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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 2 October 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: Role of women and women’s organization, Social empowerment

1. Gender imbalance is one of the primary concerns that the science policy 2020 must focus to root out. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

The article explains how the new science and technology policy that is expected in December will place significant weight on the hiring of women in STEM positions and support policy for them at institutes and research organisations.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the need to address the gender imbalance in the science policy and suggest measures to address it.

Directive:

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the background of the question.

Body:

Present the scenario of science policy in the country.  Start by explaining what the key concerns in the policy are.

Explain how new science and technology policy will place significant weight on the hiring of women in STEM positions and support policy for them at institutes and research organisations. The move is aimed at improving women’s representation in STEM employment. Despite having one of the best showings globally on women’s representation in undergraduate science education, just 13.9% of the total of 280,000 researchers holding STEM jobs in India is women, a 2019 analysis by Unesco shows. Contrast this with China, where women account for nearly 40% of the total pool of researchers.

Suggest what measures should be taken to ensure good balance in the policy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to ensure gender balance in the policy.

Introduction:

Each step up the ladder of the scientific research system sees a drop in female participation until, at the highest echelons of scientific research and decision-making, there are very few women left. Hence it is of paramount importance of having a gender perspective that would assure equal opportunity for entry and advancement into larger-scale science, technology, engineering, mathematics disciplines (STEM) and innovation systems.

Body:

The status of ‘women in science’ in India:

  • A 2019 analysis by UNESCO shows, despite having one of the best showings globally on women’s representation in undergraduate science education, just 13.9% of the total of 280,000 researchers holding STEM jobs in India are women. Contrast this with China, where women account for nearly 40% of the total pool of researchers.
  • As AISHE 2018-19 data shows, while women equal men in strength at the undergraduate level in the sciences, they outnumber men (3:2) at the post-graduate level. In the medical sciences, too, they outnumber men at both the undergraduate and the PG level. Engineering, though, remains male-dominated. At the PhD level, however, men outnumber women in engineering, medical science and the sciences, though, in the sciences, the lead men have is not very sharp. The pipeline for women in STEM research, thus, seems to thin out after PG.
  • A 2017 NITI Aayog report shows that just 20% of the research and administrative staff in a select group of institutions, including the IITs, IISERs and NITs, are women.
  • Indian women in STEM have managed to hold their own in terms of published work despite their low strength in employment—a study analysing a sample of 27,000 papers published by Indian researchers in 2017, in the Journal of Informetrics, found that there was one woman author for every three male authors, across 186 streams..
  • NITI Aayog report too talks about the low representation of Indian women scientists in science administration roles. It also says a sample of 991 women working in STEM positions had reported 217 instances of having refused challenging career opportunities; in 72% of these cases, ‘family care’ or ‘family objection’ had been cited as reasons. While there is no such research amongst men in STEM positions, it is highly unlikely such reasons would figure at a comparable level.
  • Gender-Based Stereotypes and bias still exist and occur throughout the lifespan, undoubtedly shaping male/female career trajectories. Studies have shown that parents and teachers underestimate girls’ science and mathematics ability relative to boys’ and that, despite their having similar grades, they encourage boys more often in mathematics and science pursuits and they attribute boys’ successes in science and maths more to ability and failures more to lack of effort, while the opposite is believed to be true for girls
  • The theme of National Science Day, 2020 was “Women in Science”

Steps needed in Science policy 2020 to address the gender inequalities in science:

  • Gender equity in science and technology education: This must be focussed on PG level and above to retain talented women in science. Many sacrifice their career to focus on family.
  • Providing enabling measures for addressing gender inequalities in scientific and
    technological careers in terms scholarships, paid leaves, better facilities etc.
  • Making science responsive to the needs of society: the gender dimension must be included from early education itself included with sufficient awareness in the society regarding women in science.
  • Making the science and technology decision-making process more ‘gender aware’: Policy makers, to higher level decision makers in universities, premium research institutions like IISc, ISRO, DRDO etc must have women representation.
  • Relating better with ‘local knowledge systems’: for a country like India it becomes of paramount importance that local knowledge systems are tapped in to.
  • Addressing ethical issues in science and technology: In order to achieve parity, it is must and should that ethical issues are addressed. Discrimination, Exploitation and Sexual harassment must all be put to end.
  • Accommodate women’s familial obligations in the workplace: The workplace often lacks support for women with young children and other caretaking responsibilities, resulting  in  women’s  deciding  against  pursuing  STEM  careers  and,  for  those  already  in these careers, to vacate STEM positions at greater rates than men. Women’s progression in STEM careers in academics and research is very much slower than that of men, resulting in fewer and fewer women at the top positions in their fields. Solutions to this problem include providing childcare support services at work, when they undertake further studies, when they attend scientific events and when they conduct research fieldwork
  • Cultivate early interest in mathematics and science: It is  important  to  promote  achievement  in  mathematics  and  science,  however,  cultivating  interest  in  these  subjects  should  produce  more  female  scientists  in  the  long    The  optimal  time  for  intervention  would  be  during middle childhood and adolescence, before young people miss the opportunity to enrol in the advanced math  and  science  courses  that  will  best  prepare  them  for  a  major  in  STEM  subjects.. Universities could offer programmes and training and re-training of teachers and lecturers in these aspects.
  • Improving the collection of gender disaggregated data for policymakers: In order to achieve a success in the policy, data becomes very vital. A proper data needs to put forward in science policy.
  • Remove stereotypes about women and STEM: Negative stereotypes could be combated by highlighting the achievements of women and girls in STEM areas and sparking  science  interest  in  girls  at  school  and  home  environments  involving  teachers,  parents  and  role  Universities  could  organise  media  events  portraying  female  professionals  in  STEM  fields,  young  girls  performing science experiments with the help of a female scientist mentor, boot camps exposing girls to hands-on maths and science experiments, and working with female STEM role models.
  • Equal opportunity for entry and advancement: into larger-scale science technology, engineering, mathematics disciplines (STEM) and innovation systems should be the larger goal of the policy. It is  vital  to  provide  and  sustain  positive  classroom  experiences  for  girls,  from  primary  through  secondary  school,  including  providing  hands-on science and mathematics activities that students can relate to real-life situations.
  • Increase collaboration among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers etc.

Conclusion:

        To  achieve   systematic   and   systemic   change,   a   strategy   that   acts   across   these   three   advantage  areas  is  needed,  with  interventions  that  involve in a joint effort relevant groups of actors and stakeholders in STEM:  educators, employers, policy makers,  career  advisers  and  the  media.  Research  communities,  in  particular,  should  be  made  aware  that inequality in participation can negatively affect knowledge  and  research  standards  by  incorrectly  adopting the values of the majority and neglecting the  needs  and  interests  of  those  who  are  in  the  minority. This is precisely what Science Policy 2020 should incorporate.


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. Is the continental grand strategy facing an existential crisis today? Account for the need for India to shift its focus from continental strategies to the maritime sphere. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The editorial talks about the need for India to shift its focus from continental strategies to the maritime sphere as its continental grand strategy is facing an existential crisis today.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the need for India to shift its focus towards maritime strategies from the current continental ones.

Directive:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by presenting the state of India’s continental strategy from past till present.

Body:

India is a country that is traditionally obsessed with a continental approach to war and peace. However, India might have reached a dead-end in terms of its grand strategic plans in the continental space.

Explain that excessive focus on the continental sphere since Independence has not yielded great returns in terms of secure borders, healthy relations with its neighbours or deterrence stability. India must shift its almost exclusive focus from the continental sphere to the maritime sphere. While India seems stuck between Pakistan and China from a continental perspective, the country is located right at the centre of the Indo-Pacific geopolitical imagination, in the midst of the oceanic space spanning from the shores of Africa to that of the Americas.

Then move onto explain why should India focus on its Maritime Strategy.

Conclusion:

Conclude that it is high time New Delhi shifted its almost exclusive focus from the continental space to the maritime space, stitching together a maritime grand strategy

 Introduction:

One of the reasons for fall of Napoleon is his obsession with continental strategy and ignorance of maritime strategy. India is presented with a similar crossroads as an emerging power. Debate on whether Indian armed forces need a continental land defence strategy or a sea-based maritime strategy has gained currency in recent years, but there is yet a clear answer to emerge.

Body:

Shortcomings of continental strategy:

  • Given that reconciliation with its key adversaries, China and Pakistan, is unlikely at this point and pursuing its ambitious territorial claims on the ground is almost impossible, New Delhi’s continental options seem restricted to holding operations to prevent further territorial loss. Put differently, New Delhi’s grand strategic plans in the continental space may have reached a dead end.
  • China has begun to push the boundaries with India and Beijing is neither keen on ending the ongoing border stalemate nor reinstating the status quo with India as of March 2020. The peaceful India-China Line of Actual Control in the Northeast is now a thing of the past with China pushing back New Delhi’s claims on Aksai Chin and New Delhi defending against Beijing’s expansive territorial claims and their slow but aggressive implementation.
  • In the Northwest, the Pakistan front has also been heating up. Ceasefire violations on the Line of Control (LoC) have spiked since last year as has the infiltration of terrorists across the LoC. With the change of the status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by New Delhi in 2019, and Pakistan altering its political map a few months ago to include all of J&K, the India-Pakistan contestation over Kashmir has become fiercer.
  • Equally important is the geopolitical collusion between Islamabad and Beijing to contain and pressure New Delhi from both sides. While this is not a new phenomenon, the intensity of the China-Pakistan containment strategy against India today is unprecedented. The extent and intent behind this collusion will determine the future of the high stakes game in the Himalayas for a long time to come.
  • The ongoing withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan (the loss of a friend in the region for New Delhi, and the consequent reduction of India’s influence in Afghanistan) and the return of the Taliban, with whom India has very little contact, could turn the geopolitical tide against New Delhi — similar to the situation in the early 1990s.
  • The frictions in Iran-India relations will further dampen India’s ‘Mission Central Asia’. In sum, this is perhaps the end of the road for New Delhi’s north-eastern and north-western geopolitical forays.
  • It appears abundantly clear now that New Delhi’s excessive focus on the continental sphere since Independence has not yielded great returns in terms of secure borders, healthy relations with its neighbours or deterrence stability vis-à-vis adversaries.

Need for a shift from continental strategies to the maritime sphere:

A paradigm shift from continental strategies to maritime strategy is needed because of the following reasons:

  • Unlike in the continental sphere where India seems to be hemmed in by China-Pakistan collusion, the maritime sphere is wide open to India to undertake coalition building, rule setting, and other forms of strategic exploration.
  • Unlike in the continental sphere, there is a growing great power interest in the maritime sphere, especially with the arrival of the concept of ‘Indo-Pacific’. The Euro-American interest in India’s land borders with Pakistan and China is negligible, and more so, there is little any country can do to help India in its continental contestations.
  • The situation in the maritime sphere is the exact opposite: great powers remain ever more interested in the maritime sphere and this interest has grown substantially since the coinage of Indo-Pacific. For instance, Germany recently released its Indo-Pacific guidelines following the example of France which brought out its Indo-Pacific strategy last year.
  • Beijing’s bullying behaviour in the South China Sea in particular and the region in general has generated a great deal of willingness among the Euro-American powers and the countries of the region, including Australia and Japan, to push back Chinese unilateralism. This provides New Delhi with a unique opportunity to enhance its influence and potentially checkmate the Chinese ambitions in the region.
  • The maritime space is a lot more important to China than engaging in opportunistic land grab attempts in the Himalayas, thanks to the massive Chinese trade that happens via the Oceanic routes and the complex geopolitics around the maritime chokepoints which can potentially disrupt that trade.
  • Organization like the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) may provide equal leverage as a key transit route between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, placed at the intersection of the Chinese and the Indian strategic interests, thereby fuelling India’s Act East Policy as well as deeper integration with ASEAN equally.
  • The various conceptions and interpretations associated finally culminate into the creation of better multilateral platforms for India with like-minded partners in the region, for example, the idea of creating the ‘Quad’ or a quadrilateral partnership (with USA, Japan, Australia and India) or strengthened bilateral naval exercises demanding a strategic vision for the future. It is only through a renewed geopolitical scenario that India would be able to make its mark in the new vision of the global maritime outlook.

Other Advantages of having a robust maritime strategy:

  • Protection from sea-based threats to India’s territorial integrity.
  • Ensuring Stability in India’s maritime neighbourhood.
  • Creation, development, and sustenance of a ‘Blue’ Economy, incorporating
  • The preservation, promotion, pursuit and protection of offshore infrastructure and maritime resources within and beyond the Maritime Zones of India (MZI).
  • The promotion, protection and safety of India’s overseas and coastal seaborne trade and her Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs), and, the ports that constitute the nodes of this trade; and Support to marine scientific research, including that in Antarctica and the Arctic.
  • The provision of holistic maritime security — i.e., freedom from threats arising ‘in’ or ‘from’ the sea.
  • Provision of support succour and extrication-options to the Indian Diaspora.
  • Obtaining and retaining a regionally favourable geostrategic maritime-position.

