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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 JANUARY 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 JANUARY 2018


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:  Urbanisation – problems and remedies

1) Are public transport policies in India consistent with good economics and the emerging concept of green mobility? Critically examine. (250 Words)

The Hindu

Background:

  • The steep hike in bus fares in Tamil Nadu, nearly seven years after the last one, is a good moment to consider whether public transport policies are consistent with good economics and the emerging concept of green mobility.

Yes public transport policies are inconsistent with good economics and green mobility due to the following reasons:

  • Neglected reforms for expansion-
    • Cities such as Chennai have for long tacitly encouraged unregulated growth of transport, by allowing share autos to operate along with buses on several routes.
    • No organised feeder service for the Chennai Metro, affecting both bus and Metro revenues.
  • Modernisation of services :-
    • Mobile phone applications and geographical location features are lacking.
    • Government-owned corporations either do not possess real-time GPS data for buses in operation, or even if they do, are unwilling to share it with the open data community which is ready to build apps and make it accessible to the commute
  • Lack of investment:-
    • Infrastructure investment was Rs. 31.6 per car trip while that for a bus user was Rs. 0.90 per trip.
    • According to NSSO data expenditure of urban households on bus/tram as a percentage of the total household travel expenditure was as high as 58%. The emphasis on additional cost recovery from such users is debatable
  • Acquisition of new technologies:-
    • Personal mobility choices led by cars and two-wheelers have kept pace with global trends, adding features of comfort and convenience. This has drawn several commuters away from ramshackle buses and unreliable services.
  • Lacklustre design :-
    • Most of India’s buses operating in cities are obsolete 
    • This is in contrast to initiatives such as the European Bus System of the Future, where the quest is to address the image problem and provide “social connectedness” to the vehicle through GPS and Wi-Fi.
  • Problem of supply:
    • There are far too few buses.
  • A KPMG study published last year forecasts that an additional 6 lakh buses are needed to achieve 50% of all urban transport trips by public modes by 2031, at the present level of ridership per bus. 

Government is taking action:-

  • The Government has come up with numerous initiatives ranging from
  • Make in India
  • FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles)
  • Green Mobility Fund
  • Smart Cities
  • To the recently announced projects in high speed mobility, namely high speed trains
  • The proposed ‘Hyper loop’ connectivity.
  • The Government is already working on the ₹10 lakh-crore National Transport Master Plan which aims to provide seamless movement of freight and passengers across multiple modes of transport.
  • The shipping ministry’s ‘SagarMala project’, which focuses on port-led development of the country, will have several such multi-modal hubs under it.
  • The Centre has also indicated its aim to boost corporate investment in the sector by introducing business-friendly strategies that will balance profitability with effective project execution.
  • India finally implemented a national bus code for quality and design overcoming prolonged resistance from transport lobbies. Commuters now look to its strict implementation for better quality travel, although social connectedness remains distant.

 

More reforms are needed like:-

  • The emerging paradigm is one of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS):
    • the commuter only wants a seamless travel experience. It is up to the operator to provide access to buses, trains and Metro rail, and use innovations in technology and ticketing to unify them
    • Encourage the use of public transportation through new mobility business models such as on-demand and multimodal trip-planning applications.
    • For instance, integrated payment systems such as London’s Oyster and Singapore’s EZ-Link allow users to opt for different modes of public transportation through a single smartcard
  • By shifting to electric vehicles India could save 64 per cent energy in 2030 by shifting to shared electric mobility. Further, there can be a drop in petrol and diesel consumption. This would also result in a significant drop in carbon dioxide emissions. 
  • Information sharing:
    • Cape Town-based start-up has come up with an open platform providing a detailed look at formal and informal public transport options in African cities, thereby improving user-experience and provide emerging cities with crucial transportation data for better planning.
  • Technology-based solutions can also be applied in areas such as ‘fleet management’.
    • For example, a last-mile logistics provider helped a Delhi-based courier dispatch company track its fleets in real time. The company receives alerts every time its shipping trucks reach their destination, report to the warehouse or break down.
  • Progress in reduction of travel-time and enhancing safety of passengers requires not just an upgradation of railway tracks, engines and coaches, but also an improvement in capacity utilisation is needed.
  • Based on the National Urban Transport Policy, 2006 the government can create higher-priced public transport options for the relatively affluent, in addition to a cheaper universal offering
  • A new law is needed that mandates annual expansion of bus fleets in all million plus cities using tax funds and a congestion charge on cars
  • A new scheme will make it possible to purchase benchmarked services from cooperatives or private providers, paying for actual kilometres operated. Share auto-style small entrepreneurs can enter such a scheme. 
  • Transportation must be considered the collective responsibility of all stakeholders. The public and private sectors must work together to devise and develop India-specific solutions. The private sector needs to take full advantage of the market opportunities and help transform India’s transportation system.

 Conclusion:-

  • A smart transportation system involving GPS and digital technologies such as Cloud-based services, Big Data and Analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) will be at the core of any such transformation.
  • While global tie-ups will be enablers, IT companies and new-age technology start-ups must rise to the occasion and focus on solving the country’s biggest problem that will not only support, but accelerate a nation on the move.

General Studies – 2


 

Topic:   Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests 

2) Security, connectivity, commerce and culture are the cornerstones of ASEAN-India relationship. Analyse. (250 Words)

The Hindu

The Hindu

Background:

  • The year 2017 was an important landmark as India and the ASEAN commemorated 25 years of their partnership, 15 years of summit-level interaction, and five years of strategic partnership. 

Security:

  • India and several other countries have supported freedom of navigation, ensuring maritime security, expeditious resolution of disputes according to provisions of international law, viz., the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas 1982, developing a Code of Conduct, and settlement of disputes through dialogue and peaceful means.
  • China’s increasing intemperance and intractability over the last many years has added to the anxieties and concerns of countries in South East Asia and beyond. They want India to play a more active countervailing role in the region. 
  • Stronger relations between India and Myanmar have also helped to quell insurgency and extremism in the north-eastern states of India. Peace, stability and security of north-east India will be further preserved and promoted with more robust ties and understanding with Myanmar
  • Cooperation to curb terrorism especially in the face of the rising influence of the Islamic State has assumed priority. Defence partnerships with several ASEAN states are advancing rapidly.
  • India and ASEAN are natural partners in their desire to create a free, open and inclusive regional architecture. They are active participants in the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF).
  • Both want freedom of navigation, and are fighting piracy.

Connectivity:

  • Connectivity between India and ASEAN, particularly Myanmar and Thailand, has emerged as a significant element in cementing bonds between the two regions.
  • Better infrastructure connecting Northeast India and ASEAN has become the sine qua non for stronger economic and trade partnership and vital contributor to prosperity and economic development of the region.
  • Connectivity projects, viz., the Trilateral Highway between north-east India and Myanmar and onwards to Thailand (and Laos and Vietnam) as well as the Kaladan multi-modal transit and transport project, have been under implementation for several years.
  • Rih Tedim Project in Myanmar was in progress to enhance connectivity between India and ASEAN nations via the North East.
    • The Rih-Tedim Road project will provide all weather connectivity between eastern Mizoram and western Myanmar,
  • Process for Kalewa-Yargi road has also been speeded up.
  • A consensus on finalising the proposed protocol of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Motor Vehicle Agreement (IMT MVA) has been reached. This agreement will have a critical role in realizing seamless movement of passenger, personal and cargo vehicles along roads linking India, Myanmar and Thailand.
  • India announced a Line of Credit of US$ 1 billion to promote projects that support physical and digital connectivity between India and ASEAN and a Project Development Fund with a corpus of INR 500 crores to develop manufacturing hubs in CLMV countries
  • Concerns:-
    • Issues related to increasing the maritime and air connectivity between ASEAN and India and transforming the corridors of connectivity into economic corridors are under discussion.

Commerce:

  • India and the ASEAN nations account for almost one-third of the global population and a combined GDP of approximately $3.8 trillion, according to The Diplomat. Together, they would form the third largest economy in the world.
  • While the volume of trade and investment flows between ASEAN and India remained low foreign direct investments (FDI) flow from India to ASEAN increased by 9.4 percent, from $0.96 billion in 2015 to $1.05 billion in 2016.
  • India’s two-way trade with ASEAN now stands at approximately USD 76 billion.
  • The India-ASEAN Free Trade pact in services and investments, which was concluded in 2014 and came into effect a year later, has the potential to reduce India’s trade deficit with the region as also impart a strong impulse to bilateral exchanges. 
  • Concerns:-
    • India’s difficulties with the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) :-
    • India is holding out over concerns of unfettered access to Chinese goods, and the lack of access for Indian services
    • India’s economic focus too is not in tune with other regional powers which view ASEAN as an important market for exports and investments. India’s export sector remains weak and the government’s focus has shifted to boosting manufacturing domestically.

