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[Mission 2023] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 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: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. Distinguish between a cyclone and an anti-cyclone. How is climate change impacting tropical cyclones globally? (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 differences between cyclone and an anti-cyclone, the impact of climate change on cyclones.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining cyclones and anti-cyclones.

Body:

First, write the differences between the both on nature, direction, pressure and various other parameters.

Next, explain as to how climate change is impacting tropic cyclones and substantiate with facts and examples. Mention methods to mitigate and cope with it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Tropical Cyclone is any large system of winds that circulates about a centre of low atmospheric pressure in a counter-clockwise direction north of the Equator and in a clockwise direction to the south. Cyclonic winds move across nearly all regions of the Earth except the equatorial belt and are generally associated with rain or snow. Extratropical cyclones are also called wave cyclone or mid-latitude cyclone or temperate cyclones. The systems developing in the mid and high latitude, beyond the tropics are called the middle latitude or extra tropical cyclones.

Body

Differences between tropical and Extra-tropical cyclones

  • Winds:
    • Unlike tropical (warm core) storms, winds are not as concentrated near the center of the storm, but can spread out for hundreds of miles from it.
  • Direction
    • The extratropical cyclones move from west to east but tropical cyclones, move from east to west.
  • Precipitation:
    • The extratropical cyclones have a clear frontal system which is not present in the tropical cyclones.
    • It is in a cold core (non-tropical cyclone) can also spread far away from the center of the storm. Most mid-latitude storms are cold core including nor’easters.
    • The precipitation is more intense in tropical cyclone than non-tropical cyclone.
    • Also, precipitation in tropical cyclones are localized while in case of non-tropical cyclone the precipitation is widespread.
  • Shape:
    • Tropical cyclones are nearly symmetric in shape and are without fronts. Mid-latitude (cold core) cyclones are comma shaped and have fronts associated with them.
  • Impact
    • Extratropical cyclones cover a larger area and can originate over the land and sea. Whereas the tropical cyclones originate only over the seas and on reaching the land they dissipate.
    • The extratropical cyclone affects a much larger area as compared to the tropical cyclone. The wind velocity in a tropical cyclone is much higher and it is more destructive.
  • Transition:
    • Hurricanes and tropical storms often transition to cold core cyclones, meaning that it has technically lost many of its tropical characteristics and is more closely related to a mid-latitude (non-tropical) storm.
    • The transition often occurs when a tropical cyclone moves to higher latitudes and interacts with atmospheric features that are more common there.
  • Troughs:
    • Tropical cyclones don’t form troughs whereas non-tropical cyclones form troughs in upper level of atmosphere.

Impact of Climate change on tropical cyclones

  • Warming of the surface ocean from anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change is likely fueling more powerful Tropical Cyclones.
  • The destructive power of individual Tropical Cyclones through flooding is amplified by rising sea levels, which very likely has a substantial contribution at the global scale from anthropogenic climate change.
  • In addition, Tropical Cyclones’ precipitation rates are projected to increase due to enhanced atmospheric moisture associated with anthropogenic global warming.
  • The proportion of severe Tropical Cyclones has increased, possibly due to anthropogenic climate change.
  • However, most climate model studies project a corresponding reduction in the proportion of low-intensity cyclones, so the total number of Tropical Cyclones each year is projected to decrease or remain approximately the same.
  • Studies have shown that some 2.1 to 3.1 per cent of the total number of tropical cyclones expected to strike in the near future, could be strong.
  • Globally, the risk of strong tropical cyclones is expected to become more than double by 2050. The Gulf of Mexico is not likely to see the same trend, according to the analysis.
  • The studies associated with temperature suggest that the Indian Ocean is warming, particularly the Arabian Sea, which is doing so at the fastest rate.
  • Previously, tropical cyclones in the Arabian Sea were restricted to Gujarat.
  • In the past decade though, Kerala and Karnataka have also become more vulnerable to cyclones. A recent example is ‘Ockhi’.
  • The Arabian Sea is quickly responding to climate change signals, heating rapidly and driving more and more cyclones, and excessive rainfall, although, experts still do not understand how much of a performance climate change must work on Ockhi.
  • The rise in Arabian Sea surface temperature makes it warmer than other seas all through this period.
  • Global warming adds to climate variability and weather changes.
  • A sophisticated climate model to compare the conditions in 2015 to conditions in 1860, keeping in mind the carbon footprints. The findings suggest that 64 per cent of the cyclone risk in the Arabian Sea was due to climate change.
  • The coastal areas surrounding the Arabian Sea are at specific risk since the geographical location offers cyclones nowhere to go but the land.

Way Forward

  • Develop a Climate Risk Atlas to map critical vulnerabilities such as coasts, urban heat stress, water stress, and biodiversity collapse.
  • Develop an Integrated Emergency Surveillance Systemto facilitate a systematic and sustained response to emergencies.
  • Mainstream risk assessment at all levels,including localised, regional, sectoral, cross-sectoral, macro and micro-climatic level.
  • Enhance adaptive and resilience capacityto climate-proof lives, livelihoods and investments.
  • Increase the participatory engagement of all stakeholders in the risk assessment process.
  • Integrate risk assessment into local, sub-national, and national level plans.

Conclusion

Global warming has presented us with new challenges such as rapid intensification of cyclones, which need to be closely monitored at higher resolution and accuracy using on-site platforms such as buoys and moorings. Improving the Indian Ocean Observing System (IndOOS) and incorporating the global warming signals in the weather models can help us tackle the challenges of intense cyclones in the future.

 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2. Discuss the factors affecting and the major features of tropical rainforest climate. Write a short note on its vegetation. (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 causes and features of tropical rainforest climate and the nature of its vegetation.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving a brief about tropical rainforest climate

Body:

First, write the about the various factors that contribute to the development of tropical rainforest climate.

Next, write in detail the unique features of tropical rainforest climate.

Next, write about the nature of vegetation in tropical rainforest climate and its economic and ecological importance.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 

Introduction

Tropical rainforests occur in regions of the tropics where temperatures are always high and where rainfall exceeds about 1,800 to 2,500 mm (about 70 to 100 inches) annually and occurs fairly evenly throughout the year. Similar hot climates in which annual rainfall lies between about 800 and 1,800 mm and in which a pronounced season of low rainfall occurs typically support tropical deciduous forests—i.e., rainforests in which up to about three-quarters of the trees lose their leaves in the dry season.

Body

Major features

  • Rainfall:
    • The word “rainforest” implies that these are the some of the world’s wettest ecosystems.
    • Rainforests generally receive very high rainfall each year, although the exact amount varies among different years and different rainforests.
    • For example, South America’s tropical rainforests receive between 200 and 300 centimeters (80 and 120 inches, or 6.5 to 10 feet!) of rain in a typical year.
    • Despite relatively consistent rain in these ecosystems, there are distinct dry seasons in some rainforests. Wet and dry seasons of tropical rainforests vary in their timing, duration and severity around the globe.
  • Humidity:
    • Tropical rainforests also have high humidity; about 88% during the wet season and approximately 77% in the dry season.
  • Temperature:
    • Tropical rainforests are found near the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer (23°27’N) and the Tropic of Capricorn (23°27’S).
    • The equator receives direct sunlight. This steady flow of radiation produces consistently high temperatures throughout the year.
  • Soil Composition:
    • The rainforest soils are nutrient-poor because nutrients are not stored in them for very long.
    • The heavy rains that occur in rainforests wash organic material from the soil.
    • Although decomposition occurs rapidly in the hot, moist conditions, many of the dead, fallen leaves and other organic detritus are swept away before releasing all of their nutrients.
    • In addition, rainwater seeps into the ground and leaches away nutrients.
  • Biodiversity:
    • Tropical rainforests are areas of extremely high biodiversity compared to other ecosystems.
    • In the tropical rainforests of Borneo, scientists have documented more than 15,000 plant species, including 2,500 species of orchids

Factors affecting the rainforest climate

  • The principal determining climatic factor for the distribution of rainforests in lowland regions of the tropics, therefore, is rainfall, both the total amount and the seasonal variation.
  • Topographic factors influence rainfall and consequently affect rainforest distribution within a region. For example, coastal regions where prevailing winds blow onshore are likely to have a wetter climate than coasts that experience primarily offshore winds.
  • Soil, human disturbance, and other factors also can be important controlling influences.

Vegetation

  • High temperature and abundant rainfall support a luxuriant tropical rain forest.
  • In the Amazon lowlands, the forest is so dense that it is called ‘selvas’.
  • Unlike the temperate regions, the growing season here is all the year round-seeding, flowering, fruiting and decaying do not take place in a seasonal pattern.
  • The equatorial vegetation comprises a multitude of evergreen trees that yield tropical hardwood, e.g. mahogany, ebony, dyewoods etc.
  • Many parts of the tropical rain forests have been cleared either for lumbering or shifting cultivation.
  • In the coastal areas and brackish swamps, mangrove forests
  • From the air, the tropical rain forest appears like a thick canopy of foliage, broken only where it is crossed by large rivers or cleared for cultivation.
  • All plants struggle upwards (most ephiphytes) for sunlight resulting in a peculiar layer arrangement.

Conclusion

The tropical rainforest is one of the world’s most threatened biomes, despite being home to some of the most diverse and unique species on the planet. Many of the world’s most colorful creatures reside in rainforests, and animals from tiny organisms to large wild cats find homes amongst the range of plant life.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. India’s relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of our foreign policy and the foundation of our Act East Policy. Analyse the role that north eastern states can play in strengthening ties with ASEAN. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Print

Why the question:

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said the North-eastern region can play a pivotal role in strengthening India’s ties with several regional groupings of South Asia as a springboard to facilitate bilateral trades with those countries.

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the role of strategic partnership with ASEAN and role north eastern states can play in strengthening ties with ASEAN.

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 mentioning the historic engagement of India-ASEAN relationship.

Body:

Bring out the importance of geographical proximity of the ASEAN countries and its strategic, security and economic implications to India. Also mention about the sociocultural dynamics, mobilisation of group level funds and promotion of domestic infrastructure projects based on few examples.

Next, write about the role that north eastern state can play in strengthening ties with ASEAN. Substantiate with facts and examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

India’s relationship with ASEAN has emerged as a key cornerstone of our foreign policy. The relationship has evolved from the ‘Look East Policy’ enunciated in early 1990s, to Strategic Partnership in 2012. Since 2014, India is espousing ‘Act East Policy’ that has enhanced the partnership further.

ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership stands on a strong foundation of shared geographical, historical and civilizational ties. ASEAN is central to our Act East Policy and our wider vision of the Indo-Pacific. India and ASEAN will observe 30 years of their Dialogue Partnership in 2022.

Body

Significance of India- ASEAN strategic partnership and its implications on India

  • Economic Significance
    • 3 Cs–Culture, Connectivity and Commerce–will shape India’s ties with the ASEAN bloc.
    • Connecting India’s North-eastern states with ASEAN.
    • India is part of ASEAN led RCEP which aims to create the world’s largest free trade area with more than a third of the global GDP and commerce.
    • For the first time, bilateral trade between ASEAN and India has crossed US$ 80 billion mark.
    • Singapore has become India’s investment and trading hub in the East.
  • Security Significance
    • ASEAN occupies a central place in the security architecture of the Indo-Pacific region
    • Maritime cooperation in terms of connectivity, safety and security has gained high attention.
    • India and ASEAN can collaborate to combat terror financing, cyber security threats, tax evasions and many more.
    • India needs ASEAN support in achieving a rules-based regional security architecture.
  • Geo-Strategic Significance
    • Partnership with ASEAN nations might help India counter the growing presence of Beijing.
    • ASEAN is seen as the most successful regional organisation next only to the EU
    • To develop connectivity through water, ASEAN and India are working on the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project.
    • ASEAN-India cooperation in maritime domain is one of the key focus areas for growth and development of the Indo-Pacific region.

Importance of North-east states

  • The North-East regionis strategically located with access to the traditional domestic market of eastern India, along with proximity to the major states in the east and adjacent countries such as Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  • The north eastern states are sandwiched between neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Bhutan, and Nepal. Hence India’s Northeast holds strategic and political importance.
  • It ensures India’s connectivity with the rest of East Asian countries.
  • With ASEAN engagement becoming a central pillar of India’s foreign policy direction, these states play an important role as the physical bridge between India and Southeast Asia.
  • North-East has immense natural resources, accounting for around 34% of the country’s water resources and almost 40% of India’s hydropower potential.
  • Tribes in North-East have their own culture. Popular festivals include Hornbill Festivalof Nagaland, Pang Lhabsol of Sikkim, etc.

Way Forward

A six-fold strategy for the comprehensive development of the region has been proposed

  • Empowering people by maximizing self-governance and participatory development through grass-root planning to promote inclusive development.
  • Creation of development opportunities for the rural areas through enhancing productivity in agriculture and allied activities such as animal husbandry, horticulture, floriculture, fisheries and generation of livelihood options through rural non- farm employment.
  • To develop sectors in the region having a comparative advantage such as agro-processing, Hydro-power generation.
  • Enhancing the skills and competencies of the people and building the capacities for institutions with the Government and outside.
  • Creating a hospitable investment climate to encourage investment by the private sector particularly for infrastructure.
  • Harnessing the resources of the Government and the private sector to realize the objectives of the Vision.

Conclusion

Innovation, Initiatives, Ideas and Implementation–all the four needs to go together. Inclusive growth is possible through improved governance, doing away with the draconian laws and ensuring the local communities are empowered to implement basic services. For this, all the stakeholders need to formulate a comprehensive realistic plan for the overall development of North East.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Investment models.

4. The PPP model can be an effective and sustainable option to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure. Examine the role the PPP model can play in bringing India closer to the goal of five trillion-dollar economy.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

Given that the global pandemic strained public resources, public-private partnerships (PPPs) can be an effective tool to optimise private sector expertise and efficiency, raise private capital leveraging scarce public funds, and build back better by offering quality, efficient services to people.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the PPP model, its ability of improve infrastrcutre and role to in bring India close to 5 trillion-dollar 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 explaining the PPP model in brief.

Body:

First, write about the importance of PPP model in promoting and developing infrastructure in the country. Substantiate with fact/examples the achievements of PPP model in the country.

Next, write about how PPP model can contribute to pushing India towards 5 trillion dollar economy. Evaluate its strengths and limitations.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward on how to overcome the limitations.

 

Introduction

According to World Bank, public-private partnership (PPP) is a long-term contract between a private party and a government entity, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility, and remuneration is linked to performance.  Public-private partnerships typically are long-term and involve large corporations on the private side. Some of the commonly adopted forms of PPPs include build-operate-transfer (BOT), build-lease-transfer (BLT), design-build-operate-transfer (DBFO), operate-maintain-transfer (OMT), etc. A key element of these contracts is that the private party takes on a significant portion of the risk.

Body

Advantages of PPP model

  • Access to private sector finance: India has a very large infrastructure need and an associated funding gap. PPPs can help both to meet the need and to fill the funding gap. PPP projects often involve the private sector arranging and providing finance. This frees the public sector from the need to meet financing requirements from its own revenues (taxes) or through borrowing.
  • Better infrastructure: They provide better infrastructure solutions than an initiative that is wholly public or wholly private. By shifting the responsibility for finance away from the public sector PPPs can enable more investment in infrastructure and increased access to infrastructure services.
  • Increased transparency in the use of funds: A well-designed PPP process can bring procurement out from behind closed doors. The PPP tender and award process based on open competitive bidding following international best practice procedures lead to transparency.
  • Less delays: They result in faster project completion and reduced delays on infrastructure projects by including time-to-completion as a measure of performance and therefore of profit.
  • Risk distribution: Transfer of risks is the most important advantage of PPP projects. In PPP projects, there is a possibility to transfer most or all of the risks to the private entity. The private entities explore opportunities, even though they involve risks.
  • Constant cash flow: The state budget is formed of fixed budgets for each ministry. Major investments are temporary modifications of the budget of a ministry, and this problem can be difficult to deal with within the budgetary process. Avoiding major investments by having a constant cash flow is an important driver when the state looks at the advantages of PPP.

Issues with PPP that need to be resolved

  • Uncertainties: PPPs often cover a long-term period of service provision (eg. 15-30 years). Any agreement covering such a long period into the future is naturally subject to uncertainty. If the requirements of the public sponsor or the conditions facing the private sector change during the lifetime of the PPP, the contract may need to be modified to reflect the changes. This can entail large costs to the public sector.
  • Policy and regulatory gaps: Inadequate regulatory framework and inefficiency in the approval process have been considered as serious disincentives for developers and contractors. For example, more than two years were needed for the Gujarat Pipavav port project to receive the necessary clearances after achieving financial closure. Moreover, most of the large projects involve dealings with various ministries where coordination remains inefficient.
  • Crony capitalism: In many sectors, PPP projects have turned into conduits of crony capitalism. It is worth noting that a large chunk of politically connected firms in India are in the infrastructure sector, which have used political connections to win contracts in the past.
  • Renegotiation: While private firms accept stringent terms of PPP contracts initially, they lose no opportunity for renegotiating contracts, in effect garnering a larger share of public resources than originally planned. Rather than being an exceptional clause, renegotiation has become the norm in PPP projects in India.

Conclusion

The success of Public-Private Partnership to a large extent depends on optimal risk allocation among stakeholders, the environment of trust and robust institutional capacity to timely implementation of PPP projects. To foster the successful implementation of a PPP project, a robust PPP enabling ecosystem and sound regulatory framework is essential.

 

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

5. The conservation of tigers is not just about increasing their numbers as more tigers require more habitat, which is becoming less and less available each day. Evaluate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

In the context of International Tiger Day (July 29), India must not lose sight of the fact that there are other factors critical to ensuring the survival of this big cat

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of habitat conservation in protecting tigers.

Directive word: 

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming an opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context regarding the increase in tiger population in India.

Body:

First, write about the various steps taken in order to conserve the tiger species – Amendment of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, Constitution of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), project Tiger” and “Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats” and International cooperation etc.

Next, write about the needed to take in to account other factors such as habitat in conserving the tiger population in the India. Write about the steps that are needed in this regard.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Tigers are at the top of the food chain and are sometimes referred to as “umbrella species” that is their conservation also conserve many other species in the same area.

According to results of the Tiger census, the total count of tigers has risen to 2,967 in 2018 from 2,226 in 2014 which is an increase of 741 individuals (aged more than one year), or 33%, in four years. The Tiger estimation exercise that includes habitat assessment and prey estimation reflects the success or failure of Tiger conservation efforts.

Body

Threats faced by Tiger

  • Less than a hundred years ago, tigers prowled all across India and the sub-continent. But growing human populations, particularly since the 1940s, have contracted and fragmented the tiger’s former range.
  • For over thousand years, tigers have been hunted as status symbol, decorative item such as wall and floor covering, as souvenirs and curios, and for use in traditional Asian medicines.
  • Hunting for sport probably caused the greatest decline in tiger populations until the 1930s.
  • In the early 1990s, trade in tiger bone for traditional Asian medicines threatened to drive tigers to extinction in the wild.
  • Poaching is the largest immediate threat to the remaining tiger population.
  • Large-scale habitat destruction and decimation of prey populations are the major long-term threats to the existence of the dwindling tiger population in the country.
  • And along with habitat, tigers have also suffered a severe loss of natural prey populations – in particular ungulates such as deer and antelopes.

Way forward

  • We have to create a healthy balance between sustainability and development.
  • Forest corridors linking protected areas must be maintained where they exist.
  • Existing habitats have to be surveyed and improved to provide food for the elephants
  • Local communities need to be educated to have reduced stress levels in elephants during conflict mitigation, no fire, no firecracker and no mob crowds.
  • There is a need for a monitoring mechanism which will record and disperse information on such conflicts
  • Experts suggest the other way to reduce the man-animal conflict is to increase the population of wild ungulates, namely hares and the wild boars, both of which are prolific breeders, as a prey for wild carnivores. Separate big enclosures can be made in the jungles to breed them. The excess stock can be released in the jungles at regular intervals for the wild carnivores to prey upon.

Conclusion

The tiger population seems to be growing in various states which is a positive sign but as the country celebrates its conservation success, policymakers and scientists will have to put their heads together to devise more creative solutions and find homes for the increasing number of tigers, because without the focus on habitat conservation, the human-animal conflict is bound to rise.

 

Topic: money laundering and its prevention.

6. Critically examine the efficacy of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in holding those engaging money laundering activities accountable before the law. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian ExpressIndian Express

Why the question:

The Supreme Court’s verdict upholding all the controversial provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) falls short of judicial standards of reviewing legislative action.

Key Demand of the question:

To write successes and limitations of PMLA in achieving its state objectives.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about the aims and objectives of PMLA.

Body:

First, write about the various features of PMLA – its successes and limitations when it comes to holding the launderers accountable.

Next, write about the steps that have been taken to improve the conviction rate in the PMLA. Write about its impact.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to holistically address the issue of money laundering in the country.

 

Introduction

In a recent hearing, the Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutional validity of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

The court underlined that the principle of innocence of the accused/offender is regarded as a human right but that presumption can be interdicted by a law made by the Parliament/Legislature.

Body

About PMLA

  • It is a criminal law enacted to prevent money laundering and to provide for confiscation of property derived from, or involved in, money-laundering and related matters.
  • It forms the core of the legal framework put in place by India to combat Money Laundering.
  • The provisions of this act are applicable to all financial institutions, banks (Including RBI), mutual funds, insurance companies, and their financial intermediaries.
  • PMLA (Amendment) Act, 2012:
    • Adds the concept of ‘reporting entity’ which would include a banking company, financial institution, intermediary etc.
    • PMLA, 2002 levied a fine up to Rs 5 lakh, but the amendment act has removed this upper limit.
    • It has provided for provisional attachment and confiscation of property of any person involved in such activities.

Efficacy of PMLA

  • Indian banks were reluctant to depart from their strict bank secrecy policies, and this further allowed individuals in India to launder money. The problem of money laundering in India is complicated further by Hawala’s ancient underground banking system.
  • ED has been given the responsibility to enforce the provisions of the PMLA by conducting investigation to trace the assets derived from proceeds of crime, to provisionally attach the property and to ensure prosecution of the offenders and confiscation of the property by the Special court.
  • ED has been given the responsibility to conduct investigation into suspected contraventions of foreign exchange laws and regulations, to adjudicate and impose penalties on those adjudged to have contravened the law.

Issues with PMLA

  • PMLA is pulled into the investigation of even “ordinary” crimes and assets of genuine victims have been attached.
  • PMLA was enacted in response to India’s global commitment (including the Vienna Convention) to combat the menace of money laundering. Instead, rights have been “cribbed, cabined and confined”.
  • PMLA was a comprehensive penal statute to counter the threat of money laundering, specifically stemming from trade in narcotics.
    • Currently, the offences in the schedule of the Act are extremely overbroad, and in several cases, have absolutely no relation to either narcotics or organised crime.
  • Even the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) – an equivalent of the FIR – is considered an “internal document” and not given to the accused.
    • The ED treats itself as an exception to these principles and practises [of criminal procedure law] and chooses to register an ECIR on its own whims and fancies on its own file.
  • There is also a lack of clarity about ED’s selection of cases to investigate. The initiation of an investigation by the ED has consequences which have the potential of curtailing the liberty of an individual.

Conclusion

The evolving threats of money laundering supported by the emerging technologies need to be addressed with the equally advanced Anti-Money Laundering mechanisms like big data and artificial intelligence. Both international and domestic stakeholders need to come together by strengthening data sharing mechanisms amongst them to effectively eliminate the problem of money laundering.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case Study

7. You are recently posted as district development officer of a district. Shortly thereafter you found that there is considerable tension in the rural areas of your district on the issue of sending girls to schools.

The elders of the village feel that many problems have come up because girls are being educated and they are stepping out of the safe environment of the household. They are the view that the girls should be quickly married off with minimum education. The girls are also competing for jobs after education, which have traditionally remained in boys’ exclusive domain, adding to unemployment amongst male population.

The younger generation feels that in the present era, girls should have equal opportunities for education and employment, and other means of livelihood. The entire locality is divided between sexes in both generations. You come to know that in Panchayat or in other local bodies or even in busy crosswords, the issue is being acrimoniously debated.

One day you are informed that an unpleasant incident has taken place. Some girls were molested, when they were en route to schools. The incident led to clashes between several groups and a law and order problem has arisen. The elder after heated discussion have taken a joint decision not to allow girls to go to school and to socially boycott all such families, which do not follow their dictate.

(a) What steps would you take to ensure girls’ safety without disrupting their education?

(b) How would you manage and mould patriarchic attitude of the village elders to ensure harmony in the inter- generational relations? (250 words) (UPSC 2014)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In brief, mention the facts of the case

Body:

Give the major ethical issues involved along with the stakeholders. Write about the steps that you will take. Evaluate its pros and cons of the options mentioned above.

Next, write the approach you will to manage the patriarchic attitude of the village elders.

Conclusion:

Stress on the importance of emotional intelligence and persuasion in such cases.

Body

As a District development officers, the following steps can be taken for safety and education of girls:

  • Social influence and persuasion techniques: For bringing social change through attitude transformation, we need to use different techniques of social influence and persuasion.
  • Elders should be persuaded for allowing education of girls, while assuring them of their safety. Social proof, reciprocity, role models, etc can play a significant role in this.
  • Changing Socialization process: Gender stereotypes need to be broken by changing the socialization process of children. This is important to remove the gender discrimination face by girls. Child rearing practices can be modified.
  • Security arrangement and combat training: police roundups can be increased during opening and closure time of schools. Girls can also be taught in self defense techniques.
  • Infrastructural improvements: Safety of girls in rural area is compromised because of lack of adequate infrastructure, like street light, toilet facilities etc. Bridging these gaps will help in providing a sense of security to girls. Constructing toilets, providing them cycles etc are some of the steps.

For managing and molding the patriarchal attitude we need to use the following methods :

  • Using Persuasion techniques: Elder people must be persuaded with all due respect, in order to change their attitude towards girl education. Sarpanch of the village can play a significant role in this, since his position has authority to influence behaviour of people.
  • Leadership skills:-The situation requires leadership skill on my part to influence the attitude of elderly people. I can do it my demonstrating them the benefits of girl education, through various examples. It is a powerful method of social influence.
  • Emotional intelligence: It also requires emotional intelligence on my part, in order to understand and manage the emotions of the village elders. This is crucial for success of other steps. The issue has lot of emotional component which need to be managed properly.
  • Attitude change: stereotypes and prejudice can be broken through adult education and dissemination of information regarding the benefits of girl education.

Conclusion

So, in this manner social change can happen, and ensure that there is inter-generational harmony.


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