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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57 Comments

Filed under CURRENT EVENTS, DAILY ANSWER WRITING, IAS, QUESTIONS FOR MAINS, SECURE-2014, UPSC, UPSC Mains GS Strategy

57 responses to “Insights Secure – 2014: Questions On Current Events Day – 8

  1. Ramu

    Dear Insight,
    I have a suggestion, if you read most of the answers please select best answer (could be 2-3) for a question and declare it next day, it will not only boost the morale of participants but also we will have best answers for future reference.

    Also request you to review my answers on day-6.
    Thanks, Ramu

  2. sheshi

    6. Is privatization ‘the solution’ to revive sick industries? Explain in the context of demand for Air India’s privatization.
    The main objective for setting up Public Sector Units(PSU) under 2nd five year plan(Mahalanobis plan) is to kick start industrial revolution , to create heavy industries after independence as private players do not have sufficient capital to set these industries.
    Air India is one such industry which needs high capital to set up and without any profits because after independence it was a luxury good. Presently Air India is suffering with heavy losses due to lack of competitiveness and efficiency compared to private players. And government is infusing Rs.30000crore over 4years which is a huge drainage of revenue of the government. Air India is one such industry where with change times government should have changed to regulator or facilitator instead of provider as the objective has achieved now with many private players competing. So government should privatize Air India which would infuse the much needed capital , competitiveness and efficiency into the company

  3. Zugzwang

    Is privatization ‘the solution’ to revive sick industries? Explain in context of demand for Air India’s privatization.
    Ans: Privatization is changing the ownership of an entity from state control to private control or ownership. It has been many a times seen as an option for reviving the sick PSUs; the same is being debated in the case of Air India.
    The debate of privatization of airlines came to fore many times, most prominently during 2000-2001, but the deal didn’t work out. The proponents of the idea of privatization opine that as the finances of the airlines are already in shambles, privatization would save precious public money, the airline is not ready to face competition as the domestic carriers are given permits for flying international flights, it will prove an attractive buyer because the infrastructure is already in place.
    But some analysts opine against this and they are of view that privatization cannot affirm sound working of airlines citing the example of kingfisher; even domestic airlines market is not attractive due to high fuel costs, high airport fees which might be a turn off for investors. Instead they profess for improving efficiency and reducing government interference.
    Decision on privatization or no privatization should be done by due diligence and considering views of all stake holders, as we don’t want any more Kingfishers in our airline industry.

    • Zugzwang

      @insight and friends pls review.
      Though i have exceeded the word limit, still i think I couldn’t achieve the flow..
      please advice.

      • prashant

        good answer … u hv touched upon alomst all relevant ponits of the question. in addition we can also mention that the goi privatisation policy has been deregulating n delicencing the previously state controlled industrial sectors except strategically imp ones…n because civil aviation sector does not come under this category, govt should go ahead with privatisation. also the economic constraint the economy is facing calling for similar actions

      • Ross

        Hi Z,
        in comment – Take a stand on one side and conclude.
        When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points
        and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide
        reading.
        Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.
        These types of question offer you a chance to consolidate your reading of different subjects to
        justify your opinion.

        You started well but didn’t satisfy the requirement of ques.

  4. Govind Prakash

    Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) commitments to WTO:
    # Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) mean the annual level of support, expressed in monetary terms, provided for an agricultural product in favor of the producers of the basic agricultural product or non-product.

    #A key objective has been to discipline and reduce domestic support while at the same time leaving great scope for governments to design domestic agricultural policies in the face of, and in response to, the wide variety of the specific circumstances in individual countries and individual agricultural sectors.

    #The approach agreed upon is also aimed at helping ensure that the specific binding commitments in the areas of market access and export competition are not undermined through domestic support measures were negotiated in the Uruguay Round

  5. pkarrn

    2. Mukul Mudgal Committee (50 Words)

    answer:-
    To probe the spot-fixing in IPL matches, The supreme court has proposed three member panel headed by former Punjab and harayana chief justice Mukul Mudgal to look into the IPL spot fixing scam. panel will have other two members Solicitor-General L. Nageswara Rao and BCCI member Niloy Datta.

  6. rithika

    2.Mukul Mudgal Committee (50 Words)
    To probe spot- fixing in IPL Matches the SC suggested a 3 member committee headed by former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court , Mukul Mudgal. besides that other two persons are Solicitor General L.Nageswara Rao and BCCI member Niloy Datta.

  7. TAS

    Q-3)”On one hand Pakistan appears to be stabalising 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 process.” Reflect on the causes for this growing contradiction in Pakistani Society.(250 words).
    With Nawaz Sharif coming to power things seem to be changing in Pakistan. But the situation existing there don’t reflect so. With the increased role of Pakistani military has failed to establish peace violated by terrorist attacks on the former and in Pakistani society.
    The current Government in Pakistan has plugged General Kayani of his ambitions by not providing him further extension. This move of government is being appluaded as highly graceful and benefitial for Pakistani democracy and military.
    General Kaya ni accomplished in improving army’s image but his squalid tactis and leadership failed to grasp real meaning of terrorism. He suggested both terrorism and militancy within Pakistan dangerous for country. But only under him did Taliban and Haqqani networks increase their murderous campaign in Afghanistan,groups like Jamat.ud-Dawa continue to prosper. His leadership failed to check the military’s oppurtunistic outlook towards terrorism and jihadi groups taking advantage of this frequently attacked the military personals.
    Although there seems to be transition of power the ral cause resides in identifying the problem. If Pakistan recognizes that terrorism is the main cause and solution exist in obliterating it from root then only proper and peaceful society can be established. Terrorism needs to be annulled by coordinated effort of Pakistani government and military.Then only peace will sustain in Pakistani society.

  8. Abhi

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

    Ans:
    In recent past, an island nation Maldives has encountered a variety of incidents are clear demonstration of political uncertainties.Though Maldvies is a democratic nation, so far people of county has not felt the taste of democracy.

    After 30 years dictatorship rule of Mr. Gayoom, aftermath of introduction of 3rd constitution in 2008,Maldives gone for presidency elections, in which Mr. Nasheed sworn in as first democratic president.However, in early 2012 he was ousted at gunpoint to resign , and claimed the president by Mr.waheed. With this action, Maldives has been suspended from Common wealth nations. The military coup govt. lead by waheed , annulled the contract with the largest private investment in Maldives from India – GMR Male International airport, unilaterally.

    Further, country has gone for 2nd presidency elections in 2013. The same has been conducted in presence of Representatives from Commonwealth, retired Indian Chief election commisioners etc.After declaring the first round polls, Mr.Nasheed claim the majority but not suffice to form government, hence call for second runoff. In meantime, political drama and coalition among all other parties has evolved and filed a suit in Supreme court of Maldives, by saying elections were not conducted on free and fair basis.

    Interestingly, SC verdicted to annual the first round of elections and directed again for re – run of first round of polls.In the light of above series of event, Maldives has heen facing political uncertainitis in the quest for democracy.

  9. Vicky..

    1. “Maldives is experiencing a series of political uncertainties in its quest for strong democracy.” Comment.(200 Words)
    Answer:
    Maldives, the island country, which already faced a Presidential changeover recently, now faces political uncertainties in its quest for strong democracy. The recently conducted first round of elections, observed by various teams from neutral countries and regions, brought a ray of hope in achieving a free and fair, democratically elected government. The conduct of elections was praised by all.
    Some disqualified candidates, however, filed their cases in the country’s top court, alleging malpractices in the election process. Maldivian SC has invalidated the election results on some grounds and ordered re-election, leading to disappointment, not only in the national cadres, but international observers as well. This event is another roadblock in Maldivian quest for strong democracy.

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

    –Democracy symbolizes best form of governance as people’s will is best reflected through this mode.Military rule has been the norm in Maldives since inception and its subjects have been oppressed by the tyrannical rule.
    Efforts of establishing democracy has been futile as a result of election process being severely marred by malpractices.Even after the election process being overseen by independent observers,the elections were alleged to be rigged.Though the first round of election drummed victory for MDP leader Md. Naseed,but he didnot manage to breach the half-way mark ,dueto which he was obligated to go for a run-off according to the Maldivian constitution.
    However,petition filed by one of the contenders alleging rigging of elections made SC issue a verdict for re-run of elections.
    This development has raised questions over emergence of a successful democracy which is struggling to see day of light in Maldives.

  11. Vicky..

    2. Mukul Mudgal Committee (50 Words)
    Answer:
    Supreme court, rejecting the proposal of BCCI’s counsel for setting up a committee headed by Arun Jaitley and other non IPL members, setup a committee under former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mukul Madgal and other members. Sighting their cricket knowledge and integrity, SC will consider their report on the ongoing IPL spot fixing scandal.

  12. Richa

    Mukul mudgal committee
    The Supreme Court has formed a committee to probe the spot fixing in IPL matches held recently. The committee will be headed by former Chief Justice of Haryana and Punjab high court, Mr. Mukul Mudgal. The committee will enquire into the case and suggest the remedial measures.

  13. 2. Mukul Mudgal Committee (50 Words)
    –The SC has instituted a high-powered committee headed by retired Punjab and Haryana Chief Justice ,Mukul Mudgal along with Additional Solicitor General and a BCCI member to conduct an impartial and transparent inquiry into the infamous IPL spot-fixing scandal.The committee is expected to come up with remedial measures to tackle this menace in the sporting arena.

  14. 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)

    –Pakistan witnessed peaceful transition of batons of democratic charge through free and fair conduct of Prime Ministerial elections recently.Also,the change of power in military circle appears to be a smooth affair with the government expecting to reach over the consensus well before in advance.
    It goes without saying that Pakistan has been a breeding ground for violence of various forms. Sectarian strifes have historically affected the peace process of Pakistan and communities have always lived in an atmosphere of fear. The tolerance limit of people for various sectarian ,cultural and religious differences is quite low and response exhibited to suppress these differences often results in mayhem.Pakistan has been a muslim-major country ,where other religions receive poor treatment.The recent church blast in Peshawar reflects rejection of people to give refuge to religious sentiments of minorities.
    Also,Pakistan has been used as ground to launch terror activities in different parts of the world.
    This social disturbance orchestrated by unsocial elements breeds out of their refusal to allow multifarious sentiments to be mainstreamed in Pakistan.Moreover,the government’s incapacity to crack down on terror-havens has encouraged proliferation of criminal activities.

  15. Vicky..

    “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)
    Answer:
    Pakistan achieved transition of power, from military to civilian government in 2008. Now even after stable transition in political power after successful elections, extended period of General Kayani is also completing. Pakistan despite these stable transition of powers, remains a battlefield, with regular news updates about sectarian and terrorist violence, hitting the headlines. The causes, for this remain in the deep functioning of institutions and lack of effective control in political circles. Democracy, though functioning, but still lacks effectiveness .
    The de-facto control over Pakistani military still remains with Pakistani Army Chief. Even the intelligence agency, ISI, remains under Army. The self propelled militancy, by the secret sections of Pakistan, to fulfil its vested interests, have gone an extra mile, loosening their accountability to its protectors i.e. Pakistani Army. The result is ever growing violence, even in Pakistan, undermining the democratic processes.
    Although, General Kayani, voicing repeatedly against militants and terrorists, was unable to curb the opportunistic attitude of Pak Army. It stills tries to use such elements, often classifying them as good and bad. The thing to be understood is, ‘No Terrorism is Good’. None in the history has earned fruits for assisting violence. The regular coup-de-tat’s by Army, has made deep loopholes and voids in the efficient functioning of Democracy, sought now. Orthodox, religious groups still ignite the passions of people. The spirit of Constitution has not been reaped in Pakistan. The result of such intertwined forces of politics, sectarians, military, terrorists is widespread and rising violence events.
    Hence, Pakistan needs restructuring in its institutional and working , so that democracy can be achieved in real terms. A rule of people should be established and dictatorial attitude need to be sidelined.

  16. rithika

    9. Ovadia Yosef :
    The Iraqi born Rabbi Ovadia Yosef a national prominent religious and spiritual leader of Israel’s Sephardic Jews transfigure his oppressed community of immigrants from North Africa and Arab Nations into a powerful force and founded Shas , a political party representing Sephardic Jews and became kingmaker in several government coalition. He also served as Israel’s chief Sephardic rabbi from 1972-1983.

  17. Manmohan

    Mukul Mudgal committee:
    This committee was appointed by supreme court under the chairmanship of Mukul Mudgal, Punjab and Haryana chief justice to look into the matter of IPL-spot fixing. Besides justice Mudgal Additional solicitor General Nageswara Rao and BCCI member Niloy Datta are other members.

  18. Harsha Jindal

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

    Before the economic reforms of 1991, India government instead of closing down the ‘sick’ units clustered them under National textile Corporation which resulted into heavy losses to government. Today learning from the past, Indian government should privatize the ‘sick’ units because privatization can result into more efficiency, more investment, better technology, and better services which will ultimately boost up GDP.
    Government duty is to work as facilitator, not as manufacturer. Air India airlines is facing losses from past few years and now government can’t afford to invest more in it. Aviation is a capital intensive sector with thin margins.
    But privatization of ‘sick’ units also doesn’t guarantee the 100% success rate. Only proper selection of eligible candidates in different posts, making proper agenda of all-round development and being stick to the plan, maintaining public relationships are more important to make public sectors more acceptable. PPP models can also be one of the viable options where public and private sector can complement each other and revive the ‘sick’ units.

  19. Vicky..

    “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)
    Answer
    India, despite its enormous growth in last decade, houses large number of malnourished children. The ICDS has been criticised on its underperformance in twin goals of nutrition supplement and early education. The Anganwadi centres lack basic infrastructure, like toilets and drinking water. The letting in of private players, resulted in lack of delivery on the front of equity and inclusivity, showcasing their profit motives and cashing on costly crèches and playschools.
    The ECCE, was long overdue, and is step forward in creating a broad framework in this field, involving all the sectors. The policy emphasis on mother tongue followed by English and national languages, thus signalling a positive tone. But it still lacks a rights based approach, aiming to empower the children by giving them legal rights towards care. The policy again follows traditional approach of promote, follow and supervise, rather than , legally empowering them. In absence of such approach, the proposed policy, also remains vulnerable to the fate, which existing ICDS has seen. Such welfare schemes, with much dependence on private partners and faulty delivery systems are bound to unproductive.
    Hence the need is to follow the lines of RTE,i.e. 86th constitutional amendment, so that the 157 million children of the country get adequate resources, asserted by them as their legal rights.

  20. Abhi

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

    Ans:
    Air India has been facing a low time since 2005, aftermath of merging with Indian airlines things turns into poorer. Further severe competition from private players squeezed the state owned Air india from all sides.

    For reviving Air inda, government shall introduce innovative policies,hire the qualitative resources,offer better competitive services to customers to sustain the competition.

    When the Govt. is not in a position to implement as said, last option resorted to privitisation.The existing employees must be protected under transition.We have a good examples in India, for better performing of private players in Airport sector under PPP model. The only disadvantage associated with privatisation is accumulation of large wealth in few hands, instead of which if Govt is able to do , the same can be encashed in govt exchequer, and better utilised for the nation development.

    To conclude, privitisation is not the only solutuin , provided govt is working up to the standards, elsewise privitisation is the only solution.

  21. 10. Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) commitments to WTO (100 Words)
    Aggregate Measurement Support (AMS) would be breached due to Food Security Scheme as blamed by WTO. AMS given to poor country for their Agricultural Product in terms of subsidies. WTO worried at commencement of FSA 2013 which can change Agricultural Product Rate which was negotiated in Doha Round .If farmer, mostly poor would get grain at subsidised rate then food grain insecurity will cause to inflate demand in International Market. However Indian Farmer already get subsidised price on production grain will certainly profited. Although GOI making a middle path in this case to solve it without any Negotiation.

  22. Vicky..

    6. Is privatization ‘the solution’ to revive sick industries? Explain in the context of demand for Air India’s privatization. (150 Words)
    Answer:
    Privatisation is not the sure-shot solution to revive sick industries, especially after many private industries have fallen and showing dismal performance. But the competitiveness, which accompanies privatisation is definitely lures government to such steps. Air India, owing to its high losses and poor record, has come under scrutiny and being recommended for privatisation by many circles, including government. Privatisation would bring more transparency, accountability, eliminate complacency. The bailout packages shall not be available and would keep the aircraft career to comply with top standards.
    But, terming privatisation the sureshot solution would be misplaced. Yes, privatisation is a viable and even rational option in present context of Air India, that can reap long term returns if everything went right. The standards of global airlines need to matched by Indian airline carriers. Global ventures, will benefit India careers in obtaining better standards, competitiveness and reliability. Hence, privatization, can be ‘the solution’ but only after thorough feasibility and compliance study, as it cannot assure guaranteed returns.

  23. 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)

    –Pre-school education and infant health care has been a neglected affair since inception and India is suffering the consequences of errors in form of widespread malnourishment and poor education standards.
    Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) faltered on two major fronts-according nutritional supplements and supporting the spread of pre-school education.Poor infrastructural creation in form of lesser number of anganwadi centres had been one of the major concerns.The draft National Early Childhood Care and Education Policy (ECCE) aims at rectifying the huge errors in imparting quality primary education.The draft policy aims at covering around 158 million children in the age bracket of 0-6 years through creation of anganwadi centres to provide quality play-based curriculum and good nutrition.Other highlights include prioritizing use of mother tongue or language spoken at home along with exposure to oral English and national or regional language.

  24. Vicky..

    9. Ovadia Yosef (50 Words)
    Answer:
    The veteran religious turned political leader of Israel. Consolidating the force of immigrants in Israel, he founded the ‘Shas’ community and played a kingmaker’s role in numerous Israel coalition governments. Also served as chief Sephardic Rabbi, he countered the majority view, i.e. not allowing a non jew to come in power. His death at the age of 93, leaves a deep void in Israel’s politics.

  25. “Maldives is experiencing a series of political uncertainties in its quest for strong democracy.” Comment.
    Maldivian political crisis which began in 2011 is looming till date.Republic of Maldives which made its quest for democracy in 2007-2008 has fumbled and heading towards a political logjam leading to democratic uncertainties.The multi party,multi-candidate election which paved the way for democracy in Maldives fizzled out with the tactical coup against the president Nasheed.And ,from then on very little progress has been made.Recent elections which was guarded by the foreign representatives including Indian CEC has now came under SC’s scanner and the apex court of Maldives has annulled the poll which was accused to mired with political rigging.So,it would take another some months to get things going in a country fighting with economic crisis.People have gone jobless,economic growth has plummeted and the whole Maldivian atmosphere is in awry.In such conditions,it is needed that a peaceful and transparent election must take place with aid from the regions and mutual benefitters.

  26. 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)

    –In the aftermath of bloody confrontation between LTTE and Sri Lankan government,13th amendment in the backdrop of inking of India-Srilanka accord,1987 aimed at rectifying the errors by repositioning the status of tamilians in Srilanka.
    The 13th amendment aimed at devolving political powers to the Northern and eastern province of Sri Lanka and assuring rightful place to the tamilians.However,the proposal did not see the day of light dueto political reluctance.Recently,the Northern province won a thumping electoral mandate.The SC made the case to allow devolution of land powers so that northern provinces have a free hand in deciding on land-related issues.
    History testifies that the government has been reluctant to delegate powers to the provinces.Here,it is pertinent to mention that political will coupled with appropriate judicial interventions can work wonders.

  27. Harsha Jindal

    Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) commitments to WTO (100 Words)
    India’s new food security law will breach the AMS commitments of WTO. New food security Act will provide food to 82 crore poor people in India at the prices from Rs. 1-3/kg. WTO, to help India has given the option of adopting the ‘peace clause’ for the interim term till the time final solution is devised in the coming Bali ministerial meet. India is demanding amendments to the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) under the WTO so that it can give more food subsidies to poor without attracting penalties. The AoA allows the so-called ‘market distorting subsidies’ up to a limit of 10 per cent of total production.

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

    –Privatization is symptomatic with efficiency, transparency and accountability.The shares of non-performing units have often been placed in public domain for sale to avoid cost overrun and fiscal imbalances.
    Public industrial units have often faced crisis situations in terms of fund management,employee-retention capability and poor overall direction to steer the affairs of the unit.Privatization cannot always lead to a win-win situation for a unit,but most of the times,privatization offers considerable space to boost its productivity.However, privatization cannot be termed as a one-stop solution to revive non-performing units.
    In context of Air India,it is mired in loses and has been continuously financed by the government exchequer,which has kept it away from adhering to tough standards of aviation industry.This psychology needs to be eliminated and obligating it to comply by tough set standards will help change the destiny of the beleaguered airlines.

  29. 7. 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)

    –Syria has been embroiled in a major civil war for last two years and the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against its subjects amounted to violations of international laws that prohibit use of chemical weapons.Further,the speculations were testified by UN inspectors who confirmed the usage of sarin gas against the civilians.he US infuriated by this development planned a retaliatory military attack on Syria in order to demolish its army bases,which could have triggered regional war with ripple effects on Iran,Iraq,Israel.
    However,Russia,a Syrian ally played the diplomatic card and asked Syria to submit its chemical weapons through its accession to Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) that would outlaw production and use of chemical weapons.Syria too acceded to the demand and agreed to submit an inventory of stockpile of chemical weapons and destroy the arsenal by the mid of next year.
    It was primarily Russia that brokered the peace-deal and allowed the war situation to take backseat.The US too agreed to desist from any military intervention.

  30. Prasoon

    QUESTION
    Is privatization ‘the solution’ to revive sick industries? Explain in the context of demand for Air India’s privatization.
    ANSWER-
    Privatizing an ailing PSU/PSE cannot be merited unilaterally but there transparent, efficient, customer centric business practice can surely be a boon to one.
    Air India has been year-on-year posting losses and has a poor debt refinancing records. There have also been events of employee salaries being with-held and allegations of forced voluntary retirements. However, in case of Air India the government can draw lesson from private firms and overhaul the company management with domain experts. Provision of higher autonomy can bring in improvement in financial decision and lately the bottom-line. As some ailing PSEs like SAIL, CIL, Vizag Steel and BHEL have proved that according financial autonomy through navratna-maharatna status has changed their fates, government may introduce large and sick but potential PSUs to financial autonomy. On the immediate side personnels should vouch for global standard of services by AIR India. Furthermore, Air India may also be encouraged to expand more into profitable air-freight business. International flights on shorter or low density/occupancy routes shall be serviced by smaller aircrafts, hence cutting down fuel costs. An international rating program for services is desirable.
    Instead of privatization, Air India deserves a more autonomous independent management.

  31. rithika

    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.

    • Prasoon

      @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 :)

  32. rithika

    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….

  33. manish

    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.

  34. Siddharth

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

  35. Spoo

    “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.

  36. Ross

    “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.

  37. Ross

    “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.

  38. Ross

    “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.

  39. Ross

    “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.

  40. Ross

    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.

    • Ross

      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

  41. Ross

    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.

  42. Ross

    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.

  43. Vandana

    “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.

  44. 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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