SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 NOVEMBER 2019

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 NOVEMBER 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:  Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure. 

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

1) Do you think the Ayodhya issue has proved to be a tale of demolition and restoration of India’s secular fabric? Present your view point while throwing light upon the verdict of the apex court.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article provides for an analysis of the Ayodhya issue.

Key demand of the question:

The question emphasizes upon the secular nature of the country that was exhibited in the context of Ayodhya.

Directive:

Comment

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Explain the secular nature witnessed in the country.

Body:

Discuss in what way the response of the majority community after SC’s order is a welcome change.

One must provide for a perspective as to How will history look back to the days of 6 December 1992 and 9 November 2019? Then explain importance that Indians place on Ayodhya.

Reflect the past communal conflicts and the recent maturity of the population that has been sited post the verdict.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the unity in diversity aspects of the country.

Introduction:    

In a unanimous judgment, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked the Centre, which had acquired the entire 67.73 acres of land including the 2.77 acre of the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid premises in 1993, to formulate a scheme within three months and set up a trust to manage the property and construct a temple. Supreme Court called upon to abide by the places of Worship Special Provision Act, 1991, which forbids the conversion of any other place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947. It also invoked the Acquisition of Certain Areas at Ayodhya Act, 1993 to direct the Centre to create a trust to oversee temple construction.

Body:

Transition from tale of demolition and restoration of India’s secular fabric:

  • In the first survey in 1996, just four years after the Babri demolition, both Hindus and Muslims were equally polarized: 56% of Hindus believed only a temple should be built on the disputed site while 58% of Muslims believed it should only be a mosque.
  • But 16 years later in 2012, this polarization had waned with the equivalent figures for both Hindus and Muslims falling to 31%.
  • In Uttar Pradesh, demand for the temple among Hindus cuts across education and geography. Lokniti-CSDS data suggests that both the educated and less-educated Hindu youth in both villages and cities are in favour of the temple.
  • But moving away from Uttar Pradesh, views on Ayodhya become weaker, suggests data from the YouGov-Mint Millennial Survey. Conducted in January and February 2019, the online survey of 5,038 Indians spread across 180 cities solicited their views on a range of issues including Ayodhya.
  • When asked if a Ram temple should be built on the Babri Masjid site, only 36% had a strong response (25% said yes, 11% said no) while the remaining were neutral (wanted the judiciary to decide, or wanted communal harmony at all costs).
  • There were significant variations in responses by region. 33% respondents from northern India wanted a temple whereas in southern India, the figure was much lower at 19%.
  • Though the conflict around Ayodhya is as old as India itself, roughly half of India’s current population were not even alive when the Babri Masjid was destroyed in 1992, according to estimates based on census data and UN population projections.
  • The YouGov-Mint data does suggest that demand for a temple strengthens with age – but it is not a hugely significant relationship. Around 26% of the Gen-X and above (those aged 38 and above) wanted a temple at the Babri Masjid site compared to 23% of the Gen Z (aged 18 to 21) and younger millennials (aged 22 to 28).

Conclusion:

“Faith and belief cannot be the basis of a judgment; only evidence can be” is one such. But there is enough evidence that having made several such laudable pronouncements, the verdict defied these and decided in favour of faith and belief. The Ayodhya judgment did result in a victory for the majority and coincidentally for the mob that demolished the Babri Masjid, but a reading of the judgment clearly shows disapproval and disavowal of the mob. The legal victory is based upon secular principles. This has to be the projected as the victory of secularism.


Topic:Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply. Therein.

2) Unequal development among states and within states have led to problems like migration, substandard quality of life and led to competitive federalism, it has also further increased gap between developed and underdeveloped states. Do you think formation of small states would address this problem in India? Analyse. (250 words)

Indian Polity by Laxmikanth

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of polity section.

Key demand of the question:

Answer demands benefits of smaller states and are they solution to problems which India is now suffering now.

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: 

Quote facts and figures from world inequality report 2018 or state human development report by UNDP to understand gravity of problem.  

Body:

Discuss what benefits of small states are; explain how they would help in inclusive and equitable Governance.

Then write what are disadvantages of small states and how they will give rise new problems.

Provide suitable examples from the recent times. 

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving suggestions like strengthening grassroot democracy by bringing amendments to 73rd &74th CAA. Write strengthening of Charter act, RTI etc.

Introduction:

The Indian ‘model’ of federalism has several marked differences from the classical federal models one finds in countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia. A notable difference has been the unilateral power of the union parliament to reorganize the political structure of the country by forming new states and to alter the areas, boundaries or names of existing sates. Article 1 of the constitution, “India is a Union of states”, means that states were created for administrative convenience. States have no right to secede from the union and hence states do not have a say in their creation.

Body:

Reasons for demand for the break-up of large states:

  • The regions include Gorkhaland and Kamtapur in West Bengal; Coorg in Karnataka; Mithilanchal in Bihar; Saurashtra in Gujarat; Vidarbha in Maharashtra; Harit Pradesh, Purvanchal, Braj Pradesh and Awadh Pradesh in Uttar Pradesh and Bundelkhand comprising areas of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Significantly, some of these regions have enormous populations comparable to countries of the global north in terms of territory and population.
  • Electoral politics in the ‘post-Congress polity’ has been marked by the politicization and mobilization of social cleavages along territorially confined lines of caste, religion and region by state-level ‘ethnic’ parties.
  • The issue of language and culture-which had shaped the earlier process of reorganization– shifted to those of better governance and greater participation, administrative convenience, economic viability in the developmental needs of sub regions.
  • Centralized federalism under the shadow of the development-planning model failed to achieve its avowed aim of bringing about equitable development across and within the regional states.
  • India has also been witness to what may be called the ‘secession of the rich’ as regions attracting huge private investments and registering impressive growth, have started resenting the dependence of relatively underdeveloped regions on the revenues transferred to them (for example, Harit Pradesh in Uttar Pradesh).

Creation of smaller states is a much needed move:

  • It’s a well-known fact that creation of smaller state in India had experiences the betterment of Indian economy. The growth of GDP, better governance and development.
  • Factual analysis shows the development and efficiency argument does work in favour of the new states when compared with the parent states.
  • During the tenth five-year plan period, Chhattisgarh averaged 9.2 percent growth annually compared with 4.3 percent by Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand averaged 11.1 per cent annually compared with 4.7 percent by Bihar, and Uttarakhand achieved 8.8 per cent growth annually compared with 4.6 percent by Uttar Pradesh.
  • Arguably, getting ‘a territory of their own’ unleashes the untapped/suppressed growth potentials of the hitherto peripheral regions.
  • Comparatively smaller but compact geographical entities tend to ensure that there is better democratic governance, as there is greater awareness among the policy makers about the local needs.
  • Smaller spatial units having linguistic compatibility and cultural homogeneity also allow for better management, implementation and allocation of public resources in provisioning basic social and economic infrastructure services.
  • Smaller states provide gains for the electorates in terms of better representation of their preferences in the composition of the government.
  • In a patronage-based democracy like in India, the amount of the transfer of state resources/largesse a constituency/region gets depends crucially on whether the local representative belongs to the ruling party.

However, there are challenges too:

  • Reminiscent of ‘partition anxiety’, many fear the rise of regional and linguistic fanaticism as threats to national unity and integrity. A global surge in ethno-nationalist conflicts serves to rekindle these fears. No region has ever experienced secessionist movement after being reorganised as a separate state except for a brief time in Punjab.
  • Many believe that bigger states ensure cohesion and stability; however, there are myriad forms of political violence going on unabated in the big states (eg. Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal).
  • In these cases, violent movements are expressions of a demand for recognition, justice and autonomy; relatively homogeneous smaller states would always be better poised to provide a wider range of policies in response to local conditions.
  • Political expediency and opportunism rather than the objective evaluation of democratic and developmental potential are said to be involved in the making of new states.
  • A new state may find itself lacking in infrastructure, which requires time, money and efforts to build. On the political front too there are many challenges that smaller states have to face, as the dream of new smaller states was ushered in by the leaders need.
  • Small states depend to a substantial extent on central government for financial aid. It will not be economically prudent to set up new states as it would incur expenditure to set up state machinery.
  • With India however the diversity and multiculturalism is so connected in Indian culture that the idea of separate sovereign nation states wouldn’t be viable as all Indian states have such a diverse mix of Indians.
  • To create a nation state based on the idea of culture or language in such a diverse society would cause hatred of the outsiders who the natives felt didn’t belong in that state.

