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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 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:  Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. Himalayas are not only the physical barrier, they are also a climatic, drainage and cultural divide. Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: Class-XI NCERT: India Physical Environment.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To bring out the impact of Himalayan Mountain Range on Climate of India, its effect on drainage system and pattern of Himalayan Rivers and the cultural divide across it.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Bring out how Himalayas serve as the physical barrier of India along with specifics of the Himalayan mountain ranges.

Body:

In the first part of the body, holistically address how Himalayas bear an impact of Indian climate with respect to Monsoon and protect India from cold storms.

In the next part, bring out the impact Himalayan Mountains on the drainage system and its importance to India.

In the final part, assess the cultural divide brought about by the Himalayas.

Conclusion:

Complete the answer by stressing on the overall role that Himalayas play in the geographical context of India.

Introduction:

The Himalayan range is a transnational mountain chain and is the chief driver of the Asian climate. The Himalayas are the highest and the youngest fold mountain ranges of the world. Their geological structure is young, weak and flexible since the Himalayan uplift is an ongoing process, making them one of the highest earthquake-prone regions of the world. Himalaya stretching from J&K to the North -East of India has always been a physical, climatic, drainage and a cultural divide.

The Himalayan ranges can be grouped into four parallel longitudinal mountain belts of varying width, each having distinct physiographic features and its own geologic history. They are designated, from south to north, as the Outer, or Sub-, Himalayas (also called the Siwalik Range); the Lesser, or Lower, Himalayas; the Great Himalaya Range (Great Himalayas); and the Tethys, or Tibetan, Himalayas. Farther north lies the Trans-Himalayas in Tibet proper. From west to east the Himalayas are divided broadly into three mountainous regions: western, central, and eastern.

Body:

Himalayas: A physical barrier:

  • Divides India from central Asia and thereby protected India from their direct attack through this route.
  • Isolates Indian Sub-continent from the rest of Asia.

Himalayas: A climatic divide:

  • The Himalayas, as a great climatic divide affecting large systems of air and water circulation, help determine meteorological conditions in the Indian subcontinent to the south and in the Central Asian highlands to the north.
  • By virtue of its location and stupendous height, the Great Himalaya Range obstructs the passage of cold continental air from the north into India in winter.
  • It also forces the southwesterly monsoon (rain-bearing) winds to give up most of their moisture before crossing the range northward. The result is heavy precipitation (both rain and snow) on the Indian side but arid conditions in Tibet.
  • Himalayas represent a long chain of mountains that separate India from rest of Asia making India a subcontinent with its own climatic features. During winters when freezing temperatures
    prevail in North Asia, Himalayas object these cold winds and thus preventing the Ganga plains from freezing leading to sustenance in agriculture.
  • Himalayas also obstruct the South West monsoon winds thus producing rains thus helps in maintaining the monsoon nature of our climate in North India.

Himalayas:  A drainage divide:

  • The Himalayas are drained by 19 major rivers, of which the Indus and the Brahmaputra are the largest, each having catchment basins in the mountains of about 100,000 square miles (260,000 square km) in extent.
  • Five of the 19 rivers, with a total catchment area of about 51,000 square miles (132,000 square km), belong to the Indus system—the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, and the Sutlej—and collectively define the vast region divided between Punjab state in India and Punjab province in Pakistan.
  • Of the remaining rivers, nine belong to the Ganges system—the Ganges, Yamuna, Ramganga, Kali (Kali Gandak), Karnali, Rapti, Gandak, Baghmati, and Kosi rivers—draining roughly 84,000 square miles (218,000 square km) in the mountains, and three belong to the Brahmaputra system—the Tista, the Raidak, and the Manas—draining another 71,000 square miles (184,000 square km) in the Himalayas.
  • The rivers that flow through India originate due to melting of glaciers in the upper reaches and maintained by rain in the lower reaches thus leading to many perennial rivers which are vital for agriculture.
  • Also a lot of rivers forms flood plains in the lower reaches and bring alluvium which is very productive.
  • The snow melt in summer and precipitation in winter makes them perennial rivers. i.e, having water throughout the year. The abundant waterfall, huge snowfield and large glaciers feed these drainage systems. The Himalayan rivers give life to the northern India.

Himalayas: creating a cultural divide:

  • Himalayas have three distinct chain of mountains, the upper Himalayas or himadri, Himachal or lesser Himalayas and Shiwaliks.
  • The Himadri which is very prominent in Kashmir region has many highest glaciers of the world leading to unique pattern of living.
  • In Uttarakhand Siwaliks or dun formations caused some cultivation and transhumance of tribes like Bhutias.
  • In Sikkim and Darjeeling, the Duar formation and moderate slopes gave rise to tea cultivation here too tribes like Lepcha lead a unique way of life.
  • In North East Himalayas because of rain all around the year Tropical evergreen forests predominate which are cleared by the inhabiting tribes for Jhum cultivation.

Conclusion:

Apart from the above, The Himalayas are also home to a diversity of medicinal resources. The Himalayas are also a source of many minerals and precious stones. It is also imperative from the perspectives of Flora, fauna, defence, pilgrimage and tourism too.

Thus, The Himalayas comprise the most dominating geographical feature of India. No other mountain range anywhere in world has affected the life of people and shaped the destiny of a nation as the Himalayas have in respect of India.

 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2. Trace the regional divisions in the Northern Plains of India and bring out their geomorphological features. Why are Northern Plains so significant? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Class-XI NCERT: India Physical Environment.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

 Key Demand of the question:

To explain the regional divisions in the northern plains, its geomorphological features and significance.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by mentioning about Northern Plains of India and their composition.

Body:

In the first part of the body, bring forth the regional divisions: Sindh Plain, Rajasthan Plain, Punjab Plain, Ganga Plain, Brahmaputra Plain, Ganga – Brahmaputra Delta and explain them briefly.

In the next part, bring out the geomorphological features such as The Bhabar, The Terai, The Bhangar, The Khadar, Reh or Kollar and explain them briefly.

In the final part, mention about the significance such as Agriculture, Toursim, Soil profile, Ecology and cultural aspects etc.

Conclusion:

Complete the answer by mentioning the overall significance of the northern plains.

Introduction:

The great Northern Plains of India are an aggradation surface of great extent formed after the Himalayas. They are comparatively of recent origin and are believed to have formed by the filling up of a depression resulting from the uplifting of the Himalayas, by deposition of sediments brought by swift-flowing Himalayan rivers, originated in Himalayas.

This plain is mainly developed by rivers Ganga, Indus and Brahmaputra. The fine and the deep alluvium deposits by the rivers make the northern plains one of the most fertile plains in the world.

Body:

Regional divisions:

  • Plains of northern India, a flat and enormous plain, extend in the east west direction between the Himalayan in the north and Great Indian Peninsular Plateau in the south.
  • They are divided into three parts:
    • Indus plain
    • Ganga plain
    • Brahmaputra plain.
  • Northern plains are the youngest physiographic feature in India. They lie to the south of the Shivaliks, separated by the Himalayan Frontal Fault (HFF).
  • These plains form an unbroken belt of alluvium varying in thickness from east Bihar Plain to Punjab and northern Rajasthan.
  • Sutlej Plain in the west, the Ganga Plain in the middle, the Ganga Delta and the Brahmaputra Valley in the east constitute the northern plains.
  • The southern boundary is a wavy irregular line along the northern edge of the Peninsular India.
  • On the eastern side, the plains are bordered by the Purvanchal hills.
  • These are among the largest plains of the world. 

 Features:

  • The most characteristic feature of the great plains of Northern India is their extreme horizontality. From the geomorphological aspect there is no difference between the Indus basin and the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin.
  • They are classified into four distinct divisions:
    • Bhabar belt: made up of pebbles and boulders, the streams flow underground, adjacent to foothills
    • Terai belt: composed of new alluvium, region is damped and thickly forested and receives heavy rainfall throughout the year and has a variety of wildlife.
    • Bangar Belt: composed of old alluvium, forms Gangetic delta, covered by laterite deposits
    • Khadar Belt: made up of new alluvium of the flood zones.
  • They are formed by the alluvial deposits of the rivers and their tributaries.
  • They extend from Sutlej river in the west to Brahmaputra in the east.
  • The northern plains are the largest alluvial tract of the world. These plains extend approximately 3200 km from west to east.
  • The average width of these plains varies between 150 and 300 km. In general, the width of the northern plains increases from east to west (90-100km in Assam to about 500km in Punjab).

Importance of Northern Plains:

  • The northern plains are a riverine region, being bountifully endowed with the fertile soil, favourable climate, flat surface rendering possible the construction of roads and railways, and slow moving rivers. All these factors have made this plain very important.
  • Heavy Concentration of Population:
    • The great plain of India with its deep, fertile, stoneless, alluvial soil and its many rivers, is the most favourable and most desirable part of the sub-continent.
  • Cultural and Political Importance:
    • A significant fact is that in view of the immense concentration of population and resource the Ganga valley has always dominated North India.
    • It is the dominant area from which not only the political power but also economic and cultural movements spread to Aryavarta (i.e., the area lying north of the Vindhyas). Delhi, Patna and Kolkata have served as the political capitals of the country.
    • Himalayan forests have several wildlife species, and these forests are also having species for medicinal use.
    • These plains have given birth to and nursed and nourished the unique civilizations in its river valleys the Harappa, Mohenjadaro, Lothal etc.
  • Social and Religious Significance:
    • It has been famous for its inexhaustible people who wanted to enjoy its bounty either through sword or through the scale; for its literature and art; for its historical monuments and archaeological sites.
    • Many holy sites are present in these plains.
    • There are many religious places along the banks of the sacred rivers like the Ganga and the Yamuna which are very dear to Hindus. Here flourished the religions of Buddha and Mahavira and the movements of Bhakti and Sufism.
  • Economic Significance:
    • The plains have a fertile soil and because of the slow moving perennial water courses and favourable climate and they are, the great agricultural tracts of the country, raising bumper crops of rice, wheat, oilseeds, sugarcane, tobacco and jute.
    • They are even now the foci of industrial and commercial activities.
    • Rivers are navigable throughout the year and support inland transportation
    • Flat land- good for roads and railways,
    • Irrigational facilities.
    • For construction of H.E.P. Plants
    • It has well developed roads, railways and navigable waterways which promotes trade and commerce in this region
    • Northern Plains produces 60% of food in India. It is home to around 65 crore people.
    • Agriculture, livestock, power plants, industries and tourism provide employment to more than half of population in India.

Conclusion:

Altogether, the great Indian Northern plains play a substantial function in the geographical richness of India. One of the densely populated regions of the country, the plains add to the cultural and the traditional heritage of India. In a nutshell, the plains are a land of favorable attraction, tourism, and employment opportunities.

 

Topic: Issues relating to poverty and hunger

3. It is a paradox that despite being self-sufficient in agricultural production, India’s hunger levels are alarming. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why this question:

This article highlights the reasons why despite India having one of highest grains production in the world still has highest levels of malnutrition.

Key Demand of the question:

Bring out the analysis for the paradox of having self-sufficiency in food grain production yet still having high rates of malnutrition.

Directive:

Analyze – When 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:

Start by laying out the context and mention relevant facts and figures with respect to malnutrition and self-sufficiency in food grain production.

Body:

In detail analyse the reasons for this paradox such as food wastage, poverty and inequalities, inefficient distribution system, lack of proper ration cards, migrant woes in accessing ration, corruption etc.

Next, write about the impact caused by malnutrition.

Finally, give steps to overcome this at farm level by ensuring remunerative prices and reforms in PDS system. Mention how schemes like Annapurna can be leveraged to bridge gap.

Conclusion:

Give a proper way forward to conclude.

Introduction:

India achieved food security long ago, however, there are glaring inequity in distribution across the geographic landscape. The Global Nutrition Report 2020 stated that India is among 88 countries that are likely to miss global nutrition targets by 2025. It also identified the country as one with the highest rates of domestic inequalities in malnutrition.

Body

Food production in India:

  • The country went through a Green Revolution in the late 1960s and early 1970s, enabling it to overcome productivity stagnation and to significantly improve food grain production.
  • Subsidies for agricultural inputs, such as fuel and fertilisers, have enhanced food security.
  • Since the mid-1990s it has consistently been able to ensure that there is enough food (in terms of calories) available to feed its entire population.
  • It is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses and millets, and the second-largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnuts, vegetables, fruit and cotton.
  • In 2017-18, total food grain production was estimated at 275 million tonnes (MT). India is the largest producer (25% of global production), consumer (27% of world consumption) and importer (14%) of pulses in the world.

Hunger levels in India: 

  • India’s malnutrition levels are almost twice the level of many African countries.
  • The Global Hunger Index 2020 report has given India the 94th rank among 107 countries, much behind Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal.
  • As per a UN-FAO report, 194 million people go hungry every day in India, comprising about 23% of the world’s undernourished population.

