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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 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. Explain the worsening impact of Covid-19 on malnutrition in children of India. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The opinion from Indian express brings to us the impact of the pandemic on the Malnutrition of children in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

One must explain the worsening impact of Covid-19 on malnutrition in children of India.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with what Malnutrition is and its general conditions in the country.

Body:

Malnutrition is one of the leading causes of death and diseases in children under-five years of age globally. It adversely affects cognitive development and learning capacities among children, thereby resulting in decreased productivity in the booming years.

Discuss the factors that have led to it in the country.

Despite various targeted outreach and service delivery programmes run by the government such as POSHAN Abhiyaan, Supplementary Nutrition and Anaemia Mukt Bharat, to name a few, 16 out of the 22 states and Union territories have still shown an increase in SAM, as per NFHS-5 conducted in 2019-20.

While the deteriorating facets of malnutrition continue to remain a matter of grave concern, the emergence of COVID-19 has only worsened it.

Suggest its impact and explain what needs to be done to overcome it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to address the issue.

Introduction

Malnutrition in India accounts for 68% of total under-five deaths and 17% of the total disability- adjusted life years. India is home to about 30% of the world’s stunted children and nearly 50 per cent of severely wasted children under the age of five. Besides, India is home to nearly half of the world’s “wasted or acute malnourished” (low weight for height ratio) children in the world.

Body

Covid-19 impact on malnutrition in children in India

  • While the deteriorating facets of malnutrition continue to remain a matter of grave concern, the emergence of COVID-19 has only worsened it.
  • The partial closure of Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) along with disruptions in supply chains due to subsequent lockdowns has resulted in halting of mid-day meals scheme, reduced access to take home ration (a nutritional measure to supplement some portion of a child’s calorie needs) and restricted mobility to health care services.
  • According to a study published in journal Global Health Science 2020, the challenges induced by COVID-19 are expected to push another four million children into acute malnutrition.
  • This is also evident from India poor ranking, an abysmal 94th out of 107 countries on the Global Hunger Index 2020.

Addressing malnutrition: Measures needed

According to National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 conducted in 2015-16, 21 per cent of children in India under-5 suffered from Moderate Acute Malnourishment (MAM) and 7.5 per cent suffered from Severe Acute Malnourishment (SAM).

  • Reduce the burgeoning burden of acute malnutrition and ensure early identification and treatment of SAM children to stop them from further slipping into the vicious cycle of malnutrition.
  • Enrol such children in Nutrition Rehabilitation Centres.
  • The second step is, treatment of SAM children without any complications at community level through Village Child Development Centre (VCDC) by using different centrally and locally produced therapeutic food.
  • These energy-dense formulations are often at the core of nourishing the children since they are fortified with critical macro- and micro-nutrients. It ensures that the target population gains weight within a short span of six to eight weeks.
  • Follow up of such children is needed to prevent relapse of malnutrition and ensure adequate food supply to the target population.
  • ASHA workers must be given adequate remuneration to be able to carry out this responsibility with more rigour.

Conclusion

Nutrition is not a peripheral concern rather a central to our existence; a pro-equity agenda that mainstreams nutrition into food systems and health systems, supported by strong financing and accountability is the greatest need. Only five years are left to meet the 2025 global nutrition targets, while the time is running out, the focus should be on an action that provides the maximum impact.

 

Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

2. Critically analyse the role and powers of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in conducting free and fair elections. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question is based on the role of ECI in conducting free and fair elections.  

Key Demand of the question:

The article provides a critical analysis of the role and powers of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in conducting free and fair elections.

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 information on ECI.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Talk about the powers of ECI and its evolution – Evolution of powers –

Constitutional body: Under Article 324 of the Indian Constitution, the ECI superintends, directs and controls the conduct of elections. Discovery of hidden powers by T.N. Seshan in Article 324, which was then used to discipline recalcitrant political parties, who considered rigging the election as their birthright. Judicial backing: Supreme Court (S.C.) in Mohinder Singh Gill vs Chief Election Commissioner case held that Article 324 contains plenary powers to ensure free and fair elections, and ECI can take all necessary steps to achieve this constitutional objective. The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) etc.

Present the issues associated with ECI – No legal backing for MCC, Confusion regarding enforceability, abrupt transfer of officials, Intervention in administrative decisions of Government etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance and need to give it more teeth.

Introduction

Article 324 of the Constitution of India provides for an independent Election Commission. It has the powers of superintendence, direction and conduct of elections to the Parliament, the state legislatures, the office of the President and the office of the Vice-President.

Body

Performance of Election Commission

  • Voter Education and Participation: The highlight of 2019 was the highest ever voter turnout in a general election so far (67.11%), which proves that the EC’s voter education programme SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) is effective.
  • Credibility of voting: After the counting was done, it was found that there wasn’t a single case of a mismatch between the VVPAT slip and the EVM count.
  • Actions taken against politicians: The ECI took strong and unprecedented action against some political leaders in the recent general elections and Bengal elections, debarring them from campaigning for up to three days by invoking Article 324.
  • Action against money power: The ECI cancelled the election to Vellore parliamentary constituency in Tamil Nadu after large unaccounted cash was unearthed during an income tax raid in 2019.

Criticism levelled against ECI

  • Allegation of partisan role: The opposition alleged that the ECI was favoring the ruling government in giving clean chits to the model code violations made by the Prime Minister.
  • Lack of capacity: The Election Commission is vested with absolute powers under Article 324, but still has to act according to laws made by Parliament and it cannot transgress the same. E.g. Despite being the registering authority for political parties under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, it has no power to de-register them even for the gravest of violations.
  • Lack of proactive use of authority: The Election Commission had told the Supreme Court that its powers to discipline politicians who sought votes in the name of caste or religion were “very limited”.
  • Ineffective control over political parties: ECI is not adequately equipped to regulate the political parties. The EC has no role in enforcing inner- party democracy and regulation of party finances.

Way forward

  • Elections are the bedrock of democracy and the EC’s credibility is central to democratic legitimacy. Hence, the guardian of elections itself needs urgent institutional safeguards to protect its autonomy.
  • In its 255th report, the Law Commission recommended a collegium, consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Justice of India for the appointment of the Election Commissioners.
  • Give constitutional protection for all three-election commissioners as opposed to just one at present.
  • Institutionalize the convention where the senior most EC should be automatically elevated as CEC in order to instil a feeling of security in the minds of the ECs and that they are insulated from executive interference in the same manner as CEC.
  • Reducing the ECI’s dependence on DoPT, Law Ministry and Home Ministry. The ECI should have an independent secretariat for itself and frame its own recruitment rules and shortlist and appoint officers on its own.
  • Its expenditures must be charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India similar to other constitutional bodies such as the UPSC.

Conclusion

Free and fair elections is a life breath of a democracy and ECI is the sole torch bearer of this. For democracy to live and thrive in India, ECI must become more independent and autonomous and must be given all resources to carry out its responsibility in the right manner devoid of any influences.

 

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

3. In the process of migration driven by Covid, the impact of migration on women is different from that on men. Analyse. (250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times

Why the question:

The article presents to us the impact of Covid pandemic on women migrants.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way the impact of migration on women is different from that on men.

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 brief understanding of the question.

Body:

With the surge in Covid-19 across the country, there are reports, yet again, of migrant workers being left with little choice but to go back to their villages.

In the process of migration driven by Covid, the impact of migration on women is different from that on men. Discuss about the unequal gender impact and the major problems faced by women migrant workers.

Highlight the problems of women migrant workers during the pandemic.

 Suggest steps to protect their rights. Identify steps to protect the rights of migrant women workers such as incorporating a rights-based approach in the government’s draft National Policy on Migrant Workers, acting on the advisory issued by the National Commission for Women, addressing the structural and other challenges, etc.

 Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

With the surge in Covid-19 across the country, there are reports, yet again, of migrant workers being left with little choice but to go back to their villages. But within this, the gender dimension has been largely overlooked. In the process of migration driven by Covid, the impact of migration on women is different from that on men.

Body

Differential impact of migration on women

  • Women’s migration is not seen so much as employment-driven but as part of them relocating to places where their husbands get jobs. They remain invisible from the policy perspective.
  • Even though women enter the workforce in the areas they migrate to, the main reason many of them cite for migration is marriage.
  • in times of pandemic, those in urban ghettos have been largely trapped in their rooms with their out-of-school children, unable or unwilling to venture out for fear of the virus, making them more vulnerable to anxieties and worry.
  • Many quarantine centres and shelters for migrant women are not safe, nor are they safe on the long road home where they have neither facilities nor physical security.
  • With all health care workers pressed into service to battle the pandemic, many migrant women have no access to health services for other ailments.
  • Women who are left behind in villages by their male counterparts have to look after both household and agriculture. Thus, suffering double burden of work.
  • Many of them often don’t have the local networks, knowledge base, and ability to access many welfare schemes.

Measures needed to increase focus on migrant women

  • Now would be a good time to incorporate a rights-based approach in the policy with relation to migrant women.
  • Women migrants and their vulnerabilities can be tackled only if the government addresses the structural and other challenges which cause them to be so invisible.
  • It has to focus on women in the informal sector, especially migrant women, in its upgradation and skills programmes.
  • Gender justice and inclusion must gather steam in the National policy on migrants. Special focus must be given to their well-being.
  • These include, ensuring accessibility of nutritious food and drinking water; ensuring no separation from family or children where possible; and provision of sanitary napkins and special steps for the dignity and safety of lactating mothers.
  • In this second wave, additional focus is needed. This includes, protection from eviction from their residences; ensuring responses to gender-based violence from the police and inclusive redressal mechanisms; medical care, including mental health, in migrant clusters; access to communication with their family and measures to address trauma; and access to sanitation facilities such as masks, sanitisers and soap.

Conclusion

The surge in Covid cases should occasion a rethink on the issue of women migrant workers and their needs, which can then be institutionalised so that they are less vulnerable during the pandemic and after.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Given the state of the water crisis and skewed rainfall distribution in the country, India requires to take steps beyond Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) phase-II for water conservation. Discuss.  (250 words)

Reference:  Business Standard 

Why the question:

NITI Aayog reckons that nearly 600 million Indians are already facing “high to extreme” water stress. The situation is set to worsen as the water demand is likely to double by 2030. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the need for adopting urgent water conservation methods in the country to address the water crisis.

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 stating the current state of water crisis in the country.  

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Firstly present data that confirms State of water crisis in the country like – Nearly 600 million Indians are facing “high to extreme” water stress, likely to double by 2030. About 22 % of groundwater has either dried up or is in the critical category. India might lose nearly 6 % of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2050 due to water-related factors.

Then talk about the skewed rainfall factor. Around 88 cm of 117-120 cm (annual area-weighted average rainfall in India) comes in the main monsoon season of just four months (June to September).

Explain the positive aspects of JSA phase-II: A step taken for water conservation.

Conclusion:

Any meteorologists and hydrologists believe that India is not an innately water-deficient nation. It is the indiscriminate splurging of water that has made it so. Thus prudent management of water resources.

Introduction

NITI Aayog reckons that nearly 600 million Indians are already facing “high to extreme” water stress. The situation is set to worsen as the water demand is likely to double by 2030. In this context, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan Phase-II’ on March 22, 2021, the World Water Day.

Body

Acute water crisis in India

  • According to the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report released by the NITI Aayog in 2018, 21 major cities (Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and others) are racing to reach zero groundwater levels by 2020, affecting access for 100 million people.
  • The CWMI report also states that by 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual 6% loss in the country’s GDP.
  • Maharashtra and nearly half the country is facing an acute water shortage. Besides Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, parts of Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana are facing a water shortage of unprecedented level.
  • 90% of India’s water is consumed in farming and 80% of this irrigation is for water-guzzling crops — rice, wheat and sugarcane. Reducing this number is the most effective way of solving India’s water problem.
  • India’s farmers, even in drought-prone areas, grow these water-intensive crops because these crops have a steady demand due to government assured procurement and Minimum Support Price (MSP).
  • Inefficient and dilapidated canal irrigation systems have led to a spurt in groundwater development. India is the largest user of groundwater in the world with over 60% of irrigated agriculture and 85% of drinking water supplies dependent on aquifers.

