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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 January 2022

 

 

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: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones, etc.

1. Discuss the factors that cause earthquakes. Why are Earthquakes more common in certain parts of the world than others? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: India Today

Why the question:

Earthquakes are very common in Hindu Kush Himalayas and even this year, UPSC has asked Questions on Earthquake

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the causes of earthquakes and to account for their distribution.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining an Earthquake.

Body:

In the first part, write about the various natural as well as anthropogenic causes that cause earthquakes.

Next, give a brief about how some regions are more prone to earthquakes than others. Account for reasons for the same. Also, draw a map. Focus on the Hindu Kush Himalayas region.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing about the importance of preparedness to deal with earthquakes.

Introduction

Earthquakes are the result of sudden movement along faults within the Earth. The movement releases stored-up ‘elastic strain’ energy in the form of seismic waves, which propagate through the Earth and cause the ground surface to shake. Such movement on the faults is generally a response to long-term deformation and the build-up of stress.

Body

Factors that cause earthquakes

  • The Earth’s crust consists of seven large lithospheric plates and numerous smaller plates. These plates move towards each other (a convergent boundary), apart (a divergent boundary) or past each other (a transform boundary).
  • Earthquakes are caused by a sudden release of stress along faults in the earth’s crust.
  • The continuous motion of tectonic plates causes a steady build-up of pressure in the rock strata on both sides of a fault until the stress is sufficiently great that it is released in a sudden, jerky movement. Earthquakes caused by plate tectonics are called tectonic quakes.
  • Induced quakes are caused by human activity, like tunnel construction, filling reservoirs and implementing geothermal or fracking projects. The earthquakes that occur in the areas of large reservoirs are referred to as reservoir induced earthquakes.
  • Volcanic quakes are associated with active volcanism. They are generally not as powerful as tectonic quakes and often occur relatively near the surface. Consequently, they are usually only felt in the vicinity of the hypocenter.
  • Collapse quakes can be triggered by such phenomena as cave-ins, mostly in karst areas or close to mining facilities, as a result of subsidence.
  • Ground shaking may also occur due to the explosion of chemical or nuclear devices. Such tremors are called explosion earthquakes.

Why Earthquakes more common in certain parts of the world than others

  • Over 90% of earthquakes – including almost all of the largest and most destructive ones – happen at or near so-called plate boundaries, where the 15 or so major subdivisions (“plates”) of the Earth’s crust and uppermost mantle move towards, alongside, or away from each other.
  • Most of the plates’ movement is focused at these boundaries, so large earthquakes far away from these boundaries are much less common.
  • Earthquakes can strike any location at any time, but history shows they occur in the same general patterns year after year, principally in three large zones of the earth:
    • Circum-Pacific seismic belt: The world’s greatest earthquake belt is found along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where about 81 per cent of our planet’s largest earthquakes occur. It is also known as “Ring of Fire”.
    • Alpine earthquake belt: It extends from Java to Sumatra through the Himalayas, the Mediterranean, and out into the Atlantic. This belt accounts for about 17 percent of the world’s largest earthquakes.
    • Submerged mid-Atlantic Ridge: The ridge marks where two tectonic plates are spreading apart (a divergent plate boundary).

Conclusion

Unlike other disasters, the damages caused by earthquakes are more devastating. Since it also destroys most of the transport and communication links, providing timely relief to the victims becomes difficult. It is not possible to prevent the occurrence of an earthquake; hence, the next best option is to emphasis on disaster preparedness and mitigation rather than curative measures.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.

2. Elaborate on the constitutional status of Rajya Sabha with respect to Lok Sabha. (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Easy

Reference: Polity by M. Laxmikanth

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable

Key Demand of the question:

The importance of powers and functions of Rajya Sabha in India

Directive word:

Elaborate Give a detailed account of the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate them with relevant associated facts

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Brief on the importance/need for Rajya Sabha in India

Body:

First, mention the Equal Status of Rajya Sabha with Lok Sabha

Then, mention the Unequal Status with Lok Sabha

Further, the utilities of Rajya Sabha can be mentioned as well

Conclusion:

A relevant closing statement

Introduction

‘Rajya Sabha’ or the ‘Council of States’ is the second chamber of the Indian parliament and we can trace back its origin to the Montague-Chelmsford Report published in 1918. The Rajya Sabha is a permanent house, but after every two years, one-third of its members retire.

Body

Constitutional status of Rajya Sabha:

  • It was envisaged to serve as a forum to which seasoned and experienced public men might get access without undergoing the din and bustle of a highly competitive general election which is inevitable to find a seat in the Lok Sabha.
  • Since the ‘Lok Sabha’ decisions may go in favour of the populist sentiment and force the members to go contrary to the best judgment, the ‘Rajya Sabha’ keeps a check and balance on it.
  • It was also envisaged to serve/ act as a debating chamber in which dignified debates are to be held on various issues confronting the country. Simultaneously, it was also contemplated that it would act as a revising chamber over Lok Sabha.
  • As in any other federation, so does in India, the creation of an upper chamber was a virtual necessity on account of India’s being constituted as a federation which inevitably required a chamber in which states are to be represented for articulating their interest.
  • Unlike the House of Lords in Britain, the ‘Rajya Sabha’ members do not hold the hereditary membership rights.
  • Our leaders rejected a similar plea placed by the erstwhile kings and princes and ruled in favour of indirect elections.
  • ‘Rajya Sabha’ also provides a platform to the small and regional parties to present their views.
  • The rights of the Indian citizens need to be actively protected. Hence, the relevance of the bicameral parliament structure becomes even bigger.
  • The ‘Rajya Sabha’, the bureaucracy and the judiciary act as the 3-layered wall that sees to the upkeep of the principles of a democratic republic like India.
  • Men and women of prodigious talent and caliber have adorned the benches of the upper house and have contributed significantly towards realizing the vision of the founding fathers of the Constitution.
  • A permanent Upper House is also a check against any abrupt changes in the composition of the Lower House. It has continuity.
  • Unlike Lok Sabha, it cannot be dissolved by anyone. Thus it has, time and often, carried out some administrative functions even when the lower house is dissolved. It has members with experienced players while there may be new entrants in the Lok Sabha.

However, there are many concerns raised against Rajya Sabha and there are even demands to abolish the second chamber:

  • According to various members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha has done nothing except stalling legislative works and causing policy paralysis in the country.
  • For critics, the Upper House serves no purpose as its members are not directly elected and hence are not accountable to the people.
  • Rajya Sabha often has members from the party defeated in various elections, or are from political families, and due to political differences, they do not allow passage of important bills.
  • This affects the functioning of the government in power which has a majority in Lok Sabha and which is accountable to the public in next election.
  • So many extra members are an added burden on exchequer which can be done away with.
  • Politics of boycotting and creating ruckus in the house and toeing on the party-line even on the issue that won’t attract disqualification provisions is a worrying thing.
  • At the same time, in terms of working, Rajya Sabha does not have sufficient powers in financial matters to bring any change and they are without any direct public interaction. Hence its purpose in modern democracy seems outdated.

Way forward:

  • A useful reform step would be to have members of the Rajya Sabha be directly elected by the citizens of a state. This will reduce cronyism and patronage appointments.
  • This step should be combined with equal representation for each state (say, five members) so that large states do not dominate the proceedings in the House.
  • This streamlined Rajya Sabha should remain deliberative, but there should be deadlines set for responding to bills initiated in the Lok Sabha.

Conclusion

The mandate of the Rajya Sabha, as can be gleaned from the Constituent Assembly debates and the experiences of other Parliaments, is legislation — to revise or delay legislation without proving a clog in the wheel of the progress; to represent the interests of the States as a federal chamber; and be a deliberative body holding high-quality debates on important issues.

Value addition

Background

The Rajya Sabha came into being on April 3, 1952 and held its first session on May 13 the same year. The second chamber underwent severe prenatal scrutiny in the Constituent Assembly. The proposal for a bicameral central legislature for the country was discussed at length, with deep divisions between the proponents and opponents.

An extensive debate was held in the Assembly on the topic whether a second chamber was necessary or not and it was unanimously decided in favour of as a bicameral legislature would be best suited to uphold the federal fabric of the country with diverse cultures and a vast geographical area. The political pundits thought that the challenges posed before the country would be best solved by the mutual functioning of the ‘Lok Sabha’ and the ‘Rajya Sabha’.  

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, speaking as the first chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said, “There is a general impression that this House cannot make or unmake governments and, therefore, it is a superfluous body. But there are functions, which a revising chamber can fulfil fruitfully. Parliament is not only a legislative but a deliberative body. So far as its deliberative functions are concerned, it will be open to us to make very valuable contributions, and it will depend on our work whether we justify this two chamber system, which is now an integral part of our Constitution.”

 

Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.

3. In India parliamentary control of administrative rule-making is implicit as a Constitutional function; but in reality, the control is not that effective as it ought to be. Analyze the statement in light of Parliamentary control over delegated legislation in India. (250 Words)

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Reference: Polity by M. Laxmikanth

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable

Key Demand of the question:

The importance of Parliamentary control over Delegated legislation in India

Directive word:

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.

 Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Brief on powers of Parliament, relating to the executive in India

Body:

First, mention the types of control exercised as part of Delegated Legislation by the Parliament

Also, highlight in brief the Factors responsible for the growth of Delegated Legislation

Further, analyze why the Parliamentary control is not that effective as it ought to be?

Conclusion:

A relevant closing statement

Introduction

Delegated legislation (secondary legislation or subordinate legislation) is law made by an executive authority under powers given to them by primary legislation in order to implement and administer the requirements of that primary legislation/Delegated legislation is the name given to legislation or law that is passed otherwise than in an Act of Parliament. Instead, an enabling Act (Parent Act or empowering Act) confers a power to make delegated legislation on a Government Minister or another person or body. Several thousand pieces of legislation are made each year, compared with only a few dozen Acts of parliament aced legislation can be used for a wide variety of purposes, ran in from relatively narrow, technical matters, to filling in the detail of how an Act setting out broad principles will be implemented in practice.

Body

Evaluation of Parliamentary control over Delegated Legislation:

  • It has long term bearing on legislative control. In a parliamentary form of democracy, legislature is the supreme organ of state because it consists of peoples’ elected representatives. The three organs of state, legislature, executive and judiciary should work harmoniously on basis of separation of power for effective functioning of democracy.
  • In spite of many advantages, delegated legislation weakens legislative control executive. Infact, it has been proved beyond doubt that effectiveness of legislative control has come down drastically after the advent of delegated legislation.
  • Executive has become more powerful with delegated legislation; executive has encroached upon the domain of legislature by making rules and regulations.
  • Since executive is also responsible for implementation the division between law making and gets blurred leading to exploitation by executives, In the process executive becomes too powerful.
  • Possible misuse for political gains, executive can always misuse or abuse the power for short term political gains. It can make legislations in such a way to benefit the ruling party.
  • Delegated legislation lacks rigorous discussion before law making.
  • It is against theory of separations of power.
  • Delegated legislation changes with political changes resulting in political and administration instability.
  • It is not in confirmation with rule of law.

Safeguards needed:

The following safeguards should set hounds-to the system of delegated legislation carefully defined by enabling Acts.

  • The Jurisdiction of the courts should not be curtailed.
  • The departments should consult outside interests, which are directly affected by the proposed exercise of rule-making powers.
  • Explanatory notes should be attached to all regulations so that the layman may know why a particular regulation is needed, and how it would be exercised. Besides, there should be an excel memorandum in the Bill indicating what types of regulations are to be made undue the Bill when it is enacted.
  • Uniform procedures should be adopted in regard to all regulations they should be numbered, printed, published, and cited.
  • Rules and regulations should be published; their publication should be a condition precedent to their coming into force.
  • Parliamentary control and supervision should be strengthened.
  • Rule-making power should be delegated to a trustworthy authority, which is approved of by Parliament.

Conclusion

Delegated legislation is a necessary, and is likely to increase in volume, in view of the complex social organization and vast developmental and promotional activities that a modern government undertakes. Therefore, some safeguards and controls are necessary and desirable. Delegation legislation is inevitable, more so in a society like ours, which is engaged in the transforming itself.

Value addition

Factors responsible for growth of delegated legislation:

  • Lack of time for legislature to shape Legislative details which are technical in nature were administration expertise is required. e.g.- Environmental standard, Intellectual property laws and legislative measures to ego term -and eradicate various diseases.
  • The subject matter of legislation being technical, complex and, unsuitable for debate in legislature.
  • Democratizing of rule making process by providing for “Consultation with dented interest”
  • Advantages of flexibility scope for experiments then the delegated legislation technique is employed.
  • Further, socio-economic teams being experimental in Initial stages and practical difficulties at stage of implementation cannot be foreseen.
  • International Community: Delegated legislation is an effective instrument to bring about changes in domestic rules and regulations in accordance with changes that are taking place at global level. For ex., if a country signs a bilateral or a multilateral trees, the provisions of treaty should be incorporated in domestic laws. They do not require legislative approval because legislature already passed those treaties at policy level.
  • New Economic Issues: Executive has to take into consideration the changing global – economic environment and has to exploit the process of globalization to benefit the interests of country. For this it has to make necessary and continuous changes to rules and regulations so that they became simplified in nature and can help in enhance efficiency of bureaucracy.
  • Volatile Environment: Stable political economic and cultural environment do not require radical changes in rules and regulations. On the contrary, unstable conditions demand immediate and rapid changes! is can done only through the process of delegated.
  • Volume of work with the legislature: Because of increasing complexity in nature of activities performed by government, legislation is overburdened with policy making. In order to reduce the burden, it has been suggested that legislature can use the technique of delegate legislation to reduce burden on its shoulders.

Advantages of Delegated legislation:

  • It saves time for legislature.
  • It can be easily done in consultation with parties affected.
  • It allows for flexibility
  • Expert legislation
  • Parliament is not always in session
  • Delegated legislation is resorted to encase of emergencies.
  • It can be used on an experimental basis.

 

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

4. “We must move away from ‘take, make, use and dispose economy’ to ‘circular economy’”. Describing the concept of circular economy, highlight the steps taken by India to achieve it. (250 Words)

Level: Tough

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The PM in his Davos speech emphasized India’s strength in circular economy and its potential to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concept of the circular economy. Giving examples, discuss its utility in India.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

A circular economy is a concept describing an industrial economy, which produces no wastes and no emissions through its design, considering all the phases of the life cycle of products.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the concept in detail – CE is an industrial system, which is an alternative to the highly extractive and resource-intensive linear economy principle of take-make-dispose.

CE replaces the end-of-life concept and aims at retaining the value of resources, products, and materials at their highest by keeping them in use as long as possible, minimizing wastage at each life-cycle stage, and extracting the maximum value through reusing, repairing, recovering, remanufacturing and regenerating products and materials at the end of each service value.

Explain the opportunities provided by the CE. Discuss the steps taken by India in achieving it e.g. Draft resource efficiency, MeitY had formulated a policy paper titled “Circular Economy in Electronics and Electrical Sector”.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction

The WEF defines “a circular economy as an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. It replaces the end-of-life concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, which impair reuse and return to the biosphere, and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems, and business models”.

With a growing population, rapid urbanization, climate change and environmental pollution, India must move towards a circular economy.

Body

The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended.

This is a departure from the traditional, linear economic model, which is based on a take-make-consume-throw away pattern. It relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy.

 

Principles of circular economy

The following ‘5R’ principles lies at the heart of achieving circularity in any product, process or service:

  • Reduce: The emphasis is on achieving resource efficiency by prioritizing use of regenerative and restorative resources.
  • Reuse:This encompasses two aspects – first is to reuse the useful parts / components of a product, wherever possible and second is to promote greater use of product-as-a-service through sharing platforms.
  • Recycle: Focus is on creating a closed loop system to utilize discarded material as a source of secondary resource, through extensive recycling.
  • Re-manufacture:To create new products by utilizing waste streams through cooperation and collaboration between multi-sector industry actors.
  • Repair/refurbish: The aim is to preserve and extend the life of a product that is already made by designing for the future

Steps taken by India to promote circular economy

  • The Government has been actively formulating policies and promoting projects to drive the country towards a circular economy.
  • It has already notified various rules, such as the Plastic Waste Management Rules, e-Waste Management Rules, Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, Metals Recycling Policy, etc., in this regard.
  • Since its constitution, NITI Aayog too has undertaken several initiatives to ensure sustainable economic growth.
  • Direct initiatives were taken to address the challenges in the utilization of waste as resource and to evolve a perspective on the recycling industry in India.
  • Progress was made in promoting the usage of fly ash and slag produced in the steel industry in other sectors.
  • NITI also organized an international conference on ‘Sustainable Growth through National Recycling’; prepared a strategy paper, along with the EU delegation to India, on ‘Resource Efficiency’, and four more on resource efficiency in the sectors of steel (with the Ministry of Steel), aluminium (with the Ministry of Mines), construction and demolition (with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) and e-waste (with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).
  • To expedite the transition of the country from a linear to a circular economy, 11 committees have been formed—to be led by the concerned line ministries and comprising officials from MoEFCC and NITI Aayog, domain experts, academics and industry representatives—for 11 focus areas.
  • The focus areas include 11 end-of-life products/recyclable materials/wastes that either continue to pose considerable challenges or are emerging as new challenge areas that must be addressed in a holistic manner.

Way forward

  • Need for Legislation to promote the circular economy in the country. Several countries have recognised the centrality of the circularity as the new paradigm for sustainable development.
  • Policies like Zero Effect, Zero Defectin manufacturing stage, National Electricity Mobility Mission Plan in consumption stage, and the various Waste Management Rules in disposal stage, if tweaked properly, can be the ideal for integrating circular economy into the fabric of the Indian economy.
  • Ensuring the transition to circular economy call for extensive collaborative efforts between key stakeholders, including regulators, policy makers, corporates, and financial institutions would need to work to adopt circular business models.
  • Adequate financing needed for realization of these newer opportunities through innovative financing instruments, such as green bonds, municipal bonds, SDG-aligned bonds.

Conclusion

India has immense resources — people, capital, supply chains and scale — to find value in waste. A billion-dollar-valued circular economy unicorn can indeed emerge if technology, finance, policy and behavioural change could create markets where none existed.

 

Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy, and their effects on industrial growth.

5. “Start-ups are the backbone of New India”. In this context, analyze the role played by startups in augmenting the economic image of India. (10M)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: The New Indian Express

Why the question:

The PM has announced that henceforth, January 16 will be celebrated as National Start-up Day

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of Startups and their role in economic development.

Directive word:

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by explaining what startups are with a few examples and data on how they help in development.

Body:

First, write about the various benefits of startups – Like tackling unemployment, providing affordable services; reduce inequality, involvement of SHG’s, etc.

Next, mention how startups help in augmenting the economic image of India around the world, which leads to an inflow of investment and helps India achieve the 5trillion dollar economy by 2025.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

A startup defined as an entity that is headquartered in India, which was opened less than 10 years ago, and has an annual turnover less than ₹100 crore. Today Startups are being widely recognised as important engines for growth and jobs generation. Through innovation and scalable technology, startups can generate impactful solutions, and thereby act as vehicles for socio-economic development and transformation.

Body

Background

  • Recently, Prime Minister of India announced that the country will celebrate January 16 as National Startup Day, as he termed startups the “backbone” of new India and the engine that will power the nation’s economic growth in the run up to the 100th year of Independence.
  • National Startup Day is a validation of the role of startups in the growth of the country’s GDP and strengthening India’s position at a global stage, and will encourage young talent to see entrepreneurship as a primary career option, according to industry experts.

Role played by startups in augmenting the economic image of India

  • The Indian start-up ecosystem is nothing short of a revolution with $106-billion worth of value-creation by 44 unicorns, in turn creating 4 million direct and indirect jobs.
  • Today, India is the third largest start-up ecosystem globally, by number of start-ups, with more than 15,000 start-ups established in 2020, up from 5000 in 2010.
  • The contribution of startups include by way of large infusion of FDI in an asset class outside of public markets, export of products and services by the country, larger base of retail investors borne out of employees with respectable salaries and wealth creation tools such as ESOPs and being a key consumption market in the global economy.
  • The total value of private equity and venture capital deals involving new ventures jumped over threefold; nearly $1.7 billion was raised, with as many as 42 deals notched up.
  • India currently stands third in the global listof the number of companies that have attained unicorn status well behind the US and China, but ahead of the UK and Germany.
  • Moreover, women entrepreneurs have also contributed immensely to the start-up ecosystem
  • Ancillary industries rise up creating more avenues of innovation, growth and employment.
  • The unicorns like ola, flipkart which are consumer centric have created an alternate gig economy for workers, which gives them much needed flexibility.
  • Due to competition among unicorns, consumers are benefited through competitive pricing.
  • It has created an ecosystem in cities such as Bengaluru and Delhi, which has paved way for more capital and investments flowing into the nation.

Conclusion

Startups in India are witnessing a golden chapter in the history of Indian entrepreneurship. However, still the Indian government has a crucial role to play in positioning India as the Tech Garage of the World. It should act as a catalyst, and bring together the synergies of the private sector with the aim of innovating for India and the world. Recognising the startup sector with a dedicated observational day will definitely help build awareness about the sector and also draw great talent and investment into this sector.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Human attitude: Content, structure, and function of attitude.

6. Why are bad habits difficult to discontinue? Also, suggest measures to overcome the negative attitudes that fuel these bad habits. (15M)

Structure of the question

Introduction

Define the term ‘habit’ in a brief manner. Give some examples of what you consider a bad habit.

Body

  • List out the reasons for individuals picking and sustaining bad habits.
  • Bad habits in the realm of public and private lives should be covered comprehensively
  • List measures to address these bad habits suggest some of the teachings given by leaders, administrators, or reformers to overcome these bad habits.

Conclusion

Highlight the significance of developing good habits in a brief manner.

Introduction

Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health. Kicking negative behaviour patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower.

Body

Reasons why bad habits are difficult to discontinue

  • Lack of Awareness or Acceptance
    • Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.
  • Lack of Motivation
    • A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.
    • This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.
  • Underlying Psychological Conditions
    • Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.
    • A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods.
    • This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.
  • Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good
    • One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.
  • Upward Comparisons
    • Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.
    • The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.
  • No Alternative
    • This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfil a need that may not be met any other way.
    • Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.
  • Stress
    • When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available
  • Sense of Failure
    • People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.
    • Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.
  • Force of Habit
    • Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.
    • Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

Measures to overcome the negative attitudes that fuel these bad habits

  • Acceptance: One way of overcoming negativity is to accept that things do go wrong in your life. Nobody leads a charmed existence, so acknowledge that life is not perfect. It´s important though to be realistic rather than negative; life may be imperfect, but don´t obsess about it.
  • Think back: Our memories tend to favour negative events over happier ones, and so it´s easy to feel that things have never worked out. Look back more carefully, and try to identify positive events and achievements
  • Overcome fear of failure: Fear of failure stops us from trying so much, and that only leads to regret.
  • Praise yourself: One of the most effective ways to overcome a negative attitude is to give yourself praise for what you have achieved.
  • You don´t need approval: We want the people around us to approve of what we do, and thus allow their opinions to govern our choices, which may not be the right ones. Don´t let the fear of what people might say hold you back – you don´t want to live with regret.
  • Don´t live in the past: An important step to overcoming negativity is to stop living in the past. The past is gone, and there is nothing we can do about it; obsessing about past events leaves you trapped in negativity. It´s far better to concentrate on the present and the future, and how you can make them better.

Conclusion

Commit to breaking your habit over the long term and expect some slip-ups. Lapses are perfectly normal when trying to change behaviour. Instead of using these setbacks as an excuse to give up, view them as a chance to understand what went wrong and how to do things differently in the future.

 

Topic: Human attitude: Content, structure, and function of attitude.

7. What do you understand by the term ‘prejudice’? Discuss the factors that contribute to the formation of prejudice in an individual. (15M)

Introduction

Define the term ‘prejudice’. Give some examples as to what you consider as prejudiced attitudes and behaviors in society.

Body

  • List the major factors behind the formation of prejudice. Ex: Family, education, society, peer group, media, etc.
  • Give examples for each of the above dimensions.
  • Suggest measures to overcome these prejudiced attitudes

Conclusion

Highlight the importance of having an unprejudiced attitude in our lives in a brief manner.

Introduction

A prejudice is an opinion – usually an unfavourable one – that was formed before having any evidence and that is not based on reason or experience. A prejudice relates to feelings and attitudes about that person or group of people. Prejudices are often rooted in the idea that certain types of people are worth less or are less capable than others. For instance, prejudices against racial or ethnic minorities or gender, e.g. sexist.

Prejudices can either be positive or negative—both forms are usually preconceived and difficult to alter. The negative form of prejudice can lead to discrimination, although it is possible to be prejudiced and not act upon the attitudes.

Body

Factors contributing to prejudice

  • Socialization:Many prejudices seem to be passed along from parents to children. The media—including television, movies, and advertising—also perpetuate demeaning images and stereotypes about assorted groups, such as ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, the disabled, and the elderly.
  • Conforming behaviours:Prejudices may bring support from significant others, so rejecting prejudices may lead to losing social support. The pressures to conform to the views of families, friends, and associates can be formidable. E.g.: The belief that girls aren’t good at math, or that gender necessarily reveals something about spatial reasoning, has been used to exclude girls from STEM classes and projects, or to explain why men in STEM earn more money than women.
  • Economic benefits:Social studies have confirmed that prejudice especially rises when groups are in direct competition for jobs. This may help to explain why prejudice increases dramatically during times of economic and social stress.
  • Authoritarian personality: In response to early socialization, some people are especially prone to stereotypical thinking and projection based on unconscious fears. People with an authoritarian personalityrigidly conform, submit without question to their superiors, reject those they consider to be inferiors, and express intolerant sexual and religious opinions. The authoritarian personality may have its roots in parents who are unloving and aloof disciplinarians. The child then learns to control his or her anxieties via rigid attitudes. For instance, Adolf Hitler used stereotypes about Jewish greed to stoke anti-Jewish sentiment, and eventually to justify killing Jews.
  • Ethnocentrism: it is the tendency to evaluate others’ cultures by one’s own cultural norms and values. It also includes a suspicion of outsiders. Most cultures have their ethnocentric tendencies, which usually involve stereotypical thinking.
  • Group closureis the process whereby groups keep clear boundaries between themselves and others. Refusing to marry outside an ethnic group is an example of how group closure is accomplished.
  • Conflict theory: Under this, in order to hold onto their distinctive social status, power, and possessions, privileged groups are invested in seeing that no competition for resources arises from minority groups. The powerful may even be ready to resort to extreme acts of violence against others to protect their interests. As a result, members of underprivileged groups may retaliate with violence in an attempt to improve their circumstances.

Way forward to tackle prejudice

  • Build a strong network of supportive, caring people.Friends and family who believe a person about their experiences can make it easier to cope with prejudice.
  • Develop a strong cultural identity.
  • Identify, combat, and reframe negative thoughts. 
  • Push back against prejudice when possible and practical.Complaining about a racist teacher, documenting wage gaps, and reporting sexual harassment may help restore a sense of agency and offer greater access to equitable treatment.
  • Take a break from triggering media and people.

 


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