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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 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:  Indian Culture will cover the salient aspects of Art forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1.  Illustrate with examples how Science and Technology flourished in Ancient India. Do you think these developments have any relevance in making India the technological hub that she is today? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The New Indian Express

Why this question:

The question is based on the contributions of ancient India to science and technology and its significance and relevance even in today’s times.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the contributions of Ancient India to science and technology of the past and even to the present.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain India’s ancient caliber of development in science.

Body:

Explain that one of the oldest civilizations in the world, the Indian civilization has a strong tradition of science and technology. Ancient India was a land of sages and seers as well as a land of scholars and scientists. India was actively contributing to the field of science and technology centuries long before modern laboratories were set up. Mention a few examples.

Many theories and techniques discovered by the ancient Indians have created and strengthened the fundamentals of modern science and technology. While some of these groundbreaking contributions have been acknowledged, some are still unknown to most.

Quote examples of scientists, researchers, etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance and relevance of such discoveries and inventions even in today’s times.

Introduction

Indian Science and technology, including astronomy has a long history and was a Vedanga, an auxiliary discipline associated with the study of the Vedas, dating back to 1,500 BCE or earlier. Varahamihira, Aryabhata, Bhaskara, Brahmagupta and others were astronomers who even mention their scientific instruments. Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five Jantar Mantars in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi. They give us a good idea of the early scientific tools.

Body

Background

  • Indian science and technology began at Mehrgarh (now in Pakistan) and continued throughout the country’s history.
  • People developed different systems of agriculture, irrigation, canals and water storage systems, including artificial lakes, by 3,000 BCE.
  • Cotton was cultivated by 5,000–4,000 BCE. They farmed with animal-drawn ploughs in the Indus Civilisation in 2,500 BCE.
  • The people of the Indus-Sarasvati region used weights and measures. Large numbers are used in the Vedas.
  • The earliest-known dock in the world, which could berth and service ships, was situated at Lothal in Gujarat.
  • Indian metallurgy was very advanced. Steel was made in India from 500 BCE. King Porus gifted Alexander a steel sword in 326 BCE.
  • The iron pillar located in Delhi is seven metres high and has never rusted.
  • Over 5,000 years ago, there were dentists in the Indus-Sarasvati region.
  • A modern scientist who was looking at the teeth of people who had died there long ago found that ancient dentists had drilled teeth as far back as 9,000 years ago.

Science and Technology in ancient India

  • Baudhayana in 800 BCE calculated the value of pi and discovered what is now known as the Pythagoras’ theorem. Pythagoras lived in sixth century BCE Greece; and the third century CE sophist Philostratus says that Pythagoras studied under Hindu sages or gymnosophists in India.
  • Brahmagupta lived in seventh century Ujjain and wrote several books on mathematics and astronomy. India was the source of the number system, now called the Arabic numerals because the Arabs took it everywhere. This number system is a feat of genius. It enables all numbers to be expressed with just ten symbols—the numbers 1 through 9 and the symbol for zero.
    • Brahmagupta was the first to discuss zero as a number and established the basic mathematical rules for it.
    • He did a lot of work in geometry, trigonometry and discovered new theorems. He also explained how to find cubes, cube roots, squares and square roots.
  • Bhaskaracharya wrote about arithmetic, geometry, algebra and calculus. Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz are given credit for being the first to introduce calculus, but Bhaskaracharya had written about it 500 years earlier.
  • Sushruta was a great surgeon who used 125 different surgical instruments and herbal sprays before an operation to prevent sepsis. His greatest contribution was in the fields of plastic surgery and cataract removal.
  • Charaka wrote about herbal treatments that Indians are just rediscovering.
  • In 300 BCE, Patanjali codified the Yoga sutras.
  • In 200 BCE, Kanada wrote about gravity and that the universe is made up of
  • Nagarjuna was a great metallurgist and chemist.

