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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 APRIL 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 APRIL 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: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

1) ”Rising Climate change guarantees coral reef extinction in coming 100 years”. Discuss(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is in the context of critical impact of climate change on Coral ecosystem of the world.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must provide for a detailed discussion on the causative factors especially related to climate change that are severely affecting the coral ecosystems of the world.

Directive word

DiscussThis 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

In a few introductory lines explain the significance of coral reef ecosystem and importance of efforts to conserve them.

Body

Discuss the following aspects in the answer:

  • Coral reefs harbor the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem globally and directly support over 500 million people worldwide, mostly in poor countries.
  • Discuss what are the issues associated – Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, rise in temperature leading to unprecedented mass coral bleaching events etc.
  • Why are they important ? – They are among the most threatened ecosystems on Earth, largely due to unprecedented global warming and climate changes, combined with growing local pressures.
  • Over the last three years, reefs around the world have suffered from mass coral bleaching events as a result of the increase in global surface temperature caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
  • According to UNESCO, the coral reefs in all 29 reef-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist by the end of this century if we continue to emit greenhouse gases under a business-as-usual scenario.
  • Limiting global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels in line with the Paris Agreement provides the only chance for the survival of coral reefs globally.
  • What can be done?

Conclusion

Conclude with significance of the ecosystem and criticality of the situation and necessity to save them from extinction.

Introduction:

Coral reefs harbour the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem globally and directly support over 500 million people worldwide, mostly in poor countries. They are among the most threatened ecosystems on Earth, largely due to unprecedented global warming and climate changes, combined with growing local pressures.

According to UNESCO, the coral reefs in all 29 reef-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist by the end of this century if we continue to emit greenhouse gases under a business-as-usual scenario. Limiting global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels in line with the Paris Agreement provides the only chance for the survival of coral reefs globally.

Body:

Coral bleaching and its causes:

  • Over the last three years, reefs around the world have suffered from mass coral bleaching events as a result of the increase in global surface temperature caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have caused an increase in global surface temperature of approximately 1°C since pre-industrial times.
  • This has led to unprecedented mass coral bleaching events which – combined with growing local pressures – have made coral reefs one of the most threatened ecosystems on Earth.
  • When conditions such as the temperature change, corals expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, responsible for their colour.
  • A spike of 1–2°C in ocean temperatures sustained over several weeks can lead to bleaching, turning corals white. If corals are bleached for prolonged periods, they eventually die. Coral bleaching events often lead to the death of large amounts of corals.
  • Reefs around the world have suffered from mass bleaching events for three consecutive years.
  • Iconic reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the United States have all experienced their worst bleaching on record with devastating effects.
  • The bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017, for instance, killed around 50% of its corals.

Importance of Coral Reefs:

  • Coral reefs harbour the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem globally.
  • Despite covering less than 0.1% of the ocean floor, reefs host more than one quarter of all marine fish species, in addition to many other marine animals.
  • Additionally, reefs provide a wide variety of ecosystem services such as subsistence food, protection from flooding and sustaining the fishing and tourism industries. Their disappearance will therefore have economic, social and health consequences.
  • A 2014 assessment published in the journal Global Environmental Change estimated the social, cultural and economic value of coral reefs at US$1 trillion.
  • A 2015 study by WWF projects that the climate-related loss of reef ecosystem services will cost US$500 billion per year or more by 2100.
  • Coral reefs are also key indicators of global ecosystem health. They serve as an early warning sign of what may happen to other less sensitive systems, such as river deltas, if climate change is not urgently addressed.
  • Once the tipping point for the survival of coral reefs is passed, the deterioration of other systems may cascade more quickly and irreversibly.

Measures to reduce the Coral reef extinction:

  • Limiting global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, provides the only chance for the survival of coral reefs globally.
  • Other measures alone, such as addressing local pollution and destructive fishing practices, cannot save coral reefs without stabilised greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reinforcing commitments to the Paris Agreement must be mirrored in all other global agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals. l.
  • Economic systems need to rapidly move to the low greenhouse gas emission scenario to enable global temperature decrease.
  • A move away from current economic thinking should include the benefits provided by coral reefs, which are currently not taken into account in mainstream business and finance.
  • Therefore, sustaining and restoring coral reefs should be treated as an asset, and long-term investments should be made for their preservation.
  • Investments should also include support for research at the frontiers of biology, such as genetic selection of heat-resistant corals that can withstand rising global temperatures.

Conclusion:

There also needs to be a transformation of mainstream economic systems and a move towards circular economic practices. These are highlighted in SDG 8 (inclusive and sustainable economic growth) and SDG 12 (sustainable consumption and production patterns).


Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2) Explain the concept of geomagnetism. List out the causes that make earth to behave as a magnet. Discuss the implications of the change in  earth’s magnetic field in recent geological past.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is straightforward – explain the concept of Geomagnetism and discuss the recent shift in geological past and explain its significance.