Culture:

  • The large Indian diasporas in many Southeast Asian countries help strengthen diplomatic, economic and security relations between India and ASEAN as they contribute to expand and intensify bonds. The Indian diaspora comprises an important instrument of India’s soft power.
  • Exchange programmes have been put in place for frequent interaction between students, senior officials, diplomats, academics, media professionals, etc.

Other areas as well:

  • India has been involved actively in addressing non-traditional security threats and also undertaking mission oriented tasks as well as exercises as envisioned under the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 on Disaster Management.
  • Relations with ASEAN have become multi-faceted to encompass security, connectivity, strategic, political, space technology, counter-terrorism and anti-insurgency operations, anti-radicalisation, trade and investment, maritime security and defence collaboration, in addition to economic ties.

Other Concerns:

  • India’s expectations regarding a more robust support for its regional outreach too have not been met.
  • India’s capacity to provide development assistance, market access and security guarantees remains limited
  • ASEAN’s inclination to harness New Delhi for regional stability remains circumscribed by its sensitivities to other powers.
  • The interests and expectations of the two sides remain far from aligned, preventing them from having candid conversations and realistic assessments.

 

What more is needed?

  • They also need to focus on areas such as digital technologies. 
  • India as a facilitator of the ASEAN-wide digital economy would not only challenge China but also emerge as an economic guarantor of its own.
  • India now needs to focus on more effective delivery of projects it is already committed to.
  • With China having three times more commercial flights than India to Southeast Asia, improving air connectivity between India and ASEAN countries should also be high on the agenda.
  • Besides, the Bay of Bengal can be used as an exploratory ground for the development of an India-ASEAN maritime framework.
  • Cultural connect between the two needs strengthening.
    • While India offers scholarships to students from ASEAN states to study at Nalanda University, this initiative should be extended to the IITs and the IIMs.
    • Tourism too can be further encouraged between India and the ASEAN with some creative branding by the two sides.

 

Conclusion:

  • Despite progress made over the last 25 years in India-ASEAN ties, there remains immense scope for further growth in the relationship. This is one of the most dynamic regions of the world today, and it is necessary for both India and ASEAN to actively collaborate to shape the so-called ‘Asian century’.
  • A stronger partnership and enhanced cooperation should be prioritised by both sides if the full potential of this engagement is to be realised.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. 

3) The World Bank intends to revise the methodology it uses to calculate the ease of doing business index. Discuss the significance of this move and other issues associated with the ease of doing business index. (250 Words)

The Hindu

 Background:

  • The World Bank recently announced that it would revise the methodology it uses to calculate the ease of doing business index, a move that is expected to affect the rankings of countries in the last four years
  • This index ranks countries based on how welcoming they are to businesses.

Significance:

  • The decision to revise the methodology comes after the Bank’s chief economist raised concerns that the rankings could have been influenced by politics. So the new methodology could be comprehensive.
  • Accountability is present as the new index might have better objective criteria
  • India has consistently questioned the methodology of concentrating only on a few mega cities, presenting an uncompleted picture. This might be better.
  • Chile has seen wide fluctuations in its ranking of doing business, not because of underlying business conditions, but based more on the ideology of the government in power. This incidents can be avoided.

Issues associated:

  • It limits its sample size to just a few major cities thus projecting an imperfect picture of overall business conditions.
  • Governments may be gaming the rankings by tailoring their policies to specifically fit the World Bank’s criteria instead of trying to enact wider structural reforms.
  • Another criticism is whether the bank is right to measure a country’s business environment based on written legal rules rather than investigating the actual ground conditions in which businesses operate. Many businesses, for example, may be able to bribe their way out of bad rule
  • Significant variation between World Bank’s surveys and actual business conditions.
  • The data often focus on a specific business form generally a limited liability company (or its legal equivalent) of a specified size and may not be representative of the regulation on other businesses (for example, sole proprietorships).
  • Transactions described in a standardized case scenario refer to a specific set of issues and may not represent the full set of issues that a business encounters.
  • The methodology assumes that a business has full information on what is required and does not waste time when completing procedures. In practice, completing a procedure may take longer if the business lacks information or is unable to follow up promptly. Alternatively, the business may choose to disregard some burdensome procedures.

Topic: Structure and Functioning of judiciary

4) The ideal of judicial primacy need not be equivalent to the demand of judicial exclusivity, which refers to the exclusive right of judges to be involved in the selection process. Comment. (150 Words)

Livemint

Introduction:-

  • In the light of the recent incident where four judges of Supreme court showed displeasure against the role of CJI in a press conference, the question of judicial primacy is raised again.

Judicial primacy :-

  • The ideal of judicial primacy as embodied in Articles 124 and Articles 217 of the Constitution has been lauded as a guarantor of judicial independence in appointments. 

Judicial exclusivity is necessary for judicial primacy because

  • Primacy should imply that if the judges are united, the candidate they back must get appointed. In the absence of exclusivity, it is possible for a candidate not preferred by the CJI to become a judge.
  • When consulted by the president, as required by the Constitution, the CJI would have to convey its support for a candidate not of its choice.
  • Even in proposed National judiciary appointment commission judiciary, with three members in a six-member committee, where a two-member coalition can exercise a veto, would have only 50% of the voting power. So judicial primacy and exclusivity are compromised.

Judicial primacy is not compromised because judicial exclusivity is there:-

  • But when judges are not unanimous in their decision, taking into account the views and votes of entities outside the judiciary violates exclusivity but not primacy .
  • In view of allegations of corruption in the judiciary, especially related to the alleged collusion between some judges and lawyers, the relaxation of judicial exclusivity allows a certain degree of social oversight on judicial appointments.

Way ahead:-

  • There is a need for a transparent mechanism to be brought in with respect to appointment of judges
  • A five-member NJAC consisting of the CJI, two Supreme Court judges, the Union law minister, and one person of eminence chosen as in the current NJAC Bill may be considered.
  • In the proposed NJAC , to preserve judicial primacy, it is best to do away with the veto altogether and allow any member to file a dissenting note that can be shared for public consumption .

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Structure and Functioning of judiciary

4) The ideal of judicial primacy need not be equivalent to the demand of judicial exclusivity, which refers to the exclusive right of judges to be involved in the selection process. Comment. (150 Words)

Livemint

Background:-

  • Biometrics are fast becoming an integral part of online security.
  • From the familiar fingerprint to cutting-edge retina scanning and facial recognition technology, it is increasingly the go-to mechanism for protecting and providing access to sensitive data including money and confidential account information.

Yes:

  • Individual ought to have no objection if the state accessed his or her personal data to check if he was paying taxes. If personal information was used only for the limited purpose then citizen need not have any problem.
  • Targeted surveillance which is a good thing, and essential for national security and public order
  • International examples:-
    • Malaysian MyKad system has penetrated into the chip-enabled card being as the single point of identification and authentication in places like ATM kiosks, at toll booths on highways, electronic cash for micropayments and digital certificate as a public identifier.
    • The Monetary Authority of Macau is stepping up its KYC requirements by requiring measures to verify a customer’s identity through facial recognition at ATMs. The ATM controls will ensure that banks are able to actually see, and verify, who is withdrawing the money.
  • The anonymity that cash provides, and the lack of an audit trail, makes it difficult to link cash to criminal activities. A future in which biometric authentication replaces cash may be a breakthrough for those tackling money laundering,
  • Aadhaar may also facilitate law enforcement agencies to take care of problem of terrorism to some extent and may also be helpful in checking crimes and also help investigating agencies in cracking the crimes.
  • Due to the multiple methods of giving proofs of identity, the problem of money-laundering arises which is being done to evade taxes under the garb of shell companies by the persons holding multiple bogus PAN numbers under different names. This can be removed by Aadhar.

 

No:-

  • Experts are concerned that there exists a centralized database of your fingerprints and iris scans that can be used by the government and third parties without your knowledge
  • Western democracies have been vehemently opposed to centralised biometric databases and identity registries, precisely with regards to prevent the abuse of its citizens right to privacy.
    • The US Social security number was strictly meant for use by government agencies, but its abuse by the private sector has been identified as a crucial link for the rising number of identity thefts in America.
  • The rapid development of 3D printing has also contributed to biometrics vulnerability
  • Experts say that Aadhaar scheme is a violation of the fundamental right to privacy, 
  • A citizen who had parted with his personal data and biometrics was in the dark about how the state was using them and whether or not these were safe at all
  • Biometrics allows for identification of citizens even when they don’t want to be identified.
  • Lack of security would put the data at the risk of foreign government, criminals and terrorists using the breached biometric database to remotely, covertly and non-consensually identify Indians.
  • With increased demands for Aadhaar authentication comes the risk of abuse. Like the recent alleged Reliance Jio data hack, when a recent report on a website claimed that sensitive details, including mobile and Aadhaar numbers, of millions of subscribers were leaked online.

What needs to be done?

  • Open smart card standard:-
    • Smart cards which require pins on the other hand require the citizens conscious cooperation during the identification process.
    • Smart cards based on open standards allow for decentralized authentication by multiple entities and therefore eliminates the need for a centralized transaction database.

Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

6) Examine the components of reforms and recapitalisation plan that the union government has unveiled for public sector banks (PSBs). Do you think recapitalisation will revive banking sector? Critically comment.  (250 Words)

The Hindu

Livemint

Background:-

  • The government recently announced the details of the Rs. 2.1 lakh crore recapitalisation plan for public sector banks (PSBs) including a reforms package across six themes including aspects like customer responsiveness, responsible banking, and increasing credit offtake.

Components of recent reforms :-

  • Mission Indradhanush
  • Banks board bureau
  • Introduction of the insolvency and bankruptcy code to help public sector banks sanitize their balance sheets in a time-bound manner
  • A massive recapitalisation of Rs2.11 trillion over the next two years via recapitalisation bonds (64%), budgetary support (8.5%) and mobilization from the market (27.5%).
    • Recapitalisation package would be spread across the current financial year 2017-18 and the next year 2018-19. The capital infusion plan for 2017-18 includes Rs. 80,000 crore through recapitalisation bonds and Rs. 8,139 crore as budgetary support.
    • The capital infusion for the PSBs would be contingent on performance, and the whole-time directors of the PSBs would be assigned theme-wise reforms to oversee

Concerns:-

  • The government as the major owner is free to recapitalise but the issue is, at what cost, for how long, and whether recapitalisation alone is enough.
  • The government is finding it increasingly difficult to recapitalize public sector banks due to the compulsion to adhere to the stringent budgetary deficit benchmarks. 
  • Bankers become lackadaisical toward debt recovery and tend to escalate provisions and contingencies to be adjusted against the fresh capital.
  • In different-banks-same-pay situations, employees in the loss-making, but recapitalized, banks become unenthusiastic while those in profit-making, but not recapitalized are demotivated.
  • It also implies cross-subsidization: dividend-paying PSU banks subsidizing the non-dividend paying. Ultimately, systemic efficiency suffers.

 

Yes, recapitalisation will work:

  • Recapitalisation amount for Prompt corrective action banks would be used for support to maintain their regulatory capital requirements, and to strengthen their governance and operations. The amount for non-PCA banks is to be used for investment in growth capital.
  • Recapitalisation bonds would not have an impact on the fiscal deficit as they would be cash neutral.
  • This could give the banking system a good breathing time to enhance its credit portfolio and restore value out of the NPA accounts.

No, it will not work:-

  • In making this move, there was an implied acceptance that the recovery process set up through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) reform had not been working at the desired pace.
  • The government is not taking tough action on defaulters so this measure is not going to result in the recovery of bad loans.
  • Banks cannot recover loans through the IBC route. Thus, the banks capital gets eroded and the capital adequacy ratio (CAR) becomes adverse.
  • When the government recapitalise PSBs, it is all people’s money and out of public savings kept in trust in the banks. People’s money need to be for people’s welfare .
  • It is debatable whether public sector banks, post-recapitalisation, would augment credit deployment.
    • Credit offtake is strongly a function of overall economic environment and policies.
    • It also depends upon the evolving credit culture and bankers’ propensity to take risk which is bad in the present scenario
  • It is testimony to short-termism as there is lack of follow-up reforms that are systemic or bank-specific to tackle the problems.
  • Banks will not take adequate precautions when they are lending when they know that the government will step in to help if the loans turn sour. The government should be selective about which banks get the additional capital on offer.

 

What reforms are further needed:-

  • Consolidation:-
    • The banking structure, which was outlined by the Narasimhan Committee-I, i.e., (a) Three or four large “international” banks, (b) Eight to 10 “national” banks, (c) “Regional” banks and (d) “Rural” banks, holds relevance for any fresh endeavour.
  • Going forward, if some PSU banks cannot mobilize the required resources for their profitable growth, they should be either privatized or merged.
  • Banking structure reforms:-
    • For improving governance of PSBs, questions like the tenure of senior management have to be addressed. This was the recommendation of the Narasimhan Committee of 1991 and 1998.
    • Public Sector Bank chiefs and their managing/executive directors must have a fixed tenure of at least five years.
    • Salary structure of senior management:
    • To offer incentives by way of very good annual bonus based on performance should enable them to take the right decisions.
    • Professionalization through lateral entry at the level of general managers and not at the ED/MD level.
    • The banking boards need to be manned by professional directors rather than political nominees.
    • Accountability needs to be fixed by removing senior management for non-performance.
    • Motivational aspects like variable pay, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), etc. need to be introduced forthwith. Re-skilling the existing staff, along with direct recruitment of specialists, is needed to address the talent issue, especially in domains like forex, treasury, IT, data and research, and HR.
  • Autonomy for banks:
    • For a durable remedy to NPAs, PSU banks must be given adequate functional autonomy and operational flexibility.
  • Modern HR management: 
    • The public sector banks approach to the entire HR process needs overhauling and made bank-specific.
    • The individual banks need to take care of their recruitment. The current collective bargaining should be replaced by the “different-bank-different-pay” model and link the remuneration to the individual bank’s “ability to pay”.
  • Digitalization challenge needs to be resolved:-
    • Digitalization of the payment systems is inescapable, but only a handful of PSBs are truly active in National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), point of sale (POS) ownership and card transactions space.
  • Public sector banks must create or purchase the expertise for excellent project evaluation. Certification agencies are needed, but their track records must be scrutinised, with penalties and prosecution in suitable cases. Banks must insist on global tendering for equipment to thwart cost inflation by promoters.
  • Greater diligence in project screening and a quick exit for bad promoters must be the two main aims of purposive bank reform. 

 


Topic: Conservation

7) Every year, thousands of sea turtles are accidentally captured, injured or killed sue to various reasons. Examine what conservation measures are needed to protect sea turtles in India. (150 Words)

The Hindu

 

 

Background:

  • The role of turtles in maintaining the balance of ocean ecosystem is very significant but there are incidents of their deaths increasing especially when turtles begin migrating to their nesting grounds on beaches and in fishing areas that are their feeding grounds.

Reasons for deterioration are :-

  • By catch
    • Mechanised boats, trawl nets and gill nets are operated and used by commercial fishermen.
    • Nets remain underwater for long periods so trapped turtles are unable to resurface to breathe and hence die from exhaustion and drowning.
  • Fatal wounds are often caused by contact with the high-speed propellers of shipping vessels, resulting in a slow, painful death from bleeding and exhaustion.
  • Habitat modification and loss :
    • Sand mining, beach pollution and coastline construction impact marine turtle populations, as does artificial lighting
  • Habitat loss and degradation :-
    • Exploited for the pet trade as well as for their meat, shells and oil to be used as ingredients in traditional systems of medicine.
    • In addition, eggs and hatchlings face the threat of depredation from crows, dogs and other feral animals.
  • Ineffective implementation of laws.

Conservation measures needed are:-

  • Scientists are now working on programmes such as new fishing nets and gear that reduce the amount of by catch while fishing.
  • Integrated conservation measures like:-
    • Beach patrolling, beach clean-ups, protection of eggs in hatcheries as well as community awareness initiatives that aim to galvanize the local populace to actively participate in turtle conservation.
    • Conservation strategies for freshwater turtles must focus on enforcement of the Wild Life (Protection) Act.
    • Raising awareness about turtle trade, avoiding the buying of turtles as pets and discouraging others from doing so can make a difference.
  • Implementation of laws needs revamp:-
    • Under current regulations, mechanised trawl boats are not allowed to operate within 8 km of the shore in Andhra Pradesh, 5.5 km in Tamil Nadu and 5 km in Odisha. However, these limits are not being enforced.
    • Similarly, nets set for ray fish are banned under the law during the season. However, their use by some categories of fishermen is widespread.
    • The ban needs to be enforced at all levels of fishing and monitored by the respective Fisheries departments, marine police and the Indian Coast Guard. All areas where fishing boats land need to be monitored.
  • Lessons from other countries:-
    • In the U.S, all trawl shrimp fishing vessels need to be equipped with turtle excluder devices or TEDs with large escape openings for turtles.
    • All trawl boats should be fitted with a vessel monitoring system that must be kept on at all times. This will provide a simple system of monitoring by the Coast Guard.
  • There are closed seasons for certain types of fishing vessels.
    • Areas where sea turtles forage and congregate need to be identified and additional seasonal closures need to be implemented within these areas.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic:  Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions
a) In this situation, what options you have? Evaluate their merits and demerits. Finally justify on valid grounds what course of action you would follow.
b) Examine the ethical issues and value conflicts that this case presents. (250 Words)
General

 

Answer:-

The case study deals with the protection for the poor vs. security for a dignitary and it instigates an ethical dilemma whether to follow one’s personal morals of empathy or follow the government’s order.

 

The following are the stakeholders involved:-

  • Government
  • Administration including me
  • Street vendors, hawkers, beggars
  • US President daughter

A)Options available to me are:-

1.Listen to the CM’s order and evacuate the street vendors, hawkers and beggars.

Merits:

This would make the premises look sophisticated and the foreign dignitary might be impressed. This would make dignitary reaching the venue faster.

Demerits:

The actual problem of rehabilitation to these who are affected is not looked into. The people affected are losing their employment and right to life. When the dignitary is coming to attend the conference to motivate women entrepreneurship clearing women street vendors and hawkers is unethical and is against the stated objective of the conference. The state is trying to paint a false picture when the actual issue is not catered to which is empowering these people and providing a rehabilitation plan to them.

Conclusion:-

I would not do this as this is against my personal ethos

 

2.Try to take leave and escape from the situation itself

Merits:

I need not worry about what would happen as my job would be safe and the meeting will go as planned.

Demerits:

Escapism is against my personal morals of upholding responsibility, acting in public interest. Also even I step aside from this responsibility the vendors evacuation is not being stopped at the same time my lack of responsibility will be considered as incompetency and inefficiency for future work as well.

Conclusion:

I would not take this step and face the situation head on.

3.Refuse the CM orders and do according to my values

Merits:

This would resolve my crisis of conscience and uphold my emotionally intelligent qualities of empathy, putting the life in other’s shoes and understanding their situation etc. The act of not evacuating the people would show that I am sensitive towards public needs.

Demerits:

My career might be jeopardized as my act might lead to suspension as well. At the same time the people involved would anyways be removed from this place according to will of the state. So my action is not providing any effective mechanism to balance the needs of the people involved (state vs. vendors, hawkers ,beggars)

Conclusion:

I would not do this as this is not providing any viable solution for the rehabilitation of the poor.

 

4.In the short term civil society like (NGO’s and Corporate social responsibility) can be involved to make these people get rehabilitated. As a rehabilitation plan is feasible for long term as well I would propose my plan with seniors and actively convince them to move the people to Haats like places where they can be promoted to sell for larger sections of people.

Merits:

This would solve the rehabilitation issue along with clearing roads and not clogging transport as well.

Beggars can be provided avenues of employment based on their skills and also provide skill management to them to live with dignity.

Demerits:

The plan might fail to impress the senior civil servants and also chief minister might reject it.

Conclusion:-

I would follow this option but if my proposal is rejected I would evacuate temporarily and fight for long term rehabilitation of these people.

 

B)Ethical issues involved are

Lack of empathy and compassion towards the poor

Lack of responsibility

Lack of emotional leadership

Putting the life of so many people at stake

Lack of equality as one person life is considered more important than the other.

Lack of accountability of the government

c)Value conflicts

Commitment to duty vs. social justice – Dilemma in  following the executive orders or listening to conscience

Humanism vs. professionalism where human approach of treating people as equal and catering to their needs and at the same time compelled by professional pressure.