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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 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. Compare and contrast, the continental drift theory, sea floor spreading theory and the plate tectonics theory. (250 words)

Reference: NCERT Book For Class XI: Fundamentals of Physical Geography.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the differences as well as similarities between most important theories that tried to explain the plate tectonics.

Directive:

Compare and contrast – provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Write about plate tectonics and the movement of continents and various theories put forward to explain them.

Body:

This is a very straightforward question and to answer it, drawing a table would be apt in order to compare and contrast the theories.

Bring out differences in the continental drift theory, sea floor spreading theory and the plate tectonics theory on the following parameters such as Authors of the theory, what the theory explains, forces it considers for the movement, supporting evidences it considers, critique of theory if any and its acceptance among scientists etc.

Conclusion:

Mention about general importance of the theories and conclude your answer.

Introduction:

Continents cover 29 per cent of the surface of the earth and the remainder is under oceanic waters. The positions of the continents and the ocean bodies, as we see them in the map, have not been the same in the past and it is now a well-accepted fact that oceans and continents will not continue to enjoy their present positions in times to come.

Body:

Various theories have been proposed to substantiate the present locations of the continents and oceans.

continental_drift

sea_floor

Comparison: Continental Drift – See Floor Spreading – Plate Tectonics

Continental DriftSee Floor SpreadingPlate Tectonics
Explained byPut forward by Alfred Wegener in 1920sArthur Holmes explained Convectional Current Theory in the 1930s.

Based on convection current theory, Harry Hess explained See Floor Spreading in the 1940s

In 1967, McKenzie and Parker suggested the theory of plate tectonics. Morgan later outlined the theory in 1968
TheoryExplains the Movement of Continents onlyExplains the Movement of Oceanic Plates onlyExplains the Movement of Lithospheric plates that include both continents and oceans.
Forces for movementBuoyancy, gravity, pole-fleeing force, tidal currents, tides,Convection currents in the mantle drag crustal platesConvection currents in the mantle drag crustal plates
EvidenceApparent affinity of physical features, botanical evidence, fossil evidence, Tillite deposits, placer deposits, rocks of same age across different continents etc.Ocean bottom relief, Paleomagnetic rocks, distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes etc.Ocean bottom relief, Paleomagnetic rocks, distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes, gravitational anomalies at trenches, etc.
DrawbacksToo general with silly and sometimes illogical evidence.Doesn’t explain the movement of continental plates 

———————

AcceptanceDiscardedNot completeMost widely accepted
UsefulnessHelped in the evolution of convection current theory and seafloor spreading theoryHelped in the evolution of plate tectonics theoryHelped us understand various geographical features.

 

Conclusion:

Thus, it is a combination of all these various forces which has led to formation of diversity of land and sea forms across the globe. It is a continuing process since the beginning of formation of earth and various activities like volcanoes, earthquakes, formation of new land masses stand testimony to these activities.

 

Topic:  geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2. Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas from erosion, storm surge, and tsunamis. Mangroves in India are getting ecologically fragile and climatically vulnerable. Comment. (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 importance of mangroves and to bring out the various threats faced by them.

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 the answer by briefly writing about mangroves and their ecosystem.

Body:

You can draw simple and illustrative of map showing important mangroves.

Write about the role of mangroves as the first line of defense against erosion and flooding. Also mention about the other ecological benefits of mangroves as well as its unique flora and fauna.

Next, write about the various threats that mangroves are facing which is making them ecologically fragile and climatically vulnerable such as Coastal development, clearing for agriculture, excessive Aquaculture &Salt Production, River changes: Dams and irrigation, Destruction of coral reefs, Pollution and Climate change etc. Cite necessary examples, facts and figures to substantiate your point.

Conclusion:

Write a way forward to protect the Mangrove ecosystem of India.

Introduction:

Mangroves are the characteristic littoral plant formation of tropical and subtropical sheltered coastlines. They exhibit remarkable capacity for salt water tolerance, strong wind velocity, varying tides and high temperature (FAO-1952). E.g.: Rhizopora, Avicenia, Bruguiera etc. Total cover of Mangroves in India is about 4,975 sq km as per latest State of Forest Report 2019.

Body

Characteristics:

  • Mangroves are salt tolerant trees, also called halophytes, which survive high salinity, tidal regimes, strong wind velocity, high temperature and muddy anaerobic soil – a combination of conditions hostile for other plants.
  • The mangrove ecosystems constitute a symbiotic link or bridge between terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
  • They are found in the inter-tidal zones of sheltered shore, estuaries, creeks, backwaters, lagoons, marshes and mud-flats.

Ecological Services by Mangroves:

  • Mangrove plants have (additional) special roots such as prop roots, pneumatophores which help to impede water flow and thereby enhance the deposition of sediment in areas (where it is already occurring), stabilize the coastal shores, provide breeding ground for fishes.
  • Mangroves moderate monsoonal tidal floods and reduce inundation of coastal lowlands.
  • They prevent coastal soil erosion.
  • They protect coastal lands from tsunami, hurricanes and floods.
  • Mangroves enhance natural recycling of nutrients.
  • Mangrove supports numerous flora, avifauna and wild life.
  • Provide a safe and favourable environment for breeding, spawning, rearing of several fishes.
  • They supply woods, fire wood, medicinal plants and edible plants to local people.
  • They provide numerous employment opportunities to local communities and augments their livelihood.

Threats to Mangroves:  

A scientific study reported that 100 per cent of mangrove species, 92 per cent of mangrove associates, 60.8 per cent of algae, 23.8 per cent of invertebrates and 21.1 per cent of fish are under threat.

Natural forces due to climate change:

  • Sea-level rise: Mangrove systems do not keep pace with changing sea-level and fall
  • Extreme high water events: affect the position and health including through altered sediment elevation and sulphide soil toxicity
  • Storms: increase damage to mangroves through defoliation and tree mortality and they collapse
  • Precipitation: decreased rainfall and increased evaporation will increase salinity, decreasing net primary productivity, growth
  • Temperature: Changing species composition, Changing phenological patterns (e.g., timing of flowering and fruiting)
  • Ocean circulation patterns: affect mangrove propagule dispersal and the genetic structure of mangrove populations, with concomitant effects on mangrove community structure.

Anthropogenic activities:

  • Mangroves are being destroyed and facing severe threats due to urbanisation, industrialization, and discharge of domestic sewage, industrial effluents and pesticides.
  • Saltpans and aquaculture also pose major threat to the mangroves.
  • 40 per cent of mangrove forests in West Coast of India have been converted into farmlands and housing colonies over the last three decades.
  • Some of the mangrove species like Bruguiera cylindrica and Sonneratia acida are at the verge of extinction.
  • Due to shrimp farming, about 35,000 ha of mangroves have been lost in India.

Role and Significance of Mangroves

  • Mangroves moderate monsoonal tidal floods and reduce coastal inundation.
  • It prevents coastal soil erosion.
  • It supplies firewood, medicinal plants to local inhabitants.
  • They support numerous flora, avifauna and wildlife.
  • Mangroves support seashore and estuarine fisheries.
  • It protects inland agricultural lands, livestock and coastal lands from hurricane and tsunami effect.
  • Mangroves enhance natural recycling of nutrients.
  • Mangroves are flood buffers and they also help in stabilizing the climate by moderating temperature, humidity, wind and even waves
  • They are natural carbon sinks.

Scientific Management of Mangroves

  • Nationwide mapping of the mangrove areas, by remote sensing techniques coupled with land surveys, and time series to assess the rate of degradation of the ecosystems.
  • Quantitative surveys of area, climatic regime, rate of growth of forest trees and seasonal variations of environmental parameters.
  • Inclusion of mangrove species under threat in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red list. g. Sonneratia griffithii in India
  • Assessment of suitable sites for reserve forests. g.: Artificial regeneration through mangrove nurseries or aerial seeding.
  • Joint management of mangroves with local community participation.
  • Disease and pest control. g.: Crab cuts are prevented by painting hypocotyls in yellow or Placing seedlings inside bamboo containers.
  • Afforestation of degraded mangrove areas;
  • Study of management methods, the ecology of mangroves, their flora and fauna, their microbiology and the biochemistry of organic matter and sediments.
  • Mangroves for Future is a unique partner-led initiative for coastal ecosystem conservation. This project is being coordinated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) covering, initially, eight countries (including India) in South Asia, South East Asia and Western Indian Ocean, for the protection of the mangroves.
  • The mangroves have been afforded protection under Category I (ecologically sensitive) of the CRZ.

