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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 SEPTEMBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 SEPTEMBER 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 – Part of static series under the heading – “Deserts”

1) Compare and contrast Ladakh desert with Thar desert? Also, explain the drainage pattern in Thar desert?(250 words)

NCERT Physical Geography India Pg 17

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the similarities and differences in Ladakh and that desert. Next , we need to bring out the type of drainage pattern in thar desert.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that Ladakh and that deserts are respectively the cold and hot deserts of India.

Body

  • Explain the similarities and differences between Ladakh and Thar desert –
  • Ladakh is situated at a very high altitude of about 6000 mts high on average thus it is extremely cold while thar desert is a low lying desert
  • Thar desert , also called Great Indian desert is mostly covered with sand dunes with occasional oasis while ladakh desert is mostly permafrost.
  • Both thar desert and ladakh desert experience very scanty rainfall of about 10 cms , owing mostly because of their geographical presence.
  • Thar desert has the highest diurnal range of temperature in India
  • Explain that most of the rivers in Thar are ephemeral and form endorheic basins.

Background:-

  • Ladakh desert is a cold desert situated between Karakoram ranges in the north and zanskar range in the south. But Thar desert is a hot desert spread over Rajasthan and some neighbouring states and exhibits distinct features from the Ladakh desert.

Similarities and differences between Ladakh and Thar desert:-

  • Altitude:-
    • Ladakh is situated at a very high altitude of about 6000 meters high on average thus it is extremely cold while Thar desert is a low lying desert
  • Sand dunes:-
    • Thar desert , also called Great Indian desert is mostly covered with sand dunes with occasional oasis while Ladakh desert is mostly permafrost.
  • Rainfall:-
    • Both Thar desert and Ladakh desert experience very scanty rainfall of about 10 cms , owing mostly because of their geographical presence.
  • Diurnal temperature:-
    • Thar desert has the highest diurnal range of temperature in India.
  • Thar is a hot desert while Ladakh is a cold desert. 
  • Temperature:-
    • The temperature of Thar changes from hot to cold as the day passes by but the temperature of Ladakh is always cold. 
  • Lifestyle :-
    • The lifestyle in Thar is completely desert lifestyle while the lifestyle in Ladakh resembles that of the mountainous regions.

Drainage system in thar desert:-

 

  • Inland drainage in India is found only in the arid and semi-arid north-western India, particularly in the deserts of Rajasthan.
  • Inland drainage means a drainage system in which rivers do not reach an ocean but empty their waters into a lake or an inland sea. There are several salt lakes in this part of the country. They are fed by short, intermittent streams, which experience flash floods during rains and dry once the rain is over.
  • Rivers of the inland drainage basin (endorheic basin): 
    • When a river does not reach the sea but disappears into the sand, such a region is called an area of inland drainage. Inland drainage streams are ephemeral streams (short-lived). E.g.:
    • The Luni river in Rajasthan originates near Ajmer and after flowing through Thar desert gets lost in the Rann of Kutch.
    • The other streams of the inland drainage basin either drain towards the individual basins or salt lakes like the Sambhar or are lost in the sands

 


General Studies – 2


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.

2) Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana will ease burden on poor, be a catalyst for more changes in health sector. Discuss. (250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, is an important scheme of government of India. It is important to know the significance and the scope of the scheme.

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 Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and discuss its important provisions and discuss how the scheme will ease burden on poor, be a catalyst for more changes in health sector.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. E.g Ayushman Bharat is a far-reaching initiative aimed at ensuring holistic healthcare services etc.

Body-

Discuss in detail about the Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. E.g The first component of the Ayushman Bharat scheme aims at expansion of services with elements of promotive and preventive healthcare under comprehensive primary health through health and wellness centres; Its second component, the health assurance mission addressing concerns of catastrophic expenditure by vulnerable families for secondary and tertiary care is known by the name Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY); It will provide a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for inpatient care to 10.74 crore families at the bottom of the pyramid-around 40 percent of India’s population;The services will be provided by empanelled public and private hospitals; Unlike private insurance schemes, PMJAY does not exclude a person on account of pre-existing illnesses. The size of the family is no bar. There is also no need for formal enrolment; families that are listed with defined deprivation criteria on the Socio Economic and Caste Census database are automatically enrolled etc.

