Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 1 January 2021


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. The Salinity of the ocean water varies due various geographical as well as ecological factors. Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Certificate of Human and Physical Geography by G.C Leong.

Why the question:

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

Key demand of the question:

Write about salinity in the ocean, its variation. Next, explain the factors affecting variation in oceans salinity. Write about variation in salinity both in terms of latitudinal change and change with depth. Discuss the impact of such variations in salinity

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Explain what ocean salinity is and how it varies with latitudinal variations and depth.

Body:

Discuss the factors affecting changes in ocean salinity – precipitation and evaporation, enclosed or not etc.

Discuss the impact of such variations. Highlight the impact of increasing salinity on water cycle, on physiographic factors like density and how that impacts the movement of current, on climate such as in the case of el nino etc.

Conclusion:

Mention about the impact of salinity on the oceans around the world.

Introduction:

Salinity refers to the total content of dissolved salts in sea water. It is calculated as the amount of salt (in gm) dissolved in 1,000 gm (1 kg) of seawater. The salinity of ocean water is usually around 35 parts per thousand on an average at zero degrees Celsius. This implies that in the total weight of ocean water, dissolved salts amount to 3.5 percent. Sodium chloride or the common salt is the most common among all the dissolved salts in the sea.

Body:

Factors influencing salinity are:

  • Factors affecting the amount of salt in different oceans and seas are called as controlling factors of oceanic salinity.
  • Evaporation, precipitation, influx of river water, prevailing winds, ocean currents and sea waves are significant controlling factors.

Variation in salinity:

  • Horizontal variation:
    • High salinity regions
      • In the land locked Red Sea salinity is high.
      • In hot and dry regions, where evaporation is high, the salinity is very high.
    • Comparatively Low salinity regions
      • In the estuaries and the Arctic, the salinity fluctuates seasonally (fresh water coming from ice caps)
    • Pacific
      • The salinity variation in the Pacific Ocean is mainly due to its shape and larger areal extent
    • Atlantic
      • Near the equator, there is heavy rainfall, high relative humidity, cloudiness and calm air of the doldrums.
      • The polar areas experience very little evaporation and receive large amounts of fresh water from the melting of ice. This leads to low levels of salinity,
      • Maximum salinity is observed between 20° N and 30° N and 20° W – 60° W. It gradually decreases towards the north.
    • Indian Ocean
      • The low salinity trend is observed in the Bay of Bengal due to influx of river water by the river Ganga.
      • On the contrary, the Arabian Sea shows higher salinity due to high evaporation and low influx of fresh water
    • Marginal seas
      • The North Sea, in spite of its location in higher latitudes, records higher salinity due to more saline water brought by the North Atlantic Drift.
      • Baltic Sea records low salinity due to influx of river waters in large quantity.
      • The Mediterranean Sea records higher salinity due to high evaporation.
      • Salinity is, however, very low in Black Sea due to enormous fresh water influx by rivers
    • Inland seas and lakes
      • The salinity of the inland Seas and lakes is very high because of the regular supply of salt by the rivers falling into them.
      • Their water becomes progressively more saline due to evaporation.
      • For instance, the salinity of the Great Salt Lake, (Utah, USA), the Dead Seaand the Lake Van in Turkey is very high
    • Cold and warm water mixing zones
      • Salinity decreases on the western parts of the northern hemisphere because of the influx of melted water from the Arctic region.
    • Sub-Surface Salinity
      • With depth, the salinity also varies, but this variation again is subject to latitudinal difference. The decrease is also influenced by cold and warm currents.
      • In high latitudes, salinity increases with depth. In the middle latitudes, it increases up to 35 metres and then it decreases. At the equator, surface salinity is lower.
    • Vertical distribution of salinity:
      • Salinity changes with depth, but the way it changes depends upon the location of the sea.
      • Salinity at the surface increases by the loss of water to ice or evaporation, or decreased by the input of fresh waters, such as from the rivers.
      • Salinity at depth is very much fixed, because there is no way that water is ‘lost’, or the salt is ‘added.’ There is a marked difference in the salinity between the surface zones and the deep zones of the oceans.
      • The lower salinity water rests above the higher salinity dense water.
      • Salinity, generally, increases with depth and there is a distinct zone called the halocline (compare this with thermocline), where salinity increases sharply.
      • Other factors being constant, increasing salinity of seawater causes its density to increase. High salinity seawater, generally, sinks below the lower salinity water. This leads to stratification by salinity.

Impact:

  • Salinity determines compressibility, thermal expansion, temperature, density, absorption of insolation, evaporation and humidity.
  • It also influences the composition and movement of the sea: water and the distribution of fish and other marine resources.
  • Salinity affects seawater density, which in turn governs ocean circulation and climate
  • Because of the connection among temperature, salinity and density, some currents actually reverse direction seasonally. An example of where this occurs is the Indian Ocean. Salinity of the ocean thus is directly related to weather even on land because salinity is tied to the movement of the currents.
  • Salinity can have a great impact on the type of organisms that live in a body of water.
  • Additionally, salinity plays a critical role in the water cycle and ocean circulation
  • The intensification of the water cycle as a result of ocean salinity changes in the past fifty years shows that the water cycle has since intensified by 4%, twice the rate predicted by models.
  • Stable salt densities in the oceans keep the earth’s climate in balance.

Conclusion:

Every year, around 3 billion tons of salt gets added to the oceans from the land. A tiny fraction of this salt is extracted by humans for daily consumption.

 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography;

2. Explain the factors responsible for the formation of ocean currents? What are the reasons for formation of Sargasso Sea? (250 words)

Reference: Certificate of Human and Physical Geography by G.C Leong.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To bring out the factors responsible for formation and movement of ocean currents and Sargasso Sea.

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining ocean currents.

Body:

Draw a small illustrative diagrams showing major ocean currents.

Mention factors responsible for their formation such as insolation, atmospheric circulations, gravity and the effect of Coriolis force, Temperature and salinity differences and water density etc.

In the next part, introduce Sargasso Sea and mention the factors behind its formation.

Conclusion:

Summarize the importance of Sargasso Sea.

Introduction:

An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of sea water generated by a number of forces acting upon the water, including wind, the Coriolis effect, breaking waves, cabbeling, and temperature and salinity differences. Depth contours, shoreline configurations, and interactions with other currents influence a current’s direction and strength. Ocean currents are primarily horizontal water movements.

Body:

Factors leading to origin and modification of ocean currents:

  • There are a variety of factors that affect how ocean currents (water in motion) are created, including a combination of two or more factors.
  • The different types of currents (referred to as surface or thermohaline, depending on their depth) are created by, among other things, wind, water density, the topography of the ocean floor and the coriolis effect.

 Primary Forces Responsible for Ocean Currents: 

  • Insolation
    • Heating by solar energy causes the water to expand. That is why, near the equator the ocean water is about 8 cm higher in level than in the middle latitudes.
    • This causes a very slight gradient and water tends to flow down the slope. The flow is normally from east to west.
  • Wind (atmospheric circulation)
    • Wind blowing on the surface of the ocean pushes the water to move. Friction between the wind and the water surface affects the movement of the water body in its course.
    • Winds are responsible for both magnitude and direction [Coriolis force also affects direction] of the ocean currents. Example: Monsoon winds are responsible for the seasonal reversal of ocean currents in the Indian ocean.
    • The oceanic circulation pattern roughly corresponds to the earth’s atmospheric circulation pattern.
    • The air circulation over the oceans in the middle latitudes is mainly anticyclonic [Sub-tropical High Pressure Belt] (more pronounced in the southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere due to differences in the extent of landmass). The oceanic circulation pattern also corresponds with the same.
    • At higher latitudes, where the wind flow is mostly cyclonic [Sub-polar Low Pressure Belt], the oceanic circulation follows this pattern.
    • In regions of pronounced monsoonal flow [Northern Indian Ocean], the monsoon winds influence the current movements which change directions according to seasons.
  • Gravity:
    • Gravity tends to pull the water down to pile and create gradient variation.
  • Coriolis force:
    • The Coriolis force intervenes and causes the water to move to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.
    • These large accumulations of water and the flow around them are called Gyres. These produce large circular currents in all the ocean basins. One such circular current is the Sargasso Sea.

Secondary Forces Responsible for Ocean Currents: 

  • Temperature difference and salinity difference are the secondary forces.
  • Differences in water density affect vertical mobility of ocean currents (vertical currents).
  • Water with high salinity is denser than water with low salinity and in the same way cold water is denser than warm water.
  • Denser water tends to sink, while relatively lighter water tends to rise.
  • Cold-water ocean currents occur when the cold water at the poles sinks and slowly moves towards the equator.
  • Warm-water currents travel out from the equator along the surface, flowing towards the poles to replace the sinking cold water.

The Sargasso Sea is a motionless sea confined to the sub-tropical north Atlantic gyre. The area of the sea is found between 20 degrees N and 35 degrees N latitude and 30 degrees W and 75 degrees W longitude—the hump extending northward of BERMUDA. The sea area which is some 700 miles wide, 2000 miles long and located in the North Atlantic, has no shores. It is bounded by ocean currents on all sides. It is located entirely within the Atlantic Ocean, is the only sea without a land boundary.

Features: 

  • To its west is the Gulf Stream Current, on its east is the Canary Current, northern side is bounded by North Atlantic Current, and the south by North Atlantic Equatorial Current.
  • The island of Bermuda is located on its western fringes.
  • With such ocean currents on all sides, this sea area unlike the harsh cold North Atlantic, is strangely warm with stable weather conditions and with calm and weak winds.
  • Another strange phenomenon which is nowhere seen in the world is, this vast water area is covered with some dense seaweed which forms a thick mat on the surface.
  • This free floating golden-brown seaweed is known as Sargassum and therefore such name of the sea.

Reasons for its formation: 

  • The gyral system formed by the anti-cyclonic circulation of the North Equatorial current, the Gulf Stream and the Canary current confining the water from the rest of the ocean.
  • Atmospheric stability due to it being located in the transition zone of the trade winds and the westerlies which is characterized by anti-cyclonic conditions. Hence there are feeble winds which allow little intermixing with waters outside the gyre.
  • The less extensive nature of the North Atlantic Ocean between 20°N-40°N than other oceans in the same latitudes.
  • The higher velocity of the North Equatorial Current and the Gulf Stream create calm waters in the confined region.

Importance of Sargasso Sea:

  • Sargassum provides a home to an amazing variety of marine species.
  • Turtles use sargassum mats as nurseries where hatchlings have food and shelter.
  • Sargassum also provides essential habitat for shrimp, crab, fish, and other marine species that have adapted specifically to this floating algae.
  • The Sargasso Sea is a spawning site for threatened and endangered eels, as well as white marlin, porbeagle shark, and dolphinfish.
  • Humpback whales annually migrate through the Sargasso Sea.
  • Commercial fish, such as tuna, and birds also migrate through the Sargasso Sea and depend on it for food.

Conclusion:

An ocean current flows for great distances and together they create the global conveyor belt, which plays a dominant role in determining the climate of many of Earth’s regions. More specifically, ocean currents influence the temperature of the regions through which they travel. Knowledge of surface ocean currents is essential in reducing costs of shipping, since traveling with them reduces fuel costs. Ocean currents can also be used for marine power generation, with areas off of Japan, Florida and Hawaii being considered for test projects

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. In theory, The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is the first step towards Uniform Civil Code but in practice, its implementation is farcical. Critically Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

States such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh framing laws that target inter-faith marriage, the procedural requirements of the Special Marriage Act (SMA) — such as the need to give prior notice, and allowance for ‘objections’ — seem to be undermining its original intent by opening the doors to violent moral policing by vigilante groups.

Key Demand of the question:

To mention as to how SMA, 1954 aims to achieve uniform civil code and analyze the drawbacks in its implementation and attempts to dilute it.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Write about the Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954 and why it is enacted.

Body:

In the first part of the body. Mention how SMA is a first step towards achieving UCC. Marriage is one thing and religion quite another. If two citizens of India professing different religions wish marry, it is open to them to do so under the SMA which is one of the earliest endeavours towards a UCC. The effect of the SMA is that once marriage is registered under it, your religion’s personal laws won’t apply.

In the next part, mention about the farcical implementation of SMA and the impediments to its implementation.  Giving notice prior to marriage, lack of equality, prone to societal reactions and nuisance of self-proclaimed vigilante groups, lack of protection in inter-faith and inter-caste marriages and anti-conversion laws/ordinances by some states targeted at diluting the law etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to make SMA act hold true to its spirit of liberalism and pluralism.

Introduction:

The Allahabad high Court, while issuing an order in a habeas corpus writ petition recently, said it is disturbing that one should change one’s faith just for the sake of matrimony when two persons professing different religions can marry under Special Marriage Act which is ‘one of the earliest endeavours towards Uniform Civil Code.

Body:

Special Marriage Act of 1954:

  • The SMA is a law which allows solemnization of marriages without going through any religious customs or rituals.
  • People from different castes or religions or states get married under SMA in which marriage is solemnized by way of registration.
  • The prime purpose of the Act was to address Inter-religious marriages and to establish marriage as a secular institution bereft of all religious formalities, which required registration alone.

Procedure mentioned: The SMA prescribes an elaborate procedure to get the marriage registered.

  • One of the parties to the marriage has to give a notice of the intended marriage to the marriage officer of the district where at least one of the parties to the marriage has resided for at least 30 days immediately prior to the date on which such notice is given.
  • Such notice is then entered in the marriage notice book and the marriage officer publishes a notice of marriage at some conspicuous place in his office.
  • The notice of marriage published by the marriage officer includes details of the parties like names, date of birth, age, occupation, parents’ names and details, address, pin code, identity information, phone number etc.
  • Anybody can then raise objections to the marriage on various grounds provided under the Act. If no objection is raised within the 30-day period, then marriage can be solemnized. If objections are raised, then the marriage officer has to inquire into the objections after which he will decide whether or not to solemnize the marriage.

Challenges:

  • Registration of such a marriage under the law requires the marriage officer to first issue a 30-day public notice — with details like name, occupation, age and address — about the intended marriage for invitation of objections from public.
  • The objections are limited to technical aspects like soundness of mind, age and existence of any spouse of the parties intending to register the marriage but the notice at times becomes a reason for life threats for couples fleeing their homes and wanting to marry as per their own choice.
  • Section 6 violates the fundamental right to privacy. Such an apprehension is not unwarranted even though the problem lies not in the spirit but the misuse of the clause.
  • Earlier this year in Kerala, notices of inter-faith marriages under the Special Marriage Act were reported to have been circulated on social media by right-wing groups as instances of ‘love jihad’ and led to communal tensions in some places. There is thus the possibility of bureaucratic corruption leading to such sensitive data falling in unscrupulous hands. The consequences, the tradition of honour killings shows, can be lethal for the couple.

The major issues involved in this:

  • The constitutionality of making personal information available online
  • The scourge of stoking communal hatred using the reprehensible tag, ‘love jihad.’
  • PIL against 30-day notice period under Special Marriage Act.
  • There is no such provision under personal laws with regard to same-faith marriages.
  • The “objections can be mitigated on the basis of certificates issued by government hospitals” and that the procedure is discriminatory in nature, intended to discourage interfaith marriages like theirs.
  • The petition contends it is “of paramount importance in the current scenario that couples opting for cross-community marriages are adequately protected”.
  • The petition has also urged the court to declare as “illegal, null, void and unconstitutional” the provisions of the Act which lay down the procedure of 30-day notice for inviting objections.

Way Forward

  • Public Notice:Instead of issuing a public notice, can the marriage registrar be authorized to examine the veracity of the application and alert the authorities only when mala fide intent is suspected? Here too, there must be serious deliberations on the method of assessment of such applications so that a routine examination does not get transformed into an act of surveillance.
  • Love Jihad:It is important to note that no term called ‘love jihad’ is defined in current Indian laws. During the Parliamentary session in the Lok Sabha in February 2020, Minister of State for Home Affairs pointed this out and had even acknowledged that no case of ‘love jihad’ has been reported by any of the central agencies. Article 25 of the Constitution provides the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health. Various courts have upheld this view, including the Kerala High Court.
  • The ruling of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which said that the State and its institutions must not be seen as “laying snares and landmines” in the path of consenting adults from different faiths, must be taken as a model to emulate. The tension, however, lies elsewhere. Marriage still requires a societal seal of approval of what is essentially a deeply personal bond. Such approval is predicated upon the possibility of interference.
  • The Supreme Court hailed the State of Goa as a “shining example” where “uniform civil code applicable to all, regardless of religion except while protecting certain limited rights”, hence example of Goa must be emulated and acted upon.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. 5G technology is poised to open up a plethora of possibilities in terms of business models, and enhanced lifestyles for one and all. But managing the economies of scale is a hurdle for telecom companies that they need to overcome. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The government has repeatedly spoken of India’s aspirations to deploy 5G and be a significant player in its development and growth. K. Ramchand, Member (Technology), Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said that it would soon announce 5G spectrum bands for auction.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the multitude of opportunities that 5G technology will offer and to examine how the already overburdened companies will have an issue in scaling up 5G.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly introduce the 5G technology and its features, the opportunities it offers.

Body:

Elaborate up on the opportunities that 5G will offer. High speeds, low latency, enhanced user experience, increased operational efficiency and a competitive edge for the enterprise businesses. These all are useful in digital marketing, IoT, Augmented Reality, enhanced opportunities for research, tele-education and tele-medicine etc.

In this part, mention how economies of scale is an issue for telecom companies for 5G to usher. Barriers in discontinuing 2G and introducing 5G services, burden of AGR dues, reluctance of telecos to participate in the auction because of high spectrum costs etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward where TRAI and the government can take concrete steps to incentivize phasing out of 2G and the rollout of 5G.

Introduction:

5G is the fifth generation mobile network. It is the next generation cellular technology that will provide faster and more reliable communication with ultra-low latency. A government panel report points out that with 5G, the peak network data speeds are expected to be in the range of 2-20 Gigabit per second (Gbps). This is in contrast to 4G link speeds in averaging 6-7 Megabit per second (Mbps) in India as compared to 25 Mbps in advanced countries.

The standards for the usage of 5G are defined and driven by 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

Body:

Benefits of 5G for communication sector:

  • 5G is expected to create a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion in India by 2035, according to a report by a government-appointed panel.
  • According to a separate report by telecom gear maker Ericsson, 5G-enabled digitalization revenue potential in India will be above $27 billion by 2026.
  • Additionally, global telecom industry GSMA has forecast that India will have about 70 million 5G connections by 2025.
  • 5G is expected to form the backbone of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine communications.
  • It would be supporting a much larger range of applications and services, including driverless vehicles, tele-surgery and real time data analytics.
  • One of the primary applications of 5G will be implementation of sensor-embedded network that will allow real time relay of information across fields such as manufacturing, consumer durables and agriculture.
  • 5G can also help make transport infrastructure more efficient by making it smart.
  • 5G will enable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, making driverless cars, among other things, a reality.
  • The ultra-low latency offered by 5G makes the technology desirable for such use cases. Latency is the amount of time data takes to travel between its source and destination.
  • Government has repeatedly spoken of India’s aspirations to deploy 5G and be a significant player in its development and growth. A high-level forum was appointed in 2016 to recommend a 5G strategy for India.
  • National Digital Communications Policy, 2018, highlighted its potential and TRAI has recommended a reserve price for the auction of 5G spectrum in the 3.3-3.4 GHz and 3.4-3.5 GHz bands.

Challenges of Economies of Scale:

  • Frequency allocation: Indian operators have far less spectrum in comparison to international operators. The high investment cost which makes telecom companies unsure about Return on Investment.
  • Network investment: In India, the telecom sector is facing capital augmentation issues which need to be resolved. Non-availability of funds for investment: Many of the Indian operators are also weighed down by debt.
  • Telecom operators seem reluctant to participate in the auction citing the reserve price of ₹490 crore per MHz as high and the amount of spectrum on offer being insufficient.
  • Regulatory restrictions: Faster rounds of new technology introduction when prior technology investments have not been recouped add further complexity.
  • Technical Challenges: Designing IT architecture that can be deployed globally, while still allowing for localized technology to cater for different regions is a challenge.
  • Lack of Government incentives: Government has little incentive to forgo revenues, given the increasing pressure on its revenues, especially after the covid-19 induced slowdown.
  • Discouraging Taxes: Current flat rate of 6% of adjusted gross revenue for licence fees and 3% for spectrum usage charges has dissuaded telecom providers from investing in new technologies.
  • Poor auction design is ensuring that valuable spectrum is idle. This includes precious 5G spectrum in 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz, and the much sought-after E and B bands.

Way Forward:

  • Need to align Digital India with 5G technology.
  • Incentivize design and manufacture of 5G technologies, products and solutions in India.
  • Idle spectrum must be freed up, at least till it generates significant revenues.
    Allocate funds and incentivise local technology and telecom firms to develop their internal capacities which would in turn help 5G technology succeed in the country.
  • Promote 5G start-ups that enable this design and manufacturing capabilities.
  • Promote generation of IPR backing the above designs.
  • Reward efficient use of spectrum,
  • Upgrade of narrow-band networks
  • Development of markets.
  • Manufacture of 5G chipsets, this may require massive investments.
  • Appropriate test-beds and technology platforms to enable and help Indian technical ecosystem to have an edge in 5G.
  • Accelerated deployment of next generation ubiquitous ultra-high broadband infrastructure with 100% coverage of 10 Gbps across urban India and 1 Gbps across Rural India.
    Coverage, reliability, and scalability must be optimized and seamless mobile networks will require a unified management policy to ensure consistent standards.

Conclusion:

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2023 there will be a staggering 9.1 billion mobile subscriptions. 5G will act as the catalyst for Digital India—a watershed moment in digital transformation. India is at the cusp of a next generation of wireless technology 5G. It provides an opportunity for industry to reach out to global markets, and consumers to gain with the economies of scale. It can help in better service delivery, faster access to services and deeper penetration of digital services.

 

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

5. Though India is on track to achieve its Paris climate goals, it will still need collaborative efforts of policymakers, industry captains and citizens to make climate proof choices and build climate resilience. Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu 

Why the question:

Several parts of north India are in the grip of a severe cold wave. While winter may be longer and harsher in some regions due to La Niña, forecasters suggest that 2021 would still be among the Earth’s hottest years recorded. Rising temperatures have led to a sharp increase in climate extreme events in recent years.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about India’s performance in NDC’s of Paris Accords and make a case for collaborative efforts in building climate resilience.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by mentioning the performance of India on its climate commitments.

Body:

Mention the India’s targets as per the Price and in detail bring out India’s performance which puts it on course to achieve them in the intended timeline. India had reduced its emissions intensity by 21% since 2005. Installed solar capacity has grown to 36 gigawatt in 2020. The country’s renewable energy capacity was the fourth largest in the world and would reach 175GW before 2022.

Though, above is good news but much remains desired to prevent the country and the world from the negative impacts of Climate Change. Mentions in which we can build collaborative climate resilience as mentioned in the article.

Conclusion:

Complete the answer by underscoring, with collaborative cooperation, not only will be a step closer to Paris Goals but as well SDG 12, 13 and 17.

Introduction:

The Paris climate goals were adopted at the COP21 held in Paris. It aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and specifies long-term goals regarding global average temperatures, adaptation to climate change, and finance flows

Body:

India’s Climate commitments

In 2015, ahead of the UN significant climate conference in Paris, India announced three major voluntary commitments called the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC):

  • Improving the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33–35% by 2030 over 2005 levels.
  • Increasing the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40% by 2030.
  • Enhancing its forest cover, thereby absorbing 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.

India’s progress in fulfilling its Climate Commitments

  • India has reduced emission intensity by 21% over 2005 levels.
  • Solar capacity has grown from 2.63 GW in 2014 to 36 GW in 2020.
  • Renewable energy capacity is the fourth largest in the world and will reach 175 GW before 2022.
  • India has also set new target of 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  • On the world stage, India has pioneered two major initiatives: (1) The International Solar Alliance; (2) Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
  • The Emissions Gap Report 2020of the UNEP includes India among nine G20 members who are on track to achieve their unconditional commitments under the Paris pact, based on pre-COVID-19 projections.
  • The Climate Action Trackerwebsite has rated its climate efforts as “2-degree compatible” — that can contribute to limiting warming by the end of the century to 2° Celsius; making India the only major economy to be so highly rated.

COVID-19 Pandemic’s impacts on the Climate Commitments

  • The brief reduction in global GHG emissions brought about by the pandemic has given all countries an opportunity to review their development trajectories.
  • The unprecedented event has enabled them to deploy an extraordinary fiscal stimulus for rehabilitation of economies — estimated at $12 trillion globally — making green growth a possibility.
  • India faces a particular challenge, in moving its pandemic rehabilitation spending away from traditional brown sector policies aligned with fossil fuel use to green territory.

Challenges with India’s path towards COP goals:

  • Issues with afforestation and Carbon sink
  • At the recent summit, Mr. Modi took credit for expansion of forests, which, according to the national pledge under the Paris Agreement, will serve as a carbon sink of 2.5 bn to 3 bn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030.
  • This is a key goal, given that it has multiple benefits, protecting biodiversity, influencing the climate system and providing resources for communities.
  • But it is fraught with uncertainty. The Centre has questioned the veracity of State afforestation data and said only a fourth of the claims they made were deemed credible.
  • Clearly, without a cohesive policy on verifiable afforestation, the carbon sink approach may yield poor dividends, with questions hanging over the spending.
  • Issue with Renewable energy additions and emissions
  • Achieving 100GW of solar power capacity within the overall renewables goal, from 36 GW now, needs a steep scale-up that must actively promote rooftop solar installations.
  • There is little evidence that this is a high priority for most States.
  • Transport-related emissions, which are a major component of the whole, have risen sharply in the unlock phase of the pandemic as people prefer personal vehicles, but the issue received little support from States which failed to reorder cities for cycling and pedestrianisation.
  • Large-scale agriculture insurance against climate disasters also needs attention.

Conclusion:

In the year that remains before countries meet at the UN Climate Change conference in Glasgow in 2021, India needs to focus on future emissions and plan green investments that qualify for global climate funding.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

6. Distinguish between Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion. Compassion towards all living beings should be followed in letter and spirit in this new decade. (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:

In detail, to bring out the differences between the three related yet different terminologies of Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion.

Body:

Bring out the differences between the three concepts of Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion with examples. Empathy means that you feel what a person is feeling, Sympathy means you can understand what the person is feeling and Compassion is the willingness to relieve the suffering of another.

Write about the need for more compassion in present times. As the world recovers from a pandemic, as climate change challenge mounts, world is divided by hate and bigotry. The world could do well with more compassion.

Conclusion:

Bring out how compassion can impact and transform our lives for the better or end with a quote about compassion.

Introduction:

Sympathy, empathy and Compassion are separate terms with some very important distinctions. Empathy means that you feel what a person is feeling. Sympathy means you can understand what the person is feeling. Compassion is the willingness to relieve the suffering of another.

Body:

Sympathy:

  • Sympathy refers to acknowledging another person’s emotional hardships and providing comfort and assurance. Sympathy is when you are able to understand what the person is feeling.
  • For example, if someone’s father has passed away, you may not be able to viscerally feel that person’s pain. However, you can employ your cognitive skills to understand that your friend is sad.
  • It makes sense, then, to send sympathy cards when you understand that someone is suffering. You are not feeling that person’s pain, but you want them to know you are aware of their suffering.

Empathy:

  • Empathy refers to understanding what others are feeling. This may be because we ourselves have felt so or we can put ourselves in their shoes. It is viscerally feeling what another feels. Empathy may arise automatically when you witness someone in pain.
  • For example, if you saw me slam a car door on my fingers, you may feel pain in your fingers as well. That feeling means your mirror neurons have kicked in.
  • Empathy isn’t just for unpleasant feelings. You can feel empathy when you see someone happy, too.

Compassion:

  • 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.
  • For example, has anyone ever truly listened to you as you share a problem? This person listened without trying to fix your problem, and this person wasn’t relating it back to his/her own life or emotions. He/she listened without judgment.
  • An important distinction between feeling empathy and compassion is how they can affect your overall well-being. If you are frequently feeling the pain of another, you may experience overwhelm or burnout. This is a common problem for caregivers and health care providers, and it’s been labelled “empathy fatigue.”

Importance of compassion:

  • 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.
  • For example, has anyone ever truly listened to you as you share a problem? This person listened without trying to fix your problem, and this person wasn’t relating it back to his/her own life or emotions. He/she listened without judgment.
  • 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-focussed 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.
  • Compassion has a paramount importance to play in our lives. There is a golden rule attached to it- Do to others what you would have them do to you. A life with compassion is a life of meaning and purpose.
  • Therefore, the aim of life should be focussing less on satisfying ourselves and focussing more on other. This is essential for the betterment and well-being of the Individual and Society as whole.

Conclusion:

A public servant must possess all the three qualities depending on situation. Public servants are meant to serve and this requires developing a humanistic outlook and to go out-of-the way. These qualities ensure that the public servants act sensitively and interpret the rules so as to advance public interest. This is all the more important in a country like India where most the citizens are not aware of their rights and obligations owing to their socio-economic conditions rather than out of ignorance. In their absence, the administration will become mechanistic, rigid and ineffective.

 

Topic:  Case Study.

7. The Government in the anticipation of vaccine for Covid-19 had taken a list of frontline workers such as doctors, nurses, ward boys, police personnel and other essential workers to be vaccinated first.

As the vaccine arrives, a limited number of vials of vaccine is disbursed as per pervious list that was recorded. You, as the Health Officer, are put in charge of making sure all the previously enlisted people are vaccinated in your city.

The instructions given by the Government for vaccination are as follows:

  1. Only the people who were enrolled as Frontline workers in the list can be given vaccine. The health officer should ensure no enrolled Frontline worker, who is available on the day of vaccination, is left behind for whatsoever reason.
  2. The vaccination process has to be finished on the same day as vaccine arrives due to limited shelf life of the vaccine and limited cold storage facilities.
  3. In case there is any additional vial of vaccine or any of the enlisted frontline warriors are unable to take the vaccine due to any important reason, it is left to discretion of the Health Officer to select ‘most urgent’ cases from general public to be vaccinated from the extra vials remaining.

On the day, the vaccination process goes seamlessly as the Frontline workers are vaccinated. At the end of the process it is found out that there are 3 vials remaining. You being an enlisted Frontline worker are yet to be vaccinated and there are some urgent cases in front of you as follows:

  1. A youth from rural village has qualified for international athletic meet in Russia but the international sports association is allowing only vaccinated candidates to partake in the meet. It’s a once in lifetime opportunity for the youth, who with immense difficulty arranged the finances for travel in absence of a sponsor. He also has a decent chance of winning laurels for the country.
  2. The mayor of the city, who had enlisted as an essential worker got himself vaccinated. After coming to know of additional vials, demands one for his wife. He states that his wife is diabetic, has high blood pressure and hence qualifies to be an urgent case. You even get a call from the Municipal Commissioner, who is your superior, to consider mayor’s wife for vaccine.
  3. A person who is immuno-compromised, is in need of a lifesaving surgery. Though the hospital is not insistent on vaccine but doctors feel it will be better if the patient is vaccinated. This will prevent the risk of nosocomial infection of Covid-19 as number of cases are on rise in the city due to the new strain and the hospital in which the surgery is to take place also treats covid-19 patients.
  4. A family friend who is a senior doctor, posted and enrolled for vaccine in the neighboring city, which also happens to be your hometown, has come to your current city for his personal work. As he is still in your city and unable to go back, he contacts you for vial of vaccine. He says that, in case you allow him vial of vaccine, he will get his designated vial allotted in the neighboring city to a person of your choosing. He reminds that it will be better that your mother who is Asthmatic and has breathing issues, takes a vaccine in his place in your hometown and you give him a vial here in your city.

The Vaccine has a limited shelf life and will expire in a few hours. Given the above scenarios, who will you allocate the vaccine vials? (250 words)

Why the question:

As the New Year brings new beginnings, the vaccination drive is imminent. Initially, there will a lot of dilemmas and confusion regarding it. This hypothetical and futuristic case study, highlights some of the dilemmas we may face.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by giving the context of the case study.

Body:

This is a very interesting and dilemmatic case study which tests your empathetic nature, emotional intelligence and your obedience to authority.

First highlight the facts of the case and mention all the relevant stakeholders.

The guidelines for solving the case study are. One, follow the instructions given the government. Two, be compassionate and empathetic. Three, address all the issues arriving from the case study and ensure all stakeholders are taken care of. Finally, you should display your emotional intelligence in handling contingency situations like this.

Conclusion:

Justify the actions taken by you on the basis of ethical philosophies and theories.

Introduction:

This case study reflects the dilemma of prioritizing limited vaccines in fair just and timely manner and to the most deserving individuals based on merit.

The public health officer, ethically should administer three remaining vials to

  1. The Athlete
  2. The Person who has immune compromised and who needs lifesaving surgery.
  3. Officer should ask the live working doctor if any of the patients need the vial urgently, if yes s/he should readily give it to the needy patient, if not he should administer it to himself/herself.

Body:

Possible Reasons for action public health officer:

  1. The youth, who has been qualified for international athletics meet, has to be vaccinated, because International athletics association allows on those athletes who are vaccinated. If vaccinated he has the opportunity to bring honours to nation, if not at least there shall not be regret in his or my conscience that he was not given any opportunity at all to represent India.
  2. Officer should deny the vial of vaccine to Mayor’s wife despite she being diabetic, does not include in the priority list of Frontline workers, which the government has notified. This might offend my senior, and I might have to face adverse consequences but, upholding due process of Law and promoting procedural justice is need of the hour.
  3. The Person who has immune compromised who needs lifesaving surgery, should be given the vial, because his right to life is under extreme threat due to various diseases, and his immunity being compromised due to diseases, is most vulnerable to get infected with Covid and spread the infection to others as well.
  4. Officer should deny his family friend who is doctor, the dose of vaccine because his allocated vial of vaccine is present in his city. Giving the vial to him shall only make the procedures complicated and cause favouritism in prioritising administration of vials of vaccine. Moreover, his advice of administering the vial to officer’s mother is again out of question, as she is not a frontline worker as well.
  5. Working in post of Public Health Officer, individual is prone to contract disease due to constant interaction with health workers, patients. Hence to work and provide service more effectively and productively to citizens, it is responsibility to administer the vaccine to officer. This should be acted only and only if there are no other emergency cases for the day, and for that officer should wait entire day and night, if any emergency case arises. If they do, he/she should gladly administer the vial to the deserving person, if not officer should administer it to himself or herself.

Conclusion:

The quality of selfless compassion is the need of the hour, but at the same time, officer should be prudent in administering the vials and must not act out of greed or favouritism, he/she should consider themselves eligible for the vial only after all the deserving candidates have been administered.


  • Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos