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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 October 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 : Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Write a note on Kailasanatha Temple and Dashavatar Cave architecture of Rashtrakutas.(250 words)

Reference: Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of Art and culture of GS paper I.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain the architecture of Rashtrakutas with specific references to Kailasanatha Temple and Dashavatar Cave.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief introduction on the architectural abilities of Rashtrakutas.

Body:

First talk about the Kailasanatha temple; is the largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples at the Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India. A megalith carved from a rock cliff face, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in the world because of its size, architecture. As per the historical records, it was built by the 8th century Rashtrakuta King Krishna I between the year 756 and 773 AD.

Cave 15 of the Ellora is known as Dashavatara Cave, belongs to the period of Rashtrakuta king, Dantidurga. This cave mainly depicts Lord Shiva & Lord Vishnu in various forms. This two-storeyed structure has a large courtyard in which stands a monolithic Nandi mandapa. River goddesses flank the entrance.

Use pictorial depictions to show the architectural styles and their importance.

Conclusion:

Conclude by appreciating such architectural marvels.

Introduction:

The Rashtrakutas contributed much to the architectural heritage of the Deccan. Percy Brown says that the Kailash temple is “an illustration of one of those rare occasions when men’s minds, hearts and hands work in unison towards the consummation of a supreme ideal”. The Rashtrakuta contributions to art and architecture are reflected in the splendid rock-cut cave temples at Ellora and Elephanta, areas also occupied by Jain monks, located in present-day Maharashtra.

The most extensive and sumptuous of the Rashtrakuta works at Ellora is their creation of the monolithic Kailasanath Temple and Dashavatar Cave architecture.

Body:

Kailashanatha Temple:

As per the historical records, it was built by the 8th century Rashtrakuta King Krishna I between the year 756 and 773 AD. Cave 16, known as the Kailasha temple, is a particularly notable cave temple in India as a result of its size, architecture and having been entirely carved out of a single rock.

It is modelled along similar lines to other Hindu temples with

  •  a gateway,
  • an assembly hall,
  • a multi-storey main temple surrounded by numerous shrines laid out according to the square principle,
  • an integrated space for circumambulation,
  • a garbha-grihya (sanctum sanctorum) wherein resides the linga-yoni, and a spire-shaped like Mount Kailash – all carved from one rock.
  • Other shrines carved from the same rock are dedicated to Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, the ten avatars of Vishnu, Vedic gods and goddesses including Indra, Agni, Vayu, Surya and Usha, as well as non-Vedic deities like Ganesha, Ardhanarishvara (half Shiva, half Parvati), Harihara (half Shiva, half Vishnu), Annapurna, Durga and others.
  • It has a three-tiered sikhara or tower resembling the sikhara of the Mamallapuram rathas.
  • In the interior of the temple there is a pillared hall which has sixteen square pillars.
  • The Kailasa temple is an architectural marvel with it beautiful sculptures.
  • The sculpture of the Goddess Durga is shown as slaying the Buffalo demon.
  • In another sculpture Ravana was making attempts to lift Mount Kailasa, the abode of Siva.
  • The scenes of Ramayana were also depicted on the walls.
  • The general characteristics of the Kailasa temple are more Dravidian.

Kailasha temple is considered a highly notable example of temple construction from 1st millennium Indian history, and was called, by Carmel Berkson, “a wonder of the world” among rock-cut monuments.

Dashavatara Cave:

Cave 15, Dashavatara Cave is one of the finest at Ellora. The two storeyed temple contains mesmerising Shiva Nataraja and a Shiva emerging from Lingam while Vishnu and Brahma pay homage.

Features of Dashavatara Caves:

  • It has cells and a layout plan that are similar to Buddhist Caves.
  • It also indicates presence of non-Buddhist features, such as a Nrtya Mandapa at its entrance.
  •  Hindu temple housed in Cave 15 has an open court with a free-standing monolithic mandapa at the middle and a two-storeyed excavated temple at the rear.
  • Large sculptural panels between the wall columns on the upper floor illustrate a wide range of themes, including the ten avatars of Vishnu.
  • finest relief of this cave is the one depicting the death of Hiranyakashipu, where Vishnu in man-lion (Narasimha) form, emerges from a pillar to lay a fatal hand upon his shoulder.
  • Other reliefs in Cave 15 include the Gangadhara, marriage of Shiva and Parvati, Tripurantika of Shakti tradition, Markendeya, Garuda, aspects of life, Nandi in mandapa, dancing Shiva, Andhakasura, Govardhanadhari, Gajendravarada and others.
  •  panels are arranged in dyads, which displays “cooperative but also antagonistic energy” with a mutuality of power transference.

