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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 2 November 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 : Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues. Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Present a sketch of major Sufi orders in India. What was their goal?  Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Medieval Indian History NCERT by R S Sharma

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of major Sufi orders that prevailed in India and their goals.

Key Demand of the question:

Account in detail for major Sufi orders in India and present their goals.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining what you understand by Sufi orders. Sufism has a history in India evolving for over 1,000 years.

Body:

There are three Sufi orders:

  1. Silsilahs – The Sufis Formed Many orders – silshilas. By the thirteenth century, there were 12 silsilahs.
  2. Khanqas – The Sufi saints live in khanqas. Devotees of religions came to these khanqas to seek the blessings of Saints.
  3. Sama – Music and dances session, called Sama.

Provide first for their early history. The core concept of Sufi Movement is Darikh-i-Duniya / Wahad-ul-wahjud, meaning “Universal Brotherhood”. It outwardly rejected the religion and emphasized love and devotion to God and compassion towards all fellow human beings.

Explain how they tried to transform Islam and promote secular fabric of India.

Discuss their key goals.

Conclusion:

Conclude with their importance.

Introduction:

Sufis were a group of religious-minded people who turned to asceticism and mysticism in protest against the growing materialism of the Caliphate as a religious and political institution. Sufism entered India in the 12th century with Muslim invaders and became popular in the 13th century. The socio-religious movement saw many mystic Sufis, who were unorthodox Muslim saints. These Sufis had a deep study of vedantic philosophy and had come in contact with great sages and seers of India.  Sufism emphasizes upon leading a simple life. Sufi saints preached in Arabic, Persian and Urdu etc. The Sufis were divided into 12 orders each under a mystic Sufi saint like Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthi, Fariuddin Ganj-i-Shakar, Nizam-ud-din Auliya etc.

Body:

Major Sufi orders in India

In India the four major silsilas to take root were Suhrawardiyya, Chishtiyya, Qadiriyya and Naqshabandiyya. From these major orders many suborders such as Shattariyya and the Kubrawiyya branched out.

