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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 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 how Sufis like the Bhakti Saints induced liberal outlook within Islam and were engaged actively in breaking down the barriers within the religion. (250 words)

Reference: Medieval Indian History Class XI NCERT by R S Sharma

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I, theme medieval history of India.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to bring out the contributions of Sufis in bringing about a positive liberal change in Islam like those of the Bhakti saints who brought liberal progressive changes in Hinduism.

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:

Start by explaining how Bhakti and Sufi movement heralded a new outlook to otherwise orthodoxical, ritualistic religions.

Body:

Explain how the Bhakti movement uplifted the otherwise ritualistic, orthodox Hindu society. Then talk about the contributions of Sufis in bringing change.

Quote the contributions of unique and popular Bhakti and Sufi saints such as – Sheikh Nizamat Ullah, Khwaja Pir Mohammad, and Abu Wali Qalander, Miyan Bayazid Ansari etc. whose contributions hold relevance even today and justify your answer that they brought significant change in the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude by inferring on their immense contributions in bringing the right change in the society.

Introduction:

Sufis were a group of religious-minded people who turned to asceticism and mysticism in protest against the growing materialism of the Caliphate as a religious and political institution. Sufism entered India in the 12th century with Muslim invaders and became popular in the 13th century. The socio-religious movement saw many mystic Sufis, who were unorthodox Muslim saints. These Sufis had a deep study of vedantic philosophy and had come in contact with great sages and seers of India.  Sufism emphasizes upon leading a simple life. Sufi saints preached in Arabic, Persian and Urdu etc. The Sufis were divided into 12 orders each under a mystic Sufi saint like Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthi, Fariuddin Ganj-i-Shakar, Nizam-ud-din Auliya etc.

Body:

The word ‘Sufi’ derives its name from another Arabic word ‘Suf which means wool. The Muslim saints who wore garments of coarse wool began to be called Sufi saints. The Sufi saints lived and worked in the midst of the common people. They needed to reach out to common people in order to spread their socio-religious and philosophical messages. They did everything to establish brotherhood, love and friendship between the Hindus and Muslims.

Sufism – A Breaker of barriers:

  • Sufism derives is inspiration from Islam.
  • While the orthodox Muslims depend upon external conduct and blind observance of religious rituals, the Sufi saints seek inner purity.
  • They were critical of the dogmatic definitions and scholastic methods of interpreting the Qur’an and sunna (traditions of the Prophet) adopted by theologians.
  • Instead, they laid emphasis on seeking salvation through intense devotion and love for God by following His commands, and by following the example of the Prophet Muhammad whom they regarded as a perfect human being.
  • The sufis thus sought an interpretation of the Qur’an on the basis of their personal experience
  • Devotion is more important than fast (Roza) or prayer (Namaz).
  • Sufis bridged the communal divide as is evidenced by the reverence the Subcontinent’s non-Muslim population exhibited for Sufi saints. Sufism around the world and in the Subcontinent had the depth to connect beyond caste, creed and gender

Sufism – Liberal outlook:

  • Sufism does not believe in caste system.
  • They broke all societal rules and stereotypes, and lived their lives as they pleased.
  • They awakened a new sense of confidence and attempted to redefine social and religious values. Saints like Kabir and Nanak stressed upon the reordering of society along egalitarian lines. Their call to social equality attracted many a downtrodden.
  • The efforts of Sufi saints helped to lessen religious fanaticism in India.
  • Their stress on social welfare led to the establishment of works of charitable naturee. opening of orphanages and women service centres.
  • A notable contribution of the Sufis was their service to the poorer and downtrodden sections of society. Nizamuddin Auliya was famous for distributing gifts amongst the needy irrespective of religion or caste.
  • The efforts of Sufi saints helped to promote equality and lessen the evils of casteism. They also tried to infuse a spirit of piety and morality.
  • Sufism also inculcated a spirit of tolerance among its followers.
  • At a time when struggle for political power was the prevailing madness, the Sufi saints reminded men of their moral obligations. To a world torn by strife and conflict they tried to bring peace and harmony.
  • Other ideas emphasised by Sufism are meditation, good actions, repentance for sins, performance of prayers and pilgrimages, fasting, charity and suppression of passions by ascetic practices.

