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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 28 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: 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. What is a heatwave? Account for the increasing frequency and unprecedent heatwaves across multiple cities in India. (250 words).

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Expresslive Mint

Why the question:

March was exceptionally hot, and April will end on a similar note. The country has already seen four heatwaves early in the summer of 2022, and no immediate respite is expected either.

Key Demand of the question:

To mention about the criteria for heat wave and to examine the causes of heat wave conditions and measures required to tackle it.

Directive word: 

Account – 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:

Start by defining a heat wave.

Body:

In the first part of the body, start by mentioning the criteria for a heat wave: in temperature for plains, coastal areas and hilly areas. The criteria for a severe heat wave.

In the next part, mention the causes behind heat waves in India

Next, Mention ways to mitigate heath wave conditions in the short term and long term: Short term measures such as issuing proper guidelines and warning, green rating of buildings, structural changes in the buildings, improving the lifestyle of people etc.

Long term measures such as combating climate change, increasing vegetation and green cities, implementing the guidelines of UN-Habitat-III etc.

Conclusion:

Stress upon the need to act with utmost urgency given the increasing instances of heat waves.

Introduction

Heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the pre-monsoon (April to June) summer season. According to Indian Meteorological Department, Heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.

A heatwave has gripped the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra. This is the fourth heatwave in the last two months, and the second in April. In fact, on April 26, Vidarbha was the hottest region in the country.

Body

heat_wave

Reasons for India to experience increasing instances of heatwaves

  • Magnified effect of paved and concrete surfaces in urban areas and a lack of tree cover.
  • Urban heat island effects can make ambient temperatures feel 3 to 4 degrees more than what they are.
  • More heat waves were expected as globally temperatures had risen by an average 0.8 degrees in the past 100 years. Night-time temperatures are rising too.
  • Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becomingly increasingly frequent globally due to climate change.
  • High intensity of UV rays in medium-high heat wave zone.
  • Combination of exceptional heat stress and a predominantly rural population makes India vulnerable to heat waves.

Measures to mitigate heat waves:

  • Switching to lighter-colored paving or porous green roads and cool roofs, to reflect more solar radiation.
  • For instance, after a severe 2010 heat wave, the city of Ahmedabad implemented a Heat Action Plan, including a cool-roofs program; research has shown this plan has prevented thousands of deaths.
  • Cities could increase their share of tree cover, which is significantly lower than what’s required to maintain an ecological balance.
  • People in urban areas could be encouraged to grow climbing plants and curtains of vegetation outside their windows.
  • Greenbelts around cities, for wind paths, would allow the passage of exhaust heat from urban air conditioners and automobiles.
  • Finally, air-quality standards should be enforced rigorously and continuously—not just when air pollution reaches hazardous levels.

Way forward:

  • In 2016, the National Disaster Management Agency prepared guidelines for state governments to formulate action plans for the prevention and management of heat waves, outlining four key strategies:
    • Forecasting heat waves and enabling an early warning system
    • Building capacity of healthcare professionals to deal with heat wave-related emergencies
    • Community outreach through various media
    • Inter-agency cooperation as well as engagement with other civil society organizations in the region.
  • Scientific Approach:
    • Climate data from the last 15-20 years can be correlated with the mortality and morbidity data to prepare a heat stress index and city-specific threshold.
    • Vulnerable areas and population could be identified by using GIS and satellite imagery for targeted actions.
  • Advance implementation of local Heat Action Plans, plus effective inter-agency coordination is a vital response which the government can deploy in order to protect vulnerable groups.
  • This will require identification of “heat hot spots”, analysis of meteorological data and allocation of resources to crisis-prone areas.
  • The India Cooling Action Plan must emphasize the urgency and need for better planning, zoning and building regulations to prevent Urban Heat Islands.
  • Provision of public messaging (radio, TV), mobile phone-based text messages, automated phone calls and alerts.
  • Promotion of traditional adaptation practices, such as staying indoors and wearing comfortable clothes.
  • Popularization of simple design features such as shaded windows, underground water storage tanks and insulating housing materials.

