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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 5 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 : GS-1: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

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

1. Discuss in what way Climate change is disrupting the water cycle on Earth and thus has made water- a public resource more crucial. (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

The article explains in a world driven by climate change water, as a public resource, has become crucial.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the correlation of climate change and the water cycle of the Earth.

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 explaining the fact that water is not just conditional to life, but is also a conduit to the biggest contemporary threat to life — climate change.

Body:

One must explain the impact of climate change with specific case of its effect on water cycle.

Present key statistics and suggest on the issue – According to the United Nations’ World Water Development Report 2018, some 3.6 billion people across the world live in areas that witness water scarcity for at least a month in a year. By 2050, this number would rise to 5.7 billion.

Discuss what measures should be taken to overcome and prevent the issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude on the lines that “Water is to adaptation what energy is to mitigation”.

Introduction:

        Climate change touches every corner of our planet’s ecosystem, and the water cycle is no exception. Because the processes involved are highly dependent on temperature, changes in one have consequences on the other. Specifically, as global temperatures have steadily increased at their fastest rates in millions of years, it’s directly affected things like water vapor concentrations, clouds, precipitation patterns, and stream flow patterns, which are all related to the water cycle.

Water cycle: 

water_security

        Earth’s water is always in movement, and the natural water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth. Water is always changing states between liquid, vapor, and ice, with these processes happening in the blink of an eye and over millions of years.

The water cycle describes how water evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises into the atmosphere, cools and condenses into rain or snow in clouds, and falls again to the surface as precipitation. The water falling on land collects in rivers and lakes, soil, and porous layers of rock, and much of it flows back into the oceans, where it will once more evaporate. The cycling of water in and out of the atmosphere is a significant aspect of the weather patterns on Earth.

The above diagram shows the various components and interactions that are a part of the water cycle.

Impact of climate change on the water cycle:

  • Evaporation:
    • Warmer air can hold more moisture than cool air. As a result, in a warmer world, the air will suck up more water from oceans, lakes, soil and plants. The drier conditions this air leaves behind could negatively affect drinking water supplies and agriculture.
    • On the flip side, the warmer, wetter air could also endanger human lives. A study out of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found that higher humidity will make future higher temperatures unbearable in some places, by blocking the cooling effects of our sweat.
  • Precipitation:
    • When all that extra warm, extra wet air cools down, it drops extra rain or snow to the ground. Thus, a warmer world means we get hit with heavier rain and snowstorms.
    • By changing air temperatures and circulation patterns, climate change will also change where precipitation falls. Some areas — are expected to get drier. Meanwhile, the some are expected to get wetter. We are already seeing increased precipitation and floods in arid regions like Northern Karnataka.
    • Changes in precipitation patterns will challenge many farmers, as well as natural ecosystems.
  • Surface Runoff and Stream Flow:
    • The heavier bursts of precipitation caused by warmer, wetter air can lead to flooding, which can of course endanger human lives, damage homes, kill crops, and hurt the economy.
    • Heavier rainstorms will also increase surface runoff — the water that flows over the ground after a storm. This moving water may strip nutrients from the soil and pick up pollutants, dirt, and other undesirables, flushing them into nearby bodies of water. Those contaminants may muck up our water supplies and make it more expensive to clean the water to drinking standards.
    • In addition, as runoff dumps sediments and other contaminants into lakes and streams, it could harm fish and other wildlife. Fertilizer runoff can cause algae blooms that ultimately end up suffocating aquatic critters and causing a stinky mess. The problem is compounded by warming water, which can’t hold as much of the dissolved oxygen that fish need to survive. These conditions could harm fisheries, and make conditions unpleasant for folks who like to use lakes and streams for fishing, swimming, and other recreational activities.
  • Oceans:
    • Warmer temperatures and increasing acidity are making life difficult for sea creatures. These changes are transforming food chains from the bottom-up. In addition, many fish are moving poleward in search of cooler waters, which has implications for the fishing industry and people who like to eat fish.
    • Temperature changes also have the potential to alter major ocean currents. Because ocean temperatures drive atmospheric circulation patterns, this could change weather patterns all over the world.
    • As ice sheets and mountaintop glaciers melt, they’re dumping extra water into the oceans; the resulting sea level rise jeopardizes coastal properties around the world.
  • Snowpack:
    • Ordinarily, as winter snowpack melts in the springtime, it slowly adds fresh water to rivers and streams and helps to replenish drinking water supplies.
    • However, as the air warms, many areas are receiving more of their precipitation as rain rather than snow. This means less water is being stored for later as snowpack. In addition, the rain actually accelerates the melting of snow that’s already on the ground.
  • The lack of snowpack can lead to drier conditions later in the year, which can be bad news for regions that rely on snowmelt to refill their drinking water supplies. In California, for example, declines in snowpack have contributed to long-term drought and water shortages. At the same time, as the rains come faster rather than slowly melting from snow, California’s ability to control floods is decreasing.
  • Changes in snowpack can also negatively impact wildlife and income from skiing and winter tourism.
  • Clouds:
    • A study last year out of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory found that increasing summer heat is driving off California’s morning clouds. This lack of clouds allows more sunlight to strike the ground, raising temperatures further, exacerbating drying and the risk of wildfires.
  • Changes in Water Demand:
    • In addition to changing the water cycle, climate change could change how we use water and how much we need. Higher temperatures and evaporation rates could increase the demand for water in many areas.
    • This could worsen the already water stressed conditions in many parts of the world.

