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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 May 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:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

1. Critically analyse the right to the life situation in India amidst the pandemic. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article presents a critical analysis of the right to the life situation in India amidst the pandemic.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically analyse the right to the life situation in India amidst the pandemic.

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 highlighting the multiple impacts of the pandemic on livelihoods.

Body:

Explain how the pandemic has led to – A health emergency more ferocious than any in independent India. Massive job losses significantly increased mass hunger and worsening nutrition. Discuss how it has led to a dire account of a humanitarian crisis in India.

Then explain how it is an example of violation of right to life? – Limited court intervention, Violation of right to life in vaccine policy, precarious situation in the informal sector, Lack of significant fiscal package etc.

Conclusion:

Suggest solutions and conclude by urgent measures to prioritise the right to life.

Introduction

The majority of India’s working population is today reeling from the impact of multiple crises: a health emergency more ferocious than any in independent India; massive job losses and dramatic declines in incomes from work; and significantly increased mass hunger and worsening nutrition.

Body

Humanitarian crisis in India amidst the Pandemic

Issue of Right to life

  • The most brazen violation of the right to life by the state at present is its vaccine policy. Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is essential for defending one’s right to life; and since the state must respect everyone’s right to life, it must make the vaccine equally available to all irrespective of the recipient’s capacity to pay.
  • In many other countries, including the most privatised medical systems like the U.S., vaccines are being distributed free to all the people.
  • India is making people (aged 18-45 years) pay to be administered these vaccines in private clinics — an obscene and counterproductive strategy to deal with a pandemic.
  • The lack of consideration for lives is matched by callousness about the loss of livelihood that has come about during the second wave.
  • At least 90% of workers are informal, with no legal or social protection, denied adequate compensation over the past year of lockdowns, restrictions and economic distress.
  • But there is hardly any public outcry about the plight of the nearly one billion people whose lives depend on informal activities, and policymakers, especially at the national level, have completely abandoned them.
  • The consequences of inaction are going to be dire and long-lasting, not just for people experiencing untold suffering, but for the country and the future economic trajectory.

Need of the hour

  • Cash transfers to the millions of the labouring poor, will shield them from slipping deeper into hunger and joblessness and also spur growth, because all of this would be spent for simple, domestically produced goods.
  • Therefore, the ‘multiplier’ effects of this public expenditure would have been much higher than if spent on infrastructure projects.
  • Free rations and meals, as mandated by the Supreme Court, though beneficial, have very little expansionary effect on the economy, since the bulk of the commodities required come from decumulation of existing stocks of food grains.
  • Thus, both the need to provide relief and the imperative to revive the economy demand that a monthly cash transfer, of about ₹7,000 per family (the rough equivalent of minimum wages), be made to people, over and above the provision of free meals and rations.
  • What the state needs to do urgently is to take a range of measures that prioritise the right to life, which also remains the surest way of initiating assured (and equitable) economic recovery today.
  • Among them are enabling expanded production and central procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, and distribution to States for free immunisation to all.
  • Universal access to free food grains of 5 kg per month to all those who require it for the next six months; cash transfers of ₹7,000 per household for at least three months to those without regular formal employment.
  • Increased resources to the Integrated Child Development Services to enable revival and expansion of their programmes; making the MGNREGS purely demand-driven, with no ceilings on the number of days or the number of beneficiaries per household; and covering urban India with a parallel scheme that would also cater to the educated unemployed.

Conclusion

Government must consider levying a wealth tax on the top 1% of households. This would mobilise the resources needed to fight the impact of pandemic and help in the welfare of the most downtrodden and those victimised by the economic burden of covid-19.

 

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

2.  By emphasizing the key factors leading to brain drain in health care sector, deliberate the need for long term solutions to manage human resources in Indian health care sector. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The question is based on the article – “Stemming the India’s health worker brain drain”.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the issue of Brain drain with health care sector of the country and need to urgently address it with long term solutions.

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:

As per OECD data, around 69,000 Indian trained doctors worked in the UK, US, Canada and Australia in 2017. In these four countries, 56,000 Indian-trained nurses were working in the same year. There is also large-scale migration of health workers.

Body:

Explain the case of Brain drain in detail – While there are strong pull factors associated with the migration of healthcare workers, in terms of higher pay and better opportunities in the destination countries, one cannot deny the strong push factors that often drive these workers to migrate abroad.

Discuss the factors responsible in detail and the role of government in preventing the brain drain.

The government’s policies to check brain drain are restrictive in nature and do not give us a real long-term solution to the problem. We require systematic changes that could range from increased investment in health infrastructure, ensuring decent pay to workers and building an overall environment that could prove to be beneficial for them and motivate them to stay in the country.

Conclusion:

Suggest what needs to be done, the role of government to prevent the prevalent conditions and put a full stop on the brain drain of the health workers.

Introduction

For several decades, India has been a major exporter of healthcare workers to developed nations particularly to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Europe and other English-speaking countries. And this is part of the reason for the shortage in nurses and doctors. As per government reports, India has 1.7 nurses per 1,000 population and a doctor to patient ratio of 1:1,404 — this is well below the WHO norm of three nurses per 1,000 population and a doctor to patient ratio of 1:1,100.

Body

Facts and figures

  • As per OECD data, around 69,000 Indian trained doctors worked in the UK, US, Canada and Australia in 2017.
  • In these four countries, 56,000 Indian-trained nurses were working in the same year.
  • There is also large-scale migration of health workers to the GCC countries but there is a lack of credible data on the stock of such workers in these nations.
  • There is no real-time data on high-skilled migration from India as in the case of low-skilled and semi-skilled migration.

Reasons for brain drain in India

  • Resident Doctors are overworked and not paid: Those doing their MD, DM are made to work more than 90 hours a week. They are either paid a token stipend of less than 50,000 per month which in no way compensates for their stress and pressure.
  • For these reasons, those who finish their MBBS, set out to find better opportunities in the UK, USA and Europe.
  • There are strong pull factors associated with the migration of healthcare workers, in terms of higher pay and better opportunities in the destination countries.
  • The UK has granted free one-year visa extensions to eligible overseas healthcare workers and their dependents whose visas were due to expire before October 2021.
  • France has offered citizenship to frontline immigrant healthcare workers during the pandemic.
  • However, there are strong push factors that often drive these workers to migrate abroad.
  • The low wages in private sector outfits along with reduced opportunities in the public sector plays a big role in them seeking employment opportunities outside the country.
  • The lack of government investment in healthcare and delayed appointments to public health institutions act as a catalyst for such migration.

Measures to stop brain drain in India

  • Over the years, the government has taken measures to check the brain drain of healthcare workers with little or no success.
  • In 2014, it stopped issuing No Objection to Return to India (NORI) certificates to doctors migrating to the US.
  • The NORI certificate is a US government requirement for doctors who migrate to America on a J1 visa and seek to extend their stay beyond three years.
  • The non-issuance of the NORI would ensure that the doctors will have to return to India at the end of the three-year period.
  • The government has included nurses in the Emigration Check Required (ECR) category.
  • This move was taken to bring about transparency in nursing recruitment and reduce the exploitation of nurses in the destination countries.
  • The government’s policies to check brain drain are restrictive in nature and do not give us a real long-term solution to the problem.

Way Forward

  • We require systematic changes that could range from increased investment in health infrastructure, ensuring decent pay to workers and building an overall environment to motivate them to stay in the country.
  • The government should focus on framing policies that promote circular migration and return migration — policies that incentivise healthcare workers to return home after the completion of their training or studies.
  • It could also work towards framing bilateral agreements that could help shape a policy of “brain-share” between the sending and receiving countries.
  • The 2020 Human Development Report shows that India has five hospital beds per 10,000 people — one of the lowest in the world.
  • Increased investment in healthcare, especially in the public sector, is thus the need of the hour.
  • This would, in turn, increase employment opportunities for health workers.

