Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2023] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 September 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 Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1. Four years since the landmark LGBT verdict, but for the Indian LGBTQIA+ community, a truly inclusive society remains a distant dream. Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express , Insights on India

Why the question:

On September 6, 2018, exactly four years ago, in Navtej Singh Johar and Ors v Union of India, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court, in a beautifully elaborate decision, liberated LGBTQI Indians from the darkness of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the discrimination and injustice faced by the LGBTQIA+ community in India.

Directive word: 

Comment- here we must express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, write about the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community – Many families especially in the rural areas are homophobic and transphobic and often treat people from the community to have some kind of psychological disorder.

Next, mention about issues such as forced rapes within families, admission into hospitals for change of sexual orientation, medical institutions admit people from the community along with other psychologically disturbed and conducting some psychological and sexual experiments, instances of suicides, families abandoning those who come out leading to financial insecurity etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to achieve true inclusion.

 

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.

The Tamil Nadu government recently amended its police conduct rules to bar harassment of LGBTQIA+ individuals and persons working to help them.

Body

Background

  • The Delhi High Court’s verdict inNaz 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 377offended 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 Koushalvs Naz Foundation (2013), reinstated Section 377 to the IPC.
  • On September 6, 2018, exactly four years ago, in Navtej Singh Johar and Ors v Union of India, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court, in a beautifully elaborate decision, liberated LGBTQI Indians from the darkness of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • This Supreme Court judgment has been a great victory to the Indian individual in his quest for identity and dignity.

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 plannedso 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 oftenprescribe 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.

Way Forward

  • The LGTBQ communityneeds 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.
  • Policemust 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 servicesor harassed for their sexual orientation.
  • Enumerating sexual orientation and gender identity in non-discrimination andanti-bullying policies is an important step toward acknowledging diversity, protecting vulnerable students.
  • Training school staff empowers themto 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 inNALSA 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.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

2.  Examine the challenges faced by the higher education system in India. The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP), envisages enrolment in higher education to be nearly double by 2035. How can it be achieved given the aforementioned challenges?  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

A few days before India celebrated the 75th year of Independence, Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan said in reply to a debate in the Lok Sabha that people should let go of the idea that universities must be funded only by the government.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the challenges in higher education and ways to double enrolment in it by 2035.

Directive:

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 a statistic regarding the higher education scenario in India.

Body:

First, in detail, write about the various issues faced by the higher education sector in the country – funding, enrolment, regulatory etc.

Next, write about the NEP vision regarding the higher education sector in the country. Mention the ways to achieve it.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world, next to the United States and China. Higher Education sector has witnessed a tremendous increase in the number of Universities/University level Institutions & Colleges since Independence. Some institutions of India, such as IITs, NITs, IIMs have been globally acclaimed for their standard of education..

Body

Challenges

  • India’s focus on expanding the higher education sector to provide access has led to a situation where research and scholarship have been neglected.
  • Funding issues:
    • The Central government’s slant toward premier institutions has continued ever since the Eleventh Five Year Plan where in spite of a nine-fold increase in Budget allocation State institutions have been left to fend for themselves with funding mainly directed towards starting more premier institutes.
    • Investment by State governments has been also dwindling each year as higher education is a low-priority area. The University Grant Commission’s system of direct releases to State institutions which bypasses State governments also leads to their sense of alienation.
    • There has been a demand to take spending on education to 6% of gross domestic product for decades.
  • Low enrolment:
    • The gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education is 24.5 meaning out of every 100 youths eligible for higher education, less than 25 are pursuing tertiary education.
  • Desired levels of research and internationalization of Indian campuses remain weak points
  • It follows a largely linear model with very little focus on specialization. Both experts and academics feel Indian higher education is tilted towards social sciences.
    • Only 1.7% colleges run PhD programmes and a mere 33% colleges run postgraduate-level programmes.
  • Regulatory issues
    • The country has a poor record with both the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) being seen more as controllers of education than facilitators.
    • As a regulator of India’s higher education, coordinator of vastly different kinds of institutions, and custodian of standards, the UGC had begun to look ill-equipped.
    • Regulatory bodies with licensing powers hurt the autonomy of professional higher education, leading to serious imbalance in the diarchy they were under, and partitioning general from professional higher education in several crucial areas of knowledge.
    • Privately set-up institutions in medicine, engineering, and other fields created the ground conditions in which strict regulation acquired justification. The power to license led to corruption.
    • The existing model is based on deep and pervasive distrust among regulators over the possibility of universities doing things on their own, and doing it well. The current framework that require universities to be constantly regulated by laws, rules, regulations, guidelines and policies set by the government and the regulatory bodies have not produced the best results.
  • Lack of autonomy:
    • All aspects of academic life, including admission norms, syllabus design, and examination were controlled by the affiliating university.
    • In colleges set up and run by the government, recruitment of faculty was the state government’s prerogative.
    • When certain state governments stopped fresh recruitment altogether and moved over to the practice of hiring contractual or ad hoc teachers, no college could practise autonomy to alleviate its suffering.
    • Autonomy to function through their own structures of governance first began to diminish in many provincial or state universities in the sphere of appointment of vice chancellors. State universities could not resist the imposition by those with political power of poorly qualified and unsuitable individuals as vice chancellors.
  • The vacancy crisis broke the sense of professional community among teachers and their organisations. Even teacher quality was abysmal
  • Ranking systems:
    • Additional autonomy granted on the basis of NAAC rating and status in NIRF begs questions about these systems of evaluation. They are neither authentic nor valid. The reason they lack authenticity lies in the processes through which they are derived.
    • The NAAC is based on an inspectorial process. Its reliability suffers from both ends involved in any inspectorial system in our ethos.
    • NIRF’s need arose from India’s poor performance in global ranking systems but the question is if Indian institutions of higher learning were found to be generally too poor to be noticed globally, how would they get any better if ranked among themselves
  • Roots of Vulnerability
    • Currently there is a dominant ideology of commercialisation of knowledge and teaching.
    • Higher education is not leading to graduates entering the work sector as the education is not in sync with the needs of the companies.

Measures needed to improve higher education

  • Research cannot be improved merely by regulating universities, instead they need efforts to create enabling atmosphere for which it is imperative to grant more autonomy, better funding and new instruments to regulate work ethic.
  • New initiatives like Hackathon, curriculum reform, anytime anywhere learning through SWAYAM, teacher training are all aimed at improving quality. These need to be effectively implemented.
  • As India wants to transform its universities into world class institutions, it must safeguard the interests of young researchers and thousands of temporary faculty members by expediting the permanent appointments in a time-bound framework and transparent manner.
  • Establish world-class multidisciplinary research universities
  • Create a master plan for every state and union territory
  • Each state must establish an integrated higher education master plan to provide an excellent education for all its residents.
  • Attract the best and the brightest talent to be faculty members
  • One of the fundamental changes India must institutionalize is a radically new compensation and incentive structure for faculty members. A flexibility to pay differential salaries based on market forces and merit must be part of this transformation.

Way forward

  • Thus a complete revamp is needed to meet the present demand and address the future challenge that India is about to face.
  • To reap the diverse culture demographic dividend and to maintain peace and social harmony among them quality education with values are the necessary area to focus.
  • The higher education is facing many challenges as pointed
    above, most the challenges are difficult but are not impossible to resolve.
  • Our goal to be a world power, the resolving and restructuring of higher education is must, then only we will be able to harness the human potential and resources of nation to the fullest and channelize it for the growth of the
  • Youth is the most important asset for a country their future is the future of the Nation. So, the government must be compelled to provide basic education and skills.

 

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

3. Agnipath scheme will lead to a leaner military, savings in pensions but can also unlock a socio-political transformation. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about Agnipath scheme, its benefits and risks.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the writing about aims and objectives of Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers.

Body:

Frist, discuss the key features of the scheme – recruitment, salary, duration and post tenure etc.

Next, write about the major benefits from the scheme.

Next, write about various concerns associated with the scheme in the short term and long term

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Agnipath Defence Policy Reform is a government scheme launched to recruit young men and women in the Indian Armed forces. The Agnipath scheme was announced by the defence Minister Rajnath Singh on June 14th 2022.

Body

About the Agnipath scheme

  • Agnipath is a new defence recruitment model that would allow “patriotic and motivated”youth to serve in the armed forces for a period of four years.
  • The process of recruitment will commence in 90 days.
  • The plan is to recruit about45,000-50,000 personnel below officer rank in the three services every year through a biannual exercise with a six-month gap.
  • As per the Agnipath scheme, this year there will be aplanned intake of about 46,000 young men and women.
  • Soldier recruited through Agnipath scheme will be known as ‘Agniveers’.
  • This scheme will be the only form of recruitment of soldiers into the three defence services Armed Force, Indian Navy and Air Forces, hereon.
  • Enrolment of Agniveers to all three services will be througha centralized online system, with special rallies and campus interviews at recognised technical institutes such as the Industrial Training Institutes, and the National Skills Qualifications Framework. The Model is based on an all-India merit-based selection process.

Objectives

  • It aims at providing an opportunity to the patriotic and motivated youth with the ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ to join the Armed Forces.
  • It is expected to bring down the average age profile of the Indian Armed Forces by about 4 to 5 years.
  • The scheme envisions that, the average age in the forces is 32 years today, which will go down to 26 in six to seven years.

Various benefits to Youth

  • Upon the completion of the 4-years of service, a one-time‘Seva Nidhi’ package of Rs 11.71 lakhs will be paid to the Agniveers that will include their accrued interest thereon.
  • They will also get a Rs 48 lakh life insurance cover for the four years.
  • In case of death, the payout will be over Rs 1 crore,including pay for the unserved tenure.
  • The government will help rehabilitate soldiers who leave the services after four years.They will be provided with skill certificates and bridge courses.
  • Furure Ready Soldiers:It will create “future-ready” soldiers.
  • More Employment Opportunities: It will increase employment opportunities and because of the skills and experience acquired during the four-year service such soldiers will get employment in various fields.
  • Higher Skilled Workforce: This will also lead to availability of a higher-skilled workforce to the economy which will be helpful in productivity gain and overall GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth.

Issues related to the scheme

  • Difficult to Find Another Job:The ‘Agnipath’ scheme opens the way for recruitment of about 45,000 soldiers into Army, Navy and Air Force in the first year but on a short-term contract of four years. After the completion of the contract, 25% of them will be retained and the rest will leave the forces.
    • The four years of service will mean other jobs will be out of reach after that, and they will be left behind their peers.
  • No Pension Benefit: Those hired under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme will be given a one-time lumpsumof a little more than Rs 11 lakh when they end their four-year tenure.
    • However, they do not receive any pension benefits.For most, seeking a second job is essential to support themselves and their families.
  • Training May Remain Unutilized: Forces will lose experienced soldiers.
    • The jawans joining the Army, Navy and Air Force will be given technical training so that they are able to support the ongoing operations. But these men and women will leave after four years, which could create a void.

Conclusion

Despite the reservations, there is potential for future employment to these youth as the defence industry is ready to take off in a huge manner in India. Once this happens, the industry will have readily skilled youth for the jobs and hence there is also future to these youths. At the same time, national security is ensured.

 

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

4. Evaluate the potential of Dam Safety Act, 2021, in ensuring a stronger institutional mechanism for protecting and securing dams across the country. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the potential of Dam Safety Act, 2021 in improving Dam Safety and issues regarding the act.

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 writing the aims and objectives of the Dam Safety Act, 2021.

Body:

First, mention the various features of the Damn safety act – National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS), National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA), State Dam Safety Organization (SDSO) and State Dam Safety Committee (SDSC) etc.

Next, write about the ways in which the above will improve safety of the dams.

Next, write about the various issues in the act which have acted as hindrance with regards to dam safety.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

Introduction

The Dam Safety Act, 2021 provides for the surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams across the country. It aims to interfere and regulate the entire functioning of dams including its safety.

Body

Extra information: Provisions of the bill

  • Surveillance of dams: 
    • The Bill provides for the surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of all specified dams across the country. 
    • These are dams with height more than 15 metres, or height between 10 metres to 15 metres with certain design and structural conditions.
  • The National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS):
    • Its functions include evolving policies and recommending regulations regarding dam safety standards; 
    • It will be chaired by the National Water Commissioner.
  • The National Dam Safety Authority:
    • Its functions include implementing policies of the National Committee, providing technical assistance to State Dam Safety Organisations (SDSOs), and resolving matters between SDSOs of states or between a SDSO and any dam owner in that state.
  • A State Committee on Dam Safety & State Dam Safety Organisation.  
    • These bodies will be responsible for the surveillance, inspection, and monitoring the operation and maintenance of dams within their jurisdiction.
  • Hazard classification
    • The Bill provides for regular inspection and hazard classification of dams. It also provides for drawing up emergency action plans and comprehensive dam safety reviews by an independent panel of experts. There is provision for an emergency flood warning system to address the safety concerns of downstream inhabitants.
  • Obligation of Dam Owners:
    • Dam owners are required to provide resources for timely repair and maintenance of the dam structure along with related machinery.
  • Penal Provisions:
    • The Bill has penal provisions involving offences and penalties, for ensuring compliance with the provisions.

Pros of the act

  • The Bill will help all the States and Union Territories of India to adopt uniform dam safety procedures. These procedures will not only protect the dams but also human life, livestock and property.
  • Dam owners will have to provide a dam safety unit in each dam.
  • The dam safety unit will be required to inspect the dam before and after the monsoon session, and also during and after natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods.
  • The bill requires dam owners to prepare emergency action plans. Risk-assessment studies will also have to be undertaken by owners, regularly.
  • At specified, regular intervals, and in the event of either a modification to the dam’s structure or a natural event that may impact the structure, dam owners will have to produce a comprehensive safety evaluation by experts.

Issues in the act

  • Huge workload: National Dam Safety Authority will have to look after more than 5,000 dams across all over India. So it will face a huge workload.
  • Water is a state subject: Many states view the Dam safety bill as encroaching upon the States domain to manage their dams, and violating the principles of federalism enshrined in the Constitution.
  • Against federalism: Act is a legislation passed by the Union through brute majority to blatantly usurp the States’ power.
  • Centre’s control: Act usurped the power of the State governments and placed the operation of specified dams under the control of the Centre.
  • Specified dam: Certain terms including the word ‘dam’ in the Act, had been deliberately defined vaguely to give unbridled power to the Centre to treat any dam as a ‘specified dam’. If this definitions were followed, almost all dams in the country would fall under the purview of the Act.
  • Entry 56 of Union list: The power of the Centre under Entry 56 of Union list was only with respect to inter-State rivers or river valleys and nothing more. Entry 56 cannot be stretched to include dams and embankments exclusively within the control of the States.
  • Power over the subject ‘interstate river and river valley’ cannot be confused with the control over dams.

Way Forward

  • Dam safety is dependent on many external factors. So, the government has to consult environmentalists and take the environmental angle for the Dam Safety Bill.
  • The government should consider the selection of a dam on the basis of age, as this is the major issue.
  • The government has to strengthen the functioning and coordination of state irrigation departments and the Central Water Commission.
  • Considering climate change, the government has to think about the issue of water carefully and proactively. So, local factors, such as climate and catchment areas, need to be taken into consideration. Further, there is a need to integrate urban-rural planning with dam safety.
  • A Standing Committee recommended a penal provision for dam failures on authorities. The government has to incorporate this into law. Along with that, the government has to increase the capacity building of locals and associated institutions.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

5. Discuss the ways that India can achieve energy security and strategic autonomy in the energy sector by 2040. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The Prime Minister has called for “Energy Atmanirbharta” by 2040.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the ways to achieve energy self-sufficiency by 2040.

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 by giving the context of PMs announcement regarding atmanirbhata in energy.