Conclusion:

An increase of 54 sq. km in mangrove cover has been observed as notes in SFR 2019. There is a need to build on this progress for stabilization of low-lying coastal lands. Mangroves being natural filters of pollutants from water, it becomes even more necessary to conserve them.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

3. It was a long and winding road but finally a Brexit deal is made. Despite the deal, there are still unanswered questions. Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

Britain and the European Union struck a provisional free-trade agreement as part of the Brexit deal, four and a half years after Britain decided to leave the bloc.

Key Demand of the question:

To analsye the nature of the Brexit deal made between U.K and the E.U, its impact in the short and long term.

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:

Begin by introducing the Brexit deal and the uncertainty EU and UK faced when no outcome was seen after months of negotiations.

Body:

Mention about zero-tariff and zero-quota deal and its implications.

Talk about how the deal is also likely to lay down rules of defence, security, Immigration and governance, which will dictate how any deal is enforced as well as the penalties.

Mention the unanswered questions which are part of the deal such as fishing, border movements, security cooperation and financial markets etc.

Conclusion:

Briefly mention how the deal will impact India and its diaspora and how India should utilize opportunities and address issues stemming from the Brexit deal.

Introduction:

Brexit refers to the scheduled withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU). A historic deal on the UK’s future trading and security relationship with the European Union has been struck on Christmas Eve, a week before the end of the Brexit transition period, triggering a victory cry from Downing Street and sombre reflection in Brussels.

Once ratified by both sides, the agreement will ensure Britain and the 27-nation bloc can continue to trade in goods without tariffs or quotas after the U.K. breaks fully free of the EU on January 1, 2021.

Body:

The long way to Brexit:

  • The first public vote or a referendum on Brexit happened three years ago on June 23, 2016.
  • Through this referendum the voters chose to leave the EU and then PM Cameron resigned, succeeded by Theresa May.
  • About 52 per cent of the voters chose to leave the EU, while 48 per cent voted to stay.
  • Even though the referendum was not legally binding, it was carried out to know the sentiment of the public towards Brexit.
  • Triggering Article 50 means the formal decision of the government of that member state to leave.
  • Originally, Brexit was scheduled to happen on March 29, 2019, two years after then Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50.
  • It is the legal mechanismthrough which a member state can exit from the EU and was agreed upon by all member states of the EU under the Lisbon Treaty signed in 2009.
  • The prime minister alone can take the decision to trigger this article in accordance with the “royal prerogative” over foreign affairs.
  • For instance, in the case of Brexit, only the UK government can trigger Article 50 after which the prime minister is required to notify the European Union about it.

UK-EU trade agreement:

  • The trade agreement between London and Brussels will offer UK and EU companies preferential access to each other’s markets, compared with basic World Trade Organization rules — ensuring imported goods will be free of tariffs and quotas.
  • The trade agreement – running to 2,000 pages – is unprecedented in scope, containing provisions on subjects ranging from civil nuclear cooperation and energy interconnections to fishing and aviation.
  • The agreement avoids a no-deal exit that the Office for Budget Responsibility had warned would reduce Britain’s economic output by £40bn in 2021 and cost more than 300,000 jobs.
  • The deal guarantees “zero tariff and zero quota” trade on goods that were worth £668bn in 2019.
  • The compromise found involves a transition period of five and a half years to phase in the changes, with the UK accepting a 25% repatriation of quotas.

