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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 February 2017

 


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 February 2017


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.

STATIC Syllabus Timetable


General Studies – 1;


Topic:  Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes

1) How eras, epochs and eons are decided in geological timescale? Recently it was decided to name present epoch as anthropocene. Critically discuss salient features of anthropocene. (200 Words)

The Hindu

The period is the basic unit of geological time in which a single type of rock system is formed. Two or more periods comprise a geological Era. Two or more Eras form an Eon, the largest division of geologic time. Some periods are divided into epochs. 

The International Commission on Stratigraphy is considered to be the nodal agency that decides on the eras, aeons, and epochs. In the geological timescale, they are considered to be decided on the basis of evidence obtained from the imprints found in the fossil records.

The recent discourse on naming an epoch on the name of Human being clearly indicates the importance of Homo sapiens species on globe. The various aspects that can establish a link between human and the epoch of the earth geological history can be stated as:

  • There are huge alternations in the land use pattern of the earth as area under the forest is dwindling continuously. Rising urbanization is generating altogether a new ecology within the urban area. Eg Island heat effect , Urban agglomerations.
  • In the climatology discipline of Geography, pollution has led to the rising temperature, greenhouse gas effect and rise in suspended particulate matter . the variations occurring in weather conditions away from standard geographical observations rerecorded over a period of time are nothing but the ill effects of disturbed climatic conditions due to anthropogenic activities.
  • Unsustainable fishing activity, water pollution, oil spills etc. are disturbing the balance of marine life which has taken thousands of years to reach this stage of development.
  • As far the impact of human on biodiversity is considered it has led to the dwindling of wild flora and fauna, spread of diseases epidemic in wild, habitat loss and forceful migration of wild animals.

All this do not indicate to the healthy trend for earth’s ecology. The sheer economic greed of human being has led to unsustainable exploitation of wildlife and overall biodiversity. There is no genuine cooperation at international platform to correct these mistakes.  Conservation efforts are poor to control the loss of earth’s treasure.

This discourse of naming epoch after the human being itself denotes anthropocentric approach. Till date no era or an epoch has been names after the name of species. e.g. Jurassic period has nothing to do with Dinosaurs and it derives its name from Jura Mountains of  European continent. The question persist that why should human being is privileged to have its name on era if thousands of species are in existence on earth far longer time than the human being.

The very loss of earth biodiversity by anthropogenic activities does not make humans an eligible candidate to have its name on an era.

period


Topic: Urbanization, their problems and their remedies  

2) Why do you think that technologies such as Uber that are so successful managing movement within the city are not being deployed for the journeys between them? How can it be made possible? Examine. (200 Words)

Livemint

Introduction-

The e-commerce companies have revolutionized the scene of logistic transport within the cities in recent years. The use of technologies like hand-held GPS devices, cloud computing and machine-learning algorithms in logistic transport have ensured efficient route deliveries to their final destination. But such transformation is largely absent in the logistic movement between cities and in national transport. The reasons are-

  • Regulatory framework- Indian law requires that any trailer that is attached to a truck must bear the same registration number as the truck. This makes it impossible to deploy a hub and spoke model as this model relies on trailers being capable of being detached from one truck and attached to another at each hub throughout the journey.
  • Interstate transport needs permits from each state thereby complicating the procedure of using e-technology.
  • The required cyber infrastructure to carry out interstate transport on the lines of ‘hub and spoke’ model is absent with the national transport companies.
  • Lack of infrastructural facilities like quality roads required for smooth flow of traffic makes investors reluctant to invest in such projects.

How it can be made possible?

  • Creating quality infrastructure and connecting remote states through roads is the fundamental requirement for e-technologies to enter in national transport.
  • Incentivizing e-technologies like tax exemptions by government would encourage investors to invest in such projects.
  • Indian regulatory framework needs changes like doing away with the requirement of having trailer and truck of same registration number. This would help in developing ‘hub and spoke’ model where truck drivers will not have to travel length and breadth of India.
  • They leverage the power of mobile technology, always-on connectivity and the ubiquity of the cloud to solve complex route optimization problems in ways that were simply not possible before can be employed now.

