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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 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. Bring out the factors that influence the temperature distribution on Earth. Account for the overall heat balance on earth despite some areas receiving more insolation than the others? (250 words)

Reference: NCERT – 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 explain about the factors that affect the temperature distribution and bring out reasons for overall heat balance on Earth.

Directive:

Account 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 mentioning about the temperature distribution on the Earth and its effects.

Body:

Mention the factors that influence the temperature distribution on earth. The Angle of Incidence or the Inclination of the Sun’s Rays, Duration of Sunshine, Transparency of Atmosphere, Land-Sea Differential, Prevailing Winds, Aspects of Slope, Ocean Currents, Altitude, Earth’s Distance form Sun.

In the next part, mention the reasons for the heat balance on the Earth. Regions between 40deg N to S receives more insolation and beyond that have a deficit of insolation. The factors such as planetary winds, ocean currents, jet streams and cyclones which are responsible for maintaining heat balance on the earth.

Conclusion:

State the impact of maintaining the heat balance on Earth.

Introduction:

Temperature differs from one part of the world to the other. Since Insolation is the basic source of energy for the atmosphere, the distribution of insolation would determine the temperature of the earth. Thus latitude, altitude, distance from sea, features of the surface, nature of the landscape are some important factors that affect the distribution of temperature.

Body:

Various Factors that cause temperature distribution:

The latitude of the place

  • The temperature of a place is determined by the insolation received.
  • The insolation differs according to the latitude, therefore, the temperature also differs consequently.

The altitude of the place

  • The atmosphere is indirectly heated by terrestrial radiation.
  • Therefore, the places adjacent to the sea-level record higher temperatures than the places located at higher elevations.
  • The temperature usually decreases with increasing height.
  • The rate of decrease of temperature with height is called the normal lapse rate.

Distance from the sea

  • The main factor that influences the temperature is the position of a place with respect to the sea.
  • The sea gets heated slowly and loses heat slowly compared to land.
  • Land heats up and cools down rapidly.
  • So, the difference in temperature over the sea is less compared to the terrestrial surface.
  • The places located near the sea come under the moderating influence of the sea and land breezes which regulate the temperature.

The air- mass circulation

  • The passage of air masses also affects the temperature like the land and sea breezes.
  • The places which come under the effect of warm air-masses experience higher temperature and the places that come under the influence of cold air- masses experience lower temperature.
  • The places situated on the coast where the warm ocean currents flow record higher temperature than the places situated on the coast where the cold currents flow.

The presence of warm and cold ocean currents

  • Warm currents make the coasts along which they flow warmer, while cold currents reduce the temperature of the coasts along which they flow.

Local aspects

  • Soil devoid of vegetation cover receives heat more rapidly than the soil under vegetation cover.

Heat Budget of the Earth

  • The earth as a whole does not accumulate or lose heat. It maintains its temperature.
  • This can happen only if the amount of heat received in the form of insolation equals the amount lost by the earth through terrestrial radiation.
  • This balance between the insolation and the terrestrial radiation is termed as the heat budget or heat balance of the earth.
  • Although the earth as a whole maintains a balance between the insolation and the terrestrial radiation, this is not true what we observe at different latitudes.
  • There are variations in the amount of insolation received at different latitudes.
  • In the tropical region, the amount of insolation is higher than the amount of terrestrial radiation. Hence it is a region of surplus heat. In the polar region, the heat gain is less than the heat loss. Hence it is a region of deficit heat.
  • Thus the insolation creates an imbalance of heat at different latitudes.
  • Atmosphere (planetary winds) and the oceans (ocean currents) transfer excess heat from the tropics (energy surplus region) towards the poles (energy deficit regions) making up for heat loss at higher latitudes.
  • And most of the heat transfer takes place across the mid-latitudes (30° to 50°) [more while studding jet streams and cyclones], and hence much of the stormy weather is associated with this region.
  • Thus, the transfer of surplus energy from the lower latitudes to the deficit energy zone of the higher latitudes, maintains an overall balance over the earth’s surface.
  • This process of redistribution and balancing of latitudinal heat is commonly known as Latitudinal Heat Balance.

Conclusion:

Thus, the temperature distribution determines the climate of a particular area. Global warming and climate change effects are altering the temperature distribution, thus affecting the climate across the globe.

