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[Mission 2022] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 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. Distinguishing between a tropical and extra tropical cyclone, explain the conditions that are favourable for the formation of a tropical cyclone? (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 in detail the tropical cyclones as a concept, their features and the factors contributing in formation of tropical cyclones and differentiate them from extra-tropical cyclones.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Define a tropical cyclone.

Body:

First, write about the features of tropical cyclone and factors contributing in formation of cyclones

Next, difference between tropical and extra tropical cyclones

Substantiate the above aspects with relevant diagrammatic demonstrations and give recent examples of cyclonic activities.

Conclusion:

Stress upon the timely dissemination of warning of cyclones and increasing preparedness of disaster management authorities.

Introduction

Tropical Cyclone is any large system of winds that circulates about a centre of low atmospheric pressure in a counter-clockwise direction north of the Equator and in a clockwise direction to the south. Cyclonic winds move across nearly all regions of the Earth except the equatorial belt and are generally associated with rain or snow. Extratropical cyclones are also called wave cyclone or mid-latitude cyclone or temperate cyclones. The systems developing in the mid and high latitude, beyond the tropics are called the middle latitude or extra tropical cyclones.

Body

Differences between tropical and Extra-tropical cyclones

  • Winds:
    • Unlike tropical (warm core) storms, winds are not as concentrated near the center of the storm, but can spread out for hundreds of miles from it.
  • Direction
    • The extratropical cyclones move from west to east but tropical cyclones, move from east to west.
  • Precipitation:
    • The extratropical cyclones have a clear frontal system which is not present in the tropical cyclones.
    • It is in a cold core (non-tropical cyclone) can also spread far away from the center of the storm. Most mid-latitude storms are cold core including nor’easters.
    • The precipitation is more intense in tropical cyclone than non-tropical cyclone.
    • Also, precipitation in tropical cyclones are localized while in case of non-tropical cyclone the precipitation is widespread.
  • Shape:
    • Tropical cyclones are nearly symmetric in shape and are without fronts. Mid-latitude (cold core) cyclones are comma shaped and have fronts associated with them.
  • Impact
    • Extratropical cyclones cover a larger area and can originate over the land and sea. Whereas the tropical cyclones originate only over the seas and on reaching the land they dissipate.
    • The extratropical cyclone affects a much larger area as compared to the tropical cyclone. The wind velocity in a tropical cyclone is much higher and it is more destructive.
  • Transition:
    • Hurricanes and tropical storms often transition to cold core cyclones, meaning that it has technically lost many of its tropical characteristics and is more closely related to a mid-latitude (non-tropical) storm.
    • The transition often occurs when a tropical cyclone moves to higher latitudes and interacts with atmospheric features that are more common there.
  • Troughs:
    • Tropical cyclones don’t form troughs whereas non-tropical cyclones form troughs in upper level of atmosphere.

Process and conditions favourable for Cyclone Formation

  • Large sea surface with temperature higher than 27° C
  • Presence of the Coriolis force enough to create a cyclonic vortex:
    • The Coriolis force is zero at the equator (no cyclones at equator because of zero Coriolis Force) but it increases with latitude. Coriolis force at 5° latitude is significant enough to create a storm [cyclonic vortex].
    • About 65 per cent of cyclonic activity occurs between 10° and 20° latitude.
    • Small variations in the vertical wind speed
    • A pre-existing weak low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation
  • Humidity Factor:
    • High humidity (around 50 to 60 per cent) is required in the mid-troposphere, since the presence of moist air leads to the formation of cumulonimbus cloud.
    • Such conditions exist over the equatorial doldrums, especially in western margins of oceans (this is because of east to west movement of ocean currents), which have great moisture, carrying capacity because the trade winds continuously replace the saturated air.
  • Upper divergence above the sea level system:
    • A well – developed divergence in the upper layers of the atmosphere is necessary so that the rising air currents within the cyclone continue to be pumped out and a low pressure maintained at the center.
  • Low-level Disturbances:
    • Low-level disturbance in the form of easterly wave disturbances in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) should pre-­exist.
  • Temperature contrast between air masses:
    • Trade winds from both the hemispheres meet along inter-tropical front. Temperature contrasts between these air masses must exist when the ITCZ is farthest, from the equator.
    • Thus, the convergence of these air masses of different temperatures and the resulting instability are the prerequisites for the origin and growth of violent tropical storms.
  • Wind Shear:
    • It is the differences between wind speeds at different heights
    • Tropical cyclones develop when the wind is uniform.
    • Because of weak vertical wind shear, cyclone formation processes are limited to latitude equator ward of the subtropical jet stream.
    • In the temperate regions, wind shear is high due to westerlies and this inhibits convective cyclone formation.

Conclusion

Despite the differences both these cyclones are destructive in nature and cause irreparable damage to life and property.

 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2. Compare and contrast summer anticyclones and winter anticyclones. What is the impact of an anticyclone on the weather? (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 differences between summer anticyclones and winter anticyclones as well as the impact of an anticyclone on the weather.

Directive word: 

Compare and contrast – provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Define anticyclone.

Body:

In the first part, write about the various differences between summer anticyclones and winter anticyclones with respect to – cloud formation, temperature, wind, condensation, impact on air and sea.

 Next, write about the impact of anticyclone on the weather of the region.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Anticyclones are the opposite of depressions – they are an area of high atmospheric pressure where the air is sinking. The sinking air spreads out when it reaches the ground, producing a divergence at the surface.

Body

Aloft, air rushes in to fill the void, creating a convergence aloft. Anticyclones, or highs, are also referred to as blocking highs because they tend to force areas of low pressure to travel around them.

For example: a hurricane (tropical cyclone) that encounters an area of high pressure will be deflected around the cyclone. Blocking highs have spared the East Coast of the United States from many hurricane strikes, pushing them out over the Atlantic Ocean.

The evolution of an anticyclone depends upon variables such as its size, intensity, and extent of moist convection, as well as the Coriolis force.

Characteristics of Summer AnticyclonesCharacteristics of Winter Anticyclones
Few or no clouds. Strong sunshine will make it hot.Cloudless Skies
Light windsTemperature drop, making the days cold and the nights even colder due to lack of cloud cover
Cooling of ground leading to morning mistFog and Frost forming at night
Warm moist air rising from the ground forming thunderstormsClod air from Asia bringing snow to the east of UK
Cloud cover over eastern England caused by light winds blowing over the cooler North Sea 

Impact of Anticyclones on weather

  • In general, anticyclones are associated with fair weather. As the air sinks, it warms and dries. This produces clear skies and increases the air’s ability to transmit radiant energy.
  • High pressure systems have small pressure gradients (i.e. the air pressure doesn’t change rapidly).  This means that the winds are gentle. As the air sinks, it warms up, leading to warm and dry weather.
  • In the summer, this means high temperatures due to solar heating of the surface.
  • During the winter, this means low temperatures due to the radiation of heat from the surface into space.
  • Anticyclones often block the path of depressions, either slowing down the bad weather, or forcing it round the outside of the high pressure system. They are then called ‘Blocking Highs’.
  • Anticyclones are much larger than depressions and produce periods of settled and calm weather lasting many days or weeks.
  • As air descends, air pressure increases. When air hits the ground, it has to go somewhere. The earth’s rotation makes the air change direction. In the Northern Hemisphere the air is pushed clockwise. In the Southern Hemisphere the air is pushed anticlockwise.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. A national water policy for the twenty-first century has to recognise water as a national resource and enable the management of water in a decentralised way in partnership between local communities and the concerned state governments. Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The Ministry of Jal Shakti had set up a committee to draft the new National Water Policy (NWP). This was the first time that the government asked a committee of independent experts to draft the policy.

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the role of centre, state and local bodies in the National Water Policy.

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 giving some facts regarding the issues surrounding water management in India.

Body:

Mention by stating the need for a sound National Water Policy to minimise the negative impacts of the overuse and misuse of water and to ensure that our precious water resources are used optimally.

