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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 May 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:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

1. “A stronger health system in a country can lead to better outcomes on the economic growth front.”, comment.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Why this question:

The article talks about the need for a strong health system and in what way it can lead to economic growth front.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the dimension that Investment in public health yields returns for Economic development.

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 importance of better health system.

Body:

Explain that the ₹20 lakh crore packages recently announced includes proposals to prevent and respond to future pandemics. Explain the need for identifying importance of strong health system; discuss how it leads to better outcomes on the economic growth. One can present the case of COVID 19.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting methods and policies through which it can be achieved.

Introduction:

It is often said when that public health sneezes, the economy catches cold. Dire predictions for the post-COVID-19 global economy have come from the International Monetary Fund, which called the present crisis the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Grim forebodings for the Indian economy have been sounded by many distinguished economists and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. IMF has also said that the reduction in public health negatively affects the national economy. Therefore, it becomes necessary to observe the relation of Indian economy and public health. The ₹20-lakh-crore package recently announced includes proposals to prevent and respond to future pandemics.

 Body:

Current scenario of Public healthcare in India:

  • Over 1,01,000 Indians have so far become infected by the novel coronavirus.
  • We are not yet fully able to test and isolate efficiently, we are yet to find a protocol for cure and the vaccine is still in the distant future.
  • Indian hospitals and 60,000 nursing homes in the private sector have looked after 68% of Indian healthcare needs.
  • In the process, they have evolved into delivering world-class care and continue to attract patients from 145 countries.
  • Even more remarkably — they do it at 1/10th of international costs.
  • While we are fighting for survival, the economic impact of this virus is $8 trillion and growing as fast as the virus — which is why we need to desperately focus on a cure for the economy and a vaccine that protects the Indian healthcare system.

Plans to spend the money in package:

  • Medical aid of 15000 crores.
  • strengthening of health and wellness centres,
  • establishment of infectious diseases hospital blocks in all districts,
  • increasing the viability gap funding from 20% to 30%
  • expansion of the laboratory network and
  • ‘One Health’ research on zoonotic diseases under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
  • 50 lakh insurance cover for doctors and frontline workers

Importance of public health for India:

  • There is robust evidence that investments in public health and primary care pay rich economic dividends.
  • A UN High Level Commission, headed by the Presidents of France and South Africa, reported in 2016 that investments for augmenting the size and skills of the health workforce yields economic growth through
    • improved population health and productivity,
    • reduced healthcare costs and
    • job creation even in a gloomy global scenario of job loss
  • Productivity boost promised by a demographically young population can be protected.
  • Education and skilling of a diversified health workforce can uplift health services for health protection at both population and individual levels.
  • When domestic needs are met, this expanded health workforce can also meet global health needs, both as a rapid action force for health emergency response and as a unit taking care of the chronic care needs of aged societies.
  • Innovative health technologies and inexpensive pharmaceutical products can be created at scale, for domestic use and global export.
  • Hence Government has made some provisions for healthcare under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

Challenges in Indian Public healthcare system:

  • India’s public expenditure on health now stands at 1.28 per cent of the GDP but even then, it is way lower than the average expenditure by the South-East Asian countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Indonesia, Thailand and the tiny island country of Timor-Leste.
  • Many public health specialists have expressed disappointment over the Centre’s declared pledge to invest 2.5 percent of its GDP into healthcare by 2025, when the global average will be about 6 per cent.
  • 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.
  • There is a massive shortage of medical staff, infrastructure and last mile connectivity in rural areas. Eg: Doctor: Population 1:1800 and 78% doctors cater to urban India (population of 30%).
  • Massive shortages in the supply of services (human resources, hospitals and diagnostic centres in the private/public sector) which are made worse by grossly inequitable availability between and within States.
    • For example, even a well-placed State such as Tamil Nadu has an over 30% shortage of medical and non-medical professionals in government facilities.
  • Health budget: The health budget has neither increased nor is there any policy to strengthen the public/private sector in deficit areas. While the Ayushman Bharat provides portability, one must not forget that it will take time for hospitals to be established in deficit areas.
    • This in turn could cause patients to gravitate toward the southern States that have a comparatively better health infrastructure than the rest of India.
  • Infrastructure constraints: There are doubts on the capacity of India’s infrastructure to take on the additional load of patients during pandemics like Covid-19 as seen recently.
    • There is a growing medical tourism (foreign tourists/patients) as a policy being promoted by the government, and also domestic patients, both insured and uninsured.
  • Absence of primary care: In the northern States there are hardly any sub-centres and primary health centres are practically non-existent. First mile connectivity to a primary healthcare centre is broken. For eg, in Uttar Pradesh there is one PHC for every 28 villages.
  • Out of pocket expenditure high: Even the poor are forced to opt for private healthcare, and, hence, pay from their own pockets. As a result, an estimated 63 million people fall into poverty due to health expenditure, annually.
    • Inequities in the health sector exist due to many factors like geography, socio-economic status and income groups among others. Compared with countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and China, which started at almost similar levels, India lags behind peers on healthcare outcomes.
  • Rural medical practitioners (RMPs), who provide 80% of outpatient care, have no formal qualifications for it. People fall prey for quacks, often leading to grave disabilities and loss of life.
  • Numerous Schemes: The Government has launched many policies and health programmes but success has been partial at best. The National Health Policy(NHP) 2002 proposed to increase Government spending on health by two to three per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010 which has not happened yet. Now, the NHP 2017, has proposed to take it to 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025.
  • Healthcare without holistic approach: There are a lot of determinants for better health like improved drinking water supply and sanitation; better nutritional outcomes, health and education for women and girls; improved air quality and safer roads which are outside the purview of the Health Ministry.
  • While private sector healthcare providers play an important role in the overall delivery of health services, any engagement of Government hospitals with private sector is seen with suspicion.
  • A number of health institutions, established since independence, seem to have outlived their utility, for instance institutions solely focus on family welfare.
  • Finally, universal health coverage (UHC) is a widely accepted and agreed health goal at the global level and has been included in the broader Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda as well.

Way forward:

  • There is a need for adequate investment in creating a health system that can withstand any kind of public health emergencies, deliver universal health coverage and other targets of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Create mutually beneficial synergies between health and the economy.
  • There is need to strengthen the Indian supply chain, which can help continue to import and use the best because every patient is worth it.
  • Need to uncomplicate the cost structure by zero-rating GST or exempt all services and goods that are supplied to the hospital so as to establish synergy between services/goods used by the hospital and rendered by it.
  • The essential support system for COVID-19, hospitals need liquidity.
  • Beyond bank borrowings, the government should set up a three-year fund that will enable sustainability of the sector and fortify the system from any such future outbreak and offer subvention of interest.
  • Incentivize rather than penalize the healthcare institutions that have invested in the future, in Tier II hospitals and technology by allowing companies to retain MAT (Minimum Alternate Tax) credit as they continue to pay 25% corporate tax.
  • Moreover, to augment the sector in real sense -Right to Health must be made a fundamental right for every citizen, the launch of Ayushman Bharat scheme is a positive step in this regard.
  • Along with Ayushman Bharat (PMJAY), focus must be laid on strengthening the primary health centres with basic diagnostics and services, with district hospitals equipped with multi-specialty capabilities and services to people. Especially for the poor who cannot afford quality health care in private hospitals.
  • Access to medicines through Jan Aushadi Kendra Scheme. It is mandated to offer 2000 medicines and 300 surgicals in all districts by 2024.

 

Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations.

2. Kalapani and Lipulekh pass have emerged as the latest and ugly flashpoints between India and Nepal. Explain and Trace the border dispute between India and Nepal.(250 words)

Reference:  thediplomat.com 

Why this question:

An official map of Nepal claiming Kalapani, Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh, and susta as part of their sovereign territory is termed as “Artificial” and unacceptable by India.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the border disputes between India and Nepal highlight the recent flashpoints, analyse and explain.

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 explain the recent flashpoints between India and Nepal.

Body:

To start with, discuss the background of India-Nepal border issues from past to present. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory – India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district. The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Nepali diplomatic sources maintain that the region of Kalapani and the contiguous areas to the east of the river Kali and Susta on the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar border are the only parts of the nearly 1,800-km boundary that remain unresolved. The area of Susta near Gorakhpur can also be noted in the new map. Kathmandu says India has encroached upon this area and wants New Delhi to evacuate its population from the location.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting solutions to address the problem.

