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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 28 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:  Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Elucidate key features of Indus valley civilisation with suitable examples from prominent archeological findings.(250 words)

Reference:  class XI Ancient Indian history by R S Sharma

Why this question:

The question is based on the thematic of Indus valley civilisation and its distinguishable key features.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the key features of the IVC and substantiate them with suitable archeological findings.

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 explain the origin and expanse of the IVC, the Indus Valley Civilization was established around 3300 BC. It flourished between 2700 BC and 1900 BC (Mature Indus Valley Civilization). It started declining around 1900 BC and disappeared around 1400 BC.

Body:

To start with, one can explain the salient features of Indus Valley Civilization like the first common feature is Indus script on seals, town planning, fortified citadel at most of the cities, Houses with kitchens and wells, tanks or water reservoirs etc. Give examples of the archeological evidences that support them. the Archaeological Survey of India revealed the existence of a vast unique civilisation in the north west of India, with its two urban centres at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Later archaeologist dug out many other cities, such as Kalibangan, Kot Diji, Chanhu-daro, Dholavira, Banwali, Sutkagendor, etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with relevance and importance of the civilisation even as of today.

Introduction

A flourishing civilisation emerged on the banks of river Indus in the second half of the third millennium BCE and spread across larger parts of Western India. A marked feature if this civilisation was the vivid imagination and artistic sensibilities. Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were the two major cities if this civilisation.

Body

Features of Indus Valley Civilization

  • Town planning Architecture
    • Layout: The town were laid out in a rectangular grid pattern and the roads ran in North-South and East-West direction cutting each other at right angles.
    • Construction: The big roads divided the city into many blocks and smaller lanes were used to connect housed to the main roads. Harappan used burnt bricks of standard dimension for construction.
    • Types of buildings: Dwelling houses, public buildings and public baths are commonly found.
    • Planning: The city was divided into two parts. An upraised citadel in the western part was used for buildings of large dimensions, such as granaries, administrative buildings and courtyard.
      • The elite class stayed in the citadel part of the town.
    • Granaries had strategic air ducts and raised platforms for storage and protection from pests. Eg: The great granary in Mohenjo-Daro and 2 rows of 6 granaries in Harappa.
  • Dockyard: Lothal in Gujarat is now called Manchester of Indus-Valley. Here ship remains and instruments for measuring angles were also found.
  • Public Baths: This is a remarkable feature of the civilisation which indicated the importance given to ritualistic cleansing in the culture. Eg: The Great Bath of Mohenjo-Daro
    • There are no cracks or leaks in the great bath which shows the engineering acumen of the Harappan people.
  • Drainage system: This is the most striking feature as small drains ran from small houses and were connected to larger drains running alongside the main roads. They were covered loosely to do periodic maintenance. Cesspits were placed at regular intervals.
  • Use of seals: Seals were primarily used for commercial purpose. They were mostly square and rectangle but circular and triangular were also used.
    • Some seals were used as amulets as well as they were found on dead bodies.
    • Pictographic script on seals have been found which might have been used for educational purposes.
    • Eg: Unicorn seal, Pashupathi seal made of Steatite.
  • Bronze casting: There was a wide scale practice of bronze casting. They were made using the lost wax technique or Cire Perdue. Eg: Bronze dancing girl of Mohenjo-Daro, broze bull of Kalibangan etc.
  • Pottery: There were plain and painted pottery (Red and Black pottery). They were mainly used for household purposes for storage, decorative purposes and some for straining liquor as they have perforations.
  • Jewellery and clothing: Both men and women wore ornaments like necklaces, fillets, armlets and finger rings. Girdles, anklets were worn only by women.
    • Beads made of amethyst, quartz, steatite etc were quite popular as was evident from excavation on Chanudaro and Lothal.
    • For fabric cotton and wool was used. Spindles and whorls were made from expensive faience as well as cheap clay.

Conclusion

The Indus valley civilization was the largest of all the four civilizations of the time and was contemporary to the Mesopotamian civilisation. The features of Indus-Valley such as the planned network of roads, houses and drainage systems indicate the planning and the engineering skills that developed during those times.

 

Topic:  Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2. What is a heat wave? Explain the occurrence of it in India and discuss how long can it last?(250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express 

Why this question:

The question is straightforward and is based on the phenomenon of Heatwaves, their occurrence in the country.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what Heatwaves are, their occurrence in India and discuss their impact and time period.

