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SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 09, 2016

SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 09, 2016

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This is a new feature. As feedback from our side on your answers is missing, we thought of providing detailed synopsis of important Secure questions on daily basis so that you could revise our synopsis and compare it with your answers. We intend to post synopsis of Secure questions every next day of posting questions on website. 

You must write answers on your own and compare them with these synopses. If you depend on these synopses blindly, be sure of facing disaster in Mains. Until and unless you practice answer writing on your own, you will not improve in speed, content and writing skills. Keep separate notebooks for all GS papers and write your answers in them regularly. Now and then keep posting your answer on website too (Optional).  Some people have the tendency of copying content from others answers and pasting them in a document for each and every question. This might help in revision, but if you do not write on your own,  you can’t write a good answer in real exam. This is our experience at offline classes. We have seen many students who think they were regularly following Secure, yet fail to clear Mains. So, never give up writing. 

Also never give up reviewing others answers. You should review others answers to know different perspectives put forth by them, especially to opinion based questions. This effort by us should not lead to dependency on these synopses. This effort should be treated as complimentary to your ongoing writing practice and answer reviewing process. 

These synopses will be exhaustive – covering all the points demanded by question. We will not stick to word limit. You need to identify most important points and make sure these points are covered in your answer. Please remember that these are not ‘Model Answers’. These are just pointers for you to add extra points and to stick to demand of the question – which you might have missed while answering. 

As you might be aware of, this exercise requires lots of time and energy (10 Hours), that to do it on daily basis! Your cooperation is needed to sustain this feature.

Please provide your valuable feedback in the comment section to improve and sustain this initiative successfully. 


General Studies – 1;


 

TopicWorld geography; Critical changes to geographical features

1) “An emissions-reduction approach to fighting global warming is not enough. Alternative solutions involving climate engineering might have to be deployed sooner than we think.” What do you understand by climate engineering efforts? How can it act as alternative to emission-reduction approach to fight global warming? Explain. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Climate engineering is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system with the aim of limiting adverse climate change.

Climate engineering efforts,

Most climate engineering efforts can be divided into two categories 

  1. Directed towards management of carbon
  2. Management of sunlight

Alternative to emission reduction approach

Only emission reduction approach to mitigate GHG emission is too risky and difficult to achieve, involves huge capital investment and compromise on growth among developing countries. Hence, climate engineering efforts need to be adopted along with conventional approaches wherever possible to limit the global warming within manageable levels.

Efforts to manage carbon

  1. Carbon capture and storage (CCS), the carbon dioxide emitted by coal-fired power stations is recaptured by physically sucking it in and transporting it to sequestration in underground facility.

(The first 115 MW CCS retrofitted coal power plant commenced operation at Boundary Dam in Canada in 2014. Co2 captured is transported and pumped into nearby oilfields for enhanced oil recovery (reduced Co2 emission 1 million ton/year).

(CCS, if commercialized, helps in reducing the GHG emission, providing carbon space to developing countries (to provide electricity, fertilizers to farmers) to life them out of poverty at the same time committed to reduce GHG emission)

  1. Increasing the forest cover – To absorb atmospheric carbon.

(More convenient, ecofriendly, approach with least or no side effects)

  1. Biochar – Biocharis produced by decomposition of carbon waste (Agri wastes) in the absence of oxygen. Used as soil amendment and in carbon sequestration.

(Helps to reduce Co2 emission caused by crop waste burning and to adopt sustainable agriculture by using Biochar as soil amendment)

  1. Carbon air capture – Carbon dioxide directly captured from air

(At rudimentary stage of research, can be employed in extreme uncontrolled situations)

  1. Ocean fertilization – purposeful introduction of nutrients (Urea, Iron or Phosphorus)  to the upper ocean to increase marine food production and to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

(Even though, has wider scope, it is also associated with adverse side effects like imbalance in energy flow, imbalance in oceanic environment)

Solar radiation management (SRM). 

Reduction of global warming by cutting down the heat absorbed by Earth from the sun

Techniques inclue

  1. Marine cloud brightening
  2. Cirrus cloud manipulation and
  3. Stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI).

