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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 1 November 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. The Koeppen classification system is one of the most common climate classification systems in the world. Explain the criterial of classification and its shortcomings. (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 to Koppens climate classification scheme, major climate regions and then discuss its limitations.

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: 

Give a brief about the comprehensive nature of classification of climate by Koeppen.

Body:

In the first part, explain the scheme in detail- make a table of the world climates and draw a rough diagram for illustration purposes. Write a few advantages of the Koppens climate classification scheme. 

Discuss its limitations. – estimated rather than measurable variables involved, symbol system difficult to interpret, other factors not taken into account, too simplistic etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning that despite the above discussed limitations, it is one of the most widely used climate classification schemes, although with modifications.

Introduction

The Köppen climate classification system is one of the most common climate classification systems in the world. It was developed by Wladimir Peter Koppen in 1884. It is used to denote different climate regions on Earth based on local vegetation.

Body

criteria of classification

  • Koeppen’s classification is based on quantitative values of temperature and precipitation.
  • Its categories are based on the annual and monthly averages of temperature and precipitation.
  • This classification scheme uses certain critical values of temperature of the warmest and the coldest months and precipitation of the wettest and the driest months.
  • It recognises location and points out the differences that exist between the east and west coast and between the coastal regions and interiors.
  • It uses numerical values for delimiting the boundaries of different climatic regions and types.
  • Koppen’s climatic regions in many cases coincided with the distinct vegetation regions.

World Climatic Regions

 

World Climatic Regions

Shortcomings

  • Koppen based his classification on the mean monthly values of temperature and precipitation.
  • By these statistics the most potent factor of precipitation can only be estimated, rather than measured accurately.
  • This makes comparison from one locality to another rather difficult.
  • Further, Koppen did not take into account such weather elements as winds, precipitation intensity, amount of cloudiness, and daily temperature extremes only for the sake of making his classification generalized and simple.
  • Another major drawback is that it is empirical and, therefore, is based on facts and observations. The causative factors of climate have been totally ignored.
  • Thus, the air masses, which form the very basis of modern climatology, could not find any place in Koppen’s classification.
  • Lastly, the letter symbols used by Koppen in his climatic classification provide international shorthand describing climatic regions that are rather difficult to characterize in words.

Conclusion

India has nearly all types of climates classified by Koeppen.  Koeppen demarcated five major climate zones in India. The climatologist Rudolf Geiger introduced some changes to the classification system, which is thus sometimes called the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system.

 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2. How is the Savanna type of climate ecologically important? Examine the various threats to Savanna biomes. (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:

Directive word: 

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Give a brief about Tropical savannas or grasslands that they are associated with the tropical wet and dry climate type.

Body:

First mention that the Savanna climate provides for a diverse vegetation such as grasslands, hardy weather proofed trees and diverse fauna.

Next, mention different Savanna regions such as East African, Llanos, Pampas etc and how they differently impact their ecology.

Next, mention the various threats such as water logging, fire, drought, grazing etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that in the present context of Climate change it is imperative to address the threats faced by the Savannas and ensure ecological balance.

Introduction     

Savanna regions have two distinct seasons – a wet season and a dry season. There is very little rain in the dry season. In the wet season vegetation grows, including lush green grasses and wooded areas. As you move further away from the equator and its heavy rainfall, the grassland becomes drier and drier – particularly in the dry season.

Body

Importance of Savanna type of climate

  • The tropical savanna climatevaries according to season and has an alternate wet and dry season.
  • Floods are sometimes common during the rainy season and drought dominates the dry season.
  • It is a transitional type of climate found between the equatorial type of climate and the hot deserts.
  • The places which experience such a climate are located near the equator, confined within the tropics.
  • This climate dominates many parts of the African continent, parts of South America, northern Australia and parts of Asia.
  • Savanna vegetation includes scrub, grasses and occasional trees, which grow near water holes, seasonal rivers or aquifers.
  • Plants and animals have to adapt to the long dry periods. Many plants are xerophytic– for example, the acacia tree with its small, waxy leaves and thorns.
  • Plants may also store water, for example the baobab tree) or have long roots that reach down to the water table. Animals may migrategreat distances in search of food and water.

Savanna biomes

Savannas – also known as tropical grasslands – are found to the north and south of tropical rainforest biomes. The largest expanses of savanna are in Africa, where much of the central part of the continent, for example Kenya and Tanzania, consists of tropical grassland. Savanna grasslands can also be found in Brazil in South America.

Various threats to Savanna biomes

  • Anthropogenic activities
    • Unsustainable water usage and irrigation methods could potentially dry up life-giving rivers and water holes.
    • In regions where indigenous people regularly include bushmeat – wild meat – in their diet, ungulate populations have dropped at noticeable rates.
    • Some savanna wildlife is also hunted as trophies; black rhinoceroses, in particular, are hunted for their valuable horns.
    • Even some plant species are over-harvested due to their commercial value.
    • Carvings made from African Blackwood, a savanna tree, are often sold at tourists’ markets.
  • Agriculture, drought and Heavy Grazing
    • Agriculture is another environmental threat to the savanna. Large areas of land are being cleared to grow crops and farm livestock. The livestock competes with local animals for grazing and can decimate the natural ecosystem.
    • Prolonged, severe drought has a dangerous effect on a savanna ecosystem, with grazing patterns exacerbating this effect.
    • The combination of severe drought and grazing can change a grassland of primarily edible, perennial grasses to a savanna dominated by inedible grasses and plants.
  • Desertification
    • Tropical savannas often border on arid, desert regions, and the spread of desert-like conditions into dry grassland areas is called desertification.
    • This threat to a savanna ecosystem include effects caused by climate change, farming practices, overgrazing, aggressive agricultural irrigation, which lowers the level of the water table away from plant roots, deforestation and erosion.
    • Each year, over 46,000 square kilometers of African savanna becomes desert.
  • Carbon Emissions
    • A 2012 survey attributed large increases in woody plant mass to the “CO2 fertilization effect.” The authors posited that the increase in the rate of woody plant growth was caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    • A dramatic increase in the amount of trees and shrubs could threaten the entire savanna ecosystem, as these plants use more water than grasses.

Conclusion

While forests are undoubtedly great carbon sinks, grasslands are not all that far behind. Studies reveal that restoring grasslands is an immensely effective and economical way to combat climate change, as these landscapes store large amounts of carbon below ground. When a nuanced and informed understanding of the importance of grasslands filters into conservation and climate change policies, it will be win-win for pastoralists, grassland biodiversity, and the planet.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

3. Analyse the role of Co-operative societies as an economic driver towards national development. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Hindustan Times

Why the question:

This year marks 75years of Amul, the world’s largest milk cooperative.

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the role of Co-operative society at the local level and how they can boost the economy on the national front.

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 stating the successful model of Amul as a co-operative society.

Body:

Mention the role of Cooperatives in linking the local business men/ farmer to the mainstream multi-million marketplace, giving the right forum to reap benefits of collective demand and supply in terms of financing, local level policy negotiations etc and promoting economic and social upliftment.

Further, this would also promote local interests and aligns our aatma nirbhar strategy

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that the Co-operative model of Amul can be emulated in various other sectors with a push from the government for boosting the economy of our country.

Introduction

A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled. The need for profitability is balanced by the needs of the members and the wider interest of the community

The cooperative sector has a potential to turn India into a USD 5-trillion economy, Union Home and Cooperation Minister reiterated recently speaking at an event in Anand, Gujarat, to commemorate 75 years of dairy products giant Amul.

Body

role of Co-operative societies as an economic driver towards national development

  • India is an agricultural country and laid the foundation of World’s biggest cooperative movement in the world.
  • For instance, Amul deals with 16 million milk producers, 1,85,903 dairy cooperatives; 222 district cooperative milk unions; marketed by 28 state marketing federations.
  • There are over 8 lakh cooperatives of all shapes and sizes across sectors in India
  • In India, a Co-operative based economic development model is very relevant where each member works with a spirit of responsibility.
  • It provides agricultural credits and fundswhere state and private sectors have not been able to do very much.
  • It provides strategic inputsfor the agricultural-sector; consumer societies meet their consumption requirements at concessional rates.
  • It is an organization for the poor who wish to solve their problems collectively.
  • It softens the class conflictsand reduces the social cleavages.
  • Itreduces the bureaucratic evils and follies of political factions;
  • It overcomes the constraintsof agricultural development;
  • It creates a conducive environment for small and cottage industries.

Way forward:

  • The concept of social cooperatives builds on the idea of communities creating infrastructure by using local material and family labour.
  • These can be the village tank, paving the village road — with or without MGNREGA — finishing the last-mile construction of a canal network or even keeping watch on the contractor. The pandemic seems to have increased the significance of community effort.
  • Reducing vaccine hesitancy, providing food to those waiting outside hospitals and, most importantly, looking after orphaned children are imperatives crying out for the cooperative model.
  • Implementing the steps provided by the Vaidyanathan committee on credit cooperative societies.
  • The idea of cooperatives must take the agenda beyond agriculture, milk, credit and housing cooperatives
  • New areas are emerging with the advancement of technology and cooperative societies can play a huge role in making people familiar with those areas and technologies.
  • There is a need to create more cooperatives with women at the helm of it.
  • Principle of the cooperative movement is to unite everyone, even while remaining anonymous. The cooperative movement has the capacity to solve people’s problems.
  • However, there are irregularities in cooperatives and to check them there have to be rules and stricter implementation.

Value addition

A brief overview of cooperatives in India across sectors:

  • In agriculture, cooperative dairies, sugar mills, spinning mills etc are formed with the pooled resources of farmers who wish to process their produce.
  • The country has 1,94,195 cooperative dairy societies and 330 cooperative sugar mill operations.
  • In 2019-20, dairy cooperatives had procured 4.80 crore litres of milk from 1.7 crore members and had sold 3.7 crore litres of liquid milk per day. (Annual Report, National Dairy Development Board, 2019-20).
  • Cooperative sugar mills account for 35% of the sugar produced in the country.
  • In banking and finance, cooperative institutions are spread across rural and urban areas.
  • Village-level primary agricultural credit societies (PACSs) formed by farmer associations are the best example of grassroots-level credit flow.
  • These societies anticipate the credit demand of a village and make the demand to the district central cooperative banks (DCCBs).
  • State cooperative banks sit at the apex of the rural cooperative lending structure.
  • Given that PACSs are a collective of farmers, they have much more bargaining powers than an individual farmer pleading his case at a commercial bank.
  • There are also cooperative marketing societies in rural areas and cooperative housing societies in urban areas.

 

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

4. Evidence suggests healthy food and improved nutrition improves learning ability, leading to better academic performance. Critically analyse the performance of PM Poshan Shakti Nirman Yojana in achieving the aforementioned objectives. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Key Demand of the question: To write about the importance of nutrition in improving learning outcomes and performance of PM Poshan Shakti Nirman Yojana in this regard.

Directive word: 

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about the aims and objectives of PM Poshan Shakti Nirman Yojana.

Body:

First, mention how healthy food and nutrition play a part in improving learning outcomes.

Next, write about the Benefits of the scheme, various positive implications and successes etc.

Next, write about the limitations of the scheme and Key issues with the implementation of the scheme.

Next, write about the latest changes, its expanded scope and what further needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

The existing Mid-Day Meal scheme, which provides hot meals to students, has been renamed as the National Scheme for PM Poshan Shakti Nirman. India faces multiple problems of under-nutrition and overweight/obesity coexisting with deficiencies of micronutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium and several vitamins. This triple burden of malnutrition has to be identified, understood and addressed. It is much more important especially in the case of children and adolescents as it is during these phases of life that we see rapid growth of the body and development of food habits.

Body

Significance of nutrition in children

  • Childhood and adolescence are two conjoined periods of continuous growth and development — a seamless duration.
  • For instance, between two and 10 years of age, children tend to grow at an average of 6-7 cm in height and 1.5 to 3 kg in weight every year.
  • But specifically, when the growth spurt happens at about 10-12 years in girls and two years later in boys during adolescence, their nutritional needs are vastly increased.
  • In the case of girls, their nutritional status impacts not only their health but that of generations to come.
  • Malnutrition in any form can put children and adolescents at risk of compromised immune function, thus making them vulnerable to infections.

Aims and objectives of PM Poshan Shakti Nirman

  • Supplementary nutrition: The new scheme has a provision for supplementary nutrition for children in aspirational districts and those with high prevalence of anaemia.
  • States to decide diet: It essentially does away with the restriction on the part of the Centre to provide funds only for wheat, rice, pulses and vegetables. Currently, if a state decides to add any component like milk or eggs to the menu, the Centre does not bear the additional cost. Now that restriction has been lifted.
  • Nutri-gardens: They will be developed in schools to give children “firsthand experience with nature and gardening”.
  • Women and FPOs: To promote vocals for local, women self-help groups and farmer producer organisations will be encouraged to provide a fillip to locally grown traditional food items.
  • Social Audit: The scheme also plans “inspection” by students of colleges and universities for ground-level execution.
  • Tithi-Bhojan: Communities would also be encouraged to provide the children food at festivals etc, while cooking festivals to encourage local cuisines are also envisaged.
  • DBTs to school: In other procedural changes meant to promote transparency and reduce leakages, States will be asked to do direct benefit cash transfers of cooking costs to individual school accounts, and honorarium amounts to the bank accounts of cooks and helpers.
  • Holistic nutrition: The rebranded scheme aims to focus on “holistic nutrition” goals. Use of locally grown traditional foods will be encouraged, along with school nutrition gardens.

Challenges in implementing the scheme

  • To understand and foster children’s immunity, one also needs to understand disruptive social environment factors that affect diet quality.
    • In urban as well as among middle class and affluent communities, restricted movement, constrained socialisation and even dwindling physical contact have become the new normal.
  • Asha and Anganwadi workers have been working round the clock to provide food grains, yet this does not cover all children. There is also certain fatigue amongst the workers.
  • COVID-19 isolation and fatigue have led to generalised stress, adding to the immunity challenge for children.
  • These challenges coupled with a lack of diet diversity leading to imbalanced micronutrient intake or consumption of high carbohydrate and high sugar foods, endanger the child’s health by compromising their immunity and making them vulnerable to infections. Hence, the way we approach nutrition needs to change.
  • Closure of schools have added to the burden of malnutrition.

Conclusion

COVID-19 or no COVID-19, good immunity will lay the foundation for long-term well-being. After all, good nutrition, safe food, and positive lifestyles are the cornerstones of great immune function. To ensure this, schools, when they reopen, should be avenues for teaching nutrition as a life skill than rhetorical pedagogy. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our children are nurtured and nourished.

Value Addition

  • The PM POSHAN envisages providing 450 Kcal energy and 12g of protein for primary; 700 Kcal and 20g protein for upper primary children through diet diversity.
  • In addition, monitoring haemoglobin levels of schoolchildren, appointment of nutritional experts to ensure the haemoglobin and growth status are continuously monitored;
  • Focus on nutri-gardens are all welcome steps as we prepare to reopen schools.
  • MDM rules 2015, provide that the place of serving meals to the children shall be school only.
  • If the Mid-Day Meal is not provided in school on any school day due to non-availability of food grains or any other reason, the State Government shall pay food security allowance by 15th of the succeeding month.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Critically analyse the trend of shrinking of the Informal sector in the recent years and the necessary precautions to be taken up with this new trend. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

SBI says that the share of the informal economy may have shrunk to no more than 20% of the economic output from about 52% in 2017-18 post the pandemic.

Key Demand of the question: To analyse the impact of shrinking of informal sector in India and the necessary precautions to protects the employees in the unorganised sector.

Directive word: 

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by stating the informal sector consists of “own-account” or unorganised enterprises employing hired workers for their businesses especially the small rural farmers and constitutes about 94% of Indian economy.

Body:

First, mention that with the introduction of kisan credit cards and digitisation drives and initiatives many of the agricultural activities are being formalised and also the GST regime has formalised the small businesses. This is a positive trend as it would give the benefit of economies of scale, use of technology etc.

Next, mention the harsh impact of the pandemic leading to many in the informal sector getting unemployed.

Next, mention the need for a robust policy to ensure there is smooth transition of businesses and employees from the informal to formal sector through upskilling, financing initiatives etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating the increase of formal sector is a welcome phenomenon provided that the people in the informal sector aren’t left behind but instead helped to have a smooth transition into the formal economy.

Introduction

India’s vast majority of India’s workforce is informally employed – those who work outside of formal establishments, in un-incorporated private enterprises and mostly without any social security benefit.

India’s informal economy has shrunk to around 15-20 per cent of the formal GDP as against 52 per cent three years ago following the adoption of GST, enhanced digitalisation, and demonetisation, a report by the State Bank of India’s (SBI)

Body

Reasons for shrinking of the informal sector

  • At least Rs 13 lakh crore has come into the formal economy through various channels over the last few years, including the recent scheme on the e-Shram portal, according to SBI Ecowrap.
  • Since 2016, a plethora of measures, which accelerated the digitisation of the economy and the emergence of the gig economy, have facilitated higher formalisation at rates that are possibly much faster than that of most other nations.
  • Over the last couple of years, the government has made many efforts for formalisation, the report said.
  • One of the sources to analyse the extent of formalisation is the monthly EPFO payroll report which provides data on establishments remitting first ECR (Electronic Challan-cum-Return) in a particular month. Based on this data it is estimated that almost 36.6 lakh jobs have been formalised till August 2021.
  • According the e-Shram portal, India’s first national database of unorganised workers, on which 5.7 crore workers have registered until October 30, 2021.
  • Sixty-two per cent of workers are in the 18-40 age group, and 92 per cent have a monthly income of less than Rs 10,000.
  • Even in agriculture, the usage of KCC cards has increased significantly and we estimate Rs 4.6 lakh crore formalisation only through KCC route, with more marginalized farmers coming under the banking sector ambit through such usage

However, this doesn’t indicate a complete paradigm shift towards formalization of Indian economy

  • The size of India’s informal sector is massive and so is the extent of diversity therein. It accounts for about 50% of GVA and a major share in the export basket.
  • Around 93 per cent of India’s workforce is part of the informal economy (NSSO 2014). Although the pandemic has impacted all sectors, it has been felt more by the informal sector.
  • According to experts, the extent of formalisation in the economy will depend on the way it is defined.
  • It is also argued that the informal sector was not 52 per cent but around 42-44 per cent of the GDP — and while there has been a rise in formalisation, the informal sector has definitely not halved.
  • In case of high levels of formalisation, the tax-to-GDP ratio would have gone up significantly. However, it has only gone up from around 16.5 per cent to 17.5 per cent.

Measures needed

  • Enterprises must undergo drastic internal transformation, progressively converging at incremental formalisation through spontaneous and self-propelled transition into economically-viable units.
  • Because the vision of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat exposes the informal sector to global competition, entrepreneurs must embrace the subtle art of strategic positioning in global mega-supply chains.
  • To continuously employ current workforce, we need to incrementally corner an extra chunk in product market, which necessitates increased competitiveness, being led mainly but not solely by enhanced labour productivity which tends to make a part of the workforce redundant cyclically.
  • To generate good quality jobs, diversification (both horizontal and vertical) must be encouraged.
  • Vertical diversification entails products not just be partly produced or assembled in India, they must be the end-products of fully indigenised and integrated production and supply chains, from design to made in India.
  • Horizontal diversification involves expansion into newer products and markets, smartly aligning with India’s comparative advantage of surplus labour.

Conclusion

The vision of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat is an inflexion point for India’s informal sector, which stipulates adroit manoeuvring between contrasting forces of continuity (persistent and pervasive informality) and change (incremental formalisation). Aatmanirbharta must embrace informality via factoring in these three transformations and nudge it towards incremental and spontaneous formalisation.

Value addition

Alternative pathways that reduce pressure on informal sector

  • The biggest is that local self-reliance for basic needs, and localised exchanges of products and services, are far more effective in securing people’s livelihoods than are long-distance markets and jobs.
  • Rather than incentivise big industry to take over most production, virtually all household needs — soaps, footwear, furniture, utensils, clothes, energy, even housing, food, drinks etc can be produced in a decentralised manner by thousands of communities.
  • The shortage of purely agriculture-based livelihoods can be made up by crafts, small-scale manufacturing, and services needed by their own or surrounding populations.
  • In Telangana and Nagaland, respectively, Dalit women of Deccan Development Society (DDS) and tribal women of North-East Network ensured complete food security for dozens of villages throughout 2020.
  • Samaj Pragati Sahayog in MP, and Mahila Umang Samiti in Uttarakhand were able to ensure that farm produce reached a (mostly local) consumer base, averting economic collapse for thousands of farmers.
  • Several case studies show that self-help groups and community solidarity helped sail through pandemic very easily, especially for those from the unorganized sector,
  • In Assam, Farm2Food worked with several thousand students to continue local food growing in schools and communities.
  • Local self-reliance has to go along with worker control over the means of production, more direct forms of democracy (swaraj), and struggles to eliminate casteism and gender discrimination. Again, there are many examples of this.

 

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

6. Protection of Dolphin is being given a national importance with the announcement of Project Dolphin. Discuss the significance of Dolphins in aquatic ecosystem and the threats they face. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question: 

Project Dolphin was announced by the Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech.

Key Demand of the question: To write about the threats faced by dolphins and ways to conserve them.

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 stating that Gangetic Dolphins are the national aquatic animals and the Indus river dolphin is classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Body:

First, mention that Aquatic life is an indicator of the health of river ecosystems. As the Gangetic dolphin is at the top of the food chain, protecting the species and its habitat will ensure conservation of aquatic lives of the river, improving the availability of fishes and enhancing economies of local communities through sustainable fishery.

Next, mention the threats such as construction of dams and barrages, and increasing pollution have led to a decline in the population of aquatic animals in the rivers in general and of dolphins in particular.

Next, mention the various steps taken to protect it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that the conservation of keystone species is crucial to sustain the aquatic ecosystem.

Introduction

During the Independence Day Speech of 2020, Prime Minister of India announced the government’s plan to launch a Project Dolphin. Project Dolphin would be on the lines of Project Tiger, which has helped increase the tiger population. Project Dolphin will involve conservation of dolphins & aquatic habitat through use of modern technology. It will not just protect dolphins, but will also promote a healthy river ecosystem.

Body

Significance of Dolphins in aquatic ecosystem

  • Dolphins are one of the oldest creatures in the world along with some species of turtles, crocodiles and sharks, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
  • Not only are dolphins a highly intelligent marine species, but they also play an important role in ecology.
  • Aquatic life is an indicator of the health of river ecosystems.
  • Dolphin is at the top of the food chain, protecting the species and its habitat will ensure conservation of aquatic lives of the river.
  • They eat other animals – mainly fish and squid – and are themselves a source of food for some sharks and other creatures.
  • Without dolphins, the animals they prey on would increase in number, and their predators wouldn’t have as much to eat.
  • This would disrupt the natural balance in the food chain and could negatively affect other wildlife and the health of the ocean environment.
  • When dolphins are found with a disease, such as immune system dysfunction, reproductive malformations or cancer, this shows us that something needs to be addressed, such as water pollution from agricultural, residential and industrial runoff.
  • Dolphin studies help protect other marine animals, and humans as well, since we eat some of the same sea foods and can also suffer effects of pollution.

Threats faced

  • Dolphins are under threat worldwide, mainly human generated threats.
  • Reducing numbers: Gangetic dolphins once lived in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh, but are now mostly extinct from many of its early distribution ranges.
  • Today, their numbers have dwindled mainly because of direct killing, habitat fragmentation by dams and barrages and indiscriminate fishing.
  • Increasing pollution in the rivers has brought down the number over the years.
  • The human-created pollution that is affecting the world’s oceans is causing a wide variety of problems for dolphins, ranging from diseases to difficulty finding food.
  • Fishing lines, fish hooks, and discarded netting are one of the bigger threats to dolphins.
  • Dolphins often pursue the same fish species that commercial fishing ships are hunting and may get accidentally caught in their nets. They can also get tangled in discarded ropes and gear, causing a significant amount of marine mammal deaths each year.
  • Climate change is also impacting all species of dolphins due to reduced food availability and threat to habitats like lowered levels of river water, ocean acidification etc.

Way forward

  • Improved practices of local fishing communities, including enhanced spatial planning that identifies dolphin conservation areas should be promoted.
  • Research and surveys must be conducted on dolphin populations, migration patterns, causes of death, and threats to their habitats.
  • Disposable straws, cups, lids, utensils, bags, water bottles and other single use plastics make up a huge percentage of marine pollution. This must be reduced through legislative measures and education of people.
  • Chemical waste from home and industries ends up in the ocean. This causes the water pollution that can harm the marine species. The chemical pollution has been one of the main causes of the species extinction. Dispose of the waste properly to avoid the contamination.
  • Alongside research, importance should be on engaging the riparian communities by encouraging community-led biological monitoring.
  • Villages around the hot spot sites of dolphin occurrence will be developed as models for community-led conservation.
  • Knowledge and experience on dolphin conservation and coastal livelihoods shared with local communities, enhancing their capacities to support dolphin conservation efforts

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and the world to the concepts of morality;

7. Despite the enduring popularity of utilitarianism as an ethical system, deontology is probably even more pronounced within our daily lives. Comment. (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Reference: plato.stanford.edu

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question: To compare and contrast deontology and utilitarianism.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining deontological ethics and its features.

Body:

First, write as to why utilitarianism is more acceptable and popular.

Next, write the limitations of utilitarianism and how deontological ethics have more moral sensitivity in our daily lives on basis of rules and laws it lays down. Justify with examples as to how it is part of our daily lives.

Conclusion:

Give a concise summation of your views to conclude the answer.

Introduction

In deontological ethics an action is considered morally good because of some characteristic of the action itself, not because the product of the action is good. Deontological ethics holds that at least some acts are morally obligatory regardless of their consequences for human welfare. Descriptive of such ethics are such expressions as “Duty for duty’s sake,” “Virtue is its own reward,” and “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

Body

Popularity of Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism because it rests on the idea that it is the consequences or results of actions, laws, policies, etc. that determine whether they are good or bad, right or wrong. In general, whatever is being evaluated, we ought to choose the one that will produce the best overall results. In the language of utilitarians, we should choose the option that “maximizes utility,” i.e. that action or policy that produces the largest amount of good.

In simple words, Utilitarianism is teleological which believes in “Ends justify the means”; whereas deontological ethics believes in “Purity of means”. Yet this is more popular and acceptable as Bentham evolved his theory of greatest good of greatest number. The greatest good of the greatest number, is the most important formula of Bentham Utilitarianism.

For example, each government is obliged to adopt such policies which could give the greatest good of the greatest number. A government which works for the good of a few numbers is not at all a good government. It is tyranny and unjustifiable government. Thus, the principle of ‘the greatest good of the greatest number’ is benevolent and universalistic in nature.

However, this came under criticism as denial of right to one or few to achieve greater good, would-be injustice. And denial of justice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.

Limitations and criticism

  • A limitation of utilitarianism is that it tends to create a black-and-white construct of morality. In utilitarian ethics, there are no shades of gray—either something is wrong or it is right.
  • Utilitarianism also cannot predict with certainty whether the consequences of our actions will be good or bad—the results of our actions happen in the future.
  • Utilitarianism also has trouble accounting for values like justice and individual rights.
    • For example, say a hospital has four people whose lives depend upon receiving organ transplants: a heart, lungs, a kidney, and a liver. If a healthy person wanders into the hospital, his organs could be harvested to save four lives at the expense of his one life.
    • This would arguably produce the greatest good for the greatest number. But few would consider it an acceptable course of action, let alone an ethical one.

Deontological ethics and its moral sensitivity

  • The first great philosopher to define deontological principles was Immanuel Kant. He believed that each man is an end in himself and must never be used as another man’s means to an end.
  • John Rawls another deontologist discarded utilitarianism. He said, that “Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override”.
  • For this reason, justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others.
  • It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many.
  • Therefore, in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.
  • As deontology places significance on human dignity, it is most widely accepted.

Conclusion

Deontology is simple to apply. It just requires that people follow the rules and do their duty. This approach tends to fit well with our natural intuition about what is or isn’t ethical. Unlike consequentialism, which judges actions by their results, deontology doesn’t require weighing the costs and benefits of a situation. This avoids subjectivity and uncertainty because one only has to follow set rules.


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