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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 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 : Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. llustrate the vertical and latitudinal distribution of temperature in ocean waters along with factors responsible for such a distribution. (250 words)

Reference: Geography by G C Leong

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper 1, subject geography.

Key Demand of the question:

One must illustrate the vertical and latitudinal distribution of temperature in ocean waters along with factors responsible for such a distribution.

Directive:

Illustrate – A similar instruction to ‘explain’ whereby you are asked to show the workings of something, making use of definite examples and statistics if appropriate to add weight to your explanation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

One can start by commenting briefly upon the oceans of the world in general.

Body:

Giving a brief introduction, discuss the vertical and latitudinal (horizontal) distribution of temperature in ocean.

 The study of temperature of the oceans is important for studying the movement of large volumes of water, distribution of marine organisms, other properties such as salinity. This distribution pattern of temperature of ocean water can be studied through two ways – vertical and latitudinal distribution.

Enumerate the factors responsible for the above distribution.

Use appropriate examples wherever necessary

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of it.

Introduction:

The temperature of the oceanic water is important for marine organisms including plants (phytoplanktons) and animals (zooplanktons). The temperature of sea water also affects the climate of coastal lands and plants and animals therein.

Body:
Factors Affecting Temperature Distribution:

  • Latitude: the temperature of surface water decreases from the equator towards the poles because the amount of insolation decreases poleward.
  • Unequal distribution of land and water: the oceans in the northern hemisphere receive more heat due to their contact with larger extent of land than the oceans in the southern hemisphere.
  • Prevailing winds: the winds blowing from the land towards the oceans drive warm surface water away form the coast resulting in the upwelling of cold water from below. It results into the longitudinal variation in the temperature. Contrary to this, the onshore winds pile up warm water near the coast and this raises the temperature.
  • Ocean currents: warm ocean currents raise the temperature in cold areas while the cold currents decrease the temperature in warm ocean areas. Gulf stream (warm current) raises the temperature near the eastern coast of North America and the West Coast of Europe while the Labrador current (cold current) lowers the temperature near the north-east coast of North America.
  • Minor Factors:
    • Minor factors include:
    • submarine ridges,
    • local weather conditions like storms, cyclones, hurricanes, fog, cloudiness, evaporation and conden­sation, and
    • Location and shape of the sea.

Vertical distribution of temperature in ocean waters:

  • The temperature-depth profile for the ocean water shows how the temperature decreases with the increasing depth. The profile shows a boundary region between the surface waters of the ocean and the deeper layers. The boundary usually begins around 100 – 400 m below the sea surface and extends several hundred of metres downward. This boundary region, from where there is a rapid decrease of temperature, is called the thermocline.
  • About 90 per cent of the total volume of water is found below the thermocline in the deep ocean. In this zone, temperatures approach 0° C. The temperature structure of oceans over middle and low latitudes can be described as a three-layer system from surface to the bottom.
  • The first layer represents the top layer of warm oceanic water and it is about 500m thick with temperatures ranging between 20° and 25° C. This layer, within the tropical region, is present throughout the year but in mid latitudes it develops only during summer.
  • The second layer called the thermocline layer lies below the first layer and is characterised by rapid decrease in temperature with increasing depth. The thermocline is 500 -1,000 m thick.
  • The third layer is very cold and extends upto the deep ocean floor. In the Arctic and Antartic circles, the surface water temperatures are close to 0° C and so the temperature change with the depth is very slight. Here, only one layer of cold water exists, which extends from surface to deep ocean floor.

Latitudinal distribution of temperature in ocean waters:

  • The average temperature of surface water of the oceans is about 27°C and it gradually decreases from the equator towards the poles. The rate of decrease of temperature with increasing latitude is generally 0.5°C per latitude. The average temperature is around 22°C at 20° latitudes, 14° C at 40° latitudes and 0° C near poles.
  • The oceans in the northern hemisphere record relatively higher temperature than in the southern hemisphere. The highest temperature is not recorded at the equator but slightly towards north of it.
  • The average annual temperatures for the northern and southern hemisphere are around 19° C and 16° C respectively. This variation is due to the unequal distribution of land and water in the northern and southern hemispheres.
  • It is a well known fact that the maximum temperature of the oceans is always at their surfaces because they directly receive the heat from the sun and the heat is transmitted to the lower sections of the oceans through the process of convection.
  • It results into decrease of temperature with the increasing depth, but the rate of decrease is not uniform throughout. The temperature falls very rapidly up to the depth of 200 m and thereafter, the rate of decrease of temperature is slowed down.

Conclusion:

                Thus, both vertically and horizontally the temperature varies in the oceans which impacts both the marine life as well as local climate.

 

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

2. “Megalithic economy was a subsistent economy”. In the light of the statement, comment on the Megalithic economy. (250 words)

Reference: NCERT class XI Ancient Indian history by R S Sharma

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I, portions of ancient India.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way Megalithic economy was a subsistent economy and comment in detail upon the features of its economy.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

A detailed analysis of the available archaeological, archaeobotanical and archaeozoological data recently by U.S. Moorti (1993), and their correlation with certain environmental factors indicates an agro-pastoral base for the megalithic period of South India, with other crafts coming to the fore and all plausibly intertwined in a symbiotic relationship with each other.