  • Chisthi Silsilah:
    • This was the silsila which, with its spirit of equality and brotherhood, won the hearts of the people of the subcontinent.
    • The doors of the Chishtiyya khanqahs were open to all at all times.
    • This silsila was instrumental in spreading Islam in central and southern Indian with its ocean like generosity, mildness of the evening sun and earth-like modesty.
    • Sufism became a mass movement under the influence of Chishti saints who settled in the Indus region: Sind, Punjab and Multan.
    • The disdain of the Chishti saints for the rulers was obvious from their refusal to accept any land or money from them.
    • The early Chishti saints considered anything accepted from the rulers as unlawful.
    • From the ‘low caste’ Hindus to the mighty Mogul kings, all bowed in reverence at the feet of the great Chishti saints.
    • In the Indian subcontinent Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti was instrumental in laying the foundations of Sufism especially the Chishtiyya silsila. He was born in Sistan (a province bordering Iran and Afghanistan) and in his early years was inspired by Abu Najib Surhawardi.
    • Muinuddin who was also known as Khwaja Garib Nawaaz (benefactor of the poor), reached Delhi in 1193 but later shifted to Ajmer when it was conquered by the Delhi Sultanate.
    • Among the most important disciples of Muinuddin was Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki who carried out the Chishtiyya work in Delhi.
    • His successor was Shaykh Fariduddin or Baba Farid, the legendary sufi poet of Punjab, whose disciple was another great saint – Nizamuddin Auliya, whose disciple was the legendary poet and musician Amir Khosrau.
    • Other prominent Chishti saints and poets were Shaykh Hamiduddin Nagori who was based in Nagaur (Rajasthan) and was known for his vegetarianism and frugal life style; Hasan Sijzi Dihlawi; Bu Ali Qalandar Panipati; Hazrat Nasiruddin Roshan Chiragh-i Dehli; Muhammad Bandanawaz Gisudara who spread the Chishtiyya silsila in southern India with the patronage of Bahmani Sultans of Deccan.
    • He was the first Indian Sufi to write in Dakhani (the southern branch of Urdu); Shaykh Salim Chishti and Warith Shah.
  • Suharwardi Silsilah:
    • The sufis of this order were known for their close ties with the rulers and played a key role in making war and peace.
    • They acted as political emissaries and ambassadors and held important posts as advisers in the royal court and excepted jagirs and gifts as royal patronage.
    • The early Suhrawardiyya saints believed that it was their duty to guide the rulers. It was from this silsila that Muinuddin Chishti drew his first inspiration.
    • However, the Chishtiyya silsila stood in stark contrast to the Surhawaddiyyas in their contempt for rulers and governments.
    • This silsila was founded in north west Iran by Abdul Qahir Abu Najib as-Suhrawardi.
    • In the Indian subcontinent, this silsila was introduced by Bahauddin Zakariya Multani who was a contemporary of Baba Farid.
    • The two Sufis not only lived miles apart from each other but were also miles apart in their attitude towards material wealth and rulers.
    • Bhahauddin was a prosperous landlord whereas Baba Farid was a fakir in the true sense of the word.
    • Some of the eminent Suhrawardi saints were Sayyid Jalaluddin Surkhpush (the red dressed one) who was a disciple of Zakariya.
    • Fakhruddin Iraqi, was a well-known Persian poet and a disciple of Bahauddin Zakariya. Iraqi’s tender and intoxicating love songs continue to be sung at his master’s tomb in Multan.
    • Ucch became a centre of Suhrawarddiyya silsila under the tireless efforts of Jalaluddin Makhdum-i Jahaniyan, (the one whom all the people of the world serve).
    • Jalaluddin Tabrizi, a disciple of Abu Hafs Umar Suhrawardi, played a key role in spreading the Suhraawardi message in Bengal.
  • Qadri Silsilah:
    • This order was established in India by Niyammad-ulla-Qadiri and was introduced in India over Babur period.
    • A great follower of Qadri Order was Dara Shiko, who was the eldest son of the Mughal emperor Shah jahan.
    • During Aurangazeb’s reign, the Qadri order lost its patronage.
    • The most popular Qadri saints in India are Bulle Shah and Sultan Bahu in the north, and Hazrat Shahul Hameed Qadir Wali of Nagore in the south. Several karaamaat (miracles) are attributed to the founder as well as the early saints of this silsila.
    • This silsila was established by Abdul Qadir Jilani from Baghdad. He is known as the master of the Jinn.
    • His influence extended from Turkey, to Baghdad and across West Africa to the Indian subcontinent.
    • There are Sindhi songs describing his glory and ancient trees named after him. It is believed that one of his descendents – Muhammad Ghaus established this order in the Indian subcontinent. He along with the first missionaries of this silsila settled in Ucch, north east of Multan (Punjab-Pakistan) in the late fifteenth century.
    • From here this silsila spread to the rest of the Indian subcontinent, and even as far as Indonesia and Malaysia.
    • Eminent Sufis of this silsila were Mian Mir whose ancestors came from Siwistan in Sindh, his sister Bibi Jamal, Mir’s disciple Molla Shah Badakshi, who was a scholar and writer of Sufi literature.
    • Molla Shah initiated the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh and his elder sister Jahanara into this silsila.
  • Naqshabhandi Silsilah:
    • They brought their caravans to the sanctuary through the hidden path.
    • The Naqshabandi’s believed that their spiritual journey began where other’s ended.
    • The centre of their beliefs was the silent dhikr and breath control.
    • They also emphasised saubat – the intimate conversation between the master and the disciple.
    • This spiritual bonding gave rise to various ‘paranormal phenomenon’ such as telepathy and faith healing.
    • They believed in spiritual education and the purification of the heart. It was a sober and rather orthodox silsila which disapproved music and sama.
    • This silsila gained influence over the business class and royalty of Central Asia and as a result grew highly politicized.
    • The Naqshabandi silsila was founded in India by Khwaja Baqi billah(d.1785). His disciple Ahmad Faruqi Sirhindi played an important role in Indian political and religious life. In India, most prominent Naqshabandi saints, such as Khwaja Mir Dard, Shah Waliullah, who was also initiated into the Qadiriyya silsila, and Mazhar Janjanan, were based in Delhi and besides politics made major contribution to Sufi poetry and theology in Urdu.

