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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 2 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. Explain the major relief features of the ocean floor. What is the significance of studying ocean floor? (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:

mention the major relief feature of ocean floor and explain them and their significance.

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: 

Explain what is meant by ocean bottom relief and how our understanding of ocean bottom has evolved with time.

Body:

First, List the major ocean relief features – the continental shelf, the continental slope, the continental rise, the Deep Sea Plain or the abyssal plain, Oceanic Deeps or Trenches, mid oceanic ridges. Explain these features.

Next, write about the significance of study of ocean relief.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the overall importance of study of ocean relief.

Introduction

Water covers 70% of the earth’s surface in which only 3% are fresh water (Of this, 2% is in polar ice caps and only 1% is usable water). Oceans make up around 67 percent of the Earth’s surface. The relief features of the oceans are quite different from the continental features because the Oceanic crust is less than 60-70- million years old whereas continental features are of Proterozoic age which is over 1 billion years old. The Oceanic relief features are in the form of mountains, basins, plateaus, ridges, canyons and trenches beneath the ocean water. These forms are called Submarine Relief.

Body

 

Ocean relief is largely due to tectonic, volcanic, erosional and depositional processes and their interactions. Ocean relief features are divided into major and minor relief features.

Major Ocean Relief Features: There are four major divisions in the ocean relief

  • Continental shelf
    • There is no clear or well-defined line separating oceans from continents.
    • Infact, continents do not end abruptly at shoreline.
    • They slope seaward from the coast to a point where the slope becomes very steep.
    • The shallow submerged extension of continent is called the continental shelf.
    • The depth of this shallow sea water over the continental shelf ranges between 120 to 370 metres.
    • The width of the continental shelf varies greatly ranging between a few kilometres to more than 100 kilometres.
  • Continental slope & Continental rise
    • The continuously sloping portion of the continental margin, seaward of the continental shelf and extending down to the deep-sea floor of the abyssal plain, is known as continental slope.
    • It is characterized by gradients of 2.5 degrees.
    • It extends between the depth of 180 to 3600 metres.
    • In some places, for example, off the shore of Philippines, the continental slope extends to a great depth.
    • Continental slopes, mainly due to their steepness and increasing distance from the land have very little deposits of sediments on them.
    • Sea life is also far less here than on the shelf.
    • Along the base of the continental slope is a deposit of sediments. This belt of sedimentary deposits form the continental rise.
    • In some regions the rise is very narrow but in others it may extend up to 600 km in width.
  • Deep Sea Plain or Abyssal plain
    • Abyssal plains are extremely flat and featureless plains of the deep ocean floor.
    • In fact, the abyssal plains are likely the most level areas on the earth.
    • Abyssal plains covering a major portion of ocean floor between the depth of 3000m to 6000m.
    • They were once regarded as featureless plains but modem devices have shown that they are as irregular as the continental plain or surface.
    • They have extensive submarine plateaus, hills, guyots and seamounts.
    • The floor of the abyssal plain is covered by sediments.
  • Ocean deeps
    • The ocean deeps are the deepest part of the ocean.
    • They are long, narrow, steep sided and flat-floored depressions on the ocean floor.
    • They are generally called submarine trenches.

Conclusion

The Oceanic relief controls the motion of sea water. It influences the oceanic movement in the form of currents and helps in the navigation and fishing. It is a result of the plate tectonics and very little of the ocean floor has been mapped directly due to the vastness, diversity and associated challenges.

Value addition

Minor Ocean Relief Features:

  • Ridges
  • Hills
  • Seamounts
  • Guyots
  • Trenches
  • Canyons
  • Sleeps
  • Fracture zones.
  • Island arcs.
  • Atolls
  • Coral reefs.
  • Submerged volcanoes.
  • Sea-scarps.
  • Hydrothermal Vents.
  • Methane seeps.

 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2. Examine economic significance of the resources in the continental shelf of the Indian Ocean. (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 the resource richness of the Continental shelf of the Indian ocean and its economic implications.

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 stating various resources available in the continental shelf such as natural gas, minerals such as manganese and oil etc.

Body:

First, draw a neat diagram showing major resources. Write in detail the economic implications of the resources mentioned in the introduction.

Then mention the nutrient richness of the continental shelf, promoting diverse marine animals and their economic significance. Further, mention the corals and mangrove vegetation that not only promotes the biodiversity but also protects the economic activities of the coastal region by protecting it against vagaries of climate change events.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that the continental shelf of the Indian ocean is hugely resource rich and we need to have a sustainable approach to harness them.

Introduction

Continental shelf, a broad, relatively shallow submarine terrace of continental crust forming the edge of a continental landmass. The geology of continental shelves is often similar to that of the adjacent exposed portion of the continent, and most shelves have a gently rolling topography called ridge and swale. Continental shelves make up about 8 percent of the entire area covered by oceans.

Body

 

Economic significance of the resources in the continental shelf of the Indian Ocean

Biotic Resources: The Biotic Resources include fish, crustaceans’ molluscs, sea weeds and other edible form of marine life.

  • Marine Animals provide oil, fur, leather, cattle food etc.
  • Marine plants and animals are also used in curative medicine.
  • Seaweed derived from continental shelf are used in cooking and textiles.
  • Among all biotic resources Fish are more important for the people of Indian Ocean region because they are a rich source of proteins and account for more than 10% of the animal protein food. e.g. major varieties of fish include Tuna, Mackerel, Salman, Sardine, Prawn etc.
  • Fisheries and aquaculture industries are also a major source of exports. India’s maritime exports grew 55 times in volume between 1962 and 2012 and fisheries exports now account for Rs. 16,600 crore or about $2.5 billion.

Mineral Resources:

  • The mineral resources derived from the continental shelf of Indian Ocean include both metallic and non-metallic resources either in the dissolved form or as suspensions. The dissolved salts include common salt. e.g. Sodium Chloride, Salts of Magnesium and Bromine
  • Minerals derived from the shelves include Petroleum gas, Magnesium, Sulphur, Iron, Gold, Silver, Polymetallic nodules of copper zinc etc. These are valuable for the industrial usage.
  • Oil and Natural Gas are the important of all the mineral resources. They constitute up to 90% of the value of mineral derived from the sea. e.g. Bombay High.
  • Placer Deposits: Vitally important, thorium resources in placer sands of Malabar coast are a promise to Nuclear Energy security.

Energy Resources:

  • Tidal Waves: Tides during rise and fall, release a lot of energy by striking against the shore. This action of tidal waves can be used to operate a turbine and produce electricity. e.g. Tidal Wave plant has been established at Durgaduani in Sunderban of West Bengal.
  • Energy from temperature difference in Surface and Sub-surface water: In tropical oceans like Indian Ocean, the surface temperature is about 25°C to 30°C while the sub-temperature is 5°C. This vertical difference of temperature is enough to generate electricity. e.g. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant at the coast of Tamil Nadu
  • Geothermal Energy: This means tapping heat from the fracture zones and active volcanoes on Continental Shelves.

Tourism:

  • Coral atolls in Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands attract many tourists from India as well as abroad. This helps the livelihood of many islanders.

Conclusion

The Continental Shelf of the Indian Ocean is economically very significant for people. Indian Ocean is an “ocean of economic opportunities” for India. The security threats posed by State and non-state actors are impeding the progress. The Government initiatives like SAGAR, IORA, Sagarmala etc. should ensure that the fruits of Blue Economy is well reaped.

Value addition

Factors that make continental shelves one of the highly productive ecosystems:

 

  • The continental shelf is geologically defined as the submerged prolongation of the land mass of the coastal State, consisting of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, slope, and rise. It does not include the deep ocean floor.
  • Despite their small size in both areal extent and volume, the waters over continental shelves are usually rich in nutrients, which in turn make them among the most biologically productive areas of the oceans.
  • Water depth over the continental shelves averages about 60 meters (200 feet). Sunlight penetrates the shallow waters, and many kinds of organisms flourish—from microscopic shrimp to giant seaweed called kelp. Ocean currents and runoff from rivers bring nutrients to organisms that live on continental shelves.
  • Plants and algae make continental shelves rich feeding grounds for sea creatures. 
  • Accordingly, about 90% of the world’s fisheries production is harvested over the continental shelves.
  • One of the reasons for this higher productivity is the increased nutrient loads via runoff from the continental landmasses (mostly by rivers), however many shelf areas receive significant nutrients from upwelling of deeper ocean waters.
  • Continental shelf waters also tend to have food chains with fewer trophic levels, and on average support larger fish.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

3. Critically examine the need and rationale behind conducting caste-based census in India. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The debate about whether the decennial Census should collect data on caste from individuals who fall into the administrative categories of ‘General’ and ‘Other Backward Classes’ (OBCs) has been argued by public intellectuals, politicians, and government administrators for decades.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about benefits of collecting caste based data in census as well as the harms it might cause in light of the reality of Indian society.

Directive word: 

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of caste-based census in India.

Body:

In the first part, discuss the pros – lack of accurate data related to many affirmative action programmes of the government, helpful in the debate related to reservation policy, targeted poverty reduction programmes etc

Next, Discuss the cons – creates chasms within society, historical apprehensions when such data was used to further divide and rule policy, the reality of Indian society and the implications that it would have in a situation of trust deficit between communities, it would be a process of recording caste generated a conception of community as a homogeneous and classifiable community and thereby influenced the processes of political representation.

Conclusion:

Based on above arguments give a fair and balanced view as conclusion.

Introduction

Every Census in independent India from 1951 to 2011 has published data on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, but not on other castes. Caste Has Important Position in Indian Society, while census data has been captured for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, religions and linguistic profiles, there has been no profiling of all castes in India since 1931.

Body

The 2021 Census of India, the 16th Indian Census, will be taken in 2021. But the growing demands for a caste census from various sections of society have once again surfaced the issue like its immediate need and long-term repercussions.

Merits of Caste Census

  • Benefit in Policy Making:The purpose of a caste census is not merely geared to the reservation issue; a caste census would actually bring to the fore the large number of issues that any democratic country needs to attend to, particularly the number of people who are at the margins, or who are deprived, or the kind of occupations they pursue.
    • A caste census, which will generate exhaustive data will allow policymakers to develop better policies, implementation strategies,and will also enable a more rational debate on sensitive issues.
  • Enumerating the marginalized:A caste census would actually bring to the particular the number of people who are at the margins, or who are deprived, or the kind of occupations they pursue, or the kind of hold that institutions like caste have on them.
  • Also Reveal Privileged Section of Society:Caste is not only a source of disadvantage; it is also a very important source of privilege and advantage in our society.
    • We have to stop thinking of caste as being applicable to only disadvantaged people, poor people, people who are somehow lacking.
    • The opposite is even truer: caste has produced advantages for certain communities, and these also need to be recorded.
  • To Address Prevalent Inequalities:Unequal distribution of wealth, resources and education has meant an acute shortage of purchasing power among the majority of Indians.
    • As a democratic nation, we cannot forcibly overthrow the system,but we need to address it in a democratic, scientific and objective manner.
  • Constitutional Mandate:Our Constitution too favours conducting a caste census. Article 340 mandates the appointment of a commission to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes and make recommendations as to the steps that should be taken by governments.
  • Caste doesn’t marginalize:We need to do away with the idea of caste being applicable to only disadvantaged people, poor people, people who are somehow lacking.
  • Rids away caste rigidities:Counting of caste doesn’t necessarily perpetuate caste or the caste system. Myths of caste elitisms can be debunked through a caste census.
  • To Burst the Myths:There are a lot of myths which actually deprive a large number of people, particularly on the margins.
    • g.: In Karnataka, for a long time, there were claims that among the castes, the Lingayats are the most numerous.
    • But a lot of other studies have brought out that this may not be true, and these kinds of myths lead to the argument that given that this is a caste which is numerous, it has to be constantly placated. These myths can be debunked through a caste census.
  • Reduce Inclusion and Exclusion Errors:With accurate data of castes, most backward castes can be identified.
    • Some have benefited so much across the years, while there are people in this country who have not benefited at all.
  • The Supreme Court has time and again asked governmentsto provide the data related to castes; however, this has not been possible due to the non-availability of such data.
    • As a result, our national life suffers from mutual mistrust and misconceptions among different castes.
    • All such commissions have had to rely on data from the last caste census (1931).
  • Data for Policymaking:This information is absolutely necessary for any democratic policymaking.
  • Judicial backing:The courts in India have often emphatically said that it is important to have adequate data with regard to the reservation.

Associated Challenges with Caste Census

  • Repercussions of a Caste Census:Caste has an emotive element and thus there exist the political and social repercussions of a caste census.
    • There have been concerns that counting caste may help solidify or harden identities.
    • Due to these repercussions, nearly a decade after the SECC, a sizable amount of its data remains unreleased or released only in parts.
  • Caste Is Context-specific:Caste has never been a proxy for class or deprivation in India; it constitutes a distinct kind of embedded discrimination that often transcends class. For example: People with Dalit last names are less likely to be called for job interviews even when their qualifications are better than that of an upper-caste candidate.
    • They are also less likely to be accepted as tenants by landlords. Thus, difficult to measure.
    • Marriage to a well- educated, well-off Dalit man still sparks violent reprisals among the families of upper-caste women every day across the country.
  • 50% breach:It is argued that a Socio-Economic Caste Census is the only way to make a case to breach the 50% cap on reservation and rationalize the reservation matrix in the country.
  • Rising assertiveness:More the State ignores out caste, the more is the tendency to preserve caste, protect it. This has been observed in many states.
  • Chaos:Data gathering itself is a big problem because it can become very, very invasive. But we need to actually balance it with enabling people and asserting citizen equality.
  • Social friction:Caste identification can lead to friction amongst various classes.

Way Forward

  • India needs to bebold and decisive in tackling caste questions through data and statistics in the way the United States (US) does to tackle race issues, by collecting data around race, class, language, inter-race marriages, among other metrics.
    • This data provides a mirror to the State and society of the US in which they can see themselves and take decisions to do course corrections.
  • Creation of National Data Bank:The Sachar Committee Report recommended setting up a national data bank.
    • The Justice Rohini committeewas appointed in 2017 to look into the sub-categorisation of the OBC communities; however, in the absence of data, there can be no databank or any proper sub-categorisation.

Conclusion

With every passing day and increasing social awareness, the urgency to do away with the caste system is being sharply felt. Dr. BR Ambedkar stated that if India had to attain a place of pride among the comity of nations, caste would have to be annihilated first.

The most important thing is improving existing databases is more crucial to this than getting into the debate of whether to do a caste count or not. Accurate and timely data is central to India’s effort to tackle poverty. Poor data diminishes the efforts to design welfare programmes.

The 21st century is the right time to solve India’s caste question, which would otherwise extract a heavy price, not just sociologically, but also politically and economically, and make us fall behind in the development index.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Around the world, major economies have been moving to embrace and launch central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). India must also explore CBDC after addressing concerns surrounding it. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

To counter the cryptocurrency craze, central banks around the world are taking a closer, keener look at introducing central bank digital currencies (CBDC). The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) too is considering its own trial of CBDCs with a pilot in December.

Key Demand of the question: To write about CBDC, its potential benefits and challenges.

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: 

Start by explaining the emerging concept central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Body:

 In the first part, explain the technology behind CBDC – Blockchain giving rise to secure digital instruments. Also, mention from where CBDC will derive its value from. Mention the growing acceptance of CBDC in India.

Next, write about potential benefits that India can accrue from CBDC. financial inclusion, the cashless society, decrease the cost of printing, expanding the digital economy and empowering citizens etc.

Next, write about potential challenges with regards to CBDC. User adoption, security, complexity, domination by Chinese and Opportunity cost due to RBI’s reluctance etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward as to how India should step up to CBDC

Introduction

A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), or national digital currency, is simply the digital form of a country’s fiat currency. Instead of printing paper currency or minting coins, the central bank issues electronic tokens. This token value is backed by the full faith and credit of the government.

The Reserve Bank of India is likely to soon kick off pilot projects to assess the viability of using digital currency to make wholesale and retail payments to help calibrate its strategy for introducing a full-scale central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Body

According to the Bank for International Settlements, more than 60 countries are currently experimenting with the CBDC. There are few Countries that already rolled out their national digital currency. Such as,

  • Swedenis conducting real-world trials of their digital currency (krona)
  • The Bahamasalready issued their digital currency “Sand Dollar” to all citizens
  • Chinastarted a trial run of their digital currency e- RMB amid pandemic. They plan to implement pan-China in 2022. This is the first national digital currency operated by a major economy.

 

Need for a CBDC:

  • The growth of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum etc has raised challenges to fiat currencies.
  • Along with their other vulnerabilities made the central bank of each country explore the possibility of introducing their own digital currencies.
  • A 2021 BIS survey of central banks, which found that 86% were actively researching the potential for such currencies, 60% were experimenting with the technology, and 14% were deploying pilot projects.
  • The need for inter-bank settlement would disappear as it would be a central bank liability handed over from one person to another.

Potential of a CBDC:

  • An official digital currency would reduce the cost of currency management while enabling real-time payments without any inter-bank settlement.
  • India’s fairly high currency-to-GDP ratio holds out another benefit of CBDC — to the extent large cash usage can be replaced by CBDC, the cost of printing, transporting and storing paper currency can be substantially reduced.
  • As the currency in digital form, it can provide an efficient way for financial transaction. Further, digital currency also solves the challenges with Cash and coins. Cash and coins require expenses in storage and have inherent security risks like the recent heist in the RBI currency chest.
  • There are about 3,000 privately issued cryptocurrencies in the world. According to IMF, the key reason for considering national digital currency is to counter the growth of private forms of digital money.
  • There is a possibility of these companies going bankrupt without any protection. This will create a loss for both investor and creditor. But the National Digital currency has government backing in case of any financial crisis.
  • As the state-backed digital currency can provide investor/consumer protection, the private can confidently invest in the associated infrastructure without any doubts over its regulation. This will improve the services to people.
  • The national digital currency will be regulated by the RBI. So, there will be less volatility compared to other digital currencies.
  • Current RBI’s work on inflation targeting can be extended to national digital currency also. Since India is planning to ban other cryptocurrencies, the RBI can better regulate digital and fiat currency. Thus, upgrading to digital currency and balancing the macroeconomic stability.
  • With the introduction of CBDC in a nation, its central bank would be able to keep a track of the exact location of every unit of the currency, thereby curbing money laundering.
  • Criminal activities can be easily spotted and ended such as terror funding, money laundering, and so forth

Concerns posed:

  • India is already facing many cyber security threats. With the advent of digital currency, cyberattacks might increase and threaten digital theft like Mt Gox bankruptcy case.
  • According to the Digital Empowerment Foundation in 2018 report, around 90% of India’s population is digitally illiterate. So, without creating enough literary awareness introduction of digital currency will create a host of new challenges to the Indian economy.
  • Introduction of digital currency also creates various associated challenges in regulation, tracking investment and purchase, taxing individuals, etc.
  • The digital currency must collect certain basic information of an individual so that the person can prove that he’s the holder of that digital currency. This basic information can be sensitive ones such as the person’s identity, fingerprints etc.

Conclusion

There are crucial decisions to be made about the design of the currency with regards to how it will be issued, the degree of anonymity it will have, the kind of technology that is to be used, and so on. There is no doubt that the introduction of National Digital currency prevents the various threats associated with the private-owned cryptocurrencies and take India the next step as a digital economy. But the government has to create necessary safeguards before rolling out. India needs to move forward on introducing an official digital currency.

Value addition

Working of CBDC:

  • CBDCs use distributed ledger technology (DLT), which is typically deployed in a hybrid architecture i.e. existing central bank and payment infrastructure + DLT for movement, transparency, workflow and audit trail or tracing of funds (value).
  • This technology helps in efficiency (speed), security (encryptions) and also other aspects like smart contracts which execute buy and sell transactions based on a pre-defined criteria and opens up the possibility of ‘programmable’ money.
  • CBDC can be in different forms like token or account/ digital wallet form.
  • The underlying technology used for CBDCs can vary from DLT or a mix of existing payment rails and systems at one layer and DLT at the second layer. In order to keep track of money, banks need to store financial records, such as how much money a person has and what transactions they’ve made.
  • While digitising the money supply chain from central banks to commercial banks to consumers of wholesale and retail CBDCs, complimenting the existing infrastructure and investment is important.

 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5. Ensuring price stability by monetary authorities is a necessary condition for the economy to sustain high growth. Analyse (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the dynamics between Inflation and economic growth and the role of RBI in this.

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 present slow recovery of economy from Covid pandemic along with the rising oil prices and the policy of fiscal stimulus through liquidating government assets.

Body:

Discuss the Phillips curve and the relation between unemployment(growth) and wages(inflation) and the need to balance the two. Stress on the fact that reasonable price stability determines various factors such as Investment climate of the country, borrowing trends of businesses, ensure reasonable supply inputs of industries and also cost of agricultural produce.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that the RBI has to walk a tightrope balance to ensure that the prices are maintained at a reasonable degree to ensure that the growth is sustained in the long run.

Introduction

The headline inflation remained above the upper threshold of the monetary policy committee’s inflation targeting framework. While much of the recent spurt in inflation stems from supply-side disruptions owing to the imposition of restrictions on economic activities, it is likely that inflation may prove to be sticky on the downside, even as restrictions ease.

With a significant section of the eligible population likely to be vaccinated by the second half of the year, household demand, especially for the contact intensive services, is likely to firm up, which along with higher commodity prices, could push up inflation.

Body

 

Issues of price instability on growth

  • Continuing high inflation: While the rise in prices has so far been attributed to supply disturbances due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, economists now worry that there are other reasons contributing to the trend, and it might become challenging for the RBI to control.
  • Price stability is vital to economies because price levels determine inflation and deflation.
    • Severe, rapid, or unexpected inflation rates and deflation rates are major threats to economic growth because they alter the value of money.
  • High inflation causes wages, savings, and purchasing power to decrease in value.
    • During times of severe inflation, consumers become frightened and aggregate demand declines.
  • Such inflation causes businesses to lose out on profits and let employees go, compounding the public’s fear.

Price stability for high economic growth

Price stability means an economy can avoid severe inflation and severe deflation. This causes many significant benefits:

  • Improves price transparency. With stable prices, consumers can recognize relative price changes without being confused by overall price changes.
    • This means informed decision-making when they consume and invest.
  • Avoids arbitrary redistribution of wealth: When unexpected inflation occurs, wealth is redistributed randomly, rather than based on merit or need: for instance, different goods’ prices increase at different rates, which punishes certain businesses more than others, and creditors receive less in loan payments than they would have with low inflation, while debtors benefit from inflation.
    • With price stability, this arbitrary redistribution of wealth is avoided.
  • Lowers risk premia: A risk premium is the lowest return on investment a consumer needs in order to hold a risky asset rather than a risk-free one.
    • If risk premia are high, it means consumers are unwilling to make risky investments, and economic activity slows.
    • If risk premia are low, real interest rates are lower and consumers feel more comfortable with investment decisions, which leads to economic growth.
  • Strong economic confidence: A reasonable price stability determines various factors such as Investment climate of the country, borrowing trends of businesses, ensure reasonable supply inputs of industries and also cost of agricultural produce.

Conclusion

Price stability is a win-win-win for growth, financial stability of nation and inflation. Growth need not, in fact, be a ‘secondary’ goal. A sense of continuity is critical, especially when India has experimented with the inflation targeting framework for just five years against a tumultuous experience with inflation. However, it is important that the range and target be reassessed independently without an inherent bias towards either growth or inflation.

 

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

6. Inter-ministerial co-ordination is the need of the hour to address the existing water crisis and to effectively implement National water policy. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question: 

India has adverse water balance – 18 per cent of the world’s population but has only 4 per cent of the global water resources.

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the dimensions of water crisis in India, the role of Inter-ministerial co-ordination in them and the need to have a refined National Water Policy.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by stating various water woes faced in India such as overuse of groundwater, deforestation leading to depleting groundwater table, urbanisation leading to lack of channels for surface water replenishment etc. Give a statistic to show the gravity of the situation.

Body:

First, National Water Policy for India must encompass varying factors such as role of Centre-State-Local Bodies, Urban-Rural consumption pattern.

Next, mention that the Ministry of Water Resources must collaborate with Urban Development, Environment and Local self-Government to ensure that water is judiciously exploited as well as conserved.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that the National water policy must be robust and take immediate effect in order address the looming issue of survival.

Introduction

As per NITI Aayog report (CWMI) released in June 2019, India is facing the worst-ever water crisis in history. The complexity and scale of the water crisis in India calls for a locus specific response, that can galvanise and integrate the ongoing work of different Ministries and Departments through new configurations.

Such an integrated approach must necessarily cut across sectoral boundaries and not stop at the merger achieved between the two Ministries of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, which led to the formation of the Ministry of Jal Shakti in 2019.

Body

Water issues plaguing the nation

  • India has 4 % of the world’s freshwater which has to cater to 17 % of the world’s population.
  • Approximately 600 million people or roughly around 45 % of the population in India is facing high to severe water stress.
  • As per the report, 21 Indian cities will run out of their main source of water i.e. groundwater by 2020.
  • Nearly 40 % of the population will have absolutely no access to drinking water by 2030 and 6 % of India’s GDP will be lost by 2050 due to the water crisis.

Solving water problem at different levels of government and region

Seeing India’s looming water crisis through the locus of ‘urban’ and ‘rural’ not only allows a better grasp of the causative factors but also enables a stronger grip on the strategies to be deployed to reverse the water crisis.

  • Urban water resource management
  • Ground water management is of utmost importance in urban areas where 50% water is drawn from ground. E.g.: Encroachment of flood plains, ground water recharge are areas to work with.
  • Loss of green cover in urban areas and heat island effect are reasons for depleting water sources. e.g.: Urban forests needs to be created like in Aarey, Mumbai.
  • The Ministry of Water Resources must reconfigure its relationship with other Ministries and Departments (Urban Development, Local Self-Government and Environment).
  • Enhanced integration and coordination are needed through effective land and water zoning regulations that protect urban water bodies, groundwater sources, wetlands and green cover while simultaneously working to enhance waste water recycling and water recharge activities targeting aquifers and wells through rainwater harvesting.
  • Rural water resource management
    • Water and food security: At the sectoral level, the Ministries and Departments of water resources must coordinate efforts with their counterparts in agriculture, the environment and rural development for greater convergence to achieve water and food security.
      • g.: Water guzzler crops like paddy and wheat in Punjab have turned the soil saline and depleted ground water.
    • Whole of government approach: At the disciplinary level, governance and management should increasingly interact and draw from the expertise of fields such as hydrology (watershed sustainability), hydrogeology (aquifer mapping and recharge) and agriculture sciences (water-sensitive crop choices and soil health).
    • Surface water management: Again, the importance given to groundwater conservation should not ignore surface water conservation including the many rivers and lakes which are in a critical and dying state due to encroachment, pollution, over-abstraction and obstruction of water flow by dams.

