SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 SEPTEMBER 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 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 – “Mechanism of monsoon”

1) Explain the factors that influence the formation, onset and intensity of south west monsoons?(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to list and explain the factors that are responsible for

  • Formation of south west monsoons
  • Onset of south west monsoons
  • Intensity of south west monsoons

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Give a brief explanation of south west monsoon in India.

Body – List and explain the factors that influence the formation, onset and intensity of south west monsoons.

Formation

  • Intense heating of Tibetan plateau during summer months
  • Permanent high pressure cell in the South Indian Ocean (east to north-east of Madagascar in summer)

Onset

  • Above points +
  • Subtropical Jet Stream (STJ)
  • Tropical Easterly Jet (African Easterly Jet)
  • Inter Tropical Convergence Zone

Intensity

  • Strengths of Low pressure over Tibet and high pressure over southern Indian Ocean.
  • Somali Jet (Findlater Jet)
  • Somali Current (Findlater Current)
  • Indian Ocean branch of Walker Cell
  • Indian Ocean Dipole.

Background :-

  • Monsoons are seasonal windswhich reverse their direction with the change of season. The monsoon is a double system of seasonal winds. They flow from sea to land during the summer and from land to sea during winter.
  • Monsoons are peculiar to Indian Subcontinent, South East Asia, parts of Central Western Africa etc.
  • Indian Monsoons are Convection cellson a very large scale. They are periodic or secondary winds which seasonal reversal in wind direction.

Factors that influence formation of South west monsoon :-

  • Intense heating of Tibetan plateau during summer months:-
    • Due to its protruded height Tibet receives 2-3°C more insolation than the neighboring areas.
    • The plateau affects the atmosphere in two ways: (a) as a mechanical barrier, and (b) as a high- level heat sources.
    • At the beginning of June the subtropical jet stream is completely withdrawn from India and occupies a position along 40° N (to the north of Tibetan Plateau).
    • The plateau accentuates the northward displacement of the jet stream. Hence the burst of monsoon in June is prompted by the Himalayas and not by the thermally induced low pressure cell over Tibet. (Tibetan plateau is responsible for south-west monsoons. But it is the STJ that facilitates sudden outburst of monsoons with its sudden northward migration)
    • In the middle of October the plateau proves to be the most important factor in causing the advance of the jet south of the Himalayas or bifurcating it into two parts.
    • The winter Tibetan Plateau cools rapidly and produces a high pressure cell. (Cyclonic condition over Tibet ceases and an anticyclonic condition is established). The high pressure cell over Tibet strengthens N-E monsoons.
    • Tibet gets heated in summer and is 2°C to 3°C warmer than the air over the adjoining regions.
    • Because the Tibet Plateau is a source of heat for the atmosphere, it generates an area of rising air (convergence)(intense low pressure cell).
    • During its ascent the air spreads outwards in upper troposphere (divergence) and gradually sinks (subsidence) over the equatorial part of the Indian Ocean.
    • It finally approaches the west coast of India as a return current from a south-westerly direction and is termed as equatorial westerlies.
    • It picks up moisture from the Indian Ocean and causes rainfall in India and adjoining countries.
  • Permanent high pressure cell in the South Indian Ocean (east to north-east of Madagascar in summer).

Factors responsible for north-east monsoon formation :-

  • Formation and strengthening of high pressure cells over Tibetan plateau and Siberian Plateau in winter.
  • Westward migration and subsequent weakening of high pressure cell in the Southern Indian Ocean.
  • Migration of ITCZ to the south of India.

