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[Mission 2022] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 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 – 2


 

Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. When the First World War broke out in 1914, there was a growing demand for self-government among the Indian nationalists and they realised the importance of unity of effort in opposition to the British rule. Comment in the light of Lucknow pact of 1916. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Chapter-14 – 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 growing demand of self-government during the first world war which became one of the reasons for the Lucknow pact.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the answer by giving the context of split in the Congress into different ideologies namely – moderates and extremists, the rise of Swadeshi and Boycott movements and the formation of All India Muslim League.

Body:

Mention the various major events during the first world war and how British were playing the politics of divide and rule.

Mention the details of need for Lucknow pact and the rising sentiment of self-rule among Indians as they realised that supporting the British in the World war was only causing loss of lives and erosion of Indian revenue and the Muslim league also sensed that the British interests weren’t aligned with their interests in the World war.

Mention the joint demands of the Congress-League alliance as part of the Lucknow pact.

Conclusion:

End the answer by the impact of Lucknow pact on the national movement.

Introduction

The Surat Split of Congress had led to political inactivity and this was realised by both factions of the Congress. They realised that demands of self-governance and autonomy could only be acquired by putting a united front against the British. In 1916, the extremists were readmitted into the Congress.

Body

Events after first world war and realisation of unity of effort

  • Britain’s refusal to help Turkey (ruled by the Khalifa who claimed religio-political leadership of all Muslims) in its wars in the Balkans (1912-13) and with Italy (during 1911) had infuriated the Muslims.
  • Announcement of cancelation of partition of Bengal in 1911 had annoyed those sections of Muslims who had supported the partition.
  • This happened at a time when the Muslim League, now dominated by the younger militant nationalists, was coming closer to the Congress objectives and turning increasingly anti-imperialist.
  • The refusal of the British Government in India to set up a university at Aligarh with powers to affiliate colleges all over India also alienated some Muslims.
  • The younger League members were turning to bolder nationalist politics and were trying to outgrow the limited political outlook of the Aligarh school.
  • The Calcutta session of the Muslim League (1912) had committed the League to “working with other groups for a system of self-government suited to India, provided it did not come in conflict with its basic objective of protection of interests of the Indian Muslims”. Thus, the goal of self-government similar to that of the Congress brought both sides closer.
  • Younger Muslims were infuriated by the government repression during the War. Maulana Azad’s Al Hilal and Mohammad Ali’s Comrade faced suppression while the Ali brothers, Maulana Azad and Hasrat Mohani faced internment. This generated anti-imperialist sentiments among the “Young Party”.

Lucknow Pact of 1916

  • The above events led to the significant development at Lucknow.
  • It was the coming together of the Muslim League and the Congress and the presentation of common demands by them to the Government.
  • While the League agreed to present joint constitutional demands with the Congress to the Government, the Congress accepted the Muslim League’s position on separate electorates.
  • The joint demands were that Government should declare that it would confer self-government on Indians at an early date.
  • The legislative councils should be further expanded with an elected majority and more powers be given to them.
  • Half the members of the viceroy’s executive council should be Indians.

Conclusion

There was a large amount of enthusiasm generated among the people by this reunion. Even the Government decided to placate the nationalists by declaring its intention to grant self-government to Indians, as contained in Montagu’s August 1917 declaration.

 

Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

2. Gandhi’s leadership to the movements of peasants and workers paved the way for his larger role in Indian national movement. Following the repressive Rowlatt Act, Gandhi launched his first all India mass Satyagraha in March 1919 and it is considered as the turning point in the movement against the British Raj. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Chapter 14 – India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra.

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 how the successes and learning of Mahatma Gandhi in his early satyagraha led his status of national leader and his first pan Indian movement.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Begin the answer by describing the Gandhi – the leader of Indian national movement and his leadership style briefly.

Introduction: 

Body:

Describe the initial nature of the active participants in the Indian national freedom struggle consisting of middle- and upper-class intelligentsia.

Mention the changes witnessed after the arrival of Gandhi. His initial three localised satyagrahas and how they further added to his credential as the leader of national movement.

Mention the mobilisation of the masses in the nationalist movements and its impact on the nature of outcomes to such mass led movements and the rise of Gandhi in the freedom struggle with respect Rowlatt satyagraha and how it was turning point in the Indian national movement. 

