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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 4 September 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 ; The Freedom Struggle —  its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. How were Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and Non-Cooperation Movement (NCM) fundamentally different in their demands? Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: Modern Indian History by Bipin Chandra

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper- I.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to bring out the fundamental differences between Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and Non-Cooperation Movement (NCM).

Directive:

Elucidate – Give 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:

The non-cooperation and the civil disobedience movements were landmark moments during India’s independence struggle. Both played a key role in ensuring that India’s independence from British rule was guaranteed on 15th August 1947 and both were the brainchild of Mahatma Gandhi.

Body:

Start explaining the two movements and in what way they differed from each other.

Although both the movements had the complete independence of India in mind, the manner in which they were executed and the methodology employed were remarkably different.

The non-cooperation movement sought the attention of the British colonial authorities by bringing the government to a standstill.

The civil disobedience movement sought to paralyze the government by breaking a specific set of rules and administration.

Conclusion:

Conclude with their importance.


Introduction:

The Non-cooperation movement (NCM) and Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) are two important agitations in India’s struggle for Independence which had fundamental impacts in terms of their nature, participation and they impact they cause on the British as well as Indian nationalists.

Body:
Demands of Non-Cooperation Movement (NCM):
Righting the Punjab Wrongdoings:

  • The Rowlatt Act, the imposition of martial law in Punjab and the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre exposed the brutal and uncivilised face of the foreign rule.
  • The Hunter Committee on the Punjab atrocities proved to be an eyewash. In fact, the House of Lords (of the British Parliament) endorsed General Dyer’s action.
  • The Congress was losing faith in constitutional struggle, especially after the Punjab incidents and the blatantly partisan Hunter Committee Report.
  • This became on the factors for launch of NCM

Khilafat Issue:

  • The Khilafat issue paved the way for the consolidation of the emergence of a radical nationalist trend among the younger generation of Muslims and the section of traditional Muslim scholars who were becoming increasingly critical of British rule.
  • This time, they were angered by the treatment meted out to Turkey by the British after the First World War.
  • The Muslims in India, as the Muslims all over the world, regarded the sultan of Turkey as their spiritual leader, Khalifa, so naturally their sympathies were with Turkey.
  • In India, too, the Muslims demanded from the British:

(i) that the Khalifa’s control over Muslim sacred places should be retained,
(ii) the Khalifa should be left with sufficient territories after territorial arrangements.

  • It was felt that this was a golden opportunity to cement Hindu-Muslim unity and to bring Muslim masses into the national movement.
  • In February 1920, Gandhi announced that the issues of the Punjab wrongs and constitutional advance had been overshadowed by the Khilafat question and that he would soon lead a movement of non-cooperation if the terms of the peace treaty failed to satisfy the Indian Muslims.

Attainment of Swaraj:

  • December 1920 At the Nagpur session of the Indian National Congress, An important change was made in the Congress creed: now, instead of having the attainment of self-government through constitutional means as its goal, the Congress decided to have the attainment of swaraj through peaceful and legitimate means, thus committing itself to an extraconstitutional mass struggle.
  • This marked a major shift in the demand of congress.

Demands of Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM):
                In the 1929, Lahore session of Congress, the goal of congress was shifted from Swaraj to Purna Swaraj (Complete Independence).
To carry forward the mandate given by the Lahore Congress, Gandhi presented eleven demands to the government and gave an ultimatum of January 31, 1930 to accept or reject these demands. The demands were as follows.

Issues of General Interest:

  1. Reduce expenditure on Army and civil services by 50 per cent.
  2. Introduce total prohibition.
  3. Carry out reforms in Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
  4. Change Arms Act allowing popular control of issue of firearms licences.
  5. Release political prisoners.
  6. Accept Postal Reservation Bill.

Specific Bourgeois Demands:

  1. Reduce rupee-sterling exchange ratio.
  2. Introduce textile protection.
  3. Reserve coastal shipping for Indians.

Specific Peasant Demands:

  1. Reduce land revenue by 50 per cent.
  2. Abolish salt tax and government’s salt monopoly.
    With no positive response forthcoming from the government on these demands, the Congress Working Committee invested Gandhi with full powers to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement at a time and place of his choice.

    Difference between demands of Non-Cooperation Movement (NCM) and Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM):
     
  • The NCM demanded Swaraj (dominion status) but during CDM the ultimate aim was to achieve Purna Swaraj that is complete independence.
  • There was no specific demands during the NCM as compared to CDM where demands regarding land revenue, exchange rate, reduction of expenditure on army etc were made a part of ultimatum given to Lord Irwin.
  • The demand of the Khilafath during NCM was on religious lines whereas all the demands during CDM were of secular in nature and most of them in the interest of general public.
  • There was no specific deadline or ultimatum given to the British during NCM. It was outcome of a circumstances.
  • Peasant demands were included for the first time.

