SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 SEPTEMBER 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 SEPTEMBER 2018


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 2


Topic– Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

1) What are the different clemency provisions available in India. Discuss. Also discuss what precautions should be taken in deciding the questions of granting clemency to convicts.(250 words)

The hindu

Reference

Why this question

The Rajiv Gandhi assassination case has again been in news. The case involves several legal concepts and provisions. In this context it is essential to discuss different clemency granting provisions available in India. It then wants us to write in detail as to what precautions should be taken in cases involving grant of clemency to convicts.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the different clemency provisions available in India. It also wants us to discuss what precautions should be taken in deciding the questions of granting clemency to convicts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the pardoning powers and procedure.

Body-

  • Discuss the different clemency powers available to the President and the governor. Discuss the power of Pardon,  Reprieve, Respite, Commute, Remission. Briefly discuss the meaning of each term and how the powers of the governor are different from that of the president.
  • Discuss the precautions that ought to be taken while deciding cases involving grant of clemency to convicts. E.g need for a case-by-case evaluation; case must be decided on the basis of legal principles alone; it should be immune from political, religious or any other considerations/ pressures;

Conclusion-sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.

Different clemency provisions available in India under article 72 :-

  • Indian President is empowered with the power to pardon under Article 72 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Article 72 says that the President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence.
    • Pardon –A pardon completely absolves the offender from all sentences and punishment and disqualifications and places him in the same position as if he had never committed the offence.
    • Commutation- Commutation means exchange of one thing for another. In simple words to replace the punishment with less severe punishment. For example for Rigorous imprisonment-simple imprisonment.
    • Reprieve– Reprieve means temporary suspension of death sentence. For example-  pending a proceeding for pardon or commutation.
    • Respite – Respite means awarding a lesser punishment on some special grounds. For example-  the Pregnancy of women offender.
    • Remissions –  Remission means the reduction of the amount of sentence without changing its character, for example, a sentence of 1 year may be remitted to 6 months. In other words, it reduces the period of sentence, but the character of punishment remains same.
  • The President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remission of punishment or to suspend remit or commute the sentence of any persons convicted of any offence:-
    • (a) in all cases where the punishment or sentence is by a court martial
    • (b) in all cases where the punishment or sentence is for an offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the Union extends
    • (c) in all cases where the sentence is a sentence of death.
  • The pardoning power of President is wider than the governor and it differs in the following two ways:-
    • The power of the President to grant pardon extends in cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial but Article 161 does not provide any such power to the Governor.
    • The President can grant pardon in all cases where the sentence given is sentence of death but pardoning power of Governor does not extend to death sentence cases.

Precautions needed to be taken in deciding the questions of granting clemency :-

  • There is a need for a case-by-case evaluation
  • Case must be decided on the basis of legal principles alone
  • The decision should be immune from political, religious or any other considerations/ pressures
  • International ramifications also can be considered as one of the precautions
  • Ensure that innocent person is not held guilty for offense.
  • It must also ensure that Governor should not come under external influence and decision needs to be taken in accordance with legal and  Constitutional provision.
  • The decision should be taken after satisfying all the criteria involved and not merely on false ground.

Topic-Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

2) Divyang-friendly measures need to be integrated at planning stage for ensuring inclusive growth in smart cities in India. Discuss.(250 words) 

Pib

Why this question

Divyangs as the persons facing any disability are more aptly called, form an important segment of our population. The recently held interactive session on “Divyang Friendly Measures and Policy Recommendations for Smart Cities in India” has highlighted the issue of inclusive growth in India . It is therefore important to analyze the issue.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in detail about the need to undertake Divyang-Friendly measures at planning stage for ensuring inclusive growth in smart cities in India. We also have to discuss how those measures can be undertaken- what should be the direction of approach.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the growing urban population, and mention India’s smart city program.

Body-

  • Discuss the need to undertake such measures. E.g Census 2001 has revealed that over 21 million people in India as suffering from one or the other kind of disability. This is equivalent to 2.1% of the population; tourism-based cities are likely to face an opportunity loss of an estimated 15-20% of the global market share if they exclude tourists with disabilities. ; Leaving people with disabilities out of economic opportunities leads to a loss of 3-7%of GDP annually; the disabled have the right to life with dignity; according to the United Nations, a mere 1% additional cost is incurred for incorporating universal design and accessibility in the design and planning stage itself etc.
  • Mention that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 mandates making all buildings, services and products accessible giving definite timelines for implementation and retrofitting.Discuss how these measures can be undertaken vis a vis the smart cities programme. E.g update the National Building Code 2016 to ensure that accessibility cuts across all chapters and section; with a growing digital interface, technology must be made accessible – municipal apps, bus shelters, kiosks, red light junctions, ATMs, all need to be made accessible for people with disabilities. Signage captioning is important for the deaf and hearing-impaired. Products that we use must be accessible- e.g. low floor buses, lifts and elevators that announce the floor reached for people with visual disabilities, etc.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • Smart Cities Mission adopts a unique approach to urbanization, adding that at its core, the Mission promotes the access to infrastructure for all citizens and this becomes a platform to provide social justice.
  • People with disabilities are among the most marginalised – not because of their disability but because of an environment that is hostile insensitive and inaccessible so smart cities concept need to be made inclusive.

Need for inclusive planning with respect to disabilities:-

  • In India, the population with disabilities is around 26.8 million, constituting 2.21% of India’s total population, if one goes by the 2011 population census data. 
  • According to the United Nations, a mere 1% additional cost is incurred for incorporating universal design and accessibility in the design and planning stage itself.
  • In conjunction with the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the Smart Cities Mission seeks to ensure that the most vulnerable sections of our society enjoy ‘Ease of Living’ in Indian cities
  • Tourism-based cities are likely to face an opportunity loss of an estimated 15-20% of the global market share if they exclude tourists with disabilities. 
  • Leaving people with disabilities out of economic opportunities leads to a loss of 3-7%of GDP annually.
  • Disability-inclusive technology is good design for all including the elderly or those who prefer choices in communication and interaction, and can serve to make cities more accessible and easier to navigatewith a range of interface and communication choices
  • While the entire smart cities (project) is data- driven project, there is no data on accessibility. Since there is no data, there is very less likelihood of including it into the indicators. Accessibility is actually still not on the agenda of smart cities, that’s what we have seen in our experience

What more needs to be done?

  • Protection granted by RpWD act need to be implemented effectively:-
    • The Act brought in provisions by which no person can be discriminated against on the grounds of their disability thereby providing an equal opportunity. No employee can be discriminated against in cases of career growth, promotions, transfers, etc.
    • Compliance of Accessibility is the key provisionof the act. It states that no company will be provided a certificate of completion unless it provides ramps, elevators, transport, communication, adheres to minimum width of walkways, etc. Thus making the company an inclusive environment.
    • Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 also mandates making all buildings, services and products accessible giving definite timelines for implementation and retrofitting.
  • NCPEDP worked closely with BIS to update the National Building Code 2016 to ensure that accessibility cuts across all chapters and section.
  • With a growing digital interface, technology must be made accessible too municipal apps, bus shelters, kiosks, red light junctions, ATMs, all need to be made accessible for people with disabilities.
  • Signage captioning is important for the deaf and hearing-impaired. Products that people use must be accessible- e.g. low floor buses, lifts and elevators that announce the floor reached for people with visual disabilities, etc.
  • For the  SMART City to be a success, it is important that there is mapping of how persons with disabilities access utilities, public spaces and government  interventions in the planning stage itself on creating awareness at the political level to ensure sufficient budgetary support for the initiative and on identifying officers who can be dedicated for the project.
    • Smart city should provide more inclusive environment for the disabled people to participate in the smart environment. 
    • For example, a wheelchair user going to the shopping, public places, railway stations and airports should be able to identify the ideal route to the particular area. The open spaces are designed in such a manner that they can be used by everyone.
    • This approach to the smart city planning process will benefit the disabled persons. At least 2-5 per cent of the residential buildings in the city should be made accessible to persons with disabilities by providing disabled-friendly lifts, toilets as well as signage.
    • In order to meet the need of particularly disabled people in housing, the house should be as barrier-free as possible. Before building any apartment house for the handicapped, it is advisable to note street conditions and access to transportation.
    • Besides, small-scale modifications within the housing complexes like provision of ramps for wheel chair may be required to get in and out of their homes.
    • For the convenience of wheelchair-bound persons the authority should provide lifts and widen the doorway for them as far as practicable.
  • Disabled persons encounter many obstacles that prevent them from moving about freely and safely. Therefore, while designing the built environment, adequate space should be allocated for persons using mobility devices, e.g. wheelchairs, crutches and walkers, as well as those walking with the assistance of other persons. 
  • Design requirements include, use of guiding blocks for persons with impaired vision to guide them within the buildings and outside the building, installation of information board in Braille, installation of audible signage (announcements) and sufficient walking space for safe walking are required.