Benefits of the trade deal:

  • Trade in goods 
    • The EU and UK’s starting point for the future relationship talks was that they should lead to a deal with no tariffs on trade in goods between the two sides.
    • They also wanted no quantitative restrictions on the volume of goods that could be sold free of tariffs.
    • Once implemented, from January 1, a hard customs and regulatory border will exist between the EU and UK, and goods will face checks and controls that can be smoothed at the margins only by co-operation.
    • The deal will include facilitations such as co-operation on trusted trader schemes, but none of these erase border checks.
  • Fair business competition
    • The EU’s offer on tariff-free trade was contingent on the UK agreeing to uphold a “level playing field” on fair business competition in areas such as environmental standards.
    • The agreement includes common binding principles on state aid, enforceable in both sides’ courts, which would be able to recover illegal subsidies.
    • It also includes a painstakingly negotiated “rebalancing mechanism” to deal with a situation where the sides’ regulations in areas such as labour rights diverge over time.
    • The mechanism, which would be subject to independent arbitration, would allow the disadvantaged side to impose tariffs to restore fair competition.
    • Being outside the European single market has other regulatory consequences for Britain. For example, UK businesses will no longer be able to assume that product authorisations from British watchdogs will allow their goods to be placed on the European market.
  • Fish
    • The deal creates a five-and-a-half-year transition period during which EU fishermen will have guaranteed access to UK waters.
    • The deal also links the UK’s access to the EU energy market to access to British fishing waters.
    • The deal enshrines the principle that Britain is now outside the EU’s common fisheries policy: an independent coastal state with sovereignty over its waters.
  • Financial services
    • The City of London will exit the EU’s single market for financial services at the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.
    • The two sides plan to put in place a regulatory dialogue on financial services based on a separate memorandum of understanding.
  • Migration
    • Current British and EU expatriates have their rights safeguarded by the UK’s 2019 withdrawal agreement with the bloc, but big changes to migration arrangements take effect from January 1.
    • Britons will no longer have the benefit of European freedom of movement: the right to go to any EU member state and seek to work and live there on the same basis as the country’s own citizens.
  • Security
    • The EU and UK have been at pains to emphasise the importance of continuing co-operation in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, although talks in this area were complicated by Britain’s determination to escape the ECJ’s jurisdiction.
    • The deal establishes that security co-operation can be suspended if the UK breaks away from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Possible challenges despite the deal:

  • A trade agreement along the lines of the one negotiated between the two sides will leave Britain facing a 4 per cent loss of potential gross domestic product over 15 years compared with EU membership, according to the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility.
  • In the short term, trade on both sides will be disrupted as thousands of companies adapt.
  • The agreement will also mean significant costs to businesses as exporters face a host of border checks from 1 January and freedom of movement in the EU will end for most UK nationals.
  • No longer will goods and people be able to move freely between the U.K. and its continental neighbors without border restrictions.
  • EU nationals will no longer be able to live and work in Britain without visas — though that does not apply to the more than 3 million already doing so — and Britons can no longer automatically work or retire in EU nations.
  • Exporters and importers face customs declarations, goods checks and other obstacles.
  • Businesses will face extra paperwork and costs when trading with the UK’s biggest export market.
  • there are still unanswered questions about huge areas, including security cooperation between the U.K. and the bloc and access to the EU market for Britain’s huge financial services sector.
  • Banks and traders have acknowledged that the proposed system is more piecemeal than existing arrangements, and less stable.

Way forward:

  • UK should respect the withdrawal agreement, and be flexible in the talks as well as on deadlines.
  • Both sides should focus on reaching a consensus on trade and other future relations, and not on ending the relationship at any cost.

Conclusion:

The end of the transition period will bring widespread changes for British businesses and citizens, as a new chapter in the country’s relationship with its neighbours begins.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. There is a strong connection between bolstering democracy and achieving a better functioning financial system. Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: Business Standard 

Why the question:

A great debate has surged, in recent weeks in India, about democracy and “tough” economic reforms.

Key Demand of the question:

To bring out the links between vibrant democracy and a proper functioning financial system.

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:

Begin by developing a link how in the field of finance, the main path of reforms is intertwined with deepening of democracy.

Body:

Establish connection between rule of law and a flourishing economy with examples to substantiate it. Cite studies and examples, to substantiate your point.

Make note of how a functioning democracy helps the financial sector in investments, organizational building and increase of personal wealth etc.

Write about regulation of financial sector and the need for it be independent as well as how a democratic setup bolsters it.

Conclusion:

Summarize as to how more democracy is good for financial development.

Introduction:

A great debate has surged, in recent weeks in India, about democracy and “tough” economic reforms. In the field of finance, the main path of reforms is intertwined with deepening of democracy. The essence of democracy — dispersion of power, and the rule of law — generates the precise conditions for the flowering of the market economy, of which finance is the core.

Body:

Connection between Democracy and financial system:

  • The essence of democracy lies in dispersion of power, in containing arbitrary state power, in channelling state power into the path of the rule of law.
  • Under the rule of law, private persons and economic agents feel safe that the coercive power of the state will be deployed in a predictable and rules based way, impartially. This encourages investments in building firms and building personal wealth.
  • There is thus a deep connection between the emergence of democracy and the willingness of the private sector to commit, to spend decades building organisations, and to keep their wealth in the country.
  • Every financial system involves financial regulation. When state and regulatory power is unchecked, regulators have discretion on who is targeted.
  • Under these conditions, private persons invest in the power game, in influencing the use of state power.
  • The focus of private persons is then more on managing the political regulatory and bureaucratic environment, and less on understanding consumers, technology and efficient methods of running organisations.
  • A common law framework is one where legislators or regulators operate in a more principles-based way, where the state does not prescribe details of products or processes, where the state does not pick winners, where micro-management of private persons is absent, which give a bigger role to judges to think about a novel situation and to effectively make law.

Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission and its views:

  • The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) is a body set up by the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, on 24 March 2011, to review and rewrite the legal-institutional architecture of the Indian financial sector.
  • The substance of the FSLRC report, and the draft law, directly harness democracy to serve the objective of a capable financial sector.
  • The commission’s basic proposition is that “in a liberal democracy, the ‘separation of powers’ doctrine encourages a separation between the legislative, executive and judicial functions.
  • Financial regulators are unique in the extent to which all three functions are placed in a single agency. This concentration of power needs to go along with strong accountability mechanisms.”
  • Emphasising that there is a strong case for independence of regulators, as independent regulators would yield greater legal certainty, the commission suggested that the quest for independence of the regulator requires two planks of work.
  • On the one hand, independence needs to be enshrined in the law, by setting out many processes in great detail in the law.
  • On the other hand, the Commission drew attention to the dangers of the administrative state, of the unchecked rule of officials who have the power to even draft law and write judicial orders.
  • Hence, alongside independence, there is a requirement of accountability mechanisms.

Way forward for better accountability:

  • The processes that the regulator must adhere to were written down in considerable detail in the draft Indian Financial Code (IFC).
  • The regulation-making process (where Parliament has delegated law-making power to regulators) was established and elaborated in the draft IFC with great care, with elaborate checks and balances, as there are special dangers when unelected officials are given the power to write laws.
  • Systems of supervision were developed with a great emphasis on the rule of law. Strong reporting mechanisms were prescribed.
  • A mechanism for judicial review was enshrined for all actions of regulators through a specialised tribunal, with special attention on the problem of mere civil servants acting as judges.

Conclusion:

A recent literature has looked at events where a country graduated to a higher level of democracy, and the evidence is positive, in favour of the idea that increased democracy is good for increased financial development.

 

Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

5. The Naga peace deal has been lingering for decades. Examine the hurdles in the peace deal and suggest ways to overcome them. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

Centre may take ‘wanted’ Naga leader Niki Sumi’s ceasefire offer and security agencies have worked on his return to India with an eye on concluding the Naga peace deal.

Key Demand of the question:

To bring forth the hurdles in concluding a peace deal between the Center and Naga representatives and to suggest way to conclude the deal.

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:

The Naga peace process appears to have hit a roadblock after years of negotiations. Give the context as part of the introduction.

Body:

In 2015, the Centre signed a framework agreement with the NSCN (I-M) to resolve the Naga issue, but both sides maintained secrecy about its contents. The optimism among some Naga groups eroded a bit when the NNPGs were brought on board the peace process on November 17, 2017.

Write about the friction between NSCN(I-M) and interlocutor R.N Ravi over some contents of the deal.

Mention other hurdles such as sovereignty issues, demand for Greater Nagalim, Issues with non-Naga groups and factions within the Nagas.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward on securing a long lasting and peaceful deal with all the stakeholders.

Introduction:

The Nagas are not a single tribe, but an ethnic community that comprises several tribes who live in the state of Nagaland and its neighbourhood. The talks seek to settle disputes that date back to colonial rule. One key demand of Naga groups has been a Greater Nagalim that would cover not only the state of Nagaland but parts of neighbouring states, and even of Myanmar.

Body:

naga_demand

Reasons for not accepting Naga Demand of Separate Flag & Separate Constitution

  • Regressive: Yezhabo is far less liberal than what Indian Constitution presently offers for Naga people. It is regressive and some of its provisions are against modern Constitutional values of liberty, equality & rule of law
  • Challenges of Wider Acceptance: Yezhabo also proposes Naga leader Muivah as the over-arching figure of Naga politics, development and destiny which will not be acceptable to Naga Citizenry which are spread in adjoining states of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam
  • Sets a Bad Precedent: Acceding to the demand of Separate Flag will set a dangerous precedent whereby other states also demand similar provisions
  • Identity Politics: Acceding to these demands is akin to giving racial and ethnic identity an equal footing with National Identity which will act as catalyst to Identity Politics in rest of India.
  • Weakens National Integrity: The overall National Consciousness and National integration process will be weakened.
  • Failure of Article 370: Working of Article 370 which had provided for separate Flag and Constitution has shown that such type of measures has not yielded results but has instead widened the gap between regional society and Indian mainstream.

Ceasefire Agreement of 2015

  • The Government of India recognised the unique history, culture and position of the Nagas and their sentiments and aspirations. The NSCN (Isak-Muivah) also appreciated the Indian political system and governance.
  • Significance: It shows the government’s strong intent to resolve the long standing issue and adoption of diplomatic peaceful approach by Naga Society to fulfil their aspirations.

Impact of the agreement

  • Enlarged Peace Talks: Talks were expanded in 2017 by including other Naga groups under the banner, the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs)
  • Bilateral to Multilateral Negotiations: The Framework Agreement envisaged a bilateral truce between two entities, but today it is seen to be a multilateral one with involvement of seven prominent Naga groups
  • Deadlock in Talks Since October 2019: The deadlock was on the insistence for a separate flag and constitution by the NSCN(IM) to make way for India and Nagaland to be independent allies in a shared-sovereignty federal relationship
  • Differences within Naga Groups:  The NSCN (I-M) still insists on a “Greater Nagalim”. However, most of the NNPGs based in Nagaland have sought to settle the issue without disturbing the State boundaries while keeping the “Greater Nagalim” question in abeyance.

Present grievances of NSCN-IM

Interpretation of Agreement

  • The agreement released by the NSCN-IM in August 2020 stated “sharing the sovereign power” and provide for an “enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities”.
  • The NSCN-IM claims that the word ‘new’ is politically sensitive as it goes to define the meaning of peaceful co-existence of the two entities (two sovereign powers) and it strongly indicates outside the purview of the Constitution
  • The position of NSCN (IM) has been “with India, not within India”.
  • Conceding to this demand, especially after the abrogation of Article 370, seems improbable for the Government. 

Grievances against Interlocutor & also Nagaland Governor

  • The NSCN-IM has claimed that Mr. Ravi, “craftily deleted the word new from the original” to justify his own narrative and circulated to the other Naga groups including NNGPs
  • NSCN-IM is also angered by Mr. Ravi’s letter to Nagaland CM, alleging the collapse of law and order and that armed gangs who question the sovereignty and integrity of the nation” were engaging in “blatant extortion”.
  • This has touched a sore spot for the NSCN (I-M) as the group defended the practice by terming it “tax collection”.
  • The NSCN (I-M) has demanded that Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi should be removed as the interlocutor for talks on the Naga accord.

Way Forward

  • Any moves to alter boundaries will intensify ethnic conflicts and insurgencies beyond Nagaland.
  • The Central government needs to reiterate its commitment to finalising the Naga accord while seeking to re-engage with the NSCN (I-M) without giving in to its arbitrary demands.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:   empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

6.  “It is compassion, the most gracious of virtues, which moves the world.” –Thiruvalluvar  (150 words)

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

To elaborate the importance of compassion as a virtue.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define compassion in your own words.

