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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 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


 

Topic : Pressure and Global Pressure belts, Winds, Planetary winds, Seasonal winds, Local winds

1. Discuss how local winds are different from planetary winds. with examples, underline the role of local winds in influencing climate, agriculture and socio-economic conditions of various regions of the world. (250 words)

Reference: World physical geography by G C Leong

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I, portion geography.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain in what way local winds are different from planetary winds with examples, and also underline the role of local winds in influencing climate, agriculture and socio-economic conditions of various regions of the world.

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 simply what are local winds and global winds in general.

Body:

Briefly discuss these two types of winds by highlighting the characteristic difference between them.

Explain the difference between the two. Give examples to demarcate the difference more clearly from across the world.

One must bring out the role of local winds in the climate, agriculture and livelihood in different regions through examples.

Discuss their impact on socio-cultural region, give examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the significance of such winds.

Introduction:

Local winds occur on a small spatial scale, their horizontal dimensions typically several tens to a few hundreds of kilometers. They also tend to be short-lived lasting typically several hours to a day. There are many such winds around the world, some of them cold, some warm, some wet, some dry. There are many hazards associated with the winds.

Planetary winds or Primary Winds are those which blow extensively over continents and oceans. The winds that blow constantly throughout the year and blow constantly in a particular direction. There are types of permanent winds namely Trade winds, Easterlies and Westerlies.

Body:

local_wind

  • Types and Impact of local winds on the weather:
    • Periodical winds: The winds originating from diurnal temperature and pressure variation are known as Periodical and they generally complete their cycle in a day/ 24 hour like Land & Sea Breeze and
    • Mountain & Valley Breeze.
  • Land and Sea Breeze: Land and Sea Breeze is generated by the diurnal variation of pressure. Due to this reason, the Land and Sea Breeze are sometimes known as diurnal Monsoon.
    • Land Breeze:
      • At night reversal of sea breeze may occur but with somewhat weaker characteristics as the temperature and pressure gradient are less steeper during the night.
      • During night land breeze is established since land cools to a temperature lower than the adjacent water setting up a pressure gradient from land to sea
      • The horizontal and vertical extent of the Land Breeze helps in moderation of temperature of a coastal area during night time as it maintains regular circulation
      • Land Breeze usually attains its maximum intensity in the early morning hours and dies out soon after sunup.

land_breeze

    • Sea Breeze:
      • The sea breeze develops along seacoasts or large inland water bodies when the land heats much faster than the water on a clear day and a pressure gradient is directed high over the water to low over the land.
      • Impact of Sea breeze rapidly declines landward and impact is limited to 50km.
      • Land- Sea Breeze system is very shallow as the average depth of the land and sea breeze, varies from 1000-2000M in tropical regions and over the lakes, the depth is even lesser.
      • Sea Breeze brings cool marine air and thus help in moderation of coastal temperature and due to the sea breeze, coastal regions record a drop of 5-10 0C in their temperature
      • It also frequently causes late afternoon rainfall in these coastal areas, particularly during summer.
      • Due to the location nearer to the lakes, places experience the Lake Effect like Chicago, due to its location near a lake presents a typical example of lake effect- where lakeside areas are cooler than the much warmer outlying areas in the summer

