SECURE SYNOPSIS: 05 OCTOBER 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 05 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– Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1) Discuss the contribution of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu towards the Bhakti movement. (250 words)

Reference

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to simply bring out in detail the contribution of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu towards the bhakti movement in india.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. E.g He was probably the greatest saint of the Bhakti movement, popularly known as Gouranga Mahaprabhu. He was born in 1486 A.D. at Navadweep in West Bengal in a Brahmin family.

Body-

Discuss in detail about his contribution towards bhakti movement. E.g He was a promising student and mastered all branches of Sanskrit learning; Chaitanya’s teachings centred round ‘love’ – from intense human love to divine love. He opened the doors of divine love to all by chanting and singing the glories of Krishna in the form of Kirtans; Chaitanya believed that by singing Kirtan alone one can realise God, because it transports the mind from the material world to the divine world; Chaitanya was an exponent of the Radha-Krishna cult; Chaitanya’s exposition of Rasalila is one of his most profound contributions to Indian philosophy. Chaitanya was a champion of social liberation. He denounced caste system and stood for the universal brotherhood of man. At the same time he was very much opposed to the domination of the priestly class and superfluous rituals and ceremonies. It was due to his attitude of social liberation that people of socially oppressed classes became his disciples; Chaitanya stood for truth and non-violence. He led an ascetic life and maintained celibacy. His teachings were simple and, therefore, had a universal appeal. The Radha-Krishna cult and Chaitanya’s preaching through singing Kirtans generated remarkable impact in Bengal and Orissa and the impact continues to be felt even today etc.

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

Background :-

  • Sri Chaitanya is known as the father of the kirtan movement and the great apostle of bhakti (pure spiritual love).He is popularly known as Gouranga Mahaprabhu.

Contribution:-

  • Chaitanya’s teachings are centred round ‘love’ from intense human love to divine love. He opened the doors of divine love to all by chanting and singing the glories of Krishna in the form of Kirtans.
  • Social liberation:-
    • He was a champion of social liberation. He embraced the so called Chandala and the socially oppressed classes. 
    • Like other saints of Bhakti Movement Sri Chaitanya condemned the caste system and baseless rituals. 
  • Communal harmony:-
    • His teachings were meant for all and his followers included low caste Hindus and even Muslims. 
    • He was very much opposed to the domination of the priestly class and superfluous rituals and ceremonies.
  • Morals:-
    • He also laid emphasis on moral virtues such as mercy, truth, benevolence, faith, honesty and humanity. Thus his ideas and teachings carried a universal appeal. 
    • Chaitanya stood for truth and non-violence. He led an ascetic life and maintained celebacy.
  • Chaitanya’s exposition of Rasalila is one of his most profound contributions to Indian philosophy.
  • Focus on Krishna:-
    • Chaitanya’s main concern was to exalt the superiority of Krishna over all other Hindu deities. Chaitanya was an exponent of the Radha-Krishna cult.  
  • Followers:-
    • Hehad a large number of followers in Bengal, Orissa and other parts of Eastern India.

Conclusion:-

  • After his death his followers put his teachings together, collected his religious songs and organised themselves into a separate sect. Chaitanya’s teachings and message of love still remain a great source of spiritual inspiration to the people of eastern India in particular

Topic– Role of women and women’s organization

2) Examine the role of women in agriculture? Do you think having more effective women in agriculture impacts nutritional security?(250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question

Women have a very important role to play in agriculture of the country. The article discusses the status of women in agriculture and highlights how women in agriculture would help in attaining nutritional security. The topic would help us in preparing women related section of GS1 sociology section .

Key demand of the question

The question has two main components that require answering. Firstly, we have to bring out in detail the role of women in agriculture in India – status quo, strengths, weaknesses etc. Next, we need to evaluate whether women in agriculture has a positive impact on nutritional security.

