
servants who believe in the arm chair bureaucracy. It was the legacy of a mentality of those who served
British Government and treated the natives as slaves. Vehicles with beacon lights have no place in a
democratic country. People often find these flashing lights as an example of power and VIP status rather
than security aids. Even lower-level politicians and officials misuse the beacons to show off their importance,
especially in smaller towns. So, this is a welcome step by Government in order to change the culture to
reduce the gap between the ruler and those being ruled. Security should be unobtrusive .

Benefits of the decision

1. It is a blow to the colonial hangover of the arm chair bureaucracy and public servants.
2. The Supreme Court in Abhay Singh v. Union of India case termed red beacons a menace.
3. It said, red lights symbolise power and a stark differentiation between those who are allowed to use it
and those who are not.
4. A large number of those using vehicles with beacon lights really disregard ordinary citizens on the
road.
5. SC also cited that the use of beacon lights on the vehicles of public representatives and civil servants has
no parallel in the world democracies.
6. This will reduce the trust-deficit and gap between citizens and leaders/administrators.

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What more needs to be done

1. It is a symbolic beginning of ending of the VIP culture in India.


2. We must ban the traffic diversions and road blocks when VIPs pass by.
3. Humble behaviour of leaders in western countries should be popularised in India.
4. Attitude change of the leaders is a must here. Rules cannot be made in every possible situations.
Hence conscience is the real guide of a person, especially the leaders.
5. Awareness among citizens of their rights and amongst the leaders of their duties.

Conclusion

1. There should be complete rejection of VIP culture. When the ruling classes refuse to imbibe and embody
the concept of political equality as a way of life, there seems to be no alternative other than forcing them
to be humble before the public. All leaders and administrators should imbibe such democratic values
which are the founding stones of the largest democracy. The removal of beacons is a huge democratic
decision. Though the implementation will take time and at the same time awareness generation is also
important. Beacon lights shouldnt become status symbol but should be need based. The VIP culture will
take time to go away from mind-set but an initiation has been made which was required for a long time.

Questions

Q.) What do you understand by VIP culture? How has it affected governance in the country? Critically
analyse.

References

The Hindu
The Indian Express

#17. Skill India (performance


appraisal)

Note4students

Skill India is one of the ambitious programmes of the prime minister. Many programmes failed achieve its targets
due to various reasons. It is essential to understand the shortcomings of the programmes to suggest new
paradigm.so performance appraisal needs to be carried out to write answers for elimination of unemployment,
elimination of extremism by empowering youth etc.

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Introduction

Skill India a flagship programme of government of India has completed one year of its launching. It includes
various initiatives of the government like National Skill Development Mission, National Policy for Skill
Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and the Skill Loan scheme. It
has aim to train impart skill to over 400 million people by 2022. The programme made some head ways in last
one year, but it need to be improved to achieve desired goals. Recently government revised this mission.

Fact and Figures

Analysis

2. According to the Sharada Prasad Committee set up by the skill development ministry to review the
performance of various sector skill councils.
3. Since it was a scheme where trainees were rewarded between Rs 5,000 and Rs 12,000, the government
through the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) overshot its target by training 1.8 million people,
and certified another 1.2 million,
4. The second phase or PMKVY 2.0 was launched the following year, with a budget of Rs 12,000 crore to
skill 10 million youth by 2020.
5. Of those 10 million, 6 million were to be provided fresh training and 4 million were to be certified for the
RPL programme.
6. Sharada Prasad committee observed that, no evaluation was conducted of PMKVY 2015 (the first
version of the scheme) to find out the outcomes of the scheme and whether it was serving the
twin purpose of providing employment to youth and meeting the skill needs of the industry before
launching such an ambitious scheme
7. The committee noted that in its consultations with various stakeholders, all of them said in one voice that
the targets allocated to them were very high and without regard to any sectoral requirement. Everybody
was chasing numbers without providing employment to the youth or meeting sectoral industry needs.
8. The report has pointed at apparent overlaps across formations such as the National Skill Development
Corporation (NSDC), National Skill Development Authority (NSDA), National Skill Qualification committee
(NSQC), National Council on Vocational Training (NCVT) and Directorate General of Training (DGT), and
suggested that the ministry address such duplication.
9. Data shows that the NSDC, through its partners, only managed to skill around 600,000 youth till
September 1, 2017, and could place only 72,858 trained youth, exhibiting a placement rate of around 12
per cent. Under PMKYV 1, the placement rate stood at 18 per cent.

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10. Critics say the focus of PMKVY has been largely on the short-term skill courses, resulting in low
placements.

11. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) made a recommendation to the Union government to re-
look at the design and operations of the NSDC and National Skill Development Fund to ensure
achievement of skill development goals.
12. The CAG report was based on various irregularities and performance aspects of the NSDC.
NSDC provided financial assistance to partners for meeting their agreed training targets.
13. It was observed that in the years 2010-11 to 2013-14, the percentage of partners, who had not achieved
training targets were 57, 77, 83 and 68, respectively. Majority of them also could not achieve the
placement targets for the trained persons, the report had noted.
14. The Sharada Prasad Committee also held the NSDC responsible for poor implementation of the
Standard Training Assessment and Reward (STAR) programme between August 2013 and September
2014.
15. Only 8.5 per cent of the persons trained were able to get employment. That is what has been
claimed by NSDC. But the real ground reality will emerge only after a detailed survey of trainees
trained and placed
Conclusion

1. Skill India is ambitious programme of Government of India. At present India faces a severe shortage of
trained workers. Only 2.3% of Indias work force has formal skill training compared to 68% in the UK,
75% in Germany, 52% in USA, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea. Hence there is is an urgent need
to impart skills in more efficient way. Similarly success of many initiatives like Make-in-India depends on
availability of the requisite skilled manpower. Hence Skill India needs concerted attention to achieve
desired goals.
2. We need to have a holistic approach to vocational education and skill development by having a
defined approach for both short-term and long-term training courses to meet the objectives of the
Skill India programme
3. Skill development cannot happen without developing a credible, sound, aspirational, national system,
which is quality assured and internationally compatible.

Questions:

Q.) Why did skill India mission failed to achieve its targets
We need to have a holistic approach to vocational education and skill development
by having a defined approach for both short-term and long-term training courses to
meet the objectives of the Skill India programme evaluate the statement

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#18. Swachh Bharat mission


(performance appraisal)

Note4Students

Swachh bharat mission is the one of the pet project of the Prime minister. It is important to trace the development
made by the project.

Introduction

1. Swachh Bharat is a campaign by the Government of India to keep the streets, roads and infrastructure of
the country's 4,041 statutory cities and towns and its rural areas clean.
2. The mission is bifurcated into sub-missions as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Gramin), under Ministry of
Drinking Water and Sanitation, and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban), under Ministry of Housing and
Urban Affairs. It includes ambassadors and activities such as a run, national real-time monitoring and
updates from NGOs.

Objectives Of Swachh Bharat Mission

1. Elimination of open defecation


2. Eradication of manual scavenging
3. Modern and Scientic Municipal Solid Waste Management
4. To effect behavioural change regarding healthy sanitation practices
5. Generate awareness about sanitation and its linkage with public health
6. Capacity Augmentation for Urban Local Bodies (ULB)
7. To create an enabling environment for private sector participation in Capex (capital expenditure) and
Opex (operation and maintenance)

Fact and figures

1. AS OF 2011, ACCORDING TO INDIAS LATEST CENSUS, 53.1 percent of the countrys 246.7 million
households had no latrine on their premises. Of these, a small share used public latrines, and the vast
majorityhalf of all the households in the countrypractised open defecation.

2. The United Nations, in a report on water access and sanitation in India released in 2015, said that 564
million of the countrys people still defecated in the open. They accounted for nearly half of the countrys
population, and for over half of the 1.1 billion people across the world who practised open defecation.
The UN estimated that 65,000 tonnes of uncovered, untreated faecesequal to the weight of around 180
Airbus A380swere being introduced into the environment in India every single day.

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3. Indias crisis of sanitation has huge costs.

4. The UN estimates that around 117,000 of the deaths of Indian children under the age of five in 2015 were
caused by diarrhoea, the incidence of which correlates closely with the quality of sanitation in an area.
This means that 10 percent of all deaths under the age of five in the country are due to the disease
among the highest proportions of anywhere in the world.
5. Diarrhoea and other diseases tied to poor sanitation can have debilitating long-term effects, such as
malnutrition and stunting. They also have costs in terms of decreased productivity, expenditure on
treatment and premature deaths.
6. A 2015 report on the global costs of poor sanitation, co-authored by the charity WaterAid, valued the loss
to Indias economy at $106 billion per year, or over 5 percent of its gross domestic product.
7. Sikkim has become the first state to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) this year followed by
Himachal Pradesh and Kerala.
8. 6 of the top 10 clean cities of 2017 viz., Indore, Bhopal, Visakhapatnam, Surat, Tirupati and Vadodara
have improved their sanitation rankings in 2017 over the 2016 and 2014 rankings.
9. Bottom 10 clean cities/towns of India in 2017 are: Gonda (UP)-434, Bhusawal (Maharashtra)-433,
Bagaha (Bihar)-432, Hardoi (Uttarakhand)-431, Katihar (Bihar)-430, Bahraich (UP)-429, Muktsar
(Punjab)-428, Abohar (Punjab)-427, Shahjahanpur (UP)- 426 and Khurja (UP)-425.
10. Four of the bottom 10 clean cities are from UP, two each from Bihar and Punjab and one each from
Uttarakhand and Maharashtra.

Analysis

Important points from cag report


1. The CAG said its audit has brought out planning level weaknesses which were critical for the success of
programme.
2. More than 30 per cent of individual household latrines were defunct/non-functional for reasons like poor
quality of construction, incomplete structure, non- maintenance, it pointed out.
3. Nearly Rs 10,000 crore was spent on the rural sanitation programme by the Central government in the
five years covered by audit and large scale diversions, wastages and irregularities were noted.
4. The conceptual frame-work kept changing from supply driven to demand driven and finally to saturation
and convergence approach, yet the lessons learnt and experimentations through this long journey do not
seem to have made much impact on the sanitation status in the country.
5. CAG said unless implementation is based on realistic planning and is backed by large scale information,
education and communication campaigns to bring about behavioural changes in the target population
and overall governance at the grass root level improves, mere deployment of resources may not have
any significant impact.

Performance analysis

1. The first step in eliminating open defecation is to make sure that people have latrines to use in the first
place
2. On this the mission is making significant headway.
3. To end manual scavenging, these latrines must be of the kinds that eliminate the handling of fresh
excreta, and must be used as per design
4. .Maintaining sanitary facilities also require systems to handle the sewage they capture.

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5. Manual scavenging exists in the yawning gap between the amount of excreta produced by Indias
enormous population and the countrys existing capacity for processing it sanitarily.
6. If that gap is not closed, especially as the government strives to get more than half a billion people who
did not previously use latrines to start using them, it will perpetuate the same old practices.

There is also another factor in getting all of Indias households and communities to use latrines, and to take
collective responsibility for their upkeep.
1. Many of the current practices responsible for the abysmal state of sanitation in the country are rooted in
traditional notions of purity and hygieneoften the same ones that normalise the allocation of sanitation
work to the oppressed castes
2. . Transforming sanitation in India will require a large-scale change in these beliefs, yet here again the
Swachh Bharatag Mission is faltering.

Funding

1. It has set up Swachh Bharat Kosh, a special fund to seek charitable contributions to the cause. Finance
minister Arun Jaitley has already proposed a Swachh cess in the budget, a 2% surcharge on select
services to finance and promote initiatives under the flagship programme.
2. But even the government realizes that there is a need to do much more.
3. Recently the Urban Development ministry wrote to all states requesting them to levy a user charge to
support solid waste management services.
4. It has admitted that inadequate budget of municipalities can derail the Swachh Bharat initiatives in urban
areas. Recently, a committee of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has also
recommended levying a cess on telecom services, fossil fuels like coal and petrol to garner resources for
the campaign.

Social mentality

1. The problem is that rural sanitation policy does not address the real reasons why people do not like to
use toilets. Many people
2. in rural India, where 90% of the countrys open defecation occurs, believe that the kinds of toilets the
government promotes are impure. There is also substantial concern over what will happen when the pits
of these toilets fill up, since emptying a pit is associated with manual scavenging.
3. Unfortunately, the governments awareness campaigns are not addressing these concerns.
4. in urban areas where 13% of the households defecate in the open and where the remaining
1.04 crore toilets are to be built, the progress is nothing to crow about.

Conclusion

1. One year down the line, government statistics reveal that it has a long way to go before the goal of
eliminating open defecation can be achieved. Inadequate funds, lack of capacity of municipalities and
district panchayats to undertake the gargantuan task, an ineffective awareness campaign that has failed
to bring about behavioural changes among the people to use latrines, are among some of the reasons
that urban experts are citing as factors that could end up derailing the ambitious mission.
2. Government has set an overall target of building roughly 11.1 crore toilets by 2019 as a part of the
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign.

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3. 3 crore toilets have been constructed so far. So that means about 27% of the target has been achieved.
The country still has a long way to go, and the progress made so far needs to be sustained and
strengthened further in the new year.

Q.) What are the achievements of Swachh bharat abhiyan. Analyse in the light of CAG
remarks on Swachh bharat abhiyan

#19.Should Section 124A-be


Amended

Note for Students

1. Section 124A was challenged in the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. In its celebrated judgment in the
case of Kedarnath vs State of Bihar, the Supreme Court explained the scope of sedition law. It ruled
that vigorous words in writing and very strong criticism of measures of government or acts of public
officials, would be outside the scope of Section 124A.It has been in news very frequently and its
necessary to prepare both arguments in favour and against Sedition law.

Introduction

1. The section 124A of Indian Penal Code is a pre-independence provision which covers sedition charges
against government.
2. Section 124A of the IPC defines sedition and says:
3. whoever by words either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise brings or
attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, the government established by law; or
4. Whoever by the above means excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government
established by law, has committed the offence of sedition.

5. Figures of the National Crime Records Bureau reveal that in the two years preceding the Jawaharlal
Nehru University case, there were a total of 77 sedition cases, of which only one resulted in conviction.
6. Human rights activists and supporters of free speech argued that this section is draconian and should
be got rid of.

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Arguments in favour of Sedition Law

1. In 1962, the Supreme Court in Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar upheld Section 124A and held
that it struck a correct balance between fundamental rights and the need for public order.
2. The court has reduced the scope of Sedition law to only those cases where there is incitement to
imminent violence towards overthrow of the state.
3. The Court held that it is not mere against government of the day but the institutions as symbol of
state.

Argument against section 124A

1. It stifles the democratic right of people to criticize the government.


2. In the Menaka Gandhi case, the Supreme Court had held that freedom of speech and expression is not
confined to geographical limitations and it carries with it the right of a citizen to gather information and to
exchange thought with others not only in India but abroad too.
3. Thus, criticism against the government policies and decisions within a reasonable limit that does not
incite people to rebel is consistent with freedom of speech and expression.
4. In the Kedarnath Singh case, the Supreme Court has warned against the arbitrary use of sedition
law because such arbitrary use would violate the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the
Constitution.
5. The police might not have the requisite training to understand the consequences of imposing such
a stringent provision.
6. It has been used arbitrarily to curb dissent. In many cases the main targets have been writers,
journalists, activists who question government policy and projects, and political dissenters.
7. The draconian nature of this lawnon-bailable, non-cognisable and punishment that can extend for
life, has a strong deterrent effect on dissent even if it is not used.
8. The press should be protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people.
Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government
9. Legislation exists to deal with unlawful activities and armed movements. There is no need to
criminalize words spoken or written.

Way Forward

1. India of the 21st century does not require a law used by the colonial government to suppress Indias
voice.
2. The guidelines of the SC must be incorporated in Section 124A as well by amendment to IPC so that
any ambiguity is removed.
3. This will ensure that section 124 A of IPC strikes a balance between security and smooth functioning
of state with the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression.

Questions
What do understand by sedition? Should it be deleted? Critically comment
The arbitrariness of the sedition charges imposed on various situations makes for a
test case on the validity of Section 124A Critically examine

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#20. VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper


Audit Trail) IN PERSPECTIVE

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS2

Amid allegations of EVM tampering in the recently concluded state polls and by-polls in 5 states of Punjab,
Manipur, UP, Goa, and Uttarakhand have reignited the controversies and raised questions on the fairness of
elections in our democracy. Some have demanded revert to ballot paper system and others for wide scale
investment in VVPATs. In this article we discuss the various aspects around this issue and how VVPATs can be
a solution to a transparent electoral process. Electoral reforms have always been a favourite topic of UPSC and
undoubtedly VVPAT analysis in this context makes it a potential question in this year CSE Mains 2017.

What are the ensuing issues?

1. In the recent episode of state assembly elections many political parties have raised questions on
vulnerability of EVMs and allege result fixing and whether EVMs are tamper-proof?
2. In the back drop of the media reports that a VVPAT machine showed discrepancies during a
demonstration exercise in Madhya Pradeshs Bhind, concerns are rife about whether EVMs are a reliable
medium for fair and transparent elections in the country. Further questions are being raised if people are
casting their votes or machines itself deciding it?
3. Most of the advanced democracies like USA, Germany and Japan continue to rely on paper ballots.
4. Cross checking and auditing is not feasible, unless equipped with VVPATs.

Introduction:

In the wake of the above controversy the Election Commission intends to use voter-verified paper audit trail
(VVPAT) in all coming elections to bring in more transparency and boosting the confidence of people in the
electoral process. ECI has sent multiple reminders to the Central government to release adequate funds for
manufacture of VVPATs.

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What is VVPAT?

1. VVPAT is a slip generated in a printer-like a machine attached to EVM and flashes voters choice of
candidate and party. Generated slip is shown for a few seconds to the voter to cross check before it falls
into a sealed drop box which can be opened during counting.
2. VVPATs are a second line of verification and are particularly useful in the time when allegations around
Electronic Voting Machines tampering crop up.
3. After voting, the VVPAT machine dispenses a paper slip with the name, serial number and symbol of the
candidate voted for.

Advantage VVPAT:

1. The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail is a method that provides feedback to voters.
2. It is an independent verification printer machine and is attached to electronic voting machines.
3. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate.
4. Under VVPATs, initially, election results are announced based on the recording of votes given by EVMs.
If the election results are disputed, then the votes recorded under Paper Trail System shall be counted
and announced.
5. If there is any discrepancy between the two results, then the result given by VVPAT will prevail over the
EVMs.

Working procedure of EVMs equipped with Voter-verified paper audit trail

1. VVPAT device functions like a printer to be attached to the ballot unit.


2. Once the vote is cast it dispenses a paper slip showing the symbol on which it is cast.
3. The voter can only see this slip through a screened window.
4. After seven seconds, the slip automatically gets cut and falls into a sealed drop box.
5. The machines can be accessed, though, by the polling officials and not by the voter.
6. The printout is deposited in a box and can be used to resolve any dispute regarding the election.

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Flipside Arguments: Election Commissions response to allegations

1. ECI said that EVMs can neither be reprogrammed nor controlled by the external device. The source
code is so designed that it allows the voter to cast the vote only once. The next vote can be
recorded only after the Presiding Officer enables the ballot on the Control Unit. In between, the
machine becomes dead to any signal from outside.

2. The Election Commission said that the comparison between EVMs in India and abroad, where they have
failed, are both misplaced and misguided. This is because most of the systems used in other
countries are PC based and running on the operating system. Hence they are vulnerable to hacking.

3. But EVMs in India are the standalone machine without being part of any input. The software in the
chip is one time programmable and is burnt into the chip at the time of manufacture. Nothing
can be written on the chip after manufacture. Thus there is a fundamental difference between
EVMs in India and abroad.

Way forward:

1. The Supreme Court has supported the ECIs endeavor to use VVPATs in a phased manner to usher in
more transparency in voting.
2. The recent cabinet decision to release funds of Rs 3173 crores for 1.6 million Voter verifiable paper audit
trail (VVPAT) units attached electronic voting machines (EVMs), is a positive step in line with ECIs
strategy for the 2019 next general election.
3. Two public sector units Electronic Corp. of India Ltd (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) have
been approached for manufacture of those VVPATs.

Conclusion:

A free and fair election is the key requirement for sustaining the faith in the democratic ethos and thus, all such
allegations on the integrity of EVMs shall be put to test by the ECI with active involvement of political parties. The
increased usage of VVPATs attached EVMs are a major step in strengthening democracy as directed by the
Supreme Court. It should be followed up with other electoral reforms like Right to rejection, transparency in
political parties and their election finances, disqualifying criminals from contesting elections on filing of charge
sheets etc as recommended by various law commissions. Political parties should come together irrespective of
their positions and decide upon these electoral issues in order to further strengthen the largest democracy in
world.

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#21.Issue of Paid news

Note4Students:

Making paid news an electoral offence has been demanded from long. Paid news plays an important role in
influencing the voters. The Election Commissions order disqualifying Madhya Pradesh Minister Narottam
Mishra for three years is an important step in curbing paid news.

Context

1. The Election Commission (EC) has disqualified a Minister for three years for filing wrong accounts of
election expenditure.
2. The membership has been revoked under section 10A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

What is paid news?


1. According to Press Council of India, paid news is any news or analysis appearing in any media (print &
electronic) for a price in cash or kind as consideration.
2. It refers to propaganda in favour of a candidate masquerading as news reports or articles for a price in
cash or kind as consideration. The news is much like an advertisement, but without the ad tag.

Is paid news an electoral offence?

1. Paid news is not an electoral offence yet in India, but there is a case to make it one.
2. However, the EC has recommended that the Representation of the People Act, 1951, be amended to
make the publishing or abetting the publishing, of paid news to further a candidates prospects or
prejudicially affect anothers an electoral offence.

Negatives of paid news:

Affects peoples thinking and opinion:

This kind of news has been considered a serious malpractice since it deceives the citizens, not letting them know
that the news is, in fact an advertisement and affecting people' s rational thinking and opinion.

Display of money power:

The payment modes usually violate tax laws and election spending laws. It displays the role of money in
elections.
Hits the bottom of democracy:

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Such news play a significant role in influencing voting tendency of voters as the viewer does not get a correct
picture of the personality or performance of the candidate in whose favour or against he decides to cast his vote.
This destroys the very essence of the democracy.

Affects free and fair elections:

Such practices interfere with free and fair elections in the country by violating democratic principle enshrined in
our constitution.

Curbs the faith of people in media:

Media is described as the fourth pillar of democracy. Such incidents bring down the faith of people in democratic
institutions by conveying incorrect and false information to the people.

Reasons for rise in paid news:

The Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology in its 47th report on the
Issues Related to Paid News has identified corporatization of media, desegregation of ownership and editorial
roles, decline in autonomy of editors/journalists due to emergence of contract system and poor wage levels of
journalists as key reasons for the rise in the incidence of paid news.
Besides these, lack of adequate powers available with regulators, lack of effective penal action against those
who violate the rules and inaction by the government in cases related to paid news are also important reasons
for rise in incidents of paid news.

Election Commission Guidelines to Curb Paid News

1. All state Chief Electoral Officers will have to obtain a list of all TV and radio channels and newspapers in
the state as well as their standard advertisement rate cards six months before the term of the Lok Sabha
or the State Legislative Assembly expires.
2. Setting up of Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) at district and state level which will
have to monitor all political advertisements in relation to candidates.
3. The committee will intimate the Returning Officer for issue of notices to candidates for inclusion of
notional expenditure based on standard rate cards in their election expenses account, "even if they
actually do not pay any amount to the channel/newspaper, that is otherwise the case with paid news."
4. The expenditure will also include publicity for a candidate by a "star campaigner" or others, to impact his
electoral prospects.

Challenges in dealing with paid news


There is circumstantial evidence, but little proof. Establishing transaction of cash or kind is indeed not very easy,
as it is usually done without any record and promptly denied by both sides, when enquired. Identifying the cases
is a herculean task.
Media violations, surrogate advertisement and unreported advertisements are often mistaken as Paid News
sometimes in true cases.
It is difficult to identify and solve the cases in a set time limit. The cases keep on pending for a long period of time
before the courts.

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The independence of the media and its ability to bring about transparency in society by playing an adversarial
role against the establishment get compromised because of corruption within the folds of the media itself and it is
usually difficult to fix the accountability in such cases.

Way forward

To curb such incidents in future, it is necessary to make paid News an electoral offence through amendment of
Representation of the People Act, 1951. The expenditure ceilings prescribed by Election Commission should be
strictly adhered to by political parties and candidates. The people should be sensitized by creating awareness
among them and seeking partnership with all stakeholders, including political parties and media.

Conclusion

1. The media acts as a repository of public trust for conveying correct and true information to the people.
The paid news is therefore, a serious matter as it influences the functioning of a free press. There is an
urgent need to protect the right of the public to accurate information before voters exercise their franchise
when such incidents are on rise.
2. Hence, a legal framework in which electoral issues are expeditiously adjudicated must be put in place if
election laws are to be enforced in both letter and spirit.

Sources

http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/what-is-the-menace-of-paid-news-election-commission-narottam-mishra-
madhya-pradesh-minsiter-2008-assembly-elections-4755328/
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/pay-to-publish/article19165976.ece
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/Paid-news-a-deep-seated-malaise/article16838453.ece
http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/the-menace-of-paid-news-116050800630_1.html

Question

Q.1) The Election Commissions order disqualifying a minister in the Madhya Pradesh
government for three years is an important step in curbing paid news in the
electoral arena. Do you think paid news should be considered as an electoral
offence? Substantiate.

Q.2) With the increase in incidents of paid news across the country and the
involvement of political leaders and political parties in such cases, discuss what are
the challenges in dealing with paid news? Do you think EC should make paid news
an electoral offence? Critically comment.

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Environment

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#1. Kigali agreement: Prospects and


Issues

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS3

The Climate Change and sustainability has become the buzz words considering the global warming and its
multiplier effects on agriculture, industry, people and governments. A landmark agreement at Paris to limit the
rise of earths temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius of pre industrial levels doesnt seem enough considering
the debilitating impacts of HFCs(Hydro Fluorocarbons) to climate change. It is in this backdrop that the new
amendment to Montreal Protocol at capital city of Kigali gains prominence as a supporting pillar to the Paris
agreement. These two climate change agreements are critical to climate change combat prerogatives. It is in this
context that Kigali agreement is important for success of the landmark Paris agreement and hence makes it a hot
topic for CSE Mains 2017

What is the Kigali Agreement?

1. In the 28th meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, negotiators from 197 nations have signed a
historic agreement to amend the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, a capital city of a tiny African country,
Rwanda on 15th October 2016.
2. As per the agreement, these countries are expected to reduce the manufacture and use
of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by roughly 80-85% from their respective baselines, till 2045.
3. This phase down is expected to arrest the global average temperature rise up to 0.5 degrees C by 2100.
4. Kigali agreement is an amendment to Montreal Protocol.

Significance of Kigali Agreement:

1. Many scientists hailed it as an important achievement, which could be crucial to the goal laid out in last
years Paris Agreement of holding global temperature rise below 2C by 2100.
2. The Kigali agreement builds on momentum from other international efforts this past year aimed at
addressing climate change.
3. Unlike Paris agreement, it gives clear, concrete and mandatory targets with fixed timelines to the
signatory parties to achieve their targets.
4. It would prevent the emission of HFCs equivalent to 70 billion tons of CO2.
5. Total HFC emissions are far less contributors of climate change in comparisons to other greenhouse
gasses, but HFCs are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide on a pound-per-pound basis.
6. If all signatory countries implemented this agreement effectively, then could on its own prevent a 0.5C
(0.9F) rise in temperature by 2100.

Key pointers of Kigali Agreement:

1. It is a legally binding agreement between the signatory parties with non-compliance measures.

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2. It will come into effect from 1st January 2019 provided it is ratified by at least 20 member parties by then.
3. It has shown a considerable flexibility in approach while setting phase-down targets for different
economies accommodating their developmental aspirations, different socio-economic compulsions, and
scientific & technological capabilities.

It has divided the signatory parties into three groups-

1. The first group consists of rich and developed economies like USA, UK and EU countries who will start
to phase down HFCs by 2019 and reduce it to 15% of 2012 levels by 2036.
2. The second group consists of emerging economies like China, Brazil as well as some African countries
who will start phase down by 2024 and reduce it to 20% of 2021 levels by 2045.
3. The third group consists of developing economies and some of the hottest climatic countries like India,
Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia who will start phasing down HFCs by 2028 and reduce it to 15% of
2024-2026 levels till 2047.

4. It also has a provision for a multilateral fund for developing countries for adaptation and mitigation.
5. The Technology and Energy Assessment Panel (TEAP) will take a periodic review of the alternative
technologies and products for their energy efficiency and safety standards.

Indian Perspective to Kigali Agreement:

1. One of the questions before India in its implementation of Montreal Protocol commitments is the need to
align its goals for Make in India with green technologies in order to remain competitive in global
markets.
2. With Developed nations agreeing to cut 70 per cent of their HFC use by 2029, India will start reducing its
HFC consumption when the developed countries would have reduced their consumption by 70 per cent.
3. The Agreement upholds the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and
Respective Capabilities, which means the agreement recognizes the development imperatives of high-
growth economies like India, and provides a realistic and viable roadmap for its implementation.
4. India a responsible nation: It has announced that it will eliminate the use of HFC-23, a greenhouse
gas that harms the ozone layer, by 2030. HFC-23 is a super greenhouse gas with a GWP of 14,800,
which is produced as a byproduct of HCFC-22 (Chloro-difluoro-methane) used in industrial refrigeration.
5. Financial implications: Industries have to either invest in R & D to find out the substitutes for HFCs or
they have to buy patented substances and technologies from other MNCs. Consequently, the cost of
production will increase which may ultimately shrink the buyer base for their products.
6. Technological implications: Some of the developed nations have already started using substitutes of
HFCs in their products and have a sound technological knowledge about their use. Without technology
transfer or research, it would be difficult for domestic industries to compete with them in global as well as
domestic market.

Conclusion:

Kigali agreement on phasing down climate-damaging HFCs is one of the historic steps in global fight against
climate change. It will play substantial role in holding global temperature rise below 2C by 2100 as agreed in
Paris agreement. Similarly the deal would provide a mechanism for countries like India to access and develop
technologies that leave a low carbon footprint. The deal keeps the Paris agreement on track and along with a
new deal to cap aviation emissions, it is overwhelmingly positive.

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#2. Compensatory Afforestation


Fund Bill, 2016

The environment and the economy are really both two sides of the same coin if we cannot sustain the
environment we cannot sustain ourselves-Wangari Mathai

Why in News

Recently Rajya Sabha passed The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2016. The Bill had earlier been
passed by Lok Sabha in May 2016.

Context

1. India is one of the ten most forest-rich countries of the world along with the Russian Federation, Brazil,
Canada, United States of America, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia, Indonesia and
Sudan.
2. The 2013 Forest Survey of India states its forest cover increased to 69.8 million hectares or more than
21% of the country's area.
3. For the past two decades concern for climate change and sustainable development is the talk over all
major international platform but on the other side there is increasing deforestation, forest fires,
encroachments etc.
4. For sustainable development ecological balance should also be given due importance along with the
economic development.
5. In 2002, the Supreme Court of India observed that collected funds for afforestation were underutilized by
the states and it ordered for centrally pooling of funds under Compensatory Afforestation Fund.
6. The court had set up the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority
(National CAMPA) to manage the Fund.
7. In 2009, states also had set up State CAMPAs that receive 10% of funds form National CAMPA to use
for afforestation and forest conservation.
8. However, in 2013, a CAG report identified that the funds continued to be underutilized.

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What is Compensatory Afforestation?

1. The simple principle at work here is that since forests are an important natural resource and render a
variety of ecological services, they must not be destroyed.
2. However, because of developmental or industrial requirements, forests are routinely cut, or, as it is said
in official language, diverted for non-forest purposes.
3. In such cases, the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 requires that non-forest land, equal to the size of
the forest being diverted, is afforested.
4. But since afforested land does not become a forest overnight, there is still a loss of the goods and
services that the diverted forest would have provided in the interim period.
5. These goods and services include timber, bamboo, fuel wood, carbon sequestration, soil conservation,
water recharge, and seed dispersal.
6. Afforested land is expected to take no less than 50 years to start delivering comparable goods and
services.
7. To compensate for the loss in the interim, the law requires that the Net Present Value (NPV) of the
diverted forest is calculated for a period of 50 years, and recovered from the user agency that is
diverting the forests.
8. So in short, Compensatory afforestation is defined as afforestation done in lieu of the diversion of forest
land for non-forest use.

Working of CAMPA

1. An expert committee calculates the NPV for every patch of forest. Currently, the NPV ranges from Rs 4.38
lakh per hectare in case of poor quality forests to Rs 10.43 lakh/ha for very dense forests. An expert
committee has recently recommended that this be revised to Rs 5.65 lakh and Rs 55.55 lakh respectively.
2. User agencies, which are often private parties, are not expected to undertake afforestation work themselves.
3. This work has to be done by the state government. But the entire expenditure to be incurred on creating this
new forest, including purchase of land for the purpose, has to be borne by the user.
4. The state government eventually has to transfer this land to the forest department for maintenance and
management.
5. Thus, if any user agency wants to divert forest land for non-forest purposes, it has to deposit money for
compensatory afforestation as well as pay the NPV, besides a few other charges.
6. Since forests are being diverted routinely (at the rate of about 20,000-25,000 ha per year according to the
Ministry of Environment and Forests) a large sum of money is accruing to the government. Currently,
more than Rs 40,000 crore has accumulated from these sources, and the fund is increasing at the rate of
about Rs 6,000 crore every year.

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Need of Compensatory Afforestation fund Management and Planning Authority


(CAMPA)

It is to manage this money, and to use it for the designated purposes that CAMPA is proposed to be set up.
The compensatory afforestation money and NPV are supposed to be collected from the user agency by the
government of the state in which the project is located, and deposited with the central government.
The money will eventually flow back to the state to be used for afforestation or related works

Key Features of Legislation

1. The Bill establishes the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India,
and a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state.
2. These Funds will receive payments for: (i) compensatory afforestation, (ii) net present value of forest
(NPV), and (iii) other project specific payments. The National Fund will receive 10% of these funds, and
the State Funds will receive the remaining 90%.
3. These Funds will be primarily spent on afforestation to compensate for loss of forest cover, regeneration
of forest ecosystem, wildlife protection and infrastructure development.
4. The Bill also establishes the National and State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and
Planning Authorities to manage the National and State Funds.

Merits of Legislation
1. The passing of the Bill has ended the long era of ad-hocism and will help the Centre and State
Governments to utilise these amounts in a planned manner.
2. It will facilitate make available more than Rs. 6,000 crores per annum to the States/UTs for conservation,
protection, improvement and expansion of forest and wildlife resources of the country.
3. Availability of these amounts will not only help the States/UTs and local communities to ensure better
management of their forest resources but will also result in creation of more than 15 crores man-days of
direct employment.
4. A major part of these amounts will be used to restock and improve quality of degraded forests, which
constitutes more than 40 % of the total forest cover of the country.
5. Rules to be framed by the Central Government in consultation with the States/ UTs will provide for use of
native species in afforestation activities to be undertaken from these funds.
6. Majority of the employment will be generated in tribal dominated and backward areas of the country.
7. Apart from creation of direct employment, utilisation of these amounts will result in increased availability
of timber and various other non-timber forest products, and will thus help in improvement of the overall
living standards of the forest dependent communities.

Key Issues

1. The Bill establishes the Funds for compensatory afforestation and forest conservation. However, there
are several factors (other than administration of funds) which affect compensatory afforestation and
forest conservation. These factors are mentioned below.
2. A 2013 CAG report noted that state forest departments lack the planning and implementation capacity to
carry out compensatory afforestation and forest conservation. With the share of funds transferred to

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states increasing from 10% to 90%, effective utilisation of these funds will depend on the capacity of state
forest departments.
3. Procuring land for compensatory afforestation is difficult as land is a limited resource, and is required for
multiple purposes, such as agriculture, industry, etc. This is compounded by unclear land titles, and
difficulties in complying with procedures for land use.
4. A High Level Committee on Environment Laws observed that quality of forest cover has declined
between 1951 and 2014, with poor quality of compensatory afforestation plantations being one of the
reasons behind the decline.
5. The Bill delegates the determination of NPV (value of loss of forest ecosystem) to an expert committee
constituted by the central government. As NPV constitutes about half of the total funds collected, its
computation methodology would be important.
6. The main difficulty has been the availability of non-forest land for afforestation. The law says the land
selected should preferably be contiguous to the forest being diverted, so that it is easier for forest officials
to manage it. But in case that is not possible, land in any other part of the state can be used for the
purpose.

Conclusion/Way forward

What is required is actually an ecosystems approach with focus on climate justice and the rights and role of local
communities. It should also address biodiversity and poverty effectively and challenge the underlying causes of
deforestation directly, resolving governance, poverty and land tenure issues.

Question

What do you understand by Compensatory Afforestation? Critically comment on the


provisions of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill.

Source

http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/campa-afforestation-bill-rajya-sabha-green-india-mission-narendra-modi-
2817475/
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Compensatory-Afforestation-Fund-bill-passed-to-create-special-
funds/article14300557.ece
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/mbErel.aspx?relid=147937
http://fsi.nic.in/details.php?pgID=qu_4
http://www.moef.nic.in/division/research-development

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#3. Solid waste managament rules


2016 in perspective

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS3

Waste management and diligent planning becomes critical for regulation of humongous solid waste being
generated every day. With growing urbanization and rise of smart cities on the offing the issue of solid waste
management becomes even more imperative. The fact that the solid waste management rules have been
revised after 16 years makes it a hot topic from the environment context and important for CSE Mains 2017.

Current Context:

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) recently notified the new Solid
Waste Management Rules (SWM), 2016. These will replace the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and
Handling) Rules, 2000, which have been in place for the past 16 years.
These rules are the sixth category of waste management rules brought out by the ministry, as it has earlier
notified plastic, e-waste, biomedical, hazardous and construction and demolition waste management rules.

Introduction:

1. Waste management refers to the activities and actions required to manage waste from its start till its
disposal. This includes collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste together with monitoring and
regulation.
2. The waste hierarchy refers to the 3 Rs reduce, reuse and recycle, which classify waste management
strategies according to their desirability in terms of waste minimization.
3. The waste hierarchy remains the cornerstone of most waste minimization strategies.
4. The Polluter pays principle is a principle where the polluting party pays for the impact caused to the
environment.

What do you understand by solid waste? What are the contributions of its
components?

1. Solid waste encompasses the following waste components:


2. Construction and demolition waste wastes generated in construction of new buildings, renovation and
demolition work.
3. Plastic waste- includes polythene bags, plastic bottles etc
4. Biomedical waste wastes involved in diagnosis, treatment and immunization such as human and
animal anatomical waste, treatment apparatus such as needles and syringes and cytotoxic drugs.
5. Hazardous waste wastes that cause immediate danger to exposed individuals or environment.
6. E-waste includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, cathode ray tubes (CRTs), printed
circuit board (PCB), mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones etc.

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Why is there a dire need for Solid Waste Management?

1. Many reports suggest that 62 million tons of waste is generated annually in the country at present, out of
which 5.6 million tonnes is plastic waste, 0.17 million tonnes is biomedical waste, hazardous waste
generation is 7.90 million tonnes per annum and 15 lakh tonne is e-waste.
2. The per capita waste generation in Indian cities ranges from 200 grams to 600 grams per day.
3. The fact that 43 million TPA is collected, 11.9 million is treated and 31 million is dumped in landfill sites,
which means that only about 75-80% of the municipal waste gets collected and only 22-28 % of this
waste is processed and treated.
4. Waste generation will most likely to increase from 62 million tonnes to about165 million tonnes in 2030.

Major highlights of the new SWM Rules, 2016

Segregation at source

1. The new rules have mandated the source segregation of waste in order to channelize the waste to wealth
by recovery, reuse and recycle. Waste generators would now have to now segregate waste into three
streams- Biodegradables, Dry (Plastic, Paper, metal, Wood, etc.) and Domestic Hazardous waste
(diapers, napkins, mosquito repellants, cleaning agents etc.) before handing it over to the collector.
2. Institutional generators, market associations, event organizers and hotels and restaurants have been
directly made responsible for segregation and sorting the waste and manage in partnership with local
bodies.
3. All hotels and restaurants will also be required to segregate biodegradable waste and set up a system of
collection to ensure that such food waste is utilized for composting / biomethanation.
4. The rules mandate that all resident welfare and market associations and gated communities with an area
of above 5,000 sq m will have to segregate waste at source into material like plastic, tin, glass, paper and
others and hand over recyclable material either to authorized waste-pickers and recyclers or to the urban
local body.
Collection and disposal of sanitary waste:

1. The manufacturers or brand owners of sanitary napkins are responsible for awareness for proper
disposal of such waste by the generator and shall provide a pouch or wrapper for disposal of each napkin
or diapers along with the packet of their sanitary products.

Collect Back scheme for packaging waste:

2. As per the rules, brand owners who sale or market their products in packaging material which are
nonbiodegradable, should put in place a system to collect back the packaging waste generated due to
their production.

User fees for collection:

1. The new rules have given power to the local bodies across India to decide the user fees. Municipal
authorities will levy user fees for collection, disposal and processing from bulk generators. As per the
rules, the generator will have to pay User Fee to the waste collector and a Spot Fine for littering and
non-segregation, the quantum of which will be decided by the local bodies.

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2. Also, the integration of rag pickers, waste pickers and kabadiwalas from the informal sector to the formal
sector would be done by the state government.
3. The rules also stipulate zero tolerance for throwing; burning, or burying the solid waste generated on
streets, open public spaces outside the generators premises, or in the drain, or water bodies.

Waste processing and treatment

1. It has been advised that the bio-degradable waste should be processed, treated and disposed of through
composting or bio-methanation within the premises as far as possible and the residual waste shall be
given to the waste collectors or agency as directed by the local authority.
2. The developers of Special Economic Zone, industrial estate, industrial park to earmark at least 5 per cent
of the total area of the plot or minimum 5 plots/ sheds for recovery and recycling facility.
3. Waste processing facilities will have to be set up by all local bodies having a population of 1 million or
more within two years.
4. Also, the rules have mandated bioremediation or capping of old and abandoned dump sites within five
years.

Promoting use of compost

1. The Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers should provide market development
assistance on city compost and ensure promotion of comarketing of compost with chemical fertilizers.

Promotion of waste to energy

1. The SWM Rules, 2016 emphasize promotion of waste to energy plants. The rules mandate all industrial
units using fuel and located within 100 km from a solid waste-based Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) plant to
make arrangements within six months from the date of notification of these rules to replace at least 5 per
cent of their fuel requirement by RDF so produced.
2. As per the rules, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Sources should facilitate infrastructure
creation for Waste to Energy plants and provide appropriate subsidy or incentives for such Waste to
Energy plants.
3. The Ministry of Power should fix tariff or charges for the power generated from the Waste to Energy
plants based on solid waste and ensure compulsory purchase of power generated from such Waste to
Energy plants by discoms.

Revision of parameters and existing standards

1. The landfill site shall be 100 meters away from a river, 200 meters from a pond, 500 meters away from
highways, habitations, public parks and water supply wells and 20 km away from airports/airbase.
2. Emission standards are completely amended and include parameters for dioxins, furans, reduced limits
for particulate matters from 150 to 100 and now 50.
3. Also, the compost standards have been amended to align with Fertilizer Control Order.
Management of waste in hilly areas

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1. The construction of landfills on hills shall be avoided. Land for construction of sanitary landfills in hilly
areas will be identified in the plain areas, within 25 kilometers.

Constitution of a Central Monitoring Committee

1. The government has also constituted a Central Monitoring Committee under the chairmanship of
Secretary, MoEF&CC to monitor the overall implementation of the rules.
2. The Committee comprising of various stakeholders from the Central and state governments will meet
once a year to monitor the implementation of these rules.

Limitations of the revised Solid waste management rules:


1. They fail to incentivize and impose a strict penalty in case of poor implementation.
2. The rules have not pushed for decentralized management of waste but have encouraged centralized
treatment such as waste to energy, the present state of which is not good in the country.
3. The informal sector has been considerably neglected in the new rules.
4. It is not clear about the fine amount to be imposed on plastic manufacturers or how the monitoring
system would be carried out
5. The need is for behavioral change on part of people when it comes to domestic waste generation and on
part of authorities when it comes to implementing the rules framed is not adequately focused.

Way forward:

The rules must reiterate a point stressed in much of the literature on solid waste management that 25 per cent to
35 per cent of Indias waste can be recycled. It will take almost 4-5 years to see the drastic change in how the
waste management regimes will work in India. The SWM Rules, 2016 diminish hopes in pushing for adoption of a
decentralized mechanism for solid waste management. However, it would be challenging to see how segregation
at source shall work on the ground. A massive awareness campaign in association with communities, NGOs,
students and other stakeholders needs to be planned to push for better implementation of these rules. The
Rules need to focus on making solid waste management a people's movement by taking the issues,
concerns and management of solid waste to citizens and grass-roots.

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#4. E- Waste Managament Rules


2016 In Perspective

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS3

Emphasizing that toxic constituents present in e-waste and their disposal mechanism affect human health and
lead to various diseases, e-waste management becomes imperative. The rapid internet penetration and smart
phone revolution resulting in phones and other electronics contributed to 1.5 million tonnes of e-waste produced
in India in 2015, 90% of which was managed by the informal sector using unscientific methods that cause harm
to human health and the environment. These rules are critical from both health and environment perspective and
important for CSE Mains 2017.

What comprises e-waste? What are the contributions of its components?

1. E-waste includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, cathode ray tubes (CRTs), printed
circuit board (PCB), mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, accumulators, mercury
switches, polychlorinated biphenyl capacitors etc.
2. Toxic elements associated with e waste usually are - Cadmium, Mercury, Lead, nickel, Chromium,
Copper, Lithium, Silver and Manganese

Why is there a dire need for e-waste management?


1. Many reports suggest that 62 million tons of waste is generated annually in the country at present, out of
which 15 lakh tonne is e-waste.
2. On the consumer side, most institutional waste generators such as educational institutions and
industries, which generate close to 70% of the e-waste, are not aware of the rules and continue to sell
their e-waste to the informal sector.
3. The present set up of management of e-waste under the Environment Protection Act 1986 and the rules
framed under it have failed to yield any tangible results.

E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 - Whats New?

1. Manufacturer, dealer, refurbisher and Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) have been introduced
as additional stakeholders in the rules.
2. The applicability of the rules has been extended to components, consumables, spares and parts of EEE
in addition to equipment as listed in Schedule I.
3. Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury containing lamp brought under the purview of rules.
4. Collection mechanism based approach has been adopted to include collection centre, collection point,
take back system etc for collection of e - waste by Producers under Extended Producer Responsibility
(EPR).

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5. Option has been given for setting up of PRO, e - waste exchange, e - retailer, Deposit Refund Scheme
as additional channel for implementation of EPR by Producers to ensure efficient channelization of e -
waste.
6. Provision for Pan India EPR Authorization by CPCB has been introduced replacing the state wise EPR
authorization.
7. Deposit Refund Scheme has been introduced as an additional economic instrument wherein the
producer charges an additional amount as a deposit at the time of sale of the electrical and electronic
equipment and returns it to the consumer along with interest when the end - of - life electrical and
electronic equipment is returned.
8. The e - waste exchange as an option has been provided in the rules as an independent market
instrument offering assistance or independent electronic systems offering services for sale and purchase
of e - waste generated from end - of - life electrical and electronic equipment between agencies or
organizations authorized under these rules.
9. The manufacturer is also now responsible to collect e - waste generated during the manufacture of any
electrical and electronic equipment and channelises it for recycling or disposal and seeks authorization
from SPCB.
10. The dealer, if has been given the responsibility of collection on behalf of the producer, need to collect the
e - waste by providing the consumer a box and channelize it to Producer.
11. Dealer or retailer or e - retailer shall refund the amount as per take back system or Deposit Refund
Scheme of the producer to the depositor of e - waste.
12. Refurbisher need collect e - waste generated during the process of refurbishing and channelises the
waste to authorised dismantler or recycler through its collection centre and seeks one time authorization
from SPCB.
13. The roles of the State Government has been also introduced in the Rules in order to ensure safety,
health and skill development of the workers involved in the dismantling and recycling operations.
14. Department of Industry in State or any other government agency authorized in this regard by the State
Government is to ensure earmarking or allocation of industrial space or shed for e - waste dismantling
and recycling in the existing and upcoming industrial park, estate and industrial clusters.
15. Department of Labor in the State or any other government agency authorized in this regard by the State
Government need to ensure recognition and registration of workers; assist formation of groups of such
workers to facilitate setting up dismantling facilities; undertake industrial skill development activities; and
undertake annual monitoring and to ensure safety & health of workers involved in dismantling and
recycling.
16. State Government to prepare integrated plan for effective implementation of these provisions, and to
submit annual report to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
17. Liability for damages caused to the environment or third party due to improper management of e - waste
including provision for levying financial penalty for violation of provisions of the Rules has also been
introduced.
18. Urban Local Bodies (Municipal Committee/Council/Corporation) has been assign the duty to collect and
channelized the orphan products to authorized dismantler or recycler.

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Limitations of the revised E-Waste management rules:

1. Unlike EPR regulations in other countries, no collection or recycling targets are imposed on producers.
2. In the absence of targets, and in a relatively lax regulatory environment, producers have little incentive to
ensure collection of their used products.
3. Unfortunately, even the amended e-waste rules completely ignore the informal sector as millions of waste
collectors carry out door-to-door collection of waste and their livelihoods depend on their ability to collect
and sell the waste to informal recyclers.
4. Only highly environmentally- conscious consumers will search for the nearest collection centre.
5. In contrast, a rag-picker will come to the consumers house to pick up the waste and, to top it off, will pay
the consumer.
6. A requirement that producers implement a successful deposit-refund system (DRS) will depend on the
political will to implement the amended rules.

Way forward:

1. The government and the manufacturers have to recognize the informal sector and find mechanisms
to bring it into the fold of formal waste management.
2. The challenge, however, lies in creating awareness and training the half-a million unorganized
workforce countrywide who collect E-Waste. Given that by 2050, about 40% of the country will get
urbanized, It must be outlined how CSR can best be deployed to educate, train and develop the
skills of the unorganized workforce besides efforts of the government.
3. E-Waste training programs will be a part of the skill council for green jobs at NSDC.
4. Successful models of E Waste management public awareness campaigns and specific e-waste policy
like that of the European Union can be emulated.

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#5. Plastic Waste Managament Rules


2016 in Perspective

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS3

The quantum of solid waste is ever increasing due to increase in population, developmental activities, changes in
life style, and socio-economic conditions, Plastics waste is a significant portion of the total municipal solid waste
(MSW). The Government through MoEF&CC has notified the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, in
suppression of the earlier Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011. The new Plastic Waste
Management Rules is a part of the revamping of all Waste Management Rules which will help in achieving the
vision of Swacch Bharat and cleanliness essential health and tourism and hence important for CSE Mains 2017.

What comprises Plastic waste? What are its components?

1. The plastics waste constitutes two major categories of plastics - Thermoplastics and Thermoset plastics.
2. Thermoplastics constitute 80% and Thermoset constitutes approximately 20% of total post-consumer
plastics waste generated in India.
3. The Thermoplastics are recyclable plastics which include; Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Low
Density Poly Ethylene (LDPE), Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE),
Polypropylene(PP), Polystyrene (PS) etc.
4. The Thermoset plastics contains alkyd, epoxy, ester, melamine formaldehyde, phenol formaldehyde,
silicon, urea formaldehyde, polyurethane, metalized and multilayer plastics etc.

Why is there a dire need for Plastic waste management?

1. It is stated that 15, 000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day, out of which 9, 000 tonnes is
collected and processed, but 6, 000 tonnes of plastic waste is not being collected.
2. In particular, the plastic carry bags are the biggest contributors of littered waste and every year, millions
of plastic bags end up in to the environment vis-a-vis soil, water bodies, water courses and it takes an
average of one thousand years to decompose completely.
3. In the absence of a reliable eco friendly alternative that can replace plastic completely, the real challenge
is to improve plastic waste management systems.

Plastic Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 - Whats New?

1. The new plastic waste management rules is aimed at reducing 6,000 tonnes of uncollected plastic waste
generated daily by targeting manufacturers and industries by using a new principle called the Extended
Producers Responsibility (EPR) Act. The other modalities of the new plastic management rules are as
follows:

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2. Increase minimum thickness of plastic carry bags from 40 to 50 microns and stipulate minimum
thickness of 50 micron for plastic sheets also to facilitate collection and recycle of plastic waste.
3. Expand the jurisdiction of applicability from the municipal area to rural areas, because plastic has
reached rural areas also.
4. To bring in the responsibilities of producers and generators, both in plastic waste management
system and to introduce collect back system of plastic waste by the producers/brand owners, as per
Extended Producers Responsibility.
5. To introduce collection of plastic waste management fee through pre-registration of the producers,
importers of plastic carry bags/multilayered packaging and vendors selling the same for establishing the
waste management system.
6. To promote use of plastic waste for road construction as per Indian Road Congress guidelines or
energy recovery, or waste to oil etc. for gainful utilization of waste and also addresses the waste disposal
issue.
7. To entrust more responsibility on waste generators, namely payment of user charge as prescribed by
local authority, collection and handing over of waste by the institutional generator, event organizers.
8. To implement these rules more effectively and to give thrust on plastic waste minimization, source
segregation, recycling, involving waste pickers, recyclers and waste processors in collection of
plastic waste and adopt polluter pays principle for the sustainability of the waste management system .

