SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 OCTOBER 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: Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
- Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) was established at Conference of Parties (COP 19) in Warsaw in 2013.
- The organisation main aim was to access and help the countries facing loss and damage due to climate change phenomenons specially the developing countries.
- While monsoon floods have displaced millions and killed more than 1,000 people in South Asia, prolonged drought in Africa has drastically communities’ capacity to adapt to specific circumstances. Due to increased vulnerability and limited capacity to deal with climate impacts, the countries now look forward to getting assistance from the WIM.
- Fragile implementation
- Countries in 2016 agreed to start the process of financial support. However, no progress happened on this crucial decision.
- There is still no clarity on amount of fund required to make these vulnerable nations climate-resilient and ways to channelise the fund.
- The agriculture sector is the worst affected due to climate change and 22 per cent of the economic impact caused by extreme climate events are in developing countries. But no development emerged on establishment of financial mechanisms, including safety nets, to help the most vulnerable sector—the agriculture sector in developing countries.
- When it comes to financial instruments, the launch of clearing house on risk transfer was announced at COP 23 to serve as a repository for information on insurance and risk transfer that would help the Parties to develop and implement comprehensive risk management strategies.
2.Loss and Damage neglected
- Though, WIM’s functioning itself runs on subsidiary budget of the UNFCCC, loss and damage has turned out to be one of the most neglected issues under climate agenda.
- Under the Paris Agreement, a separate section—Article 8—recognises “the importance of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change”, but at the same time it “does not involve or provide a basis for any liability or compensation”, which means the developed countries are not liable to offer financial assistance to vulnerable nations to deal with climate change, thereby shirking their historical responsibility.
- Discussions were mostly along the lines of technical reports and increased knowledge on slow onset events, migration and displacement.
- The Excom, which implements the functions of WIM, has met only six times since 2013 and the meetings are mostly closed door and with near absence of civil society and different stakeholders.
General Studies – 2
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
- Public health cadre is on the lines of the civil service — of having dedicated, professionally trained personnel to address the specific and complex needs of the Indian health-care delivery system which is grappling with issues such as a lack of standardisation, financial management, appropriate health functionaries and competencies including technical expertise, logistics management, and social determinants of health and leadership.
- Tamil Nadu took the lead in this and there has been a discernible difference in the way health delivery is done. Recently, Odisha, with the support of the Public Health Foundation of India, has notified the establishment of a public health cadre.
Need for Public health management cadre
- Doctors with clinical qualifications and even with vast experience are unable to address all these challenges, thereby hampering the quality of our public health-care system.
- Now, doctors recruited by the States and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (through the Union Public Service Commission) are to implement multiple, complex and large public health programmes besides applying fundamental management techniques. In most places, this is neither structured nor of any quality.
- Further, at the Ministry level, the highest post may be held by a person with no formal training in the principles of public health to guide and advise the country on public health issues.
- With quality and a scientific implementation of public health programmes, the poor will also stand to benefit as this will reduce their out-of-pocket expenditure and dependence on prohibitively expensive private health care.
Need emphasised by Committees
- The idea of having dedicated personnel for public health management goes back to 1959 when advocated by the Mudaliar Committee, which observed that “personnel dealing with problems of health and welfare should have a comprehensive and wide outlook and rich experience of administration at the state level”.
- It was echoed too, in 1973, by the Kartar Singh Committee, which said that “doctors with no formal training in infectious disease control, surveillance systems, data management, community health related problems, and lacking in leadership and communication skills, with no exposure to rural environments and their social dynamics, nor having been trained to manage a facility or draw up budget estimates, were ill-equipped and misfits to work in public facilities”.
- It was also felt that “the medical education that [a doctor] receives has hardly any relevance to the conditions in which he would be required to work, either in the state-run health programme or even in private practice… since medical education is based almost entirely on the western model, and where he is more suitable for the conditions that prevail in western countries than in his own.”
- 12th Five Year Plan and the National Health Policy, 2017 have also strongly advocated establishing a public health management cadre to improve the quality of health services by having dedicated, trained and exclusive personnel to run public health facilities.
- Such an exclusive department of public health at both the levels of the Ministry and the States will help in developing the recruitment, training, implementation and monitoring of public health management cadre.
- Doctors recruited under this cadre may be trained in public health management on the lines of the civil service with compulsory posting for two-three years at public health facilities. Filling the post of director general in the Health Ministry from this cadre with similar arrangements at the State level including the posts of mission directors will go a long way in improving planning and providing much-needed public health leadership.
- Lastly, another benefit will be the freeing up of bureaucrats and their utilisation in other much needed places.
General Studies – 3
- Clean fuel refer to those energy sources which do not pollute the environment. These include Natural Gas, Electricity, Hydrogen, Propane, Biodiesel, Methanol.
- India will soon overtake China with the most number of deaths caused by respiratory illness.
- Today when our per capita energy consumption is 521 kgoe (kilogram/oil equivalent) and the bulk of our population lives in villages. The situation in 2040 when the per capita energy consumption would have doubled to approximately 1,100 kgoe (the Niti Aayog’s projection) and nearly a billion urbanites would be looking at internal combustion engines for mobility.
- India has opted for Clean Energy by acceding to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 and more recently has ratified the Paris Convention on Climate Change.
- Renewable Energy
- India has set the ambitious target of 175-GW renewable energy by 2022.
- The government has set itself a target of 100 GW of solar power by 2022, of which 60 GW is to come from utilities and 40 GW from rooftop solar installations.
- These are slated to be installed in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Odisha, Karnataka.
- By 2030, 40% of the country’s electricity needs would come from non-fossil fuel.
Citizen Awareness on access to renewable energy
- Electric Vehicles
- The sale of Electric vehicles are leady rising in number. This comes just a year after ratification of the Paris Conference when the need for Renewable Energy was thrown into the spotlight.
- Use of Solar lamps in rural and Semi-Urban areas, Rooftop solar installations in Apartment and Commercial complexes are on the rise.
3.Private Companies participation
- Tata Motors has collaborated with Energy Efficency Services Limited (EESL) under the administration of Ministry of Power to supply 10,000 EVs
- LITHIUM URBAN is an Electric Cab Service Startup soon to open doors.
Limited capacity of renewables to replace fossils
- Renewables cannot replace coal as the bulwark of the energy system in the foreseeable future.
- In 2040, fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) will together contribute between 70 per cent to 80 per cent of our primary energy requirements.
- Coal offers the cheapest source of energy, electricity infrastructure is built around this fuel, alternatives are not competitive and vested interests (politicians, labour unions, mafia) make it “fiendishly difficult” to substantively replace this fuel.
- A quarter of our population does not have access to electricity; 40 per cent still use firewood and dung for cooking and lighting.
- Against this backdrop, that we eschew our most abundant and cheapest energy resource because of what Subramanian refers to as “carbon imperialism” would be political, economic and social naïveté of the highest order.
- Niti Aayog circulated a Draft National Energy Policy,
- It suggests that the government should augment coal production but also support renewables.
- It should conserve demand, improve efficiency of usage but also develop green coal technologies like coal gasification.
Topic: Basics of cybersecurity
Why is there a need for comprehensive cybersecurity?
- Economic and governance dependence on cyber world
- India is one of the key players in the digital and knowledge-based economy, holding more than a 50% share of the world’s outsourcing market.
- India is already the third largest hub for technology-driven startups in the world and its Information and Communications Technology sector is estimated to reach the $225 billion landmark by 2020.
- Pioneering and technology-inspired programmes such as Aadhaar, MyGov, Government e-Market, DigiLocker, Bharat Net, Startup India, Skill India and Smart Cities are propelling India towards technological competence and transformation.
- India the fifth most vulnerable country in the world in terms of cybersecurity breaches, according to the Internal Security Threat Report of 2017 by Symantec India.
3.Attacks from private organised and unorganised hackers
- The recent WannaCry ransomware attack (May 2017), which infected more than 2,30,000 computers in over 150 countries, brought the compelling need for cybersecurity policies and laws into sharp focus. This malware infected at least 48,000 computer systems across various organisations in India.
- In India, in May 2017, a data breach at the food delivery App, Zomato, led to personal information of about 17 million users being stolen and put for sale on the Darknet.
- Similarly, hackers stole data from 57 million Uber riders and drivers.
- While Windows operating systems were the most vulnerable to cyberattacks, a number of Android threats have been reported in the last couple of years, including potent crypto-ransomware attacks on Android devices.
4.State sponsored cyber attacks
- In a series of recent events, a number of countries have witnessed serious incidents wherein outside agencies have attempted to hack networks during general elections and turn cyberspace to a certain strategic advantage or tip election results in favour of a particular party or candidate.
- It is widely believed that the 2016 US presidential election was an easy target for Russian cyberespionage
- Cybersecurity needs to be integrated in every aspect of policy and planning.
- The second Global Cybersecurity Index, released by the International Telecommunication Union in July, which measured the commitment of nations to cybersecurity, found that India ranked 23 out of 165 nations.
- Funding to cybersecurity research
- The government is keen to fund cybersecurity research.
- It announced that it will award a grant worth ₹5 crore to startups working on innovations in the field of cybersecurity.
- It will help create adequate infrastructure
2.Update Policy and laws
- India needs to quickly frame an appropriate and updated cybersecurity policy,
National Cybersecurity Policy, 2013
- The NCSP offers a 14-point strategy to establish a secure cyber-ecosystem and assurance framework.
- It centres on product, process/technology, and the personnel that form the basic building blocks of any cybersecurity system.
- It seeks to promote global best practices in information security (IS) and compliance through standards and guidelines—the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 2001 is the best known standard in the family providing requirements for an information security management system (ISMS)—it includes IS system audits, penetration testing and vulnerability assessments, formal risk assessments and risk management processes, as well as a cyber-crisis management plan for all entities within the government and critical sectors.
- The document envisioned the creation of a 5,00,000-person workforce (cyber-warriors) skilled in cybersecurity within five years. However, there appears to be a glaring skill gap in the cybersecurity industry, and to compound the problem, cybersecurity professionals are in great demand in the public as well as private sectors.
- Moreover, there are very few academic programmes on cybersecurity at the university level, and existing curricula do not address emerging trends and challenges.
- The NCSP needs an overhaul to grapple with new technological innovations and, in turn, challenges in the field.
Information Technology Act, 2000
- The IT Act, 2000 was designed in response to the increasing risk of cyberattacks.
- It seeks to reduce the digital divide to bring about societal transformation.
- The IT Act is an umbrella legislation that primarily aims to regulate electronic commerce as well as to gradually promote a culture of e-governance in India.
- It seeks to effectuate the 1997 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on E-Commerce and refers to it in its preamble.
- An amendment in 2008 to the act widened the definition of cybersecurity to include “protecting information, equipment, devices, computer, computer resources, communication device, and information stored therein from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction”
- The law seems to make a reasonable effort to tackle two areas of policy in need of reform: cybersecurity and data privacy.
- However, it lacks detailed architecture to establish an effective cybersecurity system.
- As such, it calls for a comprehensive cybersecurity legislation to address growing threats to information infrastructure systems and networks and suggests a new specialised professional institutional structure to meet the cybersecurity challenge.
- International Cooperation
- India should foster closer collaboration between all those involved to ensure a safe cyberspace.
- There must be enhanced cooperation among nations and reaffirmed a global call to action for all United Nations member nations to not attack the core of the Internet even when in a state of war.
- There is a need for a Geneva-like Convention to agree on some high-level recommendations among nations to keep the Internet safe, open, universal and interoperable.
2.National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre
- GoI established the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) to safeguard critical infrastructure and key resources in 2014.
- The NCIIPC acts as a nodal agency for all measures to protect critical information infrastructure (CII), defined in the IT Act (2000) as “the computer resource, the incapacitation or destruction of which, shall have debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health, or safety.”
- Meanwhile, to handle emergency situations and ensure crisis management, another institution—the Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In)—has been created.
- It operates 24/7 to help users respond to cybersecurity incidents.
- CERT-In has established links with international CERTs and security agencies to facilitate the exchange of information on the latest cybersecurity threats and international best practices.
- An increase in the volume and scale of cyberattacks on defence infrastructure has heightened the need for cybersecurity.
- A proposal is already pending before the Ministry of Defence to set up a dedicated tri-service command with the Indian Air Force, army and navy for cybersecurity.
- It is time to enhance cyber capabilities so that the defence forces can deploy both defensive and offensive cyber operations to protect vital national interests.
General Studies – 4
Topic: Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity
- Governance can be dubbed as an act of governing i.e. management of affairs of a state or an organisation.
- It is an act of providing a rule bound order ncessary for organisation & growth. It involves creation of policies/laws & their enforcement.It is generally judged on the basis of results & minimum of standards & in concerned with authority & power .It normally involves others as means to some external ends with less focus on means used.
- For eg., corporate governance, parliamentary governance etc. are some of the forms of governance that denote the management of affairs of these institutions in a defined framework.
- Good governance is the act of governance which adheres to principles like accountability, transparency, openness, fairness, rule-based people-centric governance, participatory, conducive to inclusivity ,equity & sustainable development.
- For eg., PPPP model which is people private public partnership envisages participation of not only government and the corporate sector but also the common people so that gains are distributed equally. It is one of the many models of good governance.
- Ethical governance moves beyond the realm of good governance and aims to establish empathetic, compassionate, sensitive & responsive governance.
- Ethical governance is an all embracing concept which is systematic and involves all living beings as ends in themselves with certain absolute values like truth and right action.
- Forest Rights Act 2006 mandates not only efficient utilisation of forest resources, but seeks to address the infringement of tribal rights over the decades as well in a humane manner. As the state established control on the forests, tribals were relegated ( which contributed to problem of Maoism as well) in the name of “development”. This correction is an act of ethical governance.
Enforcement of ethical governance
Ethical governance though difficult to enforce given the social and economic structural infirmities which impact the governance, but stillcan be institutionalised in following manner –
- Comprehensive ethical training to imbibe a culture of ethical governance
- Strong punitive action for deviation
- Trend setting behaviour by seniors
In a world marred by hatred, violence, insensitive attitude, governance has to move beyond the realms of good governance to ethical governance to realise what Gandhiji described as “Swarajya” where governance is people centric and moral.
In conclusion Governance can be likened to act of ruling., Good governance to the act of serving and Ethical governance to letting DHARMA/Tao (righeousness) work by itself. When all act according to the right laws of the universe there will be no requirement of a ruler and no requirement of punishment and all will be equally responsible partners.