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 – Mention that the women is the backbone of agricultural workforce and are a vital part of Indian economy. Woman plays a vital role, because agriculture is largely a household enterprise

Body

  • Give the status quo of women in agriculture – Agriculture in India is significantly dependent on women. Women make up about 33% of cultivators and about 47% of agricultural labourers in rural India. Overall, the percentage of rural women who depend on agriculture for their livelihood is as high as 84%. But systemic barriers to finance, inputs, extension services and land rights have limited their potential and recognition as the mainstay of our agrarian ecosystem. Juxtapose this with the findings of the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 which state that 26.7% of rural women are underweight and 54.2% anaemic.
  • Assess the concerns/challenges for women in agriculture – gender wage gap, males are usually the targeted beneficiaries of government’s largesse etc
  • Discuss the steps taken by government to improve the status of women in India
  • Next, we need to bring out the linkage between greater women participation in agriculture and nutritional security – women ensure that food crops are grown in place of cash crops etc

Conclusion – Assess the way forward for women in agriculture such as skill empowerment for women, creation of SHGs etc

Background :-

  • Agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy. Women play a vital role in building this economy.
  • The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20-30%. This could raise total the agricultural output in developing countries by up to 4%, which could in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12–17% – that’s 100-150 million people.

Role of women in Indian agriculture :-

  • Over the years, there is a gradual realization of the key role of women in agricultural development and their vital contribution in the field of agriculture, food security, horticulture, processing, nutrition, sericulture, fisheries, and other allied sectors.
  • Agriculture in India is significantly dependent on women. Women make up about 33% of cultivators and about 47% of agricultural labourers in rural India. Overall, the percentage of rural women who depend on agriculture for their livelihood is as high as 84%.
  • Women have played and continue to play a key role in the conservation of basic life support systems such as land, water, flora and fauna. They have protected the health of the soil through organic recycling and promoted crop security through the maintenance of varietal diversity and genetic resistance.
  • The rate of women in poultry farming at household level is the central in poultry industry.
  • Women farmers in India perform most of the big farming jobs, from sowing to harvesting, yet their access to resources is less than their male counterparts. Closing this gender gap is essential in order to accelerate the pace of growth in the agriculture sector.
  • Maintaining the ancillary branches in this sector, like animal husbandry, fisheries and vegetable cultivation, depends almost solely on women.

Constraints for women role in agriculture:-

  • Systemic barriers to finance, inputs, extension services and land rights have limited their potential and recognition as the mainstay of  agrarian ecosystem.
  • Gender wage gap, males are usually the targeted beneficiaries of government’s largesse etc
  • Getting loans, participating in mandi panchayats, assessing and deciding the crop patterns, liaising with the district officials, bank managers and political representatives and bargaining for MSPs (minimum support prices), loans and subsidies still remain as male activities.
  • Women mostly tend to cluster in lower-paying jobs.

Encouraging women in agriculture leads to nutritional security :-

  • With enough financial support and choice in crop selection, women farmers preferred crops that would contribute to household dietary diversity while promoting food and nutrition security.
  • Male farmers, on the other hand, were found to be more inclined to use the farmland for cash crops. They also preferred mono-cropping instead of cultivating a diverse set of crops.
  • Women farmers can ensure their children also get enough nutrition if they cultivate the crops.

Empowering them in agriculture alone does not help in tackling malnutrition:-

  • Empowered agricultural women is alone not a panacea to the malnutrition problem as malnutrition involves multiple factors where women are subjected to secondary position due to patriarchy, behavioural factors as well.
  • National Family Health Survey 2015-16 state that 26.7% of rural women are underweight and 54.2% anaemic.
  • Land ownership and financial constraints can make women still dependent on men for monetary resources.

 

What more needs to be done :-

  • Skill and knowledge transfer in sustainable agriculture techniques, crop varieties and farm management is necessary. These efforts need to be strengthened by engaging with existing village level collectives of women for social mobilisation, accessing formal financial services and collective market action. 
  • Agricultural extension efforts should help women improve food production while allowing them to shift more of their labor to export production.
  • Changes in legal, financial, and educational systems must be undertaken in order to enhance women’s social and economic contributions to rural development in the long term.
  • Women need direct access to information on improved agricultural practices and links to markets. In today’s digital world, it is also important to think critically about the information and communication tools which can help women farmers who may not enjoy much physical mobility to reach out to markets.

Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “Major river systems of India”

3) Explain the difference between Himalayan and Peninsular river system?(250 words)

NCERT Class XI Indian physical geography ch 3

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the points of differences between the two river systems in a detailed manner.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Emphasize on the diversity of geographical features in India and how the two river systems are quite different from each other as we shall see.