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

Background :-

  • Ayushman Bharat is a far-reaching initiative aimed at ensuring holistic healthcare services.
  • Its first component of expansion of services with elements of promotive and preventive healthcare under comprehensive primary health through health and wellness centres was launched. Since then, 2,287 health and wellness centres have come up around the country.
  • Its second component, the health assurance mission addressing concerns of catastrophic expenditure by vulnerable families for secondary and tertiary care, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) is unveiled recently.
  • It will provide a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for inpatient care to 10.74 crore families at the bottom of the pyramid. This translates into more than 50 crore people, around 40 per cent of India’s population.
  • The health conditions and surgical procedures, covered free, are encompassed in over 1,350 packages that include practically all secondary and tertiary conditions requiring hospitalisation, barring a few such as organ transplantation.
  • The services will be provided by empanelled public and private hospitals.

Advantages :-

  • This mission enables increased access to in-patient health care for the poor and lower middle class. The access to health care is cashless and nationally portable.
  • It spurs increased investment in health and generate lakhs of jobs, especially for women, and will be a driver of development and growth. It is a turning point for the health sector.
  • Will bring healthcare system closer to the homes of people.
  • The new program would be a vast expansion of health coverage, allowing people to visit the country’s many private hospitals for needs as varied as cancer treatment and knee replacements. 
  • Unlike private insurance schemes, PMJAY does not exclude a person on account of pre-existing illnesses. The size of the family is no bar.
  • There is also no need for formal enrolment. Families that are listed with defined deprivation criteria on the Socio Economic and Caste Census database are automatically enrolled.
  • A strong fraud control mechanism has been conceived. An audit system has been put in place. Thousands of Ayushman Mitras are being trained. At each facility, one of them will receive the beneficiary, check her eligibility and facilitate in-patient care.
  • A system for patient feedback and grievance redressal is also in place. The system will be cashless and largely paperless.
  • The Yojana will be implemented in concord with state-level schemes, if they exist. An autonomous and empowered National Health Agency (NHA) has been established with corresponding state level health agencies (SHAs). A plethora of guidelines on every aspect of the scheme has been developed and pre-tested.
  • A robust IT system has been put in place. An efficient claims management system is functional with payments to be made within two weeks.
  • One unique feature of the PMJAY is its national portability once fully operational. If a beneficiary from Jharkhand falls sick in Uttar Pradesh (UP), she is entitled to receive treatment in any of the empanelled hospitals in UP. Her home state will make the requisite payment for the services availed.
  • The service package rates are based on an extensive exercise to determine market-discovered estimates. If a state’s existing scheme has a higher rate for a specific package compared to the PMJAY, the former will apply.
  • It will dramatically improve provision of healthcare for the poor. It will be an enabler of quality, affordability and accountability in the health system. The empanelled hospitals have been tasked to follow the treatment guidelines. Patient outcomes will be monitored.
  • Another impact of the PMJAY will be rationalisation of the cost of care in the private sector. With an increase in demand created, it is expected that private sector will move from a low volume-high return paradigm to a high volume-fair return (and higher net profit) model.
  • The PMJAY is a poverty-reducing measure. More than a third of the out-of-pocket expenditure (around Rs 5,000 per household) is due to inpatient hospitalisations. One out of eight families have to incur health expenditure of more than 25 per cent of the usual household expenditure each year. PMJAY will ease this burden on the poor.
  • The scheme will create lakhs of jobs for professionals and non-professionals especially women. It will give a boost to the health technology industry.