Relevance today

  • All these inventions became a foundation for future inventions and discoveries.
  • Their contribution in astronomy, mathematics, medicine, metallurgy, chemistry havemade an impact on modem scientists.
  • It is clear that progress of science and technology in India has been quite significant. Many new methods, products and better-quality goods have been developed in the country.
  • India has made rapid progress in the frontier areas of science and technology like space research and atomic energy.
  • At present the country has a strong base in modern technology. It also has the third largest scientific and technical manpower in the world

Conclusion

It is clear that progress of science and technology in India has been quite significant. Many new methods, products and better quality goods have been developed in the country. India has made rapid progress in the frontier areas of science and technology like space research and atomic energy. At present the country has a strong base in modem technology. It also has the third largest scientific and technical manpower in the world.

 

Topic: Salient features of Indian Society. Social empowerment,

2. “Criminalising marital rape will destabilize the institution of marriage”. Critically examine the statement in light of recent Supreme Court Judgement. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

A rising number of petitions before the Delhi High Court to criminalize marital rape has been alleged as an outcome of the government’s refusal to pay heed to the landmark report by the Justice J. S. Verma Committee.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the effect of the criminalization of marital rape on the institution of marriage.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

State a few facts related to the criminalization of marital rape.

Body:

Explain the following aspects – 

First, discuss what you understand by marital rape – Marital rape is the act of sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without the spouse’s consent. The lack of consent is the essential element and need not involve physical violence.

Then move on to explain the concerns associated with it, explain how it is often being misused against men by women. How the institution of marriage is affected by criminalizing marital rape.

Ensure the answer also reflects on the status of women in society. 

Conclusion:

Conclude by emphasizing the need for proper policies and legislations in place to deal with marital rape.

Introduction

As per the NCRB report, in India, a woman is raped every 16 minutes, and every four minutes, she experiences cruelty at the hands of her in-laws. An analysis of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2015-16 data indicates that an estimated 99.1 per cent of sexual violence cases go unreported and that the average Indian woman is 17 times more likely to face sexual violence from her husband than from others.

Body

Definition of Marital Rape

  • Marital rape, the act of forcing your spouse into having sex without proper consent, is an unjust yet not uncommon way to degrade and disempower women.
  • Today, it has been impeached in more than 100 countries but, unfortunately, India is one of the only 36 countries where marital rape is still not criminalized.
  • In 2013, the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) recommended that the Indian government should criminalize marital rape.
  • The JS Verma committee set up in the aftermath of nationwide protests over the December 16, 2012 gang rape case had also recommended the same.

Issues with rape laws in India wrt marital rape

  • Rape laws in our country continue with the patriarchal outlook of considering women to be the property of men post marriage, with no autonomy or agency over their bodies.
  • They deny married women equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Indian constitution.
  • Lawmakers fail to understand that a marriage should not be viewed as a licence for a husband to forcibly rape his wife with impunity. A married woman has the same right to control her own body as does an unmarried woman.
  • The concept of marital rape in India is the epitome of what we call an “implied consent”.
  • Marriage between a man and a woman here implies that both have consented to sexual intercourse and it cannot be otherwise.
  • The centre argues that criminalising marital rape would destabilise the institution of marriage and be an easy tool for harassing the husbands.
  • It has cited the observations of the SC and various HCs on growing misuse of Section 498A (harassment caused to a married woman by her husband and in-laws) of IPC.
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860, also communicates the same. Section 375 defines the offence of rape with the help of six descriptions. One of the exceptions to this offence is “Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape”.
  • Earlier, Section 375 (Exception) created a classification not only between consent given by a married and unmarried woman, but also between married females below 15 years of age and over 15 years old. This was rightfully struck down by SC and made it 18 years.

Criminalising Marital Rape

  • The SC judgment was only a small step towards striking down the legalisation of marital rape.
  • It is high time that the legislature should take cognisance of this legal infirmity and bring marital rape within the purview of rape laws by eliminating Section 375 (Exception) of IPC.
  • By removing this law, women will be safer from abusive spouses, can receive the help needed to recover from marital rape and can save themselves from domestic violence and sexual abuse.
  • Indian women deserve to be treated equally, and an individual’s human rights do not deserve to be ignored by anyone, including by their spouse.

Conclusion

Rape is rape, irrespective of the identity of the perpetrator, and age of the survivor. A woman who is raped by a stranger, lives with a memory of a horrible attack; a woman who is raped by her husband lives with her rapist. Our penal laws, handed down from the British, have by and large remained untouched even after 73 years of independence. But English laws have been amended and marital rape was criminalised way back in 1991. No Indian government has, however, so far shown an active interest in remedying this problem.

