Q.1) India has contributed tremendously in space exploration. Do you think India should expand private players role in its space industry? Critically analyse.
Demand of the question Introduction. Write a contextual introduction.
Body. Need of privatisation of space. Benefits, and issues.
Conclusion. Way forward.
India is among the global leaders in space exploration. ISRO has spearheaded India’s success in space. From a modest beginning in the 1960s, India’s space programme has grown steadily, achieving significant milestones. These include various satellite launch, space-launch vehicles, and a range of associated capabilities. But private sector has not contribute much to it.
Why private sector should be involved in space industry?
Increasing Demand- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s annual budget has crossed ₹10,000 crore ($1.45 billion) and is growing steadily. However, demand for space-based services in India is far greater than what ISRO can provide. With limited number of staff, its difficult to meet the ever increasing demand from various stakeholders. Therefore, private sector investment is critical, for which a suitable policy environment needs to be created.
Overall growth of space sector- Private sector participation is needed to ensure overall growth of the space sector. ISRO has a strong association with the industry, particularly with Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and large private sector entities like Larsen and Toubro. But most of the private sector players are Tier-2/Tier-3 vendors, providing components and services. The Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) role is restricted to ISRO. Role of private industries should be increased.
Very less global contribution- The global space industry is estimated to be $350 billion and is likely to exceed $550 billion by 2025. Despite ISRO’s capabilities, India’s share is estimated at $7 billion (just 2% of the global market). Private sector role is must to increase India’s contributions globally.
International trends and experience- Elon Musk’s “SpaceX” and its high profile projects have highlighted the increasing significance of the private players in the space sector. In India, despite the various strategic, security and regulatory constrains, a limited private ecosystem has evolved around the ISRO. Private are merely contracting with national space agencies to build satellites and subsystems. Contrarily, the current trend is developing entire vertically integrated operations without licensing or purchase agreements with national agencies.
Various Benefits of private sector’s participation in space industry
Greater pool of resources- Public resources- land, labour, capital are limited. Private sector participation will open new pool of resources and talent. It will bring more funding, and experience into space exploration activities.
Human Capital- Restricting space activities to ISRO, limits proper utilisation of talent all over the country. With demographic dividend, private sector participation can exploit the talent across the nation contributing a lot to space explorations in India.
More time for ISRO- Today every space mission is done by ISRO, whether its communication satellite or any weather monitoring satellite. With increased role of private player, ISRO can concentrate more on its pathbreaking innovations like Reusable PSLVs, Cryogenic rockets, mars inhabitation.
Technological advancement- Commercialisation will also develop better technologies which is important. It will allow integration of many other technologies like artificial intelligence into space exploration activities. With experience from space activities, private sector can increase role of technology in other areas.
Risk Sharing- Every launch consists Risk. Privatising helps in sharing the risk of cost factor. Failure costs will be distributed. Also with increased private participation, failures will reduce due to increased available human capital and mind. Joint venture brings the knowledge from various stakeholders minimises failures and increases productivity.
Commercial demand- There is need to enhance internet connectivity for the masses, which is another demand pull factor for increased commercial interest in space. Asteroid mining is also another potential area that looks promising, with scope for monetisation and disrupting commodity markets.
Issues and Concerns of private participation in space industry
Data Risk- Though space it gives an opportunity to entrepreneurs but raw data of ISRO in the hands of public is sensitive and consists of danger of misuse or improper utilisation of data.
Regulation- Though its a profitable investment, regulation of private sector participation is not easy. The time taken for regulatory clearances and unstable political institutions can cause delays and hurdle in decision making of investors.
Revenue loss- ISRO will loose a fair amount of money it is earning through its space activities. This will reduce government revenue.
Unfair commercial practices- Allowing private sector may lead to lobbying and unfair means to get space projects or launch of any satellite for their own profit. It may also lead to leakage of sensitive information by private players to other countries and companies to make profit.
