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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 OCTOBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 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 world’s physical geography. Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

1) What do you understand by Intrusive volcanic landforms? Discuss briefly the different types of intrusive landforms. (250 words)

Physical Geography by G C Leong

Why this question:

The question is straight forward and is based on the static portions of GS paper I.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the concept of Intrusive landforms with suitable diagrams and discuss them in detail.

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 short define what landforms are.

Body:

Explain the following in the answer body-

Volcanic eruptions result in the formation of landforms and here we are going to discuss volcanic landforms.

Intrusive Forms – The lava that is discharged during volcanic eruptions on cooling develops into igneous rocks.

The cooling may take place either on arriving on the surface or also while the lava is still in the crustal portion.

According to the location of the cooling of the lava, igneous rocks are categorized as plutonic rocks and volcanic rocks.

The lava that cools inside the crustal portions takes diverse forms. These forms are called intrusive forms.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of these landforms.

Introduction:

A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. The process is called Volcanism and has been ongoing on Earth since the initial stages of its evolution over 4 billion years ago.

Body:

Volcanic landforms are divided into extrusive and intrusive landforms based on weather magma cools within the crust or above the crust. Rocks formed by either plutonic (cooling of magma within the crust) or volcanic (cooling of lava above the surface) are called ‘Igneous rocks’.

Intrusive Volcanic Landforms: Intrusive landforms are formed when magma cools within the crust. The intrusive activity of volcanoes gives rise to various forms.

  • Batholiths:
    • These are huge mass of igneous rocks, usually of granite.
    • These rock masses formed due to cooling down and solidification of hot magma inside the earth.
    • They appear on the surface only after the denudation processes remove the overlying materials and may be exposed on surface after erosion.
    • Example: Wicklow mountains of Ireland; the uplands of Brittany, France.
  • Laccoliths:
    • These are large dome-shaped intrusive bodies connected by a pipe-like conduit from below.
    • These are basically intrusive counterparts of an exposed domelike batholith.
    • Example: The laccoliths of Henry mountains in the Utah, USA.
  • Lopolith:
    • As and when the lava moves upwards, a portion of the same may tend to move in a horizontal direction wherever it finds a weak plane.
    • In case it develops into a saucer shape, concave to the sky body, it is called Lopolith.
    • Example: The Bushveld lopolith of Transvaal, South Africa.
  • Phacolith:
    • A wavy mass of intrusive rocks, at times, is found at the base of synclines or at the top of anticline in folded igneous country.
    • Such wavy materials have a definite conduit to source beneath in the form of magma chambers (subsequently developed as batholiths). These are called the Phacoliths.
    • Example: Corndon hill in Shropshire, England.
  • Sills:
    • These are solidified horizontal lava layers inside the earth.
    • The near horizontal bodies of the intrusive igneous rocks are called sill or sheet, depending on the thickness of the material.
    • The thinner ones are called sheets while the thick horizontal deposits are called sills.
    • Example: Great whin sill of NE England
  • Dykes:
    • When the lava makes its way through cracks and the fissures developed in the land, it solidifies almost perpendicular to the ground.
    • It gets cooled in the same position to develop a wall-like structure. Such structures are called dykes.
    • These are the most commonly found intrusive forms in the western Maharashtra area. These are considered the feeders for the eruptions that led to the development of the Deccan traps. Cleveland Dyke of Yorkshire, England.

Conclusion:

                Volcanic activities have a profound influence on earth’s landforms. Solid, liquid or gaseous materials may find their way to the surface from some deep-seated reservoir beneath.


Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography. Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.,

2) Explain in detail the processes through which the earth-atmosphere system maintains heat balance. (250 words)

Physical geography NCERT class XI

Why this question:

The question is based on the concept of Earth’s heat budget.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain the concept in detail with necessary diagrams.

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: 

Define the concept of heat budget in brief.

Body:

The sun is the ultimate energy source for the entire universe. Though the sun is continuously radiating energy, the earth as a whole does not accumulate or lose heat. It maintains its temperature. This is popularly known as heat budget or heat balance of the earth.

This can happen only if the amount of heat received in the form of insulation is equal to the amount lost by the earth in the form of terrestrial radiation. 

