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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 8 June 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: 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.

1. India needs social norms based intervention at every phase of a woman’s life to overcome and address the burden of Anaemia. Analyse.(250 words)

Reference:  Down to Earth

Why the question:

The article presents the case of Anaemia; India needs social norms-based interventions at every phase of a woman’s life.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the case of Anaemia and the importance of social norms based intervention at every phase of a woman’s life to overcome and address the burden of Anaemia.

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 the background of prevalence of Anaemia in India. Indian women and children are overwhelmingly anemic, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019-20 released this month, and the condition is the most prevalent in the Himalayan cold desert.

Body:

Explain that while behaviour changes communication for drug adherence and knowledge of Anaemia as a serious disease is needed; challenging detrimental social norms must accompany such measures.

In the last two decades, the prevalence of anaemia among Indian women of reproductive age, on average, has been 20 per cent more than the world average. While one in three women in the world is anaemic, one in two women is anaemic in India.

Take hints from the article and explain.

Conclusion:

Suggest solutions and conclude.

Introduction

In the last two decades, the prevalence of anaemia among Indian women of reproductive age, on average, has been 20 per cent more than the world average. While one in three women in the world is anaemic, one in two women is anaemic in India.

Indian women and children are overwhelmingly anaemic, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019-20 released this month, and the condition is the most prevalent in the Himalayan cold desert.

Body

Although there are several causes of anaemia, the foremost is iron deficiency, followed by deficiencies in folate, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin A.

Behavioural factors entrenched into our societies that perpetuating these poor health outcomes:

  • Undernourishment since birth: It is common for a girl child to be discriminated against right from birth in a patriarchal society. Due to son-biased fertility preferences, girls are breastfed for less timethan boys and receive lower food supplements.
  • Perception of anaemia: Since the lack of awareness about this is common, women and communities don’t fathom its severity. While women don’t know the clinical term “anaemia”, they do recognise it through its symptoms like weakness and paleness.
  • Inadequate uptake of IFA tablets: Despite health programmes like ICDS that have been providing Iron Folic Acid (IFA) tablets to pregnant women for decades, and the Anaemia Mukt Bharat Score Card(2019) revealing that 84.8 per cent of pregnant women in India are within the IFA coverage in 2018-2019 Q4, the NFHS-5 (2018-19) shows a rise in anaemia among women. This indicates a problem with the uptake of IFA tablets.
  • Misinformation about IFA tablets: Apart from the lack of awareness of the severity of anaemia, there is also an information gap about IFA tablets as a remedy, forgetfulness of patients and hence, the inability to take medicines for a minimum of the prescribed 100 days. Some women also believed that too many iron tablets could “cause too much blood or a large baby, making labour more challenging”.
  • Lack of agency: In some cases, mothers did not even receive antenatal care, which includes the provision of IFA tablets and awareness about the consumption of iron-rich foods, because their family members did not think it was necessary. Another important reason that emerges is the cost of care. Data also shows that for 22.6% of female respondents, the decision about their own health is taken mainly by their spouse.

Hence, to battle these behavioural problems, health policies must:

  1. Address nutrition needs at every phase of a woman’s life: Malnourishment as an infant can lead to anaemia in adolescence, which can get aggravated during pregnancy. Hence, while trying to address anaemia among women and adolescents, programmes should also integrate solutions for less breastfeeding time and food supplements for girl infants. Smart behaviour change communication is required to nudge parents towards gender equal mind-set.
  2. Conduct social norms based interventions: Interventions must recognise that women eating last and least in the household, husbands or families dictating the need for antenatal care, women’s need to take permission before visiting a healthcare facility, all constrict women’s agency and contribute to their malnourishment.

 Conclusion

While behaviour change communication for drug adherence and knowledge of anaemia as a serious disease is needed, challenging detrimental social norms must accompany such measures.

