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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 8 July 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 : The Freedom Struggle —  its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. Discuss the key features of Subsidiary alliance policy. Also explain how the policy aided the Britishers to expand their rule in India? (250 words)

Reference: History  of Modern India by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is from the modern Indian history theme of GS paper I.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the policy of subsidiary alliance and in what way it aided the Britishers to expand their rule in India.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Discuss what the policy of Subsidiary alliance was.

Body:

Discuss the main principles of a subsidiary alliance:

  • An Indian ruler entering into a subsidiary alliance with the British had to accept British forces in his territory and also agreed to pay for their maintenance.
  • The ruler would accept a British people in his state.
  • Such a ruler would not form an alliance with any other power, nor would he declare war against any power without the permission of the British.
  • The ruler would not employ any Europeans other than the British, and if he were already doing so, he would dismiss them.
  • In case of a conflict with any other state, the British would decide what to do, and he would accept their solution.
  • The ruler would acknowledge the East India Companyas the power in India.
  • In return for the ruler accepting its conditions, the Company undertook to protect the state from external dangers and internal disorders.
  • If the Indian rulers failed to make the payments required by the alliance, then part art of their territory was to be taken away as a penalty.

Then move onto explain how the policy aided the Britishers to expand their rule in India.

Conclusion:

Conclude that with such features like control of foreign policy of subordinate states and control of their security and defence made Britishers sovereign authority in India.

Introduction

Wellesley’s policy of subsidiary alliance was an extension of ring fence—which sought to reduce states to a position of dependence on British Government in India.

According to this system, every ruler in India had to accept to pay a subsidy to the British for the maintenance of British army. In return, British would protect them from their enemies which gave British enormous expansion.

Body

Key features of Subsidiary Alliance

  • The allies of Indian state’s ruler were compelled to accept the permanent garrison of British Army within their territories and to pay a subsidy for its maintenance.
  • An Indian ruler entering into Subsidiary Alliance with the British had to dissolve his own armed forces.
  • He also had to pay for the British army’s maintenance.
  • In return, the British would protect the Indian state against any foreign attack or internal revolt.
  • The British promised non-interference in internal affairs of the Indian state but this was rarely kept.
  • The Indian state could not enter into any alliance with any other foreign power.
  • He could also not employ any other foreign nationals other than Englishmen in his service. And, if he were employing any, on the signing of the alliance, he had to terminate them from his service. The idea was to curb the influence of the French.
  • The Indian state could also not enter into any political connection with another Indian state without British approval.
  • The Indian ruler, thus, lost all powers in respect of foreign affairs and the military.
  • He virtually lost all his independence and became a British ‘protectorate’.
  • A British Resident was also stationed in the Indian Court.

Impact of policy and British Expansion

  • If a ruler failed to make the payment, a portion of his territory would be taken away and ceded to the British in the name of maintaining the troops.
    • This was the outcome in most cases, as rulers fell into arrears and a part of their territory was taken.
  • The subsidiary system was the Trojan horse tactics in empire building. It disarmed the Indian states and threw British protectorate over them.
  • The Governor General had proxy in every Indian state that accepted the subsidiary alliance.
    • Thus, it deprived the Indian princes of forming any confederacy against British.
  • It enabled the company to maintain a large standing army at the expense of Indian princes.
  • According to the Wellesley himself, “by the establishment of our subsidiary forces at Hyderabad and Poona, an efficient army of 22000 men are stationed within the territories or on the frontier of foreign states, and is paid by foreign subsidies. That army is constantly maintained in a state of perfect equipment, and is prepared for active service in any direction at the shortest notice” without any considerable increase to the permanent military expenses of the Government of India.”
  • The stationing of the company’s troops in the capitals of the Indian princes gave the English the control of the strategic and key positions in India without arousing the jealousy of other European nations.
  • The subsidiary system helped the company to effectively counteract any possible French moves in India. The company required the subsidiary ally to dismiss all Frenchmen from his service.
  • The British residents wielded considerable influence in the affairs of the Indian states. This placed great patronage into the hands of company’s authorities in India.
  • The Company acquired territories in full sovereignty from Indian states and expanded their dominions in India
  • So, we can say that on one hand Subsidiary alliance helped company to reduce the threat of Napoleon/French and on the other hand company could maintain a large army on the expenses of Indian states.

Conclusion

The native states, they virtually ceased to exist from the moment they became subsidiary to or protected by the Company. The conditions under which they were allowed to retain their apparent independence were at the same time, the conditions of permanent decay, and of an utter inability of improvement.

 

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

2. In the words of R.C Majumdar,” The Revolt of 1857 is neither First, nor National, nor a War of Independence.” Examine. (250 words)

Reference: History of modern India by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is premised upon the theme of the Revolt of 1857.

Key Demand of the question:

One must examine in detail as to how the Revolt of 1857 is neither First, nor National, nor a War of Independence.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with a brief intro of the revolt like the revolt was a product of the character and policies of colonial rule after 1757. It was a cumulative effect of British expansionist policies, economic exploitation and administrative innovations.

Body:

The question can be structured into three parts –

Firstly, discuss how the revolt was not the first war of Independence mentioning few previous revolts like Vellore mutiny, poligars revolt, Sanyasi revolt, Paika rebellion, Peasant revolts etc.

Second, you have to discuss how the character of the war was not national, discuss on these lines – Absence of all India participation, all classes did not join, No centralized leadership etc.

Third, you have to discuss why it was not a war of Independence. In this head you have to discuss the reasons of different section in very brief.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the significance of revolt. Like Despite of all the shortcomings, the revolt of 1857 showed up the loopholes in British administration and its army. It arouses the masses and changed the course of struggle for freedom.

Introduction

The Revolt of 1857 was a major upheaval against the British Rule in which the disgruntled princes, to disconnected sepoys and disillusioned elements, participated.

Body

1857 Revolt: Not the first war

It is important to note that right from the inception of the East India Company there had been resistance from divergent section in different parts of the sub-continent.

  • Poligar Revolt: Poligars on the eastern coast of India were the local military chiefs and barons within their jurisdiction.
    • Their position was adversely affected by the Company’s agreement with the Nawab of Arcot in 1781, according to which, the Nawab acquired the right of management and control of the entire revenue of the Tirunelvelli and Carnatic provinces on behalf of the Company.
    • The Poligars, who had been revenue farmers for generations organized themselves to fight against the encroachment on their right.
  • Vellore Mutiny: The Vellore mutiny on 10 July 1806 was the first instance of a large-scale and violent mutiny by Indian sepoys against the East India Company, predating the Indian Rebellion of 1857 by half a century.
    • The revolt, which took place in the South Indian city of Vellore, during which mutineers seized the Vellore Fort and killed or wounded 200 British troops.
  • Paika Rebellion: Pre-dating what has been popularly regarded as the first war of independence in 1857, the Paika Bidroha (Paika Rebellion) of 1817 in Odisha briefly shook the foundations of British rule in the eastern part of India.
    • Paikas under the leadership of Baxi Jagabandhu, the hereditary chief of the militia army of the Gajapati King of Khurda (a kingdom near Puri), rose in rebellion in March 1817, taking support of tribals and other sections of society.

Many tribal and peasant uprisings such as Bhil revolt, Ramosi peasant uprising among others took place before 1857. However, they were towards their immediate grievances rather than to remove British from India.

1857 Revolt: Not National in nature

  • The British historians Sir John Lawrence and Seeley, considered it nothing more than a sepoy mutiny. According to Seeley, the Revolt of 1857 was a wholly unpatriotic and selfish sepoys mutiny with no native leadership and no popular support.
  • Though in certain areas the revolt assumed the character of popular rising and constituted a danger to the British power, it was poorly organized.
  • Each of the leaders of the uprising fought for their regional or personal or class interests.
  • In the middle of the nineteenth century, nationalism in India was yet in its infancy. There was no feeling of nationalism, as we know it today.
  • In 1857, the Bengalis, the Punjabis, the Marathas and Rajputs never felt even for a moment that they all belonged to one and the same nation.
  • Bahadur Shah II was not a national King. He was in fact, ‘the king of no land”. He was compelled by the Indians sepoys to assume their leadership.
  • Most of the leaders raised the banner of revolt to protect and promote their own interests.
  • When the defeat of the British seemed imminent, the conflicting regional and class loyalties reappeared on the surface.

1857 Revolt: Not First war of Independence

  • It was “never all-Indian” in character, but was localised, restricted and poorly organized”. Further, the movement was marked by absence of cohesion and unity of purpose among the various sections of the rebels.
  • Modern concept of nationalism had not emerged yet.
  • The idea of the revolt never resonated with the elite classes and the urban population.
  • Majorly, it was confined to North-India alone and the South was oblivious to it.
  • The greater part of India and the majority of the people remained apathetic and neutral.
  • The absence of unity of purpose and cohesion among the different sections and local character of the uprising does not fully qualify the Revolt of 1857 as the first war of Indian Independence.

Analysis of 1857 Revolt

  • The Revolt of 1857 it can be said that it was definitely something more than a mutiny because it saw the popular participation of many Zamindars, Jagirdars, Indian Princes and people of Awadh and other areas besides the soldiers.
  • The concept of modern nationalism may not have yet emerged. However, if we look at the facts, it emerges that it was a national uprising and the prime factor that led to this war was the way the East India Company and the British officials were attacking the cultural ethos of this nation and especially of the majority.
  • There was also Hindu-Muslim unity during the revolt.
  • Therefore, it will be more rational to consider the Revolt of 1857 as the first major struggle or effort made by Indians to overthrow the British rule which paved the way for the rise of Indian nationalism.
  • During the freedom struggle in the twentieth century it kept on inspiring the leaders and people alike. It proved to be a turning point in the history of Modern India.
  • The Revolt of 1857 was the first sign that the Indians wanted to end British rule and were ready to stand united for this cause.
  • Even though they failed to achieve their objective they succeeded in sowing the seeds of nationalism among the Indians.
  • It is for these above reasons, VD Savarkar called the revolt as “First war of Indian Independence”

Conclusion

Thus, one can say cultural nationalism was at the core of the first war of independence in 1857. The British also realised it and hence divided Bharatiya society through a series of steps after 1857, by creating caste divisions in the army and other institutions, dividing troops into martial and non-martial races without any scientific evidence.

 

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

3. “The Central Government’s move to open up modern, world-class private trains could set off a major transformation in railways.” Present your viewpoints with suitable substantiation. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article explains in what way recent Centre’s move to open up 109 route pairs in 12 clusters to 150 ‘modern, world-class’ private trains could set off a major transformation in passenger rail travel.

Key Demand of the question:

Bring out the prospects of such a move, present your viewpoints about the decision made by the centre to transform Railways to newer levels.

Directive:

Present – 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 explaining in what way the decision is both ideal and inclusive.

Body:

Discuss the act of introducing private players in the Indian Railways.

Explain in what way such a move can be a game changer, discuss the possible prospects in detail. Bring out the associated challenges; suggest in what way such challenges and concerns can be tackled.

Define the efforts of the government in this direction in the past.  Talk about the policy measures that are already in place in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

The Centre’s move to open up 109 route pairs in 12 clusters to 150 ‘modern, world-class’ private trains could set off a major transformation in passenger rail travel.

Indian Railways (IR) has the fourth-largest rail network in the world, behind only the US, China and Russia. It is a network of 70,000km, spanning 29 states, three Union territories and 8,500 stations. It runs about 21,000 trains, two-thirds of which are passenger trains, carrying 23 million passengers and 3 million tonnes of freight per day.

This calls for a re-look into the challenges of the Indian Railways and the restructuring needed.

Body

Need for privatisation of railways

  • Low Quality of Service, Catering and Punctuality: CAG report noted that, at present the focus is mainly on improving the façade and passenger facilities, rather that removing bottlenecks to ensure timely movement of trains.
    • The rolling stock is in need of upgradation, on par with the European nations.
  • Low Internal Revenue: The problem of cross-subsidization has severely affected the internal revenue generation of the Indian Railways.
    • Cross subsidization: Money earned through freight traffic is diverted to meet the shortfalls in passenger revenue, and thus the development of freight traffic infrastructure suffers.
  • Lack of fiscal space: The working of Indian Railways is caught up between making it a self-sufficient organisation and serving it as a transport system for the poor.
    • The result being no rise in passenger fares and new trains and routes being decided on non-commercial reasons.
    • The passenger fares usually remain static for years, burdening the Union Budget.
    • In order to keep finances in check, freight charges have been raised in the past.
    • But the discrepancy between freight charges and passenger fares seem to distort the Railways’ performance.
    • The recent decision of surge pricing of tickets in premium trains is a move in a correct direction.
  • Operating Efficiency: Indian railways has a huge employee base of 1.3 million, which includes powerful workers’ unions.
    • Operating ratio of Railways is at nearly 99%, meaning there is no revenue left for making improvements.
  • Increasing Number of Accidents: Repeated railway accidents have further raised questions on government ownership of railways.

How can privatisation help?

  • Improved Infrastructure: Privatisation will lead to better infrastructure which in turn would result in improved amenities for travellers.
    • Currently, Indian Railways is marred by mismanagement in the form of stinking washrooms, lack of water supply and dirty platforms, it is expected that a private company will ensure better amenities.
  • Normalization of prices due to the competition: Improvement in quality of services has to be matched up by a rise in charges paid by the travellers.
    • However, the issue of price rise will be solved when private players are allowed to enter the sector since the move would foster competition and hence lead to overall betterment in the quality of services.
  • Improved Security: Private participation can lead to better accountability and monitoring, which can keep a check on rising accidents in railways.
  • Better Technological Innovation: Private participation can lead to the infusion of modern technology and capacity building of Indian railways.
  • Better customer service: In houses services as per demand of customers. Eg: Entertainment on demand, food and beverages, amenities etc.

Problems of privatisation

  • Limited Coverage: An advantage of Indian Railways being government-owned is that it provides nation-wide connectivity irrespective of profit.
    • Privatisation of railways would mean the railways will become a profit-making enterprise, this would lead to the elimination of railways routes that are less popular.
    • Thus, the privatisation of railways can have a negative impact on connectivity and further increase the rural-urban divide.
  • Not Inclusive: Hike in fares can render the railways out of reach for lower-income groups.
  • Issue of Accountability: The privatisation of Indian Railways is not easy, as it covers every part of India and runs for 24×7 hours.
    • The whole railway system cannot be handled by a single party or coordination will be very difficult if area wise given to private parties.
  • Economic impact: Indian Railways is the backbone of India, it provides low fare transportation to agricultural and industrial trade.
    • Therefore, privatisation of Indian railways shall definitely affect the Indian economy at large.

Bibek Debroy Committee made following recommendations for Privatisation of some components of the railways in India.

  • Need for Modernisation: It is important to modernize the railways, so measures must be taken to reimburse the social costs speedily so that resources of the railways is better allocated and facilities are upgraded from time to time.
  • Delegation of functions: The peripheral function of railways (cleanliness, ticket disposal, traveller’s amenities), must be privatized.
  • The non-core function of railways must be privatized: These activities include running hospitals and schools, catering, real estate development, including housing, construction and maintenance of infrastructure, manufacturing locomotives, coaches, wagons and their parts.
  • Expansion of Indian Railways Manufacturing Company: According to Debroy, wagons are already produced by the private sector. Coaches and locomotives could follow. Unless they are freed from 59 their constraints, the existing production units will be unable to face this competition.
  • Encouraging private entry: Private entry into running both freight and passenger trains in competition with Indian railways should be allowed and private participation.

Conclusion

India should learn from its mistakes in opening up telecom and aviation, and ensure that the social goals of the rail network do not suffer. The opening up of rail services can usher in modernisation and efficiency, provided it is managed well.

 

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

4. Discuss the different techniques of recovering energy from waste. Also Highlight the potential and challenges associated with Waste to Energy plants in India. (250 words)

Reference: Economic Times 

Why the question:

The article talks about the prospects and challenges of the waste to energy industry.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is straightforward, explain the various methods of recovering energy from waste and discuss the potential and challenges associated with Waste to Energy plants in India.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what waste-to-energy means. Waste-to-Energy (WTE) is an energy generation process wherein waste is treated to generate energy in the form of electricity or heat. These processes generate electricity or heat directly through combustion or produce a combustible fuel such as methane, methanol, ethanol or synthetic fuels.

Body:

In the answer body have the following discussions –

Briefly, write about the Waste-to-Energy process.

Discuss the various techniques of recovering energy from waste; Incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, bio-methanation etc.

Highlight the potential and challenges associated with waste to energy plants in India.

Suggest alternatives to overcome such challenges such as the concept of  ‘5Rs’ – reuse, recover, recycle and remanufacture.

Conclusion:

Conclude answer by suggesting a way forward.

Introduction

A waste-to-energy or energy-from-waste plant converts municipal and industrial solid waste into electricity and/or heat for industrial processing. The energy plant works by burning waste at high temperatures and using the heat to make steam. The steam then drives a turbine that creates electricity.

Body

Techniques of Recovering Energy from waste

The following methods are used to turn waste into energy:-

  • Incineration: The most common technology for waste to energy conversion is incineration. In this process, the organics collected from the waste has burnt at a high temperature. This type of treatment is called thermal treatment. The heat generated from this thermal treatment then used to create energy.

·         Depolymerization: This technology uses thermal decomposition in the presence of water. In this process, organic compounds from waste are heated at a high temperature to create thermal energy. In this process, we can generate fossil fuels from the waste. The process of thermal decomposition is also called Hydrous Pyrolysis.

·         Gasification: This a developing process to create energy from waste. In this process, carbonaceous substances are converted into carbon dioxide, carbon mono oxide and a small amount of hydrogen at a high temperature in the presence of oxygen. In this process, Synthesis gas is generated which is a good means of alternate energy. Synthesis gas is then used to produce electricity and heat.

·         Pyrolysis: This process is widely used in the industrial process to create energy from waste. This is like Hydrous Pyrolysis. Unlike Hydrous Pyrolysis, Pyrolysis process uses organic or agricultural waste from industries.

·         Plasma Arc Gasification: In this process, a plasma torch is used to ionize gas which is generated from compressing the waste. Syngas or Synthesis gas then used to produce electricity. Eg: Bengaluru based Tesla’s Blackhole used in Ladakh

 

Potential Challenges associated with WTE plants

  • High Tariff: The tariff rates for these projects are very high at more than Rs 6-7 per unit
    • This is because of a high capital cost, high O&M expenses, low calorific value of the fuel used and the additional fuel used to burn the waste.
    • The costs of the projects are high as critical equipment for a project is required to be imported.
  • In view of low level of compliance of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 by the Municipal Corporations/ Urban Local Bodies, segregated municipal solid waste is generally not available at the plant site, which leads to non-availability of waste-to-energy plants.
  • Lack of financial resources with Municipal Corporations/Urban Local Bodies.
  • Lack of conducive policy guidelines from State Governments in respect of allotment of land, supply of garbage and power purchase / evacuation facilities.
  • The WTEs have also triggered widespread criticism from citizens. For instance, there has been a continuous protest against the Okhla WTE plant in Delhi for polluting the environment.
  • A recent World Bank report states that in low-income countries over 90 per cent of solid waste is often disposed in unregulated dumps or openly burned.
  • Pollution: The Okhla WTE plant in Delhi has faced continuous protest for polluting the environment.
    • In Bengaluru, activists are flagging health risks arising from the huge amount of bottom ash being generated by these plants.
  • Lack of R&D: There are no comprehensive studies on the health impacts of WTE plants in India.
  • Waste-to-Energy is still a new concept in India.
    • Most of the proven and commercial technologies in respect of urban wastes are required to be

Conclusion

It is important to focus on segregation at source, spreading awareness, preparing an action plan for the city for waste management by adopting decentralised technologies. It can also solve the energy problem of the climate sustainability. Though the scale of energy generation using waste to energy method is still small right now, it can be a great energy solution in the near future.

 

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

5. Give an account of land degradation in India. Also, highlight the steps taken to check growing land degradation in India. (250 words)

Reference: Geography of India by Majid Hussain

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of land degradation and its spatial aspects in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss the state of land degradation in India and highlight the steps taken to check growing land degradation in India.

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:

Explain shortly what you understand by land degradation.

Body:

Land degradation is defined as the long term/temporary loss of ecosystem functions and

Productivity caused by disturbances from which land cannot recover unaided. It can be caused by natural as well as anthropogenic factors.

Give the current status of land degradation and reasons behind the same in India.

Enumerate the steps taken to check growing land degradation in India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the steps, which should be taken towards the same.

Introduction

Land degradation is defined as the temporary or permanent decline in the productive capacity of the land, and the diminution of the productive potential, including its major land uses (e.g., rain-fed arable, irrigation, forests), its farming systems (e.g., smallholder subsistence), and its value as an economic resource.

Body

 

Status of Land Degradation in India

  • About 29.32% of the Total Geographical Area of the country is undergoing the process of desertification/land degradation.
  • This equals nearly 94.6 million hectares in India.
  • Approximately 6.35% of land in Uttar Pradesh is undergoing desertification/degradation.
  • The State of India’s Environment report, 2017 calculates that nearly 30 per cent of India is degraded or facing desertification. This figure touches 40 to 70 percent in eight states—Rajasthan, Delhi, Goa, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh.
  • Various estimates put the economic costs of degradation in the country at 2.54% of its GDP.

Causes of Land Degradation

  • Nearly 30% of India’s land area has been degraded through deforestation, over-cultivation, soil erosion and depletion of wetlands, as per a 2016 study by Space Applications Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
  • Agricultural production systems made less resilient by the loss of biodiversity.
  • Natural factors such as climate variability and extreme weather events.
  • Overgrazing and over grafting, inappropriate irrigation, Urban sprawl and commercial development and Soil Pollution.

Steps taken to check growing land degradation in India

  • To fight this menace, India will convert degraded land of nearly 50 lakh (5 million) hectares to fertile land in the next 10 years (between 2021 and 2030).
  • A Centre for Excellence would be set up in Dehradun for land degradation neutrality.
  • Bonn Challenge: “Bonn Challenge” is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
    • 5 million hectares are part of the Bonn Challenge
    • At the UNFCCC (COP) 2015 in Paris, India joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge and pledged to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020, and an additional 8 million hectares by 2030.
    • India’s pledge is one of the largest in Asia.
  • Soil Health Card: Farmers will be provided with a scientific assessment card of their field soil. This will help in mixing right amount of fertiliser to ensure fertility of land.
  • Micro-irrigation: This will prevent soil-erosion and land degardation by preserving top soil.
    • Government has set up Micro-irrigation fund under NABARD to help states increasing land under drip irrigation.
  • National Afforestation & Eco Development Board (NAEB) Division of the MoEFCC is implementing the “National Afforestation Programme (NAP)” for ecological restoration of degraded forest areas.
  • Various other schemes like Green India Mission, fund accumulated under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), Nagar Van Yojana also help in checking degradation and restoration of forest landscape.
  • MoEF&CC also promote tree outside forests realizing that the country has a huge potential for increasing its Trees Outside Forest (TOF) area primarily through expansion of agroforestry, optimum use of wastelands and vacant lands.

Conclusion

India must commit itself towards Land degradation neutrality. The impact can be reduced by proper management of mining process, using advanced technologies rather than conventional methods. Agricultural intensification needs to be managed properly to reduce the environmental effect. This can be done through education of the farmers. The government must take the warning on desertification seriously because land has synergistic benefits for biodiversity and creating carbon sink.

 

Topic : Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. Growing awareness about terminal as well as mental illness has given credence to the idea of “living wills”. What is a living will? Discuss the ethical issues to be well-thought-out from an individual as well as social perspective to formulate and implement it. (250 words)

Reference: bbc.co.uk

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of living will and ethical issues associated with it.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to bring out the ethical issues associated with the living wills from both individual as well as social perspectives.

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:

A living will is a written statement detailing a person’s desires regarding future medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent.

Body:

Discuss that growing awareness about terminal as well as mental illness has given credence to the idea of “living wills” because it gives primacy to patient autonomy and what kind of treatment they would want to access or avoid.

 The rationale behind the will is that close relatives of the patient often end up spending a fortune on treatment of the terminally ill patient and there may be plethora of reasons for doing that- attachment, importance, moral pressure, etc.

Discuss the ethical issues associated with it. Suggest solutions to address them.

Conclusion:

Conclude with fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction

A ‘living will’ is a concept where a patient can give consent that allows withdrawal of life support systems if the individual is reduced to a permanent vegetative state with no real chance of survival.

The Supreme court of India in Aruna Shanbaug case 2011 had allowed passive euthanasia and in 2018 gave guidelines which inculded the “Living will” as well.

Body

Living Will

  • It is a type of advance directive that may be used by a person before incapacitation to outline a full range of treatment preferences or, most often, to reject treatment.
  • When a person is not in a position to give his consent for the keeping or withdrawing the treatment, two cardinal principles of medical ethics are crucial:
    • His wishes expressed in advance in the form of a living will, or the wishes of surrogates acting on his behalf (substituted judgment) are to be respected.
    • Beneficence which means acting in what is the patient’s best interest and is not influenced by personal convictions, motives or other considerations.
  • The living will, will be only in the case of “passive euthanasia” and not “active euthanasia”.
  • They respect the patient’s human rights, and their right to reject medical treatment, if they go into vegetative state
  • Creating them encourages debates regarding end of life decisions.
  • The doctors are more likely to give appropriate treatment after knowing the patient’s wishes.
  • Helps in difficult decision making by the medical professionals, especially when a poor family’s resources are draining.
  • The patient’s family and friends do not have to make the difficult decisions.

Ethical Issues involved

Individual Perspective

  • The living will has become a philosophical problem. To make a living will sensible we have to take into assumption that the wishes of the person are the same when they became incompetent as when they wrote the will.
  • It is much harder to anticipate a person’s state of mind when dying (or when receiving significant medical treatment) than had been thought, and even harder should one be in a coma.
  • It can be very difficult for a healthy person the adequately imagine or decide what they want in the situations where a living will would take effect.
  • Patients may change their minds and not remember to change their living wills
  • Only a handful of individuals with access to best research may be able to rationally formulate a living will. For others, it will merely be an exercise in futility because of lack of information.

Social Perspective

  • Translating the words of a living will into medical action could be difficult for the doctors and caretakers.
  • If the living will, is not available at the time it is needed it is of no use to the patient, doctors or family.
  • Does declaration by a person that he/she does not want to be treated beyond a certain extent absolve the moral responsibility of the relatives to not offer the best treatment?
  • On the contrary, if a person wishes to prolong life with support systems as long as possible, does it put a legal obligation on the family or doctors or even state to ensure it?
  • Medical Dilemma: Does it mean an abandonment of a doctor’s obligation to preserve life? If so at what stage.
  • Public Policy related dilemma: Experts believe that a living will might be misused by the society to neglect the elderly patients and let them die at their own will.

Way Forward

  • In the case of Common Cause v. UOI (Union of India) the Supreme court maintained that the right to life and liberty as led down under Article 21 (f) the Constitution is meaningless unless it covers within its sphere individual dignity.
  • As such, right to die with dignity has been read as part of the fundamental rights.
  • However, it is imperative that legal sanctification of living wills must be accompanied by robust safeguards.
  • As mentioned by the SC, these include formulation of will solely on voluntary basis and certification by a medical board, constituting of senior practitioners, for executing the desired method of treatment or its withdrawal.

 

Topic : Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7. “Man by nature is a political animal”. Explain with reference to Aristotle’s idea of the state in life of the society. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the idea of the State in life of the society by Aristotle.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to expand the inherent meaning of the statement and explain in detail the nuances associated with it.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly bring out the different connotation of the statement given in the question.

Body:

Aristotle believes that humans are like the animals in many ways, but are above them in one distinctive

Way – politics. In the given statement there are two components, one is “by nature” which connotes

Something that is innate and the other one is “political animal” which means the animals who live

Together in a setting. The entire statement thereby implies that it is the inherent nature of humans to live together and form deliberative and governing bodies that seek to betterment of all those involved- that man is naturally sociable and that they are naturally drawn to various political associations in order to satisfy their social needs. And this process is possible only because humans have the power of speech

And moral reasoning.

Elaborate on why Aristotle regarded human beings as naturally political.

Discuss the role of state in the society in the context of man as political animal.

Conclusion:

Conclude with your opinion.

Introduction

Aristotle’s statement, “man by nature is a political animal” has two key components. One is “by nature” and the other one is “political animal”. “By nature,” means something that is innate, and “political animal” means the animals that live in a Polis or in a City State. The entire statement thereby implies that the inherent nature of human beings is to live in a society under a State.

Body

For Aristotle, man living in state is as natural for man as to be human being. Until, then man is like any other animal. The urge for living a good life is a distinctive character that leads to formation of state. Infact Aristotle says “State is prior to man”.  So, a man outside state loses his character and becomes a savage or a God. Politics is an essential part of man’s nature. This is why Aristotle says that man by nature is a political animal.

Man’s association and State

  • Aristotle says that man is naturally sociable and that they are naturally drawn to various political associations in order to satisfy their social needs.
  • First, individual human beings combined in pairs because they could not exist apart. The male and female joined in order to reproduce, and the master and slave came together for self-preservation.
    • The natural master used his intellect to rule, and the natural slave employed his body to labor.
  • Second, the household arose naturally from these primitive communities in order to serve everyday needs.
  • Third, when several households combined for further needs a village emerged also according to nature.
  • Finally, “the complete community, formed from several villages, is a city-state, which at once attains the limit of self-sufficiency, roughly speaking. It comes to be for the sake of life, and exists for the sake of the good life

Aristotle’s idea of state

  • The city-state exists by nature, because it comes to be out of the more primitive natural associations and it serves as their end, because it alone attains self-sufficiency.
  • Human beings are by nature political animals, because nature, which does nothing in vain, has equipped them with speech, which enables them to communicate moral concepts such as justice which are formative of the household and city-state.
  • The city-state is naturally prior to the individuals, because individuals cannot perform their natural functions apart from the city-state, since they are not self-sufficient.
  • These three claims are conjoined, however, with one more: the city-state is a creation of human intelligence. “Therefore, everyone naturally has the impulse for such a [political] community”.

Since the natural purpose of man is to be as comprehensively human as possible, and the natural purpose of the city is to make men human, Aristotle says that this process of making the city is natural. The difficulty of this process is the nature in which the city goes about developing the human. It is difficult because it relies on the relationships, men have with each other. They must come together and complete each other to fulfil their purpose just as individual pieces join together to complete a puzzle.

Conclusion

In Aristotle’s world, the importance of the individuality of men is not initially significant because everyone lives to be part of the city. In other words, because the city makes human beings, man must exert all of his efforts to participate and interact in the city. It is only after being part of the city that man, becoming a complete human, will be able to reap the rewards of total excellence in life and happiness.


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