 

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

3. Explain the impact of pandemic on children. Discuss the need for Governments to urgently reach out to children who have lost parents to Covid, with programmes designed with sensitivity. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

As India battles a raging second wave, cases of children losing their parents to Covid-19 are also mounting. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the impact of pandemic on Children and need for the Governments to urgently reach out to children who have lost parents to Covid, with programmes designed with sensitivity.

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:

Various social media posts are getting circulated with details of children who have lost either both their parents or the only living parent to the disease and pleading for them to be adopted.

Body:

Firstly, discuss how Covid has left many orphaned children vulnerable to trafficking.

Discuss that various social media posts are getting circulated with details of children who have lost either both their parents or the only living parent to the disease and pleading for them to be adopted.

Sharing such posts are illegal under Section 80 and 81 of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, which prohibit offering or receiving children outside the processes laid down under the Act as well as their sale and purchase. Child Marriages have also increased in the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

Discuss the provisions for Protection of Orphan Children in the country.

Account for the role of government amidst such situation. Point out to the recent initiatives.

Conclusion:

Conclude with role of the government in this direction.

Introduction

Those succumbing to Covid-19 and those requiring hospitalisation are the most visible victims of this catastrophic pandemic, which has seen over 2.7 lakh deaths so far. The loss of livelihood and prevalent hunger are its other visible manifestations. But there are many invisible victims, mainly children.

As our social media feeds remain flooded with posts related to ‘covid orphan’ and ‘call to adopt’, India really needs to wake up to how the young ones will deal with grief.

Body

As India battles a raging second wave, cases of children losing their parents to Covid-19 are also mounting. While some have lost both their parents and have no one to look after them, others are in a situation where a single surviving parent is unable to take care of them financially and psychologically.

Impact of pandemic on children

  • Parental loss can have devastating effects on children’s social, emotional and cognitive growth.
  • It adversely affects their mental health, inducing anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances and often worsens a family’s economic status, resulting in children’s poorer academic performance and school drop-outs.
  • There is a greater risk of substance abuse among children who drop out of school and adolescents who lose parents also display more sexually risky behaviours.
  • Activists said other complicated situations are also emerging as a result of the pandemic. Among the poorer sections of society, the pandemic has left children affected in several ways since last year. Eg cases of sexual abuse of children in slums because they were left vulnerable.
  • In another case documented in a report by NGO Protsahan, the relatives of a minor girl wanted to get her married.

Procedure in place to protect children

  • There is a process as per the JJ Act which needs to be followed with children who have been orphaned.
  • If someone has information about a child in need of care, then they must contact one of the four agencies: Childline 1098, or the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC), District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) or the helpline of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
  • Following this, the CWC will assess the child and place him or her in the immediate care of a Specialised Adoption Agency.
  • The State thus takes care of all such children who are in need of care and protection, till they turn 18 years.
  • Once a child is declared legally free for adoption by the CWC, adoption can be done either by Indian prospective adoptive parents or non-resident Indians or foreigners, in that order.
  • India has ratified Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions, 1993.
  • The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), a statutory body of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, is the nodal agency for adoption. It regulates the adoption of orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated or recognised agencies.

Government measures needed

  • Governments should proactively reach out to those in distress using its database of Covid-19 deceased, which has addresses and contact details. This is an approach adopted by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), Government of Delhi.
  • Cash transfers may prove crucial in mitigating the risks that parental loss likely brings. It is worth reflecting on whether they are effective in keeping the child from having to work as labour in order to take care of the additional costs due to schooling
  • Article 39 of the Constitution prohibits the tender age of the children from being abused. Therefore, orphaned children who have lost both their parents or abandoned or surrendered due to the Covid-19 pandemic must not be neglected and left to face an uncertain future. They must be taken care of by the authorities entrusted with responsibilities under the JJ Act.
  • Children are an important national asset, and the well-being of the nation, and its future, depend on how its children grow and develop. The primary purpose of giving a child in adoption is his welfare and restoring his or her right to family.
  • With an objective of providing psychological and emotional support to children affected during Covid-19 Pandemic, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is providing Tele-Counselling to children through SAMVEDNA (Sensitizing Action on Mental Health Vulnerability through Emotional Development and Necessary Acceptance). This is a step in the right direction.

