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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 February 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: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Discuss how prehistoric rock cut architecture represents one of the vital sources our ancient history. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

Rock cut architecture forms an important part of architectural history of India and is an important topic in art and culture section of GS1.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss how prehistoric rock cut architecture represents one of the vital sources our ancient history Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining that rock cut architecture occupies a very important place in the history of Indian Architecture.

Body:

Discuss the evolution of rock cut architecture from early caves like Bhimbetka, Mauryan era rock cut architecture such as Barabar caves. Suggest how these form the early and one of the vital sources of our history.

Explain their role in the reconstruction of past.

Best way to present such answers is through examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of prehistoric rock cut architecture.

Introduction:

The pre-historic caves were natural caves used by people for a variety of purposes such as shrines and shelters. Indian rock-cut architecture is also religious in nature. There are more than 1,500 rock-cut structures in India. These caves form a rich part of our cultural heritage and provides an insight into the architectural brilliance and various developments of the era gone by.

Body:

Prehistoric rock-cut architecture: Vital sources of Ancient History

  • The Barabar caves located in the Jehanabad district in the state of Bihar, are the oldest surviving caves in India showcasing rock-cut architecture. Many pre-historic paintings show that they were mostly hunter gatherers.
    • It throws light on the kind of tools used by prehistoric people and evolution from Palaeolithic to Chalcolithic era.
  • Lomas Rishi caves They were constructed during Mauryan empire for Ajivika monks for their dwelling during rainy season. They consist of chaityas and viharas that mainly followed Hinayana style of architecture.
  • Ajanta caves were constructed as a shelter for Hinayana monks.
    • They are famous for their mural paintings that has developed into a separate painting school.
    • They illustrate Jataka tales and put light on way of life during the period.
  • Chaityas and Viharas: Other early cave temples were used by Buddhist and Jain monks as places of worship and residence found in western India.
    • Eg: Karla Caves.
  • Jainism and cave architecture: These can be dated between 6th century AD to 12th century AD
    • Caves are found at different places like Ellora, Elephanta, Badami etc. There are variations in the architectural elements according to the religions.
    • Sittanavasal caves are also examples of Jain caves.

Conclusion:

These rock-cut architectures of ancient and medieval ages give us a glance of different architectural styles of different periods and religions. The relics, motifs, murals and sculptures of the caves not only enlighten us with a lot of information of those ancient times giving us an impression of various traditions, customs and lifestyles followed by the inhabitants but also illustrate considerable accomplishment with regard to structural engineering and artistry of those times

 

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

2. Assess the elements of change and continuity in Architecture under various Dynasties of Delhi Sultanate. (250 words)

Reference:  Medieval history of India NCERT class XI

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I , part art and culture.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is about assessing the features which remained common and the features which evolved under various Dynasties of Delhi Sultanate.

Directive:

Assess – 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:

Introduce by explaining the broad changes witnessed after the arrival of Sultanate.

Body:

The body should be divided in to various Dynasties of Delhi Sultanate.

Then write the architectural changes seen from dynasty to dynasty. All the statements should be accompanied by prominent examples.

Then write the features which were common to all Dynasties.

Another way of answering will be to first write the common futures and then address the changes.

Conclusion:

The conclusion should include how this architecture got converted in to Mughal architecture.

Introduction:

The Muslim invasions into India had ultimately resulted in the establishment of Delhi Sultanate which existed from A.D. 1206 to 1526. Five different dynasties – the Slave, Khalji, Tughlaq, Sayyids and Lodis – ruled under the Delhi Sultanate.

Body:

Elements of Continuity:

  • The art and architecture of the Delhi Sultanate period was distinct from the Indian style. The Turks introduced arches, domes, lofty towers or minarets and decorations using the Arabic script. They used the skill of the Indian stone cutters.
  • They also added colour to their buildings by using QUWWAT-UL-ISLAM MOSQUE marbles, red and yellow sand stones.
  • In the beginning, they converted temples and other structures demolished into mosques. For example, the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque near Qutub Minar in Delhi was built by using the materials obtained from destroying many Hindu and Jain temples.
  • Later, they began to construct new structures. The most magnificent building of the 13th century was the Qutub Minar which was founded by Aibek and completed by Iltutmish.
  • Once again under Lodi dynasty, Sikandar destroyed many Hindu temples and imposed many restrictions on the Hindus.

Elements of Change

  • Qutb Minar: This seventy-one-metre tower was dedicated to the Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakthiyar Kaki.
    • The balconies of this tower were projected from the main building and it was the proof of the architectural skills of that period.
  • Khalji diynasty: Later, Alauddin Khalji added an entrance to the Qutub Minar called Alai Darwaza. The dome of this arch was built on scientific lines.
  • Tughlaq Dynasty: The buildings of the Tughlaq period were constructed by combining arch and dome. They also used the cheaper and easily available grey colour stones.
    • The palace complex called Tughlaqabad with its beautiful lake was built during the period of Ghyasuddin Tughlaq.
    • Muhammad bin Tughlaq built the tomb of Ghyasuddin on a high platform. The Kotla fort at Delhi was the creation of Firoz Tughlaq.
  • Lodi dynasty: The Lodi garden in Delhi was the example for the architecture of the Lodis.

Conclusion

Later on, with the Mughals, the art of pietra dura, jali work became more prominent. They also built lofty forts, palaces and cities. The Mughals were also fond of laying gardens with running water, which is an extension of gardens introduced by Delhi Sultanate. Delhi Sultanate paved way for large scale construction of buildings in Indo-Islamic architecture.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment

3. Why petrol price is increasing in India? How and why should India achieve “End of oil-age”? Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article explains – Petrol and diesel prices in India: Retail prices of automobile fuels have reached record highs across the country. Petrol and diesel are taxed heavily in India, and oil price decontrol is a one-way street — the consumer never benefits.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain why petrol price is increasing in India? How and why should India achieve “End of oil-age”.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with some data that would reassert the demand of the question. The price of petrol is touching Rs 89 per litre in Delhi and diesel reaching Rs 86.30 per litre in Mumbai. The government states that the reason behind this rise in price is an increase in global crude prices by more than 50 per cent.

Body:

One has to explain that – Retail prices of petrol and diesel have reached record highs in India. One major reason is a heavy tax on Petrol and diesel in India. The present surge in oil prices is driven by the hope that COVID vaccines would lead to demand recovery and OPEC+ will delay a planned rise in oil output. Though this price rise may be a temporary phenomenon, but for India, the high oil price is a persistent problem.

Then explain why India should end oil age. Discuss factors such as – vehicular pollution, Oil as one of the heaviest burdens on India’s exchequer, over-dependence on imports for crude oil is also weakening Indian currency, inflation etc.

Conclusion:

Thus, conclude that for countries like India moving away from oil is not going to be easy like its developed counterpart. India needs some time and decreases in global fuel prices in the near future so that this transition becomes easier for India.

Introduction:

Diesel and petrol prices have hit record highs across the country, with petrol touching Rs 89 per litre in Delhi on Monday, and diesel reaching a new high of Rs 86.30 per litre in Mumbai.

Body:

Reasons for rise in petrol and diesel prices:

  • Cost of Brent crude oil and improving demand:
    • Since India imports 84 per cent of its domestic demands for crude oil. Therefore, Brent crude prices have a direct bearing on domestic fuel prices.
    • Oil marketing companies revise fuel prices on the basis of international prices.
    • But as India went into lockdown, India’s OMCs stopped revising petrol and diesel prices for over 2 months.
    • As the world economies recuperate from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brent Crude prices have been soaring, and the demand outlook for petroleum products has also improved.
    • Brent crude price had fallen from $66 per barrel at the beginning of 2019 to $19 in April due to travel curbs and lockdowns. It has now reached close to $50 per barrel.
  • Government’s taxes:
    • Taxes make a major part of the fuel prices in India.
    • When the economy was at a standstill due to lockdown, several state governments too had increased duties to boost their revenue.
    • Excise duty and VAT constitute almost 63 per cent of the price of petrol and 60 per cent for diesel.
    • Excise duty levied by the Central government makes up for Rs 32.98 per litre of the price of petrol in Delhi and sales tax or VAT of the state government constitutes Rs 19.55. For diesel, the central excise adds up to Rs 31.83 and VAT to Rs 10.99.
  • Rupee-dollar exchange rate:
    • Exchange rates have a major impact on the amount of oil India can buy in the global market.
    • Indian oil companies buy oil in dollars but their expenses are in rupees.
    • Therefore, companies gain from a fall in oil prices in international markets only if the rupee is strong against the dollar.

Impact on Common man:

  • Increase in petrol prices will impact the cost of production and manufacturing on energy input industries.
  • Given that almost every industry is driven by energy, he cost of which ultimately boils down to the consumer.
  • This will ultimately have a negative impact on the scale of production.
  • This may prove counterproductive if the prices increase further leading to a collapse in demand.
  • Usually, when fuel prices go up, we see an inflationary impact and depreciating exchange rate. This will impact anyone owning a business which involved foreign currency.
  • An industry insider who wishes to remain anonymous has noted: “Diesel has a secondary effect. Since all the trucks run on diesel, it will increase the freight cost, which in turn finds its way to increasing price of food grains, goods and other products.”
  • The rising cost of diesel will thus hurt the common man. Most of the public transport systems run on diesel in most cities. The bus ride cost will go up.
  • Over and above, India is at a retail inflationary high of 7.6%. The increasing gap between job losses and rising prices can be deadly for the economy and the economy.
  • The price rise may lead to some hardship on the part of the consumer. However, taxation is an important part of welfare state, and the impact of a higher tax will be seen in the long run.

Measures to end oil-age:

Increasing accessibility to clean energy:

  • India has already committed to bring electricity to every household by 2022. An even more ambitious goal would be to provide electricity to all households on 24×7 basis.
  • To bring clean fuel in rural areas the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana, should be complemented by: Setting up of biomass pelletising units; and distribution of ‘efficient biomass chullahs’.
  • On the agricultural front, solar irrigation pump distribution target must be stepped up and financed through credit support from NABARD and government subsidy.
  • The potential non-conventional energy sources must be explored and researched to make them technologically economical and accessible, like geothermal energy, tidal energy etc.

Enhancing efficiency:

  • The National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) should conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the available energy-efficient technologies and products across all sectors, especially agriculture, housing and transportation.
  • At the institutional level, the national and state designated agencies working in the area of energy efficiency should be strengthened.
  • To enhance vehicle fuel efficiency gains, the auto fuel quality should be upgraded to BS VI norms for nation-wide launch in 2020.

Policy changes:

  • Around three-quarters of our power comes from coal powered plants. It is important that India increases its domestic coal to reduce its dependence on imports. There is need to fast track the regulatory clearances, improve labour productivity, increase coal production and enhance efficiency of distribution.
  • Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) intends to minimize government’s discretion in decision making, reduce disputes, reduce administrative delays and introduce concept of revenue sharing, freedom of marketing to stimulate growth in the oil and gas sector in India.
  • The tax structure should be rationalized in import and sale of energy on thermal value basis with a view to enhance the competitiveness of the economy.
  • The INDIA ENERGY SECURITY SCENARIOS, 2047(IESS) has been developed as an energy scenario building tool. The guiding ambition of this is to develop energy pathways leading up to the year 2047, comprising of likely energy demand and supply scenarios.

Infrastructure:

  • Augment refining and distribution of oil and gas. India should sustain its export capacity of refined products by setting up new refineries.
  • For the hydro projects, the government will need to make efforts to expedite progress on capacity under construction through satisfactory Rehabilitation & Resettlement implementation.
  • India has also built its strategic petroleum reserves in order to meet any supply shocks due to any external exigencies like wars, natural disasters etc.

India’s Energy diplomacy:

  • India is setting up a web of energy relationships in the extended neighbourhood covering Myanmar, Vietnam in the east, with Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan and Gulf countries in the west.
  • Indo-US Nuclear deal opened new vistas for India in field of Nuclear energy facilitating cutting edge technology and nuclear fuel. India has started to engage with China, Kazakhstan and Australia for nuclear fuel.
  • India’s SCO membership could now play a bigger role in ensuring greater energy cooperation between energy producers and consumers by linking Central Asia and South Asia.

Promotion of Renewable Energy:

  • A renewable energy capacity of 100 GW should be achieved by 2019-20 so as to contribute to achievement of 175 GW target by 2022.

Conclusion:

India needs to build its capacity in research and skills building to deal with these transformations in energy sector. Challenges like carbon emissions, air pollution, and energy access outlines different possible future scenario for the energy security. India needs to ensure long term planning to ensure universal energy access and meeting its commitment under Paris Agreement to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth.

 

Topic: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

4. Agri-market autonomy and strict water accounting could address some of the longstanding glitches of agriculture in India. Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  Financial ExpressIndian Express

Why the question:

The article presents the argument that Agri-market freedom and strict water accounting could address some of the longstanding problems of agriculture in India.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way Agri-market autonomy and strict water accounting could address some of the longstanding glitches of agriculture in India.

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:

Start with some key data relevant to the theme in the question, say, importance of agriculture.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

  • Discuss first the issues with Indian agriculture.
  • Explain what agri-market economy is and why its autonomy or freedom is important.
  • Explain why Indian agri requires strict water accounting.
  • Present a Comparison of the Agriculture system in India with China and Israel.

Suggest solutions to address the issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Agriculture is the mainstay of nearly 42% Indians but yet adds to only 12% Gross Value Added. This shows the poor efficiency and productivity in agriculture. Economists and policy makers have pointed it towards the culture of subsidies and have reiterated the need to move from subsidy-led approach to investment led-approach.

Body:

Issues with Agri-market and subsidies on power:

  • Agri-market issues: Despite significant progress in food security, the farmers’ income remains subdued owing to the infrastructure deficit in agricultural supply chains. T
    • his combined with the nature of agricultural marketing laws in India, farmers suffer more in marketing their products than during the production process.
    • APMC: In the majority of the states, under the APMC acts, farmers are required to sell a large number of commodities in a local mandi where intermediaries often manipulate the price.
    • Essential Commodities Act: This has thwarted the creation of integrated value chains across the country.
  • Subsidy issues: There is a strong linkage between electricity, water and agriculture. All of the electricity supplied to agriculture is used for pumping water, mostly groundwater for irrigation.
    • Close to 85% of pumping energy used in agriculture comes from electricity, the rest being mainly from diesel.
    • Power subsidy for irrigation leads to excessive groundwater usage that is already visible in states such as Punjab and Haryana.
    • Nearly 80% of groundwater reservoirs in Punjab and 60% in Haryana are over-exploited, a direct result of the irrigation and power subsidy.
    • Deteriorating financial health of the electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) Increased cross-subsidy burden on industrial and commercial consumers Promotes unsustainable agriculture: free availability of electricity to farmers promotes growth of crops not suitable to agro-climatic zones like rice in Maharashtra etc.

Agri-market autonomy:

  • ECA: The dismantling of such controls under ECA would expand India’s agri-exports and enable private investment in supply chains.
    • This could facilitate private investment in the food processing industries, strengthening the farm-to-fork chain, and benefiting both producers and consumers.
  • Removing APMC Monopoly:  The Central law to allow farmers to sell to anyone outside the APMC yard, will bring greater competition amongst buyers, lower the mandi fee and the commission for arhatiyas (commission agents) and reduce other cesses that many state governments impose on APMC markets.
    • Further, by removing barriers in inter-state trade will help farmers in the regions with surplus produce to get better prices and consumers in regions with shortages will have availability of agri-products at lower prices.
    • Thus, India will have one common market for agri-produce, enabling efficient supply chain.
  •  Contract Farming:  Contract Farming will provide an assurance of a price to the farmers at the time of sowing.
    • This may help them take cropping decisions based on forwarding prices. Also, the new system will minimise their market risks and may solve the issue of food shortages.

Strict Water Accounting:

  • Metering: Large number of unmetered connections for farm irrigation leads to unrestrained usage of electricity for irrigation leading to massive waste of power and groundwater. Thus, metered connections would bring accountability of electricity usage in irrigation through better estimation of power consumption.
  • Pro-rata pricing of electricity as successfully implemented by West Bengal
  • Incentivising the farmers to use less electricity as done in Punjab.
  • Promoting efficient irrigation technologies and water-efficient crops and disincentivizing water-intensive crops such as rice in areas where groundwater is rapidly depleting.
  • Adopting Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for power subsidy.

Conclusion:

Free power, highly subsidised urea and open-ended procurement have become a deadly cocktail that are eating away the natural wealth of the country. Out-of-box thinking is needed to break this regressive cycle for a brighter future of Indian Agriculture and food security.

 

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

GS-3:Disaster and disaster management.

5. Discuss the need to regulate firework industry in India to prevent the hazards it has been witnessing. Also, discuss how labour laws can help in uplifting the workers’ pathetic condition in this industry? (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article from The Hindu – “Death trap on labour reforms” brings to us closer look of the hazards in the firework industries in the country and emphasize on the need for reforms for the workers thereof.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss the need to regulate firework industry in India to prevent the hazards it has been witnessing. Also, discuss how labour laws can help in uplifting the workers’ pathetic condition in this industry.

Directive:

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly present the context of the question.

Body:

First explain the hazards that are often witnessed in the firework industry and present the dismal picture of the labour therein.

Then explain why Labour reforms and technological advances within the fireworks industry are necessary.

The industry continues to be labour-intensive, lack of safety policies, training to the workers etc. are some of the key factors that need to be discussed.

Suggest solutions and what policies need to be adopted such as – automation of the hazardous manufacturing process etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by emphasizing on the need to bring reforms and technological advances.

Introduction:

Unsafe working conditions and improper handling of inflammable raw materials continue to endanger lives in the fireworks industry. In the latest accident at a fireworks unit in Virudhunagar, at last count, 20 lives have perished, while 28 workers are in hospital. Such tragedies, caused predominantly by gross violation of norms governing the hazardous industry and human error in handling explosive substances, have occurred with some regularity now.

Body:

Need for regulation of firework industry:

  • Illegal Functioning: Unlicensed units manufacturing firecrackers have increased, which don’t adhere to the safety guidelines provided by State authorities.
  • Sub-leasing of works who often neglect safety measures so as to maximise their profit.
  • Mishandling of Chemicals: Rough handling of chemicals by untrained and unskilled workers often leads to fire mishaps
  • Spillage or overloading of chemicals during the filling process
  • Working outside permitted areas which puts the safety of the neighbourhood in danger.
  • “conspicuous absence” of proper inspection mechanisms at various government departments.
  • Lack of coordination between Central and State authorities dealing with the regulation of fireworks industries.
  • Untrained workers and the piece-rate system, which induces people to race to produce more units per day, have also caused accidents.

Labour laws and firework industry:

  • The Union government has recently codified 29 central enactments into four labour codes namely the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Code on Social Security, 2020 and the Code on Wages, 2019.
  • The Industrial Relations Code which grouped three enactments, has rightly embraced the definition of industry, propounded by the Supreme Court in 1978.
  • The introduction of fixed-term employment providing benefits on a par with permanent workmen to short-term employees would enable the industry to have a flexible workforce.
  • Strikes and lockouts have been prohibited during the pendency of conciliation proceedings and during adjudication proceedings before the tribunal.
  • The threshold limit for seeking permission from the government to lay-off workers and close a unit has been raised from 100 to 300 workers, enabling smaller industries to arrange their manpower requirement without permission.
  • In favour of workers, the criteria for recognition of trade unions, which was eluding since 1926, has been settled.
  • The days of “no union” are over. Workers can now easily approach a tribunal to resolve disputes in the event of failure of a settlement.
  • Since the non-implementation of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act, 1979 was laid bare during the ongoing pandemic the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code has amalgamated 13 erstwhile enactments of the 1979 law.
  • The inter-state worker has been aligned with contract labour in respect of statutory benefits, while preserving existing benefits.
  • The employees have been given the right to obtain information from the employer relating to health and safety.
  • Not less than 50% of the fine amount payable by the management due to bodily injury or death of a worker could be granted.
  • The fixation of minimum wages has received a long overdue review under the Code on Wages, 2019.
  • Employees cannot be discriminated against on the basis of gender in respect of wages.
  • A large number of informal workforce namely gig, platform or unorganised workers and their family members have been brought under the Social Security Code, which unites nine enactments.
  • The Union government is constituting a separate fund and welfare scheme for these workers relating to life and disability, accident insurance, health and maternity, old age and crèche.
  • Employers have to face adverse consequences in case of unsanitary working conditions and if they do not pay the ESI contribution to the concerned worker.

Way forward:

  • Adopting safe work practices.
  • Implementing the recommendation of Chaitanya Prasad Committee
  • Periodic inspections at factories, sustained crackdown and stringent penal action against violators are non-negotiable.
  • The Central and State governments must provide the needed manpower for enforcement agencies as the industry has grown manifold.
  • A sustained political push for labour reforms and technological innovations within the industry is also essential.
  • Increased manpower in such enforcement & regulatory authorities
  • Awareness among stakeholders involved in the sector about the significance of safety in manufacturing process.

 

Topic: Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life. Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology

6. What is Geo-Spatial data? Comment upon the present Policy on Geospatial Data in the country while emphasizing on the liberalization aspect (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The Ministry of Science and Technology Monday released new guidelines for the Geo-spatial sector in India, which deregulates existing protocol and liberalizes the sector to a more competitive field. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain what Geospatial data is and detail upon the present policy on the same while analytically presenting viewpoint on the liberalizing aspects of the same.

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:

Start with what geospatial data is.

Body:

Geospatial data is data about objects, events, or phenomena that have a location on the surface of the earth.

Explain the key features of the present policy on geospatial data; till recently, the government had a near-monopoly regarding the collection, storage, use, sale, dissemination of geo-spatial data and mapping. This was because of concerns over internal as well as external security threats. Only government-run agencies such as the Survey of India, Defence and Home Ministries were allowed to use geospatial data. The lack of private participation led to the underdevelopment of the Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping etc.

Then move onto explain why the government has deregulated geospatial data.

Then explain the impact of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by commenting on the importance of geospatial data for the country.

Introduction:

Geospatial data is data about objects, events, or phenomena that have a location on the surface of the earth. The location may be static in the short-term (e.g., the location of a road, an earthquake event, children living in poverty), or dynamic (e.g., a moving vehicle or pedestrian, the spread of an infectious disease). Geospatial data combines location information (usually coordinates on the earth), attribute information (the characteristics of the object, event, or phenomena concerned), and often also temporal information (the time or life span at which the location and attributes exist).

Body:

  

Applications:

  • Geospatial data includes location information about natural or man-made, physical or imaginary features, whether above the ground or below, boundaries, points of interest, natural phenomena, mobility data, weather patterns, and other statistical information.
  • It also usually involves information of public interest such as roads, localities, rail lines, water bodies, and public amenities.
  • The past decade has seen an increase in the use of geo-spatial data in daily life with various apps such as food delivery apps like Swiggy or Zomato, e-commerce like Amazon or even weather apps.

The present policy on geo-spatial data:

  • There are strict restrictions on the collection, storage, use, sale, dissemination of geo-spatial data and mapping under the current regime.
  • The policy had not been renewed in decades and has been driven by internal as well as external security concerns.
  • The sector so far is dominated by the Indian government as well as government-run agencies such as the Survey of India and private companies need to navigate a system of permissions from different departments of the government (depending on the kind of data to be created) as well as the defence and Home Ministries, to be able to collect, create or disseminate geo-spatial data.

The new guidelines:

  • The Ministry of Science and Technology has released new guidelines for the Geo-spatial sector in India, which deregulates existing protocol and liberalises the sector to a more competitive field.
  • The sector will be deregulated and aspects such as prior approvals for surveying, mapping and building applications based on that have been done away with.
  • For Indian entities, there will be complete deregulation with no prior approvals, security clearances and licences for the acquisition and production of geospatial data and geospatial data services, including maps.

Benefits:

  • It will help boost innovation in the sector and create a level playing field for public and private entities.
  • The easing of norms will greatly help in several sectors that were suffering because of non-availability of high-quality maps.
  • The move will unlock tremendous opportunities for the country’s start-ups, private sector, public sector, and research institutions, to drive innovations and build scalable solutions.
  • It will also generate employment and accelerate economic growth.
  • India’s farmers will also be benefited by leveraging the potential of geospatial and remote sensing data.
  • The deregulation eliminates the requirement of permissions as well as scrutiny, even for security concerns.

Conclusion:

Geospatial data is foundational and vital to all manner of planning, governance, services, infrastructure, and applications. Government agencies and private sector must collaborate very strongly to avoid duplication and also to bring in speed and scale in the whole process of collecting and using data.

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

7. At the time of such a pandemic situation what is the responsibility of corporate organizations towards society? Should corporate organizations charge such high Profit from sale of drugs? What ethical regulations should be put upon these profit-oriented organizations, so that they act in the welfare of people? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference:  news.un.orgctvnews.ca

Why the question:

The question is about the roles and responsibilities of organisations towards society amidst pandemic times. It aims to assess the ethical regulations that should be put upon these profit-oriented organizations, so that they act in the welfare of people.

Key Demand of the question:

One is

Directive:

  Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by presenting the current scenario of vaccination amidst Covid pandemic.

Body:

One can explain with the help of wisdom from philosophers such as – Gandhi’s Trusteeship Principle. The resources of society which are being used by corporate organizations to earn profit belong to society. These organizations are just using them and are trustees to such resources.

Hence this philosophical understanding needs to be inculcated in the corporate ethical framework of these companies. Moreover, the decision to earn 145 percent profit is morally unjustifiable according to Utilitarian Principle (because charging high profit will lead to suffering for a large section of people resulting in their unhappiness).

Present case studies to justify your stand and conclude with suitable solutions.

Conclusion:

Suggest what needs to be done to ensure complete welfare of the society.

Introduction:

Describing the rapid development of vaccines as a literal and figurative “shot in the arm” during the pandemic, WHO chief, Tedros reported that while 39 million doses have been administered in nearly 50 richer countries, only 25 have been given in one lowest income nation. This shows the social injustice surrounding the sale of drugs and vaccines.

Body:

Responsibility of corporate Organizations towards Society:

  • Corporate social innovation strategies can provide a positive impact on society as well as businesses’ bottom lines.
  • From encouraging mental wellness to ensuring employees are financially secure during the outbreak, corporations can take a lead in response to the crisis.
  • Other business leaders, including Amazon and Google, are finding ways to support small businesses in their local areas. This must be adopted by many companies which have the ability to do so.
  • Through philanthropy, corporations provide direct donations or in-kind support. Through advocacy, corporations have the capacity to shape public policy and through corporate social responsibility programmes, corporations use their many resources toward the benefit of society.
  • They can create shared value creation, and firms can develop profitable new products and services that address unmet societal needs.

Issues with High profit sale of drugs:

  • Luxury vaccination trip: A new concept unveiled recently by Knightsbridge circle as reported in Forbes magazine, is for the ultra-rich.
    • The US$55,000 package, only available to Knightsbridge Circle members, includes a private flight to Dubai or India, where the customer receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a private facility and 30 nights’ accommodation while they wait for their second dose.
  • Access:  When vaccines and drugs especially for pandemic are sold at exorbitant prices, morbidity levels will be high. It will also put the poor in the worse off state.
  • Against welfare state: The idea of profitable sale of a vaccine that has tremendous public health impact goes against the idea of welfare state adopted in India.
  • Cannot achieve herd immunity: As the pandemic does not discriminate between rich and poor, just vaccinating those who are able to buy it cannot lead to herd immunity. It will only perpetuate the vicious cycle of ‘waves of pandemic’.

Ethical issues to be considered during sale of drugs:

  • Rich versus Poor in a capitalist world, while poor are most vulnerable
  • Not Reinforcing the unequal world, as Least Developed Nations suffer most
  • Socio-economic injustice and inequality leading to low access to healthcare
  • Crony Capitalism making universal vaccine access elusive.
  • Allocation of scarce resources in a justifiable manner.

Conclusion:

Vaccines and drugs are perhaps the single most important contribution the 20th century made to civilization. They have been responsible for saving untold numbers of lives and for vastly improving the quality of many more. Merely profit driven access will destroy the very reason why they were invented. Universal access of life-saving drugs and vaccines alone can lead to welfare of humanity.

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