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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 MAY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 MAY 2019


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Social empowerment.

1) What is community-based policing? What are its goals? Discuss in the light of issues that for long have plagued and continue to plague Indian policing system. Suggest what needs to be done to better the present picture of the system.(250 words)

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Why this question:

Recently as part of its community-policing initiatives, the Maharashtra police has decided to institutionalize the “best policing practices” that were or are being followed in districts across the state. These include the “police Didi” programme in Mumbai, the “bharosa (trust) cell” by the Pune and Nagpur police and so on. Thus, it is important for us to evaluate the significance of community policing in Indian context.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must briefly discuss the concept of community based policing, its merits and demerits vis-à-vis the existing police system that is plagued with plethora of issues.

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

In a few introductory lines explain what you understand by Community policing.

Body

The body of the answer has to capture the following aspects:

  • Community policing – is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.
  • What are the elements of community policing? – positive interaction, partnerships, and problem solving.
  • What are the key features of community policing? – It is a partnership with the objective to determine community needs and policing priorities and to promote police accountability and effectiveness. It should include the participation of all stakeholders. It is effective at problem solving.
  • Discuss the benefits and disadvantages associated with it with respect to the issues plaguing Indian police system (highlight issues and show how community policing can provide for good fix).

Conclusion

Conclude with significance of the role played by the system of such policing.

.

Introduction:

Community-based policing is a project initiated and implemented by the police in active partnership with the local community / neighbourhood / citizen groups / business community for identifying the needs and solving issues related to the common safety and security requirements of the local community. Various states have been experimenting with community policing including Kerala through Janamaithri Suraksha Project, Rajasthan through Joint Patrolling Committees, etc

Body:

Goals of Community Policing:

  • Improving the quality of life and ensuring safer living conditions by motivating and facilitating community members and other community interest groups to organize themselves into problem solving groups in partnership with the police
  • Educating people on their rights, eligibilities and responsibilities in relation to criminal law
  • Fostering a sense of respect for the legal process and eliminate fear of police in the minds of the people.

Benefits of Community Policing:

  • Improved community initiative and response for crime prevention, problem solving and conflict resolution
  • Enhanced community support for policing efforts
  • Improved public safety and sense of security in the community
  • Reduced fear of crime
  • Improved law abiding nature in the community
  • Improved sense of voluntarism in the community to solve common problems through collective approaches
  • Enhanced trust, improved credibility and image of the police

Issues plaguing the police force:

  • Operational Freedom: The Indian Police Act provides for the political superintendence of police force. This provision has been widely misused by political leaders both in the state as well as centre and has become a bottleneck in effective policing in the country. Political interference in police functioning and the political executive’s hold over the force.
  • Crime Investigations: Crime investigation requires skills, training, time, resources, and adequate forensic capabilities. However, the Law Commission and the Second Administrative Reforms Commission have noted that state police officers often neglect this responsibility because they are understaffed and overburdened with various kinds of tasks.
  • An overburdened force: Currently, there are significant vacancies within the State police forces and some of the Central armed police forces. Most of the police personnel have to undergo a 12-hour duty on a daily basis without week off. Problems of overwork, lack of leave, poor dietary habits due to long hours of duty, lack of decent housing and so on are just some of the issues they face.
  • Vacancies: India’s ratio of police persons per 1,000 people is 1.2, which is grossly below the United Nation’s recommendation. There are huge vacancies in almost every state, especially in the non-Indian Police Service posts
  • Constabulary related issues: The constabulary constitutes 86% of the State police forces and has wide-ranging responsibilities. The Padmanabhaiah Committee and the Second Administrative Reforms Commission have noted that the entry-level qualifications and training of constables do not qualify them for their role.
  • Police infrastructure: Modern policing requires a strong communication support, state-of-the-art or modern weapons, well-trained staff, Efficient Utilisation of funds and a high degree of mobility. The CAG and the BPRD have noted shortcomings on several of these fronts.
  • Police-Public relations: The police – public relation in India lies under the shadow of distrust. People view police as corrupt, inefficient, politically partisan and unresponsive. This state of police – public relation needs an overhaul which is essential for an effective policing in the country.
  • Accountability of the police to the larger community and their attitudes towards tribal, marginalised, Dalit and women complainants.
  • The attitude of the citizen and male police officials is hardly praiseworthy when it comes to policewomen who are not from the IPS cadre. Their training, postings, etc, need to receive urgent attention.

