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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 DECEMBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 DECEMBER 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: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues.

1) Stringent laws and death penalty alone cannot reduce the violence against women. In the light of this, critically analyse the role men must play in addressing the problem of sexual violence against women.

The Hindu

The Hindu

Why this question:

The recent incident of woman veterinarian, who was raped and killed on November 27 has again raised the debate of death penalty for the rapists and women’s safety is once again in the news and back in the public consciousness.

Key demand of the question:

Directive:

Critically analyze – When 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:

Briefly talk about the Alarming Figures of violence against women.

Body:

Explain what is violence against women

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

Explain how there has been a huge hue and cry about more stringent laws, death penalty for rapists.

Discuss the associated concerns of poor implementation of law, lack of sensitivity and awareness to the female gender, strong patriarchy etc. still prevalent in the society.

Suggest other measures of sensitizing the male members, how community i.e. We the people—men as much as women—need to feel equally responsible.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way ahead.

 

Introduction:

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women defines “violence against women” as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”

 

People taking to streets over gangrape and murder of Hyderabad veterinarian are demanding death for rapists.

 

Violence against women:

  • The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) suggests that 30 percent women in India in the age group of 15-49 have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
  • The report further reveals that 6 percent women in the same age group have experienced sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.
  • About 31 percent of married women have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence by their spouses.
  • India’s average rate of reported rape cases is about 6.3 per 100,000 of the population. However, this differs in places like Sikkim and Delhi, which have rates of 30.3 and 22.5, respectively, while Tamil Nadu has a rate of less than one.

 

Hue and cry about more stringent laws, death penalty for rapists:

  • While protests are being held to demand death for Hyderabad rapists, a girl was raped, shot dead and burnt in Bihar; another was raped and strangulated to death in Karnataka and yet another was raped and killed in Rajasthan.
  • All this happened while the voices demanding death for rapists raised by protesters and lawmakers were going viral on social media and being published in newspapers.
  • The perpetrators were in the reach of the voices demanding death for rapists. But this did not deter them from pouncing upon the unsuspecting victims.
  • With people taking to streets demanding death for rapists, some Members of Parliament too were seen fanning the same sentiment.

 

Efficiency of death penalty:

  • A study by the Centre of Death Penalty – at the National Law University Delhi (NLUD) — in 2015 analyzed data of 15 years to conclude that less than 5 per cent death penalties awarded by trial courts were confirmed by the time the cases passed the tests in high courts and the Supreme Court.
  • Another NLU Delhi study found that 162 death sentences were awarded across the country in 2018. Only 23 were confirmed by the high courts.
  • The Supreme Court heard 12 death penalty cases in 2018 but confirmed death penalty in only one case – of Nirbhaya gangrape and murder.
  • The Justice JS Verma committee, appointed after the Nirbhaya case, too had examined the efficiency of death penalty for rape. In its report, Justice Verma did not prescribe death penalty for rape for the lack of correlation in preventing the crime of rape or gangrape.

 

Causes of men’s intimate partner violence against women

Gender roles and relations

  • Men’s agreement with sexist, patriarchal, and sexually hostile attitudes
  • Violence-supportive social norms regarding gender and sexuality
  • Male-dominated power relations in relationships and families
  • Sexist and violence-supportive contexts and cultures

 

Social norms and practices related to violence

  • Lack of domestic violence resources
  • Violence in the community
  • Childhood experience of intimate partner violence (especially among boys)

Access to resources and systems of support

  • Low socioeconomic status, poverty, and unemployment
  • Lack of social connections and social capital
  • Personality characteristics
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Separation and other situational factors

 

Role men for problem of sexual violence against women:

 

Promoting gender equality is a critical part of violence prevention.

The relationship between gender and violence is complex. Evidence suggests, however, that gender inequalities increase the risk of violence by men against women and inhibit the ability of those affected to seek protection. There are many forms of violence against women; this briefing focuses on violence by intimate partners, the most common form. Though further research is needed, evidence shows that school, community and media interventions can promote gender equality and prevent violence against women by challenging stereotypes that give men power over women.

 

School initiatives are well placed to prevent violence against women.

School-based programmes can address gender norms and attitudes before they become deeply ingrained in children and youth. Such initiatives address gender norms, dating violence and sexual abuse among teenagers and young adults. Positive results have been reported for the Safe Dates programme in the United States of America and the Youth Relationship Project in Canada.

 

Community interventions can empower women and engage with men.