Conclusion:

As seen above, both movements varied in their demands and both left behind a varied legacy as well. One thing common to both movement was the fervor of nationalism spread to great heights with mass participation as well as faith in Gandhian Satyagraha went on increasing and the hold on the colonial empire on India decreased.

 

Topic : Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

2. Discuss the contributions of Sri Narayana Guru in social reforms in India. (250 words)

Reference: Times now News 

Why the question:

164th birth anniversary of Sree Narayana Guru was observed on 2nd September, Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is straightforward; one has to discuss the contributions of Sri Narayana Guru in social reforms in India.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by briefly explaining who Narayan Guru was.

Body:

Narayana Guru (1856 – 1928) was a social reformer. He has been credited with transforming the social fabric of kerala and changing the beliefs of keralites in ways unimaginable at that point in time. He was born into an Ezhava family in an era when people from such communities, which were regarded as Avarna, faced much social injustice in the caste-ridden society of Kerala.

List down his contributions to social reforms in India; He led a reform movement in Kerala, rejected casteism, and promoted new values of spiritual freedom and social equality, He preached the ‘oneness’ of humanity, crossing the boundaries of caste and creed, He also lent his support to the Vaikkom Satyagraha which was aimed at temple entry in Travancore for the lower castes. Mahatma Gandhi met Guru during this time etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of such great personalities in reforming Modern India socially.

Introduction:

Sri Narayana Guru is a name that evokes respect – not just in Kerala – but across India and Sri Lanka as well. Born on 28 August 1855, he was a man well-versed in the knowledge of religion and spirituality and used that knowledge to bind society’s various strata together in a cohesive whole.

Born into a family that belonged to the Ezhava caste, Narayana Guru led a reform movement against the injustice in the caste-ridden society of India that he was born in. His home state Kerala too suffered serious divisions among various castes and communities. As a social reformer and spiritual leader, Narayana Guru contributed immensely to bringing about spiritual enlightenment and social equality.

The contributions of Sri Narayana Guru in social reforms in India:

As a Teacher:

  • He began to teach in his native village. He started a school at Meerankadavu and later at Anchuthengu. He taught young boys to read, write and study. He used to teach sacred texts like the Bhagavad Gita to many people in the hall near the Jnaneshwara Temple.
  • During this period he composed many devotional poems and hymns and the verses he composed reflected his search for the true meaning of life.

As a guru:

  • Most of the people who came to the Guru were low caste Hindus, who were subjected to discrimination and evil practices such as untouchability, contempt, distrust and exploitation and who were denied entry into temples owned by high caste people.
  • The Guru’s heart overflowed with affection, love and sympathy for these low caste people. The Guru decided to found a temple where all people irrespective of caste or creed could come and worship God fearlessly with fruits and flowers holding their heads high and hence a Shiva temple was established for people from lower castes much to the opposition of higher castes.
  • Guru’s message to the people is the subject of weekly comment on many platforms, and scores of associations have been by various parts of South India to spread his ideals. It can be asserted that he has set in motion a force which is bound to spread into a new impetus for the regeneration of India and the world.

Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana(SNDP) Yogam:

  • The S N D P Yogam became the biggest single organization to propagate the ideals of the Guru and to defend the natural and constitutional rights of the socially, culturally and educationally backward people of Kerala.
  • The Guru unleashed the momentum for this secular and social thrust by being the inspiration and fountain head of a reformist movement.
  • As regards the goal of social change, the Yogam became the Guru’s most effective forum for immediate action. It was registered as a joint stock company. Among its objectives were, besides the dissemination of the Dharma and the administration of the Mutts and temples, the sponsoring of the religious and secular education of the people and also their professional advancement.
  • The Guru was above all kinds of religious prejudice`s. He believed in the oneness of all religions. “No matter what one’s religion is, it is enough man betters himself”, was his motto.

Sarada Mutt:

  • In 1912 the Guru founded the Sarada Mutt at Sivagiri, the name given to the Varkala hills.
  • Devotees could have darsan of the Goddess, offer flowers, recite hymns and meditate. No customary practices, no offering of food, no festival. The Sarada idol is the concretized symbol of the Guru’s message: “Educate and be enlightened.”

The Vaikkom Satyagraha:

  • The Vaikkom Satyagraha was the first systematically organized agitation in India in 1924 against untouchability and to secure the rights of lower castes. The agitation in which the people belonging to all castes and religions actively participated drew all-India attention and importance.
  • The Guru showed great interest in the Vaikkom Satyagraha and extended much co-operation to it because it was a movement against caste discriminations and untouchability. The Guru blessed Satyagrahees and permited them to use the Guru’s Velloor Madam.
  • The Guru even initiated a fund to help the satyagrahees. The Guru visited the satyagrahees and was fully satisfied with the arrangements made at the Ashrama. The S N D P willingly took over the task of supplying manpower for the Satyagraha, and continued until the Satyagraha was stopped. 

Conclusion:

                Sri Narayan words are recognized as the most modem echo of the ancient wisdom of the Orient. In him we had, combined once again, a bird who sang about the aspirations of the soul of man, a philanthropist whose one aim in life, night and day, was to devise ways to minimize human suffering, and a seer whose daily food and drink was the highest form of truth.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

3. “Community participation and general awareness has a crucial role to play in water conservation in the country” Discuss with examples. (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

The article presents to us the dismal picture of water stress in the country and explains in what way Community participation and general awareness have a crucial role to play in water conservation in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly with necessary facts explain the water stress facing India.

Body:

After explaining the water issues in the country, explain the importance of water management and governance.

Discuss that water crisis calls for an integrated approach. Explain why Community participation and general awareness has a crucial role to play in water conservation in the country.

Bring out the missions and programs of the government that aims at conservation while depending hugely on community participation.  Take examples from the article and suggest solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

India is a welfare state, which is envisaged under the constitution of India. Therefore it is a duty of the State to provide basic amenities like water to the public and right to water is also considered as one of the fundamental rights under Article 21 of the constitution of India. More over Article 51 A of the Constitution of India casts duty upon the every citizen of India, “to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.

Body:
Scope of community participation and awareness in solving water issues:

  • According to the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report released by the Niti Aayog in 2018, 21 major cities (Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and others) are racing to reach zero groundwater levels by 2020, affecting access for 100 million people
  • As of June 25, 2019, nearly 65 percent of the country’s reservoirs were running dry.
  • It is more and more evident that Government alone cannot tackle the situation of natural devastation and depletion of water bodies effectively without public participation. A combination of strategies including civic engagement programs addressing barriers to landowner engagement will be most effective for promoting civic engagement in water resource protection.
  • Citizens are more likely to be civically engaged in water resource issues, if they feel a personal obligation to take civic action and perceive they have the ability to protect water resources. Public who believe water resource protection is a local responsibility, perceive important others expect them to protect water resources, and believe they have the ability to protect water resources are more likely to feel a sense of obligation to take civic action.
  • Public participation can be any process that directly encourages the public in decision making and gives full consideration to public input in making that decision. Public participating affords stakeholders the opportunity to influence that affects their lives.
  • The participatory idea has been gradually infiltrating the environmental sphere over recent decades, and recently we have seen increasing citizen participation in environmental policy making and implementation.
  • Citizen participation has taken place against a backdrop of increased re-organization that the traditional, centralized, hierarchical model, which draws from scientific and technical expertise to solve environmental problems does not always guarantee effective or socially acceptable solutions.
  • The concept of civic environmentalism were local people are involved in the planning and decision making process therefore provides an increasingly popular alternative approach to environmental governance worldwide.
  • The National Water Policy adopted by the Government of India in the year 1987 was revised in the year 2002 wherein it underscored Water Use Efficiency, Community Participation and

Participatory Irrigation Management.

  • In accordance to these recommendations, Innovative, participatory approaches hold promise not only in mapping and understanding aquifers in urban spaces, but also in developing participatory strategies for urban groundwater management, strategies that have the potential to form a significant component of urban water utility management.

giving_people

Indian experiences on conservation of water bodies and participatory approach: 

  • Reviving a Dead Kuttemperoor River: Kuttemperoor river, after being subjected to years of severe pollution and illegal sand mining, had almost vanished into obscurity until last year, when an initiative vehemently led by the Budhanoor gram panchayat in Alappuzha district did the unimaginable. The operation, involved 700 labourers including men and women from Budhanoor panchayat, who were employed for the task under the MGNREGA scheme.
  • 100 Ponds in 50 Days Drive: In Kochi, the district administration’s 100 Ponds in 50 Days have turned out to be a role model for conservation of water sources. After launching the cleaning drive, 64 ponds in different parts of the district have got a fresh life.
  • Women fighting drought by restoring Water Bodies – Karnataka: Women across Karnataka, in districts like Mandya, Gulbarga and Kolar, are taking the drought head on by toiling to revive water bodies themselves. In the Mandya district, women have taken it upon themselves to clean and desilt dry lakes and ponds, while the women of Gulbarga have revived 28 water bodies.
  • Saving Bangalore Water Bodies: Various efforts are taken up to conserve the lakes of Bangalore. Both the governments as well as non-governmental organizations have made efforts to bring back the health of Bangalore lakes.
  • Paani Panchayat: At Badauna Guggar village in Lalitpur district in Uttar Pradesh, the women have taken charge of water management. The village has a ‘paani panchayat’, where collective decisions are taken on conserving and using water.
  • Rural Women’s participation in Water Management in Maharashtra: These remote villages are situated in the arid region of Vidarbha in the state of Maharashtra, India. The endeavor to have safe and sufficient drinking water helped the women in fighting not only against poverty but also oppression, exploitation and human rights violation.
  • Waste Water and Aqua-Culture-Ecological Miracle in Kolkata: Kolkata Wetlands, the world’s only fully functional organic sewage management system. As for the East Kolkata Wetlands, this unique ecosystem impacts the daily lives of people in Kolkata and in the region in several ways. Maintained by farmers and fisher folk, these unique wetlands receive the city’s sewage, organically treat it with the help of sunshine, oxygen and microbial action and turn into a productive fish habitat nothing short of ecological magic.
  • Birkhabawari in Jodhpur, Rajasthan: located in the Umaid heritage site in a residential complex area. The Bawari structure not only stores rainwater but also acts as a recreational space for inhabitants. It also provides a good example of sustainable urban development practice in a low rainfall region, demonstrating the value of water by conserving rainwater.
  • Kudimaramathu project: Kudimaramathu is an ancient tamil concept of participatory management. It indicates the communities role in conserving natural resources. Usually, one person from a farmer’s family was deputed for the work during summer. In some places, a farmer was allocated a piece of land for repair, in proportion to his land holding. Traditionally, the community was taught and equipped to take care of and manage its own natural resources sustainably. Kudimaramathu, in its new avatar, was launched by Tamil Nadu government.

Conclusion:

  Any programme cannot be successfully implemented without involvement of people, no matter what kind of policy it has or how effective the leadership is”. The biggest strength of democracy is public participation. The case of public participation typically focuses on three things namely functional gains to government, fairness and individual and collective fulfillment.

Valuing citizen knowledge, interests and values is important especially at local level. Integrating local people makes environmental governance easier, with considerable less opposition to potential plans. Locals can bring value to the decision making process with unique knowledge of region, and awareness of the social dynamics help negate any potential negative effects of any efforts to protect the environment. Therefore in reality participatory approach certainly echoes the public voice and helps the government in environmental management with more strength and stamina.

 


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.“Every day, 28 people dependent on farming die by suicide in India “What are the problems faced by Indian farmers even today? Critically analyse the issue of farmer’s suicide in India. (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth 

Why the question:

The article presents the dismal picture of rising farmer’s suicide in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the issues faced by farmers in the country, critically analyse the issue of farmer’s suicide, suggest way out of it.

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:

One can start with a key fact such as – Seven states in the country account for 87.5% of the farming sector suicides. They are Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Maharashtra shows the highest figures out of these states.

Body:

Present the picture of Agriculture system and the lacunae that are leading to such drastic step of suicide by the farmers.

Explain causes of farmer suicides – Rise in input costs, Loan distress, Lack of direct market integration, Lack of awareness, Water crisis, Climate change, flawed economic policies etc.

There is no consensus on what the main causes might be but studies show suicide victims are motivated by more than one cause however the primer reasons being the inability to repay loans.

Major causes reportedly are bankruptcy/indebtedness, problems in the families, crop failure, illness and alcohol/substance abuse.

Most of the suicides have occurred in areas of cash crops like cotton and sugarcane, which is high input, high output gambling, and not based on the principle of sustained and resilient high yield.

Conclusion:

Suggest what needs to be done, give solutions which can be incorporated and conclude.

Introduction:

In India, most of the people of the country are directly or indirectly involved in the agriculture sector. It would not be wrong to say that ‘Indian farmers’ are the backbone of the economy. It employs 41% of our work force (World Bank).

Dire situation of farmer suicide:

  • According to Accidental Deaths and Suicides in Indiareport 2019 by the National Crime Records Bureau, at least 10,281 persons involved in the farm sector ended their lives in 2019, accounting for 7.4 per cent of the total number of suicides in India which was 139,516.
  • The top six states — Maharashtra (3,927 suicides), Karnataka (1,992), Andhra Pradesh (1,029), Madhya Pradesh (541), Chhattisgarh (499) and Telangana (499) — account for 83 per cent of the deaths committed by persons involved in farm sector.
  • The numbers highlight another worrying trend. In 17 states, more farm labourers have committed suicides than farmers, while the reverse is true for seven states. Yet, only 58 per cent of the total suicides committed by people employed in the sector are farmers.

Causes of farmer suicides in India: 

  • 80 per cent of farmers killed themselves in 2015 because of bankruptcy or debts after taking loans from banks and registered microfinance institutions.
  • Moneylenders were more flexible compared to banks and microfinance institutions. “The organised sector is less flexible because rules don’t permit them flexibility.
  • Suicides were recorded due to crop-failure and other farm-related issues like drought, price crashes etc.
  • Family problems, illness and ‘Drug Abuse/Alcoholic Addiction’ were other top reasons for suicides among farmers.
  • Many of the farmer loans are for marriages. It is a social obligation to spend well on weddings, which sometimes even includes dowry.
  • The dependence of farmers in Marathwada on water-guzzling cash crops such as sugarcane has been cited as one of the reasons for the distress.
  • Increased compensation to the next of kin of farmers who commit suicide has been cited as reason for the spike in suicide rate.
  • APMC and local traders exploiting farmers.
  • Lack of skills to opt for alternate employment when farming seems non profitable.
  • High input costs and worsened quality of soil due to excessive use of fertilisers.
  • Small Farmers grow cash crops such as cotton on small land which is highly susceptible to global price fluctuations.

Way forward:

  • Small and marginal farmers should be encouraged to pool their farmland to leverage the advantages associated with larger land holdings, such as the use of modern and mechanized farming techniques. NITI Aayogs model law on land leasing must be operationalised in all states.
  • Water supply for irrigation must be insulated from the vagaries of nature by better water management systems; attention must particularly be paid to rainwater harvesting and resolution of interstate river water sharing disputes
  • Farmers must necessarily be educated about modern farming techniques and practices
  • Younger professionals must be encouraged to participate in farming activities
  • Farm loans at soft interest rates need to be made available, and loan recovery procedures need to respect human rights; farmers should be discouraged from dealing with private money lenders
  • Fair price for farm products must be ensured, and middlemen eliminated by creating a direct reach for the farmers to the market
  • The government-administered MSP should take into consideration the existing realities to cover the cost of production and to insulate farmers from fluctuating market conditions
  • Training needs to be provided for secondary rural investments in dairy farming, poultry farming, animal husbandry, and other activities, with a clearly viable chain apparent from financing to marketing
  • Financially wasteful expenditure arising from unnecessary and even harmful social practices must be discouraged; this includes matters ranging from alcohol use to dowry gifts and large wedding spending. Savings should be encouraged, and saving instruments should be devised for the farming population
  • Storage and food processing units need to be established in rural areas.
  • Comprehensive but affordable insurance schemes should be made available, covering farmers and crops from problems at every stage of the crop cycle. There should be a quick, simple, and corruption-free approach to crop damage assessment with disbursement of relief directly into the claimant’s bank account
  • Pradhan Mantri Farmer Bima Yojana, an improved version of existing schemes such as, is a step in the right direction.
  • The new Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA), intended to shore up the prices that farmers get for their produce is another step in the right direction.
  • The recently passed three new bills,
    • The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, allows farmers to sell their harvest outside the notified Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis without paying any State taxes or fees.
    •  The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, facilitates contract farming and direct marketing.
    • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, deregulates the production, storage, movement and sale of several major foodstuffs, including cereals, pulses, edible oils and onion, except in the case of extraordinary circumstances  can go a long way in easing the farmers distress.
  • Mechanisms should be put in place for psychological support and counseling for farmers.

Conclusion:

                At a time reported a contraction of 23.9 per cent in national GDP, but agriculture was the only sector to have reported positive growth. It shows how important agriculture and farmers are to our economy. Once in your life, we may need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher. But every day, three times a day, we need a farmer. The pandemic gives us an opportunity to walk the talk.

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

GS-3: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

5. The Gopalakrishnan Committee report does not adequately address governance frameworks around government data sets; do you think it’s a missed opportunity? Give your opinion with suitable justifications. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article is in the context of Gopalakrishnan Committee report. The article highlights the importance of non-personal data collected by the government and lack of any reference to it in the Gopalakrishnan Committee report.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the outcome of the report and explain if it’s a missed opportunity.  Give your opinion and justify.

Directive:

Justify – When you are asked to justify, 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 using suitable case studies or/ and examples.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

The Committee of Experts on the Non-Personal Data Governance Framework has recommended in its report, among other things, making privately held non-personal data “open”.

Body:

The Committee of Experts on the Non-Personal Data Governance Framework headed by K Gopalakrishnan has recommended making privately held non-personal data “open”. This has raised concerns about state interference in the private data ecosystem. The report is a missed opportunity to address the governance frameworks around data created by government agencies. Some of the most important non-personal data sets are held by the government, or result from taxpayer funding. Such data can be useful in either framing public policy or creating and providing new services.

Detail upon the issues with the report – The report is a missed opportunity to address the governance frameworks around data created by government agencies. Some of the most important non-personal data sets are held by the government, or result from taxpayer funding. Such data can be useful in either framing public policy or creating and providing new services.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the report is a missed opportunity to address the governance frameworks around data created by government agencies. Some of the most important non-personal data sets are held by the government, or result from taxpayer funding. Such data can be useful in either framing public policy or creating and providing new services.

Introduction:

The world is awash with data. The proliferation of big data, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has led to the creation of many new information intensive services and also the transformation of existing businesses. Data inter alia contributes to economic value and wealth. Frameworks are being created to better understand the uses and benefits of data. Organizations have been discovering ways to generate value from data. The digital economy is witnessing the emergence of a few dominant players and ascertain imbalance in the market.

Given the increasing importance and value generation capacity of the data economy, governments around the world realise the need to enable and regulate all aspects of data, both Personal and Non-Personal Data. With this view, the Expert Committee was constituted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the Chairmanship Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, to study various issues relating to non-personal data.

Body:

Recommendations of the Gopalakrishnan Committee:

  • Defining Non-Personal Data. The Committee has defined three categories of Non-Personal Data – 1) Public Non-Personal Data 2) Community Non-Personal Data & 3) Private Non-Personal Data.
  • Defining Key Non-Personal Data Roles: There are three key Non-Personal Data roles, namely data principal, data custodian, and data trustee; and an institutional form of data infrastructures, namely a data trust.
  • Articulating a legal basis for establishing rights over Non-Personal Data: The laws, regulations and rules of the Indian State apply to all the data collected in/from India or by Indian entities.
  • Defining a Data Business: Organizations are deriving new or additional economic value from data, by collecting, storing, processing, and managing data. For instance, a hospital derives economic value not only from providing medical services, it may derive additional value by harnessing the medical data and offering value-added services (such as personalized treatment plans, medicines etc).
  • Define Data-Sharing Purpose:
    • Sovereign purposes – Data may be requested security, legal, law enforcement and regulatory purposes. For instance, Data requested for mapping security vulnerabilities and challenges, including people’s security, physical infrastructure security and cyber security.
    • Core Public Interest purposes – Data may be requested for community uses / benefits or public goods, research and innovation, for better delivery of publicservices, policy development, etc.
    • Economic purposes – Data may be requested for economic welfare purposes – in order to encourage competition and provide a level playing field in any sector, including, very importantly, for enabling domestic startup activities, or for a fair monetary consideration as part of a well-regulated data market, etc.
  • Defining Data-Sharing Mechanisms and Checks and Balances
  • Defining a Non-Personal Data AuthorityAnalysis of Recommendations of the Gopalakrishnan Committee on government data sets:

     

  • The Gopalakrishnan Committee report does not adequately address governance frameworks around government data sets.
  • Non-personal data are data that do not identify an individual. Nonetheless, such data can be useful in either framing public policy or creating and providing new services. For example, aggregate data from land registries can tell us a lot about land use patterns. Data related to traffic flows can be used to guide traffic management. Non-personal data are also viewed as critical for development of the AI ecosystem.
  • Some of the most important non-personal data sets are held by the government, or result from taxpayer funding. There are five reasons why these should be open to the citizens of the country.
  • The state should be transparent about information that it has. This will improve accountability. This is one of the reasons why the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, mandates the disclosure of government data on a suo moto basis.
  • If taxpayer money has funded any of the data sets, then it is an obligation of the state to return the fruits of that funding to the taxpayer.
  • By permitting the reuse of government data sets, we avoid the need for duplication.
  • Government data sets, curated according to publicly verified standards, can lead to increased confidence in data quality and increased usage. Free flow of information can have beneficial effects on society in general.

Conclusion:

                Though the report fall short on government data sets but it does take care of private players holistically. But the government still has the opportunity to address this issue. Since data governance is a relatively new concept in India, the government would be better served in taking an incremental approach to any perceived problems. This should begin with reforming how the government itself deals with citizens’ data. This would engender greater trust in data governance practices and, importantly, allow the development of state capacity to govern the data ecosystem.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic : Quote based Ethics question ; Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

6. What do you understand from the following quote. Elaborate. “This is a moral universe and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

Quotation based question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail the meaning of the quotation and its relevance and significance.

Directive:

Elaborate – Give 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:

The statement indicates the indispensability and significance of moral laws. It tries to depict the same through comparing it with invariability of physical laws.

Body:

Explain that the universe is the entire collectivity of things and phenomenon around us.

Humans act consciously within a physical structure that is beyond their control. Human consciousness gives them agency to choose their goals and means as per their meanings and motives.

This choice is governed by the moral universe, which is as binding and as constraining the humans as the physical universe. Just as the physical universe is sui-generis, universal and obligatory on human beings, so is the moral universe comprising of moral principles (human values). Both are indispensable and external to humans. Human consciousness is like the fundamental forces of physics. It is derived from ethical values and guides human action.

Explain the importance of morality for human existence.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

 

Introduction:
                In our culture, people are so accustomed to the idea of every law having a lawmaker, every rule having an enforcer, every institution having someone in authority, and so forth, that the thought of something being otherwise has the ring of chaos to it. As a result, when one lives one’s life without reference to some ultimate authority in regard to morals, one’s values and aspirations are thought to be arbitrary.

Body:

One always assumes that the universe is run in a fashion similar to human societies. They recognize that humans are able to create order by creating laws and by establishing means of enforcement. So, when they see order in the universe, they imagine that this order had a similar humanlike source. This anthropomorphic viewpoint is a product of the natural pride that human beings take in their ability to put meaning into their world.

When Kant speaks about the moral law, he is essentially referring to that sense of obligation to which our will often responds. We all know the experience — we are sometimes pulled in a certain direction, not because we desire to act in that way, but in spite of our desire to act in the opposite way.

This pull is toward that moral sense which Kant believes each of us has, in virtue of being rational and free. It is conscience. Actually, it is deeper than conscience, because our conscience can be mistaken. Conscience arises because of certain structure of human consciousness — it is the structure of human reason and human will.

The moral law is not given to us from outside. It does not associate the moral law with what God commands. Nor with civil law. Nor with what society recommends. The moral law is nothing other than rational will — the will which is entirely “devoted” to, or guided by impartiality and universality of reason.

The nature of reason itself is universal — this is made most clear in logic, in mathematics, and in science. We look for universal laws by which the universe is guided. Well, so in practical affairs of human moral existence.

Therefore, to obey the moral law is nothing else than to obey the basic structure and drive of human reason that is in each and every person, and that is also the source of human freedom and autonomy. The source of the moral law is ourselves– it is human nature, human freedom, human reason.

We cannot define the moral laws of the universe as morals can be relative. But with increasing globalization, we can safely say certain laws are universalized. Integrity, Compassion, Justice, Mutual respect, Honesty, non-discrimination and truthfulness are such values which are accepted across society and culture in a moral universe.

But who upholds these laws? The answer is simple. It is conscience. If you break the law, say at a personal level, you will be answerable to your conscience. Imagine, a student cheats in an exam to pass. Irrespective of the outcome of the test, he will know it that he employed unfair means in the test. He has to answer that for his conscience.

At a societal level, there is also collective conscience. There are crimes committed against humanity. That takes years of absolution but reparations are never enough. Any genocide like the Holocaust, though decades have passed, generations move on but the guilt remains and we as a society will be eternally be sorry. If we take example of the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau apologizing for the historical wrong of how Komagatu Maru incident. It was a sincere apology that shows certain events which shook the collective moral conscience of the universe.

Following the moral laws of the universe has many advantages. It provide for stabilities and uniformities in group interaction. They hold the society together because they are shared in common. Since they share the same values with others, the members of society are likely to see others as “people like themselves”. They will therefore, have a sense of belonging to a social group. They will feel a part of the wider society.

It bring legitimacy to the rules that govern specific activities. The rules are accepted as rules and followed mainly because they embody the values that most people accept. For example, taking a cash bribe or any other high value item by an officer is non-acceptable but accepting a bouquet or a small box of sweets is.

Conclusion:

Our world would make no further development if we there are no universal morals. Our world will end up as “the wood burnt to ashes” if we sit down, fold our hands and do nothing about the loss of values and that’s why today, what we see is killing, fighting, strife, racism, genocide, human rights violation, crimes against women, terrorism, kidnapping and the likes. We all don’t want these to continue and if so we must all arise, awake from our slumber and uphold our societal values. Let us speak the truth at all times, don’t give or collect bribes, let integrity be awakened in our offices and let progress advance. Let us go back to that old path, let the upcoming generations see the need to embrace our values and principles. Let our riches be built on the sure foundation of truth. Let us walk on the path of universal morals and abide by it like we are abiding a physical law.