The underlying gaps to high levels of hunger and food insecurity in India:

  • Economic distress:
    • The significant rise in food insecurity, as shown by these data, is a clear manifestation of the overall economic distress during this period marked by a deepening agrarian crisis, falling investments across sectors and shrinking employment opportunities.
    • The latest PLFS data have shown that the unemployment rates in the recent years have been higher than in the last four decades.
    • It is widely believed that demonetization and introduction of the Goods and Services Tax were two prime causes of economic distress during this period.
  • NFSA issues:
    • The NSFA does not guarantee universal right to food: Targeted –Restricts the right to food to only 75% of rural and 50% of urban population in India
    • Act would not apply in times of “war, flood, drought, fire, cyclone or earthquake”. This a highly problematic clause given that food is becomes utmost necessary during these circumstances
    • The Act focuses primarily on distribution of rice and wheat and fails to address the ‘utilization’ dimension of food security.
    • Given that a major reason for micronutrient deficiency in India is because of a cereal-based diet; the NSFA does not address the issue of malnutrition and nutritional deficiency adequately.
    • Under the National Food Security Act, the identification of beneficiaries is to be completed by State Governments. As per findings of Comptroller and Auditor General in 2016, a massive 49 % of the beneficiaries were yet to be identified by the State Governments.
  • Issues with agriculture:
    • The change from multi to mono cropping systems limits the diversity of agricultural products.
    • Inclination towards cash crops and changing food habits result in malnutrition, undernutrition and even micro-nutrient deficiencies.
  • Food wastage:
    • Food wastage is also an emerging challenge that undermines the efforts to end hunger and malnutrition.
    • According to the FAO, the global volume of food wastage is estimated at 1.6 billion tonnes of primary product equivalents.
  • Unstable markets:
    • Rising food prices make it difficult for the poorest people to get nutritious food consistently which is exactly what they need to do.
  • Natural disasters:
    • Natural disasters such as floods, tropical storms and long periods of drought are on the increase with calamitous consequences for the hungry poor in developing countries.
  • Societal Issues:
    • In many parts women’s nutritional requirements are often unmet as they consume whatever is left after everyone else has eaten.
    • Low agricultural investments and poor health, sanitation and childcare practices are other hindrances in achieving zero hunger.
    • Conflict, economic slowdown and rapidly increasing overweight and obesity levels are reversing progress made in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.
  • Climate change impact:
    • Erratic rainfall and increasing frequency of extreme events have impacted agricultural activities everywhere creating unfavourable conditions for food production.
    • Climate variability affecting rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and climate extremes such as droughts and floods, are among the key drivers behind the rise in hunger, together with conflict and economic slowdowns
    • Changes in climate are already undermining production of major crops such as wheat, rice and maize in tropical and temperate regions and, without building climate resilience, this is expected to worsen as temperatures increase and become more extreme.
    • Analysis in the UN report the prevalence and number of undernourished people tend to be higher in countries highly exposed to climate extremes.
  • Lack of access to remote areas:
    • For the tribal communities, habitation in remote difficult terrains and practice of subsistence farming has led to significant economic backwardness.
  • Increase in rural-to-urban migration, large proportion of informal workforce resulting in unplanned growth of slums which lack in the basic health and hygiene facilities, insufficient housing and increased food insecurity.
  • Overpopulation, poverty, lack of education and gender inequality.
  • Corruption:
    • Diverting the grains to open market to get better margin, selling poor quality grains at ration shops, irregular opening of the shops adds to the issue of food insecurity

Measures needed:

In India, to combat the malnutrition levels both immediate and long term interventions are needed.

  • Around 85 to 90% of wasting can be managed at the community level.
  • Now, the nutritional rehabilitation centres are coming up across the country. It can help in taking care of the institutional needs of the children who are already malnourished.
  • But to prevent it from happening, mothers need to be educated about nutrition at anganwadis, access to clean drinking water and sanitation has to be ensured, and livelihood security is needed.
  • However, for immediate intervention, nutritional formulation needs to be made available at community level.
  • Public Distribution System must be universalised (excluding income tax payees), and should distribute not just cereals but also pulses and edible oils. Further, we need to reimagine it as a decentralised system where a variety of crops are procured and distributed locally.
  • Both pre-school feeding and school meals need adequate budgets, and the meals should be supplemented with nutrient-rich foods such as dairy products, eggs and fruits..
  • Social protection also entails universal pension for persons not covered by formal schemes, universal maternity entitlements to enable all women in informal work to rest and breast-feed their children, a vastly expanded creche scheme, and residential schools for homeless children and child workers.
  • Long-term investments in health, sanitation and nutrition are far more effective in preventing deaths due to severe acute malnutrition.
  • The NNM would do well to keep such studies in mind

Way forward:

  • Achieving zero hunger requires agriculture and food systems to become more efficient, sustainable, climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive.
  • labour reforms which protect job security, fair work conditions and social security of all workers.
  • The time has come for an urban employment guarantee programme, to help build basic public services and infrastructure for the urban poor — especially slum and pavement residents, and the homeless.
  • This should also include employment in the care economy, with services for child-care, children and adults with disability and older persons.
  • There is a need for synchronisation among malnutrition, dietary diversity and production diversity.
  • Policies must pay special attention to groups who are the most vulnerable to the harmful consequences of poor food access: infants, children aged under five, school-aged children, adolescent girls, and women.
  • There is an urgent requirement for a legally enforceable right to healthcare, with universal and free out-patient and hospital-based care, free diagnostics and free medicines.
  • A sustainable shift must be made towards nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems that can provide safe and high-quality food for all.
  • The UN report also calls for greater efforts to build climate resilience through policies that promote climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.
  • It is critical for India to conduct a national survey on food insecurity to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security of different sections of the population.
  • The right to food is a well-established principle of international human rights law. It has evolved to include an obligation for state parties to respect, protect, and fulfil their citizens’ right to food security.
  • As a state party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, India has the obligation to ensure the right to be free from hunger and the right to adequate food.
  • India needs to adopt a policy that brings together diverse issues such as inequality, food diversity, indigenous rights and environmental justice to ensure sustainable food security.

 

Topic: Effects of liberalisation on the economy (post 1991 changes), changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

4. What is currency manipulation? Critically analyse the Implications for India after being added currency manipulation monitoring list by US treasury? (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

Recently, India has been to currency manipulation monitoring list by US treasury department.

Key Demand of the question:

 Bring out the implications of Indian being added to the currency manipulation watch list with a proper analysis of how it would affect India. 

Directive:

 Critically analyze – When 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Proceed by defining and explaining the mechanism of currency manipulation.

Body:

Explain why countries indulge in currency manipulation and the need for it in a very brief manner.  Also, talk about criteria followed to add countries to the list

Bring out the potential Implications of being added to the watch list: The chance of being declared a currency manipulator, additional tariffs and worsening on bi-lateral relations

Currency devaluation can lead to trade wars and also backfire on the country trying to undertake it.

Also mention about the benefits: Currency manipulation, on the other hand, boost exports in international trade or to reduce its debt interest burden.

Conclusion:

Concluded with a balanced way forward.

Introduction:

 

The US Treasury department defines currency manipulation as when countries deliberately influence the exchange rate between their currency and the US dollar to gain “unfair competitive advantage in international trade”.

Body:

The US Department of the Treasury publishes a semi-annual report in which the developments in global economic and exchange rate policies are reviewed. If a US trade partner meets three assessment criteria, the US labels it a currency manipulator.

How are countries identified for the currency manipulation list?

  • The US Treasury has established thresholds for the three criteria
    • First, a significant bilateral trade surplus with the US is one that is at least $20 billion.
    • Second, a material current account surplus is one that is at least 3% of GDP.
    • Third, persistent, one-sided intervention reflected in repeated net purchases of foreign currency and total at least 2% of an economy’s GDP over a year.

India’s intervention:

  • India breached the first and the third benchmarks.
  • On the second, on a four-quarter basis, the country’s current account surplus remained below the threshold level.
  • “India for several years has maintained a significant bilateral goods trade surplus with the United States, which totaled $22 billion in the four quarters through June 2020,” the report said.
  • The economy’s first four-quarter current account surplus since 2004 stood at 0.4% of GDP over the year to June 2020, it said.
  • According to the report, net purchases of foreign currency added up to 2.4% of GDP.
  • While the department acknowledged the RBI’s transparency in publishing data on intervention, it called for the central bank to allow the rupee to adjust based on fundamentals.

Potential Implications of being added to the watch list:

  • The chance of being declared a currency manipulator
  • Additional tariffs
  • Worsening on bi-lateral relations
  • Currency devaluation can lead to trade wars and also backfire on the country trying to undertake it.
  • While the designation of a country as a currency manipulator does not immediately attract any penalties, it tends to dent the confidence about a country in the global financial markets.
  • Boost exports in international trade
  • Reduce its debt interest burden.
  • India has a goods trade surplus with the US of $23 billion in 2017 compared to $375 billion trade surplus with China.
  • India is set to import $2 billion of crude oil and around $2 billion of LNG from the US
  • Growing energy imports can reduce the surplus to below $20 billion.

Way Forward

  • India has traditionally tried to balance between preventing excess currency appreciation on the one hand and protecting domestic financial stability on the other.
  • India being on the watch list could restrict the RBI in the foreign exchange operations it needs to pursue to protect financial stability.
  • This comes when global capital flows threaten to overwhelm domestic monetary policy.
  • The two most obvious consequences could be an appreciating rupee as well as excess liquidity that messes with the interest rate policy of the RBI.
  • Indian policymakers have to be sensitive for the unpredictable nature of policy-making in the US under Trump, especially concerning global trade.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Achievements of Indians in science and technology;

5. Professor Roddam Narasimha personified the best of India’s tradition of knowledge and enquiry. Comment on the contributions of Roddam Narasimha to Indian science and Technology. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

One of India’s most celebrated Aerospace scientist Roddam Narasimha passed away and this article celebrates his life and work.

Key Demand of the question:

To bring out the contributions of Roddam Narasimha to Indian science and technology.

Directive:

Comment-

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly write an introduction about Porfessor Narasimha.

Body:

Bring the contributions of Roddam Narasimha in the fields of Aerospace, India’s space programme, Science Policy and atmospheric sciences etc.

Conclusion:

Summarize by highlighting the other faucets of his life such his love for Indian tradition and culture.

Introduction:

Roddam Narasimha was in rarefied company as a scientist-engineer. The Major honor bestowed on Roddam Narasimha was a lifetime achievement award from Nature magazine in 2019 for ‘Mentoring in Science’. The scientific community has lost a transcendent member, and India, a model citizen. Narasimha left behind a towering legacy.

Body:

Contributions of Roddam Narasimha to Indian science and Technology:

  • A multi-faceted talent who was associated with India’s space Programme, defense Programme and even nuclear policy for decades.
  • Narasimha’s main work was in the field of fluid dynamics, which deals with the behavior of liquids and gases, an area he got interested in while studying for his diploma in aeronautical engineering at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in early 1950s.
  • At the start of his research career, Narasimha worked on problems concerning turbulence, a feature of fluid flows that has vexed scientists for more than a century.
  • Narasimha was invited to help India’s space programme, which was still in its infancy, and also the ongoing projects at the National Aerospace Laboratories (then National Aeronautical Laboratory) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
  • One of Narasimha’s more publicised contributions is his role in the development of Tejas, a home-made Light Combat Aircraft that ushered in significant advancement in allied fields like materials engineering and Computational fluid dynamics.
  • Over the years, Narasimha and his collaborators borrowed tools from statistical data analysis, mathematics, and fluid mechanics to study the Indian monsoons with impressive scientific rigor.
  • A prime example of this is a decades-long pet project of creating clouds in the lab to better understand them. This has culminated in an experimental set-up that now takes up a corner of a lab in Bangalore’s Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.
  • More recently, Narasimha was closely involved in shaping India’s science policies, serving in advisory capacities for several governments and as member of many committees.
  • He also spoke frequently on India’s nuclear Programme and related strategic issues.
  • When he was the director of NIAS (Bengaluru-based National Institute of Advanced Sciences), he dealt a lot with India’s strategic issues, and encouraged and supported healthy dialogue and discourse on these critical scientific issues that were very important for India as a nation. He was very deep in science, deep in technology and also deep in philosophy

Other interests:

  • His original work in the field was so influential that while he was still pursuing his PhD at Caltech, he was hired as a consultant by NASA, which had been frantically building up its space Programme after having been beaten by the erstwhile Soviet Union in sending the first satellite to space.
  • He is quintessentially Indian, very proud of his roots, Indian people and their outlook, including their foibles.
  • He is extremely well-versed in the country’s history and analyses its present with open mind, while occasionally bemoaning the lack of strategic thinking on the part of the country which has a habit of getting embroiled in day-to-day survival.
  • He had very good knowledge of Sanskrit, and of philosophical texts including Yog Vashishtha and even Charak Samhita. He took interest in international affairs, geopolitics, nuclear policy and strategic affairs. He was a scholar in best Indian tradition
  • He was very closely associated with the planning and reviews of India’s space programme, till as recent as the Chandrayaan-2 mission

Conclusion:

Professor Narasimha was a great man by any measure, and touched positively the lives of all those who interacted with him. He was a great mentor and guide.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker- sections.

6. Neutrality, in the sense of political non-partisanship in public administration, is of course a precondition for ensuring that, regardless of their political orientation, citizens are treated fairly and in an equitable manner. Comment. (150 Words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Key Demand of the question:

Trace the link between nonpartisanship in public administration and equality amongst citizens.

Directive:

Comment-

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by highlighting the importance of neutrality and nonpartisanship in public administration.

Body:

Begin by talking about values which are important to the level of justice and continuity in public administration with suitable examples.

Mention about how public servants must be accountable to the government for the effective delivery of its programs.

Then finally talk about responsiveness of the administration to the government of the day within the law and the how constitution is key to the effective implementation of government policies in an equitable manner.

Conclusion:

Complete the answer by suggesting ways for neutrality in public administration in an increasingly polarizing world.

Introduction:

Non-partisanship is not being specifically owned or affiliated with any group, party or cause. Non-partisanship can be called as political neutrality. Non-partisanship implies that the administrator is to do his/her task without any fear of or favour to any political party.

Body:

A bureaucrat is needed to be politically neutral:

  • Neutrality depicts that public officials are not slaves to either the politicians or any other authority other than the moral authority of the Constitution.
  • It shows that the principle of neutrality implies a measure of independence both from the partisan interests of the government of the day and the exogenous agenda that prompts certain social groups to cow others down to humiliating vulnerability.
  • Bureaucracy should be neutral in terms of ideology and politics. So that there will not be an affinity to a particular class or ideology.
  • For a genuine public official, commitment to constitutional principles is not only a lifelong project but, more importantly, it can be carried out without any political or ideological mediation.
  • If bureaucracy won’t be neutral then it cannot lend its whole-hearted support to the existing political system, and to the economic and political system if any radical changes are introduced.
  • Without neutrality, there can be a close nexus between bureaucracy and large-scale enterprises which could further lead to crony capitalism.
  • By and large, the spirit of neutrality imbedded by civil servants enables them to perform their duties in a detached and impartial manner.

Impartiality and Non-partisanship which determine the foundation of a non-partisan public service. These are:

  • Recruitment, promotions or even terminations should be completely free of any kind of political influence and done purely on merit basis.
  • All public officials should perform their duties in an impartial manner.
  • Kenneth Kernaghan has put forth a model of political neutrality which suggests the following:
    • Politics and policy are completely separate from administration. While politicians take policy decisions, it is the public officials which put them in execution.
    • All public officials are recruited purely on merit basis and not depending on any political inclination or affiliation.
    • Public officials do not engage in any partisan politics.
    • Public officials do not express their personal views on government policies and administration.
    • Public officials give correct and objective advice to their political masters.
    • All policies are implemented with full zeal and enthusiasm keeping all personal biases at a side.
  • The major advantage of this value is that it removes all scope of controversy that a public servant may encounter during his time of service. Neutral nature of work will keep issues away from public fanfare.
    • Ex: If a public servant gives permission for holding rally to a particular political party and denies the same for another, it will create controversy. By maintaining neutrality this can be avoided.
  • In multi religious and multicultural society such as India there are many issues that arise between two groups, which may result in tension. The public official must exercise his duty by maintaining distance from both the parties in order to maintain peace.
    • Ex: Religious procession is one of the many events where different groups show their strength. During this time the public official must be ready to take rational decisions without favouring one party over the other.
  • Government is ruling body that needs to maintain distance from getting involved too closely with public. If that barrier is broken, the value and dignity of the position will be compromised.
    • Ex: Members of UPSC should keep distance from candidates who they know personally. If any links are established, then reputation of the body will be under threat.

Conclusion:

Impartiality and Non-partisanship both form essential foundational values for civil services. While impartiality ensures equality without any bias and prejudices in the general, non-partisanship ensures a neutral approach in politics and a solid commitment to the government

 

Topic:  Case Study.

7. As part of your probationary training of IPS, you’re posted as the SHO of a town notorious for drug menace. The drug trade is quiet widespread and has majorly affected the youth. The drug dealing happens in a lot of areas and there is shortage of police personnel to control it. The police do prevent some crimes and make some arrests but are over-burdened immensely.

Not only is the drug menace is gripping the city, there are often violent clashes among rival gangs which cause a lot of bloodshed. The widespread network of drug peddlers often harass common citizens and businesses alike. Many have chosen to either leave town or shut businesses.

There is a lot of pressure on the administration to control the menace as it is slowly choking the town. The local MLA calls for meeting and proposes a radical plan to tackle the problem. MLA says the police to issue an “unofficial” diktat that all drug related activities to be moved an abandoned area. In this designated area, they could conduct the illicit activities and asks you to turn a blind eye as long as they do not indulge in violence.

It’s nothing short of legalizing drugs which allows a free pass for drug peddling in that abandoned area. When you try to reason with the MLA against this, he responds that in any case the drug trade cannot stopped but with this plan they can regulate it. This will reduce the bloodshed considerably and put a stop to harassment of common people altogether and normal businesses of town can function normally.

The social workers present at the meeting says this plan may help them narrow down and identify addicts, pass information regarding safe use of syringes to prevent HIV and convince them to join rehabilitation program. This was not possible earlier as the peddling was widespread.

You are still not convinced with the plan and further reason with the MLA but he sternly reminds you that he is an MLA of the ruling party and you’re just a probationer yet.

What will be your course of action? Justify. (250 words)

Reference: case study

Why the question:

It is a case study pertaining to issues of drug menace and ways to tackle it. It also challenges an aspirant’s fortitude in the face of undue pressure.

Key Demand of the question:

To take an ethically and legally justified path to check drug menace in your town.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by laying out the context of the case study and evil of drug menace.

Body:

Note down all the relevant stakeholders and ethical issues in the case study.

Mention about the possible courses of action such as starting from accepting the radical plan in its entirety to totally rejecting. Analyse the pros and cons of such actions.

Then mention the course of action you would take which is ethically as well as legally justified but also solves the issue of drug menace. Analyse its pros and cons. Also, mention how you will tackle any ramifications emerging out of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarizing the morally justified solution and positive way forward.

Introduction:

The above case study pertains to issues of drug menace and ways to tackle it. It also challenges a probationary training of IPS officer and his courage in the face of undue pressure. The case depicts the cobweb of drug mafia present in the society and the implications of the same on various stakeholders.

Body:

Stakeholders involved:

  • Probationary training IPS officer: Ethical values Courage, accountability, responsibility, Integrity, Wisdom, patience and so on
  • Drug peddlers: Ethical values Greedy, Materialistic values, vices and so on
  • MLA of the ruling party: Ethical values Accountability, Responsibility, Welfare of the city and so on
  • NGOs: Ethical values Social empathy, Social responsibility, Moral duty, and so on
  • Society as a whole.

Possible courses of action:

  • Accepting the radical plan in its entirety:
    • Positives of the Action: Upholding the values such as obedience, loyalty, accountability and so on
    • Negatives of the Action: Dedication to service is compromised, dedication to work is diluted, lack of courage, fortitude, integrity and so on
  • Rejecting the radical plan in its entirety:
    • Positives of the Action: Upholding the values such as moral responsibility, moral courage, moral duty, integrity, self-accountability, societal welfare and so on
    • Negatives of the Action: I may face the severe opposition from the political masters, I may face the life threat, the obedience and loyalty are ignored and so on

My course of action:

  • First, I will convince the MLA regarding drug danger on the social fabric and try to tell him that Drug peddling is a crime under the psychotropic drugs act, so necessary punishment needs to be delivered for the culprit
  • If this is not possible, then I will ask my seniors opinion regarding the issue and try to sort it out
  • If that is not possible then I will contact the NGOs to work regarding the rehabilitation centres for the drug addicted persons and I will enhance the security and monitoring to control the drug movement
  • I will try to bring the community participation and behavioral change in the people of the city regarding drug abuse just like Parli movement in Maharashtra

Conclusion:

72 lakh Indians need help for cannabis-use problem according to Ministry of social justice data. So, it is the right time to control the drug abuse and provide sustainable environment for our future generations.


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