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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 December 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: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Why is the Vijayanagara period considered as the golden age of literature in south India? Explain. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: New Indian Express

Why the question:

While Vijayanagara Empire reached it’s literary zenith under reign of  Sri Krishna Deva Raya,  there have been many literary greats who flourished under various rulers, most of whom were patrons of  art and architecture.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about literary advancement during Vijayanagar period.

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: 

Begin by mentioning the Vijayanagar rulers were great patrons of art and architecture.

Body:

In detail, write about development of Kannada, Telugu, Sanskrit and Tamil literature who wrote in the Jain, Virashaiva and Vaishnava traditions.

Next, write about the period produced hundreds of works on all aspects of Indian culture, religion, biographies, Prabhandas (stories), music, grammar, poetics and medicine. Mention various poets and saints and their most famous works.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the about Vijayanagara period as the golden age of literature in south India.

Introduction

Vijayanagara literature was produced in the Vijayanagara Empire during a golden age of literature in South India in general. The rulers patronised Kannada, Telugu, Sanskrit and Tamil scholars who wrote in the Jain, Virashaiva and Vaishnava traditions. The period produced hundreds of works on all aspects of Indian culture, religion, biographies, Prabhandas (stories), music, grammar, poetics and medicine.

Body

Sanskrit

  • During the reign of Bukka I, the Samhitas of all the four Vedas, and many of the Brahmanas and the Aranyakas were commented upon by a group of scholars under the leadership of Sayana.
  • The epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were also commented upon during the period.
  • Among the Advaita works, or commentaries, may be mentioned Vidyaraya’s Vivaranaprameya- Sangraha, Panchadasi etc., and Sayana – Madhava’s Saravadarsana- Sangraha.
  • In legal literature, mention should be made of Parasara Madhaviya, a commentary on Parasara Smriti.
  • Gangadevi, the wife of Kumara Kampana, and daughter – in – law of Bukka I related her husband’s conquest of Madura from the Sultans in her Madhuravijayam, Krishnadevaraya wrote Jambavati Kalyana;

Vernaculars

  • Telugu, Kannada and Tamil literature received much encouragement from the kings.
  • Bukka 1 was the patron of the work, Uttara- Harivamsam written by Nachana Somana; under Tuluva Narasa, who was the regent to lmmadi Narasimha.
  • Flourished Nandi Malayya and Ghante Singayya who wrote Varahapuranam and Narasimha Puranam, and translated Krishna Misra’s Prabodhchandrodayam
  • It is however the reign of Krishnadevaraya that attained celebrity in Telugu literature.
  • It is generally believed that eight great poets “Ashtadiggjas” lived in his court.
  • Himself the author of Amuktamalyada, he patronized a number of scholars though some of the poets are chronologically far removed from the king.
  • Allasani Peddana, the author of Manucharitra, Timmana, the author of Parijatapaharamam and Dhurjati, the author of Kalahastimahatmyam, were definitely his contemporaries.
  • Others like Ramarajabhushana, Ayyalaraju Ramabhadra, Pingali Surana and Tenali RamaKrishna, received recognition only after the time of Krishnadevaraya.
  • Aliya Rama Raja’s wife, Tirumalamba, also known as Mohanangi, wrote the Mareechi Parinayamu, a long poem in Telugu.
  • The Rama-raajiyamu or Narapati-vijayamu, a poem in Telugu by Andugula Venkayya, was written at the behest of Aliya Rama Raja.
  • Following the same tradition, Aliya Rama Raja had also patronised many poets, including Bhattu Murti, who became famous by name Rama Raja Bhushanudu, after his patron. He wrote the Kaavya-alankaara Sangrahamu.
  • Later, the poet wrote a long poem in Telugu, the Vasu Charitra, and dedicated it to Tirumala Raya.
  • Most of the Kannada literature relates to jain and Vira saiva religious thought at a later stage, Brahmanical literature was produced.
  • Bhimakavi was a scholar in Telugu and Kannada, and translated Somnatha’s Basavapurana into Kannada.
  • Madhura wrote Dharmnathapurana on the fifteenth jai nTirthankara. Chamarasa’s Prabhulinga-lila, Mahalingadeva’s Ekoltara Shalsthala, Jakkana’s Nurondusthala, are the works on Vira ‘Saivism. Kumaravyasa was the author of ten Paravas of the Bharata in Kannada. Kuinara Valmiki author Ramajaya in Kannada.
  • Among the Vaishnava writers, mention must be made of Purandaradasa, a contemporary of Krishnadevaraya.
  • In Tamil literature, we have a number of works belonging to the Vijayanagar period. Svarupananda Desikar’s Sivaprakasa Perundirattu, and his pupils Taltuvarayar’s Knrundirattu are anthologies relating to Saivite Philosophies. Arunagirinath’s Thiruppugal praises Muraga (Kartikeya), and his seats particularly, Palani.
  • Manavalamahamuni wrote commentaries on Ramanuja’s works.
  • The Bharatam of Viluputturar gives the entire story of Mahabharata.
  • There are a number of lexicons produced during this period, viz., Niganduchudamni, by Manadalapurusha, a jain; Agaradinigandu by Chidambararevana Siddar, a Virasaiva; and Kayadaram by Kayadara a Brahmin