Missing Links in the revised Plastic Waste management rules:

1. Though the rules have broadened the scope of the existing Plastic (waste management and handling)
Rules, 2011, there is no mention on how to reduce plastic waste in the new rules.
2. While it has focused on the use of plastic carry bags by increasing the minimum thickness from 40
microns to 50 microns, there has been no specification on the other forms of plastics such as the
mineral water bottles (PET).
3. One aspect that was not dealt with was the informal sector of waste collection. In Delhi, the informal
sector employs about 150,000 people who transport almost 1,088 tonnes per day of recyclable waste
4. The rules do not provide for a law which needs to be based around incentives and disincentives.
5. Plastic waste management has worked for some states such as Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim. But it has
failed in Delhi. The draft rules have not worked on developing an effective model for plastic waste
management all across the country.
6. There has been no mention of any scheme or mechanism through which a producer/manufacturer
shall comply with EPR, like the Deposit Refund Scheme (DRS) under e-waste rules.
7. They do not mention plastic material for packaging gutkha, pan masala and tobacco.

Way forward:

The rules need to be strengthened further. Their main purpose should be to discourage the use of plastic in the
country. EPR is still loose and needs to be worked upon for better implementation of these rules. A clear directive
of how EPR should be followed needs to be included. The penal provisions are weak and need to be worked
upon. There should be inclusion of a heavy penalty for non-compliance with the rules for effective
implementation.

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India generates almost 1.5 MT of plastic waste every year. Less than a quarter of the waste is being collected
and treated. Until we find a reliable eco friendly alternative to plastic that can replace it completely, effective
plastic management systems should be our imperative.

#6. Interlinking of rivers:


Significance & Challenges

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS3

Water management and conservation has become imperative due to the intense water scarcity, frequent
agrarian crisis, farmer distress, recurring floods and droughts, fast ground water depletion and unprecedented
weather vagaries due to climate change. ILR as an instrument under National Water Policy to resolve the water
crisis in the country has taken centre stage in the minds of policymakers. Its re-emergence in the public debate
makes it a hot topic from the above context and important for CSE Mains 2017

Introduction:

Inter Linking of Rivers refers to inter-basin water transfers between 2 or more rivers through human
interventions on natural systems.

Indias National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has suggested the interlinking of rivers of the country. The
interlinking of rivers has two components: the Himalayan and the Peninsular. All interlinking schemes are
aimed at transferring of water from one river system to another or by lifting across natural basins. The project will
build 30 links and close to 3000 storages to connect 37 Himalayan and Peninsular rivers to form a gigantic South
Asian water grid.

Current Context:

Ken-Betwa link project has been declared as National Project by the Government of India. Damanganga
Pinjal Link Project, Par Tapi Narmada Link Project and Mahanadi Godavari Link Projects have been
given a go ahead.

Need for Inter River Linking:

Large variation in rainfall and subsequent availability of water resources in space and time.

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Because of this
his variability of available water, floods and drought coexist in our country in same time and space. (
Kerala, T.N and South Karnataka is facing drought while Rajasthan, Gujarat , Assam reeling under floods)
floods

What could be the possible positive imp


implications of ILR Plan?

1. It will most likely lead to Improved and expanded irrigation i.e. the project claims to provide additional
irrigation to 35 million hectares in the water
water-scarce
scarce western and peninsular regions.
2. The river interlinking project claims to generate total power of 34,000 MW (34 GW).
3. It will lead to Ground water Recharging.
4. The inter-link
link would create a path for aquatic ecosystems to migrate from one river to another, which in
turn may support the livelihoods of people who rely on fishery a as their income.
5. It will contribute to flood and drought hazard mitigation for India
6. Any multipurpose storage reservoirs in upstream countries, such as Nepal and Bhutan, would facilitate
energy generation and other benefits.
7. It also appears to promote national nal integration and a fair sharing of the countrys natural water wealth.
8. It will unify the country by involving every Panchayat as a share holder and implementing agency.
9. Provide for enhancing the security of the country by an additional waterline of defense.
defe
10. Provide employment avenues for more than 10 lakh people for the next decade.
11. It will most likely eradicate the flooding problems which recur in the northeast and the north every year.
12. Solve the water crisis situation by providing alternative, perennia
perenniall water resources.
13. The large canals linking the rivers are also expected to facilitate inland navigation too.
14. It aims at increasing food production from about 200mn tones a year to 500mn tones.
15. It will most likely boost the annual average income of farmers
farmers,, from the present $40 per acre of land to
over $500.

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What could be the possible adverse effects of Inter-River Linking Plan?

River Linking Project involves multifaceted issues and challenges related to environmental, economic, ecological,
legal, political and social costs. It has potential for disastrous and irreversible adverse after-effects which has
been comprehensively discussed below:
Ecological Costs:
1. Water scientists and Environmentalists have remarked that the water flowing into the sea is not waste. It
is a crucial link in the water cycle. With the link broken, the ecological balance of land and oceans,
freshwater and sea water, also gets disrupted
2. It is feared that diversion of water from the Brahmaputra and the Ganges, which provide 85% of the
countrys fresh water flow in the dry season, would result into an ecological disaster.
Economic Costs:
1. As this project is of massive estimated cost, a long term planning and a sound financial simulation are
required to meet the standard for such proposals.
2. The huge expenditure of the project and the maintenance costs associated with the dams, canals,
tunnels, and captive electric power generation will involve huge financial burdens.
3. This may generate fiscal problems that are difficult to handle.
4. This certainly requires financial assistance from the private sector as well as global capital agencies.
5. Mobilization of global capital may ultimately entail the risk of destroying social welfare measures.
Environmental costs
1. It will result in massive diversion of forest areas and submergence of land leading to deforestation and
soil- erosion. (For example The Ken-Betwa link project puts in danger over 4,100 hectares of forest
land or 8% of the Panna National Park).
2. There will be destruction of rivers, aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity, fisheries and groundwater
recharge.
3. Possible downstream impacts, salinity ingress, pollution concentration, and increased methane emission
from reservoirs are other adverse repercussions.
4. Scientists are also of the view that river diversion may bring significant changes in the physical and
chemical compositions of the sediment load, river morphology and the shape of the delta formed at the
river basin.
5. It could most likely create trigger points of natural disasters like landslides, earthquakes etc. as seen in
case of Koyna dam and Tehri dam.
Legal costs:
1. Domestic and regional geo-politics play a pivotal role on the discussions on ILR. As of now, there is no
mechanism as of now to deal with matters concerning inter-basin transfers. There are also important
institutional and legal issues to be sorted out.
2. Each of the 30 schemes of the ILR is supposed to get through several statutory, legal and procedural
steps.
Social Costs:
1. Reconstruction and rehabilitation due to displacement is not an easy task as seen before.
2. The construction of reservoirs and river linking canals in the peninsular component alone expect to
displace more than 5, 83,000 people and submerge large areas of forest, agriculture and non-agriculture
land.
3. It is likely to create social unrest/psychological damage and cultural alienation due to forced resettlement
of local indigenous tribal community.
Political Implications:
1. Water being a state subject, the ILR plan further complicates existing water sharing and management
problems between the riparian states.

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2. Some of the ILR schemes have international implications, which may create strained relationship with
neighboring countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Way forward:

NRLP has its fair share of positives and negatives. Though there are enough apprehensions over the project but
they are not backed by any comprehensive scientific evidence to it. Inter basin water transfer is not a new
concept. Large direct benefits of irrigation, water supply and hydropower and indirect benefits navigation,
tourism, employment generation etc can be accrued in ILR program. Formation of River Basin Authority for
coordinated action and subsequent building up of consensus among concerned States is prima facie
needed. Legal provisions for implementation of ILR related to rehabilitation and appropriate afforestration through
CAMPA is to be concurrently addressed.
It is essential that needed environmental safeguards such as comprehensive EIA and SIA are properly
implemented in a coordinated manner by various agencies. Therefore, strengthening and expansion of
cooperative efforts among the co-basin states and countries will foster co-riparian relationships.
Indias river linking project shows and promises a great concern for water conservation and optimum use of
available water resources. Undoubtedly, it is the need of the hour to have a water mission like as IRL, which will
enable availability of water to the fields, villages, towns and industries throughout the year post a comprehensive
scientific assessment.

#7. Should Culling of animals be


allowed

Note4Students

The Ministry of Environment recently permitted states to declare earlier protected wild animal species as vermin
under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, thereby allowing private shooters and others to kill these species with
few safeguards and no risk of prosecution. Recent examples are Nilgai in Bihar and Maharashtra, Rhesus
macaque in HP, Wild pig in all States except Himachal Pradesh

Introduction

Culling is basically selective killing of a species, usually as a population control measure. Though in animal
breeding, it is known as the process of removing or segregating animals from a breeding stock based on criteria
like immunity, disease, etc. In India, man-animal conflict is seen across the country in a variety of forms,
including monkey menace in the urban areas, crop raiding by ungulates and wild pigs, depredation by elephants,
and cattle and human killing by tigers and leopards. Damage to agricultural crops and property, killing of livestock

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and human beings are some of the worst forms of man-animal conflict. The increase in man-animal conflict is
likely due to the greater resilience and adaptability of wild animals in face of their shrinking habitats, which allow
them to live successfully close to human habitation. Section 11(1) a of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA)
authorizes chief wildlife warden to permit hunting of any problem wild animal only if it cannot be captured,
tranquillized or translocate. Section 62 of Act empowers Centre to declare wild animals other than Schedule I & II
to be vermin for specified area and period.

Basic reasons behind culling

1. Man-Animal conflict too many wild animals compete with humans for resources.
2. Threat to life and livelihood (crop, property damage) makes culling necessary.
3. Loss of forestland to mines, industry, agriculture, etc. is the primary reason behind man-animal
conflict.
4. Crop-raiding by smaller herbivores due to a population boom & animals raiding nutrient rich crops
like wheat and maize are other major reasons for man-animal conflict.
5. Increased population of such animals
6. bans or restrictions on hunting,
7. loss of natural predators,
8. Availability of non-forest food sources (cropland, garbage dumps), etc.

Legal mechanism for culling

1. Wildlife laws divide species into schedules ranked from I to V.


2. Schedule I members are the best protected, in theory, with severe punishments meted out to
those who hunt them.
3. Schedule V is the vermin category.
4. For wild animals in Schedule II, III or IV, chief wildlife warden or authorized officers can permit
their hunting in a specified area if they have become dangerous to humans or property (including
standing crops on any land).
5. Section 62 of Act empowers Centre to declare wild animals other than Schedule I & II to be
vermin for specified area and period.

Arguments in favour of culling

1. It is the feasible solution to save life and property of the citizens.


2. By law, wildlife are protected because they are too few and require protection.
3. It destroys hard work of one year of the farmers and push them to the debt crises.
4. The absence of lawful intervention often triggers retaliation by illegal means. Hence such a law is
very necessary.
5. Can be monitored easily using strict guidelines and law enforcement.
6. Fencing is not a good measure in this regard and is expensive and its maintenance is not
effective.
7. Even selection of crops that traditionally repelled animals does not seem to work any longer. For
example, farmers in Sirmour, Himachal Pradesh, now complain that monkeys raid garlic fields
that they avoided until recently.

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Arguments against culling

1. Ethical grounds: Even Supreme Court recognized the Right to Life to animals.
2. Animal welfare activists believe that every individual animal is ethically indispensable, even at the
cost of putting entire species at risk.
3. Culling is against animal protection and conservation.
4. It shows the barbarian mind-set still existing in human beings, according to the animal welfare
groups.
5. Culling creates a conducive atmosphere for the poaching mafia to move in.
6. Man-animal conflict can be controlled through non-invasive means, including fencing crop fields,
planting chilli around cropland, selecting non-edible crops etc.

Alternative solutions

1. Popularising insurance of crops and other properties.


2. Forest department should be more active to deter the animals from harming humans.
3. Use sedatives rather killing.
4. Reduce activities causing habitat loss of animals

Global practices

1. In the US, some areas require seasonal culling to ease pressure on livestock feed.
2. In parts of Africa, culling has been used for commercial harvesting.
3. In Australia even kangaroos are culled.

Conclusion

Animals are not the real problem. We need to look into the root cause of such conflicts. Providing human needs,
enhancing local amenities, and adopting science-based and sustained interventions will provide more lasting
solutions. India is already suffering from serious effects of climate change, including a warming climate, changing
rainfall patterns, and droughtsall factors which hurt farmers first. Without healthy forests for our wildlife to live
in, animals, and humans, suffer. Also, it is the duty of every Indian citizen under Article 51A (G) of our nations
constitution to protect wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.

Questions

Q.) Recently the Environment Ministry has decided to allow some States to cull
wildlife? Should such wildlife be tagged as vermins? Discuss the issues involved in
this decision.

References
PIB
THE HINDU
Ministry of Environment and forest website

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#8. Should we Adopt Polluters pay


model

If anyone intentionally spoils the water of another, let him not only pay damages, but purify the stream or cistern
which contains the water.
- Plato

Note4Students

Environment has always been a favorite topic of UPSC. The NGT order said any person found dumping debris
on the river bank at the Geeta Colony site or any other site will have to cough up Rs. 5 lakh for causing pollution.
The offender will also have to remove the debris. The way we look the environmental challenges have been
changed. This is one such example.

Introduction

The polluter pays principle is deeply rooted in legal systems but it came to be explicitly discussed in relation to
environmental harms by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development in the 1970s and 80s.
Finally, in 1992, it was adopted by the international community in Principle 16 of the Rio Declaration. In India, the
courts have been at the forefront of making the principle work they have repeatedly imposed costs and fines to
try and ensure that polluters do not escape the responsibility of paying compensation and cleaning up.

Philosophy behind polluter pays pinciple

1. The basic idea behind it is sustainable development


2. Greenhouse gas emission cause potential harm and damage through impact on climate
3. Slow recognition of link between greenhouse gases and climate change by society
4. Atmosphere is Global Common, emitters are not held responsible for controlling pollution
5. Promotes economic efficiency, social justice, harmonization of environmental policies
6. Remediation is part of process of sustainable development, polluters are liable to pay not only the
cost the sufferers but also the cost of reversing the damaged ecology

Indian experience

1. MC Mehta Oleum Gas Leak case: The Supreme Court laid down the rule of absolute liability
which essentially states that a person would be wholly responsible for any mishap caused by their
hazardous or inherently dangerous enterprise, which in this case was a chlorine plant. The apex

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court noted that the polluters liability would depend on their ability to pay thus using the
principle to both clean up the environmental damage and to punish the polluter.
2. Bichhri Case: the Court noted that the polluter would need to pay for cleaning up the damage as
well as compensate those harmed by the pollution.
3. Vellore Citizens case, the Court highlighted that the polluter pays principle was implied in the
Constitutional provisions protecting the environment as well as in the various Acts concerning the
environment.
4. In the National Green Tribunal Act 2010, it was stated that the NGT would decide cases based
on the polluter pays principle.
5. The NGT have rule that any person found dumping debris in the Yamuna River will have to cough
up Rs. 5 lakh for causing pollution. The offender will also have to remove the debris.

Challenges

1. Environmental pollution is not always easy to narrow down to a single source which can be
strictly punished. Thus, identifying a perpetrator is both difficult and in some cases, technically not
feasible.
2. There is no clarity on how exactly the damages should be calculated. This means that a polluter
may be asked to pay for the actual costs of clean-up, the damage caused to the victims of
environmental damage, a fine or a penalty based on their ability to pay, a general levy aimed at a
clean-up of the problem as a whole, or all of the above.
3. Deciding the compensation and identifying the affected are very difficult tasks.
4. Polluter may not be able to pay high compensations due to poor his/her financial background.
5. Common people will not be ready to sue big multinational companies.

Way forward/suggestions

1. Imposing a cost on emissions of Greenhouse Gases.


2. Financial incentive to small and marginal industries to reduce their emissions
3. A fund can be created like the CAMPA from the penalties, to compensate victims and restore the
environment.
4. Carbon Price is a good strategy to implement the Polluters Pay Principle.
5. Carbon Price should be uniform across the countries and there should not be any Carbon
Havens.
6. Penalties should be increased in their degrees over the time.

Conclusion

It is good that India that imbibed the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP) in their Law of land. And, it also had actually
helped in imposing damages on the polluter but still the problem with this principle is that it hasn't been
implemented properly. If we look at the exemplary damages granted to span motels doesn't serve the purpose of
the exemplary damages. Ten lakhs rupees is nothing for the big corporations like span motels.
For them at least 10 crores Rs. exemplary damages should be given. And again if we look at the penalty
imposed in the Vellore Citizens case, then it just shocks me that how 10,000 rupees can justify the pollution
spreaded by the tanneries in the nearby areas. The Author personally feels that this is not an effective way of
fund raising. We should reconsider the criteria's laid to decide the compensation amount. At least it should deter
the polluters from spreading pollution. This principle needs a strict interpretation from our judiciary with

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immediate effect and we just can't afford any sort of delay in its proper implementation in developing country, like
India.

Questions

1. What do you understand by polluters pay principle? What is the significance of such ideas in the
current situation in the world, especially India?
2. Recent verdict by NGT on Yamuna Pollution have the basis in Polluter Pays Principle. Critically
analyze the relevance of the philosophy.

References

1. http://www.legalserviceindia.com/article/l54-Interpretation-of-Polluter-Pays-Principle.html
2. The Hindu
3. Quint website
4. http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/when-polluters-pay/

#9. Legal status to river Ganga

Note4Students

In a recent judgment, the Uttarakhand High Court declared the rivers Yamuna and Ganga as legal or juridical
persons, enjoying all the rights, duties and liabilities of a living person. SC stays Uttarakhand HC order on
Ganga, Yamuna living entity status because it raised several legal and administrative issues. Even though
majority of the Indian population considers the rivers as Goddesses the pollution in the rivers increase day by
day. The name of the ministry has renamed as Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga
Rejuvenation. This much importance is given by the Government.

Introduction

Indian courts have granted this status to temple deities, religious books, corporations, etc., but it is for the first
time that an element of the natural environment has been declared a legal person. And it is not just the two rivers
but all their tributaries, streams, every natural water body flowing continuously or intermittently of these rivers will
enjoy this status.

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International Examples

1. While the idea of a river being recognised as a living entity might be new to India, nature having legal
rights is a concept already codified in countries like Ecuador and New Zealand.
2. Ecuador actually became the first country to recognise the Rights of Nature in its Constitution.
3. It was only a few days ago that New Zealands Whanganui River won personhood rights.

Context

1. Rivers are important for the country's development because water from the rivers is a basic natural
resource essential for various human activities and countries economic growth. Rivers provides irrigation,
navigation, healthy ecology and environment and livelihood.
2. But these days Water pollution is a major environmental issue in India and the world. The largest
source of water pollution in India is untreated sewage and other sources of pollution include agricultural
runoff and unregulated small scale industry outlets, encroachments for canals and indeed, the diversion
of water, construction of dams, sand mining, and appropriation of flood banks for commercial activities.
So this move by High court is welcome one.

Case about:

1. The two issues before the High Court emerged after petition filed by Lalit Miglan in Lalit Miglan vs
Uttarakhand government,

2. Removal of illegal constructions on the banks of a canal in Dehradun.


3. Division of water resources between Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

4. In December 2016, the High Court directed the removal of the constructions. It also directed the
constitution of the Ganga Management Board (a statutory body under the U.P. Reorganisation Act
2000), and prohibited mining of the Ganga riverbed and its highest flood plain area. On the issue of
resource division, the court directed the Central government to notify the settlement reached by the two
States in a time-bound manner. Failure to all these led HC to declare two rivers as living persons.

Implications of this move

1. Two rivers now be treated as legal person so their rights legally protected and not be harmed/destroyed.
2. Enables nature to go to court.
3. Ensures responsibility of appointed guardian (in this case Director General of Namami gange project,
state chief secretary and Advocate General) to protect its rights.
4. Enforces sense of responsibility over state administration, citizens and nation as whole.

Challenges

1. There is still a big question about whether these types of legal rights are relevant or appropriate for
nature at all.
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2. Enforcing legal rights for nature therefore requires not only legal standing, but also adequate funding and
access to legal expertise.
3. In India need to set up completely new organisations to enforce the rights.
4. Clear specifications of roles and responsibilities of guardians-How will they decide which rights to
enforce, and when? Who can hold them to account for those decisions?

Conclusion

River is a living ecosystem both scientifically and biologically so giving living status of person is a step in right
direction. Now it is the Centre and the states and peoples to study the legal and political implications of the
Uttarakhand court order and take remedial action if their interests are adversely affected.

Questions:

Q.) In a recent judgment, the Uttarakhand High Court declared the rivers Yamuna and
Ganga as legal or juridical persons, enjoying all the rights, duties and liabilities of a
living person. What are the implications of such a move and what challenges need
to be faced in implementing such a decision?

Sources:

Down to Earth
Big Picture Discussion
The Hindu News, Indian express
News on AIR discussion
Case study on New Zealand Whanganui River.

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#10. A Direct Shift from BS-1V to BS-


VI by 2020: Issues & Challenges

Note4Students/Syllabus Mapping: GS2

There are no two opinions about vehicular emissions contributing a major part in the growing air pollution and its
debilitating effects on the changing climate. The fact that India has been a playing a proactive role in global
efforts of combating climate change, the recent initiative of improving Bharat Stage Emission standards is a step
in the positive direction towards air pollution control. However, the ambitious target of transitioning from BS IV to
BS VI also comes with its own challenges. Undoubtedly, this makes it a hot topic for 2017 CSE Mains in the
context of environment pollution and Indias commitments towards the same.

What are Bharat Stage Emissions Standards?

1. These are emission standards instituted by the Government of India to normalize the productivity of air
pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment.
2. The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board
under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and Climate Change. Bharat Stage norms are based on
European regulations.
3. India has been following the European emission standards but with a five-year time lag.

Background of Emission standards in India:

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Transition to BS VI from BS IV: A Step UP!

1. The Centres decision to adopt Bharat Stage VI automotive fuels nationwide by April 1, 2020 is a key
measure that can, if implemented properly, vastly improve air quality. It also fits in with commitments
made at the Paris climate change conference.
2. The BS-VI compliant fuels have sulphur concentration of as low as 10 parts per million as
compared to 50 parts per million (ppm) in BS-IV fuels. This means a lower level of harmful emissions
and reduced incidence of lung diseases. Higher sulphur results in high volumes of fine respirable
particulates measuring 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) being generated in emissions.
3. The switch to BS-VI norms will also reduce concentration of carbon monoxide, unburnt hydrocarbons,
nitrous oxide and particulate matter from emissions.
4. With other developing countries such as China having already upgraded to the equivalent of Euro V
emission norms a while ago, India has been lagging behind.
5. The experience of countries such as China and Malaysia shows that poor air quality can be bad for
business. Therefore, leapfrogging to BS VI can put India ahead in the race for investments too.

Apprehensions/ challenges in Implementation:

1. Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has informed that the economic burden for
moving to BS-VI emission norms for automobile manufacturers would be very significant as many new
technologies would have to be developed and these technologies would have to be used in vehicles for
meeting the requirement of BS-VI emission norms.
2. The transition will involve overhauling the working dynamics of the automakers and will alter the cost
structure forever.
3. Theres a time crunch and firms would have to develop and optimize the Diesel Particulate Filter and
Selective Catalytic Reduction systems in parallel, instead of doing it sequentially
4. To achieve a reduction in particulate matter by 82% and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 68%, auto makers
need a combination of technologiesone is the diesel particulate filter (DPF), a device designed to
remove diesel particulate matter, or soot, from the exhaust gas of a diesel engine.
5. The shift to BS VI is set to shake up the auto component industry. He expects dominance of global
auto component makers to increase, either directly or indirectly.
6. In a cost-sensitive market like India, the challenge is to design a system for India that would not just
meet the stringent particulate matter (PM) and NOx emissions of BS VI but also be cost-effective and
robust to survive the harsh use-case conditions.
7. Being a new technology, manpower needs to be skilled at large which is a mammoth challenge as
claimed by industry experts.
8. The climatic conditions, driving habits and road conditions, leave alone fuel conditions and
maintenance practices, were significantly different in India compared to Europe.

Way forward:

BS VI is a challenge as well as an opportunity for the industry as none of the Euro 6 markets have bikes
with small engines. Thus, though dirty air is a public emergency but it will not be easy to shift directly from BS-IV
to BS-VI emission norms. It is important that the concerns of all concerned stakeholders are kept in mind
to achieve the basic objective of a cleaner air and to fulfill our international obligations.

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Social Issues

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#1. Should Section 498 be amended

Note4Student

Section 498A, which is made to contain violence against women within the family has been widely misused.
Supreme Court in the recent Rajesh Sharma and Ors v State of UP and Anr case delivered a judgment,
announcing a set of guidelines to prevent the misuse of Section 498A of the IPC. So there is high probability
that a question could be asked from this.

Introduction

In order to contain violence against women within the family, the operation of Section 498A of the Indian Penal
Code was weighted against husbands and their birth families, and automatically presumed the complainant to be
an innocent victim. Progressive discrimination was deemed necessary in a country which recorded a dowry
death every hour, on average, and where violence against women has been regarded as normal.

What is Section 498-A?

In 1983, Section 498-A of the IPC was introduced with the objective to combat the menace of harassment to a
woman at the hands of her husband and his relatives.

Why it is needed?

1. A total of 24,771 dowry deaths have occurred in India from 2012 to 2014, averaging more than 20 dowry
deaths every single day.
2. Thus, Section 498A is not only relevant but also vital for the protection of genuine victims.

What are the issues involved?

1. Operation of IPC was weighted against husbands and their birth families, and automatically
presumed the complainant to be an innocent
2. Both the Supreme Court and the Women and Child Development Ministry have acknowledged that
the law has been misused too often to be ignored, and moved to ensure that innocent men and their
relations are spared the threat of summary arrest.
3. There were opinions that complaints under section 498A were being filed on the basis of personal
vendetta.
4. Prevalence of misuse, is reflected in the data of the National Crime Records Bureau less than one
in five charge sheets filed has resulted in conviction.
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5. The SC Bench said Section 498A (dowry harassment) of the IPC had come under much abuse and
dowry complaints were being filed in the heat of the moment over trivial issues.

New procedure under 498A

1. The Supreme Court on July 27 2017, in the matter of Rajesh Sharma and Ors v State of UP and Anr,
delivered a judgment, announcing a set of guidelines to prevent the misuse of Section 498A of the IPC.
2. Family Welfare Committees
3. In order to prevent the perceived misuse of the criminal law of cruelty against women, welfare
committees, have been put in place to scrutinise a complaint by a woman
4. Welfare Committees in every district: It includes paralegals, volunteers, social workers, retired
persons, wives of working officers and other citizens, who are found suitable and willing
5. The police must ensure that every complaint under Section 498A is referred to the welfare committee
6. Then committee within one month will prepare a report, give its opinion and send it back to the police.
Till the report of the committee is received there will be no arrest

Critical analysis of the verdict

1. Establishment of family welfare committess can be seen as virtual privatisation of the


policing function. That the members of the committee will be given remuneration makes it a
parallel justice dispensation system. Only after the report of the welfare committee is
submitted, can the police perform the policing function.
2. By creating the Family Welfare Committee, the court creates one more layer between the victim
and the justice system, and as a result, her access to justice is compromised.
3. Welfare committees drawn from the civil society has the potential to become non-state vigilante
groups.
4. Low conviction rates exist across the board, in relation to all crimes. To isolate crimes against
women is to miss the point that the criminal justice system is in need of serious repair.
5. The judgment has relied upon the data of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) of 2005,
2012 and 2013 to arrive conclusion that since the conviction rate is low, most of the cases
registered under 498A are false. This data does not give a clear picture as there can be a
number of reasons for acquittal, such as poor investigation by the investigating officer,
settlement through mediation, or intimidation of witnesses and the complainant herself.
6. Given that the woman in question may fear severe bodily harm, the period of one month seems to
be far too liberal.
7. Besides, the court has prescribed that bail applications must be decided on the date of
application. Since bail is a right, courts may be more inclined to grant rather than withhold,
which could again increase the risk to the complainant.
8. Minister Maneka Gandhi has asked the National Commission for Women to be accessible to
men who claim to be falsely accused.
9. Maneka Gandhi has recommended a more stringent filing process which insists on identity
proof, and has warned that while opening a window to the victims of false claims, the NCW
should not open the door wide to false counter-claims

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Conclusion

While the working of Section 498A was tilted in favour of women as a progressive intervention, a course
correction is seen to be required in the interest of equality before the law and the prevalence of misuse.
However, the law must retain its progressive bias in favour of wronged women, without inadvertently wronging
men.
In practice, it will prove to be a tough balancing act an impossible feat, in the absence of police reform and
progressive change in societal mind-set where women are still made to feel inferior to men at every step.

#2. Child labour amendment bill

Note4Students:

Child labour is one of the most debated topics. After a long time, amendment bill to the Child Labour (Prohibition
and Regulation) Act, 1986 has been passed. The topic is important as despite making stricter norms for
regulating child labour, the bill suffers from many flaws.

Context

The Parliament has amended the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 and passed Child Labour
(Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016 in July, 2016.

What is Child Labour?


1. The term child labour is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential
and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development (International Labour
Organization).

Constitutional Safeguards for Children


2. The constitution provides various safeguards for children which are as follows:
3. Article 15(3) gives the power to the State to enact laws to protect children.
4. Article 21A provides free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of 6 and 14.
5. Article 24 prohibits employment of children under the age of 14 years in hazardous industries.
6. Article 39 (e) provides that the State shall direct its policy to ensure that the tender age of children is not
abused.
7. Article 45 provides that State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education to children
below the age of six years.

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8. Article 47 provides that it is the duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and standard of living and to
improve public health.

Salient features of the Bill

1. The Bill proposes a ban on employment of children below 14 years in all occupations except in family
business and in entertainment industry provided education of child does not get hampered.
2. It prohibits employment of adolescents (a person between 14 and 18 years of age) in hazardous
occupations as specified (mines, inflammable substance and hazardous processes).
3. The central government may add or omit any hazardous occupation from the list included in the Bill.
4. It enhances the punishment for employing any child in an occupation and for employing an adolescent in
a hazardous occupation. For the first time, the fine has been increased from 20000 to 50000 Rs and 6
months to 2 years imprisonment. For repeat offenders the offence is cognizable and proposes a
punishment of 1-3 years.
5. The Bill proposes relaxed penal provisions for parents. In case of parents being repeat offenders, it
proposes a fine of 10000 rupees.
6. It empowers the government to make periodic inspection of places at which employment of children and
adolescents are prohibited.
7. It also sets up a Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund to be set up under the Act for
rehabilitation of children and adolescents.

Analysis

Positives
1. The amendments intend to preserve Indian art and craft by enabling parents with traditional skills to pass
them on to their children.
2. The setting up of a Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund will help to improve the condition of
the children and sponsor education for them.
3. It prescribes more stringent penalty for Violators and high term of jail and fine with non bailable charges.
4. It gives more autonomy to various institutions involved in child labour protection rehabilitation and
redevelopment y empowering the government to make periodic inspection of places.

Criticism:

Reversing the gains:

In 1986, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act had after much discussion and expansion
included 83 occupations. The new amendment reverses the gain by bringing down the list of
hazardous occupations for children to include just mining, inflable substances and explosives.

Open discretion of government authorities:

Further, the occupations listed as hazardous can be removed, according to Section 4 not by
Parliament but by government authorities at their own discretion. This leaves it to open discretion.

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Promoting family labour:

It allows child labour in family or family enterprises or allows the child to work in entertainment
industry. Most of child labour is in work with family members. Not defining the nature and time
limitation will act as an main obstruction to their educational endeavour.

Non-uniform implementation :

List of hazardous factories can be amended by the state government, thus, leading to non-uniform
implementation of this act.

Making lawful what was unlawful earlier:

It allows that the children may work after school hours or during vacations, thus, actually making
lawful a large part of child work that was earlier unlawful.

Roughly defined purpose of Fund:


Funding from child rehabilitation fund is not directly linked to education and development rather it
aims towards these goals without any mentioned method thus not giving any specific list of
objectives.

Way forward

1. Child are future of a country and their holistic development must be the sole aim of a country and this
requirement becomes more important for a developing country like India which has a significant part of its
population in the working age. It is essential that the loopholes in the act are be removed and sufficient
steps are taken for effective prohibition and rehabilitation of child stuck in various industries as workers.

Conclusion

1. In the context of the socio-economic realities of India and the preservation of the social fabric and
learning of traditional occupations, the new Act tweaked the law in such a way that children are readily
available for employment. It will push more children into labour and make them subjects of exploitation at
the labour market.
2. Though the increased penalty and rehabilitation fund are welcome inclusions which will act as deterrent
and provide relief to child labour. However, the amended Act, display a lack of national commitment to
abolishing all forms of child labour and do not resonate with the constitutional objective of elimination of
child labour in India.

References

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-child-labour-amendment-bill/story-
2PkGT4hs1Vsp1IXji6KsdP.html
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/A-law-that-allows-child-labour/article14560563.ece
http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/child-labour-india-laws-ban-allowed-in-family-enterprises-education-
suffers-2948482/

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http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/child-labour-bill-unequal-childhood-family-workers-free-education-
2941209/
http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/why-activists-are-worried-about-proposed-changes-to-indias-child-labour-
law/

Questions

Q.1) What are the merits of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment
Act, 2016 over the previous child labour regulations. Do you think it will act as a
deterrent to child labour?
Q.2) Though, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 is a
step in right direction, but, by institutionalising child labour in family-based
occupations under the age of 14 years and reducing the number of hazardous
occupations, India has failed its children. Do you agree? Discuss.

#3. Maternity Benefit Amendment


Bill

Note4Students:

The bill has been in news since it is considered a revolutionary step towards maternity leave provisions in India.
So, a probable question may be asked on this.

Context

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that seeks to amend the old Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 that
entitles women to receive maternity benefits has been passed by the Parliament.

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Main features of the bill

1. Expecting mothers who are working in the organised sector can now avail 26 weeks of paid maternity
leave instead of 12 weeks.
2. Bill allows 12 weeks of paid maternity leave to mothers who are adopting a child below the age of three
months and also to commissioning mothers who opt for surrogacy.
3. This entitlement is applicable only upto first two children. For third child, the entitlement will be for only 12
weeks. The leaves further reduce to six weeks if the woman wants to become a mother for the fourth
time.
4. It makes it mandatory for employers with 50 or more employees to provide crches in close vicinity of the
workplace, and by allowing women up to four daily visits to the crche.
5. It applies to establishments employing 10 people or more
6. The organisations must communicate these rights to female employees via writing.
7. An employer can permit a woman to work from home, if the nature of work assigned permits her to do so.
This option can be availed of, after the period of maternity leave, for a duration that is mutually decided
by the employer and the woman.

Comparison between Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 and Maternity Benefit Amendment
Bill, 2016
Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill, 2016

12 weeks maternity leave 26 weeks maternity leave


Leave not prior to 6 weeks from due Leave can be taken 8 weeks prior to due date
date
Adoptive and Commissioning Adoptive and Commissioning mothers: Provides for 12 weeks
mothers: No provision leave

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Flexible work options: Flexible work options:


No provisions It allows for option to work from home based on mutual
agreement between employer and women.

Analysis

Benefits of the bill


1. The enhancement of paid maternity leave for women is a progressive step and would benefit about 1.8
million women in the organised sector.
2. It would allow a woman to take care of her infant in the most important, formative months of a child and
provide her with much needed work-life balance.
3. It will make India at third place, only after Canada and Norway, in the level of maternity benefits such as
paid time off work extended to women.
4. The amendment is in line with several expert recommendations including that of the World Health
Organisation, which recommends exclusive breastfeeding of children for the first 24 weeks.
5. It will make for a milestone legislation on the road to reducing gender inequality at work and bringing
down maternal and infant mortality in India.

Criticism of the bill

1. An increase in maternal leave and a mandate to provide crches might result in adverse incentives for
employers to hire women.
2. The Bill ignores roughly 90 per cent of the Indian women who are employed in the unorganised sector
which includes domestic workers, agricultural labourers, seasonal and construction workers.
3. The Bill continues to reinforce the stereotype about childcare being exclusively a womans responsibility
and excludes paternity leave from its ambit.
4. It discriminates against almost all adoptive mothers, particularly those who adopt older babies or children.
It also discriminates against adoptive fathers and transgendered persons who may adopt, as it does not
recognise their right to parental benefits.

Status in other countries of world

Once the amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, comes into effect, only Canada and Norway will
be ahead of India, with 50 and 44 weeks of paid leave.
Suriname and Tonga have no provisions for any leave following childbirth.
US and Papua New Guinea offer unpaid leave.
China offers 14 weeks, Australia 18 weeks, Norway 36-46 weeks (pay varying from 100 to 80 per cent of
wages) and Denmark gives 52 paid weeks.

Conclusion

1. The long list of barriers that women face in accessing employment opportunities, such as the risk of
exploitation particularly in the informal sector, the lack of wage parity, concerns regarding safety and
security, etc., need to find a solution.

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2. Indias problem is not just about ensuring women return to the workforce after childbirth but in bringing
women into the workforce in the first place. Resolving this will require more than just maternity leave

Sources

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/BDf3gCUIYOmmXv5stkbhII/The-economics-of-maternity-leave.html
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/what-is-maternity-benefit-bill-how-does-it-affect-working-women-who-will-benefit-
all-your-questions-answered-4563124/
http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/amended-maternity-law-goes-a-long-way-but-has-a-long-way-to-go-still-
4570686/
http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/wsvYFn0yr2I6TB0yvfPykK/The-welcome-idea-of-more-maternity-leave.html
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/key-highlights-of-maternity-benefits-amendment-bill-2016/article17441168.ece

Q.1) Discuss the salient features of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016? It is
considered that the bill will provide women with much needed work life balance.
Critically analyse. (200 Words)
Q.2) Critically comment on the recent changes made to the Maternity Benefit
(Amendment) Act (MBA), 2017.
Q.3) Though the bill is a step in right direction, it still falls short of addressing various
issues related to pregnancy and maternity. Examine in light of the Maternity Benefit
(Amendment) Bill, 2016 passed by parliament.

#4. Medical termination of


pregnancy

Note4Students

Medical termination of pregnancy has many dimensions. Indian legal system had considered the womens
right to choose her pregnancy as a moral and ethical problem. Legal system often took narrow stand
regarding the abortion of pregnancy under special circumstances. Social mentality also doesnt recognize the
womens autonomy over her own body. MTP amendment trying address all these issues. So this topic is
important in the backdrop of union governments decision of introduction the amendment bill.

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Introduction

1. In India, the 1971 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, while allowing abortions under a broad
range of circumstances, can be considered a conservative law from a feminist perspective.
2. The Act allows healthcare providers rather than women seeking abortion to have the final say on
abortion, and creates an environment within which women are made dependent on their healthcare
providers.
3. The draft Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill of 2014 seeks to amend Section 3 of
the principle The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 to provide that the length of pregnancy
shall not apply in a decision to abort a foetus diagnosed with substantial foetal abnormalities as may be
prescribed.
4. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in India was amended in 2003 to facilitate better
implementation and increase access for women especially in the private health sector. However, unsafe
abortions are widely prevalent even 40 years after the Act came into force.

Analysis

Recent developments

1. On more than one occasion, the court has rejected abortion petitions on the ground that its hands are
tied by the MTP Act.
2. In January, it did allow a rape victim to abort a 24-week old foetus that had severe abnormalities, but
only after a panel of doctors ruled that the pregnancy could put her life in danger
3. The Supreme Court declined a womans plea to abort her 26-week-old foetus detected with Downs
syndrome. The women argued that it was the womans constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy.
4. It was contended that the congenital abnormality found in her foetus and the womans anguish about the
future were the reasons for her decision.
5. The court refused permission for abortion, calling the foetus a life. It said the Medical Termination of
Pregnancy Act of 1971 places a 20-week ceiling on termination of pregnancy.

Social aspects of abortion

1. Abortion is seen as a complex and thorny socio-political subject with religious and moral dimensions in
almost all countries.
2. LEGALITY: Its legality is like a double-edged sword because of the misuse it can and does unleash.
3. CULTURALLY: An issue of feminist and humanist rights, it also gets invariably mixed with cultural
attitudes, family superstitions and moral tugs of war.
4. SOCIAL ATTITUDE: Even women who wish to abort (within the legally allowed 20 weeks) are not viewed
kindly. They are stalked by judgement even if the decision to abort stems from the husbands choice.
India has perhaps the highest number of abortions related to female foeticide and sex determination, but
making an elective choice to abort a baby (considered Gods own blessing) for the mothers comfort and
readiness or a couples financial situation is eyed with scepticism, even seen as sin.
5. Many Indian couples hide abortions from family elders for fear of moral judgement. very few Indians
discuss abortion openly even today.

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Analysis OF MTP Act 1971

1. MTP Act 1971 does not allow abortions above the gestational age of 20 weeks.
2. However, legal experts have argued that medical science and technology have made the 20-week ceiling
redundant and that conclusive determination of foetal abnormality is possible in most cases after the 20th
week of gestational age.
3. Under the 1971 Act, even pregnant rape victims cannot abort after 20 weeks, compelling them to
move court.

Important features of proposed amendment bill

1. FOCUS: Proposed changes could initiate a shift in the focus of the Indian abortion discourse from
healthcare providers to women.
2. Such a shift would decrease the vulnerability of women within the clinical setting and free them from
subjective interpretations of the law.
3. HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS: The Bill also expands the base of healthcare providers by including mid-
level and non-allopathic healthcare providers. While the medical community has resisted this
inclusion.
4. The Bill amends Section 3 of the principle Act of 1971 to provide that the length of pregnancy shall
not apply in a decision to abort a foetus diagnosed with substantial foetal abnormalities as may be
prescribed.
5. They do away with the need for the courts sanction for aborting a more than 20-week old pregnancy
6. Increasing the legal limit for abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks,
7. AUTONOMY IN THE DECISION: The draft Bill allows a woman to take an independent decision in
consultation with a registered health-care provider, if the pregnancy involves substantial risks to the
mother or child, or if it is alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape.
8. RAPE VICTIMS: Significantly, the draft recognises that rape may be presumed to constitute a grave
injury to the mental health of the pregnant woman, and that such an injury could be a ground for allowing
abortion
9. CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT: The draft law also takes into account the reality of a massive shortage of
both doctors and trained midwives, and seeks to allow Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha practitioners to carry
out abortions, albeit only through medical means, and not surgical ones.

Why Medical Termination Amendment Bill Is Required

1. Haresh and Niketa Mehta case, the Bombay high court observed that only the legislature could address
the demand for change in the legal limit.
2. Unanimity among medico-legal experts : the MTP act has failed to keep up with changes in science.
They argue that foetal abnormalities show up after 18 weeks and a two-week window after that is too
small for the parents to take the difficult call on keeping their baby. The growing number of sexual
crimes against women and the need to empower them with sexual rights have also made it
imperative that the MTP Act be changed.
3. According to data from The Registrar General of India, Sample Registration System (2001-03),
unsafe abortions contribute to 8% of the total maternal deaths. Making out a strong case to amend the

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Act to increase the availability of safe and legal abortions in India, all stakeholders argue that unsafe
abortions still continue to outnumber safe and legal abortions in the country.
4. At least 3% of the 26 million births annually in India involve severe foetal abnormalities.
5. SC AS LAST RESORT: With the 2014 Bill in limbo, the Supreme Court is the last resort of the affected
people. The Court has agreed to look into whether a wider interpretation ought to be given to phrases like
risk to the life of the pregnant woman and grave injury to her physical and mental health.
6. ETHICAL ASPECT :Even though the apex court remarked that it was a matter of life versus life, its
decision in favour of the woman is a pragmatic, life-affirming verdictinstead of one based on moral and
sentimental considerations.
7. in the face of the high rates of unsafe abortion, such a step is both ethical and necessary
8. Legal and medical experts feel that a revision of the legal limit for abortion is long overdue. Foetal
abnormalities show up only by 18 weeks, so just a two-week window after that is too small for the would-
be parents to take the difficult call on whether to keep their baby. Even for the medical practitioner, this
window is too small to exhaust all possible options before advising the patient to take the extreme step.
9. Again, the 45 years since the enactment of the law has seen technology break new grounds
from ultrasound to magnetic resonance imaging to a range of high-end foetal monitoring devices that
have taken prenatal diagnosis far beyond the illegal sex determination tests that have refused to die out
completely.
10. The rising incidence of sex crimes, and the urgent need to empower women with sexual rights and
choices both in their own interest and for the sake of reducing the fertility rate as a whole, have made it
imperative that the law be changed. In any case and what is far more worrying is the fact that the
lack of legal approval does not prevent abortions from being carried out beyond 20 weeks. And they are
done in shady, unhygienic conditions by untrained, unqualified quacks, putting thousands of women at
risk probably every day.
Conclusion

1. The Bill recognise a womans right to self-determination and autonomy (although such recognition is
limited to the first trimester),
2. It also represents something of a shift in the focus of the abortion law in India from the healthcare
provider to the woman undergoing abortion.
3. Such a shift decreases the vulnerability of women within the clinical setting and frees them from
subjective interpretations of the abortion law.

Questions

Q)Medical termination of pregnancy bill recognizes the autonomous right of a


woman to abort the foetus under special circumstances. analyse

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#5. National Health Policy 2017

Note4Students

Indian health sector is meddled with a host of issues. Poor strata of population have denied proper health care.
NHP policy tries to achieve over all development of health sector with private sector as an active partner. So
NHP is very important for coming mains exam.

Introduction
1. The main objective of the National Health Policy 2017 is to achieve the highest possible level of good
health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental
policies,
2. to achieve universal access to good quality health care services without anyone having to face financial
hardship as a consequence.
3. The broad principles of the policy are centred on professionalism, equity, affordability, universality,
patient centred quality care, accountability and pluralism.

Analysis
Objectives

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Major Highlights of National Health Policy, 2017

1. Assurance Based Approach- Policy advocates progressively incremental Assurance based Approach
with focus on preventive and promotive healthcare
2. Health Card linked to health facilities- Policy recommends linking the health card to primary care
facility for a defined package of services anywhere in the country.
3. Patient Centric Approach- Policy recommends the setting up of a separate, empowered medical
tribunal for speedy resolution to address disputes /complaints regarding standards of care, prices of
services, negligence and unfair practices. Standard Regulatory framework for laboratories and imaging
centres, specialized emerging services, etc.
4. Micronutrient Deficiency- Focus on reducing micronutrient malnourishment and systematic approach to
address heterogeneity in micronutrient adequacy across regions.
5. Quality of Care- Public hospitals and facilities would undergo periodic measurements and certification of
level of quality. Focus on Standard Regulatory Framework to eliminate risks of inappropriate care by
maintaining adequate standards of diagnosis and treatment.
6. Make in India Initiative- Policy advocates the need to incentivize local manufacturing to provide
customized indigenous products for Indian population in the long run.
7. Application of Digital Health- Policy advocates extensive deployment of digital tools for improving the
efficiency and outcome of the healthcare system and aims at an integrated health information system
which serves the needs of all stake-holders and improves efficiency, transparency, and citizen
experience.
8. Private Sector engagement for strategic purchase for critical gap filling and for achievement of health
goals.
9. It aims to allocate major proportion of resources to primary care and intends to ensure availability of two
beds per 1,000 population distributed in a manner to enable access within golden hour [the first hour after
traumatic injury, when the victim is most likely to benefit from emergency treatment].

Key targets

1. Achieve the global 2020 HIV target (also termed 90:90:90; 90 per cent of all people living with HIV
know their HIV status, 90 per cent of all people diagnosed with HIV infection receive sustained
antiretroviral therapy and 90 per cent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral
suppression)

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Why NHP is important

1. With a fifth of the worlds disease burden, a growing incidence of non-communicable diseases such
as diabetes, and poor financial arrangements to pay for care, India brings up the rear among the BRICS
countries in health sector performance. Against such a laggardly record, the policy now offers an
opportunity to systematically rectify well-known deficiencies through a stronger National Health
Mission.
2. Among the most glaring lacunae is the lack of capacity to use higher levels of public funding for
health. Rectifying this in partnership with the States is crucial if the Central government is to make the
best use of the targeted government spending of 2.5% of GDP by 2025, up from 1.15% now.
Concerns

NHP failed to make health a justiciable right in the way the Right to Education 2005 did for school education.

Investement

1. There is no correlation between the ambition in the text and public investment proposed from the
current level of 1.15% of GDP to 2.5% of GDP by 2025. This level of public investment is inadequate for
achieving the goals, targets and approaches proposed to achieving them
2. In the primary healthcare space, the policy commits itself to strengthening the public health infrastructure
in underserved areas in accordance with the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS). Estimates of the
ministry indicate a financial requirement of 1.4 lakh crores (2014 prices) for meeting the gaps in IPHS. Of
this, over 75% is required in just the 300 districts that would qualify as underserved. Against such a huge
deficit in capital investment, over the last ten years not more than Rs 10,000 crores may have been
incurred and that too by the better off states.
3. The health sector has faced chronic underfunding. Be it in times of 3% or 9% growth rate, public health
spending has always been in the range of 0.9-1.2% of the GDP. These meagre funds are then
responsible for the under performance and dysfunctionalism of the public health sector that struggles with
poor infrastructure, obsolescent equipment, understaffed and overworked personnel and so on.
Optimising this infrastructure to achieve the quality standards that the policy proposes will require
substantial investments again.
Strategic purchasing

1. The policy envisages that strategic purchasing will be in the short term, though it nowhere defines how
short the term is likely to be.
2. Evidence shows that public and private sector cannot coexist in the same space given the highly
competitive environment. Evidence also shows that in such environments, the public sector has always
lost out, more in the area of perception and non-provision of level playing fields. We have seen this in all
sectors of development where the private sector has been co-opted under the public-private partnership
mode. In all these frameworks, the risk is borne by the government with little liability on the private
provider and necessitating action for non-compliance entailing elaborate litigation.

Institutional capability

1. The NHP is silent on establishing an autonomous, independent drug regulator and more importantly
dealing with the long pending and contentious issue of bringing drug regulation under the central control.

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State drug controllers are playing havoc with the licensing and drug quality assurance aspects and in
oversight of pharmacies, contributing to the rampant misuse of antibiotics.
2. A serious omission is the strengthening of the Clinical Establishment Act to make it mandatory for the
display of prices by private hospitals.
3. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has recently done yeoman service in capping the price of
stents. How does this get enforced? In other words, making regulations is one aspect; enforcement is
another that calls for substantial expenditures in establishing trained inspectorates and close monitoring.
Similar regulations and enforcement are required for ensuring the proper maintenance of the diagnostic
equipment, timely calibrations and utilisation. This too requires frequent inspections and monitoring by
trained manpower and the co-option of technical institutions. The NHP is silent about this aspect as well,
focusing only on the domestic manufacture of medical devices.
Conclusion

1. A policy is only as good as its implementation. The next steps may not lie in creating yet another
document called an implementation framework.
2. It would be better served by the creation of a number of multi-stakeholder implementation task
forces or working groups around some of these new ideas and priorities with the secretariat of
these task forces housed in a corresponding division of the ministry- so that the ministry gets down to the
implementation without any further time lost. It is a pragmatic policy- but only if work on
implementation begins at once.

Questions
Q. National health policy is a panacea for the all challenges of Indian public health
sector, critically comment
Q. What are the important objectives of new National health policy . ?Do you think
present level of investment in the public health sector is enough to meet challenges?

#6. Transgender Bill

Note4Sstudent

1. Transgender communities in India are facing issues like discrimination, unemployment, lack of
educational facilities, homelessness, lack of medical facilities. Transgender Persons (Protection of
Rights) Bill, 2016 attempts to bring the community into the mainstream. It is important to know the bill
provisions and various concerns expressed against the bill.

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Introduction

1. Transgender community is among one of the most marginalized communities in the country because
they don't fit into the stereotypical categories of gender of men or women.
2. Consequently they face problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, lack of education
facilities, unemployment, lack of medical facilities and so on.
3. Through this Bill the Government has evolved a mechanism for their social, economic and educational
empowerment.

Who is a Transgender?

Transgender person as one who is partly female or male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female
nor male. In addition, the persons gender must not match the gender assigned at birth, and includes trans-men,
trans-women, persons with intersex variations and gender-queers.

Key provisions:

1. Certificate of identity: A transgender person must obtain a certificate of identity as proof of recognition
of identity as a transgender person and to invoke rights under the Bill. Such a certificate would be
granted by the District Magistrate on the recommendation of a Screening Committee. The Committee
would comprise a medical officer, a psychologist or psychiatrist, a district welfare officer, a government
official, and a transgender person.
2. Rights of transgenders and duties of government: The central and state governments must take
steps to ensure that transgender persons enjoy right to equality, and protection from discrimination.
The government must also ensure that transgender persons have accommodation, protection from
torture, etc.
3. Health: The central and state governments must take steps to provide health facilities to transgender
persons including separate HIV surveillance centres, free of cost sex reassignment surgeries, etc.
4. Education: Educational institutions funded or recognised by the government will have to admit
transgender students without discrimination, provide accommodation and necessary support.
5. Employment: Public or private establishments (including companies, unions, factories, etc.) will be
prohibited from discriminating against transgender persons in matters related to employment including
recruitment and promotion.
6. Further, transgender persons may be declared a Backward Class so that they can be entitled to
reservation under the Other Backward Class category.

Limitations of the bill

1. No rights and reservations are promised to the transgenders.


2. It failed to differentiate between interstate and transgender
3. No amendment of other operating laws related to marriage, property rights for transgenders is
undertaken.
4. The bill is silent on the issue of section 377 of IPC that criminalizes unnatural sex from same sex
individuals.
5. Absence of provisions to recognize the violence committed by the natal family.
6. The inadequate budget assigned by the Centre for this matter.

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7. Absence of awareness programmes to sensitize the general population.


8. Lack of a clear mechanism through which transgender communities can access existing welfare
schemes.

Key Issues and Analysis

1. The Supreme Court has held that the right to self-identification of gender is part of the right to
dignity and autonomy under Article 21 of the Constitution. However, objective criteria may be required
to determine ones gender in order to be eligible for entitlements.
2. The Bill states that a person recognised as transgender would have the right to self-perceived
gender identity. However, it does not provide for the enforcement of such a right. A District
Screening Committee would issue a certificate of identity to recognise transgender persons.
3. The definition of transgender persons in the Bill is at variance with the definitions recognised by
international bodies and experts in India.
4. The Bill includes terms like trans-men, trans-women, persons with intersex variations and gender-
queers in its definition of transgender persons. However, these terms have not been defined.
5. Certain criminal and personal laws that are currently in force only recognise the genders of man
and woman. It is unclear how such laws would apply to transgender persons who may not identify with
either of the two genders.
6. The bill does not talk of reservations in educational institutions for members of the transgender
community who do not belong to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes
7. Avoids discussing major issues including on personal law like the right to marriage, inheritance and
adoption etc.
8. It is silent on the count of police violence against the community, which serves as an important
reason why the community is relegated to the margins in India.

Conclusion

Government needs to amend some of the provisions that would realize the true objective of mainstreaming
the marginalized community

Questions

Q. What are the important provisions of the Transgender Persons (Protection of


Rights) Bill, 2016
Q. Examine the various concerns expressed against the Transgender Persons
(Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016
Q. Transgender Rights Bill 2016 is grossly ignorant of the very issues it is
attempting to address Critically comment

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#7. Demand for smaller states (in


context of Gorkhaland issue)

Note4Students

Demand for separate states is not new. Recent agitation by gorkhaland activists brought the issue again into the
lime light. So this topic is important.
Introduction

The last few years have seen a constant tug of war between the champions of smaller states and larger states.
The centre has received demands for India have at least 50 states including a separate Mithilanchal in Bihar,
Saurastra in Gujrat, Coorg or, Kodagu in Karnataka, Gondwana in Madhya Pradesh, Mahakosal in Orissa,
Bodoland in Assam, Gorkhaland in West Bengal, Vidharba in Maharashtra, Bundelkhand in U.P. and M.P.,
Haritpradesh and Poornanchal in U.P. Mayawati even proposed to divide Uttar Pradesh into four smaller states -
Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Awadh Pradesh and Pashchim Pradesh.

Analysis

Gorkhaland Issue

1. Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts, particularly the hill portion excluding the southern tehsils of
Phansidewa, Kharibari, Siliguri and Matigara, have been in a politically driven near-total civic upsurge
since June 12.
2. The provocation was the May 16 decision by West Bengal government to institute a three-language
formula in school education throughout the state.
3. Under the formula, Bengali will be compulsorily taught up to Class X, although students would not have
to take an examination in the subject.
4. The Bimal Gurung led Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), which wields substantial political
influence over the nearly five lakh Nepali-speaking Gorkha people inhabiting the two districts, is
spearheading the ongoing protests. It considers the West Bengal governments decision a threat to
the Gorkha ethno-cultural identity and socio-economic interests.

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5. Although the West Bengal government has now withdrawn the controversial order, the GJM has revived
an earlier demand for statehood for the Gorkha people.
6. Further, GJM members have not only resigned from the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) but
the party along with 12 other Gorkha outfits has also decided to render the institution of the GTA non-
functional by preventing the holding any further elections to the body.
7. The present Gorkhaland movement is a search and a fight for this lost IDENTITY.
8. Only a separate STATE can give them this IDENTITY and nothing less.

Why there is a demand for smaller sates

1. The issue of language and culture-which had shaped the earlier process of reorganization- shifted
to those of better governance and greater participation, administrative convenience, economic viability in
the developmental needs of sub regions.
2. There are of course emotional considerations such as culture, language, religion and a sense of
economic and regional deprivation.
3. The lack of industry, an agrarian crisis and a low level of infrastructural facilities push such States into
adopting a model of development where growth can be achieved in spite of these handicaps.
4. This, as we witnessed with the examples of the three smaller States, results in an unprecedented
exploitation of raw materials such as the mining of minerals instead of the creation of industry,
5. wanton land deals, a boost to the construction industry and the conversion of fertile agricultural land into
speculative real estate transactions, since agriculture in any case was untenable and non-profitable.
6. Smaller State the only key for better development Its a well-known fact that creation of smaller state
in India had experiences the betterment of Indian economy. The growth of GDP, better governance and
development. Therefore, creation of smaller states is the immediate needs for the development of Indian
democracy
7. Small states are better in administration and regional differences are not an issue
8. Regional issues such as a, person belonging to another sect may not be in confrontation with a person
the resident of the same state but different province and prejudices will decrease and more people of the
same small state and same province will have a say in their state affairs.

Arguments Against

1. Creation of smaller state will divide India.


2. The feeling of nationalism would diminish in the cries of regional autonomy. Creation of smaller states will
take India to Pre- British era.
3. As for Jharkhand is concerned worst politics have been going on and as a result it has not able to
achieve the desired growth as promised prior to its formation.
4. Bihar on the other hand with its minimal natural resources has been able to achieve second highest GDP
after bifurcation.
5. Small states depend to a substantial extent on central government for financial aid.
6. It will not be economically prudent to set up new states as it would incur expenditure to set up state
machinery.
7. A new state may find itself lacking in infrastructure, which requires time, money and efforts to build. On
the political front too there are many challenges that smaller states have to face, as the dream of new
smaller states was ushered in by the leaders need
8. Diversity is too inextricably linked

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9. The idea of a modern nation state derives from the idea that its people all have a common identity like a
religion or culture. The English inhabit England and the French inhabit France, each one having a
multitude of cultural stereotypes.
10. Those countries are used to being a homogeneous society governing the same land for hundreds of
years.
11. With India however the diversity and multiculturalism is so connected in Indian culture that the idea of
separate sovereign nation states wouldn't be viable as all Indian states have such a diverse mix of
Indians. To create a nation state based on the idea of culture or language in such a diverse society would
cause hatred of the outsiders who the natives felt didn't belong in that state

Way Forward

1. The situation demands that the government needs to handle the issue by better political
governance, fiscal management and rule of law.
2. Rather, division of states calls for a thorough evaluation of physical features like land equality and
topography, agro-climatic conditions, socio-cultural factors, natural and human resource availability,
density of population, means of communication, existing administrative culture and effectiveness of its
district and regional administrative units and so on
3. It is a time for a Second States Reorganization Commission that can redraw Indian Federal map,
creating many smaller states and keeping in mind economic viability. The current demand for the
breaking up of larger states needs to be examined seriously and dispassionately in its historical and
contemporary context
4. A more effective autonomous institution could also be considered in the form of an empowered body
statutorily on par with 6th Schedule areas and assigned, say, all the functional areas under the State List
except law and order, maintenance of infrastructure like national and state highways, power transmission
networks and disaster relief establishment.
5. Concomitant revenue raising powers may also be devolved to such an autonomous institution to
avoid its undue financial dependence on the state government.
6. Another issue would be the provision of legislative authority to this entity vis-a-vis its functional and
territorial jurisdiction. If such a provision existed, the state government would not have been able to
implement its controversial decision on the Bengali language in the school curriculum.

Questions:

Do you think lack of development is the only reason for the demand of new states?

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#8. Surrogacy Bill

Note4Students:

Recently union cabinet has approved the draft Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016. This bill has been debated
vigorously in newspapers. Many op-eds have come in the newspaper since the bill has been drafted.

Context

Recently union cabinet has approved the draft Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016. The bill aims to protect the
woman from victimization at the hands of those whose need for a child may tempt them to overlook the
exploitation rampant in the current commercial surrogacy ecosystem. The draft surrogacy Bill aims at regulating
commissioning of surrogacy in the country in a proper manner. The situation demands such a bill so urgently
because by 2012, India had become the surrogacy capital of the world.

What is surrogacy?

When an another woman carries and gives birth to a child for a couple who want to have a baby but are unable
to do so, because of infertility or some other reasons, it is called surrogacy. When the couple is medically unfit to
conceive then the surrogate mother is artificially inseminated. Such case is called Biological Surrogacy. Whereas
in gestational surrogacy the fertilised egg is placed into the uterus of the surrogate mother.

Background:

India is the first country to legalise commercial surrogacy in 2002. By 2012, India had become the surrogacy
capital of the world with surrogacy tourism valued at approximately $500 million annually. In India it became a
way of earning livelihood and are often abused. It has been done usually for a payment with help of agents and
doctors in the market. Currently there is no proper regulation on surrogacy in India. While estimates of the size of
the surrogacy market vary wildly, it is one in which the woman carrying an embryo has been in a grey zone, with
uncertain legal and compensatory protection. Compensation is not the only situation where surrogate mothers
are exploited. For instance, A Japanese couple began the process with a surrogate mother in Gujarat, but before
the child was born they split and there were no takers for the child. Another instance in 2012, an Australian
couple commissioned a surrogate mother, and arbitrarily chose one of the twins that was born. In the light of
these experiences, the 228th report of the Law Commission of India recommended prohibiting commercial
surrogacy. In Jan Balaz vs. Anand Municipality & Ors., the Gujarat high court had to adjudicate upon a case
relating to the issue of citizenship of twin children who were born out of surrogacy in India when the
commissioning parents home state of Germany had refused to grant citizenship to the children.

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Key features of the Legislation

1. The Bill will regulate surrogacy in India establishing a National Surrogacy Board at the Central
level and State Surrogacy Board and appropriate authorities in the state and Union Territories to
ensure effective regulation.
2. It prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow for altruistic surrogacy to the needy infertile
couples.The Bill bars foreigners, homosexual couples, people in live in relationships and single
individuals from becoming surrogacy.
3. Only childless, straight Indian couples married for a period of 5 years, having proven fertility
problems are eligible for surrogacy. (Between the age group 23-50 years for women and 26-55
years for men who do not have a surviving child are eligible for surrogacy.)NRIs and PIOs who
hold Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards have also been barred from opting for surrogacy
Eligible couples will have to turn to close relatives, not necessarily related by blood for altruistic
surrogacy no exchange of money between the commissioning couple and the surrogate
mother. (The Bill, which borrows heavily from UKs altruistic surrogacy Bill).
4. Women acting as surrogates can do so only once in her life time.
5. All Assisted Reproductive Technology clinics will have to be registered with the Authorities.10
months during which pregnancies underway now can be seen through and babies delivered.
6. The child born through surrogacy will have the rights of a biological child.
7. Undertaking surrogacy for a fee, advertising it or exploiting the surrogate mother will be
punishable with imprisonment for 10 years and a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh.
8. It promises to ensure parentage of children born out of surrogacy is legal and transparent.

Merits of the Legislation

1. The proposed Bill will help in preventing exploitation of women especially those from rural, poor
and tribal belts.
2. The rights of both surrogate mother and child are ensured by the new legislation.
3. By bringing in altruistic surrogacy model and allowing a woman to be a surrogate only once in her
lifetime, the government aims to ensure better health and life of the surrogate mother.
4. It proposes punishment with imprisonment of not less than 10 years along with a fine up to Rs.10
lakhs in case of exploitation and other irregularities.
5. Adoption is an underutilized option will be promoted along with the couples happiness.

Demerits of the Legislation

1. The right to life includes the right to reproductive and right to parenthood. So the state should not decide
the modes of parenthood.
2. Sudden interruption would just pushed the $500 million industry underground. Thus the very purpose of
the bill- to protect surrogate mothers from exploitation would be defeated. The bill is will affect the thriving
medical tourism in the country and people associated with it.

3. Restricting limited, conditional surrogacy to married Indian couples and disqualifying other persons on the
basis of nationality, marital status, sexual orientation or age does not appear to qualify the test of equality
(article 14 and 21), or of being a reasonable classification, satisfying the objective sought to be achieved.
This plausibly violates the right to reproductive autonomy as laid down in B.K.
Parthasarathy vs Government of Andhra Pradesh.

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4. The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), working under the ministry of health and family welfare,
finalised the National Guidelines for Accreditation, Supervision and Regulation of Artificial Reproductive
Technology (ART) Clinics in India, 2005. In that it had not been mentioned such prohibitions.
5. Due to less opportunity Doctors migrate to foreign countries. This legislation may further push the
situation.
6. If altruistic surrogacy is enforced, the commissioning parents have to find some non-legal means to pay
the woman who has spent a year or more of her life trying to ensure the birth of a healthy baby or babies.
7. The proposed provisions in the Bill might act as a ground that breeds underground surrogacy. It is not
necessary that all the medical clinics will adhere to law. There will be corruption and unethical practices
and exploitation of poor women.
8. But it lacks in addressing different medical conditions like a women has medical problem to conceive. It is
illogical to make her wait for 5 years.
9. The surrogate mother must be a close relative of the intending couple. The Bill does not define the term
close relative. Restricting only a blood relative to be a surrogate mother is illogical and unreasonable.
Restricting only a blood relative to be a surrogate mother is illogical and unreasonable.
10. For an abortion, in addition to complying with the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, the
approval of the appropriate authority and the consent of the surrogate mother is required. The Bill does
not specify a time limit for granting such an approval. Further, the intending couple has no say in the
consent to abort.

Way Forward/Conclusion

1. A blanket ban on such medical tourists makes no sense at all especially when we issue visas to them for
other forms of medical tourism. Many countries including the UK that have experimented with altruistic
surrogacy have realized that this only tends to push the whole transaction underground. A woman who
bears a child for another one is actually performing a service and needs to be compensated for it.
2. It has to be understood that a woman who enters into surrogacy is not out of will but because she is
pushed towards it for a decent livelihood. Therefore, altruistic surrogacy will lead them to look for other
means of living to sustain themselves.
3. The law should respect the rights of the citizens.
4. The economic aspects and scientific aspects should be considered along with the social and legal
aspects.
5. The need of the hour is to regulate the unregulated surrogacy market to ensure and protect the rights of
surrogates by ensuring the rights of the commissioning parents and children born as a result of such
arrangements. The government should rethink the proposed law on surrogacy to safeguard the
constitutional rights of the stakeholders considering the social, legal and ethical dynamics of this sensitive
subject for the formation of a progressive regulatory framework.

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Questions
Q.) What is the significance of the proposed Surrogacy Bill in India? Explain the
challenges still remaining in the sector.
Surrogacy is an Altruistic work. It cannot be made commercial as it will be unethical
and it is against the values of the Indian society and exploitative nature of the
commercial surrogacy industry. Express your views with arguments (PAPER IV-
Ethics).
Recently the government has proposed a legislation on Surrogacy. Due to many
reasons it gave rise to mixed response. Analyse the provisions of the bill and explain
its suitability in the present situation of Indian society.

Sources:
PRS India Website
Big Picture Discussion
The Hindu News
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
The Wire

#9. HIV AIDS Bill

Note4students

Parliament has passed a crucial Bill to ensure equal rights to the people infected with HIV and AIDS in getting
treatment and prevent discrimination of any kind. Its important to study its various provision and flaws involved in
the bill.

Introduction
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and
Control) Bill, prohibits discrimination against people living with HIV (PLHIVs) on grounds of treatment,
employment and workplace. It provides for complete confidentiality, helps in safeguarding patients rights, and
also creates a proper grievance addressing mechanism

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Status
According to WHO reports, today there are about 36.7mn people living
with HIV with 2.1mn cases reported in 2015 among which 1.8mn were
children below the age of 15years.
Report also shows India has one of the highest number of people living
with HIV in the world.
India is home to 2.1 million people affected with HIV.
Persons living with HIV are routinely discriminated against especially in
health, employment, education, renting property, insurance etc.
In our own country a lot of stigma is associated with AIDS.

Key highlights of the bill

1. Prohibition of discrimination against HIV positive persons:It prohibits any kind of


discrimination against affected people in terms of employment, admission to educational
institutes, renting property, insurance (unless based on actuarial studies) and standing for public
or private offices.
2. People affected with HIV are entitled to access public facilities such as shops, restaurants, hotel,
public entertainment venues, public facilities and burial ground, without any sort of discrimination.
3. This bill aims to provide the affected people with proper treatment and access to good health.
4. The bill prohibits anyone to publish information or promote hatred against those who are HIV
positive.
5. It gives provision to the affected person to safeguard his/her property. He/she can live in a shared
household without any bias and utilise all the shared facilities.
6. Informed consent and disclosure of HIV status:Any HIV test, medical treatment or research
would be conducted only after the persons informed consent. The HIV status would be kept
completely confidential, if required, by courts order.
7. Role of the central and state governments: All the HIV affected people to have right to
prevention, testing, treatment and counselling services. Therapies such the Anti-Retroviral
Therapy (ART) and infection management to be provided. The State and the Central Government
will also provide welfare schemes especially for women and children.
8. The bill also states that priority should be given to cases related to HIV positive persons, at the
same time maintaining complete confidentiality.
9. Role of the Ombudsman: An ombudsman will be appointed in every state to enquire about
complaints regarding violations of the act.
10. Court proceedings: Cases relating to HIV positive persons shall be disposed off by the court on
a priority basis. In any legal proceeding, if an HIV infected or affected person is a party, the court
may pass orders that the proceedings be conducted by suppressing the identity of the person, or
in camera, and to restrain from revealing the identity of the person.
Analysis
Pros
1. HIV/ AIDS bill passed by the parliament is in alignment with goal of AIDS free world by 2030 of SDGs.
2. Social Security: Under the bill, it is a legally punishable offence to deny a person living with HIV/AIDS
insurance on the ground of the disease that lowers the immunity.

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3. It also guarantees protection against discrimination in the field of education, employment, access to
housing and healthcare.
4. States are given responsibility to implement the law and an ombudsman need to be appointed to
look in to the progress of its implementation.
5. The most crucial step is that it recognizes the right of a person to keep his health status confidential
so that he will not be judged based on his disease.
6. It is based on the tenet of stopping the spread of the disease and at the same time helps the infected
get antiretroviral therapy
7. A person between 12-18 years of the age with sufficient maturity can be at the helm of affairs and can
take guardianship of a sibling below 18 years of age.

Cons
1. The biggest lacuna is that insurance company is allowed to use actuarial calculations to limit
access to products to people living with HIV.
2. It fails to address the lack of awareness among masses regarding HIV/AIDS
3. No step up in funding in healthcare sector to address the medical woes.
4. Lack of promise on right to access to anti retro viral drugs and treatment for opportunistic
infections.
5. It doesn't guarantee work opportunities for many, especially for families where there's an ailing
working member, no provision to help the family
6. There is a lack of political will.
7. There is a regional variations in the medical facility available.
8. It does not guarantee HIV treatment as the legal right of the patient
9. It doesnt address constitutional ambiguity in this case where in some judgments the SC
ordered that the movement of HIV Patients /Sex workers can be restricted, thus forming a basis
for discrimination for the HIV affected.
Conclusion

HIV/AIDS bill is a progressive step in fight against the disease. Its effectiveness depends on implementation by
the states.

Questions

Q. Discuss the features and significance of HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control)
Bill.
Q. Critically analyse the provisions of the HIV Bill

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#10. Mental Healthcare Bill

Note4Students

The Mental Healthcare Bill aims to provide for the right to better healthcare for mentally ill patients and
decriminalises suicide. It is important to know its provision and the challenges India faces in providing better
mental health care.

Introduction

The Parliament has passed the Mental Healthcare Bill, 2016 that decriminalizes suicide attempt by mentally ill
people and guarantees the right to better healthcare for people with mental illness.

What is mental illness?

Mental illness as a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly
impairs judgment, behaviour, capacity to recognise reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life.
As per the National Mental Health Survey 2015-16 conducted by NIMHANS, 5.2% of the Indian adult population
suffers from depression in some form or the other.

Key Features of Bill

Rights of persons with mental illness:


1. It gives every person right to access mental healthcare from services operated or funded by the
government. It also includes good quality, easy and affordable access to services.
2. It also provides right to equality of treatment, protect such persons from inhuman treatment,
access to free legal services, medical records and right to complain in case of deficiencies in
provisions.
3. It also includes mental conditions associated with the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
4. It assures free treatment for homeless or people Below Poverty Line, even if they do not possess
a BPL card
Right to confidentiality: A person with mental illness shall have the right to confidentiality in respect of his
mental health. No information regarding the person can be released to the media without his consent.

Advance Directive: It empowers a mentally-ill person to have the right to make an advance directive that
explains how they want to be treated for the requisite illness and nominate their representative .

Mental Health Establishments:

1. Every mental health establishment must register with the respective Central or State Mental
Health Authority.
2. For registration, the concerned establishment must fulfill different criteria as mentioned in the Bill.
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3. Procedure and process: It also outlines the procedure and process for admission, treatment
and subsequent discharge of mentally ill persons.
4. Community based treatment: It focuses on community based treatment and special provisions
for women and health.

Mental Health Review Commission and Board:

1. It will be quasi-judicial body responsible for reviewing procedure for making advance directives.
2. It will advise the government on the protection of rights of mentally ill persons. It will constitute
Mental Health Review Boards in states districts will help of state governments.

Decriminalizing suicide:

1. It effectively decriminalizes suicide attempt under the section 309 IPC(attempt to commit suicide) by
mentally ill persons by making it non-punishable

Prohibits electro-convulsive therapy:

1. It prohibits the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to mentally ill adults without the use of
muscle relaxants and anesthesia
Challenges

1. India urgently needs to make a transition from old-fashioned approaches to providing care for those
suffering from mental illnesses. Something that China, for example, has achieved through state-led policy
reform.
2. Lack of professionals
3. India has ratio of 0.3 psychiatrists for 100,000 people (with marginally higher numbers taking
independent private practitioners into account), compared to Chinas 1.7.
4. Lack of availability of trained clinical psychologists and psychiatric social workers.
5. The National Mental Health Programme has not been sufficiently funded within the health
budget; neither has capability been built in most States to absorb the meagre allocation.

Criticism

1. Global Burden of Disease Study shows that in 2013, 50% of all disease burden in India was caused
by non-communicable diseases, while mental disorders accounted for about 6% of the total disease
burden.
2. There are only 43 government-run mental hospitals across all of India to provide services to more than
70 million people living with mental disorders.
3. At the macro level, the proposed health expenditure of 1.2% of GDP in the Budget for 2017-18 is
among the lowest in the world.
4. In real terms, public health expenditure has consistently declined since 2013-14. Of the total health
budget, a mere 1-2% is spent on mental health.
5. Treatment gap (the difference between those suffering from mental illnesses and those seeking
medical/psychiatric care) is widened because of the social stigma attached to such illnesses.

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Way forward

1. Raising effective primary and district-level coverage of mental health services for the general
population, without requiring people to travel long distances to see a specialist and get medicines, should
be a priority.
2. There should be use of trained general practitioners as the first line of contact.
3. With a concerted effort, primary care physicians can be trained to help people with mild and severe
problems, ranging from anxiety disorders to depression, psychoses and conditions arising from alcohol
and substance abuse.

Professional counselling
1. Being able to get professional counselling will reduce the complications arising from extreme stress,
often the trigger for suicide.
2. Modern treatment approaches rely more on family and community support.
3. The new Central and State regulatory authorities should speedily weed out shady non-governmental
rehabilitation organisations in this field.

Questions

Q.) Discuss the features of Mental Healthcare Bill, 2016 and the challenges it could
face in its implementation
Q.) Analyse the objectives of and concerns raised against the Mental Health Care Bill
2016

#11. Why Dominant castes are


asking for reservation

Note4Students:

There has been an increasing demand from various middle castes for reservation. Reservation is an important
topic which is in news for the fact that reservation policy should be reviewed. Seeing the current trend, topics
which are in news from quite a long time are also important. A probable question could be expected on the topic.

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Context

The people from various middle castes like Patels in Gujarat, Jats in Haryana, Marathis in Maharashtra and
Kapus in Andhra Pradesh are demanding for reservation. This is an emerging trend where we are witnessing
many dominant and Landholding castes asking for backward reservation.

Reasons for this phenomenon

1. Farmers distress-There is tremendous amount of Farmer distress in Countryside in last few years due
to agrarian crisis. Since most of these communities are landed agrarian caste, they are facing the brunt
of agriculture slowdown. This might have contributed to the recent demand of Marathas and Patidars
(also known as Patels) to be included in the other backward classes (OBC) category so that they could
shift away from agriculture.
2. Crippled urban economy-Due to less number of jobs created in the economy, dominant castes who are
turning away from agriculture have very less opportunities to get job in private sector and thus only option
left for them is government jobs, however there general status is making the competition tough for them.
Therefore they are asking for reservation.
3. Resentment against other OBC communities-Due to social, economic and political disparity between
these groups and the groups who are already OBCs, these castes want them to be given OBC status.
4. Successful quota system: Due to reservation the representation of OBCs in government jobs has
increased significantly in last few years which has made these castes envy of these other OBC
community and therefore motivated them to demand for reservation.
5. Political support-Most of this dominant caste are electorally and politically very powerful in that state,
and they get support from opposition parties for vote bank politics.

Will giving reservations to these castes solve the problem?

1) Mere inclusion in OBC list will not address structural deficiencies in the caste system and the societal
hold it enjoys. This will lead to demand for reservation by more castes.
2) Even in OBC list these castes will have to face stiff competition and not to mention opposition from other
OBC castes, resistance among higher castes. Without education, mere inclusion will just give short term
benefits.
3) There also arises the problem of correct evaluation and inclusion of deserving castes as to see who are
the real people who deserve to be benefited from the reservation policy of the government.

Way forward

1) The whole idea of reservation was to provide for substantive equality, i.e., to make the condition
of those who were historically disadvantaged better so that they can lead a good life. But, with
time, the rich and privileged took more benefits than those who needed.
2) At a time, when there is a demand for reservation from dominant caste, India needs to ensure
that it creates a better version of reservation which includes the poor and backward and excludes
rich and dominating sections.
3) Before, extending reservation to more groups, the entire reservation policy needs to be revisited.
These efforts should be coupled with a vigorous national effort to provide opportunities to the
disadvantaged.

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Conclusion

1. It is high time that we need to rethink our reservation policies. The radical rethinking on reservation
should aim at:
2. Excluding the entire creamy layer from reservation.
3. Developing the capabilities of the deprived and excluded beyond offering them admission to higher
education or jobs on a platter.
4. India must address the challenge of reservations honestly, fairly and innovatively by creating
opportunities for all disadvantaged children. It must look for some other comprehensive criteria for
reservation in short term and take a call to end reservation policy in a decade or two very well in
advance.

Sources

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/dominant-castes-resent-reservations-backward-groups-havent-fully-
benefited-2872075/
http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/why-dominant-castes-want-other-backward-classes-status-
115102801691_1.html
http://awaremonk.com/dominant-castes-are-asking-for-reservations-today-do-you-think-inclusion-of-their-castes-in-
obc-list-will-help-address-their-problems
https://counterview.org/2016/06/24/demand-for-quota-by-dominant-castes-how-about-reservation-in-the-occupation-of-
sweeping/

Question
Q) While on one hand, some castes want reservations to be abolished, some of the
dominant castes are asking for reservations today. Do you think inclusion of their
castes in OBC list will help address their problems? Critically examine.
Q) What are the reasons for increasingly demand by the dominant castes for demand
for reservation? Do you think India should reexamine its reservation policy which has
become too old. Give arguments in support of your answer.

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#12.Prevention of Cruelty to Animals


(Regulation of Livestock Markets)
Rules, 2017

Note4Students

Government of India has sought to effectively prohibit cattle slaughter across the country through rules made
under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.It came under heavy criticism that it is constitutional
misadventure on multiple grounds involving fundamental rights, separation of powers and federalism. It is
important to know the new rules and the issues involved in it.

Introduction

The prime focus of the regulation is to protect the animals from cruelty and not to regulate the existing trade in
cattle for slaughter houses. It is envisaged that welfare of cattle dealt in the market will be ensured and that only
healthy animals are traded for agriculture purposes for the benefits of the farmers. The notified rules will remove
the scope of illegal sale and smuggling of the cattle which is a major concern. The specific provisions apply only
to animals which are bought and sold in the notified live stock markets and animals that are seized as case
properties.

Why such a rule?

Environment Ministry has issued a clarification that the notification is issued on the basis of the Supreme Court
order in the case of Gauri Maulekhi versus Union of India and others.

Rules

1. It allows only farmland owners to trade at animal markets. Both seller and buyer will have to produce
identity and farmland ownership documents.
2. After buying a cow, a trader must make five copies of proof of sale and submit them at the local
revenue office, the local veterinary doctor in the district of the purchaser, animal market committee,
apart from one each for seller and buyer
3. The cattles bought cannot be resold within six months
4. District Animal Market Monitoring Committee be set up in each which will be headed by a Magistrate,
for regulation of animal markets in the district.
5. It also mandates the AMC to ensure that the buyer of cattle does not further sell the animals for
slaughter.
6. The local authority is then directed to make a list of animal markets functional prior to the
commencement of the rules.

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7. It bans setting of animal markets within 50 km of an international border and 25 km of a state


border.
8. Taking animal outside the State will require special approval of the State Government nominee.
9. The Rules go on to prohibit several practices as cruel and harmful. These include
Animal identification methods such as hot branding and cold branding;
Shearing and painting of horns, bishoping in horses and ear cutting in buffaloes;
Casting animals on hard ground without adequate bedding;
Use of any chemicals or colors on body parts of animals.
The person in charge of an animal has been fixed with the responsibility to ensure that the animal is not
caused injury or unnecessary pain or suffering.
They also make it mandatory for veterinary inspector to certify proper loading and unloading of
animals to ensure they are not cramped inside trucks. The inspector can proceed to mark any animal
unfit for sale.

Criticism

1. The new regulation such as, cattle bought cannot be resold for six months will hurt the business of cattle
traders
2. It introduced a lot of paperwork for cattle traders who are predominantly illiterate and poor.
3. It provides too much discretion on the hand of veterinary inspector. He has to certify proper loading and
unloading of animals. He can also mark any animal unfit for sale.
4. Traders are of the view that this definition of animal markets makes it very difficult for them to procure
animals.
5. The industry fears that it will lead to huge losses as most of the cattle trade for slaughter takes place
through animal markets.
6. The new rules will make it difficult for farmers to dispose their spent cattle as traders usually buy
buffaloes from farmers in cattle markets and then transport them to slaughterhouses.
7. The ban has hurt mostly Muslim meat and leather traders who face mounting violence by cow vigilante
groups.
8. Farmers have also been deprived of a traditional source of income from selling non-milch and ageing
cattle.
9. Only state governments were empowered to make laws on cattle markets and fairs, which rendered the
new rules arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional.
10. It is argued that the rules were violative of the fundamental right to carry on trade and the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act of 1960, under which the rules were notified, itself does not ban cattle
slaughter

Conclusion

The Centre must address the concerns of the trade as well as of those who suspect the notification is a part of a
Machiavellian plot to influence and curb food choices.
While there is a case to retain most of the rules prohibiting the cruel treatment of animals, the ban on the sale of
cattle for slaughter in animal markets must go.

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Questions
The proposed ban on the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at agricultural
markets violates fundamental rights of food and livelihood, and the spirit of
federalism. Critically comment
Govt has banned the sale, purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter by
notifying a stringent rule under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Examine the
issues involved.

#13. National strategic plan for


Malaria

Note4students

Malaria is a major public health problem in India but is preventable and curable. Malaria interventions are highly
cost-effective and demonstrate one of the highest returns on investment in public health. The National
Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) outlines Indias strategy for elimination of the disease by 2030. Its
important to its objectives, various provisions, challenges and way forward .

Introduction
1. Disease burden due to malaria in India has been reduced significantly over the years with an overall
decline in malariarelated morbidity and mortality. This has been made possible by a series of
interventions such as the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), malaria rapid
diagnostic tests (RDTs) ,revision of the National Drug Policy for malaria in 2013 etc. However, a number
of challenges have emerged in recent years which pose a threat to the countrys progress in its fight
against malaria. These include the development of antimalarial drug resistance and insecticide
resistance, development of malaria multi-drug resistance including ACT resistance in neighbouring
countries, emergence of malaria in urban areas, existence of high endemic malaria pockets in hard-to-
reach areas and in tribal populations, climate change and increased tourism and migration.
2. In order to address these challenges, a national strategy for malaria elimination has been envisaged
prompting the development of the National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India 20162030.

Vision

Eliminate malaria nationally and contribute to improved health, quality of life and alleviation of poverty.

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Goals

1. Eliminate malaria (zero indigenous cases) throughout the entire country by 2030; and
2. Maintain malariafree status in areas where malaria transmission has been interrupted and prevent re-
introduction of malaria.

Objectives

1. The Framework has four objectives:


2. Eliminate malaria from all 26 low (Category 1) and moderate (Category 2) transmission
states/union territories (UTs) by 2022;
3. Reduce the incidence of malaria to less than 1 case per 1000 population per year in all states and
UTs and their districts by 2024;
4. Interrupt indigenous transmission of malaria throughout the entire country, including all high
transmission states and union territories (UTs) (Category 3) by 2027; and
5. Prevent the re-establishment of local transmission of malaria in areas where it has been
eliminated and maintain national malaria-free status by 2030 and beyond

Key strategic approach

1. Programme phasing considering the varying malaria endemicity in the country


2. Classification of States/UTs based on API as primary criterion (Category 0: Prevention of re-
introduction phase; Category 1: Elimination phase; Category 2: Pre-elimination phase; Category 3:
Intensified control phase)
3. District as the unit of planning and implementation
4. Focus on high endemic areas
5. Special strategy for P. vivax elimination.

Short term milestones

1. By end of 2016, all states/UTs are expected to include malaria elimination in their broader health policies
and planning framework
2. By end of 2017, all states are expected to bring down API to less than 1 per thousand population
3. By end of 2020, 15 states/UTs under category 1 (elimination phase) are expected to interrupt
transmission of malaria and achieve zero indigenous cases and deaths due to malaria .

Challenges

1. Population movements, often uncontrolled across states/UTs, and sharing of large international borders
with neighbouring malaria endemic countries
2. Shortage of skilled human resources
3. Insecticide resistance: The extensive use of insecticides, particularly DDT, under the vector control
programme controlled malaria to a great extent but exerted high selection pressure on the vector
population to develop resistance.

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4. Access to conflict-affected tribal areas and to areas with a high malaria endemicity is a problem
5. High endemicity states include those in the Northeast, which share borders with neighbouring countries
like Bangladesh, where the prevalence of malaria is high.
6. Neglect of malaria and unreliable data:
There is no reliable data to know how many people suffer from this disease annually as estimates do not take
into account the 60-80% patients in the urban area who gets treatment from private hospitals
Although malaria is made as a notifiable disease, penalties are not imposed on doctors and hospitals if they
are not notifying.

Way forward

1. With the availability of medicines and diagnostic kits, the delivery mechanism has to be streamlined to
enable access to them.
2. Overburdened staffs tend to underperform. So, more community health workers and supporting
staffs need to be appointed and trained to function effectively.
3. Budgetary allocation for the programme in specific and overall health care in general has to be
increased.
4. Secure and sustain adequate financial resources for implementing the elimination programme through
domestic funding.
5. Additionally, innovative financing models, partnerships and integration with other government
departments has to be explored.
6. Also, steps have to be taken to create awareness among the people so as to ensure their active
participation.
7. Lastly, there is a need for community mobilization and sustenance of efforts to make this program
successful.

Questions

Q.)Discuss the objectives and provisions of National Strategic Plan for Malaria
Elimination
Q.) How should India address the rising challenge of Malaria?

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#14.Should Marital rape be


criminalized

Note4Students:

Marital Rape has been in news recently because Modi government has filed an affidavit in the
Supreme Court arguing against criminalizing marital rape. A number of op-eds have been written over this issue in
past few Months. Also, this topic is linked to GS 1 Social issues and GS 2 Vulnerable sections. Therefore, CD considers
this topic important for mains 2017.

Context:

The Narendra Modi government has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court arguing against criminalizing marital
rape. According to Government Doing so would destabilize the institution of marriage, apart from being an easy
tool for harassing husbands

What is marital rape?

Marital rape (also known as spousal rape and rape in marriage) is non-consensual sex in which the perpetrator is
the victim's spouse. It is a form of partner rape, Domestic violence and sexual violence.

Current status of marital rape in India

1. Our legal system doesnt provide any concrete protection to the victims of marital rape. Under Hindu
marriage act, 1955 one of the conjugal duties of the wife is to provide sexual satisfaction to her
husband, a very archaic thought congruent to the thoughts of a patriarchal society. Section 375 of the
Indian Penal Code(IPC) considers forced sex in marriages as a crime only when the wife is below 15 or
the couple is legally separated. Thus, marital rape is not a criminal offense under the IPC.
2. Marital rape victims have to take recourse to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act
2005(PWDVA).The PWDVA, which came into force in 2006, outlaws marital rape. However, it offers only
a civil remedy for the offence.

Arguments in favour of criminalizing marital rape

1. Sheer Number: Out of the total number of rapes reported to NFHS (though it is an informal survey
whose premise was to provide anonymity), 97.7% rapes were committed by the people known to the
victim, out of which marital rapes accounts for 2/3rd.Thus the sheer intensity of marital rape suggests
that it should be criminalized.

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2. Mental Trauma: There have been many heartrending stories of women raped every night, even during
pregnancy and child birth. It is a physical as well as mental trauma because the perpetrator is known to
the person, often very close.
3. Violation of Fundamental right: Marital rape is considered as the violation of Fundamental Right
guaranteed under Article 14 of the Indian constitution which guarantees the equal protection of laws to all
persons.
4. By depriving married women of an effective penal remedy against forced sexual intercourse, it violates
their right to privacy and bodily integrity, aspects of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21,
by differentiating them from unmarried women.
5. Marital privacy which justifies laws such as the marital rape exception is a fundamental denial of
societys commitment to treating all persons with equal concern and respect.
6. After making high pitch for the government flagship Beti Bachao beti padao, we want our Beti to not
have a right on her own body. If marital rape has been committed, wife is a rape survivor and she has
same rights like any other rape survivor.
7. International Example: Many countries have made it a crime for a husband to force his wife to have sex
in recent years. Malaysia changed its laws to that effect in 2007; Turkey in 2005; and Bolivia in 2013. The
United States began criminalizing marital rape in 1970s and most European countries in the
1990s. The United Nations has also recommended India to criminalize marital rape. Though we try to
emulate US in many areas to prove ourselves as progressive, doesnt this law provide the opportunity for
the same
8. Even the Law Commissions report (2000) and Justice Verma panels (2013) recommended to do away
with the exemption granted to marital rape in the laws.

Arguments against Criminalization ?

1. Subjective: It is very subjective and intricate to determine whether consent was acquired or not.
Sometimes women use denying intercourse even if she is comfortable with, as a tool for punishment or
getting their demands fulfilled.
2. Prone to Misuse: If marital rape is criminalized without adequate safeguards it could be misused like the
current dowry law by the dissatisfied wives to harass and torture their Husbands.
3. Marriage is the holy institution and application of such laws will wither away its basic fabric as it will lead
the investigation to the intricate relationship between the couple.
4. Burden on Judiciary: Will increase the burden of judiciary which otherwise may serve other more
important causes
5. Potentially miniscule Law: This law will more likely to be a passive and potentially minuscule law. Since
less educated and rural women are not likely to use it and the other strata of women can be said to
empowered enough to say no for this kind of acts of their rapist husband's.
6. Cannot be applied to India: The concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be
suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors like level of education/illiteracy, poverty,
myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a
sacrament, etc.
7. U.S.A did criminalize marital rapes in 1970s, most European countries have done so, countries such as
Bolivia and Turkey, being the latest entrants to this list. It is a weak argument that just because so and so
country have done it, so should we. Going by this logic, Netherlands has legalized prostitution and
marijuana, then, so should we.

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Conclusion

Sexual consent is the right of every woman, married or unmarried, as much as of men, and nonconsensual
sex should be treated exactly the same, irrespective of the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim. Adequate
safeguards however need to be included in the law which limits the opportunities for misusing this law like the
dowry law. Just because the law can be misused does not mean that we should evade from our responsibility.
However just legal reform is not sufficient as along with legal reform we also need social reform so that this
menace could be eradicated from our society. It is the progressive social consciousness which is need of the
hour.

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Science and Tech

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#1. Cloud seeding

Note4students

This technology is in its early stages of development. It has become more important due to its relevance in
agriculture sector. As, India has many issues(For example, late monsoon) related to agriculture sector. This
technology can become solution to these problems in future.

Context

Recently, Karnataka and Maharashtra Government has decided to use cloud seeding technique to fight drought.

What is Cloud Seeding?

1. Cloud seeding is a form of weather modification, a way of changing the amount or type of precipitation
that falls from clouds, by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice
nuclei, which alter the microphysical processes within the cloud.
2. The usual intent is to increase precipitation (rain or snow), but hail and fog suppression are also widely
practiced in airports.
3. The history of cloud seeding has experienced uncertain results because it can never be known whether a
cloud that rains after seeding might have rained anyway. This is because seeding is performed on clouds
that look like they have some potential for producing rain.

Cloud Seeding Methods

There are three cloud seeding methods: static, dynamic and hygroscopic.

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1. Static cloud seeding involves spreading a chemical like silver iodide into clouds. The silver iodide
provides a crystal around which moisture can condense. The moisture is already present in the clouds,
but silver iodide essentially makes rain clouds more effective at dispensing their water.
2. Dynamic cloud seeding aims to boost vertical air currents, which encourages more water to pass
through the clouds, translating into more rain [source: Cotton]. Up to 100 times more ice crystals are
used in dynamic cloud seeding than in the static method. The process is considered more complex than
static clouding seeding because it depends on a sequence of events working properly. Dr. William R.
Cotton, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, and other researchers break
down dynamic cloud seeding into 11 separate stages. An unexpected outcome in one stage could ruin
the entire process, making the technique less dependable than static cloud seeding.
3. Hygroscopic cloud seeding disperses salts through flares or explosives in the lower portions of clouds.
The salts grow in size as water joins with them. In his report on cloud seeding, Cotton says that
hygroscopic cloud seeding holds much promise, but requires further research.

Pros of Cloud Seeding:

(1) It creates rain, providing relief to drought-stricken areas


Of course, this is the best advantage of cloud seeding as it is its main purpose after all. Offering the ability to
reduce the impact of droughts by and bring stimulating rain is very powerful. It can lead to more crop yields, and
the best part is, this could occur in areas that might not have supported crops in the past. This means that this
technology has the potential to get rid of future water scarcity and famine for some regions.

(2) It makes a place more hospitable


Due to extreme heat, some parts of the world have become dry, even making them unsuitable to live in or visit.
But thanks to cloud seeding, we can increase the probability of rainfall and make these typically dry areas much
more hospitable. As a result, these places will be become habitable and will be able to receive more tourists,
helping the overall economy. The potential effects of this technique are definitely far reaching.

(3) It would allow for economic growth


If farmers were able to grow and sell more crops, then a regions overall economy would improve greatly. Aside
from agriculture, we have previously mentioned that tourism would also be boosted, where previously
inhospitable places would be transformed into desirable holiday spots. The boost in economy would then
circulate among the local residents and improve their living conditions.

(4) It can reduce crop damage


The technology of cloud seeding has been effectively utilized in suppressing undesirable forms of precipitation,
such as hail, which can cause damage to crops and cities. As you can see, it can alter or modify storm clouds
that would produce hail and other frozen forms of precipitation otherwise.

(5) It has the potential to help regulate the weather


Even the best regions to grow crops are facing severe weather, which means that they are still suffering some
damage to their produce. Luckily, this technology is stated to have the capability to regulate atmospheric
conditions through water vapor, so this problem would also be solved.

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Cons of Cloud Seeding:

(1) It uses chemicals that might be harmful.


As cloud seeding basically involves the use of chemicals and putting them in the air, it does have the potential to
harm plants, animals and people, or the environment as a whole. The way the chemicals are being used in this
technology and would affect the organisms that will be hit by the artificial rainfall is considered its most direct
concern. As of yet, scientists and researchers have been able to state the complete effect of this technique.
Though silver iodine is not currently known to be hazardous to human health, this might change in the future as
more and more research is being conducted and completed.

(2) It can lead to abnormal or unpredictable weather patterns and flooding.


Though cloud seeding is believed to regulate the weather, some people fear that it might ultimately change
climatic patterns on the planet. Places that are normally receiving moisture might start experiencing drought due
to the artificial process of adding chemicals to the atmosphere to stimulate rain. Remember that once the
compounds used by this technology are released into the atmosphere, we will have no control over what type of
weather would form afterwards. There are several possible consequences, such as excessive rain that can
cause flooding, which means that regions experiencing chronic water shortage would suffer more, as they
probably do not have any system designed to deal with floods and other disasters.

(3) It is yet to be fully proven as cost-efficient and effective.


Assessments done on the effectiveness of cloud seeding is not foolproof so far. Since it is used mostly on clouds
that already show signs of potential rainfall, it is not known if the technique is actually the reason for producing
rain.

(4) It can cause cloud pollution.


As the artificial rain falls, seeding agents like silver iodide, dry ice or salt will also fall. While research on the
effects of silver iodide is still ongoing, there have been found high levels of the residual silver discovered in
places near cloud-seeding projects, which are considered toxic. As for dry ice, it can also be a source of
greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, as it is basically carbon dioxide.

(5) It is a costly process.


The cost of cloud seeding is indeed astronomical, considering the procedures involved in it, such as delivering
chemicals to the sky and releasing them into the air by flare shots or airplanes. Of course, the costs of chemicals
add up to the overall amount. The expense we pay for cloud seeding can be justified if the amount of rainfall
during the first attempt would thoroughly water crops and saturate the ground, otherwise the process would have
to be repeated even up to several times.

The Way Forward

As the procedure is still in its early development stages, a lot of changes to improve it can be expected. Trying to
address the problem of drought is an ongoing battle, so as the debates around the world about its use.
Determining if cloud seeding is good or bad is definitely not easy, but by taking into account the pros and cons
listed above, you will be able to have a better understanding about its functionality and efficiency.

Q.) "Is Cloud Seeding a solution for rising irrigation problems in Indian Agriculture
Sector." Critically examine.

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References:

http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=98
http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/meteorologists/cloud-seeding1.htm
https://flowpsychology.com/10-pros-and-cons-of-cloud-seeding/

#2. CRISPR

Image Source

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Note4students

It is a very crucial technology. It is likely to have unprecedented impact on mankind. UPSC in last few years have
asked a number of Questions on Land-mark developments and Since it is a revolutionary development, it is
important for mains 2017.

What is CRISPR?

1. It is a revolutionary gene editing technique that scientists have borrowed from nature.
2. CRISPRs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) are sections of DNA, while CAS-9
(CRISPR-associated protein 9) is an enzyme.
3. Bacteria use them to disable attacks from viruses.

Working of the CRISPR

1. Crispr scans the genome looking for the right location and then uses the Cas9 protein as molecular
scissors to snip through the DNA.
2. Cas9 endonuclease - guide RNAs direct it to a particular sequence to be edited.
3. When Cas9 cuts the target sequence, the cell repairs the damage by replacing the original sequence with
an altered version.
4. Unlike other gene-editing methods, it is cheap, quick, easy, safer and more accurate to use because it
relies on RNADNA base pairing, rather than the engineering of proteins that bind particular DNA
sequences.

What is Genome Editing?

1. It is a type of genetic engineering in which DNA is inserted, deleted or replaced in the genome of an
organism using engineered nucleases, or "molecular scissors.
2. These nucleases or enzymes create site-specific double-strand breaks (DSBs) at desired locations.
3. The induced double-strand breaks are repaired through end joining or recombination, resulting in
targeted mutation.

CRISPR/Cas9 Applications

1. Arguably, the most important advantages of CRISPR/Cas9 over other genome editing technologies is its
simplicity and efficiency.
2. Basic Science
3. To date, the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool appears to work in nearly every organism, from micro-
organisms to monkeys, and in every cell type: kidney, heart and those, like T-cells, that researchers had
previously found difficult to modify.
4. Agriculture
5. Some of the earliest papers using CRISPR/Cas9 for gene editing focused on crops important for
agriculture such as rice and wheat. It was realized early on that this system could be utilized to
specifically alter the DNA of these crop species to improve traits like disease and drought tolerance.

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6. Disease Modeling
7. Disease modeling using animals has been a hurdle for study of many types of human diseases due to
the difficulty in generating genetically modified animals that accurately recapitulate human pathology. The
process was inefficient and inaccurate or simply impossible to do. CRISPR-Cas9 has allowed for
generation of transgenic animals like rats, monkeys and other animals which are more suitable for human
disease modeling than mice and thus permit better drug-development tests.
8. Gene Therapy
9. In 2014, CRISPR-Cas9 was used in mice to correct a mutation associated with a human metabolic
disease called tyrosinaemia (Yin et al., 2014). It was the first use of CRISPR/Cas9 to fix a disease-
causing mutation in an adult animal and an important step towards using the technology for gene therapy
in humans.

Concerns related to CRISPR Tech.

1. CRISPR is basically knock out strategy to silence the gene by inhibiting the RNA polymerase activity
inside the nucleus. It's still in the nascent stage, so it would be hard to comment about the major
disadvantages
2. But it's very labour intensive and high cost oriented technique than RNA interference which provides a
complete gene knock down within the cytosol with higher efficiency.

The Way Forward

1. CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology is being touted as one of the biggest biotechnology
breakthroughs of the century
2. This new technology is a powerful tool for manipulating the genomes of not only mice but also somatic
and embryonic stem cells from other species, including humans.
3. It is likely that the refinements of these systems will continue and that they will be adapted in new ways to
create ever more sophisticated animal models for and genetic therapies for treating human diseases.

Question:

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

Source:

http://cellculturedish.com/2016/05/crispr-cas9-system-applications/
https://www.taconic.com/taconic-insights/gems-design/crispr-genome-engineering-advantages-limitations.html
https://www.jax.org/news-and-insights/jax-blog/2014/march/pros-and-cons-of-znfs-talens-and-crispr-cas

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#3. Reusable Launch Vehicle

Note4students

This technology can be seen as an example of Make in India. Also, it can help India to achieve massive heights
in the field of space. Hence, it is important from the UPSC perspective.

What is Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology?

RLV-TD(technology demonstrator) was successfully flight tested by the ISRO, validating the critical technologies
such as autonomous navigation, guidance & control, reusable thermal protection system and re-entry mission
management.
A reusable launch system (RLS, or reusable launch vehicle, RLV) is a system capable of launching a payload
into space more than once.
The model is 6.5 metres long and weighs about 1,750 kg and design is that of a delta-winged aircraft.
The working RLV will be about 40 metres long and it will need a five km-long landing runway. It might be 2030
before it is fully operational.
It demonstrated the success of hypersonic flight, re-entry aero thermodynamics, autonomous mission
management and hot structures for thermal protection.

More about the RLV Technology

The cost of access to space is the major deterrent in space exploration and space utilization. RLV is the solution
to achieve low cost, reliable and on-demand space access.
RLV-TD is part of a series of technology demonstration missions that have been considered as a first step
towards realizing a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully reusable vehicle.
The configuration of RLV-TD is similar to that of an aircraft and combines the complexity of both launch vehicles
and aircraft.
A Winged RLV-TD has been configured to act as a flying test bed to evaluate technologies like hypersonic flight,
autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air-breathing propulsion.

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These technologies will be developed in phases through a series of experimental flights. The first in the series of
experimental flights is the hypersonic flight experiment (HEX) followed by the landing experiment (LEX), return
flight experiment (REX) and scramjet propulsion experiment (SPEX).

What is Hypersonic Technology and SCRAMJET Engine?

1. Hypersonic aviation technology involves speeds greater than 5 mach.


2. To fly at hypersonic speed a different type of engine such as a supersonic-combustion ramjet, or
scramjet is required.
3. Unlike in a jet engine where the rotating compressor and turbine are used, in a scramjet engine air is
compressed and expanded by complex systems of shockwaves under the front of the aircraft, inside the
inlet and under the fuselage at the rear.
4. It uses oxygen from the atmosphere for fuel.
5. This makes it lighter and faster than fuel-carrying rockets, making it an alternative to rockets for putting
satellites into space.
6. It will also help making air travel in earths atmosphere faster and cheaper.

Ultimate Aim & Advantages of the RLV

1. Ultimate Aim & Advantages of the RLV would be to send manned missions, including satellites into space
and re-enter the Earths atmosphere without extreme P and Heat condition (T)
1. Successful launch of RLV will have a huge impact on launching cost will slash it down by 80%
RLV aims to achieve a low cost, reliable and on-demand space access
2. Future Moon and Mars missions, Inter-Planetary missions
2. Make India competitive Space player globally in terms of cheap affordable satellite launched (for LDCs),
regular and periodic space missions and various space exercises like building its own Space Station in
future similar to ISS, Tiangong-1
3. India will join select league of nations Only USA (Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Endeavour,
Atlantis), Russia (Soyuz) & China (Shenzhou) have their own Space flights. After successful induction of
RLV, India will also have its own manned spacecraft capability.

Q.) 'India is going after Reusable Launch Vehicle, even when Space Agencies like NASA have stopped
using them.' Discuss.

Source:

Wikipedia

Previous articles of Civils daily

Vision Ias

The Hindu

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#4. LI-FI

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Mapping: Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers,
robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
UPSC always go after the topic of 'breakthrough technologies'. Those technologies which can affect everyday life
of Mankind.

What is LI-FI?

1. LiFi(Light Fidelity) is a high-speed wireless communication technology that uses visible light to transmit
information. It has some similarities to existing WiFi technology, as well as some huge differences.
2. WiFi and LiFi are similar because both technologies are wireless, but also very different, because unlike
WiFi, which relies on radio waves, LiFi uses visible light communication (VLC) or infrared and near-UV
spectrum waves.
3. In other words, LiFi works by using visible light, like the light that is emitted by any regular lamp or bulb!.

Working of LI-FI

1. Li-Fi is a Visible Light Communications (VLC) system. This means that it accommodates a photo-detector
to receive light signals and a signal processing element to convert the data into stream-able content.
Unlike Wi-Fi, which uses radio waves, Li-Fi runs on visible light.

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2. Here, data is fed into an LED light bulb (with signal processing technology), it then sends data
(embedded in its beam) at rapid speeds to the photo-detector (photodiode).
3. The tiny changes in the rapid dimming of LED bulbs is then converted by the receiver into electrical
signal.
4. The signal is then converted back into a binary data stream that the user would recognise as web, video
and audio applications that run on internet enables devices.

What is an LED Bulb:

An LED lightbulb is a semi-conductor light source meaning that the constant current of electricity supplied to an
LED lightbulb can be dipped and dimmed, up and down at extremely high speeds, without being visible to the
human eye.

Advantages of LI-FI

1. LiFi presents many unprecedented advantages for its uptake and use, as far as wireless Internet
connectivity is concerned.
2. LiFi relies on visible light to communicate, which is a good thing in more ways than one. These waves are
able to carry far more information than the traditional radio waves used in WiFi technology.
3. The visible light spectrum is almost 10,000 times larger than the spectrum occupied by radio waves.
4. Also, LiFi is said to increase bandwidth by 100 times what we have today with WiFi.
5. A LiFi connection can transmit data at the rate of 224 gigabytes per second.
6. LiFi is also more suitable in electromagnetic-sensitive areas like hospitals, airplane cabins, and nuclear
power plants (where electromagnetic disturbance can be disastrous).

Disadvantage of LI-FI

1. Along with all these benefits, there are also some disadvantages of a LiFi connection.
2. Since it uses visible light to transmit data, LiFi would be rather useless in conditions where there is no
light. That means no Internet while lying in your bed at night.
3. If you have a WiFI router installed in one room of your house, you can connect your devices sitting
anywhere in the house, but this is not the case with LiFi.
4. Since visible rays cannot pass through walls, you have to be in the immediate vicinity of the source of
light to access the Internet on your device, which may not sound particularly convenient to many people.
5. This technology is also said to be less reliable (again, due to it being dependent on visible light) and has
high installation charges.

Future of LI-FI

Theres no doubt that LiFi is going to transform the world of Internet connectivity, but it seems unlikely that its rise
would necessarily mean the death of WiFi, since the latter is deeply embedded in the lifestyles of billions of
people.
A more likely scenario, though, is that well eventually have a wide range of technologies available at our
disposal and will be free to choose the most appropriate one.
Having that flexibility certainly seems like the most desirable scenario to us.

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Question

"Li-Fi is not expected to completely replace Wi-Fi, but the two technologies could be used
complementarily to create more efficient, green and future-proof access networks."
Discuss.

Source: http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/tFei3PUmaFtGO3T2hDSciN/LiFi-A-green-avatar-of-WiFi.html
http://www.academia.edu/4940306/Li-Fi_Light_Fidelity_-The_future_technology_In_Wireless_communication
www.Wikipedia.com

#5. IPR Policy 2016

Note4students

It is very important for India to defend its IPR. And India wants to protect its rights in world trade.

Introduction

Last year, Indian Government has released Indias National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy. The
Policy which is in compliance with WTO's (World Trade Organisation) agreement on TRIPS (Trade Related
aspects of IPRs), aims to sustain entrepreneurship and boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet scheme
'Make in India.'

Why we need this Policy?

1. Global drug brands led by US companies have been pushing for changes to Indias intellectual
property rules for quite some time now. They have often complained about Indias price controls
and marketing restrictions.
2. Also, an IPR policy is important for the government to formulate incentives in the form of tax
concessions to encourage research and development (R&D). It is also critical to strengthen the
Make In India, Startup and Digital India schemes.
3. The IPR policy comes at a time when India and other emerging countries faces fresh challenges
from the developed world and mega regional trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP).

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Aim of the Policy

1. The Policy aims to push IPRs as a marketable financial asset, promote innovation and
entrepreneurship, while protecting public interest.
2. The plan will be reviewed every five years in consultation with stakeholders.
3. In order to have strong and effective IPR laws, steps would be taken including review of
existing IP laws to update and improve them or to remove anomalies and inconsistencies.
4. The policy is entirely compliant with the WTOs agreement on TRIPS.
5. Special thrust on awareness generation and effective enforcement of IPRs, besides
encouragement of IP commercialisation through various incentives.

What do Policy say on Interanational Treaties and Agreements?

1. India will engage constructively in the negotiation of international treaties and agreements in
consultation with stakeholders.
2. The government will examine accession to some multilateral treaties which are in India's
interest, and become a signatory to those treaties which India has de facto implemented to
enable it to participate in their decision making process

Suggestion for DIPP

It suggests making the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) the nodal agency for all IPR
issues.
Copyrights related issues will also come under DIPPs ambit from that of the Human Resource Development
(HRD) Ministry.
1. On Compulsory Licensing According to the policy, India will retain the right to issue so-called
compulsory licenses to its drug firms, under emergency conditions.
2. Also, the government has indicated that there is no urgent need to change patent laws that are already
fully World Trade Organization-compliant.
3. So India has resisted pressure from the US and other Western countries to amend its patent laws.
4. The policy also specifically does not open up Section 3(d) of the Patents Act, which sets the standard
for what is considered an invention in India, for reinterpretation.
5. As per the WTO norms, a CL can be invoked by a government allowing a company to produce a
patented product without the consent of the patent owner in public interest.
6. Under the Indian Patents Act, a CL can be issued for a drug if the medicine is deemed unaffordable,
among other conditions, and the government grants permission to qualified generic drug makers to
manufacture it.

Possible Benefits of the Policy

1. The new policy will try to safeguard the interests of rights owners with the wider public interest,
while combating infringements of intellectual property rights.
2. By 2017, the window for trademark registration will be brought down to one month. This will help
in clearing over 237,000 pending applications in Indias four patent offices.
3. It also seeks to promote R&D through tax benefits available under various laws and
simplification of procedures for availing of direct and indirect tax benefits.
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4. Unlike earlier where copyright was accorded to only books and publications, the recast regime
will cover films, music and industrial drawings. A host of laws will also be streamlined on
semi-conductors, designs, geographical indications, trademarks and patents.
5. The policy also puts a premium on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and
environmental protection.
6. Policy will provide both domestic and foreign investors a stable IPR framework in the country.
This will promote a holistic and conducive ecosystem to catalyse the full potential of intellectual
property for Indias growth and socio-cultural development while protecting public interest.
7. It is expected to lay the future roadmap for intellectual property in India, besides putting in place
an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review. The idea is to incorporate
global best practices in the Indian context and adapt to the same.

Q.) "According to the IPR policy, India will retain the right to issue so-called
compulsory licenses to its drug firms, under emergency conditions." Discuss the
concerns of some of the westerner countries which are against this policy of India.
Source:
The Hindu
PIB

#6. Indian Neutrino observatory


controversy

Note4student

Note down the importance, criticsm and public apprehensions of science projects. For a country of young minds,
we should generate sufficient public support for high technology and science projects.

Context
1. Indias wait to join the elite club of countries undertaking neutrino research suffered a procedural
delay
2. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) suspended the environmental clearance (EC) granted to
the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)
3. It was ordered it to file a fresh application for clearance

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Image Source

INO project:

1. The proposed INO project primarily aims to study atmospheric neutrinos in a 1,300-m deep
cavern in the
2. Bodi West Hills in Theni district, Tamil Nadu
3. If completed, the INO would house the large
largest magnet in the world
4. It will be four times more massive than the European Organization for Nuclear Research,
CERNs Compact
5. Muon Solenoid (CMS) detectors magnet
Neutrinos:

1. Neutrinos are tiny particles. They are almost massless.. They travel at near light
ligh speeds.
2. They are born from violent astrophysical events such as exploding stars and gamma ray bursts
3. Therefore, they are abundant in the universe and can move as easily through matter as we move
through air
4. They are notoriously difficult to track down. IIff you hold your hand towards the sunlight for one
second, about a billion neutrinos from the sun will pass through it
5. This is because they are the by-products of nuclear fusion in the sun

Aim of the INO project:

1. It aims to use to understand some of the unsolved mysteries of the universe Setback of delayed
project

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2. The suspension of INOs environmental clearance is a setback


3. The scientific community hopes these procedural lapses will be addressed in an earnest and
time-bound manner

Environmental issues

1. After initially denying permission to the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to locate the India-based
Neutrino Observatory (INO) at Singara in Nilgris District in TamilNadu, Ministry of Environment and
Forest (MoEF), Government of India accorded both environmental and forest clearance for locating the
project in the Bodi West Hills (BWH) in Theni District in TamilNadu.
2. However, Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal has recently suspended the environmental
clearance granted to the neutrino observatory by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest
(MoEF), due to some objections such as the proposed location being just about 4.9 kilometers from the
Madhikettan Shola National Park in Idukki district of Kerala.
3. The Southern Bench of National Green Tribunal has asked the project promoters to submit a fresh
application with more details.
4. The project has also been objected by local people on safety consideration. The project is suffering
prolonged delay.

Criticism of INO Project:

1. The explosives used in construction are a threat to the highly sensitive ecology of the Western
Ghats
2. The relevant radiation safety studies for carrying out the long baseline neutrino experiment in the
second phase of INO have not been done
3. There are further allegations that neutrinos are radioactive particles
4. The INO will double up the storage of nuclear waste

The better side of the story:

1. The proposed excavation is planned to be carried out by a controlled blast, limiting the impact of
vibrations with the help of computer simulations
2. Additionally, building the INO involves constructing an underground lab accessed by a 2 km-
long horizontal access tunnel, resembling a road tunnel
3. Such tunnels have been built extensively in India and the relevant studies show that the
environmental impact (mainly dust and noise in the initial phase) have been managed

Q.) Critically examine the uses of understanding of neutrinos, and significance of its
research for India. Also critically comment why set-up of neutrino research facility in
India is being opposed.

Source:

http://southasiajournal.net/why-is-neutrino-observatory-project-facing-issues-in-india/

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#7. Pressurized Heavy water Reactor

Note4Students:

Government decision to construct 10 more PHWR Reflects the governments commitment to prioritise the use of
clean power in Indias energy mix. It is the part of low-carbon growth strategy and to ensure long-term base load
requirement for the nations industrialisation. So this topic is important.

Introduction

Pressurized heavy-water reactor (PHWR) is a nuclear reactor

1. Using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel,


2. This uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and neutron moderator.
3. While heavy water is significantly more expensive than ordinary light water, it creates greatly enhanced
neutron economy, allowing the reactor to operate without fuel-enrichment facilities (offsetting the
additional expense of the heavy water) and enhancing the ability of the reactor to make use of alternate
fuel cycles.

Advantages and disadvantages of PHWR

1. The use of heavy water as the moderator is the key to the PHWR (pressurized heavy water reactor)
system, enabling the use of natural uranium as the fuel (in the form of ceramic UO2), which means that it
can be operated without expensive uranium enrichment facilities.
2. The mechanical arrangement of the PHWR, which places most of the moderator at lower temperatures,
is particularly efficient because the resulting thermal neutrons are "more thermal" than in traditional

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designs, where the moderator normally is much hotter. These features mean that a PHWR can use
natural uranium and other fuels, and does so more efficiently than light water reactors (LWRs).
3. The performance of the present sixteen indigenously built PHWRs is demonstrated by an average
capacity factor of about 80% over last five years,
4. their uninterrupted operation over extended periods, the longest being 765 days for a Rajasthan Reactor,
RAPS-5 securing the second world ranking and a very low average electricity tariff which is next to that of
the hydroelectric power

Pressurised heavy-water reactors do have some drawbacks.

1. Heavy water generally costs hundreds of dollars per kilogram, though this is a trade-off against reduced
fuel costs.
2. The reduced energy content of natural uranium as compared to enriched uranium necessitates more
frequent replacement of fuel; this is normally accomplished by use of an on-power refuelling system.
3. The increased rate of fuel movement through the reactor also results in higher volumes of spent fuel
than in LWRs employing enriched uranium.
4. since unenriched uranium fuel accumulates a lower density of fission products than enriched uranium
fuel, it generates less heat, allowing more compact storage.

Recent developments

1. Union Cabinet gave its approval for the construction of 10 units of the new indigenous 700 MWe (mega
watt electric) pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs).
2. The new reactors are of significantly higher capacities compared to the PHWRs currently under operation
3. The standard PHWR being used in India is of 220 MWe though two 540 MWe reactors were installed in
Tarapur in 2005 and 2006. The ten reactors will be installed in Kaiga in Karnataka (Unit 5 and 6), Chutka
in Madhya Pradesh (Unit 1 and 2), Gorakhpur in Haryana (Unit 3 and 4) and Mahi Banswara in
Rajasthan (Unit 1, 2, 3 and 4).

Analysis

Why PHWR

1. The main reasons for selecting PHWRs in the 1960s for the First Stage of the Indian nuclear power
programme have been the use of natural uranium oxide as the fuel, the best utilisation of mined
uranium in energy production and the prospect of establishing a completely self-reliant technology.

2. The governments measure seeks to fast track its three-pronged programdeveloped largely
during the countrys almost 30-year-long isolation from international nuclear tradeand also factors in
Indias abundant thorium resources, which constitute 25% of the worlds total reserves.

3. The first step of the three-stage program involves building indigenously engineered PHWRs and light-
water reactors to produce plutonium. The second stage uses fast-neutron reactors fueled by plutonium to
breed U-233 from thorium. In the third stage, using wholly indigenous technology, the country will use
advanced heavy-water reactors fueled with U-233 obtained from the irradiation of thorium in PHWRs and
fast reactors.

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4. India wants to ramp up production of power from low-carbon sources and has outlined plans to
install a total of 175 GW of renewables by 2022.

5. As of March 2016, about 61% of the countrys installed capacity was coal-fired, 14% came from
hydropower, 14% came from other renewables (mostly wind, followed by small hydro and biomass), 8%
from natural gas, 2% from nuclear, and 1% from diesel.
6. 100% of all their components are manufactured by the Indian industry.
7. As far as the safety is concerned,
8. the PHWR technology scores well in terms of its several inherent safety features.
9. The biggest advantage of the PHWR design is the use of thin walled pressure tubes instead of
large pressure vessels used in pressure vessel type reactors.
10. This results in a distribution of pressure boundaries to large number of small diameter pressure tubes.
11. The consequence of an accidental rupture of the pressure boundary in such a design will have a much
less severity than that in a pressure vessel type reactor
12. In addition, the Indian 700 MWe PHWR design has enhanced safety through dedicated Passive
Decay Heat Removal System which has the capability of removing decay heat from core without
requiring any operator actions similar with the technology adopted for Generation III+ plants to address
the Fukushima type accident.
13. The 700 MWe Indian PHWR has steel-lined containment to reduce the leakages and containment spray
system to reduce the containment pressure in case of a loss of coolant accident and for scrubbing radio
nuclides in case of their release beyond the design limit.

Research and development

1. Over four decades of relentless research, design and development work in Bhabha Atomic Research
Centre and Nuclear Power Corporation and the matching contributions of some of their industry partners
who had shown the courage in taking up the challenging manufacturing and construction work have
enabled India in establishing the technology in totality.
2. Mastering the entire fuel cycle including prospecting of minerals, mining, processing and manufacturing
of fuel and structural materials, reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and immobilization of radioactive
waste has given India a unique position of self-reliance in the atomic energy domain.

3. The constraint of a limited reserve of uranium in the country which earlier impeded a rapid growth in
nuclear power has now been eased by augmented production of indigenous uranium and import of
uranium under the civil nuclear co-operation agreements with several countries

Clean energy

1. India is now poised for a rapid growth in the nuclear power capacity which is essential for meeting the
demand of clean electricity.
2. The per-capita electricity consumption in India (now close to 1000 KWh) is nearly one-third of the world
average and there is an obvious need for a substantial enhancement of non-carbon electricity
production to improve the quality of life of our people.
3. The impressive growth in the solar and wind power has made a visible impact in increased availability of
electricity in many areas. However, it needs to be emphasized that the distributed and intermittent
sources of energy such as solar and wind cannot meet the base load demand very effectively.

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4. The nuclear energy source is concentrated, continuous and reliable and, therefore, can be
complemented by solar and wind energy in meeting the overall demand of electricity with practically
zero carbon foot-print.

Employment

1. Manufacturing orders of close to Rs 70,000 crore are expected to come through to the domestic industry
on account of the projects and are expected to generate more than 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect
employment.

The merit of the closed fuel cycle


1. Which has been adopted right from the beginning of the Indian programme is not only in multiplying the
fuel resource but also in reducing the radio-active burden of the nuclear waste dramatically.
2. In this context, the successful development of separation of minor actinides from the nuclear waste in
India, deployed in pilot plant scale, has drawn world-wide attention. Plutonium recovered by reprocessing
of spent fuel from operating PHWRs has been used in making the plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel for
the full core of the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) which has initiated the commissioning
activities before commencing operation.

Challenges

1. The decision to step up the indigenous civil nuclear reactor programme comes amid festering concerns
over the deployment of imported light water reactor-based projects in collaboration with global vendors
such as Toshiba-Westinghouse and Areva
2. The speed at which we can grow our nuclear power capacity
3. In this context one can examine the experience of France and USA in nineteen seventies and of China in
the recent years.
4. They all have achieved very impressive rapid growth by adopting a convoy or a serial mode of installation
of nuclear power plants of a few standardised designs. In such a strategy, the industry can gear up their
dedicated production lines for sophisticated nuclear components and construction companies can deploy
their manpower and skill-set most effectively.

Conclusion

1. With the entry of India in her Second Stage of nuclear power programme in which Fast Breeder Reactors
will not only enable the growth of the installed nuclear capacity, but also generate more fissile materials,
plutonium-239 and uranium-233 by conversion of fertile isotopes, uranium-238 and thorium-232
respectively
2. An enhanced scope and an accelerated implementation of the First Stage of the programme will make a
far- reaching impact on securing the energy self-reliance of the country.
3. By operating multiple recycles in the uranium-plutonium fuel cycle the supply of fissile material is
expected to be enhanced by a factor of 60 and by using the huge reserve of thorium, the current estimate
being four times that of uranium, India can sustain the supply of clean nuclear energy for several
centuries.

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Q.) PHWR will help India to achieve its Paris climate change conference
commitments. analyse

#8. Agri Research (role of ICAR)

Image Source

Particulars of the ICAR

1. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation under the Department
of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
2. The Council is the apex body for coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in
agriculture including horticulture,
ticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country. With 97 ICAR
institutes and 45 agricultural universities spread across the country this is one of the largest national
agricultural systems in the world.
3. Formerly known as Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, it was established on 16 July 1929 as a
registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in pursuance of the report of the Royal
Commission on Agriculture.
4. The ICAR has its headquarters at New Delhi.
5. The Council is the apex
pex body for coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in
agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country.
6. Union Minister of Agriculture is the exex-officio President of the ICAR Society

Role of ICAR in
n Indian Agriculture

1. The ICAR has played a pioneering role in ushering Green Revolution and subsequen developments in
agriculture in India through its research and technology development that has enabled the country to
increase the production of foodgrain
foodgrains
s by 4 times, horticultural crops by 6 times, fish by 9 times (marine 5
times and inland 17 times), milk 6 times and eggs 27 times since 1950 1950-51,
51, thus making a visible impact
on the national food and nutritional security. It has played a major role in prom
promoting
oting excellence in higher
education in agriculture. It is engaged in cutting edge areas of science and technology development and
its scientists are internationally acknowledged in their fields.
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2. The mandate of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research is:


3. To plan, undertake, aid, promote and coordinate education, research and its application in agriculture,
agroforestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, home science and allied sciences.
4. To act as a clearing house of research and general information relating to agriculture, animal husbandry,
home science and allied sciences, and fisheries through its publications and information system; and
instituting and promoting transfer of technology programmes.
5. To provide, undertake and promote consultancy services in the fields of education, research, training and
dissemination of information in agriculture, agroforestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, home science and
allied sciences.
6. To look into the problems relating to broader areas of rural development concerning agriculture, including
postharvest technology by developing co-operative programmes with other organizations such as the
Indian Council of Social Science Research, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Bhabha Atomic
Research Centre and the universities.
7. To do other things considered necessary to attain the objectives of the Society

Issue of Agri Research and extension

1. Agricultural extension is the application of scientific research and new knowledge to agricultural practices
through farmer education. Basically educating farmers about the latest technologies being developed in
the labs i.e. lab to land linkage.
2. While Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) with agriculture research universities played a key
role in the Green revolution. Of late agriculture research has been plagued by severe under investment
and neglect.

Three key weaknesses

Agri education is weak in states due to (i) resource crunch, (ii) difficulty in attracting talented faculty, (iii) limited
linkages and collaborations with international counterparts, (iv) weakening of the lab-to-land connect; and, (v)
lack of innovation
Low investment in public agricultural research in India. As share of agriculture GDP, it is even less than that of
Bangladesh and Indonesia
Majority (63.5 per cent) of scientists have low to very low level of productivity

Solution

1. There is need of instituting performance indicators in universities.


2. Improve investment as a proportion of agri GDP
3. securing participation from the private sector
4. instituting a system in which the winner is offered a proportionately large enough award for innovating
desirable agricultural traits (such as improving pules productivity considerably) but the intellectual
property rights of the innovation are transferred to the government
5. Leverage mobile phones to provide timely information to farmers
6. Leverage the potential of drones (UAVs) to provide crucial information on crop health, irrigation problems,
soil variation and even pest and fungal infestations that are not apparent at eye level to farmers

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7. Improve regulatory process to address concerns against GM crops while adapting high yielding
technologies

Question

Q.) The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) mandate is agriculture


education, research and farm extension. Critically evaluate its performance over the
years and how it must be revamped?

#9. GM Mustard debate

Note4students

The article explains the problems associated with the GM crops and they can be tackled. Important for Mains
Paper 3.

Image Source

What is GMO?

1. GMOs can be defined as organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material
(DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination
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2. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between non
related species
3. Foods produced from or using GM organisms are often referred to as GM foods
4. Recently in India, GM mustard crop was introduced, which was later withdrawn. There is a raging debate
going on advantages and disadvantages of GMOs
5. For a long time, further study was requested by farmers, environmentalist on GMO crops

Why are GM foods produced?

1. GM foods are developed and marketed because there is some perceived advantage either to the
producer or consumer of these foods
2. This is meant to translate into a product with a lower price, greater benefit (in terms of durability or
nutritional value) or both
3. Initially GM seed developers wanted their products to be accepted by producers and have concentrated
on innovations that bring direct benefit to farmers (and food industry generally)
4. One of the objectives for developing plants based on GM organisms is to improve crop protection

What really is Indias recently developed GM mustard?

1. A team of scientists at Delhi University led by former vice-chancellor Deepak Pental has bred DMH-11, a
genetically modified (GM) mustard hybrid
2. Hybrids are normally obtained by crossing two genetically diverse plants from the same species
3. The first-generation offspring resulting from it has higher yields than what either of the parents is
individually capable of giving
4. But there is no natural hybridisation system in mustard, unlike in, say, cotton, maize or tomato
5. What team has done is, that they have created a viable hybridisation system in mustard using GM
technology
6. The resulting GM mustard hybrid, it is claimed, gives 25-30% more yield than the best varieties such as
Varuna currently grown in the country

Is there a need, in the first place, for developing a mustard hybrid?

In 2014-15, India imported 14.5 million tonnes of edible oils valued at $10.5 billion
With the countrys own annual edible oil production stuck at below 7.5 million tonnes, of which mustards share is
roughly a quarter
So, there is need to raise domestic crop yields and cut dependence on imports
Hybrid technology is a potential technique to boost yields, as has been successfully demonstrated in a host of
crops

What are the environmental risks?

1. GMOs contaminate forever. GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel far and wide
2. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool
3. Genetic engineering allows plants to survive high doses of weed killers, resulting in higher herbicide
residues in our food

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4. GMO crops are creating super weeds and super bugs, which can only be killed with more toxic poisons

Are there any advantages?

Insect Resistance:

Some GMO foods have been modified to make them more resistant to insects and other pests
This means the amount of pesticide chemicals used on the plants are reduced, so their exposure to dangerous
pesticides are also reduced

Stronger Crops:

Another benefit that GM technology is believed to bring about is that crops can be engineered to withstand
weather extremes and fluctuations, This means that there will be good quality and sufficient yields even under a
poor or severe weather condition

Environment Protection:

GM crops often requires less time, tools and chemicals, and may help with reducing greenhouse gas emissions,
soil erosion and environmental pollution

More Nutritious Foods:

According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), some GM foods have been engineered to
become more nutritious in terms of vitamin or mineral content.

Economic Benefits
Larger production leading to increased farm income, reduced poverty, low food prices and thus reduced hunger
and malnutrition.
Besides new food products are also included, diversifying food varieties

Then, Why has there been so much concern about GM foods among some public interest groups,
activists and consumers?

Since the first introduction on the market in the mid-1990s of a major GM food (herbicide-resistant soybeans),
there has been concern about such food among activists and consumers, especially in Europe

In fact, public attention has focused on the risk side of the risk-benefit equation, often without distinguishing
between potential environmental impacts and public health effects of GMOs Consumers have questioned the
validity of risk assessments, both with regard to consumer health and environmental risks, focusing particulary on
long-term effects

Consumer concerns have triggered a discussion on the desirability of labeling GM foods, allowing for an
informed choice of consumers

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What further developments can be expected in the area of GMOs?

GM organisms are likely to include plants with improved resistance against plant disease or drought, crops with
increased nutrient levels, fish species with enhanced growth characteristics
For non-food use, they may include plants or animals producing pharmaceutically important proteins such as
new vaccines

Q.) GM mustard exposes our double standards when it comes to technology for
farmers. Critically comment.

Source:
Civilsdaily

#10.Gravitational waves

Note4students

Recently, Gravitational waves, the cosmic ripples that distort space-time itself, have been directly detected for
the first time. It is an important discovery and India is also doing research in this area. This makes it more
important for the exam. The article presents a comprehensive view of the discovery.

What are Gravitational waves?

1. Gravitational waves are distortions or ripples in the fabric of space-time caused by some of the most
violent and energetic processes in the Universe
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2. These ripples would travel at the speed of light through the Universe, carrying with them information
about their cataclysmic origins, as well as invaluable clues to the nature of gravity itself

What are the Sources of Gravitational Waves?

Any object with mass that accelerates (which in science means changes position at a variable rate, and includes
spinning and orbiting objects) produces gravitational waves, including humans and cars and airplanes etc.
But the gravitational waves made by us here on Earth are much too small to detect
The strongest gravitational waves are produced by catastrophic events such as colliding black holes, the
collapse of stellar cores (supernovae), coalescing neutron stars or white dwarf stars, the slightly wobbly rotation
of neutron stars that are not perfect spheres, and the remnants of gravitational radiation created by the birth of
the Universe itself

Not one but four types of Gravitational Waves!

In order to understand the types of gravitational waves, Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory
(LIGO) scientists have defined 4 categories of gravitational waves
These categories are: Continuous Gravitational Waves, Compact Binary Inspiral Gravitational Waves, Stochastic
Gravitational Waves, and Burst Gravitational Waves

But, Why Detect Them?

