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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 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: GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 GS-3: Land reforms in India.

1. Though Swamitva scheme is a step forward towards establishing clear land ownership in the country, the policies focusing on land reforms must aim at conclusive titles to address the ground challenges completely. Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

The question aims to analyse critically the benefits of Swamitva scheme.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically analyse the current conditions of land reforms in the country.  And explain the need to focus on conclusive titles of lands.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly talk about the Swamitva scheme and highlight how it is a welcome step.

Body:

One-lakh farmers receiving property cards under the Swamitva scheme is, without doubt, a step forward towards establishing clear land ownership in the country.

Briefly present the background of land reforms in India specific to land titles, highlight the issues that are present from past to present and that they need to be addressed with urgency.

Talk about the steps towards conclusive titling.

Suggest what more needs to be done along with the idea of Swamitva.

Conclusion:

Conclude that land reforms can’t be shelved any longer, especially given how land disputes (accounting for nearly two-thirds of all civil cases) choke the courts.

Introduction:

On Panchayati Raj Diwas (April 24th), the Prime Minister of India launched ‘Swamitva Yojana’ or Ownership Scheme to map residential land ownership in the rural sector using modern technology like the use of drones. The scheme aims to revolutionise property record maintenance in India. The scheme is piloted by the Panchayati Raj ministry. The residential land in villages will be measured using drones to create a non-disputable record.

Property card for every property in the village will be prepared by states using accurate measurements delivered by drone-mapping. These cards will be given to property owners and will be recognised by the land revenue records department.

Body:

Present Coverage Area: The program is currently being implemented in six states – Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Benefits of the scheme:

  • The delivery of property rights through an official document will enable villagers to access bank finance using their property as collateral.
  • The property records for a village will also be maintained at the Panchayat level, allowing for the collection of associated taxes from the owners. The money generated from these local taxes will be used to build rural infrastructure and facilities.
  • Freeing the residential properties including land of title disputes and the creation of an official record is likely to result in appreciation in the market value of the properties.
  • The accurate property records can be used for facilitating tax collection, new building and structure plan, issuing of permits and for thwarting attempts at property grabbing.

Need for and significance of the scheme:

The need for this Yojana was felt since several villagers in the rural areas don’t have papers proving ownership of their land. In most states, survey and measurement of the populated areas in the villages has not been done for the purpose of attestation/verification of properties. The new scheme is likely to become a tool for empowerment and entitlement, reducing social strife on account of discord over properties.

Concerns:

  • The Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme dashboard shows that land records in 90.1% of villages across the country have been digitised across the country.
  • An analysis shows that only 61% of these villages have digitised mutation records. And the remaining 39% records may have digitised land records, but these have not yet been updated.
  • Only 41% have a clear record of rights; maps have been linked in only 40% of the cases. Survey or resurvey work has been completed in a meagre 11% villages.
  • A property card may help secure credit, but without clear titles
  • The large-scale tenancy that is envisioned to happen under the new farm reforms may not happen till the time the Centre rolls out a comprehensive land titling law.

Conclusion:

Land reforms can’t be shelved any longer, especially given how land disputes (accounting for nearly two-thirds of all civil cases) choke the courts.

 

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

2. Any discussion on inclusive education must include children with disabilities (CWDs), in the light of the above statement analyse the existing interventions both by union and state governments in this direction and also suggest way forward. (250 words)

Reference: epw.in

Why the question:

The article brings to us insights on the existing education policies across the country and its nature of inclusivity of the children with disabilities (CWDs).

Key Demand of the question:

One must analyse the existing interventions both by union and state governments for children with disabilities (CWDs) in their education policies and suggest way forward.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

One can start with some key statistics highlighting the dismal picture of inclusivity of children with disabilities (CWDs) in our education policies.

Body:

Start by explaining the fact that as a signatory to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, India is committed to ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for vulnerable children.

Discuss the factors that have led to children with disabilities to be excluded from India’s education system. Present cases to justify the same.

Examine how states are budgeting for education of CWDs by analyzing existing interventions both by union and state governments; present a detailed analysis of school education budgets for different States.

Suggest solutions to address the issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude with efforts of the government in this direction.

Introduction:

As a signatory to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, India is committed to ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for vulnerable children. However, children with disabilities continue to be excluded from India’s education system.

