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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 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:  Role of women and women’s organization, Social empowerment.

1. “Supreme Court’s ruling granting permanent commission to women on a par with men has been hailed as a “great leap” towards equality in the army. “ Comment. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article highlights the implications of the Supreme Court’s order granting permanent commission to women on a par with men.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of the verdict and in what way it’s a great leap forward towards equality in the Indian army.

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:

State the details of the case; The Supreme Court recently brought women officers in 10 streams of the Army on a par with their male counterparts in all respects, setting aside longstanding objections of the government.

Body:

The body of the answer should first cover the background of the case; discuss when women were first inducted into the Army etc. Then explain why till recent times Women were not considered for higher ranks in the Army and other defence roles. Explain the bias towards women in general, present arguments supporting the judgment, highlight that several countries with powerful militaries, such as China, the United States of America and Israel, allow women in different forms of active combat. Discuss why the judgment is a leap forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of such a judgment in granting equality at the gender roles.

Introduction:

The Supreme Court recently declared that Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers are eligible for permanent commission and command posts in the Army irrespective of their years of service. They dismissed the Union government’s submissions that women are physiologically weaker than men as a “sex stereotype”. The Supreme Court has brought women officers in 10 streams of the Army on a par with their male counterparts in all respects, setting aside longstanding objections of the government. The court ordered the government to implement its judgment in three months.

Body:

Key highlights of the judgement:

  • The court dismissed the government’s stand that only women officers with less than 14 years of service ought to be considered for permanent commission, and those with over 20 years’ service should be pensioned immediately.
  • The court has done away with all discrimination on the basis of years of service for grant of PC in 10 streams of combat support arms and services, bringing them on a par with male officers.
  • The court held that women officers will also be eligible for command posts in non-combat areas since “an absolute bar on women seeking criteria or command appointments would not go with the guarantee of equality under Article 14”.
  • The court held that since command appointments were not automatic for men officers, so would it be for women. It was left to the Army to take a call on a case to case basis.
  • The exclusion of women from combat operations was not examined by the court as it was not the contested in the appeal.
  • Reflects Poorly on Women: The note had shown women officers in a poor light, saying isolation and hardships would eat into their resolve and that they would have to heed to the call of pregnancy, childbirth and family. The note had mentioned that women ran the risk of capture by enemy and taken prisoner of war.
  • Patriarchal Notion: The court held that the note reflected the age-old patriarchal notion that domestic obligations rested only with women.
  • Sex Stereotype: The court also dismissed the point that women are physiologically weaker than men as a “sex stereotype”.
  • Offence to dignity of Indian Army: The court noted that challenging abilities of women on the ground of gender is an offence not only to their dignity as women but to the dignity of the members of the Indian Army – men and women – who serve as equal citizens in a common mission.

Importance of the Court’s observation:

  •  Past records: A quick look at the past records reveals, all the arguments put forth against giving women more responsibility have been answered by the armed forces by giving women greater responsibility in uniform — the IAF has allowed women to become fighter pilots, and the Army has sent them to tough UN peacekeeping missions globally.
  • Women officers are already commanding platoons, companies and second in command successfully, with male soldiers accepting orders from them as part of a professional force.
  • Now they are being excluded from commanding a unit, only on the basis that they are women. This argument doesn’t hold water.
  • A professional force does not discriminate on the basis of gender, it works because of training, norms and culture. Denying women, the posts will be an “extremely retrograde step” and “will inflict irreparable injury” to their dignity.

Implications of the judgement:

  •  The women officers will be eligible to occupy all the command appointments, at par with male officers, which would open avenues for further promotions to higher ranks for them.
  • If women officers had served only in staff, they would not have gone beyond the rank of Colonel.
  • After implementation of the judgement, a woman can rise to the rank of Colonel and above based on merit, like their male counterparts.
  • At the rank of Colonel, an officer picks up a substantive command and would be delegated to carry out independent tasks.
  • A Colonel commands a battalion, which typically consists of 850 men. A woman officer who is successful in this position could technically rise to the highest ranks of the Army, though, women officers will not be inducted into the combat arms such as the infantry, artillery or armored corps.

