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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 July 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: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

1. What is an earthquake? Discuss the natural and anthropogenic causes behind an earthquake. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights 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 causes of earthquakes and natural and anthropogenic causes behind it.

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 defining an Earthquake.

Body:

In first part, give a brief about the mechanism of an earthquake and how it occurs.

Next, write about the various natural as well as anthropogenic causes that cause earthquakes.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing about the importance of preparedness to deal with earthquakes.

 

Introduction

An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth‘s lithosphere that creates seismic waves. It is a natural event. Earthquake is the form of energy of wave motion transmitted through the surface layer of the earth. The location below the earth’s surface where the earthquake starts is called the hypocenter, and the location directly above it on the surface of the earth is called the epicenter.

Body

Natural Causes

Fault Zones

  • The release of energy occurs along a fault. A fault is a sharp break in the crustal rocks.
  • Rocks along a fault tend to move in opposite directions. As the overlying rock strata press them, the friction locks them together.
  • However, their tendency to move apart at some point of time overcomes the friction. As a result, the blocks get deformed and eventually, they slide past one another abruptly.
  • This causes earthquake in the form of release of energy, and the energy waves travel in all directions.

Plate tectonics

  • The most common ones are the tectonic earthquakes.
  • The Earth’s crust consists of seven large lithospheric plates and numerous smaller plates.
  • Tectonic plates (Lithospheric plates) are constantly shifting as they drift around on the viscous, or slowly flowing, mantle layer below.
  • This non-stop movement causes stress on Earth’s crust. When the stresses get too large, it leads to cracks called faults.
  • When tectonic plates move, it also causes movements at the faults. Thus, the slipping of land along the faultline along convergent, divergent and transform boundaries cause earthquakes.

Volcanoes

  • A special class of tectonic earthquake is sometimes recognised as volcanic earthquake. However, these are confined to areas of active volcanoes.
  • Earthquakes produced by stress changes in solid rock due to the injection or withdrawal of magma (molten rock) are called volcano earthquakes.
  • These earthquakes can cause land to subside and can produce large ground cracks. These earthquakes can occur as rock is moving to fill in spaces where magma is no longer present.
  • Volcano-tectonic earthquakes don’t indicate that the volcano will be erupting but can occur at any time.

Anthropogenic causes

  • In the areas ofintense mining activity, sometimes the roofs of underground mines collapse causing minor tremors. These are called collapse earthquakes.
  • Blasting of rock by dynamites for construction purposes.
  • Deep underground tunnel excavations
  • Ground shaking may also occur due to the explosion of chemical or nuclear devices. Such tremors are called explosion earthquakes.
  • The earthquakes that occur in the areas of large reservoirs are referred to as reservoirinduced earthquakes. E.g: Koyna reservoir earthquake in Maharastra
  • Hydrostatic pressure of man-made water bodies like reservoirs and lakes.

Conclusion

Unlike other disasters, the damages caused by earthquakes are more devastating. Since it also destroys most of the transport and communication links, providing timely relief to the victims becomes difficult. It is not possible to prevent the occurrence of an earthquake; hence, the next best option is to emphasis on disaster preparedness and mitigation rather than curative measures.

 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2. Explain the various mechanisms of inversions of temperature. What is the economic importance of temperature inversion? (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 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the mechanism of temperature inversions, its types and economic importance.

Directive word: 

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining temperature inversion.

Body:

First, explain the various Types of Temperature Inversion – Ground Inversion, Turbulence Inversion, Subsidence Inversion, Air drainage type of Inversion and Frontal Inversion etc.

Next, explain the economic importance of temperature inversion.

Conclusion:

Conclude by Summarising.

Introduction

Temperature inversion, also called thermal inversion, a reversal of the normal behaviour of temperature in the troposphere (the region of the atmosphere nearest Earth’s surface), in which a layer of cool air at the surface is overlain by a layer of warmer air. (Under normal conditions air temperature usually decreases with height.) Inversions play an important role in determining cloud forms, precipitation, and visibility.

Body

The various mechanisms of inversions of temperature

There are five kinds of inversions: ground, turbulence, subsidence, air drainage and frontal.

Ground Inversion:

  • A ground inversion develops when air is cooled by contact with a colder surface until it becomes cooler than the overlying atmosphere; this occurs most often on clear nights, when the ground cools off rapidly by radiation.
  • If the temperature of surface air drops below its dew point, fog may result.
  • Topography greatly affects the magnitude of ground inversions.
  • If the land is rolling or hilly, the cold air formed on the higher land surfaces tends to drain into the hollows, producing a larger and thicker inversion above low ground and little or none above higher elevations.

Turbulence Inversion

  • A turbulence inversion often forms when quiescent air overlies turbulent air.
  • Within the turbulent layer, vertical mixing carries heat downward and cools the upper part of the layer.
  • The unmixed air above is not cooled and eventually is warmer than the air below; an inversion then exists.

Subsidence Inversion:

  • A subsidence inversion develops when a widespread layer of air descends.
  • The layer is compressed and heated by the resulting increase in atmospheric pressure, and, as a result, the lapse rate of temperature is reduced.
  • If the air mass sinks low enough, the air at higher altitudes becomes warmer than at lower altitudes, producing a temperature inversion.
  • Subsidence inversions are common over the northern continents in winter and over the subtropical oceans; these regions generally have subsiding air because they are located under large high-pressure centres.

Air drainage type of Inversion

  • Sometimes, the temperature in the lower layers of air increases instead of decreasing with elevation. This happens commonly along a sloping surface.
  • Here, the surface radiates heat back to space rapidly and cools down at a faster rate than the upper layers. As a result the lower cold layers get condensed and become heavy.
  • The sloping surface underneath makes them move towards the bottom where the cold layer settles down as a zone of low temperature while the upper layers are relatively warmer.
  • This condition, opposite to normal vertical distribution of temperature, is known as Temperature Inversion.
  • In other words, the vertical temperature gets inverted during temperature inversion.
  • This kind of temperature inversion is very strong in the middle and higher latitudes. It can be strong in regions with high mountains or deep valleys also.

Frontal Inversion

  • A frontal inversion occurs when a cold air mass undercuts a warm air mass and lifts it aloft; the front between the two air masses then has warm air above and cold air below.
  • This kind of inversion has a considerable slope, whereas other inversions are nearly horizontal. In addition, humidity may be high, and clouds may be present immediately above it.

Economic importance of temperature inversion

  • Sometimes, the temperature of the air at the valley bottom reaches below freezing point, whereas the air at higher altitude remains comparatively warm.
  • As a result, the trees along the lower slopes are bitten by frost, whereas those at higher levels are free from it.
  • Due to inversion of temperature, air pollutants such as dust particles and smoke do not disperse in the valley bottoms.
  • Because of these factors, houses and farms in intermontane valleys are usually situated along the upper slopes, avoiding the cold and foggy valley bottoms.
  • For instance, coffee growers of Brazil and apple growers and hoteliers of mountain states of Himalayas in India avoid lower slopes.
  • Fog lowers visibility affecting vegetation and human settlements.
  • Less rainfall due to stable conditions.

Conclusion

Thus, Inversions play an important role in determining cloud forms, precipitation, and visibility. Climate change has led to more temperature inversions and the rise of ‘super pollution events’

 

 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

3. The great Pallava rulers of Kanchipuram, were great builders and the Pallava craftsmen, seized upon the long outcrop or rocks and boulders available on the sea shore, carved them and gave to them the shape of temples. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India ,  The Hindu

Why the question:

A well-connected transportation network, a handful of star hotels and the ease of ensuring various security measures are among the major factors that helped Mamallapuram emerge as the host for 44 th FIDE Chess Olympiad commencing July 28.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the transformation in Pallava architecture from rock cut to stone built temples.

Directive word: 

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning how Pallavas laid the foundation of south Indian architecture.

Body:

Discuss about the four stages of temple development and explain how they evolved from rock cut structure to stone built temples. Mention the major features of early stages of Dravidian architecture under Pallavas. Highlight along with examples.

Next, write about development of sculpture along with examples under Pallavas.

Conclusion:

Conclude by commenting on the pioneer nature of Pallavan contributions to Indian art and architecture.

Introduction

The Pallava dynasty existed between the 3rd and 9th centuries CE, ruling a portion of what is today Andhra Pradesh (early Pallavas) and Tamil Nadu (later Pallavas).The tradition of direct patronization of the temples began with the Pallavas. Starting with rock-cut temples, Pallava sculptors later graduated to free-standing structural shrines which inspired Chola temples of a later age.

Body

Perhaps no other empire has garnered appreciation for their contribution to rock-cut architecture as Pallavas. Some of the monuments created by Pallavas during their rule through rock excavation have garnered the worldwide admiration for its beauty and the skills displayed by the artists. Pallava sculpture shows greater details of workmanship, lighter anatomy and more developed artistic finishing.

They were the pioneers of South Indian art and architecture as they had introduced the stone architecture in the Tamil country. Even as a building material, stone was not or rarely used here, possibly because of its strong association with funerary customs. The fascination of carving whole temples into the living rock which spread over India during the first millennium AD had not yet seized the South by the end of the 6th century. Their contributions are still extant because granite was used for building temples and carving sculptures.

Evolution of architecture of Pallavas

  • Pallava architecture can be now sub-divided into two phases – the rock cut phase and the structural phase.
  • Rock cut phase:
    • The rock cut phase lasted from the 610 to 668 AD and consisted of two groups of monuments – the Mahendra group and the Mamalla group.
    • The Mahendra groupis the name given to monuments constructed during the reign of Mahendravarman I
      • The monuments of this group are invariably pillared halls hewn out of mountain faces.
      • These pillared halls or mandapas follow the prototype of Jain temples of the period.
      • The best examples of Mahendra group of monuments are the cave temples at Mandagapattu, Pallavaram and Mamandur.
    • The second group of rock cut monuments belong to the Mamalla group .
      • During this period free-standing monolithic shrines called rathas were constructed alongside pillared halls.
      • Some of the best examples of this style are the Pancha Rathas and Arjuna’s Penance at Mahabalipuram.
    • Free standing temples:
      • The second phase of Pallava architecture is the structural phase when free-standing shrines were constructed with stone and mortar brought in for the purpose.
      • The Rajasimha group encompasses the early structural temples of the Pallavas when a lot of experimentation was carried out.
        • The best examples of this period are the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram and the Kanchi Kailasanathar Templeat Kanchipuram both constructed by Narasimhavarman II who was known as Rajasimha.
      • The best example of the Nandivarman group of monuments is the Vaikunta Perumal Temple at Kanchipuram.

Conclusion

During this period, Pallava architecture attained full maturity and provided the models upon which the massive Brihadeeswarar Temple of the Cholas at Thanjavur and Gangaikonda Cholapuram and various other architectural works of note were constructed.

The recent announcement of 11 ancient temples in Kancheepuram making it to the UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage sites opens an avenue for the region to be back on the tourism map. This will ensure better care of the structures as the final honour brings with it international recognition.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

4. Civil society organizations perform important role to help Governments understand and respond to problems and needs on the ground. Critically examine in the context of Indian civil society. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights On India

Why the question:

That the Indian state is deeply suspicious of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society leaders was evident even from the 73rd graduation ceremony of the Indian Police Academy in November 2021. National Security Advisor and the Prime Minister’s close aide Ajit Doval had warned budding police officers that civil society was the new frontier of war.

Key Demand of the question: 

To write about the functions of civil society and their successes and limitations in India.

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 mentioning how civil society is considered as the 5th Pillar of democracy.

Body:

First, write about how NGOs and humanitarian aid organizations make it their business to demand accountability from governments, employers, and community members.

Next, mention few successful incidents of civil society participation in bringing about accountability and uphold rule of law.

Next, write about the limitations of civil society in India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that good governance can be achieved through the active participation of all the stakeholders and the civil society being the lynchpin in this.

Introduction

Civil Society Organizations can be defined to include all non-market and non-state organizations outside of the family in which people organize themselves to pursue shared interests in the public domain”.

Examples include community-based organizations and village associations, environmental groups, women’s rights groups, farmers’ associations, faith-based organizations, labour unions, co-operatives, professional associations, chambers of commerce, independent research institutes and the not-for-profit media.

Body

Need for an active civil society:

  • Citizens have the right to scrutinise the work of their representatives.
  • To publicise acts such as infringement of civil liberties and failure of governments to provide a reasonable standard of life for the citizens.
  • Article 19 of the constitution provides for the democratic right to protest as part of the freedom of expression.
  • The right to participate in an activity should not be restricted to politics and elections alone.
  • Without this right, democracy becomes an illusion.
  • So civil society cannot be conceptualised independent of the state.

Civil society’s functional contribution to good governance

  • Watchdog: against violation of human rights and governing deficiencies.
  • Advocate: of the weaker sections’ point of view.
  • Agitator: on behalf of aggrieved citizens.
  • Educator: of citizens on their rights, entitlements and responsibilities and the government about the pulse of the people.
  • Service provider: to areas and people not reached by official efforts or as government’s agent.
  • Mobilizer: of public opinion for or against a programme or policy.
  • The ways include: Right to Information Act, Consumer Protection Act, Citizens Charters, Whistle-blower protection, e-governance, Democratic Decentralisation, Public Interest Litigation, etc

Role of Civil Society:

  • In a large developing country like India, there are numerous gaps left by the government in the development process. These are the gaps that civil societies try to fill in modern India.
  • Supplementing the government effort to provide health care to citizens, and by raising awareness in society about issues like child and maternal malnutrition
  • A number of NGO’s like Childline India Foundation, World Vision, Arambh India have played important role in raising awareness on child sexual abuse.
  • In the last 20 years, a very large number of NGOs in India have been active in the area of environmental protection.
  • The NGOs have often been helped by the judiciary whenever the government of the day has proved unresponsive.
  • The engagement of civil society and the media in educating citizens about the evils of corruption, raising their awareness levels and securing their participation by giving them a ‘voice’.
  • Civil society can influence policy and project formulation through membership of committees and submission of memoranda.

Limitations of Civil Society

  • Misappropriation of funds: Many NGOs don’t have sophisticated finance and legal teams, nor do they have the funds to conduct audits.
  • The issue of foreign funding: According to government data a total of 3,068 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) received foreign funding above Rs. 22,000 Cr in 2014-15. It is often said that foreign-funded NGOs tries to propagate the foreign propaganda to stall developmental projects. Example: Kudankulam Protest.
  • Non-accountable, non-transparent undemocratic functioning: CBI records filed in the Supreme Court show that only 10% of the total registered NGOs under the Societies Registration Act file annual financial statements.
  • Money Laundering: Corrupt or unscrupulous NGOs that receive foreign funds may serve as conduits for money laundering.
  • Accreditation remains a big challenge as it is very difficult to distinguish whether an organization wants to work for the cause or has been set up only for the purpose of receiving government grants.
  • Over dependence on funds from the government dilutes the willingness of NGOs to speak out against the government.
  • NGOs are often seen as encroaching on centuries-old tradition and culture of the people, and lead to mass protest at times. Ban of Jallikattu, after the PIL by PETA is one such example

Way Forward:

  • A National Accreditation Council consisting of academicians, activist, retired bureaucrats should be made to ensure compliance by NGOs.
  • There should be better coordination between Ministries of Home Affairs and Finance in terms of monitoring and regulating illicit and unaccounted funds.
  • A regulatory mechanism to keep a watch on the financial activities of NGOs and voluntary organizations is the need of the hour.
  • Citizens today are keen to play an active role in processes that shape their lives and it is important that their participation in democracy go beyond the ritual of voting and should include promotion of social justice, gender equity, inclusion etc.
  • The government should frame guidelines for their accreditation, the manner in which these organizations should maintain their accounts and the procedure for recovery in case they fail to submit their balance sheets.
  • Avoid tussle between Home Ministry and Finance Ministry by bringing the regulation of NGOs under one head.
  • General Financial Rules, 2005 have mandated a regulatory mechanism for the NGOs and a comprehensive law in line with these rules should be framed in no time.

Conclusion

NGOs, Pressure groups and CSOs form the backbone of democracy. Democracy does not just revolve around elections but how rights of the citizens are protected and are allowed to hold power holders accountable. The state must respect the articulation of the politics of voice and not just the politics of the vote. The promises of democracy can only be realised through collective action in civil society. A democratic state needs a democratic civil society and a democratic civil society also needs a democratic state. They mutually reinforce each other.

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

5. What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? Examine the limitations pertaining to GDP as an economic performance measurement framework of the country. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

In a few weeks, a quarterly ritual will play out in India. The Government will release the first quarter’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth numbers with some chest-thumping about how India is among the fastest-growing economies in the world.

 Key Demand of the question: 

To write about GDP, its limitations in highlighting the nature of India’s economy.

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 GDP.

Body:

First, write about various parameters that can be assessed by measuring GDP.

Next, write about limitations of GDP – leaves out some production in an economy. Even though GDP is frequently used to capture the wellbeing of a society, it was never intended to do that, and as a result, it leaves out important aspects of well-being like pollution or even happiness.

Next. Mention the new measurements which are needed for economic performance measurement and framework.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

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

Samuelson and Nordhaus liken the ability of GDP to give an overall picture of the state of the economy to that of a satellite in space that can survey the weather across an entire continent.

Body

GDP is a poor way of assessing health of our economies

  • Simon Kuznets, who developed concept of GDP, warned it was not a suitable measure of a country’s economic development. He understood that GDP is not a welfare measure, it is not a measure of how well we are all doing. It counts the things that we’re buying and selling, but it’s quite possible for GDP to go in the opposite direction of welfare.
  • In contemporary times, with the changes brought on by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the measure is even less of a reflection of the things that really matter.
  • GDP counts “bads” as well as “goods.” When an earthquake hits and requires rebuilding, GDP increases. When someone gets sick and money is spent on their care, it’s counted as part of GDP. But nobody would argue that we’re better off because of a destructive earthquake or people getting sick.
  • GDP makes no adjustment for leisure time. Imagine two economies with identical standards of living, but in one economy the workday averages 12 hours, while in the other it’s only eight.
  • GDP only counts goods that pass through official, organized markets, so it misses home production and black market activity. If people begin hiring others to clean their homes instead of doing it themselves, or if they go out to dinner instead of cooking at home, GDP will appear to grow even though the total amount produced hasn’t changed.
  • GDP doesn’t adjust for the distribution of goods. Again, imagine two economies, but this time one has a ruler who gets 90 percent of what’s produced, and everyone else subsists — barely — on what’s left over. In the second, the distribution is considerably more equitable. In both cases, GDP per capita will be the same.
  • GDP isn’t adjusted for pollution costs. If two economies have the same GDP per capita, but one has polluted air and water while the other doesn’t, well-being will be different but GDP per capita won’t capture it.

 

  • GDP is unable to fully capture the benefits of technology. Think of a free app on your phone that you rely upon for traffic updates, directions, the weather, instantaneous information and so on. Because it’s free, there’s no way to use prices — our willingness to pay for the good — as a measure of how much we value it.

GDP fails as a measure of human well-being:

  • Since the institution of GDP figures and country rankings, other measures of the quality of life have appeared. E.g.:, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) annually issues a report based on a study of 140 countries, indicating the levels of happiness in those countries. For at least the last decade, European countries such as Denmark, Finland, have ranked at the top and India is nowhere to be seen.
  • Economists have focused too narrowly on the economic side of human aspirations, setting aside human yearnings for belonging to social collectives and nations.
  • The progress is too unequal. g.: The Oxfam report which shows that 1% of the people own about 60% of the wealth in India.
  • GDP is neither a measure of welfare nor an indicator of well-being.
    • That is because it is not set up to recognize important aspects of our lives that are not captured by the acts of spending and investing.
    • There is no room in GDP for volunteering or housework, for example; nor does it recognize that there is value in community or in time spent with families.
    • More measurable things such as damage to our environment are also left out, as is job satisfaction. GDP doesn’t even measure the state of jobs.
  • Capitalist systems founded on a religion of property rights have treated nature that nurtures as an “externality” to be exploited. Thus, it does not take into account the sustainability of future GDP.
  • GDP also ignores important factors like environment, happiness, community, fairness and justice. But these are important aspects of development.
  • It does not allow for the health of children, the quality of their education or the strength of marriages; neither wisdom nor learning; neither compassion nor devotion to country which makes life worthwhile.
  • GDP also assumes all growth is good growth. g.: savings from energy-efficient devices counts as a negative for GDP growth, even though it is a positive for society.
  • GDP does not take into account the value of non-monetized activity. g.: Care activity of women.
  • GDP does not differentiate between more or less productive economic activity (i.e. implicitly assumes that economic activity is the desirable ends rather than a means to an end).
  • All value additions for self-consumption, which are not put out in the market, are not accounted in the GDP.

Way forward

  • Broader, non-monetary measures are required to assess the well-being of citizens.
  • Green GDP could be used which attempts to adjust for environmental factors
  • The other alternative measures include OECD’s “GDP alternatives,” which adjust for leisure; the “Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare,” which accounts for both pollution costs and the distribution of income.
  • The “Genuine Progress Indicator,” which “adjusts for factors such as income distribution, adds factors such as the value of household and volunteer work, and subtracts factors such as the costs of crime and pollution.”
  • There are more direct measures of well-being such as the Happy Planet Index, Gross National Happiness and National Well-Being Accounts.
  • To make the world better for everyone, consumers must learn to be better citizens and to democratically govern the local systems within which they live.

Value addition

Benefits of GDP as a tool to measure the growth of a nation:

  • GDP consists of consumer spending, Investment expenditure, government spending and net exports.
  • It provides an insight to investors which highlights the trend of the economy by comparing GDP levels as an index.
  • GDP is used as an indicator for most governments and economic decision-makers for planning and policy formulation.
  • GDP is not the perfect way to measure growth. But among the alternatives, it is the least “inaccurate” method to compute the growth rate of the country.
  • GDP is also used as an indicator of a nation’s overall standard of living because, generally, a nation’s standard of living increases as GDP increases.
  • If by growth one means the expansion of output of goods and services, then GDP or preferably real GDP which measures growth without the effects of inflation is perfectly satisfactory
  • Calculation of GDP provides with the general health of the economy. A negative GDP growth portrays bad signals for the economy. Economists analyse GDP to find out whether the economy is in recession, depression or boom.
  • GDP growth over time enables central banks and policymakers to evaluate whether the economy is in recession or inflation. In that sense it is still required.
  • GDP has held significance as a universal metric over the years.
  • It is inaccurate to say that GDP does not capture wellbeing. It captures at least the wellbeing that results from the production of goods and services. Indeed, when statisticians quantify the goods and services produced, they take into account their utility to the consumer.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

6. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“States are doomed when they are unable to distinguish good men from bad.” ― Antisthenes

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote and highlighting its core meaning about selflessness.

Body:

Write about the presence of good and bad people in the country and societies across the world. It is pertinent for the state to identify them. Good people should be encouraged and bad people should be punished. If good people are punished and bad people rewarded, states are bound to be doomed. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.

Introduction

There are good and bad people in the country and societies across the world. It is pertinent for the state to identify them. Good people should be encouraged and bad people should be punished. If good people are punished and bad people rewarded, states are bound to be doomed. For instance, if corrupt people in government are tolerated perpetually, nation goes into crisis. Sri Lanka’s example is a case in point.

Body

Bad men must be punished and stopped at their roots. The biggest example in history is that of Hitler’s Germany. Hitler’s agenda led to holocaust and genocide of jews which remains one of the worst incidents in history. Likewise, those who encouraged wars due to aggression spelled doom in their nations.

It is important to make a role model out of great personalities who inspire to do good work than glorify those who have an ulterior motive. Gandhiji, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, the world is replete with such personalities.

Positive reinforcement and presenting the tragic history as is without any propaganda can make a nation more resilient against bad intentions of people. As a society one must recognize the bad elements and make the system strong to weed these people out of the society and shun them from their agenda.

Conclusion

Thus, states are the ultimate beneficiary or losers based on their ability to identify good people from the bad. Issues of corruption, cronyism, dictatorship, wars are a result of such bad people taking powerful place in the nation. Only an aware citizenry can prevent such people from gaining seats of power in the society and the country.

 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

7. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“To a wise man, the whole earth is open, because the country of a virtuous soul is the entire universe.” ― Democritus

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote and highlighting its core meaning about selflessness.

Body:

Write about the openness’s of the world and how virtuous people do not consider or get hindered by the barriers of boundaries, caste, religion or geography. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.

Introduction

There are several man-created barriers in this world such as nations, religion, ethnicity, caste, class and many such distinctions. The world becomes a smaller place for such people who create these barriers are become constricted to their own space. For a virtuous soul there is entire universe that is open and the world is their oyster.

Body

Virtuous people can conquer anything and achieve greatness because they are not bothered by small mundane things. Their minds transcend these barriers to solve bigger problems of the world. Abolition of slavery, decolonization, freedom struggles in countries were fought as a result of such enlightened souls.

When you look at art, poetry, literature, these artforms of great people were possible as their unshackled their minds to create something great. Likewise in real life, the world can be a better place when such issues of class and caste can be overcome by all and larger than life problems can be addressed.

World and communities would be devoid of any issues of regionalism, ethnicity, racism, communalism etc if each and every soul was enlightened. But sadly that is not the case in the real world.

Conclusion

With time, progression of thoughts must happen and evolution of minds to achieve greatness will follow. But, sadly in present times, we are becoming more regressive than progressive and whatever little was achieved is being rolled back. Feelings of fraternity, respect for human rights and environment ethics are some of the key things that can help us towards achieving the goal of human progression.