Community interventions can address gender norms and attitudes through, for example, the combination of microfinance schemes for women and methods that empower men as partners against gender-based violence. The strongest evidence is for the IMAGE microfinance and gender equity initiative in South Africa and the Stepping Stones programme in Africa and Asia. Community programmes with male peer groups show promise in changing attitudes towards traditional gender norms and violent behaviour, but they require more rigorous evaluations. Well-trained facilitators and community ownership appear to boost the effectiveness of these interventions.

 

Media interventions can alter gender norms and promote women’s rights.

Public awareness campaigns and other interventions delivered via television, radio, newspapers and other mass media can be effective for altering attitudes towards gender norms. The most successful are those that seek to understand their target audience and engage with its members to develop content. We do not yet know, however, whether they actually reduce violence.

 

Programmes must engage males and females.

There is some evidence that microfinance schemes that empower women (without engaging with men) may actually cause friction and conflict between partners, especially in societies with rigid gender roles. Further research is needed to explore how such possible negative effects might be overcome.

 

Way forward:

  • Addressing the deeply entrenched patriarchal attitudes of the police, lawyer and other judicial officers that continues to contribute to low reporting and conviction rates.
  • Bridging the gap between GBV laws and its correlated areas such as legal rights to property, land, inheritance, employment and income that allows a woman to walk out of an abusive relationship and specific emphasis on political and economic participation of women.
  • Systematic intervention for multisectoral linkages between Health sector (medical and psychosocial support), Social Welfare sector (Shelters, counselling and economic support/skill), Legal (legal aid)
  • Not just engage with “men and boys” as change agents but also acknowledge the expectations linked to masculinity, their position as victim of violence especially for young boys to address the perpetuation of cycle of GBV.
  • Recognize sexual and reproductive health and rights by promotion and protection of women’s right to have control and decide freely over matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, family-planning choices and access to comprehensive sexuality education.
  • Reclaiming the spaces for women to increase their presence in visibility through political and economic participation and diversifying their engagement in nontraditional sectors.
  • Use of technology and emerging concepts such as Smart City in urban policy for ensuring safer and gender friendly infrastructures and spaces that prevents GBV.

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

2) Technology has enabled blind and visually-impaired people to access mainstream services but there is a definite need to comply with the accessibility guidelines issued in the interest of millions of such users. Discuss.

 

The Hindustan Times

Why this question:

Divyangs as the persons facing any disability are more aptly called, form an important segment of our population. 3rd December is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. With rise in the proliferation of Digital India, digital access for the Divyangs has highlighted the issue of inclusive growth in India . It is therefore important to analyze the issue.

Key demand of the question:

The questions wants us to discuss in detail how the Banks and technology developers either lack awareness about accessibility or do not consider visually-impaired people an integral part of their user base. The need to undertake Divyang-Friendly measures at planning stage for ensuring inclusive growth

Directive:

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly highlight the increasing digital connectivity in India across all the realms. Give the various scenarios where the Divyangs are facing difficulties in accessing Internet and its applications.

Body:

Discuss in detail the various challenges faced in the accessing technological platforms for basic living.

Explain that it is unarguable that for ”Sugamya Bharat” or “Accessible India” to become a reality, there is a need to focus not just on accessibility of the built environment but also on information accessibility for the differently abled.

Often the understanding of accessibility is misconstrued by limiting it only to the built physical environment. Forms of communication and information such as websites, apps, documents, television broadcasts, and the various other communication mediums and devices stay forgotten while discussing accessibility for the disabled.

Mention that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 mandates that all public facilities and services including financial and banking services should be accessible to all.

Provide measures to overcome the digital inaccessibility and promote inclusiveness.

Conclusion:

Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

 

Introduction:

The Reserve Bank of India mandates that banking should be inclusive for persons with disabilities. Inclusion does not merely imply having accessibility provisions at the bank. Online banking facilities also need to be made accessible. At a time when we have ATMs, internet banking, e-Wallets, Apps and other technologically advanced banking services and digital platforms, all financial services should be fully accessible.

 

Increasing digital connectivity in India:

  • With more than half a billion internet subscribers, India is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for digital consumers, but adoption is uneven among
  • As digital capabilities improve and connectivity becomes omnipresent, technology is poised to quickly and radically change nearly every sector of India’s economy.
  • More than 12,000 rural post office branches have been linked digitally and soon payment banking would also become a reality for them.

