Q. Discuss in detail the phases of British colonialism in India. (250 words)
A. Colonial exploitation was carried on broadly through three phases.
The first phase (1757-1813) of ‘mercantilism’ was one of direct plunder; the second phase (18131858) was of free trade; the third phase (1858 onwards) was one of finance imperialism
First phase (1757-1813): Mercantilism
i. The EIC would trade in goods from India without paying custom duties, because they had got issued a farman from the Mughal Emperor to this effect.
ii. In 1765, after their victory, the British East India Company acquired the rights to collect revenue from its territories in the eastern and southern parts of the subcontinent.
iii. Agricultural taxation was the main source of income for the company. They introduced several methods of revenue collection with the sole objective of maximizing their revenue, such as the system introduced by Robert Clive in 1772, the Permanent Settlement in 1793 by Cornwallis, the Ryotwari System in 1792, the Mahalwari System in 1822.
iv. They tapped the wealth of local rulers, zamindars and merchants in the rich province of Bengal and used them to buy the goods that would be shipped to Britain for sale. Large quantities of wealth, including illegal incomes of company officials, made its way to Britain from Bengal
Second phase (1813-1858): Company lost its monopoly trading rights in India and free trade with India was opened for any British citizen.
i. It threw open Indian markets for the entry of cheap, mass-produced, machine-made British goods, which enjoyed little or almost no tariff restrictions.
ii. The passage of expensive, hand-crafted Indian textiles to Britain, which had been very popular there, was however obstructed by prohibitive tariff rates.
iii. British-Indian territory was developed as a source of food stuff and raw material for Britain, which fuelled rapid growth in its manufacturing sector
iv. This phase laid the foundations of a classic colonial economy within India, through commercialization of agriculture and de-industrialization.
In the third phase, 1858- onwards,
i. This period was one of ‘finance-imperialism’, when British capital was invested in the colony. This capital was organized through a closed network of British banks, exportimport firms and managing agencies. ii. British capital was initially invested in railways, jute industry, tea plantations and mining. The Indian money market was dominated by European banking houses. British banking houses and British trading interests were well organized through Chambers of Commerce and Managing Agencies iii. Before the First World War, British Managing agencies controlled 75% of industrial capital, and most of the profits from this limited industrialization were also sent back to Britain.
This is how the East India Company, and later the British, organized, as William Dalrymple calls it, “the plunder of an Empire”
Q. The primary aim of the members of Constituent Assembly was fostering the goal of social revolution, and this was matched only by an interest in securing national unity and stability. Elucidate.
Background to the two
Body: How the Indian Constitution ensures the two?
Are they complementary to each other?
Conclusion: Need to maintain sanctity of both.
Granville Austin saw the Indian Constitution as a seamless web that entwined the strands of national unity and social justice. The document of Constitution became a way of converting political revolution into a social one.
Choosing the path of Parliamentary democracy, the members of the Constituent Assembly sought to fulfill maximum wants of especially the depressed sections of the society through minimum conflict. National unity and integrity were a prime concern given the background and immediate circumstances surrounding the Indian independence.
These concerns were depicted in the Preamble to the Constitution. The ideas of social and economic justice as well as ensuring equality of status and opportunity were geared towards fulfilling social revolution. Moreover, by incorporating affirmative action and abolition of discrimination and untouchability were meant to work towards this idea.
The ideas of unity and integrity need to be understood in harmony with the goals of socio-economic justice and equality which are a backbone to the social revolution envisaged by the members of the Assembly. The idea of unity is to be maintained not only in face of external threats but also fissures in the society such as caste, religion, class etc. Moreover, unity and integrity are goals that are achieved not merely territorially but also emotionally by the citizens of the country. The same is possible only by fostering social revolution.
Fundamental rights with reasonable restrains along with Directive Principles of State Policy showcase this balancing game well by Territorial and emotional unity requires fulfilling the two goals. The DPSPs mandate the creation of a unified, welfare, peace-loving state that caters to the needs of all sections of society. Balancing individual interests with common goals was made possible via Fundamental rights. A stable, unified nation offers impetus for development and more opportunities to its population leading to greater progress of the masses.
A polity without social justice is constantly threatened by burning resentment which spills over in form of movements for secession, Naxalism etc. Thus, the primary aim of social revolution was seen as both a cause and effect of national unity and stability by the Constitution makers, both of which they aimed to achieve.
Q. Critically analyse the reasons of existence of Structural Inflation in India.
A. Structure of answer:
– Define Structural Inflation
– Discuss Reasons
– Discuss their impact
– Way Ahead
Define: Structural Inflation is often used in context of developing economies like India, where the structure of the economy and various economic activities is such that there are supply side constraints to serve the demand. In these countries there are various underlying bottlenecks that lead to inflation. Such structural bottlenecks may be Infrastructural like lack of roads leading poor connectivity causing slow logistics in trade, Governance related like poor administration leading to inefficiency in governance, Agricultural bottlenecks like fragmentation of land, lack of irrigation, etc. Thus, here inflation is an outcome of structure of the economy. And is thus, sticky in nature or does not change easily with the use of conventional tools of monetary policy.
In India, structural inflation exists because of various reasons like–
1. Structure of the Economy is Agriculture Oriented. With a vast majority of population still dependent on Agriculture, which in turn witnesses Monsoon dependence, Droughts, conventional non-scientific methods of farming. Leading to consistently low productivity levels, impacting supply.
2. Infrastructural Constraint impacting supply. Such as Lack of Food Processing, Scientific Farming, Roads, Cold Storages, Refrigerated Vans, etc.
3. Liquidity Constraint – With high levels of NPA, the credit disbursal has become a challenge. This has led to stalled projects, leading to continued lower levels of supply.
4. Lack of Skill Set, Apprenticeships, Quality Education, Research and Developmental activities, Industry-Academia Interactions lead to sustained levels of low productivities.
5. While demographic transition towards more working hands has added to increased disposal income, the supply has not taken off parallely, leading to gaps in the process of meeting demand with supply.
6. Tax and Duty structure incentivising activities that promote cash intensive businesses, staying small to avoid losing tax benefits, informalisation of the enterprise. Inverted Duty Structure helps maintain the import dependence in various products required to build infrastructure in the economy.
7. Governance related deficiencies like Red-Tapism, corruption, acts like Prevention of Corruption Act incentivising inaction by bureaucrats severely impact ease of doing business.
8. Policy Uncertainty added by Judicial Activism adds to undermining the supply creating activities. For instance, cancelling of coal mines, 2G licences by the court.
9. The structure of the Indian Economy still does not encourage contribution by women. A vast majority of population stays under-skilled or unskilled and is involved in tasks with low productivity levels.
10. Structure of the economy still has vast Import Dependence, particularly in the field of Technology & Oil. It leaves a major room to tackle the problem of inflation effectively without being disturbed by external shocks and constraints.
Way Ahead: If the government and the central bank aim to boost growth through the support of loose fiscal and monetary policies instead of structural reforms, which help boosts savings and investments, inflation will be higher than expectations.
Thus, the attempts shall be to reform the structure of the economy by taking various steps such as: – Taxation reforms like GST attempt to formalise the economy leading to greater
– Agricultural reforms like DBT attempt to bridge the gaps in financial inclusion
– Technological reforms like Soil Health Card, Remote Sensing, Digital Inclusion attempt to bridge infrastructural gaps and make the processes accurate and scientific
– E-Governance initiatives like Digital India and its 9 Pillars, MCA-21, e-NAM are attempting to transform how businesses and citizens interact with the government and simplify their operations
Q. Central Government recently unveiled National Indicator Framework. Highlight its salient features. Also, discuss its various shortcomings, if any.
– Discuss what is NIF
– Briefly discuss what are SDGs
– Its salient features
– Discuss various shortcomings of NIF
– Conclude highlighting the way ahead
What is NIF
National Indicator Framework (NIF) is a set of national indicators which will form the backbone of monitoring progress towards the SDGs.
India is a signatory to the resolution adopted on ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly held on 25th September 2015.
To monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its associated targets, a National Indicator Framework (NIF) comprising 306 national indicators has been developed by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in consultation with Central Ministries/ Departments, States and other stakeholders, such as, UN Agencies and Civil Society.
The NIF can help provide a report card/dashboard to measure progress towards sustainable development and help ensure the accountability of all stakeholders for achieving the SDGs.
A sound indicator framework will turn the SDGs and their targets into a management tool to help develop suitable implementation strategies and allocate resources accordingly.
– Largest ever Monitoring Framework in the country. National Indicator Framework consists of 306 statistical indicators for SDGs 1 to 16.
– For Goal 17, no National Indicators are proposed as the Goal is for strengthening means of implementation and global partnership.
– It has been developed after extensive consultations with NITI Aayog, Central Ministries, State Governments and other stakeholders.
– The framework consists of nationally defined indicators responding to national priorities and needs. National acceptability was an important criteria used in deciding the indicators.
– Scope of improving the Framework by adding/deleting indicators with improvement in Statistical System.
– High Level Steering Committee (HLSC) has been constituted to periodically review and refinement of National Indicator Framework for monitoring SDGs.
– The major sources of data are administrative data, sample surveys (NSSO& NFHS) , agriculture surveys and census data.
Shortcomings, that need to be overcome
– For 41 Targets (including 19 targets for Goal 17), indicators are yet to be developed.
– Lack of timely, essential data to ascertain certain critical parameters like Proportion of population (Rural) living in households with access to safe drinking water & sanitation (Toilets)
– Multiple agencies involved in overseeing will hamper fixing the accountability. For instance, the NITI Aayog has been entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of SDGs in India, whereas the MoSPI has been entrusted with the responsibility of developing National Indicator Framework for measuring the progress of SDGs and associated targets.
– This is the largest monitoring framework in the country and will be dependent on a statistical system for flow of information. Any shortfall in information will defeat the purpose of taking timely corrective action.
– The NIF still doesn’t highlight the reason of not achieving a target.
– No timelines have been fixed to disseminate the indicators to public.
– Real time monitoring of the progress of SDGs is not envisaged in the proposed framework.
– Towards real time monitoring, respective Ministries may devise their own indicators.
– An action plan needs to be put in place with scenario analysis, depicting what actions to be taken in case the indicators highlight the achievement levels to be wanting.
– Existing data sets can be put to use to generate proxy indicator sets against such indicators to track even those indicators for which no information is yet available.
– Data generated based on the indicators can be made to reflect the success of various Govt. schemes related to the target.
– Categorization in terms of criticality of the indicator in the achievement of goal/target can be done.
– Timelines can be induced in reporting of the indicators.
Q. Sri-Lanka is the key to Indian Ocean that both India and China are wooing. Discuss India-Sri Lanka relations and the ﬁshermen issue between the two countries.
A. The relationship between India and Sri Lanka is more than 2,500 years old. Both countries have a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic interaction. In recent years, the relationship has been marked by close contacts at all levels. Trade and investment have grown and there is cooperation in the ﬁelds of development, education, culture and defence. Both countries share a broad understanding on major issues of international interest. In recent years, signiﬁcant progress in implementation of developmental assistance projects for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and disadvantaged sections of the population in Sri Lanka has helped further cement the bonds of friendship between the two countries.
India has been engaging with Sri Lanka for a number of years with cooperation and with the emergence of blue economy, Sri Lanka has emerged as the biggest pearl of Indian Ocean. China’s Sting of Pearls initiative has further added to the Indian interest. Areas of convergence and cooperation in the India-Sri-Lanka relations are:
Political ties: India and Sri-Lanka have had deep historical and political relations. Unfortunately, the coexistence between the Sinhalese and the Tamils broke down when Sri Lankan nationalism attempted to consolidate itself around a Sinhala Buddhist identity. From 1987 to 1990, India gingerly engaged in a degree of military intervention (in part aimed at addressing the large ﬂows of Tamil refugees accruing to India) under the guise of peacekeeping. This however did not augur well. India subsequently moved towards a more ‘hands off’ policy to the extent that sentiments in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu allowed. This, however, provided space to other players such as Pakistan, China, Israel, and the USA. However, India in its ‘neighbourhood ﬁrst’ policy is trying to re-engage with Sri Lanka especially after the end of civil war. Furthermore, the ideals of democracy become a keystone for expanding the relationship.
Commercial Relations: Sri Lanka has long been a priority destination for direct investment from India. Sri Lanka is one of India’s largest trading partner in SAARC. India in turn is Sri Lanka’s greatest trade partner globally. Trade between the two countries grew particularly rapidly after the entry into force of the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement in March 2000. A number of new investments from Indian company are in the pipeline or under implementation. Notable among them are proposal of South City, Kolkata for real estate development in Colombo, Tata Housing Slave Island Development project along the Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka, and ‘Colombo One’ project of ITC Ltd.
Developmental Cooperation: Sri Lanka is one of the major recipients of development credit given by the Government of India. India is also ﬁnancing to support repair of tsunami-damaged Colombo-Matara rail link and construction railway lines in Northern Sri Lanka. India also continues to assist a large number of smaller development projects in areas like education, health, transport connectivity, small and medium enterprise development and training in many parts of the country through its grant funding.
Cultural Relations-The Cultural Cooperation Agreement signed by the Government of India and the Government of Sri Lanka on 29 November, 1977 at New Delhi forms the basis for periodic Cultural Exchange Programmes between the two countries. Tourism also forms an important link between India and Sri Lanka. Government of India formally launched the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) scheme for Sri Lankan tourists in 2015.
Sri Lanka’s geographic location makes it a great opportunity. The Palk Bay which links the two neighbours although has also caused a lot of problems. Given the proximity of the territorial waters of both countries, especially in the Palk Straits and the Gulf of Mannar, incidents of straying of ﬁshermen are common.
Indian boats have been ﬁshing in the troubled waters for centuries and had a free run of the Bay of Bengal, the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar until 1974 and 1976 when treaties were signed between the two countries to demarcate the maritime boundary — the IMBL. However, the treaties failed to factor in the hardship of thousands of traditional ﬁshermen who were forced to restrict themselves to a meagre area in their ﬁshing forays. The small islet of Katchatheevu, hitherto used by them for sorting their catch and drying their nets, fell on the other side of the IMBL. V. Suryanaryan highlights the need of the two countries to look at Palk Bay as a common heritage and not a source of contention to facilitate movement of people, goods and ideas to preserve Indian Ocean as a zone of freedom and cooperation.
Q. Why did the Green Revolution in India virtually by-pass the eastern region despite fertile soil and good availability of water?
The Green Revolution in India refers to a period when Indian agriculture was converted into an industrial system due to the adoption of modern methods and technology such as the use of high yielding variety (HYV) seeds, tractors, irrigation facilities, pesticides, and fertilizers. It was mainly found by M.S. Swaminathan. But its extent was limited only to few northers states and southern states only and all most all of eastern region was left behind despite having fertile soil and water availability.
Green Revolution in India virtually by-pass the eastern region despite fertile soil and good availability of water. WHY?
More than 80% of the total land holdings in Eastern India were / are small and marginal land holdings. Financial constraints in eastern part of India played a prohibitive role in acquiring new technology and costly HYV seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. Bihar and Odisha were most poor states in the Indian Union having substantial number of households below the poverty line, majority of the farmers practiced subsistence farming in low value crops. Credit facilities were also less adequate in eastern states as compared to those who did well. For example, Punjab had a greater number of scheduled commercial banks per lakh of population.
One of the major goals of the Green Revolution was for India to achieve selfsufficiency, which is why the focus was on crops such as wheat which Indi was in dire need of in order to feed its rapidly increasing population. Therefore, it was appropriate to choose areas that already produced the crops in question, and increase their yield and productivity.
The cropping pattern in Eastern India was traditionally dominated by rice and other low value crops. Rice responded late to new technology but meanwhile western region marched ahead with jumps in production of wheat, maize and bajra.
This region was bypassed due to institutional factors. It has been established that the best performing areas in Green Revolution were under under Mahalwari region in Punjab. Although Zamindari system was abolished, yet its influence remained in the eastern parts of India.
Punjab had a literacy rate higher than all India average and farmers were more aware of the potential benefits of new technologies and agricultural practices. This led to a more successful green revolution in Punjab as compared to eastern region where farmer were not ready to assimilate new practices.
The average size of land holding in eastern region was smaller, making it less suitable for adoption new technology and mechanization under Green Revolution.
High population pressure on land, combined with relatively low cropyields, results in lower average per capita income for farm households in the Eastern regions.
The region is also highly vulnerable to climate change and thus suffers from high inter-year crop yield variability.
Power supplies and irrigation facilities were not sufficient in eastern Indian states and other infrastructural requirements which could usher green revolution were not adequate in eastern states such as roads, communication, transport facilities, irrigation systems etc.
The inadequate policy and inappropriate governmental support kept farmers away from the collection of required finance for adopting scientific method.
The lack awareness among the farmers of the region made them unaware of scientific methods like- using HYV seeds and chemicals Aim of the policy was to remove food shortage and once it was achieved even with limited number of states, others states weren’t given the desired focus.
The Green Revolution Strategy laid excessive emphasis on increasing production at any cost. Excessive emphasis on increasing production led to by passing the eastern region despite fertile soil and good availability of water.