 

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.  “Aristotelian and Buddhist ethics are alike formally: each advocates moderation”. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of Aristotelian and Buddhist ethics.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain how Aristotelian and Buddhist ethics both are alike and advocate moderation.

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 each of the types – Aristotelian and Buddhist ethics.

Body:

According to Aristotle Happiness exits in the rational exercise of the soul’s faculties in conformity with the virtues such as courage, justice, temperance, benevolence, and prudence.

Aristotle argues that virtue is achieved by maintaining the Mean, which is the balance between two excesses.

Aristotle’s doctrine of the Mean is reminiscent of Buddha’s Middle Path.

Aristotle doctrine of virtue is “golden mean”. Courage, for example, is a mean regarding the feeling of fear, between the deficiency of rashness (too little fear) and the excess of cowardice (too much fear). Justice is a mean between getting or giving too much and getting or giving too little. Benevolence is a mean between giving to people who don’t deserve it and not giving to anyone at all.

Similarly Buddhism aims not to eradicate all feeling but to liberate it from its attachment to false values. He gave the concept of the Middle Way, a path between the extremes of religious asceticism and worldly self-indulgence to move away from false values.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Aristotle and the Buddha reached very similar conclusions as to how we should conduct our lives, if we wish to find happiness and fulfillment as human beings.  However, for Aristotle the mean was a method of achieving virtue, but for Buddha the Middle Path referred to a peaceful way of life which negotiated the extremes of harsh asceticism and sensual pleasure seeking.

Introduction:

Moderation according to Aristotle or Madhyama Pada according to Buddha are two faces of the same coin. In very simple terms, it advocates to avoid the extremities and choose a middle path.

Aristotle held that, instead of good and evil in the generic sense, man should consider virtues and vices and, for every virtue, there is a vice of excess and a vice of scarcity. Therefore, courage as a virtue is found between cowardice and rashness. Generosity is found between miserliness and wastefulness.

Aristotle held that wise person knows the appropriate balance of things, since it is not always found equidistant between the extremes. Even Aristotle cautioned that courage is closer to rashness and generosity to wastefulness than to the lower vices. Later Christian teachings incorporated such ideas so as to justify the avoidance of excessive charity which is ruinous to one’s children and community, who are closer responsibilities. It seems that ruinous virtue signaling was a problem even then.

In Buddhism, complement of general and specific ethical practices and philosophical views that are said to facilitate enlightenment by avoiding the extremes of self-gratification on one hand and self-mortification on the other.

The Buddha began as a nobleman who had the money for all the indulgence in sensual pleasures which he wanted. However, indulgence in pleasure did not lead to lasting happiness. This is the first extreme. The Buddha then became an ascetic who starved himself and took part in self mortification. This was an attempt at gaining happiness through pain, or indulgence in pain. This is the second extreme and it did not lead to lasting happiness. The middle way is neither indulgence in pleasure nor indulgence in pain.

The doctrine of moderation enhance the inner strength. Most virtues entail finding the mean between excess and deficiency. For example, concerning about the human natural emotion, if he fear nothing, he is too courageous, if he fear everything, he is coward. Both pointed situations are vice. It is hard to take the moderate way to reach the best of the Aristotle theory. People, still have to make determine effort to develop the good mental well-being. If a man manages to do so, he will have the internal tranquility. The internal peace regulates the external activities not to harm others or to exploit the others.

We could extend this concept of moderation to the development versus environment debate. Does our country need development? Definitely. Does our country and the world need to save the environment? Desperately. We cannot afford to go to the extremes of both. We need to find moderation between the both. Development is needed to lift millions out of poverty while it is done protecting the environment. Sustainable development is moderation.

At a personal level, moderation can be used for dealing with chronic diseases like diabetes. This simple insight from Buddhist philosophy informs modern semantics in diabetology – “living with diabetes” and not “suffering from diabetes. Likewise, a person with diabetes should be encouraged to take the middle path which has lifestyle modification and management rather than spending his time being a perpetual worry or being absolutely careless about it.

However, there is a slight variation in Aristotles moderation and Buddha’s middle path. For Aristotle the golden mean was a method of achieving virtue. It is to avoid the two extremities of the vices and choose a virtue. But for Buddha the Middle Path referred to a way of life which negotiated the extremes of harsh asceticism and sensual pleasure seeking. It referred find balance between suffering and extreme indulgence.

Conclusion:

The Aristototle’s means and Buddhist middle path are similar in nature and advocate moderation. Similar parallels have been found in the in the Taoism as well as Confucian ethics. It always about the balance and never the extremes. It can be applied for having a better, virtuous life at Individual as well as societal level.


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