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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 March 2017

 


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 March 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.

Topic :  Art and culture; Salient features of Indian society

1) Do you think the Central Board of Film Certification’s (CBFC) decision to not to issue certificate to certain movies is an assault on artistic freedom? In your opinion, how should the Indian society react to censorships by CBFC? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is a Statutory body under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematography Act 1952. The Certification process is in accordance with guidelines issued by the Central government.

The recent instances of the CBFC banning films from public viewing, has once again shifted the debate on the larger implications of such acts, and on as to whether the CBFC should continue to exercise the power to altogether ban films.

The decision of the CBFC to not issue certificates is an assault on the freedom of expression, especially for artists, for the following reasons:
1. Article 19(1)(a) guarantees the right of expression . Artistic freedom and its expression may not be compatible with the tenets of legal acceptability at all times. Eg. Depiction of homosexuality in a film is not illegal under section-377, though its practice is.
2. It is effectively an attempt to curb the expression of creativity, and producing films based on innovative themes, highlighting social truths.
3. A film must be judged by its content, its applicability and rationality and not on the basis of its adherence to certain abstract norms of social or religious identity, customs – which change with time.

4.Escalating interventions suggest that The CBFC has emerged as the “ARBITER OF INDIAN CULTURE” defined by the government of the day.
Decisions to recommend cuts are sometimes politically motivated. e.g. Film-Udta punjab.
How Indian society should react to these developments-
1. RIGHT TO CHOICE – people should demand more viewing choices as it will empower the people. Constitution guarantees it under article 21.
2. AWARENESS GENERATION – when sexuality and nudity are exhibited in a film, temptation to portray it as defiling Indian culture, any particular religion or sentiments of any group should be avoided.

Bitter realities of society or systems shown in films should be accepted and analysed in neutral manner.

Trying to achieve a social consensus on issues, still regarded as taboos when it comes to public discussion, such as homosexuality and the role of religion in conferring identities to an individual.
At the same time, the members of the society must also take care not to link artistic expression to extreme levels with social sensibilities, in a way trying to restrict the highlighting of some subtle truth. Also, the citizens must learn to respect the freedoms of the film-makers.
3. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS – criticising political interference in CBFC-functioning, to safeguard the autonomy of institutions like CBFC (as recommended by GD kHOSLA COMMITTEE).

NEED FOR REGULATION –

SECTION 5B OF THE CINEMATOGRAPHY ACT provides the guidelines against which films shall be examined, it includes –
–> sovereignty and integrity of India and the security of the State,
–> friendly relations with foreign States, 
–> public order, 
–> decency or morality, or
–> involves defamation or contempt of court .

SC JUDGEMENT –

The Supreme Court in a judgment in 1989 said, ‘Film censorship becomes necessary because a film motivates thought and action and assures a high degree of attention and retention as compared to the printed word. 
Therefore, it has as much potential for evil as it has for good and has an equal potential to instill or cultivate violent or good behaviour. It cannot be equated with other modes of communication. Censorship by prior restraint is, therefore, not only desirable but also necessary.’

Thus, as emphasised in SC order, censorship is necessary but on correct grounds and it should not be ill-motivated. Religion/region/sexuality should not be taken as a tool to judge any movie. CBFC should view the films through secular, non-partisan lens, respecting the artistic freedom of film -makers.

Way forward –

  • SHYAM BENEGAL COMMITTEE recommended that censor board should limit its role to certification of films under various categories such Adult, U/12, U/15 etc.
  • MUKUL MUDGAL COMMITTEE suggested changes in section 5A, 5B, 6A, 6B.
  • They should be considered without further delay to enable CBFC for self-nourishment.
  • CBFC should not act as MORAL POLICE, but FACILITATOR to encourage responsible citizens to make informed choices ,having faith in their conscience. But, at the same time, it is also imperative that CBFC, as a responsible public body, needs to balance its duties to offer certificates to films, with its duty of regulating the screening of films in the positive sense.

 


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

2) In your opinion, what should be done to accommodate the vagaries of the monsoon to fight drought and water scarcity in India? Examine. (200 Words)

Livemint

 

Indian Monsoon is a complex phenomenon and depends on various factors like en nino, la nino, Indian oecen dipole. In last two years el nino affected Indian monsoon and caused drought in many regions and given insufficient rainfall at many places which made the farmers position vulnerable. We cant change nature’s mechanism but with effective steps can reduce its impact on stakeholders.

