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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 28 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 – 2


 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Initial Buddhist Stupa-art, while depicting folk themes and stories, magnificently illustrated Buddhist ideals. Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

On this Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, or Vesak — India’s largest statue of the Reclining Buddha was to have been installed at Bodh Gaya. The ceremony has been put off due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the significance of initial Buddhist Stupa art and explain in what way they depicted Buddhist ideals.

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:

Stupas are one of the world’s oldest temples that host mortal remains of Buddhist monks. The structures of the Stupas are designed in a unique manner that depicts the underlying Buddhist philosophy and message.

Body:

Firstly discuss the timeline of the use of Buddhist Stupas.

Comment on the Buddhist philosophy depicted on Stupas. Anda -Anda is the spherical dome that encloses the mortal remains of Buddhist monks preserved for worship by followers. The anda represents the world mountain, which rises through the center of the Buddhist universe. Yasti – The yasti, which rises through the top of the anda, symbolizes the axis mundi, the point at the center of the universe that connects heaven and Earth.

Harmika- The yasti is surrounded by a small fence called the harmika. In Buddhist tradition, fences are used to gate off sacred areas. Torana – The toranas provide the main instructional areas, because they are covered with carvings of religious scenes and tales of the Buddha. Chhatra – The three stone disks on the yasti, called chatras for short, represent the three jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama), the Dharma (the Law) and the Sangha (the monastic community). They’re sometimes also called the Teacher, the Teaching and the Taught.

Conclusion:

Thus, Stupas can be considered as teachings of Buddha depicted in structural form, which not only acts as religious place of worship but helps in propagating message of Buddhism.

Introduction

It is perhaps only in Buddhism that a particular structure has been recommended by its founder for worship and salvation, for the Stupa enables the worshiper to not only think of the Buddha as an imminent reality (by regarding the Stupa as a visual manifestation of the Buddha), but also epitomizes his enlightenment and nirvana. In this way the Buddhist Stupa transcends its predecessor, the burial mound or tumulus, by shifting the emphasis from a particular relic to a higher transcendental actuality as realized by the Buddha, i.e. the Buddha’s attainment and the worshiper’s goal.

Body

Stupa-art illustrates Buddhist ideals

  • Sanchi, Sarnath, Amaravati and Bharhut stupas are the oldest examples of Early Buddhist stupa art. The Birth, Enlightenment, First Sermon and Great Departure are depicted using various motifs in these stupas.
  • The Jataka stories were depicted on the torans of Stupas. The Jataka stories are a method of teaching Buddhists the lessons of karma, samsara and dharma. The overall structure of the Jataka Tales is about the cycle of samsara that the Buddha had to experience before reaching enlightenment.
  • The main structure of the Great Stupa consisted of a flattened hemispherical dome, called an anda, placed atop a cylindrical base. Anda, represents the infinite dome of heaven and signifies the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
  • The harmika, located at the summit of the anda, symbolized the zenith beyond life and death (nirvana). Its resemblance to a sacrificial altar was of particular significance for the attainment of nirvana required the sacrifice of the self and the world (what was below needed to be sacrificed to reach the top).
  • The parasol was always a distinguishing feature that implied royalty and dignity; it symbolized the sacred Tree of Life or enlightenment.
  • The three elements of the chattra at Sanchi represented the Three Jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dharma (the Law), and the Sangha (the community of monks).
  • The chhatra is thought to be a tree as explained by Govinda in the Psychocosmic symbolism of the Buddhist stupas : “the spiritual birth of the world starts in the mind of man, and the Tree of Life grows out of his own heart, the center of his world, and spreads into ever new infinities, into ever higher and purer realms, until it has turned into a Tree of Enlightenment.”
  • Vedikas were repeated around the stupa and on the terrace on which the anda rested (medhi level). They served to demarcate the boundary of the sacred precinct with the secular world.

Conclusion

The Jataka tales narrating the stories and ideals of Buddhism such as ahimsa or non-violence and nature conservation are also shown through the animal motifs like lion, bull, horse, stag etc on Stupas. Thus, early Stupa’s not only were relics but also a source of Buddhist ideals.

 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

2. Repeated political mayhem in Nepal has repeatedly compromised Indian interests. In the light of the most recent political crisis, examine the way forward for India. (250 words)

Reference:  The Print

Why the question:

India recently said the recent political developments in Nepal are its internal matters and it is for the country to deal with them under its own domestic framework and democratic processes.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the impact of Nepal’s political turmoil on India and suggest way forward.

