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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 20 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: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

1. To what extent do you think the role played by the Indian National Army was the final nail in the coffin for the end of British rule in India? Highlight the contribution of Subhash Chandra Bose in this regard. (15M)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The New Indian Express

Why the question:

TMC renewed its demand for declassification of files on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s disappearance in 1945 and rejection of Bengal’s tableau on Netaji and INA from the upcoming Republic Day parade in Delhi.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role played by INA and Subhash Chandra Bose in the Indian Independence Movement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by tracing the events leading to the activities of Bose and his contribution in forming INA.

Body:

In the first part, write about the contribution of INA in the Indian National Movement and how it was final nail in coffin of British rule in India. How INA gained mass acceptance among nationals.

Next, give a brief about various contributions of Bose towards National Movement and highlight how his ways were different from other leaders.

Conclusion:

A relevant closing statement.

Introduction

The Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) was an armed force formed by Indian Nationalists in 1942, through the patronage of the Imperial Japanese Army, to secure the Independence of India. The INA was first formed under Mohan Singh and Japanese Major Iwaichi Fujiwara and comprised Indian prisoners of war of the British-Indian Army captured by Japan in the Malayan (present-day Malaysia) campaign and at Singapore.

Body

Role played by INA

  • In 1943 Bose lost hope that Germany could be of any help in gaining India’s independence. He then turned to Asia where he finally came at the helm of the Indian National Army (INA).
  • INA found support among expatriate Indians and under its aegis Bose formed the Azad Hind governmentwhich came to produce its own currency, postage stamps, court and civil code. It was recognised by Axis states.
  • While his memory is still held in high esteem in India, in the West Bose is much less revered, largely because of his wartime collaboration with the Axis powers.
  • During the final two years of the war, Bose withconsiderable Japanese backing- led the forces of the Indian National Army into battle against the British.
  • Indian prisoners of war in Japanese camps provided a ready recruiting ground for the I.N.A., which was able to rally about 20,000 out of the 60,000 prisoner of wars, and financial aid and volunteers came from Indian trading communities settled in South East Asia.
  • The INA was essentially non-communal, with Muslims quite prominent among its officers and ranks, and it also introduced the innovation of a women’s detachment named after the Rani of Jhansi.
  • Between March and June 1944, the INA was in action on Indian soil, besieging Imphal along with Japanese troops in a campaign which ended in total failure.
  • The Japanese collapse in 1945 made the INA men prisoners again, while Bose mysteriously disappeared, allegedly killed in an air-crash which some still believe to have been faked.
  • In November, 1945, a British move to put the INA men on trial immediately sparked off massive demonstrations all over the country.
  • Even more significant was the probable link between the INA experience and the wave of disaffection in the British Indian army during the winter of 1945-46, which culminated in the great Bombay naval strike of February 1946 and was quite possibly one of the most decisive reasons behind the British decision to make a quick withdrawal.

Netaji Bose’s role in INA

  • The INA revealed Subhash Bose’s greatness as a military leaderand an organizer One of the INA Brigades advanced with the Japanese army upto the frontiers of India. The Indian national flag was hoisted in Kohima in March 1944.
  • However with the change of fortune in the war and the retreat and defeat of the Japanese the INA collapsed. The role of INA had far reaching influences on the Indian political scene.
  • When the stories of their remarkable courage and sacrifice came to the knowledge of the Indian peopleat the end of the war, the nation came under a wave of revolutionary upsurge.
  • The British Government could realise that patriotism for Indians was greater than their service to a foreign power.
  • In spite of his principle of violence Subhash Chandra Bose’s grand scheme of India’s liberation and the high idealism through INA movement inspired the people of India in an unprecedented manner.

Conclusion

The INA lost a substantial number of men and materiel in this retreat. A number of units were disbanded or used to feed into new divisions of the now declining Japanese Army. Following the Japanese defeat in World War 2, most of the members of the INA were captured by the British. Subash Chandra Bose himself eluded capture and was reported to have died in a plane crash near Taiwan in September 1945.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2.Do you think the Nomination of former judges to Rajya Sabha affects the moral stature of the judiciary and collaterally impacts its independence? Comment (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Easy

Reference: The Hindu

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 Nomination of Members to Rajya Sabha, and the recent initiatives by the Government

Directive word:

Comment– here we must express our knowledge and understanding of the topic and form an overall opinion thereupon

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Brief on process and articles relating to nomination of members to Rajya Sabha, along with recent instances associated

Body:

First mention if the move by the Government is apt or not

Then, mention the concerns as to how such a move could affect the moral stature of the judiciary and collaterally impact its independence

Mention way forward in this perspective

Conclusion:

A relevant closing statement

Introduction

The ex-Chief Justice of India was nominated by President of India to the Upper House of the Parliament in 2020. A petition was recently filed in the Supreme Court conveying “widespread disquiet and unease” triggered by the nomination of the former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha. The petition sought the court’s intervention for extending the post-retirement restrictions imposed on the office of the Lokpal to former judges as well.

Body

Background:

  • Under Article 80 of the Constitution, the President can appoint 12 MPs “having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service” to the Rajya Sabha.
  • Justice Gogoi, the 46th CJI, retired on 17 November 2019, after being at the helm for important verdicts that impacted the socio-political milieu of the country — the Ayodhya land dispute verdict, the review of women’s entry into Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple, and bringing the office of the CJI under the RTI Act.
  • Within five months of his retirement as Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India.
  • There is no law or constitutional provision that prohibits such a nomination. Nor is this an unprecedented decision by the government.
  • Still, it is not a common practice that a government nominates or appoints a former Supreme Court judge or even a high court judge to some office within months of her or his retirement.

Stand on the Post-retirement job by Government for retired judges:

  • The 16-point code of conduct for judges, also called the “Restatement of Values of Judicial Life” is a forgotten code.
  • It was adopted at a Chief Justices Conference in May 1997, the code lays the basis of how post-retirement conduct ought to be.
  • It states that a judge should practice a degree of aloofness consistent with the dignity of his office.
  • It also says that a judge shall not hear and decide a matter in which a member of his family, a close relation or a friend is concerned.
  • 14th report of the Law Commission of India considered the question of such nominations and appointments before forming a negative opinion.
  • The report said it is clearly undesirable that Supreme Court Judges should look forward to other Government employment after their retirement.
  • the Law Commission report says, “The Government is a party in a large number of causes [cases] in the highest Court and the average citizen may well get the impression, that a judge who might look forward to being employed by the Government after his retirement, does not bring to bear on his work that detachment of outlook which is expected of a judge in cases in which Government is a party.”

Impact on independence of the judiciary:

  • This code of conduct also lays the basis of how post-retirement conduct ought to be.
  • If a judge after deciding politically sensitive cases involving particular political parties or politicians, soon after retirement seeks and gets a plum post such as a Rajya Sabha nomination by those very politicians or parties.
  • it would obviously raise serious questions about his or her independence as a judge when he or she had decided those cases.
  • If the cooling-off period is not enforced, independence of judiciary comes under scrutiny.
  • Nomination of Justice Gogoi to a Rajya Sabha seat by the government raise serious doubts about the fairness of many critical judgments.
  • As for the government, making such an offer to a just-retired CJI is not mere brazenness.
  • It indicates an alarming intention to undermine judicial authority so that the elected executive is seen as all-powerful.
  • If people get the perception that their judges are not entirely and fiercely independent and that the government of the day can influence them with post-retirement promises, the credibility of the Supreme Court as an institution will shatter.
  • If there is even an iota of doubt in the minds of the litigants that our judges are not independent, that is the end of the independent judiciary.
  • With this nomination, even the judgments which Justice Gogoi may have given on sound legal footing have now become controversial judgments.

Need of the hour:

  • There is a creeping worry that post-retirement jobs are a result of pre-retirement judgments.
  • Above all, public confidence in the judiciary cannot be shaken through such appointments. The issue needs to be resolved convincingly.
  • Besides, ethics demand that no retired judge of the highest court accepts a post that will room to criticism and controversy.
  • Retirement age of judges should be raised to 70 years.
  • They should be given their last salary as pension and not given any post that does not involve judicial or quasi-judicial work for at least three years.
  • The post-retirement perks of judges should be identical to the benefits they were being given while in service.

 

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

3. Examine the significance of Parliamentary Committees, challenges faced and measures needed for effective operations. (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 Committees

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:

Brief on Parliamentary Committees

Body:

First mention the significance of Parliamentary Committees

Then mention the challenges faced and measures needed for their effective operations

 Conclusion:

A relevant closing statement

Introduction

In the Indian Parliament, a Parliamentary Standing committee is a committee consisting of Members of Parliament. It is a permanent and regular committee which is constituted from time to time according to the provisions of an Act of Parliament or Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. Both houses of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, and Lok Sabha have similar Committee structures with a few exceptions. Parliamentary committees draw their authority from Article 105 (on privileges of Parliament members) and Article 118 (on Parliament’s authority to make rules for regulating its procedure and conduct of business).

Body:

The Parliament of India has been a victim of the coronavirus pandemic. The Budget session ended early — and rightly so, given the surge in Covid-19 cases. The monsoon session has not been scheduled yet. Given the compulsions of social distancing, the predicament of officials in coming up with a workable formula to ensure that India’s most important democratic institution is functional — but safe — is understandable

Significance of Parliamentary Standing Committees:

  • Parliament is the embodiment of the people’s will. Committees are an instrument of Parliament for its own effective functioning.
  • Committees are platforms for threadbare discussion on a proposed law.
  • The smaller cohort of lawmakers, assembled on the basis of the proportional strength of individual parties and interests and expertise of individual lawmakers, could have more open, intensive and better-informed discussions.
  • Committee meetings are ‘closed door’ and members are not bound by party whips, which allows them the latitude for a more meaningful exchange of views as against discussions in full and open Houses where grandstanding and party positions invariably take precedence.
  • Members of Parliament may have great acumen but they would require the assistance of experts in dealing with such situations. It is through committees that such expertise is drawn into law-making.
  • Executive accountability to the legislature is enforced through questions in Parliament also, which are answered by ministers. However, department standing committees go one step further and hear from senior officials of the government in a closed setting, allowing for more detailed discussions.
  • This mechanism also enables parliamentarians to understand the executive processes closely.

Role of committees:

  • Support Parliament’s work.
  • Examine ministerial budgets, consider Demands for Grants, analyse legislation and scrutinise the government’s working.
  • Examine Bills referred to by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha or the Speaker, Lok Sabha.
  • Consideration of Annual Reports.
  • Consideration of national basic long term policy documents presented to the House and referred to the Committee by the Chairman, Rajya Sabha or the Speaker, Lok Sabha.

Challenges faced:

  • Current challenges during COVID-19:
    • virtual meetings of panels have not been allowed, and physical meetings are difficult given that Members of Parliament (MPs) are spread out across the country, with difficulties in mobility and state-specific quarantine rules
    • The Parliamentary rules doesn’t allow virtual meetings of the Parliamentary committees.
    • The need for secrecy — which may not be possible during a virtual meeting is another major concern.
    • Insisting on physical meetings — just recently, MPs who attended a committee meeting had to go into quarantine because a staff of a committee secretariat tested positive — isn’t wise.
  • Other challenges:
    • Persistent absenteeism from meetings of department-related standing committees should cost MPs their spot on these parliamentary panels was a strong view that emerged during a meeting of chairpersons of the committees with Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu recently.
    • Eleven of the 22 Bills introduced in the ongoing session of Parliament have been passed, which makes it a highly productive session after many years.
    • But these Bills have been passed without scrutiny by parliamentary standing committees, their purpose being to enable detailed consideration of a piece of legislation.
    • After the formation of the 17th Lok Sabha, parliamentary standing committees have not been constituted as consultations among parties are still under way.
    • Partly as a result of this, the Bills were passed without committee scrutiny. They were discussed in Parliament over durations ranging between two and five hours.

Measures needed:

Immediate measures:

  • Ensuring the use of technological platforms which are secure, and owned and vetted by the government.
  • The prime minister, for instance, uses video conference facilities for a range of meetings; Same can be replicated for the legislature too.

Long-term measures:

  • Parliamentary committees don’t have dedicated subject-wise research support available. The knowledge gap is partially bridged by expert testimony from government and other stakeholders.
  • Their work could be made more effective if the committees had full-time, sector-specific research staff.
  • The national commission to review the working of the Constitution has recommended that in order to strengthen the committee system, research support should be made available to them.
  • Currently, the rules of Parliament don’t require every bill to be referred to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny. While this allows the government greater flexibility and the ability to speed up legislative business, it comes at the cost of ineffective scrutiny by the highest law-making body.
  • Mandatory scrutiny of all bills by parliamentary committees would ensure better planning of legislative business.

Conclusion:

India is confronted by a range of serious issues, from the pandemic to economic distress, from the security threat from China to rapidly changing global geopolitics. All of them require careful examination. MPs have a role in providing inputs, scrutinizing the executive’s approach, involving domain experts in the discussion, and ensuring accountability. Thus, the PSC act as check and balance which must be constituted at the earliest.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

4. Account for the increasing concern regarding antimicrobial resistance (AMR)? What initiatives have been taken by India and the International organizations to combat it? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (GRAM) report used statistical modelling to estimate deaths linked to 23 pathogens and 88 pathogen-drug combinations.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about concerns surrounding AMR and initiatives taken to tackle it.

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: 

Define AMR and its causes.

Body:

First, write about the why there is global cause of concern – Superbug, Multidrug resistance to bacterium and viruses, Increased cost of treatment, prolonged hospitalisation, increased mortality and less effective inoculation. Give reasons behind it.

Next, write about the various initiatives to tackle AMR – Global Action Plan on AMR, World Anti-microbial awareness week, Delhi Declaration on AMR, National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance etc.

Also, briefly examine their success.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The WHO defines antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as a condition wherein microbes survive when exposed to the drug which would have normally caused them to die. It is the resistance acquired by any microorganism like bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite, etc. against antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarial, and anthelmintic) that are used to treat infections and is regarded as a major threat to public health across the globe.

Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.

Body

A growing list of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning, gonorrhoea, and foodborne diseases – are becoming tougher, and at times impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less productive, emergence and spread of resistance is made worse because of procurement of antibiotics for animal and human consumption without a doctor’s supervision or a prescription etc.

AMR: a global threat

  • AMR represents an existential threat to modern medicine.
  • All these effects will be felt globally, but the scenario in the low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) of Asia and Africa is even more serious.
  • 7 million people worldwide die annually because they cannot access drugs for infections that are treatable.
  • Without concerted action, Drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050, and trigger an economic slowdown to rival the global financial crisis of 2008.warned the UN Ad Hoc Interagency Coordinating Group on Antimicrobial Resistance in a report.
  • It added that by 2030, antimicrobial resistance could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty. In the worst-case scenario, the world will lose 3.8% of its annual GDP by 2050.
  • Currently, at least 7,00,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases, including 2,30,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
  • It also noted that more and more common diseases, including respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections, are becoming untreatable.
  • Lifesaving medical procedures are becoming riskier, and food systems are getting increasingly precarious. A very significant part of out-of-pocket expenditure on health care is on medicines. The ineffective drugs and/or second line expensive antibiotics is pushing the treatment costs higher.
  • The report noted that the world is already feeling the economic and health consequences as crucial medicines become ineffective.
  • Without investment from countries in all income brackets, future generations will face the disastrous impacts of uncontrolled antimicrobial resistance.

AMR in India:

  • Burden of infectious disease (Bacterial infections) is high and healthcare spending is low.
  • The National Health Policy 2017 highlights the problem of antimicrobial resistance and calls for effective action to address it.
  • The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) identified AMR as one of the top 10 priorities for the ministry’s collaborative work with WHO.
  • In 2012, India’s medical societies adopted the Chennai Declaration, a set of national recommendations to promote antibiotic stewardship.
  • India’s Red Line campaign demands that prescription-only antibiotics be marked with a red line, to discourage the over-the-counter sale of antibiotics.
  • National Policy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance 2011.
  • National Action Plan on AMR resistance 2017-2021.
  • India has instituted surveillance of the emergence of drug resistance in disease causing microbes in programmes on Tuberculosis, Vector Borne diseases, AIDS, etc.
  • Since March 2014 a separate Schedule H-1 has been incorporated in Drug and Cosmetic rules to regulate the sale of antimicrobials in the country.
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banned the use of antibiotics and several pharmacologically active substances in fisheries.
  • The government has also capped the maximum levels of drugs that can be used for growth promotion in meat and meat products.

International Efforts

  • A multi-sectoral $1 billion AMR Action Fund was launched in 2020 to support the development of new antibiotics.
  • Peru’s efforts on patient education to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions.
  • Australian regulatory reforms to influence prescriber behaviour.
  • Denmark’s reforms to prevent the use of antibiotics in livestock have not only led to a significant reduction in the prevalence of resistant microbes in animals, but also improved the efficiency of farming.
  • India proposed laws to curb the amount of active antibiotics released in pharmaceutical waste

Way forward

  • In addition to developing new antimicrobials, infection-control measures can reduce antibiotic use.
  • It is critical to ensure that all those who need an antimicrobial have access to it.
  • To track the spread of resistance in microbes, surveillance measures to identify these organisms need to encompass livestock, wastewater and farm run-offs.
  • We need sustained investments and global coordination to detect and combat new resistant strains on an ongoing basis.
  • International alignment and coordination are paramount in both policymaking and its implementation.
  • Solutions in clinical medicine must be integrated with improved surveillance of AMR in agriculture, animal health and the environment

Conclusion

Anti-Microbial Resistance is not a country specific issue but a global concern that is jeopardizing global health security. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the major public health problems. Reducing the incidence of infection through effective infection prevention and control.  As stated by WHO, making infection prevention and hand hygiene a national policy priority is need of the hour.

Value addition

Reasons for the spread of AMR:

  • Antibiotic consumption in humans
    • Unnecessary and injudicious use of antibiotic fixed dose combinations could lead to emergence of bacterial strains resistant to multiple antibiotics.
  • Social factors
    • Self-medication.
    • Access to antibiotics without prescription.
    • Lack of knowledge about when to use antibiotics.
  • Cultural Activities
    • Mass bathing in rivers as part of religious mass gathering occasions.
  • Antibiotic Consumption in Food Animals
    • Antibiotics which are critical to human health are commonly used for growth promotion in poultry.
  • Pharmaceutical Industry Pollution
    • The wastewater effluents from the antibiotic manufacturing units contain a substantial amount of antibiotics, leading to contamination of rivers and lakes.
  • Environmental Sanitation
    • Untreated disposal of sewage water bodies – leading to contamination of rivers with antibiotic residues and antibiotic-resistant organisms.
  • Infection Control Practices in Healthcare Settings
    • A report on hand-washing practices of nurses and doctors found that only 31.8% of them washed hands after contact with patients.

 

TopicSecurity challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

5. What security threats are posed by Drones as a means of hybrid warfare? Can these threats be averted without stifling the growth in the use of Drone technology? Analyze. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

Yemen’s Houthi rebels used cruise and ballistic missiles, in addition to drones, in an attack on Abu Dhabi this week that killed three people and set off fires at a fuel depot and an international airport

Key Demand of the question:

Analyse in what way Drones as a technology offer a distinctively puzzling and complex security threat when it comes to terrorism and hybrid warfare.

Directive:

Analyze – 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:

Start with recent incidences associated with Drone attacks in UAE. Also, give examples of similar incidents in India.

Body:

Drones are useful but also represents the start of a new dimension of hybrid warfare which can have ramification for world security. Also, there have been warnings that Pakistan-based terrorist groups could attempt to target military bases with drones.

Discuss in detail the security threats associated with Drones. Drones have developed significantly and acquired massive leaps in capability.

Weaponized drones were first used by the Islamic State in northern Iraq in 2016 and then in Syria.

They have wreaked havoc on Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in Afghanistan and other hotspots, used for targeted and precise eliminations by both Israelis and Americans. What makes drones particularly dangerous is the fact that they fly very low making them undetectable to radar and leaving little by way of reaction time once detected.

List down initiatives to regulate drone use in India a world e.g drone rules introduced. Also, mention why the regulation should not stifle the innovations in drone technology. Suggest measures to tackle these challenges.

Conclusion:

With the increasing use of drones for cross-border smuggling, the Indian security agencies must look for various ways to put in place reliable systems as part of a smart border management mechanism for deterrence.

Introduction

A Drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. Besides combat use, drones are used for a range of purposes like package delivery, in agriculture (spraying pesticides etc), monitoring environmental changes, aerial photography, and during search and relief operations, among others.

Increasing the use of drones in warfare and other areas has brought into focus the potential the use of drones holds and the other issues related to its misuse (Rogue Drones). India has an estimated over 6 lakh rogue or unregulated unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Body

 Security threats posed by drones:

  • National Security Issues:Drones have demonstrated the potentials for their threat to the security of a country. Drones are operated remotely and can strike where it wants it to strike. Raising serious security issues.
  • Terrorism:Drones have been used by various terrorist organisations like ISIS in Syria and Iraq to hit their targets.
  • Conflict Zones: Drones are becoming security threats particularly in conflict zones where non-state actors are active and have easy access to the technology. For example: 2019 twin drone attacks on Aramco crude oil production in Saudi Arabia.
  • Potential weapons of mass destruction: What makes combat drones in the hands of non-state actors most dangerous is the threat of them being used to deliver weapons of mass destruction.
  • Aviation safety: Drones flying too close to commercial aircraft has called for regulations.
  • Privacy:Drones have been used by the paparazzi to take the images of individuals breaching their privacy.
  • Critical infrastructure: unregulated drones, UAVs and remotely-piloted aircraft system are a “potential threat” to vital installations, sensitive locations and specific events
  • Cross border smuggling: Over the past two years, drones have been deployed regularly by Pakistan-based outfits to smuggle arms, ammunition and drugs into Indian territory. Drones fly low and therefore cannot be detected by any radar system. 

Way forward: 

  • Security agencies should work on developing more modern anti-drone weapons like ‘sky fence’ and ‘drone gun’ to counter terror or similar sabotage bids by these aerial platforms.
  • The Tokyo police have been using ‘flying nets’ attached to legal drones to capture and neutralise rogue UAVs. the Taiwanese police have been testing RF jammer guns to bring down rogue drones.
  • The other anti-drone technology is through geofencing agreements with commercial drone manufacturers, a technique that will prevent UAVs from flying near critical infrastructure by pre-programmed codes put in by manufacturers.
  • India needs to invest more in counter-drone research and technology and procure them in a planned manner to address the security concerns arising from rogue operations the unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • There is a need to develop partnerships between counter-drone companies and public sector units (PSUs), government organisations like Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other private organisations.
  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation could potentially look at making the existing regulations for unmanned aircraft systems more stringent.
  • The answer to the emerging threat of rogue drones, though serious, is not over-regulation but smart regulation, creating a balance between the evolving drone sector and the emerging security concerns.
  • This needs to be done with investing in cutting-edge technologies for countering drones and indigenous R&D, with the support of government grants besides private investments.
  • ‘National Counter Rogue Drone Guidelines’ is a step in the right direction outlining ‘procedural means’ of prevention, deterrence and denial and ‘active means’ of detection, interruption and destruction. This must be coupled with ‘Counter Rogue Drone Deployment Plan’ based on vulnerability analysis 

Conclusion: 

Regulation on use of drones in India should be effectively implemented to foster technology and innovation in the development of drones and improve the ease of doing business, by side-lining unnecessary requirements and creating a single-window process. The government should ensure protection of privacy of citizens by limiting the use of drones for surveillance. It is important to use drones responsibly to minimize negative impacts on wildlife, including birds. Possibilities of drone-related accidents should be minimized by strict enforcement of regulations.

Value addition

Recent events featuring drones 

  • Recently, Drones were used for the first time to drop explosive devices, triggering blasts inside the Air Force Station’s technical area in Jammu.
  • Recently, the BSF detected weapons dropped by a suspected Pakistan drone in Jammu. One AK-47 assault rifle, one pistol, one magazine, and 15 rounds for a 9 mm weapon were recovered 250 m inside Indian territory.
  • On June 20 last year, the BSF shot down a drone in Hiranagar, Jammu. The hexacopter’s payload included a US-made M4 semi-automatic carbine, two magazines, 60 rounds and seven Chinese grenades.
  • Sources said in recent years there have been an estimated 100-150 sightings of suspected drones near India’s western border annually. Most of these are suspected to be surveillance drones.
  • A drone was used by the U.S. to fire the missile at Qassem Soleimani to assassinate him.
  • A few days before that, less-lethal drones monitored crowds of student protesters rocking India.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Determinants of Ethics.

6. “The rightness or wrongness of an action cannot be judged adequately in certain matters”. Critically analyze the statement on the issue of ‘right to abortion’ for women in Indian society. (10M)

Structure of the question

Introduction

Highlight the basic objective behind professing ‘right to abortion’

Body

  • Debate whether the rightness or wrongness of right to abortion could be judged in an adequate manner. Ex: In a religious society, right to abortion might be condemned; in a society with greater level of participation for women, the right might be encouraged.
  • Make sure to include the right of unborn fetus, the probability of misuse of the right etc.

Conclusion

Suggest how a balance could be found so as to resolve the challenge here (balancing rights of the unborn child vs rights of women over her body)

Introduction

Termination of pregnancy (TOP) or foeticide is ethically and morally challenging and maybe considered illegal in countries with restrictive abortion laws. Ethical dilemmas such as women’s autonomy rights may conflict with foetus’ right to personhood, and doctor’s moral obligations to society. In liberal jurisdictions, previable foetuses may not have legal rights of personhood; therefore, appropriate action would be to respect pregnant women’s decisions regarding TOP.

Body:

Pro-choice versus Pro-life:

Pro Choice:

  • If a pregnancy puts the life of the mother at risk, then we should consider the value of the foetus compared to the value of the life of the mother.
  • An unwanted child does not have a good life. If a mother has a child that she does not want, then both she and the child may be greatly harmed; forcing the mother to continue with the pregnancy might produce a child with little chance of a happy life for itself and cause the mother much suffering as:
  • Mother should have a right to control her own life, at least to the extent that in doing so she does minimal harm to herself.
  • The right to abortion is vital for gender equality. The right to abortion is vital for individual women to achieve their full potential.
  • Banning abortion puts women at risk by forcing them to use illegal methods that may be more harmful.
  • But on the other hand the right to life should always outweigh the right of an individual to equalityor to control their own. It can be misused.

Pro Life:

  • Foetus has the right to life because it is a ‘potential human being’.
  • The ‘potential human being’ argument gives the right to life to the unborn from the very earliest stage of development – the moment when the egg is fertilised.
  • This argument renders irrelevant any concerns about what sort of being the foetus is at any particular stage of its development.

The new-born argument

  • One of the strongest arguments for giving the full rights of person to the foetus because it is a potential person flows from the status of a new born baby.
  • At birth a new born baby possesses so few of the characteristics required for ‘moral personhood’ that its right to life can’t be based on it being a ‘moral person’.
  • Nonetheless, everyone does accept that it has a right to life – even those who follow the ‘moral person’ line of thought.
  • This right to life seems to flow from the potential that the new-born has to become a ‘moral person’, and this in turn seems to support the argument that a potential ‘moral person’ has the right to life.

Conclusion:

The right to life underlies all other human rights – if we protect those rights, we should protect the right to life as well. Abortion is a civil rights issue in that some of those who support abortion do as a way of controlling the growth of certain population groups. Abortion is sometimes forced on women by exploiting partners or families. Abortion is sometimes forced on women because society fails to supply their needs. Parents have an obligation to their unborn children – it is wrong for them to escape it. Abortion brutalises those who carry it out, or who are involved in the process.

 

Topic: Determinants of ethics

7. Explain how materialism can lead to unhappiness in one’s life. Suggest some measures to overcome this situation. (15M)

Structure of the question

Introduction

Define materialism in an adequate manner.

Body

  • List in what ways materialism can lead to unhappiness in one’s lives. Ex: More emphasis on materialism might give rise to greed that might hamper personal and public relationships etc.
  • Suggest measures to overcome this overemphasis on materialism in an adequate manner

Conclusion

You can conclude your answer by emphasizing the Indian way of life which teaches following the Madhyam marga one of the core teachings of Buddhism) to deal with this issue.

Introduction

Materialism is generally viewed as the value placed on the acquisition of material objects. It is the philosophy that everything can be explained in terms of matter, or the idea that goods and wealth are the most important things. An example of materialism is valuing a new car over friendships.

Body

Materialism leads to unhappiness

  • The greed for more materialistic pleasures pushes an individual to seek for superficial pleasures in life.
  • Valuing materials more than people has led to many heinous things. Greed, envy, gluttony, sexual objectification, environmental devastation, and the horrors of Socialism and Communism are among them.
  • It smashes the happiness and peace of mind of those who succumb to it.
  • It’s associated with anxiety, depression and broken relationships.
  • Materialism forces us into comparison with the possessions of others, a race both cruelly illustrated and crudely propelled by that toxic website. There is no end to it.
  • For instance, If you have four Rolexes while another has five, you are a Rolex short of contentment.
  • The material pursuit of self-esteem reduces your self-esteem.
  • There has long been a correlation observed between materialism, a lack of empathy and engagement with others, and unhappiness.
  • The thirst or hunger for material things pushes us to be less human. It makes us forget compassion.
  • Worldly ambition, material aspiration, perpetual growth: these are a formula for mass unhappiness.

Measures to overcome materialism

  • Changing the way you perceive yourself and understanding the importance of your peace of mind is essential to help you overcome materialism.
  • One must realise that their identity and happiness is not based on what they own. Rather their actions, goals, purpose, and relationships with others create the foundation of who they are.
  • It is important to focus on your personal goals, journey, and experiences instead of being motivated to enhance your public image.
  • Following ideals of greats like Mahatma Gandhiji who promoted simplicity and minimalistic living over material pleasures.
  • Buddhism teaches that attachment to things creates suffering. However, this doesn’t mean the only path to true happiness is to abandon everything. It simply means that you stop trying to hold on to all the things you own and the relationships in your life.
  • Another thing to remember is you can’t take any of your possessions with you when you pass. But you can make people’s lives better by teaching and giving to them, and you can leave a legacy for your family through giving them things that make their lives better and more enriching.
  • When one learns to appreciate what you have and get by with less, they will have a much happier life.

Conclusion

Happiness gained through success or materialism is only temporary. The grass is always greener on the other side. Happiness can be gained by being content and grateful. Contentment is simply gratitude, appreciation, and acceptance for the way things are right now. Satisfaction ultimately can’t be found in collecting the most stuff possible, but rather in achieving intrinsic values.


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