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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 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.


1. ‘Puppetry throughout the ages has held an important place in traditional entertainment”. Discuss the various traditions of puppetry existing in India. (250 words)

Reference: Art and culture by Nitin Singhania

Introduction:

A puppet is one of the most remarkable and ingenious inventions of the man. Puppetry is a type of narrative theatre; at the crossroads between bardic storytelling and theatre plays. Shows include live music, narration and gestures taken from dance. Puppetry throughout the ages has held an important place in traditional entertainment. Like traditional theatre, themes for puppet theatre are mostly based on epics and legends. Puppets from different parts of the country have their own identity. Regional styles of painting and sculpture are reflected in them.

Body:

Puppetry in India:

  • The earliest reference to the art of puppetry is found in Tamil classic ‘Silappadikaaram’ written around the 1st or 2nd century B.C. In Sanskrit terminology Puttalika and Puttika means ‘little sons’.
  • Ancient Hindu philosophers have paid the greatest tribute to puppeteers. They have likened God Almighty to a puppeteer and the entire universe to a puppet stage.
  • Srimad Bhagavata, the great epic depicting the story of Lord Krishna in his childhood say that with three strings-Satta, Raja and Tama, the God manipulates each object in the universe as a marionette.
  • Natyashastra, the masterly treatise on dramaturgy written sometime during 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD., does not refer to the art of puppetry but the producer-cum-director of the human theatre has been termed as ‘Sutradhar’ meaning the holder of strings.
  • Stories adapted from puranic literature, local myths and legends usually form the content of traditional puppet theatre in India which, in turn, imbibes elements of all creative expressions like painting, sculpture, music, dance, drama, etc.
  • Almost all types of puppets are found in India. Puppetry throughout the ages has held an important place in traditional entertainment. Like traditional theatre, themes for puppet theatre are mostly based on epics and legends.
  • Puppets from different parts of the country have their own identity. Regional styles of painting and sculpture are reflected in them.

There are 4 major different types of puppets used in India.

String Puppets:

  • India has a rich and ancient tradition of string puppets or marionettes.
  • Marionettes having jointed limbs controlled by strings allow far greater flexibility and are, therefore, the most articulate of the puppets.
  • Kathputli in Rajasthan, Kundhei in Odisha, Gombeyatta in Karnataka, Bommalattam in TamilNadu, Putal Nach in Assam, Kalasutri Bahulya in Maharashtra are some of the regions where this form of puppetry has flourished.

Shadow Puppets:

  • India has the richest variety of types and styles of shadow puppets.
  • Shadow puppets are flat figures. They are cut out of leather, which has been treated to make it translucent.
  • Shadow puppets are pressed against the screen with a strong source of light behind it.
  • The manipulation between the light and the screen make silhouettes or colourful shadows, as the case may be, for the viewers who sit in front of the screen.
  • Togalu Gombeyatta-Karnataka, Tholu Bommalata- Andhra Pradesh, Ravanachhaya- Orissa, Tolpavakoothu – Kerala, Chamadyache Bahulya – Maharashtra, Thol Bommalattam – Tamil Nadu are some of the shadow puppets surviving in India.

Rod Puppets:

  • Rod puppets are an extension of glove-puppets, but often much larger and supported and manipulated by rods from below.
  • This form of puppetry now is found mostly in West Bengal and Orissa.
  • Putul Nautch-West Bengal, Yampuri-Bihar, Kathi Kandhe – Odisha are few examples.

Glove Puppets:

  • Glove puppets, are also known as sleeve, hand or palm puppets.
  • The head is made of either papier mache, cloth or wood, with two hands emerging from just below the neck.
  • The rest of the figure consists of a long flowing skirt. These puppets are like limp dolls, but in the hands of an able puppeteer, are capable of producing a wide range of movements.
  • The tradition of glove puppets in India is popular in Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Kerala.
  • In Uttar Pradesh, glove puppet plays usually present social themes, whereas in Orissa such plays are based on stories of Radha and Krishna.
  • In Orissa, the puppeteer plays on the dholak with one hand and manipulates the puppet with the other.
  • The delivery of the dialogues, the movement of the puppet and the beat of the dholak are well synchronised and create a dramatic atmosphere
  • Pavakoothu in Kerala is a form of glove puppet.

