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MAINS Q/A 09-05-2018

Q1.What is the role of family in inculcating human values?

Family is the cornerstone of the society. Human society cannot function without it. It is a universal social institution.

  • Family is the first home of citizenship and mother is the first and most important teacher of the child. From mother, he/she would learn values like truthfulness, honesty, love, respect for elders and selfless service etc.
  • A good relationship between husband and wife can help children to imbibe good values.
  • Methods of promoting values in family:
    • Love: Love, Sympathy and friendship create a balanced outlook.
    • Enthusiasm: To make life worthwhile and fruitful, we must generate enthusiasm within ourselves.
    • Promoting Basic Values: Values such as tolerance, non-violence, sympathy and compassion need to be cultivated for the well-being of the others and to create a viable and sustainable world of trust and mutual understanding to dominate suspicion.
    • Harmony in family: Harmony among all members of the family is essential for promoting good values.
    • Peace: It is a basic value for promoting goodwill in the family. A family in peace can achieve perfection and family members will be a source of strength to society.
    • Holistic Education: We should not teach industrial values or technical values but must follow holistic values which can make the family a heaven for its members.
    • Positive Attitude: All the members must have a positive attitude which can enhance the reputation and prestige of the family.
    • Constructive Actions: Negative actions always bring pain and sorrow, but constructive actions bring us pleasure and joy.
    • Chapter on family life in school curriculum
    • Religious place to educate on family life

 

Q2. What factors led to the Expansion of East India Company in India?

Two main lines of development worked to bring the British East Indies Company to India and make it a power there.  For one thing, by 1600, Portugal was losing control of the East Asian Spice trade.  Therefore, in 1601, the British East Indies Company started sending ships to the Spice Islands to gain a share of this trade. At this point, there was no intention of even going to India, let alone of conquering it, since the Mughal Dynasty had a firm grip on the subcontinent.

However, the Dutch also had designs on the spice trade and rebuffed any British efforts to take part in it.  As a result, the British East Indies Company gained the right to set up trading posts along the coast of India.  Later, some of these trading posts would grow into major cities such as Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta.

The other factor pushing the British East Indies Company toward conquest had to do with the Mughal Empire.  This dynasty had ruled most of India peacefully and tolerantly for a century since the 1500’s.  However, during the reign of Aurangzeb (1658-1707) all that changed as he started persecuting Hindus.  Not only did this trigger centuries of religious strife that still continues, it also began the decline of the Mughal Empire, which suffered from weak and corrupt government from this time on.  The resulting turmoil forced the British East Indies Company to defend its trading posts against local princes, brigands, and a new European intruder, France.

The French, to compensate for the lack of European manpower so far from home, initiated the strategy of training and arming native recruits ( sepoys) like European armies.  Such forces were so effective that local princes would trade large tracts of land for French trained sepoys, thus giving the French control over much of Southern India.  In response to this new threat, the British responded in kind by training their own sepoys.

By the end of the Seven Years War (1756-63), British naval superiority and sepoys under the leadership of Robert Clive had virtually ended French involvement in India.  Clive dramatically demonstrated the effectiveness of European trained sepoys at the battle of Plassey (1757) when his army of 2800 British soldiers and sepoys routed a Bengali army of 100,000 men.

Clive’s victories over the Bengalis and French made the British East Indies Company a major power in India, able to install its own candidate on the Mughal throne and claim the wealthy province of Bengal for itself.  British dominance resulting from these victories had three main effects.

First, British power, plus the fact that their “honorable masters” in England were 7000 miles and nine months travel away, left India wide open to exploitation by the company and its employees.  Many British took full advantage of the opportunity to “shake the pagoda tree”, as they called the collection of “gifts” from grateful local princes ( nawabs).

While a noble in Britain could live well on £800 a year, even minor company employees were making huge fortunes.  One merchant was given a profitable saltworks with 13,000 employees while another was given his own mint.  A certain Mr. Watts was awarded £117,000 for bravery at the battle of Plassey.  And Clive himself received £211,500 for installing one nawab and another £27,000 a year from another grant.

Such opportunities for making quick fortunes unleashed a flood of applicants back home for service in India, some applications being accompanied with bribes of up to £2000.  Newcomers from England were often shocked when first encountering their colleagues already in India, since they typically mixed freely with the natives and had adopted their customs, food, and clothing.  Service in India had its risks for the British, mainly tropical heat and diseases.  As one local proverb put it, “Two monsoons is the age of a man,” indicating that few Europeans survived conditions in India more than two years.  Bombay was known as “the burying ground of the British”

 

Q3. What lessons need to be learnt from RSBY for better implementation of National health protection scheme?

The proposed national health insurance scheme will have to surmount many challenges and funding might not be the biggest of them. The government will have to guard against possible abuse of the proposed scheme by hospitals and insurers. Besides, it will also have to deal with other unintended consequences such as creating a moral hazard, which can induce unnecessary expenditure and increase healthcare costs.

With the announcement of the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), India has embarked on the path of universal health coverage.

The aim of the NHPS is to cover 10 crore families with medical insurance of Rs 5 lakh per household per year. India, currently, has a highly inadequate social security structure, and the situation is especially dire in healthcare.

The country’s average out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare is one of the highest globally, at 68%, and this means that of every Rs 100 spent by the public on healthcare, Rs 68 comes from their pocket (the rest is reimbursed by insurance or is provided by the government). In comparison, the out-of-pocket expenditure is much lower in China, at 34%, and in the US it is 11%. Due to this high out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure, 7% of the population in India is pushed below poverty threshold every year.

While implementing, the government must heed the lessons from the existing government-funded insurance scheme, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).

 

First, it should ensure that patients are not charged by hospitals despite insurance coverage, as was noticed under the RSBY. The hospital may charge money from the patient as well as the insurance company as the money does not go into the hands of the patient.

 

Besides, RSBY has also been afflicted by inadequate coverage of intended beneficiaries. Therefore, out-of-pocket expenses remain high in India, especially when compared to other countries. One hopes that the new scheme is implemented in a manner that’s more effective than the RSBY.

 

Besides, there are other unintended consequences that the government should be wary of.

 

Under RSBY, people would ask for hospitalization and treatments even when it wasn’t really needed. The scheme might further promote unnecessary “tertiarization” of healthcare, leading to a cost spiral.

 

Meanwhile, hospitals empanelled in the RSBY often allegedly resort to malpractices to make money, The infractions could take the form of “admitting patient for simple fever and showing that patient suffers from serious disease”, the report quoted doctors in Delhi-NCR as saying.

 

Possible friction arising between insurers and hospitals is another area of concern. A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the implementation of the RSBY in Kerala found that claims were admitted by insurers but payments withheld. Insurance companies often irregularly reduced the claim amount on the grounds of prolonged stay, wrong disease description, etc. Shweta Khandelwal, research scientist and adjunct professor, Public Health Foundation of India, says checks and balances at the ends of both the patient and the providers will be needed to tackle such abuse.

 

Still doubts remain whether the poorest of districts will benefit from the programme. A paper on the implementation of the RSBY in Chhattisgarh as on March 2011 found that private hospitals did not show much interest in backward districts such as Dantewada, Kanker and Koriya.

 

Q4.What is Defence Production Policy 2018?

Mission, Vision and Objectives of the policy:

  • The mission is to promote the Make in India initiative in the defence sector and create a world-class arms manufacturing base, fulfilling not only the larger goal of self-reliance but also the requirements of friendly foreign countries.
  • Its vision is to put India “among the top five countries of the world in aerospace and defence industries,” but the timeframe within which this is to be achieved has not been mentioned.
  • The key objectives of the policy include development of a strong defence industry leading to higher self-reliance.
  • Other objectives include an increase in domestic arms sales to Rs 170,000 crore ($26 billion) by 2025, with around one-fifths of it –Rs 35,000 crore ($5.0 billion) – coming through exports. The policy also intends to make India a “global leader in cyberspace and AI [artificial intelligence] technologies.”
  • In order to reduce the current high import dependency, the draft policy identifies 13 sets of weapon systems/platforms whose development and manufacture would commence latest by 2025.
  • These 13 sets of weaposn include: fighters, helicopters, warships, missile systems, ammunition and explosives, land systems, and electronics.
  • Considering the present production, budget and exports of Indian defence, the above mission, vision and objectives seem unrealistic.

Salient features of the DPrP 2018:

  • The draft policy talks of further ease of doing business for the industry including the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs);
  • Pruning the existing list of items subject to industrial licence;
  • Increasing the FDI cap under automatic route from the current 49 to 74 per cent for certain niche technologies;
  • Streamlining the offset policy to attract investment and facilitate the speedy and transparent execution of offsets;
  • Rationalising the taxation system to support domestic manufacturing;
  • Providing financial assistance of up to Rs 3,000 crore each to Special Purpose Vehicles created for the development of two defence industry corridors that were recently announced, and up to Rs 100 crore each towards common testing facilities created by the industry;
  • Setting up of a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore to fund start-ups to meet specific defence R&D requirements;
  • Creating the ‘necessary mechanism’ to harness the potential of AI and Robotics for defence use; and
  • Creating an Intellectual Property Cell in DDP to facilitate the registration of intellectual property rights;
  • Setting up an Aeronautical University on a 50:50 cost sharing basis between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the government; and
  • The possibility of setting up an “autonomous National Aeronautical Commission, in line with Nuclear and Space commissions.”

Challenges in the way of DPrP 2018:

  • No clear-cut production list: The DPrP 2018 lack a clear-cut comprehensive production list of the weapons and equipments it wishes to manufacture. Though, the draft 2018 policy has identified 13 different sets of items for indigenous production, these are mostly generic names and includes items which are under production or cleared for production in the near future.
  • Various stakeholders and their varied interests: It is difficult to reconcile the varied interest of various defence agencies like DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and the Acquisition Wing of the MoD. The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) has so far attempted to reconcile the divergent interests of these stakeholders, mainly through the prioritised procurement categories that give preference to domestic industry over direct import.
  • Trust deficit of Private sector: It does not fully address the private sector’s trust deficit with the government, even though the former is expected to play a major role under the Make in India initiative. It is high time that the MoD appointed a dedicated additional secretary level official to allay such mistrust, and look after the private sector’s genuine interests.
  • Inefficiency and lack of accountability of Public Sector: The DPrP does not address the issues of inefficiency and lack of accountability on the part of the DRDO, DPSUs and OFs, which, being the mainstay of Indian defence industry for the last several decades, are responsible for much of the indignity of the country’s poor track record in attaining self-reliance.
  • Budgetary constraints: The draft DPrP faces stiff budgetary constraints that may not allow the policy’s promised investments to fructify in a time bound manner. In all, the draft policy talks of investments worth over Rs 77,000 crore by 2025—–which includes nearly Rs 70,000 crore as additional investment to increase domestic production. In all likelihood, these investments will come largely from the defence budget, either directly or indirectly. To accommodate such a large investment, the defence budget has to provide an extra Rs 11,000 crore or so per year for next six to seven years. However, this may not be feasible,
  • Other routes of Finance: Some innovative means include: corporate bonds, disinvestment proceeds, and monetisation of some defence assets. The DPrP must invite funds through such financial instruments, as it is difficult to fill up budgetary constraints otherwise.

 

 

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