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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 FEBRUARY 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 FEBRUARY 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 Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1) The inclusive, humane nature of Bhakti and Sufi traditions not only threaten communalism, they can also unite humanity in India and Pakistan. Discuss critically. (250 Words)

The Hindu

DAWN

 

Background:-

  • In contemporary times, religion and religious identity is being used as cover for political agenda. Be it terrorist violence or sectarian nationalism in various parts of the world, religion is used to mask underlying politics. However there are some traditions like Sufism and Bhakti movement within the major religions that are focused more on the unity of humanity as a whole, overcoming sectarian divides.

Ideology of these traditions:-

  • They have strong elements of mysticism, giving no importance to rituals, aimed at an understanding of the divine by transcending anthropomorphic understandings.
  • People of all religions, in many countries, frequent their shrines, and this again is similar to the Bhakti saints, who have a vast following among people of different religions.
  • Bhakti and sufi traditions gave respectability to many low castes, posing a challenge to the upper caste hegemony; this tradition had an inclusive approach towards Muslims as well.
  • The Bhakti and sufi traditions opposed the rituals, hegemony of the elite of society. They adopted the languages more popular with the masses. Also, they talked of one God.

How they threaten communalism:-

  • One region’s Bhakti movement has often tried to include the Bhakti movements of others under its own encompassing wings. When Tulsidas wrote the Ramcharitmanas, he chose the “Muslim” premakhyan form to do so.
  • They treated Hindus and Muslims alike. Amir Khusrau said “Though the Hindu is not like me in religion, he believes in the same things that I do”.
  • Sufis bridged the communal divide as is evidenced by the reverence the Subcontinent’s non-Muslim population exhibited for Sufi saints. Sufism around the world and in the Subcontinent had the depth to connect beyond caste, creed and gender
  • The slogan of Bhaktism that ‘Allah and God are same’ brought Hindus and Muslims closer. Path of brotherhood became clear.
  • Bhakti tradition preached the principle of co­existence. As a result of their teachings much of the bitterness between the Hindus and Muslims was removed. The Hindus began to worship Muslim saints and the Muslims began to show respect for the Hindu Gods .

How they  unite humanity:-

  • Sant Kabir and Guru Nanak had preached a non-sectarian religion based on universal love. The Sufis believed in the concept of Wahdat-ul-Wajud (Unity of Being) which was promoted by Ibn-i-Arabi . He opined that all beings are essentially one. Different religions were identical.
  • They awakened a new sense of confidence and attempted to redefine social and religious values. Saints like Kabir and Nanak stressed upon the reordering of society along egalitarian lines. Their call to social equality attracted many a downtrodden
  • The importance of the Bhakti and Sufi saints lies in the new atmosphere created by them, which continued to affect the social, religious and political life of India even in later centuries. Akbar’s liberal ideas were a product of this atmosphere in which he was born and brought up.
  • A notable contribution of the Sufis was their service to the poorer and downtrodden sections of society. Nizamuddin Auliya was famous for distributing gifts amongst the needy irrespective of religion or caste.
  • Sufi’s culture and ideology represents Islamic syncretic tradition that alone would resist the forces of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.
  • They rebelled against all forms of religious formalism, orthodoxy, falsehood and hypocrisy and endeavoured to create a new world order in which spiritual bliss was the only and the ultimate goal.
  • At a time when struggle for political power was the prevailing madness, the Sufi saints reminded men of their moral obligations. To a world torn by strife and conflict they tried to bring peace and harmony.
  • In the rural agricultural background of human life, Sufism became a vehicle of spiritual and cultural upliftment of people.
  • The roots of Indian Feminism can be traced to women in Bhakti, who challenged Brahminical patriarchy through their songs, poems and ways of life.
    • At a time where most spaces were restricted to women, they embraced Bhakti to define their own truths to reform society, polity, relationships and religions.
    • They broke all societal rules and stereotypes, and lived their lives as they pleased.

Concerns:-

  • Nowhere in the subcontinent did Sufism play a dominant role in the formation of modern state structure. The fact that hundreds and thousands of people visit shrines is not necessarily a reflection of Sufism’s political power. Sufism currently lacks the narrative which socio-economic modernity demands.
  • Their capacity to generate tolerance has serious limits :-
    • Increasing socio-political and socio-economic modernity has little space for Sufism
    • The lack of capacity of Sufi institutions to produce a counter narrative.
  • It is non-conformist in its ability to experiment with method of praying but not in terms of reverence to God and his Prophet. All Sufis were mindful of Sharia.
  • The patronage of Sufi shrines by power centers starting from the Mughals and leading up to the British weakened the institution
  • There are no centers of learning around shrines to ponder and educate
  • In the case of Bhakti tradition the disciples failed to rise above personal bias and created sects and sub-sects. As a result the Indian society came to be divided into number of new cults based on orthodoxy.
  • Groups like ISIS, however, consider this a heretical practice and use it as a justification to target and kill practitioners of Sufi Islam.

Conclusion:-

  • The essence of the Sufi and Bhakti tradition are reminders that the spiritual-moral part of religion has been undermined in current times. The inclusive, humane nature of these traditions needs to be upheld and the divisive-exclusionary versions of religions have to be ignored for humanity to progress.

General Studies – 2


Topic:   India and its neighborhood- relations; Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

2) Tibetan refugees in India are considered the ‘most successful’ refugee community in the world. Despite this appreciation, Tibetan refugees face numerous challenges in India, especially with respect to acquiring India’s citizenship. Examine these challenges and suggest what Indian government should do to address grievances of the Tibetan community in India. (250 Words)

IDSA

Background:-

  • India facilitated the preservation and promotion of the Tibetan refugees distinctive culture, tradition and identity. With the generous support and assistance of India and international aid agencies, the Tibetan refugees in India have not only attained self-sustenance but also successfully reconstructed their social, political and religious institutions in exile. Due to these achievements, Tibetan refugees are considered the ‘most successful’ refugee community in the world.
  • There are about 1.2 lakh Tibetan refugees in India.

Challenges faced by Tibetan refugees are:-

  • Educated but unemployed Tibetan youth:-
    • As the number of Tibetan youth with a graduate degree has increased, the government-in-exile could not employ them all in its establishment.
    • The youth are confronted with the challenge of finding employment according to their qualification and skill.
    • According to the Second Tibetan Demographic Survey, over 17 per cent of the total workforce population is unemployed or underemployed. Many of them succumbed to drug addiction in the absence of gainful employment.
  • Their status of statelessness disqualifies Tibetan youth from many job opportunities in India.
    • Any economic activities outside the Tibetan settlements encounter uncertainty and insecurity as Tibetans neither have the right to own businesses or obtain a license to engage in business activities nor are allowed to own or buy land/property.
    • Further, they are not entitled to secure bank loans.
  • Difficulties of travelling abroad for studies, visiting relatives and other social engagements:-
    • To do these activities, the Government of India issues an “Identity Certificate” (IC) for Tibetans in lieu of a passport for travelling abroad. Tibetans with this travel document have encountered problems with immigration officials at various airports as many officials are unfamiliar with this kind of travel document.
  • The Tibetan government-in-exile approach seems to be confusing to the Tibetans in India
    • It has been encouraging Tibetans living in other countries, especially those in the West, to take up the citizenship of their host countries and labels them as Tibetan Ambassadors to distant lands.
    • On the other hand, it does not favour Tibetans in India adopting Indian citizenship.
  • Even the Tibetan rehabilitation policy announced in 2014 It does not address property ownership, getting government jobs, or traveling freely within and outside India
  • The four conditions imposed by the Government of India recently for acquiring Indian citizenship are:-
    • Registration/refugee certificate (RC) and identity certificate should be cancelled
    • The applicant should not be staying in designated Tibetan refugee settlements
    • An undertaking that he/she no longer enjoys Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)benefits
    • A declaration that he/she no longer enjoys any privileges, including subsidies by being an RC holder
    • These will have a negative consequence in terms of dismantling Tibetan settlements which are nerve centres for the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization.
  • Tibetans are seen as refugees and as stateless in India. Being seen that way after having been born and lived whole lives in India is unfair, demoralising and frustrating .
  • Despite the rehabilitation policy in some states, they cannot get driving licences or bank loans. In sectors where they can work, they often face discrimination from Indian employers. Besides, even registration certificates have become harder to get over the years.
  • Conflicts with locals:-
    • In Arunachal Pradesh locals expressed their dissent and oppose to the permanent settlement of Tibetan refugees and their exclusion from Inner Line Permit provisions. The locals argue that the implementation of the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy, 2014 would threaten their identity and culture.

India’s measures:-

  • Indian citizenship act 1986 :-
    • Provides Citizenship to anyone Born in India Between 1950 and 1987 covering large sections of Tibetan refugees to entitle as Indian Citizens.
  • Tibetan rehabilitation policy 2014:-The key features are as follows:
    • Land
      • The state governments should sign a lease document for allocating the land for the settlement of the Tibetan refugees for a period of about 20 years.
      • The land allotted for Tibetan occupation should not be disturbed by the state governments. It should also issue Rent Tenancy Certificate.
    • Benefits
      • The policy advises the state governments to extend the benefits of state schemes and the Centrally sponsored schemes such as NREGA, Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), National Food Security Act (NFSA)etc
    • Basic Amenities
      • The policy mandates the states to provide infrastructural facilities and basic amenities like Roads, Electrification, Drinking Water Schemes in or around the Tibetan Settlements.
    • Economic Benefits
      • The policy advises the states to undertake skill up-gradation and training programmes for the Tibetan refugees.
      • They should also permit the refugees to give permission to run Tibetan Bazaars to trade in Tibetan products like handloom, handicrafts etc.
      • Qualified professional among the Tibetan Refugees should be permitted to take up employment opportunities in private and non-Government Sectors.
      • States have to permit the refugees to carry out economic activities as they desire, and to that trade licenses/permission be provided.

Measures needed:-

  • India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, which spells out refugee eights and state responsibilities to protect them. India needs to sign it.
  • Indian law can be amended to give Tibetan refugees a form of nationality that is short of Indian citizenship, such as the status of a protected persons. This status can be granted after negotiation with the Dalai Lama. After that, the refugees can be issued Indian travel documents and can enjoy diplomatic protection while overseas.
  • Government of India needs to rethink its four conditions as well as the relaxation of rules with regard to Tibetans travelling abroad. 
  • To improve the conditions of Tibetans in these settlements, the Government of India needs to redouble efforts to implement the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy of 2014 which it adopted in consultation with the Tibetan government-in-exile.
  • In the change of policy a proposal was made that Tibetan refugees would be provided with a no-objection certificate at the time of issuance of identity certificates and that would be enough for them to travel to any foreign country. This needs fast implementation.

Conclusion:-

  • The Government of India could project these thriving Tibetan settlements at the international level as a model for post-conflict reconstruction of war-devastated societies and try to project its expertise to acquire a greater role in United Nations’ post-conflict reconstruction and peace building activities with local ownership.
  • In effect, both the Government of India and the Tibetan government-in-exile need to adopt a long-term perspective and rethink their policy towards Tibetans acquiring Indian citizenship.

Topic:  Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

3) Discuss the policy options that India should pursue to improve women’s health in India. (250 Words)

PRS

Background:-

  • There has been significant improvement in the health, education and employment status of women in India over time. Yet, health indices for girls and women compare much less favourably with those for boys and men. The poorer health indices for girls and women mandate a social revolution which not only provides equal opportunities but also focuses on achieving equal outcomes.

Measures already taken by the government are:-

  • Successive governments have recognised the inequalities in health indices and have implemented many schemes to improve women’s health.
  • Many programmes like Janani Suraksha Yojana, the National Rural Health Mission, Mother child tracking system etc provide care for women, especially during pregnancy and delivery and after childbirth.
  • Family planning programmes offer services related to contraception for women, improving their health.
  • Many programmes aimed at the general population also impact women’s health.

Policy options to be emphasized are:-

  • Synergy between the central and state policiesto ensure women are comprehensively covered For example, the central government must discuss with states to build ‘pre-delivery hubs’, preferably close to the delivery points to take care of such transportation issues for expectant mothers. Such hubs would help reduce the out-of-pocket expenses of poor and marginalised families and also reduce maternal deaths.
  • Functioning of Rastriya Swasthya Bima Yojana :
  • The insurance scheme needs to be effectively implemented and proper oversight need to be created and that data pertaining to RSBY be made freely available on public platforms.
  • Demand for Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) :
    • ASHA workers across the country do not have fixed wages and that they have demanded a fixed wage component within their remuneration in many states. Issues regarding the training of ASHAs such as dearth of competent trainers, salary, infrastructure, and equipment need to be dealt with
  • Need for food fortification :
    • There has been more focus on availability of food to women rather than nutrition aspect by the schemes of the government .Food fortification of cereals with iron must be taken up with priority since (i) it does not alter the quality and nature of foods, (ii) can be introduced quickly, and (iii) can produce nutritional benefits for populations in a short period of time.
  • Unsafe abortions :
    • India has one of the highest abortion related deaths in the world. So the provision where only married women can get an abortion thereby allowing anyone to get an abortion. 
  • Mental health of women:
    • Due to societal stigma and ignorance, mental illnesses suffered by women fail to get recognised. In this regard, creating awareness and providing possible remedies to help de-stigmatise mental health issues is necessary.
    • Psychological issues for women need to be taken of as women are more prone to depression due to domestic factors like domestic violence etc.
  • There is a need to focus on reproductive health as India has high maternal mortality rate.
    • Fully satisfying women’s need for modern contraception would also make healthcare investments more affordable overall.
    • For every additional dollar invested in contraception in developing regions, the cost of pregnancy related care including HIV care for women and newborns  is reduced by about $1.50 (about £1).

Conclusion:

  • There is a huge payoff when women’s health is focussed. Girls and young women are more likely to be able to stay at school, improving their future participation in the labour force and earning potential. Poverty is reduced, living conditions improve and communities are better off when women can fully participate and contribute. So  Sustainable development is only possible if women’s health is prioritised

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

4) The UK National Health Service (NHS) has been described as single greatest experiment in social service that the world has ever seen undertaken. However, lately NHS is facing certain challenges. Examine these challenges and the lessons it offers to India’s move towards universal healthcare. (250 Words)

The Hindu

Background:-

  • Universal healthcare, free at the point of provision, is a fundamental human right and the U.K. is perhaps the only country in the world that has truly tried to meet that requirement.

National health service:-

  • The NHS is a rare example of truly socialised medicine. Healthcare is provided by a single payer the British government and is funded by the taxpayer.
  • All appointments and treatments are free to the patient (though paid for through taxes), as are almost all prescription drugs. 
  • Responsibility for health services is devolved to local boards or trusts. These local units directly manage or contract services in their communities. 
  • Britain spends 9.9% of its GDP on the NHS. 
  • Improved safety to the patient:-
    • Through standardised use of the NHS number throughout health and social care system, your information is available to individuals providing your care, to ensure the best care is provided.
  • Improved access to information :
    • Healthcare professionals will have access to important information to make decisions about your care.
  • Integrated care :-
    • Information standards enable doctor to appropriately share his/her patients information with other healthcare professionals involved in their care in a safe and secure manner.
  • Widespread accessibility
    • In Britain, the universal health care system is accessible throughout the breadth and length of the country. 
  • Full coverage
    • All persons, irrespective of their health, age or gender are enrolled in the NHS. This takes care of ‘adverse selection’. The NHS entitles every beneficiary to a specified, predetermined health package of essential primary, secondary and tertiary care, cashless at the point of service.
    • Universal health care in Britain does not discriminate on any basis. Such system covers every citizen of the United Kingdom with full health coverage. 

 

Challenges faced by NHS:-

  • Funding:-
    • It has failed to keep up with the needs of a system pressurised by an expanding and ageing population, and advancing medical technology.
    • Adding to this are the cuts that have been made to social care budgets across the country. 
    • The government increased NHS funding in last year’s budget, but NHS England warned that the funds did not plug the gap
    • NHS budget rose at a rate of 2% or less since the Conservative government came to office in 2010. There itself is a shortfall of around £20 billion.
  • There are recruitment problems too:-
    • Posts remain unfilled, while hospital trusts fail to recruit the necessary staff.
    • Due to anti immigration and Brexit options including recruiting staff from abroad even on a temporary basis, have become much more difficult.
  • The NHS lags behind many of Europe’s other health systems most funded by a mixture of private and public means when it comes to medical outcomes.
  • Lack of manpower:
    • The service is woefully short of family doctors and nurses, whose salaries have been cut, and it is finding it hard in the wake of the Brexit referendum to recruit more from Europe, which supplies a large proportion of the NHS’s junior doctors and nurses.
    • They do not receive the rewarding financial packages
  • Lack of options
    • The universal health care system leaves citizen no choice to choose the physician or treatment that they want. 
  • Bureaucratic hurdles
    • Since the government runs the universal health care; there are bureaucracy hurdles and lots of red tape which result in poor service and long time wait. 
  • Other problems:-
    • Tens of thousands of patients have seen their surgery postponed. Targets for waiting lists and times have been dropped. Accident and emergency centres are close to breakdown, while patients are lined up on trolleys in the absence of hospital beds.
    • This winter’s serious flu epidemic is a perfect example of problems with NHS and should instead insist on policies that allow for greater choice and competition in health care. The recent uptick in sick patients in the U.K. has further overwhelmed an already crippled system. 
    • Demography, the spread of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, rising expectations, and accelerating medical inflation have raised demand and costs. Chronic care costs now account for more than 80 percent of the NHS budget.

 

Lessons to be learnt by India :-

  • Health care should be “free at the point of service,” a founding principle of the NHS. 
  • Fund health care from income taxes as the system of pooling works and is cheaper compared to insurance. Whenever the British have reviewed the option of using health insurance instead of income tax financing, they have found evidence that an insurance-based health care system costs more to operate, is more inequitable, controls costs less effectively, and provides no basis for population-oriented prevention or public health gains
  • Establish a strong primary care base for a health care system.
  • Pay General practitioners extra for treating patients with deprivations and from deprived areas.
  • Reduce inequalities in historic funding that usually favour the affluent. Reductions have been achieved through national planning, building up hospitals and resources in underserved areas, and giving disproportionately more new funds to less well-funded areas.
  • Pharmacies in UK do not sell medications unless there is registered doctor’s prescription. The number of private pharmacies working outside the NHS hospitals have a contract with the NHS to issue drugs only in a systematic and well organised manner.

Conclusion :-

  • With the union budget 2018 announcing National health protection scheme which covers 40% of the population under the scheme for healthcare ,it is the first step towards universal health care.

General Studies – 3


Topic:   Achievements of Indians in science & technology; 

5) In the light of the objectives and design of the newly announced Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme (PMRF), critically analyse if PMRF would be successful in improving quality of research in the frontier areas of S&T and also stop India’s brain drain. (250 Words)

The Wire

Background:-

  • India does not have enough quality PhD students in STEM fields, leading to poor quality research and lack of quality faculty so there has long been emphasis on the importance of innovation and technology for the progress and development of the nation.
  • This Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme (PMRF)is key to realizing his vision of development through innovation. 

PMRF:-

  • The government wants to encourage undergraduate students (or those studying in five-year integrated programmes) from IITs/NITs/IISERs/IIITs (only centrally funded ones) to join IITs/IISc for PhD and offers them a huge financial incentive, both in terms of personal money (three times what regular PhD students in these institutes will get) and research grant.
  • It will be implemented for period of seven years beginning 2018-19 at total cost of Rs. 1650 crore.
  • Maximum of 3000 Fellows would be selected in three year period, beginning 2018-19.
  • Selected students will be offered monthly fellowship of Rs.70,000 for first two years, Rs.75,000 for 3rd year and Rs.80,000 in 4th and 5th years.
  • Each selected fellow students will be also provided research grant of Rs.2 lakh for period of 5 years to cover their foreign travel expenses for presenting research papers in international conferences and seminars.

Positives:-

  • With such a good stipend structure, PMFS is sure to attract the finest engineering brains in the country to pursue research, reaping a rich R&D dividend for the country.
  • The scheme will help tapping talent pool of country for carrying out research indigenously in cutting edge science and technology domains.
  • The research undertaken by fellows under this scheme will address national priorities
  • Also shortage of quality faculty in premier educational institutions of country would be addressed .
  • This initiative of the government will convert brain drain to brain gain.
  • By participating in international research conferences, the Indian researchers can get feedback on their researches, meet their peer group in foreign countries and get in touch with experts working in their area.

Concerns:-

  • The eligibility of students is very narrow as the focus of this scheme is only for centrally funded technical institutes (CFTI) students rather than benefiting all bright scholars across institutions.
    • The scheme is not open to those who have completed, or are doing, ordinary MSc or MTech courses.
    • The scheme unduly favours those who cleared the Joint Entrance Examination, through which the CFTIs select students for their BTech and integrated master’s courses.
  • Institutes hosting PhD students are only IIT’s and IISC when there are pool of colleges which are focussed on research like IISERs, TIFR, CMI and ISI etc.
  • Quantum of support will demoralise Ph.D students:-
    • For instance at IIT Kanpur, about 250 PhD students a year are admitted. Only a fraction of these would get the PMR fellowship. 
  • The goal of the scheme is ostensibly to encourage PhD research. Experts suggest that the scheme might end up discouraging a large number of excellent students from doing PhD.
  • The scheme suggests that these PhD students will work in research areas that are national priorities. But there is no prior list of national priorities set .
  • India’s allocations towards research are still a fraction of pale allocations abroad. India’s annual allocations for science research have doggedly remained under less than 1% of its GDP for over a decade.
  • According to experts the scheme does not do much for the research ecosystem as a whole and makes no effort to ensure that there is no brain drain, which is one of its intended outcomes.
  • There is lack of incubation centresin India. All over the world it is through the incubation centres where new ideas are developed and taken to the market which is lacking in India. Research in India is primarily linked to academics and promotion in jobs. 
  • Researchers need to have continuous interaction with the industry which is not dealt in the scheme. There has been lack of assurance for the researchers in terms of jobs and career development compared to US and other countries.
  • The critical infrastructure in the universities and higher educational institutions is abysmally low in India which makes talented pool of researchers to prefer countries with better facilities.

How to improve it?

  • The procedure followed by the Visvesvaraya PhD Scheme could be considered:-
    • That scheme offered a stipend marginally higher than the Junior research fellowship scheme ‘s and was available only to first-year PhD students who had already shown glimpses of their talent of the CFTIs and other accredited tech schools, including top private institutions.
    • It did not require the beneficiaries to have obtained their undergraduate or postgraduate degrees from any particular set of institutions.
  • The industry has a fear of spending huge amount on R&D without assured returns. There has to be a comprehensive approach where the government, private sector, academic institutions should take equal interest for research and innovation.
  • Government needs to invest in the infrastructure of existing universities and institutes and also look into improving the education system which focuses more on rote memorization than creative learning.

 

Conclusion:-

  • India is slowly trying to strengthen the research ecosystem but some lessons can be learnt from by following Chinese approach e., massive funding for some universities to attract the best talent , launching number of institutions in areas which are for the future like Renewable energy , electric cars, robotics, AI , Data Analytics , Machine learning etc it is attracting the best talent from the world.

TopicAwareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics,

6) Analyse the benefits and risks of emerging breakthroughs in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) field for India. (250 Words)

IDSA

Background:-

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings in a host of real-world applications which had earlier merely been a subject of science fiction novels or movies. The breakthroughs such as the social humanoid robot Sophia became a citizen of Saudi Arabia , Apple’s siri can receive instructions and interact with human beings in natural language.
  • So  AI has made inroads to automation and decision support systems to complement or augment human abilities.

Benefits :-

  • AI enhances the ability of computer systems to learn from their experiences over time, makes them capable of reasoning, perceiving relationships and analogies, helps solve problems, as well as respond in natural languages and adapt to new conditions.
  • AI allows machines to sense and comprehend their surroundings and act according to their own intelligence or learning.
  • Governance:-
    • As India is poised for reforms in governance, AI can actually help with process optimization and cost savings for the government, in addition to solving some strategic problems or assisting in decision making.
  • Economy:-
    • Economic growth is vital for development, and the next generation of economic growth is anticipated to be fuelled by technologies relating to big data, block chain, quantum computing and AI. These game changing technologies will spur innovation, create value for the investors, generate specialized job domains and as a result, propel economic growth.
    • Issues such as tax evasion, money laundering etc can be easily addressed using AI.
    • 68% of Indian business decision-makers believe AI will help their business in various ways such as boosting productivity, generating growth and addressing societal issues
  • India has one of the world’s largest automotive industries, with a significant production and consumption base. AI applications have vast scope in the automotive sector, ranging from enhancing fuel efficiency to passenger safety to the concept of self-driving vehicles.
  • Healthcare:-
    • Healthcare sector in India is burgeoning with innovation and demand, having business models unique to the Indian requirements and spending power. AI can augment the potential of government and private sector to deliver healthcare services and products with improved drug safety, better diagnosis and analysis of clinical reports for preventive and accurate treatment.
  • Defence:-
    • More advanced applications of AI extend to the domains of foreign, defence and security policies. Deep learning in AI can unravel futuristic functions by augmenting decision making ability of the humans with access to the information derived from large data sets.
  • Security:-
    • AI has many peace time applications as well. It can be used to train soldiers and pilots, simulate war-game, synthesize information from surveillance systems and address critical problems in optimizing logistics, fleet management and maintenance
  • Vision and Voice systems to interpret and comprehend visual inputs such as images, clinical diagnosis and facial recognition or voice inputs to recognize the source of the sound.
  • Law enforcement or internal security requirements for detecting and recognizing individuals or criminals, with multitudes of data streaming from police databases or the network of surveillance cameras.
  • Banking and financial services for fraud detection using advanced algorithms to identify patterns in transactions and consumer behaviours which are risk prone.
  • AI is also helping insurance providers arrive at better risk assessment.
  • Countries such as India can benefit a lot from the use of AI by focusing on sectors such agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure etc. 

 

Concerns and Risks:-

  • The armed forces of US and China have already invested billions of dollars to develop LAWS, intending to gain strategic and tactical advantage over each other. This runs the risks of an arms race. 
  • There is no clearly stated policy document or vision statement for AI development.
  • AI has to meet the first and foremost challenge of acceptability with the users from the government, public sector and the armed forces, or even the private sector.
    • As users of AI, their interest in the technology augmenting their own ability, and not posing a threat, is quite pertinent.
  • Technical competence in this fast-paced sector, primarily in the case of government, could be a road block.
  • AI can better adapt to the goals and expectations of the Indian decision makers, if the technology development is indigenous. Foreign dependence in this case would be detrimental and unproductive.
  • AI has set off an economic and technological competition, which will further intensify.
  • LAWs operate without human intervention, and there is formidable challenge in distinguishing between combatants and non-combatants, which is a subject of human judgment.

 

Conclusion:-

  • More than a technology developer or consumer, India can play a vital role in defining the multilateral rules of the road and help setting up of best ethical standards to dissuade any arms race in LAWs, ensuring safe and beneficial Artificial Intelligence for all.
  • Strides in supercomputing and Big Data analytics are further enhancing AI applications relating to advanced training or learning and India should be ready for that.
  • China is investing $2.1 billion in creating an AI research park. It is time to ensure that India is not left behind in this important skill.

General Studies – 4


Topic:  Human Values
Quote Based Question

 

Answer:-

 

A virtue by definition is moral excellence, a character trait or quality valued as being always good in and in itself. Being virtuous is important so that people can know themselves . The type of self-knowledge that virtue ethics affords is emotional self-awareness, and it is very important and very difficult to acquire.

 

So when a person is virtuous he/she can never dream / think of hurting someone, be selfish, corrupt etc which a wicked person can do. Even if by mistake virtuous person tries to consider causing harm to others in dreams he/she would not act on it as he keeps societal good over personal good. So there is emphasis on good and bad regarding the options.

 

For instance two people got into a fight .If one of these persons is virtuous he/she would forgive the other and act in an emotional intelligent manner even though they think about being angry and want to punish the other. However if the person is wicked then he/she would try to inflict pain on the other.

 

But as is elaborated in Buddhist philosophy only when thoughts are right action will be right as well. So when the person dreams and thinks about being dishonest, cause adverse impact on the society etc he/she will ultimately end up doing that as thoughts lead to actions.

 

 So a true virtuous person thinks positively and works in an altruist way unlike wicked person who tries to destroy.