Measures needed:

  • Policing is, or rather should be, aimed at providing a safe ­environment to the community.
  • As noted by experts, it is the only non-combatant organisation that can use force against citizens and curtail their liberty.
  • Such power must be tempered by its own moral and social consciousness.
  • The initiative announced by the Maharashtra police must take these factors into account when it institutionalises the best community practices.
  • An Independent Complaint authority: To instil faith among citizen and to overcome police misconduct, an independent complaint authority is the demand of the time.
  • Modernization of policing Infrastructure: Policing infrastructure in India is archaic in most of the towns in India. The system needs continuous budgetary support to overhaul the policing infrastructure in the country.
  • A modern patrolling system, modern equipment, communication system, forensic labs are the need of the hour.

Conclusion:

Safe and efficient internal security is need of the hour for sustainable economic growth for India particularly in the light of complex security threats. It is essential to now look at the police as a service organization meeting those needs of the society that are essential for safety, security, quality of life and peace.


Topic: Role of women.

2) Political equality is still far away on the Indian political horizon. To bring equality fight needs to be fought equally by men. Critically analyse.(250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of political participation of women in the country and the challenges facing it. One needs to evaluate the issue closely and discuss the importance of significant role that needs to be played by Men to bring equality in participation.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the picture of political participation women in India, how far have women been able to enter the political arena of the country. Also explain the necessity of efforts by the Men in this direction.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Brief upon the recent incidences that highlight the inequality prevailing in terms of Women participation in the politics of the country.

Body:

  • Body of the answer should discuss the following aspects:
  • Highlight the present ratio of women participation in Indian politics.
  • Discuss the trends in women participation that was witnessed this election.
  • What should be the role of Men in bringing equality of participation in the political arena and why is it important?
  • Suggest what needs to be done?

Conclusion:

Conclude that Male politicians must take a lead role in challenging traditions which foster inequality and also unequivocally condemn the misogynistic language that their counterparts use when it comes to women.

Introduction:

The Economic Survey 2018 called for more representation of women in decision making process in the country, saying their political participation has been low despite them accounting for 49 per cent of the population. An Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women report — Women in Politics 2017, revealed that 16th Lok Sabha had 65 (12 percent of 545 MPs) and Rajya Sabha 27 (11 per cent of 245 MPs) women MPs. 22 years since the initial proposal, the Women’s Reservation Bill remains out of reach

Body:

Present situation of women’s political representation in India:

  • India ranks 153 out of 190 nations in the percentage of women in the lower house of world parliaments.
  • The Economic Survey 2018 said there are developing countries like Rwanda which has more than 60 per cent women representatives in Parliament in 2017.
  • In India, between 2010 and 2017 women’s share rose 1 percentage point in its Lower House (Lok Sabha).
  • As on October 2016, out of the total 4,118 MLAs across the country, only 9 per cent were women.
  • The highest percentage of women legislators come from Bihar, Haryana and Rajasthan (14%), followed by Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal (13%) and Punjab (12%).
  • The factors such as domestic responsibilities, prevailing cultural attitudes regarding roles of women in society and lack of support from family were among main reasons that prevented them from entering politics.
  • Lack of confidence and finance were the other major deterring factors that prevented women from entering politics.
  • Ahead of any election campaign in the country, sexist and derogatory remarks start doing the rounds against women contestants, in some cases forcing them to withdraw their nomination.
  • The introduction of the Women’s Reservation Bill in 1996 that would reserve 33 percent of seats in Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies for women on a rotational basis, lapsed in 2014 with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.
  • The constitution allocates total seats to states by population, the resultant women’s representation at 12% is far below the actual population of women. So, on grounds of fairness, this is an anomaly.

