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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 5 JUNE 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 5 JUNE 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: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

1) Discuss the unique features of draft National Education Policy, 2019. What are the challenges and roadblocks in front of it and how should the government in power overcome the same? (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article throws light upon the draft National Education Policy, 2019. It highlights how inputs from the T.S.R. Subramanian Committee report and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the K. Kasturirangan Committee has produced a document that is comprehensive, far-sighted and grounded in realities.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must provide for a detailed analysis of the draft education policy 2019, its key features, pros and cons. Challenges in implementing the same.

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:

write a few introductory lines on the current education policy of India.

Body:

Have the following points in the answer:

  • Explain the key features of the policy – how it seeks to revamp all aspects of the sector and does not shy away from suggesting brave new ideas.
  • Discuss in detail – universal foundational literacy and numeracy, idea to cover children of 3-18 years [instead of the present 6-14 years under the Right to Education (RTE) Act], aim is to double the Gross Enrolment Ratio from 25% to 50% by 2035 and make universities the hubs of research (with Tier I universities/institutions devoted primarily to research and some teaching, Tier 2 universities devoted to teaching and some research, and Tier 3 institutions comprising mainly colleges that are to be converted gradually into degree-giving autonomous institutions).
  • Then move on to discuss the challenges that are being faced in implementing the same.
  • Discuss what needs to be done?

Conclusion –

Conclude with significance and need of a robust national education policy.

Introduction:

The Draft National Education Policy, 2019 prepared by a committee chaired by Dr K. Kasturirangan has been shared by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development for public comments. The policy aims at making India a knowledge superpower by equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge. It also focuses on eliminating the shortage of manpower in Science and Technology, academics and industry. The Draft Policy is built on foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.

Body:

Key Features of the Draft Policy:

  • The policy covers school education, higher education and professional education which in turn include agricultural education, legal education, medical education and technical education.
  • It also looks at the verticals of vocational education by including teacher education and the research and innovation.
  • The early child care and education have been sought to be integrated within the Ministry of Education (a changed name has been suggested for the Ministry of Human Resource and Development – MHRD).
  • The policy also tries to focus on certain foundational skills that children should have in the proposed new structure of 5+3+3+4.
    • The first stage of five years (for children of 3-8 years of age) i.e. foundational stage looks at discovery learning and learning by play. The foundational literacy and numeracy skills are a mission mode approach under it that includes National Tutors’ Program, remedial instructional aid programmes It considers nutrition as very critical for strengthening the levels of 3-8 years of children.
    • The next stage is Preparatory Stage for the children in the age group of 8 to 11 years (grades 3 to 5) followed by the Middle Stage (grades 6 to 8) for the students in the age group of 11-14 years.
    • The Secondary Stage (Grades 9-12) for students in the age group of 14-18 years.
  • For school education, governance level changes have also been suggested. A State regulatory authority has been suggested for regulating education in the country. The body will decide the accreditation of different schools. The government will continue to fund and operate education in the country.
  • Main takeaways for higher education:
    • Restructuring of the higher education system into Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3.
    • Tier 1 includes research universities focusing equally on research and teaching.
    • Tier 2 includes teaching universities focusing primarily on teaching.
    • Tier 3 includes colleges focusing only on teaching at undergraduate levels.
    • All such institutions will gradually move towards full autonomy – academic, administrative, and financial. The idea is to spread ‘research culture’ at the undergraduate level.
    • The policy also talks about National Scholarship Fund to financially support students for higher education.
  • The National Research Foundation, an apex body, is proposed for creating a strong research culture. It will help build research capacity across higher education.
  • The four functions of Standard Setting, Funding, Accreditation and Regulation will be separated and conducted by independent bodies.
  • National Higher Education Regulatory Authority will be the only regulator for all higher education including professional education.
  • The policy proposes to create an accreditation eco-system led by a revamped NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council).
  • Professional Standard Setting Bodies for each area of professional education was proposed.
  • UGC is to be transformed to Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC).
  • Language:
    • Promotion of Indian and classical languages and setting up three new National Institutes for Pali, Persian and Prakrit were proposed.
    • Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) has been recommended.
  • The policy also proposes to increase the class of compulsory education up to grade 12 (age-18).
  • The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act – RTE, 2009 (represents Article 21-A of the Indian Constitution) made education, a fundamental right of every child between the ages of 6 and 14.
  • The policy aims to achieve a fully literate society where all adults are literates by 2030 or so.
  • Besides the above, the committee also recommended several new policy initiatives for –
    • promoting internationalization of higher education
    • strengthening quality open and distance learning
    • technology integration at all levels of education
    • facilitating adult and lifelong learning
    • enhancing participation of under-represented groups
    • eliminating gender, social category and regional gaps in education outcomes