 

Various challenges faced by Divyangs in the accessing technological platforms for basic living:

  • People of differing abilities obviously face different challenges in accessing the Internet.
  • Persons with visual impairments can face challenges in the lack of compatibility of Web content with screen readers, which are software applications that provide computer-synthesized speech output of what appears on the screen, as well as equivalent text provided in the back-end code.
  • For persons with motor impairments, such as limited or no use of fingers or hands, the barriers are created by cluttered layout, buttons and links that are too small, and other important navigability considerations (such as requiring the use of a pointing device) that can render entire sites and functions unusable.
  • For persons with hearing impairments, the lack of textual equivalents of audio content can cut off large portions of the content of a site, and interactive Web chats and other conferencing features may be impossible.
  • People with speech and communication impairments can also be excluded from interactive Web chats and other conferencing features.
  • For persons with cognitive impairments, such as autism, dementia, or traumatic brain injury, issues of design, layout, and navigability are the difference between being able to use a site and not being able to use it.
  • People with specific learning disabilities, depending on their nature, may face the same barriers as people with visual impairments or people with cognitive impairments.
  • For people with seizure disorders, rates of flickering and flash can jeopardize their health.

 

Accessibility Policies in India

  • In India, about 60 million people are disabled and 42.5% of them are women while 75% of people with disabilities come from rural areas. In India, there is a confluence of barriers to accessibility with inaccessible and unaffordable technologies, inaccessible websites and unsupportive laws.
  • The right to full participation in society and equality of disabled individuals in India was recognized through the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights & Full Participation) Act which was enacted in India in 1995.
  • India is also a signatory to both UNCRPD (2006) and Biwako Millennium framework towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (2002).
  • While there is no specific legislation in India which ensures the right of disabled persons to access ICT’s, The National Telecom Policy 2011 strategizes the need to recognize “telecom and broadband connectivity as a basic necessity like education and health and work towards ‘Right to Broadband’.”
  • The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 mandates that all public facilities and services including financial and banking services should be accessible to all.

 

Way forward:

  • Regulation including accessibility in licensing conditions and authorizations.
  • Voluntary measures such as codes of conducts, guidelines, setting up committees to monitor and promote implementation.
  • Developing technical standards to meet accessibility requirements and promote interoperability with assistive technologies.
  • Incorporating accessible ICT definitions and language in existing ICT legislation.
  • Include persons with disabilities and elderly as eligible groups for services, subsidies and programs under Universal Service and Universal Access funds. These funds can also be used to promote use of accessible ICT in rural and remote communities.
  • Requiring minimum standards of accessibility in all public ICT services as part of Quality of Service regulations.

 

Conclusion:

Regardless of the challenges they may face, persons with disabilities can contribute to society like any other member of the community when barriers are removed. Increasing accessibility to the Internet can help to make that happen. Governments, industry and other key stakeholders need to make accessibility a priority in their ongoing work, individually and collaboratively.

 


 

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

3) The Indian Telecom sector’s troubles of today are rooted in the fast-paced growth of yesterday and regulation that increased tele-density by pushing down average revenue per user. Discuss.

The Hindu

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail the challenges that are Indian telecom sector is facing.

Key demand of the question:

One has to detail upon the list of issues Indian telecom sector is facing and suggest what needs to be done.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

Begin with brief introduction – quote facts on the current scenario.

Body:

Discussion should include the following:

Briefly talk about the evolution of telecom sector and how it has posed challenges for today.

Explain Challenges in Telecom Sector – Lack of fixed line penetration, High Right-of-Way (ROW) cost, spectrum allocation, corruption etc.

Explain what initiatives can be taken by the government in this direction to resolve the concerns.

Then move on to suggest solutions as to what can be done.

Conclusion:

The Prime Minister has rightly emphasised the role digital connectivity plays in society. A long-term vision plan should be made accordingly. For the time being, the government needs to provide an easy and soothing environment for telecom operators.

 

Introduction:

India is the world’s second-largest telecommunications market, with around 1.2 billion subscribers as of September 2018. The telecom market can be split into three segments – wireless, wireline and internet services. The wireless market comprises 98.1% of the total subscriber base. India’s telephone subscriber base has expanded at a CAGR of 19.6%, reaching 1,183.4 million at the end of FY18. Tariff reduction and decline in handset costs has helped the segment to gain in scale.

 

Market Size:

  • With 604.21 million internet subscribers, as of December 2018, India ranks as the world’s second largest market in terms of total internet users.
  • Further, India is also the world’s second largest telecommunications market, with total subscriber base of 1,183.51 million at the end of March 2019
  • Moreover, in 2017, India surpassed USA to become the second largest market in terms of number of app downloads. The country remained as the world’s fastest growing market for Google Play downloads in the second and third quarter of 2018.
  • Over the next five years, rise in mobile-phone penetration and decline in data costs will add 500 million new internet users in India, creating opportunities for new businesses.

 

Investment/Major development

  • With daily increasing subscriber base, there have been a lot of investments and developments in the sector. FDI inflows into the telecom sector during April 2000 – March 2019 totaled to US$ 32.82 billion, according to the data released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
  • During the first quarter of 2018, India became the world’s fastest-growing market for mobile applications. The country remained as the world’s fastest growing market for Google Play downloads in the second and third quarter of 2018.
  • Bharti Airtel is planning to launch 6,000 new sites and 2,000 km of optical fiber in Gujarat in 2018-19.
  • The number of mobile wallet transaction increased 5 per cent month-on-month to 325.28 million in July 2018.
  • As of June 2018, BSNL is expected to launch its 5G services by 2020.
  • Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have merged into ‘Vodafone Idea’ to become India’s largest telecom company, as of September 2018.

 

Challenges facing Indian telecom sector are:

  • Financial Health of the Sector: Gross revenue has dropped by 15% to 20% for the year 2017-18 over the preceding year for the incumbents and overall sector revenue has dropped. Also, there is drop in voice and data revenue per user
  • Limited Spectrum Availability: Available spectrum is less than 40% as compared to European nations and 50% as compared to China. Hence, it is imperative that spectrum auctioning at sustainable prices is the need of the hour. Also, government auction spectrum at an exorbitant cost which makes it difficult for mobile operators to provide services at reasonable speeds.
  • High competition and tariff war: Competition heating up post entry of Reliance Jio. Other telecom players have to drop in tariff rates both for voice and data
  • Lack of Telecom Infrastructure in Semi-rural and Rural areas: Service providers have to incur huge initial fixed cost to enter semi-rural and rural areas. Key reasons behind these costs are lack of basic infrastructure like power and roads, resulting in delays in rolling out the infrastructure.
  • Poor fixed line penetration: India has very little penetration of fixed line in its network whereas, most of the developed countries have a very high penetration of fixed lines
  • High Right-of-Way (ROW) cost: Sometimes, states governments charge a huge amount for permitting the laying of fiber etc.
  • Lack of trained personnel to operate and maintain the cellular infrastructure.
  • Delays in Roll out of Innovative Products and Services: Substantial delays in roll out of data-based products and services are hampering the progress of telecom sectors. This is primarily due to the non-conducive environment resulting out of government policies and regulations.
  • Low Broad Band Penetration: Low broadband penetration in the country is a matter of concern and the government needs to do a lot more work in the field to go up in the global ladder.
  • Over the top services: Over the Top (OTT) applications such as WhatsApp, OLA, Viber and so on do not need permission or a pact with a telecommunications company. This hampers the revenue of telecommunication service provider.
  • License fee: The license fee of eight per cent of the Adjusted Gross Revenue including five per cent as Universal Service Levy (USL) is one of the highest in the world.

 

Measures needed:

  • Infrastructure Sharing: Since telecom business is heavy on capex and as much as 40%– 60% of the Capex is utilized for setting up and managing the Telecom infrastructure. By sharing infrastructure, operators can optimize their capex, and focus on providing new and innovative services to their subscribers.
  • Availability of Affordable Smart Phones and Lower Tariff Rates: This would increase tele penetration in rural areas.
  • Curb on predatory pricing: government should fix a minimum price to save the industry from price war
  • Lower License fee: The license fee of eight per cent of the Adjusted Gross Revenue including five per cent as Universal Service Levy (USL) is one of the highest in the world.
  • Reduce reserve price for spectrum auction: In the past, some of the operators participated recklessly in these auctions leading to exaggerated prices — much above their true valuations. Reasonable reserve prices for the market mechanisms induce “truthful bidding”, and not leading to “winners’ curse” as witnessed in some of the previous auctions.
  • The government should increase the network area through optical fiber instead of copper which is expensive. This is necessary to ensure last mile connectivity.
  • The government needs to prepare a ground for easy right-of-way permissions and lower cost of right-of-ways
  • The government should spend large on R&D and create an environment that makes India capable of manufacturing and even exporting hardware components like mobile handsets, CCTV Cameras, touch screen monitors etc.

