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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 OCTOBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 OCTOBER 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:  population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1) With India’s double whammy of under nutrition co-existing with equally high and increasing rates of over nutrition, there is a pressing need for reshaping India’s nutrition policy with a focus on diet-related diseases. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Data from the first-ever national nutrition survey conducted by the Centre, yet to be made public, shows that obesity and under nutrition coexist in India, among children. Health experts have raised concerns over the delay in release of the survey. 

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain the prevalence of the double whammy facing the country and the causes leading to it along with solutions to overcome the situation.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief discuss the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey and its findings.

Body:

Bring out the key findings of the survey such as – Out of the children in the age group of 5-9 years and adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years are

  • 10% are pre-diabetic
  • 5% are overweight
  • 5% suffer from blood pressure.

The study found prevalence of indicators of non-communicable diseases alongside indicators of under nutrition shown by various NFHS surveys such as stunting, wasting and underweight.

The survey provides for the first time hard evidence of the coexistence of obesity and under nutrition, among school-going children.

Discuss the key role that India’s nutrition policy has to play to address the concerns.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need for revamping national nutrition policy in addressing the issues.

Introduction:

The key findings of the first-ever national nutrition survey conducted by the Centre, yet to be made public, providing for the first time hard evidence of the coexistence of obesity and undernutrition, among school going children. The survey recorded malnutrition that included micronutrient deficiencies and details of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and kidney function in children and adolescents.               

Body:

Key findings of the survey:

The National Nutrition Policy in 1993, with Women and Child Development (WCD ) ministry as the nodal department, was designed as a multi-sectoral strategy for eradicating malnutrition and achieving appropriate nutritional status for all. Alas, targets for 2000 AD could not be achieved as there is general consensus that among nearly 40% of under-five children deaths, malnutrition is a major contributor.

Key features of the National Nutrition Strategy include:

  • The Strategy aims to reduce all forms of malnutrition by 2030, with a focus on the most vulnerable and critical age groups. The Strategy also aims to assist in achieving the targets identified as part of the Sustainable Development Goals related to nutrition and health.
  • The Strategy aims to launch a National Nutrition Mission, similar to the National Health Mission. This is to enable integration of nutrition-related interventions cutting across sectors like women and child development, health, food and public distribution, sanitation, drinking water, and rural development.
  • A decentralised approach will be promoted with greater flexibility and decision making at the state, district and local levels.
  • Further, the Strategy aims to strengthen the ownership of Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies over nutrition initiatives
  • The Strategy proposes to launch interventions with a focus on improving healthcare and nutrition among children as well as mothers.
  • Governance reforms envisaged in the Strategy include: (i) convergence of state and district implementation plans for ICDS, NHM and Swachh Bharat, (ii) focus on the most vulnerable communities in districts with the highest levels of child malnutrition, and (iii) service delivery models based on evidence of impact.

Measures needed:

The following steps must be taken in policy action across 6 key areas viz.

  • creating sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets;
  • providing social protection and nutrition-related education for all;
  • aligning health systems to nutrition needs, and providing universal coverage of essential nutrition interventions;
  • ensuring that trade and investment policies improve nutrition;
  • building safe and supportive environments for nutrition at all ages; and
  • Strengthening and promoting nutrition governance and accountability, everywhere.

Conclusion:

According to M S Swaminathan, to promote nutrient value food production, a multi-pronged strategy involving academic institutions, government, scientists and farmers should be evolved. Boosting nutrition levels as well as tackling obesity across the country is one of the biggest low hanging fruit in the Indian public policy sphere.


Topic:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present. The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

2) Discuss the salient features of Self-Respect Movement. Also evaluate how far could the movement achieve a society where backward castes were given equal human rights.(250 words)

Modern history by Spectrum publications

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain in detail the key features of Self-Respect Movement and its impact on the social setup of the society.

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 the answer by giving the nature, purpose or significance of the movement.

Body:

Explain briefly the objectives of the movement.

Discuss the achievements of the movement along with criticism.

Explain that the Self-Respect Movement played a significant role in the political, social and religious life of the people of South India. It brought the message of the Tamil Nationalism to the masses

Discuss the challenges and how the movement dissipated towards the end.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the significance the movement holds even as of today.

Introduction:

The Self-Respect Movement was dedicated to the goal of giving non-Brahmins a sense of pride based on their Dravidian past which also meant denial of the superiority of the Brahmins whom he described as representative of the Aryans.

Body:

Salient features:

  • The Self-Respect Movement was dedicated to the goal of giving non-Brahmins a sense of pride based on their Dravidian past which also meant denial of the superiority of the Brahmins whom he described as representative of the Aryans.
  • Its aim as to achieve a society where backward castes have equal human rights, and encouraging backward castes to have self-respect in the context of a caste-based society that considered them to be a lower end of the hierarchy.
  • Revitalization of the “Dravidian Languages” (that include Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and Tamil).
  • Social reform by the abolition of existing caste systems, religious practices for which he advocated inter-caste self-respect marriages without the need for Brahmin priest.
  • Glorifying the Tamil history and language by appealing to people to give up the caste suffix in their names, and to not mention caste.
  • Recasting women’s equal position in the society by empowerment to take their own decisions.

Outcomes of Dravidian Movement:

Successes:

  • Anti-Brahminism and Self-respect Marriages were two important aspects of Self-respect Movement.
  • The movement encouraged inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, along with that it also encouraged marriage ceremonies without Brahmin priest.
  • Post independence, Tamilnadu passed a law and become the first state to legalize Hindu marriage without Brahmin priest.
  • The monopoly of power and influence enjoyed by the Brahmins was slowly lost due to E.V.R.’s unceasing propaganda against orthodoxy. It filled with the sense of self-respect and above all selfconfidence, to fight against social injustice perpetrated by the Brahmins of the day.
  • The practice of having separate dining places for Brahmins in every hotel or earmarking separate eating places in public feasts was slowly given up owing to the agitation of the volunteers of the movement.
  • Owing to its influence, several people gave up their titles and took pride in publishing their names in Kudi Arasu.
  • It was largely responsible for making an effective change in the social life of the vast majority of people through its ceaseless propaganda against superstitious beliefs, based upon religious traditions.
  • It was instrumental in non-Brahmin communities of Tamil Nadu to create awareness amongst themselves, as one community. The Self-Respect movement brought the message of the Tamil Nationalism to the masses.
  • Gender relationships were actively divorced from Brahminical patriarchy and women’s rights over their physical, sexual and reproductive choices were celebrated.
  • Self-Respect Movement was not a mere social reformist movement. It aimed at destroying the existing Hindu social order in its totality and creating a new, rational society without caste, religion and God.
  • The movement was extremely influential not just in Tamil Nadu, but also overseas in countries with large Tamil populations, such as Malaysia and Singapore.

Limitations:

  • The Dravidian movement failed to liberate women as well as lower caste. It could not ensure equal rights for them.
  • The ambit of movement was confined only to Tamilnadu.
  • The Dravidian movement may have succeeded in reducing the dominance of the upper castes in administration, however, it has strengthened the middle castes which are the backbone of the rural economy.
  • Without proper land reforms middle-class control rural economy which has kept the lower castes in a continued state of suppression.

Conclusion:

The Dravidian Movement played a seminal role in shaping the history of Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu today presents a complex relationship, which intertwines a balance of power expressed through caste, populist mobilisation based on Tamil identity, and a penchant for welfarism in policymaking. The contribution of Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar) in introducing social reforms in has been enormous and his legacy is still alive today in India.


Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3) Present your arguments whether security imperatives can supersede democratic and human rights in case of the on-going Kashmir issue.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article presents that the curfews, detentions and lockdown in Kashmir have only made the border, and our forces, more vulnerable. Thus it is necessary to analyse whether security imperatives can supersede democratic and human rights.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss in detail whether security imperatives can supersede democratic and human rights in the Kashmir issue.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief explain the ongoing conditions in Kashmir.

Body:

Explain whether the arguments of security, economic and welfare to justify new Kashmir policy are fair.

Explain in detail the factor of whether, and at which point, security imperatives can supersede democratic and human rights.

Present both arguments in favour and against. 

Present your opinion with fair and balanced judgment.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the strategy to handle the situation.

