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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 5 June 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.  Discuss the advances in the field of art and architecture made during the Gupta period. (250 words)

Reference: Class XI NCERT – An introduction to Indian art .

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss the developments in the field of art and architecture during the Gupta period.

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:

Provide for a brief introduction about Gupta period in the introduction. The Gupta Empire stretched across Northern, Central and parts of Southern India from early 4th CE till 6th CE. The period witnessed a culmination of earlier style and the beginning new style and technique in the field of art, architecture, sculpture etc.

Body:

In the answer body one must discuss the developments in the various fields of art and architecture such as temple architecture, sculptures, numismatics, literature etc. in this period. Such discussions should be suitably substantiated with examples and diagrams wherever possible.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of the architecture even today.

Introduction:

The Gupta dynasty is an important dynasty which ruled ancient India between 4th century to 6th century. They have left amazing examples of their glorious reign which has been called the ‘Golden era’ of India’s history. During their rule art, sculpture, inventions, philosophy, mathematics and literature has flourished. The Kingdom was founded by Sri Gupta. Chandragupta I, Samudragupta and Chandragupta II were famous kings.

Body:

Gupta Cave Shrines

  • The earliest examples of religious architecture were cave-temples which typically had exteriors decorated with relief sculpture and a single carved doorway.
  • Inside the shrine, ritual sculptures were placed such as a Shiva linga (phallus) and the walls were richly decorated with more carvings showing scenes from mythology.
  • Notable examples are found at Udayagiri in Madhya Pradesh where one cave bears a date mark of 401 CE.
  • Here in one shrine is one of the finest examples of Gupta art, the celebrated relief showing Vishnu in his incarnation as the boar-headed Varaha.
  • Finally, mention should be made of the Ajanta caves, a row of 29 rock-cut caves following the Waghora river bed ravine in north-west Deccan.
  • Dating from the 2nd century BCE to 7th century CE, they contain some of the earliest and finest examples of Indian wall-painting.
  • The subject matter is largely scenes from the life of Buddha.

Gupta Temple Architecture:

  • It was in the Gupta period that building with lasting materials began, such as dressed stone and brick. The Gupta period marks the beginning of Indian temple architecture. Out of the initial experimentation two major styles evolved.
  • The Gupta style was influenced by Kusana, Mathura, and Gandhara and borrowed the common features of T-shaped doorways, decorated door jambs, sculpted panels with high-relief figures, and laurel-wreath and acanthus motifs.
  • Constructed using sandstone, granite, and brick, Gupta-era temples added to this architectural heritage with horseshoe gavakshas arches and distinctive curved shikhara towers which are frequently topped with a ribbed disk ornamentation known as an amalaka.
  • These elaborate buildings are further decorated with a mass of ornate mouldings and sculptures set in niches.

The Gupta temples were of five main types:

  • Square building with flat roof and shallow pillared porch; as the Kankali Devi temple at Tigawa and the Vishnu and Varaha temples at Eran. The nucleus of a temple—the sanctum or cella (garbagriha)—with a single entrance and a porch (mandapa) appears for the first time here.
  • An elaboration of the first type with the addition of an ambulatory (pradakshina) around the sanctum and sometimes a second storey; examples being the Shiva temple at Bhumara (Madhya Pradesh) and the Ladh-Khan at Aihole.
  • Square temple with a low and squat tower (shikhara) above; notable examples are the Dasavatara temple (built in stone at Deogarh, Jhansi district, UP) and the brick temple at Bhitargaon (Kanpur district). A high platform at the base and the tower add to the elevation of the composition.
  • Rectangular temple with an apsidal back and barrel- vaulted roof above, such as the Kapoteswara temple at Cezarla (Krishna district).
  • Circular temple with shallow rectangular projections at the four cardinal faces; the only monument exemplifying the style is the Maniyar Matha shrine at Rajgir, Bihar. Dhamekha Stupa is one of the stupas (Buddhist temple) in Sarnath which marks the Rishipattana or deer park, the place where Gautam Buddha presented his first sermon.

