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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 April 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:  Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. Social empowerment

1. With their distinctive issues and vulnerability, people with disabilities need much more upkeep than the rest of the population in the face of a pandemic. Comment.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Why this question:

The article brings out the Issues faced by people with disabilities during the pandemic.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the vulnerability of people with special needs amidst the pandemic and need to provision for special treatment to them.

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 the background of the question using some facts to justify it.

Body:

To start with, India is home to nearly 150 million people with some degree of disability. Nearly 25-30 million have severe disability. Most of the people live as part of their families and are dependent on a take care for their daily essential needs. Discuss the Unique challenges faced by people with disabilities. Highlight the concerns.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions and suggest that there is the need for a humane response with affirmative action for people with disabilities.

Introduction:

India is home to nearly 150 million people with some degree of disability. Nearly 25-30 million have severe disability. Most of them live as part of their families and depend on a carer. This adds to another 25-30 million carers. People with disability have special issues in a situation like the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). People with disability are a diverse group, experiencing different hardships in accessing information on prevention and risk of infection.

Body:

Nobody is addressing the special needs of people with disabilities and making efforts at reaching out to them. We would fail as a human race if we don’t show a humane response in an equitable manner with affirmative action for people with disabilities.

Issues faced by the people with disabilities during the pandemic:

  • People with visual impairment and blindness:
    • They depend upon touch for most of their daily activities.
    • They need to hold the hand of an escort to move around.
    • They cannot read the messages that the rest of the population can see.
    • They cannot practice social distancing unless there are innovative approaches like keeping a safe distance using a white cane.
  • Hearing impaired:
    • For the hearing impaired, especially those who are not literate, they cannot hear the message or read it.
    • Since many depend on lip-reading, they are compromised when the person giving a message is wearing a mask.
    • None of the messages in the media is using sign language interpreters. The physically disabled cannot reach a wash basin or may not be able to wash their hands vigorously.
  • Mental health issues:
    • People with mental health issues cannot comprehend the messages.
    • Children and adolescents with conditions like cerebral palsy or Down’s Syndrome need to be assisted in feeding.
    • people with disabilities have a higher risk of conditions such as diabetes and hypertension which are high-risk factors for COVID-19 mortality.
  • People with communication disabilities don’t know how to express their problems.
  • Other challenges faced:
    • They may not be eating properly and may experience higher stress because they are unable to understand what is happening all around them on which they have no control.
    • Women with disability have additional issues. They are vulnerable to exploitation and even more so during a pandemic.
    • Many of them have children without disability and are highly stressed as to how they can care for their children and family members because they are not supported to care for them.
    • Routine health needs that they have are also not provided as health centres or transportation facilities are not accessible.

Measures that can be taken:

  • By Government:
    • India has signed up to achieving sustainable development goals of which cornerstone is universal access to health and education and equity.
    • The government and the organisations working with people with disabilities have to make efforts to convert prevention and care messages on COVID into an accessible format.
    • Health facilities should prioritise the needs of people with disabilities over the rest of the population.
    • Decreasing waiting time in hospitals for them will reduce contact with other asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus or frank cases.
    • Their medicine needs have to be provided for.
    • Mobile health teams can provide them services at home rather than they travel to hospitals.
    • A dedicated helpline can be set up for this so that the medical team can reach them.
    • They need to be assured of supplies of soap or sanitisers and tissues.
  • By Civil Society Organizations:
    • Technology-savvy professionals can help to make information available in an accessible format for people with disabilities.
    • Students with disabilities also need to be provided support so that they can keep up academically.
    • So the online teaching programmes for them should also be available in an accessible format.
    • Civil society should volunteer their time to provide this sort of support.
    • Since many of them will not be able to access professional carers during a lockdown, civil society volunteers should help.
    • Even for supporting cooking and other self-care activities volunteers should step in.
    • Inclusive society is the need of the hour.

Conclusion:

A country’s development is measured by its social support and inclusive policies. We need to set high standards and not succumb to the ‘might is right’ philosophy and abandon people with disability in this crisis.

 

Topic:  Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2. What is earth’s seismic noise? Discuss its causative factors and effects it causes on the geology of the Earth.(250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express 

Why this question:

Scientists at the British Geological Survey (BGS) have reported a change in the Earth’s seismic noise and vibrations amid the coronavirus lockdown. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Explain What is earth’s seismic noise and discuss its causative factors and affects it causes on the geology of the Earth.

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 is seismic noise.

Body:

In geology, seismic noise refers to the relatively persistent vibration of the ground due to a multitude of causes. Move on to explain the causes leading to it to occur. Discuss its effects in general, what needs to be done to reduce it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:

In geology, seismic noise refers to the relatively persistent vibration of the ground due to a multitude of causes. It is the unwanted component of signals recorded by a seismometer– the scientific instrument that records ground motions, such as those caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and explosions.

Body:

Scientists at the British Geological Survey (BGS) have reported a change in the Earth’s seismic noise and vibrations amid the coronavirus lockdown. They have observed a 30-50 per cent fall in levels of ambient seismic noise since schools and businesses were closed in mid-March. Seismologists around the world have now begun a collaborative effort to study the fall in seismic noise levels.

Causes:

  • This noise includes vibrations caused due to human activity, such as transport and manufacturing.
  • Once-crowded city streets are now empty. Highway traffic has slowed to a minimum. And fewer and fewer people can be found milling about outside.
  • The vibrations generated by cars, trains, buses and people going about their daily lives. And in the absence of that noise, Earth’s upper crust is moving just a little less.

Effects of lesser seismic noises:

  • The seismic noise vibrations caused by human activity are of high frequency (between 1-100 Hz), and travel through the Earth’s surface layers.
  • Usually, to measure seismic activity accurately and reduce the effect of seismic noise, geologists place their detectors 100 metres below the Earth’s surface.
  • However, since the lockdown, researchers have said that they were able to study natural vibrations even from surface readings, owing to lesser seismic noise.
  • Due to lower noise levels, scientists are now hoping that they would be able to detect smaller earthquakes and tremors that had slipped past their instruments so far.

Conclusion:

Apart from geology, seismic noise is also studied in other fields such as oil exploration, hydrology, and earthquake engineering.

 

Topic:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

3. Discuss the contributions of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar in bringing Rights of Dalit and Marginalized community in the country. (250 words)

Reference:  Business Insider 

Why this question:

Personalities are always an area of interest for UPSC and the personalities in news are always areas of focus. In 2020, the nation celebrates the 129th birth anniversary. Thus the question.

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 highlight the time period of Dr Ambedkar.

Body:

To start with, explain about his Birth and Education. Discuss his movement for Rights of Dalit and Marginalized community; In 1919, in his testimony before the Southborough Committee in preparation of the Government of India Act Ambedkar opined that there should be a separate electoral system for the Untouchables and other marginalized communities, In 1920, Ambedkar launched a newspaper called “Mooknayaka” (leader of the silent) with the assistance of Shahaji II, the Maharaja of Kolhapur. (other periodicals- ‘Bahishkrit Bharat’ (1927), ‘Samatha’ (1929) and ‘Janata’ (1930)), In 1923, he set up the ‘Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha (Outcastes Welfare Association), Ambedkar launched full-fledged movements for Dalit rights by 1927 and demanded public drinking water sources open to all and right for all castes to enter temples, signing of Poona pact in 1932 etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude that his contributions to the Indian polity were remarkable and are alive even today.

Introduction:

Indians live on the principles of equality, democracy, liberty, fraternity and socialism, taught to us by our Indian Constitution. The Constitution of India, which contains the fundamental laws and principles of the Indian Democratic Republic was drafter under the chairmanship of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. His massive contribution to the Constitution of India makes him a great leader who will be remembered for a thousand more years. Dr. Ambedkar is rightly recognized as the modern Buddha of his age. This title was given to him by Mahant Veer Chandramani, the great Buddhist monk who initiated Babasaheb to Buddhism.

Body:

ambedkar

Contributions of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in bringing Rights of Dalit and Marginalized community in the country:

Pre-Independence:

  • Ambedkar was against the caste-based discriminations in society and advocated the Dalits to organise and demand their rights.
  • He promoted the education of Dalits and made representations to the government in various capacities in this regard. He was part of the Bombay Presidency Committee that worked with the Simon Commission in 1925.
  • He established the Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha to promote education and socio-economic improvements among the Dalits. He started magazines like Mooknayak, Equality Janta and Bahishkrit Bharat.
  • In 1927, he launched active agitation against untouchability. He organised and agitated for the right of Dalits to enter temples and to draw water from public water resources. He condemned Hindu scriptures that he thought propagated caste discrimination.
  • He adopted various means to safeguard Dalit rights. Ambedkar launched a movement against Dalit discrimination by creating public opinion through his writings in several periodicals such as Mook Nayak, Vahishkrit Bharat, and Equality Janta, which he started for the protection of Dalit rights.
  • Ambedkar had been closely involved in the struggle to give Scheduled Caste people solid statutory safeguard. He was a delegate at the Round Table Conference in London, where he asked for separate electorate for Dalits.
  • He was in disagreement with Mahatma Gandhi at that time since Gandhi was against any sort of reservation in the electorates. When the British government announced the ‘Communal Award’ in 1932, Gandhi went on a fast in Yerwada Jail. An agreement was signed between Gandhi and Ambedkar in the jail whereby it was agreed to give reserved seats to the depressed classes within the general electorate. This was called the Poona Pact.

Post-independence:

  • He encouraged the Dalits to embrace Buddhism to liberate their own selves from Hindu subjugation.
  • He saw that the Dalit movement lacked philosophical justification. So he wrote about the French revolution ideas of fraternity, liberty and equality.
  • Being the chairman of the drafting committee of Indian Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar provided certain constitutional provisions to protect the rights of Dalits in social, economic, educational, employment, and political fields, in the form of positive discriminations or preferential treatments or reservation policy.
  • Ambedkar’s efforts brought educational awareness among Dalits who became socially conscious about the circumstances and social problems of untouchability and caste discrimination meted out to them.
  • Ambedkar launched the social liberation movement for social rights and opportunities of the deprived and downtrodden section of society.
  • The reservation system we find in the Indian constitution was purely the brainchild of Dr. Ambedkar who thought of it as a means to create a social balance among the different classes of the population in India

Conclusion:

Dr. Ambedkar devoted his whole life to fight for the annihilation of caste by proliferating a movement against the evils of the caste system. Being himself a Dalit, he made all his efforts to change the hierarchical structures of Indian society and restoration of equal rights/justice to the marginalized and abolition of Untouchability. He stood for a complete reorganization and reconstruction of the Hindu society on the principle of equality free from casteism. He advocated equality of opportunity. He opted for peaceful and constitutional methods for the sake of resolution of the social problems.

 

Topic:  Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

4. CAG is instrumental in securing accountability of the executive to the Parliament in the sphere of financial administration. Elaborate. Enumerate the provisions made in the Constitution to ensure the independence of the CAG. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The question is based on the functionality of CAG and provisions in the constitution related to it.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in what way CAG is instrumental in securing accountability of the executive to the Parliament in the sphere of financial administration. And discuss the provisions associated with it in the constitution.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the composition of CAG and its origin.

Body:

Start by highlighting how executive is accountable to the Parliament in a parliamentary democracy. Then discuss how parliament enforces financial accountability upon executive with the help of PAC and the role of CAG in it. Conclude by enumerating the constitutional provisions for ensuring independence of the CAG.

Conclusion:

Reassert the significance of CAG in the Indian constitutional setup.

Introduction:

The Constitution of India provides for an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in chapter V under Part V. The CAG is mentioned in the Constitution of India under Article 148 – 151. He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department. He is the guardian of the public purse and controls the entire financial system of the country at both the levels- the centre and state. His duty is to uphold the Constitution of India and the laws of Parliament in the field of financial administration.

Body:

CAG and financial administration:

  • The existence and mandate of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India emanates from Articles 148 to 151 of the Constitution. Article 149 stipulates the Duties and Powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • DPC Act, 1971 (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service Act) lays down the general principles of Government accounting and the broad principles in regard to audit of receipts and expenditure
  • CAG audits the accounts related to all expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India, Consolidated Fund of each state and UT having a legislative assembly.
  • CAG audits all expenditure from the Contingency Fund of India and the Public Account of India as well as the Contingency Fund and Public Account of each state.
  • CAG audits all trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and other subsidiary accounts kept by any department of the Central Government and the state governments.
  • CAG audits the receipts and expenditure of all bodies and authorities substantially financed from the Central or State revenues; government companies; other corporations and bodies, when so required by related laws.
  • He submits his audit reports relating to the accounts of the Centre and State to the President and Governor, who shall, in turn, place them before both the houses of Parliament and the state legislature respectively.
  • He submits 3 audit reports to the President: audit report on appropriation accounts, audit report on finance accounts and audit report on public undertakings.
  • He ascertains and certifies the net proceeds of any tax or duty and his certificate is final on the matter.
  • He acts as a guide, friend and philosopher of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament.
  • The Public Accounts Committee examines public expenditure not only from legal and formal point of view to discover technical irregularities but also from the point of view of economy, prudence, wisdom and propriety to bring out the cases of waste, loss, corruption, extravagance, inefficiency and nugatory expenses.
  • CAG along with its mandatory regulatory and compliance audit performs the performance as well as efficiency audit to question executive’s wisdom and economy in order to identify cases of improper expenditure and waste of public money.

Constitutional provisions which ensure the independence of CAG are:

  • CAG is provided with the security of tenure. He can be removed by the president only in accordance with the procedure mentioned in the Constitution. Thus, he does not hold his office till the pleasure of the president, though fie is appointed by him.
  • He is not eligible for further office, either under the Government of India or of any state, after he ceases to hold his office.
  • His salary and other service conditions are determined by the Parliament. His salary is equal to that of a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Neither his salary nor his rights in respect of leave of absence, pension or age of retirement can be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.
  • The conditions of service of persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and the administrative powers of the CAG are prescribed by the president after consultation with the CAG.
  • The administrative expenses of the office of the CAG, including all salaries, allowances and pensions of persons serving in that office are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India. Thus, they are not subject to the vote of Parliament.
  • Further, no minister can represent the CAG in Parliament (both Houses) and no minister can be called upon to take any responsibility for any actions done by him.
  • Appointment and Term to Constitutionals Posts:
    • The CAG is appointed by the President of India by a warrant under his hand and seal.
    • The CAG, before taking over his office, makes and subscribes before the president an oath or affirmation: to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India; to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India; to duly and faithfully and to the best of his ability, knowledge and judgement perform the duties of his office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will; and to uphold the Constitution and the laws.
    • He holds office for a period of six years or upto the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier

Conclusion:

CAG helps the parliament/state legislatures hold their respective governments accountable. He is one of the bulwarks of the democratic system of government in India. It is for these reasons Dr. B R Ambedkar said that the CAG shall be the most important Officer under the Constitution of India and his duties are far more important than the duties of even the judiciary.

 

Topic:  Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.  Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

5. Give an account of the factors responsible for the limited success of Lok Adalats. What measures are required to ensure that Lok Adalats function as an effective dispute redressal mechanism?(250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of Lok Adalats.

Key demand of the question:

One has to present the factors owing to which the Lok Adalats have famed to be a limited success and suggest measures as to what needs to be done to address challenges associated that hinder its functions.

Directive:

Account – 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 are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what Lok Adalats are; Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms, it is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably.

Body:

The question is very much straight forward; first explain the factors responsible for limited success of Lok Adalats – Lok Adalats are not apposite for complex cases, Lack of Confidentiality, Diminished Party Autonomy, Needs consent of both the parties etc. Suggest measures to improve functioning of Lok Adalats – Establishing permanent and continuous Lok Adalats in all the Districts, Accreditation of NGOs for Legal Literacy and Legal Awareness Campaign, Sensitization of Judicial officers in regard of legal Services Scheme etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Lok Adalat (People’s Court) is an innovative Indian contribution to the world of jurisprudence. The introduction of Lok Adalats added a new chapter to the justice dispensation system of this country and succeeded in providing a supplementary forum to the victims for a satisfactory settlement of their disputes. This system is based on Gandhian principles. Article 39 A of the Constitution of India provides for equal justice and free legal aid. It is, therefore clear that the State has been ordained to secure a legal system, which promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity.