Way forward:

  • The court observed that women were being kept out of command posts on the reasoning that the largely rank and file will have problems with women as commanding officers. Thus, changes have to take place in the culture, norms, and values of not only the rank and file of the Army but also that of society at large.
  • The responsibility to usher these changes lies with the senior military and political leadership.
  • The United States, Israel, North Korea, France, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and Canada are among the global militaries that employ women in front-line combat positions.
  • It is the right of every woman to pursue a career of her choice and reach the top. Equality is a constitutional guarantee.

 

Topic:  Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

2. Discuss the merits and costs of involving children in protests and political actions while bringing out the constitutional provisions associated with the same in our country. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The question is in the background of recent Supreme Court’s move to take suo motu cognizance of children taking part in demonstrations in Shaheen Bagh in Delhi.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the merits and costs of involving children in protests and political actions and discuss the constitutional provisions associated with it.

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 explain what constitutes – the right to protest and what are the constitutional provisions associated with it in the country.

Body:

List down the basic provisions associated with the right to protest in the country. Explain significance of Article 19; right to protest, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) etc. Then move onto discuss in what way questions have emerged whether it is responsible parenting to protect children from these issues or to involve children in the middle of a protest that involves police action and could become volatile. Take hints from the article and present your opinion with suitable justifications.

Conclusion:

Take a fair and balanced approach and conclude with a middle path that strikes balance between right to protest and protection of children in such incidences.

Introduction:

The Supreme Court recently took suo motu cognizance to “stop involvement of children and infants in demonstrations” following the death of an infant on January 30 at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi. However, there are many legal and social difficulties involved in the Supreme Court’s move to take suo motu cognizance of children taking part in demonstrations. This has a direct impact on children’s right to protest as well as on their mothers’ right to protest.

Body:

Merits involved in children in protests and political actions:

  • According to the Article 12 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a child should be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly or through a representative.
  • Article 5 of CRC recognises the “evolving capacities” of children. This means that as children acquire enhanced competencies, there is a diminishing need for them to be protected.
  • A protest is also a space where children get to experience and assert citizenship
  • It could also be a space for children to celebrate their unity as Indians.
  • The case has a direct impact on children’s right to participate in or witness a protest as well as on their mothers’ right to protest.
  • If by saying that women should not be allowed to take their children to protests, we would be effectively rendering impossible women’s own mobility and pushing them back into their homes.
  • While many schools encourage children to read newspapers and watch news channels, attending a protest is also a way for children to receive information and ideas

Costs involved in children in protests and political actions:

  • Health: the disastrous results of a history of violence, illegal detentions and torture can show up as mental illness.
  • Detention: Children, many of whose ages if wrongly recorded, would be detained and mistreated for several days in police lock-up, without any charge.
  • Many of them were taken away at midnight by law enforcement officers with no record of their arrests, making it difficult to trace them.
  • Various reports of illegal detention and torture of boys and a firsthand account of mothers waiting for their children’s return have been released.
  • Education: Violence could cause destruction of educational infrastructure, in addition to the unlawful detentions, leaves a lifelong impact on children.
  • Psychology: There is a strain on social structures due to the loss of family environment, safe spaces and education and health facilities.
  • All these severely traumatize the children and perpetuate a cycle of fear and bitterness in them.

Way forward:

  • In order to ensure that Children have a productive upbringing free of any mental torture imposed due to structural reasons (poverty, insensitivity of bureaucracy)- government should bring in long term reforms.
  • This includes enhanced spending on education and health, proper implementation of JJ Act and POSCO Act, societal awareness programmes about significance of Child’s mental health and sensitization of personnel involved in Child Welfare programmes.

 

Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

3. Do you think India’s desire to diversify its defence imports wedged India-Russia relations in recent past? Examine. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

In the 5th India Russia military industry conference held during the Defexpo 2020 in Lucknow, 14 MoUs were signed between Indian and Russian companies. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the effect that the diversification of defence imports will have on the relationship that India shares with Russia.

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 highlight the fact that much of Indian military equipment is sourced from Russia.

Body:

Discuss that today their bilateral ties—officially labeled “special and privileged strategic partnership”—focus heavily on defence cooperation, while the economic partnership remains listless even as the respective relations of the two with other states have grown rapidly. Discuss other countries with which India is importing Defence equipment; explain the effect of that on Russian aspect. Discuss in such a situation and the relationship between the two, how diversification of Defence imports will affect the Indo-Russian relations in the present context and the near future.

Conclusion:

Conclude that While the relationship between the two remains generally strong and without significant obstacles, both countries need to critically examine the substance and future of their ties for a more coherent policy outlook.

Introduction:

Relations between India and Russia are rooted in history, mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation.  This is a strategic partnership that has withstood the test of time, and which enjoys the support of the people of both countries. As ascertained by Indian Prime Minister, “India and Russia are against “outside influence” in the internal matters of any nation”. India and Russia are aimed at finding new horizons of bilateral cooperation in areas like trade, defence, space, oil and gas, nuclear energy and maritime connectivity.

Body:

India Russia defence trade:

  • While India and Russia’s economic relationship has been a weak point in the post-Cold War period, the most glaring sign of the stagnation may yet be that in 2014, the US emerged as the top arms supplier to India, pushing Russia to the second position based on data for the preceding three years.
  • At the same time, India became the top foreign buyer of US weapons in 2014.
  • Given that the military-technical ties were historically the bedrock of India and Russia’s relationship, a drop in the sector was a clear matter of concern.
  • While in overall terms, Russia remained India’s top supplier of defence items during the period 2014-18, the total exports fell by 42 percent between 2014-18 and 2009-13.
  • Russia still commands 58 percent of total arms imports by India, followed by Israel and the US at 15 and 12 percent, respectively.
  • Despite this, Russia’s market share ensures that the country remains a critical supplier to India, both of new arms and spare parts.
  • The military-technical cooperation that includes transfer of technology and joint production is a unique relationship that is extremely valuable to India.
  • Also, the low of 2014 has since been corrected and in 2016, crucial inter-government agreements were signed at the annual summit including the supply of S-400 Triumph Air Defence Missile System and four Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates (2018), as well as a shareholder deal regarding the manufacture of Ka-226T helicopters in India.

Reasons for decline in Defence trade:

  •  Several factors have been identified for the gradual decline in the orders of India from Russia.
  • India’s desire to diversify its defence imports and therefore a heightened competition for Russia with other suppliers; and dissatisfaction in India with post-sales services and maintenance being offered by Russia.
  • Moreover, India has also had concerns in the past regarding supply and servicing of defence supplies. Some of these included a five-year delay in the delivery of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov (later renamed INS Vikramaditya) as well as its cost escalation from $974 million to $2.35 billion.
  • India was also displeased by the high cost and low quality of spare parts for weaponry imported from Russia in the past, as well as delays in the supply.

Recent developments in India Russia defence trade: 

  • In a step forward towards addressing the issue of regular spares and support for Russian military equipment with the armed forces, 14 MoUs were signed between Indian and Russian companies for setting up joint ventures covering a range of equipment from modern T-90 tanks to legacy Pechora air defence systems.
  • The MoUs were signed during the 5th India Russia military industry conference held during the Defexpo 2020 in Lucknow.
  • They come under the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on joint manufacturing of spares in India signed last September for mutual cooperation in manufacturing of spares, components, aggregates and other material related to Russian or Soviet-origin arms and defence equipment.
  • The first ‘Request for Proposal’ for manufacturing of parts in India under the provision of IGA was also handed over by the Navy to the identified Indian industry.
  • One MoU was signed between the Spetz-Radio Corporation of Russia and the Ananth Technologies based in Hyderabad for the “development, production and manufacture of small spacecraft for remote sensing”.
  • “Joint creation and commercial use [providing a radio frequency resource] of a network of ground control stations for small spacecraft and a network of ground stations for the reception and processing of earth remote sensing data.
  • One important MoU was signed between the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and the Almaz Antey of Russia for exploring the feasibility of establishing a joint venture in India for the production of various sub systems of “air defence missile systems like Tunguska, Kavadrat, the OSA-AKA, Pechora air defence system as well as the Shilka self-propelled air defence gun system”.
  • The MoU also covered refurbishment and life extension of the missiles.
  • Most of these air defence systems are now in the process of being phased out and replaced with new ones.
  • There are also agreements on emerging technologies — Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain and robotics based on Russian technologies under the proposed Indo-Russian Joint Venture ICT Center of Excellence.

Way forward:

  • India and Russia have identified several new areas of cooperation.
  • These range from deep sea exploration to building knowledge based economies based on science and technology, innovation, robotics and artificial intelligence, focusing on infrastructure, skill development, agriculture, shipbuilding, railways, aviation and greater connectivity, especially people-to-people contacts.
  • The two countries decided to setup more than 20 Russian designed nuclear units in India in the next 20-years.
  • Above all, the push to ‘Act Far East’ allows India to demonstrate its commitment to an area of concern for Moscow, thus reassuring its traditional partner that in an increasingly polarized world, India is confident of working with multiple alignments, even if they are at cross purposes with each other.

 

Topic:  Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

4.with electoral process in India is becoming increasingly advanced in terms of use of data, there is a need for a data protection framework to uphold a voter’s informational autonomy. Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The author in the article discusses how with the electoral process tapping data in the country, a data protection framework must uphold a voter’s informational autonomy.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the need for a strong data protection framework to uphold the information of the voter in the elections of the country.

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:

Briefly explain the context of the question.

Body:

Explain first how in recent times Indian electoral system has advanced and upgraded itself in terms of use of data but however it still has lacunae on the front of protection of this information making the voter’s information vulnerable. Discuss specific issues such as micro targeting by the government, take cues from the article and bring out the challenges involved. Comment on the front of privacy laws, need to enforce better framework.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting solutions to address the above issues, assert upon the need to develop a robust framework to address the issue.

Introduction:

In recent, there was a massive outcry against the hiring, by Indian political parties, of Cambridge Analytica, a data mining and analytics firm. The episode highlighted the need for regulating social media platforms by way of a comprehensive data protection law which takes issues such as political micro-targeting seriously. With the recently introduced draft of the data protection law, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, the debate has again resurfaced. Although the digital revolution is being celebrated everywhere, the regulatory efforts regarding different spheres of its influence have only been reactionary.

Body:

Citizen_wants_social

Dark side of Social Media Platforms:

  • Fake news is often created and circulated for gaining electoral currency and political gains.
  • Often government’s own party and agencies (through the undisclosed purchase of political ads and IT cells) may be involved.
  • It is a rising trend seen in many countries led by China and Russia where internet manipulation and control are very high.
  • Misinformation and disinformation spread in media is becoming a serious social challenge. It is leading to the poisonous atmosphere on the web and causing riots and lynching’s on the road.
  • In the age of the internet (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter,) it is a serious problem as rumours, morphed images, click-baits, motivated stories, unverified information, planted stories for various interests spread easily among 35 crore internet users in India.
  • There have been many instances of online rumours leading to killings of innocent people. In some cases, ministers have deleted tweets after realizing the fake news which they shared earlier.
  • In the recent Karnataka Assembly elections (2018) fake news about rival parties and candidates flooded the media.
  • It may not be a coincidence that India has the highest number of selfie deaths (person dying while trying to take a selfie) in the world (76 deaths out of 127 reported globally between March 2014 and September 2016). Use and abuse of mobile and internet remain a concern.

Unregulated zone:

  • The informational autonomy of the voter is under serious threat because the entire business of collecting personal data continues to remain unregulated and is also proprietary in nature.
  • It is extremely difficult to trace the methods used by such firms to scrutinise the personal life and intimate details of the individual.
  • This threat becomes imminent in light of the rising number of political firms which are making most use of the right to freedom of speech and expression.
  • The status of this right is near absolute with regard to political speech in most countries such as the U.S. It is but obvious that this can be misused by political entities. Profiling the potential voter has become a thriving industry.
  • Therefore, there are extremely well-crafted techniques when it comes to electoral campaigning.

Need for regulation on social media:

  • The speed and reach of social media have meant that subversive rumors and fake news get aired with impunity.
  • This has resulted in serious law and order problems. In India, this phenomenon has assumed dangerous proportions. Fake news on WhatsApp has led to lynching’s and communal flare-ups in many parts of the country. This menace needs to be curbed.
  • In the Internet age, any data protection law must be alive to the potential impact of social media companies in shaping public opinion.
  • The current draft empowers the Central government to notify social media intermediaries as significant data fiduciaries if their user base crosses a certain threshold and whose actions are likely to have an impact on electoral democracy.
  • This provision merits serious discussion to ensure that digital tools are used for enhancing democracy through citizen engagement, and not for harvesting personal data for voter targeting.
  • There is serious harm to the country’s democratic nature resulting on account of loss of informational autonomy.
  • The liberating and anti-establishment potential of the Internet are considered as a promise for the health of a liberal democracy.
  • At the same time, it can have serious ramifications if this potential is used by demagogues to spread fake news and propaganda.

Way forward:

  • The liberating and anti-establishment potential of the Internet are considered as a promise for the health of a liberal democracy.
  • At the same time, it can have serious ramifications if this potential is used by demagogues to spread fake news and propaganda.
  • Although the need of a digital revolution cannot be denied, the regulatory efforts regarding different spheres of its influence should be more than merely reactionary
  • There are infinite contours of this information age, and also, of our society, therefore, the scope of a data protection framework needs to be sensitive towards the magnitude of a variety of data usage.
  • The electoral process in India is becoming increasingly advanced in terms of use of data and is likely to start using the same tactics as used in the US for targeting individual voters.
  • The need of a regulatory framework with citizen participation is a must.
  • Giving tag of Significant Data Fiduciary tag to social media platforms is a positive step if and where it also ensures Right to Privacy for the users

 

Topic:   Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

5. What is Darknet? Discuss the key challenges involved in fighting the Darknet. Also suggest strategy to deal with it. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and aims to analyse the key challenges involved in the applications of Darknet and the prevalent misuse of it.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the challenges involved in fighting the Darknet while suggesting strategy and solutions to deal with it.

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 Darknet is.

Body:

Dark Net is an umbrella term describing the portions of the Internet not open to public view or hidden networks whose architecture is superimposed on that of the Internet. Explain what are the challenges involved with it; Misuse: Computer crime (hacking, file corruption etc.), Sale of restricted goods on Darknet markets, File sharing (personal files, pornography, confidential files, illegal or counterfeit software etc.) The Dark Web is often used by individuals who want to preserve anonymity. That includes criminals, terrorists and state-sponsored spies. The Dark Web does contain websites selling illicit goods, including drugs etc. Discuss why it is difficult to tackle – virtual presence, no restricted geographical boundaries etc. Suggest solutions to address the challenge like – Introduction of technology-savvy youngsters into the cyber department in large numbers, Hiring of experienced foreign law-enforcement professionals, who have experience in similar operational security and applicable law.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting upon the need to address the issue with greater urgency.

Introduction:

Dark Net (or Darknet) is an umbrella term describing the portions of the Internet not open to public view or hidden networks whose architecture is superimposed on that of the Internet. Darknet provides anonymity to the users. Darknet is often associated with the encrypted part of the Internet called Tor network where illicit trading takes place such as the infamous online drug bazaar. A variety of Darknet markets (black markets) allow for the anonymous, illegal buying and selling of drugs and other illegal or controlled substances, such as pharmaceuticals, and weapons. The services and websites running on the Darknet is the dark web.

Body:

Key challenges involved in fighting the Darknet:

  • A large portion of the activity which takes place on the dark net is illegal. The dark net offers a level of identity security that the surface net does not.
  • Dark net is the virtual equivalent of a black market.
  • Criminals looking to protect their identities in order to evade detection and capture are drawn to this aspect of the dark net. For that reason, it’s unsurprising that a number of notable hacks and data breaches have been associated with the dark net in some way or another.
  • The relative impermeability of dark net has made it a major haven for drug dealers, arms traffickers, child pornography collectors and other criminals involved in financial and physical crimes so much so that one can buy anything from tigers to hand grenades to any kind of narcotic substances, provided the potential buyer finds the right website on the dark net.
  • One of the most famous examples of a dark network was the Silk Road marketplace. Silk Road was a website used for the buying and selling of a variety of illegal items, including recreational drugs and weapons. Although it was shut down by government authorities in 2013, it has spawned a number of copycat markets.
  • Used by Activists and revolutionaries to organize themselves without fear of giving away their position to governments they oppose.
  • Terrorists use dark net to provide information to fellow terrorists, to recruit and radicalize, to spread propaganda, raise funds, and to coordinate actions and attacks.
  • Terrorists also use the dark net for illegal purchase of explosives and weapons, using virtual currencies like Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.
  • Security experts are claiming that hackers and fraudsters have started to offer access to SCADA and ICS systems via discussion forums on the dark web, potentially compromising vital infrastructure networks across the world.

Strategies to tackle Darknet:

  •  Given the increased importance of cryptocurrencies in the financial world, it’s possible that dark nets will become more of a feature for everyday Internet users in the future.
  • In the meantime, they may also still provide criminals with a means of eluding capture, although true anonymity is never guaranteed, even when using encryption of the type found in these networks.
  • Governments across the world should strengthen their Cybersecurity Framework to deal with the threats posed by dark net. They must cooperate with each other regarding securing the Cyberspaces worldwide through intelligence, information, technology and expertise sharing.
  • India should invest enough in research and development and training and capacity building of personnel in the field of Cybersecurity.
  • Kerala Police Department’s initiative, Cyberdome, a premier facility dedicated to prevent cybercrime and mitigate cybersecurity threats to the State’s critical information infrastructure, is a step in right direction which other concerned authorities across the nation can learn from.

Way forward:

  • The Information Technology Act deals with cybercrime and comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. There are only six sections in the law that deal with cybercrime.
  • With the changing times, India needs a code of criminal procedures dealing with cybercrime that would come under the Ministry of Home Affairs, which deals with policing issues.
  • Also, there is a need for police, trained in changing cyber trends who are dedicated only to cybercrime and not transferred to other police units.

 

Topic:  Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

6. “Without tolerance and harmony the lasting peace of societies cannot be maintained, and loyalty for each other cannot be established.” Illustrate with examples. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is based on the concept of ‘Tolerance’ in today’s times and its relevance.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of tolerance as a virtue quintessential for the peaceful existence of our societies in the world.

Directive:

Illustrate – A similar instruction to ‘explain’ whereby you are asked to show the workings of something, making use of definite examples and statistics if appropriate to add weight to your explanation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define first what you understand by Tolerance.

Body:

Set the context of the question first by explaining that in an age where the electronic media has drawn us closer together into what is called a global village, its benefits will only be felt when mutual goodness prevails, when mutual respect and understanding prevail. Then link the above fact with role that practicing tolerance plays in a society. Highlight the importance of tolerance. Discuss what happens when there is Lack of tolerance in the society; fighting, violence, and finally it destroys the peace and security of society. Quote some illustrations from India or any other example to justify the essence of tolerance.

Conclusion:

Conclude that without tolerance and harmony the lasting peace of societies cannot be maintained.

Introduction:

According to Neufeldt, Tolerance is recognizing and respecting other’s beliefs and practices without sharing in them. It can also be described as “a respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expressions (speech, religion etc.) and ways of being human. Tolerance is harmony in difference” If we consider tolerance as the midpoint on a spectrum ranging between prohibition at one end to acceptance at the other:

 

Prohibition———————-Tolerance———————-Acceptance

Harmony is when there is resonance and joy, celebration and sharing with other entities in peace.

Body:

The importance of tolerance and harmony is manifold.

  • Individual level
  • Tolerance and Harmony teaches one to be respect others and not impose our will on others.
  • It helps us to broaden our perspective and thinking.
  • g. A certain food may be religiously proscribed for an individual, but it may be part of someone’s culture. Acceptance and respecting other’s views is developed due to tolerance.
  • Societal level
  • Tolerance and Harmony is vital because it promotes the receiving or acknowledging of new ideas and this helps to break the status quo mentality.
  • Tolerance is particularly needed in large and complex societies comprising people with varied beliefs, as in India.
  • This is because readiness to tolerate views other than one’s own facilitates harmonious coexistence.
  • Tolerance respects context.
  • g. Tolerance towards various linguistic groups have cemented India’s unity whereas its absence led to division of Pakistan and civil war in Sri Lanka.
  • Government level
  • Helps increase its legitimacy and inspire confidence even among the dissidents.
  • g. The accommodative policies of Patel and Nehru has helped shape India into a political union that it is today.
  • Toleration promotes the free exchange of ideas, including criticism and debate of public policy in the interest of the people.
  • International relations
  • Tolerance is the virtue that makes peace possible and in turn security of nations and neighbours.
  • g.: The global initiatives like WTO are a result of Vigorous deliberation of disagreement and moral evaluation. Issues such as refugee crisis can be solved as a result of tolerance.
  • Tolerance provides the space for a culture of dialogue, where we can all benefit.

Conclusion:

The spirit of tolerance and harmony is not only an interesting feature of Indian society from very early times, but it is also playing an important part at the present. Being tolerant of each other and caring for each other is what makes us human.  By teaching tolerance and harmony, we allow individuality and diversity while promoting peace and a civil society.  Our success in the struggle of intolerance depends on the effort we make to educate ourselves and our children.

 

Topic:  Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

7.Compare and contrast the concept of ‘Empathy’ as practiced in the western societies with that our society. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question aims to compare the idea of Empathy as practiced by Indian society and in what way it differs from the notion in that of the western societies.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must compare and contrast the concept of ‘Empathy’ as practiced in the western societies with that our society.

Directive:

Compare and contrast – provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly first define what Empathy is.

Body:

Discuss the notion of empathy of the western society; explain that Western societies believe man is a rational animal to substantiate – Nolan committee doesn’t list ’empathy’ in its recommendations. On the contrary Indian society believes Man to be an emotional man; thus need of Empathy- the belief that Empathy helps us understand others’ emotion, therefore empathy required to increase your emotional intelligence. Substantiate the above notions and other significant differences and similarities with suitable examples to justify better.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of Empathy and objectivity in general to all the societies of the world.

Introduction:

Empathy is the ability to be aware of, understand, and appreciate the feelings and thoughts of others. Empathy is “tuning in” (being sensitive) to what, how, and why people feel and think the way they do. Being empathic means being able to “emotionally read” other people.

Body:

Indian society has collectivist culture whereas Western societies have individualist culture. For instance, In India, empathy as value is imparted to child a lesson by family which is an institution by itself and a typical symbol of the collectivist culture of India right from the ancient times. Collectivism involves seeing oneself as being part of a larger, interconnected group of familial and other close relationships, with a priority on fitting in with others and maintaining harmony. Individualism involves seeing oneself as distinct and separate from others, with a priority on showcasing one’s uniqueness and valuing self-expression. Empathy is a morally laden topic. In Indian culture, it might be important to demonstrate that one is morally good. In others it might be more important to measure one’s “real” nature—regardless of how “good” that nature is.

Conclusion:

While empathy might fail sometimes, most people are able to empathize with others in a variety of situations. This ability to see things from another person’s perspective and sympathize with another’s emotions plays an important role in our social lives. Empathy allows us to understand others and, quite often, compels us to take action to relieve another person’s suffering.