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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 30 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 : Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

1. What do you understand by ice-albedo feedback? And how can it be related to climate change? Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why the question:

The question is premised on the concept of ice-albedo feedback and its relation with climate change.

Key Demand of the question:

Student must discuss the concept of ice-albedo feedback and explain its relation with climate change, its impact on climate change and other effects.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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:

Define briefly the concept – Ice–albedo feedback is a positive (exacerbating) feedback climate process where a change in the area of ice caps, glaciers, and sea ice alters the albedo and surface temperature of Earth.

Body:

Discuss its spatial aspects, location etc. – It is prominent in areas where a patch of sea ice completely melts, and results in uncovering darker seawater surface that absorbs more sunlight than ice. Ice reflects some of the solar energy back to space because it is highly reflective. If an equivalent area of ice is replaced by water or land, (having a lower albedo value) reflects less and absorbs more energy, resulting in a warmer Earth.

Discuss then in detail the Ice albedo feedback’s relationship with climate change.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to have a global effort to prevent further melting of sea ice by constantly monitoring sea ice loss and taking adequate measures to prevent human induced climate change.

Introduction:

Ice–albedo feedback is a positive feedback climate process where a change in the area of ice caps, glaciers, and sea ice alters the albedo and surface temperature of a planet. Ice is very reflective, therefore some of the solar energy is reflected back to space. Ice–albedo feedback plays an important role in global climate change.

The Arctic Circle has recorded temperatures reaching over 38 degrees Celsius in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk, likely an all-time high. The temperatures seem to have been 18 degrees Celsius higher than normal in June.

Body:

ice_albedo

Mechanism of Ice-Albedo feedback:

  • This feedback arises from the simple fact that ice is more reflective (that is, has a higher albedo) than land or water surfaces.
  • Therefore, as global ice cover decreases, the reflectivity of Earth’s surface decreases, more incoming solar radiation is absorbed by the surface, and the surface warms.
  • For instance, at higher latitudes, we see warmer temperatures melt the ice sheets.
  • However, if warm temperatures decrease the ice cover and the area is replaced by water or land the albedo would decrease. This increases the amount of solar energy absorbed, leading to more warming.
  • The effect has mostly been discussed in terms of the recent trend of declining Arctic sea ice.
  • The change in albedo acts to reinforce the initial alteration in ice area leading to more warming.
  • Warming tends to decrease ice cover and hence decrease the albedo, increasing the amount of solar energy absorbed and leading to more warming.
  • Inversely, cooler temperatures increase ice, which increases albedo, leading to more cooling.

Ice-Albedo feedback and climate change:

  • Higher rate of Global warming:
    • Melting permafrost creates yet another positive feedback loop in the warming climate system: release of the greenhouse gases CO2 and methane.
    • Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas that is five times stronger than CO2.
    • Investigate how soil microbes in permafrost may be actively decomposing organic matter throughout the Alaskan winter and contributing significant amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by watching “Soil Microbes and Global Warming.”
  • Permafrost thaw and Infrastructure collapse: When permafrost thaws under homes and bridges, infrastructure can sink, tilt and collapse.
    • As temperatures rise, the surface layer gets deeper and structures embedded in it start to fail as the ground beneath them expands and contracts.
    • g.: Near Norilsk, Russia, thawing permafrost was blamed for an oil tank collapse in late May 2020 that spilled thousands of tons of oil into a river.
  • Ice caps melting: As temperatures rise in spring, sea ice melts, exposing the dark ocean underneath, which absorbs even more solar radiation, increasing warming of the region, which melts even more ice.
    • This is a positive feedback loop which is often referred to as the ice-albedo feedback mechanism.
    • Arctic Polar bears were seen near human habitation salvaging food due to ice caps melting and unbearable heat in the Siberian region.

Conclusion:

Today, we’re seeing the results, with permafrost thaw and sea ice and ice sheet melting. The Arctic has sometimes been described as the canary in the coal mine for climate breakdown. This calls for all the more reason to adhere commitments to Paris Climate deal. By reducing our carbon footprint, investing in energy-efficient products, and supporting climate-friendly businesses, legislation, and policies, we can help preserve the world’s permafrost and avert a vicious cycle of an ever-warming planet.

 

Topic :  Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

2. Should India boycott China, or focus on policies that support self-reliance and invest sufficiently to be at par in terms of economies of scale with China. Deliberate.(250 Words)

Reference: Financial Express

Why the question:

The article covers in detail the recent happenings between India-China relationship and effects thereafter.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail what is the right approach in your opinion that India must take to resolve the issues with China. Support the idea of self-reliance and importance of such policies.

Directive:

Deliberate – 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:

The increasing border tension between India and China at Galwan valley in Ladakh has led to an increase in anti-China sentiments with people willing to “boycott” Chinese products and “promote” domestic products. 

Body:

Discuss the border skirmished between the two countries.

Explain why boycotting isn’t a good option to take for India, why India should focus on Self-Reliance.   

Provide suggestions on how India can overcome the reliance on China.

Discuss what policy aspects should India focus on.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

In the wake of the recent Indo-China conflict in the Galwan Valley, a section of Indians are clamouring for a boycott of Chinese products and promotion of domestic manufacturing. This has been further strengthened by Prime Minister’s clarion call for ‘“Aatmanirbhar Bharat” vision and the “vocal for local” by giving self-reliance the status of a national mission. The emotional outrage has been particularly pronounced on social media, with hash tags like Boycott China trending on Twitter.

 Body:

Rationale behind the move for the boycott of Chinese goods:

  • Border skirmishes: Latest scuffle between soldiers of Indian army and People’s liberation army in the Galwan valley which led to death of 20 Indian soldiers has angered the common sentiments of Indian population.
  • Predatory pricing: China has adopted the ruse of manufacturing goods at such low prices that industries in other countries are unable to compete. Keeping a tab on what is in demand in the market and delivering it in large numbers quickly and cheaply has become China’s forte.
  • Increasing trade deficit: India’s trade deficit with China stood at $51.68 billion between January-November 2019. Bridging this trade gap alone is a matter of concern.
  • Data Security concerns: China’s increasing stakes in Indian start-ups and other technology companies also raise major concerns over the protection of intellectual property rights, data privacy, and national security. For instance, Alibaba is the single largest shareholder in Paytm, which handles the daily financial transactions of millions of Indians.
  • Global concerns: India isn’t the only country concerned about the Chinese government’s influence over private technology companies’ foreign activities. E.g. opposition to Huawei in US and EU.
  • India should focus on building its own supply chain and occupying its domestic market.
  • Indian government has shown its intent by scrutinising Chinese investment. According to the Indian Ministry of Commerce, tighter restrictions on Chinese investment became necessary in order to prevent “opportunistic takeovers” of Indian companies.
  • Of all FDI inflows to India, Chinese investments have only been 0.52 percent since 2000. The biggest increase has been in the acquisition of shares in existing businesses, including pharmaceuticals companies—a source of concern during corona virus-related medical supply chain fears. Chinese investment has also been directed toward technology start-ups. According to a study, 18 out of 30 Indian “unicorn” companies have significant Chinese investment. E.g. Paytm, Ola, Flipkart.

