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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 February 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. What factors make Ellora, the pinnacle of rock-cut architecture in India?  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian art and culture – Nitin Singhania.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about important and distinctive features of Ellora rock cut art.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning the development of rock-cut architecture.

Body:

Mention the various unique features seen at Ellora – one of the largest rock-cut Hindu temple cave complexes in the world, featuring Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monuments, remarkable syncretism, aesthetic art and give examples of the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude by the summarising.

Introduction

Ellora is an archaeological site in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, built by Kalachuri, Chalukya and Rashtrakuta dynasties. Ellora caves comprise 34 monasteries and temples, dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff, extending over more than 2 km. The caves were built during the 5th to 10th centuries, and represent one of the finest examples of Indian rock-cut architecture.

Body

Factors that make Ellora, the pinnacle of rock-cut architecture in India

  • Ellora, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from A.D. 600 to 1000, brings the civilization of ancient India to life.
  • Not only is the Ellora complex a unique artistic creation and a technological exploit but, with its sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, it illustrates the spirit of co-existence and religious tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India.
  • The rock-cut activity was carried out in three phases from the 6th century to the 12th century.
  • The earliest caves (caves 1–12), excavated between the 5th and 8th centuries, reflect the Mahayana philosophy of Buddhism then prevalent in this region.
  • The Brahmanical group of caves (caves 13–29), including the renowned Kailasa temple (cave 16), was excavated between the 7th and 10th centuries.
  • The last phase, between the 9th and 12th centuries, saw the excavation of a group of caves (caves 30–34) reflecting Jaina philosophy.
  • Amongst the caves of the Buddhist group, Cave 10 (Visvakarma or Sutar-ki-jhopari, the Carpenter’s cave), Cave 11, and Cave 12 (Teen Tal, or three-storied monastery, the largest in this category) are particularly important.
  • These caves mark the development of the Vajrayana form of Buddhism and represent a host of Buddhist deities.
  • The prominent caves of the Brahmanical group are Cave 15 (Dasavatara, or Cave of Ten Incarnations), Cave 16 (Kailasa, the largest monolithic temple), Cave 21 (Ramesvara), and Cave 29 (Dumar Lena).
  • Amongst these, Cave 16 is an excellent example of structural innovation, and marks the culmination of rock-cut architecture in India featuring elaborate workmanship and striking proportions. The temple is decorated with some of the boldest and finest sculptural compositions to be found in India.
  • The sculpture depicting Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa, the abode of Siva, is especially noteworthy.
  • The remains of beautiful paintings belonging to different periods are preserved on the ceilings of the front mandapa (pillared hall) of this temple.
  • The Jaina group of caves (caves 30 – 34) is exquisitely carved with fine, delicate sculptures, and includes fine paintings dedicated to the Digambara sect.
  • Through their art and architecture, the Ellora Caves serve as a window to ancient India, including socio-cultural phenomena, material culture, politics, and lifestyles.

Conclusion

Ellora Caves includes all the elements necessary to express its Outstanding Universal Value, including the architectural and sculptural elements that bear witness to Buddhism, Brahmanism, and Jainism in an uninterrupted sequence of monuments from AD 600 to 1000.The Ellora Caves are authentic in terms of the forms and designs, materials and substance, and locations and setting of paintings, rock-cut architecture, sculptures, and unfinished temples of three different faiths, i.e. Buddhism, Brahmanism, and Jainism.

 

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

2. The Mughal architecture evolved in a phased manner, reached its Zenith and attained its climax under Shahjahan. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian art and culture – Nitin Singhania.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the gradual evolution of Mughal architecture under various Mughal rulers by identifying major elements of change.

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: 

In brief, write about the grandeur of Mughal architecture and emergence of a distinct style of their own.

Body:

In the body, trace the development of various styles of architecture, aesthetic awareness with example. Babur and Humayun – Not much progress but cite a few examples of the constructed.

Akbar – A very distinct style emerged. The initial use of styles of Bengal and Gujarat in monuments at Agra. Then a distinctive style at monuments at Fathepur Sikri and Delhi. Jahangir – mention the new features added and changes witnessed with examples.

Shahjahan – write about how Mughal architecture reached its Zenith under him. Distinct features with examples. Aurangzeb – How his reign is marked with less patronage for arts but nevertheless a few buildings were constructed.

Conclusion:

Summarize the contributions of the Mughal rulers to Indian art and architecture.

