Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 APRIL 2019

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


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 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: Social empowerment – women empowerment.

1) Women’s financial literacy can bring in turnaround in the fortunes of the country. Comment.(250 words)

pib

Why this question:

The article discusses the Vice president’s speech addressing the National Conclave on Women’s Empowerment Through Financial Literacy, wherein he emphasized on need for women’s financial literacy.

Demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate role of financial inclusion as one of the most effective accelerators of economic participation by women.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start by explaining the financial inclusion , what does it imply.

Body

    • What is role of financial inclusion in women empowerment?
    • Financial literacy can empower women to develop a financial identity even with their household savings, and help them get access to formal credit for gainful occupation, giving them economic freedom and power.
    • Discuss the reasons for low financial inclusion and literacy among women. A majority of the women in India, especially in rural areas, are homemakers, which is a full-time job with no payment.
  • A recent report by the United Nations titled, ‘Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, said that achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be difficult without gender equality and women’s empowerment. In fact, development in any sphere would be incomplete without equitable participation and contribution of women.
  • Discuss how India needs to sustain this momentum to transform into a completely financially inclusive economy. – embedding financial literacy in programmes where women have significant representation could be a good starting point. For instance, the Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme (SHG-BLP) programme, which is the largest microfinance programme in the world in terms of client base and outreach, provides SHGs access to institutional lending. More than 86 percent of the groups under this programme comprise exclusively of women.

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward.

 

Introduction:

Financial literacy is the ability to use skills and knowledge to take effective and informed money-management decisions. It also involves the understanding, how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he/she invests it (turn it into more) and how that person donates it to help others.  

Body:

Situation of financial literacy if women in India:

  • Not just rural women, but women in urban economically well-off situations display lower financial literacy levels than men.
  • With only 20 percent of women being financially literate, 77 percent women depend on their spouse or father for investment decisions.
  • Rising income levels and stability in families are de-incentivising women from joining the labour force, as reported by the World Bank.
  • Various factors that profoundly influenced financial literacy among Indian women include Lack of Independence, Patriarchal Culture, General Literacy, and Lack of confidence and Access to finance.
  • It is observed that the male members of the family make all major financial investment decisions: mainly the husband or the father, but often the brother and uncles as well.
  • Physical distance from the financial literacy contact centres and trainers and the socio-cultural contexts are major impediments in extending financial literacy to women.
  • Women, even if employed, cannot make any choice to use their earned income.

Importance of Financial literacy of women and development:

  • Financial literacy can empower women to develop a financial identity even with their small and micro household savings.
  • It can help them to get access to formal credit for gainful occupation giving them economic freedom and power.
  • Financial literacy can motivate women generating sustainable income through micro activities to wholeheartedly use financial systems and institutions and slowly create a ground for their graduation to higher income opportunities.
  • Financially educating women generates a multiplier effect in having a substantial impact in disseminating financial literacy to the future generations.
  • With India emerging as a top destination for investments and the country set to become a US $ 10 Trillion economy in the next 10-15 years, women empowerment through financial literacy acquires greater importance and must be accorded highest priority.

Measures needed:

  • Embedding financial literacy in programmes where women have significant representation could be a good starting point.
  • For instance, the Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme (SHG-BLP) programme, which is the largest microfinance programme in the world in terms of client base and outreach, provides SHGs access to institutional lending. More than 86 percent of the groups under this programme comprise exclusively of women.
  • We also need to innovate and use technology to deepen financial literacy amongst women.
  • There is a need to use interfaces that allow women to access financial literacy easily, conveniently and without disturbing their contexts.
  • India has witnessed revolutionary penetration of mobile phones even in the hinterlands. We need to ensure that every woman who owns a mobile phone or has access to one is able to use it for educating themselves and managing their own finances.
  • CSR activities of the banks, corporates can be channelized for female financial literacy though NGOs. NGOs and self -help groups can use these to good effect at literacy camps, called the Financial Literacy and Credit Counselling Centres (FLCCs).
  • Programmes like “Jaadu Ginni ka” which engages self-help groups and other women associations across states for taking financial literacy to the base of the pyramid.
  • Government initiatives like Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, PM JanDhan Yojana and National Center for Financial Education can put their best efforts to increase financial literacy of women.

Conclusion:

Financial literacy is an invaluable life skill which should be ingrained in an individual right from the start. A conducive financial landscape with a blend of a favourable regulatory regime, innovative women-centric products/schemes, enhanced mobility, robust customer protection framework and reformed attitudes towards women will increasingly stimulate women to be well equipped with financial skills.


Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

2) Discuss the issues related to abuse of post of Governor in federal polity of India failing to function mainly with aspects of impartially and efficiently.(250 words)

Polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The post of Governor has been marred with controversies , in such a context it is essential to evaluate its functioning from the exam point of view.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must explain in detail issues related to abuse of post of Governor in federal polity failing to function impartially and efficiently.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with significance of post of governor as head of administration to be appointed by President of India, holding office at his pleasure.  

Body:

  • Explain the  incidences of Abuse of the post of Governor – Misuse of Article 356, power of reserving bill, As an agent of political party in power at center, her Partisan role in Hung assemblies and other discretionary powers.
  • Give examples from recent incidences
  • Suggest way forward – mention recommendations of Sarkaria commission.

Conclusion:

Conclude by significance of such posts in the polity of the country.

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:

Issues related to abuse of post of Governor in federal polity:

  • Appointment of Governor: Article 155 says that governor should be appointed (not elected) from amongst persons of high status with eminence in public. The elected government at the state is not even consulted while making appointment of the Governors. Further successive governments have reduced this important constitutional office to a sinecure and resting place for loyal and retired / about to retired / about to retire politicians apart from docile bureaucrats.
  • Appointment and dismissal of the Chief Minister : Governor appoints Chief Minister, other ministers, Advocate General, Chairmen and members of the State Public Service Commission in the state. After elections in the state, there is a convention to invite the largest party to form government in the state. This convention has been flouted many times at the whim of the governor. E.g: the recent episode of Karnataka after 2018 hung assembly elections.
  • Reservation of Bills for Consideration of President: As per Article 200 of the Constitution, the governor can reserve certain types of bills passed by the State Legislature for the President’s consideration. The President can either give assent to it or ask the governor to send it back for the state legislature to reconsider it, along with his comments. The chief intent of this provision is for the centre to keep a tab on the legislation in the interest of the nation. However, the central government, through the office of the governor, has used this provision to serve partisan interests.
  • Misuse of Article 356: Article 356 is the most controversial article of the Constitution. It provides for State emergency or President’s rule in State if the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of a State or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the Government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. The duration of such emergency is six months and it can be extended further. In the Constituent Assembly, Ambedkar had made it clear that the Article 356 would be applied as a last resort. He also hoped that” such articles will never be called into operation and that they would remain a dead letter.”
  • Removal of the Governor: Article 156 says that the governor will hold office during the pleasure of the President for five years. President works on aid and advice of the Council of Ministers under Article 74. In effect it is the central government that appoints and removes the Governors. The governor has no security of tenure and no fixed term of office. E.g: The mass changing of the governors of state whenever a new government comes to power at Centre.

Major recommendations to improve Governor’s office in federal polity of India:

Supreme Court rulings:

  • On Appointment of CM during hung assembly:
    • Recent Karnataka case, 2018: SC observed that Governor’s discretion cannot be arbitrary or fanciful.
  • On President’s rule:
    • SR Bommai vs. Union of India, 1994: The case was about the limits to the Governor’s powers in dismissing a state government under Article 356 of the Constitution. The floor of the Assembly is the only forum that should test the majority of the government of the day, and not the subjective opinion of the Governor.
    • Rameshwar Prasad Case, 2006: Supreme Court was called upon to pronounce its verdict on the validity of the proclamation of President’s Rule and the dissolution of the Assembly in Bihar in 2005. The SC held that the Governor could not decide based on his subjective assessments.
  • On removal of Governor:
    • BP Singhal vs Union of India: The Supreme Court ruled that even though the President could dismiss a Governor without having to provide reasons for doing so, this power could not be exercised in an “arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable manner”