However, boycotting China is not as easy as data from key sectors show:

  • Smartphones: Market size: Rs 2 lakh Cr. Share of Chinese products: 72%.
  • Telecom Equipment: Market size: Rs 12,000 Cr; Share of Chinese products: 25%.
  • Auto Components: Market size: 43.1 lakh Cr.; Share of Chinese products: 26%.
  • Internet Apps: Market size: 45.0 Crore smartphone users; Share of Chinese products: 66% of people use at least one Chinese app on their smartphones.
  • Solar Power: Market size: 37,916 MW; Share of Chinese products: 90%
  • Steel: Share of Chinese products: 18-20%.
  • Pharma/API: Market size: 1.5 Lakh Crore; Share of Chinese products: 60%.

imports_china

‘Boycott Chinese Products’ Movement is difficult in India:

  • Trade deficit: In 2018-19, India’s exports to China were mere $16.7 billion, while imports were $70.3 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $53.6 billion.
  • Private Indian companies with Chinese investment: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China stood at a total of $1.8 billion between 2015 and 2019. Chinese tech investors have put an estimated $4 billion into Indian start-ups. Over a period of five years ending March 2020, 18 of India’s 30 unicorns are now Chinese-funded.
  • China’s dominance in the Indian digital market: Apps with Chinese investments constituted a substantial 50% of top app downloads (both iOS and G Play combined) which includes web browsers, data sharing and social media apps as per the Gateway house report.
  • Startups: The payments and fintech app Paytm, e-grocer Bigbasket, education app Byju’s, ride-hailing platform Ola, and hotel aggregator platform Oyo have received substantial funds from Chinese investors as the latter have rapidly increased their footprint in the start-up space.
  • It is difficult to ignore the fact that Chinese investment generates employment in India, and matching these investments locally will take a fair amount of time. Thinking practically, it will be extremely daunting for India to ignore Chinese investments
  • A blanket ban on Chinese imports will hurt all small businesses at a time when they are already struggling to survive, apart from hitting India’s ability to produce finished goods.
  • We live in a world which, despite many recent setbacks to globalization, is inextricably interlinked, with the supply chains of companies spanning various geographies.
  • Large Indian companies like Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Mahindra & Mahindra and Sundaram Fasteners have manufacturing units in China that cater to markets abroad as well as in India. In several segments, the fate of an entire industry could be in jeopardy if its China links are severed.

Way forward:

  • India needs to look into the totality of its trade with China and Hong Kong.
  • It must implement certain short- term to long-term plans to reduce its dependence on them.
  • “Aatmanirbhar” focus of the government would build self-reliance in the ministries handhold industries.
  • India needs to reduce its import dependence in electronic and telecommunication sectors through a long-term focus on building self-reliance in manufacturing.
  • Import substitution manufacturing should attract interest subvention on credit, offsetting inland freight disadvantage besides equalization of import tariff from free trade areas.
  • Exporters could minimize their impact through strategies that involve a focus on other advanced and emerging markets.
  • Estimates indicate that a third of the Chinese imports constitute low-tech goods that were either made earlier by Indians, or are still being made but in smaller quantities.
  • These can surely be discouraged, and re-replaced by local products and brands.
  • In addition, such attempts will prove to be a fillip for the hundreds of small and medium firms, which have languished due to the lack of demand.
  • If the MSME segment kicks off, the overall manufacturing sector will get a boost, which will benefit the ‘Make in India’ scheme.
  • As local sales grow, Indians will become competitive. They can emerge as exporters of these products, and battle globally with China.

 

Topic : Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

3. Participation and representation are fundamental elements of a democracy. Discuss the challenges faced by democracy in guaranteeing inclusive participation and representation. (250 words)

Reference : Indian Polity – Laxmikanth

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions and aims to ascertain the challenges faced by democracy in guaranteeing inclusive participation and representation.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in what way participation and representation are fundamental elements of a democracy; also explain the challenges faced by democracy in guaranteeing inclusive participation and representation.

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:

Start by explaining how the concepts of rights, freedom and equality are most central to the theme of democracy.

Body:

Explain what you understand by Representative Democracy and Participatory Democracy.

Present in detail arguments about Representation and Participation in Democracy, highlight its importance.

Elucidate upon the challenges faced by democracy in guaranteeing inclusive participation and representation.

Present the case of India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of such elements to ensure success of a democracy.

