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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 AUGUST 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 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:India and its neighborhood- relations.

1) Discuss the difficult trajectory of contemporary Sino-Indian relations, with special focus on recent issue of Beijing’s stance on Kashmir. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

China’s support for Pakistan’s position on Kashmir at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has once again underscored the difficult trajectory of contemporary Sino-Indian relations. Thus, it is necessary for us to evaluate the changing dimensions of Sino-Indian relations.

Key demand of the question:

Evaluate the changing conditions of Sino-Indian relations in the current dynamics.

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: 

Brief upon the current changes that have affected the Sino-Indian relations.

Body:

Explain how by backing Pakistan’s request for the UNSC to discuss India’s latest move, China has signaled its priorities and made any normalization of ties almost impossible.

Discuss the recent changes , reasons for such change in the relations between the two countries.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward.

Introduction:

The rise of India and China as two major economic and political actors in both regional and global politics has caught global attention. The two emerging and enduring powers representing two modes of civilization signify a complex and dynamic relationship in world politics. China’s support for Pakistan’s position on Kashmir at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has once again underscored the difficult trajectory of contemporary Sino-Indian relations. By backing Pakistan’s request for the UNSC to discuss India’s latest move, China has signalled its priorities and made any normalization of ties almost impossible.

Body:

Challenges in Sino-Indian relations:

  • India’s consolidation of autonomy over Ladakh – and by extension Aksai Chin – will set up a new challenge as the two countries continue a dialogue on the border dispute. The 22nd round of that process should take place later this year.
  • China’s response is also driven by its wider interests as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has pushed China to be even more aggressive on Kashmir.
  • With China reportedly planning to set up a permanent military base in Pakistan for CPEC, India should be prepared for greater Chinese meddling on this matter.
  • For years, even as New Delhi and Beijing had temporary crises along their border, including the 2017 stand-off over an obscure patch of Bhutanese territory known as Doklam, their dialogue has mostly continued.
  • While no final resolution of the border dispute was imminent, the two sides were heading toward a crystallisation of the old status quo, with India likely making concessions on Aksai Chin, and China on the eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • However, with India’s abrogation of Article 370, Beijing may find itself toeing an uncompromising line on the border – taking what is certain to be a less compromising stance than before.
  • In particular, China’s claim over Tawang, a town in Arunachal Pradesh, is likely to harden as a result of India’s reorganisation of Ladakh.
  • Moreover, Tawang’s prominence in the border dispute may take on special importance in post Dalai Lama era, setting up a succession crisis between a Beijing-anointed successor and a legitimate successor outside Tibet.
  • In the near term, we may also expect Beijing to push the envelope along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the demarcation separating Indian-administered areas from Chinese-administered ones.
  • With its move on article 370, India will have to concern itself with both of its disgruntled neighbors.
  • While the situation with Pakistan will remain more acute in the coming days, India just made the task of finding a lasting solution to the border dispute with China a lot more complicated.

Possible solutions:

  • India is not without options and has shown it’s not shy of using them.
  • Continued engagement, both bilaterally and in multilateral forums such as BRICS, SCO and the Russia-India-China trilateral, in order to maintain overall stability, deepen economic ties, and foster diplomatic cooperation on regional and international issues.
  • India has also sustained efforts to enhance its military and deterrent capabilities.
  • The new external balancing effort: The evolution of India-US relations in particular but also of India’s relationships with Japan and Australia as well as the quadrilateral cooperation among them indicates a growing convergence in their views regarding stability in the Indo-Pacific region particularly with respect to China’s intentions in laying territorial claims to more than 80 per cent of the South China Sea as well as to the sovereign territories of India and Japan.
  • China can’t expect that its priorities on trade and 5G would be considered favourably by India if it continues to challenge the fundamentals of good neighbourly ties.
  • If China is so aggressive on Kashmir, then nothing stops India from raking up issues like Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Tibet and Taiwan remain Chinese vulnerabilities.
  • China should realize that there is no major constituency left in India today that has a favourable view of China.
  • If China has a long-term strategy of containing India within South Asia, then India can just as easily adopt a strategy of challenging China’s core interests.

