current-affairs-based-mains-drill-22-july-2020

 

Q.1) Danger of a technological cold war between the US and China is compelling countries around the globe to join one camp or the other. In this context, highlight the implications of such a slugfest on countries around the globe and India. (15 marks -250 words)

Why this question? - A report (nearly a decade ago) by the US House Intelligence Committee flagging issues posed by Chinese telecom companies Huawei Technologies and ZTE, has now turned into a full-scale duel between the two global technology powerhouses, threatening to draw in the entire world.

Intro - Tell how restrictions on the Chinese Huawei, is leading to a new tech cold war.

Body - Discuss the implications on countries around the globe and India separately. You can further divide implications into positive and negative.

Way forward - Developing countries like India need to think from the perspective of national interest rather taking sides of one or the other camp.

Conclusion - Summarize your answer based on the above discussion.

 

Q.2) Considering the dwindling situation of the agricultural sector, suggest some steps to revamp the sector. 10 marks (150 words).

Why this question:

The deteriorating condition of the agriculture sector in the country demands a reset in order to reinstill the lost vigour and capability.

Intro:

Give a brief intro about agriculture sector ( more than 50% employment but 16% contribution to GDP)

Body:

Dwindling situation:

  • Reduced growth
  • Problem of disguised employment
  • Climate Change impact
  • Higher demand in future as currently very less is demanded by majority owing to lower purchasing power
  • Misuse of input subsidies

Steps to Revamp:

The situation calls for not only supporting the farmers but rather making India nutrient reliant even will minimum production in future by - 

  • Forecasting the nutrition requirement for 2050 as by both population and economy would have been stabilized.
  • Formulating area production plans for animal husbandry and crops considering agro ecological zones and the changing climate. The aim should be to figure out a suitable basket of crops for each area.
  • Incentivising the identified crops and practices based on area production plans while giving the farmers freedom to grow any crop.
  • Changing the nature of subsidies to one payment for farm ecosystem services so as to ensure improvement in soil health, rain water harvesting structures etc.. 
  • Calculating the real cost of production to farmers that ensures not mere survival rather healthy growth for them.
  • Investing in robust market intelligence systems which -
    • Must be independent of agriculture ministry
    • Can help manage production and price spikes
    • Must issues regular crop advisories
  • Focusing on research and development, collaborating with the private sector and using digital technologies.
  • Beginning a robust awareness campaign to instil healthier eating habits so that demand for identified crops can match the supply. Further the unhealthier items should be taxed heavily to discourage their usage.

Conclude:

Adequate level of development can be said to be achieved only when an engineer’s or doctor’s child aspires to become a farmer, anything short of that will deem to deliver incomplete justice to the son/daughter of the soil.


 

Q.3) A formal revival and re-invigoration of the Quad is needed after careful cost benefit analysis by India. Critically analyse. (15M, 250 Words)

Why this question:  Recently, a key meeting of India’s Ministry of Defence discussed the issue of adding Australia to the trilateral Malabar naval exercise with Japan and the United States in the Bay of Bengal.

Introduction to the answer:

  • Brief info about Quad
  • Reasons behind India’s joining Quad

Body: Discuss need for a proactive Quad. Afterwards mention the challenges and cost benefit analysis for Quad.

  • Cost benefit analysis for India
  • The cooperation with the U.S. and Japan without attendant benefits of strategic technology transfers such as vital anti-submarine warfare tech will not improve the Indian Navy’s deterrence potential in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • India also needs to assess that while these counties may engage in the occasional naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal, the U.S. and Japanese navies have little spare capacity for sustained surveillance and deterrence operations in the IOR.
  • The U.S. would expect in future that its Indo-Pacific partners, including India, to assist the U.S. Navy in its South China Sea endeavour.

Way forward: 

  • Seek external balancing: It is time to seek an enlargement of this grouping into a partnership of the like-minded nations who are facing Chinese harassment.

Conclusion: While Malabar remains a visible and reassuring symbol of Indo-US-Japanese solidarity, there is a need for resetting Indo-Pacific strategy, which has had no impact on China’s unfolding hegemonic master-plan.