 SAI, the boldest and most risky –  involves spraying into the stratosphere fine, light-coloured particles designed to reflect back part of the solar radiation before it reaches and warms the earth.

(Could bring down temperature by 1C, helps save billions of dollars and at the same time provide carbon space for developing countries to lift millions out of poverty without concerning much about GHG emissions).

(SAI has adverse side effects also, it may increase acid deposition  on earth and contribute to ozone layer depletion,  other adverse consequences are still unknown)

  1. Reflect the sun rays from surface – by increasing the reflectivity of the building
  2. Using mirrors on space to reflect rays without reaching the Earth.

(These are at rudimentary stage of research)


 

Topic: World geography; Critical changes to geographical features

2) What is floodplain? What is its ecological significance? Floodplains of some of India’s rivers are said to be under severe pressure from various anthropogenic activities. Examine these activities and their impact on floodplains. (200 Words)

Livemint

What is floodplain?

Floodplain is an area of low-lying ground adjacent to a river, formed mainly of river sediments and subject to flooding during the period of high discharge.

It includes the floodway, which consists of the stream channel and adjacent areas that actively carry flood flows downstream, and the flood fringe, which are areas inundated by the flood, but which do not experience a strong current.

Ecological significance of floodplains

  1. Flood protection – It provides river, the more room as it rises
  2. Most fertile land for Agriculture due to annual inundation– Supports large population
  3. Improves water quality – Acts as a natural filter when inundated (removes excess sediments and nutrients, without which it may suffer from Eutrophication).
  4. Natural recharge of Aquifer – Water slowdown in floodplain – more time for percolation and recharge — Ground water recharge, benefitting communities for quality drinking water, irrigation needs etc
  5. Increase biodiversity – Since flood plain is an ecotone (Transitional phase between river and terrestrial ecosystem), it supports rich biodiversity, facilitates wider adaptation
  6. Recreation and aesthetic functions – Outdoor recreational functions like, swimming, boating, bird watching, hiking are provided
  7. Carbon sequestration – Supports huge flora which also helps in fixing atmospheric carbon into the soil – Helps fighting Global warming.

Anthropogenic activities and their impact on floodplain ecosystem

  1. Urbanization and land use changes – increase in  area  for  both  agricultural  and  non-agricultural  use – diversion of flood plains for commercial purposes in an unsustainable way  (about  34,000  ha of  the  water  spread  area  of  the  Kolleru  lake in Andhra  Pradesh  have  been  reclaimed for agriculture in recent  years)

(Result – 1. No protection from floods (Example, Chennai floods, no buffering effect), depletion of ground water, loss of biodiversity, Reduced capacity to filter water and associated water borne diseases due to pollution,

  1. Sand mining – Changing course of the river, increased threat of flooding in nearby areas, reduced ground water recharge and ground water depletion
  2. Agriculture and industrial pollution – Eutrophication, water borne diseases, toxicity of water bodies due to harmful algal blooms
  3. Construction of dams – Increased siltation in dams – Artificial floods may be caused sometimes
  4. Construction of artificial embankments and levees – Reduced silt load, reduced flood plain formation, increases the silt accumulation in river bed —– More prone to heavy flooding due to burst of artificial levees
  5. Organization of Socio religious events like Maha kumbha mela, and upcoming Art of living religious gathering permanently changes the floodplain landscape due to intrusive actions and development activities

(Delicate ecosystem is disturbed, biodiversity is threatened)


General Studies – 2


Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests,

3) Recently the US went ahead with the sale of eight F-16s to Pakistan and has notified the US Congress under its Arms Export Control Act about the same. What are India’s concerns in this regard? Do you think US continues to treat Pakistan as the linchpin of its security strategy in South Asia? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

India’s concerns

  1. Diversion of bombers against India – instead of using for counter terror operations as intended.
  2. Not genuinely interested in anti terror operations – Pakistan covertly supports terrorist organizations like Afghan Taliban, Jamaat Ud Dawa, LeT, Haqqani network etc., — Despite knowing these facts, US approval to supply F-16 to Pakistan show strategic shallowness in relations between India and Pakistan
  3. Higher military investment to mitigate Pakistan’s threats – India need to increase defense expenditure to match and surpass the deterrent capabilities of Pakistan on west and China on Northern border
  4. Pakistan’s singular objective is to strengthen itself against India –
  5. Suspicion on motives of USA – US supplied Pakistan, the military equipments which has little relevance for anti terror operation – Perry-class Missile Frigate USS McInerney, P-3C Orion maritime aircraft, AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and 32 (excluding the new eight) F-16s – These are more suited to attack India.
  6. Emboldens the army – Maintains control over civilian government – Roadblock for India to establish friendly relations with Pakistan
  7. India’s dependence on US military equipments and associated pitfalls (Tags attached to use US equipments like not to use against US allies (here Pakistan), if war broke out) – We need to renegotiate our terms and conditions.

Yes, US continue to treat Pakistan as linchpin of its security strategy in South Asia

Pakistan, has been the long term strategic ally of USA, was part of SEATO, cold war block of US allies – It will remain important ally of US due to geopolitical reasons,

These include,

  1. War on terror – Pakistan harbors safe haven for various home grown terrorist groups which post threat to South Asia and the world. It need to be engaged with Carrot and stick policy
  2. Reconstruction of Afghanistan – In order to engage with Taliban and to gain support from Pakistan for its reconstruction
  3. Easy for US to engage with Military leadership rather than genuine democratically elected government – US can meet its strategic objectives without democratic deliberations
  4. In South Asia and its extended neighborhood, countries like India, Afghanistan, India, China, Russia are not natural allies to US. Hence, to increase the sphere of influence, it needs Pakistan’s support
  5. Counter weight to India’s domination and if India goes against the interest of US (like joining hands with Russia and China)
  6. Pakistan has nuclear weapons – Due to its incapacity, if it falls into the hands of terrorist organization s like ISIS, it is disastrous to whole world in general and Asia in particular
  7. To restrict India to South Asian theatre (Indirectly supporting Pakistan) – To prevent India becoming a global power.

 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential

4) It is said that the current Aadhaar Bill in Parliament is an important infrastructure to enable government to go paperless, presence-less and cashless.  Examine how. Also discuss other advantages of the Bill. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Paperless government

  1. It could eliminate more than 2,000 crore pages of paper (a low guesstimate).
  2. No need for elaborate document verification process – KYC fulfilled through ADHAAR enabled online verification process – Less paper work
  3. Digitalization of documentation using ADHAAR – Reduced clerical work based on record books

Presence less

  1. Reduces Bureaucrat- citizen interface – Since online application , tracking, evaluation and money transfer facilitated with the use of ADHAAR through JAM model – corruption, inconvenience, dependence on official for unnecessary procedures eliminated
  2. Enables linking individuals to an organization that has a unique enterprise number and this would shift enforcement to big data rather than feet-on-street.
  3. Timely appointment and online application status assisted by ADHAAR – could unclog our highways and eliminate waiting rooms in hospitals, government offices etc.. 

Cashless

  1. DBT using adhaar for wage payment, scholarships, subsidies to bank accounts linked with Jandhan yojana and debit card — Cashless – Facilitates online transaction
  2. Payment of user fee, government service charges – using JAM model through debit card

Other advantages of the bill

  1. Enrolment is voluntary (Choice to citizens – Good governance)
  2. It shall only be used as proof of identity and not as proof of citizenship

(misuse by migrants, terrorists to claim citizenship can be curtailed)

  1. Prevention of fraud, corruption, misuse of funds – DBT services in LPG subsidy, MGNREGA wage transfer, scholarships, agriculture subsidy, fertilizer subsidy to farmers, pension to certain sections, Insurance schemes etc.
  2. It does not prohibit the usage of Aadhaar for any other purpose by any public or private entity.

(Ease of scaling, disruptive technologies to pressing needs, low cost high impact)

  1. Privacy protection at an unprecedented level – For example,
  2. it has, one,use limitation” — it can only be used for the purpose for which the user

 gives consent.

(Prevention of misuse)

  1. “collection limitation” — no information other than demographic (name, address, date of birth, sex and, optionally, email id/ mobile number) and biometric (photo, fingerprint and iris scan) will be collected. No other personal information of an individual will be in the Aadhaar database.

(Privacy will be protected)

  1. “access and rectification” — the user can access his own information and has an obligation to rectify it if it needs updating.
  2. No demographic information or identity information received from the Unique Identification Authority of India can be displayed publicly.
  3. Only exception to obligations is national security, provided an order to disclose information is issued either by a court, or by a joint secretary or higher officer, and vetted by a high-powered committee headed by the cabinet secretary. Still, sharing of information is limited to a short period.

Finally, the bill includes stringent penalties, including imprisonment for breach of privacy


 

TopicGovernment policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

5) The researchers have found that there exists strong negative correlation between government regulation and social capital.  Examine how can Indian government regulate less and help grow social capital in India. Also examine the importance of social capital for good economic growth. (200 Words)

Livemint

  • The researchers find a strong negative correlation between government regulation and social capital. Investment in social capital leads to civicness, low regulation and high levels of entrepreneurial activity. In contrast, distrust leads to greater control of the economy by the government.
  • For its level of distrust, India has a greater number of regulations governing entry of businesses, less freedom for firms in setting prices and more rigidity in regulation of labour markets.
  • Lack of trust or social capital imposes disproportionate costs on the regulatory and policing arms of the state. The lower the trust, the higher is the demand for regulation, and consequently the more inefficient is the resource allocation, invariably leading to sub-optimal outcomes.

INDIAN GOVERNMENT AND SOCIAL CAPITAL:-

successes so far:

  • discontinuing the practice of interviews for junior government jobs, allowing for self-attestation of documents 
  • extending the benefit of the presumptive taxation scheme to small businesses with turnover less than Rs.2 crore.
  • PM recently made a statement that government should trust 1.2 billion .He should be credited for recognizing the importance of trust. If this recognition is translated into widespread application, the government’s initiatives like Start-up India and Make in India will be immensely helped

where is government failing:

  • Avuncular concerns over the quality of expenditure by state and local governments have long been arguments againstdevolution of greater funds by the central governmen This is a misconceived apprehension as states have been better at curtailing fiscal deficits than the central government. A similar patronising mindset is revealed in the debate on cash transfer. It is argued that the poor will squander the money on liquor and drugs—a conjecture not supported by data.
  • measurement of social capital:-Legatum Prosperity Index developed by the Legatum Institute is the only global measurement of prosperity based on both income and well-being. Its ranking of 142 countries is based on parameters such as wealth, economic growth and quality of life.Bangladesh (103) ranks above India (106) in the 2013 Prosperity Index.India ranks 138th on the social capital measure of the index
  • the forcing of privately-funded schools (with “minority” institutions exempted) to reserve 25% seats for the economically underprivileged by the Right to Education (RTE) Act by the current government are all illustrative of this grotesque and corrosive mentality. All such government actions have destroyed intra-society trust and goodwill by trying to legislate equality of outcomes.

how to make government make social capital its priority:-

  • Besides improving accessibilityto India’s remotest corners via road and air connectivity, catalyzing digital connectivity should be a top policy priority. At the minimum, the widely dispersed citizens making up our diverse society need to have the tools and infrastructure to connect so that they have a chance to collaborate and empathize with each other.
  • market and administrative reforms in sectors such as education that curtail the government’s ability to manipulate institutions, prevent government from creating artificial shortages and set the stage for rapid capacity expansion, would go a long way in helping the formation of social capital and intra-society trust.
  • India’s economic backwardness has a lot to do with poor judicial effectiveness combined with the deficit of social capital. Policy measures that improve judicial effectiveness will increase individual confidence in society and in each other, paving the way for deeper engagement even outside one’s immediate social network.
  • If channelized properly, India’s diversity can be a big competitive advantage relative to other economies. A boost in social capital that contains and reverses the balkanization of Indian society will allow this diversity to be harnessed for innovation and creative collaboration. India needs market liberalization not just for economic growth but also for social integration.

IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH:-

  • Investment in social capitalcan bring massive gains in corporate environments as well
  • Social trust among citizensand between the government and citizens is helpful for reducing regulatory cholesterol and promoting entrepreneurship.’
  • state’s endowment of social capital does affect its ability to reduce poverty.Friends and families can help us in lots of ways—emotionally, socially and economically. Recent studies in Europe have revealed more people secure jobs through personal contacts than through ads
  • ability of people to work together toward resolving communal issues;Social Cohesion and Inclusion—mitigates the risk of conflict and promotes equitable access to benefits of development by enhancing participation of the marginalised
  • Developing countries with relatively low social capital seem more likely to have bad policy outcomes, low investment and slow growth. For any two countries with the same level of income, the one with more social capital tends to have more schooling, a more expensive financial system, better fiscal policy and a wider telephone network
  • In Tanzania, social capital at the community level impacted poverty by making government services more effective, facilitating the spread of information on agriculture, enabling groups to pool their resources and manage property as a cooperative, and giving people access to credit who have been traditionally locked out of formal financial institutions 
  • highly skilled and well-respected state bureaucracy utilizes its close working relationship with business leaders to enhance the market performance of private and public sector organizations.Government effectiveness, accountability and the ability to enforce rules fairly directly impact economic growth be enabling or disabling the development of domestic firms and markets and encouraging or discouraging foreign investment

 

TopicEffect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, 

6) Compare and contrast the nature of diplomacy practised by India and USA vis a vis managing issues such as South China Sea dispute and other global issues. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Similarities:

Terrorism:

Both the countries strive towards ending terrorism and punishing the groups which propogate it.

cyber security:

  • On cyber issues, the Sides supported an open, inclusive, transparent, and multi-stakeholder system of internet governance and planned to work together to promote cyber security, combat cyber crime, and advance norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace.  
  • They agreed to improve cooperation among technical, law enforcement, cyber R&D, and capacity building.  The Sides commended the resumption of the US-India Cyber Dialogue. The Sides welcomed the decision to convene a Track 1.5 program to further cooperation on internet and cyber issues and contribute to the goals of Digital India initiative

space cooperation:

  • two sides recognized that the India-US partnership was a significant contributor to the peace, stability and prosperity in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific regions and around the globe.

disaster management:

  • cooperation between the United States and India on providing earthquake relief in Nepal. The Sides resolved that India and the United States would work as partners in responding to the needs of civilians in global crises.

peace keeping:

  • Sides committed to enhance cooperation in peacekeeping capacity building in third countries with a focus on training aspects for UN peacekeepers, especially in identified African countries.

Afghanistan:

  • Two sides also pledged to continue high level consultations on Afghanistan, making clear the enduring commitment of India and United States to the Afghan people. 
  • The Sides agreed that a sovereign, independent and prosperous Afghanistan is in the interest of peace and security in the region, and will contribute to the global efforts to combat terrorism and extremism.

Iran’s issue:

  • Reflecting shared objectives in advancing nuclear non-proliferation, the two sides expressed support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached among the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran.  They called for Iran’s timely and thorough implementation of the JCPOA.

differences:

style of public argumentation:

  • India until recently, has always been a practitioner of public diplomacy i.e. trying to incline the public minds towards its perspective. On the other hand, the USA has always believed in direct deals and pressurizing the concerned party to oblige to its interests
  • India stresses upon a global environment conducive to the well being of India i.e. “peace diplomacy” e.g. Non Aligned movement. Hence India follows “soft diplomacy”. On the other hand US has interventionist policies such as NATO and use of force in settling world problems e.g. military aid for ISIS problem. Therefore US follows “hard” as well as “soft” diplomacy
  • The U.S. has itself launched the global war on terror and participated in various issues such as the crisis in middle-east while India, staying passive, has remained away from these issues relatively.

SOUTH CHINA SEA DEBATE:

  • Diplomatically India would like to be seen as a responsible growing power that advocates healthy relations between nations, thereby ensuring a secure regional architecture wherein nations settle their differences amicably
  • In standing with this approach, India has adopted a neutral stance, and has requested nations to sort out their differences peacefully. India has further requested the nations to establish a code of conduct that would ensure ‘freedom of navigation’ and ‘access to resources’
  • The U.S. has been directly funding western bases and encouraging joint patrolling in the South China Sea. India on the other hand has signed bilateral treaties with the Indo-Pacific nations and supported the cause of maritime security
  • India want dispute to be resolved peacefully via UNCLOS and that all countries have freedom of navigation in open waters of South china sea USA however via it TPP (TRANS PACIFIC POLICY) under ASIA PIVOT wants to counter china

PAKISTAN ISSUE:

  • India uses diplomatic methods(recent visit of our PM to Pakistan) in improving relations .Military diplomacy is practiced via conducting commander level border talks in countering terrorism
  • USA sometimes get concerned by Pakistan but on other side also give military aid as it sees Pakistan importance in having easy access to central Asia.

AFGHANISTAN

  • India want peace talks to be Afghanistan led and Taliban should not be party to the talk as it is a terrorist organization
  • USA has allowed the peace talks to be Pakistan led and recognized Taliban as legitimate stakeholder in talks.

SYRIA AND IRAN

  • India wants Syria and Iran to be included in the global alliance against ISIS which USA clearly denies. India also do not want any more sanctions on Iran but USA is of view that sanctions will be reimposed if terms of deal are violated.

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • India wants developed countries like USA to bear historic responsibility and take more emission cuts. Further has asked to reduce the cost of transfer of clean technology and develop better mechanism for transfer of finances which USA denied

ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT

  • India maintained resolution of conflict peacefully via bilateral talks without interference of third party. It recognised both Israel and Palestine as legitimate states. But USA is in favour of Israel position of countering Palestine by force with no option of negotiation

Trade and connectivity:

  • India believes in strengthening regional institutional capability, capacity and invest in connectivity e.g. Mausam road connectivity project, and US is trying to strengthen the regional as well as world trade by liberal trade policies in US’s interest

 North Korean crisis

  • UN has recently put more economic sanctions on NK led by US | India in particular has not taken any individual stand rather is complying with the orders and sanctions put up by UN as a member country

so both the countries have to try to coordinate and cooperate with each other on the issues as disputes and disagreements between the nations can make the world a chaos.


 

Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act. 

7) Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act deals with disqualification on conviction for certain offences. What are these offences? It is said that the Supreme Court is tightening its grip on corruption in politics by passing various judgements vis-a-vis disqualification of legislators charged in corruption cases. Discuss these judgements. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Section 8 deals with Disqualification of representatives on conviction for certain offences. This section states that :

1 – A person convicted of an offence punishable under certain acts of Indian Penal Code, Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002 etc. shall be disqualified, where the convicted person is sentenced to — (i) only fine, for a period of six years from the date of such conviction; (ii) imprisonment, from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release.

2 – A person convicted for the contravention of—(a) any law providing for the prevention of hoarding or profiteering; or (b) any law relating to the adulteration of food or drugs; or (c) any provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

3 – A person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years [other than any offence referred to in sub-section (1) or sub-section (2)] shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release.

Controversial Section 8(4) clause of the Representation of Peoples Act which was struck down by the Supreme Court calling the Act ultra-vires of the Constitution and providing for disqualification of MPs/MLAs on the day of their conviction.

