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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 15 MARCH 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 15 MARCH 2019


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.


Topic-Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1) Examine the effect of increasing digitization and e-governance on the aged population in India.(250 words)

Hindubuisnessline

 

Why this question:

In the era of 4.0 Industrial revolution, the article captures a discussion upon the effect of technology on elderly people in India, the factors which have led to some change in the status of elderly, the issues plaguing them and the solutions through ICT in addressing them. UPSC in the past has asked about the effect of globalization on elderly people in India , and thus the question is of great importance.

 

Key demands of the question:

The question is about analyzing the mixed impact of increasing digitization and effect of carrying out the functions and achieving the results of governance through the utilization of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) on the aged population of India.

 

Directive word

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

 

Structure of the answer:

 

Introduction

A good start would be with some fact highlighting change in the lives of elderly population due to coming of Digitisation.

 

Body

The body of the answer should base on examples and convey the following dimensions:

  1. What are the challenges Digitization and increasing e-governance has posed on the elderly;  lack of knowledge to use technology owing to illiteracy, lack of access to technology, technology may just corner the aged people even more etc.
  2. Positives – access to services at the click of a mouse or at fingertips with mobile phones; e- living certificates, direct transfer of pensions to accounts, social connectivity sitting at home etc.
  3. Analyse the above pros and cons and convey you overall opinion.

 

Conclusion

Conclude that digitization and increased technology in Governance  has mixed impact on aged population. It has seemingly prolonged life and increased the purpose of life for the old.

Introduction:

e-Governance is basically carrying out the functions and achieving the results of governance through the utilization of ICT (Information and Communications Technology). It ensures government to be transparent in its dealings, accountable for its activities and faster in its responses as part of good governance.

However, with rapid changes in the technology and digitization by the day, many of the aged and senior citizens are finding it challenging to cope up. Elderly people are increasingly getting marginalised due to digital illiteracy, a new survey has revealed.

According to the Agewell Foundation Survey, approximately 85.8 per cent respondents were found to be digitally and computer illiterate, out of which 76.5 per cent were elderly men and 95 per cent were elderly women.

Body:

The challenges increasing Digitization and increasing e-governance has posed on the elderly are:

  • Digital Illiteracy:
    • With Digital India as one of the flagship programs of the government, most of the services from online payment of utility bills to pension to PDS to Banking to Insurance has gone digital. Digital illiteracy is a bane to the elderly who find it difficult to use the facilities.
  • Digital Divide:
    • It increases the “ever-widening generation gap” between the younger and older generations. This is seen in the form of accessibility, affordability to the digital devices and digi-world.
    • 4 per cent digitally illiterate respondents claimed that they consider themselves as marginalized and under- privileged lot of society in new settings, which is governed by modern IT and internet.
  • Poverty:
    • Instances in Jharkand where elderly couldn’t receive their PDS grains due to failure of Aadhar Verification because of missing finger-prints of senior citizens.
    • Almost 70% of women are part of the unconnected population in the country.
    • The gap between the haves and the have-nots is persistent and becoming increasingly problematic.
    • Recent natural disasters have shown that being disconnected has devastating consequences for the elderly and their families.
  • Trust Deficit and Fear:
    • Many older persons live in fear. It is doubled in case of using computer and digital devices due to perceived complications, cyber threats, loss of hard-earned money etc.
    • They feel that there is no reason to use the mobile Internet. This is a generation that has not grown with mobile technology and is usually aversed to new technical skills.
  • Reducing personal ties:
    • A whopping 85 per cent rued lack of communication with younger members of their families, due to their “more demanding lifestyle and inability of older family members to understand the modern digital language of communication
    • A lot of older people feel, in the digital age, that they are not relevant or included.

Positives of Digitization for elderly citizens:

  • Participation: It has enabled them to participate in the economy, earn by offering consultations from their life experience and wisdom, which is extremely valuable for us to progress as a society. Perspectives, guidance and mentoring from the elderly we believe, need to be integrated deeply into what’s taught in schools and colleges.
  • Connection: Enables them to restore connections to their family members who are separated geographically or have travel constraints.
  • Information: Enables them to use the internet, gain information on their body, health conditions, find people who have answers to their questions and start conversations online.
  • Inclusion: Can reap the benefits of Government schemes like pension, banking, e- living certificates, direct transfer of pensions to accounts etc.

Way forward:

  • Provision of Customer service centers at the rural areas for digital assistance of the aged.
  • Digital financial literacy will help in financial inclusion, which is abysmally low among aged women.
  • Digital literacy among the elderly would help the population in getting government benefits on financial inclusion schemes, chatting with friends and relatives, internet banking, online payment of utility bills, getting gainful engagement, online entertainment, among others.
  • Encouraging digital inclusion is not only about being socially conscious, but it also means being profitable. There is a need for tailor-made products specifically to the needs of the senior citizens
  • They will have more opportunities to communicate with family, access public services, and receive the latest safety information during a crisis.
  • We could also have online platforms that encourage seniors to come forward and share their life lessons and insights.