Factors that influence the onset of south-west monsoons

  • Subtropical Jet Stream (STJ) and Inter Tropical Convergence Zone:-
    • As the summer time approaches, there is increased solar heating of the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan Plateau.
    • In the peak summer months (25th of May – 10th of Jun), with the apparent northward movement of the sun, the southern branch of the SJT, which flows to the south of the Himalayas, shifts to the north of the Himalayas.
    • When the sun’s position is about to reach the Tropic of Cancer (June), the SJT shifts to the north of the Tibetan Plateau (1st of Jun – 20th of June). The ITCZ is close to its peak position over the Tibetan Plateau.
    • The altitude of the mountains initially disrupts the jet but once it has cleared the summits it is able to reform over central Asia.
    • Its movement towards the north is one of the main features associated with the onset of the monsoon over India.
    • With the northward shift of SJT, an Easterly Jet is formed over the Indian plains. It generally forms in the first week of June and lasts till late October.
    • It can be traced in the upper troposphere right up to the west coast of Africa.
    • The northward shift of SJT and ICTZ moves the subtropical high pressure belt to the north of the Tibetan Plateau and the Easterly Jet creates a low pressure region in the Indian plains (Easterly Jet creates anticyclonic conditions in upper troposphere).
    • This low pressure in the northern plains coupled with the intense low of the Tibetan Plateau leads to the sudden onset of south-west monsoons (1st of Jun – 20th of June).
    • The monsoon cell is situated between the Indian Ocean (North of Madagascar)(High Pressure Cell) and Tibetan plateau (Low Pressure Cell).
    • In summer the sub-tropical easterly jet fluctuates between the plains region of India and peninsular India varying the intensity of rainfall from location to location.
    • During March to May, the building up of this cell is blocked by the STJ which tends to blow to the south of the Himalayas (Northwest India and Plains region are occupied by Subtropical High Pressure Belt. This high pressure belt undermines the influence of low pressure cell over Tibet).
    • As long as the STJ is in this position the development of summer monsoons is inhibited (the high pressure belt stays over north India).
    • With the STJ out of the way (high pressure belt migrates to the north of Tibet) the sub continental monsoon cell develops (Somali Jet) very quickly indeed, often in a matter of a few days.
    • Warmth and moisture are fed into the cell by a lower level tropical jet stream which brings with it air masses laden with moisture from the Indian Ocean.
    • The end of the monsoon season is brought about when the atmosphere over the Tibetan Plateau begins to cool (August – October), this enables the STJ to transition back across the Himalayas.
    • With the southward shift of ITCZ, subtropical high pressure belt returns back to the Indian plains and the rainfall ceases.
    • This leads to the formation of a anticyclonic winter monsoon cell typified by sinking air masses over India and relatively moisture free winds that blow seaward.
    • This gives rise to relatively settled and dry weather over India during the winter months.
  • Tropical Easterly Jet (African Easterly Jet):-
    • TEJ comes into existence quickly after the STJ has shifted to the north of the Himalayas (Early June).
    • TEJ flows from east to west over peninsular India at 6 – 9 km and over the Northern African region.
    • The formation of TEJ results in the reversal of upper air circulation patterns [High pressure switches to low pressure]and leads to the quick onset of monsoons.
    • Recent observations have revealed that the intensity and duration of heating of Tibetan Plateau has a direct bearing on the amount of rainfall in India by the monsoons.
    • When the summer temperature of air over Tibet remains high for a sufficiently long time, it helps in strengthening the easterly jet and results in heavy rainfall in India.
    • The easterly jet does not come into existence if the snow over the Tibet Plateau does not melt. This hampers the occurrence of rainfall in India.
    • Therefore, any year of thick and widespread snow over Tibet will be followed by a year of weak monsoon and less rainfall.

Factors that influence the intensity of south-west monsoons

  • Strengths of Low pressure over Tibet and high pressure over southern Indian Ocean
  • Somali Jet (Findlater Jet):-
    • Polar and subtropical jet streams are the permanent jet streams which greatly influence the weather of temperate regions.
    • Temporary jet streams are narrow winds with speeds more than 94 kph in the upper, middle and sometimes in lower troposphere. They are few. Important ones are Somali Jet and The African Easterly jet or Tropical Easterly Jet.
    • These two jet streams play an important role in the formation and progression of Indian Monsoons.
    • The progress of the southwest monsoon towards India is greatly aided by the onset of Somali jet that transits Kenya, Somalia and Sahel.
    • It was observed to flow from Mauritius and the northern part of the island of Madagascar before reaching the coast of Kenya at about 3º S.
    • It strengthens permanent high near Madagascar and also helps to drive S-W monsoons towards India at a greater pace and intensity.
    • The importance of the low level jet arises from the fact that its path around 9º N coincides with a zone of coastal upwelling.
    • As the strong winds drive away the surface coastal waters towards the east, extremely cold water from the depths of the sea rise upwards to preserve the continuity of mass.
    • The peculiar feature of Somali Current is reversal in direction with the onset of the summer monsoon.
    • In winter, this current is from north to the south running southwards from the coast of Arabia to the east African coastline; but with the advent of the summer monsoon it reverses its direction and flows from the south to the north.
  • Somali Current (Findlater Current).
  • Indian Ocean branch of Walker Cell.
  • Indian Ocean Dipole:-
    • Indian ocean Dipole is a SST anomaly (Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly – different from normal) that occurs occasionally in Northern or Equatorial Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
    • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is defined by the difference in sea surface temperature between two areas (or poles, hence a dipole) – a western pole in the Arabian Sea (western Indian Ocean) and an eastern pole in the eastern Indian Ocean south of Indonesia.
    • IOD develops in the equatorial region of Indian Ocean from April to May peaking in October.
    • With a positive IOD winds over the Indian Ocean blow from east to west (from Bay of Bengal towards Arabian Sea). This results in the Arabian Sea (western Indian Ocean near African Coast) being much warmer and eastern Indian Ocean around Indonesia becoming colder and dry.
    • In the negative dipole year, reverse happens making Indonesia much warmer and rainier.
    • Positive IOD is good for Indian Monsoons as more evaporation occurs in warm water.

General Studies – 2


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

2) Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana is the government’s initiative to provide healthcare access to the economically-backward and weaker sections of the society, and represents a quantum leap towards India achieving universal healthcare. Explain the initiative and examine issues that are critical for the scheme’s success?(250 words)

Financial express

The hindu

Why this question

This article highlights the significance of this initiative for promoting healthcare in the country and the issues that need to be taken care of to ensure that the scheme is a success. This scheme is very important launched with an objective to improve the status of healthcare in the country and needs to be prepared in detail.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the details of PMJAY, examine how is it different from the earlier insurance coverage schemes launched by the government. In the latter part, we need to bring out the major challenges that might prove to be an impediment in success of the scheme and how they can be addressed.

Directive word

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 .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the status of healthcare in the country with a mention of insurance coverage, OoPE etc.

Body – Explain details about PMJAY. The scheme aims to provide annual health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to 10.74 crore beneficiary families i.e. over 50 crore beneficiaries across India. It is touted as world’s largest healthcare scheme. Highlight how the scheme tries to achieve these targets – discuss about national health agency, finances, mention that the scheme is entitlement based etc.

Highlight the major challenges that the scheme might face – of finances, empanelled hospitals, funding and package rates etc.

Conclusion – Discuss how the scheme can be implemented to ensure that such challenges do not pose a problem. By bringing out health deprivation, mention how crucial the success of the scheme is.

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.

Pradhan mantri Jan aarogya yojana :-

  • The plan is to integrate and merge PMJAY with existing schemes such as Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and state-level health insurance schemes.
  • There is a heavy focus on rural areas with 8.3 crore families participating, and remaining 2.33 crore families are urban. Some states that were providing insurance through RSBY or own schemes had wider coverage than provisioned in PMJAY. Combining these with PMJAY could widen the total insurance coverage to reach around 60-65% of the population.
  • RSBY and other state insurance schemes are all enrolment-based schemes, whereas PMJAY is an entitlement scheme. Hence, if you fall under the beneficiary list, then you are automatically covered under PMJAY.
  • The PMJAY implementation strategy proposes two models: trust model and insurance-based model. Currently, majority of states have opted for the trust model for a variety of reasons, like package rates, existing contracts, etc.
  • Officials from various authorities will jointly form the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission Governing Board (AB-NHPMGB), which will be responsible for governance.
  • The National Health Agency (NHA) has been formed to provide vision and stewardship for design, roll-out, implementation and management.
  • The scheme aims to provide annual health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to 10.74 crore beneficiary families i.e. over 50 crore beneficiaries across India. It is touted as world’s largest healthcare scheme.

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.
  • With more private and NABH-accredited hospitals getting empanelled, the quality of care provided to the beneficiaries will improve going forward, paving the way for standardisation of care across the country

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) Critically analyze how far India’s registry of sex offenders will be helpful in tackling crimes of sexual nature in the country?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Considering the frequency and magnitude of crimes of sexual nature in the country, registry of sex offenders is being introduced to tackle the problem. The article discusses the issue of creation of sexual offenders registry and the problems therein. Preparing pros and cons for this list would help us prepare this topic for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what registry of sexual offenders is, bring out both sides of the debate as to why or why not the list would be effective in tackling crimes, your view on effective the registry would be and give the way forward.