Conclusion

It is true that Covid-19 is not caused by governments but it has evolved as a disaster because of our governance or the lack of it. We will overcome the virus sooner or later but at what stage Covid-19 ceases to be a disaster remains to be seen. Surely, its impact will linger longer on those who have lost their family.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. What is convalescent plasma therapy and what are the concerns involved in its practice? Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The use of convalescent plasma has been dropped from the recommended treatment guidelines for COVID-19, according to an advisory from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail what is convalescent plasma therapy and what are the concerns involved in its practice.

Directive:

Elaborate – 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 convalescent plasma therapy is.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss in detail the therapy – The therapy seeks to make use of the antibodies developed in the recovered patient against the coronavirus. The whole blood or plasma from such people is taken, and the plasma is then injected into critically ill patients so that the antibodies are transferred and boost their fight against the virus. A COVID-19 patient usually develops primary immunity against the virus in 10-14 days. Therefore, if the plasma is injected at an early stage, it can possibly help fight the virus and prevent severe illness.

Discuss the concerns associated with it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Plasma is the liquid part of the blood. Convalescent plasma, extracted from the blood of patients recovering from an infection, is a source of antibodies against the infection. The therapy involves using their plasma to help others recover.

Body

Convalescent Plasma Therapy

  • For Covid-19, this has been one of the treatment options. The donor would have to be a documented case of Covid-19 and healthy for 28 days since the last symptoms.
  • The whole blood or plasma from such people is taken, and the plasma is then injected into critically ill patients so that the antibodies are transferred and boost their fight against the virus.
  • If whole blood is donated (350-450 ml), a blood fractionation process is used to separate the plasma.
  • Otherwise, a special machine called aphaeresis machine can be used to extract the plasma directly from the donor.
  • While blood is indeed extracted from the donor, the aphaeresis machine separates and extracts the plasma using a plasma kit, and the remaining blood components are returned into the donor’s body.
  • A COVID-19 patient usually develops primary immunity against the virus in 10-14 days.
  • Therefore, if the plasma is injected at an early stage, it can possibly help fight the virus and prevent severe illness.

Efficacy of plasma therapy and concerns associated

  • In September, a study funded by ICMR showed that the procedure did not lead to a reduction in the risk of death or slow down the progress of coronavirus infection.
  • Moreover, in November, the ICMR had issued an advisory against ‘indiscriminate use’ of plasma therapy as a treatment method for coronavirus infection.
  • This advisory came in the wake of India’s PLACID trials that studied the efficacy of plasma therapy.
  • The trials were conducted on 464 patients with moderate symptoms between April 22 and July 14, 2020, at 39 centres across the country.
  • The result of the trials revealed that the plasma therapy failed to exhibit any significant difference in mortality rates between those who received convalescent plasma and those in the control group.
  • Risks of passive administration of convalescent sera fall into two categories, known and theoretical.
  • Known risks are those associated with transfer of blood substances, which include inadvertent infection with another infectious disease agent and reactions to serum constituents, including immunological reactions such as serum sickness.
  • The theoretical risk involves the phenomenon of antibody-dependent enhancement of infection (ADE).
  • ADE can occur in several viral diseases and involves an enhancement of disease in the presence of certain antibodies.
  • Another theoretical risk is that antibody administration to those exposed to SARS-CoV-2 may prevent disease in a manner that attenuates the immune response, leaving such individuals vulnerable to subsequent reinfection.

Conclusion

As more evidence and trial results show the efficacy of the treatment methodology, it is important to embed the same in the protocol to manage covid-19. Scientific assessment can go a huge way in deciding the best way to treat the diseases patients.

 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

5. Evaluate the disaster preparedness and management of cyclones in India. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article explains how accurate forecasts and resilience-building hold the key to handling severe cyclones. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Evaluate the disaster preparedness and management of cyclones in India.

Directive:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief introduction on cyclones that have affected India in recent times.

Body:

Explain that Cyclone Disaster Management encompasses mitigation and preparedness measures for cyclones. The location of India in the north Indian Ocean makes it vulnerable to the tropical cyclone.

In 2019-20, India witnessed multiple cyclones including Amphan, Nisarga, Nivar, etc. The recent one being cyclone Taukte.

Discuss the importance of cyclone disaster management in India to mitigate personal and economic losses.

Throw light on the India’s cyclone disaster management initiatives from past to present.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Millions of people wearied by the onslaught of the coronavirus have had to contend with a furious tropical cyclone that has left a trail of death and destruction before making landfall in Gujarat. Cyclone Tauktae swelled into an extremely severe cyclonic storm, dumping enormous volumes of water all along the west coast, and caused loss of life in Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, before weakening overland.

Body

Cyclone management in India

  • India has a coastline of 7,516 km, of which 5,700 km are prone to cyclones of various degrees. About 8% of the Country’s area and one-third of its population live in 13 coastal states and UTs who are, thus vulnerable to cyclone related disasters.
  • Loss due to cyclones: Loss of lives, livelihood opportunities, damage to public and private property and severe damage to infrastructure are the resultant consequences, which can disrupt the process of development.
  • In India, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has responsibility of formulating National Guidelines for Management of Cyclones and India Meteorological Department (IMD) is the nodal agency for providing cyclone warning services to communities and important officials in affected areas.

Management of cyclone

Non – Structural Measures

  • Early Warning Systems: It consists of Automatic Weather Stations, Doppler radars, High Wind Speed Recorders, Ocean buoys, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles etc. They provide critical information for tracking and forecasting intensity of cyclones.
  • Communication and Dissemination Systems: They are a pre-requisite for the proper functioning of cyclone warning. It consists of cellular telephone network, Disaster Warning System (DWS) terminals, etc.
  • Management of Coastal Zones: A holistic approach to Coastal Zone Management (CZM), like proper planning of the coastal areas for locating communities and infrastructure in safer areas, protecting and restoring natural bio-shields etc., can minimise loss of life and damage to property to a considerable extent.
  • Mangrove forests and shelterbelts constitute Bio-shields in coastal areas and provide ecological security. Their preservation is to be done by effective implementation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Rules.
  • Awareness Generation: Awareness encompasses a wide range of modes of sensitising communities, neighbourhoods and various functionaries from the local to the national level.

Structural Measures

  • Ensure availability of adequate numbers of shelters, community centres/school buildings, places of worship, etc., which can be utilised for moving people from vulnerable areas to safety.
  • To provide at least one all-weather link road for each village that is accessible during cyclone or flooding periods.
  • Construction of ‘saline embankments’ is carried out to protect habitation, agriculture crop and important installations along the coast.

Disaster preparedness

  • Pre disaster:
    • Provide cyclone forecasting, tracking and warning systems.
    • Mock drills, and training of local population and police by NDRF and SDRF.
    • Plantations of strong rooted trees, canopies, mangroves and proper vegetation cover which act as first line of defence.
    • Proper drainage system throughout the city to discharge the water as soon as possible to avoid flood like conditions
    • Use of NAVIC and RESOURCESAT-2 for disseminating coastal information and helping in disaster management.
  • During disaster
    • Cautionary advice put out on social platforms urging people to stay safe can reduce the number of casualties as seen in Odisha during recent Cyclone Amphan.
    • Social media and the Internet, speedy official and community messages, creating online groups and sharing messages offering help and advice.
    • Perception of people decides the intensity of disaster. If people take necessary proactive steps to deal with disaster, then even the severe disaster can be dealt with minimum damage.
    • Delivery of food and health care via mobile hospitals, with priorities to women child & elders.
    • Protection of the community and their evacuation and quicker response.
  • Post disaster
    • It is vital that the learning from each event is shared nationally, and the capacity of officials and communities to manage disasters built continuously.
    • Among the securities available to individuals in many countries is insurance against property losses. Viable policies should be made available in India too.
    • Providing alternative means of communication, energy and transport just after the disaster.

Conclusion

Disaster Risk Reduction should be an important aspect of global poverty reduction initiatives. Moving from a risk blind approach to a risk-informed approach is the need of the hour. There should be a Disaster Risk Audit of all the coastal cities and infrastructure such as embankments and dams to prevent any further disasters.

 

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

6. Discuss the challenges facing the Indian Real Estate sector owing to the pandemic while analyzing the significance of the SWAMIH scheme to address the same. (250 words)

Reference:  Economic Times

Why the question:

Recently, Nirmala Sitharaman handed over the first set of homes that were completed using capital provided by GoI’s Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) Investment Fund.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the challenges facing the Indian Real Estate sector owing to the pandemic while analyzing the significance of the SWAMIH scheme to address the same.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with some key data related to Real Estate sector in the country.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the challenges facing the real estate sector in India; Delayed projects, Funding issues, Failure of Non-Banking Financing Companies (NBFCs), woes of home owners etc.

Then move on to explain the scheme proposed – SWAMIH; SWAMIH fund provides money to projects as a stand-alone entity, not to a builder. The structure of financing is self-compliant. Discuss its salient features.

Conclusion:

Thus, conclude that the SWAMIH fund provides us with an innovative financing structure that must be replicated across several capital-intensive industries.

Introduction

The impact of COVID-19 on the real estate market could be felt in halted constructions, reverse migration of labourers, reduced demand for houses, and much more. Developers had difficulty maintaining liquidity while the homebuyers lost the urge to purchase properties since the job market got hit badly.

Body

Challenges in real estate sector owing to pandemic

  • The projects are delayed as everything is shut down due to the pandemic. Construction work is on halt and will be delayed for months. Even after the upliftment of lockdown, developers will take time to resume the construction work as most of the labourers are in their hometown.
  • In addition to this, there’s also a demand and supply disruption as India is under complete lockdown to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus. In the present scenario, there’s uncertainty and people have deferred their plans to invest in real estate. Also, the developers have postponed their projects which were scheduled in March-April, leading to low home sales.
  • According to experts, there will be no change in the prices and the prices will resume on the same level after the lockdown is uplifted. However, there can be an increase in the cost of raw materials as India imports steel and iron products, plastic, fibre, etc. from China. As most parts of the world are shut, the production in China is decreasing day by day which may lead to an increased cost. The increased cost of raw materials will reduce the profit margins for Indian developers.
  • As per a report by ICRA, the retail commercial sector will be impacted as the country is under lockdown as announced by Prime Minister Modi to contain the spread of the virus.

Swamih fund and its significance

  • This is a government backed fund that was set up as a Category-II AIF (Alternate Investment Fund) debt fund registered with SEBI, launched in 2019.
  • SWAMIH Investment Fund was formed to complete construction of stalled, RERA-registered affordable and mid-income category housing projects which are stuck due to paucity of funds.
  • The Investment Manager of the Fund is SBICAP Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBI Capital Markets, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the State Bank of India.
  • There are more than 1,600 housing projects which are stalled. The fund is expected to revive the same.
  • This will help in alleviating stress for homebuyers, real estate players as well as banks that have backed these projects.
  • Revival of the real estate sector will also lead to demand of cement, iron & steel industries, thus also generating employment.
  • The fund will also generate commercial return for its investors.
  • The AIF is expected to pool investments from government-related and private investors, including public financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, public and private banks, etc.

Conclusion

The real estate in India will be adversely affected due to the pandemic that has infected over 2 million people globally. Developers have delayed their project launches, people are not investing in real estate due to uncertainty in the market, factories are shut down, construction work is halted as labourers have left for their hometown. Even after the upliftment of the lockdown, the real estate sector will take time to end the economic distress.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case Study

7. You are heading the rescue operations in an area affected by severe cyclone. Hundreds of people are rendered homeless and deprived of food, drinking water and other basic amenities. Rescue work has been disrupted by heavy rainfall and damage to supply routes. The local people are seething with anger against the delayed limited rescue operations. When your team reaches the affected area, the people there heckle and even assault some of the team members. One of your team members is even severely injured. Faced with this crisis, some team members plead with you to call off the operations fearing threats to their life.

In such vexing circumstances, what will be your response? Examine the qualities of a civil servant which will be vital to manage the state of affairs. (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The case study is based on ethical dilemma amidst disaster management and facing public uproar.

Key Demand of the question:

Analyse the case and examine the qualities of a civil servant which will be vital to manage the state of affairs.

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 details of the case in general.

Body:

Amidst such a situation one’s response to it must be thoughtful, cogent and humane because there are various dilemmas involved. Leaving thousands unattended, when they are completely dependent on government help, would be an act of timidity and self-preservation which is unbecoming of a public servant.

Discuss the qualities of a civil servant which will be vital to manage the state of affairs.

Explain qualities such as – spirit of service, leadership, empathy, power of persuasion, emotional intelligence etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude that need to have a sensitivity of the situation and not blame people for their reactions. Empathy and support is the key to rescue people in problems.

Introduction

Cyclone disaster can leave lives of people shattered and displaced with maximum fatalities. In such situations, deprivation can cause misplaced anger against authorities and government that are trying to alleviate the problem. Conflict resolution and cooperation is the key in such a scenario.

Body

Course of action

  • The safety of the public as well as the official is the first priority. Considering the injury of the official, he/she can be sent back for the treatment, but calling off the operation is out of the question.
  • I will try to reduce the public anger by convincing them to co-operate. For this I will talk with the community elders and tell them the reason for the delay and will promise to provide all assistance.
  • Once the community members are convinced and team of officials are safe, then the operation can be continued. This will require my indulgence too.
  • I will start the basic operation which requires urgent implementation, starting with transferring affected to safe place and providing them with basic items like food, water, medicine, clothes etc.
  • A back up team containing professional disaster management experts will be sought as fast as possible. Till the weather improves, me along with the officials will stay with the community for taking care of the needs as well as a symbolic gesture of support.

Qualities needed in a civil servant to handle the situation

  • Spirit of service: Since the rescue team is vulnerable to physical and verbal attacks, only some higher cause can help an officer in composed and coordinated rescue work.
  • Leadership: In such circumstances, the finality of any decision lies completely on the wisdom of the leader. He/She also needs to lead the team from the front; displaying personal courage and conviction.
  • Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: An officer needs to have empathy and emotional intelligence for understanding the behaviour of disgruntled local people otherwise one may abort the relief mission or resort to using of force-which will only heighten their anger.
  • Power of persuasion: People seething with anger are reactive and short-sighted, making them agree for something requires the power of persuasion.
  • Patience and Presence of mind: A Public Servant cannot afford to make spontaneous decisions in such situations. Any further course of action should be guided by considerate assessment and swift thinking.

Conclusion

Leaving thousands unattended because of public anger, when they are completely dependent on government help, would be an act of timidity and self-preservation which is unbecoming of a public servant. We need to have a sensitivity to the situation and not blame people for their reactions. Empathy and support are the key to rescue people in problems.


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