Way Forward

  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti, last year, had announced an ambitious plan to provide water connections to every household in India by 2024 (Har ghar jal and Nal se jal).
  • In view of the ongoing erosion of water resources and an ever-increasing demand for water, the thrust should not be on promising water supply.
  • Instead, the aim should be towards protecting and conserving water resources on the one hand and minimising and enhancing efficiency of water usage on the other.
  • As the expert committee constituted under the Union Water Resources Ministry drafts a new National Water Policy, one hopes it would be rooted in locus specific realities and allows greater flexibility for integrating the insights and work of multiple departments and disciplines making way for new configurations to sustainably manage the country’s water resources.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: social influence and persuasion.  

7. Persuasion is an art of connecting to the audience through logic, by invoking emotions, and by speaker’s credibility. Discuss. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: A Practical Approach to Ethics Integrity and Aptitude by D.K Balaji.

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.

Directive:

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 giving an in-depth description of Persuasion

Body:

Write about the need of Persuasion in various contexts such as family, policy forums, elections etc, its various modes such as ethos, logos, pathos and Kairos. Give few examples of personalities with great persuasive skills such as Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Swami Vivekananda etc and how it plays a role in their respective fields.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of Persuasion and the need to use it for positive outcomes.

Introduction

Persuasion is symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people through transmission of a message to change their attitudes or behaviours. Persuasion is the process of changing or reinforcing attitudes, beliefs or behaviour of a person.

Body

People respond to persuasive messages in two ways: thoughtfully and mindlessly. When people are in thoughtful mode, the persuasiveness of the message is determined by merits of the message. When people respond to messages mindlessly, their brains are locked on automatic. Persuasion is mainly dependent upon the attractiveness of the speakers and reaction of the listeners. Persuasion is exclusively related with communication, learning, awareness and thought.

Importance of three factors:

Logic:

  • logical appealis a method of persuasion based on evidence and reasoning.
  • When you’re trying to persuade people about something, the chances of your success depend a lot on whether your arguments make sense, or are logical.
  • If your reasoning leads logically to the conclusion you’ve stated, you’ve used logical appeals effectively. If not, it’s very likely that your reasoning lacks evidence.
  • Like a lawyer building his case, you need to gather evidence, or proof, to support your logic. For example, if your main idea (or thesis statement) focuses on nutritional healing, you should rely heavily on reliable research for evidence.
  • If you’re blogging about how your new Droid is the best on the market, your own experience will be persuasive, but you’ll also need to include evidence, such as comparisons of specifications and features with another similar device.

Invoking emotions:

  • Emotional persuasion is arousing emotion to influence decision-making processes.
  • Pathos persuaders strongly employ interaction and involvement.
  • They usually tell stories to make points and to expand others’ imagination of what’s possible, rather than just appealing to morality or logic.
  • They’re usually more personal in their approach, tending to discuss lessons learned and portraying their own limitations.

Source/Speaker:

  • Features of the source of the persuasive message include the credibility of the speaker and the physical attractiveness of the speaker.
  • Thus, speakers who are credible, or have expertise on the topic, and who are deemed as trustworthy are more persuasive than less credible speakers.
  • Similarly, more attractive speakers are more persuasive than less attractive speakers.
  • The use of famous actors and athletes to advertise products on television and in print relies on this principle.
  • The immediate and long term impact of the persuasion also depends, however, on the credibility of the messenger

Conclusion

Persuasion can bring a lasting change in people’s behaviour and is highly effective in implementation of public policies provided the tools are used in a right way.


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