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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 OCTOBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 OCTOBER 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– Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.,

1) What do you understand by mantle plumes.Discuss. Also, explain their importance in earth sciences.(250 words)

Wikipedia

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.

Explain- Here we have to to make the topic clear or easy to understand by describing or giving information about it.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the mantle plumes- what they mean, how are they formed etc. We also have to describe in detail their relevance and importance for studying earth sciences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about mantle plumes- e.g A mantle plume is an upwelling of abnormally hot rock within the Earth’s mantle, first proposed by J. Tuzo Wilson in 1963.

Body-

  1. Discuss the meaning of mantle plumes in detail. E.g Convection in the mantle transports heat from the core to the Earth’s surface in thermal diapirs. Two largely independent convective processes occur in the mantle: the broad convective flow associated with plate tectonics, which is driven primarily by the sinking of cold plates of lithosphere back into the mantle asthenosphere, and mantle plumes, which carry heat upward in narrow, rising columns, driven by heat exchange across the core-mantle boundary. The latter type of convection is postulated to be independent of plate motions.A mantle plume is posited to exist where hot rock nucleates at the core-mantle boundary and rises through the Earth’s mantle becoming a diapir in the Earth’s crust. The currently active volcanic centers are known as hotspots. In particular, the concept that mantle plumes are fixed relative to one another, and anchored at the core-mantle boundary, would provide a natural explanation for the time-progressive chains of older volcanoes seen extending out from some such hot spots, such as the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain.
  2. Discuss the relevance and importance of mental plumes in studying earth sciences. E.g The narrow vertical pipe, or conduit, postulated to connect the plume head to the core-mantle boundary, is viewed as providing a continuous supply of magma to a fixed location, often referred to as a “hotspot”. As the overlying tectonic plate (lithosphere) moves over this hotspot, the eruption of magma from the fixed conduit onto the surface is expected to form a chain of volcanoes that parallels plate motion. These mantle are often invoked as the cause of volcanic hotspots, such as Hawaii or Iceland, and large igneous provinces such as the Deccan and Siberian traps. Some such volcanic regions lie far from tectonic plate boundaries, while others represent unusually large-volume volcanism near plate boundaries or in large igneous provinces etc.

Make a rough diagram to illustrate your points in a better way.

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

Mantle plumes:-

  • Mantle plume is an upwelling of abnormally hot rock within the Earth’s mantle. This is firstproposed by J. Tuzo Wilson in 1963.
  • Mantle plumeis a large column of hot rock rising through the mantle. The heat from the plume causes rocks in the lower lithosphere to melt.
  • The largest mantle plumes are presumed to form where a large volume of mantle rock is heated at the core-mantle boundary, about 1,800 miles below the surface, although smaller plumes may originate elsewhere within the mantle.
  • Once the temperature increases sufficiently to lower the rock density, a column of the hotter-than-normal rock (perhaps 2,000 kilometers in diameter) starts to rise very slowly through the surrounding mantle rocks.
  • Eventually, the rising column of hot rock reaches the base of the lithosphere, where it spreads out, forming a mushroom-shaped cap to the plume. The overlying lithosphere is pushed up and stretched out as the plume cap spreads.

Importance in earth sciences:-

  • Heat transferred from the plume raises the temperature in the lower lithosphere to above melting point, and magma chambers form that feed volcanoes at the surface. This area is also known as a hot spot.
  • Because the plume remains anchored at the core-mantle boundary, it does not shift position over time. So, as the lithospheric plate above it moves, a string of volcanoes (or other volcanic features) is created.
  • In particular, the concept that mantle plumes are fixed relative to one another, and anchored at the core-mantle boundary, would provide a natural explanation for the time-progressive chains of older volcanoes seen extending out from some such hot spots, such as the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain.
  • It is a secondary way that Earth loses heat, much less important in this regard than is heat loss at plate margins.
  • Some scientists think that plate tectonics cools the mantle, and mantle plumes cool the core.
  • Two of the most well known locations that fit the mantle plume theory are Hawaii and Iceland as both have volcanic activity.
  • Mantle plumes have been suggested as the source for flood basalts. These extremely rapid, large scale eruptions of basaltic magmas have periodically formed continental flood basalt provinces on land and oceanic plateaus in the ocean basins, such as the Deccan Traps, the Siberian Traps.
    • Some such volcanic regions lie far from tectonic plate boundaries, while others represent unusually large-volume volcanism near plate boundaries or in large igneous provinces etc.
    • The potential importance of mantle plumes may go well beyond explaining volcanism within plates. For example, the mantle plume that may lie under Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean has apparently burned a track of volcanic activity that reaches about 3,400 miles (5,500 km) northward to the Deccan Plateau region in India.

Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “Climatic anomalies Indian monsoons”

2) Indian summer monsoon has been known to be influenced by the ENSO, IOD and El Nino Modoki. Explain.(250 words)

Key demand of the question

This question expects us to explain these climatic anomalies in brief and thereafter, explain their impact on Indian monsoons. You don’t need to go too deep into the explanations of these climatic phenomena, rather should focus on explaining their impact on Indian monsoons.

Structure of the answer

  • Explain what ENSO is in brief – El Nino and La Nina together. Discuss its impact on Indian monsoons.
  • Explain what Indian Ocean Dipole is and its impact on monsoons in India. Similarly for El Nino Modoki.

ENSO:-

  • ENSO is one of the most important climate phenomena on Earth due to its ability to change the global atmospheric circulation, which in turn, influences temperature and precipitation across the globe. 
  • El Nino Southern Oscillation(ENSO) is the term used to describe the oscillation between the El Niño phase and the La Niña, or opposite, phase.
  • In the eastern Pacific, the northward flowing Humbolt current brings cooler water from the Southern Ocean to the tropics.
  • Furthermore, along the equator, strong east to south easterly Trade winds cause the ocean currents in the eastern Pacific to draw water from the deeper ocean towards the surface, helping to keep the surface cool.
  • However in the far western Pacific there is no cool current, and weaker Trades mean that this “upwelling” effect is reduced. Hence waters in the western equatorial Pacific are able to warm more effectively under the influence of the tropical sun.
  • ENSO events are typically led and sustained by changes in the amount of heat held in the waters below the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean.
  • ENSO is composed of both El Nino and Southern Oscillation. Thus, the oceanic component called El Nino (or La Nina, depending on its phase) and the atmospheric component, the Southern Oscillation.
  • The two opposite phases, El Nino and La Ninarequire certain changes in both the ocean and the atmosphere because ENSO is a coupled climate phenomenon. “Neutral” is in the middle of the continuum.
  • Heavy rain falls along the South American coast, and heavy rainfall also moves from the western to central Pacific, causing drier than normal conditions in Indonesia and nearby areas including India.

IOD:-

  • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is a coupled ocean­ atmosphere phenomenon in the Indian Ocean.
  • It is normally characterized by anomalous cooling of Sea surface temperatures in the south eastern equatorial Indian Ocean and anomalous warming of Sea surface temperatures in the western equatorial Indian Ocean.
  • Associated with these changes the normal convection situated over the eastern Indian Ocean warm pool shifts to the west and brings heavy rainfall over the east Africa and severe droughts/forest fires over the Indonesian region.
  • A positive IOD occurs when sea surface temperature is higher than normal in the Arabian Sea and less than normal in the tropical eastern Indian Ocean. The opposite is true in case of a negative IOD.
  • Impact:-
    • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) also has a strong influence on the Indian summer monsoon.
    • An IOD can either augment or weaken the impact of El Nino on Indian monsoon.
    • While a positive IOD can bring good rains to India despite an El Nino year, negative IOD leads to more monsoon break days.
    • Early IOD, which peaks in the mid-monsoon months (July and August), plays a significant role in enhancing monsoon rainfall even though its intensity is medium compared to other IODs.
    • During an early IOD, the combined effect of Arabian sea evaporation and stronger cross equatorial flow winds blowing from the southern tropics to the north across the equator  play an important role in enhancing the monsoon activity over the Indian subcontinent. Also, there are fewer breaks in monsoon conditions during early IOD events
    • An IOD can either aggravate or weaken the impact of El Nino on Indian monsoon. If there is a positive IOD, it can bring good rains to India despite of an El Nino year. For example, positive IOD had facilitated normal or excess rainfall over India in 1983, 1994 and 1997 despite an El Nino in those years. Similarly, during years such as 1992, a negative IOD and El Nino had cooperatively produced deficient rainfall.

 

El nino modoki:-

  • El Niño Modoki is a coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon in the tropical Pacific. It is different from another coupled phenomenon in the tropical Pacific namely, El Niño
  • Conventional El Niño is characterized by strong anomalous warming in the eastern equatorial Pacific. Whereas, El Niño Modoki is associated with strong anomalous warming in the central tropical Pacific and cooling in the eastern and western tropical Pacific
  • El Nino Modoki Impact on Monsoon:-
    • Due toEl Nino Modoki  Central Pacific has higher storm frequency and a greater potential for making landfall along the Gulf coast and the coast of Central America.
    • Also, due to this Arabian seahas more number of cyclone during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons as opposed to general phenomena whereas Bay of Bengal has higher number of cyclone during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon.
      • The reason why El Nino Modoki brings only fewer numbers of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal is because one of the two descending limbs of the Walker Cell is over the western Pacific and Bay of Bengal.
      • The descending limb causes dry conditions not conducive for cyclone formation.
      • The ascending limb of the Walker Cell, on the other hand, brings rain.
      • Also, an El Nino Modoki creates stronger divergence over the western Pacific and Bay of Bengal compared to El Nino

General Studies – 2


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

3) The way Aadhar has been imposed, it inflicts heavy damage on the poor and the unprivileged. Comment. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

Aadhar has important economic and privacy implications. The way Aadhar has been implemented creates significant scope for damaging the scope of welfare of the poor and the unprivileged, which needs to be discussed.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an opinion as to whether the way Aadhar has been imposed, it inflicts heavy damage on the poor. We have to back our opinion on the issue with sufficient and proper arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the economic benefits of the Aadhar in terms of service delivery.

Body-

Discuss how Aadhar implementation creates scope for inflicting damage on the poor and the unprivileged. E.g When benefits are paid through Aadhaar-enabled means such as the Aadhaar Payments Bridge System (APBS), the first step is to seed the list of beneficiaries with the corresponding Aadhaar numbers; Seeding is a tedious operation and it has to be done each time a new scheme is inducted. Those who have failed to comply are simply removed from the lists. Poor people often find themselves deprived of their rights in the process; Whenever ABBA has been imposed in the PDS, large numbers of poor people have been deprived of their food rations. Meanwhile, evidence from Jharkhand suggests that ABBA is of little use in reducing PDS corruption. Nevertheless, the central government is determined to make ABBA compulsory for food rations, with cosmetic exemptions; Another source of confusion is the APBS’s “last Aadhaar-linked account” (LALA) rule, whereby Aadhaar becomes a financial address and money is automatically sent to a person’s LALA. This rule often sent people’s money to unwanted or unknown destinations, such as someone else’s account or an Airtel wallet etc.

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

 

Background :-

  • Since SC ruled last year that privacy is a fundamental right, opinion began to gain ground that the unique identification programme was vulnerable in the face of judicial scrutiny. It was projected by sceptics, detractors and activists as an intrusion on citizens privacy, a byword for a purported surveillance system, a grand project to harvest personal data for commercial exploitation by private parties and profiling by the state.
  • In upholding the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and clarifying areas in which it cannot be made mandatory, the Supreme Court has restored the original intent of the programme: to plug leakages in subsidy schemes and to have better targeting of welfare benefits.

Aadhar inflicts heavy damage:-

  • Deprivation of poor:-
    • Poor people often find themselves deprived of their rights in the process. For instance linking one’s pension or ration card or bank account with Aadhaar is a tedious process as data-entry errors are common.
    • And even without such errors, Aadhaar linking often fails because a person’s demographic details in the Aadhaar database do not match the corresponding details in her job card or ration card.
    • The government failed to address these issues as job cards, ration cards and pensions have been mass-cancelled in many states.
    • Even maternity benefits are routinely held up by the hassles and hazards of double seeding.
    • Labourers and poor people, the primary targets of the Aadhar process, often do not have clearly defined fingerprints because of excessive manual labour.
    • Even old people with “dry hands” have faced difficulties. Weak iris scans of people with cataract have also posed problems.
    • In several cases,  agencies have refused to register them, defeating the very aim of inclusion of poor and marginalised  people. 
  • Use of Aadhaar-based biometric authentication (ABBA) in the public distribution system:-
    • ABBA requires not only Aadhaar seeding, but also successful fingerprint authentication at the ration shop every month. That, in turn, requires a functional Point of Sale (PoS) machine, adequate connectivity, and reasonably smooth fingers. Despite some alleged safeguards, the system is far from perfect
    • Evidence from Jharkhand suggests that ABBA is of little use in reducing PDS corruption.
    • Neither seeding nor the ABBA can stop quantity fraud. 
    • If PDS dealers give people less than their due, biometric authentication does not help.
    • Cases of deaths due to hunger as people could not collect rations because of a biometric mismatch at the PDS shop. 
    • Disenfranchisement of the elderly and the disabled, as ABBA requires beneficiaries to visit the PDS outlet personally for fingerprint authentication.
  • Last Aadhaar-linked account (LALA) rule:-
    • This rule often sent people’s money to unwanted or unknown destinations instead of beneficiary accounts, such as someone else’s account or an Airtel wallet.
    • The pathologies of e-KYC, the LALA rule and related norms are in danger of undermining people’s confidence in the banking system.
  • Data leaks:-
    • Over the last one year, there have been multiple instances of Aadhaar data leaking online through government websites.
    • Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) also pointed out that about 130 million Aadhar numbers along with other sensitive data were available on the internet. 
  • Fake aadhar:-
    • Apart from the usual fear associated with hackers breaching the Aadhaar database, the menace of fake Aadhaar cards is also a problem for UIDAI.
    • According to a report last year, a gang in Kanpur was running a racket in order to generate fake Aadhaar cards. 
  • Seeding issues:-
    • When benefits are paid through Aadhaar-enabled means such as the Aadhaar Payments Bridge System (APBS), the first step is to seed the list of beneficiaries with the corresponding Aadhaar numbers. Seeding is a tedious operation and it has to be done each time a new scheme is inducted. Those who have failed to comply are simply removed from the lists
    • Seeding often creates inconsistencies between ration-cards database and the Aadhaar database. 
    • Many poor people do not know the rules of Aadhaar seeding and biometric authentication. 
  • Inclusion errors increase the financial burden of the state, exclusion errors can often leave poor families vulnerable to hunger. 
  • Lack of an Aadhaar number automatically disqualifies eligible individuals 
  • It raises Privacy issues. 
  • Biometric systems around the world have largely failed to provide their intended benefits.
  • Services Denied:
    • Many instances occurred in which government and its agencies have been found insisting on producing Aadhar number as a precondition to avail benefits or public services 
  • Consent:
    • No informed consent about the uses to which the data will be subjected 
  • Exit Option:
    • The absence of an exit option to get out of the UIDAI data base 
  • Lack of accountability:
    • The UIDAI also lacks accountability to Parliament if there is a failure in the system and someone suffers in consequence. 
  • Private Players:
    • There are many private players involved in the whole chain of registering for and generation of Aadhaar numbers before the database finally goes to the government-controlled Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR). 
  • Violation of rights:
    • The critics of the Aadhaar has always maintained that the UIDAI might share the biometric information of people with other government agencies thereby violating people’s right to privacy. They also thought that using the biometric data, people might be singled out, tracked, harassed and have their rights violated.