Way forward:

  • The federal polity of India does need to accommodate the ongoing demands for smaller states.
  • In most regions, even if the local, urban entrepreneurial/middle classes (with a hidden class agenda in some cases) lead the demands, these demands represent the democratic aspirations of the hitherto politically dormant, neglected and discriminated masses from the peripheral regions.
  • For democratically negotiating such demands, a second state reorganization commission must be constituted by the centre.
  • The commission must have the quasi-judicial power to ascertain a set of objective and coherent criteria (not lopsided political considerations) that can be uniformly applied, like in the case of the state reorganisation commission set up in 1953.
  • It could be a constitutional body to oversee transparency of the consultation process.
  • Concomitant revenue raising powers may also be devolved to such an autonomous institution to avoid its undue financial dependence on the state government.
  • The creation of smaller states would contribute to the federal agenda of enhancing democratic development based on decentralized governance and greater autonomy for units.

Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply. Therein.

3) PESA seeks to empower Gram Sabhas in scheduled areas to emerge as effective institutions of self-governance. Critically evaluate the performance of PESA.(250 words)

Indian Polity by Lakshmikanth

Why this question:

The question aims to ascertain the performance of PESA and its significance in fostering self-governance to local government.

Key demand of the question:

One has to first elaborate briefly upon the PESA and explain how and in what way it empowers Gram Sabhas and also evaluate the performance of PESA.

Directive:

Critically examineWhen asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

On the basis of recommendation of Bhuria Commitee 1994 , Parliament under Article 243M (4) enacted PESA to extend 73rd and 74th Amendment provisions to scheduled area.

Body:

Set the context of the question by discussing the statement briefly and explain how it empowers Gram Sabha.

The important part of the question is to evaluate the performance of PESA. So discuss the issues associated with the act. Discuss the concept of Village, Superficial decentralization, apathy of administration, lack of grievance redressal mechanism, issue related regarding with release of funds/grants etc. 

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the significance and saying that PESA has been a commendable step that decentralizes the powers and make India an India of Gandhi’s dream.

Introduction:    

Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 is a law enacted by Government of India to cover the “Scheduled Areas”, which are not covered in the 73rd Constitutional amendment. This particular act extends the provisions of Part IX to the Scheduled Areas of the country. PESA brought powers further down to the Gram Sabha level. The Gram Sabha in the Panchayat Act were entrusted with wide ranging powers starting from consultation on land acquisition to that of ownership over minor forest produces and leasing of minor minerals.

Body:

Under the PESA, the Gram Sabha or Panchayats at appropriate level shall have the following powers:

  • To be consulted on matters of land acquisition and resettlement.
  • Grant prospecting license for mining lease for minor minerals and concessions for such activities.
  • Planning and management of minor water bodies.
  • The power to enforce prohibition or to regulate or restrict the sale and consumption of any intoxicant.
  • The ownership of minor forest produces.
  • The power to prevent alienation of land and to restore any unlawfully alienated land of a scheduled tribe.
  • The power to manage village markets.
  • The power to exercise control over money lending to scheduled tribes.

Problems with PESA:

  • Dilution of role of Tribal Advisory Councils: PESA comes under the Fifth Schedule, which mandates Tribal Advisory Councils to oversee tribal affairs and also gives extrajudicial, extra constitutional powers to the Governors of each State to intervene in matters where they see tribal autonomy being compromised.
  • However, the councils, with the Chief Minister as their chairperson, have evolved into a non-assertive institution amid the machinations of upper-class politics, and its representatives hardly speak against the State governments’ policies.
  • The Governors, in order to have friendly relations with the Chief Ministers, have desisted from getting involved in tribal matters. Tribal activists have constantly complained that there is not even a single instance where the Governors have responded to their petitions for interventions in threatening crises, such as deepening clashes over land, mining or police excesses.
  • Lack of coordination at Centre: Even if one were to expect proactive intervention from the Centre, PESA would get entangled in bureaucratic shackles. Two different ministries, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, have an overlapping influence on the implementation of PESA and they function almost without any coordination.
  • Lack of operationalization: In most of the state the enabling rules are not in place more than eight years after the adoption of the Act suggests that the state governments are reluctant to operationalize the PESA mandate.
  • Ignoring the spirit of PESA: The state legislations have omitted some of the fundamental principles without which the spirit of PESA can never be realised. For instance, the premise in PESA that state legislations on Panchayats shall be in consonance with customary laws and among other things traditional management practices of community resources is ignored by most of the state laws.
  • Ambiguous definitions: No legal definition of the terms like minor water bodies, minor minerals etc. exist in the statute books. The states in their conformity legislations have also not defined the term leading to ambiguity and scope of interpretation by the bureaucracy.