Conclusion:

The essence of the Sufi and Bhakti tradition are reminders that the spiritual-moral part of religion has been undermined in current times. The inclusive, humane-nature of these traditions needs to be upheld and the divisive-exclusionary versions of religions have to be ignored for humanity to progress.

 

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.  

2. What was China’s (Xi Jinping’s) “Peaceful Development Policy”? Discuss the reasons for sudden aggressive behaviour of China towards its neighborhood countries. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The question is about ascertaining reasons for sudden aggressive behaviour of China towards its neighborhood countries.

Key Demand of the question:

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The violent clashes in the Galwan Valley and the Chinese aerial incursion into the Taiwanese Air Space, has occurred on the same day recently.

Body:

Give a brief backgrounder as to what was China’s (Xi Jinping’s) “Peaceful Development Policy”?

During the first decade of 21st Century, China, though registered satisfactory growth rate, also was suffering from the problem of unemployment and many of its people still being under the Poverty Line – The Rich – poor divide. This is the core economic angle of the policy, while the security angle also, here is a significant mention. The neighborhood of China was slowly turned out to be hostile, as US, Japan, and India were a coalition.

Start explaining how as the policy of Peaceful Development, is no longer a trustworthy option for China, it has started to retain the word peace only as a decorative term.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what should be the way forward, how the situation should be resolved.

Introduction:

China’s “Peaceful Development Policy”, also referred to as “peaceful development,” states that China will develop economically by taking advantage of the peaceful international environment, and at the same time maintain and contribute to world peace by its development. The policy was articulated by Chinese leaders in 2003 to counter international fears about Beijing’s growing economic and political might. In 2004, Premier Wen Jiabao said China’s rise “will not come at the cost of any other country, will not stand in the way of any other country, nor pose a threat to any other country,” according to the official Xinhua news agency. The policy is intended to create “an environment that maximizes the chances of China’s economic development”.

Body:

China’s recent approach towards its neighbourhood is against its “Peaceful Development Policy”:

  • Recent development was the third Chinese incursion into Taiwan’s airspace within a week.
  • Two months ago, Chinese vessels had entered the waters of Malaysia and Vietnam.
  • In May 2020, Chinese Coast Guard ships pursued Japanese fishing boats in waters claimed by both countries.
  • All these incidents point to a newfound aggressiveness in China’s approach towards its already troubled neighbourhood, from the Himalayas to the South and East China Seas.
  • The recent violent clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh, a Chinese J-10 fighter briefly entered Taiwan’s air defence zone, prompting the self-ruled island to scramble its aircraft in response.
  • This was the first time in 45 years that blood was spilt on the India-China border.

The reasons for sudden aggressive behaviour of China towards its neighborhood countries:

  • Recently, in an annual policy blueprint, China dropped the world “peaceful” in referring to its desire to “reunify” with Taiwan, ending a nearly 30-year-long precedent.
  • This sharp turn marks China’s most major policy decisions post-COVID-19.
  • Relations with the U.S. are particularly bad, with the Trump administration openly targeting China for its handling of the pandemic.
  • When Australia pushed for an investigation into the pandemic outbreak, Beijing punished the country by imposing trade curbs.
  • In Hong Kong, which has been seeing anti-China protests for a year, Beijing has introduced a new national security law, granting itself broader powers in the Special Administrative Region.
  • In the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak, China now appears to be overseeing an expansive foreign policy that pushes the boundaries.

Conclusion:

The whole series of positions China has taken with respect to Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong, national sovereignty or whatever problems they have with the U.S. is an indication that China seems to have come out of its “peaceful rise” policy. The “China Dream”, laid out by President Xi after he took power in 2012, seeks to turn the country into a wealthy, strong and modern global power by 2049, the centenary of the Communist revolution.