    Conclusion:

There is much merit in India formulating and executing a maritime strategy that is focussed upon attaining the objectives arising from a detailed analysis of the country’s principal maritime interests.  This ‘interests-based approach’ should be at the heart of India’s maritime strategy, wherein India recognises — and leads regional recognition — that the geo-economic goals that the country seeks to achieve in this century are increasingly referenced to the maritime domain.

 

Topic : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. Analyse critically the option of prioritizing single language in multi-lingual India? Also suggest measures to preserve India’s linguistic diversity. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article explain the factor of prioritizing single language in multi-lingual India and its pros and cons and highlights the need to preserve India’s linguistic diversity.

Key Demand of the question:

One must critically analyse the option of prioritizing single language in multi-lingual India and advice upon preserving India’s linguistic diversity.

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 with the historical debates in the constitutional assembly about the one-language concept.

Body:

The issue of adopting a national language could not be resolved when the Constituent Assembly began drafting India’s Constitution. While the representatives of the Hindi-speaking provinces argued for adopting Hindi as the sole national language, members from the southern part of the country opposed this.

Talk about the coming of Official Languages Act 1963.

Now present critical points that how prioritizing one particular language may hamper the linguistic diversity of the country. When a refined language loses its status in literary and daily interactions, the way of life associated with it also vanishes.

If other well-evolved or endangered and indigenous languages are not protected and promoted, our future generations may fail to understand their real roots and culture.

While discussing Hindi and its use, there is a need to focus on the merit of other Indian languages.

Suggest measures to address the scenario.

Conclusion:

Conclude that instead of focusing on one national language, emphasis must be on learning a language beyond one’s mother tongue and getting to know a different way of life.

Introduction:

India is a land of diversity comprising of individuals from different communities, backgrounds, religions etc. What one eats, how one speaks, differs from region to region. In this diversity, we Indians often look for symbols and objects that unite us. The national anthem, national animal, national song, national flower are pertinent examples. It is famously said, that in India language changes every few kilometres just like the water. Therefore, unlike the other national symbols the choice of a ‘national language’ for India has been difficult and has witnessed violence and heated debates.

Body:

Historical perspective of Language issue:

  • The adoption of a national language, the language in which the Constitution was to be written, and the language in which the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly were to be conducted were the main questions debated.
  • Widespread resistance to the imposition of Hindi on non-native speakers, especially in Tamil Nadu, led to the passage of the Official Languages Act of 1963, which provided for the continued use of English for all official purposes.
  • Hindi became the sole working language of the Union government by 1965 with the State governments free to function in the language of their choice.
  • The constitutional directive for the Union government to encourage the spread of Hindi was retained within Central government entities in non-Hindi-speaking States.
  • According to the 2001 Census, India has 30 languages that are spoken by more than a million people each. The Constitution lists 22 languages and protects them in the eighth schedule.
  • According to Article 351 of the constitution of India, It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language, to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India.

Pros of prioritizing a single language:

  • It can lead to become a ‘national language’ which is representative of the country, its cultural heritage and history. It gives the impression that citizens of the country know and speak that language.
  • The lack of national language acts as barrier for the progress of nation. For example, Students avoid going to other places for education and research due to lack of understanding of local languages.
  • Having one language is vital in preserving national unity.
  • Having one official language saves government money that would have been spent translating various public documents as well as offering translation services.

    Cons of prioritizing a single language:

  • Imposition of any language over this linguistic heritage will definitely destroy our cultural and historical melodies. This is also noteworthy that the UN has already expressed its concern over the vanishing of several local scripts and languages. We are lucky enough to have most of our regional languages and dialects intact enough, but any attempt to damage them will ruin our cultural riches.
  • People’s Linguistic Survey of India, headed by eminent academic G.N. Devy, found that our country is home to 780 languages and 66 different scripts. Given this enormous heterogeneity, privileging of one language by the state does great disservice to other equally-deserving language.
  • If Hindi is declared as the national language, every citizen of the country would be required to learn the same. Such a situation would definitely benefit a north Indian (as Hindi is the most prominent language in the region) over citizens from the other regions, as the latter would be expected to learn a language from scratch. In effect, members of northern India would be placed at an advantage over the others, which is wrong.
  • Asserting the hegemony of Hindi and being belligerently pushing it under a misconception that it is the national language (rashtra bhasha) so ordained by the Constitution of India is the biggest misunderstanding and one solitary factor which contributes to discord with people of the nation where Hindi is not spoken.
  • The Constitution of India balances with a sense of sensitivity and equality amongst the people to give due respect to ethnic identity of the peoples, their language and their culture. The Constitution of India speaks of a composite culture of the nation.
  • It may meet with opposition among non-Hindi speaking states which is not in the interests of the nation as experienced before against imposition of one language.
  • It goes against the idea of “Unit in Diversity”. Preserving diversity maybe a key to preserve the unit of India. The East Pakistani government ordained Urdu to be the sole official language and people decided to defy the law. Several agitations were held which even took a violent shape at some place and finally the Pakistani government was compelled to give Bengali its due status.

    Measures to preserve India’s linguistic diversity:

  • The Constitution of India has included the clause to protect minority languages as a fundamental right. It states” Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part of thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same.”
  • The language policy of India provides guarantee to protect the linguistic minorities. Under the Constitution, provision is made for appointment of Special Officer for linguistic minority with the sole responsibilities of safeguarding the interest of language spoken by the minority groups.
  • The new “National Translation Mission” to make knowledge texts accessible, in all Indian languages listed in the VIII schedule of the Constitution, through translation, will be a good step.
  • The Supreme Court recently, where it made its judgments available not only in Hindi but also in other regional languages.
  • In 1991 the Census of India listed 1576 mother tongues’ with separate grammatical structures and 1796 speech varieties that is classified as other mother tongues’.
  • Another unique feature of India is the concept of protecting the interest of children to get basic education in their mother tongue. The Constitution provides” it shall be the endeavour of every State and of every local authority within the state to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups”. Thus, even before the United Nations declared the International Mother Language Day (February 21) the founders of the Indian Constitution gave top priority to teaching in mother tongues’, enabling the child to develop its full potential.

In 1956 reorganisation of states in India was carried out with linguistic boundaries that had its own script.

  • The language policy of India has been pluralistic, giving priority to the use of mother tongue in administration, education and other fields of mass communication. The Language Bureau of Ministry of Human Resource Development is set up to implement and monitor the language policy.
  • The National Education Policy, 2020 in which teaching up to at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/regional language. No language will be imposed on any student. It is also a welcome step.
  • According to UNESCO, Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) can help to foster the growth of local languages online by allowing Internet users to use non-Latin scripts to access domain names.
  • The internet can be used to raise awareness about the issues of language extinction and language preservation.

Conclusion:

It has been rightly said that India is like a beautiful carpet woven in a design that has a language of diverse cultural representations woven by knots tightly holding the entire fabric of the nation. The beauty of this carpet is besmirched if one culture or language is given more importance than the other. Instead, all languages should be treated with equal respect and promoted.

 

Topic: GS-1: Role of women and women’s organization

GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

4. “Increasing gender sensitivity is crucial to enhancing women’s safety”, Explain in the context of Indian societal setup. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article brings to us the dismal picture of Hathras rape case and explains the dire need to increase gender sensitivity in the country to ensure safety of the women.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the dire need to enhance and ensure gender sensitivity in the country for enhancing women safety.

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:

Start by explaining what you understand by Gender safety.

Body:

Being sensitive is, very simply put, being appreciative of others’ feelings. In that context, gender sensitivity is about being considerate of the opposite gender’s feelings.

Explain why is women’s safety important? Discuss the contextual case of Indian society in particular.

Gender sensitivity is a very sensitive issue and it prevails in many countries including India.Despite all progress in art, literature, governance and science & technology, we have not been able to remove the gender discrimination. Men still dominate over women. Gender inequality fuels violence against women and results in power imbalances.

According to latest statistics, Afghanistan, Congo, India, Pakistan & Somalia are the five countries that are dangerous for women in the issues of health, discrimination, and cultural, sexual violence and trafficking.

Discuss the need and the stakeholders that need to make effort in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude that each female is a gift of God. For their sustainable livelihood, International community, the government and the private sectors, non-governmental associations, advocacy groups, the private sector, the academic community and others are extremely important for taking efforts to end violence against women and lead a violence free incredible India.

Introduction:

                Women have the right to be free from violence, harassment and discrimination. Removing the barriers of an unsafe environment can help women fulfil their potential as individuals and as contributors to work, communities and economies. Gender sensitivity can go a long way in ensuring that. 

Gender sensitization is the modification of behaviours so that there is greater awareness and empathy to create gender equality.

Body:

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) suggests that 30 percent women in India in the age group of 15-49 have experienced physical violence since the age of 15. The report further reveals that 6 percent women in the same age group have experienced sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. About 31 percent of married women have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence by their spouses.