Conclusion:

Helping seniors connect online will allow thousands of people to engage with their communities to plan for extreme conditions, rather than being passive bystanders.


Topic– Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

2) Debate whether the assertion of 10% quota law can act as a step towards classless and casteless society? Critically analyse(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question:

The question is in relevance to the recently proposed quota facility for the economically weaker sections by the government of India. It is important to evaluate the shift in the idea of reservation from socially weaker sections to economically weaker sections.

 

demand of the question:

The answer must explain why is the paradigm shift, What is that the government claiming and how far is it right? One must weigh the pros and cons of such a policy. The main demand of the question is to analyse if the above reform in reservation system is going to make our Indian society – casteless and classless in reality.

 

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, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

 

Structure of the answer:

 

Introduction

Brief upon the recent decision of the government on providing the quota for EWS.

 

Body

Discuss the following in detail:

  • Discussion should analyse the Supreme Court’s past decision of – “attainment of economic equality as the final and only solution to the besetting problems”.
  • Discuss – the pros and cons of amendment; to create 10% reservation for the poor in the unreserved category violated the basic structure of the Constitution and breached the 50% ceiling.
  • Relevance of Article 15(6) and Article 16(6).
  • Is reservation the only solution to empower the weaker and backward section?

 

Conclusion

conclude with significance of reservation in Indian history since independence, and how gradually we need to move towards a casteless and classless society that requires no reservation as a tool to bring equality among people.

Introduction:

The President of India has given his assent to the bill providing 10% reservation in jobs and educational institutions to the economically weaker sections in the general category. The legislation will be known as the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019 and it shall come into force on such date as the Centre notifies.

Body:

Reservation leads to casteless and classless society:

  • The 10% quota law is a step towards a classless and casteless society, the Union government has indicated in the Supreme Court.
  • The Centre referred to the court’s past decisions that called for the “attainment of economic equality as the final and only solution to the besetting problems” of the country. The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, was meant to benefit the economically weaker sections of society who were not covered by the existing schemes of reservation.
  • It said the law was meant to benefit a large section of the population of 135 crore people, who are mostly lower middle class and below the poverty line.
  • The government quoted the 2010 report of the Commission for Economically Backward Classes, chaired by Major General S.R. Sinho (retired), which said 18.2% of the general category came under the below poverty line (BPL).
  • The Government took support of the 13-page affidavit quoted from a 1985 Constitution Bench judgment in K.C. Vasanth Kumar vs Karnataka, which quotes Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi to drive home the point that the economy of a family, and not its caste, should be the determining factor of social and educational backwardness.
  • Article 15(6) and Article 16(6) are enabling provisions for advancement of the economically weaker sections and are, in fact, in conformity with the principle of reservation and affirmative action, It argued that a “mere amendment” to an Article would not violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • Furthermore, the 50% ceiling applied to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. The new provision dealt with the economically weaker sections. “The limit of 50% is only applicable to reservation under Articles 15(4), 15(5) and 16(4) and does not apply to Article 15(6).”

The pros of the reservation Act are:

  • Alleviation of Poverty: It is expected to help the needy among the higher castes.
  • Reduces ghost beneficiaries: In some cases, it is expected to eliminate the desperation of those who, in the past, would resort to obtaining fake Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificates that were used to seek entry into professional courses.
  • Removes Prejudice: The reservation will prevent these higher castes from holding reservations responsible for national disintegration and perpetuation of casteism, as they widely believe.
  • Reduces Unwanted Adoptions: The legislation is also expected to keep savarna-caste aspirants from seeking adoption into SC/ST families in order to procure SC/ST certificates.
  • No deceptive self-characterisation: Ironically, the 10% quota can help these savarnas retain their authentic caste identity. In this way, they can now avoid facing humiliation in courts of law on account of being exposed as fake caste certificate holders.

The cons of the reservation are:

  • Discredits the moral foundation of the principle of social justice:
  • The principle of social justice calls for ‘equal treatment of equals’ and ‘affirmative action for less advantage sections’.
  • Constitution outlines special provisions for only four classes – SCs, STs, Backward Classes and Anglo Indians in the Articles 330-342 under Part 16.
  • The provision is clearly mentioned as reservation is explicitly for ‘social exclusion and discrimination’. Notably, the “socially and educationally backward classes” was the target group in quotas for OBCs.
  • Unfairness or an element of injustice is rooted in the practice of untouchability, whereas pure economic backwardness is rooted in the systemic inability to provide jobs to the higher castes.
  • The lack of opportunities is not due to untouchability, but due to the inability of the state and the market to provide enough jobs for the qualified and the needy.
  • The new reservation policy has transformed from a policy meant to provide a level playing field for those suffering from historical discrimination and those who are weaker sections of the society to a policy meant as a dole for those sections of society who are poor and lack jobs.
  • The Indira Sawhney case had further held that social backwardness cannot be determined only with reference to an economic criterion.
  • Violation of DPSP:
  • The Article 46, which is a non-justiciable Directive Principle, says that the state shall promote educational and economic interests of “weaker sections”, in particular SCs and STs, and protect them from “social injustices” and “all forms of exploitation”.
  • While the 103rd Amendment mentions Article 46 in its statement and objects, it seems the government overlooked the fact that upper castes neither face social injustice nor are subjected to any form of exploitation.
  • Moreover, the Constitution makes provisions for commissions to look into matters relating to implementation of constitutional safeguards for Scheduled Castes (Article 338), Scheduled Tribes (338A) and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (339), but has not created any commission for the economically backward classes.
  • Violation of Basic Structure Doctrine:
  • The 10% reservation will be in addition to the existing cap of 50% reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, taking the total reservation to 60%.
  • This would leave other candidates with just 40% government jobs or seats, amounting to violation of Article 14 (Right to Equality), which is a part of Basic Structure.
  • The 60% reservation will also lead to “sacrifice of merit”.

Conclusion:

Reservation to the weaker sections is a positive affirmative action needed for their welfare. The 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act though is a beneficial move for the “forward poor”. Similar moves by previous governments have be judicially reviewed and struck down. It is prudent to look at other alternatives to alleviate the conditions of EWS.


Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary; Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

3) Is the Right of Press to provide the information or opinion encroaching upon the privacy of an individual?  should it not be restricted only to foster public interest and not to infringe upon privacy of individual. Discuss. (250 words)

Don’t cross ‘Line of control’, High Court cautions media 15-03-2019, Bengaluru edition page 02

Indianexpress

 

Why this question:

The question is in the context of tension between the freedom of expression and the right to privacy as examined with particular attention to media in India. Freedom of Press is integral part of the freedom of expression. Infant print media has grown up as a youth with tremendous dimensions viz, electronic media.

 

Key demand of the question:

The answer must crucially highlight that freedom of speech and expression assured to media has to be exercised subject to the degree to which private information is exposed and therefore it depends on how the public will receive this information, which differs between places and over time.

 

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

 

Structure of the answer

 

Introduction:

Briefly bring out the role of Media/Press and  its significance.

Body:

The purpose of the answer must be to understand whether media is functioning within its arena of Constitution; freedom of speech and expression properly, examine whether the internal norms to regulate media are virtually followed, should there be outer checks on media freedom or it is against the democratic principle of freedom of speech and expression. Further, analyze the limitation on people’s right to know and how far appropriate.

In the environment of scattered statutory provisions for privacy protection, limitations of law declared by the judiciary on privacy and the modern days threat to privacy, one must highlight the need for comprehensive and effective law for the protection of privacy in India.

Conclusion –

Conclude with what needs to be done, how can a balance be struck between the two.

Introduction:

The Supreme Court of India (SCI) in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) vs Union of India is a resounding victory for privacy. The judgment’s ringing endorsement of the right to privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21 marks a watershed moment in the constitutional history of India.

Freedom of speech and expression is one of the important pillars of democracy. Free expression is indispensable to the unadulterated exchange of thoughts and ideas needed to regulate the democratic machinery in India. Freedom of press can be said to be a subset of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a).

Body:

Right of press is encroaching the privacy of individuals:

  • In the case of Romesh Thappar v. State of Madras , it was observed that, “freedom of speech and the press lay at the foundation of all democratic organizations, for, without free political discussion no public education, so essential for the proper functioning of the processes of the popular government is possible.”
  • It is the only kind of freedom, which makes it possible for the people to formulate their own opinion on a proper basis in order to exercise their social, economic and political rights in their free society in an informed manner. Democracy cannot prosper unless people go out and express their views.
  • Freedom of speech and expression also means freedom to propagate ideas by way of circulation of press. Liberty of circulation is as important as publication by the print media or press. Without circulation, the publication would be worthless.
  • Today, it is being witnessed that the over-inquisitive media, which is a product of over-commercialization, is severely encroaching the individual’s “Right to Privacy” by crossing the boundaries of its freedom.
  • Yet another observation of the court which touched this aspect of violation of right to privacy of the individuals is found in the judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Labour Liberation Front v. State of Andhra Pradesh. The Court observed: “Once an incident involving a prominent person or institution takes place, the media is swinging into action virtually leaving very little for the prosecution or the Courts to examine in the matter.
  • Recently, it has assumed dangerous proportions to the extent of entering into the very privacy of individuals. Gross misuse of technological advancements and unhealthy competition in the field of journalism resulted in obliteration of norms or commitments to the noble profession. The freedom of speech and expression which is the bedrock of journalism is subjected to gross misuse.
  • The SC in Rajgopal v. State of TamilNadu observed that Citizen has the right to safeguard the privacy of his own, his family, marriage, procreation, motherhood, childbearing and education among others. No one can publish anything concerning the above matters without his consent – whether truthful or otherwise and whether laudatory or critical. If he does so he would be violating the right of privacy of the person concerned and would be liable to action of damages.

Way forward:

  • There is a need to maintain balance between the freedom of speech and expression of Press and right to privacy of the individuals. It is necessary to keep a check on the extent of its role and when it starts to forget the thin line between public and private interest.
  • Since balancing of the right to privacy against freedom of press is a complex process and demands sensitivity to both interests, it requires a clear precision.
  • If citizens and organizations are left absolutely free and unchecked, it will lead to conflict of rights and ultimately end in disorder and anarchy. Therefore, while exercising such rights of speech and expression, one should keep in mind the fundamental right to dignity and privacy of the individual concerned as guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution.
  • In recent times there have been spates of incidence which required the courts to step in and restrain newspapers and other media from entering into individual privacy. Whenever, such matters of invasion of privacy reach the court, journalists put forward common defence that the disclosure was privileged because it was news-worthy and try to cover it with public interest blanket of defence. There is no doubt that newspapers do a commendable job in bringing certain long buried issues to the forefront.
  • However it needs to be realised that even while reporting those news, some amount of restraint must be exercised.
  • Like every other right, these two rights also have restrictions. The situation needs to be balanced in these kinds of cases.

Conclusion:

The government should come out with specific law, clearly laying down the guidelines for press while dealing with such threshold issues as soon as possible. All this mandates for a specific law on privacy, but still this law is nowhere near to reality.


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

4) “Lately, the Indian statistics and the institutions associated have however come under a cloud for being influenced and even controlled by political  reflections.” Critically analyse.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The Indian statistical system is perhaps facing its sharpest criticism in recent memory. The data released by the government recently are being openly questioned. The question is in the background of resignation of two members of the National Statistical Commission—including the acting chairman—last week, while protesting the delay in the publication of employment data, among other things.

 

Key demand of the question:

The answer must critically analyse the topic in question, provide for recent incidences that are evidences of such anomaly in indicating the achievements of the government; National Sample Survey Office – unemployment rate, involvement of NITI Aayog in the release of new gross domestic product (GDP) etc.

 

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, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

 

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with the highlights of the recent incidences that prove the political interference in publishing reports in their favor and fear.

Body:

The answer should capture the following aspects:

  • Discuss at a broader level, amidst recent controversies regarding jobs and GDP data made headlines, why the statistical system in the country needs to be reassessed.
  • What are ill effects of such an anomaly?
  • Why is it important to improve the Statistical system?
  • Significance of Statistical systems and their role in economy and development.

 

Conclusion:

Re-stress on the importance of statistical systems and the reforms needed to keep them unbiased.

Introduction:

For decades, India’s statistical machinery enjoyed a high level of reputation for the integrity of the data it produced on a range of economic and social parameters. A group of 108 economists and social scientists working around the world, have issued an appeal to convince the Indian government to stop suppressing uncomfortable data, restore access to public statistics and re-establish the independence and integrity of institutions.

Body:

Recent controversies regarding data anomalies:

  • Over the past two months, Indian national statistics and the organisations that administer them have faced a volley of criticism.
  • In recent, two independent members of the National Statistical Commission resigned in protest, over alleged suppression of economic data by the government.
  • More recently, amidst growing scepticism regarding India’s official statistics, more than a hundred scholars comprising economists and social scientists released a statement decrying the fall in standards of institutional independence, suggesting political interference as the cause.
  • Kaushik Basu, a former chief economist of the World Bank, also recently regret strongly the declining credibility of India’s official statistics.
  • There has been a controversy over NSSO figures not being released after a draft report had indicated that employment generation was slow.
  • The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy has pegged job losses in 2018 at 11 million based on its regular employment surveys.
  • The back series, released in November, adjusted the GDP numbers for the period using new methodology with the base year as FY12 and has scaled back growth in from the peak of 10.3% in FY11 to 8.5%.
  • The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for 2017-18 which the government has stubbornly, and inexplicably, refused to release — till date
  • The CAG’s FRMB report for 2016-17 is highly critical of the continuation of off-budgeting practices which suppresses budget deficit numbers.

Ill effects of such an anomaly:

  • It only helps in diverting attention from real issues to the trivial ones while the condition of economy goes from bad to worse.
  • Economic statistics as a “public good” that was vital for policy-making and informed public discourse in democracies where citizens seek accountability from their governments.
  • For decades, India’s statistical machinery has enjoyed a high level of reputation for the integrity of the data it produced on a range of economic and social parameters. The credibility will be wiped out.
  • Transparency and Accountability which are the chief characteristics of good governance is lost. It masks the government’s performance thereby creating a curtain of opacity.
  • Reduces the trust of foreign investors in Indian Economy, thereby hampering the economy further.
  • It increases the trust deficit between the citizens and government machinery.
  • Institutional independence, integrity, reliability and impartiality of the statistical organisations is at stake.

Importance of improving the Statistical system:

  • The Indian National Sample Survey is respected the world over. Not just because of its size, but also for its sample design, that uses methods make perfect by some of the world’s most reputed statisticians.
  • This distinguished history, which India can claim with pride, makes the recent undermining of the credibility of our statistical output especially regrettable.
  • We can, however, ensure that when we look back on this several years from now, it represents an anomaly rather than a lasting, irreparable loss of institutional credibility.
  • It is also imperative to use the scientific methods for data collection and estimation and their timely dissemination, which form vital public services.
  • India, with its vastness and complexities, poses tremendous challenges for data collection.
  • The dualistic nature of the economy means a large unorganised sector coexists with the organised sector that the data collection systems are unable to fully cover.

Conclusion:

This is the time for all professional economists, statisticians, independent researchers in policy — regardless of their political and ideological leanings — to come together to raise their voice against the tendency to suppress uncomfortable data, and impress upon the government authorities, current and future, and at all levels, to restore access and integrity to public statistics, and re-establish institutional independence and integrity to the statistical organisations.


Topic:   Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests./ IPR related issues.

5) Discuss the objectives and  features of recently approved Global Trademark System by Government of India, What are its significance and benefits for India? Elaborate.(250 words)

The hindubuisnessline

Why this question:

The question is in the context of the recent decision of the cabinet –  of approving the proposal for India’s Accession to the Nice, Vienna and Locarno Agreements, that would harmonize the classification systems for examination of trademark and design applications, in line with the systems followed globally.

 

Key demand of the question

The answer should bring out the benefits of such a decision, as to how the accession is expected to instill confidence in foreign investors in relation to protection of IPs in India. How the accession will facilitate in exercising rights in decision-making processes regarding review and revision of the classifications under the agreement among others.

 

Directive word

 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive, you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

 

Structure of the answer

 

Introduction:

Explain briefly the context of these agreements and highlight the significance.

 

Body:

The answer must cover the following aspects:

  • The aims and objectives of the agreements .
  • Significance and benefits for India: Accession to the Nice, Vienna and Locarno Agreements will help the Intellectual Property Office in India to harmonise the classification systems for examinational of trademark and design applications, in line with the classification systems followed globally.  It would give an opportunity to include Indian designs, figurative elements and goods in the international classification systems. The accession is expected to instil confidence in foreign investors in relation to protection of IPs in India. The accession would also facilitate in exercising rights in decision making processes regarding review and revision of the classifications under the agreement.
  • Way forward.

 

Conclusion:

Conclude with optimism and the benefits it would bring to India.

 

Introduction:

A trademark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. Trademark registration can be obtained for a business name, distinctive catch phrases, taglines or captions. In India, Trademarks Act 1999 governs it.

The Cabinet recently approved the proposal for India’s Accession to the Nice, Vienna and Locarno Agreements, that would harmonise the classification systems for examination of trademark and design applications, in line with the systems followed globally.

Body:

Aims and objectives of the agreements:

  • Nice Agreement
    • The Nice Agreement establishes the international classification of goods and services for the registration of trademarks and service marks. It was formed in the year 1957 and is classified on the basis of a multilateral treaty governed by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).
  • The Vienna Agreement
    • The Vienna Agreement establishes a classification for marks that include figurative elements. The agreement was formed in the year 1973 and later amended in 1985.
  • The Locarno Agreement
    • The Locarno Agreement establishes a classification for industrial designs. It was formulated in 1968 and later amended in 1979.
  • All three agreements are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Significance and benefits for India:

  • Accession to the Nice, Vienna and Locarno Agreements will help the Intellectual Property Office in India to harmonise the classification systems for examinational of trademark and design applications, in line with the classification systems followed globally.
  • It would give an opportunity to include Indian designs, figurative elements and goods in the international classification systems.
  • The accession is expected to instil confidence in foreign investors in relation to protection of IPs in India.
  • The accession will also facilitate in exercising rights in decision-making processes regarding review and revision of the classifications under the agreement.
  • These distinctive signs seek to stimulate, ensure healthy competition, and protect consumers by helping them to make informed choices among various goods and services.
  • The three agreements:
    • Create a Union, which has an Assembly. Every State that is a member of the Union is a member of the Assembly.
    • Among the most important tasks of the Assembly is the adoption of the biennial program and budget of the Union.
    • Set up a Committee of Experts in which all members of the Union are represented. The main task of the Committee is the periodical revision of the Classification.

Conclusion:

The accession is part of the government’s commitment to strengthen the Indian Intellectual property regime. It is in line with the objectives of National Intellectual Property Rights Policy 2016.


Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment./ Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

6) “Climate Change has made healthcare a bigger concern for vulnerable communities”.Analyse the above statement in the light of recently released UN Environment Programme’s Global Environmental Outlook (GEO6) report.  (250 words)

NewIndianexpress

Reference

Why this question:

The article examines Global Environment Outlook report that has been released recently. The report is the sixth and is the UN’s most comprehensive report on the state of the global environment since the fifth edition in 2012.

The report highlights the concerns arising out of climate change. The question is with a special focus on healthcare of vulnerable sections.

 

Key demand of the question:

The answer must analyse the impact of climate change on healthcare of vulnerable sections. One has to evaluate the biological and social link between climate change and health through a deeper analysis of the report.

 

Directive word:

Analyse – When you are asked to analyse, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

 

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Narrate in short the significance of the findings of the report.

Body:

Discuss briefly the following aspects :

  • Such questions are best answered with substantial facts and statistics quoted from the report like Seventeen of the hottest years in history were all within the last 18 years, A quarter of all premature deaths and diseases worldwide are due to manmade pollution and environmental damage, Deadly emissions, chemicals polluting drinking water, and the accelerating destruction of ecosystems crucial to the livelihoods of billions of people are driving a worldwide epidemic that hampers the global economy. There is a growing chasm between rich and poor countries as rampant overconsumption, pollution and food waste in the developed world leads to hunger, poverty and disease elsewhere.
  • Suggest the impact , discuss what needs to be done, paint a picture of Indian scenario and provide for a way forward.

 

Conclusion:

Conclude with current efforts in terms of policies, laws by the government along with global efforts in progress in this direction to tackle climate change.

Introduction:

The sixth edition of the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on the theme “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” was released recently. It painted a dire picture of a planet where environmental problems interact with each other to make things even more dangerous for people. The report concludes ‘unsustainable human activities globally have degraded the Earth’s ecosystems, endangering the ecological foundations of society.‘ The report details climate change impacts on human health, air, water, land and biodiversity.

Body:

Key highlights of the report:

  • Premature deaths:
    • A quarter of all premature deaths and diseases worldwide are due to manmade pollution and environmental damage.
    • Deadly emissions, chemicals polluting drinking water, and the accelerating destruction of ecosystems crucial to the livelihoods of billions of people are driving a worldwide epidemic that hampers the global economy.
  • Rising Inequality:
    • There is a growing chasm between rich and poor countries as rampant overconsumption, pollution and food waste in the developed world leads to hunger, poverty and disease elsewhere.
    • The top 10% of populations globally, in terms of wealth, are responsible for 45% of GHG emissions, and the bottom 50% for only 13%.
    • Pollution impacts are, however, borne more by the poorer citizens.
  • Health:
    • Poor environmental conditions cause approximately 25% of global disease and mortality, with around 9 million deaths in 2015 alone.
    • Nearly 1.4 million people die each year from preventable diseases with lack of access to clean drinking supplies. For instance, diarrhoea and parasites linked to pathogen-riddled water and poor sanitation
    • Air pollution alone causes 6-7 million early deaths annually.
    • Unchecked use of antibiotics in food production will result in drug-resistant superbugs becoming the world’s number one cause of premature death by mid-century.
  • Food Waste
    • Thirty-three percent of edible food is wasted worldwide, with more than half thrown out in industrialized nations, the report says.
    • Food waste for instance, which accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, could be slashed.
  • Species Extinction
    • Land degradation through mega-farming and deforestation occurs in areas of Earth which are home to 3.2 billion people.
    • Species extinction rates also continue to increase at a pace that could compromise Earth’s ability to meet human needs, the report says.
    • Among invertebrates, 42% of land dwellers, 34% of freshwater species and 25% of marine species are at risk of extinction.

Impacts:

  • As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise amid a preponderance of droughts, floods and super storms made worse by climbing sea levels, there is a growing political consensus that climate change poses a future risk to billions.
  • But the health impacts of pollution, deforestation and the mechanised food-chain are less well understood. Nor is there any international agreement for the environment close to covering what the 2015 Paris accord does for climate.
  • Poor environmental conditions “cause approximately 25% of global disease and mortality” — around 9 million deaths in 2015 alone.
  • Lacking access to clean drinking supplies, 1.4 million people die each year from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and parasites linked to pathogen-riddled water and poor sanitation.
  • Chemicals pumped into the seas cause “potentially multi-generational” adverse health effects, and land degradation through mega-farming and deforestation occurs in areas of Earth home to 3.2 billion people.
  • Species extinction rates also continue to increase at a pace that could compromise Earth’s ability to meet human needs, the report says.

