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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 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 – 2


 

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1.Though the battle of Plassey was won with deceit and treachery, it had deep ramifications on the political set up on mid eighteenth century.  Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

Mir Jafar, had actually tried to do was pretty routine in politics, and, historically speaking, the charge of treachery does not really stick.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the consequences of battle of Plassey.

Directive word: 

Comment– here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Briefly give context about the battle of Plassey and reasons as to why it was fought.

Body:

First, highlight that how the battle was won by the British through deceit and treachery and Siraj ousted as nawab of Bengal.

Next, write about the long term and short political consequences in the Indian political set up following the battle of Plassey.

Conclusion:

Comment on the significance of the consequences of battle of Plassey.

Introduction

The Battle of Plassey was a war fought between the British East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal and his close allies, who were mainly the French troops. The Battle of Plassey was fought at Palashi, on the banks of the Bhagirathi River near Calcutta and Murshidabad which was the public capital of Bengal. It was more of skirmishes than a battle according to some historians, who were part of the seven years’ war fought in India by the British.

Body

Battle of Plassey was won with deceit and treachery

  • On 22 June, 1757, he received a message from Mir Jafar that Robert Clive should attack the Nawab immediately and Jafar would side with the British.
  • The English had a traitor on their side. A man trusted by the Nawab with more than 10,000 soldiers under his command had formalised a deal with the English.
  • The battle was fought on June 23, 1757, Robert Clive with his visibly ‘small army’ challenged a mighty army of the Nawab at the battlefield.
  • This visibly ‘large Indian army’ was divided into three sections.
  • One section, with 12,000 soldiers, was commanded by Mir Murdan, another section was led by Rai Durlab and the third was under the command of Mir Jafar. Interestingly, only one of three commanders, Mir Murdan, was loyal to the Nawab.
  • Rai Durlab and Mir Jafar had already secretly finalised deals with the English.
  • When the battle started the Indian army under Mir Murdan charged upon the English army with vigour until Murdan fell to a grapeshot in the battlefield.
  • His death was decisive as the other two commanders were already sold out.
  • Mir Jafar and Rai Durlab, with their soldiers, just stood and watched Murdan’s men, who were only loyal soldiers, getting destroyed by the English.
  • The war ended with an Indian defeat, where only six European soldiers and fourteen Indian sepoys of English army were killed as against more than 500 deaths in the Indian camp.
  • Nawab was later captured and put to death as Mir Jafar was installed as a puppet Nawab.
  • The battle opened the gates for the British control of India. For the next 190 years India remained under the exploitative colonial regime of the British.

 

 

Financial and Political consequences

  • The Company was granted undisputed right to free trade in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
  • It also received the Zamindari of the 24 Parganas near Calcutta.
  • The new Nawab, Mir Jaffar, was dependent on the British for the maintenance of his position in Bengal. An English army of 6000 troops was maintained in Bengal.
  • The wealth paid to British immediately after Plassey was a sum of £800,000
  • Mir Jaffar regretted the deal that he struck with British later when he was reduced to a puppet leader only.
  • Prior to 1757 the English trade in Bengal was largely financed through import of bullion from England; but after that year not only bullion import stopped, but bullion was exported from Bengal to China and other parts of India, which gave a competitive advantage to the English Company over its European rivals.

Position of British after the Battle

  • The battle of Plassey was of immense historical importance. It paved way for British Mastery of Bengal and eventually the whole of India.
  • It boosted British prestige and at a single stroke raised them to the status of major contender for the Indian Empire. Before the battle, it was only just another European company trading in Bengal. But after Plassey they monopolized trade of Bengal.
  • Plassey had brought about a gradual transformation in the character of the Company. In the context of the then politics, military control was synonymous with political body. Thus, the Company played a role of commercial-cum-military-cum- political body.
  • The rich revenues of Bengal enabled them to organize a strong army and meet the cost of conquest of the rest of the country.
  • Control over Bengal played a decisive role in the Anglo French struggle where British were finally victorious.
  • The victory of Plassey enabled the Company with its servants to amass untold wealth at the cost of helpless people of Bengal.
  • The conflict at Plassey was also crucial for the East India company’s triumph over its French rivals.

