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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 02 OCTOBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 02 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: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1) “Swachh Bharat Mission campaign has become the global benchmark for participatory and transformative development.” Elucidate.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The author explains how in last five years, Swachh Bharat mission has captured people’s imagination, they have owned the change. Thus making it important for us to analyse in what way SBM has set a benchmark for participatory and transformative development.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the significance of SBM and the modus operandi of it that made it successful than ever before.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Explain the importance of SBM, briefly state what it has achieved.

Body:

One can start by highlighting the fact that Mahatma Gandhi dreamt of an India where no one had to suffer the indignity of open defecation. There cannot be a better tribute to him than the transformation of the country, in the last five years, from being the highest contributor to global open defecation to torch-bearer for global sanitation.

Discuss the achievements made so far, explain what factors were involved and have led to such a great success that has transformed the behavior of the society.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward that India has achieved what was unimaginable a few years ago, but the show must go on.

Introduction:

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is perhaps the largest behaviour change campaign ever, aims to make India a clean nation. The mission will cover all rural and urban areas. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that SBM could prevent about 300,000 deaths due to water borne diseases assuming we achieve 100 per cent coverage by October 2019.

Body:

The domestic impact of SBM so far:

 

  • Five hundred and eighty four districts, 5,840 blocks, 244,687 gram panchayats and 541,433 villages are open defecation free (ODF).
  • As of September 2018, the sanitation coverage of India is upwards of 93 per cent and over 465,000 villages have been declared ODF.
  • Towards the end of 2017, an independent verification agency (IVA) conducted the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS), and found that 4 per cent people who had toilets, used them regularly. NARSS also re- confirmed the ODF status of 95.6 per cent of the villages that had been verified ODF by the state governments.
  • Since October 2014, 91.5 million toilets have been constructed and 154.3 million rural households have toilets now.
  • IHHL (individual household latrine application) coverage in all states is in excess of 95 per cent, except Goa and Odisha.
  • Over the last four years, a cadre of 500,000 swachhagrahis has been created who have triggered lakhs of villages to become ODF.
  • The foot-soldiers have helped in geo-tagging toilets, verifying household behaviour, converting old toilets and retro-fitting them, engaging in other forms of cleanliness.
  • Bal Swatchata mission that was launched to inculcate cleanliness values and personal hygiene amongst children. This would go a long way in.
  • The SBM has transformed into a massive ‘Jan Andolan’ created on the ground using information, education, and communication, aiming to bring behaviour change.
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6.1 and 6.2 deals with water and sanitation respectively in which SBM is playing a massive role.

The multi-faceted approach of SBM has made it a global benchmark:

  • Political leadership:
    • Leaders at all levels are prime catalysts for large-scale transformations
    • The biggest game-changer for the SBM, was the prime minister investing his personal political capital in the mission.
    • Inspired by his leadership and commitment, various chief ministers took up the cause, creating a domino-like effect, cascading leadership to the chief secretary and in turn to collectors, all the way down to sarpanchs at the grassroots level.
  • Public financing:

 

  • Over Rs 1 lakh crore was committed to ensuring universal access to sanitation, thereby backing the political will with budgetary support.
  • About 90 per cent of the 10 crore households which received toilets were from socially and economically weaker sections of society and they received financial incentives to build and use toilets.
  • Community participation:
    • Ensuring appropriate participation of the beneficiary/communities, financially or otherwise, in the setting up of the toilets to promote ownership and sustained use.
    • A large-scale transformation can be truly successful if it captures the imagination of the people, and becomes a people’s movement or a jan andolan.
  • Flexibility in Choice:
    • SBM offers flexibility by building in a menu of options so that the poor/disadvantaged families can subsequently upgrade their toilets depending upon their requirements and their financial position.
  • Capacity Building:
    • SBM augments the institutional capacity of district to change behaviour at the grassroots level and strengthen the capacities of implementing agencies so that the programme could be rolled in a time-bound manner and collective outcomes could be measured.
  • Instil Behavior change:
    • Incentivizing the performance of State-level institutions to implement activities for behavioural change among communities.
  • Broad-based Engagement:
    • SBM set up the Swachh Bharat Kosh to encourage Corporate Social Responsibility and accept contributions from private organizations, individuals and philanthropists.
  • Use of Technology:
    • Information technology and social media is imperative to this program as it allows citizens to keep a check on the availability of toilets for every rural household in India.
    • Nearly 95 per cent of all SBM toilets have already been geo-tagged. Many mobile applications have been launched by not only the government but also by few citizens, which direct the municipal corporations’ attention towards unclear areas.
    • Under SBM, an incentive of Rs 12,000 is provided for construction of individual Household Latrines (IHHL) to eligible beneficiaries in rural areas and covers for provision of water storage.
  • Partnerships:
    • The SBM (G) partnered with implementors and influencers alike — national and international development agencies, media houses, civil society, celebrities, as well as all departments/ministries of the government of India, who pledged an additional $6 billion for sanitation in their respective sectors.
    • This “all hands on deck” approach, making sanitation everyone’s business, helped to mainstream it into the national consciousness

