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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 AUGUST 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 AUGUST 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:  Role of women, Social empowerment

1) Critically examine the Cultural stereotypes that pose severe barriers for women’s entry into the sciences in the country. Suggest what steps need to be taken to overcome such a barrier.(250 words)

Financialexpress

Why this question:

 The article details on studies that have brought to fore the stereotypes – how they pose severe barriers for women’s entry into the sciences—for instance, only 29% of female students in India are enrolled in a BTech course, as per the All India Higher Education Survey (AISHE) 2017-18.

Key demand of the question:

One must examine the typical cultural stereotypes that pose severe barriers for women’s entry into the sciences in the country and what solutions need to be provided to overcome it.

Directive:

Critically examineWhen asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. 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: 

Discuss current conditions in science and the number of women contributing towards it.

Body:

One must take hints from the article quote from various case studies and discuss the causes of such stereotyping and explain what needs to be done to overcome such a cultural stereotyping. Discuss government initiatives and policies in this direction. Explain what can be done to overcome and induct more women to participate in the field of science.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Science, technology, engineering, and medicine –together known as ‘STEM’ fields –suffer from lack of women, especially in India. In school exam results, we hear of how girls have outshone boys, but when it comes to those who take up research in later life, the number of women is minuscule. This means that many of our best brains that showed the maximum potential do not pick research as a career.

Body:

Current situation:

  • According to a UNESCO report, as of 2015, only 28.8% of STEM researchers globally, and 13.9% in India were women.
  • Only 29% of female students in India are enrolled in a BTech course, as per the All India Higher Education Survey (AISHE) 2017-18.
  • The same report found that only 6% of the women enrolled in these courses opt for a PhD.
  • While more women are enrolling in university, relatively few pursue careers in research.
  • The ideal fraction of 50% of female students has not been achieved.
  • There is a drastic drop in the percentage of women from the doctoral level to the scientist/faculty position.
  • There is a “major paucity” of women at the senior-most administrative and policy making positions in scientific institutions.

Cultural stereotypes:

  • Stereotypes encountered by girls to the family-caring responsibilities.
  • Reasons like marriage and maternity often cut short their educational pursuit.
  • Patriarchal society.
  • Women face bias when choosing a career.
  • Women face “double burden syndrome” -a culture where both men and women feel the family and household duties are primarily the woman’s responsibility.
  • Women continue to face the same kind of discrimination at work as they face in society.
  • According to a recent Accenture research report, the gender pay gap in India is as high as 67 percent.
  • Gender disparity is the highest in fields like Computer Science or Physics while it is least in the life sciences and medicine.
  • When highly qualified women drop out of the workforce, it results in considerable depletion of national resources in science and technology.

Measures needed:

  • India will have the world’s youngest population by 2022 and the women of the country will play a definitive role in devising the country’s future.
  • It takes a multi-pronged approach to create meaningful, lasting changes in the retention of women in STEM fields.
  • Women’s participation in STEM should be encouraged from primary school level rather only in higher studies.
  • Awareness about gender inequality and its outcome has to be increased.
  • For e.g.: The Lancet group of journals announced a Diversity Pledge and a new ‘No All-Male Panel’—or ‘manel’—policy.
  • The move aims to increase the representation of women, people of colour, and colleagues from the Global South among the journal group’s editorial boards/advisors, peer reviewers, and authors
  • The community should be supportive and understanding of career prospects for women.
  • Changing mindsets and overcoming biases.
  • Companies can provide more internship opportunities for women and give STEM scholarships to meritorious yet economically backward girls.
  • Initiating a well-planned role model programme with successful women scientists.
  • Special fellowships for girl students securing top positions in university exams.
  • Reintegrate women who have taken mid-career breaks.
  • Closing the pay gap.
  • Government agencies, universities, and society must work together to ensure that women achieve their full potential.

Conclusion:

Not only do efforts need to be made to attract more female talent to the sciences but also workplace policies—on pay, sexual harassment, flexi-schedules for working mothers—need to be modified to encourage retention of female science professionals.


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

2) Despite its best intentions to introduce sweeping reforms in medical education in India, the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019 seems to fail in addressing the larger issues plaguing the medical education and health sector. Critically analyse.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article critically analyses the recently passed National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019.

Key demand of the question:

The answer should discuss in detail the issues plaguing the medical sector and in what way the new act also is failing to capture effectively such issues.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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: 

Discuss the coming of the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019.

