Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 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: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1. Analyze the trends of change and continuity in marriage and family system in India. How far is globalization responsible for these changes? (250 words)

Reference:  researchgate.net

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I , part geography.

Key Demand of the question:

The question aims to analyse the impacts of globalisation and the trends of change and continuity in marriage and family system in India.

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:

Introduce by giving the significance of marriage and family system in Indian society.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Explain that Family is a primary social group that came into existence to satisfy the need for protection, sexual urge and economic desires. Family system can be seen as an economic provision to satisfy needs, emotional basis, as an influential group and as an instrument of social regulation.

Marriage is an institution in India. Various types of marriages are followed in our country monogamy being followed at large. As the society has advanced marriage has gone through various changes, while some things remain constant. Even values attached to it have changed tremendously.

Elaborate on what has changed and what has remained constant under subheadings of marriage and family system.

Conclusion:

Conclude that with every step of movement towards economic, political and cultural modernization, taken by the state in India must be responded by the people with an enhanced sense of self-consciousness and awareness of identity.

Introduction

Family system can be seen as an economic provision to satisfy needs, emotional basis, as an influential group and as an instrument of social regulation. Marriage is an institution in India. Various types of marriages are followed in our country monogamy being followed at large. As the society has advanced marriage has gone through various changes, while some things remain constant. Even values attached to it have changed tremendously.

Body

Role of Globalization in changing values of marriage and family system in India

  • India is bunch of flowers consisting of various religion, languages, food, cuisine and edibles, convention, custom, music, craftsmanship and architecture and so forth, packaged into a solitary unit of patriotism and solidarity.
  • The common factor of these varieties is the Indian attitude of greeting, welcoming, celebrating unitedly with immense friendship and harmony.
  • This is the rich embodiment of the Indian culture that has pulled in numerous non-natives to remain back in India and blend into its interminable fragrance.
  • When we analyze this rich culture with the globalization perspective, we can discover many inferences of westernization and blending of different attributes and societies into our delightfully woven cover.
  • As every coin has two sides likewise globalization also has its positive and negative effects. The effects of globalization on Indian society and culture are as follows:

Trends in change in marriage and family system in India

  • We have lost the persistence to get balanced into the joint family, assimilating the experiences of the older folks and getting the youthful ones raised under the shadow of their grandparents.
  • Kids have begun treating grandparents like visitors or guests, and such upbringing of children is one of the principal reasons of expanding old-age homes, as those youngsters think about their own parents as burden in their adulthood.
  • Additionally, marriages in comparison to earlier times have lost their values and morality. It is especially obvious from the expanding number of separation cases and extra-marital affairs reported every now and then.
  • Marriage used to be considered as bonding of souls which will be connected even after the demise of the partners; yet today marriage resembles an expert bond or a purported pledge to share existence without bargaining their self-interests. For instance, weekend marriages or marriages of convenience as seen in working professionals, bureaucrats placed in different states or cities etc.
  • Traditional ways of arranged marriages by the parents’ consent has been replaced by marriage by own liking by the partners. The sense of self factor into the Indian youth is again a result of globalization.
  • A new type of relationship concepts namely live-in-relationship has emerged. Additionally, the exaggerated cases of sexual offense cases are the results of the perverted mind that are very much the values considerably alien to our mother culture.
  • DINK syndrome, Double Income No Kid started in 2000’s. The post-2000 economic crisis have solidified this social trend as more couples wait longer to have kids, with one in five choosing not to have them at all.
  • Cohabitation, co-parenting, one-person household are rising and evolving.

Continuity in marriage and family system

  • Even today, marriage and belief in marriage system is strong in India even though there is change in selection of partners.
  • Monogamy is still largely followed and divorce is still considered as abnormal situations.
  • Societal hierarchy is evident in caste groups, amongst individuals, and in family and kinship groups.
  • Psychologically, family members typically experience intense emotional interdependence. Economic activities, too, are deeply imbedded in a social nexus. Through a multitude of kinship ties, each person is linked with kin in villages and towns near and far.
  • The ancient ideal of the joint family retains its power, but today actual living arrangements vary widely.
  • Many Indians live in nuclear families—-a couple with their unmarried children—-but belong to strong networks of beneficial kinship ties.
  • Family loyalty is a deeply held ideal, and family unity is emphasized, especially in distinction to those outside the kinship circle.

Conclusion

Family system and marriage values are continuously evolving and is an ongoing process. Today there is a push for same-sex marriage as well to be legally recognized. Globalisation has played a key role in this evolving nature in societal values. Good elements of modernity and tradition must be upheld and continued while regressive values can be overcome.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. What is India’s stand on the Israel-Palestine Conflict? Discuss the areas of concern for India before endorsing Israel. (250 words)

Reference:  orfonline.org

Why the question:

The question is based on the India’s stand on Israel-Palestine conflict.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the areas of concern for India before endorsing Israel amidst the long standing Isral-Palestine conflict.

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:

Briefly first discuss that there has been much debate in recent times about whether India has changed its pro-Arab historical stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Account for the India-Palestinian relations first. Discuss the reasons behind India’s pro-Palestine policy.

Then discuss India-Israel relations from past to present.

Comment on what is India’s stand on the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

Discuss what things India must keep in mind before endorsing Israel.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Israel wants India to end its pro-Palestine policy. Considering the defence and technological ties with Israel, India can’t ignore Israel too.  However, while going beyond strategic relations with Israel, India cannot afford to ignore its crucial energy ties with Iran and the Gulf countries.

Introduction

The violent confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem this month reflect the nature of unresolved issues between Israel and Palestine. The continuing air strikes paint a grim picture for the future of Palestinians and Israelis living in peace.

Body

Background to recent conflict

  • Israel has used disproportionate force against Hamas, which is fighting from Gaza.
  • The action of Hamas also reflects the growing dissatisfaction with Muhammad Abbas, the moderate Palestinian leader based in Ramallah in the West Bank.
  • Abbas has failed to conduct elections in the past 15 years. This has alienated a part of the Palestinian people and hardliners. This has also weakened the cause for a unified Palestine.
  • 20% of Israel’s population consists of Arab Muslims. The attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine of Muslims has also alienated them and they are sympathizing with the Palestinian cause. Together with political instability in Israel, this may lead to a civil war in Israel.
  • The attack on the mosque has also given Islamic militants an opportunity to call for attacks across other parts of the world.

Indian and Palestine Relations

  • India’s support for the Palestinian cause is an integral part of the nation’s foreign policy. In 1974, India became the first Non-Arab State to recognize Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
  • India has played an active role in extending support for the Palestinian cause across various multilateral fora.
  • Indian and Palestine relations are old and time tested. India’s development assistance for Palestine has been consistent and has grown over the years.
  • India has always supported the cause of Palestine and since 1988 India has recognized Palestine. India is engaged in the nation building efforts of Palestine in several sectors like IT, Education, Rural development and capacity building.
  • India is providing aid and financial assistance to Palestine. Recently at the UNGA resolution, India voted against US President Donald Trump decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
  • Most recently India abstained from voting on a resolution titled “Ensuring respect for international human rights law and humanitarian law in Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem and in Israel”recently came up at the Human Rights Council [HRC] against the backdrop of the latest round of conflict between Israel and Gaza strip, the coastal part of the Palestinian territories.
  • India’s decisions are based on a mature understanding and evaluation of the Israel-Palestine issues and New Delhi is following the same approach now as Israel and Palestine exchange rocket fire.
  • India has refused to pick a side and called for de-escalation and dialogue.

Areas of Co-operation between India and Israel:

  • Economic Relations:
    • Trade, technology and tourism are the three key areas in India-Israel economic relations.
    • Over the last 25 years, bilateral trade has increased from $200 million to more than $4 billion (excluding defence) in 2016-17.
    • Given India’s large market and huge consumer base, the numbers are low compared to India’s economic relations with other countries.
    • Israel will invest $68.6 million to boost cooperation with India in areas like tourism, technology, agriculture and innovation over a period of four years.
    • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and its Israeli counterpart are exploring partnerships and the two sides are also focusing on cyber security collaboration to safeguard their financial markets
  • Defence Ties:
    • India already has robust defence ties with Israel which is expected to strengthen further.
    • India is the largest arms buyer from Israel; trade is to the tune of approximately $600 million.
    • If defence ties keep increasing at the same rate, Israel may replace Russia as India’s largest arms supplier.
    • Last year, India signed the biggest weapons deal in Israeli defence history, which is nearly $2 billion.
    • This will provide India with an advanced defence system of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology.
  • Counter Terrorism and Cyber Security:
    • In counter terrorism, intelligence gathering and retaliation, Israel has an exceptional good record and India need to learn from Israel how they have been able to mount surgical strikes all over.
    • Both India and Israel are vulnerable to cyber-attack. Cyber security would be very important concern of all governments.
  • Water and Agriculture:
    • India and Israel are set to jointly develop new crop varieties and share post-harvest technologies following the success of the 10-year-old Indo-Israeli Agriculture Project (IIAP).
    • Israel has become one of the foremost technology superpowers in areas such as rainwater harvesting, use of oceanic water and using that for irrigation in the driest land.
    • Israel has mastered water conservation techniques and India can learn from it.
    • It helps India to face its water stressed condition.
    • Another area of potential cooperation is cleaning polluted rivers.
  • In recent times of Pandemic:
    • The Defence Ministry of India signed a massive contract for purchasing more than 16,000 light machine guns from an Israeli firm for frontline troops
    • India is a major exporter of raw materials of pharmaceuticals worldwide, and the Israeli pharmaceutical industry is heavily dependent for imports from India. The ban imposed by India could have created a shortage of medicines and masks in Israel. India’s approval for exporting medical gears to Israel in the time of need exemplifies remarkable friendship between the two.
    • India and Israel have been incessantly cooperating with each other in keeping their citizens safe. Due to Indian government’s move to impose a nationwide lockdown to prevent Coronavirus from spreading further, several hundred Israelis were left stranded in India. With a joint effort of Israeli Embassy and Government of India, Air India was assigned the task to evacuate the Israeli nationals from India, back to Israel.

India’s stand on Israel-Palestine issue

  • India has consistently voted in favour of those resolutions that promote the two-state solution with a Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem.
  • India has voted in a non-partisan manner, on UN resolutions wrt Israel and Palestine.
  • For instance, at the UN’s ECOSOC in June 2019 which ended the consultative status for a Palestinian NGO that Israel claimed had terror links, India voted in favour of Israel.
  • Whereas, India has remained “steadfast” in its support for Palestinian rights and has consistently voted in favour of Palestine at the United Nations on “15 key resolutions”.
  • India again reaffirmed its call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and asked both sides to resolve all issues through direct negotiations.
  • India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country. This was proven when India did not support unilateral USA move to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
  • India believes that status quo must be maintained until a permanent solution is reached.

Measures needed to establish peace in the region

  • With the West shying away from its responsibilities to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict and the trust deficit with China, Palestinian leader Muhammad Abbas in 2014 had called for India to play the role of interlocutor in resolving the conflict.
  • India can be part of the peace process to end this conflict under the overall leadership of the United Nations.
  • India now follows dehyphenation policy when it comes to Israel and Palestine. It means India’s relationship with Israel would stand on its own merits, independent and separate from India’s relationship with the Palestinians.
  • It would no longer be India’s relationship with Israel-Palestine, but India’s relationship with Israel, and India’s relationship with the Palestinians.
  • There is a need for leadership change in both Israel and Palestine. A part of the conflict is also driven by domestic political compulsion.
  • New leadership in both countries will give new hope for the peace process.
  • Successful negotiation of the US-Iran nuclear deal will also help in de-escalating the tensions, given Iran’s support to Hamas.

Conclusion

Looking at the ground situation, the resolution of the Israel Palestine conflict is still elusive. The only way forward is peace talks between the two countries as suggested by India and further negotiations on the two-state solution proposed by the United Nations.

 

Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

4. Account for the differences between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the proposed Mekedatu project. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question is amidst the differences between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the proposed Mekedatu project.

Key Demand of the question:

Account for the differences between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the proposed Mekedatu project.

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:

Briefly give the background of Mekedatu project.

Body:

The Karnataka state government has proposed the Mekedatu dam project in the Cauvery Basin.

Originally proposed as a hydropower project, the revised Mekedatu dam project apart from catering to the drinking water needs of the Bengaluru Metropolitan City and surrounding areas will also help regulate the flow to Tamil Nadu on a monthly basis, as stipulated by the Tribunal and the Supreme Court.