Jal Shakti Abhiyan Phase-ll

  • “Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls” will be taken up by all the States and all stakeholders to create rain water harvesting structures (RWHS) suitable to the climatic conditions and sub-soil strata, with people’s active participation before the onset of monsoon to ensure storage of rainwater.
  • Under this campaign, drives to make RWHS like ponds, water harvesting pits, check dams, rooftop RWHS, etc., enumeration and geo-tagging of all water bodies in the districts, removal of encroachments and de-silting of tanks, etc., will be taken up in all 729 districts (rural as well as urban areas) of the country.
  • it is now proposed to take up JSA phase-II in the pre-monsoon and monsoon periods of 2021, covering both urban and rural areas of all districts in the country.
  • Under JSA phase-II campaign, each district in the country will prepare scientific water conservation plans with the help of remote sensing images from NRSA and GIS mapping technology for identification of existing water bodies/water harvesting structures (WHS), and for planning future WHS.
  • Convergence of all water conservation related schemes and programmes of both Central and State governments: So far, various water conservation programmes of both Central/State governments are implemented in silos.
  • Making it a people’s movement: Not just conservation of rain water, but improving awareness to do so amongst all the stakeholders and ensuring their participation is the primary objective of phase-II of JSA.

Need to go beyond Jal Shakti Abhiyan

  • Water must not be viewed as a material commodity, rather a life-giving component necessary for survival of life.
  • People tend to neglect the importance of water conservation because in most places it is free of cost or charged nominally.
  • Rational pricing of water can be put to practice, keeping in mind the affordability of the population in the country.
  • River rejuvenation ought to be a policy priority of the Centre and state governments.
  • Sustainable operations and maintenance of irrigation systems must be boosted.
  • There is a need to leverage Information Technology to revamp water-related data systems, which seem to be sorely lacking in coverage, efficiency or robustness.
  • There is a need to follow conservation agriculture i.e., farming practices adapted to the requirements of crops and local conditions. Cultivation of less water-intensive crops like pulses, millets and oilseeds should be encouraged in water-stressed regions.
  • Decentralised approach, with a key focus on water conservation, source sustainability, storage and reuse wherever possible. A participatory approach is needed in water governance.
  • Rainwater harvesting should be incorporated into urban planning.
  • Need to emphasis on behavioural change, differentiating of potable and non-potable water usage by the citizenry will go a long way in bringing a Jan Andolan.

Conclusion

It is necessary to build on the momentum that will be created by the Jal Shakti Abhiyan and to consolidate gains already made in phase-I and to be made during phase-II. Going above and beyond the schemes will reduce the water stress in India and will push us closer to har ghar jal and nal se jal.

 

Topic: Carbon Credit

5. “By raising energy prices overall, carbon pricing creates incentives for households and firms to shift toward greener options, while promoting energy efficiency, boosting green investments and spurring innovation”, Elucidate. (250 words)

Reference:  Economic Times

Why the question:

The article is amidst the growing consensus that carbon pricing was the most efficient and cost-effective way to curbing emissions.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way carbon pricing creates incentives for households and firms to shift toward greener options.

Directive:

Elucidate – Give 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 carbon pricing is.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Explain the concept of carbon pricing. A carbon price gives an economic signal to polluting businesses to reduce and eventually discontinue their harmful activities emitting CO2 and other GHG. In this way, carbon pricing aims to stimulate the development of new, greener, more efficient, low-carbon technologies.

Discuss the merits and demerits of it.

Carbon pricing helps express carbon emissions in monetary terms which makes it relatively simpler for businesses to incorporate this figure into their financial planning and strategies. Carbon price helps shift the burden for the damage back to those who are responsible for it, and who can reduce it.

Carbon price as a planning tool helps identify revenue opportunities and risks to reduce costs, emissions and guide capital investment decisions. For businesses, it can mean gradually transforming into a greener and sustainable model, which in all likelihood, is the way for the future.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction

Carbon pricing is an approach to reducing carbon emissions (also referred to as greenhouse gas, or GHG, emissions) that uses market mechanisms to pass the cost of emitting on to emitters.  Its broad goal is to discourage the use of carbon dioxide–emitting fossil fuels in order to protect the environment, address the causes of climate change, and meet national and international climate agreements.

Recently, the IMF noted that that there was a growing consensus that carbon pricing was the most efficient and cost-effective way to curbing emissions. A carbon price that starts low and rises steadily could help Asian countries reach their targets under the Paris climate accord over the next decade.

Body

Types of carbon pricing

  • There are many ways to a put a price on carbon. One is a carbon tax, a fee levied on the use of fossil fuels, based on how much CO2 they emit, which makes dirty fuels more expensive and incentivises efficiency and clean energy.
  • Another is a carbon price in a carbon market (or carbon trading scheme), which requires companies to acquire licences to emit carbon, with the price set amongst themselves based the number of permits and ability of companies to reduce emissions and sell their ‘spare’ credits.

Carbon pricing and green economy

  • A key aspect of carbon pricing is the “polluter pays” principle.
  • By putting a price on carbon, society can hold emitters responsible for the serious costs of adding GHG emissions to the atmosphere; these costs include polluted air, warming temperatures, and various attendants ills (threats to public health and to food and water supplies, increased risk of certain dangerous weather events).
  • Putting a price on carbon can likewise create financial incentives for polluters to reduce emissions.
  • For any carbon price to be effective, it must be high enough to provide a real incentive, and stable enough to allow companies to plan around it.
  • The aim is that polluting firms will pay up in the short term, be forced to clean up in the medium term, and be pushed out of business by their greener competitors in the long term.
  • The best policies will have clearly structured trading schemes or taxes, sending strong price signals across a large share of national emissions, and with the potential to be integrated at a regional level.
  • Thus, polluters must change their behaviour and technology, rather than just relocate their emissions.
  • Strong, predictable and rising carbon prices send an important signal to markets, helping to align expectations on the direction of change, thereby steering consumption choices and the type of investments made in infrastructure and innovation.
  • They also raise fiscal revenues that can be put to productive uses.
  • Around 40 national jurisdictions and over 20 cities, states and regions, have adopted or are planning explicit carbon prices, covering about 12% of global GHG emissions.
  • The number of carbon pricing instruments implemented or scheduled has almost doubled from 20 to 38 since 2012.

Conclusion

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which outlines a framework to hold global temperature rise to well below 2ºC, includes provisions that would allow countries to cooperate to achieve their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), specifically through carbon pricing to meet mitigation commitments. Considering the devastating impact of climate change, nations and corporations have no choice but to quickly adopt to carbon pricing before transitioning to alternative energy sources.

 

Topic: Various efforts and initiatives for climate change by India and recent issues

6. Analyse the scope of green contracts as an institutional tool for Indian corporations to define India’s sustainable growth story. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article presents an analysis on the scope of green contracts as an institutional tool for Indian corporations to define India’s sustainable growth story.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the scope of green contracts as an institutional tool for Indian corporations to define India’s sustainable growth story.

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 what you understand by Green contracts.

Body:

A type of commercial contracts which mandate that contracting parties cut down greenhouse gas emissions at different stages of delivery of goods/services, including design, manufacturing, transportation, operations and waste disposal, as applicable to the industry.

Explain the need for green contracts: Demand for an institutional mechanism for sharing (Between consumers and corporations) responsibilities relating to the loss of resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Suggested stages of implementation: At the bidding stage: ‘Green tender’ prescribing ‘green qualifications’ can be considered when awarding the contract to a bidder.

Green qualifications can range from using a pre-defined percentage of ‘green energy’ in service delivery to adequate on-site waste management etc.

Contracting agreement: including detailed ‘green obligations’, which shall be legally binding and enforceable contractual clauses.

Discuss the challenges.

Conclusion:

While the massive levels of production, consumption and disposal of goods and services have their own set of benefits in a post-­industrial society, they have also slowed down the replenishment cycle of limited resources.  Corporations can contribute to cutting down emissions through the process of green contracting.

Introduction

The increasing concerns about climate change once again point to the need for enhanced efforts towards achieving sustainable growth goals in India. Indian corporations can contribute to cutting down emissions through the process of green contracting.

Body

Green Contracts

‘Green contracts’ refer to commercial contracts which mandate that contracting parties cut down greenhouse gas emissions at different stages of delivery of goods/services, including design, manufacturing, transportation, operations and waste disposal, as applicable to the industry.

Scope of green contracts in sustainable growth

  • The process of implementing a green contract may commence at the bidding stage itself, when various interested companies participate in the tender process.
  • In such a scenario, a ‘green tender’ may prescribe necessary ‘green qualifications’, which can be considered when awarding the contract to a bidder.
  • These green qualifications can range from using a pre-defined percentage of ‘green energy’ in service delivery to adequate on-site waste management, reducing carbon emissions by a certain level over period of time, etc.
  • Once such a bidder is chosen, the contracting agreement between the parties can prescribe the ‘green obligations’ in detail, thus making the obligations binding and enforceable in the eyes of the law.
  • It is this obligatory nature of green contracts which sets the tone for the parties to cut down emissions.
  • This can be achieved by contractual clauses providing for the use of good quality and energy-efficient infrastructure for production of goods/services, efforts in day-to-day operations such as reducing noise, air and water pollution and ensuring eco-friendly means of transportation like bicycles on site, establishing and maintaining a sustainable waste management system, and so on.
  • One effective way to make sure that the service providers adhere to these contractual obligations would be to provide for measurement criteria and audit of the performance of the contractor with regard to these obligations.
  • An organisation may also choose to contractually highlight non-performance of such obligations as a ground of contractual breach, with penalty prescriptions.
  • Another way to make sure that these obligations under the green contracts resonate far is to make sure that they flow down to all levels of the supply chain engaged in the delivery of goods and services.