 

Conclusion:

The telecom sector in India have to deal with various challenges like maintaining the sufficient spectrum, Adoption of new technologies faster to be able to use new features and techniques to serve the customers with better and feature rich service, Government and regulatory agencies, various mobile handsets available from various companies brings lot of issues and content partners etc. Also, it is evident from the current scenario that the Voice alone will not be sufficient to generate revenue and hence the focus is required to be shifted towards various data services.

 


 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

4) The success in our efforts to reach the 2030 target of an AIDS free India calls for resurrecting the combination of political will, professional skill and wide ranging pan-society partnerships. Comment.

The Hindu

Why this question:

Dec 1 is considered as the World AIDS day to spread awareness and curb the proliferation of AIDS. The article talks about the significance of combination of factors namely the political will, medical aid and communities in achieving the goal of AIDS free India.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain what are the challenges in achieving the 90-90-90 target. The path towards the target has seen in its share of highs and lows; the reasons for the slowdown in the path. Finally talk about the scenario in India and measures needed to achieve the SDG 3.3

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In brief discuss the scenario of prevalence of AIDS in world and explain the 90-90-90 strategy in brief.

Body:

Give a brief stock-tacking of Where are we, at the end of 2019, on the road to the 2020 and 2030 targets?

Then discuss about the success achieved in AIDS control till now and Why is the concern now and what are the reasons for the slowdown in progress.

Finally, explain about the solutions as to how there has to be a fresh surge of high-level political commitment, financial support, health system thrust, public education, civil society engagement and advocacy by affected groups.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

Introduction:

India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world. In 2017, HIV prevalence among adults (aged 15-49) was an estimated 0.2%. This figure is small compared to most other middle-income countries but because of India’s huge population (1.3 billion people) this equates to 2.1 million people living with HIV.

 

India’s efforts to tackle the HIV-AIDS Epidemics:

  • The Indian experience has been more positive but still calls for continued vigilance and committed action.
  • Nine States have rates higher than the national prevalence figure. Mizoram leads with 204 out of 10,000 persons affected. The total number of persons affected in India is estimated to be 21.40 lakh, with females accounting for 8.79 lakh.
  • Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Uttarakhand showed an increase in numbers of annual new infections.
  • HIV-related deaths declined by 71% between 2005 and 2017. HIV infection now affects 22 out of 10,000 Indians, compared to 38 out of 10,000 in 2001-03.
  • India has an estimated 2.14 million persons living with HIV and records 87,000 estimated new infections and 69,000 AIDS-related deaths annually.
  • The strength of India’s well-established National AIDS Control Programme, with a cogent combination of prevention and case management strategies, must be preserved.

 

UN 90-90-90 targets report:

  • 90–90–90 – An ambitious treatment target to help end the AIDS epidemic.
  • By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status. By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy. By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
  • India, China and Pakistan are among the 10 countries that accounted for more than 95 per cent of all new HIV infections in the Asia and the Pacific region in 2016, according to a UN report.

 

Antiretroviral Therapy (ART):

  • It consists of the combination of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to maximally suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of HIV disease.
  • ART also prevents onward transmission of HIV. Huge reductions have been seen in rates of death and infections, when use is made of a potent ARV regimen, particularly in early stages of the disease.
  • Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) is now being given to people living with HIV, irrespective of the CD4 count.

 

Reasons for the slowdown in progress:

  • The success achieved in the early part of this century, through a determined global thrust against the global threat, led to a complacent assumption of a conclusive victory.
  • The expanded health agenda in the SDGs stretched the resources of national health systems, even as global funding streams started identifying other priorities.
  • Improved survival rates reduced the fear of what was seen earlier as dreaded death and pushed the disease out of the headlines.
  • The information dissemination blitz that successfully elevated public awareness on HIV prevention did not continue to pass on the risk-related knowledge and strong messaging on prevention-oriented behaviors to a new generation of young persons.
  • Vulnerability of adolescent girls to sexual exploitation by older men and domineering male behaviors inflicting HIV infection on unprotected women have been seen as factors contributing to new infections in Africa.
  • Risk factors for cardiovascular disease are high among survivors as they age, with anti-retroviral drugs increasing the risk of atherosclerosis.
  • Other infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis can co-exist and cannot be addressed by a siloed programme.
  • Mental health disorders are a challenge in persons who are on lifelong therapy for a serious disease that requires constant monitoring and often carries stigma.
  • There are worryingly high rates of new infection in several parts of the World. Only 19 countries are on track to reach the 2030 target.

 

Way forward:

  • As per the recommendation of the WHO1, this can be achieved by making the tests available that can diagnose HIV rapidly which can be then readily linked with prevention and/or treatment services.
  • it is important to comprehensively map key populations and their partners and urgently need to act on priority to reach and cater to these populations who are at the greatest risk of contraction of the virus.
  • The future vision towards ending the incidence of HIV will require looking beyond care and bringing institutions, industries, non-governmental organizations and different partners to a common point with the help of government and health policymakers to ensure that the disease response is embedded within the universal health coverage.
  • It is unlikely that elimination of HIV/AIDS is possible without putting in place strategic partnerships in bringing and rolling out comprehensive prevention and treatment through universal integrated health system that will provide HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  • This should also offer services to cater to combat other co-morbidities associated with HIV/AIDS.
  • Finally, in line with the sustainable development goals as recommended by the United Nations in 2015, it is important to put in place a comprehensive algorithm to integrate indicators to map the ongoing monitoring efforts to comprehensively assess the state of their national response and their progress in achieving national HIV targets in real time.

 

Conclusion:

Success in our efforts to reach the 2030 target calls for resurrecting the combination of political will, professional skill and wide ranging pan-society partnerships that characterized the high tide of the global response in the early part of this century.


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

5) The draft National Education Policy (NEP) recognizes the criticality of early childhood education. Discuss.

Deccan Herald

Why this question:

The question is about early childhood care and education in India. The draft National Education Policy 2019 wants early childhood education to be overseen and regulated by the HRD Ministry as part of the school system, rather than the private preschools and anganwadis. Thus it is important from exam point of view to analyse the ECCE conditions in India.

Key demand of the question:

The question expects us to evaluate the current conditions of ECCE scenario in India, what needs to be done with a special focus on the draft national education policy.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

Begin with brief introduction on what you understand by ECCE.

Body:

One can start by appreciating the key highlights of the draft education policy with focus on aspects of ECCE –

Right to Education Act to cover the three years of preschool before Class 1. Thus, all Indian children could soon enter the formal education system at the age of three.

Early childhood education should be overseen and regulated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) as part of the school system, rather than the private pre-schools and anganwadis that currently cater to the 3-to-6 years age group.

It suggests a new integrated curricular framework for 3 to 8-year olds with a flexible system based on play, activity and discovery, and beginning exposure to three languages from age 3 onwards.

A joint task force from Health, HRD and Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry will draft “a detailed plan outlining the operational and financial implications of the integration of early childhood education with the school education system”.

Suggest the importance of having a robust policy for ECCE.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

Introduction:

According to UNICEF, early childhood is defined as the period from conception through eight years of age. Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is more than preparation for primary school. It aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. Target 4.2 of SDG 4 aims that by 2030, to ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education.

 

Body:

 

Significance of Early childhood education (ECCE):

  • Early childhood is a time of remarkable growth with brain development at its peak.
  • During this stage, children are highly influenced by the environment and the people that surround them.
  • These years lay the foundations for her/ his learning and holistic development.
  • Children will be better prepared for primary school and will reach better education outcomes.
  • Quality ECCE also helps reduce repetition and drop-out rates.
  • Positive outcomes are even more pronounced among children from vulnerable groups.
  • It helps promote human resource development, gender equality and social cohesion, and to reduce the costs for later remedial programmes.
  • An overview of 56 studies across 23 countries found impacts on health, education, cognitive ability, and emotional development.

 

The draft National Education Policy (NEP) and ECCE:

  • The draft National Education Policy (NEP) developed by a committee chaired by K. Kasturirangan was shared for public comment.
  • The Policy projecting an expansion of the Right to Education Act to cover the three years of preschool before Class 1.
  • It suggests a new integrated curricular framework for 3 to 8-year olds with a flexible system based on play, activity and discovery, and beginning exposure to three languages from age 3 onwards.
  • The policy aims to provide High-quality early childhood care and education for all children between the ages of three and six by 2025.
  • This will be done within schools and anganwadis, which will take care of the overall well-being of the child.
  • These institutions will also provide similar support to families for children younger than three years of age—within their homes.
  • This policy will result in a massive positive multiplier effect on society.

 

Challenges:

  • One of the major issues of ECCE is the unavailability of trained teachers.
  • Anganwadis are currently quite deficient in supplies and infrastructure for education.
  • As a result, they tend to contain more children in the 2-4 year age range and fewer in the educationally critical 4-6 year age range.
  • Anganwadis also have few teachers trained in or specially dedicated to early childhood education.
  • Private pre-schools often consist of formal teaching and rote memorization with limited play-based learning.
  • A 2017 study by the Ambedkar University showed that “a significant proportion of children in India who completed pre-primary education, public or private, did not have the needed school readiness competencies when they joined primary school.

 

Conclusion:

ECCE teacher training should be added as a skill gap in the list of National Skill Development Corporation to ensure that easy investment is available to produce efficient ECCE teachers. Universal access to quality early childhood education is perhaps the best investment that India can make for our children’s and our nation’s future.

 

 


Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

6) While radicalisation is the primary problem, lone-wolf terror attacks across globe points to security, intelligence and systemic failures. Examine. Suggest how India should prepare itself to avoid such attacks.

The Hindu

IDSA

Why this question:

The recent knife attack near London Bridge that killed two and injured three others is yet another reminder of the threat lone-wolf assaults pose to public security.

Key demand of the question:

One has to talk about the various reasons for increasing lone-wolf terror attacks and the measures needed to curb such attacks.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly narrate the lone-wolf attack in London. Also explain about the instances in India and world in the past.

Body:

Explain that a lone wolf attack is undertaken by a very small group or an individual in support of a larger cause, but without the overall supervision or support of a terrorist organisation.

Discuss the causes for rising lone-wolf terror attacks.

  • Radicalization of the youth- individuals who are influenced by either perceptions of injustice and persecution.
  • Lax gun controls in some places.
  • Failure of the intelligence of State
  • Other reasons.

Give measures to tackle such incidents in India like addressing the systemic issues — making policing more efficient; strengthening the intelligence network; state agencies need to work with civil society groups as well as community leaders and have deradicalisation programmes etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude about how there is no one-stop solution to terrorism and the need for global co-operation in fighting it.

 

Introduction:

 

The knife attack on recently near London Bridge that killed two and injured three others is yet another reminder of the threat lone-wolf assaults poses to public security.

 

A lone wolf, lone-wolf terrorist, or lone actor, is someone who prepares and commits violent acts alone, outside of any command structure and without material assistance from any group. He or she may be influenced or motivated by the ideology and beliefs of an external group and may act in support of such a group. In its original sense, a “lone wolf” is an animal or person that generally lives or spends time alone instead of with a group.

 

Challenges to Undertaking Lone Wolf Attacks

  • Unlike in the US where sophisticated weapons can be easily bought by ordinary citizens, gaining access to such weaponry in India is difficult as is the ability to obtain licenses.
  • Indians have not displayed the psychological willingness to undertake high risk attacks. There have not been any fidayeen attacks undertaken by Indians in the country. Such attacks in the past have either been undertaken by Tamil guerrillas from Sri Lanka or by Pakistan-sponsored foreign terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The only major indigenous terrorist group which has operated on a pan-Indian scale is the Indian Mujahideen (IM). There is a possibility that radicals associated with this group might attempt lone wolf strikes especially given that one of IM’s breakaway factions has joined the IS.
  • Over a period of time, the deployment of private security at high value targets like malls, hotels and schools has been upgraded, which acts as a deterrent to an individual aiming to target them.
  • The absence of past examples of lone wolf attacks in India inculcates the fear of the unknown in the minds of potential volunteers.
  • The areas most affected by communal tensions and differences between religious groups can best be identified on the basis of the history of riots. States that have witnessed the maximum number of cases of communal riots include Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka.

 

India’s Vulnerabilities:

  • Past cases of terrorist attacks suggest that the reactions of the local police remain inadequate. While this was clearly apparent during 26/11, which was a well-orchestrated attack sponsored by Pakistan, responses to subsequent terror attacks do not indicate police capacities that are necessary for undertaking clinical operations to limit potential damage.
  • Heavy concentration of people in public areas offers a large number of potential targets. While some installations have utilised the limited protection offered by private security measures, a large number of public places continue to remain vulnerable.
  • A fast growing population, especially youth with access to mass media and social media, opens limitless avenues of unrestrained radical propaganda. This increases the possibility of subversion, given the unverified yet powerful platforms of messaging that promise liberation from everyday frustrations of the youth at their places of work, in society and across borders in conflict zones.
  • While the popular discourse seems to suggest an increasing level of intolerance, the reality is quite different. For instance, the number of incidents of communal violence increased only marginally from 644 in 2014 to 650 in 2015 (based on data till October, 2015).

 

How India should prepare itself to avoid such attacks.

  • The approach must follow the sequence of awareness of the contagion, detection of potential and existing recruits and finally remedial action.
  • The recent attacks in France and the large scale recruitment to IS has contributed to raising awareness regarding radicalization the world over. However, there is a need to focus attention on potential target groups through monitoring and infiltration of social media sites that are the principle source of radical propaganda.
  • Big data analytics must be used to discern the level of radicalization of potential recruits, their networks and sources of information, funding and leadership in order to help unravel the roots of radicalization.
  • The police and intelligence services are neither trained nor equipped to handle the vital aspect of rolling back radicalization in society. Helplines should be created and manned by professional counsellors and psychologists who can help reverse the process as part of the efforts of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) supported by the state.
  • While the above is a suitable course of action for potential and raw recruits, the hardened ideologues must be prosecuted under the counter terrorism laws of the state.
  • The example of the IS suggests that their legal advisors carefully exploited existing loopholes and gaps in legal mechanisms to continue with propagation of radical ideologies in Europe. This raises the need for regular revision and tightening of laws to ensure that the same cannot be attempted in India.
  • The formation of National Security Guard regional hubs in the aftermath of 26/11 is a welcome step to neutralize future terrorist strikes. However, recent attacks indicate that the reaction time to a terror strike is likely to be of the utmost essence in minimizing casualties. There is, therefore, a need for specialized police teams to be trained and organized in every state to act as first-responders.
  • The nature of threat that groups like the IS represent is transnational in nature. Therefore, the momentum created in the aftermath of the Paris attacks must be carried forward to strengthen the “coalition of willing” to improve intelligence sharing mechanisms, reduce time for processing information requests, strengthen countering the finance of terrorism measures, and facilitate the extradition of hate mongers from their chosen place of immigration. The example of Sikh and Kashmiri groups in Europe and Canada is a case in point.

 

Conclusion:

Attacks by home grown terrorists is a threat that has proved its nefariousness in the recent past. This is likely to be expanded through volunteers encouraged to undertake lone wolf attacks. India remains an important target for groups like the IS, which visualize the country’s democratic, secular and open social fabric as a threat to their concept of an Islamic Caliphate. It is therefore important to undertake suitable proactive measures to limit the potential damage that can be caused by such attacks.


Topic: Ethics in personal and professional  relationships

7) Discuss the role played by ethics in maintaining interpersonal relationship.

Why this question:

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

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the role played by ethics in maintaining interpersonal relationship.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

Explain what are interpersonal relationships in short.

Body:

Explain that being ethical isn’t always easy, and to truly be a moral person, you have to try and be ethical in every aspect of life. One aspect in particular is interpersonal communication, or the direct exchange of information between two or more people.

Discuss the importance of interpersonal relationship and how ethics influences it using suitable illustrations.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting importance of ethics.

 

 

 

Introduction:

Ethics are important in all aspects of life, and communication is no exception. Explore the way in which ethics relate specifically to interpersonal communication, and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

 

Interpersonal relationships exist between any two or more persons who interact and fulfil one or more physical or emotional needs. It is a strong bond between two or more people that brings them close to each other. Ethics is a systematic and critical analysis of morality, of the moral factors that guide human conduct in a particular society or practice.

 

Body:

 

Role of Ethics in maintaining interpersonal relationship:

  • Interpersonal relationship between children and their parents, brother and sister, immediate family members or relatives revolve around trust, commitment and care.
  • Integrity which is the ethical standard that compels one to maintain consistency in belief and action.
  • Fairness so that the right balance of interest in regard to one’s own feelings and the other side of a conflict are in check.
  • Truthfulness and honesty are ethical standards that compel people not to lie, mislead, or deceive
  • Empathy which is the principle of understanding the feelings of others.
  • Solidarity: Stand by your loved ones at times of need.
  • Tolerance: Being open to various ideas and being open to constructive criticism.

 

Conclusion:

The scope of interpersonal relationship extends in public and private life. Thus, ethics plays an imperative role in maintaining good and healthy interpersonal relationships.