SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 APRIL 2019

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 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: Role of women , population and associated issues, developmental issues their problems and their remedies. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

1) The Reproductive rights of women have major repercussions not only on women health but also on aspects of education, income and safety in India. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article captures the State of the World Population 2019, the flagship report of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that highlights for the first time, data on women’s ability to make decisions over three key areas –According to the analysis, the absence of reproductive and sexual rights has a major and negative repercussions on women.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must cover a detailed discussion on  the essence of reproductive rights of women in shaping our society.

Directive word:

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:

Highlight the situation , explain the background in brief – relevance of State of the World Population 2019, the flagship report of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Body:

Discussion should have the following aspects  :

  • Reproductive rights were established as a subset of the human rights. women have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children. Issues regarding the reproductive rights are vigorously contested, regardless of the population’s socioeconomic level, religion or culture.
  • One has to discuss reproductive rights with respect to Indian context focusing on socioeconomic and cultural aspects.
  • Factors that have led to lack of such rights.
  • What are the consequences on life of women ? – education, income, societal status , quality of life etc.
  • Also discuss sensitization of government and judicial agencies in protecting the reproductive rights with special focus on the protecting the reproductive rights of women.
  • What needs to be done?

Conclusion:

Conclude with road ahead what needs to be done to empower women.

Introduction:

India accounts for over one-sixth of the world’s population in 2019 (1.37 billion out of 7.71 billion) and has grown at an rate (1.2% per year between 2010 and 2019) that is just over the world growth rate (1.2%), according to State of the World Population 2019, the flagship report of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Body:

Reproductive rights of Women:

  • Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health that vary amongst countries around the world.
  • Women’s reproductive rights may include some or all of the following: the right to legal and safe abortion; the right to birth control; freedom from coerced sterilization and contraception; the right to access good-quality reproductive healthcare; and the right to education and access in order to make free and informed reproductive choices.
  • Reproductive rights may also include the right to receive education about sexually transmitted infections and other aspects of sexuality, and protection from practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM).
  • Reproductive rights began to develop as a subset of human rights at the United Nation’s 1968 International Conference on Human Rights.
  • The issue  of  reproductive  right  is  very essential because there  is  lack  of  concern  on  the  part  of  the government  and  lack  of awareness  in the  society  to  recognize  and  protect  this 
  • Freedom and rights of women is impossible to achieve without assuring them reproductive rights.

Situation in India:

  • India legalized abortion in 1971 when it passed the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, but an abortion can’t be performed solely on the woman’s request.
  • The procedure is allowed if her physical or mental health is under threat or if the child that would be born would have “such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.”
  • The provision includes women under 18, as long as they have their guardian’s consent, and women made pregnant by rape. A woman doesn’t need the consent of her husband, and can legally terminate at up to 20 weeks’ gestation.
  • One clause, however, is specifically reserved for married women: abortion because of contraceptive failure
  • Millions face structural, institutional, and cultural barriers to using accredited abortion services—things like stigma, not knowing the law, expense, fears about confidentiality, and lack of access to healthcare institutions.
  • Such barriers disproportionately affect poorer women, who often live in remote, rural areas.
  • Another major barrier is a woman’s lack of agency. The absence of reproductive and sexual rights has major and negative repercussions on women’s education, income and safety, leaving them “unable to shape their own futures”.

Reproductive rights and women health:

  • Between 2006 and 2107, 86% of births in India were attended by skilled health personnel, as compared to 79% across the world.
  • India’s maternal mortality ratio in 2015 was 174 deaths per lakh live births (down from 448 in 1994) while the global MMR in 2015 was 216.
  • And while 28 of every 1,000 Indian adolescent women (age 15-19) gave birth between 2006 and 2017, the global adolescent birth rate was over one-and-a-half times that of India, at 44 per 1,000.
  • India’s fertility rate in 2019 is 2.3 births per woman, compared to 2.5 worldwide
  • While India’s life expectancy at birth is lower than the world’s (69 years to 72), it scores higher than the global average in terms of access to healthcare during childbirth, and also has a much lower adolescent birth rate.