Enhancing women participation in parliament would ensure the upliftment of status of women:

  • In 1994, India ratified the 73rd and the 74th amendments to the Indian Constitution, granting women 1/3 reservation in rural and urban democratic bodies.
  • There are 13.72 lakh elected women representatives (EWRs) in PRIs (Panchayati Raj Institutions) which constitute 44.2 per cent of total elected representatives (ERs) as on December, 2017.
  • Women sarpanchs accounted for 43 per cent of total gram panchayats (GPs) across the country, exhibiting active leadership of women in local government.
  • There is documented evidence both at the international level and at the gram panchayat (village) level to suggest that a greater representation of women in elected office balances the process and prioritizations that elected bodies focus on.
  • In terms of policy styles, for instance, the inclusion of women adds behind the scenes discussion rather than direct confrontation on the floor of the House.
  • In terms of agenda (as measured in Rwanda), a wider range of family issues get tackled.
  • Esther Duflo and Raghabendra Chattopadhyay (NBER Working Paper 8615) showed that in a randomised trial in West Bengal, women pradhans (heads of village panchayats) focus on infrastructure that is relevant to the needs of rural women, suggesting that at least at the local level outcomes can be different.
  • The role model effect also erases the gender disparity in educational attainment of young girls.
  • A study by IndiaSpend reported women panchayat leaders in Tamil Nadu invested 48 percent more money than their male counterparts in building roads and improving access.
  • Another study by the United Nations found that women-led panchayats delivered 62 percent higher drinking water projects than those led by men.

Way forward:

  • India should have an Election Commission-led effort to push for reservation for women in political parties.
  • Reservation for women in political parties – a more viable option.
  • Quotas for women in Parliament as envisaged in the Women’s Reservation Bill.
  • Awareness, education and role modelling that encourage women towards politics and wipe out Gender stereotypes which perceive women as weak representatives.
  • Inclusive economic institutions and growth—both necessary for and dependent on social empowerment—require inclusive political institutions.
  • Women’s leadership and communication skills need to be enhanced by increasing female literacy especially in rural areas. They should be empowered in order to break socio-cultural barriers and improve their status in the society.

Conclusion:

B.R. Ambedkar once said that “political power is the key to all social progress”. Ensuring proportional representation to women in parliament is seen by policy makers as a panacea to the issues surrounding women empowerment. Recognising the significance of roles of women in decision making process in the society is critical to strengthen women’s agencies for building a progressive society with equality of opportunities among all citizens. Male politicians must take a lead role in challenging traditions which foster inequality and also unequivocally condemn the misogynistic language that their counterparts use when it comes to women.


Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

3) Correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable tertiary healthcare services is the need of the hour, and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country is essential to ensure a healthy India Discuss. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question aims to evaluate the present conditions of healthcare system in India and how correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable tertiary healthcare services is the need of the hour. The question also is about discussing the significance of augmenting medical education in the country.

Key demand of the question:

The must evaluate in detail the existing healthcare system of the country and discuss the significance of bringing in regional balances in the availability and affordability of the healthcare system across the country along with significance of medical education.

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 brief write up on current healthcare scenario of the country.

Body:

  • Discussion should include the following aspects –
  • Explain the challenges before the health system in India and why these challenges persist – Indian health system is besieged by inadequate infrastructure, paucity of skilled human resources, inadequate drug and medical supply, lack of preparedness, all of these further burdened by an increase in communicable, non-communicable, and vector borne diseases.
  • Examine how health policy has fared in India recently?
  • Explain the regional imbalances that exist in the health system and their causes as well as consequences.
  • Discuss what needs to be done? – give a focused write up on aspect of medical education and the role it has to play in improving the healthcare system.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Tertiary Healthcare comprises of specialized consultative care, usually on referral from primary or secondary medical care personnel, by specialists working in a center that has personnel and facilities for special investigation and treatment. The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) envisages creation of tertiary healthcare capacity in medical education, research and clinical care, in the underserved areas of the country.

Body:

The major challenges faced by healthcare system in India are:

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

Steps taken up currently:

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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


Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

4) Evaluate the objectives of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana. How far has the scheme turned out to be a success? Discuss. (250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is based on the static portions of the syllabus, it aims to analyse the achievements of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana.

Demand of the question:

This question seeks to examine Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana and to what extent the scheme has succeeded in realizing the objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.

Directive word:

EvaluateWhen you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start with brief introduction about the scheme.

Body

Discuss the following points in detail:

  • Discuss the key highlights of the scheme:
  • DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.
  • DDU-GKY is uniquely focused on rural youth between the ages of 15 and 35 years from poor families.
  • Gram Panchayat will play a key role in generating awareness about the programme, facilitate mobilization of candidates, and assist in job melas and in tracking candidate placements.
  • Mandatory coverage of socially disadvantaged groups (SC/ST 50%; Minority 15%; Women 33%).
  • Guaranteed Placement for at least 75% trained candidates.
  • Greater emphasis on projects for poor rural youth in Jammu and Kashmir (HIMAYAT), the North-East region and 27 Left-Wing Extremist (LWE) districts (ROSHINI).
  • Explain how the scheme has been different from the past ones aiming at the same objectives?
  • Discuss the merits and demerits associated.

Conclusion

Conclude with significance of such schemes in welfare of rural India.

Introduction:

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana or DDU-GKY is a Government of India youth employment scheme. The Vision of DDU-GKY is to “Transform rural poor youth into an economically independent and globally relevant workforce”. It aims to target youth, in the age group of 15–35 years. DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.

Body:

Objectives of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana

  • Enable Poor and Marginalized to Access Benefits
    • Demand led skill training at no cost to the rural poor
  • Inclusive Program Design
    • Mandatory coverage of socially disadvantaged groups (SC/ST 50%; Minority 15%; Women 33%)
  • Shifting Emphasis from Training to Career Progression
    • Pioneers in providing incentives for job retention, career progression and foreign placements
  • Greater Support for Placed Candidates
    • Post-placement support, migration support and alumni network
  • Proactive Approach to Build Placement Partnerships
    • Guaranteed Placement for at least 75% trained candidates
  • Enhancing the Capacity of Implementation Partners
    • Nurturing new training service providers and developing their skills
  • Regional Focus
    • Greater emphasis on projects for poor rural youth in Jammu and Kashmir (HIMAYAT),
    • The North-East region and 27 Left-Wing Extremist (LWE) districts (ROSHINI)
  • Standards-led Delivery
    • All program activities are subject to Standard Operating Procedures that are not open to interpretation by local inspectors. All inspections are supported by geo-tagged, time stamped videos/photographs.

Appraisal of the scheme:

  • Fills Gap of Skill-deficit: It is estimated that only 4.69% of the total workforce in India has undergone formal skill training as compared to 68% in UK, 75% in Germany, 52% in USA, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea. On the other side, there is a demand of 109.73 million skilled manpower by 2022 in twenty-four key sectors. Therefore DDU-GKY seeks to fill this gap by imparting specific set of Modular Employable Skills (MES) needed to access full time jobs in the formal sector.
  • Inclusive: All candidates who hail from poor families, and are between the ages of 15 and 35 years, are eligible for the training programs. For women and other vulnerable groups like persons with disabilities, the upper age limit is relaxed to 45 years.
  • Diverse: DDU-GKY is industry agnostic. That said, its current training partners offer training programs in over 82 sectors, covering over 450 job-roles or trades. Candidates can only choose from skills offered in their vicinity/ assigned projects in their district
  • Free-of-Cost: DDU-GKY subsidizes 100% cost of skill training of candidates at its approved training centres implemented by its PIAs in sanctioned projects. There are no fees. There are no registration charges. There are no examination or certification charges. There are no placement charges. However, candidates are required to attend all classes and OJT, put in hard work and effort to learn a trade and achieve a minimum of 70% marks in the final exam to pass.
  • Certificates after Completion: a government recognized certificate upon successful completion of the training will be provided. In the case of training programs implemented under NCVT curricula, NCVT through its accredited assessors will perform the external assessment on completion of the duration of the course and provide the necessary co-branded certification upon passing.
  • Placement Guarantee: Under DDU-GKY, the training partners are mandated to place atleast 75% of the successful candidates in jobs, offering a minimum salary (CTC) of Rs. 6000 per month. This amount will include any incentive or facility the company will provide you with like transport or meals or accommodation etc. Else, the applicable charge may be deducted from your monthly salary.