Challenges:

  • There are fewer consensuses on the integration of foundational learning with schooling. In Europe, compulsory education begins at the age of 6. In certain countries like Denmark, Germany and Finland, compulsory education begins at the age of 7.
  • There needs to be a discussion on whether literacy and numeracy skills should be developed during the time of foundational learning.
  • In the draft policy, there is no mention of how the State regulatory body will regulate the government institutions.
  • A constitutional amendment is required to change the limits for compulsory schooling in the country. Also, increasing the limit on higher side i.e. up to the age of 18 is not consistent with the limits across the world. Also, it is a very expensive proposition.
  • There is not enough capacity in the country to provide for teachers’ education. Also, M.Ed has been given less importance under the policy. The focus has been more on B.Ed.

Way Forward:

  • Education is a concurrent list subject. Apart from a consensus between the centre and the states, all the other stakeholders including institutions, public and academicians should also be consulted.
  • Natal and prenatal studies should also be included in the country’s education system to ensure awareness about the issues related to mother and infants, considering the high MMR and IMR in the country.
  • There should be a course of Masters of Teacher Education. Also, there is a need to build good teacher training institutions.
  • The education policy should maintain a symbiotic relationship between the different regions of the country through the study of different languages.
  • The quality of education provided in the country shall be such that it not only delivers basic literacy and numeracy but also creates an analytical environment in the country.

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

2) Analyse the key findings of newly released SDG Gender Index. What does it signify for the Indian case?  (250 words)

Indianexpress

 

Why this question:

A new index to measure global gender equality, was launched recently, it ranked India at 95th among 129 countries. The SDG Gender Index comes close on the heels of the gender gap index of the World Economic Forum where India was ranked 108th.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the finding of the newly released index and its significance to Indian case.

Directive:

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

In a few introductory lines discuss the significance if the report.

Body

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

  • Bodies involved: The SDG Gender Index has been developed by Equal Measures 2030, a joint effort of regional and global organizations.
  • Indicators: It accounts for 14 out of 17 SDGs (sustainable development goals) that cover aspects such as poverty, health, education, political representation and equality at the workplace.
  • Methodology: A score of 100 reflects the achievement of gender equality in relation to the targets set for each indicator.
  • Global scenario: Key Findings
  • Altogether, 2.8 billion girls and women live in countries that get either a “very poor” (59 and below) or “poor” score (60 – 69) on gender equality.
  • Just 8% of the world’s population of girls and women live in countries that received a “good” gender equality score (80-89).
  • No country achieved an “excellent” overall score of 90 or above.
  • Denmark with score of 89.3 topped the rankings followed by Finland and Sweden.
  • Key findings for India:
  • India has been ranked at 95th among 129 countries.
  • India’s highest goal scores are on health (79.9), hunger & nutrition (76.2), and energy (71.8). Its lowest goal scores are on partnerships (18.3, in the bottom 10 countries worldwide), industry, infrastructure and innovation (38.1), and climate (43.4).
  • India was ranked 108th on the latest Gender Gap Index released by the World Economic Forum.

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward and importance of such report

Introduction:

SDG Gender Index for 2019 was developed by Equal Measures 2030, a joint effort of regional and global organisations including African Women’s Development and Communication Network, Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation etc. It accounts for 14 out of 17 SDGs (sustainable development goals) that cover aspects such as poverty, health, education, literacy, political representation and equality at the workplace. India is at 95th among 129 countries. A score of 100 reflects the achievement of gender equality in relation to the targets set for each indicator.

