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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 September 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: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

1. “Long live the Soviets and down with the Commissars”. Examine this slogan in the context of the Russian Civil War in 1918. Why did the White army lose against the Red? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: History of modern world by Jain & Mathur

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

Examine the causes of the Civil War following the Bolshevik Revolution, and causes for victory of the Reds (communists).

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:

Write who the warring parties were composed of (who were the “whites” and “reds”).

Body:

First, in detail list the causes for opposition to the Bolsheviks that led to the outbreak off the war. Mention in brief about the civil war.

Next, mention the outcome of the war and list the causes for defeat of the whites at the hands of Bolsheviks.

Conclusion:

End your answer by briefly writing about the political-economic impact of the civil war.

Introduction

Russia’s disastrous performance in World War I was one of the primary causes of the Russian Revolution of 1917, which swept aside the Romanov dynasty and installed a government that was eager to end the fighting.

The civil war occurred because after November 1917, many groups had formed that opposed Lenin’s Bolsheviks. These groups included monarchists, militarists, and, for a short time, foreign nations. Collectively, they were known as the Whites while the Bolsheviks were known as the Reds.

Body

Background: Causes for opposition to the Bolsheviks

  • The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918) whereby Russia yielded large portions of its territory to Germany caused a breach between the Bolsheviks (Communists) and the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, who thereupon left the coalition.
  • In the next months there was a marked drawing together of two main groups of Russian opponents of Lenin: (1) the non-Bolshevik left, who had been finally alienated from Lenin by his dissolution of the Constituent Assembly and (2) the rightist whites, whose main asset was the Volunteer Army in the Kuban steppes.
  • This army, which had survived great hardships in the winter of 1917–18 and which came under the command of Gen. Anton I. Denikin (April 1918), was now a fine fighting force, though small in numbers.
  • At the same time, the Western Allies, desperately pressed by a new German offensive in northern France in the spring of 1918, were eager to create another front in the east by reviving at least a part of the Russian army.
  • In March 1918 a small British force was landed at Murmansk with the consent of the local soviet. On April 5 Japanese forces landed at Vladivostok, without any approval.
  • A further factor was the Czechoslovak Legion, composed of Czech and Slovak deserters from the Austro-Hungarian army, whom previous Russian governments had allowed to form their own units.
    • In March 1918 the Bolshevik government agreed to let these units leave Russia by the Far East, but in May violent incidents took place during the evacuation, and on May 29 Leon Trotsky, commissar for war, ordered them to surrender their arms.
    • “Red terror” was unveiled on the dissenters.
  • A further thorn in Trotsky’s side was Admiral Kolchak, the former Lord High Admiral. He had established relations with the Allies in an attempt to establish a united Eastern Front. In September 1918, an organisation called the Directory was established in Ufa. This was a combination of various groups whose sole aim was to defeat the Communists.

Reasons for white army losing against the Red army

  • Trotsky’s leadership: Trotsky who, despite the criticism aimed at him over the Czech Legion issue, was a brilliant War Commissar. Untrained in military matters, Trotsky seemed to be a natural leader of men.
  • Men flocked to join the Red Army – not necessarily because they believed in what the Reds stood for but because Lenin had ordered that supplies of food went first to soldiers – what was left went to those who lived in the cities.
  • Secret Police: Lenin also imposed an iron grip on territory under the control of the Bolsheviks. The party had a secret police unit (called the Cheka, which was to change its title to the NKVD) which was ruthless in hunting out possible opponents to Lenin.
    • In many areas of Russia, where the Bolsheviks had control, the NKVD was judge, jury and executioner.
  • Disunity of the whites: The Whites were made up of many groups – groups that hated each other as much as they hated the Reds.
    • With no cohesiveness to them, the Whites were on the whole a hopelessly uncoordinated group that fell out with each other.
  • Withdrawal of Allies: The Whites also suffered a massive blow to their campaign when the Allies withdrew from Russia after November 11th 1918.
    • Reports reached London that the Whites had committed many atrocities on innocent civilians – and the government could not afford to be associated with such things.
  • In May 1919, Britain refused to recognise Kolchak and France did the same in May. The Red Army drove Kolchak and his rapidly disintegrating forces back to Siberia where he surrendered to the Communists.
  • White forces in the south of Russia were evacuated from the Crimea from November 1920 on.

Conclusion

With the end of the war, the Communist Party no longer faced an acute military threat to its existence and power. However, the perceived threat of another intervention, combined with the failure of socialist revolutions in other countries—most notably the German Revolution—contributed to the continued militarisation of Soviet society. Although Russia experienced extremely rapid economic growth in the 1930s, the combined effect of World War I and the Civil War left a lasting scar on Russian society and had permanent effects on the development of the Soviet Union.

 

Topic: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

2. In March 1921, a serious naval mutiny occurred at Kronstadt, the island naval base in the Gulf of Finland. What is the significance of this event in the economic history of Russia? Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: History of modern world by Jain & Mathur

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

You need write why War Communism was abandoned and what the New Economic Policy, which replaced it, was.

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by giving context, To Lenin, the mutiny brought home the reality that he had to change the manner in which he was trying to rebuild the Russian economy.

Body:

Explain the features of war communism and write why war communism was introduced. Proceed to write why it failed.

Next, write what were the features of the New Economic Policy (NEP) that was introduced in Russia.

Finally, mention what the impact of the NEP was.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the fact that the NEP itself turned out to be a cause for disagreement among leaders – a disagreement which was exploited by Stalin to consolidate power in himself.

Introduction

Kronstadt rebellion in March 1921, was one of several major internal uprisings against Soviet rule in Russia after the Civil War (1918–20), conducted by sailors from the Kronstadt naval base. It greatly influenced the Communist Party’s decision to undertake a program of economic liberalization to relieve the hardships suffered by the Russian population during the Civil War.

Body

Background

  • By the time 1921 came around, Russia’s economy had been maimed by the effects of War Communism.
  • Socialism had not begun on a good note, and Vladimir Lenin was becoming concerned with the unfortunate state of the e
  • His response to the poor economy he adopted and how he planned to improve it was called the New Economic Policy, or the N.E.P., which got its name from the fact that it was “new,” in comparison to the “old” Czarist economic “policy.”

War communism and reasons for failure

  • The first thing that was put into place post World war one was something called “War Communism.”
    • The reason it was called this was because it was meant to be an economic method utilized during the Civil War, but in reality, began before the war and remained in effect after the war until 1921.
  • Within the first few months, Lenin ordered taking of private property from the capitalists: farmland, factories, mills, railroads, banks, and other properties with no compensation.
  • It was full-blown reform without transition. They all were economically unequipped for such a conversion.
  • The unemployment rate sky-rocketed.
    • Almost all manufacturing and retail was nationalized and peasants’ harvests were forcibly requisitioned by the state, with the idea that it would all go to the State whereupon it would be evenly distributed.
  • Eventually the Bolsheviks came to realize that Russia was beginning to drown underneath this War Communism from a whole host of circumstances, such as famine, lack of resources, and disease due to malnutrition.
  • The peasants made up a majority of the population and although the government had been set up for the Proletariat, the fact of the matter was that only a small percentage of the population (not even 10%) made up an actual population of factory workers and most of the rest were peasantry.

During the 2nd Congress of the Political Education Departments in October 1921 Vladimir Lenin began discussing the New Economic Policy and the need for its immediate application, due to the devastating effects of War Communism.

New Economic Policy: Features

  • The N.E.P. was a way to manipulate capitalism so as to ensure that capital would be a result of labours, but Imperialism would not be able to infiltrate the system and regain power.
  • The New Economic Policy was intended for the Soviet Union to experience a temporary taste of capitalism in order to improve the economy so as to successfully introduce Communism.
  • As mentioned previously, the food appropriation system and food requisitioning policy would be abolished.
    • In return, the peasants would be allowed to sell freely (for profit) that which they had left over after the tax had been collected (that tax would be small and affordable).
    • Foreign trade and the leasing of enterprises would now be permitted as well
  • The plan of action would be to rebuild and reopen factories which had been left in ruin during the years of War Communism and have the proletariat class re-employed in these factories.