Conclusion

Robert Clive became the Baron of Plassey. Affairs that occurred after the victory at the Battle of Plassey had changed the British East India Company from a trading company to a central power. Thus, the Battle of Plassey marked the beginning of political supremacy of the English East India Company in India.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. Despite its huge population, India eradicated polio with strong commitment and consistent efforts. Elucidate. What steps should India take to remain vigilant that no future outbreaks happen? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The recent news of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in Malawi imported from Pakistan and of polio outbreak in Israel caused by ‘circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 3’ (cVDPV3) are visible signs of floundering polio eradication.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the reasons for success in India’s polio eradication and steps needed to prevent future outbreaks.

Directive word: 

Elucidate – 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:

Briefly explain about India’s achievement of eradicating polio against all odds.

Body:

First, write about the challenges India faced in eradicating polio – huge population, improper health care set up, hesitancy, lack of awareness etc.

Next, write about the steps taken the by the government, civil society and NGO’s which helped India eradicate polio.

Next, write about the need to be vigilant and steps that re needed in this regard to ensure that no outbreaks are seen in the future.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance and relevance of such efforts in our fight against covid-19.

Introduction

Polio is a highly infectious viral disease which invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours.  Polio spreads in vulnerable populations in areas where there is no immunity and sanitation is poor. There are three individual and immunologically distinct wild poliovirus strains: wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1), wild poliovirus type 2 (WPV2) and wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3).

Body

Polio eradication in India: Measures

  • Polio free India: India received polio-free certification by the WHO in 2014, after three years of zero cases.
    • This achievement has been spurred by the successful Pulse Polio Campaign in which all children were administered polio drops.
    • The last case due to wild poliovirus in the country was detected on 13th January 2011.
  • Pulse Polio Programme: It was started with an objective of achieving hundred percent coverage under Oral Polio Vaccine.
  • Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0: It was a nationwide immunisation drive to mark the 25 years of Pulse polio programme (2019-20).
  • Universal Immunization Programme (UIP):It was launched in 1985 with the modification to ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI).
    • The objectives of the Programme include: Rapidly increasing immunization coverage, Improving the quality of services, Establishing a reliable cold chain system to the health facility level, Introducing a district-wise system for monitoring of performance, Achieving self-sufficiency in vaccine production.

Futuristic vigilance to prevent polio outbreak

  • Maintaining community immunity through high quality National and Sub National polio rounds each year.
  • An extremely high level of vigilance through surveillance across the country for any importation or circulation of poliovirus and VDPV is being maintained.
    • Environmental surveillance (sewage sampling) have been established to detect poliovirus transmission and as a surrogate indicator of the progress as well for any programmatic interventions strategically in Mumbai, Delhi, Patna, Kolkata Punjab and Gujarat.
  • All States and Union Territories in the country have developed a Rapid Response Team (RRT) to respond to any polio outbreak in the country.
    • An Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) has also been developed by  all  States  indicating  steps  to  be  undertaken  in  case  of detection of a polio case.
    • This must continue and be strengethened.
  • To reduce risk of importation from neighbouring countries, international border vaccination is being provided through continuous vaccination teams (CVT) to all eligible children round the clock.
    • These are provided through special booths set up at the international borders that India shares with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan Nepal and Myanmar.
  • Government of India has issued guidelines for mandatory requirement of polio vaccination to all international travellers before their departure from India to polio affected countries namely: Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Syria and Cameroon.
  • A rolling emergency stock of OPV is being maintained to respond to detection/importation of wild poliovirus (WPV) or emergence of circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (cVDPV).
  • National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) has recommended Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV) introduction as an additional dose along with 3rd dose of DPT in the entire country in the last quarter of 2015 as a part of polio endgame strategy.

 

Conclusion

The Pulse Polio Initiative was started with an objective of achieving hundred per cent coverage under Oral Polio Vaccine. It aimed to immunize children through improved social mobilization, plan mop-up operations in areas where poliovirus has almost disappeared and maintain high level of morale among the public. It must be continued with same enthusiasm to maintain the Polio free status in India.

 

Topic: Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

3. Alleviation of poverty remains a major challenge of economic development in the country. Evaluate the various measure taken by the government to overcome poverty in India. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The release of two new working papers, one from the World Bank and the other from the IMF, has led to a renewed debate on poverty in India. Both papers claim that extreme poverty in the country, based on the international definition of $1.90 per capita per day (in purchasing power parity (PPP), has declined substantially.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the challenges associated with poverty and to evaluate the performance of various measures taken to alleviate poverty.