Briefly explain the different ways of heating and cooling of the atmosphere.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the application of the concept in day to day life on Earth. 

Introduction:

The sun is the primary source of energy for the earth. The sun radiates its energy in all directions into space in short wavelengths, which is known as solar radiation. The earth receives a certain amount of Insolation (short waves) and gives back heat into space by terrestrial radiation (longwave radiation). Through this give and take, or the heat budget, the earth maintains a constant temperature.

Body:

The sun is the ultimate source of atmospheric heat and energy. There are different ways of heating and cooling of the atmosphere.

  • Terrestrial Radiation
    • Before discussing terrestrial radiation, the following facts about radiation are worth noting.
    • All objects whether hot or cold emit radiant energy continuously.
    • Hotter objects emit more energy per unit area than colder objects.
    • The temperature of an object determines the wavelength of radiation. Temperature and wavelength are inversely proportional. Hotter the object, shorter is the length of the wave.
    • So, when the earth’s surface after being heated up by the insolation (in the form of short waves), it becomes a radiating body.
    • The earth’s surface starts to radiate energy to the atmosphere in the form of long waves.
    • This is what we call as terrestrial radiation. This energy heats up the atmosphere from bottom to top.
    • It should be noted that the atmosphere is transparent to short waves and opaque to long waves.
    • The long-wave radiation is absorbed by the atmospheric gases particularly by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Thus, the atmosphere is indirectly heated by the terrestrial radiation.
    • The atmosphere, in turn, radiates and transmits heat to space. Finally, the amount of heat received from the sun is returned to space, thereby maintaining a constant temperature at the earth’s surface and in the atmosphere.
  • Conduction (transfer of heat by contact)
    • Conduction is the process of heat transfer from a warmer object to a cooler object when they come in contact with each other.
    • The flow of heat energy continues till the temperature of both the objects become equal or the contact is broken.
    • The conduction in the atmosphere occurs at the zone of contact between the atmosphere and the earth’s surface.
    • Conduction is important in heating the lower layers of the atmosphere.
  • Convection (vertical transfer of heat)
    • Transfer of heat by the movement of a mass or substance from one place to another, generally vertical, is called convection.
    • The air of the lower layers of the atmosphere gets heated either by the earth’s radiation or by conduction. The heating of the air leads to its expansion. Its density decreases and it moves upwards.
    • The continuous ascent of heated air creates a vacuum in the lower layers of the atmosphere. As a consequence, cooler air comes down to fill the vacuum, leading to convection.
    • The cyclic movement associated with the convectional process in the atmosphere transfer heat from the lower layer to the upper layer and heats up the atmosphere.
    • The convection transfer of energy is confined only to the troposphere.
  • Advection (horizontal transfer of heat)
    • The transfer of heat through horizontal movement of air (wind) is called advection.
    • Winds carry the temperature of one place to another. The temperature of a place will rise if it lies in the path of winds coming from warmer regions. The temperature will fall if the place lies in the path of the winds blowing from cold regions.
    • Horizontal movement of the air is relatively more important than the vertical movement. In the middle latitudes, most of diurnal (day and night) variations in daily weather are caused by advection alone.
    • In tropical regions particularly in northern India during the summer season, local winds called ‘Loo’ is the outcome of advection process.

Conclusion:

The atmosphere is essential for the survival of plant and animal life. They also require the optimum temperature to keep themselves warm and grow. However, the effect of this variation is masked by some other factors like the distribution of land and sea and the atmospheric circulation. Hence the variation does not have a greater effect on daily weather changes on the surface of the earth.


Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

3) Human rights rooted in an abstract concept of caste, religion will be bad for Indian society, explain the statement while justifying the fact that human rights are inseparable from a full understanding of democracy.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article highlights the fact that our human rights should not be based on

The basis of religious, national or cultural differences.

Key demand of the question:

One has to highlight the importance of human rights in a democratic political setup. 

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: 

In brief explain the essence of human rights and their significance in a democracy and in what way Human rights rooted in an abstract concept of caste, religion will be bad for Indian society.