Impact of NEP and beyond

  • In a way, N.E.P. had, indeed, improved the Soviet economy, but only back to the levels at which it was during World War One.
  • The peasants were meeting the expectations of the government (therefore, not complying with their part of the agreement on the conditions of the free-market style of economy) which meant that although progress had been made in comparison to the disparity of the days of War Communism, not enough progress was made.
  • The New Economic Policy was cleverly created curing a time of dire economic failure, famine, and unemployment
  • Naturally the N.E.P. was not intended to be a permanent fixture in Soviet economy or politics, but rather something of a stepping stone, as well as a way to improve the economic state by the utilization of capitalism, but with a Communist twist.
  • Despite the free markets and the chance for free trade and sales, the economy would still be subservient towards the State and the main goal of the capital brought in by the N.E.P. would be to strengthen the State, its people, and its party in order to prepare them for the real deal: Communism.
  • Unfortunately, the New Economic Policy would be short-lived because after Lenin’s death in January of 1924, Stalin’s infamous Five-Year Plans were instilled upon the Soviet Union.

Conclusion

The NEP itself turned out to be a cause for disagreement among leaders – a disagreement which was exploited by Stalin to consolidate power in himself. The New Economic Policy had only three years to develop and was disbanded after Stalin’s usurpation of power, who changed the course of Russian Economy. Perhaps, Lenin had a good measure of Russian economy and its revival, but his tenure was short-lived.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government

3. A major area of concern has been the number of pending cases in the courts which not only hampers justice delivery but also has economic costs. Analyse the causes for huge pendency of cases and suggest measures to reduce the burden. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy.

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

More than 40% of cases are decided after three years in India, while in many other countries less than 1% of cases are decided after three years. Which decries the notion. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the causes for pendency of cases in India, its impact and suggest measures to overcome.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Describe the current conditions with few vital statistics to substantiate the pendencies.

Body:

First write the causes for it – The cumulative effect of persisting vacancies, strained budgets, inadequate infrastructure combined with the continuous inflow of cases inevitably impacts mounting pendency and the time taken for cases to resolve.

Next bring out the impact of it – faith in the justice system, under trial prisoners their due of justice, impact on Economic reforms and foreign investors, Judiciary becomes overworked and lose its efficiency.

Suggest measures to overcome the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to ensure speedy delivery of justice.

Introduction

                The justice system in any democracy is set up, under the Constitution to serve the public without “fear or favour, affection or ill-will” as far as judges are concerned. The Indian Judiciary plays an increasingly important role in the life and the governance of this country. A measure of the justice delivery system is the pendency of cases in courts across the country. There has been a significant deterioration in this aspect.

Body

Causes for huge pendency of cases:

  • Shifting role of SC:
    • The key reason for the mounting of pending cases can be attributed to shifting the role of the Supreme Court from adjudicating cases of constitutional significance into a regular court of appeals.
    • According to legal experts, most of the cases that the Supreme Court was handling daily are either appeals from various high courts or cases of gross violation of individual’s fundamental rights. But this role was never meant for the apex court.
  • Shortage of judges:
    • From 1950 to 1921, the number of Supreme Court judges has increased nearly four times. Even then, case pendency has steadily kept rising.
    • Around 5,580 or 25% of posts are lying empty in the subordinate courts, which leads to poor Judges to Population Ratio, as India has only 20 judges per million population. Earlier, Law Commission had recommended 50 judges per million.
  • Frequent adjournments:
    • The laid down procedure of allowing a maximum of three adjournments per case is not followed in over 50 per cent of the matters being heard by courts, leading to rising pendency of cases.
  • Low budgetary allocation leading to poor infrastructure:
    • India spends only about 09% of its GDP to maintain the judicial infrastructure.
    • Infrastructure status of lower courts of the country is miserably grim due to which they fail to deliver quality judgements.
    • A 2016 report published by the Supreme Court showed that existing infrastructure could accommodate only 15,540 judicial officers against the all-India sanctioned strength of 20,558.
  • Burden of government cases:
    • Statistics provided by LIMBS shows that the Centre and the States were responsible for over 46% of the pending cases in Indian courts.
  • Special leave petition:
    • cases in the Supreme Court, currently comprises to 40% of the court’s pendency.
    • It is because of frivolous PILs and various government policies which are challenged by the people that takes up most of judiciary’s time
  • Judges Vacation:
    • Supreme Court’s works on average for 188 days a year, while apex court rules specify minimum of 225 days of work.
  • Lack of court management systems:
    • Courts have created dedicated posts for court managers to help improve court operations, optimize case movement and judicial time.
    • However, only few courts have filled up such posts so far.
  • Inefficient investigation:
    • Police are quite often handicapped in undertaking effective investigation for want of modern and scientific tools to collect evidences.

Measures needed:

  • Improving infrastructure for quality justice:
    • The Parliamentary Standing Committee which presented its report on Infrastructure Development and Strengthening of Subordinate Courts, suggested:
    • States should provide suitable land for construction of court buildings etc. It should undertake vertical construction in light of shortage of land.
    • Timeline set out for computerization of all the courts, as a necessary step towards setting up of e- courts.
  • Addressing the Issue of Vacancies:
    • Ensure the appointments of the judges be done in an efficient way by arriving at an optimal judge strength to handle the cases pending in the system.
    • The 120th Law Commission of India report for the first time, suggested a judge strength fixation formula.
    • Supreme Court and High Courts should appoint efficient and experienced judges as Ad-hoc judges in accordance with the Constitution.
    • All India Judicial Service, which would benefit the subordinate judiciary by increasing quality of judges and help reduce the pendency.
  • Timeframe to dispose of cases:
    • Having a definite time frame to dispose the cases by setting annual targets and action plans for the subordinate judiciary and the High Courts. The judicial officers could be issued a strict code of conduct, to ensure that the duties are adequately performed by the officials.
    • Strict regulation of adjournments and imposition of exemplary costs for seeking it on flimsy grounds especially at the trial stage and not permitting dilution of time frames specified in Civil Procedure Code.
  • Better Court Management System & Reliable Data Collection:
    • For this categorization of cases on the basis of urgency and priority along with bunching of cases should be done.
  • Use of Information technology (IT) solutions:
    • The use of technology for tracking and monitoring cases and in providing relevant information to make justice litigant friendly.
    • All the courts in the country must switch to a hybrid virtual mode immediately and start disposing cases.
  • Process reengineering:
    • Involves redesigning of core business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in productivity and quality by incorporating the use of technology in court rules. It will include:
    • Electronic filing of cases: e-Courts are a welcome step in this direction, as they give case status and case history of all the pending cases across High courts and Subordinate courts bringing ease of access to information.
    • Revamping of National Judicial Data Grid by introducing a new type of search known as elastic search, which is closer to the artificial intelligence.
  • Alternate dispute resolution (ADR):
    • As stated in the Conference on National Initiative to Reduce Pendency and Delay in Judicial System- Legal Services Authorities should undertake pre-litigation mediation so that the inflow of cases into courts can be regulated.
    • The Lok Adalat should be organized regularly for settling civil and family matters.
    • Gram Nyayalayas, as an effective way to manage small claim disputes from rural areas which will help in decreasing the workload of the judicial institution.
    • Village Legal Care & Support Centre can also be established by the High Courts to work at grass root level to make the State litigation friendly.

Conclusion

The fundamental requirement of a good judicial administration is accessibility, affordability and speedy justice, which will not be realized until and unless the justice delivery system is made within the reach of the individual in a time bound manner and within a reasonable cost. Therefore, continuous formative assessment is the key to strengthen and reinforce the justice delivery system in India.

 

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

4. Outer space is becoming an extension of the terrestrial geopolitical competition. Interventions led by U.N Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space are urgently needed, so that domain of space is used only for peaceful purposes. Examine (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

With China’s emergence as a major space power, there is a new urgency for democratic powers to come together to secure their national interests as well as promote sustainable order in the skies above.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how there is growing clamour for weaponization of space, the need to avoid it and steps to be taken in that regard.

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: 

Start by mentioning the aims and objectives of United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Body:

First, write how geopolitics as well as in the national security context of all the major spacefaring powers. The advancements being made in the domain either through state entities or commercial players are posing serious questions in the area of international security, global governance, and ethics of war.

Next, write about the positive implications for the weaponization of space on the world.

Suggest steps for establishing frameworks for multilateral governance in space and commitment towards peaceful uses.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the need to maintain the outer space for peaceful purposes.

Introduction

India recently signed an outer space cooperation with Quad members and USA. Delhi’s new strategic interest in outer space is based on a recognition of two important trends. One is the centrality of emerging technologies in shaping the 21st-century global order. The other is about the urgency of writing new rules for the road to peace and stability in outer space.

There is proliferation of space exploratory missions today, raising issues of space debris, weaponization and also space dominance turning space into tragedy of commons problem.

Body

Outerspace: Extension of geopolitical competition

  • Astropolitics: The US has traditionally dominated outer space in the commercial domain. Its military competition with Russia set the norms in the security field.
    • China’s emergence as a major space power — in both civilian and military is reshaping astropolitics.
  • China factor: The dramatic expansion of Chinese space capabilities and Beijing’s ambition to dominate outer space have lent a new urgency for democratic powers to come together to secure their national interests as well as promote sustainable order in the skies above.
  • No global rules: Space is a commons, where any nation’s decision to test an anti-satellite weapon, in the process creating gobs of junk, is unpunishable.
  • Multiple entities and debris: Both private and government satellite owners have an incentive to protect their equipment while it’s operating—but not thereafter.
    • Space junk is pollution, and as we have learned on earth there must be a clear line of responsibility for pollution, or public spaces will be ruined.
  • National and commercial interests are increasingly tied to space in political, economic and military arenas.
    • Beyond fanciful notions of solar energy satellites, fusion energy and orbiting hotels, contemporary political issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, economic development, cybersecurity and human rights are also intimately tied to outer space.

International rules and space governance

  • In 1959, the UN General Assembly established the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) in Resolution 1472 (XIV). This committee identified areas for international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space
  • Outer Space Treaty of 1967: India is a party to the Outer Space Treaty.
    • The treaty prohibits countries from placing into orbit around the Earth “any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction”.
    • It also prohibits the stationing of such weapons on celestial bodies, like the moon, or in outer space.
    • The moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all state parties to the treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes.
  • Although these treaties ban the placement of weapons of mass destruction in space, they do not prevent states from placing other types of weapons in space.
    • As a result, many states argue that existing treaties are insufficient for safeguarding outer space as “the common heritage of mankind.”
  • The international community has been debating for the need to introduce transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities (TCBMS).
    • In this regard, European Union has also prepared a draft code of conduct (CoC).
    • However, major powers are yet to agree on the idea of establishing a CoC conduct.
  • Another important idea that has been put on the table jointly by Russia and China is the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space (PPWT) instead of only Weapon of Mass Destruction which is resisted by US and the EU.

Conclusion

As outer space becomes a location for lucrative business as well as a site of military competition between states, the salience of space cooperation needs to increase in the coming years. The scale of the challenges and opportunities in outer space, however, demand more urgent and sweeping reform. That can only be mandated by the highest political level.

Space must be used only for peaceful purposes and any weaponisation of Outer Space cannot be tolerated in the larger interest of people. The safety and security of space based assets should be ensured through international cooperation.

Value addition

Evolution of space exploration journey

  • Only the United States has sent people beyond low Earth orbit, but experts say U.S. pre-eminence in space could be challenged.
  • China became the third nation to independently launch a human into orbit in 2003 and its capabilities have since grown.
  • The People’s Liberation Army is seen as a driver of the Chinese space program, the ambitions of which include sending people to the moon and building a space station.
  • Meanwhile, India launched its first unmanned mission to Mars in late 2013, and its probe entered Mars’s orbit in September 2014.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation has since reached an agreement with NASA on subsequent explorations of Mars.
  • China and the United Arab Emirates successfully sent spacecraft to orbit Mars in February 2021, the same month that NASA landed its rover there; the Chinese mission includes its own robotic explorer.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

5. The ever-growing uncertainty of crude oil prices and geopolitical instability surrounding its supply, make it imperative for India to approach alternative fuels which are cleaner and cheaper on a mission mode. Critically Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

With Goldman Sachs projecting crude oil to reach $90 per barrel by the year-end, energy import-dependent economies are now in a tizzy.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need for us to pursue alternative fuels aggressively over crude oil.

Directive word: 

Critically analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them 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 balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context about the raising prices of crude.

Body:

First, mention the uncertainty regarding its prices and supply chain constraints – especially with respect to hostile geopolitical relations in the middle east. Bring out its impact on India.

Next, write about various alternative fuels in India and its ecological and economic advantages over conventional fuels.

Next, bring out the limitations of alternative fuels vis-à-vis crude oil which hinders it large scale deployment.

Conclusion:

Pass a comment on aggressively pursuing alternative fuels over crude oils – if it will be prudent policy decision.

Introduction

The recent surge in crude oil prices prompted both the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and federal think tank NITI Aayog to flag the need for the Centre and states to contain input cost pressures on businesses. A further surge could put pressure to cut taxes, which may impact revenues and spending.

Body

Crude oil prices and uncertainty: Impact on India

  • Covid and Volatile prices: Oil prices have witnessed sharp volatility in the past.
    • The price of India’s basket of crude oil that represents the average of Oman, Dubai, and Brent plunged to $19.90 in April last year during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Increased taxes: Last year, when crude prices slumped, Centre raised its taxes which remains in place till date. Any further rise in crude prices will burn the consumer’s pockets further as they have reached more than Rs 100.
  • Trigger events cause price rise: Crude rallied in the backdrop of hurricane Ida impacting US Gulf Coast production and a fall in US inventories. This comes at a time when global oil demand is rising.
    • Stock markets are also dependent on such instances and events which have an impact on the Indian economy.
  • Underinvestment in the global oil and gas sector could lead to tighter supplies at a time when demand is set to recover.
    • Whilst that might be beneficial to oil producers in the short term, it also means significant costs to the global economy which is in nobody’s long-term interest.
  • OPEC-cartel: The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies still have a cap on oil production, while a lack of investment has limited output from the group’s top two African producers.

Various alternative fuels in India: Advantages

  • Solar energy: The country has set an ambitious target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by the year 2022, which includes -power. 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro.
  • Wind energy: India is likely to install 54.7 GW of wind capacity by 2022 against the 60 GW target set by the government.
    • India is a country having around 7,500 km long coastline and in all of its exclusive economic zones, it has enough opportunity to harness wind energy.
    • It is found by the National Institute for Wind Energy (based in Chennai) that western states have larger potential in terms of a stable, steady and a speedy windflow starting from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Bio-diesel: It is ultra-low Sculpture diesel, which is also an alternative fuel produces even low pollution comparing to CNG.
  • Bio-CNG: Bio-CNG vehicles with 20% blending in petrol is also a target the government has been chasing.
    • Conversion of energy from Biomass is a considerable option as it will clean the cities as well as reduce our energy dependence.
  • Hydrogen: Recently, the government has launched the National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM) in Budget 2021. The NHEM proposes a roadmap for using hydrogen as an energy source and augmenting India’s growing renewable capacity with the hydrogen economy.
    • India’s electricity is heavily coal-dependent. Hydrogen will replace fossil fuels, address pollution, and oil-price rise.

Limitations of alternative fuels and their challenges

  • Reliability: By their very nature, solar and wind energy are variable in availability both spatially as well as geographically.
    • They are not available on-demand, unlike thermal or nuclear energy.
    • Therefore, they have to be supplemented with other sources of energy, to maintain the base load.
  • Creation of storage infrastructure: To overcome the variable nature of renewable sources of energy, it is vital to invest in affordable batteries of large capacity.
    • This would require adequate commitment from the government side to inspire confidence in the private sector.
  • Funding: As already stated, renewable energy requires setting up large projects to harness the economies of scale.
    • This requires a large initial investment, which can be a deterrent at the beginning of the project.
  • Integration with the Main Grid: Integrating the renewables with the main grid is the area India needs to work upon.
    • To accelerate the uptake of renewables, storage and battery solutions is needed in large quantities.
  • Cost factor: Renewable resources are slightly more expensive than conventional sources.
  • 24*7 Power Supply: Sustainable, round-the-clock power supply along with the storage system is a big challenge ahead.
  • Agricultural Sector: Much power is consumed in the agricultural sector. The challenge is to provide sufficient power and energy to every household and to the agricultural sector as well.
  • Huge investment is required to change today’s petrol and diesel running vehicles to adopt such technologies.
  • Cultivation of Jathropa and other types of biodiesels will require land which is very necessary for food crops cultivation.
  • Hydrogen is explosive and problem of storage is there also.

Conclusion

India is looking at private investment to raise domestic oil and gas production, which has stagnated for the last few years.  A well planned road map is needed, for which NITI Aayog is coming up with Energy Vision 2035 to achieve India’s clean energy goals. Diversified energy mix is what India needs to focus on, no doubt solar and wind have a lot of potential, Hydrogen would be a game changer in Indian energy transition space. India should be working on areas like investment in infrastructure, capacity building and better integration in the near and immediate future.

Value addition

Stats on India’s renewable energy

  • As of July 2021, India had 96.96 GW of renewable energy capacity, and represents 25.2% of the overall installed power capacity, providing a great opportunity for the expansion of green data centres.
  • The country is targeting about 450 Gigawatt (GW) of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030 – about 280 GW (over 60%) is expected from solar.         
  • Installed renewable power-generation capacity has increased at a fast pace over the past few years, posting a CAGR of 15.51% between FY16 and FY21. India had 94.4 GW of renewable energy capacity in FY21.
  • In July 2021, installed capacity of hydro projects in India reached to 46.3 GW, while capacity of small hydro plants reached to 4.8 GW.
  • By December 2019, 15,100 megawatts (MW) of wind power projects were issued, of which, projects of 12,162.50 MW capacity have already been awarded2. Power generation from renewable energy sources in India reached 127.01 billion units (BU) in FY20.
  • With a potential capacity of 363 GW and with policies focused on the renewable energy sector, Northern India is expected to become the hub for renewable energy in India.

 

Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

6. The menace of Left-wing extremism which is the single largest internal security threat in India is on a decline. It is indeed a welcome news but the Maoist threat remains a potent challenge to be overcome. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The geographical influence of Maoists has contracted to only 41 districts in the country, a sharp reduction from 96 such districts in 10 States in 2010, according to data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the declining trends of Maoism but the need for further vigil and action to successfully overcome it.

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: 

Begin by citing stats about the declining trends of Maoism.

Body:

First, write the reasons that led to this decline – various developmental approaches as well as internal security capacity building.

Next, write how the Naxalist movement still remains a potent threat to the internal security of India in the various ways. Cite examples and data to substantiate your points.

Next, suggest various measures that are further required to tackle this issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward on taking a multi prong approach to defeat Maoism.

Introduction

Left Wing Extremism (LWE) movement has its roots in the Naxalbari area West Bengal in the 1960’s.These Maoists insurgents started running a parallel system of administration in parts of central and Eastern India. They kill civilians, destroy public buildings and extract ransom from businessmen. In the recent years, however, LWE movement is showing decline, because of the shift in the approach of the successive Governments. The recent statement by Home Minister noted that the geographical influence of the Maoists has reduced from 96 districts in 10 States in 2010 to 41 now.

Body

Maoist threat remains a potent challenge:

  • LWE still poses multiple challenges such as ‘radicalization of youth’; hindering the development initiatives; threat to the political stability of LWE areas; etc
  • The Maoist insurgency still has potency in South Bastarin Chhattisgarh, the Andhra-Odisha border and in some districts in Jharkhand.
  • These States must focus on expansive welfare and infrastructure building even as security forces try to weaken the Maoists.
  • Frequent skirmishes and attacks have not only affected the security forces but also left many tribal civilians caught in the crossfire.
  • A purely security-driven approach fraught with human rights’ violations has only added to the alienation among the poor in these areas.

Measures needed by government to tackle the Maoist insurgency:

  • Modernizing the police force: The scheme focuses on strengthening police infrastructure by construction of secure police stations, training centers, police housing (residential) and equipping police stations with required mobility, modern weaponry, communication equipment and forensic set-up etc.
    • On the administrative side, changes include separation of investigation from law and order, specialized wings for Social and Cyber Crimes are initiated in several states.
    • Various technological reforms are pushed including modernization of the control room, fast tracking Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS), pushing for National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) and pushing for incorporation of new technology into policing
  • Social Integration:State Governments have surrender and rehabilitation policy, while the Central Government supplements the efforts of the State Governments through the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme for LWE affected States.
    • Additional incentives are given for surrendering with weapons/ammunition.
    • The surrenderers are also impartedvocational training with a monthly stipend for a maximum period of 36 months.
    • Skill Development: Skill Development in 34 Districts affected by Left Wing Extremism” under implementation from 2011-12 aimsto establish ITIs and Skill Development Centers in LWE affected districts.
  • Infrastructure Development:Road Connectivity, communication needs to be rapidly scaled up in LWE affected districts. g.: Mobile towers being set up in remote areas.
  • Community policing improves interface with citizens and makes police more sensitive. E.g. (i) Janamaithri Suraksha Padhathi, Kerala (ii) Friends of Police Movement (FOP), Tamil Nadu (iii) Suraksha Setu – Safe City Surat Project
  • Improve communication network: There should be sharing of information & knowledge to improve the functioning of police force.
  • Better Surveillance and Monitoringwith standardization, deployment and integration of private security surveillance system.

Conclusion

The Union government and the States must continue to learn from successes such as the expansion of welfare and rights paradigms in limiting the movement and failures that have led to the continuing spiral of violence in select districts. Through a holistic approach focusing on development and security related interventions, the LWE problem can be successfully tackled.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

 “Be happy with what you have and are, and you won’t ever have to hunt for happiness”

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Define being content in life and grateful for it.

Body:

Explain the quote in your own words.

Present the detailed analysis of the quote with relevant examples from across the world. State the reasons for indulgence in excessive materialism and its impact on us.

Bring out how minimalist mind set and simple life can bring about positive changes at individual, societal, national and a global level.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a positive note that surmises -To be content is to be great.

Introduction

Contentment is to be happy with what you have and find satisfaction in your present circumstances. Learning how to be content comes from a combination of intentional mindset shifts, habit changes, and being aware of our thoughts and actions. One must learn to be grateful to be happy with one’s circumstances and the way in which their life is going.

Body

Happiness is not a tangible substance that can be bought by money. It is a state of being at peace with what we have and where we are in life. Often, we measure our condition with a benchmark or what society deems to be ‘success’.

This may differ from person to person. For instance, for a poor man, owning a pucca house might give happiness and for the richest man, having good health might be source of happiness. It varies in context, time and place.

But as long as one is happy with where they are, they do not have to go in search of happiness. Although there is no one-size-fits-all program to be happy, one can still learn how to be content and in turn be happy.

  • Practice gratitude: It is impossible to develop contentment without gratitude—they are inseparable. And a grateful person is one who has learned to focus on the good things in their life, not the things they lack.
  • Take control of attitude: A person who lacks contentment in their life will often engage in “when and then thinking” – “when I get _______, then I will be happy.”
    • Instead, take control of the attitude. Happiness is not reliant on the acquisition of any possession. It is based solely upon one’s decision to be happy.
  • Stop comparing with others: Comparing one’s life with someone else’s will always lead to discontentment. There will always be people who “appear” to be better off than us and seemingly living the perfect life.
  • Be content with what you have but grow: Never stop learning, growing, or discovering.
    • Take pride in one’s personhood and the progress that one has made, but never become so content that we cannot find room for improvement.
    • Contentment is not the same as complacency.

One must find True contentment. True contentment is a deep-seated sense of accepting who and where we are at any given moment. Too often, we get so entrenched in our busy lives that we don’t even notice where we are. We only focus more on where we were or where we want to be instead of where we are now. In other words, our focus is on the past or the future, rather than the present.

Conclusion

Happiness gained through success or materialism is only temporary. The grass is always greener on the other side. Happiness can be gained by being content and grateful. Contentment is simply gratitude, appreciation, and acceptance for the way things are right now. Once this is attained, an individual will not have to hunt for his own happiness.


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