Conclusion:

In recent years, many reports ‘The Report of Expert Group of the Planning Commission on Development Challenges in Extremist Affected Areas’ (2008), ‘The Sixth Report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission’ (2007), ‘The Balchandra Mungekar Committee Report’ (2009), etc. have clearly underlined the dismal situation of the implementation of PESA.

Therefore, there is an urgent need to opt for an effective device whereby maximum people can be informed, made aware and motivated to come forward for the proper implementation and execution of PESA. There is an urgent need to break the culture of silence among tribal and to strive for capacity building, sensitization and orientation to improve the tribal self-rule scenario.


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

4) Social audits help in tying together the gap between policy goals and results. Discuss.(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article discusses the significance of social audit in general and explains in what way it can bridge the gap between policy objectives and outcomes.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss in detail the objectives of social audit, salient features and explain with suitable examples its significance and relevance.

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 first, define what social audit is.

Body:

In the answer body Highlight the role of Social Audit in bridging gap between objectives stated in policy and desired outcomes.

Explain the salient features – social audit is a way of measuring, understanding, reporting and ultimately improving an organization’s social and ethical performance. A social audit helps to narrow gaps between vision/goal and reality, between efficiency and effectiveness.

It is a technique to understand, measure, verify, report on and to improve the social performance of the organization.

Discuss other aspects using examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the Social Audit process is intended as a means for social engagement, transparency and communication of information, leading to greater accountability of decision-makers, representatives, managers and officials.

Introduction:    

Social auditing is a process by which an organization / government accounts for its social performance to its stakeholders and seeks to improve its future social performance. A social audit helps to narrow gaps between vision/goal and reality; and between efficiency and effectiveness. It allows us to measure, verify, report on and to improve the social performance of any government effort or organization.

Body:

Potential of Social Audits:

  • Helps assess the physical and financial gaps between needs and resources available for local development.
  • Creating awareness among beneficiaries and providers of local social and productive services.
  • Increasing efficacy and effectiveness of local development programmes.
  • Scrutiny of various policy decisions, keeping in view stakeholder’s interests and priorities, particularly of rural poor.
  • Estimation of the opportunity cost for stakeholders of not getting timely access to public services.

Benefits of linking the SHG with Social Audit:

  • In a move to empower women in the rural areas, the rural development ministry has decided to authorise those belonging to self-help groups (SHGs) to carry out a social audit of its flagship welfare schemes.
  • Educated women in the rural areas associated with SHGs under NRLM to check whether welfare works were being implemented properly
  • The women will also work as the point persons to resolve the complaints of beneficiaries of these programmes
  • The idea is that these women will check whether the work under the welfare schemes has properly been done or not, whether pensions have been received by elderly persons, whether beneficiaries got their houses built or not.
  • These women were better placed to check leakages in the system and ensure that the social audits took place as required, he said. Those recruited for the social audit would also be paid remuneration.
  • The move makes them stakeholders in a better implementation of the governments’ welfare schemes in the rural areas
  • The women working for the social audit programmes will also be given the responsibility of working as the nodal person for grievance redressal so that the complaints and problems of the beneficiaries of these schemes in rural areas can easily be resolved.

Way forward:

  • The system of social audits needs synergetic endorsement and a push by multiple authorities to establish an institutionalised framework which cannot be undermined by any vested interests.
  • Citizens groups need a campaign to strengthen social audits, and make real progress in holding the political executive and implementing agencies to account.
  • Organization of a mass campaign to increase public awareness about the meaning, scope, purpose and objectives of social audit.
  • Establishment of a team of social audit experts in each district who are responsible for training social audit committee members (stakeholders).
  • Implementation of training programmes on social auditing methods conducting and preparing social audit reports, and presentation at Gram Sabha.

Conclusion:

In an age where phrases such as open data and open government are used in any conversation around governance, social audits should serve as a critical point of reference. An open and transparent system involves the presence of real platforms for people to be informed by official statements and records, with an opportunity to compare that with ground realities.


Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

5) Discuss major fast-evolving ethical conundrums of biotechnology in detail. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article discusses the ethical concerns associated with our capacity to re-engineer the biological world.

Key demand of the question:

Examine the pros and cons associated with the progress and achievements fast being made in the Biotechnology.

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 narrate progress that Biotechnology has made so far.

Body:

Explain that in the information technology world, we have seen an explosion of Artificial Intelligence, automation, blockchains and data science tools in the last few years. All of these technologies, while distinct in their approach, actually cross-pollinate each other.

 The world’s denizens and their governments have rightly started to worry about issues such as data privacy, control over fiat currencies, job losses and widening income disparities.

Discuss the ethical questions that have arisen.

Conclusion:

Suggest what should be the way forward and how can this conundrum be faced.  

Introduction:    

Fifteen years after it rose and went limp, the biotech sector, globally, as well as in India has seen a bull run of sorts. In January this year, some 10 healthcare companies went public on the NASDAQ. Meanwhile, India has become the world’s 12th biggest biotechnology economy having the second highest number of USFDA-approved plants. Biotechnology will help developing countries accomplish things that they could never do.

Body:

Technology and bioengineering have begun to take over in the life sciences industry. We have already seen ethical questions that arose from a Chinese experiment on interfering with the DNA of babies. Our capacity to re-engineer the biological world is truly mind-boggling in its scope now, and many technological offshoots attempt to fuse man and machine into a cohesive “super-human”.

Ethical conundrums posed by biotechnology:

  • Respect: The issue of how to prioritize the rights of humans, animals and ecosystems. The problems of attuning our ways so that our practices do not harm other living beings
  • Credit: To ensure our work serves as a resource for the community and the broader public while still valuing those who do the work.
  • community: To make decisions collectively and identify and engage non-bio stakeholders.
  • Autonomy: To decide what forms of self-determination we value and identify relationships of power that impact autonomy.
  • Education: To create space to learn and the confidence to teach.
  • Open science: To encourage replicability and collaboratively share results? How do we stay open while being mindful of the risks posed by openness?
  • Transparency: The measures needed to stay open about our failures and acknowledge ethical conflicts. Deciding on what acceptable funding sources are.
  • Data privacy: To respect the sovereignty of data, treat stakeholders as peers, and agree on terms of use through informed consent.
  • Safety: How do we embrace safe practices in unconventional contexts? How do we protect each other and create resources for communities to experiment safely?
  • Justice and fairness: How do we engender justice and fairness in our practices? How can we avoid perpetuating systems of winners and losers? How do we account for the varied impact of our work?
  • Diversity and inclusion: How do we make sure our organizations respect vulnerabilities and acknowledge privilege? How do we make our spaces valuable and accessible to communities whose interests are historically under-represented in the sciences?
  • Accountability: Is there an active commitment to consider these questions? How will we be accountable to these ethics? How do we hold each other accountable and make ourselves accountable to those outside this community?

Way Forward:

  • India’s current regulatory architecture for approving novel treatments is ambiguous and assigns overlapping functions to different governmental bodies. This framework needs to be restructured to optimize trial approval time while addressing safety requirements.
  • A two-step model wherein the government works with industry and research groups to accelerate clinical research is recommended. This model consists of a national apex committee working in collaboration with existing institutional ethics committees and independent accreditation agencies.
  • It is envisaged that, India will emerge as a significant contributor to the world bioinformatics market and position itself as a global hub for bioinformatics.
  • Indian bioinformatics sector has numerous strengths and competitive advantages to make bioinformatics sector a sunrise industry of India.
  • With the improvements in the IPR regime, increasing support from the government and continuing efforts of the private sector companies, it is very much likely that India could repeat its IT success story in bioinformatics too.
  • Much research on animal models and isolated human cells should be conducted before any full-scale routine application in humans.

Conclusion:

The scientific community and the technology counterpart must begin to consider these questions at the outset, long before we find ourselves overrun by droids and Frankensteins. Experiments and tests to validate the use of new discoveries must be subjected to appropriate scrutiny by the regulators, and their use must be controlled to prevent commercial misuse.


Topic Issues relating to intellectual property rights.

6) “Conservation of plant genetic resources is the shared responsibility of humanity”, do you agree with the statement? Discuss and give your opinion with suitable justifications.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

Union Agriculture Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar attended the 8

Governing Body of International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in Rome, Italy. Thus the question from the perspective of GS paper III.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the significance of Conservation of plant genetic resources  and discuss in what way it is the shared responsibility of humanity.

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 suggest that farming is the backbone of the socio-economy of India, where crop biodiversity is part and parcel of life.

Body:

Explain first the significance of plant genetic resources in general.

Briefly highlight the diversity of plant genetic resources present in the country (provide for some statistics and draw map of India and show depictions for the same).

Then explain in detail why conservation of plant genetic resources is the shared responsibility of humanity.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The eighth session of the Governing Body of International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) is being held in Rome, Italy from 11th to 16th November 2019. The Indian Agricultural Minister highlighted the need for conservation of plant genetic resources and the uniqueness of Indian Legislation Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act to address the related issues. In April 2019, PepsiCo filed a suit against Gujarati farmers by invoking the provisions of the act.  

Body:

ITPGRFA also known as Seed Treaty, is a comprehensive international agreement for ensuring food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), as well as the fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from its use. It also recognizes farmers’ rights, subject to national laws.

Need for Conservation of plant genetic resources (PGR):

  • Plant genetic resources (PGR) are the basic materials that are essential for development of improved crop varieties designed to combine high yield potential with superior quality, resistance to diseases and pests, and also better adaptation. to abiotic stress environments.
  • Their continued availability to plant breeders is necessary not only for sustaining advances in crop productivity but also for stabilising production in the country.
  • These resources of known or potential use to man constitute a broad spectrum of diverse genepools representing assemblage of landraces, primitive cultivars, varieties of traditional agriculture as well as wild and weedy relatives of crop plants.
  • Recent years have seen an increasing global concern over the loss of genetic resources of crop plants.
  • Future progress in crop improvement and our food security depends, to a great extent, on immediate conservation of the rapidly vanishing crop gene resources and their effective utilisation by plant breeders.
  • Conserving PGR helps in maintenance of broad based genetic diversity within each of the species (i.e., intra-specific genetic diversity) with a known or potential value in order to ensure availability for exploitation by present and future generations.
  • Conserving PGR ensures the future adaptability of cultivars and wild populations.
  • It preserves data and traits that ensure sustainable agriculture.
  • It promotes the use of genetic resources in commerce and biotechnology.
  • Conserves genetic diversity for cultural reasons.

Indian initiatives for preserving PGR:

  • ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi is conserving seed germplasm for long-term conservation (at -20°C) in its National Genebank (NGB).
  • NGB has the responsibility of conservation of plant genetic resources for posterity and sustainable use including landraces and traditional varieties which are potential sources of agriculturally important genes.
  • At Chang La in the Himalayas, at a height of 17,300 feet, there is a storage facility with over 5,000 seed accessions.
  • The vault is a joint venture of the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (under ICAR) and the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (under DRDO).
  • The Govt. of India enacted “The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001” adopting sui generis system.

Way forward:

  • An understanding of the extent and distribution of diversity in species and ecosystems is pertinent and this can be achieved through efficient survey, inventory, appropriate research, field studies and analysis.
  • Sustainable agriculture should be promoted through diversification of crop production and development and commercialization of under-utilized crops and species.
  • On-farm management and improvement of plant genetic resources should be supported and this will require integrated approaches combining the best of traditional knowledge and modern technologies.
  • More natural reserved areas should be created and those existing should be properly managed, financially supported and an effective enforcement of laws should guard them.
  • It is important that this diversity be made more useful and valuable to breeders, farmers, and indigenous and local communities, by providing better and more accessible documentation.
  • Public awareness of the value of plant genetic resources through training, seminar and the media should be promoted.

Conclusion:

There is increasing global awareness of the need for conserving genetic resources of crop plants for their current use and for posterity. Future development in the improvement of crops largely hinge on immediate conservation of genetic resources for their effective and sustainable utilization. A vast amount of plant genetic resources are threatened, endangered and some have even gone extinct and it is more prominent in recent times, mostly due to genetic erosion and environmental transformation by anthropogenic effect. In other to meet current global challenges all countries and institution must as a matter of primary obligation discover, collect and conserve valuable and potentially valuable plant genetic resource and utilize it sustainably.