Introduction:

Nepal recently published a new, authoritative political map showing the areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura as part of its territory, toughening its stance on a recently flared up territorial dispute with India. India strongly condemned the new Nepal Map stating it as unjustified cartographic assertion.  The new map was drawn on the basis of the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 signed between Nepal and then the British India government and other relevant documents, which suggests Limpiyadhura, from where the Kali river originated, is Nepal’s border with India.

 Body:

nepal

Reasons behind the Nepal Government’s move:

  • India and Nepal are at a row after the Indian side issued a new political map incorporating Kalapani and Lipulekh on its side of the border in October last year.
  • The tensions between the two neighbors deepened further when India inaugurated a road linking Dharchula in Uttarakhand state to Lipulekh, as part of the Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrimage route.
  • India recently inaugurated a road connecting Lipulekh and the government has the road lies completely within Indian territory in the Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.
  • The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India.
  • Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory – India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.
  • New Delhi rejected Kathmandu’s unilateral act, saying it wasn’t based on historical facts and evidence.
  • New Delhi also stated that this act was contrary to bilateral understandings on the resolution of the territorial issue through dialogue.

Reason for dispute between India & Nepal:

Over Lipulekh pass:

  • Lipulekh pass is located atop the Kalapani at a tri-junction between India, China and Nepal.
  • Lipulekh pass is an ancient route made for trade and pilgrimage purposes by Bhutiya people. The route was closed by India following the Indo-China war of 1962.
  • The Indo-Nepal border dispute over Lipulekh dates back to 1997 when for the first time Nepal raise objections against the decision of India and China to open Lipulekh pass for travelling to Mansarovar.
  • However, lately in the beginning of May 2020, India reopened the route for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage after constructing 22 km long road on the pass.
  • Lipulekh pass opens from Gunji village.
  • Nepal claims that the village and the road is its territory.
  • On the other hand, India and China signed a trade treaty in 1954 declaring Lipulekh pass as the Indian gateway.
  • Moreover, both the countries signed another treaty in 2015 for trading through Lipulekh Pass.
  • However, this time Nepal protested against the move staking claim over Kalapani area.

Over Kalapani:

  • India’s Indo-Tibetan Border Police has been controlling the Kalapani and nearby areas since the Indo-China war of 1962.
  • Though treaty of Sugauli clearly mentions about the Kali River and its location in Nepal, there were a few subsequent maps drawn by British surveyors which show the origin of Kali river from different places.
  • This digression from the treaty led to territorial disputes between India and Nepal.
  • Even the size of Kalapani is different in various sources
  • Indian Government claims that a ridgeline located towards the east of Kalapani territory is a part of the Indian Union. The treaty of Sugauli mentions nothing about this ridgeline.
  • Nepali Government claims that towards the west of Kalapani flows the main Kali river which falls in its territory. As per the Treaty of Sugauli, the Kali River is located in Nepal’s western border that it shares with India. The treaty was signed between Nepal and British East India Company in 1816.

Way forward:

  • The two countries have managed to settle about 98% of the common border.
  • More than 8,500 boundary pillars have been installed reflecting the agreed alignment.
  • As both countries are laying claim to the same piece of land, the time has come for both countries to sit for talks to solve this issue.
  • The bilateral understandings on the resolution of the territorial issue through dialogue should be pursued which has been a time-tested tool for India-Nepal bilateral relations.
  • India and Nepal are bound to settle all the boundary disputes including Kalapani through bilateral talks under an agreement signed in 1998.
  • There are possibly two ways to deal with the current challenge:
    • to accept a shifting border as the river itself shifts (or)
    • to agree on a boundary which remains fixed despite changes in the course of the river
  • The latter is usually the more rational choice.
  • India should also try to convey to Nepal’s leadership about the congenial and friendly environment that 6 to 8 million Nepali citizens living in India enjoys. Therefore, any thoughtless erosion of this centuries old togetherness may prove difficult for both countries.

Conclusion:

Due to political instability in Nepal and India’s strong influence in domestic politics, Nepal’s leaders were reluctant to discuss this issue seriously. This move has opened up more avenues for bilateral talks. Nepal should be ready to face India and India should be ready to hold serious bilateral dialogues to resolve this issue.

 

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

3. Discuss the   possible role that AI can play in revolutionizing the mining sector in India in near future. (250 words)

Reference:  geography and you

Why this question:

The question is based on the application of AI to the mining sector in the country.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the prospects of AI applications in revolutionizing the mining sector.

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 key facts of mining sector.

Body:

To start with, explain what role AI can play in aiding the mining sector in the country. List out the existing challenges facing the mining sector that AI can resolve. Give examples specifically evident of the lacunae in the mining sector.

Conclusion:

Conclude that AI can be the future enabler of mining.

Introduction:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. AI refers to the ability of machines to perform cognitive tasks like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision

Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings in a host of real-world applications which had earlier merely been a subject of science fiction novels or movies. The breakthroughs such as the Weather Company’s to be launched, the GRAF model capable of predicting a thunderstorm virtually anywhere on the planet every hour and other such applications are useful. AI has made inroads to automation and decision support systems to complement or augment human abilities.

Body:

Artificial intelligence is helping to transform the mining industry into a safer, more profitable, and more environmentally friendly industry.

Leveraging AI in mining:

  • Mineral exploration
    • AI is leading to earlier identification for mining companies, which can eliminate time and money spent on wasted exploration as well as increasing discovery potential.
    • Through the use of pattern matching, predictive analytics, and even computer vision systems that can process map and geological data AI is able to analyze vast quantities of data to better predict where to find better resources.
    • With better predictions comes better planning and a better return on investment.
    • The latest mineral exploration technologies have led to more efficient and targeted drilling campaigns, as well as world class discoveries.

Drones:

    • Drones are increasingly being used in the mining industry, becoming a very powerful tool for a wide range of applications.
    • Companies are using drones to scan over their mining operations, keeping an eye on quarry and waste piles, environmental issues, retention and leaching ponds, and pipeline infrastructure.
    • Using machine learning-based computer vision systems, these drones can analyze data collected from the imagery.
    • This gives mining companies continuous, around-the-clock access and monitoring to their facilities in ways not possible with human operation. 

Autonomous vehicles, trains, aircraft and mines:

    • Mines have always been dangerous places to work. However, to extract the resources we need, we’re moving to increasingly more hostile environments to get them.
    • Whether we’re extracting coal or minerals miles under the earth, or oil and gas from deep sea drills, or excavating land in arctic zones, we’re increasingly putting people into harsh environments.
    • It is much more preferable to put machines and equipment into mines and greatly minimize or eliminate human labor from these harsh conditions.
    • Through the use of AI-powered autonomous systems, mining and energy companies are making greater use of self-controlling machines in harsh environments. This equipment is then able to work without the presence of a human. It is also capable of going to many places that humans just can’t physically go.
    • This includes using the most advanced airborne electromagnetic technology, collecting high resolution electromagnetic, magnetic and radiometric data from an autonomous aircraft.
    • This can simultaneously map shallow and deep features at a higher level of resolution than previously possible, enabling them to develop an understanding of an area’s geology and fully analyse it before drilling any unnecessary deep holes.
    • Autonomous mining equipment is set to increase overall productivity.
    • In addition, these machines are able to work around the clock without tiring while also minimizing costly and potentially fatal mistakes.
    • Another aspect of these autonomous machines is that they can perform some of the regular inspections needed on the mines.
    • By attaching cameras and sensors to the equipment companies can detect issues in the mine such as gas levels and structural instability. The more frequently that mines can be inspected and the less we need to send human inspectors into a mine, the safer the mining operation is.

Reducing environmental impact with AI

  • Mining by its nature is destructive and has a negative environmental impact. While it isn’t possible to completely eliminate the negative environmental impact of mining, it is possible to significantly reduce this impact by managing how resources are extracted, transported, and treated.
  • Cameras and sensors are being deployed around mines, both on the inside and outside to have constant surveillance.
  • These devices are able to monitor excavation, extraction, and general mining activities, keeping tabs on the spread of waste and harmful materials.

Safety and maintenance

    • Aside from cost savings, AI uses real-time data and analytics to help mining companies prevent accidents and injuries on the job.
    • If enough high-quality data can be collected, the applied technology should be able to predict failures transforming preventative maintenance into predictive maintenance.