However, the art of puppetry is dying due to the following reasons:

  • Lack of patronage in the modern age.
  • Competition from Electronic media which is a preferred mode of entertainment. People find it more appealing to watch mythological stories of Ramayan and Mahabharat on electronic media rather than in Puppetry.
  • Puppetry Art is usually confined to only devotional and mythological stories.
  • With changing times, Puppetry does not take up modern social issues.
  • Puppetry lacks modernization in terms of script, lighting, sound and other stage effects.

Conclusion:

Besides traditional puppetry, India is home to a lively contemporary scene. Independent India opened up to artistic exchange, and new forms and techniques affected puppetry, introducing new styles and giving origin to a refined urban puppet theatre. The birth of modern troupes and the opening to the international scene created new contexts for traditional puppetry to flourish. Several festivals organized in the last decades offer the stage to traditional troupes. So far modernity threatened the very survival of traditional puppetry, but a more conscious use of contemporary means and opportunities is actually the key to preserve this rich heritage of India.

 

2. The border disputes with China are posing a major test to the India-China bilateral relations. Deliberate.(250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Introduction:

The India-China border has been witnessing tensions over the past month, with incidents reported in at least four different locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). These include the Pangong lake in Ladakh, the Galway valley and Demchok.

 Body:

lac

Previous standoffs between India and China:

  • Depsang plains:
    • In 2013, when Chinese troops pitched tents on India’s side of the LAC on the Depsang plains, similar to Pangong Tso.
    • The UPA government was under fire, both for being weak on China and for its reticence.
    • While the government was being publicly attacked for doing nothing, it had privately conveyed to China that if the stand-off didn’t end, an upcoming visit by Premier Li Keqiang would be off.
    • If that demand had been made public at the time, China would have only dug in its heels, even if the government may have won the headlines of the day.
  • Chumar stand-off:
    • The government adopted a similar strategy during the 2014 stand-off at Chumar, which coincided with President Xi Jinping’s visit to India.
    • Xi’s visit went ahead, while India quietly but forcefully stopped the Chinese road-building and deployed 2,500 soldiers, outnumbering the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
    • The PLA withdrew.
    • Both sides disengaged and followed a moratorium into patrolling into contested areas, which was observed for many months thereafter.
  • Doklam stand-off:
    • In 2017, the government came under particularly intense fire because it stayed studiously silent through a 72-day stand-off at Doklam.
    • Indian troops crossed over into Bhutan to stop a Chinese road construction on territory India sees as Bhutanese but China claims.
    • By extending the road, India argued, China was unilaterally altering the India-Bhutan-China trijunction.
    • Beijing demanded an unconditional withdrawal.
    • When both finally disengaged, neither divulged the terms.
    • It would later emerge that the deal struck involved India withdrawing first.
    • China then stopped construction, and the status quo at the face-off site was restored.

Border stand-offs are affecting the India-China bilateral relations:

  • Regional security competition in India’s neighbourhood:
    • The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) today leverages China’s resources, Nepal settling its border with China in the 1960s, China’s sharing of nuclear technology with Pakistan in the 1970s, Bangladesh importing Chinese military hardware in the 1980s, and Chinese backing for the military junta in Myanmar in the 1990s.
  • Economic relations:
    • It grew after 2003 but Indian enthusiasm waned as Chinese market access proved limited and the trade deficit widened.
  • Global governance cooperation:
    • China and India found common cause at BRICS, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
    • Beijing’s emphasis on international coalition-building was eventually surpassed by its own superpower ambitions.
    • India consequently began balancing even as it normalised ties with Beijing.
  • Nuclear programme:
    • China was a major driver of the India-US civil nuclear agreement, which enabled defence and technological relationships with the US and its allies (including Europe, Japan and Australia).
    • China’s overt opposition to India’s waiver at the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008 indicated its unease with that development.

Measures needed:

  • First, it needs to keep the Opposition informed, which it is clear it hasn’t.
  • Second, it needs to proactively engage with the media, even if that may be through low-key engagement as was the case on June 9, that does not escalate into a public war of words.
  • At the same time, expectations of having a public debate about the intricacies of every border stand-off — or for the Prime Minister to weigh in even while negotiations are ongoing — need to be tempered.
  • This will only risk inflaming tensions, and reduce the wiggle room for both sides to find an off-ramp.
  • The broader objective shouldn’t get lost in political debates.
  • That objective is to ensure India’s security interests remain protected — and that the status quo on India’s borders isn’t changed by force.

Way forward:

  • Protocols agreed to in 2005 and 2013, detailing the rules of engagement to prevent border incidents, must be adhered to.
  • There is a need to follow the principles agreed to in the previous agreements between the two countries which call for “mutual and equal security” in border negotiations.
  • The most realistic solution will involve only minor adjustments along the LAC.
  • Need for a renewed effort to resolve the boundary dispute to maintain peace and tranquility in border areas.
  • India and China should “reinforce communication and coordination in international affairs and make the international order more just and equitable”.
  • Maintain regular contact and advance the development of bilateral relations in all areas.
  • Seeking mutually acceptable resolutions on the differences with due respect for each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations
  • Need to respect each other’s Sovereignty and sincere adherence to Panchsheel (Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence).
  • A strong India-China relationship is important not only for the mutual benefit of the people of India and China, but also for the region and the world.

Conclusion:

Past incidents have shown that quiet diplomacy, coupled with strong military resolve that deters any Chinese misadventures, has been more effective than public sabre-rattling, even if we may be inhabiting a media environment that misconstrues loudness as strength, and silence as weakness.

 

3. Discuss why e-learning may not be a sustainable solution to the COVID-19 education crisis in India? (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Introduction:

The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered educational institutions across the globe. Closure of schools, colleges and universities, shutdown of routine life of students and teachers, disruptions in education and the education ministry remaining incommunicado, have created an unprecedented situation and thrown many unexpected challenges to administrators, educators, teachers, parents and students.

Body:

Impacts on education due to COVID-19 pandemic:

  • school and university closures will not only have a short-term impact on the continuity of learning for more than 285 million young learners in India but also engender far-reaching economic and societal consequences.
  • The pandemic has significantly disrupted the higher education sector as well, which is a critical determinant of a country’s economic future.
  • A large number of Indian students—second only to China—enroll in universities abroad, especially in countries worst affected by the pandemic, the US, UK, Australia and China.
  • Many such students have now been barred from leaving these countries. If the situation persists, in the long run, a decline in the demand for international higher education is expected.
  • The bigger concern, however, on everybody’s mind is the effect of the disease on the employment rate. Recent graduates in India are fearing withdrawal of job offers from corporates because of the current situation.
  • The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s estimates on unemployment shot up from 8.4% in mid-March to 23% in early April and the urban unemployment rate to 30.9%.

Challenges:

  • India is far behind some developing countries where digital education is getting increased attention.
  • In countries where e-learning is popular, students have access to various online resources such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which help students, teachers and professionals upgrade their skills.
  • The major challenge in EDTech reforms at the national level is the seamless integration of technology in the present Indian education system, which is the most diverse and largest in the world with more than 15 lakh schools and 50,000 higher education institutions.
  • Further, it is also important to establish quality assurance mechanisms and quality benchmark for online learning developed and offered by India HEIs as well as e-learning platforms (growing rapidly).
  • Many e-learning players offer multiple courses on the same subjects with different levels of certifications, methodology and assessment parameters. So, the quality of courses may differ across different e-learning platforms.
  • Democratization of technology is now an important issue, comprising internet connectivity, telecom infrastructure, affordability of online system, availability of laptop/desktop, software, educational tools, online assessment tools, etc.
  • Since our education system has not trained our teachers and students to think creatively and manage in a crisis situation, and has underplayed the importance of e-learning, they are unprepared for the transition from the classroom to online.
  • Parents feels too pressed, having to support their children’s classes while working from home themselves.
  • The physical classroom does not only impart the syllabus. Children are also socialised, and there is an element of sport and play which is absent in virtual learning.
  • The matrix for socialisation is not replicated on an LCD screen.
  • Poor are disconnected and irrespective of background, some children cannot relate to the online classroom, and many more are losing out on midday meals.

Measures needed:

  • There should be ease of digital access and the ability of parents to support learning at home.
  • Online classes offered as live teaching can be sustained only with a mix of activities, worksheets and interactive sessions.
  • Teachers should have a structured plan which does not suffocate or burden them and also keep the students involved.
  • All institutions will have to chalk out an infrastructure plan which can be used in such a crisis.
  • Teachers need to be considerate about how children feel or what they are going through these days so an understanding should be developed.

Going forward, the use of technology in teaching or recruitment will lead to a new era wherein the best of faculty will be available from across the globe to students.  Education quality will be gauged not just by the quality of faculty but will also have quality of IT infrastructure and familiarization of the faculty will digital teaching technologies as important parameters.

Conclusion:

To summarize, education must continue. Students should keep learning. The lockdown period should be productive. Educators should think creatively and introduce innovative ways of learning. In a country where access to the Internet and high-speed connectivity is a problem, and the digital divide is an issue, it is important to address the challenges. Those who are involved in education planning and administration should give a serious thought to reducing the digital divide in the country and popularize digital learning.

 

4. Habitat loss and fragmentation have become the primary causes for Man-Animal conflicts, critically examine and suggest measures to reduce the risks of man-animal conflicts. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu 

Introduction:

Man-animal conflict is an existential crisis not only for the animals, but for human beings as well with data showing that about one person has been killed every day for the past three years by roaming tigers or rampaging elephants. India is a unique country with respect to wildlife conservation. Despite a billion people we still have most of our large wildlife species. Compared to relatively lower human density countries in south-east Asia, India today has the largest population of the tiger, Asian elephant, leopard, sloth bear, gaur and many others.

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Major causes of man animal conflict:

  • Unsustainable development:
    • Tiger reserves, national parks and sanctuaries exist only as islets in a vast sea of human, cattle and unsustainable land use.
    • People are increasingly encroaching into the country’s traditional wild spaces and animal sanctuaries, where people compete with wildlife for food and other resources.
    • These conflicts have increased as elephants increasingly find their usual corridors blocked by highways, railway tracks and factories
    • Urbanisation and growth agendas alter landscape dynamics, which has a cascading effect on the ecological dynamics of wildlife. This results in ecological dislocation of sorts, wherein endangered wild animals like tigers either cause distress or land themselves in trouble
  • Failure of government measures:
    • ‘Human-Wildlife conflict mitigation’ said most of the measures are dysfunctional, haphazardly implemented and therefore not effective
    • Elephants are used to travelling long distances, most of which fall outside the protected areas.
    • Wildlife experts claim that territorial animals do not have enough space within reserves and their prey do not have enough fodder to thrive on. This is forcing the wild animals to move out and venture close to human habitation in search of food.
  • Primary reason for the increasing human-animal conflicts is the presence of a large number of animals and birds outside the notified protected areas. Wildlife experts estimate that 29 per cent of the tigers in India are outside the protected areas.
  • Road kill of wild animals is the new enemy to India’s wildlife
  • There is no proper land use planning and management, cumulative impact assessments or wildlife management
  • There is no buffer zone between wildlife and human settlements
  • Monkeys along with grey langurs have adapted to urban habitats over the years.
  • Continued destruction and divergence of forest lands.

Impacts of Man- animal conflicts:

  • Crop Damage.
  • Animal Deaths.
  • Loss of Human Life.
  • Injuries to People.
  • Injuries to Wildlife.
  • Livestock Depredation.

Government Initiatives to reduce the man-animal conflicts are:

  • Awareness programmes to sensitize the people about the Do’s and Don’ts to minimize conflicts
  • Training programmes for forest staff and police to address the problems of human wildlife conflicts
  • Approach by wildlife protection act, 1972 is that the model of conservation enshrined in is premised on creating human-free zones for the protection of rare species based on the erroneous notion that local people are the prime drivers of wildlife decline. This approach has been successful in protecting certain species, not all species.
  • Providing technical and financial support for development of necessary infrastructure and support facilities for immobilization of problematic animals.
  • Providing LPG to villagers: LPG should be provided to those villagers who frequently go to the forest areas specially wildlife habitats to fetch fuel wood for their chullahs so that they may stop penetrating into forest and stop inviting Man- Animal Conflicts.
  • State governments:
    • Assistance to state government for construction of boundary walls and solar fences around the sensitive areas to prevent the wild animal attacks
    • Supplementing the state government resources for payment of ex gratia to the people for injuries and loss of life in case of wild animal attacks
    • Encouraging state government for creation of a network of protected areas and wildlife corridors for conservation of wildlife.
    • Eco development activities in villages around protected areas to elicit cooperation of local community in management of the protected areas.
    • Supporting involvement of the research and academic institutions and leading voluntary organisations having expertise in managing human wildlife conflict situations.
    • To control poaching: Poaching of wild animals should be stopped so that the no of wild animals can stabilize at its carrying capacity which would reach equilibrium in the ecosystem and this equilibrium between the numbers of prey animals and predators in the forest ecosystem would be maintained.
  • Technology:
    • Information technology like radio collars, GPS, satellite uplink facilities are used by research institutions to monitor the movement of wild animals
    • Centrally sponsored schemes of project tiger, project elephant and integrated development of wildlife habitats
    • Solar Fencing around agriculture fields: Agriculture fields situated near wildlife habitat/forest areas can be protected by stone fencing or solar fencing. Solar fencing has been tried with quite good effect in Wardha District of Maharashtra.

Way Forward:

  • Forest corridors linking protected areas must be maintained where they exist.
  • Existing habitats have to be surveyed and improved to provide food for the elephants
  • Local communities need to be educated to have reduced stress levels in elephants during conflict mitigation, no fire, no firecracker and no mob crowds.
  • There is a need for a monitoring mechanism which will record and disperse information on such conflicts
  • Experts suggest the other way to reduce the man-animal conflict is to increase the population of wild ungulates, namely hares and the wild boars, both of which are prolific breeders, as a prey for wild carnivores. Separate big enclosures can be made in the jungles to breed them. The excess stock can be released in the jungles at regular intervals for the wild carnivores to prey upon.
  • The draft National Forest Policy will be an overarching policy for forest management. Also there is a proposal for National Community Forest Management (CFM) Mission which will be launched soon.
  • In order to be truly effective, prevention of human-wildlife conflict has to involve the full scope of society: international organizations, governments, NGOs, communities, consumers and individuals.
  • Solutions are possible, but often they also need to have financial backing for their support and development

 

5. Critically analyse the reasons for dismal performance of science personnel in the country despite having scientific institutions in all fields of science. (250 words)

Reference: dst.gov.in

Introduction:

Science, technology and innovation have instrumental and intrinsic value for society. They are key drivers of economic performance and social well-being. India has a very deep scientific knowledge base and infrastructure across the country in various institutions and R&D labs. We are number three in the world in number of scientific and engineering publications, and also at number three in many cutting edge fields like nanosciences and materials science. We shouldn’t underestimate the brilliance of our scientific human resources, who are among the best in the world.

Body:

In the past few decades India has taken major strides in science and technology since its independence and is today recognized for its achievements in many fields ranging from agriculture, textiles, health-care, and pharmaceuticals to info-tech, space technology, defence technologies and nuclear technology. However, when one compares India’s techno-economic performance with some of the advanced countries or even other fast progressing developing countries, one finds that there is much to be desired.

Reasons for dismal performance of science personnel in India:

  • Administrative challenges:
    • The system is also largely run by scientists-turned-bureaucrats and “nepotism, patronage culture” are prevalent.
    • Notably, Indian scientists perceive success as ‘becoming an administrative head in research institutions’, rather than advancing research.
    • Also, the prevalent incompetence across the spectrum has taken a toll on ‘peer reviewing’ where incompetent scientists get to reinforce their mediocrity.
  • Financial challenges:
    • Research expenditure has remained at 0.6-0.7% of GDP over the past two decades. This is well below other countries such as US (2.8), China (2.1), Israel (4.3) and Korea (4.2). Yet it has tripled in nominal terms and doubled in real terms since 2004-05 to 2016-17.
    • Central government undertakes almost entire R&D expenditure with limited State government spending
    • There is a disconnect between the teaching and research enterprise with research being concentrated in specialized research institutes under different government departments limiting universities to largely play a teaching role
    • Currently, it has been observed that, small elite research institutions get most of the grants, while universities get very less research funds.
    • Consequently, universities focus mainly on teaching, which has resulted in a clear segregation of education & research – thereby affecting both.
    • Due to funding constraints, almost all the significant work from India is in the theoretical domain, as these are less burdened by money requirements.
    • Poor performance in experimental sciences is attributed mainly to the lack of significant collaborative efforts and sustained long-term funding.
  • Hierarchy:
    • There is a culture of elitism in our labs, were the manual work is done by lab assistants and scientists mostly just command orders.
    • Also, rather than contributing to social debates, Indian scientists shun public commentary, unless it is to serve as government spokespersons.
  • Lack of private participation:
    • At present, a large section of the country’s public research is concentrated in national research centres such as the S. N. Bose Center, the Raman Research Institute and organizations such as the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science.
    • India still only contributes less than three per cent of the global research output and half of its peer-reviewed publications come from just 40 Indian institutions.
    • In comparison, research at universities has been neglected.
  • Publications:
    • India’s share in global publications increased from 3.1% (2009) to 4.5% (2014).
    • Though the quality of publications (as measured by highly cited articles) has increased over the years but it still lags behind China and US
  • Patents:
    • According to WIPO, India is the seventh largest patent filing office in the world. However, India produces fewer patents per capita.
    • India’s patent applications and grants have grown rapidly abroad, however the same is not true at home.
    • Since joining the international patent regime in 2005, while residential applications have increased substantially; the number of patents granted fell sharply post 2008 and has remained low
  • Gender disparity:
    • According to the 2018 UNESCO Institute for Statistics’ report on women in science, 44% of bachelor students and 41% of doctoral students in India are female.
    • Women face “double burden syndrome” -a culture where both men and women feel the family and household duties are primarily the woman’s responsibility.
    • According to a recent survey on Women in STEM, 81 per cent women in India perceive gender bias in performance evaluations.
    • While more women are enrolling in university, relatively few pursue careers in research.
  • Poor industry-academia collaboration:
    • The point we often miss is that there are two distinct systems that need to seamlessly collaborate to make this possible – systems that generate knowledge (academia, R&D labs) and systems that consume knowledge (industry, startups).
    • The knowledge generated needs a push, which combined with an equally effective pull of the knowledge consuming system, allows societal and commercial translation of knowledge.

Way forward:

  • Invest in Excellence:
    • In order to emerge as a global superpower, India needs to focus on a few key elements, the first among them being ‘right’ investment in research. It is often argued that low public and private investment in research is a major impediment. However, this is only partially true. We need to invest in ‘excellence’.
    • Rather than having too many researchers, we need to spend to possess a larger number of high productivity researchers. Our proportion of high productivity researchers is currently at 14%
    • We need to have high ‘quality’ of researchers – high quantity of high-quality researchers. This is the first and the most immediate need.
  • Liberalise processes with speed and merit:
    • It’s time we liberalise our science ecosystem as well. We can do so by providing greater autonomy to our institutions and making the processes for funding and equipment-purchase more efficient.
    • For instance, experimentalists in fields like neuroscience need equipment such as a MRI machine, components to build a prosthetic arm and various electronic components. In the US, a doctoral student can order $5000 worth of material with just a simple email approval from her adviser, for shipment overnight.
    • We need to similarly simplify processes in India while having audit mechanisms for financial control and propriety.
  • Enabling our researchers:
    • Our researchers cannot give their full attention to research. We need sufficient technical and administrative staff to assist them.
    • Our faculty should spend their time on thinking about original research questions and their breakthrough solutions, rather than just maintaining equipment, calibrating them and doing paperwork.
    • Institutions like MIT, Stanford and UC, Berkeley, provide tremendous support to their faculty in this regard.
  • Increased emphasis on Industry-academia interaction:
    • As in many knowledge based economies, industries should create a strong pull factor for knowledge, for example, by attracting the bright young minds and creating knowledge based culture which can interface strongly with academia, labs and startups to translate research into scalable technological solutions.
    • Government through its policies and direct support, creates an enabling environment for R&D, innovation and its connections to industry.
    • Our education and academic research should also bring the elements of innovation, relevance and critical independent thinking to produce the best of scientists.
    • The private sector should be incentivised to undertake and support R&D through CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funds.
  • Leveraging the potential:
    • There is a need to encourage investor-led research. In this direction, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has already been established. It is a promising start that needs to expand with more resources and creative governance structures.
    • Having a young population and a strong Diaspora that is more affluent than any other country, India has the potential pioneering high-tech innovation.

Conclusion:

India has the resources, talent and opportunity. All it needs to do is nurture them all. We need a movement, a science satyagraha, to make India a formidable knowledge creator again. The government, the policymakers and our public institutions need to work in tandem toward making India a scientific superpower.

 

6. Many argue that there are times, when war is morally permissible, and even obligatory. Critically analyse with suitable examples.(250 words)

Reference: birmingham.ac.uk

Introduction:

The Ethics of War starts by assuming that war is a bad thing, and should be avoided if possible, but it recognises that there can be situations when war may be the lesser evil of several bad choices. The purpose of war ethics is to help decide what is right or wrong, both for individuals and countries, and to contribute to debates on public policy, and ultimately to government and individual action.

Body:

War ethics also leads to the creation of formal codes of war (e.g. The Hague and Geneva conventions), the drafting and implementation of rules of engagement for soldiers, and in the punishment of soldiers and others for war crimes.

However, many would argue that there are times when war is morally permissible, and even obligatory. The most famous way of ethically assessing war is to use ‘Just War Theory’; a tradition going back to St. Augustine in the 5th Century and St. Thomas in the 13th Century. Just War theory considers the reasons for going to war (Jus ad bellum) and the conduct of war (Jus in bello). This distinction is important. A war might be ethical but the means unethical, for instance, using landmines, torture, chemicals and current debate is concerned with drones.

Just War theory sets out principles for a war to be ethical. The war must be:

  • Waged by a legitimate authority (usually interpreted as states)
  • In a just cause
  • Waged with right intention
  • Have a strong probability of success
  • Be a last resort
  • Be proportional

Everything is fair in love and war:

The ends justify the means when it comes to love and war. When you are fighting a war it is important to do what you have to in order to win the war. You can’t expect someone to play fair in war when their survival is on the line. When going for love it is also important to do as much as you can for the people that you love.

However, not everything is fair. We live in a world with rules, and many of those rules are there for a reason. If we allow ourselves to be ruled by passion only without logic and rationality, the world would be in chaos. Yes, it’s important to stick to what you believe in, be it to fight for your loved one or your country, but logic and reason are just as fundamental and necessary as passion and strong beliefs. Countries that drop bombs on innocent people and militia who kill innocent people on the basis of religion, spurned lovers who attacking or physically abuse girls is morally and legally never right.

Conclusion:      

The character of war is changing fast and the ethics needs to keep pace with that change. These particular principles might well need revision. But we should not imagine the fundamental ethical issues have changed. It is still the case that in a sense war is inherently unethical. To be justified, significant ethical reasons are required and although imperfect Just War theory continues to be one way to seek such reasons.

 

7. Questionably, poverty is not only a matter of statistics, It is a reflection on the kind of society we are. In this context, discuss the ethical implications for Indian society that witnesses high rate of poverty.(250 words)

Reference: unicef-irc.org

Introduction:

“So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every person a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them!” – Swami Vivekananda. Despite huge resources across globe, the poverty and inequality exists. It is both a cause and consequence; and it needs serious ethical consideration.

Body:

Poverty is not only an economic, social and political challenge but also an ethical challenge. Poverty and Inequality leads to hunger and ignorance and thus present more of ethical challenge than simply developmental. The challenges are –

  • At Societal level, poverty breeds hate, indiscrimination, immoral deeds, criminal mindset, conflicts, deprivation. The nations with poor developmental indicator are often the most disturbed.
  • Challenges related to justice, ill-treatment, denial of basic rights education, prostitution, human trafficking, social cohesion, loss of identity are grave issues that need to be answered.
  • Challenges related to psychology, human tendency, compassion, empathy, sympathy towards poor, including them in main stream making it participative democracy.
  • whether the administration is compassionate and committed towards the cause of the downtrodden or simply interested in growth numbers.
  • the Constitutional goals of equality and justice would fail.
  • the society as a whole falls short of the goal of Sarvodaya.
  • as long as poverty and inequality persist there will be problems of law and order, lack of opportunity and illiteracy which itself affects the ethical fabric of the society.
  • Directives to the state includes measures to curb concentration of wealth and resources but poverty shows the challenge still persists.
  • Internationally, the greed for resources leads to persecution of weaker, Economic sanctions, wars etc.

Conclusion:

Equality and resourcefulness compliments the ethical behaviour of a person and the policies formulated must be inclined towards them. A due ethical scrutiny is required while formulating developmental policies. The governments need to be empathetic, moral, pro-poor, pro-weaker. The people needs to be sensitize regarding the weaker sections The International collaboration requires high morale. All endeavors require love, compassion and sense of brotherhood at their core to ensure promising and happy future of humanity.

As Nelson Mandela said “Poverty is not an accident like slavery and apartheid it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of Human Beings”. Thus, there is a need for all of us to work to establish an egalitarian society.


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