Goals of Sufis:

  • Sufism does not believe in caste system.
  • They broke all societal rules and stereotypes, and lived their lives as they pleased.
  • They awakened a new sense of confidence and attempted to redefine social and religious values. Saints like Kabir and Nanak stressed upon the reordering of society along egalitarian lines. Their call to social equality attracted many a downtrodden.
  • The efforts of Sufi saints helped to lessen religious fanaticism in India.
  • Their stress on social welfare led to the establishment of works of charitable naturee. opening of orphanages and women service centres.
  • A notable contribution of the Sufis was their service to the poorer and downtrodden sections of society. Nizamuddin Auliya was famous for distributing gifts amongst the needy irrespective of religion or caste.
  • The efforts of Sufi saints helped to promote equality and lessen the evils of casteism. They also tried to infuse a spirit of piety and morality.
  • Sufism also inculcated a spirit of tolerance among its followers.
  • At a time when struggle for political power was the prevailing madness, the Sufi saints reminded men of their moral obligations. To a world torn by strife and conflict they tried to bring peace and harmony.
  • Other ideas emphasised by Sufism are meditation, good actions, repentance for sins, performance of prayers and pilgrimages, fasting, charity and suppression of passions by ascetic practices.

Conclusion:

The liberal ideas and unorthodox principles of Sufism had a profound influence on Indian society. The liberal principles of Sufi sects restrained orthodox. Muslims in their attitude and encouraged many Muslim rulers to pursue tolerant attitude to their non-Muslim subjects. Most Sufi saints preached their teachings in the language of common man that contributed greatly to the evolution of various Indian languages like Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Kashmiri and Hindi. The impact of Sufi Movement was deeply felt on some renowned poets of the period, like Amir Khusrau and Malik Muhammad Jayasi who composed poems in Persian and Hindi in praise of Sufi principles.

 

Topic: communalism, regionalism & secularism.

2. Communal attacks, the cancer of communalism affect the body of the Indian Nation. Comment. (250 words)

Reference Times of India

Why the question:

The question is premised on the effect of communalism and ill impact on the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss and present in what way communal attacks and communalistic ideas affect the nation.

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:

Start with the definition of communalism.

Body:

Start by discussing the cause and consequences of communalism in India.

List down the reasons contributing to Communalism. Give examples from past to present.

Explain with examples the impact of communalism on Indian society.

Suggest efforts of the government in this direction to control and curtail the impact of communalism.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done; role of government, citizens and other stakeholders.

Introduction:

Communalism is characterised by a strong allegiance to one’s own ethnic group rather than to society as a whole. the basis of allegiance may be varied such as language, ethnicity, region, religion etc. In India, communalism as a social phenomenon is characterized by the religion of two communities, often leading to acrimony, tension and even rioting between them. Communalism essentially leads to violence as it is based on mutual religious hatred.

The riots in north east Delhi in February this year was the “worst communal riots since partition” in the national capital and that it was a “gaping wound” in the conscience of a nation aspiring to be a “major global player” observed Delhi high court recently.

Body:

Ramification of Communalism:

  • Genocides: With mass killings, the real sufferers are the poor, who lose their house, their near and dear ones, their lives, their livelihood, etc. It violates the human rights from all direction. Sometimes children lose their parents and will become orphan for a lifetime.
  • Affects the Social fabric: It causes hatred among different religious sections in the society and disrupts the peaceful social fabric of our society.
  • Ghettoization and refugee problem are other dimensions of communalism induced violence, whether its inter country or intra country.
  • Communal Violence: Sudden increase in violence against any particular community causes mass exodus and stampede which in turn kills many number of people. For example, this was seen in the case of Bangalore in 2012, with respect to people from North eastern states, which was stimulated by a rumour.
  • Apart from having effect on the society, it is also a threat to Indian constitutional values, which promotes secularism and religious tolerance. In that case, citizens don’t fulfil their fundamental duties towards the nation.
  • It becomes a threat for the unity and integrity of the nation as a whole. It promotes only the feeling of hatred in all directions, dividing the society on communal lines.
  • Minorities are viewed with suspicion by all, including state authorities like police, para-military forces, army, intelligence agencies, etc. There have been many instances when people from such community have been harassed and detained and finally have been released by court orders guilt free. For this, there is no provision for compensation of such victims, about their livelihood incomes forgone, against social stigmas and emotional trauma of the families.
  • Economic fallout: Economic growth can take place only in environment of peace and tranquillity, communalism creates an atmosphere of intolerance and violence which would impede the flow of goods and capital.
  • The flow of labour from productive activities is diverted to unproductive activities; there is massive destruction of public properties to spread the ideology.
  • The investment attitude towards the country from foreign investor would be cautiousness; they tend to avoid the countries with highly communal country, for not take the risk of end up losing their investment.
  • Barrier for development: Communal activities occurring frequently do harm the human resource and economy of the country. And then again it takes years for the people and the affected regions to come out the traumas of such violence, having deep impact on minds of those who have faced it. They feel emotionally broken and insecure.
  • Terrorism and Secessionism: As seen during the Khalistan movement in Punjab.