Body:

Bring out the importance of being compassionate.

Talk about various forms of compassion towards self, family and friends, strangers, weaker sections, animals and environment, making it a great virtue.

With examples, such a Baba Amte, Mother Theresa or any great personalities etc, emphasize how compassion towards weaker section is a virtue and is an agent of change in the world.

Conclusion:

With the entire world going through a very tough phase, conclude how compassion can alleviate pains and heal the world.

Introduction:

Compassion is a deeper level of empathy, demonstrating an actual desire to help the suffering person. It is a unique feeling of sympathy for the suffering of others that involves emotions and empathy towards others, a sense of understanding, and the drive to protect.

It is the willingness to relieve the suffering of another. It is the sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. It motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and themselves. Compassion is often regarded as having sensitivity, an emotional aspect to suffering. Qualities of compassion are patience and wisdom; kindness and perseverance; warmth and resolve.

Body

  • Compassion is a virtue that involves Acknowledgment, understanding, and emotional resonance linked with action aimed at understanding the person and the amelioration of suffering
  • Take for instance the example of Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa was the epitome of compassion. If ever one would dare to give a core competency to her, it is this single characteristic of being a compassionate person. She radiated this quality, when on earth, in a way, few humans could ever do; her love for the marginalized and the vulnerable and particularly for the poorest of the poor and the dying destitute was boundless.
  • Compassion takes empathy and sympathy a step further. When you are compassionate, you feel the pain of another (i.e., empathy) or you recognize that the person is in pain (i.e., sympathy), and then you do your best to alleviate the person’s suffering from that situation. Thus, the emphasis here is on action and wanting to help.
  • When you’re compassionate, you’re not running away from suffering, you’re not feeling overwhelmed by suffering, and you’re not pretending the suffering doesn’t exist. When you are practicing compassion, you can stay present with suffering.
  • Our compassion for others can lead to alleviation of great distress of people. For example, during the recent migrant crisis, the Bollywood Actor Sonu Sood became quite well known for his help to them on compassionate grounds. Thousands of poor and vulnerable people were given help through him.
  • Even at personal level, we have to be compassionate to our friends and family. Only then can we share both happiness and their sufferings together. This is the key to be happy.
  • On an individual level, one must be compassionate about themselves, to be happy in life. For instance, it is important to acknowledge our abilities and not be hard on ourselves when we encounter a failure. As candidates of UPSC, being demotivated and failure is part of the process. This does not mean; we have to believe ill about our capacity and self-loathe. Rather we must overcome that with compassion, trying to empathise with ourselves.
  • Compassion and helping others gives a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment that makes the person in need and ourselves happy and satisfied.
  • Compassion broadens our Perspective beyond ourselves. It helps us release Stress and Depression. People who are self-focused are more prone to distress and depression as compared to people who are open and compassionate to others.
  • Compassion results in other people get attracted to ourselves. When we take interests in other’s lives and solve their problems, they are naturally attracted towards you and consider your presence essential in their lives.

Conclusion

The world desperately stands in need of compassion today. A compassion, which reaches out to the unloved, the ostracized, the marginalized and the vulnerable. A compassion, that takes a stand for the poor, the victims of injustice, the refugees and the displaced. A compassion, that is able to negate and overcome the hate and divisiveness. The humankind must be compassionate to each other to see the world thrive.

 

Topic:  Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

7. People with strong emotional intelligence skills rise above any situation. Emotional intelligence is the difference that makes the difference. Elucidate. (150 words)

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain how EI makes a difference in day to day administration as well in extreme situations.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In your own words, define Emotional intelligence and what it means to you.

Body:

Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to the capability of a person to recognize, understand and manage own emotions, as well as to understand, manage and influence emotions of others. It is not always virtuous and can be used as a tool for positive and negative ends.

Very briefly describe the key 5 components of EI.

Explain why it is so valuable in the context of civil servants. Mention how it makes a difference and people with high EI can manage any situation and rise above it. Cite examples to substantiate your points.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Emotional intelligence is the single best predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.

Introduction:

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.

Body:

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:

Self-awareness:

  • The ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.
  • Hallmarks of self-awareness include self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, and a self-deprecating sense of humor.
  • Emotional awareness: This deals with knowledge of one’s emotions and their effects. People having this competency are more aware of their feelings and performance.
  • Accurate self-assessment: This involves being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses. One is open to feedbacks, new viewpoints, etc.
  • Self-confidence: This relates to complete affirmation of one’s worth and abilities. They are usually more confident and are able to make sound decisions despite any uncertainties or pressures

Self-management:

  • Ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, and the propensity to suspend judgment and to think before acting. Hallmarks include trustworthiness and integrity; comfort with ambiguity; and openness to change.
  • Adaptability: This involves flexible attitude towards change. People with this competency find it easy to handle changing routines, multiple roles and even shifting priorities.
  • Innovativeness: This involves getting easy with and open to new information and ideas. People who possess this are able to gather new ideas from multiple sources, set challenging roles and are able to take calculated risks. They evolve original solutions to various problems.

Social Awareness:

  • The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. A skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.
  • Empathy does not necessarily imply compassion. Empathy can be ‘used’ for compassionate or cruel behaviour. Serial killers who marry and kill many partners in a row tend to have great emphatic skills.
  • A passion to work for internal reasons that go beyond money and status -which are external rewards, – such as an inner vision of what is important in life, a joy in doing something, curiosity in learning, a flow that comes with being immersed in an activity

Relationship management:

  • Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks, and an ability to find common ground and build rapport.
  • Hallmarks of social skills include effectiveness in leading change, persuasiveness, and expertise building and leading teams.
  • Application of emotional intelligence in administrative practices:

Significance of Emotional intelligence:

  • Appraising emotions arising from situations:
    • Using emotions for reason based decisions and policy making.
    • Identifying emotions in faces, voices, postures, and other content during public management activities.
  • Recruitment:
    • EQ measurement is invaluable in selecting and recruiting high performance workers.
  • Predicting performance:
    • Some companies are blending IQ testing with scientific measurement of EQ to predict job performance and direct workers to jobs where they are most likely to succeed.
  • Negotiation:
    • Whether you’re dealing with a trading partner, competitor, customer or colleague, being able to empathize and be creative in finding win-win solutions will consistently pay off.
  • Performance management:
    • 360-degree feedback is a common tool for assessing EQ. Knowing how your self-perception compares with others’ views about your performance provides focus for career development and positive behavioural changes.
  • Peer relationships:
    • Good networking skills are a staple of job effectiveness for the average worker. Networking has too often been associated with “using” other people, but a heightened EQ ensures a mutually beneficial approach to others.
  • Social responsibility:
    • When a leader cares about others, he is not a centre of attention and keeps everyone in the loop by making their intentions known.
  • Stress tolerance:
    • To stay focused, stress should be managed and it involves own reactions to stress or the reactions of others to the stress.
  • Impulse control:
    • Independent people evaluate the alternatives and initiate the work by taking appropriate action by executing the right options. People who manage their impulses avoid being distracted and losing control of the situation.
  • Optimism:
    • Optimistic people have a target that they’re aiming toward. These people are confident in their ability to carry out the required actions and meet the target by looking for successful solutions to problems.

Ways to develop emotional intelligence in civil servants:

  • Assessing personal strengths and limitations
  • Providing feedback with care
  • Maximizing learner choice
  • Encouraging participation
  • Linking learning goals to personal values
  • Adjusting expectations
  • Gauging readiness
  • Fostering a positive relationship between the trainer and the learner
  • Maximizing self-directed change
  • Setting clear goal
  • Maximizing opportunities to practice emotional intelligence
  • Providing frequent feedback on that practice
  • Enhancing insight into emotions and thought patterns

Conclusion:

The Center for Creative Leadership even draws on research to suggest that 75% of careers are negatively impacted by emotional competency-related themes. These include the inability to respond adaptively to change, nurture trust, lead teams during tough times, and deal effectively with interpersonal problems. So developing your EI skills will help civils servants perform better in the workplace.


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