Demand of the question:

The concept of Geomagnetism needs to be explained in detail along with effects it has, explain the recent change in the earth’s magnetic field in geological past.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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 brief discussion on what you understand by Geomagnetism. And discuss the recent changes  and the affects it has on Earth’s magnetic field.

Body

Explain in detail what you understand by Geomagnetism. And discuss the recent changes  and the affects it has on Earth’s magnetic field. The question is conceptual and requires not much deliberation. Ensure to add the latest developments from news.

Conclusion

Conclude with consequences of such changes.

Introduction:

Geomagnetism refers Earth’s magnetic field that extends from the Earth’s interior out into space, where it interacts with the solar wind, a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun. The magnitude of the Earth’s magnetic field at its surface ranges from 25 to 65 microteslas (0.25 to 0.65 gauss). As an approximation, it is represented by a field of a magnetic dipole currently tilted at an angle of about 11 degrees with respect to Earth’s rotational axis, as if there were a bar magnet placed at that angle at the center of the Earth. The North geomagnetic pole, currently located near Greenland in the northern hemisphere, is actually the south pole of the Earth’s magnetic field, and conversely.

Body:

Causes for geo-magnetism:

  • The origin of Earth’s magnetism lies in its outer core which is a more than 2,000-km layer that surrounds the central core or the innermost part.
  • The outer core is comprised of liquid iron and some other metals like nickel.
  • This liquid iron is in constant motion due to Earth’s rotation and various other reasons, and this motion produces a magnetic field.

The implications of the change in earth’s magnetic field in recent geological past:

  • Constant shift is a problem for compasses in smartphones and some consumer electronics.
  • The military depends on where magnetic north is for navigation and parachute drops, while NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Forest Service also use it.
  • The entire transportation sector, especially aviation and shipping, depends on correctly knowing the position of magnetic north
  • Airport runway names are based on their direction toward magnetic north and their names change when the poles moved.
  • Similarly, it is crucial for militaries, for firing their missiles or for other purposes, and other civilian applications as well.
  • Birds and animals: Shifting would bother some birds that use magnetic fields to navigate.
  • Very highly charged particles can have a deleterious effect on the satellites and astronauts.
  • The Earth’s climate could also change. A recent Danish study has found that the earth’s weather has been significantly affected by the planet’s magnetic field.
  • The magnetic field shields Earth from some dangerous radiation.
  • Electric grid collapse from severe solar storms is a major risk. As the magnetic field continues to weaken, scientists are highlighting the importance off-the grid energy systems using renewable energy sources to protect the Earth against a black out.
  • The alteration in the magnetic field during a reversal will weaken its shielding effect, allowing heightened levels of radiation on and above the Earth’s surface.
  • Other adverse impacts are decreasing accuracy and frequent update of instruments, increased cost and inconvenience.

Conclusion:

Earth’s north magnetic pole has been drifting so fast in the last few decades that scientists say that past estimates are no longer accurate enough for precise navigation. The magnetic north pole is wandering about 55 kilometers a year. Earth’s magnetic field is getting weaker, leading scientists to say that it will eventually flip, where north and south pole changes polarity, like a bar magnet flipping over. It has happened numerous times in Earth’s past, but not in the last 780,000 years.


Topic:  . The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country. Role of women and women’s organization.

3) “The historic date of 6 April 1930, that marked the end of famous Dandi March, also marked the beginning of one of the first women’s movements in the history of modern India”. Comment.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The question is in the light of the famous Dandi March that ended on this day 6th April in history in 1930.The question evaluates how this day also marked the beginning of Women movements in India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must  discuss in detail the significance of this day, Dandi march and most importantly analyse in what way it led to fostering women movements in India.

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:

write a few introductory lines bringing out significance of this day in the history.

Body:

Answers must discuss in detail importance of women movements in India.

Discuss how Dandi march  happened to be a game changer in the history of India for women Movements. Take cues from the article , discuss significant contributions of Saroijini Naidu, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay etc.

Discussion should classify the movements in terms of different classes of women , how they differed what were the consequences of such difference etc.

Conclusion –

Conclude with a reassertion of their contribution and its significance.

Introduction:

Mahatma Gandhi was authorized by the Congress Working Committee to determine the time, place and issue on which the Civil Disobedience was to be launched. He took the decision to break the salt law first, on which the British had imposed a duty, affecting the poorest of the poor. Salt Satyagraha began with the Dandi March on March 12, 1930 and was the part of the first phase of the Civil Disobedience Movement.

Body:

Women’s movement in the Civil Disobedience Movement:

Dandi March:

  • Initially Gandhi was reluctant to involve women directly with the main scene of action and it was not worthy that the group of followers who  accompanied  him  to  Dandi  was  an  all-made 
  • Not a single woman was part of the hand-picked retinue of 71 that accompanied Gandhi on the 240-mile march over 24 days from the Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi, from 12 March-6 April 1930.
  • On 6 April 1930, as the Dandi March ended, Indian women joined Gandhi’s salt satyagraha. They were led by figures like Sarojini Naidu and Matangini Hazra.

