SECURE SYNOPSIS: 05 DECEMBER 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 05 DECEMBER 2018


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 2


Topic: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.

1) Communities such as that of transgenders warrant special attention from not only the state machinery, but from the society at large. Examine. (250 words) 

Indian express

Why this question

The article highlights the plights of transgender community and discusses the interventions made to improve their life. It talks about the need for a multi-pronged approach to deal with the issues faced by transgenders.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the issues faced by the transgender community, discuss steps taken by judiciary, legislature and executive to improve their status. Thereafter, we need to discuss that the need is not only to bring in legislations etc to protect them but also for the society overall to develop empathy.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that Transgender people have a gender identity or expression that differs from their assigned sex at birth. They are sometimes also referred to as transsexuals if they desire medical assistance in order to make the transition from one biological sex to another.

Body

  • Bring out the issues faced by transgender people
    • pushed to the margins of society, and have lost the social-cultural position they once enjoyed. Often shunned as a menace to society, they are now only visible on the streets and localities where they are found begging, never as a part of the mainstream.
    • subject to extreme forms of social ostracisation and exclusion from basic dignity and human rights. They remain highly vulnerable to gender-based violence. As a direct result of their acute mistreatment, vilification, ostracisation and dehumanisation, they also remain highly vulnerable to fatal communicable diseases like HIV-AIDS.
  • Discuss the interventions made by the state to improve their status. Discuss this by highlighting the steps taken by the executive, judiciary and legislature.
  • Highlight that it is not enough only for the state to keep taking measures but the need of the hour is die society to now apply the healing touch. Discuss examples of Madhu Kinnar etc who has managed to become a mayor, which reflects the change in attitude.

Conclusion – Summarize the issue and discuss way forward.

Background :-

  • Numbering approximately 4,90,000 as per the last count (2011), transgender people in India are perhaps one of the most visibly invisible population in the country.
  • The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) conducted the first-ever nationwide survey of the transgender community in India and found that 92% of the people belonging to the community are subjected to economic exclusion.

Why there is a need for affirmative action  and special attention :-

  • Historical :-
    • Indian Penal Code enacted by the Britishrecognised only two genders, creating a binary that never existed.
    • Over time, these constructs were absorbed in Indian society. The community has since faced extreme forms of violence for not conforming to socially dictated gender identities.
  • Poverty :-
    • In too many cases, this lack of legal protection translates into unemployment for transgender people.
  • Harassment and stigma :-
    • The community still faces considerable stigma .
    • They have to either resort to or are forced into begging or sex work since they remain socially circumscribed from other forms of employment.
    • When the Kochi Metro Rail Limited formally employed 23 transgender persons, eight of them dropped out after being unable to find suitable accommodation based on the monthly wages they drew (between Rs.9,000 and Rs.15,000). Many households were unwilling to let out their houses to them.
    • Despite recruited in government services like police ,principal etc they drop out due to immense pressure and insensivity by the public.
    • Sex work makes this community a high-risk group for HIV according to India’s National Aids Control Organisation (NACO), compounding the stigma they face 
    • According to the NHRC data, 99% of the transgender community in India have faced social rejection.
    • Transgender persons cannot inhabit public spaces and command the same respect because their bodies themselves are considered as stigmatised presences.
  • Violence :-
    • The community, especially those who are a part of the ‘guru-chela’ structure in Hijra gharanas and practise the traditions of “mangti” and “badhai”, are often harassed, detained under begging prohibition laws, and forced into begging homes.
  • Barrier to healthcare :-
    • Face barriers to obtaining medically-necessary health services and encountering medical professionals who lacked transgender health care competency.
  • Identity Documents :-
    • The widespread lack of accurate identity documents among transgender people can have an impact on every area of their lives, including access to emergency housing or other public services.
    • The primary crisis faced by the transgender community is a denial of sexual citizenship.
  • Exclusion :-
    • In the case of transgender children, their families, unable to accept their status, subject them to domestic violence, which often compels these children to leave home.
    • Largely, they are estranged from their families, which removes them from one of the most primary forms of social legitimacy. As per the NHRC survey, only 2% of transgender persons in India live with their families.
  • Drawbacks in law :-
    • Transgender identity is not yet recognised in criminal law, whether as the third gender or as a self-identified male or female.
    • There is also no clarity on the application of gender-specific laws to transgender persons.
  • There are other issues that worry transgender persons such as their right to property, adoption, marriage, pension, and care for the old and the disabled.
  • Issues with the transgender bill :-
    • Government, however, has refused to address two major issues – decriminalising homosexuality under Section 377 that directly concerns transgenders and reservation for transgender community in educational institutions and government organisations. 
    • Absence of a definition of “discrimination”.
    • The Bill provides for the right of a transgender to ‘self perceived gender identity.’ But there are no such mechanisms provided for the enforcement of a right. No corresponding remedy has been provided for this right.
    • The right to self-determination of a transgender has been rightly recognized by the Supreme Court under right to life in Article 21 of the Constitution of India, but the objective means to achieve this has not been focused upon. 
    • The appointment of the District Screening Committee is also against the NALSA judgement which recognized right to self-identity as an inalienable right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India
    • Similarly, the bill is silent in areas of health, affirmative action,and decriminalising activities that marginalised trans communities are compelled to undertake to eke out a living. There are also no penal provisions in the law to guard against the trans community being subjected to atrocities and to protect its members in prisons and juvenile homes.
    • Another shortcoming in the implementation which the Bill will face is lack of mechanism for representation of the transgenders. For example, as we have a National Commission for Women and for lower castes, a similar type of provision ought to be made here too.
    • Although the Bill may come into force, it may still not be effective due to lag in the authorities to act for the rights of the transgenders.
    • Further, some provisions of the Bill are also in conflict with the international conventions on transgenders.

Solutions:-

  • Sensitising the workforcein protecting the rights and dignity of the community. 
  • Implement transgender bill effectively :-
    • The Bill recommends the formation of a National Council for Transgender Persons that is tasked with monitoring and evaluating policies formulated for transgender persons. This may pave the way for fulfilling the community’s long-standing demand for representation in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Leading voices from the community have called for vocational programmes in creative fields, a recommendation made by the Standing Committee too.
  • There is need for a comprehensive surveyon the socio-economic status of the community.
  • Transgender welfare boardsare needed in different States.
  • Transgender persons should take part in the national Census to generate accurate data.
  • Explicit policies on transgender-friendly registration and non-discriminationand healthcare workers need to be trained to provide non-judgmental care.
  • Standing committee recommendations:-
    • Recommended re-drafting the definition of a ‘transgender person’ to make it inclusive and accurate; providing for the definition of discrimination and setting up a grievance redress mechanism to address cases of discrimination and granting reservations to transgender persons. 
  • There is a requirement of special courts which can deal with the offences against transgenders speedily and effectively.

Topic- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

2) The constitution of Central Mental Health Authority (CMHA) is a welcome step but more needs to be done in this direction. Comment.(250 words)

Timesofindia

Why this question

The centre has recently constituted the CMHA, as mandated under the Mental Health Care Act, 2017. It is important to understand the structure and functions of the CMHA.

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 CMHA and bring out why it is a welcome step but still more needs to be done in this direction.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– mention that India is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and in this direction it  passed the new Mental Health Care Act in 2017.

Body-

Mention that Mental Health Care Act in 2017  mandates constitution of CMHA, SMHA and Mental Health Review Boards.

  1. Discuss about the CMHA in detail. E.g briefly discuss its constitution- officio and in-officio members. Then discuss its primary duties. E.g to monitor and regulate establishment of mental health institutions across the country; registration of clinicians, ensure availability of medication in PHCs; develop quality and service provision norms, train stakeholders etc
  2. Discuss what more needs to be done in this direction. E.g The success of the CMHA and SMHAs will be in making available appropriate and comprehensive care be it in PHCs, hospitals or in inclusive settings for those with long term needs as mandated by the Act, and in decreasing disability and suffering as a result of mental disorders etc.

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

Background :-

  • One year after the Centre passed the Mental Health Care Act in 2017, it has finally constituted the Central Mental Health Authority (CMHA) to monitor and regulate all mental health institutions in the country.
  • The Centre passed the new Mental Health Care Act in 2017 which mandates constitution of the CMHA, the State Mental Health Authority (SMHA) and Mental Health Review Boards.

Central mental health authority :-

  • New body has widened representation of members, including mental health service users, caregivers, mental health professionals and NGOs.
  • Primary duties of CMHA is to monitor and regulate establishment of mental health institutions across the country, registration of clinicians, ensure availability of medications in primary health centres (PHCs), develop quality and service provision norms, train stakeholders on provision of the act and advise the Centre on mental health care and services.
  • The CMHA consists of 12 members, both officio and non-officio, including users, caregivers and mental health professionals.
  • Every mental health institute and mental health practitioners including clinical psychologists, mental health nurses and psychiatric social workers will have to be registered with this Authority.
  • These bodies will :-
    • (a) Register, supervise and maintain a register of all mental health establishments.
    • (b) Develop quality and service provision norms for such establishments.
    • (c) Maintain a register of mental health professionals.
    • (d) Train law enforcement officials and mental health professionals on the provisions of the Act.
    • (e) Receive complaints about deficiencies in provision of services.
    • (f) Advise the government on matters relating to mental health.
  • The success of the CMHA and SMHAs will be in making available appropriate and comprehensive care be it in PHCs, hospitals or in inclusive settings for those with long term needs as mandated by the Act, and in decreasing disability and suffering as a result of mental disorders etc.

What more needs to be done :-

  • Executive wings of the government at both central and state levels have failed miserably to disseminate the new statute to stake holders. It has also failed to implement its provisions including the expeditious setting up of the State Mental Health Authority and Mental Health Review Board – the basic pillars central to the success of the Act. This need to be looked into.
  • Mental health services must be scaled up as an essential component of universal health coverage.
  • Barriers and threats to mental health, such as the pervasive impact of stigma, must be assertively addressed.
  • Mental health must be protected by public policies and developmental efforts.
  • New opportunities must be enthusiastically embraced, in particular those offered by the innovative use of community health workers and digital technologies to deliver a range of mental health intervention
  • Substantial additional investments must be urgently made as the economic and health case for increased investments in mental health is strong.
  • There is also an immediate opportunity for more efficient use of existing resources, for example, through the redistribution of budgets from large hospitals to district hospitals and community-based local services.
  • Finally, investments in research and innovation must harness diverse disciplines to advance understanding of the causes of mental disorders and develop more effective interventions to prevent and treat them.

Topic– Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

3) Discuss the nine-point agenda put forward by India to deal with the issue of fugitive economic offenders.(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

India has been witnessing a series of high profile economic offenders escaping the country. It has put-forward a nine-point agenda to deal with the issue. It is therefore essential to discuss the agenda in detail.

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 salient aspects of the nine-point agenda put forward by India in the recent G20 summit and how it wants to tackle the issue of fugitive economic offenders.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a simple definition of an fugitive economic offender. E.g

Body-

Discuss in points the salient aspects of the nine-point agenda forwarded by India. E.g The agenda calls for cooperation in legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of the offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime; India suggested that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should be called upon to assign priority and focus to establishing international cooperation that leads to timely and comprehensive exchange of information between the competent authorities and financial intelligence units; India also advocated setting up of a common platform for sharing experiences and best practices including successful cases of extradition, gaps in existing systems of extradition and legal assistance, etc.

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

Background:-

  • The programme for curbing the menace of fugitive economic offenders comes amid heightened efforts by India to apprehend a number of such offenders, including Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

Fugitive economic offenders :-

  • A fugitive economic offender is a person who has an arrest warrant issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who leaves or has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution

What did India put forward in the nine point agenda :-

  • India has presented a nine-point programme to take action against fugitive economic offenders at the ongoing G20 Summit in Argentina.
  • The agenda includes:
    • Strong and active cooperation among the G-20 nations. The document highlights the importance of cooperation in legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime; early return of the offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined.
    • Joint effortsto be made by the G20 nations to form a mechanism that denies entry and safe havens to all fugitive economic offenders.
    • There is need for the effective implementationof the principles of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime (UNOTC).
    • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should be called upon to assign priority and to focus on establishing international co-operationthat leads to a timely and comprehensive exchange of information between the competent authorities
    • The FATF should be tasked to formulate a standard definition of fugitive economic offenders.
    • The FATF should also develop a set of commonly agreed and standardised proceduresrelated to identification, extradition and judicial proceedings for dealing with fugitive economic offenders to provide guidance and assistance to G-20 countries, subject to their domestic law”.
    • There is need for setting up of a common platform for sharing experiences and best practices including successful cases of extradition, gaps in existing systems of extradition and legal assistance.
    • The G20 forumshould consider initiating work on locating properties of economic offenders who have a tax debt in the country of their residence for its recovery.

General Studies – 3


Topic –  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning

4) Planning has had an immense impact on economic development of India and should continue to play a key role in economic decision making in the country. Analyze. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The article describes the role that planning played in the initial years of economic development in India which laid the foundation for the successes enjoyed in the later years. This article discusses the issues with planning process in post LPG era and what the way forward must be. At a time when one of the criticisms of Niti Ayog has been the way it has handled planning, this issue is relevant for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to analyse how planning played a key role in bringing India on to the path of industrialization and how India became a model for other third word countries. Next, we need to analyze the role played by planning in current years and the issues with it. Finally, we need to discuss what sort of economic planning do we envisage in the coming years.

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the nature of planning activity carried out in India in the form of five year plans that took place in India since independence.

Body

  • Discuss how planning helped in industrialisation of the country in the early 1950s. This involved the setting up of public sector units (PSUs) in diverse areas of manufacturing; research institutions in cutting-edge technologies of the time such as space and atomic energy; and centres of higher learning, including the Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs).
  • Explain that through planning and foraying in to sectors such as machine building and nuclear research, which needed capital and technology more critically than labour, India was also challenging a deeply held orthodoxy in economic theory. Also highlight the fact that planning did very little to remove the hurdles to the growth of agriculture and small-scale industries.
  • Examine the relevance of planning in post LPG era where the economy is more governed by market forces and role of planning overall has diminished.
  • Discuss issues involved in the planning process in current time and give suggestions on how it can be used as a strategic tool.

Conclusion – Give your view on the relevance of planning in current context and discuss way forward.

Background :-

  • Since independence planning activity has been carried out in India in the form of five year plans that took place in India.

Impact of planning on India :-

  • India under Nehru’s leadership inaugurated a strategy for industrialisation of the country in the early 1950s. This involved the setting up of public sector units (PSUs) in diverse areas of manufacturing; research institutions in cutting-edge technologies of the time such as space and atomic energy; and centres of higher learning, including the Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs).
  • By consciously entering into sectors such as machine building and nuclear research, which needed capital and technology more critically than labour, India was also challenging a deeply held orthodoxy in economic theory. 
  • The programmes launched in India from the 1950s onwards to build indigenous capabilities in capital- and technology-intensive sectors, despite the general poverty of the country, became a model for other developing and Third World nations.
  • The debates around Indian planning provided a fertile launching pad for the evolution of development economics as an important sub-discipline.
  • Successes that India enjoys today in the information technology and knowledge-intensive sectors owe much to the research and educational institutions that were built during the early decades.
  • Negative :-
    • Planning did very little to remove the hurdles to the growth of agriculture and small-scale industries.
    • India’s record during the post-Independence period in implementing land reforms and ensuring primary education for all has been rather unimpressive.
    • As a result, the benefits from state-led development have so far reached only a minority of Indians.

Why it should be given importance for playing a key role in the economic development of India :-

  • India’s commitment towards development through planning had begun to diminish from the early 1990s itself much before the Planning Commission was formally dismantled in 2014. After the introduction of economic reforms in 1991, public investment, especially on agriculture and industry, has been on a decline in the country.
  • PSUs have begun to be valued only for the returns they bring as commercial entities. There has been little recognition of the important role that PSUs can play as creators of new technologies and knowledge, particularly in fields in which the private sector may have little interest or capabilities.
  • The disregard for planning and the general withdrawal of the state from economic decision-making have had important consequences on Indian industry.
    • Despite the emergence of such a large domestic market, the record of Indian manufacturing in absorbing the large labour reserves in the country remains abysmal.
    • The imports of machinery, transport equipment, electronic goods and all their components have been rising continuously in India from the 2000s onwards.
    • This trend has not been reversed after the introduction of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • Planning is not incompatible with markets and globalization:-
    • On the contrary, a developing country trying hard to stay afloat amidst the turbulence of a global economy requires more guidance thorough industrial policies.
    • The successes achieved by East Asian countries such as South Korea in manufacturing are the result of strategic planning over several decades by their governments.
    • China is gradually shifting its economic base from low-wage industries, and is now emerging as a global leader, even ahead of the U.S., in several new technologies, including artificial intelligence and renewable energy. These Chinese achievements owe much to the careful planning and investments made by its government, particularly in the area of science and technology.
    • Employment cannot be resolved with the technologies that foreign companies bring into India, which tend to be labour saving. What India requires are technological advances that create new economic opportunities and absorb not displace labour.

What needs to be done :-

  • India’s research institutions and our PSUs should engage in the creation and dissemination of such technologies.
  • The country’s industrial policies should be able to enthuse young and educated entrepreneurs from rural areas to make use of these technologies to create new jobs.
  • Planning should be brought back to the centre of economic discussions.

Topic – Indian Economy and issues related to growth

5) The GDP back series calculations raises a lot of unanswered questions over how the economy has been faring since 2011. Examine and comment on the current state of Indian economy.(250 words) 

Livemint

Why this question

The GDP back series calculations have been presenting varying pictures over the status of Indian economy in the last decade or so. There is a need to understand the data in depth to have a better understanding of how the economy has been faring and the issues that it is faced with.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the GDP back-series data up to 2004-05  based on 2011-12 base year and discuss what it tells about the economy since 2011 and comment on the current state of the question economy.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that the central statistics office has presented new GDP growth data under the new base series which has presented conflicting pictures and highlighted several issues involved therein.

Body – Highlight that the new calculation has revised GDP growth data based on calculations. However bring out that other economic metric are not in consonance with the other indicators of economic growth such as increase in capital formation, savings rate etc. Discuss what is meant by revising the growth figures and what actually are the takeaway from the entire exercise by CSO. Highlight that the economy has still failed to recover fully – bad debt, capital formation etc are huge issues that need tackling for economy to grow.

Conclusion – Discuss the relevance of the GDP back series calculations and bring out the current state of economy.

Background :-

  • In August, the committee on real sector statistics, one of the five committees constituted by the National Statistical Commission, had calculated that the real GDP growth rate for 2006-07 was 10.08% under the new series (base 2011-12).
  • So recently Central Statistics Office presented the final revised GDP growth numbers for 2004-05 to 2011-12 (base 2011-12).

GDP back series calculation  raises many questions :-

  • There are doubts if India has paid a high price for economic overheating that the governments policies had leading to rising and high fiscal and current account deficits, plunging rupee and bad loans in the banking system. 
  • It is difficult to replicate the calculations and verify the growth numbers because several assumptions lie behind the calculations. 
  • The estimated growth rates since 2011 are still too high, when compared with other data on economic activity, such as sales of commercial vehicles, purchasing managers’ indices, RBI industrial outlook surveys, mobile phone subscribers, air freight, and air passenger traffic. 

Current state of Indian economy :-

  • Bad debt problem in banks.
  • India’s capital formation and savings rates have come down. The slide in fixed capital formation due to the heavy debt load in the balance sheets of banks and companies.
  • Household savings rates have dropped 8 percentage points since 2004. 
  • The Rupee depreciated to one of its lowest values at about 67 rupees to a dollar.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had to run down its forex reserves by $11 billion last month to stem the rupee volatility.
  • Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) withdrew about Rs 48,000 crore in the first six months of 2018 – the highest in a decade.
  • The infrastructure deficit is a major concern and infrastructure investment needs to be stepped up as currently it is not in par with the needs of the economy.
  • Other challenges for the economy include addressing infrastructural bottlenecks in the agricultural sector, investment in human resources to leverage the demographic dividend, increasing expenditure on education and healthcare sectors, and social security provision for the unorganized sector.
  • The money sunk into ailing banks, a slowdown in public investment, rising petroleum prices, slowdown in remittances from Indian workers abroad, and the sharp rise in stock prices and the fear of their equally rapid fall with foreign investors pulling out
  • Private investment continuous decrease in a decade(36%to 26%).

Suggestions to improve:-

  • The government needs to continue on its path of fiscal consolidation, both in terms of quantity and quality.
    • Government expenditure should be focused on areas where the returns are the highest – like health, education, increasing export competitiveness, logistics efficiency and infrastructure creation.
  • India needs to diversify its oil import basket.
    • Many countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE are willing to step in if Iranian imports stop. India needs to negotiate this further and also deal with the US on the issue of sanctions waiver.
  • Rising inflationary expectations need to be kept under control. 
  • Long-term systemic reform of agriculture needs to continue by making procurement system stronger
  • Strengthening WTO and adhering to rules based trading order is the necessity.
  • Strengthening Banking sector:-
    • There is a need to creation of bad bank ,asset management company, asset reconstruction company to take care of huge NPA.

 


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.

6) What do you understand by a dual-use dilemma. Discuss with examples.(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 write in detail about the meaning of a dual-use dilemma and give some practical examples to make the meaning of the term more clear.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the  dual-use dilemma. E.g The dual-use dilemma occurs when a piece of research or technology can both benefit and harm humanity.

Body-

  1. Discuss about the dual-use dilemma in detail. E.g The dual-use dilemma is primarily an ethical dilemma for researchers who have to decide whether the ethical benefits are justified given the risks. It also has implications for those involved in funding research, journalists reporting findings and the public who might be harmed by the consequences of dual-use research; It’s important to note the dual-use dilemma assumes the researcher has no intention to produce something harmful – they only intend to do good. The danger lies in the possibility for other people using their work to do harm. Once the technology is created it can’t be unmade. Who is responsible for the unforeseeable consequences? And should researchers contemplate those consequences before getting started?  etc.
  2. Give some practical examples of such dilemmas being faced by society or you or someone else. E.g give the example of the recent gene-editing exercise conducted by a Chinese researcher etc.

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

 

Background :-

  • Science is primarily used to benefit humanity, but it can be misused, presenting scientists and others with an ethical quandary known as the dual-use dilemma.

Dual use dilemma :-

  • The dualuse dilemmaoccurs when a piece of research or technology can both benefit and harm humanity.
  • The dualuse dilemmais primarily an ethical dilemma for researchers who have to decide whether the ethical benefits are justified given the risks.
  • Challenge posed by the dual-use dilemma is to determine which preventive measures will optimise the benefit-risk profile of science.

Examples :-

  • Advances in DNA synthesis have enabled cheap and rapid synthesis of some viral genomes. There is concern that further advances and improved methods for delivering infectious agents may bring bioweapons production within the capabilities of terrorist groups.
  • Neuro science :-
    • Developments in brain imaging have provided new research and diagnostic tools for scientists and clinicians. There is speculation that advances in neuro-imaging may enable determination of a person’s thoughts or feelings. However, barriers include the complexity of the human brain and relationships between brain and mind states, as well as variation in brain structure over a lifetime and  between individuals.
  • Determining a person’s broad psychological state may be more realistic. There is concern that technologies for imaging psychological states may be used in ways that infringe privacy.

How to tackle dual use dilemma:-

  • Advocates of risk reduction support education on misuse at all stages of scientists careers, including compulsory education for students. Some highlight the role well-informed scientists could play in lobbying for better preventive policies.
  • Others suggest raising awareness will promote debate, create a culture of responsibility and discourage scientists from pursuing or disseminating research posing an unacceptable risk of misuse. Some also advocate public engagement on dual-use issues and awareness – raising among policymakers.
  • Codes of conduct :-
    • Promoting codes of conduct outlining scientists’ responsibilities for preventing misuse of their work. Although there is some scepticism about the direct influence of codes on scientific practice, many believe that they will promote a scientific culture of taking responsibility for how science is used.
  • Strategies to prevent misuse could operate at the level of scientific practice, information dissemination or technology applications.