SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 MAY 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 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, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues.

1) Manual scavenging in india still remains a lethal Filth. Critically Analyse the statement with emphasis on initiatives taken by the government in this direction and reason for their failures.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

While expressing concern over the continuing practice of manual scavenging, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson H.L. Dattu recently stated that just putting in place laws was not enough, they need to be implemented proactively.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must briefly discuss the menace of manual scavenging looming the country even today despite so many initiatives taken by the government. One has to critically analyse the causes of it and discuss the way forward.

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

In a few introductory lines explain the general conditions of scavenging in India.

Body

The answer must explain the following aspects:

  • What are the conditions of manual scavengers in India today?
  • What are the government initiatives present?
  • Why are most initiatives failing to address the issue?
  • Discuss the existing challenges.
  • Why is the condition more appalling in urban regions?
  • Discuss the causes of the above – societal, political and economic aspects.
  • Explain what are the consequences of it on the society.

Conclusion

Conclude with what needs to be done to overcome such a social issue.

Introduction:

Manual scavenging refers to the practice of manually cleaning, carrying, disposing or handling in any manner, human excreta from dry latrines and sewers. Despite banning it 26 years ago through a law, technological advancements increasing sensitivity to human rights, manual scavenging persists in India. The National Human Rights Commission recently rapped the Government about its seriousness to end manual scavenging

Body:

State of Manual Scavenging in India:

  • Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) released in 2015, states that there were around 18 million manual scavenging households in rural areas.
  • A government survey identifies 12,226 manual scavengers in 12 states. Most septic tanks are emptied manually in Indian cities.
  • The lack of proper safeguards puts manual scavengers at risk of infections, which are occasionally fatal.
  • Statistics show that 80% of India’s sewage cleaners die before they turn 60, after contracting various infectious diseases.
  • The biggest challenge before the government is to check on private firms, which illegally engage people to clean sewers manually.
  • Recently, Delhi Jal Board has prepared a Standard Operating Procedure for cleaning of sewers.
  • The National Policy on Faecal Sludge and Septage Management, 2017, states that employment of manual scavengers is illegal, but it does not suggest mechanical alternatives to unclog septic tanks, drains and sewers

Government Initiatives regarding Manual Scavenging:

  • The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act was passed by the parliament in 1993, and set imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of Rs 2,000 for pushing a person to manual scavenging.
  • Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers(SRMS), a successor scheme to NSLRS ( National Scheme for Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers and their Dependents), was introduced in 2007 with the objective to rehabilitate remaining manual scavengers and their dependents in alternative occupations, in a time bound manner.
  • Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 came into effect from 6thDecember, 2013. This Act intends to achieve its objectives of eliminating insanitary latrines, prohibition of employment as manual scavengers etc.
  • The act says National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) would monitor implementation of the Act and enquire into complaints regarding contravention of the provisions of the Act.
  • Under the provision, no person, local authority or agency should engage or employ people for hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks
  • Mechanised cleaning of septic tanks is the prescribed norm.
  • A violation can be punished with two years of imprisonment or fine or both.
  • Supreme Court issued a slew of directions in 2014 to prevent and control the practice and also to prosecute the offenders.
  • It also directed the government to pay a compensation of 10 lakh rupees to the family members of those killed in acts of manual scavenging since 1993.
  • Also, the right to live with dignity is implicit in the Fundamental Rights guaranteed in Part III of the Constitution. Article 46 of the Constitution, on the other hand, provides that the State shall protect the weaker sections particularly, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
  • In spite of a well-funded programme such as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in operation, little attention is devoted to this aspect of sanitation.

Challenges in banning manual scavenging:

  • However, the dehumanising practice of manual scavenging, arising from the continued existence of insanitary latrines and a highly iniquitous caste system, still persists in various parts of the country.
  • Design: Septic tanks are designed badly. They have engineering defects which means that after a point, a machine cannot clean it.
  • Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, millions of septic tanks are being built in rural India
  • By 2019, some 30 million septic tanks and pits would have been dug along the Ganga. If the Central, state and local sanitation programmes do not take up faecal sludge management as a priority, the onus will shift to the lowest rung of the society to clean millions of dry toilets.
  • Sewage issues: Many cities do not have sewerage that covers the whole city. Sometimes, sewage lines are connected to storm water drains which get clogged and demand human intervention.
  • Open drains: Open drains are also badly designed, allowing people to dump solid waste into them, which accentuates the problem. Improper disposal of sanitary napkins, diapers etc clog the drains, which machines cannot clear.
  • Manual scavenging is not only a caste-based but also a gender-based occupation with 90 per cent of them being women.
  • Irony of Swachh Bharat Mission: On the one hand it aims at protecting dignity of women by providing them with private sanitation spaces, and on the other, it is perpetuating humiliation of women manual scavengers as they are the ones who clean human excreta from dry-pit latrines.
  • Legislative failure: In 2013, the ‘Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act came into force. However this law leaves people helpless.
  • In the earlier Act, the district magistrate had the power to solve all the cases, but that’s not the case with the current one. If the assigned public official isn’t doing his duty of identifying manual scavengers and processing their rehabilitation, there is no mechanism to pull them up
  • The Act does not address critical aspects of provisions like the rehabilitation of those who were liberated from manual scavenging before passing the law in 2013.
  • Liberated manual scavengers regularly face brutal atrocity and violence.
  • Safety issues: Requirements of oxygen cylinder, torches, and constant monitoring of workers through computers etc. are not mentioned in the act and hence are not provided to the cleaners.
  • Lack of education: Low level of education, awareness about their rights, laws and low self esteem force them to take such work.
  • National Safai Karamcharis Commission which was mandated to implement the act has not been functioning properly. Its website has not been updated about recent developments and new initiatives.

Measures needed:

  • It is a social and gender issue and can be eradicated by sensitising people about its ills.
  • We need to strike at the root cause —caste prejudice as Raja Ram Mohan Roy said that change should come from society itself.
  • Ensure discrimination-free, secure and alternate livelihoods by providing skill development and livelihoods training to women
  • Create a favourable environment through community awareness and sensitization of local administration.
  • Build the capacity of the community to promote rehabilitation efforts and self-reliance and also build leadership in the community with a particular focus on Dalit women
  • Requires a comprehensive approach that moves beyond expanding income generation or providing loans, to secure the future of the next generation of liberated manual scavengers.
  • Need to demolish and rebuild old facilities lacking sanitation
  • Raising the confidence level among those engaged in manual cleaning is vital
  • Need for political will to eradicate this inhuman practice.
  • Improving educational status among the children of the scavenging community
  • Swachh Bharat Mission may be used to actively target conversion of insanitary latrines on priority basis.
  • Liberated manual scavengers must be linked to social security and other welfare schemes to ensure that they are not dependent on this inhuman work for their survival.
  • Bio-toilets: Bio-digester toilets are designed to convert human waste into gases and manure.
  • The zero-waste bio digester technology uses psychotropic bacteria to break down human excreta into usable water and gas. Once applied, the bacteria can work for a lifetime.

Topic:  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

2) What do you understand by ‘Shanghai spirit’?  Discuss what is the strategic importance of SCO for India?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The Indian delegation is participating in the second Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Mass Media Forum at Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. Thus it is important for us to analyse the its importance for India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate what is Shanghai’s spirit and its significance to India.

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 Shanghai spirit.

Body:

Body of the answer to capture the following dimensions:

  • The Shanghai Spirit — the core value of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) — has played a significant role in safeguarding regional security and promoting regional development.
  • The “Shanghai spirit” is about mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development among the SCO members.
  • Then move on to discuss Why SCO is important for India?

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward.

Introduction:

The Shanghai Spirit — the core value of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) — has played a significant role in safeguarding regional security and promoting regional development. The SCO’s undergirding values, which feature mutual trust, mutual respect, equality, respect for diverse civilizations and pursuit of shared development, was born together with the Shanghai Five mechanism, the precursor of the SCO. SCO’s main objective is working cooperatively against terrorism, separatism, and extremism.