Topic:   Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

7) Internet diffusion can act as a multiplier effect on empowerment of human beings and also for country’s growth. Examine the statement in the context of India’s digital advancement with suitable best practices.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The question seeks to examine the multiplier effect that the internet penetration in the country has on the demography. 

Key demand of the question:

Explain the multiplier effect in detail, discuss the effect with examples and explain its contributions in different sectors.

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 current diffusion of internet in the country.

Body:

Give a brief introduction about the status of digital penetration in India and the importance of it.

Explain the reasons for low penetration and the gap existing between men and women, villages and towns etc.

Suggest steps to be taken in this regard.

Explain the benefits and disadvantages associated.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:    

Internet as part of the history is the most important invention around the world which connects people through phones, satellites and cables. People all over the world have access to it as it is everyday usage, and internet becomes globally real and in demand. The maximum effect of the internet is actually on the daily life of the individuals because indeed there is no aspect of life which is not influenced by the internet and its uses.

Body:

Internet penetration has had a multiplier effect:

  • Information technologies have wrought fundamental change throughout society, driving it forward from the industrial age to the networked era. In our world, global information networks are vital infrastructure.
  • The Internet has changed business, education, government, healthcare, and even the ways in which we interact with our loved ones—it has become one of the key drivers of social evolution.
  • Online, the conventional constraints of space and time disappear and there is a dizzyingly wide range of communicative possibilities. The impact of social media applications has triggered discussion of the “new communication democracy.”
  • The right utilization of Internet power is challenging for governments across the world. Government expenses are reduced due to providing data and information for people on the government websites. People are taking advantages of Government policies and websites. Any government information and service are easily accessible for the citizens. Using tools such as Right to Information, we can have online access to important government documents.
  • The Internet is one of the key factors driving today’s economy. Even in a tough macroeconomic framework, the Internet can foster growth, coupled with enhanced productivity and competitiveness.
  • The Internet has clearly impacted all levels of education by providing unbounded possibilities for learning. I believe the future of education is a networked future. People can use the Internet to create and share knowledge and develop new ways of teaching and learning that captivate and stimulate students’ imagination at anytime, anywhere, using any device.
  • The most interesting aspect of the internet influencing our daily lives is the factor of entertainment. Entertainment no longer demands your money or expense, today you can just log on the internet in your free time and get involved talking to people of similar interests, or watch movies or play games, it’s all there in the internet.
  • The development of information and communication technologies and the wide-ranging effects of globalization are changing what we are, and the meaning of cultural identity. The concepts of space, time, and distance are losing their conventional meanings. Cultural globalization is here, and a global movement of cultural processes and initiatives is underway.
  • The Internet revolution is not just technological; it also operates at a personal level, and throughout the structure of society. The Internet makes it possible for an unlimited number of people to communicate with one another freely and easily, in an unrestricted way.

However, it has its share of problems:

  • A key issue surrounding Internet use is privacy. Internet users are becoming more sensitive to the insight that privacy is a must-have in our lives. It’s very tough even for the government of various countries to protect user’s privacy.
  • The biggest challenge for the society to do mobile banking and cashless transactions. Because the data is compromised by such companies and there is no guarantee that you’re safe or not.
  • Much of the time, people started to use social media with no real idea of the dangers, and have wised up only through trial and error—sheer accident, snafus, and mistakes. Lately, inappropriate use of social media seems to hit the headlines every day
  • Internet has given rise to cybercrime of which mostly teenagers and youngsters become the victim. We all hear in our day to day life about these cases for eg. Leaking someone’s private clips or pictures on internet just for the sake of jealousy or taking revenge or for hacking.
  • The Internet is creating robotic societies. A society with hybrid skills doing like, comments but doesn’t have feelings and own impact on his/her social shares.
  • The Internet is also helping the polarization of the society by dividing the unity of people by producing communalism and casteism material on the internet. Producers of communalism and casteism in the society never develop the society.
  • If technology can replace a task, we will rely on it rather than exercise our mental faculties. So, the tech giants will give birth to a “reliance economy”.

Conclusion:

Today almost all the things are connected and working through the Internet. There should be no doubt that Internet is becoming the engine of every new invention. No matter how bad society is influenced by the internet, but education of people can play a role in right usage of Internet. The role is not defined by algorithms, it is defined by our parents, teachers and after self-analysis.