Steps to check the growth of Communalism:

  • Economic:
    • Poverty is one of the major factors for communal violence. Poverty alleviation measures are thus important for promoting communal harmony.
    • Eradicating the problem of unemployment among the youths, illiteracy and poverty and that too with honesty and without any discrimination.
    • Reducing educational and economic backwardness of minorities like Muslims.
    • This can uplift their socio economic status and reduce their deprivation compared to Hindus
  • Social:
    • The religious leaders and preachers should promote rational and practical things through religion promoting peace and security.
    • Children in schools must be taught through textbooks and pamphlets to maintain brotherhood and respect for all religions
    • Creating awareness in the society about the ill effects of communism through mass media
  • Political:
    • Political communism should be avoided recent Supreme court’s directives
    • Identification and mapping of riot prone areas. For Example, Delhi police used drones to monitor to maintain vigil during communal festivals
    • Media, movies and other cultural platforms can be influential in promoting peace and harmony.
    • Social Media should be monitored for violent and repulsive content and taken off immediately.
  • Recommendations of Committee on National Integration
    • Joint celebration of community festivals
    • Observing restraint by Hindus while taking processions before the mosques
    • Formation of peace and brotherhood communities at local level to prevent anti-social elements from engaging in communal riots
    • Respect for religious customs, rituals and practices

Conclusion:

Communalism cannot be accepted as the necessary evil in the society. It is detrimental to the development, social change, democracy and the federal feature of the State. Jawaharlal Nehru had pointed out the issue and termed it as the greatest danger. And so he said that anyone who loves India would hate communalism and anyone who hates India would love communalism.

 

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.

3. Discuss the pros and cons of Daylight savings time.  (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article brings to us the positive and negative implications of the concept of daylight savings times.

Key Demand of the question:

One must elaborate about the pros and cons of DST.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what DST is.

Body:

DST is the practice of resetting clocks ahead by an hour in spring, and behind by an hour in autumn (or fall). It is in use during the period from spring to autumn (or fall), when Europe and the United States get an extra hour of daylight in the evening.

Discuss briefly the origin of the concept and its inception.

Suggest the positives such as; Saves energy, Longer Daylight Hours Promote Safety. Longer daylight hours make driving safer, lowers accident rates

Negatives range – It can also cause sleep loss, health problems, workplace accidents, reduced productivity, and problems for farmers.

Briefly discuss what is the change with respect to Indian time?

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion as to whether DST is good or bad and holds utility in present modern days.

Introduction:

Daylight savings time (DST) is the practice of resetting clocks ahead by an hour in spring, and behind by an hour in autumn (or fall). During these months, countries that follow this system get an extra hour of daylight in the evening. Because the spring to fall cycle is opposite in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, DST lasts from March to October/November in Europe and the US, and from September/October to April in New Zealand and Australia. DST has been used for more than 100 years. The key argument is that DST is meant to save energy.

Body:

Pros of DST:

  • Longer Evenings:
    • Setting the clocks forward one hour in spring does not create more daylight, but it does change the time (on the clock) the Sun rises and sets. So, when we spring forward an hour in spring, we add one hour of natural daylight to our afternoon schedule.
    • Proponents of DST argue that longer evenings motivate people to get out of the house. The extra hour of daylight can be used for outdoor recreation like golf, soccer, baseball, running, etc. That way, DST may counteract the sedentary lifestyle of modern living.
    • The tourism industry profits from brighter evenings. Longer evenings give people more time to go shopping, to restaurants, or to other events, boosting the local economy.
  • Less Artificial Light:
    • One of the aims of DST is to make sure that people’s active hours coincide with daylight hours so that less artificial light is needed.
    • This makes less sense close to the equator where the amount of daylight does not vary much in a year, or near the poles where the difference between winter and summer daylight hours is very large.
    • However, at latitudes between these extremes, adjusting daily routines to the shifting day length during summer may indeed help to save energy.
    • A German analysis of 44 studies on energy use and DST found a positive relationship between latitude and energy savings.
  • Lighter = Safer:
    • Safety is one of the more solid arguments for keeping the lighter evenings of DST.
    • Studies have found that DST contributes to improved road safety by reducing pedestrian fatalities by 13% during dawn and dusk hours.
    • Another study found an 7% decrease in robberies following the spring shift to DST.