Conclusion

The Vijayanagar kings patronized Sanskrit in general and also the Vernaculars in different regions of their kingdom. Like the development in other fields, Vijayanagar rule witnessed enormous growth in Literary works. There are a number of works written by the kings and queens of Vijayanagar that have literary merit.

 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2. The observations of Fa-hien helps us understand the social and religious condition of ancient India. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

a Buddhist monk from China, Fa-Hien, decided to come to the land of the Buddha in 399/400 CE. Fa-Hien reported with great detail all the Buddhist sites and symbols that he encountered. Fourteen hundred years later, Alexander Cunningham, the father of India’s archaeology, followed Fa-Hien’s trails to uncover the sites.

Key Demand of the question:

To Discuss in detail socio-religious observations made by Fa-hien.

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 writing a brief about Fa-hien the Chinese pilgrim who visited India.

Body:

Write in detail about various socio-religious observations of fa-hien – caste system, untouchability, major religions, customs and traditions, important cities and architecture etc.

Next, mention certain limitation of Fa-hien’s account.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the historical importance of Fa-Hien’s work.

Introduction

Fahien travelled across India during the rule of Chandragupta Vikramaditya between an estimated 399-414 AD. Fahien noted about peacefulness of India, the rarity of serious crime, and the mildness of the administration. He has left valuable information about the Indian social, political, economic and religious conditions of the time.

Body

Social conditions

  • The people were prosperous and content with their lives. Public morality was high.
  • Mostly the people were vegetarians and avoided meat and onions in their meals. They did not use alcohol and other intoxicants.
  • Meat eating was confined to low castes and untouchables.
  • According to Fahien, the Shudras were kept outside the town and entered the town by making a noise with a stick. They were butchers, hunters, and fishermen.
  • The rich people vied with each other in practice of benevolence and righteousness.
  • They established houses for dispensing charity and medicine and gave large donations to temples, monasteries, Sanghas etc.
  • All this suggests that the people were prosperous, happy, liberal and simple in morals.

Religion

  • Buddhism and Hinduism were the most popular religions at that time. According to him Buddhism was divided into Mahayana and Hinayana.
  • Buddhism was more popular in Punjab, Bengal and the region around Mathura.
  • He saw 20 buddha viharas in Mathura. But in Kapilavastu, Gaya, Kushinagar the condition was deteriorating which indicates weakening of Buddhism.
  • In Mathura, there were many Buddhist monasteries and even government servants respected Buddhist monks.
  • The Hindu religion was more popular in the ‘middle kingdom’ (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and a part of Bengal) which formed the heart of Chandra Gupta II’s dominions.
  • The emperor worshipped Vishnu but he was tolerant to other faiths.
  • Buddhism and Hinduism flourished side by side which suggests that the people observed tolerance in religious matters.
  • Fahien has also mentioned about existence of Jainism.

Conclusion

Fa-hien’s whole purpose was religious in nature. He observed everything with Buddhist spectacles. The prosperity of the Indians and tranquillity of the empire have been testified by the account of Fa-Hien and his unobstructed itinerary all around gives the details about the Golden Era of India.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

3. India’s substantive engagement of the past with Afghanistan was aimed at the realisation of a stable polity and it remains the most viable option as Afghanistan enters a new phase in its turbulent political evolution. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

New Delhi’s decision to send a consignment of medicines to Afghanistan is another sign that the government is now coming around to the reality of the Taliban regime in Kabul and is finding ways to reach out to them.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the course of action India must pursue to protect its interests in Afghanistan in the wake of Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Directive word:

 Analyse – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the providing context as to the paradigm shift of political power in Afghanistan and its impact on India.

Body:

In brief, using a flow chart, trace the Indo-Afghan relationship till date.

Write about the strategic interests of India in Afghanistan – India’s trade and investment, India and Afghanistan strategic partnership, India’s development portfolio in Afghanistan, gateway to Central Asia and Linkages with Iran especially the Chabahar port etc.

Next, suggest reasons as to why India must diplomatically engage with Taliban and incorporate new changes to his Afghan Policy. This part must be written comprehensively and must cover protecting strategic interests, the Pakistan angle, Recognition by international powers and need to be proactive in geo-politics.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward which summarises that India needs to engage in order to protect its own interests.

Introduction

Taliban have seized power in Afghanistan and captured Kabul triggered by the U.S. withdrawal. The recent decision of Delhi to send a consignment of medicines to Afghanistan is another sign that the government is now coming around to the reality of the Taliban regime in Kabul and is finding ways to reach out to them.

Body

India-Afghanistan engagement before Taliban

  • Trade relations: India is the second-largest destination for Afghan exports.
  • Infrastructure development by India: India is the sixth largest donor to Afghanistan in diverse development projects in infrastructure, education and agriculture.
    • Some of the major projects include, construction of a 218 km road from Zaranj to Delaram for facilitating movement of goods and services to the Iranian border.
    • Construction of Afghan-India Friendship Dam (Salma Dam) in Herat province.
    • Construction of Afghan Parliament.
  • Political & Security Relations: During the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-89), India was the only South Asian nation to recognize the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
  • India also provided humanitarian aid to then Afghan President Najibullah’s government. Following the withdrawal of the Soviet forces, India continued to provide Najibullah’s government with humanitarian aid.
  • Strategic partnership: India was the first country Afghanistan chose to sign a strategic partnership agreement with.
    • India signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2011 to assist in “the training, equipping and capacity- building programs for the Afghan National Security Forces”.
    • India aided the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in fighting the scourge of terrorism, organized crime, trafficking of narcotics and money laundering.
  • Defence relations: India donated three Mi-25 attack helicopters to Afghanistan as part of the bilateral strategic partnership to counter the Taliban.

India’s strategic interest in Afghanistan

  • Economic importance:
    • Natural Resources: Afghanistan has significant oil and gas reserves and has rich source of rare earth materials.
  • Threat to financial and strategic investments: Over the past years, India has invested an estimated $3 billion in projects across Afghanistan and has engaged in other soft power tactics to strengthen friendship and goodwill between two nations.
    • Taliban takeover not only poses a security threat to India’s assets, but also lays waste to India’s efforts.
  • Increasing influence of China and Pakistan: The nexus between the Taliban and the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan raises concerns about Pakistan’s increasing influence within the country.
    • Also, absence of U.S. financial and military aid opens up avenues for China to gain influence over the nation.
  • Security: Stable government in Kabul is essential to reduce terror activities across south Asia also in Jammu and Kashmir.
    • Thus, the most important goal for India remains the prevention of Pakistan from regaining its central role in Afghan affairs.
    • However, with Taliban takeover and Pakistan’s influence, security situation now seems precarious.
  • Gateway to energy rich central Asia: Afghanistan is situated at crossroads between South Asia and Central Asia and South Asia and the Middle East.

Way forward for India

  • Establishing informal links with the Taliban government: It would put New Delhi in a stronger position to ensure that its assets and investments in Afghanistan aren’t imperiled.
  • Broader Diplomatic Engagement: India should consider appointing a special envoy dedicated to Afghan reconciliation.
    • The envoy can ensure that Indian views are expressed at every meeting, broaden engagement with the Afghan government and other political actors, and reach out to certain Taliban representatives.
  • Developmental and Humanitarian aid: Given the continued levels of violence and the impact of the coronavirus on the Afghan economy, India should expand its development assistance.
  • Working With and Through Others: India should look to broaden its engagements with Iran and Russia, explore opportunities for cooperation with China, and find common ground with the United States on Afghanistan’s future.
    • Such engagements should include investing in a wider diplomatic initiative with the view to carve out areas of convergence.

Conclusion

India needs a long-term strategic approach towards Afghanistan that weaves political, economic, military and diplomatic dimensions into a coherent whole within the framework of a grand strategy. India’s Afghan policy must be based on a clear-cut understanding of India’s strategic goals in the region, and the regional and global strategic environment

Value-addition

Taliban takeover and aftermath

  • India conducted Operation Devi Shakti to evacuate more than 800 people including its citizens and Afghan partners from Afghanistan.
  • Ministry of External Affairs of Government of India held meeting with Taliban in Doha, focused on safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan, and the travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, to India.
  • The UN Security Council adopted a resolution condemning deadly attacks in Afghanistan and requiring the Taliban to honour their commitment to let people freely leave Afghanistan and raised calls for combating terrorism and upholding human rights.
  • The US has frozen nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank and stopped shipments of cash to the nation.

 

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

4. Co-operative banks in India form the backbone for delivery of credit to rural areas. However, for cooperative banks to be regulated and supervised better, RBI needs to ramp up its supervisory capacity. Elucidate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das on Sunday indicated that the banking regulator will ring in sweeping regulatory changes to reform urban co-operative banks that have been plagued by a spate of failures, and warned people against parking their savings in banks offering high returns.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving the aims and objectives of setting up Co-operative banks.

Body:

In the first part, mention the various advantages of Co-operative banks in India, especially with respect to disbursal of rural credit.

Next, bring out the various issues with Co-operative banks – cite examples of PMC bank and similar other failures.

Next, write about need for RBI to ramp up its supervisory capacity – strict monitoring to ensure that only persons with impeccable credentials promote banks, higher capital adequacy and liquidity norms, mandatory annual credit rating, making public the annual RBI inspection reports and

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a way for strict and unambiguous regulatory supervision of RBI over banking.

Introduction

Co-operative banks, which are distinct from commercial banks, were born out of the concept of cooperative credit societies where members from a community band together to extend loans to each other, at favourable terms.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, indicated that the banking regulator will ring in sweeping regulatory changes to reform urban co-operative banks that have been plagued by a spate of failures, and warned people against parking their savings in banks offering high returns.

Body

About Urban cooperative banks and advantages

  • Broadly, co-operative banks in India are divided into two categories – urban and rural.
    • Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) are either scheduled or non-scheduled.
    • Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) are registered as cooperative societies under the provisions of, either the State Cooperative Societies Act of the State concerned or the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002.
  • These banks provide a wide range of regular banking and financial services and are located in urban and semi-urban areas.
  • Catering urban class: UCBs are organised with the objective of promoting thrift and self-help among the middle class/lower middle-class population and providing credit facilities to the people with small means in the urban/semi-urban centers.
  • Financial inclusion: On account of their local feel and familiarity, UCBs were set up to allow ease of access to credit and ensure financial inclusion.
  • Attractive interest rates: UCBs remain quite a hit with retail savers and small businesses because they offer attractive interest rates on deposits, far higher than commercial banks.
  • Local nature: Due to their local nature, UCBs have an advantage over their commercial rivals in terms of having information both about upcoming business opportunities as well as borrower quality, which national-level banks have a hard time gathering.

Issues faced by Urban cooperative banks

  • After initially encouraging UCBs to spring up all over India for financial inclusion, the RBI began to wake up to their poor governance from 2005 when it stopped issuing new UCB licences.
    • In 2001, Ahmedabad’s Madhavpura Mercantile Cooperative Bank also went bust which landed another 210 UCB in trouble and some of them had to be liquidated.
  • The financial robustness of UCBs has been assessed through CAMELS (capital adequacy; asset quality; management; earnings; liquidity; and systems and control) ratings.
  • With many of these banks failing, and the RBI encouraged weak ones to merge, the number of UCBs operating in India has shrunk from 1,926 in 2005 to 1,551 by 2018.
  • The RBI has also been trying to improve governance at these banks by putting up a Board of Management to oversee them and recent PMC bank crisis has also put the question on the poor condition on the management and regulation of UCB in India.
  • Regulatory issues: RBI’s supervision of cooperative banks is not as stringent as that of commercial banks.
    • Typically, the state government audits cooperative banks while RBI inspects their books once a year.
    • here have also been cases of ignoring the guidelines and directives issued by Reserve Bank of India from time to time leading to unfair practices to inflate the major statistics.

Way Forward

  • Fair recruitment: In order to improve efficiency, increase transparency and promote fairness, the decision-making processes pertaining to staff administration, granting of credit and new membership should be clearly laid down.
    • In order to accomplish these goals, UCBs need to have sound processes, professional management and a leadership whose incentives and motivation are totally beyond doubt.
  • Technology absorption and deploying smart-banking techniques: It is important to outsmart the competitors and to sustain as well as to grow.
  • Umbrella organization for UCBs and instituting a board of management to make them more financially resilient and to enhance the depositors’ confidence.
  • Y H Malegam Committee also introduced the concept of board of management (BOM) in UCBs, batted for doing away with dual regulation.
  • Independent auditing: As suggested by Madhava Rao Committee, audit of UCB should be done by independent external auditors like commercial banks and be inspected likewise.
  • Strictly adhering to RBI norms: The foremost duty of the Urban Co-operative Banks is to implement the rules and regulations and strictly adhere to the set of rules and regulations framed by the Reserve Bank of India for the healthy growth of their bank as well as the healthy growth of the Urban Co- operative Banking sector.

Value addition

R Gandhi Committee recommendations

  • Suggestions such as an amendment of the Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act to give more powers over cooperative banks.
  • Empowering the regulator to wind up and liquidate banks without involving other regulators under the cooperative societies’ laws.
  • BI must improve financial awareness among the poor who deposit money in UCBs, and empower them to take informed decisions.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Conservation of biodiversity is crucial not only because it provides several goods and services necessary for human survival, but also because it is directly linked with providing livelihoods to local people. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of biodiversity conservation in light of the services it provides.

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 defining biodiversity.

Body:

First, Write about the reasons as to why Biodiversity is important to humans. Economic—biodiversity provides humans with raw materials for consumption and production, Ecological life support, Recreation—many recreational pursuits rely on our unique biodiversity, Cultural and scientific.

Next, bring out the link of biodiversity and many livelihoods – such as those of farmers, fishers and timber workers, are dependent on biodiversity. Give specific examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the importance of biodiversity.

Introduction

Biological diversity is the resource upon which families, communities, nations and future generations depend. It is the link between all organisms on earth, binding each into an interdependent ecosystem, in which all species have their role. It is the web of life.

A report in 2018 estimated that while humans constitute only 0.01% of all living things by mass, we have caused the loss of 83% of all wild animals and half of all plants on earth. By this, we not only deny ourselves the aesthetic pleasure of enjoying nature’s beauty in its splendid array of diverse life forms but also imperil our own health and well-being.

Body

Importance of Biodiversity

  • Ecological role: Species of many kinds perform some of the other functions in an ecosystem. Every organism, besides fulfilling its own needs, also contributes something useful to different other organisms in the environment. Species capture, store and utilise energy, produce and decompose organic materials, are part of cycles of water and nutrients throughout the ecosystem, fix gases in the atmosphere and also help regulate the climate. Thus, they help in soil formation, reducing pollution, protection of land, water and air resources. These functions of biodiversity are important for ecosystem functions and stability.
  • Regulating services:Biodiversity regulates the local as well as global climate, manages the global levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases, maintains freshwater quality by vegetation slowing runoff, absorbs carbon by acting as carbon sinks etc. Thus biodiversity regulates the life and life processes on the planet.
  • Food web maintenance: Biodiversity helps in maintaining food webs as higher the diversity of an ecosystem, more complex is going to be the food webs because there are so many options to eat. Therefore, higher chances of survival of every species are there. This results in more stable food chains and food webs.
  • Scientific role: Biodiversity help in scientific research, education and monitoring. For example, research about new genetic materials with the help of gene pools. Biodiversity, thus, helps in understanding the functioning of life and the role that each species plays in sustaining ecosystems of which we humans are also a part.
  • Provisioning Services:Various plants, animals and microorganisms which form the biodiversity, provide us with foods such as cereals, fishes etc. , fibre for our clothes such as cotton, wool etc., fuelwood for survival as well as pharmaceutical products such as neem, tulsi etc.
  • Livelihood: Millions of people also depend on nature and species for their day-to-day livelihoods. This is particularly true for struggling communities in developing countries, who often turn to high-biodiversity ecosystems as their source of food, fuel, medicines and other products made from natural materials for their own use and as sources of income. Humans derive approximately $125 trillion of value from natural ecosystems each year. Globally, three out of four jobs are dependent on water while the agricultural sector employs over 60% of the world’s working poor. In the Global South, forests are the source of livelihoods for over 1.6 billion people. In India, forest ecosystems contribute only 7% to India’s GDP yet 57% of rural Indian communities’ livelihoods. Nature-related tourism is also a significant income generator for many people as well.

Conclusion

Thus, Biodiversity in natural ecosystems is of the utmost importance. It helps provide the resources and services that we rely on every day. The development and urbanization of humans poses a serious risk for natural biodiversity. As humans we need to understand the risks associated with our consuming lifestyles and work hard to fix what is already damaged and prevent future harm.

 

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

6. Conflict between people and animals is one of the main threats to the continued survival of many species. Analyse the causes behind rising cases of man-animal conflict. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy.

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain the major causes for rising cases of man-animal conflict.

Directive:

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 with what you understand by Man-Animal conflicts.

Body:

Start by explaining what you understand by man-animal conflicts. Discuss what the main causes of man wildlife conflict are – The cause of human wildlife conflict was human settlement, agricultural expansion, illegal grass collection, over grazing by livestock and deforestation in national park. As a result, local communities disliked wildlife inhabiting in and around their surroundings. human population growth and expansion, habitat degradation and fragmentation, land use transformation and increasing densities of livestock grazing in protected areas are considered as major causes of man-carnivore conflicts.

Write about the various government policies and programmes in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions to address the issue.

Introduction

Man-animal conflict is an existential crisis not only for the animals, but for human beings as well with data showing that about one person has been killed every day for the past three years by roaming tigers or rampaging elephants. India is a unique country with respect to wildlife conservation. Despite a billion people we still have most of our large wildlife species. Compared to relatively lower human density countries in south-east Asia, India today has the largest population of the tiger, Asian elephant, leopard, sloth bear, gaur and many others.

