Nov. 28, 2022

Mains Daily Question
Nov. 28, 2022

MUDRA loans have lower NPA percentage compared to the overall sector. Discuss. (10 Marks)

The Model Answer will be displayed at Nov. 29, 2022, 6 a.m.

Nov. 27, 2022

Mains Daily Question
Nov. 27, 2022

Q. The real utility of MNREGA was witnessed during COVID times. Comment. (10 Marks) 

Model Answer

Approach:

  • Introduce MGNREGA with its objectives
  • In the body part comment upon MNREGA & COVID times
  • Conclude with suggestions for better implementation and efficacy of the scheme.

Answer:

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was passed in 2005, and the demand-driven scheme guarantees 100 days of unskilled work per year for every rural household that wants it.

The objectives of the act are to provide safety nets for vulnerable groups, provide an engine for the agricultural sustainable development, empower the rural poor and promote new ways of doing businesses by providing work for unskilled workers at the wage rate specified by the Central Government.

MGNREGA & COVID

  • MGNREGA acted as a crucial safety net during the COVID pandemic as the number of person days of work provided under the scheme rose drastically in FY 2020-21.
  • MGNREGA’s role for reducing vulnerability has been reemphasized and continues to be of vital importance in post-pandemic times.
  • For households who found work in both the periods (pre-Covid and Covid), increased earnings from MGNREGA were able to compensate for somewhere between 20 to 80 percent of income loss depending on the block.

Way forward

  • Institutional mechanisms, including governance and administrative structures, for more effective utilization of funds, especially to address poverty need to be examined.
  • In addition to manual updating of information on job cards, equip each panchayat to a job card printing facility similar to passbook updation facilities in banks.
  • It is to be ensured that the GPs (gram panchayats) get funds in advance and have more authority in sanctioning works. This will ensure that the mandate of the 73rd constitutional amendment is honoured and work is available on demand.
Subjects : Current Affairs

Nov. 26, 2022

Mains Daily Question
Nov. 26, 2022

"The real utility of MNREGA was witnessed during COVID times." Comment. (10 Marks, 150 Words)

Model Answer

Approach:

  • Introduce MGNREGA with its objectives
  • In the body part comment upon MNREGA & COVID times
  • Conclude with suggestions for better implementation and efficacy of the scheme.

Answer:

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was passed in 2005, and the demand-driven scheme guarantees 100 days of unskilled work per year for every rural household that wants it.

The objectives of the act are to provide safety nets for vulnerable groups, provide an engine for the agricultural sustainable development, empower the rural poor and promote new ways of doing businesses by providing work for unskilled workers at the wage rate specified by the Central Government.

MGNREGA & COVID

  • MGNREGA acted as a crucial safety net during the COVID pandemic as the number of person days of work provided under the scheme rose drastically in FY 2020-21.
  • MGNREGA’s role for reducing vulnerability has been reemphasized and continues to be of vital importance in post-pandemic times.
  • For households who found work in both the periods (pre-Covid and Covid), increased earnings from MGNREGA were able to compensate for somewhere between 20 to 80 percent of income loss depending on the block.

Way forward

  • Institutional mechanisms, including governance and administrative structures, for more effective utilization of funds, especially to address poverty need to be examined.
  • In addition to manual updating of information on job cards, equip each panchayat to a job card printing facility similar to passbook updation facilities in banks.
  • It is to be ensured that the GPs (gram panchayats) get funds in advance and have more authority in sanctioning works. This will ensure that the mandate of the 73rd constitutional amendment is honoured and work is available on demand.
Subjects : Current Affairs

Nov. 25, 2022

Mains Daily Question
Nov. 25, 2022

Differentiating between the core functions of NAA and CCI, discuss its challenges of implementation in the light of recent transfer of powers. (10 Marks, 150 Words)

Model Answer

Approach:

  • Introduce the answer with functions of NAA and CCI.
  • Discuss the foreseen implementing challenges in body part.
  • Conclude the answer with futuristic view.

Answer:

The NAA was set up in November 2017 under Section 171A of the GST law to check unfair profiteering activities by registered suppliers. Its core function is to ensure that benefits of reduction in GST rates on goods and services and of the input tax credit are passed on to consumers by way of reduction in prices.

CCI was established to enforce the law under Competition Act, 2002. It is tasked with the job of eliminating anti-competitive practices, protecting the interest of consumers and ensuring free trade in general in the economy.

Challenges:

  • Transfer of all pending cases from NAA to CCI and forming a special bench for adjudication may take some time before things ease out.
  • Jurisdictional high courts will consider remanding all the writ petitions filed in profiteering cases to CCI.

While it is a welcome step to have CCI as the body since it has the institutional maturity and is adequately positioned to handle pricing matters. However, the fundamental issue of what would constitute “commensurate reduction in price” and various methods employed by company like increasing grammage, practice of zeroing etc. shall continue to remain disputed before various High Courts.

Subjects : Current Affairs

Nov. 24, 2022

Mains Daily Question
Nov. 24, 2022

The parity in levying taxes to casinos, racecourses, and online gaming under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is moving in the right direction. Comment. (10 Marks, 150 Words)

Model Answer

Approach:

  • Introduce with the suggestion of 28% GST to casinos, racecourses, and online gaming by GoM.
  • In the body part, state the reasons and issues raised by stakeholders.
  • Conclude by highlighting the stand of the GoM in the recent meeting.

Answer:

The panel of state finance ministers is likely to recommend a uniform GST levy of 28 % on online gaming irrespective of whether it is a game of skill or a game of chance. The GoM deliberated on separate definitions for 'games of skill' and 'games of chance’, but has settled for a uniform slab for both.

Most states agree on a 28% tax rate for gaming considering it as a service like that of casinos but differ on the valuation mechanism. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh support taxing the total value, while Goa recommends a tax on the entry point for casinos.

Online gaming witnessed a spurt during the lockdown with the number of users in India rising substantially. As per a KPMG report, the online gaming sector would grow to Rs 29,000 crore by 2024-25 from Rs 13,600 crore in 2021. Stakeholders from inside the industry have suggested keeping the slab at 18% looking at the potential of the sector and initiatives like StartUp India, where it can play a major role. Currently, online gaming attracts 18 per cent GST. The tax is levied on gross gaming revenue, which is the fees charged by online gaming portals.

However, the GoM has suggested that online gaming is a demerit good and charging 28% in parity with casinos and the racecourse will bring uniformity in the GST slab. However, some relaxation in valuation methods could be provided.

Subjects : Economy

Nov. 23, 2022

Mains Daily Question
Nov. 23, 2022

Outline the various provisions that ensure the independence of the Election Commission of India. (10 Marks, 150 Words)

Model Answer

Approach:

  • Briefly introduce the Election Commission of India as the watchdog of democracy
  • In the body part, state the constitutional and statutory Provisions, along with conventions that ensures the independency of the ECI
  • Conclude the answer by stating the reforms needed to make it a more effective body

Answer:

The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India and the election for the office of President and Vice President. Its primary task is to assure free and fair elections.

Provisions that ensure the independence of ECI:

Constitutional Provisions:

  • The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) can be removed in a similar manner as that of a Judge of Supreme Court.
  • Conditions of service of the CEC shall not be varied to his disadvantage after appointment.
  • Any Election Commissioner or a Regional Commissioner shall not be removed from office except on the recommendation of the CEC.

Statutory Provisions - under the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Conditions of Service) Act, 1991:

  • Term of service to be 6 years or till the age of 65 years
  • The rank and status of the CEC and other EC to be same as Supreme Court Judge.

Conventions:

  • The CEC or ECs are Senior Civil servants or retired civil servants who have good knowledge in administration.
  • Provisions of reappointment is not available on completion of term commissioners.