Conclusion:

DDU-GKY provides demand-driven placement-linked skill training so that candidates can learn a new skill, earn their way to new identity, gain respect and fulfil their income and career aspirations. It has the potential to transform rural poor youth into an economically independent and globally relevant workforce and help reap India its demographic dividend.


Topic : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

5) “To ensure that development does not degrade lives, it is imperative to mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem concerns in policy-making”. Critically analyse(250 words)

Economictimes

 

Why this question:

A new report from UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the most comprehensive assessment of the global ecosystems to date, has provided as an indictment of how humans have treated the Earth. The report highlights the alarming situation of ecosystem degradation.

Key demand of the question:

The answer is straightforward, one must discuss in detail the significance of mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem concerns in policy-making.  

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:

write a few introductory lines , highlight the findings of the report.

Body:

Answers must discuss the following aspects :

  • Provide for a narration on the present conditions of ecosystem.
  • Explain why the situation is grim?
  • What are the Main causes of the deterioration of the natural ecosystem? –  land-use change, overfishing, pollution, climate change and population growth etc.
  • Explain the need for radical transformation of the systems of consumption and production to those that are resource efficient and generate less waste through the life cycle.
  • Suggest upon recent steps taken by the government in this direction.
  • Provide for way forward.

Conclusion –

Conclude by reasserting their significance of policy making that is centric to biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.

Introduction:

The first-ever Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has been released. The Report is termed as the first-ever such comprehensive report. It took three years for a group of 145 expert authors from 50 countries to prepare this report based on more than 15,000 scientific and government documents. It primarily looked or analysed the impact of economic development on nature and ecosystems.

Body:

Findings of the report:

  • The report identified a range of risks, from the disappearance of insects vital for pollinating food crops, to the destruction of coral reefs that support fish populations that sustain coastal communities, or the loss of medicinal plants.
  • It found that the average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900.
  • The threatened list includes more than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of reef-forming corals, and more than a third of all marine mammals.
  • The picture was less clear for insect species, but a tentative estimate suggests 10% are at risk of extinction.
  • Productivity in 23 per cent of global land has reduced due to land degradation.
  • Up to $577 billion in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss and 100-300 million people are at increased risk of floods and hurricanes because of loss of coastal habitats and protection.

Causes:

  • This loss is a direct result of human activity and constitutes a direct threat to human well-being in all regions of the world.
  • Human-induced loss in ecosystems: Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about two-thirds of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions, says the assessment.
  • Nearly 75 per cent of all freshwater resources are now used for crop and livestock rearing activities.
  • Changes in land and sea use
  • direct exploitation of organisms
  • pollution
  • invasive alien species
  • Climate change caused by burning the coal, oil and gas produced by the fossil fuel industry is exacerbating the losses, the report found.

Way forward:

  • The report says there is still an opportunity for human beings to live in harmony with nature.
  • But there has to be a change in the way how natural resources are governed, and things are produced and consumed.
  • This is inevitable in terms of economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.
  • By transformative change, that is a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.
  • The findings will also add to pressure for countries to agree bold action to protect wildlife at a major conference on biodiversity due to take place in China towards the end of next year.
  • Compartmentalisation must give way to an integrated and synchronised approach. India and the world have the knowledge and regulatory framework required for the transformation.

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

6) Numerous types of damages are necessary to be measured for undertaking effective damage assessment during disasters. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is to evaluate the concept of damage control in disaster management.

Key demand of the question:

Analyse in detail the need for damage control in effectively mitigating disasters and managing the disasters effectively.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines highlight the recent cyclone Fani that struck the East coast necessitating us to analyse the need for disaster control and damage control.