 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

2. Governors at times do not discharge their duties impartially and efficiently leading to politicisation of the office of governor. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The ongoing standoff between the Tamil Nadu government and Governor R N Ravi is not only the result of current grievances but also draws from the ideological position of the ruling DMK.

Key Demand of the question:

To critically write about the role often played by the Governor in the Indian setup.

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: 

Give brief introduction of Governor in Indian Polity.

Body:

Highlight first the significance of the post of Governor as enshrined in the Indian constitution.

Discuss the issues related to abuse of post of Governor in federal polity failing to the functions impartially and efficiency.

Explain the misuse of Article 356, Power of Reserving bill, Partisan role in Hung assemblies etc. with examples of recent times.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Article 154 of the Constitution envisages Governor as the executive chief of the state. All executive actions are taken in his name. B R Ambedkar called the office of the Governor as the “office of dignity”. He is not an agent of the Centre, but the governor’s post in an independent Constitutional office. His office is the linchpin of Indian Cooperative Federalism.

Body

Background

  • Tamil Nadu has passed two Bills proposing to take away the Governor’s powers to appoint VCs of state universities.
  • Chief Minister MK Stalin said the Bills were required as the Governor was disregarding the state government’s opinion on the appointments of VCs.
  • The elected governments have repeatedly accused the Governors of acting at the behest of the Centre on various subjects,including education.
  • Kerala and Odisha have also tried to bring appointments to state universities under its control.

Role of the Governor:

  • The Constitution thus assigns to the Governor the role of a Constitutional sentinel and that of a vital link between the Union and the State.
  • The Governor, on occasions, could also play a useful role as a channel of communication between the Union and the State in regard to matters of mutual interest and responsibility
  • India invented the role of state governor after Independence to act as a conduit between the ceremonial head of state (the president) and the chief minister of each state, as the president’s eyes and ears in the country’s diverse and far-flung states.
  • Their duty is to be neutral guardians of the complex relationship between the federal government and state governments belonging to different political parties.
  • Being the holder of an independent Constitutional office, the Governor is not a subordinate or a subservient agent of the Union Government.
  • The Governor is expected to advance the cause of federalism and democracy in the contemporary constitutional landscape, which form a part of the basic structure of the constitution.
  • As the distinguished constitutional expert, Nani A. Palkhivala explained it “the Constitution intended that the Governor should be the instrument to maintain the fundamental equilibrium of the people of the State and to ensure that the mandates of the Constitution are respected in the State”.
  • In his speech on the constitutional role of Governors, B.R. Ambedkar described how a Governor should use his discretion not as “representative of a party” but as “the representative of the people as a whole”

Tyranny of the unelected in recent times

  • Gubernatorial powers:Misusing the powers of Governor.g.: In Maharashtra, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has stalled the election of Speaker since the post fell vacant in February 2021. He had refused to accept the recommendation of the Council of Ministers on the nomination of 12 members to the Legislative Council, until the matter reached the High Court.
  • Locking horns with Government:g.: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has made allegations of impropriety in welfare schemes, questioned Government claims about investments in the State, and taken up the cudgels for the Opposition BJP. He has been summoning the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police on a regular basis, and when they do not turn up, taking to Twitter and often tagging the Chief Minister.
  • Governor’s appointmentArticle 155says that governor should be appointed (not elected) from amongst persons of high status with eminence in public. The elected government at the state is not even consulted while making appointment of the Governors. Further successive governments have reduced this important constitutional office to a sinecure and resting place for loyal and retired / about to retired / about to retire politicians apart from docile bureaucrats.
  • Appointment and dismissal of the Chief Minister: Governor appoints Chief Minister, other ministers, Advocate General, Chairmen and members of the State Public Service Commission in the state. After elections in the state, there is a convention to invite the largest party to form government in the state. This convention has been flouted many times at the whim of the governor. E.g.: The recent episode Maharashtra where Governor inducted a new government at 5:00 am without ascertaining the requisite numbers for the government.
  • Reservation of Bills for Consideration of President: As per Article 200of the Constitution, the governor can reserve certain types of bills passed by the State Legislature for the President’s consideration. Centre, through the governor in case of different parties ruling, used this provision to serve partisan interests. g. In Tamil Nadu, Governor R.N. Ravi has not acted upon the T.N. Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, adopted by the Assembly in September 2021. the indefinite delay in taking a decision amounts to undermining the legislature, and is unjustifiable.
  • Misuse of Article 356: Article 356is the most controversial article of the Constitution. It provides for State emergency or President’s rule in State if the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of a State. But since the SR Bommai case, this has been sparsely used.
  • Removal of the Governor:Article 156 says that the governor will hold office during the pleasure of the President for five years. The governor has no security of tenure and no fixed term of office. This prevents to uphold neutrality of the governor, fearing retribution. E.g.: The mass changing of the governors of state whenever a new government comes to power at Centre.