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:

Heat waves occur over India between March and June. Meteorologists declare a heatwave event when the maximum (day) temperature for a location in the plains crosses 40 degrees Celsius. Over the hills, the threshold temperature is 30 degrees Celsius. When the day temperature jumps by 4 to 5 degrees above the normal maximum temperature of a location, it is declared as a heatwave.

Body:

Explain the phenomenon in detail. Discuss the context of India, present a timeline of its occurrence in the past and in the present. Explain how long can it last and discuss the spatial pattern of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with its impact and solutions to address and mitigate the effect of it.

Introduction

Heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the pre-monsoon (April to June) summer season.

According to Indian Meteorological Department, Heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.

Body

Scenario in India

  • Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra have been experiencing severe to very severe heatwave conditions.
  • In its very first spell this year, this heatwave pushed day temperatures significantly above normal, with Churu in Rajasthan reporting 50 degrees.
  • Heatwave conditions occurring in May have been observed to last longer, as the season reaches its peak this month.
  • Whereas those reported in June often die down sooner, often due to the onset of Southwest monsoon over the location or in its neighbourhood.
  • Heatwaves are common over the Core Heatwave Zone (CHZ) — Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, West Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Vidarbha in Maharashtra, parts of Gangetic West Bengal, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, as categorised by India Meteorological Department.
  • Several recent studies indicate that CHZ experience more than six heatwave days per year during these four months.
    • Many places in the northwest and cities along southeastern coast report eight heatwave days per season.
    • However, the regions in the extreme north, northeast and southwestern India are lesser prone to heatwaves.

 Causes of Heat Wave

  • A heatwave occurs when a system of high atmospheric pressure moves into an area and lasts two or more days. In severe cases it lasts upto 5-6 days.
  • In such a high-pressure system, air from upper levels of our atmosphere is pulled toward the ground, where it becomes compressed and increases in temperature.
  • This high concentration of pressure makes it difficult for other weather systems to move into the area, which is why a heatwave can last for several days or weeks.
  • The longer the system stays in an area, the hotter the area becomes.
  • The high-pressure inhibits winds, making them faint-to-nonexistent.
  • Because the high-pressure system also prevents clouds from entering the region, sunlight can become punishing, heating up the system even more.
  • The combination of all of these factors come together to create the exceptionally hot temperatures we call a heatwave.

Consequences

  • Extreme heat can lead to dangerous, even deadly, consequences, including heat stress and heatstroke.
  • Severe heat stroke can lead to multiple organ failure, seizures, and death.
  • Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing morbidities are particularly vulnerable.
  • Heat wave also cause death of cattle and wildlife besides affecting animals in various zoos in India.
  • Increased exposure to heat can cause
    • A decrease in labour productivity.
    • Burden health systems that are ill-equipped to cope with the effects of heat stress.
    • Promote the spread of diseases like cholera and dengue fever across endemic areas.
  • Labour loss: Rising temperatures negatively affect workers’ output and the agriculture sector experience largest increase in labour loss.

Way-Forward

  • Accurate weather prediction and coordinated action plan hold the key to cope with heat waves.
  • Making communities both aware of and resilient to the impacts of the changing climate.
  • Establish Early Warning System and Inter-Agency Coordination to alert residents on predicted high and extreme temperatures.
  • Providing quality healthcare, particularly to the young and elderly, in a timely fashion.
    • Eg: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has adopted a heat action plan which necessitates measures such as building heat shelters, ensuring availability of water and removing neonatal ICU from the top floor of hospitals.
  • Necessary action for prevention, preparedness and community outreach to save the lives of the general public, livestock and wild life.
  • Improving the forest coverage and green areas.
  • Co-ordination among several departments and groups, and training of medical and community workers to prevent and respond to heat-related illnesses.

 

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.

3. Discuss the need to revamp procedural law in the Indian judiciary to make it more efficient.(250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Laxmikant

Why this question:

The question is based on the article where the author of the article argues for the need to revamp procedural law in the judiciary to make it more efficient.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in detail the need to revamp procedural law in the Indian judiciary to make it more efficient and suggest as to what needs to be done to achieve the same.

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 how the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have affected the functioning of courts and tribunals.

