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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 AUGUST 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 AUGUST 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 – 2


Topic– Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

1)The view that Article 35 A is against the “very spirit of oneness of India” as it created a “class within a class of Indian citizens” requires a more nuanced debate. Examine.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The debate over article 370 and 35A has festered for long and is a sticking bone with respect to status of Kashmir. The article talks about the need for a nuanced debate wrt Article 35A and this question expects you to discuss the various aspects of the debate.

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Key demand of the question

The question is in context of the SC’s observation that it is going to examine whether Article 35A of Indian constitution violates basic structure of the constitution. We are expected to bring out the various facets of the debate over article 35A and examine whether the view expressed by those in favour of repealing Article 35A has merit.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what article 35A is all about and the way it came into being

Body

  • Bring out the arguments made by those who are opposed to Article 35A – that the amendment has been done by a presidential order and not via article 368, the discriminatory provisions wrt non residents of the state which are violative of Article 14 etc
  • Bring out the arguments of those in favour of keeping Article 35A – would lead to erosion of political autonomy of Kashmir and create more challenges for the state, historical factors, preserves the demography of Kashmir etc
  • Discuss the situation in Kashmir currently and the impact abrogating Article 35A will have on Kashmir

Conclusion – Give your view on what should be the way forward with respect to Article 35A.

Background :-

  • Article 35A remains as one of the most divisive provisions in the Constitution as mere talk of any alteration to it provokes sharp reactions from parties across the aisle. Recently Supreme Court took up a petition to challenge the validity of Article 35A of the Indian Constitution.

Article 35 A :-

  • The Article 35A of the Indian Constitution empowers the state legislation of Jammu and Kashmir to not only define “permanent residents” of the state but also equip them with special rights and privileges. So the people holding the Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC), have exclusive right to acquire property in the state and enjoy any state-sponsored schemes.
  • These privileges and rights are not extended in any way to any non-permanent citizen. Thus a person from Uttar Pradesh cannot move the courts saying that their right to equality is infringed by a special right given to a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Article is located in Appendix-1 of the Indian Constitution within the text of Presidential Order, 1954.

Implications of abrogating article 35 A  :-

  • Positive:-
    • Closer integration of the valley with the rest of the country
    • Accelerate development and investment in the valley
    • It will further uphold right to equality and right to reside in any part of the country
  • Negative:-
    • Impact on other orders:-
      • Then all 41 subsequent Presidential Orders will then become susceptible to legal challenges because all of these Orders were in essence amendments to the 1954 Order. These subsequent orders have extended 94 out of the 97 entries in the Union List to the state as well as applied 260 articles of the Indian Constitution to the state.
    • Alienation:-
      • Such moves only deepen the sense of alienation on the ground and push Kashmiri youths towards militancy .Abrogating Article 35A may permanently alienate the people of Kashmir.
      • If India is not going to honour Article 35A, the people of the State of Jammu Kashmir might protest that they are no longer bound by the instrument of accession and state of Jammu and Kashmir would become a sovereign state.
    • Land issues:-
      • If this Article goes the land in the state of Jammu Kashmir can be purchased by any one from India and with the passage of time the state will lose all its land.
    • Business affected:-
      • Once the people of India would purchase land in Jammu they would open their businesses in Jammu and the business community of Jammu would be seriously affected.
    • Housing issue:-
      • Further, the people of Jammu would face shortage of accommodation as most of the slums who will come from other parts of the country would settle in Jammu rather than in Kashmir.
    • Employment issue:-
      • Presently, most of the educated youth in Jammu Kashmir are unemployed and if protection by Article 35A would have not been given to them. the fate of educated unemployed youth of Jammu Kashmir would be worse.
    • The benefit of this provision is that only permanent residents can contest elections and if this Article goes everyone from the country is entitled to contest elections.
    • Another implication of abrogation of this article would result cultural aggression and the death blow to Kashmir identity. Thus Kashmir will suffer more culturally and morally while as Jammu will also suffer economically and socially and Ladakh would not be an exception.

Conclusion :-

  • Article 370 and 35-A accords special status to the state of Jammu Kashmir within the Indian Union. The special status ensured by these articles makes it different from other states and allows the state to have its own constitution and protects its identity. So Multiple stakeholders need to be involved to take a decision that is the national interest.

 


Topic– Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

2) The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 is right in intent but bereft of safeguards, can be misutilized. Critically analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The introduction of DNA Bill in Parliament reignites the debate over storing DNA data, the regulatory provisions regarding protection of that data, effectiveness in solving crime etc. The article discusses these issues and will be useful in preparing this Bill.

Directive word

Critically Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. You need to conclude with  a fair judgement, after analyzing the nature of each component part and interrelationship between them.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to analyze the Bill and discuss the effectiveness of these provisions in solving crimes, data privacy concerns raised, the nature of regulatory structure, its impact in privacy etc. The question expects us to form a fair and balanced view on the provisions of this Bill and suggest changes if any.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what the Bill is all about

Body

  • Discuss the key provisions of the Bill
  • Examine the pros and cons of the Bill. Pros being it will help in crime investigation, establishing parentage, India will follow into the footsteps of several countries who have such an architecture in place. Discuss the cons such as privacy issues, unreliable data, limitations of the technology learnt from the experiences of other country, a simplistic regulatory architecture etc
  • Examine the views of various committees with respect to utilizing DNA data – AP Shah committee, 271st report of LCI, Malimath committee report etc

Conclusion – Give your view on the Bill and suggest changes if required such as the need for a layered check mechanism in place of a single check mechanism.

Background :-

  • With DNA technology being relied upon worldwide in crime investigations, identification of unclaimed bodies, or determining parentage, India has been attempting for several years to pass legislation on use of DNA technology to support and strengthen the justice delivery system. 

DNA technology regulation bill 2018 :-

  • The Bill aims at expanding application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen justice delivery system of the country.
  • Key Features of the Bill :-
    • Purpose:-
      • It allows law enforcement agencies to collect DNA samples, create DNA profiles and special databanks for forensic-criminal investigations. It states that all DNA data, including DNA samples, DNA profiles and records, will be only used for identification of the person and not for any other purpose.
    • DNA profiling board:-
      • It creates DNA Profiling Board (DPB) that will be final authority that will authorise creation of State-level DNA databanks, approve the methods of collection and analysis of DNA-technologies. It makes accreditation and regulation mandatory for DNA laboratories.
    • DNA banks:-
      • It allows government to set up DNA data banks across India to store profiles. These banks will maintain national database for identification of victims, accused, suspects, undertrials, missing persons and unidentified human remains.
    • Penalty:-
      • It also empowers government to impose jail term of up to 3 years and fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh on those who leak information stored in such facilities. It prescribes similar punishment for those who seek information on DNA profiles illegally.
    • Use of DNA Data:
      • Under the Bill, DNA testing is allowed only in respect of matters listed in the schedule to the Bill (such as, for offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for paternity suits, or to identify abandoned children). 
    • DNA Data Bank:
      • The Bill provides for the establishment of a National DNA Data Bank and regional DNA Data Banks, for every state, or two or more states. 
      • The National Data Bank will store DNA profiles received from DNA laboratories and receive DNA data from the regional Banks. 
      • Every Data Bank will be required to maintain indices for the following categories of data: (i) a crime scene index, (ii) a suspects’ or undertrials’ index, (iii) an offenders’ index, (iv) a missing persons’ index, and (v) an unknown deceased persons’ index.
    • Protection of information:  
      • It also ensures that the data remain protected from misuse or abuse in terms of the privacy rights of citizens.
      • Under the Bill, the Board is required to ensure that all information relating to DNA profiles with the Data Banks, laboratories and other persons are kept confidential.  DNA data may only be used for identification of the person. 
      • However, the Bill allows for access to information in the Data Bank for the purpose of a one-time keyboard search.  This search allows for information from a DNA sample to be compared with information in the index without information from the sample being included in the index.
    • Retention of DNA Data:
      • The Bill states that the criteria for entry, retention or removal of the DNA profile will be specified by regulations. 
      • However, the Bill provides for removal of the DNA Data of the following persons:- (i) of a suspect if a police report is filed or court order given, (ii) of an undertrial if a court order is given, (iii) on request, of persons who are not a suspect, offender or undertrial from the crime scene or missing persons’ index. 
      • Further, the Bill provides that information contained in the crime scene index will be retained.
    • DNA Laboratories:
      • Any laboratory undertaking DNA testing is required to obtain accreditation from the Board.  The Board may revoke the accreditation for reasons including, failure to: (i) undertake DNA testing, or (ii) comply with the conditions attached to the accreditation.  If the accreditation is revoked, an appeal will lie before the central government or any other authority notified by the central government. 
    • Obligations of DNA Laboratories:
      •  Under the Bill, every DNA laboratory is required to perform various functions, including: (i) following standards for quality assurance in collection, storing, testing, and analysis of DNA samples, and (ii) depositing DNA samples with the Data Bank.  After depositing the sample for ongoing cases, the Laboratory is required to return the biological sample to the investigating officer.  In all other cases, the sample must be destroyed and intimated to the concerned persons.

Significance :-

  • Bill will ensure that with proposed expanded use of DNA profiling technology in the country, there will be also assurance that DNA test results are reliable and data remain protected from misuse or abuse in terms of the privacy rights of our citizens.
  • It will also enable cross-matching between persons who have been reported missing on one hand and unidentified dead bodies found in various parts of the country on other, and also for establishing the identity of victims in mass disasters.
  • It will set in place, an institutional mechanism to collect and deploy DNA technologies to identify persons based on samples collected from crime scenes or for identifying missing persons.
  • Aggregate incidence of such crimes in the country, as per statistics of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is in excess of 3 lakhs per year in the year 2016. Of these, only very small proportion is being subjected to DNA testing. The expanded use of DNA profiling technology in these criminal cases will result in speedier justice delivery and also in increased conviction rates, which at present is only around 30% (NCRB Statistics for 2016).

Issues and way forward :-

  • Human rights issue :-
    • Although DNA can be an important tool here, it is important that there are safeguards to protect human rights and prevent miscarriages of justice. Further, creating large databases is often not a cost-effective way to solve more crimes, and limited resources must be targeted effectively.
  • Using DNA effectively during criminal investigations requires proper crime scene examination, trained and reliable policing, a trusted chain of custody of samples, reliable analysis, and proper use of expert evidence in court. Without these prerequisites, a DNA database will exacerbate rather than solve problems in the criminal justice system (false matches or misinterpretation or planting of evidence, and diverting resources).
  • Deficiencies in present system:-
    • The Home Ministry circulated a set of guidelines to States recently on how to search crime scenes and collect, store and transport DNA samples in criminal cases. However, it is not yet clear whether these guidelines will be effective.
    • Because many errors occur before samples get to the laboratory, the requirement for laboratory accreditation in the Bill should include quality assurance for crime scene examination.
    • Consideration should be given to an independent forensic science regulator. There is also a need for elimination databases for police, crime scene examiners and laboratory workers, whose DNA may contaminate the evidence they touch.
  • The Bill’s proposed DNA Regulatory Board is still too powerful and insufficiently transparent or accountable.
    • An independent ethics board should be set up. Provisions which give the government or the Board the power to amend aspects of the safeguards in the Bill, and to avoid accountability in court, should be deleted.
  • The Board’s responsibilities for privacy protections need an independent regulator:
    • The easiest way would be prior adoption of a privacy or data protection bill (with a role for a data protection officer). This would allow individuals some recourse if their rights were not protected, important, especially following the Supreme Court’s Right to Privacy judgment.
  • Privacy issues :-
    • A number of other privacy protections are also missing
    • Rightly, the Bill includes provisions for the destruction of DNA samples and removal of innocent people’s DNA profiles from the database. However, these provisions are inadequate as currently, the removal of innocent people’s records is not automatic.
    • Any international sharing of DNA profiles should also be covered by a privacy or data protection law, and meet international human rights standards.
  • Further, it is a best practice to separate the databases for missing persons and for criminals set up by the Bill, so that people who volunteer their DNA to help find their missing relatives are not treated as suspects for criminal offences.
    • Provisions allowing the use of these databases for civil cases, for example to test paternity, should be deleted from the Bill.
    • More detail is also needed to specify that volunteers must be fully informed about future storage and uses of their genetic information before they give consent.
  • The Bill allows two categories of persons to have their DNA collected without consent and their DNA profiles added to the database. However, there is no attempt to assess the cost effectiveness of these provisions or to estimate the database’s likely size.
  • The financial memorandum to the Bill estimates that there will be a one-off cost of Rs. 20 crore to set up the database, with annual costs of Rs. 5 crore to maintain it. But India can look at UK for comparison, the U.K. National DNA database cost £3.7 million to run in 2015-16.
  • International evidence shows that the success of a DNA database is driven primarily by the number of crime scene DNA profiles loaded on to it, not by the number of DNA profiles from individuals, so proper crime scene analysis should be the top priority.
  • DNA tests have not led to an improvement in conviction rates in countries where legislation is already being followed.

Topic-Role of civil services in a democracy.

3)The lateral entry scheme may foster more competitive spirit, break the complacency of the higher civil servants and eventually prove to be a pioneering initiative in public interest. Critically examine.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

Civil services play a vital role in governing and administering a vast and diverse country like India. Civil service reforms have been taking place gradually but the pace has been slow and recently the government has flouted the proposal of admitting lateral entry at higher levels, The idea has its own pros and cons which need to be discussed.

Directive word

Critically Examine- Here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. We have to bring out the positive as well as negative implications of the move and then form an opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write at length about the possible positive as well as the negative implications of the decision to allow lateral entry in civil services.  Based on our discussion, we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the need to reform civil services in India and mention that introducing lateral entry is one such reform measure aimed at improving the quality of civil services in India.

Body-

  • Discuss the positive implications/pros. E.g bringing in specialists with a different experience from outside will improve efficiency, foster competition and influence the work culture; suits the present and future needs of the economy; administration in India is laden with a host of problems which need urgent redressal; growing importance of technology and decentralized decision making etc.
  • Discuss the negative implications/ deficiencies. E.g chances of political patronage being favored on the outsiders; chances of further politicization of the administration and of divide and rule by the executive; low chances of attracting talent given the vast pay disparity between govt and private sector etc.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • A recent move by the Centre seeking applications from ‘outstanding individuals’ to fill in 10 posts of Joint Secretary has caused consternation. Lateral entry was recommended by Administrative Reforms Commission and various other expert groups. 
  • The ARC highlights that performance appraisals may be adopted from the armed forces, which could aid in weeding out non-performers. 
    • In the armed forces, only 3 per cent of officers make it to the grade of brigadier and above and promotions are based entirely on merit, which fuels excellence.

Need for Lateral Entry 

  • Civil servants enter public service as generalists and have grassroots realities. Building specific domain expertise starts quite late for career bureaucrats.
  • To bring in fresh ideas and new approaches to governance. Expert advice and opinion for efficient administration and fulfilling the aspirations of people
  • The present system of frequent and arbitrary transfers hinder gaining of the relevant experience by incumbent officers. 
  • Former instances :-
    • Lateral entry into finance ministry produced illustrious public servants like Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Vijay Kelkar etc.
  • Outside talent from the private sector is more likely to be target-oriented, which will improve the performance of the government. 
  • Lateral entry scheme, if implemented properly, may foster more competitive spirit, break the complacency of the higher civil servants and eventually prove to be a pioneering initiative in public interest.
  • Question often raised in this context is whether the higher bureaucracy is equipped to comprehend complex economic and technical issues in order to properly aid and advise the Minister. Doubts are raised whether civil servants can handle diverse portfolios from civil aviation to power to defence.
  • Lateral entry at the level of Secretary has met with some success earlier:-
    • Besides, Secretaries to the Departments of Atomic Energy, Science & Technology, Scientific and Industrial Research, Health Research, and Agricultural Research have always been scientists of eminence.
    • Similarly, in departments like the Railways, Posts, etc., all senior positions are manned by Indian Railway or Postal Service officers. Therefore, there is nothing very original in the new initiative to allow entry at the level of Joint Secretary.

Criticism:-

  • Many serving Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers see this move as threatening their hegemony.
  • Experts criticize this move as the beginning of the end of a neutral and impartial civil service with the likely induction of loyalists to the current dispensation.
  • Doubts have been expressed if private business houses would plant their people in order to influence government policies.
  • Differences in work culture may often come in the way. 
  • The width and depth of field experience which the civil services provide is not available with outside talent. 
  • Interests and motivation vary from person to person. Therefore, short term entry of officers through lateral entry might lead to corrupt practices.
  • The private sector who ran Air India, Indian Airlines and Vayudoot proved to be failures.
  • Lateral entry into civil services undermines reservation policy. 
  • If a person from a private infrastructure company is appointed in an infra ministry it will lead to questions of morality, ethics and conflict of interest.” 
  • Lack of transparency, honesty and political interference in the selection process. 
  • Nobody knows why a particular individual was selected and why others more qualified were left out. 
  • It is difficult to assess the performance of a secretary to the government due to complex nature of the job. So it would be difficult to measure the performance of lateral entrants.
  • If the selection is politically motivated, it may degrade the system.