Way forward:

  • Focus on the forward-looking 10-year sanitation strategy to move from ODF to ODF Plus.
  • Focusing on sustaining the SBM-G gains.
  • Ensuring that no one is left behind.
  • Ensuring access to solid and liquid waste management for all villages.
  • Ensure piped water supply to all households by 2024.

Conclusion:

Mahatma Gandhi dreamt of an India where no one had to suffer the indignity of open defecation. There cannot be a better tribute to him than the transformation of the country, in the last five years, from being the highest contributor to global open defecation to torch-bearer for global sanitation.


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

2) Technological and climatic trends could see the Arctic region emerge as a hotspot of great power competition in the times ahead. Elaborate. (250 words)

Financialexpress

Why this question:

US President Donald Trump’s recent offer to buy Greenland appeared to come out of the blue. It is, however, indicative of the emerging geopolitics of the Arctic region, where climate change and China are fast destabilizing the status quo, throwing up political, security, legal, and environmental challenges.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects us to bring out the significance of Arctic region as hotspot of global power centre in terms of resources that it has to offer owing to the technological and climatic trends it is witnessing currently.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief start by explaining – India’s footprint in the Arctic oil and gas sector is increasing with Indian state-run companies investing $5 billion in various oil projects in the Russian far-east.

Body:

Explain the significance of Arctic region.

Oil and natural gas are particularly important for the energy hungry Asia-Pacific region. With the Arctic opening up for exploration, drilling in inaccessible and remote areas seem promising.

Discuss the issues underlining arctic politics.

Throw light upon India’s position amidst these issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

It has been long believed that the Arctic sea comprises one of the largest oil reserves. However, the extreme cold and unfavourable conditions had prevented any concrete exploration plans . A USGS (United State Geological Survey ) brought out an estimate that the Arctic might contain 30% of the world’s undiscovered Natural gas reserves and 13% oil reserves.

Body:

Impact of technological and climate trends on Arctic oil exploration:

  • Rising global temperature is melting Arctic sea ice, making a piece of the planet accessible for the first time in living memory.
  • Due to increased ice melt (due to global warming) this region has become accessible arousing economic interest rather than alarm over the ice melt.
  • the vanishing ice also opens up two new faster shipping routes that sharply reduce the distance between Western countries and Asia by connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
  • Shipping companies have already built 500 ice-class ships, suitable for the Arctic region. More are under construction.
  • Cargo liners herald the intense competition to grab the abundance of natural resources that lie under the melting sea ice.
  • There is a substantial increase in drilling activities in the current decade with the melting of the summer ice in the region.
  • Countries with direct access to the Arctic Ocean—USA, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia and those further away, such as China and India, are likely to exert a significant influence in the drilling for Arctic oil and gas.
  • Norway have deep water rig sites set up in the Arctic to extract gas.
  • Russia owns nearly 80% of the oil and gas under the Arctic shelf. Russia’s two biggest hydrocarbon companies—Rosneft and Gazprom. The former holds monopoly over Russia’s oil and has the expertise to drill for off-shore oil, while Gazprom, Russia’s gas monopoly largely handles land-based projects.

India and the Arctic:

  • India’s footprint in the Arctic oil and gas sector is increasing with Indian state-run companies investing $5 billion in various oil projects in the Russian far-east.
  • On September 17, 2019 in a new development, a consortium of oil companies in India—IndianOil, ONGC Videsh, Bharat Petro Resources entered into a preliminary agreement for a stake, with Rosenoft, in the Vostok and Eastern Cluster oil projects in the Arctic region.
  • India plans to import oil through a new sea route that would connect Vladivostok with Chennai.
  • For India, which is still substantially coal-driven, dependency on oil and gas shall remain for the next few years, making the Arctic forage a necessity to make India energy secure.

Challenges:

  • Arctic oil and gas exploration is ridden with challenges ranging from technological hurdles in the freezing environment, to shifts in policy regimes and environmental concerns that overrule industry needs in many nations.
  • The Arctic’s vast reservoirs of fossil fuel, fish and minerals, including rare earth materials, are now accessible for a longer period.
  • But unlike Antarctica, which is protected from exploitation by the Antarctic Treaty framed during the Cold War and is not subject to territorial claims by any country,
  • There is no legal regime protecting the Arctic from industrialisation, especially at a time when the world craves for more and more resources

Conclusion:

Several estimates point towards a plateau in global demand by 2023, keeping in mind huge investments in renewable energy. Nations while indulging in the Arctic rush shall do well to remember the basic law of ecology that one cannot change one thing in nature and that everything is connected with everything else.


Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary; Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

3) Discuss the merits of the idea of setting up of the regional Supreme Court benches and  ‘divisions’ of the top court and also discuss the possible procedure that would be followed if the idea has to be taken further. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article discusses in depth that travelling to New Delhi or engaging expensive Supreme Court counsel to pursue a case is beyond the means of most litigants. It also highlights the fact that Standing Committees of Parliament recommended in 2004, 2005, and 2006 that Benches of the court be set up elsewhere.

Key demand of the question:

One has to provide for arguments for the merits of establishing multiple benches of the apex court to address the growing pendency of cases with the judiciary and discuss how it can be achieved.

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: 

Discuss the need for multiple benches.

Body:

Explain the current situation of Judiciary. The issues plaguing it and why multiple benches can be a way forward.

Discuss in depth the recommendations given by various law commissions so far and justify with your opinion as to what would be ideal.

Explain both the pros and cons associated and conclude.

Conclusion:

Conclude that though It is obvious that travelling to New Delhi or engaging expensive Supreme Court counsel to pursue a case is beyond the means of most litigants, the Supreme Court however has not agreed with the proposal to set up regional benches, which in its opinion will dilute the prestige of the court.

Introduction:

 The Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu strongly endorsed the recommendation of the Law Commission towards splitting the Supreme Court into Constitutional Division and Courts of Appeal for steady disposal of cases. He also underlined the need to set up four Regional Benches of the apex court and went to the extent of saying that this arrangement does not require any amendment to the Constitution (as per Article 130).

Body:

Article 130 of the Constitution says: “The Supreme Court shall sit in Delhi or in such other place or places, as the Chief Justice of India may, with the approval of the President, from time to time appoint.” Supreme Court Rules give the Chief Justice of India the power to constitute Benches — he can, for instance, have a Constitution Bench of seven judges in New Delhi, and set up smaller Benches in, say, four or six places across the country.

Merits of setting up regional SC benches and divisions:

  • In the early decades of the Republic, the Supreme Court of India functioned largely as a constitutional court, with some 70-80 judgments being delivered every year by Constitution Benches of five or more judges who ruled, as per Article 145(3) of the Constitution, on matters “involving a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution”.
  • This number has now come down to 10-12.
  • Due to their heavy workload, judges mostly sit in two- or three-judge Benches to dispose of all kinds of cases; these include several non-Constitutional and relatively petty matters such as bans (or lifting of bans) on films, or allegations that a Commissioner of Police is misusing his powers.
  • On some occasions, even PILs on demands such as Sardar jokes should be banned, or that Muslims should be sent out of the country, come before the Supreme Court.
  • More than 65,000 cases are pending in the Supreme Court, and disposal of appeals takes many years.
  • Several cases involving the interpretation of the Constitution by five or seven judges have been pending for years.
  • It is obvious that travelling to New Delhi or engaging expensive Supreme Court counsel to pursue a case is beyond the means of most litigants.

Demerits:

  • The Supreme Court has not agreed with the proposal, which in its opinion will dilute the prestige of the court.
  • Article 130 says that the Supreme Court shall sit in Delhi or in such other place or places, as the CJI may, with the approval of the President, from time to time, appoint.

Views of the law Commissions in the past:

  • The Supreme Court of India should consist of two Divisions, namely (a) Constitutional Division, and (b) Legal Division.
  • Only matters of Constitutional law may be assigned to the proposed Constitutional Division.
  • A Constitution Bench be set up at Delhi to deal with constitutional and other allied issues”.
  • Four Cassation Benches be set up in the Northern region/zone at Delhi, the Southern region/zone at Chennai/Hyderabad, the Eastern region/zone at Kolkata and the Western region/zone at Mumbai to deal with all appellate work arising out of the orders/judgments of the High Courts of the particular region”.

Way forward:

  • Induction of capable judges and quality lawyers besides improving the quality of legal education to enable delivery of justice in time.
  • To cut the present delays in delivering justice, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) may be evolved by the judiciary by which the number of permissible adjournments can be specified.
  • A time limit can be set for disposal of cases based on the nature of issues involved.
  • The Government should be more proactive in addressing the large number of pending vacancies in the judicial system so that delays are avoided.
  • The judiciary and the Government to act in tandem in this regard.
  • Election cases and cases of criminal proceedings against politicians to be decided by special benches of higher courts for their disposal within six months
  • Immediate attention needs to be paid to the quality of legal education in the country.
  • Ethical standards of profession should be imbibed by the students of law and the practicing lawyers.

Conclusion:

The speed and quality of justice delivery in the country has a huge bearing on the economic development as it impacts the flow of investment. It would be better if judges at various levels are exposed to special orientation programmes organised by the judiciary itself on various technical and specialised branches of emerging laws and the attendant issues and processes.


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

4) Is it imperative to focus on agricultural production in devising a long-term solution to the problem of unemployment and the present slowdown in economy? Critically Analyse. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article discusses the importance of agricultural production in devising a long-term solution to the problem of unemployment and the present slowdown in economy. 

Key demand of the question:

One must establish the significance of agricultural production in devising a long-term solution to address the issues of unemployment and economic slowdown currently being witnessed by the country.

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 narrate the agrarian situation in the country.

Body:

In brief, write a note on the role and significance of agriculture in Indian economy. Analyze the performance of agriculture in the last few years. Then critically look into, how emphasis on agricultural production will address the present issues in economy- unemployment and the slowdown. 

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Growth has slowed for the past few quarters, the past two-and-a-half years, if we go by annual growth rates. Globally, industrial growth driven by mindless consumption is the cause of climate change, now unmistakably upon us. According to NITI Aayog, the current economic slowdown is the worst economic slowdown that India has faced since independence. Moreover, the slowdown has been witnessed in consumption in the Indian economy. From many decades, consumption has been the major driver of growth in the Indian economy. Income stagnation has been the cause of consumption slowdown.

Body:

Yes, it is imperative to focus n agricultural production due to :

  • Rural unemployment is on all time high.
  • Unstable agricultural production first lowers the demand for agricultural labour and, subsequently, its supply, showing up in greater unemployment.
  • This affects the investment rate as when non-agricultural firms observe slow agricultural growth, they are likely to hold their investment plans.
  • Also, low agricultural export growth, the dismal banking credit, suggest that poor agricultural performance is a significant explanation of slack domestic demand.
  • Figures reported in the report of the last Periodic Labour Force Survey point to a dramatic rise in the unemployment rate since 2011-12, when the previous survey on unemployment was undertaken.
  • Apart from the category of ‘Urban Females’, the most recent estimate of unemployment shows that it is the highest in the 45 years since 1972-73. But even for ‘Urban Females’, it is double what it was in 2011-12.
  • For the largest cohort, namely ‘Rural Males’, in 2017-18, it is four times the average for the 40 years up to 2011-12.
  • These figures should convince us of the existence of a grave situation, if not crisis, with respect to employment in the country.

Need for a long term solution:

  • Any long-term solution to the problem of unemployment to which the slowing growth of the economy is related must start with agricultural production.
  • It has long been recognised that there is a crop-yield cycle related to annual variations in rainfall but we are now witnessing a stagnation.
  • We may be experiencing an ecological undertow, and it could defeat our best-laid plans for progress.
  • Now, unlike in the case of a cycle, recovery cannot simply be assumed.
  • We would need the expertise of agricultural scientists to confirm what exactly is responsible for this state but it would not be out to place to ask if there is not a role for ecological factors in causing agricultural stagnation.
  • These factors encompass land degradation involving loss of soil moisture and nutrients, and the drop in the water table, leading to scarcity which raises the cost of cultivation.
  • Almost all of this is directly man-made, related as it is to over-exploitation or abuse, as in the case of excessive fertilizer use, of the earth’s resources.
  • Then there the increasingly erratic rainfall, actually due to climate change entirely induced by human action.
  • A deeper adaptation is required to deal with these factors. Intelligent governance, resource deployment and change in farmer behaviour would all need to combine for this.
  • It is significant that the reality of an unstable agricultural sector rendering economy-wide growth fragile has not elicited an adequate economic policy response.
  • Policy focus is disproportionately on the tax rate, the ease of doing business in the non-agricultural sector and a fussy adherence to a dubious fiscal-balance target.
  • It is now time to draw in the public agricultural institutes and farmer bodies for their views on how to resuscitate the sector.

Conclusion:

To tackle the unemployment crisis, action will be needed on multiple fronts including investments in human capital, the revival of the productive sectors, and programmes to stimulate small entrepreneurship. The rural picture matters not only because the largest numbers are located there but also because of their low incomes. This means that the future growth of demand for much of industrial production is likely to come from there. The high unemployment rate for ‘Rural Males’ does suggest that we have zoomed in up to a reasonable degree of precision on the site of low demand. India does need some growth as income levels here are still very low. The problem of low incomes can, however, be tackled even with less growth so long as it is of the appropriate type.


Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

5) States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh face floods frequently because of various natural and manmade reasons. Analyse floods with Patna as a case study in mind.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Nearly 110 people died in rain-related incidents across the country in the past four days, with Uttar Pradesh reporting the maximum deaths, while

Incessant rainfall in Bihar has badly hit normal life, with almost all areas of capital city Patna under knee-deep waters and people struggling to meet their daily needs.

demand of the question:

One has to explain the causative factors of the flood situation in the states of Bihar and UP.

Directive:

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Narrate the ongoing situation in these states.

Body:

In brief discuss the flood situation in Bihar and UP. 

Explain the causative factors of the floods – discuss both manmade and natural causes of it.

Discuss using the case study of Patna; describe specific issues that have left the situation grim.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to address the situation both short term and long term.

Introduction:

Several parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were reeling from floods on Monday following continuing showers over the past few days. Incessant precipitation has deluged many districts, causing havoc, snapping communication lines and claiming several lives.

Body:

The water footprint is a measure of humanity’s appropriation of fresh water in volumes of water consumed and/or polluted. It helps us understand for what purposes our limited freshwater resources are being consumed and polluted.

Factors causing floods:

Natural factors:

  • More than average rainfall:
    • India’s northern states have received above-average rainfall on account of sustained low-pressure conditions.

Anthropogenic factors:

  • Uncontrolled urbanization:
    • Unregulated construction in Patna has been blamed for the situation the city has found itself in over the last few days.
    • The linear development which has been along major road networks, has completely ignored the varying and ecologically sensitive landscape.
    • Substantial portions of revenue lands in the State are wetlands and forests, which has resulted in a shortage of buildable land parcels.
    • This in turn is creating huge pressure on these ecologically fragile areas for conversion to government-supported infrastructure projects as well as private profit-making enterprises.
  • Poor planning:
    • The State Action Plans on Climate Change elucidate measures for disaster-risk reduction in the wake of an increasing frequency of heavy rainfall in turn leading to more flooding and landslides.
    • Though plans and laws such as Integrated Water Resources Management or Coastal Regulation Zone Notification hold key solutions to natural disasters that are linked to water management, most of them are not implemented or followed to the letter.
    • A lack of holistic and coordinated measures within planning departments has resulted in further problems
    • Roads, railway lines and housing colonies being laid and built without regard for natural water ways, but with formal planning permission.
  • Dilution of laws:
    • The need of the hour is for a review and revision of building bye-laws for urban and rural areas in accordance with bettering environmental sustainability.
  • Land use:
    • Injudicious use of land is responsible for making states more prone to floods and landslides.
    • However, other factors such as a change in land use patterns and climate change could have contributed to the situation on the ground.
  • Deforestation:
    • Unfettered development activity had increased the chances of landslides, a major cause of casualties during the floods.
  • Extra: Mismanagement of dams:
    • For dams to truly tame floods, experts say dam reservoirs need to be relatively empty before the onset of rain. This was not the case in many states.
    • Local officials have been blamed for exacerbating the situation by failing to gradually open the dams dotting the state’s complex river network, waiting instead until they were already full before unleashing the excess water.
    • More flooding was caused by emergency releases from dams that were full. Despite forecasts of more rain, there were no controlled releases.
    • World Bank analysis while preparing the National Hydrology Project (NHP) in 2015 showed that although weather forecasts are more accurate now, dam managers (especially bureaucrats) are reluctant to authorise advance controlled releases.

