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SYNOPSIS [26th February,2021] Day 41: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 1): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. How does integrity translate to success in one’s professional life? Examine. Approach
We need to define the term integrity and relate its role in achieving success in professional life. We have to give relevant examples to justify our arguments.
Integrity is consistency of thought, speech and action while adhering to highest moral standards. While professional life involves one’s involvement in career or profession and their interaction with the formal environment of workplace.
Professional life is mostly affected by personal responsibilities, societal norms, career goals, work-life balance, work load, job security, complexities of work culture, etc. Such diverse set of challenges encourages or even forces an individual to use wrongful means to achieve success. Professional success can be subjective as per individual.
Ethics based professional life embedded with ethical values especially integrity translates to success in one’s professional life in following ways and means –
- Adherence to professional rules and regulation: It reduces confusion and possibility of digressing from professional mandate.
- Rise in efficiency: Integrity induces discipline, punctuality and dedication in work.
- Decline in corruption: Integrity encourage transparency, accountability which restrict individual’s involvement in corrupt practices.
- Harmonious work culture: Integrity ensures inclusive workplace which respects gender diversity, healthy environment to excel and create respectful bonding among employees.
- Balance in personal and professional life: Timely completion of official work with honesty gives more time for personal life and leisure.
- Mental peace: Efficiency at work with less worries about adverse consequences and balanced work life eliminates possibility of mental health issues like depression.
- Encouragement to take leadership role: Integrity induces confidence to take bold initiatives, lead from front and attract adherence by colleagues. E.g. E Shreedharan integrity in professional life gave him title of Metro Man, as government officer accomplished tasks like Konkan Railways, Metro in Delhi and today is heading towards a political career.
- Career growth: Encouragement to adopt new skills as per advancing conditions, appreciating appraisals increase chances of promotions and heft raise in salary package.
- Ignites entrepreneurial spirit. E.g.: Paytm, Flipkart founders today are cornerstone of India’s entrepreneurship.
Thus, a professional life equipped and guided by integrity ensures ethical, harmonious and prosperous life for an individual and a competent and competitive workforce for a nation development.
2. Explain the terms ‘impartiality’ and ‘non-partisanship’ with the help of suitable examples. Why are they important traits for a public servant? Discuss.
Candidates are expected to explain term impartiality and non partisanship in short with giving suitable examples. Then give reasons why both are important traits for a public servants.
Impartiality and non-partisanship imply acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well the governments of different political persuasions. An impartial and politically neutral public servant is a defence against the spoils system which has the propensity to degenerate into a system of patronage, nepotism and corruption.
- Impartiality is a principle of justice holding that decisions should be based on objective criteria, rather than on the basis of bias, prejudice, or preferring the benefit to one person over another for improper reasons. For a public servant, it means that decisions should be based on objective criteria, rather than on the basis of bias, prejudice or personal interest.
- It helps in upholding rule of law and makes the civil servant accountable to law and law alone. Also, it is in accordance with the constitutional provisions including Article 14, 15 and so on. For example Any political pressure to favor a group would be handled only if the civil servant is impartial all along.
- Impartial civil servant would have a better credibility and persuasive capability in negotiations. For example N Ravi, an interlocutor is effective in north east insurgency negotiations because of his impeccable record of impartiality.
- It will keep oneself free from nepotism, political-corporate nexus and corruption. The examples are is Sagayam IAS of Tamilnadu cadre or Ashok Khemka of Haryana etc.
- Non-partisanship means non-disposition of civil servants towards any political party/entity i.e. to exhibit political neutrality regardless of his/her own political thought. The values of the administrator should flow from the constitution but not from the philosophy of any political party.
- Non-partisanship public servant should be apolitical as it’s the bureaucracy which is the permanent executive. The government in power, irrespective of political party, must be provided the bureaucratic services in same spirit without any biasness and functioning of government stays effective.
- As a Speaker, GV Malvankar was exemplary due to his non-partisanship despite his affiliations to the INC. Throughout his tenure as speaker, he did not take an active part in party politics.
- For example civil servant viz. T.N. Seshan, Vinod Rai etc have displayed exemplary quality of civil service and exhibited political neutrality with bringing various changes in election, auditing systems in India respectively.
Impartiality and nonpartisanship are important traits for a public servant:
- With control of resources at one’s dispensation, a Public servant need to be impartial to plural group identities religion, caste, creed, gender, social standing etc. They ought to be weighed equally much in light of “Right to Equality” enshrined in our Constitution.
- A public servant should be apolitical as it’s the bureaucracy which is the permanent executive. The government in power, irrespective of political party, must be provided the bureaucratic services in same spirit without any biasness and functioning of government stays effective.
- To establish rule of law everyone regardless of their position are equal under law therefore prerequisite for establishing it is impartial behaviour of all in law and justice system (from police to judge).
- Deepening of democracy with improve confidence in government machinery the public feels more enthusiastic to take part indecision making.
- Efficient use of resources an impartial officer will never divert any of the available resources at his or her disposal in favour of anyone hence he or she will always try to use the resource in best possible manner to bring out maximum benefit to the nation.
Present-day civil servants and public servants need to perform multiple functions of giving suggestions to political representatives, addressing public grievances, institutionalisation of the socio-economic changes, delivering goods and services. Hence a value of non partisanship and impartiality is need of the hour.
3. Commitment to public service must be the foundational trait for a civil servant. Do you agree? Substantiate.
Candidate is required to deliberate on the value of commitment to public service and how it is essential for any civil servant. In the later half, an example can be given to substantiate point.
Commitment is the dedication and passion towards a particular task. It helps to achieve goals and not deviating for them. “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason, mastery demands all of a person. — Albert Einstein.
Commitment is the state of being dedicated to a cause or activity. Once a commitment is made, it also puts an obligation on the person to act or otherwise he cannot be considered to be committed. Public servants must be committed to values like honesty, integrity, empathy, justice, equality.
Why commitment is important?
- The phenomenon of commitment is a cornerstone of human social life. Commitments make individuals’ behaviour predictable in the face of fluctuations in their desires and interests, thereby facilitating the planning and coordination of joint actions involving multiple agents.
- Moreover, commitment also facilitates cooperation by making individuals willing to contribute to joint actions to which they wouldn’t be willing to contribute if they, and others, were not committed to doing so.
- Despite the importance of commitment for characteristically human forms of sociality, it is not well understood how people identify and assess the level of their own and others’ commitments, nor what motivates them to honor commitments.
- Many commitments work not only without contracts but also without explicit agreements or promises they are implicit. But in the absence of an explicit agreement or promise, or even any expression of one’s conditional willingness to pursue a shared goal. This type of commitment is important for the civil servant as there is no external contract to perform the duty.
- Commitment is one of the values that underpin strong and mutually beneficial relationships. People who can maintain strong relationships rank high in their emotional intelligence and they are the most likely to fulfill their commitments or stay committed.
- Commitment is also a personal thing. It is a strong indicator of a self-discipline, resilience and persistence. It is a value that differentiates the stout- hearted from the weak. People who are committed, do their very best even outside their comfort zones.
- Because they are focused, their choices in life are clearer and they know their way towards their goals. People who are not committed lack focus and usually end up with many hazy choices.
Commitment to public service
- Because commitments shape and define a person, we become what we are committed to. Many of those who are afraid to commit to anything just drift through life. Hence commitment to public life is essential.
- Diligent farmers commit to preparing the soil well for seeds to germinate. They patiently wait for them to grow. When the first buds break the soil, they take extra care of them as they look forward to a rich harvest. Just like committed civil servant commitment will give them fruits of honour, respect and satisfaction.
- When faced with difficult ethical dilemma, commitment will help clear the fog of uncertainty. Hence it is a foundational principle of a character.
- Disciplined athletes commit to the rigors of training to win the prize. Their eyes are focused on their objective to win. They know well the road they are taking has obstacles and challenges to hurdle but they are bent on overcoming them as they set their eyes on the finish line. In the same manner public servant will stay focussed on the objective of public good if committed.
- MG Rajamanikyam carried rice sacks on his shoulder without hesitation during kerala flood.
- Ashok Khemka – 45 transfers in 23 years.
- Smita Sabharwal – “fund your city” project for infrastructure development.
- Sonam Wangchuk started operation New Hope – revolutionizing education in Ladakh.
- Compassionate Kozhikode – Prashant Nair.
Commitment is a guiding light when faced with the challenges. ‘‘Stay committed to your goal and do not worry about the outcome’’, said Krishna to Arjun in Bhagwadgita. Being committed to duty of public service keeps the fabric of nation intact and facilitates goal of welfare state.
4. What are your views on the recently announced plan of privatising 100 public sector undertakings (PSUs)? What will be its economic impact? Discuss.
Since the question is asking you to discuss so you have to use your skill at reasoning, backed up by deliberately selected evidence to make a case for and against an argument, or point out the advantages and disadvantages of a given context.
In a clear push for disinvestment and privatization of public sector undertakings (PSUS), the prime minister recently said that it is the government’s duty to support enterprises and businesses. But it is not essential that it should own and run enterprises and that the government has “no business” to be in business.
PLAN OF PRIVATISING 100 PUBLIC SECTOR UNDERTAKINGS (PSUS)
The government’s ambitious plan to monetise around 100 government-owned assets as part of the monetisation plan is a good move. going ahead with the mantra of monetise and modernise, the government will be aiming to achieve Rs 2.5 trillion investment.
- Fiscal support to sick PSUs puts burden on the economy and public sector units should not be run just because of legacy as many PSUs are loss-making and supported by taxpayers’ money.
- The government has no business to be in business. When government monetises, that space is filled by private sector of the country.
- The public sector enterprises are loss-making and several of them need the support of public money and that they should not be run because they were started many years ago and were someone’s pet project.
- The private sector has delivered very high value in the market and hence qualifies to take over PSUS.
But a question here is whether making a company privately-run is better than keeping it where it is?
- If one looks at the private corporate sector, the performance is not always very good if one moves away from the top 100 companies.
- Most of the non-farm NPAS reside in the private sector and most failures are in the private sector.
- The private sector does not create jobs, which was a mandate of the public sector.
- In the last five years the share of the private corporate sector in gross fixed capital formation had fallen from 26.1% to 23.4%, if IPR is excluded.
ITS ECONOMIC IMPACT
- By Privatising 100 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUS) The Government Will Be Aiming to Achieve Rs 2.5 Trillion Investment.
- Private sector brings investment and best global practices with them.
- It is believed that the roadmap for asset monetisation including privatisation move given in the Budget will put India back on “high growth trajectory”.
- Privatisation will help in achieve an increase in the output of the country by improving quality of the products by reducing unit costs, curbing public spending and raising cash to reduce public debt.
- It will help in keeping the consumer needs uppermost and will help the government in paying their debts, it helps in increasing long-term jobs and promotes competitive efficiency and open market economy.
- Privatization will give ample space for creative and innovative thinking as well as systematic and strategic planning to realize the full potential of economy.
The path towards total privatisation does involve breaking ideological shibboleths that have been built since Independence. A rather curious thought that often comes up in this debate is whether it is necessary for the government to actually sell stake to get the private ethic in the organisation? Can’t the same be done by simply changing the rules of governance? This may also be worth considering.
5. Comment upon the problem of unemployment in India. What suggestions do you have to create employment opportunities?
Question is straight forward in its approach students are expected to provide a detailed explanation about unemployment in India and also provide suggestions about how to create employment opportunities, also it is important to mention about how has unemployment increased over a period of time in India.
Unemployment occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work. Unemployment is often used as a measure of the health of the economy. The most frequent measure of unemployment is the unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployed people divided by the number of people in the labor force. The unemployment rate in India fell to 7% in September 2020 from the record high of 29% since the country went into lockdown from March 2020, says the report of CMIE – Centre For Monitoring Indian Economy. However, it later increased to 9.1% in December 2020. The lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak has forced many industries to shut down thus increasing unemployment across the country.
Causes of Unemployment in India-
- Jobless Economic Growth: India’s GDP grown at about 7-8% in last decade, but growth does not translated into creating more employment opportunities for the labour force of the country.
- Joint Family System: It encourages disguised unemployment. In big families having large business establishments, many such persons are found who do not do any work and depend on the joint income of the family. Joint family system is more prevalent in rural areas; hence a high degree of disguised unemployment there.
- Mobility of Labour: Labour mobility is very low in India. Because of their family loyalty, people generally avoid migrating to far-off areas of work. Factors like diversity of language, religion and customs also contribute to low mobility. Lower mobility causes greater unemployment.
- Education: Although literacy rates have risen in the last few decades, there still remains a fundamental flaw in the education system in India. The curriculum is mostly theory-oriented and fails to provide vocational training required to match up with current economic environment. The degree-oriented system fail when it comes to produce human resources skilled enough to specific job profiles in the economy.
- Population growth: Rapid growth of population is the major reason for increasing unemployment in the country. In the last decade (2006-2016), India’s population increased by 136 million and unemployment is at a 5 year high in the financial year of 2015-2016.
- Agriculture: Agriculture remains the biggest employer in the country contributing to 51% employment. But the sector contributes a meagre 12-13% to the country’s GDP. The problem of disguised unemployment is the biggest contributor behind this deficit. Also the seasonal nature of employment in the sector lead to recurring cycles of unemployment for the rural population.
- Lack of skills: There has been a push towards providing the employment opportunities to the people by government by skilling them. But skill deficit still is a big issue.
- Poor Industrialisation: The industrial sector in India still lag behind. Agriculture still remains as the biggest employer in the country.
- Recent impact of lockdown during Covid-19 pandemic has increased unemployment to the highest levels overall growth contraction led to fall in the industrial output. The lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak has forced many industries to shut down thus increasing unemployment across the country. Early estimates of jobs data indicate that the coronavirus effect may have left a devastating impact on the economy, sending urban unemployment rate soaring to 30.9% . Overall unemployment rose to 23.4%.
Impact of unemployment on the economy-
- The problem of unemployment gives rise to the problem of poverty.
- The government suffers extra borrowing burden because unemployment causes a decrease in the production and less consumption of goods and services by the people.
- Unemployed persons can easily be enticed by antisocial elements. This makes them lose faith in the democratic values of the country.
- People unemployed for a long time may indulge in illegal and wrong activities for earning money which increases crime in the country.
- Unemployment affects the economy of the country as the workforce that could have been gainfully employed to generate resources actually gets dependent on the remaining working population, thus escalating socio-economic costs for the state. For instance, a 1 % increase in unemployment reduces the GDP by 2 %.
- It is often seen that unemployed people end up getting addicted to drugs and alcohol or attempts suicide, leading to losses to the human resources of the country.
Suggestions for creating employment opportunities-
- One of the remedies of the unemployment situation in India is rapid industrialisation. Increased number of industries will translate into increased number of employment opportunities.
- The curriculum should be changed with increased focus on learning and skill development. Recent new education policy is a good step in this direction with provisions to encourage creativity and critical thinking among students.
- Self-employment should be encouraged more with introduction of liability free loans and government assistance for funding.
- Incubation centres need to be promoted to cultivate original business ideas that will be financially viable.
- Better irrigation facilities, better farming equipment, dissemination of knowledge regarding multiple crop rotation and crop management should be focused on.
- Government as well as leading business houses of the country should seek to invite more foreign collaboration and capital investment in every sector.
- There are number of labour intensive manufacturing sectors in India such as food processing, leather and footwear, wood manufacturers and furniture, textiles and apparel and garments. Special packages, individually designed for each industry are needed to create jobs.
- Public investment in sectors like health, education, police and judiciary can create many government jobs.
Rapid population growth adds more labour force to the market. More population means more consumption and less saving, less saving implies less capital formation and less production which finally leads to less employment. Thus a collaborative effort is needed by government and industry to nudge an inclusive growth by supporting new sectors. There is a need for National Employment Policy (NEP) that would encompass a set of multidimensional interventions covering a whole range of social and economic issues affecting many policy spheres and not just the areas of labour and employment. The policy would be a critical tool to contribute significantly to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.