Drought –
1. Stress resistant crops- With assistance from ICAR and KVK, developing stress resistant crops will result in risk & vulnerability mitigation.
2. Early Warning System- Partnering with ISRO and Meteorological department to develop and use effective EWS. E.g. Resourcesat and Bhuvan.
This will aid in implementing at the earliest National Drought Mitigarion Plan, making it more effective.

Water scarcity –
1. Rain water harvesting- To recharge aquifer and fill up ponds/lakes, leveraging MGNREGA to build harvesting capacity.
2. Micro irrigation- In light of PMKSY, aiming towards per drop more crop, farmers should be aware and incentivised towards drip and sprinkler irrigation. This will prevent water wastage and increase water productivity.
3. Cropping Pattern- Using m-Kisan, extension service and awareness to farmers to use mixed cropping, incentivising horticulture-millet-pulses sowing. This will reduce water guzzling crops like rice and sugarcane.

Eg. Systematic Rice Intensification SRI to be adopted in North India.

  1. Climate resilient farming: The Government has devised a scheme under National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture, where about 25,000 farmers have been trained on climate-resilient agricultural practices. 

Govt. Initiatives –

  1. Rationalization of MSPs – more for pulses and less for water-intensive crops.
  2. Limiting free electricity for water-pumps – will reduce unnecessary water use.
  3. Agriculture extension services to promote ‘more crop per drop’.
  4. Small scale irrigation solutions.
  5. R and D in irrigation and water use – promotion, funds.

CONCLUSION –

Dependence on Monsoon for nearly 60% farming is the main cause for vulnerability of Indian farmers. So, Main aim should be to increase irrigation fed area from current 45%, following Mihir shah committee recommendation. Till then, managing drought and water scarcity through community-participation is essential to ensure food and water security.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic:  Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections

3) The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) is formulating a Vision 2030 document. This document is coterminous with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In your opinion,  considering the hardships faced by the disabled persons in India, how should Vision 2030 strive to address concerns of disabled people? Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction-

Today disability issues are shifting towards a right based domain rather than the medical model which creates an environment of mere charity for the differently abled people. Above mentioned provision is in tune with recently passed Rights of disabled people bill, 1016 which has many innovative concepts to empower differently abled people.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), officially known as transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a set of 17 “Global Goals” with 169 targets between them. NITI Aayog’ or the National Institution for Transforming India is a Government of India policy think-tank established by the government to replace the Planning Commission which followed the top-down model. The stated aim for NITI Aayog’s creation is to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India.The emphasis is on bottom-up approach and makes the country to move towards cooperative federalism.

According to census 2001 21 million people in India suffer from one or the other kind of disability which is nearly 2.1% of the population.

India should interpret the provisions of the SDGS in line with the requirements and spirits of the UN convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities (UNCRPD).

Vision 2030 document by NITI ayog should consider the following aspects linked with the differently abled people:

  • Government should consider the information collection for differently abled people as a priority task. Adding Universally Accepted Questions across all data instruments like Population Census, Sample Survey by NSSO etc. Considering socio-cultural sensitivities of disabled one and their families must be initiated for better understanding of disability in country.
  • Disability issues cut across various ministries and thus there is need of dedicated cell of professionals and experts to provide inputs at policy and planning level for differently abled people. Such kind of dedicated cell can generate cooperative efforts between center and state governments.
  • On the line of gender budgeting a special provision should be made for differently abled people as well.
  • NITI Aayog has segregated the SDGs goals and defined the targets to respective nodal agencies and departments. This action should be followed by required efforts from departments to create an enabling infrastructure for differently abled people.
  • NITI Aayog has started a new initiative on the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Niti Lectures: Transforming India. The aim of this initiative is to invite globally reputed policy makers, experts, and administrators to India to share their knowledge, expertise, experience in policy making and good governance with Indian counterparts. This platform should be effectively used to raise the issues of differently abled people at national and international forum.
  • NITI Aayog is the right platform to enhance the cooperation between government and nongovernment organizations to create an environment og growth and development for differently abled people.
  • Goal number 16 provides for the peaceful and inclusive societies forsustainable developmentaccess to justice for all and builds effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. This goal can be a guiding principle for all our efforts to empower differently abled people.

17 sustainable goals are :

march17.1

All these goals and the very purpose of establishment of NITI ayog goes hand in hand and thus this is the prime opportunity to have a better world for one of the most deprived sections of the people , Divyangas.

 


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

4) Recently, the government has chosen to introduce the injectable contraceptive, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) control women’s fertility. What are the merits and demerits of this step? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction-

In an attempt to offer a bouquet of choices to women in need of family planning services, India has introduced hormonal injectable contraceptives in its national programme.

Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA)

DMPA contains a progestogen. This is similar to the hormone progesterone, which is naturally produced by the female body. DMPA is given by injection every 12 weeks and is slowly absorbed into the blood stream to prevent pregnancy.

DMPA works by:

  • Preventing ovulation (egg release from the ovary)
  • Thickening of the mucus of the cervix so that sperm cannot enter the uterus (womb)
  • DMPA is between 99% (only if the injection is not late and there are no other reasons why the medication would be less effective) and 94% effective.

Merits of DMPA-

  • It will increase the choice of basket of contraceptives for women. With the help of proper counseling women can take informed decision about contraceptives to be used.
  • It is long acting and effective method of contraception.
  • This method is comparatively inexpensive.
  • This method is suitable for women who can’t take contraceptives that contain oestrogen.
  • DMPA can help in doing away with regressive methods of female contraceptives like sterilization.
  • The drug has been recommended by international institutes like World Health Organization.

Demerits of DMPA-

  • DMPA changes bleeding/period patterns. These changes are a result of the hormonal effect to the lining of the uterus. It is not possible to predict which changes will occur, but they can include:
  1. During the first months of use, episodes of irregular bleeding and spotting lasting seven days or longer are common. The frequency and duration of such bleeding decrease with increasing duration of use.
  2. After one year of use, large numbers of women have reported no periods, and with continuous use, this rate of amenorrhea (no periods) can increase to 75 percent.
  3. Irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Fertility issues- Women can face fertility issues like delay in pregnancy after stopping of dosage.
  • DMPA has few side effects. However, side effects may include:
  1. Small weight gain in some women
  2. Headaches
  3. Acne
  4. Change in sexual interest
  5. Mood changes

The injection is long acting and if side effects occur they may last up to 3 months (it is not possible to reverse the effects of an injection once it is given).

  • Some side effects (especially bleeding changes) may persist beyond 3 months although there are a number of treatment options available with varying success that may help reduce bleeding problems if they occur.
  • DMPA use is associated with a slight loss of bone density while using the method.

Concerns-

  • There are concerns regarding the preparedness of the government health system to implement this contraceptive method. DMPA may be easy to administer, but health workers need to be capable of assessment before administering it and of managing side effects that some women may experience.
  • Moreover, studies from Africa have shown that the risk of HIV infection may increase for women who have been administered injectable contraceptives.
  • The government needs to introspect whether existing methods have been made available to people through informed choice, in a safe manner.
  • Another practical objection to injectable contraceptives is that it is “provider-controlled” — medical professionals must give the injection and the contraceptive effects are irreversible for the period of efficacy. As against oral birth control pills, which are “user-controlled” and can be stopped soon as a woman develops complications. “Making women more provider-dependent, when better options are available, is a problem.

While the injections are popular around the world, a 2010 report by USAID-India noted that India’s contraceptive choices were highly skewed towards single method use. Over 75% resort to female sterilization, followed by condoms (10%), birth control pills (6%), and intrauterine devices (4%). 

In India, women don’t make a choice when it comes to family planning. They make a sacrifice. Women are not making informed choices or giving consent with full understanding of what the drug does to their bodies. The first choice offered to these women is sterilisation. This is extremely regressive situation.  

Way forward-

The onus of family planning rests solely on Indian women. Results of the latest National Family Health Survey 4 showed that as against a deplorable 1% men who opted for sterilisation services in 2005, only 0.3% opted for it a decade later. “Sterilization is an easier procedure for men in comparison to women. A vasectomy is a simple 10-minute procedure. Family planning is not, cannot be a women’s issue. We need to emphasize about women’s equality and reproductive rights. We need more men trained in providing vasectomy, more counselling for men instead of addressing only women”.

 


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

5) Analyse the objectives and focus areas of the new National Health Policy 2017. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction:-

The primary aim of the National Health Policy, 2015, is to inform, clarify, strengthen and prioritize the role of the Government in shaping health systems in all its dimensions investment in health, organization and financing of healthcare services, prevention of diseases and promotion of good health through cross sectoral action, access to technologies, developing human resources, encouraging medical pluralism, building the knowledge base required for better health, financial protection strategies and regulation and legislation for health.

Objectives:-

  • Improve population health status through concerted policy action in all sectors and expand preventive, promotive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative services provided by the public health sector.
  • Achieve a significant reduction in out of pocket expenditure due to health care costs and reduction in proportion of households experiencing catastrophic health expenditures and consequent impoverishment.
  • Assure universal availability of free, comprehensive primary health care services, as an entitlement, for all aspects of reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health and for the most prevalent communicable and non-communicable diseases in the population.
  • Enable universal access to free essential drugs, diagnostics, emergency ambulance services, and emergency medical and surgical care services in public health facilities, so as to enhance the financial protection role of public facilities for all sections of the population.
  • Ensure improved access and affordability of secondary and tertiary care services through a combination of public hospitals and strategic purchasing of services from the private health sector.
  • Influence the growth of the private health care industry and medical technologies to ensure alignment with public health goals, and enable contribution to making health care systems more effective, efficient, rational, safe, affordable and ethical.

Specific Objectives:-

  • Providing universal access to quality health care services 
  • delivery of health care services to socially vulnerable population group
  • Promote research on tribal medicines 
  • establish public health management cadre in each state 
  • ensure public hospitals provide universal access to drugs and diagnostics 
  • regulate use of medical devices for quality compliance 
  • envision increasing the life expectancy to 70 years from 67.5 
  • set up tribunals for redresal of grievances 

Focus Areas:-

  • Higher weightage given to states with poor health indicators…states will be incentivized to increase public health expenditure..
  • Preventive health care focused engaging private sector 
  • Reduce out of pocket catastrophic health expenditure by household by 25% 
  • Increase the utilization of public health facilities by 50% from current level by 2025
  • Health card an electronic health card records of individual 
  • National strategic plan for tuberculosis elimination 2017-25.. kale azar by 2017 leprosy by 2018 
  • 25% reduction in premature mortality by 2025 
  • Access to safe water and sanitation by 2020

However some concerns remains:-
1. No Right to Health (Art.21):- May lead to laxity by Govt with respect to implementation
2. Silent on Health Governance:-On bringing Health under concurrent list (from state list) on similar lines as education, and NHSO can’t work effectively without it
3. Spending still lower than other comparable nations:- (Mexico – 6.2%, China -5.6%,Brazil -9.7%)
4. Less focused other health-related aspects like mental health, genetic disorders (WHO highlighted the concern)
5. Flawed one-size fits all approach regarding allocation of resources (India Can learn from UK, uses ‘a weighted capitation formula’ that accounts for a locality’s socio-economic characteristics to equitably allocate funds).

Conclusion:-

Thus policy aims to move away from sick care to wellness. It places thrust on prevention and health promotion and attempt to reorient, strengthen public health systems. It looks afresh at strategic purchasing from private sector & leveraging their strengths. Its full potential will be realized to the benefits of Indians if some concerns are addressed.

 


 General Studies – 3


Topic: Infrastructure

6) India has a dubious record of having the most road traffic accidents and fatalities in the world, barring China. Examine what measures should be taken by the government to reduce road traffic accidents and fatalities. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Introduction:-

Road accidents have become a real threat to Indias population. The number of road accidents in India are alarmingly as high as 5 lakh in India.

Statistics:-

  • One serious road accident in the country occurs every minute and 16 die on Indian roads every hour.
  • 1214 road crashes occur every day in India.
  • Two wheelers account for 25% of total road crash deaths
  • Tamil Nadu is the state with the maximum number of road crash injuries

STEPS NEEDED TO BE TAKEN:-

  • Reducing motor vehicle traffic with efficient land use.
  • Providing shorter, safer routes
  • Encouraging use of safer modes of travel
  • Minimizing exposure to high-risk scenarios Restricting access to different parts of the road network
  • Giving priority in the road network to higher occupancy vehicles
  • Restrictions on speed and engine performance of motorized two-wheelers
  • Increasing the legal age for use of motorized two-wheelers
  • Safety-awareness in planning road networks
  • Classifying roads and setting speed limits by their function
  • Incorporating safety features into road design
  • Making Safer routes for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Safety audits
  • Crash-protective roadsides
  • Crash cushions to be made mandatory
  • Improving the visibility of vehicles Daytime running lights for cars
  • Safer car fronts to protect pedestrians and cyclists
  • Alcohol ignition interlocks are automatic control systems that are designed to prevent drivers who are persistently over the legal alcohol limit from starting their cars
  • Speed enforcement on rural roads

Accident prevention is based on 4 Es-

1) Education- (Majority who die are in the age of 15-34)

  • Road Safety Campaigns- Audio Visual means- DAVP
  • Seminar
  • Essay Competition
  • Help of NGOs to prevent awareness.

2) Enforcement

  • Issuance of license should be made stricter- systematic training post assessment of psychological and behavior of drivers. Need to address a lot of corruption at this level.
  • Use of ICT- CCTV cameras- penalty- No helmet
  • Drunken driving- Very strict punishment- Salman Khan Case 
  • MVA Act-1988 and 2014 recommendations.
  • Creation of National Road Safety and Traffic Managemet Board
  • Police should not adopt simplistic methods to determine driver’s fault but also take a broad view of the road design failure
  • Check on the monopoly of OEMs in spare parts – rising cost of maintenance
  • National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002- Authorization of evacuation of unauthorised persons.
  • Manjha-kite flying string- containing glass and metal is fatal hazard and should be banned.

3) Engineering- Roads as well as vehicles-

  • Good quality- Flyover collapse- Kolkata & Surat flyover collapse
  • Fill up potholes
  • Cover drainages
  • Better Markings
  • Zebra crossing fades due to vehicle
  • 3D illusion bumpers.
  • Proper pedestrain area
  • Separation of local traffic

4) Emergency

  • First Aid Boxes
  • Emergency helpcare- 108 model of Gujarat
  • Good Samaritan Bill

5) Environment- Fuel, vehicle and Env

  • Phase out old vehicles
  • Delhi SC banning diesel taxis
  • Bharat stage 6
  • National Green Highway Policy

Conclusion:-

Road traffic accidents spare no one, be they rich or poor, urban or rural, young or old, man or woman or of any caste or religion. In this India is losing its precious human resource. Above mentioned measures are needed to halve road traffic accidents by 2020, a commitment we have made by adopting the Brasilia Declaration for Road Safety.

 


Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

7) Write a note on the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) technology, its applications and concerns raised against this technology. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction:-

  • Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats(CRISPR, pronounced crisper) are segments of prokaryotic DNA containing short, repetitive base sequences.
  • In a palindromicrepeat, the sequence of nucleotides is the same in both directions. Each repetition is followed by short segments of spacer DNA from previous exposures to foreign DNA (e.g., a virus or plasmid). Small clusters of cas (CRISPR-associated system) genes are located next to CRISPR sequences.
  • The CRISPR/Cas system is a prokaryotic immune systemthat confers resistance to foreign genetic elements such as those present within plasmids and phages that provides a form of acquired immunity

Applications:-

march17.2

·        Genome engineering

CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing is carried out with a Type II CRISPR system. When utilized for genome editing, this system includes Cas9, crRNA, tracrRNA along with an optional section of DNA repair template that is utilized in either Non-Homologous End Joining (NHEJ) or Homology Directed Repair (HDR).

 

Major components

ComponentFunction
crRNAContains the guide RNA that locates the correct section of host DNA along with a region that binds to tracrRNA (generally in a hairpin loop form) forming an active complex.
tracrRNABinds to crRNA and forms an active complex.
sgRNASingle guide RNAs are a combined RNA consisting of a tracrRNA and at least one crRNA
Cas9Protein whose active form is able to modify DNA. Many variants exist with differing functions (i.e. single strand nicking, double strand break, DNA binding) due to Cas9’s DNA site recognition function.
Repair templateDNA that guides the cellular repair process allowing insertion of a specific DNA sequence

 

·        Knockdown/activation

Using “dead” versions of Cas9 (dCas9) eliminates CRISPR’s DNA-cutting ability, while preserving its ability to target desirable sequences. Multiple groups added various regulatory factors to dCas9s, enabling them to turn almost any gene on or off or adjust its level of activity.

 

  • Disease model

CRISPR simplifies creation of animals for research that mimic disease or show what happens when a gene is knocked down or mutated. CRISPR may be used at the germline level to create animals where the gene is changed everywhere, or it may be targeted at non-germline cells

·        Biomedicine

CRISPR/Cas-based “RNA-guided nucleases” can be used to target virulence factors, genes encoding antibiotic resistance and other medically relevant sequences of interest. This technology thus represents a novel form of antimicrobial therapy and a strategy by which to manipulate bacterial populations.

  • RNA editing

HIV and polio viruses encode genetic information in RNA rather than DNA. Certain bacteria through CRISPR can dismember such viruse’s RNA eventually destroying them.

Concern against CRISPR
1) Pro-life vs Pro-choice debate- warning of possible disorders in foetuses sparks the debate of whether to abort such a foetus.
2) Womb level doping- for desirable athletic endurance, hyper-intelligence etc.
3) Mosaicism- CRISPR led gene correction can sometimes lead to alteration of nearby genes as well.
4) Risk factor- Committee on Human Genome Editing reports suggest CRISPR to be too risky for use on humans.

Conclusion:-

This CRISPR technology is indeed a path-breaking technology, to alter genes in order to tackle a number of conventional and unconventional problems, especially in the health sector. However, experiments and tests to validate its use must be subjected to appropriate scrutiny by the regulators, and their use must be controlled to prevent commercial misuse.