Q.1) “NewSpace” is a rapidly growing market that will be worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the next decade and India needs to leverage the same. Comment. 10 marks (150 words)
Why this Question:
On May 30, history was created by SpaceX when NASA astronauts were launched into orbit by the first-ever commercially-built rocket and spacecraft.
Can start with the above news only ( Opening with current event shows you are well aware about the topic)
- ISRO is already performing well - MOM, Chandrayaan
- It can become a dominant player in commercial space
- Further many doors of opportunity are opening in this sector. Reportedly, more than 17,000 small satellites will be launched in Low Earth Orbit by 2030.
- Exciting Indian space-tech startups are emerging in this area.
- For instance, Prixxels, founded by two BITS Pilani graduates, is building a constellation of nano-satellites to provide global, real-time and affordable satellite imagery services.
- Bengaluru-based startup, Bellatrix Aerospace offers novel “electric propulsion” systems, which have applications in the field of nano and micro-satellite propulsion.
- And Mumbai-based startup Manastu Space has developed a “green propulsion” system using hydrogen peroxide as fuel.
Steps to unleash the potential:
Reforms already announced:
- Opening up space and atomic energy to private players
- Providing a levelling of the playing field for private companies in satellites, launches and space-based services by
- introducing a predictable policy and regulatory environment to private players and
- providing access to geospatial data and facilities of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Reforms/Initiatives to be focused upon:
- First is the crucial issue of funding.
- We must trust and support early-stage innovations through “adventure” capital, not just risk-averse venture capital.
- We also need “patient” capital, as the lead times are long in this sector.
- Second, startups need a head start in the market and the current public procurement system is heavily loaded against them.
- The lowest-cost-selection approach must change to lower total cost of ownership.
- Third, we need to create a robust space tech-startup national innovation ecosystem comprising incubators, accelerators, scalerators and mentors.
- ISRO has a pivotal role in anchoring this initiative.
- Fourth, we urgently need a law that allows private players to participate across the space value chain, not just bits of it, as is the case today.
- The draft Space Activities Bill, introduced in 2017, has lapsed. This is an opportunity to rewrite it with a bold perspective.
Leveraging the potential requires robust policies and prudent space diplomacy.
Q.2) Electronics manufacturing is an important component for making India Aatma Nirbhar. Comment. Highlight the steps taken by the government to boost electronic manufacturing in India. (15 marks - 250 words)
Why this question? - Three schemes approved earlier(in March), with a ₹48,000-crore outlay, to boost large-scale manufacturing of electronics in the country have been launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology recently.
Intro - Mention briefly about Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Mission and importance of electronics sector for making it a success.
Body - Highlight the present status of electronics manufacturing and potential of the sector. Then mention the steps taken by the government - National Policy on Electronics, 2019, Modified Special Incentive Scheme (MSIPS), Electronics Manufacturing Clusters and Electronics Development Fund etc.
Way forward - Pace of implementation of above mentioned schemes needs to be increased etc.
Conclude - For making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024, self-reliant electronics sector is very important.
Q.3) Highlight the significance of Indo-Pacific for India and also discuss the major initiatives taken by India to enhance cooperation in Indo-Pacific.
Why in news:
- Define Indo Pacific concept.
- Use a map to show the region.
- Discuss the significance: Development of Coastal people, environment conservation, countering assertive policy of China and Disaster relief cooperation etc.
- Highlight the initiatives: IORA, Quad, Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) etc
- Conclude by suggesting the ways to strengthen cooperation in indo pacific.
Q.4) Law enforcement is next only to healthcare in its criticality such as COVID-19 pandemic. Comment (250 words)
Why this question?
As India enters a new phase of Unlock mode the issue of crimes in society needs to be taken care of in an efficient manner.
In a society struck by a deadly virus such as COVID-19, strict maintenance of public order is most essential.
- Effect of lockdown and social distancing on crime rates
- Overall decrease in crime rates
- Increase in domestic violence
- Challenges ahead
- probable rise in organized crime
- Keeping prisons free of virus
- SoP for police forces
- Public cooperation etc
Many other crimes have gone up or will assume new forms in the near future. As we enter unlock mode, it is incumbent on law-enforcement officials to think of ways of dealing with new challenges in maintaining law and order.
Q.5) Indian Prime Minister had raised concerns with India’s dependence on imports, specifically highlighting the over 30 percent Imports in the air conditioners sector. Critically analyze the recent govt. Initiatives for attaining self-reliance.
Why this question
While the Indian industry has been asked to set new targets towards building self-reliance in furniture, footwear and air conditioners, the government has parallelly begun laying the groundwork to achieve this in at least 10 promising sectors.
India’s import dependency:
- India imported $467.2 billion worth of commodities between April and March 2019-2020.
- Of this, leather and leather products were $1.01 billion, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones were about $22.4 billion.
- Electrical and non-electrical machinery were $37.7 billion.
- Machine tool imports were about $4.2 billion.
- Discuss recent initiatives like Atma-Nirbhar Bharat, Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme
- Performance of these schemes
Concerns with Atma Nirbhar Bharat scheme
- With Atma Nirbhar Bharat, there is a danger of India going back to an import substitution framework which may not be quite appropriate in the 21st century.
- It is a difficult path in which the financial and technological resources required would be very high.
- Violation of WTO norms: Increasing import duties may cross WTO prescribed limits and invite disputes.
- However, here, measures like the home ministry’s intent to remove imported products from its central police canteens, while discriminatory, will not clash with India’s international trade commitments.
- For government procurement, there is an exception. Countries are allowed to bend in favour of their producers.
Conclusion: provide a way forward:
- Being strategic: We need to be strategic in terms of the choice of sectors in which we want to be self-reliant. There should be a very strong case for increasing domestic value addition, besides considering aspects of consumer safety and national security.
- Raising import duties: While implementing measures like increasing import duties, we will need to make sure we are not crossing the WTO bound rates.
We have to emphasise Indian production of a certain scale, certain quality and certain standards. Then only the Indian product will match up to the best in the world.