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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 07 JUNE 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 07 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: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

1) What do you understand by Fixed dose Drug Combinations (FDCs)? Discuss their merits and demerits. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article talks about FDCs, the question is to evaluate what are FDC’s, their advantages and disadvantages.

Key demands of the question:

Answer is straightforward and must explain in detail what are FDCs, their merits and demerits.

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

In a few introductory lines define FDCs. – A Fixed Drug Combination is a formulation consisting of two or more

active pharmaceutical products combined in a single dosage form. It

consists of a pre-determined combination and dosages of respective drugs.

FDCs may be used to target a single disease or multiple

conditions/disease.

Body

Discuss the following aspects in the answer:

Advantages of FDCs are:

  • They reduce the pill burden by reducing the number of pills to be
  • taken by the patients.
  • They reduce the risk of adverse reaction compared to higher dose of monotherapy. They are believed to have higher efficacy compared to higher dose of monotherapy.
  • They lead to reduction in overall cost and have least side effect.

Disadvantages of FDCs are:

  • There may not be an FDC available with the exact required
  • combination of drugs for the patient. This can lead to patients getting too much of a particular drug.
  • If there is an adverse reaction from an FDC, it may be difficult to
  • identify the ingredient responsible for causing the reaction.
  • Pharmaceutical companies may also try to evergreen their patents by obtaining exclusive rights to sell an FDC, even though the patent for individual components have expired.

Conclusion

Conclude with their significance.

Introduction:

A fixed dose drug combination is a medicine containing two or more active components (Active pharmaceutical ingredients) in fixed proportions in a single dosage form. Several cough syrups, painkillers and dermatological drugs in India are FDCs. A good example of FDC is the combination of Paracetamol with Ibuprofen. Paracetamol is an analgesic (painkiller) and antipyretic (preventing fever), while Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. This combination cures the acute pain of many types like toothache, body ache etc. Some are marketed with licenses approved only by state regulatory agencies instead of the Drug Controller General of India.

Body:

According to US healthcare provider IMS Health, almost half the drugs sold in India in 2014 were FDC, making it a world leader in combination drugs. The Chandrakant Kokate-led expert panel, which was probing the efficacy of about 500 fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs, suggested quite a number of FDCs are irrational and hence recommended them to be banned.

Merits of FDCs:

  • The basic rationale of making “fixed-dose combination” medicinal products is either to improve patient compliance or to benefit from the synergistic effects of the two medicinal products given together.
  • Cost to customer: Instead of buying two, or more, separate medicines, a patient can buy just one FDC medicine to treat multiple illness symptoms, which typically works out easier on the wallet.
  • Cheaper Manufacturing cost: Pharma companies, meanwhile, love them because it is far cheaper and quicker to combine existing active ingredients to make new products than to discover new medicines and manufacture them separately.
  • Ease of Availability: Mostly sold as the Over the Counter drugs and needs no prescription.
  • FDCs are known to offer specific advantages over the single entity preparations, such as increased efficacy, and/or a reduced incidence of adverse effects.
  • FDCs have shown to be particularly useful in the treatment of infectious diseases like HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, where giving multiple antimicrobial agents is the norm.
  • FDCs are also useful for chronic conditions especially, when multiple disorders co-exist.

Demerits of FDCs:

  • Evades Price Control: pharma companies preferred them to circumvent price control rather than single-ingredient drugs which fall under price control.
  • Market capture: Companies vie with one another for a share of the market for the same class of drugs. In order to provide something ‘new’ to prescribers, they develop and market FDCs (often irrational, but promoted as a unique and innovative product by each company) purely for commercial reasons, and support its sales through sophisticated (and often unethical) marketing strategies.
  • Therapeutic benefits of many combination drugs could be doubtful and some may even pose health risks. Side effects like dizziness, nausea, hallucinations. It is also addictive.
  • FDC drugs are the highest self medication drugs in India. Consumed without prescriptions (especially cough syrups) – Not safe for patients.
  • FDC drugs especially Cough syrups with Codeine are suppressants rather than Curative. Hence, it distorts the perception of patients (that is the better medicine).
  • With FDC drugs, side effects cannot be traced out to a single API. Hence, it may lead to lot of adverse effects on patients. It can leads to complications resulting from adverse interactions of the drugs
  • Antibiotic resistance can be reduced – Since, multiple combinations of same therapeutic value are clubbed together, it provide chance for microbes to develop resistance. Ban may bring some relief in this respect
  • Elimination of irrational drug combinations and control the irrational prescriptions
  • Encourages the use of home remedies having same result without side effects like use of Honey, pepper, turmeric to remedy against Cough and cold.

Way forward:

  • It is not advisable to ban each and every FDC drug considering the huge market size. However, the rationality of FDCs in the future should be determined based on certain key aspects as follows
  • The ingredients in the combination should work by different mechanisms.
  • The pharmacokinetics (effect of the drug in the body) of ingredients must not be widely different.
  • FDC should not have toxins created due to a combination of ingredients.
  • Only those FDCs approved by WHO can be made available

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

2) Evaluate the role played by Swachh Bharat initiative in reducing ground water contamination.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

A recent study by the UNICEF has found that ‘Swachh Bharat (Grameen)’ initiative of the government has helped reduce ground water contamination.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the key findings of the report and explain how the mission has led to reduction in ground water contamination.

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:

In a few introductory lines discuss the Swachh Bharat mission.

Body:

In brief discuss –

  • Discuss the key findings of the report.
  • The Swachh Bharat initiative has led to reduced ground water contamination.
  • The substantial reductions may potentially be attributed to the improvement in sanitation and hygiene practices.
  • Supportive systems such as regular monitoring and behaviour change messaging, which have all been critical aspects of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), also helped reduce ground water contamination.
  • Discuss the present status of the mission.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what more needs to be done, suggest way forward.

Introduction:

The Swachh Bharat initiative of the government has led to reduced ground water contamination. A study by the UNICEF said the substantial reductions may potentially be attributed to the improvement in sanitation and hygiene practices. The report revealed that groundwater is 12.7 times less likely to be contaminated in Open Defecation Free(ODF) villages than non ODF village.

Body:

Key highlights of the report:

  • The study found that, in terms of faecal contamination, non-ODF villages were, on average:
    • 25 times more likely to have their groundwater sources contaminated (12.7 times more from contaminants traceable to humans alone)
    • 13 times more likely to have their soil contaminated
    • 48 times more likely to have food contaminated and 2.68 times more likely to have household drinking water contaminated.
  • Study indicated that these substantial reductions can be attributed to the Improvement in sanitation and hygiene practices, regular monitoring and Behaviour change messaging.

Key role played by Information, Education and Communication (IEC) of SBM:

  • The “Assessment of the reach and value of IEC activities under SBM (Grameen)” was conducted by Dalberg, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • It estimated the scale of IEC activities within the Mission and assessed associated monetary and in-kind costs, and outputs such as reach.
  • SBM mobilized a spend equivalent worth INR 22,000 to 26,000 crores in monetary and non-monetary IEC activities.
  • Of this spend equivalent, cash expenditure on IEC activities spent by the Government, private sector, and the development community was estimated to be between INR 3,500 – 4,000 crores.
  • An average person living in rural India was exposed to between 2,500 – 3,300 SBM related messages over the last five years.

Evaluation of Swachh Bharat Mission:

  • Five hundred and eighty four districts, 5,840 blocks, 244,687 gram panchayats and 541,433 villages are open defecation free (ODF).
  • As of September 2018, the sanitation coverage of India is upwards of 93 per cent and over 465,000 villages have been declared ODF.
  • Towards the end of 2017, an independent verification agency (IVA) conducted the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS), and found that 4 per cent people who had toilets, used them regularly. NARSS also re- confirmed the ODF status of 95.6 per cent of the villages that had been verified ODF by the state governments.
  • Since October 2014, 91.5 million toilets have been constructed and 154.3 million rural households have toilets now.
  • IHHL (individual household latrine application) coverage in all states is in excess of 95 per cent, except Goa and Odisha.
  • Over the last four years, a cadre of 500,000 swachhagrahis has been created who have triggered lakhs of villages to become ODF.
  • The foot-soldiers have helped in geo-tagging toilets, verifying household behaviour, converting old toilets and retro-fitting them, engaging in other forms of cleanliness.
  • Bal Swatchata mission that was launched to inculcate cleanliness values and personal hygiene amongst children. This would go a long way in.
  • The SBM has transformed into a massive ‘Jan Andolan’ created on the ground using information, education, and communication, aiming to bring behaviour change.
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6.1 and 6.2 deals with water and sanitation respectively in which SBM is playing a massive role.

Way Forward:

  • Governmental Initiatives of Swachhata Pakwada Campaigns should be promoted to raise awareness of sanitation and hygiene. Adequate Budgetary Allocation should be given to construct twin-pit toilets at villages, public toilets etc.
  • Teach them young: Children must be taught the importance of Sanitation and hygiene. Initiatives like Bal Swachhata Mission, Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan are pushing forward the objective.
  • Competition raising initiatives like Swachha Survekshan Abhiyan will help in boosting the spirit of cities and towns to improve the ODF status.
  • In places of water scarcity, trains etc. use of bio-toilets can be promoted.
  • Technology like mini-jetting machines, robots to clean the clogged pits as done in Hyderabad and Trivandrum should be emulated in other places to curb manual scavenging.
  • Swachhata Doots, NGOs and CSOs must be involved at the grassroots level to achieve 100% ODF by October 2nd, 2019.

Conclusion:

                The success of the Swachh Bharat Mission is linked to the participation of the people. It depends on people changing their attitudes towards cleanliness, building and using toilets, and maintaining personal hygiene among other things. This means creating a ‘behavioural change’ in an individual is critical to help break old habits and norms.


Topic:  Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive.

3) Discuss the purpose of a cabinet committee while explaining the types and their composition. Why are cabinet committees important in dealing with the big issues of the day and the government’s overall strategy?(250 words)

The hindu

 

Why this question:

The Government recently reconstituted eight key cabinet committees under the Transaction of Business Rules.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail purpose of a cabinet committee while explaining the types and their composition.

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 lines explain what are cabinet committees, The Cabinet Committee are organizations which are instrumental in reducing the workload of the Cabinet. These committees are extra-constitutional in nature and are nowhere mentioned in the Constitution.

Body:

The answer must discuss the following:

  • Types and Composition of Cabinet Committees:
  • Standing Cabinet Committee: These are permanent in nature with a specific job. The Cabinet Ministers are called its ‘members’ while the people without the rank of Cabinet Committee are called ‘special invitees’.
  • Ad-hoc Cabinet Committee: These are temporary in nature and are formed time to time to deal with specific tasks.
  • Composition: The composition of a Cabinet Committee varies from 3 to 8 people. Even Ministers who are not the part of the Cabinet can be added to a Cabinet Committee. Usually, each cabinet committee has at least one Cabinet Minister. The members of the Cabinet Committee can be from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
  • Suggest significance of the committees.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance of these committees.

Introduction:

The Cabinet Committee are organizations which are instrumental in reducing the workload of the Cabinet. These committees are extra-constitutional in nature and are nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. However, the Rules of Business provide for their establishment. The executive in India works under the Government of India Transaction of Business Rules, 1961. Recently, the Union government has released the composition of eight Cabinet Committees, including two new ones — one on Investment, the other on Employment and Skill Development.

Body:

Types and Composition of Cabinet Committees:

Standing Cabinet Committee: These are permanent in nature with a specific job. The Cabinet Ministers are called its ‘members’ while the people without the rank of Cabinet Committee are called ‘special invitees’. Standing committees include the following:

Appointments committee of the Cabinet; Cabinet committee on accommodation; Cabinet committee on economic affairs; Cabinet committee on parliamentary affairs; Cabinet committee on political affairs; Cabinet committee on security; Cabinet committee on investment and growth; Cabinet committee on employment & skill development.

Ad-hoc Cabinet Committee: These are temporary in nature and are formed time to time to deal with specific tasks.

Composition: The composition of a Cabinet Committee varies from 3 to 8 people. Even Ministers who are not the part of the Cabinet can be added to a Cabinet Committee. Usually, each cabinet committee has at least one Cabinet Minister. The members of the Cabinet Committee can be from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Importance of Cabinet Committees:

  • Article 77(3) of the Constitution states: “The President shall make rules for the more convenient transaction of the business of the Government of India, and for the allocation among Ministers of the said business.”
  • The Prime Minister constitutes Standing Committees of the Cabinet and sets out the specific functions assigned to them. He can add or reduce the number of committees.
  • They solve issues and formulate proposals for the consideration of the cabinet and take decisions on matters assigned to them. However, the cabinet is empowered to review such decisions.
  • This device enables ministers to bargain and compromise with each other and this reduces pressure of work upon the cabinet.
  • Consequently, the cabinet is left free to devote itself to more important matters.
  • The committee system safeguards the principle of collective responsibility, which is an essential feature of the cabinet system.
  • These committees facilitate deep examination of the policy issue and effective coordination.
  • Many a times, when an activity/agenda of the Government acquires prominence or requires special thrust, a Cabinet Committee may be set up for focussed attention.
  • In all areas delegated to the Cabinet Committees, normally the decision of the Cabinet Committee in question is the decision of the Government of the day.
  • Ministers of state and deputy ministers who are not members of the cabinet are members of one or more committees. This is a way in which they can and are brought into a closer association with the work of the cabinet.
  • Thus, all ministers continue to be partly responsible for the government’s action. Cabinet committees increase the effectiveness of political control over public services.
  • The public servants are called upon by the committees to justify their proposals and comment on problems under review. This procedure establishes a close interface between a politicians and public servants and ensures that those who formulate policy are reasonably well informed.
  • It also eliminates the possibility of any one department carrying a disproportionate weight of opinion. The committees also act as a collective check on individual ministers and on the Prime Minister
  • In view of the growth in the volume and complexity of the government business, a proper division of labour and effective delegation within cabinet requires committees to perform functions devolved on them by the cabinet.
  • They focus supra-ministry attention on particular sectors of administration. Effective coordination is their major contribution.

Conclusion:

The cabinet committees wield real power of decision on less important general policy matters. Other matters, which must be dealt with in the cabinet, are also whittled in committees. Only the delicate and complex points, or those on which ministers differ, remain for discussion by the cabinet. What has saved the cabinet, as the central decision-making body, is the elaborate network of cabinet committees, which have acted as a clearing house.


Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

4) Buddhism constitutes a key linkage between India and south east Asia. Elaborate.(250 words)

Financialexpress

Why this question:

The question is about the cultural aspects of Buddhism which is a key link between India and south Asia.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects us to discuss the cultural linkages that India shares with south Asia. And the role specifically played by Buddhism in it.

Directive word:

Elaborate – 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:

Begin with brief on India and South east Asian relations.

Body:

Explain how The Buddhist faith, due to its emphasis on peaceful co-existence and its wide pan-Asian presence, lends itself well to India’s soft-power diplomacy, through which India can establish strong relationship with South-Asian nations. Explain the factors that make Buddhism bridge between India and South-East Asia.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Government of India’s ‘Act East policy’ aims at improving economic and political relations with the Southeast Asian region which has had close contacts with India for centuries and is linked culturally and geographically with it. Buddhism remained as the solid foundation for societal and cultural transformation in Asia. It still remains a key anchor for Asian identity and a phenomenon of unprecedented Pan-Asian importance, especially in terms of spiritual connectivity among nations with enduring impact.

Body:

India and Buddhism:

  • Despite the fact that it is host to a relatively small population of Buddhists, India can claim legitimacy in its promotion of Buddhist diplomacy for a number of reasons.
  • First, the Buddhist faith originated in India, therefore granting it singular historical legitimacy.
  • Second, India has numerous sites of importance to the Buddhist faith, such as Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Nalanda.
  • Third, India has nurtured an image of being a protector of the persecuted through the presence of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan parliament-in-exile in Dharamshala.
  • In addition, historical links to Theravada Buddhism mean that India is in a good position to further relations with other Buddhist countries and create conversation between multiple streams of this faith.
  • Successfully leveraging these associations with other Buddhist countries could have an impact beyond the realm of cultural diplomacy, and aid in other areas of foreign policy as well.
  • Deepening ties with Asian nations on the basis of Buddhism could potentially feed into the government’s larger policy objectives, for example, the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, and the ‘Act East’ policy.

Buddhism as a key linkage:

  • Buddhism in India as a Soft Power is different from the conventional sense of the term. India talks about shared cultural development instead of export of culture.
  • The values of peace, accommodation, inclusiveness, and compassion that are part of our societies can be attributed to the influence of the teachings of Lord Buddha and Buddhism.
  • The ideals of Buddhism continue to intersect with the political and economic contexts of many Asian nations with 22% of the world’s population.
  • Buddhism can act as an intensifying factor for Asian emotional bonding and connectivity as it is embedded into their “nationalistic” thinking and actions.
  • Buddhism is not restricted to Asia and has been able to generate a spiritual awakening elsewhere in the world and influenced a stream of philosophical traditions world over.

Way Forward:

  • Effective revitalisation of the Nalanda University project and encouragement of Buddhist studies in well-established universities will bring International community at a common platform.
  • The promotion of Buddhist tourism reminiscent of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign is required to popularise India’s association with the faith internationally.
  • The government faces the crucial challenge of effective execution. Buddhist diplomacy would go a long way in countering the rise of China, strengthening its relations with Asian countries, and helping it further down the path of its regional and global power ambitions.

Conclusion:

Buddhism could become a catalyst for building greater interaction within the Asian community. The country needs to end its apathy towards its heritage of global significance, which is lying largely unattended. It has to simply utilise the Buddhist heritage circuits, improve connectivity and infrastructure so that they could tap millions of Asian pilgrims annually. Most of all, India needs to raise its own capabilities to comprehend the Asian cultural complexities and foster a sense of responsibility towards deepening linkages with the Asian population.


Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

5) Discuss the changing Political Scenario of India with Pakistan, what are the factors contributing to it? Suggest what should be the way forward for peaceful relations amidst the two countries.(250 words)

Epw

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is to evaluate the relations of India and Pakistan.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate in detail the changing Political Scenario of India with Pakistan and the factors contributing to it. suggest way forward for what should be the strategy for the two countries ahead in future.

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 bring out the current state of relations between India and Pakistan.

Body:

Answers must discuss the following aspects –

  • Factors affecting the relationship between the two countries – historical mileage, current turf, terrorism, political differences and ideology etc.
  • Discuss the changing Political Scenario in Pakistan, its impact on India.
  • What needs to be done?

Conclusion –

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The recent spate of events between India and Pakistan after the terror attack at Pulwama has put the bilateral relations at an all time low.

Body:

Changing political scenario of India with Pakistan:

  • The influence of Hindutva in political culture on India’s strategic culture has been traced.
  • It has resulted in a hardening of strategic culture with the bias towards the offensive also resulting from the military’s organisational culture that has been independently penetrated by Hindutva.
  • Political culture with Hindutva as a principal ingredient has had an impact on strategic culture towards strategic self-assertion.
  • Organisational culture has also been separately impacted, through penetration of cultural nationalist thinking, thereby making it receptive to changes in strategic culture.
  • This explains the offensive content in the strategic doctrine—offensive–compellent—reflected in offensive military doctrines.
  • Zero-tolerance to terror attacks, eye-for-an-eye strategy as seen through the surgical strikes.
  • Reinforcing the national security policy on cross-border operations
  • The strategic cultural shift towards an assertive India has long been in the making.

The best possible course of action for India is

  • Strategic:
    • It is time to define the nature and scope of our conflict with Pakistan.
    • As the dominant power in South Asia and one of the world’s leading democracies, India must find a proper answer to what could otherwise become a serious existential crisis.
    • India need to establish a national security doctrine in order to deal with all security issues
    • Surgical strikes with support of the global countries.
    • Strong intelligence network both inside as well as outside the country with effective dissemination to the stakeholders.
    • Water issues should be resolved through the mechanisms provided by the Indus Basin Treaty and should not be allowed to degenerate into a serious source of conflict.
  • Diplomatic:
    • Creating International pressure on Pakistan to curb state sponsored terror.
    • There is a strong need for India to change its approach from Responsive to Proactive.
    • Gaining support of global players to designate terror organizations and its entities as global terrorists.
    • India needs to engage and develop relationships with countries from important organizations like SCO, BRICS and try to enable solutions for the issue of cross border terrorism.
    • This must be bolstered with Dialogues at the highest level to track 2 diplomacies.
    • More avenues for people to people contact need to be encouraged.
  • Economic:
    • Imposing economic and political sanctions on Pakistan and asking the world to follow suit.
    • The recent move of removing MFN status, increasing of import duty to 200%.
  • Technological:
    • Advance technology like drones, thermal imaging etc can be used to monitor the activities in the border and track any violations beforehand.
  • Against cross-border firing:
    • To reduce the destruction of civilian habitats is to lower the calibre of the violations. The two sides could consider withdrawing heavy artillery to 50 km behind the zero line.
    • The two Director-Generals of Military Operations, along with their delegations, could consider holding regular meetings every six months. Data show that every time the leaderships of the armed forces meet, ceasefire violations come down
    • Establishing more flag meeting points between local commanders and responding quickly to meeting requests could lead to better communication and reduced misunderstandings resulting in fewer ceasefire violations.
    • Confidence-building measures should be pursued to alleviate the “trust deficit” but should not be used as a substitute for the resolution of disputes.

Conclusion:

There is a need to embrace an overarching strategic stability regime and to shun aggressive security doctrines to reduce the possibility of a nuclear conflict. The problems of terrorism and Non-State Actors need to be addressed jointly through institutionalised mechanisms. Indeed, India should focus on a different type of a surgical strike; it’s a strike that could push Pakistan out of its terror past and military dependency.


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

6) The Indian fertiliser industry has overlooked the aspects related to environmental pollution, while making improvements in energy efficiency. Critically analyse the statement while suggesting solutions to the problems.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The article captures the pollution caused by the fertiliser industry in detail, it emphasises on the need for a relook at the industry. The industry has been classified under the ‘red category’ of polluting sectors by the Central Pollution Control Board

Demand of the question:

This question seeks to examine the pollution causing factors of the fertilizer industry

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

Start with brief introduction on the fertilizer industry.

Body

Discussion to the answer must state the factors of pollution that the industry is causing, take cues from the article to discuss various reasons that are causing pollution. Cover multiple aspects and suggest what needs to be done.

Conclusion

Conclude with what needs to be done.

Introduction:

Indian soils are generally deficient in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and do not give high yields. It is, therefore, essential to feed these soils with chemical fertilizers so that their productivity increases. The significant contribution made by the chemical fertilizers can be seen from the impact of the Green Revolution on Indian agriculture. The health and growth of the fertilizer industry is vital for increasing the growth of agricultural sector, to meet the food-grain requirements of increasing population as well as increasing contribution to exports.

The industry has been classified under the ‘red category’ of polluting sectors by the Central Pollution Control Board

Body:

Indian Fertiliser industry:

  • Fertilizer as an industry is under the control of the Union Government. Urea dominates the sector.
  • It is the most produced (86%), the most consumed (74%) and the most imported (52%).
  • India’s produces about 80 percent of its Urea fertilizer needs.
  • And the fertilizer industry has the capacity to indigenously meet 50 percent of the country’s phosphatic fertilizers.
  • But India still depends heavily on imports for the raw ingredients for its phosphatic and potassium fertilizers.
  • The public sector undertakings are playing a dominant role in manufacturing chemical fertilizers.
  • At present, there are 11 public sector undertakings under the administrative control of Department of Fertilizers.
  • A number of private companies are also engaged in manufacturing fertilizers. E.g.: IEL (Kanpur), SRC (Kota), D.C.M. (Delhi) etc.

Factors of pollution that the industry is causing:

  • A study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment, a New Delhi-based non-profit, under its Green Rating Project (GRP) revealed the dismal state of pollution control by industries.
  • Out of 52 per cent plants, assessed in the study, 12 plants received directions or show cause and even closure notices for water pollution and air pollution or solid waste mismanagement.
  • There are relaxed norms for the discharge of untreated or partially treated industrial wastewater and emission of air pollutants.
  • Management of solid wastes, particularly hazardous waste was also found to be poor.
  • Pollutant standards for the sector were revised in 2017, but are still relaxed compared to international standards.
  • Nitrogen becomes a pollutant when it escapes into the environment and reacts with other organic compounds.
  • Nitrogen compounds running off farmland have led to water pollution problems around the world, while nitrogen emissions from industry, agriculture and vehicles make a big contribution to air pollution.
  • While most plants are meeting the particulate matter (PM) standards, inefficient air pollution control devices or improper fuel combustion within the systems have led to high emission levels at some plants.
  • There is also no regulation in India for parameters like emissions of gaseous ammonia from urea manufacturing,

Measures needed:

  • There is an urgent need for stricter compliance check systems and enforcement of norms.
  • The momentum for these changes has to be created through robust policies.
  • State Governments and Central Government need to work in tandem to encourage farmers for ecological farming.
  • Farmers have to be educated and taught to change their cropping pattern and move to multiple cropping.
  • Use of bio-fertilisers should be encouraged.
  • There is also a need to shift from fossil fuel based to renewable energy based fertiliser plants.

Conclusion:

Fertilisers are inevitable in our food security and economy as almost half of population is dependent on it. The need of the hour is for better regulation and sustainable ways of producing and using fertilisers which is in sync with SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).