SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 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: Poverty and developmental issues; Social empowerment
Internet is quickly becoming an integral component of our life. From driverless cars to a gateway to digital world and services, from government’s dream of Digital India to Citizens’ campaigns to protect individual’s rights, access to internet is at their heart.
Importance of internet
- In the 21st century, the Internet has assumed an increasingly important place in our lives.
- From banking to political speech, and from complex medical procedures to the purchase of basic necessities, important aspects of our economic, social, and cultural life now depend upon the Internet.
- Many of the fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution — the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom of association, the freedom of trade — are exercised in significant part on the Internet.
How it is fundamental to life and liberty
Right to livelihood
- A positive correlation between Economic growth and Internet penetration has already been established. Higher economic growth can lead to employment generation and provide livelihood to people.
- Also, E-commerce is playing an important role to increase the business’ efficiency and hence livelihood of people.
Right to health and legal services
- Right to timely medical treatment and justice are integral to Right to life. With the use of video conferencing for consultation and online reports/facts/case sharing, internet is transforming the way services are delivered having better outreach and quickness.
- Tele-law and Tele-medicine services will only broaden the influence of internet in this sphere.
Right to Information
- Internet is a gateway to knowledge and skill development. Videos, literatures, case studies, research data, interviews and books are present on internet on almost all subjects. It is solving the problem of affordability, accessibility and availability for many.
- Government’s initiative like SWAYAM, Online-RTI, e-governance and e-NAM are reducing the dependence on offline or physical mode.
- Preamble to our constitution secures to all its citizens: liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.
- Internet (social media) is acting as a platform for citizens to raise and express their concern, a medium to propagate their views, a tool to put pressure on government to concede their demands.
- Denial of access to internet is infringement on this liberty.
However, right to life also includes, right to privacy, right to live with human dignity and right of women to be treated with decency and dignity. A weak regulation of internet and rising cases of data hacking, online abuses and shaming infringes on these very rights.
With India’s internet penetration a little over 25%, it will only be partially correct to conclude that access to internet is now fundamental to life and liberty.
General Studies – 2
Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.
The kind of political crisis that Afghanistan has seen is something not seen elsewhere.
The Afghanistani case is a classic example of
- Geo-political opportunism : As US and USSR wanted a foothold in Asia, Afghanistan turned out to be the exploitable victim.
- Religio-Political experimentation : Jihadis and Islamists then experimented with Afghanistan by trying to establish political Islam in its crude form.
- Ruthless Neighbourhood diplomacy: Pakistan’s dangerous game of trying to prosper at the cost of its neighbours further led to a bruised Afghanistan
Amidst all this, the state of affair of Afghanistan today is:
- Civil war that witnesses thousands of deaths annually
- Poor social sector development ,whether health or education or women’s status;
- A ruined economy that depends on illicit trade of opium;
- A battered infrastructure and deficit development;
- Immoral practices abound like extensive network of child sex trade(bachcha baazi);
There can be no argument that it needs greater attention, esp from its neighbors. The lesson must be learnt from EU and ASEAN. In fact, a developed Afghanistan can help develop the entire South and West Asian region as:
- It is a link to the resource-rich Central Asia;
- It has been a mother of all terrorist organisations in recent times
- It remains an untapped market in itself, presenting an opportunity for collaborative development with its neighbors
Therefore world leaders should shed their political interests to stabilize Kabul. New Delhi should apply economic and diplomatic measures so as to assist Kabul by pressuring Islamabad so as to decrease its cooperation with terror groups.Mutual cooperation between the countries is required so as to free Afghanistan from the clutches of the monster of poverty, terrorism and unemployment.
Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
India is home to several health diseases, a result of its tropical location that provides a favourable climate for their growth and also negligence of its population towards personal hygiene and sanitation.
Dengue is a common feature that rings the threat alarm every monsoon affecting many especially in the southern region. Last year, Tamil Nadu has faced the biggest brunt of this seasonal epidemic prompting the government to take measures like distribution of free medicines and treatments.
Such relief measures must be medically certified to ensure the desired results are met –
- Improper medication can further aggravate the problem resulting in drug resistance
- An inefficient medicine may push the people to go for traditional treatments based on beliefs such as papaya juice that does more harm than good
- It encourages foul players who seek to fool people by providing sub standard medicines in order to earn easy profits
- The risk of patients who need medical attention, such as those with dengue haemorrhagic fever, opting for such drugs instead of rushing to a hospital can lead to loss of lives.
In this context the herbal medicine introduced by the TN government nilavembu has not proved to be very effective. According to the scientific community herbal medicines like these come with low efficiencies because of the heterogeneity of the medicinal compound found in herbal plants, this makes their extraction very difficult.
While the government’s move to provide relief measures through herbal medicines can encourage the use of traditional Indian medicines but at a time when the state is suffering from a serious dengue outbreak the relief measures must focus on providing already tested and scientifically supported medical relief to provide immediate results.
An active & prodcutive India will require an efficient healthcare network , improving its reach, quantity and quality will ensure the realisation of our demographic dividend .
Since India is known as the pharma provider of the world ,therefore reforming our medicine system & working for the neglected diseases is an immediate imperative.
Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance-
Democracy provides opportunities to enhance the role of people in collective decision-making so that it is inclusive, equitable, transparent, accountable and justiciable. In this respect, social media has had a significant contribution towards making democracy even stronger than before. It started with the electronic media becoming its fourth pillar in 2000s and culminated with the growing role of internet in the form of social media.
After legislature, executive, Judiciary, Media and Common Man, the sixth pillar of the democracy is touted to be ‘Social Media’. All these pillars have the capacity to change the status-quo and undone wrongdoing.
The social media is a recent additive. It works on a virtual space almost without any constraint. The main platforms are Facebook, whats app and Twitter. The capacity of online activism through these platform is immense.
Social media has drastically changed the landscape in democratic polity in following ways:
- Public’s outreach to Government
- Greater mass involvement in decision-making, providing input to policies, sharing of ideas and innovative governance methods
- Faster complaint registration and grievance redressal;
- Time and resource management with online execution of most formalities
2.Government outreach to the public
- Timely delivery of services . For eg, twitter has been a tool for the passenger of railways to redress their specific grievances.
- Spreading awareness on its policies and schemes using facebook and twitter. Most political leaders, in government or opposition employ social media to interact with people.
- Gauging public mood and response on its recent initiatives so as to modify it accordingly. It thus provides a platform to address the elitism that has creept in politics due to dislink with the public.
3.Public outreach to public
- Act as vanguard of democracy : It is a tool of mobilisation so that protests against unfair policy decisions of govt or against any undemocratic and unconstitutional move can be held. Anna Hazare agitation was one such instance.
- It allows to maintain a critical environment that questions on the doings and undoings. Hence it enriches public discourse.
- The hashtag activism empower people to speak up unjustice without fear. Some recent examples are #not in my name, #MeToo.
- Social media provide solidarity and sense of companionship to those unable to reach government or raise their voice.
- Online abuse, hate speech and harassment is perpetuating with anonymity.
- The unbridled exercise of power on online platform is out of government regulation.
- It has become a medium to influence youth by the terror outfits
- The spreading of fake news which hampers peace and tranquility of a nation is rapid and complete.
In short, social media is a potent tool, and may be a revolutionary one, to further strengthen the ethos and principles of democracy in novel ways. A regulatory framework which allows sixth pillar of democracy to prosper in technological era is needed.
General Studies – 4
Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration:
Integrity means staying true to your inner beliefs in personal actions even in strenuous circumstances. Integrity is associated with the value of being honest and maintain strong moral principle. An ethical person with strong moral values is bound to be a man of integrity.
Impartiality means to be fair, just and unbiased in thinking, action and behaviour. It is a quality in which decisions should be based on objective standards, without any bias and personal preference to any particular person, community or attitude. The judgement should be based on merit.
Impartiality as well as integrity are the core values for a civil servant. Being the backbone for the development of the society and a significant element to implement the policies, programmes and schemes of the government, it becomes important for a civil servant that she does her work with honesty and in unbiased manner.
Importance of impartiality
- Upholding constitutionalism
- Impartiality lets a public servant uphold the values of constitutionalism and rule of law.
- It prevents tendencies of crony-ism, nepotism and factionalism. Thus it ensures productive use of limited resources.
- For eg, in case a leader puts pressure on a civil servant to favour somebody, impartiality will help her to take action which is ethical.
2.Ambient relationship with seniors and subordinates, besides trust of the public
- If a civil servant is impartial and takes decision in an objective and fair way, then she gets respect by her seniors and subordinates as well as the public.
- It will therefore help in efficient implementation of programmes. It will thus create positive and conducive work culture
3.Efficient handling of conflict
- In case of riots, communal violence or any ethnic conflict, a civil servant with neutral attitude will be able to take the right action as she is free from any type of religious, political or social prejudices.
- It will keep oneself free from nepotism, political-corporate nexus and corruption.
Relationship between impartiality and integrity
- Integrity to one’s moral principles makes her impartial while treating the poor and the underprivileged equally. Fo eg. fair, just and equitable distribution of welfare funds among these people, listen to them with much attention.
- Moral integrity helps a personal to keep steadiness of action, values, methods, so that he can work impartially.
- Person with low integrity makes him partial, biased.
- While integrity may force a person to choose sides according to his own true convictions, impartiality will restrain him to take sides in the interest of national welfare.Conversely being impartial without showing integrity is only a bluff if it does not lead to action.
As pointed out in GITA , one must not fear the consequences ,but only focus on acting righteously, Only a person who can work without thoughts of fear or favour (with integrity & impartiality) can work for public welfare and for ensuring individual freedoms and collective interests.
Hence, both integrity and impartiality are vital for good & ethical governance.