Measures needed for flood management:

  • The dire need is for watershed-based master planning and development legislated guidelines for each major river basin, especially those that impact densely populated settlements.
  • There must be a demarcation of ecologically sensitive zones using existing village survey maps and public participation.
  • There must be clear land use plan for these zones specifying flood plains, protected forest areas, agricultural and plantation zones, with details of the types of crops, building usages permitted and the density of buildings permitted.
  • To compensate owners in non-buildable areas, there must be strategies such as Transfer of Development Rights to buildable zones in cities.
  • The master plan should focus on permitting only ecologically sensitive building strategies for these areas by proposing new construction techniques.
  • Controlled development can be proposed using building height rules, floor area ratio control, and restrictions on cutting and filling natural land.
  • Strategies to make sure that all infrastructure projects are carried out in a scientific manner with strict scrutiny must be specified.
  • This should include roads built on difficult terrain and all public infrastructure projects in wetlands and the High Ranges.
  • Copenhagen in Denmark, which faces a similar problem of repeated flooding, has come up with active cloudburst responsive planning as a process to develop the city in line with climate change needs.

Conclusion:

A complete overhaul of processes to hire technical expertise which allows access to necessary skills, and with a long-term vision of capacity building of local agencies, is the way forward.


TopicRole of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6) Do you agree with the fact that Educational institutions in India recently have ceased to become temples of values? What are its repercussions? Discuss with suitable justifications to your opinion. (250 words)

Economictimes

Key demand of the question:

The question is straightforward and aims to ascertain effect that educational institutions have in forming value system of an individual.

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 explain the significance of values in an individual’s life.

Body:

Start with describing what values schools, colleges and educational institutions inculcate then proceed how these values have denigrated. Explain how education must focus on developing a holistic personality. 

Implications on self and society at large are to be mentioned to address the question comprehensively.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Value education is the first step for a peaceful and happy society thus it is critical to the development of an individual.

Introduction:

Value education is always essential to shape one’s life and to give one an opportunity of performing on the global stage. The need for value education among the parents, children, teachers etc, is constantly increasing as we continue to witness increasing violent activities, behavioural disorders and lack of unity in the society etc.

Body:

Role of educational institutions in value education:

  • Education in its aims, curriculum and methods is linked with values. It is through education that society seeks to preserve and promote its cherished values.
  • Whatever is learnt and imbibed will determine to how students will live out their lives in future.
  • Educational institutions provide a structured environment where children learn values of cooperation, hard work etc.
  • Punctuality, Commitment, Sincerity, Sharing, Caring, Fairness, Helping, Independence, Responsibility, Humility, Pride need to be inculcated in a child.
  • Lessons of Honesty, Social Justice, Sensitising children with empathy towards vulnerable sections of the society.
  • Teaching Gender Equality, Respect for elders, Truthfulness, Tolerance, Peace, Love for nature & mankind, Positive Attitude, Spirituality, Nationalist feelings, Patriotism, Discipline etc.

However, in the recent days educational institutions have ceased to be temple of values due to:

  • Due to commercialization of education teaching has become a pure profession rather than a passion.
  • Success of a student is being measured only in terms of ranks and grades which is resulting loss of values such as integrity and discipline. Students are forced to adopt any means-moral or immoral to achieve good grades. For example, Bihar board examinations where mass copying was done.
  • It has also caused increased stress in the minds of students which has resulted in unfortunate events like ending the life of another student just to avoid an exam i.e. Gurugram school incident.
  • In order to reduce the expenditure, several schools have outsourced transport and house-keeping to third party which lead to unauthenticated staff entering the premises. This has resulted in sexual assaults and rape of innocent children, especially in national capital and other major cities.
  • Moral vacuum created in the schools and colleges have lead to incidents such as drug abuse and intolerance towards fellow classmates.
  • Increasing influence of social media and internet has distanced the hearts of human beings. Team work and compassion have been lost. Students have become insensitive to the problems of self and society at large thus falling prey to games like Blue-Whale challenge.

