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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 August 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 :  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. The new political thrust witnessed in the years between 1875 and 1885 was the creation of the younger, more radical nationalist intellectuals and by 1885, the formation of an all-India political organization had become an objective necessity. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Chapter 5 – India’s Struggle for Independence.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 as mentioned in Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the culmination of political activity in the second half of nineteenth century resulted in the formation of Indian National Congress.

Directive word: 

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: 

Give context of rising discontent of the Indians with the British administrative actions and a political awakening witnessed amongst Indians.

Body:

Describe the rise of various regional associations with new leaders and their sense of urgency to form a national association calling for a unified representation against the British ill-administration. Rise of more vocal newspapers and the demand for freedom of press, Equal rights of Indian executives in the British administration, regional political organisations that came up across India etc culminating in the formation of INC.

Conclusion:

Conclude by describing how the formation of INC gave India a mantle to carry out its struggle for independence.

Introduction

The Indian National Congress (INC) was formed in Dec 1885. However, there were many political organizations which were a pre-cursor to INC. The political organisations in the early half of the nineteenth century were dominated by wealthy and aristocratic elements, local or regional in character, and through long petitions to the British Parliament demanded Administrative reforms, Association of Indians with the administration, and Spread of education.

Body

Some of the prominent Political Associations which played very important role in arousing general will and laying down a path towards modern Nationalism during 1870’s and 1880’s. Most of them had the common objectives of their own wellbeing and were mostly localised in nature. The evolution of the same are as follows:

India League

  • It was established by Sisir Kumar Ghose in 1875.
  • The aim of India league was to instil the feeling of Nationalism amongst the people.

The Indian Association of Calcutta

  • Surendranath Banerjee and Anand Mohan Bose founded the Indian Association of Calcutta in 1876.
  • Founders of Indian Association of Calcutta were discontented with the pro-landlord and conservative policies of the British India Association that’s why they established this new Association.
  • This association was aimed to unify Indian people on a common political programme and create a strong public opinion on political questions.
  • East India association also organized an all-India agitation known as the Civil Service Agitation after its formation.

The Bombay Presidency Association

  • Pherozeshah Mehta, K.T. Telang, Badruddin Tyabji and others formed the Bombay Presidency Association in 1885.
  • The reactionary policies of Lytton and the Ilbert Bill controversy caused political commotion in Bombay and led to the formation of Bombay Presidency Association.

Madras Mahajan Sabha

  • In 1884 Madras Mahajan Sabha was established by Viraraghavachari, P. Anandacharlu and B. Subramaniya Aiyer.
  • The Madras Mahajan Sabha was formed in May, 1884 to co-ordinate the activities of local association and to ‘provide a focus for the non-official intelligence spread up through the Presidency’. It was founded by M. V. Raghavachari, G. Subrahmanyam Aiyar, Anand Charlu and others.

The need for the formation of an all-India political organization had become an objective necessity. The pre-congress organizations were limited in scope and objectives. This led to development of some basic needs and objectives before the leaders. It was said that the Indians need to be welded together for their political advancements.

In the later 1870s and early 1880s, a solid ground had been prepared for the establishment of an all-India organisation. The final shape to this idea was given by a retired English civil servant, A.O. Hume, who mobilised leading intellectuals of the time and, with their cooperation, organised the first session of the Indian National Congress in December 1885.

The main aims of the Indian National Congress in the initial stage-

  • Found a democratic, nationalist movement;
  • Politicise and politically educate people;
  • Establish the headquarters for a movement;
  • Promote friendly relations among nationalist political workers from different parts of the country;
  • Develop and propagate an anti-colonial nationalist ideology;
  • Formulate and present popular demands before the government with a view to unifying the people over a common economic and political programme;
  • Develop and consolidate a feeling of national unity among people irrespective of religion, caste or province;
  • Carefully promote and nurture Indian nationhood.

Evaluation of the success of INC in the early phase

Successes

  • They represented the most progressive forces of the time.
  • They were able to create a wide national awakening of all Indians having common interests and the need to rally around a common programme against a common enemy, and above all, the feeling of belonging to one nation.
  • They trained people in political work and popularised modern ideas.
  • They exposed the basically exploitative character of colonial rule, thus undermining its moral foundations.
  • Their political work was based on hard realities, and not on shallow sentiments, religion, etc.
  • They were able to establish the basic political truth that India should be ruled in the interest of Indians.
  • They created a solid base for a more vigorous, militant, mass-based national movement in the years that followed.

Issues with functioning in its early phase

  • The early nationalists did a great deal to awaken the national sentiment, even though they could not draw the masses to them.
  • The moderate phase of the national movement had a narrow social base and the masses played a passive role.
  • This was because the early nationalists lacked political faith in the masses; they felt that there were numerous divisions and subdivisions in the Indian society, and the masses were generally ignorant and had conservative ideas and thoughts.
  • INC in the early phase failed to widen their democratic base and the scope of their demands.

Conclusion

Earlier, there was a theory that Hume formed the Congress with the idea that it would prove to be a ‘safety valve’ for releasing the growing discontent of the Indians. However, INC represented the urge of the politically conscious Indians to set up a national body to express the political and economic demands of the Indians.

In the circumstances, Historians observe, the early Congress leaders used Hume as a ‘lightning conductor’ i.e., as a catalyst to bring together the nationalistic forces even if under the guise of a ‘safety valve’.

 

Topic : Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

2. Indian nationalism was territorial rather than ethnic or religious, but it was plural, non-coercive and civil. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough.

Reference: Chapter-10 – A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum Publishers)

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 as mentioned in Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the nature of Indian nationalism and various facets if it.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin your answer by defining Nationalism.

Body:

Elaborate on the vast diversity of India in terms of religion, language, cultural differences and how many British scholars expressed that the political idea of India as a nation to be farce.

Write about how despite the vast cultural and ethnic differences, the idea of territory called India was one of the common bonds on which early Indian nationalism was based.

Further, analyse as to how Indian nationalism rose under the common exploitation of the British and elaborate on its features of plurality and civility.

Conclusion:

After discussing the nature of Indian Nationalism, conclude by highlighting its multi-cultural and non-coercive facet and led Indian Independence.

Introduction

Indian Nationalist Movement was a grand and prolonged struggle launched against British imperialism. Nationalism was the main ideology and the instrument with whose help this struggle was launched.

In the context of the Indian Nationalist Movement, Indian nationalism represented two major ideas: anti-imperialism and national unity. In other words, any person, movement or organisation that practised and upheld these two ideas, could be considered a nationalist.

Body

The rise and growth of Indian nationalism was the response generated by the British government through the creation of a new institution, new opportunities and new style allocation of resources as well as a worldwide upsurge of the concepts of nationalism initiated by the French Revolution.

Factors responsible for the growth of Modern Nationalism during British rule

  • Political and administrative divide:Partition of Bengal in 1905, carried out by the British viceroy, Lord Curzon.
  • Political Unity: For the first time, most of the regions in India were united politically and administratively under a single power (the British rule). It introduced a uniform system of law and government.
  • Development of Communication and Transport: The introduction of railways, telegraphs and postal services and the construction of roads and canals facilitated communication among the people. All these brought Indians nearer to each other and provided the facility to organise the national movement on an all-India basis.
  • English Language and Western Education: The English language played an important role in the growth of nationalism in the country. The English educated Indians, who led the national movement, developed Indian nationalism and organised it. Western education facilitated the spread of the concepts of liberty, equality, freedom and nationalism and sowed the seeds of nationalism.
  • The Role of the Press: The Indian Press, both English and vernacular, had also aroused the national consciousness.
  • Social and Religious Movements of the Nineteenth Century: The leaders of various organisations like the Brahmo Samaj, Ramakrishna Mission, Arya Samaj, and Theosophical Society generated a feeling of regard for and pride in the motherland.
  • Economic Exploitation by the British: A good deal of anti-British feeling was created by the economic policy pursued by the British government in India. The English systematically ruined the Indian trade and native industries. Therefore, economic exploitation by the British was one of the most important causes for the rise of Indian nationalism.
  • Revolt of 1857: The Revolt of 1857 created a kind of permanent bitterness and suspicion between the British and the Indians. The English feeling of racial superiority grew. India as a nation and Indians as individuals were subjected to insults, humiliation and contemptuous treatment.
  • Administration of Lytton: Lord Lytton arranged the Delhi Durbar at a time when the larger part of India was in the grip of famine. He passed the Vernacular Press Act which curbed the liberty of the Indian Press. His Arms Act was a means to prevent the Indians from keeping arms. All these measures created widespread discontent among the Indians.
  • The Ilbert Bill controversy: The Ilbert Bill was presented in the Central Legislature during the Viceroyalty of Lord Ripon. The Bill tried to remove racial inequality between Indian and European judges in courts. This Bill was opposed by the British residents in India. Ultimately the Bill was modified.
  • Role of Western Thought and Education:The modern education played an important role in awakening of Indian political thinking because it assimilates the modern western ideas. The British introduces modern education to educate a small section of upper and middle classes to create a class “Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste” who would act as interpreters between the Government and the masses.
  • Racial Antagonism: The Englishmen considered themselves as superior in all respects than the Indians. They never wanted to offer the Indians higher jobs even though they were qualified and intelligent. The age limit for Indian Civil Service Examination was kept at twenty-one and the examination was held at England.