Conclusion:

It is clear that the use of robotics, AI and machine learning can significantly help save costs, increase efficiency, improve safety, increase discovery potential and many other benefits for mining companies. What has held them back was the data challenge, as being able to extract and make actionable insights from a large amount of data has often been too difficult. However, mining companies are now working on scaling the use of AI in mining and we will start to see more sophisticated use of AI in the mining industry.

 

Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

4. Discuss the problems and prospects of Hyperloop as fifth mode of transportation.(250 words)

Reference:  Live Mint 

Why this question:

The question is based on the applications of technology to effect everyday life.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the problems and prospects of Hyperloop as fifth mode of transportation.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what you understand by Hyperloop.

Body:

A Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and/or freight transportation which has a sealed tube or system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects at high speed while being very efficient. The idea was first mooted by Elon Musk,CEO of SpaceX and tesla, who gave a white paper on it in the year 2013. Discuss then what the expected benefits in detail are. Explain and elucidate upon the possible challenges involved in realizing the goal of making it the fifth mode of transport.

Conclusion:

With the rising population and increasing congestion, Transport Oriented Development (TOD) is the need of the hour in which Hyperloop like transportation can play a major role. However, much is needed to be done before it can become a reality.

Introduction:

Hyperloop technology is a transportation system where a pod-like vehicle is propelled through a near-vacuum tube connecting cities at speeds matching that of an aircraft. The hyperloop concept is a brainchild of Tesla founder Elon Musk. “. It is based on vactrain concept which employs magnetically levitating trains in the form of capsules in the evacuated (airless) or partly evacuated tubes. India’s first Hyperloop project is coming up in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Elon Musk’s revolutionary transport idea

will be connecting the city centres, Vijayawada and Amaravati.

 Body:

traveling_tube

Operation:

  • In hyperloop transportation, custom-designed capsules or pods are expected to zip smoothly through continuous steel tubes which are held at partial vacuum.
  • The pod which sandwiches the passenger compartment between an air compressor upfront and a battery compartment in the rear is supported by air caster skis at the bottom.
  • The skis float on a thin layer of air provided under high pressure, eliminating rolling resistance and allowing for movement of the pods at high speeds.
  • These capsules are expected to be driverless with estimated speeds of 1,000 km/h. Linear induction motors that are placed along the tube control the speed of the pod. Electronically-assisted acceleration and braking determines the speed of the capsule.
  • This speed is more than two and a half times the top speed of the world’s fastest train, the Shanghai Maglev (267 mph or 430 km/h), and some 200 mph faster than the cruising speed of a commercial jetliner (460-575 mph/740-925 km/h).

Prospects:

  • A major advantage of the hyperloop tube concept is its potential for extremely efficient transportation on a large scale.
  • The technology offers very fast speed of transportation which is twice that of aircraft.
  • The hyperloop can be powered mostly or entirely by renewable energy. If powered entirely by solar and wind power, the net emissions of the hyperloop are practically zero.
  • It has very low power consumption.
  • It is low cost transportation system on long run. Compared to high-speed rail travel, Hyperloops potentially need far less ground space to construct their tunnels and far less energy to transport the pods than conventional trains.
  • It is resistant to earthquakes.
  • It is safe mode of transportation system.
  • It has smaller civil engineering footprint, with no direct emissions or noise compared to railways

Challenges:

  • Constructing tube hundreds of kilometers long would be an engineering marvel in of itself. However, introducing tube hundreds of kilometers long that operates at a near perfect vacuum which can support the force of capsule weighing thousands of kilograms as it travels hundreds of kilometers an hour is nothing short of sci-fi fantasy.
  • Small scale experiments reveal the fundamentals of the idea are sound. Although, in the real world, there are tens of thousands of kilograms of atmospheric pressure which threatens to crush any vacuum chamber.
  • There is also the problem with thermal expansion which threatens to buckle any large structure without proper thermal expansion capabilities.
  • The Hyperloop would also be stupendously expensive. There are many unavoidable problems facing the Hyperloop that threaten the structural integrity, and every human life on board. The problems can be addressed, but at a great cost.
  • Initial cost of investment to have the system in place is very high.
  • Land use rights will be concern for deployment of the project.
  • It has very high risk to life when something wrong happens to the system.
  • It has limited space in the train and hence people cannot move freely.