Topic – Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate; Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

3) Examine how US actions are undermining the mandate of WTO? Discuss the impact of lessening importance of WTO for India?(250 words) 

Financial express

Why this question

The article explains the various steps being taken by USA under Trump that undermines the importance of WTO, and explains the wider implications of such action. This is going to have a significant impact on all trading nations including India which has been trying to negotiate a mega regional trade deal. The question is important as free trade among nations is the casualty in current climate of anti globalisation and anti trade.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the actions taken by USA which is undermining the status of WTO and the impact of such actions on other nations. Thereafter, we need to discuss what it means for India and how India is responding to the challenge. Finally, way forward needs to be given.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Give a background of the role played by WTO and how USA had played a pivotal role in the establishment of a rules based free trade among nations.

Body

  • Highlight US actions which are undermining the trading order – diatribe against rule based free trade under the mandate of WTO, frequent recourse to the exception clause of national security ( which Pakistan has been using to deny MFN status to India) , restrict trade in steel and aluminium with trading partners, unilateral trade action against China under Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, the US gives up even the pretence of acting within the WTO framework, the retaliatory measures taken by other countries, non implementation of WTO rulings by USA, taken a stand which impacts the dispute resolution process of WTO etc
  • Examine what it means for the consensus established after much difficulty to create a rule based trading order.
  • Discuss the impact on India – investment across borders is likely to get impacted, capital flows might get impacted, India will have to negotiate mega regional trade deals to fill the void, the impact of which on Indian economy is uncertain etc

Conclusion – Give your view on what India’s position should be and the way forward.

Background:-

  • Since its establishment in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been the focal point of a stable rules-based system guiding the conduct of world trade in goods and services.

How US is undermining the mandate of WTO:-

  • WTO is facing existential crisisduring a time when developed economies have adopted protectionist attitude.
  • Earlier instances of US’s patchy compliance with WTO decisions
    • In a dispute where US online gambling sites were noted to be GATS non-compliant, the US offered a $200 million settlement package to Antigua and Barbuda. However, it has only paid $2 million till now. 
    • South Korea has stated that the US has not implemented the WTO ruling on South Korean washing machines 
  • Appellate members:-
    • The U.S. has systematically blockedthe appointment of new Appellate Body members and de facto impeded the work of the WTO appeal mechanism. With only four working members out of seven normally serving office in July 2018, the institution is under great stress
    • If no appointment is made, it will simply be destroyed by December 2019, with only one remaining member to tackle a massive number of disputes that are also increasingly hyper technical
  • Trade:-
    • There is a trade war between US and China despite both being a member of WTO. This negates the core non-discriminatory principle of WTO.
    • US and China have imposed counter-productive duties, accusing each other of harming their domestic interests. WTO has not been able to prevent the trade wars despite best efforts and has been labelled as a talk shop. 
    • In taking unilateral trade action against China under Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, the US gives up even the pretence of acting within the WTO framework
  • The “Overreaching”or judicial activism of United States. The US here tried to separate trade from development and objected to mention centrality for development at the preparation of the declaration.
  • On the pretext of national security:-
    • To restrict trade in steel and aluminium with trading partners, which are long-standing allies of the US in defence and military pacts, cannot be reasonably justified on grounds of national security. The same can be said of the threat to impose tariffs on automobiles and auto parts on the same grounds. 