Body:

Explain the key features or changes brought in by the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019.

Then discuss in detail the merits and demerits of the act.

Take clues from the article and list down upon the lacunae the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019 poses or fails to address in the medical sector.

Suggest what can be done?

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward and suggest approaches that need to be adopted.

Introduction:

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 was passed recently by the parliament. The bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC) which will act as an umbrella regulatory body in the medical education system. The NMC will subsume the MCI and will regulate medical education and practice in India. Apart from this, it also provides for the reforms in the medical education system.

Body:

Significance and the need:

  • The Bill seeks to regulate medical education and practice in India.
  • The Bill attempts to tackle two main things on quality and quantity: Corruption in medical education and shortage of medical professionals.
  • The Bill aims to overhaul the corrupt and inefficient Medical Council of India, which regulates medical education and practice and replace with National medical commission.
  • Over the years, Medical Council of India has been marred by several issues regarding its regulatory role, composition, allegations of corruption, and lack of accountability.
  • In 2009, the Yashpal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission recommended separating the regulation of medical education and medical practice.

Concerns:

  • The NMC Act is unlikely to harbinger a fundamental change in the way medical education is provided in India or effectively address the rural–urban imbalance.
  • The issue of variable duration of ‘bonds’ arbitrarily enforced by the states and medical institutes needs to be redressed on a priority and logically standardized.
  • It is unfair on a young doctor to have grossly different policies in different states under the garb of federalism or institutional immunity.
  • Emoluments to interns, residents, and fellows also vary severely and need to be made more uniform.
  • Although the bill has taken into account undergraduate medical education (MBBS), it has completely ignored post graduate studies.
  • The abolishment of 2-year postgraduate diploma and awarding of a uniform 3-year postgraduate degree is a crying need which is not addressed.
  • Having a number of nominated members does not guarantee excellence, it said, adding that regulatory capture by private colleges which are ready and able to pay bribes will continue to be a threat.
  • Section 32 of the NMC Bill that would grant “limited” licences to an estimated 350,000 “community health providers” to practise allopathic medicine, provided they meet a set of qualifying criteria.
  • The bill allows practitioners of ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy could undertake a “bridge course” and legally start offering primary healthcare.
  • According to the IMA, letting patients be treated by people without MBBS degrees would amount to quackery gaining legitimacy in a country full of fraudulent cures and dodgy practices.
  • Unscientific mixing of systems and empowering of other practitioners through bridge courses will only pave the way for substandard doctors and substandard medical practice. This will seriously impact patient care and patient safety.

Way forward:

  • If India really wants to provide high quality medical care service for every citizen, it urgently needs to have a clear idea about the health human resources required, decide how to set up the requisite number of training institutions.
  • There is a need to have clear policies for employment and remuneration of the graduates of these institutions, decide on the resources required to make this possible in a realistic time scale and take the states along in planning.
  • One way to prevent dilution of standards is for an independent panel of well-regarded doctors to keep a close watch on the eligibility process for licences.
  • It involves a common test on the assumption that practical training has already been imparted; if the test is found to be letting dubious practitioners acquire allopathic credentials, then the newly set up NMC would have to either drop or revise the idea.
  • Clear guidelines are required indicating the circumstances and diseases where traditional practitioners can prescribe allopathic medicines.
  • Community-level accredited practitioners after training should be equipped to provide the first line of care for acute conditions and to make referrals to a regular doctor within a GPS-supervised system.
  • Patients who are not insistent on consulting allopaths need not despair, for they have plenty of options anyway.

Conclusion:

The Bill needs to confront reality and address it, keeping consumer interest paramount otherwise the new law will make little difference to people’s lives.


Topic:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

3) The concerns of misuse of Aadhaar-social media link can be addressed only through achieving a balance between right to privacy, preventing crime and fake news issue. Elucidate.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question: 

The article talks about the recent observations made by the apex court in the matter of linking Aadhaar number with social media to prevent issues arising out of cybercrimes and fake news.

Demand of the question:

One has to answer how a balanced approach is required to handle such an issue, how one can address it.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Discuss the background of the question.

Body

Recently the Supreme Court stressed on the need to find a balance between the right to online privacy and the right of the State to detect people who use the web to spread panic and commit crimes.

Discuss what are the issues of privacy that get violated if Aadhaar is linked to social sites, then discuss and debate on what are the advantages of doig the same.