Sarkaria Commission Report (1988)

  • On appointment of Governor:
    • Governor should be an eminent person and not belong to the state where he is to be posted.
    • State chief minister should have a say in the appointment of governor
    • Governor should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in recent past.
    • Governor should not be a member of the ruling party.
  • On Removal of Governor
    • Governors must not be removed before completion of their five year tenure, except in rare and compelling circumstances
  • On appointment of Chief Minister during a hung assembly:
    • Leader of the majority party or parties,
    • Should seek the vote of confidence in the assembly within 30 days of his appointment as the CM.
    • As long as the council of ministry possess a majority in the assembly the governor cannot use his discretionary powers.

Venkatachaliah Commission (2002):

  • On Appointment of Governor:
    • Governor’s appointment should be entrusted to a committee comprising the prime minister, the home minister, the speaker of the Lok Sabha and the chief minister of the concerned state.
  • On removal of Governor
    • If governor to be removed before completion of term, the central government should do so only after consultation with the Chief Minister.

Punchhi Commission (2010)

  • The phrase “during the pleasure of the President” should be deleted from the Constitution
  • Governor should be removed only by a resolution of the state legislature.
  • It recommended the localizing of emergency provisions under Articles 355 and 356 of the Constitution. According to it, President’s rule should be imposed in those parts of the state where there is constitutional breakdown of machinery — rather than the whole state. This will go a long way in preventing the dismissal of state governments on petty and manufactured grounds of lawlessness

Way forward:

  • The recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission and the Punchhi Commission report need to be examined closely to make proper amendments to the functions of the post of governor.
  • The Supreme Court Judgement (BP Singhal case) which curtailed the power of the Centre to dismiss state governments arbitrarily is commendable. Further the removal of governor from office must entail impeachment proceedings in the state assembly.
  • Governor’s office should be apolitical. There should be a panel involving the opposition, ruling party, civil society and the judiciary in the selection process of Governor. Governor should be appointed only after consultation with the CM of the state where he/she will work
  • Discretionary powers should be curtailed. There should be proper guidelines on the appointment of CM.
  • According to ex-PM Manmohan Singh, should facilitate in maintaining internal security, ensure communal harmony and welfare of SCs and STs and rise above partisan politics while discharging Constitutional obligations.

Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

3) The freedom of prime minister to provide decisive and authoritative  leadership is important for the formulation of crucial policies. Analyse the statement in context of coalition politics.(250 words)

The hindu

Reference

Why this question:

The question is in the context of Coalition politics and its formulation centered with question of freedom of prime minster in the context of formulation of policies and programs.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the current system of coalition politics , its pros and cons on the policy and programming front with respect to the effect it has on freedom of the prime minister.

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:

Start by explaining that except for bare outlines of the institutions of the prime minister and his cabinet provided in the constitution, the major objectives of the political executive in India are still left to the conventions or rules of business.

Body:

In brief discuss –

  • What you understand by coalition politics?
  • How does it impede the functioning and freedom of prime minister in operationalizing policies and programmes.
  • Discuss some incidences to substantiate your stand and discuss relevance of coalition politics in keeping checks and balances in a democratic system.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward, need for balance between the 2 aspects as the key.

Introduction:

Coalition is a phenomenon where more than two political parties come together to form a government , sinking their basic ideological differences in the event of the inability of any single party to command a workable majority in the lower House of the legislature.

Generally coalitions are said to be formed on account of one of the following reasons:

 

  • No single political party is able to secure a working majority in the popular house on account of the presence of multi-party system. Under these circumstances a number like-minded political parties form the coalition to provide a workable majority and run the government.
  • In a Bi-party system a deadlock may be created due of even balance between two parties allying itself with a minor group such as neutral or defectors till the majority in its favour.
  • A coalition may be necessitated by a national crisis when the various political groups may suspend their political strife and collaborate in the general cause of protecting and promoting their national interest.

Body:

Coalition government trend in India:

  • The advent  of  coalition  Governments  on  the  Indian  political  scene  has altered  the  pattern  of  executive  functioning  in  a  significant   
  • Multiparty coalition Governments have meant a departure from or at least modifications in the   pattern    of    executive    functioning    influenced    by    the    Westminster Parliamentary tradition. 
  • The working of federal coalition cabinets has resulted in larger Cabinets and, in  turn,  greater  federalization  (in  the  sense  of  regionalization)  of  the Cabinet  system  in   
  • Coalition Governments in New Delhi have made possible a greater degree of State or regional autonomy. There has also been a wider  power  sharing  between  the  national  and  regional  parties  which  has promoted  national  unity  and   
  • However, coalition  Cabinets  are  also characterized  by  instability  of  Union  Governments  though state  have  become more  autonomous  and  stronger  coalition Governments  are  also  bedevilled  by policy in coherence and at times even policy paralysis or atrophy.

Coalition Government and Prime minister’s powers:

Positives:

  • Multiparty governance may stall reforms but also prevent bad ideas from being rammed down by a strong executive.
  • Given perverse incentives created by the anti-defection law, and in the absence of a proper check from the legislature, coalition governments work to check executive overreach.
  • The PMO has offlate, become a super-executive with unabated use of ordinances to put across the legislative agenda. A coalition government would check that.
  • In theory, in our parliamentary system, the legislature holds the executive accountable by asking specific questions in parliament, debating motions, and fine-tuning legislation through committees. But, in reality, the government, especially a single-party government, wins the vote on every motion because of strong anti-defection laws.
  • Coalition partners can prevent surprise moves like demonetization, which hurt most Indians.
  • Coalition governments may prevent good reform, but, by the same principle, also prevent badly crafted ideas rammed down by a strong executive.

Negatives:

  • The PM who is head of the council of ministers will not be able to take strong, decisive actions due to varied opinions and ideologies of coalition partner.
  • The whole act of saving the government will take precedence over developmental issues.
  • The goal of collective responsibility is at risk as any minister not on the same page with PM will not fear quitting the government leading to collapse of entire government.
  • Key legislative issues cannot be passed easily to difference in ideologies.
  • The problem of political deals required to keep the coalition together, and the corruption among coalition partners.
  • Coalition government is actually less democratic as the balance of power is inevitably held by the small parties who can barter their support for concessions from the main groups within the coalition.
  • Coalition government is less transparent, because a party has no real chance of forming a government alone, the manifestos they present to the public become irrelevant and often wildly unrealistic.
  • Coalitions provide bad government because they are unable to take a long term view.

Conclusion:

Since India is a diverse country with different ethnic, linguistic, and religious communities, it also has diverse ideologies. Due to this, the benefit that a coalition has is that it leads to more consensus based politics and reflects the popular opinion of the electorate. In order to have stable coalitions, it is necessary that political parties moderate their ideologies and programmes. They should be more open to take others point of view as well and must accommodate each other’s interests and concerns for coalition to be a success.


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

4) Trace the evolution of Aadhaar system, Has Aadhaar improved welfare delivery? Discuss the associated concerns and suggest way forward.(250 words)

Livemint

why this question:

The question is about evaluating the Aadhaar concept and its evolution into the welfare system.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must discuss evolution od Aadhar system and critically provide for an analysis if Aadhaar has evolved into an invisible tool to monitor all aspects of welfare programmes or vice-a-versa.

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 explaining the concept of Aadhaar- world’s largest biometric .