Directive word: 

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: 

Describe the giving statistic regarding the current status of poverty in India.

Body:

First, write about the various challenges associated with eradication of poverty in India.

Next, evaluate the pros and cons of the various poverty alleviation measures in India – Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), National Social Assistance Programme, Land Reforms, MGNREGA and various PDS initiatives etc.

Suggest measures to overcome the above the limitations of the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Poverty is a state or condition in which a person or community lacks the financial resources and essentials for a minimum standard of living. Poverty means that the income level from employment is so low that basic human needs can’t be met. In India, 21.9% of the population lives below the national poverty line in 2011.

The release of two new working papers, one from the World Bank and the other from the IMF, has led to a renewed debate on poverty in India. Both papers claim that extreme poverty in the country, based on the international definition of $1.90 per capita per day (in purchasing power parity (PPP), has declined substantially.

Body

Alleviation of remains a major challenge of economic development in the country due to

  • Rapid growth of population: The growth of population exceeds the rate of growth in national income. Population growth at a faster rate increases labor supply which tends to lower the wage rate.
  • Outdated Social institutions: The social structure of our country is full of outdated traditions and customs like caste system, laws of inheritance and succession. These hamper the growth of economy.
  • Social customs: The rural people spend a large percentage of annual earnings on social ceremonies like marriage, death feast etc. As a result, they remain in debt and poverty.
  • Growing indebtedness: In the rural sector most of the rural people depend on borrowings from the money-lenders and land-lords to meet even their consumption expenses. Moneylenders, however, exploit the poor by charging exorbitant rates of interest and by acquiring the mortgaged land in the event of non-payment of loans.
  • Unequal distribution of land and other assets: Land and other forms of assets constitute sources of income for the rural people. But, unfortunately, there has been unequal distribution of land and other assets in our economy. The size-wise distribution of operational holdings indicates a very high degree of concentration in the hands of a few farmers leading to poverty of many in the rural sector.
  • Decline of village industries: At present consequent upon industrialization new factories and industries are being set up in rural areas. Village industries fail to compete with them in terms of quality and price. As a result, they are closed down. The workers are thrown out of employment and lead a life of poverty.
  • Immobility of labor: Immobility of labor also accounts, for rural poverty. Even if higher wages are offered, laborers are not willing to leave their homes. The joint family system makes people lethargic and stay-at-home. The rural people are mostly illiterate, ignorant, conservative, superstitious and fatalistic. Poverty is considered as God-given, something preordained. All these factors lead to abysmal poverty in rural India.
  • Unemployment and under employment: Due to continuous rise in population, there is chronic unemployment and under employment in India. There is educated unemployment and disguised unemployment. Poverty is just the reflection of unemployment.
  • Increase in Price: The steep rise in prices has affected the poor badly. They have become more poor.
  • Low agricultural productivity: Poverty and real income are very much interrelated. Increase in real income leads to reduction of the magnitude of poverty. So far as agricultural sector is concerned, the farmers even today are following the traditional method of cultivation. Hence there is low agricultural productivity resulting in rural poverty.
  • Lack of Skilled Labour: In India, unskilled labour is in abundant supply but skilled labour is less due to insufficient industrial education and training.
  • Gender imparity: This has led to poor participation of women in economic activities and labour force, thereby aggravating poverty in many families.
  • Ethnic discrimination: leads to non-diversification of jobs especially at the village levels. Incidences of communal riots have further discouraged people from migration leading to poverty.
  • Climatic factors: Climatic conditions constitute an important cause of poverty. The hot climate of India reduces the capacity of people especially the rural people to work for which production severely suffers. Frequent flood, famine, earthquake and cyclone cause heavy damage to agriculture. Moreover, absence of timely rain, excessive or deficient rain affect severely country’s agricultural production.