Conclusion-

We urgently need to evolve transport model based on e-technologies so that lives of thousands of drivers who spend half of their life on roads can be improved significantly.  


Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times. 

3) In order to bridge the gap between urban and rural consciousness, between the past and the present, another trend which is very much visible in the post-modernist poetry scene is the use of mythology to present the modern predicament. Discuss features of this trend. (200 Words)

CCRT

Introduction-

Mythic thoughts, in fact, are attempts to mediate the gaps between continuity and change, thereby authenticating the idea of ‘total poetry’. By using similar mythological situations, a broader dimension is given to the present-day chaotic condition in which humanity is living today. The mythical past affirms man’s relationship to the transcendent. It has a value-structure. It is a rediscovery of the past for the present, and an adaptation for the future.

Features of this modern trend are-

  • Religious tolerance and importance of following path of Dharma (truth) has been advocated in the treatises of Mahabharata, Ramayana and medieval movements like Bhakti which explicitly finds place in current poetry to prevent social conflicts.
  • Ancient India is endowed with rich philosophy of religion like Hinduism, Buddhism, jainiaism which laid greater emphasis on ahimsa, honesty, morality etc, modern writers disenchanted with contemporary violent order, extremism, and fundamentalism and thus become necessary to regain what world is loosing.
  • Post-independence writers were disturbed by poverty and Urban- Rural inequality and compared the instances from the past-affluence to portray the current degradation and also highlight importance for inclusive development and equitable distribution of resources, coupled with increased respect for environment.
  • Early vedic society was classless, casteless and largely egalitarian, women had dignified life and were allowed to recite the mantras etc. This impressed Daya Anand Sareswati to greater extent and stated people should learn the past which is actual place of peace and harmony, he explicitly rejected priesthood, westernized social milieu.
  • Religion was used extensively by many poets to extol universal principles like Honesty, Integrity etc. Many of the Indian poems thus written were mythic. For example, Lord Rama was idolized for being an obedient son, and many works were written preaching people to be like him in the modern age.
  • After independence, writers were agonized over disintegration of society and break in relationship with heritage, and shift towards Western Literature and use of English, however soon it was realized that Indian reality cannot be represented by Western models and subsequently many writes/poets turned to ancient roots.

Conclusion-

The present-day crisis in India is the conflict between expediency and universality, and as a result, a large number of writers are in the process of identifying a pattern of problem-solving within the traditional system, vigorous enough to generate and sustain an indigenous process of modernization, which does not need readymade external solutions, and is in accord with indigenous needs and attitudes.


TopicIndian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

4) Examine the contribution of women poets to Bhakti movement. (200 Words)

CCRT

Introduction:-

The Bhakti movement refers to the theistic devotional trend that emerged in medieval Hinduism and later revolutionised in Sikhism. It originated in the seventh-century Tamil south India (now parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala), and spread northwards. It swept over east and north India from the 15th century onwards, reaching its zenith between the 15th and 17th century CE.

Background Information:-

  • The Bhakti movement regionally developed around different gods and goddesses, such asVaishnavism (Vishnu), Shaivism (Shiva), Shaktism (Shakti goddesses), and Smartism.
  • The movement was inspired by many poet-saints, who championed a wide range of philosophical positions ranging from theisticdualism of Dvaita to absolute monism of Advaita Vedanta.
  • The movement has traditionally been considered as an influential social reformation in Hinduism, and provided an individual-focussed alternative path to spirituality regardless of one’s caste of birth or gender.
  • Postmodern scholars question this traditional view and whether the Bhakti movement ever was a reform or rebellion of any kind.They suggest Bhakti movement was a revival, reworking and recontextualisation of ancient Vedic traditions

 

