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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 June 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: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. What are the various factors that affect the formation of Savanna type of climate? Examine the various threats to Savanna biomes. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

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: 

Give a brief about Tropical savannas or grasslands that they are associated with the tropical wet and dry climate type.

Body:

First, write about the factors conducive for Savanna type of climate – tropical regions 8° to 20° from the Equator, warm to hot, The dry season is associated with the low sun period etc.

 Next, mention that the Savanna climate provides for a diverse vegetation such as grasslands, hardy weather proofed trees and diverse fauna and mention different Savanna regions such as East African, Llanos, Pampas etc and how they differently impact their ecology.

Next, mention the various threats such as water logging, fire, drought, grazing etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that in the present context of Climate change it is imperative to address the threats faced by the Savannas and ensure ecological balance.

Introduction

Savanna regions have two distinct seasons – a wet season and a dry season. There is very little rain in the dry season. In the wet season vegetation grows, including lush green grasses and wooded areas. As you move further away from the equator and its heavy rainfall, the grassland becomes drier and drier – particularly in the dry season.

Body

Savanna biomes

Savannas – also known as tropical grasslands – are found to the north and south of tropical rainforest biomes. The largest expanses of savanna are in Africa, where much of the central part of the continent, for example Kenya and Tanzania, consists of tropical grassland. Savanna grasslands can also be found in Brazil in South America.

Various factors that affect the formation of Savanna type of climate

  • Savanna type of climate is located between 5°-20° latitudes on either side of the equator.
  • Thus, savanna climate is located between equatorial type of climate (Af) and semi-arid and subtropical humid climate.
  • In other words, this climate is located between equatorial low pressure belt or rain producing inter-tropical convergence and sub­tropical high pressure belt.
  • The regions of Savanna climate are affected by low and high pressure systems in a year.
  • Due to northward migration of the sun during summer solstice (21 June) the equatorial low pressure belt and doldrum are shifted northward and thus Savanna climate comes under the influence of Inter Tropical Convergence (ITC) which is associated with atmospheric disturbances (cyclones) which yield rains.
  • Due to southward migration of the sun during winter solstice (23 December) Savanna climatic zone comes under the influence of subtropical high pressure belt and thus anticyclonic conditions dominate the weather and bring dry condi­tions.
  • The descending stable winds under anticyclonic conditions cause dry conditions.
  • Besides, the coastal areas are affected by local winds and sea breezes.
  • Eastern coasts are influenced by trade winds. Strong and high velocity tropical cyclones dominate the weather conditions during warm season.
  • It is apparent that the Savanna type of climate is induced due to the introduc­tion of wet summer and dry winter seasons because of northward and southward migration of the sun respec­tively.
  • Since the Savanna climate is located between equatorial wet and tropical dry climates and hence there is gradual variation in weather conditions away from the equator as the aridity increases poleward.

Various threats to Savanna biomes

  • Anthropogenic activities
    • Unsustainable water usage and irrigation methods could potentially dry up life-giving rivers and water holes.
    • In regions where indigenous people regularly include bushmeat – wild meat – in their diet, ungulate populations have dropped at noticeable rates.
    • Some savanna wildlife is also hunted as trophies; black rhinoceroses, in particular, are hunted for their valuable horns.
    • Even some plant species are over-harvested due to their commercial value.
    • Carvings made from African Blackwood, a savanna tree, are often sold at tourists’ markets.
  • Agriculture, drought and Heavy Grazing
    • Agriculture is another environmental threat to the savanna. Large areas of land are being cleared to grow crops and farm livestock. The livestock competes with local animals for grazing and can decimate the natural ecosystem.
    • Prolonged, severe drought has a dangerous effect on a savanna ecosystem, with grazing patterns exacerbating this effect.
    • The combination of severe drought and grazing can change a grassland of primarily edible, perennial grasses to a savanna dominated by inedible grasses and plants.
  • Desertification
    • Tropical savannas often border on arid, desert regions, and the spread of desert-like conditions into dry grassland areas is called desertification.
    • This threat to a savanna ecosystem include effects caused by climate change, farming practices, overgrazing, aggressive agricultural irrigation, which lowers the level of the water table away from plant roots, deforestation and erosion.
    • Each year, over 46,000 square kilometers of African savanna becomes desert.
  • Carbon Emissions
    • A 2012 survey attributed large increases in woody plant mass to the “CO2 fertilization effect.” The authors posited that the increase in the rate of woody plant growth was caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    • A dramatic increase in the amount of trees and shrubs could threaten the entire savanna ecosystem, as these plants use more water than grasses.

Conclusion

While forests are undoubtedly great carbon sinks, grasslands are not all that far behind. Studies reveal that restoring grasslands is an immensely effective and economical way to combat climate change, as these landscapes store large amounts of carbon below ground. When a nuanced and informed understanding of the importance of grasslands filters into conservation and climate change policies, it will be win-win for pastoralists, grassland biodiversity, and the planet.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

2. Compare and contrast the major features of constitutions of India and Britain. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2

Key Demand of the question:

To write about salient features of Indian constitution and the nature of federalism in India.

Compare and contrast – provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning the legacy of British on the Indian constitution

Body:

In the first part, write about the major differences between Indian and British constitution. Written constitution, Nature of federation, Citizenship, Sovereign power, Judicial review etc.

Next, write about similarities between Indian and British constitution – Rule of Law, Independence of Judiciary, Parliamentary system etc,

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the major observations.

Introduction

Indian Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India on 26 November 1949 and became effective on 26 January 1950. The constitution replaced the Government of India Act 1935 as the country’s fundamental governing document, and the Dominion of India became the Republic of India. Indian Constitution was made after referring many Constitutions of the world by the drafting committee headed by Ambedkar.

Body

Contrasting features of Britain and Indian Constitution

  • Unwritten vs Written: One of the most important features of the British constitution is its unwritten character. The main reason for this is that it is based on conventions and political traditions, which have not been laid down in any document, unlike a written constitution, which is usually a product of a constituent assembly.
    • Indian Constitution, in comparison, is the lengthiest written constitution in the world.
  • Amendability: Britain Constitution is flexible and can be amended by 50% of the members present and voting. In India it is a hybrid of Rigid and flexible.
  • Federalism: The British constitution has a unitary character as opposed to a federal one. All powers of the government are vested in the British Parliament, which is a sovereign body.
    • The Indian Constitution, on the other hand, is federal.
  • Nature of state: Britain is a Constitutional monarchy as Queen is the head of the state while India is a republic which means that India has an elected head of state.
  • Sovereignty of Parliament: A very important feature of the British Constitution is sovereignty of the British Parliament (a written constitution being absent). The British Parliament is the only legislative body in the country with unfettered power of legislation.
    • It can make, amend or repeal any law.
    • Indian Parliament is not sovereign as Judiciary has the power to review the laws made by legislators.
  • DPSP and Duties: They are present in India while they are absent in Britain.
  • Prime Minister:M. will always be a member of the Lower House in Britain where it he can be in either houses in India.

Similarities between India and Britain

  • Independence of Judiciary: The Rule of Law in Britain is safeguarded by the provision that judges can only be removed from office for serious misbehavior and according to a procedure requiring the consent of both the Houses of Parliament. Same is the case in India
  • British Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers: Britain has a Cabinet form of government.
    • The power doesn’t lie in one person, but the entire Council of Ministers.
    • The principle is, “all Ministers sink and swim together”. It is based on collective responsibility towards the Lower House.
  • Bureaucracy: Indian bureaucracy is modelled on the British bureaucracy.

Conclusion

There is a natural tendency to compare the Parliament of India with the British Parliament. But our Parliament and Parliamentary Institutions and procedures are not a copy of the Westminster system. There are fundamental differences between their system and ours. British Parliament has grown through some three hundred years of history. In Britain, the Parliament can said to be the only institution, which exercises sovereign powers and on which there are no limits because there is no written constitution. India, on the other hand, has a written constitution. Powers and authorities of every organ of the Government and every functionary are only as defined and delimited by the constitutional document.

 

Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure,

3. Though the Constitution gives the Centre control over three subjects — land, public order, and police However, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act reorganised the powers and responsibilities of the Delhi Legislative Assembly and the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G), in favour of the latter. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The turf battle between the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) appointed by the Centre and the elected government of Delhi has a long and noisy history. The recently appointed L-G, Vinai Kumar Saxena, has, through his disruptive enthusiasm to meddle in the day-to-day governance in Delhi, set the cat among the pigeons.

Key Demand of the question:

To critically examine the changes introduced by the GNCTD Amendment Act, 2021.

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 explaining the GNCTD Amendment Act, 2021 and the changes in introduced.

Body:

First, give a context of struggle between UT of Delhi and central government over the ears.

Next, examine the various changes – equates government with lieutenant governor, skews power against the elected government, day to day affairs will be affected, against the SC judgement in Union territory of Delhi vs Union of India case, 2018.

Suggest ways to ensure cooperation and coordination over conflict.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in Lok Sabha on March 15, 2021.  The Bill amends the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991.

The Act provides a framework for the functioning of the Legislative Assembly and the government of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.  The Bill amends certain powers and responsibilities of the Legislative Assembly and the Lieutenant Governor.

Body:

Background

The incumbent government in NCT Delhi has accused the L-G of undermining “constitutional sanctity” by having called a meeting of Delhi Jal Board officials on May 30 and issuing directions bypassing the Council of Ministers and the Chief Minister.

Provisions of the new Amendment:

  • Restriction on laws passed by the Assembly: The Bill provides that the term “government” referred to in any law made by the Legislative Assembly will imply Lieutenant Governor (LG).
  • Rules of Procedure of the Assembly: The Act allows the Legislative Assembly to make Rules to regulate the procedure and conduct of business in the Assembly. The Bill provides that such Rules must be consistent with the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha.
  • Inquiry by the Assembly into administrative decisions: The Bill prohibits the Legislative Assembly from making any rule to enable itself or its Committees to: (i) consider the matters of day-to-day administration of the NCT of Delhi and (ii) conduct any inquiry in relation to administrative decisions. Further, the Bill provides that all such rules made before its enactment will be void.
  • Assent to Bills: The Act requires the LG to reserve certain Bills passed by the Legislative Assembly for the consideration of the President. These Bills are those: (i) which may diminish the powers of the High Court of Delhi, (ii) which the President may direct to be reserved, (iii) dealing with the salaries and allowances of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and members of the Assembly and the Ministers, or (iv) relating to official languages of the Assembly or the NCT of Delhi.
  • The Bill requires the LG to also reserve those Bills for the President which incidentally cover any of the matters outside the purview of the powers of the Legislative Assembly.
  • LG’s opinion for executive actions: The Act specifies that all executive action by the government, whether taken on the advice of the Ministers or otherwise, must be taken in the name of the LG. The Bill adds that on certain matters, as specified by the LG, his opinion must be obtained before taking any executive action on the decisions of the Minister/ Council of Ministers.

Criticism of the Bill:

  • Undermines the power of the Assembly: The amended sections of the GNCTD Act diminish the constitutionally guaranteed powers and functions of the elected Assembly.
    • Considering LG as the ‘government’ is making a nominated post equivalent to the ‘default administering authority’ of the NCT instead of the elected one.
    • Diluting the executive power of elected government and transferring it to the LG and the Secretaries in the government is against the representative form of government envisaged under Article 239 AA of the Constitution.
    • The LG, who will now be the government, is under no obligation to implement any law passed by the assembly or carry out the directions of the house as he is not responsible to the assembly.
  • Against Co-operative Federalism: The provisions may lead to centralization of power, unnecessary interference by the LG in day-to-day administration and delays in implementation of policies. It would hamper the spirit of co-operative federalism and separation of power.
  • Violation of the Supreme Court judgment, 2018: The constitutional bench in the Government of NCT of Delhi vs UoI & ors. 2018 case had held that the LG’s concurrence is not required on all matters and that the control of the Centre is confined to three areas only i.e., land, police and public order.
  • Not appropriately discussed: The Act has been passed in haste without being referred to the Select committee
  • Violates basic structure: Executive accountability is the essence of the parliamentary system of government, which is a part of the basic structure of the constitution.
  • Could lead to Policy paralysis: The Bill also requires the government to obtain the LG’s opinion on decisions before executive action is taken, which runs counter to the constitutional bench’s specific interpretation on the need to inform but not to have to wait for a return of the LG’s opinion, something which could take days, or never come.

Conclusion:

The Supreme Court had adopted the principles of democracy and balanced federalism as the basis for its decision to give unfettered freedom to the elected government to carry out its decisions. The above amendment Bill while nullifying the decision of the Supreme Court does not attempt to change its basis. On the contrary, as the statement of objects and reasons indicates, the Bill tries to define the responsibilities of the elected government and the LG in line with the constitutional scheme of governance of the NCT of Delhi.

 

Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure,

4. Critically examine the performance of Jal Jeevan Mission in providing access to safe and adequate drinking water. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

Water contamination deaths are a major concern even as the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is underway across India from August 2019. Three people died in Raichur in North Karnataka of water contamination over the past week and at least 70 took ill.

Key Demand of the question:

To critically examine the performance of Jal Jeevan Mission.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about the aims and objectives of Jal Jeevan Mission.

Body:

First, write about the various achievements of Jal Jeevan Mission. Substantiate with facts and figures.

Next, write about the various shortcomings of Jal Jeevan Mission in ensuring availability of safe drinking water.

Next, suggest ways to overcome the limitations.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

NITI Aayog’s Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report in 2018 stated that about two lakh people die every year due to lack of access to safe water. It also estimated that about 40% of the country’s projected population is likely to face water stress by 2030. Its assessment points to the disturbing fact that almost 70% of the country’s underground and surface fresh water could be contaminated.

India has 16% of the world population, but only 4% of freshwater resources. Depleting groundwater level, overexploitation and deteriorating water quality, climate change, etc. are major challenges to provide potable drinking water.

It is an urgent requirement of water conservation in the country because of the decreasing amount of groundwater level. Therefore, the Jal Jeevan Mission will focus on integrated demand and supply management of water at the local level.

Body

Background: Reason for unveiling Jal Jeevan Mission

  • According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), urbanisation, increasing population, and unchecked encroachment are forcing water bodies to dwindle.
  • Water pollution is mainly caused by discharge of untreated or partially treated sewage, industrial effluents, improper management of generated sewage, and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
  • The grim situation pertaining to clean drinking water prompted the Centre to kick-start the JJM.
  • The mission aims to provide adequate and long-term supply of quality drinking water through taps to every rural household by 2024.

Objectives of the mission

  • The chief objective of the Mission is to provide piped water supply (Har Ghar Jal) to all rural and urban households by 2024.
  • It also aims to create local infrastructure for rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household waste water for reuse in agriculture.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission is set to be based on various water conservation efforts like point recharge, desilting of minor irrigation tanks, use of greywater for agriculture and source sustainability.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission will converge with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.
  • The mission ensures:
    • Functionality of existing water supply systems and water connections.
    • Water quality monitoring and testing as well as sustainable agriculture.
    • Conjunctive use of conserved water.
    • Drinking water source augmentation.
    • Drinking water supply system, grey water treatment and its reuse.
  • Implementation: The Mission is based on a community approach to water and includes extensive Information, Education and Communication as a key component of the mission.
    • JJM looks to create a jan andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.
    • The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states, and 100% for Union Territories.

Jal Jeevan Mission

  • When the mission was launched, only 17% (32.3 million) of the country’s rural households had a tap water supply.
  • Today, 7.80 Crore (41.14%) households have tap water supply. Goa, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved 100% household connection in rural areas and have become ‘Har Ghar Jal’.
  • To complement the Jal Jeevan Mission (Rural), Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) was announced in the Budget 2021-22.
  • Clean water in schools: With children being more vulnerable to water-borne diseases, the JJM saw a special campaign launched in October 2020 to supply potable water to schools.
    • Tap water supply is available in52 lakh (83%) schools and 8.76 lakh (78.4%) anganwadi centres across India.

Conclusion

The Drinking Water distribution and Sanitation Network will continue to expand its coverage in the coming years; household-scale service delivery and the provision of 55 litres per capita per day (lpcd) of water of acceptable quality on a regular and long-term basis are primary focuses. The goal is to change the focus of development work from infrastructure building to service delivery rather than simply focusing on it.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. Does a ban on agricultural exports help in reducing inflation and achieving food security? State your opinion in light of the recent ban on wheat exports and restrictions on sugar exports. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Over the last month, the government has banned the export of wheat and imposed quantitative restrictions on outbound sugar shipments.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the implications of ban on certain agricultural exports by the government.

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 context.

Body:

In the first part, bring out the factors as to why the ban was announced.

Next, write about the implications of the ban – on food security, on farmers, wheat prices, exports, procurement etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced opinion on the wheat export ban by India.

Introduction

The Government has banned wheat exports with effect from May 13, with some minor exceptions for those who have irrevocable letters of credit or where the governments of importing countries request the Indian government for food security purpose. The rationale was that wheat stocks were depleting as well as high food inflation. The move is said to help the poor man battle food inflation.

 

Body

Reasons for ban on wheat exports from India

  • Government stock depletion: The anticipated production levels were not fulfilled and the fear of low wheat stocks due to less procurement paved way for this decision.
  • Crop damage due to heat wave: The fall has been caused due to low wheat production after high temperatures in March resulted in the shrivelling of wheat grains, thus impacting the quantity of the crop.
  • Keeping domestic prices in check: India’s ban on wheat exports is not a crisis-driven reaction but top keep food inflation in check as wheat prices were soaring and poor people were affected badly.
    • The move to ban the export of wheat was prompted by rising inflation, (WPI) in India has moved up from26 per cent at the start of 2022 to 14.55 now.
    • Retail inflation, too, hit an eight-year high of 7.79 per cent in April, driven by rising food and fuel prices.
  • Food security of neighbours: This move is being done to manage overall food security of the country and to need the support of the neighbouring and vulnerable nations.

Implications of the ban

  • Farmers exports hindered: India’s sudden decision to ban wheat exports with immediate effect citing food security may prove costly for its farmers. Many of them have held back their crop in the hopes of getting higher prices in the coming weeks.
    • There was an expectation of a MEP (minimum export price below which shipments cannot happen) or a tariff and not a complete ban on private export. This may hurt farmers who have stocked their wheat crop and were hoping to reap gains from higher prices.
  • Falling prices and farmer income impacted: The impact of this decision is already being seen in wheat mandis (wholesale markets), which have seen a fall of Rs 50-100 per quintal on average since the morning of May 14, 2022.
    • Not all wheat gets procured from the government at MSP and hence most farmers who sell in open market are affected badly.
    • Farmers may now be forced to sell to government procurement agencies at MSP, much below than what they were getting currently.
  • Lost opportunity to capture global market: India had earlier hoped to export 10 million tonnes of wheat and capture the global market made available after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
    • It had forecast a record output of 111 million tonnes.
    • The sudden decision comes on the heels of an expected sharp fall in government wheat stocks.

Conclusion

With domestic cereal price inflation still on the rise, the current export ban could also be long lasting, if global food prices remain elevated. Earlier, India had banned wheat exports in February 2007 and maintained a status quo for over four years before lifting it in September 2011, due to record output and to free up storage space.

If India’s wheat ban leads to higher price of substitutes like rice, then there could be upward pressure on other food prices. India must not continue the ban for long time and must focus on improving food security and inflation through other monetary policy measures.

 

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

6. Evaluate India’s response to the climate change crisis. Has India has prioritised economic growth over environmental sustainability? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Financial Express

Why the question:

The latest Environmental Performance Index (EPI), brought out by Yale University and Columbia University, has sought to paint India as a climate villain. India is now ranked last in a list of 180 countries compared to 168th in 2020, having prioritised, per the report, “economic growth over environmental sustainability”.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about India’s response to climate crisis and to form an opinion on the nature of response.

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 defining climate change.

Body:

Write about the various impacts of climate change on various regions – water cycle, rainfall patterns, Coastal areas, extreme sea level events, melting of glaciers and ice sheets, Changes to the ocean, marine heatwaves, ocean acidification, and reduced oxygen levels etc. Cite statistic to substantiate your points.

Next, write about the steps taken by India to combat climate change. Evaluate its successes and limitations.

Next, write about the how India is trying to balance economic growth as well as environmental sustainability.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced opinion.

Introduction

The latest Environmental Performance Index (EPI), brought out by Yale University and Columbia University, has sought to paint India as a climate villain. India is now ranked last in a list of 180 countries compared to 168th in 2020, having prioritised, per the report, “economic growth over environmental sustainability”. It has been ranked poorly across 40 indicators divided into 11 categories—climate change mitigation, air quality, waste management, water and sanitation, heavy metals, biodiversity and habitat, ecosystem services, fisheries, agriculture, acid rain, and water resources.

Body

India’s performance in Nationally Determined Contributions

  • At the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (December 2020), India was the only G20 nation compliant with the agreement.
  • India has been ranked within the top 10 for two years consecutively in the Climate Change Performance Index.
  • The Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme is the world’s largest zero-subsidy LED bulb programme for domestic consumers.
  • India provided leadership for setting up the International Solar Alliance, a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

Evaluation of India’s response to climate change

  • Exceeding the NDC commitment: India is on track (as reports/documents show) to meet and exceed the NDC commitment to achieve 40% electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based sources by 2030.
  • Reduction in emission intensity of GDP: Against the voluntary declaration for reducing the emission intensity of GDP by 20%-25% by 2020, India has reduced it by 24% between 2005-2016.
  • More importantly, we achieved these targets with around 2% out of the S.$100 billion committed to developing nations in Copenhagen (2009), realised by 2015.
  • Renewable energy expansion: India is implementing one of the most extensive renewable energy expansion programmes to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030.
  • Investment in green measures: As part of the fiscal stimulus after the pandemic, the government announced several green measures, including:
    • a $26.5-billion investment in biogas and cleaner fuels,
    • $3.5 billion in incentives for producing efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) and advanced chemistry cell battery, and $780 million towards an afforestation programme.
  • India’s contribution to global emissions is well below its equitable share of the worldwide carbon budget by any equity criterion.

India’s action for Climate Change

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): outlines existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation. The Action Plan identifies eight core “national missions” running through to 2017: Solar Energy; Enhanced Energy Efficiency; Sustainable Habitat; Water; Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem; Green India; Sustainable Agriculture; and Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change. Most of these missions have strong adaptation imperatives.
  • National Clean Energy Fund: The Government of India created the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) in 2010 for financing and promoting clean energy initiatives and funding research in the area of clean energy in the country. The corpus of the fund is built by levying a cess of INR 50 (subsequently increased to INR 100 in 2014) per tonne of coal produced domestically or imported.
  • Paris Agreement: Under the Paris Agreement, India has made three commitments. India’s greenhouse gas emission intensity of its GDP will be reduced by 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030. Alongside, 40% of India’s power capacity would be based on non-fossil fuel sources. At the same time, India will create an additional ‘carbon sink’ of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Co2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • International Solar Alliance: ISA was launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November 2015 by India and France, in the presence of Mr. Ban Ki Moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • Bharat Stage (BS) Emission Norms: Emissions from vehicles are one of the top contributors to air pollution, which led the government at the time to introduce the BS 2000 (Bharat Stage 1) vehicle emission norms from April 2000, followed by BS-II in 2005. BS-III was implemented nationwide in 2010. However, in 2016, the government decided to meet the global best practices and leapfrog to BS-VI norms by skipping BS V altogether.

Conclusion and way forward

  • Any self-sacrificial declaration of carbon neutrality today in the current international scenario would be a wasted gesture reducing the burden of the developed world and transferring it to the backs of the Indian people.
  • India’s twin burden of low-carbon development and adaptation to climate impacts, is onerous and no doubt requires serious, concerted action.
  • India’s approach to eventual net-zero emissions is contingent on deep first world emissions reductions and an adequate and unambiguous global carbon budget.
  • Meanwhile, India must reject any attempt to restrict its options and be led into a low-development trap, based on pseudo-scientific narratives.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case study.

7. You are the Sarpanch of a Panchayat. There is a primary school run by the government in your area. Midday meals are provided to children attending the school. The headmaster has now appointed a new cook in the school to prepare the meals. However, when it is found that cook is from Dalit community, almost half of the children belonging to higher castes are not allowed to take meals by their parents. Consequently the attendance in the schools falls sharply. This could result in the possibility of discontinuation of midday meal scheme, thereafter of teaching staff and subsequent closing down the school. (250 Words) (UPSC 2015)

(a) Discuss some feasible strategies to overcome the conflict and to create right ambiance.

(b) What should be the responsibilities of different social segments and agencies to create positive social ambiance for accepting such changes?

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by giving context and enumerate the stakeholders.

Body:

First, write about few strategies you can take as the Sarpanch to overcome this issue and create harmony.

Next, write about responsibilities of various stakeholders to create social solidarity.

Conclusion:

Give a concise summation of your views to conclude the answer.

Introduction

The given case deals with the ethical issue of social (caste) discrimination on one side and issue of children dropping out of the school on the other. The ethical dilemma for the Sarpanch is keeping the Dalit cook employed and also encouraging parents to send their kids to school.

Body

Stakeholders of the case

  • The Sarpanch
  • Headmaster of the school and the cook in the school.
  • The kids and their parents belonging to higher castes.
  • Dalits in the society.
  • Civil societies, NGOs working in social development.
  • District administration, State and central governments.

Ethical issues involved in the case

  • Caste-based Discrimination: The students are not attending the school after their parents are against the cook from Dalit community. It is the issue of still prevalent caste based social discrimination in the society.
    • It is against humanity which focuses on the equality of all men.
  • Constitutional Morality: Our constitution confers equal rights to all men and discriminating on the grounds of caste is against the constitutional morality.
    • According to the constitution untouchability is a crime and cannot be promoted in any form.

Some possible strategies to overcome the conflict

  • Persuading the Parents: I will hold a series of meetings with the school administration and the parents of the kids from higher caste communities.
    • The parents can be persuaded to send their kids to school for the sake of their kids’ studies and career.
  • Cook can be rested for some days: I will also hold meetings with all the communities of the village and try to build a society based on harmony, empathy and compassion.
    • Meanwhile cook from the dalit community can be relieved from the job for a few days in order to calm down the immediate situation distrust and students would return to the school.
  • Setting an Example: I will ask my family members and like-minded relatives to send their kids to government school and eat the mid-day meal cooked by the dalit cook.
    • This can set an example for other upper caste families to follow the suit.

Responsibilities of different social segments and agencies to create positive social ambience

  • School and Education system: Our education system must focus more on propagating social elements such as equality in society.
    • If these values are inculcated in students of today, they can become better citizens of tomorrow.
  • Gram Sabha: Gram sabha has a responsibility to bring a social change in the village. Being a Sarpanch, I will have this duty to inform all the members of the Gram Sabhas about the evils of casteism and untouchability and have launched a campaign for the boycott of these evils.
  • Reducing conflicts: Efforts are to be made to remove the conflicts between different social groups that can give rise to fights. If this can be eliminated then it would be a big achievement in bringing social equality.
  • Local Administration and Civil Society: Local administration, police and civil societies have a responsibility to spread the awareness about the rights of lower caste communities. They should continuously work towards the integration of the society.

Conclusion

The measures taken for correcting the evil of social discrimination may not show immediate impacts but the efforts should continue. Tactics of social influence and persuasion will surely help in reducing caste barriers and achieving an equal society


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