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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 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:   History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

1. “The Franco-German war  made Germany mistress of Europe and Bismarck master of Germany”, Elucidate.(250 words)

Reference:  jstor.org

Why this question:

The question is in the context of unification of Germany.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of Franco-German war, the role played by Bismarck in the unification of Germany.

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 provide for the timeline of the beginning of the unification process of Germany and the conditions that necessitated it.

Body:

For centuries, Germany had been little more than a geographical expression divided into numerous principalities, dominated by the spirit of provincialism and under the control of many petty princes despite the various efforts by the Holy Roman Emperors to create a central authority.

Discuss in what way focal point of the history of nineteenth-century Germany was the struggle for unification.

Explain the factors obstructive to unification, factors conducive to unification.

Then explain the role of Bismarck in Unification process.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the Franco-German War made Germany mistress of Europe and Bismarck master of Germany. The political unification under Prussian leadership for which Bismarck had waged three wars and for which revolutionaries   of 1848, thinkers, poets, philosophers and historians had all in their different ways, prayed or worked for was at last completed.

Introduction

After Napoleonic wars, Europe saw waves of pro-democracy revolutions but Monarchies were opposed to the democratic ideas of French revolution and they used nationalism as a shield to defend and even extend their empires. Bismarck thus consolidated his hold on Germany through Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

Franco-German War, also called Franco-Prussian War, (July 19, 1870–May 10, 1871), war in which a coalition of German states led by Prussia defeated France. The war marked the end of French hegemony in continental Europe and resulted in the creation of a unified Germany.

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Background

Prussia’s victory over Austria in the Seven Weeks’ War in 1866 had confirmed Prussian leadership of the German states and threatened France’s position as the dominant power in Europe.

  • The immediate cause of the Franco-German War, however, was the candidacy of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (who was related to the Prussian royal house) for the Spanish throne, which had been left vacant when Queen Isabella II had been deposed in 1868. The
  • Prussian chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, and Spain’s de facto leader, Juan Prim, persuaded the reluctant Leopold to accept the Spanish throne in June 1870.
  • This move greatly alarmed France, who felt threatened by a possible combination of Prussia and Spain directed against it.

The Franco-Prussia War: Timeline

  • Bismarck’s Prussia first fought a war in 1864 in alliance with Austria against Denmark to annex most of the territory of German Confederation.
  • Bismarck knew Austria was a major obstacle to unification. To succeed in his aims, Bismarck declared war against Austria in 1866. This War led to the defeat of the neighbouring States of Austria like Bavaria, Saxon etc. and then Austria. To isolate Austria, Bismarck built up alliances with other major powers- Russia, France and Italy.
  • The Treaty of Prague and formation of Germany: After the Austro-Prussian War, the ‘Treaty of Prague’ was concluded between Austria and Prussia in 1866. According to this treaty Austria was expelled from Germany. After the treaty of Prague the formation of Germany was started.
  • In 1867, Bismarck formed the North German Confederation. It united 22 German states but excluded the Southern German states like Bavaria, which remained independent. The constitution of this Confederation made the Prussian King the hereditary head of the state.

Unification: Bismarck’s Role

  • With Austria weakened, Bismarck now turned his attention to the other great stumbling block to unification- France. France had watched Prussia’s growing power with alarm. France was heavily defeated in the Franco-Prussian War. The circumstances leading to the war caused the southern German states to support Prussia. This alliance led to the unification of Germany.
  • Annexation: The states of Schleswig, Holstein, Hanover, Nassaa and Frankfurt were annexed to Prussia. The States north to May River were annexed to Prussia and the North German Confederation was formed.
  • Unification: In the build up to war, the southern confederate German states voluntarily joined the Prussian-controlled Northern German Confederation. Germany was now unified.
  • The Southern states followed a pro-Austria policy but were forced to unite after the German victory in Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

Conclusion

Unification of Germany was not one single event but a process which occurred in phases. Bismarck had played a major role in unification and nation building of Germany through his policies, military reforms, speeches and isolation strategies.

 

Topic:  History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

2. Discuss the causes of Russian revolution in comparison with French revolution.(250 words)

Reference: world history by Norman Lowe

Why this question:

The question aims to discuss the causes of Russian Revolution in comparison with French Revolution.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the factors responsible for Russian revolution and compare with those that led to French revolution.

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: highlight that in Central Europe the Great War had secured the triumph of the principles of nationality and democracy. But in Russia it led to an upheaval which was as characteristically social and economic as it was national and political. 

Body:

Discuss the causes in detail while drawing parallels with the factors that led to French revolution.

  • As in France the government of Russia was autocratic without being efficient.
  • As in France the social order in Russia was marked by a wide cleavage between the upper and lower classes.
  • As in France, the material revolution in Russia was preceded by a revolution in the realm of ideas.

Explain more such factors.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of the revolution in the history of Russia.

Introduction

The Russian Revolution of 1917 was one of the most explosive political events of the twentieth century. The violent revolution marked the end of the Romanov dynasty and centuries of Russian Imperial rule. During the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks, led by leftist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, seized power and destroyed the tradition of csarist rule. The Bolsheviks would later become the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

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Background

The French and Russian revolutions had some very similar characteristics that created drastic unrest from the people. The two countries both faced an extremely harsh economy that was leaving citizens impoverished. It is notable to point out that before the 1917 revolution in Russia, there was a prior attempt in 1905  after “Bloody Sunday” incident wherein a peaceful march was fired upon.

They adapted an assembly which was called the “State Duma of the Russian Empire” which limited the power of Czar Nicholas II but he still retained his hierarchy. The Russian people where still unhappy after meagre reforms of 1905 and it  only lasted until 1917 when the second Russian Revolution took place.

Causes of Russian Revolution

  • Economic Situation: During the First World War, when the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in World War I; it blocked off key trade routes to the Russians. They could no longer deliver key supplies and their economy suffered in the process.
    • This lead to an inflation of money and the peasants grew angrier because of the high prices of items such as food and also the increase in food shortages.
    • Very similar to Russia, one of the causes of the French Revolution was that the economy was struggling dramatically especially with produce. Feeding the people became an issue, due to an unfortunate string of terrible harvests, which in turn forced food to take a steep rise up in price.
  • Financial Crisis: Involvement in World War One or what is now called as The Great War had left Russia destitute, impoverished, and riddled with corruption.
    • The lack in of capital, as well as the rise of Great Britain was another economic cause of the French revolution. The French were facing a financial crisis with billions in debt to pay.
  • Social crisis : The social causes of the Russian Revolution mainly came from centuries of oppression towards the lower classes by the Tsarist regime and Nicholas’s failures in World War I. While rural agrarian peasants had been emancipated from serfdom in 1861, they still resented paying redemption payments to the state, and demanded communal tender of the land they worked.
    • The French had a designated a three level class system in which the clergy members were on top of the hierarchy (First Estate), the nobility or bourgeoisie were set in middle (Second Estate), and the rest of France completed the bottom level (Third Estate). The burden was always on the Third Estate who eventually revolted against the upper class.
  • Political dissatisfaction: Politically, most areas of Russian society had reason to be dissatisfied with the existing autocratic system. They had no representation in government, and the Tsar remained out of touch with the people’s problems.
    • In France, all the public offices and posts were held by the nobility and the second estate. However, the third estate did not have representation, while they had to bear the burden of taxes.

Differences in the aftermath of Russian and French Revolution

  • The French decided towards a democracy while the Russian government became communist . Both the French and Russian revolutions had similar causes but ended up with different results. The Russians had Lenin as their authoritarian leader and the French had the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.
  • The French wanted to abolish their previous totalitarian regime so that they would all have the opportunity to live and get rich in a capitalist democratic ‘free’ state, while the Russians wanted to abolish their previous totalitarian regime so that they would all have the necessities of life and live equally without the need to acquire material wealth as happiness.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Russian Revolution and the French Revolution were similar in numerous ways. The Russian Revolution had elements of difficulty from a political, social, and economic stand point making it especially similar to French Revolution. This has created key points in European history making these two Revolutions especially unforgettable.

 

Topic:  Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

3. “In spite of numerous initiatives in use by the Election Commission of India, the electoral politics suffers ‘voter bribing’ and ‘hate speeches’ in the country”. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

The author narrates a detailed view on the electoral reforms and the lacunae that the reforms have with it and what needs to be done.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must critically analyse the loopholes in the reforms that the election commission has been suggesting or trying to inculcate.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly provide status of the elections in the country. For example with elections becoming expensive, most parties have sought to field richer candidates irrespective of their merit in representing public interest.

Body:

Discuss some of the key regulations pointed out by the election commission.

  • Explain the reforms that have been planned so far.
  • ECI is considering tightening ways to cap the expenditure of parties, as it should provide a more level playing field. But this can be meaningful only if there is more transparency.
  • The ECI has also suggested bringing social media and print media under the “silent period” ambit after campaigning ends.
  • Regulating social media will be difficult and it remains to be seen how the ECI will implement this.
  • Discuss the effect of voter bribing and hate speeches over the reforms and how they pose hurdles.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suggestions and recommendations to overcome the situation.

Introduction

A free, fair and unbiased electoral process along with greater citizen participation is fundamental to safeguarding the values of a democracy. Unfortunately, Indian electoral system is grappling with certain issues which have eroded the trust of many people in the country such as role of black money, issues related to power of Election commission of India (ECI), criminality in politics etc.

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Problems of Electoral Politics

  • Voter Bribing

Increasingly, parties have resorted to bribing voters in the form of money and other commodities in return for votes, and while the ECI has tried to warn outfits or in some cases postponed polls, these have not deterred them.

  • No Financial accountability
    • Opacity in donations: Political parties receive majority of their funds through anonymous donations (approximately 70%) through unknown sources as per ADR.
    • Without proper financial accountability, there will be large scale voter bribing that will go unnoticed in most cases. For instance, Vellore General Elections were postponed after a large amount of unaccounted money was unearthed by officials in 2019.
  • Increasing trend: According to Election Commission (EC) data compiled over the span of 2019 election season, seizures of illicit intoxicants, cash and gold have been vastly higher than before.
    • Cash seizures were up 181.3 %, while alcohol volumes have risen 9% and narcotic quantities have shot up 355.6% in five years.
    • The value of all the bottles of liquor, packets of narcotics, wads of currency and biscuits of shiny metal in electoral service recovered by the authorities is estimated at ₹3,458.7 crore, several times what was seized during the general elections of 2014.
  • Lack of transparency: Despite provisions under section 29 of RPA, 1951, parties do not submit their annual audit reports to the Election Commission. Parties have also defied that they come under the ambit of RTI act. EC does not have the power to deregister a party for financial misgivings.
  • Culture of Freebies: Political parties promise many freebies in their manifesto to woe the voters. However, it is unclear how this will be financed and accounted for. This is also a sort of passive voter bribing that must be discouraged.
  • Lack of action against bribes: The EC sought insertion of a new section, 58B, to RPA, 1951 to enable it to take action if parties bribe voters of a constituency, which has not come to light.
  • Hate Speech
    • Ineffective Model Code of Conduct: MCC says, “no party or candidate shall include in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic”.
      • However, this widely remains ineffective, as MCC is not justiciable.
    • Communal Politics: Communal rhetoric during elections revives the centuries-old schisms that democracy has been unable to heal.
      • Thus, election campaigns in India often focus on protecting or re-establishing community identity or on fomenting fear of its loss.
    • Targeted propaganda: Democracy has been reduced to an advertisement campaign. The business conglomerates owned or tied up with political parties influence the views of the people by targeting their audience. Algorithmic filtering have created the cycle of enforcing and reinforcing belief systems and ensuring that we don’t open our minds to diverse opinions.
    • Election Manipulation: The issue of fake news has turned out to be a global menace. It has its role in deciding result of elections (Example: USA) to polarization of societies to communal riots to even crumbling the economies. Tolerance and harmony are victims of the new social media age.

In times when hate speech is used during elections, the ECI has only managed to rap the offending candidates or party spokespersons on the knuckles but stricter norms including disqualification of the candidate would be needed for true deterrence.

Reforms Needed

  • A better and more effective approach to limit the influence of hoaxes on WhatsApp and other platforms is to increase media literacy. Observing the silent period of 48 hours before the election day.
  • Model Code of Conduct : In 2019 central elections, Supreme court rebuked ECI for not taking action against violations of MCC. Post his ECI banned political actors from campaigning for a given duration under its powers given by Article 324. ECI also postponed the elections in Vellore constituency to curb electoral corruption under.
  • The government should bring out a policy framework on the possible harm due to the internet messaging platforms to engage at a deeper level.
  • Government of India could partner with local news groups to further educate citizens on how to identify real news from fake news.
  • Press Council of India, a regulatory body, can warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, the news agency, the editor or the journalist or disapprove the conduct of the editor or the journalist if it finds that a newspaper or a news agency has violated journalistic ethics.
  • Raise awareness and educate voters: Public information campaigns and voter education programs provide accurate information that dispel myths and misconceptions. Such efforts can help voters identify and address intolerance in their own lives and recognize and resist hate speech purveyed by officials, candidates and their supporters, and the media. Longer-term civic education is also important to raising civic literacy levels and reducing the public’s vulnerability to hate speech and calls to violence.

Conclusion

To rid ourselves of the problem, however, we cannot rely on the conscience of politicians. It’s ultimately for voters to send them a clear signal that their votes cannot be bought. Also, there is a need for political will to bring in reforms, so that democracy in India is not only procedural but also substantive in nature. Free and fair elections cannot happen if political outcomes are determined by the money and muscle power of candidates or encouraging hate speech and pitting one community against the other. This discourages genuine candidates from contesting, and winning elections. Election Commission must be strengthened and it’s role must be enhanced to achieve the objective of free and fair elections.

 

Topic:  Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

4. A recent Supreme Court verdict has barred citizens from accessing court records under the RTI Act; do you think it is a verdict against judicial transparency? Analyse.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

The Supreme Court in Chief Information Commissioner v. High Court of Gujarat case has held that the information to be accessed/certified copies on the judicial side is to be obtained through the mechanism provided under the High Court Rules and the provisions of the RTI Act shall not be resorted to.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must analyse the impact of verdict with respect to the judicial transparency.

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:

Present in short the background of the question.

Body:

The Chief Information Commission and Gujarat Information Commission had challenged a Gujarat High Court order which had held that the high court rules governing the issuance of certified copy of the documents would prevail over the Right to Information Act provisions.

Discuss the Importance of court records to public discourse in India.

Explain what the conflicts are between RTI and other laws.

Discuss the concerns associated with such a judgment and its impact on judicial transparency.

Conclusion:

Conclude that The Supreme Court, on various occasions, has ruled that it is binding (with exemptions) on public sector institutions to implement RTI to promote transparency in the system. Going forward, the SC should walk the talk if it aspires to inspire any public institution to put words into action.

Introduction

In its recent decision, in the Chief Information Commissioner v. High Court of Gujarat case, the Supreme Court, regrettably, barred citizens from securing access to court records under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Instead, the court held that such records can be accessed only through the rules laid down by each High Court under Article 225 of the Constitution.

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Contours of the judgement

  • The court concludes that there is no inconsistency between the RTI Act and the court rules.
  • It is factually incorrect as the Gujarat HC Rules require the submission of an affidavit stating the purpose of seeking copies of the pleadings.
  • However, the RTI Act requires no reasons to be provided while seeking information.
  • The court argued that an enactment can’t be overridden by a later general enactment simply because the latter opens up with a non-obstante clause, unless there is clear inconsistency between the two legislations.
  • The court stated that if the intention was to repeal another law, the legislature would have specifically stated so in the RTI Act.

Importance of Court Records

  • A significant number of decisions taken by the courts influence our daily life.
    • Every prosecution before a criminal court is essentially an opportunity to hold the police accountable just as every writ petition is an opportunity to hold the government accountable.
  • Similarly, a significant number of commercial lawsuits are opportunities to learn more about corporations and the manner in which commercial translations are executed in the country.
  • The pleadings filed by either party contain reams of information that are useful to a range of stakeholders such as citizens, journalists, academics, shareholders, etc., who can better inform the public discourse on the ramifications of these decisions.
  • Court Records are most important, especially in cases of public interest litigation, where the courts indulge in policymaking on the basis of the report of an amicus curiae or an expert committee set up by judges.

Impact on judicial transparency

  • Impacting transparency: Some High Courts, allow only parties to a legal proceeding to access the records of a case and some allow third parties to access court records if they can justify their request.
  • This goes against the conception of the RTI Act, where no reasons are required to be provided thereby reducing the possibility of administrative discretion.
  • Logistical difficulties -An application under the RTI Act can simply be made by post, with the fee being deposited through a postal order.
  • Most HCs and the SC require physical filing of an application with the Registry, and a hearing to determine whether records should be given.

RTI and other Laws

  • Some provisions of Indian Evidence Act (Sections 123, 124, and 162) provide to hold the disclosure of documents.
    • Under these provisions, head of department may refuse to provide information on affairs of state and only swearing that it is a state secret will entitle not to disclose the information.
    • In a similar manner no public officer shall be compelled to disclose communications made to him in official confidence.
  • The Atomic Energy Act, 1912 provides that it shall be an offence to disclose information restricted by the Central Government.
  • The Central Civil Services Act provides a government servant not to communicate or part with any official documents except in accordance with a general or special order of government.
  • The Official Secrets Act, 1923 provides that any government official can mark a document as confidential so as to prevent its publication.
  • Whenever there is a conflict between the two laws, the provisions of the RTI Act override those of the OSA.
    • Section 22 of the RTI Act states that its provisions will have effect notwithstanding anything that is inconsistent with them in the OSA.
  • Recently, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India (SC) ruled that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) would come under the ambit of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act), as CJI is a public authority under the RTI Act.

Conclusion

The Supreme Court must understand that the judiciary’s track record of transparency is vastly on the lower end, when compared to other arms of the state. In today’s world where every public institution is striving to become more transparent, the continued resistance from the judiciary to making itself transparent in a meaningful manner will have an eroding effect on its legitimacy.
Being the guiding light of a democratic polity, the judiciary must make way for more transparency and become a role model for other institutions to follow the lead.

 

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

5. Good health and well-being for its citizens by 2030 seems to be a farfetched dream for India, do you agree? Identify the factors, and suggest measures. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why this question:

The article provides for a detailed analysis of the possibilities of India achieving the sustainable goal of good health and well-being.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must analyse the steps that need to be taken to achieve the dream of

Good health and well-being for its citizens by 2030.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Quote facts that suggest the essence of the question context.

Body:

Present in detail the current scenario of the country in terms of good health and well-being.

Explain the factors that are key to achieving this goal.

Highlight the concerns involved, point out the lacunae in the current and past policies and programmes.

Take hints from the article and suggest what needs to be done – focus on specific sectors etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction

Global experience shows that with the right public policies focusing on agriculture, improved sanitation, and women’s education, one can have much better health and well-being for its citizens, especially children. World Bank data shows a secular decline in poverty in India from 45.9 per cent to 13.4 per cent between 1993 and 2015.

India has been making progress in the first two SDG Goals in reducing poverty and hunger. The real challenge for India, however, is to achieve the third goal of good health and well-being by 2030. India’s performance in this regard, so far, has not been satisfactory.

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Current scenario in Health and well-being

  • Nutrition: In 2015-16, almost 38.4 per cent of India’s children under the age of five years were stunted, 35.8 per cent were underweight and 21 per cent suffered from wasting (low weight for height), as per the NFHS-4.
  • Women Health: Anemia is widespread in India-58.6% of children, 53.2% of non-pregnant women and 50.4% of pregnant women were found to be anaemic in 2016, as per the NFHS.
  • Disease Burden: As per the ICMR’s “India: Health of the Nation’s States” report, contribution of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) to total death in the Country was 61.8% in 2016, as compared to 37.9% in 1990.
  • Health Expenditure: India’s expenditure on the health sector has risen meagrely from 1.2 per cent of the GDP in 2013-14 to 1.4 per cent in 2017-18. The National Health Policy 2017 had aimed for this to be 2.5% of GDP
    • According to the latest National Health Accounts (NHA) estimates released on Wednesday, patients bear a big chunk of health expenses, as high as 61 per cent of the total health expenditure, by themselves.

Key Factors to achieve Health and Well-being in India

A study by ICRIER made emphasis on four key areas

  • Mother’s education: It is one of the most important factors that has a positive multiplier effect on child care and access to healthcare facilities. It also increases awareness about nutrient-rich diet, personal hygiene among others.
    • This can also help contain the family size in poor, malnourished families.
    • Thus, a high priority to female literacy, in a mission mode through liberal scholarships for the girl child, would go a long way towards tackling this problem.
  • Sanitation and Drinking Water: Most morbid diseases are connected to drinking water and sanitation, especially in rural areas and urban congested slums. Here, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Jal Jeevan Mission can have a huge impact on well-being by preventing diseases through oral-faecal route.
  • Nutrition and Diet: There is a need to shift dietary patterns from cereal dominance to the consumption of nutritious foods such as livestock products, fruits and vegetables, pulses, etc.
    • But they are generally expensive and their consumption increases only by higher incomes and better education.
    • Diverting a part of the food subsidy on wheat and rice to more nutritious foods can help.
  • Bio-fortification: India must adopt new agricultural technologies of bio-fortifying cereals, such as zinc-rich rice, wheat, iron-rich pearl millet, and so on.
    • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has to work closely with the Harvest Plus programme of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to make it a win-win situation for curtailing malnutrition in Indian children at a much faster pace.

Steps to be taken

  • The current approach requires re-emphasizing the missing priority on PHCs and CHCs for developing comprehensive primary care. Achieving comprehensive primary care requires a paradigm shift from disease-control vertical programmes to community-led, people-oriented primary care.
  • Sharper focus in the resource-starved states should be on improving efficiency in spending without compromising equity, and this can be attained by designing programmes that would cover a large number of people and a wide range of diseases.
    • For example, POSHAN Abhiyan to be strictly rolled out in BIMARU
  • Since the states have higher responsibility than the Centre in matters related to health, the blueprints of primary care can further be redefined in view of the local needs. This should be the policy agenda for the low-performing and resource-constrained states.
  • It is relevant to develop low-cost primary care service delivery models involving nurses and allied health professionals which can lower the burden on the public health system marked by the stress of a low doctor-strength.
  • India needs to design health services to meet local needs with the opposite referral mechanism to secondary- and tertiary-care, and this can produce better health outcomes with a considerable cost-advantage.
    • In this context, the role of public health professionals, those who can help design outreach and preventive programmes and implement the continuing health programme effectively, assumes paramount importance. Eg: Telemedicine
  • India lacks the required number of public health professionals. The shortage is severe in many parts of the country, especially poorer states like Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
    • The focus should be to train a pool of social workers, psychiatrists, counsellors with public health orientation who could then transform the primary healthcare delivery system in the country.
    • Ayush doctors can prescribe Allopathy medicines after a bridge course.

Conclusion

Approximately, 51% of total government expenditure on health is spent on primary care. This needs to be stepped up to at least two-third of the government expenditure as suggested in the health policy document of India. Reorienting resources towards population-based preventive programmes will help set the allocation of scare resources for larger social benefits right.

 

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. Disaster and disaster management.

6.  Discuss the key provisions of the 1897 Epidemic Diseases Act. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express  

Why this question:

t was decided in a Cabinet Secretary meeting that states and Union Territories should invoke provisions of Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, so that Health Ministry advisories are enforceable, Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the key provisions of 1897 Epidemic Diseases act.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the need and necessity of the act.

Body:

Explain that the Epidemic Diseases Act is routinely enforced across the country for dealing with outbreaks of diseases such as swine flu, dengue, and cholera.

Present briefly the History of the 1897 Epidemic Diseases Act.

Discuss the Provisions of the 1897 Epidemic Diseases Act.

Highlight issues associated with it. Suggest its utility

Conclusion:

Conclude way forward.

Introduction

The Epidemic Diseases Act came into force on February 4, 1897 as a response to the plague epidemic in Bombay. This act confined plague to Bombay by a series of tough measures which prevented crowds from gathering.

It confers special powers upon local authorities to implement measures necessary to control epidemics
Following the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic the Cabinet Secretary of India on 11th March 2020 announced that all states and Union territories should invoke provisions of Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897

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Key Provisions

  • Power to take special measures and prescribe regulations : When at any time the State Government is satisfied that the State is threatened with an outbreak of any dangerous epidemic disease, it may take such measures and by public notice prescribe temporary regulations to be observed by the public or by any person or class of persons as it deems necessary.
    • This is to prevent the outbreak of the disease or the spread thereof.
    • State will determine in what manner and by whom any expenses incurred (including compensation if any shall be defrayed.
    • States can conduct the inspection of persons travelling by railway or otherwise.
    • People can be segregated in hospital or in temporary accommodation suspected by the inspecting officer of being infected with any such disease.
  • Powers of Central Government: It has concurrent powers as state and in addition it can do the following.
    • Inspection of any ship or vessel leaving or arriving at any port
    • Detention of any ship or vessel
    • Detention of any person intending to sail or arriving as may be necessary.
  • Any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code
  • In the past, the Act has been used to fight various epidemics such as swine flu, dengue, and cholera. In 2018, it was invoked in Vadodara to fight cholera.

Limitations

Epidemic Act 1897 is an archaic framework, that is 123-year-old. The century old Act over the years has accumulated quite a number of flaws which can be attributed to the changing priorities in public health emergency management.

  • Epidemic Act 1897 is silent on the definition of dangerous epidemic disease.
  • Moreover, it being a century old act, the territorial boundaries of the act needs a relook.
  • Apart from the isolation or quarantine measure the act is mum on the legal framework of availability and distribution of vaccine and drugs and implementation of response measures.
  • There is no explicit reference pertaining to the ethical aspects or human rights principles during a response to an epidemic.
  • The punishment for violation of regulations under section 188 of Indian Penal Code also warrants a revision.

Conclusion

Although India has a number of legal mechanisms to support public health measures in an epidemic situation, they are not being addressed under a single legislation. There is an urgent need to assemble all the provisions in one over-arching public health legislation, so that the implementation of the responses to an epidemic can be effectively monitored.

Thus it is far beyond doubt that this century old Act needs a complete overhaul to cater to the changing public health priorities. Undeniably, the role of public health specialists in this regard cannot be ruled out. The lawmakers can draw a leaf out of the National Disaster Management Act 2005[8] (deals with public emergency) as it clearly defines all the terms and has an explicit description of all the implementing measures and agencies to be instituted in the event of any emergency.

 

Topic:  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7. virtue is not about practicing morality, the greatest virtue is to be inclusive of all life. Comment. (250 words)

 Why this question:

The question tends to examine the importance of inclusiveness of all life and in what way virtue is not just about practicing morality but beyond it.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of inclusiveness as one of the greatest virtues to humankind.

Directive:

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what virtues are.

Body:

Define “Inclusiveness”.

Discuss that virtue is not just about practicing morality; explain this with example.

Explain what makes it one of the biggest virtues that are quintessential to humankind.

Such questions are best explained with illustrations.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of inclusivism as an important and significant virtue.

Introduction

Virtues are individual traits that show moral excellence of a person. Virtue is a quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.
Inclusiveness is the practice or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who have physical or mental disabilities and members of minority groups.

For example, Apartheid policy by South Africa, was oppression against the native Blacks. It goes against inclusivity. In some cases, inclusivity and diversity can be concurrent and simultaneous. For instance, a work place having equal number of men and women, and also representation from various ethnic and minority groups.

Body

Practicing morality is important, at the same time we must ensure that we are encompassing everybody into the sphere by being inclusive. One cannot be morally good to some and not to others. Being inclusive of all life, also includes animals and wildlife. Environment Ethics teaches us to be compassionate about even our ecosystem and environment that will nurture the future generations to come. In this line of thought, environment ethics teaches us that sustainable development is a virtue that is inclusive is the future unborn generations of populace.

One can take the example of Gandhiji, and his resolve to free India from the bondages of slavery. In his fight he ensured that all strata of Indian communities from women to Harijans, from peasants to labour class were all included and also got justice. His ideology was irrespective of caste, colour, race, creed and birth. What is more endearing is that, Gandhiji even advocated showing compassion and love to our enemies; which is the greatest example of being inclusive and virtuous;

Conclusion

The world today is becoming a borderless village. Yet, there are many distinctions based on nationalities and status in the society. The true spirit of human dignity and compassion for other living beings can be achieved when our moral virtues are expanded to be inclusive of all people and living organisms. The true ideal of International peace can become a reality with inclusivity. Inclusiveness blurs the distinctions and brings the humanity together.