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:

Nepal witnessed fresh political turmoil last week after President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved Parliament following unsuccessful attempts to obtain a majority to form a new government by caretaker Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss in detail the political crisis Nepal has been facing off late.

Explain its impact on India in detail.

Elaborate on India’s stance.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction

Nepal has been caught in political turmoil for the last couple of years, even as it battles the Covid pandemic. With no party or coalition having a majority, the parliament has been dissolved twice since December and the country now faces fresh elections later this year.

Body

Political crisis in Nepal

  • The latest chapter of turmoil in the Himalayan nation began last week when Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved parliament for the second time since December.
  • This decision came after the caretaker government run by Prime Minister Oli failed to get the requisite numbers.
  • The opposition party Nepali Congress had also laid claim to form the government under its leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, but failed to secure the numbers earlier this month.
  • Following this, Oli, who had lost a trust vote three days before, was once again appointed PM on 13 May as the leader of the largest party in the House of Representatives.
  • Opposition parties and critics have complained that Oli and his aides have violated the constitution, especially Article 76, which deals with the process of government formation.
  • Fresh elections in the country are now scheduled for November.

Impact on India

  • PM Oli’s cartographic expansion of Nepal’s territory last year with a new map that included disputed territory with India symbolises a tendency among Nepalese politicians to use anti-India rhetoric as also push their two powerful neighbours in covert manoeuvres for domestic political gains.
  • A clear instance of this trend is Oli’s conversion of a challenge to his leadership into a larger ploy involving India and China.
  • Nepal’s internal political processes are, therefore, significant to India’s strategic interests.
  • Moreover, Sino-Nepali economic ties began to grow in 2015, but in 2018, China’s influence in Nepal started to gather momentum.
  • Having played an essential role in the NCP’s formation, China came to wield enormous influence over the NCP government.
  • It resulted in China ousting India as Nepal’s number one investor.
  • More importantly, Nepal’s foreign policy under the NCP government became strongly pro-China.
  • Moreover, this influence can be evidenced by the fact that China has now stepped up its self-assumed role as mediator in the ongoing crisis.

 India’s stance in this regard

  • As things continue to deteriorate in Nepal, with Prime Minister K.P. Oli being accused of bending constitutional provisions to form a government, India believes it is best to “step back” a bit and wait for the situation to unfold.
  • India said the recent political developments in Nepal are its internal matters and it is for the country to deal with them under its own domestic framework and democratic processes.
  • As a neighbour and friend, India remains unwavering in its support for Nepal and its people on their journey toward progress, peace, stability and development

Conclusion

As no significant development in bilateral relations appears likely during the prevailing uncertainty, India must encourage consolidation of a people-driven polity, and improve its popular profile. This will only help India reclaim its contested strategic space.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

3. Explain the concept of circular economy. Giving examples, discuss its utility in India. (250 words)

Reference:  Business Standard 

Why the question:

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has formulated a policy paper titled “Circular Economy in Electronics and Electrical Sector”.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concept of circular economy. Giving examples, discuss its utility in 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:

Circular economy is a concept describing an industrial economy, which produces no wastes and no emissions through its design, considering all the phases of the life cycle of products.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the concept in detail – CE is an industrial system, which is an alternative to highly extractive and resource-intensive linear economy principle of take-make-dispose.

CE replaces the end-of-life concept and aims at retaining value of resources, products and materials at their highest by keeping them in use as long as possible, minimizing wastage at each life-cycle stage, and extracting the maximum value through reusing, repairing, recovering, remanufacturing and regenerating products and materials at the end of each service value.

Explain the opportunities provided by the CE. Discuss the status of CE in EEE in India. Need for CE approach in India.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction

The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended.

Body

This is a departure from the traditional, linear economic model, which is based on a take-make-consume-throw away pattern. It relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy.

Principles of circular economy

The following ‘5R’ principles lies at the heart of achieving circularity in any product, process or service:

  • Reduce: The emphasis is on achieving resource efficiency by prioritizing use of regenerative and restorative resources.
  • Reuse: This encompasses two aspects – first is to reuse the useful parts / components of a product, wherever possible and second is to promote greater use of product-as-a-service through sharing platforms.
  • Recycle: Focus is on creating a closed loop system to utilize discarded material as a source of secondary resource, through extensive recycling.
  • Re-manufacture: To create new products by utilizing waste streams through cooperation and collaboration between multi-sector industry actors.
  • Repair/refurbish: The aim is to preserve and extend the life of a product that is already made by designing for the future

Need for circular economy in India

  • Rise in consumerism: The robust economic growth coupled with rising household incomes have resulted in increased consumer spending, which is expected to reach USD 4 trillion by 2025. The rise in consumerism has led to more frequent replacement of assets on account of increased spending power and economies of scale.
  • High resource demand: Increased domestic resource extraction due to urbanisation exerts increasing pressure on natural resources such as land, forest, air and water. At the current rate of growth of the economy, India’s resource requirements are projected to be nearly 15 billion tonnes by 2030. Therefore, an urgent need for decoupling economic growth from resources, which can be achieved through a circular economy approach.
  • Import dependence: India’s dependence on the international market for accessing critical resources like rare earth minerals etc. due to shrinking reserves, technical constraints etc.
  • Waste creation: The traditional linear economy approach results in massive waste generation at all stages of a product life cycle right from resource extraction, processing, value addition, consumption to end of life stage.

Way forward

  • Need for Legislation to promote the circular economy in the country. Several countries have recognised the centrality of the circularity as the new paradigm for sustainable development.
  • Policies like Zero Effect, Zero Defect in manufacturing stage, National Electricity Mobility Mission Plan in consumption stage, and the various Waste Management Rules in disposal stage, if tweaked properly, can be the ideal for integrating circular economy into the fabric of the Indian economy.
  • Ensuring the transition to circular economy call for extensive collaborative efforts between key stakeholders, including regulators, policy makers, corporates, and financial institutions would need to work to adopt circular business models.
  • Adequate financing needed for realization of these newer opportunities through innovative financing instruments, such as green bonds, municipal bonds, SDG-aligned bonds.

 

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

4. How has the pandemic changed the dynamics of the Dairy Industry? Discuss and suggest ways for holistic development  of this sector in India. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

Dairy industry’s business operations were hit hard as the industry had to navigate the negative effects of the pandemic on logistics, an abrupt change in demand consequently impacting the supply. Thus the context.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the impact of the pandemic on the dairy sector and suggest ways for its holistic improvements.

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 key facts supporting the context of the question.

Body:

Like other food and agriculture sectors in India, the dairy industry has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the pandemic, existing trends like the transition from the informal to the formal market and sector consolidation have gained momentum.

List down the issues in detail.

Explain that consumers’ increased focus on quality and food safety and the growing need to develop a sustainable supply chain will force dairy companies to carry out multiple activities at a faster pace. This will include a push toward integration and shifting product mix in favor of consumer retail products (versus basic dairy products), while also increasing engagement with farmers to source superior quality milk. This will, in turn, help farmers access the necessary inputs and services to increase their productivity and income sustainably.

Conclusion:

Suggest solutions, hint at the policies proposed by the govt. in this direction and conclude.

Introduction

The second wave of pandemic has thrown the milk producers from the frying pan to fire. Unlike sugarcane, wheat, and rice-producing farmers, cattle raisers are unorganised and do not have the political clout to advocate for their rights. Though the value of milk produced outweighs the combined value of the output of wheat and rice in India, there is no official and periodical estimate of the cost of production and Minimum Support Price for milk.

Body

India’s Dairy Sector

  • In the farm-dependent population comprising cultivators and agricultural labourers, those involved in dairying and livestock constitute 70 million.
  • Moreover, in the total workforce of7 million engaged exclusively in raising of cattle and buffalo, 69 per cent of them are female workers, which is 5.72 per cent of the total female workforce in the country, of which 93 per cent live in rural areas.
  • In the Gross Value Added (GVA) from agriculture, the livestock sector contributed 28 per cent in 2019-20.
  • A growth rate of 6 per cent per annum in milk production provides a great support to farmers, especially during drought and flood.

Changing dynamics of dairy sector due to pandemic

  • Even though dairy cooperatives handle about 40 per cent of the total marketable surplus of the milk in the country, they are not a preferred option of landless or small farmers.
  • This is because, on average, fat-based pricing in dairy cooperatives is 20 to 30 per cent less than the price in the open market.
  • For instance, buffalo milk fetches Rs 65/kg in the open market in Jaipur city, while the price in dairy cooperative ranges between Rs 35/kg and 55/kg depending on the fat content of the milk.
  • More than 75 per cent of the milk bought by dairy cooperatives is at its lower price band.
  • Moreover, in the early lactation phase (the most productive period in terms of quantity of milk) fat content in the milk is relatively low and farmers often manage their livelihood by selling the milk in the open market at a higher price during the early cycle of lactation.
  • Milk vendors and individual buyers pay by quantity and not by its fat content.
  • The recent crisis of low milk prices is due to the destruction of demand in the hotel, restaurant and catering sectors, which consume about 25% of the total marketable surplus.
  • During the pandemic, there has been a self-imposed ban on door-to-door sale of liquid milk by households both in urban and rural areas, forcing farmers to sell the entire produce to dairy cooperatives at a much lower price.
  • The closure of shops had cut down the demand for milk and milk products while severe shortage of fodder and cattle feed has pushed up the input cost.
  • Further, private veterinary services have almost stopped due to Covid-19, which has led to the death of milch animals.

Ways for holistic development of dairy sector

  • Dairy farmers need the following to continue their vocation:
    • One, a stable market and remunerative price (ignoring fat content or giving more weightage to the quantity of milk) for liquid milk;
    • two, uninterrupted supply of fodder and cattle feed at a reasonable price;
    • three, regular supply of veterinary services and medicines.
  • The government has launched the FMD vaccination programme and 1.5 crore cows and buffaloes have been vaccinated.
    • Once India is declared free of FMD by the Paris based intergovernmental World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Indian dairy and meat exports will not face non-tariff barriers.
    • This can open up export markets for Indian dairy and meat.
  • In 2019-20, India earned just $86.73 million from the export of dairy products. In the next 5-10 years, if India can get FMD free status, several products like buffalo mozzarella cheese, ghee etc. can be exported to the US and the European Union.
  • There is a large scope of attracting private investment in the milk sector. For that, the government should release data on existing capacity in each district of India.
  • Once schools reopen, states must consider providing milk and eggs to students under the mid-day meal scheme so that locally produced and unadulterated food is made available to children of the poor, who form the majority of students in government schools.

Conclusion

To increase milk production, boost exports, and increase employment by promoting MSMEs and private companies through participation in processing and value addition in the animal husbandry sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of ₹15,000 crore. This will help strengthen the dairy sector.

 

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

5. Account for the evolution of space exploration journey and discuss how to manage the emerging challenges in the new space age so as to prevent outer space from being a global common to turning into a tragedy of commons. (250 words)

Reference:  Economic TImes

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of space exploration.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the evolution of space exploration journey and highlight the emerging challenges while suggesting solutions to address the same.

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 key facts on the space age we are living in.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the significance of space age first. Give recent space endeavors and justify.

Highlight the challenges being faced in achieving these space journey goals.

Suggest what should be the way forward to effectively deal with the concerns..

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Historically the space missions were led at a country level. Since the first manned spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin in 1961 and Apollo-11 he spaceflight that first landed humans on the moon, space programs have always been under the strict purview of the respective governments. However, it all changed in 2012 when a teardrop-shaped capsule, packed with cargo and supplies, docked at the International Space Station.

There is proliferation of space exploratory missions today, raising issues of space debris, weaponization and also space dominance turning space into tragedy of commons problem.

Body

Evolution of space exploration journey

  • Only the United States has sent people beyond low Earth orbit, but experts say U.S. pre-eminence in space could be challenged.
  • China became the third nation to independently launch a human into orbit in 2003 and its capabilities have since grown.
  • The People’s Liberation Army is seen as a driver of the Chinese space program, the ambitions of which include sending people to the moon and building a space station.
  • Meanwhile, India launched its first unmanned mission to Mars in late 2013, and its probe entered Mars’s orbit in September 2014.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation has since reached an agreement with NASA on subsequent explorations of Mars.
  • China and the United Arab Emirates successfully sent spacecraft to orbit Mars in February 2021, the same month that NASA landed its rover there; the Chinese mission includes its own robotic explorer.

Recent explorations in space

  • Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Mars Orbiter Mission completed six years of orbiting Mars.
  • NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars on Feb 18th 2020 at an ancient river delta and lakebed where microscopic life may have once flourished. The rover will drill into the dry crust, collecting samples for eventual return to Earth.
  • China’s orbiter-rover duo Tianwen-1 — quest for heavenly truth — also will hunt for signs of bygone life.
  • Japan brought back pieces of asteroid Ryugu — its second asteroid batch in a decade.
  • NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft vacuumed up handfuls of gravel from asteroid Bennu in October for return in 2023.
  • In November 2020, four astronauts rode a SpaceX Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. Three weeks later, SpaceX launched its biggest cargo shipment yet to the space station for NASA.
  • Aditya-L1: It will be India’s first solar observatory to be launched around 2022 which will be placed at the first Lagrangian point (L1) between the Sun and Earth, where the dynamic gravitational attraction between these two bodies roughly cancels out.

Challenges in the new space age

  • The space around Earth is quickly being filled with satellites. Fifty nations have a presence in space. Some satellites are military, others are commercial.
  • The part of the reason for the current sorry state of orbit is the lack of well-defined property rights.
  • Space is a commons, where any nation’s decision to test an anti-satellite weapon, in the process creating gobs of junk, is unpunishable.
  • Both private and government satellite owners have an incentive to protect their equipment while it’s operating—but not thereafter.
  • Space junk is pollution, and as we have learned on earth there must be a clear line of responsibility for pollution, or public spaces will be ruined.
  • National and commercial interests are increasingly tied to space in political, economic and military arenas. Beyond fanciful notions of solar energy satellites, fusion energy and orbiting hotels, contemporary political issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, economic development, cybersecurity and human rights are also intimately tied to outer space.
  • Private companies, such as SpaceX, are working to dramatically lower the cost of launching payloads into low Earth orbit, which has long stood at approximately $10,000 per pound. Such innovation holds the promise of opening up space to new development.
  • It also raises concerns over the sustainability of space operations.
  • At the same time, the Trump administration’s public desire to launch a Space Force has fuelled concerns over a new arms race, which, if created, could exacerbate both the issues of space weapons and debris.

Conclusion

Coordination between sovereign nations is possible, as was shown in the golden age of space law. By finding common ground, including the importance of sustainable development, we can ensure that humanity’s development of space is less a race than a peaceful march – not a flags and footprints mission for one nation, but a destination serving the development of science, the economy and the betterment of international relations.

 

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

 GS-3: role of media and social networking sites

6. How has the censorship regime in India evolved over time and what is the current framework governing media content in India? Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of censorship regime in India.

Key Demand of the question:

Account for the evolution of censorship regime in India and throw light upon the current framework governing media content in 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 you understand by censorship.

Body:

Discuss the history of censorship in India.

 The media and entertainment industry has consistently grown and continues to grow at a global level, particularly with the advent of new mediums for distribution, supported by dynamic technological advancements. The Indian market has not only followed this global trend over the years but has also demonstrated enormous potential.

In the recent past, the Indian media and entertainment industry has witnessed a paradigm shift, both, in the volume and demand for varied content as well as in the mediums opted by viewers to access content.

Outline the current regulatory framework for the certification of films, compliances for television programs and also the trends in regulation for OTT media platforms.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of a right framework to regulate media in the country.

Introduction

The three-month deadline for social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to comply with new stricter rules for intermediaries ended even as at least five industry bodies, including the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the US-India Business Council (USIBC), have written to the government for up to a one-year compliance window, particularly in the view of the pandemic.

Body

Censorship regime in India

  • The 1952 Cinematograph Act sets out the structure of Censorship as it stands today as it governs the censorship of films. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) comes under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting purview.
  • Press Council Act, 1978: For the Press, the PCI was established under the PCI Act of 1978 to preserve the press’s freedom and maintain and improve the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India. Similar to the CBFC, the PCI consists of a chairman and 28 other members.
  • OTT Platforms: OTT platforms had remained out of the regulatory purview for long, which was a favourite amongst the filmmakers as it leads to more freedom and space to work in terms of creativity. A self-regulatory framework brought in last year by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and signed by 15 platform members are currently in place for OTT channels to abide by, but it has failed to garner government support.

New Framework governing media content in India

  • Due diligence by intermediaries: Intermediaries are entities that store or transmit data on behalf of other persons. Intermediaries include internet or telecom service providers, online marketplaces, and social media platforms.
  • The due diligence to be observed by intermediaries includes: (i) informing users about rules and regulations, privacy policy, and terms and conditions for usage of its services, (ii) blocking access to unlawful information within 36 hours upon an order from the Court, or the government, and (iii) retaining information collected for the registration of a user for 180 days after cancellation or withdrawal of registration.
  • Intermediaries are required to report cybersecurity incidents and share related information with the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.
  • Significant social media intermediaries: A social media intermediary with registered users in India above a threshold (to be notified) will be classified as Significant Social Media Intermediaries.
  • Additional due diligence to be observed by these intermediaries include: (i) appointing a chief compliance officer to ensure compliance with the IT Act and the Rules, (ii) appointing a grievance officer residing in India, and (iii) publishing a monthly compliance report.
  • Intermediaries which provide messaging as a primary service must enable the identification of the first originator of the information on its platform.
  • This originator must be disclosed if required by an order from the Court or the government. Such order will be passed for specified purposes including investigation of offences related to sovereignty and security of the state, public order, or sexual violence.
  • Grievance redressal: The Rules require the intermediaries and digital media publishers to provide for a grievance redressal mechanism.  The intermediaries are required to designate a grievance officer to address complaints against violation of the Rules.  Complaints must be acknowledged within 24 hours and disposed of within 15 days.
  • Blocking of content in case of emergency: In case of emergencies, the authorised officers may examine digital media content and the Secretary, MIB may pass an interim direction for blocking of such content. The final order for blocking content will be passed only after the approval by the Inter-Departmental Committee.  In case of non-approval from the Committee, the content must be unblocked.

Conclusion

A healthy and thriving democracy needs to have a healthy and broad speech level, giving space and an environment for intellectual discourse and debate. Further, an individual’s autonomy allows them to propagate ideas and thoughts unique to society.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7. Explain the concept of utilitarianism, illustrate with its use in the government. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of Utilitarianism.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concept of utilitarianism, illustrate with its use in the government.

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 the concept of Utilitarianism.

Body:

The Utilitarian Approach assesses an action in terms of its consequences or outcomes; i.e., the net benefits and costs to all stakeholders on an individual level. It strives to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number while creating the least amount of harm or preventing the greatest amount of suffering.

The Classical Utilitarians, Bentham and Mill, were concerned with legal and social reform. If anything could be identified as the fundamental motivation behind the development of Classical Utilitarianism it would be the desire to see useless, corrupt laws and social practices changed.

In its political philosophy, utilitarianism bases the authority of government and the sanctity of individual rights upon their utility, thus providing an alternative to theories of natural law, natural rights, or social contract.

Conclusion:

Conclude suitably.

Introduction

Utilitarianism would say that an action is right if it results in the happiness of the greatest number of people in a society or a group. Utilitarianism is a theory of morality, which advocates actions that foster happiness or pleasure and opposes actions that cause unhappiness or harm. When directed toward making social, economic, or political decisions, a utilitarian philosophy would aim for the betterment of society as a whole.

Body

Concept of Utilitarianism

Greatest good of the greatest number, was famously given by Jeremy Bentham, the father of utilitarianism. Bentham’s fundamental axiom, which underlies utilitarianism, was that all social morals and government legislation should aim for producing the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Utilitarianism, therefore, emphasizes the consequences or ultimate purpose of an act rather than the character of the actor, the actor’s motivation, or the particular circumstances surrounding the act. It has these characteristics:

  • Universality, because it applies to all acts of human behavior, even those that appear to be done from altruistic motives;
  • Objectivity, meaning it operates beyond individual thought, desire, and perspective;
  • Rationality, because it is not based in metaphysics or theology; and
  • Quantifiability in its reliance on utility.

Limitations

  • A limitation of utilitarianism is that it tends to create a black-and-white construct of morality. In utilitarian ethics, there are no shades of gray—either something is wrong or it is right.
  • Utilitarianism also cannot predict with certainty whether the consequences of our actions will be good or bad—the results of our actions happen in the future.
  • Utilitarianism also has trouble accounting for values like justice and individual rights. For example, say a hospital has four people whose lives depend upon receiving organ transplants: a heart, lungs, a kidney, and a liver. If a healthy person wanders into the hospital, his organs could be harvested to save four lives at the expense of his one life. This would arguably produce the greatest good for the greatest number. But few would consider it an acceptable course of action, let alone an ethical one.

Utilitarianism and government

  • In its political philosophy, utilitarianism bases the authority of government and the sanctity of individual rights upon their utility, thus providing an alternative to theories of natural law, natural rights, or social contract.
  • What kind of government is best thus becomes a question of what kind of government has the best consequences—an assessment that requires factual premises regarding human nature and behaviour.
  • In economic policy, the early utilitarians had tended to oppose governmental interference in trade and industry on the assumption that the economy would regulate itself for the greatest welfare if left alone;
  • Later utilitarians, however, lost confidence in the social efficiency of private enterprise and were willing to see governmental power and administration used to correct its abuses.

Conclusion

Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism because it rests on the idea that it is the consequences or results of actions, laws, policies, etc. that determine whether they are good or bad, right or wrong. In general, whatever is being evaluated, we ought to choose the one that will produce the best overall results. In the language of utilitarians, we should choose the option that “maximizes utility,” i.e. that action or policy that produces the largest amount of good.


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