Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 April 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: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

1. There is a necessity to aggressively involve local communities and civil society for the containment of pandemics like COVID-19. Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  epw.in

Why the question:

The article explains how Odisha is currently coping with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of supercyclone Amphan. This double occurrence is the first such experience for the state. Dealing with the twin challenges of managing both the events is extremely complex.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to explain the importance of actively involving local communities and civil society for the containment of pandemics like COVID-19.

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 brief background of the ongoing pandemic situation.  

Body:

The containment of pandemic requires awareness among local people. As most of the population living in villages with little knowledge about the pandemic, it is important to involve local communities at grassroots level.

Give examples such as – Odisha model of procuring village produce and delivering to the door steps was a success story. SHG people worked actively to feed the farmers and also helped maintain social distance.

Kudumbasree model of Kerala – aggressive testing was done at village level.

Suggest more such methods that can help in overcoming the concerns posed by the pandemic.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The community engagement and civil societies have a pivotal role in ensuring the success of India’s anti-coronavirus campaign. The accredited social health activist (ASHA) – the community health workers – have over time become de-facto public health employees rather than being community representatives enjoying the unswerving confidence of people as originally envisaged. However, at times, these community workers have been easy targets to attacks by public due to misconception, frustration and public anger.

Body:

Crucial importance of community engagement:

  • First, a concoction of local culture, values and beliefs can lead to blithe disregard of the coronavirus threat and gravely endanger containment and mitigation efforts.
  • Second, threatened livelihoods due to lockdowns and a resultant downplaying of the coronavirus risk can instill indignation and non-cooperation, as witnessed in the case of many migrants.
  • With our weak social support system, we cannot afford quarantine allowances like in Sweden and Singapore; even the entitled modest relief could get delayed.
  • Third, there is increased likelihood of repeat lockdowns due to the virus likely to bounce back, which will greatly test public patience and co-operation.
  • Lastly, we also need to remember the trust deficit between health workers and the public that has lingered on since decades, given our unsatisfactory public and profiteering private health care.

Community Engagement leads to the lower levels of De-centralization:

  • Community engagement is a pre-requisite for risk communication, which entails effectively communicating the threat due to the virus, instilling the right practices and etiquette, and combating rumours and stigma.
  • Till date, the government’s machinery to communicate risk has served a thin upper- and middle-class segment quite well.
  • However, with COVID-19 moving briskly towards slums and rural hinterlands, one should not be surprised if such incidents of non-cooperation start surfacing at a brisk pace too.
  • Rural awareness generation and community engagement has unto now comprised mainly of engaging with local panchayats, disseminating publicity material in local vernacular, and calling on the participation of civil society organizations.
  • For our anti-coronavirus campaign to be a success, community engagement has to ensue on a war-footing, much akin to the production of ventilators and masks.
  • Like the Antyodaya approach, it has to embrace the remotest community stalwart who enjoys the community’s confidence and is perceived as an impartial non-state agent.
  • One may say that we are too far into the pandemic to focus on risk communication.
  • But community engagement is more than just risk communication. It is the bedrock of community participation, the need for which will only be felt even more acutely as the epidemic worsens.
  • Contact tracing activities will have to pick up as COVID-19 increasingly percolates to rural areas.
  • Enhancing testing for SARS-CoV-2 and concomitant expansion of quarantine, isolation, and treatment activities along vast expanses will tremendously strain our thin public health machinery. This will not be possible without community participation at every step.

Way forward:

  • Strongly involving the nearly 2.5 million informal health-care providers would become crucial for a range of activities.
  • Makeshift arrangements for transportation and care, such as motorcycle ambulances and mobile medical units, will need to be made.
  • Further, initiatives such as community kitchens of Kerala will assume tremendous importance in cases of a stringent and prolonged lockdown.
  • These, along with simply a strict adherence to social distancing throughout the pandemic, cannot be conceived without full community participation.
  • Urgent reinforcing and galvanising of community engagement activities will largely decide the trajectory COVID-19 undertakes in India.
  • Recruiting a medical workforce, augmenting infrastructure, and manufacturing personal protective equipment on a war footing unless these go hand-in-hand with the former, will result in undermining of both.

 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

2. Vacancies in the judiciary is aggravated by the disagreements between the Government and Collegium. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  tribuneindia.com

Why the question:

The article explains the need and importance of prescribing a suitable time frame for appointing Judges in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

One must critically analyse how vacancies in the judiciary is aggravated by the disagreements between the Government and Collegium.

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:

Start with some key data/statistics related to vacancies of Judges in our Judiciary.

Body:

Comment on the status of vacancies in the Judiciary – of the total sanctioned strength of 1,080 of 25 High Courts, they have been functioning with only 661, judges leaving 419 vacancies (almost 40%) as of March 1.

Then discuss in detail the impacts of delays in filling vacancies in the judiciary.

Explain the causes for delays in filling vacancies.

Conclusion:

Suggest what needs to be done, emphasis on the need for the government and the judiciary to come to terms.

Introduction:

The list of alarming numbers and figures relating to the depleting numbers in India’s higher judiciary has a new addition. The statistics of ever-increasing cases in judicial courts at all levels and a large number of vacancies in courts, sometimes reaching 60 per cent of the sanctioned strength, are sobering. Of the total sanctioned strength of 1,080 of 25 High Courts, they have been functioning with only 661 judges, leaving 419 vacancies (nearly 40%) as on March 1. The number of vacancies in five leading High Courts — Patna (60.4%), Calcutta (55.6%), Rajasthan (54%), MP (49.1%) and AP (48.6 %) — speak for themselves.

Body:

Background:

  • On March 24, at a Supreme Court hearing, the Bench asked the Union government to clarify on the status of 55 recommendations made by its collegium to various High Courts and sent to the government six months to nearly a year and a half ago.
  • Forty-four of them were made to fill vacancies in six High Courts. Ten of the remaining recommendations fall in a special category.
  • With initial recommendations by the collegium, these were sent to the government.
  • The latter raised some objections and referred them back to the collegium.
  • After considering the objections, the collegium sent them back to the government (for making appointments).
  • Under the constitutional law as settled by the Supreme Court, such reiteration by the collegium is binding on the government.
  • However, there has been no response from the government for months together.

Process of appointment of judges:

  • In the Third Judges Case (1998) (by a follow-up President’s Reference to the Court), the Supreme Court expanded the Collegium formed in the first (1981) and second (1993) judges’ cases to include the CJI and the next four (up from two) senior-most judges.
  • Once the collegium clears the names, the Law Ministry has to put up the recommendation to the Prime Minister in 3 weeks who will, in turn, advise the President. Thereafter no time limit is prescribed and the process comes to a standstill.
  • If the collegium reiterates the names, the court said that the government has no option but to appoint the judges.
  • With the 99th constitutional amendment act and NJAC Bill 2014, National judicial appointment commission was established by the union government to bring transparency and accountability in appointment of judges.
  • In the Fourth Judges Case (2015), Supreme Court set aside the 99th constitutional amendment creating the National Judicial Appointments Commission. The Supreme Court ruled that the amendment was a threat to judicial independence, an integral part of Basic Structure Doctrine. A majority of judges took pains to point out how much the independence of the judiciary was guaranteed by the collegium system of appointments.

The controversies often associated with the collegium system are

  • Credibility of the SC:
    • Controversial collegium system of judicial appointments undermines the independence of judges and raises doubts about the credibility of the highest court.
    • There is a failure to make an assessment of the personality of the contemnor at the time of recommending his name for elevation.
    • Example: The controversy over the proposed elevation of Justice P.D. Dinakaran of the Karnataka High Court to the Supreme Court by the collegium of the Chief Justice and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court was criticised for overlooking apparently suitable judges by the collegiums
    • The judiciary off late has been caught in many such situations of credibility crisis off late.
  • The executive has little or no role in the appointment of judges as a result.
  • Supreme court is overburdened:
    • The Supreme Court did not realise the burden it was imposing on the collegium of selecting judges for the Supreme Court and High Courts and transferring them from one High Court to another.
    • An administrative task of this magnitude must necessarily detract the judges of the collegium from their principal judicial work of hearing and deciding cases.
  • Lacking this infrastructural backup, the collegium resorts to ad hoc informal consultations with other judges in the Supreme Court who are expected to know the merits of a proposed appointee from a High Court or occasionally by sounding a member of the Bar.
    • These methods are poor substitutes for a full time intensive collection of data about an incumbent, his work, standing, merit, integrity and potential which requires to be made considerably in advance for filing in the vacancy.
    • This system overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates.
  • Besides, the collegium’s deliberations are secret, the system is opaque and the choice of a judge is only known when his name is forwarded to the Government for formal appointment.
  • The collegium has necessarily limited its field of choice to the senior-most judges from the High Court for the appointments to the Supreme Court, overlooking the several talented junior judges in the High Courts or members of the bar.
  • Skewed representation of socio economic backward classes like women, scheduled castes and tribes in the Supreme Court.

Implications:

Huge pendency: Overall, the pending cases in the subordinate judiciary increased from 2.92 crore in December 2018 to 3.72 crore at the end of January 2021. The backlog of cases 30 or more years old has increased by 61% in the past two years (till January 2021).

The collegium system needs reforms:

  • The need of the hour is to revisit the existing system through a transparent and participatory procedure, preferably by an independent broad-based constitutional body guaranteeing judicial primacy but not judicial exclusivity.
  • The new system should ensure independence, reflect diversity, demonstrate professional competence and integrity.
  • The system needs to establish a body which is independent and objective in the selection process. In several countries of the Commonwealth, National Judicial Appointment Commissions have been established to select judges. Such judicial commissions have worked with success in the U.K., South Africa and Canada.
  • Setting up a constitutional body accommodating the federal concept of diversity and independence of judiciary for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary can also be thought of as an alternate measure.
  • There should be a fixed time limit for approval of recommendations.
  • As of now, instead of selecting the number of judges required against a certain number of vacancies, the collegium must provide a panel of possible names to the President for appointment in order of preference and other valid criteria.
  • New memorandum of procedure:
    • After the Second and Third Judges Cases, a Memorandum of Procedure had been formulated to govern how the process of how the Collegium would make recommendations to the Executive.
    • The government therefore suggested that a new MOP be drafted and finalised for appointment of SC judges and the Executive to get a veto over candidates for national security reasons in this new MOP.

Conclusion:

Faced with intense public scrutiny and government pressure, the judiciary’s institutional weaknesses are being laid bare. These are not simply the moral failings of one individual or the consequences of the misjudgement of a few. It is another illustration of the institution’s inability to accept its internal infirmities.

 

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

3. What do you understand by Backchannel diplomacy? Present an analysis on the existence and importance of back channel diplomacy between India and Pakistan. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question is based on the concept of Backchannel Diplomacy and its aspects with respect to India – Pak relations from past to present.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss first the concept of Backchannel diplomacy and analyse the existence and importance of back channel diplomacy between India and Pakistan.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with indications of backchannel talks taking place between India and Pakistan since 2020. Define what Backchannel diplomacy is.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

First discuss the background – India – Pakistan Bilateral relations witnessed a particularly recriminatory period following the 2019 Pulwama attack, the Balakot strikes and capture of an Indian pilot thereafter. Even prior to that, the Pathankot terror attack and the subsequent surgical operation by India had pushed the bilateral relationship to the limits. The periodic violation of the ceasefire agreement along the LoC had further strained the relationship between the two neighbours.

Explain the significance of backchannel talks.

Speak of the inevitability of backchannel diplomacy for India and Pakistan.

Highlight the challenges.

Conclusion:

There is ample scope for improvement of the bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan provided that there is no terror attack in India traceable to Pakistan.

Introduction:

Back channel diplomacy essentially means creating a channel of communication with another government or with representatives of another government, that is discreet, that doesn’t go through the official channels of diplomatic cables, of using ambassadors and more formal methods of communicating.

They refer to secret lines of communication held open between two adversaries. It is often communicated through an informal intermediary or through a third party. It is usually a secondary conversation that takes place at the same time as a conference session, lecture, or instructor-led learning activity.

There are several indications of a backchannel being in place between India and Pakistan since 2020.

Body:

Extra information:

Pros

  • Greater flexibility, as talks can begin and proceed without preconditions. Back channels reduce the so-called ‘entry costs’ of a negotiation. Participants do not feel so much pressure to ‘play to the gallery’ or to be seen as defending long-standing positions, but are able to explore new possibilities informally.
  • Back channels can help elites on both sides to take the measure of each other. Often, in situations of long-term conflict, the two sides are captive to myths and narratives about the other.
  • Back channels provide a degree of ‘cover’, especially in cases where a political leader confronts a long-standing commitment ‘never’ to talk to the other side. The ‘cover’ that is provided to leaders has to do with constituencies on their own side who would make political trouble if news of the talks ever got out — the problem often known as that of ‘spoilers’.

Cons:

  • The existence of back channels that are known to only a few can generate significant confusion, particularly if they go on for a long time. Among other dangers, this can lead to situations of ‘forum shopping’, where parties are tempted to go back and forth between different negotiating venues in search of better deals.
  • There is a danger that a back channel intended to be an ‘end game’ becomes, in an ‘endless game’ — a process whereby parties believe that they do not have to reach agreements because the negotiation is secret, so they avoid confronting the deeper challenges. Sometimes this leads to incremental approaches, whereby one back channel begets another. Secrecy becomes ever harder to maintain, but it is simultaneously harder to reveal the back-channel process, as it has become so loaded down with multiple aspects that its revelation becomes even more potentially explosive.
  • Just as back channels can permit a negotiation to avoid the problem of spoilers, so too can they lead to a particularly vociferous mobilization of spoilers when their results become public. Those opposed to the concessions required to reach a deal will oppose them whether they are reached in open diplomacy or via a back channel, but there seems to be a particularly strong opposition to secret deals based on talks from which those opposed to the idea were deliberately and successfully excluded.

Instances revealing the back channel diplomacy:

  • Pakistan and India have a rich history of back-channel efforts achieving outcomes that would hardly be possible otherwise.
  • In 2007, Pakistan and India’s foreign ministers, after a long phase of back-channel negotiations, were able to put together some very creative ideas concerning the issue of Kashmir.
  • In another case, after the 2001-02 India-Pakistan crisis, ground for peaceful diplomacy became possible after an intense back-channel diplomacy, in which secret talks were held in 2003 between India’s NSA Brajesh Mishra and Tariq Aziz, a senior advisor to President Pervez Musharraf.
  • The statement issued by the Director Generals of Military Operations on February 25 was the first clue. The fact that it was a joint statement and employed terms like the resolution of “core issues” indicated both coordination at a diplomatic level and high-level political approval.
  • The events that followed, including the scheduling of the much-delayed Indus Water Treaty talks, the granting of sports visas, and the salutary messages between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, strengthened rumours of a backchannel.
  • More recently, the lack of any references to Pakistan in electoral speeches by Mr. Modi and his Cabinet during the ongoing Assembly elections as well as the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)’s decision not to criticise the obvious U-turn by Mr. Khan on trade are seen as more such clues.
  • news reports in credible international and national news organisations in the past few weeks that have said that talks overseen by National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa have been taking place for months, in different neighbouring countries, facilitated by foreign governments including the United Arab Emirates.

Importance of Back channel diplomacy in India Pakistan relations:

  • In Pakistan and India’s case, the more bilateral interaction stays away from the media’s glare the better. At times, the coverage and spin given to talks in local media can become an impeding element itself.
  • After a severe conflict phase, back-channel efforts can repair more confidence than public statements given from both sides, aimed at gauging the other actor’s response.
  • Arguably, it’s always better to have informal yet structured contacts in place to agree on the agenda of potential talks or on what both countries expect going forward.
  • Another reason that Pakistan and India should use their NSAs for talks is because of the mandate such appointments carry. In Pakistan as well as in India, the appointment of an NSA is made at the highest of policy-making levels.
  • This effectively means that a back-channel contact can not only establish a direct line of contact between the two countries leaderships, but can also prove fruitful in constraining trust deficits.
  • Moreover, after severing ties to a level where war seems like a real possibility, governments in both states cannot approach each other without expecting major resistance domestically. Under current circumstances, this is more relevant in India’s case than Pakistan’s.
  • NSA-level dialogue that takes place behind closed doors can be used by Islamabad and New Delhi to formulate responses and come to an understanding when it comes to the intent of policymakers in both countries.
  • Domestic constraints and challenges on other fronts often put the spotlight back on the need for a workable peace on the India-Pakistan front. Pakistan’s dire economic condition and the mounting pressure from the Financial Action Task Force to shut down all terrorist safe havens or face severe sanctions is clearly one imperative for Islamabad’s willingness to engage via the backchannel even after India’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir.
  • For India, the stand-off with the People’s Liberation Army at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh has made the possibility of a two-front war more real, and fuels the push to reduce tensions with Pakistan.
  • For both Delhi and Islamabad, it is important to be mature parties in the regional engagement with Afghanistan as well, by not providing a conflagration at their boundaries. These reasons take precedence for the moment in the absence of a terror attack in India traceable to Pakistan.

Conclusion:

However, if the cooperation between India and Pakistan is to survive, both states need to neutralize the effects of potential spoilers. The appointment of NSAs and the revival of back-channel diplomacy is one way to achieve that.

 

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

4. Discuss in detail how the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, protects users’ interests in the digital economy of today’s world. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The Joint Parliamentary Committee has proposed 86 amendments and one new clause to the Bill. The Committee is expected to submit its final report in the Monsoon Session of Parliament in 2021.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail how the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, protects users’ interests in the digital economy of today’s world.

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 importance of Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019. While the number of people participating in the digital economy has increased exponentially over the years, there has also been a proportionate increase in the number of personal data breaches from major digital service providers.

Body:

Explain that the recent alleged data breach at MobiKwik could stand to be India’s biggest breach with the data of 9.9 crore users at risk. Robust data protection regimes are necessary to prevent such events and protect users’ interests. Unfortunately, the existing data protection regime in India does not meet this standard.

Talk about the rising threat of data breach. Present the Lacunae in existing data protection regime.

Then move on to discuss the Evolution of the bill.

Account for the significance of the provisions in it.

Explain how it protects users’ interests in the digital economy of today’s world.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 could play a big role in providing robust protections to users and their personal data. However, there is the need to make some changes in the Bill targeted towards addressing various concerns in it to ensure a stronger and more effective data protection regime.

Introduction:

Data protection is the process of protecting data and involves the relationship between the collection and dissemination of data and technology. It aims to strike a balance between individual privacy rights while still allowing data to be used for myriad purposes. The sheer volume of people’s data on the internet and the advancements in technologies such as Artificial intelligence, Data mining and machine learning poses a threat of abuse and misuse of data.

Body:

The need for a more robust data protection legislation came to the fore in 2017 post the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v. Union of India that established the right to privacy as a fundamental right.

Features of Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019

  • The bill constitutes 3 personal information types: Critical, Sensitive and General.
    • Sensitive data constitutes or is related to passwords, financial data, health data, official identifier, sexual orientation, religious or caste data, biometric data and genetic data. It may be processed outside India with the explicit consent of the user.
    • Critical data will be characterised by the government every once in a while, and must be stored and handled only in India.
    • General data: Any data that is non-critical and non-sensitive is categorised as general data with no limitation on where it is stored or managed.
  • Data principal: As per the bill, it is the individual whose data is being stored and processed.
  • Exemptions: The government is qualified to order any data fiduciary to acquire personal and non-personal/anonymised data for the sake of research and for national security and criminal investigations.
  • Social media companies, which are deemed significant data fiduciaries based on factors such as volume and sensitivity of data as well as their turnover, should develop their own user verification mechanism.
  • An independent regulator Data Protection Agency (DPA) will oversee assessments and audits and definition making.
  • Each company will have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) who will liaison with the DPA for auditing, grievance redressal, recording maintenance and more.
  • The bill also grants individuals the right to data portability, and the ability to access and transfer one’s own data.
  • The right to be forgotten: this right allows an individual to remove consent for data collection and disclosure.

Need for Data Protection in India

India has around 40 cr internet users and 25cr social media users who spend significant time online. The average cost for data breach in India has gone up to Rs. 11.9 crore, an increase of 7.9% from 2017. Moreover, in the KS Puttaswamy case, the Supreme Court has declared Data Privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21. Hence it becomes all the more significant to ensure data protection. The reasons are as follows :-

  • Data Export: Most of the data storage companies are based abroad. Especially the e-commerce companies that have exabytes of data on Indians. They also export data to other jurisdiction making it difficult to apply Indian laws.
  • Data Localization: Enforcing data localization has faced backlash from many private entities and their home governments. There hundreds of private players are involved in data dynamics which makes it difficult to apply uniform data protection framework.
  • User Consent: Generally, the application using pre-ticked boxes on consent while asking users regarding the acceptance to the terms and conditions.
  • Privacy Breach:  It is usually difficult to trace the perpetrator invading the data privacy.
  • Privacy laws: Currently, the usage and transfer of personal data of citizens is regulated by the Information Technology (IT) Rules, 2011, under the IT Act, 2000. However, this are applicable only to private entities and not on government agency.
  • Data ownership: As per TRAI guidelines, individuals own the data, while the collectors and data processors are mere custodians of data who are subject to regulations.

Conclusion:

Data protection is essential to balance the growth of the digital economy and use of data as a means of communication between persons with a statutory regime that will protect the autonomy of individuals from encroachments by the state and private entities. India must adopt stringent law in the same lines as GDPR (General Data Protection Regime) enacted by the European Union.

 


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. Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing

5. India’s long coastline has the potential of becoming the strength of the economy particularly through Aquaculture; in this context discuss the challenges and advantages of practicing aquaculture along with the efforts of the Government in this direction. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

To bolster confidence in India’s frozen shrimp produce, the country’s biggest seafood export item, the Centre has kicked off a new scheme to certify hatcheries and farms that adopt good aquaculture practices. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the challenges and advantages of practicing aquaculture along with the efforts of the Government in India for Aquaculture practices.

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:

Aquaculture resources in India include 2.36 million ha of ponds and tanks, 0.798 million ha of flood plain lakes/derelict waters plus in addition 195 210 km of rivers and canals, 2.907 million ha of reservoirs and that could be utilized for aquaculture purposes.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Aquaculture (aqua farming) means farming of aquatic organisms in both coastal (saltwater) and inland (freshwater) areas. As per FAO, aquaculture in India accounts for 85% of the total fish production.

Write about the scope of aquaculture in India and then in brief mention about the challenges associated with it.

Discuss the steps taken by the government in this direction like Matsya Sampada Yojna, Shaphari scheme etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward to tackle the above challenges and the prospects it holds for the economy in future.

Introduction:

Aquaculture or aqua farming is the cultivation of aquatic organisms – fish, shellfish and aquatic plants. Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from predators, etc. It includes both marine water and freshwater species and can range from land based to open ocean production.

Body:

Scope:

  • Aquaculture resources in India include 2.36 million ha of ponds and tanks, 0.798 million ha of flood plain lakes/derelict waters plus in addition 195 210 km of rivers and canals, 2.907 million ha of reservoirs and that could be utilized for aquaculture purposes.
  • The total fish production during 2017-18 is estimated to be 12.60 million metric tonnes, of which nearly 65% is from inland sector and about 50% of the total production is from culture fisheries, and constitutes about 6.3% of the global fish production.
  • India has over 3,000 species of fish, two-thirds of which are marine, a third are freshwater, and over 100 are brackish-water. In the past few years, in addition to whiteleg shrimp in brackish water, freshwater species like pangasius (a kind of catfish) and tilapia have become popular in aquaculture.
  • Ponds and tanks are the prime resources for freshwater aquaculture, however, only about 40 percent of the available area is used for aquaculture currently.
  • It has been estimated that about 1.2 million ha of potential brackish water area available in India is suitable for farming.
  • In addition to this, about 9.0 million ha of salt affected areas are also available.
  • The farming of shrimp is largely dependent on small holdings of less than 2 ha, these farms account for over 90 percent of the total area utilized for shrimp culture.
  • More than 50 different types of fish and shellfish products are being exported to 75 countries around the world.
  • Fish and fish products have presently emerged as the largest group in agricultural exports from India, with 13.77 lakh tonnes in terms of quantity and Rs. 45,106.89 crore in value.
  • This accounts for around 10% of the total exports and nearly 20% of the agricultural exports, and contribute to about 0.91% of the GDP and 5.23% to the Ag – GVA of the country.
  • With over 2.4 lakh fishing crafts operating along the coast, 7 major fishing harbours, 75 minor fishing harbours and 1,537 landing centres are functioning to cater to the needs of over 4.0 million fisher folk.
  • For promoting aquaculture, 429 Fish Farmers Development Agencies (FFDAs) and 39 Brackish water Fish Farms Development Agencies (BFDAs) were established in the country.

Challenges:

  • At present, freshwater aquaculture system remains restricted to carp culture in a few private ponds, prawn cum paddy culture in limited areas, stocking of carps in a few irrigation reservoirs, and river ranching in a few rivers on a limited scale.
  • No serious effort has been taken to develop coldwater fish culture, game fisheries, culture of indigenous fish species of India, freshwater pearls, etc.
  • ornamental fish industry still prefers imported feeds due to lack of indigenously- made feeds of good quality.
  • In shrimp culture, only 15 percent of the potential area has been put into culture purpose.
  • Most of the freshwater fishes are marketed whole without any processing. No effort has been taken to make value-added products like fish fillets, surimi etc.
  • It has also brought vast un-utilized and under-utilized land and water resources under culture
  • Over the years, however, culture practices have undergone considerable intensification and with the possibility of obtaining high productivity levels there has been a state of flux between the different farming practices.
  • In the brackish water sector there were issues of waste generation, conversion of agricultural land, salinization, degradation of soil and the environment due to the extensive use of drugs and chemicals, destruction of mangroves and so on.
  • in many cases, aquaculture administration still falls under more than one agency, which often hinders progress.

Government Efforts towards promotion of Aquaculture:

  • the Government has constituted an independent Ministry for Fisheries to promote aquaculture.
  • Government has decided for introducing a comprehensive and integrated ‘National Fisheries Policy, 2020’ which aims at Cluster based approach for Aquaculture.
  • To bolster confidence in India’s frozen shrimp produce, the country’s biggest seafood export item, the Centre has kicked off a new scheme to certify hatcheries and farms that adopt good aquaculture practices.
  • Blue Revolution 2.0/ Neel Kranti Mission: The focus of the Blue Revolution 2.0 is on development and management of fisheries. This covers inland fisheries, aquaculture, marine fisheries including deep sea fishing, mariculture and all activities undertaken by the National Fisheries Development Board.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana: The Scheme is aimed to turn India into a hotspot for fish and aquatic products through appropriate policy, marketing and infrastructure support.
  • The government under the MGNREGA has started to develop the farm ponds, where pisciculture is taking place.
  • The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) functioning under the Ministry of Commerce, besides its role in the export of aquatic products also contributes towards the promotion of coastal aquaculture.
  • The Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA) has developed a certification scheme for aquaculture products called ‘Shaphari’, a Sanksrit word that means superior quality of fishery products suitable for human consumption.
  • ICAR, the nodal agency for agricultural research in India, has eight fisheries research institutes of which three are mainly responsible for research into aquaculture, these are CIFA, located in Bhubaneswar, on freshwater aquaculture; CIBA, in Chennai, on brackish water aquaculture and CMFRI, in Kochi, on mariculture.
  • Furthermore, the National Research Centre for Coldwater Fisheries in Bhimtal is concerned with cold water fisheries and aquaculture.

Way forward:

  • Advanced farming practices such as cage culture; pen culture and running water culture are emerging in many places, and have great potential for utilizing vast areas of freshwater bodies in India.
  • The cultivable space could be more effectively enhanced by utilizing the available water area, and facilitating easier harvesting compared to the conventional farming in earthen ponds.
  • Cage culture does not affect the indigenous flora and fauna of the reservoirs or their water flow characteristics, and is therefore ecologically safe.
  • The rich resources of wetlands, which remain fallow during major parts of the year could be brought under freshwater prawn farming to enhance production and productivity from these fallow water bodies.
  • Serious effort to protect the biodiversity is needed in the case of indigenous ornamental fishes and coldwater fishes.

Conclusion:

Aquaculture over recent years has not only led to substantial socio-economic benefits such as increased nutritional levels, income, employment and foreign exchange. With freshwater aquaculture being compatible with other farming systems, it is largely environmentally friendly and provides for recycling and utilization of several types of organic wastes.

 

Topic: GS-3: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

GS-4: 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.

6. What is Data Scraping? What are the different types? Discuss the ethical concerns involved in it and suggest what needs to be done to address the gaps. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu.

Why the question:

The question is premised on the concept of Data scrapping.  

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 with definition of Data scrapping.

Body:

Explain in detail about ‘data scraping’, reasons behind it, its legality and how this data is helpful for the businesses.

Data scraping is a technique used by the attackers to extract valuable data from a website. For this, an application is used by the attackers to scrap data for unauthorized purposes.

Then explain the Types of data scraping – Content scraping, Price scraping, Contact scraping.

Comment on the legality of it – The legality of data scraping is still a matter of debate amongst the business owners. It is legal as far as the data scraped is available in the public domain and is used to gain insights and not for profit out of it. Many companies like Facebook do not allow data scraping on their websites and can sue the companies extracting data.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Data scraping, also known as web scraping, is the process of importing information from a website into a spreadsheet or local file saved on your computer. It’s one of the most efficient ways to get data from the web, and in some cases to channel that data to another website.

With data scraping, large amounts of relevant information—such as product reviews, contact information for certain businesses or individuals, social networking posts, and web content—can be collected for your company’s use.

Body:

Types of Data Scraping:

Web Scraping:

  • Web scraping (or content scraping) is the main form of data scraping for business applications. Its software automatically downloads webpages or resources, parses their coded information, and delivers it to companies for usage.
  • Meant for data analysis, acquisition, and research, web scraping has been around since the 2000s.
  • Search engines used web scrapers called “Web Crawlers” to inspect the content and data of millions of websites.
  • The keywords and data extracted were then indexed and used to power the search engines users use to navigate the web.
  • Without web crawlers, we would not have Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.
  • Web scraping is comprehensive, customizable, and effective at collecting whatever modern web data your company requires for intelligent business decisions.
  • Web scraping and content scraping can be harnessed to aid businesses in the following practices, to name a few:
    • Price Comparison
    • Market & Competitor Research
    • Contact Scraping (Email and Contact Info)
    • Weather or Currency Data Monitoring
    • Marketing – Content Creation, SEO, Metadata, etc.
    • Decision Making & Planning

Screen Scraping:

  • Unlike web scraping, screen scraping does not download and parse web sources.
  • Instead, it analyzes visual interfaces—straight from the screen intended for the user—to scrape text, images, and other content, making it ideal for application-based analytics and research.
  • It is also extremely useful for scanning outdated sources.
  • The rapidly-paced evolution of technology means that certain legacy systems, software, and applications become obsolete and costly to maintain.
  • Screen scraping a system in its entirety is crucial for certain companies, especially when their data needs to be kept intact for long periods of time for regulatory or record-keeping purposes.
  • Screen scraping can be harnessed to aid businesses in the following practices, to name a few:
    • Using standard APIs to analyze screen contents
    • System API interception to monitor (catch) how data reaches the screen
    • Custom mirror driver or accessibility driver
    • Using Optical character recognition (OCR)

Ethical concerns of Data scraping:

  • Platforms that accumulate user data disrupt industries, wield disproportionate influence and create silos. This leads to data domination.
  • There are multiple risks from data domination: violation of privacy, data colonization, and a winner-takes-all scenario that stifles innovation and competition.  For example:
    • The ‘free’ service that is provided from Google or Facebook is not actually free. Each website (or app) that we use and each page we view on the internet is recorded.
    • While browsing, we are inadvertently leaving behind our digital footprints and tech companies are able to leverage on it and monetize our data. If the product is available to us for free, we’re the product!
  • Data mined from users of social media may be used for targeted cross-platform advertising.
  • Data can provide an intimate psychological profileincluding ideological preferences that together help campaign managers target communications and forecast voter behaviour.
  • Personal data can be used as a tool for surveillance and monitoring purposes, if not effectively regulated. It is here that strong data protection and localisation laws can help.

Way Forward:

  • While large technology companies have often argued that steps such as data localisationwould restrict free trade and that cross-border data flows are vital for a modern economy, it is incumbent on governments to prioritise the security and safety of their citizens’ data over the profit margins of large multinational companies.
  • Creating a responsible set of rules regarding mining, owning, sharing, and ­processing of such data can help regulate data resource and protect the privacy of citizens as well.
  • The Srikrishna Committee Reporton data protection and the RBI guidelines for fintech firms requiring them to store data of Indian citizens in the country (data localization) are steps in the right direction, but a lot more needs to be done in terms of protection and localisation if India is to use the resource of data effectively in the future.
  • Apart from a strong data protection law,an efficient consent process is needed. This could take the form of data consent, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs ) that allow consent collection, storage, and audits with users having the right to pull out their data anytime. They can choose what they want to be part of, and what they don’t.

Conclusion:

Therefore, in the 21st century data has become one the most valuable resources on the planet. However, it needs to be ethically extracted, refined, distributed and monetized with the spirit of data democracy unlike the way oil has driven growth and produced wealth for mostly powerful nations.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7. What determines ethical behavior in public organizations: is it rules or leadership? Explain.  (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

Explain what determines ethical behavior in public organizations: is it rules or leadership.

Key Demand of the question:

Analyse what determines ethical behavior in public organizations: is it rules or leadership.

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 what you understand by ethical behaviour.

Body:

Explain that Ethics is a key component of good governance and has significant potential to affect public trust in all forms of government. There are a number of factors that can shape standards of conduct within an organization, among which the role of leadership has attracted significant attention.

Discuss the importance of Leadership in any public organisation.

Then discuss the role that rules play in an organisation to determine ethical behaviour and action of people.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction:

Ethics is a key component of good governance and has significant potential to affect public trust in all forms of government. A common device for regulating conduct is to draw up an ethics code or set of rules, which is a written framework used by organizations to specify and then shape what is regarded as appropriate conduct. Law, rules and regulations also nudge people in being ethical in a public organization and leadership can amplify ethical behaviour in a greater way.

Body

Rules or Leadership: What determines ethical behaviour?

  • Rules bound people of the organization to act in a certain manner and cater to their job profiles efficiently.
  • Mechanisms such as Citizen Charter, Code of Conduct are different types of rules that an organization can use to enforce ethical behaviour by employees.
  • By and large Rules must be followed by everyone in a public organization. However, mere existence of rules may not be sufficient. There is a need of strong leadership that steers the Ship of good governance in the right direction.
  • Codes have been criticized as being too abstract, coercive, and unworkable while producing red tape and restricting practical options. Codes
  •  of ethics are also seen as insufficient to achieve change or govern conduct without other social processes.
  • Ultimately, the success of codes is dependent on the culture of the organization “where people naturally do the right thing when faced with dilemmas”.
  • Leaders can play a significant role in helping set this ethical culture, as they have the scope formally to waive or less formally to ignore ethics codes.
  • Attention to the potential role of leaders shows that codes do not “act” unless interpreted and translated into actions by human agents.

Importance of good Leadership in public organizations

  • The actions of leaders are important in promoting good conduct and fostering an ethical culture.
  • The promotion of good conduct within complex organizations can be enhanced when different categories of leaders work in concert.
  • Leaders need to be willing to intervene informally to steer behavior in their organizations and resolve emerging problems rather than relying on formal regulatory mechanisms.
  • The personal moral credibility of leaders can be very important in enhancing the effectiveness of formal ethics regulation.
  • Moreover, while it is widely recognized that leaders can exert influence through their character and personal conduct as well as by taking managerial actions to regulate the conduct of others (through issuing guidance or processes of sanctions and rewards).
  • Subordinates and employees mimic their leaders’ behaviour. For instance, when Gandhi went on Dandi March, it was resonated all over India and led by many people in their own regions.

Conclusion

Rules and leadership in combination is required to ensure that a public organization works efficiently carrying out its mandate for the welfare of the people. Public organizations must implement ethical conduct through the agency of good leaders, rules, laws and regulations that ultimately will be beneficial for the greater good.


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