Value Addition: Important cases and Committee reports

  • The government defended exception to marital rape in Independent Thought v. Union of India (2017) saying it against the institution of marriage.
  • However, rejecting this claim, the Supreme Court observed, “Marriage is not institutional but personal – nothing can destroy the ‘institution’ of marriage except a statute that makes marriage illegal and punishable.”
  • In Joseph Shine v. Union of India (2018), the Supreme Court held that the offence of adultery was unconstitutional because it was founded on the principle that a woman is her husband’s property after marriage.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

3. ‘Internet is an important tool for good in children’s lives, but there is need to spot and understand the dangers’. In the light of the statement, examine the efficacy of the steps taken by India to curb online child sex abuse. (250 words)

Level: Moderate

Reference: The New Indian Express

Why the question:

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) dubbed 2021 as the worst year on record for child sexual abuse online as lockdowns saw younger and younger children being targeted “on an industrial scale” by internet groomers.

Key Demand of the question:

To give the status of online child sex abuse and steps taken to curb it.

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: 

Begin by giving the context of the Question as given by the report of Internet Watch Foundation.

Body:

Firstly, mention how children are lured on the internet and reasons for its increase in recent times.

Next, mention the government steps to curb it. Analyze if they have been successful and what more needs to be done.

Also, write about the need to expand the scope of the POCSO act to end online child abuse.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) dubbed 2021 as the worst year on record for child sexual abuse online as lockdowns saw younger and younger children being targeted “on an industrial scale” by internet groomers. School closures and the shift towards online education as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a surge in young people’s online activities.

Body

Online Child Sexual abuse on the rise

  • Child safety experts say younger children have been relying more and more on the internet during the pandemic, and that spending longer online may be leaving them more vulnerable to communities of criminals who are looking to find and manipulate children into recording their own sexual abuse on camera. The footage is then shared among other criminals on the open internet.
  • The past decade has witnessed notable growth in internet usage in not only India but also the world at large. In January 2021, India had 624 million internet users with over 8 percent growth over the previous year.
  • According to a UNICEF report, one in three internet users globally is a child. And while we don’t know the exact numbers, a significant number of Indian users also include children.
  • Risky online behaviour, lack of parental guidance, the proliferation of cybercrime and inadequate safeguards are laying the ground for an increase in online child sexual exploitation and abuse in India.
  • Broadly, such abuse and exploitation include online grooming, making and circulating child sexual abuse material, and live-streaming abuse.
  • Other related activities include cyber-bullying, cyber-harassment, cyber-stalking, and exposure to harmful content. Another prevalent form of abuse is when explicit photos, shared with consent among two people, are circulated in public without consent.

Prevention of child abuse in India

  • Laws: India’s Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act of 2012 (POCSO) and Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act have been recently strengthened in their aim of fighting child rights violation.
    • There has also been a corresponding increase in the number of child abuse cases filed, due to awareness about legal recourse, translating to an increase in a number of convictions.
    • In 2016, the National Crime Records Bureau also spoke about the relationship of victims and accused in rape cases.
  • Reporting of incidents: The Ministry of Women and Child Development’s ‘e-box.’ is an online reporting system children enabling children to report incidents of inappropriate touching and molestation, anonymously if they choose.
    • These reports are received by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
  • Report it to police: Police officers are legally bound to address child abuse complaint. Further, the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act makes it illegal to witness and not report suspected child abuse and not report it.
    • The POCSO Act has increased cases brought to trial.
  • The role of parents: Parents must educate children about sexual advances or threats and protect them from abuse through the concept of unacceptable “bad touch”.
    • This communication must be constant, friendly, and frank, and teach children how their sexuality works so they don’t unknowingly harass others.

Conclusion and way forward

  • To create safe digital spaces for our children and adolescents, policymakers, law enforcement agencies, civil society organizations, communities, the private sector, and experts need to come together.
  • Safer access to the internet is concerned with the freedom and choice of children and overall democratization in learning as recognized in the Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC)—an international agreement signed by countries in 1989.
  • Experts and agencies have recommended including digital parenting, parental mediation, education and training of children in schools, and robust information-technology laws and regulations.
  • Internet-safety rules and practices should be included in the school curriculum and teachers’-training programmes, and parents should be made aware of them.
  • The children too need to be reached out to. They need to be provided with resources and platforms to seek support when required.
  • The government needs to introduce comprehensive sexuality education in the school curricula.
  • This will create a safe, positive, non-judgmental space for children, adolescents, and young people to access information in an age-appropriate manner, based on evidence rather than morality.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. India’s experience with existing free trade agreements has been lukewarm so far, explain the underlying reasons and discuss what should be the way ahead to change this experience into a positive outcome. (250 words)

Level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why this question:

The article critically examines the India-UK scenario of Free trade agreements and their effects on India’s economy.

Key demand of the question:

India signed a series of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) in Asia that came into force in the 2000s. Across industry and policy-makers, a view has emerged that these FTAs have not served India well and even actively damaged the Indian industry. Thus one has to analyze in detail the aspects of FTAs with respect to the Indian economy.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief, define what FTAs are.

Body:

Explain in what way the success of an FTA should be judged against its objective of enhancing trade.

Discuss the factors responsible for such an effect and also suggest what steps should be taken to ensure the better realization of the FTAs.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

India signed a series of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) in Asia that came into force in the 2000s. Across industry and policy-makers, a view has emerged that these FTAs have not served India well and even actively damaged the Indian industry. Thus, one has to analyze in detail the aspects of FTAs with respect to the Indian economy. Today, India has a total of 14 Free Trade Agreements.

Body

Free Trade Agreement

A free trade agreement is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them. Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange.

Reasons for lukewarm outcome of India’s FTA’s

  • There are issues related to labour laws and investor protection provisions impact India’s ability to negotiate deep-trade agreements. Deep trade agreements have been designed over the last two decades to facilitate complex global value chains and the underlying trade-investment-services linkages.
    • The predominant focus in these agreements is linked to investor protection, intellectual property rights (IPRs) and labour standards.
    • India has found it difficult to negotiate these issues in its earlier free trade agreements.
    • For instance, issues related to labour laws led to the suspension of the FTA negotiations with the EU in 2013 and pushed these negotiations to
  • Furthermore, India’s 2016 template for a model investment treaty, may make it difficult for India to negotiate the investor protection provisions. Because it is more state-friendly and includes some burdensome provisions for the foreign investor.
  • Next, a protectionist tariff structure, if not corrected, could remain a hurdle at the preliminary stage of FTA negotiations.
  • India’s tariff structure has been relatively higher than the average MFN tariffs in the manufacturing sector. For example, As per World Bank data, the applied, weighted mean tariff rate for manufactured products in India increased from 5.5 percent in 2008 to 6.6 percent in 2019. Whereas it decreased in the case of Vietnam from 5.6 percent to 1.4 percent over the same period.
  • Exports have not expanded as thought. India’s exports to Asean countries amounted to $23 billion in 2010, which increased to $36 billion in 2018, with a compound annual growth rate of five per cent. At the same time, India’s imports from these countries increased from $30 billion in 2010 to $57 billion, a growth of eight per cent.
    • India’s net exports to countries without a trade agreement were only marginally lower than its net exports to countries with FTAs.
    • In contrast, the imports from countries with trade agreements were substantially higher, pushing India into a trade deficit.
  • India had recorded a trade deficit in all major trade agreements other than the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).

Way forward and Conclusion

  • India should not consider entering into FTAs without preparing the agriculture and manufacturing sectors adequately
  • There should be a better alignment/coherence of India’s trade policy with the objectives of other major macroeconomic policies such as National Manufacturing Policy;
  • All relevant stakeholders such as business association including bodies representing micro, small and medium enterprises and civil society and community-based organisations should be given due representation in trade policy-making process and its implementation;
  • Comprehensive analyses of market access and other opportunities in prospective partner-country markets including analyses of factors relating to enhancement of competitiveness of India’s exports through right mix of import intensity should be undertaken before initiating trade negotiations.
  • Negotiations should start after a thorough understanding of sustainability impact of free trade agreements in respect to their economic, social and environmental sustainability;
  • Impact of third-party FTAs (that is between two or more countries with which India has significant trade relations but does not have a free trade agreement) on the Indian economy should be analysed.

Value Addition

Trade agreements of India

FTA’s

  • India – Bhutan Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit
  • India – ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement
  • India – Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
  • India – Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement
  • India – Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)
  • India – South Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
  • Revised Indo-Nepal Treaty of Trade
  • India- Sri Lanka FTA (ISLFTA) Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan Maldives and Afghanistan)
  • India – Thailand FTA – Early Harvest Scheme (EHS)

Preferential Trade Agreements

  • Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) (Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka)
  • India – Chile
  • India – MERCOSUR
  • SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement
  • India – Afghanistan

 

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

5. What is the difference between forest area and forest cover? Why is it important to improve the forest cover in the country? Discuss in light of recent Forest Survey report 2021. (250 Words)

Level: Easy

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

Recent Forest Survey Report 2021 shows an overall decadal decline in forest cover in India’s 52 tiger reserves, Gir

Key Demand of the question:

The question aims to address the importance of improving the forest cover in the country and assess the efforts of the government in this direction.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Give the context of the Question and highlight how forest cover has decreased in India’s tiger reserve as shown by a recent forest survey report.

Body:

Start by differentiating between forest area and forest cover. Also, explain the importance of forest cover, why is it important to improve it.

Explain in detail the efforts made by our country in this direction, many initiatives brought by the ministry to bring out transformational changes in policies and programs include – Massive tree plantation, Promoting urban forestry through Nagar Van Scheme, Landscape based catchment treatment of major rivers, LiDAR-based survey of degraded forest areas for soil moisture conservation projects and, Launch of National Transit Portal to facilitate smooth movement of Forest produce, etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the importance of forest cover conservation.

Introduction

The National Forest Policy of India, 1988 envisaged a goal of achieving 33 per cent of the geographical area of the country under forest & tree cover. India State of Forest Report (ISFR) is a biennial publication of Forest Survey of India (FSI), an organization under the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India.

Body

forest_cover

 

Difference between forest area and forest cover

  • The term ‘Forest Area’ (or recorded forest area) generally refers to all the geographic areas recorded as forest in government records.
  • On the other hand, the term ‘Forest Cover’ refers to all lands more than 1 hectare in area, having a tree canopy density of more than 10%.
  • Thus, the term ‘forest area’ denotes the legal status of the land as per the government records, whereas the term ‘forest cover’ indicates the presence of trees over any land.

Concerns of declining forest cover

  • Decline in Natural Forests: There is a 1,582 sq. km decline in moderately dense forests, or “natural forests”. The decline, in conjunction with an increase of 2,621 sq. km in open forest areas – shows a degradation of forests in the country.
    • Also, scrub area has increased by 5,320 sq. km – indicating the complete degradation of forests in these areas.
    • Very dense forests have increased by 501 sq. km.
  • Decline in Northeast Forest Cover: The forest cover in the region has shown an overall decline of 1,020 sq. km in forest cover.
    • The Northeast states account for 7.98% of total geographical area but 23.75% of total forest cover.
    • The decline in the North-eastern states has been attributed to a spate of natural calamities, particularly landslides and heavy rains, in the region as well as to anthropogenic activities such as shifting agriculture, pressure of developmental activities and felling of trees.

Government measures to improve forest areas

  • National Mission for a Green India
    • It is one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
    • It was launched in February, 2014 with the objective to safeguard the biological resources of our nation and associated livelihoods against the peril of adverse climate change and to recognise the vital impact of forestry on ecological sustainability, biodiversity conservation and food-, water- and livelihood-security.
  • National Afforestation Programme (NAP):
    • It has been implemented since 2000 for the afforestation of degraded forest lands.
    • It is being implemented by the MoEFCC.
  • Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, (CAMPA Funds)
    • Launched in 2016, 90% of the fund is to be given to the states while 10% is to be retained by the Centre.
    • The funds can be used for treatment of catchment areas, assisted natural generation, forest management, wildlife protection and management, relocation of villages from protected areas, managing human-wildlife conflicts, training and awareness generation, supply of wood saving devices and allied activities.
  • National Action Programme to Combat Desertification
    • It was prepared in 2001 to address issues of increasing desertification and to take appropriate actions.
    • It is implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • Forest Fire Prevention & Management Scheme (FFPM)
    • It is the only centrally funded program specifically dedicated to assist the states in dealing with forest fires.