Body:

Explain the following aspects: 

In India, instances of honor killing are on the rise. Perpetrators of this crime believe that their crime is justified since they are upholding the purity of their family.

Caste violence in India is on the rise in recent times. Dalit rights and other minority rights have suffered due to this caste violence which is powered by the existing narrow majoritarian ideology in the society now. 

Example: Cow lynching.

 Violation of Dalit rights is justified on caste grounds.

How should human rights be defined then?

Basic human rights have to be the same across all such differences.

basic human rights —food, inheritance and reproductive rights,

Education and freedom of work and movement— cannot be denied on the basis of gender differences, just as they cannot be denied on the basis of ‘race’.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. They apply regardless of where you are from, what you believe or how you choose to live your life. They can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted – for example if a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security. These basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence. These values are defined and protected by law.

Body:

Human rights are rooted in an abstract concept of caste, religion in South Asia:

  • There are families in South Asian nations who would kill their child — usually a daughter — for the sake of ‘family honour.’
  • At larger levels, there are killings or hounding of people who believe differently in our religion for the sake of that religion.
  • There is persecution and brutalising of citizens who have a different vision of our nation for the sake of that ‘nation’.
  • caste violence: Instances of Dalit children being beaten to death for defecating in the open.
  • Communal conflicts between religious groups have been prevalent in India since around the time of its independence from British Rule. E.g.: The 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots during which Sikhs were massacred.
  • Until the Delhi High Court decriminalised consensual private sexual acts between consenting adults in 2009 homosexuality was considered criminal as per interpretations of the ambiguous Section 377 of the 150-year-old Indian Penal Code (IPC), a law passed by the colonial British authorities.

Human rights and democracy:

  • Human rights have to be rooted in the actual biological existence of human beings in society.
  • Basic human rights — that is, access to shelter, food, inheritance and reproductive rights, education, and freedom of work and movement — cannot be denied on the basis of gender differences, just as they cannot be denied on the basis of ‘race’.
  • Various other rights may differ from society to society, but basic human rights have to be the same across all such differences.
  • If differences of nationality, culture, gender, colour, sexuality, etc. mean that basic human rights have to change across these categories, then we are basically arguing that the ‘human’ does not exist, or it exists only as an abstract concept, un-rooted in biological and other realities.
  • Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are essential elements of democracy.

Conclusion:

Democracy does not mean merely the right to vote and send representatives to the Parliament or the Legislature. Democracy must provide an environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights.


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

 4) In the backdrop of the recent Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, what must India do better to keep pace with its South Asian neighbor’s in tackling hunger? Analyse the causes and the challenges while suggesting way forward.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article highlights the fact that the 2019 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report highlights that India’s poorer neighbors: Bangladesh, Nepal, and even Pakistan have overtaken India in the battle against hunger. Thus necessitating us to evaluate the situation.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss what should be India’s stand to tackle hunger, how should it overcome the lacunas at par with its neighbors.

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 bring out the details of the report.

Body:

Explain in detail the following aspects: Highlight the facts brought out by the report; The GHI report ranks India at a lowly 102 out of 117 countries listed. Among all the countries included in the report, India has the highest rate of child wasting (which rose from the 2008-2012 level of 16.5 per cent to 20.8 per cent).Its child stunting rate (at 37.9 per cent) also remains shockingly high.

Discuss the causes that have led to the situation.

Explain that the relative success of our neighbors in combating hunger — Nepal emerging from 15 years of civil war and Pakistan still torn by internal conflict — is a sobering reminder of what India has not accomplished.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done.

Introduction:

In the recently released Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report-2019, India was ranked at 102nd position out of 117 countries. The report is an annual publication that is jointly prepared by the Concern Worldwide (an Irish agency) and the Welt Hunger Hilfe (a German organization). The report is based on four GHI indicators namely, undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality.

Body:

Key findings:

  • India’s rank has slipped from 95th position (in 2010) to 102nd (in 2019). Over a longer-term duration, the fall in India’s rank is sharper, i.e, from 83rd out of 113 countries in 2000 to 102nd out of 117 in 2019.
  • According to the report, India’s child wasting rate was extremely high at 20.8% – the highest for any country.
  • Child wasting refers to the share of children under the age of five who are wasted, i.e, they have low weight with respect to their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.
  • The share of wasting among children in India marked a steep rise from 16.5% in the 2008-2012 to 20.8% in 2014-2018.
  • According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), child wasting is a strong predictor of mortality among children (under 5 yrs. of age).
  • India has demonstrated an improvement in other indicators that includes, under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of stunting among children, and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food.
  • The report also took note of open defecation in India as an impacting factor for health. It pointed out that as of 2015–2016, 90% of Indian households used an improved drinking water source while 39% of households had no sanitation facilities.
  • Open defecation jeopardizes the population’s health and severely impacts children’s growth and their ability to absorb nutrients.

Reasons for rising hunger:

  • Issues with agriculture:
    • The change from multi to mono cropping systems limits the diversity of agricultural products.
    • Inclination towards cash crops and changing food habits result in malnutrition, undernutrition and even micro-nutrient deficiencies.
  • Food wastage:
    • Food wastage is also an emerging challenge that undermines the efforts to end hunger and malnutrition.
    • According to the FAO, the global volume of food wastage is estimated at 1.6 billion tonnes of primary product equivalents.
  • Unstable markets:
    • Rising food prices make it difficult for the poorest people to get nutritious food consistently which is exactly what they need to do.
  • Natural disasters:
    • Natural disasters such as floods, tropical storms and long periods of drought are on the increase with calamitous consequences for the hungry poor in developing countries.
  • Societal Issues:
    • In many parts women’s nutritional requirements are often unmet as they consume whatever is left after everyone else has eaten.
    • Low agricultural investments and poor health, sanitation and childcare practices are other hindrances in achieving zero hunger.
    • Conflict, economic slowdown and rapidly increasing overweight and obesity levels are reversing progress made in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
  • Climate change impact:
    • Erratic rainfall and increasing frequency of extreme events have impacted agricultural activities everywhere creating unfavourable conditions for food production.
    • Climate variability affecting rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and climate extremes such as droughts and floods, are among the key drivers behind the rise in hunger, together with conflict and economic slowdowns
    • Changes in climate are already undermining production of major crops such as wheat, rice and maize in tropical and temperate regions and, without building climate resilience, this is expected to worsen as temperatures increase and become more extreme.
    • Analysis in the UN report the prevalence and number of undernourished people tend to be higher in countries highly exposed to climate extremes.

Measures needed:

In India, to combat the malnutrition levels both immediate and long term interventions are needed.

  • Around 85 to 90% of wasting can be managed at the community level.
  • Now, the nutritional rehabilitation centres are coming up across the country. It can help in taking care of the institutional needs of the children who are already malnourished.
  • But to prevent it from happening, mothers need to be educated about nutrition at anganwadis, access to clean drinking water and sanitation has to be ensured, and livelihood security is needed.
  • However, for immediate intervention, nutritional formulation needs to be made available at community level.
  • Public Distribution System must be universalised (excluding income tax payees), and should distribute not just cereals but also pulses and edible oils. Further, we need to reimagine it as a decentralised system where a variety of crops are procured and distributed locally.
  • Both pre-school feeding and school meals need adequate budgets, and the meals should be supplemented with nutrient-rich foods such as dairy products, eggs and fruits..
  • Social protection also entails universal pension for persons not covered by formal schemes, universal maternity entitlements to enable all women in informal work to rest and breast-feed their children, a vastly expanded creche scheme, and residential schools for homeless children and child workers.
  • Long-term investments in health, sanitation and nutrition are far more effective in preventing deaths due to severe acute malnutrition.
  • The NNM would do well to keep such studies in mind

Way forward:

  • Achieving zero hunger requires agriculture and food systems to become more efficient, sustainable, climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive.
  • labour reforms which protect job security, fair work conditions and social security of all workers.
  • The time has come for an urban employment guarantee programme, to help build basic public services and infrastructure for the urban poor — especially slum and pavement residents, and the homeless.
  • This should also include employment in the care economy, with services for child-care, children and adults with disability and older persons.
  • There is a need for synchronisation among malnutrition, dietary diversity and production diversity.
  • Policies must pay special attention to groups who are the most vulnerable to the harmful consequences of poor food access: infants, children aged under five, school-aged children, adolescent girls, and women.
  • There is an urgent requirement for a legally enforceable right to healthcare, with universal and free out-patient and hospital-based care, free diagnostics and free medicines.
  • A sustainable shift must be made towards nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems that can provide safe and high-quality food for all.
  • The UN report also calls for greater efforts to build climate resilience through policies that promote climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.

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

5) Small businesses hold the greatest potential for job creation, thus a policy agenda to meet India’s steep employment challenges must enable them on priority. Elucidate.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article highlights as to how we must enable small businesses to grow since these hold the greatest potential for job creation.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the background of the current economic situation in the country and bring out the role played by small businesses; discuss the positives and negatives associated.

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: 

In short set the context of the question.

Body:

Explain the following aspects in the answer body:

First discuss that India’s economy has an excessive proportion of less productive, informal micro businesses.

Relate it to the employment factor in the country.

Then discuss the need for the government to recognise the impetus that small industries have to contribute to the overall growth.

Conclusion:

Conclude that there is an urgent need to recognise the significance of small businesses to the overall economic growth of the country.

Introduction:

India currently battles an economic slowdown and myriad other associated problems. The attention is thus bound to be deflected from the ever-present priority of job creation for the country’s youth bulge. However, the recently released Annual Survey of Industries for 2017-18 revealed that Job creation in the factories sector has been steady, if not spectacular. The number of workers employed grew 4.8% in 2017-18.

Body:

Potential of job creation:

  • Micro, Small & Medium enterprises (MSME) termed as “engine of growth “for India, has played a prominent role in the development of the country in terms of creating employment opportunities.
  • As per the survey, Total people engaged (including managers) rose 4.7%, the highest in four years.
  • It currently employs 60 million people, creates 1.3 million jobs every year and produces more than 8000 quality products for the Indian and international markets.
  • a growing body of research has upended this conventional wisdom and shown that the predominant source of job creation is firms that start small and formal, and eventually grow into medium-scale enterprises. They reveal an alternative path to generating productive jobs in India.
  • Startups and young firms create more jobs regardless of their size, and educated entrepreneurs have a far higher probability of success.

The challenges and concerns associated with the growth of MSME sector:

  • Size of Sector:
    • Micro businesses dominate most countries’ economies, India’s economy has an excessive proportion of less productive, informal micro businesses.
    • employment in India is concentrated in these micro businesses, whereas in developed countries, it is concentrated in formal small and medium-sized firms.
    • new and young firms create more jobs than older, established firms.
    • with age, Indian firms typically stagnate or decline in employment.
    • productive jobs are created by firms that start out as formal.
  • Access to Credit:
    • According to Economic Survey (2017-18), MSME sector faces a major problem in terms of getting adequate credit for expansion of business activities.
    • The Survey had pointed out that the MSME received only 17.4 per cent of the total credit outstanding.
    • Most banks are reluctant to lend to MSMEs because from the perspective of bankers, inexperience of these enterprises, poor financials, lack of collaterals and infrastructure.
  • Poor Infrastructure:
    • With poor infrastructure, MSMEs’ production capacity is very low while production cost is very high.
  • Access to modern Technology:
    • The lack of technological know-how and financial constraints limits the access to modern technology and consequently the technological adoption remains low.
  • Access to markets:
    • MSMEs have poor access to markets. Their advertisement and sales promotion are comparatively weaker than that of the multinational companies and other big companies.
    • The ineffective advertisement and poor marketing channels makes it difficult for them to compete with large companies.
  • Legal hurdles:
    • Getting statutory clearances related to power, environment, labour are major hurdles.
    • Laws related to the all aspects of manufacturing and service concern are very complex and compliance with these laws are difficult.
  • Lack of skilled manpower:
    • The training and development programs in respect of MSME`S development has been. Thus, there has been a constant crunch of skilled manpower in MSMEs
    • India has a deficit of productive, job-creating entrepreneurs, and an excess of informal entrepreneurs focused on survival.
    • growing and efficient firms are founded and run by educated entrepreneurs

Other issues:

  • Low ICT usage.
  • Low market penetration.
  • Quality assurance/certification.
  • IPR related issues.
  • Quality assurance/certification.
  • Standardization of products and proper marketing channels to penetrate new markets.