Next, highlight the role of water in removing poverty, promoting overall economic and social development of the country. Bring out the need for a robust co-ordination setup between the local governments and the states primarily to manage local water needs and issues and the centre to take the role of a facilitator.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the importance of decentralised approach to water management.

Introduction

India is the country with 18% of global population, 15% of the global livestock and yet, it has only 2.4% of the world area and 4% of the world’s freshwater reserves. Therefore, conservation of water and its judicious use is critical for maintaining the sustainability of water for future generations.

Body

Need for Water Policy

  • Drought: According to media reports, 42% of the total areaof the country is drought-prone. This is complicated by the agricultural-dependent economy of India. The occurrence of drought in a region leads to a fall in agricultural output, thereby decreasing the rural demand. Considering that almost two-thirds of India resides in rural areas, this decrease in demand has the potential to disrupt the economic indicators of the country.
  • DesertificationHeavy use of chemicalsunder the garb of pesticides, weedicides and fertilizers has led to degradation in the quality of soil as well as an increase in desertification in India. Approx. 30% of the total area in India is undergoing desertification and is water-stressed. This needs urgent attention from the government of India, as India is already stressed by the increasing population (18% of the global population) in a limited area (2.4% of the global area).
  • Inequitable Access to Water:The wide availability of water purification systems in India is a double-edged sword. Though it has decreased the prevalence of water-borne diseases in the country, yet it has increased inequality, as a significant proportion of the population does not have the necessary income to buy such stand-alone systems, thereby exacerbating water inequality in the country.
  • Dependence of Food Security on Monsoon:Despite impressive strides in irrigation coverage under multiple schemes like the PM Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, almost 51% of the total agricultural area in India is still rainfed. This does not bode well for a country, where the primary source of irrigation is the monsoon. Therefore, any monsoon-deficit year leads to a decrease in food grain production, compromising the food security in the country.
  • Anthropometric failure:Unavailability of water creates a stress scenario for a country like India which has seen a significant proportion of its population fall below the poverty levels due to the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lesser water supply leads to a decrease in the agricultural output and supply of food grains in the market. This leads to a rise in prices and affects the growth prospects of the country, affecting the poor disproportionately as food expenditure comprises a major drain on their already meagre resources.
  • Unsustainable usage:India is the largest user of groundwater in the world. This has contributed a lot to the green revolution, making India self-dependent in food production. However, in the long term, unsustainable groundwater usage can be a potential crisis. It can contribute to lowering of water table and unavailability of water for household and agricultural usage.
  • Urban Drought:It refers to the decrease in the availability of water in urban areas because of high demand, on the one hand, and increase in the pollution of water bodies, on the other hand. Urban drought may exacerbate the existing water stress due to the following reasons:
    • Expensive: A supply system from faraway places requires huge initial capital investment. At the same time, the maintenanceof such a supply needs investment in human resources as well as logistical costs for covering the whole extent of the supply system.
    • Inequitable: Apart from that, the long-distance supply system tries to cover up a deficit in a region by transferring water from a surplus region. In the long run, this may induce a deficitin the surplus region also, exacerbating the differences and leading to political costs.
  • Water Pollution:The use of various chemical inputs including fertilizers and pesticides has exacerbated the water crisis in India. The chemical-laden water enters the ecosystem in the form of run-off and seepage and leads to eutrophication in the water bodies and contamination in the groundwater.
  • Climate Change:Global warming has increased the concerns of water stress by inducing irregularity in the geographical phenomenon like El-Nino and La-Nina, as well as accelerating the meltdown of glaciers, leading to concerns about the future shortage of flow of water in the perennial Himalayan rivers.

Way Forward

  • Hydrological boundaries, rather than administrative or political boundaries, should be part of the water governance structure in the country.
  • Building consensusamong the States within the Constitutional framework is a pre-condition for making the changes.
  • Water conservation, along with water harvestingand judicious and multiple use of water, are key to tackling the water challenges that India faces.
  • Rejuvenation and revitalisation of traditional water bodiesand resources through the age-old conservation methods.
  • Need for disseminating modern water technologiesin an extensive fashion.
  • Relook basin and sub-basinplanning
  • Water policy should take in all recommendations and warning given by NITI Aayog
  • Batting for policy changes for giving incentive to crops using less water.
  • Participatory groundwater managementshould be promoted in a big way to maintain quality and sustainability.
  • Getting states on board will be a very important element.
    • In earlier water policies as well state water policies were fused into it.
    • Entire federal structure will be tested with the issue of water.
    • Process has to be dialogue driven, taking into sensitivity of the states as well and should not be imposed upon.

