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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 07 August 2017

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 07 August 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.


General Studies – 1;


 

Topic: Population and associated issues

1) Examine the patterns in Inter-state and intra-state migration from rural to urban areas in recent years and their underlying causes and benefits. (200 Words)

Livemint

Inter-state migration is migration between one state to another whereas intra state migration is migration within the state. Recent economic survey speaks about analysing the patterns of migration using big data analysis.

Pattern:

  1. Intra state migration is prevalent over inter-state migration.
  2. Rural to Rural migration is highest among intra-state migrations.
  3. The participants in the Intra-state migrations are mostly the poor .
  4. Inter-state migration is primarily between urban areas, due to better employment and educational opportunities. E.g. Hyderabad-Bangalore.
  5. The educated and middle class are the major part of the inter-state migration.
  6. Language is not a barrier for migration.

Causes:

  1. Agrarian Crisis, economic hardships, caste discrimination, violence & riots, etc. in rural areas.
  2.  Better employment and educational opportunities in urban areas. 
  3.  Marriages are major reason for the migration of women.

Benefits:

  1. Economic transition- Agriculture is a population pressed sector and thus migrations help in economic diversification of the population. 
  2. The population can transform into Human resources in urban areas. 
  3. Better opportunities – Higher income and standard of living. 
  4. Rural area economy gets benefitted due to remittances
  5. Marginalized sections feel more inclusive in cities, lesser discrimination, thus improvement in social status.
  6. Women empowerment.

Conclusion –

Along with benefits, migration also poses challenges by creating burden on scarce resources in urban areas, as evident from slums, ghettoization, inadequate health and sanitary provisions, increased crimes and insecurities especially towards women. Govt. is tackling these problems through various schemes such as Smart Cities Mission, PURA , PMGSY, PMAY which are perfectly aligned with UN HABITAT targets & thus inching closer towards Sustainable & inclusive cities. Simultaneously, efforts should be made to make rural areas self-sufficient and economic opportunities should be diversified there.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2) Why is India unwilling to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers? Comment whether India should ratify this Convention or not. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

Background –

Domestic workers are among the most exploited sections of the Indian workforce.

 In the past, domestic work was closely enmeshed with feudal structures of labour extraction, such as begar. The 1931 Census recorded a large pool of labour, i.e. 27 lakh, as domestic workers, or ‘servants’ as they were then known. They were then predominantly male workers.

 These high numbers reduced considerably with the growing intensity of the anti-feudal struggle and development of occupational diversities in the post-Independence era. The 1971 Census recorded only 67,000 domestic workers.

However, this trend has been reversed since the early 1990s when India’s economic policy pushed forward with liberalisation. The 1991 Census recorded 10 lakh domestic workers.

 Subsequent National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data of the post-liberalisation period has mapped a continuous increase in this figure. The NSSO data of 2004-05, for example, has recorded 47 lakh domestic workers in India; the majority of whom, i.e. 30 lakh, were women.

As of today, a large number of these workers are inter-State migrant labourers from impoverished districts in West Bengal, Assam and Jharkhand.

Convention ratification –

The ILO convention 189 on domestic workers mainly aims to provide domestic worker a decent working condition with daily and weekly (at least 24 h) rest hours, entitlement to minimum wage, to choose the place where they live and spend their leave and protective measures against violence etc.

The convention has not been ratified by government mainly because-

  1. Daily household work is not considered as an economic activity in Indian society.
  2. Lack of education, awareness and domestic worker unions among domestic workers which are mainly women.
  3. Labour legislation comes under state government.
  4. The national laws and practices are not fully into conformity with the provisions of the Convention.
  5. One of the clauses of convention mentions “written contracts”. Chances of misuse as many domestic workers are illiterate.
  6. Fear of misuse of unionisation : one of the clauses says “freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining”.

Need to ratify convention –

  1. Post-Liberalization Era, no. of domestic workers in India has grown rapidly(around 8% of global domestic workers).
  2. There is a need to change the idea that care-giving is a private domestic responsibility unique to women which will create a gender equal society and empower women of the most vulnerable section of society.
  3. Irregular payment of wages by employers, extraction of more work than agreed upon at the start of employment, and the practice of arbitrarily reducing wages are rampant problems that breed overexploitation of domestic workers.
  4. continuous growth in the number of impoverished women and children which earn their livelihood by providing domestic services.
  5. Major incidences of violence (physical and sexual) by employers.
  6. The lack of redressal machinery for workers in this rapidly developing domestic services industry.
  7. Article 23 prohibits exploitation of labour specially forced labour. Despite this, forms of exploitation among domestic workers prevail. Typically, the employer-dominated, domestic work industry is characterised by low, stagnant wage rates. Wages are particularly low for Bengali and Adivasi workers. There is discrimination, Irregular payment of wages, extraction of more work than agreed upon and the practice of arbitrarily reducing wages. 
  8. These problems faced by domestic workers often led to unemployment and criminalization in case not able to obtain their dues. 

Conclusion –

The domestic services industry is growing rapidly in India and addressing the key issues of the sector will ensure the benefits to both employee (strengthening most vulnerable section of society mainly women & children) and employer(by providing fair contract). To bring dignity to domestic workers and provide them some rights the domestic work should be recognized as an economic activity and all the social security benefits should be provided to them. This demands urgent government initiative nationally, and across India’s states. Ratifying ILO Convention 189 will be a good start in this direction.

 


 

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

3) Critically comment on the decision of the Union Cabinet to scrap the no-detention policy at the elementary level, and introduce detention of students who fail a designated test in Class 5 or 6. (200 Words)

The Hindu

 

What is no-detention policy?

No student up to class VIII can be failed or expelled from school. All the students up till Class VIII will automatically be promoted to next class. The policy was introduced under Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE). The guarantee of uninterrupted schooling that the Act provides under sections 16 and 30(1) is founded on the no-detention policy until Class 8.

It is a process of assessment under the Right to Education Act of India. The main aim of CCE is to evaluate every aspect of the child during their presence in the school. It was also done to reduce the workload of children by taking continuous tests of the students throughout the year. Under this system, the student’s marks will be replaced by grades which will be evaluated throughout the year through a series of circular and extra-circular activities.

Under the scheme, grades will be awarded instead of the marks to the students. The grades will be awarded based on work experience skills, dexterity, innovation, steadiness, teamwork, public speaking, behavior, etc.

Why was the policy implemented?

The policy was implemented under RTE Act in 2010 for the holistic development of the students throughout the year and not just twice a year. The idea was also to reduce the number of dropouts from the schools. Many states already had no-detention policies. This was also done to reduce the pressure on the students of the exams twice a year and rather they were evaluated throughout the year.

Criticism of no detention policy:

  • It is based on the flawed understanding of the student behavior that the students will study only when there is a fear of failing, which is not the case with many students.
  • The policy makers forgot the fact that all the students don’t learn at the same rate. There are some slow learners who require extra attention and care from the teachers.
  • This, in turn, promotes coaching classes. These students don’t pay attention in class and to pass in the Board examinations they chose to go to these coaching classes. The students also lose out on a chance to develop better.

Irrespective of above mentioned criticism; there are some positive aspects of no detention policy. The recent cabinet decision on scrapping the no detention policy at elementary level and introduce detention of students who fail a designated test in Class 5 or 6 can be analyses as:

  1. There are always the high chances that, the failed students drop out from the school due to financial constraints in repeating the year.
  2. No detention policy has removed the coercive fear of failure from student’s mind that has promoted the real learning. If this policy is scrapped now, the process of learning will get compromised to large extent.
  3. The RTE is student oriented law that has focused on learning process rather than powers centered with teacher. Scrapping the no detention policy will again reestablish the coercive power of failure to teachers / school administration.
  4. Examinations have led to completions that may not establish good learning habits and culture among student. The revival of detention may restart the fruitless competitions once again.

Conclusion:

The recently appointed T. S. R. Subramanian committee has recommended that the no detention policy must be continued for young children until completion of class V when the child will be 11 years old. At the upper primary stage, the system of detention shall be restored subject to the provision of remedial coaching and at least two extra chances being offered to prove his capability to move to a higher class.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology 

4) Write a note on various techniques used in  DNA profiling. (200 Words)

Livemint

What is DNA profiling?

DNA profiling is the process where a specific DNA pattern, called a profile, is obtained from a person or sample of bodily tissue

Even though all human beings are unique, most of our DNA is actually identical to other people’s DNA. However, specific regions vary highly between people. These regions are called polymorphic. Differences in these variable regions between people are known as polymorphisms. Each of us inherits a unique combination of polymorphisms from our parents. DNA polymorphisms can be analysed to give a DNA profile.

Human DNA profiles can be used to identify the origin of a DNA sample at a crime scene or test for parentage.

Uses of DNA profiling

A DNA profile or fingerprint represents a small proportion of a person’s overall DNA, but it’s enough for two profiles to be compared to prove or disprove that they came from the same person (or from related persons). Therefore, DNA profiles are commonly used for DNA identification.

A DNA profile can also be used in posthumous disputes, inheritance issues for example. One of the reasons for this is that DNA is much more difficult to forge than other forms of identification, and the coded information it contains is highly resilient.

In addition, because a DNA profile provides a ‘genetic fingerprint’, this can be used to identify perpetrators of crimes. This is because profiles can be produced from DNA samples found at crime scenes, and compared to the DNA profiles of suspects to prove or disprove a match.

The main types of DNA profiling methods in use at this time are:

  1. RFLP

Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyzes the length of the strands of the DNA molecules with repeating base pair patterns. DNA molecules are long strands found tightly wound in chromosomes which are contained in the nucleus of each human cell. Within each DNA strand are numbers of genes that determine the particular characteristics of an individual. While about 5% of the gene compositions on DNA contain this type of genetic information, the other 95% do not. However, of the 95%, these non-coding genes contain identifiable repetitive sequences of base pairs, which are called Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR). To extract a DNA fingerprint, a Southern blot is performed and the DNA is analyzed via a radioactive probe. The restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis is used to detect the repeated sequences by determining a specific pattern to the VNTR, which becomes the person’s DNA fingerprint. The drawback with this system is that it requires a considerable amount of DNA in order to be used.

  1. PCR

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was developed by Karry Mullis of the Cetus Corporation in 1983 for use in research laboratories for establishing hereditary authentication. The PCR analysis amplifies the DNA molecules using a smaller sample. On the forensic front, the PCR found to be useful in identifying DNA fingerprints in criminal matters and in paternity tests because it requires less amounts of DNA because it makes identical copies of the DNA sample. The PCR analysis amplified isolated regions on the strands of the DNA under examination. The drawback was that it was not as discriminating as the RFLP.

  1. AmpFLP

Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AmpFLP) came into vogue in the 90’s and is still popular in the smaller countries involved in the process of DNA fingerprinting. It remains attractive because of its relatively less complicated operation and the cost-effectiveness of the procedure. By using the PCR analysis to amplify the minisatellites loci of the human cell, this method proved quicker in recovery than the RFLP. However, due to the use of gel in its analysis phase, there are issues of bunching of the VTRN’s, causing misidentifications in the process.

  1. STR

The short tandem repeat (STR) methodology for extracting DNA is the system most widely used form of DNA profiling. This system is based on the features of PCR, as it utilizes specific areas that have short sequential repeat DNA. The STR analyzes how many times base pairs repeat themselves on a particular location on a strand of DNA. The big advantage in this method is that the DNA comparisons can match the possibilities into an almost endless range.

DNA profiling has been extremely successful for use in the personal identification of criminal suspects, DNA testing for ethnicity, identification of the deceased, as well as court-approved paternity tests. DNA, however, still poses issues because the VNTRs are not evenly distributed in all people because they are inherited. In addition, there is still the imperfect human element as the final voice in the administration of all DNA fingerprinting procedures. However as forensic scientists continue their research, there appears to be no limit to the value a DNA test can render to society.

 


 

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology 

5) What do you understand by ‘autonomous weapons’? Discuss their threats and their relationship with AI. (200 Words)

Livemint

 

What is Autonomous Weapon System?

Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS) are defined by the U.S. Department of Defense as “a weapon system(s) that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator.”

 Since the crucial distinguishing mark of human reasoning is the capacity to set ends and goals, the AWS suggests for the first time the possibility of eliminating the human operator from the battlefield.

The development of AWS technology on a broad scale, therefore, represents the potential for a transformation in the structure of war that is qualitatively different from previous military technological innovations.

Issues linked with AWS:

  • The idea of fully autonomous weapons systems raises a host of intersecting philosophical, psychological, and legal issues.
  • It sharply raises the question of whether moral decision-making by human beings involves an intuitive, non-algorithmic capacity that is not likely to be captured by even the most sophisticated of computers.
  • There is no objective clear cut definition of the point where to stop the input in order to avoid AWS being uncontrolled destructive in nature.
  • The commercialization of AWS will lead to concentration of power in hands of few economically strong people creating the sense of insecurity among the other sections of the society.
  • The changed nature of warfare beneficial to developed countries will totally dominate the developing or poor countries across the globe.
  • AWS accompanied by nuclear weapon may cause the irreversible damage to the humanity and natural resources creating long lasting impacts.

AWI and its relationship with Artificial intelligence:

AWS is application of Artificial intelligence with the combination of need specific technologies. Artificial intelligence is the brain of the AWS and its various components.

The Safety of data is the aspect of artificial intelligence that needs to be considered in case of artificial weapon system as well.

The security of hardware and software is important component of artificial intelligence and AWS.

It is very thin line between moral and immoral. The use of artificial intelligence through artificial weapon can change the very nature of the contemporary warfare. Changing warfare mat create threat to the humanity and peace.

Conclusion:

The high end technologies need to be utilised for peaceful purpose. There is need of international regulatory organisation to regulate the research and use of contemporary artificial intelligence and AWS.

 


 

Topic: Employment

6) Many forces—economic, societal, and technological—are interacting to cause “jobless” growth in India. In your opinion, what policies will create more employment in India? Discuss. (200 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- When a major emerging economy grows significantly you would expect job growth to follow closely. Sadly this is not the case for India. Between 2005 and 2012, India’s GDP growth was 54% but its net job growth was only 3%. There were only about 15 million net new jobs.

Factors cutting across the socio-economic and technical areas like less growth of manufacturing sectors, social unrest in areas like Kashmir, increased emphasis on artificial intelligence ex driverless cars, robotics penetration are interacting to cause jobless growth in India.

Some of the policies can be followed :-

  • Appoint a National Jobs Adviser to the Prime Minister in the PMO :- The Adviser would align job growth planning with economic planning; ensure integration of the multiple but siloed job related policies across central ministries, as well as with the states; enable sharing of best practices between states, and provide a liaison between government and the private sector.
  • Create a vast, integrated, national ecosystem for entrepreneurship education, mentoring and support. Entrepreneurship is about state of mind, and about having access to an ecosystem in which startup and growth ideas can be explored, not snuffed out.
  • Make it easy for startups :- To actively contribute to India’s growth trajectory, we need a million startups with growth potential, with many of these outside the tech sector. ‘Startup India’ addresses many but not all the needs of entrepreneurs. Access to a national network of mentors and angel investors; and easy access to government procurement opportunities with simplified rules are essential.
  • Enable growth in existing Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) :- While startups (especially digital startups) are glamorous, SMEs are the growth backbone of any nation and primary drivers of job growth. In India, 70% of the job growth during 2005-12 came from SMEs with 6 plus employees. Yet India’s policies favour micro-enterprises, defined as businesses with investment of less than Rs 25 lakh, with 1-6 employees typically, which do not drive job growth because they are neither able to invest in capital equipment nor be competitively productive.
  • India’s archaic classifications of micro, small and medium businesses, based on invested capital, need to be scrapped and policies reimagined to encourage every business to grow to become a medium business, or larger, creating a more dynamic economy and more jobs.
  • Launch a major Startup & Small Business Innovation Initiative (SSBI). Some 40 years ago, the US launched ‘Small Business Innovation & Research’ initiative wherein various government departments allocate funding for innovation by SMEs, selected through an open, competitive process. This has helped create thousands of new companies and millions of new, quality jobs.
  • Neglecting narrow suggetions and adopting broad visionary policies like Some economists are taunting the government to get tough and change labour laws to make it easier for employers to fire their employees. This will not create more dignified and better paying livelihoods around the country, which should be the government’s goal. 
  • Focusing agricultural sector :- Utilize agriculture as an engine to raise on-farm incomes and purchasing power, generate additional on-farm employment opportunities, and stimulate rural industrialization and services. These would in turn increase demand for agricultural products, manufactured goods and services throughout the economy, creating a multiplier effect that generates jobs in other sectors. 

Conclusion :

The Union government must focus on policies that will generate more dignified and sustainable livelihoods than the Indian economy is presently producing. The ideology of greater freedom for capital and investors is being confronted, globally, with demands for more fairness for all. While ensuring employers have the flexibility they need, Indian laws ensuring fair treatment of all workers must be more effective than they are. Constraints on the formation and growth of small enterprises must be reduced. Overall, social security must be provided in various forms, by skilling and retraining, health insurance, pensions, and other means, to create the conditions required for more fairness with flexibility.

 


General Studies – 4


70 Days ETHICS PLAN

 

Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service; integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity

 

7) You are posted as Tahsildar of a very backward taluk (tehsil). You have received complaints that many of your subordinates do not treat the public well. Especially, those belonging to lower castes and women are made to wait for months to deliver them a basic government service. Your initial meeting with your subordinates reveals that they have no sense of accountability and have been serving under officers who were very corrupt and had no vigil on their subordinates. In the first meeting, their behaviour indicates that they have political masters and care very less in discharging their duties. 

How will you change this attitude? Discuss your options, their merits and demerits. (250 Words)

Introduction :- The situation shows case of lack of governance, values like compassion, accountability, transparency, efficiency , non partisanship and an attitude of carelessness, disobedience, corruption, misuse of public office etc

OPTIONS AVAILABLE

  • Taking strict actions against the accused subordinates and suspending them for some time

Merit- Instant justice will be delivered

             Will set precedence for others who are neglecting their duties

Demerit- Short term measure hence doesn’t ensure the permeant change in attitude 

              Such step might backfire with generation of negative feelings in minds of          

              subordinates.

              Relationships with political community might get hurt.

  • Taking view of overall situation and issuing guidelines to the concerned persons

Merit- The duty of a senior will be served

             Much time will be saved

Demerit- It doesn’t ensure about change in attitude among the subordinates

              No efforts for quality improvements

  • I can take external help of media group, civil society organisations, NGOs to report the particular cases

Merit- comprehensive coverage, analysis and fact finding will be done

             Open and transparent external checks ensure long term changes

Demerit- Negligence and side-lining my responsibility as a senior

  • Taking matter to seniors and seeking their advice

Merit- A better insight and solution to problem can be sought owing to experience of   

             Seniors

Demerits- Negligence and side-lining my responsibility as a senior

              Display of my administrative in capabilities to address the problem

COURCE OF ACTION:-

Since the problem can’t be addressed by any one single measure combination of many of above can be the best course of action to adopt.

  • A meeting with all subordinates will be called. The facts and charges will be put in front of all of them.
  • After interaction and discussion with them a clear message regarding will be conveyed to them that no nonsense acts of negligence, disobedience will be tolerated. They must mend their ways or face the dire consequences.
  • Persuasion regarding adherence to work culture, code of conduct, ethical governance, transparent behaviour, inculcating values of compassion, tolerance, sympathy towards weaker sections will be done with help from short term trainings, meditation courses etc
  • Some mechanisms like complain box, promotion of RTI, e-complaints, public grievances redressal mechanisms will be put in place along with external checks by related NGOs for weaker section people.
  • Monthly performance report will be prepared with regard to services delivered, time required, complaints files and action taken on complaints.
  • Rewarding the best , incentivising the better and punishing the bad performer strategy will be followed.
  • If still they display same attitude few very serious accused will be suspended for short time to create deterrence.

JUSTIFICATION

PHYSCHOLOGICAL :- As its important to address the route cause and address the issue in order to bring long term attitudinal change above comprehensive steps are required. Also past history of non accountability, corrupt senior without vigilance demand theses steps.

ADMINISTRATIVE :- The whole department will get insights into the new way of working, emphasis on public welfare. A good precedence will be set for future and hope for efficient, hustle free, transparent administration will be generated. 

PHYLOSOPHICAL :– Every saint has a past and every sinner a future. It is important to give chance to every person. Also as the public officials need to discharge their duty honestly  with much integrity and a morally, ethically high role is expected on their part all above steps must be taken. The Bhagavadgita philosophy says mean of Sama (instruction/information) Dam(incentives) Dand(punishment) Bhed(discremenation) must be adopted for an attitudinal change.