Reproductive rights and education, income and safety in India:

  • Early marriage, pressure for early childbearing, lack of decision-making power within the family, physical violence, and coercion in sexual and family relations lead to lower education and in turn poor incomes for females.
  • Continuous child-bearing due to lack of agency on her reproductive rights have made her mostly a house-wife, thereby making her dependent on spouse for finances.
  • Patriarchal mindsets and childbearing until requisite number of sons are born without proper spacing between children makes her physically weak and threatens her life.
  • The fear that educated women cannot be controlled by husband and his family further curbs her education rights.

Way forward:

  • A focus  on  the  health  needs  of  women,  their  nutritional status,  the risk  of  early  marriage  and  child bearing is sensitive issue of concern and require urgent attention if condition of women has to be improved.
  • At the same  time, there  is  a  need  to  provide  health  care  information  to  the  grass  root  level  through awareness programme in the large scale.
  • There is a need for the proper legal framework to address and recognize the promotion and protection of reproductive rights of women in India.
  • There is a need to have access to appropriate, affordable and quality health care facilities and related services for women. Health programmes should focus more on women’s health including reproductive health.
  • There is a  urge to  have  legislation  as Reproductive  Rights (Protection) Act in order to protect and promote reproductive rights of women and to look after all the issues of reproductive  health  of women  whether  it  is  as  regard  to providing  medical  facilities  or  creating  awareness  or having health policies and programmes concerning women.

Conclusion:

About 35 million women, girls and young people will need life-saving sexual and reproductive health services this year, as well as services to address gender-based violence, in humanitarian settings.


Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

2) Explain the discretionary powers of the Governor mentioned in the Indian Constitution. Why is it held that the post of governor has become highly politicized in recent times?(250 words)

Timesofindia

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper II, you must enumerate the discretionary powers of the Governor mentioned in the Indian constitution. The discussion in second half should focus on the recent controversies involved around the office of Governor.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss discretionary powers of the governor and the factors that have led to the politicization of the governor’s post.

Directive:

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:

Briefly narrate the significance of the office of Governor.

Body:

The discussion should have the following points :

  • The first half should discuss the powers – Constitutional discretion and Situational discretion of the Governor.
  • Discuss how the office of Governor has become a tool of Centre to interfere in the working of state governments.
  • factors that have led to such a situation of politicization
  • what needs to be done
  • quote some examples of recent controversies.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the office of Governor and that issues associated with it should be addressed necessarily.

Introduction:

The office of Governor is a British Indian transplant with a federalistic flavour. The role of office of Governor was confined to normal routine ceremonial functions earlier but now enjoys more powers. Discretionary powers of Governor in state are much more extensive in comparison to the President in centre in India. He/She is not bound to act on the advice of the council of Ministers in certain circumstances, even he need not seek its advice.

Body:

The constitution does not specify these matters but the matters in which he can act without the advice of the council of ministers are as follows:

  • Appointment of the Chief Minister: Generally, the leader of the party with majority is appointed as the Chief Minister. But in situation where no party gets absolute majority, the Governor exercises his discretionary powers in appointing the Chief Minister.
  • Dismissal of a Ministry: A minister holds offices during the pleasure of the Governor. When the ministry losses support of the house, the governor will dismiss the ministry. But he cannot dismiss it until it losses majority support.
  • Advising the President for proclamation of Emergency: The Governor advises the President to proclaim emergency when he is satisfied that the Government cannot carried on in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, under Article 356.
  • Reservation of a bill for the consideration of the President: On his/ her discretion, the Governor can reserve a bill passed by the state legislature for president’s assent. However, situations are mentioned in Article 200, when he will reserve the bill, yet he can use, discretion regarding this matter. Governor has discretion to refuse to sign to an ordinary bill passed by the state legislature.
  • Dissolution of Legislative Assembly: The Governor summons, prorogues and dissolves the Legislative Assembly, according to article 174. When the ministry loses the majority and the Governor is satisfied he may dissolve the House.
  • Governor determines the amount payable by the Government of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to an autonomous Tribal District Council as royalty accruing from licenses for mineral exploration.
  • Seeking information: Governor can seek information from the chief minister with regard to the administrative and legislative matters of the state.

