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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 October 2021

 

 

NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1


 

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

1. The acceptance of Partition in 1947 was only the final act of a process of step-by-step concession to the League’s intransigent championing of a sovereign Muslim state. Elucidate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.

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:

Concessions made to the Muslim league prior to the acceptance of partition.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by writing that partition was the result of Congress’s inability over the course of the national movement to draw Muslim masses in large numbers into the struggle for freedom.

Body:

Introduce the June 3rd plan that was accepted by the Congress. Then trace in a chronological manner the concessions made by Congress to the League over the course of several years (autonomy of muslim majority provinces accepted in 1942, Gandhiji accepting right of self-determination in muslim majority provinces in 1944, etc.)

Conclusion:

Conclude with the note that partition turned out to be a bloody affair, as opposed to expectations that it would be free of any violence.

Introduction

In the 19th century when Indian nationalism grew, it was essentially anti-colonial in tone and anti-British in texture, but not tinted with any religious fervour, howsoever predominant the Hindu voice in the all-India Congress. It was rightly monolithic, meaning that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and all other communities were swept by anti-colonial nationalist feelings, the common platform being anti-colonialism and anti-British.

Over time, British policy of Divide and Rule created huge fault lines in the society leading to communal feelings that ultimately resulted in the partition.

Body

Chronology of events leading to partition

  • Cripps Mission: Autonomy of Muslim majority provinces was accepted in 1942 at the time of the Cripps Mission.
  • Talks with Jinnah: Gandhiji went a step further and accepted the right of self-determination of Muslim majority provinces in his talks with Jinnah in 1944.
  • Cabinet mission plan: In June 1946, Congress conceded the possibility of Muslim majority provinces (which formed Group B and C of the Cabinet Mission Plan) setting up a separate Constituent Assembly, but opposed compulsory grouping and upheld the right of NWFP and Assam not to join their groups if they so wished.
    • But by the end of the year, Nehru said he would accept the ruling of the Federal Court on whether grouping was compulsory or optional.
  • Compulsory grouping: The Congress accepted without demur the clarification by the British Cabinet in December, 1946 that grouping was compulsory.
  • CWC resolution: Congress officially referred to Partition in early March 1947 when a resolution was passed in the Congress Working Committee that Punjab (and by implication Bengal) must be partitioned if the country was divided.
  • The final act of surrender to the League’s demands was in June 1947 when Congress ended up accepting Partition under the 3rd June Plan.

Analysis

  • Nehru, Patel and Gandhiji in 1947 were only accepting what had become inevitable because of the long- term failure of the Congress to draw in the Muslim masses into the national movement and stem the surging waves of Muslim communalism, which, especially since 1937, had been beating with increasing fury.
  • This failure was revealed with stark clarity by the 1946 elections in which the League won 90 per cent Muslim seats.
  • Though the war against Jinnah was lost by early 1946, defeat was conceded only after the final battle was mercilessly aged on the streets of Calcutta and Rawalpindi and the village lanes of Noakhali and Bihar.
  • The Congress leaders felt by June 1947 that only an immediate transfer of power could forestall the spread of Direct Action and communal disturbances.
  • The virtual collapse of the Interim Government made Pakistan appear to be an unavoidable reality.

Conclusion

There was an additional consideration in accepting immediate transfer of power to two dominions. The prospect of balkanisation was ruled out as the provinces and princes were not given the option to be independent— the latter were, in fact, much to their chagrin, cajoled and coerced into joining one or the other dominion. This was no mean achievement. Princely states standing out would have meant a graver blow to Indian unity than Pakistan was.

The acceptance of Partition in 1947 was, thus, only the final act of a process of step-by-step concession to the League’s intransigent championing of a sovereign Muslim state.

 

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. After 1848, nationalism in Europe moved away from its association with democracy and revolution. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: History of Modern World by Jain and Mathur, NCERT

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: 

To highlight with examples how democracy and revolutions were important to nationalism in the 1830s and 40s, and how after the 1848 revolution, it was brute force that came to be associated with nationalism, while the ideas of democracy and revolution came to be abandoned.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Write the importance of the year 1848 as your introduction – it marked the end of revolutions, and the beginning of use of force to further nationalism.

Body:

First, cite examples showing how the revolutions of 1830 and 48 were triggered by nationalism and liberals wanting democracies.

Next, with examples, justify the statement in the question that nationalism moved away from ideas of democracy.

Conclusion:

Nationalism which manifested itself in the form of use of force may have helped unite these nations, but it also was a cause for intense rivalry among european countries in the following decades, all of which led to the first world war.

Introduction

After 1848, nationalism in Europe moved away from its association with democracy and revolution. Nationalist sentiments were often mobilised by conservatives for promoting state power and achieving political domination over Europe. This can be observed in the process by which Germany and Italy came to be unified as nation-states.

Body

Course of events

  • The major reasons for the revolutions during 1848 were:-
    • The widespread dissatisfaction with the political leadership;
    • the demand for more participation and democracy;
    • the demands of the working classes;
    • the upsurge of nationalism
  • Revolutions of 1848: A series of republican revolts against European monarchies started beginning in Sicily and spreading to France, Germany, Italy, and the Austrian Empire.
    • They all ended in failure and repression and were followed by widespread disillusionment among liberals.
  • France and Belgium: The effects of the spread of revolutions across Europe were that Belgian rebels won their independence from the Dutch, French liberals established a constitutional monarchy, and few revolutions had successful outcomes.
  • Germany: Three wars over seven years – with Austria, Denmark and France – ended in Prussian victory and completed the process of unification.
  • Italy: After the 1848 revolts, attempts at unification of Italy were made by the Prime Minister Cavour of the Italian State of Sardinia. His policy was similar to that of Bismarck.
    • In 1859, Sardinia allied with France in a war against Austria, which freed many states of Italy from Austrian rule and most of them were united under the Monarch of Sardinia.
    • Eventually, Sicily, Naples, Venice and Rome were annexed one after the other, thus completing the unification.

Nationalism moving away from democracy

  • By the last quarter of the nineteenth century nationalism no longer retained its idealistic liberal-democratic sentiment of the first half of the century, but became a narrow creed with limited ends.
  • During this period nationalist groups became increasingly intolerant of each other and ever ready to go to war.
  • The major European powers, in turn, manipulated the nationalist aspirations of the subject peoples in Europe to further their own imperialist aims
    • g.: The most serious source of nationalist tension in Europe after 1871 was the area called the Balkans.
  • Nationalism, aligned with imperialism, led Europe to disaster in 1914. But meanwhile, many countries in the world which had been colonised by the European powers in the nineteenth century began to oppose imperial domination.
  • The anti-imperial movements that developed everywhere were nationalist, in the sense that they all struggled to form independent nation-states, and were inspired by a sense of collective national unity, forged in confrontation with imperialism.
  • European ideas of nationalism were nowhere replicated, for people everywhere developed their own specific variety of nationalism.
  • But the idea that societies should be organised into ‘nation-states’ came to be accepted as natural and universal.

Conclusion

Nationalism which manifested itself in the form of use of force may have helped unite these nations, but it also was a cause for intense rivalry among European countries in the following decades, all of which led to the first world war. The scramble for Africa and new imperialism that started after the 1848 revolutions became precursor for the first world war.

 

Topic: urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

3. Managing and facilitating the process of urbanization is essential for India’s structural transformation and hence, a comprehensive Urbanisation Policy is the need of the hour for India. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Planned Urbanisation is fundamental to India’s ambitions of becoming a five trillion-dollar economy by 2025 and a 10 trillion-dollar economy by 2030.

Key Demand of the question: 

To understand the main issues in the urban areas as well as mention the necessary steps through planning and administration to boost the quality of life in urban areas.

Directive word:

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

Introduction: 

Begin by giving an account on how rapidly Indian Urban spaces are growing both in terms of population density as well as growing urban spills .

Body:

First, mention the various issues plaguing urban areas such as a need for affordable housing, issues of urban slums, waste management, poor drainage etc.

Next, mention about the important factors on which policy deliberation needs to take place such as balance of urban population density with economies of scale and infrastructural facilities among others.

Next discuss the importance of mobilising funds other than public funds and also some of the essential components of urban planning to include sustainability, improved mobility etc for a well functioning urban space.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the key components for a functional and effective urban city.

Introduction

Cities are drivers of economic growth. As India urbanises, it must ensure that its cities offer a decent quality of life and facilitate job creation. These imperatives are fundamental to India’s ambitions of becoming a five trillion-dollar economy by 2025 and a 10 trillion-dollar economy by 2030.

A policy is needed to guide the planning and management of cities towards enabling India’s growth ambitions and also giving its residents a good quality of life, in a sustainable manner.

Body

  • From a population of 377 million in 2011, Indian cities are projected to house 870 million people by 2050, according to the UN’s projections — by far the highest among all nations.
  • Delhi is likely to become the world’s most populous urban agglomeration by 2030, surpassing Tokyo.
  • India is home to 11% of the total global urban population.
  • By 2027, India will surpass China as the most populous country in the world.
  • Unplanned urbanization, however, exerts great strain on our cities.
  • In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the dire need for the planning and management of our cities.
  • The existing urban planning and governance framework is complex, which often leads to ambiguity and lack of accountability.

Challenges faced by urban centres

  • Inadequate affordable housing has meant that almost one-sixth of the urban population lives in slums.
  • High population density: On the one hand, the rural-urban migration accelerates the pace of urbanisation, on the other, it creates excessive population pressure on the existing public utilities.
  • Consequently, the cities suffer from the problems of slums, crime, unemployment, urban poverty, pollution, congestion, ill-health and several deviant social activities.
  • Water supply is unreliable. Groundwater has been exploited unabated, without proper measures to recharge the water table.
  • Mountains of solid waste sit on the fringes of our cities. Even today, waste segregation and recycling are poor due to lack of implementation and behaviour of people.
  • Poor drainage, congested roads and deteriorating air quality are other challenges.
  • Estimates by a high-powered expert committee and by the McKinsey Global Institute indicated in 2011-12 that nearly Rs 39-60 lakh crore are to be invested in urban infrastructure in the next 30 years.
  • These amounts are outside the range of what the public budget can support.

For our growth ambitions to succeed, not only do these gaps have to be filled, but even greater needs, necessitated by the growing population, have to be accommodated.

Comprehensive urbanisation policy: Need of the hour

  • Size of population in a city: A proper balance between agglomeration economies and manageability as well as density and distance will hold the key in determining the right size for our cities.
    • A way around this is a kind of decentralised urbanisation where multiple cities are clustered into growth regions.
    • These would facilitate agglomeration economies and yet be of a manageable size.
  • Finance: Monetising land assets is an option. More efficient service delivery through the private sector is another.
  • Proper planning: The country must focus on good urban planning, instead of prioritising construction.
    • Decisions on what to build need to emerge from a good plan, not in isolation. Planning must be dynamic enough to adjust to a city’s growth.
  • Improving Access to Health Facilities & Welfare Schemes: Accelerating efficiency of welfare and relief schemes along with ensuring access to free vaccines, food security and adequate shelter in the slums.
    • Improving sanitation and transportation facilities in slums and establishing clinics and healthcare facilities.
    • Aiding non-profits and local support bodies who have better reach to these marginalised communities.
  • Sustainable living: India has only 2.5 per cent of the world’s landmass and 4 per cent of the world’s freshwater. Hence, global standards of land and water use may be too generous for us. Resource efficiency should be integral to urban planning.

Conclusion

The need is for a well-thought-out urbanisation policy to guide the planning and management of cities towards accommodating and enabling India’s growth ambitions and also assuring its residents a good quality of life, in a sustainable manner.

A sound urbanisation policy will guide how the growing urban population lives, works, and plays in India’s cities of the future. Such a policy is the need of the hour and cannot be delayed.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

4. In a democracy, citizens are the rulers of the government and are thus, owners of all the information on public records. Debate in the light of dilution of RTI act, 2005. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: livelaw.in

Why the question:

Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) refused to divulge information about the PM-CARES Fund under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Key Demand of the question:

Bring out the key issues regarding the balance between transparency and secrecy, the right of the public to know and touch upon the recent amendments to RTI act, 2005.

Directive:

Debate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin the answer by right of citizen that the information and data that the government holds.

Body:

In the first part of the body, mention importance of transparency in public records. The right of the public to know the affairs of the government.

 Weigh down the balance between transparency and need to maintain the secrecy for the functioning of the government. Give examples from the recent past about the conflict between the two.

Bring out the recent changes to RTI act, 2005 and debate upon Amendments adopted with haste and without much scrutiny and discussion have diluted the RTI Act and reduced transparency in public dealing. At the same time, the amended Act has hit at citizens’ rights and have strengthened hands of the government of the day. Officials, now, are going to be reluctant to give information about the ruling dispensation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced way forward.

Introduction

2020 marked 15 years of the enactment of the Right to Information (RTI) law, which has empowered millions to assert their citizenship and show truth to power. A report by the Satark Nagrik Sangathan and the Centre for Equity Studies has pointed out that more than 2.2 lakh Right to information cases are pending at the Central and State Information Commissions (ICs), which are the final courts of appeal under the RTI Act, 2005. The report was released on the occasion of completion of the 15 years of Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Body:

Recent Amendment: Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019:

  • It provided that the Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner (of Centre as well as States) shall hold office for such term as prescribed by the Central Government. Before this amendment, their term was fixed for 5 years.
  • It provided that the salary, allowances and other service conditions of the Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner (of Centre as well as States) shall be such as prescribed by the Central Government.
  • The RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019 was criticized on grounds of diluting the law and giving more powers to the central government.

Dilution of the RTI Act:

  • The worst blow to the RTI regime has come in the form of a persistent and concerted attack on the transparency watchdogs set up under the law.
  • Information Commissions at the Centre and in the States are the final adjudicators empowered to act against violations of the legislation.
  • In 2019, regressive amendments were made to the RTI Act which did away with statutory protection of fixed tenure and high status conferred on the commissioners.
  • Despite stiff opposition within and outside Parliament, the government pushed the RTI (Amendment) Act which allows the Central government to determine the tenure and salaries of all Information Commissioners, signaling that directions to disclose inconvenient information could invite adverse consequences.
  • The functioning of commissions has been severely impeded by governments not appointing Information Commissioners in a timely manner.
  • Vacancies in Information Commissions lead to large backlogs of appeals/complaints and long delays in the disposal of cases, effectively frustrating the people’s right to know.
  • Since May 2014, not a single commissioner of the Central Information Commission (CIC) has been appointed without citizens having to approach courts.
  • Despite Supreme Court orders to fill all vacancies, six out of 11 posts of commissioners are currently vacant in the CIC, including that of the chief.
  • The CIC is headless for the fifth time in the last six years! State governments appear to have adopted a similar strategy.
  • Eight State Information Commissions are functioning without a chief. Two commissions Tripura and Jharkhand are totally defunct with no commissioners.

Important limitations that need urgent attention:

  • The assessment found that on average, the CIC takes 388 days (more than one year) to dispose of an appeal/complaint from the date that it was filed before the commission.
  • The highest number of pending appeals, with over 59,000 cases were in Maharashtra, followed by Uttar Pradesh and the Central Information Commissions (CIC).
  • The report found that the Government officials face hardly any punishment for violating the law.
  • Penalties were imposed in only 2.2% of cases that were disposed of, despite previous analysis showing a rate of about 59% violations which should have triggered the process of penalty imposition.

Conclusion:

The right to question is the hallmark of a democracy. Any attack on the RTI law, which has empowered citizens to question those in power, is an attack on the foundation of our democratic republic. It is a clear reflection of the lack of political will of governments to be answerable to the people of the country. As the RTI law completes 15 years, it is again time for those whom it empowers the citizens to assert themselves and protect their fundamental right to information, which they attained after a long struggle.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

5. In the context of changing dynamics of commerce and trade, Discuss the challenges in formulation of a new Foreign Trade Policy for India. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: orfonline.org

Why the question:

In 2022, India is set to introduce a new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) that will set a guideline to the broader trade regime in the next 5 years.  

Key Demand of the question: 

To understand the present day challenges in formulating a Foreign trade policy, as the focus has shifted from Nations to e Commerce giants.

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 mentioning how the trade dynamics across borders have changed in the past one decade.

Body:

First, mention the roles and responsibilities of DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) to take confidence of various stakeholders such as Industry chambers, trade associations, commodity boards etc.

Next, highlight the various factors such as changing needs of a digital economy, role of GST, balancing the export and import industry, alignment of the FTP with the macro economic vision of the nation etc.

Next, analyse trade policy in the backdrop of restrictive trade policy tools such as tariffs, export restrictions, anti dumping duties etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by saying that India needs to take a fine policy balance of promotion of Foreign trade alongside the Aatmanirbhar mission.

Introduction

In 2022, the Government of India is set to introduce the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) that will provide direction to the country’s broader trade policy regime in the succeeding five years. This FTP will be more difficult to draft than the previous ones, for various reasons including the increased global pressure to address trade policy uncertainties, the need for alignment with the self-reliance mission, Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, and the tenuous global economic environment.

Body

Background

  • In India, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) manned by Indian Trade Service officers, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is in the process of formulating the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP).
  • It is expected to be rolled out in April 2022 and applicable for the succeeding five years.
  • The drafting process requires tremendous effort in terms of collating and analysing a diverse range of inputs—from export promotion councils, trade associations, industry chambers, commodity boards, and trade policy specialists.
  • Using the results of these consultations, the DGFT must then draft a coherent FTP that takes into account both domestic and international complexities.

Challenges in formulation of new Foreign Trade Policy

  • Trade Policy Review: The 2020 WTO Trade Policy Review of India noted that India makes extensive use of trade policy instruments such as tariffs, export restrictions, export taxes, anti-dumping duties, and import licensing.
  • Changes create uncertainties: Further, since most policy changes are introduced through circulars and notifications, they disregard the trade policy objectives stipulated in India’s five-year FTP document.
    • The recent introduction of tariffs, restrictions, and strict regulatory compliance on imports has made India’s trade policy the most restrictive that it has been.
  • Export subsidies incompatible with WTO norms: There is mounting multilateral pressure for India to rationalise export promotion schemes to make them compatible with WTO norms.
  • Trade more restrictive: Between 2014 and 2019, import tariffs increased from3 percent to 17.6 percent on average, from 9.7 percent to 13.6 percent on industrial goods, and from 36.3 percent to 43.02 percent in agriculture.
    • Liberalising FDI policies while simultaneously increasing import tariffs creates a discordance that affects India’s ability to foster strong trade and investment linkages.
    • Moreover, it discourages export-oriented foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country, undermining possible opportunities to plug the missing links in global value chains.
  • FTAs: From 2004 to 2011, India signed 11 Preferential and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), but none thereafter.
    • It is time for the country to formulate a new strategy for its regional and bilateral trade agreements, especially given the growing number of FTAs in Asia for external engagements.
    • India is negotiating UK, EU and UAE trade agreements at the moment.
  • Adopting technology and digitisation: The rapid digitisation of global production, trade and consumption of goods and services has had a profound impact on the trade competitiveness of countries, fuelling the need for robust digital skills, infrastructure and capabilities.
    • This is one of the key areas where India is lagging behind other developing countries such as China and South Africa. E.g. India’s exports of technological goods and services
    • The government must work on building its digital capabilities and infrastructure in key export sectors through a ‘Digitally Informed Foreign Trade Policy’.

Way forward

  • For the expansion and diversification in foreign trade, the GoI must assess the demand for key products in the global market, to ensure export volumes, values, scale and intensity.
  • The new FTP should incorporate a plan to identify the key sectors with import demand.
  • As of 2019, the key imported products in the world market were electrical machinery (15.19 percent), mineral fuel (12.26 percent), machinery and appliances (11.95 percent), vehicles (7.95 percent), etc.
  • Since India is heavily import-dependent for many of these key products, a push to scale up these industries using the right production and trade incentives will serve two purposes:
    • first, it will reduce import-dependence; and
    • second, it will help India tap into the global market with cost-competitive and quality exports.
  • Furthermore, India’s domestic policy action for promoting export must be based on external requirements.
    • For example, India’s “One District–One Product” (ODOP) Scheme can be used to develop and scale up the industries around some of these key importable products in the world market.
  • Finally, achieving superlative growth in foreign trade requires target policy action both at Central and state levels, to develop upstream industries (low-cost steel, API & Excipient, Chemical Hubs), skilled personnel, and world-class logistics infrastructure to address the associated redundancies.
  • Therefore, Indian states must become active partners in India’s external engagements, and the FTP should reward some of the thrust sectors for exports through policy support, in sync with the desired policy interventions of individual state governments.

Conclusion

In drafting the new Foreign Trade Policy, the office of the DGFT must ensure alignment with globally acceptable policy norms, introduce policy measures for addressing the operational problems faced by the trade community, fine-tune the existing policies to match contemporary business requirements, and take into account India’s macroeconomic policy framework.

At the same time, policy initiatives must be aimed at creating synergy within the overall policy framework as well as with the prevailing global economic and trade landscape.

 

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

6. There exist serious concerns about unsafe handling of used electronics and e-waste, in developing countries, that results in harm to human health and the environment. Analyse to what extent e-waste management rules, 2016 help in safe handling and disposing of e-wate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question: 

The Brussels-based non-profit gave some shocking statistics about the rising tide of e-waste. This year’s WEEE(waste electronic and electrical equipment ) will total about 57.4 million tonnes (MT). This will be greater than the weight of the Great Wall of China, Earth’s heaviest artificial object.

Key Demand of the question: 

To mention the cause for the exponential growth of e waste across the world and effective measures to check it.

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: 

Begin by giving few facts regarding the rising number of e waste production every year.

Body:

Firstly, highlight the various factors leading to high amount of e waste generation such as low product life cycle, technology getting redundant very quickly, low opportunities for repairs and recycles etc and impact of this on developing countries like India wand environment.

Next, suggest various measures to control and minimise the cause of e waste production, highlight some of the provisions of e waste management rules,2016 and also the benefits of recycling e waste.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the need for a quick and effective approach by the government highlighting the fact that recycling is a great way to extract precious metals and also curb burning of hazardous materials in the landfills.

Introduction

The Union environment ministry in March 2016 had notified the E-Waste Management Rules 2016 replacing the 2011 version. With this, the Indian government has taken a key step to combat this most lethal form of pollution from electronic devices.

Electronic waste is discarded electronic or electrical equipment and devices. Used electronics that are intended for reuse, salvage, resale, disposal, or recycling are also referred to as e-waste.

Body

Background

  • According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generated more than 10 lakh tonnes of e-waste in 2019-20, an increase from 7 lakh tonnes in 2017-18. Against this, the e-waste dismantling capacity has not been increased from 82 lakh tonnes since 2017-18.
  • In 2018, the Ministry of Environment had told the tribunal that 95% of e-waste in India is recycled by the informal sector and scrap dealers unscientifically dispose of it by burning or dissolving it in acids.
  • India’s e-waste generation has risen nearly 43 per cent between FY18 and FY20.
  • The pandemic-induced increase in use of electronic devices is set to accentuate this problem in the near future.
  • Seelampur in Delhi is the largest e-waste dismantling centre of India. Adults as well as children spend 8–10 hours daily extracting reusable components and precious metals like copper, gold and various functional parts from the devices.

Factors leading to high amount of e-waste generation

  • Growth in the IT and communication sectors has enhanced the usage of the electronic equipment exponentially.
  • Faster upgradation of electronic product is forcing consumers to discard old electronic products very quickly, which, in turn, adds to e-waste to the solid waste stream.
  • The producers/manufacturers do not have adequate information on their website regarding e-waste management.
  • Customer care representatives do not have inkling about any take back or recycling programme and even if they have set up collection centres, they are simply not enough for a geographically vast country like India.
  • Improper enforcement of the existing laws is another hurdle.
    • Eg: The Cobalt-60 radiation tragedy at Mayapuri in Delhi in which one person lost his life and six persons were admitted to hospital served as a wakeup call drawing attention to the mounting quantity of hazardous waste including e-waste in the country while revealing systemic problems on the issue of waste disposal.
  • India being a vast country, setting up collection mechanism is a big challenge. If any of the brands try individually to reach out to all corners of the country, it will economically not be sustainable or feasible.

Measures to control and minimise the cause of e-waste production

  • Industry collaboration: The ASSOCHAM report (2017) suggests that the government may look at collaborating with the industry to draw out formal/standard operating procedures and a phased approach towards the agenda of reducing e-wastes to the lowest.
    • South Korea, one of the largest producers of electronics managed to recycle 21 per cent of the total 0.8 million tonnes of e-waste that it produced in 2015, said the study.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility: The government has implemented the E-waste (Management) Rules (2016) which enforces the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
    • Under EPR principle the producers have been made responsible to collect a certain percentage of E-waste generated from their goods once they have reached their “end-of-life”.
  • E-waste recycling business model: Just as green power entered electricity generation as a business, e-waste disposal can be a business: this has been demonstrated by companies like Attero.
    • The threat of generating e-waste should not diminish our national ambitions in digitising the country and e-enabling the citizens.
  • Separate Legislation: In order to tackle the issue of e-waste handling and management in an effective and meaningful manner, the government may consider the desirability of bringing a separate legislation on e-waste instead of handling it under the Environment Protection Act.
    • Such legislation may call for establishing a central authority or a central public sector undertaking having experts from IT field and other technical domains possessing knowledge of e-waste disposal, management and recycling techniques and its own e-waste collection centre/ recycling plants with state-of-art technologies, in all major cities of the country.

Conclusion

E-waste management is a great challenge for governments of many developing countries such as India. This is becoming a huge public health issue and is exponentially increasing by the day. In order to separately collect, effectively treat, and dispose of e-waste, as well as divert it from conventional landfills and open burning, it is essential to integrate the informal sector with the formal sector. The competent authorities in developing and transition countries need to establish mechanisms for handling and treatment of e-waste in a safe and sustainable manner.

Value Addition

E-waste management rules

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notified the E-Waste Management Rules, 2016 in supersession of the E-waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011.
  • Over 21 products (Schedule-I) were included under the purview of the rule. It included Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and other mercury containing lamps, as well as other such equipment.
  • For the first time, the rules brought the producers under Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), along with targets. Producers have been made responsible for the collection of E-waste and for its exchange.
  • Various producers can have a separate Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) and ensure collection of E-waste, as well as its disposal in an environmentally sound manner.
  • Deposit Refund Scheme has been introduced as an additional economic instrument wherein the producer charges an additional amount as a deposit at the time of sale of the electrical and electronic equipment and returns it to the consumer along with interest when the end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment is returned.
  • The role of State Governments has been also introduced to ensure safety, health and skill development of the workers involved in dismantling and recycling operations.
  • A provision of penalty for violation of rules has also been introduced.
  • Urban Local Bodies (Municipal Committee/Council/Corporation) have been assigned the duty to collect and channelize the orphan products to authorized dismantlers or recyclers.
  • Allocation of proper space to existing and upcoming industrial units for e-waste dismantling and recycling.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic:  Case Study

7. You are transferred to Food and Civil Supplies department of Mirzapur as the Assistant Director. Before you report, you make a call to a college friend of yours who is a local news reporter to enquire about the affairs of the district. He tells you that, corruption is rampant across the administration including the Food and Civil Supplies Department. Not only that, those officers who do not fall in line are coerced to give in by force by local politicians and their goons.

As you report, you see that many of trucks carrying grains to be distributed as PDS are being diverted to the black market for rebranding and selling at higher prices. You immediately swing in to action and stop the trucks for inspection and you ascertain that indeed they were being diverted for the black market. You ask the local station to book a case but the SHO refuses citing political pressure. But irrespective of that you do not allow the trucks to move and seize them for the time being.

Next day you are visited by Mr Munna Tripathi, who is the son of the local MLA. He offers you a hefty bribe which you out rightly refuse. Upon refusing he threatens you with dire consequences if the trucks are not allowed to leave within the next 24 hours.

What are the options in front of you? Analyze the pros and cons of the each. Which option will you choose? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In brief, mention the facts of the case and the major ethical issues involved along with the stakeholders.

Body:

Give the alternatives which you can take as the course of action. Evaluate their pros and cons.

Some alternatives would be to accept the offer, go on a vacation, take action against the son of the MLA, call up superiors and wait for their instructions.

Select the best alternative which solves the issue and is ethically justified. Give solutions for any cons that arise from the possible solution.

Conclusion:

Stress on the importance of fortitude in Civil Servants especially in the light of the above case.

Introduction

Above case is a classic example of a situation where I’m Food and Civil Supplies department of Mirzapur, Assistant Director struck with a dilemma whether to accept bribe and promote corruption or not accept bribe and promote honesty

Body:

  • Some alternatives would be:
  • To accept the offer:
    • Cons: If I accept the offer and take bribe then I may promote corruption. This may lead to lack of spirit of work and dedication to work. “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.” Said by John Steinbeck which signifies the corruption is because of lack of courage and fortitude.
  • Go on a vacation:
    • Cons: This option may lead to delegation of work and signifies lack of trustworthiness, inefficiency, spirit of service and so on. Which is detrimental to the developing and fast emerging country like India
  • Take action against the son of the MLA and SHO
    • Pros: I may promote Constitutional morality and show courage and fortitude in the situation
    • Cons: Which will reduce the morality of the SHO and promote inefficiency in the department which is detrimental to the society and May increase the political pressure on me which may create a hindrance for dedication to work and may lead to moral erosion.
  • Call up superiors and wait for their instructions.
    • Pros: This action will be suitable because this will promote the coherence in the system, lead to obedience to duty, may promote goodwill among the department through hierarchy of the decision making. And promote uniformity of the enforcement of the laws.

Conclusion:

A civil servant needs fortitude to stand up for their principles and withstand immoral or illegal pressures. Apart from it, civil servants have to not only ensure the equality and dignity of individual citizens but also actively encourage their participation in the process of governance.


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