SYNOPSIS: IASbaba’s TLP GS Mains 2017 [10th July]: Day 1
1. Both the American and the French Revolution were based on the ideas of Enlightenment but had different repercussions at home. Do you agree? Substantiate with the help of suitable reasoning.
The Enlightenment thinkers had given the idea of rationality, rule of law, liberty equality, liberalism, progress which had shaped the American Revolution and French Revolution. But, the revolutions and the interpretation of those ideas had different repercussion in America and France.
Cause: The American Revolution was by the colonies against British rulers who had imposed unjust and undemocratic rules and restrictions on the American population. The French Revolution was tussle between the different estates of the society.
Aim/objective: The American revolution had the tangible objective of getting independence from the British, the French revolution had abstract goals such as the attainment of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, which were difficult to quantify.
Form of Government: The American Revolution led to the birth of Democratic state of America. The French revolution underwent series of changes from republic to constitutional monarchy to finally becoming republic again.
Citizen’s rights: Both the revolutions led to granting of rights to the citizens of the respective countries. American revolution let to the formulation of Bill of Rights and the French Revolution led to the Declaration of the Rights of Man.
Peace and Stability: The American Revolution led to peace and prosperity of its citizens, whereas France was mired in violence and instability.
Attitude towards religion: America after revolution became a religion neutral secular state, which advocated separation of State from Church, the France of post-revolution became Anti-Religion Secular State.
Social order: The pre-revolution classes persisted in America which justified the continuance of slavery and racial discrimination. The French revolution led to the abolition of classes and of slavery.
France became representative of humanity because of the ideals like liberty, equality and fraternity whereas America was grappled with economic disparity and social inequality due to continuance of inhumane practices like slavery and racial discrimination.
Though Both the revolutions were inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment period. The respective historical, geographical, social and economic settings led to emergence of different forms of state and society.
2. The spread of nationalism in Europe during the 19th century witnessed three distinct schools of political thought, namely conservative, liberal and radical. Compare and contrast their views on government.
Nationalism witnessed by Europe during the 19th century was shaped by conservative, liberal and radical political thoughts. The liberal, conservative and revolutionary political thoughts in Europe were the torch-bearers of the nationalism in whole world and the means of modernization in subsequent years. Spread of nationalism in Europe was thus a multi-faceted approach ranging from liberal to the radical.
Each political thought held different views on government:
Believed in limited government.
They wanted to restore the old monarchial form of government and maintain the status quo.
They wanted to resist the changes that were going on as they were of the opinion that rapid changes would lead to normlessness, which would ultimately result in instability.
They were also not in the favour of increased participation of masses in the process of government formation.
they favoured the old order of the world such as monarchy, minimum interference of an elected government and free economy.
The liberal school has its roots in enlightenment of 18th century where thinkers like Locke discarded the theory of divine rights of kingship.
They wanted representative governments, expansion of political power to citizens of the state, gradual transition in social structure along with transition in political structure.
Liberals are supporters of change with the help of government interference.
Liberals supports a welfare state instead of a minimalist state.
They believed an elected government was necessary for the greater good but opposed the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a select few.
They wanted abrupt transformation in the political and social structures of the state.
They wanted immediate change so that the old system of government that was plagued with inequality and anarchy would be obliterated.
The three views differ on several parameters. Though each were different in their nature but all of them led to some identical results like unification of countries, establishment of liberal governmental orders and curtailment of the rights of oppressive monarchies. Rise of nationalism proved a revolutionary period which changed the map of European continent. Countries like Germany and Italy unified due to nationalism and became strong European powers.
3. How did the new middle class transform the social structure of Great Britain during industrialisation?
With the advent of industrial revolution in the 18th century and its after effects, a new class rose to power in Britain. The merchants and the middle class. As opposed to the aristocracy these people worked hard to gain wealth. This class changed the social structure of the English society.
The Middle class were educated, aware of their rights, and so they spearheaded various reform in society
They fought for political equality in society and lead to reform act 1832 and 1867 which increased the political voice of people.
They raised their voice against the exploitative working condition in industries, long working hours, child labour and improved the condition of working class.
Middle class women worked in industries which lead to women empowerment, they lead suffrage movement to grant voting rights to women.
The demand from middle class lead to the growth of education sectors, technical collages, universities, schools and further growth of science and technology.
Their purchasing power gave push to the demand of consumer goods and better services which further pushed economic growth.
A new national identity and spirit of nationalism evolved which furthered the growth of colonialism and lead to world wars.
Being educated the members of this class questioned the rationality behind everything and supported scientific thinking .
Rise of the wealthy middle class paved way for an open society with mobility among classes .
Rise of factories brought a large number of workers to the cities, away from their families , resulting in a shift from joint to nuclear families .
End of Feudalism: The feudal lords were no longer incharge of the society. the common man was not subservient any more. he earned his bread without being answerable to the aristocracy.
The population migrated from the rural to urban areas and became wage earners. They established trade unions, workers unions, etc hence a different social circle was established..
The ease of transportation made geographical discoveries easier. This broadened the horizon of trade for the merchants.
However This also lead to the development of some negative externalities,
Crowding of Urban areas due to huge migration towards them creating issues of sanitation,water and dwelling places.
Exploitation of industrial worker intensified with huge demand of consumer products.
Rise of colonialism due to rise in imperialistic ambitions and more materialism
Thus,these development led to a well established middle class that rejected the authority of aristocrats and established themselves as a strong pillar of the new Britain.
4. Critically analyse the performance of NITI Ayog since its origin. Do you think the vision, strategy and actions of NITI Ayog are in sync with the aspirations of young India? Examine.
(Nearly all students Focused on the first part of the question failing to address the second part .Few of them did try to write but none of them provided a satisfactory answer)
National Institution of Transforming India is the policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India which replaced planning commission and established in year 2015.Even in the short span of 2 years, aayog has marked some achieve and progress in field like:
–Strengthen decentralization & spirit of co-operative federalism via Regular annual meet of all states ,UT and center. and governing council comprising LG/CMs of states gets greater autonomy in decision making.
–Initiatives like Transforming India Lecture Series to build knowledge systems for States and the Centre, NITI Aayog.
–Acted as Monitoring agency via Indices like Measuring States’ Performance in Health, Education and Water Management.
–Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016 to recognize the rights of the tenant and safeguard interest of landowners and launched Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index to sensitize states about agriculture reforms
–It spearheaded the digital payment initiative of GOI, provided for disinvestment of sick PSUs, Reform in railways.
–New regulatory body for Medical Education by scrapping MCI is being contemplated.
–Thrust to Innovation through Atal Innovation Mission, Atal Tinkering Lab. Atal Incubation Mission will provide support to innovation based entrepreneurship in a range of sector.
–Provided thrust to Digital & Cashless economy, committee formed for digital payment and initiative like Lucky Grahak Yojana, Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana & Digi Dhan Mela launched.
However, the aayog is still unable to address problems like farm distress, job creation, innovations, environmental challenges , growing interstate water dispute etc. Also many states /UT are still skipping the meeting and demanding special financial package which dilutes the feeling of co-operative federalism In addition to this local government still being neglect
–It appears that the institution’s agenda are more or less set by the government rather than an organic and independent process.
–It focuses mostly on policy recommendations which must also be on implementation challenges.
–It is yet to identify a system of checks and balances mechanism to caution the government about its claims and apprise policymakers of the ground realities.
The young india dreams of a economically developed india which provides sufficient job opportunities, social security like health, insurance, pension, regionally balanced economic growth, clean and green cities, basic provisions i.e water, 24×7 electricity, house and a basic minimum living standard.
Aayog has replaced the 5 year plan with 15 year vision document , 7 year strategy document & 3 years Action Agenda to translate the expectation of young India. It focused on farm distress mitigation by doubling the farmers income & agriculture advancements.It provided funds & support to startup via atal innovation funds etc to creates employment opportunities. It inclined for world class social & physical infrastructure via Urban Housing, Transport and Digital Connectivity.
Though these things have to be focused, it must also important to understand why there is lag in education, healthcare etc even when the economy is growing.
It has also been mandated to create employment data. This will bring in the much needed information for policy guidance and intervention for job creation.
The approach of niti ayog toward cooperative and competitive federalism, its Atal innovation mission, swatch bharat initiative, task force on agriculture, monitoring of the implementation of sustainable development goals, new energy policy are work in the right direction which convinces its sincerity in fulfilling the dreams of young india.
The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) was formed in 2015 to foster better Inter-ministry co-ordination and better centre-state coordination and to adjust plans according to dynamics of present India.
1) Collaborative federalism- Now states are more independent to develop the way they want. A bottom-up approach will foster more inclusive growth.
2) Competitive federalism-state are now open to have MOUs with other countries this led to increase in business for e.g. AP & Singapore also improve in ease of doing business rank since now both AP & Telangana rank 1 in India. States are adhering to the deadline of Swachh Mission making more hygienic livable localities.
3) Innovation & S&T – Going for smart cities, walkable localities, smart police, smart and sustainable transport to decrease the congestion is NITI ayog initiatives.
4) Misc- some good work in the areas of land acquisition, whether PSUs should work as Government department or as a commercial organization, Bibek Debroy committee for Railway, Shankar Acharya committee on budget advancement, digital economy, decrease in CSS, more rationalization of subsidies, ranking of education institutions, various judicial, health indexes to measure performance.
It is in sync with aspiration of youth because of the schemes like start-up, stand-up India to promote Entrepreneurship culture-job seekers as job providers, Atal Tinkering labs to cultivate adaptive learning and innovation skills among the youth.
But problem of unemployment, sluggish growth, bureaucratization, consensus to be billed upon, not have power to disperse funds, no say in demonetization devalue its position are few of its short-coming that need to be worked upon.
Some say it is old wine in a new bottle but through its commitment to a cooperative federalism, promotion of citizen engagement, egalitarian access to opportunity, participative and adaptive governance and continuously increasing use of developing technology, in future the NITI Aayog will definitely provide a critical directional and strategic input into the governance process.
5. Loan waivers have become a political tool which is inimical to the Indian economy. Critically comment.
loan waiver is calling off/waving off real or potential liability of the loanee by the creditor( in this case Government). and they repay the bank. waivers in Indian context according to world bank are usually selective, non sustainable and often politically motivated. Case in point election promises to come to power by Governments of UP, AP etc.
Loan waivers provide debt relief to farmers especially to Indian agricultural scenario reeling from vagaries of monsoon , lack of credit structure and fragmented land holdings but as Indian Statistical institute says are inimical to economy in the longer run
1) They entail moral hazard even those who can pay may not in expectation of waiver
2) Erode credit discipline and make banks wary of lending in future
3) Repeated debt waiver programmes distort household incentive structure from productive investment to unproductive consumption and wilful defaults
4) studies by World bank in 2013 (Gine & Kanz et al) this effects medium and long term agri output as banks become selective in extending loans case in point is three fold increase of NPA’s between 2009 to 2013
5) Expenditure on loan waivers will eventually leave less space for public expenditure which will again form a vicious circle.
There is a need to increase public expenditure in agriculture, political will to minimise cartelisation, sustainable agricultural practices to minimise inefficiency, increased insurance coverage, land reforms and irrigation facilities so as to put vision of doubling farmers income into practice by 2022