Post – Dandi March:

  • Immediately on  6  April  1930,  Mahatma  Gandhi  was arrested,  at  that  time  he  nominated Sarojini  Naidu  to  head  of  the Movement.
  • Mithuben Petit, stood behind Gandhiji when he violated the Salt Law again at Bhimrad on 9 April.
  • The attitude  of  women,  many  Indian  ladies  of  good family,  high  intellectual,  middle  and  upper  class  women  were  mobilized  into action   in   their   own   humble   ways was remarkable.
  • They assured   truly   sub continental dimensions and witnessed deeply moving and unprecedented scenes in every nook and corner of the country.
  • On 15  May  1930,  Sarojini  Naidu  led  the  raid  on  the  Dharsana Salt works. 
  • Though she and her comrades were arrested, they were released on the  same  day;  enabling  Sarojini  Naidu  to  lead  another  batch  of  25,000 raiders on the same salt works on 21 May. 
  • This was the occasion for one of the most remarkable demonstrations of the spirit of non-violence gathered by Gandhiji Movement, as the volunteers remained absolutely peaceful despite to serve provocation and appalling atrocities inflicted on them by the police.

Impacts of Women’s participation:

  • Perception of women in society underwent a sea – change during the Salt Satyagraha Movement.
  • Mahatma Gandhi made an appeal to Indian women to come out from their household seclusion and  advised them to  participate  in  the  political  movement  to  end  the  British  rule in 
  • Prior to  1930,  only  a  few  women  mostly  from  the families  of  leaders  took  part  in  political      But during the Salt Satyagraha women increasingly enrolled themselves as volunteers.
  • A lot of women participated in this movement from different places and provinces.
  • Hurshedbehn,  Mirdula  Sanuthai,  Hansa Metha,  Avabtujgavau  Gokhale,  Shantabai  Vengsantan, Durgabai,  Lilavathi Munshi,    Captain    Sisth    Perinbehn,    Goshibehn,    Avantikabai    Gokhale, Jamkidevi, Lukanji, Anajuyabai Kale, were the prominent women leaders who led the Satyagraha in their own provinces.
  • The women of South India also took part in the movement. The people  of  all  the  regions such  as  Tamil  Nadu,  Karnataka,  the  Coastal  belt of Andhra  Pradesh  and  Kerala,  which  constituted  the  Madras  Presidency  fully responded to the call of Gandhiji.
  • Rukmini Lakshmipathi,  Vice  President  of  Tamil  Nadu  Provincial Congress  Committee,  accompanied    Rajagopalachariar in his march to Vedaranyam to break the Salt Laws in 1930, She was the first lady in Madras to be arrested in connection with Salt Satyagraha and was awarded 1 year imprisonment.
  • Hundreds of unlettered rural women also converged on these villages from the surrounding countryside.
  • They participated in picketing, selling salt on street corners, leading satyagrahas, and participating in processions
  • Women started organizing prabhat pheris, or morning processions, on the streets of Bombay and Ahmedabad, where they sang songs about the bounty of the motherland.
  • They helped put together vanar senas, or monkey brigades, consisting of children who supported activists in offering resistance to the British.
  • There can be no denying that Gandhi and other Congress leaders, along with many of the women leaders, were invoking the traditional patriarchal notion of women’s role and femininity even as they urged more and more women to step over the threshold of their homes.
  • This powerful, symbolic march by Gandhi through the heart of India thus became the catalyst for women to claim public space in such numbers for the first time in Indian history

Constraints:

  • The patriarchal nature of Indian Society was evident throughout the Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • Middle-class women pouring out on to the streets were at pains to distinguish themselves from “women of the streets”
  • Sex workers from Kanpur were not allowed to join the movement even though they wanted to.
  • The Devadasi community in Bombay at the time where they contributed financially to the movement but were not allowed to join publicly.
  • The Hindu nationalist women’s organization Desh Sevika Sangha in Bombay stressed the importance of recruiting women from the “upper class only” and hesitated to march with even ordinary middle-class or poorer women.
  • Married women had to return sooner than unmarried ones, and they could only join processions once their young ones had been fed, or some family member had been recruited to look after them, with the permission of their guardians.

Conclusion:

Women’s participation move was a strategic management coup by Gandhi and other leaders was that the act of stepping out into the streets was legitimized for middle-class women by extending the concept of the nation as “family”. The movements showed that public activities could be perceived as natural extensions of household roles, thus enabling women to step out of their homes.


Topic:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

4) What do you understand by Populism? Do you think  populist nationalism can be divisive and damage the economic growth of the country ? critically analyse.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail the rise of wave of populism recently being witnessed across the world.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the ideology of populism and the affect it has on Indian economy, one has to provide for a critical analysis as to how the populist policies can prove to be damaging to the economy of the country.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen 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:

Briefly discuss  the ideology of populism.

