Mains Q & A 11 January 2023
Q1. Violent outbursts motivated by casteism and communalism that are strongly rooted can be aimed at the helpless and impoverished. Analyse. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS I Communalism and related issues
A violent political doctrine with religious roots, communalism. The Indian setting is where the issue of religious inequalities across groups, which frequently produce conflict and occasionally violence among them, is most frequently observed. The treatment of one religious group more favourably than another in areas like employment or education is communalism in its less violent form.
The caste system or casteism is characterised by affinity for a hereditary endogamous group, having a common name, a common traditional occupation, a common culture, being relatively restrictive in areas of mobility, distinctiveness of status, and establishing a single homogenous society.
The reasons for communalism:
Factors of history: The British divided India along religious lines as part of their “divide and rule” policy. Hindus and Muslims were set against each other for personal benefit.
Political factors: Despite recent efforts to address this issue, party leaders and politicians continue to make anti-communal and hateful remarks during elections. Politics based on religion, politics of identity, and political leaders’ favouritism of their communities are further political considerations.
The outcomes of this process include the politics surrounding Mandir and Masjid, the destruction of the Babri Masjid, etc.
Opportunistic politics are the main cause of communalism in India.
Food preferences: Beef transportation and eating in India have been contentious issues that have sparked racial outbursts in various areas of the country.
Social considerations: According to government designation, Minority Concentration Areas trail the nation in terms of socioeconomic and basic amenity measures.
This was well-documented, even in the 2006 report of the Sachar Committee.
These flaws and unpleasant realities are regularly employed for societal and political ends.
Caste as a barrier to intergroup harmony:
Intercaste marriages and Dalit assertions of fundamental rights, including as those to land, freedom of speech, access to justice, and education, have led to a rise in caste-based violence against Dalits. A group of Dalits in Una, Gujarat, were attacked when they enlisted in the campaign to demand Dalit land ownership.
Caste-based violence was described as the Hathras Gang’s rape of a Dalit woman.
Scavenging by hand: Scavenging by hand, which involves taking untreated human waste from pit latrines or bucket toilets, eventually became a caste-based occupation. Even though it is against the law, this practise is nevertheless widespread today.
340 people had died as of December 2020 while removing septic tanks and sewers.
Untouchability: Despite being prohibited by the Constitution, untouchability still exists in regions with strong local deities.
For instance, in Shimla, Kullu, Sirmaur, and Kinnaur, Dalits are still not allowed to enter temples or touch the gods.
True social cohesion is hampered by caste differences in society, which is exploited. More divisions could be stoked by this fragmentation, ultimately causing society to disintegrate.
Effects of racial and caste-based violence on Indian society:
The caste system and religious identity are important social systems in India. A person’s decisions about, among other things, politics, economy, education, employment, and housing are influenced by caste and religion.
Caste and religion hampered the emergence of national unity because they produced a provincial mentality and made people unduly conscious of their own castes and religions.
National objectives have frequently been overridden by caste or group considerations.
The idea of national unity was thus challenged by the entire system.
Democracy is constrained by the caste system, which encouraged inequality and had a hierarchical structure. Democracy is based on the premise that all people are equal.
These days, caste is utilised as a political tool to achieve benefits like hiring favours in public employment and educational institutions.
declining status of women As a result, caste-based customs like sati and child marriage emerged. Women were treated as second-class citizens. Patriarchal behaviour continues to be dominant today.
Conflict and violence are the results of such exploitation and discrimination, which are in turn the results of caste and communal identities that are deeply rooted in Indian society. Examples include atrocities committed against Dalits and women of lower castes, as well as sexual assault.
In order to establish links between neighbours, promote a feeling of community, and teach the next generation the values of communal harmony, the government must fund and encourage NGOs and other civil society organisations to run these programmes. The organisation charged with cultivating communal harmony, the National Foundation for Community Harmony (NFCH), needs to adopt a proactive approach. The current criminal justice system has to be improved, and deterrents like swift trials and appropriate compensation for caste- or community-based victims could do so.
Q2. What does a unicorn mean in the context of startups? With the right regulatory framework and local funding sources, India can create a really imaginative and resilient economy in the midst of the unicorn boom of 2021. Examine. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS III Indian Economy
In the world of venture capital, any startup valued above $1 billion is referred to as a unicorn. In 2013, venture capitalist Aileen Lee coined the phrase. The majority of the time, unicorns have stirred up trouble in the field they labour in. Uber, for instance, changed the way people commute. Airbnb and Snapchat, among other things, changed how people used social media while travelling and how they planned their lodging.
In terms of the percentage of enterprises that have achieved unicorn status, India is currently placed third internationally.
In India, unicorns face the following challenges:
Capital: To operate a business from genesis to unicorn status, a sizable amount of working capital is required. Bootstrapping, or self-funding a business with money from friends and family or the founders’ personal savings, is common, especially for startups.
Complex regulatory environment: The Indian government has passed new regulations to make it simpler for entrepreneurs to conduct business.
But the existing regulatory landscape is frequently viewed as being complicated, ineffectual, and unpredictable.
Bureaucratic procedures: In India, businesses typically feel burdened by bureaucratic procedures that appear to be devoid of basic standards.
They don’t have enough possibilities to find information, and there is no guarantee provided by planning on the potential length of processes.
Furthermore, regulations may change suddenly or startups may receive unexpected alerts.
As a result, startups are compelled to devise irksome workarounds, invest time, or alter their business model.
Another challenge for business owners is getting their products on the market because it seems impossible to penetrate the Indian market.
One cause is the intense competition; frequently, many businesses already exist and many more enter the market, including copycats.
The second factor is that startups have an advantage over more established companies.
Major market participants are better suited to deal with administrative constraints, which is one explanation for this.
On the other hand, because public procurement is regarded as being weak, government contracts with well-established enterprises are preferred.
In many cases, joining a startup as an employee is not a desired career route for job seekers due to the inherent risk that the firm may fail.
The proper regulatory systems are necessary:
The factors encouraging unicorn growth include the availability of private equity money, increased Internet use and digital payment volume, enhanced infrastructure, and an expanding talent pool.
To ensure improved access to domestic capital, the nation’s policymakers, risk-taking businesses, and financing organisations must create a supportive atmosphere given the emphasis on creating an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
Regulators must be more proactive in developing the correct rules that encourage and support innovation rather than impede it as business models become more complex and interwoven.
To finally lower the risk of start-up investments, the government and commercial organisations may need to invest extensively through top academic institutions in addition to supporting local finance.
The benefits of a unicorn:
With 44 unicorns creating $106 billion in value and directly and indirectly supporting 4 million jobs, the Indian startup ecosystem is nothing short of a revolution.
Thanks to startups, female entrepreneurs have significantly improved the startup ecosystem.
It is increasingly seen as an indication that India is establishing an entrepreneurial culture and that the country’s economy is about to reach a turning point.
As ancillary industries develop, there are more chances for innovation, expansion, and employment.
Thanks to consumer-focused businesses like Ola and Flipkart, workers now have access to a second gig economy, giving them the much-needed flexibility.
Due of competition among unicorns, customers benefit from affordable prices.
It has created a climate that has allowed for more money and investments to enter the country in cities like Bengaluru and Delhi.
By providing the “minicorns” (startups valued at $1 million or more) and “soonicorns” (funded by angel investors or venture capitalists and likely to soon join the unicorn club) with the proper regulatory environment and local sources of funding, India can develop a truly innovative and resilient economy.
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