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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 March 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:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues. The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. Who was Rani Gaidinliu? Present a brief account of Zeliangrong movement.(250 words)

Reference: Modern Indian history by Spectrum publications

Why this question:

The question aims to ascertain the contributions of Rani Gaidinliu and account on the Zeliangrong movement.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of the contributions of Rani Gaidinliu and account for the Zeliangrong movement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly present facts about Rani Gaidinliu.

Body:

Gaidinliu (26 January 1915 – 17 February 1993) was a Naga spiritual and political leader who led a revolt against British rule in India. At the age of 13, she joined the Heraka religious movement of her cousin Haipou Jadonang.

Rani Gaidinliu identified her people’s struggle with the wider Indian freedom struggle. For her, the Naga people’s journey to freedom was part of India’s wider movement for freedom. She also spread the message of Gandhi ji in Manipur region.

Discuss Zeliangrong movement and its features.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of such leaders in the history of Indian freedom struggle.

Introduction

Rani Gaidinliu was a Naga spiritual leader. Gaidinliu belonged to the Rongmei clan of the Zeliangrong tribe in the Tamenglong district of western Manipur. Born on January 26, 1915, she was fifth among eight children. Her native village was Nungkao, which is present-day Tamenglong district.

At the age of 10, Gaidinliu came under the influence of her cousin, Haipou Jadonang, who was then leading a socio-political movement called Heraka (meaning ‘pure’ is one of the religion followed by Zeliangrong people), seeking to drive out the British from the region.

Body

Zeliangrong Movement

The Zeliangrong people are one of the major indigenous communities living in the tri-junction of the present states of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland in North East India. The Zeliangrongs are the descendants of the same ancestor who founded the great Makuilongdi village, the ‘cradle of Zeliangrong culture’. They have a long history and inherited a rich cultural heritage.

Background of the movement

  • The British colonial power also started penetrating into the Zeliangrong inhabited areas by the first half of the 19th century.
  • By this time the hordes of Kuki migrants had also started coming into southern Zeliangrong areas which caused lots of conflicts and bloodshed.
  • The presence of outsiders disrupted the peaceful existence of the indigenous settlers and prompted social tension between different communities.
  • In the second half of the 19th century, the British colonial power divided the Zeliangrong people and their land and placed them under Assam and Manipur for their administrative conveniences without the consent of Zeliangrong people.

Course of the movement

Haipou Jadonang  was the pioneering figure behind the Zeliangrong movement, which was later taken forward by Rani Gaidinliu.

  • In a span of six years, Jadonang was able to gather strong support from various tribes and emerged as a strong voice of opposition against the foreign rule.
  • The revolutionary movement of the western hills of Manipur was popularly known by historians as Naga Raj movement and it received a huge momentum when 100 guns were brought from Cachar in Assam and propagation was made to boycott British taxation and forced labor.
  • In February 1931, Jadonang was arrested, and in a mock trial by the British Indian authorities, was found guilty. He was hanged on August 29, 1931 at Imphal jail.
  • In the meantime, Gaidinliu become a strong force in the Heraka movement, leading guerrilla attacks on the British authority.
  • When the British rule tried to suppress her movement, she went underground along with her followers. Thereafter a fierce gun battle took place in Hangrum village in the North Cachar hills with the British army and the big village was set ablaze by the colonial rulers.
  • After much pursuit, Rani Gaidinliu was captured on 17th October, 1932 in Poliwa Village and sentenced her to life imprisonment for waging war against the British crown. During that time, she was only 16 years old.
  • Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru met her in Shillong Jail in the year 1937 and described her as the ‘daughter of the hills’ and subsequently gave her the title of ‘Rani Gaidinliu’ or the ‘Queen of her people’. After India’s independence in 1947, Rani Gaidinliu was released from Tura Jail on the orders of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Post-Independence

 In 1966, she organized a resistance movement against the Naga National Council (NNC), which led insurgents in north-east. However, today many Nagas choose not to acknowledge her. Despite this, she was recognized as a freedom fighter and was awarded the Tamrapatra in 1972 and was felicitated with the Padma Bhushan in 1982. She had aspired for a ‘Zeliangrong Administrative Unit’ under the Union of India.

Conclusion

Rani Gaidinliu raised a banner of revolt against the British at a tender age of 13. It was the time of civil disobedience movement in India against the colonial power. Her slogan “We are free people — the white man should not rule over us”, captured the imagination of millions and mobilized them against the British. She remains a significant figure in the history of freedom struggle who braved against the imperialists.

 

Topic:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues. The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

2. Who were Marakkars? Discuss their role in the fight against Portuguese. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

Recently, a petition was filed in the Kerala High Court against the film- Marakkar: The Lion of the Arabian Sea, alleging ‘distortion of history’ and demanding a stay on the release. It is said to be the most expensive Malayalam film ever made.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss who were Marakkars and their role in fight against Portuguese.

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 state who Marakkars were.

Body:

By some accounts, they were of Arab origin and had migrated from Tunisia to Panthalayani near Koyilandy in present-day Kozhikode.

They later moved to the region around present-day Kottakkal and Thikkodi near Payyoli.

By other accounts, the Marakkars were descendants of affluent businessman from the Cochin kingdom who migrated later to Calicut.

Comment upon their war against the Portuguese.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significant contributions made by them.

Introduction

The Marakkars, (etymology – boatmen), were the naval chieftains and traditional sea admirals at the height of the reign of Samuthiris (Zamorin) and had full control of the Malabar seas and trade at Kodungaloor Port- the largest port in Malabar form 11th to 16th Century. Their lineage and descendancy is unclear. By some accounts, they were of Arab origin and had migrated from Tunisia to Panthalayani near Koyilandy in present-day Kozhikode, and later moved to the region around present-day Kottakkal and Thikkodi near Payyoli. By other accounts, the Marakkars were descendants of affluent businessman from the Cochin kingdom who migrated later to Calicut.

Body

The coming of Portuguese to control the spice trade with the vengeance to destroy the Kunjali Marakkar family led to a 100-year war between the people of Malabar led by the Marakkar family with support of the Kings of Gujarat, Egypt.

The term ‘Kunjali’ was an honorific title conferred on the admiral of his fleet by the Zamorin along with the special right to wear a silk turban. It was assumed by four successive persons who held this post

The fight against the Portuguese

  • After Portuguese sailor Vasco Da Gama set foot in Kappad in present-day Kozhikode district, the king of Portugal sent a series of fleets not only to trade, but to control and subjugate.
  • The Portuguese managed to capture Cochin, but Calicut, led by the king Zamorin, stood in their way.
  • His navy was led by the Kunjali Marakkars. The portuguese battles four generations of Kunjali Marakkars.
  • Related by bloodline, they were Kuttyali Marakkar (Kunjali Marakkar I, appointed in 1507), Kutty Pokker (Kunjali Marakkar II), Pathu Marakkar (Kunjali Marakkar III) and Muhammad Ali Marakkar (Kunjali Marakkar IV, appointed in 1595).
  • Guerilla Warfare
    • The Kunjalis used small boats known as pattemaris, which had around 40 rowers. In shallow waters, they would creep up to huge Portuguese ships and attack using slingshots, javelins, and bows and arrows.
    • It proved efficient and Portuguese losses were heavy. The Portuguese called Marakkar’s army Malabar pirates or corsairs.
  • The Conspiracy: Owing to the Portuguese conspiracy against the Kunjali IV, the Zamorins attacked Kunjali fort with the support of the Portuguese and handed over the Kunjali Marakkar to the latter in 1599. This was a dark episode in the history of Kerala which not only exhausted the political strength of the Zamorins, but also disturbed the long drawn out communal harmony between the Hindus and Muslims in the years to come.

Conclusion

The saga of Kunjali Marakkar teaches one vital lesson of history and that is the freedom of the sea which finally maintains the freedom of the land also. Therefore, this 413th year of martyrdom of Kunjali Marakkar IV has a meaningful message to this nation. “The freedom of sea is the absolute freedom of a nation”.

 

Topic:  Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

3. “It is important to go beyond the administrative convention of bracketing Adivasis into a single category in order to address their different problems”. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article discusses issues faced by the Adivasi community and how we need to adopt forward-looking policies to bring a difference in their lives. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss why it is important to go beyond the administrative convention of bracketing Adivasis into a single category.

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:

Briefly explain what the issues are with respect to Adivasi community.

Body:

Explain the aspects of the issues with such an approach –

The Adivasi community is assumed to be underdeveloped. With this view in policymaking, they are recognized as ‘takers/receivers’ of governmental benefits.

Policies and practices rooted in this approach, fail, in most cases, to accommodate the question of the participation of the Adivasis in the ongoing processes of the nation as co-citizens.