Need for codification of powers of the Governor

Below committee recommendations must be codified to remove any ambiguity.

  • Rajamannar Committee: Consultation of the CM must become mandatory before the appointment of the Governor.
  • Punchhi Commission: The phrase “during the pleasure of the President” should be deleted from the Constitution.
    • Governor should be removed only by a resolution of the state legislature.
    • Qualification for the post must be laid down in Constitution while giving security of tenure. This will enable the Governor to take impartial and neutral decisions.
  • Sarkaria Commission Report (1988): On appointment of Governor: –
    • Governor should be an eminent person and not belong to the state where he is to be posted.
    • State chief minister should have a say in the appointment of governor
    • Governor should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in recent past.
    • Governor should not be a member of the ruling party.
  • Other recommendations: Governor must act at all times in aid and advise of CM, unless as given specifically in the Constitution.
    • He or she must not overpower or assume the role of state government.

Conclusion

In a federal structure, the states cannot function as vassals of the Centre. Governors are a relic of the British past and many of them have downgraded themselves to mere agents of the Centre with utter disregard to constitutional provisions, conventions, precedents and even court verdicts. It is perhaps time to take a re-look at the post of governor itself or at least codify their powers to ensure that tyranny of the unelected does not triumph over popular governments.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. There is an urgent need to prepare a mid- to long-term plan to compensate for the learning loss due to lockdown, with a sufficient focus on overall child development and provide for strategic, innovative and lasting solutions. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressThe Hindu

Why the question:

A joint report by UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank, ‘The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery’, released in early December 2021 had estimated that in the first 21 months of the pandemic, schools in countries around the world were either partially or fully closed for an average of 224 days.

Key Demand of the question:

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

Directive word: 

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: 

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

Body:

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

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

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The pandemic has thrown a harsh light on the vulnerabilities and challenges faced by the world in education. There is an immense learning gap due to existing inequalities. Unless we mobilise learning resources and institutions at the government level, the divides will continue to expand and learners will continue to fall between the cracks. The government, both at the Centre and state levels, to invest in learning systems. This will help address poverty and bring in gender equality.

Body

Learning Loss due to closure of schools

  • Lack of funds to send to schools: Parents have refrained from sending their children back to school due to a lack of funds.
    • As a result of the pandemic, opportunity gaps have widened, as families do not have the financial capacity to support the education of their children.
  • Digital Divide: The concern is that online learning will create greater inequality, not only in the global South but even in the most well-resourced corners of the planet. Online learning is not the way forward.
  • Skills: The New Education Policy 2020 stressed the need to give foundational skills high priority. Now, as never before, this is the urgent need of the hour, for young children and for all age groups in the elementary stage.
  • Learning deficit: In their most pessimistic scenario — school closures for 7 months — globally children will lose almost a year of learning adjusted years of schooling, with long-lasting effects on lifelong earnings.
    • In most government schools, teachers had to re teach basic mathematics and science as children had forgotten most of it during pandemic and lockdown.

