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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 JUNE 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 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) Do you think the draft emigration Bill is more about managing the export of human resources than being a humanitarian framework? Critically analyse. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article provides for a critical analysis of draft emigration policy of India, it brings out the associated concerns and suggests what should be the way forward.

Demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the emigration bill draft in detail and bring out the pros and cons.

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 narration of the features of the Draft emigration bill.

Body

One can have the following points in the answer:

Economic  Growth: A  good  transportation system  is an important selling  point to communities that desire to attract development that provides for employment and growth of a city. If transport costs due to congestion increase, goods and services produced within that city tend to increase in costs  thus losing  competitiveness  in international  markets. Efficient  transportation access  is therefore  a very important  consideration as it  has a direct impact on  sound and sustainable economic growth and productivity. The cost of congestion in the Western Province of Sri  Lanka is over Rs 20,000 million per year (around 2 percent of Regional GDP). This includes the cost of productive time and wastage of fuel.   

Quality-of-Life: To some people, congested highways are a symptom of deteriorating quality-of-life-in a community.  The amount of time that is spent on commuting to and from work is also in reality, time that is taken away from social interactions or pursuit of activities that have a personal value and satisfaction.

  • Discuss about what are the features it currently is providing?
  • Comprehensive emigration management,
  • To institute regulatory mechanisms governing overseas employment of Indian nationals.
  • To establish a framework for protection and promotion of welfare of emigrants.
  • Discuss the key features of the bill in detail.
  • Explain what are the key concerns that still remain unaddressed?

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The draft Emigration Bill 2019 was released by the ministry of external affairs (MEA), and currently pending parliamentary approval. It proposes a new legislative framework for matters related to emigration of Indian nationals. It is set to replace the extant one under the Emigration Act of 1983. The objective of the new legislation is to draw up appropriate regulations that would conform the contemporary global agenda on emigrant matters.

Body:

Key features of the bill:

  • The draft bill proposes a three-tier institutional framework, with the MEA as the nodal ministry.
  • At the top, a central Emigration Management Authority (EMA) has been proposed for policy guidance and supervision.
  • In the middle, a Bureau of Emigration Policy and Planning, and a Bureau of Emigration Administration shall handle day-to-day operational matters and oversee the welfare of emigrants.
  • At the bottom, nodal authorities in states and union territories shall coordinate aspects of management related to both emigrants and returnees.
  • This could allow vertical policy coherence on emigration matters—particularly in promoting and managing safe, orderly and regular emigration.

Importance of the bill:

  • Since 1983, there has been a structural shift in the quantum, nature, pattern and direction of emigration from India.
  • As per the latest World Migration Report published by the International Organization for Migration, India features as the largest country of origin for international migrants (about 30 million in 2017);
  • The largest recipient of remittances (about $80 billion or 5.6 trillion rupees in 2018).
  • Figures in five of the top 20 migration corridors from Asian countries.
  • The government’s attitude towards international migrants has changed over the time.
  • Inclusion of all students and migrant workers within its purview and the abolishment of the two passports (emigration clearance required and emigration clearance not required, or ECR and ECNR) regime based on a person’s educational qualifications.
  • Indians reuniting with family members abroad (who can be Indian emigrants, non-resident Indians and/or foreign nationals) constitute a major chunk of out-migration from India.
  • Studies show that each member of emigrant families often contributes towards remittances sent back home. Many family migrants often convert their immigration status and become workers

Shortcomings of the bill:

Continuation of ad-hoc approach:

  • They continue the post-1983 ad hoc approach towards emigration, relying on the regulation of recruiting agents/employers and the discretion of the government.
  • In fact, the bulk of it focuses on establishing new statutory bodies and giving them broad and vaguely defined duties.

Less focus on White-collared emigrants:

  • The contours of the new bill still appear to focus on managing blue-collar emigration, a la the 1983 Act.
  • While the need for this is clear, since blue-collared workers are more vulnerable to exploitation and migration shocks, the bill must also offer management structures and policies that better reflect the current nature and pattern of emigration—specifically, concerning the aspirations of and challenges for white-collared emigrants.

Family migrants and irregular migrants abroad are as vulnerable, if not more, as workers and students and warrant at least equivalent protection and promotion of their welfare.

Undocumented migrants are excluded:

  • The perception is that undocumented migrants are those persons who leave India through informal channels, but most migrants become irregular on account of expired visas/permits.
  • In West Asia, when migrant workers flee their employers to escape exploitation, a single police complaint can make them ‘undocumented’ for no fault of theirs.

Return Migrants:

  • To effectively ensure their welfare, any emigration policy framework needs to be considerate of the complete migration cycle: the pre-departure, journey, destination and return.
  • The 2019 draft Bill addresses only the first three parts of the cycle while completely ignoring return migration.

The draft Bill personifies the government’s primary view of emigration policy as a means for managing the export of human resources rather than a humanitarian framework to safeguard Indian migrants overseas.

Conclusion:

Migration is a complex and highly dynamic process with constantly evolving profiles of migrants and their destinations. Only an ex ante-migrant rights-based approach that is inclusive of all Indian migrants abroad can be considerate of this and provide them adequate security and welfare. There are a whole host of multilateral migration-related treaties and conventions which can provide the necessary guidance for a truly visionary and future-proof Indian emigration policy framework. The draft Bill’s approach should align to the hard-fought shared objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

2) What is Acute encephalitis syndrome? Discuss the causative agents, do you think authorities failed at several levels in preventing deaths due to encephalopathy in Bihar? Suggest what needs to be done? (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Several children have died in the Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar, due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). The AES cases in Muzaffarpur, Bihar and adjoining litchi producing districts have been observed mostly from April to June, particularly in children who are undernourished with a history of visiting litchi orchards.

Key demand of the question:

The article discusses in detail the policy lacunae in focusing upon the health crisis. One has to analyse the causes and the consequences of the such policy irregularities.

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:

Begin with brief introduction on the background of the question.

Body:

Discussion should include the following:

  • First define what is acute encephalitis syndrome – It is a severe case of encephalitis transmitted by mosquitoes and is characterized by high fever and inflammation of the brain.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006, coined the term AES to signify a group of diseases which seem similar to one another but are difficult to differentiate in the chaotic environment of an outbreak.
  • The disease most commonly affects children and young adults and can lead to considerable morbidity and mortality.
  • Discuss the government initiatives in this direction, what were the lacunae in the policy framework? Etc.
  • Suggest what needs to be done?

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the importance of strong policy framework which is multi -pronged as well as focused.

Introduction:

Acute encephalitis syndrome is a severe case of encephalitis transmitted by mosquitoes and is characterized by high fever and inflammation of the brain. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006, coined the term AES to signify a group of diseases which seem similar to one another but are difficult to differentiate in the chaotic environment of an outbreak. The disease most commonly affects children and young adults and can lead to considerable morbidity and mortality. Several children have died in the Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar, due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)

Body:

Current state of AES in India:

  • The AES cases in Muzaffarpur, Bihar and adjoining litchi producing districts have been observed mostly from April to June, particularly in children who are undernourished with a history of visiting litchi orchards.
  • The outbreak of JE usually coincides with the monsoon and post monsoon period when the density of mosquitoes increases while encephalitis due to other viruses specially entero-viruses occurs throughout the year as it is a water borne disease.
  • Relationship between consumption of litchi and AES was postulated by National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi in acute encephalitis in children, in Muzaffarpur.
  • Unripe litchis contain the toxins hypoglycin A (naturally occurring amino acid) and methylenecyclopropyl-glycine (MCPG), which cause vomiting if ingested in large quantities.

Causative Agents:

  • Viruses are the main causative agents in AES cases, although other sources such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, spirochetes, chemicals, toxins, and noninfectious agents have also been reported over the past few decades. It is not vaccine-preventable.
  • Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the major cause of AES in India (ranging from 5%-35%).
  • Herpes simplex virus, Nipah virus, Zika virus, Influenza A virus, West Nile virus, Chandipura virus, mumps, measles, dengue, scrub typhus, S.pneumoniae are also found as causative agents for AES.

Government Initiatives:

  • In order to reduce morbidity, mortality, and disability in children due to JE/AES, Government of India under National Programme for Prevention and Control of Japanese Encephalitis(JE)/ Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (NPPCJA) has developed a multi-pronged strategy with the convergence of the concerned Ministries.
  • In 2014, 74% of sick children were saved through a simple intervention by infusing 10% dextrose within 4 hours of the onset of illness.
  • Also, the prevention strategy of ensuring that no child goes to bed without eating a meal was adopted from 2015.
  • This ensured a sharp drop in the number of children falling sick.
  • The Bihar government introduced free vaccines at all primary health centres. The current coverage is 70%.
  • The central and state governments have also conducted awareness campaign asking people not to expose their children to sun.
  • Also, ensuring a proper diet and increased fluid intake were insisted.
  • Besides these, early hospital referral and standard treatment for convulsions, high fever and vomiting can save lives.

Despite these measures, there have been deaths due to lack of awareness, poor implementation of the plan to thwart the disease.

Measures needed:

  • Increase access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities
  • Improve nutritional status of children at risk of JE/AES
  • Preparative measures to be in place before the possible outbreaks.
  • Vector control :
    • The preventive measures are directed at reducing the vector (mosquito) density.
    • Personal protection against mosquito bites using insecticide treated mosquito nets.
    • Clothing reduces the risk of mosquito biting if the cloth is sufficiently thick or loosely fitting. Long sleeves and trousers with stockings may protect the arms and legs, the preferred sites for mosquito bites. School children should adhere to these practices whenever possible.
    • Repellents are a common means of personal protection against mosquitoes and other biting insects. These are broadly classified into two categories, natural repellents and chemical repellents. Essential oils from plant extracts are the main natural repellent ingredients, i.e. citronella oil, lemongrass oil and neem oil.
    • The reduction in mosquito breeding requires eco-management, as the role of insecticides is limited.
  • Vaccination: As per Govt. of India guidelines, 2 doses of JE vaccine have been approved to be included in UIP to be given one along with measles at the age of 9 months and the second with DPT booster at the age of 16-24 months w.e.f. April, 2013.
  • Better awareness generation among children, parents through Anganwadi workers, ANMs etc.

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3) Other than pest resistance, what are the prospects for which genetically engineered plants should be cultivated? Discuss the concerns and challenges associated with their cultivation also suggest way forward.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Recently Farmer groups have alleged that Bt brinjal, a genetically modified variety, is being cultivated illegally in Haryana. India banned Bt brinjal in 2010. The debate around BT brinjal started in 2000 when Mahyco (Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co) came up with a GM brinjal. Seeds were exported to Bangladesh and Philippines in 2006, as the civil society resisted field trials in India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the prospects, challenges and concerns associated with cultivation of Bt Brinjal.

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:

Begin with brief introduction on the current context of the question.

Body:

Discussion should include the following:

What are Bt crops? What are their prospects?

Issues and concerns associated to their cultivation?

Explain the effect of it on agriculture system; farmer’s income etc.Provide for pros and cons and draw a balanced opinion.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced opinion as to what needs to be done

Introduction:

Genetically engineered crops (GM crops, or biotech crops) are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified using genetic engineering methods. In most cases, the aim is to introduce a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species. Examples in food crops include resistance to certain pests, diseases, or environmental conditions, reduction of spoilage, or resistance to chemical treatments (e.g. resistance to a herbicide), or improving the nutrient profile of the crop. Examples in non-food crops include production of pharmaceutical agents, biofuels, and other industrially useful goods, as well as for bioremediation

Body:

Advantages of GM Crops other than pest resistance:

  • Food Security: Given the increased growth of global population and increased urbanisation, GM crops offer one of the promising solutions to meet the world’s food security needs.
  • Improved Stress Tolerance: Genes that give greater tolerance of stress, such as drought, low temperatures or salt in the soil, can also be inserted into crops. This can extend their range and open up new areas for food production.
  • Faster Growth: Crops can be altered to make them grow faster, so that they can be cultivated and harvested in areas with shorter growing seasons. This again can extend the range of a food crop into new areas or perhaps allow two harvests in areas where only one is currently practical.
  • More Nutritious Crops: Plants and animals can be engineered to produce larger amounts of essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, helping to solve nutrition problems in some parts of the world. They can also be altered to change the amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and saturated and unsaturated fats that they contain. This could lead to the production of foods designed specifically for a healthy diet for all consumers.
  • Production of Medicines and Vaccines by Crops: It may be possible to have plants and animals produce useful medicines and even vaccines, so that prevention and treatment of human diseases in some places can be achieved cheaply and efficiently through the diet.
  • Resistance to Herbicides: Crops can be modified to be resistant to specific herbicides, making it much easier to control troublesome weeds. Farmers can simply apply the weed killer to a crop field, killing the unwanted plants and leaving the food crop unaffected. For example, GM oilseed rapeseed – the source of canola oil – is resistant to one chemical that’s widely used to control weeds.
  • Better Tasting Foods: Foods can be engineered to taste better, which could encourage people to eat more healthy foods that are currently not popular because of their taste, such as broccoli and spinach. It may be possible to insert genes that produce more or different flavours as well.
  • Economic benefits: GM crops can increase yield and thus income. Genetically modified foods have a longer shelf life. This improves how long they last and stay fresh during transportation and storage.

Concerns/Challenges associated with GM Crops:

  • Human Health Risks:
    • Potential impact on human health including allergens and transfer of antibiotic resistance markers.
    • The impact of growing GM crops poses risks to human health as their resistance to antibiotics can turn medicines ineffective and may result in the formation of new toxins and allergens.
    • Toxins produced by GM crops can not only affect non target organisms but also pose the danger of unintentionally introducing allergens and other anti-nutrition factors in foods.
  • Bio safety concerns:
    • They can reduce species diversity.
    • For example, Insect-resistant plants might harm insects that are not their intended target and thus result in destruction of that particular species.
    • Cross-pollination in GM crops paves the way for herbicide-resistant super weeds that can further threaten the sustenance of other crops and pests because of its uncontrolled growth
    • GM technology could also allow the transfer of genes from one crop to another, creating “super weeds”, which will be immune to common control methods.
    • Viral genes added to crops to confer resistance might be transferred to other viral pathogens, which can lead to new and more virulent virus strains.
  • Implications on Farmers and Consumers:
    • Critics claim that patent laws give developers of the GM crops a dangerous degree of control over the food supply. The concern is over domination of world food production by a few companies
    • National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research’s anticipation that Bt brinjal’s high yield and increased shelf life will benefit consumers and farmers owing to cut in retail price of brinjals ignores the scenario that companies might charge premium prices for Bt brinjal seeds, in which case farmers may not benefit at all.
  • Economic Concerns:
    • Introduction of a GM crop to market is a lengthy and costly process. It has not resulted in high yields as promised.
    • For instance, the highest yields in mustard are from the five countries which do not grow GM mustard — U.K., France, Poland, Germany and Czech Republic — and not from the GM-growing U.S. or Canada.
  • Inefficient Regulatory system:
    • Seeing the lapses in the regulatory system and irregularities in the assessment of Bt brinjal (in terms of labelling and unapproved and illegal sowing of GM crops) Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Science & Technology, Environment and Forests recommended:
    • A thorough probe by a team of eminent independent scientists and environmentalists for commercialization of GM crops.
    • Endorsed labelling GM foods to protect a consumer’s right to know.
  • Ethical Concerns:
    • Violation of natural organisms’ intrinsic values by mixing among species.
    • There have also been objections to consuming animal genes in plants

Way Forward:

  • The government must take decisions on GM technologies on the basis of scientific evidence.
  • Need to start cultivating an environment of openness and transparency to allay genuine fears
  • The government should adopt a participatory approach to bring together all stakeholders to develop regulatory protocols that restore trust in the process.
  • There is a significant uncertainty over their safety, so precautionary principle is that country shall wait till a broader scientific consensus is achieved.
  • Need for better policy, pricing and to rationalize the input costs
  • GEAC needs to be a transparent body. it should put it in the public domain that on what grounds it has approved GM mustard
  • There has to be strong liability laws if there are any environmental hazards or if something goes wrong in future
  • Agriculture is a state subject therefore, it is important for the Centre to take into consideration the views of State Governments as well.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has rightly pointed out in 2004, “Science cannot declare any technology completely risk free. Genetically engineered crops can reduce some environmental risks associated with conventional agriculture, but will also introduce new challenges that must be addressed”.

Topic:  Isues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

4) “Metropolises are going to be a key feature of India’s urbanisation and will play a crucial role in fuelling growth”. Elucidate.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article highlights Global Metro Monitor 2018 reports which says that Nine Indian metros feature in the top 150 ranks of the economic performance index. By 2030, India will have 71 metropolitan cities, of which seven would have a population of more than 10 million.

Key demand of the question:

Amidst growing metro regions in India , the question seeks to discuss the role that the metropolis would play in shaping Indian urban landscape.

Directive:

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:

Begin with brief introduction on the report statistics.

Body:

Discussion should include the following:

First explain what are metropolis – Metropolitan areas concentrate and accelerate wealth as these are agglomerations of scale that concentrate higher-level economic functions.

Discuss how they play a role in changing the urban landscape.

Then discuss the challenges associated with this growing urban picture.

What needs to be done?

Conclusion:

Conclude by way forward.

Introduction:

The Global Metro Monitor 2018 reports that 36% of employment growth and 67% of GDP growth were contributed by the 300 largest global metros, with those in emerging economies outperforming those in advanced economies.

Body:

Relevance of metropolitan cities:

  • Metropolitan areas concentrate and accelerate wealth as these are agglomerations of scale that concentrate higher-level economic functions.
  • Nine Indian metros feature in the top 150 ranks of the economic performance index.
  • By 2030, India will have 71 metropolitan cities, of which seven would have a population of more than 10 million.
  • Clearly metropolises are going to be a key feature of India’s urbanisation and will play a crucial role in fuelling growth.

Metropolis in Indian Context:

  • Article 243P(c) of the Constitution defines ‘metropolitan areas’ as those having “population of ten lakhs [a million] or more, comprised in one or more districts and consisting of two or more municipalities/panchayats/ other contiguous areas, specified by the governor through public notification to be a metropolitan area”.
  • It recognises metropolitan areas as multi-municipal and multi-district entities.
  • It mandates the formation of a Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC) for preparing draft development plans, considering common interests between local authorities, objectives and priorities set by Central and State governments, and investments likely to be made in the area by various agencies.
  • To ensure the democratic character of the MPC, it is mandated that at least two-thirds of the members of the committee must be elected by and from among the elected members of the municipalities and chairpersons of the panchayats in the metropolitan area, proportionate to the ratio of their respective populations.
  • The size and manner of filling such seats are left to the State’s discretion.

Key concerns with Metropolises:

  • India is yet to begin the discourse on a governance framework for the future of its metropolises.
  • It is yet to recognise that disaster management, mobility, housing, climate change, etc. transcend municipal boundaries and require regional-level solutions.
  • The World Bank notes that despite the emergence of smaller towns, the underlying character of India’s urbanisation is “metropolitan”, with towns emerging within the proximity of existing cities.
  • Janaagraha’s Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) 2018 found that only nine out of 18 cities mandated to form MPCs have constituted them.
  • Where constituted, their functionality is questionable, with the limited role of local elected representatives raising further questions on democratic decentralisation.
  • Thus, the provision for an MPC has not introduced robust governance of metropolises, as the metropolises continue to be a collection of parastatals and local bodies in an entirely fragmented architecture.

The City Deals’ model of UK:

  • The U.K. has rolled out ‘City Deals’, an agreement between the Union government and a city economic region, modelled on a ‘competition policy style’ approach.
  • The city economic region is represented by a ‘combined authority’.
  • This is a statutory body set up through national legislation that enables a group of two or more councils to collaborate decisions, and which is steered by a directly elected Mayor.
  • This is to further democratise and incentivise local authorities to collaborate and reduce fragmented governance, drive economic prosperity, job growth, etc.
  • ‘City Deals’ move from budget silos and promote ‘economic growth budget’ across regions.

Way forward:

  • It is time India envisions the opportunities and challenges from a ‘city’ level to ‘city-region’ level.
  • The Central government must create a platform to build consensus among State governments.
  • Perhaps, the Greater Bengaluru Governance Bill, 2018, drafted by the Expert Committee for Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Restructuring, could offer direction.
  • It proposes for a Greater Bengaluru Authority headed by a directly elected Mayor, responsible for the overall planning of Greater Bengaluru with powers for inter-agency coordination and administration of major infrastructural projects across the urban local bodies within the area. However, this Bill is yet to see the light of day.

Extra Information:

Global Best Practices: The U.K. has established nine such combined authorities. Australia adopted a regional governance model along these lines in 2016 and has signed four City Deals till date. Meanwhile, China is envisioning 19 seamlessly connected super city clusters.


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

5) What do you understand by desertification? List down its causes. Also evaluate the role played by United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) so far in addressing the concerns posed by desertification world across.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was observed on June 17, 2019 with the theme “Let’s grow the future together”. Thus, it is important for us to evaluate the theme.

Key demand of the question:

One has to discuss in detail the concept of Desertification, causes and the concerns posed by it and then evaluate the role played by UNCCD in addressing these concerns so far.

Directive:

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:

Begin with brief introduction on the background of the question.

Body:

Discussion should include the following:

  • Desertification according to United Nations: Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts.
  • Causes: It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world ‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use.
  • Global scenario: According to United Nations, every year, the world loses 24 billion tons of fertile soil and dryland degradation reduces national domestic product in developing countries by up to 8 % annually.
  • Goal 15 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states our resolve to halt and reverse land degradation.
  • Suggest solutions – as to what needs to be done?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one-third of the world‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use. Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land

Body:

Main reasons that cause desertification in India are:

  • Water erosion (10.98 per cent).
  • Wind erosion (5.55 per cent).
  • Human-made/settlements (0.69 per cent).
  • Vegetation degradation (8.91 per cent).
  • Salinity (1.12 per cent).
  • Others (2.07 per cent).

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was established in 1994, the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.

UNCCD Estimate of Desertification:

  • Land & Drought:
    • By 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and 2/3 of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions.
    • A complex and slowly encroaching natural hazard with significant and pervasive socio-economic and environmental impacts to cause more deaths and displace more people than any other natural disaster.
    • India has witnessed increase in the level of desertification in 26 of 29 states between 2003-05 and 2011-13, according to the State of India’s Environment (SoE) 2019 in Figures.
  • Land & Human Security:
    • By 2045 some 135 million people may be displaced as a result of desertification.
    • Achieving land degradation neutrality -by rehabilitating already degraded land, scaling up sustainable land management and accelerating restoration initiatives- is a pathway to greater resilience and security for all.
  • Land & Climate:
    • Restoring the soils of degraded ecosystems has the potential to store up to 3 billion tons of carbon annually.
    • The land use sector represents almost 25% of total global emissions. Its rehabilitation and sustainable management are critical to combating climate change.

Measures undertaken by UNCCD:

  • UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework: It is the most comprehensive global commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) in order to restore the productivity of vast expanses of degraded land, improve the livelihoods of more than 1.3 billion people, and reduce the impacts of drought on vulnerable populations to build.
  • The Convention’s 197 parties work together to improve the living conditions for people in drylands, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought.
  • The UNCCD is particularly committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation.
  • The UNCCD secretariat facilitates cooperation between developed and developing countries, particularly around knowledge and technology transfer for sustainable land management.
  • As the dynamics of land, climate and biodiversity are intimately connected, to meet these complex challenges with an integrated approach and the best possible use of natural resources.
  • The UNCCD collaborates closely with the other two Rio Conventions: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Way forward:

  • Setting up of an Intergovernmental Panel on Land and Soil will be very helpful in speeding up efforts to check desertification.
  • Developing countries need to integrate their poverty eradication programmes with strategies to fight desertification.
  • Lessons from the world:
    • In Africa, several countries have come together to form a 12,000 sq.km “great green wall” extending from Senegal to Djibouti with the participation of local communities.
    • People’s participation is crucial in reclaiming lands. China’s “great green wall” project is on a massive scale and is now starting to show results.
  • The techniques include agro-forestry and farmer-managed natural regeneration. Small community initiatives like
    • Closure of degraded lands for grazing
    • Curtailing farming
    • Growing fast-growing plants
    • Raising tall trees that serve as a barrier against winds and sandstorms are very effective.
  • National governments could consider building large green belts, prioritise forestry programmes and launch projects of fixing and stabilising sands.

Conclusion:

The desertification is being accentuated by climate change. Thus, a comprehensive sustainable developmental approach is needed by the countries.


Topic:  Emotional Intelligence

6) Rising mob protest and violence demand effective Emotional Intelligence from civil servants on ground. Provide measures for strengthening emotional intelligence in civil servants for their effective applications in such cases.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is being asked in the backdrop of the recent protests by the doctors that was witnessed in West Bengal.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the role played by EI in such situations.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with brief introduction on what you understand by EI.

Body:

Discussion should include the following:

Emotional intelligence of civil servants is essential to limit the spread of the crisis and also to calm down the tensions during riot situations.

Explain what measures can be taken to improvise on EI like – Inculcating the spirit of constitutional values in the civil servants. Creating frameworks for holding accountable on outcomes. Training and workshops focusing on the team and emotional aspects of work. Creating a broader code of ethics to enable their discretion in moments of doubt. Creating conducive work environment to balance professional and personal life.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance of EI in civil services and for public servants.

Introduction:

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.

Body:

Importance of EI during mob protests and violence:

  • Social responsibility: When a leader cares about others, he is not a centre of attention and keeps everyone in the loop by making their intentions known.
  • Stress tolerance: To stay focused, stress should be managed and it involves own reactions to stress or the reactions of others to the stress. Employees with high EQs are more likely to listen, reflect, and respond to constructive criticism
  • Impulse control: Independent people evaluate the alternatives and initiate the work by taking appropriate action by executing the right options. People who manage their impulses avoid being distracted and losing control of the situation. Emotionally intelligent employees are more likely to keep their cool under pressure
  • Optimism: Optimistic people have a target that they’re aiming toward. These people are confident in their ability to carry out the required actions and meet the target by looking for successful solutions to problems.
  • Negotiation: For being able to empathize and be creative in finding win-win solutions will consistently pay off to all the stakeholders involved.

Measures for strengthening emotional intelligence in civil servants

  • Modern organizations now offer learning and development that is explicitly labelled as “emotional intelligence” or “emotional competence” training.
  • In support, their leaders create and manage a working environment of flexibility, responsibility, standards, rewards, clarity, and commitment.

Implementing emotional intelligence training and overall culture in an organisation is done in four phases:

Preparation: Assessing the organization’s needs; Assessing personal strengths and limitations; Providing feedback with care; Maximizing learner choice; Encouraging participation; Linking learning goals to personal values; Adjusting expectations; Gauging readiness;

Training: Once the organisation has plans in place, Phase Two is where it should start training. It should plan on:

  • Fostering a positive relationship between the trainer and the learner
  • Maximizing self-directed change
  • Setting clear goal
  • Breaking those goals into manageable steps
  • Maximizing opportunities to practice emotional intelligence
  • Providing frequent feedback on that practice
  • Relying on experiential, hands-on methods
  • Building in support for your staff
  • Using models of desirable behaviour
  • Enhancing insight into emotions and thought patterns
  • Preventing relapse by preparing people for mental slips

Transfer: Phase Three is all about transferring and maintaining the skills learned. Make sure you build in opportunities for:

  • Encouraging use of the skills learned on the job.
  • Providing an organizational culture that supports learning.

Evaluation: Finally, Phase Four is focused on evaluating the change that has come about from training. In this phase, the organisation should be conducting ongoing evaluation research.

Conclusion:

Governance in modern times is becoming increasing complex with affective components of behaviour having a major role to play. Intelligence quotient alone can’t solve majority of problems an administrator faces, use of emotional intelligence is a must for better public service delivery as well as redressal.


Topic : Environmental ethics

7) Discuss the significance of environmental ethics in the context of present-day challenges that the world is facing. (250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon

Why this question:

The question is direct and is based on the concept of environmental ethics.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the concept of environmental ethics applied to current day conditions.

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:

Begin with brief introduction on what is environmental ethics.

Body:

Discussion should include the following:

Environmental ethics is a branch of ethics that studies the relation of human beings and the environment and how ethics play a role in this. Environmental ethics believe that humans are a part of society as well as other living creatures, which includes plants and animals.

It is about extending the traditional boundaries of ethics from solely including humans to including the non-human world.

Discuss the advantages of practicing environmental ethics.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

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

Body:

Significance of Environmental ethics:

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

Need for environmental ethics:

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

Human values and environmental ethics:

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

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

Conclusion:

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