Thus, though the Governor is made the constitutional head of a state like president of India, yet there is a thin line as the Constitution empowers the Governor to act without the advice of the Chief Minister and his council and can use discretion on certain matters.

Under Article 168, the Governor is considered part of the State Legislature which the body responsible for discharging governmental functions. However, the post of Governor has seen numerous controversies.

Although the post of Governor is constitutional, it is usually seen as a hand of central government in the state. 

The recent case of Karnataka:

  • There was no absolute majority for any party post assembly elections, the Karnataka Governor misused his powers.
  • Governor could not call the party with majority votes i.e., BJP to form government as there was no simple majority.
  • But the Governor called the BJP to form the government and prove its majority within 15 days.
  • This act is seen as abuse, because the Governor did not take into account the other two major parties Congress and JDP.
  • Even though these parties did not gain majority they formed post poll alliance and thus had majority to form the government.
  • Since the post of Governor is seen as a link between the Union and State Government, this decision is seen as an act to align with the ideals of the government at the centre and not with people.

Imposition of President’s rule:

  • The Assemblies of Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh had been placed under suspended animation on the recommendation of the Governor due to alleged failure of Constitutional Machinery (Article 356).
  • However, the State Governments were reinstated by reversal of President’s rule by Supreme Court due to lack of sufficient evidence.
  • The President’s rule envisaged as a dead letter by Dr. B.R Ambedkar has now become a potent tool for dislodging the state governments by Union Government.
  • This makes the role of Governor as a partisan towards the Central Government.

Way forward:

  • In India, the balance in power is tilted towards the Union
  • The importance of the Governor’s position arises not from the exceptional circumstances that necessitate the use of his discretion, but as a crucial link within this federal structure in maintaining effective communication between the Centre and a State
  • As a figurehead who ensures the continuance of governance in the State, even in times of constitutional crises, his role is often that of a neutral arbiter in disputes settled informally within the various strata of government, and as the conscience keeper of the community
  • The Supreme Court has time and again ruled (e.g.: SR Bommai Case) that the office of Governor must not be misused to the advantages of Union Government.
  • Expert Committees like Sarkaria and Punnchi Commissions have laid out the procedure in case of constitutional machinery breakdown, appointment of CM during hung assembly, no-confidence motion etc. which needs to be codified and followed.
  • There is need to ensure proper checks and balances to streamline the functioning of this office
  • However, misuse of a position of power should not serve as a justification for removing the office altogether, unless such a position has totally lost its relevance

Topic :Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

3) In your opinion  can more number of smaller States bring in effective governance at State level? Discuss.(250 words)

Why this question:

The question is in the context of creation of small states their advantages and disadvantages with respect to the federal character of the constitution.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must discuss whether the new social and political order calls for a reorganization and whether there is any guarantee for effective administration.

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

Highlight briefly the significant features of Indian federalism.

Body

Discuss the following features in the answer:

  • The current demand for the break-up of large states – Maharashtra, Gujrat, Punjab etc , discuss the factors driving the cause of bifurcation.
  • The debate of linguistic bifurcation vs administrative bifurcation based on regionalism and other associated factors.
  • The question whether smaller states are better governed than bigger ones.
  • Discuss with examples.

Conclusion

conclude your answer with significance of strong federal features.

Introduction:

The Indian ‘model’ of federalism has several marked differences from the classical federal models one finds in countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia. A notable difference has been the unilateral power of the union parliament to reorganize the political structure of the country by forming new states and to alter the areas, boundaries or names of existing sates. The article 1 of the constitution, “India is a Union of states”, means that states were created for administrative convenience. States have no right to secede from the union and hence states do not have a say in their creation.

Body:

Reasons for demand for the break-up of large states:

  • The regions include Gorkhaland and Kamtapur in West Bengal; Coorg in Karnataka; Mithilanchal in Bihar; Saurashtra in Gujarat; Vidarbha in Maharashtra; Harit Pradesh, Purvanchal, Braj Pradesh and Awadh Pradesh in Uttar Pradesh and Bundelkhand comprising areas of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Significantly, some of these regions have enormous populations comparable to countries of the global north in terms of territory and population.
  • Electoral politics in the ‘post-Congress polity’ has been marked by the politicization and mobilization of social cleavages along territorially confined lines of caste, religion and region by state-level ‘ethnic’ parties.
  • The issue of language and culture-which had shaped the earlier process of reorganization– shifted to those of better governance and greater participation, administrative convenience, economic viability in the developmental needs of sub regions.
  • Centralized federalism under the shadow of the development-planning model failed to achieve its avowed aim of bringing about equitable development across and within the regional states.
  • India has also been witness to what may be called the ‘secession of the rich’ as regions attracting huge private investments and registering impressive growth, have started resenting the dependence of relatively underdeveloped regions on the revenues transferred to them (for example, Harit Pradesh in Uttar Pradesh).

Creation of smaller states is a much needed move:

  • It’s a well-known fact that creation of smaller state in India had experiences the betterment of Indian economy. The growth of GDP, better governance and development.
  • Factual analysis shows the development and efficiency argument does work in favour of the new states when compared with the parent states.
  • During the tenth five-year plan period, Chhattisgarh averaged 9.2 percent growth annually compared with 4.3 percent by Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand averaged 11.1 per cent annually compared with 4.7 percent by Bihar, and Uttarakhand achieved 8.8 per cent growth annually compared with 4.6 percent by Uttar Pradesh.
  • Arguably, getting ‘a territory of their own’ unleashes the untapped/suppressed growth potentials of the hitherto peripheral regions.
  • Comparatively smaller but compact geographical entities tend to ensure that there is better democratic governance, as there is greater awareness among the policy makers about the local needs.
  • Smaller spatial units having linguistic compatibility and cultural homogeneity also allow for better management, implementation and allocation of public resources in provisioning basic social and economic infrastructure services.
  • Smaller states provide gains for the electorates in terms of better representation of their preferences in the composition of the government.
  • In a patronage-based democracy like in India, the amount of the transfer of state resources/largesse a constituency/region gets depends crucially on whether the local representative belongs to the ruling party.

However, there are challenges too:

  • Reminiscent of ‘partition anxiety’, many fear the rise of regional and linguistic fanaticism as threats to national unity and integrity. A global surge in ethno-nationalist conflicts serves to rekindle these fears. No region has ever experienced secessionist movement after being reorganised as a separate state except for a brief time in Punjab.
  • Many believe that bigger states ensure cohesion and stability; however, there are myriad forms of political violence going on unabated in the big states (eg. Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal).
  • In these cases, violent movements are expressions of a demand for recognition, justice and autonomy; relatively homogeneous smaller states would always be better poised to provide a wider range of policies in response to local conditions.
  • Political expediency and opportunism rather than the objective evaluation of democratic and developmental potential are said to be involved in the making of new states.
  • A new state may find itself lacking in infrastructure, which requires time, money and efforts to build. On the political front too there are many challenges that smaller states have to face, as the dream of new smaller states was ushered in by the leaders need.
  • Small states depend to a substantial extent on central government for financial aid. It will not be economically prudent to set up new states as it would incur expenditure to set up state machinery.
  • With India however the diversity and multiculturalism is so connected in Indian culture that the idea of separate sovereign nation states wouldn’t be viable as all Indian states have such a diverse mix of Indians.
  • To create a nation state based on the idea of culture or language in such a diverse society would cause hatred of the outsiders who the natives felt didn’t belong in that state.

Way forward:

  • The federal polity of India does need to accommodate the ongoing demands for smaller states.
  • In most regions, even if the local, urban entrepreneurial/middle classes (with a hidden class agenda in some cases) lead the demands, these demands represent the democratic aspirations of the hitherto politically dormant, neglected and discriminated masses from the peripheral regions.
  • For democratically negotiating such demands, a second state reorganization commission must be constituted by the centre.
  • The commission must have the quasi-judicial power to ascertain a set of objective and coherent criteria (not lopsided political considerations) that can be uniformly applied, like in the case of the state reorganisation commission set up in 1953.
  • It could be a constitutional body to oversee transparency of the consultation process.
  • Concomitant revenue raising powers may also be devolved to such an autonomous institution to avoid its undue financial dependence on the state government.
  • The creation of smaller states would contribute to the federal agenda of enhancing democratic development based on decentralized governance and greater autonomy for units.

Topic : Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

4) Discuss the questions of transparency associated with Electoral bonds. Do you think voter must know the source of political funding ? Analyse.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The question is about discussing the fact whether Electoral bonds will pave way for clean and transparent political funding. The article is in the light of recent controversies surrounding the donor source of the electoral bonds and involvement of Supreme court and its interpretations.

Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the concept of Electoral bonds, the entire controversy around it ; the merits and demerits.

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

one can start by defining significance of passage of Bill in the parliament.

Body

The question is straightforward and one has to put the theme of electoral bonds to trial and analyse the merits and demerits associated with it.

Discuss whether voters have the right to know about their candidates, should they know where the money of political parties is coming from.

Are there genuine reasons to protect donors under the electoral bond scheme from disclosing their identity etc.

Conclusion

Base on your opinion conclude with a balanced reasoning and take a stand.

 

Introduction:

The Finance Bill, 2017 introduced “electoral bonds” — interest-free bearer bonds (like Promissory Notes) that can be purchased from specified branches of the State Bank of India in a designated 10-day window in every quarter of the financial year. Electoral bonds will allow donors to pay political parties using banks as an intermediary. It can be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore.

Body:

Merits of the electoral bonds:

  • Electoral bonds have been introduced to promote transparency in funding and donation received by political parties.
  • The scheme envisages building a transparent system of acquiring bonds with validated KYC and an audit trail. A limited window and a very short maturity period would make misuse improbable.
  • The electoral bonds will prompt donors to take the banking route to donate, with their identity captured by the issuing authority. This will ensure transparency and accountability and is a big step towards electoral reform.
  • The previous system of cash donations from anonymous sources is wholly non-transparent. The donor, the donee, the quantum of donations and the nature of expenditure are all undisclosed.
  • According to government the system of Bonds will encourage political donations of clean money from individuals, companies, HUF, religious groups, charities, etc.
  • After purchasing the bonds, these entities can hand them to political parties of their choice, which must redeem them within the prescribed time.
  • Some element of transparency would be introduced in as much as all donors declare in their accounts the amount of bonds that they have purchased and all parties declare the quantum of bonds that they have received.
  • The electoral bonds are aimed at rooting out the current system of largely anonymous cash donations made to political parties which lead to the generation of black money in the economy.

Concerns expressed as it affects the transparency of funding:

  • The move could be misused, given the lack of disclosure requirements for individuals purchasing electoral bonds.
  • Electoral bonds make electoral funding even more opaque. It will bring more and more black money into the political system. electoral bonds would cause a “serious impact” on transparency in funding of political parties
  • With electoral bonds there can be a legal channel for companies to round-trip their tax haven cash to a political party. If this could be arranged, then a businessman could lobby for a change in policy, and legally funnel a part of the profits accruing from this policy change to the politician or party that brought it about.
  • Electoral Bonds Scheme has “opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate donations to political parties and anonymous financing by Indian as well as foreign companies which can have serious repercussions on the Indian democracy”.
  • The amendments would pump in black money for political funding through shell companies and allow “unchecked foreign funding of political parties in India which could lead to Indian politics being influenced by foreign companies
  • The contribution received by any eligible political party in the form of electoral bonds will be exempt from income-tax as per Section 13A of the Income Tax Act.
  • With the removal of the 7.5% cap on the net profits of the last three years of a company, corporate funding has increased manifold, as there is now no limit to how much a company, including loss-making ones, can donate.
  • This opens up the possibility of companies being brought into existence by unscrupulous elements primarily for routing funds to political parties through anonymous and opaque instruments like electoral bonds.
  • Companies no longer need to declare the names of the parties to which they have donated so shareholders won’t know where their money has gone.
  • They have potential to load the dice heavily in favour of the ruling party as the donor bank and the receiver bank know the identity of the person. But both the banks report to the RBI which, in turn, is subject to the Central government’s will to know.

Voters’ necessity to know the source of funding:

The transparency in the source of funding will help the voters to know the true source of money flow to the party. It helps them choose the party which is just and non-corrupt. This in turn helps in bringing the much need intra-party democracy and reducing the dynastic politics and nepotism plaguing the political parties. The transparent funding helps in decriminalization of the politics as well as bringing in peaceful and harmonious society.

Conclusion:

Alternative means of funding like National Electoral fund, Direct funding of candidates, State funding of elections, making it mandatory to file the returns, bringing in political parties under ambit of RTI can help in bringing transparency in electoral funding.


Topic :Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

5) Examine the root causes of India’s problem of e-waste and discuss the whys and wherefores due to which rules and regulations  have been ineffective. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is direct and straightforward, one has to bring out the root causes of India’s problem of e-waste and discuss the policy failures and solutions therein.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must  discuss in detail the problems associated with e-wastes in India, the associated challenges and concerns in dealing with it and what needs to be done.

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:

write a few introductory lines about e – wastes in India, provide for some statistics.

Body:

Answers must discuss in detail the following points :

    • What is E-Waste? – Electronic waste, abbreviated as ‘e-waste’ is a term used to describe old, end-of-life electronic appliances such as computers, laptops, TV’s, radios, refrigerators etc., which have been discarded by users. E-waste comprises of numerous valuable but harmful substances that can cause an adverse effect on human health.
    • E-waste –Statistics – global volume of e-waste is expected to reach 52.2 million tonnes (MT) or 6.8 kg per inhabitant by 2021. Among Indian states, Maharashtra contributes the largest e-waste of 20% but recycles only about 47,810 tonnes per annum.
    • What are the harmful effects?
    • Why it is difficult to manage e waste in India?
    • Failures of policies – causes and consequences.
  • What Should India Do?

Conclusion –

Conclude with way forward as to how should India deal with the menace of e- wastes.

Introduction:

A recent UN report titled ‘A new circular vision for electronics’ warned that ‘Tsunami of e-waste’ was to hit the world soon. The report notes that the waste stream has already reached 48.5 million tonnes (MT) in 2018 and the figure is expected to double if nothing changes. In India, e-Waste accounts for 70% of the landfills. (2011 Rajya Sabha Secretariat Study). By 2050, India will likely stare at a pile of a new category of electronic waste, namely solar e-waste.  India’s PV (photovoltaic) waste volume is estimated to grow to 200,000 tonnes by 2030 and around 1.8 million tonnes by 2050.

Body:

The root causes of India’s e-Waste problem are:

  • e- Waste is technically all waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) discarded without the intent of use.
  • It comprises not just electronic items, but also all electrical equipment that involves anything with a plug, electric cord or battery.
  • In recent years, e-waste has grown faster than earlier anticipated. By 2021, the annual total volume is expected to surpass 52 MT, considering the fact that the number of devices connected to the internet is going to be between 25-50 billion by 2020. By 2050, the volume of e-waste in the worst-case scenario, could top 120 MT annually.
  • In India, e waste accounts for 4% of global e-waste and 2.5% of global GDP (2014 figures) – so it has a higher share of e-waste than its share of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The informal sector manages about 95% of the e-Waste in India. Due to the informal and crude processing techniques, the soil, water and air are polluted to a beyond-repairable level. Example: Moradabad and Seelampur.
  • The hard-to-recover substances from e-waste like mercury, arsenic make their home in landfills and keep leaching into ground water.
  • Incineration is one of the most practiced methods of recycling leading to high carbon emissions and poisoning of air with toxic gases.
  • The poor implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility as mandated under e-Waste Management Rules, 2016 is another challenge.
  • The export of e-Waste from developed countries is another growing problem despite regulations under Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.

