current-affairs-based-mains-drill-21-may-2020

 

Q.1) Despite the success of the Blue Revolution, Indian fisheries sector is able to exploit only a fraction of its aquaculture potential. Discuss. (15 marks -250 words)

Why this question? - The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, has given its approval for implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY).

Intro - A brief about blue revolution in India.

Body - Outcomes of blue revolution - Growth, increase in production and productivity etc. Then tell full potential is yet to be achieved. Substantiate with some data, for ex, only 40% of freshwater resources exploited. 

Steps taken - Blue Revolution 2.0, PMMSY etc.

 

Q.2) Healthcare lies at the core of India’s future Development but has the government done enough for it under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat initiative. Discuss. 15 marks 250 words.

Why this question:

Experts are continuously emphasizing on relevance of public health for boosting an economy

Intro:

Start with 20 lakh crore atma nirbhar package

Healthcare is at Core:

  • Healthy population - Productivity Boost
  • Demographic Disaster Link
  • Investment in healthcare can help in meeting domestic as well as Global demands
  • Creation of innovative pharma technologies and inexpensive products is a necessity for every country

Support to Health Care under Atma Nirbhar Package:

  • strengthening of health and wellness centres, 
  • establishment of infectious diseases hospital blocks in all districts, 
  • increasing the viability gap funding from 20% to 30%
  • expansion of the laboratory network and 
  • ‘One Health’ research on zoonotic diseases under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) 
  • 50 lakh insurance cover for doctors and frontline workers

Criticism:

  • The creation of a well-balanced health system is not the objective of this crisis response
  • Further, a selective investment in some components of infectious disease control will not meet the many other essential demands on the health system.
  • Also, where will the additional health workforce needed even for this limited expansion come from, without a planned investment in education, skilling and employment.
  • Moreover India’s private health care system needs more than the ₹15,000 crore aid recently offered.
    • This amount will not be able to bring this sector, small, medium and large nursing homes and corporate hospitals.

Way Forward:

  • Adequate investment in creating a  robust health system is required that can - 
    • withstand any kind of public health emergencies, 
    • deliver universal health coverage and other targets of the Sustainable Development Goals 
    • Create mutually beneficial synergies between health and the economy. 
  • Strengthening the supply chain
  • Make inputs GST-exempt 
  • Beyond bank borrowings, the government should set up a three-year fund that will enable sustainability of the sector and fortify the system from any such future outbreak and offer subvention of interest. 

 

Q.3) The government’s recently announced public sector enterprise policy is a step towards achieving greater efficiency in the industrial sector. Comment.(250 words)

Why this question?

As part of the stimulus package, the Central government recently announced a public sector enterprise policy built on the principle of defining strategic sectors.

Intro:

Mention, in brief, the stimulus package in the context of COVID-19 threat

Body:

  • Details of the privatization move
    • Principal of having at least one PSU or a maximum of four in strategic sectors
  • Probable benefits of the move
    • Better utilization of public resources spent on these PSUs
    • Greater efficiency
    • Generation of non-tax revenue and tax revenue
  • Hurdles in the privatization drive
    • opposition from unions, 
    • concerns of allegations of graft, 
    • criticism of the sale of “family silver”
  • Previous examples (eg Air India)

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving reference to the learnings of the successful example of Hindustan Zinc privatization in 2002.

 

Q4)Explain the changes proposed in the Companies Act, that came as part of the Self Reliant India Mission Package. Also assess their impact on the overall economy.

Keywords for Answer

Intro

  • Briefly introduce the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan Package and the focus sectors

Body

  • Explain the changes proposed in the Companies Act
  • Decriminalisation of Companies Act violations involving minor technical and procedural defaults such as shortcomings in CSR reporting, inadequacies in Board report, filing defaults, delay in holding of AGM.
  • The Amendments will de-clog the criminal courts and NCLT as decriminalisation will shift such defaults to internal adjudication.
  • 7 compoundable offences altogether dropped and 5 to be dealt with under alternative framework.
  • Also assess the impact on the Overall economy like Reduced burden on NCLT, Ease of Doing Business, Improved Corporate Governance, etc..

Conclusion

  • Conclude with the other changes that are required like decriminalising provisions in the companies act particularly those relating to auditors,etc..

 

Q.5) Covid 19 gave the government an opportunity to overhaul the defence sector. Examine. 10 marks (150 words)

Why this question:

Government introduced specific reforms for the Defence sector under the Atma Nirbhar Initiative amidst the Covid 19 lockdown.

Intro:

A 20 lakh crore package was given under the atma nirbhar initiative.

Need to overhaul defence sector:

  • For most of the past decade, India had the dubious distinction of being the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for about 12% of global arms imports
  • Saudi Arabia jumped to first place in 2018 and 2019, but India still takes over 9% of global imports. 
  • This external dependence for weapons, spares and, in some cases, even ammunition creates vulnerabilities during military crises. 

Defence Sector reforms under Atma Nirbhar Initiative:

  • Enhancing Self Reliance in Defence Production:
  1. Make in India for Self-Reliance in Defence Production will be promoted by notifying a list of weapons/platforms for ban on import with year wise timelines, indigenisation of imported spares, and separate budget provisioning for domestic capital procurement. This will help reduce the huge Defence import bill.
  2. Improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency in Ordnance Supplies by Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board.
  • Policy Reforms in Defence Production:
  1. FDI limit in the Defence manufacturing under automatic route will be raised from 49% to 74%.
  2. There will be time-bound defence procurement process and faster decision making will be ushered in by setting up of a Project Management Unit (PMU) to support contract management; Realistic setting of General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) of weapons/platforms and overhauling Trial and Testing procedures.

Significance:

  • Indigenisation of Production
  • Sub contracting of Indian Manufactures will reduce
  • Boost to make in India initiative
  • Utilisation of better technologies as FDI limit increased under automatic route

Conclude:

Self-reliance should not be taken to overzealous extremes. The thrust for indigenous research and development should coexist with the import of cutting-edge military technologies to obviate near-term defence vulnerabilities.