Conclusion:

The technology is nascent as no hyperloop has actually been developed on a long distance. India has time to develop expertise in the field. Partnerships with companies like HTT and Virgin Hyperloop will help India decide as to how the technology can be cost effective. Also, meanwhile improving basic necessities like food, access to energy and house should be focused.

 

Topic:  Disaster and disaster management.

5. The complexities in any disaster are associated with social, cultural, economic and political forces; in this context do you think the disaster risk management must thus look beyond the conventional phases of disaster risk management? Examine.(250 words)

Reference:  geography and you un-spider.org 

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of disaster risk management.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the complexities associated with any disaster, bring out that the association is not always just about vulnerability or risk associated with a hazard but is also with social, cultural, economic and political forces and thus there is need to thus look beyond the conventional phases of disaster risk management.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what constitutes a disaster.

Body:

To start with, explain how the disasters are associated with social, cultural, economic and political forces. One can provide for examples to substantiate better. Explain how disasters are not linear and that they may overlap and occur simultaneously. Highlight the need to consider the fact of moving beyond the conventional definition and recognize these factors in reducing the risks associated with disasters.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance and suggest way forward.

Introduction:

Disaster is a catastrophic situation in which normal pattern of life and or ecosystem has been disrupted and extraordinary emergency interventions are required to save and preserve lives and or environment. Disaster preparedness means the steps or activities and precautions taken collectively before a disaster to reduce the impact and to cope with it effectively.

Disaster Risk Management is the application of disaster risk reduction policies and strategies, to prevent new disaster risks, reduce existing disaster risks, and manage residual risks, contributing to the strengthening of resilience and reduction of losses. Disaster risk management actions can be categorized into; prospective disaster risk management, corrective disaster risk management and compensatory disaster risk management.

Body:

The Disaster management cycle illustrates the ongoing process by which governments, businesses, and civil society plan for and reduce the impact of disasters, react during and immediately following a disaster, and take steps to recover after a disaster has occurred. Appropriate actions at all points in the cycle lead to greater preparedness, better warnings, reduced vulnerability or the prevention of disasters during the next iteration of the cycle. The complete disaster management cycle includes the shaping of public policies and plans that either modify the causes of disasters or mitigate their effects on people, property, and infrastructure.

However, the characteristics determined by physical, social, economic and environmental factors or processes increases the susceptibility of an individual, a community, assets or systems to the impacts of hazards. Vulnerability relates to a number of factors, including:

  • Physical factors: g. poor design and construction of buildings, unregulated land use planning, etc.
  • Social factors: g. poverty and inequality, marginalisation, social exclusion and discrimination by gender, social status, disability and age (amongst other factors) psychological factors, etc.
  • Economic factors: g. the uninsured informal sector, vulnerable rural livelihoods, dependence on single industries, globalization of business and supply chains, etc.
  • Environmental factors: g. poor environmental management, overconsumption of natural resources, decline of risk regulating ecosystem services, climate change, etc.

In addition, vulnerability is determined by historical, political, cultural and institutional and natural resource processes that shape the social and environmental conditions people find themselves existing within. These processes produce a range of immediate unsafe conditions such as living in dangerous locations or in poor housing, ill-health, political tensions or a lack of local institutions or preparedness measures.

Vulnerability changes over time because many of the processes that influence vulnerability are dynamic, including rapid urbanisation, environmental degradation, market conditions and demographic change. Many of these factors are rooted in changing local conditions, but the picture is incomplete without acknowledging the national and global socio-economic and political structures that constrain local development opportunities.

Measures undertaken:

  • For each hazard, the approach used in this national plan incorporates the four priorities given in the Sendai Framework into the planning framework for Disaster Risk Reduction under the five Thematic Areas for Actions: Understanding Risk; Inter-Agency Coordination; Investing in DRR – Structural Measures; Investing in DRR – Non-Structural Measures; Capacity Development
  • The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) was established to ensure the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.
  • UNISDR supports the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted by the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.
  • Such international cooperation and shared commitment are needed to “future-proof” our cities and lock-in resilience for generations to come.
  • In India, the national disaster management plan (NDMP) was introduced by NDMA based on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

Way forward:

  • Rather than focusing only on what limits people’s ability to reduce their risk, the policy objective of disaster risk reduction (DRR) instead emphasizes understanding people’s capacity to resist and recover from disasters, as well as enhancing the overall resilience of people, society and systems.
  • The local and traditional knowledge vulnerable communities possess to respond to disasters should form the basis of outside interventions to reduce disaster risk.
  • Developing sustainable DRR capacities at national and local level requires that capacity locally generated, owned and sustained whilst also being the concern of society, rather than any single agency.
  • Capacity development requires not only building technical capacities (such as environmental management) but also the promotion of leadership and other managerial and functional capacities.
  • Finally, capacity development requires an enabling environment i.e. strong political ownership and commitment at the highest level.