Body:

In the answer body one must explain in detail in what way Megalith economy was a subsistent economy.

Discuss how the basis for their economy was mainly – agriculture, pastoralism, hunting and fishing etc.

Elaborate with suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Thus, we can say that the megalithic people practised a highly specialized agro-pastoral economy. The divergent economic patterns, which seem to have prevailed then, as is the case even now, were not isolated but had a symbiotic relationship with each other.

Introduction:

A megalith is a stone which is larger in size and has been used to construct a monument or a structure. The monument or the structure has been constructed either alone or together with other stones. Megalithic has been used to describe buildings built by people living in many different periods from many parts of the world. The construction of this type of structures took place mainly in the Neolithic and continued into the Chalcolithic Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age.

Body:

Important megalithic sites: Adichannalur, T. Narasipur, Jadigenahalli, Hallur, Chandravalli, Brahmagiri and Maski etc.

Megalithic economy:

  • Agriculture:
    • It was agriculture was the basis of their economy. Megalith builders made it possible for the introduction of the advance methods of agriculture on a large scale, based on irrigation.
    • Major crops: The archaeological evidence indicates the cultivation of Rice, Ragi, Navane, Wheat, Kodo millet, Barley, Hyacinth bean, Horse gram, Black gram, Green gram, Common pea, Pigcon pea, Grass pea, Jobs tears, Indian jujube, Goosefoot (Fathen), Lentil, Cotton, etc. in the megalithic period of South India.
  • Pastoralism:
    • Animals like cattle, sheep/goat, dog, pig, horse, buffalo, fowl, ass, etc were domesticated on a large scale.
    • The occurrence of the remains of domesticated pig and fowl suggests pig rearing and poultry farming on a small scale at many of the sites.
  • Hunting and gathering:
    • Hunting was an additional source of the food supply.
    • The equipment used for hunting were arrowheads, spears and javelins etc.
    • The major animals hunted were Wild boar, Hyena, Barking deer, Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Peacock, Leopard, Tiger, Cheetah, Sloth bear, Wild hog, fowl, etc. The animals are identified from their skeletal remains.
  • Fishing:
    • The archaeological evidence such as the skeletal remains of fish and the equipment used for fishing like terracotta net sinkers from Takalghat and fish-hooks from Khapa and Tangal show that Megalithic people also practiced fishing.
  • Arts and crafts:
    • The major activities were pottery making, lapidary, smithery, carpentry, basketry and stone cutting wetc.
    • Major Metals: iron, copper, gold, silver etc.
    • The archaeological evidence The major implements are axes, phoughshares, hoes, sickles, spades, etc.
    • Carpentry: axes, chisels, wedges, adzes, anvil, borers, hammer stones, etc were the major tools.
    • Pottery: The major pottery of megalithic culture are black-and-red ware (BRW), burnished black ware, red ware, micaccous red ware, grey ware, russet coated painted ware (RCPW), etc.
    • Other crafts: Bead making, Mat weaving, Stone cutting, Terracotta making, Rock art, etc.

Conclusion:

Prehistoric Megaliths or large stone constructions dating before the advent of written history are found in huge numbers in all parts of India. Their economy was primarily subsistent economy.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Discuss the evolution of Seventh Schedule of the Indian constitution? Do you think there is a need to relook and revise the Seventh Schedule? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The dealings with the recent COVID pandemic have highlighted the issues with the distribution of subjects between the centre and states. The fragmented manner in which the laws have been invoked highlighted a lack of clarity in how the Centre and States have interpreted their roles under the Constitution as it stands. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the evolution of Seventh Schedule of the Indian constitution and justify if there is a need to relook and revise the Seventh Schedule.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining what seventh schedule is about. The Seventh Schedule contains a three-fold distribution of legislative subjects between the Centre and the states, viz., List-I (the Union List), List-II (the State List) and List-III (the Concurrent List). Discuss its origin.

Body:

Although the Centre and the states are supreme in their respective domains, harmony and coordination between them is essential for the effective operation of the federal system. Hence, the Constitution contains elaborate provisions to regulate the various dimensions of the relations between the Centre and States.

For example, the current COVID pandemic is primarily a health and public order issue (State subjects). various states imposed lockdown by invoking Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. However, given the highly communicable nature of the disease and to ensure consistency in the application and implementation of various measures across the country, the central government invoked Disaster Management Act, 2005 (DM Act) to impose a blanket lockdown across the country. Disaster Management Act being highly centralized in its nature restricts the space for states to maneuver its options in accordance with prevalent local conditions. d the states. One such provision is the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Explain its significance, and discuss the kind of revision and relook that it requires.

Conclusion:

The question of division of powers and responsibilities between the centre and the states has cropped up in several legislative proposals thus it’s time to relook and revisit the process.

Introduction:

                As part of Indian federalism, The Constitution divided the powers between the Centre and the states in terms of the Union List, State List and Concurrent List in the Seventh Schedule. The Union List consists of 98 subjects (originally 97), the State List 59 subjects (originally 66) and the Concurrent List 52 subjects (originally 47).

Body:

Evolution of seventh schedule:

  • The Parliament has exclusive powers to make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the Union List. This list has at present 98 subjects (originally 971 subjects) like defence, banking, foreign affairs, currency, atomic energy, insurance, communication, inter-state trade and commerce, census, audit and so on.
  • The state legislature has “in normal circumstances” exclusive powers to make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the State List. This has at present 59 subjects (originally 662 subjects) like public order, police, public health and sanitation, agriculture prisons, local government, fisheries, markets, theaters, gambling and so on.
  • Both, the Parliament and state legislature can make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List. This list has at present 52 subjects (originally 473 subjects) like criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, marriage and divorce, population control and family planning, electricity, labour welfare, economic and social planning, drugs, newspapers, books and printing press, and others.
  • The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 transferred five subjects to Concurrent List from State List, that is, (a) education, (b) forests, (c) weights and measures, (d) protection of wild animals and birds, and (e) administration of justice; constitution and organisation of all courts except the Supreme Court and the high courts.
  • Parliament has power to make laws with respect to any matter for any part of the territory of India not included in a state even though that matter is one which is enumerated in the State List. This provision has reference to the Union Territories or the Acquired Territories (if any).
  • The 101st Amendment Act of 2018 has made a special provision with respect to goods and services tax. Accordingly. The Parliament and the state legislature have power to make laws with respect to goods and services tax imposed by the Union or by the State. Further, the parliament has exclusive power to make laws with respect to goods and services tax where the supply of goods or services or both takes place in the course of inter-state trade or commerce.
  • The power to make laws with respect to residuary, subjects (i.e. the matters which are not enumerated II any of the three lists) is vested in the Parliament. This residuary power of legislation includes the power to levy residuary taxes.
  • From the above scheme. it is dear that the matters of national importance and the matters which require uniformity of legislation nationwide are included in the Union List The matters of regional and local importance and the matters which permit diversity of interest are specified and the State List The matters on which uniformity of legislation throughout the country is desirable but not essential are enumerated in the concurrent list. Thus, It permits diversity along with uniformity.
  • In US, any the powers of the Federal Government are enumerated in the Constitution and the residuary powers are left to the states. The Australian Constitution followed the American pattern of single enumeration of powers. In Canada, on the other hand, there is a double enumeration— Federal and Provincia, and the residuary powers are vested in the Centre. The Government of India Act of 1935 provided for a three-fold enumeration. viz.. federal provincial and concurrent.
  • The present Constitution follows the scheme of this act but with one difference, that is under this act, the residuary powers were given neither to the federal legislature nor to the provinial legislature but to the governor-general of India. In this respect. India follows the Canadian precedent The Constitution expressly secures the predominance of the Union List over the State List and the Concurrent List and that of the Concurrent List over the State List.
  • Thus, in case of overlapping between the Union List and the State List, the former should prevail. In case of overlapping between the Union List and the Concurrent List it is again the former which should prevail. Where there is a conflict between the Concurrent List and the State List it is the former that should prevail.
  • In case of a conflict between the Central law and the state law on a subject enumerated n the Concurrent List the Central law prevails over the state law. But, there is an exception. If the state law has been reserved for the consideration of the president and has received his assent, then the state law prevails in that state. But, it would still be competent for the Parliament to override such a law by subsequently making a law on the same matter.
  • Union-state relationships straddle a wide canvas, and the Seventh Schedule is often a relatively minor item in that canvas. Hence, though Union government commissions have consistently spoken about decentralization/devolution, the Seventh Schedule has sometimes received no more than a passing mention. However, it has been mentioned.
  • The 1983 Sarkaria Commission essentially blessed the status quo: “After a careful analysis and examination of the entries in the concurrent list, we have come to the conclusion that a good enough case does not exist for amending the Constitution to transfer any entry in the concurrent list to the state list.” But it did concede that before legislating on items in the concurrent list, the Union government should consult the states.
  • Roughly 20 years down the line from 1983, nothing changed. In 2002, the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (Venkatachaliah Commission) submitted its report, and said: “There is, however, no formal institutional structure that requires mandatory consultation between the Union and the states in the area of legislation under the concurrent list.”
  • The Punchhi Commission added another angle: “Article 368(2) empowers Parliament to amend any provision of the Constitution in accordance with the procedure laid down therein. Should Parliament deplete or limit the legislative powers of the states through this process unilaterally or otherwise? …Greater flexibility to states in relation to subjects in the state list and ‘transferred items’ in the concurrent list is the key for better Centre-State relations.”

Need to relook and revise the Seventh Schedule:

  • Over time, many constitutional amendments have led to changes in the Seventh Schedule. An item from the state list moving to the concurrent list, or an item from the concurrent list moving to the Union list, represents centralization.
  • The 1976 amendment was a clear push towards centralization. Thus, amendments to the Seventh Schedule since 1950 have reinforced centralization, and not neutralized that trend.
  • The 1971 report of Rajamannar Committee, formally known as Centre-State Relations Inquiry Committee, put it thus: “The Committee is of the opinion that it is desirable to constitute a High Power Commission, consisting of eminent lawyers and jurists and elderly statesmen with administrative experience to examine the entries of Lists I and III in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution and suggest redistribution of the entries.
  • Most people will agree India’s administrative and governance template needs greater decentralization/ The substantive point is about a re-look at the Seventh Schedule.
  • There are pending reforms pertain to factor markets—land, labour, natural resources. In a heterogeneous country, the labour conditions are not uniform across the states. In global negotiations, it is often argued that countries at different levels of development value labour, or the environment, differently. That logic should also apply to the states, which are at different levels of development. Hence, should labour be on the concurrent list, or should be moved to the state list
  • There was a history, legacy, centralization mindset and shortage syndrome behind the Seventh Schedule. The times have changed.
  • Commissions that delved into Union-state relations have typically focused on other matters (such as Article 356), treating the Seventh Schedule in passing. The Seventh Schedule deserves independent scrutiny, asking questions on the basis of first principles.
  • Union-state relations are now in the process of being transformed and new institutional arrangements have evolved and will evolve. There is no time like the present for the exercise.
  • As previous amendments illustrate, the Seventh Schedule isn’t cast in stone. In 1949 (Constituent Assembly debates), certain priorities were important for the country. As we contemplate 70 years after the Constitution, surely it is legitimate to ask whether those priorities (in so far as they relate to the Seventh Schedule) are still important.
  • On the Seventh Schedule, apportioning between a Union list, state list and a local body list (there need not necessarily be a concurrent list) is fundamentally a governance issue. Implicitly, just as there was in 1949-50, there has to be a value judgment about the role of the state (as in government) and the nature of state intervention.
  • In a liberalized environment, that ideological position can be different from that in 1949-50, which was that of a shortage economy. That’s the reason B.R. Ambedkar, participating in Constituent Assembly debates on 15 November 1948, opposed an amendment that sought to introduce the word socialist in the Preamble. “What should be the policy of the state, how the society should be organized in its social and economic side are matters which must be decided by the people themselves according to time and circumstances.”

Conclusion:

On the limited point about the Seventh Schedule, time and circumstances have changed. That apportioning between Union/state/local body is also a function of not just the role of the state in the sense of regulation, but also the role of the state in the sense of public expenditure, reflected partly in Central sectors and centrally sponsored schemes.

Thus, there is a need for taking a re-look at the Seventh Schedule by a group that has expertise in both law and governance.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. What are the implications of changing climate on various aspects of Indian region? Elaborate upon the key actions taken by India towards combating and adapting to climate change. (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times 

Why the question:

While climate change is global, changes in climate are not expected to be uniform across the planet. For instance, Arctic temperatures are rising much faster than the global average, and rates of sea-level rise vary significantly across the world. Thus important for us to examine the regional trend in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss straightforward the implications of changing climate on various aspects of Indian region and also Elaborate upon the Key actions taken by India towards combating and adapting to climate change.

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:

India is a vast country with many climate zones. The regional climate over the Indian subcontinent involves complex interactions of the atmosphere–ocean– land–Cryosphere system on different space and time scales. In addition, anthropogenic activities have influenced the regional climate in recent decades.

Body:

Discuss in detail the implications of changing climate on various aspects of Indian region such as – food security, Agriculture systems, water security, Energy infrastructure and supply, coastal ecosystem etc.

Also explain its effect on human health, social issues, cascading of climatic hazards etc.

Then discuss the key actions taken by India towards combating and adapting to climate change.

Conclusion:

Conclude that If India is to successfully tackle climate change—both in terms of mitigation and adaptation—it will need to address several complex, intertwined challenges- local as well as global.

Introduction:

                India is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to projected climate change. The country is already experiencing changes in climate and the impacts of climate change, including water stress, heat waves and drought, severe storms and flooding, and associated negative consequences on health and livelihoods. With a 1.2 billion but growing population and dependence on agriculture, India probably will be severely impacted by continuing climate change. Global climate projections, given inherent uncertainties, indicate several changes in India’s future climate.

Body:

Implications of Climate change:

  • The region, with glaciers receding at an average rate of 10–15 meters per year. If the rate increases, flooding is likely in river valleys fed by these glaciers, followed by diminished flows, resulting in water scarcity for drinking and irrigation.
  • All models show a trend of general warming in mean annual temperature as well as decreased range of diurnal temperature and enhanced precipitation over the Indian subcontinent. A warming of 0.5 o C is likely over all India by the year 2030 (approximately equal to the warming over the 20th century) and a warming of 2-4o C by the end of this century, with the maximum increase over northern India. Increased warming is likely to lead to higher levels of tropospheric ozone pollution and other air pollution in the major cities.
  • Increased precipitation including monsoonal rains is likely to come in the form of fewer rainy days but more days of extreme rainfall events, with increasing amounts of rain in each event, leading to significant flooding. Drizzle-type precipitation that replenishes soil moisture is likely to decrease. Most global models suggest that the Indian summer monsoons will intensify. The timing may also shift, causing a drying during the late summer growing season.
  • Climate models also predict an earlier snowmelt, which could have a significant adverse effect on agricultural production. Growing emissions of aerosols from energy production and other sources may suppress rainfall, leading to drier conditions with more dust and smoke from the burning of drier vegetation, affecting both regional and global hydrological cycles and agricultural production.
  • Uncertainties about monsoonal changes will affect farmers’ choices about which crops to plant and the timing of planting, reducing productivities. In addition, earlier seasonal snowmelt and depleting glaciers will reduce river flow needed for irrigation. The large segment of poor people (including smallholder farmers and landless agricultural workers) may be hardest hit, requiring government relief programs on a massive scale.

Implications of changing climate on various aspects of Indian region:

  • Agriculture: High-input, high-output agriculture will be negatively affected even as demands for food and other agricultural products rise because of an increasing population and expectations for an improved standard of living. Millions of subsistence and farmers will experience hardship and hunger through being less able to predict climate conditions. To a certain extent, trade may compensate for these deficits.
  • Water: Glacier melt may yield more runoff in the short term but less in the medium and long terms. More severe storms (especially cyclones) will cause more damage to infrastructure and livelihoods and exacerbate salt water intrusion in storm surges. Changes in the timing and amount of monsoon rains will make the production of food and other agricultural products more uncertain, so that, even in good-weather years, farmers will be more likely to make decisions leading to lower-productivity.
  • Exacerbation of Inequality: The welfare of those who are affected by climate change and who have limited means to adapt may act as a force that can change governments, strain public budgets, and foster unrest. About one-third of Indians are extremely poor, and 60 percent depend upon agriculture for their livelihoods.
  • Energy: As India searches for additional sources of energy to meet rising demand, climate change mitigation efforts may constrain its use of indigenous and imported coal, oil, and gas, while development of nuclear energy will be slow at best and likely to encounter opposition. Other non-emitting technologies will require technology transfer and capacity-building.
  • Migration: India receives immigrants from a number of countries. Under climate change conditions, it may be flooded with many more, particularly from Bangladesh. Such migration may exacerbate tension between the two countries as well as putting a strain on Indian central and state governments.
  • Adaptive capacity in India varies by state, geographical region, and socioeconomic status. Studies point to influential factors such as water availability, food security, human and social capital, and the ability of government (state and national levels) to buffer its people during tough times. Where adaptive capacity is low, the potential is greater for impacts to result in displaced people; deaths and damage from heat, floods, and storms; and conflicts over natural resources and assets.

Measure taken to combat climate change in India: 

  • India’s Nationally Determined Contributions:
    • Reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level
    • 40% of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 with financial and technical help from other countries and GCF
    • Additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent by 2030
    • Enhancing investments in development programs in sectors vulnerable to climate change, particularly agriculture, water resources etc.
    • Joint collaborative R&D for such future technologies
  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): The Action plan covers eight major missions on Solar, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Habitat, Water, Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, Green India, Sustainable Agriculture and Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change.
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA): ISA was jointly launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the then President of France, Francois Hollande in Paris on the side-lines of CoP 21 in 2015. The vision and mission of the alliance is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries that lie completely or partial between the Tropics of Capricorn & Cancer.
  • State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC): State governments have drafted climate strategies aligned with the eight National Missions under the NAPCC. The strategies focus on issues ranging from climate mitigation, energy efficiency, and resource conservation to climate adaptation.
  • FAME Scheme for E-mobility: Union Government in April 2015 launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme with an aim to boost sales of eco-friendly vehicles in the country. It is a part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Smart Cities : To make cities sustainable and increasing the green spaces in cities.
  • Environment Impact Assessment: Management tool to regulate the impact of industries on the environment for ensuring optimal use of natural resources for sustainable development.
    • Applicable for major projects like infrastructure, thermal and nuclear power, industries, mining etc.
    • Industrial categorization (Red, Orange, Green and White) according to their impact to maintain balance between regulation and ease of doing business.
    • White industries do not require EIA approval
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: The scheme provides LPG connections to five crore below-poverty-line beneficiaries. The connections are given in the name of women beneficiaries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and conventional fuel like cow dung for cooking food, thus reducing air pollution.
  • UJALA scheme: The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015 with a target of replacing 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. The usage of LED bulbs will not only result in reducing electricity bills but also help in environment protection.
  • Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), 2017: Developed by Power Ministry and BEE, ECBC seeks to promote low carbon growth by integrating the renewable energy sources in the design of the buildings.
    • For a building to be ECBC compliant it has to show at least 25% savings in the energy consumption.
    • It is estimated that adoption of ECBC throughout the country would reduce at least 50% of the energy use by 2030. 

Conclusion:

The INDCs submitted by the countries under Paris agreement are grossly inadequate to contain the temperature rise within the desirable limit. In India, rising threats of climate change aggravated by increasing inequality requires a proactive policy that factors in the unique threats to different regions (e.g. floods in the Ganga basing and drought in Vidarbha region) in the development programs. The strategy to adapt to this crisis needs to protect the worst affected victims — the poor and the marginalized along with the environment.

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

5. 5G technology presents India with an opportunity to become a leader in one of the omnipresent technologies of the future, yet there are many challenges that need to be addressed. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: Times of India 

Why the question:

It is estimated that, 5G technology will considerably change the world around us by enabling a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the 5G technology, its opportunities and the challenges associated with it and discuss the way forward.

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:

It is estimated that, 5G technology will considerably change the world around us by enabling a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.

Body:

Explain that a recent 5G Economy study has estimated that by the year 2035, 5G technology will generate $13.2 Trillion dollars of global economic output by supporting a wide range of industries. It also estimated that 5G value chain (including Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs), operators, content creators, app developers, and consumers) could alone support up to 22.3 million jobs globally.

Discuss the prospects in brief. Then move onto explain how adoption of 5G Technology could generate a cyber-security challenge.

Conclusion:

5G technology presents India with an opportunity to become a leader in one of the omnipresent technologies of the future. India must embrace this opportunity by deploying 5G networks early, efficiently, and pervasively. Though there are several challenges from domestic deficiencies to geopolitical quagmires. But, India has often leapfrogged the curve in adoption of the latest telecommunications technologies like 4G in the past. Amid the rising connectivity demands during COVID-19, the time is ripe to make rapid strides towards 5G deployment.

Introduction:

                It is the next generation cellular technology that will provide faster and more reliable communication with ultra-low latency. A government panel report points out that with 5G, the peak network data speeds are expected to be in the range of 2-20 Gigabit per second (Gbps). This is in contrast to 4G link speeds in averaging 6-7 Megabit per second (Mbps) in India as compared to 25 Mbps in advanced countries.

Body:

Characteristics of 5G technology:

India’s 5G opportunity:

  • Industry 4.0:
    • The manufacturing industry is going through a digital revolution.
    • Within the context of Industry 4.0, manufacturers are becoming more efficient through the application of automation and data exchange to their existing factory processes to enable better integrated workflows and smarter manufacturing.
    • Industrial IoT technologies are streamlining and simplifying many manufacturing processes in revolutionary ways.
  • Mixed reality (MR) applications:
    • The MR Apps comprise augmented reality (AR) plus virtual reality (VR) apps.
    • Beyond the consumer market (think Pokémon Go), interesting applications are also likely to be found in industrial and medical contexts.
    • Remote medical procedures, engineering, public safety and field-service applications are all strong use case opportunities for the application of low latency 5G services.
  • Sports and entertainment:
    • A combination of VR and AR with ultra high-fidelity enabled by 5G could transform the way fans interact in these events.
    • Motorsports is ideal for VR in particular: equipped with their mobile device or headset, fans could be served information like lap or technical information about cars as they race on the track in a sport like Formula 1.
  • Fixed wireless access:
    • Fixed wireless access could also be used to bring high bandwidth digital services to under-served rural areas.
    • Mobile operators will then be able to compete with wireline, satellite and cable companies, offering new revenue streams and faster RoI.
  • Autonomous vehicles:
    • The idea that much of the car, if not all of it, is controlled not by the driver but by technology.
    • 5G is critical to realize this as it will offer the connectivity and speed needed to deliver vast amounts of data to one another as well as other objects simultaneously.
    • 5G can provide a completely seamless mobile experience is a must so that cars can stay constantly connected.
  • The road so far:

 In India, telecom operators applied for spectrum to start 5G trials in August 2019 but the department of telecom (DoT) is yet to allocate radiowaves. the DoT had in March 2018 approved a multi-institute collaborative project to set up indigenous 5G test bed at a total cost of Rs 224 crore.

  • The collaborating institutes include IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).
  • The project envisages setting up of an end to-end open 5G test bed in a distributed architecture model, and it will enable Indian academia and industry to validate their products, prototypes and algorithms. It will also provide facilities for experimenting and demonstrating 5G applications, he said.
  • Recently, Reliance Jio also announced development of indigenous 5G technology products.
  • Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel submitted fresh applications for field trials in July but they are yet to get the spectrum.

Challenges present to adapt to 5G are:

  • Frequency allocation: Indian operators have far less spectrum in comparison to international operators. The high investment cost which makes telecom companies unsure about Return on Investment.
  • Network investment: In India, the telecom sector is facing capital augmentation issues which need to be resolved.
  • Non-availability of funds for investment: Many of the Indian operators are also weighed down by debt.
  • Regulatory restrictions: Faster rounds of new technology introduction when prior technology investments have not been recouped add further complexity.
  • Technical Challenges: Designing IT architecture that can be deployed globally, while still allowing for localized technology to cater for different regions is a challenge.

Way forward for India:

  • Need to align Digital India with 5G technology.
  • Incentivize design and manufacture of 5G technologies, products and solutions in India.
  • Allocate funds and incentivise local technology and telecom firms to develop their internal capacities which would in turn help 5G technology succeed in the country.
  • Promote 5G start-ups that enable this design and manufacturing capabilities.
  • Promote generation of IPR backing the above designs.
  • Manufacture of 5G chipsets, this may require massive investments.
  • Appropriate test-beds and technology platforms to enable and help Indian technical ecosystem to have an edge in 5G.
  • Accelerated deployment of next generation ubiquitous ultra-high broadband infrastructure with 100% coverage of 10 Gbps across urban India and 1 Gbps across Rural India.
  • Coverage, reliability, and scalability must be optimized and seamless mobile networks will require a unified management policy to ensure consistent standards

Conclusion:

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2023 there will be a staggering 9.1 billion mobile subscriptions. 5G will act as the catalyst for Digital India—a watershed moment in digital transformation. India is at the cusp of a next generation of wireless technology 5G. It provides an opportunity for industry to reach out to global markets, and consumers to gain with the economies of scale. It can help in better service delivery, faster access to services and deeper penetration of digital services.

 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

6. Discuss the role of media in disaster management in India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu .

Why the question:

In the context of the current Covid situation, discuss the role of media in disaster management in India.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the role of media in disaster management 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 defining what Disaster management is. Disaster Management can be defined as the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies, in particular preparedness, response and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters. Disaster management in India has evolved from a reactive, relief-based approach to a pro-active multidimensional holistic approach for reducing risk due to disasters.

Body:

Media can prove to be of immense use in different phases including pre-disaster, during disaster and post disaster.

Explain in detail the role that Media can play during the disaster management. Explain using suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Thus media in all forms has a crucial role to play in disaster management; however, it should be done in the right spirit and with caution to achieve the desired objectives. Proper guidelines and standard operating procedures can be established to ensure constructive role of media during such situations.

Introduction:

Disaster is a sudden, calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, and destruction and devastation to life and property. The damage caused by disasters is immeasurable and   varies   with   the   geographical   location, climate   and   the   type   of   the earth surface/degree of vulnerability. This influences the mental, socio-economic, political and cultural state of the affected area. The media forges a direct link between the public and emergency organizations and plays a very important role in disseminating vital information to the public before, during and after disasters.

Body:

Role of media in disaster management in India:

Pre-disaster:

  • The media, by communicating the information to the people and the concerned authorities sufficiently in advance, can enable them to take the necessary steps to prevent and minimize the loss of life and property.
  • Media can effectively educate public about regional population’s susceptibility to various disasters. For example, educating the fishermen community about cyclones.
  • Advanced technologies and accurate weather prediction have helped avert major disasters during the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh cyclones.
  • The media could play an important role in raising public awareness and education for effective response to natural hazards through television and radio programs.
  • Furthermore, the role of newspapers can be significant in providing detailed information such as evacuation routes or preventive steps to follow in the preparedness process.

During disaster: 

  • It is during the disaster that media has a greater role to play.
  • While the disaster is on, the media can also play the role of relaying the measures that are being taken and monitoring them.
  • They can caution the affected or to be affected people about the Dos and Don’ts, of scotching rumours and preventing panic and confusion.
  • They can help establish contacts, of identifying the needy spots and focusing attention on them, and generally by   assisting   the   authorities, voluntary   organizations   and volunteers in reaching, informing and assuring the affected ones of the assistance and the measures taken, for their relief.
  • During the onslaught of the disaster, what is of utmost importance is to keep the morale of the people high, to create self-confidence in them, to prevent panic and to maintain order by assuring and making available the necessary help readily and quickly.
  • In times of crisis and natural disasters, amateur radio or ham radio is often used as a means of emergency communication when wireline, cell phones and other conventional means of communications fail.
  • Media can also help in mobilizing resources, financial aid and volunteers from around the world.
  • Lastly by continuous coverage it can also get disaster management on the focus of government.
  • The media can help, in many ways in ensuring these conditions.

Post-Disaster:

  • The rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures need an integrated and co-coordinated approach and for that purpose all agencies, government and non-government, have to pool their resources together for efficient, expedient and effective work on all fronts.
  • It can help in disseminating information about survivors, diseased and effected people to the families elsewhere and world around. especially the social media can help in this with technological inventions like i am safe marker by Facebook and google
  • Reporting genuine facts with constructive criticism by media would greatly help in restoring the order.
  • Assist the government and the non-governmental organizations providing relief supplies to the people.
  • Boosting the morale of the afflicted and those engaged in relief operations during any disaster is of primary importance.
  • The collection of material resources and the enlisting of man-power are as much important as their efficient utilization.
  • The depiction of devastation and of human misery through the media many times by itself acts as an appeal to the people to come forward to render help in various ways.
  • In addition, the specific appeal made for relief through the columns and the time-slots of the media, brings in sizeable aid in the requisite form.
  • At the same time, it becomes necessary to keep a watch and report on some anti-social elements who try to take advantage of such situations.

However, the media though has also come in bad light owing to the exaggeration of situation and giving unwanted importance to some issues. In their desire for TRPs and sensationalism, the media has overlooked basic ethics of journalism. During the Nepal earthquake, media was severely criticized as well as during the Uttarakhand floods, the visits of politicians was focused on rather than disaster management. 

Areas where media can contribute:

  • Aid prioritization of Disaster Risk Issues: The media can influence the government to prioritize disaster risk issues, thereby ensuring that “self-serving” political interests are not emphasized at the expense of the wider population.
  • Facilitate creation of Early Warning Systems: Owing to the extensive outreach -the media can help disaster mitigation experts create Early Warning Systems by providing information on risks and existing technologies that can aid the development of useful concepts and systems. Emergency Alert System (EAS), which uses radio, TV and cable services across the country in United States for transmitting early warning, has been very effective.
  • Increase international donations: The media can trigger donations from the international community subsequent to the occurrence of national disasters, as well as push the government to increase budgetary allocations for disaster response programmes.
  • Improve coordination of risk assessment activities: The media can improve the coordination of risk-assessment activities between policymakers and donor communities. This integration of effort should result in increased availability of resources and improved work programmes geared towards saving lives of affected populations and vulnerable communities.
  • Media ethics: It is important that ethics in journalism during disaster reporting are strictly followed. The survivors and the grief stricken people deserve complete privacy and if at all, their consent must be sought and questions must be brief. The media was seen taking up the space on the arrival of the choppers with relief material. During a disaster relief must take precedence which the media failed to comply with.

Conclusion: 

Quick, Reliable and Accurate (QRA)” are three essential keywords for disaster related information. The media play a unique role in disaster mitigation. Although the aims of the media and those of disaster mitigation organizations are not synonymous, without compromising the independence and integrity of either, much can be done to communicate to the public the information that will help many save their own lives.       

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

7. In your own words, explain Kant’s principle of Ends. Do you think that this could be a useful model principal for you in everyday life? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

The question is premised on the Kantian principle of ends.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain Kant’s principle of Ends and also explain how this could be a useful model principal for you in everyday life.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define the principle of ends as propounded by Kant.

Body:

The word “end” in this phrase has the same meaning as in the phrase “means to an end”.

The philosopher Immanuel Kant said that rational human beings should be treated as an end in themselves and not as a means to something else. The fact that we are human has value in itself. If a person is an end-in-themself it means their inherent value doesn’t depend on anything else – it doesn’t depend on whether the person is enjoying their life, or making other people’s lives better. We exist, so we have value.

Explain using suitable examples how this could be a useful model principal for you in everyday life.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) argued that the supreme principle of morality is a standard of rationality that he dubbed the “Categorical Imperative” (CI). Kant characterized the CI as an objective, rationally necessary and unconditional principle that we must always follow despite any natural desires or inclinations we may have to the contrary.

The CI states that it is immoral to use another person merely as a means to an end and that people must under all circumstances be treated as ends in themselves. This is in contrast to some interpretations of the utilitarian view, which allow for use of individuals as means to benefit the many.

Body:

Another version of the Categorical Imperative that Kant offers states that one should “always treat people as ends in themselves, never merely as a means to one’s own ends.” This is commonly referred to as the “ends principle.”  The fact that we are human has value in itself.

While similar in a way to the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” it puts the onus for following the rule on humankind rather than accepting the strictures of divine influence.

The key to Kant’s belief regarding what makes humans moral beings is the fact that we are free and rational creatures. To treat someone as a means to your own ends or purposes is to not respect this fact about them.

For instance, if I get you to agree to do something by making a false promise, I am manipulating you. Your decision to help me is based on false information (the idea that I’m going to keep my promise). In this way, I have undermined your rationality. This is even more obvious if I steal from you or kidnap you in order to claim a ransom.

Treating someone as an end, by contrast, involves always respecting the fact that they are capable of free rational choices which may be different from the choices you wish them to make. So if I want you to do something, the only moral course of action is to explain the situation, explain what I want, and let you make your own decision.

We shouldn’t treat ourselves as a means to our own ends; instead we should respect our inherent worth. This can be used as an argument against euthanasia, suicide and other behaviours that damage ourselves.

Taking the example of slavery where human beings are treated as “means” for achieving the “ends” that is profit motive. Human intrinsic worth i.e. dignity is not respected and they are exploited for petty gains. This lead to inequality in society where one section of people exploiting other section for self-motive. Some people justify the slavery on the premises that it was based on contract between master and slave. But this argument does not hold ground because slave did not accept to slavery on free will and they might not be in their right state of mind thinking rationally and make a decision.

The idea also shows up in discussions of animal rights, with the idea that if they have rights, animals must be treated as ends in themselves.

Conclusion:

Kant’s philosophy of human individuals as end in itself endorses the golden rule of “treating others as one’s self would wish to be treated”.  As no one would wish to be used simply as a means, therefore one should not also use other human beings as means to achieve their ends. This philosophy can be of great help in resolving the ethical dilemmas where there is debate between relative importance of means and ends.


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