Body:

Firstly to highlight the problems facing the Judiciary one has to explain the existing structure of the entire judicial system and its working. Explain the subordinate courts; In subordinate civil courts and High Courts, a significant time of daily proceedings is taken up by cases where only adjournments are sought for procedural matters like filing of replies. Explain the case of supreme court. Give suggestions to improve functioning of the judiciary.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

It is time to dispassionately examine the functioning of courts and signs of an increasing loss of public faith in the judiciary, despite individual presiding judges setting occasional examples by disposing of even serious criminal cases in mere months. Surely such green-shoots are replicable. Body

Need to revamp procedural law in the Indian Judiciary : Issues existing

  • As of April 2018, there are over three crore cases pending across the Supreme Court, the High Courts, and the subordinate courts (including district courts).
  • In subordinate civil courts and High Courts, a significant time of daily proceedings is taken up by cases where only adjournments are sought for procedural matters like filing of replies.
  • Currently, among the major contributing factors to delays in bringing cases to court and in fact, meting out justice are lack of manpower, transparency and inadequate data on pending cases. These challenges are making it difficult to streamline India’s justice system.
  • More often than not, witnesses turn hostile (due to threats) in cases of murder, assault and rape. This is due to non-implementation of witness protection or revealing their identity.
  • The government is the biggest litigant.
    • Poorly drafted orders have resulted in contested tax revenues equal to 4.7 per cent of the GDP and it is rising.
    • Crowding out investment: Roughly Rs 50,000 crore are locked up in stalled projects and investments are reducing. Both these complications have arisen because of injunctions and stay orders granted by the courts primarily due to poorly drafted and poorly reasoned orders.
  • The collegium method of appointing judges is opaque, and time consuming. The Memorandum of Procedure has not been finalised even today.
  • Expansion of Discretionary Jurisdictions: Though economic cases are complex, in some cases increased overload is due to the expansion of discretionary jurisdictions by Courts, without any countervailing measures that either balance the scope of other jurisdictions or improve overall administration and efficiency.
    • The higher judiciary has transformed into Courts of first rather than last resort, and have consistently fused constitutional law and tort law, dissolving traditional distinctions between public and private law.
    • The immediate fallout of this expansion has been the steady de-legitimization of the capacity of lower courts’ private law mechanisms.
  • Justice denied
    • At times, due to the prosecution’s failure to establish the charges beyond reasonable doubt, an alleged criminal of limited means gets acquitted, but only after suffering incarceration for a term that ends up being longer than the maximum punishment under law.
    • But, resourceful defendants are seen escaping culpability not necessarily on merit, but due to their ability to quickly manage judicial processes to their advantage. There is something seriously wrong with the country’s judicial eco-system.

Solution for an efficient judiciary

  • Scientific Case Listing: A system needs to be devised where cases are not listed before the court unless all the documents are filed within strict timelines and every procedural requirement complied with.
    • The existing infrastructure is enough to enable this. Listing can be done before the court only in cases requiring urgent interim intervention from the court, while the matter is pending procedural completion, after verification of urgency by a judicial officer or a judge upon oral or written application.
    • Circulation of the cases to be listed in advance (say, two weeks before listing) will give advocates enough time to take instructions from clients and prepare for arguments.
  • Special Leave Petition: The Supreme Court was never intended to be a court of appeal, barring such appeals which specific statutes provide for.
    • The High Courts are usually meant to be the final courts of appeal. Instead, SLPs are now being treated as the last round of appeal.
    • A simple solution would be to do away with immediate oral hearing of SLPs.
    • The Supreme Court Rules could be amended to provide for a structure of prehearing of SLPs.
    • Every SLP must be accompanied by an application for oral hearing which must be decided first by the Court, and that too in chambers.
    • To assist the Court for that, a cadre of judicial research assistants made up of qualified lawyers should be created.
  • Technology as enabler: Collaboration technology, in particular video conferencing can be the saviour to revamp India’s legal processes.
    • It provides those critical communication links between courtrooms, offices, visitation centres or prisons, while decreasing travel time, security risks, and inmate transportation costs for the judicial system.
  • Enable better witness protection services for victims of crimes – those who have been battered or abused or those who have escaped from human trafficking who may be too traumatized or threatened to face the accused in court can use solutions such as video conference to feel safe and secure.
  • Case Study: Take, for example, the high court of Punjab and Haryana which has jurisdiction over the lower courts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
    • Almost a decade ago, it set up a case management system—i.e. a mechanism to monitor every case from filing to disposal.
    • It also began to categorize writ petitions based on their urgency.
    • In addition, it set annual targets and action plans for judicial officers to dispose of old cases, and began a quarterly performance review to ensure that cases were not disposed of with undue haste.
    • All these measures ushered in a degree of transparency and accountability in the system, the results of which are now apparent.

