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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 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:  Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Effects of globalization on Indian society.

1.  Discuss the institutional barriers that hinder the growth on women in Police services of the country, also suggest measures to overcome. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article brings out the case of Women and their participation in the police services of the country.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the institutional barriers that hinder the growth on women in Police services of the country while suggesting solutions to address these problems.

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 discuss few facts suggesting the context of the question.

Body:

In 2009, the Home Ministry set 33% as the target for women’s representation in the police. Since then, the central and state governments have focused on increasing women’s recruitment in the police force. Reservation has been the primary tool to increase women’s representation in the police force.

Then discuss what the concerns are – lack of intent, selective implementation, Lack of representation at higher levels, gender based crimes etc.

  • Discuss the major institutional barriers – Frequent inter-district transfers
  • Disallowing postings in home districts for specified periods of time
  • Poor childcare support systems
  • Lack of adequate facilities and infrastructure for women.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The India Justice Report 2019 compiled by a group of sectoral experts, ranging from human rights groups to legal policy groups, show that women account for seven per cent of India’s 2.4 million police personnel. This number is expected to rise, with many States and Union Territories providing for 30% (and more) reservation for women in the police in specific ranks. Current data reveal that most women in the police are concentrated in the lower ranks. It continues to be known as the police force. And being a force, it places a premium on exaggerated masculinity and valor more than on service.

Body:

The institutional barriers that hinder the growth of women in Police services are:

  • Gender Apathy:
    • The police department suffers from gender apathy as evident through the absence of separate toilets, changing rooms for women, and separate accommodation for women, and other facilities and child-care support, in addition to persistent and widespread gender bias.
  • Gender stereotyping:
    • Decisions on deployment of women are not free of gender stereotyping restricting women from leading operational positions. This biasness is not limited only from male colleague sometimes female superiors too consider them weak, less willing to work and less tough.
  • Lower priority tasks allotted:
    • There appears to be a tendency to sideline women, or give them policing tasks that are physically less demanding, or relegate them to desk duty, or make them work on crimes against women alone.
  • Allocated only Women related cases:
    • Women police persons are relegated to dealing with crimes against women and accompanying women prisoners the concept works against the interests of women as it segregates them.
  • Women recruited at lower levels:
    • Current data reveal that most women in the police are concentrated in the lower ranks reflecting the dearth of females at key operational positions.

Measures needed to overcome:

  • Increased Recruitment:
    • There is a need to have more women in the field in executive postings – from constables to inspectors and higher ranks.
    • Departments should undertake special recruitment drives in every district to ensure geographical diversity.
  • Better Training:
    • Women in the constabulary must get the training, support and confidence needed to put them on a par in every sense with their male counterparts.
    • Resource centres for mentoring, creating awareness about opportunities and prospects, and helping with career planning and training and coping with workplace challenges are essential.
  • Safe workspace:
    • Police departments must also ensure safe working spaces for women and adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination and harassment, in order to make policing a viable career option for women.
    • Departments must operationalise the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013.
  • Gender sensitivity:
    • A common gender-neutral cadre needs to be created for all ranks so that promotional opportunities are evenly available.
    • Women do have some special needs, like during and post pregnancies, which need to be catered to. They shouldn’t be shunted to non-executive postings. The force needs to encourage more women to be in the field.
  • Higher funding:
    • Most State police departments have received funds under the Modernisation of State Police Forces Scheme for providing separate toilets and changing rooms for women, and for constructing separate accommodation for women with attached toilets in all police stations and units. Police departments must ensure the best use of this fund.
  • Spreading awareness and sensitization:
    • The police should reach out to the media and educational institutions to spread awareness about opportunities for women in the police.
    • While women have a role in making up for the lack of training and sensitisation of the force in general in dealing with crimes against women they should not be ghettoised into dealing only with such crimes.

Conclusion:

The discourse on mainstreaming women in the police by making policing inclusive, non-discriminatory and efficient in India is missing in policy circles. Leading to the vicious cycle of non-reporting and non-action, perpetuating the culture of silence. Desk work too must be allocated evenly among men and women. For women in police to perform to their full potential, it would take sustained increase in their strength, meaningful networking within themselves and an institutionalized support system in the current social realities. Then, they will be the women that they are, the police officers that they are. It will allow them to be their authentic selves, agents of change. To achieve. To lead. To serve the people.