Way forward:

  • It encourages policy-makers to recognise that global or regional action is often essential due to the trans-boundary nature of many environmental problems.
  • There is an urgent need for retooling of the global economy to more sustainable production lines.
  • Urgent action at an unprecedented scale is necessary to arrest and reverse the present environment situation.
  • The report called for a root-and-branch detoxifying of human behaviour while insisting that the situation is not unassailable.
  • Food waste for instance, which accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, could be slashed. The world currently throws away a third of all food produced. In richer nations, 56% goes to waste.
  • The report also advises adopting less-meat intensive diets.
  • It also called for a rapid drawdown in greenhouse gas emissions and pesticide use to improve air and water quality.

Way forward for India:

  • Every other international environmental report showed that India will be the most hit due to climate change.
  • Now, the GEO report on environmental damage causing health emergencies is another thing that the country should worry due to its burgeoning population and weak public healthcare sector.
  • By emphasising on “synergies” between “the efforts to meet climate change targets and policies to reduce air pollution, this is particularly significant for India, whose Paris Climate Treaty commitments rely heavily on a shift to renewable energy (RE).
  • Steps like India Clean Air Program (ICAP), Ayushman Bharat should be strengthened to tackle the challenges arising.
  • More steps are needed to be taken by the policy makers to rapidly reduce emissions in the country.
  • Effective policies must be brought out to reduce over-consumption in the country and promote sustainable ways of living.

Conclusion:

The Global Environment Outlook should be seen as a call for such creativity by breaking down the silos in environmental policy-making. GEO came at the right time to awaken the world to take effective steps in tackling the environmental issues which has become an existential question for the mankind.


Topic: Disaster and disaster management

7) “The relationship between disaster and development depends on the development choices made by the individual, community and the nation”. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference

The hindu

Why this question:

The question is in the backdrop of recent incidence of foot over bridge that collapsed in Mumbai. The incidence hints at the relationship between man made disasters and the role played by Man in his development policies.

 

Key demand of the question:

The question is about the fact that while focusing on development goals, the  countries have to adjust their policies and priorities to rearrange valuable resources to deal with occurrences and challenges of a variety  of natural, man-made, and technological disasters, which are directly or indirectly related to economic development. In this case the incidence of collapse of foot over bridge is not the first of its type.

Directive word:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

 

Introduction:

Introduce with a few lines on importance of disaster management and highlight the need with respect to Man made disasters.

 

Body:

Discuss the following:

  • Bring out the importance of Disaster management in managing man-made disasters.
  • Discuss the Socio-Economic and Political Consequence of such disasters.
  • Explain the implications, positive  or negative ones, and how it depends on the unique  social and cultural setup of local communities and the managerial capacity of their disaster and development.
  • What can be done? – suggest policy changes required in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude as – It is high time that India takes stringent measures

Have a robust disaster recovery systemin the country to manage and mitigate such losses.

 

Introduction:

A disaster is an unforeseen event, which can overwhelm the capacity of the affected people to manage its impact. Disaster management efforts aim to reduce or avoid the potential losses from hazards, assure prompt and appropriate assistance to the victims of a disaster, and achieve a rapid and effective recovery.

India has been traditionally vulnerable to the natural disasters on the account of its unique geo-climatic conditions. Off late, there is an increase in the man-made disasters. The Gas leaks, oil spills, nuclear meltdowns, industrial disasters, breaching of structures like Dams, foot-bridges, unregulated congregations are instances of such man-made disasters.

Body:

Socio-Economic and Political Consequence of such disasters:

  • Mortality and morbidity of many individuals as seen during the Bhopal Gas tragedy and recent train accident over congregation of people.
  • In the aftermath of disaster, people may experience a range of physical, psychological, emotional or behavioural reactions that, while perfectly natural, can significantly impact their ability to cope with the situation
  • Scarcity for basic needs may lead to problems like law and order problems.
  • Sudden loss of livelihood until recovery is established.
  • There is also a huge loss to the public health system, transport and communication and water supply in the affected areas.
  • Epidemic breakdowns are frequent.
  • The destructions caused due to disasters leads to wiping out of biodiversity in the nearby areas.
  • The economic resources in the form of labour are lost.
  • Any time a disaster hits it can cause millions in damage and even more to repair the wreckage.
  • It can pull many families into poverty as the bread-winners may lose lives or most of their income is spent on treatment of the injured.
  • There is a reduction of tourism in the area.

Importance of Disaster management in managing man-made disasters:

  • Disaster management occupies an important place in this country’s policy framework as it is the poor and the under-privileged who are worst affected on account of calamities/disasters.
  • Disasters affect sustainable developments in both generation equity and environment protection because disaster outcomes produce negative effects on local natural and environmental conditions and disaster policies and program affect not only recovery efforts for the current generation, but also development opportunities for future generations

Relationship between disaster and development:

  • To support the connection between disaster and development, researchers also stress the importance of creating participatory and collaborative processes, allowing civil society to engage in and take responsibility in disaster risk management and sustain-able development.
  • They suggest consultation procedures to integrate technical scientific modelling.
  • In order to make progress in the development stages of disaster reduction, inter-disciplinary studies must occur to develop better risk reduction strategies and until.
  • It is important to create a participatory process, allowing civil society to engage in and take responsibility in disaster risk management.
  • Participatory actions provide opportunities for a wide range of actors to interact and share knowledge. This process, it is hoped, will bring about connections between environmental knowledge and risk reduction.
  • Important characteristics for an effective disaster recovery and redevelopment include commitment, cooperation, creativity, inclusivity, and flexibility.

 

Approach by Government:

  • The Government of India have brought about a paradigm shift in the approach to disaster management.
  • The new approach proceeds from the conviction that development cannot be sustainable unless disaster mitigation is built into the development process.
  • Another corner stone of the approach is that mitigation has to be multi-disciplinary spanning across all sectors of development.
  • The new policy also emanates from the belief that investments in mitigation are much more cost effective than expenditure on relief and rehabilitation.
  • The approach has been translated into a National Disaster Framework [a roadmap] covering institutional mechanisms, disaster prevention strategy, early warning system, disaster mitigation, preparedness and response and human resource development.
  • The recent National Disaster Management Plan seeks to provide a framework and direction to government agencies for prevention, mitigation and management of disasters involving all stakeholders.

 

Conclusion:

The holistic approach to integrating disaster with development has been emphasized and practiced by policymakers and public managers of local communities. Disasters can be seen as a “window of opportunity” for development and well-planned development can certainly reduce impacts of disasters.


Topic:  Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world

8) Mahatma Gandhi always supported the idea of the “purity of means”, in this context do you think it is unethical for a military officer to mislead the enemy? Discuss in the backdrop of recent Air strikes on Balakot and role played by wing commander of India who was capsized by the enemy country.(250 words)

Why this question:

The question is in the context of the idea of purity of means advocated by Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Key demand of the question:

The answer must apply the idea of purity of means to the recent incidence of Wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was caught up in the Enemy territory after the completion of the operation of air strike. One has to evaluate this situation in the context of the idea.

 

Directive word:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

 

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain briefly background of the recent Balakot incidence.

Body:

Discuss briefly the following aspects :

  • Elucidate upon the idea of “Purity of means” as propounded by Mahatma Gandhi; that ‘means are as important as end’. The purity of means is to achieve an end result which tells us about our values and attitude. For instance Gandhiji adhered to the path of non-violence for achieving independence for India. But Gandhiji himself justified violence in Quit India movement when he saw no other alternative has been left. Thus  ethics is contextual and situational.
  • Discuss how for a military officer, his highest moral duty would be to safeguard the national interest and ensure the survival of the state. As failing in the war would mean subordination of the country which would take away the people’s fundamental rights and push them towards impoverishment, therefore for a military officer winning a battle is more necessary even if he has to mislead the enemy.

 

Conclusion:

Signify the importance of the Gandhian ideology and conclude how it becomes contextual to the situations.

Introduction:

Gandhi seems to stand almost alone among social and political thinkers in his firm rejection of the rigid dichotomy between ends and means and in his extreme moral preoccupation with the means to the extent that they rather than the ends provide the standard of reference. He was led to this position by his early acceptance of satya and ahimsa, truth and nonviolence, as twin moral absolutes and his consistent view of their relationship. But Gandhiji himself justified violence in Quit India movement when he saw no other alternative has been left. Thus, ethics is contextual and situational.

The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree.”

Body:

For a military officer, his highest moral duty would be to safeguard the national interest and ensure the survival of the state. As failing in the war would mean subordination of the country which would take away the people’s fundamental rights and push them towards impoverishment, therefore for a military officer winning a battle is more necessary even if he has to mislead the enemy.

The recent airstrikes on Balakot terror camps which are located in the PoK region was bombed. Although it is against the international relation ethics to attack regions in the areas of other country, India had to take the pre-emptive strikes to safeguard herself from the repeating terror attacks.

So, when national interest is at stake in situations as above, end becomes more important. But in military aggression and adventurism like by Russian in Crimea or Israel in Palestine end and long term interest of the nation must be seen.

Conclusion:

According to Gandhiji, If we are sure of the “purity” of the means we employ, we shall be led on by faith, before which “all fear and trembling melt away”. Unconcern with results does not mean that we need not have a clear conception of the end in view.