Body:

The “Shanghai Spirit” is the SCO’s driving philosophy. It emphasises

  • harmony
  • working by consensus
  • respect for other cultures
  • non-interference in the internal affairs of others
  • non-alignment

Strategic importance of SCO for India:

  • India has challenges to address and opportunities to harvest in the SCO summit.
  • Security:
    • India through RATS can improve its counterterrorism abilities by working toward intelligence sharing, law enforcement and developing best practices and technologies.
    • Through the SCO, India can also work on anti-drug trafficking and small arms proliferation.
    • Cooperation on common challenges of terrorism and radicalisation.
  • Energy:
    • India being an energy deficient country with increasing demands for energy, SCO provides it with an opportunity to meet its energy requirements through regional diplomacy.
    • Talks on the construction of stalled pipelines like the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline; IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India) pipeline can get a much needed push through the SCO.
  • Trade:
    • SCO provides direct access to Central Asia – overcoming the main hindrance in flourishing of trade between India and Central Asia.
    • SCO acts as an alternative route to Central Asia.
    • Economic Ties – Central Asian countries provide India with a market for its IT, tele-communications, banking, finance and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Geopolitical:
    • Central Asia is a part of India’s Extended Neighbourhood – SCO provides India an opportunity to pursue the “Connect Central Asian Policy”.
    • Helps India fulfil its aspiration of playing an active role in its extended neighbourhood as well as checking the ever growing influence of China in Eurasia.
    • Platform for India to simultaneously engage with its traditional friend Russia as well as its rivals, China and Pakistan.
    • The SCO provides the only multilateral platform for India to deal in close proximity with Pakistan and Afghanistan
  • Hydrology:
    • A MoU signed during the 2018 summit concerned the sharing of hydrological information on Brahmaputra
    • The agreement enables China to provide hydrological data in flood season from May 15 to October 15 every year.
    • It also enables the Chinese side to provide hydrological data if water level exceeds mutually agreed level during non-flood season.
  • Pakistan :
    • The summit provides an opportunity for the Indian and Pakistani leaders.
    • They could meet informally on the sidelines of a multilateral event.
    • The two sides are obliged to cooperate on issues of mutual interest without bringing in their bilateral disputes.
    • Signing off on joint counter-terrorism exercises will be a new form of engagement between the two militaries.
  • China:
    • After the Wuhan meet, the SCO summit will provide another opportunity for cooperation.
  • Russia:
    • Russia has been India’s staunchest supporter in the SCO.
    • It has lobbied hard with Beijing for years to ensure India’s entry into the grouping.
    • India is clear that its relationship with Moscow would not be impacted by the West’s approach towards it.
  • Iran:
    • Iran is an observer state that has applied for full SCO membership.
    • India has a powerful strategic interest in Iran’s Chahbahar port.
    • The US administration is hostile to Iran.
    • But India has been seeking to signal to US, the alignment of interests in Chahbahar.

Way forward:

  • Joint commitment, respect for human rights and the rule of law, will build and strengthen the cooperation needed to respond to global challenges.
  • To ensure fair globalisation, nations must have the necessary domestic resources and capacities to steer their economies and development agendas.
  • Openness and partnership between countries can make a critical contribution to strengthening security and bringing about prosperity.
  • Connectivity in the SCO region must be given priority.
  • Increasing awareness of our shared cultures can help boost tourism

Conclusion:

Thanks to the Shanghai Spirit, the SCO has become a paradigm of global and regional cooperation, and serves as a model of efficient cooperation by paying equal attention simultaneously to economic development and security cooperation. SCO is a potential platform to advance India’s Connect Central Asia policy. Thus, India must make use of the platform to secure its interests vis-à-vis the challenging neighbours China and Pakistan.


Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/ or affecting India’s interests.

3) Comment on the aspects that are turning SAARC futile and dysfunctional. What steps should be taken to make it more relevant and workable in the present conditions?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is about discussing the problems facing SAARC and the futility and ineffectiveness that is being witnessed by the partnership.

Demand of the question:

The answer is straightforward and must discuss the reasons of SAARC’s ineffectiveness and dysfunctionality.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

  • Although conceptualized to collaborate on common problems of member nations like low intra-regional trade, infrastructure, sustainable development and poverty alleviation, SAARC has failed to be effective and turned dysfunctional due to the following reasons:
  • The success of European Union was facilitated by France and Germany, the two bitter rivals, coming together. In contrast, India and Pakistan, the two big rivals could not come to common terms.
  • SAARC charter doesn’t allow discussion of bilateral issues as a result of which the contentious issues continue to simmer and countries are not able to come forward.
  • Trade barriers: Tariff and non-tariff barriers have also played their role in keeping the level of integration low while Pakistan hasn’t extended MFN status to India with so many items been put under the ‘negative list’
  • Failure to ensure single window clearance and removal of clumsy procedures resulted in high cost trade inhibiting the growth potential of the region.
  • Non-availability of adequate infrastructure in the form of roads and cargo/ship handling equipment has also hindered the progress.
  • Due to same agriculture produce like Basmati rice in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh scope of trade is also inherently less.
  • Regional problems: Srilankan Tamil issue, Bangladesh’s political conflict, Nepal’s unstable terrain, and political instability in Pakistan further aggravated by militancy creating real bottlenecks in developing the region.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way ahead.