Body:

Key findings of the SDG Gender Index:

  • The global average score of the 129 countries (with 95% of the world’s girls and women) is 65.7 out of 100 (“poor” in the index).
  • Nearly 1.4 billion girls and women are living in countries that get a “very poor” grade.
  • Altogether, 2.8 billion girls and women live in countries that get either a “very poor” (59 and below) or “poor” score (60-69).
  • Just 8% of the world’s population of girls and women live in countries that received“good” gender equality score (80-89).
  • Notably, no country achieved an “excellent” overall score of 90 or above in gender equality.
  • Besides, not all countries’ scores on the index correlate with national income.
  • Some countries perform better than what would be expected based on their GDP per capita, and others underperform.
  • With all these, it was highlighted that the world was far from achieving gender equality.

India’s performance:

  • India’s highest goal scores are on health (79.9), hunger & nutrition (76.2), and energy (71.8).
  • Its lowest goal scores are on partnerships (18.3, in the bottom 10 countries), industry, infrastructure and innovation (38.1), and climate (43.4).
  • On indicators that define the goals, India scored 95.3 on the percentage of female students enrolled in primary education who are overage.
  • In the proportion of seats held by women in national parliament, India scored 23.6; women made up 11.8% of Parliament in 2018.
  • On seats held by women in the Supreme Court (4%), India has a score of 18.2.
  • Overall, India largely performs as expected based on its GDP per capita.

Gender-based violence in India:

  • Proportion of women aged 20-24 years who were married or in a union before age 18 (27.3%)
  • Women who agreed that a husband/partner is justified in beating his wife/partner under certain circumstances (47.0%)
  • Women aged 15+ who reported that they feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where they live (69.1%)

Conclusion:

The above findings reveal that India is lagging behind in Gender Parity. This was supported by findings in the global Gender Gap index too where India was ranked 108. It is important to empower women who form half of the population to achieve the goals of SDG.


Topic: Role of civil services in a democracy

3) With ever rising complexity of demands as of today, how do you think the role of civil servants has been changing in shaping the democracy of today’s world countries?(250 words)

Governance by Lakshmikanth

Why this question:

The question is about discussing the importance of civil services in shaping the democracy with changing times.

Demand of the question:

Answer is straightforward and one must discuss details of how civil services shape democracy with changing times.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Start with highlighting the importance of civil servants and their services in a democracy.

Body

There is not much to deliberate as the question is straightforward, one must discuss the fact that times have changed, and with it the democracy has evolved long way

Conclusion

Conclude by reasserting its importance.

Introduction:

The administration of the British era was essentially for the perpetuation of imperial interest and not for the welfare of people. Hence it had the inherently elitist, secretive and irresponsive attitude around it. With it came non responsiveness, bureaucratic delay and red tapism thereby widening the gap between the administration and the common people. Also during the early years of independence the people were completely dependent on government for the provisioning of most goods and services which left the common man at the mercy of the civil services.

Body:

Since Independence, there have been covert and overt changes in administration. The need arose for administrative reforms as people become more aware and their aspirations increased. Also, there was an enormous increase in the scale of the governmental operations. There has been a change in the role of civil servants with evolving changes and challenges in the society.

The politico economic transition:

  • With the opening of the economy in 1991 and the forces of privatization ushering in the administration could not remain unaffected.
  • It had to respond to the changed demands from the government and the functional versatility expected out of it.
  • For instance, the BSNL or Air India being the sole operators in the field suddenly faced competition from private players.
  • Now the administration had to look after efficiency and effectiveness along with economy and equity.
  • An altogether new set of functions started cropping up for the civil servants such as being part of Tribunals, Regulatory bodies and independent commissions.
  • This transition made the civil servants play the role of a watch dog than that of the service provider.

The ICT wave:

  • The wave of Internet and communication technology has deeply touched even the smallest details of our life.
  • In this era of information overload and enhanced accessibility how can the civil services be rigidly working through their non transparent and inwardly looking silos?
  • ICT has ushered in an ease of doing routine work such as file management, record keeping and highly cut down the interaction time.
  • This has left the civil servants with time to better focus on the actual developmental and welfare oriented work that the constitutional ethos expects them to do.
  • With ICT has come in a lot of accountability, better opportunities for people to monitor work or participate through different platforms and thus making the civil servants and their work come into common public scrutiny.

The era of participation:

  • Seventy years since the independence and India has leaped high on its literacy and social awareness paradigms.
  • From legislations like The Right to Information Act to “Maximum Governance , Minimum Government” agendas, from political manifestos of transparency, accountability to social media stepping into governance, popular participation in democratic functioning of the nation is the demand of the day.
  • In this era the administration cannot act as the sole decision maker and has to work in cooperation with the political heads and the people as well thus acting as a bridge.

Collaborative actions:

  • With the passage of time, the role of civil society organisations, in governance, has increased with demands for better governance.
  • The same can be said of the private sector, which is increasingly providing services in several areas, which hitherto were the exclusive preserve of the public sector.
  • Consequently, civil servants should view civil society organisations and the private sector as partners in the process of the country’s governance

Way forward:

  • Any attempt to re-engineer the bureaucracy would have to deal with two aspects.
  • The first would have to address the systems or structures and the other would have to be the professional or attitudinal aspects of civil servants.
  • No civil service structure can be static in its character. It has to be dynamic and has to change with the times.
  • A professional, socially relevant, empathetic and empowering civil service is the thing of the time.

Conclusion:

Thus we see that the role of civil servants has evolved from being an elite and inward looking cog in the administrative wheel to being the facilitator of welfare services on one hand and promoting free market ethos on the other and further needs to become the proactive handler of change. Newer challenges of environmental degradation, nuclear threats, social unrest, terrorism, population pressure and the need of transparency, accountability , equity and participation is at the doorstep. Now the role of a civil servant is not only that of a service provider but a torch bearer of change and a social stabiliser


Topic: Role of civil services in a democracy

4) Elucidate upon the importance of civil services in modern day democracy. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The question is intended to evaluate the role played by civil services in modern day democracy.

Key demand of the question:

The answer is straightforward and is about discussing in detail the contributions made by civil services to the modern-day democracy.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly narrate the significance of democracy.

Body:

The answer to discuss the following aspects –

Discuss how civil services has contributed in bringing scientific and technological development, brought out economic planning, industrial revolution, handle situations of crisis and disasters in a much better way.

Explain how it led to good governance, emergence of welfare state.

Justify how it leads to a strong government, brings out participation etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Civil services or Bureaucracy is an administrative body of officials whose roles are determined by written rules. It’s an impersonal system operating on the basis of calculable rules and staffed by full time appointed officials. Civil Services are the bedrock of public administration. Civil services have assumed more important role in democracy to ensure good governance, both in developing and developed countries.

Body:

A number of factors have contributed the increasing importance of civil service in modern day society:

  • The scientific and technological development: They have led to revolutionary changes in transportation and communication system. The invention of telephone, telegraph, railways and airways has made big government and large scale administration possible.
  • Industrial revolution: It brought about certain changes in society. It led to the growth of large scale industries and factory production, over-crowded industrial towns and urban slums. The factory system also resulted in certain evils such as growth of capitalism, large scale unemployment, exploitation of labour etc. In the interest of socio-economic justice, governments in the developed and developing countries have to assume new responsibilities to set right the bad effects of the above evils. The tasks and responsibilities as well as the importance of civil service have thus vastly increased.
  • Economic Planning: Modern governments have resorted to planning as a method of achieving economic development and goals of welfare state. The new responsibilities relating to planning activities, i.e., plan formulation and implementation and creation of elaborate necessary administrative machinery have naturally widened the scope of public administration. However, in the new liberalized economic reforms, planning as a method of economic development and the administrative functions relating to it are gradually getting diminished.
  • Calamities and crisis: Natural calamities such as earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones have also enhanced the importance of civil services. In the event of occurrence of such natural calamities, the public administrators have to act quickly and undertake rescue operations in order to prevent loss of life and property of the affected people. Thus crisis management is an important function of public administration.
  • Population and the problems of metropolitan cities: The rapid growth of population in almost all the countries of the world, especially in developing countries, has complicated the problems of providing food, shelter, education, health and sanitation etc. to the people. Also, the growth of metropolitan cities has created certain problems peculiar to them. Some of the problems include congestion, growth of slums, housing scarcity, insufficient water supply, increasing urban crime rate etc. $he responsibility for tackling these acute social and economic problems has resulted in the increase in the sphere of activity of civil service.
  • Emergence of welfare state: As a welfare state, governments have to perform major functions such as dispenser of social services, a provider of essential commodities, a manager of key industries and banking services and a controller and regulator of private economic enterprises and activities. This has naturally increased the importance of civil service

Conclusion:

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel described Civil Services as the ‘Steel frame of India’. It is widely recognised that the civil services have contributed to stability in terms of maintenance of peace, the conduct of fair elections, managing disasters and the preservation of the unity of the nation, providing stability and maintaining order in a vast country prone to various conflicts 8 ethnic, communal, regional etc.


Topic : climate change

5) Discuss the potential impact of climate change of world food production.(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question:

The article brings out how Climate change is adversely affecting the production of key crops such as wheat and rice, with some countries faring far worse than others.

Key demands of the question:

The answer should evaluate the effect of climate change of world food production.

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:

Discuss briefly the issue of Climate change on a larger picture.

Body:

Answer is straightforward and must discuss the impact of climate change on world food production. Take cues from the article and discuss the impact in detail on different parts of the world.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the solution, what needs to be done.

Introduction:

Food is one of society’s key sensitivities to climate. A year of not enough or too much rainfall, a hot spell or cold snap at the wrong time, or extremes, like flooding and storms, can have a significant effect on local crop yields and livestock production. Climate change is adversely affecting the production of key crops such as wheat and rice, with some countries faring far worse than others. This is as per research, published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Body:

The impacts of climate change on global food production are mostly negative in Europe, Southern Africa, and Australia, generally positive in Latin America, and mixed in Asia and Northern and Central America. The study found that about half of all food-insecure countries are experiencing decreases in crop production — and so are some affluent industrialised countries in Western Europe.

Crops:

  • The world’s top 10 crops — barley, cassava, maize, oil palm, rapeseed, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugarcane and wheat — supply a combined 83 per cent of all calories produced on cropland. Yields have long been projected to decrease in future climate conditions.
  • Studies observed that climate change causes a significant yield variation in the world’s top 10 crops, ranging from a decrease of 13.4 per cent for oil palm to an increase of 3.5 per cent for soybean, and resulting in an average reduction of about one per cent of consumable food calories from these top 10 crops.
  • Crops like soybean and gram are likely to benefit from higher level of CO2 in atmosphere, which helps in CO2 fertilisation
  • A recent study of global vegetable and legume production concluded that if greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trajectory, yields could fall by 35 percent by 2100 due to water scarcity and increased salinity and ozone.
  • Another new study found that U.S. production of corn (a.k.a. maize), much of which is used to feed livestock and make biofuel, could be cut in half by a 4˚C increase in global temperatures—which could happen by 2100 if we don’t reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Other food products:

  • Climate change will not only affect crops—it will also impact meat production, fisheries and other fundamental aspects of our food supply.
  • Heat waves, which are expected to become more frequent, make livestock less fertile and more vulnerable to disease. Dairy cows are especially sensitive to heat, so milk production could decline.
  • 540 million people around the world rely on fish for their protein and income—but seafood will be impacted by climate change, too.
  • Warmer waters can alter the timing of fish migration and reproduction, and could speed up fish metabolism, resulting in their bodies taking up more mercury.
  • Aquaculture of fresh water species is also affected by sea level rise as saltwater can move upstream in rivers. For example, in the Mekong Delta and Irawaddy region of Vietnam and Myanmar, the booming catfish aquaculture could be affected by saltwater intrusion.

Rising Diseases:

  • Climate change will also enable weeds, pests and fungi to expand their range and numbers. In addition, earlier springs and milder winters will allow more of these pests and weeds to survive for a longer time.
  • For example, new virulent mutant strains of wheat rust, a fungal infection that had not been seen for over 50 years, have spread from Africa to Asia, the Middle East and Europe, devastating crops.

Economic losses:

  • The world population is expected to grow to almost 10 billion by 2050. With 3.4 billion more mouths to feed, and the growing desire of the middle class for meat and dairy in developing countries, global demand for food could increase by between 59 and 98 percent.
  • Immediate impact on supply, causing price shocks and volatility that spread across sectors and borders.
  • A severe summer drought in 2012 reduced shipping traffic on the Mississippi River, a major route for transporting crops from the Midwest. The decrease in barge traffic resulted in significant food and economic losses. Flooding which followed in the spring caused additional delays in food transport.

Groundwater:

  • Groundwater depletion is a slow-building pressure on our food system.
  • About 10 percent of the crops grown in the world’s major food production regions are irrigated with groundwater that is non-renewable.
  • Aquifers are being drained faster than they’re refilling—a problem which will only get worse as the world continues to heat up.
  • This is happening in major food producing regions such as the U.S. Great Plains and California’s Central Valley, and in Pakistan, India, northeastern China, and parts of Iran and Iraq.

Impacts on India’s agriculture profile due to climate change:

  • India is fortunate to have the monsoon, but it is also uniquely vulnerable to rising temperatures.
  • India is ranked 14th on the Global Climate Risk Index 2019.
  • With rain-fed agriculture practised in over 67% of our total crop area, weather variability can lead to heavy costs, especially for coarse grains (which are mostly grown in rain-fed areas).
  • According to one estimate, they may face a 24-58% decline in household income and 12-33% rise in household poverty through exacerbated droughts.
  • India has over 120 million hectares suffering from some form of degradation.
  • Rise in average temperatures would significantly impact our kharif crops.
  • Any significant decline in summer rains would devastate Indian agriculture. Climate change related phenomena have consequences, especially for marginal farmers.
  • They potentially face a huge decline in household income and rise in household poverty through exacerbated droughts.

Way forward:

  • Enhancing the resilience of agriculture to cope with the climate change and the climate variability.
  • Increasing area under permaculture could result in a total reduction of gigatons ofCO2, from both sequestration and reduced emissions.
  • Applying Farm yard Manure, compost or by practising organic farming to improve the soil organic matter which can help in improvement of soil health.
  • Develop climate-smart agriculture practices.
  • Adoption of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) and Organic farming.
  • Building on the current crop insurance program, weather-based models and technology need to be used to determine losses and compensate farmers within weeks (Kenya does it in a few days).
  • Farmers, especially smallholder farmers, need advance warning of emergent weather conditions at local level.
  • Farmers can adapt to climate changes by shifting planting dates and choosing varieties with different growth duration.
  • Interventions related to soil health, water harvesting, improved drainage in flood prone area, artificial ground water recharge and water saving irrigation methods.
  • An Early warning system should be put in place to monitor changes in pest and disease outbreaks.
  • Promoting Drought / temperature tolerant varieties and water saving paddy cultivation methods (System of Rice Intensification (SRI)).
  • Investment in R&D is needed to spur innovations in sustainable climate-friendly and climate-proof productivity, and the private sector can help on this.

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

6) What are heat waves and how are they classified? Discuss the effects of heatwaves on health, environment and economy and suggest how should India be prepared?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The Article discusses in what way heat-wave action plans can help city administrations cope with the worst of summer.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must explain what are heat waves, the causes of heatwaves, effect of heatwaves on health, environment and economy. Also one has to elaborate on the steps that are required to be taken in Indian context.

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:

Begin with a definition of what you understand by heatwaves.

Body:

The answer must discuss the following:

  • Heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.
  • Discuss the criteria used to declare heat wave.
  • Explain the causes and consequences, health impacts of Heat Waves, on economy, environment etc.
  • Quote reasons – why India is experiencing more heat waves, what needs to be done?
  • Conclude with way forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to overcome the challenge.

Introduction:

Heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the pre-monsoon (April to June) summer season. According to Indian Meteorological Department, Heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.

Body:

Effects:

Social:

  • Heatwaves are associated with increased rates of heat stress and heat stroke, worsening heart failure and acute kidney injury from dehydration.
  • Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing morbidities are particularly vulnerable.
  • Promote the spread of diseases like cholera and dengue fever across endemic areas.
  • Increased poverty due to failure of crops and reduced economic activities.

Economic:

  • India lost nearly 75 billion hours of labour in 2017 as a result of rising temperatures.
  • This made sustained work increasingly difficult and negatively affecting workers’ output.
  • The agriculture sector experienced the largest increase in labour loss.
  • Almost 153 billion hours of labour were lost globally in 2017 due to heat, an increase of 62 billion hours from the year 2000.
  • Agriculture sector was more vulnerable compared to the industrial and service sectors because workers there were more likely to be exposed to heat.
  • Since 1990, every region of the globe has become steadily more vulnerable to extreme increases of heat.

State actions towards Heat waves assessing their geographic variations:

  • Key element of many states response strategy has been enhancing health risk communications on the impact of heat waves and how citizens can take simple steps to reduce their exposure and protect their health.
  • Andhra Pradesh:
    • Andhra Pradesh has strong inter-agency coordination across multiple departments
    • Andhra Pradesh has also set up 1168 stations approximately one for every hundred square kilometers for weather forecasting and modelling.
    • It has developed a mobile app to disseminate information about heat waves and advice on precautionary steps; the app is available in English and Telugu.
  • Telangana:
    • Telangana developed one of the first state-wide heat action plans in 2016.
    • The state is now integrating the heat action plan with its action plan on climate change.
    • The Telangana plan focuses on training district officials and health staff
  • Odisha:
    • It has declared heat waves as a state specific disaster.
    • It is developing local thresholds and analyzing vulnerability of communities in different parts of the state.
    • Odisha’s activities focus on awareness raising, capacity building and training of healthcare staff, interagency coordination, and enabling provision of water for vulnerable communities.
  • Various states and municipalities have introduced early warning systems, public awareness campaigns and increased training for medical professionals.
  • Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Odisha have made pioneering efforts with respect to heat-health warning systems (HHWS).
  • Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has adopted a heat action plan which necessitates measures such as building heat shelters, ensuring availability of water and removing neonatal ICU from the top floor of hospitals.
  • Such warning systems include providing weather forecasts in advance, issuing warnings to people, providing readiness of emergency response systems, and preparing doctors and health facilities to handle a sudden influx of patients. Warnings facilitate people in taking appropriate actions against heat-related harm.
  • Access to cool environments remains the mainstay of preventing heat stress:
    • In rural areas, where electricity access is a challenge, supplementing power supply of primary health centres with solar-based systems should be undertaken. Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Tripura have already deployed such systems.

Way forward:

  • In 2016, the National Disaster Management Agency prepared guidelines for state governments to formulate action plans for the prevention and management of heat waves, outlining four key strategies:
    • Forecasting heat waves and enabling an early warning system
    • Building capacity of healthcare professionals to deal with heat wave-related emergencies
    • Community outreach through various media
    • Inter-agency cooperation as well as engagement with other civil society organizations in the region.
  • Scientific Approach:
    • Climate data from the last 15-20 years can be correlated with the mortality and morbidity data to prepare a heat stress index and city-specific threshold.
    • Vulnerable areas and population could be identified by using GIS and satellite imagery for targeted actions.
  • Advance implementation of local Heat Action Plans, plus effective inter-agency coordination is a vital response which the government can deploy in order to protect vulnerable groups.
  • This will require identification of “heat hot spots”, analysis of meteorological data and allocation of resources to crisis-prone areas.
  • The India Cooling Action Plan must emphasize the urgency and need for better planning, zoning and building regulations to prevent Urban Heat Islands.
  • Provision of public messaging (radio, TV), mobile phone-based text messages, automated phone calls and alerts.
  • Promotion of traditional adaptation practices, such as staying indoors and wearing comfortable clothes.
  • Popularisation of simple design features such as shaded windows, underground water storage tanks and insulating housing materials.

Topic:Ethical egoism

7) What do you understand by ethical egoism? How does it influence one’s ethical behaviour? Discuss. (250 words)

Ethics by lexicon

Why this question:

The question is about discussing the concept of ethical egoism. discuss its pros and cons, explain how it impacts ones ethical behaviour.

Key demand of the question:

Answer should discuss concept of ethical egoism and its effect on one’s ethical behaviour.

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:

In a few introductory lines explain what is ethical egoism.

Body:

One must cover the following aspects in the answer –

  • Ethical egoism is the view that people should in fact act according to their self-interest. Ethical egoists argue that people do not often pursue their self-interest, but that they should in fact do so. Acting in self-interest means that we should do what maximizes our happiness and minimizes our unhappiness.
  • This is a form of hedonism (derived from Greek word “hedon” which means happiness or pleasure); a doctrine which proposes that one should maximize one’s happiness and minimize one’s unhappiness.
  • Then move on to discuss its positives and negatives.
  • Explain how it influences one’s ethical behaviour.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance.

Introduction:

Ethical egoism is the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest. It differs from psychological egoism, which claims that people can only act in their self-interest. Ethical egoists argue that people do not often pursue their self interest, but that they should in fact do so. Acting in self interest means that we should do what maximizes our happiness and minimizes our unhappiness. This is a form of hedonism; a doctrine which proposes that one should maximize one’s happiness and minimize one’s unhappiness.

Body:

Ethical egoism impacts ethical behaviour in both ways – Negative and positive.

Negative Impacts:

  • Universalisation of selfishness: Ethical egoism is often equated with selfishness, the disregard of others’ interests in favour of one’s own interests. If everyone adopts ethical egoism, it will result in universalisation of selfishness and self centredness.
  • Contradictions with altruism: Although ethical egoism has some appeal, the theory has been almost universally rejected as an acceptable ethical theory. One of the most basic criticisms is that ethical egoists typically misrepresent altruism, the doctrine that opposes ethical egoism and basis morality on a concern for others’ interests.
  • Doesn’t resolve conflicts of interest: If ethical egoism were more widely followed, sooner or later, someone’s interests would conflict with another’s interests. In such a circumstance, it would be impossible for both to pursue their own interests simultaneously.
  • Against public service principle: Ethical egoism put self interest before the public interests can lead to decline in the accountability, transparency and ethical standards of the organization.
  • Ignore interests of future generations: For example, it is necessary to reduce GHG emission to guard against climate change. Ethical egoism will imply that, there is no need to worry about them.

Positive impacts:

  • Ethical egoism cannot be coherently equated with selfishness because it is often in one’s self-interest to help others or to refrain from harming them. For example, Ayn Rand (advocate of ethical egoism) contends that it would be absurd to claim that a husband who spends a fortune to cure his wife of an illness does so entirely on her behalf. For an ethical egoist, the motivation to help family members and friends is one’s personal connection to them and the distress that would be caused by their misfortune or suffering.
  • Mandeville put forth the view that self interest is the sole criterion of rightness. Self preservation is first law of existence. Individuals in pursuing their self interest also promote the society’s general interests.
  • All of our commonly accepted moral duties, from doing no harm unto others to speaking always the truth to keeping promises, are rooted in the one fundamental principle of self-interest. Following ethical values makes one happy and thus, ethical egoism promotes ethics values.

 Conclusion:

Even while pursuing selfish ends, people have to ensure that they can pursue such ends over the long term. If people are too brazen or aggressive in pursuing their selfish ends to the extent of riding roughshod over others, they will meet resistance, people will be wary of them and will avoid them. Then they cannot pursue their ends. Therefore, even while pursuing selfish ends, one has to be prudent and ensure that they do not lead to backlash from others