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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 11 April 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: Social empowerment

1. Care work is vital for our society as well as for the economy in general and India needs to have a strategy and action plan for improved policies with respect to care work. Discuss.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Every year, March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day. The immense contribution of women to all spheres of life is often overlooked, unfairly valued, and hardly rewarded. This is ‘particularly evident in care work — both paid and unpaid, which is crucial to the future of decent work.

Key Demand of the question:

To write importance of care work and need for policy improvement in this regard.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the answer by defining care work and its various aspects.

Body:

First, write social importance of care work – Care work is fundamentally important because it is a universal human need, without which our society and economy can’t function. Children won’t grow up into healthy and happy adults, sick won’t get better and recover, the disabled and old will not be able to contribute to society and live dignified lives without the support and care of others.

Next, write about the challenges that are associated with care work and need for policy strategy to make it much more streamlined.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Care work refers to the paid and unpaid labor and services that support caregiving in all its forms. Care work encompasses direct activities such as feeding a baby or nursing an ill partner, and indirect care activities such as cooking and cleaning. It also encompasses a range of sectors such as education, health, and social work involving teachers, nurses, community health workers, social workers, and domestic workers.

Body

Importance of Care Work for India

  • UN reports have shown that the demographic transition is towards a higher proportion of the elderly at the expense of the working-age population.
  • Urbanisation is changing the traditional joint-family structure to nuclear, single-parent, and transnational households, alienating them from community care bonds.
  • Greater investment in care services can create an additional 300 million jobs globally, many of which will be for women. In turn this will help increase female labour force participation and advance Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8

Challenges in care work

  • India spends less than one per cent of GDP on care work infrastructure and services, including pre-primary education, maternity, disability and sickness benefits, and long-term care as per the ILO.
  • There is a disproportionate burden of unpaid care on women, who perform 10 times the domestic work than men.
  • Balancing paid and unpaid work obligations is taxing on women. Reports of increased stress levels are not uncommon.
  • In fact, women report higher levels of symptoms related to depression and anxiety, including low life satisfaction and subjective well-being.
  • The Maternity Act, 2017 mandates that employers must provide crèche facilities within a prescribed distance. Yet, in practice, implementation remains dismal. IFC surveys conducted in 2019 show only 49 per cent of employers had creche facilities in place.
  • As women increase their paid work time, they do not achieve a corresponding reduction in their unpaid work hours. Nor have men increased their share of unpaid work at the same rate that women have increased their share of paid work.
  • The double-burden is intensified when women are subjected to poverty and live in communities that lack basic infrastructure.
  • In areas that lack easy access to food and water, household duties are even more time consuming.
  • The country’s 2.5 million women Anganwadi workers (AWWs), auxiliary nurse-midwives (ANMs) and accredited social-health activists (ASHAs) are not recognised as workers or paid fixed monthly salaries in many States.
  • There has been little progress on formalising working conditions for India’s 3.9 million domestic workers (of whom 2.6 million are women), even as the National Platform for Domestic Workers Bill 2016, and the National Policy on Domestic Workers remains under consideration.

Way forward

  • Creating jobs, especially for women. An analysis by the Women’s Budget Group (2019) showed that if an additional 2 per cent of the GDP was invested in the Indian health and care sector, 11 million additional jobs could be generated, nearly a third of which would go to women.
  • Moreover, countries which invest in a combination of childcare infrastructure and parental leave policies to offset the burden on women, have a higher maternal employment to population ratios as per the ILO.
  • Care work should be viewed as a collective responsibility and public good.
  • Investing in a combination of childcare infrastructure and parental leave policies will have a higher maternal employment to population ratios.
  • Recognising AWWs, ANMs, ASHAs, domestic help, etc. as formal sector workers would allow their economic contribution to be counted in the GDP.
  • ILO’s ‘Decent Work Agenda’ principles emphasis on recognising the value of unpaid care work.
  • India’s average female daily wage was 59 % of the male wage in 1993-94 and improved to 72 %in 2018-19.
  • The ILO proposes a 5R framework for decent care work centred around achieving gender equality. It urges on
    • Recognition
    • Reduction of unpaid care work
    • Redistribution of unpaid care work
    • Rewarding care workers and decent work
    • Representation in social dialogue and collective bargaining.
  • In consultation with the relevant stakeholders, the government needs to conceptualise a strategy and action plan for improved care policies, care service provisions and decent working conditions for care workers.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

2. Critically analyse the electoral bond scheme as a unique poll funding instrument to achieve the goal of transparency in political funding. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

India’s apex court will hear the petitions challenging the electoral bonds scheme. While this news should be welcomed, it is noteworthy that Chief Justice of India N V Ramana has not specified any specific date or set any timeline for arriving at a judgment.

Key Demand of the question:

To critically analyse the performance of electoral bonds in improving transparency.

Directive word: 

Critically analyze – 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving aims and objectives of introduction of electoral bonds.

Body:

In the first part, mention the functioning and features of electoral bond scheme – can be bought by any Indian citizen or company incorporated in India. The scheme allows parties to receive these bonds.

Next, write about how this new instrument of political party funding is aimed to ensure greater transparency by addressing the issue of anonymous financing. It sought to eliminate black money from the system.

Next, write about how they have increased opacity instead of increasing transparency.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to improve transparency with respect to electoral bonds.

Introduction

Electoral bonds will allow donors to pay political parties using banks as an intermediary. Although called a bond, the banking instrument resembling promissory notes will not carry any interest. The electoral bond, which will be a bearer instrument, will not carry the name of the payee and can be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore.

Body

Background

  • India’s apex court will hear the petitions challenging the electoral bonds scheme.
  • Two prominent non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India — Common Cause and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) — have legally challenged the scheme that was started in 2018.
  • They, along with several other critics, have been alleging that the introduction of electoral bonds is “distorting democracy” in India.

Rationale behind the electoral bonds:

  • Electoral bonds have been introduced to promote transparency in funding and donation received by political parties.
  • The scheme envisages building a transparent system of acquiring bonds with validated KYC and an audit trail. A limited window and a very short maturity period would make misuse improbable.
  • The electoral bonds will prompt donors to take the banking route to donate, with their identity captured by the issuing authority. This will ensure transparency and accountability and is a big step towards electoral reform.
  • The previous system of cash donations from anonymous sources is wholly non-transparent. The donor, the donee, the quantum of donations and the nature of expenditure are all undisclosed.
  • According to government the system of Bonds will encourage political donations of clean money from individuals, companies, HUF, religious groups, charities, etc.
  • After purchasing the bonds, these entities can hand them to political parties of their choice, which must redeem them within the prescribed time.
  • Some element of transparency would be introduced in as much as all donors declare in their accounts the amount of bonds that they have purchased and all parties declare the quantum of bonds that they have received.
  • The electoral bonds are aimed at rooting out the current system of largely anonymous cash donations made to political parties which lead to the generation of black money in the economy.

Findings on Electoral bonds:

  • Since its introduction, electoral bonds have become an essential source of financing for all major political parties.
  • Between March 2018 and January 2021, electoral bonds worth Rs 6,514.50 crore were redeemed by parties.
  • While the ruling BJP has managed to receive the lion’s share (60.17%) of political funding made through the bonds, over half of the total income of all national and regional parties too was contributed through this method.
  • for both the principal political parties, it seems that the quantum of political donations channelised through cash donations/non-identifiable sources has decreased substantially.
  • Instead, today more funds are channelised through the formal banking system. This was not the case with the earlier system in which half of the political donations were not traceable as they were made in cash form.
  • Viewed from this angle, the electoral bonds scheme is an improvement over the previous system.

electoral bonds have only legitimized opacity:

  • The move could be misused, given the lack of disclosure requirements for individuals purchasing electoral bonds.
  • Electoral bonds make electoral funding even more opaque. It will bring more and more black money into the political system. electoral bonds would cause a “serious impact” on transparency in funding of political parties
  • With electoral bonds there can be a legal channel for companies to round-trip their tax haven cash to a political party. If this could be arranged, then a businessman could lobby for a change in policy, and legally funnel a part of the profits accruing from this policy change to the politician or party that brought it about.
  • The amendments would pump in black money for political funding through shell companies and allow “unchecked foreign funding of political parties in India which could lead to Indian politics being influenced by foreign companies
  • Companies no longer need to declare the names of the parties to which they have donated so shareholders won’t know where their money has gone.
  • They have potential to load the dice heavily in favour of the ruling party as the donor bank and the receiver bank know the identity of the person. But both the banks report to the RBI which, in turn, is subject to the Central government’s will to know.

Alternative mechanisms for electoral funding:

  • According to Former Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi, an alternative worth exploring is a National Electoral Fund to which all donors can contribute.
  • The funds would be allocated to political parties in proportion to the votes they get. Not only would this protect the identity of donors, it would also weed out black money from political funding.
  • The total cost of MPLADS funding for all MPs is nearly ₹4,000 crore every year, and scrapping the scheme even for one year in an MP’s five-year term will be enough to bankroll state funding of Lok Sabha candidates. This is a legalized way of allowing MPs and MLAs to shower money on their constituencies at state expense.
  • Direct funding of candidates, who will be reimbursed according to their final share of the votes cast.
  • The best way to bring about such transparency in political funding is to put a complete ban on cash donations by individuals or companies to political parties.
  • Making it mandatory for all parties to receive donations only by cheque, or other modes of money transfer.
  • There should be clear provisions for getting tax benefits for all those making such donations.
  • Make it mandatory for political parties to submit details of all donations received with the Election Commission and also with the income-tax department.
  • State funding of political parties can be considered. The Indrajit Gupta Committee on State Funding of Elections had endorsed partial state funding of recognised political parties.
  • The mechanics of this process need to be carefully worked out to establish the allocation of money to national parties, State parties and independent candidates, and to check candidate’s own expenditure over and above that which is provided by the state.
  • Voters have to be made aware through awareness campaigns about ill effects of money power during elections. Bringing political parties under the preview of RTI act.

Conclusion

The 255th Law Commission Report on Electoral Reforms observed that opacity in political funding results in “lobbying and capture” of the government by big donors. Various commissions, including the Election Commission, have given detailed recommendations on suitable remedies. Public funding needs to be examined and introduced with proper checks and balances.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

3. What is GDP? Elaborate upon the factors affecting the GDP growth with a special emphasis on role of technological advancement. (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 factors affecting GDP growth and role of technological advancement in it.

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 GDP.

Body:

First, write about the various factors affecting GDP growth – human resources, physical capital, natural resources and technology. Explain them with examples.

Next, write about role of technological advancement in improving GDP – Improvements in technology have a high impact on economic growth. As the scientific community makes more discoveries, managers find ways to apply these innovations as more sophisticated production techniques.

Conclusion:

Conclude by Summarising

Introduction

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. As a broad measure of overall domestic production, it functions as a comprehensive scorecard of a given country’s economic health.

Body

Factors affecting the GDP growth

  • Human Resource:
    • The quality and quantity of available human resource can directly affect the growth of an economy.
    • The quality of human resource is dependent on its skills, creative abilities, training, and education.
    • If the human resource of a country is well skilled and trained then the output would also be of high quality.
    • On the other hand, a shortage of skilled labor hampers the growth of an economy, whereas surplus of labor is of lesser significance to economic growth.
    • Therefore, the human resources of a country should be adequate in number with required skills and abilities, so that economic growth can be achieved.
  • Natural Resources:
    • Affect the economic growth of a country to a large extent.
    • Natural resources involve resources that are produced by nature either on the land or beneath the land.
    • The resources on land include plants, water resources and landscape.
    • Countries having plenty of natural resources enjoy good growth than countries with small amount of natural resources.
    • The efficient utilization or exploitation of natural resources depends on the skills and abilities of human resource, technology used and availability of funds.
    • A country having skilled and educated workforce with rich natural resources takes the economy on the growth path.
  • Capital Formation
    • Involves land, building, machinery, power, transportation, and medium of communication.
    • Producing and acquiring all these manmade products is termed as capital formation.
    • Capital formation increases the availability of capital per worker, which further increases capital/labor ratio.
    • Consequently, the productivity of labor increases, which ultimately results in the increase in output and growth of the economy.
  • Technological Development:
    • Technology involves application of scientific methods and production techniques.
    • Technological development helps in increasing productivity with the limited amount of resources.
    • Countries that have worked in the field of technological development grow rapidly as compared to countries that have less focus on technological development.
    • The selection of right technology also plays an role for the growth of an economy.
    • On the contrary, an inappropriate technology- results in high cost of production.
  • Social and Political Factors
    • Play a crucial role in economic growth of a country.
    • Social factors involve customs, traditions, values and beliefs, which contribute to the growth of an economy to a considerable extent.
    • For example, a society with conventional beliefs and superstitions resists the adoption of modern ways of living.
    • In such a case, achieving becomes difficult.
    • Apart from this, political factors, such as participation of government in formulating and implementing various policies, have a major part in economic growth.

Conclusion

In India, contributions to GDP are mainly divided into 3 broad sectors – agriculture and allied services, industry and service sector. In India, GDP is measured as market prices and the base year for computation is 2011-12. There should be more focus on inclusive growth rather than just growth.

 

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

4. Why is the computation of national income important? Explain the various methods to compute national income. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

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 importance of computation of national income and various methods to do it.

Directive word:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving 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.

Introduction: 

Start by defining national income.

Body:

In the first part, explain the various advantages of calculating national income – in policy formulation, effective decision making and for making international economic comparisons etc

Next, explain the three main methods of computing national income – income method, expenditure method and output method. Also explain how the national income of India is calculated

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

National Income is the total value of all final goods and services produced by the country in certain year. The growth of National Income helps to know the progress of the country. In other words, the total amount of income accruing to a country from economic activities in a year’s time is known as national income. It includes payments made to all resources in the form of wages, interest, rent and profits. However, National income is not the sum of all incomes earned by all citizens, but only those incomes which accrue due to participation in the production process.

Body

The Net National Product at factor cost is known as National Income.

NNP @Factor Cost = National Income = NNP @Market Price – Taxes + Subsidies

However, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation defines National Income of India as Net National Income at Market Price.

Major methods of National Income Calculation

  • Production Method
    • This method is also called as Output Method or Value Added Method
    • The production method gives us national income or national product based on the final value of the produce and the origin of the produce in terms of the industry.
    • All producing units are classified sector wise.
    • Primary sector is divided into agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry.
    • Secondary sector consists of manufacturing.
    • Tertiary sector is divided into trade, transport, communication, banking, insurance etc.
    • Then, the net value added by each productive enterprises as well as by each industry or sector is estimated.
  • Income Method
    • Different factors of production are paid for their productive services rendered to an organization.
    • The various incomes that includes in these methods are wages, income of self-employed, interest, profit, dividend, rents, and surplus of public sector and net flow of income from abroad.
  • Expenditure Method
    • The various sectors – the household sector, the government sector, the business sector, either spend their income on consumer goods and services or they save a part of their income.
    • These can be categorized as private consumption expenditure, private investment, public consumption, public investment etc.

Conclusion

In India, National Income is calculated by the combined method. It combines two methods i.e. product or output method and the income method. This is done to overcome the problem of deficiency of statistics. The product method endeavours to find out the net contribution to national income of all producing units. The income method adds up income and payments accruing of factors of production. This method is used in the tertiary  sector like government services banking etc and also in the commodity sector if output data is not available.

 

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money laundering and its prevention.

5. Fake news and spread of disinformation through social media has far reaching consequences. There needs to be a structured legal regime in order to curb it and hold the guilty accountable. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Social media platforms have effectively supplanted traditional information networks in India. The dialectical relationship between online content, traditional media and political networks means that the messages propagated online effectively touch even those who are not yet online.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the steps need to tackle spread of fake news through social media.

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 context regarding spread of fake news and disinformation in the country,

Body:

First, write about the consequences of fake news – Call into question the credibility of sources. Provide with false, misleading, or deceptive information used to make a decision or take action. Confirm biases and lead to lack of belief or trust in scientific findings. Cite examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the need to have a structured legal regime to tackle it – the features, changes required to existing laws etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Fake news is news, stories or hoaxes created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers. Usually, these stories are created to either influence people’s views, push a political agenda or cause confusion and can often be a profitable business for online publishers. Ex: Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013: fake video fueled communal passions.

Body

Consequences of fake news

  • Social media has led to a dislocation of politics with people weighing in on abstractions online while being disengaged from their immediate surroundings.
  • Social media has led to a degradation of our political discourse where serious engagement has been supplanted by “hot takes” and memes.
  • It has obscured the providence of consequential interventions in our political discourse because of opacity in technology.
  • Misinformation and disinformation spread in media is becoming a serious social challenge. It is leading to the poisonous atmosphere on the web and causing riots and lynching on the road.
  • Platforms for harmful conspiracy theories and hate speech
  • Spread of false or discredited science – e.g. anti-vax movement
  • In the age of the internet (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter,) it is a serious problem as rumours, morphed images, click-baits, motivated stories, unverified information, planted stories for various interests spread easily among 35 crore internet users in India.
  • There have been many instances of online rumours leading to killings of innocent people. In some cases, ministers have deleted tweets after realizing the fake news which they shared earlier.
  • Fake news has also been used to deceive illiterate people financially. Example- Chit fund schemes introduced the concept of online fraud through spam emails.
  • Fake news has reduced people’s belief in social, print and electronic media = affect the benefits of these media.

Measures Needed:

  • The current response to fake news primarily revolves around three prongs — rebuttal, removal of the fake news item and educating the public.
    • Rebuttal:It is a form of fact-checking wherein the fake news is debunked by pointing out errors like mismatch, malicious editing and misattribution.
    • Removal of Fake news:Technical companies like Facebook and YouTube uses algorithms to proactively remove fake news from their platforms.
    • Also, WhatsApp has put a limit on forwarding messages, so as to limit the spread to fake news.
  • Education and Awareness: The government must take the initiative to make all sections of the population aware of the realities of this information war and evolve a consensus to fight this war. It must also take strict action against the fake news providers.
    • Ex: Italy has experimentally added ‘recognizing fake news’ in school syllabus. India should also seriously emphasize cybersecurity, internet education, fake news education in the academic curriculum at all levels.
  • Strict Regulation: News being spread using chatbots and other automated pieces of software should automatically be selected for special screening.
  • Bring out policy-: The government should bring out a draft seeking opinion from stakeholders regarding issues of controlling fake news. Any future guidelines on ‘fake news’ should target ‘fake news’ and not try to regulate media in the name of ‘fake news’.
  • Regulatory mechanism:The PCI needs to be reformed and empowered in a way so as to enable it to strike a balance between the freedom of media and speech on the one hand, and right to know on the other.
  • Government should have independent agency: to verify the data being circulated in social and other media. The agency should be tasked with presenting real facts and figures.
  • An ombudsman Institution:To receive complaints on fake news and initiate immediate action. 
  • Accountability of Social Media:Social media websites should be made accountable of such activities so that it becomes their responsibility to have better control over the spread of fake news.
  • Using Artificial Intelligence: The artificial intelligence technologies, particularly machine learning and natural language processing, might be leveraged to combat the fake news problem. AI technologies hold promise for significantly automating parts of the procedure human fact checkers use today to determine if a story is real or a hoax.

 Conclusion

Fake news affects free speech and informed choices of citizens of the country, leading to the hijacking of democracy. Hence it is extremely important that there is a collective effort from all the stake holders involved to tackle this menace comprehensively.

Value addition

Laws and Regulation to Curb Fake News in India:

  • Press Council of India:It is a regulatory body which can warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, the news agency, the editor or the journalist or disapprove the conduct of the editor or the journalist if it finds that a newspaper or a news agency has violated journalistic ethics.
  • News Broadcasters Association: It represents the private television news and current affairs broadcasters. The self-regulatory body probes complaints against electronic media.
  • Indian Broadcast Foundation:It looks into the complaints against contents aired by channels.
  • Broadcasting Content Complaint Council: It admits complaints against TV broadcasters for objectionable TV content and fake news.
  • Indian Penal Code: Section 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and Section 295 (injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) can be invoked to guard against fake news.
  • Information Technology Act 2000: According to the Section 66 of the act, if any person, dishonestly or fraudulently, does any act referred to in Section 43 (damage to computer, computer system), shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees or with both.
  • Civil or Criminal Case for Defamation: It is another resort against fake news for individuals and groups hurt by the fake news. IPC Section 499 (defamation) and Section 500 (whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both) provide for a defamation suit.
  • Fake news has existed since the dawn of the printing press but in the age of the internet and social media, it has found a tremendous application. Manipulation of algorithms of social media and search engines is a global trend now.
  • Misinformation and disinformation spread in the media is becoming a serious social challenge. It is leading to the poisonous atmosphere on the web and causing riots and lynching on the road.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. Family is the foundation on which values are built and a strong familial value system transforms children in to adults who contribute to an orderly and peaceful society. Discuss. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the ways to strengthen moral character among civil servants.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of family as foundation for value system.

Body:

Elaborate upon moral values like respect, truthfulness, tolerance, happiness, honesty, loyalty, peace, justice, responsibility, self-restraint are instilled in the thoughts, feelings and actions of the children and they function as ethics and principles that govern their actions in the life. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing the importance of family in strengthening moral values.

Introduction

If there is one cohesive, cementing force at the heart of traditional Indian society it is our family system. It is a single, powerful strand which for centuries, has woven the tapestry of our rich, social fabric replete with diversity, into a whole.

Body

Role of family in transforming children

Despite changing values, the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (world is one family) is ingrained well in our minds, especially in India.

  • Cohesive society: One of the main advantages of a joint family system is the strong bonding it creates among siblings and other members of the family even while providing a sense of security to the children.
  • Virtues: It is believed that children who grow up in an extended family with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins will imbibe the qualities of sharing, caring, empathy and understanding.
  • Emotional intelligence: The bonding and bonhomie one finds in close knit joint families has a positive impact on the emotional quotient of children.
  • Caring for the old: Family values play an important role in shaping the outlook of people. Respect and care for elders are among the central principles in Indian family system.
  • Unity: It should also be remembered that the family system creates a strong bond of unity at an early age, paves the way for social cohesion and in a broader sense promotes national unity.
  • Morals: Adopting our age-old philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which embodies the spirit of humanism, compassion, magnanimity and tolerance, family becomes the basic building block of a harmonious, inclusive society.
  • Peaceful world view: Family can shape the world view, foster and reinforce the value system of the individuals and therefore, consequently, be the warp and weft of a sustainable, peaceful, inclusive, prosperous world.

Conclusion

Children who grow up in an extended family not only imbibe qualities of tolerance, patience, democratic attitude of accepting others’ viewpoints, but also develop sportsman’s spirit while playing with siblings and cousins. Various age-old traditions, customs and ways of living are all products of family system. In fact, the family system lays the seeds for social cohesion and democratic thinking.

 

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7. The consequences of our actions are important and we should weigh these up when we consider what we should do. Evaluate the statement in the context of utilitarian ethics. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the ways to strengthen moral character among civil servants.

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming an opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by describing utilitarian ethics.

Body:

Explain utilitarianism, a moral theory that argues that actions should be judged right or wrong to the extent they increase or decrease human well-being or ‘utility’. It state that consequences of an action are good, then the act is moral and if the consequences are bad, the act is immoral.

Next, give the other side of the argument. As actions should be determined by principles rather than by consequences.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced opinion.

Introduction

In deontological ethics an action is considered morally good because of some characteristic of the action itself, not because the product of the action is good. Deontological ethics holds that at least some acts are morally obligatory regardless of their consequences for human welfare. Descriptive of such ethics are such expressions as “Duty for duty’s sake,” “Virtue is its own reward,” and “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

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Popularity of Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism because it rests on the idea that it is the consequences or results of actions, laws, policies, etc. that determine whether they are good or bad, right or wrong. In general, whatever is being evaluated, we ought to choose the one that will produce the best overall results. In the language of utilitarians, we should choose the option that “maximizes utility,” i.e. that action or policy that produces the largest amount of good.

In simple words, Utilitarianism is teleological which believes in “Ends justify the means”; whereas deontological ethics believes in “Purity of means”. Yet this is more popular and acceptable as Bentham evolved his theory of greatest good of greatest number. The greatest good of the greatest number, is the most important formula of Bentham Utilitarianism.

For example, each government is obliged to adopt such policies which could give the greatest good of the greatest number. A government which works for the good of a few numbers is not at all a good government. It is tyranny and unjustifiable government. Thus, the principle of ‘the greatest good of the greatest number’ is benevolent and universalistic in nature.

However, this came under criticism as denial of right to one or few to achieve greater good, would-be injustice. And denial of justice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.

Limitations and criticism

  • A limitation of utilitarianism is that it tends to create a black-and-white construct of morality. In utilitarian ethics, there are no shades of gray—either something is wrong or it is right.
  • Utilitarianism also cannot predict with certainty whether the consequences of our actions will be good or bad—the results of our actions happen in the future.
  • Utilitarianism also has trouble accounting for values like justice and individual rights.
    • For example, say a hospital has four people whose lives depend upon receiving organ transplants: a heart, lungs, a kidney, and a liver. If a healthy person wanders into the hospital, his organs could be harvested to save four lives at the expense of his one life.
    • This would arguably produce the greatest good for the greatest number. But few would consider it an acceptable course of action, let alone an ethical one.

Conclusion

Deontology is simple to apply. It just requires that people follow the rules and do their duty. This approach tends to fit well with our natural intuition about what is or isn’t ethical. Unlike consequentialism, which judges actions by their results, deontology doesn’t require weighing the costs and benefits of a situation. This avoids subjectivity and uncertainty because one only has to follow set rules.


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