Cons of DST:

  • Doesn’t Save Energy:
    • A century ago, when DST was introduced, more daylight was a good thing because it meant less use of artificial light and more energy savings.
    • Modern society, with its computers, TV-screens, and air conditioning units, uses more energy, no matter if the Sun is up or not.
    • Today, the amount of energy saved from DST is negligible.
  • Can Make People Sick:
    • Changing the time, even if it is only by one hour, disrupts our body clocks or circadian rhythm. For most people, the resulting tiredness is simply an inconvenience.
    • For some, however, the time change can have more serious consequences to their health.
    • Studies link the lack of sleep at the start of DST to car accidents, workplace injuries, suicide, and miscarriages.
    • The early evening darkness after the end of the DST period is linked to depression.
  • Costs Money:
    • It is hard to determine the economic cost of the collective tiredness caused by DST, but studies have found that there is a decrease in productivity after the spring transition.
    • The City of New York invested 1.5 million US dollars in a dusk and darkness safety campaign for the DST change for the fall of 2016.
    • There is an extra cost in building DST support into computer systems and keeping them maintained, as well as manually changing clocks.

Conclusion:

DST is in practice in some 70 countries, including those in the European Union. India does not follow daylight saving time; countries near the Equator do not experience high variations in daytime hours between seasons.

 


General Studies – 3


 

 Topic : Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. Disaster and disaster management.

4. Critically examine the role of science and technology in effective disaster management in the country. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article explains that the southwest monsoon 2020 has officially drawn to an end with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) declaring a withdrawal of the associated winds and rainfall pattern from India.

Key Demand of the question:

Examine the role of science and technology in effective disaster management in the country.

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:

Discuss briefly some facts that suggest the proneness of the country to Disasters.

Body:

In the answer body start by explaining in what way Disaster management entails or leverages science and technology.

Highlight the role of weather forecasting tools, earthquake identifying ICT tools, flood warning systems etc.

Explain how effective use of sci and tech can lead to better disaster management in the country.

Present case studies to substantiate better.  

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the importance of science and technology in effective disaster management.

Introduction:

A disaster is a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community’s or society’s ability to cope using its own resources. Though often caused by nature, disasters can have human origins.

Body:

India is a large country and prone to a number of natural hazards. Among all the natural disasters that country   faces, river   floods   are   the   most   frequent and often devastating. The shortfall in the rainfall causes droughts or drought like stimuli in various parts of the country. The country has faced some    severe    earthquakes    causing    widespread    damage   to   the   life   and   property.   India   has   a   coastline of about 8000 km which is prone to very severe cyclonic formations in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.  Another major problem faced by the   country   is   in   the   form   of   landslides   and   avalanches.

The role of Science & Technology in disaster prevention:

Space-based technologies:

  • Technologies such as Earth observation satellites, communication satellites, meteorological satellites and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) play vital role in disaster risk reduction.
  • The geospatial data obtained from earth observation satellites, especially at the times of major events like earthquakes and floods acts as a key tool in risk assessment and risk reduction.
  • In case of large urban areas, these space technologies can provide information about the damaged buildings and hazardous sites that are highly vulnerable to secondary disasters.
  • Space technology also helps in determining the land use/land cover pattern, capturing weather data, crop monitoring, global rainfall monitoring, fire hotspot, haze monitoring and formulating drought mitigation strategies.

GIS and Remote sensing:

  • GIS provides a tool for effective and efficient storage and manipulation of remotely sensed data and other spatial and non-spatial data types for both scientific management and policy oriented
  • This can    be    used    to    facilitate    measurement, mapping, monitoring and modelling of    variety    of    data    types    related    to    natural    phenomenon.
  • The specific GIS application in the field of Risk Assessment Are Hazard Mapping to show earthquake, landslides, floods or fire hazards.
  • Theses map could be created for cities, districts or even for the entire country and tropical cyclone Threat     Maps     are     used     by     meteorological     departments to improve the quality of the tropical storm warning services and quickly communicate the risk to the people likely to get affected by the disaster.
  • Eg.: GIS and Remote Sensing can be used for preparing seismic hazards maps in order to assess the exact nature of risks.
  • GIS can be used in carrying out search and rescue operations    in    a    more    effective    manner    by    identifying   areas   that   are   disasters   prone   and   zoning them accordingly to risk magnitudes

Internet:

  • In the present era of electronic communication, the internet provides a useful platform for disaster mitigation communications.
  • Launching of a well-defined web site is a very cost-effective means of making an intra-national and international presence felt.
  • It provides a new and potentially revolutionary option for    the    rapid, automatic, and    global    dissemination of disaster information. A number of individuals and groups, including several national meteorological services, are experimenting with the Internet for real-time dissemination of weather observation, forecasts, satellite.
  • In the    most    critical    phase    of    natural    disasters    electronic communication have provided the most effective and in some instances perhaps the only means of communication with the outside world.

