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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 5 December 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


 

1. Discuss the formation of Oceanic Currents. What is the significance and impact of these currents over local climate? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: World Geography by G C Leong

Introduction:

An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of sea water generated by a number of forces acting upon the water, including wind, the Coriolis effect, breaking waves, cabbeling, and temperature and salinity differences. Depth contours, shoreline configurations, and interactions with other currents influence a current’s direction and strength. Ocean currents are primarily horizontal water movements.

Body:

ocean

Factors leading to origin and modification of ocean currents:

  • There are a variety of factors that affect how ocean currents (water in motion) are created, including a combination of two or more factors.
  • The different types of currents (referred to as surface or thermohaline, depending on their depth) are created by, among other things, wind, water density, the topography of the ocean floor and the Coriolis effect.

Primary Forces Responsible for Ocean Currents:

  • Insolation:
    • Heating by solar energy causes the water to expand. That is why, near the equator the ocean water is about 8 cm higher in level than in the middle latitudes.
    • This causes a very slight gradient and water tends to flow down the slope. The flow is normally from east to west.
  • Wind (atmospheric circulation)
  • Wind blowing on the surface of the ocean pushes the water to move. Friction between the wind and the water surface affects the movement of the water body in its course.
  • Winds are responsible for both magnitude and direction [Coriolis force also affects direction] of the ocean currents. Example: Monsoon winds are responsible for the seasonal reversal of ocean currents in the Indian ocean.
  • The oceanic circulation pattern roughly corresponds to the earth’s atmospheric circulation pattern.
  • The air circulation over the oceans in the middle latitudes is mainly anticyclonic [Sub-tropical High-Pressure Belt] (more pronounced in the southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere due to differences in the extent of landmass). The oceanic circulation pattern also corresponds with the same.
  • At higher latitudes, where the wind flow is mostly cyclonic [Sub-polar Low Pressure Belt], the oceanic circulation follows this pattern.
  • In regions of pronounced monsoonal flow [Northern Indian Ocean], the monsoon winds influence the current movements which change directions according to seasons.
  • Gravity:
  • Gravity tends to pull the water down to pile and create gradient variation.
  • Coriolis force:
  • The Coriolis force intervenes and causes the water to move to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.
  • These large accumulations of water and the flow around them are called Gyres. These produce large circular currents in all the ocean basins. One such circular current is the Sargasso Sea.

Secondary Forces Responsible for Ocean Currents:

  • Temperature difference and salinity difference are the secondary forces.
  • Differences in water density affect vertical mobility of ocean currents (vertical currents).
  • Water with high salinity is denser than water with low salinity and in the same way cold water is denser than warm water.
  • Denser water tends to sink, while relatively lighter water tends to rise.
  • Cold-water ocean currents occur when the cold water at the poles sinks and slowly moves towards the equator.
  • Warm-water currents travel out from the equator along the surface, flowing towards the poles to replace the sinking cold water.

Significance and impact of these currents over local climate:

  • Desert formation
  • Cold ocean currents have a direct effect on desert formation in west coast regions of the tropical and subtropical continents.
  • There is fog and most of the areas are arid due to desiccating effect (loss of moisture).
  • Rains
  • Warm ocean currents bring rain to coastal areas and even interiors. Example: Summer Rainfall in British Type climate.
  • Warm currents flow parallel to the east coasts of the continents in tropical and subtropical latitudes. This results in warm and rainy climates. These areas lie in the western margins of the subtropical anti-cyclones.
  • Moderating effect
  • They are responsible for moderate temperatures at coasts. [North Atlantic Drift brings warmness to England. Canary cold current brings cooling effect to Spain, Portugal etc.]
  • Drizzle
  • Mixing of cold and warm ocean currents create foggy weather where precipitation occurs in the form of drizzle [Newfoundland].
  • Climate
    • Warm and rainy climates in tropical and subtropical latitudes [Florida, Natal etc.],
    • Cold and dry climates on the western margins in the sub-tropics due to desiccating effect,
    • Foggy weather and drizzle in the mixing zones,
    • Moderate clime along the western costs in the sub-tropics.
  • Tropical cyclones
  • They pile up warm waters in tropics and this warm water is the major force behind tropical cyclones.