Conclusion

Delays in administering justice, a build-up of case files, and overworked legal teams have been long-standing issues in the Indian judicial system. However, fast forward to today, thanks to advancements in network connectivity, technology and the government’s focus on digitization, the country has the opportunity to be one of the most efficient legal systems in the world.

 

Topic:  Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

4. Account for some of the key critical vulnerabilities of Indian society that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed.(250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express 

Why this question:

The article talks about the vulnerabilities inherently witnessed and brought out to us by the current Covid situation in our Indian society.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the key critical vulnerabilities of the Indian society that the present Covid -19 situation has brought to fore.

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:

First explain the current situation and its impact in general on the society.

Body:

The critical vulnerabilities of Indian society that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed are undoubtedly those laid bare by the humanitarian crisis that unfolded as the nation-wide lockdown took effect. List down the vulnerabilities like the humanitarian crisis, migrant crisis, hunger, poverty etc. Suggest what needs to be done to ensure these vulnerabilities are cured.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need for our society to regain its moral compass.

Introduction

The critical vulnerabilities of Indian society that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed are undoubtedly those laid bare by the humanitarian crisis that unfolded as the nation-wide lockdown took effect.

The searing images of the endless ordeal of tens of thousands of famished and exhausted “migrant workers” trying to make their way back to their home villages to escape starvation in cities where they work, will endure long after the pandemic is over.

Body

The risks of sudden loss of income or access to social support have consequences that are difficult to estimate and constitute a challenge in identifying all those who might become vulnerable.

Key critical vulnerabilities of Indian society highlighted during pandemic

  • Vulnerability of migrants and poor
    • The world’s severest lockdown dealt a body blow to their insecure and fragile urban livelihoods, and many of them also faced imminent eviction.
    • With public transportation shut down, many began their long journeys on foot over distances that could span hundreds of miles.
    • A large number of them died of heat, exhaustion and starvation; and quite a few were killed in horrific accidents. Eg: Migrants killed on rail tracks and road accidents.
  • Extreme poverty and hunger
    • Without constant source of income or social security, it is the lowest strata of society that is the most affected.
    • Due to lockdown, most essential items were also unavailable for many and led to hunger problems.
  • Children most vulnerable
    • Many children are now out of schools and without digital access or private education, their schooling may not resume.
    • This predicament is particularly concerning in countries like India, where over 80% of its workforce is employed in the informal sector and a third of people work as casual labourers.
  • Blow to informal sector workers
    • The multitudes escaping Indian cities more than a century later, however, are mostly employed in an informal labour regime in industries and service sectors increasingly characterised by outsourcing and contracting-out arrangements.
    • Without social intervention, it is unlikely that the shock to the labour supply will yield even modest wage or welfare gains for these workers.
    • The informal or the unorganised sector now accounts for nearly half of India’s GDP and 80 to 90 per cent of the labour force (including non-plantation agriculture).
  • Loss of wages
    • A report by the Stranded Workers Action Network, found the majority of them to be factory or construction workers on a daily wage.
    • The rest earned their daily wages as drivers, domestic workers, and self-employed workers — among them were street vendors and those engaged in zari embroidery work.
  • Lack of basic facilities
    • The strategies most recommended to control the spread of COVID-19—social distancing and frequent handwashing—are not easy for the millions of people who live in highly dense communities with precarious or insecure housing, and poor sanitation and access to clean water.
    • Often people living in these settings also have malnutrition, non-communicable diseases, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
  • Labour laws being diluted
    • Laws regulating working conditions are now nothing more than aspirational.
    • Soon after the historic exodus, in the middle of the pandemic, a number of state governments decided to dilute labour laws turning the clock back on legal working hours from eight-hour days to 12-hour days (six-days a week).

The Covid-19 health crisis and associated lockdown has thrown into plain view the fragility of existing systems, from healthcare and governance, to the gig economy and global markets.

