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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 15 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.  Deliberate upon the role  of Baba Saheb Ambedkar as a social reformer, chairman of the draft committee of Indian constitution as well as first law minister of post independent India. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

14th April marks the birth anniversary of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. He is considered to be the chief architect of the Constitution of India. He also contributed to India’s progress through his campaigns against social discrimination towards untouchables.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the role  of Baba Saheb Ambedkar as a social reformer, chairman of the draft committee of Indian constitution as well as first law minister of post independent India.

Directive:

Deliberate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with who he was and general importance.

Body:

Babasaheb Ambedkar’s legal expertise and knowledge of the Constitution of different countries was very helpful in the framing of the constitution. He became chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly and played an important role in framing the Indian Constitution.

Among others, his most important contributions were in areas of fundamental rights, strong central government and protection of minorities.

Talk about his values of constitutional morality, democracy, social reforms etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction

The country has marked the beginning of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate 75 years of Independence. It is imperative to reflect on Ambedkar in all his facets to grasp the gravity of his ideas, his role as a nation-builder and actions taken thereupon, to strengthen the social fabric and build a just society and stronger nation.

Body

Role of Baba Saheb Ambedkar As a social reformer

  • Ambedkar was the voice of the Depressed Classes on every platform.
  • As their representative at the Round Table Conference, he championed the cause of labour and improving the condition of peasants.
  • During the Bombay Assembly’s Poona session in 1937, he introduced a Bill to abolish the Khoti system of land tenure in Konkan.
  • In Bombay, the historic peasant march to the Council Hall in 1938 made him a popular leader of the peasants, workers, and the landless.
  • He was the first legislator in the country to introduce a Bill for abolishing the serfdom of agricultural tenants.
  • His essay titled ‘Small Holdings in India and their Remedies’ (1918) proposed industrialisation as the answer to India’s agricultural problem and is still relevant to contemporary debates.
  • As a member of the Bombay Assembly, Ambedkar opposed the introduction of the Industrial Disputes Bill, 1937, as it removed workers’ right to strike.
  • As a labour member, he advocated for “fair condition of life of labour” instead of securing “fair condition of work” and laid out the basic structure of the government’s labour policy.
  • He contributed to the reduction of working hours to 48 hours per week, lifting the ban on the employment of women for underground work in coal mines, introducing the provisions of overtime, paid leave and minimum wage.
  • He also helped to establish the principle of “equal pay for equal work” irrespective of sex and maternity benefits.

As Chairman of the Drafting Committee and as first Law minister of Independent India

  • Ambedkar was appointed as the chairman of the constitution drafting committee on August 29, 1947.
  • He believed that the gap between different classes was important to equalize, otherwise it will be very difficult to maintain the unity of the country.
  • He emphasized on religious, gender and caste equality.
  • Ambedkar introduced the reservation system to create a social balance amongst the classes.
  • As chairman of the Constitution’s drafting committee, he took meticulous measures to build a just society through liberty, equality and fraternity.
  • His advocacy for universal adult franchise ensured that women had the right to vote immediately after Independence.
  • His advocacy of the Hindu Code Bill was a revolutionary measure towards ameliorating women’s plight by conferring on them the right to adopt and inherit.
  • He contributed to developing federal finance.

Conclusion

Today, Ambedkar is revered nationally, and figures in the national pantheon as one of the makers of modern India, along with Gandhi, Nehru and Tagore. His birthday, April 14, has been christened as ‘Ambedkar Jayanti’ or ‘Bhim Jayanti’ and is celebrated as a public holiday. As India celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of this national icon, Babasaheb remains an inspiration for millions of Indians and proponents of equality and social justice across the globe.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. Discuss the possible role that Think Tanks play in foreign policy of India. (250 words)

Reference: News on Air  

Why the question:

While inaugurating the 6th edition of the Raisina Dialogue recently, Prime Minister Modi highlighted that India has walked the talk during the pandemic by not only ensuring vaccines for its own citizens but also supporting the Covid response efforts of other countries.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the possible role that Think Tanks play in foreign policy of India.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining what think tanks are.  

Body:

Explain the role of think tanks in foreign policy making.

Filling the gap between academia and policy making: Think tanks play an important role in bridging the gap between research activities and policy making. They play an important role in pre- and post-decision-making stages and help to provide policy makers with subject matter expertise. IDSA for instance played an important role in conveying India’s stand on nuclear policy to the international community through various track 2 dialogues.

Provide a neutral platform to discuss contentious issues: for political leaders, bureaucrats and military officials to discuss contentious issues like border disputes or water sharing agreements.

Provide assessment on emerging issues: Think tanks have been involved in research activities

on areas like environmental degradation, climate change, maritime pollution. The Centre for Science and Environment has been one of the top ranked environmental policy think tanks in the world and has been at the forefront of communicating the urgency for sustainable and equitable development.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction

In the backdrop of the Raisina dialogue happening in the wake of a pandemic, the question of the role played by these think tanks in foreign policy is crucial to be analysed. Due to their expanding roles and particular connections, a number of Indian foreign policy think tanks have become important players to watch and engage with.

Body

Background

  • By 1965, India was engaged in wars with its neighbouring countries, and out of such bilateral crises were born think tanks of the stature of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Analysis (IDSA) in New Delhi, with help from the Ministry of Defence.
  • IDSA’s mission is to promote national and international security through the generation and dissemination of knowledge on defence and security-related issues.
  • The 1980s saw a new wave in the rise and growth of think tanks in India. International affairs became the primary focus and, with it, we saw the emergence of New Delhi–based autonomous policy research institutes like the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) in 1984.
  • RIS, supported by the Ministry of External Affairs, works on South–South cooperation and capacity building of developing countries on economic issues.
  • The Seventh Five Year Plan (1985-1990) brought think tanks into the government programme fold alright, but they were yet to be a voice to reckon with.
  • They remained relegated in the background, playing an insignificant role in government policy making.
  • Their area of influence, however, gradually started to widen post 1990s, with the think tanks participating in peace talks and larger bilateral issues.
  • Establishment of the Delhi Policy Group in 1992 and that of The Liberty Institute in 1996 were a result of this.

Role of think tanks in foreign policy of India

  • Think tanks play an important role in bridging the gap between research activities and policy making.
  • They play an important role in pre- and post-decision-making stages and help to provide policy makers with subject matter expertise.
  • IDSA for instance played an important role in conveying India’s stand on nuclear policy to the international community through various track 2 dialogues.
  • Think tanks provide a neutral platform to discuss contentious issues for political leaders, bureaucrats and military officials to discuss contentious issues like border disputes or water sharing agreements.
  • They provide assessment on emerging issues. Think tanks have been involved in research activities on areas like environmental degradation, climate change, maritime pollution.
  • The Centre for Science and Environment has been one of the top ranked environmental policy think tanks in the world and has been at the forefront of communicating the urgency for sustainable and equitable development.
  • The influence they can wield in areas of geopolitics and security can help reposition political parleys and give new dimensions to trade agreements.
  • The new think tanks’ greater visibility reflects a more intensive engagement with the government.
  • Importantly, these think tanks have developed networks and set up new platforms to promote dialogue, including high-profile international conferences, bilateral and multilateral exchanges, and closed-door networking events.

Conclusion

In addition to supplying experts for incoming administrations, think tanks provide departing officials with institutional settings in which they can share insights gleaned from government service, remain engaged in pressing foreign policy debates, and constitute an informal shadow foreign affairs establishment.

 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

3. Kazakhstan’s clout in regional organizations can help India further its Connect Central Asia strategy. Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  Financial Express

Why the question:

In a recently concluded visit, the Defence Minister of Kazakhstan and India discussed ways to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to discuss in what way Kazakhstan’s clout in regional organizations can help India further its Connect Central Asia strategy.

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:

Briefly explain what Connect Central Asia strategy is of India.

Body:

Explain the significance of Kazakhstan to India – Geopolitical significance: Kazakhstan’s geo-political existence between Russia and Asia, along with long borders with China, makes it a country of great strategic importance. Kazakhstan remains important for the International North-South Transport  corridor that will provide a multimodal network for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

Economic potential: Kazakhstan is India’s largest trading partner in Central Asia. Indian investments in Kazakhstan are in areas such as oil and gas, banking.

Energy resources: Uranium is one of the major imports from Kazakhstan.

Active involvement of Kazakhstan in regional organizations: Kazakhstan is an active member of regional organizations like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Eurasian Economic Community (EURASEC), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

India and Kazakhstan have inked a Strategic Partnership treaty in 2009, and a Defence and Military Technical cooperation 2015. The two countries have several projects in hydrocarbon, education, pharmaceutical and other sectors.

Body

India-Kazakhstan bilateral relations

  • India was among the first countries to recognize the five Central Asian states. It established diplomatic relations with them after they gained independence in 1990s.
  • India now considers the Central Asian countries as part of its ‘extended and strategic neighbourhood’.
  • Trade: Kazakhstan is the most resource-rich country in Central Asia and is also India’s largest trade and investment partner. Total bilateral trade amounted to USD 1.2 bn between the two countries.
  • Defence Cooperation: According to the Ministry of Defence, on April 9, 2021, the two ministers met in New Delhi and the focus of the talks was on the bilateral defence cooperation, capacity building, training and military exercises.
    • And both agreed to explore the possibility of defence industrial collaboration.
    • Indian companies have been in talks with Kazakhstan defence industries for co-production and co-development in defence production.
  • Space Cooperation: Both countries are in discussion on the possibility of developing a space communication system (satellite) KazSat-2R.
    • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and National Space Agency of Kazakhstan are in discussions to develop a satellite jointly and a possible launch through the agency later on.
    • Kazakhstan is host to the famous Baikonur Cosmodrome.
  • Military exercises: A joint military exercise between India and Kazakhstan on counter-insurgency operations in mountainous terrains called KAZIND took place in 2019.
  • India’s Connect Central Asia Policy also has a forward-looking orientation which at the same time promotes India’s geo-strategic as well as geo-economic interests in the region.
  • Ashgabat Agreement: India has acceded to the Ashgabat Agreement, an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.

Challenges faced by India in Central Asia

  • India’s economic activities in Central Asia have been hampered by the absence of land-access, resource constraints, great-power politics and slow implementation of the projects.
  • India visualised the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI), and the North South Transport Corridor projects long before China’s BRI, but our progress has been disappointing.
  • Pakistan will never allow India the land-route access to Central Asia and our route through Chabahar and Bandar Abbas (Iran) has also been impacted due to the American sanctions.
  • With the increasing influence of China on Iran, India will find it harder to develop its projects there

Significance of Central Asia and Kazakhstan for India

  • Central Asia is significant for India as it is well versed with energy resources as it has an abundance of oil and gas deposits.
  • It contains vast hydrocarbon fields both on-shore and off-shore in the Caspian Sea which homes around 4 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves and approximately 3 percent of oil reserves.
  • Relations between India and Kazakhstan have been marked by significant cooperation in different areas ranging from culture, science and technology to co-operation in medium and small-scale industries, upgrading and modernisation of existing infrastructural facilities, and cooperation in the energy and defence sector.
  • Kazakhstan has a civil nuclear deal with India to provide the highly demanded uranium.
  • Among all the Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan remains the major trading partner of India (trade between two countries during 2010-11 amounted to US $306.2 million).
  • The trade between the two countries has gone up over the years and prospects for cooperation in spheres of oil and gas, civil nuclear energy, uranium, agriculture, public health, information technology and defence are promising.
  • India and Kazakhstan actively cooperate under the aegis of various multilateral fora including CICA, SCO and the UN organisations.
  • India has been a consistent supporter of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and is actively participating in the process. CICA is the only Central Asian forum of which India is a full member.

Conclusion

There is a need to enhance people-to-people cooperation with Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states. Acquiring a visa becomes a major hassle for academic communities, experts, businesspersons and tourists. The respective embassies of Central Asia and India should ease the visa-rules and ensure hassle-free travel to legitimate people. Travellers after all become the carriers of culture and tradition without a cost

 

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

4. The recent controversy surrounding the U.S.’s freedom of navigation operation threatens to adversely impact the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Critically examine. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The U.S.’s freedom of navigation operation in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone near Lakshadweep. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail how the recent controversy surrounding the U.S.’s FONOP threatens to adversely impact the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief background of the question.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

First provide for brief background of India-U.S. relationship in the recent past.

Discuss the current issues related to FONOP; The U.S. has conducted a patrol in the Indian Ocean in India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near Lakshadweep. While India protested against the U.S. move, the U.S has argued that it conducted the “freedom of navigation operation” (FONOP) to challenge what it has termed as India’s excessive maritime claims.

Explain the points of differences between the two countries.

Then express the implications of the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done.

Introduction

India’s strategic community was agitated last week when the USS John Paul Jones carried out a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands. Indian observers reacted with shock and dismay at what some described as an unnecessary provocation by the U.S. Navy.

Body

Freedom of Navigation Operations

  • It involves passages conducted by the US Navy through waters claimed by coastal nations as their exclusive territory.
  • It reaffirms the US policy of exercising and asserting its navigation and overflight rights and freedoms around the world.
  • This communicates that the US does not accept the excessive maritime claims of other nations, and thus prevents those claims from becoming accepted in international law.
  • This is the first time the US Navy has issued a public statement giving details of the operation.

The core of the issue

  • US’ Stand: India requires prior consent for military exercises or maneuvers in its EEZ or continental shelf.
    • India’s claim to EEZ is inconsistent with international law (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982).
    • FONOP upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging India’s excessive maritime claims.
  • India’s posture: India’s stated position on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is that the Convention does not authorise other States to carry out in the EEZ and on the continental shelf, military exercises or manoeuvres, in particular those involving the use of weapons or explosives, without the consent of the coastal state.
    • It is only when it is “military manoeuvres” in Indian EEZ that nations need to seek India’s permission and not if they are simply transiting through.
      • The term military manoeuvres are not defined anywhere.
    • Seventh Fleet to carry out FON missions in Indian EEZ in violation of Indian domestic law (Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones Act, 1976).
  • The EEZ of India is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial waters, and the limit of such zone is two hundred nautical miles from the baseline.
  • India’s limit of the territorial waters is the line every point of which is at a distance of twelve nautical miles from the nearest point of the appropriate baseline.
  • All foreign ships (other than warships including sub-marines and other underwater vehicles) shall enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial waters.

Implications

  • Despite disagreements over navigational freedoms, however, India and the U.S. have refrained from a public airing of differences.
  • Indian observers have come to accept U.S. FONOPs as an instrument in Washington’s military and diplomatic toolkit that gives the U.S. Navy leverage in the contest with China in the South China Sea.
  • S. officials, too, have learnt to take Indian posturing in their stride. Washington knows New Delhi’s real concern is the possibility of greater Chinese naval presence in Indian waters, in particular the threat of People’s Liberation Army Navy submarines near Indian islands.
  • To guard against any misreading of intent, the U.S. Navy coupled its FONOP in Indian waters with another sail through the territorial seas of the Maldives, a country with which the U.S. signed a defence agreement in 2020.
  • The idea, ostensibly, was to signal to China that the U.S. Navy is committed to uphold the rules-based order in the waters of opponents and partners alike

Conclusion

The U.S. Navy sail through the waters off Lakshadweep highlights a gap in the Indian and American perception of navigational freedoms, complicating an already complex domain of international maritime law. Giving their strategic converge on Indo-Pacific, USA must be more sensitive to India’s concerns in the Indian Ocean.

 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

5. Account for the importance of Allied Health professionals in the delivery of health care services. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article explains why government’s recognition of allied healthcare professionals is a paradigm shift.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the importance of Allied Health professionals in the delivery of health care services.

Directive:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with some statistics/data related to allied healthcare professionals in India.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss first who are allied healthcare professionals?

Explain why it is important to recognise their contributions to the delivery of Healthcare services.

Talk about National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020 (NCAHP) – impact of this legislation on the health workforce and healthcare denotes a paradigm shift.

Explain the importance of regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals and the maintenance of a central register of such professionals.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the stress of modern lifestyle, rapid urbanisation, rising chronic non-communicable disease burden, and an increasing proportion of elderly from 5.3 per cent in 1950 to an estimated 10 per cent in 2020 and expected to increase to 19 per cent by 2050), have necessitated a change in delivering healthcare. Caring for patients with mental conditions, the elderly, those in need of palliative services, and enabling professional services for lifestyle change related to physical activity and diets, all require a trained, allied health workforce.

Introduction

The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020 (NCAHP) was passed by Parliament in March. It’s a historic event for two reasons. First, it is not every day that we see unanimous support for legislation. Second, the impact of this legislation on the health workforce and healthcare denotes a paradigm shift.

Body

Allied Health professionals

This legislation provides for regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals and the maintenance of a central register of such professionals. It recognises over 50 professions such as physiotherapists, optometrists, nutritionists, medical laboratory professionals, radiotherapy technology professionals, which had hitherto lacked a comprehensive regulatory mechanism.

Significance of Allied health professionals

  • Global evidence demonstrates the vital role of allied professionals in the delivery of healthcare services.
  • The demand for such professionals is high. They are the first to recognise the problems of the patients and serve as safety nets.
  • Their awareness of patient care accountability adds tremendous value to the healthcare team in both the public and private sectors.
  • Curative healthcare received substantially greater attention than preventive and promotive aspects. And allied professional like nutritionists, lab personnel etc play a major role in this arena.
  • The stress of modern lifestyle, rapid urbanisation, rising chronic non-communicable disease burden, and an increasing proportion of elderly from 5.3 per cent in 1950 to an estimated 10 per cent in 2020 and expected to increase to 19 per cent by 2050), have necessitated a change in delivering healthcare.
  • Caring for patients with mental conditions, the elderly, those in need of palliative services, and enabling professional services for lifestyle change related to physical activity and diets, all require a trained, allied health workforce.

In this regard the NCAHP Bill has tremendous potential to bring a paradign shift in the country in terms of better healthcare for all.

Features of the Allied Health Professional Bill

  • An important feature of this Bill is the classification of allied professionals using the International System of Classification of Occupations (ISCO code).
  • This facilitates global mobility and enables better opportunities for such professionals, potentially benefiting around 8-9 lakh existing allied and healthcare-related professionals.
  • The Act aims to establish a central statutory body as a National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions.
  • It will be supported by 10 professional councils to frame policies and standards, regulate professional conduct, prescribe qualifications, create and maintain a central register.
  • The government has taken all possible measures to incorporate the demands and recommendations of states.
  • Thus, the Bill has the provision for state councils to execute major functions through autonomous boards. The state councils are the implementation agencies while the National Commission is the overarching body devising policies.

Conclusion

With Ayushman Bharat and the new legislation, the intention is to bring back focus on preventive healthcare to increase health and human capital of the nation. The law is a step in the right direction that will have immense ability to turn over the healthcare ecosystem in India.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

6. 80 percent of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for some aspect of their primary health care needs. In this context discuss the potential of medicinal plants in India. (250 word)

Reference:  nhp.gov.in

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of “Medicinal plants”.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to discuss the potential of medicinal plants in India.

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 medicinal plants in India.

Body:

The term “medicinal plant” includes various types of plants used in herbalism (“herbology” or “herbal medicine”). It is the use of plants for medicinal purposes, and the study of such uses.As per data available over three-quarters of the world population relies mainly on plants and plant extracts for their health care needs. More than 30% of the entire plant species, at one time or other were used for medicinal purposes. It has been estimated, that in developed countries such as United States, plant drugs constitute as much as 25% of the total drugs, while in fast developing countries such as India and China, the contribution is as much as 80%.

Thus, the economic importance of medicinal plants is much more to countries such as India than to rest of the world. These countries provide two third of the plants used in modern system of medicine and the health care system of rural population depend on indigenous systems of medicine.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Plants have been used for medicinal purposes long before prehistoric period. Ancient Unani manuscripts Egyptian papyrus and Chinese writings described the use of herbs. Medicinal plants such as Aloe, Tulsi, Neem, Turmeric and Ginger cure several common ailments. These are considered as home remedies in many parts of the country. It is known fact that lots of consumers are using Basil (Tulsi) for making medicines, black tea, in pooja and other activities in their day to day life.

Body

Potential of medicinal plants

  • As per data available over three-quarters of the world population relies mainly on plants and plant extracts for their health care needs.
  • More than 30% of the entire plant species, at one time or other were used for medicinal purposes.
  • It has been estimated, that in developed countries such as United States, plant drugs constitute as much as 25% of the total drugs, while in fast developing countries such as India and China, the contribution is as much as 80%.
  • Thus, the economic importance of medicinal plants is much more to countries such as India than to rest of the world.
  • These countries provide two third of the plants used in modern system of medicine and the health care system of rural population depend on indigenous systems of medicine.
  • Recently, WHO (World Health Organization) estimated that 80 percent of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for some aspect of their primary health care needs.
  • According to WHO, around 21,000 plant species have the potential for being used as medicinal plants.
  • Medicinal plants are considered as a rich resource of ingredients which can be used in drug development either pharmacopeial, non- pharmacopeial or synthetic drugs.
  • Apart from the medicinal uses, herbs are also used in natural dye, pest control, food, perfume, tea and so on.
  • In many countries different kinds of medicinal plants/ herbs are used to keep ants, flies, mice and flee away from homes and offices. Now a days medicinal herbs are important sources for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Significance of medicinal plants in India

  • Treatment with medicinal plants is considered very safe as there is no or minimal side effects.
  • These remedies are in sync with nature, which is the biggest advantage. The golden fact is that, use of herbal treatments is independent of any age groups and the sexes.
  • Recipes for the treatment of common ailments such as diarrhoea, constipation, hypertension, low sperm count, dysentery and weak penile erection, piles, coated tongue, menstrual disorders, bronchial asthma, leucorrhoea and fevers are given by the traditional medicine practitioners very effectively.
  • Herbs such as black pepper, cinnamon, myrrh, aloe, sandalwood, ginseng, red clover, burdock, bayberry, and safflower are used to heal wounds, sores and boils.
  • Basil, Fennel, Chives, Cilantro, Apple Mint, Thyme, Golden Oregano, Variegated Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Variegated Sage are some important medicinal herbs and can be planted in kitchen garden. These herbs are easy to grow, look good, taste and smell amazing and many of them are magnets for bees and butterflies.
  • Many herbs are used as blood purifiers to alter or change a long-standing condition by eliminating the metabolic toxins. These are also known as ‘blood cleansers’. Certain herbs improve the immunity of the person, thereby reducing conditions such as fever.
  • Indian sages were known to have remedies from plants which act against poisons from animals and snake bites.

Conclusion

As our lifestyle is now getting techno-savvy, we are moving away from nature. While we cannot escape from nature because we are part of nature. As herbs are natural products, they are free from side effects, they are comparatively safe, eco-friendly and locally available. Traditionally there are lot of herbs used for the ailments related to different seasons. There is a need to promote them to save the human lives.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.

7. What do you understand by public trust? What are the major reasons for loss of trust among people over public institutions? Explain.  (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article presents to us the importance of Public trust.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concept of Public trust and analyse the major reasons that have led to loss of trust in public institutions.

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 definition of Public Trust.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Explain why trust is important. Trust is the foundation upon which the legitimacy of public institutions is built and is crucial for maintaining social cohesion. Trust is important for the success of a wide range of public policies that depend on behavioural responses from the public. For example, public trust leads to greater compliance with regulations and the tax system.

Explain what factors drive trust of public in the public institutions.

Discuss the major reasons for loss of trust among people over public institutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude that government’s values, such as high levels of integrity, fairness and openness of institutions are strong predictors of public trust. Similarly, government’s competence – its responsiveness and reliability in delivering public services and anticipating new needs – are crucial for boosting trust in institutions.

Introduction

Trust is the foundation upon which the legitimacy of public institutions is built and is crucial for maintaining social cohesion. Trust is important for the success of a wide range of public policies that depend on behavioural responses from the public. For example, public trust leads to greater compliance with regulations and the tax system

Body

Government’s values, such as high levels of integrity, fairness and openness of institutions are strong predictors of public trust. Similarly, government’s competence – its responsiveness and reliability in delivering public services and anticipating new needs – are crucial for boosting trust in institutions.

For instance, in handling pandemics like the covid-19, people followed strict lockdown protocols in the first wave. However, the same doesn’t seem to be happening the second time, after the economic distress in India.

Reasons for loss of trust in public institutions

  • There are many reasons behind this heightened sense of dissatisfaction—the long tail of the global financial crisis, a perception that economic rewards are not being shared fairly, and growing anxiety about future job prospects.
  • Of all the reason Corruption is the major reasons for loss of trust in public institutions and government in India. Eg: 2G scam, Commonwealth scam were reasons for fall of UPA government.
  • At the all-India level, there was considerable lack of trust in state governments on looking after people in 2005, with just under 30% of households reporting a great deal of confidence.
  • Rising poverty, distress and inequality is driving eroding trust in India. Eg: Migrant crisis during lockdown disenchanted the poor regarding State’s welfare approach.
  • Although the judiciary is autonomous, its role in delivering justice fairly and promptly has become more controversial in recent years. A majority of households displayed a great deal of confidence in the judiciary, while a small proportion expressed hardly any confidence.
  • Justice delivery and the police are interlinked, as the latter are responsible for law enforcement. To the extent that criminalization of politics manifests itself in corruption observed in both, trust in these institutions is likely to be systemic.

Although prospects may seem grim, much can be done. A renewed focus on trust in government can bring a new perspective to public governance, enhancing the role of citizens. However, the government needs to be more inclusive, transparent, receptive and efficient. This is easier said than done. But growing awareness among citizens offers a ray of hope.

Conclusion

Restoring trust in institutions will not be quick or easy. But an important first step must be to build a strong foundation of governance and TACKLE CORRUPTION HEAD-ON. Otherwise, we will not be able to make progress on the pressing economic challenges of our times—including jobs and productivity growth, inequality and opportunity, climate change.


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