Body:

In brief discuss –

  • The example of Odisha’s successful disaster management policy is a template that other vulnerable Indian states as well as other parts of the world should closely follow.
  • What are the pathways to effectively control and manage disasters? – discuss the need of understanding the types of damages- Infrastructure; Electricity and telecommunications, need for restoring damaged highways and district roads, health system etc.
  • Use the Odisha cyclone as a case study to best explain the answer.
  • Highlight the learnings, discuss what should be the way forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting that understanding disasters is of prime importance to resolve and fix them..  

Introduction:

The eastern coast of India has had to bear the brunt of nature’s fury yet again. Cyclone Fani hit Odisha recently, and though its menace as a storm was downgraded from “extremely severe” to “very severe” a few hours after it made landfall, it has left a trail of destruction that should make us revisit what we mean by “preparedness”.

Body:

Cyclones are among the most dangerous and most destructive natural disasters that can occur. They have been responsible for about 1.9 million deaths worldwide over the last two centuries, and it is estimated that 10,000 people are killed each year by these storms. Cyclones tend to do the most damage in coastal areas, where they have been known to alter the landscape and remove forest canopy. 13 coastal states and Union Territories in the country are affected by Tropical Cyclones (TCs).

Cyclones bring devastations and damages of various types:

  • Life:
    • Cyclones often cause loss of life, heavy damages in built environments, and have negative effects on shipping,
    • The death toll due to cyclone Fani rose to 64 with 21 fresh deaths confirmed, nine days after the ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm devastated coastal Odisha.
  • Property:
    • The strong winds of cyclones can cause damage over an area of 25 km in smaller systems and up to 500 km in larger systems. Winds have been known to destroy smaller buildings and knock out power for thousands of people.
  • Infrastructure, Electricity and telecommunications:
    • Infrastructure facilities like ports, airports are at the highest risk of damage. The casualties include that of the electricity and telecom infrastructure too rendering the places devoid of communication.
  • Fisheries and tourism:
    • Statistics show that the global average annual losses from cyclones and storm surges are estimated at US$ 80 billion.
  • Temperature:
    • Tropical cyclones can quickly change the environment of the affected areas. They can bring warmer air into hot places. This makes the atmosphere feel very sticky and muggy and rises the temperature dramatically. This can cause heat strokes and other heat related illness to children and the elderly after the storm which is not good.
  • Storm surge:
    • Potentially disastrous surges occur in coastal areas with low-lying terrain that enables inundation. The storm surge is typically the most damaging effect of cyclones, historically resulting in 90 percent of tropical cyclone deaths.
    • When combined with strong winds, storm surges can produce massive waves that can cause inland flooding and destruction.

Measures to be taken:

  • Effective coordination between the governments at the Center and state to take up the rescue and relief work immediately.
  • There is a need of harmonizing the national and local level disaster resilient bylaws, land use zoning, resource planning, early warning system establishments and technical competence.
  • Restoration of the basic necessities like electricity, water supply and telecom facilities at the earliest.
  • Assessment of houses damaged: as most of the affected are left homeless, they will be vulnerable to all kinds of dangers. An effective assessment of the damage can help the government to plan its efforts better.
  • Construction of disaster resilient houses in cyclone prone areas must be mandated to avoid the recurrent expenditures and provide a safe shelter to the people.
  • The government should take commonalities from success stories and institutionalize it. For example, Built Back Better Program of Gujarat government after 2001 earthquake.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction should be an important aspect of global poverty reduction initiatives.
  • Moving from a risk blind approach to a risk-informed decision when it comes to investments.
  • There should be a Disaster Risk Audit for the future developmental project for both public and private entities.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction program should be more people-centric.
  • There is a need for private sector participation in designing and implementing policies, plans, and standards.
  • Need of Disaster Management program to be inclusive including women, civil society, and academia.
  • State governments should increase their engagements in scientific research institution for a better formulation of policies.

Conclusion:

Natural disaster comes without warning. India should prepare to mitigate and deflect the destruction caused by Cyclones. India needs to employ disaster resilient technology, strict following of command structure and most importantly the participation and cooperation of local communities in the affected area.


Topic: Security challenges, terrorism

7) The recent attacks in Sri Lanka underline the many shortcomings in the concept of a global War on Terror. Elucidate(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article highlights how the recent brutal attacks on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, for which the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility, have reignited discussion on the global ‘War on Terror’.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the global efforts for war on terror. The question aims to bring out the shortcoming of such an effort that is leading to continued incidences of such terror attacks across the globe.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines narrate the background – highlight the recent incidence of terror attack in Sri Lanka.

Body:

The answer must elucidate upon what is Global War on Terrorism?

What are its shortcomings? Why is it failing to address the issue of terrorism? – discuss the issue of religious terrorism, use the case study of recent terror attack that Sri lanka witnessed.  Discuss how global efforts have failed to address the issue. Suggest what needs to be done to overcome the issue and address the menace of global terrorism.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward.

Introduction:

The brutal attacks on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, for which the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility, have reignited discussion on the global ‘War on Terror’. The increase in attacks and deaths across more countries has meant that the impact of terrorism is becoming more widespread, even as deaths from terrorism are decreasing. As the intensity of terrorism has increased over the last two decades, its impact has also spread to more countries around the world.

Body:

Global War on Terrorism:

  • The War on Terror first began on a global scale after the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001.
  • The first global mission for War on Terror was Operation. Enduring Freedom by 60 countries led by US to replace Taliban government in Afghanistan and defeat Al-Qaida.
  • However, it appears that this first global mission has produced limited positive results. US now intends to withdraw from Afghan & is in talks with Taliban to ensure its representation in Afghan government even though Taliban still continues terrorist attacks in Afghan.
  • Therefore, the objective of Operation. Enduring Freedom to replace Taliban & to end Talibani terrorism has failed.
  • The second War on Terror was when 46 nations led by US formed the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ in 2003 to defeat Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
  • However, it led to the destabilization of Iraq & formation of global terrorist State- ISIS, which is now undertaking terrorist attacks on global scale such as in Sri Lanka. Therefore, the second War on Terror ended by increasing global terrorism.
  • The Next War on Terror was conducted in Libya & Syria after the Arab Spring in 2011.
  • Libya did not have strong linkages with spread of terrorism but a Coalition of Western countries led by France undertook regime change in Libya & it became destabilized, which now has become a safe haven for Al-Qaeda. Similarly, destabilized Syria became a safe haven for ISIS & other terrorist groups.
  • Therefore, the next War on Terror in Libya & Syria led to formation of terrorist groups & safe havens which did not exist earlier.

Shortcomings of the effort:

  • There was no change in the five countries most impacted by terrorism, which include Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria and Pakistan. All of these countries have been ranked in the worst five every year since 2013.
  • Conflict continued to be the primary driver of terrorist activity for the countries most impacted by terrorism in 2017.
  • In 2017, terrorist attacks in conflict countries averaged 2.4 deaths, compared to 0.84 deaths in non-conflict countries. Terrorist attacks are more lethal on average in countries with a greater intensity of conflict. In 2017, countries in a state of war averaged 2.97 deaths per attack, compared to 1.36 in countries involved in a minor armed conflict.
  • There are numerous possible reasons for this difference. Countries in conflict have a greater availability of more military-grade small arms and bomb-making capabilities.
  • Countries that are not in conflict tend to be more economically-developed and spend more on intelligence gathering, policing and counterterrorism.
  • The War on Terror built by world leaders is a “fight for Islam” is equally false. According to the Global Terrorism Database, of the 81 terror attacks in which more than 100 were killed (high casualty) since 2001, more than 70 were carried out in Islamic or Muslim-majority countries.

Conclusion:

The world community must address contradictions in the War on Terror. For 20 years, the world has failed to agree on a common definition of terrorism at the United Nations. Unless the world is truly united on the issue and resolves such contradictions, the global War on Terror will only be as strong as its weakest link. The success or failure of each of these approaches must be studied before deciding their applicability elsewhere. A comprehensive and multidimensional strategy for the “War on Terror” must involve an integrated view of these strategic military and economic domains, among others.