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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 7 July 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: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s dreams strengthened Indian Nationalism and steered people towards unified India. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express  

Why the question:

On July 6th, Syama Prasad Mukherjee was born. And the article explains in what way he was a torchbearer of Indian nationalism.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the contributions of Syama Prasad Mookerjee to Indian nationalism.

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 background and history of Syama Prasad Mookerjee.

Body:

He was a barrister, an academician and a politician. At 33, he became the youngest Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta and held office till 1938. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was part of Minister for Industry and Supply in Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet from 1947-1950. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951, which is a predecessor to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Explain that Mookerjee was a preacher of nationalism and a unified India, and supported the elimination of the communal divide imposed by the British through an institutional framework. His strong reaction to the communal politics of the Muslim League and other anti-national and disruptive forces resulted in his active association with the All India Hindu Mahasabha.

 Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of his contributions.

Introduction

Syama Prasad Mookerjee was a prominent Indian politician, barrister and academician and served as the Minister for Industry and Supply in former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s Cabinet. When the idea of India was forming in the modern era, Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s vision and deeds turned the national consciousness towards building a unified India in the truest sense. He was truly a multi-faceted personality, who in his short life span, was deeply involved in an entire gamut of activities that bridged culture, academics, politics and administration.

Body

Role and Contributions: 

  • Mookerjee made a significant contribution to the fields of education, politics, society and culture.
  • He became a member of the Bengal Legislative Council in 1929 and was the youngest Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta from 1934 to 1938.
  • He became the finance minister of the Province of Bengal and was subsequently elected the national president of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, the Mahabodhi Society and the Royal Asiatic Society and he was also a member of the Constituent Assembly.
  • On the issue of the 1949 Delhi Pact with Pakistani Prime Minister, he resigned from the Cabinet on April 6, 1950.
  • He founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (Indian People’s Union) on October 21, 1951, at Delhi and became its first President.
  • Mookerjee was a preacher of nationalism and a unified India, and supported the elimination of the communal divide imposed by the British through an institutional framework.
  • His strong reaction to the communal politics of the Muslim League and other anti-national and disruptive forces resulted in his active association with the All India Hindu Mahasabha.
  • He emphasised the Hindu values of tolerance and communal respect. Still, he later felt the need to counteract the communalist and separatist agenda of the Muslim League of Muhammad Ali Jinnah
  • Mookerjee’s affiliation with the Maha Bodhi Society was also a remarkable one. As president of the society, he contributed greatly to strengthening India’s cultural ties with other nations.
  • The Buddhist artefacts and relics brought back from England were handed over to him by PM Nehru.
  • Later, he visited Myanmar, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and other Southeast Asian countries as a cultural ambassador to strengthen ties based on Buddhist values.
  • As the Industry Minister, Mookerjee sowed the first seeds of India’s industrialisation.
  • He laid the foundation for India’s Industrial Policy and prepared the ground for the nation’s industrial development in the years to come.
  • It was during Mookerjee’s tenure as the Union Industry Minister, All-India Handicrafts Board, All-India Handloom Board, Central Silk Board and Khadi and Village Industries Board, Textile Research Institute and Industrial Finance Corporation were set up.
  • Among the major projects that owe to him directly are the Sindri fertiliser plant, the Chittaranjan Loco Works and the Damodar Valley Project.
  • He rightly observed that industrial development is not conditioned only by research; it is highly dependent on finances, a feature that sadly seems to have escaped many persons in scientifically responsible positions in our government today.
  • Mookerjee believed that education was the strategic first step towards nationalism and he pushed the concept of free and compulsory education for all; according to him education was not the exclusive privilege of the elite.

Role in Jammu & Kashmir (J &K)-

  • On the matter of J&K, both Ambedkar and Mookerjee advocated an uncompromising stand for India’s sovereignty.
  • He fully supported the satyagraha of the Praja Parishad, which aimed to make J&K an integral part of India and he raised a strong slogan: “Two flags in one country, two legislations in one country, two heads in one country, unacceptable, unacceptable”.
  • At a massive rally in Jammu in August 1952, he expressed “Either I will get you the Indian Constitution or I will sacrifice my life for the purpose”.
  • He was put under house arrest for 40 days, neither medical care nor other basic facilities were provided. He died on June 23 under mysterious circumstances.
  • He was the first Indian to sacrifice his life for Jammu and Kashmir therefore 23 June is observed as Ek Nishan, Ek Vidhan, Ek Pradhan Day.
  • He along with Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, considered the godfather of Hindu nationalism in India, especially the Hindutva movement.
  • He is widely revered by members and supporters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Conclusion

India’s journey as the epitome of humanist culture grew from the ideas of this land’s visionary stalwarts. As a progressive political thinker, Mookerjee will always be remembered for his forward-looking views on education and women’s rights. As a leader with a vision, his opinion on nuclear energy was much ahead of his times. As a philosopher-statesman, Mookerjee had his own vision of establishing strong bilateral ties with the neighboring countries. As the nation pays tribute to Mookerjee, a torchbearer of Indian nationalism, on his 120th birth anniversary, one must remember his noble thoughts and wisdom.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

2. Examine the viability and challenges in implementation of All India Judicial Service as a reform in recruitment and appointment to the subordinate judicial services in India. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

Many law commissions and the judiciary in many cases have called on the administration to consider and implement All India Judicial Services (AIJS). Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss and examine the feasibility of All India Judicial Service as a reform in recruitment and appointment to the subordinate judicial services in India.

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 by expounding on the idea of All India Judicial services in brief.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

First present brief history of the origin of the idea; The idea for an ‘All India Judicial Service (AIJS)’ was first proposed by the 14th Report of the Law Commission of India in 1958, aimed at creating a centralized cadre of District Judges. In the All-India Judges case in 1992 the apex court had opined that the recommendations of the Law Commission on the setting up of AIJS should be examined and implemented. Similar opinions were expressed in the All India Judges Association Vs. Union of India (2002) case as well. In 2019 there had been a consultative process for the creation of the All India Judicial Service (AIJS).

Account for the constitutional perspective.

Present arguments both in favour and otherwise.

Discuss the concerns associated.

Conclusion:

Conclude with its importance.

Introduction:

The vision document titled ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’, released by the NITI Aayog, amongst other things, proposes a spate of judicial reforms. The think-tank has come out batting for the creation of an All India Judicial Service(AIJS), akin to the other central services like the IAS and the IPS.

Body: 

Status of AIJS:

  • The idea was first mooted by the Law Commission in the 1950s to have an AIJS. Under this the district judges will be recruited centrally through an all-India examination. They will then be allocated to each State along the lines of the AIS.
  • The proposal for an All-India Judicial Service was first suggested in the Chief Justices’ Conference in 1961 as a way to remove any scope for judicial or executive intervention in the appointments to the judiciary in the High Courts and the Supreme Court in India. The idea had to be shelved after some states and High Courts opposed it.
  • The Constitution was amended in 1976 (42nd Amendment) to provide for an AIJS under Article 312. Article 312 was amended to confer power on the Rajya Sabha to initiate the process for setting up an AIJS, by passing a resolution supported by two-thirds majority in the upper house.
  • The proposal was again floated by the ruling UPA government in 2012 but the draft bill was shelved again after opposition from High Court Chief Justices who labelled this an infringement of their rights.
  • Currently, on similar lines subordinate and district judges are recruited by High Courts on the basis of a common examination.

Other recommendations:

The 14th Report on Reform of Judicial Administration — alluded to the need for creating a separate all-India service for judicial officers. This report favoured an AIJS to ensure that subordinate court judges are paid salaries and given perks at parity with government bureaucrats, thereby incentivising the option of the state judiciary as a viable career prospect.

Need for AIJS:

  • The AIJS is an attempt to ensure that younger judges are promoted to the SC and HCs. In the existing system, recruits join as magistrates in the subordinate judiciary and take at least 10 years to become district judges.
  • This is expected to ensure a transparent and efficient method of recruitment to attract the best talent in India’s legal profession.
  • Currently India’s legal infrastructure is facing various issues, particularly the lower judiciary. At present India has just 13 judicial posts per million people, though the Law Commission had recommended 50 judges per million of the population, based on the ratio prevalent in the US previously.
  • Judiciary is suffering from massive vacancies across the nation and the scarcity is worsened in some states due to judicial absenteeism. Hence there is need of urgent mechanism to appoint new judges.
  • As a consequence, the pendency is high with the number of cases about 2.8 crores.
  • Similarly, judiciary suffering from various infrastructures related issues, like newly appointed judges does not have required court rooms; hence there is need of huge investment.

Issues with AIJS:

Solving Vacancy issues:

  • The AIJS is being proposed as a panacea to cure the chronic vacancy crisis plaguing the Indian subordinate judiciary.
  • An all India service potentially offers is a more streamlined and regularised recruitment process for the limited number of vacancies for district judges in the country.

Violates Basic Structure Doctrine:           

  • Niti Aayog’s document rather ambitiously proposed an AIJS to cover entry level civil judges, prosecutors and legal advisers to comprise the service (subordinate judges).
  • A sweeping mandate would require considerable amendments to the Constitution, especially with respect to the appointments process for the lower subordinate judiciary (that is, all ranks below that of a district judge).
  • Presently, the appointments to the subordinate judiciary are made under Articles 233 and 234 of the Constitution under State High Court Purview.
  • These amendments, establishing a centralised appointments mechanism, may arguably be constitutionally untenable and vulnerable to being struck down as flagrant violations of the basic structure doctrine and judicial federalism.

Oversimplification:

  • The idea of an AIJS has been significantly contentious within the legal fraternity and other concerned stakeholders.
  • The proposal for AIJS was floated by the ruling UPA government in 2012 but the draft bill was shelved again after opposition from High Court Chief Justices who labelled this an infringement of their rights.
  • Taking into account local laws, practices and customs which vary widely across States and even training judges in this line would be a problem.
  • The need to ensure reservation for locally domiciled citizens, the central selection mechanisms will throw up grave concerns impugning their utility and legality as judicial reforms.

Way Forward:

  • It is through an all India judicial services examination conducted by the UPSC in order to maintain “high standards” in the judiciary.
  • In addition to proposing an AIJS as a solution for judicial vacancies, it may be more prudent to investigate the reasons and causes for the large number of vacancies in the poorly performing States.
  • AIJS is facing hurdles from the administrative block and also from High Courts, even though Supreme Court has asked for AIJS twice.
  • Therefore, AIJS should be designed in a manner to remove its shortcomings and it can be an effective solution to the vacancy in Judiciary.
  • Adequate judges can be made available only if they are recruited in large strength through AIJS just like we see in case of IAS, IPS, IFS and other civil services. Hence there should be no more delay.
  • Moreover, after the selection, a Judicial service officer can be provided sufficient training to handle the job. A meritocratic judiciary is the need of the hour which is possible with a competitive recruitment process.

 

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

3. India and Africa’s complementary sectorial priorities and similar roles in the evolving global food markets present several opportunities for cooperation in the agricultural sector. Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

In the light of the recent visit of the Indian External Affairs Minister to Kenya, the article analyzes the potential of India-Africa cooperation in agriculture even as China has been exponentially deepening its relationship with African nations.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the possible engagements that India-Africa can make in the Agricultural sector.

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 a brief on historical relations between India and Africa.

Body:

The relations between India and Africa have long historical roots right from ancient times up until the anti-colonialism struggle. This historical solidarity has today grown into a modern partnership.

Talk about India-Africa agricultural cooperation. Africa supplies a vast basket of agricultural goods to India dominated by items such as fruits, nuts, grains and pulses.

India’s outreach to African nations in terms of agricultural cooperation currently includes the following institutional and individual capacity-building initiatives.

Discuss the significance of the cooperation for both the countries.

Explain challenges if any.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction

India and Africa have a long and rich history of interaction marked by cultural, economic and political exchanges based on the principle of south cooperation. In the recent years a number of steps have been taken to further strengthen these relations. The foundations were laid by Mahatma Gandhi. According to him, there will be a “commerce of ideas and services and not of raw materials and goods like imperialist powers”. The present government continues to take this approach as the foundation of India’s Africa Policy.

New Delhi’s engagement with the African continent has been multifaceted, with projects implemented under Indian lines of credit, capacity-building initiatives, and cooperation in a range of sectors.

Body

Current status of bilateral ties between India and Africa:

  • The latest economic data confirms that India-Africa trade is on a decline.
  • According to the Confederation of Indian Industry, in 2020-21, India’s exports to and imports from Africa reduced4.4% and 25% over the previous year.
  • India’s investments in Africa too saw a decrease in 2020-21.
  • Total investments over 25 years, from April 1996 to March 2021 is about one-third of China’s investment in Africa.
  • COVID-19 has caused an adverse impact on the Indian and African economies

Status of cooperation of India and Africa in Agricultural Sector:

  • As an importer of fruits, nuts, grains and pulses from the continent, Indian congruence with African countries in the agriculture sector is expanding.
  • With 65% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, employing over 60% of the workforce, and accounting for almost 20% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP, agriculture is critical to Africa’s economy.
  • The African Continental Free Trade Area agreement is expected to improve cost competitiveness by removing tariffs.
  • As this relationship enters the post-pandemic world, it is vital to prioritise and channel resources into augmenting partnership in agriculture.
  • This is crucial given its unexplored potential, centrality to global food security, business prospects and to provide credible alternatives to the increasing involvement of Chinese stakeholders in the sector.
  • India-Africa agricultural cooperation currently includes institutional and individual capacity-building initiatives such as the India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural development in Malawi, extension of soft loans, supply of machinery, acquisition of farmlands and the presence of Indian entrepreneurs in the African agricultural ecosystem.
  • Indian farmers have purchased over 6,00,000 hectares of land for commercial farming in Africa. Sub-national actors are providing another model of cooperation in agriculture.

Potential for India and Africa in Agricultural Sector:

  • There are proposals to create a jointly-owned brand of Africa-Kollam cashews.
  • Similar ideas could encourage State governments and civil society organisations to identify opportunities and invest directly.
  • There is promise in incentivising Indian industries to tap into African agri-business value chains and connecting Indian technology firms and startups with partners in Africa.
  • The transformative power of innovative and disruptive technology has been evident in the African agri-tech sector as the startup ecosystem in the continent enjoyed a 110% growth between 2016 and 2018.
  • In the past year, despite the pandemic, the sector witnessed a record increase in investments.
  • A thorough impact assessment needs to be conducted of the existing capacity-building initiatives in agriculture for India to stand in good stead. This could include detailed surveys of participants who have returned to their home countries.
  • Country-specific and localised curriculum can be drawn up, making skill development demand-led.

Way Forward

  • For mutual benefit, Africa and India should remain optimally engaged.
  • It is time to seize the opportunity and restore Africa to its primary position in India’s diplomacy and economic engagement.
  • The fourth India-Africa summit, pending since last year, should be held as soon as possible, even if in a virtual format.
  • Fresh financial resources for grants and concessional loans to Africa must be allocated.
  • It is essential “to impart a 21st century complexion to the partnership with Africa”.
  • This means developing and deepening collaborations in health, space and digital technologies.
  • To overcome the China challenge in Africa, increased cooperation between India and its international allies is required.
  • The recent India-EU Summit has identified Africa as a region where a partnership-based approach will be followed.
  • Without new commitments, India’s Africa policy would be like a car running on a near-empty fuel tank.

Conclusion

The goodwill that our country draws from such linkages is unimaginable. Our partnership with Africa is beyond strategic concerns and economic benefits. It is based on the emotional bonds we share and the solidarity we feel.PM Modi, in his speech to Ugandan Parliament in 2019 has said that India’s priority is not just Africa; India’s priority is Africans — every man, woman and child in Africa. Our shared values and our friendship represent a constant as well as ignite a continuity.

 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

4. Indian political ideologies and cultural practice, while less politically authoritarian, are also far less egalitarian, for national humiliation to be owned equally unlike China. Critically examine. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article explains how China used its historic national humiliation for strengthening the country. However, India could not do that due to the prevalence of inequality.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically examine in what way Indian political ideologies and cultural practice, while less politically authoritarian, are also far less egalitarian, for national humiliation to be owned equally unlike China.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with brief background of the question.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Explain how China used the idea of humiliation; Chinese nationalism is the centrality of the idea of humiliation. From the First Opium Wars to the Nanjing massacre, it is an organising principle of historiography in China. President Xi Jinping’s address at the Party centenary begins with a reminder and resolve that China will never be humiliated again. Explain how national humiliation is central to education policy.

Then move onto explain how the concept of humiliation worked in Indian nationalism.

Conclusion:

Conclude that the practical and moral necessity of playing down national humiliation may not be a bad thing but how countries deal with their own constructs of humiliation will determine their future.

Introduction

China used its historic national humiliation for strengthening the country. However, India could not do that due to the prevalence of inequality. China uses national humiliation to legitimise authoritarian rule. Whereas, India’s lack of egalitarianism (Equality) makes it harder for national humiliation to be owned equally.

Body

China using the idea of humiliation

  • Chinese nationalism is the centrality of the idea of humiliation.
  • From the First Opium Wars to the Nanjing massacre, it is an organising principle of historiography in China.
  • President Xi Jinping’s address at the Party centenary begins with a reminder and resolve that China will never be humiliated again.
  • National humiliation is central to education policy.
  • For instance, public monuments remind people of sites of national humiliation.
  • The idea of humiliation has a legitimizing function.
  • The Communist Party makes a claim for its fitness to rule on its ability to position itself as the agent that overcomes China’s humiliation.
  • The theme of humiliation became an organising frame for foreign policy.

Concept of humiliation in Indian nationalism

  • In India’s post-colonial trauma,the psychological sense of humiliation is present.
  • After the Rowlatt Bills, Gandhi declared April 6, 1919, as National Humiliation Day, but that was almost a one-off event.
  • At an ideological level, the onset of colonialism was also welcomed by many constituencies.
  • For some Hindus, it was an opportunity to come out from under the yoke of the Mughal Empire.
  • For many Dalits, it was an opportunity for shaking up oppressive social structures.
  • Modern India’s ruling class and identity was created as much by collaborationwith colonialism, as resistance to it.
  • India’s ruling structure comes out as being embedded in the colonial project.
  • Families from the Tagores to the Tatas, the Indian Army, the Indian civil service, the legal profession, and pretty much any part of the ruling establishment displayed more continuity than discontinuity.
  • Even post-Independence, the persistence of English and new elites reinforced this.
  • Indian political ideologies and cultural practiceis less politically authoritarian and are far less egalitarian. So it is difficult for national humiliation to be owned equally.
  • The real source of India’s humiliation is still abiding and crushing poverty.
  • The nature of traumas is different. India’s traumas turned out to be more self-inflicted.
  • The Chinese construction of humiliation was directly structured around military defeats.
  • No war defines Indian victimhood or trauma. But it is 1962 that is marked as a national humiliation.
  • However, its suffering and trauma cannot be deployed in the same way in which the Chinese deploy memories of WW II.
  • As VS Naipaulwrote that due to humiliation by British rule, there will be ideas of country’s pride and historical self-analysis.
  • The presence of the Hindu-Muslim question in Indian politics meant that humiliation became a source of divisiveness.
  • Humiliation is more easily deployed against pre-British, Mughal and Sultanate rule, than as a unifying ideology.
  • Calling India a Vishwaguru and then adoption of new aggressive nationalismare signs of a repressed sense of humiliation that is unable to confront its true sources. It shows India’s powerlessness and its inability to give most of its citizens a dignified life.

Conclusion

The practical and moral necessity of playing down national humiliation may not be a bad thing but how countries deal with their own constructs of humiliation will determine their future. While India engages in a fantasy of overcoming humiliation, in history, in culture, in internal division. China, on the other hand, feeds the humiliation machine so that it can legitimise deeply authoritarian rule, cement the party’s place, and lay the basis for its dealings with the external world. How these countries deal with their own constructs of humiliation may well determine the future.

 

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

5. The unrelenting practice of Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, even after it was struck down as unconstitutional, is worrisome. Examine. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The Supreme Court found it distressing that people were still booked and tried under Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act even six years after it struck down the provision as unconstitutional and a violation of free speech.  Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Critically examine the usage of Section 66A of IT Act and in what way it is still worrisome.

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 description of Section 66 A of IT Act.

Body:

Section 66A gave authorities the power to arrest anyone accused of posting content on social media that could be deemed ‘offensive’.

Explain that it provided punishment for sending offensive messages through communication services.

Under the section, a conviction could fetch a maximum of three years in jail and a fine.

In Shreya Singhal v. Union of India (2015), the Supreme Court in 2015 had scrapped Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000.

The court ruled that as it did not distinguish between speech that was merely “offensive or annoying” and that which was guilty of inciting a disruption of public order, Section 66A was liable to have a chilling effect on free speech.

Discuss the challenges associated.  Suggest remedies to it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to address the issue at hand.

Introduction

The Supreme Court found it “distressing”, “shocking” and “terrible” that people were still booked and tried under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act even six years after the Supreme Court struck down the provision as unconstitutional and a violation of free speech.

Section 66A of the IT Act has continued to be in use not only within police stations but also in cases before trial courts across India.

As many as a total of 745 cases are still pending and active before the Districts Courts in 11 States, wherein accused persons are being prosecuted for offences under Section 66A of the IT Act,” the PUCL stated.

Body

Section 66A defined the punishment for sending “offensive” messages through a computer or any other communication device like a mobile phone or a tablet. A conviction fetched a maximum of three years in jail and a fine.

In Shreya Singhal vs Union of India, Supreme Court declared section 66A of IT Act, 2000 as unconstitutional. The court ruled that the speech howsoever offensive, annoying or inconvenient cannot be prosecuted unless its utterance has, at the least, a proximate connection with any incitement or disruption in public order.

Challenges of section 66a of IT Act

  • The SC had noted that Section 66A arbitrarily, excessively and disproportionately invades the right of free speech, under article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution, and upsets the balance between such right and the reasonable restrictions that may be imposed on such right and the definition of offences under the provision was open-ended and undefined.
  • The court also said that the provision used expressions “completely open-ended and undefined” and every expression used was “nebulous” in meaning.
  • What may be offensive to one may not be offensive to another.
  • What may cause annoyance or inconvenience to one may not cause annoyance or inconvenience to another.
  • Even the expression ‘persistently’ is completely imprecise.
  • Section 66A had extremely wide parameters, which allowwhimsical interpretations by law enforcement agencies.
  • There was no clarityover terms like offensive, grossly menacing, causing annoyance, etc. opening it to many interpretations.
  • It outlawed all political satire, cartoons, caricatures and spoof writing indirectly.

Conclusion

India’s IT Act provides legal remedies for a just a handful of cyber-crimes & many have been left out. The new kinds of cyber-crimes are emerging on a daily basis, which was facilitated by the vagueness of Sec 66A.

The ruling will only mean several steps backwards for the govt. and the country on this aspect.

However, it maybe very difficult to prove instances of cyber stalking, bullying or annoyance by applying provisions of the non-Internet world. These activities are easily facilitated by the instant nature of the Internet.

 

Topic: GS-2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

GS-3: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

6. Account for how zoonotic diseases have impacted humankind since the beginning of its association with animals. Also, explain what possible steps should be taken to minimize the risk of future pandemics and mitigate its impact. (250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times

Why the question:

The article highlights the scale and spread of zoonotic diseases every year resulting in socio- economic disruption like recently done by COVID-19.

Key Demand of the question:

Account for how zoonotic diseases have impacted humankind since the beginning of its association with animals. And also suggest solutions to address these issues.

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 what zoonotic diseases are.

Body:

Explain that despite repeated warnings about the possibility of zoonotic diseases causing large scale disruptions in human lives and activities, it is unfortunate that a problem of such devastating potential has so far failed to elicit the required support from policymakers and resource allocators.

According to several studies, increased incidences of zoonotic diseases in recent times are a direct consequence of the ongoing abuse of nature.

Discuss the reasons for increase in scale and spread of the same.

Suggest what possible steps should be taken to minimize the risk of future pandemics and mitigate its impact.

Conclusion:

Hence, if we need a comprehensive approach, recognized as One-Health, to target all our preparedness and responses and also, need to start repairing our fractured relationship with nature to minimize the risk of future pandemics.

Introduction:

Zoonotic disease is a disease that passes into the human population from an animal source directly or through an intermediary species. Zoonotic infections can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic in nature, with animals playing a vital role in maintaining such infections. Zoonotic diseases are those that are transmitted from animals to humans and account for over 60% of infectious outbreaks. This has been true in recent years, with SARS, H5N1, H1N1, MERS, Ebola, Zika, Nipah viruses and the current Covid-19 disease becoming familiar names in the rogues’ gallery of viruses that move from animals to humans.

Body:

Reasons for increasing Zoonotic diseases:

  • One of the reasons for the spread of zoonotic diseases is the destruction of animal habitat and their displacement. The Nipah outbreak was the result of disturbing the habitat of bats so that they invaded the human space.
  • Deforestation due to expanding agriculture and logging, animal breeding, and livestock farming are creating a conveyor belt for the transmission of microbes, hitherto confined to their primary animal hosts in wild life, to the veterinary population and then to human habitats.
  • Anthropogenic climate change creates conditions for vectors like mosquitoes and ticks to spread to new geographies.
  • Exploitation of wildlife for hunting, harvesting of wild animals for meat and research or medical purposes can bring humans in closer contact with wild animals, thus increasing the risk of zoonotic disease emergence.
  • The popularity of food products with animal source and the need for immediate delivery to consumers is driving major changes in the food supply chain.
  • The intensification and industrialisation of animal production, wherein a large number of genetically similar animals are bred in for higher productivity.
  • Intensive farm settings cause animals to be raised in close proximity to each other characterised by poor waste management. This makes them more vulnerable to infections, which can further lead to emergence of zoonotic diseases.
  • High use of antimicrobials in farm settings is contributing to the burden of Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR). Antimicrobial resistance is the resistance acquired by any microorganism (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite, etc.) against antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics) that are used to treat infections.

Impacts of Zoonotic diseases on humankind:

  • Historically, zoonotic diseases had a tremendous impact on the evolution of man, especially in the societies that domesticated and bred animals for food and clothing.
  • Over the last seven decades, more than three hundred Zoonotic Diseases have been reported.
  • They account for 75% of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) among human beings.
  • The dramatic increase in the population, mobility, associated environmental and social changes in the past few decades can be attributed to the recent increase in the spread of Zoonotic diseases worldwide.
  • The mobility of diseases has drastically increased due to globalization.
  • Zoonotic diseases such as bovine tuberculosis, bubonic plague, and glanders caused millions of deaths. They are still a major problem in developing countries.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted human lives and resulted in socio-economic disruption of unimaginable scales.
  • Out of all the human disease causing pathogens identified so far, over 60% are of animal origin. These include the causative agents for several well-known human and livestock diseases such as Tuberculosis, Brucellosis, Anthrax, Leptospirosis, and Rabies.
  • The scale and spread of zoonotic diseases are so high that every year, at the global level, the top 13 zoonotic diseases lead to nearly 2.4 billion cases of human illness, and 2.2 million human deaths.
  • Despite repeated warnings from conservationists, veterinarians and public health professionals about the possibility of zoonotic diseases causing large scale disruptions in human lives and activities, they were never given the warranted consideration, either in our planning or in action.
  • It ultimately took a global pandemic of the current scale, coming with an enormous human cost, to spotlight the long-pending discussion on zoonotic diseases and the drivers behind them.

Way forward:

  • Build robust and well-governed public and animal health systems compliant with the WHO International Health Regulations (the amendment entered into force in July 2016) and OIE international standards through the pursuit of long-term interventions.
  • Prevent regional and international crises by controlling disease outbreaks through improved national and international emergency response capabilities.
  • Promote wide-ranging collaboration across sectors and disciplines.
  • Develop rational and targeted disease control programmes through the conduct of strategic research.
  • Better address concerns of the poor by shifting the focus from developed to developing economies, from potential to actual disease problems, and through a focus on the drivers of a broader range of locally important diseases.
  • In the case of emerging diseases, up-front investments in surveillance and in coordinated human, animal and environment health services are needed to ensure that ‘emergence events’ do not turn into full-scale epidemics, or pandemics.
  • In economic terms, the World Bank estimated eight years ago that an annual investment of USD3.4 billion in animal health systems worldwide would avert losses incurred through delayed or inadequate responses to zoonoses—losses estimated at almost double the preventative investment.
  • The loss of human life, and economic and social costs of the COVID-19 crisis clearly indicate the value—and the necessity— of increased investment in surveillance, prevention measures and coordinated cross-sectoral early response to ensure we do everything possible to prevent this from happening again.

Conclusion

Controlling and preventing zoonotic outbreaks requires coordinated interdisciplinary responses across human, animal and environment health. Our responses to both controlling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to reducing the risk of future zoonotic disease outbreaks must address a range of areas starting from environment protection and incorporating One Health Policy.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7. Explain the importance of leadership in effective crisis management with suitable illustrations. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article explain how in crisis situations like Covid-19, Leaders need to display both grit and grace to beat the crisis.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the importance of leadership in effective crisis management with suitable illustrations.

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 who a leader is.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Explain first the importance of leadership in effective crisis management.

Identify and highlight the significance of the important traits of leadership such as grit and grace, agility, a high level of resilience, communication skills, and empathy, investing in meaningful relationships and leveraging social capital, and credibility.

Give the example of the covid-19 induced pandemic and highlight the importance of Leadership in effectively managing the crisis and list out the characteristic features which are essential to get things done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of leadership in crisis management.

Introduction

Leadership can be defined as the ability of the management to make sound decisions and inspire others to perform well. It is the process of directing the behavior of others towards achieving a common goal. In short, leadership is getting things done through others.

Nothing makes a great leader better than the hour of crisis as true visionaries look beyond uncertainty and act as an anchor for others. Be it business, politics or philanthropy, hardship has always been a catalyst for remarkable men and women to rise up to challenges.

Body:

Importance of leadership in effective crisis management:

To tackle the most difficult situations:

Leaders are the people that are the most capable and strongest spirits among the troops. They are made leaders because they know how to handle any adversary who comes in front of them.

A leader should be, above all else, confident. They need to be steadfast when they take charge of their troops and they need to make all of their decisions on pure facts and crystal-clear information.

For instance, History shows us that greatness of several leaders has been forged in times of adversity and the diverse skills they summoned to prevail over those crises . Effective crisis management is what has defined great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, and now Jacinda Ardern.

Getting things done:

One of the biggest expectations from leaders today is for them to appreciate real issues at hand and be solutions focussed, and willing to take risks. They must be prepared to make bold decisions rapidly, because time is of the essence. Often, important decisions have to be based on limited, ambiguous and complex information.

e.g.: For example, after American Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower led Allied troops to victory in the D-Day landings in France during World War II, he publicly acknowledged that the weather played a crucial role in his success. Without a full moon to light up obstacles, a low tide to spotlight underwater defenses, and light winds for plain sailing, victory would have been unlikely, if not impossible.

To take along everyone with them:

There can be times when some people will oppose the leader’s views. It is then the leader should be able to convince why his/her decision is better over the others.

Eg: Take, for example, Naohiro Masuda, superintendent at the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, the sister site of Japan’s Daiichi plant that was rocked by reactor explosions and core meltdowns in the wake of a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Masuda managed to spare Daini a similar fate, in part by galvanizing his team.

Explain why and how you made decisions:

The back-stage role of crisis leadership involves execution of a strategy, the hard work behind the scenes. But in order for their decisions to be endorsed, leaders also must convey their reasoning to the entire organization. Transparency is key because emotions run high in a crisis.

For instance, Winston Churchill, Britain’s beloved wartime leader, was an excellent orator who rallied a divided nation facing the Nazis. He communicated with striking humility, sharing rich details of battles, and he vividly discussed expected offensives while offering stark warnings that “the whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us” when Hitler amassed forces close by in France. Churchill’s realism served as his justification for choosing to continue on with war when Britain faced an uncertain outcome and he was under pressure to negotiate a surrender.

Clearly, Churchill did not mince his words or downplay the risks. But this realism was tempered with optimism and defiance, which established a close bond between him and his countrymen by winning their respect and trust. His approval ratings were high throughout World War II. To this day, Churchill is widely admired for being one of the greatest crisis leaders in history.

To have a resilient plan:

A good leader is necessary to a foolproof plan in times of crisis. This can help reduce or minimise the effects of crisis to a great extent.

For instance, to have a disaster management plan in areas which are prone to natural calamities.

To be empathetic:

A true leader has to be visible like a shining beacon in a storm. They need to visible to their adversaries as walls of strength but they also need to be visible if they want their team to be more confident in what they do.

Importance of leadership in such a situation also brings forward those who have the willingness to lead and can direct people on the right course through networking and trust-building. They can use their power of empathy to cultivate relationships and have the right people on board to strive for a vision, irrespective of the circumstances.

Conclusion:

A true leader should know their limits and mustn’t give into overconfidence or impulsiveness. Their role is of immense value as they bring stability, ensuring that the company works together collectively, despite disruptive changes.

Only a leader can delve deep and find hidden opportunities in the most trying times. This comes from studying areas of concern and fostering a more productive pattern of thought and behaviour. Only during a crisis does the true mettle of a person show and an able leader holds the power to turn adversities into possibilities. He or she has sway on not just the company, but the whole community, and operates to work for everyone’s greater good.

A strong ethical leader has four important characteristics – Values, Vision, Voice and Virtue. Without persuasion skills, a leader cannot make his or her vision take place. The main goal of an ethical leader is to create a world in which the future is positive, inclusive and allows the potential for all individuals to pursue and fulfil their needs and meet their highest potential.


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