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting that Gandhi played a key role in bringing majority of the Indian population who were directly exploited by the British, into mainstream freedom struggle.

Introduction

Gandhi returned to India in January 1915. His efforts in South Africa were well known not only among the educated but also among the masses. During 1917 and 1918, Gandhi was involved in three struggles, in Champaran, Ahmedabad and Kheda, before he launched the Rowlatt Satyagraha.

Body

Background

  • The Champaran Satyagraha was the first civil disobedience movement demonstrated by Gandhi, against the European planters who forced farmers to grow indigo and extracted illegal rent.
  • In Ahmedabad, Gandhi demonstrated the power of non-violence and hunger strike and ensured the workers got hike in their wages.
  • In Kheda, Gandhi was successful in demonstrating non-cooperation by refusing to pay revenue when the crops failed.
  • Gandhi demonstrated to the people the efficacy of his technique of satyagraha.
  • He found his feet among the masses and came to have a surer understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the masses.
  • He acquired respect and commitment of many, especially the youth.

Rowlatt Act and the turning point of freedom struggle

  • Just when the nationalists were expecting post-War constitutional concessions, the Government came out with the repressive Rowlatt Act which the nationalists took as an insult.
  • This Act authorised the Government to imprison any person without trial and conviction in a court of law, thus enabling the Government to suspend the right of habeas corpus which had been the foundation of civil liberties in Britain.
  • Gandhi called for a nationwide protest in February 1919. But soon, having seen the constitutional protest fail, Gandhi organised a Satyagraha Sabha and roped in younger members of Home Rule Leagues and the Pan Islamists.
  • The masses had found a direction; now they could “act” instead of just giving verbal expression to their grievances.
  • From now onwards, peasants, artisans and the urban poor were to play an increasingly important part in the struggle.
  • Orientation of the national movement turned to the masses permanently.
  • Gandhi said that salvation would come when masses were awakened and became active in politics.

Conclusion

The Rowlatt Act, the imposition of martial law in Punjab and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre exposed the brutal and uncivilised face of the foreign rule. Finally after first world war, Gandhi was able to launch a nationwide Non-cooperation movement in 1919, which also had the support of the Muslim League. He was able mobilise the masses like never before, for the cause of India.

 

 


General Studies – 2


  

Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

3. Trace the history of how the process of selection of judges to the Supreme Court has evolved in India. The collegium system, though functional is not without flaws. Reforms are needed to ensure highest standards of justice delivery in the apex court. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

For the first time ever, the Supreme Court Collegium led by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) recommended/selected as many as nine persons at one go to be appointed to the apex court.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the evolution of the process of the appointment of Judges to the SC and the reforms that are needed to existing collegium system.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the answer by tracing the journey of the process of appointments of the judges to the apex court since independence.

Body:

Mention in brief the three judges’ case and NJAC act, 2014.

Next, write about the reasons which calls for reforms to the existing collegium system. Opaqueness, lack of accountability, lack of representation from weaker sections, slow pace of appointments and lack of public faith etc.

Suggest reforms to overcome the above issues that are affecting the collegium system.

Conclusion:

Mention the importance of efficient, independent and vigilant judiciary for our democracy.

Introduction

The judges of the Supreme Court and High Court in India are appointed by President as per article 124(2) and 217 of the constitution. In such appointment, the President is required to hold consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as he may deem necessary for the purpose.

For the first time ever, the Supreme Court Collegium led by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) recommended/selected as many as nine persons at one go to be appointed to the apex court.

Body

Evolution of the process of selection of judges to the Supreme Court in India

Collegium system is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court, and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.

The collegium system has its genesis in a series of Supreme Court judgments called the ‘Judges Cases’. The collegium came into being through interpretations of pertinent constitutional provisions by the Supreme Court in the Judges Cases.

FIRST JUDGES CASE:

  • In S P Gupta Vs Union of India, 1981, the Supreme Court by a majority judgment held that the concept of primacy of the Chief Justice of India was not really to be found in the Constitution.
  • It held that the proposal for appointment to a High Court can emanate from any of the constitutional functionaries mentioned in Article 217 and not necessarily from the Chief Justice of the High Court.
  • The Constitution Bench also held that the term “consultation” used in Articles 124 and 217 was not “concurrence” – meaning that although the President will consult these functionaries, his decision was not bound to be in concurrence with all of them.
  • The judgment tilted the balance of power in appointments of judges of High Courts in favour of the executive. This situation prevailed for the next 12 years.

SECOND JUDGES CASE:

  • In The Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association Vs Union of India, 1993, a nine-judge Constitution Bench overruled the decision in S P Gupta, and devised a specific procedure called ‘Collegium System’ for the appointment and transfer of judges in the higher judiciary.
  • It was this judgment that was sought to be reviewed in the petition filed by the National Lawyers’ Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms.
  • Underlining that the top court must act in “protecting the integrity and guarding the independence of the judiciary”, the majority verdict in the Second Judges Case accorded primacy to the CJI in matters of appointment and transfers while also ruling that the term “consultation” would not diminish the primary role of the CJI in judicial appointments.
  • “The role of the CJI is primal in nature because this being a topic within the judicial family, the executive cannot have an equal say in the matter. Here the word ‘consultation’ would shrink in a mini form. Should the executive have an equal role and be in divergence of many a proposal, germs of indiscipline would grow in the judiciary,” it held.
  • Ushering in the collegium system, the court said that the recommendation should be made by the CJI in consultation with his two senior most colleagues, and that such recommendation should normally be given effect to by the executive.
  • It added that although it was open to the executive to ask the collegium to reconsider the matter if it had an objection to the name recommended, if, on reconsideration, the collegium reiterated the recommendation, the executive was bound to make the appointment.

THIRD JUDGES CASE:

  • In 1998, President K R Narayanan issued a Presidential Reference to the Supreme Court over the meaning of the term “consultation” under Article 143 of the Constitution (advisory jurisdiction).
  • The question was whether “consultation” required consultation with a number of judges in forming the CJI’s opinion, or whether the sole opinion of CJI could by itself constitute a “consultation”.
  • In response, the Supreme Court laid down nine guidelines for the functioning of the quorum for appointments and transfers – this has come to be the present form of the collegium, and has been prevalent ever since.
  • This opinion laid down that the recommendation should be made by the CJI and his four senior most colleagues, instead of two.
  • It also held that Supreme Court judges who hailed from the High Court for which the proposed name came, should also be consulted.
  • It was also held that even if two judges gave an adverse opinion, the CJI should not send the recommendation to the government.

The current procedure of appointment of Supreme Court judges

In Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association v. Union of India, the Court held that the ‘collegium system’ as it existed before NJAC, would again become operative. But the Court also ordered for the introduction of appropriate measures in order to improve the 21 years old ‘collegium system’ resultantly the memorandum of the procedure is brought into working i.e. now ‘collegium system’ will work as per ‘MOP’.

  • The MOP may indicate eligibility criteria such as the minimum age
  • in order to bring transparency in the appointment process, the appointment procedure of judges as detailed in MOP ought to be made available on the website of the concerned Court
  • The MOP may provide for the establishment of the secretariat for better management of’ collegium system’
  • The MOP may provide for an appropriate mechanism to deal with complaints against anyone who is being considered for appointment as a judge

These were the broad suggestions that were given by the Court to enhance the ‘collegium system’ Till date, this mechanism is being followed to appoint judges of the Supreme Court.

Flaws in the Collegium system:

  • Credibility of the SC:
    • Controversial collegium system of judicial appointments undermines the independence of judges and raises doubts about the credibility of the highest court.
    • There is a failure to make an assessment of the personality of the contemnor at the time of recommending his name for elevation.
    • Example: The controversy over the proposed elevation of Justice P.D. Dinakaran of the Karnataka High Court to the Supreme Court by the collegium of the Chief Justice and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court was criticized for overlooking apparently suitable judges by the collegiums
    • The judiciary off late has been caught in many such situations of credibility crisis off late.
    • The executive has little or no role in the appointment of judges as a result.
  • Lack of Transparency:
    • Justice J Chelameswar once wrote a dissenting verdict, criticising the collegium system by holding that “proceedings of the collegium were absolutely opaque and inaccessible both to public and history, barring occasional leaks”.
    • The lack of a written manual for functioning, the absence of selection criteria, the arbitrary reversal of decisions already taken, the selective publication of records of meetings prove the opaqueness of the collegium system.
    • No one knows how judges are selected, and the appointments made raise the concerns of propriety, self-selection and nepotism.
    • The system often overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates.
  • Lack of Consensus among Members:
    • The collegium members often face the issue of mutual consent regarding appointment of judges.
    • The shadow of mistrust between the members of the collegium exposes the fault lines within the judiciary.
    • For instance, recently retired CJI Sharad A. Bobde was perhaps the first chief justice to have not made even a single recommendation for appointment as SC judge due to lack of consensus among the collegium members.
  • Unequal Representation:
    • The other area of concern is the composition of the higher judiciary. While data regarding caste is not available, women are fairly underrepresented in the higher judiciary.
  • Delay in Judicial Appointments:
    • The process of judicial appointment is delayed due to delay in recommendations by the collegium for the higher judiciary.
  • Nepotism:
    • Unfortunately, in some cases, it has not covered itself with glory. There have been cases where the nearest relative of Supreme Court judges has been appointed as a high court judge, ignoring merit.
    • During the regime of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, judges far lower in the combined All India Seniority of High Court judges were appointed to SC, and the reason assigned was that those selected were found more meritorious.
  • Supreme court is overburdened:
    • The Supreme Court did not realise the burden it was imposing on the collegium of selecting judges for the Supreme Court and High Courts and transferring them from one High Court to another.
    • An administrative task of this magnitude must necessarily detract the judges of the collegium from their principal judicial work of hearing and deciding cases.
  • NJAC, A Missed Opportunity:
    • The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) could guarantee the independence of the system from inappropriate politicization, strengthen the quality of appointments and rebuild public confidence in the system.
    • The decision was struck down by the SC in 2015 on the ground that it posed a threat to the independence of the judiciary.

Reforms needed in the collegium system:

  • The need of the hour is to revisit the existing system through a transparent and participatory procedure, preferably by an independent broad-based constitutional body guaranteeing judicial primacy but not judicial exclusivity.
    • The collegium members have to make a fresh start and engage with each other.
    • A transparent process adds accountability that is much needed to resolve the deadlock.
    • Individual disagreements over certain names will continue to take place, but care must be taken that the institutional imperative of dispensation of justice does not suffer.
  • The new system should ensure independence, reflect diversity, demonstrate professional competence and integrity.
  • The system needs to establish a body which is independent and objective in the selection process.
    • In several countries of the Commonwealth, National Judicial Appointment Commissions have been established to select judges.
    • Such judicial commissions have worked with success in the U.K., South Africa and Canada.
  • Setting up a constitutional body accommodating the federal concept of diversity and independence of judiciary for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary can also be thought of as an alternate measure.
  • There should be a fixed time limit for approval of recommendations.
  • As of now, instead of selecting the number of judges required against a certain number of vacancies, the collegium must provide a panel of possible names to the President for appointment in order of preference and other valid criteria.
  • New memorandum of procedure:
    • After the Second and Third Judges Cases, a Memorandum of Procedure had been formulated to govern how the process of how the Collegium would make recommendations to the Executive.
    • The government therefore suggested that a new MOP be drafted and finalised for appointment of SC judges and the Executive to get a veto over candidates for national security reasons in this new MOP.

Conclusion:

Till 1973, from appointing senior-most judge of Supreme Court as CJI to gradually developing a ‘collegium system’ through precedence established by the Supreme Court judgements in three Judges’ case to appoint judges of the Supreme Court, the ‘collegium system’ evolved so far has ensured ‘independence of the judiciary’. Further, the working of the collegium system under the protocol of MOP is hitherto the best possible way to appoint a judge of the Supreme Court of India. However, with the need of time, a more efficient system surely needs to be found so that appointment procedure could be fairer and the judiciary will have the best possible minds as judges.

 

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

4. India battled the pandemic with the best of its efforts and beyond. However, this also meant that its focus and resources were taken off non communicable diseases (NCD), which also have a high mortality rate. In the light of this statement, analyse how India can deal with the disruption to its NCD services. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has severely tested primary healthcare systems, which perform myriad functions. Maternal healthcare services, immunisation, health surveillance, and the screening and management of NCDs have all been severely disrupted. A WHO survey conducted in May 2020 among 155 countries found that low-income countries were the most affected by this disruption.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how India can cope up to the disruptions in NCD services due the covid-19 pandemic.