 

Topic : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. Account for the challenges involved and measures to be taken for the provision of health services to pregnant women and mothers in the Covid times in the country. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The editorial points to the death of a pregnant woman in Noida after being turned away from a number of private and government hospitals, raising questions about effectiveness of welfare measures for pregnant women and the state of maternal health in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

One must account in detail for the challenges involved and measures to be taken for the provision of health services to pregnant women and mothers in the Covid times.

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:

Start by suggesting details such as – Over the last 15 years, the state has been promising maternal well-being to pregnant women provided they turn up at public hospitals during labour, and has been providing a cash incentive to those that have institutional birth.

Body:

Suggest issues that However, during lockdown, the state appeared to have missed out on charting out plans to ensure the health and well-being of those women expected to give birth. Frontline workers were pressed into community surveillance, monitoring and awareness building for COVID-19. The public health system was overburdened with handling the pandemic: most secondary and tertiary hospitals were either those designated as COVID-19 facilities or those unequipped with enough PPE kits. Though pregnant women have been identified as people being ‘high risk’, reference on the need to provide emergency services for pregnant women was lacking. Suggest what should be the way forward? – How should the state acknowledge the lacunae in the health system, present the possible role that private sector could play etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude that improved maternal health was the lynchpin around which public health systems had been strengthened over the last 15 years. 

Introduction:

The term “maternal nutrition” focuses attention on women as mothers, on their nutritional status as it relates to the bearing and nurturing of children. At the same time, women also play vital, if often unacknowledged, roles in their families, communities, and societies. However, the poor nutritional status of many women in India today compromises their capacity to meet the vigorous demands of their multiple roles as mothers and productive workers.

The pandemic has amplified many inequalities and shows up sharply the state’s abdication of responsibility for prevention of lives lost, putting the entire responsibility of health protection on the individual citizen.

Body:

Challenges faced by pregnant women and mothers during Covid times:

  • Over the last 15 years, the state has been promising maternal well-being to pregnant women provided they turn up at public hospitals during labour, and has been providing a cash incentive to those that have institutional birth.
  • Elaborate tracking systems have been instituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to track every pregnant woman, infant and child until they turn five.
  • Even though recent epidemics have identified pregnant women as people being ‘high risk’, no reference was made this time on the need to provide emergency services for pregnant women.
  • However, during lockdown, the state appeared to have forgotten those women expected to give birth.
  • Frontline workers were pressed into community surveillance, monitoring and awareness building for COVID 19.
  • The public health system was overburdened with handling the pandemic: most secondary and tertiary hospitals were either those designated as COVID-19 facilities or those unequipped with enough PPE kits.
  • Many of the pregnant women and women in general are anemic in India, leading to complications during child-birth. This was aggravated due to lack of due healthcare during lockdown.
  • Many instances of women delivering outside the healthcare facilities due to lack of admission to hospitals were visible.
  • In these 12 weeks, the approximately 9,00,000 pregnant women (15% of the six million women giving birth) who needed critical care had to face enormous hurdles to actually obtain treatment at an appropriate hospital.
  • Added to this were the women who have had miscarriages or sought abortions: that would be another 45,000 women every single day.
  • The government rather belatedly issued a set of guidelines a month after lockdown started, but that only compounded the confusion.
  • Pregnant women had to be ‘recently’ tested and certified COVID-19-negative to enter a ‘general hospital’ but it was not clear how this can happen once they are in labour, as the test results need a day’s turnaround at the very least.
  • Around 80% doctors and 64% beds are in the private sector, clinics have closed down and private hospitals have stepped back fearing infections, while larger hospitals have begun charging exorbitant amounts.

Measures needed:

  • The health policymakers need to acknowledge the shortcoming of an overstretched and under-resourced system in responding to the critical care needs of pregnant women during crises.
  • The role of the private sector needs to be scrutinized in providing a supporting hand to the Government during crises times.
  • ICDS System Strengthening: There should be a mechanism for growth monitoring which would include, early registration and weight monitoring, monthly weight monitoring, quarterly height/length monitoring.
  • Improved Service Delivery: Will include convergence of services such as Immunization, institutional delivery, drinking water and sanitation and efficient service deliver.
  • Use of information technology (ITC): use of ICT interventions for addressing under nutrition includes
    • Real time Monitoring-Population, target groups etc.
    • Nutrition Mapping
    • Data Analysis-Connecting Gaps.
  • An inclusive and holistic approach: including controlling/regulating food price, strengthening the public distribution system (PDS) and income support policies for making food cheaper are important steps.
  • In order to improve their income and food situation, it is therefore crucial that women obtain access to resources, that is, to credit, land, and agricultural means of production.
  • Gender equality is one of the means to improve the income thereby diverse food basket of the people. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that if women farmers had the same resources as men, it would have led to 150 million fewer hungry people.

Conclusion:

Improved maternal health was the lynchpin around which public health systems had been strengthened over the last 15 years. As the country slowly emerges from a total lockdown into a longer-term management strategy, it is time to consider doing things differently for improving maternal well-being. The health service delivery system is at the core of maternal nutrition interventions; strengthening them will go a long way in improving the health of women in India.

 

Topic : Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

4. Change is the only thing that is constant. However multilateralism is resistant to change. It. Discuss with examples. Also suggest how to uphold multilateral order in the world in the current testing times. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The editorial talks about status of multilateralism after COVID­19.

Key Demand of the question:

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

COVID­19 shows below par performance of multilateral institutions and shown the need of reforms in multilateralism.

Body:

Discuss the current scenario facing the world. Bring out the changing dynamics on the multilateral stage of the world. Explain the changed role of countries such as US, China and others. Discuss what should India’s stand be – India needs to avail Issue­ specific ‘coalitions of the willing’ but they are not holistic solutions in ensuring global acceptance of norms. India visualizes world as Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, support for multilateralism will have to remain a primary pursuit. India needs to patiently promote reforms while building partnerships to avail opportunities which may arise for more fundamental change.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Multilateralism will survive despite threats from U.S. and also it is unlikely that China will take over them. India must build partnership to promote reforms.

Introduction:

COVID-19 is the gravest and multi-faceted crisis many of us shall witness in our lifetime. Those challenges are cross-domain in nature, with strong feedback loops. A disruption in one domain often cascades into parallel disruptions in other domains. Given its scale and unpredictable impact, it has the potential to shake the trust in Multilateralism and its institutions, but that shall be a devastating mistake.

Body:

The current crisis is even more deserving of a multilateral response, because it presents challenges above and beyond those previous threats. In what amounts to an economic perfect storm, the pandemic has combined with pre-existing recessionary pressures, the broader disruption to global trade.

Multilateral institutions have survived changes in the past:

  • The post Second World War multilateral institutions have survived such departures.
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris and the Human Rights Council in Geneva have survived the departure of the U.S.
  • The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna continues despite the withdrawal of the U.S. and many others.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO), notwithstanding its visible shortcomings, will survive U.S. threats.

The possible role that multilevel governance and multilateralism would play in post COVID-19 world:

  • to enhance coordination on macro-economic policies, and take well-focused fiscal and monetary measures on both sides of supply and demand in an effort to curb recession, create jobs, protect livelihoods and stabilize the global economy.
  • to sustain coordination in the UN, the G20 and other multilateral frameworks to keep up secure and smooth functioning of global industrial and supply chains, and defend the multilateral trading regime with the WTO as the cornerstone.
  • to work for making development the centrepiece of the global macro policy agenda, and expedite the delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • to champion the approach of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits in governance, take the lead in advancing global governance reform along the right direction.
  • to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests and space for development not just for ourselves but also for all other emerging market and developing countries.
  • The multilateral organizations should offer trade unions and social partners in general the space and impetus necessary to participate in democratic and transparent multilateral decision-making processes.
  • It must also offer them the space to demand enhanced policy coherence, improved enforcement and better accountability.

Immediate measures needed:

  • There is still a chance for a coordinated push under the auspices of the G20 or the International Monetary Fund.
  • Jointly orchestrated monetary and fiscal policies would provide not just immediate stimulus but also a boost in confidence, as would an agreement to reverse the protectionist policies of the past few years.
  • A mutual ceasefire in the trade war and a return to multilateral trade negotiations would directly boost economic activity by restoring confidence and spurring investment.
  • It would show that the international community is still capable of coming together in meaningful ways to fight a global crisis.

Way forward:

  • There is the need to move away from nationalistic urges and embrace the logic of international cooperation through revived and strengthened multilateral institutions and processes.
  • Relevant policy interventions: Whether at the domestic or the international level, the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak need to be understood and relevant policy interventions need to be framed.
  • The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect the pathway for cross-national, cross-domain policy framework.
  • A leadership role by India in mobilising world collaboration would act as a beacon for the world in the direction towards reviving faith in multilateralism for dealing with global challenges of present nature.

Conclusion:

Taken together, joint action to tackle the pandemic, manage multiple economic shocks, and end the trade war would both limit the severity of the downturn and accelerate the pace of the subsequent recovery. Until recently, restoring multilateral cooperation and rebuilding confidence in the institutions that USA has torn down was a noble objective. Now, it is an urgent and near-existential one.

 

Topic: Indian Economy and issues related to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

5. India has abundant varieties of food products used by tribals which if manufactured at an industrial level can provide both employment and livelihood to them. Explain the steps taken by the Government in context of the above statement. (250 words)

Reference: DD NEWS 

Why the question:

The article talks about new jobs, organic products in offing as KVIC taps Indian Palm Industry.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail how food products used by tribals can be manufactured at industrial levels and thus can secure employment opportunities to the natives and tribals of the country.

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:

Explain the fact India has abundant varieties of food products used by natives and tribals which if manufactured at an industrial level can provide both employment and livelihood to tribal population.

Body:

Discuss various tribal and native pockets in the country; highlight the kind of food products that can be used, manufactured at industrial levels. Discuss the measures, suggestion in this direction being taken by the government; suggest more steps and measures that can be taken.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

Indigenous people are those who retain knowledge of the land and food resources rooted in historical continuity within their region of residence. The food systems of indigenous people often include “traditional foods”; that is, those that are not purchased but obtained locally from the natural environment. They are chiefly procured either through farming or wild harvesting and utilized based on traditional wisdom and knowledge. It is well recognized that traditional foods and dietary diversity within an ecosystem can be powerful sources of nutrients and thus are better for health. Traditional foods of indigenous communities can be explored as a sustainable means of addressing undernutrition.

Body:

Potential of the traditional food:

  • The tribal communities in India are a good example of indigenous populations with a vast diversity in their cultures, traditions, and environments.
  • The numerous indigenous foods that exist in the Indian tribal environment reflect the rich biodiversity of India that can be potentially used to promote food security, nutrition, and health.
  • Some of these indigenous foods have been analyzed and documented from different regions across India.
  • The plants and animals part used are rich in heterogeneous dietary components like protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
  • Besides, the resources are locally available and also cheaper than other food resources brought from outside.
  • The tribal food is distinct and differ from tribe to tribe and common concept of fermentation, smoke drying, sun drying, etc.
  • The indigenous crops of India include several varieties of rice such as colored rice, aromatic rice, and medicinal rice varieties: millets, wheat, barley, and maize.
  • The indigenous varieties of rice and millets are resistant to drought, salinity, and floods. For example, Dharical, Dular, and Tilak Kacheri of Eastern India are adaptable to different topology, climate, and soils.
  • The coarse cereals include sorghum, pearl millet, maize, barley, finger millet, and small millets like barnyard millet, foxtail millet, kodo millet, proso millet, and little millets
  • Varieties of products are being prepared from meat and fish with locally available vegetables, herbs, and spices.
  • Among them, indigenously produced blood sausage, animal by-products with rice flour, maize, or fruits, dry meat powder with herbs, and special preparation from animal fats preserved in dry gourd or bamboo containers are important.
  • With the increase in the population of working women in the urban sector, demand for processed products has increased to counter the time constraints of women for food preparation at home. Hence, commercialization of ethnic food products can meet new consumer demands.
  • A step forward can be taken for commercialization of traditional meat products by taking active initiatives on certain aspects such as screening and assessing the outstanding foods from the existing platter, refining them through subsequent secondary or tertiary processing and value addition, setting up location-specific industries and enterprises, and facilitating marketing network through cooperative societies, private sectors, and self-help groups.
  • Such an initiative will require the formal involvement of private sectors, scientific institutions, and financial support from government, NGOs, and banks.
  • However, before taking such initiatives, certain criteria require substantial input at the ground level for successful commercialization.

Challenges faced in commercialization:

In spite of possessing innumerable advantages, the traditional meat products have a number of shortcomings which act as constraints for commercialization at a broader level. These include:

  • Lack of quality control and hygiene by food handlers/producer
  • Lack of standardization uniform – protocol which is acceptable taste for larger population
  • Lack of adequate logistics for scaling up to large production
  • Lack of knowledge on proper packaging materials and transport system
  • Lack of institutional support mechanism
  • Lack of branding and trademark in manufactured products
  • Lack of market networking
  • Lack of availability and accessibility of meat processing equipment and technical know-how on handling
  • Lack of training for skill development of entrepreneurs interested in setting up processing units
  • Lack of managerial and marketing skills for entrepreneurship development.

Steps taken by Government of India:

  • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, supports initiatives in meat processing by providing integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure facilities without any break from the farm gate to the consumer.
  • It covers pre-cooling facilities at production sites, reefer vans, mobile cooling units as well as value addition centers which includes infrastructural facilities like Processing/Multi-line Processing/Collection centers.
  • Small Farmer Agri-Business Consortium also provides assistance to setting up of cold storage by giving subsidies.
  • APEDA has taken up steps to promote the processed traditional food products to global areas.
  • State Governments and other stakeholders are encouraged to hold food stalls in tourism related activities like Bharat Parv and Paryatan Parv etc.
  • Financial support is given to private organizers for holding street food stalls facilitating tourists.
  • To promote local and regional food, government has created guidelines for organizing safe and hygienic food festivals.
  • Guidelines for declaration of clean street food hub have been framed including upgrading of infrastructure of existing food streets of the country to popularize and promote local and regional cuisines.
  • Launch of book focusing on regional cuisine of India.

Conclusion:

The richness of indigenous India in traditional cuisine of natural origin is immense. When showcased in a common platform, the extensive potential of the products for commercialization becomes evident. Commercialization of these indigenous food products will help in converting the local market into a global industry which will generate employment and self-sustainability in the region. It is important to orient their export policies to other border states. The commercialization of these products will enhance entrepreneurship development and ensure quality ethnic products to the consumer across India and the globe.

 

Topic : Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

6. What do you understand by Vaccine Nationalism? Is it against the fundamental principles of vaccine development and global public health? Discuss the challenges and concerns associated with it.  (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth 

Why the question:

The United States has now twice indicated that it would like to secure priority access to doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Other countries, including India and Russia, have taken similar stances. This prioritization of domestic markets has become known as vaccine nationalism.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail the concept of Vaccine Nationalism and debate on how it is against the fundamental principles of vaccine development and global public health.

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:

Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country manages to secure doses of vaccine for its own citizens or residents before they are made available in other countries. This is done through pre-purchase agreements between a government and a vaccine manufacturer.

Body:

Discuss the experiences of past when vaccine nationalism was practiced by nations. Then move onto explain how ‘vaccine nationalism’ could block vulnerable populations’ access to COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine nationalism is not new. During the early stages of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, some of the wealthiest countries entered into pre-purchase agreements with several pharmaceutical companies working on H1N1 vaccines. Explain the concerns and challenges associated with it.

Conclusion:

Conclude that more needs to be done. International institutions — including the WHO — should coordinate negotiations ahead of the next pandemic to produce a framework for equitable access to vaccines during public health crises. Equity entails both, affordability of vaccines and access opportunities for populations across the world, irrespective of geography and geopolitics.

Introduction:

Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country manages to secure doses of vaccine for its own citizens or residents before they are made available in other countries. This is done through pre-purchase agreements between a government and a vaccine manufacturer. Instead of working together to craft and implement a global strategy, a growing number of countries are taking a “my nation first” approach to developing and distributing potential vaccines or other pharmaceutical treatments.

The United States has now twice indicated that it would like to secure priority access to doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Other countries, including India and Russia, have taken similar stances. This prioritisation of domestic markets has become known as vaccine nationalism.

Body:

Instances of Vaccine Nationalism:

  • Paul Hudson, the CEO of Sanofi, said that the United States “has the right to the largest pre-order” of a vaccine due to the investment agreement the company signed in February with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). Protests from European Union officials forced Sanofi to backtrack.
  • The chief executive of the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest producer of vaccine doses, said most of its vaccine “would have to go to our countrymen before it goes abroad.”
  • AstraZeneca reported that due to the U.K.’s $79 million investment, the first 30 million doses of the vaccine it’s developing with the University of Oxford would be allocated to that country. Then, on May 21, the United States pledged as much as $1.2 billion to the company in order to obtain at least 300 million doses, with the first to be delivered as early as October. The pledge to AstraZeneca is part of the USA’s Operation Warp Speed for securing vaccines for Americans as early as possible.

Challenges posed by Vaccine nationalism:

  • Unequal access:
    • Vaccine nationalism is harmful for equitable access to vaccines.
    • It further disadvantages countries with fewer resources and bargaining power.
    • It deprives populations in the Global South from timely access to vital public health goods.
    • Taken to its extreme, it allocates vaccines to moderately at-risk populations in wealthy countries over populations at higher risk in developing economies.
    • COVID-19 has already taken a higher toll on black and Latino populations.
  • Price rise:
    • It will lead to hike in the price of drugs.
    • Such a price may mean that fewer citizens and residents especially those who are uninsured or underinsured would have access to the vaccine.
  • Monopoly:
    • Does any government deserve to obtain exclusive rights for a vaccine that may be priced too high?
    • Most vaccine development projects involve several parties from multiple countries.
    • With modern vaccines, there are very few instances in which a single country can claim to be the sole developer of a vaccine.
  • Global issue:
    • And even if that were possible, global public health is borderless. As COVID-19 is illustrating, viruses can travel the globe.
  • Inequality and poverty:
    • If COVID-19 vaccines are not made available affordably to those who need them, the consequences will likely be disproportionately severe for poorer or otherwise vulnerable and marginalised populations.
    • Without broad access to a vaccine, these populations will likely continue to suffer more than others, leading to unnecessary disease burden, continued economic problems and potential loss of life.

Way forward:

  • Experts in epidemiology, virology, and the social sciences — not politicians — should take the lead in devising and implementing science-based strategies to reduce the risks that Covid-19 poses to the most vulnerable across the globe and to reduce transmission of this novel virus for all of us.
  • To avoid ineffective nationalistic responses, we need a centralized, trusted governance system to ensure the appropriate flow of capital, information, and supplies.
  • One innovative financing mechanism is the advanced market commitment (AMC) model: Donors make a commitment to subsidize the purchase of a yet-to-be-developed vaccine for developing countries, providing vaccine manufacturers with an incentive to invest in what’s needed to bring a vaccine to the developing world market.
  • Beyond financing, we need a global coordinated effort to estimate and account for the available global workforce of vaccinators, operationalize mass vaccination programs, implement plans for equitably allocating vaccines on a prioritized basis, and verify the delivery of vaccines.
  • Public health leaders can integrate key lessons on allocation and distribution from previous experiences with polio and smallpox vaccination efforts.
  • We must leverage our global governance bodies to aid in doing all this and planning and strengthening health systems to operationalize national vaccine campaigns.
  • The WHO’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator is a starting point for countries to test collaborative approaches during the current pandemic.

Conclusion:

In the midst of this global pandemic, we must leverage our global governance bodies to allocate, distribute, and verify the delivery of the Covid 19 vaccine. We need the science — not politics — to inform the global strategy.

 

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

7. Media is often hailed as the fourth pillar of democracy. In the setting, debate upon the significance of media ethics in modern-day times. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

Explain the role of media and discuss its significance in modern day times.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the significance of ethics to Media and how it being 4th pillar of democracy owes to always stand by ethics and standards. 

Directive:

Debate – 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 agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly highlight the growing importance of media in a democracy.

Body:

Highlight some ethical issues currently faced by the media towards jeopardising democracy. Discuss some cases to justify the significance of Media, importance of ethics and morality to be upheld by them. Explain the challenges such as manipulation of information, conflict of law, issues related to transparency, accountability etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the need of media ethics and suggest some measures for its implementation.

Introduction:

Media acts as a watchdog of public interest in a democracy. It plays an important role in a democracy and serves as an agency of the people to inform them of the events of national and international significance. Media is considered as “Fourth Pillar” in democratic countries along with Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. Its importance in influencing readers can be gauged by the role it played during the freedom struggle, politically educating millions of Indians who joined the leaders in their fight against the British imperialism.

Body:

Importance of Media in today’s India:

 

  • Journalism is a profession that serves. By virtue, thereof it enjoys the privilege to ‘question’ others.
  • The fundamental objective of journalism is to serve the people with news, views, comments and information on matters of public interest in a fair, accurate, unbiased: and decent manner and language.
  • The press is an indispensable pillar of democracy. It purveys public opinion and shapes it.  Parliamentary democracy can flourish only under the watchful eyes of the media.    Media not only reports but acts as a bridge between the state and the public.
  • With the advent of private TV channels, the media seems to have taken over the reins of human life and society in every walk of life.
  • The media today does not remain satisfied as the Fourth Estate, it has assumed the foremost importance in society and governance. While playing the role of informer, the media also takes the shape of a motivator and a leader.
  • Such is the influence of media that it can make or unmake any individual, institution or any thought. So all pervasive and all-powerful is today its impact on the society. With so much power and strength, the media cannot lose sight of its privileges, duties and obligations.

Significance of Media ethics in contemporary times:

  • The issues of paid news, media trial, non-issues being presented as real news while the real issues are sidelined, the news is being doctored and fact distortion for profits and political favour, fake news, yellow journalism are important concerns which are influencing public and impacting national security. For instance, fear mongering through media has led to mob lynchings, attacks on the migrant population.
  • The absence of objective journalism leads to the false presentation of truth in a society which affects the perception and opinions of people. As observed in the case of Cambridge Analytica case, the biased news coverage on social media platform affected the Presidential elections in the U.S.
  • The chase for sensationalism and higher TRP rates as observed in the coverage of 26/11 terrorist attacks in India risked the internal security of the nation. The sensationalism-driven reporting compromised the identities of rape victims and survivors despite SC guidelines.
  • Trial by media does not follow the due process of law and can reduce the public trust in institutions of governance like the judiciary.
  • Paid news and fake news can manipulate public perception and can instigate hatred, violence, and disharmony among the various community within society.
  • With the advent of social media, technological changes, the reach of media has grown profoundly. Its reach and role in impacting public opinion have made it even more important to ensure its objectivity, non-partisanship calls for the enforcement of journalistic ethics.

Conclusion:

It is therefore important that for the media to carry out their important role effectively and efficiently, the media should operate within a well-defined code of ethics while maintaining their freedom and editorial independence.  Since irresponsible journalism invites restriction, robbing off the media its freedom, professional conduct and ethical practice are vital to safeguarding freedom of the media and ensuring that public trust invested in the media is sustained.


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