Conclusion

Sustainability and resilience should be the key words in the management of problems like water shortage or excessive water availability.

Value addition

Status of Water Stress in India

Ground Water: India has the dubious distinction of being the world’s largest user of groundwater by far, even as the water table has been falling by an average of 0.4 m nationally.
Reports from Bihar suggest that the water table there has fallen by several feet of late. Well, over half of the districts in the state are facing or expected to be facing severe groundwater over-exploitation.

Surface Water: One recent report mentions that over 70% of surface irrigation water is being simply wasted, nationally. Given suboptimal command area development and distribution of water in ill-maintained (and uncovered) canals, leads to the suboptimal utilization of water infrastructure and often results in heavy soil erosion and siltation.

Monsoon: A recent report by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) shows a ‘significant’ drop in rainfall in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal over the past three decades, and rising variability in the monsoons nationwide. Also, the hydrological conditions vary widely across regions. While some are drought-prone, others witness recurring floods.

 

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

4. The COVID-19 pandemic has again stressed on the importance of the role of parents in supporting the early learning of young children which is well captured in National Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) Curriculum framework. Discuss the need and benefits of the same. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

In a recent study by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, 45% of the 650+ households surveyed in urban Maharashtra reported that they prioritise their older child’s education over ECE.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about importance of ECCE in the overall development of Children.

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 that the three years of ECCE and early primary grades (Classes 1 and 2) are proposed as a continuum of learning and referred to as the foundational stage of school.

Body:

First, mention that ECCE should be based on the Child’s development context and varies with their background and therefore ECCE only gives a framework rather than a detailed step-by-step procedure.

Next, bring out the various benefits such as development of cognitive, motor skills and learning abilities of children exposed to early learning promoting school retentions in the later years of their lives.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that the present Anganwadi schools in rural areas and pre schools in urban areas  may be channelised to promote Early education in Children.

Introduction

According to UNICEF, early childhood is defined as the period from conception through eight years of age. Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is more than preparation for primary school. It aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. Target 4.2 of SDG 4 aims that by 2030, to ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education.

Body

Need for ECCE

  • Early childhood is a time of remarkable growth with brain development at its peak.
  • It is crucial to the overall development of children, with impacts on their learning and even earning capabilities throughout their lifetimes.
  • Over 85% of a child’s cumulative brain development occurs prior to the age of 6, indicating the critical importance of appropriate care and stimulation of the brain in a child’s early years for healthy brain development and growth.
  • In a recent study by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, 45% of the 650+ households surveyed in urban Maharashtra reported that they prioritise their older child’s education over ECE.
  • Studies have foundthat the act of making conversation with your child in the early years has significant gains on language skills they develop.
  • It is, therefore of the utmost importance that every child has access to quality early childhood care and education (ECCE).

Benefits of ECCE

  • The overall aim of ECCE will be to attain optimal outcomes in the domains of physical and motor development, cognitive development, socio-emotional-ethical development, cultural/artistic development, and the development of communication and early language, literacy, and numeracy.
  • It also includes a focus on developing social capacities, sensitivity, good behaviour, courtesy, ethics, personal and public cleanliness, teamwork and cooperation.
  • These years lay the foundations for her/ his learning and holistic development.
  • Children will be better prepared for primary school and will reach better education outcomes.
  • Quality ECCE also helps reduce repetition and drop-out rates.
  • Positive outcomes are even more pronounced among children from vulnerable groups.
  • It helps promote human resource development, gender equality and social cohesion, and to reduce the costs for later remedial programmes.
  • An overview of 56 studies across 23 countries found impacts on health, education, cognitive ability, and emotional development.

Way forward

  • For universal access to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), the Anganwadi Centres will be strengthened with high quality infrastructure, play equipment and well-trained Anganwadi workers/teachers.
  • Every Anganwadi must have a well-ventilated, well-designed, child-friendly and   well-constructed   building   with   an enriched   learning   Funds for this programme will be provided by the Central and State governments.
  • ECCE teacher trainingshould be added as a skill gap in the list of National Skill Development Corporation to ensure that easy investment is available to produce efficient ECCE teachers.
  • Universal access to quality early childhood educationis perhaps the best investment that India can make for our children’s and our nation’s future.
  • ECCE can also be introduced in Ashrams shalas in tribal-dominated areas in a phased manner.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

5. Metaverse is well and truly taking off and India must put in place policy and regulatory mechanisms to maximise benefits and minimise risks of the novel technology. Examine.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday outlined his vision for the future of the social media giant, formalising the company’s focus on the metaverse.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about technological and regulatory preparations that India must ensure for developments of new virtual environments like metaverse.

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 the answer by defining metaverse.

Body:

First, explain the concept of metaverse – a science fiction concept about to be turned into reality.

Next, Elaborate on the various components of the metaverse and its possible applications. Substantiate with examples.

Next, Analyse the areas that India needs to proactive prepare to reap maximum benefits while reducing the negative impacts. Infrastructure development, interoperability, Payments system, Preventing Cartelization by big companies, Security, Privacy and regulatory issues that must be put in place.

Conclusion:

End the answer with a way forward which summarises need to make most of the opportunity of technology of metaverse.

Introduction

The term “metaverse” is used to describe the vision whereby the internet will evolve into a virtual world. The idea was first conceptualised in 1992 by the American novelist Neal Stephenson in his science fiction classic, Snow Crash. It foresees the internet as a 3D virtual living space, where individuals dip in and out, interacting with one another in real time.

The metaverse is a form of mixed reality that is fast becoming commonplace in everyday tech products. The combination of augmented and virtual reality will not only introduce digital elements in the real world, but it will also merge Internet with the virtual world.

Body

Many in Silicon Valley, USA still view the metaverse as the future. For example, Google is heavily invested in augmented reality (AR), which is where you use technology to look at the real world but with digital 3D objects layered on top. But Facebook appears the most committed of all to this new vision. In his quest to turn Facebook into a metaverse company, Zuckerberg is seeking to build a system where people move between virtual reality (VR), AR and even 2D devices, using realistic avatars of themselves where appropriate.

Working of Metaverse:

  • Simply put, the metaverse is the next stage of the internet’s evolution that will allow us not just to access it, as we now do, but also immerse ourselves in it—in a shared virtual experience where everyone is simultaneously present.
  • It is the realization of virtual worlds like those described in science-fiction classics such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
  • But the metaverse is not just an immersive world you can escape to by putting on a virtual-reality headset.
  • When fully realized, it will be an entirely new way of interacting with the world around us, and could transform every aspect of our lives in much the same way as the mobile internet did.

Challenges posed by Metaverse:

  • The metaverse requires infrastructure that currently does not exist, and the current form of Internet is limited in its design to hold the digital space. The space will need a broader and more complex set of standards and protocols than traditional Internet. This means large technology companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook will need to prepare for cross integrating their systems.
  • Unlike the internet, which was built using patient capital, the metaverse will most likely be created by big tech companies, giving rise to concerns of walled gardens and cartelization.
  • That said, it is clear that if the metaverse is to become as ubiquitous as the internet, it needs to remain open so that everyone can participate in it.
  • The interoperable metaverse could also raise questions of data protection since industry-wide consensus on data security and persistence will be harder to establish.
  • One of the key features of the metaverse will be its ability to replicate the physical world within its virtual environment.
    • The creation of these mirror-worlds will call for mega-scans of our physical surroundings—enormous centimetre-resolution images of the physical world that we can render within the metaverse to faithfully recreate our physical environs in a virtual space.
  • The metaverse will need altogether new rules for censorship, control of communications, regulatory enforcement, tax reporting, the prevention of online radicalisation, and many more challenges that we’re still struggling with today.
  • It’s hard not to then start thinking about how these new technologies will shape our society, politics and culture, and how we might fit into that future.
  • This idea is called “technological determinism”: the sense that advances in technology shape our social relations, power relations, and culture, with us as mere passengers. It leaves out the fact that in a democratic society we have a say in how all of this plays out.
  • Another element of the metaverse that is still being worked out is its payment rails. While cryptocurrencies are widely touted as the ideal payment system of the metaverse, it is unlikely that they will be able to operate at the velocity at which transactions are likely to occur in these virtual environments.

Way forward for India:

  • To achieve this, we will need to agree on a set of open standards that govern its essential aspects, ensuring interoperability across environments.
  • We may ultimately need to pass regulation to ensure that other aspects of the metaverse—the devices we use to interface with it, the payment systems that drive its economy and the portals that connect the virtual world to the physical—comply with open protocols framed to ensure that we are not locked into any single device or service provider.
  • India needs to put in place regulations that encourage the development of these new virtual environments while ensuring that they can still function in an open, interoperable manner.
  • If this is the next evolution of internet technology, we should ensure that the many features it is likely to offer are deployed to our advantage.
  • India’s digital payments platforms, on the other hand, have demonstrated that they can operate at population scale—processing 10 billion transactions a month without breaking a sweat.

Conclusion

A new iteration of the internet is being worked on and this will have massive implications for society. Marketing, communications, and branding professionals will face new challenges but also new opportunities. This new era of the metaverse will unleash amazing creativity and open up new frontiers and horizons for brands and businesses.

India was a relatively late adopter of the internet, and, as a result, was unable to take advantage of its many features until much later. We have an extraordinary opportunity now to actively participate in the development of the metaverse. We would do well to dive right in.

 

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

6. The present Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985 is more punitive than reformative in its approach since drug peddling is part of Organised crimes. However, there is a need for the act to treat user as a victim rather than as a criminal. Critically comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Recently, the ministry of social justice and empowerment stated that the users and dependents caught with small quantities of drugs and their families should be treated as “victims” and not culprits of substance abuse.

Key Demand of the question:

To analyse the various issues associated with present NDPS and suggest effective changes.

Directive word: 

Critically comment – 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 ‘comment’ is prefixed, we must express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by stating the present stringent structure of the NDPS Act.

Body:

First, bring out the arguments that the drug users are victims addicted to it and needs institutional care than going through rigorous punishments on the same lines as that of the supplier.

Next, mention the need to sensitise the investigative agencies to understand and distinguish the different motives of the supplier and user.

Next, mention the cause-effect relation that the user and supplier has in order to maintain the illicit drug supply network and the need for some kind of fear psychosis even among the users and complete benefit of doubt to the victim has the threat of more people falling into drug addiction.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating the need for more sensitisation of the health and legal impacts of drug use and supply and also to up the institutional care of the victims.

Introduction

The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has proposed certain changes to some provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985. The recommendations have assumed importance in the backdrop of some high-profile drug cases as well as corruption and extortion charges alleged against the NCB.

Body

NDPS Act

  • The NDPS Act, 1985 is the principal legislation through which the state regulates the operations of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
  • It provides a stringent framework for punishing offenses related to illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances through imprisonments and forfeiture of property.
  • This is a stringent law where the death penalty can be prescribed for repeat offenders.

Punitive and reformative aspects: Issues with NDPS Act

  • “First arrest and then investigate” seems to be the principle for investigations under the NDPS Act.
  • Section 50 of the Act (conditions under which search of persons shall be conducted) needs to be followed scrupulously.
  • Punitive not reformative: Those addicted to drugs need to be rehabilitated rather than punished in jails. Minor offences must not lead to individuals taking up major crimes.
    • Rehabilitation centres must be opened and youth must be counselled against drug injection and consumption.
  • No distinction between end user and peddler: The Act currently views everyone as a supplier. The recent case of Aryan Khan and others is an example. High Court ultimately granted bail and rejected Special court’s orders.
    • A drug user needs to be seen as a patient.
    • The Act as of now prescribes jail for everyone, the end user and the drug supplier.

Challenges in enforcing the NDPS Act

  • Peddling: Since drug peddling is an organised crime, it is challenging for the police to catch the persons involved from the point of source to the point of destination.
    • Identifying drugs that are being transported is a challenge since we cannot stop each and every vehicle that plies on Indian roads.
  • Transportation: Most drug bust cases are made possible with specific information leads. Unless we check every vehicle with specially trained sniffer dogs, it is difficult to check narcotic drugs transportation.
  • Production: The main challenge is to catch those producing these substances. Secret cultivation are mostly carried on in LWE affected areas.
    • Going beyond State jurisdiction, finding the source of narcotic substances and destroying them is another big challenge.
  • Delay in trials: Securing conviction for the accused in drugs cases is yet another arduous task.
    • There are frequent delays in court procedures. Sometimes, cases do not come up for trial even after two years of having registered them.
    • By then, the accused are out on bail and do not turn up for trial.
    • Bringing them back from their States to trial is quite difficult let alone getting them convicted.
  • Flaws in the legal system: The cause behind drug menace is the drug cartels, crime syndicates and ultimately the ISI which is the biggest supplier of drugs.
    • Rave parties have been reported in the country where intake of narcotic substances is observed.
    • These parties are orchestrated by the drug syndicates who have their own vested interests.
    • Social media plays an important role in organising these parties.
    • The police have not been able to control such parties.

Conclusion

There is a need to examine the root cause of the problem such as operations of drug syndicates especially in the border areas. Civil society and governments will have to work together to create an enabling environment to address the issue. Moreover, the reformation aspect must be taken up more vigorously than the punitive aspect especially for end-users falling prey to drug addiction.

Value-addition

Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985:

  • India is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and the Convention on Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.
  • They prescribe various forms of control aimed to achieve the dual objective of limiting the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes as well as preventing the abuse of the same.
  • The basic legislative instrument of the Government of India in this regard is the NDPS Act, 1985.
  • The Act provides stringent provisions for the control and regulation of operations relating to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
  • It also provides for forfeiture of property derived from, or used in, illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
  • It also provides for death penalty in some cases where a person is a repeat offender.
  • The Narcotics Control Bureau was also constituted in 1986 under the Act.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case Study

7. The transgender community has always been a part of Indian culture and society. Eunuchs, who are called “hijras” in Hindi – which meant belonging to neither sex – had “served as sexless watchdogs of Mughal harems.” The sex transition would often be excruciating and sometimes lethal, in the absence of their recognition of their identity.

In first ever study conducted on the human rights of “transgenders” in India, the National Human Rights Commission has stated that the rights of transgenders are “largely compromised” and they are in a sense of isolation, within households, communities and institutions, amid rampant societal gender discrimination. Transgender people are facing an identity crisis in a “gender-specific India”, where everything has a gender identification including public utilities like toilets, security check at airports, ration card, PAN card, driving license etc.

About 92% of transgenders are highly deprived of the right to participate in any form of economic activities in India, with even qualified ones refused jobs compelling them to either beg or choose sex work. It says that 96% of transgender people are forced to take low paying work or undignified work as their livelihood such as begging and sex work and they are exploited by clients and beaten up. 89% transgenders researchers spoke to said that even qualified ones among them don’t get employment opportunities and above 23% are compelled to engage in sex work which has high health related risks.

They also don’t figure on the agenda of any political party as they do not form a noticeable vote-bank, it adds. They are totally invisible in all spheres of economic activities. Low level of education and social exclusion limits their employment and livelihood opportunities.

Elaborating on discrimination of transgenders, which begins from childhood, NHRC says parents do not play a proactive role in the case of transgender children. Instead, they suffer verbal and corporal abuses at the hands of their parents, siblings and other family members. Most of them keep their identities as transgender secret till it is impossible for them to hide it forever. Most parents consider their status as physical and mental defects.

The study finds that 99% of transgenders have suffered social rejections on more than one occasions. On their education, NHRC says 52% transgenders were harassed by their classmates and 15% by even teachers, a reason due to which they don’t continue studies.

When it comes to access to justice, the study reveals that they are harassed by police hence they don’t approach the cops. There are cases of gangrape of transgender people, but they can’t approach a police station fearing harassment.

There is no legal support to a transgender for entering in to a marriage, having spouse and setting up of own family in India. They are often denied an accommodation, both monthly rental or a hotel. The researchers cited a case study where a young film-maker in Mumbai’s Jogeshwari was asked to vacate a flat because she was a transgender. Another transgender, who was working with a call-centre in Delhi, despite being efficient at work, was asked to leave the job. Transgenders also do not enjoy any legal right in the property inheritance. (250 words)

  1. Who is at fault for the deplorable conditions of the transgender community – The government or the society?
  2. Do you think it is possible to mainstream India’s transgender community? State your views.

 

Difficulty level: Moderate

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In brief, give an insight to the heart wrenching issues and discrimination faced by the transgender community.

Body:

  1. In correlation about facts of the case, see who is at fault for the present-day plight of transgenders – the government or the society? Give arguments to justify your points.
  2. Write about the possibilities and limitations on mainstreaming the transgender community in India. Give you views.

Conclusion:

Mention the steps that are needed to end discrimination towards transgender community in India.

 Introduction

According to World Health OrganizationTransgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and expression does not conform to the norms and expectations traditionally associated with the sex assigned to them at birth. They are referred to as transsexuals if they desire medical assistance in order to make the transition from one biological sex to another. Transgender individuals are often ostracized by society and sometimes, even their own families view them as burdens and exclude them. Thus, they are pushed to lead a deplorable life.

Body

Ethical issues involved

  • Disempowerment of Transgenders
  • Violation of human rights of trans people
  • Lack of empathy towards transgenders
  • Discrimination that leads to injustice to one community
  • Nonchalance towards their well-being.
  • Denial of social security or welfare to transgenders.

It is the fault of both society and government for the deplorable condition of the transgender community.

Attitude of society towards transgenders

  • General public eyes them with disgust and suspicion.
  • Transgenders are not accepted by Indian society and they are ostracised and shunned by the larger community. It is for this reason; they resort to begging as livelihood opportunities are very less.
  • Their social ostracization also had direct effect on their education.
  • Lot of superstition is associated with respect to transgenders. They are considered as good omen during ceremonies but that has not translated into the society viewing them as human beings.

Government’s attitude towards transgenders

  • Trans women also face routine violence and the threat of violence by members of the public and are denied police protection, compromising their ability to live in safety and positioning them in a perpetual state of precarity.
  • They are also at greater risk of arbitrary arrest. Arrests and questioning at checkpoints are often accompanied by physical violence by law enforcement officials.
  • It was not until 2014, when Supreme Court identified Transgenders as the third gender, they were left without an identity.
  • Thus, their difficulty in obtaining identification documents that reflect their gender identity and expression is a common plight.

Mainstream India’s transgender community – a definite possibility

The root of the problem is complete isolation and alienation from the society. Without giving them adequate education, healthcare and protection from exclusion and social boycott one cannot expect them to stop begging. Because that is the only means of earning money for them.

Thus, emulating Gujarat and Kerala there needs to be an institution (E.g.: Garima Greh in Gujarat) to provide them shelter, education, capacity building and training. I will also talk to the transgender community members and understand their issues and try to alleviate them.

By educating them and developing their skills, they can be placed in jobs alongside mainstream society. For this to be successful, there should be an awareness and sensitisation campaign among the general public. Companies and Industries must be convinced to have a transgender workforce with adequate code of conduct in place towards them. For instance, Kochi Metro hired many trans-people and was a huge success.

Merit of this action is that, it addresses the problem at the core. A holistic solution can emerge from the above course of action. The key is integrating them with the rest of the society. Any long-term solution will not stem from preventing trans-people from begging, rather giving them alternative opportunities.

Conclusion

Though it is important to provide relief to general public, the perspective of transgender community must be empathized, else the solution will not be sustainable in the long run and the status quo will rebound. Implementing the Supreme Court directions of giving them special treatment in certain matters will go a long way in integrating them in the society.


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