Way forward:

  1. Make the appointment through a high-level panel/multiple-member body similar to CVC appointment. Even the Chief Justice of India can be included in the appointment committee to ensure “neutrality”.
  2. Removal: The election commissioners should be removed in a similar fashion as that of the CEC.
  3. On completion of term, the commissioners should not join any political party for least 10 years.
  4. The Administrative expenditure of the ECI should be charged on CFI.
Subjects : Polity

Nov. 22, 2022

Mains Daily Question
Nov. 22, 2022

The Development of the Great Nicobar Islands has its own strategic importance for India but comes with plenty of ecological concerns. Do you agree? (10 Marks, 150 Words)

Model Answer

Approach:

  • Introduce the answer by stating the recently sanctioned fund for the development of the Great Nicobar Island.
  • The body of the answer can be divided into two major parts- first to address the strategic importance of the island in the context of consolidation of the Indian Ocean region and second to chart out the issues related to the development of the Pristine area.
  • Conclude the answer with a balanced approach of how the project will help India in long run.

Answer:

The recently launched prestigious project of holistic development of Great Nicobar Island (GNI) which aims to establish a Greenfield International Airport, an International Container Transhipment Terminal, a Township and a Power plant in Great Nicobar Island will transform the Island into a hub of port-led development.

The GNI is a biosphere reserve and was included in the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme in 2013.

Strategic Importance:

The Indian Ocean Region in general and the Indian Ocean in particular has turned into a strategic hotspot in recent years with the rising importance of the Indo-pacific region, rising China and the need for strengthened naval forces for military and economic regions. In this scenario, critical development of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is necessary for strengthening India's regional presence.

The Great Nicobar Island also represents a significant economic development opportunity as the main east-west shipping route that links east Asian exports with the Indian Ocean, Suez Canal and Europe runs just to the south of this Island.

Ecological challenges: 

The GNI are home to the indigenous Shompen tribe, besides rare flora and fauna from the Nicobar megapode, leatherback turtles, the endemic Nicobar Macaque and saltwater crocodiles. 30 of the 51 active nests of the Nicobar megapod the keystone species of Nicobar Island will be permanently destroyed. It will also involve the felling of over 8.5 lakh trees, loss of 12-20 hectares of mangrove cover, claiming 298 hectares of the seabed and considerable coral translocation.

The GNI project has been conceived based on the principles of Sustainable Development wherein the ecological, economic and social factors have been given due consideration at every stage. The project will not only ensure a significant presence of the country in the Malacca Strait but also enhance socio-economic growth and usher in a new era for all-round development of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Great Nicobar Island in particular.

Subjects : Current Affairs

Nov. 21, 2022

Mains Daily Question
Nov. 21, 2022

Discuss the potential challenges of the recently approved “loss and damage” fund at COP 27 to help cope with the climate disaster. (10 Marks)

Model Answer

Approach:

  • Introduce the topic with agreement concluded in COP 27
  • Body part should focus on the challenges to attain the success of agreement
  • Conclude with general need to save climate.

Answer:

More than 200 nations agreed to create a loss and damage fund to which, developed nations will provide the fund, which will then be distributed to "particularly vulnerable" nations. It is to help poor countries cope with climate disasters made worse by the greenhouse gases from wealthy nations.

Potential Challenges:

  • The agreement hammered out says that nations cannot be held legally liable for payments.
  • The United States and the European Union pushed that China will eventually contribute to any fund created and would not be eligible to receive money from it. China is currently classified as a developing country and now the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
  • US, the European Union and other wealthy emitters made a pledge to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance to help poorer countries shift to clean energy and adapt to future climate risks through measures like building sea walls. They are still falling short by tens of billions of dollars annually.
  • While the agreement dealt with the damages from global warming, it did far less to address the root cause of the crisis.

The planet has already warmed by an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius, and scientists have said that countries need to cut their carbon emissions more quickly and more significantly to keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Every fraction of a degree of additional warming could mean tens of millions more people worldwide exposed to life-threatening heat waves, water shortages and coastal flooding.

Subjects : Environment

Nov. 20, 2022

Mains Daily Question
Nov. 20, 2022

“Conservation of wildlife is a holistic exercise, it cannot focus on one animal at the cost of other.” Analyze the statement in the context of India- Namibia efforts to reinstate the cheetah population at the cost of lifting ivory trade ban. (10 Marks)

Model Answer

Approach:

In the introduction, you may start with Project Cheeta and its intention.

In the body part focus on the ivory trade and India's stance on it. Also, put forth why Namibia wants the ban to be lifted.

In the conclusion you may provide reason why even Namibia would support the conservation effort and work hand in hand with all other signatories of CITES.

India and Namibia had signed a pact on "wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilisation" under which two countries "should seek to promote biodiversity conservation with specific focus on conservation and restoration of cheetah in their former range areas from which they went extinct" and "sharing and exchange of expertise and capacities aimed at promoting cheetah conservation in two countries". However, there is an apprehension that Namibia expects India to support the commercial trade of its ivory as part of the cheetah agreement.

India’s Stand on Ivory Trade:

  • Poaching for ivory – or elephant tusk – is one big reason responsible for dramatic decline in elephant population worldwide
  • India rendered the illegal domestic trade in ivory in 1986 by amending the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and including a ‘Chapter VA’. It banned imported ivory in 1991.
  • India holds a firm stand on not supporting the international trade in ivory either because the country is also party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

However, Namibia and some other countries have ivory stockpiles that they would like to sell to support ongoing elephant conservation within their borders. But it is argued that ‘legal’ trade in ivory wouldn’t be sustainable because once illegal ivory enters the trade, it can’t be segregated from the legal one, because of vested interest.

Lastly India’s change in stance won’t make a difference to the outcome of a vote, since more than a hundred countries participate. Hence the solution lies in conservation and respect for the international treaties instrumentalizing such efforts.

Subjects : Environment

Nov. 19, 2022

Mains Daily Question
Nov. 19, 2022

The objectives of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 are to balance data protection for citizens, ease of doing business for industry and public interest of efficient governance and national security. Elaborate. (10 Marks)

Model Answer

Approach:

Introduction: Brief over the Digital Data Protection Bill 2022.

Body: Tell how this bill will protect the data of citizens; bring ease of doing business for industry and ensure governance and national security.

Conclusion: Tell though it is having a shortcoming of checks and balances on the central government it incorporated the interests of all the stakeholders.  

 

Answer:

The recently introduced Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 is a part of a comprehensive framework of laws and rules that include the IT rules, DPDP bill, National Data Governance Framework Policy and a new Digital India Act to govern more than 760 million internet users in India.

 

Data protection for citizens:

  • The Digital Data Protection Board of India, to adjudicate disputes of abuse and misuse of personal data, along with deciding the penalties
  • stiff penalties –up to Rs 500 crore – for data breach as well as failure to intimate users or the government about it and Rs 200 crore in event of a personal data breach
  • Provision of Parental consent is needed for the processing of data of a child (18 years)
  • “Consent Manager” for managing, reviewing or withdrawing consent on behalf of user through a transparent and interoperable platform
  • Users will also have the right to obtain a summary of the personal data, and identities of all the Data Fiduciaries with whom the personal data has been shared.

Ease of doing business for industry:

  • Provisions of liberalising cross border flow of data from specified countries and not localisation of data will help tech process and transfer data in India's fast-growing digital market.
  • Differentiation of personal and non- personal data.

Governance and national security:

  • The federal government would have powers to exempt state agencies from provisions of the bill "in the interests of sovereignty and integrity of India" and to maintain public order.
  • Data Protection Officer and an Independent Data Auditor who will evaluate its compliance with the regulations

 

It is argued that there are no "checks and balances on the central government’s power to exempt any data fiduciary being exempt from the bill. The Internet Freedom Foundation held- a lack of legislative guidance throughout the draft bill.

The bill has kept all established principles of privacy and the global experience in mind and is a good example of smart law which is simple and nimble, and manages the interests of the stakeholders, especially women, where the legislation uses only " female pronouns in the bill".

Subjects : Polity
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