Measures to be taken

  • Reconfiguring the public spaces: Collaboration with local health departments for daily sanitization of public spaces and for adequate provision of clean public toilets and hand washing facilities is imperative.
    • For instance, taps operated by foot-pedals should be explored as they can reduce the number of common touch points in a public space.
    • This will help street vendors and those who work in the gig economy to protect their health while on the work hours.
  • Immediate relief for distressed
    • Governments can immediately distribute cash assistance to those who need it most.
    • Cash transfers can protect traditional supply chains for essential goods. In Delhi, for example, the local government is setting up shelters and food distribution points to stop rural migration, though not at a fast-enough rate.
  • Basic and essential needs to be met
    • City agencies should provide access to basic water and sanitation facilities for free.
    • Things like government-sponsored water tankers, mobile handwashing facilities, and other forms of rapid response, especially in slums and vulnerable neighborhoods could provide immediate relief.
  • Health and emergency services
    • Government and private health care providers must step up efforts to provide access to emergency services in cities’ most under-served areas, as well as help those who need to quarantine.
    • Data on access to health services and COVID-19 testing locations can help cities pinpoint hotspots.
    • For example, a map of Delhi was created which highlights which areas would benefit most from emergency clinics.
    • Decision-makers must also consider the effect of curtailed public transport systems, which frontline workers and clients still depend on every day, to get a full picture of urban risk.
  • Community engagement and NGO participation
    • City governments must work more closely with community leaders and NGOs that work in informal settlements and other at-risk communities – both to better understand what’s happening on the ground and communicate key health messages.
    • They must also tackle the infodemic and fake news that is spreading and creating chaos

Conclusion

A far more deleterious effect of the pandemic that is now exposed is that we now seem to be on the verge of abandoning even the aspiration for an inclusive future. With the 20 lakh crore stimulus package, it is hoped that the distress caused by lockdown to the farmers and daily labourers will be lifted soon with a revival of economy.

 

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

5. Discuss the contributions of Veer Savarkar to the National Freedom Struggle Movement of India. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express 

Why this question:

The question is on the eve of 137th birth anniversary of Veer Savarkar.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the contributions of Veer Savarkar to the National Freedom Struggle Movement of India.

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:

Veer Savarkar was born on 28 May, 1883 in the village Bhagpur, Nashik and died on 26 February, 1966, Bombay (now Mumbai). His full name is Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. He was a freedom fighter, politician, lawyer, social reformer, and formulator of the philosophy of Hindutva.

Body:

In the body of the answer discuss why he is known as Veer Savarkar and his contributions in the National Freedom Struggle. Discuss his contributions – He was known for his bravery and so earned nickname ‘Veer’ that is a courageous person. He was influenced by his elder brother Ganesh who had played an influential role in his teenage life. Veer Savarkar also became a revolutionary young man. When he was young, he organised a youth group named ‘Mitra Mela’. He was inspired by radical political leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Bipin Chandra Pal and engages the group in revolutionary activities. He enrolled himself at ‘Fergusson College’ in Pune and completed his Bachelor’s Degree. Discuss his works in Prison, his contributions to overall freedom struggle.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of his contributions.

Introduction

Veer Savarkar was born on 28 May, 1883 in the village Bhagpur, Nashik. His full name is Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. He was a freedom fighter, politician, lawyer, social reformer, and formulator of the philosophy of Hindutva.

Body

Contributions of Veer Savarkar to Indian Freedom struggle

  • In Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”. He was also involved in the Swadeshi movement and later joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party.
  • His instigating patriotic speeches and activities incensed the British Government. As a result, the British Government withdrew his B.A. degree.
  • In June 1906, Veer Savarkar, left for London to become Barrister. However, once in London, he united and inflamed the Indian students in England against British rule in India. He founded the Free India Society.
  • The Society celebrated important dates on the Indian calendar including festivals, freedom movement landmarks, and was dedicated to furthering discussion about Indian freedom.
  • He believed and advocated the use of arms to free India from the British and created a network of Indians in England, equipped with weapons.
  • In 1908, brought out an authentic informative researched work on The Great Indian Revolt, which the British termed as “Sepoy Mutiny” of 1857. The book was called “The Indian War of Independence 1857”.
  • The British government immediately enforced a ban on the publication in both Britain and India. Later, it was published by Madame Bhikaiji Cama in Holland, and was smuggled into India to reach revolutionaries working across the country against British rule.
  • When the then British Collector of Nasik, A.M.T. Jackson was shot by a youth, Veer Savarkar finally fell under the net of the British authorities. He was implicated in the murder citing his connections with India House. Savarkar was arrested in London on March 13, 1910 and sent to India.
  • In 1920, many prominent freedom fighters including Vithalbhai Patel, Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak demanded the release of Savarkar. On May 2, 1921, Savarkar was moved to Ratnagiri jail, and from there to the Yeravada jail.

Relevance of his ideas in Indian society today:

  • Savarkar was a modernist, a rationalist and a strong supporter of social reform.
  • According to Savarkar, our movies should focus on the positives of the country, keep aside the negatives and have pride in its victories. Our youth should be inspired by movies that focus on the positive side of things.
  • In his presidential address to the annual session of the Hindu Mahasabha held in Calcutta in 1939, Savarkar spoke about how Hindus and Muslims could bury their historical differences in a common Hindustani constitutional state.
  • Savarkar often called on his supporters to welcome the age of the modern machine.
  • In an essay published in the magazine Kirloskar, and republished in a book of his essays on the scientific approach, he argued that India would continue to lag behind Europe as long as its leaders believed in superstition rather than science.
  • He argued that any social reformer who seeks to root out harmful social practices or preach new truths has first of all to compromise his popularity.
  • A true social or religious reformer should only be driven by the desire to do good.
  • Savarkar was a strong opponent of the caste system. He repeatedly argued that what the religious books say about untouchability is irrelevant. The social practice was unfit for a modern society.

Conclusion

Many of Savarkar’s ideas on social and religious reforms, embrace of science, and building a stronger state continue to be relevant for India. His controversial position on Hindutva also continues to inform current political debates. It is time that a wider set of scholars began to engage with Savarkar’s ideas—including controversial ones.

 

Topic:  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6. Though India’s overall contribution to global climate change is meager, yet it is one of the major countries affected by climate change. In this backdrop, critically analyse major initiatives undertaken by the government for combating climate change?(250 words)

Reference:  climate.nasa.gov

Why this question:

The question is based on the current conditions of global climate change.

Key demand of the question:

One has to critically analyse major initiatives undertaken by the government for combating climate change.

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 give statistics supporting how India’s overall contribution to global climate change is small.

Body:

To start with, List down major initiatives of Indian government for climate action. For example- NDCs at Paris Agreement, NAPCC, ISA etc. The question also asks to critically examine them, thus students must essentially examine whether India is on the right track of fulfilling its climate targets.

Conclusion:

Conclude by discussing how the current global efforts are inadequate (recall the UNEP Emissions Gap Report) and all countries, especially developed ones, need to ramp up efforts based on the principle of CBDR.

Introduction

India’s per capita carbon emissions remain low at only 40% of the global average, according to a new report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Even in absolute terms, the rise in India’s CO2 emissions trails that of the US and China.

Though India is a developing country and has not been historically contributing to climate change, it has pledged a considerable resource to fight climate change.

Body

Impact of Climate Change on India

  • Coastal areas: 7500 km long coastline is already vulnerable to various disasters like cyclone, coastal flooding, storm surges, heavy rainfall (as seen in Mumbai) etc.
    • The rise in the sea temperature and level will only increase the frequency of such hazards endangering the life and livelihood of the coastal population.
    • Also, India being close to the equator will experience much higher increase in sea level than higher latitudes
  • Monsoon: Phenomenon such as El Nino will increase the variability of the monsoon worsening the agricultural crisis with more than 50% area still being rain-fed and threatening the food security.
    • Climate change has about 4-9 per cent impact on agriculture each year.
    • As agriculture contributes 15 per cent to India’s GDP, climate change presumably causes about 1.5 per cent loss in GDP(1).
  • Disasters: More weather aberrations as recently seen in Mumbai and Chennai and increase incidence of the disasters like flood and drought will threaten both rural and urban economy
  • Biodiversity: Loss of biodiversity put the livelihood of the forest dependent and hill communities at risk and disturb the biogeochemical cycles that help maintain the flow of nutrient, water and pure air.
    • Increase in human-wildlife conflict as observed in State like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand is another threat.
  • Health: Increased disease outbreaks especially of the tropical diseases like Malaria and Dengue, heat waves aggravating the urban heat island effect and water scarcity compelling people to consume polluted water will increase the burden of mortality and morbidity.
  • Migration: Rising inequalities as poor will be most affected due to climate change will increase the burden of migration and cripple the urban economies.
    • Illegal migration from the neighbor countries will also cause security threats.