India is home to 4.9 million CWDs in the age group of 6–17. Only 67% of them attend any educational institutions and the remaining 33% have either dropped out or never attended any educational institutions; whereas the all-India average of school attendance rate for this age group is 80%

Body:

The 2019 “State of the Education Report for India: Children with Disabilities” has been released by the UNESCO. The report highlights accomplishments and challenges with regards to the right to education of children with disabilities (CWDs).

Key highlights of the report:

  • There are 78,64,636 children with disability in India constituting 1.7% of the total child population.
  • Three-fourths of the children with disabilities at the age of five years and one-fourth between 5-19 years do not go to any educational institution.
  • The number of children enrolled in school drops significantly with each successive level of schooling.
  • There are fewer girls with disabilities in schools than boys with disabilities in schools.
  • A large number of children with disabilities do not go to regular schools but are enrolled at the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
  • The percentage of children attending schools is the lowest among those with multiple disabilities, mental illnesses and mental retardation.

Challenges faced:

  • Significant gaps remain, even though successive government schemes and programs have brought large numbers of children with disabilities into schools.
  • Only 61 percent of CWDs aged between 5 and 19 were attending an educational institution compared to the overall figure of 71 percent when all children are considered.
  • Around 12 percent of CWDs dropped out of school, which is comparable with the overall percentage of dropouts among all children. 27 percent of CWDs never attended any educational institution, as opposed to the overall figure of 17 percent when the entire child population is taken into account.
  • A review of enrolment figures at NIOS shows a decline for most categories of disabilities between 2009 and 2015.

Importance of the attitude of parents and teachers toward mainstream education: 

To accomplish the goal of inclusive education besides accessibility to physical infrastructure, processes in the school, assistive and ICT technology and devices being essential resources.

Measures needed to improve the state of education for CWDs:

  • Amend the RTE Actto better align with the RPWD Act by including specific concerns of education of such children.
  • Establish a coordinating mechanismunder HRD Ministry for effective convergence of all education programmes of children with disabilities.
  • Ensure specific and adequate financial allocation in education budgetsto meet the learning needs of children with disabilities.
  • Strengthening data systemsto make them robust and reliable and useful for planning.
  • Massively expand the use of information technologyfor the education of children with disabilities.
  • Give a chance to every child and leave no child with disability behind.
  • Transform teaching practicesto aid the inclusion of diverse learners.
  • Overcome stereotypesand build positive dispositions towards children with disabilities, both in the classroom and beyond.

Way forward:

  • Inclusive education is complex to implement and requires a fine understanding of diverse needs of children and their families across different contexts.
  • India has made considerable progress in terms of putting in place a robust legal framework and a range of programmes and schemes that have improved enrolment rates of children with disabilities in schools.
  • However, further measures are needed to ensure quality education for every child to achieve the goals and targets of agenda 2030and more specifically Sustainable Development Goal 4.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

3. Ineffective and unplanned hydro-geology of cities and towns of India today are more responsible for floods than just the monsoon depressions. Critically examine. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The article explains that as floods swamp Hyderabad and other parts of the southern India, the focus is on the inadequacy of drainage infrastructure.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to analyse in what way ineffective and unplanned hydro-geology of cities and towns of India today are more responsible for floods than just the monsoon depressions.

Directive:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Present the current picture of floods in the country owing to the monsoonal depression over the west central Bay of Bengal.

Body:

Discuss critically how much of the damage caused by the floods was mainly due to inadequate drainage infrastructure; much of the damage was due to the overflowing of lakes, lack of proper drainage system and their mismanagement.

Explain with suitable case studies (for example: city of Hyderabad).

Discuss that in the long term, the effects of flooding due to deluges can only be mitigated if urban planners take into account the hydro-geology of cities and ensure that construction, development and land occupation do not take place in a way that reduces the area of wetlands.

Conclusion:

Suggest solutions to overcome such problems both long term and short term.

Introduction:

Recently, torrential rains that took place in Hyderabad have caused massive urban floods. In many Indian cities, the urban floods have become a frequent phenomenon in recent years.

As the incidence of climate variability and extreme weather events increases, urban flooding becomes more and more common. While the untimely heavy rains can be attributed to climate variability, the urban flooding is largely due to an unplanned urbanisation.

Body:

  • Causes for the increase:

Overburdened drainage, unregulated construction, no regard to the natural topography and hydro-geomorphology all make urban floods a man-made disaster.

  • Inadequate Drainage Infrastructure:Cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai rely on a century-old drainage system, covering only a small part of the core city.
    • In the last 20 years, the Indian cities have grown manifold with its original built-up area.
    • As the city grew beyond its original limits, not much was done to address the absence of adequate drainage systems.
  • Terrain Alteration:Lasting irreversible damage has been done to the city by property builders, property owners, and public agencies by flattening terrain and altering natural drainage routes.
  • Reducing Seepage:Indian cities are becoming increasingly impervious to water, not just because of increasing built up but also because of the nature of materials used (hard, non-porous construction material that makes the soil impervious).
  • Lax Implementation:Even with provisions of rainwater harvesting, sustainable urban drainage systems, etc, in regulatory mechanisms like the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), adoption at user end as well as enforcement agencies remains weak.
  • Encroaching Natural Spaces:The number of wetlands has reduced to 123 in 2018 from 644 in 1956.
    • Green cover is only 9 per cent, which ideally should have been at least 33 per cent.
      • Way forward
    • Need for Holistic Engagement:Urban floods of this scale cannot be contained by the municipal authorities alone. Floods cannot be managed without concerted and focused investments of energy and resources.
      • The Metropolitan Development Authorities, National Disaster Management Authority, State revenue and irrigation departments along with municipal corporations should be involved in such work together.
      • Such investments can only be done in a mission mode organisation with active participation of civil society organisations at the metropolitan scale.
    • Developing Sponge Cities:The idea of a sponge city is to make cities more permeable so as to hold and use the water which falls upon it.
      • Sponge cities absorb the rain water, which is then naturally filtered by the soil and allowed to reach urban aquifers.
      • This allows for the extraction of water from the ground through urban or peri-urban wells.
      • This water can be treated easily and used for city water supply.
    • Wetland Policy:There is a need to start paying attention to the management of wetlands by involving local communities.
      • Without doubt, terrain alteration needs to be strictly regulated and a ban on any further alteration of terrain needs to be introduced.
      • To improve the city’s capacity to absorb water, new porous materials and technologies must be encouraged or mandated across scales.
      • Examples of these technologies are bioswales and retention systems, permeable material for roads and pavement, drainage systems which allow storm water to trickle into the ground, green roofs and harvesting systems in buildings.
    • Drainage Planning:Watershed management and emergency drainage plan should be clearly enunciated in policy and law.
      • Urban watersheds are micro ecological drainage systems, shaped by contours of terrain.
      • Detailed documentation of these must be held by agencies which are not bound by municipal jurisdictions; instead, there is a need to consider natural boundaries such as watersheds instead of governance boundaries like electoral wards for shaping a drainage plan.
    • Water Sensitive Urban Design:These methods take into consideration the topography, types of surfaces (permeable or impervious), natural drainage and leave very less impact on the environment.
      • Vulnerability analyses and risk assessments should form part and parcel of city master plans.
      • In a changing climate, the drainage infrastructure (especially storm water drainage) has to be built considering the new ‘normals’.
      • Tools such as predictive precipitation modelling can help do that and are also able to link it with the adaptive capacity of urban land use.

Conclusion:

Urban Flood management will not just help control recurring floods but also respond to other fault lines, provide for water security, more green spaces, and will make the city resilient and sustainable. All these can be delivered effectively through an urban mission along the lines of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) and Smart Cities Mission.

 

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

4. “India’s economic growth has circumvented manufacturing led growth phase”, examine the statement with causative factors. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

The question is about discussing how India’s economic growth has circumvented manufacturing led growth phase in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the role of service sector and in what way India’s economic growth surpassed the manufacturing led growth phase.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Discuss in brief the background of the Industrial growth from past to present.

Body:

Start by highlighting the fact that manufacturing kept increasing its share as a percentage of GDP from 1951-1991. In initial growth phase as public sector oriented growth with focus on industrialization was practiced. But after 1991, share of industries has stagnated around 30% of GDP. This is mainly because service sector has grown at a more rapid pace than industries.

Discuss then, how India’s system promoted service and discouraged industrialization in the later stages.

Elaborate the causative factors with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by pointing out at the issues that may arise due to such a skewed dependence on a single sector and suggest solutions to accommodate both manufacturing and service sectors in coming future.

Introduction:

Manufacturing in 2017 contributed only about 16% to India’s GDP, stagnating since economic reforms began in 1991. By contrast, in east and south-east Asia, the industry share has exceeded 30-40% while manufacturing is up 20-30%. India’s manufacturing share of GDP has not moved up at all, though between 2004 and 2012 manufacturing employment growth was reasonable.

However, total manufacturing employment has fallen significantly between 2011 and 2016 by 10 million in just four years, especially in labour-intensive manufactures. This is the opposite of what was achieved in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. By contrast, in India the labour intensive manufacturing sectors like food processing, tobacco, textiles, apparel, leather, wood and furniture have seen a decline since 2012.

Body:

The manufacturing sector is part of the goods-producing industries super sector group. The Manufacturing sector comprises establishments engaged in the mechanical, physical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances, or components into new products. Establishments in the Manufacturing sector are often described as plants, factories, or mills and characteristically use power-driven machines and materials-handling equipment.

Opportunities:

  • India offers the 3 ‘Ds’ for business to thrive— democracy, demography and demand.
  • Manufacturing sector holds good prospects for jobs with promising remuneration
  • Various studies have estimated that every job created in manufacturing has a multiplier effect in creating 2–3 jobs in the services sector.
  • 65% of India’s population is below the age of 35 – giving us the edge of demographic dividend.
  • GST and improving public spending through infrastructure projects are favourable moves for the sector.
  • The labour-intensive manufacturing sector is the only ray of hope for India to absorb its huge labour force.
  • Robust domestic demand, a growing middle class, a young population and a high return on investment, makes India an attractive opportunity to manufacturers.
  • The cost of manpower is relatively low as compared to other countries.

Issues:

  • Banks are reluctant to offer credit for industrial activity.
  • Nature of the trade regime in India is still biased towards capital intensive manufacturing
  • Small Enterprises suffer from low productivity given that their small size prevents them from achieving economies of scale.
  • The jobs the small enterprises create are low-paying ones.
  • Industry’s inadequate expenditure on research and development (R&D). Currently, R&D spending amounts to around9% of GDP.
  • MSME sector facing tough competition from cheap imports from China and other countries with which India has free trade agreements.
  • Black money generation, not complying with tax laws, and the attendant corruption, has an adverse impact on making India a competitive manufacturing destination.

Challenges:

  • We are facing both investment and consumption crises.
  • Numerous regulatory roadblocks, unfavourable land and labour laws, inadequate transport, communication and energy infrastructure, among others.
  • India faces stiff competition from South-East Asian and other South Asian countries.
  • Global technological and geo-economic changes.
  • Impact of a strong rupee in recent times on Indian industry and the economy.
  • According to a FICCI report, India has 5.5 million people enrolled in vocational courses, while China has 90 million of them.

Government initiatives:

  • Make in Indiainitiative with the primary goal of making India a global manufacturing hub.
  • ‘Zero defect zero effect’for MSMEs to deliver top quality products using clean technology.
  • ‘SKILL INDIA’– a multi-skill development programme with a mission for job creation and entrepreneurship.
  • Labour reforms through a dedicated Shram Suvidha Portal, Random Inspection Scheme, Universal Account Number and Apprentice Protsahan Yojana.
  • Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) under which the priority will be given to the indigenously made defence products.
  • Technology Acquisition and Development Fund (TADF) under the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) to facilitate acquisition of Clean, Green and Energy Efficient Technologies by MSMEs.
  • Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) for providing loans to small-scale businesses.

Way forward:

  • Investor’s confidencemust be improved.
  • Improving physical infrastructurefrom transport systems to the power sector is essential.
  • Importance should be given to electronic sector.
  • Improve access to financefor smaller enterprises.
  • Making firm entry and exit easier.
  • Inverted duty structure.
  • Enhancing the flexibility of labour regulations.
  • Low-cost manufacturing is important for India.
  • If India has to raise its share of manufacturing in GDP to around 25%, industry will have to significantly step up its R&D expenditure. This must be addressed by the new industrial policy.
  • The quantum of value addition has to be increased at all levels. Larger the value addition, greater the positive externalities.
  • FDI policy requires a review to ensure that it facilitates greater technology transfer, leverages strategic linkages and innovation.
  • Aim for higher job creation in the formal sector and performance linked tax incentives.
  • Attractive remuneration to motivate people to join the manufacturing sector.
  • Need to have a curriculum that focuses on soft-skills and value-based training that meets the demands of the industry.

Conclusion:

Manufacturing sector is very important to provide jobs for ever increasing job force in India, bur today manufacturing sector in India is suffering from various issues. Though governments come up with various policies like Make in India, but it need to address core problems as discussed above, then only Manufacturing sector in India will grow at the required rate and will provide jobs for ever increasing job force.

 

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

5. Do you think for a greener tomorrow, its high time for India to start and practice “Climate Budget Tagging” as one of its climate change policies? Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express

Why the question:

The editorial brings to us insights on “Climate Budget tagging” and its importance and relevance to India’s climate change policies.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the need for Indian policy makers to identify the significance of “Climate budget tagging” in its climate change policies.

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 climate budget tagging is.

Body:

Climate Budget Tagging (CBT) is a tool for monitoring and tracking of climate-related expenditures in the national budget system. It provides comprehensive data on climate change relevant spending, enabling government to make informed decisions and prioritize climate investments.

Discuss the advantages of it; encourages planning officers and policy managers to incorporate climate considerations in project design, enables public scrutiny on government’s and donors’ spending on tackling climate change issues strengthening accountability and transparency etc.

One can quote examples of countries like Philippines, Nepal, Indonesia, and Bangladesh that are practicing such a technique.

Conclusion:

Conclude that it’s high time for India to adopt such measures for a greener tomorrow.

Introduction:

Climate Budget Tagging (CBT) is a tool for monitoring and tracking of climate-related expenditures in the national budget system. It provides comprehensive data on climate change relevant spending, enabling government to make informed decisions and prioritize climate investments.

Body:

Present Status

  • According to the recent Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), India’s tracked green investment flows fall far short of its financing requirements.
  • The estimated $38 billion investments directed towards mitigation sectors between FY16-18 are disproportionately allocated between sectors.

Need for climate budget tagging

  • CBT encourages planning officers and policy managers to incorporate climate considerations in project design.
  • CBT enables public scrutiny on governments and donors’ spending on tackling climate change issues strengthening accountability and transparency.
  • It will help identify, classify, and weigh climate-relevant spending, thereby enabling the tracking of such expenditures.
  • It will also facilitate more informed engagements between the government and development partners to mobilise additional resources.
  • India needs investment at a minimum, $2.5 trillion until 2030 according to India’s Nationally Determined Contribution.
  • Climate change has already caused catastrophic destruction and threatens the loss of lives across the country.
  • It took India a decade to raise awareness and build capacity at national and state levels for gender budgeting.
  • We cannot afford to spend equivalent time in developing a tagging tool. Benefits of climate budget tagging
  • It raises awareness and understanding of climate change. • It mobilises resources. • It improves monitoring and reporting.
  • Adherence to such methods will help India attract more international funding for climate action.

International Experience

  • Nepal is one of the first countries to adopt a climate budget tagging.
  • The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) adopted a Climate Fiscal Framework (CFF) in 2014 which proposes a climate expenditure tracking framework (CETF).

Concerns / Challenges

  • There are challenges in defining and tracking green finance across its value chain in India.
  • There is no mechanism to weigh the climate relevance in various national and state-level government schemes and tag them as ‘green’.
  • This absence makes budgeting the country’s mitigation action in its annual financial plan a challenge.

Way forward:

  • It is time to align budgetary outlays in a manner responsive to climate change for sustained policy action.
  • Mitigating the effects of climate change will need to be at the forefront of economic growth.
  • India needs to adopt a “Climate Budget Tagging (CBT)” tool.
  • The CBT could be rolled out in a similar way that other social priorities are tagged.
  • For example, the gender, scheduled castes & scheduled tribes, and child development component of the budget has made it easier for the government to review and recognise the impact of budgetary support on these sections.
  • The government needs to restructure the way it reports schemes and action plans to facilitate meaningful intra and inter-state comparison of the climate objectives.
  • Need for building consensus on the definition of green finance for both public and private actors to weigh their activities for climate relevance.
  • Training on climate tagging should be considered in the context of broader capacity building efforts.

 

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

6. Account for the issues related to stubble burning. Discuss in what way effective policy measures can convert crisis of stubble burning into opportunity. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

The question is premised on the issue of Stubble burning that alarms the northern India every year.

Key Demand of the question:

Account for the issues related to stubble burning and discuss in what way effective policy measures can convert crisis of stubble burning into opportunity.

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:

Explain what you understand by Stubble burning.

Body:

Stubble burning is the act of setting fire to crop residue to remove them from the field to sow the next crop.

Discuss the factors responsible for it such as – the precarious economic condition of farmers doesn’t allow them to use expensive mechanized methods to remove stubble, burning is the cheapest and fastest way to get rid of the stubble etc.

Discuss briefly the effects of the stubble burning.

Then move onto discuss effective policy measures that can convert crisis of stubble burning into opportunity. Take hints from the article.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Stubble Burning is a common practice followed by farmers to prepare fields for sowing of wheat in November as there is little time left between the harvesting of paddy and sowing of wheat.

With wheat harvesting over in Punjab, the State has witnessed a spike in incidents of stubble burning against the last two years as several farmers continue to defy the ban on burning the crop residue. The ban and action against the people burning the crop residue is regulated under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Body:

Government data show that across the State, between April 15 and May 24, 13,026 incidents of stubble burning have surfaced. Last year the number of such incidents during the same period was 10,476. In 2018, Punjab recorded 11,236 fire incidents.

IMPACT: Stubble burning results in emission of harmful gases such carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide along with particulate matter.

Why farmers opt for stubble burning?

  • They do not have alternatives for utilising them effectively.
  • The farmers are ill-equipped to deal with waste because they cannot afford the new technology that is available to handle the waste material.
  • With less income due to crop damage, farmers are likely to be inclined to light up their fields to cut costs and not spend on scientific ways of stubble management.

 Advantages of stubble burning:

  • It quickly clears the field and is the cheapest alternative.
  • Kills weeds, including those resistant to herbicide.
  • Kills slugs and other pests.
  • Can reduce nitrogen tie-up.

Effects of Stubble Burning:

  • Pollution: Open stubble burning emits large amounts of toxic pollutants in the atmosphere which contain harmful gases like methane (CH4), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Volatile organic compound (VOC) and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. They may eventually cause smog.
  • Soil Fertility: Burning husk on ground destroys the nutrients in the soil, making it less fertile.
  • Heat Penetration: Heat generated by stubble burning penetrates into the soil, leading to the loss of moisture and useful microbes.

Alternative solutions that can avoid Stubble Burning:

  • Promote paddy straw-based power plants. It will also create employment opportunities.
  • Incorporation of crop residues in the soil can improve soil moisture and help activate the growth of soil microorganisms for better plant growth.
  • Convert the removed residues into enriched organic manure through composting.
  • New opportunities for industrial use such as extraction of yeast protein can be explored through scientific research.

Supreme Court’s observations

  • Incentives could be provided to those who are not burning the stubble and disincentives for those who continue the practice.
  • The existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) Scheme must be so interpreted as to enable the States concerned to wholly or partly deny the benefit of MSP to those who continue to burn the crop residue.
  • Chhattisgarh Model:
    • An innovative experiment has been undertaken by the Chhattisgarh government by setting up gauthans.
    • gauthan is a dedicated five-acre plot, held in common by each village, where all the unused stubble is collected through parali daan (people’s donations) and is converted into organic fertiliser by mixing with cow dung and few natural enzymes.
    • The scheme also generates employment among rural youth.
    • The government supports the transportation of parali from the farm to the nearest gauthan.
    • The state has successfully developed 2,000 gauthans.

Government’s initiatives:

  • Union Government: Under a 100% centrally-funded scheme, machines that help farmers in in-situ management—by tilling the stubble back into the soil—were to be provided to individual farmers at 50% subsidy and to custom hiring centres (CHCs) at 80% subsidy.
  • While Haryana has set up 2,879 CHCs so far and has provided nearly 16,000 straw-management machines, it has to set up 1,500 more and has to cover nearly as many panchayats it has reached so far.
  • Similarly, Punjab, which has provided 50,815 machines so far, will need to set up 5,000 more CHCs—against 7,378 set up already—and reach 41% of its panchayats by October 2020.

Way forward:

  • Short term Solution:Giving farmers easy and affordable access to the machines which allow them to do smart straw management is the short term solution to the problem
  • Dual Strategy: Both in-situ (in the field) and ex-situ (elsewhere) solutions need to be considered, apart from tackling the fundamental factors prompting the practice.
  • Affordability of Government Measures:A key factor will be ensuring affordability of service for those hiring the machines; Haryana has reserved 70% of the machines at panchayats-run CHCs for small and marginal farmers, while Punjab has prioritised service to them.
  • Utilizing Crop Stubble: Insteadof burning of the stubble, it can be used in different ways like cattle feed, compost manure, roofing in rural areas, biomass energy, mushroom cultivation, packing materials, fuel, paper, bio-ethanol and industrial production, etc.
  • The long-term solutionhas to be crop diversification, away from paddy

 

 


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.

7. What do you understand by Aptitude? How is it different from Intelligence? Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of ‘Aptitude’ and its nature that is different from that of the Intelligence.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concept of ‘Aptitude’ and differentiate it with ‘Intelligence’ using relevant examples.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining with what you understand by Intelligence first.

Body:

While intelligence is the ability of an individual to gain knowledge and understand cumbersome situations, aptitude can be defined as the capacity to apply the same knowledge. For example, a person may be intelligent enough to gain knowledge about military, navy, and air force or defense related matters; but may not possess an aptitude to practice the same effectively in his/her real life.

Aptitude reflects specialized abilities and personal strengths & weaknesses. Aptitudes are natural talents, special abilities for doing, or learning to do, certain kinds of things easily and quickly. They have little to do with knowledge or culture, or education, or even interests. They have to do with heredity. Musical talent and artistic talent are examples of such aptitudes.

Present examples that you think can help substantiate the answer better.

Conclusion:

Conclude by discussing the importance of Aptitude and Intelligence in life of civil servants in general.

Introduction:

Aptitude is the potential of a person to do certain things due to the innate ability or accumulated knowledge and experience. Since it has more to do with intelligence, it can be acquired and enhanced through training and experience.

Body:

While intelligence is the ability of an individual to gain knowledge and understand cumbersome situations, aptitude can be defined as the capacity to apply the same knowledge.

  • For example, a person may be intelligent enough to gain knowledge about military, navy, and air force or defence related matters; but may not possess an aptitude to practice the same effectively in his/her real life.

While intelligence measures the general mental ability of an individual, aptitude measures the abilities and capacities related to specific fields.

  • For example, an intelligent person may have knowledge related to diverse fields like engineering, medicine, administration, politics, etc.; but he/she may have the capacity to practice only one of the fields effectively in the real life.

Importance of aptitude: The importance of aptitude also needs to be emphasised. Attitude alone is not sufficient; one must be certain that he has learned the required skills.

  • Aptitude is important as it provides the requisite flexibility, passion and leadership skills that can make or break a candidate’s fulfilment of their job description.
  • In a constantly changing work environment, aptitude is crucial if one wants to succeed. If you have the potential to learn new skills and develop them over a time, success will not be far.
  • One of the most important aspects is that aptitude helps to identify one’s interest and core strength area. A person can learn and develop skills in working with his strength areas and succeed.
IntelligenceAptitude
Intelligence is General mental abilityAptitude is Specific ability of a person
The knowledge of intelligence of an individual we can predict his success in a number of situations involving mental function or activityThe knowledge of Aptitude, on other hand, acquaints us with the specific abilities and capacities of an individual to succeed in a particular field of activity.
Wide scope; It refers to present abilityNarrow scope; It refers to future potentiality
It usually measured by how much a person knows and can do certain areasIt usually measured by how well a person can perform certain task

 

Importance of Aptitude and Intelligence in life of civil servants

For a civil servant the Intelligence and aptitude forms the supporting pillars in his task of serving the people effectively. Recently a civil servant narrated an incident on how he dealt with a politician who was pressuring him to favour his supporters in a procurement process.

He narrated the provisions of prevention of corruption act and the potential of the right to information act to the politician and convinced him that flaunting of rules will be detrimental to both civil servant and the politician.

Incidents like this are a common phenomenon of the Indian society. Knowing the intricacies of the prevention of corruption act and right to information was the indication of the intelligence of the civil servant. The ability to use these provisions to persuade the politician is the hallmark of his aptitude. Aptitude helped him to use the acquired knowledge to set the things in order according to rule of law without getting into confrontation.

Conclusion:

Aptitude and intelligence are not binary opposites. Aptitude comes with interest and passion for a subject, while intelligence is the mental capacity to understand and gain the knowledge.


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