Body:

The discussion should have the following points :

  • How are economic problems/inequality/joblessness leading to rise of populist regimes/policies?
  • What are other fundamental problems/reasons?- cultural backlash and insecurities; post war economic arrangement and neoliberal policies; global power shift etc.
  • How populism has been different for developed and developing economies?
  • History and reasons for populism in India?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward and assert the significance of democracy and its tools that keep such effects and ideologies under check.

Introduction:

Populism is a political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against privileged elite. Populism is the label political elites attach to policies supported by ordinary citizens that they don’t like.

When important concerns of the people are not addressed by the elites, the populist movements tend to form to challenge the establishment. Their ideas can rejuvenate democracy, bring new people into the political process, and adjust the political system to societal change.

Body:

Populist nationalists, or pop-nats as they are called, share some common characteristics.

  • They are pro-national sovereignty in a very literal way—emphasizing walls, statues and other physical structures.
  • They are against the idea of immigration and for the idea of national “purity” derived from an arbitrary but specifically chosen point in national history.
  • Most of them appear to have an illiberal, authoritarian streak. They have a “win at all costs”
  • They believe that national institutions have become encrusted with bureaucratic cholesterol and they have been chosen by the people to break up their power.
  • They generally prefer to go directly to the people through the medium of their choice.
  • Their communication through Twitter or radio is generally unidirectional where they control the narrative.
  • They do not brook dissent.

Populist Nationalism is divisive and affects Economic growth of the country:

  • In India, populism as a term has generally been used for fiscal handouts for the less privileged — loan waivers, poverty alleviation schemes, etc.
  • If a religious, ethnic or racial majority constitutes “the people”, we get populism that aligns with the right. The latter is hostile to ethnic, religious and racial minorities, and inhospitable to those new migrants, who are different from the majority community.
  • Populism of the right, thus, tends to acquire the form of majoritarian nationalism, unconstrained by minority rights.
  • Populists repudiate pluralism, for the people can only be one and they are the people. This explains their tendency to disqualify their rivals, and even reject the multiparty system of democracy.
  • Populists generally rise to power in the wake of a social or moral crisis connected with an economic crisis and/or corruption scandals.
  • It took over power in several European countries in the inter-war period. It is back in a different form today. Anti-semitism has been replaced by a pervasive hostility to migrants and even, sometimes, by Islamophobia.
  • The populists exploit antagonism in order to polarise their society: Paradoxically, those who claim that they are the incarnation of the people divide this people along religious, racial or linguistic lines to win elections through majoritarian tactics.
  • The societies affected by populism suffer from one more pathology, socio-economic frustrations due to joblessness or rising inequalities and unmet expectations.
  • The issue helps almost systematically the populists who can make promises to the frustrated aspiring sections, use idle vigilantes at the time of canvassing and designate scapegoats that the same young men are (trigger) happy to lynch on the altar of their anger.

Populism has its own positives:

  • Populism is not a full-blown ideology like liberalism, conservatism or socialism.
  • It is a “thin-centered” discourse rooted in the idea of popular will and is comfortable aligning itself to any ideology that could be broadly appealing to a majority.
  • Populism is also rampantly anti-elitist. It views the masses as pure and virtuous and the elites as immoral and self-serving who should be overthrown. Hence the argument that populism has a Manichean ethic.
  • It equates democracy with elections and referenda, for they represent popular will. It believes that the non-elected institutions of oversight — the judiciary, press, intelligence agencies, civil society, central banks — which normally constrain democratic governments between elections, must follow electoral verdicts, not their institutionally assigned roles. Being unelected, their autonomy should be curbed, even crushed.
  • If the poor or the underprivileged are said to be “the people”, populism hitches on to the left, and income redistribution and welfare-oriented policies follow.
  • Finally, populism hinges upon charismatic leaders having direct, unmediated access to the masses. Political parties or the press, while necessary, are expected to be subservient to the leader.

Conclusion:

The answer lies in fearlessly and courageously standing in the headwinds of crisis times in which some pied pipers would try to use right wing populism to attract people for quick fixes, which would never be possible. Only rational thinking rather than impulsive feelings and anger can solve the problems of our times. Fishing in the troubled waters may be politically expedient, but regressive political and economic policies would entail a bigger cost. In post truth politics, self righteousness is writ very large and this complicates problems making our stands irreconcilable.


Topic: Issues related to health.

5) With health accessibility and affordability still remaining  a crucial healthcare problem facing the 21st century, Discuss the significance of Universal Health Coverage along with concerns associated also explain what needs to be done to overcome these challenges.(250 words)

Financialexpress

Reference

Why this question:

The article is in the backdrop of World health day that is celebrated on 7th of April every year. The theme for World Health Day 2019 is Universal Health Coverage. Thus the question is important from the point of view of GS paper III.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must cover a detailed discussion on  significance of Universal Health Coverage along with concerns associated, also provide for what steps can be taken.