 Measure taken to combat climate change in India

  • India’s Nationally Determined Contributions
    • Reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level
    • 40% of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 with financial and technical help from other countries and GCF
    • Additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent by 2030
    • Enhancing investments in development programs in sectors vulnerable to climate change, particularly agriculture, water resources etc.
    • Joint collaborative R&D for such future technologies
  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): The Action plan covers eight major missions on Solar, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Habitat, Water, Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, Green India, Sustainable Agriculture and Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change.
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA): ISA was jointly launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the then President of France, Francois Hollande in Paris on the side-lines of CoP 21 in 2015. The vision and mission of the alliance is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries that lie completely or partial between the Tropics of Capricorn & Cancer.
  • State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC): State governments have drafted climate strategies aligned with the eight National Missions under the NAPCC. The strategies focus on issues ranging from climate mitigation, energy efficiency, and resource conservation to climate adaptation.
  • FAME Scheme for E-mobility: Union Government in April 2015 launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme with an aim to boost sales of eco-friendly vehicles in the country. It is a part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Smart Cities : To make cities sustainable and increasing the green spaces in cities.
  • Environment Impact Assessment: Management tool to regulate the impact of industries on the environment for ensuring optimal use of natural resources for sustainable developmen
    • Applicable for major projects like infrastructure, thermal and nuclear power, industries, mining etc.
    • Industrial categorization (Red, Orange, Green and White) according to their impact to maintain balance between regulation and ease of doing business.
    • White industries do not require EIA approval
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: The scheme provides LPG connections to five crore below-poverty-line beneficiaries. The connections are given in the name of women beneficiaries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and conventional fuel like cow dung for cooking food, thus reducing air pollution.
  • UJALA scheme: The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015 with a target of replacing 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. The usage of LED bulbs will not only result in reducing electricity bills but also help in environment protection.
  • Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), 2017: Developed by Power Ministry and BEE, ECBC seeks to promote low carbon growth by integrating the renewable energy sources in the design of the buildings.
    • For a building to be ECBC compliant it has to show at least 25% savings in the energy consumption.
    • It is estimated that adoption of ECBC throughout the country would reduce at least 50% of the energy use by 2030.

Way forward

As pointed out earlier the INDCs submitted by the countries under Paris agreement are grossly inadequate to contain the temperature rise within the desirable limit. In India, rising threats of climate change aggravated by increasing inequality requires a proactive policy that factors in the unique threats to different regions (e.g. floods in the Ganga basing and drought in Vidarbha region) in the development programs. Following measure are needed in addition to the above mentioned initiatives:

  • Addressing the distortion in the cropping towards water intensive crops like rice and promoting agro-climatic farming.
  • Increased community engagement in the adaptation measures such as in the Jal Swavlamban Yojana of Rajasthan wherein people are provided incentives to create water storage structures.
  • Expansion in the community forestry and Joint forest management to contain the loss to green cover due to industrial activity.
  • Decentralized water management through revival of traditional mechanisms like baolis and adoption of eco-friendly methods like ‘four water concept’ to address the water shortage. Preventing the exploitation of ground water resources.
  • Investing in R&D for developing crop varieties more suited to changed climatic conditions (e.g. drought resistant) and diversification of rural economy to reduce pressure on land for agriculture.
  • Investments in the agricultural value chain to reduce post-harvest losses and increase the income of farmers.
  • Development of better forecasting model and climate change atlas that highlights the challenges for difference regions for evidence—based policymaking.
  • Increased international collaboration for finances and technology with an outcome based approach.
  • Strict enforcement of building code and expansion of rooftop solar power program to reduce dependence on the coal energy.
  • Better urban planning focusing on solid waste management and public transport.

 

Topic: challenges of corruption.

7. “Prevention is better than cure”. How far does this apply to fight against corruption?(250 words)

Reference:  Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of corruption and the idea of “Prevention is better than cure” applied to it.

Key demand of the question:

Explain in what way “Prevention is better than cure” can work better in terms of fighting corruption.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the issue around corruption in general and in particular in the country.