SUPREME COURT ROLE:

  • The court has been tightening its grip on corruption in politics from 2013 when it first held that legislators, on conviction, would be immediately disqualified from holding membership of the House without being given three months’ time for appeal, as was the case before.Before this verdict, convicted lawmakers would file an appeal in the higher court and continue in the House.
  • In Lily Thomas v. Union of India, the Supreme Court declared Section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, (RPA) which allowed legislators a three-month window to appeal against their conviction — effectively delaying their disqualification until such appeals were exhausted — as unconstitutional.
  • SC upholds Patna High Court judgement debarring persons in judicial and police custody from contesting elections (Section 62 (5) of the Representation of the People Act 1951).
  • In 2014 the Supreme Court passed an interim order that criminal trials, especially those dealing with corruption and heinous offences, involving elected representatives should be completed in a year. This order prevented lawmakers from sitting in the House as their cases dragged on.
  • the Supreme Court recently decided to lay down the law on whether the country should even wait until a corrupt legislator is convicted to have him disqualified from Parliament or Assembly or should be disqualified at the very stage of framing of charges against him by the trial court

Positive implications:-

  • The judgements would help the politics from criminalization and make the people representatives upheld public interest and justice .
  • Sitting MPs and MLAs will now automatically be disqualified upon being convicted of a serious crime rather than after all their appeals are exhausted. In India, appeals drag on for years, and certainly for more than five or six years, which is the tenure of an elected representative. Politicians have often taken cover under this section to continue as legislators long after the slow wheels of the law have caught up with them.

Negative implications of the judgement:-

  • its decision to bar any person who is in jail or in police custody from contesting an election to legislative bodies is a case of the remedy being worse than the disease. in effect, left the door open for the practice of vendetta politics by ruling parties. All that politicians in power now need to do to prevent rivals from contesting an election is to ask the police to file a case and effect arrest.
  • in the case of section 8(4) there is a complication like  An acquittal on appeal during the tenure of the legislature is one. Moreover, a by-election to fill a seat vacated by a convict takes time and a government surviving on a wafer-thin majority could be jeopardized.
  • Also disqualifying a convicted member instantaneously without adequate safeguards if he gets acquitted later would violate his FR.
    Ideally a member should be disqualified only if the appeal filed fails to secure a stay order on his/her conviction.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security

8) Discuss the security challenges faced by India’s cyberspace, its vulnerabilities and measures needed to upgrade India’s cyber and digital capabilities to match global standards. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Business Standard

India is one of the countries which is on the watch list in the world.Many cyber attacks have been made in the recent years with attacks on Govt of Kerala’s official website by hackers based in Pakistan, is only a tip of the iceberg. The design and density of Indian digital space is fundamentally different from that of US or China. This has resulted in challenges for India in securing its cyberspace, which could enumerated below.

SECURITY CHALLENGES FACED BY INDIA’S CYBERSPACE:

  • With little control over the hardware used by Indian Internet users as well as the information that is carried through them, India’s national security architecture faces a difficult task in cyberspace. India’s infrastructure is susceptible to four kinds of digital intrusions:

                       –espionage, which involves intruding into systems to steal information of strategic or commercial value; 

                       –cyber crime, referring to electronic fraud or other acts of serious criminal                              consequence;

                       — attacks, intended at disrupting services or systems for a temporary period;                      

 — war, caused by a large-scale and systematic digital assault on India’s  critical installations.

  • the position of the National Cyber Security Coordinator in 2014, a welcome first step. There is, however,no national security architecture today that can assess the nature of cyber threats and respond to them effectively.
  • division between civilian and military use of cyberspace is difficult.the digital assets of a major Indian conglomerate — say, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation — may be taken down by a military. 
  • India faces a shortage of officers trained in creating and breaking encrypted platforms as well as using digital networks for intelligence gathering. 
  • IMPROPER PLANNING: Cyber-attack cases have been addressed one by one instead of coming up with a planned combative.
  • There is a lack of courses on Cyber security and inadequate R&D spending.
  • No dedicated cyber security laws in India, except the IT Act 2000 which also has its drawbacks such as lack of privacy, lack of civil liberties protection, absence of cyber security breaches disclosure norms 

VULNERABILITIES:

  • India is a net information exporter. Its information highways point west, carrying with them the data of millions of Indians. This is not a design flaw, but simply reflects the popularity of social media platforms and the lack of any serious effort by the Indian government to restrict the flow of data.
  • Equally important is the density of India’s cyberspace. Nearly 500 million Indians use the Internet today, but they do not access the Internet from the same devices. Apple’s market share in the U.S., for instance, is 44 per cent, but iPhones account for less than 1 per cent in India. The massive gap between the security offered by the cheapest phone in the Indian market and a high-end smartphone makes it impossible for regulators to set legal and technical standards for data protection.according to McAfee report, India has the lowest rate of security measures adoption.
  • India’s digital capabilities lag significantly behind regional and global players
  • Lack of Digital Literacy : India is one of the largest markets for phones.Lack of digital literacy among many including the educated people is making it easy for the hackers to get easy access to the data.

MEASURES NEEDED?

  • The asymmetric character of digital warfare requires a multi-agency organisation that is technically equipped, but also bases its decision on sound strategy and regular policy inputs.The first requirement is to house it with permanent and semi-permanent staff that is technically proficient in cyber operations, both defensive and offensive.
  • Were such a National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) to be created, it should have a functional “nucleus” or secretariat. The second requirement is to coordinate the agency’s policy functions and operations.The NCSA should be guided by a document outlining India’s cyber strategy, much like its nuclear doctrine.
  • India currently has a top layer of agencies performing cyber operations — the National Technical Research Organisation, the National Intelligence Grid, and the National Information Board, to name a few — but there is also an additional layer of ministries performing governance functions. The Ministries of Defence, Home, External Affairs and IT should be part of a policy wing that provides their assessments of local and regional development India’s intelligence agencies should separately provide their consolidated inputs to aid the operations of the NCSA.
  • India should not hesitate to build its offensive cyber capabilities. This would involve the development of software designed to intrude, intercept and exploit digital networks. a cyber arsenal serves the key function of strategic deterrence. India’s cyber command should be the primary agency responsible for the creation and deployment of such weapons.
  • Devices with better security measures need to be made cheaper to enable access and people should be made aware of the dangers in cyberspace.
  • promoting the culture of ethical hackers and thereby fixing the loop holes 
  • the government should draft recruitment guidelines to hire and train a cadre of cyber specialists. Attracting such officers may require high pay scales and other benefits — a model the U.S. has aggressively pursued — but they would bring in India’s best minds. If India’s cyberspace has built-in vulnerabilities, it also has a highly skilled IT workforce, which should be harnessed by the government for strategic use.

Though , growing access to technology is appreciated , its true benefits can be only reaped when the access is safe and does not compromise over security. Thus making it imperative for the government and private players to work towards the common goal

 


General Studies – 4


Topic: Role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values

9) Do you think can government also play a role in inculcating values in children? Discuss how. (150 Words)

General

A government is a group of people vested with authority to govern a country. Though their function is to govern, through various measures they can help in inculcating values in children of the country. It’s a moral responsibility on part of the government, but there are limitations to its role.

Government can inculcate values in children by being clean and honest itself in governing the country. A government with non-corrupt politicians and bureaucrats set examples for children to emulate. As children mostly inculcate values by observing other people, government should behave morally in every sphere of public life. For example, if a railway minister resigns owning responsibility for a train accident, it inspires children to own responsibility whenever they commit small mistakes in homes and schools. This breeds honesty and probity.

Government’s role in inculcating personal values is limited, whereas its role in imparting political, social and cultural values is immense. Personal values are inculcated mainly by family members and environment in school. Values such as patriotism, secularism, respect for divergent views, respect for constitutional values, equality, liberty and fraternity can be inculcated by government through various measures such as designing school curriculum in a way to impart these values, training teachers, creating code of conduct and its strict implementation in all public offices to reflect these values etc.

Even simple acts like rewarding children at Panchayat level for displaying honesty and integrity at home or school will motivate children to behave morally.

Government can also regulate media to behave ethically as children are most likely get influenced by electronic media and its conduct. But care should be taken so as to not to infringe the freedom of expression of media.

It should be noted that, if morals and values are imposed by government, children might become averse to such imposition. For government, the best way to inculcate values is to follow the Gandhian principle – “Be the change you want to see in the world