Body

Major causes of man animal conflict

  • Unsustainable development:
    • Tiger reserves, national parks and sanctuaries exist only as islets in a vast sea of human, cattle and unsustainable land use.
    • People are increasingly encroaching into the country’s traditional wild spaces and animal sanctuaries, where people compete with wildlife for food and other resources.
    • These conflicts have increased as elephants increasingly find their usual corridors blocked by highways, railway tracks and factories
    • Urbanisation and growth agendas alter landscape dynamics, which has a cascading effect on the ecological dynamics of wildlife. This results in ecological dislocation of sorts, wherein endangered wild animals like tigers either cause distress or land themselves in trouble
  • Failure of government measures:
    • ‘Human-Wildlife conflict mitigation’ said most of the measures are dysfunctional, haphazardly implemented and therefore not effective
    • Elephants are used to travelling long distances, most of which fall outside the protected areas.
    • Wildlife experts claim that territorial animals do not have enough space within reserves and their prey do not have enough fodder to thrive on. This is forcing the wild animals to move out and venture close to human habitation in search of food.
  • Primary reason for the increasing human-animal conflicts is the presence of a large number of animals and birds outside the notified protected areas. Wildlife experts estimate that 29 per cent of the tigers in India are outside the protected areas.
  • Road kill of wild animals is the new enemy to India’s wildlife
  • There is no proper land use planning and management, cumulative impact assessments or wildlife management
  • There is no buffer zone between wildlife and human settlements
  • Monkeys along with grey langurs have adapted to urban habitats over the years.
  • Continued destruction and divergence of forest lands.

Government Initiatives to reduce the man-animal conflicts are:

  • Awareness programmes to sensitize the people about the Do’s and Don’ts to minimize conflicts
  • Training programmes for forest staff and police to address the problems of human wildlife conflicts
  • Approach by wildlife protection act, 1972 is that the model of conservation enshrined in is premised on creating human-free zones for the protection of rare species based on the erroneous notion that local people are the prime drivers of wildlife decline. This approach has been successful in protecting certain species, not all species.
  • Providing technical and financial support for development of necessary infrastructure and support facilities for immobilization of problematic animals.
  • Providing LPG to villagers: LPG should be provided to those villagers who frequently go to the forest areas specially wildlife habitats to fetch fuel wood for their chullahs so that they may stop penetrating into forest and stop inviting Man- Animal Conflicts.
  • State governments:
    • Assistance to state government for construction of boundary walls and solar fences around the sensitive areas to prevent the wild animal attacks
    • Supplementing the state government resources for payment of ex gratia to the people for injuries and loss of life in case of wild animal attacks
    • Encouraging state government for creation of a network of protected areas and wildlife corridors for conservation of wildlife.
    • Eco development activities in villages around protected areas to elicit cooperation of local community in management of the protected areas.
    • Supporting involvement of the research and academic institutions and leading voluntary organisations having expertise in managing human wildlife conflict situations.
    • To control poaching: Poaching of wild animals should be stopped so that the no of wild animals can stabilize at its carrying capacity which would reach equilibrium in the ecosystem and this equilibrium between the numbers of prey animals and predators in the forest ecosystem would be maintained.
  • Technology:
    • Information technology like radio collars, GPS, satellite uplink facilities are used by research institutions to monitor the movement of wild animals
    • Centrally sponsored schemes of project tiger, project elephant and integrated development of wildlife habitats
    • Solar Fencing around agriculture fields: Agriculture fields situated near wildlife habitat/forest areas can be protected by stone fencing or solar fencing. Solar fencing has been tried with quite good effect in Wardha District of Maharashtra.

Way Forward:

  • Forest corridors linking protected areas must be maintained where they exist.
  • Existing habitats have to be surveyed and improved to provide food for the elephants
  • Local communities need to be educated to have reduced stress levels in elephants during conflict mitigation, no fire, no firecracker and no mob crowds.
  • There is a need for a monitoring mechanism which will record and disperse information on such conflicts
  • Experts suggest the other way to reduce the man-animal conflict is to increase the population of wild ungulates, namely hares and the wild boars, both of which are prolific breeders, as a prey for wild carnivores. Separate big enclosures can be made in the jungles to breed them. The excess stock can be released in the jungles at regular intervals for the wild carnivores to prey upon.
  • The draft National Forest Policy will be an overarching policy for forest management. Also there is a proposal for National Community Forest Management (CFM) Mission which will be launched soon.
  • In order to be truly effective, prevention of human-wildlife conflict has to involve the full scope of society: international organizations, governments, NGOs, communities, consumers and individuals. Solutions are possible, but often they also need to have financial backing for their support and development

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

7. The Categorical Imperative is supposed to provide a way for us to evaluate moral actions and to make moral judgments. Discuss. (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 and part of ‘Philosophical Mondays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the evaluative aspect of Kantian Categorical Imperative.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining Categorical Imperative of Emmanuel Kant.

Body:

Begin the body by explaining in detail about your understanding of Categorical Imperative with examples. You can use simple but effective examples to put forward your ideas regarding Universal Moral Law etc.

Next, mention how it provides a framework of judging moral right actions from the wrong ones.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) argued that the supreme principle of morality is a standard of rationality that he dubbed the “Categorical Imperative” (CI). Kant characterized the CI as an objective, rationally necessary and unconditional principle that we must always follow despite any natural desires or inclinations we may have to the contrary.

Body:

The CI states that it is immoral to use another person merely as a means to an end and that people must under all circumstances be treated as ends in themselves. This is in contrast to some interpretations of the utilitarian view, which allow for use of individuals as means to benefit the many.

Kantian ethics refers to a deontological ethical theory ascribed to the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. The theory, developed as a result of Enlightenment rationalism, is based on the view that the only intrinsically good thing is a good will; an action can only be good if its maxim – the principle behind it – is duty to the moral law.

CI provide a way for us to evaluate moral actions and to make moral judgments

  • Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
    • It states that one should choose our ‘codes of conduct’ only if they serve perfect / imperfect duty and are good for all.
    • Perfect duties are blameworthy if not met and are the basic requirements for a human being.
    • An example of perfect duty is the avoidance of suicide.
  • Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end.
    • This states that we should not use humanity of ourselves or others as a means to an end.
    • An example would be that of slavery or prostitution.
  • For Kant to treat people with dignity was to treat them morally. This idea became a rallying point for those struggling against social hierarchies and for human rights. It represent what is called the moral conception of rights.
  • Taking the example of forced labour and jajmani system where human beings are treated as “means” for achieving the “ends” that is profit motive. Human intrinsic worth i.e. dignity is not respected and they are exploited for petty gains. This led to inequality in society where one section of people exploiting other section for self-motive.
  • Every rational being must so act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends.
    • This states that we should consider ourselves to be members in the universal realm of ends.
    • We should consider our actions to be of consequence to everyone else in that our actions affect not only ourselves but that of others.
  • g.: Eviction of tribes from forest land for construction of a dam and rendering them homeless.

Conclusion

Kant’s philosophy of human individuals as end in itself endorses the golden rule of “treating others as one’s self would wish to be treated”.  As no one would wish to be used simply as a means, therefore one should not also use other human beings as means to achieve their ends. This philosophy can be of great help in resolving the ethical dilemmas where there is debate between relative importance of means and ends.

Value addition

Kant’s Categorical Imperative:

  • Kant believed that there was a supreme principle of morality, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative.
  • The CI determines what our moral duties are. Kant thought that all acts should be judged according to a rule he called the Categorical Imperative.
  • A categorical imperative denotes an absolute, unconditional requirement that exerts its authority in all circumstances, both required and justified as an end in itself.
  • He gives the highest honor for the categorical imperative because it became universal law that can be applied to any and every one.
  • Kant is saying that simply willing that our moral rule become a universal law produces a logical contradiction.
  • His categorical imperative ensures that we aren’t doing these acts in mimic of others but rather in line with one universal law.

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