Q.1) Despite having many irritants, India-Bangladesh shares a robust ties, carefully cultivated since 2008. Comment (15 marks - 250 words)
Why this question? - Dhaka has begun to discuss a Chinese loan to manage the Teesta river, the water sharing of which is a part of India-Bangladesh agreement, at a time when India is particularly wary about China following the standoff in Ladakh.
Intro - A brief about their relationship.
- Present status of India-Bangladesh ties along with recent developments.
- Major irritants.
- Issues that need early resolution.
Way ahead -
- Lower hanging fruits: The sides can address the less conflictual issues, as it will be difficult to address the Teesta project before the West Bengal elections due next year.
- Implement its assurances in a time-bound manner: The greater attention is required to development projects in Bangladesh under the Indian Lines of Credit.
- Collaboration in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine: Including its trial, and looks forward to early, affordable availability of the vaccine when ready.
Conclusion - Summarize based on above discussion.
Q.2) The NEP, 2020 emphasises vital linkage between education and technology for a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. But new technology is often seen as an antithesis to equity and inclusion. Critically analyse. (15M, 250 words)
Why this question?
- The NEP, 2020 proposes an autonomous body called National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) will be entrusted with the task of advising institutions on use of technology, capacity building, providing directions for research and innovation and creating avenues for exchange of ideas. Thus the question.
- Mention the bold initiatives of NEP, 2020 for linking technology and education-National Educational Technology Forum (NETF).
Discuss the pros and cons of technology in education:
- Digital divide and associated challenges on equity
- Inclusive learning and student diversity
Advantages of technology- remote learning
Conclusion: Summarize and provide a way forward for leveraging technology as an enabler in education- Invest in ICT infrastructure
New technology is often seen as an antithesis to equity and inclusion. But new technology can also promote egalitarianism in higher education, if access to technology is democratised and values of inclusion are institutionalised.
Q.3) The Coronavirus crisis has nudged us to fundamentally reform our labour markets, to attract people to our cities where we ensure healthy living conditions, and to create economic opportunities in rural India. Examine. (10 M, 150 words)
Why this question?
- Over 85 per cent of employment in India is in the informal sector. An unplanned national lockdown halted economic activity and wiped out livelihoods, especially of informal workers. Thus the question.
Mention the challenges posed by the Coronavirus crisis-
- Rising unemployment: The Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy (CMIE) estimates that between mid-March and mid-April, 120 million people lost their jobs, with unemployment rising to an all-time high of 27 per cent.
- Reverse migration on big scale: Some 10 million people abandoned cities to return to their native villages.
Body: Discuss the challenges we must address:
- Labour regulation,
- living conditions for migrant labour in cities, and
- the strength of our rural economy.
Conclusion: Summarize and provide a way forward along the following points
- Corporate farming
- Encourage agro-processing
- Invest massively in rural connectivity
- Massive private home-building programme