 

Topic:  Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

6. What are the challenges of governance with regard to the implementation of various programmes, like “Beti Bachao Beti Padao”, aimed at the vulnerable section of the society? Do you think that the ethical values need to be revisited?(250 words)

Reference:  Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is based on the need to have ethical values inculcated in implementing governance related schemes so as to ensure vulnerable sections of the society benefit from them.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the challenges of governance with regard to implementation of welfare programs.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Write in brief about welfare programmes for vulnerable sections.

Body:

Various welfare programs aimed at welfare of vulnerable sections have been launched e.g.: PMAGY, ICDS etc. But situation at the ground level hasn’t improved much due to the following governance related challenges: One at organisation level like Lack of empathy and sensitivity amongst government servants. Falling commitment towards public service values etc. At citizen level – Patriarchal mindset, lack of awareness etc. Discuss specifically with respect to the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao ” scheme.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of having ethical values inculcated in such implementation of government schemes.

Introduction:

As a response to a rapidly deteriorating sex ratio (2011: 918 girls for 1,000 boys), the Indian government initiated the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme in October 2014, aiming to provide survival, safety and education to the girl child. It celebrates the girl child, fights bias, and offers inclusiveness benefits. The bigger picture here, however, is creating an ecosystem of women empowerment.

Body:

Challenges of governance:

  • Organizational level:
    • However, the initiative though good has been largely criticized by many people.
    • The budgetary allowance is very less to the tune of Rs. 100 Crore. It is not enough to allot funds and schemes.
    • The government machinery and the police are, however, to get the magnitude of women atrocities seriously. This also weakens the effective implementation of the BBBP scheme.
    • Lack of civic body support to achieve the objectives of the scheme.
    • More importantly we need to rearrange and amend the laws and punish those vigorously who interfere with the peaceful existence of the girls in the society.
    • The money allotment is never the solution, it’s high time we see to it the law is punishing the culprits very severely.
  • Community level:
    • Social abuses and orthodox rituals like female foeticide, Sati, child marriage and domestic abuse obstruct the due execution of this scheme.
    • The mind-set of people remains conservative besides the numerous campaigns spreading awareness among people.
    • The Dowry system is the main obstacles in the successful implementation and impact of BBBP scheme
  • Individual level:
    • Presence of patriarchy in the mindset of people where a girl child is seen as a burden.
    • Inequality meted out to girl as compared to boys at home, school etc.
    • Practice of social ills like child marriage, trafficking of girl children etc.

Measures needed:

  • Gender respect should be taught at the school level more so from the home level by the parents.
  • We need to address the associated problems in bringing up the girl child, her marriage expenses and discrimination in the society.
  • There also is a need to launch more dedicated efforts than just allocating monetary incentives
  • We need to have a strong law meant to punish those engaged in the practice of sex determination and sex selective abortion- Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act.
  • The government has to ensure that they talk tough so that doctors do not indulge in this malpractice.
  • there is a need to connect with the communities first, right from the gram panchayat level to ensure gender equality.
  • provide an enabling environment for our girls and educate and inform person’s right at the grass root level that there should be no gender bias

 

Topic:  Work culture

7. What you understand by “work culture”? Suggest the measures that can be taken by the government to ensure that the public servants have healthy work culture at work-place.(250 words)

Reference:  Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of work culture and its importance to public administration.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what “work culture is”, discuss in detail aspects associated with it and bring out what measures can be taken by the government to ensure that public servants have healthy work culture at work place.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining work culture. Work Culture refers to set of collective beliefs, values, rules and behaviour which institution as a whole conforms to.