Introduction:

Democracy is a form of government in which power ultimately comes from the people who are governed, either through direct voting or through elected representatives. India is today the largest functioning democracy in the world. The “State of Democracy in the World in 2018” index report titled “Me Too? Political participation, protest and democracy” was published recently by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). India was ranked 41, a mid-range country among flawed democracies.

Body:

Participation and representation are two fundamental elements and principles of democracy. They affirm that a democracy is dependent on its citizens and that this ownership is expressed through meaningful participation by and representation of all citizens in democratic institutions and processes.

Representative democracy is the system of government where citizens elect a representative to represent them. It is limited in the sense that participation in government is infrequent and brief, being restricted to the act of voting every few years. The elected representative communicates the views of his constituents and secures their interests. In a representative democracy, government is the expression of the will of people. Discussion, debates, deliberations and dissents are the ways in which people exchange ideas and take decisions.

Participatory democracy involves more lay citizen participation in decision making and offers greater political representation than traditional representative democracy, e.g., wider control of proxies given to representatives by those who get directly involved and actually participate.

 Challenges faced by democracy of India:

  • Illiteracy, Poverty, Gender Discrimination, Casteism, Communalism, Religious Fundamentalism, Regionalism, Corruption, and Criminalization of Politics are still plaguing Indian Democracy.
  • According to the last two reports, there is a rise of “conservative religious ideologies” in the country.
  • Vigilantism, violence, narrowing scope for dissent, threat to minorities and marginalized groups has affected India’s democratic values.
  • Important issues like horse-trading in politics, the anti-defection law, pros and cons of post-poll alliances and discretionary powers of the governor has brought to light the various challenges facing Indian democracy.
  • Journalists are increasingly under attack, with murders taking place in several areas.
  • As a result of limited scope for fair reportage, the Indian media is classified as only “partially free”. This is a fact which is also supported by the “Freedom in the World Report, 2018”.
  • Unlike pre-poll alliances, where the voters are aware of whom they are voting for, post-poll alliances present a new set of challenges.
  • Anti-Defection law does not seem to be doing much to stop MLAs from defecting.
  • Dynastic politics, lack of strong opposition at the center and Religion based politics. Ex: Government’s decision to classify Lingayats as a religious minority in Karnataka.
  • The delay in disposal of cases by the courts is a concern to people.
  • Misuse of data on social media sites, privacy of users and the power of social media to influence important political outcomes.

Way Forward:

  • Universal literacye. education for all, poverty alleviation, elimination of gender discrimination, removal of regional imbalances, administrative and judicial reforms and sustained economic, social and environmental development.
  • A set of rules which would curb the menace of defection as well as the misuse of powers of the governor’s office is required.
  • A defecting MLA must be disqualified from contesting or becoming a minister for at least six years.
  • A distinction needs to be drawn whether a member is leaving a party for ideological differences or for money and power.
  • In case of hung assembly, whether the governor must call the single largest party first, or a post-poll alliance, the process must be uniform across the country.
  • The governors’ discretionary powers must be abolished and replaced with clear guidelines based on the Sarkaria Commission.
  • The Judiciary must attend to urgent cases on an urgent basis; drop the practice of sealed envelopes except in the rarest cases; be independent and be seen as independent in appointments; and set a strong benchmark on issues related to rights in particular.
  • Stricter data protection laws are required to ensure that political parties do not indulge in practices that involve undue influencing of voting behaviour.
  • Voter education, electoral reforms and periodical highlighting of the performance (or non-performance) of elected representatives should be high priority.
  • People must exercise their right to vote, participate in democracy and contribute towards the development of the country.
  • The youth must be aware of the problems that the country is facing and choose the candidate who is most likely to bring about a change
  • Democracy cannot survive without both citizens’ participation and politicians’ accountability.
  • The promises of democracy can only be realized through collective action in civil society.
  • The state must respect the articulation of the politics of voice and not just the politics of the vot

 

Topic Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

4. Stressing on the need for Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) in India, discuss the limitations in implementing it. (250 words)

Reference

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of for Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM).

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain the need of such a technique – Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) and its relevance to the Indian system of agriculture, also discuss the constraints associated with its implementation.

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:

Define what you understand by Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM). Participatory irrigation management (PIM) refers to the co-operation and involvement of farmers in Operation, management, and maintenance of the irrigation systems by organizing themselves in formal bodies at various levels.

Body:

Discuss the key features of PIM.

Then explain the need for Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) in India – to increase in Agricultural Productivity, to reduce the operations cost of irrigation facility and others. 

Discuss then the constraints in implementing the PIM – Lack of legal backup and policy changes, lacunae in the system, Uncertainty of water availability, Fear of financial viability.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such ideas and policy initiatives and also suggest measures to overcome the challenges associated in its implementation.

Introduction:

Participatory irrigation management (PIM) refers to the participation of irrigation users, i.e., farmers, in the management of irrigation systems not merely at the tertiary level of management but spanning the entire system. It is crucial for management of irrigation projects for conserving and optimal utilization of resources.  Water Users’ Association(WUA) has been registered for the purpose of PIM in various states in India

 The concept of involvement of Farmers in irrigation management accepted as a policy by Government of India and included in National Water Policy adopted in 1987. Government of India started campaigns to promote Participatory Irrigation Management through National Seminars and Workshops during 1990s.

Body:

Important facets of PIM:

  • Participation should not be construed as consultation alone.
  • The concept of PIM refers to management by irrigation users at all levels of the system and in all aspects of management. This is the simplicity and flexibility of PIM.
  • There can be different forms of participation at different levels in the system with varying degrees of accountability and responsibility.
  • Management by irrigation users, rather than by a government agency, is often the best solution.
  • Contrary to the traditional concept that irrigation management requires a strong public-sector role, the PIM approach starts with the assumption that the irrigation users themselves are best suited to manage their own water.

Need for PIM:

  • The irrigation sector in the country has been afflicted by several problems.
  • Lack of understanding about scarcity of water, its life sustaining and economic value results in its mismanagement, pollution, wastage, reduction of flows below minimum ecological needs and inefficient use.
  • There are inequities in distribution and lack of a unified perspective in planning, management and use of water resources.
  • Inadequate maintenance leading to poor operation of irrigation systems.
  • Management and   operation   of   the   irrigation   system   by the   irrigation department as per normal administrative procedures.
  • Wide cognitive distance between the farmers and the irrigation agency leading to a mismatch of objectives.
  • The level of coordination between various government departments is minimal

Limitations in implementation of PIM:

  • Lack of legal back up and policy changes: In many States, there is no or very little legal back up and clear-cut policy decision at the Government level to take up PIM, which is a big impediment in implementation of PIM. For the actual irrigation management transfer and operation of PIM in an irrigation project, policy changes and legal back up are essential. The   concept   of   water   user   is deeply ingrained in Indian culture as the one who owns the land
  • System deficiency: In older projects, there are many problems like deterioration of old control and measuring structures, leakages and seepage at various places, erosion of banks and beds, siltation and weed infestation. These are serious problems, hindering farmers to take over the system management on technical and financial considerations.
  • Uncertainty of water availability: This is another important aspect, as farmers will understandably be reluctant to take on the responsibility for managing the system unless deliveries of water are made reliable, flexible, practical and responsive to need.
  • Fear of financial viability: Maintenance and operation of the system demands huge finances. Farmers have got the apprehension that in absence of surety of finance, it would be difficult for them to fulfill the requirement of funds for operation and maintenance.
  • Lack of technical knowledge: Apart from the financial uncertainty, lack of technical input is one of the inhibiting factors to take over the system.
  • Lack of leadership: On account of limited exposure of the farmers to the rest of the world and PIM in particular, potent leadership is lacking, rather on account of limiting knowledge.
  • Lack of publicity and training: Seeing is believing; and knowledge brings confidence in people.  This aspect is lacking and there is a constraint to adoption of PIM.
  • Demographic diversity: Due to variation in economic, ethnic, education levels etc. diversity of farmers, PIM is taking much time in this country.
  • WUAs v/s Panchayats: In many of the areas, where WUAs have been formed, there is a clash of interest among Panchayats and WUAs on who is to own the system, particularly when watershed schemes are being handed over to the Panchayats.
  • Gender issues: Rules for   membership   in   Water Users Groups are problematic as patriarchy   and   male   dominance. Although women have legal rights to    inherit, and    own    land, the practice is different. Women    particularly, landless aren’t perceived as water users and therefore not perceived as eligible as members of water user’s associations

Way forward:

Planning, development and management of water resources need to be governed by common integrated perspective considering local, regional, State and national context, having an environmentally sound basis, keeping in view the human, social and economic needs. Water needs to be managed as a common pool community resource held, by the state, under public trust doctrine to achieve food security, support livelihood, and ensure equitable and sustainable development for all.

 

Topic : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

5. “Establishing a global solar grid is a novel idea, especially in context of climate change. However, underlying issues in its implementation needs to be addressed first”. Give your opinion in this context. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express

Why the question:

In recent years, India has leveraged forums like the G20 and the UNFCCC to collaborate with major powers in new areas of growth and in bringing about global reforms. One such initiative is One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG). Thus the context of the question

Key Demand of the question:

One has to discuss the idea of global solar grid and in what way it is a novel idea.  Also discuss the associated issues and need to recognize and resolve them.

Directive:

Give your opinion – 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:

One can start by explaining  the OSOWOG vision, where in India seeks to replicate its global solar leadership (International Solar Alliance) by encouraging the phased development of a single globally connected solar electricity grid to leverage the multiple benefits (Low cost, Zero pollution) of solar energy.

Body:

Firstly, explain why it seems to be a brilliant idea in pursuit of sustainable development. However, it faces certain challenges in its implementation.

Discuss the novelty of the idea to Indian economy and other aspects; parity with other countries, sel-reliance in energy sector, Climate Mitigation etc.

Discuss what the hurdles are or challenges are – Problem with Interconnectedness, Dependency on China and so on.

Conclusion:

Conclude that establishing a global solar grid is a novel idea, especially in context of climate change. However, underlying issues in its implementation needs to be addressed first. Apart from it, India can explore the possibility of establishing a federation of regional grids like SAARC grid.

Introduction:

India has come up with a ‘One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG) initiative to set up a framework for facilitating global cooperation in this regard aiming at building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources that can be seamlessly shared. Indian Prime Minister in October 2019, had floated the idea of cross-border solar connectivity. Recently, the Government of India has called for bids to roll-out the ‘One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG) plan.

Body:

‘One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG) plan:

  • Objective: The Union Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE), through this initiative, plans to build global consensus about sharing solar resources among more than 140 countries of West Asia and South East Asia.
  • The vision behind the OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.
  • At a later stage, the project envisages getting this grid interconnected with the African power pools.
  • The idea is to utilize solar power when the sun is not shining in other parts of the world by building a common transmission system.
  • It has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank.
  • OSOWOG plan may also leverage the International Solar Alliance (ISA), co-founded by India

Potential:

  • India would generate 40% of power from non-fossil fuels by 2030 and has called for connecting solar energy supply across borders giving the mantra of ‘One World One Sun One Grid’.
  • The proposed integration would lead to reduced project costs, higher efficiencies and increased asset utilization for all the participating entities.
  • This plan will require only incremental investment because it will not require a parallel grid infrastructure due to working with existing grids.
  • It will help all the participating entities in attracting investments in renewable energy sources as well as utilizing skills, technology and finances.
  • Resulting economic benefits would positively impact poverty alleviation and support in mitigating water, sanitation, food and other socio-economic challenges.
  • It will allow national renewable energy management centers in India to grow as regional and global management centers.
  • This move, during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, gives India the opportunity to be seen as taking a lead in evolving global strategies.

Importance and Need for a OSOWOG plan for Globe:

  • The challenges of global warming and climate change is becoming serious and efforts need to be done by moving more towards cleaner fuels to resolve it.
  • Limiting the rise in global average temperature by 2OC as per the Paris Agreement and even further to 1.5OC require that the world should move towards fossil-fuel free economy by about 2040. This is a huge challenge and requires to act rigorously to achieve it.
  • India, Europe, United States etc are more or less covered with an integrated grid for power supply.
  • Integration of nations over the world with a common grid can be very helpful. This can help in generating, for example, solar energy in regions where it is largely available (like deserts of the world) to places where it is less available. For example, solar energy generated in Sahara Desert can be taken to Europe and reduce Europe’s dependence on gas.
  • Pitching International Solar Alliance to becoming a global body like United Nations is going to be a very important foreign policy tool for India (as its Headquarter is in Gurugram, India) apart from being helpful from environment, economy and energy points of views.
  • India has an installed capacity of 345GW in electricity sector with one National Grid. Solar energy is a fast developing industry in India and its capacity has reached 23 GW till June 2018. India has an ambitious target of achieving 100GW of solar capacity by
  • India has developed solar energy in large solar parks. But, the solar energy needs to be made available in lakhs of villages as well. This will be helpful for farmers to a large extent in increasing his productivity.
  • Government of India has worked on programmes like increasing use of LED bulbs in rural and urban areas both. Such initiatives need to be taken further to save both energy and climate.
  • A major challenge towards achieving solar energy all over India is storage technology (like using batteries). This will help in getting solar power in different areas and in non-peak times of solar energy. India needs to develop and get such technologies at present.

OSOWOG plan and South Asia:

  • India is already planning to connect more neighbouring countries through a regional power grid which can be used to supply electricity to surrounding nations without adequate number of power plants.
  • Apart from Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh, which already take power from India, there are plans to connect Sri Lanka with power transmission lines as well.
  • Draft procedural guidelines have been framed for firms to participate in cross-border electricity trade.
  • In November 2014, India, along with the other countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, had signed an agreement to enable cross-border electricity trade among the member states on a voluntary basis.
  • Later in August 2018, the country also signed a memorandum of understanding for establishing grid interconnection between the members of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec).

OSOWOG and the world:

  • India is already expediting ISA’s plan to set up the World Solar Bank (WSB) with a capital of USD 10 billion.
  • WSB aims to compete with other newly created funding institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the New Development Bank (NDB).
  • OSOWOG will help to mitigate the ill effects on climate by providing clean and renewable energy sources, enabling member countries to fulfill their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) towards reducing global warming.
  • OSOWOG will provide a strategic rebalance in favour of India and will control the increasing Chinese dominance in Asian subcontinent, providing a better alternative to developing countries.

Way forward:

  • The first and foremost action would be to develop storage technology. In this regard, both the government and the private sector need to make a substantial investment.
  • Continents like Africa can be explored for ensuring the constant supply of rare earth minerals that are important for making batteries for energy storage.
  • An alternative to storage like solar thermal can be explored.
  • However, the most important work has to be done at the front of ISA. The team of 121 countries should come together and work as a facilitator instead of a cartel (OPEC).
  • The move is the key to future renewable-based energy systems globally because regional and international interconnected green grids can enable sharing and balancing of renewable energy across international borders.
  • It allows grabbing opportunities to learn quickly from global developments and share renewable energy resources to reduce the global carbon footprint and insulate the societies from pandemics.

 

Topic : Ethical issues in International Relations

7. What do you understand by global ethics in modern-day world? Focus upon the role that global ethics can play in attaining universally accepted goals. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of global ethics and its importance in today’s world.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the concept of global ethics and its importance in today’s world and also highlight its role in attaining universally accepted goals.

Directive:

Focus – A similar instruction to ‘explain’ whereby you are asked to show the workings of something, making use of definite examples and statistics if appropriate to add weight to your explanation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining global ethics in today’s world.

Body:

Start with definition of global ethics – Global ethics is an area of critical ethical enquiry into the nature and justification of values and norms that are global in kind and into the various issues that arise such as world poverty and international aid, environmental problems, food security, disaster mitigation, peace and security, and human rights.

Discuss in what way global ethics can contribute – it helps in Drawing parallels between self-interest of nations and the universality of these interests so a shared understanding of global problems. Creates moral pressure for countries come forward and provide assistance when conditions in other countries are not so favorable. Establishes checks and balances etc.

Give examples in day-to day global platform.

Conclusion:

Conclude by asserting its importance.

Introduction:

Global ethics refers to a set of common moral values and ethical standards which are shared by the different faiths and cultures on Earth. These common moral values and ethical standards constitute a humane ethic, or, the ethic of humanity.

Global ethics is committed to discussing, and more importantly to seeking solutions to, the most pressing contemporary ethical issues. Issues addressed in global ethics include the “war on terror”, rogue states, child labour, torture, scarce resources, trafficking, migration, climate change, global trade, medical tourism, global pandemics, humanitarian intervention and so on;

Body:

In fact, at the root of this fundamental consensus of values, standards and attitudes is a simple but very profound principle: “Treat others as you would like to be treated” or “Do not treat others as you would not like to be treated”. That is the so-called GOLDEN RULE of life which is found in the scriptures of all major faiths – in different words but with the same divine meaning.

Global ethics will shape and limit the possible relationships and opportunities of all global actors; moreover, decisions made now will affect future generations.

  • This is true not only for problems of climate change, where our actions now determine the environment our children and grandchildren will inherit, but also for decisions about what it is acceptable and permissible to do to human beings.

For instance, if we collectively decide that it is acceptable to torture or to buy body parts then we are making judgements about what human beings are, and these decisions will limit and shape what is possible or permissible for future human beings.

The role that global ethics can play in attaining universally accepted goals:

  • There can be no doubt that a globalizing world with its tremendous social, ecological and moral problems needs a globalization of moral values and ethical standards, in short: a global ethic, in order to survive as a place where our grandchildren and great-grandchildren can live a decent life.
  • Human needs are to be   met   everywhere; socioeconomic   and   technological   progress   are   to   occur   everywhere; it is the global environment that needs protecting; it is really, parallel to global security, global sustainable development that is the target.
  • However, due to the unequal development, lack of resources, it poses a challenge to achieve these goals. It is usually posed in these forms: non-violation; cooperation/coordination; and positive intervention.
  • The interests of one country may involve violation of the interests of, for example through military intervention, economic aggression, setting rules and agendas unfavorable to weaker countries, or exporting environmental problems, so there needs to be avoidance of this if the global goals are to be achieved.
  • Cooperation and coordination between states is essential if many global common goods are to be effectively achieved; whether it is in the area of “peace and security,” environmental regulations (ensuring sufficient compliance), or technology transfer (and the avoidance of excessive patenting, which disadvantages poorer countries as with genetically modified (G.M.) foods).
  • Assistance or positive intervention may be needed when conditions in other countries are such that governments either will not or cannot address natural and human-made evils properly. Thus there is the need for international aid and for intervention for the sake of human rights.
  • None of these three types of response to global problems could occur without some kind of commitment to global goals as an ethical requirement or acceptance of global responsibilities.

Conclusion:

Thus, there is a need to make the golden rule and the many other common ethical standards and shared moral values to be accepted as the global ethic of humankind by as many people as possible. If the great majority of people would practice the golden rule and follow the directives of the global ethics, we would definitively live in a better and much more peaceful and just world.


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