Body – Explain the differences under several heads such as nature, type of rocks, associated geographical features, drainage, fed by, age etc.

 

Parameters The Himalayan River System The Peninsular River System
Origin These rivets originate from the lofty Himalayan ranges and are named as the Himalayan rivers. These rivers originate in the Peninsular Plateau and are named as Peninsular rivers.
Catchment area These rivers have large basins and catchment areas. These rivers have small basins and catchment areas. The Godavari has the largest basin area among these rivers.
Valleys The Himalayan rivers flow through deep V – shaped valleys called gorges. These gorges have been carved out by down cutting carried on side by side with the uplift of the Himalayas. The Peninsular rivers flow in comparatively shallow valleys. These are more or less completely graded valleys. The rivers have little erosional activity to perform.
Drainage Type These are examples of antecedent drainage. These are examples of consequent drainage.
Water Flow The Himalayan rivers are perennial in nature, i.e., water flows throughout the year in these rivers.

These rivers receive water both from the monsoons and snow-melt.

The perennial nature of these rivers makes them useful for irrigation.

The Peninsular rivers receive water only from rainfall and water flows in these rivers in rainy season only. Therefore, these rivers are seasonal or non-perennial.
Stage These rivers flow across the young fold mountains and are still in a youthful stage. These rivers have been flowing in one of the oldest plateaus of the world and have reached maturity.
Meanders The upper reaches of the Himalayan rivers are highly tortuous. When they enter the plains, there is a sudden reduction in the speed of flow of water. Under these circumstances these rivers form meanders and often shift their beds. The hard rock surface and non-alluvial character of the plateau permits little scope for the formation of meanders. As such, the rivers of the Peninsular Plateau follow more or less straight courses.
Deltas and Estuaries   The Himalayan rivers form big deltas at their mouths. The Ganga-Brahmaputra delta is the largest in the world.

 

Some of the Peninsular rivers, such as the Narmada and the Tapi form estuaries.

Other rivers such as the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Cauvery form deltas.

Several small streams originating from the Western Ghats and flowing towards the west enter the Arabian Sea without forming any delta.

 


General Studies – 2


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

4) The government’s revised guidelines for conducting exams for persons with disabilities are unfair and regressive. Comment. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The government has recently revised the 2013 guidelines for conducting exams for persons with disabilities. The decision has been criticized for being retrogatory and discriminatory and thus it is important to discuss its shortcomings.

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 form an opinion in support of or against the statement. However our opinion has to be based on a proper discussion and valid arguments in support of our opinion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the recently revised guidelines for conducting exams in case of persons with disabilities. E.g The recently released ‘revised guidelines’ by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for conducting written examinations for persons with disabilities significantly whittle down the 2013 guidelines that played a transformative role in empowering such students.

Body-

Discuss why the revised guidelines are unfair and regressive. E.g It is believed that the UPSC’s discomfort with the 2013 guidelines flowed from their misuse by some students who coached their scribes before the exam. If an able-bodied student engages in cheating, the normal consequence is his disqualification. However, what the UPSC did was to demand that the guidelines be changed; in case the disabled candidate is allowed to bring his own scribe, the qualification of the scribe should be ‘one step below’ the qualification of the candidate. Whether the phrase ‘one step below’ here refers to one year below in the same degree or one degree below is unclear. The revised guidelines also do not deal with a situation in which a disabled candidate and the scribe are from different streams. The 2013 guidelines had stated that vague criteria like educational qualification should not be fixed; for certain classes of candidates with benchmark disabilities, the revised guidelines have imposed a requirement that a certificate be furnished from a designated official, indicating that the candidate has a physical limitation and needs a scribe. This essentially renders the impact of a disability certificate wholly nugatory; the new guidelines have transformed claims that were hitherto recognised as ‘legal entitlements’ to ‘liberties’ whose exercise is contingent upon the goodness of the exam-conducting bodies etc.

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

 

Background :-

  • In India there are nearly 2.1 crore people who are facing some kind of physical disability, therefore, various special arrangements are made to ensure their increasing participation in the mainstream and thus making society more inclusive and progressive in nature.
  • But recently the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has revised 2013 guidelines for conducting exam for people with disability which is seen as a regressive step in the above direction.
  • The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) advocates the change in guidelines due to its contention that some students are coaching their scribes before the exam to help them pass it and to make guidelines in compliance with Right of people with disabilities act passed in 2016 which provides for reservation in Government jobs for persons with benchmark disabilities.