Conclusion 

Conclude by emphasizing on need to find a balanced approach to resolve the issue.

Introduction:

The Tamil Nadu Government had recently told the Supreme Court that the user profiles on social media need to be linked with Aadhaar to keep a check on the circulation of fake, defamatory and pornographic content as well as anti-national and terror material. However, social media platforms, particularly Facebook have been resisting Aadhaar linking, stating that sharing of 12-digit Aadhaar number would violate the privacy policy of users.

Body:

Rationale behind Aadhar-Social Media link:

  • The dangers of the dark web are a compelling reason behind Aadhar-Social Media link.
  • There are rising instances of cyberbullying, spreading of defamatory and humiliating messages and other intolerable activities on social media. Aadhar-Social media link can help reduce it.
  • Aadhaar-social media linking is needed to keep a check on fake news and defamatory, anti-national and terror-sponsoring articles or content and pornographic material on social media.
  • The State also referred to the Blue Whale game, which had reportedly claimed the lives of several children in India.

Threats posed to Right to privacy by Aadhar-Social Media link:

  • The linking of user profiles on social media with Aadhaar would make every message and post by the user traceable.
  • Though the move will serve as a deterrent to social media instigators and perpetrators of defamatory and fake posts, it would also violate the privacy of the users, keeping a record of each message along with the registered mobile number or email account.
  • This would mean the end of private communications.
  • The privacy experts fear that the linking would allow India’s nationalist government to force social media platforms to become surveillance tools.

Right to choice also affected due to Aadhar-Social Media link:

  • It is unclear as of now of what will happen to those who don’t link their social media accounts to their 12-digit Aadhaar number. Will their accounts be deleted or blocked?
  • It is also unclear what action will be taken against parody accounts of users.
  • Users also have concerns that if a tweet they did years ago suddenly goes viral out of context then will all the people who shared it also get investigated or punished or will their accounts be deactivated?

Challenges apparent in the linking of Aadhaar number with social media profiles:

  • The private use of Aadhaar itself has been controversial since the striking down of Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act.
  • The limited eKYC provisions, which has been allowed only for banks and other regulated entities are indicative of this.
  • The use of Aadhaar, further, has mainly been restricted to receiving government benefits such as the Section 7 benefits.
  • It is thus difficult, legally, to find a way to permit Aadhaar-social media linking within the ambit of the Supreme Court’s verdict on Aadhaar.

Need of the hour:

  • The K.S. Puttaswamy decision (2017) in the ‘privacy’ case is worth mentioning here.
  • Accordingly, any state intervention for regulation of online content has to pass the test of proportionality laid down by the court.
  • Supreme Court stressed the need to find a balance between the right to online privacy and the right of the State to detect people who use the web to spread panic and commit crimes.
  • The Supreme Court also called for Parliament to draft and pass a data protection law
  • Supreme Court also impressed upon the respondents to bring out a robust data protection regime in the form of an enactment on the basis of Justice BN Srikrishna (Retd.) Committee Report with necessary modifications thereto as may be deemed appropriate.
  • The government needs to move away from relying on Aadhaar and linking as a one-stop solution for issues ranging from terrorism (SIM linking), money laundering (bank account linking), electoral fraud (voter ID linking) and now cybercrime (social media account linking).
  • It is without question that a solution is required, but it is increasingly worrying as the solutions move toward deprivation of fundamental rights and the first steps towards a possible surveillance state.

       


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

4) What are Differential Voting Rights? Discuss the role played by them in the growth and expansion of start-up ecosystem in India.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The article talks about the concept of DVRs and applicability to start-ups.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of DVRs and their role in promoting start-ups.

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: 

Describe what are DVRs. 

Body:

Discuss the concept of DVR – A DVR share is like an ordinary equity share, but it provides fewer voting rights to the shareholder.

 Why do companies issue DVR? – Companies issue DVR shares for prevention of a hostile takeover and dilution of voting rights. It also helps strategic investors who do not want control, but are looking at a reasonably big investment in a company. 

At times, companies issue DVR shares to fund new large projects, due to fewer voting rights, even a big issue does not trigger an open offer.

Explain in what way they can contribute to start -ups.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Differential Voting Rights (DVRs), which do not follow the common rule of one share-one vote, enable promoters to retain control over the company even after many new investors come in, by allowing shares with superior voting rights or lower or fractional voting rights to public investors. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has amended the provisions relating to Differential Voting Rights (DVRs) under the Companies Act.

Body:

In the past, companies such as Tata Motors, Pantaloon Retails and Jain Irrigation issued DVRs having fractional voting rights of 1/10th of the ordinary shares to public investors. These shares offer higher dividend compared to the ordinary shares in lieu of the voting rights taken away.

But the issuance of DVRs with superior voting rights was prohibited by the SEBI. This was to prevent the possible misuse of power by the promoters detrimental to the interests of small shareholders.

Role played by DVRs in expansion of start-up:

  • The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has raised the existing cap of 26 per cent of the total post issue paid up equity share capital to 74 per cent of total voting power in respect of shares with DVRs of a company.
  • To make capital available to Indian start-ups and to encourage listing on the country’s exchanges, SEBI recently permitted Initial Public Offering (IPO) of unlisted companies with shares of superior rights.
  • Start-ups and technology companies will be able to issue shares with differential voting rights (DVRs) with the government amending the Companies Act provisions to help entrepreneurs retain control even as they raise equity capital from global investors.
  • This will surely help promoters, especially start- ups, in raising capital without diluting their control over the company
  • It strengthens the hands of Indian companies and their promoters who have lately been identified by deep pocketed investors worldwide for acquisition of controlling stake in them to gain access to the cutting edge innovation and technology development being undertaken by them

Conclusion:

This move is aimed at enabling promoters of Indian companies to retain control of their companies in their pursuit for growth and creation of long- term value for shareholders, even as they raise equity capital from global investors.


Topic:  Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

5) What are Biosimilars? How are they different from Generic drugs? Discuss the possible prospects they hold for the Indian pharma industry.(250 words)

Why this question:

Pharma major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd has launched ‘Versavo (bevacizumab)’, a biosimilar of Roche’s Avastin in India. The drug is for the treatment of several types of cancers.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must detail upon the concept of Biosimilars, compare them with Generic drugs and discuss the potential they hold for Indian Pharma Industry.

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: 

Introduce by explaining what are Biosimilars – A biosimilar is exactly what its name implies — it is a biologic that is “similar” to another biologic medicine (known as a reference product).

Body:

Discussion should include the following: 

Biosimilars are ‘similar biologic drugs’, clinically equivalent, in terms of safety and efficacy, to biologic medicines. When the patent surrounding an original biologic’s formula is no longer protected, others companies can release cheaper biosimilars with no clinically meaningful differences.

Biosimilars v/s Generics – Nature of the drug, Manufacturing and testing, functioning etc.

Discuss significance – first explain issues plaguing Indian pharma industry and in what way Biosimilars can aid to fix issues.

Both Biosimilars and generic drugs are hugely important for affordable healthcare, and in recognition of this, Indian patent laws provide stringent protections against the practice of ‘evergreening’ by original drug manufacturers.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

A biosimilar is a biologic medical product that is almost an identical copy of an original product that is manufactured by a different company. Biosimilars are officially approved versions of original “innovator” products and can be manufactured when the original product’s patent expires. Biosimilars are the generic versions of biologics medicines made from animal or plant proteins as opposed to chemicals.

Body:

Difference between biosimilars and generics:

  • Biosimilars involve developing equivalent of biological entity while generics involve developing equivalent of a chemical entity-the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient.
  • In case of biosimilars, biological entities being some ward different (and not as it is of replica), every organism has to be engineered to produce the same therapeutic effect while in generics, the copies of API can be generated
  • Bio-similars differ from generics – in complexity, in the manufacturing processes and in the data needed to demonstrate similarity for approval. The structure of Generic Simple and well-defined whereas for Bio-similar its Complex with potential structural variations.
  • Regulatory procedure to get approval for biosimilars is complex as compared to that of a generic.

Prospects of Biosimilars:

  • The growth of the biologics market for the treatment of cancer (monoclonal antibodies), diabetes (insulin) and many other auto-immune diseases has in turn resulted in creating a global opportunity for biosimilars also.
  • Many Indian pharma companies are now making substantial investments into biosimilar development and production for gaining the first mover advantage.
  • In 2014, Zydus Cadila became the first company in the world to launch the biosimilar of Adalimumab patented by the US drug major AbbVie, which is being used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other auto immune disorders.
  • As the biologics are priced very high, it is necessary for countries to reduce prices through biosimilars.
  • The growth in the biosimilars market is welcome from a human development standpoint because they are more affordable than biologics, the high cost of which often puts them out of reach of many patients.
  • In recent times, patents of some biologics have expired and more will expire before 2020. So moving towards biosimilars can fill the gap.
  • Targeted towards Non-communicable diseases (cancer, asthma, and arthritis):
    • There is an alarming spike across developing countries in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases.
    • Therefore, promoting the production of complex generics and biosimilars can have a positive development impact given how targeted they are toward treating non-communicable diseases such as cancer, asthma, and arthritis.
  • Biosimilars industry can act as a springboard for the pharma companies to innovate, excel and earn profit

Challenges faced:

  • The development is itself lengthy and expensive, and could cost more than Rs 100 crore and take up to six or seven years.
  • It is hard to generate investor interest if a product hits the market only after seven years. So, India is unlikely to see startups in biosimilars, which could also drive consolidation of some players.
  • Expertise in biology is essential, and this subject does not yet have critical mass in India. India has fewer research labs in biology than a big state in Europe or the US. And, yet, things have improved in the last ten years, as experience has built up in technology and regulation.

Way forward:

  • Governments can support growth in this segment by clarifying the regulatory framework for them, which is still evolving in many countries. China is a recent example, where the government has identified biopharma, including biosimilars, as a priority area for the country.
  • India has to expand the biology research ecosystem by investing in education and fundamental research.
  • At the same time, a regulatory mechanism needs to be put in place and appropriate monitoring needs to be done to ensure that unfair and unethical practices are abstained from in preparation of biosimilars.

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

6) Swami Vivekananda was a proponent of a multicultural nation rooted in religious tolerance and modernity. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article debates in detail upon the applicability of sarva dharma sama bhava philosophy and the significant role played by Swami Vivekananda.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail in what way swami Vivekananda was a proponent of a multicultural nation rooted in religious tolerance and modernity. 

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Brief about Swami Vivekananda.

Body:

Explain that one of the key elements of his message, based on the experiments of his spiritual mentor Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, was that all religions lead to the same goal. Paramahansa is unique in the annals of mysticism as one whose spiritual practices reflect the belief that the ideas of personal god and that of an impersonal god as well as spiritual practices in Christianity and in Islam all lead to the same realization.

While in Chicago, Vivekananda stressed three important and novel facets of Hindu life. First, he said that Indian tradition believed “not only in toleration” but in acceptance of “all religions as true”. Second, he stressed in no uncertain terms that Hinduism was incomplete without Buddhism, and vice versa. 

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance of his contributions.

Introduction:

Swami Vivekananda is the greatest youth icon produced by India and one that influenced millions of youth across the world.  According to him, religion plays a central role in this man-making, stating “to preach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life”.

Body:

Religious tolerance:

  • Swami Vivekananda reminded us that the essence of religion is God-consciousness. When that is forgotten, religious differences begin—and not before.
  • The oneness of existence and harmony of religions are cardinal principles of Hinduism.
  • The Indian Order stands as an example of unity, tolerance, and diversity.
  • Indians must live together, dedicating their lives to the service of all humanity.
  • We must follow educate people to develop spirituality by seeing God in the hearts of all beings, irrespective of caste, creed, and culture.
  • Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now.
  • Swami Vivekananda’s call for unity and love and tolerance is the voice of the prophets, saints, and seers of all traditions.

Modernity:

  • Even though the Swami rejected political praxis and West inspired social and religious reforms, his essential message was the empowerment of the people.
  • This empowerment should be through education, collective thought and action but above all, realizing the underlying unity of all human existence.
  • He also realized that lack of education—secular and spiritual—is the root cause of all weakness and misery of the Indian masses. Knowing that education was the one factor that would lift people up, he spoke of universal and free education.
  • He emphasised that India needed to trade Indian spirituality for the West’s material and modern culture and was firmly behind India’s scientific modernisation.
  • He supported Jagadish Chandra Bose’s scientific projects. In fact, Vivekananda’s American disciple Sara Bull helped patent Bose’s discoveries in the U.S.
  • Vivekananda also inspired Jamsetji Tata to establish the Indian Institute of Science and the Tata Iron and Steel Company.
  • India needed a secular monastery from where scientific and technological development would uplift India’s material conditions, for which his ideals provided a source of inspiration.