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. 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 what is this registry.

Body – Bring out pros and cons of having a registry of this nature. In pros, one can mention data related to crimes of sexual nature, the consistently poor ranking of India when it comes to countries which are safe for women etc. Highlight the issues as discussed in the article mentioned above. Discuss some of the alternate solutions that are there for the same purpose – such as effective implementation of justice Verma committee report, bringing in police reforms etc.

Conclusion – Give your view on how effective creation of such a registry would be for tackling crimes and discuss the way forward.

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 and sexual crimes :-

  • 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. On what basis sexual offenders will be classified as presenting low danger or moderate danger, or the rationale for storing their information for such long period is unclear.
  • There is no legal basis for creating such a database. Indeed, it seems to have been set up through executive action.
  • 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.
    • Being listed in such a registry will likely cause social and economic harm to the convicts, who are often already poor and marginalised as they will have difficulty finding jobs or face harassment from police.
  • 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.
    • The European Court of Human Rightsand the European Court of Justice have both ruled that storing sensitive personal data for long periods or permanently for future prevention of crime is illegal.
  • In the background of weak investigative and institutional machinery and overwhelming evidence showing that these sex offenders registries simply don’t work.
  • Given the inexorable delays plaguing India’s criminal justice system and that nearly 68% of the country’s prison population comprises undertrials, storing sensitive information of arrested and chargesheeted offenders flies in the face of presumption of innocence and ignores the reality of the judicial system.

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.
  • The solution lies in improving investigation and trial processes, avoiding undue delays, and providing support to the victims to come forward and testify in court, without further harassment.

Topic– India and its bilateral relations.

4) India’s relations with Maldives has got a lifeline as a result of the recent elections in Maldives. Examine.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article discusses the political developments in Maldives over the course of last year and the implications that the results have for India. India’s relations with Maldives had taken a dip due to China factor and the decision of the previous Government under President Yameen. This question would help you prepare the evolution of India’s relationship with Maldives over the course of past year and the future prospects of the relationship.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the following

  • Reasons why India’s relationship with Maldives took a dip
  • The current election in Maldives which has provided a sliver of opportunity for India to reset it’s ties with Maldives
  • The implications of the recent election results for India
  • Way forward for India Maldives relationship

Directive word

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 .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – We need to give an overview of India Maldives relationship by bringing out the macro picture. Also mention that the recent election results have led to hopes of a reset.

Body

  • mention in brief the reason why India Maldives relationship has taken a hit off late – explain president Yameen’s decision to side with China by shiting from an India first policy to China first policy,  his unilateral action undermining judiciary and democracy in Maldives etc
  • Highlight the hit that Maldives relationship with India took as a result of these actions.
  • Discuss the implications of the recent Victoria of opposition in elections in Maldives. Here we need to highlight the strategic significance of Maldives, how important it is as a country for India to remain in control of Indian Ocean region, also that China has been steadily putting into action its strategy of boxing India in south Asia, and India needs good relations with its neighbours

Conclusion – Give your view on how significant the recent election would be for the future of India Maldives relationship and discuss how India should go ahead on building this relationship.

Background:-

  • Relations between India and the Maldives have been strong for decades. India played a major role in building the Maldives economy and military. It was India’s support that kept the authoritarian Gayoom in power for three decades. However, bilateral ties have been fraying since Nasheed’s exit from power in 2012.

Reasons why India Maldives relations were strained in recent years :-

  • Yameen’s authoritarian governance has irked India:-
    • His unilateral action undermining judiciary and democracy in Maldives
    • India was often seen on the side of the dictator rather than on the side of the democratic forces.
    • President Yameen steadily shifted the ‘India First’ policy to ‘China First’. In December 2017, Yameen during his visit to Beijing, signed the Free Trade Agreement with China and declared his intent to join the Belt Road Initiative.
    • Yameen’s presidency saw the Maldives getting close with Islamist radicalism and the democratic underpinnings of the nation came under assault.
    • Yameen also fostered closer ties with China and Saudi Arabia, ignoring India and even pulling the Maldives out of the Commonwealth in 2016.
    • Proclaimed Emergency fearing Impeachment
  • Embrace with China:-
    • China’s growing presence in the Maldives is a serious concern to India given the latter’s geographic proximity to the Indian coastline.
    • In August 2017, three Chinese naval vessels docked at the Maldives capital, Male, setting off alarm bells in Delhi.
    • China invested heavily in infrastructure projects in the country:-
    • Significant among them was a massive loan of USD 830 million to upgrade the Hulhulé Island airport and link it with the Capital Malé through a 1.3 mile long sea-bridge at a cost of USD 400 million.
    • Some of the strategic islands in the Northern atoll of the country, closest to India’s territorial waters were handed over to the Chinese government, to build, repair and refuel stations to their naval ships.
  • Other reasons:-
    • Maldives cancelled work permits of many Indians. 
    • Maldives asked India to take back one of the two Dhruv helicopters, which India had gifted earlier.
    • Experts are concerned that Maldives is falling into a debt trap by China, and thus may affect stability and security of Indian Ocean region.

Implications of recent elections:-

  • Unexpected victory of Ibrahim Solih should come as a great relief and as a boost to India’s efforts to strengthen its partnerships in the neighbourhood.
  • Marks not only the triumph of democratic forces in the Maldives, but also reflects the firm commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law.
  • In keeping with ‘Neighborhood First’ Policy, India looks forward to working closely with the Maldives in further deepening our partnership.
  • India can now renew its ties with the new government and work with Maldives for ensuring stability and security of Indian ocean region(IOR).
  • India can renew talks over the fate of Indian Coast Guard and Air Force personnel stationed in the Maldives, whose visas have been pending since June 2018.
  • With new regime at Centre, India would hope that democratic institutions are upheld, political prisoners are released and bilateral relations are improved.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic–   Disaster management

5) Disaster management is more than just reactive responses to crises, it is a complete process that needs a fresh look in light of frequent natural calamities. Examine.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The alacrity with which the world is faced with so many natural disasters means that disaster management is to be focussed upon. The lessons learnt from Kerala etc needs to be understood in detail and incorporated in our disaster management policy response.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the what a holistic process of disaster response incorporates, from preparation to response to rehabilitation and rebuilding. All these discussions have to be done in the context of the lessons learnt from the recent disasters that have hit India and other parts of the world.

Directive word

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 .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that the magnitude and intensity of natural disasters has increased across the world.

Body

  • Explain the concept of Total Disaster Risk Management (TDRM) Approach part of Hyogo framework. This approach emphasises that the natural disasters are not natural, but rather man-made disasters are the consequences of natural hazards and human actions or inactions. Thus, the human societies have the capacity to recognize the risks and factors that could lead or cause disasters, as well as the appropriate interventions to control or manage them. In other words, disasters can be prevented or, at least, their destructiveness minimized.
  • Highlight the lessons that can be learnt from disasters such as the floods in Kerala etc and how can they be incorporated in out disaster management strategy for better results.

Conclusion – Emphasize on the losses both economic and in terms of lives etc that have to be mitigated for which a more effective disaster response and preparation strategy is required.

Background:-

  • Global economic losses from natural disasters rose from an annual averageof about US $50 billion in the 1980s to approximately $200 billion each year in the 2000s. 

India has a reactive approach :-

  • Weather disasters are being affected by climate change that is caused by humans. The devastation is worsened by the collective failure of governments and businesses to invest in building resilience despite the evidence on runaway climate change.
  • Ignoring all the safety guidelines, dwellings, factories and infrastructure facilities have been constructed in areas that are potentially vulnerable to natural hazards like floods.
  • Following the Uttarakhand floods in 2013 and Kashmir floods in 2014, it was only after a lot of questions were raised and criticism directed at preparedness practices that flood forecast stations were set-up in these two states. The same should have been done for all the flood prone states, but it did not happen.
  • Disaster management plans exist on paper, but implementation remains a challenge.
    • Despite the emphasis on a paradigm shift to a preparedness approach by the government, most parts of the country continue to follow a relief-centric approach in disaster management, rather than a proactive prevention, mitigation and preparedness path.
  • Disaster maps and vulnerability profiles by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation of the Government of India identify winds and cyclones, earthquakes, and floods as disaster risks. It is unclear if the maps have been updated to include weather and climate extremes and the associated crop losses or loss of lives or health risks.

