Insights Secure – 2014: Questions On Current Events Day – 8

Questions From The Hindu – 08/10/2013

Front Page

1. “Maldives is experiencing a series of political uncertainties in its quest for strong democracy.” Comment.(200 Words)

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2. Mukul Mudgal Committee (50 Words)

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Opinion Page

3. “On one hand Pakistan appears to be stabilizing because of stable transition of power in political and military circles, but on the other hand there is an increase in sectarian and terrorist violence  undermining the democratic processes.” Reflect on the causes for this  growing contradiction in Pakistani society. (250 Words)

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4. “A strong policy on early childhood care and education was long overdue because of the poor performance of ICDS in many states.” Critically examine the key provisions of draft National Early Childhood Care and Education policy (ECCE) in the light of the given statement. (200 Words)

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5. “For meaningful devolution of powers and more autonomy to Tamil regions in North and East Sri Lanka, the solution lies in the constitutional reform and political will from the  Sri Lankan government and not in the 13th amendment alone.” Comment. (200 Words)

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National

6. Is privatization ‘the solution’ to revive sick industries? Explain in the context of demand for Air India’s privatization. (150 Words)

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7. Has India’s missile program successfully addressed the nation’s external security threats? Write a critical note on the recent developments in India’s nuclear missile program. (200 Words)

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International

8. Explain how a a regional war in Syria was averted in the last minute? Who were the key players and what was their role? (250 Words)

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9. Ovadia Yosef (50 Words)

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Business

10. Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) commitments to WTO (100 Words)

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11. The Peace Clause in Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) (100 Words)

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Link - Reference

57 Responses

  1. rithika says:

    1. Maldives is experiencing a series of political uncertainties in its quest for strong democracy.
    Maldives a democractic country faced prolong tensions & reached fever pitch in the recent incidents and it clearly demonstrate the political uncertainty. Recently helded 1st round of election in Sep 7th, observed by local and international monitors including indian election observer team CEC . All praised the conduct of polls by free and fair demotractic election. The Maldives SC has annulled the results of 1st round election in which the first democratically elected President Mr.Nasheed stood first and followed by Abdulla Yameen.The verdict was triggered by a case lodged by tycoon Qasim Ibrahim who alleged that the first round of polls was not free and fair and it should be cancelled because of large scale of vote rigging. A re-run of the 1st poll will be held on oct 20th, the SC order.However,all the observers have denied that there was wrongdoing in the voting. The perceived lack of trust is one of the biggest challenges ahead for peacefuk elections.Maldives is looking at months of political uncertainty and tension as candidate parties begin their bid for the presidential anew and the country quest for strong democracy.

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    • Prasoon says:

      @Rithika I request you not to feel offended, but you need some grammatical corrections. It is not that I write perfect or so but please appreciate it as a suggestion. All the best :)

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  2. rithika says:

    Kindly review my answer and comment on it . Kindly guide me how to improve my way of writing cz I m lack in it pls….

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  3. manish says:

    Aggregate Measure of Support:
    For the domestic support, subsidies provide by the any government in agricultural sector is termed as AMS by the WTO. AMS is calculated on the basis of product subsidies (e.g. minimum support price) and input subsidies (e.g. irrigation, fertilizer, credit, power) and it helps in reducing production cost farming which in turns can cause “distortion” in world trade. Permissible limit for this subsidies is not more than 5% and 10% of total agricultural product in case of Developed and Developing countries, respectively.

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  4. Siddharth says:

    Dear Insights
    The date mentioned on the top is 5th October. I think it should be 8th October.

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  5. Spoo says:

    “Maldives is experiencing a series of political uncertainties in its quest for strong democracy.” Comment.
    A) Many countries today are in the quest for democracy. Maldives, a small island nation, is also triyng to stabilise democracy that was established inspite of facing many hurdles.

    Maldives was under dictatorial regime headed by Gayoom for nearly 30 yrs. Later, it experienced new air after electing its first democarctic governement in 2008 and also had the yougest President as its head. The government was not in power for so long when it was toppled and replaced by a coup.
    since then the new government was embroiled in many issues and finally caught up with the new Presidential elections in 2013.

    The recent elections were overseen by many international representatives. The reports were that it was a fair election but due to the squabble for power the grieved candiadates opted to challenge the elections. The Maldivian Supreme Court ordered for the fresh conduct of elections thus depriving the people of their chance for democracy.

    Whatever may be the reason, unless all political parties arrive at an agreement to get the elctions done and establish the governement in a free and fair manner, it is the people who suffer without any proper governance.

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  6. Ross says:

    “Maldives is experiencing a series of political uncertainties in its quest for strong democracy.” Comment.(200 Words)
    • Maldievs, a British protectorate till 1965, came under authoritarian rule of Maumoon Gayoom. The transition to democracy was made only in 2008 when Mohammad Naseed won elections. However with Gayoom-era appointees present in bureaycracy, judiciary, police, military and even among businessmen, Nasheed faced an uphill task.
    • His orders were ignored and anti-democratic forces teamed up with religious conservatives to organise mass protests against him. Last year he resigned under controversial conditions and the vice-president Mohammad Waheed took over. Nasheed claimed it was a coup détat while others claimed against this.
    • Fresh elections were organised and Nasheed just fell short of majority, leading the election to their second stage, a run-off. But supreme Court annulled these elections and it is not clear when fresh election will be held.
    • The above political drama has occurred because of the transition of the country from dictatorship to democracy. The status-quoist forces are seeking a return of Gayoom to further their interests. Tourism, the major industry, is used to state subsidies and is uncomfortable with democracy.Bureaucracy is as usual seeking its self interest and Army has joined in to keep existing perks and privileges.
    • The victim has been the common man which has twice voted for democracy. The struggle between bourgeoise and proletariat in manifested vividly in this scenario. With political uncertainity, development process has virtually stopped. Tourism industry is witnessing downfall. Foreign investment in infrastructure sector is dwindling.
    • Democracy has become a victim here and there is a chance of return of authoritarian rule. This will be a negative development and against global trends. It is imperative that the election process is to be followed in its entirety and judiciary should restrain itself from unnecessary activism.

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  7. Ross says:

    “On one hand Pakistan appears to be stabilizing because of stable transition of power in political and military circles, but on the other hand there is an increase in sectarian and terrorist violence undermining the democratic processes.” Reflect on the causes for this growing contradiction in Pakistani society.
    • Pakistan nation recently witnessed a milestone when the first democratically elected government completed full term and transferred power to another government by way of elections. This maturing od democracy has however been witnessed with the concomitant increase of sectarian and terrorist violence across Pakistan.
    • Political maturation can be attributed to the increasing demand for peace and stability from its citizens, which helped in ousting Musharraf. Pressure from international civil society like UN, GCC and nations like USA, China, EU as well as decrease in foreign investment has also helped. The realization or relatice opportunism by Pak army that it can serve its interests better from backstage has given a boost to the elected government.
    • The increase in violence can be related to the rampant underdevelopment with high inflation, shortages of food, effect of natural calamities like flood and earthquakes, which have temporarily boosted recruitment by sectarian and terrorist groups. American aid is decreasing and American interference in internal affairs as well as the Abbottabad raid violating Pak’s sovereignty has increased resentment among people. Afghanistan’s independence has led to an increase in cross border influences. A faction-ridden society witnessed further polarization due to the ongoing electoral process with religious elements openly preaching.
    • Such developments negatively affect democracy. They threaten voters and prevent them from voting, political assassinations are carried out, government is unable to enforce its orders and development funds are diverted to the charitable front of such organisations. Inability of democratic government to carry out its mandate further strengthens these negative developments and weakens it ability.
    • Democratic government must tackle this menace by bringing army in its confidence as a stable and prospering Pak is vital for the development of its neighbourhood as well as the world.

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  8. Ross says:

    “A strong policy on early childhood care and education was long overdue because of the poor performance of ICDS in many states.” Critically examine the key provisions of draft National Early Childhood Care and Education policy (ECCE) in the light of the given statement. (200 Words)

    • Malnutrition and chronic hunger has been a chronic problem in India and this assumers alarming proportions with respect to children. One-third of world’s malnourished children lives in India. ICDS was meant to tackle malnutrition and health problems in 0-6 age-group children’s.
    • The poor performance of ICDS is mainly due to inadequate infrastructure and personnel, diversion of funds, improper training of Anganwadi workers and divergence of various schemes at ground levels. Realizing the magnanimity of the task, National Early Childhood Care and Education policy (ECCE) was approved.
    • ECCE policy is to standardise teaching, sanitation and hygiene norms across playschools and day-care centres. It will specify a curriculum framework and quality standards, minimum qualification of teachers and registration norms for such centres.
    • The policy is a step in the right direction as there was a lacunae in this age group. RTE is mainly concerned with education between 6-14 years. ECCE will thus provide the much needed standardization of norms in this age group. However it doesn’t takes into consideration the lacunas of ICDS and seeks to overcome it with a different set of leviathan rules. Its focus is rather limited to education and hygiene and doesn’t dwell into addressing malnutrition comprehensively.
    • It’s a step in the right direction but it has to be coupled with existing schemes like ICDS, Food Security bill, Mid-Day meal, Immunisation programmes so as to provide comprehensive one-stop solution to address the needs of childrens. The efficacy of these developments is however dependant on their implementation.

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  9. Ross says:

    “For meaningful devolution of powers and more autonomy to Tamil regions in North and East Sri Lanka, the solution lies in the constitutional reform and political will from the Sri Lankan government and not in the 13th amendment alone.” Comment. (200 Words)
    • Sri Lanka two largest ethnic group are Sinhalese and Tamils. Tamils are mainly concentrated in north and east and have been given second grade treatment by the majority Sinhalese group which dominates most of the country’s politico-economic as well as military institutions.
    • After defeating LTTE in 2011, there has been demand for granting more autonomy by the Tamil groups. 13th amendment was passed as per Indo-Sri Lanka accord to devolve powers to Tamil provinces. It was subliminally understood to be devolution of land and law and order related provisions.
    • But successive governments have failed to adhere to 13 amendment. Supreme Court has nullified the previous understanding stating that the amendment was never related to devolution of powers. Semantics of law aside, the grievances of tamilians needs to be addressed properly. There regions are underdeveloped with severe food shortages, widespread epidemics and they have no role in formulating policies at Colombo.
    • Till the political brethren of both Sinhalese and Tamil activities work together, peace will not be achieved by this region. 13 amendment does not provide in toto solution. It has to be put in perspective by way of either a constitutional amendment or meaningful interpretation by the executive converted into policy. The political strife is adversely affecting the capacity of both the communities to march on the development path.
    • The reform process has to be undertaken by involving stakeholders as the 13 amendment merely provides a framework for reconciliation. The actual modalities has to be operationalized by political will.

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  10. Ross says:

    Is privatization ‘the solution’ to revive sick industries? Explain in the context of demand for Air India’s privatization.
    • Sick industries are a drain on nation’s resources. Tax payer’s money is utilized to run an enterprise which is generally unsuited to compete in market arena due to various compulsions arising from government control.
    • Privatisation can be ‘the solution’ as it will free government resources locked in such industries. The money raised can be used for other productive purposes. However privatization has to be industry-specific. A crèche producing entity need not be privatised whereas a vehicle manufacturing PSU should be privatised.
    • Air-India has been facing trouble since its merger. Unable to compete in the market and being funded with government funds, it has distorted the aviation market adversely. Its rating is the lowest as per ICAO and it is flying old unsafe aircrafts.
    • Privatisation will infuse a fresh inflow of funds and management experience into Air-India. It will raise investor’s confidence and generate additional flows. Better decision making, free from political control will make it easy to make tough decisions necessary for its revival. Bureaucrats are inherently suited for commercial decision making and fresh commercial and personnel management will raise the motivation of employees.
    • It will enable Air-India to operate on the lucrative routes and generate profits. The connectivity issues with smaller cities can be solved by creating an enabling policy framework. The purchase of new infrastructure as well as usage of existing infrastructure will be better under a commercial leadership.
    • SO, Privatisation does appears the solution in case of Air-India.

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    • Ross says:

      I know that answer appears one-sided meriting privaisation, but i knowingly tried this approach here. And yes, i missed the point about granting autonomy.

      @can anybody assess.
      TX

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  11. Ross says:

    Has India’s missile program successfully addressed the nation’s external security threats? Write a critical note on the recent developments in India’s nuclear missile program. (200 Words)
    • India started Integrated Guided Missile Development Program [IGMDP], under Abdul Kalam, to acquire potent strike capability so as to counter external security threats. The success of IGMDP has been mixed with the development of some missiles which were successfully integrated and some missiles which were scrapped.
    • India’s main need is to counter the threat from China and Pak. Prithvi missile, range of 300-350 km, was to counter threats from the immediate neighbourhood. It has been successfully integrated into the triad of forces.
    • Agni, range of 500-5000 km, was to tackle threats from China. It too has been in service and both have the capability to deliver nuclear warheads. Prithvi is also used for the development of anti-missile shield.
    • Akaash – an air-to-air missile and Nag – an anti-tank missile, are at different stages of induction. Brahmos, a supersonic cruise missile has been developed successfully with Russia. Surya, an ICBM, Astra, Sagarika are at various stages of development.
    • With the development of ballistic missile shield, most of Pak’s missiles will be made redundant. India recently acquired the ability to deliver nuclear warhead from submarines, thus completing the nuclear triad.
    • These developments have majorly boosted India’s defence by multiplying its strike capabilities. The deterrence factor has increased with respect to its ecosystem. IGMDP has thus been able to successfully complete its objectives.

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  12. Ross says:

    Explain how a regional war in Syria was averted in the last minute? Who were the key players and what was their role? (250 Words)
    • The Syrian Civil war is a conflict between its long-serving government and those seeking to boot it out of office. The Assad family has held power in Syria since 1971. First it was Hafez al-Assad, then Bashar al-Assad. The public is outraged over the lack of development and this led to civil war.
    • Syrian opposition is a motley of various groups containing various rebels, chieftains and now even extremists, fighting under Free Syrian Army [FSA]. FSA received support from Sunni states like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and also from USA, UK, France. Syrian government is supported by Iran and Hezbollah and to a limited extent Russia and China.
    • A Middle East question has always been an international question due to the regions oil resources. USA was threatening to strike directly by a coalition force when use of chemical weapons was discovered. Since UN refused to support USA’s action due to paucity of evidence, it contemplated of going on with its allies. Russia and China opposed USA’s unilateral decision and begin negotiations. John Kerry, US secy of state and Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister decided mutually that Syria should destroy it’s chemical weapons under the aegis of UN. It should also sign the Chemical Weapons Convention. They were thus able to avert war in the last minute.
    • Syrian government should be credited as was open to a diplomatic solution and to address international concerns. The credit also goes to both USA and Russia as they decided to negotiate on Syrian issue. USA is also concerned about the role of extremist elements in the FSA and the growing international criticism due to it’s role of world’s policeman. Saudi Arabia realised that a stable Syria free from extremist elements is in their interests.
    • All the stakeholders have committed to follow diplomatic process at least for the time being. The onus now lies on Syrian government to comply with these requests and also start negotiating with rebels.

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  13. Vandana says:

    “Maldives is experiencing a series of political uncertainties in its quest for strong democracy.” Comment. (200 Words)
    The 2011-2012 Maldives political crises began as a series of peaceful protests that broke out in Maldives on 1 May 2011.The protest lead to a resignation of first democratically elected President Mohamed Nasheed on 7 February 2012, and the vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik was sworn as the new president of Maldives.
    Waheed government announced presidential election on 7 September 2013. As no candidate received a majority of the vote, a second round was planned for the 28 September, to be contested by former president Mohamed Nasheed and Abdulla Yameen after incumbent President Mohamed Waheed Hassan was defeated in the first round of voting. But Qasim Ibrahim approached the Supreme Court challenging the verdict of the 7 September polls in which he came third citing election fraud. The Court annulled the first round and announced fresh election on October 19. On the morning of Saturday, October 19, the Maldivian Police Force prevented the Election Commission from conducting a long awaited Presidential election that may very well be the most crucial in the country’s history.
    The latest date for a rerun of the first round is November 9th. Further delays in Maldivian Presidential elections and continued misuse of institutions have already led many in the international community to question the legitimacy of both the process, as well as the outcome of those elections. To ensure successful elections and protect its democratic traditions Maldives needs to allow balloting that is free, fair, and inclusive and the results must be respected by all parties, without retribution.

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  14. I do agree with all the ideas you have introduced on your post.
    They are very convincing and will certainly work.
    Still, the posts are very short for newbies. May just you please lengthen
    them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

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