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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 16 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: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Compare and contrast the key features of the Harappan period with that of Vedic period. Throw light on the elements of continuity to the present day from both the periods.   (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on IndiaInsights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the differences and similarities between the Harappan and Vedic age and elements of continuity from them in the present day.

Directive word:

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by giving a brief about the first two civilisations of ancient India.

Body:

First, write about the major differences between Harappan and Vedic age – nature of polity, economy, society, religion, culture etc.

Next, write about the important common aspects between both the ages.

Next, write about the continuity to present day from Harappan civilisation.

Next, write about the continuity to present day from Vedic age.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

The cities of the Harappan Culture had declined by 1500 B.C. Consequently, their economic and administrative system had slowly declined. Around this period, the speakers of Indo-Aryan language, Sanskrit, entered the north-west India from the Indo-Iranian region. Initially they would have come in small numbers through the passes in the northwestern mountains. Their initial settlements were in the valleys of the north-west and the plains of the Punjab. Later, they moved into Indo-Gangetic plains.

Body

Comparison between Harappan and Vedic period

  • The sources of information of the Harappan civilization are mainly archaeological, while the Vedic culture is mostly known from the literary
  • Harappans are said to have been the original inhabitants of India while the Aryans are believed to have come to India from central Asia.
  • The Harappan civilization was urban in nature, Vedic culture was rural and pastoral. At best the Rig Vedic Aryans lived in fortified places protected by mud walls; and these cannot be regarded as towns in the Harappan sense.
  • In the Indus civilization trade, internal and external, crafts as well as industries were the main sources of economy, Vedic Economy was initially pastoral and later became based upon agriculture and cattle rearing.
    • The agricultural operations, including the ploughing of fields, were better known to the later-Vedic people.
  • Indus people did not know the use of iron. It was purely a copper-bronze culture, while the Vedic culture in its later phase is replete with references to iron.
  • The horse, which played a decisive role in the Aryan system of warfare, was not known to the Indus people. A few bones of horse and terracotta figure of a horse-like animal have been unearthed from surkotada.
  • Indus people were basically peace loving. Their arms (swords, daggers, arrow-heads, spears) were primitive in nature. Aryans were warlike people and were conversant with all kinds of traditional arms and armour and had devised a full-fledged science of war.
  • Aryans worshiped Varuna, Indra, Aditi and a large number of other deities which stood for the principal phenomena of nature. They performed sacrifices and offered milk, ghee, etc. to their Gods.
    • The Harappans worshipped Pashupati, mother goddess, animals, snake and nature. The fire-altars were discovered from only one Harappan site at Kalibangan.
  • The Harappans practiced earth burials whereas the Aryans practiced cremation.
  • Harappan pottery called black or red pottery was wheel made and very distinctive in nature. The distinctive Aryan pottery is known as PGW (painted grey ware).
  • Cotton was the basic fabric of the Harappans while the Aryans put on woollen garments
  • Vedic Sanskrit is the mother of all non-Dravidian languages; Indus script still remains undeciphered.

Elements of continuity

  • Animal worship still exists in many tribes in Nagaland and north-eastern states.
  • Elaborate rituals are practiced in Indian society especially in marriages, birth, and death just as in Vedic times.
  • Agriculture and trade are still major elements in the economy.
  • Urban planning as in Harappan culture is relevant even today while certain nomadic tribes are still isolated from society like in Early-Vedic period.
    • The Harappan culture was distinguished by its system of townplanning on the lines of the grid system – that is streets and lanes cutting across one another almost at right angles thus dividing the city into several rectangular blocks.
    • . Another remarkable feature was the underground drainage system connecting all houses to the street drains which were covered by stone slabs or bricks.
  • There was a great progress in all spheres of economic activity such as agriculture, industry and crafts and trade. Wheat and barley were the main crops grown besides sesame, mustard and cotton. Surplus grain is stored in granaries.
  • Complete burial and post-cremation burial were popular at Mohenjodaro. At Lothal the burial pit was lined with burnt bricks indicating the use of coffins.
  • The four divisions of society (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras) or the Varna system was thoroughly established during Later Vedic period exists in some form even today.

Conclusion

Thus, there were some similarities between Harappan culture and Vedic culture. Both this period still has an impact on our society and the practices that existed back then are being followed even today. However, as a society we must take the good elements and progress towards better development with evolution of civilised life and more awareness.

 

Topic: population and associated issues

2. What is the need for population control in the country? Do you think there is a need for a population country law? Critically examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu , Insights on India

Why the question:

A Mathura resident has asked the Supreme Court to direct the government to “ascertain the feasibility” of enacting a “stringent population control law.”

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need of population control and feasibility of a population control law.

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 citing statistic regarding the population growth in India.

Body:

First, write about the need for population control – Social problems, Environment, Scarcity of resources and services, Inflation and Standard of living etc.

Next, write about the feasibility of a population control law. Write its pros and cons in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward and a balanced opinion regarding the need of a population control law

Introduction

India is projected to become the most populous country in the world by 2027 (currently at 1.37 billion). In 2050, India’s population is projected to be 1.69 billion, which will be higher than that of China. Undoubtedly, India has a population problem, but any strategy to change fertility rates should be carefully thought out. India’s population concern is largely restricted to Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and MP.

Body

Statistics on population

  • The National Population Policy 2000 affirmed a commitment to achieve replacement levels of fertility (total fertility rate of 2.1) by 2010.
  • Ten states — Karnataka, Punjab, Gujarat, Assam, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala — and Jammu and Kashmir, have achieved this goal, albeit much delayed.
  • Kerala and Tamil Nadu had accomplished it decades earlier. This fertility decline over half of India has cut across all sections of society — the privileged and the poor, those educated or not, and the high and low caste.
  • The National Family Health Survey-4 has shown how TFR has reduced even among illiterate women from all religions in the southern states — even in Kerala and Telangana which have a high proportion of Muslims.
  • India has entered a demographic sweet spot that will continue for another two to three decades. Half of India’s population is under 29 years of age, which means that in this period, a greater proportion of young people will drive India’s economic growth and social progress.
  • So, they must not only be healthy, knowledgeable and skilled but must also be provided with the rights and choices to develop to their fullest potential, including, and especially, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Need for population control

  • It is indeed a fact that population of India is growing and will continue to grow for the next couple of decades.
  • This is because, as compared to the past, there are a higher proportion of people in the marriageable age group who will produce children, and people are now living longer.
  • In India, the global demand for water in 2050 is projected to be more than 50 per cent of what it was in 2000.
  • The demand for food will double in the year 2050 and even if India manages to feed its expanding population, its growth may not be ecologically sustainable.
  • Though China’s one-child policy has been criticized as against human dignity and rights, it has improved and controlled the nation’s population by a possible 400 million people as per the report of East India Forum.
  • If Population control won’t happen, there will be no resources left, and the growing population’s demand will increase to the next level, resulting in increasing death rates increasing in the country.
  • Changing social norms is one of the biggest challenges for India to address the needs of the next generation.

Thus, due to the burgeoning growth of Population it can lead to failure of realization of our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) namely the zero hunger, eradicating poverty etc. and economic aspirations.

Need for population control law: Critical Analysis

  • Counter-productive measure: Through an affidavit filed in court, the central government argued that “international experience shows that any coercion to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions”.
  • Against international obligations: India is committed to its obligations under international law, including the contained in the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action, 1994.
  • Foremost in those principles was a pledge from nations that they would look beyond demographic targets and focus instead on guaranteeing a right to reproductive freedom.
  • Against right to reproductive freedom and privacy: In Suchita Srivastava & Anr vs Chandigarh Administration (2009), the Court found that a woman’s freedom to make reproductive decisions is an integral facet of the right to personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21.
    • However, In Javed & Ors vs State of Haryana & Ors (2003), the Court upheld a law that disqualified persons with more than two children from contesting in local body elections.
    • In Devika Biswas vs Union of India (2016), the Court pointed to how these population control camps invariably have a disparate impact on minorities and other vulnerable groups.
  • Negative consequences: An already skewed sex ratio may be compounded by families aborting a daughter in the hope of having a son with a view to conforming to the two-child norm.

Conclusion

Experiences from other States in India show us that there are more efficacious and alternative measures available to control the growth of population, including processes aimed at improving public health and access to education. Incentivise later marriages and child births; make contraception easy for women and promote women’s labour force participation. This should be substantiated with better education and awareness rather than an iron hand policy to control the population. Government should improve the implementation of poverty alleviation measures which can also help control population.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Trace the evolution of LGBTQIA+ rights in India. Does the homophobic attitude of society go against the constitutional tenet of fraternity? Examine. What measures are further needed ensure equality in true sense for LGBTQIA+ community? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Pride Month comes and goes; but homophobia in India is here to stay like a spectre. As a good omen for Pride Month of this year, the Kerala High Court set a trailblazing precedent recently by sanctioning a lesbian couple, Adhila Nasarin and Fathima Noora, to live together after they were coercively separated by their parents.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the evolution of LGBTQIA+ rights, the impact of homophobia on fraternity and measure need to address it.

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 giving context.

Body:

First, write about the evolution of LGBTQIA+  right in India – Naz Foundation Govt. v. NCT of Delhi, Suresh Kumar Koushal vs Naz Foundation, National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, K.S. Puttaswamy v Union of India (2017), Navtej Singh Johar V. Union of India, Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 etc.

Next, write about homophobia and how it is ultra vires to fraternity mentioned in the constitution.

Next, suggest steps to ensure that equality in true nature is achieved for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The LGBTQIA+ community faces a lot of problems. The main problem is acceptance from people outside the community. For the Indian LGBT community, a truly inclusive society remains a distant dream. In urban India, where social media and corporate initiatives have created increasing awareness of LGBT rights, the scenario looks more upbeat for gay men than for transgender people or lesbian women. While urban LGBT voices that are heard through several online and real-world platforms form an important part of LGBT activism, these expose only a small part of the diverse challenges faced by the community.

Body

Evolution of LGBTQIA+ rights in India

  • The Delhi High Court’s verdict in Naz Foundation vs Government of NCT of Delhi (2009) was a landmark in the law of sexuality and equality jurisprudence in India.
  • The court held that Section 377 offended the guarantee of equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution, because it creates an unreasonable classification and targets homosexuals as a class.
  • In a retrograde step, the Supreme Court, in Suresh Kumar Koushal vs Naz Foundation (2013), reinstated Section 377 to the IPC.
  • However, the Supreme Court in Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. vs Union of India (2018) declared that the application of Section 377 IPC to consensual homosexual behaviour was “unconstitutional”.
  • This Supreme Court judgment has been a great victory to the Indian individual in his quest for identity and dignity.
  • The Kerala High Court in June 2022 set a trailblazing precedent recently by sanctioning a lesbian couple, Adhila Nasarin and Fathima Noora, to live together after they were coercively separated by their parents.

homophobic attitude of society goes against the constitutional tenet of fraternity

  • Section 377 criminalised a section of society for being a sexual minority.
  • The petitioners argued that the right to sexuality, sexual autonomy and freedom were indispensable to human dignity.
  • This Section was against the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution and that a section of people was denied their fundamental rights based on this.
  • Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality before lawand this applies to all classes of citizens. However, Due to the homophobic attitude of society towards LGBTQIA+, it is violated.
  • The freedom of sexual orientationand gender identity as part of Human Rights is clearly violated.
  • Section 377 included some consensual acts between heterosexuals, which were considered ‘unnatural’ and punishable.
  • The LGBTQIA+ as a section are looked at as a separate section which goes against fraternity or brotherhood, a key constitutional tenet mentioned in preamble as well.

Way Forward

  • The LGTBQ community needs an anti-discrimination law that empowers them to build productive lives and relationships irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and place the onus to change on state and society and not the individual.
  • Police must not harass sexual minorities. There must be changes to the police conduct rules to provide for punishing erring police personnel in this regard.
  • Government bodies, especially related to Health, and Law and Order need to be sensitised and made aware about the changed position of law to ensure that the LGBTQ community is not denied public services or harassed for their sexual orientation.
  • Enumerating sexual orientation and gender identity in non-discrimination and anti-bullying policies is an important step toward acknowledging diversity, protecting vulnerable students.
  • Training school staff empowers them to respond when they encounter abuse. Younger generations of Indians will grow up knowing of criminalisation as a thing of the past, and that will be a boon to their basic rights.
  • In 2014, the Supreme Court issued a sweeping judgment in NALSA v. India, which held that transgender people should be legally recognised according to their gender identity, enjoy all fundamental rights, and receive special benefits in education and employment. This must be implemented and enforced.

Conclusion

The queer and gender non-conforming people have found an ally in the court, but they would need greater effort on the part of the authorities at various levels, if their rights are to be protected. In any case, any change in law in terms of recognising same-sex relations or understanding self-identification of gender must be complemented by an attitudinal change in society at large.

Government must sensitise the general public and officials, to reduce and finally eliminate the stigma associated with LGBTQ+ community through the mass media and the official channels. School and university students too should be sensitised about the diversity of sexuality to deconstruct the myth of heteronormativity. Heteronormativity is the root cause of hetero-sexism and homophobia.

Value addition

Issues faced by LGBTQIA+ community in India

  • No legal recognition of marriage: Same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in India even though many countries like USA, UK have legalised it.
  • Issue of rights: The rights enjoyed by opposite-sex couples are not enjoyed by same-sex couples. They are prohibited from those rights. For example-
    • The lack of a legal structure around their relationship became increasingly stark when they tried to bring each other on as nominees in insurance and financial plans, just as a married couples did.
  • Lack of family support: Lack of communication between LGBT children and the parents often leads to conflict in the family.
    • Many LGBT youths are placed in foster care or end up in juvenile detention or on the streets.
    • Most often than not, LGBTQ children from poor families are abandoned. They end up begging as there is no avenue for education or employment.
    • In some parts, secret honour killings are planned so that the only way for a young gay man to survive is to run away in the cover of the night to some city, with no money or social support.
  • Sanctioned rape: In other parts, lesbian women are subjected to family-sanctioned corrective rapes, which are often perpetrated by their own family members.
    • Village medics and babas often prescribe rape to cure lesbians of homosexuality. Refusal to marry brings more physical abuse
  • Education and health: The LGBTQ children are abandoned and marginalised, who end up being isolated by the rest of the society. They are denied the fundamental right of education as well as health.

 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

4. What is Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)? Is India ready to adopt ESG model given its diversity and developmental challenges? Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Live Mintinvestopedia.com

Why the question:

Sustainable climate funding initiatives that broadly comprise the ‘E’ of ESG transition finance have for long been paid lip service to and perceived as assurers of mere bragging rights. Yet, as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) action assumes importance, change is in the air.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about ESG and India’s readiness in adapting it.

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 ESG

Body:

First, write about the various features of ESG and the benefits associated with it.

Next, write about the readiness of India to adopt ESG – mention areas which it can and mention areas which it cannot. Also mention how India can adopt ESG and still achieve its developmental objectives.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

ESG environmental, social and governance describes areas that characterize a sustainable, responsible or ethical investment. It is a generic term used in capital markets and used by investors to evaluate corporate behaviour and to determine the future financial performance of companies.

ESG is a subset of non-financial performance indicators which include sustainable, ethical and corporate governance issues such as managing a company’s carbon footprint and ensuring there are systems in place to ensure accountability.

Body

About ESG

  • ESG refers to a class of investing that is also known as “sustainable investing.” This is an umbrella term for investments that seek positive returns and long-term impact on society, the environment, and the performance of the business.
  • There are several different categories of sustainable investing.
    • They include impact investing, socially responsible investing (SRI), ESG, and values-based investing.
    • Another school of thought puts ESG under the umbrella term of SRI. Under SRI are ethical investing, ESG investing, and impact investing.
  • Responsible investors evaluate companies using ESG criteria as a framework to screen investments or to assess risks in investment decision-making.
  • Environmental factors determine a company’s stewardship of the environment and focus on waste and pollution, resource depletion, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, deforestation, and climate change.

India’s readiness to adopt ESG model

  • Heavy industries like iron and steel can help reduce India’s carbon dioxide exhaust by undertaking incremental capacity expansion through smaller ‘scrap based steel process plants’ (recycling) located near urban centres.
    • Once deep decarbonization steel technologies develop on a commercial scale, including green hydrogen from electrolysis of water or blue hydrogen from natural gas (where carbon by-products get captured), polluting entities could choose to make the appropriate technology investments.
  • In the energy and commodities space where coal and hydrocarbons are necessities, refining companies that guzzle finance to the tune of $20-40 million for every imported tanker consignment, could do more, given the sheer scale of their operations.
    • Business and corporate social responsibility support is needed to promote greener technologies and bring about a large CO2 impact.
    • Projects like the afforestation of habitats and revival of lost water bodies need priority.
  • Power distribution companies can do their bit to support electric vehicle (EV) usage by upgrading back-end transformer infrastructure and raising the sanctioned loads of connections , which remain as low as 5 KWh, leaving little spare load for quick EV battery charging at most alternative-current plug-in points.
  • In the construction industry, rain water harvesting (RWH) systems should be a strict precondition for issuing building plan approvals to reverse groundwater depletion and prevent urban flooding.
    • If water-challenged Tamil Nadu could successfully implement mandatory RWH for all buildings across urban and later rural areas in the early 2000s, surely such best practices require replication today in heavy consumption areas across the country.

Conclusion

A green economic transition and the financing needed for ESG should not be elusive buzzwords, but an opportunity that Indian corporates and financiers should act upon right away before climate action regulations start hitting them hard.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it

5. Inflation further exacerbates inequalities and affects poor the most. Discuss the policy measures that are needed to ensure that inequalities do not deepen amidst rising inflation. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) show an upward rising trend, annually, at 13.11 per cent and 6.07 per cent respectively. Inflation is here to stay because it has much to do with the decline in value of the rupee that has fallen to its lowest, which makes imports of oil and gas more expensive.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the relation of inflation with inequalities and measures need to ensure that inflation does not deepen inequalities.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin the giving context of by providing a statistic of rising inflation.

Body:

Frist, write about the impact of inflation on inequalities and how it affects poor the most. Cite statistics and examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the policy changes and tweaks that can be brought in by the government to ensure that this does not happen.

Conclusion:

Write a way forward.

Introduction

                Inflation refers to the rise in the prices of most goods and services of daily or common use, such as food, clothing, housing, recreation, transport, consumer staples, etc. Inflation measures the average price change in a basket of commodities and services over time. The opposite and rare fall in the price index of this basket of items is called ‘deflation’. Inflation is indicative of the decrease in the purchasing power of a unit of a country’s currency. This is measured in percentage.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) show an upward rising trend, annually, at 13.11 per cent and 6.07 per cent respectively.

Body

Inflation & Inequalities

  • This upsurge of inflation is affecting the poor more than any other social group.
  • This is because some of the commodities whose prices are increasing the most like petrol and certain food items represent a larger fraction of the budget of the most vulnerable sections of society.
  • For instance, WPI and CPI inflation rates of food were at 8.5 per cent and 5.9 per cent, respectively.
  • the State of Inequality in India report showed that an Indian making Rs 3 lakh a year belonged to the top 10 per cent of the country’s wage earners.
  • Inequalities are also increasing among salaried people, who are privileged compared to those of the informal sector: The bottom 50 per cent account for only 22 per cent of the total salary income.
  • The situation of the lower-middle class and poor is deteriorating. A recent report from CRISIL pointed out that the data from the Reserve Bank of India shows slow farm wage growth in nominal terms.
  • India’s spending on healthcare is among the lowest in the world.
  • A decent level of healthcare is available only to the ones who can afford it because of increasing out-of-pocket expenditure — the payment made directly by individuals for the health service, not covered under any financial protection scheme.

Policy measures to keep the inflation under control

  • Monetary policy Measures:
    • Maintaining price stability is the foremost objective of the monetary policy committee of RBI. However, during the pandemic, growth has taken centre stage and RBI has rightly cut interest rates.
  • Job creation:
    • A higher allocation of funds for MGNREGS in rural areas, as well as the introduction of similar employment generation schemes in urban areas, should, therefore, be a priority.
  • Bond markets:
    • At the state level, the development of municipal bond markets could be a plausible alternative.
  • Fuel prices:
    • A reduction in the excise duty on fuel prices and easing the fuel tax burden could also supplement the disposable income and reduce the input cost burden for producers.
    • Bringing them under GST would reduce the prices by at least 30 rupees. GST council must agree to this with haste.
  • Commodity prices:
    • GoI needs to remove supply side bottlenecks. For example, GoI can immediately offload 10-20% of its pulses stock with NAFED in the open market.
  • Policy measures:
    • Navigating out of this will need a fiscal stimulus to shore up consumer spending, an investment revival to increase the productive capacity of the economy, and a careful management of inflationary expectations.
  • Other measures:
    • Concomitantly, the government will also need to pursue redistribution of income to reduce the widening disparity.
    • This also calls for fiscal prudence to cut wasteful spending, find new revenue through asset sales, mining and spectrum auctions, and build investor confidence.

Conclusion

With the rise in inflation amidst a second wave, the balancing acumen of the MPC will now be sorely tested. Factors like rising commodity prices, supply chain disruptions are expected to raise overall domestic inflation. Government and RBI need to chalk out a fiscal plan to ensure that the inflation doesn’t burden the common man in the country

 

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

6. How is air pollution measured and tracked in India? What are the recent changes introduced to air pollution measurement?  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Down to EarthIndia Times ,Insights on India

Why the question:

Worsening air pollution is robbing a decade of the life expectancy of those living in Delhi, the world’s most polluted city and India’s capital, according to a new analysis by the University of Chicago. Indians, on average, are losing about five years.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about air pollution measurement and recent changes introduced in India in itss measurement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by giving statistic regarding the alarming rate of air pollution in the country.

Body:

Frist, discuss the various ways that air pollutions is measured and tracked in India – AQI, NAAQS, SAFAR etc.

Next, write about the major changes brought to air pollution measurement recently and its impact.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to address air pollution in India.

Introduction

Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials. There are 22 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world are in India according to the World Air Quality Report, 2020. Worsening air pollution is robbing a decade of the life expectancy of those living in Delhi, the world’s most polluted city and India’s capital, according to a new analysis by the University of Chicago. Indians, on average, are losing about five years.

Body

Measurement and tracking of Air pollution in India

  • Tracking
    • Pollution trackers, clubbed with air purifiers are the quintessential tools to healthy living in a modern Indian city.
    • National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) based dashboard,built on data from the Central Pollution Control Board’s National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (NAAQM) Network which was started in 1984-85 and covers 344 cities/towns in 29 states and 6 UTs.
    • SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) portal, for greater metropolitan cities of Indiato provide location specific information on air quality in near real time. It was introduced by the Ministry of Earth Science.
    • Air Quality Index (AQI), which is calculated by figuring out the average concentration of pollutants in air over a standard time interval – mostly 24 hours, but 8 hours for carbon monoxide and ozone.
    • Air Quality Index (AQI) is a tool for effective communication of air quality status to peoplein terms, which are easy to understand. There are six AQI categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe.
    • AQ sub-index has been evolved for eight pollutants(PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) for which short-term (upto 24-hours) National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed..
    • Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi and NCRhas been prepared for implementation under different AQI categories.
    • In 2019 the government launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) which set a non-binding goal to reduce particulate pollution by 20 to 30 per cent as compared to the 2017 levels, by 2024. If these targets are met, health can improve remarkably.
    • Delhi got its first giant smog tower in August 2021, which is equipped with 40 fans that use 5,000 filters to clean air.
    • Touted as India’s first large-scale air cleaning facility, the tower can clean 1,000 cubic metres of air each second and works for a kilometre of range.
  • Measurement
    • Different methods are used to measure different kinds of pollutants in the air.
    • According to Care4Air.org, the most common contemporary method is through a device called a diffusion tube.
    • To measure different concentrations of PM particles, the most common method is through a device called TEOM (Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance) wherein a designated head (based on particles to be filtered) sucks in air. It can provide readings every 15 minutes.
    • In India, the AQI was launched in 2015 to measure pollution levels.

Recent changes introduced in measurement and tracking of Air pollution in India

  • New Commission for Air Quality Management:
    • It is made for better coordination, research, identification, and resolution of problems related to air quality in the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas.
  • Use of satellite data for air pollution monitoring. It helps to monitor pollution even in areas where ground-based network does not exist.

Way forward

  • The need of the hour is providing an enabling ecosystem for innovations to address context-specific air pollution challenges.
  • There needs to be significant government support for enterprises to come up with scalable pollution abatement technologies.
  • Resources need to be allocated to support testing, certifying and scaling of innovative solutions and also to extend support for intellectual property rights protection.
  • It is equally important to mobilize private sector participation.
  • Businesses and enterprises need to innovate their operations and functioning, building in emission and pollution controls and reducing institutional carbon footprint to the lowest possible levels.
  • The private sector has strong potential to develop commercially viable products to combat air pollution and boost the innovation ecosystem.
  • Also, if one quantifies the impact of interventions that reduce air pollution with healthcare cost, disability-adjusted life years, or economic cost, it could lead to diversification of funding sources for that intervention.

Conclusion

Citizen participation and the media are vital for sharing the message on pollution and health, using data such as those from the Central Pollution Control Board. It is a matter of prioritizing people’s health and a brighter future

 

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

7. Education that does not produce good character is pointless. Discuss.

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the various objectives of education.

Body:

Write about how the primary aim of education should be producing good character and it will impact the society along with providing livelihood. Also, mention education devoid of good character can be a menace to the society. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of education in character building.

Introduction

“A bad character is like a flat tire; you can’t go anywhere until you change it” — Zig Ziglar

Education promotes the metamorphosis of a child to become a full-fledged adult. Mere learning without promotion and development of values even discards the definition of education. Education of values and principles shapes and moulds a soul

Body

Achieving academic excellence for all students is at the very core of any school’s purpose, and will inform much of what they do. Character education is not a new thing, extending as it does back to the work of Aristotle. Yet it could be argued that the pursuit of success in schools in more recent years has sought to put the cart before the horse. In driving students to think of success solely in terms of exam grades and university places, pressure is created that can often be counter intuitive to student well- being and academic progress.

It does not matter how educated or wealthy one is, if the inherent character or personality lacks morals. In fact, such personalities can be threat to a peaceful society. E.g.: Mussolini, Hitler are all examples of education devoid of morality leading mankind to their destruction.

In contemporary times it is equally relevant. For instance, An educated man taking dowry will be a death spell for gender equality and gender justice. The seven sins of Gandhiji will materialise when we are educated without morality like Science without humanity as is the case with nuclear weapons today.

Thus, Education without values as useful as it seems makes a man, a clever devil.

Conclusion

Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wandering nowhere. It is not enough to have the power of concentration, but we must have worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. It is not enough to know truth, but we must love truth and sacrifice for it.


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