Various poverty alleviation programs in India since Independence:

  • Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP)
  • Jawahar Rozgar Yojana/Jawahar Gram Samriddhi Yojana
  • Rural Housing – Indira Awaas Yojana
  • National Old Age Pension Scheme (NOAPS)
  • Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) 2005
  • The Public Distribution System (PDS)
  • The National Food Security Act (NFSA)
  • National Rural Livelihood Mission: Ajeevika (2011)
  • National Urban Livelihood Mission
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

Issues surrounding poverty alleviation policies and programmes:

  • However, none resulted in any radical change in the ownership of assets, process of production and improvement of basic amenities to the needy.
  • Scholars, while assessing these programmes, state three major areas of concern which prevent their successful implementation. Due to unequal distribution of land and other assets, the benefits from direct poverty alleviation programmes have been appropriated by the non-poor.
  • Compared to the magnitude of poverty, the amount of resources allocated for these programmes is not sufficient. Moreover, these programmes depend mainly on government and bank officials for their implementation.
  • Since such officials are ill motivated, inadequately trained, corruption prone and vulnerable to pressure from a variety of local elites, the resources are inefficiently used and wasted. There is also non-participation of local level institutions in programme implementation.
  • Government policies have also failed to address the vast majority of vulnerable people who are living on or just above the poverty line. It also reveals that high growth alone is not sufficient to reduce poverty.
  • Without the active participation of the poor, successful implementation of any programme is not possible

Conclusion

Poverty can effectively be eradicated only when the poor start contributing to growth by their active involvement in the growth process. This is possible through a process of social mobilization, encouraging poor people to participate and get them empowered. This will also help create employment opportunities which may lead to increase in levels of income, skill development, health and literacy. Moreover, it is necessary to identify poverty stricken areas and provide infrastructure such as schools, roads, power, telecom, IT services, training institutions etc.

 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

4. India’s engagement with BRICS demonstrates that it retains strategic autonomy and engages with all major powers irrespective of incongruences. However, BRICS countries need greater connectivity and more inter-grouping trade to claim their rightful space global economic order urgently. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of BRICS in current geopolitical scenario and the need to promote more connectivity among members despite global uncertainties.

Directive word: 

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 aims and objectives of BRICS.

Body:

In the first part, bring out the way in which India choses to engage with BRICS on its own terms despite the global uncertainties.

Next, mention the current limitations of the BRICS bloc and hindrances to achieve its potential. Mention the role of trade and connectivity that can lead to collective economic benefits to the BRICS countries especially in the face of global economic turmoil.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward and diplomatic steps needed to be taken in this regard.

Introduction

BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies that have similar economic development. The five countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Together, BRICS accounts for about 40% of the world’s population and about 30% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), making it a critical economic engine.

It’s an emerging investment market and global power bloc. For India, BRICS is strategic especially in times where there is lot of geopolitical flux.

Body

Areas of engagement with BRICS

  • Economic Cooperation: There are rapidly growing trade and investment flows between BRICS countries as well as economic cooperation activities across a range of sectors.
    • Agreements have been concluded in the areas of Economic and Trade Cooperation; Innovation Cooperation, Customs Cooperation; strategic cooperation between the BRICS Business Council , Contingent Reserve Agreement and the New Development Bank.
  • Reform of multilateral institutions: BRICS was founded on the desire to end the domination of the western world over institutions of global governance (IMF, World Bank, UN) and strengthen multilateralism.
  • Combat Terrorism: Terrorism is an international phenomenon impacting all parts of the world. Recent developments in Afghanistan stress the need to bridge the gap between rhetoric and action.
    • In this context, BRICS is attempting to shape its counter-terrorism strategy by crafting the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan.
    • It contains specific measures to fight radicalisation, terrorist financing and misuse of the Internet by terrorist groups.
  • Promoting technological and digital solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals: This will help to improve governance and will also prove beneficial in the current situations e.g. Global pandemic response.
  • Expanding people-to-people cooperation: This will improve gradually once all the travel restrictions are eased.

Challenges faced by BRICS

  • Relations with other countries: There is a rift between India and China. This is because of various reasons like Chinese aggression in Eastern Ladakh.
    • China and Russia have strained relations with the
    • On the other hand, the other BRICS member has a liberal approach with the west. This is also impacting the functioning.
  • Internal challenges of Brazil and South Africa: BRICS countries have not done enough to assist the Global South to win optimal support for their agenda.
  • Trade: Though BRICS seeks to deepen trade ties, Chinese domination of trade creates apprehensions in the minds of other countries that the Chinese economy may threaten their economies.
  • Maintaining Internal Balance: Current pandemic exposed the over-dependence of value chains on China and their vulnerability. Thus, there is a need to deepen intra-BRICS cooperation in areas like agriculture, trade etc. But at the same time, the BRICS have to ensure there is no critical dependency on anyone partner country.
  • China policies: China’s economic rise has created a serious imbalance within BRICS. Also, its aggressive policy, especially against India, puts BRICS solidarity under exceptional strain.

Conclusion

BRICS nations need to recalibrate their approach and to recommit to their founding ethos. BRICS must reaffirm their commitment to a multi-polar world that allows for sovereign equality and democratic decision making by doing so can they address the asymmetry of power within the group and in global governance generally.

They must build on the success of the NDB and invest in additional BRICS institutions. It will be useful for BRICS to develop an institutional research wing, along the lines of the OECD, offering solutions which are better suited to the developing world.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Skill development is no longer a matter of choice. It is an imperative to adapt, survive and succeed as it plays a pivotal role in employment and livelihood. Examine the changes that are needed to the India’s skill development model. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Enabling degree apprentices will make the Indian skill system self-healing, enrol 10 million young people, and make India the world’s largest apprenticeship system

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of skill development and changes that are needed to India’s skill development model.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by briefly citing statistics regarding the skilling in India.

Body:

First, write about the importance of skilling – creating a competent and trained manpower, proficient working, intensify the productiveness and quality of work for more significant results etc.

Next, write about the drawbacks on the present skill development model in India. Suggest changes that are required to ensure India develops a large pool of skilled labour.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

In a rapidly changing world, there is a need to talk about skill development and predicting where jobs will be in 2032. In India there are only 2-3% skilled workers while the same is 60% in South Korea. With IR 4.0 nearly 32 million will need to upskill and re-skill. India’s demographic dividend will be a burden if skills are not developed adequately in our youth.

Body

Background

  • A growing economy such as India requires a large pool of skilled workers.
    • While India’s population growth rate had declined over the last two decades, the labour force is projected to grow by close to 2 per cent; adding over 7 million per year for the next few years.
    • Also, while the labour force is moving away from the traditional sector of agriculture, it still employs the highest percentage of the total labour force.
  • As the workers migrate from the rural and predominantly agricultural sector to other urban sectors, India realises that it has the need for a well thought out and executed strategy to provide a new set of skills through vocational training in order to effectively absorb this additional workforce and sustain economic growth.
    • However, it is necessary to also build a robust infrastructure of trainers and training institutes for the same.
  • Recently, NITI Aayog released its third edition of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index for the year 2020–21.
    • Since its inception in 2018, the index has been ranking the States and Union Territories (UTs) while achieving the SDGs such as economic growth, education, health, and so on.
    • Out of all these goals, ‘SDG8: Decent work and economic growth’ has broader implications since it cuts across several targets in the context of building a sustainable and resilient society, wherein no one is left behind.

Changes and Steps to be taken in India

The government can enable the degree apprentices, a tripartite contract between an employer, university, and the youth. It will build a robust skill system and the world’s largest apprenticeship system for 10 million young people.  The five design principles of the degree apprentice model

  • Learning while earning: The Degree apprentices programme involves stipends and scholarships payments. The employers will be willing to pay because of the high return. The graduates have better productivity, lower attrition, and lower time needed to fill open jobs.
  • Learning by doing: The skill system should be based on demand rather than driven by supply. Now more focus should be given on soft skills rather than hard skills. The degree apprenticeships programme and the employers should integrate a practical and theoretical curriculum with actual doing.
  • Learning with flexible delivery: Skills can be learnt in four classrooms: On-the-job (apprenticeships), online, on-campus, and onsite (faculty coming to workplaces). All Institutions offering degree apprenticeships should combine the four classrooms in varying proportions depending on the needs, abilities, and means of different employers and young job seekers.
  • Learning with qualification modularity: There should be no policy distinction between vocational and degree education. These distinctions were strengthened with the Radhakrishnan Report (1948), Kothari Commission (1968), and New National Policy on Education (1986).
  • Learning with signalling value: In India, there are strict entry and exit rules in the higher education system like tight entry gates (IIMs/IITs) or tight exit gates (chartered accountants). Therefore, these regulations should be eased for massifying higher education.
    • The NEP 2020 proposes to remove partitions between schools, skills, and college. Degree apprenticeships offer academic credit for prior skills and for on-the-job learning, and full qualification modularity via multiple on and off-ramps between certificates, diplomas, and degrees.
    • The policy and regulatory issues related to the tripartite apprenticeship contracts should be simplified.

 

Conclusion

In sum, the ‘skill shortage reduces productivity’ is a well proven hypothesis in the academic circles. Adequate investment in education and training is the most suitable solution to achieve the decent work and economic growth. Accordingly, SDG 8 may be achieved — through skilling, sustainable livelihoods and economic growth — sooner than later.

India must reap the benefit of its demographic dividend before it’s too late and it gets transformed from a youth nation to an old one. “Learning should not stop with earning. Only a skilled person will grow in today’s world. This is applicable to both people and countries,” PM Modi said, on World Youth Skill Day, while exhorting the stakeholders to continuously skill, re-skill and up-skill.

 

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

6. Biotechnology can be a means to fight hunger and disease, reduce environmental contaminants, and minimize the ecological footprint. Elaborate. (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 significance of biotechnology and its various applications.

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 briefly defining biotechnology.

Body:

First, write about the application of Biotechnology in sectors such as health, agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Food Processing, Environment and various other sectors etc. Substantiate with apt examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning using biotechnology for the betterment of the planet and to achieve sustainable development goals.

Introduction

United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity, defines Biotechnology “any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use”. And “Biological resources” includes genetic resources, organisms or parts thereof, populations, or any other biotic component of ecosystems with actual or potential use or value for humanity. India has become the world’s 12th biggest biotechnology economy having the second highest number of USFDA-approved plants. Biotechnology will help developing countries accomplish things that they could never do

Body

  • Biotechnology to fight diseases
    • Biotechnology techniques are used in medicine for diagnosis and treating different diseases. It gives opportunities for the people to protect themselves from dangerous diseases.
    • The field of Biotechnology, genetic engineering has introduced techniques like gene therapy, recombinant DNA technology and polymerase chain reaction which use genes and DNA molecules to diagnose diseases and insert new and healthy genes in the body which replace the damaged cells
    • Genetic modification in mosquitoes can solve the problems of epidemic diseases such as dengue and malaria
    • Artificial insemination is the artificial introduction of semen into the reproductive tract of a female animal. It is used extensively in breeding animals, such as sheep and cattle
    • Medical researchers believe that stem cell therapy has the potential to dramatically change the treatment of human disease. A number of adult stem cell therapies already exist, particularly bone marrow transplants that are used to treat leukaemia.
    • Stem cell transplantation was first used in the treatment of blood disorders and it was a breakthrough. Conventionally known as bone marrow transplan­tation, the stem cells responsible for production of the blood cells reside in the bone marrow
  • Biotechnology to fight hunger
    • Biotechnology has played major role in agriculture by altering genes, studying and cloning various crops in order to provide better quality products of foods ultimately improving our lives.
    • Hybrid Seeds, Artificial Seeds, Photosynthesis improver, Stress resistant crops and plants, Bio-fertilisers, Bio-pesticides are some of the potential applications.
    • Potential advantages that biotechnology can confer across a wide range of agricultural applications are in areas such as livestock management, storage of agricultural products and sustaining current crop yields, while reducing the use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
    • Biotechnology offers a very promising alternative to synthetic foods and an improvement on conventional plant-breeding technologies. Combined with other advanced agricultural technologies, it offers an exciting and environmentally responsible way to meet consumer demand for sustainable agriculture.
    • Biotechnology has a major application in the food sector.
    • Bread, cheese, wine, beer, yogurt, and vinegar are all made by culturing microorganisms and are really the oldest products of biotechnology.
    • It helps in improving the edibility, texture, and storage of the food; in preventing the attack of the food, mainly dairy, by the virus like bacteriophage.
    • Biotechnologists are also developing tests that will allow the detection of food-contaminating microorganisms and the toxins they produce, which may be present only in minute quantities.
    • Biotechnology also has applications in the detection of mutagens (substances that cause genetic mutations) in individual food products.
    • GM crops which have been approved for use in food items in select countries include corn, maize, soya, tomato, potato and papaya.
    • Latest innovations in biotechnology that fortify major staples with micro nutrients like vitamin A, zinc and iron can be game changers for hunger problem in India.
  • Biotechnology in Environment:
    • Biotechnology can be used to tackle environmental issues like deforestation and air pollution
    • Biotechnology can help in finding out the level of Particulate Matter 2.5 in the air,
    • Biotechnology is already providing a clean and renewable alternative to traditional fossil fuels, the burning of which contributes to global warming.
    • The benefit of environmental biotechnology helps us to avoid the use of hazardous pollutants and wastes that affect the natural resources and the environment.
    • Biosensors, which combine a biological component (such as an enzyme) with various electronic components to trigger a circuit when a particular type of chemical is detected. Biosensors are capable of detecting extremely low levels of proteins, hormones, pollutants, gases, and other molecules.

Conclusion

Every new drug discovery or drug approval not only draws cheers from millions of victims of debilitating diseases but also adds value to biotechnology companies. In a complex play of scientific progress and market forces, the biotechnology industry is recording growth that can rival the information technology industry boom of the 1990s. India with its young workforce and a potential market for the end-products can look out for a bright future in the biotechnology sector.

Value addition

Government initiatives to boost the sector:

  • The Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and RIKEN, Japan’s largest research organisation have signed memorandums of understanding (MoU) to launch joint research programs in the fields of biology, life sciences and material sciences.
  • UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Association of Biotech Led Enterprises (ABLE) have signed a MoU to encourage and develop collaborative opportunities between Indian life sciences organisations and the UK.
  • The Drugs Controller General of India has approved Biocon Ltd to market its biosimilar ‘Trastuzumab’ developed jointly with the US drug-maker Mylan, for treating breast cancer. “This is a major milestone for both partners as it is the world’s first biosimilar trastuzumab to be accorded regulatory approval,” said Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon.
  • The Government of India plans to set up National Institute of Biotic Stress Management for addressing plant protection issues will be established at Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7. What do understand by the doctrine of Consequentialism? (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: stanford.edu

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 philosophy of consequentialism.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining the philosophy of consequentialism in brief.

Body:

In your own words, explain philosophy of consequentialism “the ends justify the means.” Consequentialism says an act is good if it results in a good situation. An act is bad if  it results in a bad situation. Consequentialists then try to determine what a “good situation” actually entails, who should benefit from the good, who should determine the good, and the relevancy of good intentions. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Consequentialism, as its name suggests, is simply the view that normative properties depend only on consequences. Teleology or consequentialism is referred to as results-oriented ethics. It focuses on the purpose of each action and whether there is an intention or meaning for the action. It deals with the consequences of an action. It involves examining past experiences in order to figure out the results of present actions. One of the most well-known forms of consequentialism is utilitarianism which was first proposed by Jeremy Bentham and his mentee J.S. Mill.

Body

  • An action is good if its consequences are good; an action is wrong if its consequences are bad.
  • Teleological moral theories locate moral goodness in the consequences of our behaviour and not the behaviour itself.
  • As per Teleology, Moral behaviour, is goal-directed.
  • For E.g.: lying could not be judged inherently right or wrong independent of the context and the foreseeable consequences, it is good if it saves life.
  • Two forms of consequentialism are utilitarianism and hedonism.
  • Utilitarianism requires a moral agent to foresee the outcomes of one’s action. In any given situation, individual takes that action which will result in the maximum utility or the minimum uselessness.
  • The modern form of the consequentialist theory of utilitarianism derives from 19th century British philosophers such as Jeremy Benthamand John Stuart Mill.
  • Rather than maximise individual welfare, utilitarianism focuses on collective welfareand it identifies goodness with the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people: the ‘greatest happiness principle’.
  • For E.g.: Development of Aadhar card by collecting information of citizens, despite protests in favour of privacy, for greater welfare.
  • Hedonism, on the other hand, says something is “good” if the consequence produces pleasure or avoids pain. Some have argued that this is flawed as it does not allow for one to be able to follow certain moral rules and it concentrates too much on the ends rather than the means.

Merits of Teleology:

  • Goal Directed functioning
  • Democratic way of decision making.

Demerits of Teleology:

  • Minority opinion are not considered. Because utilitarianism concerned with benefit to majority.
  • Orthodox views are validated. For E.g.: Justification of Sati as it was view held by majority.
  • Not every happiness is quantifiable or comparable or outcome based.

Conclusion

While deontology is based on man’s absolute duty towards mankind and how it is given priority over results, teleology is based on the results of an action and on whether an action produces greater happiness and less pain.


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