The following problems with Indian healthcare system need to be resolved to make Ayushmann Bharat a success:-

  • Massive shortages in the supply of services(human resources, hospitals and diagnostic centres in the private/public sector) which are made worse by grossly inequitable availability between and within States.
    • For example, even a well-placed State such as Tamil Nadu has an over 30% shortage of medical and non-medical professionals in government facilities.
  • Health budget:-
    • The health budget has neither increased nor is there any policy to strengthen the public/private sector in deficit areas.
    • While the NHPS provides portability, one must not forget that it will take time for hospitals to be established in deficit areas. This in turn could cause patients to gravitate toward the southern States that have a comparatively better health infrastructure than the rest of India.
  • Infrastructure constraints:-
    • There are doubts on the capacity of this infrastructure to take on the additional load of such insured patients from other States, growing medical tourism (foreign tourists/patients) as a policy being promoted by the government, and also domestic patients, both insured and uninsured.
  • In the absence of market intelligence, arbitrary pricing and unethical methods cannot be ruled out:-
    • Aarogyasri scheme has only package rates, a procedure that all States have since followed as a model. Package rates are not a substitute for arriving at actuarial rating.
    • More importantly, there is no way the government or the payer has an idea of the shifts in the price of components within the package.This knowledge is essential to regulate/negotiate prices to contain costs. This also explains why there is no dent in the exorbitant health expenditures being faced in India despite government-sponsored schemes.
  • Absence of primary care:-
    • In the northern States there are hardly any sub-centres and primary health centres are practically non-existent.
    • The wellness clinic component is a step towards bridging that lacuna but funding constraints are here too.
  • Out of pocket expenditure high:-
    • Even the poor are forced to opt for private healthcare,  and, hence, pay from their own pockets. Resultantly, an estimated 63 million people fall into poverty due to health expenditure, annually. 
  • Inequities in the health sector existdue to many factors like geography,  socio-economic status and income groups among others. Compared with countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and China, which started at almost similar levels, India lags behind peers on healthcare outcomes.
  • The Government has launched many policies and health programmes but success has been partial at best.
    • The National Health Policy(NHP) 2002 proposed to increase Government spending on health by two to three per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010 which has not happened yet. Now, the NHP 2017, has proposed to take it to 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025.
  • Healthcare does not have holistic approach:-
    • There are a lot of determinants for better health like improved drinking water supply and sanitation; better nutritional outcomes, health and education for women and girls; improved air quality and safer roads which are outside the purview of the health Ministry.
    • These issues are increasingly being recognised with emerging challenges such as Anti-microbial resistance, air pollution, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
  • While private sector healthcare providers play an important role in the overall delivery of health services, any engagement of Government hospitals with private sector is seen with suspicion.
  • A number of health institutions, established since independence, seem to have outlived their utilityfor instance  institutions solely focus on family welfare.
  • Finally, universal health coverage (UHC) is a widely accepted and agreed health goal at the global level and has been included in the broader Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda as well. In India, the momentum seems to have been lost. The inclusion and articulation of core principles of UHC as central aim of NHP 2017, is a sign of hope. 
  • Rural medical practitioners (RMPs), who provide 80% of outpatient care, have no formal qualifications for it. 
  • Given low salaries, colleges face serious difficulties in filling the positions. The result has been extremely slow expansion of capacity in many states.
  • Pricing of medical equipment :-
    • Private hospitals are charging exorbitant prices for these and poor suffer the most and there is no price capping yet.

Way forward:-

  • There is a need for multi-sectoral planning and ‘health in all policies’ approach,where initiative of different departments and Ministries is developed and planned coordination, accountability  assigned and progress monitored jointly. It has to be coordinated at the level of Prime Minister or the Chief Minister’s office, as the case may be.
  • PPP in India needs a nuanced approach and systematic mechanisms, includinglegislation and regulatory aspects. The process requires wider stakeholder engagement and deliberations and oversight from top leadership.
  • There is a need to reform and re-design institutions to broader health system goals to contribute achieve sustainable development goals.
  • Policy proposals, such as setting up of Indian Medical Service, establishing public health cadre as well as mid-level healthcare providers and exploring lateral entry of technical experts in academic and health policy institutions, including in the health Ministry (up to the levels Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary levels) should be deliberated and given due priority.
  • A competitive price must be charged for services provided at public facilities as well. The government should invest in public facilities only in hard to reach regions where private providers may not emerge.
  • The government must introduce up to one-year long training courses for practitioners engaged in treating routine illnesses. This would be in line with the National Health Policy 2002, which envisages a role for paramedics along the lines of nurse practitioners in the United States.
  • There is urgent need for accelerating the growth of MBBS graduates to replace unqualified “doctors” who operate in both urban and rural areas. 
  • The government needs to provide adequate funding to improve the quality of services as well.
  • In a federal polity with multiple political parties sharing governance, an all-India alignment around the NHPS requires a high level of cooperative federalism, both to make the scheme viable and to ensure portability of coverage as people cross State borders.
  • State governments, which will administer it through their own agency, will have to purchase care from a variety of players, including in the private sector, at predetermined rates. Reaching a consensus on treatment costs through a transparent consultative process is vital for a smooth and steady rollout.
  • A large-scale Information Technology network for cashless treatment should be set up and validated. State governments need to  upgrade the health administrative systems. The NHPM has a problem with the distribution of hospitals, the capacity of human resources, and the finances available for cost-sharing.

Conclusion:-

  • Good health is part of ‘social contract’ between the Government and the people and essential for sustaining economic growth of the country. Seventy years of independence is an opportune time to revisit priorities and place health higher on policy and development agenda.

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

3) The National Sex offenders list would enable India to tackle the problem of women safety in a much more effective way. Analyze.(250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question

India on Thursday joined eight other countries that maintain a registry of sex offenders. The article explains what the list is, how the list is likely to help, the issues that need to be paid attention to. Since crimes against women are such a huge issue in India, the preparation of the national sex offenders list and it’s likely impact needs to be examined in detail.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to answer the following points

  • What is a national sex offenders list
  • Comparison vis a vis other countries
  • The advantages that will accrue out of having a list of this kind
  • The challenges that needs to be kept in mind
  • Way forward

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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that India recently joined a list of  eight other countries that maintain a national sex offenders list.

Body

  • Explain what a national sex offenders list and the features of that list
  • Compare India’s list with that of other countries – In the United States, the sex offender registry is available to the public, whereas in India, and countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and Trinidad & Tobago, the registry is available only to law enforcement agencies.
  • Discuss how having such a list would be beneficial for India – The opening of the registry is timely because crimes such as rape, voyeurism, stalking and aggravated sexual assault are on the rise. The latest National Crime Records Bureau data shows there has been a 12% rise in rapes between 2015 and 2016, and that the majority of offenders are known to the victim. In a situation like this, the sex offenders’ list can definitely help the investigation and monitoring process as well as work as a deterrent.
  • Examine the challenges that lie ahead – classification of offenders, challenges with respect to privacy etc

Conclusion – Give your view on how effective the list will be in tackling crimes against women.

Background:-

  • India recently joined eight other countries that maintain a registry of sex offenders.
  • National sex offenders list :-
    • The registry, which will be maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), will include names, address, photographs and fingerprints details of convicted sexual offenders.
    • In India the registry is available only to law enforcement agencies. The Indian registry is expected to list 4.4 lakh cases but the state police have been asked to update data from 2005 onwards. 
    • The database will have details of offenders convicted under charges of rape, gang rape, POCSO and harassing women.
    • Highlights 
      • States like Kerala and Haryana set up their own sex offenders’ registry, accessible to the public. 
      • The sex offenders registry will store the data of those convicts classified as “low danger” to society for 15 years, and “moderate danger” to society for 25 years. 
      • Habitual offenders, violent criminals, those convicted in gangrape and custodial rape cases will figure permanently in the registry.