Body:

NALSA along with other Legal Services Institutions conducts Lok Adalats. Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms, it is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably. Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Under the said Act, the award (decision) made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties and no appeal against such an award lies before any court of law. If the parties are not satisfied with the award of the Lok Adalat though there is no provision for an appeal against such an award, but they are free to initiate litigation by approaching the court of appropriate jurisdiction by filing a case by following the required procedure, in exercise of their right to litigate.

The objective of Lok Adalat is to settle the disputes which are pending before the courts, by negotiations, conciliation and by adopting persuasive common sense and human approach to the problems of the disputants.

Significance of Lok Adalats:

  • There is no court fee and even if the case is already filed in the regular court, the fee paid will be refunded if the dispute is settled at the Lok Adalat.
  • There is no strict application of the procedural laws and the Evidence Act while assessing the merits of the claim by the Lok Adalat. The parties to the disputes though represented by their advocate can interact with the Lok Adalat judge directly and explain their stand in the dispute and the reasons therefore, which is not possible in a regular court of law.
  • Disputes can be brought before the Lok Adalat directly instead of going to a regular court first and then to the Lok Adalat.
  • The decision of the Lok Adalat is binding on the parties to the dispute and its order is capable of execution through legal process. No appeal lies against the order of the Lok Adalat whereas in the regular law courts there is always a scope to appeal to the higher forum on the decision of the trial court, which causes delay in the settlement of the dispute finally.
  • The reason being that in a regular court, decision is that of the court but in Lok Adalat it is mutual settlement and hence no case for appeal will arise. In every respect the scheme of Lok Adalat is a boon to the litigant public, where they can get their disputes settled fast and free of cost.
  • Last but not the least, faster and inexpensive remedy with legal status.

Factors responsible for the limited success of Lok Adalats:

  • In various parts of the country political groups have established rival courts that challenge both the legitimacy and efficacy of the official courts.
  • In the state of Bihar, for example, the Maoist Communist Centre, a group of militant revolutionaries, have established their own courts (Jan Adalats) in several rural sectors of the state.
  • In Andhra Pradesh another revolutionary group known as the Naxalites also has set up their own “People’s Court”.
  • The courts function often in a brutal manner, lacking any sort of due process and levying punishments ranging from hefty fines to public floggings to the serving of limbs to beheadings
  • The judges neither are without training in the law nor are they paid for their services. The police frequently work in tandem with the judges.
  • Sparse records are kept of the cases, and judgments are delivered orally and not kept in writing.
  • Litigants typically do not have representation and most decisions are rendered in a single sitting, with no provision for appeal and little choice but to follow the “court’s” order.
  • In many parts of India, local strongmen (dadas) sit as settlers’ disputes among rich people.
  • In some places, senior police officers may be arbiters of disputes. The vernacular press refers too many of these phenomena as panchayats (pejoratively).
  • A master plan for judicial care cannot succeed without sufficient financial resource. An annual amount of Rs.6 crore is being allocated to NALSA for the execution of its policies.
  • Lack of awareness is the main impendent in effective ‘legal aid’.
  • The major obstacle to the legal aid movement in India is the lack of legal awareness. People are still not aware of their basic rights due to which the legal aid movement has not achieved its goal yet. It is absence of legal awareness which leads to exploitation and deprivation of rights and benefits of the poor.

Measures required to ensure that Lok Adalats function as an effective dispute redressal mechanism:

  • Though the execution of the legal aid programme has been yielding favorable results but much more is needed to be reformed
  • Using the various forms of ADRs like Arbitration, conciliation, Negotiation and Mediation in the settling of disputes especially those involving matrimonial problems can prove to be an effective legal aid tool providing quick and inexpensive justice to the masses.
  • Substantial allocation of financial resources should be made at Revised Estimate stage to make the functioning of NALSA more effective.
  • Free legal aid must not be read to imply poor or inferior legal services. The lawyers in the panel should be experienced. The law ministry should ensure the senior lawyers do at least ten cases a year free of charge in the Courts.
  • Efforts should be made to inform the public of the existence of these services by using electronic media and aggressive campaigns.
  • Awareness of schemes and programs to be able to guide the poor litigants in this regard

Conclusion:

Lok Adalat has a positive contributory role in the administration of justice. It supplements the efforts and work of the courts. Area of contribution chosen for the purpose specially concerns and helps the common man, the poor, backward and the needy-most sections of the society. Lok Adalats play a very important role to advance and strengthen “equal access to justice”, the heart of the Constitution of India, a reality. This Indian contribution to world ADR jurisprudence needs to be taken full advantage of. Maximum number of Lok Adalats need to be organized to achieve the Gandhian Principle of Gram Swaraj and “access to justice for all”.

 

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.

6. knowledge-era technologies, in contrast to industrial-era technologies, promote democratization and facilitate decentralisation, do you agree? Present your analysis with suitable examples.(250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express 

Why this question:

The question is based on the article that brings to us the unique connection between the knowledge-era and the industrial-era technologies and in what way the latter is better than the former.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the two kinds of technology era witnessed – knowledge-era and the industrial-era, highlight the advantages of the latter and differentiate the two.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen 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 knowledge-era and the industrial-era technologies in general.

Body:

To start with, discuss the contributions of Industrial era technology, bring out the limitations associated. Explain that in the knowledge era, with emphasis on capability and capacity building of rural youth in terms of holistic education, appropriate technology and enhanced livelihood, there is a possibility for a more balanced distribution of income as well as population. Explain in what way these technologies bring and promote democratization and facilitate decentralisation(quote recent examples to justify). Highlight the effects of knowledge era technology on cities and rural areas alike.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance and suggest that the knowledge era technologies can prove to be a harbinger to the rural pockets of the country.

Introduction:

The reverse migration of daily wage earners in large numbers despite the lockdown to contain the coronavirus has been distressing. Many even resorted to walking back to their hometowns, hundreds of kilometres away, as their survival in cities, with no jobs in hand, became untenable. However, in contrast, some in tune with knowledge-era technologies have been able to continue working, many from their homes.

Body:

Knowledge-era technologies, in contrast to industrial-era technologies:

  • Knowledge-era technologies promote democratisation (social media, for example) and facilitate decentralisation (work from home).
  • It should thus be possible for an adequately educated and trained youth residing in a rural domain to support a significant part of the manufacturing and service needs of urban areas, just as an urban youth can support a significant part of the knowledge and application needs in rural areas.
  • With technologies like additive manufacture, internet of things, and artificial intelligence, well-trained people can address needs in both urban and rural areas from wherever they are.
  • There are instances where an Indian group is addressing the troubleshooting, plant modification and technical documentation needs of plants abroad, sitting in India.
  • Thus, the knowledge era should, in principle, become a significant income leveller between the urban and rural domains, with a large rise in the overall national income.
  • Democratisation promoted by knowledge technologies, if properly leveraged, can in principle reduce disparities, which, unfortunately, are on the rise today.

Measures needed:

  • As we embrace the knowledge era and focus on capacity building of rural youth, the opportunities in rural areas should, in principle, become higher than those in urban areas since the rural segment can now benefit from all three (agriculture, manufacturing and services) sectors of the economy.
  • In the knowledge era, with emphasis on capability and capacity building of rural youth in terms of holistic education, appropriate technology and enhanced livelihood, there is a possibility for a more balanced distribution of income as well as population.
  • This would need knowledge bridges to be built between cities and villages, and the creation of an ecosystem which has been conceptualised as a “cillage” — a synergistic combination of city and village.
  • bridging the knowledge gap between a city and a village would also bridge the income gap between the two, and lead to a faster bridging of the gap between the average individual income in India and that in industrially advanced countries.
  • Developing a “cillage” ecosystem would need a rooted and integrated approach to holistic education and research, technology development and management, as well as technology-enabled rural livelihood enhancement.
  • Facilitating a number of new skills, technologies and support systems that can further leverage current capabilities of these people for starting a new enterprise would be important.
  • Immediate arrangements to facilitate their livelihood, and leveraging their present capabilities could help retain at least some of these people in villages.
  • Going forward, we should take knowledge activities to a higher level so that the products and services created by these people become more competitive. Looking at disruptive technologies for exploiting local opportunities should follow.

Conclusion:

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in the context of loss of livelihoods at the base of the socio-economic pyramid, is bound to have a deep impact. It will need every effort to return to normal. Given that the new normal would, in any case, be quite different, the right course would be to channelise the stimulus caused by this crisis towards accelerating the shift to a new normal. This will not only help a more dispersed population, but will also reduce disparities and lead to faster growth of the economy.

