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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 MARCH 2019

Are you Ready for Insta 75 Days Revision Plan (UPSC Prelims - 2020)?


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 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 world’s physical geography.

1) What do you understand by “Bombogenesis” or “Bomb cyclone” ? Examine why Great Plains of USA are experiencing unusually extreme flood conditions these days.(250 words)

Reference

Indianexpress

Reference

Why this question:

Bomb cyclone is a concept in Geography that was recently seen in the news. Hence, it is important to know the concept from the point of view of GS paper I.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects us to discuss in detail the concept of bomb cyclones; their origin, formation, process, effect and consequences and also why the Great Plains of USA are experiencing unusually extreme flood conditions recently.

Directive word:

ExamineWhen 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:

Explain Briefly the significance of such a phenomena, or quote the recent onset of these cyclones in USA.

Body:

Discuss the recent incidences – In 2018, two winter storms hit the northeastern coast of the U.S. that were classified as bomb cyclones – one in January and another in March and again last week they were reported in the great plains of USA.

Discuss – How are bomb cyclones formed? How long does a bomb cyclone last? What causes Bombogenesis? Then discuss its impact and what can be done to ensure preparedness to such natural inevitabilities.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of disaster management in the context of cyclones.

Introduction:

The term Bomb Cyclone is used by meteorologists to indicate a mid-latitude cyclone that intensifies rapidly. A bomb cyclone happens when atmospheric pressure in the middle of the storm drops at least 24 millibars over 24 hours, quickly increasing in intensity. Bomb cyclones also draw air from Polar Regions after it weakens.

The United States East Coast and Midwest are battling record-breaking low temperatures as cold Arctic air continues to sweep through the region followed by the freezing winter storm — bomb cyclone or Bombogenesis.

Body:

Mechanism:

  • The cyclone is essentially a storm caused by a collision of warm air and cold air which develop into rotating storm-like pattern and lead to an explosive deepening of pressure.
  • The air starts to move and the rotation of the earth creates a cyclonic effect.
  • The direction is counter clockwise in the Northern hemisphere leading to winds that come out of the northeast.
  • The East Coast’s first snowstorm of 2018 was energised by this rapid drop in barometric pressure.

Reasons why Great plains of America are facing Bomb Cyclones:

  • The occurrence and severity of “warm-West/cold-East” winter events, which is also called North American winter temperature dipole, increased significantly between 1980 and 2015.
  • This is partly because winter temperature has warmed more in the West than in the East.
  • It also has been driven by the increasing frequency of a “ridge-trough” pattern, with high atmospheric pressure in the West and low atmospheric pressure in the East producing greater numbers of winter days with extreme temperatures in large areas of the West and East at the same time.
  • Particular atmospheric configuration connects the cold extremes in the East to the occurrence of warm extremes ‘upstream’ in the West.
  • So some regions can experience colder than normal temperatures associated with anomalous circulation patterns that drive cold air from the poles to the mid-latitudes
  • Human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases are likely driving this trend.
  • Nor’easter:
    • A nor’easter is a storm that mainly affects the north-eastern part of the United States. These storms form along the East coast as warm air from over the Atlantic Ocean clashes with arctic cold to the north and west.
    • Hurricanes have a narrow field of strong winds with a concentration around the center, whereas a nor’easter’s winds are spread out
  • Polar vortex:
    • Mass of air expands and gets pushed south, carried along with the jet stream, a stream of wind that extends around the hemisphere and divides the air masses in the polar region from those further south.
    • The air circulation coming with this imminent storm could help pull the jet stream and even more arctic air south, bringing temperatures to parts of the US that are simply too cold for people to safely be outside.

Conclusion:

Although a “Bombogenesis” is not as scary as it sounds, it can be dangerous, with travel conditions particularly affected. Worldwide, about 40 to 50 ‘bomb cyclones’ brew each year, but most are over open oceans. However, with rampant climate change due to global warming, the frequencies of such events are going to increase.


Topic– Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

2) Municipal Solid Waste Management poses the utmost challenge in Urban planning. Comment. (250 words)

Timesofindia

Why this question:

Urban areas have been recognized as “engines of inclusive economic growth”. However managing solid waste is one of biggest challenges of the urban areas of all sizes, from mega-cities to the small towns and large villages. The quality of waste management services is a good indicator of a city’s governance. Thus it becomes important for us to assess and analyse such a scenario from exam point of view.

Key demands of the question:

The question expects us to discuss the specific challenge of Municipal solid waste and how it is one of the biggest challenges concerning the Metropolitan planning in India.

Directive word

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

Keywords:

Integrated Sustainable Waste Management System, global good practice in waste collection, Waste treatment and disposal, Waste Management and Governance etc.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Briefly suggest – Solid waste management is a challenge for the cities’ authorities in developing countries mainly due to the increasing generation of waste, the burden posed on the municipal budget as a result of the high costs associated to its management, the lack of understanding over a diversity of factors that affect the different stages of waste management and linkages necessary to enable the entire handling system functioning.

Body

The body of the answer address the following dimensions:

  • Quote facts that justify the menace of solid waste management, like Over 377 million urban people live in 7,935 towns and cities and generate 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per annum. Only 43 million tonnes (MT) of the waste is collected, 11.9 MT is treated and 31 MT is dumped in landfill sites.
  • Point at the flawed system of waste disposal and management.
  • Then move on to discuss what can be done ; concept of common waste treatment facility, technological advancement for processing, treatment and disposal of solid waste, long term urban governance strategies with renewed vision.

Conclusion

Conclude with importance of waste management in urban planning.

Introduction:

India alone generates more than 1,00,000 metric tonnes of solid waste every day, which is higher than many countries’ total daily waste generation taken together. Large metropolis such as Mumbai and Delhi generate around 9,000 metric tonnes and 8,300 metric tonnes of waste per day, respectively. India suffers from inefficient and insufficient waste infrastructure and also from increasing rates of solid waste generation per capita. Besides, the infrastructure and technologies, we must also concede that we have not addressed the issue from a systemic perspective.

Body:

Current Situation of MSW in India:

  • ULBs are responsible for segregated waste collection, transporting waste in covered vehicle, processing, recyclables, separating domestic hazardous waste and disposing inert material in sanitary landfills
  • Various studies reveal that about 90% of MSW is disposed of unscientifically in open dumps and landfills, creating problems to public health and the environment.
  • Over 377 million urban people live in 7,935 towns and cities and generate 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per annum.
  • Only 43 million tonnes (MT) of the waste is collected, 11.9 MT is treated and 31 MT is dumped in landfill sites.
  • Most cities have confined themselves to collection and transportation of solid waste. Processing and safe disposal are being attempted only in a few cases.
  • The CPCB report also reveals that only 68% of the MSW generated in the country is collected of which, 28% is treated by the municipal authorities. Thus, merely 19% of the total waste generated is currently treated.
  • According to a UN report, India’s e-waste from old computers alone will jump 500 per cent by 2020, compared to 2007.
  • Disappearance of urban water bodies and wetlands in urban areas can be attributed to illegal dumping of Construction & Demolition waste.

Some of the major issues concerning solid waste management are:

  • Absence of segregation of waste at source
  • Lack of funds for waste management at ULBs.
  • Unwillingness of ULBs to introduce proper collection, segregation, transportation and treatment/ disposal systems.
  • Lack of technical expertise and appropriate institutional arrangement
  • lack of infrastructure and technology
  • lack of involvement from the private sector and non-governmental organisations
  • Indifference of citizens towards waste management due to lack of awareness
  • Lack of community participation towards waste management and hygienic conditions
  • Lack of sewage management plan.
  • About 70% of the plastic packaging products turn into plastic waste within a short period.
  • Unorganized vendors and markets, existence of slum areas and Corruption are other issues plaguing MSWM.

Steps needed:

  • State governments should provide financial support to ULBs to improve their waste management system under various schemes and programs.
  • Initiatives like Smart Cities Mission, AMRUT should provide significant funding to improve civic services infrastructure.
  • The key to efficient waste management is to ensure proper segregation of waste at source and to ensure that the waste goes through different streams of recycling and resource recovery as stated in the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
  • Waste to energy is a key component of SWM. Installation of waste-to-compost and bio-methanation plants would reduce the load of landfill sites
  • There is a need to encourage research and development so as to reinvent waste management system in India.
  • The focus should be on recycling and recovering from waste and not landfill. Further, it is important to encourage recycling of e-waste so that the problem of e-waste
  • Public- Private Partnership models for waste management should be encouraged.
  • Construction and demolition waste should be stored, separately disposed off, as per the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016.
  • Responsibilities of Generators have been introduced to segregate waste in to three streams, Wet (Biodegradable), Dry (Plastic, Paper, metal, wood, etc.) and domestic hazardous wastes (diapers, napkins, empty containers of cleaning agents, mosquito repellents, etc.) and handover segregated wastes to authorized rag-pickers or waste collectors or local bodies.
  • Sensitization of citizens as well as government authorities, community participation, involvement of NGOs. Littering should be prohibited.
  • International Best practices should be emulated. South Korea is one of the few countries to separate and recycle food waste. It has also launched landfill recovery projects such as the Nanjido recovery project which have successfully transformed hazardous waste sites into sustainable ecological attractions.

Conclusion:

Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is one of the major environmental problems of Indian cities. The need of the hour is scientific, sustainable and environment friendly management of wastes.


Topic– Poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

3) Examine the causes and consequences of forced migration of population being witnessed across the world. Also analyse Indian government’s present management of migration in the light of recently signed Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, of the United Nations. (250 words)

epw

Reference

Why this question:

The question is in the context of rising trends of forced migration being witnessed across the world. Amidst this, recently government of India has signed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, a non-binding agreement for the better management of migration, of the United Nations.

demand of the question:

This question seeks to examine the implications of forced migration across the world and analyse the Indian government’s present management of migration in the light of the compacts’ objectives.

Directive word:

ExamineWhen 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.

Keywords:

forced migration, Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), Migration Governance, Vulnerabilities of the migrant workforce etc.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start by highlighting the alarming issue of forced migrants.

Body

Discuss the following –

Forced Migration – sudden exogenous large number of arrival of migrants Causes-  War, trade, pilgrimages, drought and famine, development programs, land tenure system, and because of natural and manmade calamities, human trafficking, ethnic cleansing etc

Case studies –  Flow of forced migrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia, Mali Case study of Rohingya etc.

Consequences – Radicalization Political instability Food crisis (immediate) Spread of diseases Unrest or terrorist attacks Stress on public services and infrastructure in poor economies Fiscal implications.

Then discuss how analysis of the Indian government’s present management of migration in the light of the compacts’ objectives shows the need for a revamp in the state’s approach.

Conclusion

Conclude with importance of policies for migrants and that India’s step in this direction keeping all shortcomings aside, and with proper implementation and monitoring of the GCM objectives in the country can change the migration scenario drastically.

 

Introduction:

According to the State of World Population report, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and the number is steadily growing every year. India, where the majority of the population is still dependent on agriculture, is no exception to this trend. As per the census, the level of urbanization in India has increased from 27.81% in 2001 to 31.16% in 2011. Urbanization in India is a consequence of demographic explosion and poverty-induced rural-urban migration.

Body:

The causes for increased forced migration across the world are:

  • War, conflicts and persecutions: Conflict is the most common factor for forced migration around the world and throughout history. The conflicts in West Asia, Africa and South America, and the extreme violence associated with them have forced people to leave their homes and seek a haven in foreign countries. Most recently, the world’s focus has been on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, with over half a million of the country’s Muslim population fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh in the wake of violence and ethnic cleansing.
  • Climate Change Refugees: climate change effects also contributed to the growing number of migrants and refugees. Example: Sudan, Libya. According to a report published in 2017 by Cornell University, climate change could account for up to 4 billion forced migrations by the year 2060. By 2100, they estimate that number would surpass 2 billion.
  • Droughts: A single drought can mean disaster for communities whose lives and livelihoods rely on regular, successful harvests. In a number of African countries where Concern works, including Somalia, Kenya, Malawi, and Ethiopia, droughts have become increasingly severe, leaving millions of citizens without the ability to grow the food that feeds them and their livestock.
  • Diseases: Contagious disease and outbreaks often follow in the wake of issues brought up by drought, flooding, and earthquakes. When crops are threatened and water supplies are either limited or contaminated, the risk for infection increases.
  • Earthquakes: In 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince as well as the surrounding area, leaving 1.5 million Haitians homeless. No natural disaster had ever affected a capital city in such a way, creating a ripple effect that paralyzed even certain areas well outside the disaster zone.
  • Development induced displacement: Development-induced displacement is a social problem affecting multiple levels of human organization, from tribal and village communities to well-developed urban areas. Development is widely viewed as an inevitable step towards modernization and economic growth in developing countries; however, for those who are displaced, the end result is most often loss of livelihood and impoverishment.

Consequences of forced migration:

  • Seasonal migrants dominate the low-paying, hazardous and informal market jobs in key sectors in urban destinations, such as construction, hotel, textile, manufacturing, transportation, services, domestic work
  • They have poor access to health services, which results in very poor occupational health. Since they cannot afford private hospitals, they often go back to their villages once they fall sick.
  • A large number of migrants find work as unskilled labourers since they enter the job market at a very early age, experience no upward mobility and remain stuck in the most unskilled, poorly paid and hazardous jobs for their whole work-life span.
  • In an unorganized and chaotic labour market, migrant workers regularly face conflicts and disputes at worksites. The common issues they face are non-payment of wages, physical abuse, accidents and even death.
  • The existing legal machinery is not sensitive to the nature of legal disputes in the unorganized sector. Many informal sector disputes never make their way to labour courts or keep languishing in courts for lack of proof.
  • Due to their mobile nature, they don’t find any place in the manifestos of trade unions.
  • These seasonal migrant workers have carved spaces for themselves in the most inhospitable places like rented rooms, open spaces, slums, pavements, worksites, etc.
  • The arrival of the refugees has had a substantial impact on the environment: Deforestation – as refugees seek wood for fuel and for shelter; Overgrazing – by the cattle, sheep and goats brought by the refugees; Water shortage – resulting from the sudden increase in demand; Water pollution – since no proper sanitation system was initially available.

The global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration was a recommendation of New York Declaration in September 2016 adopted for recognizing the need for enhanced international cooperation and a comprehensive approach to the issue of migrants.

India and GCM:

  • India’s adoption of the GCM was surprising due to three aspects.
  • First, the national government’s recent unwelcoming approach to refugees and illegal immigrants;
  • second, the government not having signed any law related to migration and refugees in the past and the absence of government-initiated platform for discussing the GCM over the two years of negotiations;
  • Finally, the lack of a migration policy in the country.
  • The Indian government does not have a written, explicit, and comprehensive emigration policy yet as compared to other emigrant countries. Regarding immigration, the country still follows the Foreigners Act of 1946 to regulate the entry and stay of immigrants.
  • India is neither a signatory to the 1951 Refugees’ Convention nor the 1967 protocol, which has 140 signatories, the country has still served as a home to the largest refugee population in South Asia.

Implications of GCM on India:

  • The GCM does not address internal migration or internally displaced people in any of the 23 objectives. It becomes imperative to help countries like India manage its internal migration in the near future by ensure migrant workers’ rights.
  • Another aspect missed is the existence of provincial migration governance in the country. Unlike other major emigrant countries, India has a federal system and several provincial states are active in migration management. The document did not identify provincial governments as major stakeholders.
  • Existing policy utterances by policy-makers should be converted into well-written policy documents. In addition, the state must reconsider its decision about not signing bilateral/multilateral and regional agreements related to migration.
  • The existing discriminatory approach towards labour migrants compared to diaspora should be strongly engaged with. Only if the Indian state makes relevant, inclusive, and transparent policy changes in the near future, can an effective implementation of the GCM be possible.

Conclusion:

The challenges are still complex and the lack of recognition for migrants are still to be fully addressed. Unless we view migrant workers as a dynamic part of a changing India, we will not be able to solve the problem of refugees.


Topic: Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

4) Discuss  the constitutional procedure involved in selecting a successor in case of death of a sitting chief minister.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Reference

Why this question:

The question is in the backdrop of new chief minister Pramod Sawant facing a floor test in the legislative assembly of Goa necessitated by the death of sitting chief minister Manohar Parrikar.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must explain the procedure involved in electing the chief minister in case of death of the sitting chief minister in office.

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:

Begin with importance of chief minister of a state in the polity of any state machinery in a line or two.

Body:

Discuss that In India, a chief minister is the elected head of government. According to the Constitution of India, the Governor is a state’s de jure head, but de facto executive authority rests with the chief minister. Following elections to the state legislative assembly in a state, the state’s governor usually invites the party (or coalition) with a majority of seats to form the government. The governor appoints and swears in the chief minister.

The governor may exercise situational discretion if no party has clear majority. He may ask a leader to become chief minister and then prove his majority on floor of the house.

In case the chief minister dies and no successor is present then the governor may appoint one at his discretion but if the ruling party has a nominee then the governor has no choice but to appoint that person.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of constitution and appreciate its foresightedness in situations of inevitability.

Introduction:

Chief Minister’s position in state is analogous to the prime ministers position at the centre. The governor appoints the leader of the largest party of the house or leader chosen by the largest coalition to become the chief minister. The governor may exercise situational discretion if no party has clear majority. He may ask a leader to become chief minister and then prove his majority on floor of the house.

Body:

In the Republic of India, a chief minister is the elected head of government of each of Twenty nine states and two among the seven union territories (Delhi and Puduchery). According to the Constitution of India, the Governor is a state’s de jure head, but de facto executive authority rests with the chief minister. Since his council of ministers are appointed in accordance with his advice, on his resigning or death causes the collapse of entire council of ministers.

Article 164 of the Constitution lays down the provisions on the appointment of the CM and council of ministers as well as their salaries.

The process of electing a fresh CM in the event of death of an individual in office is similar to the one through which a new government is elected after assembly elections.

  • If ruling party or coalition has majority:
    • The death of a sitting CM will have no impact on a government if the party in power has a clear majority either on its own or through coalition.
    • The government in power will only have to present a face for the CM’s post to continue provided the coalition partners agree to go the distance.
    • The ruling party can pick anyone to become the CM of the state. That person need not necessarily be a sitting legislator, but in that case the selected person will have to contest elections to the legislative assembly within 6 months from the date of him taking oath of office.
  • If ruling party or coalition has lost the majority:
    • In case the chief minister dies and no successor is present then the governor may appoint one at his discretion.

Conclusion:

                The constitution of India has provided the necessary steps of action in cases of eventualities. In case of discrepancies, The Supreme Court of India remains the final interpreter of the Constitution of India.


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

5) List down the highlights of National Health Policy, 2017. What are the challenges facing it? What strategies can be adopted for ensuring quality health care in India? Discuss.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article covers primarily the hurdles and issues being faced by the National Health Policy, 2017, it gives a good overview of NHP. It thus is important from mains point of view and to prepare health related topics of GS paper II.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must highlight the key goals of the policy, discuss in detail the challenges and the necessary strategies that need to be adopted for ensuring quality health care in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Briefly highlight the positives of the NHP 2017 .

Body:

Answers must discuss the following aspects :

  • Highlight the salient features of the policy.
  • Explain the positives and lacunas.
  • Discuss the challenges therein – information asymmetry, lack of penetration of private healthcare in vulnerable areas etc.
  • What should be done? –  More health professionals need to be deployed for primary care in rural areas, involving private sector, robust health data etc.

Conclusion –

Conclude with significance of such a health policy and need for development of infrastructure conducive for it.

Introduction:

The primary aim of the National Health Policy, 2017, is to inform, clarify, strengthen and prioritize the role of the Government in shaping health systems in all its dimensions. Investment in health, organization and financing of healthcare services, prevention of diseases and promotion of good health through cross sectoral action, access to technologies, developing human resources, encouraging medical pluralism, building the knowledge base required for better health, financial protection strategies and regulation and legislation for health.

Body:

The key targets of the NHP -2017 are:

  • Increase Life Expectancy at birth from 67.5 to 70 by 2025.
  • Reduce Fertility Rate to 2.1 by 2025.
  • Reduce Infant Mortality Rate to 28 by 2019.
  • Reduce Under Five Mortality to 23 by 2025.
  • Achieve the global 2020 HIV target (also termed 90:90:90 global target).
  • To reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory diseases by 25 per cent by 2025.
  • Reducing the prevalence of blindness to 0.25 per 1000 persons by 2025.
  • The disease burden to be reduced by one third from the current levels.
  • Elimination of leprosy by 2018, kala-azar by 2017 and lymphatic filariasis in endemic pockets by 2017.

The challenges facing it are:

  • It fails to make health a justiciable right in the way the Right to Education 2005 did for school education. May lead to laxity by Govt with respect to implementation
  • Silent on Health Governance: On bringing Health under concurrent list (from state list) on similar lines as education, and NHSO can’t work effectively without it
  • Public health spending still lower than other comparable nations. The lack of capacity to use higher levels of public funding for health.
  • Less focused other health-related aspects like mental health, genetic disorders.
  • Flawed one-size fits all approach regarding allocation of resources.
  • A health cess was a path-breaking idea that was proposed in the draft policy but it was dropped.
  • Although a major capacity expansion to produce MBBS graduates took place between 2009 and 2015, this is unlikely to meet policy goals since only 11.3% of registered allopathic doctors were working in the public sector as of 2014.

Measures needed:

  • More health professionals need to be deployed for primary care in rural areas.
  • Contracting of health services from the private sector may be inevitable in the short term.
  • No more time should be lost in forming regulatory and accreditation agencies for healthcare providers at the national and State levels.
  • Without oversight, unethical commercial entities would have easy backdoor access to public funds in the form of state-backed insurance.
  • For the new policy to start on a firm footing, the Centre has to get robust health data.
  • To reduce high out-of-pocket expenditure, early deadlines should be set for public institutions to offer essential medicines and diagnostic tests free to everyone.
  • India can learn from UK, uses ‘a weighted capitation formula’ that accounts for a locality’s socio-economic characteristics to equitably allocate funds

Topic: Issues relating to intellectual property rights.

6) India needs a robust IPR Policy to have growth and development. comment.  (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article highlights the fact that India has posted highest growth in patent applications in 2018. Thus signifying India’s participation in the international patent system, this necessitates us to analyse the need for a robust IPR Policy in India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must trace the issues related to intellectual property rights in India and discuss why we are still lacking a robust IPR regime that can harness India’s potential in global race of patenting.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Introduce by highlighting the current scenario of Indian patent system.

Body:

In brief discuss the following points :

  • What are Patents? Importance of Patents.
  • Discuss the present India’s National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy; its objectives.
  • The need for robust IPR policy in India is amidst the fact that emerging countries faces fresh challenges from the developed world and mega regional trade agreements.
  • Discuss the issues associated with the current policy and what needs to be done to make it more robust.

Conclusion:

Conclude with necessity of having a robust IPR policy in India.

Introduction:

India filed 2,013 international patent applications in 2018 with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), registering the highest growth of 27% among countries but falling way below China and the US in volume of patent filings. But India has a long way to catch up with China which is expected to overtake the US as the leading hub for global innovation.

Body:

Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are legal rights, which result from intellectual invention, innovation and discovery in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields. These rights entitle an individual or group to the moral and economic rights of creators in their creation. For ex: In India, patents are granted for a period of 20 years from the date of filing of the patent application. It is also to be noted that the patents are valid only within the territory where they have been granted. Once a patent expires, protection ends and the invention enters the public domain. In India, Patent Acts, 1970 regulate the IPRs.

Importance of IPRs:

  • They allow creators, or owners, of patents, trademarks or copyrighted works to benefit from their own work or investment in a creation.
  • These rights are outlined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides for the right to benefit from the protection of moral and material interests resulting from authorship of scientific, literary or artistic productions.
  • Patents provide incentives which encourage innovation, which in turn enhances the quality of human life.
  • In return for patent protection, all patent owners are obliged to publicly disclose information on their inventions in order to enrich the total body of technical knowledge in the world. This ever increasing body of public knowledge promotes further creativity and innovation.
  • The legal protection of new creations encourages the commitment of additional resources for further innovation
  • The promotion and protection of intellectual property spurs economic growth, creates new jobs and industries, and enhances the quality and enjoyment of life.
  • It ensures credibility and quality of a product thereby enhancing consumers confidence through reliable, international trademark protection and enforcement mechanisms to discourage counterfeiting and piracy.

Important highlights from India’s present National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy

  • The Policy aims to push IPRs as a marketable financial asset, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, while protecting public interest.
  • In order to have strong and effective IPR laws, steps would be taken — including review of existing IP laws — to update and improve them or to remove anomalies and inconsistencies.
  • The policy is entirely compliant with the WTO’s agreement on TRIPS.
  • Special thrust on awareness generation and effective enforcement of IPRs, besides encouragement of IP commercialisation through various incentives.
  • India will engage constructively in the negotiation of international treaties and agreements in consultation with stakeholde
  • The government will examine accession to some multilateral treaties which are in India’s interest, and become a signatory to those treaties which India has de facto implemented to enable it to participate in their decision making process, the policy said.
  • It suggests making the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) the nodal agency for all IPR issues. Copyrights related issues will also come under DIPP’s ambit from that of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.
  • Films, music, industrial drawings will be all covered by copyright.
  • The Policy also seeks to facilitate domestic IPR filings, for the entire value chain from IPR generation to commercialization. It aims to promote research and development through tax benefits.

Issues with the current policy:

  • Policy is aimed at a gold rush towards IPR. A blind rush towards IP could be a deterrent to innovation itself by restricting knowledge flow.
  • Policy recommends scientist and professors to convert all their discoveries into IP which inturn has the potential to curb the free flow of knowledge
  • IPR policy is driven by the agenda of IP maximalism, where IP owners’ rights will be maximised at the cost of public interest. This (policy) will influence courts and judges who might consider rights of patentees above that on common man in certain cases.
  • Connection between patenting and application of patented knowledge is yet to be established. Hence, patenting and not applying the new invention could deter progress
  • Policy recommends criminalization of unauthorised copying of movies – which is just a civil wrong.
  • Not understanding the modes of creativity and sharing in “shadow economy “, the policy leans towards superimposition of formal IP framework.
  • While IP could accelerate innovation in certain technologies it in turn impedes in others. Policy recommends scientist and professors to convert all their discoveries

Way forward:

  • Fostering an environment where innovation flourishes and a knowledge economy is built, is the key idea. Hence, the policy should have a balance.
  • It should encourage patenting and at the same time ensure that patentability of a product/process does not deter further innovation and progress.
  • Intellectual Property must not be about patents on paper but dearth of application in reality. T
  • The organisations such as CSIR and others must be encouraged to work upon socially useful applications of their patents.
  • Support for innovation has to be accompanied with instruments that guard local companies against the misuse of market power, coercive bargaining and aggressive acquisition strategies.
  • India needs to spread awareness on IPR in public and for its traditional industries to enable fair monetisation of IP Rights.
  • It needs to safeguard its patents, copyrights and traditional knowledge by ensuring easy IPR rules.

Topic : Disaster and disaster management.

7) Discuss the need for Disaster risk reduction in India. What are the challenges involved and explain the global efforts in this direction.(250 words) 

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The hindu

Why this question:

An International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) has  been organized by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), and in partnership with the Global Commission on Adaptation, United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank. Thus the question is important from this point of perspective for GS Paper III.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the need for Disaster risk reduction in India, the associated challenges and way forward with special emphasis on global efforts in this direction.

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:

Start with importance of disaster management or quote a fact that signifies or highlights the same.

Body:

Define first what you understand by DRR, detail upon its significance .

Then explain the need for inclusive disaster risk management, discuss the factors holding back the process of risk reduction; the challenges involved.

Such questions are best answered with the aid of case studies.

Then move on to narrate global efforts in this direction – International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI), 3rd Indo-Japan Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction etc.

Conclusion:

Suggest way forward.

Introduction:

Disaster is a catastrophic situation in which normal pattern of life and or ecosystem has been disrupted and extraordinary emergency interventions are required to save and preserve lives and or environment. Disaster preparedness means the steps or activities and precautions taken collectively before a disaster to reduce the impact and to cope with it effectively.

Body:

The need for Disaster risk reduction in India is:

  • The Vulnerability Atlas of India reveals that about 60% area is vulnerable to Earthquakes, 8% to Cyclones, 12% to Floods and 68% of land under cultivation is prone to Drought.
  • According to the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), India ranked second after China for natural disasters.
  • According to World Bank report, India’s direct loss due to disaster is around 2% of its GDP.
  • Rapid increase of population and urbanization along prone areas and other developments have increased the level of exposure to hazards.
  • Floods are becoming a common phenomenon in India. Ignoring all the safety guidelines, dwellings, factories and infrastructure facilities have been constructed in areas that are potentially vulnerable to natural hazards like floods.
  • As India is still not catching up with the developed countries in adopting disaster management strategies effectively, the losses are mounting.
  • A report published in 2017 by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) about India’s performance audit on flood control and management schemes categorically stated that only 7% of dams (349 out of 4,862) have Emergency Action Plans.
  • Man-made factors have compounded the scale of the disaster. Unabated expansion of hydro-power projects and construction of roads to accommodate ever-increasing tourism, especially religious tourism, are also major causes for the unprecedented scale of devastation.
  • India has been ranked as the sixth most climate change-vulnerable country by the Climate Risk Index 2018.
  • Dealing with current vulnerabilities and projected climate change impacts needs innovative thinking and participatory planning and action.

Challenges involved:

  • Vulnerability quotient of many cities is high because they are located in eco-sensitive areas such as coastlines, rivers and floodplains.
  • Lack of governance:
    • Most city governments struggle to deal with other day-to-day development challenges such as education, infrastructure and health, and so climate resilience and adaptation figure low on their priority list.
    • Big cities such as Delhi and Mumbai have no city resilience plans because there is not just multiplicity of problems but also of authorities, which tend to work in silos whereas climate change cuts across several departments: public health, water, environment, energy, and social justice to name a few.
  • Lack of financial management:
    • While the upfront capital costs of climate change mitigation and adaptation are being increasingly well understood, decision making and investment planning are hindered by uncertainty in the indirect costs and lack of simplified and transparent methods for assessing cost-benefit analysis of the steps that a city takes.
    • They are not equipped with the financial management systems and processes required to access climate financing, such as green bonds
  • Lack of awareness:
    • Lack of active citizens who are informed and engaged on the subject of climate change and sustainability, which is essential to mitigate and build resilience, and demand accountability including transparency and information on liveability indicators such as air pollution levels, percentage of garbage segregated, modal share of public transport, walking and cycling.
  • Lack of manpower:
    • Then there is a shortage of skilled personnel specialised in areas such as environmental engineering transportation, traffic management, disaster management, and related areas.
  • No Environmental Impact Assessment:
    • Roads, railway lines and housing colonies being laid and built without regard for natural water ways, but with formal planning permission.
    • The State Disaster Management Agency also ignores them.
    • Despite India being a signatory to the UN’s Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, little has changed on the ground.
  • Land use:
    • Injudicious use of land is responsible for making states more prone to floods and landslides.
    • However, other factors such as a change in land use patterns and climate change could have contributed to the situation on the ground.
  • Deforestation:
    • Unfettered development activity had increased the chances of landslides, a major cause of casualties during the floods.
    • Wetlands have been lost to development projects, construction of roads, and buildings at places too close to rivers.
    • Other issues mentioned such as deforestation, encroachment and unplanned construction are self-evident priorities when development is viewed using the lens of climate-resilient water management (CRWM).
  • Disaster management constraints:
    • There is a need to enhance the role of Civil Defence in Disaster Management process and formulating an effective National Plan for Disaster Management.
    • Even now, the communication systems at the local level haven’t been much developed.
    • There are no Standard Operating Procedures for the deployment of National Disaster Response Force.
    • There have been many cases where there has been a relief and rescue mobilization but by the time the teams reach the damage would have already been done.
    • Ignoring all the safety guidelines, dwellings, factories and infrastructure facilities have been constructed in areas that are potentially vulnerable to natural hazards like floods.
    • Disaster management plans exist on paper, but implementation remains a challenge.
    • Despite the emphasis on a paradigm shift to a preparedness approach by the government, most parts of the country continue to follow a relief-centric approach in disaster management, rather than a proactive prevention, mitigation and preparedness path.
    • Disaster maps and vulnerability profiles by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation of the Government of India identify winds and cyclones, earthquakes, and floods as disaster risks.
    • It is unclear if the maps have been updated to include weather and climate extremes and the associated crop losses or loss of lives or health risks.

Global Efforts:

  • For each hazard, the approach used in this national plan incorporates the four priorities given in the Sendai Framework into the planning framework for Disaster Risk Reduction under the five Thematic Areas for Actions: Understanding Risk; Inter-Agency Coordination; Investing in DRR – Structural Measures; Investing in DRR – Non-Structural Measures; Capacity Development
  • The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) was established to ensure the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
  • UNISDR supports the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted by the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.
  • Such international cooperation and shared commitment are needed to “future-proof” our cities and lock-in resilience for generations to come.
  • In India, The national disaster management plan (NDMP) was introduced by NDMA based on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

Topic:   Ethics and Human Interface. Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration.

8) Explain what you understand by ethical due diligence.How is it an important value for a civil servant? How would you indoctrinate it?(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is about  the concept of ethical due diligence, its importance in civil or public services.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must explain in detail the concept of ethical due diligence, discuss its significance and in the later part of the answer one has to explain how as an individual(as a civil servant) you would inculcate it in your daily life.

Directive word:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the  particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with importance of ethics in life.

Body:

Discuss the concept of due diligence – Diligence is steadfast application, assiduousness and industry—the virtue of hard work. It is one of the seven heavenly virtues. Diligent behaviour is indicative of a work ethic — a belief that work is good in itself.

Then highlight its importance in civil services – why is it essential to profess due diligence? To what extent is it required by civil servants etc.

You can bring in the concept of Diligence in Buddhism, brief upon it.

Discuss how to inculcate it – a strong motivation towards work and by attempting to think of work not only as a means to achieve something bigger and better like prestige, social status, power but as a reward in itself. Hence, this inculcation can only be an intrinsic one by a change in attitude and mindset towards work. While attitude alignment can be done by rewards and punishments coming from an external source, the transcendence of external gratification can only come from within.

Conclusion:

Re-assert  the importance of due diligence in services.

Introduction:

Diligence is carefulness and persistent effort or work. Diligent behavior is indicative of a work ethics; a belief that work is good in itself. Due diligence is the necessary amount of diligence required in a professional activity to avoid being negligent. Due diligence is the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons or their property.

Body:

From a country previously seen as embroiled in political and financial scandals, India has moved on to develop and focus on corporate governance, compliance and modern age business practices.

Importance for Civil Servants:

  • Due diligence means not only that someone does their job well, but also doing it with reasonable care. Thus, it is an obligation to do work reasonably well.
  • It stems from the belief that work is an end in itself and not a means to an end.
  • Work performed as duty with diligence will be better performed than work performed for some material or non-material gain.
  • Due diligence helps a civil servant to walk the extra mile to ensure the regulatory compliances are met in the work he does.
  • Civil servants are usually involved with high stake projects involving public money and trust. Thus, it is imperative to ensure the task is done according to the rule of law.
  • It provides “red flags” that a particular third-party may be a source of risk.
  • It also helps to satisfy an effective anti-corruption compliance program from the perspective of enforcement agencies.
  • The practice of Due Diligence is tailored to assist decision makers in analysing past transactions, reviewing and monitoring current scenarios and assessing potential future risks.
  • Establishment and preservation of reputation is a primary concern for every organization.

Measures to inculcate Due Diligence:

  • It can only be inculcated by a strong motivation towards work.
  • By attempting to think of work not only as a means to achieve something bigger and better like prestige, social status, power but as a reward in itself.
  • This inculcation can be by a change in attitude and mindset towards work.
  • While attitude alignment can be done by rewards and punishments coming from an external source, the transcendence of external gratification can only come from within.
  • The Draft Public Services bill spoke of the imperativeness of Due Diligence for a civil servant.
  • Assiduous background screening can help determine political connections, conflicts of interest and hidden beneficiaries.
  • A comprehensive stakeholder survey can help understand the reputation of the organization’s officers and shareholders, their other ownerships interests, source of funds and social lifestyle.
  • Laws like Prevention of Corruption Act can help build due diligence.

Conclusion:

A due diligence plays an integral role in supporting strategic risk management of public services in international and domestic markets. The due diligence process window is imperative to identify and evaluate key risks to mitigate subsequent financial and reputational loss.