1.The Nehruvian vision of large dams as temples and mosques for a new borne country did bear fruits but it created many rifts in the socio-economic landscape. Critically examine.
Nehru envisioned India which was not only culturally rich but was also technologically advanced and economically prosperous, to achieve this end he placed lot of focus on infrastructure especially the Multi-purpose projects.
Positive effects of the dams:
The dams helped in producing the much needed electricity for the Capital goods industries formed under the Five Year Plans
Lead to cleaner energy minimizing our carbon emission to have sustainable development.
Irrigation facilities to agriculture to achieve food self-sufficiency in independent India by ensuring the availability of water in lean seasons.
Checked floods by regulating the flow of run-off and diverting it into the channels.
Due to improper utilization it had some drawbacks too:
River disputes due to not clearly demarcated boundaries between states like ongoing Cauvery and Mahanadi water disputes which severed agricultural crisis in low stream states.
Biodiversity loss due to artificial linkages of rivers and canals leading environmental movements like Tawang hydro power project.
Tribal distress caused by rehabilitation and resettlement as most of the land acquired was inhabited by the tribal communities. – Narmada Bachao Andolan.
Pending projects which adds to governmental deficiency and droughts as in Maharashtra and Karnataka last year
Changed cropping pattern-growing of water guzzling crops in drier areas along with heightened risk of natural disasters.
Write a brief conclusion.
Best answer: Vivek
The fascination for super-sized industrial projects to define the new phase of industrialization in India past Independence found its priority in most of the development agendas. The case of dams were of no exception – First five year plan provided for the Bhakra Nangal dam in Punjab, the Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi in Orissa and the Nagarjuna Sagar dam on the Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh.
The benefits of large dam projects included:
Co-development of Industry and Agriculture: Multipupose dams which can provide irrigation for development of agriculture as well as electricity for industrial development.
Investment for the next century: Benefits extended over its long lifetime of many decades.
Impetus to technological growth, engineering and innovationthrough taking up challenging projects.
Flood control and optimum utilization of water resources
Development of tourism and recreational businesses
Rural/Tribal development and Integration: As most of the dams are located away from cities, it provides an opportunity to develop and integrate far off locations and people into development.
Although the large dam projects were successful, India soon had to retreat into smaller projects due to the following associated socio-economic issues:
Issues with Tribal Community: Affected their habitat and traditional livelihood means, problems with displacement etc – lead to tension, protests and further isolation of tribal population
Corruption: The whole project procedures were accused of equally large scale corruption which powered public anger.
Loss of Biodiversityincluding forests, flora and fauna.
Calamities: Increased landslides, salination in soil due to water logging etc. affected near-site population badly.
Intensified water sharing disputesbetween states as well as among inter communities.
By strengthening of anti-dam movements, India had to shift to small scale projects. Subsequently, apart from the first two decades, all projects and plans followed development of distributed small scale dams approach.
2. What is your assessment of the linguistic basis of creating states in India? Has it succeeded? Examine.
The States Reorganization Act, 1956 was a major reform of the boundaries of Indian states and territories, organizing them along linguistic lines.
Positives of the creation on linguistic basis:
It has encouraged healthy competition among the states for improving their economic and social indicators and vying for investments.
People become able to address their concerns related to their region in their own language
Strengthening of local culture due to efforts of local political parties and the state government.
Formation of regional parties like AIADMK, DMK, Trinamool congress etc. gave voice to regional concerns in parliamentary domain.
Creation of states, homogeneous in nature improved functioning of states like separation of Gujarat from Maharashtra
However there are certain concerns like:
1 creation of linguistic enclaves where small area dominated by one language is surrounded by other language state.
2 Regional disparities, rich states have exploited the poor states by exploiting their natural and mineral resources.
3 Discriminatory attitude against non-regional people who cannot speak the regional language like the Sons of soil policy and the exodus of students of N.E states from Bangalore.
4 Unchecked promotion of linguistic feelings threatens national integrity because of growth of regionalism.
Write a brief conclusion.
Best answer: Vivek
The States Reorganisation Act, 1956 was a major reform of the boundaries of Indian states and territories, organising them along linguistic lines. The main motive behind such a strategy and its assessment are as follows:
Preservation of unity and security: Mostly language represent a distinct cultural sect in India and it is important to have political and administrative homogeneity that could prosper the culture as well as spread the idea of unity and security from dominance by any other majority groups. Considering this objective, the move is highly appreciated. The reorganization helps in defining cultural territory and transfer federal powers to most dominant cultures.
Linguistic and cultural homogeneity: Same as above.