 

Topic:  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. ”Gandhi’s ecological intelligence warned us of making a cult of materialism that will recoil on itself and have what we consume, consume us.” Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times 

Why this question:

The question is based on the article that brings us insights on the way Mahatma Gandhi handled such Pandemics in the past with limited resources and different conditions.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain in detail the relevance of Gandhian ecological intelligence in today’ times.

Directive:

Elaborate – 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 set the context of the question.

Body:

To start with, explain how in times of a health crisis, Mahatma Gandhi showed exceptional care and extreme sternness. Quote the examples of South African plague that he handled. Explain that Gandhi’s ecological intelligence warned us of making a cult of materialism that will recoil on itself and have what we consume, consume us. That is staring us in the face today. It is challenging us to see its logic and adopt it. Greed — market-created, market-driven, market-manipulated — cares little for hygiene, for the callous zoonotic origins of sickness that experts such as Srinath Reddy have been warning about for years. That greed has got us by the throat now.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the need to recognise significance of Gandhian ecological intelligence and necessarily apply it.

Introduction:

Mahatma Gandhi lived in a time when concerns of the environment were not really the biggest worries that people had. He still had real foresight about what we would experience today like air pollution or water pollution. He understood the concerns of the environment and its protection and talked about sustainable development and self-sufficiency.

Body:

Gandhi’s experience of epidemics went back to his days in South Africa when, as he records, the plague hit an area near Johannesburg where miners lived. This was in February 1904. He writes in his autobiography that one night, 23 miners returned to their quarters with “an acute attack of the plague”.

Gandhiji and his ecological sensibility:

  • He was not an environmentalist in the modern sense. His name is associated with political movements of defiance against British rule as well as social reform campaigns, but it is striking that he never explicitly initiated an environmental movement.
  • But prominent environmentalists of the post-Gandhian era acknowledge that they were inspired in large part by Gandhiji.
  • Gandhiji was remarkably silent on the relationship of humans with their external environment, but his whole life was his message and a lesson on environment for the whole of mankind.
  • The word “ecology” does not appear in his voluminous writings, but he saw all spheres of human life in an integrated manner, which exemplified the human ecological perspective.
  • The Mahatma was no naturalist. But his views on nature are scattered throughout his writings. But he never wrote about a waterfall or an imposing Himalayan peak; even his autobiography is silent on his experience of the ocean, over which he undertook several journeys. However, his entire life and work form an environmental legacy for humanity.
  • On industrialization:
    • Gandhi criticized the modern civilization as ‘Satanic’ and also observed that ‘Machinery is the chief symbol of modern civilization; it represents a great sin.’
    • If the trend of the modern civilization is not arrested and an appropriate alternative to it provided Gandhi believed, it will play havoc with nature.
    • As early as in 1909 in his book, Hind Swaraj, he cautioned mankind against unrestricted industrialization and materialism.
  • On recycling:
    • Gandhiji was a practitioner of recycling decades before the idea caught on in the West, and he initiated perhaps the most far-reaching critiques of the ideas of consumption and that fetish of the economist called “growth”.
  • On wildlife conservation and man and animal conflict:
    • A British writer, Edward Thompson, once told Gandhi that wildlife was rapidly disappearing in India. Gandhi paused and replied, ‘Wildlife is decreasing in jungles, but it is increasing in the towns.’
  • On relation with nature:
    • Gandhi’s views on the relationship between humankind and nature were influenced by the Vedic perceptions about the Earth being a home of a very large family of living organisms.
    • He emphasized: ‘It is an arrogant assumption to say that human beings are lords and masters of the lower creatures.

Conclusion:

He was not an environmentalist who analyses the causes and consequences of depletion in the ozone layer or the increase in global warming. He never used the word environment protection, but what he said and did make him an environmentalist. He belonged to the school which believes in remedy rather than cure.

Mahatma Gandhi’s life and work form an environmental legacy for humanity. He combined social, economic, environmental, equity, and ethical imperatives for obtaining political independence and economic salvation through rural development for the teeming millions of India.