What are the government revised guidelines :-

  • It has fixed education criteria for scribe that he should be one step qualification below which was not there in 2013 guidelines
  • It says that for certain classes of candidates with benchmark disabilities, a certificate be furnished from a designated official, indicating that the candidate has a physical limitation and needs a scribe
  • The candidate is to be given an opportunity to choose his preferred mode of giving the examination only to the extent possible by exam taking authority

Problems with these revised guidelines are :-

  • The qualification of the scribe should be ‘one step below’ the qualification of the candidate. Whether the phrase ‘one step below’ here refers to one year below in the same degree or one degree below is unclear.
  • Also setting the criteria would restrict the choice available for the disabled to opt for the scribe
  • For certain classes of candidates with benchmark disabilities, the revised guidelines have imposed a requirement that a certificate be furnished from a designated official, indicating that the candidate has a physical limitation and needs a scribe. A separate certificate will add an additional compliance burden on these candidates and also question the relevance of disability of the candidates
  • The guidelines by providing the discretionary power to the exam conducting body over the mode of the exam are converting legal entitlements to liberties whose exercise is contingent upon the goodness of the exam-conducting bodies

Way forward

  • The educational criteria of the scribe can be modified.
  • Exam conducting bodies should be mandated to provide a preferred mode of exam for these candidates rather than making it discretionary
  • The bodies should themselves provide the scribe whose details should not be disclosed before the exam and should be changed with each exam
  • The policymakers should understand that people with disability are leaving behind not because of their disability but because of the hostile environment, thus, it is our duty to make it more disabled friendly.

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

5) Abolition of untouchability in all its forms, including scavenging, remains an unrealised constitutional right. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

pib

Why this question

Manual scavenging is a harsh reality in India and direct involvement of government institutions in this regard is a serious concern. It is therefore important to understand how abolition of untouchability particularly the way it is propagated by manual scavenging is an unrealised constitutional right in India.

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 form an opinion in favour or against the given statement- Abolition of untouchability in all its forms, including scavenging, remains an unrealised constitutional right. However our opinion has to be formed based on proper and valid arguments/ facts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the manual scavenging, their employment in rural as well as semi-urban areas of states like Rajasthan, MP, UP and by municipal bodies. Mention about the  steady rise in deaths of conservancy workers, and a steadier normalisation of the risks to life they bear on a daily basis.

Body-

  1. Discuss the article 17 of the constitution (fundamental right). E.g “Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of Untouchability shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law; mention the Prohibition Of Employment As Manual Scavengers And Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
  2. Mention that the sanction for manual scavenging lies at the heart of majoritarian mindsets and structures. It is part of an ideological framework that permeates the institutional apparatus of government; mention the construction of insanitary latrines despite a law prohibiting the same ; There is a ban on manual scavenging and so the government considers it non-existent but there still exist more than 2.6 million dry toilets in India, according to Census 2011; etc.

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

Background:- 

  • Article 17 of the Constitution of India states that untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of Untouchability shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law. Despite this untouchability is still being practiced on many forms be it caste discrimination, manual scavenging etc..
  • Manual scavenging was banned 25 years ago with the passing of the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993, but it continues to find practitioners. The occupation persists mainly because of the continued presence of insanitary latrines.
  • There are about 2.6 million insanitary latrines (dry toilets) that require cleaning by hand, according to Safai Karmachari Andolan.

 