Directive word:

DiscussThis 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 April 7 is observed as World Health Day. The day is celebrated under the leadership of World Health Organization to draw people’s attention towards the importance of global health.

Body:

Discussion should have the following dimensions :

  • The highlights of World Health Day 2019: Theme and Significance.
  • What is Universal Health Coverage? – UHC is visualized as an ideal state of health system organisation in which all individuals and communities receive quality health services as per needs, without suffering financial hardship.
  • What are the objectives of UHC?
  • Discuss the indicators of UHC , its context in India.
  • Issues and Challenges – large health disparity between social classes, urban and rural populations and geographical locations, Lack of actual database to provide actual financial cost of the programme. there are large variations and inequities in the supply-side readiness, in terms of availability of infrastructure, equipment, essential drugs and staffing, to deliver on the promises of UHC.
  • non-affordability of healthcare services is a major problem with the vast majority of our people. The coverage is still not universal but linked to poverty.  Etc.
  • Discuss what needs to be done?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Universal health coverage means that all people have access to the health services they need (prevention, promotion, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care) without the risk of financial hardship when paying for them.

Health accessibility and affordability remain a crucial healthcare problem even in the 21st century. Therefore World Health Organisation chose “Universal Health Coverage” as the theme for World Health Day 2019. India started working towards the universal problem of affordability and accessibility with the introduction of Ayushman Bharat.

Body:

Significance of UHC:

  • Universal health coverage has a direct impact on a population’s health and welfare.
  • Access and use of health services enables people to be more productive and active contributors to their families and communities.
  • It also ensures that children can go to school and learn.
  • At the same time, financial risk protection prevents people from being pushed into poverty when they have to pay for health services out of their own pockets.
  • Universal health coverage is thus a critical component of sustainable development and poverty reduction, and a key element of any effort to reduce social inequities.
  • Universal coverage is the hallmark of a government’s commitment to improve the wellbeing of all its citizens.

Issues and Challenges:

  • Finance: At about 1.3% of the national income, India’s public healthcare spending between 2008 and 2015, has virtually remained stagnant. This is way less than the global average of 6 per cent. It is a herculean task to implement a scheme that could potentially cost Rs 5 lakh per person and benefit 53.7 crore out of India’s 121 crore citizenry, or roughly about 44% of the country’s population. Over 70 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure is accounted for by the private sector.
  • Crumbling public health infrastructure: Given the country’s crumbling public healthcare infrastructure, most patients are forced to go to private clinics and hospitals. There is a shortage of PHCs (22%) and sub-health centres (20%), while only 7% sub-health centres and 12% primary health centres meet Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) norms.
  • High Out of Pocket Expenditure: Reports suggest that 70% of the medical spending is from the patient’s pockets leading to huge burden and pushing many into poverty. Most consumers complain of rising costs. Hundred days into the PMJAY, it remains to be seen if private hospitals provide knee replacement at Rs 80,000 (current charges Rs 3.5 lakh) bypass surgery at Rs 1.7 lakh (against Rs 4 lakh).
  • Insurance: India has one of the lowest per capita healthcare expenditures in the world. Government contribution to insurance stands at roughly 32 percent, as opposed to 83.5 percent in the UK. The high out-of-pocket expenses in India stem from the fact that 76 percent of Indians do not have health insurance.
  • Doctor-Density Ratio: The WHO reports the doctor-density ratio in India at 8 per 10,000 people as against one doctor for a population of 1,000.To achieve such access, merely increasing the number of primary and secondary healthcare centres is not enough.
  • Shortage of Medical Personnel: Data by IndiaSpend show that there is a staggering shortage of medical and paramedical staff at all levels of care: 10,907 auxiliary nurse midwives and 3,673 doctors are needed at sub-health and primary health centres, while for community health centres the figure is 18,422 specialists.
  • Rural-urban disparity: The rural healthcare infrastructure is three-tiered and includes a sub-center, primary health centre (PHC) and CHC. PHCs are short of more than 3,000 doctors, with the shortage up by 200 per cent over the last 10 years to 27,421. Private hospitals don’t have adequate presence in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and there is a trend towards super specialisation in Tier-1 cities.
  • Social Inequality: The growth of health facilities has been highly imbalanced in India. Rural, hilly and remote areas of the country are under served while in urban areas and cities, health facility is well developed. The SC/ST and the poor people are far away from modern health service.
  • Poor healthcare ranking: India ranks as low as 145th among 195 countries in healthcare quality and accessibility, behind even Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
  • Commercial motive: lack of transparency and unethical practices in the private sector.
  • Lack of level playing field between the public and private hospitals: This has been a major concern as public hospitals would continue receiving budgetary support. This would dissuade the private players from actively participating in the scheme.
  • Scheme flaws: The overall situation with the National Health Mission, India’s flagship programme in primary health care, continues to be dismal. The NHM’s share in the health budget fell from 73% in 2006 to 50% in 2019 in the absence of uniform and substantial increases in health spending by States.

Steps taken up currently:

  • The National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 advocated allocating resources of up to two-thirds or more to primary care as it enunciated the goal of achieving “the highest possible level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive healthcare orientation”.
  • A 167% increase in allocation this year for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) — the insurance programme which aims to cover 10 crore poor families for hospitalisation expenses of up to ₹5 lakh per family per annum.
  • The government’s recent steps to incentivise the private sector to open hospitals in Tier II and Tier III cities.
  • Individual states are adopting technology to support health-insurance schemes. For instance, Remedinet Technology (India’s first completely electronic cashless health insurance claims processing network) has been signed on as the technology partner for the Karnataka Government’s recently announced cashless health insurance schemes.

Measures needed to strengthen the existing state of Health infrastructure in the country are:

  • There is an immediate need to increase the public spending to 2.5% of GDP, despite that being lower than global average of 5.4%.
  • The achievement of a distress-free and comprehensive wellness system for all hinges on the performance of health and wellness centres as they will be instrumental in reducing the greater burden of out-of-pocket expenditure on health.
  • there is a need to depart from the current trend of erratic and insufficient increases in health spending and make substantial and sustained investments in public health over the next decade.
  • A National Health Regulatory and Development Framework needs to be made for improving the quality (for example registration of health practitioners), performance, equity, efficacy and accountability of healthcare delivery across the country.
  • Increase the Public-Private Partnerships to increase the last-mile reach of healthcare.
  • Generic drugs and Jan Aushadi Kendras should be increased to make medicines affordable and reduce the major component of Out of Pocket Expenditure.
  • The government’s National Innovation Council, which is mandated to provide a platform for collaboration amongst healthcare domain experts, stakeholders and key participants, should encourage a culture of innovation in India and help develop policy on innovations that will focus on an Indian model for inclusive growth.
  • India should take cue from other developing countries like Thailand to work towards providing Universal Health Coverage. UHC includes three components: Population coverage, disease coverage and cost coverage.
  • Leveraging the benefits of Information Technology like computer and mobile-phone based e-health and m-health initiatives to improve quality of healthcare service delivery. Start-ups are investing in healthcare sector from process automation to diagnostics to low-cost innovations. Policy and regulatory support should be provided to make healthcare accessible and affordable.

Conclusion:

India needs a holistic approach to tackle problems in healthcare industry. This includes the active collaboration of all stakeholders public, private sectors, and individuals. Amore dynamic and pro-active approach is needed to handle the dual disease burden. A universal access to health makes the nation fit and healthy, aiding better to achieve the demographic dividend.


Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications.

6) What is Hawking’s theory of dark matter? Discuss the recent findings and their significance. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Recently a group of scientists have ruled out Stephen Hawking’s theory for mysterious dark matter. Dark matter remains one of the biggest mysteries in physics. Scientists know the mysterious substance makes up the majority of all matter in the universe, vastly outnumbering normal matter like stars, planets, and people. But no one is sure exactly what it is. Thus it is important for us to ponder a bit on such a theory.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the theory proposed by Stephen Hawking and recent findings that justify the theory to some extent, one has to bring out the significance of such a finding in detail and what applications it bears in day to day life.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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 discuss  the context of recent findings; the theory, its association with  black holes and Dark matter.

Body:

Discuss the following points :

  • What do the latest findings justify ? – researchers from the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) in Japan has searched for the telltale sign of such minuscule black holes, and the result was pretty damning.
  • What did Stephen Hawking propose? – Stephen Hawking proposed a theory that primordial black holes are a source of dark matter. He computed that the mass of the primordial black holes could range from as low as one-hundredth of a milligram to as high as more than the mass of a thousand Suns.
  • What are primordial black holes? – Two Soviet physicists, Yakov Borisovich Zel’dovich and Igor Dmitriyevich Novikov, showed that at the initial instant of the big bang, the densities would have been very high at many points, resulting in the formation of small black holes. They were named `primordial black holes’.
  • What is dark matter?
  • Significance – applications such as Gravitational lensing etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such remarkable research.

Introduction:

A group of scientists have ruled out Stephen Hawking’s theory for mysterious dark matter. According to Hawking’s theory, mysterious dark matter might be made up of tiny black holes created at the beginning of the universe. The scientists ruled out the possibility of primordial black holes being a major constituent of dark matter.

Body:

Hawking’s theory of Dark matter:

  • Stephen Hawking proposed a theory that primordial black holes are a source of dark matter.
  • According to his hypothesis, black holes could have formed in the primordial stages of the universe long before the first stars formed.
  • He computed that the mass of the primordial black holes could range from as low as one-hundredth of a milligram to as high as more than the mass of a thousand Suns.
  • Two Soviet physicists, Yakov Borisovich and Igor Dmitriyevich, showed that at the initial instant of the big bang, the densities would have been very high at many points, resulting in the formation of small black holes. They were named `primordial black holes’.
  • In most galaxies, the stars closer to the centre and the stars at the edge of the galaxies take almost same time to make one revolution. This implied that something invisible and enveloping the galaxies was giving an extra push to the outer stars, speeding them up. This entity has remained as one of the central unresolved puzzles in cosmology since 1930s. It is named `Dark Matter’.
  • The material is considered to be a ‘matter’ since it appears to have gravitational attraction and it is ‘dark’ because it does not seem to interact with light (or for that matter any part of the electromagnetic spectrum).
  • The elusive dark matter — which is supposed to be responsible for 85 percent of the universe’s mass — remains hypothetical because all attempts to detect its particles through experiments have failed so far.

Recent findings and the significance:

  • Black holes are not radiant and will not be visible through any telescope. However, as first suggested by Albert Einstein, if by chance, a tiny primordial black hole eclipses a distant star, light rays of the star will bend around the black hole due to gravitational effect, resulting in the star appearing to be brighter than it originally is for a short while.
  • The research team used the Hyper Supreme-Cam on the Japanese Subaru Telescope located in Hawaii to look for any tell-tale evidence of primordial black holes between Earth and Andromeda galaxy using gravitational lensing technique.
  • For one whole night, the research team took 190 consecutive images of Andromeda galaxy. If the Universe is filled with invisible teeny weeny primordial black holes, with masses lighter than the moon, as postulated by Stephen Hawking, then the team should have seen at least 1,000 gravitational lensing events.
  • However, they were able to see at most one such candidate event, if not none. This implies Prof Stephen Hawking’s theory that such black holes make up all of dark matter is wrong.
  • It means we have to continue searching for the source of dark matter.
  • The results have now confirmed that primordial black holes with masses similar or less massive than the moon can’t contribute more than a percent of all dark matter

Conclusion:

Although the existence of dark matter is generally accepted by the scientific community, some astrophysicists, intrigued by certain observations that do not fit the dark matter theory, argue for various modifications of the standard laws of general relativity. The discoveries of such life-defining phenomenon can further help find solutions to some of the challenges faced by humankind.


Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions.

7) Explain the determinants and consequences of ethics in human action with suitable examples.(250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is about discussing the importance determinants and consequences of ethics in human action.

Key demand of the question:

The question is straightforward from the syllabus and doesn’t require much deliberation.

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:

In a few introductory lines define what you understand by determinants and consequences of ethics.

Body:

In brief discuss –

  • What are the determinants of ethics? – In general perspective, ethics is a process of moral principles. These principles have significant effect on people to make decisions and lead good quality lives. Ethics is also concerned with what is ‘good for individuals and society’ and is also defined as moral beliefs.
  • Discuss the essence of Ethics, its importance and the consequences it can have on human action – Justify the above points using suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of Ethics in human actions and how it impacts human life.  

Introduction:

Ethics is the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The term ethics derives from the Ancient Greek word ethikos, which is derived from the word ethos (habit, custom or character).

Body:

Determinants as the word suggests, means the factors which decide whether the action being judged is ethical or not. Ethics in human action is determined by the following:

  • Legal Interpretations: The need to control, legislate and regulate, the ethical conduct at the government, individual, and corporate levels has its roots back to the ancient world. For example, one of the earliest law codes developed, the Code of Hammurabi, made Bribery a crime in Babylon during the 18th
  • Culture/Country: The culture and the country, in which an individual is based, influence one’s ethical decisions or behaviour. All cultures differ in values and morals. In western culture, one may look into the person’s eyes when one is conversing or talking to them. But in certain Asian cultures such as Korea, it is very rude to converse with a person that is “higher” status (age, work etc.) while looking into the eyes of others.
  • Personal values and morals: An individual’s values and morals will also influence his or her ethical standards. A key variable which affects the ethical behavior is “locus of control”. An individual with an internal locus of control believes that he/she can control the events in his/her life.
  • Family influences: Individuals start to form ethical standards as children in response to their perception of their parent’s behaviour and are likely to adopt high ethical standards if they see that their family members adhere to high ethical standard.
  • Peer influences: Peers are colleagues who are always around us in conducting our daily work. The behaviours and attitudes of peers influence an individual’s decisions in their life. They play an important role in ethical decision making.
  • Life experiences: Individual’s life experiences analyze key ethical concepts such as “right”, “wrong,” and “permissible.” It lets us explores possible such as God, human reason, or the desire to be happy. It seeks to establish principles of right behavior that may serve as action guides for individuals and groups

Thus, individual factor and cultural environment determines the ethics in human action.