 

Topic:  factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India);

2. Account for the Southward shifting trend in the Sugar Industries of India. What are the major problems faced by the Sugar Industry in India and how can they be addressed? (250 words)

Reference: www.insightsonindia.com

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To mention the reasons for shift of Sugar Industry from North India to South India. To mention the problems of sugar industry in India and provide solutions to address them.

Directive:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by briefly mentioning the about sugar industry of India.

Body:

State the reasons for the shift to southwards of sugar Industry: better climatic conditions, Yields, sucrose content, crushing season, machinery and management of industries etc.

Bring out the major problems prevailing in the sugar industry. Low Yield of Sugarcane, Short crushing season, Fluctuating Production Trends, High cost of Production, Regional imbalances in distribution, The FRP and SAP issue and regulation of sugar sector etc.

Mention the solutions for the above issues. Diversification and value-addition, better use of by-products, higher production of alcohol, raising ethanol-admixing with petrol to 20 per cent or more, incentivize expanding the area under sugarcane etc, alternative business models,

Conclusion:

Bring out as how Sugar Industry must move to being more self-reliant and stop being depending on the government.

Introduction:

India is the second largest producer of sugar (17.1%) in the world after Brazil. Within India, Uttar Pradesh (36.1%), Maharashtra (34.3%) and Karnataka (11.7%) are the three largest producers. Sugar production in India has increased from 24.8 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 32.25 million tonnes in 2017-18 and is expected to touch 35.5 million tonnes in 2018-19. But the domestic demand remains stagnant at around 25 million tonnes. More than 50 million farmers engaging in sugarcane cultivation in over four million hectares of land (with over five lakh employees in sugar mills). Increasing mismatch has further depressed sugar prices, resulting in increasing sugar arrears.

A high yield sugarcane variety, India witnessed bumper harvests in the last 3 seasons, but sugar prices have fallen and sugarcane farmers have been incurring heavy losses.

Body:

Distribution of sugar industry in India:

 

The sugar industry of India is gradually shifting from north India to peninsular India because of several better conditions prevailing there.

  • The tropical climate of Peninsular India results in higher yield per unit hectare of land
  • Higher sucrose content in peninsular cane
  • Long crushing season in south. In North India, it lasts from November to February (4 months); while in South it lasts from October to May or even June (nearly 8 months)
  • The mills in peninsular India are larger. Though Uttar Pradesh has more sugar mills than Maharashtra yet Maharashtra’s sugar mills are larger in size & capacity. Further, the mills in cooperative sector in south are better managed

The issues faced by sugarcane farmers in the country are

  • Coronavirus pandemic:
    • The closure of restaurants, weddings and other social functions not taking place, and people avoiding ice-creams and sweetened cold beverages that might cause throat infections.
    • The impact of coronavirus-induced lockdowns on out-of-home consumption and institutional (as opposed to direct household) demand for sugar is obvious.
  • Multiple Prices:
    • Fixation of Fair Remunerative Price is another bone of contention between the Centre and sugar mills. The Centre decides FRP annually and the states can hike it by issuing a state advisory price or SAP. But mills want the price of sugarcane to be linked to the price of sugar.
    • The higher FRP and SAP poses a grave threat to groundwater levels, the depletion of which is already a grim ecological catastrophe in India.
  • Glut in Production:
    • New seed variety, CO-0238, the country has witnessed bumper harvests in the last three seasons, particularly in 2017-18.
    • But sugar prices have fallen because of the demand-supply mismatch and sugarcane farmers have been incurring heavy losses.
    • 36 MMT of sugar, against consumption of 26 MMT, is being produced since 2018, which involves high risks like high storage costs and spoilage.
  • Unpaid dues to farmers:
    • The sugar production by mills also went up across the country, due to which the sugar prices plummeted so much that the sugar mills in India cumulatively owe Rs 22,000 crore to farmers for cane supplied in 2017-18.
  • Mismanaged policy:
    • In December 2009, the government announced its National Policy on Biofuels, which called for blending petrol with 5 per cent ethanol.
    • In 2015, the target was raised to 10 per cent. But this was never achieved. Brazil, the world’s biggest sugarcane producer, depends on ethanol, and not sugar, as main revenue source from sugarcane and blends 27 per cent ethanol with petrol.
    • There are several impediments to the solutions proposed by the government which include sugar subsidies, exporting excess production of sugar, production of ethanol from sugarcane to use in cars and buying excess sugar and hoarding it as buffer stock
  • Delay in payment of late fees:
    • After the crushing season is over, the mill is supposed to transfer the money to farmers’ bank accounts within 14 days, failing which it should pay 15 per cent interest annually on the amount, says the Union government’s Sugarcane Control Order of 1966. But mills rarely pay on time.
  • Infrastructure issues:
    • Sugarcane is a weight-losing crop which needs to be crushed at the earliest from time of harvest.
    • The poor connectivity, lack of transportation facilities and distant sugar-mills cause huge losses to farmers due to decline in quality of sugarcanes.
  • Miscalculations:
    • In October 2016, Uttar Pradesh announced the average sugarcane yield estimates for every district for 2017-18. These estimates are the basis on which the mills buy sugarcane. Farmers say that these estimates have turned out to be much less than the actual yield.

Way forward:

  • Rangarajan committee (2012) proposed decontrol of sugar industry and linking sugarcane prices with market price of sugar to account for this structural imbalance.
  • Based on the report, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) recommended a hybrid approach of fixing sugarcane prices, which involved fair and remunerative price (FRP) or floor price and revenue sharing formula (RSF). Under this approach farmers’ revenue from sugarcane would be higher if the price of sugar and by-products is high.
  • This is similar to many other committees formed by the government to recommend the sugar industry decontrol. Committees under Mahajan (1998), Tuteja (2004), Thorat (2009) and Nandakumar (2010) had similar recommendations.
  • Ease the market control of government on export and import. The move is to help India (17% of world production) to enable its exports (only 4% of world export), but leaving it all to the market is risky.
  • Do away with minimum distance between mills to enable competition.
  • The new national policy on biofuels 2018, expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of Sugarcane Juice.
  • Policy modifications to increase the ethanol blending vis-à-vis the foreign countries like Australia which has 85% blending. Better prices for ethanol can also help in export of the same.
  • To diversify crops and ensure that sugarcane production falls. This requires long-term investment, and the government will have to encourage farmers to cultivate crops like pulses and oilseeds.
  • Better irrigation techniques to reduce the water usage.
  • Reducing the information asymmetry to improve farmer’s knowledge about the possible output in a year using BigData technique.

Case-study: In2012, the sugarcane-water stories of farmers in Barwani, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajgoli, Maharashtra, were replete with sour details when International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group intervened along with Olam International and Solidaridad. The collaboration, called ‘Madhu Shree’, recognised water as a key risk-factor, because in 2015, it was rated as the highest global risk by the World Economic Forum, considering its contribution to three of the top five global risks.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Good and affordable internet availability to women will be a big step towards fulfilling the goal of Female empowerment and gender equality. Elaborate in the light of findings of National family Health Survey -5 (NFHS-5) on women internet usage in India. (250 words)

Reference: Down to Earth 

Why the question:

According to National family Health Suvey -5, a very high differential is seen among the female and male population who have ever used the internet.

Key Demand of the question:

To develop linkages between affordable interment and female empowerment to achieve gender equality.

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:

Give context regarding the disparities in internet usage among men and women in the light of findings of NFHS-5.

Body:

Give reasons for low internet usage in India among women. Such as lack of access to mobiles and laptops, lack of digital literacy, poor connections in rural area, societal norms in preventing women using technology and impediments such as trolling and bullying etc. Mention the impact of the above on women.

In the next part mention as to how internet can play a role in achieving of Female empowerment and gender equality. Giving them a platform, economic opportunities, connect with the rest of the world, awareness and education and social entrepreneurship etc.

Substantiate with successful missions such as Women for Empowerment and Entrepreneurship (W2E2) platform provides digital tools, Internet connectivity and digital literacy skills training to help rural women in India set up social and/or entrepreneurial micro-enterprises.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction:

Internet broadband and mobile Internet services are a lifeline to people in India from all walks of life. While the Internet is certainly a main source of information and communication and access to social media, it is so much more than that. In Sep 2019, the Kerala High Court, in Faheema Shirin v. the State of Kerala case, declared the right to Internet access as a fundamental right forming a part of the right to privacy and the right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution. Despite this, according to the Software Freedom Law Centre data, there have been more than a 100 Internet shutdowns in different parts of India in 2019 alone.

National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) survey data helps us gain an idea about the spread of awareness regarding the internet among people.

Body:

Findings:

(1) Gendered data:

  • Very high differential is also seen among the female and male population who have ever used the internet. In every state, it is seen that the percentage of male users exceeds the female ones.
  • The states and Union territories with the highest percentage of internet users among men are Goa (82.9 %), Lakshadweep (80.3 %) and Mizoram (79.7 %).
  • Also, states like Sikkim (76.7 %), Goa (73.7 %) and Mizoram (67.6 %) have the highest percentage of female internet users. The lowest internet usage among men is seen in Meghalaya (42.1 %), Assam (42.3 %) and Bihar (43.6 %).
  • In some states like Bihar, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, there is almost double the number of male internet users than female ones. Among women, it is seen in Bihar (20.6 %), Andhra Pradesh (21 %) and Tripura (22.9 %).

(2) Urban-Rural divide

  • Except for West Bengal, there is no other state which shows a lower percentage of urban male internet users compared to rural ones.
  • States like Goa, Kerala and Lakshadweep don’t show a huge variation in internet accessibility in the urban and rural areas.
  • But in every other state, there is an approximate difference of 10-15 % between the two regions, with urban areas staying ahead.

Why it matters?

  • The internet today has a very huge range and a big impact on the lifestyle and empowerment of people.
  • Female empowerment and gender equality have been one of the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals that our country is trying to achieve.
  • Good and affordable internet availability to women will be a big step towards fulfilling this goal.

Significance of the data

  • Gender differentiation that is seen in the offline world also affects the variations that we have seen in the online world, which includes differences in education, employment and income.
  • Sexual harassment and trolling are other reasons why people prefer to keep their female relatives away from the internet.
  • Just like phone ownership was used as an indicator to understand the women empowerment situation in the country, this too can be an indicator for the same.
  • In a global economy, knowledge of digital processes transforms the way in which people work, collaborate, consume information, and entertain themselves.
  • It will also augment the government’s efforts to provide better education, health and employment opportunities.
  • It also helps in socio-cultural mobilisation in Indian society.
  • Curbing Inequality is the basis of social justice and development.
  • Also, reducing inequality also finds mention in Articles 39 of the directive principle of state policy, in the Indian Constitution.
  • Right to Internet access and digital literacy is important to get rid of the digital divide and allow citizens increased access to information, services, and the creation of better livelihood opportunities.

Way forward:

  • A positive obligationto create infrastructure for a minimum standard and quality of Internet access as well as capacity-building measures which would allow all citizens to be digitally literate.
  • A negative obligationto protect citizen’s right to privacy (declared a fundamental right by the Supreme Court in Puttaswamy judgement).
  • The government should invest the resources saved by moving services online, to create Digital infrastructure.
  • The definition of digital literacy today must include the ability to access and act upon resources and information found online across gender.
  • Internet access and digital literacy are dependent on each other, and creation of digital infrastructure must go hand in hand with thecreation of digital skills.
  • Apart from it, there is a need to strengthen telecom regulations,so as to ensure market competition and make the internet affordable to all.
  • Zero-rated services for mobile data access,could be an intermediate step to fully open and affordable Internet access for the poorest, provided that the choice of selecting services is transparent and inclusive.
  • While the Kerala High Court judgment acknowledges the role of the right to access the Internet in accessing other fundamental rights, it is imperative that the right to Internet access and digital literacy be recognised as a right in itself across gender.
  • The results from the NFHS-5 survey are still partial, but they have shown a great variation in the access to the internet among the states, between men and women and also between the rural and urban regions of each state.
  • When we look at the differentials in the usage of the internet by women across the rural and urban regions, a huge gap is seen between the urban and rural women’s use of the internet.
  • The variations are very high, with the percentage of women users of the internet in rural areas being just half of that in urban areas.

Conclusion:

Internet use and digital literacy are interdependent to promote digitization and overcome the digital divide, so the government should focus on building digital infrastructure as well as providing digital skills breaking all gender barriers.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic:  Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

4. A year on since the landmark inception of Chief of Defence Staff, a deep and candid introspection is warranted for it to have a tangible impact on military reforms. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference: Business Standard

Why the question:

It is been one year since the creation of the post of Chief of Defense Staff..

Key Demand of the question:

analyses the performance of Chief of Defence Staff and suggest ways to improve it further.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by giving context and appointment of General Bipin Rawat as the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

Body:

Mention the aims and objectives behind the creation of Chief of Defence Staff. Promoting jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the Services; facilitation of restructuring of Military Commands, establishment of joint/theatre commands; and promoting use of indigenous equipment by the Services.

Analyse the performance of the CDS in achieving the above. Relative indifference and the lack of awareness, Chinese intrusion across the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, slow restructuring of single-service military commands and controversial Tour Duty etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward for effective and optimal utilization of the post of CDS in achieving its desired objectives.

Introduction:

Indian Government had approved the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Department of Military Affairs as the fifth department within the Ministry of Defence. The CDS is be a four-star General/Officer who will act as the Principal Military Advisor to the Defence Minister on all tri-services (Army, Navy and Indian Air Force) matters.

Body:

Mandate of CDS:

  • Need: With the increasing complexity of security challenges in the modern warfare arena, there was a need for an integrated approach towards defence strategy. There are communication issues, budgetary overruns by individual commands, inter-alia which demanded joint working of Army, Navy and Air Force.
  • Jointness: CDS will ensure and promote the jointness (functioning together of the three services independently) through joint planning of command operations, logistics, transport, training, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years of operation. This will ensure close cooperation and collaboration amongst the defence forces.
  • Integration: There is a need for inducing integration (putting together the three Services at different levels and placing them under one commander) in different services. However, there is a difference between integration and jointness of command.
  • Lack of Resources: CDS as ‘first among equals’ will act as a single point advisor and could be held accountable for his actions and decisions taken. Restructured military commands for optimal utilization of resources will avoid unnecessary duplication and wasteful expenditure.
  • Expertise: Being into the services for so long, the expertise and knowledge of CDS to deal with the adverse situations could be appropriately utilized in order to achieve the desired aims, creating an architecture for joint commands.

Responsibility of CDS:

  • CDS will administer the tri-services organisations/agencies related to Cyber and Space.
  • CDS will look into monitoring of contracts, promoting the use of indigenous equipment, leveraging of current systems and transforming them, and prioritising the procurement of defence equipment in a better way.
  • He will also assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget.
  • CDS will bring reforms to augment the combat capabilities of the forces and is expected to evaluate plans for ‘out of area contingencies’ for countries in India’s neighbourhood.

Challenges:

  • Mandate for defence of the nation is still with the Department of Defence but the procurement process except capital acquisitions lies with CDS. This gives birth to dichotomy as on one hand CDS is expected to prioritise the expenditure between the three services but the wherewithal still lies with the Defence Secretary. Hence, the budgetary power still lies with the bureaucrats which demands timely intervention by the government.
  • CDS has the mandate of force planning (planning associated with the creation and maintenance of military capabilities). Changing role of warfare being more technology-oriented over rationalisation/rightsizing of manpower needs to be addressed properly.
  • India faces frequent conflicts on its land frontiers. Balancing this realisation that both maritime and air power are going to play an increasingly important role in India’s rise as a leading power will be among the initial strategic challenges that would be faced by the CDS.

How do other countries work?

  • All major countries, especially the nuclear weapon states, have a CDS. The U.K. from which the Indian armed forces and the Defence Ministry are modelled on has a Permanent Secretary, equivalent to the Defence Secretary, and also a CDS.
  • The U.K. Government guidelines state that the CDS is the professional head of the British armed forces and, as military strategic commander, is responsible for how operations are carried out. He is also the most senior military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Prime Minister.
  • The Permanent Secretary is the government’s principal civilian adviser on Defence, has primary responsibility for policy, finance and planning, and is also the Departmental Accounting Officer.

Way forward

  • The appointment of a CDS, can lead to the development of theatre commands in the future. Theaterisation has its advantages but the debate among the services on the need for such a move is far from over.
  • The success of the CDS will depend on the kind of powers the person appointed to the post enjoys. For the CDS to be effective, he would need to have control on the decision-making apparatus.
  • If the Ministry of Defence has the power to overrule the CDS, especially in the case of procurement of equipment for the three services, the move may yield low dividends.
  • The positives that this move may have can’t be ascertained until the government reveals the nuts and bolts of its plan.

 

Topic:  Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life;

5. As the space sector can leapfrog the country to a future of 21st century industrialization, the focus of the government should be on ensuring an enabling ecosystem for technology-led innovations and entrepreneurship for home grown space companies. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint 

Why the question:

The Department of Space (DoS) is on a hyperdrive of space sector reforms. In May 2020, it pledged to allow home-grown space companies access to Indian Space Research Organization’s (Isro’s) cutting-edge laboratories and hardware testing infrastructure.

Key Demand of the question:

To talk about the need for balanced reforms to ensure a thriving private sector in space with adequate checks and balances.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by mentioning how a new space age is dawning upon us with interlinkages of Industry 4.0 with space sector and many countries, more and more in number are lining up to invest, innovate and reap benefits.

Body:

Mention the current status of private home grown space companies’ presence and participation in the space sector of India. The newly created Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), The Public Sector Enterprise ‘New Space India Limited (NSIL).

Give recent examples such as Department of Space recently entering into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with Agnikul Cosmos Pvt. Ltd, a Chennai-based start-up which builds small private satellite launch vehicle. In May 2020, it pledged to allow home-grown space companies access to Indian Space Research Organization’s (Isro’s) cutting-edge laboratories and hardware testing infrastructure.

Mention ways how the government can create an enabling atmosphere for these space companies. Setting up a dedicated Technology Transfer Cell (TTC), Capacity Building Programme Office, case to case basis licensing etc.

Suggest, how the refroms are needed but given the prevailing geo-political scenario, the government must be watchful and tread carefully.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction:

India is among the global leaders in space exploration. ISRO has spearheaded India’s success in space. These include various satellite launch, space-launch vehicles, and a range of associated capabilities. But the private sector has not contributed much to it. India is lagging in harnessing the power of private innovation in the space domain. This not only limits the exploitation of space for economic development, but has serious national security implications.

Government has approved the creation of a new organisation called Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), which is expected to be functional within six months

Body:

Finance Minister recently announced a ground-breaking initiative by opening up space and atomic energy to private players, referring to them as “fellow travellers”. New-Space” is a rapidly growing market that will be worth hundreds of billions of dollars in the next decade.

India needs urgent and radical reforms in its space sector:

  • Today, the space industry is undergoing a paradigm shift, moving from Space 3.0 to Space 4.0, driven by changes in motivations, actors, roles, and technologies.
  • While Space 3.0 has been characterized by large government investments and public-public collaborations, Space 4.0 is a more democratized and accessible field with more public-private and private-private collaborations.

It entails the emergence of a plethora of small to medium-sized private companies.

  • As military uses of space and prestige projects like Moon-landing emerged, major private sector entities already in the aviation industry like Boeing and Lockheed won space contracts in the US.
  • Significant expansion of satellite-based telecommunication, navigation, broadcasting and mapping, and lent a significant commercial dimension to the space sector.
  • As the digital revolution in the 21st century transformed the world economy, the commercial space sector has begun to grow in leaps and bounds.
  • The global space business is now estimated to be around $ 400 billion and is expected easily rise to at least trillion dollars by 2040.
  • One example of the rise of private sector companiesin the space sector is SpaceX run by the US entrepreneur Elon Musk. Hired for a resupply mission for the space station, it now launches more rockets every year than NASA.
  • The entry of private sector has begun to drive down the cost-per-launch through innovations such as reusable rockets.
  • India, however, is quite some distance away from adapting to the unfolding changes in the global space business.
  • In its early years, India’s space programme that was constrained by lack of resources found innovative ways of getting ahead in space.
  • Although the ISRO encourages private sector participation in the national space programme, its model is still very 20th century — in terms of governmental domination.

Issues and Concerns of private participation in space industry in India:

  • Data Risk: Though space it gives an opportunity to entrepreneurs but raw data of ISRO in the hands of the public is sensitive and consists of danger of misuse or improper utilisation of data.
  • Regulation: Though it is a profitable investment, regulation of private sector participation is not easy. The time taken for regulatory clearances and unstable political institutions can cause delays and hurdle in decision making of investors.
  • Revenue loss: ISRO will lose a fair amount of money it is earning through its space activities. This will reduce government revenue.
  • Unfair commercial practices:Allowing private sector may lead to lobbying and unfair means to get space projects or launch of any satellite for their own profit. It may also lead to leakage of sensitive information by private players to other countries and companies to make profit.

Way forward:

  • India should have national space activities legislationwhich takes on board all stakeholders.
  • Apublic-private partnership (PPP) model can be looked into to realise ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), with a joint venture between ISRO and the private sector.
  • In the UK, space ventures are treated as a complement to big organizations and not a competitor. This should be encouraged in India too.
  • Asupportive international partner and likeminded local partners helps to set up a space business.
  • The idea should be to let the private industry build their own facilities after gaining enough expertise.
  • ISRO has built a space technology park spread over 25 acres in Bengaluru where the entire range of facilities have been set up for use by the industry.
  • It needs a regulatory environment that encourages a more dynamic role for the private sector and promotes innovation. It will be a pity if India squanders the many advantages of its early start in space by delaying the much-needed reform and reorganization of its space sector.

Conclusion:

The private sector already supplies majority of the sub-systems in satellite manufacturing. This can be further scaled up into other activities with proper regulation and partnership of the ISRO and private sector. The country must deregulate the space sector to encourage private enterprise if we are to compete in the new space economy.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions;

6. What are the ethical dilemmas involved in the process of abortion? Debate on the pro-life and pro-choice angle on abortion. State your stand on the issue of abortion. (150 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Argentina’s Senate passed a law legalizing after a marathon 12-hour session, a victory for the women’s movement that has been fighting for the right for decades.

Key Demand of the question:

To put forth the ethical dilemmas regarding abortion and debate on the issue of pro-life vs pro-choice.

Directive:

Debate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Given the context of the debate surrounding Abortion.

Body:

Bring out the ethical dilemmas involving abortion. The dilemma between, life of the fetus and the choice of the women, The religious aspect and the modern feminism, legality in some countries/states and illegality in other, sex selective abortions, abortions when there exists a threat to  the life of the women, abortion when there exist deformities in the unborn fetus etc.

In detail, make detailed arguments on the pro-life and the pro-choice debate. Mention the impact of the same in a critical manner.

Conclusion:

Summarize the arguments and state your positive, balanced and fair stand on the issue of abortion.

Introduction:

Termination of pregnancy (TOP) or feticide is ethically and morally challenging and maybe considered illegal in countries with restrictive abortion laws. Ethical dilemmas such as women’s autonomy rights may conflict with foetus’ right to personhood, and doctor’s moral obligations to society. In liberal jurisdictions, previable foetuses may not have legal rights of personhood; therefore, appropriate action would be to respect pregnant women’s decisions regarding TOP.

Body:

All the religions have taken strong positions on abortion; they believe that the issue encompasses profound issues of life and death, right and wrong, human relationships and the nature of society, that make it a major religious concern.

People involved in an abortion are usually affected very deeply not just emotionally, but often spiritually, as well. They often turn to their faith for advice and comfort, for explanation of their feelings, and to seek atonement and a way to deal with their feelings of guilt.

As per Stanley Hauwerwas “For no amount of ethical reflection will ever change the basic fact that tragedy is a reality of our lives. A point is reached where we must have the wisdom to cease ethical reflection and affirm that certain issues indicate a reality more profound than the ethical.”

Pro-choice & Pro-life

  • Pro-choice: are proponents who support choice of child bearer and hence support the cause of abortion at will.
  • Pro-life: are proponents who support life in consideration i.e. the foetus which is considered life from the women’s womb itself.

Pro-Choice:

Pregnant woman has moral rights too

  • Under some circumstances these may override the foetus’s right to live
  • These moral rights include:
    • The right to ownership of her own body
    • The right to decide her own future
    • The right to take decisions without moral or legal intervention by others
    • The pregnant woman has the right to life – where not aborting the foetus would put the mother’s life or health in danger, she has the moral right to abort the foetus

Pro Life:

Killing people is wrong

  • Killing innocent human beings is wrong
  • Human life begins at conception
  • Therefore, the foetus is an innocent human being
  • Therefore, killing the foetus is wrong
  • Therefore, abortion is always wrong

Killing potential people is wrong

  • It is wrong to destroy potential human life
  • From conception onwards the foetus is a potential human being
  • Therefore, it is wrong to destroy the foetus
  • Therefore, abortion is always wrong

Increasing tolerance of killing is wrong

  • Allowing abortion is legalising killing
  • Legalising killing reduces people’s respect for life
  • Reducing society’s respect for life is a bad thing – it may lead to euthanasia, genocide and increased murder rates
  • Therefore, abortion is always wrong

Pro-choice versus Pro-life:

Pro Choice:

If a pregnancy puts the life of the mother at risk, then we should consider the value of the foetus compared to the value of the life of the mother.

  • An unwanted child does not have a good life. If a mother has a child that she does not want, then both she and the child may be greatly harmed; forcing the mother to continue with the pregnancy might produce a child with little chance of a happy life for itself and cause the mother much suffering as:
  • Mother should have a right to control her own life, at least to the extent that in doing so she does minimal harm to herself.
  • The right to abortion is vital for gender equality. The right to abortion is vital for individual women to achieve their full potential.
  • Banning abortion puts women at risk by forcing them to use illegal methods that may be more harmful.
  • But on the other hand the right to life should always outweigh the right of an individual to equality or to control their own. It can be misused.

Pro Life:

  • Foetus has the right to life because it is a ‘potential human being’.
  • The ‘potential human being’ argument gives the right to life to the unborn from the very earliest stage of development – the moment when the egg is fertilised.
  • This argument renders irrelevant any concerns about what sort of being the foetus is at any particular stage of its development.

The new-born argument

  • One of the strongest arguments for giving the full rights of person to the foetus because it is a potential person flows from the status of a new born baby.
  • At birth a new born baby possesses so few of the characteristics required for ‘moral personhood’ that its right to life can’t be based on it being a ‘moral person’.
  • Nonetheless, everyone does accept that it has a right to life – even those who follow the ‘moral person’ line of thought.
  • This right to life seems to flow from the potential that the new-born has to become a ‘moral person’, and this in turn seems to support the argument that a potential ‘moral person’ has the right to life.

Conclusion:

Philosopher Ted Lockhart has come up with a practical solution for dealing with moral problems that can be used to decide whether or not to abort a foetus. Lockhart suggests that we should “perform actions that we are maximally confident are morally permissible”. Where we have to make a moral choice we should take the course of action that we are most confident is morally correct.

The right to life underlies all other human rights – if we protect those rights we should protect the right to life as well. Abortion is a civil rights issue in that some of those who support abortion do as a way of controlling the growth of certain population groups. Abortion is sometimes forced on women by exploiting partners or families. Abortion is sometimes forced on women because society fails to supply their needs. Parents have an obligation to their unborn children – it is wrong for them to escape it. Abortion brutalises those who carry it out, or who are involved in the process.

 

Topic: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions;

7. With a tough and a challenging year coming to an end, what learnings do you take forward from this year? (150 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

A challenging question which asks to you write about the learnings from the pandemic hit year.

Key Demand of the question:

To contemplate on the learnings from the year.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with mentioning the about the year 2020 and highlight some major events from it.

Body:

This is a very open ended question. On the overview it may seem like a simple and straightforward questions but it is a bit challenging to summarize the learnings and link them to your syllabus.

Mention about the major learnings from the year. Importance of transparency (China not revealing Covid-19 in the initial phases), dedication to public service (front line workers), courage (covid patients and their families), tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections (black lives matter and migrant issues) etc.

Make sure the learning are linked to your syllabus and ethical values.

Conclusion:

End with a positive way forward for the New Year.

Introduction:

COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating, Millions of enterprises face an existential threat.  Pandemic has decimated jobs and placed millions of livelihoods at risk. As breadwinners lose jobs, fall ill and die, the food security and nutrition of millions of women and men are under threat.

Body:

Values that we have to learn from 2020:

  • Resilience – From environmental disasters to a global pandemic, and social unrest to economic recession, even the least affected of us have had to learn a little more about strength.
    • For g.: The efforts of citizens in staying socially isolated despite all the financial and social problems and vulnerabilities.
  • Adaptability Individuals, families and businesses were taught the true meaning of adaptability.
    • For g.: Evolving work culture, promoting Work from Home culture etc.
  • Compassion: During isolation – and a spike in unemployment – talking about grief and mental health became increasingly important and people found new ways to show compassion.
    • For g.: Compassion of frontline Workers – Policemen, healthcare workers, civil servants who had worked selflessly to promote and protect lives of citizens.
  • Connection and Self-Reflection- Many people found time to self-reflect during isolation, learning a little bit more about themselves and the value they place on social connection.
    • For E.g.: Effective use of video calls and social media to stay connected.
  • Courage – As we move from uncertainty to realization of the nature of our challenges, we recognize persistent fear for what it is, and we grow to a point where we master our fears.
    • For E.g.: Covid patients and their families.
  • Building a healthy work culture- The global crisis has left several lessons for us in its wake and one of them is to be supportive of each other and build a culture of trust, support, and transparency.
  • Increased flexibility- Changing work scenarios, changing social setting, changing political scenarios, with growing uncertainty, has inspired citizens to become flexible.

We must invest in Education: With changing scenarios, disruption in education is happening affecting lives of future generation. Inclusion of ICT in education have further bred inequality.

Conclusion:

Finally, we must find our voice and refuse to lose it again. Never take anything for granted – amount of loss we’ve seen this year has been truly unprecedented. We’ve seen mass layoffs. We’ve seen industries completely tank to the point of no return. We’ve also lost things that were more personal to us like close human interaction. We don’t get to go to places like we used to or even sit down at a restaurant comfortably.

As Seneca said “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”


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