Why manual scavenging still remains an unrealized constitutional right :-

  • Rehabilitation issues:-
    • Rehabilitation of manual scavengers is also slow and in many cases not adequate due to various problems being faced
  • Lack of education:-
    • Manual scavengers are mostly illiterate and have no exposure to any work, other than sanitation related work. 
    • Low level of education, awareness about their rights, laws and low self esteem force them to take such work.
  • Many of them are old. They lack confidence for running self employment projects. Many of them are not willing even to avail any skill development training.
  • No formal banking:-
    • Banks are hesitant about providing loan to manual scavengers. Even many State Channelising Agencies, due to low rate of recovery of loan from safai karamcharis, are not willing to extend loan to manual scavengers.
  • Low confidence:-
    • Due to low confidence levels the identified manual scavengers demand that they may be provided jobs of safai karamchari in local authorities.
  • Governance failure:-
    • The States/UT’s are slow in identification of insanitary latrines and manual scavengers as there is no time-bound plan for identification of insanitary latrines and manual scavengers.
    • At present the work of conversion of insanitary latrines into sanitary latrines is being attended to as a part of broad programme of construction of toilets. 
  • The dehumanising practice of manual scavenging, arising from the continued existence of insanitary latrines and a highly iniquitous caste system, still persists in various parts of the country. 
  • Under the Swacch Bharat Mission, millions of septic tanks are being built in rural India
    • By 2019, some 30 million septic tanks and pits would have been dug along the Ganga. If the Central, state and local sanitation programmes do not take up faecal sludge management as a priority, the onus will shift to the lowest rung of the society to clean millions of dry toilets.
  • Sewage issues :-
    • Many cities do not have sewerage that covers the whole city. Sometimes, sewage lines are connected to storm water drains which get clogged and demand human intervention.
  • Open drains:-
    • Open drains are also badly designed, allowing people to dump solid waste into them, which accentuates the problem. Improper disposal of sanitary napkins, diapers etc clog the drains, which machines cannot clear.
  • Manual scavenging is not only a caste-based but also a gender-based occupation with 90 per cent of them being women.
  • Irony of Swachh Bharat Mission :-
    • On the one hand it aims at protecting dignity of women by providing them with private sanitation spaces, and on the other, it is perpetuating humiliation of women manual scavengers as they are the ones who clean human excreta from dry-pit latrines.
  • Legislative failure:-
    • In 2013, the ‘Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act came into force. However this law leaves people helpless.
    • In the earlier Act, the district magistrate had the power to solve all the cases, but that’s not the case with the current one. If the assigned public official isn’t doing his duty of identifying manual scavengers and processing their rehabilitation, there is no mechanism to pull them up
    • The Act does not address critical aspects of provisions like the rehabilitation of those who were liberated from manual scavenging before passing the law in 2013.
    • Liberated manual scavengers regularly face brutal atrocity and violence.
  • Safety issues:-
    • Requirements of oxygen cylinder, torches, and constant monitoring of workers through computers etc. are not mentioned in the act and hence are not provided to the cleaners.
  • National Safai Karmachari Commission which was mandated to implement the act has not been functioning properly. Its website has not been updated about recent developments and new initiatives.
  • Design:-
    • Septic tanks are designed badly. They have engineering defects which means that after a point, a machine cannot clean it.

Way forward:-

  • It is a social and gender issue and can be eradicated by sensitising people about its ills.
  • The implementation of these laws and provisions should be ensured by appointing people who can make sure that these are being followed, and that anybody who does not follow the rules and regulations is punished.
  • Entire process of the liberation of scavengers includes not just talks about value conflicts or rehabilitation and the few changes in their means of livelihood. The liberation of these people is also closely associated with the change in their social status and the ‘mould’ of their social relationships. All these aspects of liberation can be achieved only when dry latrines are not used at all. 
  • Swachh Bharat Mission may be used to actively target conversion of insanitary latrines on priority basis. Liberated manual scavengers must be linked to social security and other welfare schemes to ensure that they are not dependent on this inhuman work for their survival. 

 


Topic:  India and its bilateral relations

6) India Russia relationship is described as a “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership”, it is so, but, only in name. Critically analyze in light of the recent India Russia summit?(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

The current summit meeting between India and Russia comes at a critical time, when the geopolitical and geostrategic relations between nations are fluid. The article discusses the various issues that present itself before the two nations, and the presence of several stakeholders each with a bearing on India Russia relationship. In light of the recent summit, India Russia relationship needs to be prepared in detail.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain that India and Russia have a rich history and an extremely close relationship signified by the terminology used to describe the relationship. Thereafter we have to analyze the point of alignments and discords in the relationship, as well as how you see the relationship moving forward considering the motives of all stakeholders. Finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion on the status of India Russia relationship and give 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 – In your introduction, briefly explain the summit and highlight the fact that Russia and India are time tested partners, seeking to continue their friendship in uncertain times.