Body

The body of the answer should address the following dimensions:

  • Role of Aadhaar in welfare programs – discuss the benefits and associated concerns.
  • Discuss how it has evolved as a tool to plug leakages in welfare schemes.
  • The controversy of choosing privacy over identity. Here students can provide for comparison of such systems in other countries.
  • Discuss relevant SC judgements .

Conclusion

Conclude with need for a level-headed approach and ensure that ample safeguards are put in place for data protection and privacy.

Introduction:

Aadhaar number is a 12-digit random number issued by the UIDAI Authority under Aadhaar Act to the residents of India after satisfying the verification process laid down by the Authority. Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident of India, may voluntarily enrol to obtain Aadhaar number. There are now 1.24 billion Aadhaar numbers in India, covering approximately 98% of the country’s population (using 2011 Census projections).

Body:

Evolution of Aadhaar in India:

Aadhaar and welfare delivery:

  • In 2016, the government mandated its use in welfare programme delivery.
  • Proponents argue that Aadhaar, by providing a unique identity and allowing biometric authentication, delivers the gains to actual beneficiaries, instead of fake or duplicates, thereby cutting leakages.
  • The expansion in reach has enabled Aadhaar to become an integral component of several flagship government programmes.
  • This includes the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the public distribution system (PDS), two of India’s largest welfare programmes where nearly 90% of beneficiaries are linked to Aadhaar (Aadhaar-seeded).
  • Jan-dhan accounts, which are Aadhaar-seeded, are now being used for programme delivery via direct benefit transfer (DBT) and are part of the much-vaunted JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) trinity.
  • The 2014-15 Economic Survey heralded JAM as a potential game changer because DBT through JAM can circumvent corrupt intermediaries and reduce market distortions.
  • Over the last two years, DBT has significantly picked up. In 2018-19, ₹2 trillion (around 8% of total government expenditure) was delivered through DBT into beneficiary accounts according to the DBT Mission. Within this, transfers for MGNREGS and PAHAL (the LPG subsidy) are the largest components.
  • The DBT Mission estimates that Aadhaar and DBT have helped save the government around ₹1.2 trillion since 2014.

Concerns:

  • Global impacts not considered:
    • The PAHAL savings estimate (₹56,000 crore) does not account for a slump in global oil prices since 2014. The bigger problem, though, is the lack of clarity about the source of Aadhaar-related savings.
  • Inclusion-Exclusion errors:
    • The government claims that Aadhaar has generated savings by eliminating duplicate and fake beneficiaries. However, savings could simply be a result of Aadhaar excluding genuine beneficiaries.
    • In a 2017 study published in the Economic and Political Weekly, economist Jean Dreze and others pointed out that Aadhaar-based authentication in Jharkhand’s PDS has led to serious exclusion problems and prevented vulnerable groups, such as widows and the elderly, from accessing their entitlements.
    • State of Aadhaar Report 2017-18, IDinsight, a development consultancy, uses survey data from Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal to estimate that around two million individuals every month are excluded from the PDS because of Aadhaar-related reasons.
  • Privacy and Security concerns:
    • Most developed countries have already dropped the idea of having Aadhaar-like identification system to protect people’s privacy.
    • Even the US, one of the first countries in the world to have a national identification number for its citizens, does not collect fingerprints or scan iris to create social security number (SSN)
    • Unlike India, the US has a privacy law that makes it unlawful for government agencies to deny benefits just because the individual refuses to disclose his SSN.
  • Systemic corruption still persists:
    • Aadhaar-based authentication increases transaction costs, including time spent collecting grains, and did little to decrease corruption in the PDS
  • Technical flaws:
    • Aadhaar-related reasons tend to be failures in biometric authentication (for example, fingerprints not being recognized) and connectivity issues, which are particularly acute in rural areas.
    • Given these problems, the shift to Aadhaar-based authentication in the PDS has not enjoyed universal support. For instance, in Andhra Pradesh only 55% of beneficiaries’ preferred Aadhaar authentication in the PDS, while in Rajasthan the figure was 67%.

Way forward:

Policy measures:

  • Government should assure the citizens that it has the technology and systems to protect the data collected.
  • It should assure the citizens of India that it will do everything possible to prevent unauthorised disclosure of or access to such data.
  • It should recognise all dimensions of the right to privacy and address concerns about data safety, protection from unauthorised interception, surveillance, use of personal identifiers and bodily privacy.
  • Supreme Court’s recent judgement in the Aadhaar case makes Aadhaar mandatory for availing facilities of welfare schemes and government subsidies as it empowers the poor and marginalised.
  • An independent and participatory review of the system is long overdue
  • A data protection law with strong protective provisions is need of the hour.

Technological measures:

  • Designating UID databases as “critical infrastructure”.
  • Crafting an encryption policy that specifically addresses encryption for Aadhaar-enabled apps.  Security testing of all Aadhaar-enabled applications.
  • Encouraging device-level encryption for mobile phones and laptop computers.
  • Creating a Computer Emergency Response Team to monitor attacks on Aadhaar.
  • Working with the private sector at forums like the International Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) and the Internet Engineering Task Force to create interoperable security standards for platforms relying on national identity databases.

Conclusion:

Policymakers should focus more on beneficiary experience and the context in which programmes operate in. This, more than fiscal savings, should inform how Aadhaar is deployed to improve programme delivery.


Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

5) What are Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)?Discuss their need and significance. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is in straightforward , based on the concept of REC’s and their importance. Recently Renewable Energy (RE) companies have moved the Delhi High Court, seeking an exemption for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) under the goods and services tax (GST).Thus it is important for us to ponder on the theme from exam point of view.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the concept of RECs , their benefits and significance in balancing energy scenario.

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:

Introduce by defining REC’s – Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are a type of environmental commodity intended to provide an economic incentive for electricity generation from renewable energy sources. One REC is created when one megawatt hour of electricity is generated from an eligible renewable energy resource.

Body:

  • The answer is straight forward and explain concept and significance of REC’s.
  • Provide for introduction to Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism.
  • Discuss the potential of renewable energy in India.
  • Explain the issues currently facing REC’s in  India.

Conclusion –

Conclude with what should be done to overcome such issues.

Introduction:

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also known as green energy certificates or tradable renewable certificates, are proof that energy has been generated from renewable sources such as solar or wind power. One REC is created when one megawatt hour of electricity is generated from an eligible renewable energy resource. When you purchase RECs, renewable energy is generated on your behalf.

Body:

Significance:

  • It is a market based mechanism which will help the states meet their regulatory requirements (such as Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs)) by overcoming the geographical constraints on existing renewable potential in different states.
  • RECs unbundle the electricity component (commodity) from the green/environmental attributes of the power generated from renewable sources. Both the components can then be traded separately.
  • Thus, RECs help in incentivizing the production of renewable energy over and above the RPO state limit as tradable certificates are not constrained by the geographical limitations of commodity electricity.
  • Stand-alone projects built independent of the well-established auction regime have little incentive and a high risk perception, lacking purchase guarantees and payment default protections.
  • The income generated from trading RECs will bolster such independent projects.
  • REC market would provide appropriate opportunities     for     development     of renewable    energy    based    electricity      This would   also   allow   investors   in   renewable   energy technologies to hedge electricity price risk through electricity futures.
  • RECs issued for quantum of electricity generated from renewable sources do not require scheduling    over    long        Such electricity can be consumed locally and only RECs need   to   be   transferred   to   the   obligated   entities.

Need for RECs:

  • India has been richly endowed with renewable resources. Since the    cost    of    electricity generated  from  such  resources  is  expensive,  large  scale development  of  renewable  resources  did  not  take 
  • Concern about  climate  change  and  concerted  action  to reduce  green  house  gas  emissions  are  powerful  drivers for   renewable  
  • There is an uneven distribution of renewable energy in India with certain states generating a high percentage of electricity from renewable sources while others are not meeting the minimum percentage.
  • Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) would help make the renewable electricity market stable by maximizing the benefits while reducing the costs.

Conclusion:

The REC mechanism is a market based instrument, to promote renewable sources of energy and development  of  market  in  electricity,  leading  to  the sustainable  development  of  the  country.


Topic: Mobilization of resources, growth, development.

6) As yet another Earth day dawns upon India, do you think India has moved from rhetoric to action? Discuss the specific policy changes witnessed in this direction in the recent years.(250 words)

Indian express 22-04-2019, page 7

Why this question:

The question is on the occasion of world Earth day being celebrated on 22nd April worldwide. This day gives voice to environment concerns which are multidimensional. Thus it is important for us to assess the specific policy changes witnessed in this direction in the recent years in India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss at length specific policy changes witnessed in this direction in the recent years by the government of India ranging from generating renewable energy to adopting cleaner alternative to traditional sources of energy.

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 with context of the question – world Environment day.

Body:

  • The question is straightforward , one has to enlist achievements of the Government in the recent past – discuss the flagship programs in this direction.
  • Discuss the factor of energy security – what schemes and policies were put in place ; Solar mission, target of 175 GW by 2022. Etc.
  • Discuss what needs to be done to augment the renewable energy scenario.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of Renewable energy.

Introduction:

Earth Day, observed every year on April 22, is a day meant to emphasise on the need to protect the planet and preserve its environment. Several events and campaigns are being held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day Network (EDN) is the not for profit organisation that leads Earth Day worldwide.

Body:

Significance:

  • It is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.
  • This Day also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.
  • This day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports.
  • This year, Earth Day focuses on putting an end to plastic use and thereby reducing pollution. According to Earth Day Network, Earth Day 2018 will focus on fundamentally changing human attitude and behaviour about plastics and catalyzing a significant reduction in plastic pollution.

Policy changes for a sustainable environmental protection in India:

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC):
    • It was initiated primarily in response to developments at the international level, the eight missions focus on India’s domestic development needs.
  • Ratifying Paris Agreement
    • The 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) successfully concluded in Paris after intense negotiations by the Parties followed by the adoption of the Paris Agreement on post-2020 actions on climate change. India ratified the same and is actively working towards the goals.
  • Tackling Climate Change:
    • To reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level. To achieve about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030, with the help of transfer of technology and low-cost international finance, including from Green Climate Fund. To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • Clean Fuel
    • India introduces BS-VI petrol and diesel. Delhi will be the first city to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI. 13 major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, etc. will make the shift from 1st Jan 2019. The rest of the country will make the change from April 2020 next year.
  • No Plastics:
    • India has pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic in the country by 2022.
  • National Bio-fuel policy
  • National offshore wind-energy policy
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA):
    • ISA is a group of 121 solar rich countries which are situated either on or between the tropics. Aims to deploy over 1000 GW of solar energy and mobilize more than $1000 billion into solar power by 2030.
  • The Clean Development Mechanism projects in India
    • Indian projects have been issued a huge number of Renewable Energy Certificates in lieu of their green deeds.
  • State Action Plans on Climate Change:
    • The State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC) aim to create institutional capacities and implement sectoral activities to address climate change. These plans are focused on adaptation with mitigation as co-benefit in sectors such as water, agriculture, tourism, forestry, transport, habitat and energy.
  • Coal Cess and the National Clean Energy Fund
    • India is one of the few countries around the world to have a carbon tax in the form of a cess on coal. Not only has India imposed such a cess but it has also been progressively increasing it. The National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) which is supported by the cess on coal was created for the purposes of financing and promoting clean energy initiatives, funding research in the area of clean energy and for any other related activities.
  • FAME Scheme for E-mobility:
    • Union Government in April 2015 launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme with an aim to boost sales of eco-friendly vehicles in the country. It is a part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Smart Cities.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:
    • The scheme provides LPG connections to five crore below-poverty-line beneficiaries. The connections are given in the name of women beneficiaries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and conventional fuel like cow dung for cooking food, thus reducing air pollution.
  • UJALA scheme:
    • The scheme was launched in January 2015 with a target of replacing 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. The usage of LED bulbs will not only result in reducing electricity bills but also help in environment protection.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission:
    • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement) is a campaign that was launched by Prime Minister on October 2, 2014. The campaign seeks to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country’s 4041 statutory cities and towns.
  • National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change
    • A National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) has been established with a budget provision of I350 crore for the year 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. It is meant to assist in meeting the cost of national- and state-level adaptation measures in areas that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Way forward:

  • Prudent investments and policy reform can help make India resilient to climate change.
  • Promotion of climate smart agriculture.
  • Any adaptation to ongoing climate change will require climate justice.
  • This can be induced by expansion of joint research and development partnerships like the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center, pairing India’s emerging smart cities with green cities in the West.
  • India needs to decarbonise by reducing emissions, there is no doubt about that. But the West needs to pay its bills too.
  • Cities adjacent to national parks and sanctuaries need to be converted into green smart cities with upgraded waste recycling processes.

Topic : Ethics and Human Interface

7) Discuss the significance of Environmental ethics.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications.

 

Why this question:

The question is based on the concept of Environmental ethics.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must first elaborate on concept of Environmental ethics and discuss its significance.

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:

Define what you understand by environmental ethics.

Body:

  • Environmental ethics is the philosophical discipline that considers the moral and ethical relationship of human beings to the environment.
  • Discuss the relevance of study of environmental ethics.
  • Explain the relation between Environmental Ethics & Human Values.
  • significance of Environmental Ethics.

Conclusion:

Conclude that perhaps the most important concern today for the trustee is to create an ethos that will support a sustainable life style in society.

Introduction:

Environmental ethics is a branch of ethics that studies the relation of human beings and the environment and how ethics play a role in this. Environmental ethics believe that humans are a part of society as well as other living creatures, which includes plants and animals. These items are a very important part of the world and are considered to be a functional part of human life. Thus, it is essential that every human being respect and honour this and use morals and ethics when dealing with these creatures.

Body:

Significance of Environmental ethics:

  • It brings us closer and the help us understand the relationship.
  • Provide better quality living to current generation
  • Protect environment for future generation through regulated use of environment
  • It will help spread awareness among people and thus protect the environment
  • It sustains other species as well which is moral responsibility of one species i.e. humankind towards all others

Need for environmental ethics:

  • Increasing levels of Pollution.
  • Degrading Standard of Life.
  • Increasing dangers related to global warming and climate change.
  • New dynamic issues like Environmental Refugees.
  • Cutting forests indiscriminately on large scale
  • Releasing green house gases in atmosphere for industrial products
  • Excessive use of fossil fuels like coal, petrol etc

Human values and environmental ethics:

Human actions and decision making choice depend on human values. Strong values always help reduce the confusion. If these are coherent with the surrounding environment nature and wildlife, then it will certainly be helpful for sustainable development.

  • Empathy: without empathy for all lives, there will always be selectiveness and selfishness among humans towards different lives. Value of Nurturing and protecting biodiversity. Making way for flora and fauna to co-exist with us.
  • Love: love transcends only human-human interaction. It’s also between other lives and nature’s beauty.
  • Sustainable development: Saving resources for future generation .That is to stop over exploitation of resources specially exhaustible and non-renewable resources.
  • Control over mining, deforestation in the name of “development”
  • Minimalistic living: Sacrificing certain comforts for protecting environment. Example- reduction in use of polluting vehicles for good of all, car pooling, using public transport.

Conclusion:

We must realize the biggest value that Earth belongs not only to humans but to other biodiversity too. Further, protecting this environment for future generation becomes our responsibility as part of environmental ethics.