Introduction

Mughal architecture, building style that flourished in northern and central India under the patronage of the Mughal emperors from the mid-16th to the late 17th century. The Mughal period marked a striking revival of Islamic architecture in northern India. Under the patronage of the Mughal emperors, Persian, Turkish, Indian, and various provincial styles were fused to produce works of unusual quality and refinement.

Body

Important Features of Mughal Architecture:

  • Blend of Indian, Persian, and Turkish architectural style.
  • Different types of buildings, such as majestic gates (entrances), forts, mausoleums, palaces, mosques, sarais, etc.
  • Building material: Mostly, red sandstone and white marble were used.
  • Specific features such as the Charbagh style (garden layout) of the mausoleums, pronounced bulbous domes, slender turrets at the corners, broad gateways, beautiful calligraphy, arabesque, and geometric patterns on pillars and walls, and palace halls supported on pillars.
  • The arches, chhatri, and various styles of domes became hugely popular in the Indo-Islamic architecture and were further developed under the Mughals.
  • It became so widespread especially in north India that these can be seen further in the colonial architecture of Indo-Sarcenic style.

Evolution of Mughal Architecture

  • Babur
    • Due to his short reign (1526-1530), most of which was spent in wars, Babur could not leave any significant construction except the mosque of Kabuli Bagh at Panipat and Jama Masjid at Sambhal near Delhi.
    • Babur also built Ram Bagh, the first Mughal Garden in India (1528) in Charbagh Style located in Agra.
  • Humayun
    • Humayun succeeded Babur, but throughout his reign, he was constantly embroiled in a struggle with Sher Shah Suri.
    • He laid the foundation of the city named Dinpanah but could not finish it.
    • Humayun’s Tomb, also known as the precursor of the Taj Mahal was the first imposing structure of the Mughals which was built by his widow Hamida Begum and designed by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas.
    • The mausoleum built upon a raised platform is a mix of Indian and Persian artistry using red sandstone and white marble.
    • It has a Persian Charbagh style. The tomb was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
    • The Taj Mahal is the climax and therefore perhaps the most famous monument built under the Charbagh layout.
  • Sher Shah Suri (Sur Dynasty):
    • He built the Quila-e-Quanah mosque of Old Fort in Delhi, Rohtas Fort in Pakistan, Sher Shah Suri Masjid in Patna in Afghan-style
    • He also built the famous Grand Trunk Road.
    • His period saw the transition from Lodhi style to the Mughal style of architecture.
  • Akbar:
    • The reign of Akbar (1556-1605) witnessed immense developments in Mughal art and architecture.
    • He built the city of Fatehpur Sikri which was the first planned city of the Mughals and served as his capital from 1571 to 1585.
    • BulandDarwaza (1576, built to commemorate Akbar’s victory over Gujarat kings), Jama Masjid, Diwan-i-aam, Diwan-i-khaas, Birbal’s house, Tomb of Saint Salim Chisthi are some of the important monuments in Fatehpur Sikri.
    • He also built the Govind Dev temple in Vrindavan.
  • Jahangir:
    • The prince had a special appreciation for the paintings over architecture.
    • He built the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula (father of his wife Nur Jahan) displaying the world’s finest Pietra-dura works and completed Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra.
    • He also built the famous Shalimar Bagh in Srinagar, Moti Masjid at Lahore.
  • Shah Jahan:
    • He immortalized himself as he built the Taj Mahal in the memory of his late wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
    • He is rightly called ‘the prince of builders’ as the Mughal architecture reached its zenith under his reign.
    • He built Shahjahanabad, the 7th city of Delhi, today is known as Old Delhi.
    • He made extensive use of white marble as opposed to red sandstone which was preferred by his predecessors.
    • He also built the Jama Masjid in Delhi, Moti Masjid in the Agra Fort, and the Sheesh Mahal in the Lahore Fort brilliantly using pietra dura and complex mirror work.
  • Aurangzeb:
    • He preferred simplicity over the grandeur and repaired more mosques than he built.
    • Aurangzeb is also said to have destroyed numerous Hindu temples as well.
    • A beautiful pearl mosque in the Red Fort, Delhi, and the Bibi ka Maqbara in Aurangabad for his wife are only a few notable mentions in his long reign.
    • Thus, overall the Mughal architecture saw a decline in the Aurangzeb’s reign.

Conclusion

Thus, stating the seemingly obvious, Mughal architecture developed into a one of a kind architectural style which has withstood the test of time. It is appreciated widely by people all across the world due to its distant features as discussed above. It is up to us architects of India to carry forward and preserve our traditional styles of architecture and create something new that is looked upon with pride by our future generations.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. The pandemic has upended schooling. Hence, a well-planned and a holistic effort is required on the part of the government in order to negate long term negative impact on education. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

In the last two years, India has achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the country with the second longest COVID-19 pandemic-linked school closure in the world — next only to Uganda.

Key Demand of the question:

To bring out the impact of Covid-19 on school education in India and to find a way forward to prevent long term adverse impact.

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: 

Start by giving the context regarding the impact of covid-19 on education sector.

Body:

First, elaborate on the disruptions caused and present some statistics and figures that captures the gravity of the situation. Write about the potential negative consequences of the above.

Next, In detail, explain the steps that are needed to prevent it. Relaxing the detention policy is a welcome step but much more is needed. Prioritizing students who are unable to return, negating the negative economic consequences on the families, achieving convergence in various government schemes and special emphasis on the girl child education etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered educational institutions across the globe. Closure of schools, colleges and universities, shutdown of routine life of students and teachers, disruptions in education and the education ministry remaining incommunicado, have created an unprecedented situation and thrown many unexpected challenges to administrators, educators, teachers, parents and students. According to a United Nations report, India has become the country with the second longest COVID-19 pandemic-linked school closure in the world.

Body

Factors that have led to prolonged closure of schools in India

  • Widespread misinformation such as ‘the third wave would affect children’ made by influential individuals have scared parents.
  • Occasional incidents of children being hospitalised are shown repeatedly on television channels to sensationalize the matter and gain target rating point (TRP).
  • A small section of privileged parents is being treated as representatives of all parents.
  • Various surveys had indicated that poor and middle-class parents from all parts of the country want schools to be open. But they are not involved in decision-making, and hence it deprives children from marginalized backgrounds of their right to education.
  • The Government has not responded to misinformation timely and the matter of reopening schools has been politicized.
  • An essential inference has been highlighted that reveals the considerable preference given to the parents of privileged sections neglecting the holistic opinion of every section of the society. This has furthered the widening of educational inequities.
  • The experience of the second wave has shaken the trust of the average citizen in the Government.
  • The indifference of the government on the entire issue along with the silence of the stakeholders of education has assisted misinformation to grow further bringing huge losses in terms of learning and receiving quality education.
  • There has been a consistent lack of planning and discussion on the need to reopen the schools.

Impacts of school closure

  • School closure has had the worst impact on children who were already at a disadvantage.
  • The learning during the pandemic have been wrongly equated with completion of the syllabus.
  • The School Children’s Online and Offline Learning (SCHOOL) survey in India has shown that TV-based education programs are completely ineffective.

Holistic approach needed

  • To ensure that schools start functioning at full capacity,a structured approach of P-E-R-I: Prepare; Engage; Reimagine and Innovate needs to be adopted. Also, the necessary planning and perspective on the risk of COVID-19 are essential.
  • Engaging with key stakeholders including parents, and raising awareness about the importance of in-person education and the concept of holistic child development is required. It will help in countering any misinformation and bring learning on track.
  • Anganwadi, Pre-nursery, and nursery schools should be opened urgently and immediately to recover from learning and nutrition loss.
  • Special initiatives and socio-political engagement need to be started so that every single child who is in need of education or who has dropped out or has been pushed into child labour can return to in-person learning.
  • There is a need to revive school health services and institutionalize regular counselling and mental health services for school-age children.
  • There is a need to prepare a medium to long-term plan to compensate for the learning loss, with a focus on overall child development through strategic and innovative thinking.
  • Hesitation in reopening institutions is the symptom of a flawed education system and shows the value that is attached to school education. Hence, it is a socio-political responsibility to ensure the safe return of every child in the country.

Conclusion

Education is the key to upliftment of people from poverty, inequality and oppression. India’s demographic dividend is dependent on quality education at primary, secondary and high school levels. Focus must be on pedagogy and a safe and stimulating environment where wide range of learning experiences is offered to the children. Only when we align incentives of all stakeholders, and enable them while holding them accountable, can we shorten the distance between the nation’s current state of education and its aspirations.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Caste based census provides data that will help further streamline affirmative action and ensure the welfare measures reach the people who truly need it. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Last month, the Supreme Court upheld the 27% quota for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the All-India Quota seats for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test and reiterated that reservations for backward classes were not an exception but an extension of the principle of equality under Article 15(1) of the Constitution.