Discuss the judgments passed with respect to the projects in Cauvery basin.

Discuss possible solutions to it.

Conclusion:

Conclude that a possible solution to this new development would be to get both states to agree to the idea of a joint execution, operation and maintenance of the project or through a third party’s participation.

Introduction

The Mekedatu project is a Rs. 9,000 crore project which aims to store and supply water for drinking purposes for the Bengaluru city. Around 400 megawatts (MW) of power is also proposed to be generated through the project. Tamilnadu has been opposing this move due to apprehension of reduction and diversion of Cauvery river water.

Body

Background

  • In February 2018, the court, in its judgment, revised the water allocation and increased the share of Karnataka by 14.75 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) at the cost of Tamil Nadu.
  • The enhanced quantum comprised 4.75 tmc ft for meeting drinking water and domestic requirements of Bengaluru and surrounding areas.
  • Encouraged by the Supreme Court verdict, Karnataka, which sees the order as an endorsement of its stand, has set out to pursue the Mekedatu project.
  • Originally proposed as a hydropower project, the revised Mekedatu dam project has more than one purpose to serve.
  • Estimated to cost ₹9,000 crore, the project envisages the construction of a reservoir of 67.16-tmc ft capacity, which will come up about 4 km away from the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.

Differences between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu vis-a-vis Mekedatu

  • The Karnataka government has argued that the proposed reservoir will regulate the flow to Tamil Nadu on a monthly basis, as stipulated by the Tribunal and the Supreme Court.
  • Tamil Nadu feels that Karnataka, through the project, will impound and divert flows from “uncontrolled catchments” to it, a component which was taken into account by the Tribunal in the 2007 order while arriving at the water allocation plan for the State.
  • As per an estimate, around 80 tmc ft of water flows annually to Tamil Nadu, thanks to the catchments including the area between Kabini dam in Karnataka and Billigundulu gauging site on the inter-State border, and the area between Krishnaraja Sagar dam in Karnataka and the gauging site.
  • As the upper riparian State has adequate infrastructure even now to address the water needs of Bengaluru, there is no need for the Mekedatu project, according to Tamil Nadu.
  • The Mekedatu project also does not find mention in the Tribunal’s final order or the Supreme Court judgment.
  • Besides, given the unpleasant experiences that it has had with Karnataka in securing its share of the Cauvery water over the years, Tamil Nadu is wary of the assurances of the other side.

Conclusion

Tamil Nadu’s petitions against the project are pending with the Supreme Court. The project is yet to get environmental clearance from the Centre. A way out can be found if the two parties agree to the idea of a joint execution, operation and maintenance of the project or a third party’s participation.

 

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

5. Discuss the contemporary issues witnessed in the Indian education system. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article presents to us the alarming picture of falling government school enrolment that needs to be addressed soon.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to discuss the contemporary issues witnessed in the Indian education system.

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:

One can start by the fact that Covid has reinforced the importance of fixing our flailing government schools and that we must not fail our children.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss in detail the contemporary issues in Indian education such as – low enrolment in government schools, huge drop out ratio, poor learning outcomes, too many schools, low acceptance of English etc.

One can give case studies/quote data from reports to justify the issues at hand better.

Suggest solutions to address these issues.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Education is empowering and redefining. For hundreds of millions of the young in India, education is also about discipline, development, curiosity, creativity and a path to breaking the cycle of ignorance and poverty leading to employment and prosperity. India’s demographic dividend depends on the learning level of students. The quality of education has a direct bearing on any economy.

Nationwide lockdown has closed each academic institution, as a consequence of which, learners going from school-going kids to postgraduate college students, are affected. The UNESCO estimates that round 32 crores college students are affected in India, incorporating these in faculties and faculties.

Body

Contemporary challenges in education sector in India

  • Inadequate government Funding: The country spent 3% of its total GDP on education in 2018-19 according to the Economic Survey which is very less in comparison to the developed and OECD countries.
  • Pandemic impact: Some 23.8 million additional children and youth (from pre-primary to tertiary) may drop out or not have access to school next year.
    • As per ASER Report 2020, 5% of rural children are not currently enrolled for the 2020 school year, up from 4% in 2018.
    • This difference is the sharpest among the youngest children (6 to 10) where 5.3% of rural children had not yet enrolled in school in 2020, in comparison to just 1.8% in 2018.
  • Digital Divide: There is a major digital divide within the country across states, cities and villages, and income groups (National Statistical Organisation Survey on Digital Education Divide). Nearly 4% of rural households and 23% of urban households possessed computers and 24% of the households in the country had internet access.
  • Quality of Education: Only 16% of children in Class 1 can read the text at the prescribed level, while almost 40% cannot even recognise letters. only 50 per cent of Grade 5 children being able to read a grade 2 text. (ASER Report findings.
  • Lack of infrastructure: Most of the schools are not yet compliant with the complete set of RTE infrastructure. They lack drinking water facilities, a functional common toilet, and do not have separate toilets for girls.
  • Inadequate teachers and their training: The 24:1 ratio of India is way lower than Sweden’s 12:1, Britain’s 16:1, Russia’s 10:1 and Canada’s 9:1. Moreover the quality of teachers who are sometimes appointed politically or are not trained adequately is another huge challenge.
  • Falling share of Government school enrolment: The proportion of India’s children attending a government school has now declined to 45 per cent; this number is 85 per cent in America, 90 per cent in England, and 95 per cent in Japan.
  • Too many schools: We have too many schools and 4 lakh have less than 50 students (70 per cent of schools in Rajasthan, Karnataka, J&K, and Uttarakhand). China has similar total student numbers with 30 per cent of our school numbers.
  • Huge dropout numbers: The drop-out rates in schools, especially girls, is very high. Many factors like poverty, patriarchal mindset, lack of toilets in schools, distance to schools and cultural elements lead to children dropping out from education. COVID creates new urgency; reports suggest 25 per cent of Haryana private school students may have dropped out this year due to parental financial challenges.

Other existing issues:

  • Infrastructure deficit:
    • Dilapidated structures, single-room schools, lack of drinking water facilities, separate toilets and other educational infrastructure is a grave problem.
  • Corruption and leakages:
    • The transfer of funds from the central to state to local governments to school leads to involvement of many intermediaries.
    • The fund transfer is drastically reduced by the time it reaches the true beneficiaries.
    • High rates of corruption and leakages plague the system, undermine its legitimacy and harm the many thousands of honest headmasters and teachers.
  • Quality of Teachers:
    • Lack of well trained, skilled and knowledgeable teachers which provide the foundation for a high quality education system.
    • Teacher shortages and poorly qualified teachers are both a cause and effect of poorly paid and managed teaching cadres.
  • Poor salary:
    • Teachers are paid miserly salaries which affect their interest and dedication to work. They will look for other avenues like tuitions or coaching centers and coax the students to attend it.
    • This has dual effect, firstly the quality of teaching in schools drop and secondly, the poor students are forced to spend money despite constitutional provision of free education.
  • Teacher Absenteeism:
    • Absence of teachers during school hours is rampant. The lack of accountability and poor governance structures add to the woes.
  • Lack of Accountability:
    • School Management Committees are largely dysfunctional. Many exist solely on paper.
    • Parents are often not aware of their rights and if they are it is difficult for them to make their voice heard.
  • School closure:
    • Many schools are closed to low student strength, lack of teachers and infrastructure. The competition posed by private schools is also a major challenge to government schools.

Measures Needed:

  • The current approach, mainly academic in nature, recognizes that piecemeal initiatives are unlikely to improve student learning.
  • A new systemic approach to reforming education is now emerging in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan.
  • It is accompanied with administrative reforms that create an enabling environment for these new practices to take root.
  • It involves aligning all stakeholders and orienting their collective efforts towards following a single and “comprehensive transformation road map” towards better learning outcomes.
  • Academic interventions involve the adoption of grade competence framework instead of just syllabus completion.
  • Effective delivery of remedial education for weaker students like after-school coaching, audio-video based education.
  • Administrative reforms that enable and incentivize teachers to perform better through data-driven insights, training, and recognition. Example: Performance based increments in Salary.
  • Together with human enablement, a seamless ecosystem or a system enabler (often a technology platform) is also set up.
  • This streamlines communication and saves teachers’ valuable time that they might have otherwise spent on administrative tasks, such as leave applications, allowance claims, transfers and service book updates.
  • It is also important to track the performance of the schooling system on a regular basis to course correct where needed.
  • Therefore, a robust accountability system is required wherein there is a clear articulation of the roles and responsibilities of all relevant stakeholders, and the administration is empowered to act where necessary.
  • This involves frequent real-time, data-enabled review meetings at the block, district, and state levels.
  • These states have also developed user-friendly dashboards that assist education officials and the state leadership in decision-making.
  • A reworking of curriculum and activities is urgently needed for the entire age band from 4 to 8, cutting across all types of preschools and early grades regardless of whether the provision is by government institutions or by private agencies.
  • The year 2020 marked the 10th anniversary of the RTE Act. This is the best moment to focus on the youngest cohorts before and during their entry to formal schooling and ensure that 10 years later they complete secondary school as well-equipped and well-rounded citizens of India.
  • Increase accessibility: The pandemic has taught us a lot about adjusting to changes in new and creative ways. But taking the weaker sections along is equally necessary.
  • There’s a need to explore the possibility of high and low technology solutions to digital learning, on the basis of power supply, digital skills of teachers and students, and internet connectivity.
  • Inclusion in distance learning programs, especially for students coming from low-income groups or the presence of disability, etc.
  • Governance must shift from control of resources to learning outcomes; learning design, responsiveness, teacher management, community relationships, integrity, fair decision making, and financial sustainability.
  • Governance must enable performance management to be substantive.
  • Decentralized decisions: For instance, recruitment at the block level will minimise teacher absenteeism and reduce the stakes and payments on the “transfer industry” and school consolidation will reduce teacher shortages.

Way forward:

  • Digitization:
    • Create a single-window system for infrastructure and mainstream fund-flows: In Bihar, only around 10 percent of the schools fulfils infrastructure norms. A study revealed that files for renovating schools often go on a two-year journey through various departments.
    • The same can be applied for teacher salaries and school funds. These can be transferred directly from the State to the teachers and schools. There is no need to involve the District or Block in this process.
    • Leveraging the audio-visual edutainment to make education more interesting and easier to understand for the children. This will improve the quality as well as reduce the drop-out rates.
    • Implementing bio-metric attendance for teachers and students for every class can help reduce absenteeism.
  • Empower School Management Committees by using mobile phones:
    • To develop a system that facilitates School Management Committee members by fostering democratic accountability.
    • Social audits should also be carried out for effective functioning.
  • Better pre-service teacher training coupled with transparent and merit-based recruitments is a lasting solution for teacher quality.
  • Improve the quality of teacher education by making teacher training mandatory. Example: National Council for Teacher Education Act amendment bill, Diksha portal to train teachers.
  • Increase the public spending on education to 6% of GDP as recommended by NEP.
  • Teachers are rarely reprimanded for non-performance, while there are recommendations for removal of non-detention policy. The blame is squarely on the children; such an attitude must be wiped out.
  • Education policy in India is focused on inputs rather than learning outcomes; It has a strong elitist bias in favour of higher education as opposed to primary or secondary education. This needs a change by coming out with NEP.

Conclusion:

Education is the key to upliftment of people from poverty, inequality and oppression. India’s demographic dividend is dependent on quality education at primary, secondary and high school levels. Focus must be on pedagogy and a safe and stimulating environment where wide range of learning experiences are offered to the children. Only when we align incentives of all stakeholders, and enable them while holding them accountable, can we shorten the distance between the nation’s current state of education and its aspirations.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

6. Assess social and ecological impacts of mega renewable energy projects in India. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article highlights the importance of leadership role that India must assume so as to address the climate crisis facing the world.

Key Demand of the question:

One is expected to account for social and ecological impacts of mega renewable energy projects in India.

Directive:

Assess – When asked to ‘Assess, 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 assess why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with fault lines in our policy on climate crises.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss first what are the social impacts of renewable energy? – Social aspects are the basic considerations for the development of any country. The following social benefits can be achieved by renewable energy systems: local employment, better health, job opportunities, and consumer choice.

Then discuss the ecological impact of the renewable energy projects.

Highlight the positive impact with some examples and also discuss the concerns associated.

Suggest solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Global concerns about mitigating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions have led to innovations in the energy sector. Across the world, 192 countries have announced policies to promote renewable energy and are looking to expand the installation of renewable energy. Renewable energy is considered as a win-win solution because it allows us to mitigate climate change without sacrificing economic development. Indeed, renewables are poised as the energy choice of the future.

Body

India and her Mega renewable energy projects:

  • In 2015, under its international climate change commitments, India had promised to cut down its emissions intensity by 33-35% by 2030 and have 40% of its power, around 350,000 MW installed capacity, from renewable power.
  • Consequently, India is racing to achieve a target of installing 175,000 MW of renewable energy power by 2022, a commitment it made as part of its global climate goals.
  • At present, India’s installed renewable energy capacity is about 89,635 MW (as on 31 December 2020) only which means that in the next two years India needs to nearly double it to achieve the required target.
  • But India is lagging behind the target of 40,000 MW of rooftop solar – which was the vital part of the 175,000 MW target.
  • In such a scenario, the government is probably looking at developing large solar parks and wind parks to bridge the gap.
  • Recently, the government in Gujarat cleared land allotment of about 60,000 hectares in Kutch region for the development of 41,500 MW mega solar and wind energy park that is estimated to attract investment of around Rs 1.35 trillion.

Social impacts:

  • The following social benefits can be achieved by renewable energy projects: local employment, better health, job opportunities, and consumer choice.
  • However, renewable power projects pose equal if not a greater threat to ecological biodiversity and cause wide-scale dispossession of lands and livelihoods.
  • Large scale solar or wind energy farms require areas of contiguous land.
  • The availability of land is contentious, especially in developing countries.
  • Renewable energy projects, particularly wind and hydro, compete with local livelihoods, conservation interests and other development activities.
  • Additionally, these projects often entail a process where development is usually prioritized over conservation, and livelihood activities.
  • Shepherds, landless labourers and others depending on common lands for their livelihoods are neither being consulted before a project is set up nor are they compensated for their losses.
  • This leads to slew of issues among the local people like land alienation, poverty, health issues, psychological issues, migration etc.
  • Case study:
    • In India all development projects, including renewable energy, are required to gain consent from village level panchayats.
    • In most cases, the certificate of consent from village level panchayats provides mere lip service.
    • The project developers often use empty claims of providing electricity and economic benefits to impoverished, local communities in order to jumpstart the projects.
    • There is no mechanism to monitor how much electricity will be provided and to how many households at the local level.
    • A case in point is the 113 MW, Andhra lake Wind power project, promoted by the multi-national Enercon, on the outskirts of Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra.
    • The villagers who live next to the project site don’t have access to electricity, even though the project threatens their livelihoods and the rich biodiversity of the region.

Ecological impacts:

  • One major complaint against the rapid clean energy transition is that it is usurping fertile agricultural land and massively impacting avifauna.
  • In India, forest lands are the default choice of location for wind and hydel power project developers.
  • It is cumbersome to negotiate private land deals and agricultural land needs to be converted to commercial land, in order to be procured for renewable energy development.
  • In comparison, it is relatively easier for renewable energy projects to get approval from the federal and regional forest departments, because they are considered ‘sustainable’.
  • Setting up of a renewable energy project requires felling of trees, laying transmission lines and constructing a sub-station for relaying the electricity to the grid.
  • The wind turbines are massive structures that need to be hauled to higher altitudes thereby significantly affecting the ecology of the landscape.
  • In high rainfall areas, these changes could lead to landslides, floods, conflicts with local livelihoods, and massive soil erosion.
  • Case Study:
    • In late 2020, a news report highlighted that the Gujarat government has plans to develop a 41,500-megawatt (MW) hybrid renewable energy park in Kutch.
    • The state government has cleared the revenue department’s proposal for allotment of 60,000 hectares of land – nearly the size of Greater Mumbai – for this project.
    • The land finalised for the Kutch project is considered “wasteland” by the government but that may not be the case for the local people and could be an important area for them.
    • In Kutch, there are many protected areas and they need to be preserved.
    • If one looks at Kutch there is a huge wetland Shakoor Lake which falls in both India and Pakistan.
    • This region is home to hundreds of bird species and its adjoining areas are also prime habitat for the vultures and flamingos.
    • There are many studies by reputed institutes like Wildlife Institute of India that have warned against the death of birds due to collisions with power lines.
    • The area is also part of the Central Asian Flyway.
    • The Rajasthan High Court stayed work related to a solar energy park in Rajasthan over land issues after locals filed a case against the land allocated for the project which the Rajasthan government had termed as a wasteland.

Measures needed:

  • RE plants need to be allotted go/no-go zones where they can and cannot be set up, based on ecological and livelihood sensitivity of the regions.
  • A fair and transparent public-hearing process is crucial for any development project.
  • Independent EIA Authority and Sector wide EIAs needed.
  • Creation of a centralized baseline data bank.
  • Dissemination of all information related to projects from notification to clearance to local communities and general public.
  • All those projects where there is likely to be a significant alternation of ecosystems need to go through the process of environmental clearance, without exception.
  • No industrial developmental activity should be permitted in ecologically sensitive areas.
  • Public hearings should be applicable to all hitherto exempt categories of projects which have environmental impacts.

Way forward:

  • Even as renewable power projects pose equal if not greater threat to ecological biodiversity and cause a wide-scale dispossession of lands and livelihoods, they are rarely critiqued.
  • The state should take into account the precarity of local populations that depend upon natural resources for their livelihoods while encouraging renewable energy projects.
  • Some probable solutions include giving greater powers to the village level panchayats, making EIA mandatory for all renewable energy projects and ensuring economic as well as electricity access for people who live in close proximity to renewable energy projects.
  • As increasing number of practitioners, policy makers across countries are focused on fostering renewable energy; it is even more crucial to examine the complex and layered ways in which such projects are operationalized.

 

 


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. Despite changing family structure, it still plays an important role in nurturing core societal values. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The question aims to analyse the impact of changing family structure on the core societal values.

Key Demand of the question:

One is

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 definition of family structure and brief on how it has changed in the recent times.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Define family and briefly discuss its role.

List major changes in terms of structure and functions of family.

Highlight whether its role as a foundation of morals and values is still credible

Conclusion:

Conclude on the basis of aforementioned arguments.

Introduction

If there is one cohesive, cementing force at the heart of traditional Indian society it is our family system. It is a single, powerful strand which for centuries, has woven the tapestry of our rich, social fabric replete with diversity, into a whole.

Body

Background: Indian family structure

  • The family, in Indian society, is an institution by itself and a typical symbol of the collectivist culture of India right from the ancient times.
  • The joint family system or an extended family has been an important feature of Indian culture, till a blend of urbanisation and western influence, began to affect in home and hearth.
  • This is especially true of urban areas, where nuclear families have become the order of the day.
  • There is no denying the fact that socio-economic factors have played their role in the joint family system getting diluted.

Role of family in nurturing core societal values

Despite changing values, the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (world is one family) is ingrained well in our minds, especially in India.

  • Cohesive society: One of the main advantages of a joint family system is the strong bonding it creates among siblings and other members of the family even while providing a sense of security to the children.
  • Virtues: It is believed that children who grow up in an extended family with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins will imbibe the qualities of sharing, caring, empathy and understanding.
  • Emotional intelligence: The bonding and bonhomie one finds in close knit joint families has a positive impact on the emotional quotient of children.
  • Caring for the old: Family values play an important role in shaping the outlook of people. Respect and care for elders are among the central principles in Indian family system.
  • Unity: It should also be remembered that the family system creates a strong bond of unity at an early age, paves the way for social cohesion and in a broader sense promotes national unity.
  • Morals: Adopting our age-old philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which embodies the spirit of humanism, compassion, magnanimity and tolerance, family becomes the basic building block of a harmonious, inclusive society.
  • Peaceful world view: Family can shape the world view, foster and reinforce the value system of the individuals and therefore, consequently, be the warp and weft of a sustainable, peaceful, inclusive, prosperous world.

Conclusion

Children who grow up in an extended family not only imbibe qualities of tolerance, patience, democratic attitude of accepting others’ viewpoints, but also develop sportsman’s spirit while playing with siblings and cousins. Various age-old traditions, customs and ways of living are all products of family system. In fact, the family system lays the seeds for social cohesion and democratic thinking.


  • Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos