SECURE SYNOPSIS: 15 APRIL 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 15 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:  population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

1) Social and employment policies affect migration but can have different impacts according to location and circumstances. Analyse.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The article is in the light of recently released 2018 State of Food and Agriculture report by FAO that has asserted water availability, through its effect on crop production, influences migration. Thus it becomes necessary for us to examine the changing factors that are affecting migration trends.

Key demand of the question:

Discussion should focus upon the changing factors affecting the trends in migration from conventional factors of Social and employment policies to location and circumstantial causes.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Introduce by stating few facts on migration trends across the world.

Body:

In brief discuss –

  • Discuss the highlights of  2018 State of Food and Agriculture report.
  • New factors affecting migration – Water availability of a region, crop patterns of a country or a region within a country, food insecurity due to severe drought conditions.
  • Discuss the effect of Social and employment policies too and how they work in tandem with above mentioned factors.
  • Suggest what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward – suggest policy measures to address . 

Introduction:

People have migrated either in search of better livelihood opportunities or out of extreme need. It is an important factor that drives economic and social development. The 2018 State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says rural migration, which is often seen by farming households as a strategy to overcome food insecurity, can be tackled by investing in agricultural value chains.

Body:

Traditional factors affecting migration:

  • War, conflicts and persecutions: Conflict is the most common factor for forced migration around the world and throughout history. The conflicts in West Asia, Africa and South America, and the extreme violence associated with them have forced people to leave their homes and seek a haven in foreign countries. Most recently, the world’s focus has been on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, with over half a million of the country’s Muslim population fleeing to neighbouring Bangladesh in the wake of violence and ethnic cleansing.
  • Climate Change Refugees: climate change effects also contributed to the growing number of migrants and refugees. Example: Sudan, Libya. According to a report published in 2017 by Cornell University, climate change could account for up to 4 billion forced migrations by the year 2060. By 2100, they estimate that number would surpass 2 billion.
  • Droughts: A single drought can mean disaster for communities whose lives and livelihoods rely on regular, successful harvests. In a number of African countries where Concern works, including Somalia, Kenya, Malawi, and Ethiopia, droughts have become increasingly severe, leaving millions of citizens without the ability to grow the food that feeds them and their livestock.
  • Diseases: Contagious disease and outbreaks often follow in the wake of issues brought up by drought, flooding, and earthquakes. When crops are threatened and water supplies are either limited or contaminated, the risk for infection increases.
  • Development induced displacement: Development-induced displacement is a social problem affecting multiple levels of human organization, from tribal and village communities to well-developed urban areas. Development is widely viewed as an inevitable step towards modernization and economic growth in developing countries; however, for those who are displaced, the end result is most often loss of livelihood and impoverishment.

New factors influencing migration as per SOFA report:

  • Water availability: It is not the only factor that decides crop patterns of a country or a region within a country. It is a very complex process, which involves various economic, social and political factors. Water availability should definitely be one aspect to look at while deciding on crops. Recent studies claim that water stresses such as drought, dry spells, precipitation variability and weather extremes influence migration.
  • Differentials in wages and employment opportunities: Rural migration is primarily driven by differentials in wages and employment opportunities. As economic development occurs, more women are capable and better informed which increases the likelihood of rural outmigration. Gender differences in internal migration patterns tend to decrease as countries develop and level of urbanisation increases.
  • Adoption of mechanisation: adoption of mechanisation as a tool to promote agricultural productivity, often frees up labour to move into other sectors.
  • Food insecurity: Due to climate change vagaries, poverty, spoilage of crops due to lack of value addition and storage facilities. This makes the people migrate in search of livelihoods and to alleviate hunger.

