Mains Q & A 24 December 2022
Q1. What are the disadvantages of allocating certain cadre responsibilities to specific government services? Consider the impact on Indian governance. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS II Civil Service related issues
In India, there is a structure in place that reserves some positions, both at the federal and state levels, as cadre roles for the delivery of specific services. As a result, all services have evolved unique behaviours to ward off customers from other businesses. One such instance is the current Supreme Court dispute involving CAPF and IPS employees.
Cons of reserving some tasks for cadre positions:
First of all, it demotivates all military personnel, regardless of the skill set that any individual service member possesses.
Second, even while casting a wider net may be preferable from a national perspective, officers from a certain service must be assigned to a specific station, which usually necessitates making less-than-ideal decisions.
Thirdly, rather of being promoted more slowly or more quickly because they are less or more qualified, peers who passed the same exam experience unusual anomalies when they work for different services.
The incapacity of the government to properly utilise its workforce is especially concerning when it feels that there is a skill gap that must be covered by hiring from the private sector.
All personnel are required to stay in their major functional areas and must be promoted frequently, most usually concurrently, as there is no lateral movement. All services are hence top-heavy.
Every service has received training to carry out a vital function. A customs officer, for example, receives different training than a police officer or an income tax officer. Some individuals, however, outgrow their core functional domains and acquire new skills in the process.
However, the cadre role structure ensures that any skills they may have learned cannot be successfully demonstrated. Furthermore, the country does not profit from the officers’ skills, despite the fact that they were acquired at the expense of tax payers.
We appear to have destroyed the adaptability and nimbleness required to address the needs of a world that is changing swiftly by designating all top roles as cadre appointments.
It also offers the different providers a weapon to use in legal battles to keep rivals off their land.
We must investigate if the idea of cadre posts has benefited the country or backfired.
It does not immediately appear to be a realistic method of managing human resources because it limits the options.
Given that we require departmental officials with specialised expertise to staff the base and middle of the administrative pyramid, it wouldn’t be a good idea to fully abandon the concept.
To increase the talent pool available for the cadre function, we could want to either make posts cadre-neutral or, at the very least, make multiple services with the necessary knowledge eligible for the role.
The use of objective criteria based on domain knowledge can significantly raise the significance of the selection process in each of the two models.
Cadre duties are simply one of several outmoded concepts that impair administrative effectiveness, limit competition, and erect obstacles to entrance.
They continue because they aid in the defence of the area by the services, even if many of them are no longer necessary.
It is past time to find such limiting ideas in our administrative orthodoxy and analyse them thoroughly in the context of cutting-edge HRM techniques. The idea of “ease of doing business” must be included into our administrative concepts and procedures. Only then will we be able to utilise the talent pool we currently have, both inside and outside of government.
Q2. How is India’s agriculture being impacted by climate change? Describe the actions necessary to address the ongoing climate crisis. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS II Government Policies and Interventions
44.9% of the population in India is supported by the agriculture industry, which contributed 16% of the nation’s GDP in 2017. The employment rate in this industry dropped by 10 percentage points in a decade, from 53.1% in 2008 to 43.9% in 2018. The industry is dealing with a number of issues, such as crop failures, unfavourable crop price, and low returns on output. Many farmers are losing hope as a result of the acute agrarian distress; in 2015, 39% of farmer suicide cases were related to debt and bankruptcy.
The risk profile for climate change in India:
The monsoon is a blessing for India, but it also makes it particularly vulnerable to global warming.
According to the 2019 Global Climate Risk Index, India is placed fourteenth.
More than 67% of our fields are used for rain-fed agriculture, which can be expensive, especially for coarse cereals (which are mostly grown in rain-fed areas).
Agricultural activities contributed to 13% of the world’s emissions in 2011 or 6 billion tonnes of GHGs. Currently, the energy sector is the top emitter in the world, followed by the agricultural business.
Since more than 60% of Indian agriculture depends on rainfall, farming is a high-risk activity that is influenced by regional climatic conditions and the whims of the monsoons.
It is crucial to warn farmers in advance of the possibility of unexpected or extreme weather events due to the growing climate unpredictability.
The three pillars of food security—availability, access, and absorption—are impacted by climate change. Food is less readily available when productivity declines. The poor are particularly impacted negatively by climate change. They are unable to obtain the food since they do not have the money to buy it. This ultimately affects health and makes absorption difficult.
Globally, 570 million farms face threats from climate change. Climate change has an annual impact on agriculture of between 4 and 9 percent. Climate change is expected to result in a 5% reduction in GDP in India, where agriculture accounts for 15% of the country’s GDP.
According to one estimate, they may see a loss in household income of 24-58% and an increase in household poverty of 12-33% as a result of the intensifying droughts.
More than 120 million hectares of land in India have suffered some sort of devastation.
The deterioration of our kharif crops would result from rising mean temperatures
The possible remedies:
Promotion of dryland agriculture and conservation farming, including accurate rainfall estimates for each hamlet and weather-based warnings for crop diseases and pests all year long.
In order to cut production risk in half, we should concentrate our agricultural research efforts on dryland research and create drought-tolerant breeds.
Shifting planting dates should be taken into consideration, especially for wheat, since this might prevent between 60 and 75 percent of the harm caused by climate change.
Increased nutrient cycling and organic matter in the soil from organic farming can make soils more resistant to climate change and aid in carbon sequestration.
Money & Credit:
The extension of the Rural Insurance Development Fund and the insurance coverage, which currently covers all crops, increased credit availability.
reduced interest rates as a result of government assistance.
The government will provide the poorest farmers with a basic income, as was previously planned.
Tree-planting as restitution
India lost more than 20 million hectares of grasslands and shrublands and over 26 million hectares of forest between 1880 and 2013, according to estimates. India continues to use 135 hectares of forest every day as a result of urbanisation.
To prevent any net forest cover loss, compensatory afforestation must be performed locally.
It should be required that State CAMPAs (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) hold regular meetings.
The record-keeping practises of state-level forest agencies require improvement, particularly with regard to the calculation and payment of fees for compensatory afforestation projects.
The Indian Forest Service’s empowerment
The Indian Forest Service also requires reorganisation (IFS). This service should not be managed by deputies from other agencies; it should remain a specialised one.
The IFS must be given status on par with the military or police in the field of the environment.
It must offer its employees cutting-edge training.
It should be encouraged for new employees to specialise on wildlife, tourism, and protection.
Smart green cities:
It is crucial to transform nearby cities into savvy, environmentally conscious neighbourhoods with improved rubbish recycling systems.
Van Dhan Yojna
A green mission to rescue our unprotected forests, or those that are not currently found inside national parks or animal sanctuaries, may be formed by expanding the Van Dhan Yojana, which the state government of Rajasthan has adopted.
Places like Sawai Madhopur, Bharatpur, Chikmagalur, and Jabalpur should receive more attention.
India may become more resilient to the consequences of climate change through prudent investments and legislative changes.
Climate justice must be a part of any effort to adapt to the current pace of climate change.
By combining the burgeoning smart cities in India with green cities in the West, cooperative research and development organisations like the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Centre can further this. India must unquestionably reduce emissions in order to decarbonize. But the West too has costs to pay.
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