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 by giving context regarding the disruption caused by the pandemic on the health care functions and fight against various other diseases including the NCD’s.

Body:

Mention about NCD’s, the burden of NCD’s and the reasons as to why they also need to addressed along with the pandemic. Cite facts mentioned in the article to substantiate your points. (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)

Write the measures that are needed in this hour to tackle both NCD’s as well as the pandemic. Mention the steps that are needed in the long run as well after the normalcy is restored but burden of NCD’s will continue in the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Containing the NCDs has been listed by the WHO as its health goal for this year along with reducing mortality related to air pollution and climate change, global influenza pandemic etc. No communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behaviours factors. The main types of NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.

Body

  • According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) report titled “India: Health of the Nation’s States”,contribution of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) to total death in the Country was 61.8% in 2016, as compared to 37.9% in 1990.
  • Some examples of common NCDs, i.e. diabetes, hypertension and cancers (Oral, Breast and Cervical cancer) are on the rise in India.
  • Risk factors for NCDs inter alia include ageing, unhealthy diet, and lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and overweight
  • Also In the States of Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu, due to epidemiological transition, fewer deaths are recorded for communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases, thereby raising the share of NCDs in total deaths

Effects on India’s population and economy

  • Rise of deaths during productive years (30-70 years)
  • Loss of demographic dividend
  • NCDs can become bigger problem than being malnourished
  • NCDs threaten progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.
  • Poverty is closely linked with NCDs. The rapid rise in NCDs is predicted to impede poverty reduction initiatives in low-income countries, particularly by increasing household costs associated with health care.
  • Vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people get sicker and die sooner than people of higher social positions, especially because they are at greater risk of being exposed to harmful products, such as tobacco, or unhealthy dietary practices, and have limited access to health services.
  • In low-resource settings, health-care costs for NCDs quickly drain household resources. The exorbitant costs of NCDs, including often lengthy and expensive treatment and loss of breadwinners, force millions of people into poverty annually and stifle development.

Challenges common to Covid 19 and of Non Communicable Diseases Management

  • Hidden Hunger:Hidden hunger needs more attention in times of record unemployment and a slowing economy.
    • India’s chances of staving off large-scale Covid-19 deaths and deaths due to Non communicable diseases will depend on how effectively the menace of hidden hunger is addressed.
  • Poor Preparedness:The lockdown was supposed to provide time for strengthening the healthcare facilities. However, still there is a long way to go for making adequate medical infrastructure like beds, testing kits, PPE kits.
    • This compromises the treatment of patients suffering Covid-19 and further aid in spreading the disease.
  • Untreated Morbidity due to Non-Covid Disease:Due to increased burden on public hospitals for treatment of Covid-19, patients suffering from other diseases have been largely neglected.
    • Given the large number of cases relating to Tuberculosis, upper respiratory diseases and Non-communicable diseasesin India, millions of patients are at risk.
  • Data Obscurity:The importance of comprehensive data for an evidence-based and epidemiologically sound strategy can never be overemphasized.
    • However, for instance, there is still no unanimity between the different health related organisations, regarding the actual number of Covid-19 infections in India.
  • Lack of Epidemiological Research:Historically, there has been a near-absence of “managerial physicians” equipped with the social, political and technical understanding of health problems in the Indian public health system.
  • Consequently, the epidemiologists and social scientists have been marginalised in Covid-19 and Non Communicable disease policy formulation.
  • While sound clinical knowledge is indispensable for clinical management of patients, a grounded understanding of epidemiology and socioeconomic dynamics of the disease is also very important.

Measure to tackle Non Communicable diseases burden as well as Covid Pandemic

from Government:

  • Increase health expenditure up to 8% of GDP.
  • This will ensure a well-functioning of tertiary and secondary care in government hospitals.
  • Also, there is a need for improving sanitation and hygiene, provisioning of equipment, toning up of laboratory facilities, and recruiting the additional staff to meet the workload.
  • Provided basic health facilities to all section of people in viable costs
  • Increase rural health infrastructure
  • Outreach Clinics:To reduce crowding at hospitals, outreach clinics (for example Mohalla clinics in Delhi) should be organised in communities to treat minor illnesses.
  • Built upon a robust early screening system
  • New Health Policy 2016 need to give due priority to it
  • All necessary equipment such as PPEs should be provided to the healthcare staff in accordance with the requirements of their station of work.
  • Shorter duty hours with rotation and periodic duty offs to relieve stress should be instituted for minimising the attrition of the workforce.
  • Issue Effective Guidelines to Private Hospitals:The central and the state governments may issue necessary guidelines seeking cooperation from the private sector.
  • This will ease the burden of public hospitals and help in availing treatment to all the patients suffering from Covid-19.

from Non-Government entities:

  • Business house should create policy of health working conditions
  • Create awareness about stress related disorders in their offices
  • NGOs must campaign for healthy working conditions in all sectors of employment

from People:

  • Eat Healthy diet
  • Don’t become prone to addictions
  • Remain fit by any of means viz. Yoga, Meditation, Exercise, etc.
  • Share your problems and tensions with family and friends to keep depression away.

from Doctors and Researchers:

  • Robust mechanisms for data collection, data sharing, and knowledge transfer
  • Primary and secondary level health facilities ought to be made fully functional and frontline health workers need to be trained and fully geared up for disease surveillance work.
  • Systems for monitoring and evaluation
  • Share knowledge in all sectors of community
  • Enabling Research:Rigorous research on the epidemiological, clinical, social, economic, and political aspects of the pandemic should be undertaken to ensure real time decisions to a rapidly evolving pandemic situation.

Conclusion

The strategies to tackle the covid pandemic and Non-communicable disease burden need to evolve. Increasing testing and tracing capabilities, lowering the load of the healthcare system; all of us have to play our part and put efforts individually as well as in a community.

 

 


General Studies – 3


  

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

5. What is central bank digital currency (CBDC)? How does it work? CBDC is slowly gaining momentum and acceptance across the world. Discuss its potential benefits and challenges in India. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

RBI Deputy Governor T. Rabi spoke briefly about the central bank’s plan to introduce a digital rupee, or its own version of CBDC, in the near future.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain about CBDC, the technology behind it, its potential benefits and challenges.

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: 

Start by explaining the emerging concept central bank digital currency (CBDC)

Body:

In the first part, explain the technology behind CBDC – Blockchain giving rise to secure digital instruments. Also, mention from where CBDC will derive its value from. Mention the growing acceptance of CBDC in India.

Next, write about potential benefits that India can accrue from CBDC. financial inclusion, the cashless society, decrease the cost of printing, expanding the digital economy and empowering citizens etc.

Next, write about potential challenges with regards to CBDC. User adoption, security, complexity, domination by Chinese and Opportunity cost due to RBI’s reluctance etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward as to how India should step up to CBDC.

Introduction

A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), or national digital currency, is simply the digital form of a country’s fiat currency. Instead of printing paper currency or minting coins, the central bank issues electronic tokens. This token value is backed by the full faith and credit of the government.

The Reserve Bank of India is likely to soon kick off pilot projects to assess the viability of using digital currency to make wholesale and retail payments to help calibrate its strategy for introducing a full-scale central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Body

According to the Bank for International Settlements, more than 60 countries are currently experimenting with the CBDC. There are few Countries that already rolled out their national digital currency. Such as,

  • Swedenis conducting real-world trials of their digital currency (krona)
  • The Bahamasalready issued their digital currency “Sand Dollar” to all citizens
  • Chinastarted a trial run of their digital currency e- RMB amid pandemic. They plan to implement pan-China in 2022. This is the first national digital currency operated by a major economy.

Need for a CBDC:

  • The growth of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum etc has raised challenges to fiat currencies.
  • Along with their other vulnerabilities made the central bank of each country explore the possibility of introducing their own digital currencies.
  • A 2021 BIS survey of central banks, which found that 86% were actively researching the potential for such currencies, 60% were experimenting with the technology, and 14% were deploying pilot projects.
  • The need for inter-bank settlement would disappear as it would be a central bank liability handed over from one person to another.

Working of CBDC:

  • CBDCs use distributed ledger technology (DLT), which is typically deployed in a hybrid architecture i.e. existing central bank and payment infrastructure + DLT for movement, transparency, workflow and audit trail or tracing of funds (value).
  • This technology helps in efficiency (speed), security (encryptions) and also other aspects like smart contracts which execute buy and sell transactions based on a pre-defined criteria and opens up the possibility of ‘programmable’ money.
  • CBDC can be in different forms like token or account/ digital wallet form.
  • The underlying technology used for CBDCs can vary from DLT or a mix of existing payment rails and systems at one layer and DLT at the second layer. In order to keep track of money, banks need to store financial records, such as how much money a person has and what transactions they’ve made.
  • While digitising the money supply chain from central banks to commercial banks to consumers of wholesale and retail CBDCs, complimenting the existing infrastructure and investment is important.

Potential of a CBDC:

  • An official digital currency would reduce the cost of currency management while enabling real-time payments without any inter-bank settlement.
  • India’s fairly high currency-to-GDP ratio holds out another benefit of CBDC — to the extent large cash usage can be replaced by CBDC, the cost of printing, transporting and storing paper currency can be substantially reduced.
  • As the currency in digital form, it can provide an efficient way for financial transaction. Further, digital currency also solves the challenges with Cash and coins. Cash and coins require expenses in storage and have inherent security risks like the recent heist in the RBI currency chest.
  • There are about 3,000 privately issued cryptocurrencies in the world. According to IMF, the key reason for considering national digital currency is to counter the growth of private forms of digital money.
  • There is a possibility of these companies going bankrupt without any protection. This will create a loss for both investor and creditor. But the National Digital currency has government backing in case of any financial crisis.
  • As the state-backed digital currency can provide investor/consumer protection, the private can confidently invest in the associated infrastructure without any doubts over its regulation. This will improve the services to people.
  • The national digital currency will be regulated by the RBI. So, there will be less volatility compared to other digital currencies.
  • Current RBI’s work on inflation targeting can be extended to national digital currency also. Since India is planning to ban other cryptocurrencies, the RBI can better regulate digital and fiat currency. Thus, upgrading to digital currency and balancing the macroeconomic stability.
  • With the introduction of CBDC in a nation, its central bank would be able to keep a track of the exact location of every unit of the currency, thereby curbing money laundering.
  • Criminal activities can be easily spotted and ended such as terror funding, money laundering, and so forth

Concerns posed:

  • India is already facing many cyber security threats. With the advent of digital currency, cyberattacks might increase and threaten digital theft like Mt Gox bankruptcy case.
  • According to the Digital Empowerment Foundation in 2018 report, around 90% of India’s population is digitally illiterate. So, without creating enough literary awareness introduction of digital currency will create a host of new challenges to the Indian economy.
  • Introduction of digital currency also creates various associated challenges in regulation, tracking investment and purchase, taxing individuals, etc.
  • The digital currency must collect certain basic information of an individual so that the person can prove that he’s the holder of that digital currency. This basic information can be sensitive ones such as the person’s identity, fingerprints etc.

Conclusion:

There are crucial decisions to be made about the design of the currency with regards to how it will be issued, the degree of anonymity it will have, the kind of technology that is to be used, and so on. There is no doubt that the introduction of National Digital currency prevents the various threats associated with the private-owned cryptocurrencies and take India the next step as a digital economy. But the government has to create necessary safeguards before rolling out. India needs to move forward on introducing an official digital currency.

 

 


General Studies – 4


  

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

6. What does it mean for one’s duty to be determined by the categorical imperative as propounded by Kant? Explain with examples. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: plato.stanford.edu

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To explain how one’s duty is determined by Kant’s Categorical Imperative.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start with the basics of Kantian ideology of deontological ethics.

Body:

Explain Kant’s categorical imperative in detail.

Take each maxim of the imperative and write about how one’s duty should be guided by the principles and motivated by it irrespective of the ends, with suitable illustrations. The link between the maxim and one’s duty must be clear.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the importance of duty according to Kant.

Introduction

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) argued that the supreme principle of morality is a standard of rationality that he dubbed the “Categorical Imperative” (CI). Kant characterized the CI as an objective, rationally necessary and unconditional principle that we must always follow despite any natural desires or inclinations we may have to the contrary.

