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[Mission 2023] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 August 2022


 

NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.

 

 


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. What are the factors that affect the distribution of rainfall over the India subcontinent? Examine the impact of climate change on rainfall distribution.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about factors affecting rainfall distribution and impact of climate change on it.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Give a brief introduction of the rainfall pattern of the Indian subcontinent.

Body:

First, give a detailed description of various factors such as the direction of winds, pressure conditions, El Nino and La Nina, etc., which affect the distribution of rainfall in India. Draw a map for better representation.

In the next part, explain how the pattern has been changing due to climate change e.g., changes in terms of intensity, duration, frequency, and spatial distribution. Write about its impact.

Conclusion:

Write about the ways to overcome the negative impact of climate change on rainfall distribution.

 

 

Introduction

Rainfall in India is highly uneven over a period of time in a year.  The western coasts and North East India receive rainfall of over 400 cm. It is less than 60 cms in western Rajasthan and adjoining parts of Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab. Similarly, rainfall is low in the interiors of the Deccan Plateau and east of Western Ghats. Then, Leh in Jammu and Kashmir is also an area of low precipitation. The average annual rainfall is about 125 cm, but it has great spatial and temporal variations.

Body

Several factors influence the distribution of rainfall and these may act singly or collectively and interact with each other.

  • Direction of moisture laden winds:
    • The wind system also affects the Indian rainfall. This system consists of monsoon winds, land and sea breeze, and local winds. In winter the winds blow from land to sea so they are cold and dry.
    • On the other hand, in summer wind blow from sea to land bringing the moisture along with them from the sea and they cause wide spread rain in most par
  • Pressure conditions:
    • High pressure and low pressure zones also affect rainfall.
    • Strengths of low pressure over Tibet and high pressure over Southern Indian Ocean: The strengths of low pressure over Tibetan plateau and high pressure over Southern Indian Ocean has always positive effect on Indian monsoon and have high rainfall. Opposite to it has weak monsoon and hence less rainfall.
  • Cyclonic depression determined by pressure gradient
  • Direction of relief features
  • Distance from sea:
    • In peninsular India, rainfall decreases from coast to interior parts.
  • Altitude:
    • In North-East India, the rainfall increases with altitude.
  • Climate change :
    • In recent years distribution of monsoon rains has changed. In recent past, monsoon rains touched the mainland 15 days to 1 month later.
  • As we move from Meghalaya to Haryana or Punjab in Northern plains, we observe that the rainfall decreases.
  • Topography:
    • The physical features influence the air temperature, atmospheric pressure, direction of winds and  the  amount  of rainfall  in different  parts of  the country.
    • Landforms, like mountains, plateaus, etc. affect rainfall. Orographic condensation occurs as moist air is pushed up the rain side of a landform. On the other side, arid conditions prevail because the moisture has been squeezed out on the rain side.
  • El Nino and La Nina Effects:-
    • Weather conditions in India are also influenced by El-Nino which causes wide spread floods and droughts in tropical regions of the world. This warming of tropical Pacific waters affects the global pattern of pressure and wind systems including the monsoon winds in the Indian Ocean.
    • These affects the latitudinal walker cell in the Pacific Ocean and rainfall pattern in the Asian region. During El Nino Year weak push to Monsoon winds towards India causes less rainfall and draught whereas During La Nina years, the push is stronger and causes heavy rain and floods.
  • Somali Jet (Findlater Jet) and Somali Current (Findlater Current):
    • These effect the intensity of high pressure cell in the Southern Indian Ocean and flow of moisture laden winds to the subcontinent.
  • Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD):
    • It is defined by the difference in sea surface temperature between two areas (or poles, hence a dipole) – a western pole in the Arabian Sea (western Indian Ocean) and an eastern pole in the eastern Indian Ocean south of Indonesia.
    • The greater than average sea-surface temperatures in Arabian Sea responsible for greater precipitation in the western Indian Ocean region, and vice versa.

 

Effects of climate change on the Indian monsoons:

  • Climate Change has been ruining quite a few things such and Indian Monsoon might be one of them.
  • The worst part here is that the effects of the Indian Monsoon are also felt by others and not just India, making it an active feature of the weather across the globe.
  • Research has confirmed that Monsoon in Asia is entwined with several aspects of global climate along with having an influence over the global atmospheric circulation as well.
  • Since the year 1950, average summer rains in India have declined by around 7 percent.
  • In 1990s, high concentrations of aerosols were found in the northern Indian Ocean. In fact, satellite images even showed a stain across the Indo-Gangetic Plain and over the Indian Ocean, which was named as the “brown cloud”. In 1999, a team of investigators set out to understand what brown cloud exactly was.
  • Black carbon combines with sulfates and other aerosols, wherein the Indo-Gangetic Plain contributes highly due to intensive industrial and extractive activity.
  • Regional Climate Change has been occurring also because of changes in land use.
  • In the last 15 decades, forest cover over Asia has reduced significantly.
  • Increase in agricultural production in India, excessive use of water for irrigation has caused a negative impact on the moisture of the soil thereby diminishing its capability to reflect or absorb heat.
  • Due to all these factors, Monsoon is shifting its patterns.
  • Aerosols absorb solar radiation due to which less of it reaching the surface of the Earth.
  • This leads to cooling of land, reducing the contrast of temperature between sea and land, thereby weakening the atmospheric circulation that sustains the Indian Monsoon.
  • Not only this, changes in circulation in the Indian subcontinent affect air-sea interaction which is the binding factor between Asia and the Indian Ocean.

Measures needed

  • Deploying lower-carbon Energy:
    • There are four main types of low-carbon energy: wind, solar, hydro or nuclear power. The first three are renewable, which means these are good for the environment – as natural resources are used (such as wind or sun) to produce electricity.
    • Deploying lower carbon energy would help address both domestic and international climate challenges while simultaneously improving the economic well-being of India’s citizens.
  • Mainstreaming Renewable energy:
    • India’s energy mix is dominated by coal powered electric generation stations as of now.
    • The need of the hour is increase the share of renewable energy in this energy mix.
  • Focus on Energy Efficiency:
    • Will need energy efficient buildings, lighting, appliances and industrial practicesto meet the net-zero goal.
  • Increased usage of Biofuels:
    • Can help reduce emissions from light commercial vehicles, tractors in agriculture.
    • In aviation, the only practical solution for reducing emissions is greater use of biofuels, until hydrogen technology gains scale.
  • Transition towards Electric vehicles:
    • This will further help curb the carbon emissions.
  • Carbon Sequestration:
    • India willhave to rely on natural and man-made carbon sinks to soak up those emissions. Trees can capture 0.9 billion tons; the country will need carbon capture technologies to sequester the rest.
  • Carbon Pricing:
    • India, which already taxes coal and petroleum fuels, should consider putting a tax on emissions to drive change.

Way forward

  • Given the massive shifts underway in India’s energy system, we would benefit from taking stock of our actions and focusing on near-term transitions.
  • This will allow us to meet and even over-comply with our 2030 target while also ensuring concomitant developmental benefits, such as developing a vibrant renewable industry.
  • We can start putting in place the policies and institutions necessary to move us in the right direction for the longer-term and also better understand, through modelling and other studies, the implications of net-zero scenarios before making a net-zero pledge.
  • It would also be in India’s interest to link any future pledge to the achievement of near-term action by industrialised countries.
  • That would be fair and consistent with the principles of the UNFCCC and also enhance the feasibility of our own actions through, for example, increasing availability and reducing costs of new mitigation technologies.

Conclusion

Climate change is set to inescapably alter the ocean temperatures around the Indian neighbourhood. So, giving more importance to understanding the vagaries of the NE monsoon should be among India’s key priority in adapting to climate change. India needs to step up research to improve the performance of the monsoon prediction models. Preparedness is the best way forward.

Topic: population and associated issues

2. India needs to invest in quality school and higher education as well as healthcare to reap its demographic dividend. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The UN report, World Population Prospects 2022, forecasts that the world’s population will touch eight billion this year and rise to 9.8 billion in 2050. What is of immediate interest to India is that its population will surpass China’s by 2023 and continue to surge.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of education and healthcare in reaping India’s demographic dividend.

Directive:

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining demographic dividend.

Body:

First, write about the potential of demographic dividend in India especially in the context of recent report by the U.N.

Next, write about how quality education will help in realising demographic dividend in the country. Substantiate with facts and examples.

Next, write about how quality healthcare will help in realising demographic dividend in the country. Substantiate with facts and examples.

Next, mention the other factors that are needed.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Introduction

Demographic dividend, as defined by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) means, “the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population (15 to 64) is larger than the non-working-age share of the population (14 and younger, and 65 and older).” India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world. By 2020, the median age in India was 28 years. Demographics can change the pace and pattern of economic growth.

The UN report, World Population Prospects 2022, forecasts that the world’s population will touch eight billion this year and rise to 9.8 billion in 2050. What is of immediate interest to India is that its population will surpass China’s by 2023 and continue to surge.

Body

India has long been touted as the next big economic growth story after China. India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28 years. One of the primary reasons for that has been its young population which constitutes 59% of all Indians. Since 2018, India’s working-age population (people between 15 and 64 years of age) has grown larger than the dependent population. This bulge in the working-age population is going to last till 2055, or 37 years from its beginning. The hope has remained that as the young Indian population enters the working age, it will lead to higher economic growth.

Challenges in India to reap the demographic dividend:

  • Health:
    • Healthcare provisions in India is grossly inadequate and access to healthcare is highly inequitable. Lack of efficient public healthcare and burden of out-of-pocket health expenditures reduces people’s capacity or disables them from investing in the human capital of their children.
    • ineffective functioning (corruption and leakages) of the public distribution system (PDS), growing economic inequalities and lack of nutritional awareness pose challenges in combating malnutrition
  • Education:
    • Basic literacy (the ability to read and write) in the overall population has progressed modestly. However, there is persistent gender differentials, and major differentials by caste and religion.
    • The state of functional literacy and professional skills is poor. Indian graduates have low employability and does not meet changing economic structure or support global competitiveness.
  • Rising Inequality:
    • In India, a large portion of the population is below the poverty line, therefore, they do not have easy access to primary health and education.
    • There is growing inequality across social groups and income groups which translates itself into poor socio-economic mobility.
    • Lack of socioeconomic mobility hinders human capital development and traps a large section of population to be in the vicious circle of poverty.
  • Lack of Skilling:
    • According to the National Sample Survey, out of the 470 million people of working age in India, only 10% receive any kind of training or access to skilled employment opportunities.
    • There’s a huge mismatch between demand and supply when it comes to skilled workforce and employment opportunities, which could place a strain on the economy in the long run
  • Inadequate use of knowledge bases from technology developments:
    • There is a disconnect between India’s rate of technological growth and ability to distribute the gains from it by adequately focusing on skilling and health.
    • The use of technical advancements has been concentrated in few sectors and benefits accrued by a few elitist sections of the society.
  • Jobless growth:
    • India’s high growth rate phase (2004-05 to 2010-11) has created significantly fewer jobs as compared to previous decades of economic growth.
    • Around 47 % of India’s population is still dependent on agriculture which is notorious for underemployment and disguised unemployment.
    • Majority of the workforce is employed by the unorganized sector where workers are underpaid and lack any kind of social security.
  • Falling female labour force participation:
    • According to data from International Labour Organization and World Bank, India’s female labour force participation rates have fallen from 34.8 % in 1990 to 27 % in 2013.
    • Socio-cultural factors and rising family incomes have been identified as the main reasons for this decline.
    • Another appalling concern is that a significant proportion of qualified women drop out of the workforce for reasons ranging from no suitable jobs in the locality—particularly in rural areas—to family responsibilities and marriage.

A differential planning approach is needed:

  • To engineer an inclusive and sustainable growth for India, the social infrastructure like education, health and social protection are being given utmost priority by the Government
  • The gaps in the expenditure on social infrastructure like health and education should be closed by strengthening the delivery mechanisms of the government initiatives. Protecting and investing in people’s health, education, and skilling is vital for reducing income inequality, and sustained inclusive economic growth.

 

  • India needs to increase its spending on health and education. As recommended by the National Health Policy 2017 and the NEP 2020, India needs to increase its spending on health and education to at least 2.5 % in 6 % of GDP respectively from its current levels. Enhancing policies to maintain and even increase health and longevity will therefore be necessary.
  • The current situation calls for more and better schools, especially in rural areas. It also calls for better transportation links between rural areas and regional urban hubs.
  • India has to invest more in human capital formation at all levels, from primary education to higher education, cutting-edge research and development as well as on vocational training to increase the skill sets of its growing working-age population.
  • The flagship schemes such as Skill IndiaMake in India, and Digital India have to be implemented to achieve convergence between skill training and employment generation.
  • Bridging the gender gaps in education, skill development, employment, earnings and reducing social inequalities prevalent in the society have been the underlying goals of the development strategy to enhance human capabilities.
  • Improved infrastructure, skill development, access to easy finance, reducing barriers to entrepreneurship and forums for mentorship of emerging entrepreneurs in partnership with corporates are some of measures.
  • Decentralized models of development: Social policies for each state must be differentiated to accommodate different rates of population growth. The populations in south and west India are growing at a much slower pace than in the central and eastern states.

Conclusion:

multi-pronged approach is imperative to reap the demographic dividend. There is also a need to engage with the youth and create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship. The demographic dividend offers them a unique opportunity to boost living standards, but they must act now to manage their older populations in the near future by implementing policies that ensure a safe and efficient transition from the first demographic dividend to the second demographic dividend.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. Evaluate the performance of UDAN (Ude Deshka Aam Nagrik) scheme in stimulating regional air connectivity and making air travel affordable to the masses. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

Five years of India’s regional air connectivity scheme, UDAN, would call for celebrations as well as a look at the lessons learnt since its launch.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the achievements and limitations of UDAN scheme five years after its inception.

Directive word: 

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming an opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning the aims and objectives of UDAN scheme.

Body:

First, give a brief about the major features of the UDAN scheme.

Next, write about the various achievements of UDAN scheme in promotion regional connectivity and making air travel affordable. Substantiate with examples and facts,

Next, write about the shortcomings of UDAN scheme and any other improvements needed to make it more successful.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to overcome the shortcomings.

 

Introduction

Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) was launched as a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 2016. The scheme envisages providing connectivity to un-served and underserved airports of the country through the revival of existing air-strips and airports. The scheme is operational for a period of 10 years.

 

Body

Background: UDAN evolution

  • Under-served airports are those which do not have more than one flight a day, while unserved airports are those where there are no operations.
  • Financial incentives from the Centre, state governments and airport operators are extended to selected airlines to encourage operations from unserved and under-served airports, and keep airfares affordable.
  • UDAN 1.0: Under this phase, 5 airlines companies were awarded 128 flight routes to 70 airports (including 36 newly made operational airports).
  • UDAN 2.0: In 2018, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced 73 underserved and unserved airports.
    • For the first time, helipads were also connected under phase 2 of the UDAN scheme.
  • UDAN 3.0: Inclusion of Tourism Routes under UDAN 3 in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism.
    • Inclusion of Seaplanes for connecting Water Aerodromes.
    • Bringing in a number of routes in the North-East Region under the ambit of UDAN.
  • UDAN 4.0: In 2020, 78 new routes were approved under the 4th round of RCS-UDAN to further enhance the connectivity to remote & regional areas of the country.
    • Kavaratti, Agatti, and Minicoy islands of Lakshadweep will be connected by the new routes of UDAN 4.0.
  • UDAN 4.1: The UDAN 4.1 focuses on connecting smaller airports, along with special helicopter and seaplane routes.
    • Some new routes have been proposed under the Sagarmala Seaplane services.Sagarmala Seaplane Services is an ambitious project under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways with potential airline operators.
  • KRISHI UDAN: It was launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in August 2020, on international and national routes to assist farmers in transporting agricultural products so that it improves their value realisation.
  • International UDAN: Under International UDAN, the plan is to connect India’s smaller cities directly to some key foreign destinations in the neighbourhood.

 

Performance of UDAN scheme

  • Till date, 387 routes and 60 airports have been operationalised out of which 100 routes are awarded in the North East alone.
  • Under the KRISHI UDAN Scheme, 16 airports have been identified to enhance the export opportunities of the North East region establishing dual benefits of enhancement of cargo movements and exports.
  • The Scheme has been selected for Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration 2020 under the category “Innovation (General) – Central”.
  • Economic Growth: UDAN has a positive impact on the economy of the country and has witnessed an excellent response from industry stakeholders especially airlines operators and state governments.
  • Balanced Regional Growth: More than 350 new city pairs are now scheduled to be connected under the scheme, with 200 already connected and are widely spread geographically providing connectivity across the length and breadth of the country as well as ensuring balanced regional growth resulting in economic growth and employment to the local population.
    • The scheme led to development of new GreenField Airports such as Pakyong near Gangtok in Sikkim, Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Increased Passenger Share: The scheme led to 5% incremental growth in domestic passenger share of non-metro airports.

Conclusion

Airlines have leveraged the scheme strategically towards gaining additional slots at congested tier-1 airports, monopoly status on routes and lower operational costs. Thus, stakeholders should work towards making the UDAN scheme sustainable on its own and improve its efficiency.

Airlines should undertake marketing initiatives so that more and more people can take advantage of the UDAN scheme. More infrastructure is required for the successful implementation of the scheme across the country.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

4. Define trade deficit and current account deficit. What are the reasons for expanding trade and current account deficits of India? Examine its implications on the Indian economy. 250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

July’s provisional trade data should trigger early warning signals among policymakers, as the first year-on-year contraction in exports in 17 months, albeit marginal, and a 44% jump in imports, sharply widened the trade deficit to a third successive monthly record.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the trade deficit and current account deficit, reasons for its increase and its impact on the Indian economy.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by defining trade deficit and current account deficit.

Body:

Frist, write about the factors that have led to increasing trade deficit and current account deficit in the recent past.

Next, write impact increased trade deficit and current account deficit will have on the Indian economy. Substantiate with facts and examples.

Next, write about ways to mitigate impact of negative impact of increasing trade deficit and current account deficit.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

A trade deficit occurs when a country’s imports exceed its exports during a given time period. It is also referred to as a negative balance of trade (BOT). A trade deficit or net amount can be calculated on different categories within an international transaction account. These include goods, services, goods and services, current account, and the sum of balances on the current and capital accounts.

A current account deficit occurs when the total value of goods and services a country imports exceeds the total value of goods and services it exports. The current account includes net income, such as interest and dividends, and transfers, such as foreign aid, although these components make up only a small percentage of the total current account.

 

Body

Background

  • India’s trade deficit had breached the $60 million level in the April-July period four times since 2010.
  • In 2011-12 and 2012-13, it went past $60 billion when elevated prices of petroleum crude and gold raised the imports bill.
  • More recently, it crossed $60 billion level in 2018-19 and 2019-20, again when petroleum prices climbed.

Reasons for increasing trade and current account deficit

  • Government measures to control petrol prices: In the current instance, government intervention to control exports of petroleum products and certain commodities due to domestic demand and inflation contributed to the widening of the trade deficit.
    • Earnings from petroleum product exports declined by $2.4 billion in July from $7.83 billion in June 2022, as volumes fell after the government imposed an export cess on petrol and diesel and global prices cooled amid concerns about economic growth in the US and China.
  • Gems and Jewellery muted exports: A contraction in earnings from exports of gems and jewellery, organic and inorganic chemicals and readymade garments also contributed to lowering July’s export earnings by $2.7 billion from the previous month.
  • Rising imports: Imports maintained their momentum in July, rising about 4.2 percent from the previous month, due to the country’s dependence on imported energy, electronics goods and certain machinery.
  • High import of crude: Imports of petroleum crude and products were up about 2 percent on a sequential basis and a massive 70.4 percent from a year ago. Petroleum crude and products together accounted for about 32 percent of the import bill in July. It might have been higher if Indian refiners were not buying Russian crude.
  • Coal imports: Coal imports were another transaction that contributed to the import bill and the widening of the trade deficit this financial year.

Implications on the Indian economy

  • There is less room for fiscal policy stimulus to support growth given high deficit and debt levels .
  • A large CAD will result in demand for foreign currency rising, thus leading to depreciation of the home currency. Nations balance CAD by attracting capital inflows and running a surplus in capital accounts through increased foreign direct investments.
  • A weaker Indian currency will drive inflation up, which is already a grave concern due to high commodity prices.
  • If an increase in the import bill is because of imports for technological upgradation it would help in long-term development.
  • If increasing imports is accompanied by an expansion in industrial production, it is a sign of economic development.

Conclusion

Slower inflows of gold through the official channels after import tariffs were raised provided some relief but rising demand for electronic goods including mobile phones and computers contributed to rising import bills and widening trade deficit. The situation is especially aggravated by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5. Economic growth cannot be a substitute for jobs and job creation, and increasing growth does not align itself well with declining labour force participation as jobless growth is unsustainable. Critically examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

Some estimates say we need to create 90 million jobs by 2030 to absorb new entrants to the workforce, a tall order. New research by economist Amit Basole of Azim Premji University flags a distinct feature of this challenge.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about implications of jobless growth and ways to fix it.

Directive word: 

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining jobless growth.

Body:

First, mention that the model of economic growth prioritises capital over labour and is unlikely to resolve the unemployment crisis. Mention about labour replacement technologies such as 3D printers, AI etc that is replacing human labour.

Next, write about various concerns with respect to jobless growth in the economy.

Next, stress on the fact that the unorganised sector contributes highly to employment creation. Further mention the need for high end skill training of our existing labour force and planned training coupled with placements along with social security needs, more focus on services sector etc is the need of the hour.

 

Introduction

Jobless growth is a multi-cause, systemic problem. In a jobless growth economy, unemployment remains stubbornly high even as the economy grows. This tends to happen when a relatively large number of people have lost their jobs, and the ensuing recovery is insufficient to absorb the unemployed, under-employed, and those first entering the workforce. Jobless growth of the Indian economy is a “5C” problem: a Complicated Condition Created by Combinations of Causes.

Body

Various concerns associated with jobless growth in India

  • Services sector growth: India’s economic growth since the 1990s has largely been on account of an expansion of the services sector, in which exports are seen as having played an important role.
    • The share of the services sector in total employment was relatively low, and despite the expansion of services, the growth of employment in this sector has been limited.
    • Tertiary sector employment in 2009-10 amounted to only 25 per cent of the work force, despite the fact that around 55 per cent of GDP came from this sector.
    • This is mostly due to the formal type of employment in which inclusion of informal workforce is low.
  • Low employment growth in Manufacturing: Agriculture work needs to be replaced by work opportunities in some other sector usually in (manufacturing, electricity and construction) that grow much faster than agriculture during transition of an economy.
    • However, in the post reform period the growth of manufacturing industries has been constrained by competition from imports
  • Reducing share of Agriculture sector: There is the involvement of a greater population in the agriculture sector even though the sector contributes very less to the overall GDP of the country.
  • Unorganised sector recovery is slow: The big reason for worry is that the bulk of India’s employment is in the informal or unorganised sectors.
    • So, a weak recovery for the informal/unorganised sectors implies a drag on the economy’s ability to create new jobs or revive old ones.
  • Reducing demographic window: Jobless growth is a dominant issue in the Indian economy as window between demographic dividend and demographic burden is rapidly decreasing
  • Pre-pandemic employment: To begin with, according to the data available with the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the total number of employed people in the Indian economy as of May-August 2021 was 394 million — 11 million below the level set in May-August 2019.
    • In May-August 2016 the number of employed people was 408 million.
    • In other words, India was already facing a deep employment crisis before the Covid crisis, and it became much worse after it.
  • K-shaped recovery: India is witnessing a K-shaped recovery. That means different sectors are recovering at significantly different rates.
    • And this holds not just for the divergence between the organised sector and unorganised sector, but also within the organised sector.

Addressing India’s jobless growth in post-pandemic phase

India’s demographic dividend, touted as competitive advantage, is critically dependent on meeting growing aspirations of those entering or wishing to enter labour force.

  • Analysing and Improving Labour Market Data: Availability of detailed, reliable, and comprehensive information on the labour market is critical to meet the employment challenge through well-targeted policies and programmes.
  • Create Labour Market Information System (LMIS) for identifying skill shortages, training needs and available employment opportunities.
    • This would facilitate greater synchronization with portals like National Career Service to address skill shortages and meet the demand for labour in different sectors.
  • Education and Skill Development: Government must ensure that the education, training and skill development system is aligned with the changing requirements of the labour market.
    • It includes measures to integrate vocational education with formal education (NEP 2020), ensure greater participation of the private sector in skill development and wider use of the apprenticeship programmes by all enterprises.
  • Improving Women’s Participation in the Economy: The employment policy, in line with SDG 5 on Gender Equality, should focus on developing women’s human capital and capabilities; providing support for their care responsibilities (e.g. Maternity Benefits Act 2016); establishing gender-sensitive labour market regulations; and enhancing their voice and capacity for collective action.
  • Address the issues facing agricultural sector: It will have a direct impact on the welfare of nearly half the country’s workforce, increase in domestic demand, reduce the rural-urban earnings gap, migration, informality and unemployment, and therefore lead to better working conditions in the cities and a fall in commodity prices and reduced inflationary pressures.
  • Targeted Programmes for Employment Generation: Programmes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme must be reformed to ensure that rural unemployed find adequate employment on a more sustainable basis and there are increased opportunities for women and other socially disadvantaged groups.

Way forward

  • Focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) & entrepreneurship with special packages for labour intensive industries.
  • Revamping industrial policy to provide for tax incentives (e.g. wage subsidy), FDI, coastal & special economic zones, industrial craft clusters and change in labour regulation regimes.
  • Adopt a universal basic services approach particularly in health, education, transportation etc can have significant multiplier impact on job creation.
  • Income support schemes like Mukhya Mantri Yuva Nestam Scheme in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Lastly, the government must curb corruption and regulate other drivers of inequality and joblessness such as crony capitalism

Value-addition

Steps taken by government in recent times

  • Dedicated Shram Suvidha Portal: That would allot Labor Identification Number (LIN) to units and allow them to file online compliance for 16 out of 44 labor laws.
  • Random Inspection Scheme: To eliminate human discretion in selection of units for Inspection, and uploading of Inspection Reports within 72 hours of inspection mandatory.
  • Universal Account Number: Enables 4.17 crore employees to have their Provident Fund account portable, hassle-free and universally accessible.
  • Apprentice Protsahan Yojana: Government will support manufacturing units mainly and other establishments by reimbursing 50% of the stipend paid to apprentices during first two years of their training.
  • Revamped Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana: Introducing a Smart Card for the workers in the unorganized sector seeded with details of two more social security schemes.
  • The National Career Service is being implemented as a mission mode project to provide various job-related services information on skills development courses, internships etc

 

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6. What are the recent changes made to India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) as part of its pledge to Paris Agreement? Discuss its impact on India’s climate goals. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Down to Earth , The Hindu

Why the question:

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Mr. Modi, on Wednesday approved an update to India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which is a formal communication to the United Nations, spelling out steps to be taken by the country towards keeping global temperatures from rising beyond 2°C by the end of the century.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the changes to India’s NDC and its impact.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Body:

First, write about India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) as part of Paris agreement and then mention the recent changes introduced in it.

Next, write about the positive and negative impact of such changes to India’s global pledges and how it will impact India’s ability to achieve climate goals.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs, are publically declared country commitments indicating the actions each country would take under a new global agreement, which would eventually take its final shape in December 2015 at the 21st session of the signatories /parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The INDCs will largely determine whether the world achieves an ambitious 2015 agreement and is put on a path toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Government of India submitted its INDCs on 1st October 2015 to the UNFCCC.

At the 26th Conference of Parties (CoP26), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a five-fold strategy — termed as the panchamrit — to achieve this feat.

Body

India’s INDC, to be achieved primarily, by 2030

  • To reduce the emissions intensity of the GDP by about a third.
  • A total of 40% of the installed capacity for electricity will be from non-fossil fuel sources.
  • India also promised an additional carbon sink (a means to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by the year 2030.

Panchamrit strategy

The five-fold strategy include:

  • India will get its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 gigawatt (GW) by 2030
  • India will meet 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030
  • India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now onwards till 2030
  • By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45 per cent
  • So, by the year 2070, India will achieve the target of Net Zero.

Background

  • India has ratified pledges made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Glasgow last November to accelerate India’s reliance on renewable energy to power the economy and be effectively fossil fuel-free by 2070.
  • However the approved pledges were fewer than those Mr. Modi committed to.
  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Mr. Modi, on Wednesday approved an update to India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which is a formal communication to the United Nations, spelling out steps to be taken by the countrytowards keeping global temperatures from rising beyond 2°C by the end of the century.

 

India’s performance in Nationally Determined Contributions

  • Exceeding the NDC commitment: India is on track (as reports/documents show) to meet and exceed the NDC commitment to achieve 40% electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based sources by 2030.
  • Reduction in emission intensity of GDP: Against the voluntary declaration for reducing the emission intensity of GDP by 20%-25% by 2020, India has reduced it by 24% between 2005-2016.
  • More importantly, we achieved these targets with around 2% out of the S.$100 billion committed to developing nations in Copenhagen (2009), realised by 2015.
  • Renewable energy expansion: India is implementing one of the most extensive renewable energy expansion programmes to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030.
  • Investment in green measures: As part of the fiscal stimulus after the pandemic, the Government announced several green measures, including:
    • $26.5-billion investment in biogas and cleaner fuels
    • $3.5 billion in incentives for producing efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) & Advanced chemistry cell battery.
    • $780 million towards an afforestation programme.
  • India’s contribution to global emissions is well below its equitable share of the worldwide carbon budget by any equity criterion.
  • Other initiatives towards NDC:
    • The Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme is the world’s largest zero-subsidy LED bulb programme for domestic consumers.
    • India provided leadership for setting up the International Solar Alliance, a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

Further actions needed to achieve its targets of Paris deal by 2030

  • Introduce new, more efficient and cleaner technologies in thermal power generation.
  • Reducing emissions from transportation sector.
  • Promote energy efficiency, mainly in industry, transportation, buildings and appliances
  • Develop climate resilient infrastructure.
  • Aggressively pursue development of hydropower.
  • Achieve the target of 63 GW of installed nuclear power capacity by 2032.
  • Hasten the process to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030 through additional forest and tree cover by National Green mission, Green highways etc.
  • To switch over quickly to the Hydrogen economy as envisioned in National Hydrogen Mission.

Conclusion

India has made strong progress on its climate commitments and remains a key international stakeholder when it comes to increasing ambition and charting a low carbon future. India has a pivotal role in future greenhouse gas mitigation and at the same time has massive climate adaptation needs with millions already suffering due to extreme heat, drought, and floods. With most of the country’s infrastructure still being built and the energy supply of the future yet to be installed, India has the opportunity to establish a low carbon development paradigm for the rest of the developing world.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships.

7. For a civil servant, being fearlessly morally upright serves little purpose in administration of the present day. Debate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Abstract Thursdays’ in Mission-2023 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the efficacy of being fearlessly morally upright.

Directive:

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by writing what you understand by being fearlessly morally upright.

Body:

Write about the various ethical issues involved in being fearlessly morally upright.

Next, analyse the pros and cons of being fearlessly morally upright and how its affects the administration and the civil servant. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving your view being fearlessly morally upright.

Introduction

An individual who has a personal history of honesty, fairness, respect for the rights of others and for the law is considered a person of good moral character. He is someone who possesses good moral virtues, and is ethically admirable. In the immigration context, the Immigration and Nationality Act defines good moral character in the negative. A person is deemed to have a good moral character if he has not committed certain violations of the law or committed certain specified acts.

Body

For a civil servant, being fearlessly morally upright serves little purpose in administration of the present day

  • It is the lack of probity in public life that resulted in increasing cases of misallocation of public funds like 2G scam, taking grafts for delivery of public services to citizens, inclusion of fake beneficiaries, use of public power for the personal interest and nepotism.
  • There is no recognition of good work in civil services.
  • Honest and brave officers are threatened with suspension and humiliation.
  • Today, our bureaucracy is twenty times more bureaucratic, our deference to the chain of command more cringing and decorous, our worship of paper more entrenched.
  • To quote Hyman Rickover, “If you are going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won’t.”
  • An administration certainly needs guardrails in the form of non-negotiable rules. Without such rails, the system can stray badly. But necessitating a dozen signatures where a few can do, is a criminal surfeit of supervisory controls.
  • Similarly, we have a colossal army of paper-pushing subordinates churning out work of frivolous value leading to redtapism.
  • Corruption, favouritism, criminalisation of governance, self-centred functionaries etc. are on the rise.

Measures to ensure probity

  • Statutory Code of Values and Ethics for Public Services– It should be expressed in simple language, easily understandable and should lay down fundamental values that ought to govern the conduct of public servants. For example, British Civil Services Code.
  • Ethical framework –Need for an ethical framework that should provide for prevention and guidance, investigation, disciplinary action, and prosecution.
  • Ethical Guidance –It should include training in ethics, awareness and development of essential skill for ethical analysis and moral judgement.
  • Sanction and punishment –Violation and breaches of the Code of Ethics should invite sanction and punishment under the disciplinary rules. A simplified disciplinary regime should be put in place which, while following the principle of natural justice, may speedily and summarily decide cases and take punitive action against delinquent employees.
  • Independent office of Ethics Commissioner– Need to create such an independent office on the US pattern to provide leadership in ethics and values. Ethics Commissioner should issue and interpret rules which govern standards of conduct and conflict of interest.

Conclusion

Integrity and probity in public life demand that those elected or appointed to public office are themselves imbued with a sense of responsibility to the society that puts them there; that the decisions they take should always be solely in terms of the public interest and not to gain benefits for themselves, family, friends or associates; that they act with honesty and integrity by not allowing their private interests to conflict with their public responsibilities; and that the behaviour must always be able to stand up to the closest public scrutiny. Similarly, civil society and institutions have a crucial role to play by calling to account those who will flout the rules and by refusing to tolerate any but the highest standard of behaviour in those who they elect or appoint to serve the public interest.


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