This list will tackle the problem of women safety:-

  • Timely intervention:-
    • Opening of the registry is timely because crimes such as rape, voyeurism, stalking and aggravated sexual assault are on the rise.
  • The latest National Crime Records Bureau data shows there has been a 12% rise in rapes between 2015 and 2016, and that the majority of offenders are known to the victim. In a situation like this, the sex offenders’ list can definitely help the investigation and monitoring process as well
  • It acts as a one-stop place to get their prior records. 
    • Sex offenders’ registry can be used to conduct background checks and police verification of prospective employees, tenants and so on
  • It can help monitor the movement of sexual offenders to an extent. 
  • It will help in enabling justice and monitoring an offender’s future behaviour
  • It will encourage more victims to come out and identify criminals.
  • The existence of such a registry will act as a deterrent to offenders
  • Sex offender registration laws and public access to these records create a sense of security to parents and residents.

Concerns:-

  • The process of categorising offenders is very ambiguous.
  • Affects individual privacy:-
    • While in a digital age it is reasonable to expect the use of technology in crime detection and investigation, despite a promise to not to compromise the privacy of any individual, there will be legitimate concerns about the misuse of data.
  • Tarnishing image:-
    • There is a possibility that this registry may tarnish a person’s life forever even if he is reformed after serving his legal sentence.
  • Updation:-
    • Since the criminals move on and commit crimes in a new areas, keeping the registry updated is a challenge.
  • Organisations such as the Human Right Watch claim that it negates the concept of rehabilitation and perpetuates social stigma. 
    • It is argued that public stigmatisation imposes excessive restrictions on housing choices, the freedom of movement and social life, which disincentivises offenders who wish to reform and thereby increase repeat offences.
    • As a consequence of being on the register, former convicts often find it very difficult to gain meaningful employment and have very limited options in finding housing
    • Their status as former sex offenders has the effect of stigmatising them for life, rendering reformation and a dignified life after prison impossible.
  • International experiences:-
    • They have failed in making any significant difference in sex crimes. Sometimes they create more harm than good.
    • Even in the U.S., where stringent registration laws with public access have been around for over 30 years, several independent studies arrive at the same conclusion: that these registers are simply not reducing sex crimes.
  • In the background of weak investigative and institutional machinery and overwhelming evidence showing that these sex offenders registries simply don’t work.

Way forward:-

  • While the sex offenders list could help in enabling justice and monitoring an offender’s behaviour, the State must ensure that there is no overreach and misuse of the list.
  • Centre must make the registry of convicted sexual offenders public. 
  • Since 97% crime against women is caused by known people, the registry will allow women to decide whom to stay away from. 
  • For any real change, proper implementation of laws and policies for the protection of women is needed.

General Studies – 3


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

4) The Indian government has set an aggressive target of increasing the manufacturing share to 25% of GDP by 2025. What are the strategies that will help India achieve this goal? Discuss.(250 words)

Economictimes

Why this question

India has launched various initiatives – Make in India, improving ease of doing business etc to expand and  improve its manufacturing sector. However, the policies have largely not brought forth the required results. It is therefore essential to discuss a strategy that could work for India.

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 as to what strategy should India adopt in order to increasing the manufacturing share to 25% of GDP by 2025.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about India’s manufacturing sector- e.g contribution to GDP, and mention its importance as employment and revenue generator.

Body-

Discuss in points/ paras the strategy needed to reach the goal of increasing the manufacturing share to 25% of GDP by 2025. E.g India is expected to jump six ranks to No. 5 in the 2020 Predicted Manufacturing Competitiveness. Interestingly, India’s manufacturing labour cost in 2015 stood at $1.72/hour compared to $37.96/hour for US; The cost of production can come down heavily with the help of 3D printing and automated real-time processes in manufacturing. India should  give incentives, tax credits and grants for investing in this technology; to move electronics manufacturing from semi knocked down (SKD) to completely knocked down (CKD) kits. This would mean more components getting imported than semi-assembled parts and more jobs; The scale of manufacturing in India needs to be increased, but that cannot happen by catering to the domestic market alone. Companies need to be able to tap global markets, for which India needs a strong policy that provides incentives for export; improving ease of doing business etc.

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

Background:-

  • Manufacturing has emerged as one of the high growth sectors in India. According to a study by Deloitte, India is expected to jump six ranks to No. 5 in the 2020 Predicted Manufacturing Competitiveness. 
  • India has a number of factors in its favour, including a huge and growing market, a large workforce with diverse skills, demographic dividend, English-speaking scientists and engineers, research and development centres of over 1,000 top global multinationals, the world’s third-largest technology start-up base and a government focus on making the nation an easy place to do business.

Measures taken:-

  • Since the launch of “Make in India” in 2014, much progress has been achieved in pursuing the country’s manufacturing agenda and global competitiveness.
  • Globally, India is the sixth-largest manufacturing nation and the biggest recipient of foreign direct investments (FDIs), with inflows touching $60 billion in 2016-17, the highest-ever annual inflow into the country.
  • India has also improved its rank on the Global Competitiveness Index and Global Innovation Index.

Strategies that will help are :-

  • The government can replicate best practices from developed countries to improve India’s ranking on competitiveness.
  • Incentives for export of electronic goods will also help.
  • The government’s phased manufacturing programme is trying to move electronics manufacturing from semiknocked down (SKD) to completely knocked down (CKD) kits. This would mean more components getting imported than semi-assembled parts and more jobs. 
  • Companies need to be able to tap global markets, for which India needs a strong policy that provides incentives for export of electronics goods 
  • The other areas where the government could focus on is enforcing contracts. India ranks still ranks 164 amongst 190 countries on enforcing contracts, according to the World Bank 
  • With the right ecosystem, India could gain a significant share of embedded software services, data management, supply chain restructuring, etc.
  • Beyond physical infrastructure, large-scale investments in requisite digital ecosystem are needed.
  • Highly competitive micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can be central to the growth of manufacturing with small-scale localized smart manufacturing becoming feasible
  • India’s challenges include issues relating to infrastructure -physical and digital, skill gaps, innovation ecosystem, public-private partnership, support for MSMEs, data security and privacy, standards-based interoperability and a conducive regulatory framework. Collaborative efforts by central and state governments, industry, academia, research and financing institutions are the need of the hour to ensure leveraging of the digital manufacturing revolution and reaping benefits of enhanced competitiveness.

With impetus on developing industrial corridors and smart cities, the government aims to ensure holistic development of the nation. The corridors would further assist in integrating, monitoring and developing a conducive environment for the industrial development and will promote advance practices in manufacturing.


Topic- Conservation, environmental degradation

5) The NGT off late has been slackening in its responsibility of safeguarding the environment. Critically Examine in light of some of the recent decisions of NGT. (250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question

NGT has played a pivotal role in safeguarding against environmental degradation in India. The article highlights the issue of NGT’s less than desirable performance in recent times when it has bend under external pressures. The question expects us to do a critical analysis of the performance of NGT.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to answer the following points in our answer

  • Brief overview of the role of NGT
  • Explain the reasons why NGT’s role is under the scanner in light of some of the recent decisions that it made
  • Bring out the good and bad of NGT’s performance over the years
  • Give your view on role of NGT and what course correction is required

Directive word

Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain briefly the role of NGT in safeguarding the interest of environment and mention that NGT has been slackening in that role as seen through some of its recent decisions.

Body

  • Discuss the approach of NGT in dealing with the cases off late that has led to criticism- evolved four approaches to deal with litigations. First, dispose of existing cases. Second, form committees, comprising mostly people who were responsible for the problem, and outsource even adjudicatory functions. Third, refuse to entertain matters on the ground that the government has approved the project or other hyper-technical grounds. And finally, rehear cases which were earlier reserved for judgment.
  • Discuss the wider debate of environmental protection vs development and NGT has been siding with the latter off late
  • Discuss the other criticisms of NGT’s functioning.
  • Also, bring out how NGT has played a pivotal role in protecting the environment through speedy disposal, deterrence etc

Conclusion – Give your view on the role of NGT and discuss way forward.

 

Background :-

  • NGT has played a pivotal role in making sure environmental laws are taken seriously. India is one of only a few countries to have a specialized environmental court system. 

Recent decisions by NGT which favour environment are :-

  • National Green Tribunal (NGT) delivered a landmark judgement on the rejuvenation of River Ganga. The judgement, provides for the first time, a comprehensive roadmap on dealing with river pollution at both the macro and micro level.
    • Recently National Green Tribunal pulled up the government for its tardy job and said that the stretches between Haridwar and Unnao were unfit for drinking and bathing and that authorities should display health warnings. 
  • In 2016 NGT ordered an environmental audit of all government buildings in Delhi, including offices and hospitals, to control pollution
    • The country has vague certification programmes for green buildings.
  • The advantage of such a system is that it permits direct access to environmental justice 
  • NGT allows for more relevant and greater expertise, sets up alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and offers a path for the evolution of environmental jurisprudence. 
  • The track record of the still young NGT suggests that effort can produce results 
    Today, there is a fear among industry and environment regulators that some action would be taken if a case is heard by NGT. 
  • It provided a new dimension to environment adjudication by curtailing delays and imparting objectivity. 
  • It tries to achieve the objective of Article 21, 47 and 51A (g) of the Constitution of India by means of fair, fast and satisfactory judicial procedure. 
  • Reduce the pressure and burden on the High Courts and Supreme Court
  • The NGT has also passed various prohibitory orders against sand mining in riverbeds that is being done without environmental clearance. 
  • It has imposed a no-construction zone of 75 metres around lakes and rajakaluves (storm water drains) in Bengaluru. 
  • Cancellation of coal block clearance in Hasdee-Arand forests overriding central government’s decision 

Criticism:-

  • Recentlynew chairperson of the NGT commented that around 50% of the petitions before the tribunal were filed by blackmailers.
  • Recently, the decision of the chairperson of NGT to rehear 18 cases, which were reserved for judgment, has raised concerns about both propriety as well as legality.
  • NGT seems to have evolved four approaches to deal with litigations.
    • Dispose of existing cases.
    • Form committees, comprising mostly people who were responsible for the problem, and outsource even adjudicatory functions.
    • Refuse to entertain matters on the ground that the government has approved the project or other hyper-technical grounds.
    • Rehear cases which were earlier reserved for judgment.
  • The cause for concern is the general reluctance of the tribunal to hear matters on merit.
    • For instance the appeal filed against the second airport in Mopa, Goa, where the locals opposed the project on grounds of social and environmental impact was disposed of with directions to construct additional rainwater harvesting structures.
    • Another appeal against a bio-ethanol plant in the No Development Zone of Kaziranga National Park, Assam, was dismissed on the ground that the appellants were a few days late
  • Powers being reduced:-
    • Under the Finance Act, 2017, the qualifications and the terms of service, is left to the executive, that is, the government to decide. 
  • In the recent event on Yamuna floodplains, NGT instead of taking stringent action just imposed a fine for the event and could do little to prevent the spoiling of this fragile ecosystem. 
  • Access to justice is denied by two means in NGT:
    • Firstly, by the provision of limitation period and
    • secondly, by virtue of NGT being located in only big cities spread across India.
  • NGT has been accused of overstepping its jurisdiction and taking actions for which it has not been empowered under the NGT Act. 
  • NGT’S critics have also questioned the “lack of environmental finesse” of its expert members. Usually, the expert members are experts of one particular field and not of environment as a whole
    • For instance, an expert member who has been working on forests for many years would not be able to comprehend the issues arising out of industrial pollution. 
  • Backlog of cases in NGT as another reason for the institution’s failure to address environmental matters. 