Indian Nationalism succeeded and is unique because of its various peculiarities

  • A Cosmic Vision:The framework of Indian culture places human beings in the centre of the universe, as a divine creation-which celebrates Individuality and differences of opinion in the society.
  • Sense of Harmony:Indian philosophy and culture tries to achieve an innate harmony and order in the society.
  • Tolerance:In India, tolerance and liberalism is found for all religions, castes, communities, etc. Indian society accepted and respected Shaka, Huna, Scythians, Muslim, Christian, Jews and Zoroastrians. Rulers like Ashoka, Akbar have patronized various religions and ensured that there is peaceful co-existence of religions.
  • Continuity and Stability: The light of ancient Indian culture life is yet glowing. Many invasions occurred, many rulers changed, many laws were passed but even today, the traditional institutions, religion, epics, literature, philosophy, traditions, etc. are alive.
  • Adaptability:Adaptability is the process of changing according to time, place and period. Indian society has shown fluidity and has adjusted itself with changing times.
  • Caste System and Hierarchy:Indian Society has evolved systems of social stratification, which in the past helped in accommodating outsiders, but concomitantly it has also been the reason for discrimination and prejudice.
  • Unity in diversity:Despite inherent difference Indian society celebrates unity in diversity which reflects in modern India’s founding principles and constitutional ideals.

Conclusion

British rule was largely responsible for a new awakening among the Indians. The collective impact of British rule and enlightenment of Indians led to increased nationalist feeling.

 

Topic : Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

3. The policymakers are adapting food security programmes to the malnutrition storm brought forth by the pandemic, but it is also crucial to consider the ‘hidden hunger’ aspect ofs it. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy.

Reference: Live Mintvikaspedia.in

Why the question:

Covid-19 has brought with it a malnutrition storm, which is unwinding all the development gains that the country has made so far. The article suggests steps to overcome it.

Key Demand of the question:

To address the issue of malnutrition and hidden hunger exacerbated by the pandemic.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by defining ‘Hidden Hunger’ and its impact. (The second link provided above, explains the concept of hidden hunger in detail).

Body:

In the first part of the body, quote data from national family health survey-5 to show the extent of malnutrition in India. Also, bring in the how the pandemic has exacerbated by this issue. (Tip: Make a note of facts/figures/data you use in your answers in a separate book/sheet to collect it and use it in your answers and essays in the future)

In the next part, briefly mention how policy makers have been dealing with the disruption created by the pandemic.

Next, suggest steps to overcome the crisis of malnutrition and hidden hunger. Nutrition through diversified food sources, Food fortification and Micronutrient supplementation. Substantiate these suggestions by citing examples of successful initiatives of various state government.

Conclusion:

Conclude by underscoring the importance of elimination of hunger and malnutrition in development of our country as well as achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

Introduction

According to the Global hunger Report, when Government provides only free or subsidised wheat and rice, then the hunger gets eliminated only from the energy intake angle. The deficiency in vitamins and minerals still continues and this is called Hidden Hunger.

It occurs when the quality of food people eat does not meet the nutrient requirements, so the food is deficient in micronutrients such as the vitamins and minerals that need for their growth and development.

Body:

India’s effort to achieve food security:

  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), with its network of 1.4 million Anganwadi Centres, reaching almost 100 million beneficiaries who include pregnant and nursing mothers and children up to 6 years;
  • Mid-day meals (MDM) that reach almost 120 million children in schools; and
  • Public Distribution System (PDS) that reaches over 800 million people under the National Food Security Act.
  • The recently announced flagship program of the Ministry of Women and Child Development will be anchored through the National Nutrition Mission (NNM), or Poshan Abhiyaan, with its own specific budget of ₹9,046 crore and a proposed World Bank loan of $200 million, to ensure convergence among the various programmes of the government.
  • Additionally, NITI Aayog has worked on a National Nutrition Strategy (NNS), isolated the 100 most backward districts for stunting and prioritised those for interventions.
  • The National Nutrition Strategy (NNS) has set very ambitious targets for 2022 and the Poshan Abhiyaan has also specified three-year targets to reduce stunting, under-nutrition and low birth weight by 2% each year, and to reduce anaemia by 3% each year.
  • IYCF(Infant and Young child feeding), Food and Nutrition, Immunization, Institutional Delivery, WASH(Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), De-worming, ORS-Zinc, Food Fortification, Dietary Diversification, Adolescent Nutrition, Maternal Health and Nutrition, ECCE(Early Childhood care and Education), Convergence, ICT-RTM(Information and Communication. Technology enabled Real Time Monitoring), Capacity Building.

Hidden hunger is a major challenge for India:

  • Global Hunger Index 2020-India ranks 94/ 107 countries.
  • As per India’s 2015-16 health survey, one in every three children in the country is stunted, more than 50% of adolescent girls and pregnant women are anaemic, and almost 80% mothers do not receive full antenatal care during their pregnancy.
  • Data from phase one of the National Family Health Survey-5, 2019-20 also points to a gloomy reality.
  • According to FAO estimates in‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020’, 2 million people are undernourished in India.
  • According to the report 7% childrenaged under five in India are stunted (too short for their age), while 20% suffer from wasting, (weight is too low for their height).
  • Iron deficiency and anaemia are well-recognized and persistent problems in India.
  • Nearly one third of the food producedin the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted.
  • 40 percent of the fruits and vegetables, and 30 percent of cereals produced, arelost due to inefficient supply chain management.
  • Many, in fact, argue that the NFSA’s focus on wheat and rice has forced millets — traditional source for iron and minerals — out of the market.
  • Studies show that an alarming 90% of households reported suffering a reduction in food intake and 66% had less to eat than before the pandemic.
  • Schools continue to remain shut, disrupting access to mid-day meals for the underprivileged and weekly iron and folic acid supplementation.
  • The availability of nutritious food and micronutrient supplements supplied through India’s social safety net programmes have become erratic as a result of disrupted supply chains.
  • Lack of sanitation and clean drinking water are the reasons high levels of malnutrition persists in India despite improvement in food availability

Concerns associated with Hidden Hunger

  • Women and Children at the highest risk:
    • The highest numbers of women and children sufferingfrom “hidden hunger” live in South Asia, especially India.
  • Serious health effects:
    • Its adverse effects on child health and survival are particularly acute, from conception to the age of two, resulting in serious physical and cognitive consequences.
  • Economic Toll:
    • Impose a significant burden on the affected persons and societies in terms of health costs, lost human capital and reduced economic productivity.

Measures needed:

  • Early life-cycle interventions targeting the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are crucial for reducing a child’s susceptibility to infections, and breaking the link between undernutrition, disease and mortality.
  • Direct nutrition interventions can reduce stunting only by 20%; indirect interventions, for example, access to water, sanitation and hygiene, must tackle the remaining 80%.
  • The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan should be used to leverage policy complementarities with household sanitation, and behavioural change encouraged through social messaging and information-education-communication activities for pregnant and lactating mothers.
  • Policy must deliver universal, rights-based nutrition services, which overcome disparities across gender, communities and geographical regions.
  • The Global Hunger Index report recommends returning to traditional diets comprising locally available, biodiverse food to overcome growing under-nutrition.
  • To combine fragmented efforts, a nodal government body should be established with responsibility for meeting time-bound nutrition targets, and coordinating multi-sectoral programmes, including the ICDS, the National Rural Health Mission, the midday meal scheme, and the public distribution system.
  • Food fortification of staples (including wheat, flour, rice and edible oils) represents a cost-effective and scalable solution to enhance nutrient intake. Standards for food fortification should be established, and guidelines changed to promote the use of fortified inputs in ICDS-provided hot cooked meals.
  • Increasing dietary diversity is the preferred way of improving the nutrition of a population because it has the potential to improve the intake of many food constituents like antioxidants and probiotics not just micronutrients simultaneously.
  • There are several low-cost, food-based measures that can be promoted at the community level to improve micro nutrient status.
  • Culturally appropriate dietary modifications should be developed to help people identify concrete actions that can improve both dietary supply and the absorption of micronutrients. This information needs to be disseminated to the public through traditional information channels.
  • The government should facilitate public-private partnerships in the sector. Private sector engagement can leverage technological solutions for scaling up food fortification initiatives, and complement the government’s outreach efforts through mass awareness and education campaigns in communities.

Conclusion:

Prioritizing early childhood nutrition is key to ensuring India’s development rests on strong and steady shoulders. India’s ability to harness long-term demographic dividends rests on it prioritizing nutrition in its health agenda, and reforming the institutional framework through which interventions are delivered.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic : Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.

4. Results-based governance ultimately aims to improve government service delivery by giving decision-makers the tools and incentives to craft appropriate policies and programmes. Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The United Nations Development Program recently lauded India’s Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) for significant improvements in its outcomes. It is the world’s largest initiative in results-based governance.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how result-based governance can make public service delivery more effective and efficient in order to achieve broader socio-economic goals.

Directive word:                               

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the answer by explaining the concept of result-based governance.

Body:

Mention the importance of administrative data to foster systems change and improve lives on the ground and how penetration of technology has aided in the above.

Write in detail about how result-based governance can be used for improving the rigour of existing scheme-supervision processes. Give the case study of Niti Aayog’s Aspirational districts programme (ADP).

Suggest steps improving the rigour of existing scheme-supervision processes and moving towards automation for better efficacy.

Conclusion:

Comment on how this can be used at a larger scale to implement better programmes, design robust policies and ultimately transform lives in India.

Introduction

results-based approach to governance is a hybrid model that is adaptive to the circumstances. It addresses weaknesses identified in other approaches through a judicious use of committees structured around Board responsibilities, rather than management responsibilities.

The United Nations Development Program recently lauded India’s Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) for significant improvements in health, nutrition and education outcomes since its inception.

Body

Some key Public Services are:

  • Health care, Education, Social services for the poor and marginalized.
  • Infrastructure –Roads, Railways, Airports, Telecommunications, Electricity, Water.
  • Environmental protection, Waste Management, Sanitation (includes Toilets).
  • Law enforcement, Fire service, Public transportation, Postal Services.

Importance of administrative data

  • There is little or no cost associated with administrative data, since departments already collect such data to administer their programmes effectively.
  • In addition, this data is collected at the most granular levels and reported at a high frequency.
  • However, in the context of data quality, there is a need to continuously monitor and strengthen administrative data.
  • Given capacity constraint- related errors in data entry and aggregation, lack of standardization and skewed incentives to inflate data and other data-related issues, there is a risk that the collated data does not conform to the required quality benchmarks.
  • Without quality, data cannot serve as a meaningful signal of districts’ socio-economic outcomes, nor can it help district authorities make evidence-driven programmatic decisions.
  • Lack of data would severely hinder and delay the understanding of our performance in critical areas such as health, education and sanitation, besides others.
  • This would leave the administrators with little scope or available avenues for quantifying progress in a dynamic matter, limiting their ability to positively intervene.
  • This would lead to a typical lag of at least 4-5 years for any data collected to become available and thus there would be delays in the assessment and evaluation of the district’s critical indicators.

Results based governance Case study of Aspirational Districts Programme:

  • The ADP model relies on an innovative 3C approach of competition, convergence and collaboration.
  • By fostering competition among districts, enabling convergence of schemes, and promoting collaboration across and beyond government, the programme places a razor-sharp focus on achieving results, with the data on its impact available for all to see.
  • Data is at the very foundation of the ADP. Every month, districts are ranked based on the progress they have made on key indicators of health, education, agriculture, basic infrastructure, financial inclusion and skills development.
  • This opens up a realm of possibilities for policymakers, for it not only helps in better understanding and identifying areas of intervention, but also allows for an accurate assessment of the effectiveness and impact of interventions undertaken.
  • Over the last three years, the ADP has provided a scalable template for harnessing the speed, granularity and affordability of administrative data, while strengthening data quality.
  • A public dashboard was built to transparently display district ranks, thereby creating an important accountability mechanism.
  • Third-party household surveys were commissioned to get independent district-level data on the monitored sectoral outcomes.
  • Automated systems for data quality checking were also built and worked closely with districts to address the issues that these systems detected.

Measures needed to improve the data collection for results-based governance:

  • To improve the rigour of existing scheme-supervision processes.
    • For most major government schemes, supervisors already conduct regular sample-based quality checks at sub-district levels.
    • This is a great opportunity to ensure that quality problems are identified and corrected upstream.
    • A standardized verification protocol will be followed, ensuring consistency across districts, and we will provide a mobile application to help supervisors efficiently document useful photo, audio and GPS data during their visits.
  • The next step is targeted, frequent third-party back-checking of administrative data.
    • Independent surveyors will verify a sub-sample of the beneficiaries checked during administration-led checks to ascertain whether the services they reportedly received were in fact received; whether the reality as reported by supervisors is representative of the ground reality.
    • These independent back-checks are to be implemented with statistical rigour, deploying various methods, including field surveys, phone surveys and remotely-conducted photo, audio, video and GPS audits.
    • Establishing cost-effective methods for independent verification will be key to this model’s sustainability.
    • Given the large scale and increased rigour of administration-led checks, third-party checks will be targeted for relevant data points and number of beneficiaries covered, thereby minimizing additional costs.
    • Frequent independent verification of administrative data will help recalibrate the incentives of supervisors, who know their work will be checked and will therefore run their own checks with greater fidelity.
    • Providing regular, granular feedback to district authorities will help improve local capacity to monitor and fix data quality for improvements that are sustained over time.
  • To tap the power of automation
    • It helps to check large volumes of data efficiently, regularly, and with minimal human intervention.
    • We will build an open-source widget that runs core quality checks and delivers user-friendly feedback reports for district authorities.

Conclusion

Governance and the quality of public services delivery can impact a country’s economic growth. The objective of public services is to deliver social protection to the poor and vulnerable and to alleviate poverty. Public services reduce inequitable distribution of resources and correct historical inequities, such as caste-based discrimination and gender inequities. Harnessing the potential of administrative data to implement better programmes, design robust policies and ultimately transform lives in India and across the world.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Climate change mitigation requires collaboration and cooperation between the global north and south to move towards equitable cumulative emission targets rather than net zero emissions. Examine in the light of recent IPCC report. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), titled ‘Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis’ has brought to light new findings regarding Air Pollution and Climate Change.

Key Demand of the question:

To examine that climate change be addressed with greater collaborative efforts and to make a case for great convergence between north and south.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate 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: 

Begin by giving context about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).

Body:

In the first part, mention the key findings of the report. (Tip: Make a note of facts/figures/data you use in your answers in a separate book/sheet to collect it and use it in your answers and essays in the future)

In the next part, write about the disparities and disagreements between global North-South which is affecting the fight against Climate Change.

In the last part, argue for moving to cumulative emission targets keeping equity and historical responsibility in mind as well as the socio-economic development aspirations of the global south.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward in order to achieve convergence and cooperation.

Introduction

The recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), titled ‘Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis’, is the first of four that the Panel will issue over the next one and a half years. The reports are eagerly awaited as they provide a summary assessment of all aspects of the challenge of global warming and past reports have heralded significant shifts in climate policy.

Body

Key findings of the report:

  • Global surface temperature is now higher by 1.07 degrees Celsius since the pre-industrial era.
  • The impact of climate change on the atmosphere, oceans and land is unmistakably of human originand this impact is picking up pace.
  • Carbon dioxide is the dominant source of warming.
  • Aerosols contribute to reducing the impact of warmingby other greenhouse gases, by almost a third.
  • Methane reduction, while needed overall, is particularly significant only as part of the endgame as the drastic reduction of aerosols actually leads to an increase in warming.
  • The report expectedly projects an increase in climate extremes due to global warming, with heatwaves, extreme rainfall eventsand occurrence of extreme sea levels all expected to intensify and be more frequent.
  • A major finding of the report is that air pollution reduction and steep climate change mitigationare not complementary goals but require independent efforts over the short and medium-term
  • With the inclusion of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology’s Earth System Model among the climate models used in AR6,India too has joined the climate modelling fraternity.

Implications for India:

  • India has contributed less than 5% of global cumulative emissions to date, with per capita annual emissions a third of the global average.
  • India is also the only nation among the G20 with commitments under the Paris Agreement that are even 2oC warming-compatible.
  • India needs its development space urgently to cope with the future, one where global temperature increase may be closer to 2oC.
  • Even if India completely stops its emission which is3 billion tonnes in carbon dioxide equivalent terms, for the next 30 years, with others’ emissions remaining the same, will buy the world less than two years of additional time for meeting the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

Measures needed to mitigate the climate change effects:

  • Focusing on definite cumulative emission targets, keeping equity and historical responsibility in view
  • Immediate emission reductions by the developed countries with phase-out dates for all fossil fuels
  • Massive investment in new technologies and their deployment
  • A serious push to the mobilization of adequate climate finance
  • Put all energy use on the electricity grid, and then decarbonize the sources. This means that nuclear and renewable sources of energy will have to rise dramatically, while the internal combustion engine gives way to the electrical motors for transportation.

Conclusion

Climate change is described by many as a far greater threat to humanity than Covid-19, because of its irreversible impacts. Many of the impacts such as sea level rise and melting of glaciers will continue for many years. There is a need for a drastic and immediate cut in carbon emissions, given that the changes to the climate already made are not reversible.

All nations, especially the G20 and other major emitters, need to join the net-zero emissions coalition and reinforce their commitments with credible, concrete and enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions and policies before COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic : Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions

6. The morality of the human action depends on three main determinants: object, circumstances and intention. Elucidate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: A Practical Approach to Ethics Integrity and Aptitude by D.K Balaji.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Conceptual Tuesdays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write in detail about the determinants of Morality of human action.

Directive word: 

Elucidate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by saying that Human action is not at free will but determined by various factors.

Body:

Describe how morality of a person’s action varies situationally. Mention various determinants such as object, circumstances such as person/place/time involved and intention(malafide/bonafide) with an example each.

Use a flow chart for better presentation of the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by saying that there are many obstacles that a person with a fixed moral construct must go through, which may change his action altogether.

Introduction

Morality concerns the fundamental reason why some actions are good and others are evil. It is a test to find out what acts are good and what acts are evil. It is a search for criteria to assess the goodness or badness of human action. There are several schools of thought on this issue.

Body:

Analyzing the morality of the human act is said to be a complex enterprise since it is affected by so many conditions which are within and without. Most of the moralists agree that to judge the goodness  or  badness  of  any  particular  human  act,  three  elements  must  be  weighed  from  which  every act derives its morality. They are: the Object  of  the  act,  the  Circumstances surrounding the act, and the End or Intention that the one performing the act has in mind.

  • Object:
    • It is that which the action of its very nature tends to produce.
    • Or in other words it refers to the effect which an action primarily and directly causes.
    • It is necessarily the result of the act without taking into account the circumstances or the end.
    • For example the object of setting fire to hut of a slum-dweller is to burn whereas the end might be revenge.
    • The object is usually regarded as the primary factor  for  moral  judgement  of  a  human
    • From the  viewpoint  of  object  an  act  is  generally classified as morally good, bad or indifferent.
    • For a morally good act, the object of it must be good
  • Circumstances:
    • These include all the particulars of the concrete human action which are capable of affecting its morality.
    • They are  such  things  as  the  person  involved,  the  time,  the  place,  the  occasion,  which  are  distinct  from  the  object,  but  can  change  or  at  times  even  completely  alter  its  moral
    • Circumstances can make an otherwise good action better for e.g. giving food to a person who is almost dying  of
    • They can  make  good  an  act  which  is  otherwise  indifferent,  for  g.  sitting with a person who is feeling lonely.
    • But they can also make worse an act which is evil in its object  for  g.  robbing  a  beggar  from  his/her  only  meal  of  the  day.
    • Since all  human  actions  occur in a particular context i.e. at a certain time and at a certain place, the circumstances must always be considered in evaluating the moral quality of any human act.
  • Intent:
    • The end  or  intention  of  a  human  act  is  the  purpose  that  prompts  one  to  perform  such  an
    • Every human act, no matter how trivial, is done with some    It  is  the  reason  for  which  the  agent  performs  a  particular  act.
    • It is  the  effect  that  the  agent  subjectively  wills  in  his/her
    • At times it can so happen that the intention of the agent coincides with the object of the human act, for e.g. offering a glass of water to a thirsty person to quench thirst.
    • However at other times both  of  them  might  be
    • For g.  a  captured  spy  may  commit  suicide  in  order  to  safeguard the secrets of the country.
    • A human act to be morally good the agent or doer must have a good intention—he must want to accomplish something that is good in one way or another.
    • The end too can affect the morality of the human act just as circumstances do.
    • A good intention can make better an act which is good in its object, for e.g. helping a poor person to start a small business with the intention of making him independent.
    • Also the end can worsen an act which is already evil in its object, for e.g. killing the father, who is the only breadwinner in the family, so that his children might be on the street.
    • To a great extent many of the actions that we do which otherwise might  be  indifferent  morally  in  themselves,  but  they  receive  their  moral  quality  from  the intention behind them.

According to the moralists a human act is said to be morally good when it is good in its object, circumstances  and  also  in  the  intention,  for  it  is  believed  that  an  action  is  good  when  each  of  these  three  factors  is  conformed  to  order  (Bonum  ex  integra  causa).  If  even  one  of  these  determinants  is  contrary  to  order,  the  action  will  be  bad,  at  least  in  part  (Malum  ex  quocumque  defectu).

Conclusion:

Ethics, whether in an entire society, or in a social sub-system, evolves over a long period of time. Different institutions impact the ethical behaviour of individuals in different manner. Thus, value-based education, good governance, self-realization, just laws, code of ethics and code of conducts are essential to build an ethically just society and state.

 

Topic : dimensions of ethics;

7. For most of human history, ethics has concentrated on “human rights”. However, ethics now include the rights of environment. In this context, explain environmental ethics. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: A Practical Approach to Ethics Integrity and Aptitude by D.K Balaji.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Conceptual Tuesdays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain environmental ethics and how it has become an important dimension of ethics in the twenty first century.