Way forward :-

  • Government must ensure that only candidates, the likes of whom are not available in the existing system, are appointed. If they turn out to be truly outstanding, there should be provisions to induct them permanently in the government, with approval of the UPSC, and consider them for higher postings.
  • Government must also allow deputation of its officers to private sector as well so that they get 
    exposure to market practices and fresh ideas. 
  • The remedy lies not through lateral induction but through more rigorous performance appraisal 
    and improved personnel management. 
  • The government can consider lateral entry to head certain mission-mode projects and public-sector entities where private-sector expertise actually matters. 
  • The process of selection needs to be transparent.
  • A credible statutory agency like UPSC should be entrusted with the responsibility of recruitment.

 


General Studies – 3


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

4) What do you understand by LoU and LoC. Discuss their importance in modern finance.(250 words)

The hindu

Economictimes

Reference

Hindubuisnessline

Why this question

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has recently presented a report in which it has said that the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to discontinue the issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LoU) and Letters of Credit (LoC) for trade credit was a knee-jerk reaction to the Punjab National Bank fraud case and the facility should be restored at the earliest. It is thus important to discuss the meaning of LoU and LoC and to know their importance in modern finance.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to simply bring out the meaning of the two terms- LoU and LoC. It then wants us to discuss their importance in modern finance framework.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines on the popularity of LoU and LoC in the international finance system.

Body-

  • Define  LoC . E.g A letter of credit is a letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. In the event that the buyer is unable to make payment on the purchase, the bank will be required to cover the full or remaining amount of the purchase.
  • Give a simple definition of LoU-e.g. An LoU is an assurance given by one bank to another to meet a liability on behalf of a customer. The LoU is akin to a letter of credit or a guarantee. LoUs are used in international banking transactions. An LoU is issued for overseas import remittances and involves four parties — an issuing bank, a receiving bank, an importer and a beneficiary entity overseas. Since LoUs are a form of lending, they are typically backed by security.
  • Discuss their importance in the modern financial system. E.g LoUs are important instruments that allow those in the import trade to transact their business. As an importer in India cannot simply buy dollars and send it abroad to make payments to his supplier, various instruments such as LoUs and Letters of Credit are required to carry out the transaction. LoUs, which are essentially a form of guarantee, have come to be a far cheaper and convenient way for importer to raise credit etc. Take the help of the articles attached to the question and other relevant material to from your answer.

Conclusion- Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • Issuance of LoUs was banned in March by RBI after their misuse was detected in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam. 
  • Recently the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce has sought immediate restoration of issuance of LoUs and LoCs with proper safeguards.

What is Letter of Undertaking (LoU)? 

  • LoUs are used in international banking transactions. 
  • LoU is a bank guarantee under which a bank allows its customer to raise money from another Indian bank’s foreign branch in the form of short-term credit. 
  • The loan is used to make payment to the customer’s offshore suppliers in foreign currency. 
  • The overseas bank usually lends to the importer based on the LoU issued by the importer’s bank. 
  • The messages are sent through SWIFT which is an inter-bank messaging network for securely transmitting instructions for financial transactions. 
  • An LoU involves four parties which are an issuing bank, a receiving bank, an importer and a beneficiary entity overseas. 

What is a ‘Letter Of Credit’? 

  • A letter of credit is a letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. 
  • In the event that the buyer is unable to make payment on the purchase, the bank will be required to cover the full or remaining amount of the purchase. 

Difference between LoU and LoC 

  • A letter of credit is more secure because it has the details of the purchase by the importer, date of issue, expiry date, the material purchase and other transaction details. 
  • LoU does not have these details and when it is not linked to the banking system it cannot be traced like it happened with PNB.

Importance of LoU and LoC in modern finance:- 

  • LoUs are important instruments that allow those in the import trade to transact their business. 
  • An importer in India cannot simply buy dollars and send it abroad to make payments to his supplier so instruments such as LoUs and LoCs are required to carry out the transaction. 
  • LoUs, which are essentially a form of guarantee, have come to be a far cheaper and convenient way for importer to raise credit. 
  • RBI must strengthen and tighten regulations rather than discontinuing a legitimate product and tool.
  • They will benefit number of companies engaged in cross-border trade, particularly SMEs. 
  • Its restoration assumes more significance because the content of imports is over 20% of India’s total exports.
  • Reasons for restoring LoUs and LoCs 
    • The discontinuation of the LoU and LoC facility had resulted in a 2-2.5% increase in the cost of credit. 
    • This will affect the cost competiveness of the country’s trade and industry and have a cascading effect on jobs. The country cannot afford the job loss. 
    • All the stakeholders, including banks, were of the opinion that LoUs and LoCs were accepted globally. 
    • They are efficient as a source of cost-effective short term credit of foreign currency for importers. 
    • Rating agencies, too, had sounded caution on the LoU ban. 
      • The Indian unit of global rating agency, Fitch, had said that banning LoUs will reduce the financial flexibility of importers, lead to liquidity pressure and result in higher funding costs for small companies. 
    • The banning of LoUs also hit exporters hard since they use these instruments heavily to buy raw materials that are used to make export materials.

TopicConservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

5) Given the tremendous use and the precarious state of springs in India, there is an urgent need to launch a National Programme on Springshed Management. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

Mountain springs are the primary source of water for the rural households in the Himalayan region. For many people, springs are the sole source of water. Spring discharge is reported to be declining due to a host of natural and anthropogenic factors. It is therefore essential to discuss the need for a National Programme on Springshed Management.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the present grim situation of the springs in India, their importance and then write in detail about the need for a National Programme on Springshed Management- what should be its components etc.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Write a few lines about the importance of springs as a source of water in India especially in the Himalayan region.

Body

  • Discuss why there is an urgent need for a comprehensive and a dedicated programme for springshed management. E.g Springs form the sources of many small and large rivers in India. Almost all non-Himalayan Rivers and many Himalayan Rivers originate in the form of thousands of springs in the catchment areas; Springs directly support either the whole or part of the water need of more than 15% of India’s population; The drying down of many springs has led to great distress for mountain populations, both rural and urban; The need to identify, conserve and protect the recharge areas of springs becomes important not just for local sustainability but also for the sustenance of our river systems; Integrating the understanding of the resource (mostly groundwater) alongside improved recharge, efficient supply and equitable demand hold the key to protecting and conserving springs.
  • Discuss what is springshed -e.g A springshed is an area within a ground or surface water basin that contributes to the spring flow.  The boundaries of springshed are dynamic – they change based on the level of the aquifer (otherwise known as its potentiometric surface).   Discuss what should be the key components of a National Programme on Springshed Management- e.g must have both, a development component and a research component. The development component would enable the implementation while the research component could support the design, planning and impact assessment of springshed management. Briefly discuss the key components under each heading. Take the help of the article attached to the question to frame your answer.

Conclusion–  sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.

Why there is a need to launch this national programme on Springshed programme :-

  • Primary source of water:-
    • Mountain springs are the primary source of water for the rural households in the Himalayan region.
    • For many people, springs are the sole source of water.
    • For example, a major proportion of drinking water supply in the mountainous parts of Uttarakhand is spring based, while in Meghalaya all villages in the state use springs for drinking and/or irrigation.
  • Springs did not receive adequate attention:-
    • As per a rough estimate, there are five million springs across India, out of which nearly 3 million are in the Himalayan region alone. Despite the key role 
      that they play, springs have not received their due attention and are today facing the threat of drying up.
  • Spring discharge is reported to be declining due to increased water demand, changing land use patterns, and ecological degradation.
    • With the climate change manifested in the form of rising temperatures, rise in rainfall intensity, reduction in its temporal spread and a marked decline in winter rain, the problem of dying springs is being increasingly felt across the Indian Himalayan region.
  • The ignorance of springs in the larger context of rivers, watersheds and aquifers is also a reason for great concern as such  ignorance has led to large gaps in practice and policy in developing any strategic national response to spring water management in India.
  • National Water Policy (2012) :-
    • The Himalayan region has been mentioned in the National Water Policy only in the context of consideration of environmental issues while planning. There has been no specific emphasis on springs and springshed management in the document, or for that matter, the connection between springs and groundwater.
  • Springs form the sources of many small and large rivers in India.
    • Almost all non-Himalayan Rivers and many Himalayan Rivers originate in the form of thousands of springs in the catchment areas.
  • Many of these springs have been revered through historic periods either in the form of a symbolic temple or with the tribal legacy of ‘sacred groves’
  • Springs directly support either the whole or part of the water need of more
    than 15% of India’s population. 
  • The need to identify, conserve and protect the recharge areas of springs 
    becomes important not just for local sustainability but also for the sustenance of our river systems. 
  • Integrating the understanding of the resource (mostly groundwater) alongside improved recharge, efficient supply and equitable demand hold the key to protecting and conserving springs.

Springshed:-

  • It is an area within a ground or surface water basin that contributes to the spring flow. The boundaries of springsheds are dynamic as they change based on the level of the aquifer This means that a springshed may cover different areas at different times, depending on whether water levels are high or low.

National Programme on Springshed Management:-

  • The programme may involve research, management and protection of say about half-a-million springs across the region.
  • The programme could be anchored by the NITI Aayog, given its very strategic and national importance.
  • The programme must envisage a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach of 
    managing springs and will involve building upon the existing body of work on spring- water management.
  • The programme can be designed on the concept of an action-research programme as part of a hydrogeology-based, community–support system 
    on spring water management.
  • It can integrate other disciplines such as social sciences and ecology in building multidisciplinary dimensions that can help sustain this effort in the long run.
  • The programme will be relevant to all the regions falling in the Indian Himalayan Region, where communities depend upon spring water for both, domestic and livelihood needs.
  • Community centred action research interventions are not only essential but also indispensable for resource conservation in eco-fragile systems like the Himalaya, Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. 
  • A strategic approach to springshed management must have both, a development component and a research component.
    • The development component would enable the implementation
    • Development components
      • Geographical targeting using vulnerability assessment at the village level, 
        including information on climate, dependency factor and other such important 
      • Prepare Village Water Security Plans (VWSPs) for these villages combining dependencies and availability of local water resources.
      • Identify critical springs within vulnerable villages
      • Start small pilots using ‘resource block strategy’, or clusters of springs in pre- identified blocks of some districts in each of the Himalayan States
      • Develop cadre of trained para-hydrogeologists while creating capacity across the entire section of government department and ministries dealing with or connected with springs, water supply and sanitation in the Himalayan Region. This should especially include the Department of Forests in all the States
      • Develop a national spring atlas, monitoring discharge and rainfall data, in the resource blocks
    • While the research component could support the design, planning and impact assessment of springshed management by enabling recognition of the spring typology, identifying the recharge area, instrumenting the spring discharge and rainfall, provide help in regular monitoring and evaluation and updating the national springs web portal.
    • Research components 
      • Develop long-term spring observatory by instrumenting few springs and streams in the resource blocks of springs
      • Initiate participatory mapping of recharge areas by convergence with trained para-hydrogeologists with a clear focus of core recharge areas for implementing recharge measures to many springs. 
      • Update the information on a monthly basis on the national springs portal so that the portal is dynamic and become a potential platform for tracking the progress of spring performance.

Way forward:-

  • Community awareness:-
    • It is important that communities that use springs are convinced of the need to conserve their springs, that they understand how it is done, and that they be willing to assume the responsibility of managing their springs.

Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “Universe and Solar System”

6) What do you understand by expanding universe hypothesis? How did Big Bang result in the formation of galaxies and stars?(250 words)

NCERT Physical Geography class XI – Pg 14&15

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain our understanding of Big Bang theory and how the universe came into being. Thereafter, it expects us to explain how galaxies and stars came into being

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that after long debates and multiple theories, scientists have come to believe that universe as we know today was formed 13.6 billion years ago as a result of Big Bang Theory

Body – Explain what Big Bang Theory is and how it resulted into the creation of universe as we know today. Thereafter, discuss how galaxies and stars came into being

 

Expanding universe hypothesis:-

  • Big Bang Theory is also called expanding universe hypothesis. Edwin 
    Hubble, in 1920, provided evidence that the universe is expanding.
  • Big Bang Theory is the leading explanation about how the universe began. At its simplest, it says the universe as we know it started with a small singularity, then inflated over the next 13.8 billion years to the cosmos that we know today.
  • As time passes, galaxies move further and further apart. Similarly, the distance between the galaxies is also found to be increasing and thereby, the universe is considered to be expanding.

The Big Bang Theory considers the following stages in the development of the
universe in the formation of galaxies and stars:-

  • In the beginning, all matter forming the universe existed in one place in the form 
    of a “tiny ball” (singular atom) with an unimaginably small volume, infinite  temperature and infinite density. 
  • At the Big Bang the “tiny ball” exploded violently. This led to a huge expansion. 
    It is now generally accepted that the event of big bang took place 13.7 billion 
    years before the present. The expansion continues even to the present day.
    • As it grew, some energy was converted into matter. There was particularly rapid expansion within fractions of a second after the bang. Thereafter, the expansion has slowed down.
  • Within 300,000 years from the Big  Bang, temperature dropped to 4,500K 
    (Kelvin) and gave rise to atomic matter. The universe became transparent. 
    The expansion of universe means increase in space between the galaxies.
  • The distribution of matter and energy was not even in the early universe. These initial density differences gave rise to differences in gravitational forces and it caused the matter to get drawn together. These formed the bases for development of galaxies.
  • A galaxy contains a large number of stars.Galaxies are spread over vast distances that are measured in thousands of light-years. A galaxy starts to form by accumulation of hydrogen gas in the form of a very large cloud called nebula. Eventually, growing nebula develops localised clumps of gas. These clumps continue to grow into even denser gaseous bodies, giving rise to formation of stars. The formation of stars is believed to have taken place some 5-6 billion years ago.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic-  Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7) In the wake of the private sector playing an increasing role of providing public services, it is essential to deal with corruption in private sector. Discuss how corruption in private sector can be dealt with.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects (if any) of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about how corruption in private sector can be dealt with.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines on the growing role of private sector in public service delivery. Mention that private sector does not come under the purview of the Prevention of Corruption Act. However, if the private sector (or any person engaged by them) is involved in bribing any public authority then he/she is liable to be punished for the offence of abetment of bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Body-

Discuss in points, how corruption in private sector should be dealt with.

E.g Promoting cooperation between law enforcement agencies and relevant private entities; Promoting the development of standards and procedures designed to safeguard the integrity of relevant private entities; Promoting transparency among private entities, ; Preventing the misuse of procedures regulating private entities, including procedures regarding subsidies and licenses granted by public authorities for commercial activities; Preventing conflicts of interest by imposing restrictions, as appropriate and for a reasonable period of time, on the professional activities of former public officials or on the employment of public officials by the private sector after their resignation or retirement etc.

Conclusion– sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.

Answer :-

Corruption in the private sector can have deep and far-reaching consequences for an economy, and in an increasingly interconnected world, the entire globe. 

Corruption distorts markets and creates unfair competition. Companies often pay bribes or rig bids to win public procurement contracts. Many companies hide corrupt acts behind secret subsidiaries and partnerships. Companies seek to influence political decision-making illicitly. Others exploit tax laws, construct cartels or abuse legal loopholes.

Private companies have huge influence in many public spheres. With respect to healthcare which is service corruption in healthcare sector can lead to devastating impact leading to huge loss of lives. Corruption in the Indian private sector has been highlighted in two reports prepared under the aegis of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) – interestingly, this particular UN agency deals with corporate corruption. High targets and tight deadlines, low orientation of the management’s focus on ethical issues along with a highly dynamic and competitive market are some of the reasons cited for corruption in the Indian business sector.

Most companies have a code of ethics, but there is very little adherence as they remain voluntary codes.

How to deal with corruption in private sector:-

  • Companies can take internal steps to prevent it. They need a zero-tolerance policy towards bribery and corruption. And it must be enforced through specific anti-corruption measures.
  • But companies also need an honest operating environment. So we must make sure that governments enforce international anti-bribery laws and conventions. This protects companies from corruption across borders and down supply chains.
  • Legislative changes:-
    • India has no specific legislation addressing corruption in the private sector so there is a need for strengthening of existing laws and enactment of new legislation to, among other things, protect whistleblowers.
    • Contemplating an amendment in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to include bribery as an offence within the private sector among other unethical and fraudulent practices being followed.
    • It is important to include in legislation the requirement for companies beyond a certain threshold to have a whistleblower mechanism or some form of internal reporting channels of corruption, as well as some form of external audit.
    • Protection of witnesses, experts and victims is also a much required area that needs to be addressed
  • Legal provisions are needed by which there are reduced sanctions, punishments and penalties for self-disclosure or for cooperating with law enforcement during investigations, such as commercial and operational sanctions, legal sanctions, and reputational sanctions.
  • The UNODC calls for better sensitisation of personnel in privately-owned enterprises.