India should create an independent body that can create a level playing field for government and private space enterprises. A new Space law for India should be framed which should aim at facilitating growing India’s share of global space economy to 10% within a decade which requires a new kind of partnership between ISRO, the established private sector and the New Space entrepreneurs.
Q.2) India is targeting to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, but the past experience of jobless growth is a headache for Indian intelligentsia. In light of this, discuss various causes of jobless growth in India in past. Give some measures to create job opportunities in India.
Demand of the question
Introduction. Write about India’s growth.
Body. Reason for jobless growth.
Conclusion. Way forward and measures.
India has grown at about 7-8 % in recent years. But data and facts shows that Indian growth was jobless and not inclusive. According to Census 2011, the average growth rate of the economy was 7.7 per cent per annum, when it was only 1.8 per cent for employment. 66th round of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data on employment in 2011 revealed that between 2004-05 and 2009-10, only 1 million jobs were added per year; in a period when the economy averaged a record 8.43% growth annually.
Reasons behind the Jobless growth:
Service sector driven growth- The biggest employer in India is the Agriculture sector, employing 45% of the population but it contributes only 15% to the GDP, whereas Service sector is the biggest contributor to the GDP but employs less than 30%. IT and Financial services are drivers of service sector growth in last 2 decades however both of these sector are not employment intensive. This is contributing to jobless growth in India.
Failure of manufacturing sector- Manufacturing sector is labour–intensive. But it did not become the engine of growth in India. Rather the knowledge-intensive services sector which is less labour intensive along with some other segments of capital intensive manufacturing was the engines of growth in India. These sectors did not lead to much employment generation.
India’s focus on higher education- Since the second five-year plan India has focussed more on higher education rather than basic education. We failed to create enough basic skilled workforce required for labour-intensive manufacturing. Thus, contribution of less labour intensive service sector increased significantly in India’s GDP.
Import-oriented economy- Excessive imports have been damaging Indian manufacturing industry. India has failed to witness a strong growth in the labour-intensive segment of the manufacturing sector, as it did not move from the import to an export-oriented development strategy. If India had followed Labour intensive goods export-led model like Southeast Asian countries, it would have created many jobs in the MSME sector.
Stagnation in manufacturing output and employment contraction- Less jobs were created due to stagnant manufacturing output and contraction of labour-intensive segment of the formal manufacturing sector. This is due to excessive rigidity in the manufacturing labour market and rigid labour regulations has created disincentives for employers to create jobs. According to world bank study Industrial Disputes Act has lowered employment in organised manufacturing by about 25%.
Automation- The nature of Indian manufacturing is not employment-friendly. Most of them are automated and any employment is highly skilled. Thus it has contribute to growth, and not generated much employment.
Infrastructure Bottlenecks- Infrastructural bottlenecks (especially in access to electricity), lack of backward and forward linkages between agriculture, industry and service sector has failed to create jobs and also hindered growth of labour intensive sectors.
MSME problems- The labour intensity of MSME is four times higher than that of large firms. But they face many problems. They have poor access to credit and are plagued by many serious problems which has limited there growth potential.
Skill Mismatch- Indian labour is not skilled as per industrial demands. Lesser skill levels of workers limit them the job opportunities. Also various programs by government like Skill India and stand up India are launched recently only. Industry focussed skills are needed to be inculcated.
Some measures to increase jobs and employment-
Labour reforms- Labour Laws should be reformed as due to the stringent Labour Laws Corporates in India are preferring Capital intensive mode of Production in a country where labour is abundant.
Strengthen education system- The education system needs to be revamped to create the desired skill-sets. At present, the education system is failing in delivering. Thus a closure look at education system is needed with emphasis on skills and basics.
Promoting labour Intensive sectors- Labour intensive sectors like food processing industry, leather industry, apparel, electronics, gems and jewellery, financial services, and tourism etc. should be encouraged. Appropriate subsidies and tax incentives should be given to incentivise them. Make in India initiative a great step forward which will boost the manufacturing.
Strengthening MSME- MSME sector should be promoted and supported. Easing regulations, subsidies will help. Also easy available of credit should be the priority. MUDRA has a potential to create required jobs in India.
Implementing Niti Ayog action agenda- The Action Agenda has provided several good ideas for job creation, including labour law reforms at the state level. The report emphasizes the role of exports in job creation and recommends establishing coastal employment zones (CEZs), similar to China’s special economic zones (SEZs). This agenda must be implemented in letter and spirit.
Entrepreneurship- The focus of economic policy must be on creating an enabling policy for youth to take up entrepreneurship and create more jobs in the market. India does not need five companies worth 5000 crores turnover but needs 5000 companies of 5 crore turnover.
With higher growth rates not having translated into more jobs, the government should formulate a National Employment Policy that takes these trends into account. Expansion of public employment and a national skilling programme could boost employment.
Q.3) Tourism industry has been a part of India’s growth story in last decade, but still have not reached full potential. Discuss. Also suggest some measures to boost tourism in India.
Demand of the question
Introduction. Write a contextual introduction.
Body. Contribution of tourism in India’s growth. Issues.
Conclusion. Way forward and measures.
India’s culture and diversity make it a land of beauty and attraction. Tourism in India is important for the country’s economy and is growing rapidly. Each city and state has so much to offer in terms of the heritage, architecture and experience that can be explored. India’s tourism potential is huge.
Contribution of tourism sector in India’s growth story
The World Travel and Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated ₹17 lakh crore (US$240 billion) or 9.2% of India’s GDP in 2018 and supported 42 million jobs, 8.1% of its total employment. The sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.9% to ₹32 lakh crore (US$460 billion) by 2028 (9.9% of GDP).
India’s medical tourism sector it is projected to grow to US$7–8 billion by 2020. In 2014, 1.85 lakh foreign patients traveled to India to seek medical treatment.
Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are the most popular states for tourists. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Agra and Jaipur are the five most visited cities of India by foreign tourists
India has good air transport, particularly given the country’s stage of development, and reasonable ground transport infrastructure. The country also has high natural and cultural resources. However, there exists the potential to increase this growth rate to 30% – and when that happens tourism will contribute around 25% of our GDP.
Some issues related to tourism industry-
Infrastructure bottlenecks- India’s tourism infrastructure remain somewhat underdeveloped. The nation has less hotel rooms per capita by international comparison and low ATM penetration. Fast-track clearances of hotel projects should be done.
Poor flight connectivity- Poor air connectivity especially to rural area is a hindrance to Indian tourism. India’s Udan scheme is a right step, but India has to increase number of airports. E.g Mysore, has no commercial airport.
Poor hospitality- When it comes to the hospitality sector, even though the situation has improved in the last few years, it needs to do much better, especially in the second-tier cities. To do so, the sector must not just invest in brick-and-mortar infrastructure, but also in human resources. In the last few years, India has seen several attacks on tourists, especially women. This situation must be addressed not just because of the revenue but also because it tarnishes India’s image.
Decreased tourism- The Survey 2019 pointed out that the tourism sector experienced a sharp slowdown in 2018, the Survey stated that the foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) in 2018-19 stood at 10.6 million compared with 10.4 million in 2017-18. FDI in hotel and tourism also declined from $1,132 million in 2017-18 to $1,076 million in 2018-19.
Measures to boost tourism industry-
Improving infrastructure- Infrastructure should be strengthened. Land should be made available for hotels and reserve land for hotels in all new townships under planning.
Skill development- Skill development efforts should be increased to train more persons. Focus should be on training hospitality and humbleness. Proper language training is also needed.
Promoting niche tourism- Niche tourism refers to a type of speciality tourism that focuses on a specific concept or topic. This can be food, sports, wildlife tourism. Each of these tours will focus on their individual concepts. The Ministry of Tourism designs national policies for the development and promotion of tourism. Concerted efforts are needed to promote niche tourism products such as rural, cruise, medical and eco-tourism. The Ministry of Tourism’s Incredible India campaign focus on promoting the tourism in India.