Implications:

  • On Self: Loss of self-worth and confidence. Bad attributes like greed, jealousy, revenge, violence are cultivated as a result. Though one can be a successful lawyer, engineer or a doctor but one will remain as ethical dwarf without values.
  • On Society: School is a building with four walls with a brighter tomorrow inside. If schools fail to inculcate values then future generation may be influenced by societal evils. Increase in intolerance, radicalization, gender discrimination and crime may be seen.
  • Trust in the educational institutions is lost.

Conclusion:

“The aim of education is the knowledge, not facts but of values.” –William Ralph. Schools and colleges must ensure that strong value system is in place right from the childhood through timely ethical education. Value education is the first step for a peaceful and happy society.


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

7) “The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart.- Mahatma Gandhi”. Analyse the quote with suitable examples.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article talks about the significance of Democracy as expressed by Mahatma Gandhi.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain what values a true democracy must encompass.

Directive:

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. 

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief narrate the meaning of the quote.

Body:

Explain that in a democratic country like India the importance and inevitability of social justice cannot be minimized. It is especially for the reason that social justice is one of the main problems of India. Hundreds of thousands of people are still in want of social justice. Consequently, they suffer in political, economic and intellectual spheres. Hence, Mahatma Gandhi laid a great stress on decentralization of power so that participation of each and every one in political and economic fields could ascertain. Moreover, on the strength of this participation common men could also enjoy a standard of living, and along with intellectual growth they could find a way to achieve equality in society.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of the quote.

Introduction:

Gandhiji is hailed as the founding father of the Indian republic and one of the architects of democratic politics in modern India, it is not recognised equally well today that we can draw valuable lessons of political action and democracy from him. However, it goes without saying that Gandhi is perhaps more relevant now than ever before for our understanding of democracy, at a time when India finds itself at a crossroads between a hope for civic republicanism and a practice of demagogic populism.

Body:

According to Gandhiji, ‘True democracy is not inconsistent with a few persons representing the spirit, the hope and the aspirations of those whom they claim to represent. I hold that democracy cannot be evolved by forcible methods. The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within’.

  • Democracy:
    • As the history of modern India shows us, while political parties have been subservient to the masses and the masses have followed party leaders without questioning, some political figures like Gandhi or Ambedkar had the courage to turn against mobs.
    • Gandhi considered contempt for civic virtue as a betrayal of the spirit of democracy.
    • For him, democratic governance, unlike party politics, which always tends towards unexamined and obedient masses, was based on the maturity of citizens.
    • Gandhi considered masses guilty of what politicians became. As he put it: “We the people make the rulers what they are.”
    • Gandhi, therefore, approached pragmatic politics as a form of character-building and not necessarily organising a political party and winning seats in Parliament.
  • Non-imposition and tolerance:
    • In place of a violent display of opinions, Gandhi espoused “sweet persuasion”.
    • According to him, “Anger proves our intolerance,” adding that the “capacity to bear one another’s criticism is a very important quality of public life.”
  • Politics:
    • Gandhi’s view of politics starts where party politics ends.
    • What Gandhi understands by politics is the art of organising society, not the technique of power making and party organising.
    • Things have degenerated to such an extent that now there is actually a premium on abusive and “unparliamentary” language, often in Parliament.
    • That is why Gandhian politics is at the same time anti-populist and anti-elitist.
  • The need for moral leaders:
    • This is perhaps because politics in contemporary India, as everywhere else in the world, finds itself prisoner of the administrative system and the corporate mindset, both of which suffer from a severe absence of self-examination.
    • High level of corruption and criminalization of politics (ADR reports) show that there is a need for moral leaders rather than mass mobilizers.

Conclusion:

Gandhi, the moral leader, was not a pure idealist. He was a pragmatic practitioner, who wanted to apply ethical values and civilisational criteria to the political organisation of Indian society and beyond. Strangely, the Gandhian common sense is considered as an irrelevant and insignificant matter to the eyes of those who are ruling India and the world today.