Causes for failure of rules and regulations for e-Waste:

  • India has 19 PROs (producer responsibility organisations), which are hired for collection as of today but there is no level playing field.
  • There is no independent mechanism to verify if EPR is being implemented. The law mandates random inspections by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and state PCBs, but there’s no record of them.
  • The issues of how to address the ones using the products: how do you get people to hand back their products in a reasonable way.
  • The lack of companies’ initiative to build an image of a responsible actor, of someone consumers can believe in.
  • Customer care representatives do not have inkling about any take back or recycling programme and even if they have set up collection centres, they are simply not enough for a geographically vast country like India.
  • India being a vast country, setting up collection mechanism is a big challenge. If any of the brands try individually to reach out to all corners of the country, it will economically not be sustainable or feasible.

Measures to control the e-Waste growth:

  • Unified effort: The report calls for systematic collaboration with major brands, small and medium-sized enterprises, academia, trade unions, civil society and associations in a deliberative process to reorient the system and reduce the waste of resources each year with a value greater than the GDP of most countries.
  • Holistic management: To capture the global value of materials in e-waste and create global circular value chains, use new technology to create service business models, better product tracking and manufacturer or retailer take-back programmes.
  • Scaling up recycling: The report notes that material efficiency, recycling infrastructure and scaling up the volume and quality of recycled materials to meet the needs of electronics supply chains will all be essential for future production.
  • Incentivization: The producers should also have buy-back or return offers for old equipment, and plans to incentivise the consumer financially. The report also advocates a system of ‘urban mining’ by strengthening the extended producer responsibility provision.
  • Job potential: If the electronics sector is supported with the right policy mix and managed in the right way, it could lead to the creation of millions of decent jobs worldwide.
  • Awareness & Education: there is an acute lack of awareness among people as they simply don’t know that there exist collection centres that collect items for recycling. The law will fail to serve the purpose unless these changes are made on the ground.

Conclusion:

A strong political will is required to come out with strict regulations to manage e waste in India. Increased public awareness is the need of hour. It is now to be seen how the stakeholders who turned a blind eye to the rules so far, proceed ahead.


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

6) Discuss the significance of Ethics in Education, also elaborate on the modern day challenges for incorporation ethics into Education .(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article highlights the need for ethics in education. The associated concerns.

Key demand of the question:

The question is about discussing the relevance of ethics in education and what are the challenges associated in weaving the same into the system.

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:

Brief upon importance of ethics in education.

Body:

Such answers are best explained with examples from day to day life, one must signify importance of ethics in education system, what difference it makes.

The discussion should cover why weaving ethics into our education system is quite challenging and what needs to be done to overcome it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of ethics.

Introduction:

Ethics are well founded standards that make the actions right and wrong. it helps categorize different values such as integrity discipline and honesty among others and apply them in daily lives. Ethics influences behavior and allows an individual to make the right choices.

Ethics in education are essential as they help run the system smoothly. It sets the standards of what’s acceptable and what’s not hence protecting the interests of both the educators and the learners.

Body:

Significance of Ethics in Education:

  • Education is a fundamental process of human life. Therefore, in education ethics has a very important and effective role. In order to be a good human, ethics should be placed as a course in educational system.
  • Ethics in education are applicable on both the instructors as well as the students.
  • Ethics helps regulate the education system and ensures that this practice positively contributes towards human welfare.
  • Students learn what is right and what is wrong, known as value education or character education.
  • Human beings can be either unfriendly or peaceful by education. The aim of ethical education is to provide people to make decisions by their free wills.
  • Ethical decisions are inherent in everything we do, in almost every aspect of our lives. We must take these decisions thoughtfully and consciously based on our own beliefs, and not simply by default, or by following the herd.

Illustrations which show the importance of ethics in education:

  • Caste System and Gender Inequality is deeply entrenched in India despite many literates. Ethics in education helps understand the values of equality, humanity which can wipe out such evils.
  • Harming communities by deepening communal values like the Christchurch killings.
  • Rationalizing youths has become easier as they lack compassion, sympathy.

Modern day challenges to incorporate ethics in education:

  • Most educational institutions today do not adequately focus on helping students develop thoughtful ethical frameworks that would inform their choices.
  • They blindly follow the western education system without understanding the true reason behind the values.
  • Students must constantly be encouraged to apply ethical frameworks to every aspect of their academic and non-academic life, which is not given importance.
  • Universities don’t help students analyse ethical challenges from various schools of thoughts.
  • Universities don’t focus on developing adaptability and agility in students’ mindsets and expectations to prepare students to be ethical within a changing system.
  • Education has today become more of a business where money has taken a higher pedestal than knowledge.
  • Rote learning, lack of quality in education, teacher absenteeism, student dropout are some of the challenges.

Measures needed:

  • Encouraging students to critically analyse the ethical dimension in all aspects of their lives.
  • Helping them learn to be adaptable and agile in changing contexts.
  • Encouraging students to play a lead role in evolving new systems and rules like Social media, artificial intelligence etc.
  • Incorporating value education in the National Education policy.
  • Implementing the Right to Education Act in its true letter and spirit.
  • Sensitizing teacher and parents about ethics in education.

Topic: Citizen’s Charters.

7) What aspects should be covered by an ideal Citizen’s Charter? Do you think Citizen’s Charter should also be made compulsory for government organizations?  (250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is about discussing the need for Ideal citizen’s charter in governmental organization and its significance.

Key demand of the question:

The question is about analyzing the significance of citizen’s charter and its need in governmental organisation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines define citizen’s charter.

Body:

  • The question is straightforward , thus doesn’t require much deliberation, one must discuss the concept of Citizen’s charter  in detail, its importance and relevance to public organizations.
  • What are the components of a Citizen’s Charter?
  • road map to be adopted to formulate the Citizen’s Charter.
  • Students can quote best principles adopted by public organizations to make the charter ideal.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such tools in good governance.

Introduction:

A Citizens’ Charter represents the commitment of the Organisation towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redress mechanism, transparency and accountability. The concept of Citizens Charter enshrines the trust between the service provider and its users.

                Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in Government of India (DARPG) initiated the task of coordinating, formulating and operationalising Citizen’s Charters.

Body:

The essential elements of an ideal Citizen’s Charter are:

  • Vision and Mission Statement
  • Details of business transacted by the organization
  • Details of clients
  • Details of services provided to each client group
  • Details of grievance redress mechanism and how to access it
  • Expectations from the clients.

India took the cue from UK for the citizen’s charter. However, the Indian model has additional components vis-à-vis the UK model.

  • Citizen-Centric: Expectations from the clients or in other words ‘obligations of the users’.
  • People-Participation: Involvement of consumer organisations, citizen groups, and other stakeholders in the formulation of the Citizens’ Charter is emphasised to ensure that the Citizens’ Charter meets the needs of the users.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regular monitoring, review and evaluation of the Charters, both internally and through external agencies, are enjoined.
  • Charters were required to include standards of service and time limits that the public can reasonably expect, avenues of grievance redress and a provision for independent scrutiny with the involvement of citizen and consumer groups.

Yes, it must be made mandatory for government organizations because

  • The main objective of the exercise to issue the Citizen’s Charter of an organisation is to improve the quality of public services.
  • This is done by letting people know the mandate of the concerned Ministry/ Department/ Organisation, how one can get in touch with its officials, what to expect by way of services and how to seek a remedy if something goes wrong.
  • The Citizen’s Charter does not by itself create new legal rights, but it surely helps in enforcing existing rights.
  • Citizen’s Charter can play a prominent part in ensuring “minimum govt & maximum governance”, changing the nature of charters from non-justiciable to justiciable & adopting penalty measures that will make it more efficient & citizen friendly

Conclusion:

Thus, it is imperative to develop citizen’s charter which is citizen-centric, people-participative for them to be successful. This will ensure that the guidelines are set for better service delivery by the government.