Measures needed:

  • Creation of attractive livelihood opportunities in villages can help stem rural migration.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, the Zero Budget Natural Farming initiative, has helped reduce migration to a great extent.
  • Creating opportunities in non-farm employment in rural areas is an important element of any rural development strategy.
  • A national policy for internal migration for reducing distress-induced migration and addressing conditions of work, terms of employment and access to basic necessities.
  • Local bodies and NGOs which bring about structural changes in local regions need to be provided more space.
  • Local interventions by NGOs and private entrepreneurs need to consider cultural dimensions while targeting migrants.
  • Interventions aimed at enhanced skill development would enable easier entry into the labour market.
  • Addressing the needs of household migrants because household migration necessitates access to infrastructure such as housing, sanitation and health care more than individual migration does.

Conclusion:

India must safeguard the rights of internal migrants. Continued dynamic interventions over long periods of time would yield better results compared to single-point static interventions. The need of the hour is for the government to consider the needs of this section of the economy and design special assistance for them.


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) CAG is instrumental in securing accountability of the executive to the parliament in the sphere of financial administration. Explain. List the constitutional provisions to ensure the independence of the CAG.(250 words)

Indian Polity by Lakshmikant, D D Basu

why this question:

The question is direct from the static portions of GS paper II, it tends to evaluate role of CAG in ensuring accountability of executive to the parliament in financial administration.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must bring out in what way CAG is responsible for bringing accountability of the executive to the parliament with respect to financial administrative decisions. One has to as well discuss constitutional provisions that ensure the independence of the CAG.

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

Introduce by highlighting how executive is accountable to the Parliament in a parliamentary democracy.

Body

The body of the answer should address the following dimensions:

  • CAG is the guardian of the public purse.
  • Financial Accountability and CAG.
  • The CAG submits three audit reports to the President, namely, audit report on appropriation accounts, audit report on finance accounts and audit report on public undertakings.
  • The Public Accounts Committee examines public expenditure not only from legal and formal point of view to discover technical irregularities but also from the point of view of economy, prudence, wisdom and propriety to bring out the cases of waste, loss, corruption, extravagance, inefficiency and nugatory expenses.
  • discuss how parliament enforces financial accountability upon executive with the help of PAC and the role of CAG in it.
  • Conclude by enumerating the constitutional provisions for ensuring independence of the CAG.

Conclusion

Conclude with significance of CAG in Indian polity and administration.

Introduction:

The Constitution of India provides for an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in chapter V under Part V. The CAG is mentioned in the Constitution of India under Article 148 – 151. He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department. He is the guardian of the public purse and controls the entire financial system of the country at both the levels- the centre and state. His duty is to uphold the Constitution of India and the laws of Parliament in the field of financial administration.

Body:

CAG and financial administration:

  • The existence and mandate of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India emanates from Articles 148 to 151 of the Constitution. Article 149 stipulates the Duties and Powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • DPC Act, 1971 (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service Act) lays down the general principles of Government accounting and the broad principles in regard to audit of receipts and expenditure
  • CAG audits the accounts related to all expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, Consolidated Fund of each state and UT having a legislative assembly.
  • CAG audits all expenditure from the Contingency Fund of India and the Public Account of India as well as the Contingency Fund and Public Account of each state.
  • CAG audits all trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and other subsidiary accounts kept by any department of the Central Government and the state governments.
  • CAG audits the receipts and expenditure of all bodies and authorities substantially financed from the Central or State revenues; government companies; other corporations and bodies, when so required by related laws.
  • He submits his audit reports relating to the accounts of the Centre and State to the President and Governor, who shall, in turn, place them before both the houses of Parliament and the state legislature respectively.
  • He submits 3 audit reports to the President: audit report on appropriation accounts, audit report on finance accounts and audit report on public undertakings.
  • He ascertains and certifies the net proceeds of any tax or duty and his certificate is final on the matter.
  • He acts as a guide, friend and philosopher of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament.
  • The Public Accounts Committee examines public expenditure not only from legal and formal point of view to discover technical irregularities but also from the point of view of economy, prudence, wisdom and propriety to bring out the cases of waste, loss, corruption, extravagance, inefficiency and nugatory expenses.
  • CAG along with its mandatory regulatory and compliance audit performs the performance as well as efficiency audit to question executive’s wisdom and economy in order to identify cases of improper expenditure and waste of public money.