Directive word: 

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

 Start by describing the anthropocentric nature of the discourse of ethics. Only recently the focus has shifted to environmental ethics.

Body:

Mention the implications of neglect of the environment, varied cultural beliefs surrounding it, the western ideology that environment is for human disposal without regard to the future generations, concept of sustainable development, associating rights of environment to preservation etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by saying that environmental ethics is more relevant now than ever in the context of climate change.

Introduction

Environmental ethics is a branch of ethics that studies the relation of human beings and the environment and how ethics play a role in this. Environmental ethics believe that humans are a part of society as well as other living creatures, which includes plants and animals. These items are a very important part of the world and are considered to be a functional part of human life. Thus, it is essential that every human being respect and honour this and use morals and ethics when dealing with these creatures.

Body:

Need for environmental ethics:

  • The main focus of Ethics has been human rights since time immemorial. However, with industrial revolution and increased globalization and burgeoning population, the negative externalities of growth and development are seen on the environment.
  • Present human interference with the non-human world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.
  • The recently released Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)reveals how human-caused emissions are altering our planet and what that means for our collective future.
  • Global warming, global climate change, deforestation, pollution, resource degradation, threat of extinction of species are few of the issues from which our planet is suffering.
  • New dynamic issues like Environmental Refugees and climate migrants has been on the rise across the planet.
  • Thus, now its time to focus on the rights of the environment and its constituent beings other than humans.
  • Environmental ethics, concerned with the issue of responsible personal conduct with respect to natural landscapes, resources, species, and non-human organisms. It is a cluster of beliefs, values and norms regarding how humans should interact with the environment.

Significance of Environmental ethics:

  • Strengthens Human-environment relationship:
    • Environmental ethics focuses on questions concerning how we ought to inhabit the world; what constitutes a good life or a good society; and who, where, or what merits moral standing.
    • Thus, it brings us closer and the help us understand the relationship and strengthens the relationship.
  • Environmental Justice to all:
    • People living in the economically-advanced sections/ parts use greater amount of resources and energy per individual and also waste more resources. This is at the cost of poor people who are resource-deprived.
    • Likewise, there is a need for balance sharing of impacts of environmental degradation among different regions. For instance, island countries of tropical region share the most impacts of Climate Change while contributing least to it.
  • Focuses on vulnerable sections:
    • Consequences of environmental pollution do not respect national boundaries.
    • Moreover, the poor and weaker sections of society are disproportionately affected by negative effects of climate change.
  • Sustainable living and development:
    • Environmental ethics helps provide better quality living to current generation
    • It will help spread awareness among people and thus protect the environment and reminds us of the moral obligation to preserve environment for the future generations to come through regulated use of environment
  • Focus on Biocentrism:
    • Every entity that share the Earth with us have a right to live with dignity and share the Earth’s resources and living space. Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs.
    • Animal welfare is relevant to environmental ethics because animals exist within the natural environment and thus form part of environmentalists’ concerns.
    • It sustains other species as well which is moral responsibility of one species i.e. humankind towards all others.
  • Helps overcome Anthropocentric approach of development:
    • Anthropocentrism refers to an ethical framework that grants “moral standing” solely to human beings.
    • Thus, an anthropocentric ethic claims that only human beings are morally considerable in their own right, meaning that all the direct moral obligations we possess, including those we have with regard to the environment, are owed to our fellow human beings.
  • To tackle global issues:
    • Pandemics like Ebola, Zika, MERS, SARS etc. had alerted human species about the imbalance in relation between humans and Environment.
    • Ignorance causing Covid-19 pandemic has almost stopped the world for human species and has nudged humans to introspect on their relationship with environment.

Human values and environmental ethics:

Human actions and decision-making choice depend on human values. Strong values always help reduce the confusion. If these are coherent with the surrounding environment nature and wildlife, then it will certainly be helpful for sustainable development.

  • Empathy: without empathy for all lives, there will always be selectiveness and selfishness among humans towards different lives. Value of Nurturing and protecting biodiversity. Making way for flora and fauna to co-exist with us.
  • Love: love transcends only human-human interaction. It’s also between other lives and nature’s beauty.
  • Sustainable development: Saving resources for future generation .That is to stop over exploitation of resources specially exhaustible and non-renewable resources.
  • Control over mining, deforestation in the name of “development”
  • Minimalistic living: Sacrificing certain comforts for protecting environment. Example- reduction in use of polluting vehicles for good of all, carpooling, using public transport.

Conclusion:

We must realize the biggest value that Earth belongs not only to humans but to other biodiversity too. Further, protecting this environment for future generation becomes our responsibility as part of environmental ethics.


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