Sculpture:

  • The Gupta sculptural style probably grew out of the Kushan style that survived at Mathura.
  • The Buddha images at Sarnath reflect serenity and contentment mirroring the religious atmosphere of the age. This practice of carving images was picked up by Hinduism also.
  • A great example of Gupta sculpture created at Sarnath is that of the seated Buddha preaching the Law, carved of Chunar sandstone.
  • The Gupta craftsmen distinguished themselves by their work in iron and bronze.
  • Bronze images of the Buddha began to be produced on a considerable scale because of the knowledge the smiths had of advanced metal technology.
  • With regard to iron objects, the best example is the iron pillar found at Mehrauli in Delhi.
  • A remarkable piece of Gupta metal-casting found at Sultanganj in Bihar is nearly feet high. Another metal figure but of a smaller size in bronze was found in U.P.
  • A group of small ivory images of Buddhas and Bodhisattavas founding the Kashmri area are prime examples of late Gupta art from about the eighth century.

Literature:

  • The Gupta period is remarkable for the production of secular literature, which consisted of a fair degree of ornate court poetry.
  • Bhasa was an important poet in the early phase of the Gupta period and wrote thirteen plays.
  • He wrote in Sanskrit, but his dramas also contain a substantial amount of Prakrit. He was the author of a drama called Dradiracharudatta, which was later refashioned as Mrichchhakatika or the Little Clay Cart by Shudraka.
  • Kalidasa who lived in the second half of the fourth and the first half of the fifth century.
  • He was the greatest poet of classical Sanskrit literature and wrote Abhijnanashakuntalam which is very highly regarded in world literature.
  • This period also shows an increase in the production of religious literature. Most works of the period had a strong religious bias. The two great epics, namely the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, were almost completed by the fourth century AD.
  • The Puranas follow the lines of the epics, and the earlier ones were finally compiled in Gupta times. They are full of myths, legends, sermons, etc., which were meant for the education and edification of the common people.
  • The period also saw the compilation of various Smritis or the law­books in which social and religious norms were written in verse.
  • The Gupta period also saw the development of Sanskrit grammar based on the work of Panini and Patanjali.
  • This period is particularly memorable for the compilation of Amarakosha by Amarasimha, who was a luminary in the court of Chandragupta II.
  • Vishakhadatta had written two plays, namely Mudrarakshasa and Devichandraguptam.
  • Panchatantra, written by Vishnu Sharma, is one of the most famous works of this period.

Science and Technology:

  • In mathematics, the period saw, in the fifth century, a work called Aryabhatiya written by Aryabhata who belonged to Pataliputra.
  • Aryabhata displays an awareness of both the zero system and the decimal system.
  • Astronomy made great progress during the age. Varahamihira and Aryabhatta were the major astronomers.
  • The Surya Siddhanta is the most important and complete astronomical work of the period.
  • The Charaka samhita and the Sushruta samhita by Charaka and Susruta were the most important works of medicine. Their conclusions are presented in the Ashtanga Sangraha by Vagbhatta I.

Numismatics:

  • The Gupta gold coins are known as Dinars and they are the most extraordinary examples of numismatic and artistic excellence.
  • The coins, in general, depicted the ruling monarch on the obverse and carried legends while the reverse depicted the figure of a goddess.
  • Samudragupta is credited to have issued only gold coins (Dinar) during his reign in seven different types (‘Lichhaviya’ type included).
  • The coins of Samudragupta give us a lot of information on the start of the mighty empire of Gupta, and its economy.
  • Known through his coins as “Vikramaditya”, Chandragupta II also issued silver (Denaree) and copper (Daler) coins, probably to be circulated in the region that was conquered from the Western Kshatrapas.

Conclusion:

The cultural creativity of the Golden Age of India produced magnificent architecture, including palaces and temples, as well as sculptures and paintings of the highest quality. The Gupta Dynasty promoted Hinduism, but supported Buddhist and Jain cultures as well. Gupta Buddhist art influenced East and Southeast Asia as trade between regions increased. The Gupta Empire became an important cultural center and influenced nearby kingdoms and regions in Burma, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. Classical forms of Indian music and dance, created under the Guptas, are still practiced all over Asia today.

 

Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

2. Explain how the nature of Indian economy was shaped by colonial interests of the British in the modern Indian history. (250 words)

Reference: Modern Indian history by spectrum

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I.

Key Demand of the question:

The aim of the answer must be to provide for detailed account of how the interest of the British shaped the nature of Indian economy.

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, write about the colonial interest of the British rule in India.

Body:

The British arrived in India initially as a trading company, however, in order to consolidate Presence in India, their administrative and economic policies frequently changed during their rule. They never lost sight of their main objectives, which included: increase the company’s main Profits enhance the profitability of its possessions and maintain and strengthen the British Hold over India. Provide arguments to highlight the way the interest of the British shaped the nature of Indian Economy. Explain how these actions transformed Indian economy – from a Net exporter to net importer, Supplier of raw material, led to De-industrialization, Ruralisation etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the impact of economic policies on Indian national movement.

Introduction:

With coming of British colonialism in India, the economic policies followed by British were more concerned about protection and promotion of the economic interests of their own country rather than development of Indian economy under British rule. The policies followed by the company rule brought about a fundamental change in the structure of the Indian economy, transforming India into a supplier of raw materials and a consumer of finished industrial products from Britain.

Body:

There were three broad stages of British Colonialism in India. The economic impact of British rule in India is also studied under these stages to assess the full meaning of British rule.

  • Mercantile development (1757-1813)
    • The East India Company began to use its political power to monopolize the trade in India.
    • It dictated the terms of trade in its dealings with the traders and merchants of Bengal.
    • The Company imposed inflated prices of goods leading to adventurous capitalism whereby the wealth was created by the political clout of the British traders.
    • The revenue collected from Bengal was used to finance exports to England.
  • Industrial phase (1813-1858)
    • With development of British industries, India was exploited by its colonial masters as a market for British goods.
    • With coming of the act of 1813, only one-way trade was allowed by the British, as a result of which, the Indian markets was flooded with cheap, machine-made imports from newly industrialized Britain.
    • This led to loss of Indian market and foreign market for traders of the country.
    • Now, Indians were forced to export their raw materials to Britain and import the finished goods.
    • They imposed heavy imports duty on the Indian products exported to England in order to discourage them in the British market.
  • Financial phase (1860 onwards)
    • After the British consolidated their position in India they converted India into a market for British manufacturers while still being a supplier of foodstuffs and raw materials.
    • In the second half of the 19th century, modern machine based industry started coming up in India.
    • With the Introduction of Railways in 1853, and Post and Telegraph being introduced in year 1853 as well.
    • There was a rush of foreign investment in India mainly lured by high profits and availability of cheap labour, raw materials.
    • The Banking System was introduced in form of Avadh Commercial Bank in year 1881.
    • Home grown Industries came into existence in form of Tata Iron and Steel in 1907.
    • Socially, this led to the rise of an industrial capitalist class and a working class became important feature of this phase.

Effects of British Rule on economic conditions:

  • The British rule stunted the growth of Indian enterprise.
  • The economic policies of British checked and retarded capital formation in India.
  • The Drain of Wealth financed capital development in Britain.
  • Indian agricultural sector became stagnant and deteriorated even when a large section of Indian populace was dependent on agriculture for subsistence.
  • The British rule in India led the collapse of handicraft industries without making any significant contribution to development of any modern industrial base.
  • Some efforts by the colonial British regime in developing the Plantations, mines, jute mills, banking and shipping, mainly promoted a system of capitalist firms that were managed by foreigners.
  • These selfish motives led to further drain of resources from India.

Conclusion:

Britain subordinated the Indian economy to its own economy and determined the basic social trends in India according to her own needs. The result was stagnation of India’s agriculture and industries, exploitation of its peasants and workers by the zamindars, landlords, princes, moneylenders, merchants, capitalists and the foreign government and its officials, and the spread of poverty, disease and semi-starvation.

 

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

4. Account for the possibility of use of technology as a water conservation tool to achieve sustainability in near future in the country. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

On the eve of the World Environment day, the article highlights how emphasis should be on the use of technology as a water conservation tool to achieve sustainability.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the importance and need of using technology as a tool for water conservation to achieve sustainable use of water as a crucial resource.

Directive:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly account for water as a crucial resource in the current times, one should quote some data to substantiate the same.

Body:

Rising population and climate change have led to water becoming a scarce resource across the globe. Rightly so, the theme of World Water Day 2020 was centred on climate change to create a much-needed awareness about water and how the two are inextricably linked. 

Discuss the challenges specific to water in the country -millions suffer due to issues related to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene. The country’s water sources are getting drained, and those that are not, are getting polluted etc.

Explain how technology can play a key role – water management responsibility; Optimization of water usage for industrial purposes, deletion of obsolete process technology and deployment of the right recycling practices must all be part of their plan.

Give examples of use of technology in conservation of water resources.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need and importance of the use of technology in making water conservation sustainable.

Introduction:

The NITI Aayog report on Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) said that India is facing its ‘worst’ water crisis in history. Taps in Shimla went dry in summer of 2018, posing an unprecedented water crisis in the hill town. According to a forecast by the Asian Development Bank, India will have a water deficit of 50% by 2030. Recent studies also ranked Chennai and Delhi at the top of the 27 most vulnerable Asian cities in terms of low per-day water availability Mumbai and Kolkata follow close.

Body:

India’s water crisis is more serious that its energy crisis:

  • The water crisis in India is more dire than imagined.
  • The annual per capita availability of water continues to decline sharply from about 5,177 cubic metres in 1951 to about 1,720 cubic metres in 2019.
  • The NITI Aayog in its report on Composite Water Management Index (2018) has underlined that currently 600 million people face high to extreme water stress.
  • Twenty-one cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people.
  • Apart from mega cities, many fast-growing small and medium cities such as Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Dhanbad, Meerut, Faridabad, Visakhapatnam, Madurai and Hyderabad also figure in this list.
  • The demand-supply gap in most of these cities ranges from 30 per cent to as much as 70 per cent.
  • About two lakh die every year due to inadequate access to safe water, about three-fourths of the household do not get drinking water at their premise and about 70 per cent of water is contaminated.
  • The rate of groundwater extraction is so severe that NASA’s findings suggest that India’s water table is declining alarmingly at a rate of about 0.3 metres per year.
  • At this rate of depletion, India will have only 22 per cent of the present daily per capita water available in 2050, possibly forcing the country to import water.
  • About 81 per cent of India’s ultimate irrigation potential, estimated at 140 million hectares, has already been created and thus the scope for further expansion of irrigation infrastructure on a large scale is limited.
  • Climate experts have predicted that there will be fewer rainy days in the future but in those days it would rain more.

Causative factors for water crisis:

  • A combination of population explosion, unplanned growth of the city and its expansion to some traditional catchment areas (a region from which rainfall flows into a river, lake, or reservoir) have led to a reduction in the natural flow of water, and large-scale deforestation.
  • Climate change, leading to much lower precipitation during the winter months. As a result, the natural flow and recharge of water in the region has fallen sharply
  • Failure of State governments to check unplanned development and exploitation of water resources. There is no attempt at the central or state levels to manage water quantity and quality
  • The vegetation pattern has changed, tree cover is shrinking and unscientific dumping of debris in water streams is rampant.
  • The debris blocks the natural course of water bodies.
  • Increasing number of tube wells resulting in depletion of groundwater.
  • Changes in farming patterns lead to consumption of more water for irrigation and also change the soil profile because of the use of fertilizers
  • The states ranked lowest like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Jharkhand – are home to almost half of India’s population along with the majority of its agricultural produce.
  • There is also a lack of interest in maintaining India’s traditional water harvesting structures.

Hence, there is a dire need to adopt effective measures to conserve water, including by the cement industry in India. Here, the emphasis should be on the use of technology as a water conservation tool to achieve sustainability.

  • Agriculture:
    • WaterSense Labeled Irrigation Controllers: WaterSense labels weather-based irrigation controllers, a type of “smart” irrigation control technology that uses local weather data to determine when and how much to water. WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers can save you water, time, and money when compared to standard models.
    • Soil Moisture Sensors: Soil moisture–based control technologies water plants based on their needs by measuring the amount of moisture in the soil and tailoring the irrigation schedule accordingly. WaterSense has issued a Notice of Intent to label soil moisture–based control technologies.
    • Rainfall Shutoff Devices: Rainfall shutoff devices turn off your system in rainy weather and help compensate for natural rainfall. This inexpensive device can be retrofitted to almost any system.
    • Rain sensors: Rain sensors can help decrease water wasted in the landscape by turning off the irrigation system when it is raining.
    • Micro-Irrigation: Micro–irrigation or drip systems are generally more efficient than conventional sprinklers, because they deliver low volumes of water directly to plants’ roots, minimizing losses to wind, runoff, evaporation, or overspray Drip irrigations systems use 20 to 50 percent less water than conventional pop-up sprinkler systems and can save up to 30,000 gallons per year.
  • Industries:
    • Installation of rooftop rainwater harvesting systems: Interestingly, a meagre 100 cm rainfall annually on a 1000 square feet roof can provide a full year’s supply of water for drinking and cooking purposes for a family of five.
    • Another technological intervention that can be considered by cement is the Modular Curing Solution (MCS) technique that has, over the past eight years, conserved 423 million litres of water across 35,224 construction sites across India, thus promoting sustainable construction. This technique entails the use of specially designed plastic sheets that prevent water loss due to evaporation and protect the surface against strong winds, low humidity and high temperatures.
  • Households:
    • Prepaid water: access, control and transparency: Prepaid metering further gives consumers financial control and enabling municipalities to measure, manage, and bill, accurately and in real time. With prepaid meters, users don’t have to wait until month-end to see that it wasn’t the best idea to water the garden every day, or to find out that they have a leak.
    • Leak Detectors: Leaks are one the worst offenders when it comes to wasted water. Smart home enabled leak detectors monitor moisture around pipes and other fittings. Once connected to your smartphone, these devices trigger a notification at the first sign of condensation, drips, leaks, or flooding.
    • Energy Star Appliances: Older washers and dishwashers waste significant amounts of water. However, Energy Star appliances can save you hundreds of dollars on your utility bills. For example, Energy Star washers use about 13 gallons of water per load, versus the 23 gallons per load used by traditional machines.

Conclusion:

Equal importance to water management and resource growth should be a part of sustainability plan. It involves evaluating the total volume of freshwater required for operations and then proactively cutting down that number, either by reducing wastage or by replenishment. Reducing water footprint and usage of freshwater in the production or supply of goods and services must be given top priority.

 

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

5. Discuss the concept of “Nagar van”, explain how it is integral to forest resource management to provide improved environment in urban systems. (250 words)

Reference: Times of India  

Why the question:

With biodiversity the theme of World Environment Day (WED) (WED) this year, the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) will launch ‘Nagar Van’ (city forest) scheme on June 5. Thus the context of the question.

 Key Demand of the question:

One has to elaborate on the concept of “Nagar – Van” and discuss its utility in forest resource management to provide improved environment in urban systems.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly define what “Nagar-Van” is.

Body:

A Nagar Van is a forested area lying in vicinity of cities which is accessible to the city dwellers and is suitably managed. These city forests provides wholesome natural environment for recreation, education, biodiversity, water and soil conservation and reduces pollution, heat. Govt. wants to create/ develop at least one CITY FOREST in each city having Municipal Corporation/ Class I Cities. This will provide wholesome healthy living environment and will also contribute to growth of Smart, Clean, Green, Sustainable and Healthy Cities.

Explain how the concept is integral to forest resource management.

Discuss its importance in overall management of bio diversities especially in the urban areas.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

The Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF&CC) has launched ‘Nagar Van’ (city forest) scheme, with ‘Celebrating Biodiversity’ as the theme of World Environment Day (WED). The “Nagar Van” scheme aims to develop the urban forests. Warje Urban Forest in Pune will be considered as a role model for the Scheme.

Body:

Urban forestry is the management of trees for their contribution to the physiological, sociological, and economic well-being of urban society. Urban forestry deals with woodlands, groups of trees, and individual trees, where people live – it is multifaceted, for urban areas include a great variety of habitats (streets, parks, derelict corners, etc) where trees bestow a great variety of benefits and problems

Nagar Van scheme:

  • The scheme emphasizes on urban forestry.
  • The Centre has announced the implementation of a scheme to develop 200 urban forests across the country in the next five years.
  • The scheme will also provide an opportunity to the states to manage urban ecosystems.
  • The Scheme enforces people’s participation and collaboration between the Forest Department, Municipal bodies, NGOs, Corporates and local citizens.
  • These urban forests will primarily be on the existing forest land in the City or any other vacant land offered by local urban local bodies.
  • These will be on public private partnership (PPP) mode where fencing will be done by the government but planting, public convenience infrastructure, walkways can be done by private companies as part of their corporate social responsibility
  • The finances for the scheme will be paid for by the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act, 2016) funds.
  • Planting of local species will be prioritized.

Importance in providing improved environment in urban systems:

  • Trees can cool cities by between 2 to 8 degrees Centigrade.
  • When planted near buildings, trees can cut air conditioning use by 30%, and, according to the UN Urban Forestry office, reduce heating energy use by a further 20-50%.
  • One large tree can absorb 150kg of carbon dioxide a year, as well as filter some of the airborne pollutants, including fine particulates.
  • Trees can also help urban communities adapt to threats that are exacerbated by climate change: providing shade and lowering ambient temperatures during heatwaves; reducing flood risk in the case of extreme weather events; and even limiting the development of ground-level ozone, which can lead to toxic air pollution.
  • Biodiversity conservation has traditionally been considered confined to remote forest areas but with increasing urbanisation a need has arisen to safeguard and save biodiversity in urban areas also.
  • With this activity of creating urban forest we will also create additional carbon sink.
  • Mature trees clean air, lower stress, boost happiness, reduce flood risk – and even save municipal money.
  • Urban and peri-urban forests can also provide financial benefits to cities by helping to alleviate social burdens and barriers.
  • Thus, Urban forest is the best way to bridge this gap.

Conclusion:

Now more than ever, trees and forests are a vital component of healthy, liveable, and sustainable communities around the globe. Urban forests help define a sense of place and well-being where people live, work, play, and learn.

 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

6. Discuss the role of media in disaster management in India. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question is based on the role of Media in disaster management of the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the role of media in disaster management in India in detail with relevant examples.

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:

Introduce by defining disaster management and its status in India. Define disaster management- defined as the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies, in particular preparedness, response and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters.

Body:

Highlight the role, which media can play in disaster management in India, explain how Media can prove to be of immense use in different phases including pre-disaster, during disaster And post disaster. Briefly mention some challenges that may arise due to media. Media has the responsibility to make the message more valuable and credible for the General public in the wake of a disaster. It needs to desist from any type of sensitization of news, politicization of crisis situation or any leakage of critical strategy, which may further create panic among people.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance.

Introduction:

Disaster is a sudden, calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, and destruction and devastation to life and property. The damage caused by disasters is immeasurable and   varies   with   the   geographical   location, climate   and   the   type   of   the earth surface/degree of vulnerability. This influences the mental, socio-economic, political and cultural state of the affected area. The media forges a direct link between the public and emergency organizations and plays a very important role in disseminating vital information to the public before, during and after disasters.

Body:

Role of media in disaster management in India:

Pre-disaster:

  • The media, by communicating the information to the people and the concerned authorities sufficiently in advance, can enable them to take the necessary steps to prevent and minimize the loss of life and property.
  • Media can effectively educate public about regional population’s susceptibility to various disasters. For example, educating the fishermen community about cyclones.
  • Advanced technologies and accurate weather prediction have helped avert major disasters during the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh cyclones.
  • The media could play an important role in raising public awareness and education for effective response to natural hazards through television and radio programs.
  • Furthermore, the role of newspapers can be significant in providing detailed information such as evacuation routes or preventive steps to follow in the preparedness process.

During disaster:

  • It is during the disaster that media has a greater role to play.
  • While the disaster is on, the media can also play the role of relaying the measures that are being taken and monitoring them.
  • They can caution the affected or to be affected people about the Dos and Don’ts, of scotching rumours and preventing panic and confusion.
  • They can help establish contacts, of identifying the needy spots and focusing attention on them, and generally   by   assisting   the   authorities, voluntary   organizations   and volunteers in reaching, informing and assuring the affected ones of the assistance and the measures taken, for their relief.
  • During the onslaught of the disaster, what is of utmost importance is to keep the morale of the people high, to create self-confidence in them, to prevent panic and to maintain order by assuring and making available the necessary help readily and quickly.
  • In times of crisis and natural disasters, amateur radio or ham radio is often used as a means of emergency communication when wireline, cell phones and other conventional means of communications fail.
  • Media can also help in mobilizing resources, financial aid and volunteers from around the world.
  • Lastly by continuous coverage it can also get disaster management on the focus of government.
  • The media can help, in many ways in ensuring these conditions.

Post-Disaster:

  • The rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures need an integrated and co-coordinated approach and for that purpose all agencies, government and non-government, have to pool their resources together for efficient, expedient and effective work on all fronts.
  • It can help in disseminating information about survivors, diseased and effected people to the families elsewhere and world around. especially the social media can help in this with technological inventions like i am safe marker by Facebook and google
  • Reporting genuine facts with constructive criticism by media would greatly help in restoring the order.
  • Assist the government and the non-governmental organizations providing relief supplies to the people.
  • Boosting the morale of the afflicted and those engaged in relief operations during any disaster is of primary importance.
  • The collection of material resources and the enlisting of man-power are as much important as their efficient utilization.
  • The depiction of devastation and of human misery through the media many times by itself acts as an appeal to the people to come forward to render help in various ways.
  • In addition, the specific appeal made for relief through the columns and the time-slots of the media, brings in sizeable aid in the requisite form.
  • At the same time, it becomes necessary to keep a watch and report on some anti-social elements who try to take advantage of such situations.

However, the media though has also come in bad light owing to the exaggeration of situation and giving unwanted importance to some issues. In their desire for TRPs and sensationalism, the media has overlooked basic ethics of journalism. During the Nepal earthquake, media was severely criticized as well as during the Uttarakhand floods, the visits of politicians was focused on rather than disaster management.

Areas where media can contribute:

  • Aid prioritization of Disaster Risk Issues: The media can influence the government to prioritize disaster risk issues, thereby ensuring that “self-serving” political interests are not emphasized at the expense of the wider population.
  • Facilitate creation of Early Warning Systems: Owing to the extensive outreach -the media can help disaster mitigation experts create Early Warning Systems by providing information on risks and existing technologies that can aid the development of useful concepts and systems. Emergency Alert System (EAS), which uses radio, TV and cable services across the country in United States for transmitting early warning, has been very effective.
  • Increase international donations: The media can trigger donations from the international community subsequent to the occurrence of national disasters, as well as push the government to increase budgetary allocations for disaster response programmes.
  • Improve coordination of risk assessment activities: The media can improve the coordination of risk-assessment activities between policymakers and donor communities. This integration of effort should result in increased availability of resources and improved work programmes geared towards saving lives of affected populations and vulnerable communities.
  • Media ethics: It is important that ethics in journalism during disaster reporting are strictly followed. The survivors and the grief stricken people deserve complete privacy and if at all, their consent must be sought and questions must be brief. The media was seen taking up the space on the arrival of the choppers with relief material. During a disaster relief must take precedence which the media failed to comply with.

Conclusion:

“Quick, Reliable and Accurate (QRA)” are three essential keywords for disaster related information. The media play a unique role in disaster mitigation. Although the aims of the media and those of disaster mitigation organizations are not synonymous, without compromising the independence and integrity of either, much can be done to communicate to the public the information that will help many save their own lives.

 

Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

7. How does empathy of government servants help in the implementation of welfare programmes for the poor and the needy? Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is premised on the concept of Empathy and its relevance to the government servants.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain the role that empathy plays to aid the government servants in implementing the welfare schemes for the poor and the needy.

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:

Define empathy in general.

Body:

Firstly explain why is it important to have empathy, especially for a civil servant/government servant serving the welfare policies in the society. Explain how civil servants can inculcate empathy towards the poor and needy, explain the need for it. Public welfare is an important part of duty of a civil servant. He/she is liable to take decisions that help in improving lives of the citizens. For him/her to be sympathetic towards public cause there is a need for cultivating empathy in them.
Ex: A public official needs to be empathetic towards problems faced by women for collecting drinking water so as to make necessary arrangements.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Empathy is a vital skill for the public sector. Seeing our work through a lens of empathy makes us better at our jobs and helps us fulfill our purpose.

Introduction:

Empathy is the ability to be aware of, understand, and appreciate the feelings and thoughts of others. Empathy is “tuning in” (being sensitive) to what, how, and why people feel and think the way they do. Being empathic means being able to “emotionally read” other people.

Body:

Public Servants are the glue between the State and the people. Empathy is important for public services due to the following reasons:

Empathy and implementation of welfare programs:

  • Develop listening skills:
    • The civil service requires an individual to be more patient and keep his temper and actions under check. For that to happen he/she is required to listen to the arguments of the other side before taking any action.
    • Ex: The ground level implementation of many welfare programmes are wrought with problems. For instance, in PM Ujjwala Yojana, the lack of last mile delivery of gas cylinders pushes people to go back to firewood or cow dung cakes, thus defeating the programme. In such case, a patient civil servant can listen to woes and help overcome people’s issues.
  • Ensure wellness of public:
    • Public welfare is an important part of duty of a civil servant. He/she is liable to take decisions that help in improving lives of the citizens. For him/her to be sympathetic towards public cause, there is a need for cultivating empathy in them.
    • Ex: A public official needs to be empathetic towards problems faced by women for collecting drinking water so as to make necessary arrangements as seen in implementation of National Drinking Water Programme.
  • Prevents misuse of power:
    • A public official is susceptible to misuse of powers if there is lack of empathy in him/her. By developing this character there are possibilities that he/she realizes his mistakes and tries to rectify them.
    • Ex: A government official misusing his powers to transfer a poor man’s land to a rich company as seen in the case of Vedanta mining case and Dongria Kondh Tribals. This can be prevented if the official has empathy towards the poor man.
  • Acceptability of diverse thoughts:
    • Civil service is a platform where there are more chances to experience diverse opinion and thoughts. It is necessary to accommodate other views and try to implement them if they are found to be appropriate.
    • Ex: Public official may get agitated if there is diverse opinion regarding his/her decisions. Empathy will give him ability to tackle such situations. This is necessary especially for programmes involving transgenders or Divyangs. Civil servants need to be more inclusive
  • Expresses concern for Others:
    • Empathy enables civil servants to understand other humans’ motivation to change and predict how policy will affect people’s behaviour.
    • Example: Pati.NO.1 campaign done in Agra to encourage Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, involving both husbands and wives of the district to be a part of the behavioural change after understanding that the inhibitions associated with the use of toilets for women.
  • Helps develop inclusive views:
    • It helps in understanding the lacunas in existing policies and programmes and makes appropriate changes.
    • For example: An IAS officer can empathize with persons who lost their land due to developmental project by framing better policy such as better compensation, rehabilitation, education and health facilities etc
  • Acts as a Role model:
    • Makes a balanced assessment of a person’s strengths and weaknesses based on a deeper understanding of the individual. Enable civil servants to work with a dedicated service, involving the community at large.
    • Example: The Secretary of water and sanitation ministry himself demonstrated the usage and cleaning of the twin pit system under Swachh Bharat Mission. This helped allay the fears, doubts of people and also helped overcome the ill-thoughts of untouchability associated with sanitation.
  • Creates and provides an environment of Respect:
    • Creates a culture of mutual trust and respect.
    • Example: In the remote areas of Manipur, with no road, connectivity to the two villages of Tusem and Tamenglong was a huge problem and the locals had to either walk for hours, or swim across the river. Armstrong Pame, an IAS officer collected Rs 40 lakh through social media for the construction of the road and got a 100 km stretch of road constructed in the state.

Conclusion:

Empathy is a vital skill for the public sector. Seeing the government work through a lens of empathy makes them better at their jobs and helps fulfill the purpose. Civil servants must be cool-headed, but must be warm-hearted too.