Introduction:

SAARC was set up in 1985 and today it has 8 members: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Srilanka. Afghanistan joined SAARC only in 2007. SAARC member nations cooperate on a range of issues from agriculture, economy, poverty alleviation, S&T and culture to encourage people to people contact.

Body:

SAARC aims at integration of south Asian nations for undertaking collective efforts to achieve common objective of regional stability and prosperity. Despite geographical contiguity and historical and cultural links, the SAARC region remains the most disconnected regions in the world.

SAARC has failed in achieving its objectives because:

  • India-Pakistan rivalry: This has become a bottleneck in achieving effective coordination. India has conveyed that terrorism and talks cannot go on simultaneously.
  • Bilateral issues: Long pending issues between members like fishermen issue between India and Srilanka, Teesta water sharing between India and Bangladesh, lack of direct access to Afghanistan to other members except Pakistan have restricted in arriving at common ground for regional integration.
  • SAARC charter doesn’t allow discussion of bilateral issues as a result of which the contentious issues continue to simmer and countries are not able to come forward.
  • Perceived Big-Brother attitude of India: Asymmetry in the region due to sheer size of Indian economy and stature in international arena requires India to play an over active role. However, this is perceived as big brother attitude by other members creating mistrust.
  • Internal Crises: Almost every member is facing numerous internal crises like Tamils issue in Srilanka, Constitutional crisis in Nepal, religious fundamentalism in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Terrorism and instability in Afghanistan. Consequently, there is no much enthusiasm to achieve collaboration in the sub continent.
  • China’s inroad into SAARC countries: Increasing presence of china in the region and reservations of India with China is creating roadblocks. India cannot match the levels of financing by China. China with its grand plan of BRI has lured the small nations.
  • Poverty- Ridden: Even though the region accounts for 21% of world population, its share in global GDP is just around 3%. Being one of the poverty ridden areas of the world, there is limited avenues to achieve synergy.
  • The lack of finance, research and technology has also hampered trade facilitation, monitoring etc
  • The non-availability of adequate infrastructure in the form of roads and cargo/ship handling equipment has also hindered the progress.
  • Due to same agriculture produce like Basmati rice in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the scope of trade is also inherently less.
  • Tariff and non-tariff barriers have also played their role in keeping the level of integration low, especially since Pakistan hasn’t extended MFN status to India and therefore, with so many items been put under the ‘negative list’.

Effective grouping like SAARC will be beneficial for India

  • The importance of regional cooperation particularly in the spirit of South-South cooperation between geographically contiguous countries cannot be belittled.
  • Seamless physical connectivity: Connectivity between regions increases the economic interaction and collective growth of region. This increases the economic and political bonhomie between nations and its people.
  • Trade and Commerce: Trade liberalisations under SAFTA, operationalisation of SAARC Agreement on Trade in Services (SATIS) have the potential to tackle the developmental deficit together.
  • Common threats of Terrorism, Climate Change impacts, Poverty and Socio-Economic backwardness can be fought together as the problems plague all countries equally.
  • Unexplored and high-potential areas like Power generation, Science & Technology, Sports, Culture can be strengthened through agreements and MoUs.

Measures needed to revive SAARC:

  • SAARC should also seek free and preferential trading arrangements with other regional bodies, notably the EU and the ASEAN. It should also remain fully focused on the SAARC social charter to spread out its reach to the common man.
  • There is a need to focus on small politics instead of big politics to resolve conflict in conflicting regions. This would mean that they focus on economic cooperation and other small ways that can create cooperation and more peace
  • SAARC cannot be effective unless it places itself on a managerial position to achieve regional order, forcing all the members to act mutually in making the region a ‘zone of peace’ and the center for world business.
  • All countries should come together to sort out their differences, either multilaterally or bilaterally. It’s not necessary to sort out the differences but despite that, it is necessary to work with the differences like that of India-China, Japan and China, Russia and Japan.
  • The bilateral issues between member nations should be resolved. Bilateral Issues between India- Pakistan, India- Sri Lanka, Pakistan- Afghanistan etc. must be improved with serious engagement and collaboration – working together to bring peace and stability as a common good in the region.
  • Information on terrorism, trafficking, smuggling etc. must be shared and joint exercises must be conducted to build mutual trust and capability.
  • SAARC needs to work on Improving infrastructure and regional connectivity – Collaboration in scientific research, universities exchange programs, tourism etc. will have a positive effect on relations among countries.