Conclusion:

At this hour of human history the message of Swami Vivekananda promoting  spiritual integration of the nation and world on the basis of universal brotherhood and  goodwill becomes all the more relevant. It has the potential to avert wars ensuring peaceful co-existence of   individuals and nations. The need of the hour is to combine the best elements of tradition with the scientific temper of the age.


Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7) Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of truth and non-violence emphasizes the use of reform of heart rather than use of violence. In this context discuss the various Gandhian methods and their relevance in modern times.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question aims to evaluate the relevance of Gandhian principles of truth and non-violence.

Key demand of the question:

Explain with suitable examples the relevance of Gandhian philosophy in modern days.

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: 

Highlight the importance of Gandhian philosophy.

Body:

Gandhiji’s principle of truth and non-violence emphasizes the use of reform of heart rather than use of violence. One must explain and justify the relevance of the philosophy using an example/case study.

Students must discuss the nature of different forms of violence and factors leading to it. In addition, bring out the relevance of Gandhian principles of truth, Satyagraha, non-violence, proper educational system and religious tolerance, and argue that these principles can be applied in the contemporary situation for reduction of conflict and violence by advancing the welfare of the deprived, protection of environment, promoting peace and understanding among peoples.

Conclusion:

Conclude that these principles have a universal validity and have been successfully adopted by several countries and peoples.

Introduction:

Satyagraha is the method of non-violent action in search and adherence to ‘truth’. Gandhi proposed a civilized way of opposing rigid and unjust practices of the aggressor and to seek truth, a process which seeks change not through coercion or aggression but through a ‘change of heart’. Gandhiji’s principle of truth and non-violence or Satyagraha have become more relevant not just in India, but elsewhere too where people have been suppressed or injustice has been institutionalized.

Body:

The 21st Century has evolved more as a materialistic and pompous world filled with greed, malice and hatred where spiritual and moral values are losing steam.

Mahatma Gandhi and his values have become more relevant for today’s society which is under turmoil and suffering from social evils, corruption, terrorism and violence. If we look around us, the world is full of various types of conflict, mainly arising out of the lack of the above virtues among people, more so in our leaders.

Truth and Non-Violence:

  • Non-violence and Satyagraha should be turned into a global instrument of non-violent dissent against authoritarianism and a pragmatic tool of the powerless against the powerful.
  • Suppression of ethnic minorities in countries like China etc must be countered through an international non-violent agitation.
  • The nuclear race which is based on deterrence needs a more euphemistic approach based on sympathetic understanding for one’s adversary, formulation of minimal demands consistent with truth, refusal to threaten or intimidate the enemy etc.
  • The failure of US’ strategy of aggression followed in Afghanistan, since 2001, to achieve peace and resumption of peaceful dialogue with Taliban is a clear example of the viability of non-violent Satyagraha.

Sarvodaya:

  • Sarvodaya implies the rise and well-being of all.
  • India needs universal upliftment for all without discrimination considering rampant unemployment and illiteracy.
  • Development should not just include the most vulnerable but it should start from them, thus moving away from the ‘trickle down theory’.

Trusteeship:

  • Trusteeship is the means to promote equal distribution of wealth in the society and assures the generation and intelligent use of wealth.
  • The differences between labour and capitalists can be addressed through trusteeship model, where labour, who otherwise feel utterly helpless, should hold their labour in trust for those who are in need of it i.e. capitalists and shed their distrust for the capitalists.

Cooperation and Harmony:

  • To Gandhi, cooperation and harmony rather than conflict and struggle constitute the fundamental law of the universe. Conflicts occur more as temporary irregularities in the even and ordered flow of life.
  • Conflict resolution is not absence of conflict but moving towards a better readjustment where energies of opponents are harnessed to achieve a higher goal.
  • Ethnic conflicts and communal conflicts in India can be attended to using Gandhian concept of peaceful negotiations, persuasion through reason and self-suffering.

Co-operativisation:

  • Gandhi emphasized the cooperative efforts in the field of agriculture small scale and cottage industries and in other fields of national interest.
  • In agriculture, the small and fragmented holdings of land could be cooperatively cultivated to increase the production and minimize the cost.
  • The small scale and cottage industries too would enjoy all advantages of large scale productions through cooperativisation.

Conclusion:

Gandhi’s ideology is relevant because it is positive, constructive and practical. Today throughout the world people are shifting to nonviolent resistance in order to fight against any kind of evil, be it corruption, social, economic and political injustice etc.