Conclusion

With climate change and global warming on the rise, forest hold the key in combatting the two. They are a rich source of carbon storage and are key to keep the biodiversity alive. The balance needs to be restored for which forests need to flourish. The pledge to increase forest and stop deforestation must be implemented on war footing.

Value Addition

Forest Survey Findings

  • The Total Forest and Tree cover is 24.62% of the geographical area of the country.
    • The Total Forest cover is 7,13,789 sq. km which is 21.71% of the geographical area of the country.
    • The Tree cover is 2.91% of the geographical area of the country.
  • As compared to ISFR 2019 the current assessment shows an increase of:
    • 28% of forest and tree cover put together, at the national level.
    • Forest Cover: 0.22%
    • Tree Cover: 0.76%
  • Change in Recorded forest Area/Green Wash (RFA/GW) as compared to previous assessment of 2019.
    • Forest Cover within the RFA/GW: A slight increase of 31 sq. km.
    • Forest Cover outside the RFA/GW: There is an increase of 1,509 sq. km.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

6. You are the regional head of an automobile manufacturing industry. Your industry procures raw materials and spare parts from multiple upstream industries. A Manager from the marketing department of the electronic goods industry where he works as an employee approaches you personally. His industry is a critical supplier for making cars. He has a deal for you. If his brother is employed in your company as Production Engineer, he will supply some unaccounted goods (free of cost) to your company without the knowledge of his organization. This will save large sums of money for your company.

What will be your decision in this case? Also, justify your decision.

Why this question?

Ethical issues in procurement of raw materials and services in private enterprises

Structure of the question

Introduction

Identify your main priorities as the regional head of an automobile industry.

Body

  • Identify all the stakeholders in the case study and important values in the case study
  • Highlight if any ethical concerns associated with these stakeholders
  • Identify all the options available for you, mention the pros and cons of each of these options
  • Justify which course of action you will take by mentioning relevant ethical philosophies (Gandhian, Utilitarian, Kantian, Virtue, etc.) behind your course of action

Conclusion

Underscore the importance of transparency and accountability in procurement

Introduction

Integrity and honesty are by far the two most important assets of an individual in a managerial position. Only an able leader can lead his team towards success. Hence rather than choosing those actions which result in personal gain, one must target for common welfare, in this case for the automobile industry where I am the regional head.

Body

Stakeholders

  • Myself as the regional head
  • Manager from other upstream industry
  • The brother of the manager
  • My company and its workers as a whole
  • Company stakeholders.

Ethical concerns in the case

  • Integrity towards myself and towards the company
  • Loyalty towards the company
  • Ethical dilemma in choosing wrong action that may profit the company.
  • Transparency in procurement
  • Accountability to higher authority.
  • Abuse of power

Possible options to exercise

  • Action 1: Yes, I will hire his brother and get free of cost material
    • Merits: I will get a resource person as well as free supply of materials which can significantly cut the cost of production.
    • Demerits: The resource (brother) may be inefficient, costing the company more than what we get in return. Moreover, the supply materials may be substandard damaging the company’s image and reputation.
  • Action 2: Reject the proposal
    • Merits: Company reputation is saved; company stakeholders will have faith in the management.
    • Demerits: May not get more free supply of materials that may cut production cost.

My course of action

I would choose the second option because, naturally a big automobile company need not be constricted by the option of free supply of certain materials. Company reputation, status is everything and there can be no avenues for mistake. My conscience will also be clear in this regard.

Unaccounted material supply just to employ a person, may not work in the best interest of the company. Though it may give me a good promotion for saving cost, hiring an unknown person into the company may cause more losses. There may also be some ulterior motives for the person who wants to be employed as production manager. Hence, I would ensure no such induvial are in the company, especially not in managerial capacity. I’m accountable to my actions, not only to my superiors but especially to those working under me, whose livelihoods are at stake.

Conclusion

Accountability is what ultimately differentiates good leaders from mediocre ones. Good leaders make expectations clear by consistently reinforcing what is essential, and what employees should prioritize in their roles. Always lead by example and never take short cuts instead of tough decisions.


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