Urgent reforms needed

  • Quality in government schools: Radical reforms have to be implemented to restructure government schools and ensure quality.
    • The government, both at the Centre and in the states, should build good-quality primary, middle and high schools and provide facilities that the best private schools have to offer.
  • Revive public education: Parents have realised the multiple roles that schools play. They provide for the wellbeing of children, health and nutrition along with academic learning. This increased awareness will serve as the basis for a revival of public education.
  • Health and education synergy: We cannot allow the government health system and government education to be opposed to one another. Their synergies must overlap. Governments have to be involved with the lifelong learning of people.
    • Vaccination for school children must be given as in western nations and they must be inoculated at war footing. This will prevent closure of schools.
  • Focussing on young children: It is important to highlight the situation of the youngest children (those currently in Std I and II).
    • These cohorts have had no prior schooling experience and most likely not much exposure to pre-schooling either.
    • Once schools open, for these children, starting with Std I or II curriculum or textbooks will be a big mistake.
    • In fact, they need to spend the rest of the year engaged in readiness activities. It will be essential to enable them to build a breadth of skills in cognitive and socio-emotional domains with structured exposure to and participation in language acquisition and pre-math activities.
  • Putting aside the grade-level curriculum for now and steadfastly focusing on basics will help children to not only “catch up” on what they have lost, but it may even be possible to go ahead with a stronger foundation than before.

Conclusion

Public education is crucial to societies, communities and individual lives. It is the only thing that will enable us to live with dignity and purpose. We have arrived at a moment, however unexpectedly, where we need to revisit the purpose of schooling and how we organise it. How we thrive should not be a continuation of the world as it was, but of the world that should be: A more sustainable one.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

4. Hydroelectric power projects apart from meeting the energy needs, offers many more benefits as well as it poses various risks. Examine. Suggest steps to maximise benefits while mitigating risks. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question: 

A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved an investment of ₹4,526.12 crore for the 540-megawatt Kwar hydroelectric project on the Chenab in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about benefits and risks associated with hydroelectric projects and steps needed to mitigate the risks.

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 defining hydroelectric energy and give the statistic highlighting extent of it being generated in India.

Body:

First, mention the potential of hydroelectric energy – plenty of rivers, favourable geology, presence of technological expertise, past success etc.

Next, write about the various risks that are associated with hydropower projects – political conflicts, social impact, economic viability and ecological concerns must be written in detail. Substantiate them with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to remedy the above-mentioned limitations.

Introduction

Hydroelectric power projects basically generate electricity from flowing water.  Pumped storage hydro (PSH) plants are storage systems based on hydropower operations between two or more reservoirs (upper and lower) with an elevation difference. PSH plants are highly useful options for the integration of Renewable Energy power with the power system. India is blessed with immense amount of hydro-electric potential and ranks 5th in terms of exploitable hydro-potential on global scenario.

Body

Benefits of Hydroelectric projects

  • Hydropower and pumped storage continue to play a crucial role in our fight against climate change by providing essential power, storage, and flexibility services.
  • In India, PSH potential of about 120GW has been identified at about 120 sites.
  • Hydropower provides benefits beyond electricity generation by providing flood control, irrigation support, and clean drinking water.
  • Hydropower is affordable. Hydropower provides low-cost electricity and durability over time compared to other sources of energy. Construction costs can even be mitigated by using pre-existing structures such as bridges, tunnels, and dams.
  • Hydropower is fueled by water, making it a clean source of energy.
  • Hydroelectric power is a domestic source of energy, allowing each state to produce its own energy without being reliant on international fuel sources.
  • Impoundment hydropowercreates reservoirs that offer recreational opportunities such as fishing, swimming, and boating. Most hydropower installations are required to provide some public access to the reservoir to allow the public to take advantage of these opportunities.
  • Hydroelectric power is flexible. Some hydropower facilities can quickly go from zero power to maximum output. Because hydropower plants can generate power to the grid immediately, they provide essential backup power during major electricity outages or disruptions.

Associated risks which affect hydro power generation

  • Generation of Hydro power depends on the availability of water. When water is not available in the lean season, in summer and in drought year the generation drops.
  • Other issues like social impact, where lot of people get displaced, livelihood and resources are affected. There are environmental impacts, Disaster related impacts.
  • Most of the new projects are coming up in Himalayan region which is vulnerable to disaster in terms of earth quake, landslides, erosion, and flash floods. In the era of climate change there are glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF)which is because of the lakes which are created by the melting of glaciers which consists of boulders and silt.
  • There are issues of generation performance. 89% of India’s installed capacity does not generate power at the promised level.
  • There is the issue of Siltation and maintenance of Hydro power projects. Silt reduces the storage capacity and proportionally the power generation also goes down.
  • Hydro power projects do not consume fuel and it is assumed that there is no carbon foot print which is not correct. The World Commission on Dams has shown how the power generated particularly in tropical countries generates Methane. In one molecule of Methane there is 22 times more potent Green House Gas than CO2.
  • Hydro power projects involve deforestation which reduces the carbon sinks and thereby putting back more carbon into the atmosphere.
  • With climate change on the rise, the frequency and intensity of Droughts will increase in the coming years. The rainfall patterns are changing. This will impact the power generation capacity of the Hydro power projects.
  • Every Hydro power projects are plagued by cost and time overruns. The reason is lack in the appraisal mechanism particularly geological appraisal.
  • Hydro and PSH projects are a state government legislative subject, and require the support of many policymakers, including the MoP, MoEF&CC and electricity regulators, apart from state governments.

Way forward

  • There is a need to appraise the projects properly, have proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)and proper public consultation process.
  • We should maintain the catchment area properly if not the rainfall which comes as flash floods damages the project.
  • Micro-hydel projects may also be promoted, as these have less of an adverse social and environmental impact on local communities.
  • Large, ‘smart’ hydropower projects may be developed, taking into account the economic, environmental and social concerns of local and downstream communities, in addition to national economic benefits.
  • Technical provisions in smart projects can minimize the impacts on aquatic life and terrestrial ecosystems.
  • India is using more of ground water and this reduces the surface water flow in the downstream area. All these factors should be taken into account while assessing the generation of Hydro power projects.
  • For prioritizing projects, in addition to capital cost and energy supplied, PSH developers and policymakers should consider factors that include the location of the project, duration of storage, availability of a pre-feasibility report, detailed surveys, investigations and project reports, etc, and the cost of the energy supplied, as well as the value of the flexibility assured by it.
  • An appropriate policy framework that lets costs and benefits be shared can increase the overall value for primary and end consumers.

 

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

5. The global impact and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, highlights the need for coordinated action across sectors to protect health and prevent disruption to food systems. Examine the need of one health approach in this regard. (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 need for one health approach.

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 defining “One health Approach”.

Body:

One Health is a collaborative, multispectral, and trans disciplinary approach — working at the local, regional, national, and global levels — with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

Next, write about its need – Studies indicate that more than two-thirds of existing and emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, or can be transferred between animals and humans, and vice versa, when the pathogen in question originates in any life form but circumvents the species barrier.

Examine its significance in handling zoonotic diseases.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

The term ‘One Health’ was first used in 2003– 2004, in association with the emergence of severe acute respiratory disease (SARS) in early 2003 and subsequently by the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1, and by the series of strategic goals known as the ‘Manhattan Principles’.

Body

 

One Health Approach

  • It is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach — working at the local, regional, national, and global levels — with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.
  • Successful public health interventions require the cooperation of Professionals in human health (doctors, nurses, public health practitioners, epidemiologists), animal health (veterinarians, paraprofessionals, agricultural workers), environment (ecologists, wildlife experts) along with other relevant players including law enforcement agencies, policymakers, agriculture, communities, and even pet owners.
  • One Health issues include zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, food safety and food security, vector-borne diseases, environmental contamination, and other health threats shared by people, animals, and the environment.

Relevance of One Health Approach

In recent times, many factors have changed interactions between people, animals, plants, and our environment and have led to the spread of existing or known (endemic) and new or emerging zoonotic diseases:

  • Climate and land use change: The earth has experienced changes in climate and land use, such as deforestation and intensive farming practices.
  • Disruptions in environmental conditions and habitats can provide new opportunities for diseases to pass to animals.
  • Animals also share our susceptibility to some diseases and environmental hazards. Because of this, they can sometimes serve as early warning signs of potential human illness.
  • For example,birds often die of West Nile virus before people in the same area get sick with West Nile virus infection.
  • Geographic expansion of human habitats:Human populations are growing and expanding into new geographic areas. As a result, more people live in close contact with wild and domestic animals, both livestock and pets.
  • Role of animals: Animals play an important role in our lives, whether for food, fiber, livelihoods, travel, sport, education, or companionship.
    • Close contact with animals and their environments provides more opportunities for diseases to pass between animals and people.
    • As per the studies, 60% of known human infectious diseases have their source in animals (whether domestic or wild).
  • Increased global interactions: International travel and trade has led to the unprecedented flow of commodities, people and animals. This gives pathogens of all kinds of opportunities to spread and multiply around the world.

Way Forward

  • Scientists have observed that there are more than 1.7 million viruses circulating in wildlife, and many of them are likely to be zoonotic, which implies that unless there is timely detection, India risks facing many more pandemics in times to come.
  • To achieve targets under the ‘One Health’ vision, efforts are ongoing to address challenges pertaining to veterinary manpower shortages, the lack of information sharing between human and animal health institutions, and inadequate coordination on food safety at slaughter, distribution, and retail facilities.
  • These issues can be remedied by consolidating existing animal health and disease surveillance systems — e.g., the Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health, and the National Animal Disease Reporting System — developing best-practice guidelines for informal market and slaughterhouse operation (e.g., inspections, disease prevalence assessments), and creating mechanisms to operationalise ‘One Health’ at every stage down to the village level.
  • Now, as we battle yet another wave of a deadly zoonotic disease (COVID-19), awareness generation, and increased investments toward meeting ‘One Health’ targets is the need of the hour.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion

6. Ethical leaders can positively influence many others, presenting them with a set of actions that they can adopt for the greater good. Analyse. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the various roles and responsibilities of a leader and the importance of ethics leadership in their work domain

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 defining what is leadership along with few traits of a good leader.

Body:

Highlight the need for an ethical leader in the present context of rising scams and blind race against mere monetary gains of businesses. Give few examples highlighting cases of leadership with and without ethics and its impact on the organisation as well as the society.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the above points highlighting the need for ethical leadership

Introduction

From a collective perspective, leaders can inspire those around them to behave ethically. By setting an example and giving the direction for ethical behaviour, others will observe and act similarly. In this way, ethical leaders can positively influence many others, presenting them with a set of actions that they can adopt for the greater good.

Body

Lao Tzu said “The best way to do is to be.”

Gandhiji showed the world by attaining freedom for India that only truth and non-violence can help achieve even the most impossible targets. He led by example and demonstrated the power of the principles he followed during non-cooperation movement, the Dandi March and Quit India movement.

Nelson Mandela, another leader sacrificed his life for the sake of South Africa and was jailed for 27 years. He never lost his focus on the vision of Independence and gave everything he had to ensure the same.

Abraham Lincoln’s existence on this planet was a true gift for humanity.  His fight for equality and the will to bring people together for the greater good was as astounding today as unimaginable then.

Traits of ethical leadership

  • Honesty: Honesty makes ethical leaders worthy of the trust others place in them. It means leaders commit to presenting facts as they are, playing fair with competitors, and communicating honestly with others.
  • Justice: To be fair means to treat everyone equally, offer opportunities with no favouritism, and condemn improper behaviours and manipulations, as well as any other actions that could harm someone.
  • Respect: Ethical leaders respect others around them, regardless of their position or identifying characteristics. This means they listen to each stakeholder, foster inclusion, and value diversity.
  • Integrity: Integrity is shown when values, words, and actions are aligned and consistent. It is not enough to talk the talk; one has to walk the walk to demonstrate integrity.
  • Responsibility: Responsibility means accepting to be in charge, embracing the power and duties that come with it, and always responding and being present in challenging situations.
  • Transparency: Transparency concerns mainly the communication with all stakeholders. It means keeping an open dialogue, accepting feedback, and disclosing the information others need to deliver their work.

Conclusion

Ethical leadership is of great importance. A good leader is followed, but a moral leader is respected and trusted. In ethical leadership, leaders are supposed to lead their peers by their own ethical activities. Behaving in an honest, ethical, and unselfish manner is pivotal in setting examples for others.

