SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A August 13, 2016
As we are not giving feedback on your answers, we thought of providing detailed synopsis of important Secure questions on daily basis so that you could revise them and compare with your answers.
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.
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General Studies – 1;
Topic: Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues
1) A new study suggests the idea of involving religious leaders in tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Examine how can religion play major role in tackling neglected tropical diseases. (200 Words)
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), NTDs are a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and sub-tropical conditions in 149 countries and affect more than a billion people. They mainly affect people living in poverty without adequate sanitary conditions.
Yes,religion plays major role in tackling these diseases:
- According to the study, research done by various groups finds that Muslims represent the fastest-growing religious group and that poverty and NTDs disproportionately affect Muslim-dominated nations.
- Conflicts in the Islamic State-occupied territories in Syria, Iraq, Libya, as well as in Yemen are also contributing to the further emergence of NTDs such as leishmaniasis.
- Data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that practically everyone infected with a major neglected tropical disease (NTD) lives in a Christian-, Muslim-, or Hindu-majority nation.
- Linking NTDs to religion has potential importance because it invites prominent international religious leaders to have a greater role in advocating for and supporting NTD control.
- The study adds that as Pope Francis is a staunch supporter of the poor, he can add NTDs to the portfolio of activities for the Papacy. In the same way, leaders in India and Nepal can expand their existing commitments to cover fight against NTDs.
- At the local level, religious leaders in churches, mosques, and temples could have important roles in raising awareness about NTDs and their health impact and could even promote indigenous control and elimination efforts.
- Finally, there remains the interfaith opportunity to bring these three great religions together in order to cooperate on reducing the global burden of NTDs.
- NTD control and elimination represents one of the most effective and cost-efficient means to reduce poverty and relieve global suffering
- For instance, for the OIC nations, the Islamic Development Bank, and some of the wealthier nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council could look at opportunities to contribute as well as support research and development (R&D) for new technologies.
However religious leaders cannot overtly control the spread of these diseases:there are other reasons like
- High Population and high density regions
- Lack of proper sanitation and hygiene
- Poverty make the countries more susceptible to these diseases
General Studies – 2
Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
2) “The Mental Health Care Bill, 2016, passed by the Rajya Sabha is a watershed legislation that lays down clear responsibilities for the state and has provisions that empower individuals and families.” Discuss. (200 Words)
The Bill fills the long standing gap in the mental health law in India after the country ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requiring it to harmonise its laws with those prevalent worldwide.
Important provisions of the bill are:
- Rights of persons with mental illness: Every person shall have the right to access mental health care and treatment from services run or funded by the government. The right to access mental health care includes affordable, good quality of and easy access to services. Persons with mental illness also have the right to equality of treatment, protection from inhuman and degrading treatment, free legal services, access to their medical records, and complain regarding deficiencies in provision of mental health care.
- Advance Directive:
- A mentally-ill person shall have the right to make an advance directive that states how he wants to be treated for the illness during a mental health situation and who his nominated representative shall be.
- The advance directive has to be certified by a medical practitioner or registered with the Mental Health Board.
- If a mental health professional/ relative/care-giver does not wish to follow the directive while treating the person, he can make an application to the Mental Health Board to review/alter/cancel the advance directive.
- Central and State Mental Health Authority:
- These are administrative bodies are required to
- register, supervise and maintain a register of all mental health establishments
- develop quality and service provision norms for such establishments,
- maintain a register of mental health professionals,
- train law enforcement officials and mental health professionals on the provisions of the Act
- receive complaints about deficiencies in provision of services
- advise the government on matters relating to mental health.
- Mental Health Establishments: Every mental health establishment has to be registered with the relevant Central or State Mental Health Authority.
- Bill also specifies the process and procedure to be followed for admission, treatment and discharge of mentally ill individuals.
- A decision to be admitted in a mental health establishment shall be made by the person with the mental illness except when he is unable to make an independent decision or conditions exist to make a supported admission unavoidable.
- Mental Health Review Commission and Board:
- The Mental Health Review Commission will be a quasi-judicial body that will periodically review the use of and the procedure for making advance directives and advise the government on protection of the rights of mentally ill persons.
- The Commission shall with the concurrence of the state governments, constitute Mental Health Review Boards in the districts of a state.
- The Board will have the power to (a) register, review/alter/cancel an advance directive, (b) appoint a nominated representative, (c) adjudicate complaints regarding deficiencies in care and services, (d) receive and decide application from a person with mental illness/his nominated representative/any other interested person against the decision of medical officer or psychiatrists in charge of a mental health establishment.
- Decriminalising suicide and prohibiting electro-convulsive therapy:
- A person who attempts suicide shall be presumed to be suffering from mental illness at that time and will not be punished under the Indian Penal Code.
- Electro-convulsive therapy is allowed only with the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia. The therapy is prohibited for minors.
- The Bill requires that every insurance company shall provide medical insurance for mentally ill persons on the same basis as is available for physical illnesses.
- Patient with mental illness will not be subject to seclusion and solitary confinement
- Every prison will have a mental health facility
- It also provides for supply of all notified essential medicines free of cost to those with mental illness, through the government.
- A duty is also cast on the authorities to care for and rehabilitate such individuals.
- These are administrative bodies are required to
- The financial memorandum of the Bill does not estimate the expenditure required to meet the obligations under the Bill nor does it provide details of the sharing of expenses between the central and state governments.
- Without the allocation of adequate funds, the implementation of the Bill could be affected.
- The Standing Committee examining the Bill had noted that public health is a state subject. Since several states face financial constraints, the central government might have to face the burden of transferring funds.
- The Bill does not prescribe specific penalties for non-compliance with several of its provisions.
- A general punishment of imprisonment up to 6 months or a penalty of up to Rs 10,000, or both, is provided.
- The absence of specific penal provisions might create ambiguities with regard to the implementation of the Bill.
- does not address issues related to guardianship of mentally ill persons.The provisions related to guardianship of mentally ill persons are in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPD) Bill, 2014, which is pending in Parliament.
- While the bill provides for establishment of Central and state mental health authority and committees at the state level, it is questioned where the infrastructure will come from.
- District judges and collectors will have to be involved in several committees which will delay treatment.
- While the bill says mental health services should be available at the district level, even States with well-functioning district hospitals do not offer regular psychiatric outpatient services, leave alone in-patient facilities.
- In government hospitals, medication to treat even the more common psychiatric disorders is not always available.
What is needed?
- Even though some sections of this bill are being criticized but still this bill seems more humane and appropriate in the current situation.
- India allocates just over 1 per cent of the Centre’s health budget to mental health, with States making comparable allocations. This situation should change if the provisions of the bill are to be meaningful.
- official policy must strive to strengthen the social determinants of health, especially when it comes to universal welfare support systems against catastrophic events in people’s lives. Reliable and free professional counselling must be widely offered.
Topic: Transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
- Living up to its promise of regaining the “purity of the game” and restoring the dignity of the players, the Lodha Committee has suggested sweeping reforms in the structuring and governance of cricket in the country
- Each Indian State would only be entitled to a single vote within the BCCI, a mandate that is likely to damage a coterie of power held by Maharashtra and Gujarat that have three associations each.
- It directs the establishment of an apex council of nine members, overseen by a reputable chief executive officer, comprising three independent persons, with two from a newly constituted “players’ association”, and at least one woman, to conduct the day-to-day administration of the sport in the country
- The institution of lucid norms within the BCCI’s constitution to regulate conflicts of interest, including the reduction in involvement from politicians; and, most critically, a more reasonable division, if not a complete separation, between the BCCI and the IPL.
- In bringing about a change in the board’s structure through the Lodha Committee’s recommendations, the Supreme Court isn’t making law. It is merely making accountable a body that enjoys a virtually state-sanctioned monopoly, which allows it to alter the fundamental nature of a property that it holds in trust for the public.
- Players association -Former first-class players, five years after retirement, would become part of the association. The idea is to give players voice, use their expertise and skills for the development and betterment of the game.
- The panel, in a significant departure from the past, suggests thatone individual hold only one post in cricket administration.
- This report will bring cricket fans back to the foldand put an end to regional excesses and imbalances reign by cliques, corruption and red tape
- Equal representation irrespective of cricketing activity is likely to result in a situation where States with little or no cricketing activity will abuse their representation.
- The ‘one country one vote’ system resulted in the FIFA corruption scandal of 2015 where countries where there is little or no football activity were allegedly bribed by FIFA officials to vote in a particular manner
- The recommendation for drastic reduction in advertisements will have a crippling effect on BCCI’s financial health.
- The entire revenue model on which Indian Premier League is based will collapse
- Further, it would adversely affect franchisees and participating cricketers, besides reducing domestic cricketing activity.
- The BCCI said the Committee’s recommendation for caps on tenure and cooling-off periods for cricket administrators has no rationale.
- It would be unjust to deny an individual the full right to his freedom of association and the necessary core right to be part of the management of the affairs of such association and have a say in its functioning.
- Such a bar would also hamper continuity of meritorious and deserving administrators and impact the development of the game
- On the ban on ministers, government servants and persons holding honorary postsin another sports body from being part of the BCCI, the Board said such a restriction is in clear violation of the constitutional freedom of association under Article (19) (1) (c), and “patently unreasonable”.
- Board strongly opposed the recommendation to make persons over 70 years of age ineligible to hold BCCI positions, saying there cannot be an age cap for persons who are elected in a democratic manner.
- Justice Lodha Committee did not appreciate that each office-bearer is first elected by the State before he gets a chance to contest elections in the BCCI and such a ban would be akin to penalising a State administration by denying it the administrative experience of an officebearer who also holds an honorary post in the BCCI
- To make the existing stadia amenable to other sports by providing for alternate surfaces to be laid so that income may be generated and there would be all round development of sport, care being taken not to damage the pitch.
- This recommendation was criticized on the grounds that the turf could not be switched for cricket from hockey and vice-versa in a jiffy.
- And even if that was somehow possible, what sort of rental income can a state cricket association hope to receive from hockey associations, which themselves are reeling from lack of funds.
Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Stringent clauses were added to the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016.
- Collective fines on villages and communities was a provision that was added. Drinking at home was made a punishable offence
- police could seize utensils if it was found they were used for brewing jaggery and mahua ( Madhuca longifolia) flowers.
- ‘Draconian’ provisions include making sale and consumption of alcohol a non-bailable offence
- Arrest without warrant by the police and excise officials above the rank of sub-inspector on mere suspicion of presence of alcohol
- Arrest of family members, including women, above the age of 18, if alcohol is found on the premises.
- In fact, with prohibition, mahua has started attracting a premium.
- What was once sold for Rs.100 a kg is now selling for Rs.300 and brought in by road or trains
- Ban may also lead to smuggling of illicit liquor and production of spurious liquor.
- Draconian law under which all adult members of the family can be arrested and sent to jail if even a wrapper or bottle of liquor is found in their house.
- The State’s revenue has gone down and many attribute this fall to prohibition.
- From Rs.897 crore in 2015 between April and June, the revenue is down just Rs.42.27 crore this year in the same months.
- It took turn into communal tones.
- The families in Deewan Pokhar village that stare at a Rs.1 lakh fine are Mahadalits engaged in their traditional occupation of taadi-tapping.
- It is looked in a way that upper castes are trying to oppress Dalits with this new law.
- The United States experimented with the prohibition way back in 1920. It soon found out that more people were drinking alcohol than before. The country suffered revenue loss and the cost of enforcing ban was quite high.
- But is the administrative machinery, not known to be very efficient and upright in the state anyway, equal to the task. There is a danger that shoddily enforced prohibition may have adverse political implications.
- It also spawns massive corruption. Prohibition may not automatically result in wise and healthy spending patterns.
- Blanket bans could adversely affect tourism, hospitality and other businesses, besides being an unfair intrusion into personal choicesof a large section of people who can afford liquor and consume moderately.
- Also, people should have the freedom of choice to decide to drink alcohol or not, as long as that freedom does not infringe on the freedoms of other people. Therefore, a law prohibiting alcohol would remove the freedom of choice.
- Indicated that government will work with civil society and self-help groups to enforce total prohibition.
- Those, who are in favor of ban, argue that alcohol consumption leads to household impoverishment, domestic violence and premature mortality. Children and women are suffering more than anyone else due to increasing liquor consumption.
- Prohibition of alcohol limits and/or prevents alcohol addiction. This particular addiction can easily ruin people’s lives, including their jobs, their friends, their families, and obviously themselves too.
- Alcohol, especially in large quantities, can damage people’s kidneys and livers, and can eventually lead to death.
- Some religions (such as Islam, Mormonism, and some Pentecostal Christians) expressly forbids the consumption of alcohol.
- Some argue that there is a direct correlation between alcohol consumption and an increase in crime. Violent crimes, assault, and disorderly conduct are most common with persons who are intoxicated.
- Prohibition reduces the causalities and damages through drunk driving.
General Studies – 3
Topic: Conservation; Investment; Infrastructure
5) After nearly four years of analysis and engagement with governments and development experts across 63 countries, the World Bank framed a new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) aimed at strengthening protections for people and the environment in investment projects financed by the bank. Critically examine if new ESF is adequate to safeguard vulnerable populations. (200 Words)
- The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) that expands protections for people and the environment in Bank-financed investment projects.
- The framework is part of a far-reaching effort by the World Bank Group to improve development outcomes and streamline its work.
Yes it’s adequate :
- The new framework introduces measures for labour and working condition protection and community health and safety to address emergency response and disaster mitigation.
- It proposes to strengthen partnerships with other multilateral development banks and development partners.
- According to the new rules, the client states will have to conduct a “broadened social assessment and management of environmental and social risks,” to guarantee labour rights and prohibit any form of forced labour.
- The new framework makes it mandatory for projects to reduce environmental harm and avoid large-scale population displacements.
- The new rules claim having increased protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
- These new safeguards will build into our projects improved protections for the most vulnerable people in the world and our environment.
- The framework brings the World Bank’s environmental and social protections into closer harmony with those of other development institutions, and makes important advances in areas such as transparency, non-discrimination, social inclusion, public participation, and accountability – including expanded roles for grievance redress mechanisms.
- The World Bank Group’s mission is to end extreme poverty and reduce inequality in the world, and this new framework will be a critical factor in helping us reach those goals.
- Strengthening national systems in borrowing countries is recognized as a central development goal by the World Bank and most of its shareholders. In line with this goal, the framework places greater emphasis on the use of borrower frameworks and capacity building, with the aim of constructing sustainable borrower institutions and increasing efficiency.
- The new framework will promote better and lasting – development outcomes. It provides broader coverage and access, and will benefit more people, especially vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. It will also strengthen partnerships with other multilateral development banks, development partners, and bilateral donors.
- Experts say that the safeguard policies are creating “loopholes” with vague language and more reliance on laws and standards of the borrower country.
- New framework does not require the bank to respect human rights
- ESF requires borrowing governments to address certain environmental and social risks in order to receive Bank financing for development projects
- possible difficulties borrowing countries may face in complying with the new framework prior to implementation of a project, as well as during its operations.
- makes doing business with the Bank more and more difficult and costly for the borrowers.
- Pushing responsibility to potentially weak and inadequate borrower systems while eliminating the Bank’s mandatory due diligence requirements to ensure that borrower environmental and social protections are at least as strong as, and equivalent to, those of the Bank.
- The proposals will vastly weaken protections for affected communities and the environment at the same time as the Bank intends to finance more high-risk projects
- On free prior and informed consent it is argued that the requirement for consent rather than consultation will create hold out problem depriving a larger number of people from the benefits of development.
- It is also the responsibility of the Bank to ensure that the new standards incorporate borrowers’ concerns and are simple, transparent and predictable. The new standards must ensure that the cost of compliance is not excessive and there is no compromise with the primacy of the development objective.
Topic: S&T; Food processing and related industries in India-
- Trans fat, a type of unsaturated fat that behaves like a saturated fat due to its chemical structure is of two types—natural (found in beef/pork/dairy products) and artificial (obtained from processed foods).
- It is responsible for raising the body’s low density lipoprotein (LDL), also called the “bad” cholesterol and lowers the high density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol.
- Overall, this increases the total blood cholesterol level which is a major risk for heart disease.
Why is it bad :
- Higher consumption of dietary trans-fatty acids (dTFA) has been linked to worsened memory function in men who are 45 years old and younger. These acids are used in processed foods to improve taste, texture and durability.
- Trans fat consumption has previously shown adverse associations to behaviour and mood
- Industrial trans fats are artificially produced to turn liquid oils into solids at room temperature and extend food shelf life. They can be found in margarines, fast foods, baked goods, snack foods, frozen pizza, coffee creamers and some refrigerated dough.
- Trans fats or the unsaturated fatty acids are formed due to hydrogenation that requires very high temperatures to be applied by the industries manufacturing processed food. However, the natural trans fats are not as harmful and the heat that is provided by the animal body (beef/mutton) can’t be extremely high
- Trans fat intake has also been linked to increased insulin resistance and a risk of diabetes, which is why the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended an upper limit of less than 1 per cent of total energy intake through trans fat.
Measures taken by food regulator in India to regulate trans fat content in processed foods are not sufficient:
- A new directive issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been extended by six months the implementation of the revised five per cent limit (by weight) of trans fats in interesterified vegetable fats, margarine, fat spreads and hydrogenated vegetable oils
- The amendment notified in August 2015 for implementation in August this year has now been extended till February 2017. Such delays indicate that public health is not important in our country compared to simple procedural changes that the food industry is supposed to cooperate with
- This is not the first time that the implementation of revised or new regulations has been delayed by the FSSAI. The initial limit set by the FSSAI for trans fats (10 per cent by weight) took three years to get notified in June 2013. This was despite the fact that trans fats used were much higher in limit than the standards set by countries such as Denmark and Switzerland.
- There is no way of monitoring reuse of oil or limiting the amount of trans fat in food items prepared in restaurants and by roadside vendors.
- Though packaged food products are required to label trans fat content, most local products do not have it on the label.
- Even if trans fat content is quoted, these are based on raw ingredients and not the finished product
However some of the provisions are good:
- This entails that the quantity of trans fats and saturated fats should be stated on the labels of edible oils, interesterified vegetable fats (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils), edible fats, margarine, fat spreads (mixed fat spread and vegetable fat spreads) and food packages where fats, oils and fat emulsions are used as ingredients. This extension has also been granted at stakeholders’ request.
- FSSAI’s downward revision of the upper bound of trans fat to 5 per cent will help meet the WHO limit and go a long way in reducing adverse health effects of trans fat
- The FSSAI has also proposed to
- Trans fat limit in vanaspati / partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to be brought down
- Chemical and Enzymatic esterification for production of vanaspati for regulating trans fatty acids is also proposed to be allowed
- Palm Stearin content may be permitted only in interesterified fat and not approved for blending of oils or to be used as such
- The Apex food regulator has also proposed to introduce mandatory labelling of trans fats and saturated fats content on vanaspati packs, edible oils or other products containing trans fat from vanaspati sources.
While food manufacturers begin to reduce the levels of trans fats from their products from that date onwards, consumers will still need to check labels and ensure that their health does not suffer from eating foods that have high content of trans fat.
Topic: Basics of cyber security
7) Skimming is one of the more popular methods used by cyber-criminals. What is skimming? How is it done? Examine what measures should be taken by citizens to not to become victims of cyber crimes. (200 Words)
- Skimming is the theft of credit card information used in an otherwise legitimate transaction. It is typically an “inside job” by a dishonest employee of a legitimate merchant, and can be as simple as photocopying of receipts.
- Common scenarios for skimming are restaurants or bars where the skimmer has possession of the victim’s credit card out of their immediate view. The skimmer will typically use a small keypad to unobtrusively transcribe the 3 or 4 digit Card Security Code which is not present on the magnetic strip.
- Skimming is the way of hacking that is generally come in the cyber crime category. It generally happens with the help of ATM machine and have become very common.
- Card skimming is the copying the credit card information illegally from the magnetic strips of the Debit or Credit cards. They steal your account information and then misuse that to make a fake card and then harm you financially. Due to this, the victim is generally unaware of such type of hacking.
How does it work ?
- Skimming generally happens with the help of some skimming devices. These devices are installed on the machine and their parts.
- Three methoda are used for that:
- ATM Skimming using faceplates :
- This include the installation of faceplates over the card slot of any ATM machine which is used for credit or debit cards access.
- These faceplates usally contain hardware that can read the magnetic strip before entering original ATM card slot. They can then use your card information without returning to ATM machine as they can use wireless technology to track your information.
- Replacing or modifying of pinpads at retail stores :
- In this, the pinpads of the retail stores are used. In this, the PIN of the pinpad is changed and recorded by some hidden cameras.
- Using Skimming devices on machines :
- Skimming using a handheld device is very easy to happen. These skimming devices are installed into the ATM machines that capture every information regarding the card.
- ATM Skimming using faceplates :
Measures that are to be taken by citizens before hand:
- Inspect the ATM machine and its area :
- when you use your card, inspect ATM machine and its area before the use of card. Also make sure that any other devices are not installed on the machine
- In some areas like gas pump when you use your debit/credit card, always choose the credit option as in this case you only have to enter the billing ZIP code rather than PIN code
- Always hide the number pad :
- Even if you are alone at ATM machine, always hide the number pad with your hand as might it be track with some hidden camera.
- Never let the shopkeeper take your debit card out of your sight. There is no need for him/her to do so, unless he/she intends to do something unlawful.
- Never write your PIN number at a place where it can be seen by someone who you do not intend to show it to.
- Always destroy the receipts from merchants that you no longer require, especially when you have paid for using your debit card.
- Check your account statements carefully for transactions that you may not have made.
- Check your bank and credit card statements often.If someone does get your information, you have 60 days to report any fraudulent charges to your credit card company in order not to be charged. For a debit card, you only have about 2 days to report any suspicious activity.