Way forward and conclusion:

  • Improved water management, including sanitation, is an essential component of successful climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, as called for in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Water is also key to attaining the goals and targets of the Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030. Climate-resilient water management can therefore act as a mechanism of coherence among these global frameworks.
  • Water management practices in ways that will allow communities, countries and basin authorities to make confident, risk-informed decisions that can help to increase climate resilience, improve ecosystem health and reduce the risk of water-related disasters.
  • According to IPCC, “the relationship between climate change mitigation measures and water is a reciprocal one”. Measures introduced to reduce GHG emissions have direct implications for water resource use and management. Conversely, water extraction and management measures have an impact on carbon emissions due to the energy intensity of water treatment and distribution systems.
  • Preserve and protect aquifers: Aquifers comprise the world’s largest source of fresh water available for human use and can be less vulnerable than surface water to the direct impacts of climate change.

Conclusion:

        Freshwater is one of Earth’s most precious resources, sustaining ecosystems, economies, biodiversity and society as a whole. The global climate crisis is not the sole threat to freshwater. However, the crisis further exacerbates existing conditions, making the management and management projection of future water availability and quality increasingly difficult, and demanding new strategies for managing this scarce and precious resource within and among riparian countries. Water is thus an enabling factor and a limiting factor in humanity’s ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

 

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

2. What is an “earthquake swarm”? Differentiate them with the regular Earthquakes and explain in what way they have a different impact. (250 words)

Reference: Economic Times 

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I. Hundreds of earthquakes ranging from 2.5 to 4.9 magnitudes have been rattling California recently thus the context of the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concept of Earthquake swarms and state how they are different from the regular earthquakes and discuss their impact.

Directive:

Differentiate – provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define Earthquake swarms.

Body:

Discuss the concept in general – Earthquake swarms are a sequence of mostly small earthquakes with no identifiable main shock. Swarms are usually short-lived, but they can continue for days, weeks, or sometimes even months. They are many times too subtle for people to notice. However, it is important to note that they are not aftershocks, which happen after a large main shock.

Explain how they are different from regular earthquakes. Suggest what needs to be done to mitigate the effect of Earthquake swarms while discussing their differential impact.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to understand and take measures to overcome their impact.

Introduction:

                An Earthquake swarm is a sequence of mostly small earthquakes with no identifiable mainshock. Swarms are usually short-lived, but they can continue for days, weeks, or sometimes even months. They often recur at the same locations. Most swarms are associated with geothermal activity.

Body:

Occurrences of Swarms across the world:

  • India: Since 11 November 2018, an earthquake swarm has been observed in the region of Dahanu, Maharashtra, an otherwise aseismic area. Ten to twenty quakes are felt daily, with magnitudes usually smaller than 3.5 (maximum magnitude 4.1 in February 2019).
  • Philippines: An earthquake swarm occurred from early April 2017 to mid August 2017 in the Philippine province of Batangas.

Europe:

  • Czechia/Germany: The western Bohemia/Vogtland region is the border area between Czechia and Germany where earthquake swarms were first studied at the end of the 19th century. Swarm activity is recurrent there, sometimes with large maximum magnitudes,
  • France: Ubaye earthquake swarms In Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the Ubaye Valley is the most active seismic zone in the French Alps. +swarm activity in an area where usually only a few low-magnitude events occur every year.

Central America

El Salvador: In April 2017, the Salvadoran municipality of Antiguo Cuscatlán, a suburb of San Salvador, experienced a sequence of close to 500 earthquakes within 2 days.

Northern America

United States: Between February and November 2008, Nevada experienced a swarm of 1,000 low-magnitude quakes generally referred to as the 2008 Reno earthquakes

The Yellowstone Caldera, a supervolcano in NW Wyoming, has experienced several strong earthquake swarms since the end of the 20th century.

Atlantic Ocean: In El Hierro, the smallest and farthest south and west of the Canary Islands, hundreds of small earthquakes were recorded from July 2011 until October 2011.

Differences between an earthquake and earthquake swarm:

  Earthquake Swarm
Main Shock Definite main shock Not present
After shock Generally occur after the mains shock No after shocks
Occurrence Duration One main shock but followed by Aftershocks, which become less frequent with time, although they can continue for days, weeks, months, or even years for a very large mainshock. Usually short-lived, but they can continue for days, weeks, or sometimes even months.
Cause Sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves. hydro-seismicity due to water percolation as well as seismic activity.
Frequency of occurrence Regularly Rare
Reoccurrence Can happen at varied time intervals. They can reoccur frequently.
Magnitude Low to high Low
Intensity Low to high Low
Destruction to life and property Very high Relatively less


Impact of earthquake swarms:

  • Each earthquake within the swarm redistributes stress, which may in turn influence the subsequent swarm evolution, especially if the crust is in a critical state. Slider-block models have shown that earthquake swarms can result from a self-organized critical stress field without any external pore pressure source which can cause damage.
  • Earthquake swarm activity also shares some common features with tectonic earthquake clusters, in particular embedded aftershock sequences which point to an important role for stress triggering collapse of structures.
  • The potential for destruction from these events varies widely. Some cause considerable amount of damage but others are relatively harmless. Dhanau swarm caused casualties and damage to structures.
  • Low intensity swarms which cause just shaking, maybe a cause of residents of inhabitants of the area. Especially in areas with reservoirs.
  • They can be witnessed even in areas with no documented seismic activity in the recent past as was seen in Rhone Valley region.

Conclusion:

                Given the different nature of the swarms, they pose a different kind of challenges to manage them. Most swarms pose very little threat but the strongest swarm may be pose risk. Identifying potential hazards ahead of time and planning in advance can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss of life from an earthquake. Repairing and reinforcing building foundations, anchoring overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling, securing furniture and other objects to walls and floors, and following local seismic building standards will help reduce the impact of swarms.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

3. The pandemic has exacerbated existing issues of child malnutrition, child labour, child abuse, child marriage and mental illness; in such a condition examine critically the role played by NCPCR and suggest measures for its improved working. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The article explains the dismal picture of the ill functioning of the NCPCR given the current conditions that the pandemic has exposed our children to.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to bring out in what way the national child rights body seems to be deriving its priorities from the political agenda of the day and that its functioning has been compromised.

Directive:

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

Highlight some key facts suggesting the suffering of children specifically due to pandemic effect.

Body:

Explain that the pandemic has exacerbated existing issues of child malnutrition, child labour, child abuse, child marriage and mental illness. We would have expected the NCPCR to show concern for the gross violation of children’s rights during the lockdown and in its aftermath.

The NCPCR could have used its authority and power to issue recommendations to relieve these grave conditions by reiterating the need for strengthening all child-related institutions (government and non-government) through adequate funds, and appreciating the relief measures that many civil society organisations, including the ones being raided and instructed to close down, were engaged in.

Discuss in between the roles and responsibilities of the NCPCR and suggest what needs to be done to ensure it meets the actual mandate with which it was formed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is a statutory body established in 2007 under an act of Parliament, the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005. The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Commission is also mandated with responsibilities under two other acts, namely the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and Right to Education Act, 2009. 

Body:

Impact of Covid-19 on Children:

  • According to the Census 2011, more than 42.7 million children in India are already out of school. Loss of livelihood and poverty from COVID-19 and the lockdown measures is likely to put young children of migrant workers – many of whom depend on the remittances from their migrant parents – at further risk of dropping out of school. This may force many children into the labour market to supplement the family income or barely survive.
  • Child Abuse and Exploitation – COVID-19 has led to an increasing number of children being subjected to abuse and exploitation both within and outside their homes. The Government-run helpline, CHILDLINE India reported 92,000 distress calls on child abuse and violence in the first 11 days of the nation-wide lockdown.
  • Loss of livelihood and economic hardships is likely to push more children out of schools and force them into child labour, further exposing them to sexual and physical abuse. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), children and more specifically girls are more likely to be burdened with household responsibilities. School closures may aggravate this exploitation as is evident from the Ebola crisis in West Africa that witnessed spikes in child labour, neglect, sexual abuse, and teenage pregnancies.
  • The current crisis may lead to increased incidents of child abuse, child marriage, and child trafficking, leaving children who do not have access to safe reporting mechanisms – helpless. Incidences of child marriage during the lockdown have already been reported in certain states.
  • The lockdown in India stopped many essential childcare services, thus denying children basic entitlements such as nutrition and immunization service and putting them at risk of contracting COVID-19. The hindered access to daily mid-day meals as exposed during the lockdown, coupled with rising hunger and poverty, will further decline children’s access to nutrition and have an adverse effect on their growth. India’s current standing in relation to hunger is dismal, ranking 102 out of 117 countries on the Global Hunger Index.
  • According to UNICEF, lockdown measures may aggravate the vulnerability of children to COVID-19 and/or other diseases as well as hamper their development and learning. Children living in various kinds of government institutions such as shelter homes, observation homes, etc, slums, informal settlements and inadequate housing are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Mental health is key to the development of children. Early closure of schools and the uncertainty around its reopening can have an adverse impact on the mental health of children who may already be under stress due to the pandemic. The uncertainty around examinations in schools has also exacerbated the anxieties of children.
  • According to a brief survey conducted by the Indian Psychiatry Society, mental health issues have risen by 20% affecting almost 1 in 5 Indians post the lockdown. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has acknowledged that the outbreak of COVID-19 has adverse effects on the mental health of children as they grapple anxiety, nervousness and stress.  Moreover, as parents lose their jobs and with increased cases of domestic violence, children may find themselves in tense environments at home affecting their mental and emotional well-being.

The role played by NCPCR become very important in such circumstance as it is mandated to examine and review the safeguards provided by or under any law for the time being in force for the protection of child rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation and inquire into violation of child rights and recommend initiation of proceedings in such cases among other things:

  • The NCPCR has recently written to the education departments of states and union territories to ensure that during the lockdown no child should be subjected to any kind of harassment from school authorities on account of payment of school fee.
  • The positive role of National Commission for the protection of child rights has been reported many a time. For example, in 2007, it took initiatives to protect school children from harsh corporal punishments.
  • The involvement and assistance of Panchayat Raj Institution in child protection matters with the commission has made commendable results. For example, in Meghalaya, 132 cases of children missing were reported through the initiative of local Panchayats.
  • Another notable, instance is that the NCPCR had submitted its reports towards the strategies for protection of child rights especially for abolition of child labour in Eleventh plan.
  • Again, the commission has started a helpline on education in the light of the rights of children free and compulsory education act, 2009.
  • In another instance, on a complaint filed by a local college student, of Nawanshahr, the NCPCR has asked the chief election commissioner of India to issue necessary instructions to the authorities concerned

However there have been shortcomings as well on the part of NCPCR:

  • Its role is limited to just recommendatory directives and they lack any power to enforce their recommendations.
  • There is no   time   frame   for   the   completion   of   the   enquiries   or investigations.
  • The NCPCR has been criticized by activists for allegedly turning a blind eye to police brutalities following the crackdown on protesters holding demonstrations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, in U.P. and Delhi.
  • The Supreme Court recently ordered the Centre, the NCPCR and its arms in New Delhi and U.P. to submit a report on detention of children in jails, calling such actions as a violation of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.
  • The Supreme Court has sought a response from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to its request to eight States to “produce” children living in care homes before the local child welfare committees for their “immediate repatriation” with their families.

    Way forward and conclusion:

  • A detailed child protection policy, guidelines, and action plan must be designed to protect children from various forms of vulnerabilities emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. This should be effectively implemented in coordination with various bodies, volunteers and civil society organisations.
  • A standard and clear policy on learning and education during the pandemic must be prepared keeping in mind the best interests of all children and must be followed uniformly and without discrimination across government, aided and private schools/systems.
  • The Village Child Protection Committee Program under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme must be effectively implemented in partnership with school teachers and civil society organisations. This committee should ensure access to services, monitor and prevent violations like child abuse, child marriage, child trafficking and child labour and create awareness on the rights of children.
  • Special child care protection must be provided to the children of migrant workers and all frontline workers including sanitation workers, ASHA workers and other essential workers.
  • A monitoring system and periodic audits must be put in place to track the welfare of children in child care institutions and juvenile homes. Children in these institutions must have access to regular health screening and counselling services.

Conclusion:

The National and State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights along with gram panchayats must be empowered to monitor the implementation of the services and guidelines mentioned above. They must be given adequate support in terms of funding and man power so that our attention and energies are focused towards protecting the ‘future of our nation’

 

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

4. Discuss the role that national Digital health mission can play in changing the healthcare market dynamics positively for India. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

The article presents to us a picture of how national Digital health mission can play a role in changing the healthcare market dynamics positively for India.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to discuss the role that national Digital health mission can play in changing the healthcare market dynamics positively for 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 explaining the coming of national Digital health mission.

Body:

Explain the concept of digital health mission in India.

Discuss what are the current requirements of the health system in the country. One can present points with the current case of pandemic and the stress that our healthcare system is facing.

NDHM will create an “open digital health ecosystem” like what UPI created in financial services. It will serve as a backbone for integrated digital health infrastructure and provide a platform for private innovations. Key features will include standardized health registries, unique patient IDs, patient health records, automatic claim settlement engines, etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance and suggest way ahead.

Introduction:

The Prime Minister of India announced the launch of National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) on 74th Independence Day. The NDHM will enable every Indian citizen to have a unique health account to enable hassle-free access to healthcare across the country. The mission will be a “completely technology-based” initiative and it is expected to revolutionise the health sector. The National Digital Health Mission comes under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY). The government has said that it will ensure security and privacy of personal information.

Body:

The National Health Policy 2017 had envisaged creation of a digital health technology eco-system aiming at developing an integrated health information system that serves the needs of all stakeholders and improves efficiency, transparency and citizens’ experience with linkage across public and private healthcare

Objectives:

  • It seeks to provide an efficient and affordable health coverage through a wide-range of data and infrastructure services.
  • The key feature of this mission is the technology part – it will leverage open digital systems to provide high-quality healthcare for all.
  • It will integrate various digital health services to create an ecosystem which can assimilate existing health information systems.

Key features of NDHM:

  • The NDHM is a complete digital health ecosystem. The NDHM is implemented by theNational Health Authority (NHA) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Under the National Digital Health Mission, every Indian will get a Health ID card that will work as a health account comprising information regarding the person’s past medical conditions, treatment and diagnosis.
  • The NDHM would provide technology to manage and analyse data, and create a system of personal health records and health applications.
  • Central to the “ecosystem” would be a Personal Health Identifier (PHI) to maintain a Personal Health Record (PHR).
  • The PHI would contain the names of patients and those of their immediate family, date of birth, gender, mobile number, email address, location, family ID and photograph.
  • The citizens will be able to give their doctors and health providers one-time access to this data during visits to the hospital for consultation.
  • However, access to the confidential medical data will have to be given separately for each visit due to fears over data confidentiality.
  • The National Digital Health Mission will allow patients to access health services remotely through tele-consultation and e-pharmacies, as well as offer other health-related benefits.

    The Government’s increased focus on tele-medicine and digital health services comes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has taken India and the world by storm.

NDHM as a game changer:

  • Just like demonetisation created a high demand for UPI-like solutions, the Covid-19 crisis has prepared the ground for widespread adoption of digital healthcare solutions. The crisis has also brought together the public and private sector to collaborate and solve urgent healthcare problems.
  • Such disruptions are necessary considering India’s weak health system. NDHM can spur a fundamental transformation in India’s healthcare system and unlock economic value worth over $200 billion by 2030.
  • Healthcare demand will increase due to improved access and more affordable care solutions. Efficiencies in healthcare delivery will arise from the adoption of standardised digital practices, creating savings. Five themes will drive this transformation.
  • Information transparency:Currently, there is no reliable repository of data to verify a health facility or a doctor. This promotes quackery. NDHM’s “health registries” will act as a single source of truth for all health stakeholders. This will increase trust in the ecosystem and reduce administrative burden related to doctor onboarding, regulatory approvals and renewals, and hospital or payer empanelment.
  • Interoperability across all systems and devices will enable seamless flow of information, making it efficient to collaborate. Patients can share health records across providers. Users will be able to switch.
  • Standardised claim processing:Currently, the claim settlement process is time-consuming and expensive. It stretches the short-term capital requirements for providers and entails high administrative burden for insurers. NDHM’s claims engine will enable faster validation of claims and easy fraud prevention, thereby driving improved unit economics.
  • Prescription digitisation:NDHM will accelerate the digitisation of providers’treatment advice. This will re-balance the power. Players that can digitally engage prescribers consume e-prescriptions to up-sell or cross-sell, offer expanded services such as nudges for prescription adherence, will win.
  • Playground for innovations:The government plays the role of a health provider, payer, and regulator. With NDHM, the government’s role will expand to building common playgrounds, leveraged by all entities to build innovative solutions. These themes will drastically change the healthcare market dynamics, threatening existing business models. It calls for healthcare stakeholders to update their strategies.
  • From episodic to wellness-oriented care:Currently, challenges across access, quality, and affordability inhibit Indians from seeking care. NDHM will bring transparency, enabling accurate demand-supply matching. With distance no longer a constraint, new opportunities will open for remote primary and post-hospitalisation care. Cost savings will enable new offerings like out-patient insurance and dynamic premiums linked to health outcomes. Pricing will be under pressure due to increased competition, increasing healthcare affordability.
  • From service-based to value-based healthcare:Currently, incentives across health stakeholders are misaligned. Payers try to withhold money from providers while providers try to increase patient footfall. Patient-centric care is ignored. NDHM’s “data analytics” platform will allow population-wide correlation between stakeholder actions and health outcomes. Its public accessibility will enable patients to select providers that offer value-based healthcare.

Conclusion:

                The mission aims to liberate citizens from the challenges of finding the right doctors, seeking appointment, payment of consultation fee, making several rounds of hospitals for prescription sheets, among several others and will empower people to make an informed decision to avail the best possible healthcare. The associated infrastructure must be ramped to make sure it’s a glaring success. It will also push India closer to achieving SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

 

Topic : GS-1: Social empowerment

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

5. Are women in India safe today? Tainted by the cage of caste and the helplessness of femininity, examine the root causes of women safety deficit in the country. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article explains in what way cases of rape against Dalit or tribal women are portrayed as unexceptional by the media.

Key Demand of the question:

The question expects analysis of women safety in India and the impact of caste and femininity on it.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining what women safety is.

Body:

Present data on the women safety factor in the country; explain the role that the caste of the woman victim plays in it.

Elaborate on the correlation between caste/creed and other socio-economic factors of the women victims. Explain in what way these factors need to be overcome. Explain the steps and measures that need to be taken to do away with the lacunae in women safety in the country.

Present case studies; discuss the efforts of the govt. in this direction.

Conclusion:

Suggest solutions and conclude.

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.

In 2018, Thomson Reuters Foundation has proclaimed India as the most dangerous country for women based on an opinion poll. India has been under criticism for poor implementation women safety measures and handling of cases related to violence against women. Even after the much uproar in 2012 Delhi Gangrape case, we have seen violence unabated as witnessed by Kathua case, Hyderabad Case, Unnao Case and Hathras Case. This list seems endless and the vicious cycle of violence against women unbreakable.
 
Body:

The sorry state of women safety in the country:

  • 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.
  • As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2019, nearly ten Dalit women are raped every day.

Root causes of women safety deficit in the country:

  • 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 and support.
  • Childhood experience of intimate partner violence (especially among boys).
  • Low socioeconomic status, poverty, and unemployment.
  • Lack of social connections and social capital.
  • Personality characteristics such as excessive indulgence, sense of caste superiority and false notions of objectification of women.
  • Alcohol and substance abuse.
  • Pandemic has only made the issue worse. During the first four phases of the COVID-19-related lockdown, Indian women filed more domestic violence complaints than recorded in a similar period in the last 10 years. But even this unusual spurt is only the tip of the iceberg as 86% women who experience domestic violence do not seek help in India.

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.

Way forward and conclusion:

  • 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.
  • We 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.
  • 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.

In India, women are only safe as how the laws that protects them are implemented in the society. They are only safe as the attitude and values the society they live in hold. Hence, 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 – 4


 

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

6. Ethics is the “science of conduct” that guides human conduct to lead him a better life.  Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

The question is about discussing the role of ethics in better human conduct.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the impact of ethics on human conduct and justify how it can prove to be the science of conduct.

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:

Start with definition of Ethics.

Body:

Explain that today human being is regarded as techno-economic entity. Modem men believe that science will solve all the mysteries of the world. At the same time man has forgotten to foster a spirit of unity for the ideal application of scientific insights towards a peaceful social order. Consequently, the so-called modernization brings agonies of inequality, disharmony, alienation etc. Here the message of love, nonviolence and the vision of moral order are imperatives for building a quality of life. Ethics is the philosophical reflective study in formulating moral ideals.

Ethics is traditionally regarded as the science of rightness and wrongness, goodness and badness of human conduct. Explain with relevant examples and justify.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

Ethics as an objectively existing psychological and social phenomenon.  The subject of ethics is morality. Methods involved are are philosophical generalizations, systematization and allocation of universal values and ideals. Laws in ethics also exist and because of that we could say that ethics is a science of conduct.

Body:

One of the greatest moralists of the past century, Emmanuel Levinas, noted in a famous work, Ethics and Infinity, that metaphysics plays a part in ethical relations, estimating that in the absence of ethical significance, even philosophical concepts remain empty formal frameworks. Consequently, “ethics is prime philosophy, the one by which the other branches of metaphysics acquire meaning”. On the other hand, any genuine philosophy is also ethics. Great thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, and Kant left us works of exclusively ethical literature.

Moreover, if we have in mind the Stagirite’s thinking, the ethic conception influences the entire philosophical construction; Spinoza entitles his fundamental work nothing less than Ethics; one of the three parts of Kant’s criticism, Discourse on the Method: in which Descartes enunciates the rules of clear and concrete thinking, is also a moral; equally and similarly, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, which describes the path of consciousness becoming, is not only a philosophy but an ethics too.

If we look all the above thinkers, though they had different approaches and opinions of the right and word, but they gave us a method to decide what is right and wrong. How one ought to behave in different situations. This laid a foundation of modern ethical society. Today, most of it is in black and white. Example, Racism being unethical and immoral, is a universal truth like any law of science and is outlawed across countries.

Ethic meditation displays as its central concern the theme of Good, but this analysis of Good can only be made by investigating the practical moral life, without recourse to philosophical speculation. Analyses on the moral conscience, on the complex relations between ideal and reality, immanent and transcendent, norm and responsibility, freedom and responsibility, I and Other, moral autonomy and heteronomy, or on the nature of principles governing morality, all possess a clear philosophical significance. Like how science helps at arrive a conclusion based on analysis, ethics too applies various tests to see if an act is right or wrong.

Like science enhances discourse, debate and empirical thinking, ethics belongs to the philosophical perspective in that it specifically bears in its approach the spirit of synthesis characteristic of philosophical thinking. In fact, no matter how close ethical meditation may link to various particular social sciences (psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology), the ethical approach aims at the world as a whole, being a synthetic conceptualized theoretical discourse.

Ethics cannot be made in a purely speculative manner without prior investigation on the real moral life of individuals and communities in all its richness and complexity. Good and Evil, moral duty, moral responsibility, honesty, virtue etc. are such concepts, specific to ethics, even if they are used by other social sciences as well.  These laws are often understood as moral principles that should govern and substantiate humanity’s life and spiritual practice that philosophy and science meet decisively and unavoidably in the ethical discourse. This is because, on the one hand, a principle with no claim of universality is not justified morally (since the vocation for universality is exclusively philosophical) and, on the other hand, if these principles are not derived from the analysis of the realities of moral life, then they are unlikely to impose themselves, as foundation and constitutive basis with universality character for the ethical conduct.

Science has new discoveries and so does ethics, from such a philosophical and scientific perspective as well. Contemporary ethic research aims at identifying new moral principles, in accordance with the requirements and necessities of the world we live in. For example, in the twenty first century, emphasis has moved towards environmental ethics, digital ethics etc.

Ethics is traditionally regarded as the science of rightness and wrongness, goodness and badness of human conduct. It is organic and aligns itself to changing needs of time and societies. It empowers us to decide what is right and wrong so that we can lead a morally upright and a better life.

 

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. What do you understand by campaign ethics? Why are campaign ethics important? Discuss the ethical dilemmas that they possibly can present. (250 words)

Reference: www.scu.edu

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of Campaign Ethics.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain what Campaign Ethics mean, discuss their importance and suggest the ethical dilemmas often faced in handling them.

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 with the definition of Campaign Ethics.

Body:

It can be defined as a set of moral principles that guide different stakeholders – citizens, political parties and election commission and its officials – in their righteous conduct during election campaigning.

Political campaigns are most likely to bring out the worst in the people. Many candidates seem to subscribe to the theory that almost anything is allowable in order to get elected.

A campaign outlines the position and character of a candidate so that voters can make informed decision about who they wish to elect. Any tactics that interferes with this clarity-deception, financial influence, etc. would be unethical.

Discuss briefly its importance, and with suitable examples bring out the ethical dilemmas involved.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.


Introduction:

Campaigns are events where voters receive information about the political parties, their candidates and their political platform. Voters use this information to make a choice among the competing candidate and parties on polling day.

For voters to be able to make a rational and informed choice, they need clear and accurate information on the candidates, platforms and issues. They need to be able to make a decision on who to vote for in a secure environment, free from fear or intimidation. Candidates and political parties need the support of the voters in order to win an election. Integrity requires that they be able to get their message out without interference, and without having to resort to violence or smear tactics.

Campaign ethics and the behaviour of the parties, candidates and their supporters has a direct impact on the integrity of the electoral process. Unethical campaign behaviour or treatment that artificially affects the election outcome and the process does not allow for a free, fair or credible election.

Body:

Why are campaign ethics important?

If we look at modern day campaigns there are certain fundamental issues associated with it that needs addressing. Many campaigns are filled with targeting a section of minorities or vulnerable entities. Then there have been instances where hate speeches are given to garner votes with the coming of digital, they  are have been to attempt to influence the voter digitally like the Cambridge analytica scandal.

The ethical principles that apply generally to public life-rules about conflicts of interest, access to government, integrity, etc.-also apply to campaigns for political office. Why, then, treat campaign ethics as a separate topic? In practice, political campaigns represent one of the circumstances most likely to bring out the worst in people. Many candidates seem to subscribe to the theory that almost anything is allowable in order to get elected, because once in office, they will be outstanding public servants. Others, confronted with bad behavior on the part of their opponents, feel they must also cut moral corners just to compete.

A campaign clearly outlines the positions and character of the candidates so that voters can make informed decisions about whom they wish to see elected. Any tactic that interferes with this clarity-deception, financial influence, etc.-would then be unethical, even if used by a candidate with the best interests of his or her electorate at heart.

An “ends justifies the means” rationale for unethical campaigning ignores the fact that the means become part of the end. Unethical practices such as lying are rarely confined to campaigns. As philosopher Sissela Bok has written, ‘the failure to look at an entire practice rather than at their own isolated case often blinds liars to cumulative harm and expanding deceptive activities. Those who begin with white lies can come to resort to more frequent and more serious ones….The aggregate harm from a large number of marginally harmful instances may, therefore, be highly undesirable in the end-for liars, those deceived, and honesty and trust more generally’.

Unethical campaigns reinforce cynicism and negative feelings about government that can stymie officials once they are elected. This can also leads to deterioration of trust in the elected representatives.

Ethical dilemmas in campaigns:

Campaign Advertisement:

A crucial issue in this area is campaign advertising. Some commentators have couched this in terms of positive and negative campaigning, but these terms can be confusing. Not all positive pieces are truthful and not all truthful pieces are positive. It may be more useful to think in terms of ethical campaigning. Ethical campaign ads are based on the candidate’s qualifications and positions. They are honest and respectful of the opponent’s point of view.

To advocate for such campaigning is not to argue that candidates must always say nice things about each other. Certainly, a candidate’s record, whether in public office or in other occupations, is fair game. Indeed, ads that contrast the positions or voting records or endorsements of candidates can help voters make informed decisions. These ads are perfectly acceptable as long as they remain respectful, fair, relevant, and truthful. Such ad campaigns must be distinguished from unfair attacks or “hit pieces.” An ad campaign would be unethical if it relied on name-calling, innuendo, or stereotyping. Attack ads, even those that may be truthful, can be problematic when released late in a campaign so that the opponent has an insufficient chance to respond.

Drawing a line between public and private:

Does the opponent’s private life come within the limits of ethical campaigning? That depends on its relevance to the job, which can be debatable. For example, some voters think a candidate’s marital fidelity is relevant, revealing important information about the person’s integrity. For some, a candidate’s personal life does not matter as long as he is ethical and efficient in the office.

Endorsement:

Just as candidates may suffer by association with such groups, people running for office will want to associate themselves with more popular civic organizations. Of course, candidates are free to seek and publicize endorsement by these groups. But candidates should take care not to imply endorsement where none exists. They should not use tactics such as creating campaign brochures with photos of people who have not endorsed them or selectively-and deceptively-quoting from articles that may otherwise have been critical.

Candidates should also try in so far as possible to take responsibility for independent groups making representations on their behalf. If such a party is disseminating false information, it is not enough for the politician to say, “They’re not part of my campaign.”

Campaign Finance:

Access: In a democracy, each person is supposed to count equally. The wealthy should not be able to purchase more access to politicians through big campaign contributions. Laws governing campaign finance are meant to prevent such inequities and should be respected-not only in letter but also in spirit. Donations from people asking for a quid pro quo should be returned.

Integrity: Campaign funds must be fully accounted for and not used for personal expenses such as vacations or trinkets. The financing of the campaign should be transparent. Candidates should be scrupulous in identifying as campaign expenses public relations efforts such as goodwill ads, dinners, etc. Significant in-kind contributions-food for a large rally, for example-should be noted. Candidates should not accept contributions from people or groups whose views or actions they would otherwise find unacceptable; depending on the candidate that might include businesses such as tobacco or pornography.

Freedom of Choice: Everyone should have the right to support the candidate of his or her choice. No candidate should coerce employees or others to work on his or her behalf. Candidates who are already officeholders should not use any public resources on their campaigns including staff, materials, phones, or facilities.

Conclusion:

In a democracy, where voters need to make an informed choice, it is imperative that campaigns are conducted in an ethical way, so that the right of the citizens to make informed is not hampered. Hence it is vital that not only campaign ethics are promoted, they must be adhered to my all those involved in the political process. Following them only will be rewarded by increase in the popularity and establishing themselves as an ethical candidate.


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