WOMEN IN BHAKTI:-

  • The contribution of women writers in different languages during that period deserves special attention. Women writers like Ghosha, Lopamudra, Gargi, Maitreyi, Apala, Romasha Brahmavadini, etc., right from the days of the Vedas (6000 B.C. – 4000 B.C.), focused on the image of women in mainstream Sanskrit literature.
  • The songs of Buddhist nuns (6th century B.C.) like Mutta and Ubbiri and Mettika in Pali express the torment of feelings for the life left behind.
  • The Alwar women poets (6th century A.D.), like Andal and others, gave expression to their love for the divine.
  • Lal Ded (1320-1384), the Muslim poetess from Kashmir Lalded & Habba Khatun, represented the sant tradition of bhakti and wrote Vakhs (maxims), which are peerless gems of spiritual experience.
  • Meera Bai, in Gujarati, Rajasthani and Hindi (she wrote in three languages), Avvayyar, in Tamil, and Akkamahadevi in Kannada, are well known for their sheer lyrical intensity and concentrated emotional appeal.

  Contribution:-

  • Their writings speak to us about the social conditions prevailing at that time, and the position of woman at home and in society. They all wrote small lyrics or poems of devotional fervour, metaphysical depth, and with a spirit of dedication and utmost sincerity. Behind their mysticism and metaphysics is a divine sadness. They turned every wound inflicted by life into a poem.
  • If we examine the role of the women in the bhakti movement we can see that women exploited the religious emotion to deal with patriarchy and created an alternate space for themselves.
  • They challenged patriarchy and the mortal man to whom they were tied in a relationship of marriage by extending the definition of love to God and understanding his relation with them in terms of a lover, a wife, a mistress, a friend and a servant.
  • It is the large scale participation of women that gave the movement the character of a mass movement. Religion was the only space which was open to women in medieval times.
  • Through this legitimate space women could define their actions and aspirations and participate in public gatherings, visit pilgrimage places, compose their own songs and through bhakti directly reach God.
  • In this way they sowed the seed of an idea that women could be agents of their own religious emancipation.

Some important female contributors:-

1)MEERA:- Meera, also known as Meera Bai, was a 16th-century Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Krishna. She is a celebrated Bhakti saint, particularly in the North Indian Hindu tradition.

Meera Bai was born into a Rajput royal family of Kudki district of Pali, Rajasthan, India. She is mentioned in Bhaktamal, confirming that she was widely known and a cherished figure in the Indian bhakti movement culture by about 1600 CE. Most legends about Meera mention her fearless disregard for social and family conventions, her devotion to god Krishna, her treating Krishna as her husband, and she being persecuted by her in-laws for her religious devotion. She has been the subject of numerous folk tales and hagiographic legends, which are inconsistent or widely different in details.

Thousands of devotional poems in passionate praise of Lord Krishna are attributed to Meera in the Indian tradition, but just a few hundred are believed to be authentic by scholars, and the earliest written records suggest that except for two poems, most were written down only in the 18th century. Many poems attributed to Meera were likely composed later by others who admired Meera. These poems are commonly known as bhajans, and are popular across India. Hindu temples, such as in Chittorgarh fort, are dedicated to Mira Bai’s memory. Legends about Meera’s life, of contested authenticity, have been the subject of movies, comic strips and other popular literature in modern times.

2) Akka Mahadevi (ಅಕ್ಕ ಮಹಾದೇವಿ) (c.1130-1160) was one of the early female poets of the Kannada language  and a prominent personality in the Veerashaiva Bhakti movement of the 12th century. Her 430 extant Vachana poems (a form of spontaneous mystical poems), and the two short writings called Mantrogopya and the Yogangatrividhi are considered her most notable contribution to Kannada literature. She composed relatively fewer poems than other saints of the movement. Yet the term Akka (“elder Sister”), which is an honorific given to her by great Veerashaiva saints such as Basavanna, Siddharama and Allamaprabhu is an indication of her contribution to the spiritual discussions held at the “Anubhava Mantapa”. She is in hindsight seen as an inspirational woman for Kannada literature and the history of Karnataka. She is known to have considered the god Shiva (‘Chenna Mallikarjuna’) as her husband, (traditionally understood as the ‘madhura bhava’ or ‘madhurya’ form of devotion).

Akka Mahadevi was born in 1130 in Udutadi (or Udugani) near the ancient city of Banavasi in the modern Shimoga district of Karnataka state, India.

3)lalded: Lalleshwari (Kashmiri: للء ایشوری) born;1320, died;1392, was a mystic of the Kashmiri Shaivite sect. She was a creator of the mystic poetry called vatsun or Vakhs, literally “speech” (Voice). Known as Lal Vakhs, her verses are the earliest compositions in the Kashmiri language and are an important part in history of modern Kashmiri literature. She inspired and interacted with many Sufis of Kashmir.

She is also known by various other names, including Lal Ded, Lalla Aarifa, Lal Diddi, Laleshwari, Lalla Yogishwari and Lalishri.

4)Sahajo Bai:- It is generally agreed that she was born in 1683 and died in 1765.In many of her verses she describes the hard work that she does grinding corn, carrying water, sweeping, digging. She says that one can walk on the guru’s path only if one is a brave warrior and frees one self of the fear of death. Sahjo’s verses are collected in Sahaj Prakash, the major text of the Chandradasi sect.

5)GangaSati:- Gangasati, another bhakti poetess of Gujarat, have handed down all her compositions through the oral tradition. All this was written down much later after her life and we only have some rough accounts of her life. Gangasati was a devoted Rajput woman married to Kahlubha, in the village of Samdhiala in Surashtra

Kahlubha according to legend was asked by his fellow Rajputs to prove his faith by bringing a dead cow back to life. He started chanting and singing invoking God to perform a miracle. The cow did come back to life but after this he decided to take mahasamadhi and renounce his life for he felt that he would not be allowed to practice Bhakti for its own sake but would become a miracle man.

Ganga sati also wanted to join him but he prevented her saying that she had not passed on her knowledge and wisdom to their daughter in law Panbai. Gangasati composed a set of forty bhajans or hymns for this purpose and this is the only recorded case of a woman who is respected for her knowledge passing it on in a formal way to another.


General Studies – 2


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,

5) Recently, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capped pricing of medical stents. Critically examine significance of this measure and its impact on various stakeholders. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Stent

A stent is a tiny tube placed into a hollow structure in your body. This structure can be an artery, a blood vessel, or something such as the tube that carries urine (ureter). The stent holds the structure open.

stent

Description

When a stent is placed into the body, the procedure is called stenting. There are different kinds of stents. Most are made of a metal or plastic mesh-like material. However, stent grafts are made of fabric. They are used in larger arteries.

A coronary artery stent is a small, self-expanding, metal mesh tube. It is placed inside a coronary artery after balloon angioplasty. This stent prevents the artery from re-closing.

A drug-eluting stent is coated with a medicine. This medicine helps further prevent the arteries from re-closing. Like other coronary artery stents, it is left permanently in the artery.

Why the Procedure is Performed

Most of the time, stents are used when arteries become narrow or blocked.

Stents are commonly used to treat the following conditions that result from blocked or damaged blood vessels:

Other reasons to use stents include:

Significance of the move:-

  1. It will stop the menace of over-pricing of coronary stents in various hospitals.
    2. Affordable healthcare: Huge unethical mark ups are charged at each stage in the supply chain of coronary stents resulting in irrational prices in a failed market system driven by information asymmetry between patients and doctors, pushing patients to financial misery. The stents price cut makes angioplasty more accessible.
    3.Transparancy: The government has also made it mandatory for hospitals to bill stents separately from surgical procedures or package costs.

Implications :
1)Patient:

a) Such a regulation might lead to flooding of substandard products from China and Canada which might increase the risk of substandard quality stents.
b) Health care accessible to poor as 70% of out of pocket health expenditure is on drugs.
2) Manufacturer:
a) manufacturers are upset over the decision that caps prices of all forms of stents at Rs 30,000.
b) The NPPA notification completely disregards stakeholder representations on the need to differentiate stents based on their technological differences, this pricing has the potential to block innovations and limit access to world-class medical care.
c) May lead to Black marketing.
3) Hospitals: 
a)It might lead to financial losses to private hospital.
b) Reduced price will raise patient inflow into hospital this will increase burden on health care and increased patient may increase profit also.
c)It will provide satisfaction to some of the doctors that they can save life of more people now.

Conclusion:-

The move to cap the prices of stents has multifaceted positive effects, while this step taken by the government is well appreciated there is a need to maintain fine balance to avoid too much of regulation that might hamper private players and innovation in future


General Studies – 3


Topic: Indian economy – growth and development

6) Will low and stable inflation boost growth prospects? In the light of functioning of Monetary Policy Committee, discuss. (200 Words)

Livemint

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC):-

  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is a committee of the Central Bank in India (Reserve Bank of India), headed by its Governor, which is entrusted with the task of fixing the benchmark policy interest rate (repo rate) to contain inflation within the specified target level.
  • Monetary Policy Committee is defined in Section 2(iii)(cci) of theReserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and is constituted under Sub-section (1) of Section 45ZB of the same Act.
  • The MPC replaces the current system where the RBI governor, with the aid and advice of his internal team and a technical advisory committee, has complete control over monetary policy decisions. A Committee-based approach will add lot of value and transparency to monetary policy decisions.
  • Background
    MPC was set up consequent to the agreement reached between Government and RBI to task RBI with the responsibility for price stability andinflation targeting. The Reserve Bank of India and Government of India signed the Monetary Policy Framework Agreement on 20 February 2015.
  • Subsequently, the government, while unveiling theUnion Budget for 2016-17 in the Parliament, proposed to amend the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934 for giving a statutory backing to the aforementioned Monetary Policy Framework Agreement and for setting up a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
  • Vide this amendment, it was written into the preamble of the RBI Act that the primary objective of the monetary policy is to maintain price stability, while keeping in mind the objective of growth, and to meet the challenge of an increasingly complex economy, RBI would operate a Monetary Policy Framework.
  • Thus the amendment provides a statutory basis for a Monetary Policy Framework (MPF) and the MPC. This amendment to RBI Act was carried out through theFinance Bill, 2016presented along with the Union Budget documents.
  • A new Chapter (Chapter IIIF, Section 45Z) was introduced in the RBI Act, through this Finance Bill, 2016, detailing the operation of MPC. The provisions in the Bill become effective once it is passed and notified as an Act of Parliament.
  • Government decided to bring the provisions of amended RBI Act regarding constitution of MPC into force on27 June, 2016 so that statutory basis of MPC is made effective. Rules governing the procedure for Selection of Members of Monetary Policy Committee and Terms and Conditions of their Appointment and factors constituting failure to meet inflation target under the MPC Framework were also notified on 27 June, 2016.
  • The history of suggestions for setting up a MPC is not new and traces back to 2002 when the Y. V. Reddy Committee recommended for a MPC to decide policy actions. Subsequently, suggestions were made to set up a MPC in 2006 by the Tarapore Committee, in 2007 by thePercy Mistry Committee, in 2009 by the Raghuram Rajan Committee and then in 2013, both in the report of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) and the  Urjit R. Patel (URP) Committee.  
  • According to the URP Committee, “Heightened public interest and scrutiny of monetary policy decisions and outcomes has propelled a worldwide movement towards a committee based approach to decision making with a view to bringing in greater transparency and accountability in India.”
  • Functions of the MPC
    Under the Monetary Policy Framework Agreement, the RBI will be responsible for containing inflation targets at 4% (with a standard deviation of 2%) in the medium term (For more details seehere).
  • Under Section 45ZA(1) of the RBI Act, 1934, the Central Government determines the inflation target in terms of theConsumer Price Index, once in every five years in consultation with the RBI. This target would be notified in the Official Gazette.
  • Though the central bank already had a monetary framework and was implementing the monetary policy, the newly designed statutory framework would mean that the RBI would have to give an explanation in the form of a report to the Central Government, if it failed to reach the specified inflation targets.
  • It shall, in the report, give reasons for failure, remedial actions as well as estimated time within which the inflation target shall be achieved. (The factors that constitute failure shall be such as may be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.)
  • Further, RBI is mandated to publish a Monetary Policy Report every six months, explaining the sources of inflation and the forecasts of inflation for the coming period of six to eighteen months.
  • Given this backdrop, MPC decides the changes to be made to the policy rate (repo rate) so as to contain the inflation within the target level specified to it by the Central Government.  Each Member of the Monetary Policy Committee has to write a statement specifying the reasons for voting in favour of, or against the proposed resolution, and the same alongwith the resolution adopted by the MPC is published as minutes of the meeting by RBI after 14 days of the said meeting.
  • In addition, subsequent to the MPC meeting, RBI has to publish a document explaining the steps to be taken by it to implement the decisions of the Monetary Policy Committee, including any changes thereto.
  • Constitution of the MPC
    The Central Government constitutes the MPC through a notification in the Official Gazette. Altogether, the MPC will have six members, – the RBI Governor (Chairperson), the RBI Deputy Governor in charge of monetary policy, one official nominated by the RBI Board and the remaining three members would represent the Government of India.
  • These Government of India nominees are appointed by the Central Government based on the recommendations of a  search cum selection committee consisting of the cabinet secretary (Chairperson), the RBI Governor,  the secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and three experts in the field of economics or banking as nominated by the central government.
  • The three central government nominees of the MPC appointed by the search cum selection committee will hold office for a period of four years and will not be eligible for re-appointment. These three central government nominees in MPC are mandated to be persons of ability, integrity and standing, having knowledge and experience in the field of economics or banking or finance or monetary policy.
  • RBI Act prohibits appointing any Member of Parliament or Legislature or public servant, or any employee / Board / committee member of RBI or anyone with a conflict of interest with RBI or anybody above the age of 70 to the MPC. Further, central government also retains powers to remove any of its nominated members from MPC subject to certain conditions and if the situation warrants the same.

Low and stable inflation relation with growth:-

1) Low steady inflation will help in cutting bank lending rates which will make credit cheaper
2) Cheaper credit will help both corporate and MSME sectors which will help reduce unemployment
3) Lower rates will revive projects that have turned NPA
4) Ranking on Business Competency, Ease of Doing Business would improve
5) Credit rating of the economy will improve and attract foreign investment due to revival. 
6) Stable inflation will increase savings and investments on the consumers. This will help in developing equity market or helping banks through deposits.

 


Topic: e-technology in the aid of farmers 

7) Discuss technology’s benefits for crop insurance in India. (200 Words)

Livemint

Crop insurance ensures the farmers from any potential loss of his income on account of loss of crop production. Indian agriculture which is heavily reliant on monsoon need such type of crop insurance to protect its farmers and to boost agriculture productivity.

CROP INSURANCE IN INDIA:-

Agriculture in India is highly susceptible to risks like droughts and floods. It is necessary to protect the farmers from natural calamities and ensure their credit eligibility for the next season. For this purpose, the Government of India introduced many agricultural schemes throughout the country.

  • PRADHAN MANTRI KRISHI VIKAS YOJANA:
  • ThePradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme) was launched by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 18 February 2016. It envisages a uniform premium of only 2 per cent to be paid by farmers for Kharif crops, and 1.5 per cent for Rabi crops. The premium for annual commercial and horticultural crops will be 5 per cent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked for integration .
  • This scheme is dedicated to bring in more than 50% of the farmers under its wing within the next 2–3 years. Around 25% of the claims will be sent to the farmer’s direct account. Also, the scheme will remain as it is. This means that there will be no cap on coverage. Also there won’t be any cap on the reduction in the insured sum.
  • This insurance scheme, unlike the previous ones, covers local calamities too, such as landslide, hailstorm, inundation, etc. inundation was not covered by the previous schemes.
  • The government has proposed that there will only be one insurance company for the entire state. Mostly the private as well as the national agricultural insurance companies will be approached to implement it.

2)COMPREHENSIVE CROP INSURANCE SCHEME(CCIS)

  • The Comprehensive Insurance Scheme (CIS) covered 15 states and 2 union territories. Participation in the scheme was voluntary. Around 5 million farmers and between 8-9 million hectares were annually covered by this scheme.
  • If the actual yield in any area covered by the scheme fell short of the guaranteed yield, the farmers were entitled to an indemnityon compensation to the extent of the shortfall in yield. The General Insurance Corporation of India administered the scheme on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
  • A major drawback of the scheme could be seen from the fact that out of all the all-India claims of ₹16.23 billion (US$240 million), Gujaratalone received ₹7.92 billion (US$120 million) for one single crop, groundnut.
  • The scheme was scrapped in 1997

Technology can play beneficial role in the success of crop insurance in India in the following ways:

a). Better, fast and accurate forecast: use of satellite imagery and weather forecasting systems, early warning can be issued against any adverse weather pattern and actions can be initiated to reduce loss.

b). Data collection and monitoring: Instead of manual data collection, the use of satellite, drones, mobile cameras etc can be used to get cheap, fast and more accurate data for the area under production, canopy cover, weed coverage etc. to estimate the yield.

  1. c) Use of soil health card data:Providing insurance in a region according to the the data generated by soil health card farmers can be encouraged to grow suitable crops.

d). Use of IOT (internet of things): IoT can be employed for avalining wide range of services like use of soil sensor to avail the soil data is a more faster and accurate compared to lab testing.

  1. e) Improvement in financial services:digitization of PACs and connecting them through district co-operative banks for easy disbursal of credit and insurance money to the farmers. This will reduce the exclusion and delay of payments to the farmers.

CONCLUSION:- Through the PMFBY the crop insurance sector is expected to get a boost. The higher budget allocation in this sector combined with entry of insurance companies will lead to more innovative use of technology. The investment in BharatNet and National fibre optical network will ensure connectivity to the last mile and inclusion of every farmer with this scheme.If all these are implemented successfully the agricultural productivity is expected to boost significantly resulting in food security and decrease in farmer suicides


General Studies – 4


Topic: Laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance

8) Differentiate between rule and norm. Should people blindly follow social norms or rule, or should they be independent interpreters of the rules of society? Critically comment. (150 Words)

The Hindu

RULES ARE set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct or procedure within a particular area of activity which involve a penalty for their violation. An enforcing body such as State or management board is responsible for execution of rules.

e.g.: Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013

Norms are Informal guideline about what is considered normal (what is correct or incorrect) social behavior in a particular group or social unit. Norms form the basis of collective expectations that members of a community have from each other, and play a key part in social control and social order by exerting a pressure on the individual to conform. In short, “The way we do things around here.” Violation of norms may lead to may involve social ostracisation.

E.g.: Endogamy in marriage is a social norm.

The blind following of rules or norms goes against the principle of free interpretation by people in the society.  Rules and norms are set for creation of order and harmony in the society.  Rules act in Formal space while norms act in an informal space. Both serve the same purpose of setting a common pattern of lifestyle and general conduct of people.

There is very thin line between Rules and norms. Formal acceptance of norm by statue book makes a rule. Some rules go parallel to norms while some rules tries to establish new practice by making particular norm as a punishable offence. In both the cases the ethics and morality involved in that law is decided by collective consciousness of the society.

In case of rules individual interpretation is required to check the morality of the content. As per Public choice theory in Public administration the interests of ruling class are equally questionable. This theory put forth that every individual is guided by self-interests and thus there has to be an independent interpretation of every set rule. Interpretation process can lead to revolutionary consciousness among the people that will lead to the better civilization of a group of people.

Rules and norms are important foundations for society and community living. But it is not right to blindly follow them as

  • Rules and norms itself might be absurd or backward looking example honour killing and Female genital mutilation (FGM) may be a norm in certain societies but have no space in just and progressive world.
  • Rules and norm may curb human freedom and right to a dignified life thus may be unethical. Example: abortion is illegal is Ireland but may cause loss of life in certain cases involving medical complications like Savita Hallapan case.
  • Rules and norms that treat women, minorities and marginalized as second grade citizens can also not be accepted blindly example rules allowing religious persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar or rules restricting land ownership to Tamils in Srilanka or mandatory wearing of head scarf and veil in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Thus it is important for rules and norms to pass through test of reason and rationality in order to be followed. 
At the same time as there is always a possibility of people choosing which rule to follow and which to violate according to their convenience, thus blatant violation of rules and norms may lead to chaos and It is thus important to use constitutional and peaceful means to arrive at rules and norms that are just, progressive inclusive and agreeable to maximum people.