Q.1) ”In every progressive economy, there has been a steady shift of employment and investment from the essential primary activities to secondary activities of all kinds and to a still greater extent into tertiary production”. In the light of the current initiatives taken for the revival of MSME’s, comment on the statement with your opinion on the burgeoning signs of distress and the disequilibrium of employment present amongst the three sectors.
We need to understand that manufacturing sector is crucial for employment generation and development of an economy. However, when we look at the present state of employment opportunities in India, we find India still maintaining the imbalance, resulting into diminishing returns that can only be cured by diverting the extra workforce to remaining sectors i.e. secondary and tertiary.
Mention the GDP and employment data of all the three sectors quickly enumerating the signs of distress that’s working towards this imbalance. The third part should be focussed on the recent initiatives taken for the revival of the MSMS’s to tackle the employment disequilibrium.
Today’s Top Answer is written by – Ramdas
Ans) The statement raises the question if the Indian economy can really be called progressive especially in the light of employment related challenges and role of MSMEs in providing solutions.
– The Indian economy is in the phase of transition and hence investment is rising in secondary and tertiary sectors and there is gradual shift of employment away from agriculture.
– However, employment generation away from agriculture was below the potential due to jobless growth of last 2 decades in spite of LPG reforms after 1991 aiming at structural adjustment.
– Though contribution of agriculture to GDP has come down to 18% of GDP, its contribution to the employment is still 47%(Economic survey 2015). This creates distressful employment in agriculture.
– Additionally disequilibrium is created as India has moved from agriculture dominant to service sector dominant stage while skipping the stage of manufacturing dominance which could have generated massive additional employment.
– Service sector contributes 51% of GDP but only 27% to the employment. This means despite higher investments, it is not able to absorb excess labour force.
– Industry sector, on the other hand is at equilibrium with contribution of 31% to GDP and 24% to employment.
Faced with the challenges of gainful employment creation to reap demographic dividend, Govt has identified MSME sector as catalyst due to its advantages like
– Low initial capital.
– Higher employment per unit of investment.
– Low gestation period.
– Easier compliance with labour laws.
– Potential for balanced regional development and inclusive growth.
– Govt has launched schemes like MUDRA yojana, Start up India- Stand up India, venture capital fund for entrepreneurs, technology upgradation and marketing support schemes.
Successful implementation of these programs along with Skill India and Make in India can help India become a progressive economy with high quality of employment.
Today’s Top Answer is written by – Strenuous
Ans) No country can dream of becoming an advanced economy without treading the path of industrial boom. The Indian story is perplexing in a way that it missed industrial path to make a huge leap to service sector from agriculture sector. Composition of these three sectors in employment and GDP share itself speaks of Indian economic structure lacunae.
– Agricultural sector employs 50% of country’s population with just 14% share in GDP. The magnitude of disguised unemployment is evident from the figures.
-Industries contribute 26% in GDP with just 20% employment. It shows the potential of this sector to give a huge push to our GDP if resources are employed.
-Service sector too is indispensable for economy for its huge share in GDP i.w 57% with just 31% employment.
In order to give impetus to industrial sector in general and MSME in particular, various schemes have been launched:
– National Skill Development Mission to reap demographic potential.
– MSME cluster development for holistic cooperation in value added and supply chain.
– MUDRA bank for easy financing.
– Marketing assistance.
– Dedicated schemes to encourage khadi, handloom etc.
In order to fix disequilibirium in employment, surplus labour from agriculture should be off loaded to be employed in manufacturing sector complemented by enabling environment for industries to flourish.
Q.2) Couched in the terms of ‘protecting women’, the factory laws have essentially protected men. Critically examine the statement and make a case for elimination of women being an ‘afterthought’ for the future policymakers.
The process of amending the laws has been underway since 2011 and the trend shows that the most vulnerable of the workers (big or small factories) have been lawfully deprived of even their basic rights as workers. Try going back a bit in time and observe that post Second World War, laws disallowed women form working in certain occupations and sectors, to ensure that men returning from the war would be able to get jobs in factories. Women used to do the same work when men were out their fighting. Therefore, these age-old restrictions having their genesis in that historical time, have found a place in most of the factory laws of the world.
This question leads you to even question what holds true for “dangerous operations” due to which women aren’t allowed – Shouldn’t all the workers be protected from these life-threatening operations?
Mention some of the steps taken for the betterment and the third part should address the policy issues to be taken care of for the future betterment of women working conditions and treating them at par with their male counterparts.
Today’s Top Answer is written by – Sepoy No 1446
Ans) Women make half of population.But their participation in Indian labour market remains highly skewed. Some of the labor laws actually contribute to this situation.
Indian labour laws have made specific provisions with respect to working condition for women.For example,Factory laws 1948 has provisions like restriction on doing night shifts.This acts as a discouragement to wider women participation.This in a way helps men to gain more employment opportunity.Further women are not allowed to operate certain machinery and their parts.This creates “legally sanctioned disability”,and hence gives more opportunity to male workers.
However few acts are more effective.For example,Maternity benefit act 1961 has provision of paid leave during pregnancy. This helps in adjustment of work-life balance and prevents many women from quitting jobs.
Today,women are as capable as men and the laws of 60s and 70’s that were made keeping in view the protectionist and patriarchal views of society won’t work.Any delay in this front will delay India’s progress, both in terms of women empowerment and in terms of India empowerment,as such their contribution to GDP growth has been well accepted by recent IMF research.In the view of social transformation and globalization and to further strengthen women empowerment, women should be made a “first-thought” in all future labour laws,instead of doing later addendum and amendments.
Today’s Top Answer is written by – Vidhu
Ans) Women, the fairer sex, has always been considered as fragile and fit for mainly non-hazardous works. No matter how much effort women put in order to break this misconception, the traditions, customs, laws of the world make the situation which cannot be considered as equal for men and women.
Factory / Labour laws have in the same sense been a bit a inclined towards the men. There are provisions like men getting more wages than women, women not allowed to operate certain machines in factories are a few. The government’s instruction that women should not work beyond 8 pm in IT industry although for their safety
can also be seen as form of discrimination which deprives them of some extra money. Women have also been struggling to get permanent commission in armed forces which deprived them of better work opportunities.
But there are certain provisions like extended maternity leave and bonus, Vishakha guidelines for anti sexual harassment , crèche facilities for mothers which help create a holistic environment for women to work.
History proves that be it in fields, household or in times of war, women have helped in the cause. The government needs to ensure that they are treated and paid equally as men are. The permanent commission for women in navy can be the 1st step. We have major world and corporate leaders as women which should be an eye opener and foundation for more gender neutral labour laws.
Q.3) Has the ‘Drugs and Cosmetics Act’ been stretched far beyond its breaking point? Suggest a way forward for its much-needed overhaul.
It is a direct question dealing with the issues still present as a patch on the bill and the various lacunae that it still hosts.
You should mention about the ‘efficacy’ and ‘effectiveness’, Clinical trials, Challenges of the ‘Fixed Dose Combination Drugs (number of approvals + WHO guidelines).
The much needed overhaul requires one to provide inputs to strengthen the country’s drug regulatory system.
Today’s Top Answer is written by – RKM
Ans) Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 regulates the import, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs and cosmetics.
Reasons for it reaching to brittle point –
1.India is on the threshold of becoming the hub of clinical trials because of abundant availability of vulnerable people at low cost. There is no penalty of violating clinical trail provision in 1940 Act rules.
2.Lack of proper standards for testing of Drugs.
3.Lack of regulator for licensing of Drugs.
4.Narrow definition of “Drug” and Clinical trail.
Way forward is to implement Mashelkar Committee recommendations such as-
Enhanced penalties for clinical trial and other offences and provision of special courts to try offences related to spurious and adulterated drugs.
Replace the Drugs Technical Advisory Boards with the Central Drugs Authority (CDA) which shall be the licensing authority for the manufacturing, distribution, sale, import and export of drugs and cosmetics.
Expand the definition of “drugs” to include medical devices. Also Define “clinical trial”, and all clinical trials shall require the approval of the CDA. “Clinical trial” means systematic study of any drug or cosmetic [not just ‘new’ drugs as per 1940 Act].
Government shall set up a CDA of India Fund. It shall be used for salaries of the members and employees of the CDA and for the implementation of the Bill.
Today’s Top Answer is written by – Somestuff
Ans) A burgeoning pharmaceutical sector in India and the emergence of online market-place models have posed challenges to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, which seem to render it obsolete in attending today’s challenges.
Some of the issues with this Act are:
It does not address the concerns of online sale of drugs – this was highlights in the recent issue of Flipkart selling prescription drugs
The regime of pharmaceutical pricing for essential drugs has led to many companies levying charges of regulatory over-reach against NPPA
Drug testing seems to be a grey zone due to little protection for the vulnerable sections. The HPV trials in Chhattisgarh and Telangana, where consent was not properly obtained highlights this issue
The failure of popularizing generics in the public is another instance where the act has failed
Steps required tending to these issues
Strictly enforce prescriptions for select drugs at stores and online. The culture of impunity with which people purchase any drugs off-the-shelf should be removed
NPPA should consult pharmaceutical companies before bringing any drugs under the NLEM. Otherwise it would lead to shut down in production of drugs that are not remunerative
Awareness programmes should be carried out to ensure that people don’t fall for false claims of dug testing companies and that they are fully cognizant of possible consequences
Doctors should be asked to prescribe generics, at least in rural areas. Further Jan Aushadi stores need to be revamped to allow people to purchase generic equivalents of drugs they know.
Given the increasing size and scope of the Pharma sector, there is a need to revamp it in tune with changing times.
Q.4) Is green the colour of growth? Comment in the light of the US-India energy relationship.
One should write about “Green being the present colour of growth” as the central THEME, in the first part of the question as it will help one stick to the question asked and will help provide a proper framework to the question.
In the conclusion, a short analysis of how does the world see this cooperation or how important it holds for the other States to follow the same should be written to give it a complete picture. While commenting, you need to bring the other side of this as well. Whether Green is the color of growth? Hint- India’s major energy dependency is still on the non-green side.
Top Answer by Samudragupta
Reports and surveys have repeatedly made a case for mass extinction if problems like climate change,global warming pollution etc are not tackled.This awareness of the problem has meant that green definitely should be the colour of growth.
India and countries world over are engaging themselvs in several initiatives like kyot protocol,montreal protocol,anti desertification to rein in climate change.In this context indo-US energy relationship can be summarised as follows:
The relationship grew from a normal energy dialogue in 2005 to promotion of clean energy
Recent breakthrough in nuclear liability would further clean energy development through US supply of nuclear reactors.
A joint R&D center has been established to research on clean energy and connect policy makers and industrialists in both countries.
A clean energy promoting fund called PACE setter fund has been established.
US vowed to reing its emmission and we are trying to come up with workable figures of INDC to be adhered to
The above ind0-US energy relationship definitely makes a case for clean and greene nergy.But on the downside our growth cannot be all the green because
We are still a developing country and green growth I costly.This would deter out process of development.
Most of the systems in place be it in enery,manufacturing or otherwise are pollutin.It will be sometime before growth becomes green enough.
US is developed and it can afford green growth whereas india cannot.SO US-India relationship in energy and their emphasis on less pollution should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Overall though green definitely is the colour of growth,it should occur gradually for India.
Today’s Top Answer is written by – Peeku
Ans) Recently, the US ambassador to India Richard Verma called Green the colour of growth. Green is not only the colour of growth but also symbolizes harmony, nature and most importantly sustainability-the most important dimension of development. In the light of US-India energy relationship, GREEN has become the dominant theme:
In 2009, President Obama and then-Prime Minister Singh launched the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy. Now, Prime Minister Modi and President Obama have committed to strengthen and expand the initiative.
The US Embassy and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy launched the India Clean Energy Finance Forum ( high level policy discussion) and the U.S.-India Task Force on Clean Energy Finance.
Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center supports cutting-edge research in solar energy, advanced biofuels, and energy efficient buildings.
Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) program to greatly accelerate the deployment of off-grid clean energy.
Recent breakthrough understandings in the civil nuclear sector will allow building of low-carbon base-load nuclear power plants.
With issues like dependence on coal for energy and energy poverty and inequality, the US India energy relationship holds immense potential. The challenge for India however will be to pick the right technologies and to define the level of support that the government should provide and what incentives might be put in for the private sector to augment the government’s involvement.
Q.5) India has been attempting to promote high technology industries. What do you mean by ‘high technology industries’? Examine with the help of recent examples if India is capable of walking down this path.
Features should be written about “High-tech industries” as it forms the base of this question.
This question has to be answered with the examination of the recent strides taken by India and so one needs to restrict oneself with the deficiencies which can just be lightly put in the conclusion, as issues to be worked upon to achieve the same.
Today’s Top Answer is written by – Peeku
Ans) High technology industries are those which employ cutting edge or the most advanced technology available. Such industries need highly skilled personnel and high investments in R&D. Qualcomm in wireless chips, Intel in computing, and Airbus are some examples.
India has many assets to build such an industry. It has strong core engineering skills. In sectors like automobiles and pharmaceuticals, India is beginning to have global presence.This has deepened India’s management skills. Knowledge of English has been a big advantage too.The IITs and NITs graduate a sizable number of students in science and engineering. Recent examples proving this stand are:
1.ISRO successfully launched GSLV-D6 carrying GSAT-6 satellite. Also, more satellites are planned to be launched during 2015-16. These include GSAT-15; IRNSS-1E, IRNSS-1F & IRNSS-1G; and Space science satellite ASTROSAT.
2.Biotechnology is developing at a fast pace with India being 3rd biggest biotech industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Recently, Indian biotech firm Stempeutics Research gets China Patent for its novel stem cell drug. It is the only company in the world to get a patent from the Chinese patent office.
3. India-based Neutrino Observatory Project has been recently approved for non-accelerator based high energy and nuclear physics research in India.
4. Microelectronics is also developing with projects as Digital Programmable Hearing Aids going on.
Although there are issues like brain drain and many projects are done with foreign help, India seems to have the potential of walking down this path. Building a world class and globally competitive high technology industry is a huge task, but India has most of the ingredients for success.
Today’s Top Answer is written by – Nishant
Ans) High Tech Industries have three broad features:
Need highly skilled labor
Large investment in R & D
Access to and demand in global markets
India’s traditional PSU model to promote high tech industries has largely failed to deliver good results. But recent examples have given a more optimistic view in this regard:
ISRO – With the emphatic success of its Mars Mission and rapidly improving satellite launch technology has become the cynosure of all eyes. It is now launching satellites for other advanced countries
Pharmaceutical Industry – Indian generic drug makers showcase our skills in frugal reverse engineering. They have huge demands in African countries where drug delivery is scare.
Additionally, India has strong core engineering skills that have huge scope in semiconductor chip design, computing etc. To illustrate, 1/4th of all engineers at Intel are Indian. But the positive signs aren’t without certain caveats:
Capital investment is hard to come by domestically. Advanced countries attach conditionalities to their funding with an aim to derail India’s attempts at high tech industries. A clear policy and tough stand at WTO is needed on India’s part to prevent cases like dumping of cheap mobiles by China into India markets.
Retention of local talent and promoting to original R&D work to prepare a strong domestic base.