 

Topic: strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance

7. Restoring trust and integrity in public institutions and officials is key to safeguarding democracy and promote better governance.  Discuss. (150 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 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 regarding eroding trust in public institutions and civil servants.

Body:

Write about the impact of lack of trust in public institutions and officials. Write ways in which trust could be restored – transparency, accountability, accessibility and code of ethics etc. Elaborate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning as to how the above lead to safeguarding democracy and good governance.

Introduction

Trust is the foundation upon which the legitimacy of public institutions is built and is crucial for maintaining social cohesion. Trust in institutions requires that these institutions are competent and effective in delivering on their goals, but also that they operate consistently with a set of values that reflect citizens’ expectations of integrity and fairness.

Body

Government’s values, such as high levels of integrity, fairness and openness of institutions are strong predictors of public trust. Similarly, government’s competence – its responsiveness and reliability in delivering public services and anticipating new needs – are crucial for boosting trust in institutions.

For instance, in handling pandemics like the covid-19, people followed strict lockdown protocols in the first wave. However, the same doesn’t seem to be happening the second time, after the economic distress in India.

Reasons for loss of trust in public institutions

  • There are many reasons behind this heightened sense of dissatisfaction—the long tail of the global financial crisis, a perception that economic rewards are not being shared fairly, and growing anxiety about future job prospects.
  • Of all the reason Corruption is the major reasons for loss of trustin public institutions and government in India. Eg: 2G scam, Commonwealth scam were reasons for fall of UPA government.
  • At the all-India level, there was considerable lack of trust in state governments on looking after people in 2005, with just under 30% of households reporting a great deal of confidence.
  • Rising poverty, distress and inequality is driving eroding trust in India. Eg: Migrant crisis during lockdown disenchanted the poor regarding State’s welfare approach.
  • Although the judiciary is autonomous, its role in delivering justice fairly and promptly has become more controversial in recent years. A majority of households displayed a great deal of confidence in the judiciary, while a small proportion expressed hardly any confidence.
  • Justice delivery and the police are interlinked, as the latter are responsible for law enforcement. To the extent that criminalization of politics manifests itself in corruption observed in both, trust in these institutions is likely to be systemic.

Measures to improve trust in public institutions:

Government’s values, such as high levels of integrity, fairness and openness of institutions are strong predictors of public trust. Similarly, government’s competence – its responsiveness and reliability in delivering public services and anticipating new needs – are crucial for boosting trust in institutions.

  • Integrityseems to be most essential to trust in government. Integrity tools and mechanisms, that are essential public governance processes, are aimed at preventing corruption (which is the outcome) and fostering high standards of behaviour, helping to reinforce the credibility and legitimacy of the actors involved in policy decision making, safeguarding the public interest and restoring a sense of fairness of policy decisions.
  • Reliability:the ability of governments to minimise uncertainty in the economic, social and political environment of their citizens, and to act in a consistent and predictable manner.
  • Responsiveness:the provision of accessible, efficient and citizen-oriented public services that effectively address the needs and expectations of the public.
  • Openness and inclusiveness:a systemic, comprehensive approach to institutionalising a two-way communication with stakeholders, whereby relevant, usable information is provided, and interaction is fostered as a means to improve transparency, accountability and engagement.
  • Integrity:the alignment of government and public institutions with broader principles and standards of conduct that contribute to safeguarding the public interest while preventing corruption.
  • Fairness:in a procedural sense the consistent treatment of citizens (and businesses) in the policy-making and policy-implementation processes.
  • Functionalising citizen charters in letter and spirit with a proper grievance redressal mechanisms.
  • Communication and consultationwith public regarding major issues and taking them in confidence before any major policy changes.

Conclusion

In unprecedented times like this, renewed focus on trust in government can bring a new perspective to public governance, enhancing the role of the citizens. At an institutional level, this should reinforce the notion of a social contract between citizens and the state, where the former contribute not only by paying taxes and obeying the law, but also by being receptive to public policies and co-operating in their design and implementation. To gain this support from citizens, however, governments need to be more inclusive, more transparent, more receptive and more efficient. Recognising and better understanding the critical role that trust plays in effective public policies should assist governments better shape their policy and reform agendas, improving outcomes for all.


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