Constitutional provisions which ensure the independence of CAG are:

  • CAG is provided with the security of tenure. He can be removed by the president only in accordance with the procedure mentioned in the Constitution. Thus, he does not hold his office till the pleasure of the president, though fie is appointed by him.
  • He is not eligible for further office, either under the Government of India or of any state, after he ceases to hold his office.
  • His salary and other service conditions are determined by the Parliament. His salary is equal to that of a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Neither his salary nor his rights in respect of leave of absence, pension or age of retirement can be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.
  • The conditions of service of persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and the administrative powers of the CAG are prescribed by the president after consultation with the CAG.
  • The administrative expenses of the office of the CAG, including all salaries, allowances and pensions of persons serving in that office are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India. Thus, they are not subject to the vote of Parliament.
  • Further, no minister can represent the CAG in Parliament (both Houses) and no minister can be called upon to take any responsibility for any actions done by him.
  • Appointment and Term to Constitutionals Posts:
    • The CAG is appointed by the President of India by a warrant under his hand and seal.
    • The CAG, before taking over his office, makes and subscribes before the president an oath or affirmation: to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India; to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India; to duly and faithfully and to the best of his ability, knowledge and judgement perform the duties of his office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will; and to uphold the Constitution and the laws.
    • He holds office for a period of six years or upto the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier

Conclusion:

CAG helps the parliament/state legislatures hold their respective governments accountable. He is one of the bulwarks of the democratic system of government in India. It is for these reasons Dr. B R Ambedkar said that the CAG shall be the most important Officer under the Constitution of India and his duties are far more important than the duties of even the judiciary.


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) What makes the principle of federalism of Indian constitution unique compared to the other constitutions of the world ? Discuss.(250 words)

Indian Polity by Lakshmikant, D D Basu

why this question:

The question is about discussing the concept of Federalism in India and justifying as to what makes it different from other constitutions with federal features.

Demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the Emergence of Federalism and its Evolution in India, what makes it different from other countries and provide for a detailed analysis of what makes it different from others.

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 by explaining what you understand by Federalism.

Body

Discuss the following aspects –

  • The history of Federalism in India and the Federal Scheme under the present-day Constitution of India.
  • Postmodern Philosophy in Different Nations: Meaning, Definition, and Features of Federalism. – Two sets of government constitutionally coordinate, Division of powers between center and units, A federal court as a guardian of the constitution; and Supremacy of the constitution which is rigid.
  • Constitutional Character of Federalism in India
  • Judicial Character of Federalism in India
  • What makes it different – comparison with other countries
  • Challenges to Federal Character of India with recent examples

Conclusion

Conclude with Present and Future of Federalism in India.

Introduction:

Federalism is a system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units. The Constitution of India establishes a federal structure to the Indian government, declaring it to be a “Union of States”. Indian model of federalism is called quasi-federal system as it contains major features of both a federation and union.

Body:

Origin and Evolution:

  • The turning point in India’s federal scheme came when it was taken over by the British forces.
  • The genesis of the present federal system in India lies in the Simon Report of May 1930 which supported the idea of a federal government in India.
  • The Government of India Act 1935 aimed to establish India as a Federation of States.

Uniqueness of principle of federalism in India:

The Constitutional Character of Federalism:

  • Dual Government (that is, national government and regional government)
  • Written Constitution
  • Division of powers between the national and regional government
  • Supremacy of the Constitution
  • Rigid Constitution
  • Independent judiciary
  • Bicameral legislature

Judicial Character of Federalism in India:

  • The Indian judiciary has heard a number of cases involving the issue of the federal character of the Indian constitution.
  • The first significant case where this issue was discussed at length by the apex Court was State of West Bengal V. Union of India.
  • The apex court held that the Constitution of India is not truly Federal in character.
  • State of Karnataka v. Union of India -The Indian Constitution is not federal in character but has been characterized as quasi-federal in nature.
  • Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala -federalism to be a part of the basic structure of the constitution which means it can’t be tampered with.

However, the Indian Constitution also covers huge number of unitary or non-federal features, viz., a strong Centre, single Constitution, single citizenship, flexibility of Constitution, integrated judiciary, appointment of state governor by the Centre, all-India services, and emergency provisions. The following four characteristics highlighting the fact that the Indian Constitution is not a “traditional federal Constitution”:

  • Firstly, being that there is no provision of separate Constitutions for each State as required in a federal state. The Constitution of India is the supreme document, which governs all the states.
  • Secondly, the Constitution can be altered only by the Union Parliament; whereas the States have no power to alter it.
  • Thirdly, in contradiction to a federal Constitution, the Indian Constitution renders supreme power upon the Courts to invalidate any action which violates the Constitution.
  • Fourthly, the distribution of powers facilitates local governance by the states and national policies by the Centre.

Challenges to Federalism in India:

  • For a country like India which is divided on the linguistic and communal basis, a pure federal structure could lead to disruption and division of states.
  • India’s federal character has undergone, over the past sixty years, many trials and tribulations.
  • Formation of Telangana under Article 3 of the constitution raised a lot of questions against the federal nature of the polity.
  • 100th amendment of the constitution where land was transferred to Bangladesh posed as a threat to federalism in India.
  • On the introduction of GST, critics argue on the autonomy of states.
  • With too much power given to a state, it may want to shift away from the union. Jammu & Kashmir’s special powers are in question in the public time and again.
  • The continued existence of provisions such as Article 356 (President’s rule) goes against the grain of federalism.
  • States such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu have asserted their linguistic and cultural rights in the wake of the Centre’s interventions such as a promotion of Hindi.
  • States perceive that their progress is being penalised: While the southern States contribute to the nation economically, they don’t occupy a central space politically and are further marginalised culturally.
  • Disputes between states over sharing of river water, for example between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over Cauvery water.

Conclusion:

The Indian Constitution is a constitution sui generis. On one hand, the constitution contains features which are of high importance for a federal arrangement, at the same time it contains provisions which fight for a strong Centre, thus making it quasi-federal in nature. The fact to be appreciated here is that these dual federalism provisions were deliberately incorporated to best fit a polyglot country like India.


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

4) Public policy shouldn’t be shaped in an ethical vacuum. Discuss in the context of current battle of political parties racing for a win in elections.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail how Political parties should institute a culture of examining what a policy decision implies by way of ethics. It highlights the importance of public policy that must be centered around by ethical backing.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the current context of elections in detail, the political manifesto being propagated to bank on votes which is purely lacking ethical grounds.

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:

Introduce by highlighting the significance of public policy.

Body:

  • The answer must centre around Ethical public policy making , what should be its components, features to ensure strong social safety net and  continuous improvement in regulations as well as social and welfare conditions.
  • The answer must explain recent examples to justify varying from – demonetization, “National Mission” focused on sunrise technologies, AI or Internet of Things etc.
  • Students must take cues from the article and come up with lacunae and solutions to suggest.

Conclusion –

Emphasize the importance of ethics in public policy making and suggest a way forward.

Introduction:

A Public Policy is a goal oriented course of action adopted and implemented by the government bodies and officials in pursuit of certain objectives or goals of public. Although the trend of privatization made the governments to relax from many areas of development still there are many important areas which needs to be focused for the sake of public interest and for social welfare and growth interest.

Body:

Public policy and ethics:

  • In the making of public policy, politicians must weigh their own ethical code carefully especially with respect to the Issues of power, justice, religious / societal issues and law.
  • Ethical dilemmas  in  public  policy  making  arise  because  resources  are  inadequate  to  meet  all  demands,  and  because  people  are  committed  to  different  values  and 
  • Indian political parties empirically have not been too fond of mixing business with ethics.
  • Political parties have to carefully consider the ethical plane while framing new policy. In recent times, demonetization has been an example of how the ethical implications were ignored in favour of some short-term political gains.
  • The Congress, under the influence of influential businesses in western India, had implemented a freight equalization policy that significantly contributed to the de-industrialisation of eastern India, especially West Bengal.
  • The discussion on a social security and welfare system has degenerated into something akin to throwing money from a helicopter, especially in the politically charged atmosphere of competitive claims.
  • The variants of a universal basic income proposed by both those national parties are, in effect, a veiled admission of mismanagement and failure to provide citizens with basic public goods.
  • There is no guarantee that assured income programmes, by whatever names they’re called, will result in the poor gaining improved access to quality education or healthcare infrastructure.
  • The rush to announce competing schemes should be preceded by deliberations on the ethics of replacing public goods with hard cash. Fiscal slippage should be the least of the worries.

Way forward:

  • Policies will have to correspondingly incorporate an ethical outlook on how these impact society. In India, for example, AI’s effect on employment and human dignity will become critical.
  • Evidence based policy making should be the mantra of the parties rather than blindly framing populist policies.
  • Social Policy Evaluation and Research committees must be set up at the governmental levels to check the viability of policies.
  • Increased public involvement by making bills and policies open for public discussions and opinion.
  • Right to Information and Social Audit can be imperative tools in bringing in the much needed transparency and accountability in matters of public policy.

Conclusion:

The political parties would do well to institute a culture in which the ethical implications of public policy are examined before they are unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Sound public policy is informed by relevant evidence, including monitoring and evaluation of ‘what works’.


Topic :Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

5) Discuss the provisions related to protection of Wetlands in India . Critically examine the importance of coastal livelihood programmes in the context of protection of Wetlands. (250 words)

Reference

Vikaspedia

Why this question:

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) recently signed an MoU to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands in the coastal region and restore them through coastal livelihood programmes.

Key demand of the question:

In the context of the article , answer must discuss various provisions related to protection of Wetlands in India ranging from policies to programmes .

One must also examine the importance of coastal livelihood programme in the same context.

Directive word:

Critically ExamineExamineWhen 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with importance of protection of wetlands.

Body:

  • One can start with Wetlands in India: Significance, Threats & Conservation.
  • Discuss policy environment and associated schemes – Ramsar Convention, National Wetland Conservation Programme (NWCP), The Central Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, role of Central Wetlands Regulatory Authority (CWRA), National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA) etc.
  • Discuss importance of coastal livelihood programmes and their significance in managing wetlands. Quote examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating how wetlands jurisdiction is diffused and falls under various departments like agriculture, fisheries, irrigation, revenue, tourism, water resources and local bodies. To counter these, management of wetlands has to be an integrated approach in terms of planning, execution and monitoring. Effective tie-ups of trained academicians and professionals, including ecologists, hydrologists, economists, watershed management specialists, planners and decision makers must be linked with local expertise for overall management of wetlands.

Introduction:

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands define wetlands as: “areas of marsh, fen, peat-land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters”. It is one of the most ecologically productive zones on our planet.

Body:

Provisions for protection of Wetlands in India: Efforts to conserve wetlands in India began in 1987 and the main focus of governmental efforts was on biological methods of conservation rather than adopting engineering options.

Legal framework: Though there is no separate legal provision for wetland conservation in India, it is indirectly influenced by number of other legal instruments. These include

  • Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972
  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974
  • Environmental (Protection) Act 1986
  • Biodiversity Act 2002
  • Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006.

Policy framework:

The National Environment Policy (NEP) 2006 seeks to set up a legally enforceable regulatory mechanism for identified wetlands to prevent their degradation, enhance their conservation and wise-use by all the stakeholders.

