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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.
1. In the context of Nehru’s “temples of modern India”, discuss their contribution to India’s growth and development since independence.
Reference: The Hindu
Temples of modern India was a term coined by India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru while starting the construction of the Bhakra Nangal Dam to describe scientific research institutes, steel plants, power plants, dams being launched in India after independence to jumpstart scientific and industrial progress. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the LIC, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, the National Library of India and the National Institute of Design were envisaged as temples as they would rebuild India and take it to its rightful place in the world.
Contribution to India’s growth and development
Prime Minister Nehru’s 17-year rule set the stage for momentum in the Indian economy and his management model became a template for many succeeding Prime Ministers. This was a period which saw seismic shifts in the Indian economy. The Green Revolution which transformed India from a basket case to a grain-exporting nation, the telephone revolution that changed the telephone from being a symbol of elite lifestyle to mass ownership, and the digital revolution which turned India into a global technology hub all played out one after another.
The success of these missions owed a great deal to the Nehruvian model, with several scientists and technocrats playing a central role in these accomplishments. Collectively, these shifts have lifted over 300 million Indians above the poverty line and heralded the arrival of a modern, diversified globally connected economy with a significant digital component.
2. Do you think India is ready to have health as a fundamental Right? Critically examine.
Reference: Indian Express , Insights on India
Amidst the pandemic, the frantic cries for oxygen, hospital beds, medicine and even a place to cremate their own, laid bare our failure to extend dignity in both life and death. This was compounded with the loss of income, debt, food insecurity, and illiteracy. That is the situation of lakhs of families in India today. The most profound loss is of people’s faith in the ability of the country’s healthcare system to protect them. It is the primary responsibility of government to reinstate this faith.
Need for making healthcare a fundamental right
As the legal guardian responsible for the safety and security of all its citizens, it is the state’s duty to protect its citizens from mortality and morbidity caused by disease and illness as well. Making health a fundamental right would thus give citizens the power to hold the state accountable for fulfilling its responsibility toward them.
3. Both India and the EU have been keen to maintain the momentum in their bilateral interactions, despite various challenges. Can the unfulfilled bilateral potential be realised? Comment.
Reference: The Hindu , Insights on India
India-EU relationship dates back to 1960s when India was the first country to establish relationship with European economic union which later evolved into common market -European union. For more than a decade, the EU and India partnership had been slow-moving and fragmented, struggling to maintain momentum. India was acknowledged as a strategic partner in 2004. But seventeen years on there is still no mutually agreed set of clear priorities. The EU-India relationship fails to acknowledge each partner’s individual realities. Today’s changed circumstances provide the two sides with a new set of opportunities to move forward on the long-stalled agenda of stronger ties between India and European Union.
While India celebrates its 75th year of Independence, it also celebrates 60 years of diplomatic relations with the European Union (EU). A cooperation agreement signed in 1994 took the bilateral relationship beyond trade and economic cooperation..
Various facets of India-EU bilateral relations:
India and the EU have been keen to maintain the momentum in their bilateral interactions due to the opportunities
Concerns in India-EU ties
4. Discuss the contributions of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in developing the science, technology and innovation ecosystem in the nation.
Reference: The Hindu
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the largest research and development (R&D) organisation in India. CSIR has a pan-India presence and has a dynamic network of 37 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units. CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
The objectives of the Council are scientific and industrial/applied research of national importance.
Contributions of CSIR
5. What is a carbon market? Evaluate the potential to have a carbon market framework in India to incentivize carbon emission reduction and fight climate change.
Reference: Live Mint
Carbon markets allow for buying and selling of carbon emissions with the objective of reducing global emissions. Carbon markets existed under the Kyoto Protocol, which is being replaced by the Paris Agreement in 2020. Carbon Markets can potentially deliver emissions reductions over and above what countries are doing on their own.
About carbon market
Potential to have carbon market framework In India
Challenges with carbon market
The establishment of a domestic carbon market is a progressive step. However, the actual benefit will depend upon the effectiveness of the market. For this, the Government must ensure that proper regulations are established. Moreover, there must be periodic assessment of its functioning and corrective steps its necessary. Climate Change is real and imminent, Government must take all possible steps to mitigate the challenges.
6. The journey towards equality and equity with inclusion is still long and tedious and appears to be a pipe dream for many in the country. Hence, Women’s emancipation and empowerment needs to be prioritised. Analyse.
Reference: Indian Express
There are different kinds of inequalities in India that are multidimensional and intersectional in nature. Gender inequality has been a crucial social issue in India for centuries. Census 2011 shows the child sex ratio among children of 0-6 years to be 918 girls for every 1000 boys in India.
With the prevalence of gender discrimination, and social norms and practices, girls become exposed to the possibility of child marriage, teenage pregnancy, child domestic work, poor education and health, sexual abuse, exploitation and violence. Many of these manifestations will not change unless girls are valued more.
India’s performance in Gender Gap and inequality
Need of the hour
Gender equality is a human right which entitles all persons irrespective of their gender to live with dignity and with freedom. Gender equality is also a precondition for development and reducing of poverty. Gender shouldn’t be an unreasonable determining factor curbing the potential of women.
7. The isolated and diverse North-East India continues to witness serious challenges of integration and under development. Unless there is a change in the mindset of policy makers as well as policies responsive to the changing needs of the people, the problems will continue in the region. Analyse.
Reference: The Hindu
India’s North Eastern Region is a rainbow country, known for its diversity. It stretches from the foothills of the Himalayas in the eastern range and is surrounded by Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal and Myanmar. The region is rich in natural resources, covered with dense forests, has the highest rainfall in the country, with large and small river systems nesting the land and is a treasure house of flora and fauna. Marked by diversity in customs, cultures, traditions and languages, it is home to multifarious social, ethnic and linguistic groups.
Efforts towards integration of NE to mainstream India
Issues hindering the growth of Northeast India
Innovation, Initiatives, Ideas and Implementation–all the four needs to go together. Inclusive growth is possible through improved governance, doing away with the draconian laws and ensuring the local communities are empowered to implement basic services. For this, all the stakeholders need to formulate a comprehensive realistic plan for the overall development of North East.
Government Initiatives for NE Region
8. The shortcomings of the UN system is manifestation of its structural inadequacy. Without comprehensive reforms of UN structure and without democratisation in decision-making, the UN might progressively lose its effectiveness and relevance. Critically examine.
Reference: Indian Express , Insights on India
The United Nations (UN) was set up, 75 years ago, with the principal aim of maintaining world peace and security. It has been successful in the decolonization process and preventing another World War. However, the 21st century world is very different from that 20th century and poses many new problems and realities.
Article 1 of UN charter: Objectives of UN
Shortcomings in the UN system
The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell. This was told by former United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. No reform of the UN would be complete without reform of the Security Council. Therefore, equitable representation as well as expansion of the UNSC is the desired reform that India and the world envisages.
9. Evaluate the role that the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 can play in ensuring greater use of renewable energy and enforcing penalties on industrial polluters for carbon emissions.
Reference: Down to Earth
The government has tabled the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 in the Lok Sabha and then referred it to the parliamentary standing committee on energy for wider consultation. Electricity Act, 2003 regulates the electricity sector in India by setting up the Central and State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (CERC and SERCs) to regulate interstate and intrastate matters, respectively.
Role of Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 in ensuring use of renewable energy
While the provisions are beneficial in many ways for India’s commitments to climate change and nationally determined contribution, any such changes must be made after wide consultation with states and other stakeholders.
10. Accelerating environmental crisis is without doubt the most urgent. At the same time, rapid technological change is transforming many aspects of our economies. In the above-mentioned context, reinventing the economic growth model is the need of the hour. Examine.
Reference: Down to earth
Economic and environmental performance must go hand in hand. The natural environment is central to economic activity and growth, providing the resources we need to produce goods and services, and absorbing and processing unwanted by-products in the form of pollution and waste.
‘Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” in other words sustainable development is the answer.
Re-inventing economic growth model
The transition to economic growth coupled with efficiency in natural resource use and its conservation can help India attain its goals of inclusive growth with sustainable development. The time has indeed come to add “swachh paani” and “hawa” to “roti-kapada-makaan-aur-bijli”, to begin our journey towards sustainable growth
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