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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 March 2022

 

 

NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

1. Water stress causes deterioration of fresh water resources in terms of quantity as well as quality. Suggest steps to overcome water stress in the country. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The Global Water System Project, which was launched in 2003 as a joint initiative of the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) and Global Environmental Change (GEC) programme, epitomises global concern about the human-induced transformation of fresh water and its impact on the earth system and society.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the measures needed to overcome water stress in the country.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining and giving the status of water stress in India. Cite a statistic of show the level of water stress in the country,

Body:

First, write about the impact of water stress on the quantitative as well as qualitative aspect of fresh water and how it will impact us.

Next, write about the urgent steps that are needed to make sustainable water practises – planning regulation of groundwater usage, rejuvenation of catchment areas, sustainable agriculture, aquifer recharge, rainwater harvesting and technology to monitor progress, community participation and rejuvenating existing water bodies etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Water stress occurs when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use. When per capita availability of water is below 1700 m3/year, water availability is termed as “stressed”.

Body

Water stress causes deterioration of fresh water resources in terms of quantity as well as quality

  • India has 4 % of the world’s freshwater which has to cater to 17 % of the world’s population.
  • Approximately 600 million people or roughly around 45 % of the population in India is facing high to severe water stress.
  • As per the report, 21 Indian cities will run out of their main source of water i.e. groundwater by 2020.
  • Nearly 40 % of the population will have absolutely no access to drinking water by 2030 and 6 % of India’s GDP will be lost by 2050 due to the water crisis.
  • As per NITI Aayog report (CWMI) released in June 2019, India is facing the worst-ever water crisis in history.
  • A disastrous water crisis has been creeping up on us for years. Water tables have declined precipitously, even by thousands of feet in some parts of Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh. Tanks and wells have gone dry.
  • Some rivers have shrunk while other smaller ones have completely dried up.
  • Water rationing is routine in many urban areas, while in many villages women are trudging longer distances to fetch water.
  • A recent report mentions that over 70% of surface irrigation water is being simply wasted, nationally.
  • Not only farmers are affected by the water crisis, urban dwellers in cities and towns across India are also facing a never seen before drinking water scarcity.
  • In India, there are conflicts between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over sharing of Cauvery waters, between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh over sharing of Narmada waters, between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana over sharing of Krishna waters, etc.

Measures to overcome water stress in the country

Seeing India’s looming water crisis through the locus of ‘urban’ and ‘rural’ not only allows a better grasp of the causative factors but also enables a stronger grip on the strategies to be deployed to reverse the water crisis.

  • Urban water resource management
  • Ground water management is of utmost importance in urban areas where 50% water is drawn from ground. E.g.: Encroachment of flood plains, ground water recharge are areas to work with.
  • Loss of green cover in urban areas and heat island effect are reasons for depleting water sources. e.g.: Urban forests needs to be created like in Aarey, Mumbai.
  • The Ministry of Water Resources must reconfigure its relationship with other Ministries and Departments (Urban Development, Local Self-Government and Environment).
  • Enhanced integration and coordination are needed through effective land and water zoning regulations that protect urban water bodies, groundwater sources, wetlands and green cover while simultaneously working to enhance waste water recycling and water recharge activities targeting aquifers and wells through rainwater harvesting.
  • Rural water resource management
    • Water and food security: At the sectoral level, the Ministries and Departments of water resources must coordinate efforts with their counterparts in agriculture, the environment and rural development for greater convergence to achieve water and food security.
      • g.: Water guzzler crops like paddy and wheat in Punjab have turned the soil saline and depleted ground water.
    • Whole of government approach: At the disciplinary level, governance and management should increasingly interact and draw from the expertise of fields such as hydrology (watershed sustainability), hydrogeology (aquifer mapping and recharge) and agriculture sciences (water-sensitive crop choices and soil health).
    • Surface water management: Again, the importance given to groundwater conservation should not ignore surface water conservation including the many rivers and lakes which are in a critical and dying state due to encroachment, pollution, over-abstraction and obstruction of water flow by dams.

Way Forward

  • Effective land and water zoning regulations would protect urban water bodies, groundwater sources, wetlands and green cover.
  • Enhance waste water recycling and water recharge activities targeting aquifers and wells through rainwater harvesting.
  • Governance and management should increasingly interact and draw from the expertise of fields such as hydrology (watershed sustainability), hydrogeology (aquifer mapping and recharge) and agriculture sciences (water-sensitive crop choices and soil health).
  • The importance given to groundwater conservation should not ignore surface water conservation including the rivers and lakes which are in a critical state due to encroachment and pollution.
  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti must focus on protecting and conserving water resources on the one hand and minimising and enhancing efficiency of water usage on the other.

 

Topic: Effects of globalization on Indian society.

2. Start-ups can act as an agent of change by solving issues faced by the Indian society. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

A study has shown that startups are expected to fail, startups don’t socialise their losses, and startups will solve real problems for India.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how start-ups can help solve problems faced by the society.

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 context regarding the emergence of start up culture in India.

Body:

Write about how Start-ups can start solving problems faced by the Indian society – poverty, higher productivity regions, Urbanisation, financial inclusion, supply chains, distribution logistics, employability, retail, transport, media, healthcare and agriculture etc. Give examples to substantiate your points.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to promote start-ups as agents of change.

Introduction

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

Body

Background

  • Recently, Prime Minister of India announced that the country will celebrate January 16 as National Startup Day, as he termed startups the “backbone” of new India and the engine that will power the nation’s economic growth in the run up to the 100th year of Independence.
  • Today, India is the third largest start-up ecosystem globally, by number of start-ups, with more than 15,000 start-ups established in 2020, up from 5000 in 2010.

Start-ups can act as an agent of change by solving issues faced by the Indian society

  • Healthcare
    • Finding genuine doctors is still unbelievably tough in India
    • Patient records are either maintained in fat files or if they are online, they are often not accessible or understandable.
    • Doctors do not usually have the time to go through all the reports and this may lead to a compromise on the health front.
    • Health-based startups can address a lot of issues plaguing instant access to healthcare in India.
  • Easy access to quality education
    • Higher education in India was earlier limited to only a handful of people who could afford training and coaching.
    • Coaching institutes and classes were meant only for some.
    • Today, despite increase in incomes, access to quality learning is still limited to what is available to students around.
    • Ed-tech startups can thus champion the cause of access, quality, and performance.
  • Employment
    • The Indian start-up ecosystem is nothing short of a revolution with $106-billion worth of value-creation by 44 unicorns, in turn creating 4 million direct and indirect jobs.
    • Ancillary industries rise up creating more avenues of innovation, growth and employment.
  • Sanitation
    • Lack of sanitation is a major problem in developing countries like India.
    • Around 2.6 billion people or 41 percent of the world’s population until now does not have access to basic sanitation.
    • It is imperative to invest in solutions by offering different sanitation products and services at appropriate prices.
  • Waste management
    • Urban areas of India generate 1,88,500 tonnes of municipal solid waste (68.8 million tonnes per year), and waste generation increases by 50 percent every decade.
    • More than 80 percent of this waste reaches open dumpsites causing public health issues, environmental degradation, and resultant climate change.
    • Plastic and e-waste form the major chunk of this waste, with minimal facilities to take care of such environment degrading substances.
    • Fresh and innovative ideas in consonance with the ambitious Swachh Bharat Abhiyan are required to solve this problem, which otherwise can have drastic repercussions in the near future.
  • Pollution
    • Pollution in India is a definite offshoot of many other environmental problems be it air, water, land, or noise.
    • New technologies have the potential to revolutionise the way air pollution research and policy are conducted, with a more efficient people-focussed approach.
  • Public Transport
    • State-sponsored mass transit systems are unable to keep pace with people, private enterprises like Ola, Uber haven’t been able to do enough, and dated regulations have not allowed them to do enough to try to fill the breach.
    • There is a massive need for public transport options because not everyone can afford these cab services, and private enterprises can fill the breach left by state-sponsored infrastructure.
  • Agriculture
    • An Ernst & Young 2020 study pegs the Indian agritech market potential at $24 billion by 2025, of which only 1 per cent has been captured so far.
    • There are glaring gaps in the supply chain management and also poor last-mile connectivity especially at grass-roots level as well lack of investments to drive the businesses.
  • Safety of women
    • Crimes against women have only shown an increase in the last five years.
    • Safety is definitely one of the growing concerns in our country, particularly with regard to women.
    • Technology and access to it can solve many issues that women face in their day to day lives.
  • Policing and Crime Prevention
    • In India, the crime rates are skyrocketing, with the thieves and perpetrators using technology to subvert detection and crime-redressal.
    • Policing is an arduous 24/7 job and has many challenges.
    • Smart apps to help crime prevention, apps to help report crimes, technology to speedily redress crimes etc., are also urgent problems in India that startups can handle with elan.

Conclusion

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

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;

3. Throw light on the problems faced by the elderly population. Examine the various welfare measures available for the elderly. Do you think that elderly homes should be formally regulated? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

As India becomes increasingly urbanised and families break up into smaller units, homes for the elderly have sprung up. The care of elderly people is managed by a set of professionals or voluntary organisations interested in geriatric services.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the issues of elderly population, welfare measures available and the need to regulate elderly homes.

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: 

Start by giving the statistic related to elderly population in India currently and the projected growth over next 3 decades.

Body:

Frist, write about the problems faced by the elderly population – Isolation and loneliness, age-related chronic illness, Rise in the Health care costs and Elderly women issues etc.

Next, write about the various measures available for the welfare of elderly and examine their pros and cons.

Next, write need to regulate old age homes for the elderly to make them more streamlined and protect the interests of the elderly.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

In 2009, there were 88 million elderly people in India. By 2050, this figure is expected to soar over 320 million. Between 2000 and 2050 the overall population of the country is anticipated to grow by 60 per cent whereas population of people of age 60 years and above would shoot by 360 per cent. The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was cleared by the Cabinet recently

Body:

Problems of elderly population in India:

  • Isolation and loneliness among the elderly is rising.
    • Nearly half the elderly felt sad and neglected, 36 per cent felt they were a burden to the family.
  • Rise in age-related chronic illness:
    • Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases will cause more death and illness worldwide than infectious or parasitic diseases over the next few years.
    • In developed nations, this shift has already happened. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are expected to almost double every 20 years, as life expectancy increases.
  • Special challenges for less developed nations:
    • Poorer countries will carry the double burden of caring for older people with chronic diseases, as well as dealing with continued high rates of infectious diseases.
  • Increasing need for long-term care:
    • The number of sick and frail elderly needing affordable nursing homes or assisted living centers will likely increase.
  • Rise in the Health care costs:
    • As older people stop working and their health care needs increase, governments could be overwhelmed by unprecedented costs.
    • While there may be cause for optimism about population aging in some countries, the Pew survey reveals that residents of countries such as Japan, Italy, and Russia are the least confident about achieving an adequate standard of living in old age.
  • Elderly women issues:
    • They face life time of gender-based discrimination. The gendered nature of ageing is such that universally, women tend to live longer than men.
    • In the advanced age of 80 years and above, widowhood dominates the status of women with 71 per cent of women and only 29 per cent of men having lost their spouse.
    • Social mores inhibit women from re-marrying, resulting in an increased likelihood of women ending up alone.
    • The life of a widow is riddled with stringent moral codes, with integral rights relinquished and liberties circumvented.
    • Social bias often results in unjust allocation of resources, neglect, abuse, exploitation, gender-based violence, lack of access to basic services and prevention of ownership of assets.
    • Ageing women are more likely to get excluded from social security schemes due to lower literacy and awareness levels.
  • Ageing individual is expected to need health care for a longer period of time than previous generations but elderly care for a shorter period of time

Various welfare measures available for the elderly

  • Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana
  • Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY)
  • Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RVY)
  • Vayoshreshtha Samman
  • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS)
  • Integrated Programme for Older Persons (IPOP)

Yes, Elderly homes should be formally regulated

  • The quality of service varies as these homes lack regulatory oversight.
  • Many homes lack clearly established standard operating procedures, and their referral paths to health care are informal.
  • There is an urgent need to understand the quality of life at such institutions, including the impact of these homes on the mental health of their residents.
  • Many homes lack accessible and elderly-friendly structures that allow them to operate safely, thereby reduce their mobility.
  • This reduces their sociability, their sense of independence and well-being — all leading up to mental health issues and depression.
  • Crucial thought will be the need for robust public policy to support homes for the elderly.

Way forward

  • The success of the COVID-19 vaccination strategy gives hope, which had a seniors-first approach.
  • India should reimagine its entire health-care policy with an elderly prioritised approach.
  • As senior citizens require the most diverse array of health-care services, the creation of adequate services for them will benefit all other age-groups.
  • India needs to rapidly increase its public health-care spending.
  • Creation of well-equipped and staffed medical care facilities and home health-care and rehabilitation services.
  • We need to accelerate implementation of programmes such as the National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE).
  • The Ayushman Bharat and PM-JAY ecosystems need to be further expanded.
  • The National Digital Health Mission has tremendous potential to expand medical consultations into the interiors of the country. However, this requires a digital literacy campaign for senior citizens.
  • Health institutions will also need to offer a comprehensive set of packages that are tailored for the elderly — not piecemeal solutions for diabetes, cardiology or cancer.
  • These essential steps will help to convert elders into a massive resource for socio-cultural and economic development.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Elaborate upon the various qualitative tools available with the RBI to accelerate growth and stability by controlling the credit supply in the economy. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the qualitative tools used by the RBI.

Directive word:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining qualitative tools and their nature. Mention how they are different from quantitative tools.

Body:

Write about the various qualitative tools of the RBI and explain them in detail – Rationing of Credit, Regulation of Consumer Credit, Change in Marginal Requirement and Moral Suasion etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising how monetary policy is managed by the combination of quantitative as well as qualitative tools.

Introduction

RBI is the sole authority that decides the money supply in the economy. And to control this, RBI implements the monetary policy’s Quantitative and Qualitative instruments to achieve economic goals. Qualitative or selective methods of credit control are used for discriminating between various uses of credit. For example, they can be used for favouring export over import or essential over non-essential credit supply. This method has an influence on both borrowers and lenders. The various qualitative instruments include regulation of margin requirement, credit rationing, regulation of consumer credit and direct action.

Body

Qualitative measures of credit control

  • Rationing of Credit
    • RBI fixes a credit amount to be granted for commercial banks.
    • Credit is given by limiting the amount available for each commercial bank.
    • For certain purposes, the upper credit limit can be fixed, and banks have to stick to that limit.
    • This helps in lowering the bank’s credit exposure to unwanted sectors.
    • This instrument also controls the bill rediscounting.
  • Regulation of Consumer Credit
    • In this instrument, consumers’ credit supply is regulated through the instalment of sale and hire purchase of consumer goods.
    • Here, features like instalment amount, down payment, loan duration, etc., are all fixed in advance, which helps to check the credit and inflation in the country.
  • Regulation of Marginal Requirement
    • Margin is referred to the certain proportion of the loan amount that is not offered or financed by the bank.
    • Change in marginal can lead to change in the loan size.
    • This instrument is used to encourage the credit supply for the necessary sectors and avoid it for the unnecessary sectors.
    • That can be done by increasing the marginal of unnecessary sectors and reducing the marginal of other needy sectors.
    • Suppose, RBI feels that more credit supply should be allotted to the agricultural sector, then RBI will reduce the margin, and even 80-90% of the loan can be allotted.
  • Moral Suasion
    • Moral suasion refers to the suggestions to commercial banks from the RBI that helps in restraining credits in the inflationary period.
    • RBI implies pressure on the Indian banking system without taking any strict action for compliance with rules.
    • Through monetary policy, commercial banks get informed of the expectations of RBI.
    • The RBI can issue directives, guidelines, suggestions for commercial banks regarding reducing credit supply for speculative purposes under the moral suasion.

Conclusion

The effectiveness of credit control measures in an economy depends upon a number of factors. First, there should exist a well-organised money market. Second, a large proportion of money in circulation should form part of the organised money market. Finally, the money and capital markets should be extensive in coverage and elastic in nature. Extensiveness enlarges the scope of credit control measures and elasticity lends it adjustability to the changed conditions.

Over the decades, it has been proven that the credit supply in the economy can be controlled better with the coordination of both the general (Quantitative) and selective (Qualitative) methods rather than implementing them individually in the economy.

 

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

5. Given the current situation, for a developing country like India, what should be the primary objective of monetary policy – accelerate growth or price stability? Critically examine.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the type of monetary policy that India should adopt in the current times.

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 writing about the major aims and objectives of monetary policy.

Body:

First, in brief, write in brief about the macroeconomic scenario of the country – impact of covid-19, inflation rates, developmental objectives and geopolitical crisis etc.

Next, write about the need to accelerate growth in the given situations. Substantiate with facts and statistic. Write its merits and demerits.

Next, write about the need to focus on price stability in the given situations. Substantiate with facts and statistic. Write its merits and demerits.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning a balanced opinion regarding the stance that must be taken.

Introduction

The term ‘Monetary Policy’ is the Reserve Bank of India’s policy pertaining to the deployment of monetary resources under its control for the purpose of achieving GDP growth and lowering the inflation rate. The Reserve Bank of India Act 1934 empowers the RBI to make the monetary policy.

Body

Objective of monetary policy

The objectives of monetary policy include ensuring inflation targeting and price stability, full employment and stable economic growth.

Current situation of Indian Economy

  • Rising inflation: India’s inflation based on the consumer price index quickened to 6.01% in January, breaching the central bank’s upper tolerance limit of 6%.
  • Fuel prices: The government has increased taxation of energy to raise resources.
    • Since energy is used for all production, prices of all goods and services tend to rise and push up the rate of inflation.
    • Further, this is an indirect tax, it is regressive and impacts the poor disproportionately It also makes the RBI’s task of controlling inflation difficult.
  • Supply shortage: The lockdowns disrupted supplies and that added to shortages and price rise.
    • Prices of medicines and medical equipment rose dramatically.
    • Prices of items of day-to-day consumption also rose.
    • Fruits and vegetable prices rose since these items could not reach the urban markets.
  • International factors: Most major economies have recovered and demand for inputs has increased while supplies have remained disrupted (like chips for automobiles).
    • So, commodity and input prices have risen (like in the case of metals).
    • Businesses claim increase in input costs underlies price rise.
  • Data collection and methodology: In April and May 2020, data on production and prices could not be collected due to the strict lockdown.
    • So, the current data on prices for April to July 2021 are not comparable with the same months of 2020.
    • As such, the official inflation figures for these months in 2021 do not reflect the true picture.
  • Weak Rupee: The weakening of the rupee also added to inflation.

Accelerate Growth: primary objective of monetary policy

  • Economic growth enables consumers to consume more goods and services and enjoy better standards of living.
  • With higher output and positive economic growth, firms tend to employ more workers creating more employment.
  • Economic growth creates higher tax revenues, and there is less need to spend money on benefits such as unemployment benefit. Therefore economic growth helps to reduce government borrowing. Economic growth also plays a role in reducing debt to GDP ratios.
  • Higher economic growth leads to higher tax revenues and this enables the government can spend more on public services, such as health care and education etc. This can enable higher living standards, such as increased life expectancy, higher rates of literacy and a greater understanding of civic and political issues.
  • With higher economic growth a society can devote more resources to promoting recycling and the use of renewable resources.
  • Economic growth encourages firms to invest, in order to meet future demand. Higher investment increases the scope for future economic growth – creating a virtuous cycle of economic growth/investment.
  • High economic growth leads to increased profitability for firms, enabling more spending on research and development. This can lead to technological breakthroughs, such as improved medicine and greener technology.
  • Also, sustained economic growth increases confidence and encourages firms to take risks and innovate.
  • India needs to accelerate economic growth to above 8% to achieve its target of becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2025
  • Low interest rates are supposed to help spur growth. The theory is that low rates will encourage governments, businesses and consumers to borrow and spend more freely.
  • This will result in higher demand by consumers and investments by corporations, leading to higher GDP growth and job creation. This leads to a virtuous cycle in the economy—higher GDP growth and job creation will lead to increased income, which will lead to higher consumption and so on and so forth.

Price Stability: primary objective of monetary policy

  • Maintaining price stability is the foremost objective of the monetary policy committee of RBI. However, during the pandemic, growth has taken centre stage and RBI has rightly cut interest rates. But now it is taking a neutral stance in the wake of rising inflation.
  • Price stability is vital to economies because price levels determine inflation and deflation.
    • Severe, rapid, or unexpected inflation rates and deflation rates are major threats to economic growth because they alter the value of money.
  • High inflation causes wages, savings, and purchasing power to decrease in value.
    • During times of severe inflation, consumers become frightened and aggregate demand declines.
  • Such inflation causes businesses to lose out on profits and let employees go, compounding the public’s fear.
  • Price stability means an economy can avoid severe inflation and severe deflation.
  • With stable prices, consumers can recognize relative price changes without being confused by overall price changes. This means informed decision-making when they consume and invest.
  • When unexpected inflation occurs, wealth is redistributed randomly, rather than based on merit or need: for instance, different goods’ prices increase at different rates, which punishes certain businesses more than others, and creditors receive less in loan payments than they would have with low inflation, while debtors benefit from inflation. With price stability, this arbitrary redistribution of wealth is avoided.
  • A risk premium is the lowest return on investment a consumer needs in order to hold a risky asset rather than a risk-free one. If risk premia are high, it means consumers are unwilling to make risky investments, and economic activity slows.
    • If risk premia are low, real interest rates are lower and consumers feel more comfortable with investment decisions, which leads to economic growth.
  • A reasonable price stability determines various factors such as Investment climate of the country, borrowing trends of businesses, ensure reasonable supply inputs of industries and also cost of agricultural produce.

Conclusion

                Thus, a right mix of both – accelerating growth and price stability should be the twin objectives of monetary policy of RBI. In order to achieve its main objectives, the Monetary Policy Committee determines the ideal policy interest rate that will help achieve the inflation target in front of the country.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics.

6. Do you think it is ethical to use falsehood to do something good? Debate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Directive:

Debate – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you agree with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define as to what constitutes a falsehood which has good outcome with an example.

Body:

In the first part, examine the nature of white lies and analyse the concept using various ethical theories and thinkers. Give examples to substantiate your arguments.

In the next part, give situations where it would be okay to use white lies and situations where white lies would not be right.

Conclusion:

Pass a balanced judgement that usage of white lies is based on situation but all lies are a form of deception. It would not be okay to justify white lies ethically unless there exist extra-ordinary circumstances.

Introduction

Ethics provide accountability between the public and the administration especially in the government service. White Lie is a form of deception about a small or unimportant matter that someone expresses to avoid hurting another person. For E.g.:  Telling your mother that her food is delicious when you really don’t like the food.

Body

White Lies are sometimes justified:

Consequentialists state that lying to get a better harmonious and productive outcome is justified. In some situations, lying might be the ethically better choice. Many of these situations occur in daily life, and many of us resort to telling “white lies” to navigate these situations. Since they concern trivial matters and are usually well-intentioned, perhaps some white lies are justified.

  • Upholding Social Norm: our motivation for lying in one situation might differ from our motivation in another. For example, some situations involve social rituals such as answering “fine” when someone asks how you are. Even on bad days, most people elect to tell that white lie because their motivation is to uphold social norms. The decision to answer “fine” when you are not actually feeling fine might also be justified by the culturally shared understanding that asking “How are you?” functions mostly as a greeting.
  • Respecting feelings and sensitivities of others: If a mother asks a son, does she look old, even if she does, her son will oblige by saying no.
  • Protecting lives of Individuals: If Nazi soldiers asked a family hiding Jews during World War II if they were in fact hiding Jews, the right response would obviously be to lie. In such a case, lying to save a life is a higher virtue than truth-telling.
    • According to a study published by University of Massachusetts, most people cannot go 10 minutes in a conversation without lying. Yet, at the same time, most people would prefer not to be deceived themselves.

White Lies are not justified:

Deontologists base their moral thinking on general universal laws, and not on the results of particular acts. Hence regardless of outcome, lying in essence is a wrong act.

  • Moreover, Telling Trivial Lies Makes It Easier To Lie More Often: if a person gets comfortable telling small untruths she/he will eventually tell larger untruths. Integrity and ethical behaviour requires telling the truth at all times.
  • For E.g. : Gandhiji, started lying about going out with friends, then went on to lie about eating meat, then he lied about smoking, then he lied about stealing gold from his own house. After which his spirit awakens his conscience and he vows never to lie again. As per “My Experiments with Truth”.
  • Telling Trivial Lies Can Damage the Reputation of Our Business, organisation and cause Trust Deficit: Because if the lie is discovered at later point, it permanently stays as blot in memories of masses.
  • For E.g.: Volkswagen emission scandal, when they expressed white lies to protect integrity of organisation and later got penalised and lost their trust among people.

Conclusion

As Buddha had stated, telling truth is essential but telling unkind truth is uncalled for. Incentives and rewards rewires brain to tell the truth and develop conscience. Proactively generating ethical literacy among all about the challenges of lying and providing ways to deal with lying. These can help reduce the falsehood even in times of grave danger.

 

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

7. Distinguish between attitude and behaviour. Is actual behaviour always aligned to attitude? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start with defining Attitude and Behaviour.

Body:

Attitudes are views, beliefs, or evaluations of people about something (the attitude object). The attitude object can be a person, place, thing, ideology, or an event. Attitudes can be positive or negative

While attitude involves mind’s predisposition to certain ideas, values, people, systems, institutions; behaviour relates to the actual expression of feelings, action or inaction orally or/and through body language.

Explain that Difference between attitudes and behaviours is best described by cognitive dissonance theory.

Give examples to depict divergence in behaviour from attitude.

Conclusion:

Conclude with fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction

Attitude refers to a set of emotions, beliefs, and behaviors toward a particular object, person, thing, or event. Attitudes are often the result of experience or upbringing, and they can have a powerful influence over behavior.

Behaviour is the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others. Hence, behaviour comprises of our actions with concern to the interactions or the relationships we maintain with the external environment.

The main difference between two is that behaviour is the reflection of one’s attitude towards something or someone.

Body:

Attitude guides an individual’s behavior

  • Attitude is one of the main factors that trigger emotions, decision-making, thinking and behavior in an individual. Following are some examples of how attitude influence the behavior:
  • A positive attitude can will lead to a positive behavior. Ex: A person who has positive attitudes towards work and co-workers (such as contentment, friendliness, etc.) can positively influence those around them.
  • Similarly, negative attitude led to negative behavior. Ex: if a person has a negative attitude towards women, he will discriminate women in all fronts of life.
  • A selfish attitude will guide individual’s action in same manner. Ex: A cricketer who put his self-interest and profit above the nation, will take money to lose the game.
  • Logic or rational attitudes develop a rational behavior. Ex: a rational person will not act superstitiously and will always try to find rational behind any act.
  • An egoistic attitude will result in a negative attitude and behavior. Ex: elder individuals control their younger siblings even if they are wrong to satisfy their ego of being elder.
  • An attitude based on values and beliefs will act according to the values. Ex: in India touching feet of elders is guided by attitude of giving respect to them.

Conclusion:

Thus, it can be said that attitude guides one behavior. Therefore, a person’s attitude will define his/her actions. By training and persuading the people the attitude and behaviour can be changed in the right direction

Value addition:

AttitudeBehaviour
Attitude refers to a person’s mental view, regarding the way he/she thinks or feels about someone or something. Behaviour implies the actions and conduct of an individual or group towards other persons.
Attitude is more personal.Behaviour is more social.
Factors like environment, experiences, and moral values mainly influence attitudes.Attitudes, character traits, biological factors like endocrine and nervous responses influence our behaviour.
It is a hypothetical construct whose direct observation is not possible.Behaviour is visible through consequences and result.
A person’s attitude is mainly based on the experiences gained by him during the course of his life and observations.The behavior of a person is based on the situation and circumstances. 
Attitude is a person’s inner thoughts and feelings.Behaviour is an expression of person’s attitude.
Attitude is defined by the way we perceive things.Behaviour is ruled by social norms.
Attitude reflects one’s emotions, opinions and thoughts.Behaviour reflects one’s attitude as actions are the reflection of our thoughts.

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