Q.1) The Union Budget 2020-21 outlay leaves the tri-services — Army, Navy and the Air Force — with little room for modernisation and procurement of new weapons and systems. Critically analyse. ( 15 marks, 250 words)
Why this question?
- The Army has reportedly come up with a proposal to take in civilians for a ‘three-year Tour of Duty (ToD)’ or ‘internship’ to serve as officers and soldiers. The scheme will bring savings that could be used for the much needed modernisation of the Army.
- Briefly discuss Union Budget outlay for Defence: The govt. increased India’s defence budget by a mere 1.82 per cent to Rs 3.37 lakh crore, excluding expenditure on pension.
- The capital budget for the military, which is used for new acquisition and modernisation, has seen an increase of just 3 per cent, or Rs 3,400 crore, over the revised estimates.
Body: Analyse the poor outlay for defence capital expenditure.
- The Army’s pay and pension bill has been increasingly steeply over the years, accounting for 60% of its budget allocation.
- In the last five years, though the growth in the defence budget has been 68%, and for defence salaries 75%, defence pensions have increased by a staggering 146%.
- The army has the biggest share of the annual defence budget -- Rs 1.71 lakh crore out of the total Rs 3.18 lakh crore.
- But 83% of its outlay is meant for revenue expenditure that is for day-to-day running costs and salaries and merely 17% is left for modernisation.
- The armed forces’ slow modernisation, mainly due to the financial crunch, is dangerous for the country’s national security. With a poor tooth-to-tail ratio, the army is not fully geared to effect swift high-voltage strikes.
- Delayed projects like Scorpene Submarines.
- Though the defence ministry was seriously looking at implementing the ambitious Strategic Partnership model for defence production, it could not firm up any major deal under it. Under the policy, the government had planned to rope in foreign defence majors to build key military platforms like submarines and fighter jets in India in partnership with Indian companies.
Conclusion: Provide a way forward
- Trimming Indian Army’s huge work-force
- The defence ministry needs economists
- DMA’s focus on military-specific issues
- Greater investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Changing the civil-military balance
- Promoting jointmanship
Q.2) The employment potential in the country is dwindling due to the Covid 19 Pandemic . In this regard suggest some steps which must be taken to improve the employment scenario in the country. Comment. 250 words.
Why this question:
The GoM, headed by the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, submitted draft proposals on employment and skill development.
Lockdown 4.0 is upcoming post 17th may .It has helped to curtail the number of cases but also impacted the economic and employment potential in the country.
- Poor GDP forecasts
- Job losses
- Laying off in companies and pay cuts
- Migrant workers and informal workers most vulnerable
Steps to improve employment potential:
- Use the land pooling model in agriculture to enable corporatisation, which will create demand for skilled labourers.
- Merge the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Act (MNREGA) with skill development programmes to create a wage subsidy programme.
- Under this the MNREGA amount will be extended to companies as wage subsidy for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME).
- To help SMEs, the RBI can cut the reverse repo rate to 0 per cent for a few months, thus incentivising banks to lend more.
- Banks can also use GST credits as collateral and lend against them, it suggests.
- Establishment of a venture capital fund for SMEs.
- A National Electronic Employment Exchange can be set up to help every worker who has migrated or is proposing to migrate.
- All such workers should register their skill and enterprises should register their requirement for workers.
- Development of Rental Housing Facilities at government as well as private level in order to provide rental accommodation to migrant workers.
- Every migrant worker should be automatically enrolled in PMJAY (PM Jan Arogya Yojana) and have access to cashless medical facilities in the place of work.
- A Social Distancing Protocol must be embedded in the functioning of enterprises.
Link with concept of Demographic Dividend and Disaster.
Q.3) Law Commission of India proposed abolition of Capital punishment for non terrorism cases.Comment.
Why this question: As per a study by Project 39A, In most death penalty cases, court invokes ‘collective conscience’ of society.
Define death penalty and quote death penalty related latest facts and data.
Discuss the argument in brief: both for and against the Law commission recommendation.
Arguments in For:
- Retribution: One of the key principles of retribution is that people should get what they deserve in proportion to the severity of their crime.
- Deterrence: Capital punishment is often justified with the argument that by executing convicted murderers, we will deter would-be murderers from killing people.
Arguments in against:
- According to Amnesty International: As long as human justice remains fallible, the risk of executing the innocent can never be eliminated.
- Capital punishment doesn't rehabilitate the prisoner and return them to society.
Based on the arguments given, conclude the answer.
Q.4) The IAS may be the ‘steel frame of India’ but the steel frame has been rusting for quite some time.comment.
Why in news:The Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT), a wing of the Ministry of Finance, has initiated disciplinary proceedings against some Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers for a report they submitted to the government recently.
Role of civil services and is evolution should be explained here
Significance of civil services
Issues with civil services and the need of reforms: Generalist vs Specialist debate, lateral entry etc
Suggest few steps to bring reforms
Q.5) The Credit guarantee measure announced by the Government is just a dressing on the wound, MSME sector is in dire need of a surgery. In the light of the statement,discuss the issues of the MSME sector and also efficacies of the current measures. 15M, 250 Words
KeyWords for Answer
- Briefly Introduce new measures such as Credit Guarantee, Definition of MSMEs changed, etc.
- Can also start the answer with a striking fact about MSMEs in general, like employment provided, Share in GDP
- Discuss the issues of MSME on the lines of Land, Labour, Capital, Enterprise
- Can also include Technology, Skill gap,Global demand etc..
- Pros and Cons of Credit guarantee measures keeping in mind how they act as just a dressing on the wound.
- Also bring in other stakeholders like Banks, Government reeling under deficits, etc.
- Conclude with Long term reforms for the MSME sector, and committees suggestions like that of UK Sinha.
Q.6) Does call for localisation necessarily mean moving away from Globalisation ? In this regard, discuss the pillars for Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan also the measures need to be undertaken to become self-reliant.
15M, 250 Words
KeyWords for Answer
- Briefly Introduce the PM’s call for localise the manufacturing in order to deal with unwarranted situations.
- Features of localisation -Import substitution, Building manufacturing base, etc
- Then discuss the limits and availability of Globalisation
- Give examples of issues such as the Migrant crisis amid jobs, Brexit, etc..
- Then discuss the pillars of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan : A self-reliant India will stand on five pillars
- Economy, which brings in quantum jump and not incremental change.
- Infrastructure, which should become the identity of India.
- Technologically driven system, based on 21st century technology driven arrangements
- Vibrant Demography, which is our source of energy for a self-reliant India
- Demand, whereby the strength of our demand and supply chain should be utilized to full capacity.
- Conclude with reconciling between Globalisation and Localisation, something sort of Glocalisation.