Key Demand of the question:

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

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

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

Body:

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

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

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

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

Body

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

Merits of Caste Census

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

Associated Challenges with Caste Census

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

Way Forward

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

 

Topic: Government Budgeting.

5. Global competitiveness will be increasingly determined by the quality of science and technology, which in turn will depend on dynamicity of research and development ecosystem aided by budgetary allocation. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

A comparison of the R&D spending of some of the countries representing different regions of the world and India in terms of GERD as a percentage of GDP (see graph) shows India to be a low spender (only 0.66 per cent of the GDP) in comparison to the developed countries and emerging economic powers of East Asia.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need to increase spending and take additional reforms in R&D sector.

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving statistic about government spending in R&D sector in India.

Body:

In the first part, bring out the links between spending on R&D and quality of research and development on the country’s global competitiveness. Bring out the adverse impact of not enough emphasis on R&D.

Next, write about measures to boost Science, Technology, and Innovation in India.The profound changes it seeks through short, medium and long-term mission mode projects by building a nurtured ecosystem that promotes research and innovation on the part of both individuals and organizations.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

India spends only 0.66 percent of its GDP on Research and Development as per latest figures. This is below the expenditure of countries like the US (2.8), China (2.1), Israel (4.3) and Korea (4.2). A quick analysis of the allocations to various R&D organisations in the recently presented 2022-23 budget shows continued stagnation. This does not augur well for the future.

Government expenditure, almost entirely the Central Government, is the driving force of R&D in India which is in contrast to the advanced countries where the private sector is the dominant and driving force of R&D spend.

Body

Link between R&D vis-a-vis nation’s development and competency

  • Research and Development of new products are key drivers of economic performance and social well-being. Solutions to diseases, new technology to overcome obstacles in various sectors are hallmark of having good ecosystem.
  • It is important to inculcate scientific temper among masses in order to fight superstitions, distorted truth and religious fanaticism that has been crippling India
  • Innovation and technological improvement have become essential to combat and adapt to climate change and promote sustainable development.
  • It is imperative for combating national security threats ranging from cyber warfare to autonomous military systems such as drones.
  • Investing in research and providing adequate incentives leads to creation of jobs, especially for the pool of engineers and researchers in the society. Under the ‘Make in India’ program, the government has targeted to create 100 million jobs from the manufacturing sector by 2022.

Improving R&D ecosystem in India

  • The growth in research and development (R&D) expenditure should be commensurate with the economy’s growth and should be targeted to reach at least 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2022.
  • The line ministries at the Centre could be mandated to allocate a certain percentage of their budget for research and innovation for developing and deploying technologies as per the priorities of the respective ministries.
  • To stimulate private sector’s investment in R&D from current 0.35% of GDP, it is suggested that a minimum percentage of turn-over of the company may be invested in R&D by medium and large enterprises registered in India.
  • To help and keep the industry enthused to invest in R&D, the weighted deduction provisions on R&D investment should continue.
  • The states can partner Centre to jointly fund research and innovation programmes through socially designed Central Sponsored Schemes (CSS).
  • The report also pitched for creating 30 dedicated R&D Exports Hub and a corpus of Rs 5,000 crore for funding mega projects with cross cutting themes which are of national interest.

Conclusion

There is a need for greater participation of State Governments and the private sector in overall R&D spending in India especially in application-oriented research and technology development. There is a need to encourage investor-led research. In this direction, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has already been established. It is a promising start that needs to expand with more resources and creative governance structures.

Value Addition

R&D Statistics

  • PhDs in STEM: In comparison to China, there are less than half Indian STEM Ph.D students in the US. Fewer students have been enrolling for such degrees either due to lucrative career options after master’s degree or rising work visa challenges.
    • However, there has been an increase in the no. of Ph.D enrolments in India. In 2014, 56.4% of total PhDs awarded were from science and technology disciplines.
  • Publications: According to SCOPOUS and Scientific Citation Index (SCI) data base growth rates of publications in India stand at 13.9% and 7.1% for the period 2009-2013 against the global average of 4.4% and 4.1%, respectively.
    • SCOPOUS has ranked India sixth in the world in the number of scientific publications, ahead of France, Spain and Italy during 2013.
  • Patents: According to WIPO, India is the seventh largest patent filing office in the world. However, India produces fewer patents per capita

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

6. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“We all decry prejudice, yet are all prejudiced.” -Herbert Spencer

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Quotes Wednesdays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about innate hypocrisy that is found in individuals and societies. When faced with Prejudice we are quick to raise voice and demand justice, yet we sometimes have our own biases and prejudices against others. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the need to overcome our biases and prejudices.

Introduction

Inherently human beings are raised with certain ingrained thoughts and value system that are a a result of social conditioning day in and day out. Such thoughts can manifest into prejudice and cloud our decisions in some manner, most often than not, having a negative connotation. However, when the same prejudice is against us, we call it out saying it is injustice even though we may have done the same to someone else in a different manner. This shows the hypocrisy of human beings.

Body

Prejudices and inherent bias of human beings

Prejudice, in its most basic definition, is simply pre-judging something or someone. In any context where there is free choice or will, we have to pre-judge the options before we obtain the necessary information to make the right choice for us, not anyone else. This means no matter how simple the choice may be, we have to pre-judge what it offers to make our selection. On that basis, there really is nothing wrong with being prejudiced, per se. The dilemma occurs only when we use the concept in a negative concept to demonstrate personal preferences which are linked to discrimination and power.

English philosopher Herbert Spencer said, “We all decry prejudice, yet are all prejudiced.” Nowadays, it seems as if being prejudiced is the worst act any individual could commit; however, what we do not understand is that prejudice survives latently and inherently within us. From as early as preschool, we have already learnt stereotypes or acquired negative attitudes toward “others.” It is a social concept, but because we begin to be prejudiced so far back in our childhood, it almost seems an innate thing in our lives. However, it is a learnt behaviour. Prejudice is taught and spoon-fed to everyone regardless of race, creed, or gender. Whether we like to admit it to ourselves or not, we are all prejudiced in one way or another.

Fortunately, this also means we can unlearn being prejudiced if we truly desired. The process of countering those negatives with positives can begin at any age though it cannot be done instantly. The learning process (or unlearning process) requires four key elements before there will be any effective, real change: acknowledgement, identification, a desire to change, and a raising of awareness and education.

Conclusion

Anything we have learnt can be unlearn, but it takes much thought, action, and above all, education and awareness in the alternatives available. By teasing out established fears, the information which led to those beliefs, and the desire to be prejudiced, especially against someone, all while widening our horizons through education regarding more engaging and affirming ways of interaction with others and awareness of our privilege and circumstances, we acquire a much better chance of unlearning our negative prejudices and replacing them with more positive and reinforcing behaviour.

 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Quotes Wednesdays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about how there exist false notions of superiority based of class, profession, caste and religion etc. Bring out that despite these distinctions there is no “superiority” and it is just a part of egoism. Mention that being superior to oneself – as in being a better that you were yesterday makes you a truly superior person. Cite examples of substantiate.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.

Introduction

The quote suggests an individual to reflect on self, introspect and become a better version of ourselves. People should always strive to improve themselves. However, the most common pitfall to this is attempting to copy someone else and their successes. While this may seem like a noble effort, the goal of self-improvement shouldn’t be based on how you stack up against others. Rather, the only way to measure your improvement is to see how you stack up against yourself.

Body

Success and failure are like reflections in a mirror. We will never find the right self-image if we look at another’s reflection in the mirror. Never compare yourself to other people rather compare yourself to the person you were yesterday and the person you can be tomorrow. Else, it will only be an endless cycle of comparison, unhappiness & discontentment.

A happy environment can only be achieved if we become a better version of ourselves. As an individual if one has to compete, compete only with oneself. We must, upskill, upgrade, uplift ourselves. Amass as much knowledge as we can and work towards bettering yourself.

In this process one can uplift others as well. Provide unbiased feedback, support struggling colleagues or friends to come out of self-inflicted inferiority and aid them to work on themselves, for themselves.  Also, as a parent, one must stop comparing their children with others. Help them get better every single day because each child is different- with different dreams, talents & skills.

Conclusion

Authentic self-discovery isn’t easy. Someone else’s life path cannot be your benchmark of success, since they have different dreams, passions and skills. There is also no roadmap or ideal outcome in life, because everyone’s path is theirs and theirs alone.

Ultimately, what drives our decisions and the key to becoming best version of yourself – are our values and our standards. The values make us who we are, but our standards define what we are willing to accept in life.


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