Need for more proactive approach :-

  • Reconstruction efforts must involve rebuilding in a better way. Climate proofing in Kerala calls for structures to be built with wind- and water-resistant materials.
  • People need to relocate out of harm’s way. During the 2015 floods, Chennai illustrated the price of unrestricted urban development.
  • Early warning is vital. Because of investments in these systems, Cyclone Phailin (2013) claimed less than 40 lives in Odisha. In Kerala, there was no timely forecast from national weather services. The State needs a reliable flood forecasting capability.
  • There needs to be tougher implementation of logging and mining regulations in fragile ecologies. Deforestation worsened the effects of Kerala’s floods and mudslides, as the report of the Western Ghats ecology expert panel 2011 had warned.
  • There is the climate conundrum where regions with heavy rainfall are also expecting a severe drought.
  • Non-structural measures for flood forecasting provide early warning in flood prone areas have proved to be successful for flood management. High-tech warning systems on the ground will not be useful until the authorities, key stakeholders and communities are trained to act upon the information obtained from these facilities.
  • Different stakeholders need to come together for mapping risks, vulnerabilities, and resources, engage in regular preparedness actions like drills and capacity building, develop and update emergency plans, check the availability of resources at the local level and act upon early warning intimations.
  • While the government works towards strengthening systems and mechanisms for preparedness and response, civil society has a major role to play, at the community level, for disaster preparedness.
  • There is a need for investing in disaster preparedness and mitigation across the country, irrespective of whether any state has been hit by a disaster or not. India needs to adopt a collaborative approach, where the roles of the government, corporations, academia, civil societies and communities are recognised, and all actors work hand-in-hand towards achieving disaster resilience.
  • Disaster recovery frameworks must be robust in terms of pre- and post-disaster initiatives requiring cross-sector collaborations between communities, local, state and central governments, private sectors, religious and social non-governmental organisations. 
  • An additional factor that must be added diligently to disaster recovery is the integration of the health sector into pre- and post-recovery strategies and decisions.
    • Any policies and strategies to enhance India’s pre- and post-disaster resilience must also consider natural and built environments and socioeconomic systems.
    • All implementations of these strategies must leverage the pre-disaster planning to drive rapid post-disaster return to healthy, resilient and sustainable communities.
    • A shared vision of healthier, more resilient and sustainable communities must also identify the knowledge, data and research needs for assessment of hazard anticipation, risk, vulnerability, and resilience.
  • Models, metrics and indicators for measuring progress towards resilience must drive an iterative learning process to better anticipate and manage disasters at short, intermediate, and long-terms to ensure resilient, healthy and sustainable communities with measurable reductions in vulnerability to disasters.
  • National disaster recovery framework needs to facilitate community engagement at all levels with proper information and training that is simple and accessible to all. Such a framework must leverage existing social networks and enhance the sense of community before, during and after disasters.
  • Disaster mitigation and adaptation initiatives with up-to-date information and built infrastructure must be designed to strengthen the nation’s as well each state’s and community’s ability to anticipate, deal with, resist and recover.
  • The national framework will require a well-defined process for declaring major disasters so that resource allocations can be expedient and fair.
  • A culture of resilience needs to be inculcated across all sectors so that the roles and responsibilities of governmental and non-governmental organisations and the public are clearly defined with codes, standards and guidelines explicitly established, risk-based insurance pricing in place along with a national resource of disaster-related data to constantly improve disaster recovery and enhance resilience.
  • Building codes and standards and zoning laws ought to consider natural disasters and climate impacts on built infrastructure as well as crops and natural environmental assets.

Topic – Part of static series under the heading – ‘National Income – GDP vs GVA’

6) Explain what is GDP and GVA and how are they useful in growth calculation?(250 words) 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what GDP and GVA are and how are they useful in calculation of growth of a country.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what GDP and GVA is. GVA is measure of total output and income in the economy. It provides the rupee value for the amount of goods and services produced in an economy after deducting the cost of inputs and raw materials that have gone into the production of those goods and services. It also gives sector-specific picture like what is the growth in an area, industry or sector of an economy. GDP is the economic output from the consumers’ side. It is the sum of private consumption, gross investment in the economy, government investment, government spending and net foreign trade

Body – Explain how GDP differs from GVA. While GVA gives a picture of the state of economic activity from the producers’ side or supply side, the GDP gives the picture from the consumers’ side or demand perspective. Both measures need not match because of the difference in treatment of net taxes.

Explain how they are useful for calculation of growth. A sector-wise breakdown provided by the GVA measure can better help the policymakers to decide which sectors need incentives/stimulus or vice versa. Some consider GVA as a better gauge of the economy because a sharp increase in the output, only due to higher tax collections which could be on account of better compliance or coverage, may distort the real output situation.Mention the new method of calculation of GDP introduced in 2015.

Background:-

  • After following gross domestic product(GDP) for many years, policy makers have now also started looking at gross value added (GVA) to analyse growth.
  • Earlier Economic growth in India was measured as change in GDP at Factor Costand the base year used for calculating the figures was 2004-05. From January, 2015, the MOPSI made two important changes in this:
    • First, the base year was changed from 2004-05 to 2011-12
    • The GDP at Factor cost was replaced by Gross Value Added (GVA) at basic prices
  • The above change was done as per Pronab Sen Committee recommendations.

What is gross value added?

  • It is a measure of total output and income in the economy.
  • It provides the rupee value for the amount of goods and services produced in an economy after deducting the cost of inputs and raw materials that have gone into the production of those goods and services.
  • It also gives sector-specific picture like what is the growth in an area, industry or sector of an economy.
  • How is it measured?
    • At the macro level, from national accounting perspective, it is the sum of a country’s GDP and net of subsidies and taxes in the economy. When measured from the production side, it is a balancing item of the national accounts.
  • Sector-wise breakdown provided by the GVA measure can better help the policymakers to decide which sectors need incentives/stimulus or vice versa.
  • Some consider GVA as a better gauge of the economy because a sharp increase in the output, only due to higher tax collections which could be on account of better compliance or coverage, may distort the real output situation.

What is GDP?

  • It gives the economic output from the consumers side. It is the sum of private consumption, gross investment in the economy, government investment, government spending and net foreign trade (difference between exports and imports).
  • While GVA gives a picture of the state of economic activity from the producers’ side or supply side, the GDP gives the picture from the consumers’ side or demand perspective.
  • GDP is a key measure when it comes to making cross-country analysis and comparing the incomes of different economies
  • GDP = ΣGVA at basic prices + product taxes – product subsidies or GDP = GVA + DITS where DITS is the difference between indirect taxes and subsidies.
Implications of using GVA instead of GDP for measuring economic growth:-
  • While GDP gives a picture of whole economy, GVA gives pictures at enterprises, government and households levels. In other words, GDP is GVA of all enterprises, government and households.
  • Gross Value Added (GVA) broadly reflects the supply or production side of the economy.
  • The new method was also recommended by the United Nations System of National Accounts in 2008 and has made India’s figures comparable to other countries.
  • The change let to higher GDP growth instantly but now, after two years, the realistic figures have started coming in.

Merits and limitations in measurement of economic growth are as follows:

  • Merits:-
    • GDP / GVA are considered to be important indicators to monitor economic growth trends and to a great extent help economic planners to understand economic welfare in quantitative terms.
    • They are useful as benchmarks for policy makers and as a component to measure overall human development.
    • GDP/GVA growth serves as one measure of development in both rich and poor countries.
    • Further, the data on per capita income help policy makers to design policy for removal of poverty and raising standard of people.
  • Limitations
    • Measuring economic growth in GDP or GVA gives only quantitative picture and does not reveal the qualitative aspects of the life of people. For example, high per capita income may not always have a well educated population or a satisfactory level of educational development.
    • Economic growth is single parameters to understand and analyze the overall improvement in lives of people of a country.
    • It does not count free goods or non-market goods and services, thus ignoring household activities and assigns zero values to activities such as domestic work, housekeeping work by women, care for children and elderly, cleaning, food preparation, etc. In this sense, it’s not gender neutral also and neglects women’s contribution to economic activities.
    • It ignores distribution of income and it ignores qualitative aspects of human life.
    • This apart, the events such as crime, pollution, natural disasters, depletion of natural resources, accidents and diseases are counted as positive transactions because they lead to increased spending. Thus, GDP figures would ignore the welfare loss resulting from these activities.