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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 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: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. Discuss the development of pressure belts and their distribution over the globe. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

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 write about factors affecting horizontal movement of air, causes behind pressure belts and their distribution.

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: 

Define pressures belts.

Body:

First, draw a neat labelled diagram showing the global distribution of various pressure belts and explain each belt in detail.

Next, explain the factors that lead to the development of pressures belts – Atmospheric Pressure Gradient, Coriolis Effect, Frictional Force etc, Earth’s revolution, Seasonal variations.

Conclusion:

Write about the significance of pressure belts.

Introduction

The distribution of atmospheric pressure across the latitudes is termed global horizontal distribution of pressure. Its main feature is its zonal character known as pressure belts. All air movements have their roots in pressure differentials in the atmosphere, called pressure gradients. Systematic differences in the Earth’s land temperature affect air pressure, and significant patterns of pressure that persist over time are called pressure belts, or wind belts. Wind belts depend on temperature, so temperature changes can move the belts and also change wind patterns.

Body

The horizontal distribution of air pressure across the latitudes is characterized by high or low-pressure belts. These pressure belts are:

 

  • Equatorial Low-Pressure Belts
    • This low-pressure belt extends from 0 to 5° North and South of Equator.
    • Due to the vertical rays of the sun here, there is intense heating.
    • The air, therefore, expands and rises as convection current causing low pressure to develop here.
    • This low-pressure belt is also called as doldrums because it is a zone of total calm without any breeze.
  • Subtropical High-Pressure Belts
    • At about 30°North and South of Equator lies the area where the ascending equatorial air currents descend.
    • This area is thus an area of high pressure. It is also called as the Horse latitude. Winds always blow from high pressure to low pressure.
    • So, the winds from subtropical region blow towards the Equator as Trade winds and another wind blow towards Sub-Polar Low-Pressure as Westerlies.
  • Circum-Polar Low-Pressure Belts
    • These belts located between 60° and 70° in each hemisphere are known as Circum-Polar Low-Pressure Belts.
    • In the Subtropical region, the descending air gets divided into two parts.
    • One-part blows towards the Equatorial Low-Pressure Belt. The other part blows towards the Circum-Polar Low-Pressure Belt.
    • This zone is marked by the ascent of warm Subtropical air over cold polar air blowing from poles. Due to the earth’s rotation, the winds surrounding the Polar region blow towards the Equator.
    • Centrifugal forces operating in this region create the low-pressure belt appropriately called the Circumpolar Low-Pressure Belt.
    • This region is marked by violent storms in winter.
  • Polar High-Pressure Areas
    • At the North and South Poles, between 70° to 90° North and South, the temperatures are always extremely low.
    • The cold descending air gives rise to high pressures over the Poles. These areas of Polar high pressure are known as the Polar Highs.
    • These regions are characterized by permanent Ice Caps.

The development of pressure belts:

  • Thermal Factors
    • When air is heated, it expands and, hence, its density decreases. This naturally leads to low pressure.
    • On the contrary, cooling results in contraction. This increases the density and thus leads to high pressure.
    • Formation of equatorial low and polar highs are examples of thermal lows and thermal highs, respectively.
  • Dynamic Factors
    • Apart from variations of temperature, the formation of pressure belts may be explained by dynamic controls arising out of pressure gradient forces and rotation of the earth (Coriolis force).

Conclusion

The shifting of the pressure belts causes seasonal changes in the climate, especially between latitudes 30° and 40° in both hemispheres. The Monsoon climate is the result of the shifting of pressure and wind belts.

 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2. Though Local winds occur on a small spatial scale and are short-lived, local winds can have profound impact on the livelihood of the region. Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

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 write about impact of local winds on livelihood of the people in the region they flow.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by writing about the nature of local winds and their features.

Body:

First, write the major local winds witnessed across the globe and causes for it.

Next, write their impact of livelihood of the people – positive impact – influencing climate, agriculture etc. Cite examples for the same.

Next, write the negative impact of the local winds – destruction of crops, extreme conditions. Cite examples for the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning ways to adapt to the negative impacts.

Introduction

Local winds occur on a small spatial scale, their horizontal dimensions typically several tens to a few hundreds of kilometres. They also tend to be short-lived lasting typically several hours to a day. There are many such winds around the world, some of them cold, some warm, some wet, some dry. There are many hazards associated with the winds.

However, it is important to remember that some of the local winds can have very large dimensions like, Northers of North America, which originate in Arctic Canada and reach as south as the Gulf of Mexico.

Body:

Types and Impact of local winds on the weather:

Periodical winds: The winds originating from diurnal temperature and pressure variation are known as Periodical and they generally complete their cycle in a day/ 24 hour like Land & Sea Breeze and Mountain & Valley Breeze.

Land and Sea Breeze: Land and Sea Breeze is generated by the diurnal variation of pressure. Due to this reason, the Land and Sea Breeze are sometimes known as diurnal Monsoon.

Land Breeze:

  • At night reversal of sea breeze may occur but with somewhat weaker characteristics as the temperature and pressure gradient are less steeper during the night.
  • During night land breeze is established since land cools to a temperature lower than the adjacent water setting up a pressure gradient from land to sea
  • The horizontal and vertical extent of the Land Breeze helps in moderation of temperature of a coastal area during night-time as it maintains regular circulation
  • Land Breeze usually attains its maximum intensity in the early morning hours and dies out soon after sunup.

 

Sea Breeze:

  • The sea breeze develops along seacoasts or large inland water bodies when the land heats much faster than the water on a clear day and a pressure gradient is directed high over the water to low over the land.
  • Impact of Sea breeze rapidly declines landward and impact is limited to 50km.
  • Land- Sea Breeze system is very shallow as the average depth of the land and sea breeze, varies from 1000-2000M in tropical regions and over the lakes, the depth is even lesser.
  • Sea Breeze brings cool marine air and thus help in moderation of coastal temperature and due to the sea breeze, coastal regions record a drop of 5-10 0C in their temperature
  • It also frequently causes late afternoon rainfall in these coastal areas, particularly during summer.
  • Due to the location nearer to the lakes, places experience the Lake Effect like Chicago, due to its location near a lake presents a typical example of lake effect- where lakeside areas are cooler than the much warmer outlying areas in the summer.

Mountain and Valley Breeze: These winds develop over areas with large differences in relief and majorly caused by the temperature gradient that exists between Mountain Slopes and valleys.

Valley Breeze:

  • Due to the intense insolation during the daytime, the slopes of the mountain heat up rapidly but the free atmosphere above the lowlands is not heated to some extent.
  • As the valleys receive comparatively lesser insolation so relatively high pressure sets up in the valleys while along the mountain slopes due to more heating the warm air is uplifted, and low pressure sets up.
  • Thus, the air moves from the Valleys towards the slopes (High pressure to the low pressure) and this upslope movement of air is known as valley breeze.
  • Valley breezes are also known as Anabatic Wind.
  • Weather associated with the Valley Breeze
  • This type of upslope winds in the Mountainous region may cause occasional and afternoon thundershowers on warm and humid days.
  • Sometimes, the valley breezes are also accompanied by the formation of cumulus cloud near mountain peaks or over slopes and escarpments.

Mountain Breeze:

  • On mountainsides under the clear night sky, the higher land (upslope land) radiates heat and is cooled and in turn cools the air in contact with it. The cool denser air flows down the mountain slope due to the pressure difference since the valley is warmer and at relatively lower pressure.
  • This flow of the air is termed as Mountain Breeze and they are also known as Katabatic wind.
  • Weather associated with the Mountain Breeze
  • By the morning the mountain breeze produces temperature inversions and valley bottom becomes colder than the Mountain Slopes.
  • Thus, the valley floors are characterised by frost during the night while upper part/ hillside are free from frost in cold areas.

Non-Periodical winds: Only present during a season and are classified as Hot and Cold Winds.

Hot Local Winds: Hot Local winds are produced generally by the mechanism of downslope compressional heating also known as adiabatic heating. The examples of the Hot Local Winds include Chinook, Harmattan, Foehn, Sirocco, Norwester, Brickfielder, Khamsin, Santa Ana, Loo etc.

  • Chinook:
    • These are warm and dry winds blowing on the eastern slopes (leeward side) of the Rocky Mountain. They are the result of adiabatic heating which occurs due to downslope compression on the leeward side, as the mountain barrier creates frictional drag which tends to pull the air from the higher level down on the leeward and air forced down is heated adiabatically and at the same time its relative humidity is also lowered.
    • The temperature in Chinook is so warm that it can remove the underlying snow cover/ice and sometimes these winds are so dry that in spite of their below freezing temperatures the entire snow cover on the ground disappears, by process of sublimation. Thus, these winds are also known as Chinook, which literally means ‘Snow Eater’.
    • Ordinarily, a Chinook wind is accompanied by the cyclonic activity which produces Cloud and precipitation on the windward side of the Rocky Mountain Range.
    • The latent heat released into the air through the condensation process warms the air and which passes across the mountain range and since the air has lost its moisture it becomes drier.
    • During winter Great Plain of North America are very cold and frozen, Chinook with its arrival increase the temperature and bring relief to the people and at the same time, the rise in temperature due to Chinook also helps in early sowing of spring wheat in the USA.
  • Foehn:
    • Foehn is dry and warm wind resulting due to adiabatic heating on the leeward side of the Mountain range.
    • These winds are more common on the northern side of Alps in Switzerland and with the arrival of these winds, there is a rapid rise in temperature.
    • The low relative humidity and high temperature are due to the adiabatic heating of the down-slope winds
    • The Foehn winds are present throughout the winter and due to the presence of such winds the temperature increases, and valleys of Switzerland are called ‘Climatic Oasis’ during the winter season
  • Harmattan:
    • These hot and dry wind originate from the Sahara Desert and blow towards the Guinea coast of Africa.
    • Due to their journey over the Sahara Desert, these winds become extremely dry and as they pass over the Sahara Desert, they pick up more sand especially red sand and turn dusty.
    • As these winds arrive in the western coast of Africa, the weather, which is warm and moist before its arrival, turns into pleasant dry weather with low relative humidity, thus bringing great relief to the people. Due to this reason, they are also known as “doctor” winds in the Guinea coast area of Western Africa
  • Loo:
    • It originates from the Thar desert and has north-westerly to a westerly direction.
    • They dominate during early summer in the months of March to May and create heat waves like condition in Northern India and adjoining parts.
    • They have desiccating effects and are considered as environmental hazards.

Cold Local Winds: Cold local winds are dust-laden winds and as they have a temperature below freezing point, they create Cold Wave condition. The examples of Cold Local winds include-Mistral, Bora, Northers, Blizzard, Purga, Laventer, Pampero, Bise etc.

  • Mistral:
    • It is a cold and dry wind which blows in the Spain and France from North-west to South-East direction, mostly occur during winter months.
    • Due to the presence of the Rhome River, these winds are channelized into the Rhome valley due to which they become extremely cold.
    • As they pass through the narrow Rhome Valley, they turn into stormy northerly cold winds
    • Such stormy cold northerly winds cause a sudden drop in temperature to below freezing point.
  • Bora:
    • These are cold and dry north-easterly winds which blow from the mountains towards the eastern shore of Adriatic Sea.
    • Bora is more effective in North Italy since here it descends the southern slopes of the Alps, although due to descend it gets adiabatically heated still its temperature is very low in comparison to the coastal area and these are the typical example of fall winds.
    • Bora has often associated with the passage of a temperate Cyclone and at times the Bora winds themselves attain the hurricane force at the foot of the mountain and may cause disastrous impacts on properties.
  • Blizzard:
    • Blizzard is cold, violent, powdery polar winds (pick dry snow from the ground)
    • They are prevalent in the north and south polar regions, Canada, USA, Siberia etc. Due to the absence of any east-west Mountain barrier, these winds reach to the southern states of USA.

Conclusion

Local differences of temperature and pressure produce local winds. Such winds are local in extent and are confined to the lowest levels of the troposphere.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission reiterates the need for a smart Healthcare infrastructure for a robust healthcare system. Discuss the lacunae in the present healthcare system and how technology can be augmented to create a robust system (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The HinduIndian Express

Why the question:

Prime Minister launched the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission for strengthening healthcare infrastructure.

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the gaps in the present healthcare system and role of digital technology in strengthening the same.

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 some of the features of Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.

Body:

First, mention the gaps in the present healthcare system such as lack of well-equipped primary as well as critical care units both in urban and rural areas, manpower issues, lack of diagnostic laboratories, large population, high out of pocket expenditure etc.

Next, bring out the role of digital technology to address the above issues such as teleconsultation, digital health records, digital training of frontline workers etc

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that health system forms the backbone of any nation and given the population and challenges of healthcare systems in India, it is essential to augment the best of digital technology.

Introduction

The Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission touted as “India’s largest scheme to scale-up health infrastructure” was launched by Prime Minister recently. It is aimed at ensuring a robust public health infrastructure in both urban and rural areas, capable of responding to public health emergencies or disease outbreak.

Body

Lacunae in present healthcare system

  • A study (‘State of Democracy in South Asia (SDSA)–Round 3’) by Lokniti-CSDSin 2019 highlighted how access to public health care remained elusive to those living on the margins.
  • The study found that 70 per cent of the locations have public healthcare services. However, availability was less in rural areas (65 per cent) compared to urban areas (87 per cent).
  • Given the country’s crumbling public healthcare infrastructure, most patients are forced to go to private clinics and hospitals.
  • Over 70 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure is accounted for by the private sector.
  • According to the latest National Health Accounts (NHA) estimatesreleased in March 2021, patients bear a big chunk of health expenses, as high as 61 per cent of the total health expenditure, by themselves.
  • Even the poor are forced to opt for private healthcare, and, hence, pay from their own pockets. As a result, an estimated 63 million people fall into poverty due to health expenditure, annually.
  • There is a massive shortage of medical staff, infrastructure and last mile connectivity in rural areas. g.: Doctor: Population 1:1800 and 78% doctors cater to urban India (population of 30%).
  • India’s expenditure on the healthsector has risen meagrely from 1.2 per cent of the GDP in 2013-14 to4 per cent in 2017-18. The National Health Policy 2017 had aimed for this to be 5% of GDP.
  • India has one of the lowest per capita healthcare expenditures in the world. Government contribution to insurance stands at roughly 32 percent, as opposed to 83.5 percent in the UK.

Technology can augment to build a robust healthcare system

  • Digital health technology is increasingly popular around the world, perhaps unsurprisingly, as around two-thirds of the world’s population owns a smartphone. But as the technologies grow in adoption, experts warn that it must be done thoughtfully, looking at the challenges of each region.
  • Digital health has the potential to help address problems such as distance and access, but still shares many of the underlying challenges faced by health system interventions in general, including poor management, insufficient training, infrastructural limitations, and poor access to equipment and supplies.
  • Electronic Health Record (EHR) and the ability to exchange health information electronically can help the providers to extend higher quality and safer care for patients
  • Diagnostic accuracy, reduced waiting times, better referral management and greater satisfaction with services.
  • SMS-based services, live telemedicine, and interactive voice response service (IVRS).
  • Help formation of technological solutions. Ex. Health Apps for vaccination reminders etc.
  • Digitisation will ensure that health history and status of all patients would always be available to all health institutions. Hence avoid repeated medical tests & reduce paperwork.
  • With growing incidence of drug resistance, access to patient’s information can be vital

Conclusion

For India to grow, healthcare as an engine of the economy needs to flourish. Given its technology talent pool, India has a lot to offer in the domain of health care technology and preventive health and predictive analytics. India needs to rapidly adapt, embrace and drive change if it wishes to stay relevant in the global healthcare order. We need to achieve a balance between technology and innovation and continue to deliver world-class care, while finding efficient ways to lower the cost of care.

Value addition

PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission

  • In a bid to increase accessibility, the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, an addition to the National Health Mission, will provide support to 17,788 rural Health and Wellness Centres in 10 ‘high focus’ states and establish 11,024 urban Health and Wellness Centres across the country.
  • The mission’s objective is to “fill critical gaps in public health infrastructure, especially in critical care facilities and primary care in both the urban and rural areas.”
  • It will ensure access to critical care services in all districts of the country with over five lakh population through ‘Exclusive Critical Care Hospital Blocks’.
  • The remaining districts will be covered through referral services.
  • Integrated public health labs will also be set up in all districts, giving people access to “a full range of diagnostic services” through a network of laboratories across the country.
  • The Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission also aims to establish an IT-enabled disease surveillance system through a network of surveillance laboratories at block, district, regional and national levels.

 

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. A more transparent Judiciary can lead to efficient and accountable judicial System. In the larger public interest, do you think the Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS) should be made accessible to public? Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: scroll.in

Why the question:

Over the last few years, various institutions studying the issue of government litigation, such as the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law & Justice, National Law School of India and Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy have all reported an inability to collect accurate information on the pendency of government litigation before Indian courts.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of transparency and ways to achieve in judicial matters.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about transparency and its importance in judicial proceedings.

Body:

In the first part, mention the various impediments and limitations to transparency in judicial proceedings. Link it as to how this becomes an inefficient and an obstacle to rule of law.

Next, write about Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS) – its features and functioning – analyse the pros and cons making LIMBS accessible to public.

Conclusion:

Comment as to whether LIMBS should be made accessible to public.

Introduction

Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS) is a web-based application created by the Department of Legal Affairs under the Ministry of Law and Justice. The idea is to make the legal data available at one single point and streamline the procedure of litigation matters conducted on behalf of Union of India. It is in line with Digital India to digitalise the details of court cases and bring various stakeholders on a single platform.

Body

Rationale behind LIMBS

  • LIMBS would help the government in achieving its objectives of “Minimum government, maximum governance”, “Digital India”, “Ease of doing business” and enhance the Transaction Capacity Governance of the government with an efficient legal framework for speedy resolution of disputes.
  • LIMBS reduces the huge expenditures involved in resolving the cases, saves time and makes the working of different departments under a ministry, efficient.
  • Once data are available in this form, several questions can be asked about the cases like the types of cases, financial implication etc
  • LIMBS is meant to improve the Union government’s handling of cases and would lead to some reduction of cases in courts.

Pros of making LIMBS accessible to public

  • A simple way to check the accuracy of the information available on LIMBS is to open up the entire database for public viewing so that citizens and academics can independently audit the working of LIMBS.
  • Not only is such transparency mandated by Section 4 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, which requires proactive disclosures of information by the government, but it would also be in line with the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy announced by the government many years ago.
  • Given that all the data in LIMBS pertains to litigation taking place in open courts, the data is most certainly not sensitive information.
  • The inexplicable and illegal decision of the Department of Legal Affairs to deny public access to LIMBS also means that academics attempting to understand the workings of the government through litigation data, are often required to build their own datasets from the judiciary’s websites.
  • This is a painful, time-consuming and expensive exercise because of the poor quality of judicial websites.
  • The transparency of the LIMBS database is not just a question of administrative efficiency but also a question of accountability of public funds spent on expensive government litigation.

Way forward

  • A multi-pronged approach needs to be adopted to tackle the issue of “government litigation”, depending on the kind of litigation.
  • A relook at the functioning of litigation-prone departments and formulating solutions unique to each department.
  • Robust internal dispute resolution mechanisms within each department as a means of addressing their grievances against the management.
  • The state must ensure that quasi-judicial authorities are judicially trained or create a separate class of judicial officers to discharge quasi-judicial functions.
  • Ministries and departments should conduct focused monitoring on pending cases particularly those pending for more than 10 years.
  • To further bring down pendency of cases in courts, both the Centre and states should withdraw “frivolous and ineffective cases”.
  • To discourage future litigations, the government should compulsorily introduce arbitration and mediation clauses in work contracts of its staff and public sector employees.
  • Learn from other countries like France who are following a model approach toward government ligation.
  • Data deficiency coupled with restricted access with regard to government litigation is a serious concern.
  • In addition to making the performance evaluation of panel counsels impossible, the lack of granular data on department-wise litigations makes it difficult to review the role of the courts in matters where the government is a party.
  • Given that government litigation is funded by the public exchequer the burden of disclosure should be even higher.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

5. India’s relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of our foreign policy and the foundation of our Act East Policy. Analyse the significance of India- ASEAN strategic partnership and its implications on India (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: New Indian Express

Why the question:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend virtually the annual ASEAN-India summit that will review the status of strategic partnership between the two sides and take stock of progress made in areas of trade and investment, post-COVID-19 economic recovery and connectivity.

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the role of strategic partnership with ASEAN and its mutual benefits for both sides.

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 mentioning the historic engagement of India-ASEAN relationship.

Body:

Bring out the importance of geographical proximity of the ASEAN countries and its strategic, security and economic implications to India. Also mention about the sociocultural dynamics, mobilisation of group level funds and promotion of domestic infrastructure projects based on few examples.

Next, write about the implications of the above on India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that a good relation with ASEAN nations is crucial for India, in order for India to look beyond its neighbours, in its global diplomatic journey.

Introduction

India’s relationship with ASEAN has emerged as a key cornerstone of our foreign policy. The relationship has evolved from the ‘Look East Policy’ enunciated in early 1990s, to Strategic Partnership in 2012. Since 2014, India is espousing ‘Act East Policy’ that has enhanced the partnership further.

ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership stands on a strong foundation of shared geographical, historical and civilizational ties. ASEAN is central to our Act East Policy and our wider vision of the Indo-Pacific. India and ASEAN will observe 30 years of their Dialogue Partnership in 2022.

Body

Significance of India- ASEAN strategic partnership and its implications on India

  • Economic Significance
    • 3 Cs–Culture, Connectivity and Commerce–will shape India’s ties with the ASEAN bloc.
    • Connecting India’s North-eastern states with ASEAN.
    • India is part of ASEAN led RCEP which aims to create the world’s largest free trade area with more than a third of the global GDP and commerce.
    • For the first time, bilateral trade between ASEAN and India has crossed US$ 80 billion mark.
    • Singapore has become India’s investment and trading hub in the East.
  • Security Significance
    • ASEAN occupies a central place in the security architecture of the Indo-Pacific region
    • Maritime cooperation in terms of connectivity, safety and security has gained high attention.
    • India and ASEAN can collaborate to combat terror financing, cyber security threats, tax evasions and many more.
    • India needs ASEAN support in achieving a rules-based regional security architecture.
  • Geo-Strategic Significance
    • Partnership with ASEAN nations might help India counter the growing presence of Beijing.
    • ASEAN is seen as the most successful regional organisation next only to the EU
    • To develop connectivity through water, ASEAN and India are working on the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project.
    • ASEAN-India cooperation in maritime domain is one of the key focus areas for growth and development of the Indo-Pacific region.

Enhancing India-Asean relation further

  • The recent loss of US market by the ASEAN nations can be compensated with the domestic demand in India which has been increasing with the rise of middle class in the country.
  • In terms of security challenges, both ASEAN and India are faced with grave vulnerabilities with regard to terrorism and it is in their common interest to work together to build peace and security in the region.
  • With the withdrawal of US troops from strategic locations in the region, ASEAN countries justifiably perceive India, with the largest Naval forces in the Indian Ocean and nuclear capabilities, a strategic partner to balance China’s growing power in the region.
  • While East Asia is on the verge of entering a phase of lower share of working age population India is entering a phase with a higher share of working age population which can prove to be a human resource base for East Asia.
  • Along with East Asian specialization in manufactures, India’s strength in services could result in a formidable strategic combination which may be mutually beneficial for both the sides.
  • India has welcomed the Indo-Pacific document by ASEAN and is pushing for early conclusion of code of conduct on South China Sea by ASEAN and China.

Conclusion

The region has become strategically important for India due to its growing importance in the world politics. And for India to be a regional power as it claims to be, continuing to enhance its relations with ASEAN in all spheres must be a priority.

Value addition

India-ASEAN relations

  • Free Trade Agreement:India signed an FTA in goods in 2009 and an FTA in services and investments in 2014 with ASEAN.
  • Apart from this, India has a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with various countries of the ASEAN region which has resulted in concessional trade and a rise in investments.
  • India’s investment in ASEAN during the same period has been more than $40 billion.
  • Trade between India and ASEANstood at $65.04 billion in 2015-16 and comprises 10.12 per cent of India’s total trade with the world.
  • Connectivity is another important issue of convergence, with India working toward formalizing its transit agreements and establishing better connectivity infrastructure with this region through land, water, and air, example- India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and the Kaladan Multimodal Project.
  • Security: ASEAN platform allows India to discuss non-traditional security issues in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) like piracy, illegal migration, and trafficking of drugs, arms, and human, maritime terrorism, etc. which can only be resolved on a multilateral level.
  • India has also scored several diplomatic successes at ARF,including maintaining ties after its nuclear test of 1998, isolating Pakistan during the Kargil War, and lobbying against Pakistan’s entry in the forum till 2002.
  • The aggressive rise of China, both economically and militarily, has caused suspicion among the countries in the region. This provides an opportunity to India which seeks to balance China and gain cooperation in the region.

 

Topic: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints;

6. To overcome import-dependency in pulses, adequate attention must be paid to structural issues as well as to undertake catalysing policy actions in India’s pulse economy. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

The government takes the usual market-regulatory steps every time there is a surge in prices of pulses — the primary source of protein for a majority of Indians. But shortfall in domestic production, the main reason behind the price rise, remains unaddressed.

Key Demand of the question:

To suggest steps to reduce import dependency of pulses.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving statistic about the import dependency of pulses.

Body:

First, write about the causes that leads to domestic shortfall in production. Lack of price stability and Volatility of pulse prices, lack of technological advancement, over dependence of irrigation, differences in procurement.

Next, write about the steps – structural and incentivising – that are needed in this regard.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward

Introduction

Pulses are the staple sources of protein for Indians and contribute significantly to their nutritional security. However, limited growth in domestic production, has led to India’s increased import dependence. While the domestic production of pulses has risen by 122 per cent between 1981 and 2020 — from 11.5 million tonnes to 25.57 million tonnes — the imports have risen by 1,622 per cent from 0.13 million tonnes to 2.2 million tonnes.

Body

 

Structural issues leading to import dependency of pulses

  • The sluggish performance of pulses production in the country has resulted in increasing deficit, on the one hand and depletion of foreign-currency reserves by soaring import bills, unpredictable price rise and lower net profit compared to competing crops, on the other hand.
  • The production of pulses in India has been caught in the vicious cycle of low and uncertain yields, low per hectare returns resulting in farmers’ least preference to grow pulses on irrigated and fertile parcel of land (farmers preferred to grow pulses on marginal lands with no use of production inputs), thereby leading to unstable and low yields.
  • Pulse production remains unattractive to Indian farmers because of the relatively low productivity of pulses coupled with preference and policy support to cereals particularly to wheat and rice.
  • The technological progress in these crops is slow compared to cereals and other cash crops due to hosts of factors.
  • These crops have to compete with the superior cereals and cash crops for resources, research and infrastructure.
  • Under this backdrop, the present paper tried to take stock of production, demand of pulses and their imports in India.
  • There exists a wide yield gap in all the pulse crops. The sluggish growth in pulses production in India is leading to lower net availability.
  • Thus, the increasing mismatch between production and consumption of pulses has resulted in larger imports of pulses in recent years.

Measures needed

  • There is ample scope for bringing pulses in newer areas such as rice fallows, tal (lake) areas, hill agriculture and in intercropping for remunerating cropping system.
  • An estimated additional 3.0 million hectare can be brought under such pulses cultivation across the country.
  • New research efforts should be initiated to achieve a breakthrough in the productivity.
  • Innovative ideas need to be implemented instead of conducting routine research and material evaluation.
  • Scientists to work for development of shorter duration, widely adaptable and biotic and abiotic stress resistant varieties to boost the production of pulses.
  • Modernization of pulse breeding programme, supporting genetic gains through transgenic technology, enhancing biological nitrogen fixation through development of super nodulating plant types and breeding short duration varieties for achieving self-sufficiency in pulses.
  • Extension workers and agriculture technology information centres should work more towards development and dissemination of newer technologies.
  • Development of shorter duration, widely adaptable and biotic and abiotic stress resistant varieties to boost the production of pulses.
  • The pulses production in the country has increased significantly in the last five years. We need to leverage this for supplying pulses through PDS to provide nutritional security to masses.

Conclusion

India needs to produce 40-50 lakh tonnes of additional pulses for meeting the domestic requirement and this can be possible only if we develop high yielding short duration, drought and insect-pest resistance varieties of pulses. The important role that pulses can play in sustainable crop production systems, in particular through their contribution to improved soil fertility and to agro-biodiversity along with providing a balanced and healthy diet as evidenced by their use by the World Food Programme and other food aid initiatives makes it a naturally optimal choice.

Value addition

Pulses occupy an important place in Indian agriculture. They provide protein and fibre and are a great source of vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium. In India, pulses are grown over an area of 2.38 crore hectares with a total production of 1.86 crore tonnes. The average yield of pulses in India is about 735 kg/hectare. Pulses are generally grown in irrigated as well as rainfed area and belong to Leguminosae family. Madhya Pradesh is the leading state in India in pulses, in terms of cultivated area and productivity.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance;

7. What are the ways to build and maintain a culture of accountability in government organisations?  (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about ways to build and maintain a culture of accountability in government organisations

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining accountability.

Body:

With relevant examples elaborate on how an culture of accountability can be instilled – citizen charters, RTI, Reward & Recognition, Autonomy & Trust, Feedback & Coaching, communication etc.

Conclusion:

Complete the answer writing about the link between accountability and efficiency.

Introduction

Accountability in ethics is taking ownership for outcomes (successes or failures) while addressing performance issues fairly and promptly. The ability of citizens to demand accountability and more open government is fundamental to good governance. Ethics and accountability are important elements for modern government as in majority of the countries, there is a severe crisis of legitimacy.

Body

Ways to build and maintain a culture of accountability in government organisations

To Ensure effective accountability, the following steps can be taken

  • Protection of whistle-blowers through legislation.
  • Mechanisms like social audit in MGNREGA, Gram Sabha involves people in decision making process. This ensures accountability as well as equality principle as decision making is not left in the hands of few people.

 

  • E-Governance initiatives for providing an accountable administration include a framework for efficient handling of public grievances through the Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) which is already in place.
  • Encouraging Citizens’ Participation through RTI in local languages.
  • Citizen’s Charter can be used for improving the delivery of goods and services provided by the Government.
  • Lokpal and Lokayuktas being independent investigation agencies can make an impartial enquiry on corruption related offences across all public organizations.
  • Promoting Competition and discouraging monopolistic attitude among the public service sectors
  • System of checks and balance makes sure there is no concentration of power and each organ accountable for their actions. Thus, governance is carried in the interests of people. Ex: Judiciary through Review power(A-32) strikes down laws which are inconsistent with constitutional values

Conclusion

Accountability is intended to make public officials answerable for their behaviour and responsive to the entity from which they derive their authority. Accountability also indicates establishing criteria to measure the performance of public officials, as well as oversight mechanisms to ensure that standards are met.

Value addition

Importance of Accountability in Good Governance:

  • Accountability ensures rule of law and respect for institutions.
  • It ensures transparency in operations by having checks and balances and time-bound service delivery.
  • It ensures commitment to promises, manifestos and citizen’s charters.
  • It empowers citizens and aids their development through citizen-centric policies.
  • It ensures judicious use of public funds and resources and hence, infuses the efficiency in governance.
  • It reduces corruption and builds trust among the governors and the governed.
  • Ensures that the grass roots level problems are effectively addressed.
  • Improves last mile outreach and helps bring in a change in attitude of bureaucracy.

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