This will open up a new window of study on the Universe, giving us a deeper understanding of these cataclysmic
events, and usher in brand new cutting-edge studies in physics, astronomy, and astrophysics
More importantly, since gravitational waves dont interact with matter (unlike electromagnetic radiation), they
travel through the Universe completely unimpeded giving us a crystal clear view of the gravitational wave
This will provide astronomers and other scientists, first glimpses of previously unseen and unseeable wonders,
and greatly adding to our understanding of the nature of space and time itself

So, How does LIGO come into the Picture?

1. LIGO( Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) is the worlds largest gravitational wave
observatory and a cutting edge physics experiment
2. LIGO exploits the physical properties of light and of space itself to detect and understand the origins of
gravitational waves

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3. LIGO has 2 widely separated identical detector sites working in unison as a single observatory: one in
Hanford, southeastern Washington State and the other in rural Livingston, Louisiana
4. LIGO has a very close collaboration with the VIRGO collaboration that analyzes data from VIRGO, a 3
km gravitational wave interferometer located near Pisa, Italy
5. Data from LIGO and Virgo are combined and analyzed together by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations

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6. Thus significantly increasing the capability of combined data for detecting and using gravitational waves
to learn about nature

Is there any Way ahead for India?

1. Yes, because Union cabinet has approved a proposal to establish a state-of-the-art gravitational wave
observatory in India in collaboration with LIGO in the US
2. The project will bring unprecedented opportunities for scientists and engineers to dig deeper into the
realm of gravitational wave and take global leadership in this new astronomical frontier
3. This will also bring considerable opportunities in cutting-edge technology for the Indian industry which will
be engaged in the construction of the 8-km long beam tube at ultra-high vacuum on a leveled terrain
4. With its establishment, India will join the global network of gravitational wave detectors
5. The establishment of an observatory in India assumes importance because the further the distance
between the observatories, the greater will be the accuracy in locating gravity waves
6. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are among the states shortlisted for the experiment

Q.) Recently, Union cabinet has approved a proposal to establish a gravitational wave
observatory, one of the mega science projects in India. Discuss, how will this project
help India if it becomes a reality.

#11. Hyperloop

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Note4students

Due to its possible impact on Indian Transportation System, it is much needed technology for India. UPSC is
known to ask questions on the applications of Science and Technology, this topic is one of them.

Hyperloop for India

Hyperloop one, the US based startup that plans to revolutionize the current modes of transportation, showcased
its vision for India at an event in Delhi.

What is hyperloop?

A proposed mode of freight and passenger transportation in which a pod like vehicle will be propelled through a
near vacuum tube at airline speed for the price of a bus ticket.
These pods essentially are autonomous which would enable high speed travel inside the tube. This will also
ensure that the vehicles glide silently for miles without any turbulence.
As we start the next revolution on Internet of things and digitize physical things we look towards a futuristic
transportation infrastructure.

Proposals from India

1. Hyperloop one plans to build networks around the world for which they need local partners,
manufacturing companies and firms that innovate around the system. This is important to create common
standards across the world.
2. Hyperloop one held a global competition in 2016 asking contestants to submit proposals on were the
network should be built.
3. As per the company, highest number of registrations were from India and proposals from five Indian
companies even made to the semi-final round. Each of these teams had proposed various routes for the
network.
4. These include Delhi to Mumbai, Bengaluru to Chennai, Bengaluru to Thiruvananthapuram among others.

Possible Advantages for India

1. To transform urbanization and our current modes of transportation we need disruptive technology
2. Remarkable shift in which we perceive urbanization as a person can stay in Chennai and work in
Bengaluru
3. It will be environmentally sustainable with no direct emissions
4. It will be cost efficient
5. Co- development will essentially mean access to technology
6. It is in line with the governments aim to Make in India, which will create local manufacturing jobs
Concerns

1. Concerns whether a developing country like India should invest in a technology which is still at
experimental stage

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2. There exist regulatory challenges, whether hyperloop will come under railways or civil aviation or an
entirely new body
3. Safety concerns are yet to be addressed

Q.) What is the science involved in Hyperloop? Can it transform how Indians
Transportation System? Examine

#12. DNA profiling technology

Image Source

Note4Students

Understand the DNA Profiling and examine the concerns raised against Indias DNA profiling Bill. The topic
creates an interesting issue which shows connection among Science , Law and Order, and Privacy. These kind
of interconnected topics are important from the UPSC perspective. Privacy verdict will also have implication on
the fate of this bill. A number of op-eds both in favor and against this bill have been written in last few months.
This makes this topic important for mains 2017.

Context

1. Centre is about to finalise a fresh version of the DNA Fingerprinting Bill, a draft of which was ready in
2015
2. Law Commission of India released a revised draft of the Bill that is now called The DNA Based
Technology (Use and Regulation) Bill, 2017 with some very important changes
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What is DNA profiling technology?


1. DNA fingerprinting or DNA profiling is method of isolating and identifying variable elements within the
base-pair sequence of DNA.
2. DNA fingerprinting technology is utilised by police all over the world for fool-proof identification of
criminals who leave their traces at crime scene while committing crime.
3. The technology plays a crucial role in solving crimes as it has potential to link a series of crimes by
placing the suspects by linking them with the crime scene.

Why new bill?

It seeks to establish regulatory institutions and standards for DNA testing, and supervise the activities of all
laboratories authorised to carry out such tests.

Significance of DNA analysis?

1. It is extremely useful and accurate technology in ascertaining the identity of a person from his/her DNA
sample, or establishing biological relationships between individuals.
2. As a result, DNA technology is being increasingly relied upon in investigations of crime, identification of
unidentified bodies, or in determining parentage.
3. But information from DNA samples can reveal intrusive information like their allergies, or susceptibility to
diseases. As a result, there is a greater risk of information from DNA analysis getting misused

Bill provisions

1. It prohibits the collection of any bodily substance from an arrested individual (for the purposes of a DNA
test) without his/her consent, except if the individual is arrested for certain specific offences.
2. However, if the consent is refused without good cause, and a magistrate is satisfied of the need for a
DNA test, he/she can order the arrested person to give a sample.
3. The new Bill has also removed a provision that allowed DNA profiles in the databank to be used for
creation and maintenance of population statistics databank.
4. While the penalty for misuse of data remains a prison term of up to three years and a fine up to Rs 1
lakh, a reference to a minimum prison term of one month has been removed.
5. The Bill seeks to set up two new institutions a DNA Profiling Board and a DNA Data Bank.

DNA Profiling Board

1. The Board, with 11 members, is supposed to be the regulatory authority that will grant accreditation to
DNA laboratories and lay down guidelines, standards and procedures for their functioning.
2. It will advise central and state governments on all issues relating to DNA laboratories.
3. It will also be the authority to make recommendations on ethical and human rights, including privacy,
issues related to DNA testing.

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DNA Data Bank

1. A national databank of DNA profiles is proposed to be set up, along with regional databanks in every
state
2. The new draft does not specify the location of the national databank. All regional DNA databanks will be
mandated to share their information with the national databank.
3. Certain DNA Profiling Board-accredited labs would be authorised to carry out DNA testing and analysis.
These are the only places to which DNA samples, picked up from a crime scene can be referred for
analysis
4. Data from the analyses will need to be shared with the nearest regional DNA databank which will store it
and share it with the national databank.
5. The databanks will maintain five sets of databases for DNA samples picked up from crime scenes, for
suspects or undertrials, and for offenders, missing persons, and unidentified dead bodies.

Issues involved?

There are chances that a wrong match is generated.


If the DNA result is taken as the ultimate evidence, no recourse will be available to an individual who has been
wrongly matched.
Privacy-related objections-main concerns are whose DNA can be collected and under what circumstances, who
can access the database etc.
Information like ancestry or susceptibility to a disease, or other genetic traits, is liable to be misused.
DNA tests have not led to an improvement in conviction rates in countries where it is already being followed.

Q.) The 2015 draft DNA Fingerprinting Bill is back in a new version, and includes
some important additions and deletions. What are they? What is the need for such a
law in the first place, and what are the problems with having one? Critically analyse.

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#13. Internet of Things

Image Source

Note4Students

UPSC is known to ask questions on those technologies which can have impact on daily life of Human Beings.
They generally ask application based questions. Clearly mentioned in Mains Paper 3 syllabus: "developments
and their applications and effects in everyday life"

What is the meaning of IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines,
objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network
without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

A thing, in the Internet of Things, can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip
transponder, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low -- or any other
natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over
a network.

IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS),
microservices and the internet. The convergence has helped tear down the silo walls between operational
technology (OT) and information technology (IT), allowing unstructured machine-generated data to be analyzed
for insights that will drive improvements.

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Examples of Impact of IoT on day to day life:

Car-Calendar Connection: Say for example you are on your way to a meeting; your car could have access to
your calendar and already know the best route to take. If the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the
other party notifying them that you will be late.

Alarm Clock-Coffee Maker Connection: What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 a.m. and then notifies
your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you?

IoT and Google's Driverless Car: The car has multiple devices which track the movement of objects, captures
the images surrounding it and processes the information. It has devices on board that can change the speed and
direction of movement depending on the feedback it gets from the external environment. The data is then
backed-up on a cloud from which it can receive instructions and behave accordingly, right from throttle
accelerator to applying brakes.

Examples of Impact of of IoT on Governance:

On a broader scale, the IoT can be applied to things like transportation networks: smart cities which can help us
reduce waste and improve efficiency for things such as energy use; this helping us understand and improve how
we work and live.

Challenges thrown up by advent of IoT

Data Management: Connected devices are going to produce massive amount of data. Companies need to
figure out a way to store, track, analyze and make sense of the vast amounts of data that will be generated.

Privacy & Security: With billions of devices being connected together, what can people do to make sure that
their information stays secure? Will someone be able to hack into your toaster and thereby get access to your
entire network? The IoT also opens up companies all over the world to more security threats. Then we have the
issue of privacy and data sharing.

Government of India and IoT

1. The Union government is coming up with a regulatory framework for Internet-of-Things (IoT) along with
policies to promote the sector.
2. Department of Telecom has come out with a machine-to-machine (M2M) roadmap, with an aim to put
regulators, industry agencies that develop standards, users and manufacturers on the same page.
3. The Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), in its draft policy, targets to create an
IoT industry in India of $15 billion by 2020.
4. Currently, work is going on in the area of numbering schemes for IoT and KYC norms for SIM-embedded
M2M devices.
5. Telecom Standards Society of India too is working on India-relevant standards with respect to the sector.

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Indian Industry & IoT

1. IoT and Healthcare Sector: Leading hospitals are discussing how to move to preventative therapy from
curative therapy by collecting more data about the condition of the patient. This is clearly a sector where
the needle has moved.
2. IoT and other Sectors: The other two sectors where there has been quite a lot of movement are in big
production zones oil rigs, generators and industrial plants and in the telecommunications world.
Both have a lot of embedded devices that are collecting the data on temperature, signal strength,
pressure, pH, voltage all the technical parameters. IoT is being used to detect and predict
breakdowns. This is immensely beneficial, especially for corporates, particularly those who have interests
in fixed assets/machines.
3. Media: Today, internet advertisers are able to combine data from various seemingly insignificant
activities to create potentially significant profiles. This correlated data allows advertisers to send users
targeted advertising as they search the internet for that must-have new gadget or the latest song. In
fact, targeted web-based ads based on correlated user profiles derived from statistical models are just
the first generation of anticipatory services. Data mining will only become more accurate over time at
determining our desires and needs.
4. Personal Healthcare: Many people today wear sensors when they work out or move through their daily
lives to track their heart rate, miles traveled, or steps taken. These activity monitor sensors are connected
wirelessly to smart phones and to the internet to enable users to track metrics over time.

What can be done to minimize the adverse impact on labour due to IoT?

We must note that this is not the first time that disruptive technology is going to come into play. It has happened
before, and inevitably it will happen again. It is important to make strategies that will help our labour force to
adapt to such technologies and take steps that will help mitigate the worst effects of these technologies.

For adaption, Skill India Mission can be geared to either impart higher levels of skills required to operate with
IoT; furthermore, SIM can be used to impart existing workforce a diverse set of skills so that their employ-ability
is not impacted beyond repair.

There may be some lay-offs temporarily. We need some new solutions to take care of those who will be laid off
for no fault of theirs. Companies deploying IoT and consequently reducing workforce in a particular sector, must
be encouraged to absorb the workers in another sector.

Q.) What do you understand by internet of things (IoT)? How ill digitization help IoT
and how will both help India in turn? Examine.

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#14. ISRO soft power

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India has projected its soft power for centuries, long before the concept was even defined by political analysts. In
the past decade, the country wielded its soft power in a more systematic way in the practice of diplomacy. ISRO
has given a new dimension to Indian 'Soft Power.' World is watchin how India is helping its neighbours by giving
assistance in space field, for example, SAARC satellite. This article will give you a brief description about it.

What is a hard power?

A country that exercises its power, influence, and voercion through the use of military might and economy and
clout as a muscle to manipulate itself towards the people can be called as hard power.

What is a soft power?

Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and co-
opt rather than by coercion (hard power), using force or giving money as a means of persuasion. Soft power is
the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction. A defining feature of soft power is
that it is noncoercive; the currency of soft power is culture, political values, and foreign policies. Recently, the
term has also been used in changing and influencing social and public opinion through relatively less transparent
channels and lobbying through powerful political and non-political organizations.

India becoming a hard power through use of military might, coercion and
manipulating public opinion has some inherent limitations
1. Very high Expenditure
2. Diplomatic manipulations are understood
3. Being in centre of conflict generator weans people away and then requires resolution
4. Soviet experience to be a hard power not very productive
5. Forced application of countrys influence doesnt change people and mindset

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6. It is very difficult to catch up with the developed west in the hard power arena.
7. Can actually drive people away

Soft Power in Space

1. India has a robust space programme and has made some significant progress in this field. A case in
point is the recent finding of water on the surface on the moon by Chandrayan 1, which has helped the
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to demonstrate the countrys leadership in the field of
science and technology.
2. ISRO could even send a human being to the moon within a few years. What is equally important is for
India to use the space programme as a tool for increasing its international influence. This is where India
can take a leaf out of the Chinese book.
3. India is already working with a few international partners like NASA, but such partnerships are more from
the point of view of technology collaboration. Such collaborations are a must in fields like going to the
Moon and Mars. But at the same time there is a need to engage other countries who are novices in this
field.
4. Today, there are many countries in the world who wish to collaborate with India in the space arena. India
should engage with these countries in their space projects at various levels. Indirectly, this could offer
India a form of security that is beyond tanks, fighter jets and nuclear deterrence. It would help India
increase its influence over other states through non-military means.
5. This is what Soft-Power is all about.(described above)
6. Indias success in space is attracting others to emulate it. This is an opportunity that India should not
waste.
7. And this opportunity goes much beyond Indias existing commercial space policy.

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

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#15. Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Note4Students

This article is related to many important topics of the mains syllabus viz Environment, Automobile Industry,
Government Policies, etc. Hybrid Vehicle is an effective solution against rising pollution and environmental
issues.Given the Push the Current Government is giving to Electric Vehicles and number of times op-ed have
come on this issue in recent times. CD considers this topic as very important for mains 2017.Hybrid Electric
Vehicles

1. Conventional cars use an internal combustion engine for power.


2. Battery electric vehicles only use an electric motor and battery, eschewing conventional engines
altogether.
3. Hybrid cars have the advantage of both of above type of vehicle. They have, in addition to internal
combustion engine, also an electric motor and a battery.
4. If we had better batteries with greater power storage capacity, we would need hybrid cars.
5. The most advanced hybrids have larger batteries and can recharge their batteries from an outlet. These
are known as plug-in hybrids" and can cover long distances.

Benefits

1. Fuel Efficiency: It greatly increases fuel efficiency by increasing mileage, turning off combustion engine
while driving at lower speeds and when the car is stopped, battery provides power for air conditioning.
2. While accelerating or at higher speeds, combustion engine can be used, thus not compromising with the
power of vehicles.
3. Global Warming: Will cut down emissions of global warming pollutants by a 1/3 to 1/2.
4. It will greatly reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

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5. Later model may cut down these emissions even further.

FAME India Hybrid and Electric vehicles scheme

Union Government on 1 April 2015 launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles
(FAME) India Scheme

The scheme was launched as part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility to boost eco-friendly vehicles sales in
the country

Key facts:

1. Objective: To support the hybrid or electric vehicles market development and its manufacturing eco-
system in the country in order to achieve self-sustenance in stipulated period
2. The overall scheme is proposed to be implemented over a period next 6 years i.e. till 2020
3. It envisages providing Rs 795 crore support till 2020 for the manufacturing and sale of electric and hybrid
vehicles
4. It also seeks to provide demand incentives to electric and hybrid vehicles from two-wheeler to buses
5. Implementation: It will be implemented in phases
6. The Phase-1 will be implemented over a two year period in FY15-16 and FY16-17
7. Based on the outcome and experience from the Phase-1, it will be reviewed for implementation after 31
March 2017
8. Then appropriate fund will be allocated for future.
9. Four focus areas: Technology development, Pilot Projects, Demand Creation and Charging
Infrastructure.
10. In the first two years Rs 260 crore and Rs 535 crore will be spent on the focus areas
11. The Department of Heavy Industries under the aegis of Union Ministry of Heavy Industries will be will be
nodal department for the scheme

Challenges/Way Forward?

Adequate charging points: The government will have to ensure that adequate charging points are available
and for it , it can give tender to companies to facilitate the same.A proper road map as to how these charging
points will charge money will also have to be developed.
Meeting the demand: The government would have to ensure that it meets the demand that is created by this
mechanism.Hence, more electricity generating sources will have be developed.
Pollution free: The government will have to ensure that the mechanism for electricity generation is pollution
free.For this to happen, the government can increase the tax on coal-based production.
Cost: The high cost associated would this will have to be garnered.Issuing municipal bonds for this can be of
great help.
5.RISK FACTOR: The government will habe to ensure that it doesnt put all its eggs in one basket as prior
experiences of US has shown that overdependence and allotment of all funds for one business leads to the
failure of the whole of it.

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Q.) An incremental, technology-neutral approach to the adoption of electric vehicles


is the way forward for Automobile Sector in India Comment.

#16. Artificial Intelligence

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It has recently became a hot topic of discussion due to a famous debate between Elon Musk and Mark
Zuckerberg.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

1. Artificial intelligence is the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans.
The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
2. Artificial Intelligence is the area of computer science focussing on creating machines that can engage on
behavior that human consider intelligent.
3. It is the study of ways in which machines can be made to have sufficient creative reasoning power to perform
mental task at which, at prevent, human beings are better.
4. Examples of problem that falls under the area of Artificial Intelligence include common sense tasks, such as
understanding of language, recognising scenes, finding a way to reach an object that is far overhead etc.

5. In addition Artificial Intelligence includes expert tasks, such as diagnosing diseases, designing computer
system and planning scientific expedition.

Where can we use Artificial Intelligence?

1. Games playing: programming computers to play games against human opponents.


2. Expert systems: programming computers to make decisions in real-life situations (for example, some expert
systems help doctors diagnose diseases based on symptoms).
3. Natural language: programming computers to understand natural human languages.

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4. Neural networks: Systems that simulate intelligence by attempting to reproduce the types of physical
connections that occur in animal brains.
5. Robotics: programming computers to see and hear and react to other sensory stimuli.

Approaches:

1. Neural Network: This is bottom up approach. It basically aims at mimicking the structure & functioning of the
human brain, to create intelligent behaviour. Researchers are attempting to build a silicon based electronic
network that is modeled on the working & form of human brain.
2. Expert System: This is top down approach. Instead of starting at the base level of neurons, followers of the
expert system are designing intelligent machines by taking advantage of the phenomenal computational power of
the modern computer that can solve problem by deductive logic.

Application of AI

They combine precision & computational powers with pure logic, to solve problems & reduce error in operation
therefore are used in every field of human endeavor.

1. Heavy Industries & Space: Through AI an entire manufacturing process can be made totally automated,
controlled & maintained by computer system in car manufacturing machine tool production, computer chip
production. etc. They carry out dangerous tasks like handling hazardous radioactive materials.
2. Finance: Banks use intelligent software application to screen & analyse financial data. Software that can
predicts trends in stock market have been created which have been known to beat humans in predictive power.
3. Computer Science: Researchers in quest of AI have created spin offs like dynamic programming, object
oriented programming, symbolic programming, intelligent storage management system etc.
4. Aviation: Air lines use expert system in planes to monitor atmospheric condition & system status.
5. Weather Forecast: Neural Network is used for predicting weather condition. Previous data are fed to a neural
network which learns the pattern & uses that knowledge to predict weather pattern.

Q.)Discuss critically various opinions expressed against Artificial Intelligence by


scientists, philosophers and technology leaders.

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#17. Block Chain Technology and


Bitcoins

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What is Blockchain Technology?

It is a decentralised digital ledger that records transactions on thousands of computers globally in such a way
that the registered transactions cannot be altered retrospec
retrospectively.

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It is a secured way of conducting online transactions and its use removes the characteristic of infinite
reproducibility from a digital asset.
In case of cross border remittances, its use enables instant transfer of money as against the current system that
takes about a week for the same.

Application

It is the technology behind crypto-currencies, for example, Bitcoins.


Each block comprises of a hash pointer that acts as a link to a previous block. Along with those it comprises of a
timestamp and transaction data.
Blockchains are resistant technologies to modification of the data.

What is Bitcoin?

1. It is an electronic or digital currency that works on a peer-to-peer basis. It is decentralised and has no
central authority controlling it.
2. Bitcoins can be send digitally to anyone who has a bitcoin address anywhere in the globe. One person
could have multiple addresses for different purposes personal, business and the like.
3. A bitcoin is not printed currency but is a non-repudiable record of every transaction that it has been
through. All this is part of a huge ledger called the blockchain.
4. Bitcoins are available in bitcoin exchanges. They can be purchased from other users. A bitcoin is
generated when an entity, i.e. a person or a business, uses software power to solve a mathematical
puzzle that makes the blockchain more secure. The difficulty level of solving the problem is high enough
to ensure that it takes time to do it.

Advantage Associated with Bitcoin

1. Low transaction cost


2. Freedom of payment: No limit on transaction and can send and receive money anywhere.
3. Information is transparent. With Block chain each user has access to finalise. transaction.
4. Fewer risks for merchants - Bitcoin transactions are secure, irreversible, and do not contain customers
sensitive or personal information. This protects merchants from losses caused by fraud.
Problem:
1. Limitation of 21 M bit coin currency that will last till 2040
2. It is possible to launder money and buy illegal products. Since Bitcoins can be spent on the Internet
without the use of a bank account, they offer a convenient system for anonymous purchases.
3. Money laundering
4. No regulation
5. Possibility of Hacking
6. Degree of acceptance - Many people are still unaware of Bitcoin.
7. Ongoing development - Bitcoin software is still in beta with many incomplete features in active
development.
8. Volatility - The total value of bitcoins in circulation and the number of businesses using Bitcoin are still
very small compared to what they could be. Therefore, relatively small events, trades, or business
activities can significantly affect the price.
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Question

Q.) What do you understand by bitcoins hard fork? Is hard fork a good
development? Examine.

#18. Big Data

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It is important due to its applications in many fields(as given below).

Basics of the 'Big Data'

1. Big data is a term for data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing application
software is inadequate to deal with them. Big data challenges include capturing data, data storage, data
analysis, search, sharing, transfer, visualization, querying, updating and information privacy.
2. The data could be from social networks, web server logs, traffic flow sensors, satellite imagery, broadcast
audio streams, banking transactions, MP3s of rock music, the content of web pages, scans of
government documents, GPS trails, telemetry from automobiles, financial market data and so on.
3. It answers specific questions such as the need of the customers, their opinion and image of the brand
4. For organisations, analysis of this hidden data may give an insight into things which were previously
hidden due to its bulk and the subsequent cost required for its process. This is done by collecting,
organizing and analysing large sets of data to discover patterns and other useful information.
5. For instance, analysis of shoppers transactions, social and geographical data gives the analyst
knowledge about peer influence on customers, greatly reducing the time that would otherwise require for
sampling followed by extensive investigations.
6. It also enables new products and services, by combining a large number of signals from a users actions
and those of their friends, Facebook has been able to craft a highly personalized user experience and
create a new kind of advertising business.

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7. With the right big data analytics platforms an enterprise can boost sales, increase efficiency, and improve
operations, customer service and risk management.
8. One of the fundamental reasons for opposition of Big Data is centered on privacy since massive amounts
of personal data is collected and analysed without a consideration to the person in question.
9. The large volume of information being collected may be used by finance companies to personalise
various schemes for maximisation of their benefits thereby leading to indiscrimination against a certain
group of people.

Applications based on 'Big Data' Technology

1. Seed Selection - Big-data businesses can analyse varieties of seeds across numerous fields, soil types,
and climates and select the best.
2. Crop disease - Similar to the way in which Google can identify flu outbreaks based on where web
searches are originating, analysing crops across farms helps identify diseases that could ruin a potential
harvest.
3. Irrigation - Precision agriculture aids farmers in tailored and effective water management, helping in
production, improving economic efficiency and minimising waste and environmental impact.
4. Weather - Advanced analytics capabilities and agri-robotics such as aerial imagery, sensors help provide
sophisticated local weather forecasts can help increasing global agricultural productivity over the next few
decades.
5. Climate change - Since, climate change and extreme weather events will demand proactive measures
to adapt or develop resiliency, Big Data can bring in the right information to take informed decisions.
6. Food processing They help in streamlining food processing value chains by finding the core
determinants of process performance, and taking action to continually improve the accuracy, quality and
yield of production. They also optimise production schedules based on supplier, customer, machine
availability and cost constraints.
7. Loss control - In India, every year 21 million tons of wheat is lost, primarily due to scare cold-storage
centres and refrigerated vehicles, poor transportation facilities and unreliable electricity supply. Big Data
has the potential of systematisation of demand forecasting thus reducing such losses.
8. Pricing - A trading platform for agricultural commodities that links small-scale producers to retailers and
bulk purchasers via mobile phone messaging can help send up-to-date market prices via an app or SMS
and connect farmers with buyers, offering collective bargaining opportunities for small and marginal
farmers.
How can it be a Challenge?

1. The challenges and opportunities of data is immense in a country like India with 638,000 villages and 130
million with 140 million hectares of cultivable land under 127 agro climatic regions capable of supporting
3,000 different crops and one million varieties.
2. Self-driven vehicles can already drive themselves across fields using Global Positioning System (GPS)
signals accurate to less than inch of error thus helping farmers plant more accurately.
3. But the real potential is what happens when this data from thousands of tractors on thousands of farms is
collected, grouped and analysed in real time.
4. There is need to formulate a business model wherein value can be captured from the scale of data being
captured by different players in the agri-supply chain.
5. Companies must act now to focus, simplify and standardise big data through an enterprise-wide data
management strategy.

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Q.) The age of Big Data, the growing pervasiveness of Aadhaar, and the
governments push towards a cashless and digital economy has led to a re-
emergence of interest in privacy and data protection in India. In your opinion, what
are the key elements that should drive the design of a privacy law (when it is actually
enacted), or laws that have an impact on privacy? Discuss.

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