The consequences are the effects caused by an action and the quality of these consequences depend on how much good they contain. Jeremy Bentham described the consequences based on the actions described below.

  • Intensity of pleasure or pain: Consequence of an action can be good or bad. How intense it is, makes the difference in the effect. E.g., eating a chocolate and eating bitter guard shows the difference in intensity.
  • The duration: The duration of pleasure or pain created by an action differs for stubbing one’s toe and breaking one’s toe.
  • The certainty or uncertainty: Consequences of an action can be certain or uncertain. E.g. jumping off from a higher building can cause a lot of pain to an individual than jumping onto a giant pillow from the same place.
  • The Nearness or remoteness: During the time of pleasure or pain nearness or remoteness effect follows an action. e.g. Pleasure of eating ice-cream is immediate, whereas the pleasure produced by winning a chess game is little more remote. They take a little longer to show up results.
  • The fecundity: Consequence of doing the action is either pleasurable or painful, but how likely the action is to be followed by more pleasure or more pain is an important question. The purity or impurity of pleasure or pain is the opposite of fecundity. For example, eating all the chocolate is very pleasurable at first, but it leads to a great deal of pain in the long run which creates a high level of impurity or a low level of purity.
  • The extent of an action: This refers to the wide effect of an action. Some actions can have an extent numbering in the millions, such as deciding whether to torture a terrorist for life-saving information.

Conclusion:

Thus, there are many determinants and they in turn lead to different consequences in ethics of human behaviour. 


Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

8) Explain the relationship between social influence and persuasion.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon

Why this question:

The question is intended to evaluate the relationship between social influence and persuasion.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the importance of social influence and persuasion in general and in public services.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines define what you understand by social influence and persuasion.

Body:

Discuss –

  • Social influence and persuasion as fundamental functions of communication.
  • Social influence – Social influence is described as the change in person’s behaviour, thoughts, feelings and attitudes that results from interaction with another individual in society. It can be intentionally or unintentionally, as a result of the way the changed person perceives themselves in relationship to the influencer. It is different from conformity, power and authority.
  • persuasion is defined as communicative activities that are mediated. It is the process of changing or reinforcing attitudes, beliefs or behaviour of a person.
  • Discuss their interlinkages.
  • Explain their importance in public administration.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of these values and that they are inter related.

Introduction:

Social influence occurs when a person’s emotions, opinions, or behaviours are affected by others. Social influence takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing.

Body:

Social influence is the change in behavior that one person causes in another, intentionally or unintentionally. Growing concerns about the use of coercive and other manipulative psychological techniques underline the need to improve understanding of the ethics of social influence.

Persuasion and Social Influence:

  • Persuasion is symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people through transmission of a message to change their attitudes or behaviours.
  • Persuasion can occur through appeals to reason or appeals to emotion. For example, school-based substance abuse prevention programs using the social influences model consistently produce better results than programs emphasizing only health information.
  • They are used to appeal to a person’s attitude, behavior and cognition. Advertisements are the robust examples of persuasion.
  • The Social Media is playing a major role today in persuading people for both good and bad deeds.
  • The government has also utilized this tool for the success of the initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan- cleanliness drives; Ujjwala Yojana’s Give it up campaign; Disclosing excess income campaign; Beti Bachao Beti Padhao by making parents understand it is necessary to protect and educate a girl child.

Principles on which focus is needed to increase the social influence and persuasion:

Robert Cialdini has earmarked the following cues of influence.

  • Reciprocity
    • Reciprocation is considered as a strong tool of persuasion which leads to a sense of obligation. The rule of reciprocity is highly effective and overpowering.
  • Commitment and Consistency
    • Both the values are considered highly important as they are a valuable short-cut through the complicated nature of modern existence. If a person makes any commitment, he or she will likely take up all steps to honour that.
    • Likewise, consistency is highly valued in society as it allows a person to make effective decisions and process information accordingly.
  • Social proof
    • The behaviour of people surrounding us has a great effect on our thoughts and actions. The ‘power of crowd’ is considered very important. This becomes utmost effective when there are uncertainties or similarities in a situation.
  • Liking
    • This is simple as people usually agree to people whom they like. There are two primary factors which contribute to overall liking. They are: physical attractiveness and similarities of attitudes.
    • This is followed in many advertisements where public figures who are liked and respected by the people are roped in to influence people about the programmes.
  • Authority
    • People always listen to those who are either knowledge or trustworthy. The words of an expert are always taken seriously by everyone concerned as compared to a beginner.
  • Scarcity
    • Scarcity is often underestimated by people as a method of persuasion. Anything which is of limited availability is given more importance by people. People want more of you when they cannot have.

Conclusion:

Thus, Persuasion is one form of social influence on attitude; in fact it represents the intersection of social thinking and social influence of everyday life. Understanding these shortcuts and employing them in an ethical manner can significantly increase the chances that someone will be social influenced and persuaded by the public policy.