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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 January 2020

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 January 2020


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


 

Topic: population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1. Critically examine whether growing population is the cause of poverty or poverty is the mains cause of population increase in India. (250 words)

Live Mint

Why this question:

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

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the causes of growing population and the causes of poverty and in what way the two are interrelated.

Directive:

Critically examine – When 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 judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Highlight the fact that Poor countries tend to have a high population growth and high population growth rate can lead to poverty. Both these phenomena are visible in India leading to a vicious cycle.

Body:

Discuss first the basic aspects of population, causes of population growth and its impact.

Explain in what way rapidly growing population can exacerbate poverty.

A high population increases the pressure on resources as they can support only a small number of people. It strains the ability of the government to provide for every citizen. It increases the competition for a limited number of jobs. Poverty on the other hand can also lead to an increase in population. Poor people tend to have more children so as to put them to work and support them economically. Poor also have lower access to education and healthcare and are not able to do family planning properly.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done to overcome the situation and cure the issue.

Introduction:

The UN Human Rights Council has defined poverty as “a human condition characterized by the sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights”. This argument of whether poverty is the causal effect or the resultant effect of overpopulation is one which has plagued economists for many years. Some have argued that the relationship is circular and each impacts the other.

Body:

Poverty and population growth are said to be interrelated and the impacts of a growing population on the carrying capacity of the environment is continually highlighted. As a result, regions experiencing high levels of both poverty and population growth are often the least developed countries (LDC) of the world.

Population growth leading to poverty:

  • Some believe that high fertility causes poverty and that lower fertility is the key to reducing poverty.
  • At the end of the 18th century, Thomas Malthus and his followers argued that high fertility and poverty went hand in hand. Malthus himself, focusing on the impoverishing effects of scarce land and rising food prices, urged couples not to marry and have children unless they could afford to support them.
  • Population growth is said to be largely driven by two key components. Dasgupta (1995) broadly describes these components as, having children as ends and having children as assets.
  • As high population below poverty line add to high level of illiteracy, poor health care facilities and poor access to financial resources.
  • Increase in the population results in more family expenses.
  • Unemployment rate increases pushing families to poverty.
  • The increased levels of population place a greater strain on the carrying capacity of land; as a result, placing strain on economies in the LDC’s to achieve a higher rate of agricultural growth as well as obtain high standards of living (Pearce and Warford, 1993; World Bank, 1984).
  • In Africa, poverty is said to results primarily from a fast growth in population and low levels of agricultural yield.
  • In Asia, similarly poverty is said to be largely created by high population growth rates and density combined with large landlessness (UNDP, 1998).
  • Increased pressure of satisfying the expanded family needs creates stress on the bread winner resulting in health related issues sometimes to the extreme of fatal. This would push the family to poverty.
  • Hence high population growth affects the per capita income and makes per capita income even lower.
  • In a study conducted by Sachs et al. (1997, cited in Hakkert, 2007) it was revealed that in Asia, high levels of population growth is one of the factors that gives rise to increased levels of inequality and that the ability to escape poverty becomes increasingly difficult as the size of families increase.

Poverty leading to Population growth:

  • Poverty encourages the families to reproduce more with the expectation that the number of members in the family is directly proportional to the working force of the family resulting in more income for the family.
  • Poverty discourages families from sending their children to schools resulting in increased illiteracy.
  • Due to this people remain uneducated on the ways of controlling birth rate using modern medical techniques.
  • Further, illiteracy stops one from thinking the consequences of high population in the family.
  • Poverty pushes families to get their female children married at a very young age which gives rise to early and increased re-production.

Measures needed:

  • Access to sexual and reproductive health, including family planning, can affect population dynamics through voluntary fertility reduction and reductions in infant and maternal mortality.
  • Improved reproductive health also helps individuals, particularly young women, break out of intergenerational cycles of poverty.
  • When women and couples are empowered to plan whether and when to have children, women are better enabled to complete their education; women’s autonomy within their households is increased; and their earning power is improved.
  • This strengthens their economic security and well-being and that of their families. Cumulatively, this contributes to development progress and poverty reduction.

Conclusion:

Overall, it is a vicious cycle in which large part of population is trapped. Efforts to combat the ‘vicious circle’ of poverty, rising population growth and associated environmental degradation are said to require multidisciplinary policies in all sectors. These policies need to be carefully established taking account of the need to achieving sustainable development if the resourced that are available for future generations are to be preserve.

 

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

2. The appointment of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a crucial step towards achieving seamless coordination in higher defence management. Deliberate. (250 words)

Indian Express

Why this question:

The outgoing Army chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat, was recently appointed as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a day before he was to step down on superannuation.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the significance of CDS and in what way it can prove to be a great leap forward step.

Directive:

Deliberate – 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:

Define first who is a CDS.

Body:

The question is straight forward and there isn’t much to deliberate upon.

Explain the merits of the decision and creation of the post.

The decision to appoint a CDS is a huge step towards achieving seamless coordination and greater effectiveness in higher defence management structures by creating an enabling architecture that permits fuller expression on the part of our professional armed forces.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the post.

Introduction:

The appointment of General Bipin Rawat as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) comes quick on the heels of the historic decision taken by India’s Cabinet Committee on Security on December 24, 2019 on the appointment of a CDS, bringing to fruition a matter that has been hanging fire for close to two decades.

Body:

About the office of The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS):

  • The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a high military office that oversees and coordinates the working of the three Services, and offers seamless tri-service views and single-point advice to the Executive (in India’s case, to the Prime Minister) on long-term defence planning and management, including manpower, equipment and strategy, and above all, “jointsmanship” in operations.
  • It shall provide “effective leadership at the top level” to the three wings of the armed forces, and to help improve coordination among them.
  • CDS will be a four-star officer and act as principal military adviser to defence minister on all tri services matters.

Functions of the CDS:

  • CDS will administer tri-services organisations. Tri-service agencies/organisations/commands related to Cyber and Space will be under the command of the CDS.
  • CDS will be member of Defence Acquisition Council chaired by Raksha Mantri and Defence Planning Committee chaired by NSA.
  • Function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.
  • Bring about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance, etc. of the three Services, within three years of the first CDS assuming office.
  • Ensure optimal utilisation of infrastructure and rationalise it through jointness among the services.
  • Implement Five-Year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan (DCAP), and Two-Year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plans (AAP), as a follow up of Integrated Capability Development Plan (ICDP).
  • Assign inter-Services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget.
  • Bring about reforms in the functioning of three Services aimed at augmenting combat capabilities of the Armed Forces by reducing wasteful expenditure.
  • It is expected that this reform in the Higher Defence Management would enable the Armed Forces to implement coordinated defence doctrines and procedures and go a long way in fostering jointmanship among the three Services. The country would be benefitted by coordinated action on greater jointmanship in training, logistics and operations as well as for prioritisation of procurements.
  • In addition to heading the department of military Affairs, the CDS will also be the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.
  • However, CDS will not exercise any military command including over three service chiefs.

Challenges:

  • The Kargil Review Committee Report pointed out that India is the only major democracy where the Armed Forces Headquarters is outside the apex governmental structure.
  • It observed that Service Chiefs devote most of their time to their operational roles, “often resulting in negative results”.
  • Long-term defence planning suffers as day-to-day priorities dominate.
  • Also, the Prime Minister and Defence Minister do not have the benefit of the views and expertise of military commanders, in order to ensure that higher level defence management decisions are more consensual and broadbased.
  • The CDS is also seen as being vital to the creation of “theatre commands”, integrating tri-service assets and personnel like in the US military.

Way Forward:

  • This is a major first step in the direction of changes but not the final step.
  • The single services must be evolved in a way so that it can raise, train and sustain.
  • Restructuring of defence must be done in a transparent manner such that there is cross-posting of the senior military officers in the decision making in the Department of Defence as well.
  • The creation of the CDS will need to be followed up with further reforms to reconfigure the armed forces to meet India’s aspirations to be a global power.
  • It is also necessary that the first incumbent is given a term of three years so as to be able to carry the ambitious vision laid out in the cabinet note through to its conclusion.
  • The job is strategic, requires personal supervision, and cannot be left unfinished for the successor to finish. Given the challenges and the limited time-frame within which to accomplish it, allowances will have to be made for attendant hiccups.
  • Some teething problems can be expected in the beginning but things are bound to fall in place as norms, processes and rules are worked out between the three services, the CDS and the defence ministry.
  • It will require the navigation of entrenched institutional interests, hierarchical powers and military traditions, to lay the foundations for a strong and functional CDS.

Conclusion:

The creation of the CDS is part of the fulfilment of commitments by the incumbent government on defence matters, starting with the implementation of One Rank One Pension after 40 years, the establishment of the Defence Space and Cyber Agencies as also the Special Operations Division, Make in India initiatives aimed at ensuring an “India First” policy. It is in keeping with India’s aspirations to fulfil its destiny as a major power in the 21st century.

 

Topic:  Important aspects of governance

3. Good Governance Index (GGI) is a welcome exercise to incentivize States to competitively deliver on public services to the citizens. Elucidate.(250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

The article discusses in what way marking States on different parameters can incentivize performance.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the importance of Good Governance Index (GGI) and in what way it aids the different states to competitively deliver on public services.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Discuss first the importance of Governance in general.

Body:

  • First explain what is Good Governance Index (GGI)? – It is a tool to assess the status of governance and the impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs.
  • Discuss the objectives of GGI.
  • Highlight the key findings of the GGI report.
  • Explain how it can help building a competitive spirit amongst different states of the country and aid in overall growth and development.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Good Governance index is a uniform tool to assess the status of governance and the impact of various interventions by state governments and Union Territories. ‘Good Governance Index’ (GGI) has been launched by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, on the occasion of Good Governance Day.

Body:

The objectives of GGI are:

  • To provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and UTs.
  • To enable states and UTs to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance.
  • To shift to result-oriented approaches and administration.
  • Various principles have been kept in mind while selecting the indicators, i.e. it should be easy to understand & calculate, citizen-centric & result-driven, leading to improved results and applicable to all states and UTs.

Key findings of the GGI:

  • Tamil Nadu has always had the reputation of being a better-run State, it is only now that it is ranked first in any study of this kind.
  • Its strength has been the ability to ensure stable and smooth delivery of services without much ado.
  • But it is not the only southern State to have put up an impressive performance.
  • Three of its neighbours are among the top 10 of the big 18 States, one of the three groups formed for the study with the north-east and hill States and Union Territories being the other two.
  • Of course, traditionally, the south has been ahead of others in several parameters of development.
  • What is more significant about the GGI is that the dubiously-labelled “BIMARU” States are seeking to catch up with others in development.
  • Of the nine sectors, Rajasthan, a “BIMARU” State, has finished within the top 10 in five sectors, Madhya Pradesh in four and Uttar Pradesh in three.
  • In agriculture and allied sectors, almost all the “BIMARU” States are within the top 10 category and in human resources development, U.P. and Bihar figure. In the composite ranking, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are ranked fourth and ninth, respectively.
  • The key message is that these northern States can catch up with others in due course of time, if the political leadership shows the will to overcome historical obstacles and stays focused on development.

Importance of GGI:

  • The nation-wide comparative study of States on governance carried out by the Government of India helps build a competitive spirit amongst different states of the country and aid in overall growth and development.
  • GGI can be an effective and efficient process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented) keeping the amelioration of citizens as the topmost priority.
  • Resource allocation, creation of formal establishments, setting up rules and regulations etc., are part of achieving this goal.
  • Good Governance Day is celebrated to enhance the welfare and betterment of the people.
  • It is celebrated to standardize the government’s functioning and to make it highly effective and accountable governance for the citizens of the country.
  • It makes people aware of the government’s commitment to providing a transparent and accountable administration in the country.
  • GGI helps to implement policies effectively to achieve good governance in India.
  • GGI enhances the growth and development in the country through good governance.
  • GGI brings citizens closer to the government to make them active participants in the good governance process.

Conclusion:

Good Governance Index (GGI), is a welcome exercise to incentivize States to competitively deliver on public services to the citizens. There will always be an unending debate over which indicators, process-based or outcome-based should get more importance in the design of such a study. However, it is noteworthy that the Centre has made an attempt to address the problem of the absence of a credible and uniform index for an objective evaluation of the States and Union Territories.

 

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

4. The NITI Aayog’s proposed 15-year plan for Indian healthcare entitled “Health Systems for a New India: Building Blocks — Potential Pathways to Reform” is a welcome move to improve the state of the healthcare system in India. Comment. (250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

The question is based on the set of NITI Aayog’s proposed 15-year plan for the Indian healthcare system that was recently released.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in what way the 15 year plan is a welcome move. Highlight the significance of such a roadmap and importance of achieving the final goals of it.

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:

Bring out the highlights of the report.

Body:

Discuss the key findings and suggestions of the report such as – With regard to the risk pooling mechanism, even though the report has not out rightly suggested that Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), the government’s cashless health insurance scheme covering 10 crore poor families for Rs five lakh annually, should be extended to the whole of India, it discretely mentioned that PM-JAY should be considered with an eye on its potential to influence the overall healthcare transformation in India, beyond its current explicit mandate.

The report is critical of the fragmented nature of the Indian Healthcare system. It emphasizes the fact that overcoming the challenges of fragmentation across healthcare financing and service delivery will help India optimize both quality and access in the domain of healthcare services. It proposes the consolidation of small practices into larger business-like organizations.

Discuss any concerns associated with the plan.

Provide for counter arguments if any.

Conclusion:

Conclude There is a need for installing an inbuilt family physician in the health services system who acts as the first port of call for every registered patient.

Introduction:

The NITI Aayog’s proposed 15-year plan for Indian healthcare entitled “Health Systems for a New India: Building Blocks — Potential Pathways to Reform” outlines prospects of such an infelicitous turn in Indian healthcare. The report makes otherwise commendable proposals for health system strengthening including elimination of informality, merging of fragmented risk pools, and reduction of out-of-pocket health spending. However, the proposal to consolidate small practices into larger business-like organisations appears problematic on multiple fronts.

Body:

Highlights of the report:

  • To deliver on unfinished public health agenda and move towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
  • Changing the health financing away from out of pocket expenditure into large insurers.
  • Empowering citizens to become better buyers of health by educating them of the options available.
  • Harnessing the power of digital health.
  • Integrating service delivery vertically and horizontally.

Challenges with the proposal:

  • Nearly 98% of healthcare providers have less than 10 employees. It is identified as a negative trait.
  • Apart from cost and competition-related concerns, it could portend a commodification of healthcare from the bottom-up.
  • The report’s bent towards the U.S. HMO model adds to such a foreboding.
  • Loyalty and longitudinality form vital pillars of the patient-physician relationship.
  • The edifice of these is built upon mutual trust, warmth, and understanding that accrues over time between a patient and their personal physician.
  • Momentary and haphazardly physician-patient interactions in a system that limits access to one’s ‘physician of choice’ are incapable of fostering such enduring relationships.
  • Importance of family physician:
    • Apart from providing comprehensive care and coordinating referrals, a family physician’s longitudinal relationship with their patient helps in a better understanding of the patient’s needs and expectations.
  • Increased Commercialization of care
    • Widespread commercialisation over the past few decades has entailed that the family physician is a dying breed in India today.
    • This has a sizeable role in impairing the doctor-patient relationship, manifested through violence against healthcare providers.
    • In a setting of overcrowded public hospitals, and profiteering healthcare enterprises, mistrust in the healthcare provider and its gruesome implications are not difficult to anticipate.
  • Lack of funds for the healthcare sector and the economics of scale offered by larger organizations.
  • India faces an acute shortage in terms of manpower in the medical sector. An integrated framework would allow for a smaller number of medical personnel to take care of the needs of the large patient population in India.

Measures needed:

  • Studies have demonstrated that healthcare received in small clinics indeed scores higher in terms of patient satisfaction than that received in larger institutions.
  • This increased satisfaction manifests as better compliance with the treatment regimen and regular follow-ups, culminating in improved clinical outcomes.
  • The NITI Aayog’s long-term plan provides a good opportunity to envisage such long-called-for reforms, but that would require not the U.S. model but the U.K. model to be kept at the forefront for emulation.
  • There is a need for installing an inbuilt family physician in the health services system who acts as the first port of call for every registered patient.
  • Introducing Attitude, Ethics, and Communication (AETCOM) in the revised undergraduate medical curriculum is a welcome step and this needs to be progressively emphasized on in healthcare service delivery.

Conclusion:

The plan needs to be revisited to ensure that healthcare clinics delivering patient care don’t transform into veritable supermarket stores marketing medical services any further.

 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5. “Digital literacy is integral for financial inclusion.” Comment in the background of India’s efforts to expand access to organized financial systems through digital payments (250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

The article emphasizes on the fact that Access to Internet must be recognized as a fundamental right to free speech, basic freedoms and the right to life. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

Deliberate in detail as to how Digital literacy is integral for financial inclusion. Also highlight the country’s efforts in augmenting the digitization process of the economy.

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:

Explain what you understand by digital literacy.

Body:

Focus the spurt in digital infrastructure.

Explain how digital literacy is crucial for financial inclusion.

Discuss the importance of financial inclusion for the inclusive growth of the society.

The recent growth in digital banking infrastructure could foster a cultural shift in the intensity of use of electronic modes of payments and settlement. Its adoption even in the hinterlands with the active use of business correspondents is encouraging.

Discuss concerns and challenges involved if any.

Conclusion:

Conclude with policies and measures taken by the government in this direction.

Introduction:

Digital literacy refers to the wide range of skills, which are necessary to emerge successful and adapt to the digital world. Since the print mediums are facing stagnation, the ability to grasp information found online becomes important. People and students who lack digital literacy skills may soon find themselves tough to gain access to information which is available online.

Recently, the Kerala High Court, in Faheema Shirin v. the State of Kerala case, declared the right to Internet access as a fundamental right forming a part of the right to privacy and the right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution. The court held that, in an information society, unequal access to the Internet creates and reproduces socio-economic exclusions.

Body:

India’s efforts to expand access to organized financial systems through digital payments:

  • As a larger part of the RBI’s policy to promote digital inclusion, making online remittances through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) facilities in savings bank accounts free from January 2020 is indeed significant.
  • Forty-five wallet players, 50 UPI-based payments service providers and 142 banks on the UPI platform are actively coordinating with each other to deliver services to customers.
  • Small finance banks (SFBs) and payments banks have also been set up to improve outreach and to pursue FI, for the benefit of people at the bottom of the pyramid — migrant labour, village workforce, low-income households, small businesses and other unorganised sector entities.
  • Merchant discount rates — the charges that merchants have to pay to banks on transactions done on debit/credit cards — were waived in the Union Budget presentation for 2019-20.
  • Companies with a turnover of ₹50 crore or more are mandated to provide free facility of payment through Rupay debit cards and UPI QR codes to customers from January 2020, and a tax of 2 per cent will be levied on entities drawing cash of over ₹1 crore in one year.
  • The number of point of sales terminals increased from 12,11,890 in September 2015 to 45,89,727 by September 2019, while the number of debit cards increased from 604 million to close to 835 million during the same period.

Reasons for the above success:

  • Non-bank peer-to-peer lenders and the introduction of a new type of prepaid payment instruments will go a long way in deepening FI through further digital penetration.
  • Enhancing access to financial touch points and reducing the cost of access have been the twin drivers of digital inclusion.
  • Moving beyond just setting up full-fledged bank branches, banks have started expanding the base of alternate electronic delivery channels at a much faster pace, after mobile connectivity and network, and Internet services were made accessible and affordable to people at the bottom of the pyramid.

Limitations/challenges present:

  • The formidable challenge is the increased inoperative bank accounts that limit the merits of FI.
  • The World Bank estimates indicate that 47 per cent of such accounts are inoperative and 23 per cent of PMJDY accounts remain dormant. The gap in imparting financial and digital literacy is evident.
  • Tackling inoperative accounts and deepening FI efforts to realise its actual potentiality to contribute to economic the wellbeing of the society remains a formidable challenge.
  • Inadequate institutional efforts to disseminate financial awareness at the grassroots level are keeping even financially connected masses (those having bank accounts and debit cards) away from the formal financial system.
  • While many stakeholders have been doing sporadic work, they are not coordinated enough to optimise its effectiveness.
  • The missing link in FI is now obviously the lack of financial and digital knowledge of massive user base.

Way forward:

  • In order to make FI work to ensure that the benefits of inclusion reaches the intended target group of the society, seminal changes need to be introduced in the spread of financial and digital literacy and credit counselling.
  • Adequately equipping and empowering institutions engaged in disseminating comprehensive literacy programmes will be essential to unleash the potentiality of the huge financial and digital infrastructure built and designed to sub serve FI.
  • It is the right time to accelerate literacy campaigns, particularly when digital culture is spreading fast with introduction of the GST, FASTags and other online utilities of daily use.
  • Right synchronisation of comprehensive literacy efforts with the evolving payment and settlement ecosystem should be able to take India close to the end-state objectives of FI by 2030, by when the sustainable goals of UN are to be achieved.

Conclusion:

We are living in an ‘information society’. Unequal access to the Internet creates and reproduces socioeconomic exclusions. It is important to recognise the right to Internet access and digital literacy to alleviate this situation, and allow citizens increased access to information, services, and the creation of better livelihood opportunities

 

Topic:  Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

6. Considering the fact that Internet broadband and mobile Internet services have become an integral part of the life of the people, Do you agree that it is time to recognize that the right to access the Internet which is indeed a fundamental right within our constitutional guarantees? Analyse. (250 words)

The Hindu

 Why this question:

The article debates upon the need to recognize right to internet as the fundamental right.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the importance of Internet and access to it as equivalent to right to life and right to equality thus qualifying it as an integral fundamental right.

Directive:

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Internet broadband and mobile Internet services are a lifeline to people in India from all walks of life.

Body:

Discuss the significance of Internet in today’s world – People working in the technology-based gig economy — like the thousands of delivery workers for Swiggy, Dunzo and Amazon and the cab drivers of Uber and Ola — depend on the Internet for their livelihoods. It is a mode of access to education for students who do courses and take exams online. Access to the Internet is important to facilitate the promotion and enjoyment of the right to education.

Present a discussion of how right to access to the Internet can be rooted in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Highlight the need to back internet access as right to life.

Discuss concerns if any and suggest way ahead.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance of right to internet as a fundamental right.

Introduction:

Internet broadband and mobile Internet services are a lifeline to people in India from all walks of life. While the Internet is certainly a main source of information and communication and access to social media, it is so much more than that. In Sep 2019, the Kerala High Court, in Faheema Shirin v. the State of Kerala case, declared the right to Internet access as a fundamental right forming a part of the right to privacy and the right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution. Despite this, according to the Software Freedom Law Centre data, there have been more than a 100 Internet shutdowns in different parts of India in 2019 alone.

Body:

Need for right for Internet:

Internet has become quite useful in our daily public life as well. It is quite hard to ignore the need, importance and the value of internet in our daily life. Though there are countless uses of Internet in society, we have listed out here a few benefits of Internet for society.

 

  • Online Banking: In the world we live today, the role of Internet has tremendously grown. In the field of online banking, the advantages of internet are of pivotal importance. Earlier, there used to be manual banking work. It was quite difficult to handle banking and transaction online. Now, with the help of Internet it has been made quite easier to send and receive payments anywhere in the world. It has brought many positive economic impacts on our society.
  • Online Trade & E commerce: E-commerce is gaining popularity across the world. It is only because of Internet that doing business has become quite easier. Online trade has changed the fortunes of millions of people across the world. It has revolutionized the social life.
  • Faster Connectivity: Due to Internet, the connectivity has become much faster. The distances have disappeared. The world has become global. It is quite easy to connect with each other. The virtual world has made it possible for us to get in touch easily with each other. The world has become a global village where the knowledge, ideas, information and everything flows quite easily from one place to another. It has the great benefits for society.
  • Creation of More Jobs & More Income Opportunities: In Old times, the economy used to be limited and isolated. But with the advent of Internet the industries and world economies have come closer to each other. Thanks to Internet, millions of new jobs are being created. The economic advantages of internet for society have been witnessed. Millions of People are changing their lives with the help of Internet. This is one of the greatest benefit of Internet for society.
  • Spread of Education and Awareness: Internet has completely changed the system of education. Earlier there used to be the traditional and limited education system. Education has spread quickly via online learning. The online education system via internet has dramatically reduced the cost of education. It has become easily accessible and affordable. With the help of online videos platforms, teaching models and multiple audio, video and visual study material, the education and awareness has been spreading very fast. It is again one of the greatest social benefit of Internet for our lives.
  • The Role of Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence and machine learning has completely changed the scope and future of computer education. Artificial intelligence is proving quite beneficial for society. It is useful in every walk of life including in education, health, economy, trade, industry and in medial field. This great social benefit is again due to internet.
  • Role of Internet and Informational Technology in Medical and Health Field: Thanks to modern technology of today we have the cures of these diseases easily available. The medical field has greatly progressed because of Internet connectivity and information technology.
  • Internationally, the right to access to the Internet can be rooted in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

However, there are associated concerns too of making internet a fundamental right:

  • Privacy Issues: Privacy is the right of every individual. Unfortunately, in online world it has become quite hard rather impossible to safeguard one’s privacy. Our smart phones and various other internet services that we use, track down our movements.
  • Internet is merely a technology, nothing less but certainly nothing more. For instance, technology indeed mattered for the Arab protests, but this did not make the Arab Spring a technological revolution. Social networks did not cause these movements, but they kept them alive and connected.
  • The things that we call human rights must be among the things humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. The Internet is valuable as a means to an end, but not as an end in itself.
  • Most modern human rights recognized come with some sort of enforcement mechanism, be it hard law (e.g. courts or compliance committees) or soft law (e.g. monitoring). Yet claims for the recognition of new fundamental rights should always be carefully examined. If they are rashly accepted, it could lead to a practice of fragmentation and constant increase of human rights.
  • One can argue that the ‘visibility’ argument in favour of more human rights recognition does not take into account the flexibility of existing rights. Technological advances often change the way in which we exercise our rights and freedoms, and thus broaden the practical scope of these rights.

Conclusion:

The usefulness of the Internet cannot be overstated and the government should do everything possible to bridge the digital divide among its constituents. But declaring access to the Internet as a citizen’s right is not a defensible proposition.

 

Topic:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

7. Discuss in detail the significance of Attitude, Ethics, and Communication (AETCOM) for the healthcare fraternity. (250 words)

The Hindu

Why this question:

Recently Attitude, Ethics, and Communication (AETCOM) strategy has been introduced in the revised undergraduate medical curriculum in the country taking inspirations from the Western world.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the connotation of Attitude, Ethics, and Communication (AETCOM) for the field of Health care sector.

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 in brief what you understand by Attitude, Ethics, and Communication (AETCOM).

Body:

Discuss the need for Attitude, Ethics, and Communication in the field of healthcare.

Explain why ethics and inculcating right attitude is of prime importance to the field of health.

Explain with examples from everyday life to substantiate your answer better.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of Attitude, Ethics, and Communication in general.

Introduction:

Health Professions and practice is a complex interplay of Knowledge, Clinical Skills & Acumen, Communication, Attitude, Inter-   Professional behavior   and   is   largely dependent on strong Ethical values. The entire concept of AETCOM module lies on the fundamental principle that changing   a   person’s   attitude   can   change   his   or   her   behavior.

Body:

The   Cognitive components of attitudes are more fundamental and constant over time and more closely   connected   to   basic   values.   Behavioural   attitudes   are   manifestations   of underlying cognitive and affective attitudes. Ethical dimensions play a crucial role in behavioural evolution and the basic building block of good communication is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value.

Significance of AETCOM:

  • To help resolve disputes between family, patients, physicians, or other parties: Often, the parties involved are operating strictly on emotion, which makes it difficult to come to a logical and fair decision. Ethics adds another dimension to help make decisions.
  • To maintain a clear conscience: All doctors want to be sure they have done the right thing. Being an ethical physician is more important than making money or seeing as many patients as possible.
  • To not make yourself look uninformed: Physicians sometimes stumble onto poor decisions because they did not understand their role, had not bothered to identify an ethical challenge, or hadn’t thought the situation through to its logical conclusion.
  • To maintain the respect of your patients: Ethical missteps can destroy the bond between doctor and patient. Patients often implicitly trust their doctors, but once that trust has been breached, it is difficult to repair.
  • To maintain respectful relationships with other clinicians: Your colleagues often have very definite opinions about what is ethical, often enshrined in various codes of ethics of the profession or learned from mentors. Those codes and ethics role-modelling are created by people who practice some form of ethical decision-making.
  • To maintain some efficiency: Although ethical decision-making often requires extra time, it also can save time by anticipating disagreements that can slow down the care process. If you aren’t ethical, patients or other caregivers who are upset with your decisions can seriously impede your work.
  • To reduce burnout: One cause of burnout is incongruence between physicians’ personal values and those of their organization. Physicians who can describe their ethical concerns and use negotiating skills may be able to change the organizational policies that produce burnout.

Conclusion:

Communication is an essential part of medical ethics. Quite often, ethical disputes result from not knowing all the facts, or not providing all the facts to patients. Tactfulness and respect are also important. A well-constructed ethical decision could be ignored if you have not won the patient’s confidence.