Measures needed:

  • The Government policies on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) must become more nuanced.
  • Informal micro enterprises and single-person enterprises run by those lacking formal education should be termed “subsistence enterprises”.
  • Educating the next generation is critical to breaking the iron grip of poverty and pulling single-person enterprises out of survival mode.
  • Support to these subsistence enterprises should be provided under anti-poverty measures and not under an economic development programme
  • To enhance the productivity of businesses and promote growth, the government should subsidise the provision of management support services—as industrial public goods—to young businesses.
  • A nascent initiative in South Tamil Nadu shows that huge productivity gains are waiting to be unlocked in small businesses if entrepreneurs are made to understand the importance of some critical principles and concepts related to finance and human resources.
  • Education plays a big role in the growth of startups and their contribution to employment generation, institutions of higher learning should prepare students to be entrepreneurs in the same way that they equip them with functional, marketable skills.
  • The government should also periodically update the definitions of MSMEs to bring them closer to international standards. This will help ensure that businesses are not prematurely labelled as large and are not denied government support while still in need of it.

Conclusion:

Therefore, public policy to support entrepreneurship and MSMEs should target these entrepreneurs. However, any government support should be made contingent on the enterprise’s progress in creating jobs and productive growth, thereby encouraging truly dynamic entrepreneurship.


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

6) What are green crackers? Are green crackers less polluting and to what extent there is awareness among people about it? Explain.( 250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Last October, in a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India mandated the use of green crackers for Deepavali, prescribing specific norms for the manufacture. This year, for the first time, ‘green crackers’ have been made available in markets, though the reach has been limited. These are milder avatars of traditional firecrackers in terms of the sound and smoke generated when burnt. Thus making it important for us to have an understanding of what are Green Crackers.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail what Green Crackers are and explain their significant contributions to environment in controlling pollution.

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: 

In brief define green crackers and highlight the SC judgments in this regard.

Body:

In brief, show the impact of burning crackers on the environment.

Define green crackers and discuss various aspects of green crackers.

Add a note, in brief, on their supplies as of now.

Comment in detail whether green crackers are less polluting or not?

Assess the extent to which there is awareness about the green crackers.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Green crackers are low-polluting firecracker within the permitted decibel and emission norms is a green cracker. They are the crackers with reduced emission and decibel level. They are known as ‘green’ firecrackers because they have a chemical formulation that produces water molecules, which substantially reduces emission levels and absorbs dust. In 2018, while restricting the use of fireworks during all events to an 8-10 pm window, the Supreme Court ordered that only crackers with reduced emission and “green crackers” can be manufactured and sold.

Body:

In its report the CPCB said that due to fireworks on Diwali day, particulate matter 2.5 (tiny particles or droplets in the air that are two and one half microns or less in width, and hinder visibility and adversely affect health) levels go up. It stated when there was less fireworks in 2017, the level had reduced compared to previous years.

The crackers have been named as Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL). These crackers are available as sparklers, flowerpots, maroons and atom bombs and have been developed by the National Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab.

Pollution levels of Green Crackers:

  • SWAS (Safe Water Releaser)
    • SWAS crackers eliminates usage of (KNO3) Potassium nitrate and Sulphur with consequent reduction in particulate matter (30-35%) SO2 and NOx.
    • It has matching sound intensity with commercial crackers in the range of 105-110 dB
    • STAR eliminates usage of KNO3 and S with consequent reduction in particulate matter (35-40%), SO2 and NOx. It has matching sound intensity with commercial crackers in the range of 105-110 dB
    • SWAS has been tested for shelf life upto 3 weeks with consistent performance.
  • SAFAL (Safe Minimal Aluminium)
    • SAFAL has minimal usage of aluminium (only in flash powder for initiation) with consequent significant reduction in particulate matter (35-40 %) compared to commercial crackers.
    • It has matching sound intensity with commercial crackers in the range of 110-115 dB
    • PESO has been approached to analyse and test SWAS/STAR/SAFAL from point of view of safety, stability and other related issues.
    • Also functional prototypes of flower pots for substitution of BaNO3 (Barium nitrate) by low cost eco-friendly materials have been developed with significant reduction in particulate matter (30-35%).
  • STAR (Safe Thermite Cracker)
    • STAR has the capability to eliminate the usage of KNO3 and S with a consequent reduction in particulate matter (35-40 per cent), SO2 and NOx.
  • Components in firecrackers are replaced with others that are less dangerous and less harmful to the atmosphere.
  • Broadly, it avoids the use of ash or filler materials and use charcoal as per specifications by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO).
  • The green crackers will be 25-30 per cent cheaper to manufacture and manufacturers would not have to make any changes in their facilities.
  • In green crackers the commonly used polluting chemicals like aluminium, barium, potassium nitrate and carbon have either been removed or sharply reduced to slow down the emissions by 15 to 30%.

Conclusion:

CSIR-CEERI, being an electronics laboratory, is developing safe and pollution free technology of electronic crackers (E-crackers) to meet latent social aspiration of enjoying fireworks.


TOPIC: Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7) The effectiveness of corporate governance has become a global concern, Do you agree? Critically analyse with suitable illustrations. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article explains that the questions of corporate governance must be urgently addressed in the interest of investors, and also the larger economy.

Key demand of the question:

One has to bring out the current case of Infosys and the corporate governance crisis the company is facing and suggest solutions to address such issues for the overall health of the economy.

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 Infosys case study.

Body:

Discuss first the concept of corporate governance.

Corporate governance is a concept which revolves around the appropriate management and control of a company.

It includes the rules relating to the power relations between owners, the board of directors, management and the stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers as well as the public at large.

Sustained growth of any organization requires the cooperation of all stakeholders, which requires adherence to the best corporate governance practices.

In this regard, the management needs to act as trustees of the shareholders at large and prevent asymmetry of benefits between various sections of shareholders, especially between the owner-managers and the rest of the shareholders.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:

Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a firm is directed and controlled. It includes the rules relating to the power relations between owners, the board of directors, management and the stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers as well as the public at large. It essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s many stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, financiers, government and the community. Ethics is at the core of corporate governance, and management must reflect accountability for their actions on the global community scale.

Body:

Infosys issue:

  • More than two years after N R Narayana Murthy, a founder of the software services firm Infosys, raised issues of transparency and disclosure and falling standards of governance which led to a conflict between him and the company’s board of directors and the exit of its then CEO, Vishal Sikka, fresh governance issues have cropped up.
  • Early this month, the company disclosed that it had received two whistleblower complaints alleging disturbing malpractices, aggressive accounting policies and provision of selective information to the board by the CEO, Salil Parekh, and the CFO, Nilanjan Roy, aimed at boosting its bottomline in the near term.
  • The market cap destruction of over ₹50,000 crore suffered by Infosys after it revealed whistle-blower complaints about unethical management conduct from a group of anonymous employees may seem a little excessive.
  • India Inc. in recent years have left such an indelible mark on the investor psyche, that investors are today inclined to shoot and then ask questions, when governance allegations surface about any firm.

Reason for corporate governance to be a global issue:

  • a few US law firms filed class-action suits in that country where Infosys American Depository Receipts or ADRs are listed and traded.
  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission plans to seek help from its Indian counterpart, SEBI, according to reports, highlighting the challenge ahead
  • This latest issue of corporate governance featuring a storied Indian firm comes at a time of economic downturn and unravelling of scams involving both promoters and senior managements in some other firms.
  • It could lead to greater scrutiny of many corporate firms and value erosion
  • It could also potentially further undermine investor faith and trust with its impact on capital raising and investment.

Way forward:

  • Establishing a centralised whistle-blower mechanism under the auspices of the market regulator appears to be the best way to solve this problem.
  • The Office of the Whistle-blower under the US SEC has been quite successful at unearthing corporate frauds since its inception in 2010.
  • SEBI has recently mooted an ‘informant’ mechanism for reporting cases of insider trading.
  • There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be extended to whistle-blowing on all legal and corporate governance infractions in listed firms.