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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 August 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.


General Studies – 1


 

Topic : Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. India has always excelled in religious philosophies, but these philosophies not only always dealt with spiritual affairs, but also with social problems.” Taking into account the given statement, evaluate the contribution of Buddhism to contemporary society. (250 words)

Reference: Medieval Indian history class XI NCERT

Why the question:

The question is premised n the fact that India has excelled in terms of religious philosophy and they did not always dealt with spiritual affairs.

Key Demand of the question:

The question aims to evaluate the contribution of Buddhism to contemporary society.

Directive:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Explain shortly the context of the question.

Body:

India is the motherland of several religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and tolerant host of Islamism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity etc. These religious philosophies enriched the culture of India and contributed towards the socio- economic fabric of the nation.

Buddhism originated in the Sixth Century AD by Gautam Buddha. It advocated the middle path philosophy for attaining moksha or nirvana.

Discuss in detail the Contribution of Buddhism to contemporary society.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama (“the Buddha”) more than 2,500 years ago in India. With about 470 million followers, scholars consider Buddhism one of the major world religions. The religion has historically been most prominent in East and Southeast Asia, but its influence is growing in the West. Many Buddhist ideas and philosophies overlap with those of other faiths.

Body:

The primary cause for the rise of Jainism and Buddhism was the religious unrest in India in the 6th century B.C. The complex rituals and sacrifices advocated in the Later Vedic period were not acceptable to the common people. The sacrificial ceremonies were also found to be too expensive. However, it took the social route due to the following factors.

The contribution of Buddhism to contemporary society:

  • National Unity: One of the biggest contribution of Buddhism to India in the political field was that it promoted a sense of national feelings amongst the Indians. It not only shattered the dominance of the caste system which stood in the way of the achieve­ment of this unity but also gave a death blow to the dominance of Brahmans. As a result, the unnecessary rites and rituals as well as superstitions gave way to social and political understanding.
  • Destruction of Militant Spirit: Buddhism laid too much emphasis on the principle of Ahimsa, which greatly affected the character of the people. In course of time people developed a contempt for violence and neglected all military activities. This gave a serious setback to the military policy of the king and the policy of the territorial expansion was given up. Due to this policy of peace and non-violence the military spirit of the armies as well as people was greatly crushed and they could not offer any resistance to the foreign invaders and fell easy prey to them.
  • Popular Religion: Buddhism gave us a simple, intelligible and popular religion. Buddhism greatly appealed to the people on account of its simplicity; emotional element, easy ethical code, the use of vernacular language and the methods of teaching. It disordered the abstract philosophy of Upanishads.
  • Blow to the Caste System: Buddhist began as a revolt against the social and religious mal-practices prevailing in the Hindu religion. It naturally condemned various social evils and gave a fatal blow to the dominance of caste system which was the most outstanding evil. Buddhism insisted on the equality of manhood and attracted followers from all the castes. As a result, the rigours of the caste system broke down.
  • Simplification of Religion: The greatest contribution of Buddhism was the establishment of a simple religion which could be easily understood and followed by the common people. In this religion, rites, rituals, yajnas and caste had no place.
  • Improvement of Moral Standard: Buddhism attached great importance to the moral upliftment of man and directed the people to lead a moral life. It insisted on virtues like charity, purity, self-sacrifice, truthfulness, control over passions, non-injury to living creatures in thought and action etc.
  • Monastic System: Another contribution of Buddhism was the monastic system. The Buddhist monks obeyed a common head and lived together under a common code of discipline. The head of a monastery was elected by the monks. Gradually this monastic system was adopted into Hinduism.
  • Art: The cave temples of Kanheri (Bombay), Karle (Poona) and Nasik are best specimens of Buddhist art. The Gandhara School of Art was also largely the out­come of the Buddhist patronage. The artists belonging to this school tried to interpret the Indian subject and religious conceptions through the Greco-Roman techniques.
  • Architecture: The contribution of the Buddhism to the domain of art, architecture and sculpture was also remarkable. No doubt, these arts flourished even before the rise of Buddhism but they were mainly used for the construction of Mandaps, Yajnashalas, altars etc. The stupas at Sanchi, Bharhut and Gaya, Jaina temples at Mount Abu in Rajasthan in the domain of architecture are wonderful pieces of architecture. Buddhism takes the credit for the chaityas and viharas in different parts of India.
  • Literature: Buddhism also made valuable contribution to the field of literature. A vast and varied nature of literature was produced in the popular language of the people. The Tripitakas and Jataka the most important literary works of the Buddhist, are held in high esteem and have been translated into various foreign languages. In addition to these works a number of Buddhist scholars produced other literary works. These included Amarkosh by Amar Singh, Sundaranand and Buddha Charit by Asva Ghosh etc. The last named author is also credited with two dramas entitled ‘Rashtrapala’ and ‘Sariputtra’. Another Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna wrote an important book on ‘Ayurveda’. The other important works produced by the Buddhist scholars were Malindpanho, Mahavastu and Dirghanikaya.
  • Philosophy: The concept of ahimsa was chief contribution. Later, it became one of the cherished values of our nation.
  • Political progress: Sabhas and samitis find its roots here. It had also promoted the spread of Indian culture to other parts of Asia.

Conclusion:

Buddhism arose to suit the needs of a changing society, patronized by an emerging class and left an indelible mark on India’s culture, architecture, philosophy and way of living. Some tenets of these religion have been adopted by Hinduism in their long course of association and have become an integrated part of the society. These religions also found their influence in neighboring countries and helped India expand its footprint in these regions; paving way for a cultural connects to this day.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic : Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

2. What can France learn from the Indian Constitution’s approach to secularism? Explain.  (250 words)

Reference: 2019 UPSC CSE GS-2

Why the question:

The question is with the idea to practice the concepts of Indian constitution and its approach to Secularism.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is about the learnings that France can have from the Indian Constitution’s approach to secularism.

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 discuss the principle of secularism enshrined in the constitution and explain its evolution.

Body:

The fundamental difference between Indian and French secularism is that while Indian secularism is non-religious, French secularism is irreligious. The answer can start with the fact that India has a sizeable Muslim population and yet does not face issues related to ISIS or lone-wolf attacks. This is in contrast to France that faced Charlie Hebdo attacks, Nice rampage, etc. The difference is perhaps created by our Constitution’s approach to secularism.

Discuss the features that France can take as learnings from India – Liberty. The profession, practice and propagation of religion is a liberty that people must enjoy.

Protection of minority ‘identity’ and, thus, minority dignity. A community – particularly minority – that is not allowed to wear its symbols may start losing its culture and identity. Protection of minority rights so as to make sure that they are not subsumed by the majority culture. Special provisions for the minorities to flourish. A positive discrimination is necessary in order to allow the minority cultures to flourish. Culture of social reforms, while taking into account concerns of individual communities. This allows for more flexible approach to reforms and does not alienate anyone. Kaleidoscope of cultures. A vibrant and tolerant culture based upon mutual coexistence is created when everyone’s cultural and religious rights are protected. Such diverse communities have more to learn from each-other and higher chances to flourish etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of Secularism in general.

Introduction:

Secularism is the “indifference to, or rejection or exclusion of, religion and religious considerations.” In political terms, secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institution and religious dignitaries. The French model of secularism separates the state from religion. The state does not support religious activities but also not interfere in private religious practices.

Secularism has been discussed in India primarily as a state policy towards religious groups. The debate on secularism began by pointing to the difference of the Indian variation to its Western counterpart, either by pointing to an idea of a ‘principled distance’ or samadharma samabhava, where all religions are treated as equal.

Body:

It a tough stand and prohibit any visible religious symbols in public space. India secularism is more inclusive and positive. It supports all religion and culture. Muslims are given Haj subsidy, the state spends and help arrange Kumbh Mela, Amarnath Yatra etc. Recently slaughtering of meat was banned in Maharashtra during Jain festival. Hence India secularism is all about balancing the rights of all religion and culture.

Limitations of Secularism in French constitution:

  • Due to the lack of support from the state in western secularism minorities get marginalised.
  • For instance, recent Hijab and Burkini ban in France has created anxiety among minorities.
  • If religious women forbid a woman from becoming a priest, then the state cannot do anything. Like this, if a particular religion forbids the entry of some of its members in the sanctum of its temple, then the state has no option but to let the matter rest exactly where it is.
  • So in France, religion is a private matter, not a matter of state policy or law. This model interprets freedom and equality in an individualistic manner. Liberty is the liberty of individual. Equality is equality between individuals. There is little scope for community-based rights or minority rights.
  • On the other hand, the drawbacks of this model can be seen as, such states focus on intra-religious domination by the strict separation of state from church to realise among other things individual freedoms, issues of inter-religious (and therefore minority rights) equality are often neglected.
  • This model leaves no scope for the idea of the state-supported religious reforms.

France can learn from Indian Secularism:

  • While in France, laws are made in isolation from religious principles, in India, the law seeks to accommodate the multiple religious principles that followers of different religions adhere to.
  • Indian Secularism opposed the oppression of Dalits and women within Hinduism. It also opposes the discrimination against women within Indian Islam or Christianity and the possible threats that a majority community might pose to the rights of the minority religious communities.
  • Indian Secularism deals not only with the religious freedom of individuals but also with the religious freedom of minority communities.
  • Every individual has the right to profess the religion of his /her choice. Likewise, religious minorities also have a right to exist and to maintain their own culture and educational institutions.
  • Indian Secularism has made room for and is compatible with the idea of state-supported religious reform.
  • For example, the Indian constitution bans untouchability under Article 17. There is also the abolition of child marriage and lifting the taboo on inter-caste marriage sanctioned by Hinduism.
  • The Indian state may engage with religion negatively to oppose religious tyranny. It may also choose a positive mode of engagement.
  • Thus, the Indian Constitution grants all religious minorities, the rights to establish and maintain their own educational institutions, which may receive assistance from the state.
  • So, in India, it is not mutual exclusion, rather it is principled distance, a complex idea that allows the state to be distant from all religions so that it can intervene or abstain from interference, depending upon which of these two would better promote liberty, equality and social justice.

Conclusion:

It should go without saying that no state’s approach to religion is perfect, and India faces its own significant problems with diversity and integration, from religious violence to the persistence of the caste system. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing for France to learn. Current political debates in the West, especially in France, need to open up to solutions that go beyond secularism, from places like India and from elsewhere. They need to embrace differences with policies for integrating minorities into education, the labour market and overall public life.

 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.  Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

3. Discuss the role that Community-level institutions can play to ensure that the burden of malnutrition is not aggravated during the pandemic. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article explains in what way Community-level institutions can ensure that the burden of malnutrition is not aggravated during the pandemic.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the role of Community-level institutions in addressing the issues of Malnutrition.

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 highlighting key facts that show the dismal levels of burden of Malnutrition in the country.

Body:

As per, “The State of the World’s Children 2019, UNICEF”, before the COVID-19 outbreak, malnutrition was the cause of 69 per cent of the total deaths of children under five years. India was home to nearly half of the world’s “wasted” (low weight for height ratio) children. The report also highlighted that only 42 per cent of infants in the age group of six to 23 months were fed at adequate intervals, and only 21 per cent received an adequately diverse diet.

Explain why the dismal condition is, what has been the effect of pandemic on it.

Discuss what role the Community-level institutions can play, take hints from the article and explain.

Suggest upon the associated challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude that if all stakeholders at the Centre and state-level work together at an accelerated pace, only then can India hope to steadily improve its nutrition indicators and eventually eradicate malnutrition.

Introduction:

Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients. India’s National Family Health Surveys (NFHS) show that there has been a decline in child malnutrition numbers in the country.

The covid-19 pandemic has disrupted optimal care for children, especially those who are malnourished, a Unicef report said. This may increase the overall severe and acute burden and massive disruptions in continuity of food availability and livelihood

Body:

Challenges faced in fighting malnutrition:

  • Malnutrition is still one of India’s biggest challenges and is the predominant risk factor for death in children younger than five years in every state in 2017, accounting for 68.2% of the total under-5 deaths, according to the Global Nutrition Report, 2020.
  • There were 706,000 deaths because malnutrition, according to the statewide data on malnutrition by the Indian Council of Medical Research, PHFI, and National Institute of Nutrition released in 2019.
  • As much as 35.7% children under 5 years of age are underweight, 38.4% are stunted, and 21% are wasted, according to the National Family Health Survey-4 in 2015-16, conducted by the ministry of health and family welfare.
  • With government support schemes coming to a standstill during the pandemic, and an economic crisis that has led to over 120 million people losing their jobs, UNICEF warns that an additional 3 lakh children will die in India unless health services and nutritional support is quickly reinstated.

Community based fighting of malnutrition: 

  • The most recent nutrition strategy adopted by the Odisha government is “SOPAN”- Strategy for Odisha’s Pathway to Accelerated Nutrition. Implemented by the Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti Department, SOPAN has shown promise in achieving the state’s nutrition targets across 22 districts.
  • Community-based crèches have been established for improved health management of children under three years.
  • These crèches provide community-based management of SAM (CMAM), supervised feeding and counselling for mothers and children with moderate acute malnutrition.
  • The community-based approach involves the timely detection of SAM in the community and provides treatment for uncomplicated SAM cases through ready-to-use therapeutic foods or other nutrient-dense foods.
  • If combined with a health facility-based approach for those malnourished children with medical complications or below six months and implemented at scale, community-based management of severe acute malnutrition could prevent the deaths of thousands of children.
  • Half-yearly screenings and diligent tracking of malnourished children helped in timely management of malnutrition.
  • As part of the initiative, supplementary hot cooked meals were also provided to pregnant women and lactating mothers, in addition to the existing nutrient fortified ‘Take Home Ration’ (THR) provided under the ICDS supplementary nutrition programme.

Other measures needed:

  • Anganwadis system is the backbone of India’s nutrition target effort and we really have to improve it.
  • Primary health infrastructure is not strong so proper steps needs to be taken in this regard.
  • Farmers should be encouraged and incentivized for agricultural diversification.
  • Innovative and low-cost farming technologies, increase in the irrigation coverage and enhancing knowledge of farmers in areas such as appropriate use of land and water should be encouraged to improve the sustainability of food productivity.
  • Public Health Management Cadre.
  • The government should improve policy support for improving agricultural produce of traditional crops in the country.
  • Improve ICDS
  • The targeting efficiency of all food safety nets should be improved, especially that of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), to ensure that the poorest are included.
  • In addition, fortification of government-approved commodities within the social safety net programmes can improve nutritional outcomes.
  • Child feeding practices should be improved in the country, especially at the critical ages when solid foods are introduced to the diet.
  • Fortification, diversification and supplementation may be used as simultaneous strategies to address micro and macronutrient deficiencies.
  • Storage capacity should be improved to prevent post-harvest losses.
  • There is a need for more robust measures that can take cognizance of all aspects of SDG 2.
  • All the major welfare programmes need to be gender sensitive.
  • The inherited dehumanizing poverty explains the persistence of malnutrition on a large scale.
  • Children born in impecunious circumstances suffer the most from malnutrition. It is all the more reason for governments to intervene to provide adequate nutrition to all.
  • Taking medical services to the door step of villages
  • Funds for food to all yield great returns and help in unlocking the full potential of citizens besides strengthening the workforce.
  • Focus to improve the hygiene and cleanliness of our surrounding.
  • Real time delivery of such schemes to the targeted beneficiaries.
  • Schools kids and their parents should be made aware about the various government programmes.

Way forward:

  • Given the dire situation of our nutrition indicators and the resource-crunch brought on by the pandemic, the best way forward would be to minimise the burden of malnutrition cases on hospitals by resolving less severe cases at the community level by engaging the frontline workforce such as anganwadi workers and institutions like the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres (NRCs) at the community level efficiently.
  • National guidelines would be imperative in highlighting successful models across the country and for establishing a proper continuum of care – that is from the home and community to the health centre and back again in cases with medical complications.
  • An effective continuum of care strengthens the links between the home and the first level facility and the hospital, assuring appropriate care for beneficiaries.
  • Strategies involve improving the skills of health workers, strengthening health system supports, and improving household and community practices and community actions for health.
  • This approach also brings care closer to the home through outreach services and promotes referral by strengthening access to and improving the quality of health services.
  • Combining effective care in health facilities, healthy behaviour at home and early care-seeking for illness will have a significant impact on mother, new-born and child health.
  • If all stakeholders at the Centre and state-level work together at an accelerated pace, only then can India hope to steadily improve its nutrition indicators and eventually eradicate malnutrition.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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. What do you understand by Biological control? What are the different methods of pest control in organic farming? Critically analyse the suitability of Bio pesticides in pest management with respect to altering needs and changing climate. (250 words)

Reference: tribuneindia.com

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of Biological control and the different methods of pest control in organic farming.

Key Demand of the question:

One must critically analyse the suitability of Bio pesticides in pest management with respect to altering needs and changing climate.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining what you understand by Biological control.

Body:

Biological control can be defined as a method of controlling pests such as insects, mites, weeds and plant diseases using other organisms. It is the control of a pest by the introduction of a natural enemy or predator. It relies on parasitism, herbivore, predation or other natural mechanism with an active human management.

Then move on to explain the different methods of pest control in organic farming.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using biological control.

Conclusion:

Discuss the efforts of government in this direction, mention what needs to be done and what progress can be made in Indian agriculture with such concepts.

Introduction:

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an eco-friendly approach which aims at keeping pest population at below economic threshold levels by employing all available alternate pest control methods and techniques such as cultural, mechanical and biological with emphasis on use of bio-pesticides and pesticides of plant origin like Neem formulations.

Biological control is a component of an integrated pest management strategy. It is defined as the reduction of pest populations by natural enemies and typically involves an active human role. It is the control of growth of an insect or pest by using a biological agent or living organism. All insect species are also suppressed by naturally occurring organisms and environmental factors, with no human input. This is frequently referred to as natural control.

Body:

Different methods of pest control in organic farming:

  • Biocontrol is used to get pest-free fields. It is very effective and a long-term method to remove invasive plants. The living organisms are used in this method to eradicate, weeds, pests, insects, pathogens, etc.
  • Cultural practices
    • crop rotation
    • crop isolation
    • mixed cropping
    • use of trap crops
    • selection of crop plant varieties
    • timing of planting and harvesting
    • irrigation management
  • Mechanical and physical control
    • Tillage
    • Mowing
    • Cutting
    • mulching and organic soil coverage
    • barriers

Bio pesticides:

Biopesticides are biologically based agents used for the control of plant pests. They can be living organisms (nematodes or micro-organisms) or naturally occurring substances, such as plant extracts or insect pheromones.

Advantages:

  • The importance of biological control has lately been enhanced due to the fact that overwhelming use of insecticides has led to the resurgence of the pests and resistance to insecticides by the pests like mosquitoes, houseflies and stored grain pests.
  • Biopesticides are fully aligned with sustainable, rational and environmentally friendly agriculture.
  • It will promote organic inputs and chemical-free agriculture produce.
  • It will improve the health condition of the people.

Constraints involved in Biopesticides:

  • More involvement in the technicalities of the method
    • Individual farmers and all those involved in IPM have to be educated about their options in the various methods available, which often take time.
  • Time and energy consuming
    • Application of IPM takes time and has to be closely monitored, as the practice of IPM has many different methods integrated in order to provide the most effective pest control methods.
  • Different pests have different control methods, and it is necessary to monitor which methods are the best for specific pests.
  • Initially complicated decision-making.
  • Crop monitoring results that can be difficult to interpret.
  • Lack of market rewards for IPM grown product.
  • Limited market tolerance to blemishes

Way forward:

  • Suitable species/strains of Biopesticides should be identified for use in different crops and agro eco-systems.
  • Research on bio-ecology of pests and their natural enemies including pathogens should be intensified and strengthened.
  • Conservation methods of natural enemies should be standardized properly.

 

Topic : GS-2: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

GS-3: supply chain management.

5. What do you understand by Supply chain resilience? Discuss in detail the newly mooted Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) of Japan and its impact on India. (250 words )

Reference: The HIndu 

Why the question:

In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns and trade tensions between China and the United States having caused bottlenecks in the global supply chains, Japan has mooted the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI). Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail what you understand by SCR and what the effects of SCRI of Japan on India are.

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 SCR – Supply chain resilience is an approach wherein a country instead of being dependent on just one or a few nations has diversified its supply risk across a range of supplying nations.

Body:

Briefly present the background in which the initiative has been mooted by Japan.

The Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) is proposed as a trilateral approach to trade, with India and Australia. It could also potentially involve other Asian and Pacific Rim nations in the later years.

Then move onto discuss the need for SCR.

Present the case of India’s inclusion; the long-standing and deepening trade relationship between India and Japan seems to have spurred Japan to include India as a partner for the SCRI. Japan is the fourth-largest investor in India with cumulative foreign direct investments accounting for 7.2% of inflows in the period between 2000-2020. There has been impressive growth in the bilateral trade between India and Japan.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Unprecedented circumstances are upon us. As covid-19 mutates across the sphere, with governments unsure and citizens fretting, there is little doubt over the scale of the challenge that lies ahead. With a worldwide recession looming, the pandemic will test our collective resilience.

With Covid-19 and trade tensions between China and the United States are threatening supply chains, Japan has mooted the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) as a trilateral approach to trade, with India and Australia as the key-partners.

Body:

Supply chain management is the management of the flow of goods and services and includes all processes that transform raw materials into final products. It involves the active streamlining of a business’s supply-side activities to maximize customer value and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Supply chain resilience (SCR) is an approach wherein a country instead of being dependent on just one or a few nations has diversified its supply risk across a range of supplying nations.

Need for SCR:

  • SCR aims to reduce the dependency on a single nation.
  • It helps a country to ensure that it has diversified its supply risk across a clutch of supplying nations instead of being dependent on just one or a few.
  • In unanticipated events, natural and man-made, that disrupt supplies from a particular country or even intentional halts to trade, could adversely impact economic activity in the destination country.
  • With spread of Covid-19 globally, it has been realized that dependence over a single nation is not good for both global economy and national economies:
  • Assembly lines are heavily dependent on supplies from one country.
  • The impact on importing nations could be crippling if the source stops production for involuntary reasons, or even as a conscious measure of economic coercion.
  • USA-China Trade Tensions: The tensions began when the United States and China both applied tariff sanctions on each other.
  • India as an Emerging Supply Hub: The businesses have started seeing India as a “hub for supply chains”.

Impacts on India:

  • In areas such as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients for medicines such as paracetamol, India is fully dependent on China. In electronics, China accounts for 45% of India’s imports, the analysis showed.
  • Chinese supplies dominate segments of the Indian economy. Sectors that have been impacted by supply chain issues arising out of the pandemic include pharmaceuticals, automotive parts, electronics, shipping, chemicals and textiles.
  • Over time, if India enhances self-reliance or works with exporting nations other than China, it could build resilience into the economy’s supply networks.
  • Following the border tensions of India with China, partners such as Japan, Australia can offer alternative supply chains.
  • Japan is the fourth-largest investor in India with cumulative foreign direct investments touching $33.5 billion in the 2000-2020 period accounting for 7.2% of inflows in that period, according to quasi-government agency India Invest.
  • Imports from Japan into India more than doubled over 12 years to $12.8 billion in FY19.
  • Exports from India to the world’s third-largest economy stood at $4.9 billion that year, data from the agency showed.
  • Trade experts point out to the almost 1,400 Japanese companies operating in India as a clear reflection that the two countries are unlikely to allow individual cases to cloud an otherwise long-standing and deepening trade relationship.
  • SCRI currently by Japan with India and Australia as partners, potentially see other Asian and Pacific Rim nations later.

Way forward for India:

  • India needs to enhance self-reliance against China, so that it could build resilience into the economy’s supply networks. Economic measures are of real value in this regard.
  • Although India appears an attractive option for potential investors both as a market and as a manufacturing base, it needs to accelerate progress in ease of doing business and in skill building.
  • These will help in attracting investments from China and other attractive locations like Vietnam and the Philippines.
  • India must strengthen its strategy to boost manufacturing competitiveness and increase its share in world trade.
  • There is a certain and urgent need to create an infrastructure that raises the competitiveness of India’s exports.
  • India needs to push through long-pending legislation that aims to address the structural bottlenecks (in 4Ls: Land, Labour, Law, Liquidity) that continue to plague and hinder domestic competitiveness.
  • In spite of banning Chinese imports, India should tackle trade by trade.
  • India can lobby for a more liberalized service sector (India’s comparative advantage) in China.

 


General Studies – 4


 

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.

7. How does the cultural relativism defines “good”? Which method does it follow for arriving at moral beliefs?Explain. (250 words)

Reference: faculty.uca.edu

Why the question:

The question is premised on the concept of cultural relativism.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail how the cultural relativism defines “good” and which method does it follow for arriving at moral beliefs.

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:

Define what you understand by Cultural relativism.

Body:

Cultural Relativism is of the view that moral or ethical systems, which vary from culture to culture, are all equally valid and no one system is really “better” than any other. This is based on the idea that there is no ultimate standard of good or evil, so every judgment about right and wrong is a product of society. Therefore, any opinion on morality or ethics is subject to the cultural perspective of each person.

It defines “good” as what is socially approved. Ultimately, this means that no moral or ethical system can be considered the “best,” or “worst,” and no particular moral or ethical position can actually be considered “right” or “wrong.”

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the importance of it.

Introduction:

Cultural relativism is the idea that a person’s beliefs, values, and practices should be understood based on that person’s own culture, rather than be judged against the criteria of another. It refers to not judging a culture to our own standards of what is right or wrong, strange or normal. Instead, we should try to understand cultural practices of other groups in its own cultural context. Multiculturalism, racism, postmodernism, deconstructionism, political correctness, and social engineering are among cultural relativism’s “intellectual” descendants.

Body:

Every country has distinct cultural, historical, political and social circumstances which help device its rules, ethical values, morality and culture to which we closely identify with. While in India community life was cherished Americans gave priority to individualism. While in India detachment from material world is important for spirituality, west considers materialism as a good aspect. Hence moral and ethical relativism is apparent in different settings.

Cultural relativism definition of ‘good’:

  • Cultural norms and values derive their meaning within a specific social context, as per Cultural relativism.
  • This is also based on the idea that there is no absolute standard of good or evil, therefore every decision and judgment of what is right and wrong is individually decided in each society.
  • The concept of cultural relativism also means that any opinion on ethics is subject to the perspective of each person within their particular culture.
  • It defines “good” as what is socially approved.
  • Ultimately, this means that no moral or ethical system can be considered the “best,” or “worst,” and no particular moral or ethical position can actually be considered “right” or “wrong.”
  • In a holistic understanding of the term cultural relativism, it tries to promote the understanding of cultural practices that are unfamiliar to other cultures such as eating insects, genocides or genital cutting.

How cultural relativism arrives at moral beliefs:

  • Different societies have different moral codes.
  • There is no objective standard that can be used to judge one societal code better than another.
  • The moral code of our own society has no special status; it is merely one among many.
  • There is no “universal truth” in ethics; that is, there are no moral truths that hold for all peoples at all times.
  • The moral code of a society determines what is right within that society; that is, if the moral code of a society says that a certain action is right, then that action is right, at least within that society.
  • It is mere arrogance for us to try to judge the conduct of other peoples. We should adopt an attitude of tolerance toward the practices of other cultures.

However, there are concerns raised against cultural relativism as some people worry that the concept of culture can also be abused and misinterpreted. If one culture behaves one way, does that mean all cultures can behave that way as well?

An extreme instance would be female genital cutting in some parts of the world. Locally, it is argued that the practice has cultural roots, but such a practice has raised concerns among many international human rights organizations.

Thus, cultural relativism at the same time it must also not lead to parochial attitudes and mindset. Globalization provides a unique opportunity to look into other value systems and learn and implement them whenever necessary. In this respect the Universal Declaration of Human Right is a good example where despite varied cultural setting, a common basic value setting has been agreed upon.

Conclusion:

It is important to recognize this distinction, respect them and not categorize one above other since it is this aspect of distinctness that allows one to explore different settings and consequently develop oneself. Absolute moral relativism is self-contradictory and impossible. However, the ultimate end of all moral values is inner happiness. Gandhiji shows the guiding light when he says “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any”.


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