Impact of reduced importance of WTO on India:-

  • With the Appellate Body non-functional, the notification of the decision to appeal would mean that the process of dispute settlement will come to a standstill. If this happens, all the gains of the judicialisation of dispute settlement would be lost, and the WTO will revert to the GATT-era of resolving disputes essentially by means of negotiations
  • US position of ‘America First’, and now slowly dismantling the working of the WTO system, will have long-term effects on global trade.
  • Investment across borders is likely to get impacted
  • Capital flows might get impacted
  • India will have to negotiate mega regional trade deals to fill the void, the impact of which on Indian economy is uncertain etc.

Way ahead:-

  • WTO needs to strengthen the dispute settlement mechanismas there are issues in appointment of judges in new appellate body.
    • WTO needs to enhance discussion mechanism by introducing wider consultations. It has been a long-standing complaint by the smaller participants that the consultations or decision making is limited to the green room of DG of WTO.
  • There is a need of free tradeis required more by developing countries like India than developed countries.
  • There is need for the structural reformin the WTO functioning as multilateral trading system. Despite WTO being a democratic organization, there is a need to make it more effective in protecting the interests of small nations against stronger countries. The process of retaliation is ineffective and too impractical for smaller players.
  • So, developing countries must work collaboratively to strengthen WTO to collaborate effectively and learn from the past experiences when India and China led the developing countries in environmental forums, garnering funds in the form of GCF.
  • India’s Role 
    • As the U.S. loses interest in multilateralism in trade, India should actively try to arrest the organisation’s slide
    • India should be more actively engaged to make the WTO a more equitable organisation. 
    • India needs to work on persuading all members of the WTO to return to the table and negotiate on issues like agriculture, industrial tariffs, and services. 
    • India’s positions have much in common with the African nations’ stand; we have to build bridges with Africa. 
    • India needed to quickly forge a larger alliance to counter the moves that are against India’s interests. 
    • India’s journey towards achieving 5 trillion dollar economy is not possible without expansion of our basket of global trade. 

General Studies – 3


TopicIndian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

4) India’s GDP growth continues to be powered by consumption which raises several concerns. Analyze in the context of the recent GDP estimates for the Indian economy.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The GDP estimates for the first quarter of this year (April-June,2018) shows a 8.2% GDP growth rate. However, the figures are hard to reconcile with the present macroeconomic environment and investment figures. It is essential to understand the issue in detail and discuss the reasons for a high GDP growth rate.

Directive word

Analyze-Here we  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts, and present them as a whole in a summary.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to delve deep into  the recent GDP estimates for the country and analyze how the GDP growth continues to be powered by consumption and also discuss what could be the consequences  of walking down this path.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about India’s recent GDP estimates. E.g India’s GDP is estimated to have grown at 8.2% in Q1 2018-19 — the highest quarterly estimate ever put out under the incumbent government etc.

Body-

  • Discuss how the GDP growth is due to consumption. E.g mention that the faster growth has come on a low base which has produced a statistical effect, making growth appear faster. This is partly correct. The low base does explain a part of the growth estimated, but not all of it; Agricultural GDP growth quickened as two successive years of good rains improved farm produce; Private consumption expenditure growth has quickened, relative to the preceding quarter, as well as compared to the same quarter last year. Government salary and pension hikes including at the State level are feeding this consumption spree.Consumer industries are also reporting robust rural sales growth; The share of investments in GDP dropped from 32.2% in January-March to 31.6% in April-June this year-  a direct consequence of the worsening NPA crisis etc.
  • Discuss the implications of the GDP growth being led by consumption and not investments. E.g Consumption-led growth is sustainable up to a point, especially if it is financed by expanding the government (Centre plus States’ cumulative fiscal) deficit; global economic challenges and mounting macroeconomic pressures ranging from rising international crude prices to the risk of inter-country trade wars,  are likely to keep the current account deficit under stress. A depreciating rupee will inflate retail fuel prices, unless the governments cut the taxes on them. But tax cuts will increase the fiscal deficit. The Reserve Bank of India can hike interest rates to arrest the rupee’s depreciation. But that will further increase the cost of borrowing, including the government’s debt etc.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • India’s GDP is estimated to have grown at 8.2% in Q1 2018-19 which is the highest quarterly estimate ever put out under the incumbent government etc.