Rural development- The secret to enabling tourism growth is hidden in India’s 600,000 villages, which together represent an ocean of heritage, culture and experiences waiting to be explored. Yet to unlock the hidden potential of India’s villages, we need to approach the issue through the lens of impact tourism.
Focus on Impact tourism- It is a community and tourist-centred approach in which tourism is leveraged to help deliver sustainable community infrastructure. It gives tourists an authentic experience of local culture and traditions while helping the community. The village-based impact tourism model can boost tourism.
Public private partnerships- What is needed now is an effective partnership between the government and the private sector. A National tourism board should be created to provide the tourism sectors with a voice at government level. Currently the Indian tourism industry is self-governed by multiple agencies with no common goals. A tourism board, however, could clearly define the roles and responsibilities of both the government and private sector.
Coordination at various levels- There is a need to strengthen the coordination mechanism of various Ministries and stakeholders to resolve issues in promotion of tourism in the country. Also there is need for centre-state cooperation, and state-state cooperation.
According to Economic Survey 2018-19 increased budgetary allocation for development of infrastructure, making land available for hotels, and reduction in taxes is needed to boost tourism. Additionally, the State governments need to be sensitised about tourism being a major driver of employment and poverty alleviation.
India has immense tourism potential which is yet to be explored. Government policies should focus on infrastructure and grass root development. It will not only lead to generation of employment, but will also enhance India’s soft power.
Q.4) What is Somatic cell nuclear transfer? Explain its technology and enlist various potential application of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer technology.
Demand of the question
Introduction. Define Somatic cell nuclear transfer.
Body. Write about its technology and second part potential applications.
Conclusion. Way forward.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a laboratory technique for cloning for creating an ovum with a donor nucleus.
Technology of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer:
A somatic cell is isolated and extracted from an adult female.
Then the nucleus and all of its DNA from an egg cell is removed.
After that the nucleus from the somatic cell is transferred to the egg cell.
After being inserted into the egg, the somatic cell nucleus is reprogrammed by the host cell and is stimulated with a shock.
The egg cell, with its new nucleus, will behave just like a freshly fertilised egg.
It developed into an embryo, which is implanted into a surrogate mother.
Potential Applications of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer:
Stem cell research- Somatic cell nuclear transplantation is being used in stem cell research. These cells are deemed to have a pluripotent potential because they have the ability to give rise to all of the tissues found in an adult organism. This could be used in therapies or disease research. This allows stem cells to create any cell type, which could then be transplanted to replace damaged or destroyed cells.
Organ transplants- Another application of SCNT stem cell research to generate tissues or even organs for transplant into the specific patient. The resulting cells would be genetically identical to the somatic cell donor, thus avoiding any complications from immune system rejection.
Therapeutic applications- SCNT have ample scope of success in therapy and curing diseases. It can be used to treat diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease etc. In 2014, the New York Stem Cell Foundation was successful in creating SCNT stem cells derived from adult somatic cells. One of these lines of stem cells was derived from the donor cells of a type 1 diabetic. These insulin producing cells could be used for replacement therapy in diabetics, demonstrating real SCNT stem cell therapeutic potential.
Reproductive cloning- Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer technique is currently the basis for cloning animals (such as the famous Dolly the sheep), and has been theoretically proposed as a possible way to clone humans. But there are moral and ethical objections against reproductive cloning. In 2018, the first successful cloning of primates using somatic cell nuclear transfer, (the same method as Dolly the sheep), was successfully done with the birth of two live female clones .
Preservation of endangered species- Interspecies nuclear transfer (iSCNT) is a means of somatic cell nuclear transfer used to facilitate the rescue of endangered species, or even to restore species after their extinction.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer can be both boon and bane. It might help in many ways but it also has its share of effects which might include reduction of gene diversity, Nature’s rule like survival of fittest, ethical and moral issues. If got into wrong hands (Terrorists, crime syndicate) it might prove to be a disaster in waiting. Thus caution is needed with proper regulation for its usage.