Conclusion:

SAARC has the potential to transform the South Asian Region. Mutual mistrust and non-cooperation should not be allowed to undermine this potential. SAARC should function as an autonomous institution by which driving principles, strategic actions, and rules of law can be implemented in a way that is relevant to both, its own members and other rising powers.


Topic :  . Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.

4) What is the significance of Leader of opposition in Indian Polity? Explain in what way an effective opposition is crucial to an effective democracy?(250 words)

hindustantimes

Why this question:

The article discusses about the current situation of the Congress party which is unlikely to get the post of the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha for a second time in a row as it has yet again failed to get 10% seats in Parliament’s lower House.

Key demand of the question:

Answer must discuss the significance of the post of leader of opposition.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines state the current situation of LoP.

Body:

In brief discuss what you understand by Leader of opposition? significance of it in Indian polity, what are the nuances of the office of LoP. Why is it essential etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance of the office in a democracy.

Introduction:

The Leader of the Opposition is the politician who leads the official opposition in either House of the Parliament of India. To claim the status of “official opposition” in either house a party has to secure 55 seats (10%) of the seats in the Lok Sabha and likewise 25 (10%) of the seats in the Rajya Sabha. It is a statutory post defined in the Salaries and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977.

Body:

Significance of the office:

  • In view of the importance of the opposition in a parliamentary democracy, the office of the Leader of the Opposition is indeed one of responsibility.
  • LoP is referred to as the ‘shadow Prime Minister’.
  • She/he is expected to be ready to take over if the government falls.
  • The LoP also plays an important role in bringing cohesiveness and effectiveness to the opposition’s functioning in policy and legislative work.
  • LoP plays a crucial role in bringing bipartisanship and neutrality to the appointments in institutions of accountability and transparency – CVC, CBI, CIC, Lokpal etc.
  • LoP among other things, watches for encroachments on the rights of minorities, demands debates when the Government is trying to slide away without parliamentary criticism.
  • LoP must be in his place even more constantly than the Prime Minister.
  • LoP must be familiar with all the tricks of skilled parliamentarian and all the opportunities of the rules of the House

 Reforms needed:

  • No matter whosoever gets the majority, the LoP is critical to effective functioning of the opposition in the Parliament.
  • Now that there is a law recognising the LoP, passed by the Parliament, it has to be enforced and
  • It can’t be overlooked or undermined, no matter what the flexibility or ambiguity that exist in the legal framework.
  • There arises a problem when no party in opposition secures 55 or more seats.
  • In such situations, the numerically largest party in the opposition should have the right to have a leader recognised as leader of the opposition by the speaker.

Conclusion:

Under India’s almost unique system of government, the Leader of an Opposition has a very special responsibility towards the Parliament and to the nation. At moments of danger, moments specialty of foreign danger, and particularly also in matters affecting the security and safety of the realms. While he remains a critic he must in a sense be, a partner and even a. buttress of the Government to which he is opposed. This dual responsibility he must discharge with fidelity


Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

5) What do you understand by Green New Deal (GND)? Evaluate its prospects for India’s ailing economy.(250 words)

livemint

 

Why this question:

The question is around the concept of Green new deal and the prospects it has for Indian economy.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss what is the concept of GND, its prospects and way forward.

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:

write a few introductory lines on the importance of such concept.

Body:

    • Answer should have the following dimensions covered:
    • Discuss the concept of Green New Deal – It is a big, bold transformation of the economy to tackle the twin crises of inequality and climate change. It would mobilize vast public resources to help us transition from an economy built on exploitation and fossil fuels to one driven by dignified work and clean energy.
    • Explain What is the Green New Deal proposal?
    • Discuss how The Green New Deal could work in India too, allowing for a qualitative difference to the economy.
    • Take hints from the article and discuss at depth.
  • Conclusion –

Conclude with significance and what should be the way forward.

Introduction:

Green New Deal (GND) is a set of proposed economic stimulus programs in the United States that aim to address climate change and economic inequality. The GND “is a four-part programme for moving America quickly out of crisis into a secure, sustainable future”. The name refers to the New Deal, a set of social and economic reforms and public works projects undertaken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. It combines Roosevelt’s economic approach with modern ideas such as renewable energy and resource efficiency.

Body:

It includes seven goals previously introduced by Ocasio-Cortez:

  • Shift 100 percent of national power generation to renewable sources.
  • Build a national energy-efficient “smart” grid.
  • Upgrade all buildings to become energy efficient.
  • De-carbonize manufacturing and agricultural industries.
  • De-carbonize, repair, and upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, especially transportation.
  • Fund massive investment in the drawdown and capture of greenhouse gases.
  • Adopting these goals would make “green” technology, industry, expertise, products, and services a major U.S. export.

GND and India:

  • There are two main reasons why GND might find ready acceptance in India.
  • One, it meets India’s push to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and stack up large capacities in renewable energy generation.
  • Two, public sector’s importance in the GND blueprint aligns with ruling party’s social-democrat tilt in economic policy.

GND’s prospects for India’s ailing economy:

GND might work in India too, with some modifications to fit in with Indian conditions.

The three main targets of GND stand out: decarbonization (accelerated electrification of vehicles is one way), jobs creation (which converts GND mainly into an economic transformation policy and less of an environment policy) and protection for those hit hardest by the transition.

  • Economic Impact:
    • Businesses can create a profitable competitive advantage by adopting Green New Deal goals.
    • States have already set goals to become carbon-free.
    • The Green New Deal funds new jobs, including installing solar panels, retrofitting coastal infrastructure, and manufacturing electric vehicles. It asks for new trade rules to stop “the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas.”
    • It recognises that public funds would be needed for these changes and need to be leveraged.
  • Infrastructure:
    • The resolution requires that any new infrastructure spending must address climate change.
    • It wants the government to push for more zero-emissions vehicles and invest in high-speed rail and other public transit.

Way forward:

  • GND has found tremendous support among the youth in the US which has been participating in mass political action to not only push for legislation but to also shake up an inert political class in denial about global warming and climate change.
  • A pan-US youth movement called the Sunrise Movement is trying to forge a consensus in the Democratic Party to support GND.
  • Student politics in India motivates multiple voices to either immediately ask why students should get involved in politics, or provide unwarranted advice on how students should focus only on studies (actually exams) and not get distracted by politics.
  • However, most college students are eligible to vote. Therefore, asking them to make a judgement call on politics at the municipal, state and national level but to block their political instincts once they enter the campus is asking for a compartmentalized personality.
  • The political expression of issues that affect them, like global warming or climate change must be expressed.
  • India needs its Sunrise moment.

Topic:  Ethical dilemma based case.

6) Discuss the significance of ethical accountability in public services also explain what are the challenges in achieving it?(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

 

Why this question:

The question is to address the significance of ethical accountability and the challenges in achieving the same in public services.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must brief about what is ‘ ethical Accountability’, how does it matter in public services, what are the challenges in achieving the same and how to overcome it .

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 define what you understand by ethical accountability.

Body:

Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office. public servants are accountable both to the political executive and to citizens for ensuring responsive, transparent, and honest policy implementation and service delivery. But ensuring accountability for performance is not a simple task in government services; there are immense complexities involved in making public officials answerable for output and outcomes.

Discuss then the challenges faced in achieving it and suggest what needs to be done?

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of such virtues in Public services.

Introduction:

Accountability in ethics is taking ownership for outcomes (successes or failures) while addressing performance issues fairly and promptly. The ability of citizens to demand accountability and more open government is fundamental to good governance.

Body:

Importance of Accountability in Good Governance:

  • Accountability ensures rule of law and respect for institutions.
  • It ensures transparency in operations by having checks and balances and time-bound service delivery.
  • It ensures commitment to promises, manifestos and citizen’s charters.
  • It empowers citizens and aids their development through citizen-centric policies.
  • It ensures judicious use of public funds and resources and hence, infuses the efficiency in governance.
  • It reduces corruption and builds trust among the governors and the governed.
  • Ensures that the grass roots level problems are effectively addressed.
  • Improves last mile outreach and helps bring in a change in attitude of bureaucracy.

Challenges to Accountability:

  • There is a more nuanced understanding that multiple actors – both state and non-state, national and transnational – are heavily involved in the production of public goods, in all stages – from policy influencing to delivery.
  • The influence of corporate interests in the provision of public goods as well as the entry of a large number of unregulated providers poses a big threat to both accountability and inclusion.
  • Current political ideologies and religion are increasingly fracturing shared moral norms.
  • Monitoring and surveillance of citizens and organizations including on the Internet and the use of nationalistic arguments to censor and silence people is a real problem as accountability work is basically about social actors challenging governments.
  • Information is a core part of any accountability efforts. And evidence-based policy-making has gained credibility within a range of development actors.
  • Powerful actors employ the “4D strategy – deny, distort, distract and dismay”.

Way Forward:

  • To Ensure effective accountability, the following steps can be taken
  • Protection of whistleblowers through legislation.
  • Social Audits by local communities, NGOs. Example: As done in MGNREGA.
  • Use of ICT in service delivery and maintenance of records
  • Encouraging Citizens’ Participation through RTI in local languages.
  • Promoting Competition and discouraging monopolistic attitude among the public service sectors

Conclusion:

Accountability is intended to make public officials answerable for their behaviour and responsive to the entity from which they derive their authority. Accountability also indicates establishing criteria to measure the performance of public officials, as well as oversight mechanisms to ensure that standards are met.


Topic:  case study based on ethics.

7) Discuss any two women social reformers who in your opinion have fought for doing away with societal evils and have proved to be game changer.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is to reflect upon the role of women social reformers and their contributions to the society.

Key demand of the question:

The answer should discuss any two women social reformers in detail who have contributed immensely to the society in doing away with the social evils.

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 state the context of question.

Body:

The answer can vary from one to another. Discuss any two women social reformers of your choice in detail with special emphasis on their contributions with respect to doing away with social evils.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating how their contributions have made a remarkable difference to the society.

Introduction:

Indian women have always been an epitome of beauty, strength, and intelligence. One of the major contributors to the Indian society has been the active participation of some very focussed and dedicated women. The women activists have played a significant role in changing many social evils and have been a shining beacon of hope. Some of them have displayed exemplary devotion in their respective fields.

They managed to bring revolutions by making radical changes in the society. Some of the reformers took up the challenges of breaking the jinx of prevailing caste-system while some fought for the introduction of girls’-education and widow remarriage. The contributions, made by these, simple yet eminent souls towards humanity are really extraordinary. Their activities and thoughts guided the nation to a new beginning.

Body:

Savitribai Phule:

  • Born into a family of farmers in 1831, in Maharashtra, Savitribai was married at the age of 9 to Jyotirao Phule, who was 12.
  • In spite of all this, she later went on to become the first woman teacher in India of the first women’s school in India, which she opened along with her husband.
  • She is considered to be a pioneer in modern Marathi poetry.
  • Savitribai also set up a care centre for widows and encouraged them to remarry. She even fought for the rights of untouchables.
  • In 1852, she started the Mahila Seva Mandal to help create awareness among women of their social status and rights. She is truly an example for women today.

Mother Teresa

  • Mother Teresa was a true follower of humanity. Many people considered Mother as the “reincarnated form of Lord Jesus”.
  • Lower caste and untouchable person who were not touched or treated by doctors or vaidya and died due to lack of medicine and care by their love ones.
  • After seeing the situation of city’s poor people she decided to open a school and also established a home for the persons those are rejected by their families due to untouchable’s diseases.
  • In 1950 she opened ‘The Missionaries of Charity’ only with 12 members.
  • Mother Teresa devoted her entire life in serving the needy and abandoned people of the society.
  • Although her mission started in India, she succeeded in bringing the people of all societies under one roof, i.e. humanity.

Note: You can quote your own examples. Some of the modern day examples include Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy, Kiran Bedi, Irom Sharmila, Pramila Nesargi, Laxmi Agarwal, Jyoti Dhawale etc.

Conclusion:

India is fortunate to have, in its long history, many extraordinary human beings who devoted all their lives for the betterment of the society and for the upliftment of the downtrodden. Women have played an equally significant role in bringing social changes and fighting social evils.