Body:

Explain its importance and relevance in general at a workplace, In Public administration, the hallmark of administrative work culture is commitment to the fulfillment of one’s official responsibilities with a spirit of dedication, efficiency, productivity and punctuality.  Then move onto mention features of work culture and methods to strengthen it. Discuss the characteristics of administrative work culture. Suggest measures to strengthen work culture.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

Workplace culture is the environment that you create for your employees. It plays a powerful role in determining their work satisfaction, relationships and progression. It is the mix of your organization’s leadership, values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviours and attitudes that contribute to the emotional and relational environment of your workplace. These factors are generally unspoken and unwritten rules that help to form bonds between your colleagues.

Body:

Importance of Work culture:

  • Attracts and keeps talented staff: When you spend more time per week at work than at home, it’s natural to want to work in an environment you enjoy spending time in. This means that if you want the best staff for your team, you’ll have to invest in creating a strong workplace culture. In a study from the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2015, ‘culture and engagement’ was the highest priority on the corporate agenda and companies with the strongest cultures were much more able to attract and keep talent.
  • Drives engagement and retention: You can successfully recruit employees but it becomes a cost to your business if they leave. A good workplace culture is proven to keep your employees engaged in their work. It’ll allow your employees to better understand what is expected of them and how they can achieve their professional goals. This will then allow you to keep them onboard for longer.
  • Creates an environment for healthy development: A good workplace culture provides everyone with the opportunity to initiate change and to grow on a professional and personal aspect. It also promotes openness and encourages your employees to voice their opinions and chase after the values they believe in.
  • Creates satisfied employees and increases productivity: A healthy workplace culture will make your employees feel happy to come to work day-in and day-out. A happy work environment increases your employees’ concentration, thus, this leads to increases in their productivity levels.
  • Drives financial performance: 92% of leaders from successful companies believe that workplace culture and financial performance are closely interrelated. Workplace culture directly influences the way your employees perform, which subsequently has a direct impact on your business’ financial profit.

For instance, ISRO, despite being a government organization has challenged the bureaucratic culture and stood out as a champion. The successes found through various missions is a stark example of its strong and inspiring work culture, where every employee is inspired to contribute his best.

Measures to ensure a good work place culture:

  • Clear expectations for behaviour among all members of an organization is the first step towards a more ethical organizational culture.
  • Organizational leaders must be mindful of their actions as others in the organization will likely follow their lead when it comes to ethical behaviour and attitudes.
  • Offering opportunities for recognition, awards, and social reinforcements for desirable ethical behaviours can go a long way to promote the types of ethical culture desired in any organization.
  • Workshops, easy to use reference materials, ongoing and readily available consultation from peers or mentors are just some of the many ways institutions can assist in training students and staff to best use the tools that are available to them to participate in better and more thoughtful ethical decision making.
  • Ethical ambiguities can be reduced by creating and disseminating an organizational code of ethics. It should state the organization’s primary values and the ethical rules that employees are expected to follow.
  • Reinforcement for behaviour that is desired and corrective feedback for behaviour that is not desired is critical to help create and sustain a culture of ethical behaviour and consideration. This corrective feedback needs to be conducted in the spirit of collaboration and education rather than in terms of punishment or chastisement.
  • Provide protective mechanisms: The organization needs to provide formal mechanisms so that employees can discuss ethical dilemmas and report unethical behaviour without fear of reprimand. This might include creation of ethical counsellors, ombudsmen, or ethical officers

Way forward:

  • A clear expectation for behaviour among all members of an organization is the first step towards a more ethical organizational culture.
  • Organizational leaders must be mindful of their actions as others in the organization will likely follow their lead when it comes to ethical behaviour and attitudes.
  • Offering opportunities for recognition, awards, and social reinforcements for desirable ethical behaviours can go a long way to promote the types of ethical culture desired in any organization.
  • Workshops, easy to use reference materials, ongoing and readily available consultation from peers or mentors are just some of the many ways institutions can assist in training students and staff to best use the tools that are available to them to participate in better and more thoughtful ethical decision making.
  • Ethical ambiguities can be reduced by creating and disseminating an organizational code of ethics. It should state the organization’s primary values and the ethical rules that employees are expected to follow.
  • The organization needs to provide formal mechanisms so that employees can discuss ethical dilemmas and report unethical behaviour without fear of reprimand. This might include creation of ethical counsellors, ombudsmen, or ethical officers: