Q.1) Discuss the various reasons for slowdown in Indian economy and suggest some measures to revive the economy amid the pandemic.
Why in news:
As we exit the lockdown, our economic reboot is likely to be a long haul marked by fits and starts.
- A sharp decline in the real GDP: From the 8.5% growth that the government expected in the Union Budget 2019-20.
- Discuss about various reasons such as fall in manufacturing growth and investments.
- Suggest some measure like increase in expenditure etc.
- The Centre’s interventions to re-awaken a bruised economy could get greater returns in agriculture. A big slump in overall demand should not let farmers down.
Q.2) The Prime Minister has brought up the significance of local manufacturing and consumption of locally produced goods, stating that Indians needed to become “vocal for local”. But there are some concerns associated with it. Critically analyse. (15 Marks, 250 words)
Why this question?
- To overcome these testing times, the Prime Minister has come up with Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan that promotes local economy.
- Prime Minister had raised concerns with India’s dependence on imports, specifically highlighting the over 30 percent Imports in the air conditioners sector.
- A brief about Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
- Significance of self reliance
- 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.
- 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.
- Trade distortion: Increasing import duties may cross WTO prescribed limits and invite disputes.
- Regulations: A key issue holding back manufacturing in the country and a lack of flexibility in labour laws, high costs and low availability of land and high cost of electricity.
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.
Q.3) India’s interests would be best served if stability in the Persian Gulf littoral region is ensured properly. Discuss (250 words)
Why this question?
The current adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on India’s economic relations with the GCC countries has now become a matter of concern.
Mention India’s ties with the region in brief(oil,trade)
- The equations in the Persian Gulf region
- Background of the geopolitics of the region
- Ties of the region with India and significance of these
- Framework for Ensuring peace in the region
Ensuring stability through cooperative security rather than through the alternative of competitive security.
Q.4) With the spotlight on social media regulations across the globe, there is a need to discuss at length the need to create an evidence based, proportionate and targeted regulation. Comment (15 marks - 250 words)
Why this question? - As most technology platforms are built on surveillance based models, this has once again brought the issue of Regulating these platforms in focus.
Intro - One can start by comparing global scenario(GDPR) with Indian(IT Act).
Body - Need to regulate social media platforms. Then mention regulations available in India and highlight issues associated with these regulations.
Way forward - Evidence based, proportionate and targeted regulation is the need of the hour.
Conclusion - There is the need to properly figure out ways to address these issues given our addiction to free content and given that privacy harms can often be amorphous or long-term.