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.
Science & Technology
Q1. What do you understand by artificial intelligence and how does it help in tackling climate change? Discuss how we can ensure that the benefits of AI outweigh its drawbacks. 15M
In Budget 2022-23, AI was described as a sunrise technology that would “assist sustainable development at scale and modernize the country”.
Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. Specific applications of AI include expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition, and machine vision. AI programming focuses on three cognitive skills: learning, reasoning, and self-correction.
AI helps in tackling climate change
- AI may aid such models by improving measures
- For example, scanning remote-sensing data from satellites for further analysis.
- Climate informatics covers a range of topics:
- From improving prediction of extreme events such as hurricanes, paleoclimatology, like reconstructing past climate conditions using data collected from things like ice cores, climate downscaling.
- Improve Energy Efficiency
- According to the Capgemini Research Institute, artificial intelligence should improve power efficiency by 15% in the next three to five years.
- Optimize Clean Energy Development
- AI computational models can find sites for dams that can produce the lowest amounts of GHG emissions.
- Avoid Waste
- Companies, governments, and leaders frequently deploy AI solutions to avoid waste, reduce energy waste from buildings or understand supply and demand.
- Make Transportation More Efficient
- AI is already the technology that powers autonomous vehicles, including shared cars and smart transportation systems in some cities.
- Create New Low-Carbon Materials
- If AI could develop new materials with similar properties but with a smaller carbon footprint, it could help slow climate change.
- Hazard forecasting
- Regionalized modeling of sea level rise or extreme weather events such as wildfire and floods etc
- Strengthen the infrastructure
- Eg : Intelligent irrigation
Drawbacks of the AI
- Carbon emission :
- AI has the potential to accelerate environmental degradation. The use of power-intensive CPUs to run machine learning training has already been cited as contributing to increased CO2 emissions.
- AI might be costly to the environment. Nearly 300,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions are created during the process of training a single model. This is equal to the emissions of five average cars
- Transparency and Accountability
- The largest companies working in the AI space are neither transparent nor meaningfully committed to studying to substantively limit the climate impact of their operations.
- Also, Policy makers are not “fluent” in developing and underdeveloped countries that may create barriers to crafting regulations and industrial policy
- AI could potentially be hacked, enabling bad actors to interfere with energy, transportation, early warning, or other crucial systems.
Ensure that the benefits of AI outweigh its drawbacks
- Dedicated Research:
- Dedicated studies, more investments in R&D, and better policy interventions are required in this field.
- AI needs to be developed and deployed so it can meet society’s needs and protect the environmentby saving more energy than it expends.
- Merging Technology with Sustainable Development:
- To make sure AI is used to help, and not hinder the society,it’s time to merge the two big debates of the present time – digital technology and sustainable development (in particular, the environment).
- Exploring the Opportunities for the Developing World:
- Governments of developing countries, including India, should assess their technology-led growth priorities in the context of AI’s climate costs.
In terms of climate change, AI can prove to be immensely helpful in developing environment-friendly infrastructure, making climate predictions, and decarbonizing industries. However, ironically, the AI with itself brings an environmental cost to the development of the technology, to prevent this, the WEF proposed that governments and companies should pursue advancements in “safe” AI to ensure that humanity is not developing AI that is harmful to the environment.
Q2. An “embracing approach” toward traditional systems of medicine will further strengthen the One Health concept. Discuss the advantages and challenges associated with mainstreaming traditional medicines.10M
One Health is an approach that recognizes that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment. It derives its blueprint from the agreement between the tripartite-plus alliance comprising the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Fig: One health concept
Advantages of mainstreaming traditional medicines
- Demand in the global market
- As per the estimation, the international market for traditional medicine is anticipated to acquire a market worth of US $5 trillion by the end of the year 2050.
- As per a study conducted by Spain-based “Natural Products and Chemistry Research Organisation,” the extent of Indian exports of medicinal and aromatic plants has increased from 2010 to almost double the value in the year 2014.
- Less investment :
- As these medicines stand the test of time for thousands of years there is no need to invest more money and time to do new research on it. So, it increases their trade value because of the reduction in the cost of research and development.
- As this knowledge is available to all, a small household business can also be started in the form of MSME.
- Brand of India :
- As Western civilization is facing a crisis in terms of family values, societal relations, and health; the projection of the Indian way of life and promoting traditional medicine in trade has the potential to be the “Brand of India”.
- No side effects
- Most traditional medicines are made from plant extracts as they are naturally available
- Synthetic drugs, and surgeries have some adverse side effects with their own limitations.
Challenges associated with mainstreaming traditional medicines
- Time response:
- It requires more time than allopathic medicines to show its effect.
- National health systems and strategies
- Do not yet fully integrate traditional medicine workers, accredited courses, and health facilities.
- Cost of the medicine
- Some of the traditional medicines need rare earth metals such as gold, silver, etc, which may increase the cost of medicine.
- New diseases
- Traditional medicines may not stand challenges posed by new diseases like currently, the whole world is striving hard to find a cure for COVID-19.
Measures taken by the Government of India to promote traditional medicines:
- With the proclamation at United Nations, the world started celebrating 21 June as Yoga day. So, Yoga became a global brand.
- Government of India established Ministry of AYUSH in 2014 to ensure the development and propagation of AYUSH systems of medicine and health care.
- Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is a pioneering Indian initiative to prevent exploitation and to protect Indian traditional knowledge from wrongful patents.
It is a well-known fact that Indian traditional medicines and way of life played an important role in meeting the global health care needs and helped people to live a satisfactory life. Hence, it is visible that Indian traditional medicine and way of life hold an immense trade and brand potential but at the same time, it needs to address the needs and challenges posed by the modern lifestyle.
Q3. Examine the importance of vigilance in ensuring probity for good governance. Suggest measures for ensuring vigilance without creating any fear in the mind of the officers. 10M
Probity in governance is the quality of having strong moral principles and adhering to those principles. It includes principles such as Integrity, honesty, transparency, incorruptibility, uprightness, etc. It is concerned with procedures, processes, and systems rather than outcomes.
Probity helps to create citizen-centric administration which is the main basic foundation of good governance. Good governance is made up of the following 8 attributes.
Importance of vigilance in ensuring probity for good governance.
- For ensuring corruption-free governance – Acc. to NCRWC – Absence of corruption is a prerequisite for ensuring probity in governance. Impartial vigilance by the bodies like CVC, Lokpal, ED, etc ensures the absence of corruption in governance, which becomes a threat to the quality of good governance.
- Ensures Transparency in the system – Judicious use of RTI ensures maintenance of transparency in governance.
- Preserve public faith and confidence – Social audits by the citizens themselves, help to develop trust, credibility, and social capital. It also enables those elected or appointed to public office to fulfill the expectation of society.
- To bring an effective and efficient system of governance – Vigilance helps to bring an effective and efficient system of governance through upholding public service values like Integrity, responsibility, accountability, and justice by the public servants.
- Compliance with the process – Vigilance within administration helps to check on delays in implementing laws, and rules thus ensuring the formulation and implementation of effective laws, rules, and regulations.
Measures for ensuring vigilance without creating any fear in the mind of the officers.
- States need to follow the Rajasthan model- The first ever Jan soochana portal was launched by Rajasthan to comply with sec 4(2) of the RTI act i.e, voluntary disclosure of information by the public authorities. The portal aims to provide information to the public about government authorities and departments empowering them with access to useful information.
- Implementation of 2nd ARC recommendations on RTI like establishing 4 regional offices of CIC, public record offices as an independent authority of GOI for record keeping.
- Effective implementation of some legislations like the Prevention of corruption act 1988, RTI act 2005, and Whistleblower protection act 2014.
- Neutral investigations by the vigilance bodies like CVC, CBI, Lokpal, etc.
- Effective implementation of principles enshrined in the constitution, code of conduct for service, and citizens charter for each department.
- Awareness of the social audit process in society, will act as an effective feedback mechanism and ensure active public participation in public services.
Probity in governance is an essential and vital requirement for an efficient and effective system of governance and socio-economic development. Vigilance is necessary to ensure probity for good governance and at the same time measures are also needed to ensure that vigilance should not create any fear among officials.