 

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

2. How Digital Divide in the county affects Covid 19 Vaccination Drive of the young India? Critically examine while suggesting solutions to address the gap. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article explains that the CoWin portal, which was opened for registration for the 18-44 age groups on May 1, has come under the scanner for its potential to exclude those on the other side of the digital divide given that registration is mandatory.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain how Digital Divide in the county affects Covid 19 Vaccination Drive of the young India.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with the problem in question.

Body:

First explain about the digital divide in question.

Discuss how the digital divide is generating wider gaps in the vaccination drive.

a sizeable population struggles to get a shot at the life-saving vaccine — some in the absence of an Internet-enabled smartphone, some due to ignorance of the registration process, some for not knowing the only language (English) the portal is available in, and the rest, in navigating through the complex multi-step journey on the portal for freezing a slot despite having the means.

Suggest what needs to be done to address the solution.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Digital divide is any uneven distribution in the access to, use of, or impact of information and communications technologies between any number of distinct groups, which can be defined based on social, geographical, or geopolitical criteria, or otherwise.

Body

Impacts of digital divide:

  • In the Lokniti-CSDS National Election Study 2019, only 1 in every 3 were found to be using smartphones (approximately 90% of the smartphone users had Internet in their phones), and merely 16% and 10% households had access to a computer/laptop and an Internet connection at home, respectively.
  • According to the Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Report- the percentage of rural population that subscribes the internet is 34.60%. It even conflicts with the early stage learnings from CoWin’s own dashboard.
  • There is the issue of mandatory Co-Win registration as part of the new decentralised distribution strategy, which potentially adds to an entry barrier that could be tougher to navigate for users in the hinterland, both in terms of access to the platform and an English-only interface for users so far.
  • In the absence of the internet and without knowledge of how the portal functions, the majority of India’s rural population is being discriminated against and a form of technical rationing is being implemented by CoWin based on broadband connectivity and digital literacy.
  • Mandatory online registration introduces a skew in favour of urban centres, given that a little over half of India’s population has access to broadband Internet, while rural tele-density is under 60%. States including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh having among the country’s lowest tele-density.
  • It is more difficult for those with less access and greater unfamiliarity with technology, including access to a smartphone or computer.
  • Online registration for the jab bars up to half of India’s population, mainly in poor and rural areas, who do not have smartphones or internet access.

Solutions:

  • Infrastructure: The promotion of indigenous ICT development under Atmanirbhar Abhiyan can play a significant role.
  • Digital literacy: Digital literacy needs special attention at the school / college level. The National Digital Literacy Mission should focus on introducing digital literacy at the primary school level in all government schools for basic content and in higher classes and colleges for advanced content.
  • Role of regulators: Regulators should minimize entry barriers by reforming licensing, taxation, spectrum allocation norms. TRAI should consider putting in place a credible system. This system will track call drops, weak signals, and outages. It ensures the quality and reliability of telecom services.
  • Cyber security: MeitY will need to evolve a comprehensive cyber security framework for data security, safe digital transactions, and complaint redressal.
  • Telecom ombudsman: The government should also set up telecom ombudsman for the redress of grievances.

Conclusion

Efficacious and safe vaccines, regardless of their origin, need to be critically but quickly examined and added to the pool. India’s Covid-19 vaccine drive will be a monumental mission, not just in terms of vaccinating its own population, but also vaccinating a large part of the world thanks to its position as the world’s leading vaccine producer. Addressing the issues associated with the development and distribution of vaccines will augment the effort to efficiently get vaccines to hundreds of millions in the shortest period of time.

 

Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

3. Frequent elections in the country are a costly affair,  in this context do you think simultaneous elections can prove to be an effective solution? What are the issues involved? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article deals with the issue frequent elections in the country and highlights the need for debate on the idea of “one nation, one election”.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the effectiveness and possibility of simultaneous elections in our country.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with need for debate on one nation one election.

Body:

Discuss the issues in the election system; the major issues – Financial costs of conducting elections, Cost of repeated administrative freezes, Cost of repeated administrative freezes, Campaign and finance costs of political parties, Question of regional/smaller parties having a level playing field etc.

Then suggest solutions in terms of simultaneous elections.

Conclusion:

As the elections in four states and one Union territory in March-April are suspected to have contributed to the second wave of Covid infections, a well-reasoned debate on a concept as important as “one nation, one election” is called for.

Introduction:

Simultaneous elections refer to holding elections to Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, Panchayats and Urban local bodies simultaneously, once in five years. The idea of holding elections simultaneously is in news after it got a push from Prime Minister and ex-President of India. However, political parties are divided on the issue of holding simultaneous elections

The recent elections in four states and one Union territory in March-April are suspected to have contributed to the second wave of Covid infections, a well-reasoned debate on a concept as important as “one nation, one election” is called for

Body:

The Law Commission of India has also proposed holding simultaneous state and general elections and has sought public opinion on its recommendations regarding the same. Simultaneous elections were held in India during the first two decades of independence.

Merits of Simultaneous elections:

  • Governance and consistency:
    • The ruling parties will be able to focus on legislation and governance rather than having to be in campaign mode forever.
    • Parties and workers spending too much time and money in electioneering, can make use of the time for social work and to take people-oriented programmes to the grassroots.
    • To overcome the “policy paralysis and governance deficit” associated with imposition of the Model Code of Conduct at election time which leads to putting on hold all developmental activities on that area and also affects the bureaucracy’s functioning.
  • Reduced Expenditure of Money and Administration:
    • The entire State and District level administrative and security machinery will be busy with the conduct of elections twice in a period of five years as per the current practice.
    • Expenditure can be reduced by conducting simultaneous elections.
    • It is felt that crucial manpower is often deployed on election duties for a prolonged period of time. If simultaneous elections are held, then this manpower would be made available for other important tasks.
    • For instance, for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, which was held along with 4 state assemblies saw the deployment of 1077 in situ companies and 1349 mobile companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF).
  • Continuity in policies and programmes:
    • Will limit the disruption to normal public life associated with elections, such as increased traffic and noise pollution.
    • Large numbers of teachers are involved in the electoral process which causes maximum harm to the education sector.
  • Efficiency of Governance:
    • Simultaneous elections can bring the much-needed operational efficiency in this exercise.
    • Populist measures by governments will reduce.
  • Curbs Vices:
    • During frequent elections there is increase in “vices” such as communalism, casteism, corruption and crony capitalism.
    • Simultaneous elections can also be a means to curb corruption and build a more conducive socio-economic ecosystem.
    • The impact of black money on the voters will be reduced as all elections are held at a time.

Challenges to simultaneous elections:

  • Illiteracy:
    • Not all voters are highly educated to know who to vote for. They may get confused and may not know whether they are voting for candidates contesting assembly or parliament elections.
    • IDFC study says that there is 77% chance that the Indian voter will vote for the same party for both the state and centre, when elections are held simultaneously.
    • Evidence from Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Germany, the US and Europe supports the idea that elections that are held simultaneously produce greater alignment between national and regional election outcomes.
  • Functional issues:
    • Frequent elections bring the politicians back to the voters, create jobs and prevent the mixing of local and national issues in the minds of the voters.
    • There is a dearth of enough security and administrative officials to conduct simultaneous free and fair elections throughout the country in one go.
  • Changes in Constitution and Legislations:
    • The following constitutional changes need to be made: –
    • Amendments needed in the following articles: –
      • Article 83 which deals with the duration of Houses of Parliament need an amendment
      • Article 85 (on dissolution of Lok Sabha by the president)
      • Article 172 (relating to the duration of state legislatures)
      • Article 174 (relating to dissolution of state assemblies)
      • Article 356 (on President’s Rule).
    • The Representation of People Act, 1951 Act would have to be amended to build in provisions for stability of tenure for both parliament and assemblies. This should include the following crucial elements:
    • Restructuring the powers and functions of the ECI to facilitate procedures required for simultaneous elections
    • A definition of simultaneous election can be added to section 2 of the 1951 act
    • Articles 83 and 172 along with articles with articles 14 and 15 of the 1951 act be appropriately amended to incorporate the provision regarding remainder of the term i.e.., post mid elections, the new loksabha/assembly so constituted shall be only for the remainder of the term of the previous loksabha or assembly and not for a fresh term of five years.
  • Constructive vote of no confidence:
    • The 170th law commission report suggested a new rule i.e., rule 198-A has to be added to rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok Sabha and similar amendment to such rules in the state legislatures.
    • The report suggested introduction of motion of no confidence in the incumbent government along with a motion of confidence in the alternative government.
    • To avoid premature dissolution of the house/state assemble in case of Hung parliament /assembly and to advance simultaneous elections the rigour of anti-defection law laid under in tenth schedule be removed as an exception.
  • Local and national issues will get mixed up distorting priorities.
  • The terms of different state governments are ending on separate dates and years.
  • Spirit of Constitution:
    • One nation, one election” would make sense if India were a unitary state. So “one nation, one election” is anti-democratic.
    • Simultaneous elections threaten the federal character of our democracy.
    • Frequent elections act as checks and balances on the functioning of elected representatives.

Way forward:

  • Any changes must require both a constitutional amendment and judicial approval that they do not violate the “basic structure” of the Constitution.
  • A focused group of constitutional experts, think tanks, government officials and representatives of political parties should be formed to work out appropriate implementation related details.
  • Other alternatives should be explored to reduce election related expenses like
    • State funding of elections
    • Decriminalisation of politics
    • Bringing in transparency in political funding
    • Setting up National Electoral Fund to which all donors can contribute.
  • One year one election as suggested by Election Commission can be executed by amending Section 15 of the RP Act 1951. If the six-month stipulation is extended to nine or 10 months, elections to all states, whose term is expiring in one year, can be held together.
  • The Law Commission of India in its report of 1999 has dealt with the problem of premature and frequent elections. It had recommended an amendment of this rule on the lines of the German Constitution, which provides that the leader of the party who wants to replace the chancellor has to move the no-confidence motion along with the confidence motion. If the motions succeed, the president appoints him as the chancellor.
    • If such an amendment to Rule 198 is made, the Lok Sabha would avoid premature dissolution without diluting the cardinal principle of democracy that is a government with the consent of the peoples’ representatives with periodical elections.
    • It will also be consistent with the notion of collective responsibility of the government to the House as mentioned in Article 75 (3) of the Constitution.

Conclusion:

Election Commission’s idea of “one year one election” will better suited as it will require fewer amendments to the constitution, it will respect the essence of the exercise of popular will, unlike one nation one election which prioritizes economic costs of elections over the exercise itself, it will avoid clubbing of national and state issues, it will not disturb federalism much, not much issues generated by emergencies like need to hold by-election etc will be addressed by this option.

 

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

4. What is Model Citizen Charter for Gram Panchayats? Elaborate on its key features and significance. (250 words)

Reference:  pib.gov.in

Why the question:

Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) released a Model Panchayat Citizens Charter. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concept of Model Citizen Charter for Gram Panchayats and its key features and importance.

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 is Model Citizen Charter for Gram Panchayats.

Body:

It is a document that represents the commitment of the Panchayat towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redressal mechanism, transparency, and accountability. It is prepared by MoPR in collaboration with National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj.

Discuss the objectives of Model Gram Panchayat Citizens’ Charter.

Explain the key features of Model Citizen Charter for Panchayats.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction:

Citizen’s charter is a voluntary and written document that spells out the service provider’s efforts taken to focus on their commitment towards fulfilling the needs of the citizens/customers.

A Model Panchayat Citizens Charter/ framework for delivery of the services across the 29 sectors, aligning actions with localised Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as prepared by Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) in collaboration with National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) was released recently through virtual program for the Panchayats to adopt & customise.

Body:

Key features:

  • The Panchayats will utilise this model, and with the due approval of Gram Sabha, would draw up a Citizens Charter which will contain the list of different categories of services provided by the Panchayat, and their condition and the time frame.
  • The model framework states:
    • “A Citizens’ Charter is a tool to achieve good governance. Successful implementation of Citizens’ Charter improves service delivery, brings responsiveness on the part of Panchayat functionaries and enhances Citizens’ satisfaction.”
  • It is expected to empower citizens and bring professionalism in the Panchayat functioning.
  • According to the document released, the following information need to be provided under service standards:
    • Name of the service
    • Details of the service, including beneficiaries and eligible persons, fees, etc.
    • Time frame to deliver the service
    • Name and contact details of the person in the Panchayat responsible for providing the service
  • Grievance redressal: The Sarpanch and the Panchayat Secretary must be accessible to the Citizens to listen to the grievances the contact details of the authority to whom citizen need to contact for any such complaint
  • The framework also states that while preparing the charter, the Panchayat should seek the views of the Panchayat Secretary and other officers of the concerned line departments.

Significance:

  • Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) constitute the third tier of government in the rural areas and represent the first level of Government interaction for over 60% of the Indian population.
  • PRIs are responsible for delivery of basic services as enshrined under Article 243G of the Constitution of India, specifically in the areas of Health & Sanitation, Education, Nutrition, Drinking Water.
  • The aim of establishing a Citizen charter is to provide services to the people in a time bound manner, redressing their grievances and improving their lives.
  • This will help in making the citizens aware of their rights on the one hand, and to make the Panchayats and their elected representatives directly accountable to the people, on the other hand.
  • The Citizen Charter would ensure transparent and effective delivery of public services for sustainable development and enhanced citizen service experiences; deepening inclusive and accountable Local Self-Governments by incorporating diverse views while designing and delivering services.

Conclusion:

A Citizens’ Charter cannot be an end in itself, it is rather a means to an end – a tool to ensure that the citizen is always at the heart of any service delivery mechanism. Drawing from best practice models such as the Sevottam Model can help Citizen’s Charter in becoming more citizen centric.

 

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

GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

5. Discuss the issues with housing sector in the country. Could the new Model Tenancy Act fundamentally change the rental business and housing itself in the country? (250 words)

Reference:  Business Standard

Why the question:

The article explains how the new Model Tenancy Act could fundamentally change the rental business and housing itself.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the issues with housing sector in recent times in the country and explain the possible role that Model Tenancy Act can play.

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 a brief on housing sector of India.

Body:

House-building was marginal to the economy three decades ago. In most towns and cities, it was a state monopoly. As the mortgage business came into its own, housing finance rose quite sharply from 1% in 1991 to over 7% of GDP by about 2005 and now about 10%. With very low delinquency rates, it is one of the safest forms of lending.

Discuss the issues in the housing sector of India. Explain the efforts being made by the government.

Conclusion:

Conclude that if the housing sector is properly managed, it could become the bedrock of the economy — driving not just finance but demand a range of products and services.

Introduction:

Tenancy is a legal arrangement in which someone has the right to live in or use a building or land owned by someone else in exchange for paying rent to its owner.

Body

the issues with housing sector in the country:

  • According to the data from Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, there is a shortage of 18.78 million housing units, of these the Economic and weaker section (EWS) alone accounts 56.2 percent.
  • It is evident that there is a mismatch in the demand and supply in the housing market, as the Census of India shows that 11.07 million houses were vacant in 2011 in Urban India. Housing Surplus is in the higher income groups while 95% of the deficit is in the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Lower Income Group (LIG) categories.
  • Scarcity of developed and encumbrance free land, increased cost of construction, lack of private sector participation, absence of viable rental market, inaccessibility to home loans by poor are some of the challenges which need to be addressed for development of the affordable housing market.
  • The technological Innovations in low cost building material and construction practices lack popular acceptance in the market.
  • Certain regulatory constraints such as long and cumbersome approval process, environment clearance, lack of clarity in building by-laws and implementation of the master plan.
  • The housing shortage for 2012-17 is estimated to be 18.78 million units in rural areas.
  • Delay in Projects: The major problem consumer facing is delay of projects which may happen due to various reasons like court intervention in land issues, finance, approval etc. The consumer had to suffer because customer is paying rent where resides and paying EMI for home loan at same time due to delay of projects.
  • Lack of clear land titles: The land titles are not clear because of poor record keeping and division of land in many parts till independence. The slow pace of modernization of land records is further aggravating the problem.
  • Speculation in Land and Real Estate Prices:The prices of land and real estate in India has increased exponentially in last decade and causes overpricing of commercial or residential property. In recent times, the real estate is the most favourable destination for investment in India and far ahead than equity or gold. Further real estate agents or brokers buy or sell property frequently with their own investments and cause of surging prices in property.
  • Sources of Finance:Finance is the key for development of any industry. Due to poor image of Real Estate sector, banks are becoming reluctant to provide loans and making regulation tougher to avoid the bad loans. Alternate sources of finance are very costly and ultimately impact total cost of the project.
  • High Input Cost: The real estate is a capital and labour intensive industry; thus rise in cost of labour and construction material due to inflation poses many problems to real estate industry. Further real estate builders many times raise a question about unfair practices in cement industry for rise of price more than 50% in quick time.

As per Census 2011, more than 1 crore houses were lying vacant in urban areas. “The existing rent control laws are restricting the growth of rental housing and discourage owners from renting out their vacant houses due to fear of repossession” – As per Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Highlights of the Model Law:

  • Applicable prospectively and will not affect the existing tenancies.
  • Written agreement is a must for all new tenancies. The agreement will have to be submitted to the concerned district ‘Rent Authority’.
  • The law also speaks about roles and responsibilities of landlord and tenants.
  • No landlord or property manager can withhold any essential supply to the premises occupied by the tenant.
  • If tenancy has not been renewed, the tenancy shall be deemed to be renewed on a month-to-month basis on the same terms and conditions as were in the expired tenancy agreement, for a maximum period of six months.
  • Compensation in case of non-vacancy: On the expiry of extended period of six months of agreed tenancy period or the termination of tenancy by order or notice, the tenant shall be a tenant in default and liable to pay compensation of double of the monthly rent for two months and four times of the monthly rent thereafter.
  • A landowner or property manager may enter a premise in accordance with written notice or notice through electronic medium served to the tenant at least twenty-four hours before the time of entry.

Significance:

It is an important piece of legislation that promises to ease the burden on civil courts, unlock rental properties stuck in legal disputes, and prevent future tangles by balancing the interests of tenants and landlords.

Need for a law in this regard:

  • Young, educated job seekers migrating to large metropolises often complain of onerous tenancy conditions and obscene sums of money as security depositsthat they are asked to fork out to lease accommodation. In some cities, tenants are asked to pay security deposits amounting to 11 months of rent.
  • Also, some house owners routinelybreach tenants’ right to privacy by visiting the premises unannounced for sundry repair works.
  • Whimsical rent raisesare another problem for tenants, many of whom complain of being squeezed as “captive customers“.
  • Besides, Tenants are often accused of “squatting” on the rented premises, or trying to grab the property.

Challenges:

  • The Act isnot binding on the states as land and urban development remain state subjects.
  • Like in the case with RERA(Real Estate (Regulation and Development Act), the fear is that states may choose not to follow guidelines, diluting the essence of the Model Act.
  • Multiplicity of Laws to govern tenancy as there is already Rent Control Act 1948 to govern tenancy laws.
  • It heavily penalises the tenant if s/he doesn’t vacate the house in prescribed rent period even during emergency situations – This clause lack clarity.
  • Law envisages a three-tier grievance redressal system with a district-level judge in charge of dispute resolution. This means that states will have to invest time, resources and efforts to set up these institutions and also spare human resource from an already burdened lower judiciary system.

Conclusion:

Like Real Estate Regulation Act that helped states like Maharashtra to make MahaRERA successful to a large extent. We may expect tenancy acts in states to become more efficient in providing a level-playing field to both owners and tenants.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

6. “Pandemic and rising climate disaster events call governments to devise the Marshall Plan on climate action”, Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  Economic Times

Why the question:

The article explains how pandemic and rising climate disaster events call governments to devise the Marshall Plan on climate action.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the need for devising a Marshall plan on climate change amidst rising incidences of pandemic and rising climate disasters.

Directive:

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief context of the question.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Importance of climate action – Rising climate disaster events: 2021 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) study shows that 2020 set a new annual record of 22 weather/climate disaster events, breaking the previous record of 16 events that occurred in 2011 and 2017. India is predicted to shoulder a quarter of the global suffering produced by climate change. Economic potential of climate action: Marketplace for climate solutions is already worth over $1 trillion, and investment is expected to increase to $23 trillion in emerging markets by 2030.

Discuss what the challenges to climate action are.

Suggest what could possibly be a Marshall plan for it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a range of solutions to address the issue.

Introduction

According to the Emissions Gap Report, despite a brief dip in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions caused by the Pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century; far beyond the 2015 Paris Agreement goals.

Body

Importance of Climate action

  • Rising climate disaster events: 2021 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) study shows that 2020 set a new annual record of 22 weather/climate disaster events, breaking the previous record of 16 events that occurred in 2011 and 2017.
  • The Amazonfire of 2019, the bush fires of 2019-20 in Australia are some of the most dangerous impacts of changing climate.
  • India is predicted to shoulder a quarter of the global suffering produced by climate change.
  • Economic potential of climate action: Marketplace for climate solutions is already worth over $1 trillion, and investment is expected to increase to $23 trillion in the emerging markets by 2030

Challenges in implementing a climate action 

  • Transitional costs:These are broadly divided into information and adjustment costs. The former refers to the costs that occur while acquiring information and the latter are the costs for replacing the long-lived capital.
  • Market failures and missing markets: These include externalities, information asymmetries, and moral hazards. These cases are especially seen when one economic unit harms another unit. It also occurs when there aren’t sufficient incentives for the change.
  • Behaviour obstacles to adaption: Irrational decisions, social norms, and cultural factors also pose as obstacles to adaption decision making.
  • Ethical and distributional issues: These issues connect to the differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. Though sometimes a decision could ensure cost-effective and sustainable solutions, ethical constraints hinder these decisions.
  • Coordination, government failures and politics: Though the governments must ensure the removal of the aforementioned barriers, they themselves face similar barriers like limited knowledge or resources. Also, coordination among various departments, though important, is highly difficult to obtain. Politics on whether or not climate change is real is also preventing the governments from undertaking adaption decision-making.
  • Uncertaintyis the largest barrier to adaptation as it expands to different dimensions like future developments of demographics, technologies and economics and the future of climate change.

Possible Marshall Plan

  • Unanimous support to the Paris Climate Action Plan
  • Climate Adaptation:Even if major economies speed up climate mitigation, such catastrophes will become more frequent due to the accumulated carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Climate adaptation is the way forward here.
  • Setting up Early Warning Systems:A relatively low-hanging fruit, but a very effective one, is to set up early warning systems that alert the downstream populations about an impending disaster.
  • Disaster management strategies to be synced with the developmental plans such as infrastructure designing and technology transfer. Such as in earthquake prone areas, building norms and guidelines can be issued or earthquake resistant buildings to be constructed.
  • Speeding up the green energy transition

 Conclusion

Climate change is happening. This should be accepted and not politicised. International cooperation to address climate change is vital to mitigate the adverse impact. Additionally, mitigation must be complemented with climate change-related adaption since mitigation alone cannot address the adverse effects we are facing right now. An international level comprehensive plan of action is necessary for inclusive and sustainable growth of the global community.

 

 


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. What do you mean by happiness? Discuss its importance in human and societal wellbeing. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article explains the importance of learning to seek happiness by limiting our desires.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain what you understand by Happiness and explain the importance of it in human and societal wellbeing.

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 the definition of happiness in general.

Body:

The answer body must explain that the world is facing unprecedented challenges, be it the pandemic, climate change or terrorism. Humanity’s well-being matters now more than ever. There is a need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication and happiness.

Give examples and explain the importance in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of happiness.

Introduction

Happiness is physical, mental or emotional state of well-being. It can be defined by some positive emotions ranging from pleasant feeling to intense joy. It is the happiness of one & one’s loved ones which matters & drives the actions of a person.

Happiness comes from within and can’t be imbibe from external sources. A happy mind always has attributes of empathy, love, compassion, benevolence, solidarity etc. for the fellow human beings which serve as the purpose of life.

Body

Happiness is both a journey & the destination. A person who covers his journey of life happily, his end is also full of happiness. A person & his actions themselves are responsible for one’s happiness. Humans, being the superior & most Intelligent’ among the animals needs to think about the ways to be happy & make others happy. It’s his responsibility to provide happiness to other animals by their protection.

Happy citizens will propel nation towards prosperity, economic growth, sustainable development, inclusive growth etc. Even Bhutan has recognised happiness as a critical component of its nation progress.

Contrary to it absence of happiness leads to stress, anxiety, downward spiral in economic growth, increase in vulnerability of weak groups, hatred, intolerance, pain etc.

Importance of Happiness in personal and social wellbeing:

  1. Happiness reduces stress: When people get stressed, their levels of the hormone cortisol go up. It causes high blood pressure, muscle weakness, and mood swings. On the other hand, studies show that when you’re happy, those levels go down.Eg: After working hard in office, father sees his child laughing and playing, he becomes happy and his stress reduces.
  2. Happiness is tied to better heart health: There have been several studies showing a link between happiness and a healthier heart. It could lower your risk of heart disease by 13-26%. A study showed 3that happiness is a predictor for lower blood pressure and a lower heart rate. Happiness even benefits people who already have heart problems.
  3. Happiness extends your life: It makes sense that if happiness is good for your health, it extends your life. In a famous 2001 study, researchers found a connection between the life expectancy of Catholic nuns and the emotions they recorded when they first entered the convent. Those who seemed the happiest based on their decades-old writing lived 7-10 years longer than the unhappier nuns. A more recent, 5-yearlong study showed that older people who expressed happiness on a typical day were 35% less likely to die during the study.
  4. Happiness and better relationships are related: Relationships with friends and family are vital to the human experience. In one study it was found that the top 10% happiest college students enjoyed better relationships. They experienced less jealousy and had closer bonds with their family. This results in even more happiness, so it’s a cycle.
  5. Happy people have better marriages: Studies show a powerful link between happiness and satisfaction in a marriage. People who express more happiness are more likely to be content with their partner. Like good relationships with family and friends, happiness and a good marriage fuel each other.

Happiness makes you more generous: In a study published by the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers asked one half of a 51-person group to remember the last time they spent $20 or $100 on something they wanted. The other half thought about when they last spent that much on someone else. They wrote down how they felt. Researchers then gave money to everyone, telling them to spend it on themselves or others based on what would make them happier. The results showed that people felt happier when they recalled buying something for someone else. They were more likely to spend their new cash on someone else, generating more happiness.


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