Introduction:

The Union Government in August 2019 abrogated Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution which grants special status to J&K. The government also decided to bifurcate the state into two Union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature.

Body:

Security imperatives:

  • Government’s rationale of extending all the laws of the union to J&K was one of the major reasons.
  • This would help alleviate the poverty and improve the socio-economic conditions of the people which can curb the violence in the J&K.
  • Poverty has helped the extra-state actors and other perpetrators to spread the terror activities further leading into a vicious cycle. E.g.: Pulwama attack, innumerable suicide and fidayeen attacks in mosques and religious places.
  • With the law and order now completely under the central government, it helps in better safety and security measures of the people.
  • It also helps in better resource mobilization to tackle the cease-fire violations of Pakistan in the LoC region.

Violation of human rights:

  • The clamp down of J&K in the garb of security has led to attack on the normal lives of people of J&K.
  • the decimation of law, the suspension of habeas corpus, and the near permanent state of emergency practised in Kashmir has imperilled the liberties of Kashmiris.
  • The use of Public Security Act and high number of preventive detentions to maintain peace and harmony goes against the ethos of democracy.
  • Internet services and mobile services have been suspended in several places and all public gatherings are banned in Srinagar district. This affects the right to freedom of speech and expression of an individual.
  • The shut-down of schools and colleges has affected the children and youth which is a violation of fundamental right.
  • The scenario of how Pakistan’s persecution of its minorities has deeply distorted its nature and character can act as a example for India.

Security measures v/s Human rights violation:

The founding fathers of the Republic favoured a strong Centre, but they were also prudent in seeking the route of persuasion and accommodation towards linguistic and religious minorities in the interest of national integration. The special status of J&K was never meant to be permanent, but it should not have been scrapped without wider consultations.

Ending Jammu & Kashmir’s special status in the Indian Union, the government has extended all provisions of the Constitution to the State in one go, downsized the State into two Union Territories and allowed all citizens to buy property and vote in the State.

True, the special status of J&K was meant to end, but only with the concurrence of its people. The Centre’s abrupt move disenfranchised them on a matter that directly affected their life and sentiments. Moreover, that this was done after a massive military build-up and the house arrest of senior political leaders, and the communications shutdown reveals a cynical disregard of democratic norms.

The entire region has geostrategic importance considering its gives access to Afghanistan, China and Central Asia. Therefore apart from our domestic interest it is extremely critical region. And it good to keep under the control of central government, which allow the government to secure the security in the region is paramount over the other peculiar interest.

Conclusion:

Government decision to revoke Article 370, scrap Article 35A and reorganise J&K (into two Union territories) will go down as one the most audacious decisions taken since Independence. The challenge, now, will be to ensure that the ownership for such a move is taken by the real stakeholders, the state’s people.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

4) What are your thoughts on the British-era sedition law, should it stay or has it outlived its utility? Critically analyse. (250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

The article suggests that The colonial law of sedition, meant to suppress and dissent still persists. Used as a political tool, it has deprived people of liberty. Thus, it is time to scrap it.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what is the British-era sedition law that India still inherits and upholds, what are the consequences, why is the law outliving its utility.

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 judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief explain what Indian Sedition law is.

Body:

First explain the colonial origin of sedition law.

The British regimes enacted it in order to suppress political and cultural dissent and many of the most famous figures of the freedom struggle including Gandhi were sent to jail on charges of sedition.

Explain why in 1962, the SC upheld the constitutional validity of sedition law.

Discuss the necessity to scrap the law that is outdated and has been outliving its utility.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward. 

Introduction:

‘Sedition’ is an offence incorporated into the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in 1870. Section 124A of the IPC defines sedition and says:

  • whoever by words either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, the government established by law; or
  • whoever by the above means excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law, has committed the offence of sedition.

The offence is punishable with imprisonment for life.

Body:

Recently Supreme Court (SC) judge Justice Deepak Gupta, remarked that the time had come to reconsider the law of sedition. Highlighting a number of recent examples, he observed that the law of sedition “is more often abused and misused”, and that “freedom of expression being a constitutional right must get primacy over the laws of sedition”.

Dark side of Sedition Law:

  • Before Independence, this charge was used by the British to suppress the freedom movement.
  • Ironically, the same draconian law has become a tool that the country is now using against its own people.
  • During colonial period section 124-A was interpreted by the privy council in a way to suppress every act that expressed discontent against the government.
  • Many freedom fighters were slapped with these charges for invoking feelings of nationalism and educating people of India against the policies adopted by the colonial power.

Why Sedition law must be stripped off?

  • Draconian laws such as the Section 124-A only serve to give a legal veneer to the regime’s persecution of voices and movements against oppression by casting them as anti-national.
  • Figures of the National Crime Records Bureau reveal that in the two years preceding the JNU case, there were a total of 77 sedition cases.
  • Dissent is the lifeblood of democracy. Democracy has no meaning without freedoms and sedition as interpreted and applied by the police and governments is a negation of it.
  • Terms like “disaffection” and “contempt” can be stretched to mean just about anything, enabling
  • Beyond the high-profile urban cases, the reach of Section 124-A has extended even to faraway places. An entire village in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu had sedition cases slapped against it for resisting a nuclear power project. Adivasis of Jharkhand, resisting displacement, topped the list of those slapped with sedition in 2014.
  • Instead of critically analysing why citizens, be they in Kashmir or Chhattisgarh or Bhima Koregaon, are driven to dissent, the government is using an iron-fist policy with the sedition law playing a leading role to completely shut out contrarian views.
  • Hence, before the law loses its potency, the Supreme Court, being the protector of the fundamental rights of the citizens has to step in and evaluate the law and may declare Section 124A unconstitutional if necessary.
  • As events have shown, however, the gap between the law and its judicial interpretation has become so wide that there can be no interpretive bridge that will adequately protect liberty.
  • This being the case, the Supreme Court will, hopefully, reconsider its 1962 decision, and strike down the law of sedition as being unconstitutional.

Way Forward:

  • All speech-related offences should be made bailable offences; this would lessen the harmful impact of using arrest and custody as a way of harassing anyone exercising their rights under Article 19(1) (a). The chilling effect on freedom of speech and expression must be erased.
  • Forming a committee involving Government and renowned civil society members while deciding cases under section 124 A.
  • To limit the discretionary power as much as possible through better and comprehensive drafting of guidelines.
  • The offences should be made non-cognisable so that there is at least a judicial check on the police acting on the basis of politically motivated complaints.
  • In the case of offences under Sections 153A (“promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”) and 295A of the Indian Penal Code, it is mandatory under Section 196(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure to obtain prior sanction of the government before taking cognisance of the offences. This needs to be extended to the offence of sedition under Section 124A.
  • In the case of hate speech, it is important to raise the burden of proof on those who claim that their sentiments are hurt rather than accept them at face value.
  • And finally, it is crucial that courts begin to take action against those who bring malicious complaints against speech acts.

Conclusion:

The word ‘sedition’ is thus extremely nuanced, and needs to be applied with caution. It is like cannon that ought not be used to shoot a mouse; but the arsenal also demands possession of cannons, mostly as a deterrent, and on occasion for shooting.


Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

5) If the government is serious about Make in India for APIs and boosting R&D spending by pharmaceutical companies, it must shun price controls as a policy measure. Discuss measures required to be taken by the government in augmenting the Pharma sector.(250 words)

Financialexpress

Why this question:

The article captures that the government is mulling over excluding medicines made from locally manufactured active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)—the key raw material for the production of a drug—from price control. The move, according to a Mint report, is aimed at pushing manufacture of APIs in India to reduce import dependence.

Key demand of the question:

One has to discuss in depth the need to do away the price controlling policies by the government with respect to APIs in the pharma industry so as to boost the Make in India drive for the sector.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief define what APIs are. 

Body:

Discuss the context of the question as to what steps the government is trying to take.

Explain in what way the price control was affecting domestic manufacture of pharma products.

Discuss the nuances of Draft Pharmaceuticals Policy 2017,

Justify that if the government is serious about Make in India for APIs and boosting R&D spending by pharmaceutical companies, it must shun price controls as a policy measure. To keep medicines affordable for the masses, it must subsidize through bulk purchases for its Jan Aushadhi and other outlets.

Conclusion:

Conclude  with way forward.

Introduction:

The government is mulling over excluding medicines made from locally manufactured active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)—the key raw material for the production of a drug—from price control. The move is aimed at pushing manufacture of APIs in India to reduce import dependence. The move if implemented and to the desired effect, would be a boost for Indian pharma.

Body:

Issues facing the Pharma industry:

  • Overdependence: Indian pharma industries import about 80% of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients(API) from China. The API forms the base of drugs. With trade-wars at global levels and wavering bilateral relations, there is a looming threat which can stall the Indian pharma industries. In FY19, Indian pharma companies imported bulk drugs and intermediates worth $2.4 million from China.
  • Compliance issues and good manufacturing practices: Diversifying the global market has been a problem with countries China and USA imposing Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary(SPS) barriers of WTO against generic drugs. The selective targeting by US Food and Drug Administration and Chinese Drug regulators are a problem still.
  • Drug Price Control Order: The companies sight that the reforms of the Government for the essential medicines has caused them to lower the price of drugs. This has been done by the Government for the betterment of the public.
  • Stronger IP regulations: IP regulation has always been a thorn in the skin for the companies, especially the foreign companies. The companies strongly feel that the rules have to be amended and the so-called victim of the lax regulations have been the foreign entrants.
  • Because of fewer costs associated with generic medicines, multiple applications for generic drugs are often approved to market a single product; this creates competition in the marketplace globally, typically resulting in lower prices. Pharma sector in India is also facing steep headwinds on account of this.
  • There is a lack of proper assessment of the performance of the pharmaceutical industry and its efficiency and productivity and due to this many plants have not survived.
  • Unregulated online pharmacies or e-pharmacies emerging in India have been a major concern for authorized setups.
  • There has been a significant drop in the flow of prescriptions as the Indian pharmaceutical industry has been witnessing a decline in the overall quality of its medical representatives (MRs).This is mainly on account of lack of training and support by the industry.
  • In countries such as Russia, one requires to be a medical graduate to be a pharma sales representative. In the European Union, one needs to pass stringent examinations to become an MR. Once they qualify, they need to renew their certification every three years. But in India, even non-graduates are performing as MRs without proper guidance.

Measures needed:

  • India’s strong innovation capabilities aided partnerships would help in overcoming these problems.
  • Developing our R&D sector to reduce dependency on foreign countries for raw materials
  • The introduction of pharmaceutical product patents and the mandatory implementation of good manufacturing practices is the need of the hour.
  • It is necessary for the Indian pharmaceutical industry to become globally competitive through world-class manufacturing capabilities, with improved quality and a higher efficiency of production, and there is a need to stress on the up-gradation of R&D capabilities.
  • Training and development of human resources for the pharmaceutical industry and drug research and development should be done accordingly;
  • There is also a need to promote public-private partnership for the development of the pharmaceuticals industry; promote environmentally sustainable development of the pharmaceutical industry; and enable the availability, accessibility, and affordability of drugs.
  • Improvement in industrial practices to provide better training and support services for employees to perform their job functions.
  • Using multilateral organisation like WTO against the illegal trade practices.
  • Funding for the pharma companies might be a way to move forward.
  • IPR Think Tank formed by the Government to draft stronger national IP policies.

Conclusion:

The affordability of healthcare is an issue of concern even in India, and people here would welcome some clarity on the principles of fair pricing vis-à-vis medical products. It is important that the accused companies are given a good hearing. The Government of India has taken up a number of initiatives to create an ecosystem that fosters manufacturing in pharma industries.


Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

6) Extreme weather like long dry spells, accompanied with more intense rainfall concentrated over fewer days, are becoming the norm. In this context critically evaluate how Climate change and poor urban planning are jeopardizing lives of people. (250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

The article discusses how extreme rainfall events are on the rise in the country. Long dry spells, accompanied with more intense rainfall concentrated over fewer days, are becoming the norm.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain the causative factors and the relationship between Climate change and poor urban planning and how it can be addressed.

Directive:

Critically evaluateWhen asked to evaluate, 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 judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief discuss the recent extreme weather events in short.

Body:

Explain in detail the causative factors of these extreme weather events.

Discuss with suitable case studies – floods, dry spells etc.

Explain that the floods, especially in urban India, are taking place not just due to climate change, but also inadequate urban planning, which has not paid attention to natural water bodies and has forgotten the “art of drainage”.

Expand on the linkages between urban planning and its correlation with extreme events of weather.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Climate change impacts such as increased rainfall intensity, storm surges, and flooding and urban heat island effects are likely to affect many urban systems worldwide. These will impact severely on urban systems and the populations and services they support. For the second time this year, Bihar is submerged. In July, 13 districts in north Bihar were inundated, and now, it’s the turn of four other districts, including the capital, Patna.

Body:

Climate change presents a significant challenge for urban systems worldwide. Its effects will likely intensify over the coming decades. Whilst humanity may be able to take collective action to limit the intensity of these effects, scientific evidence indicates that some are already happening and will continue to occur, irrespective of any ongoing mitigation.

Climate change and poor urban planning effects:

  • Urban sprawl, combined with unsustainable transportation planning and energy guzzling building practices, has been the main source for the GHG emission.
  • This has aggravated climate effects like urban floods, urban heat islands, reduced ground water table levels etc.
  • The floods, especially in urban India, are taking place not just due to climate change, but also inadequate urban planning, which has not paid attention to natural water bodies and has forgotten the “art of drainage”.
  • Urban water bodies, such as wetlands, provide crucial services like groundwater recharge (which is helpful during water-scarce summers, the other face of climate change) and flood management.
  • Unfortunately, in India, water bodies are rarely recorded under municipal laws.
  • Planners see only land, not water, and the builder lobby just encroaches on them.
  • A study by the non-profit, Centre for Science and Environment, shows that Chennai, which faced devastating floods in 2015, had 600 water bodies in the 1980s; a master plan published in 2008 said only a fraction of the lakes in the city were in healthy condition.
  • The rapid unplanned urbanization has led to chopping down of urban forest areas inducing climate imbalance and effects of local climate regulation.
  • Concretized buildings and pavements, high usage of glass in the buildings has led to compounding of heat leading to urban heat islands.
  • Poor urban plans result in rising slums in the cities where basic amenities are lacking and are the first to be affected in case of urban floods and famine.
  • All these have lead to loss of lives in the urban cities in large scale, economic losses as well.

Challenges in addressing climate change:

  • Regional Inequality:
    • The principle of Common but differentiated responsibilities was proposed to tackle climate change by addressing the regional inequality.
    • However, the indifferent behaviour by the developed countries has led to partial success of many global initiatives. Eg. Kyoto Protocol.
  • Developed Countries not taking responsibility:
    • Historical emissions and pollution caused due to industrial revolution is not accepted by the industrialized nations.
    • Developed nations are unwilling to accept the responsibility and are moving away from global agreements. Eg. USA rejecting the Paris deal.
  • Finance:
    • Huge amount of funds are required for adaptation and mitigation measures to be adopted.
    • For eg: electric mobility, certainly is a green measure, but is actually expensive, in immediate terms, in terms of cost per vehicle kilometre.
    • The cost of shifting into renewable energy is also a fiscal challenge to most countries.
  • Technology:
    • Many adaptation and mitigation measures need sophisticated technologies and Research and Development which is an impediment to many developing and small island nations.
    • Commercialization of technology in form of Patents, evergreening has made it unaffordable.
  • Increasing use of fossil fuels.
  • Complex linkages among emissions, concentrations, climate changes, and impacts.
  • Lack of certainty about the details of future climate change.
  • Significant time lags in human response systems.
  • Risks, judgments about risk, and adaptation needs are highly variable across different contexts.

Way Forward

  • Investment in R&D is needed to spur innovations in sustainable climate-friendly and climate-proof productivity, and the private sector can help on this.
  • Creation of urban policies which focus on both green cover as well as development of urban areas.
  • Micro-forests, urban forests, vertical gardens, roof-top gardens and preservation of green spaces in the urban spaces must be taken up at rapid pace.
  • All Indian states must conduct a detailed survey of their water bodies, which can serve as an insurance against floods.
  • Strict laws against encroachment of the wetlands in the urban areas must be implemented.
  • Involvement of the people in decision making on important issues like infrastructure development leads to unbiased and sustainable decision making.
  • A high-density, poly-nodal, public-transport oriented urban pattern that would reduce travel distances and encourage non-motorised travel must find favour with India’s city planners.
  • Specific environmental targets must be built into the urban planning process.
  • the new Energy Conservation Building Code should be made mandatory.
  • Promoting a green growth model and pushing for radical reforms in urban planning should be the norm.

Conclusion:

It is vital that urban and climate change policies synergise at the local body level and a sustainable growth pattern is adopted on priority. Simultaneously, the resilience of cities, particularly of their poor areas, has to be vastly improved so that they can better manage the impact of climate change.


Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

7) India is preparing for a massive digital and technological transformation; in such a phase discuss India’s preparedness with respect to embracing Industrial Revolution 4.0.(250 words)

Timesofindia

Why this question:

Recently, A pilot project for ushering in Industry 4.0 in the country has been launched at the Modern Coach Factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli.

Key demand of the question:

The question seeks to discuss the relevance and progress of Industrial revolution 4.0 for Indian economy.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief define Industrial revolution 4.0. – The fourth Industrial Revolution describes the present technological age ongoing in 21st century that has come up since the first such revolution took place in the 18th century. 

Body:

  • Explain the context of India and its progress on IR 4.0.
  • India has become the fourth country in the world where World Economic Forum has opened its centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution. 
  • Hence, India is preparing for a massive digital and technological transformation.
  • The centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution works as a network that includes USA, China and Japan. 
  • The centre would be based in Maharashtra and it has selected drones, artificial intelligence and block chain as the first three project areas.
  • NITI Aayog will coordinate the partnership on behalf of the government and the work of the centre among multiple ministries.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The fourth Industrial Revolution describes the present technological age ongoing in 21st century that has come up since the first such revolution took place in 18th century. Industry 4.0 is a complex cyber-physical system which synergies production with digital technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Analytics, Machine Learning and Cloud computing. A pilot project for ushering in Industry 4.0 in the country has been launched at the Modern Coach Factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae barelli district.

Body:

Industrial Revolution 4.0 can help in transforming India by:

  • Alleviating poverty
  • Better and low-cost healthcare
  • Enhancing farmer’s income
  • Providing new technology and equipment to farmers
  • Strengthening infrastructure, improving connectivity
  • Improve ease of living and ease of doing business

India’s preparedness to embrace IR 4.0:

  • India has become the fourth country in the world where World Economic Forum has opened its centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hence, India is preparing for a massive digital and technological transformation.
  • The centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution works as a network that includes USA, China and Japan.
  • The centre would be based in Maharashtra and it has selected drones, artificial intelligence and block chain as the first three project areas.
  • NITI Aayog will coordinate the partnership on behalf of the government and the work of the centre among multiple ministries.
  • The Department of Science and Technology has recently launched a programme ‘Intermediary Cyber Physical Systems’ (ICPS) to foster and promote R&D in AI.
  • Google at the fifth edition of its annual Google for India event announced that it is setting up a research lab focused on artifical intelligence (AI) and its applications in India. The company’s AI lab — Google Research India — is based in Bengaluru
  • The NITI Aayog has drawn up a plan for creating an institutional framework for artificial intelligence (AI) in the country. It has circulated a cabinet note to provide Rs 7,500 crore in funding for creation of cloud computing platform called AIRAWAT and research institutes.
  • A national artificial intelligence (AI) programme, will see the formation of a task force under Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan to identify projects and initiatives in which to implement the AI technology.
  • The policy will also include a national artificial intelligence centre on which will be the department that will anchor the project.
  • The proposed policy and the centre could finally see the light of day as the finance ministry has cleared the NITI Aayog’s Rs 7,500-crore plan.

Conclusion:

Schemes like Skill India, Startup India, Atal Innovation Mission and Digital India are developing youths to use new technologies. India’s diversity, demographic potential, fast growing market size and digital infrastructure have the potential to make India a global hub for Research and Development.