Conclusion:

It is clear that both India and China want to maintain the Wuhan Spirit especially given the multiple tensions and uncertainties that both countries face internationally and domestically.


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

2) The fight against leprosy cannot be fully won without fighting the stigma against the disease. Critically analyse the statement in the light of recent findings of World Health Organization (WHO) which concluded that country now hosts 66% of all leprosy patients in the world.(250 words)

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Why this question:

 The question is based on the recent WHO studies that have established that India still has 66% of Leprosy patients.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the causes of failure to eradicate the disease of leprosy in the country. And suggest what needs to be done.

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: 

Explain what you understand by leprosy.

Body:

Discuss the following points in detail – 

India has become the leprosy capital of the world in the 14 years since it was declared free of the disease, as lack of vigilance and unfriendly laws paved the way for its return.

India officially eliminated leprosy in 2005, reducing its prevalence rate to 0.72 per 10,000 people at national level. But the country now hosts 66% of all leprosy patients in the world, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed.

Then move on to explain the reasons for such a condition in the country.

Explain what can be done? How can the disease be eradicated totally with special attention on the aspect of social stigma attached to it.

Conclusion:

Conclude that effective policies not just in terms of medical facilities but also in terms of mainstreaming the issue is essential to eradicate the disease totally.

Introduction:

India has become the leprosy capital of the world in the 14 years since it was declared free of the disease, as lack of vigilance and unfriendly laws paved the way for its return. India figures among 22 nations considered to have a ‘high burden’ for leprosy according to according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Body:

Present Status in India:

  • India officially eliminated leprosy in 2005, reducing its prevalence rate to 0.72 per 10,000 people at national level.
  • But the country now hosts 66% of all leprosy patients in the world, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed.
  • In 2016-17, at least 1,35,485 cases of leprosy were detected in the country, but public health experts say this is an under-estimate
  • One person is diagnosed with leprosy roughly every four minutes in India, accounting for 60% of all new leprosy cases annually
  • The current global prevalence is estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be 0.23 per 10000 population.
  • In 2017, India along with Brazil and Indonesia are the only countries where more than 10000 new cases are reported per year.
  • Two out of three new global Leprosy cases are detected in India, according to official data.

Reasons for continued high burden:

  • Major concerns include undetected new cases, problems with leprosy integration, the presence of leprosy in children, and paucity of education and training for livelihoods.
  • It is highly unlikely that India achieves elimination of Leprosy at the state or district levels any time soon.
  • Leprosy is becoming more of a disease of most marginalized and underserved populations in far-flung areas.
  • In the Adivasi community the percentage of Leprosy patients have increased from 13.3% in 2009, to an alarming 18.8%.
  • The earlier gains in containing the disease have stagnated and we are at risk of a re-emergence of Leprosy as a public health problem in substantial areas of the country.
  • Rampant stigma against the disease prevents patients from seeking medical treatment.
  • A large number of leprosy affected fall in the category of persons with disabilities as they hesitate to come forward for

Government Interventions

  • India is currently running one of the largest leprosy eradication programs in the world, the National Leprosy Eradication Program (NLEP).
  • The National Health Policy 2017 (NHP) has elimination of Leprosy as a national level target.
  • Leprosy Case Detection Campaign (LCDC) is being implemented by the Union Health Ministry.
  • SPARSH Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC) was launched on 30th January 2017 to promote awareness and address the issues of stigma and discrimination.
  • Since 1984, leprosy has been completely curable at any stage with multi drug therapy (MDT)—a combination of Rifampicin, Dapsone and Clofazimine—for a period of six months or one year depending on the severity of the disease
  • The Lok Sabha passed the Personal Laws Amendment Bill, 2018, removing leprosy as a ground for divorce.
  • A public interest litigation filed by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy has challenged 119 statutory provisions that continue to provide legal sanction to discrimination against people affected by leprosy.
  • The Health Ministry has asked the ministers to expedite the process and introduce of the Elimination of Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy (EDPAL) Bill, drafted by the Law Commission of India and annexed in its 256th report.
  • The target of Global Leprosy Strategy 2016-2020 is to reduce the number of countries with laws allowing discrimination on grounds of leprosy to zero.

Way forward:

  • The emphasis must shift to more policy level changes and sustaining quality of services.
  • The government must implement the key recommendations of the Law Commission on rights and special privileges.
  • To reduce the burden, it is important to develop a multi-pronged approach that includes public education campaign, sustainable livelihood programmes, skill training workshops and generate employment, identify interventions to dispel stigma and mainstream the affected people.
  • Continued training of medical officers, nurses, physiotherapists, and paramedical workers about quality diagnosis and treatment of leprosy must also be given prime focus.
  • Public education on the fact that leprosy can be cured and is not to be feared is imperative.
  • Those who have been cured at an early stage and can work often need to given opportunities to learn skills and trades that would enable them to work.

Conclusion:

Mahatma Gandhi had an enduring concern for people afflicted with leprosy. His vision was not just to treat them, but also to bring them to mainstream to our society. India, which is among the endemic countries, has been advised to include strategic interventions in national plans to meet the new targets, such as screening all close contacts of persons affected by leprosy; promoting a shorter and uniform treatment regimen, and incorporating specific interventions against stigmatisation and discrimination.


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

3) Despite the Microcredit system that has a great scope in alleviating socio-economic problems, existing systems requires restructuring in several areas to allow for long lasting benefits. Comment.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article explains the current conditions of Microcredit and its scope to alleviate socio-economic problems and in what way these conditions alone can not fix all the economic problems.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the impact of micro credit systems and the need for restructuring existing systems for better economic conditions in the country.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin with what you understand by microcredit systems – Microcredit refers to the granting of very small loans to impoverished borrowers, with the aim of enabling the borrowers to use that capital to become self-employed and strengthen their businesses. Loans given as microcredit are often given to people who may lack collateral, credit history, or a steady source of income.

Body:

Discussion should include the following: 

Explain first in what way microcredit has gained much traction as a tool for ensuring the welfare of the most impoverished in the society but there are certain flaws in the model.

Discuss what is the core idea of microcredit, how has it helped improve the socio-economic conditions of the poor in the country.

Explain what more restructuring is envisaged or required to better the conditions of economy apart from microcredits.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Microcredit refers to the granting of very small loans to impoverished borrowers, with the aim of enabling the borrowers to use that capital to become self-employed and strengthen their businesses. Loans given as microcredit are often given to people who may lack collateral, credit history, or a steady source of income. It has gained much traction as a tool for ensuring the welfare of the most impoverished in the society but there are certain flaws in the model.

Body:

Potential of Microcredit:

  • The core idea of microcredit is that a small loan will provide access to the larger economy to people who typically live outside the scope of the institutions on which the mainstream economy rests.
  • Such a loan is meant to enable them to commence with productive activities, and will give them the initial boost required to gain entry into an industry, after which production will be able to sustain itself, and the loan will gradually be repaid.
  • Microcredit agreements frequently do not require any sort of collateral, and sometimes may not even involve a written agreement, as many recipients of microcredit are often illiterate.
  • When borrowers demonstrate success in paying their loans on time, they become eligible for loans of even larger amounts, allowing them to finance expansion.

Case study: An example of a microcredit institution is the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, founded in 1976 by Mohammed Yunus. The Grameen Bank offers small loans to the impoverished without asking for collateral, and was the pioneering institution in the realm of microfinance. The bank has 8.4 million followers, 97% of whom are women, and the bank has repayment success rates between 95 to 98 percent.

Challenges faced:

  • The primary reason for the lackadaisical effects of microcredit is the stringent repayment schedule offered by most microcredit institutions.
  • Since most borrowers to whom microcredit is given have little to no credit history as a result of their exclusion from traditional systems of credit, institutions offering microcredit are unable to judge the risk associated with lending to certain borrowers, and cannot be sure what the risk of them defaulting will be.
  • To lower the risk of defaulting, microcredit lenders therefore resort to repayment schedules that demand an initial repayment that is almost immediate, after which borrowers must adhere to an inflexible weekly schedule for repayments.
  • The effect of this is that borrowers are unable to use the loans on investments that will take some time to be fully realised, and instead are forced to use the loans they receive on short term investments that only boost production to an extent, and the overall growth of their incomes remains meager.
  • A study found that having access to microcredit made very little difference to changing the lifestyles of borrowers, based on six indicators: household business profits, business expenditures, business revenues, consumption, consumer durables spending, and spending on temptation goods. These indicators only saw a 5% impact when microcredit was available.

Measures needed:

  • There is a need for microcredit to consider adopting more flexible operating models, providing skills training and offering services such as portability of accounts to provide greater access for a longer duration of time.
  • A diversified menu of micro loan products linked to sustainable income generation activities via micro enterprises or a creation of community-based pooled enterprise could possibly make it more attractive and compatible with the requirements of women.
  • In addition, linking such developmental initiatives to an institution to nurture, monitor and handhold those activities in the formative stages is crucial for sustainability.

Conclusion:

Microcredit has a vast range of applications for poverty alleviation and general development, but existing systems require reform in multiple areas to allow for unfettered benefits that last. Furthermore, in areas were the application of microcredit is relatively new, microcredit systems must be carefully evaluated before they are put into place, so as to enable the greatest benefit from such institutions.


Topic:Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. Disaster and disaster management.

4) Man-made fires in the Amazon rainforest have sent smoke to populated cities and the Atlantic coast. Why does it bring focus on President Bolsonaro’s policies? What impact can it have on the environment? Critically analyse. (250 words)

Indianexpress

 

Why this question:

The question is in the context of recent forest fires witnessed by the Amazon forests.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate the underlying causes for the forest fires and the impact it can have on the environment.

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: 

First explain in short what are forest fires.

Body:

The article best explains the causes owing to which the Amazon forests are facing forest fires. One must explain the significance that these rainforests hold for the health of the world environment.

Explain the recent policies of the President Bolsonaro that have led to such alarming conditions that may become irreversible if policies are not put in place to conserve the forests.

Explain what needs to be done

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:

The Amazon rainforest, covering much of northwestern Brazil and extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries, is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, famed for its biodiversity. The Amazon rainforests also called the ‘lungs of the earth’ account for 10% of the world’s terrestrial primary productivity and serves as a major carbon sink for nearly 20% of the total emissions. Climate change, largely induced by increasing anthropogenic activity is instrumental in the rapid degradation of these forests.

Body:

Effects of Policies:

  • Over the last several days, the Amazon rainforest has been burning at a rate that has alarmed environmentalists and governments worldwide.
  • Mostly caused by farmers clearing land, the fires have thrown the spotlight on Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies and anti-environment stance.
  • The environmentalists are blaming Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for the forest fires.
  • When Bolsonaro was running for president, he had promised to restore Brazil’s economy by exploring the economic potential of the Amazon rainforest.
  • As per environmentalists, Bolsonaro has encouraged the farmers and ranchers to exploit and burn the rainforest like never before.
  • According to the data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the Amazon Forests in Brazil has experienced 74,155 fires since January 2019.
  • Amazon deforestation began in earnest in the 1970s, reaching its peak rate at the end of the 1990s and the start of the 2000s.
  • In 2004, about 28,000 square km of forest had been cleared in Brazil alone (the Amazon spreads over nine countries, but 60 per cent of the rainforest is in Brazil).
  • The thousands of fires burning in the Amazon don’t look like the major forest fires of Europe or North America — instead, they are fuelled mainly by branches, vegetation and other by-products of deforestation in cleared areas.

Impact on Environment:

  • The Amazon rainforest is a repository of rich biodiversity and produces approximately 20% of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • It is home to many indigenous communities, their life depends on the forests.
  • Additional Carbon Emissions: Carbon intake by the Amazon basin matches the emissions released by nations in the basin. The burning of forests, therefore, implies additional carbon emissions.
  • Further deforestation could lead to Amazon’s transformation from the world’s largest rainforest to a savannah, which would reverse the region’s ecology.
  • Savannah is a vegetation type that grows under hot, seasonally dry climatic conditions and is characterized by an open tree canopy (i.e., scattered trees) above a continuous tall grass understory (the vegetation layer between the forest canopy and the ground).
  • The largest areas of savannah are found in Africa, South America, Australia, India, Myanmar (Burma)–Thailand region in Asia, and Madagascar.
  • Impact on Water Cycle: Amazon rainforest has the ability to produce at least half of the rain it receives. The rain produced by the Amazon travels through the region and even reaches the Andes mountain range.

Measures needed:

  • Reduce the use of wood and wood by-products in daily life to save trees and earth
  • The government in the concerned countries should take measures to stop slash and burn agriculture
  • Forest fires can be reduced if farmers reduce the burning of stubble in the area

Conclusion:

Amazon rainforests are unique and irreplaceable units. Its destruction is worrisome because it affects the lifeblood for entire Amazon region, we all should strive for protecting the rainforests in our best capability.


Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

 5) In most cases, Data deprivation makes cybercrime difficult to tackle. While privacy and data protection are necessary, and data localization may pose its own business challenges, India needs to work out a way to crack cyber frauds and crimes. Elucidate.(250 words)

Livemint

 

Why this question: 

The question is based on the theme of rising cyber crimes and cyber frauds being witnessed across the country.

Demand of the question:

Explain the changes in Sino-Indian relations, the causes and affect it has on the global politics.

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 recent controversies pos abrogation of article 370.

Body

One must explain the recent stances where the India and China had a face off, discuss the causes leading to such changing relations and explain what needs to be done to overcome it.

Such answers are best explained with examples to substantiate.

Conclusion 

Conclude with what should be India’s stand, what needs to be done to ensure peace and security of its borders and peaceful relations with neighborhood country.

Introduction:

Cybercrime is a criminal action that encompasses mobile phones, laptop, network, and computer.  It is a threat to country’s external and internal security and monetary status. Bengaluru registered the most number of cybercrime cases in 2018. The country’s technology capital saw a whopping 5,035 FIRs registered

Body:

Instances of cybercrimes in recent times:

  • there have been many instances of the hard-earned money of Indians being taken out of bank accounts and charges loaded onto credit cards through online frauds.
  • Another emerging casualty of such cybercrimes is the emerging “startup” ecosystem.
  • We are beginning to see multiple cases where customers of genuine startups, unicorns and Indian businesses have been subjected to online fraud.
  • These customers initially presume that it is the customer care departments of the companies that have conned them, as we see in many of the cases that get filed.
  • This is a dangerous trend. Not only does it shake people’s faith in digital systems, the scepticism vis-à-vis online transactions also hurt the potential of emerging companies.

Data Localization – need and prospects:

  • Data localization can broadly be defined as ‘any legal limitation on data moving globally and compelling it to remain locally’.
  • Data localisation laws refer to regulations that dictate how data on a nation’s citizens is collected, processed and stored inside the country.
  • The main intent behind data localisation is to protect the personal and financial information of the country’s citizens and residents from foreign surveillance and give local governments and regulators the jurisdiction to call for the data when required.
  • Data localisation is essential to national security. Storing of data locally is expected to help law-enforcement agencies to access information that is needed for the detection of a crime or to gather evidence.
  • Where data is not localised, the agencies need to rely on mutual legal assistance treaties (MLATs) to obtain access, delaying investigations.
  • On-shoring global data could also create domestic jobs and skills in data storage and analytics, as the Justice SriKrishna report had pointed out.

Challenges of Data localization:

  • Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg recently expressed apprehension about nations wanting to store data locally. According to him, it gave rise to possibilities where authoritarian governments would have access to data for possible misuse.
  • The US Electronic Communications Privacy Act bars US-based service providers from disclosing electronic communications to law enforcement agencies of any country unless US legal requirements are met.
  • The U.S. criticised India’s proposed norms on data localisation as ‘most discriminatory’ and ‘trade-distortive’.
  • EU termed data localisation as unnecessary and potentially harmful as they would create unnecessary costs, difficulties and uncertainties that could hamper business and investments.
  • The bilateral mechanism of the India-US Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is a bit outdated and does not seem to work.
  • The US Cloud (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) Act, however, enables law enforcement authorities in India to request electronic content directly from US service providers under an executive agreement with the US government.
  • Data Localization could affect expression rights in a number of ways given that the Internet is built on the principle of easy transfer of information across borders.
  • Localization may also permit greater censorship of domestic dissident or political voices and affect the extent to which Indian content is accessible abroad.
  • One of the main arguments against mandatory localization stems from the cost that it is likely to impose on businesses and consequently, their consumers and the economy as a whole.

Way forward:

  • Data localisation is a critical necessity for law enforcement.
  • Access to data by Indian law agencies, in case of a breach or threat, cannot be dependent on the whims and fancies, nor on lengthy legal processes of another nation that hosts data generated in India.
  • India urgently needs a legally-backed framework for a collaborative trigger mechanism that would bind all parties and enable law enforcers to act quickly and safeguard Indian citizens and businesses from a fast-growing menace.
  • The customer also has a responsibility to maintain basic cyber hygiene, which includes following practices and taking precautions to keep one’s sensitive information organized, safe and secure.
  • Real-time intelligence is required for preventing and containing cyber attacks.
  • Periodical ‘Backup of Data’ is a solution to ransomware.
  • Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for predicting and accurately identifying attacks.
  • Using the knowledge gained from actual attacks that have already taken place in building effective and pragmatic defence.
  • Increased awareness about cyber threats for which digital literacy is required first.

Conclusion:

All the players involved, including banks, telecom companies, financial service providers etc. and the government, need to play a responsible role in ensuring innocent citizens do not undergo the trauma of suffering losses. As a nation making a huge transition to a cashless economy, public faith in the digital system needs to be consistently reinforced.


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

6) Liberation means complete cessation of suffering, different systems of Indian philosophy have given different views about the nature of liberation, but all agree in the point that liberation signifies an end to miseries of life. Explain with suitable examples.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is based on the concept of liberation as propounded by the philosophical system of India.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail in what way liberation is about ending miseries of life.

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: 

Explain what you understand by liberation.

Body:

Explain that Systems of Indian philosophy, barring the Cârvâka, take liberation or freedom from bondage to be the goal of human life. Liberation means complete cessation of suffering. Different systems of Indian philosophy have given different views about the nature of liberation, but all agree in the point that liberation signifies an end to miseries of life. Indian philosophers recognize four ends (purusartha) of human life; they are—dharma (merit), artha (money), kâma (desire) and moka (liberation). Of these four, liberation is regarded as the highest and ultimate goal of man’s life. Different systems prescribe different paths for attainment of liberation, such as paths of knowledge (jñâna), devotion (bhakti) and action (karma).

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance of the Indian philosophies.

Introduction:

The concept of liberation presupposes someone’s state of bondage and anticipates the possibility of his or her release into a state of freedom.  It is perhaps the biggest idea in man’s quest of happiness.

Body:

In Hindu traditions, moksha is a central concept and included as one of the four aspects and goals of human life; the other three goals are dharma (virtuous, proper, moral life), artha (material prosperity, income security, means of life), and Kama (pleasure, sensuality, emotional fulfillment). Together, these four aims of life are called Puruṣartha in Hinduism.

Various views about Liberation:

  • To some liberation or moksha means cessation of births & rebirths & the soul of man obtains to knowledge (Jnana) & the darkness dispels.
  • To Ramanuj Vishishtadvait, Moksha means fellowship with God (snigdhta, vaikuntha).
  • In Jainism by tap spirit become light it is complete solitude (kaivalya).
  • In Buddhism moksha means going out of existence as the lamp blow soul (Nirvana).
  • In yoga darshan, it is defined as samadhi.
  • According to  Shankaracharya,  it is man  falling  back  to  the  universal  soul,  merger,  the  loss of Identity & Egoism.
  • Sankhya also like Jain believes in the theory of Kaivalya, the only difference is the Purush is real.
  • In Bhagavat Gita, we are  told  that  there  are  three  paths  that  leads  to  Moksha  the  path  of  knowledge  (jnanyog), the  path  of  nishkaam  karma  &  the  path  of  grace  (Bhaktiyog).

The important point of  agreement  among  the  various  schools  of  Indian  philosophy  is  the  recognition  of  liberation  or  release  (Moksha)  from  the  cycle  of  rebirths  as  the  highest  of  human  ends or values.

Each Indian philosophy prescribed a lifestyle through which one can explore one’s inner experience to liberate or emancipate himself and considers the liberation or emancipation as the highest goal of life. It’s a state of selfless love, service to others, purification, and self-control.

Conclusion:

It  is  also  true  that  the   Indian Philosophical  theories  regarding  liberation  have  tried  to  develop  some  techniques  to  solve the  problems  of  human  life,  and  to  solve  the  problems  it  has  provided  practices. This practical approach which is based on its own philosophy towards life and reality makes the Indian philosophical theories ethical.


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

7) Discuss the concept of virtue ethics from the perspectives of its propounders – Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

 

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is about discussing the concept of virtue ethics.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the concept of virtue ethics as propounded by Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.

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: 

Define what you understand by virtue ethics.

Body:

Explain in detail the concept of virtue ethics as stated by  Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.

Virtue ethics is a broad term for theories that emphasize the role of character and virtue in moral philosophy rather than either doing one’s duty or acting in order to bring about good consequences.

In Plato’s Republic, the four cardinal virtues are wisdom, temperance, courage and justice. These reflect the nature of the soul. The soul has three parts. Our reason thinks; when it does this well, it has wisdom.

Aristotle defines virtue as the average, or ‘mean,’ between excess and deficiency. While for Aquinas, the body is not the prison of the soul, but a means for its expression. Aquinas’s ethical theory involves both principles – rules about how to act – and virtues – personality traits which are taken to be good or moral to have. The relative importance of the two aspects is debated.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of virtue ethics. 

Introduction:

Virtue Ethics (or Virtue Theory) are normative ethical theories which emphasize virtues of mind, character and sense of honesty. It is an approach to Ethics that emphasizes an individual’s character as the key element of ethical thinking, rather than rules about the acts themselves (Deontology) or their consequences (Consequentialism). For example it is virtuous to be courageous when faced with physical confrontation.

Body:

A virtue is generally agreed to be a character trait, such as a habitual action or settled sentiment. Specifically, a virtue is a positive trait that makes its possessor a good human being.

Plato maintains a virtue-based eudaemonistic conception of ethics. That is to say, happiness or well-being (eudaimonia) is the highest aim of moral thought and conduct, and the virtues meaning ‘excellence’ are the requisite skills and dispositions needed to attain it. Plato said that good men had to be those who were just, temperate, courageous and wise. He was speaking of moral excellence in a somewhat similar way than that of Socrates. In his work, The Republic, he presents all these characteristics. The relation he gives between State, citizens and moral excellence; he says that for a State to be good, it has to allow, help and even encourage people to be good as individuals; that good citizens were those who were good as persons and thus useful to the nation; and that moral excellence, or Virtue, is the basis of every sound society and the only way to have great men lead other great men properly.

Standard interpretations of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics usually maintain that Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) emphasizes the role of habit in conduct. It is commonly thought that virtues, according to Aristotle, are habits and that the good life is a life of mindless routine. For Aristotle, moral virtue is the only practical road to effective action. What the person of good character loves with right desire and thinks of as an end with right reason must first be perceived as beautiful. Hence, the virtuous person sees truly and judges rightly, since beautiful things appear as they truly are only to a person of good character. It is only in the middle ground between habits of acting and principles of action that the soul can allow right desire and right reason to make their appearance, as the direct and natural response of a free human being to the sight of the beautiful.

Thomas Aquinas’s ethical theory involves both principles – rules about how to act – and virtues – personality traits which are taken to be good or moral to have. The relative importance of the two aspects is debated. Aquinas believes people need to identify meaningful goals before they can act. As such, moral theory is a way to facilitate action, rather than to limit it. According to Aquinas, good should be done or pursued, and evil (or badness) avoided. Without this principle, other moral rules would have no force. The maxim “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is also quite fundamental

Conclusion:

Virtue ethics helps us understand what it means to be a virtuous human being. And, it gives us a guide for living life without giving us specific rules for resolving ethical dilemmas.