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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 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 – 1


 

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. Ambedkar’s vision of Nationalism and his philosophy of “Bahujan hitaya bahujana sukhaya” and his belief in equality and justice is relevant today and will remain so in the future. Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article explains that Ambedkar’s vision of nationalism had no room for parochialism.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the aspects of Ambedkar’s vision, his belief in equality and justice is relevant today and will remain so in the future.

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 importance of Ambedkar’s vision in general and his thoughts on equity and justice.

Body:

Explain that Ambedkar described nationality as “consciousness of kind, awareness of the existence of that tie of kinship”, as this is how people come close to each other and develop a sense of fraternity.

Highlight Ambedkar’s views and vision on Nationalism – Focus on social democracy: He had categorically said that the caste system and democracy cannot coexist. Therefore, the Indian Constitution barred discrimination based on caste and language. On Women’s education and jobs, Nation as the supreme etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Ambedkar’s dream for India was that equality should be established at all levels in the society. It is intellectual poverty to associate him only with a particular class or caste. He belonged to all.

Introduction

Babasaheb Ambedkar was a visionary who fought for justice and equality of the downtrodden in India. He saw the numerous class and caste separation as a hindrance to unity and even said that India cannot be called a nation until and unless the people abolished the caste system and untouchability. He has a unique vision of nationalism which reflects in the Constitution of India.

Body

Ambedkar’s vision of Nationalism

  • He described nationality as “consciousness of kind, awareness of the existence of that tie of kinship”, as this is how people come close to each other and develop a sense of fraternity. In this, the idea of narrowness is the biggest obstacle.
  • He clearly said that he wanted all the people of India to consider themselves as Indian and only Indian.
  • He said, there is no distinction among individuals, irrespective of their caste and religion. There should be harmony among all of us. That is why our nation is a classic example of unity in diversity.
  • Hence, Preamble of the Constitution lays stress on equality and fraternity among citizens. Any nation is formed by a coming together of its traditions, cultures, religions and languages. Therefore, nationalism has no place for parochialism.
  • Ambedkar also explained this vision about India in a wider perspective. Giving importance to the land, its society and the best traditions for nation-building, he stressed that the nation is not a physical entity. It is the result of continuous efforts, sacrifice and patriotism.

Ambedkar’s sense of equality and justice

  • Ambedkar took three words from the French Revolution — liberty, equality and fraternity. These words included in the core of the Constitution also deeply influenced his political and social philosophy.
  • That is why the fundamental rights provided by the Constitution enshrine the right to equality through Articles 14 to 18, the right to freedom through Articles 19 to 22 and the right against exploitation (Articles 23 and 24).
  • Ambedkar was also a pioneer in his thinking on women’s education and jobs. He believed that the progress of a community ought to be measured “by the degree of progress which women had achieved”.
  • He was probably the first scholar who tried to understand the position of women in the caste structure. That led him to advocate for rights and empowerment of women.
  • Ambedkar’s dream for India was that equality should be established at all levels in the society.
  • That is why he constantly emphasised on making society classless. It is intellectual poverty to associate him only with a particular class or caste. He belonged to all.
  • If we go into the totality of Ambedkar’s thoughts, we will find the seeds of equality, unity and integrity. His philosophy of “bahujana hitaya bahujana sukhaya” and its belief in equality and justice is relevant today and will remain so in the future.

Conclusion

Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s idea of India is relevant even today and must be upheld more than ever. Today India is facing many socio-economic challenges such as casteism, communalism, separatism, gender inequality, etc. We need to find the Ambedkar’s spirit within us, so that we can pull ourselves from these challenges.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

2. Peace with Pakistan is not just a bilateral matter but is essential for India to transform South Asia, do you agree? Analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

While the recent statements by Pakistan rigidly lock the dialogue only on the Kashmir dispute. Rather it is best to focus on resolving issues that blight the entire subcontinent — poverty, malnutrition and unconscionable neglect of the young.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in what way Peace with Pakistan is not just a bilateral matter but is essential for India to transform South Asia.

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:

Explain briefly the context of the question.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss first the prospects of India-Pakistan ties such as –

Economic integration: Reports such as the World Bank publication titled ‘A Glass Half Full’ conclude the explosive value to be derived from South Asian economic integration.

Meaningful traction to SAARC: Which remains a victim of India-Pakistan posturing.

Positive spillovers: Opens up opportunities to join Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) or advantageously link up with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Discuss then the importance of the ties for peace and stability in South Asia.

Conclusion:

Suggest what needs to be done; India should leverage regional size imbalance to take the lead and treat Pakistan’s issue not bilaterally but as essential to transform South Asia for the better.

Introduction

In February, the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan, notified that they agree to strictly observe all agreements between the two countries. This comes after two years of Pulwama and stopping of bilateral trade and talks post abrogation of Article 370. Peace with Pakistan has been elusive for various reasons and has been a huge obstacle for security and economic relations of South Asia.

Body

India-Pakistan bilateral developments and relations

  • The 2019 Pulwama suicide bombing carried out by a Pakistani terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) killing over 40 CRPF personnel was the starting point of the steep slide in relations.
  • Indian fighter jets targeted a JeM terrorist camp, not in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir but in Balakot in the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
  • In a typical knee-jerk reaction, Prime Minister Imran Khan downgraded diplomatic relations by expelling the Indian High Commissioner and suspending all trade between the two countries.
  • The official trade between the two countries is small at $2.4 billion.
  • Smuggling amounting to another $5 billion takes place along the border. A substantial amount of trade also takes place through third countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Singapore, amounting to around $5 to $10 billion.

Importance of peace with Pakistan for transformation of South Asia

  • A fair peace between India and Pakistan is not just good for the two states but for all the nations constituting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
  • Reports such as the World Bank publication titled ‘A Glass Half Full’ and others from the Asian Development Bank and the European Union conclude that there is explosive value to be derived from South Asian economic integration.
  • An economically transformed and integrated South Asian region could advantageously link up with China’s Belt and Road Initiative and even join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest trading bloc of 15 countries, accounting for 30% of its GDP, as a much-valued partner.
  • Given its size and heft, only India can take the lead in transforming a grossly under-performing region like South Asia.
  • Collectively with a population of slightly over 1.9 billion, South Asia has a GDP (PPP) of $12 trillion. Contrast this with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) which has a GDP (PPP) of around $9 trillion and a per capita income which, at $14,000 (PPP), is closing in on China, with member states like Vietnam starting to grow spectacularly.
  • Such is the tremendous economic growth is possible with true regional integration and with economic integration, hostilities will reduce and war becomes unthinkable. This economic integration is needed for normalisation of ties for India and Pakistan.

Conclusion

Now, given that the two countries have agreed to maintain ceasefire, it is time for India to seize the moment and become more South Asia-concerned and much less Pakistan-obsessed. But for that to happen, India needs to view a peace with Pakistan not as a bilateral matter, to be arrived at leisurely, if at all, but as essential and urgent, all the while viewing it as a chance of a lifetime, to dramatically transform South Asia for the better, no less.

 

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

3. Examine the need and significance of protection of personal data of the people in India. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article highlights the importance of Personal data protection Bill.

Key Demand of the question:

Examine the need and significance of protection of personal data of the people in India.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must 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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with what you understand by personal data and why it requires protection.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Why protecting personal data is important? – Data protection regulations ensure the security of individuals’ personal data and regulate the collection, usage, transfer, and disclosure of the said data.

What is personal data protection India?

How can we protect personal data?

What is data security and why is it important?

Discuss the efforts of the government in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with its importance.

Introduction

The pandemic has forced more people to participate in the digital economy. More people have taken to digital channels to fulfill a variety of needs like purchasing groceries and accessing health services. Unfortunately, the number of personal data breaches from major digital service providers has increased worryingly in the same period.

Body

Need for data protection of Indians

  • Frequent data breach of users: 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.
  • No comprehensive law in place: The way different entities collect and process users’ personal data in India is mainly governed by the Information Technology Act, 2000, and various other sectoral regulations. However, this data protection regime falls short of providing effective protection to users and their personal data.
  • Broad terms and conditions: Entities could override the protections in the regime by taking users’ consent to processing personal data under broad terms and conditions. This is problematic given that users might not understand the terms and conditions or the implications of giving consent.
  • No data privacy: Further, the frameworks emphasise data security but do not place enough emphasis on data privacy. In essence, while entities must employ technical measures to protect personal data, they have weaker obligations to respect users’ preferences in how personal data can be processed.
    • As a result, entities could use the data for purposes different to those that the user consented to.
  • Loopholes and Exceptions: The data protection provisions under the IT Act also do not apply to government agencies. This creates a large vacuum for data protection when governments are collecting and processing large amounts of personal data.
  • Finally, the regime seems to have become antiquated and inadequate in addressing risks emerging from new developments in data processing technology.

Personal Data protection Bill in India

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. In the judgment, the Court called for a data protection law that can effectively protect users’ privacy over their personal data.

  • The bill constitutes 3 personal information types: Critical, Sensitive and General.
  • 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.

Significance of Data protection

  • The rising importance of data has pushed over 80 countries to pass national laws protecting the collection and use of their citizens’ data by companies and the government.
  • The Bill will have huge commercial and political consequences for India.
  • In India, the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 (DPB) is currently under consideration by a parliamentary committee.
  • According to Ernst and Young, emerging technologies in India will create $1 trillion in economic value by 2025.
  • Much of this value will be founded on the creation, use, and sale of data, and the Bill will have immense implications as firms scramble to meet new privacy regulations.
  • More importantly, how users wish for their data to be handled will be accommodated and companies will need to adhere to the provisions of the law.

Conclusion

The time is ripe for India to have a robust data protection regime. A strong data protection legislation will also help to enforce data sovereignty. India must adopt stringent law in the same lines as GDPR (General Data Protection Regime) enacted by the European Union.

 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

4. To what extent do you think that the citizens of a country should be actively involved in law and policy making? Discuss (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article explains why citizens must have a say in how the nation’s laws and policies are made.

Key Demand of the question:

Reasons for the importance of actively involving citizens in the law and policy making paradigm 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 with brief context of the question.

Body:

Explain that a transparent consultation process must be initiated to design a law on public participation in law and policy making and to regulate lobbying and advocacy in an equitable manner.

Discuss that inequitable access to and exclusion from law and policy-making processes is a relatively unexplored yet crucial social justice issue. It manifests in procedures which are designed to deny opportunity, exclude diverse voices, create constraints of technology, language and time, as well as disable meaningful consultations, especially with those critical of a law or policy.

Discuss the pros and cons of public participation in decision, law and policy making of the government.

Conclusion:

Conclude that a transparent consultation process must be initiated to design a law on public participation in law and policy-making and to regulate lobbying and advocacy in an equitable manner.

Introduction

A transparent consultation process must be initiated to design a law on public participation in law and policy making and to regulate lobbying and advocacy in an equitable manner.

Body

Citizen consultancy in India and gaps

  • The Pre-Legislative Consultation Policy (PLCP) was instituted in 2014 requiring that every ministry and department “proactively” publish every proposed draft legislation or subordinate legislation, its justification, essential elements, financial implications and an estimated impact assessment on rights, lives, livelihoods, environment, etc.
  • The policy also provides that all such information should be put in the public domain for a minimum period of 30 days and the feedback received should also be published on the website of the ministry or department.
  • On both these counts, trends of the past few years are alarming and indicate an exclusionary and arbitrary law and policy-making process. As per an analysis, between June 2014 and May 2019, a total of 186 bills were introduced, out of which 142 saw no prior consultations.
  • One such bill, reorganising the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, saw an unprecedented breakdown of all channels of consultation, within and outside the Parliament.
  • Another one, redefining the relationship between the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and the elected Chief Minister of Delhi, saw no consultation whatsoever with either the people of Delhi or the elected legislature.
  • In other words, the affected parties were denied the opportunity to participate in making the law.
  • Even where consultation has been carried out, it has left much to be desired. Last year, amidst the pandemic, the government proposed drastic changes to the Environment Impact Assessment procedures.
  • Concerned citizens had to approach the courts to get the deadline for consultation extended and to get the government to make the notification available in all scheduled languages so that everyone could meaningfully participate in the consultation.

Need for participation of citizens in governance and policy making

  • Inequitable access to and exclusion from law and policy-making processes is a relatively unexplored yet crucial social justice issue.
  • It manifests in procedures which are designed to deny opportunity, exclude diverse voices, create constraints of technology, language and time, as well as disable meaningful consultations, especially with those critical of a law or policy.
  • An electoral mandate is not a carte blanche to do as the government wishes. It merely enables the government to present its proposals to people and seek their approval, through representative bodies like the Parliament and through public consultations, which, if done transparently, provides a level playing field for legitimate advocacy and lobby efforts.
  • A collaborative approach to policy-making upholds the dignity, agency and capabilities of individuals.
  • Denying citizen consultation, also curtails the freedom of speech of such excluded groups to undertake legitimate advocacy on law and policy issues.
  • In doing so, the government also abdicates its constitutional responsibility to minimise and eliminate inequalities in status and opportunity among individuals and groups of people when it comes to access to law-making.

 

Conclusion

In a country governed by rule of law and a liberal Constitution providing for representation of marginalised sections in law-making positions, it is not difficult to argue that closed and exclusive access to law making processes is antithetical to justice, social, economic and political, that the Constitution guarantees to everyone. By adopting arbitrary and discretionary processes and not clearly identifying and including all stakeholders in the policy-making process, the government denies equality before law to those excluded. Hence citizen participation alone asserts that the government has mandate and consent to make the said policy.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. What are the main causes of man wildlife conflict? How can man prevent animal conflict? Discuss some of the recent policies of the government in this direction. (250 words)

Reference:  wwf.panda.org

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of Man-animal conflict.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the underlying factors, how they can be managed and recent policies in this direction.

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 what you understand by Man-Animal conflicts.

Body:

Start by explaining what you understand by man-animal conflicts. Discuss what the main causes of man wildlife conflict are – The cause of human wildlife conflict was human settlement, agricultural expansion, illegal grass collection, over grazing by livestock and deforestation in national park. As a result, local communities disliked wildlife inhabiting in and around their surroundings. human population growth and expansion, habitat degradation and fragmentation, land use transformation and increasing densities of livestock grazing in protected areas are considered as major causes of man-carnivore conflicts.

Suggest government policies and programmes in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to address the issue.

Introduction

According to data from the Union environment ministry, more than 1,608 humans were killed in human-wildlife conflict cases involving tigers, leopards, bears and elephants between 2013 and 2017. A deadly conflict is underway between India’s growing masses and its wildlife, confined to ever-shrinking forests and grasslands, with data showing that about one person has been killed every day for the past three years by roaming tigers or rampaging elephants.

Body

Reasons for rise in Man-Animal Conflicts

  • Unbridled Development: The existing space for Tigers, Elephants and other big wild animals are shrinking due to encroachment of wildlife habitats. Unsustainable land use is the biggest problem in this regard.
    • Animals are increasingly finding their usual corridors and pathways blocked by roads, rail tracks and industries.
    • The Ken-Betwa river interlinking project will submerge 100 sq. km of Panna Tiger Reserve.
  • Urbanization: Urbanization and growth agendas alter landscape dynamics, which has a cascading effect on the ecological dynamics of wildlife.
    • Eg: In the area of Gwal Pahari on the Gurugram-Faridabad Road, for example, the district town and country planning department has issued change of land use permissions
    • Recent relaxations in norms to allow for a widening of highway and railway networks near these protected areas are the new threats
  • Primary reason for the increasing human-animal conflicts is the presence of a large number of animals and birds outside the notified protected areas.
    • Wildlife experts estimate that 29 per cent of the tigers in India are outside the protected areas
  • Poor Enforcement of laws: No buffer zone is maintained between critical wildlife habitats and human settlements.
  • Climate Change and Biodiversity: With the food chain undergoing rapid changes and pool of species declining, the forage is decreasing for wild animals. Hence, they come in search of livestock in fringe areas of human settlements.
  • Less Protected Area: Only 5% of India’s geographical area is in the protected area category. This space is not enough to have a full-fledged habitat for wild animals.
    • A territorial animal like a male tiger needs an area of 60-100 sq km. But the area allocated to an entire tiger reserve, like the Bor Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, is around 140 sq km.
    • The territorial animals do not have enough space within reserves and their prey does not have enough fodder to thrive on.

Government Initiatives to reduce Man-Animal conflict

  • A network of Protected Areas namely viz., national park, Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserving covering important wildlife habitat have been created all over the country under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to conserve wild animals and their habitat.
  • Wildlife corridors: Wildlife corridors have been developed in many parts of the country.
    • For example: In 2017, to protect elephant habitats, the Odisha government had identified 14 corridors.
    • Tiger corridor around Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserves are built.
  • “Plan Bee”: Indian Railways launched ‘Plan Bee’ to prevent elephants getting hurt on rail tracks, thereby reducing the elephant death toll.
    • Nearly 50 buzzing amplifiers have been deployed as part of “Plan Bee” at a dozen “elephant corridors” in the vast forests of Assam, home to nearly 6,000 elephants, 20% of the country’s total.
  • State governments:
    • Assistance to state government for construction of boundary walls and solar fences around the sensitive areas to prevent the wild animal attacks
    • Supplementing the state government resources for payment of ex gratia to the people for injuries and loss of life in case of wild animal attacks.
    • Encouraging state government for creation of a network of protected areas and wildlife corridors for conservation of wildlife.
  • Provisions under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 empower concerned authorities take necessary steps to handle problematic wild animals.
  • Standard Operating Procedures for the management of major problematic animals like tiger, elephant, leopard, rhino etc. are being used by the respective state governments
  • Controlling population: In January 2018, the Environment Ministry has approved “immune-contraception” method to address man-animal conflicts.
    • The immuno-contraception is non-hormonal form of contraception. It causes production of antibodies which in turn prevents conception in animals.
    • Ministry sanctioned over Rs 10 crore for ‘immunology contraception’ of wild boars, Rhesus monkeys and elephants.

Way Forward

  • Community Participation: Local volunteers should be trained to handle with human-wildlife conflicts and organize locals for immediate initial steps till the wildlife rescue team arrives
  • Rescue Teams: Wild Life Rescue Teams equipped with adequate personnel, equipment and communication systems should be present in potential areas of human-animal conflict.
  • Awareness campaign:
    • Hunting of prey animals, such as deer and pig, needs to stop as they form the base for growth of tiger and other carnivore populations.
  • Identifying regular movements corridors of large wildlife, and adequate publicity/awareness to avoid disturbances
  • Compilation of data on conflicts, reasons for such conflicts, best practices of response. Identify hotspots of conflict and keep extra vigil in such areas.
  • Insurance programs for damage due to wildlife.
    • Crop insurance should be provided in the event of destruction by wild animals.
    • Livestock insurance and its scope must be explored.
  • Help locals in constructing barriers, and develop scaring away methods.

 Conclusion

Human life is vital and so is a thriving wildlife that sustains the ecosystem. Harmony between humans and wildlife can ensure protection of both. Conservation and Development must go hand in hand to combat man animal conflict, which in turn will lead to sustainable development.

 

Topic:GS-2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6.  To prevent the next pandemic, it is essential for us to understand zoonotic diseases and invest in an in-depth understanding of environmental linkages with zoonotic diseases. Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  ilri.org

Why the question:

The question is about understanding the zoonotic diseases, their underlying causes and solutions to address them.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the need to understand the zoonotic diseases in order to better prevent and mitigate the pandemic like situations.

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 the definition of Zoonotic disease or with some key data related to it.

Body:

It is a disease that has passed into the human population from an animal source directly or through an intermediary species. Zoonotic infections can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic in nature, with animals playing a vital role in maintaining such infections.

 Examples of zoonoses include HIV-AIDS, Ebola, Lyme disease, malaria, rabies, West Nile fever, and the current novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) disease.

Explain the factors responsible for it – Increased demand for animal-derived food, Intensive farm settings cause animals to be raised close to each other, loss of forest cover for agricultural purposes, Environment-Wildlife Interface, Utilization of natural resources etc.

Then explain the need to invest in an in-depth understanding of environmental linkages with zoonotic diseases.

Conclusion:

Conclude that there is an immediate need to invest in an in-depth understanding of environmental linkages with zoonotic diseases, monitoring of such diseases in human-dominated environments, investigating how environmental change or degradation is impacting zoonotic disease emergence.

Introduction

COVID-19 has caused profound damage to human health, societies and economies in every corner of the world. This illness is zoonotic, a type of disease that transmits between animals and humans. It may be the worst, but it is not the first. We already know that 60 per cent of known infectious diseases in humans and 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. Ebola, SARS, the Zika virus and bird flu all came to people by way of animals.

Body

Understanding zoonotic diseases and environmental linkages

  • The relationship between the environment, biodiversity, human society and human diseases is complex.
  • While wildlife may be a source of human disease, domesticated animal sources may act as amplifiers of pathogens emerging from the wild.
  • Moreover, most emerging infectious diseases—whether in wildlife, domestic animals, plants or people—are driven by human activities such as agricultural intensification, wildlife use and mis-use, and human-induced landscape changes, interacting in unpredictable ways that can have negative outcomes.
  • Against this backdrop, it is important to recognize that disease emergence is not only about the relationship between domestic animals or wildlife and people, but also about the complexity of the system as a whole and the interactions between biotic and abiotic components.
  • Biodiversity, and the complexity of our landscapes and seascapes, is integral to social and ecological resilience.
  • Around 80 per cent of pathogens infecting animals are “multi-host,” mean
  • ing that they move among different animal hosts,9 including occasionally humans. Domestic animals and peri-domestic wildlife also act as bridges for the emergence of human diseases; this can occur in an evolutionary sense, or the animal could serve as a physical transmitter.
  • Some of these viruses generated in bio-insecure industrial and intensive agricultural systems result in zoonotic forms of the virus. An example is the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), an important economic disease of domestic poultry that evolves from low-pathogenic viruses that circulate commensally in the environment in wild bird populations.

Factors driving zoonotic diseases and pandemic

  • Increasing demand for animal protein: High-income countries have experienced little change in consumption of animal source foods during the last four decades. In contrast, Southeast Asia has seen a rapid increase.
  • Unsustainable agricultural intensification: As a result, domestic animals are being kept in close proximity to each other and often in less-than-ideal conditions. Such genetically homogenous host populations are more vulnerable to infection than genetically diverse populations, because the latter are more likely to include some individuals that better resist disease.
  • Increased use and exploitation of wildlife: Harvesting wild animals (wild meat, sometimes called “bushmeat”) as a source of protein, micronutrients and money for the poor; Hunting etc are part of the reason.
  • Unsustainable utilization of natural resources accelerated by urbanization, land use change and extractive industries: Rapid urbanization, especially when unplanned and with poor infrastructure, creates novel and diverse contacts among wildlife, livestock and people.
  • Travel and transportation: Diseases can now move around the world in periods shorter than their incubation periods (the time between exposure to a pathogen and the first clinical sign of illness).

Way Forward

  • Build robust and well-governed public and animal health systems compliant with the WHO International Health Regulations (the amendment entered into force in July 2016) and OIE international standards through the pursuit of long-term interventions.
  • Prevent regional and international crises by controlling disease outbreaks through improved national and international emergency response capabilities.
  • Promote wide-ranging collaboration across sectors and disciplines.
  • Develop rational and targeted disease control programmes through the conduct of strategic research.
  • Better address concerns of the poor by shifting the focus from developed to developing economies, from potential to actual disease problems, and through a focus on the drivers of a broader range of locally important diseases.
  • In the case of emerging diseases, up-front investments in surveillance and in coordinated human, animal and environment health services are needed to ensure that ‘emergence events’ do not turn into full-scale epidemics, or pandemics.
  • In economic terms, the World Bank estimated eight years ago that an annual investment of USD3.4 billion in animal health systems worldwide would avert losses incurred through delayed or inadequate responses to zoonoses—losses estimated at almost double the preventative investment.
  • The loss of human life, and economic and social costs of the COVID-19 crisis clearly indicate the value—and the necessity— of increased investment in surveillance, prevention measures and coordinated cross-sectoral early response to ensure we do everything possible to prevent this from happening again.

Conclusion

Controlling and preventing zoonotic outbreaks requires coordinated interdisciplinary responses across human, animal and environment health. Our responses to both controlling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to reducing the risk of future zoonotic disease outbreaks must address a range of areas starting from environment protection and incorporating One Health Policy.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case Study

7. Miss A had a friendly relation with Mr. B. Both are in their teen-age. They developed a bond and trust and have had consensual sex. But one day, the boy sent their private images to her friends. Since then the girl feels shattered and depressed. She feels suddenly loss of reputation and betrayal. To her shock, the boy denied any involvement. The girl doesn’t want a police case rather she wants acknowledgement of wrongdoing and admission of guilt by the boy. There are many similar incidents happening in different part of the country. The increment in such incidents is also due to social media and befriending through this platform and deserting later. In this case, suppose the parents of the girl approach a Police Station for intervention without FIR and you are in-charge of the Station then discuss your courses of action. What legal, social and psychological challenges will you be facing discuss? Also suggest way forward (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is case study based on admission of guilt, dishonesty, breach of trust etc.

Key Demand of the question:

One must identify the ethical issues in the case and suggest suitable ethical solutions to it.

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 identifying the nuances of the case first.

Body:

Basically, role of police is to ensure that boy admit his mistake and owns its responsibility without making it public or fling FIR.

Discuss the different phases in the case viz. ; knowing and understanding – Talk with girl and her parents and gather information about the relation between boy and girl and background of issues such as when the photos were shared, with which friends they were shared etc. Approach to boy and his family informally. Making them aware about the issue. Also checking the cell phone of boy to gather proof about the incidents.

Then discuss your plan of action based on the facts at your hand.

Then discuss the challenges involved in the case – legal, socio-psychological etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced action and substantiate with suitable ethical backing.

 Introduction

Unfortunately, sexual abuse of children has only recently been publicly acknowledged as a problem in India, which is why POCSO has been a welcome development in India. Despite being well-intentioned and detailed, POCSO has one lacuna. It does not differentiate between sexual acts between consensual minors and sexual acts between minors and adults

Body

Stakeholders in the case

  • The two teenagers involved in the case.
  • Parents of the two children.
  • Police handling the conciliation

Ethical issues involved

  • Violation of trust.
  • Issue of Indian law and consensual sex of minors
  • Psychological impact on the victim
  • Issue of consent in sharing private images
  • Privacy violation
  • Impact of social media on the young minds.

Challenges faced in the case

As Police in charge, we must handle the situation with adequate sensitivity. Here, the girl and boy have been in a consensual relation. However, sharing of the private images violated the privacy of the girl who is psychologically affected as her reputation was impacted. Moreover, under Indian law, sexual intercourse with minor is considered sexual abuse and a minor’s consent is not admissible. Both being minors there will be legal challenges if an investigation is to be made.

There will be social challenges and pressure to take action against the boy. Eg As in the case of boys locker room episode. But one must view this from the minors’ perspective and their future. Moreover psychologically, Police may be ill-equipped or ill-trained to handle such cases which requires the help of psychologists and guidance counsellors.

Course of Action

Since the girl does not want to file an FIR, police must ensure that both the families are counselled well. The police must verify whether the boy (Mr B) indeed shared the images himself and if not, how it was shared online.

In case of the girl, she must be given assurance that such incidents in the long run should not affect her bright future. She must overcome the trauma and look forward towards her career and studies and become a successful person. Her parents must be told not to reprimand the girl. Social media awareness training must be given and such courses must be given to adolescents in high school. Avenues for therapy must be explored in her case and requisite treatment and emotional support must be given from the family.

In case of the boy, he must be made aware of his mistake, in violating the privacy and trust of the other person. He must be educated on respecting women and instilled with right values on gender justice and equality. We need to understand where this behaviour is coming from. Is this coming from a home where some trauma that this child has gone through themselves? Is this coming from some sexual abuse or is it coming from some kind of violence the child is exposed to in their house? It could be a combination of a lot of things. Right counselling even in this case is needed from experts and the idea of gender and to stop objectifying women must be clearly explained. Make an attempt to overwrite sexist influences, telling them Treat girls with respect; act honourably toward them.

It would bode well to remind parents of their responsibility in teaching their children about the wrong stereotypes. As parents, their role in inculcating proper understanding of gender equality becomes crucial. Pause the next time one is inclined towards sharing a sexist joke in a gathering. Pause before one laughs at such jokes because it is ‘just a joke’. Remember, for a child, it is far more than a joke and is instead an example of how to treat the other gender. When as parents, you pull up someone over a gender-biased statement or rebuke inferior treatment of women in any manner, you teach your kid to stand up for what is right and not cave under peer pressure. Parents also need to monitor the other influences and mentors of their children and what they propagate about respecting both the genders equally.

Conclusion

Sex education curriculum and the process are abysmal in our country to say the least. And within that, one must apprise of what amounts to respectful behaviour and reinforce the same. The whole process is hindered by the so-called conservative values which have resulted in a very reluctant and inadequate attempt at sex education. Education policy must include this and disseminated widely.


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