Body

  • Highlight the strength of the relationship – Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership, a status at par with Japan, the long history, defence partnership, nuclear power plants etc
  • Next to we need to bring out the issues in the relationship by dividing them into geopolitical, geostrategic and at bilateral level. We need to discuss the Russia Pakistan India triangle, Russia China India triangle and Russia USA India triangle and issues emanating from them. We need to discuss issues in defence partnership etc
  • Discuss how should India and Russia navigate the tides moving forward. Here incorporate points which offer India a leverage so that India can best serve her interests such as economic partnership as Russian economy is suffering whereas india is ranked by the IMF among the world’s ten biggest economies of 2018 etc

Conclusion – Here based on arguments made above, you need to come to a fair and balanced conclusion on the status of relationship and prescribe way forward.

 

Background :-

  • Relations with Russia are a key pillar of India’s foreign policy, and Russia has been a longstanding time-tested partner of India. Traditionally, the Indo-Russian strategic partnership has been built on five major components: politics, defence, civil nuclear energy, anti-terrorism co-operation and space.

Why India and Russia have strategic relationship :-

  • Traditionally the India-Russia bilateral relationship has been based on multiple pillars of common interest.
    • Both India and Russia share a similar worldview, based on a multipolar order. 
    • They have also had a strong economic relationship in the past. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, it was India’s biggest trading partner and supplier of defence technology.
    • There were also strong people-to-people exchanges, with many young Indian professionals being educated in Russia.
  • India Russia annual summit is unique as Russia is one of only two countries, the other one being Japan, with which India holds this summit. 
  • The two nations have had a longstanding partnership as this relationship was elevated to Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership in 2010.
  • Russia remains the only partner that is still willing to give India critical technologies, such as a nuclear submarine.
  • Strategic and geopolitical significance:-
    • Russia is more inclined to align itself with India’s regional interests 
    • If India is to play a larger role in the Eurasian landmass, close ties with Russia are important.
  • In the recent summit :-
    • Civil nuclear cooperation and defense and technology collaboration dominated the Summit meeting.
    • The two sides signed an agreement for the purchase of the advanced S-400 Triumf air defense systems worth more than $5 billion.
    • Both the countries also signed eight pacts, including on cooperation on India’s ambitious human space mission project Gaganyaan.
  • Defence relationship:-
    • Even as India is diversifying its defense trade partners, Russia still dominates the Indian defense inventory to the tune of about 70 per cent. 
    • There may be an agreement also for the sale of four frigates to India. Under the deal, two of the advanced Talwar-class frigates will be directly purchased from Russia’s Yantar Shipyard and delivered in two years time.
    • There is also the possibility of Russia-India cooperation on Amur-class submarine.
    • Besides providing us a range of equipment from tanks to fighter aircraft and frigates, the Russians have helped India perfect its ballistic missiles and build a ballistic missile submarine. They have leased India a nuclear attack submarine, and are a crucial partner in the ongoing BrahMos programme.
  • Space:-
    • Despite expanding its defence purchases from the US, Israel and Europe, India still needs to collaborate with Russia to master future technology including for space.
  • Indian companies are exploring major investment options in Russia, especially in natural resources∙ such as coal, fertilizers, hydrocarbons, minerals, and rare earth metals Trade and investment relations are not up to the mark and this needs improvements.
  • Terrorism:-
    • Counterterrorism is another area where both countries find a convergence of interest. Both countries strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms, stressing the need for an effective∙ global effort in dealing with the terrorist menace.

Concerns with the relationship:-

  • The relationship today essentially hinges only on military technological cooperation, where Russia supplies about 60% of India’s imported military equipment by value. This dependence on military technical cooperation to sustain the bilateral relationship might be problematic in the long run based on India’s economic growth projections and doubts about Russia’s ability to satisfy Indian demands.
  • Chinese factor:-
    • After the Ukraine crisis in 2014, the Russia-China relationship has become stronger, with important implications for India and other rising powers. 
    • A weak Russian economy is increasingly making Russia dependent on China for economic cooperation
    • Sino-Russian relationship has grown to an extent where the two are now participating in joint military exercises such as the recently concluded, Vostok-2018, underscoring the rapidly evolving nature of this relationship and a fluid global strategic environment
    • Russia’s sale of Su-30 and especially the Su-35 fighter puts India’s security at some risk. Russia’s sale of advanced Kilo-class submarines is another instance.
    • The Russia-China oil and gas deals over the last few years also is a testament to this new closer partnership.
    • Russia had proposed a Russia-India-China (RIC) forum. India is hesitant about this because of the∙ unresolved issues with China.
  • Pakistan:-
    • Russia is also reaching out to Pakistan despite Indian reservations
    • In a significant development, the joint declaration issued at the end of the first-ever six-nation Speaker’s Conference in Islamabad held in 2017 supported Pakistani line on Kashmir. This declaration signed by Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey underscored that for ensuring global and regional peace and stability.
    • Russia’s decision to supply Pakistan with the Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters has alarmed the Indian defense establishment.  The Russia-Pakistan joint exercises raise many questions
  • Afghanistan:-
    • Russia is changing its tune on the Afghanistan issue. It is now a strong votary of negotiating with the Taliban and has given short shrift to Indian reservations in this regard.
  • US:-
    • There was a growing perception in the Russian establishment that India was growing closer to the United States
    • Moscow remains anxious about India’s changing strategic orientation, particularly its relationship with the United States, and India’s defense trade diversification policy, among other issues.
    • India is most concerned about the open hostility between United States and Russia on various issues.
    • Russia’s position on areas of tension in the world, whether it is Ukraine, Georgia, West Asia, Afghanistan or North Korea, appears to openly challenge U.S. predominance. This tension catches India between its growing strategic partnership with the United States and its dependence on Russia for defence technological needs.

Way forward:-

  • Both India and Russia need to explore other avenues of cooperation, beyond defence technical cooperation to strengthen this relationship.
  • Areas to be worked upon by both India and Russia :-
    • From the Indian perspective, there is scope for improvement in trade between Russia and India if the international North-South corridor through Iran, and the Vladivostok-Chennai sea route can be operationalised.
    • India can benefit from hi-tech cooperation with Russia in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, outer space and nanotechnology. It can also cooperate with Russia on upgrading its basic research and education facilities.
    • There is scope for growth in the energy sector, beyond mutual investments. Mutual benefits in trade of natural resources such as timber, and agriculture can also be harnessed.
  • Both have to revitalize their earlier agreement on sharing intelligence for a joint strategy on terrorism. Indian and Russian anxieties on terrorism need to converge and bring about some positive outcome.  
  • India needs to deepen its scientific and technological relations with Russia since a base for this already exists.  
  • India can use some creative means to build a Russia-India-China (RIC) alliance.

General Studies – 4


Topic– Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

7) “Only one thing is intrinsically good, namely, love: nothing else”.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 opinion in favour or against the statement. However our opinion should be based on proper discussion and presentation of facts, arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-mention that the statement is an important element of situation ethics.

Body-

Discuss how love is intrinsically good and determines ethical behaviour.

E.g Nothing is inherently good or evil, except love (personal concern) and its opposite, indifference or actual malice; Love, in this context, means desiring and acting to promote the wellbeing of people; Nothing is good or bad except as it helps or hurts persons; The highest good is human welfare and happiness (but not, necessarily, pleasure); Love and justice are the same, for justice is love distributed
Love and justice both require acts of will etc.

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

The elements of situation ethics were described by Joseph Fletcher, its leading modern proponent. Love is one of the important components. The whole situational ethics system is guided by a desirable principle: that of love.

 

Love, in this context, means desiring and acting to promote the wellbeing of people. Nothing is inherently good or evil, except love (personal concern) and its opposite, indifference or actual malice. The highest good is human welfare and happiness but not, necessarily, pleasure . Whatever is most loving in a situation is right and good not merely something to be excused as a lesser evil. Moral theology seeks to work out love’s strategy, and applied ethics devises love’s tactics.

 

Love is intrinsically valuable, it has inherent worth. Nothing else has intrinsic value but it gains or acquires its value only because it happens to help persons or to hurt persons . A lie is not intrinsically wrong.  It is wrong if it harms people, but may sometimes be right. For the Situationist, what makes the lie right is its loving purpose. Love is very ethical, if done right. Loving someone while being selfless is pretty right.