Ocean currents and regulation of the climate:

  • Ocean currents act much like a conveyer belt, transporting warm water and precipitation from the equator toward the poles and cold water from the poles back to the tropics.
  • Thus, currents regulate global climate, helping to counteract the uneven distribution of solar radiation reaching Earth’s surface.
  • Without currents, regional temperatures would be more extreme super-hot at the equator and frigid toward the poles and much less of Earth’s land would be habitable.
  • Ocean water and currents affect the climate. Because it takes far more energy to change the temperature of water than land or air, water warms up and cools off much more slowly than either.
  • As a result, inland climates are subject to more extreme temperature ranges than coastal climates, which are insulated by nearby water.
  • For instance, water from the tropical Atlantic moves northwards through Atlantic in a Gulf Stream suffusing the Western Europe’s shores thus producing a mild climate.
  • The mild climate raises the temperatures of the region higher than the regions across the Atlantic but on the same latitude. The Gulf Stream explains why Canada’s east coast is locked in ice while England is not especially during winter.
  • The current cooling events being experienced in Western Europe is attributed to the Gulf Stream slowing down as a result of the global warming which has caused the polar ice cap to melt and slowing down the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt.

Conclusion:

An ocean current flows for great distances and together they create the global conveyor belt, which plays a dominant role in determining the climate of many of Earth’s regions. More specifically, ocean currents influence the temperature of the regions through which they travel. Knowledge of surface ocean currents is essential in reducing costs of shipping, since traveling with them reduces fuel costs. Ocean currents can also be used for marine power generation, with areas off of Japan, Florida and Hawaii being considered for test projects.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

2. Indian judicial system is often alleged to be gender insensitive, in this context discuss the Gender deficit in Indian Judicial system. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Introduction:

India is not an isolated case when it comes to a huge gender imbalance in its top court. With just three women judges, compared to 33 men judges, many developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland and international bodies are also grappling with the same issue.

Body:

Why the Indian judicial system is alleged gender insensitive?

  • The Madhya Pradesh High Court had asked a man accused of “outraging the modesty of a woman” to visit the home of the victim and ask her to tie a rakhi.
  • Nine women lawyers had moved the SC against the bail order.
  • Courts are also known to nudge alleged sexual offenders and victims towards “compromise weddings”.
  • In one instance, SC Chief Justice presided over a case in which he had been accused of sexual harassment at workplace.
  • The SC, which has empowered judgments on gender rights failed to institute an impartial mechanism to deal with the allegations.
  • Similar judgments and conduct of court get tangled in patriarchal notions of honor instead of holding up constitutional rights.

Gender deficit in Indian Judicial system:

  • Only 28% of lower judiciary judges in the country are women, a first-of-its-kind study by Delhi-based Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy
  • The report found that in only three of the smallest States — Goa, Meghalaya, and Sikkim — with a collective total of a just 103 judges does the percentage of women judges cross 60%.
  • Barring Telangana and Puducherry, the percentage of women judges remains below 40% for all other States, regardless of geography, cultural considerations or other differences
  • Numerous factors impact the gender composition of the lower judiciary, from the number of women participating in the different steps required to become a judge, to the incentives and work environment provided to women by the judiciary.
  • Where sex ratio increases, there is a moderate increase in the female representation of judges in the lower judiciary. This correlation, however, is only moderate and there are exceptions.
  • Only 10% of advocates are estimated to be women, and when it comes to senior advocates in the Supreme Court, the percentage drops to 2.9%.
  • No reservation for women in the higher judiciary, a number of States have provided quotas for women in the lower judiciary.
    • States like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttarakhand provide for reservation which ranges between 30-35% of the total seats, for which recruitment is done through direct appointment.

gender_imbalance

Importance of Women in Judiciary:

  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 5 and SDG 16 in particular), address the global responsibility of having gender equality and women’s representation in public institutions such as the judiciary.
  • Achieving equality for women judges is important not only because it is a right for women, but also because it is right for the achievement of a more just rule of law.
  • Women judges strengthen the judiciary and help to gain the public’s trust.
  • The entry of women judges is a positive step in the direction of judiciaries being perceived as being more transparent, inclusive, and representative of the people whose lives they affect.
  • Women judges enhance the legitimacy of courts, sending a powerful signal that they are open and accessible to those who seek recourse to justice.
  • Women judges bring those lived experiences to their judicial actions, experiences that tend toward a more comprehensive and empathetic perspective.
  • Adjudication is enhanced by the presence of women who bring to the fore considerations that would not have been taken into account in their absence and the scope of the discussion is hence enlarged, possibly preventing ill-considered or improper decisions.
  • By elucidating how laws and rulings can be based on gender stereotypes, or how they might have a different impact on women and men, a gender perspective enhances the fairness of adjudication, which ultimately benefits both men and women.

Suggestions:

  • Courts should declare that such remarks (MP HC issue) are unacceptable which can potentially cause harm to the victim and to society at large.
  • Judicial orders should conform to certain judicial standards and necessary steps have to be taken to ensure that this does not happen in the future.
  • The SC must direct the collection of data to determine the number of women judges in the lower judiciary and tribunals and also to determine the year-wise number of senior designates by all HCs.
  • Greater representation of women should be ensured at all levels of the judiciary, including the SC and this initiative must come from the SC itself, considering that the power of appointment rests almost exclusively with the SC Collegium.
  • The goal must be to achieve at least 50% representation of women in all leadership positions and there should be a mandatory training of all lawyers on gender sensitization.
  • Judges, who might belong to the “old school” and are maybe “patriarchal” in outlook, should be sensitized to deal with cases of sexual violence so that they do not pass orders objectifying women in such cases.

Conclusion:

  • Not a perception problem – Lack of gender diversity is not just a perception problem.
  • The real impact on proceedings – It is seen to have a real impact on the manner of proceedings and the nature of the final verdict – as is evident in the present instance.
  • Reinforcing trust in judiciary – especially in the judiciary, gender diversity is a virtue in itself- it reassures litigants that diverse opinions are taken into consideration and re-instils their trust in the justice-delivery system.
  • Opportunity for course correction – The present calamity in the judiciary, as unfortunate as it is, also provides an unprecedented opportunity to course correct on several accounts. Here’s hoping the men in power have the wisdom to seize it.

 

3. From the perspective of India and geopolitics of technology, shaping the data diplomacy is the need of the hour. Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times 

Introduction:

Splinternet, the balkanization of the internet, digital sovereignty, and data localization are some of the more popular terms that have come to define the debate on the future of data, and, more broadly, on the future of technology. The argument boils down to the different ways in which governments and transnational organizations (such as EU) choose to access, use, and allow data to flow across borders.

Body:

  • Different Types of Digital Markets
  • Digital authoritarianists: Countries that have closed their data markets to external actors such as China – are commonly referred to as digital authoritarianists.
  • Digital democracies: Those that are guided by judicial standards, the rule of law, and support the freer – but not always free – movement of data have come to be known as digital democracies.
  • Digital Geopolitics and Data Diplomacy:
  • The political, ideological, and economic tensions between, and within, various categories of actors’ shape what might be called the geopolitics of technology
  • This form of geopolitics is as much about competing domestic regulations, the renewed focus on anti-trust laws, and domestic standards on privacy legislations, as it is about international affairs.
  • Greater cooperation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) or blockchain technologies, between entities in different countries, requires mediation and cooperation across borders. This is a matter of data diplomacy.
  • At least 14 countries have appointed negotiators to shape data diplomacy.
  • Designations such as tech ambassador, ambassador of innovations, ambassador for digital affairs, and ambassador for cyber diplomacy are becoming increasingly common.
  • Huge Potential in India
  • Largest Digital Democracy: All data economies want to deal with India as it the largest open data market in the world. Close to 600 million Indians currently use 4G data.
  • Increasing Data Consumption: India also has the highest per capita consumption of data (above 10 GB per month) anywhere in the world.
  • Challenges for India
  • Question of Data Openness:
    • A lot will depend on the kind of digital democracy that India aspires to be.
    • How open or closed will it be to the movement of data across its borders, is the moot question for the fast-growing number of global “tech ambassadors”.
    • To an extent, the question of data openness will be resolved as India’s Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB) becomes a law, potentially in 2021.
  • Clarity on India’s Objectives:
    • India needs to consider what exactly it wants out of the fast-changing geopolitics around technology that goes beyond banning Chinese apps.
    • India’s evolving domestic data architecture should support its international interests, with the clear view to benefit from the same
  • Balancing Act:
    • The aim of India’s Data Policy must be to negotiate its weight in data and find the right balance for India’s future between localization and internationalization.
    • This balancing act has much to do with conceptualizing a centralizing vision, as well as with administrative organization.