sea_breeze

    • Mountain and Valley Breeze: These winds develop over areas with large differences in relief and majorly caused by the temperature gradient that exists between Mountain Slopes and valleys.
    • Valley Breeze:
      • Due to the intense insolation during the daytime, the slopes of the mountain heat up rapidly but the free atmosphere above the lowlands is not heated to some extent.
      • As the valleys receive comparatively lesser insolation so relatively high pressure sets up in the valleys while along the mountain slopes due to more heating the warm air is uplifted, and low pressure sets up.
      • Thus, the air moves from the Valleys towards the slopes (High pressure to the low pressure) and this upslope movement of air is known as valley breeze.
      • Valley breezes are also known as Anabatic Wind.
      • Weather associated with the Valley Breeze
        • This type of upslope winds in the Mountainous region may cause occasional and afternoon thundershowers on warm and humid days.
        • Sometimes, the valley breezes are also accompanied by the formation of cumulus cloud near mountain peaks or over slopes and escarpments.
      • Mountain Breeze:
        • On mountain-sides under the clear night sky, the higher land (upslope land) radiates heat and is cooled and in turn cools the air in contact with it. The cool denser air flows down the mountain slope due to the pressure difference since the valley is warmer and at relatively lower pressure.
        • This flow of the air is termed as Mountain Breeze and they are also known as Katabatic wind.
        • Weather associated with the Mountain Breeze
          • By the morning the mountain breeze produces temperature inversions and valley bottom becomes colder than the Mountain Slopes.
          • Thus, the valley floors are characterized by frost during the night while upper part/ hill-side are free from frost in cold areas.
        • Non-Periodical winds: Only present during a season and are classified as Hot and Cold Winds.
          • Hot Local Winds: Hot Local winds are produced generally by the mechanism of downslope compressional heating also known as adiabatic heating. The examples of the Hot Local Winds include Chinook, Harmattan, Foehn, Sirocco, Norwester, Brickfielder, Khamsin, Santa Ana, Loo etc.
            • Chinook:
              • Chinook is the name of hot and dry local wind, which moves down the eastern slopes of the Rockies in U.S.A. and Canada.
              • The literal meaning of chinook is snow eater as they help in melting the snow earlier.
              • During winter Great Plain of North America are very cold and frozen, Chinook with its arrival increase the temperature and bring relief to the people and at the same time, the rise in temperature due to Chinook also helps in early sowing of spring wheat in the USA.
              • They keep the grasslands clear of snow. Hence, they are very helpful to ranchers.
            • Foehn:
              • Foehn is strong, dusty, dry and warm local wind, which develops on the leeward side of the Alps mountain ranges.
              • Regional pressure gradient forces the air to ascend and cross the barrier.
              • Ascending air sometimes causes precipitation on the windward side of the mountains.
              • After crossing the mountain crest, the Foehn winds start descending on the leeward side or northern slopes of the mountain as warm and dry wind.
              • The temperature of the winds varies from 15°C to 20°C, which help in melting snow.
              • Thus making pasture land ready for animal grazing and help the grapes to ripe early.
            • Harmattan:
              • Harmattan, hot, dry wind that blows from the northeast or east in the western Sahara.
              • It usually carries large amounts of dust, which it transports hundreds of kilometers out over the Atlantic Ocean.
              • The dust often interferes with aircraft operations and settles on the decks of ships.
              • The interaction of the Harmattan with monsoon winds can cause tornadoes.
              • Humidity drops to as low as 15 per cent, which can result in spontaneous nosebleeds for some people.
              • The wind can also increase fire risk and cause severe crop damage
            • Loo:
              • Loo is hot and dry winds, which blow very strongly over the northern plains of India and Pakistan in the months of May and June.
              • Their direction is from west to east and they are usually experienced in the afternoons.
              • Their temperature varies between 45°C to 50°C.
              • They have desiccating effects and are considered as environmental hazards.
              • It causes heat waves and can cause heat stroke.
            • Cold Local Winds: Cold local winds are dust-laden winds and as they have a temperature below freezing point, they create Cold Wave condition. The examples of Cold Local winds include-Mistral, Bora, Northers, Blizzard, Purga, Laventer, Pampero, Bise etc.
              • Mistral:
                • Mistrals are most common local cold winds.
                • They originate on the Alps and move over France towards the Mediterranean Sea through the Rhone valley.
                • They are very cold, dry and high-velocity winds.
                • They bring down temperature below freezing point in areas of their influence.
                • People in these areas protect their orchards and gardens by growing thick hedges and build their houses facing the Mediterranean Sea.
              • Bora:
                • These are cold and dry north-easterly winds which blow from the mountains towards the eastern shore of Adriatic Sea.
                • Bora is more effective in North Italy since here it descends the southern slopes of the Alps, although due to descend it gets adiabatically heated still its temperature is very low in comparison to the coastal area and these are the typical example of fall winds.
                • Bora has often associated with the passage of a temperate Cyclone and at times the Bora winds themselves attain the hurricane force at the foot of the mountain and may cause disastrous impacts on properties.
              • Blizzard:
                • Blizzard is cold, violent, powdery polar winds (pick dry snow from the ground)
                • They are prevalent in the north and south polar regions, Canada, USA, Siberia etc. Due to the absence of any east-west Mountain barrier, these winds reach to the southern states of USA.

blizzard

Conclusion:

Local differences of temperature and pressure produce local winds. Such winds are local in extent and are confined to the lowest levels of the troposphere.

 

Topic : Pressure and Global Pressure belts, Winds, Planetary winds, Seasonal winds, Local winds

2. How climate change influences the pattern of the planetary winds?  Have these winds become stronger across all major latitudes? Or it has led to their uneven pattern? Examine. (250 words)

Reference: World physical geography by G C Leong

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I, portion geography.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way climate change influences the pattern of the planetary winds and analyse if these winds become stronger across all major latitudes? Or it has led to their uneven pattern.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what planetary winds are.

Body:

The answer body must discuss the following aspects in detail –

  • The influence of climate change on the patterns of the planetary winds.
  • Discuss the recent trends with suitable examples across the world.
  • Analyse if these winds have become stronger across all major latitudes or he winds have disturbed their patterns in a specific way.
  • Suggest what needs to be done to overcome the effect of climate change on these wind patterns.

Conclusion:

Give your opinion with suitable substantiation.

Introduction:

Planetary winds or Primary Winds are those which blow extensively over continents and oceans. The winds that blow constantly throughout the year and blow constantly in a particular direction. There are types of permanent winds namely Trade winds, Easterlies and Westerlies.

Body:

  • Primary Winds or Prevailing Winds or Permanent Winds or Planetary Winds
    • These are the planetary winds which blow extensively over continents and oceans.
    • The two most well- understood and significant winds for climate and human activities are trade winds and westerly winds.

  • Trade Winds:
    • The trade winds are those blowing from the sub-tropical high-pressure areas towards the equatorial low-pressure belt.
    • Therefore, these are confined to a region between 30°N and 30°S throughout the earth’s surface.
    • They flow as the north-eastern trades in the northern hemisphere and the south-eastern trades in the southern hemisphere.
    • This deflection in their ideally expected north-south direction is explained on the basis of Coriolis force and Farrell’s law.
    • Trade winds are descending and stable in areas of their origin (sub-tropical high-pressure belt), and as they reach the equator, they become humid and warmer after picking up moisture on their way.
    • The trade winds from two hemispheres meet at the equator, and due to convergence, they rise and cause heavy rainfall.
    • The eastern parts of the trade winds associated with the cool ocean currents are drier and more stable than the western parts of the ocean.
  • Westerlies
    • The westerlies are the winds blowing from the sub-tropical high-pressure belts towards the sub polar low-pressure belts.
    • They blow from south­west to north-east in the northern hemisphere and north-west to south-east in the southern hemisphere.
    • The westerlies of the southern hemisphere are stronger and persistent due to the vast expanse of water, while those of the northern hemisphere are irregular because of uneven relief of vast land-masses.
    • The westerlies are best developed between 40° and 65°S latitudes. These latitudes are often called Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties, and Shrieking Sixties – dreaded terms for sailors.
    • The poleward boundary of the westerlies is highly fluctuating. There are many seasonal and short-term fluctuations. These winds produce wet spells and variability in weather.
  • Polar easterlies
    • The Polar easterlies are dry, cold prevailing winds blowing from north-east to south-west direction in Northern Hemisphere and south-east to north-west in Southern Hemisphere.
    • They blow from the polar high-pressure areas of the sub-polar lows.
  • Climate change influences the pattern of the planetary winds
    • Earth’s orbit around the sun and its rotation on a tilted axis causes some parts of Earth to receive more solar radiation than others. This uneven heating produces global circulation patterns. Offsite link for example, the abundance of energy reaching the equator produces hot humid air that rises high into the atmosphere.
    • A low-pressure area forms at the surface and a region of clouds forms at altitude.
    • The air eventually stops rising and spreads north and south towards the Earth’s poles. About 2000 miles from the equator, the air falls back to Earth’s surface blowing towards the pole and back to the equator.
    • Six of these large convection currents cover the Earth from pole to pole.
  • Winds become stronger across all major latitudes due to climate Change:
    • The incidents of extreme cyclones, typhoons are increasing
    • The speed of the wind is also increasing double times.
    • Most tropical storms, including hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons, develop as trade winds. Differences in air pressure over the ocean cause these storms to develop. As the dense, moist winds of the storm encounter the drier winds of the coast, the storm can increase in intensity.
    • Strong trade winds are associated with a lack of precipitation, while weak trade winds carry rainfall far inland. The most famous rain pattern in the world, the Southeast Asian monsoon, is a seasonal, moisture-laden trade wind.
    • Besides ships and rainfall, trade winds can also carry particles of dust and sand for thousands of kilometers. Particles from Saharan sand and dust storms can blow across islands in the Caribbean Sea and the U.S. state of Florida, more than 8,047 kilometers (5,000 miles) away.
    • Dust storms in the tropics can be devastating for the local community. Valuable topsoil is blown away and visibility can drop to almost zero. Across the ocean, dust makes the sky hazy. These dust storms are often associated with dry, low-pressure areas and a lack of tropical storms.
    • Hurricane Katrina, which blew through the Gulf of Mexico and into the southern U.S. in 2005, is the most expensive hurricane in recorded history.
    • Cyclones blow through the Indian Ocean in the same way hurricanes blow across the Atlantic. Cyclones blow in with air masses from the east, often the South China Sea, or the south. Ex: Cyclone Amphan
    • Many daily weather patterns depend on wind. A coastal region, for instance, undergoes changes in wind direction daily
    • Wind affects the climate of a mountainous area differently. Rain shadows are created as wind interacts with a mountain range.
    • Winds also help drive ocean surface currents around the world. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current transports cold, nutrient-rich water around Antarctica. The Gulf Stream brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico up the East Coast of North America and across the Atlantic to Northern Europe. Due to the Gulf Stream, Northern Europe enjoys a much warmer, milder climate than other areas at similar latitudes, such as the U.S. state of Alaska.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. “India’s family planning programme has been voluntary and non-coercive, a tribute to the State’s commitment to personal liberty and democracy.” In this context analyse the success of India’s family planning programme so far and suggest way forward. (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times

Why the question:

The article explains how India’s family planning programme has been voluntary and non-coercive, a tribute to the State’s commitment to personal liberty and democracy. And this has largely been successful.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the positives of India’s family planning program and evaluate its success and suggest way forward.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Set the context of the question by briefly discussing the evolution of family planning program in the country.

Body:

Explain that India’s family planning programme has been voluntary and non-coercive, a tribute to the State’s commitment to personal liberty and democracy. And this has largely been successful.

India’s population trajectory has been encouraging— according to the National Family Health Survey (2015-2016), the total fertility rate for urban India was 1.8, for rural India 2.4, for women with no schooling 3.4 and 1.7 for women with 12 years or more education. The required fertility rate is 1.8 for India and it stands at 2.2 at present, just above the replacement fertility level of 2.1 which is the mark of population stabilization.

Provide for a comparison with other countries and explain how successful has Indian policy in this direction has been.

Suggest the current trends in the policy and explain what more needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

World Population Prospects 2019 has been released by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The key message from the UN’s World Population Prospects 2019 report is that national leaders must redouble their efforts to raise education, health and living standards for people everywhere.

Body:

Population explosion is the sudden increase in the numbers of individuals in a community. Lately we have been facing population explosion in many countries of the world. In the past 200-300 years, the world’s population has increased tremendously. It is predicted that human population will increase by 1 billion in the next decade. Population explosion results mainly due to difference between birth rates and death rates.

  • Key findings for India:
    • India will overtake China as the most populous country by around 2027.
    • India is also expected to add 273 million people by 2050 and will remain the most populated until the end of the century.
    • India leads the set of nine countries that will make up for more than half the projected growth of the global population by 2050.
    • Top five: India is expected to remain the world’s most populous country with nearly 1.5 billion inhabitants, followed by China at 1.1 billion, Nigeria with 733 million, the United States with 434 million, and Pakistan with an estimated population of 403 million.

  • Measures taken in India to curb Population Explosion:
    • Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-1979): In the fifth five-year plan, ‘maternal and child health and nutrition services’ were included as a part of the population control program.
    • National Population Policy 1976 and 1977: In 1976, the government of India came up with its first National Population policy. The policy came up with a number of measures to arrest the population growth. Some of the measures are:
    • Increasing the minimum legal age of marriage for girls and boys to 18 and 21 respectively.
    • Monetary incentives for birth control.
    • Improving the literacy levels of females both through the formal and non-formal channels.
    • Popularize family welfare programmes by using all forms of media.
    • Inculcating population education into the formal education system
    • National Population Policy, 2000 (NPP-2000): In February 2000, the government of India came up with the second National Policy on Population. For the first time since independence, this document comprehensively addressed the problem of population growth in integration with issues such as child survival, maternal health, women empowerment and contraception. The immediate objective of the policy is to offer service delivery in integrated approach to improve reproductive health and child care. The mid-term objective of the policy was to maintain a total fertility rate (TFR) as 2.1 children per women as it was considered as the replacement level. The long-term objective of the policy is to achieve population stabilization by the year 2045.
  • Success of India’s family planning Programme:
    • Fertility decline:
      • Regardless of whether we subscribe to the UN’s projections, or the IHME projections, India’s demographic future contains a peaking and subsequently declining population driven by a sharp reduction in fertility.
      • In the 1950s, India’s Total fertility rate (TFR) was nearly six children per woman; today it is 2.2.
      • Ironically, the massive push for family planning coupled with forced sterilization during the Emergency barely led to a 17% decline in TFR from 5.9 in 1960 to 4.9 in 1980. However, between 1992 and 2015, it had fallen by 35% from 3.4 to 2.2.
    • What happened to accelerate fertility decline to a level where 18 States and Union Territories have a TFR below 2, the replacement level?
      • One might attribute it to the success of the family planning Programme but family planning has long lost its primacy in the Indian policy discourse.
      • Between 1975 and 1994, family planning workers had targets they were expected to meet regarding sterilizations, condom distribution and intrauterine device (IUD) insertion.
      • Often these targets led to explicit or implicit coercion. Following the Cairo conference on Population and Development in 1994, these targets were abandoned.
      • If carrots have been dropped, the stick of policies designed to punish people with large families has been largely ineffective.
      • Punitive policies include denial of maternity leave for third and subsequent births, limiting benefits of maternity schemes and ineligibility to contest in local body elections for individuals with large families.
    • Aspirational revolution: socio-economic transformation of India:
      • If public policies to encourage the small family norm or to provide contraception have been apathetic, what led couples to abandon the ideal of large families?
      • It seems highly probable that the socioeconomic transformation of India since the 1990s has played an important role.
      • Over this period, agriculture became an increasingly smaller part of the Indian economy, school and college enrolment grew sharply and individuals lucky enough to find a job in government, multinationals or software services companies reaped tremendous financial benefits.
      • Parents began to rethink their family-building strategies. Where farmers used to see more workers when they saw their children, the new aspirational parents see enrolment in coaching classes as a ticket to success.
      • The literature on fertility decline in western countries attributes the decline in fertility to retreat from the family; Indian parents seem to demonstrate increased rather than decreased commitment to family by reducing the number of children and investing more in each child.
      • However, smaller families invest more money in their children by sending them to private schools and coaching classes. It is not aspirations for self but that for children that seems to drive fertility decline.
      • Ironically, even in the face of this sharp fertility decline among all segments of Indian society, the public discourse is still rooted in the language of the 1970s and on supposedly high fertility rate, particularly in some areas such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar or among some groups such as women with low levels of education or Muslims.
      • This periodically results in politicians proposing remedies that would force these ostensibly ignorant or uncaring parents to have fewer children.
    • Challenges posed by Population Explosion:
      • TFR varies significantly across the socio-economic groups, it is concentrated among economically weaker section of the society which has implications on our SDGs, poverty, hunger, malnutrition, health, education etc.
      • Jobs are not created at the rate it should be and growth is uneven.
      • We have short window of opportunity; it is important to nurture and exploit this population growth to the best economic advantages is a challenge.
      • Challenge is how we raise India’s economic status from being low middle country to at least high middle income.
      • Share of older people is rising rapidly, growth for older people is 70% from now to 2050 but total population is growing only by 56%.
      • The aspiration of the women and families have changed with time, they now want fewer children but lack access to family planning. This is evident from one report which says that there is 13% unwanted fertility in India.
      • Real challenge is quality of life, 21% of 60 plus population is suffering from chronic morbidities.
      • Unequal rate of population growth among states.
    • Way Forward:
      • It is very necessary to create growth momentum, investment should be adequately made in key infrastructure areas, social infrastructure and that to particularly education, water, and health.
      • Family planning is a preventive measure in bringing down maternal and child mortality rate.
      • China and Japan have controlled their population by various measures, the same can be adopted by us according to our suitability like One Child Policy
      • Proper healthcare facilities to women, education to girl child.
      • It is imperative that policy-makers deal with the situation on multiple fronts.
      • Universal education, value-added skills accretion and massive growth in employment in the formal sectors should be the key focus areas.
      • Making agriculture remunerative and keeping food prices stable are crucial to ensure nutrition for all.

Conclusion:

India is set to become the most populous nation. Analysts believe that India’s growing population can be a double-edged sword and the country needs to put in place the right policies to maximize the potential of its people by enhancing the state of education, health and infrastructure, so that India figures at better in various human development rankings.

 

Topic : GS-1: Social empowerment, Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

GS-2: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

4. Examine the interlinkages of poverty and child marriages in India and also throw light upon the progress made towards ending child, early and forced marriages in the country. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article brings to us the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have proved to be new drivers of child marriages in rural Madhya Pradesh with several reports of such ceremonies from different parts of the State during the ongoing marriage season.

Key Demand of the question:

One must examine the interlinkages of poverty and child marriages in India and also throw light upon the progress made towards ending child, early and forced marriages in the country.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Present historical picture of child marriages in the country briefly.

Body:

Discuss how does poverty affect child marriage? – Poverty is one of the main drivers of child marriage, Child brides are more likely to be poor and to remain poor. Where poverty is acute, giving a daughter in marriage allows parents to reduce their expenses: one less person to feed, clothe and educate.

In communities where economic transactions are integral to the marriage process, a dowry or “bride price” is often welcome income for poor families. Families sometimes marry their daughters at a younger age to avoid more expensive dowries which the marriage of older girls often demands.

In the second half of the answer throw light upon the progress made towards ending child, early and forced marriages in the country – discuss the policies of the government in this direction from past to present.

Conclusion:

Conclude by drastic changes in this direction brought by recent policies such as Beti Bachao,Beti Padhao and suggest way forward.

Introduction:

Child marriage usually refers to a social phenomenon practiced in some societies in India, where a young child (usually a girl below the age of fifteen) is married to an adult man. A second form of practice of child marriage is that in which the parents of the two children (the girl and boy) arrange a future marriage. In this practice, the individuals (the boy and girl) do not meet one another until they reach the marriageable age, when the wedding ceremony is performed.

Body:

  • Interlinkages of poverty and child marriages in India:
    • Madhya Pradesh recorded 46 child marriages between November 2019 and March 2020, a figure that that jumped to 117 in just three months of the lockdown from April to June 2020, data provided by ChildLine India
    • According to ChildLine India, across India 5,214 child marriages were reported in the first four months of lockdown between March to June.
    • UNICEF has said that in Madhya Pradesh where child marriages are a constant challenge, economic pressures due to the pandemic has pushed poor parents to marry off girls early.
  • Facts and figures about the prevalence of Child marriage in India:
    • Child marriage is widespread across India, with nearly half of brides married as girls. While there has been a decline in the incidence of child marriage nationally (from 54 per cent in 1992-93 to 33 per cent today) and in nearly all states, the pace of change remains slow, especially for girls in the age group 15-18 years.
    • Child marriage is more prevalent in rural areas (48 per cent) than in urban areas (29 per cent). There are also variations across different groups, particularly excluded communities, castes and tribes – although some ethnic groups, such as tribal groups, have lower rates of child marriage compared with the majority population.
    • Drop out of school, have a low-paid job and limited decision-making power at home. A girl with 10 years of education has a six times lower chance of being pushed into marriage before she is 18.
    • 40% of the world’s 60 million child marriages take place in India according to the National Family Health Survey. India has the 14th highest rate of child marriage in the world, according to the International Center for Research on Women.

  • Why the practice of child marriage still exists in India?
    • Social groups follow traditions from previous eras without questioning contemporary relevance. Early marriage allows parents to waiver ‘responsibility’ of settling their children.
    • Economically weak and large families encourage the practice as it helps send-off girl children early, while marriage of a boy brings an additional hand to assist in household and economic activities.
    • Members of communities practicing child marriage tend to have little to no formal education. Belief in religious scriptures and the idea that these contain prescription for early marriage drive families to fulfill this “obligation.”
    • Early marriage ensures full “utilization” of fertility and childbearing capacity.
    • Strong caste ties limit the availability of suitable marital partners. As soon as parents identify a match, they make haste in conducting the marriage.
    • Limited education opportunities, low quality of education, inadequate infrastructure, lack of transport and therefore concerns about girls’ safety while travelling to school significantly contribute to keeping girls out of school and therefore tend to favor child marriage.
    • Girls are often seen as a liability with limited economic role. Women’s work is confined to the household and is not valued. In addition, there is the problem of dowry. Despite the fact that dowry has been prohibited for five decades (Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961), it is still common for parents of girls in India to give gifts to the groom and /or his family either in cash or kind. The dowry amount increases with the age and the education level of the girl. Hence, the “incentive” of the system of dowry perpetuates child marriage.
    • The families and girls who might benefit from social protection programmes are not always aware of them and these schemes are often limited to providing cash transfers without the accompanying messages to address the multi-dimensional nature of child marriage.
  • Measures to prevent child marriages:
    • Education is one of the most effective strategies to protect children against marriage. When girls are able to stay in school an attitudinal change can also occur towards their opportunities within the community.
    • Gender sensitization programs: Gender training programs should be spread throughout the district for police and NGOs. Primary and secondary education for girls should be promoted.
    • Government of India along with organizations like UNICEF and NGOs should make the efforts for the implementation of the convergent national strategy, which includes:
    • Law enforcement: Capacity-building on laws, support mechanisms such as a child marriage telephone hotline, ‘Odisha Child Marriage Resistance Forum’.
    • Girls’ empowerment: Imparting Life skills, protection skills, higher education and employment opportunities etc.
    • Community mobilization: Working with influential leaders, oaths and pledges, counselling, folk and traditional media. Government’s partnerships with civil society organizations and communities are key to supporting community mobilization efforts and mindset changes and partnerships with the media are very important for raising awareness of child marriage.
    • Promoting convergence of sectors at all levels, in particular with education and social protection schemes and programmes.
    • Government of India has already enacted laws like Child marriage prohibition act 2006 and started many initiatives like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samridthi Yojana etc. to incentivize the people to give equal treatment to their daughters as their sons.
    • The Government of India is also implementing national programmes aimed at protecting and promoting the development of children, while states are supporting these initiatives through state-level schemes. However, many of the programmes focus on addressing financial vulnerability through cash transfer schemes to keep girls in school. The governments’ efforts should go beyond the financial solution and should also focus on changing mindset, creating awareness etc.
    • Conditional Cash Transfer schemes addresses issues more towards the  individual  rather than  the  household, which  is  the  focus  of  the government.
    • Certain national schemes, is, related to maternity benefits and the survival and education of the girl child which addresses the problem of child marriage directly or indirectly. E.g.: Dhanalakshmi, Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent girls (SABLA) etc.
    • CCTs have benefits of legal protection of the marriage as well as ensuring education of girls.

Conclusion:

Government of India has the biggest responsibility towards ensuring better childhood of every child. Every child irrespective of socio-economic status is entitled to the quality education, health facilities and freedom and space to enjoy childhood.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

5. How far can India achieve its agenda to create $1 trillion in economic value from the digital economy by 2025? Discuss in the light of emerging contours of tech policy of India. (250 words)

Reference: Hindustan Times

Why the question:

The editorial analysis brings to us the emerging contours of tech policy in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

One must explain in detail how far India can achieve its agenda to create $1 trillion in economic value from the digital economy by 2025.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with some key facts suggesting the context of the question such as – India has the highest per user data usage in the world. The online space has flourished — innumerable applications compete for user attention. The internet economy in India is quite open and minimally regulated. This is now beginning to change because of three emerging motivations.

Body:

Start by explaining how India is beginning to systematically assert its sovereign power to regulate internet-based activities. New regimes for regulation of personal data, e-commerce, content of video streaming services, and related spheres are in the offing.

Discuss first the emerging contours of tech policy of India. Explain in what way the government is increasingly using technology policy as an instrument of foreign policy and national security.

Then talk about the nuances of creating $1 trillion economic value from the digital economy by 2025.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

India can create up to $1 trillion of the economic value by digital economy by 2025 with half of the opportunities originating in new digital ecosystems that can spring up in diverse sectors of the economy. India could potentially see a five-fold increase in economic value from digital transformation by 2025. This will represent an attractive opportunity for global and local businesses, start-ups, and innovators to invest in emerging technologies like AI, Blockchain or drones in ways that are customized to Indian needs.

Body:

  • India’s Digital Economy
    • India’s digital economy will touch $1 trillion by the year 2022. India would be $10 trillion economy by 2030 and half of it would be the digital economy.
    • Fintech sector – the Fintech sector in a recent couple of years has seen a huge jump in growth. Digital currency and online payments platforms have played a major role in financial inclusion.
    • Public Services Sector – steady and efficient digital transformation across areas like e-governance and this has also considerably brought down leakages and corruption. In recent years India performed well in transparency index.
    • Health care sector – it is catching up to meet the demands of its tech-savvy population. Demand is shifting now to quality and affordable healthcare, much of it being fulfilled by a public-private partnership.
    • Digital healthcare startups are playing a major role in addressing areas like preventive healthcare, analytics, emergency services and engage with super-aggregation platforms like Facebook and Google.
    • Enterprise and Deep Technology sector – startups in this sector have made their presence felt globally with their success. The IT services in the country are set to reach USD 13.2 billion by the end of this year.
    • E-commerce and Consumer internet sector – India’s e-commerce market is set to grow three times to surpass USD 100 billion by 2022.
    • Travel and Hospitality sector – this sector has enjoyed rapid online growth since the beginning of this century. The growth is also attributed to the increase in disposable income, especially, among the millennials, who are changing decades of traditional travel trends.
  • Emerging contours of tech policy of India:
    • India has the highest per user data usage in the world.
    • The online space has flourished – innumerable applications compete for user attention.
    • The internet economy in India is quite open and minimally regulated.
    • This is now beginning to change because of three emerging motivations.
      • India is beginning to systematically assert its sovereign power to regulate internet-based activities. New regimes for regulation of personal data, e-commerce, content of video streaming services, and related spheres are in the offing.
      • The government is increasingly using technology policy as an instrument of foreign policy and national security. From denying market access to inflict costs upon adversaries (for instance, the ban on certain Chinese apps), to using State power to access personal data for law enforcement, to localization for data security, a variety of new interventions are emerging.
      • The government is keen to ensure that the digital economy adds more value in India. In a report titled India’s Trillion Dollar Digital Opportunity, the government has outlined an agenda to create $1 trillion in economic value from the digital economy by 2025. The government is increasingly insisting that foreign-based internet firms undertake more activities in India – from storing data to creating jobs – and pay more taxes. It seems that this objective is also getting conflated with the promotion of “national champions” – domestic firms that take market share away from foreign firms.
    • These motivations are leading to a shift away from laissez-faire in India’s internet economy. However, the measures that are flowing from these motivations come with certain risks.
      • Since both producers and users gain when services are used, denial of market access inflicts costs on users as well.
      • The internet economy runs on imaginative innovation – it is mostly about inspiration, as perspiration can be automated.
      • It was technologically straightforward to create Facebook or TikTok, but it took imagination that is difficult to properly replicate.
      • Access to global innovations can be beneficial for India.
      • It is difficult to understand the costs of government intervention in the internet economy.
      • For products such as automobiles, one can compare the price of comparable products in India and in the world market to estimate the cost of government intervention.
      • In the internet economy, price is usually not a useful metric. What matters is utility of the service, and it is difficult to measure the effect of government intervention on it.
      • The problems that generally plague government efforts to promote specific sectors are accentuated in the internet economy.
      • In the fast-changing internet economy, it is difficult to choose which segments to promote.
      • It is also difficult to select the most efficient policy instruments, because comparing alternatives is hard.
      • Given the relative lack of capacity of the Indian State, such subtle decisions are likely to go wrong.
      • Further, as firms become influential, they can capture the policy process to gain undue benefits.
      • The framing in terms of domestic vs foreign firms can take attention away from the binding constraints to the growth of the digital economy in India.
      • There is a tension between helping domestic firms capture more share of India’s market, and helping these firms become global leaders.
      • If Indian firms capture domestic markets due to favorable treatment from the government, they may become less efficient and innovative, and, as a result, the digital economy may grow at a slower pace, albeit with a larger share for domestic firms.
      • The government should, therefore, exercise power over the internet economy with extreme caution.
    • Way forward:
      • Precisely-tailored interventions should be chosen over blunt instruments such as bans.
      • We should avoid placing barriers on collaboration and investment. Measures such as barring investments and partnerships from certain countries could backfire, as skilled people may move abroad to access this investment and collaboration.
      • For development of the digital economy, the government should focus on finding efficient ways of addressing basic problems (“market failures” – monopoly abuse, externalities, public goods).
      • For instance, it is reasonable for the government to regulate firms with large collections of non-personal data to bring some of this data to a marketplace.
      • Since such data is excludable but substantially non-rivalrous, this move can be beneficial.
      • However, if the government goes too far – by forcing data-sharing for free or at a low price or too soon – it would destroy the incentive to collect and store such data.
      • It is better to solve known problems than to take a compliance-heavy, preventive approach.
      • Compliance costs impose entry barriers and create a bias for scale.
      • The proposed data protection law takes an excessively compliance – heavy approach.
      • When the government is taking measures to promote specific segments or firms, it must use objective metrics of success to discipline the firms.
      • The real tests are market-based.
      • If Indian firms compete and gain market share outside India, it would be a sign of success.

Conclusion:

Indians have access to a thriving online environment. From the flourishing of start-ups to the bursting forth of artistic talents, the online space is unleashing boundless potential. To the extent possible, we should preserve the openness of the internet.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Work culture

6. Identify the traits of a healthy work culture for bureaucracy in a modern society; also suggest ways to inculcate the same to ensure achievement of Good governance. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is premised on the concept of work culture and its importance in bureaucracy in a modern society.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the traits of a healthy work culture for bureaucracy in a modern society; also suggest ways to inculcate the same to ensure achievement of Good governance.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

First define what you understand by work culture in general.

Body:

In the answer body first discuss common characteristics of organizational culture or a healthy work culture.

Discuss what are the characteristics of a good work culture? Explain how they apply differently to the bureaucracy of the modern society.

Give examples and suggest ways to inculcate the same to ensure achievement of Good governance.

Conclusion:

Conclude that work culture plays an important role in extracting the best out of employees and making them stick to the organization for a longer duration. The organization must offer a positive ambience to the employees for them to concentrate on their work rather than interfering in each other’s work.

Introduction:

Workplace culture is the environment that you create for your employees. It plays a powerful role in determining their work satisfaction, relationships and progression.  A bureaucratic culture is a hierarchical and formal organization that has several levels where tasks, authority and responsibilities are delegated between departments, offices or people. This structure is held together by a central or main administration, and it has led to the development of modern civilization. A strict command and control structure is present at all times. Bureaucracies are meant to be orderly, fair and highly efficient.

Body:

  • Traits of a healthy work culture for bureaucracy in a modern society:
    • Good Communication: one of the most important things for a healthy workplace culture.
    • Opportunities for Growth: clear expectations for advancement and the tools and training needed for success
    • Culture of Collaboration: boosts both performance and morale
    • Reward Systems: Recognizing good work
    • Strong Purpose and Core Values: Building a purpose-driven culture
    • Transparent, Accountable and Responsible Leadership
  • Importance of Work culture:
    • Attracts and keeps talented staff: When you spend more time per week at work than at home, it’s natural to want to work in an environment you enjoy spending time in. This means that if you want the best staff for your team, you’ll have to invest in creating a strong workplace culture. In a study from the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2015, ‘culture and engagement’ was the highest priority on the corporate agenda and companies with the strongest cultures were much more able to attract and keep talent.
    • Drives engagement and retention: You can successfully recruit employees but it becomes a cost to your business if they leave. A good workplace culture is proven to keep your employees engaged in their work. It’ll allow your employees to better understand what is expected of them and how they can achieve their professional goals. This will then allow you to keep them onboard for longer.
    • Creates an environment for healthy development: A good workplace culture provides everyone with the opportunity to initiate change and to grow on a professional and personal aspect. It also promotes openness and encourages your employees to voice their opinions and chase after the values they believe in.
    • Creates satisfied employees and increases productivity: A healthy workplace culture will make your employees feel happy to come to work day-in and day-out. A happy work environment increases your employees’ concentration; thus, this leads to increases in their productivity levels.
    • Drives financial performance: 92% of leaders from successful companies believe that workplace culture and financial performance are closely interrelated. Workplace culture directly influences the way your employees perform, which subsequently has a direct impact on your business’ financial profit.
  • The key issues and problems faced under a bureaucratic work culture are:
    • Structure of administration:
      • Structure of administration that is created through the relative powers of these three streams of authority promotes fragmentation, centralization, and non-responsiveness to local needs.
      • Bureaucracies are predictable and accountable, but these traits also make them change-resistant.
      • Bureaucratic environments are big on policies and procedures, and unfortunately, sometimes employees and even leaders forget to think for themselves.
    • Lack of Transparency:
      • The lack of percolation of much of the information about organization’s decisions.
      • Even personnel in supervisory roles are probably blindsided by unexpected announcements, new initiatives, and policy changes.
    • Coordinated action is very difficult:
      • Departments have offices at different geographic units, and there is no accepted coordinator at all. This further reduces the capacity of coordinated action and responsiveness to local needs.
    • Lack of proper role and capacity building:
      • Role of local governments tends to be unclear, resulting in conflict between political representatives and officials, which leads to further disempowerment.
      • The Indian bureaucracy is structured so that the least skilled and lowest paid personnel actually implement government programmes.
      • Success is unlikely if the person undertaking this task has poor understanding and skills.
    • Shortage of personnel:
      • At the field level, there is an acute shortage of personnel. The availability of technical personnel is very patchy.
    • Focus on output and not on outcomes:
      • Rigid departmental programmes frame all activities and officials define their roles in terms of implementing programmes rather than goals such as reducing malnutrition.
    • Failure of technology:
      • Technology has also added to centralization by strengthening links between the State departments and the field offices, rather than links between the field officials and the community.
      • Endless Paperwork and Red Tapism adds to failure of technology.
      • The basic flaws of excessive centralization and authoritarianism have only been strengthened.
      • These problems are exacerbated by widespread corruption, which further reduces professionalism.
    • Way forward:
      • Measures to enhance accountability to the community, such as the Right to Information Act, social audits, and public service guarantee acts in various States is necessary.
      • Need for a fresh perspective from the outside–for example, bringing in a consultant who specializes in type of change with your type of organization–to encourage people to see that workable alternatives are possible.
      • Top-Down approach: The bosses at the top should lead by example. Changes will automatically trickle down to the lowest level.
      • An effective multi-generational team will work within an environment that doesn’t intimidate and allows for ownership of the vision at all levels.
      • The process of change within a bureaucracy to be slower than you might like. Create a phased implementation that the organization can digest change a little at a time.
      • The changes will encounter some resistance, and it needs to be combated gradually through constant and clear communication at all levels.
      • Make technology employee-friendly, increase their ease of use and educate employees about the advantages and benefits of how technology eases work.
      • Transparent and objective performance assessment system to keep the staff motivated.
      • Accountability towards decision making to be instilled in the organization.
      • Social audits need to be strengthened by educating and make people aware.
      • During policy formation and implementation, civil society members should be consulted so that the measures should be taken properly.

Conclusion:

Work culture is an intangible ecosystem that makes some places great to work and other places toxic. This is why work culture is so important in bringing out the best from your employees even in adverse circumstances. Negativity not only kills creativity and will to perform but also does not allow an employee to develop a sense of affection and ownership with the organization. Human beings are fundamentally simple and a positive work environment impacts the way they think, act and reflect.

 

Topic : Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7. Examine the relevance of the following in the context of civil service: (250 words)

(a) Transparency

(b) Accountability

(c) Fairness and justice

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is direct and straightforward and aims to examine the relevance of the listed virtues in the context of civil services.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the relevance of Transparency, accountability and fairness and justice in the context of civil services.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining each of the listed virtues in the introduction.

Body:

One has to remember the question is not about how to inculcate these above listed values in one’s life and is rather asking the importance of these values in the context of civil services.

Describe each value in detail, its definition and relevance of it in administration in general. Give examples to justify their importance.

Conclusion:

One can conclude by talking about other similar values that are essential for efficient and effective civil services.

Introduction:

A civil servant is an important link between the government and the common people. Hence certain qualities have strong significance for a civil servant.

Body:

  • Transparency
    • All decisions are taken in a fair manner following all the rules.
    • Administration should not only be fair but must also appear to be fair.
    • Rules and regulations should be simple and easily understood by all.
    • It is essential for controlling corruption in public life, to uphold accountability and deliver information to stakeholders about the activities, procedures and policies of the Government.
    • It also allows stakeholders to collect information that may be critical to uncovering abuses and defending their interests.
    • Ex: Freedom of information.
  • Accountability
    • Decisions are not made in a random fashion but must have some reason behind them.
    • A civil servant must be able to justify all the decisions he takes.
    • This will put adequate limits and controls on discretionary powers.
    • Ethical conduct and prevents corruption.
    • It is the fundamental requirement for preventing the abuse of power and for ensuring that power is directed towards the achievement of efficiency, effectiveness, responsiveness and transparency in civil services.
    • It is needed to prevent covert unethical behavior which would affect public service and due entitlements of stakeholders.
    • Ex: “A is accountable to B when A is obliged to inform B about A’s (past or future) actions and decisions, to justify them, and to suffer punishment in the case of eventual misconduct”.
  • Fairness and Justice
    • It means giving each person what he or she deserves while fairness is associated with an ability to judge without reference to one’s feelings or interests.
    • The principles of justice and fairness can be thought of as rules of “fair play” for issues of social justice.
    • These principles of justice and fairness are needed in civil service to ensure that the common man receives his due without biasness, inefficiencies or greed of the civil servant affecting his entitlements.
    • Decisions should be made on the merit.
    • People get their fair due.
    • No discrimination of any sort should happen.
    • Ex: Principles of distributive justice

Conclusion:

The civil servants have to abide by a common set of values which can cater to larger interests of society at large and to achieve social, political and economic justice.


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