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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 March 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 – 2


 

Topic: Special provisions for SCs, STs, BCs, Minorities & Anglo-Indians

1. The provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution devolve some essential powers to the lower levels in order to cater to the needs of the tribal community. Discuss, while examining the modern day challenges faced by the institutions set up under the Sixth Schedule. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is themed on the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and examine its merits and challenges.

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 with the nuances of sixth schedule.

Body:

The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution provides for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states. This special provision is provided under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution.

Discuss its provisions of devolution of powers to the lower levels and benefits associated.

Then move onto discuss the modern day challenges faced by the institution set up under it.

Give relevant examples if required to better substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Article 244 in Part X of the Constitution envisages a special system of administration for certain areas designated as ‘scheduled areas’ and ‘tribal areas’. The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four north-eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Body:

Need for Sixth Schedule:

  • The tribes in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have not assimilated much the life and ways of the other people in these states.
  • These areas have hitherto been anthropological specimens. The tribal people in other parts of India have more or less adopted the culture of the majority of the people in whose midst they live.
  • The tribes in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, on the other hand, still have their roots in their own culture, customs and civilization.
  • These areas are, therefore, treated differently by the Constitution and sizeable amount of autonomy has been given to these people for self-government.

Sixth Schedule areas: Benefits of devolving powers:

  • The rationale behind the creation of Autonomous District Councils is the belief that relationship to the land is the basis of tribal or indigenous identity.
    • The culture and identity of indigenous people can be preserved by ensuring their control over land and natural resources, as these factors to a large extent determine the lifestyle and culture of the indigenous people.
  •  Under the Sixth Schedule, autonomous districts and councils have a varying degree of autonomy to frame laws to protect the interests of the tribal.
    • Eg: The Bodoland Territorial Council can make laws on 39 additional subjects such as culture, education, health and agriculture, labour and employment, land and revenue among others.
  • The District Council and the Regional Council under the Sixth Schedule have real power to make laws, possibility on the various legislative subjects, receiving grants-in-aids from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet the costs of schemes for development, health care, education, roads and regulatory powers to state control.
  • The mandate towards Devolution, de-concentration and divestment determine the protection of their customs, better economic development and most importantly ethnic security.
  • Furthermore, the Sixth Schedule has certain features that can be implanted in any governance model for tribal areas, particularly concepts of constitutional and legislative subjects that are exclusive to local governments.

Issues related to sixth schedule areas:

  • There are frequent conflicts of interest between the District Councils and the state legislatures. For example, in Meghalaya, despite the formation of the State, the whole of the State continues to be under the Sixth Schedule causing frequent conflicts with the State Government.
  • Various tribal communities with different cultures and customs within one autonomous council for example Bodo Council and Chakma Council in Assam.
  • Inflow of migrants has caused demographic imbalances and increased social tensions.
  • The tribal elite have appropriated all the power and common citizens left helpless.
  • Competition among local officials, police and communities has chocked the development and has increased resentment among the people.
  • These areas lack political mobilization i.e. Mainstream parties having regionalism, localism and communism as political ideology which has drag down the developmental work. People here have low political participation.
  • In case of conflict between the District Councils and the State Legislature, the state enjoys the superiority, but then it is alleged that autonomous councils are mere platform for aspiring politicians who nurture ambitions to contest assembly polls in the future.
  • However, there are certain issues due to which the sixth schedule has ended up creating multiple power centers instead of bringing in a genuine process of democratization or autonomy in the region such as Conflict of Power, governor functioning and disparity among autonomous bodies and local bodies.
  • Thus, despite autonomy, development benefits have not reached the people and caused isolation in the region.
  • Newly created Union Territory like Ladakh is also demanding sixth schedule status on par with Bodoland Territorial council.

Conclusion:

Though issues persist, the Sixth Schedule mandating the state to devolve certain political, administrative and fiscal powers to local governments elected by the communities due to which, it has been quite successful in countering the so-called Separatist movements, militancy etc, of which some have become active insurgencies, as a key issue in North-East. It ensures the tribal culture is protected upholding diversity.

 

Topic: Public Services

2. Give an account of the issues that arise due to short tenure of civil servants in India. Critically analyse the move of setting up a civil services board in order to address this problem. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Governance by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is based on the account of the issues that arise due to short tenure of civil servants in India.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically discuss the move of setting up a civil services board in order to address this problem.

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:

Give a brief picture of civil servants and their tenure in the country.

Body:

Such answers are best explained with examples; discuss the demerits and issues concerned with transfers and shot duration of tenures of civil servants in the country.

Discuss each concern in detail and explain the need for reforms and one such reform is setting up of civil services board.

Present the pros and cons of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:

Good governance and better administration of development is often offered as a plausible solution to conflict management. At the heart of this solution are public administrators. Civil servants, no matter how dedicated, innovative and efficient they may be, need a stability of tenure to govern well. Frequent transfers act as demotivation and a hindrance to make real impact on governance.

Body:

Issues due to short tenure of civil servants in India

  • Morale: Frequent transfer has been a concern for most public servants as it adversely affected job satisfaction and the effectiveness of their initiatives.
  • Moreover, even public servants suffer from work life imbalance. Their children’s education, and family togetherness has placed officers at the mercy of corrupt influences.
  • Frequent transfers also lead to committed bureaucracy and goes against political neutrality. It will strengthen the politico-bureaucratic nexus that is detrimental for true democracy and good governance in India.
    • Eg: Officers such a s Ashok Khemka were transferred more than 50 times in their careers. It can act as a matter of demotivating factor in carrying out their responsibilities.
  • Weakening Administration: Public servants need a buffer period of 2-3 months to get acquainted to a new position and to head the department they are given the responsibility.
  • It leads to a situation of half-baked cake in implementation and execution of the mandate of the public servant.
  • There is also discontinuity of innovative schemes of officials and it leads to unfruitful results as it is not seen to completion.
  • The Hota Committee, which argued against frequent transfers, noted that “absence of a fixed tenure of officials is one of the most important reasons for tardy implementation of government policies, for lack of accountability of officers, for waste of public money because of inadequate supervision of programmes under implementation and for large-scale corruption.”

While fixed tenures have not materialised, the reduction in the last five years in the number of transfers, and a corresponding increase in average tenures across both Centre and states, is a silver lining. But true, and lasting gains, calls for systemic reforms, and that is not visible at the moment.

Civil Services Board: Efficacy in solving frequent transfer issue

  • To insulate the bureaucracy from political interference and to put an end to frequent transfers of civil servants by political bosses, the Supreme Court had in 2013 directed the Centre and the states to set up a civil services board to consider transfers and postings of bureaucrats among others.
  • As per rules, all states should have a civil services board to decide on transfers and postings of the bureaucrats.
  • The board is mandated to decide on the transfer of a civil servant before completion of his or her fixed tenure.
  • The rules mandate the civil services board to submit an annual report on January 1 to the central government about the date of the meetings held by them.
  • If the directives of Supreme Court in Prakash Singh case is also made legible for civil servants and implemented strictly, the issue of frequent transfers and also politically motivated transfers will be resolved.

Conclusion:

Transfers often reflect administrative favouritism and create divisions among civil servants. If they are done on a political basis, this impacts the neutrality of the civil services. The core values of the civil services — neutrality, impartiality and anonymity — cannot be maintained without an efficient transfer policy.

 

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

3. The continuously rising food subsidy bill calls for fundamental reforms in the current PDS model. Discuss. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article from The Hindu presents – “A Case for a Revamped, Need-Based PDS”.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the need for reforms in the PDS model of the country.

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 highlighting first about the background of the current PDS model.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Key Issues with current PDS model – Food subsidy bill becoming unmanageably large, Rise in the quantity of food grains drawn by States, Neglect of price revision, Variation in retail issue prices, Political compulsions etc.

Suggest what needs to be done – solutions like; revisit NFSA norms and coverage, “Give-up” option, Flat rates should be replaced with a slab system etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Public Distribution System (PDS) is an Indian food security system which evolved as a system for distribution of food grains at affordable prices and management of emergency situations. It distributes subsidized food and non-food items to India’s poor. This scheme was launched in June 1947. It functions through a network of Fair Price Shops at a subsidized price on a recurring basis.

Body:

Importance of PDS:

  • Food grains to the poor, at prices lower than the price of food grains at private shops.
  • Food grains are directly purchased from farmers, assuring farmers with a greater price.
  • Make goods available to consumers, especially the disadvantaged /vulnerable sections of society at fair prices.
  • Rectify the existing imbalances between the supply and demand for consumer goods. Check and prevent hoarding and black marketing in essential commodities.
  • Ensure social justice in distribution of basic necessities of life.
  • Even out fluctuations in prices and availability of mass consumption goods.
  • Support poverty-alleviation programmes, particularly, rural employment programmes, (SGRY/SGSY/IRDP/ Mid-day meals, ICDS, DWCRA, SHGs and Food for Work and educational feeding programmes.

Challenges faced by PDS:

Procurement:

  • Open-ended Procurement: All incoming grains accepted even if buffer stock is filled creating a shortage in the open market.
  • The recent implementation of Nation food security act would only increase the quantum of procurement resulting in higher prices for grains.
  • The gap between required and existing storage capacity.
  • The provision of minimum support price has encouraged farmers to divert land from production of coarse grains that are consumed by poor, to rice and wheat.

Storage:

  • Inadequate storage capacity with FCI.
  • Food grains rotting or damaging on the CAP or Cover & Plinth storage.
  • The storage of foodgrains inculcates high carrying costs on the government.

Allocation of food grains:

  • Identification of poor by the states is not fool proof. A large number of poor and needy persons are left out and a lot of fake cards are also issued.
  • Illicit Fair Price shops: The shop owners have created a large number of bogus cards or ghost cards (cards for non-existent people) to sell food grains in the open market.

Transportation:

  • Leakage and diversion of food grains during transportation.
  • Uneven distribution of Food generations, procurement and distribution. For example: north eastern states are very far from Punjab and Haryana, from where wheat is procured. To transport food grains from Punjab to far flung areas in North east will entail cost and time both.

Other issues:

  • Many times, good quality food grains are replaced with poor quality cheap food grains.
  • Public distribution system includes only few food grains such as wheat and rice, it does not fulfil the requirement of complete nutrition.
  • Fair Price Shop owner gets fake Ration cards and sell the food grains in the open market.

PDS Reforms undertaken by Government:

  • Aadhaar Linked and digitized ration cards: This allows online entry and verification of beneficiary data. It also enables online tracking of monthly entitlements and off-take of foodgrains by beneficiaries.
  • Computerized Fair Price Shops: FPS automated by installing ‘Point of Sale’ device to swap the ration card. It authenticates the beneficiaries and records the quantity of subsidized grains given to a family.
  • DBT: Under the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, cash is transferred to the beneficiaries’ account in lieu of foodgrains subsidy component. They will be free to buy food grains from anywhere in the market. For taking up this model, pre-requisites for the States/UTs would be to complete digitization of beneficiary data and seed Aadhaar and bank account details of beneficiaries. It is estimated that cash transfers alone could save the exchequer Rs. 30,000 crores every year.
  • Use of GPS technology: Use of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to track the movement of trucks carrying foodgrains from state depots to FPS which can help to prevent diversion.
  • SMS-based monitoring: Allows monitoring by citizens so they can register their mobile numbers and send/receive SMS alerts during dispatch and arrival of TPDS commodities
  • Use of web-based citizens’ portal: Public Grievance Redressal Machineries, such as a toll-free number for call centres to register complaints or suggestions.

Way forward:

  • Primacy should be given to ensuring that the functioning of FCI is streamlined and fast paced as per recommendations of the Shanta Kumar Committee.
  • 100 lakh ton silo storage capacity must be created in the country. For this, RITES has been assigned the task of changing the silo model and they will give their recommendations in 90 days to FCI.
  • At present, there are 3 types of labourers in FCI namely Departmental, Daily Payment System (DPS) and No work no pay workers along with contractual labour. Government of India is deliberating to finish the 3 different arrangements and bring all workers of FCI under a single, uniform system which will bring stability of tenure and secured wages for all.
  • To improve the usage of Information Technology in FCI, a Human Resource Management System (HRMS) must be implemented.

Conclusion:

PDS has helped bring about the socio-economic justice by helping alleviate hunger, malnutrition, anaemia among poorest of the poor, BPL citizens, women and children. The use of ICT to reduce the touch-points will further increase the efficiency of PDS.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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. Explain the possible role that Farmer Producer Organisation play to resolve the distress of small and marginal farmers in India. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

This article is based on “The push small farmers need” which was published in The Indian Express on 11/03/2021. It talks about the prospects of strengthening the Farmers Producer Organisation for addressing agriculture distress

 Key Demand of the question:

Explain the possible role that Farmer Producer Organisation play to resolve the distress of small and marginal farmers in India.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining what FPOs are.

Body:

The government of India has envisaged doubling farmer’s income by 2022, but this target is likely to be missed. This is because the efficiency, productivity, and economic viability of Indian agriculture are affected by many factors.

Factors like poor supply chain management, lack of modernization, and the declining average size of farm holdings are some of the reasons for agrarian distress. Moreover, these factors affect the small farmers to a bigger magnitude.

Recognizing the problems of small and marginal farmers in India, the government is actively promoting Farmers Producer Organisation (FPO). The aggregation of small, marginal, and landless farmers in FPOs has helped enhance the farmers’ economic strength and market linkages for improving their income.

Discuss the benefits emanating from FPO.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the Centre has encouraged farmer producer organizations (FPOs) to help farmers. While incomes will rise because of the benefits flowing from FPOs, they may not still be adequate to give a reasonable income to small and marginal farmers.

Introduction:

The concept of ‘Farmer Producer Organizations, (FPO)’ consists of collectivization of producers especially small and marginal farmers so as to form an effective alliance to collectively address many challenges of agriculture such as improved access to investment, technology, inputs, and markets. FPO is one type of PO where the members are farmers.

The FPOs are generally mobilized by promoting institutions/resource agencies (RAs). Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is providing support for the promotion of FPOs.

Body:

The resource agencies leverage the support available from governments and agencies like NABARD to promote and nurture FPOs, but attempting an assembly line for mass production of FPOs has not given the desired results.

The ongoing support for FPOs is mainly in the form of, one, a grant of matching equity (cash infusion of up to Rs 10 lakh) to registered FPOs, and two, a credit guarantee cover to lending institutions (maximum guarantee cover 85 per cent of loans not exceeding Rs. 100 lakh).

India has 5,000 to 7,500 such entities as per different estimates and a majority of them are farmer producer companies. The budget for 2018-19 announced supporting measures for FPOs including a five-year tax exemption while the budget for 2019-20 talked of setting up 10,000 more FPOs in the next five years.

NABARD has undertaken a field study on the benefits of FPOs in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. The study shows that in nascent FPOs, the proportion of farmer members contributing to FPOs activities is 20-30 per cent while for the emerging and mature FPOs it is higher at about 40-50 per cent.

Current Status:

  • Studies of NABARD show that there are some important challenges for building sustainable FPOs. Some of these are lack of technical skills, inadequate professional management, weak financials, inadequate access to credit, lack of risk mitigation mechanism and inadequate access to market and infrastructure.
  • Focus on management capabilities in the supply chain operations, nuances of market dynamics and linkages, business planning according to market intelligence and market development is clearly missing in the majority of the training programmes associated with FPOs.
  • The present system suffers from distortions like multiple intermediaries and levies, lack of vertical integration (is the combination in one firm of two or more stages of production normally operated by separate firms), poor infrastructure, restrictions on the movement of agricultural commodities, and so on.
  • Some studies show that we need more than one lakh FPOs for a large country like India while we currently have less than 10,000. Among other things, we emphasise on three issues for the improvement of FPOs in order to help the small farmers.
  • First, the above issues such as working capital, marketing, infrastructure have to be addressed while scaling up FPOs. Getting credit is the biggest problem. Banks must have structured products for lending to FPOs. These organisations lack professional management and, therefore, need capacity building.
  • Second, they have to be linked with input companies, technical service providers, marketing/processing companies, retailers etc. They need a lot of data on markets and prices and other information and competency in information technology.
  • Third, FPOs can be used to augment the size of the land by focusing on grouping contiguous tracts of land as far as possible — they should not be a mere grouping of individuals. Women farmers also can be encouraged to group cultivate for getting better returns. FPOs can also encourage consolidation of holdings.

Conclusion:

To conclude, FPO seems to be an important institutional mechanism to organise small and marginal farmers. Aggregation can overcome the constraint of small size. They can’t compete with large corporate enterprises in bargaining. The real hope is in farmer producer organisations (FPOs) that allow members to negotiate as a group and can help small farmers in both input and output markets. The FPOs have to be encouraged by policy makers and other stakeholders apart from scaling up throughout the country to benefit particularly the small holders.

While small farmers gain greater bargaining power through FPOs in relation to the purchase of inputs, obtaining credit and selling the produce, the fundamental problem of the small size of holdings giving only a limited income is not resolved. While incomes will rise because of the benefits flowing from FPOs, they may not still be adequate to give a reasonable income to small and marginal farmers. That issue has to be handled separately.

 

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

5. Critically evaluate the impact of warming of oceans on the aquatic ecology. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article brings to us a research study that has concluded that Warming oceans may cause sharks to be born smaller, exhausted and undernourished.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically evaluate the impact of warming of oceans on the aquatic ecology.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with what ocean warming is.

Body:

Explain that covering about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface; the world’s oceans have a two-way relationship with weather and climate. The oceans influence the weather on local to global scales, while changes in climate can fundamentally alter many properties of the oceans.

As greenhouse gases trap more energy from the sun, the oceans are absorbing more heat, resulting in an increase in sea surface temperatures and rising sea level. Changes in ocean temperatures and currents brought about by climate change will lead to alterations in climate patterns around the world.

Give examples in support of answer.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done.

Introduction:

The global ocean has taken up more than 90% of the excess heat in the climate system. Since 1993, the rate of ocean warming has more than doubled. As per a research published in journal ‘Science”, oceans are heating up 40 percent faster on average than Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated five years ago.

The ocean absorbs most of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions, leading to rising ocean temperatures. The Fifth Assessment Report revealed that the ocean had absorbed more than 93% of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions since the 1970s. This is causing ocean temperatures to rise.

Body:

IMPACTS

On marine species and ecosystems

  • Marine fishes, seabirds and marine mammals all face very high risks from increasing temperatures, including high levels of mortalities, loss of breeding grounds and mass movements as species search for favourable environmental conditions.
  • Reefs around the world have suffered from mass bleaching events for three consecutive years. The bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017, for instance, killed around 50% of its corals.
  • Corals cannot survive the frequency of current bleaching events from global temperature rise. If temperatures continue to rise, bleaching events will increase in intensity and frequency.
  • The first global scientific assessment of climate change impacts on World Heritage coral reefs, published in 2017 by UNESCO, predicts that the coral reefs in all 29 reef-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist as functioning coral reef ecosystems by the end of this centuryif humans continue to emit greenhouse gases under a business-as-usual scenario.
  • Pacific Ocean had seen such unusually warm water, it had boosted the growth of toxin-producing algaeand suppressed the growth of small organisms at the base of the ocean food chain.
  • The rate at which ocean acidification will occur may be influenced by the rate of Surface Ocean warming, because the chemical equilibrium that govern seawater pH are temperature-dependent. Greater seawater warming could lead to a smaller change in pH for a given increase in CO2.
  • Ocean de-oxygenation is projected to increase hypoxia by 10%, and triple suboxic waters (oxygen concentrations 98% less than the mean surface concentrations), for each 1 °C of upper ocean warming.
  • A study on phytoplankton changes in the Indian Ocean indicates a decline of up to 20% in marine phytoplankton during the past six decades.
  • A study that describes climate-driven trends in contemporary ocean productivity looked at global-ocean net primary production (NPP) changes detected from satellite measurements of ocean colour from 1997 to 2006.
  • As stated before, marine life has been decreasing in percentage as the time goes on due to the increase in ocean pollution being the main component plastic that is eaten by marine animals.
  • As the ocean gets warmer this too has an effect on the seafloor. Because of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, this warming will have an effect on the bicarbonate buffer of the ocean. The bicarbonate buffer is the concentration of bicarbonate ions that keeps the ocean’s acidity balanced within a pH range of 7.5–8.4.

Conclusion:

The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.

In this context, ocean health must be treated as a global issue and all nations should act in concert to implement Sustainable Development Goal: 14 i.e. to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case study

6. You are the District Magistrate in a district where a significant number of transgenders reside. While discrimination against the community is well known, commuters increasingly complain of harassment at their hands, especially at traffic junctions where transgenders are mostly involved in begging. This, at times, also leads to traffic management issues. You have received a number of complaints in this regard and have to act quickly to resolve it. However, a group of transgender associations argue that begging is their only source of livelihood. Given the situation, describe the ethical issues involved in this case. Discuss the attitude of people towards transgenders in general and reasons for the same. (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is a case study based on gender equality.

Key Demand of the question:

Identify the ethical issues and suggest solutions to address the same.

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:

The given case involves the issues of vulnerable section of population as well as the comfort of the community. The issue relates to taking into consideration competing interests of discrimination, which transgender faces, be it education, employment, social participation as well as the means they use to earn their living.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the ethical issues involved and the reasons for differential attitude of people towards transgenders.

  • Discuss possible course of action with merits and demerits. You may conclude by suggesting long-term solution/elaborating on your solution.

Conclusion:

Though it is important to provide relief to general public, the perspective of transgender community must be empathized, else the solution will not be sustainable in the long run and the status quo will rebound. Implementing the Supreme Court directions of giving them special treatment in certain matters will go a long way in integrating them in the society.

Introduction:

“Transgender” is an umbrella term, under which fall people who live their daily lives as the gender opposite to that which is associated with the sex they were assigned at birth (transgender men and women), people who identify outside of the binary categorization of gender (non-binary); all people who cross (“trans-”) gender boundaries in some way.

Body:

Ethical issues involved:

  • Disempowerment of Transgenders
  • Violation of human rights of trans people
  • Lack of empathy towards transgenders
  • Discrimination that leads to injustice to one community
  • Nonchalance towards their well-being.
  • Denial of social security or welfare to transgenders.

Attitude of people towards transgenders

  • General public eyes them with disgust and suspicion.
  • Transgenders are not accepted by Indian society and they are ostracised and shunned by the larger community. It is for this reason; they resort to begging as livelihood opportunities are very less.
  • Their social ostracization also had direct effect on their education.
  • Lot of superstition is associated with respect to transgenders. They are considered as good omen during ceremonies but that has not translated into the society viewing them as human beings.

Course of Action

The root of the problem is complete isolation and alienation from the society. Without giving them adequate education, healthcare and protection from exclusion and social boycott one cannot expect them to stop begging. Because that is the only means of earning money for them.

Thus, emulating Gujarat and Kerala there needs to be an institution (Eg: Garima Greh in Gujarat) to provide them shelter, education, capacity building and training. I will also talk to the transgender community members and understand their issues and try to alleviate them.

By educating them and developing their skills, they can be placed in jobs alongside mainstream society. For this to be successful, there should be an awareness and sensitisation campaign among the general public. Companies and Industries must be convinced to have a transgender workforce with adequate code of conduct in place towards them. For instance, Kochi Metro hired many trans-people and was a huge success.

Merit of this action is that, it addresses the problem at the core. A holistic solution can emerge from the above course of action. The key is integrating them with the rest of the society. Any long-term solution will not stem from preventing trans-people from begging, rather giving them alternative opportunities.

Conclusion:

Though it is important to provide relief to general public, the perspective of transgender community must be empathized, else the solution will not be sustainable in the long run and the status quo will rebound. Implementing the Supreme Court directions of giving them special treatment in certain matters will go a long way in integrating them in the society.

 

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. Distinguish between laws and rules. Discuss the role of ethics in formulating them. (250 words)

Reference:  Previous year UPSC paper-2020

Why the question:

The question is from the UPSC Mains GS-4 2020.

Key Demand of the question:

Distinguish between laws and rules. Discuss the role of ethics in formulating them.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with the definition of law and rules.

Body:

Ethics examines the criteria for judging human actions as right or wrong. However, moral philosophers have identified laws, rules, regulations, and conscience as important sources that guide human ethical conduct.

Laws and rules may seem like overlapping terms, but there are some differences on which distinction can be made between the two.

Provide for a comparison between the two and differentiate how they are different from each other.

Ethics books as a general rule of right living; especially such a rule or group of rules conceived as universal and unchanging. In this context, ethics form the basis of both laws and rules.

Conclusion:

In modern societies, the systems of law and rules are closely related to ethics in that they determine and enforce definite rights and duties. However, Laws and rules can be neutral or they can be used to endorse ethics.

Introduction:

Ethics examines the criteria for judging human actions as right or wrong. However, moral philosophers have identified laws, rules, regulations, and conscience as important sources that guide human ethical conduct.

Laws and rules may seem like overlapping terms, but there are some differences on which distinction can be made between the two.

Body:

Difference between Law & Rules

RULESLAW
Rules generally focus on or relate to individual good.Laws seek to increase public good and serve the public interests.
  • Rules can have both administrative and social connotations.

They can be set by individuals, or by organizations, or by the head of a family.

  • Laws have a political connotation.

They can be enacted only by those who exercise sovereignty or the lawfully constituted government.

  • Rules prescribed, for example, in official codes apply to government servants even when they are abroad.

Similarly, rules which people accept as part of their religious order, apply to them even outside the country.

  • The laws of a nation operate within its territorial boundaries.

Citizens when abroad are not governed for most purposes by their national laws

Rules are more flexible and have lighter consequences when broken.Laws are inflexible and carry stiff penalties including imprisonment, and in some cases, death.

 

Role of Ethics in Formulating Laws & Rules

Ethics books as a general rule of right living; especially such a rule or group of rules conceived as universal and unchanging. In this context, ethics form the basis of both laws and rules.

However, many times the laws and rules may not be ethical. This may be because ay the following reasons:

  • The scope of the law and rules is limited, but ethical action may go beyond that scope. This is because laws and rules can’t incorporate intangible human aspects and values that are very subjective.
  • Many times laws and rules are followed in the letter but not in spirit.
  • Further, law and rules may change with time but remain universal and unchanging.

Conclusion:

In modern societies, the systems of law and rules are closely related to ethics in that they determine and enforce definite rights and duties. However, Laws and rules can be neutral or they can be used to endorse ethics.


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