Way forward:

  • The post-COVID-19 world is expected to be different.
  • Digital equity will require frameworks relating to governance of technology and data that look beyond geopolitical considerations.
  • We need to distinguish individual data from large global data sets.
  • We cannot extrapolate the current human rights framework to human rights in the digital and biological domain.
  • The current concept of privacy and cross-border flow of information may require significant change.
  • There is a dire need to impose obligations for data flow on countries and tech giants in the larger interest of mankind.
  • We need to establish a baseline of global norms of data governance that go beyond privacy and geopolitical considerations.
  • These norms must focus on mechanisms to leverage data to solve problems and ensure consistency, interoperability, privacy and security.
  • It is the right time for a Parliament select committee to look at the data protection framework.
  • At the same time, we need to identify an international body to evolve global norms on data governance.

Conclusion:

To start with, the government could consider appointing its own coordinator for technology. The aim should not be to add to the bean count of global tech ambassadors, but to appoint at least a minister of state-ranked individual to synthesize India’s pulsating story with the view to effectively shape the geopolitics of technology.

 

4. It is important that there is a constructive dialogue between the Government and the farmer trade unions to assuage the fears of farmers, who are heavily dependent on farm incomes. Comment in the backdrop of recent farm bills. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Introduction:

Indian democracy has been at full play in reaction to the new farm laws. The Bills aim to do away with government interference in agricultural trade by creating trading areas free of middlemen and government taxes outside the structure of Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs). They also aim to remove restrictions on private stock holding of agricultural produce.

Body:

The controversy pertains to:

  • ‘Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020′
  • Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020′ and
  • Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020.

The underlying issue:

  • A set of three laws passed in September aims to deregulate India’s enormous agriculture sector.
  • The government says these laws will “liberate” farmers from the tyranny of middlemen.
  • But many farmers fear that they stand to lose more than they could gain from the new regulations and that the main beneficiaries will be agricultural corporations with gargantuan financial firepower.

clearing

What do India’s new farm laws do?

  • They make it easier for farmers to bypass government-regulated markets (known locally as mandis) and sell produce directly to private buyers.
  • They can now enter into contracts with private companies, a practice known in India as contract farming, and sell across state borders.
  • The new regulations also allow traders to stockpile food. This is a shift away from prohibitions against hoarding, which could make it easier for traders to take advantage of rising prices, such as during a pandemic. Such practices were criminal offences under the old rules.

Why farmers in Punjab and Haryana are protesting:

  • Farmers in Punjab and Haryana are heavily dependent on public procurement and assured price through MSP.
  • Nearly 88% of the paddy production and 70% of the wheat production in Punjab and Haryana (in 2017-18 and 2018-19) has been absorbed through public procurement [Food Grains Bulletin and Agricultural Statistics at a Glance, Government of India].
  • In contrast, in the other major paddy States such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, only 44% of the rice production is procured by public agencies.
  • In the major wheat States of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, only 23% of the production is procured by public agencies.

Concerns of farmers:

  • More than 86 percent of India’s cultivated farmland is controlled by smallholder farmers who own less than two hectares (five acres) of land each.
  • The new rules remove many of their safeguards. Small farmers fear that they just do not have enough bargaining power to get the kinds of prices they need for a decent standard of living when they negotiate to sell their produce to larger companies.
  • The new laws also do not make written contracts mandatory. So in the case of any violation of their terms, it can be very hard for a farmer to prove that he or she has been aggrieved, giving them little recourse.
  • The new rules do not guarantee any minimum price for any product, and farmers worry that the existing MSP will be abolished at some point.

Government needs to continue procurement:

  • If farmers of Punjab and Haryana need the procurement system, the government needs it even more.
  • This is because of its obligations under the PDS and the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
  • Support under the NFSA is a legal and rights-based entitlement.
  • There are nearly 80 crore NFSA beneficiaries and an additional eight crore migrants who need to be supported under the PDS.
  • In the last three years, nearly 40% of the total paddy production in the country and 32% of wheat production has been procured by public agencies to supply the PDS.
  • Thus, the government has little option but to continue its procurement from these States in the foreseeable future.

Constructive dialogue between the Government and the farmer trade unions:

  • There is a gross communication failure on the part of the central government to explain to farmers what these laws are, and how they are intended to benefit them.
  • The apprehension about MSP and procurement going away comes from Acts being linked to some previous policy documents like the Shanta Kumar Committee report and the CACP reports suggesting reduced procurement and an end to open-ended procurement from states like Punjab to cut down costs of FCI.
  • It is feared that FCI itself may start procuring directly from the new trade area to cut down buying costs like market fees and Arhtiya commission.
  • It is more about the changes in the “social contract” between the state’s farmers and the Union government that is the root cause of this apprehension.
  • Therefore, it is imperative that the government reaches out to the farmer groups and assures them of the indispensability of MSP-procurement system.
  • The government needs to start this initiative immediately to allay their legitimate concerns.

Way forward:

  • Apart from addressing the core issue of the MSP-procurement system, many more improvements are needed in the Acts.
  • Two of the major limitations in the laws that need to be addressed immediately:
  • The absence of a regulatory mechanism to ensure fair play by private players vis-à-vis farmers.
  • The lack of transparency in trade area transactions.

Conclusion:

The severe trust deficit that resulted from the way the Farm Bills have been rushed through needs to be addressed by adopting a conciliatory approach towards farmers and the States. Agriculture is a State subject in the Constitution. However, there is a case to argue that the current three farm legislations, have poor legal validity and may weaken federalism. Therefore, any reform pertaining to agriculture and farmer’s income must come up after consultation with the states.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

5. Climate induced Migration is one of the least unspoken impact of anthropogenic climate change. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth

Introduction:

Human migration due to changing climate happens primarily in middle income and agricultural-dependent countries, a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change

Body:

Revelations made in the new study:

  • The research analyzed 30 studies on the subject of migration and climate change from different countries.
  • It found that the strongest relationship between migration and climate-related environmental hazards was found in countries from Latin America, the Caribbean, sub Saharan Africa, west, south and south east Asia.
  • Research has also shown that these populations are also most at risk from climate change disasters such tropical cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons, extreme rainfall and floods.
  • The impacts of climate change that caused migration of people were mainly changes in temperature, rainfall variability and rapid onset events like storms, cyclones and floods.
  • Experts believe that by 2050, more than 200 million people will be forced to flee their homes. They are referred as climate migrants or climate refugees.
  • A second study, World Migration Report 2020, was released by the UN in December 2019.The report establishes the role of natural disasters in migration and says: “Many more people are newly displaced by disasters in any given year, compared with those newly displaced by conflict and violence, and more countries are affected by disaster displacement.”

High level of migration in middle-income regions

  • In both, low- and high-income countries, environmental impacts on migration are weaker – presumably because people are either too poor to leave and therefore essentially become trapped, or in wealthy countries, they have enough financial means to absorb the consequences.
  • It is mainly in middle-income regions and those with a dependency on agriculture that we see strong effects.

Role climate change play in the decision of people to migrate?

  • Climate change is a global environmental and development challenge with significant implications related to security and migratory pressures.
  • The Earth’s climate is changing at a rate that has exceeded most scientific forecasts. Some families and communities have already started to suffer from disasters and the consequences of climate change, forced to leave their homes in search of a new beginning.
  • There are many factors that cause displacement due to climate change and cannot always be separated from the political, social and economic aspects.
  • Increasing occurrence of natural disasters: The increasing occurrence of natural disasters due to changes in climate conditions increases the number of humanitarian emergencies and therefore displacements of affected population.
    • The last two years saw a significant rise in number, intensity and unpredictability of cyclones in the North Indian Ocean region, the most severe among these being-
      • super Cyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal in May 2020
      • extremely severe Cyclone Fani in the Bay of Bengal in May 2019
    • Both these massive storms caused massive destruction of property, livelihoods and lives on the eastern coast of India and in Bangladesh.
    • Consequences of global warming: The impact of global warming and its consequences on living conditions, health and food in a developing area can enhance migration by worsening an already complicated situation.
    • Sea level rise: If sea level rises, many coastal areas and small islands can significantly worsen their conditions of human life until they just become uninhabitable and even disappear.
    • Scarcity of natural resources: Problems arising from the scarcity of natural resources such as water or food can lead to tense situations or armed conflicts, which force the civilian population to leave their place of origin.
    • Decline in agriculture: In countries where individuals are not extremely poor, a decline in agricultural income strengthens the incentives to migrate to cities or abroad. Decreasing agricultural productivity may encourage a mechanism that ultimately leads to economic success of migrants.
    • Climate change alters habitats and disrupts ecosystems. Displacement due to climate change is also common in other species including mammals, birds and amphibians.
    • The consumption pattern of the earth’s resources on a world map reveals that the citizens from the most industrialized countries are consuming more, and the least developed countries have less impact on the planet.
    • The bio-capacity per person on earth is currently 1.7 global hectares, which should be equal to the world’s ecological footprint.

Causes of climate change:

  • Over the past century, a sharp increase has been observed for the global average of combined land and ocean surface temperature, greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations (including CO2, methane and nitrous oxide) and for global anthropogenic CO2 emissions mostly from the burning of fossil fuels, cement and flaring.
  • Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of GHGs are the highest in history.
  • An increase in warm temperature extremes, an increase in extreme high sea levels and an increase in the number of heavy precipitation events are evident in a number of regions
  • Continued emissions of GHGs will cause further warming and it would cause increasing likelihood of severe and irreversible impacts on people and ecosystems.
  • Increasing temperatures are a direct result of human-led global warming an impact of the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). After record GHG levels of 2019, there has been a slight dip this year due to measures taken by many countries to fight the ongoing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic
  • The global mean surface temperature change for the end of the twenty-first century (2081-2100) is projected to likely exceed 1.5°C to 2°C
  • Extreme precipitation events over the wet tropical regions will very likely become more intense and more frequent
  • The global ocean will continue to warm and the sea level will continue to rise at the rate of 8-16 mm/year
  • About 70 per cent of the coastlines worldwide are projected to experience significant increase in sea level rise.

Recent mass migration episodes

  • Over the past 40 years or so, both Europe and the United States have experienced a dramatic rise in immigration.
  • Recent mass migration episodes such as the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015 and the ‘migrant caravan’ from Central America to the United States in 2018 have been partly attributed to severe droughts experienced in these countries.
  • “Climate and weather events have triggered significant population movements and have severely affected vulnerable people on the move, including in the Pacific region and Central America”.

Urbanization boom:

  • Climate change will accelerate an urbanization boom that is already well underway – a trend that is frequently unmanaged and unsustainable.
  • In places like Dhaka, Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, Jakarta, Mexico City, and Cairo, migration and the resulting urban sprawl are skyrocketing.
  • In India, glitzy metropolises like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Kochi are hotspots for in-migration.
  • Some of that migration will be forced by India’s climate-exacerbated cyclones and flooding.
  • Extreme and sudden climate shocks, such as the 2013 flash floods in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, lead to temporary, and often reversible migration.

Global Efforts:

  • In the past decade, there has been a growing political awareness of the issues around environmental migration, and increasing acceptance that this is a global challenge.
  • As a result, many states have signed up to landmark agreements, such as the-
  • Paris Climate Change Agreement
  • Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Global Compact for Migration

Measures to be taken:

  • Human rights-based protection measures: Solutions can range from tweaking migration practices, such as visa regimes, to developing human rights-based protection measures.
  • Coordinated approach: Most importantly, they involve a coordinated approach from national governments, bringing together experts from different walks of life.
  • Comprehensive solution: The intersection of climate change and migration requires new, nimble, and comprehensive solutions to the multidimensional challenges it creates.
  • Effective adaptation measures: For countries in those vulnerable regions of the global south, climate change adaptation must include an overhaul of cities, not only to insulate them from climate impacts but to make them a safer, more humane refuge.
  • Understanding climate-migration nexus: Mass migration and climate change are intertwined problems. Therefore, understanding the climate-migration nexus can become a key to both solving the climate crisis and the migration crisis. If we continue to treat them separately, we are failing to see the bigger picture.

Conclusion:

Today, the narrative of climate refugees is not a simple movement of people from low income countries towards high income countries but a complex process that involves many economic and socio-political factors.  As climate change impacts become more and more common globally, the triggers for human populations to move away from the most affected regions will keep on increasing. Studies like the current one will go a long way in understanding and pin pointing the future hot spots for such migration.

 

6. Comment on the state of organic farming in India. (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth

Introduction:

According to FSSAI, ’Organic farming’ is a system of farm design and management to create an ecosystem of agriculture production without the use of synthetic external inputs such as chemical fertilizers, pesticides and synthetic hormones or genetically modified organisms.

Body:

State of organic farming in India:

  • Only a fraction of area is converted under organic:
  • Sikkim is the only Indian state to have become fully organic so far. A majority of the states have only a small part of their net sown area under organic farming.
  • Even the top three states that account for the largest area under organic cultivation – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra – have only around 4.9, 2.0 and 1.6 per cent of their net sown area under organic farming respectively.
  • A few states such as Meghalaya, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Goa and Sikkim have 10 per cent or more of their net sown area under organic cultivation. All these states, except Goa, are in hilly regions.
  • Union Territories such as Delhi, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Chandigarh also have 10 per cent or more of their net sown area under organic cultivation, but their agricultural area is very small.
  • Almost all other states have less than 10 per cent of their net sown area under organic.

Government Initiatives to Promote Organic Farming:

  • Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD). The scheme aims to develop certified organic production in a value chain mode to link growers with consumers and to support the development of the entire value chain.
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): Under PKVY, Organic farming is promoted through adoption of organic villages by cluster approach and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification.
  • Certification Schemes:
    • Participatory Guarantee System (PGS).
    • National Program for Organic Production (NPOP
    • Soil Health Card Scheme
  • Agri-export Policy 2018
  • One District – One Product (ODOP)
  • PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM FME)
  • Zero Budget Natural Farming

Policy initiatives do not mean greater organic coverage

  • Low organic farming coverage prevails in several states, despite at least 20 of them having a policy or a scheme with regard to organic farming.
  • States like Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh have expressed their desire to become fully organic or natural-farming states.
  • Apart from the states with 100 per cent organic ambition, there are only a select few that have set specific measurable targets.
  • Some states have had a policy for several years but have not been able to cover much area in absolute terms under organic cultivation. For example, Karnataka and Kerala have had an organic policy since 2004 and 2010 respectively, but have only 1.1 and 2.7 per cent of their net sown area organically cultivated.
  • On the other hand, states such as Rajasthan, which formulated their policy recently, have covered a significant area. This also indicates that the conversion to organic area in states may have started much before the actual policy enactment.
  • Currently, only around 12 states – Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Sikkim, Bihar, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh – have their own state organic certification agencies accredited by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
  • Some states have either developed or are still in the process of forming organic brands such as MP Organic, Organic Rajasthan, Nasik Organic, Bastar Naturals, Kerala Naturals, Jaivik Jharkhand, Naga Organic, Organic Arunachal, Organic Manipur, Tripura Organic and Five Rivers by Punjab.

Organic coverage largely under NPOP

  • India introduced the organic farming policy in 2005. The 2.78 million ha was covered under organic farming in India is about two per cent of the 140.1 million ha net sown area in the country.
  • Of this, 1.94 million ha is under National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP); 0.59 million ha under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY); 0.07 million ha under Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Regions (MOVCDNER) and 0.17 million ha under state schemes or non-schemes.
  • This shows that NPOP scheme covers about 70 per cent of the organic area of the country, of which 30 per cent is under conversion.
  • NPOP scheme, which started in 2001, covers about 70 per cent of the organic area of the country of which 30 per cent is under conversion.
  • PKVY and MOVCDNER schemes started in 2015-16 and cover 21.5 per cent and 2.6 per cent of the total organic area in the country.
  • The remaining 6.1 per cent of area under organic cultivation is either under a state scheme or not related to any scheme.
  • During 2015-16 to 2018-19, around 96 per cent of total certified organic food production was under NPOP certification and the remaining four per cent was under Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) of certification.
  • India’s top organic state Madhya Pradesh has about 90 per cent of its organic area under NPOP. The top three states – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan – collectively have over 80 per cent of their organic area under NPOP. Only a few states like Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Telangana and Bihar covered more by PKVY than NPOP.
  • Even though India has very small organic area under cultivation, in terms of number of organic farmers it is being ranked first. India has over 1.9 million farmers as of March 2020, which is 1.3 per cent of 146 million agricultural landholders. In addition, there are farmers who are not certified and hence not counted, especially by-default organic farmers in hilly, tribal and rain-fed regions.

Conclusion:

Natural farming is not a new concept in India, with farmers having tilled their land without the use of chemicals – largely relying on organic residues, cow dung, composts, etc. since time immemorial. This is also in sync with the Sustainable Development Goal 2 targeting ‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’. Hence with greater awareness and capacity building of the producers in compliance with international standards, Indian organic farmers will soon be reinforcing their rightful place in global Agri trade.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

7. Discuss the Public Services Code as recommended by the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Introduction:

The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) had proposed the inclusion of a Public Service Code in the draft Public Service Bill, 2007. The commission had drawn inspiration from the inclusion of such provisions in the constitution of other countries like Australia, Poland, etc.

Body:

It conceptualizes a comprehensive civil service code at three levels.

  • Apex Level: Clear and concise statement of the values and ethical Standards that civil servant should imbibe.
  • Second Level: Broad principles which should govern the behavior of civil Servants should be outlined.
  • Third Level: A specific code of conduct stipulating in a precise and unambiguous manner a list of acceptable and unacceptable behavior and actions.

The key highlights of the Public Services Code include:

  • Allegiance to the various ideals enshrined in the preamble to the Constitution
  • Apolitical functioning
  • Good governance for betterment of the people to be the primary goal of civil service.
  • Duty to act objectively and impartially
  • Accountability and transparency in decision-making
  • Maintenance of highest ethical standards
  • Merit to be the criteria in selection of civil servants consistent, however, with the cultural, ethnic and other diversities of the nation
  • Ensuring economy and avoidance of wastage in expenditure
  • Provision of healthy and congenial work environment
  • Communication, consultation and cooperation in performance of functions i.e., participation of all levels of personnel in management.
  • The commission recognizes the difficulties in enforcement of these values per se. But the commission has highlighted that efforts made by individuals in leadership positions in organization to inculcate these values in within the organization can make a difference.

Conclusion:

The commission believed that the statutory backing through Civil Services bill to the Code of Ethics would guide the civil servants towards behaviors, choices and actions that benefit the community.


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