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9 PM for Main examination
- August Revolution and New India – Comparison
- NEP issues
- Increasing the demand by enhancing the income of Low paid work force
- ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT – Proposed amendments
- Herculean task of digitising India
9 PM for Preliminary examination
1.August Revolution and New India – Comparison
Source – Indian Express
Syllabus – GS 1 – The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country
Context – The 78th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, famously known as the August Revolution in the history of India’s freedom movement, falls on August 9.
Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India Movement
- August revolution’s aim– On 8th August 1942, Quit India Movement, famously known as August Revolution was launched by Mahatma Gandhi demanding an end to British Rule of India.
- Tagline – The slogan was “Karo ya maro”.
- Opposition– Communist Party of India (CPI), opposed the movement as they considered the Independence of India in 1947 was more a consequence of international conditions and not a direct result of the Indian people’s struggle.
- Social Base – The real strength of the Quit India Movement lay in the people who participated and people who was their own leader during the movement. The will of people was– “we want to be free and we shall be free”.
PM Modi’s New India Vision
- Slogan of New India- “ Karenge Aur Karake rahenge” .
- Aim – To achieve the goal of building a “New India” by 2022.
Issues with the New India Vision
- Constitutional values are violated – The Foundation of a religion-based New India was laid on August 5 in Ayodhya by the prime minister is against the value of secularism as given in Constitution of India.
Way Forward- The people were their own leaders in the Quit India Movement. This is very different from the vision of ‘New India’ of today which can only be successful if mass participation of people is there and it’s a bottom up movement.
Source: The Indian Express
Syllabus: GS-2- Education
Context: New educational institutions will not flourish in an old culture and they need an environment of trust and freedom. Changes in the educational culture are a requirement along with the change new policy has brought in.
The vision for higher education and NEP 2020
- The policy has envisioned a complete transformation of higher education ecosystemby 2040.
- All the colleges and universities, both public and private will be multidisciplinary with more 3000 students in each institution. There should be at least onehigher education institute in or near every district.
- Universities will do research as well as postgraduate and undergraduate teaching where medium of teaching will mostly in Indian local languages or bilingually.
- All HEIs will eventually become “independent self-governing institutions” with considerable “faculty and institutional autonomy”, having complied with a series of regulatory exercises that are “light but tight”operated by a large number of private license holders overseen by a new set of regulatory institutions at the national level.
- India’s higher education system will have doubled the Gross Enrolment Ratio to 50 per cent by 2035.
- Refurbished Open and Distance Learning system and through the use of technologies including online modes will help in making the enrolment ratio double.Problems in education system in reality
- Accomplishment of “complete overhaul and re-energising of the higher education system” would be difficult as India is not starting with a clean slate but with existing imperfect institutions.
- No clear roadmap is laid out in the policy for the complete makeover of existing educational culture where there is fragmented ecosystemof low standard teaching, lesser emphasis on research, suboptimal governance and leadership and ineffective regulatory system.
- NEP 2020 itself is an exercise of imposing uniformityand standardisation along a single axis of control and power, which is ironic given India’s size, population, diversity and constitutional federalism.
- One old institution may divide into four new ones, but the genetic material out of which these are created remains the same, and so does the institutional culture.Way forward
- It is important to recognise that institutions are organic entities with their own histories and have specific social and cultural contexts. Each ancient university is unique and should be allowed to flourish with trust and freedom as it would not be fruitful to cast each one of them in the same mould.
- Creation of a new ecosystem is not the only solution, but new educational culture and environment also needs to be built.
3.Increasing the demand by enhancing the income of Low paid work force
Source: Indian Express
Gs3: Inclusive Growth, Growth, Development and Employment.
Context: Measures to address India’s structural demand problem.
Boosting domestic demand: With external demand will remain low in the upcoming days, we need to focus on domestic demand for economic revival
Focus on low income groups: Till now, India’s growth has been driven the demand generated by the high- and middle-income groups which has got stagnated. So, we need to shift focus to increase demand from low income groups by enhancing their income.
Structure of Indian workforce
- According to Periodic Labour Force Survey(2018-19), only 10 per cent of the workforce is engaged in regular formal jobs having earnings above the decent minimum wages
- Whereas, 14 % of Indian workforce are engaged in regular informal jobsearn equivalent to or slightly below a minimum wage.
- The self-employedand casual workers constitute 50 per cent and 24 per cent of the workforce with average earnings below a minimum wage.
Measures to increase earnings of low-income groups
- Need to increase productivity in the informal sector thereby increasing the incomes of low-wage workers.
- Ensuring a decent minimum wage for the casual labourers will also help to set higher wage floor for others engaged in low-paid work thereby enhancing their earnings.
- Also, it is important to ensure minimum wages paid in public workfare programmes such as MGNREGA that will benefit the unskilled labourers.
- Apart from paying minimum wages public workfare programmes needs to be made universal to employ more people, currently it less than 4 per cent of casual workers are employed.
- More importantly we need shift in policy approach to determine minimum wages. So far, the approach has been to prevent exploitationand to ensure bare sustenance of life. Instead we need to aspire for providing them a decent wage that enables them to maintain a reasonable level of consumption expenditure. For this purpose, the minimum wage can be linked to the consumption expenditure of the relatively better-off group of workers.
- The Code on Wages (2019) that seeks to universalise minimum wages and extend them to the unorganised sector is a step-in right direction.
- The agricultural sector and the construction sector in particular are important source of employment generation especially for casual labourers. Raising the minimum wages of casual labourers will play a critical role in economic revival of the country.
Conclusion: Policy intervention to determine a minimum wage floor will not only enhance the livelihood of low paid workers will also fuel the much-needed demand for growth.
4.ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT – Proposed amendments
Source – The Hindu Businessline
Syllabus – GS 3 – Conservation, environnmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Context- In the context of the industrialization-led economic development model, the main ethical dilemma is what constitutes an appropriate trade-off between industrial development and environmental protection.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT – Environmental Impact Assessment or EIA is the process or study which predicts the effect of a proposed industrial/infrastructural project on the environment. It prevents the proposed activity/project from being approved without proper oversight or taking adverse consequences into account.
Challenges in implementing EIA
- Prior clearance – The projects that fail to obtain prior clearance has been a difficult issue for the regulator, since the project proponents cite sunk investments if the penalty for violation involves shutting down the project.
- Post-hoc legalization– Post-hoc legalization of such violations lead to perverse incentives for the industry, rendering the entire regulation redundant.
Process to apprehend violators
In the draft notification, the Ministry has laid out a process that such violators should follow in order to continue their operations legally:
- Stage 1 – ThAppraisal Committee will assess that whether the project can be run sustainably under compliance of environmental norms with adequate environmental safeguards. If the answer is no, it can recommend closure of the project.
- Stage 2– If yes, then it will require the project proponent to assess the ecological damage and prepare a remediation plan as well as a “natural and community resource augmentation plan”, along with an EIA report and also required to submit a bank guarantee, equivalent to the cost of the remediation plan, prior to receiving an environmental clearance.
Issues with the proposed Legalization process-
- Conflict of interest – The damage assessment is carried out by an accredited third party hired by the project proponent which leads to conflict of interest.
- Penalties– The penalties, ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs.10,000 per day for the period of violation, are not high enough to act as a deterrent.
- Clause 22 – According to Clause 22, only the violators themselves or a regulatory or governmental authority can bring the violation to notice.
Way forward – Centre must adopt a more deliberative approach that takes into account various stakeholder views. It is imperative that the government incorporates a wide range of perspectives, before the new notification is finalized.
5.Herculean task of digitising India
Source: Indian Express
Syllabus: GS3: Digital Infrastructure
Context: With Googles commitment to invest $10 billion in India, it needs to focus on fulfilling the below mentioned inconsistencies in India’s digital space.
Digitalisation paradox in India:
- Though penetration of smartphones is increasing, India’s internet speed is slow or varied across the landscape.
- India leads the web censorship with maximum number of internet shutdowns yet it recognises the internet as a human right.
- Inspite of increasing internet users, app downloads and social media users India’s digital preparedness is unsatisfactory.
- Gender divide: Only 21 per cent of women are mobile internet users, while the percentage of men that uses mobile internet is 2 times that of women.
- Rural-Urban Divide: India’s two-third population lives in rural areas yet only a quarter of the population has access to internet.
Digital Payments: With only 22 per cent of recipients of migrant remittances have access to banks within one km, meaningful digitalisation should make electronic cash transfers as a priority this would largely empower informal migrant workers.
Digitalising Agriculture: Developing Precision farming that uses predictive data analytics and basic artificial intelligence, aiding farmers access to credit at lower costs and innovating technologies to forecast commodity prices can create a value addition of $33 billion annually in Indian agriculture.
Data governance policies: India is a data rich country, with 650 million internet users but it lacks a forward-looking inclusive data governance policy. With its vast experience in data governance rules abroad Google can offer data governance guidance to Indian lawmakers
Secure Digital Space: India’s cyber space is faced with the problem of “infodemic” with wide circulation of Fake news and misinformations. Although, Google is credited for launching Fact Check information and removal of 8,20,000 misleading videos by YouTube it can further deeper investments in both human and machine intelligence to strengthen algorithm that could spread misinformation.
- Government should play an enabling factor by developing more progressive data accessibility lawsto enhance the country’s digital space
- The government must invest in skill-buildingand education at all levels to translate these changes into productive work.
9 PM for Preliminary examination
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