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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 February 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:   Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

1. While both India and the U.S sit together for bilaterals, the Pakistan factor may continue to be an irritant in the larger scheme of the strategic partnership. Discuss what the challenges before India are and suggest solutions. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

Addressing the crowd at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium, the U.S. President Donald Trump also referred to Washington’s relationship with Pakistan, which he described as “a very good one”. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the challenges that India faces amidst tricky bilateral relations of India with America and that of America with Pakistan. Also suggest what India’s stand should be.

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:

Start by commenting on the evolving relations between India and US.

Body:

  • Discuss the fact that both the Trump administration and Islamabad have taken sustained efforts in recent times to improve bilateral ties, despite India’s earnest attempts to isolate Pakistan over its support for terrorist groups operating from its soil. Highlight the details of their changing relations such as – Pakistan, which hosts the leadership of the Afghan Taliban as well as the Haqqani Network which is a key constituent of the Taliban had played a critical role in facilitating direct talks between the insurgents and the Americans.
  • After the Pulwama attack and the subsequent dogfight between India and Pakistan, Islamabad has taken efforts to charm the Trump administration. In the most recent example of the U.S.’s soft policy towards Pakistan, Washington and its allies along with China raised no adverse remark on Pakistan in the review meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Discuss what should India’s stand be.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the Trump administration’s policy is to stay engaged with Pakistan with offers for limited protection, while seeking to strengthen trade, defence and strategic ties with India. The biggest challenge before the Indian side, while pushing to deepen ties with Washington, is to reconcile with the Pakistan factor or find ways to address it.

Introduction:

The Trump administration and Islamabad have taken sustained efforts in recent months to improve bilateral ties, despite India’s earnest attempts to isolate Pakistan over its support for terrorist groups operating from its soil. The biggest challenge before the Indian side, while pushing to deepen ties with Washington, is to reconcile with the Pakistan factor or find ways to skirt or address it.

Body:

Challenges before India:

  • US President’s visit to India happens at a time when the U.S. and the Taliban are observing a seven-day period of violence-reduction in Afghanistan.
  • If the test period passes without any major violent incident, both sides are expected to sign a peace agreement under which the U.S. would pull out its troops from the war-torn country.
  • Pakistan, which hosts the leadership of the Afghan Taliban as well as the Haqqani Network which is a key constituent of the Taliban, had played a critical role in facilitating direct talks between the insurgents and the Americans.
  • And if the U.S. leaves Afghanistan, it will directly strengthen the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan, which means Pakistan’s profile in Afghanistan will be lifted. This would leave the U.S. overly dependent on Pakistan to shape Afghan politics in the future.
  • After the February 2019 Pulwama attack and the subsequent dogfight between India and Pakistan, Islamabad has taken efforts to charm the Trump administration.
  • When Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Washington in July 2019, Mr. Trump offered mediation between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir crisis — in so doing, he practically endorsed the Pakistani position as India has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.
  • Barring the court cases against Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and his associates over money laundering and terror financing, Pakistan hasn’t taken any major hard measures against terror infrastructure on its soil. But by mid-2019, the U.S. had already started changing its approach.
  • In the most recent example of the U.S.’s soft policy towards Pakistan, Washington and its allies along with China raised no adverse remark on Pakistan in the review meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The best possible course of action for India is

  • Strategic:
    • It is time to define the nature and scope of our conflict with Pakistan.
    • As the dominant power in South Asia and one of the world’s leading democracies, India must find a proper answer to what could otherwise become a serious existential crisis.
    • India need to establish a national security doctrine in order to deal with all security issues
    • Surgical strikes with support of the global countries.
    • Strong intelligence network both inside as well as outside the country with effective dissemination to the stakeholders.
    • Water issues should be resolved through the mechanisms provided by the Indus Basin Treaty and should not be allowed to degenerate into a serious source of conflict.
  • Diplomatic:
    • Creating International pressure on Pakistan to curb state sponsored terror.
    • There is a strong need for India to change its approach from Responsive to Proactive.
    • Gaining support of global players to designate terror organizations and its entities as global terrorists.
    • India needs to engage and develop relationships with countries from important organizations like SCO, BRICS and try to enable solutions for the issue of cross border terrorism.
    • This must be bolstered with Dialogues at the highest level to track 2 diplomacies.
    • More avenues for people to people contact need to be encouraged.
  • Economic:
    • Imposing economic and political sanctions on Pakistan and asking the world to follow suit.
    • The recent move of removing MFN status, increasing of import duty to 200%.
  • Technological:
    • Advance technology like drones, thermal imaging etc can be used to monitor the activities in the border and track any violations beforehand.
  • Against cross-border firing:
    • To reduce the destruction of civilian habitats is to lower the calibre of the violations. The two sides could consider withdrawing heavy artillery to 50 km behind the zero line.
    • The two Director-Generals of Military Operations, along with their delegations, could consider holding regular meetings every six months. Data show that every time the leaderships of the armed forces meet, ceasefire violations come down
    • Establishing more flag meeting points between local commanders and responding quickly to meeting requests could lead to better communication and reduced misunderstandings resulting in fewer ceasefire violations.
    • Confidence-building measures should be pursued to alleviate the “trust deficit” but should not be used as a substitute for the resolution of disputes.

Conclusion:

There is a need to embrace an overarching strategic stability regime and to shun aggressive security doctrines to reduce the possibility of a nuclear conflict. The problems of terrorism and Non-State Actors need to be addressed jointly through institutionalised mechanisms. Indeed, India should focus on a different type of a surgical strike; it’s a strike that could push Pakistan out of its terror past and military dependency.

 

Topic: Indian Constitution—Historical Underpinnings, Evolution, Features, Amendments, Significant Provisions and Basic Structure.

2. The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data suggest that sedition law remains as relevant as ever with sedition arrests increasing in recent years. Critically analyse.(250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why this question:

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), though, has only been collecting separate data on sedition cases since 2014. In 2014, there were 47 cases of sedition but that number increased to 70 in 2018 (the latest year with available data). Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the relevance of such alarming data and need to analyse the sedition law and the concerns associated with it.

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:

Present the case of Sedition in India. Compared to other offences, sedition remains a rare crime (it accounts for less than 0.01% of all IPC crimes). But within India, some parts are emerging as sedition hotspots.

Body:

Discuss what constitutes sedition. Explain the role played by sedition law historically. Sedition, which falls under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, is defined as any action that brings or attempts to bring hatred or contempt towards the government of India. Critically examine the need of such laws and changes desired to address the challenge of sedition often being witnessed in the country.

Conclusion:

Thought the need to retain the provision of sedition to effectively combat anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements is necessary ,it’s time to relook and evolve newer strategies to tackle the challenge of sedition in newer and better ways.

Introduction:

Sedition, which falls under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, is defined as any action that brings or attempts to bring hatred or contempt towards the government of India and has been illegal in India since 1870. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), though, has only been collecting separate data on sedition cases since 2014. In 2014, there were 47 cases of sedition but that number increased to 70 in 2018

Body:

NCRB data statistics:

  •  Compared to other offences, sedition remains a rare crime (it accounts for less than 0.01% of all IPC crimes).
  • But within India, some parts are emerging as sedition hotspots.
  • Assam and Jharkhand, for instance, with 37 sedition cases each, account for 32% of all sedition cases between 2014-2018.
  • In Jharkhand, the police have used sedition to charge different types of protesters.
  • In January, more than 3,000 protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were charged with sedition while in 2019, more than 3,300 farmers were charged with sedition for protesting about land disputes.
  • Since 2016, only four sedition cases have seen a conviction in court. One reason for this could be that sedition as an offence has no solid legal grounding in India.

Dark side of Sedition Law:

  • Before Independence, this charge was used by the British to suppress the freedom movement.
  • Ironically, the same draconian law has become a tool that the country is now using against its own people.
  • During colonial period section 124-A was interpreted by the privy council in a way to suppress every act that expressed discontent against the government.
  • Many freedom fighters were slapped with these charges for invoking feelings of nationalism and educating people of India against the policies adopted by the colonial power.

Why Sedition law must be stripped off?

  • The recent order of a Bihar court directing the filing of an FIR against 49 eminent persons who signed an open letter to the Prime Minister expressing concerns over mob lynching is shocking, disappointing, and completely disregards the true meaning of the law.
  • Dissent is the lifeblood of democracy. Democracy has no meaning without freedoms and sedition as interpreted and applied by the police and governments is a negation of it.
  • Terms like “disaffection” and “contempt” can be stretched to mean just about anything, enabling.
  • There have been many incidents in recent times where “misguided” people have been termed “anti-national”.
  • Law enforcement agencies forget the fact that the sentiment could have been demonstrated through a slogan, a cheer, a statement, protest against a nuclear power project, or an innocuous post on social media. In all these cases, the state, across regimes, has filed charges of sedition.
  • Authorities often forget the fact that sedition can’t be applied to instances of criticism of the government or a political functionary. More importantly, words alone are not enough for such a charge to be slapped. Incitement to violence is the most crucial ingredient of the offence of sedition.
  • Going through the numbers that the National Crime Records Bureau puts out every year, it is clear that despite the rise in sedition cases, convictions happen in barely a few. Even if these people are not convicted, the slapping of these charges is a way the governments over the years have been sending a strong message to its own people—obey or be ready to face consequences.
  • Hence, before the law loses its potency, the Supreme Court, being the protector of the fundamental rights of the citizens has to step in and evaluate the law and may declare Section 124A unconstitutional if necessary.
  • As events have shown, however, the gap between the law and its judicial interpretation has become so wide that there can be no interpretive bridge that will adequately protect liberty.
  • This being the case, the Supreme Court will, hopefully, reconsider its 1962 decision, and strike down the law of sedition as being unconstitutional.

Way Forward:

  • All speech-related offences should be made bailable offences; this would lessen the harmful impact of using arrest and custody as a way of harassing anyone exercising their rights under Article 19(1) (a). The chilling effect on freedom of speech and expression must be erased.
  • Forming a committee involving Government and renowned civil society members while deciding cases under section 124 A.
  • To limit the discretionary power as much as possible through better and comprehensive drafting of guidelines.
  • The offences should be made non-cognisable so that there is at least a judicial check on the police acting on the basis of politically motivated complaints.
  • In the case of offences under Sections 153A (“promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”) and 295A of the Indian Penal Code, it is mandatory under Section 196(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure to obtain prior sanction of the government before taking cognisance of the offences. This needs to be extended to the offence of sedition under Section 124A.
  • In the case of hate speech, it is important to raise the burden of proof on those who claim that their sentiments are hurt rather than accept them at face value.
  • And finally, it is crucial that courts begin to take action against those who bring malicious complaints against speech acts.

Conclusion:

The word ‘sedition’ is thus extremely nuanced, and needs to be applied with caution. It is like cannon that ought not be used to shoot a mouse; but the arsenal also demands possession of cannons, mostly as a deterrent, and on occasion for shooting.

 

Topic:  Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges

3. Discuss the concept of Data localization envisioned by the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019. What are the concerns associated with operationalizing data localization in India? Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

The article discusses why the issue of data localization is important for a country and the issues with the policies related to data localization. Such issues have become important, because of the debates raised by Srikrishna committee. The article would help us prepare the issue of data localisation which has been an issue of debate.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain

Body:

  • Bring out the reasons why data localization is important – security, data as a resource, socio economic benefits. The reasons have to be brought out in detail. Mention that Data has often been referred to as the new oil, an economic resource that is fuelling the fourth industrial revolution.

  • Thereafter, we need to analyse the policies related to data localisation. Mention that like in many other countries, the political narrative in India also seems to be tilting towards data localisation.

  • Highlight the Indian policies related to data localisation.

  • Discuss the rationale behind them and also analyze whether they help in furtherance of the objective of data localization. Also mention Srikrishna committee recommendations related to data localisation.

  • Explain the issues associated in detail and ways to overcome them.

Conclusion:

Give your view on the present policies related to data localisation and suggest way forward.

Introduction:

The Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019 was referred to a joint parliamentary committee, which is currently engaged in a process of public consultation. The draft law is a comprehensive piece of legislation that seeks to give individuals greater control over how their personal data is collected, stored and used. Once passed, the law promises a huge improvement on current Indian privacy law, which is both inadequate and improperly enforced.

Body:

Data localisation refers to the process of storing data within the borders of a particular country where the data was generated. India’s recent drafts and statements have strong signals for data localisation, which means that data of Indians, even if collected by an American company, must be stored and processed in India. Worldwide, the data flow debate is playing out at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and G20.

Importance of Data localization for India:

  • For securing citizen’s data, data privacy, data sovereignty, national security, and economic development of the country.
  • Much of the data from online sales, on ecommerce platforms is likely to be hosted and stored in US data firms.
  • The extensive data collection by technology companies, has allowed them to process and monetise Indian users’ data outside the country.
  • To curtail the perils of unregulated and arbitrary use of personal data
  • With the advent of cloud computing, Indian users’ data is outside the country’s boundaries, leading to a conflict of jurisdiction in case of any dispute.
  • Data is a digital transactions footprint. During war or hostilities, data centres could be switched off. Such scenarios are pushing countries towards local infrastructure.
  • Economic benefits will accrue to local industry in terms of creating local infrastructure, employment and contributions to the AI ecosystem.
  • Regarding the protection of civil liberties, the argument is that local hosting of data will enhance its privacy and security by ensuring Indian law applies to the data and users can access local remedies.

Concerns associated with operationalizing data localization in India:

  • One of the more contentious issues in the law Bill are the provisions pertaining to “data localisation”.
  • The phrase, which can refer to any restrictions on cross-border transfer of data (for instance, requirements to seek permission for transfer, the imposition of taxes for foreign transfers of data, etc.), has largely come to refer to the need to physically locate data within the country.
  • The PDP Bill enables the transfer of personal data outside India, with the sub-category of sensitive personal data having to be mirrored in the country i.e. a copy will have to be kept in the country.
  • Data processing/collecting entities will however be barred from transferring critical personal data (a category that the government can notify at a subsequent stage) outside the country.
  • The 2018 draft imposed more stringent measures that required both personal and sensitive personal data to be mirrored in the country (subject to different conditions).
  • On closer examination it appears that even the revised law may not actually stand the test of proportionality.

Way forward:           

  • There is an urgent need to have an integrated, long-term strategy for policy creation for data localisation.
  • Devising an optimal regulatory and legislative framework for data processors and data centres operating in the country.
  • Adequate infrastructure in terms of energy, real estate, and internet connectivity also needs to be made available for India to become a global hub for data centres.
  • Adequate attention needs to be given to the interests of India’s Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industries, which are thriving on cross borderdata flow
  • Data needs to be shared with start-ups so that they can have a level playing field in offering innovative services with large and often global data companies.

 

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

4. What are the major causes of Man – wildlife conflicts? What are the ways to prevent human animal conflicts? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

The article highlights the fact that Mitigating human-wildlife conflict must factor in incentives for local communities and presents a detailed case of Man-animal conflicts in the country.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in detail the major causes of Man –animal conflicts and the measures/methods to prevent.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what constitute Man-Animal conflicts.

Body:

Briefly discuss human-wildlife conflict and its impact. Present the case of India. Discuss – human population growth and expansion, habitat degradation and fragmentation, land use transformation and increasing densities of livestock grazing in protected areas are considered as major causes of man-carnivore conflicts. Suggest ways to prevent them; take cues from the article and list down solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude that inclusive development with a long-term vision that cares for the environment is the best way forward.

Introduction:

Man-animal conflict is an existential crisis not only for the animals, but for human beings as well with data showing that about one person has been killed every day for the past three years by roaming tigers or rampaging elephants. India is a unique country with respect to wildlife conservation. Despite a billion people we still have most of our large wildlife species. Compared to relatively lower human density countries in south-east Asia, India today has the largest population of the tiger, Asian elephant, leopard, sloth bear, gaur and many others.

Body:

Major causes of man animal conflict:

  • Unsustainable development:
    • Tiger reserves, national parks and sanctuaries exist only as islets in a vast sea of human, cattle and unsustainable land use.
    • People are increasingly encroaching into the country’s traditional wild spaces and animal sanctuaries, where people compete with wildlife for food and other resources.
    • These conflicts have increased as elephants increasingly find their usual corridors blocked by highways, railway tracks and factories
    • Urbanisation and growth agendas alter landscape dynamics, which has a cascading effect on the ecological dynamics of wildlife. This results in ecological dislocation of sorts, wherein endangered wild animals like tigers either cause distress or land themselves in trouble
  • Failure of government measures:
    • ‘Human-Wildlife conflict mitigation’ said most of the measures are dysfunctional, haphazardly implemented and therefore not effective
    • Elephants are used to travelling long distances, most of which fall outside the protected areas.
    • Wildlife experts claim that territorial animals do not have enough space within reserves and their prey do not have enough fodder to thrive on. This is forcing the wild animals to move out and venture close to human habitation in search of food.
  • Primary reason for the increasing human-animal conflicts is the presence of a large number of animals and birds outside the notified protected areas. Wildlife experts estimate that 29 per cent of the tigers in India are outside the protected areas.
  • Road kill of wild animals is the new enemy to India’s wildlife
  • There is no proper land use planning and management, cumulative impact assessments or wildlife management
  • There is no buffer zone between wildlife and human settlements
  • Monkeys along with grey langurs have adapted to urban habitats over the years.
  • Continued destruction and divergence of forest lands.

Impacts of Man-wildlife conflicts:

  • Crop Damage.
  • Animal Deaths.
  • Loss of Human Life.
  • Injuries to People.
  • Injuries to Wildlife.
  • Livestock Depredation.

Government Initiatives to reduce the man-tiger conflicts are:

  • Awareness programmes to sensitize the people about the Do’s and Don’ts to minimize conflicts
  • Training programmes for forest staff and police to address the problems of human wildlife conflicts
  • Approach by wildlife protection act, 1972 is that the model of conservation enshrined in is premised on creating human-free zones for the protection of rare species based on the erroneous notion that local people are the prime drivers of wildlife decline. This approach has been successful in protecting certain species, not all species.
  • Providing technical and financial support for development of necessary infrastructure and support facilities for immobilization of problematic animals.
  • Providing LPG to villagers: LPG should be provided to those villagers who frequently go to the forest areas specially wildlife habitats to fetch fuel wood for their chullahs so that they may stop penetrating into forest and stop inviting Man- Animal Conflicts.
  • State governments:
    • Assistance to state government for construction of boundary walls and solar fences around the sensitive areas to prevent the wild animal attacks
    • Supplementing the state government resources for payment of ex gratia to the people for injuries and loss of life in case of wild animal attacks
    • Encouraging state government for creation of a network of protected areas and wildlife corridors for conservation of wildlife.
    • Eco development activities in villages around protected areas to elicit cooperation of local community in management of the protected areas.
    • Supporting involvement of the research and academic institutions and leading voluntary organisations having expertise in managing human wildlife conflict situations.
    • To control poaching: Poaching of wild animals should be stopped so that the no of wild animals can stabilize at its carrying capacity which would reach equilibrium in the ecosystem and this equilibrium between the numbers of prey animals and predators in the forest ecosystem would be maintained.
  • Technology:
    • Information technology like radio collars, GPS, satellite uplink facilities are used by research institutions to monitor the movement of wild animals
    • Centrally sponsored schemes of project tiger, project elephant and integrated development of wildlife habitats
    • Solar Fencing around agriculture fields: Agriculture fields situated near wildlife habitat/forest areas can be protected by stone fencing or solar fencing. Solar fencing has been tried with quite good effect in Wardha District of Maharashtra.

Way Forward:

  • Forest corridors linking protected areas must be maintained where they exist.
  • Existing habitats have to be surveyed and improved to provide food for the elephants
  • Local communities need to be educated to have reduced stress levels in elephants during conflict mitigation, no fire, no firecracker and no mob crowds.
  • There is a need for a monitoring mechanism which will record and disperse information on such conflicts
  • Experts suggest the other way to reduce the man-animal conflict is to increase the population of wild ungulates, namely hares and the wild boars, both of which are prolific breeders, as a prey for wild carnivores. Separate big enclosures can be made in the jungles to breed them. The excess stock can be released in the jungles at regular intervals for the wild carnivores to prey upon.
  • The draft National Forest Policy will be an overarching policy for forest management. Also there is a proposal for National Community Forest Management (CFM) Mission which will be launched soon.

In order to be truly effective, prevention of human-wildlife conflict has to involve the full scope of society: international organizations, governments, NGOs, communities, consumers and individuals. Solutions are possible, but often they also need to have financial backing for their support and development

 

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

5. What is the current status of the green building sector in India? Is the dream of making “GRIHA for Affordable Housing” a policy idea in the right direction? Comment. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindustan Times

Why this question:

The author talks about the idea of making the government’s policy of making affordable housing inclusive of the policy of green buildings.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the current status of the green building sector in India and the benefits of the idea of making affordable housing inclusive of green buildings.

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:

Briefly present the current status of the green building sector in India.

Body:

State key facts related to Green buildings in the Indian context. A minuscule part of India’s built infrastructure is green buildings. However, one must understand that bulk of our infrastructure is yet to be built. So there is huge opportunity to make sure that we move on the correct green path. Briefly discuss the factors that have led to slow uptake on green buildings. Explain how – access to affordable housing which is vital for achieving various social objectives can also be utilized to achieve the environmental objective too. Discuss – “GRIHA for Affordable Housing”.

Conclusion:

Conclude that linking sustainability with quality rather than pricing can create opportunities for upcoming housing projects, especially since India’s socio-economic milieu warrants different perceptions of affordability.

Introduction:

A ‘green’ building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment. Green buildings preserve precious natural resources and improve our quality of life. The Bengaluru Smart City Limited (BSCL) has signed an MoU with CII’s Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) to give a boost to the Green Building Movement & Sustainable Development, and to facilitate greening of the city as per IGBC’s Green Cities Rating System

Body:

Current status of Green building sector in India:

  •  A minuscule part of India’s built infrastructure is green buildings.
  • The Indian Green Building Council started with a modest 20,000 sq. ft. green built-up area in India in 2003.
  • By 2019-end, there were more than 5,723 green building projects registered under it, accounting for over 7.09 billion sq. ft.
  • But most of these projects that seek the green tag are commercial spaces.
  • Only 5-7% of the green building stock is of housing projects.

Need for affordable housing in India:

  • In India, access to affordable housing is vital for achieving various social objectives, including poverty reduction.
  • In 2012, urban housing shortage stood at 18.8 million units and is expected to grow at 6.6% to 34.1 million units by 2022.
  • Unfortunately, popular perception associates sustainability with expensive technological advances.
  • Affordability, however, lies at the very core of sustainability. Common sense entails that if something cannot be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished or recycled, it should be restricted or removed from production.

GRIHA for affordable housing – a way forward:

  •  The “GRIHA for Affordable Housing” rating variant was designed specifically for this purpose, and outlines at length how factors such as climate responsive design help reduce energy demand (and by extension, the electricity bills incurred by residents) at no additional capital cost.
  • GRIHA AH strives to break the myth of expensive green buildings and lays emphasis on cost-effective sustainability measures.
  • India is a tropical country with a requirement for space cooling for much of the year in order to maintain bearable indoor temperatures, yet affordable housing is often conceived as being required to merely provide the very basics in terms of shelter and security for the economically-challenged sections of society.
  • Unlike their counterparts in commercial or high-end residential projects, the occupants of affordable housing do not have access to expensive air conditioning equipment.
  • GRIHA has always emphasised the importance of no-cost design interventions for enhancing performance and meeting thermal comfort through the manipulation of architecture and building material.
  • Through the AH rating system, GRIHA envisions sustainable affordable housing as habitable spaces where the occupants have both the opportunity and the desire to reside beyond the short-term, which is conducive to their socio-economic development and respectful of the natural environment.
  • Linking sustainability with quality rather than pricing can create opportunities for upcoming housing projects, especially since India’s socio-economic milieu warrants different perceptions of affordability.
  • The underlying idea is that people should be able to maintain comfortable living standards within affordable sustainable housing.

Measures needed:

  • In India, the growth of green buildings can be accelerated through standardization of norms, better incentive schemes, and a robust financial support system.
  • Increased awareness about green buildings and their long-term benefits will surely boost the green buildings sector and lead to the faster expansion of this very vital market segment.
  • Growth of green building in India would be driven by increasing awareness, environmental benefits, government’s support, subsidies and compulsions.

Conclusion:

At the Paris Climate Conference, India pledged to reduce the greenhouse emission (GHE) intensity of its gross domestic product by 33-35% over 2005 levels by 2030. One of the key sectors that need to be factored in to meet this target is the real estate. India’s building stock is expected to double in the next 15 years and buildings are expected to emerge as the largest electricity consuming sector in the country. It is crucial that new buildings in the country are designed to be energy efficient and thermally comfortable.

 

Topic:  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

6. Discuss the ethical challenges that the process of globalization has provoked. Also recommend ways to overcome these challenges. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is based on ethical challenges that the process of globalization has provoked in the recent times.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the ethical challenges that the process of globalization has triggered and suggest solutions to address the same.

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:

Briefly define globalization in general and the way it’s evolving.

Body:

Enumerate the ethical challenges caused by globalisation – rising inequality, increasing culture of consumption, issues associated with human rights etc. Suggest measures to overcome these challenges – reduce economic and social inequality, Effective global governance on issues such as climate change, rights of migrants, prevention of human and wildlife trafficking etc. can help address these pressing challenges etc. Use illustrations to justify better.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the need to address the issues posed by the globalisation in the ethical dimension.

Introduction:

Globalisation refers to the growing interdependence between different people, regions and countries in the world as social and economic relationships come to stretch world-wide.   Whereas roots of globalization are far reaching, it is primarily a modern age phenomenon. Modern business operation and the world economy are characterized by domination of multinational corporations, strong presence of the government in economy and the long-term tendency towards globalization in manufacturing, trading and consumption in the world. Containing both risks and opportunities, globalization is a problem of manifold nature.

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Ethical challenges associated with the process of globalisation:

  • Increasing inequality: While the advanced capitalist countries enjoy the benefits of industrialization, the rest of the world is forced to share the negative consequences or externalities thrown up by industrial activities.
  • Higher consumerism: Rising trend of the culture of consumption such as “fast-fashion” which results in faster production at lower costs has led to a number of ethical issues. It poses a threat to the workers who are overwhelmingly poor, and usually are immigrants, young women, or children. They are forced to work long hours in unhealthy conditions and undergo verbal and physical abuse.
  • Human rights issues: The harmful work environments and low-wages involved in the industry prevent workers from accessing even basic human rights.
  • There is a sharp increase in the number of environmental refugees and economic refugees which often leads to violation of the rights of the migrants.
  • Environmental degradation and Pollution; loss of biodiversity and habitat due to climate change; etc. have threatened the survival of life on the Earth.
  • Spiritual disruption as a consequence of the global spread of materialism driven by advancements in science and technology among other factors.
  • Dissolution of families and communities, rise in nuclear families and increasing isolation of old-aged parents; privatisation and consequent rise in cost of health care, education and other social services are some of the other issues engendered by the process of globalisation.

Measures to overcome these challenges:

  • To reduce economic and social inequality there is an urgent need to invest in quality education, reforming workplace laws such as minimum wages and universal basic income (UBI) and empower the women and other vulnerable sections of the society.
  • Upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Declaration for Refugees and Migrants can help in addressing the issue of human rights violations and problems faced by refugees and migrants.
  • Conservation of natural resources and biodiversity, adopting the policy of 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), responsible consumption and production practices etc. can play a great role in preserving and protecting the environment.
  • Effective global governance on issues such as climate change, rights of migrants, prevention of human and wildlife trafficking etc can help address these pressing challenges.
  • Nurturing leadership which can convey the importance of virtue ethics can also help in reducing the ethical challenges caused by the phenomenon of globalisation.

Conclusion:

As the countries get closer to each other, sharing the fruits of globalisation, the responsibility to share the fallouts of industrialisation, capitalism, consumerism and sustainable living acquires even greater significance. In this regard, each nation must uptake, uphold and abide by its share of responsibility to seek solution to now global problems like environmental pollution, climate change, terrorism etc.