1. Do you find the ideas of Swami Vivekananda relevant today? Examine.
The topic of ‘Swami Vivekananda And His Relevance Today’ assumes more and more importance in recent times because of the dynamics of globalization, ‘free market’ economy forced upon or undertaken by one country and on the other hand increasing terrorism, issues like climate change aggravating hunger and poverty and the youths of today feeling disillusioned.
Following is the discussion on relevance of Swami Vivekananda’s thought in present world:
Relevance for youth:
“Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached.”- Swami Vivekanand
He wanted the youth to have that much of faith by which they can uproot the mountains and drink up the ocean.
Today if we look around, we will find that the key of each success story is limitless self-confidence and willingness to fight the odds. The youth needs to rediscover Vivekananda’s message of looking inward rather than being a restless soul stuck up in an incessant effort of straightening out the world, without first improving oneself.
Another aspect of Swamiji’s personality was his universal brotherhood. Speaking at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893, he said, “As the different streams mingle their water in the sea, different paths which men take, various though they appear, all lead to the same god”.
Today the world realizes that to bring peace, there is no other ideology more proper than this. Vasudhev Kutumbakam – i.e. belief in world as a family has become necessary in growing era of protectionism and de-globalisation
Swami Ji always said that ‘lack of education’ is the root cause behind all problems in India. Swami ji believed that education should be freed from the stranglehold of the upper class and spread to every section of the society. Swami ji also had a vision for the kind of education that the people of India needed. He was not in favour of just career-oriented education. He talked about ‘true education’ that will make your character besides boosting your self-confidence. Unfortunately, that kind of education is not available today and given the risk of automation and poor job growth rate in India, gaining true education, as defined by Vivekanand, would surely help youth of today to excel in various fields.
Views on Oppression of underprivileged section of society:
Swami ji said that we talk of highest Vedanta but do not even think about the oppressed classes. We trample them and crush them. That’s why he said that we need to give them back their self-respect, their lost individuality. Allow everybody to move forward.
Swami Ji was in favour of allowing women to take their own decisions. Swami ji emphasized on the women’s education and believed that it will lead to greater development of society as a whole. He also advocated the need to impart martial arts training to women so that they could defend themselves. He always cited examples of Rani Lakshmi Bai, Padmini and Ahalya. Considering the girl drop outs from school and also reducing female labour force participation we need to make an effort to make women part of our development story.
Swami Vivekananda has a perennial appeal. He is a phenomenon. His relevance will increase with each passing day. The world today has hardly understood Swami ji. One needs to read him deeply to understand his message properly.
2. Discuss the moral principles given by Mahatma Gandhi. Quote instances from his life where he practiced his principles before preaching them.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi gave the moral principles as the solution to the prevailing social, economic and political problems and evolved a new outlook of life for individual and society. The principles given by his are:
Ahimsa– i.e. non-violence in every aspect of life including doing good to even evil-doer. He immediately forfeited the non-violent NCM after violence was exhibited at Chauri-Chaura
Satya – truth and the power of truth exhibited in Satyagraha. eg- Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha led by Gandhi
Aparigraha – non-possession, Despite being a trained lawyer from a well-to do family, he preferred to live in an ashram with minimum clothing (dhoti) on his body
Fearlessness – important attribute of a satyagraha. eg- He remained fearless in his Dandi March to protest against the unjust salt laws of British government
Equality of all religions – he was against communal division of the country and regarded unity and diversity as integral for India’s existence. Instead of celebrating India’s independence, he travelled across the country to the riot torn areas to appeal to the people to end communal violence
Ending Caste discrimination and service to mankind – He called ‘untouchables’ as Harijans and served in Harijan Sevak Sangh established by A.V.Thakkar
The idealism of his moral principles and setting example by practicing these principles himself was the reason he was considered a ‘Mahatma’ and was able to unite people from every section of the society in the struggle for freedom
3. The ideas of Rabindranath Tagore are truly global and cosmopolitan. Do you agree? Discuss.
Idea of Globalism and Nationalism:
Tagore denounced “nationalism” as a narrow concept that breeds xenophobia, hatred, and war-mongering. Any action can be legitimized in the garb of nationalism no matter how remote it maybe from truth and justice.
According to Tagore, the fetish for nationalism is what creates a “brotherhood of hooliganism” – cultivates absolutism, fanaticism, provincialism, greed, selfishness. He viewed British imperialism as a product of British nationalism.
He wanted equal treatment of all human beings, irrespective of nationality, race, religion, caste, sex etc. He advocated for a “rainbow world”, in which all races live together in amity, keeping their distinct characteristics intact, yet united by their bond of humanity and love.
Tagore on Cosmopolitanism:
the philosophical cosmopolitans are moral Universalists. Boundaries between nations, states, culture and societies are indeed irrelevant in terms of morally accepted notion of cosmopolitanism.
cosmopolitanism shares some aspects of universalism, namely the globally accepted notion of human dignity that must be protected and enshrined with the internationalism instead of nationalism.
Rabindranath Tagore’s understanding is that, though colonialism steers to nationalism, it has its own boundaries, which must be overcome to acquire a larger citizenship of the world. . He persists beyond nationalism and his closeness towards internationalism predominantly has its ethics and acceptability when the individual is located in the universal domain. Tagore’s literary works also reflect his philosophy of universal humanism. It is Tagore’s wide travels in almost all parts of the world that led him to think beyond the mere national for a global cooperation of all the nations.
Through his establishment of Visva-Bharati at Santiniketan, he tried to strengthen this notion of ‘Universalism’: Yatra visva bhabatyek nidam, that is, ‘where the whole world would find a shelter’. He wandered to different countries in the west and had rightly understood that coexistence of scientific advancement in the West and traditional culture of the East might have a positive effect in the resurgence of true humanity. Though he was a patriot, he believed and felt that co-existence of cultural and spiritual enlightenment along with the scientific ecstasy of the West could bring about an all-round progress and universal brotherhood. He was really in quest of union of all cultures in one place to signify the meaning of universalism.
His understanding of nationalism was influenced by the ruthless British colonial rule in India and the latter’s anti-colonial struggle for independence. His extensive tours in different countries and British rule in India gave him tremendous insight into the socio-political patterns and narrow interest of power within which western nations were restricted. The imperialistic thoughts embedded in the western nationalism were devoid of spiritual ecstasy. He strongly felt that nationalism finds its true meaning when self is not in subordination.
He wrote at a time when a wind of strong anti-colonial sentiments and extreme nationalistic fervour was blowing all over his country He was optimistic about India’s freedom and also felt the need of independence. But he believed that, a nation, which cultivates this moral blindness as a cult of patriotism will definitely meet with sudden and violent demise.
4. The cyber security ecosystem in the country requires to be more robust and agile in order to realise the objectives of Digital India. In view of the statement, examine the necessity of having a National Encryption Policy. What has been the recent controversy over the draft National Encryption Policy?
“Encryption as the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorised parties can read it.”
The Draft National Encryption Policy was introduced under Section 84 A of the Information Technology Act (2000).Policy’s objectives were,
Provide confidentiality of information in cyber space.
Protection of sensitive or proprietary information for individuals & businesses.
Ensuring reliability and integrity of nationally critical information systems and networks
Promotion of cryptography research and development in the country
Necessity of having a National Encryption Policy
Encryption policy is urgently required as a national policy, This is to promote citizen confidence – citizen require strong encryption for data protection and privacy protection.
Continued economic growth of Indian industries and business in an increasingly global economy requires availability of cryptography to all legitimate users that include employees and business associates of the corporate sector.
Draft Policy Provisions
The policy sets out its applicability to different groups. By and large, there is the government (G), businesses (B) and consumers (C). The language used for B2B, B2C and C2C transactions is more or less the same.
By and large, there are three requirements: 1. Encryption algorithms and key sizes will be prescribed by the Government through notifications from time to time. (This could mean minimum standards but more likely, it will involve maximum level of encryption permitted)
On demand, the user should be able to reproduce the same plain text and encrypted text pairs using the software / hardware used to produce the encrypted text from the given plain text.
Such plain text information has to be stored by the user/organisation/agency for 90 days from the date of transaction and made available to law enforcement agencies as and when demanded in line with the provisions of the laws of the country.
Many cyber experts criticized it as “Anti-Privacy” draft. The policy demands storing of all communication of 90 days and hand it over when demanded failing which would attract even imprisonment.
Storing passwords in plain text for 90 days make them prone to hacking-More cyber crime incidents severely compromise individual information and privacy.
The legal action route suggested is not in compliance with the gender justice compliance. Women are already vulnerable in cyber space. Draft is in opposite direction to India’s global gender justice commitment.
While many nations are joining “Privacy protection” (Eg: UK’s “Right to Foget”), the policy is a step in security compromise.
The policy is indeed necessary to ensure security but intrusion or compromise of basic human rights is not a sign of India’s vibrant democracy.
5. While India strives to better it’s record on the front of indigenisation of technology, the domestic ecosystem is not conducive for measures like joint development and transfer of technology. Critically comment.
With India getting the tag of largest defence importer according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and steady decline in Manufacturing sector , the Government has set itself on the path of Indigenisation by launching flagship initiatives such as Make in India, New Defence Procurement Policy based on the Dhirendra Singh committee recommendations .
But the renewed thrust on indigenisation needs to have critical technological expertise via foreign collaborations which involves joint ventures and technology transfers but just as they are limited by strategic and geo political considerations there are similarly many limiting domestic factors
India’s poor record in ease of doing business (It ranks 130th in WB index) and delay in getting clearances has deterred foreign ventures from considering JV and tech transfer.
The IPR policy with clauses such as 3(d) on incremental innovation, arbitrary use of compulsory licencing clause has also resulted in less JVs in field of pharmaceuticals.
The hullabaloo around GM crops and policy flip flops, lack of domestic partners has caused trouble to global agri-giants such as Bayer and Monsanto.
Lack of ownership/ management rights in FDI policy is also a major deterrent for many JV from taking off. (Unilateralism)
Monopoly of Government sector PSU’s in field of Space, Aerospace, Defence has limited the scope of private players to enter into JVs or for technology partnership with foreign partners.
Bureaucratic delays and whims, complex laws, regressive taxation policies along with protectionist policies have always been the bane of Indian domestic market which discouraged Foreign JVs.
Political climate and policy stability is lacking in India is the opinion curated from across the world.
Small market size for innovative products and lack of demand is also a major limiting factor.
Human capital issues ( lack of large pool of scientists, brain drain, lack of skilled man power, inflexible labour laws) are also factors which prevent technology transfer from happening.
The Government has now focussed on this critical gap which is preventing India from becoming a technological super power hence the new committee under Amitabh Kant is working for equal foreign strategic autonomy in FDI policy.
Similarly the Reliance – Rafael JV is a landmark in Defence production as it breaks the stranglehold of Government sector and encourages private participation.
New IPR policy, Exit policy, Single window clearances in many states like Maharashtra, Telangana(TS-IPASS) are all seen as steps in the right direction.
There is also a need to set up special R&D zones on the lines of SEZ to encourage foreign players to venture into JVs and technology transfers.