This results in a top-down approach, where there is unilateral enforcement of policies. What this means is that, the participation which is required for socio-economic progress is denied to the Adivasis which results in loss to them as their input is not taken, and loss to the society as well.

Discuss what steps need to be taken.

Suggest suitable solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the Adivasi community is seen as a source of cheap labour and they are half-fed with no opportunities to flourish and develop their human capabilities. It is now imperative that the entire outlook on the Adivasi question is reversed.

Introduction

  • The tribal population in India is nearly 104 million (8.6%), is a small minority numerically but represents an enormous diversity of groups. They vary in respect of language and linguistic traits, ecological settings in which they live, physical features, size of the population, dominant modes of making a livelihood, level of development and social stratification. There is a huge regional diversity amongst various tribal communities across India.
  • While tribes have a distinct culture and history, they are also one of the most marginalized sections of Indian society, as they lack adequate political representation, and suffer from economic deprivation and cultural discrimination.

Body

No One Size Fits All Approach

Policy framing requires mandatory recognition of their wide diversity so as to address the different problems faced by different groups — by community as well as by region.

  • Varied Problems across communities:
    • Health: For instance, seven adults of the KhariaSavar community died within a span of just two weeks. Their lifespan is approximately 26 years less than the average Indian’s life expectancy. While 10% in West Godavari District are affected by Sickle Cell Anemia.
    • Alienation: The problems in Red Corridor areas (especially Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh) is governance deficit and unfinished land reforms that has deprived the well-being of tribes.
    • There is widespread infighting amongst tribes of North-East for natural resources and also of territorial supremacy.
  • Isolated Tribes such as Sentinelese as still hostile to outsiders. The government must enforce “eyes on hands off” policy in these cases. The Jarawa community is facing acute population decline due to entry of outsiders into the area(The Andaman Trunk Road, among other projects, has cut into the heart of the Jarawa reserve).
  • Denotified, semi-nomadic and nomadic tribes are yet to be included as Scheduled Tribes. Their traditional occupations (snake charming, street acrobatics with animals) are now illegal and alternative livelihood options are not provided.
  • Certain tribes have been characterized as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) (earlier known as Primitive Tribal Groups) on the basis of their greater ’vulnerability’ even among the tribal groups. There are 75 such tribes in India.
  • There is a large number of anemic women amongst the tribes. There is a shortfall of 6,796 sub-centres, 1,267 primary health centres (PHCs) and 309 community health centres (CHCs) in the tribal areas at an all-India level as on March 31, 2015.
  • Gaps in rehabilitation: There are gaps in the rehabilitation of the tribal community members displaced by development projects. Only 21 lakh tribal community members have been rehabilitated so far of the estimated 85 lakh persons displaced due to development projects and natural calamities.

Problems with Bracketing Adivasis into one category

  • The views about the ‘underdevelopment’ of the Adivasis typically subscribes to this section of the population being the ‘takers/receivers’ of governmental benefits.
  • Policies and practices rooted in this approach, fail, in most cases, to accommodate the question of the participation of the Adivasis in the ongoing processes of the nation as co-citizens.
  • This in turn not only deprives the Adivasis of the socioeconomic progress they are capable of but also results in a loss to the rest of the nation.
  • The uniform categorization of tribes, leads to subjugation. The purported superiority of the outside world has resulted in the Adivasis considering themselves as inferior, primitive and even taking a fatalistic view of their subjugated life.
    • This pushes them to the margins, even making them abandon some of their socially unifying customs and cultural practices — particularly democratic norms and human values that have evolved through a protracted journey of collective living and struggles for existence.
    • Adivasi acceptance of the ‘imposed modern’ does not guarantee their inclusion in the apparent mainstream. Rather, the opposite happens.
    • They are often reminded of their primitive roots and kept alienated.

Considering the diverse problems faced by tribes, government must go beyond the administrative convention of bracketing Adivasis into a single category in order to address their different problems. Instead of being considered to be mere passive recipients, Adivasis must be respected as active agents of change and involved in all spheres of policy, from planning to implementation.