Warning and forecasting system:

  • An advance system of forecasting, monitoring and issuing early warnings plays the most significant role in determining whether a natural hazard will assume disastrous proportions
  • Indian Metrological Department (IMD) provides cyclone warnings from the Area Cyclone    Warning    Centres (ACWCs) It    has    developed the necessary infrastructure to originate and     disseminate     the     cyclone     warnings     at     appropriate times
  • Seismological observations in the country are made through national network of 36 seismic stations operated by the IMD.
  • Long term drought proofing programmes on the natural resources of the district have been greatly helped by the use of satellite data obtained by National Remote Sensing Agency.
  • The drought assessment is based on a comparative evaluation of satellite observed green vegetation cover (both area and greenness) of a district in any specific time period by the National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Management    System (NADAMS).
  • Flood forecasts and warnings are issued by the Central Water Commission (CWC), Ministry of Water Resources.  These are used for alerting the public and   for   taking   appropriate   measures   by   concerned   administrative   and   state   engineering   agencies     in     the     flood     hazard

Case studies:

  • Tamil Nadu has built a web GIS based system called TNSMART. This application, which is developed in collaboration with ISRO, has modules related to thresholds, hazard forecast, disaster impact forecast, advisory, response planning, etc.
  • Similarly, Karnataka has a GPS enabled system for near real-time monitoring and communication of disasters in the state. In India, the Government has encouraged the use of digital technologies in ensuring help during disasters. For example, the Digital India Action Group (DIAG) recently released a whitepaper on using IoT for effective disaster management. 
  • Drones and social media:

In 2015, the social media platform, Twitter, was used by a number of government groups and people to share vital information (helpline phone numbers, train schedules, relief counters, weather forecasts, etc) about the Chennai floods on Twitter. This became a test case for Twitter, and showed government agencies on how social media platforms could be leveraged for effective communication related to natural disasters. During the 2013 Uttarakhand floods, drones were used to locate missing people and scan the terrain to provide relevant updated information to the authorities. Recently, students from IIT Madras developed an AI-enabled drone that can help authorities provide vital information on people trapped in disaster-hit areas.

  • Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority in collaboration with Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) has also developed a web and smartphone-based platform called “SATARK” (System for Assessing, Tracking and Alerting Disaster Risk Information based on Dynamic Risk Knowledge). The application is developed to provide real time watch, alert and warning information for different hazards like heatwave, lightning, agriculture risk (drought), flood monitoring, ocean state information and tsunami risk, earthquake monitoring, cyclone/storm surge for improved disaster management. It uses different level of warnings and issues corresponding advisories based on the event scenario.

Conclusion:

Advancement in Information Technology in the form of Internet, GIS, Remote   Sensing, Satellite   communication, etc.   Can   help   a   great   deal   in   planning   and   implementation     of     hazards     reduction.     For     maximum   benefit, new   technologies   for   public   communication should be made use and natural disaster mitigation messages should be conveyed through   these   measures.

 

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

5. Effective management of water resources will significantly reduce human despairs. Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: pib.gov.in

Why the question:

The article talks about the Jal Shakti ministry reviewing implementation of Jal Jeevan mission in West Bengal. Thus the context of the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way effective management of water resources will significantly reduce human despairs.

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:

Briefly explain the present conditions of water resources in the country and across the world, present stats to substantiate the same.

Body:

Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful to humans. It is important because it is needed for life to exist. Many uses of water include agricultural, industrial, household, recreational and environmental activities. Virtually all of these human uses require fresh water.

Then move on to discuss the human miseries associated with water resources.

Then present points as to how effective water management can reduce human misery – Sustainable use of water, holistic management of ground and surface water, efficient crop planning and crop rotation in agriculture and many others.

Discuss examples and justify.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the water crisis in the 21st century is much more related to management than to a real crisis of scarcity and stress, thus addressing it on time is the need of the hour.

Introduction:

The NITI Aayog report on Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) said that India is facing its ‘worst’ water crisis in history. Taps in Shimla went dry in summer of 2018, posing an unprecedented water crisis in the hill town. According to a forecast by the Asian Development Bank, India will have a water deficit of 50% by 2030. Recent studies also ranked Chennai and Delhi at the top of the 27 most vulnerable Asian cities in terms of low per-day water availability Mumbai and Kolkata follow close.

Body:

India’s water crisis is more serious that its energy crisis:

  • The water crisis in India is more dire than imagined.
  • The annual per capita availability of water continues to decline sharply from about 5,177 cubic metres in 1951 to about 1,720 cubic metres in 2019.
  • The NITI Aayog in its report on Composite Water Management Index (2018) has underlined that currently 600 million people face high to extreme water stress.
  • Twenty-one cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people.
  • Apart from mega cities, many fast-growing small and medium cities such as Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Dhanbad, Meerut, Faridabad, Visakhapatnam, Madurai and Hyderabad also figure in this list.
  • The demand-supply gap in most of these cities ranges from 30 per cent to as much as 70 per cent.
  • About two lakh die every year due to inadequate access to safe water, about three-fourths of the household do not get drinking water at their premise and about 70 per cent of water is contaminated.
  • The rate of groundwater extraction is so severe that NASA’s findings suggest that India’s water table is declining alarmingly at a rate of about 0.3 metres per year.
  • At this rate of depletion, India will have only 22 per cent of the present daily per capita water available in 2050, possibly forcing the country to import water.
  • About 81 per cent of India’s ultimate irrigation potential, estimated at 140 million hectares, has already been created and thus the scope for further expansion of irrigation infrastructure on a large scale is limited.
  • Climate experts have predicted that there will be fewer rainy days in the future but in those days it would rain more.

Effective management of water resources will significantly reduce human despairs:

  • Water Management is important since it helps determine future Irrigation expectations. Water management is the management of water resources under set policies and regulations.
  • Water, once an abundant natural resource, is becoming a more valuable commodity due to droughts and overuse.
  • Water scarcity affects more than 40% of the global population. Water-related disasters account for 70% of all deaths related to natural disasters.
  • Water is an essential resource for all life on the planet.
  • Of the water resources on Earth only three percent of it is fresh and two-thirds of the freshwater is locked up in ice caps and glaciers.
  • Of the remaining one percent, a fifth is in remote, inaccessible areas and much seasonal rainfall in monsoonal deluges and floods cannot easily be used.
  • At present only about 0.08 percent of all the world’s fresh water is exploited by mankind in ever increasing demand for sanitation, drinking, manufacturing, leisure and agriculture.
  • Better Water resources management will help reduce the water-borne diseases which currently threaten a huge population which is not able to access potable water for drinking and cooking and sanitation.

Measures needed:

  • Structural measures:
    • Putting in place an efficient piped supply system (without leakage of pipes) has to be top on the agenda.
    • Ancient India had well-managed wells and canal systems. Indigenous water harvesting systems need to be revived and protected at the local level. Examples: Karez, Bawli, Vav etc
    • Digging of rainwater harvesting pits must be made mandatory for all types of buildings, both in urban and rural areas.
    • Treating the Greywater and reusing it needs to be adopted by countries like Israel (upto 85%). It could be used to recharge depleted aquifers and use on crops.
    • Initiatives such as community water storage and decentralized treatment facilities, including elevated water towers or reservoirs and water ATMs, based on a realistic understanding of the costs involved, can help support the city’s water distribution.
    • Technologies capable of converting non-drinkable water into fresh, consumable water, offering a potential solution to the impending water crisis are needed. Example: Desalination technologies in Coastal areas, Water-sterilization in polluted water areas. 
  • Non-structural measures:
    • The World Bank’s Water Scarce Cities Initiative seeks to promote an integrated approach, aims at managing water resources and service delivery in water-scarce cities as the basis for building climate change resilience.
    • Groundwater extraction patterns need to be better understood through robust data collection
    • Decentralisation of irrigation commands, offering higher financial flows to well-performing States through a National Irrigation Management Fund.
    • Public awareness campaigns, tax incentives for water conservation and the use of technology interfaces can also go a long way in addressing the water problem. Example, measures such as water credits can be introduced with tax benefits as incentives for efficient use and recycling of water.
    • A collaborative approach like the adoption of a public-private partnership model for water projects can help. Example, in Netherlands, water companies are incorporated as private companies, with the local and national governments being majority shareholders.
    • Sustained measures should be taken to prevent pollution of water bodies and contamination of groundwater.
    • Ensuring proper treatment of domestic and industrial waste water is also essential.

Way forward:

  • India’s water problems can be solved with existing knowledge, technology and available funds.
  • NITI Aayog has prescribed only a continuation of past failed policies.
  • India’s water establishment needs to admit that the strategy pursued so far has not worked.
  • Only then can a realistic vision emerge.

Conclusion:

Primarily water is not valued in India. “People think it is free”. In order to meet the future urban water challenges, there needs to be a shift in the way we manage urban water systems. An Integrated Urban Water Management approach must be adopted which involves managing freshwater, wastewater, and storm water, using an urban area as the unit of management.

 


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. Explain about the sources and foundation of Jain Ethics. (250 words)

Reference: opensiuc.lib.siu.edu

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of Jain Ethics.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the sources and foundation of Jain Ethics.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain what constitutes Jain ethics.

Body:

Jain ethical code prescribes two dharmas or rules of conduct. One for those who wish to become ascetic and another for the śrāvaka (householders). Five fundamental vows are prescribed for both votaries. These vows are observed by śrāvakas (householders) partially and are termed as anuvratas (small vows). Ascetics observe these fives vows more strictly and therefore observe complete abstinence. These five vows are:

  • Ahiṃsā (Non-violence)
  • Satya (Truth)
  • Asteya (Non-stealing)
  • Brahmacharya (Chastity)
  • Aparigraha (Non-possession)

Discuss the importance of Jain ethics in detail and their application.

Part of the answer must explain the source of ethics in Jainism.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of such ethical guidelines and teachings.

Introduction:

Jainism is a religion in India that offers a distinctive moral vision centered on nonviolence and asceticism. Jains regard their doctrines as eternal truths, but these truths have not always been known to humans and they come to be periodically discovered and taught by historical figures called Tirthankaras.

Body:

Sources and foundation of Jain ethics:

Given that the proper goal for a Jain is release from death and rebirth, and rebirth is caused by the accumulation of karma, all Jain ethics aims at purging karma that has been accumulated, and ceasing to accumulate new karma. Like Buddhists and Hindus, Jains believe that good karma leads to better circumstances in the next life, and bad karma to worse. However, since they conceive karma to be a material substance that draws the soul back into the body, all karma, both good and bad, leads to rebirth in the body. No karma can help a person achieve liberation from rebirth. Karma comes in different kinds, according to the kind of actions and intentions that attract it.

In particular, it comes from four basic sources:

  1. Attachment to worldly things
  2. The passions, such as anger, greed, fear, pride, etc.
  3. Sensual enjoyment
  4. Ignorance, or false belief.

Only the first three have a directly ethical or moral upshot, since ignorance is cured by knowledge, not by moral action.

The moral life, then, is in part the life devoted to breaking attachments to the world, including attachments to sensual enjoyment. Hence, the moral ideal in Jainism is an ascetic ideal.

Jain ethical code prescribes two dharmas or rules of conduct. One for those who wish to become ascetic and another for the śrāvaka (householders). Five fundamental vows are prescribed for both votaries. These vows are observed by śrāvakas (householders) partially and are termed as anuvratas (small vows). Ascetics observe these fives vows more strictly and therefore observe complete abstinence.

The “five vows”:

  • Ahimsa, frequently translated “non-violence,” or “non-harming,”
  • Satya, or truthfulness,
  • Asteya, not taking anything that is not given,
  • Brahmacharyae. chastity,
  • Aparigraha or detachment.

Three Jewels or three gems or three refuges of Jainism include Right Perception (Samyak Darsana), Right knowledge (Samyak Jnana) and Right conduct (Samyak Charitrya). They constitute the core practice of Jainism for both the ascetics and householders.

Conclusion:

Some of the essential features of Jainism are useful for our life even if we are not followers of that religion. The Religious tolerance, mercy upon other animals and humans, Ethical purity, Harmony between self and environment, spiritual contentment are some of them. Further, the three jewels of Jainism are universal values and applicable to each one of us.

 

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. Explain Kant’s views on moral obligation. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon publications.

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of Kantian ethics.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss in detail the Kant’s views on moral obligation.

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 Kant says about morality.

Body:

Kant’s theory is an example of a deontological moral theory–according to these theories, the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our duty. Kant believed that there was a supreme principle of morality, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative.

Give examples to justify his views on moral obligations.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

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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