The National Action Plan on Climate Change recognises the important role of wetlands in the context of climate change.

Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017:

  • It will replace the earlier Rules of 2010. The 2010 and 2017 Rules for wetlands both emphasise that the ecological character of wetlands ought to be maintained for their conservation. The rules are notified under the Environmental Protection Act (1986) to identify and conserve wetlands and ensure that they are not degraded.
  • Central Wetlands Regulatory Authority (CWRA) has been replaced by the National Wetland Committee, which has a merely advisory role. E.g. recommending transboundary wetlands for notification, reviewing the progress of integrated management of Ramsar Convention sites etc.
  • Restrictions – As per the new rules, encroachments on wetlands have been banned.
  • It also prohibits solid waste dumping, discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries and human settlements.
  • A comprehensive digital inventory of all wetlands is to be prepared within a year.

National Wetland Conservation Programme (NWCP):

Government of India operationalised National Wetland Conservation Programme (NWCP) in closed collaboration with concerned State Government during the year 1985/86. Under the programme 115 wetlands have been identified till now by the Ministry which requires urgent conservation and management initiatives. It aims at conservation and wise use of wetlands in the country so as to prevent their further degradation.

Ramsar Convention on Wetland:

The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. India is a signatory to the convention and 27 water bodies are recognized under it.

Importance of coastal livelihood programmes and their significance in managing wetlands:

  • Fishing: Over 660 million people depend on fishing and aquaculture for a living. The average human consumes 19 kg of fish every year. Most commercial fish breed and raise their young in coastal marshes and estuaries. In addition, about 40 % of fish production is now through aquaculture.
  • Tourism and leisure: International tourists spent US $ 1.3 trillion worldwide in 2013, and an estimated half of them seek relaxation in wetland areas, especially coastal zones. The travel and tourism sectors support 266 million jobs, and account for 8.9 % of the world’s employment.
  • Transport: Rivers and inland waterways play a vital role in transporting goods and people in many parts of the world. In the Amazon basin, rivers carry 12 million passengers and 50 million tons of freight each year, sustaining 41 shipping companies.
  • Traditional wetland product-based livelihoods: Medicinal plants, dyes, fruits, reeds and grasses are just a few of the wetland products that provide jobs, especially in developing countries.
  • Tsunami prevention: Mangroves absorb and disperse tidal surges associated with these events: a mangrove can reduce the destructive force of a tsunami by up to 90%.
  • Flood prevention: Peatlands absorb heavy rainfall, providing protection against floods, and release water slowly, ensuring a supply of clean water throughout the year.
  • Carbon sequestration: All types of wetlands are carbon sequestering systems (carbon sinks), from temperate freshwater wetlands to boreal peatlands. Blue carbon is the type of carbon that is stored by coastal wetland vegetation such as mangroves, seagrasses and salt marsh grasses.

In this context, The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have joined together to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands in coastal region aimed at restoring them through coastal livelihood programmes.

Smaller wetlands cover an area of more than five lakh hectares across the country, with Kerala having as many as 2592 smaller wetlands. The two scientific institutes aim to identify and demarcate wetlands, and restore the degraded wetlands through suitable livelihood options like coastal aquaculture.

Conclusion:

Smaller wetlands across the country are highly in neglected state owing to multiple reasons. Climate variability induced rainfall drastically changes the physio-chemical characteristics of such wetlands which were evidently seen during the last year’s devastating flood in Kerala. The collaborative initiative will help develop a comprehensive wetland information system which could facilitate the village level wetland advisories to the local people by scientific communities.


Topic : Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct

6) Ethical codes are merely conceals. Shiny on the outside but hollow on the inside. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications.

Why this question:

The question is about analyzing the effect of Ethical codes and importance of their validity.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must explain how ethical codes need backing to be in action and in lack of such backing they can become mere veneer and hollow in action.

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:

Introduce with importance of ethical codes in public services and in general.

Body:

Explain the following –

  • What you understand by ethical codes.
  • How are they different from code of conduct.
  • Importance of code of ethics in organizations, public services etc.
  • Discuss what needs to be done to ensure effective working of Ethical codes.

Conclusion:

Re-assert the significance of Ethical codes and that they are of no use without necessary support systems.

Introduction:

Code of ethics is a written set of rules issued by an organization to its workforces and management to help them conduct their actions in accordance with its primary values and ethical standards.

Body:

Ethical codes are merely conceals due to the following constraints in its applicability.

  • Codes of ethics need a strong institutional backing to function effectively. Without a positive culture of support, they can be useless
  • A forced code of ethics will have limited utility as there is a need for improvement of morals, bring in a behavioural changes in individuals.
  • Non-compliance of code of conduct derived from Code of Ethics can add to litigations and burden the already judiciary.
  • Not possible to define everything in a code as the scope is too vast leading to ambiguous situations.
  • The very idea of parcelling ethics into a formal ‘code’ is also dangerous, if it leads to the attitude that ethics itself is just some separate part of life and of activities

 

Importance of code of Ethics in Public services:

 

  • Code of ethics defines the minimum requirements for conduct, and behavioural expectations instead of specific activities.
  • Example: if an organization is committed to protecting the environment and “being green”, the Code of Ethics will state that there is an expectation for any employee faced with a problem, to choose the most “green” solution.
  • When faced with ethical dilemmas or debatable situations, what’s articulated in the Code of Ethics can help guide decision making.
  • Sets benchmark for appropriate behaviour. Provides a framework for reference in case discretionary powers are to be used.
  • Code of Ethics regulates the judgment of the organisation and is publicly available.
  • The relevance is more in present society where values and ethics are on decline either seemingly because of greater awareness or in reality
  • Code of ethics acts as a moral compass during decision making.
  • Huge Prevalence of corruption and Lack of probity in public life can be reduced.
  • Officials taking prejudiced decisions or favouring a ideology while discharging official duties will affect the socio-economic justice as envisaged by our Constitution.
  • It increases the accountability and transparency of the officers and politicians in their work.
  • Helps to curb the politician- bureaucrat nexus which leads to favouritism, crony-capitalism, and conflicts of interest.

Measures needed to ensure effective working of Ethical codes:

  • The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) had proposed the inclusion of a Public Service Code in the draft Public Service Bill, 2007.
  • The commission outlines the desirable qualities that make the civil services efficient. They include impartiality, integrity, dedication to public service, political neutrality, adherence to the highest standards of probity, objectivity, empathy for the weaker section of the public.
  • It highlighted that efforts made by individuals in leadership positions in organization to inculcate these values in within the organization can make a difference.
  • The Public Service code would facilitate the employees to discharge their official duties with competence and accountability, care and diligence, honesty , without discrimination and in accordance with law
  • The statutory backing through Civil Services bill to the Code of Ethics would guide the civil servants towards behaviours, choices and actions that benefit the community.

Conclusion:

                Codes of ethics need to be developed, in the light of newly discovered facts, broader policy and legal changes, developments in technology, and in line with evolving nuance in understandings of ethics. One way of understanding the need to develop and refine codes of ethics for institutions can be explained simply by considering institutions and bodies as individual persons.


Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7) Discuss the utilitarian contract theory of Kautilya and also explain how it appealed to the moral motivation. (250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is based on utilitarian contract theory of Kautilya.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must first elaborate on what is utilitarian contract theory of Kautilya. How he did not talk about the permanent income hypothesis but contemplated on attaining a permanent state of bliss. Kautilya extended the traditional conceptual framework to deal with ethical issues arising out of the new realities of his time.

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:

Throw light on kautilya’s philosophy of ethics.

Body:

present Kautilya’s ideas on contracts and property.

  • Findings – Kautilya implicitly proposes a labor theory of property.
  • He devised economic laws related to contracts, property and tort, which promoted economic efficiency and encouraged ethical behavior.
  • Research limitations/implications – Current approaches ignore the role of ethics in designing legal rules for promoting economic efficiency.
  • Practical implication – Unless laws are designed to encourage and promote ethical conduct optimum economic efficiency is unlikely to be achieved. Originality/value – Kautilya advocated a contract theory (between the ruler and the ruled), which was utilitarian in nature, however, unlike Bentham, he still appealed to the moral motivation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such theories.

Introduction:

Kautilya’s Arthashastra is unique in emphasizing the imperative of

Economic growth and welfare of all.  According to him, if there is no dharma, there is no society. 

He believed that ethical values pave the way to heaven as well as to prosperity on the earth, that

is, have an intrinsic value as well as an instrumental value.

Kautilya’s Arthashastra is unique in emphasizing the imperative of

economic growth and welfare of all.  According to him, if there is no dharma, there is no society. 

He believed that ethical values pave the way to heaven as well as to prosperity on the earth, that

is, have an intrinsic value as well as an instrumental value.

Kautilya’s Arthashastra is unique in emphasizing the imperative of

economic growth and welfare of all.  According to him, if there is no dharma, there is no society. 

He believed that ethical values pave the way to heaven as well as to prosperity on the earth, that

is, have an intrinsic value as well as an instrumental value.

Kautilya’s Arthashastra is unique in emphasizing the imperative of

economic growth and welfare of all.  According to him, if there is no dharma, there is no society. 

He believed that ethical values pave the way to heaven as well as to prosperity on the earth, that

is, have an intrinsic value as well as an instrumental value.

Kautilya’s Arthashastra is unique in emphasizing the imperative of economic growth and welfare of all.  According to him, if there is no righteousness, there is no society.  He believed that ethical values pave the way to heaven as well as to prosperity on the earth, that is, have an intrinsic value as well as an instrumental value

Body:

Kautilya and Utilitarianism:

  • Utilitarianism holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number. It is the only moral framework that can be used to justify military force or war. It is also the most common approach to moral reasoning used in business because of the way in which it accounts for costs and benefits.
  • Kautilya implicitly proposes a labour theory of property. He devised economic laws related to contracts, property and tort, which promoted economic efficiency and encouraged ethical behavior.
  • Kautilya advocated a contract theory (between the ruler and the ruled), which was utilitarian in nature, however, unlike Bentham, he still appealed to the moral motivation.
  • He is seen as placing “great emphasis on the welfare of the people. His practical advice is rooted in dharma [or justice or that which is just]. But, as a teacher of practical statecraft, he advocated unethical methods in the furtherance of national interest
  • Amongst the duties of the ruler, for example raksha or protection of the state, and palana or maintenance of law and order, it is for Kautilya, safeguarding the welfare of the people (or yogakshema) that is supremely important.
  • Not only is individual well-being fundamental to utilitarianism, one can also concede that non-utilitarian views (were Kautilya’s vision to be cast in these terms), must be concerned with welfare too if they are affected by the interests of individuals and admit the virtue of kingly or state benevolence.
  • Kautilya believed that poverty was a living death and also not conducive to the practicing of ethical values. He argued that ethical values and prosperity went hand-in-hand. 
  • In fact, he understood the inter-dependence of national sovereignty, maintenance of law and order, economic prosperity, accumulation of knowledge, and ethical values.
  • He thought goodness could flow both from commitment to one’s moral duty and enlightened self-interest but preferred the former to the latter.
  • For Bentham (1789), Mill (1861), and Sidgwick (1907) to say that one thing has greater utility than another is to say that the former results in more pleasure or happiness than the latter. This classic utilitarian interpretation of utility has one difficulty in that there may not be a single good that rationality urges one to pursue.

Conclusion:

                Thus, Kautilya’s approach to mental motivation is necessary because unless laws are designed to encourage and promote ethical conduct optimum economic efficiency is unlikely to be achieved.