current-affairs-based-mains-drill-2-february-2021

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Q.1 )The National Infrastructure Pipeline is a  pioneer policy in boosting India’s infrastructure requirements and manufacturing capacity. Critically analyze.

Why this Question 

The National Infrastructure Pipeline has been in the news for quite some time.

Key Demand of the question 

National infrastructure Pipeline- its components, merits and issues associated with it.

Directive

Critically analyse- The key to tackling this question is providing ample evidence to support the claims. Ensure that the analysis is balanced by shedding light on, and presenting a critique of, and alternative perspectives. Present extensive evidence taken from a varying range of sources.

Introduction 

Give a Brief introduction of the National Infrastructure Pipeline 

Body

In the first part write about the objectives of the government that it aspires to achieve with the National Infrastructure Pipeline. 

In the next part, categorically mention the significance of the project- economic, transport, intra state trade, etc. Also mention the challenges in building the pipeline. 

Conclusion 

Conclude with a way forward  

Model Answer 

The National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) for FY 2019-25 is a first-of-its-kind, whole-of-government exercise to provide world-class infrastructure to citizens and improve their quality of life. It is a group of social and economic infrastructure projects in India over a period of five years.

Significance of the NIP:

  1. It will enable a forward outlook on infrastructure projects which will create jobs, improve ease of living, and provide equitable access to infrastructure for all, thereby making growth more inclusive.
  2. Help in stepping-up annual infrastructure investment to achieve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $5 trillion by 2024-25.
  3. Boost the agrarian economy by strengthening agricultural and rural infrastructure.
  4. Increase the connectivity in India, especially in rural areas, through the expansion of roads and railways.
  5. Well-developed infrastructure enhances the level of economic activity, creates additional fiscal space by improving the revenue base of the government, and ensures the quality of expenditure focused in productive areas.
  6. Boost the manufacturing capacity as it will help reduce the leakages due to insufficient infrastructure which slows down the manufacturing. It will also encourage new players to enter the market in manufacturing business.

The budget 2021-22 has further expanded the projects under NIP from 6835 to more than 7300 in an effort to shore up economic growth as the nation recovers from the pandemic-induced recession. But to ensure effective implementation of projects under NIP, it is necessary for the government to take the requisite steps for it. If the concerns regarding fiscal availability are addressed properly, National Infrastructure Pipeline would be a massive exercise to realise the vision of becoming a 5 trillion $ economy by 2024.

 

Q.2)To strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcome, Budget proposes to merge the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and the Poshan Abhiyan and launch the Mission Poshan 2.0. Discuss.

Why this question 

It was announced in the Union Budget 2021-22.

Key Demand of the question 

Feasibility of the proposed move to merge Supplementary Nutrition Programme and Poshan Abhiyan and impact it will create.

Directive:

Discuss- back up the answer by carefully selected evidence to make a case for and against an argument, or point out the advantages and disadvantages of the given context and finally arrive at a conclusion.

Introduction 

Write in brief about the Supplementary Nutrition Programme and Poshan Abhiyan.

Body

In the first part, discuss the importance of strengthening content, delivery, outreach, and outcome in any nutrition based scheme.

In the next part analyse the proposed move of the government giving the impact it will have and why was this move needed.

Conclusion 

Conclude with a way forward to strengthen Nutrition programmes.

Model Answer

The Supplementary Nutrition is one of the six services provided under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme which is primarily designed to bridge the gap between the Recommended Dietary Allowance (FDA) and the Average Daily Intake (ADI). Supplementary Nutrition is given to the children (6 months – 6 years) and pregnant and lactating mothers under the ICDS Scheme. 

Poshan Abhiyan seeks to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. It was launched in 2018 with specific targets to be achieved by 2022. It aims to reduce Stunting and wasting by 2% a year (total 6% until 2022) among children and anaemia by 3% a year (total 9%) among children, adolescent girls and pregnant women and lactating mothers.

The two schemes have been merged to launch Mission Poshan 2.0 to strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach, and outcome. 

  • It will focus on overall health-wellbeing of the beneficiary and integrated approach in the delivery of nutrition services will reinforce the fight against malnutrition. 
  • Mission POSHAN 2.0, prioritizing 112 aspirational districts, will develop practices that will nurture health, wellness and immunity of children and pregnant women thereby making a concerted effort towards eradicating malnutrition from its roots.
  • It is an umbrella scheme covering the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Anganwadi Services, Poshan Abhiyaan, Scheme For Adolescent Girls and National Creche Scheme.

The proposed move is a forward moving step by the government to ensure Nutrition for All. This will in turn help achieve the goal of Universal Health Coverage to all the citizens. It will help tackle the complex issue of malnutrition which is dependent upon various factors. But a mere change or merger of schemes is not enough. It has to be made sure that the government takes steps to implement it and there is behavioural change among the masses.

 

Q.3)Enumerate the key points of Bharatmala Project. How can the project strengthen India’s connectivity network?

Why this question:

It is an important initiative of the government critical for India’s development. 

Key Demand of the question:

Salient features of the Bharatmala project, its importance and challenges, and ways to overcome the challenges. 

Directive:

Enumerate - Specifically asking you to provide details in a pointwise format.

Introduction 

Briefly introduce the Bharatmala project. 

Body

In the first part, specifically mention the salient features of the project and the objectives it aims to achieve. 

In the next part, mention the significance of the project, the developments that have taken place under it and the challenges it is currently facing. 

Conclusion 

Conclude with measures to overcome the challenges. 

Model Answer

Bharatmala Project is the second largest highways construction project in the country, under which almost 50,000 km or highway roads were targeted across the country. Bharatmala will look to improve connectivity particularly on economic corridors, border areas and far flung areas with an aim of quicker movement of cargo and boosting exports.

Components of the Bharatmala Project

  1. Development of Economic corridors – 9,000 Kms
  2. Inter-corridor & feeder roads – 6,000 Kms
  3. Improving the efficiency of National Corridors – 5,000 Kms
  4. Border & International connectivity roads – 2,000 Kms
  5. Coastal & port connectivity roads – 2,000 Kms
  6. Expressways – 800 Kms
  7. Balance of NHDP works – 10000 Kms

All projects implemented under Bharatmala are to be technically, financially, and economically appraised by an empowered Project Appraisal &Technical Scrutiny Committee to be set up in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). 

However, the recent reports suggest that the Bharatmala Project whose Phase I (34,800 km of national highways) was scheduled to be completed by 2022 is nowhere close to completion owing to the increase in land costs and increase in estimated budget of the project. 

The Bharatmala Project is an initiative that will help in the development of several other schemes of the government like the SMART City, Make in India, etc. It will improve EoDB in India and help attract investments. Hence it is very important for the government to complete the project soon and reap the benefits.

 

Q.4)A number of steps have been taken to bring reforms in Tribunals in the last few years for speedy delivery of justice. Critically examine.

Why this question 

Tribunals are an important part of GS Paper II.

Key demand of the question 

Significance of tribunals in Indian judicial system, the issues associated with it and reforms that have been made and should be made.

Directive

Critically examine- Look in close detail and establish the key facts and important issues surrounding the topic. Try and offer reasons as to why the facts and issues identified are most important, as well as explain the different ways they could be construed.

Introduction 

Briefly introduce tribunals, their types and their status in India. 

Body

In the first part, write about the functions  of the tribunals and its significance in the objective of speedy justice delivery. 

In the next part, mention the challenges that the tribunals are facing and mention the steps taken to reform them. 

Conclusion 

Conclude with a way forward with measures to ensure their smooth functioning. 

Model Answer

Tribunals are quasi-judicial institutions set up to deal with problems such as resolving administrative or tax-related disputes. It performs a number of functions like adjudicating disputes, determining rights between contesting parties, making an administrative decision, reviewing an existing administrative decision and so forth. The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 added Tribunals under Article 323-A (administrative tribunals) and Article 323-B (Other tribunals).

Role of tribunals in delivering justice:

  1. Speedy Justice: Since the tribunal procedure is not so complex, it is easy to decide the matters quickly and efficiently.
  2. Less Expensive: The tribunals take less time to solve the cases as compared to the ordinary courts. As a result, the expenses are reduced. 
  3. Quality Justice: Tribunals have expert members to deal with specific subject matters e.g. NCLT has experts in tax, NGT has environmental experts etc.
  4. Reduced burden of Courts: The system of administrative adjudication has lowered down the burden of the ordinary courts. A law commission report says that the top five central tribunals in India have taken over 3.50 lakh cases pending from the judiciary.
  5. Flexibility: The introduction of tribunals engendered flexibility and versatility in the judicial system of India. Unlike the procedures of the ordinary court which are stringent and inflexible, the administrative tribunals have a quite informal and easy-going procedure.

The government has always been taking steps to reform the justice delivery by the tribunals. For example- The Finance Act of 2017 merged eight tribunals according to functional similarity. This would help to group similar cases together and ensure speedy justice. It is the need of the hour that the Union government shows enough will to force systemic tribunal reforms. A reform to the tribunals system in India may as well be one of the keys to remedy the age old problem that still cripples the Indian judicial system – the problem of judicial delay and backlog.

 

Q.5)Indo-Myanmar relations have seen bilateral cooperation to deter insurgencies in north-east India. Analyze the importance of India-Myanmar ties for India.

Why this question 

Neighbourhood relations are an important part of GS paper II

Key demand of the question 

Significance of Indo Myanmar relations and steps to further boost it.

Directive 

Analyse- Break an issue into its constituent parts. Look in depth at each part using supporting arguments and evidence for and against as well as how these interrelated to one another.

Introduction 

Give a brief introduction of the evolution of Indo Myanmar relations.

Body:

In the first part, mention the significance of Indo Myanmar relations- economic, strategic and security.

In the next part, write about the recent developments in the relations of the two countries and the challenges around it w.r.t. Rohingyas, increasing Chinese influence, etc.

Conclusion 

Conclude by giving steps to boost the ties.

Model Answer

India and Myanmar signed a Treaty of Friendship in 1951. The visit of the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 laid the foundations for a stronger relationship between India and Myanmar. India-Myanmar relations are rooted in shared historical, ethnic, cultural and religious ties. In line with its Act East and Neighbourhood First policies, India has laid emphasis on boosting its cooperation with Myanmar.

Significance of Myanmar for India

  1. Connectivity- Myanmar is the only ASEAN country bordering India which provides a gateway to SouthEast Asia. India is building the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, a road-river-port cargo transport project, to link Kolkata to Sittwe in Myanmar and then from Myanmar’s Kaladan river to India’s north-east.
  2. Security- Myanmar military cooperates with India in preventing North Eastern militants, most notably Naga insurgents, from using Myanmar as a safe haven.
  3. Economic- India is the fifth largest trading partner of Myanmar. Some of the Indian companies such as Essar, GAIL, and ONGC Videsh Ltd. have invested in Myanmar’s energy sector.
  4. Cultural Significance- India and Myanmar share cultural ties in terms of Buddhist heritage and shared history of colonialism. Building on this shared heritage, India is undertaking some key initiatives in the restoration of the Ananda Temple in Bagan and the repair and conservation of a large number of damaged pagodas.
  5. Indian Community- There are varying estimates of 1.5-2 million people of Indian origin living and working in various parts of Myanmar.

However, recently we have seen that the relations between India and Myanmar have strained on issues such as Rohingya refugees, smuggling of illegal arms, drugs and counterfeit currency and these issues have increased the Chinese presence in Myanmar further complicating the issues. 

For India, Myanmar is the key in linking South Asia to Southeast Asia and the eastern periphery becomes the focal point for New Delhi’s regional outreach. Therefore it is important for India to have a friendly neighbour by its borders to preserve its security and sovereignty.