Benefits of Aadhar to India 

  • It provides a single view of beneficiary data and information, aiding in streamlining policy decisions for the state 
  • Social benefits delivery services:
    • Enables State Governments to directly transfer benefits to beneficiary accounts under various schemes. 
  • Beneficiary Identification:
    • Helps in sanitizing the State’s/Department’s databases and uniquely identifying beneficiaries by removing ghost/duplicate identities
  • Demographic and development planning:
    • Enables valuable anonymized demographic data to help development planning at State, District and local government levels. 
  • Preventing leakages:
    • Welfare programs, where beneficiaries need to be confirmed before service  delivery, also stand to benefit from UIDAI’s verification service.
    • Examples of such usages include subsidized food and kerosene delivery to Public Distribution System (PDS) beneficiaries.
    • This usage would ensure that services are delivered to the right beneficiaries only. 
  • Aadhaar as an identifier:
    • People belonging to marginalized sections of the society often do not have a valid proof of identity. As a result, they miss out on availing social benefits provided by the government. Aadhaar has been successful in solving this problem.
    • One of the quintessential properties of Aadhaar is its uniqueness. It is an identification that a person can carry for a life time and potentially use with any service provider thus, fundamentally becoming a pro-poor identification infrastructure. 
  • Black Money:
    • Use of Aadhaar card in real estate transaction could provide trail of transactions and aid in crackdown of black money 
  • It can be used to monitor development related parameters in such critical sectors as healthcare, education, etc. This can also facilitate development of electronic applications to bridge any gaps observed. 
  • It can help to map skilled manpower, based on the vocational training acquired by the individual, to suitable job vacancies/ skill requirements of the State 
  • It enables instant paperless bank account opening, instant issuance of insurance and acts as a permanent financial address.

Way Forward 

  • Inconsistencies need to be resolved for successful Aadhaar seeding. 
  • It is essential to deal with issues of duplication, use less disruptive methods than Aadhaar such as food coupons, smart cards, and last-mile tracking 
  • Using other technology to curb corruption like computerisation, SMS alerts, online availability of official records, toll-free help lines and so on.
  • It is imperative that the Union Government enact a privacy legislation that clearly defines the rights of citizens consistent with the promise of the Constitution. 
  • The government should factor in privacy risks and include procedures and systems to protect citizen information in any system of data collection. It should create institutional mechanism such as Privacy Commissioner to prevent unauthorised disclosure of or access to such data. 
  • Our national cyber cell should be made well capable of dealing with any cyber attack in shortest time.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic–  Indian economy: issues

4) Examine with the help of data, whether we are on track to achieve export targets as envisaged in FTP? Discuss the contribution of different sectors of economy to exports of India and highlight the areas of improvement?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

The article provides truckloads of data which can be utilized to embellish your answers of GS3. Moreover, it also touches upon a key issue which is the performance of exports. At a time, when India is facing a lot of macroeconomic issues, it is imperative to focus on exports which the FTP envisaged would be a key driver of India’s economic growth. Hence this question needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the targets envisaged under FTP 2015-20, examine how far have we succeed in achieving those targets. Next, we need to bring out the performance of various sectors of exports in India and analyze, which sector would be most useful in boosting exports.