Solutions to the problem

  • Providing Land grants under FRA,2006: Forest Rights Act (FRA) stands as a powerful instrument to protect the rights of tribal communities.
    • This is especially needed in naxal affected areas where tribals are vulnerable.
    • Speedy rehabilitation of those who were displaced for various developmental projects.
    • There is a clear need to strengthen the nodal tribal departments, provide clear instructions to the State & district administrations, and encourage civil society actors
  • Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes: People of this community continue to be stereotyped & labeled as ex-criminal tribe.
    • The community needs to be included in SCs/STs and OBCs so that they can enjoy much needed reservation.
    • Under NITI Aayog a commission is set up for identifying all such communities.
    • Grievance redressal committees need to be setup at the state level in order to identify the problems of this community and provide the required aid
  • Education : As a way of providing quality education to the tribals in an efficient manner, the Government has been, from the 1950s to the present policy, opening residential schools and hostels for them at central places. Ashram School, Eklavya Model School and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya are leading schemes under this approach.
    • There is an urgent need to provide primary education in mother tongue to the tribal children. This would also ensure the survival of endangered languages in India, spoken by the indigenous tribes.
  • Panchasheel Policy with respect to isolated tribes. The imposition of alien values should be avoided.
  • Health: In view of the enormous diversity among nearly 700 tribes in India, the second principle to be followed is of area specific and tribe-sensitive local planning.
    • Tribal Health Assembly: From the Gram Sabhas at village level, upto the national level, Tribal Health Assemblies should be annually organized in which the people (at the level of village) or their representatives (at the higher levels) participate.
    • Tribal Health Councils: These should be constituted by including elected representatives, NGOs, experts and government officers for the purpose of planning and monitoring of programs.
      • Such councils should be constituted at the block or ITDP level, district, state and national level.
      • These should be empowered to shape the health plans and monitor implementation.
  • Addressing enforced migration: Serious effort is required by the State to minimize displacement. There should be a rights- based approach to comprehensive rehabilitation.
    • In pursuance of the PESA, 1996, Land Transfer Regulations/Tenancy laws of all Schedule V Areas should be suitably amended to ensure Gram Sabha participation in the identification, investigation and restoration of lands to tribal people.
    • Strengthen the Gram Sabhas with more tribal participation. Eg Niyamgiri experience of Dongaria Kondh tribes of Odisha against Vedanta.
    • There is dispersed population of tribes and displaced population (due to infrastructure projects, conflicts) in some States, including the North-eastern region, there is no agency dedicated to deliver the programs.
    • New micro-agencies need to be created in such pockets to cater to specific tribal groups
  • Research and Knowledge about tribes: Regarding Tribal Research Institutions (TRIs) there is an urgent need for strengthening and broadening research and training activities by these institutions.

Conclusion

It is imperative that the entire outlook on the Adivasi question is reversed. Instead of considering Adivasis to be a problem, the entire country can benefit a great deal by considering them as co-citizens and sharing their historically constructed cultural values which often manifest the best forms of democracy and uphold the notions of higher levels of justice, fairness, and equality — better than those prevalent in seemingly mainstream societies.

 

Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

4. The extensive practice of sex-selective abortion has created demographic costs in the country, Deliberate if the legal methods alone are adequate in eradicating sex-selective abortions. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

The article presents a case of infanticide in Tamil Nadu’s Usilampatti, which is historically notorious for its crude methods of killing female babies. In this region, there is an inhuman practice of feeding female infants with toxic milk.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the causes of sex selective abortions in the country, in what way the legal methods alone won’t suffice to eradicate the sex selective abortions.

Directive:

Deliberate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly present the scenario.

Body:

Explain what the causes of sex-selective abortions in India are.

Son meta preferences, daughters being seen as burden on financial aspects, marriage in India is typically patrilocal.

Discuss the initiatives taken by the government in this direction.

Suggest possible solutions for ending India’s sex-selective abortion crisis.

Conclusion:

Conclude that it is time for the government to ramp up awareness building exercises, and this time use technology to monitor every single pregnant woman right down to taluk levels until at least one year after birth. While punitive aspects might offer a measure of deterrence, true change can only be brought about by a change in attitude.

Introduction

In the Population Census of 2011 it was revealed that the population ratio in India 2011 is 940 females per 1000 of males. In states like Bihar it is 806 and 840 in Tamil Nadu. The main reason for this dichotomy is the preference for male child in India, causing sex-selective abortion and female infanticides.

The PC-PNDT (Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Technique) Act was enacted on 20 September 1994 with the intent to prohibit prenatal diagnostic techniques for determination of the sex of the foetus leading to female foeticide. It was to safeguard the girl child. Unfortunately, both sex-selective abortion and female infanticide cases are still continuing in some parts of India, illegally.

Body

Causes of Sex Selective Abortions

Due to a strong, culturally-rooted preference for sons in many parts of the world, millions of girls have been selectively aborted merely because their parents had wanted a boy instead.

  • Preference for male child: As per the UNFPA Report, Indian parents after a first born female have resorted to sex selective abortions to ensure birth of male child. This has led to neglect of the girl chiildren and sometimes even abandonment.
  • Strong Patriarchal Culture: The notion of society that a male child as the rightful heir of the family still continues to exist.
  • Girl Child seen as a burden: The raising of a girl child is seen in monetary terms, starting from education to marriage. This has created nearly 21 million “unwanted girls” in India as per the Economic Survey of 2018.
  • Prestige: Birth of a male child is a matter of prestige and celebration vis-a-vis a girl child.
  • Son-meta preference: Parents continue to have children until they have the desired number of sons. The extent of the problem can be measured when one considers that the sex ratio of last birth (females per 100 births) has merely changed from 39.5% to 39% between 2005-06 and 2015-16.

Demographic Costs

According to the World Health Organization, the biologically determined natural sex ratio at birth is 1.05 boy for every girl. The Economic survey 2018 points out that in India, the sex ratio of the last child has been skewed in favour of the male child all throughout – for first-born, it is 1.82, 1.55 for second born, 1.65 for third child and so on.

  • The phenomenon of unwanted girls, leading to lower educational opportunities to women.
  • Continuation of gender based violence and lack of reproductive rights for women.
  • Dependence of women on male counterparts and burden of unpaid care and household responsibilities.

The above factors are the consequences of social preference for male child that has led to disempowerment of women and discrimination against a girl child.

Initiatives taken by the government

Apart from the legal and punitive measures under law against female foeticide, a behavioural change is needed to ensure gender equality. The following were taken up by the government.

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: Beti Bachao Beti Padhao was unleashed with an objective of addressing the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and other issues related to the women empowerment.
    • To help remove gender based discrimination and elimination
    • To protect and girl child
    • To provide the girl child with education and enabling her participation
  • Balika Samriddhi Yojana: Designed to provide financial support to young girls and their mother who fall below the poverty line, the scheme’s key objective is improvement of their status within the society, raising the marriageable age for the girls and improve the enrollment and retention of girl students in schools
  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana: The scheme secures the future of girl children, by encouraging parents to build a fund, to meet the expenditure for the education and marriage of their girl child
  • CBSE Udaan Scheme : This scheme aims to increase the enrollment of girl students in prestigious engineering and technical colleges. It includes efforts to enrich the learning experience with special focus of girl students who are from the economically backward sections of society.
  • Dhanalakshmi Scheme: Launched to provide conditional cash incentives to low income families with girl child was introduced to certain blocks of Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and so on where there was a lower than average girl child sex ratio.
  • Awareness Campaigns: “Selfie with Daughter” campaign was lauded by the PrimeMinister, which was started by a sarpanch in Bibipur, Haryana and soon it became widespread.

Way Forward

  • Focusing largely on the Districts which are Gender Critical to ensure intensive actions are taken accordingly.
  • Prioritizing cities with low Child Sex Ratio for integrated action.
  • Forwarding and discussing the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio in public discourse, conferences, debates with an aim of rapid awareness and improvement.
  • Implementing innovative and intriguing techniques for the flourishment of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao as per the local requirement and sensibility.
  • Motivating communities to participate and work towards their own development subjecting to the birth and growth of a girl child.
  • Initiating communication campaigns to promote the development and education of the girl child.
  • Challenging the existing gender stereotypes and evil social norms against the girl child.
  • Training the local governing bodies and groups to work as catalysts for social change and improvement

Conclusion

It is time again for the government to ramp up awareness building exercises, and this time use technology to monitor every single pregnant woman right down to taluk levels until at least one year after birth. While punitive aspects might offer a measure of deterrence, true change can only be brought about by a change in attitude. As Amartya Sen argued: while at birth boys outnumber girls, ‘after conception, biology seems on the whole to favor women’. The weapon that the government needs to use now is one that will be powerful enough to eliminate the perversion of son preference from people’s minds.

 

Topic:  Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5. Why enormous “power gaps” continue between men and women in economies, political systems and corporations of the world? Examine in the backdrop of recently released UNDP’s Gender Social Norms Index. (250 words)

Reference:   Indian Express

Why this question:

The article presents a detailed picture of what UNDP’s Gender Social Norms Index, covering 80% of the world population in 75 countries, tells us about gender inequality worldwide and in India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must examine why the power gaps continue between men and women in economies, political systems and corporations of the world and with a specific context of India.

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 explain the highlights of the UNDP’s Gender Social Norms Index.

Body:

86% & 90% of women and men, respectively, held some sort of bias against women (2018), according to UNDP’s Gender Social Norms Index; in India (2014-15), this bias showed un 97% of women and 99% of men.

Explain why enormous “power gaps” continue between men and women in economies, political systems and corporations? –

  • Despite tangible progress in closing gender inequalities in developmental areas, such as education and health as well as in removing legal barriers to political and economic participation, there exist power gaps.
  • This is because while men and women vote at similar rates, only 24 percent of parliamentary seats worldwide are held by women and there are only 10 female heads of government out of 193 Member States.
  • Furthermore, women are paid less than men working the same jobs and are much less likely to be in senior positions.

Suggest solutions to address these challenges while presenting case specific to India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

The UNDP’s Gender Social Norms Index shows a telling tale of widespread gender discrimination globally and in India. This index measures how social beliefs obstruct gender equality in areas like politics, work, and education, and contains data from 75 countries, covering over 80 percent of the world’s population. The highlights provide clues to the “glass ceiling”.

  • Over 40% feel that men make better business executives and that men have more right to a job when jobs are scarce.
  • Less than 6% of CEOs in S&P 500 companies are women; while women work more hours than men, this work is more likely to be unpaid care work.

Body

The reason for enormous power gaps between men and women:

In economies

  • Lack of Economic Empowerment:
    • Women’s Labour force participation globally is 51% while it is 80% for men as per World Development Report 2012. In India it is 23% as per the PLFS Survey.
    • Women are underrepresented in senior managerial position and overrepresented in low paying jobs. Oxford Survey shows that globally only 19% firms have a female senior manager.
    • Wage Gap: Globally women still earn 20% less than men. In a recent ILO report, India was among the bottom five countries, with a gender pay gap of 34 per cent.
  • Access to productive capital: It is harder for women to access funds and capital for farming, starting a business or for other developmental works.
  • Secondary Education for women is lower than man in majority of countries while this stands at less than 80% in India.
  • Social norms and stereotypes: Classifying men as “bread winners” and women pursuing jobs as “career women” was reported by Oxford University Survey. It also highlighted that most of the unpaid work is seen as a women’s job.

In Political Systems

  • Deeply ingrained bias: Ironically it exists among both men and women – against genuine equality.
    • According PISA test data, the notion that “boys fare better at maths” is unfounded. Yet this belief still exists.
    • Pakistan tops in holding biaises against women at 99.8%.
  • About half the world’s population feel men make better political leaders as per UNDP Gender Social Norms Index.
  • 24% of parliamentary seats worldwide are held by women, and there are only 10 female heads of government out of a possible 193.

In Corporations

Women still earn on average 79 percent of what men earn, hold only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions, and represent on average 17 percent of global Board positions.

  • Women tend to lack access to informal networks that provide opportunities to work in high-profile projects, which include attending conferences abroad or on-the-job opportunities.
  • When it comes to peer recognition, women are at loss as they muster less support.
  • As per Mckinsey report women were overlooked for promotion even in companies like Google for their reproductive choices.
  • Women continue to face the same kind of discrimination at work as they face in society.
  • According to a recent Accenture research report, the gender pay gap in India is as high as 67 percent in corporates.

Addressing the challenges

UNDP is calling on governments and institutions to use a new generation of policies to change these discriminatory beliefs and practices through education, and by raising awareness and changing incentives.

  • Behavioral Nudge: For instance, by using taxes to incentivize fairly sharing child-care responsibilities, or by encouraging women and girls to enter traditionally male-dominated sectors such as the armed forces and information technology. Eg Supreme Court in India declared that women could now hold commanding positions in Army.
    • Paternity leaves for men, to share the responsibility of child rearing.
    • Incentivizing companies to employ women, and reach 50% target.
  • Gender Justice at Work
    • Bridging the wage gap for equal work.
    • Making work places safer through strong laws. India has enacted Sexual Harassment at workplaces act.
    • Promote diversity and anti-bias courses for all employees.
    • Comprehensive leadership training for women to excel in their fields.
  • Gender sensitization: Breaking the social barriers by gender sensitization and education at families, schools and E.g.: In the NCERT Books, gender roles, bias and prejudice inducing writings were removed.
  • Social security and financial literacy: Formalization of jobs should be pushed to avail benefits to many women. Until then, social security benefits should be provided to women in unorganized sector. Eg: Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme in India
    • Embedding financial literacy in programmes where women have significant representation could be a good starting point.
  • Strong laws and policies wrt equal pay for equal work, maternity benefits are needed to promote women’s representation in economy.
  • Political Representation: India has provided 33% reservation for women in the Panchayats and Local Bodies. Capacity Building and training can increase their capabilities further.

Conclusion

To bridge the power gaps between men and women SDG Goal 5 i.e. eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women in the public and private spheres and to undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources and access to ownership of property, must become a priority for all nations.

Gender equality is a human right which entitles all persons irrespective of their gender to live with dignity and with freedom. Gender equality is also a precondition for development and reducing of poverty. Gender shouldn’t be an unreasonable determining factor curbing the potential of women.

 

Topic:  Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

6. Bring out the Controversies and issues surrounding independence and misuse of Enforcement Directorate while suggesting ways to address them. (250 words)

Reference:  Live Mint

Why this question:

Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor was recently placed under arrest by the Enforcement Directorate. Thus the question aims to bring out the Controversies and issues surrounding independence and misuse of Enforcement Directorate.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the Controversies and issues surrounding independence and misuse of Enforcement Directorate and suggest ways to address them.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain about ED.

Body:

It is a Multi-Disciplinary Organization mandated with the task of enforcing the provisions of two special fiscal laws – Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). 

Discuss briefly the powers, functions and composition of ED.

Account on the concerns surrounding its functions and misuse of power of the directorate.

Suggest solutions to address the issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to overcome the challenges associated and ensure swift functioning of the directorate.

Introduction

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was established in 1956. ED is responsible for enforcement of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and certain provisions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. Its Headquarters is situated at New Delhi.

Body

 Composition of ED

The Directorate of Enforcement, with its Headquarters at New Delhi is headed by the Director of Enforcement. There are five Regional offices at Mumbai, Chennai, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Delhi headed by Special Directors of Enforcement. Zonal Offices of the Directorate are headed by a Joint Director.

The officers are appointed from Indian Revenue Service, Indian Corporate Law Service, Indian Police Service and Administrative Services.

Functions of ED

  • ED investigates suspected violations of the provisions of the FEMA. Suspected violations includes, non-realization of export proceeds, “hawala transactions”, purchase of assets abroad, possession of foreign currency in huge amount, non-repatriation of foreign exchange, foreign exchange violations and other forms of violations under FEMA.
  • ED collects, develops and disseminates intelligence information related to violations of FEMA, 1999. The ED receives the intelligence inputs from Central and State Intelligence agencies, complaints etc.
  • ED has the power to attach the asset of the culprits found guilty of violation of FEMA. “Attachment of the assets” means prohibition of transfer, conversion, disposition or movement of property by an order issued under Chapter III of the Money Laundering Act [Section 2(1) (d)].
  • To undertake, search, seizure, arrest, prosecution action and survey etc. against offender of PMLA offence.
  • To provide and seek mutual legal assistance to/from respective states in respect of attachment/confiscation of proceeds of crime and handed over the transfer of accused persons under Money Laundering Act.
  • To settle cases of violations of the erstwhile FERA, 1973 and FEMA, 1999 and to decide penalties imposed on conclusion of settlement proceedings.
  • ED is playing a very crucial role in fighting the menace of corruption in the country.

Issues surrounding ED’s Independence

  • Tool for Political Vendetta: The governments of the day have been accused of brazenly using agencies like the ED, CBI to settle their own political scores.
    • There are concerns of Enforcement Directorate’s powers being misused to harass political opponents and intimidating them.
    • It is said that “Cases and probe agencies spring out of cold storage before elections, and turn cold soon after”.
    • Many have held the agencies’ moves as motivated, aimed at tilting the scales in favor of the incumbent government, done also through selective leaks by the agencies to browbeat political opponents.
  • The Investigation by ED is bound within the territory of India, while several high profile offenders have fled the country.
  • There is also a problem of manpower and intelligence gathering in Enforcement Directorate, that leads to delay in timely identification and prosecution of offenders.

Solution to address the issues

  • Dedicated Fund and Grant for the agency to ensure its independent functioning.
  • Separate Recruitment for Enforcement Directorate on the lines of Civil Services.
  • A separate Academy for training the manpower and to instill the right values and virtues in the functioning is needed.
    • To Act without malice, prejudice or bias, and not allow the abuse of power.
  • More powers to ED: Under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, ED can now confiscate properties of offenders outside India, which may not be ‘proceeds of crime’.
  • Separate wings within ED for intelligence, surveillance and investigation can bring more efficiency.
  • Standard Training from time to time, to sharpen the investigative skills, and learning from global best practices.

Conclusion

As a premier financial investigation agency of the Government of India, the Enforcement Directorate must function in strict compliance with the Constitution and Laws of India. It must endeavor to establish and maintain high professional standards and credibility.

 

Topic:  Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights. determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions.

7. Discuss the ethical and social concerns involved in Cord blood banking. (250 words)

Reference:   The Hindu

Why this question:

Poona Citizen Doctor Forum (PCDF), a body that aims to rebuild trust among citizens and doctors, and promote ethical rational medical practice, has come forward to bust the aggressively promoted concept of cord blood banking.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the ethical and social concerns involved in Cord blood banking.

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 what cord blood banking is.

Body:

Cord blood (short for umbilical cord blood) is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta post-delivery. It contains special cells called hematopoietic stem cells that can be used to treat some types of diseases.

Discuss what the issues are with cord blood banking.

Over the past decade, stem cell banking has been aggressively marketed even as its use is still in experimental stages. But these companies charge enormous fees from parents to preserve cells.

Bring out the ethical concerns involved in detail.

Conclusion:

Suggest ways to address the ethical concerns involved and assert upon the need to have policies and frameworks to regulate them.

Introduction

Cord blood (short for umbilical cord blood) is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta post-delivery. At or near term, there is a maternal–fetal transfer of cells to boost the immune systems of both the mother and baby in preparation for labor. This makes cord blood at the time of delivery a rich source of stem cells and other cells of the immune system.

  • Cord blood banking is the process of collecting the cord blood and extracting and cryogenically freezing its stem cells and other cells of the immune system for potential future medical use.
  • Cord blood banking is more often referred to as stem cell banking.

Body

Social Issues and concerns with stem cell banking

  • Effectiveness: Cord Blood is recommended as a source of hematopoietic stem cell (derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood, or umbilical cord blood) transplantation for hematological cancers and disorders where its use is recommended. For all other conditions, the use of cord blood as a source of stem cells is not yet established, as per ICMR.
  • Nexus between Doctors and Stem Cell Companies: Activists say stem cell banking companies start approaching their prospective customers much before the delivery and offer competitive packages.
  • Expensive: Private clinics charge exorbitant prices for storage, under the pretext that Cord blood cells supposedly helps the body re-generate tissues and systems and it’s use as a regenerative medicine. Also, due to huge income inequality, many would find it hard to afford.
  • Not a biological insurance: Although commercial cord blood banks often bill their services as “biological insurance” against future diseases, the blood doesn’t often get used.
    • One study says the chance that a child will use their cord blood over their lifetime is between 1 in 400 and 1 in 200,000.
    • Current research says the stored blood may only be useful for 15 years.
  • Research is in infancy: More work needs to be done to utilise the cord blood cells for treatment of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc. The stored blood can’t always be used, even if the person develops a disease later on, because if the disease was caused by a genetic mutation, it would also be in the stem cells.

Ethical issues involved

  • Commercialization: Luring unsuspecting parents into stem cell banking with profit as motive.
  • Leveraging the emotive factor of child birth for expensive stem cell storage which may not be used or be effective.
  • Unethical nexus between Doctors and Private stem cell banks, which extract data of the expecting parents.
  • Data privacy of the to-be parents are revealed without consent
  • Ownership of the deposit made is still controversial
  • Data Sharing: Medical History of the family is often collected in the process. The sharing of this information is not regulated and may be sold to insurance companies for profit.
  • Public banks vs Private banks: There is generally agreement or consensus in the guidelines that public storage for allogeneic transplants is preferable and that private storage should be discouraged.
  • Future prospects: As the process is expensive, affordability is low. In future, if medical advancements are made, the benefit is accrued to a few wealthy individuals. This may create humanitarian issues.

Conclusion

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics and Indian Council of Medical Research ICMR don’t recommend routine cord blood storage. The groups say private banks should only be used when there’s a sibling with a medical condition who could benefit from the stem cells. Families are encouraged to donate stem cells to a public bank to help others.

Researchers are also exploring how cord blood has the ability to cross the blood–brain barrier and differentiate into neurons and other brain cells, which may be instrumental in treating conditions that have been untreatable up to this point. However, it is still in the experimental phase.

A law in this regard can help in regulating the area of work and address the ethical issues.