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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [7th April] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

  • April 8, 2016
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SYNOPSIS- IASbaba’s TLP 2016 [7th April] – UPSC Mains GS Questions [HOT]

 


1. An under construction flyover collapsed in Kolkata recently. The accident caused death and injury to many. Are safety standards in India so precarious that lives of our citizens are compromised like this? What reasons would you attribute to this accident? What would be your response as the administrator of the area?

  • Intro:

The Vivekananda flyover project was under JNNURM. Stared in 2007, the project was to be completed in 2-3 years to ease the traffic of that area. Its collapse brings onto surface neglect on part of Government and Construction Company

  • Body:
  • Are safety standards in India so precarious? No, but the implementation is.
  1. Outdated building code : Goes back to 1970s with fewer amendment and totally out of sync with modern demands
  2. Crony capitalism: Aforementioned contract was signed by IVRCL which was already on the watch list of Indian Railways. It shows lack of concurrence between various government departments.
  3. Political expediency over long term prudency: Often the decisions taken in India are seen from political lens with meager regards to security of people. Flyover was expedited in lieu of forthcoming election.
  4. Lack of appraisal mechanism: Once the project is awarded provision of mid-term appraisal is insufficient. It gives company free hand to use inferior products
  5. Non inclusion of local people: Usually people are not engaged while taking such decisions. In this case also most of the local people were against the construction.
  6. Project delay : Usually it take years to complete a project in India due to red tapism, paucity of funds, running for clearance from pillar to post
  • Reasons for the Kolkata flyover collapse:

1. The project was delayed due to financial crunch, local protest, unavailability of land. But was ordered to be completed under deadline due to upcoming elections. This led to quick fix of cracks and other problems which should have been examined thoroughly.
2. Safety measures prescribed by Ministry of Road and Surface Transport, mandatory for contractors, were not in place. People were underneath the under constructed flyover as well as vehicles were parked.
3. Construction company responsible for the project has a history of delayed projects and is blacklisted in Jharkhand. Yet it was allocated the project, bringing out inefficient and opaque project allocation system.
4. Many red flags were raised during the construction of flyover, yet no heed was paid to them by the company.

  • Steps to be taken as an administrator:
  • Immediate measures:
  1. clear the roads to rush the injured to the hospitals
  2. Rescuing those who are stuck in the debris. Deploying SDRF,NDRF,local police and fire department/
  3. Proper identification of the deceased and arranging for their respectful funeral, and expediting the ex-gratia compensation for all the victims
  4. Filing of FIRs against the company officials, and collusive bureaucrats, and forming special task force for the investigation.
  5. Persuading the state government to form an impartial inquiry commission, and making sure that they get all resources for speedy investigation
  6. Requesting the judiciary to setup fast tract court for speedy trial and conviction
  7. Making compulsory safety audits of all the construction activities that are going on in the district, to identify any possible risk and to timely avert it..
  • Long-term measures:
  1. Safety audits and information database (through ICT) of all construction zones in my area to prevent future mishap.
  2. Disaster management plan: Proper deployment of NDRF, Proper utilization of golden hour (like arrangements for green corridor, ready availability of ambulance, equip hospitals to address casualty in large number in emergency).
  3. Increase safety awareness amongst public (via schools, rallies,etc)
  4. Involve vigilance department to oversee financial irregularities in such projects.
  • Conclusion:

      Give brief conclusion.

Best answer: MDA

GoI has declared this decade as innovation for inclusive growth and the UN has declared this decade as the decade for action on road safety. It follows that infrastructure development and safety are two wheels of the same chariot called national progress.

However, the precarious nature of safety is reflected in all disciplines of safety standards : Engineering( planning), education (civic awareness), enforcement (munipality overseeing, lack of town planning in compliance to safety norms) and emergency (lack of NDRP). The collapse of the flyover in Kolkata leading to loss of life and property and rising number of such accidents is a testimony to our non-adherence to international safety standards.

Though the investigation for technical reasons is yet to be completed, the accident can be primarily attributed to:
àViolation of safety norms: No demarcation of construction zone, allowing traffic underneath it and workers not wearing safety quipments(helmet,etc).
àRed tapism and political pressure: Despite being blacklisted in Jharkhand and prolonged delay of the project, the company (IVCR) was allowed to carry on and in view of lurking elections, hastening of project completion .
à5 year delay: might have led to corrosion of metals
àDismal town planning and Mass ignorance: the flyover was being constructed in a busy market area with narrow roads incapable of letting large vehicles pass
àCallous attitude of the company and disregard for laws: as reflected in the heir HR statement that the accident being an ‘act of God’; also, the defaulters get away with loopholes in law
Accidents like these cannot be the responsibility of govt. alone.As the administrator of the area, I would involve all stakeholders( depts.,citizens, NGOs,etc) .
àImmediate action:
# Providing Medical relief to the people
# Compensation to deceased , the wounded and help to shop owners(in the market place)
# Stringent action against the defaulter( company)
àLong term:
# Safety audits and information database (through ICT) of all construction zones in my area to prevent future mishap
# Disaster management plan: Proper deployment of NDRF, Proper utilization of golden hour (like arrangements for green corridor, ready availability of ambulance, equip hospitals to address casualty in large number in emergency)
# Arrange for Traffic and transport safety with NHAI to work in tandem to resolve technical constraints.
# Increase safety awareness amongst public (via schools, rallies,etc)
# Involve vigilance department to oversee financial irregularities in such projects.


2. The number of mobile phone consumers in India has increased rapidly in the last decade. In fact, India had one of the largest mobile phone consumer bases in the world. It provides a splendid opportunity to be tapped in order to improve governance. Do you agree? Examine.

 

Introduction:

Indian mobile connectivity story has progressed from having to wait for days to book a state trunk call to today’s one billion mobile subscribers, many of whom own a smart phone. This is being hailed as a “social revolution” and is being upheld as a model by many countries. With the unparalleled connectivity that it provides, mobile can play an important role in transforming the face of governance and the fate of millions.

Benefits:

  1. Information sharing: Communicating the policies of government like various subsidies, insurances, payments, taxation etc.
  2. Increasing citizen participation by creating a two way channel to obtaining feedback on various policies for e.g. used by TRAI to get feedback on net neutrality.
  3. Transparency: Maintain transparency while dealing with government authorities by providing constant status updates like in case of obtaining passport etc.
  4. Accountability: Due to increase communication between government and citizens it’s easy to bring accountability in the system and cut down red-tapism.
  5. Grievance redressal: Easy way to capture concerns of citizens and quick redressal mechanism by increased responsiveness. Used by Delhi govt to share places that requires garbage cleaning.
  6. Less corruption: Due to decreased in-person interaction with citizen the corruption rate is bound to fall.
  7. It makes process of single window clearance feasible.
  8. It makes governance process cheaper and faster. An application to govt. department can be made online instead of sending through post.
  9. Service delivery can be transformed as seen in the case of Kisan App

Challenges:

  1. Broadband connectivity.
  2. Maintaining common service centres.
  3. Role of the private sector and their regulations.
  4. Shift of government infrastructure to m-governance could be a challenge.
  5. Poor literacy levels.
  6. Closing gender disparities- Mobile access is in favour of males, services access might become luxury of the privileged gender. Hence lopsided effects will show in future.
  7. Security- Needs to be beefed up as majority mobile devices used in India are cheap and thus score low on providing security to users. This can hinder service delivery in case of cyber-attacks.

Conclusion:

Drop in prices of mobile phones and increased access cannot come at a better time. It is the responsibility of government to take necessary action in this regard to improving digital literacy, coming up with proper framework to address privacy issues, solving language barriers and thus utilise this opportunity to make the concept of ‘Minimum government, Maximum governance’ a reality.

Best answer: Sahil Garg

Rising Income status and consumerism in India is reflected in the growing mobile phone culture in India. This not only is a facilitator for personal communication and entertainment, but also provides a wonderful opportunity for the govt. to improve the governance in the following way:

  1. Improved two-way communication: People can be made aware about the govt initiatives. People can send their feedbacks and grievances via mobile phones. This becomes more important is providing governance in remote areas, and spreading awareness amongst the disadvantaged sections of the society.
  2. Govt can improve the governance by providing facilities for filing returns, paying bills etc. This will ensure faster delivery of services, more transparency and lesser chances of corruption.
  3. JAM (JanDhan-Aadhar-Mobile) has mobile has an integral component to provide the direct benefits transfer. This will decrease the leakages and mistargeting of subsidies.
  4. Various other areas where m-governance will change and enhance the effectiveness of govt services are education (e-education, e-basta etc.), health (online reports), public transport (traffic , parking status), police (for spreading awareness, new initiatives like Khoya Paya Portal), agriculture (Kisan Suvidha app) etc.

The effectiveness efficiency, accessibility of governance with mobiles however suffers from certain obstacles. Lesser broadband connectivity (slow pace of Bharat Net), high data charges, privacy concerns (both w.r.t to privacy over internet and mobile ), concerns regarding use of internet in a fair manner (net neutrality), availability of content in regional languages have to be dealt with to make this mobile revolution an effective tool for improved m-governance.


3. What is the importance of branding for promoting the culture and heritage of a country to attract tourism? Do you think promotional initiatives like ‘Incredible India’ have really worked in India? Critically examine.

 

India is a country with a rich history, a variety of landscapes and friendly people, which offer comparative advantages in the development of a tourism industry.  Despite continuous growth of tourism globally, India is still way behind as compared to other Asian counterparts sharing similar kinds of culture, like, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and China. India being a huge country geographically, and very rich in diverse culture, heritage, landscapes, etc. has a lot of scope and potential in bringing far more better number of tourists than what is coming as of now.

Importance of branding for promoting the culture and heritage of a country: (Choose any 5 points)

  • Creates a distinctive identity of a destination by combining all the attributes associated with that destination and making it different from its competitors
  • Increases the sales as it can describe what the particular destination is offering in just few words.
  • Spreads awareness about India’s tourism across domestic and international arenas.
  • Attracts people from various walks of life and countries which help the country in increasing its cultural image and soft power
  • Instills optimistic tendencies about Indian culture and flushes out any negative stereotypes.
  • Ensures quality assurance, accreditation and standardised wellness and recreational practices for tourists.
  • Provides information regarding quality, uses, price and availability of the branded product. Such information helps consumers in making a choice from a wide range of competing brands.
  • Saves valuable time and energy of consumers as they are well informed before making purchases.
  • Helps to create a positive image in the minds of consumers.

 

Critically examine: Promotional initiatives like Incredible India have really worked or not

Pros (Write 3 points)

Incredible India came into progress on 2002. The initiatives of this marketing campaign was to attract and promote the India internationally. This marketing campaign was one of the successful campaign ever launched by ministry of India.

  • After its launch there was the 16% increase in the tourists traffic that year. Today tourism industry is generating about more than INR 6.4 trillion that is 6.6% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in 2012. India is on 3rd rank in the fastest tourism developing countries.
  • Incredible India Campaign (IIC) has presented India under almost all the tourism factors, from nature, wildlife, greenery, mountains, beaches, eco-tourism, spirituality, to historical monuments, medical tourism, deserts, etc. The entire nation is being branded under Incredible India brand and India is a mother brand for all the states.
  • The campaign has succeeded in promoting or showing globally that India is a diverse country, a land of contrasts and a land with different combinations. It has succeeded doing mass marketing worldwide.

Conservation (Choose any 3 points)

  • India ranks 52nd in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2015 Ranking. India is not amongst top holiday destinations, forget about the World but not even in the Asia region as well despite India has too much to offer to the foreign tourists.
  • States are doing their own respective campaigns which are altogether different from Central Campaign and has no relation with central branding. Information about India through Incredible India campaign lacks clarity as there is no coordination in promoting tourism between states and center.
  • India lacks a clear and focused message for its target market.
  • Benefits offered can’t be compared with other competitive countries, as there is no uniqueness in the present branding. Since, branding means to differentiate oneself from competitors, therefore present branding lacks uniqueness from its competitors
  • IIC is confusing a foreign tourist through its incoherent branding. It is giving an imaginative and unrealistic picture of India through fancy and imaginative ads imaginative ads
  • Present branding is not successful for the long run as it is an umbrella branding where a mixed up or confusing picture of India is represented

Conclusion

Campaigns like Incredible India has no doubt boosted the tourist influx in the country. The multimillion-dollar effort is a futile exercise because India does not have necessary infrastructure to entertain more tourists than it is already getting .The need of the hour is not an expensive ad campaign but fundamental improvements in both general as well as tourism-related infrastructure.

Best answer: 007

Branding is a marketing phenomena which helps to differentiate and place a product among its competitors in the minds of customers which they can easily find out when needed in form of slogans, colors, packaging etc.

In tourism industry it is used to attract people from various walks of life and countries which help the country in increasing its cultural image and soft power. It also helps in increasing the footfall from foreign countries which also helps in providing employment to local population and indirectly help in foreign exchange market, improvement in infrastructure and also helps in growth and development of surrounding regions. We are not the first country to do so, their are various countries which sustain on tourism like Thailand, mauritius, maldives etc. so as said earlier to differentiate and attract crowd it is necessary in showing and highlighting our cultural and heritage part.

Incredible India was a initiative by central government to promote tourism on lines of other countries.

-It has helped placing India in one of the top cultural and heritage tourism list.

-It has helped in Increasing foreign tourists.

-It has also helped in development and rejuvenation of badly damaged places.

-It has helped in various states come up with there own branding and also many innovative approach have been taken to add to this campaign.

Drawbacks of branding:-

-First and foremost it has created increase in regionalism by every other state fighting for space by bringing their own states.

-It has made cultural and heritage a product like any other rather than promoting its values.

-It has exploited and commercialized many heritage and cultural aspects of society.

-It has also caused a huge hole in pocket due to its promotion building activities. For a country like us where many are suffering from lack of access to social benefits, this is considered a waste of investment.

For a country like India which is rising by showcasing its soft power to world power status, it has helped the country to bring it to the stage to which we are in today. Programs like HRIDAY, religious tourism circuit like buddhist and jains should be exploited to attract east countries which also helps in our act EAST policy.

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