 

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

2. Explain the issues surrounding the policies and programmes adopted by the Indian Government to tackle poverty. (250 words)

Reference: Geography and You

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and aims to analyse the  issues surrounding the policies and programmes adopted by the Indian Government to tackle poverty

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the issues surrounding the policies and programmes adopted by the Indian Government to tackle poverty.

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 define the poverty conditions in the country, explain why the issues still persist despite consistent efforts of the governments in the past.

Body:

Discuss first the concerns involved in addressing poverty through policies and programmes.

Explain then the various types of efforts made by the govt. to address poverty – growth oriented approach, income based approach, developmental strategies etc.

Suggest what should be done, quote examples of the ongoing policies, explain how they are different from their previous versions etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude on a positive note that the government is changing its approach to tackle poverty based on the response of it to previous programmes.

Introduction:

Poverty is one of the evils that impedes development of the country. Recognising this, India had pursued various poverty alleviation programmes to pull people out of the vicious cycle of poverty. India used multi-pronged approach in dealing with this. Efforts at poverty alleviation have borne fruit in that for the first time since independence, the percentage of absolute poor in some states is now well below the national average. Despite various strategies to alleviate poverty, hunger, malnourishment, illiteracy and lack of basic amenities continue to be a common feature in many parts of India.

Body:

Various poverty alleviation programs in India since Independence:

  • Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP): It was introduced in 1978-79 and universalized from 2nd October, 1980, aimed at providing assistance to the rural poor in the form of subsidy and bank credit for productive employment opportunities through successive plan periods.
  • Jawahar Rozgar Yojana/Jawahar Gram Samriddhi Yojana: The JRY was meant to generate meaningful employment opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed in rural areas through the creation of economic infrastructure and community and social assets.
  • Rural Housing – Indira Awaas Yojana: The Indira Awaas Yojana (LAY) programme aims at providing free housing to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in rural areas and main targets would be the households of SC/STs.
  • National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS): This pension is given by the central government. The job of implementation of this scheme in states and union territories is given to panchayats and municipalities. The state’s contribution may vary depending on the state. The amount of old age pension is ₹200 per month for applicants aged 60–79. For applicants aged above 80 years, the amount has been revised to ₹500 a month according to the 2011–2012 Budget. It is a successful venture.
  • Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY): The main objective of the scheme continues to be the generation of wage employment, creation of durable economic infrastructure in rural areas and provision of food and nutrition security for the poor.
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) 2005: The Act provides 100 days assured employment every year to every rural household. One-third of the proposed jobs would be reserved for women.  The central government will also establish National Employment Guarantee Funds. Similarly, state governments will establish State Employment Guarantee Funds for implementation of the scheme. Under the programme, if an applicant is not provided employment within 15 days s/he will be entitled to a daily unemployment allowance.
  • The Public Distribution System (PDS) is another programme that helps in improving the quality of

life of impoverished populations in India.

  • The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 ties up with the PDS for distribution of food in India for providing subsidized food grains. About 50 per cent of the urban population and about 75 per cent of the rural population is covered by the purview of the Act and beneficiaries are entitled to receive 5 kg of food grains in a month per person at subsidized rates of Rs 3/2/1 per kg of rice, wheat or coarse grains respectively.
  • National Rural Livelihood Mission: Ajeevika (2011): It evolves out the need to diversify the needs of the rural poor and provide them jobs with regular income on monthly basis. Self Help groups are formed at the village level to help the needy.
  • National Urban Livelihood Mission: The NULM focuses on organizing urban poor in Self Help Groups, creating opportunities for skill development leading to market-based employment and helping them to set up self-employment ventures by ensuring easy access to credit.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana: It will focus on fresh entrant to the labour market, especially labour market and class X and XII dropouts.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana: It aimed at direct benefit transfer of subsidy, pension, insurance etc. and attained the target of opening 1.5 crore bank accounts. The scheme particularly targets the unbanked poor.

Issues surrounding poverty alleviation policies and programmes:

  • However, none resulted in any radical change in the ownership of assets, process of production and improvement of basic amenities to the needy.
  • Scholars, while assessing these programmes, state three major areas of concern which prevent their successful implementation. Due to unequal distribution of land and other assets, the benefits from direct poverty alleviation programmes have been appropriated by the non-poor.
  • Compared to the magnitude of poverty, the amount of resources allocated for these programmes is not sufficient. Moreover, these programmes depend mainly on government and bank officials for their implementation.
  • Since such officials are ill motivated, inadequately trained, corruption prone and vulnerable to pressure from a variety of local elites, the resources are inefficiently used and wasted. There is also non-participation of local level institutions in programme implementation.
  • Government policies have also failed to address the vast majority of vulnerable people who are living on or just above the poverty line. It also reveals that high growth alone is not sufficient to reduce poverty.
  • Without the active participation of the poor, successful implementation of any programme is not possible

Conclusion:

Rural poverty alleviation programmes in India look to improve access to employment, food, finances and other such basic needs for people in rural India, many of whom can sometimes live in remote areas outside the purview of large-scale development. A basic needs approach is all the more necessary in addition to fixing a poverty line in rural areas given that access to developmental processes and facilities might be more limited in far-flung rural areas. Moreover, it is necessary to identify poverty stricken areas and provide infrastructure such as schools, roads, power, telecom, IT services, training institutions etc.

 

Topic:  case study

3. A fresh engineering graduate gets a job in a prestigious chemical industry. She likes the work. The salary is also good. However, after a few months she accidentally discovers that a highly toxic waste is being secretly discharged into a river nearby. This is causing health problems to the villagers downstream who depend on the river for their water needs. She is perturbed and mentions her concern to her colleagues who have been with the company for longer periods. They advise her to keep quite as anyone who mentions the topic is summarily dismissed. She cannot risk losing her job as she is the sole bread-winner for her family and has to support her ailing parents and siblings. At first, she thinks that if her seniors are keeping quiet, why should she stick out her neck. But her conscience pricks her to do something to save the river and the people who depend upon it. At heart she feels that the advice of silence given by her friends is not correct though she cannot give reasons for it. She thinks you are a wise person and seeks your advice. (2016)

(a) What arguments can you advance to show her that keeping quiet is not morally right?

(b) What course of action would you advise her to adopt and why? (250 words)

Reference: Previous year paper GS-IV(2016)

Why this question:

The aim of the question is to solve the case study which is based on the premise of business ethics and morality involved therein.

Key demand of the question:

The student must present arguments with pros and cons of the actions involved and justify with suitable ethical foundation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly present the key details of the case study.

Body:

One must present arguments in favour of not keeping quiet such as – deficits of ‘Business without morality’, need to be a conscience citizen, questions of integrity involved.

Suggest a course of action to take the corrective measures for the situation – Moral persuasion, need for her to preserve integrity and walk with high morality and business ethics.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable middle path that satisfies all the issues and concerns in the question.

Introduction:

The theme of the case study is centered around the negative externalities of modern day industrialization on environment and people living around the industry premises. Also a moral issue is raised whether to lose position in a reputed industry and ultimately lead to unemployment which is another issue of concern in our society. My suggestions to the young employee would be as below for her dilemma

  • Arguments in favour of not keeping quiet are as follows:
  • Working in a reputed industry is a matter of great honor and it also provides her a platform to execute what she has learned during her academic period.
  • But it is not justified if she is unable to put her opinions and suggestions frankly.
  • ‘Business without morality’ is the most important point to be kept in mind so the secretive discharge of highly toxic waste must be made public.
  • As a citizen with civic responsibilities, she must keep in mind the right of life of the villagers compelling her to speak.
  • Keeping quiet on an issue which is not only impacting the nearby environment and inhabitants but also it can harm company employees and workers in long run.
  • Usually people join such voices/movements against injustice and all that they need is a trigger, in this case the villagers need a spokesperson.
  • So her approach to the higher authority must not be complaining rather it should be suggestive so that it will be in favor of her company.
  • Staying quiet is not going to benefit none and keeping environment and health of dwellers at stake is unethical.
  • The course of action I would suggest to her is as follows:
  • Moral persuasion should be the first step. She should consult her colleagues one more time. It is likely that would still not budge but again there is a possibility that she might be able to conscience even one of them.
  • The residents of the villages must be made aware about their right to life which includes a healthy life.
  • After some ground work like talking to villagers, the health problem faced by them, testing the level of toxicity of rivers a report must be made. She can show this report to her immediate senior to remind the company of the environment laws as well as corporate social responsibility.
  • Since profit is the sole aim of the company she can present a case study where companies lost business due to loss of confidence of people.
  • She can take the assistance of the local NGO as well as media to create pressure on the company as well other big industries working on similar lines.
  • She can inform the district administration of the same wrongdoing and seek their help.
  • As a last resort she can file public interest litigation on behalf of the villagers as the toxic level of discharge and take head of the whistleblower’s act.

Conclusion:

There is high chance of her losing the job, so simultaneously she can start looking for a new job since even if the complains go unheard she might not continue in the company on moral grounds.

 

Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

4. Asia is at the tip of becoming a dominant trading powerhouse, can it restructure the global economic order? Analyse.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article presents the argument as to how Asia now is at the cusp of becoming a dominant trading powerhouse and in what way it will have key role in restructuring the global order.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the role of Asia as a dominant trading powerhouse in the current times.

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 state some key facts such as – Asia contributed more than 60 per cent to the global output and commerce prior to 1857. India’s own contribution was a hefty 17 per cent; it has now come down to 5 per cent in global output and less than 3 per cent in international trade flows.

Body:

Present the historical background of trade in Asia in the past.

Discuss the dominance of European countries in terms of trade.

Then explain the Asia of 19th century, global economic transition, discuss factors responsible for such a transition.

Explain what role Asia should play in restructuring the global order.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Asia contributed more than 60 per cent to the global output and commerce prior to 1857. India’s own contribution was a hefty 17 per cent; it has now come down to 5 per cent in global output and less than 3 per cent in international trade flows.

Body:

Asia in the past:

  • Europeans were attracted to Asia because of its thriving coastal trade, that spanned across the vast region from the east coast of Africa up to Indonesia, including China and all of South-East Asia.
  • It was by far the most thriving trade anywhere in the world at the time.
  • This part of the world has always believed in open economy and trade.
  • Examples of trade openness are visible everywhere, from Vietnam to Indonesia to Myanmar.
  • In Myanmar, Indian Odia traders would come up the Irrawaddy river and the Chinese traders sailed down from Kunming and Yunnan to trade at Bagan.
  • This generated enormous wealth and riches, which is embodied in the thousands of temples and pagodas that dot the Bagan skyline.
  • India and Asia have, since times immemorial, believed in open economies, free trade and eschewed violence for commercial gains.

Reasons for Asia to be the next dominant trading powerhouse:

  • Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs), which have now been in serious trouble for several years. The global community has been reluctant to accept BWIs’ loss of legitimacy and effectiveness.
  • The Bretton Woods Institutions, especially the WTO, are not suited to achieve this mandate.
  • Carbon constraint: Emerging economies, making their transition from low- or middle-income status to higher levels, cannot possibly follow the path traversed by the present group of OECD economies. This carbon constraint is real. It has to be taken fully on board in the development blueprint.
  • Rising inequalities: the complete unambiguous unacceptability and unequivocal rejection of rising inequalities, both between nations and within them. Society, armed with the powerful and all-pervading media, will simply not permit this in years to come.
  • Disruptive Technologies: Emerging exponentially-transformative technologies, including AI/ML, robotics, optical sensing, satellite imaging, quantum computing, threaten to make humans virtually redundant.
  • Given what has been happening in the last 3-4 years, the Marxist concept “that force will be the midwife of every change”, which has its roots in the Hobbesian concept of humans being brutes, simply cannot be applied.
  • Human extinction is guaranteed if force is allowed to become the midwife of the forthcoming transition.

Measures needed for India to be a strong player:

  • Poverty alleviation programs must ensure that the weaker sections of the society are strengthened.
  • ‘Antyodaya’, which is the cornerstone of the Indian government’s policy, has to be ensured.
  • Skilling of the workforce is needed to reduce the job losses caused by the disruptive technologies.
  • There is a need for increased investment in the infrastructure to strengthen the Make in India project.
  • The NITI Aayog has been pushing for electric, shared and connected mobility.
  • The binding carbon constraint has to be integrated and focused upon in any global trade and commerce discussion.

Steps for Asia to restructure the global economic order:

  • The Trans-Atlantic powers, whose share and influence in the global system is surely declining because of demographic and other reasons, cannot be the leaders in designing the new architecture.
  • Asia, with its demographic advantage, dynamic institutions, razor-sharp intellect and, above all, a tradition of non-violence, has to take the leadership.
  • Given the Asian genius in creating inclusive coalitions, this leadership will also be exercised in an open-source design with flexible roles which suit the talents of the coalition members.
  • Hierarchies, that stifle creative thinking, will be jettisoned in favour of collective pursuit of a common cause.
  • Asia has the onus — and thankfully, the capacity — to re-design global institutes that will better serve the purpose of a rule-based global economy.

 

Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

5.  Elucidate upon the need for renewed multilateralism in the face of the cross-national and cross-domain nature of challenges confronting the world. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article argues for the need for renewed multilateralism in the face of the cross-national and cross-domain nature of challenges confronting the world and the need for India to play the leadership role in such an endeavor. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss how in the present world amidst rising tendencies of protectionism need has aroused for the countries to renew the idea of multilateralism.

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 discuss the challenges before the world.

Body:

Take the example of the current COVID-19 pandemic that brings to light the nature of challenges that the world has been facing and is bound to face in the coming future.

The challenges would be mostly cross-national in character. They would not be bound to one region or country, neither being limited to national boundaries nor being controllable by national solutions. The world is increasingly becoming more inter-connected, inter-related and also interdependent.

In the case of climate change, though there are differences in the intensity of effect on different countries, it is a global problem. Though the major contributors of the greenhouse gas emissions have been the developed countries, climate change would impact even the underdeveloped and developing countries.

Similarly in the case of poverty, though poverty is often considered as a local or regional issue, it also manifests itself in the form of increased migration and in some cases breeding ground for extremism. Thus poverty is also cross national in character.

Suggest what measures need to be taken to address the issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward that there is the need to move away from nationalistic urges and embrace the logic of international cooperation through revived and strengthened multilateral institutions and processes.

Introduction:

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into the forefront that most challenges confronting the world and likely to confront it in the future, are cross-national in character. They respect no national boundaries and are not amenable to national solutions. Further, these challenges are cross-domain in nature, with strong feedback loops. A disruption in one domain often cascades into parallel disruptions in other domains.

Body:

Need for renewed multilateralism:

  •  Most challenges confronting the world and likely to confront it in the future are cross-national in character. They respect no national boundaries and are not amenable to national solutions.
  • A disruption in one domain often cascades into parallel disruptions in other domains.
  • Increasing Cross-domain nature of challenges like the use of chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides may promote food security but have injurious health effects, undermining health security.
  • They require empowered international institutions of governance.
  • Underlying these must be a spirit of internationalism and solidarity, a sense of belonging to common humanity.
  • Whether at the domestic or the international level, these inter-domain linkages need to be understood and inform policy interventions. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect this awareness.
  • It is a health crisis but is also spawning an economic crisis through disrupting global value chains and creating a simultaneous demand shock. It is a classic cross-national and cross-domain challenge.
  • Despite the world becoming more inter-connected, inter-related and also interdependent, the global community has not been able to come on a single platform or frame a Global Agenda, to overcome global challenges like poverty, terrorism, Climate Change issues, etc.

India’s foreign policy towards multilateralism:

  • From non-alignment to multi alignment: The present government follows the policy of seeking friendship with all countries as contrasted from the earlier policy of non-alignment. For example, India’s friendship with Iran and Saudi Arabia, and with the U.S. as well as Russia.
  • Mobilizing global collaboration: The plea made Prime Minister of India recently for mobilizing global collaboration, more specifically in fighting COVID-19 would be in keeping with India’s traditional activism on the international stage. For example, international initiative, either through the G-20 or through the U.N.
  • Mobilizing regional cooperation: The Prime Minister has shown commendable initiative in convening leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation nations for a regional collaborative effort on COVID-19.

Way forward:

  • There is the need to move away from nationalistic urges and embrace the logic of international cooperation through revived and strengthened multilateral institutions and processes.
  • Relevant policy interventions: Whether at the domestic or the international level, the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak need to be understood and relevant policy interventions need to be framed.
  • The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect the pathway for cross-national, cross-domain policy framework.
  • A leadership role by India in mobilising world collaboration would act as a beacon for the world in the direction towards reviving faith in multilateralism for dealing with global challenges of present nature.

 

Topic:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

6. How is facial recognition used in today’s world? When is it problematic? Explain with special focus on the using it in policing system of the country.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The author of the article argues for the use of counter-crime facial recognition technology. Thus the context of the question.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss the utility of facial recognition, the problems and concerns associated with it. Present then a case of utilizing the same in the policing system of a country.

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:

Define what facial recognition system is.

Body:

First explain that there has been growing consensus that the police duties should not be restricted to the mere maintenance of peace in public places but should focus equally on crime prevention and detection.

While preventing a crime is difficult and usually beyond human capacity (because of the dimensions and complexities of modern society), solving a crime is relatively easy.

Discuss counter-crime facial recognition technology and its applications.

Discuss India’s efforts in this direction, explain the concerns associated.

Conclusion:

Conclude that though modern technologies like facial recognition technology is fraught with hidden dangers, there should be hope that care and sophistication in its implementation would help transform investigation.

Introduction:

Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) is a biometric technology that uses distinctive features on the face to identify and distinguish an individual. It works by maintaining a large database with photos and videos of peoples’ faces. Then, a new image of an unidentified person — often taken from CCTV footage — is compared to the existing database to find a match and identify the person. The artificial intelligence technology used for pattern-finding and matching is called “neural networks”.

Body:

AFRS usages:

  • Facial recognition systems have been active at several major Indian airports, including the Delhi airport.
  • These systems at airports have been installed under the DigiYatra initiative in India.
  • Telangana’s election commission piloted a facial recognition app in its civic elections on January 22, and claimed that it could address the issue of voter impersonation.
  • It is increasingly being used for everything: from unlocking your phone to validating your identity, from auto-tagging digital photos to finding missing persons, and from targeted advertising to law enforcement.
  • China’s reported use of facial recognition technologies for surveillance in Xinjiang is an example of when this becomes problematic. It also becomes problematic in the absence of privacy and data security laws.

Need for AFRS:

  • Automated Facial Recognition System can play a very vital role in improving outcomes in the area of Criminal identification and verification by facilitating easy recording, analysis, retrieval and sharing of Information between different organisations.
  • While fingerprints and iris scans provide far more accurate matching results, automatic facial recognition is an easier solution especially for identification amongst crowds.
  • The integration of fingerprint database, face recognition software and iris scans will massively boost the police department’s crime investigation capabilities.
  • It will also help civilian verification when needed. No one will be able to get away with a fake ID.
  • It will also help civilian verification when needed.
  • It also plans to offer citizen services, such as passport verification, crime reporting, online tracking of case progress, grievance reporting against police officers etc.

Concerns:

  • Cyber experts across the world have cautioned against government abuse of facial recognition technology, as it can be used as tool of control and risks inaccurate results.
  • Amid NCRB’s controversial step to install an automated facial recognition system, India should take note of the ongoing privacy debate in the US.
  • In the absence of data protection law, Indian citizens are more vulnerable to privacy abuses.
  • Use of surveillance cameras and facial recognition constrict the rights of particular class of people.
  • In the US, the FBI and Department of State operate one of the largest facial recognition systems.
  • International organisations have also condemned the Chinese government on its use of surveillance cameras and facial recognition to constrict the rights of Uighurs, a mostly Muslim minority.

Need of the hour:

  • With proper safeguard this technology is much needed for India.
  • The pace at which we are using technology which could have bearing on piracy seems to be more than the pace to put in mechanism to protect privacy which has to be addressed.
  • The notion that sophisticated technology means greater efficiency needs to be critically analyzed.
  • A deliberative approach will benefit Indian law enforcement, as police departments around the world are currently learning that the technology is not as useful in practice as it seems in theory.
  • Police departments in London are under pressure to put a complete end to use of facial recognition systems following evidence of discrimination and inefficiency.
  • San Francisco recently implemented a complete ban on police use of facial recognition. India would do well to learn from their mistakes.

Conclusion:

In light of the fact that India does not have any legal framework to safeguard the personal data of its citizens, nor any sort of judicial oversight over public surveillance programmes, the current proposal for AFRS raises eyebrows.

 

Topic:  Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

7. Discuss the importance of scientific temper, what kind of public culture is needed to advance it? (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and aims to evaluate the significance of scientific temper in general to the society.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the importance of scientific temper in general to a society and discuss how an effective and robust public culture can enhance 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:

Define what you understand by scientific temper.

Body:

First explain the role of science in life.

One can answer such questions with suitable examples; from the article presented the best example is that of COVID-19.

Explain that An unexpected outcome of COVID-19 is the growing awareness of how disease is transmitted and what might be done to prevent this; this is the rise of a good public culture in the country and it sets an example of growing scientific temper in the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the importance of scientific temper and a culture that promotes and propagates it.

Introduction:

Scientific temper is a way of thinking and acting which uses a method, including observing physical reality, questioning, testing, hypothesizing, analysing and communicating. It involves the application of logic and the avoidance of bias and preconceived notions in arriving at decisions, and becomes particularly valuable while deciding what is best for the community or the nation.  Article 51A of the Constitution lists the fundamental duties of citizens, which include development of scientific temper, humanism and spirit of inquiry and reform. It means the Indians must have an open mind to learn new things.

Body:

Importance of scientific temper:

  • Elements of fairness, equality and democracy are built-in in scientific temper.
  • Twin features of internal pluralism and external receptivity have been woven into the development of Indian thought over the ages.
  • This richness of the tradition of argument has shaped India’s social world and the nature of Indian culture. It has deeply influenced Indian politics and the development of democracy in India and emergence of its secular priorities.
  • To weed out the ignorance. E.g.: Even literate and well-educated people believe in superstitions and follow those.
  • To reduce the intolerance in the society. E.g.: Killing of rational thinkers like Narendra Dabholkar, MM Kalburgi etc.
  • To curb the fake news, rumours and wrong influence of Social Media. Instead of thinking rationally and researching about something, people blindly follow what social media propagates.
  • Improve the status of women. E.g: Issues like temple entry during menstruation, child marriages, triple talaq etc. which are not based on rational thinking.
  • Scientists are hitting the street because they feel the climate of scientific enquiry in India is at threat of being compromised by political and religious interference by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and associated groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
  • Scientists are now concerned that instead of ring-fencing the Indian scientific community, the government has allowed intrusions that threaten to distract from areas of research that need the urgent attention of researchers, including in fields directly related to Indian economic development.
  • For instance, the elite Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, has been told by the ministry of science and technology to conduct “verifiable scientific research to establish the benefits”—reportedly, medicinal and other—derived from Panchagavya, a concoction of cow dung, cow urine, cow milk, curd and clarified butter (ghee) that is used in some traditional Hindu rituals.
  • We are seeing an increasing intrusion of theology into science. The influence of a variety of godmen and miracle makers is increasing alarmingly.
  • In an age when man has travelled to the moon and returned safely, astrological predictions based on the movements of planets or the lines of one’s palm or the number of alphabets in one’s name, are widely believed. Food fads, irrational health practices are on the increase.

Public culture needed to inculcate Scientific temper:

  • In such a situation of social and cultural malaise, a major role of Scientific Temper is to revive confidence and hope and to dispel fatalistic outlook.
  • The campaign to promote Scientific Temper must inculcate values like equality and dignity of all human beings, distributive justice, dignity of labour, and social accountability of one’s actions.
  • Although big science (space probes, cosmic ray physics, etc.,) has served India well, the nation must also look at areas that are less eyeball-grabbing, such as water resources, agriculture and the environment, he said, requesting anonymity because he is not allowed to talk to the press.
  • science and scientists must have a position of pride in society which can influence many young students to move into scientific fields.
  • A nationwide science policy which should be able to anticipate problem areas, devise course correction.
  • Better funding of Science and Technology initiatives which would help in development of the society.
  • All these are essential for bringing about social, economic and cultural transformation of our country.

Conclusion:

Scientific temper needs to be promoted across all sections of the society systematically, using tools like National Knowledge Network. Public and political understanding of science should be based on evidence and debate with open mind.