Gender roles and relations in regards to women safety in Indian Society:

  • Men’s agreement with sexist, patriarchal, and sexually hostile attitudes
  • Violence-supportive social norms regarding gender and sexuality
  • Male-dominated power relations in relationships and families
  • Sexist and violence-supportive contexts and cultures
  • Social norms and practices related to violence
  • Lack of domestic violence resources
  • Childhood experience of intimate partner violence (especially among boys)
  • Access to resources and systems of support
  • Low socioeconomic status, poverty, and unemployment
  • Lack of social connections and social capital
  • Personality characteristics
  • Alcohol and substance abuse

Effects of Gender violence:

  • Women who experience violence are more at risk of unwanted pregnancies, maternal and infant mortality, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Such violence can cause direct and long-term physical and mental health consequences.

  • Exposure to violence has been linked with a multitude of adverse health outcomes, including acute injuries, chronic pain, gastrointestinal illness, gynaecological problems, depression, and substance abuse.
  • Mental health consequences include increasing women’s risk of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse etc.
  • In many societies, women who are raped or sexually abused are stigmatised and isolated, which impacts not only their well-being, but also their social participation, opportunities and quality of life.

Role Gender Sensitization in women safety:

  • Gender Sensitization is a basic requirement to understand the sensitive needs of a particular gender. It helps us to examine our personal attitudes and beliefs and question the ‘realities’ that we thought we know.
  • It has become imperative to impart sensitivity to the students of schools and colleges to get rid of misconceptions regarding myths and realities pertaining to anatomical and physiological activities, in either gender, regarding procreation, spread of sexually transmitted diseases etc.
  • Gender sensitisation is a movement through which the people with stereotype & traditional thinking, should be able to assure equal participation of women and men in decision-making; to facilitate equally; to equally access & control on the resources; to acquire alike benefits of development; to get equal opportunities in employment ; economic, political, cultural & social sector  and also can get equivalent regard in all other aspects of their life and livelihood so that both genders can enjoy their human rights without any constraint
  • With the help of education, gender sensitization in educational institutes can create awareness among the children, parents and other members of the community about their roles in future as the men and women in the society. Moreover, this is the power of education that can make a great social change in the society at large.
  • As we know that our society is rigid, it is difficult to make changes in the mind-set of the people. Therefore, Government should introduce more welfare schemes for females to make them self-independent to compliment the sensitization process.

Way forward and conclusion:

  • Addressing the deeply entrenched patriarchal attitudes of the police, lawyer and other judicial officers that continues to contribute to low reporting and conviction rates.
  • Bridging the gap between laws and its correlated areas such as legal rights to property, land, inheritance, employment and income that allows a woman to walk out of an abusive relationship and specific emphasis on political and economic participation of women.
  • Systematic intervention for multisectoral linkages between Health sector (medical and psychosocial support), Social Welfare sector (Shelters, counselling and economic support/skill), Legal (legal aid)
  • Not just engage with “men and boys” as change agents but also acknowledge the expectations linked to masculinity, their position as victim of violence especially for young boys to address the perpetuation of cycle of GBV.
  • Recognize sexual and reproductive health and rights by promotion and protection of women’s right to have control and decide freely over matters related to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, family-planning choices and access to comprehensive sexuality education.
  • Reclaiming the spaces for women to increase their presence in visibility through political and economic participation and diversifying their engagement in non-traditional sectors.
  • Use of technology and emerging concepts such as Smart City in urban policy for ensuring safer and gender friendly infrastructures and spaces that prevents violence.

The gender sensitivity right from grassroots level along with strong framework of deterrent laws which are implemented diligently, with proper awareness about it among women as well as men are needed to put an end to the vicious cycle of gender based violence.

 


General Studies – 3


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

6. What is meant by climate smart agriculture? How do you see smart agriculture helping combat climate change? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: http://www.fao.org

Why the question:

Question is premised on the concept of climate smart agriculture.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concept of climate smart agriculture and its applications specifically with the context of combating climate change.

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 first what you understand by climate smart agriculture.

Body:

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrated approach to managing landscapes—cropland, livestock, forests and fisheries–that address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change.

Explain the current problems – A growing global population and changing diets are driving up the demand for food. Production is struggling to keep up as crop yields level off in many parts of the world, ocean health declines, and natural resources—including soils, water and biodiversity—are stretched dangerously thin. A 2020 report found that nearly 690 million people–or 8.9 percent of the global population– are hungry, up by nearly 60 million in five years. The food security challenge will only become more difficult, as the world will need to produce about 70 percent more food by 2050 to feed an estimated 9 billion people.

The challenge is intensified by agriculture’s extreme vulnerability to climate change. Climate change’s negative impacts are already being felt, in the form of reduced yields and more frequent extreme weather events, affecting crops and livestock alike.

Discuss its role in combating climate change with suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance and way forward.

Introduction:

                Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate. CSA aims to tackle three main objectives: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.

Body:

Agriculture and climate change:

  • Farms emitted 6 billion tonnes of GHGs in 2011, or about 13 percent of total global emissions. That makes the agricultural sector the world’s second-largest emitter, after the energy sector.
  • Agriculture in India today contributes only 14% of India’s GDP and provides a source of livelihood for at least 57% of its people, most of whom live in rural areas.
  • With over 60% of Indian agriculture dependent on rainfall, farming is a high-risk gamble dependent upon the vagaries of the monsoons and local meteorological conditions.
  • With increasing climate variability, the need for advance warning to farmers of the likely occurrence of irregular or extreme weather events is becoming urgent.
  • Climate change affects all the three aspects of food security: availability, access and absorption. When production decreases, availability of food decreases. Climate change hits poor the most. They don’t have income to buy the food, so their access to it is affected. This, in turn, has an impact on health and affects absorption.
  • Around 570 million farms across the world are facing the threat of climate change at present. Climate change has about 4-9 per cent impact on agriculture each year. As agriculture contributes 15 per cent to India’s GDP, climate change presumably causes about 5 per cent loss in GDP.

Climate smart agriculture helping combat climate change:

  • Increased productivity: Produce more food to improve food and nutrition security and boost the incomes of 75 percent of the world’s poor who live in rural areas and mainly rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
  • Enhanced resilience: Reduce vulnerability to drought, pests, disease, and other shocks; and improve capacity to adapt and grow in the face of longer-term stresses like shortened seasons and erratic weather patterns.
  • Reduced emissions: Pursue lower emissions for each calorie or kilo of food produced, avoid deforestation from agriculture and identify ways to suck carbon out of the atmosphere.
  • The climate-smart agriculture approach seeks to reduce trade-offs to make crop and livestock systems, forestry, and fisheries and aquaculture more productive and more sustainable.
  • Climate-smart agriculture explicitly looks for where there are synergies and trade-offs among food security, adaptation and mitigation. Climate smart agriculture works through several dimensions to reorient agricultural development and management to take climate change into account.
  • Management of farms, crops, livestock, aquaculture and capture fisheries to balance near-term food security and livelihoods needs with priorities for adaptation and mitigation.
  • Ecosystem and landscape management to conserve ecosystem services that are important for food security, agricultural development, adaptation and mitigation.
  • Services for farmers and land managers to enable better management of climate risks/impacts and mitigation actions.
  • Changes in the wider food system including demand-side measures and value chain interventions that enhance the benefits of CSA.

    Way forward: and conclusion

  • Farmers, especially smallholder farmers, need handholding during their scaling up to adopt CSA.
  • Mobile telecommunication systems are increasingly cost-effective and an efficient way of delivering weather-based agro-advisories to farmers at a large scale.
    Radio (especially community radio), television, newspapers, folk media, and village level public address systems will also need to be used to bridge this “communication divide.”
  • Weather-based agro-advisories must be locale-, crop-and farmer-specific; need to also recommend soil, water, and biodiversity conservation practices. Integrating this with Soil Health Card scheme will be a good step forward.
  • Build adaptive capacities to climate variability and strengthen the sustainability of farming systems.
  • On-site training and awareness campaigns, technology demonstrations, farmer-specialist interactions, and engagement with local governance bodies.
  • Soil health and need-based irrigation management need to be addressed adequately.
  • Closer collaboration between public, civil society, and private technology and financial service providers so that farmers get access to accurate information, and affordable technologies.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic : Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7. Trust in government is increasingly an issue of concern everywhere. Analyse the statement. Also suggest some measures so that public institutions can be more trust- worthy for citizens. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question talks about the factor of trust and its importance in Governance.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the importance of trust in the government and in what way lack of it can be an issue and threat to democracy.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define trust and its importance.

Body:

The relevance of measures of trust is not in doubt. Measures of interpersonal trust – particularly generalized trust – are of fundamental importance to assessing the well-being of societies, to measuring social capital, and to understanding the drivers of other social and economic outcomes.

Discuss in what way trust can be measured in the society or of the public in the government.

Explain its importance; discuss the stakeholders who are responsible in ensuring trust of the people in the government. Give suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Trust is a concept of fundamental importance to the well-being of individuals, and to society more broadly.  At a societal level, trust is essential to the smooth functioning of society. Trust in institutions also underpins a successful society. Without some degree of trust in institutions such as the parliament, the civil service, the justice system and the police, it would be impossible for a community to perform effectively or for the individuals within a country to live the sort of lives that they wish to pursue.

Body:

Trust is the foundation upon which the legitimacy of public institutions is built and is crucial for maintaining social cohesion. Trust in institutions requires that these institutions are competent and effective in delivering on their goals, but also that they operate consistently with a set of values that reflect citizens’ expectations of integrity and fairness.

Governments worldwide are facing several recent events – i.e. the pandemic and its handling, current economic situation, corruption cases, the information published by websites such as WikiLeaks, the Snowden’s affair and so on – which are diminishing citizen trust in public administration to a great extent. Recent reports suggest that trust in governments and public institutions are experiencing the greatest decline of the century.

Various actions of governments like supressing fundamental rights in Iran, Genocides in Thailand, Uighurs detention camps in China and inefficient handling of the pandemic by various global leaders have accelerated the decline of trust in 2020. Even multi-lateral institutions are not free from malice. Recently, the World Bank halted its public of Ease of Doing Business because of allegations of data manipulation.

If we take the Indian scenario in particular, the handling to NRC/CAA protests, the abrogation of article 370, various scams in the financial sector like PMC bank and lack of judicial accountability despite various allegations against higher judiciary have rendered these institutions open to trust deficit.

In all the above mentioned scenarios, we find the major ethical issues due to which public trust is declining are lack of transparency and accountability (dilution of RTI act), corruption, lack of empathy (Ughiur crisis), abuse of power and human rights violations (allegations against Philippines president Rodrigo Duerte), Moral muteness towards environmental issues (lackadaisical implementation Paris agreement) etc.

With all the eyes towards U.S Presidential election which gets increasingly volatile and whose outcome will have global ramifications. Also, social media is playing a part in changing opinions regarding the trustworthiness of the government. Hence, we could say that trust in the government and its agencies is on a decline.

But when we analyse the Trust with a particular department/ministry/organisation, then we get the clearer picture. We should take trust in government not as whole but as a sum of its parts. No government is perfect. Hence, we need to take an analytical approach towards each department objectively. Ultimately it finally comes to those who are in power because they have the power, responsibility and resources to keep the faith of public in them and their departments high.

Measures to improve trust in public institutions:

                Government’s values, such as high levels of integrity, fairness and openness of institutions are strong predictors of public trust. Similarly, government’s competence – its responsiveness and reliability in delivering public services and anticipating new needs – are crucial for boosting trust in institutions.

  • Integrity seems to be most essential to trust in government. Integrity tools and mechanisms, that are essential public governance processes, are aimed at preventing corruption (which is the outcome) and fostering high standards of behaviour, helping to reinforce the credibility and legitimacy of the actors involved in policy decision making, safeguarding the public interest and restoring a sense of fairness of policy decisions.
  • Reliability: the ability of governments to minimise uncertainty in the economic, social and political environment of their citizens, and to act in a consistent and predictable manner.
  • Responsiveness: the provision of accessible, efficient and citizen-oriented public services that effectively address the needs and expectations of the public.
  • Openness and inclusiveness: a systemic, comprehensive approach to institutionalising a two-way communication with stakeholders, whereby relevant, usable information is provided, and interaction is fostered as a means to improve transparency, accountability and engagement.
  • Integrity: the alignment of government and public institutions with broader principles and standards of conduct that contribute to safeguarding the public interest while preventing corruption.
  • Fairness: in a procedural sense the consistent treatment of citizens (and businesses) in the policy-making and policy-implementation processes.
  • Functionalising citizen charters in letter and spirit with a proper grievance redressal mechanisms.
  • Communication and consultation with public regarding major issues and taking them in confidence before any major policy changes.

    Conclusion:

    In unprecedented times like this, renewed focus on trust in government can bring a new perspective to public governance, enhancing the role of the citizens. At an institutional level, this should reinforce the notion of a social contract between citizens and the state, where the former contribute not only by paying taxes and obeying the law, but also by being receptive to public policies and co-operating in their design and implementation. To gain this support from citizens, however, governments need to be more inclusive, more transparent, more receptive and more efficient. Recognising and better understanding the critical role that trust plays in effective public policies should assist governments better shape their policy and reform agendas, improving outcomes for all.


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