Body:

The common wisdom has it that “prevention is better than cure”. This is particularly true for the prevention of corruption, when public trust, the effectiveness of institutions, economic development and the security of the State are at stake. Even the most successful enforcement of criminal law happens after the crime has already been committed and the detrimental consequences of corruption have taken place. Discuss the preventive methods that can be adopted like Adopting effective and coordinated policies against corruption, Fair and transparent system of public procurement, Strengthening the integrity of the public sector, Strengthened transparency and public reporting etc.

Conclusion:

conclude that strengthening the integrity of the judiciary and prosecution services, addressing corruption in the private sector and promoting participation of society are other important elements of the effective system for prevention of corruption.

Introduction

As Gladstone so aptly said, The purpose of a government is to make it easy for people to do good and difficult to do evil”.

Corruption is an important manifestation of the failure of ethics. It is unfortunate that corruption has, for many, become a matter of habit, ranging from grand corruption involving persons in high places to retail corruption touching the everyday life of common people.

Body

Prevention is better than cure

The common wisdom has it that “prevention is better than cure”. This is particularly true for the prevention of corruption, when public trust, the effectiveness of institutions, economic development and the security of the State are at stake. Even the most successful enforcement of criminal law happens after the crime has already been committed and the detrimental consequences of corruption have taken place.

Addressing public awareness and strengthening the public intolerance to corruption as well as strengthening the integrity of the public administration are primary tools; identifying and addressing corruption risks through corruption risk assessment is becoming more and more popular.

How to prevent corruption?

The solution to the problem of corruption has to be more systemic than any other issue of governance. Merely shrinking the economic role of the state by resorting to deregulation, liberalization and privatization is not necessarily the solution to addressing the problem.

  • Adopting effective and coordinated policies against corruption
    • Developing a coherent anti-corruption policy which identifies the causes of corruption and commits to practical, coordinated and effective measures to address these causes is a prerequisite for success.
  • Fair and transparent system of public procurement
    • Establishing a procurement system, built on the principles of objectivity, transparency and competition, is important to both saving public money and to ensuring that the policy and developmental objectives of the government are met.
      • Eg: GeM Government E-market Place is a step in the right directions. With this, Public Finance Management System also helps in tracking the realtime usage of funds.
    • Strengthened transparency and public reporting
      • An informed society with free access to information is a strong deterrent to corruption.
      • This underlines the importance of transparency, public reporting and access to information in preventing corruption.
      • Right to Information needs to be strengthened to make the public officials and governments more accountable to the citizens.
      • Citizens must be Vigilant: Otherwise, like Plato said “The punishment suffered by the wise who refuse to take part in government, is to suffer under the government of bad men”
    • Institutional monitoring and legislative reforms
      • Prevalent institutional arrangements have to be reviewed and changes made where those vested with power are made accountable, their functioning made more transparent and subjected to social audit with a view to minimize discretionary decisions.
      • Napoleon who said, ‘Law should be so succinct that it can be carried in the pocket of the coat and it should be so simple that it can be understood by a peasant’.
      • The 2nd ARC recommended that The Prevention of Corruption Act should be amended to ensure that sanctioning authorities are not summoned and instead the documents can be obtained and produced before the courts by the appropriate authority.
    • E-governance
      • The focus should be on e-governance and systemic change. An honest system of governance will displace dishonest persons.
    • Other Reforms
      • All procedures, laws and regulations that breed corruption and come in the way of efficient delivery system will have to be eliminated.
      • The perverse system of incentives in public life, which makes corruption a high return low risk activity, need to be addressed.
      • In this context, public example has to be made out of people convicted on corruption charge

Second ARC guidelines to prevent corruption

  • Vigilance and Corruption:
    • Strengthening pro-active vigilance to eliminate corruption and harassment to honest civil servants including, wherever necessary, limiting executive discretion.
    • Addressing systemic deficiencies manifesting in reluctance to punish the corrupt.
    • Identify procedures, rules and regulations and factors which lead to corruption.
  • Relationship between Political Executive and Permanent Civil Service: Improvements in the institutional arrangements for smooth, efficient and harmonious relationship between civil service and the political executive is needed.
  • Code of Conduct for different organs of Government: This includes Political Executive, Civil Services, etc.

Conclusion

“Rivers do not drink their waters themselves, nor do trees eat their fruit, nor do the clouds eat the grains raised by them. The wealth of the noble is used solely for the benefit of others.”

Corruption needs to be rooted out from the very core of our nation, so that there is justiciable distribution of resources in the country leading to inclusive growth and ‘Sabka Vikas.’