IAS Mains GS Paper 3- 2018 (Questions 11 to 20) Part 2 (Download PDF)

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Q 11. How are the principles followed by NITI Aayog different from those followed by the erstwhile planning commission in India?

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Niti Ayog (Non-Constitutional, Non-Statutory) -Objectives, Action Plan & Structure - IAS GS 2017

Expect atleast one question in your exam from this lecture! Dr. Manishika Jain explains the concept, composition, objectives and action pan of Niti Ayog

  • Differences in
  • Composition
  • Planning
  • Finance
  • Role of State
  • India set up NITI AAYOG on January 2015 replacing Planning Commission.
  • PLANNING COMMISSION
  • Established on 15 march, 1950.
  • An advisory institution to form 5 year plans.
  • Formed total 12 five year plans.

Why No More Planning Commission?

  • At present, more important is for federalism.
  • Rising population and expanding economy gives more importance for states.
  • Planning Commission was more centralized in nature giving less space for states.
  • Planning Commission’s one size fits for approach failed to give results.
  • Planning Commission was unable to make states answerable for not meeting their target.

Functions Of Niti Aayog

  • Provide strategic and technical advice on policy matters.
  • Mainstream external ideas and expertise into government policies and programs.
  • Fosters cooperative federalism.
  • Decentralized planning.
  • Responsible for village level plans and aggregation of this at higher level.
  • To achieve sustainable development goals.
  • Will monitor the activities and will give feedback and corrections.

Q 12. How would the recent phenomena of protectionism and currency manipulations in world trade affect macroeconomic stability of India?

  • Protectionism refers to government actions and policies that restrict or restrain international trade, often with the intent of protecting local businesses and jobs from foreign competition. E. g. : The U. S. A. has placed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods from around the world, recent being 25 % tariffs on all steel imports, and 10 % on aluminum.

The effects of these phenomena on the macroeconomic stability of India are:

  • Inflation: Currency manipulation (here depreciation) results into costlier imports which limits the Consumers’ choice and they end up paying more for the limited quantity of goods and products, thus causing inflation. Similarly, protectionism also limits the choices of consumers. Overall, global competition is a key factor in keeping the price of numerous goods and products down and gives consumers the ability to spend.

GDP: Protectionism leads to increased import costs as manufacturers and producers have to pay more for equipment, commodities, and intermediate products from foreign markets. This will lead to decrease in real GDP.

  • Employment: Protectionism is not only about restricting the flow of goods and services, but also the skilled human resource. Any restrictions on this will not only promote unemployment but will also hamper the growth.
  • Industrial Growth: Protectionism may promote inefficiencies by the infant industry as it will have no incentive to make itself efficient through use of technology and long-term investments.
  • Current Account Deficit: In the absence of robust export base, the intermediate goods that form part of the global supply chain becomes more expensive because of protectionism, leading to widening CAD. Higher CAD further puts the rupee under pressure and raises the cost of overseas borrowing.

Q 13. Assess the role of National Horticulture Mission (NHM) in boosting the production, productivity and income of horticulture farms. How far has it succeeded in increasing the income of farmers?

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Kurukshetra April 2017 Summary: Horticulture in India

Dr. Manishika Jain in this lecture presents the summary of Kurukshetra April 2017 edition. The edition focused on horticulture in India.

April Kurukshetra 2017

  • Horticulture contributes 30.4 per cent to GDP of agriculture from nearly 13 per cent of the total cropped area and support nearly 20 per cent of the agricultural labour force.
  • NHM was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme to promote holistic growth of the horticulture sector through an area based regionally differentiated strategies.
  • Benefits of the Scheme:
  • Overall share of horticulture in the agriculture sector’s gross domestic product has grown to over 30 per cent, even though it accounts for nearly 17 per cent of the farm land.
  • Leader in several horticultural crops including mango, banana, papaya, cashewnut, areca nut etc.
  • Better incomes, urbanization and a change in consumption pattern in favour of fruits and vegetables have been witnessed.
  • Small and marginal farmers have taken a lead in taking horticulture and also that a considerable chunk of land that has been brought under horticultural crops is irrigated.
  • Increasing the employment opportunities for the farmers. Majority of the households indicated that their income has increased after shifting to horticultural crops.
  • Financial assistance through NHM as well as subsidy provision in terms of direct payment has been an important factor in increasing farmer’s income.

Suggestive Measures:

  • Quality planting material to the growers will help in raising the yields.
  • More produce will come with more income for farmers and farmers will be motivated to grow more of these crops ultimately reducing the pressure from the cereal crops.
  • Expansion of fruits and vegetables processing industry with backward linkages with farmers can help in value addition and waste reduction of the horticultural produce
  • Central Government has also recently created a price stabilization fund.
  • Insurance and price support are also vital factors.

Q 14. How has the emphasis on certain crops brought about changes in cropping patterns in recent past? Elaborate the emphasis on millets production and consumption.

  • The concept of minimum support price (MSP) has distorted the market. While MSP is effective for rice and wheat, where there is physical procurement by the Food Corporation of India, it is only indicative for other crops
  • As a result, the production of wheat and rice grew between 2005 - 2015 at the cost of reduction in area under cultivation of soyabean, millets, pulses and oilseeds. it is only recently that pulses production has also picked up.
  • Efforts are being made to promote cultivation of millets to achieve nutritional security because acreage has declined to 14.72 million hectares in 2016 - 17 crop year from 36.90 million hectares in 1965 - 66. Millet cultivation has declined due to change in consumption pattern, dietary habits, unavailability of millets, low yield, less demand and conversion of irrigated area for growing rice and wheat. The Government has also decided to declare 2018 as “National Year of Millets”.
  • Millets can not only grow under harsh circumstances, these drought resistant crops requiring fewer external inputs are termed as the ‘miracle grains’ or ‘crops of the future’. Cultivated as dual-purpose crops (food & fodder), millets contribute to the economic efficiency of farming and provide food/livelihood security to millions of households, particularly the small/marginal farmers and the inhabitants of rain fed/remote tribal regions.
  • Ragi (Finger millet) is very rich in calcium; and bajra in iron. These also contain appreciable amounts of dietary fibre and various vitamins (b- Carotene, niacin, vitamin B6 and folic acid); high amounts of lecithin are useful for strengthening the nervous system
  • The experience in area under command irrigation was different.

Q 15. Why is there so much activity in the field of biotechnology in our country? How has this activity benefitted the field of biopharma?

  • The development of high yield variety seeds, disease resistant crops, tissue culture, etc. have led to lesser crop failures and enhanced productivities in agriculture and horticulture.
  • Agricultural products like biofertilisers and biopesticides have contributed to productivity sans the degradation of soil and water bodies.
  • Stem cells, gene therapy, etc. can be used to treat a variety of illnesses like cancer.
  • Environment friendly products like biofuels, biodegradable plastics, green remediation techniques for wastewater, etc. can enhance the goals of sustainable development. Besides, biotechnological studies are now essential for studies on biotic diversity and its conservation.
  • Applications in Industrial Biotechnology focus on producing and processing materials, bioenergy, chemicals and also pharmaceuticals products.
  • Inter-disciplinary fields like bioinformatics and nanobiotechnology hold immense promise for the future.

Approaches

  • DBT program to bring together industry and academia to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in bio-pharmaceutical sector.
  • Indian biopharmaceutical R&D is increasing rapidly.
  • Indian companies manufacture an increasingly wide range of biopharmaceutical products.
  • Leader in vaccine development and manufacturing.
  • Huge demand of India biopharma products outside and consequently this has given fillip to exports and growth of the industry.

Q 16. With growing energy needs should India keep on expanding its nuclear energy programme? Discuss the facts and fears associated with nuclear energy.

  • Clean source
  • Does not depend on vagaries of nature like solar
  • Area required is smaller
  • Less uranium is required

Issues

  • Possible nuclear havoc
  • Hard to manage nuclear waste
  • Limited life for nuclear plants
  • Power plant generate external dependence

Q 17. How does biodiversity vary in India? How is the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 helpful in conservation of flora and fauna?

  • India is one of the recognized mega-diverse countries of the world, rich in biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge. With just 2.4 % of the land area, India accounts for nearly 7 % of the recorded species even while supporting almost 18 % of human population.
  • India’s share of crops is 44 % as compared to the world average of 11 % to space.
  • Of the 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots, India harbours two hotspots, i. e. , Eastern Himalayas, Western Ghats and Sri Lanka 10 biodiversity regions
  • The Biological Diversity Act 2002 was born out of India’s attempt to realize the objectives enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 1992 which recognizes the sovereign rights of states to use their own Biological Resources National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) at the local level.
  • Conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological/genetic resources, knowledge

Q 18. Describe various measures taken in India for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) before and after signing ‘Sendai Framework for DRR (2015 - 2030) ‘. How is this framework different from ‘Hyogo Framework for Action, 2005’?

  • Before signing the Sendai Framework for DRR, the disaster risk reduction strategy in India was based upon the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 which aims to make India disaster resilient and significantly reduce the loss of lives and assets.
  • The plan also aims at maximizing the ability to cope with disasters at all levels of administration as well as among communities.
  • India’s 2005 Disaster Management Act laid down institutional, legal, financial and coordination mechanisms at the National, State, District and Local levels and ushered in a paradigm shift from a “relief-centric” approach to a more proactive regime that lays greater emphasis on preparedness, prevention and mitigation.

Sendai

  • India recently released first ever National Disaster Management Plan, a document based on the global blueprint for reducing disaster losses, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The plan is based on the four priority themes of the Sendai Framework, namely: understanding disaster risk, improving disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction (through structural and nonstructural measures) and disaster preparedness, early warning and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster. The plan has a regional approach, which will be beneficial not only for disaster management but also for development.
  • The Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) framework formulated in 2004 was the basis for the conceptualization of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005 - 2015 agreed at the second UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Kobe in January 2005.
  • Hyogo Framework sets five priorities for action, the first two being: governance and risk identification.
  • Considering lessons learned in applying the Hyogo Framework for Action, new and emerging risks, UN Member States adopted in March 2015, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 - 2030 Understand disaster risk
  • Strengthen disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk. – Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience.
  • Enhance disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Q 19. Data security has assumed significant importance in the digitized world due to rising cyber-crimes. The Justice B. N. Srikrishna Committee Report addresses issues related to data security. What, in your view, are the strengths and weaknesses of the Report relating to protection of personal data in cyber space?

  • B. N. Srikrishna Committee submitted its report on data protection along with draft data protection bill. With progress in the field of digital world the privacy, safety and security of data is one of the major concerns. This committee was formed to look into the matter protection of data and providing a framework for regulation of data. Strengths: Rights of the individual: The Bill sets out certain rights of the individual.

These include:

(i) right to obtain confirmation from the fiduciary on whether its personal data has been processed

(ii) right to seek correction of inaccurate, incomplete, or out-of-date personal data

(iii) right to have personal data transferred to any other data fiduciary in certain circumstances.

Obligations of the data fiduciary: The Bill sets out obligations of the entity who has access to the personal data (data fiduciary).

Data Protection Authority: The Bill provides for the establishment of a Data Protection Authority.

The Authority is empowered to: (i) take steps to protect interests of individuals, (ii) prevent misuse of personal data, and (iii) ensure compliance with the Bill. Grounds for processing personal data and sensitive personal data: The Bill allows processing of data by fiduciaries if consent is provided.

  • However, in certain circumstances, processing of data may be permitted without consent of the individual like in case of any function of Parliament or state legislature for providing benefits to the individual, for the compliance of any court judgement, to respond to a medical emergency etc.
  • Sensitive personal data includes passwords, financial data, biometric data, genetic data, caste, religious or political beliefs, or any other category of data specified by the Authority.
  • Transfer of data outside India: Personal data (except sensitive personal data) may be transferred outside India under certain conditions.
  • These include: (i) where the central government has prescribed that transfers to a particular country are permissible, or (ii) where the Authority approves the transfer in a situation of necessity. Exemptions: The Bill provides exemptions from compliance with its provisions, for certain reasons including: (i) state security, (ii) prevention, investigation, or prosecution of any offence, or (iii) personal, domestic, or journalistic purposes.
  • Offences and Penalties: Under the Bill, the Authority may levy penalties for various offences by the fiduciary including (i) failure to perform its duties, (ii) data processing in violation of the Bill, and (iii) failure to comply with directions issued by the Authority.
  • Amendments to other laws: The Bill makes consequential amendments to the Information Technology Act, 2000. It also amends the Right to Information Act, 2005, and to permit non-disclosure of personal information where harm to the individual outweighs public good.

Weaknesses:

  • Heavy penalties: It recommends heavy penalties for private sector’s breach of data privacy laws but adopts a lenient stand regarding the state’s infractions. Large number of amendments: Amendment in existing 50 laws/regulation would be a tough task for Government.
  • Dilution of laws: Amendment in RTI and Aadhar act may dilute the existing laws.
  • Impact on enforcement mechanisms: Critics says inclusion of provision of bill treating violations as criminal offences along with fine and compensation is excessive and would impact the enforcement mechanism greatly.
  • Additional cost on companies: The storage of one copy of personal data in India will impose additional cost to companies.
  • Classification of sensitive data: Under the bill all financial data has been classified as sensitive personal data which may be detrimental to Financial institutions. Restrictions on data flow: Restriction on cross border flow of data may prove detrimental in era of digital global economy

Q 20. India’s proximity to two of the world’s biggest illicit opium-growing states has enhanced her internal security concerns. Explain the linkages between drug trafficking and other illicit activities such as gunrunning, money laundering and human trafficking. What countermeasures should be taken to prevent the same?

  • India is wedged between the world’s two largest areas of illicit opium production, the Golden Crescent and the Golden Triangle. This proximity has traditionally been viewed as a source of vulnerability, since it has made India both a destination and a transit route for opiates produced in these regions.
  • These drug traffickers form cartels and enter into organized crime once they get familiar with the ways to bypass the authorities and security to traffic whatever gives them profit.
  • Coordination among various agencies needs to be improved.
  • Information/intelligence gathering regarding trafficking, its analysis and dissemination capabilities need to be strengthened.
  • Issue of corruption among the border Various domestic laws enacted for the control of trafficking should be implemented stringently and severe punishments should be accorded to drug stockists.
  • Agencies such as the SDOMD should be reinvigorated
  • Borders need to be sealed properly as the issue has been raised time and again
  • Capacity building of personnel involved in prevention of trafficking in India and its neighbouring areas should be enhanced.

- Published/Last Modified on: August 29, 2019

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