Financial and administrative consideration: Before reorganization, states and large and non-uniformly distributed with different cultures and languages. The Act helped in formation of smaller homogeneous states, which are easier to administer.
Planning and promotion of welfare of people: Helps in development of effective state level welfare schemes as per demands of each state and eased implementation of central schemes.
Thus, the reorganization of states on linguistic basis had been highly successful in meeting all its objectives. Although, few challenges pertained, which includes:
Rise in Regionalism: Lead to strengthening regionalism over patriotism. It lead to conflicts and weakened national unity. Eg. Tamil protest against including Hindi in school curriculum.
Inter-State disputes: Increased cases of inter-state disputes. Eg. Recent Cauvery river water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnatake causing breakdown of law and order and conflicts.
Cultural Isolation: Less interaction and inter-change between vivid cultures restricting evolution and progress.
Fragmented Development: While some states observed remarkable progress in welfare and development, some states lagged behind due to its traditional inabilities causing wide socio-economic disparity within country.
Though there exist significant challenges,the reorganization of states on linguistic basis was a successful approach. The modern Indian society is positive and capable to address the challenges effectively and move forward upholding national unity and democratic principles.
3. India had to enter into wars with its neighbours at three different occasions by the year 1971. However, all these wars had different implications for India. Do you agree? Analyse.
One mistake that most of you have committed, does not understand the question properly.
The question is asking about three wars by 1971, i.e. up to 1971. This means that you had to talk about India – Pak war of 1948, Indo – China of 1962 and Indo – Pak of 1965. The war of 1971 was the 4th war that India fought.
All these wars had different implications for India:
Indo – Pak War of 1948:
There was an attack on Kashmir by Pakistani military backed Pathans (Pakistan denies its roll in this attack). Hari Singh the King of Kashmir requested India to come for help and he signed the instrument of accession. Indian army was airlifted to Srinagar to control the situation. Pakistan claimed Kashmir to be its territory and started a war known as the war of Kashmir. Indian army was marching forward and probably would have captured the territory but because of the intervention of UN, a ceasefire was ordered and Kashmir was divided into PoK and Indian Kashmir. The situation is still the same.
Sino – India War of 1962:
The war is of utmost importance. Here in order to give you complete information of the war, I am sharing the complete details of the war. This will help you in Mains to tackle other questions.
Sino-India relations before war:
One of the most basic policies for the new Indian government was that of maintaining cordial relations with China, reviving its ancient friendly ties. India was among the first nations to grant diplomatic recognition to the newly created PRC.
According to Nehru this neighbour was also coming out of the western shadow and it was “exeedingly unlikely” unlikely that India will face an attack from China.
With Chinese premiere, Nehru signed Panchsheel-the five principles of peaceful coexistence.
Leaders of both the countries visited each other and greeted with large friendly crowds. Especially when Nehru visited china, the famous “Hindi Cheeni Bhai Bhai” slogan came up.
For a very long time the Chinese border was guarded by the para-military forces and not the army.
Bone of Contention:
These friendly relations were disrupted by two major events:
The border dispute
Tibetan occupation of China
After effects of war:
United States viewed Chinese military action as an aggressive policy of PRC to solve border disputes and to distract world from its internal issues.
Western nations at the time viewed China as an aggressor during the China–India border war, and the war was part of a monolithic communist objective for a world dictatorship of the proletariat.
The non-aligned nations remained mostly uninvolved, and only the United Arab Republic openly supported India. The failure of these six nations to unequivocally condemn China deeply disappointed India.
Prime Minister Nehru faced harsh criticism from government officials, for having promoted pacifist relations with China. The public saw the war as political and military debacle.
The unpreparedness of the army was blamed on Defence Minister Menon, who resigned his government post to allow for someone who might modernise India’s military further.
The war also put an end to Nehru’s earlier hopes that India and China would form a strong Asian Axis to counteract the increasing influence of the Cold War bloc superpowers.
The war with China alerted the Indian leadership to the volatile situation in the Northeast region. Apart from being isolated and extremely underdeveloped, this region also presented India with the challenge of national integration and political unity. The process of its reorganisation began soon after the China war. Nagaland was granted statehood; Manipur and Tripura, though Union Territories, were given the right to elect their own legislative assemblies.
Some of the top army commanders either resigned or were retired.
The war was an eye opener about the unpreparedness of the Indian army. India’s performance in high-altitude combat in 1962 led to an overhaul of the Indian Army in terms of doctrine, training, organisation and equipment.
The military became more alert and prepared to for future. This preparation helped India to successfully counter Pakistan’s attack in 1965 and again in 1971.
Indo – Pak war of 1965
The Indo-Pakistan War, 1965, the second war between India and Pakistan since August 1947, began as a localised conflict between India and Pakistan. Recovering from the ignominy of the 1962 Chinese attack, India was in the midst of giving its Army a face-lift. Pakistan, already better equipped and prepared for war, and still simmering from what it could not achieve in 1947-48, considered this an apt moment to attack India while it was still unprepared.
The second Indo- Pak war in 1965 was started by the Pakistani Army. The war took place after Pakistan launched a covert operation across the ceasefire line in Kashmir. Pakistan attacked first by occupying the Kanjarkot area in Kutch. It subsequently opened new areas of war in Jammu and Kashmir. The war ended with UN intervention with both sides moving back to pre-war positions.
The United States and the Soviet Union used significant diplomatic tools to prevent any further escalation in the conflict between India and Pakistan.
The Soviet Union hosted ceasefire negotiations in Tashkent (now in Uzbekistan), where Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent Agreement, agreeing to withdraw to pre-August lines no later than 25 February 1966.
With declining stockpiles of ammunition, Pakistani leaders feared the war tilting in India’s favor. Therefore, they quickly accepted the ceasefire in Tashkent. Despite strong opposition from Indian military leaders, India bowed to growing international diplomatic pressure and accepted the ceasefire. On 22 September, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution that called for an unconditional ceasefire from both nations. The war ended the following day.
India’s Prime Minister, Shastri, suffered a fatal heart attack soon after the declaration of the ceasefire.
During the short Tenure of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, India faced two major challenges, the Indo-Pak war which has been discussed above and failed monsoon and drought.
The Prime Minister gave a slogan , “Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisan” to show India’s resolve to fight both of these challenges.
4. What is BHIM app? How does it work? How can it help in realising the goals of Digital India? Discuss.
BHIM — Bharat Interface for Money — named after Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, is a newly announced digital payments solution app based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payments systems in India.
How does BHIM work?
BHIM allows us to send and receive money instantaneously (24/7) to and from UPI enabled bank accounts – provided our bank accounts are UPI enabled. Else IFSC (Indian Financial System Code) or MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) codes can be used to transact with non-UPI enabled bank accounts. BHIM app can also be used to pay off vendors in transactions.
How BHIM app realizes the goals of Digital India?
Some of the major goals of Digital India:
Digital India is to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy.
Digital India aims to improve digital infrastructure of the country, deliver government services electronically and empower citizens through digital literacy.
Digital India has three core components: digital infrastructure, delivering services digitally and digital literacy.
In this direction, BHIM app enables fast, secure and reliable cashless payments through mobile phones.
BHIM will boost digital-literacy and enables more participation in digital and financial space at individual level.
This app is in line with some of the nine pillars of Digital India Mission- e-Kranti, by providing
Electronic delivery of banking services.
Government services in real time from online and mobile platforms.
It supports Digital resources / services in Indian languages.
It also serves the key component of Digital India Mission by providing services on demand since UPI-based application 24/7.
It is a step towards making a more digital economy and will empower the poorest of the poor. Digital India, Digital Payment, Digi Dhan are part of the government’s campaigns to build a developed India.
Best answer: Rex
‘BHIM’ stands for BHarat Interface for Money. It’s a digital payments app utilizing the concepts of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and Aadhaar Pay (Aadhar enabled biometric payment system).
BHIM allows us to send and receive money instantaneously (24/7) to and from UPI enabled bank accounts – provided our bank accounts are UPI enabled. Else IFSC/MMID codes can be used to transact with non-UPI enabled bank accounts. BHIM app can also be used to pay off vendors in transactions.
How will BHIM help in realizing the goals of Digital India?
Boost to cash less economy: BHIM allows for transfer of money and payments of bills. No actual physical movement of cash required — a/c will be updated to reflect latest balance instantaneously.
Will help reduce corruption and increase accountability: each electronic transaction leaves a trail that cannot be erased. Soon, Aadhaar pay will enable us to authorize transactions using biometric data like fingerprints — thus reducing the chances of theft and scams.
iii. Will help reduce paperwork (shift towards a paper-less economy), and the need to conduct exercises to replace worn out currency notes — thus, good for the environment, and for the Govt’s budget too.
Will boost mobile-literacy, which is imperative as one of Digital India’s main aims is to ensure that each citizen has access to all the benefits/services of the Govt via a mobile phone and net connection.
Will empower the poor and the elderly – no need for them to travel to banks’ and wait in line. Will also reduce the burden on banks, and free them up to implement Govt’s other welfare schemes and lending activities.
The BHIM app is a crucial part of the Digital India plan. Its success will hinge on the mobile network infrastructure especially in rural areas and the learning curve involved. If the learning curve is steep, then people will revert to cash especially now that the position of cash availability has improved.
5. The mandate of ECI to conduct free and fair elections must be respected by various organisations. Discuss in light of the recent controversy between ECI and RBI.
Election Commission is a permanent and an independent body established by the Constitution of India directly to ensure free and fair elections in the country. The function of the central bank of a country (RBI) is to control and monitor the banking and financial system of the country. The sole right of RBI is to issue currency notes and ensure financial security of the nation. Both should function according to their terms for ensuring successful democracy in India. But the recent conflict between these two bodies has become a cause of concern.
Election Commission had requested RBI to enhance the cash withdrawal limit per week (from present Rs 24,000 to 2 lakhs) of the candidates contesting elections in the five-poll bound states. However, the RBI has remained mute on this decision.
With RBI’s decision not to raise withdrawal limit, it may affect small parties as they cannot compete with bigger parties and might provide undue advantage to party in power.
Lack of fund can affect political activities at grass root level discouraging the morale of democracy.
Low usage of digital transaction in rural parts will put a sever constraint on local parties to compete with bigger players.
Acute demand can propel regeneration black economy and illegal activities.
It should be noted that it is the constitutional mandate of the EC to conduct free and fair elections and to provide level-playing field to all candidates.
In order to facilitate proper conduct of elections, it is imperative that directions issued by the Commission are complied with. Therefore, each and every institution present in our democracy must obey to it.
The blind ignorance on the part of RBI affects our fair democracy. Therefore, this should remain as a caution for future for all institutions to make sure that the demands of ECI regarding elections are taken care with at most importance and respect.
Best answer 1: Vivek
Free and fair elections are the soul of any democratic system. In India, the responsibility to conduct free and fair elections are vested with Election Commission of India(ECI). This mandate widens the powers of ECI to all matters regarding the elections, which is observed in constitutional provisions of Article 324, providing for overriding judicial and executive powers of ECI. Thus every democratic organization in the country have a moral responsibility to cooperate with ECI for conduct of free and fair elections.
Controversy between ECI and RBI:
In wake of demonetization and ongoing cash crunch, the weekly withdrawal limit is constrained to Rs.24000/- per account. Citing the difficulty and imbalance it creates in the upcoming elections in 5 states, ECI asked RBI to raise the limit to 2 lakh per week for political candidates. But RBI rejected the proposal.
Importance of the Issue:
Technical difficulty to accept the proposal as RBI is already working beyond it’s limits to meet the cash demands throughout the country post demonetization.
Economic disparity: Leads to cash crunch and problems in other parts country. Hampers demand recovery.
Affects poor/local parties and candidates badly: Low usage of digital transaction in rural parts will put a sever constraint on local parties to compete with bigger players.
Undue advantage to party in power
Lack of fund can affect political activities at grass root level discouraging the morale of democracy
Acute demand can propel regeneration black economy and illegal activities
The demands of ECI are legitimate and reasonable. The withdrawal constraint should have been relaxed to accommodate the importance of conducting free and fair elections. Further, the blind rejection from RBI, undermines the moral obligation of other institutions of democracy to cooperate with ECI.
This should remain as a caution for future for all institutions to make sure that the demands of ECI regarding elections are taken care with at most importance and respect.
Best answer 2: lavanya
Election commission is a constitutional body created under article 324 to superintendence, direct and conduct free and fair elections all over India. On other hand, RBI is a statutory body to ensure financial security of the nation.Both should function according to their terms for ensuring successful democracy in India. But the recent conflict between these two bodies has become a cause of concern.
EC has asked RBI to raise the withdrawal limit per week from present 24,000 to 2 lakhs in the five states where elections are going to be held. But RBI remained mute on this decision.
Though there are many constraints for RBI to be silent to raise withdrawal limit to 2lakhs – demonitisation, monetary crunch, lack of availability of currency, etc, it should look into this matter to conduct free and fair election sin the 5 states of India
With RBI’s decision not to raise withdrawal limit, it will effect small parties as they cannot compete with bigger parties, people get into confusion in electing their leaders. On the other side if RBI raises withdrawal limit as per EC recommendation, it leads to demanding the same from the other states by stating different reasons.
However, EC being a constitutional and powerful body to conduct fair elections , each and every institution present in our democracy must obey to it. The blind ignorance on the part of RBI affects our fair democracy. Therefore, in future framework and guidelines must be made for all the institutions to obey EC guidelines and recommendations.