The CI states that it is immoral to use another person merely as a means to an end and that people must under all circumstances be treated as ends in themselves. This is in contrast to some interpretations of the utilitarian view, which allow for use of individuals as means to benefit the many.

Body:

Kantian ethics refers to a deontological ethical theory ascribed to the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. The theory, developed as a result of Enlightenment rationalism, is based on the view that the only intrinsically good thing is a good will; an action can only be good if its maxim – the principle behind it – is duty to the moral law.

Kant’s Categorical Imperative:

  • Kant believed that there was a supreme principle of morality, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative.
  • The CI determines what our moral duties are. Kant thought that all acts should be judged according to a rule he called the Categorical Imperative.
  • A categorical imperative denotes an absolute, unconditional requirement that exerts its authority in all circumstances, both required and justified as an end in itself.
  • He gives the highest honor for the categorical imperative because it became universal law that can be applied to any and every one.
  • Kant is saying that simply willing that our moral rule become a universal law produces a logical contradiction.
  • His categorical imperative ensures that we aren’t doing these acts in mimic of others but rather in line with one universal law.

The three Categorical Imperatives stated by Kant are as follows:

  • Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
    • It states that one should choose our ‘codes of conduct’ only if they serve perfect / imperfect duty and are good for all.
    • Perfect duties are blameworthy if not met and are the basic requirements for a human being.
    • An example of perfect duty is the avoidance of suicide.
  • Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end.
    • This states that we should not use humanity of ourselves or others as a means to an end.
    • An example of the second maxim would be that of slavery.
  • Every rational being must so act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends.
    • This states that we should consider ourselves to be members in the universal realm of ends.
    • We should consider our actions to be of consequence to everyone else in that our actions affect not only ourselves but that of others.

Criticism:

  • Kant’s system, neglects to identify or, rather, to justify the existence of the moral law.
  • It neglects the value of nature

Conclusion:

Kant’s philosophy of human individuals as end in itself endorses the golden rule of “treating others as one’s self would wish to be treated”.  As no one would wish to be used simply as a means, therefore one should not also use other human beings as means to achieve their ends. This philosophy can be of great help in resolving the ethical dilemmas where there is debate between relative importance of means and ends.

 

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7. Morality would be very shallow and almost meaningless, if the sole moral imperatives were to seek happiness and avoid the miseries for ourselves. Critically Analyse. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

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

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To form a critique of hedonism. (You must remember that in the exam, UPSC may give a short description of the theory rather than name of the theory itself. You should be able to identify it to understand the core demand of the question)

Directive word: 

Critically 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by further elaborating on the theory of hedonism and its idea behind a morally justified action.

Body:

Argue as to how, though according to the theory seeking happiness and avoid the miseries may be morally justified but there may not be any point to that sort of morality which promotes self-interest.

With examples, substantiate on the point that what maybe be good or right for an individual may not be good for the society/community/country. Hence, this sort of morality is meaningless.

Conclusion:

Mention the importance of that we need to think beyond individual happiness especially in the times that we are living in.

Introduction

The above statement on morality explains Bentham’s Utilitarianism. According to Bentham, production of pleasure or pain is the sole consideration by which we are to judge the moral worth of an action. But this takes a narrow view of morality, if pleasure and pain are the sole imperatives.

Body

If every action that we do seeks to increase our happiness and reduce our miseries, then such actions may cause misery to increase. Greed, selfishness, self-interest are three villains in this situation which may harm the individual against whom we take the action.

For instance, British imperialism increased their coffers and drained India. This collectively ruined the fabric of Indian subcontinent which ultimately led to partition and its horrors. Such actions which made Britain more prosperous cannot be called are moral.

Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality, he will remain subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt to question it, deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light.

This is the essence of the statement.

Conclusion

Bentham is too optimistic that self-interest and utility will always coincide. Moreover, the hope of return from doing good to others is not likely to push one into action, for in many a case it is possible that the cost will be much greater than what one gains. One more point is that the coincidence of public and private utility provides no real evidence that people are not always narrowly self-interested; even doing good to others is because of the hope to get one’s own pleasure.


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