Way forward

  • Naturally, the degree of effecting a green contract will depend on the type of contract and the industry to which it relates.
  • However, in the absence of any mandatory rules in this respect, it is the confidence and consideration of India Inc. towards green contracting which can aid the attainment of sustainable growth goals.
  • The service recipients can also themselves undertake thorough assessments on their current standing on greenhouse gas emissions, and initiate relevant processes to contribute their share in India’s green sustainable future.

Conclusion

The economic cost of executing green contracts may be greater than a normal brown contract, but global entities operating in a changing environment need to take into consideration the greater environment costs at stake.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

7. Explain the significance of neutrality and impartiality in public administration. As aspirant what steps would you suggest to promote neutrality and impartiality? (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper IV.

Key Demand of the question:

The question aims to analyse the significance of neutrality and impartiality in public administration.

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 Neutrality and Impartiality.

Body:

Explain the importance of neutrality and nonpartisanship in public administration.

Discuss why they are important.

Give examples justifying why they play a key role in civil services.

Explain as an aspirant what steps you would suggest to promote neutrality and impartiality.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction

The principle that civil servants should undertake their duties in a manner that serves the collective rather than a partisan interest is espoused by all countries, either by entrenching the principle within the Constitution, a law or regulation, or by limitations on political involvement in administration, or by strong conventional or customary support.

Body

Neutrality

Neutrality is political neutrality or non-partisanship in the context of public administration. It means one is not being specifically owned or affiliated with any group, party or cause.

Impartiality

Impartiality is a principle of justice holding that decisions should be based on objective criteria, rather than on the basis of bias, prejudice, or preferring the benefit to one person over another for improper reasons.

Significance of neutrality and impartiality

  • While impartiality ensures equality without any bias and prejudices in the general, non-partisanship ensures a neutral approach in politics and a solid commitment to the government.
  • Impartiality helps a civil servant to uphold the constitutional values in any adverse situation. Eg- In case a leader puts pressure on a civil servant to favor somebody, impartiality will help her to take action which is ethical.
  • Impartiality imparts creation of positive & conducive work culture, keeping oneself free from nepotism, political-corporate nexus and corruption.
  • If bureaucracy won’t be neutral then it cannot lend its whole-hearted support to the existing political system, and to the economic and political system if any radical changes are introduced.
  • Without neutrality, there can be a close nexus between bureaucracy and large-scale enterprises which could further lead to crony capitalism.
  • Neutrality depicts that the public officials are not slaves to either the politicians or any other authority other than the moral authority of the Constitution.
  • It shows that the principle of neutrality implies a measure of independence both from the partisan interests of the government of the day and the exogenous agenda that prompts certain social groups to cow others down to humiliating vulnerability.

Steps to promote neutrality and impartiality

  • New recruits must be trained in ethical values that are foundational for the steel frame of the country. They must be given guidance under an able leadership and mentors who themselves have impeccable integrity.
  • The power of transfer, postings must be taken out of the hands of political executive and a tribunal or impartial committee must be formed whose decisions are binding on the political executive regarding the same.
  • When the fear of retribution and punishment postings go away, civil servants are incentivised to be neutral and impartial.
  • For objective handling of administrative decisions, e-governance can bring in transparency and prevent partiality or bias in favour of anybody.
  • Performance based incentives will help transform the bureaucracy and rid the system of corruption and such other malice.

Conclusion

Both impartiality and non-partisanship help civil servants to take rational and objective decisions and avoid nepotism and favouritism. The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission and the Nolan Committee have upheld the two as foundational values for civil servants. Thus, every civil servant must uphold these values and make the vision of Sardar Patel’s  Steel frame, a reality.


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