1. What are the positive and negative impacts of globalization on farmers in India? (GS Paper-1, Indian Society) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Introduction: Briefly define globalisation
· Discuss the positives and Negative impact of globalisation on Indian agriculture
· Conclude with possible solution
Globalisation aims at integrating national economy with that of the world. Increased free and open international trade, foreign investment, technology exchange etc. are all integral to the globalised world. Globalisation had a significant impact on Indian agriculture – in many good and some bad ways.
Positive Impact of globalisation:
- Economic impact: Globalisation enabled greater access to technological advancements in agriculture, including high yield varieties, genetically modified crops (GM crops) and micro irrigation techniques. Foreign investments in agriculture in contract farming, cold storage and food processing have helped farmers. Access to foreign markets has greatly boosted Indian agricultural exports.
- Social impact: Globalisation helped improve food productivity and production and helped transform rural agrarian societies. It has empowered the farmers to understand, reach out and compete in global markets. The new technologies, especially in irrigation, helped in addressing rural water stress and keeping agriculture viable. It has also helped change the agrarian society’s attitudes towards new technologies in farming.
Negative Impact of globalisation:
- Economic impact: Multi National Companies (MNCs) captured the Indian markets making farmers dependent on the expensive high yield seeds and fertilizers. Attraction of global market resulted in farmers shifting from traditional or mixed cropping to unsustainable cropping practices. The competition from cheaper imports pushed down the prices of crops like cotton, wheat etc making agriculture unsustainable for many farmers.
- Social impact: Unsustainable agriculture practices post-globalisation and the inability to compete against cheaper imports contributed to distress migration of rural farmers, destroying rural agrarian societies and traditional family structures. The dependency of MNC seeds resulted in farmers losing touch with indigenous seeds and farming methods. Globalisation caused change in food habits with increased consumption of proteins, sugars and fats causing increase in lifestyle diseases.
More than 50 per cent of Indian population is still dependent on agriculture as the main source of income. In this era of globalisation, the farmer not only needs to be protected from the harmful impact of globalisation, but also needs to be empowered through institutional and infrastructural reform to take full advantage of it.
2.The Election Commission of India (EC) has not enough powers to deal with inflammatory or divisive speeches in the election campaign. Discuss. What are the possible actions it can take against candidates and parties? (GS Paper-2, Polity) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Write about powers of EC
· Discuss the possible actions it can take against candidates and parties
· Conclude with the limitations of EC
Reference– Laxmikanth/ Current Affairs
The run-up to the 2019 general election has seen several violations of the Model Code of Conduct. EC has imposed campaign bans, ranging from two to three days, on some political leaders.
Election Commission of India:
- The Election Commission of India is a Constitutional Body.
- Article 324 says the superintendence, direction and control of all elections to Parliament, the State legislatures, and the offices of the President and Vice-President shall be vested in the EC.
- Power of EC is seen as unlimited and unconditional in the matter of holding elections.
- In other words, the EC can take any action it deems fit to ensure that elections and the election process are free and fair.
- The independence of the EC is preserved by clauses in the Constitution that say the Chief Election Commissioner cannot be removed from office except in the manner provided for the removal of a Supreme Court judge and that the conditions of his service cannot be varied to the incumbent’s disadvantage after appointment.
What are the possible actions it can take against candidates and parties?
- The EC monitors the adherence of political parties and candidates to the ‘Model Code of Conduct’.
- The code is a set of norms laid down by the EC, based on a consensus among political parties, spelling out the dos and don’ts for elections. However, it does not have statutory value, and it is enforced only by the moral and constitutional authority of the EC.
- If the violations are also offences under election law and the criminal law of the land, the EC has the power to recommend registration of cases against the offenders.
- However, for some violations — such as canvassing for votes during a period when electioneering is barred, making official announcements while the MCC is in force, and making appeal to voters on sectarian grounds — the EC has the power to advise or censure candidates, in addition to directing registration of cases.
- In some cases, as recent incidents would show, the EC may bar candidates or leaders from campaigning for specified periods.
- Asking individuals to leave a constituency or barring entry into certain areas are other powers that the EC may exercise. These powers are not necessarily traceable to any provision in law, but are generally considered inherent because of the sweeping and plenary nature of the EC’s responsibility under the Constitution to ensure free and fair elections.
- Its powers extend to postponing elections to any constituency, cancelling an election already notified, and even to abrogate or annul an election already held.
- While postponement on the grounds of rampant bribery of voters has been done on a few occasions, the resort to the grave action of rescinding the notification for a Lok Sabha constituency happened in Vellore in the current general election.
What are the limitations of the EC’s powers?
- The EC does not have the power to disqualify candidates who commit electoral malpractices. At best, it may direct the registration of a case.
- The EC also does not have the power to deregister any political party. However, the Constitution empowers the EC to decide whether a candidate has incurred disqualification by holding an office of profit under the appropriate government, or has been declared an insolvent, or acquired the citizenship of a foreign state.
When a question arises whether a candidate has incurred any of these disqualifications, the President of India or Governor has to refer it to the EC. The poll panel’s decision on this is binding.
Recently India and Bolivia have signed an agreement for the development and industrial use of lithium. Discuss the significance of this agreement. (GS Paper-3, Economy) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Then discuss the importance of this agreement
Reference– Current Affairs
India and Bolivia have signed an agreement for the development and industrial use of lithium, a prime component used to power electric vehicles and cell phones.
Significance of the agreement:
- Bolivia is estimated to hold over 60% of the world’s reserves for lithium but has not yet started producing it commercially.
- India is the second largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world and has the ambitious goal of 30 per cent electric vehicles by 2030. But India imports all its lithium-ion batteries since India has no known sources of lithium, and zero lithium-ion battery manufacturing capabilities currently.
- As a result, India is heavily dependent on China, Taiwan and Japan for import, especially of batteries required for portable electronics.
- With this agreement, number of Indian companies setting up production capabilities in Bolivia goes up, as well as the import of lithium to India.
- This agreement could also turn out to be the backbone for the recently launched FAME India policy (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles) and will also give a substantial push to India’s ambition to have at least 30 per cent of its vehicles run on electric batteries by 2030.
This agreement will make Bolivia, which is known to have one-fourth of the world’s lithium reserves, one of the major provider of metal for India’s e-mobility and e-storage needs.
Do you think that we have a moral obligation towards nature because it is intrinsically valuable? Explain your position with due justification. (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Explain your position with the help of ethical theory
· Give possible solutions
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
The relation between Nature and Human has remained anthropocentric, and accordingly, the conventional reason for preserving and protecting nature has been to protect our own good. However, it is high time that we replace anthropocentric perspective with ecological perspective, and realise that we have a moral obligation towards nature because it is intrinsically valuable, and as humans we are organically related with the nature.
Taking cue from Kant, we should treat nature never simply as means but always as an end. Human beings shall not consider themselves as dominant and separate from nature, nor treat nature as subordinate. Thus, rather than attributing instrumental value to nature we must attribute intrinsic value to nature.
Conventional developmental model shall be replaced with the model of Sustainable Development. We shall adopt a holistic perspective and must understand that the nature as whole has inherent value. We should script developmental model from the vantage point of whole nature and not as an isolated and disconnected dominant group.
Our happiness and aspirations can never be realized in isolation or at the cost of nature. The good of one is contained in the good of all.
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