Need for further Reforms 

  • We must strengthen it by giving it more powers and by investing in strengthening its infrastructure 
  • Judicial review is an important power that must be given to NGT 
  • We should include other environment-related laws within NGT’S ambit. 
  • NGT also needs to put certain systems in place for transparent decision-making. 
  • NGT needs to establish principles and criteria to estimate fines, damages and compensation. 
  • It should also identify institutions and experts who can help it to scientifically estimate environmental damages/compensation/fines on a case-to-case basis. 
  • NGT must put internal checks and balances for efficient and transparent delivery of justice. 
  • Suomotu jurisdiction has to be an integral feature of NGT for better and effective functioning. 
  • There is a need for the central and state governments to work in collaboration with the NGT for an effective outcome.

 


General Studies – 4


TopicHuman Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6) What do you think are the qualities which made Nelson Mandela a great leader. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

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 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 those qualities of Nelson Mandela which we think made him a great leader.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about Nelson Mandela and mention some of his famous quote. E.g “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead”.

Body-

Discuss those qualities of Nelson Mandela that made him a great leader. E.g

  • Embracing Sacrifice – Those who have suffered are often those who truly make an impactful difference in the hearts and minds of men. Nelson Mandela endured danger and time in prison in order to achieve freedom for his country. Beyond that, he has dedicated his life to speaking about the importance of equal.
  • Passion and perseverance- Opposed to the policies of his country’s white minority government, Madiba led a nonviolent action against apartheid in South Africa. It was a choice that landed him in prison for 27 years but also made him South Africa’s first ever black president.
  • Forgiveness- he pursued peace and friendship even with his enemies.

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

 

Answer:-

Nelson Mandela was a man who cherished the ideal of a free society all his life. During his lifetime, Mandela dedicated himself to the freedom struggle of the African people, and in doing so, fought against White and Black domination in South Africa. But more than anything else, he fought for democracy as a plural society in which all races, languages and opinions could live together in harmony, and with equal opportunity. South Africa’s transition to democracy, under the leadership of Mandela, was a great work of political creativity and moral wisdom. 

As an activist, as a prisoner or as a leader in government, he remained intensely conscious of his moral and political responsibilities as a man in search for excellence.

Qualities which made him a great leader and influenced many are :-

  • Individually:-
  • He extended and expanded human capacity to rethink politics in terms of an ethics of empathy, a politics of forgiveness, and a revolution of values.
  • Mandela had very clear objectives in that he was committed to ending apartheid and a terribly unjust society. He knew that the road would be paved with enormous difficulties. But he never gave up.
  • Whether in politics or in relationships, compromising and negotiating are essential tools. According to him “You mustn’t compromise your principles, but you mustn’t humiliate the opposition. No one is more dangerous than one who is humiliated.” 
  • Reconciliation and negotiation were far more effective and powerful weapons and that should never be forgotten
  • Although lives are marked by illness, tragedy, misfortune and pain, people should never get discouraged. Those negative experiences can teach more than anything else. And they can teach that you have to remain faithful to your values and ethics. Mandela wanted freedom from apartheid, and while he changed strategy, he never changed that one principle.
  • India and the world:-
    • His subtle style of leadership has many lessons in it for today’s leaders. His idea of leadership was as much about delivering results as it was about uplifting those who worked and strove with him.
    • His experience of discrimination ensured that he never allowed immediate situations to overshadow the true purpose of his activity, to create a world where there is space for everyone to live a life of dignity.
    • Today, as the world battles climate change, religious bigotry and rising intolerance, world leaders have much to learn from this South African hero. His fundamental message was that unless we learn to put aside our differences and work together, we will never create a better world.
    • It is only through forgiveness and a genuine desire to move ahead that enemies can turn into friends. Whether it is India and Pakistan, Israel and Palestine, or many other political and regional hotspots around the planet, the leaders of these nations would do their people a world of good if they applied Mandela’s words of wisdom to their respective situations.