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 .

Discuss – Here in your discussion, you need to debate the pros and cons of various sectors and sub-sectors of economy and bring out which sector would be most productive for boosting our exports and improving our BoP.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that India’s performance in exports has deceived expectations after a couple of years of good performance. At a time when fuel prices are seeing an exponential rise, exports needs to keep up.

Body

  • Explain that FTP targeted a 3.5% share in world exports and a figure of 900bn$. Against that target, India registered just 10% growth in 2017-18, to $302.8 billion, against expectations of $325 billion, and also a 45% jump in trade deficit at $157 billion, the highest in last five years. As RBI data reveals, the country’s merchandise exports, having peaked at 17% of GDP in 2013-14, dropped to around 12% in 2016-17. India has underperformed even amidst robust global trade growth.
  • Highlight the reasons why Indian exports is not picking up
  • Discuss the various sectors which are major contributors to world exports such as energy and resource-intensive goods such as fuels and mining products, iron and steel, paper, etc, aggregating about 30% of total global exports; sunrise industrial goods largely in the electronics and telecom sectors, accounting for 25% ;automotive products, machinery, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, etc, another 25%; agricultural products, 10%; (5) labour-intensive tradeables such as textiles, clothing, leather goods, and miscellaneous manufactures, another 10%. Examine how India’s performance is in these sectors and the scope of improvement

Conclusion – Give your view on what you think should be the focus area of Indian exports so as to keep BOP in check.

Background:-

  • 2015 midterm FTP review aimed at $900 billion of goods and services exports from India, to garner 3.5% share of world exports by 2020.

India will achieve export targets :-

  • Measures taken by the government to help achieve the target:-
    • Government offered additional export incentives amounting to Rs 8,450 crore under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS).
    • Out of this, Rs 4,567 crore has been allocated for MSME and labour-intensive sectors covering leather, agriculture, carpets, handicraft, marine, rubber, ceramics, sports goods, medical and scientific products, and telecommunication equipment.
    • Textiles (ready-made garments and made-ups) will receive benefit of around Rs 2,743 crore from the above pool.
    • The remaining Rs 1,140 crore has been allocated for SEIS benefits for export of notified services such as business, legal, accounting, architecture, engineering, education, hospital, and hotels and restaurants.
    • Overall, industry tariff lines that will receive benefits under MEIS were increased to 7,914 from 4,914 in the FTP released in 2015.

There are many challenges for India to achieve such targets:-

  • India registered just 10% growth in 2017-18, to $302.8 billion, against expectations of $325 billion
  • India also had a 45% jump in trade deficit at $157 billion, the highest in last five years.
  • As RBI data reveals, the country’s merchandise exports, having peaked at 17% of GDP in 2013-14, dropped to around 12% in 2016-17. India has underperformed even amidst robust global trade growth.
  • Prominence of regional trade associations (RTA) in world because of failure of WTO
  • Issues in Agriculture like shrinking land space, access of credit preventing this sector to realize its potential
  • In electronic items, inverted trade duty structure had put the country at disadvantage compared to South East Asian countries.
  • In labour- intensive sectors such as textiles, India is the 3rd largest exporter of textiles but still accounts for <4% of world expo.
  • Economic Survey 2017-18 pointed out that while the share of manufacturing in GDP has improved slightly, the international competitiveness of manufacturing has not made great strides, reflected in the declining manufacturing export-GDP ratio and manufacturing trade balance.
  • Existing exports are barely able to hold on to their market shares and new products or markets have not burst forth.
  • Most importantly, segments of exports continue to go substantially in primary form and not in a value-added mode. Cotton and cotton yarn than high-end garments and made-ups is an example.
  • Indian exports are sensitive to price changes, global demand and supply-side bottlenecks. The way India’s export basket has evolved over the past two decades, it has made them much more responsive to global demand as compared to price changes.
  • According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in the long-run, a 1% increase in India’s international relative export prices could reduce export volume growth by about 0.9% for all industries and by about 1.1% for the manufacturing sector.
  • Logistics sector :-
    • Similarly, higher logistics costs have been a major impediment to export growth. The FTP review document admits that logistics cost in India is close to double of that in developed countries. The average logistics costs in India are about 15% of GDP.
  • A mere weakening of the rupee might not be enough to boost exports, at least not in a significant way when it comes to the manufacturing sector due to three possible phenomena discussed here.
    • India is no longer an isolated market and exports are tightly linked to imports through twin mechanisms of input import dependence and global value chains.
    • The inputs for two of India’s leading exports, petroleum and derived products and gems and jewellery, originate abroad. Crude, rough diamonds, and gold are imported to make these export products.
    • There is no change in the level of attractiveness of sourcing from India for an international buyer. Therefore, it doesn’t boost exports in terms of quantity or exports in dollar terms.
    • Fall in the value of rupee didn’t lead to an expected commensurate gain in manufacturing exports during the period 2004-2012 .
  • Private investment needs to pick up significantly, but the woes in the banking sector may drag it down. The global economy is increasingly looking dubious and a lot uncertain with an imminent threat of trade wars breaking out. In such a scenario, India is unlikely to achieve 20-25% exports growth, which is needed to achieve double digit growth.

Contribution of different sectors to exports:-

  • India has remained a peripheral player in industrial sectors that command a lion’s share in global trade, and its export thrust is confined largely to sectors that account for less than one-fourth of global exports.
  • Manufactured goods (67%) – Out of it, engineering goods and gems and jewellery occupies most of it. 
  • Petroleum and crude products (18%) – due to India’s refining capacity
  • Agriculture and allied industries (12.5%) 
    • Globally, agricultural products exports in 2017 comprised of processed products (chocolate, processed coffee – 44% share), semi-processed products (oilseed cake, vegetable oils – 27% share), primary bulk products (wheat, coffee beans -16% share), and horticulture products (13% share)
  • Ores and Minerals (1%) 

Areas to be improved are:-

 

  • Exports need a greater focus in draft industrial policy under consideration and for speeding up the establishment of product-specific industrial clusters and enacting labour reform, at least in export zones.
  • Exports will also require a sound export infrastructure by energising the Bharatmala Pariyojana to improve the efficiency of movement of goods and to cut logistics costs.
  • The Sagarmala programme with its emphasis on port modernisation, capacity augmentation and port-led industrialisation will need an export orientation.
  • Trade facilitation and export finance will also have to acquire high priority.
  • Establishment of sector-level standards, compliance and certification mechanisms will be essential.
  • And all this will need a time-bound missionary zeal from the government, the states and industry.
  • India will have to fine-tune current export schemes (MEIS and SEIS) and move towards more fundamental export promotion strategies such as Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES, for bridging gaps in export infrastructure) and Market Access Initiative (MAI, catalyst to promote exports on product-focus country approach) Scheme.
  • Reviewing existing free trade agreements (FTAs) and negotiating future FTAs for greater market access will also be critical in such a situation.
  • Measures such as enhanced trade facilitation, export and production diversification, lower logistics costs, energy efficiency, lower cost of doing business and not short-term fixes will lead to sustainable exports recovery.

Topic -Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

5) The draft national energy storage mission aims to achieve an objective of making India a leader in the energy storage sector. Discuss.(250 words) 

pib

Reference

Why this question

With scaling up of renewable energy particularly with the increasing scope of Electric Vehicles, energy storage has become a critical component of India’s energy strategy. In this light the government has recently released a draft report on national energy storage mission. It is important to discuss the aims and the strategy of the draft report.

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 national energy storage mission and write at length about its objectives and the strategy envisaged by the mission.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the national energy storage mission- e.g mention that MNRE has released a draft NESM with the objective to strive for leadership in energy storage sector by creating an enabling policy and regulatory framework that encourages manufacturing, deployment, innovation and further cost reduction.

Body-

  1. Discuss the NESM in detail. E.g Energy Storage is one of the most crucial & critical components of India’s energy infrastructure strategy and also for supporting India’s sustained thrust to renewables; The NESM draft document recognises that India lacks significant natural resources in terms of the materials commonly used in batteries. Due to its focus on mobility, the majority of discussion in the report centres around nickel-manganese-cobalt battery chemistries as these are the most commonly used energy storage devices in EVS.
  2. Discuss briefly the three-stage strategy envisaged by the NESM.

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

Background:-

  • Energy Storage is one of the most crucial & critical components of India’s energy infrastructure strategy and also for supporting India’s sustained thrust to renewables.
  • The Expert Committee which was constituted earlier by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy to propose draft for setting up National Energy Storage Mission (NESM) for India  has proposed a draft NESM with objective to strive for leadership in energy storage sector by creating an enabling policy and regulatory framework that encourages manufacturing, deployment, innovation and further cost reduction.

Draft NESM :-

  • India’s Energy Storage Mission has proposed three stage solution approach i.e. creating an environment for battery manufacturing growth, scaling supply chain strategies and scaling of battery cell manufacturing.
  • Stage 1
    • The report recognises therefore that in the short term at least, Indian manufacturing could or should focus on assembling battery packs domestically using imported cells from competing vendors.
    • India should incentivise and encourage investment in this battery assembly sector, while simultaneously also investigating if the means exist for individual companies to foster battery cell manufacture domestically.
    • The industry across India should develop partnerships and a multi-stakeholder consortium for conducting joint research, pooling investment as well as developing better battery tech and recycling.
    • A consortium should also be convened to help inform government, officials and other stakeholders on how standardization, recycling and end-to-end strategy should evolve in future.
  • Stage 2
    • In the second stage, battery cell research conducted by the aforementioned consortia will inform decisions on implementing a strategy for domestic battery cell manufacturing.
    • Participants will also be expected to establish best practise plans for the full manufacturing value chain, including investment in new battery chemistries where appropriate and recycling.
    • The battery manufacturing consortium will also be putting together its supply chain to feed into its future plans.
  • Stage 3
    • The third stage would bring the various stakeholders together across India to coordinate the rolling out and use of batteries as part of the country’s energy infrastructure.
    • There would also be a “rapid scaling” of battery cell manufacturing infrastructure.
  • Draft sets a realistic target of 15-20 gigawatt hours (GWh) of grid-connected storage within the next five years
  • Mission will focus on seven verticals: indigenous manufacturing; an assessment of technology and cost trends; a policy and regulatory framework; financing, business models and market creation; research and development; standards and testing; and grid planning for energy storage.
  • The draft National Energy Storage Mission expects to kick-start grid-connected energy storage in India, set up a regulatory framework, and encourage indigenous manufacture of batteries.
  • Central Electricity Authority is considering a draft regulation to make storage mandatory for large-scale solar projects ranging between 100 MW and 200 MW

Issues in integrating renewable with grids

  • The peak supply of renewable sources does not always meet peak demand. For instance, solar energy generation may be at its peak at noon, but unless stored, it will not be available when needed to light up homes at night.
  • Renewable sources are inherently intermittent: there are days when the wind doesn’t blow or the sky is cloudy.
  • Batteries could help store surplus energy during peak generation times, but are more immediately needed to stabilise the grid when shifting between renewables and the baseload thermal capacity

Conclusion:-

  • It is important to look beyond mere capital expenditure costs and also consider life cycle costs and the distributor’s costs due to grid instability and transmission and distribution losses.

Topic– Science and Technology

6) Explain how IPV Polio vaccine works? Why is the recent news of a company manufacturing type 2 polio virus vaccine a risk to India’s polio free status? Examine CDSCO’s role in this regard?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article highlights the threat posed by this major issue, where now eradicated in the wild type 2 polio virus vaccines were bring manufactured by a company. By backlinkage, we need to understand the risks posed, the working of vaccines and the role of regulatory agencies in this regard.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out an explanation for how IPV vaccine works. Thereafter, we need to explain why we are at risk by this happening, where type 2 polio virus vaccine was being administered. In the end, we need to explain what role the CDSCO is expected to play and how it can ensure that such incidents are not repeated.

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 the recent case to provide a context to your answer.

Body

  • Explain how IPV vaccine works – IPV consists of inactivated (killed) poliovirus strains of all three poliovirus types. IPV is given by intramuscular or intradermal injection and needs to be administered by a trained health worker. IVP produces antibodies in the blood to all three types of poliovirus. In the event of infection, these antibodies prevent the spread of the virus to the central nervous system and protect against paralysis.
  • Explain that in the present case the risk is that – The contamination can have very serious ramifications on public health because it is tantamount to reintroducing into the community a virus that had been eradicated as IPV induces very low levels of immunity in the intestine. As a result, when a person immunized with IPV is infected with wild poliovirus, the virus can still multiply inside the intestines and be shed in the faeces, risking continued circulation.
  • Finally, explain what role does CDSCO play. Examine the role of CDSCO in this case and discuss measured through such incidents are not repeated

Conclusion – Give a brief overview of the threat that lies before us and how we can counter it.

Background:-

  • The Union Health Ministry has ordered an inquiry into the type-2 polio virus contamination detected in the vials used for immunisation in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana, and has ordered additional immunisation in three States.

How IPV polio vaccine works:-

  • Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) was developed in 1955 by Dr Jonas Salk.
  • Also called the Salk vaccine IPV consists of inactivated (killed) poliovirus strains of all three poliovirus types.
  • IPV is given by intramuscular or intradermal injection and needs to be administered by a trained health worker.
  • The vaccine produces antibodies in the blood to all three types of poliovirus. In the event of infection, these antibodies prevent the spread of the virus to the central nervous system and protect against paralysis.
  • Advantages
    • As IPV is not a ‘live’ vaccine, it carries no risk of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis(VAPP) .
    • IPV triggers an excellent protective immune response in most people.
  • Disadvantages
    • IPV induces very low levels of immunity in the intestine. As a result, when a person immunized with IPV is infected with wild poliovirus, the virus can still multiply inside the intestines and be shed in the faeces, risking continued circulation.
    • IPV is over five times more expensive than Oral Polio Vaccine. Administering the vaccine requires trained health workers, as well as sterile injection equipment and procedures.

Risks associated with type 2 polio vaccine :-

  • Type 2 of the polio virus was declared eradicated globally, in September 2015. After this the World Health Organization recommended that polio vaccines can stop having the Type 2 strain and have this vaccine phased out. This reduces the risk of people catching vaccine derived polio as well.
  • India, along with other countries, adhered to this made the switch from the trivalent vaccine to the bivalent vaccine (which didn’t have the Type 2 strain) in April 2016. All manufacturers were told to destroy their stocks of vaccines with Type 2 of the polio virus in it.
  • The fact that this recent contamination in vaccines has been found in the products of Uttar Pradesh based company, Bio-Med, indicates that the strains of Type 2 virus were not effectively destroyed, that the strains were being kept as samples by some players and that the government’s monitoring of the destruction in 2016, was not thorough.
  • Less immunity to children:-
    • India eliminated the type-2 strain in 2016, and the type-2 containing poliovirus vaccine (ToPV) was phased out in April 2016. Children born after April 2016 in India have no immunity to type-2 polio virus.
    • The fact that the virus has been shedding into the sewage means it can enter the guts of children who are not immunised against it, and it can mutate into more virulent forms and spread.
  • The contamination can have very serious ramifications on public health because it is tantamount to reintroducing into the community a virus that had been eradicated as IPV induces very low levels of immunity in the intestine.
  • As a result, when a person immunized with IPV is infected with wild poliovirus, the virus can still multiply inside the intestines and be shed in the faeces, risking continued circulation.
  • However Government officials say that the recent contamination may not be very risky.
    • Firstly, although the vaccines administered were bivalent (for only the Type 1 and Type 3 of polio virus), and although strains of Type 2 virus were found in these bivalent vaccines, Type 2 of the virus was not found in strong quantities.
    • Secondly, the type 2 strain which was put into these contaminated vaccine was in an attenuated form, meaning it was of a less virulent form. So the contamination may not necessarily be able to infect children with the polio virus itself.

Role of CDSCO in this regard:-

  • Under the Drug and Cosmetics Act, the regulation of manufacture, sale and distribution of Drugs is primarily the concern of the State authorities while the Central Authorities are responsible for approval of New Drugs, Clinical Trials in the country, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs, coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organisations and providing expert advice with a view of bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
  • Though the global recall occurred in 2010, the drug regulator did not issue an alert until 2013
  • Functions of CDSCO
    • Approval of new drugs and clinical trials.
    • Import Registration and Licensing.
    • License approving of Blood Banks, LVPs, Vaccines, r-DNA products & some Medical Devices (CLAA Scheme)Amendment to D &C Act and Rules.
    • Banning of drugs and cosmetics.
    • Grant of Test License, Personal License, NOCs for Export.
    • Testing of New Drugs.
    • Oversight and market Surveillance through Inspectorate of Centre Over and above the State Authority.

 


 General Studies – 4


Topic– Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance;

7) “So the reward for public service is something intangible. Indeed, public service should only attract those who get their kicks from making something work that the markets cannot or will not provide”. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding about the public service, how its rewards are intangible and why it should only attract those who get their kicks from making something work that the markets cannot or will not provide.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about public service or start your answer with a related quotation- e.g Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile- Einstein.

Body-

Discuss how the reward for public service is intangible in the sense that the pay is very low as compared to the private sector; the performance is not rewarded in the monetary terms like perks, bonuses etc. mention that as a public servant, that your reward comes from making public services more responsive and accountable to the public; Public service is at its worst when those who work in it – politicians and civil servants – start to redefine its objectives for personal and party gain, or in the interests of the provider and not the citizen etc.

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

 

Public service is a service which is provided by government to people. Services are provided or supported by a government or its agencies. Public service is done to help people rather than to make a profit..

The pay is very low as compared to the private sector, the performance is not rewarded in the monetary terms like perks, bonuses etc. As a public servant, reward comes from making public services more responsive and accountable to the public.

Public service has intangible rewards like respect in the society, contribution towards the society, learning values like compassion, tolerance, humanity etc., self satisfaction, changing the lives of people, problem solving abilities, sense of  mission and focus , spirit of service and sacrifice etc  whereas market works on the principle of profit and material advantages. 

However public service these days is mired with multiple logjams like public service is at its worst when those who work in it politicians and civil servants  start to redefine its objectives for personal and party gain, or in the interests of the provider and not the citizen etc.

There have been instances of using one’s position to gain personal interests,

corruption etc.

So there is a need for strict implementation of code of ethics ,accountability ,transparency in the working of the public servants. Also people need to be made aware of their right to be informed of the administrative decisions.