Conclusion:

Art historians consider the Kailasnatha temple and Dashavatara caves as an unrivalled work of rock architecture, a monument that has always excited and astonished travellers.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic : Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

2. Explain the role of Panchayat Raj in changing the traditional power structure in Rural India. (250 words)

Reference: shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in

Why the question:

The article explains the impact of Panchayat Raj system on the traditional rural power structure in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the role of Panchayat Raj in changing the traditional power structure in Rural India.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the background of traditional power structure that existed in Rural India before the coming of Panchayat Raj system.

Body:

First explain what type of power structure existed in Rural India.

Then move onto explain the coming of Panchayat Raj system.

Discuss the functions of Gram Panchayat; As part of the infrastructure of the democratic system in India, Panchayat plays a very important role in the village. The Gram Panchayat plays major role in village administration. In the village, it exercises the functions like sanitation, public health, street lighting, maintenance of burning and burial grounds, keeping records of birth and deaths, establishment of the centres for child welfare, propagation of family planning, promotion of agriculture and animal husbandry, construction of public building and tanks, organization of co-operative societies, hearing and settling of minor disputes etc.

List down the positives that the system brought into the Rural India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of it.

Introduction:

PRI was constitutionalized through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 to build democracy at the grass roots level and was entrusted with the task of rural development in the country. In the traditional power system, the main dimensions of power system were: the zamindari system, the caste system, and the village panchayat. The villagers referred their social, economic and other prob­lems either to the zamindar or to their caste leader or to the village panchayat.

Body:

Role of Panchayat in Changing Traditional Power Structure:

  • Transformation OF Patriarchal society into more gender neutral society.
    • Provision of one third reservation for women have empowered women in participating in democracy.
  • Promotion of direct democracy and inclusive participation to eliminate social evils like Caste System Khap panchayats etc.
  • Improvement in the delivery of public goods by bringing decision-making closer to the people.
  • Constitutionally empowering local village leaders led to decentralisation of administration.
  • Empowering vulnerable and marginalised sections of societies like SC/ST communities have led to mainstreaming the marginalised.
  • Promote development of Social capital to promote cooperative social development.
  • devolution of power and changing the existing social structures have led to improved choices of health and education.
  • Devolution of powers have also led to distribution of Economic capital – improvement of employment opportunities led to better standards of living causing urbanising of rural areas.
  • Autonomy given to tribal areas in matters of administration have provided for tailor made administration for tribals.
  • Decentralisation of powers have led to awareness about environmental protection and promotion of sustainable development.
  • Empowering democracy through strengthening direct elections in grassroots.
  • Autonomy in developmental activities at village level.

Limitations of Panchayats in changing traditional power structure:

  • Invisibility yet potency of Caste System in maintaining hierarchical and patriarchal society.
  • Limitations in true power sharing upon marginalised sections – emergence of Sarpanch patis, powerful castes, overshadowing true devolution of powers.
  • Ineffective implementation powers of Gram Sabha
  • Lack of Financial devolution by state governments in providing for local level administration
  • Excessive dependence of Panchayats on funds from state government and lack of fiscal autonomy.
  • Creation of Parallel bodies for administration of local governance. For Eg : creation of Electricity boards, water boards that are directly controlled by State.

Measures needed:

  • Genuine fiscal federalisme. fiscal autonomy accompanied by fiscal responsibility can provide a long term solution without this PRIs will only be an expensive failure.
  • 6th report of 2nd ARC, ‘Local Governance- An inspiring journey into the future’’, had recommended that there should be a clear-cut demarcation of functions of each tier of the government.
  • States should adopt the concept of ‘activity mapping’, wherein each state clearly delineates the responsibilities and roles for the different tiers of the government in respect to the subjects listed in the Schedule XI.
  • Effective bottom up approach in administration promoting grassroots democracy.
  • Training should be provided to local representativesto develop expertise so that they contribute more in planning and implementation of policies and programmes.
  • Resolving issues of proxy representation social empowerment must precede the political empowerment.
  • Recently states like Rajasthan and Haryana have set certain minimum qualification standards for Panchayat elections. Such necessary eligibility can help in improving effectiveness of governance mechanism.
  • These standards should apply for MLAs and MPs also and in this direction government should speeden up efforts for universal education.

Way Forward

  • The need of the hour is to bring about a holistic change in the lives of beneficiaries among the villagers by uplifting their socioeconomic and health status through effective linkages through community, governmental and other developmental agencies.
  • Government should take remedial action in the interest of democracy, social inclusion and cooperative federalism.

 

Topic: Issues relating to poverty and hunger. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. “three out of four rural Indians cannot afford a balanced, nutritious diet.”, In this context analyse the Nutrition challenges facing India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article explains that the India’s low global rank in tackling nutritional deficits calls for a revamped PDS.

Key Demand of the question:

One must analyse in detail the Nutrition challenges facing India.

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:

Start with alarming facts like – This year’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) places India in the company of Sudan — rank 94 among 107 countries — with the unedifying assessment of the national situation as “serious”.

Body:

The recent findings of the International Food Policy Research Institute scholars show that three out of four rural Indians cannot afford a balanced, nutritious diet. The NFHS-4 of 2015-16 found that under-five stunting from chronic undernourishment stood at 38%, and wasting as a result of acute lack of nutrition, at 21%.

The above observations are evidence of the nutrition challenge that India faces.

Explain the concerns first and the causes – The existing deprivation has been aggravated by the pandemic, with food inflation putting pressure on depleted incomes or meager pensions and savings. The right to food leaves a large section of Indians hungry, stunted and wasted. There is a need to overcome the false equation between energy calories and nourishing diets etc.

Suggest what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

There is the need for a radical transformation in the delivery of adequate nutrition especially to women and children to address the issue of hunger, wasting and stunting among children. Strengthening the PDS, with a focus on women’s health, would lead to healthier pregnancies, and stronger supplemental nutrition under the ICDS scheme would give children a better chance at all-round development.

Introduction:

Recent findings of the International Food Policy Research Institute scholars show that three out of four rural Indians cannot afford a balanced, nutritious diet. The NFHS-4 of 2015-16 found that under-five stunting from chronic undernourishment stood at 38%, and wasting as a result of acute lack of nutrition, at 21%.

Body:

Importance of nutritional balance for India:

  • It constitutes the foundation for human development, by reducing susceptibility to infections, related morbidity, disability and mortality burden.
  • Nearly every fifth young child in the world lives in India and nutritional intake is crucial for materialising this human resource pool in the future.
  • It helps in enhancing cumulative lifelong learning capacities and adult productivity.
  • It is the most effective means for poverty reduction and economic development with high economic return.
  • It is central to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Causes of Malnutrition:

  • Poverty and food insecurity: According to MPI 2018 of UNDP, 364 million Indians continue to experience acute deprivations in various social indicators. Over one in four multi-dimensionally poor in India are under ten years of age.
  • Poor access to health services: The Lancet study (2016) India ranks 145th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare, behind its neighbours like China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc.
  • Lack of education and information: As per ASER Report 2017, India’s 125 million children between 14 and 18 years of age are ill-equipped to read, write or even do basic arithmetic. It stated that the gender divide in cognition levels worsens with rise in age, as girls are often compelled to drop school for a variety of reasons.
  • Poor sanitation and lack of availability of fresh drinking water: According to Niti Aayog’s Composite Water Management Index 2018, 600 million people face high-to-extreme water stress; 75 per cent of the households do not have drinking water;
  • Climate change and environmental degradation: According to IPCC report, in India, the estimated countrywide agricultural loss in 2030 is over $7 billion due to climate change, will affect lower sections of Society and Agrarian economy.
  • Social ills like early child marriage and forced labour: According to the latest figures of UNICEF India, 27% per cent marriages in India in 2016 were child marriages. Child marriage affects society as a whole since child marriage reinforces a cycle of poverty and perpetuates gender discrimination, illiteracy and malnutrition as well as high infant and maternal mortality rates.
  • Poor breastfeeding: According to UNICEF and WHO, India is among the world’s five largest emerging economies where investment in breastfeeding is significantly low.
  • Economic and financial disability of women: Despite economic and educational growth, female participation in the labour force of India has fallen to 24% in 2011, from 31% in 2004. India is 11th from the bottom in the world in women’s labour-force participation rates
  • Increase in inequality: India ranked 147 out of 157 countries in terms of its commitment to reducing inequality according to Oxfam Report.

Way Forward through Government initiatives:

  • Accessibility and Affordability of Food: Effective implementation of National Food Security Act 2013, Mid-Day Meals and supplementary nutrition under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).
  • Water and Sanitation: National Rural Drinking Water Programme and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • Maternity Benefits: Compensate wage loss during Pregnancy-Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana.
  • Full immunization: Mission Indradhanush and roll out of Rotavirus and Pneumococcal vaccines.
  • Initiation of Early Breastfeeding- MAA National Breastfeeding Programme.
  • Delaying the age of marriage and ensuring gap between pregnancies-Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and National Health Mission IEC.
  • ICDS System Strengthening: There should be a mechanism for growth monitoring which would include, early registration and weight monitoring, monthly weight monitoring, quarterly height/length monitoring.
  • Improved Service Delivery: Will include convergence of services such as Immunisation, institutional delivery, drinking water and sanitation and efficient service deliver.
  • Use of information technology (ICT): use of ICT interventions for addressing under nutrition includes
  • Real time Monitoring-Population, target groups etc.
  • Nutrition Mapping
  • Data Analysis-Connecting Gaps.
  • Proper implementation of National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyan).
  • Diversified food: Diversifying the diet which should include required amount of nutrients is a better way to contain under-nutrition at the base.
  • In order to improve their income and food situation, it is therefore crucial that women obtain access to resources, that is, to credit, land, and agricultural means of production.
  • Gender equality is one of the means to improve the income thereby diverse food basket of the people. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that if women farmers had the same resources as men, it would have led to 150 million fewer hungry people.
  • An inclusive and holistic approach: including controlling/regulating food price, strengthening the public distribution system (PDS) and income support policies for making food cheaper are important steps.
  • Innovative policy interventions like ‘Fat Tax’ (Kerala) can further be deliberated upon to reduce intake of high calorie drinks and foods.
  • A shift from ‘sedentary lifestyle (physical inactivity) to conscious lifestyle’ especially among urban dwellers can be factored in through mindful interventions in urban mobility systems and meaningful public nudging.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. What is fiscal consolidation? What steps has the government taken in recent times in India to practice it? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: India Times 

Why the question:

The question is amidst the recent efforts by the government that are being made to ensure fiscal consolidation under the current challenging circumstances.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concept of Fiscal consolidation and discuss the steps that the government has taken in recent times in to practice it.

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 the concept of Fiscal Consolidation.

Body:

Fiscal consolidation is the policy of making sure that govt keeps its receipts aligned with its expenditure and keeps overall deficit in control.

Discuss the importance of fiscal consolidation through the past experiences in the country.

Explain that with FRBM Act, the government has initiated an institutional mechanism of implementing fiscal consolidation. Elaborate on other measures or steps taken by the government in this direction like reducing fiscal deficit to less than 3.5% of GDP, keeping debt to GDP ratio around 60% and others.

Discuss apart from these what areas can be focused varying from GST reforms to administrative reforms to control wasteful expenditure.

Conclusion:

Conclude that all of these will help in better channelization of resources that India has and it will solve the issues of development, poverty alleviation, and reduction in inequality with more healthy results than current policy regime.

Introduction:

Fiscal consolidation is a reduction in the underlying fiscal deficit. Fiscal Consolidation refers to the policies undertaken by Governments (national and sub-national levels) to reduce their deficits and accumulation of debt stock.

Body:

Present Fiscal Conditions:

  • FISCAL DEFICIT- The current Budget has retained the fiscal deficit at 5% of GDP.
  • This is a deviation from the budgeted target of 3.2%.
  • It is a deviationfrom the stipulated target of 3% for 2017-18 in the amended FRBM Act.
  • DEBT- The debt-GDP ratio has increased to 49.1% in 2017-18 from 48.7% in 2016-17.
  • The increasein debt-GDP ratio is against a declining trend observed until recently.
  • MTFP- As per the requirement of the FRBM Act, a medium-term fiscal policy (MTFP) statement is presented in each Budget.
  • The statement pertains to fiscal, revenue, and effective revenue deficits, and outstanding debt of the Central government.
  • A review of the statements highlights missing the targetsfor all four variables often by big margins.

Government initiatives to promote Fiscal Consolidation:

  • Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act was enacted in 2003. The objective of the Act is to ensure inter-generational equity in fiscal management, long-run macroeconomic stability, better coordination between fiscal and monetary policy, and transparency in the fiscal operations of the Government.
  • The FRBM rules set a target:
  • for reduction of fiscal deficit to 3% of the GDP by 2008-09 (with annual reduction target of 0.3% of GDP)
  • for complete elimination of revenue deficit by 2008-09 (with annual reduction target of 0.5% of the GDP)

Recent Recommendations:

  • Shift in the target of 3% fiscal deficit-GDP ratio to End-March 2021.
  • DEBT- The general debt-GDP ratio is slated to be reduced to 60% of the GDP by 2024-25.
  • The Centralgovernment debt-GDP ratio is to be reduced to 40% of the GDP by 2024-25.
  • These targets are based on the recommendations of the FRBM Review Committee.
  • However, the committee’s target of 2022-23 is shifted to 2024-25.
  • FISCAL COUNCIL- The Committee recommended the setting up of a fiscal council.
  • This is to independently examine the economic case and justification for deviating from the specified targets.
  • This is to keep a check on unconstrained fiscal flexibility and to prevent the possibly avoidable fiscal risks.
  • The Central government however did not accept this recommendation as well.

Other initiatives for Fiscal Consolidation:

  • Implementation of simplified indirect tax – GST.
  • Fast Tracking of financial disputes through Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
  • Digitization of taxation processes.
  • Reducing the corporate tax rate.
  • Simplifying Labour Laws through Code on Wages Act.

Concerns:

  • FISCAL DISCIPLINE- A slippage margin of 50 basis points implies a delay in reaching the fiscal deficit target by two and a half years.
  • The government has been missing the fiscal responsibility targets year after year and changing the statutory framework repeatedly.
  • Revenue surplus target is seldom meteven while the budgeted numbers make this assumption.
  • Fiscal deficit slippages are commonfor some of the states and while some keep a margin when budgeting, others run the exercise at the threshold level, which forces them to cut discretionary expenditure to ensure that the targets are met.
  • Decisions taken at the political level, like loan waivers, can jeopardise deficits.
    • Populist schemes could be introduced could upset the revenue budget.
  • flow of funds from the Centre is important as, with GST now in place, it is difficult to raise tax rates in areas that were within their purview earlier. Absence of alternative streams of revenue is a challenge for the states in the new GST setup.
  • States may have to cut down on discretionary spendingto meet targets. This is often done to ensure that the FRBM norms are being adhered to.
  • UDAY loanshave already added to the debt of state governments and most PSUs making losses.
  • The pressures from pensions thatget revised at the central level and state level can pressurise fiscal propriety.

Way Forward:

Improving tax realisation by reducing tax avoidance, eliminating tax evasion, enhancing tax compliance etc.

  • Enhancing tax GDP ratio by widening the tax base and minimizing tax concessions.
  • Extending Direct Benefit Transfer scheme for more subsidies and better targeting of government subsidies.
  • The possibility of adopting a target range rather than a specific number which would give the necessary policy space to deal with dynamic and volatile situations such as the one India currently faces
  • The NK Singh committee suggested a draft Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Bill, 2017 to replace the earlier Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 (FRBM Act), it must be implemented effectively.

 

Topic GS-1: urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

5. Discuss the importance of making Indian Cities River sensitive to ensure effective management riverine ecosystems in the country. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The author explains in what ways mix of engineering and planning-related approaches, initiatives to make people empathize with riverine ecosystems could restore the health of these water bodies.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail the importance of making Indian Cities River sensitive to ensure effective management riverine ecosystems in the country.

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:

Firstly, talk about the relationship that riverine ecosystems share with cities.

Body:

Highlight the key concerns associated with water bodies that fall under city limits. For example 63 per cent of sewage flows into our rivers untreated every day.

Then talk about urban river management; explain how it is all about arriving at transformative solutions that are not restricted to merely the river zone. Several of these may, in fact, need to cover the entire city. To make this happen, a mix of both engineering and planning-related approaches are required.

Discuss the importance of understanding cities as inter-related “operational units” that will help realize the vision of an overall river basin management plan.

Take hints from the article and present viewpoints with suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable solutions.

Introduction:

According to World Economic Forum, it’s estimated that around 70% of surface water in India is unfit for consumption. Every day, almost 40 million litres of wastewater enters rivers and other water bodies with only a tiny fraction adequately treated. Being downstream of polluted stretches in India is associated with a 9% reduction in agricultural revenues and a 16% drop in downstream agricultural yields.

Body:

Problems:

  • Urban areas have largely been responsible for the deterioration of our rivers. Quest for socioeconomic development, cities have destroyed rivers that feed them.
  • River cannot be managed in isolation. It is a system that encompasses diverse elements from the river itself, to its surrounding ecosystem and related services, and the livelihoods, cultural, spiritual and recreational activities it supports.
  • When the upstream and downstream connotations are added to this, the understanding of river systems becomes more holistic and robust.
  • Managing an urban river is not only about cleaning up the pollution
  • River clean-up activities are end-of-pipe solutions that mean nothing unless the drivers of the problems are fixed.
  • Urban river management is about arriving at transformative solutions. Mix of both engineering and planning-related approaches are required.
  • Number of interventions that benefit river management are usually already captured through plans or projects that may already be operational in a city. For Eg : River Rejuvenation Programs. Lake Conservation Programs etc
  • Cities sewerage system is another bottleneck – which when loaded with floods in excess of carrying capacity causes flooding of cities. For Eg : Mumbai and Chennai floods.
  • Ensuring “last pipe connectivity” where individual households are connected to the system.
  • Pollution of Waterbody: Most rivers, lakes and surface water in Indiaare polluted due to industries, untreated sewage and solid wastes.
  • Around 70% of surface water in Indiais unfit for consumption. Every day, almost 40 million litres of wastewater enters rivers and other water bodies with only a tiny fraction adequately treated as per WEF.
  • Lack of Effective monitoring of waterbodies.
  • Neglect of Pre-Disaster Planning:History of flood management shows that focus of disaster management has largely been on post-flood recovery and relief.

Solutions:

  • Managing urban rivers involves forging synergies with existing plans and initiatives.
  • Resettlement and strategic redevelopment.
  • Notification of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, as an authority under the Environment Protection Act, lays down certain principles and guidelines for floodplain protection, regulation, and demarcation in the Ganga Basin, must be effectively implemented.
  • Marking a no-development zone on either side of the river edge and enforcing strict regulations through the city’s Master Plan is a good starting point.
  • National Green Tribunal’s regulations for different river stretches can be acted on an appropriate width of the no-development zone.
  • Tackling pollution of the water body. Both the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) have helped a number of cities set up sewage treatment plants and associated infrastructure.
  • City administrations has been towards centralised sewerage systems that are easier to manage, these are cost-intensive.
  • Use of faecal sludge and septage management systems, nature-based solutions can be used.
  • Strengthening water quality monitoring mechanism:  WQM&S programme in Indiafocusses to monitor all drinking water sources of the country for maintaining their water quality through compliance
  • Rejuvenate all water bodies and wetlands in the city.
  • In many cities, these are intrinsically connected to rivers either through their drainage patterns or groundwater flow. They improve groundwater recharge, which can, in turn, help augment the water supply of a city, and reduce the stress on rivers.
  • Rejuvenated wetlands are natural “wastewater treatment plants” that can significantly mitigate the pollutant load entering a river.
  • Ensure a rich and continuous riparian buffer as it acts as a shock absorber for the river and its aquatic ecosystem from detrimental developmental activities.
  • Ensure maximum good quality return flow to the river.
  • Maintaining minimum environmental flow of the river. For Eg: Regulated e flows norms of Ganga, as notified by Central Government.
  • Other cities will have to take stock of the rivers within their stretches, and decide upon an optimal contribution after adjusting for in-house uses.
  • Setting ambitious targets for reuse of wastewater
  • Abundantly clear that water is a finite resource. Acknowledge and respect the threshold of stress that these resources can naturally handle.
  • Encouraging rainwater harvesting, switching to water-efficient fixtures,
  • Maximising the reuse of wastewater are excellent ways of relieving the burden on the already overworked rivers.
  • Harness the economic potential of the river – Cities must begin to realise that a river has tremendous economic value through the ecosystem services it provides, and livelihoods it can support.
  • Cities across the globe have boosted their economies through river-centric activities such as cultural tourism, water sports, river markets, fisheries, navigation, and several others.
  • Rivers can help cities progress up the economic ladder, which every city aspires to. Needless to say, the scale and extent of such activities must account for the carrying capacity of the river.
  • Developing eco-friendly riverfront projects that re-establish the lost connect between urban residents and the rivers.
  • Small-scale projects such as parks, picnic spots, urban forests, Ghats and herbal gardens can be equally effective in bringing back the masses to the river.
  • Inculcating river-sensitive behaviour among residents. Citizen support is vital for long-term sustainability of urban river systems.
  • Develop a dedicated strategy to spread awareness about the benefits of healthy rivers through collaboration.
  • Proactively engage residents in river management activities: From “residents as spectators” to “residents as actors”.
  • Contribute to river management activities by monitoring the river’s health periodically through a set of indicators.

Conclusion:

Good enabling environment at the top in terms of relevant legal and regulatory mechanisms is need of hour. A river is, unquestionably, among a city’s greatest assets. Our cities must start treating it as one.

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

6. Elucidate the human values and their types with special reference to Patanjali’s classification of virtues. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of classification of human values and their types.

Key Demand of the question:

One must elaborate upon the human values and their types with special reference to Patanjali’s classification of virtues.

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:

Start by explaining what Values are.

Body:

Values can be defined as those things that are valued by someone. In other words, values are what is considered ‘important ‘by an individual or an organization. Examples include courage, honesty, freedom, innovation etc.

Then move onto discuss the types of values.

Elaborate that Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra I. 33 makes complete sense that helps us inculcate four primary virtues i.e. Maitri= Friendship; Karuna= Compassion; Mudita= Joy; Upekshanam=Indifference. These virtues are fundamental for our own favorable disposition or mental peace.

Give examples to explain the importance of values in general.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Human Values are the beliefs of an individual or a social group about what is held important. That motivate people to act one way or another. For Eg: “Equal rights for all”, “Merit above all else”, “Dignity of labour” etc are representatives of values.

Body:

Types of Values are:

  • Personal Values:
    • The values that are prescribed by the individual alone, irrespective of his or her social relationships, are termed as personal values — e.g. Dignity of Labour, Sensitivity, Cleanliness, Politeness, Honesty, etc. are Personal Values.
  • Community Values:
    • The values that entail the complexities of wider interactions between groups of people are termed as community values. For instance, treating all in a friendly and loving manner can be practiced by one individually with one’s neighbours.
  • Democratic Values:
    • Democracy consists of a Society in which all people have equal rights to participate in the political process, while exercising the freedom to live as they choose, provided they do not infringe the right of others to do the same. Democracy, therefore, is a procedural notion, not an ultimate vision of living.
  • Ultimate Values:
    • Value statements that identify the significance of certain ideas, experiences and activities to us, are the ultimate values. These go beyond mere statements of intellectual belief to the extent that they represent the beliefs that affect our decision on how to live.

PATANJALI’s CLASSIFICATION OF VIRTUES:

Patanjali Yoga Sutra makes complete sense of these values and that helps us inculcate four primary virtues i.e.

  • Maitri(Friendship);
  • Karuna(Compassion);
  • Mudita(Joy);
  • Upekshanam(Steadfastness).

These virtues are fundamental for our own favourable disposition or mental peace. 

  • Maitri – FRIENDSHIP
    • Friendship or friendly attitude helps us in accepting a person for “what is” rather than demanding “what should be” This helps us cultivate an attitude of unconditional acceptance. Friendly attitude towards everyone helps us to celebrate the beautiful imperfections of human-related experiences in life. Friendship gives us a chance to further our understanding that we all need each other for learning, understanding and personal growth.
  • KARUNA -COMPASSION
    • Being compassionate towards others is an important tool for spiritual and personal growth.  Being compassion towards others feeling helps develop an emotional understanding and bond. This helps you to develop important qualities of being less judgemental, being a sympathetic listener, more accepting of others and difficult situations in life. An appreciation of how others feel will lead to a deeper understanding of self and life. sages, prophets or spiritual beings like Buddha, Christ, Mera, Muhammad prophet etc. all epitomized compassion.
  • MUDITA- JOY
    • Being genuinely happy for others is vital for one’s own mental peace and wellbeing. So, one must feel Mudita towards ‘punya’ or positive people. Mudita is pure joy one feels unadulterated by any self-interest.
    • For Eg: Parents selflessly give to their children without expecting anything in return. Mudita nurtures a gentle, caring and blissful state of mind.
  • UPEKSHA(STEADFASTNESS)
    • Imperturbability (Upeksha) in day-to-day situations that might be happy, painful, successful or unfortunate helps in harmonizing of our mind.
    • For Eg: Student not getting distracted by external situations to focus her concentration on studies.

Patanjali also states that the virtue of nonviolence and non-injury to others (Ahimsa) leads to the abandonment of enmity, a state that leads the yogi to the perfection of inner and outer amity with everyone, everything. This was exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi in his pursuit of Satyagraha to achieve Indian Independence.

Conclusion:

Values are so indissolubly woven into human language, thought and behaviour patterns that they have fascinated philosophers for millennia. Yet they have proved so “quick-silvery” and complex that, despite their decisive role in human motivation, we remain desperately ignorant of the laws that govern them.

 

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

7. Explain tolerance and compassion in Indian context. How effectively can tolerance and compassion be used by the respective authority in the process of decision making in public administration? (250 words)

Reference: Ethics ,Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of tolerance and compassion. And discuss their importance to decision making in public administration.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concepts of tolerance and compassion in Indian context and its importance to decision making in public administration.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what tolerance and compassion are. Empathy involves giving due importance and value to understanding of one’s thoughts, feelings and concerns for others even when they are not explicitly expressed, and acting on it.

Body:

Explain why a civil servant /public servant should possess these virtues to justify the administration job better. Explain that Public servants must have the ability​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​someone​ ​else’s​ ​experience​ ​of​ ​humanity and​ ​use​ ​that​ ​understanding​ ​to​ ​guide​ ​their decisions and actions. Among many others, empathy and tolerance are foundational values that affect the decision making to a large extent.

Suggest methods for administrators to inculcate and practice these key values while making decisions in public administration.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

Compassion is understanding or empathy for the suffering of others. Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation for those whose opinions, practices, race religion, nationality etc. are different from one’s own. These two qualities are very important for a civil servant in multicultural country like India.

Body:

The attribute of being compassionate is of immense value:

  • Understand needs of marginalized and vulnerable sections of society.
  • Undertake faster approach and measures to address the issues of society.
  • Unbiased approach in service delivery and distribution of government facilities.
  • Respecting the affirmative action towards the disadvantaged and implementing them with positive attitude.
  • Making oneself accessible to all citizens and seeking their feedback.
  • Understanding the needs and expectation of people. For Eg: Compassion of Civil servants in handling citizens and societal fabric together during covid is exemplary.

The attribute of being tolerant is very important:

  • Freedom from Bigotry, Phobias like Xenophobia, Homophobia, Theophobia etc.
  • It helps in developing qualities like respect towards others, knowledge, openness, communication between diverse sections in society.
  • Upholding natural rights i.e. Human rights, Democracy, Multiculturalism, Pluralism etc.
  • More importantly protecting the constitutional principles of Fundamental Rights which forms basic structure of constitution.
  • Prevent tendency of intimidation, coercion, oppression etc. For Eg: The tolerance of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam towards different sections of society was transformed into love so much that he was called People’s President.
  • Compassion and tolerance of Mohandas Gandhi was the defining feature that strengthened his resolve to use Ahimsa and Satyagraha as means to attain Swaraj.

Conclusion:

Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. The responsibility of and compassion and tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision.


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