India’s GDP growth continues to be powered by consumption:-

  • Faster growth has come on a low base which has produced a statistical effect, making growth appear faster. This is partly correct.
  • Data shows that private consumption was 54.9% of GDP at constant prices in the June quarter, compared to 54.6% in the March quarter. Clearly, consumption growth is very strong.
  • Consumption growth has been aided and abetted by the rise in personal lending. As RBI’s annual report pointed out, liabilities of the household sector went up from 2.4% of gross national disposable income in 2016-17 to 4% in 2017-18. The low base does explain a part of the growth estimated, but not all of it.
  • Private consumption expenditure growth has quickened, relative to the preceding quarter, as well as compared to the same quarter last year.
  • Government salary and pension hikes including at the State level are feeding this consumption spree.
  • Consumer industries are also reporting robust rural sales growth.

 

Concerns due to this trend:-

  • GDP growth continues to be powered by consumption, not investments. Consumption-led growth is sustainable up to a point, especially if it is financed by expanding the government (Centre plus States’ cumulative fiscal) deficit. The high growth in the years preceding the global financial crisis was driven by savings and investments. After the global economic downturn disrupted that trend, an investments famine followed.
  • Consumption-led growth can arguably lead to a slackening of future growth if it entails growing imbalances due to limits to capacity creation, and rising debt burdens, particularly for households.
  • Economy is still not out of the investments slowdown. The share of investments in GDP dropped from 32.2% in January-March to 31.6% in April-June this year which is a direct consequence of the worsening NPA crisis.
  • Ranging from rising international crude prices to the risk of inter-country trade wars, these are likely to keep the current account deficit and therefore the rupee under stress.
  • A depreciating rupee will inflate retail fuel prices, unless the Central and State governments cut the taxes on them. But tax cuts will increase the fiscal deficit.
  • The Reserve Bank of India can hike interest rates to arrest the rupee’s depreciation. But that will further increase the cost of borrowing, including the government’s debt.

TopicIndian economy : issues

5) Besides the economic management, the politics of a weaker rupee will also need careful handling. Analyze. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The sharp decline seen in INR has been in the news headlines off late. The reasons behind the decline, and the impacts of it need to be prepared in depth. This article discusses the reasons why rupee has declined so much in value as well as the future course of action.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the reasons why rupee has seen a sharp decline in value. Next, we need to focus on the what needs to be done next and how to ensure that political and economic issues are simultaneously handled. We need to conclude with a way forward.

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Paint the current picture with respect to status of rupee vis a vis USD and currencies of other peer economies.

Body

  • Explain the reasons behind fall in value of rupee – widening CAD, wider emerging market sell-off which is also affecting capital flows, Higher interest rates in the US which will affect capital flows to emerging market economies and make things difficult for countries with higher CAD, the geopolitical factors due to which oil import bills have been increasing etc
  • Give your view on the falling value of INR – whether it is merely rupee reaching its true value in line with REER, or whether the fall in currency’s value is alarming and needs urgent redressal
  • Highlight the economic responses that would be apt for the course in this case – adjustments in interest rate in the short term and taking steps to control CAD in the long term
  • Highlight that the political response to this issues is likely to ignore all these factors focussing primarily on the ensuing inflation due to fall in value of rupee. Explain that knee jerk reaction to the crisis should be avoided

Conclusion – Give your view on the status of rupee and the way forward.

Background:-

  • Indian rupee depreciated 13%  against the dollar since the beginning of the year. It affects everything from fuel prices to financial markets so it is an economic and political issue.

Reasons :-

  • Foreign portfolio investors have sold Indian assets worth over $8 billion so far this year, compared with a net purchase of over $30 billion last year.
  • Further, the financial condition in global markets is expected to tighten.
  • The pick-up in wages and prices in the US means that the Federal Reserve will continue to increase interest rates. Higher interest rates in the US will affect capital flows to emerging market economies and make things difficult for countries with higher CAD.
    • Current rupee depreciation is inevitable because global capital is flowing towards higher US interest rates, and because global oil prices are firming up given that a depreciating rupee works as an external deficit corrector by making imports dearer and exports cheaper.
  • India’s import bill has gone up largely due to higher crude oil prices. Falling exports from Iran and political problems in a large oil-producing country like Venezuela are pushing oil prices. 
  • US and China have been involved in heated up trade war as these countries are imposing import tariffs on goods from either of these countries. Both the nations have triggered a trade war situation which is not adaptable for countries like India. 
  • Weakness in Indian Rupee is expected to persist as it will be difficult to fund the widening current account deficit given the increased return in form of higher US Dollar rates offered by other emerging market debtors.
  • Adding pressure to Indian Rupee is strong month-end dollar demand from importers and banks.
  • Recent pace of decline suggests that the adjustment needs careful management, as markets tend to overshoot in the short run. The flip side is that the depreciation in the rupee will have inflationary implications.

What is needed:-

  • The following need to be carefully handled:-
    • Higher interest rates will help take some pressure off the rupee but increase the cost of money. Higher interest rates may also moderate growth, though some of it may be warranted to contain demand pressure, as is being reflected by higher core inflation and CAD.
    • The Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh governments have already reduced value added tax on fuel. Any significant reduction in taxes will either affect capital expenditure or increase the fiscal deficit. Deterioration in government finances will increase macroeconomic stability risk and put more pressure on the rupee.
  • At a broader level, Indian policymakers also need to address structural issues to avoid recurring problems on the external front.
    • Policymakers need to revisit the way India manages foreign flows so that prolonged periods of real appreciation, which affect external competitiveness, can be avoided.
  • Since India will continue to depend on oil imports, it needs to push exports to keep the trade balance in control.
  • India needs to increase domestic savings to fund growth. While the fiscal deficit of the Central government has come down in recent years, the combined deficit continues to remain elevated. Further tightening will be required to boost private sector investment and push growth in a sustainable manner.
  • India needs to further strengthen its economic fundamentals to be able to attain higher sustainable growth and avoid recurring external risks.
  • Immediate measure:-
    • According to State Bank of India’s Ecowrap research report, the Reserve Bank of India could sell at least $25 billion at forex market to support the Indian rupee against the US dollar.
    • RBI should monitor the NDF (non-deliverable forward) market more closely.
    • Oil companies must be asked to purchase all their dollar requirements directly from the RBI through a single bank as in 2013.
    • As an immediate measure, the RBI can aggressively intervene and supply the dollars in the market (both spot and forward) as it has huge forex reserves.

Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Coral reef and marine ecosystem”

6) Explain the factors that impact the formation of coral reefs? Also, distinguish between fringing reef, barrier reef and atoll?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects to bring out the various factors such as temperature, salinity etc that are conducive to the formation of coral reefs. Next, we need to explain the difference between various types of coral reefs ie fringing reef, barrier reef and atoll.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that coral reefs are considered to be the tropical forests of marine ecosystem. Coral reefs are built by and made up of thousands of tiny animals coral polyps.

Body

  • Explain the factors that lead to the formation of coral reefs – sunlight; clean, clear and warm ocean water, temperature generally between 20-42 degrees C; depth of water; salinity requirement of 27-40 ppm; adequate food supply to nourish the polyps etc
  • Draw a diagrammatic representation of fringing reef, barrier reef and atoll.
  • Fringing reef – Fringing reefs are reefs that grow directly from a shore. They are located very close to land, and often form a shallow lagoon between the beach and the main body of the reef.A fringing reef runs as a narrow belt [1-2 km wide]. This type of reef grows from the deep sea bottom with the seaward side sloping steeply into the deep sea. Coral polyps do not extend outwards because of sudden and large increase in depth.The fringing reef is by far the most common of the three major types of coral reefs, with numerous examples in all major regions of coral reef development.
  • Barrier reef – Barrier reefs are extensive linear reef complexes that parallel a shore, and are separated from it by lagoon. Mention that it is largest in size of the three. Barrier reefs are far less common than fringing reefs or atolls, although examples can be found in the tropical Atlantic as well as the Pacific.
  • Atoll – An atoll is a roughly circular (annular) oceanic reef system surrounding a large (and often deep) central lagoon.
    The lagoon has a depth 80-150 metres and may be joined with sea water through a number of channels cutting across the reef. Atolls are located at great distances from deep see platforms, where the submarine features may help in formation of atolls, such as a submerged island or a volcanic cone which may reach a level suitable for coral growth.

 

Coral reefs :-

Coral reefs are marine ridges or mounds, which have formed as a result of the deposition of calcium carbonate by living organisms, predominantly corals, but also a rich diversity of other organisms such as coralline algae and shellfish. 

Coral Reef Formation :-

  • Coral reefs begin to form when free-swimming coral larvae attach to submerged rocks or other hard surfaces along the edges of islands or continents.

Condition for Coral Growth :

  • There are certain special conditions which are necessary prerequisites for the growth and development of corals. That is why the reef building corals and their associates are not uniformly deposited throughout the tropical warm ocean waters.
  • The most important of these conditions are the following:
    • The surface temperature:-
      • For the growth and development of corals the surface temperature of the ocean must be above 20°C. Corals cannot live if the temperature of the sea water falls below this.
    • Depth:-
      • The water must be shallow, with a depth not exceeding 25-30 fathoms. With increasing depth, the amount of calcium as well as the temperature of water goes on decreasing, so that the coral polypsand other sea creatures which live on calcium carbonate do not thrive. That is why the reef building corals live in shallow waters and on the surface of the seas.
    • Salinity:-
      • The water must be normally saline, and, therefore, along the ocean margins where the water becomes fresh by the inflow of rivers, reef building corals do not grow and develop.
      • Therefore the average salinity ranging from 27% to 40% is ideal for the proper growth of corals and other reef forming creatures.
    • Sediment:-
      • Corals need clear water that is free from abundant sediments. That is why coral reefs cannot develop where rivers enter the sea or where wave-erosion causes muddy coastal water.
    • There must be adequate food supply to nourish the abundant life of the coral reef. The most favourable condition for this purpose is the presence of continuously flowing ocean currents which provide to the stationary reef building organisms the much needed food supply
      • For example, extensive coral reefs are found on the east coasts of Australia, Central America, and Africa, which are washed by warm ocean currents flowing along them. On the contrary, corals are found only in scattered patches on the west coasts of these continents.
    • The most essential prerequisite for the formation of coral reefs is the presence of sub-marine platforms which must lie near the sea shore, or should be attached to some islands. The depth of water on such platforms should not exceed 50 fathoms.
    • Corals cannot live for long out of water, and are therefore, rarely found above the low-tide level. On the other hand, their growth is retarded at depths much exceeding 25 or 30 fathoms.
    • Corals need clear oxygenated water with sufficient supplies of microscopic life as food.

Types of reefs:-

  • As the corals grow and expand, reefs take on one of three major characteristic structures – fringing, barrier or atoll. 
  • Fringing reefs:  
    • They are the most common, project seaward directly from the shore, forming borders along the shoreline and surrounding islands. 
    • They are located very close to land, and often form a shallow lagoon between the beach and the main body of the reef.
    • A fringing reef runs as a narrow belt [1-2 km wide]. This type of reef grows from the deep sea bottom with the seaward side sloping steeply into the deep sea.
    • Coral polyps do not extend outwards because of sudden and large increase in depth. The fringing reef is by far the most common of the three major types of coral reefs, with numerous examples in all major regions of coral reef development
  • Barrier reefs: 
    • Grow at border shorelines, but at a greater distance. They are separated from their adjacent land mass by a lagoon of open, often deep water. 
    • It is largest in size of the three reefs.
    • Barrier reefs are far less common than fringing reefs or atolls, although examples can be found in the tropical Atlantic as well as the Pacific.
  • Atoll:
    • If a fringing reef forms around a volcanic island that subsides completely below sea level while the coral continues to grow upward, an atoll forms.
    • Atolls are usually circular or oval, with a central lagoon. 
    • An atoll is a roughly circular (annular) oceanic reef system surrounding a large (and often deep) central lagoon.
    • The lagoon has a depth 80-150 metres and may be joined with sea water through a number of channels cutting across the reef.
    • Atolls are located at great distances from deep see platforms, where the submarine features may help in formation of atolls, such as a submerged island or a volcanic cone which may reach a level suitable for coral growth.


General Studies – 4


Topic- Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7) Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to analyze the given quotation and bring out its essence and meaning in detail. We have to give our overall opinion in favour or against the statement. Whatever our stand we have to support it with proper and valid arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– give a brief definitive of ethics. Try to give the definition in terms of legality and purpose of our actions.

Body-

Discuss in detail the meaning of the statement as you understand it. E.g mention that while the law provides clear responsibilities and limits to officials and other individuals responsible for the planning of communities, there is a great deal of flexibility where individuals or groups must make judgment decisions in the best interests of their community, and being guided by strong ethical principles ensures that the best decisions are being made etc.

Discuss how what is right to do can be decided. E.g Ethics are developed from an individual or group’s beliefs, values and morals, which vary from person-to-person and can often be in direct conflict and opposition to another’s.To address these differences and to avoid conflict, communities often adopt a code of ethical standards which they agree to abide by while serving in a public capacity for the common good of a community. This practice provides a clear understanding to officials and the public they serve as to expected conduct etc.

Conclusion- Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


Answer :-

Ethics goes beyond doing what is legally right and addresses proper behaviour and expectations for those tasked with the responsibility of planning communities in their roles as public officials representing the public good.

Ethics is the body of principles used to decide what behaviors are right, good and proper.  Such principles (ethics) do not always dictate a single “moral” course of action, but provide a means of evaluating and deciding among competing options.

While the law provides clear responsibilities and limits to officials and other individuals responsible for the planning of communities, there is a great deal of flexibility where individuals or groups must make judgment decisions in the best interests of their community, and being guided by strong ethical principles ensures that the best decisions are being made.

People often have different and opposing ethical standards. Ethics are developed from an individual or group’s beliefs, values and morals, which vary from person-to-person and can often be in direct conflict and opposition to another’s.

There are people who believe if something is legal then it’s ethical. However it is not so. Racial discrimination was legal once but was never ethical.

Ethics is about putting principles into action.  Consistency between what we say we value and what our actions say we value is a matter of integrity.

 

Ethics is also about self-restraint, i.e., what we should not do:

  • Not doing what you have the powerto do.  An act isn’t proper simply because it is permissible or you can get away with it.
  • Not doing what you have the rightto do.  There is a big difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do.
  • Not doing what you wantto do.  In the well-worn turn of phrase, an ethical person often chooses to do more than the law requires and less than the law allows.

 

Ethics is the rules for deciding correct conduct. Let’s look at an example of making a decision ethically.  You want to sit up in your neighbor’s apple tree with a salt shaker and eat his apples.  But you decide to put aside your selfish interest, and to not do what you want and have the power to do for the sake of respecting your neighbor’s right to enjoy or benefit from his own apples.  You stay out of your neighbor’s tree.  You have acted ethically.