Body:

First, write about the various bottlenecks and threats to the energy security of India which constrain India from achieving energy security.

Next, write about the measures that the government can take in order to achieve energy security by 2040.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The Prime Minister has called for “Energy Atmanirbharta” by 2040. Mark Carney, the former Governor of the UK central bank coined the phrase “the tragedy of horizons” to highlight the differing time horizons of politics, economics and society as regards the energy transition.

Clean energy appears to be the future for the power needs of humanity across the globe as reliance of fossil fuels continues to diminish. However, the road to clean energy is not straight forward and here is where the government must rely on calculated measure to balance energy security and net-zero commitments.

 

Body

India’s energy requirement projection

  • The country’s demand for energy is set to double by 2040, and its electricity demand may
  • Indian oil consumption is expected to grow faster than that of any other major economy (including China). This makes further improving energy security a key priority for India’s economy.
  • India’s oil demand is expected to reach 6 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2024 from 4.4 million bpd in 2017, but its domestic production is expected to rise only marginally, making the country more reliant on crude imports and more vulnerable to supply disruption in the Middle East.
  • India’s oil refining capacity is expected to rise to 5.7 million bpd by 2024, making it a very attractive market for refinery investment.

Ways to achieve energy security in India

  • Focus on Energy Efficiency: Will need energy efficient buildings, lighting, appliances and industrial practicesto meet the net-zero goal.
  • Increased usage of Biofuels: Can help reduce emissions from light commercial vehicles, tractors in agriculture.
    • In aviation, the only practical solution for reducing emissions is greater use of biofuels, until hydrogen technology gains scale.
  • Transition towards Electric vehicles: This will further help curb the carbon emissions and move towards cleaner fuel. Vehicular emissions are one of the biggest sources of GHG.
  • Carbon Sequestration: India willhave to rely on natural and man-made carbon sinks to soak up those emissions. Trees can capture 0.9 billion tons; the country will need carbon capture technologies to sequester the rest.
  • Carbon Pricing:
    • India, which already taxes coal and petroleum fuels, should consider putting a tax on emissions to drive change.
  • Deploying lower-carbon Energy: There are four main types of low-carbon energy: wind, solar, hydro or nuclear power. The first three are renewable, which means these are good for the environment – as natural resources are used (such as wind or sun) to produce electricity.
    • Deploying lower carbon energy would help address both domestic and international climate challenges while simultaneously improving the economic well-being of India’s citizens.
  • Mainstreaming Renewable energy: India’s energy mix is dominated by coal powered electric generation stations as of now.
    • The need of the hour is increasing the share of renewable energy in this energy mix.
  • Energy diplomacy: Our diplomats should add the arrows of energy diplomacy to their quiver. This is because of our dependence on the international energy supply chains. Success in navigating the cross-currents of economic and geopolitical uncertainties will rest greatly on skilful diplomacy.
  • Upskilling and re-training: The nature of jobs and their location will change with the progressive transition to a green energy system. There might be, for instance, less need for maintenance workers on oil rigs and more for technicians on solar farms. The consequential requirements for training/skilling should be anticipated and delivered.
  • Green incentives: The government’s production-linked incentive scheme (PLI ) offers benefits for investment in green energy. The investor response has so far been encouraging.

Conclusion and way forward

  • Given the massive shifts underway in India’s energy system, we would benefit from taking stock of our actions and focusing on near-term transitions.
  • This will allow us to meet and even over-comply with our 2030 target while also ensuring concomitant developmental benefits, such as developing a vibrant renewable industry.
  • We can start putting in place the policies and institutions necessary to move us in the right direction for the longer-term and also better understand, through modelling and other studies, the implications of net-zero scenarios before making a net-zero pledge.
  • It would also be in India’s interest to link any future pledge to the achievement of near-term action by industrialised countries.
  • That would be fair and consistent with the principles of the UNFCCC and also enhance the feasibility of our own actions through, for example, increasing availability and reducing costs of new mitigation technologies.

There appears to be no turning back on the path of decarbonized economic growth for India. The recent Union budget has made this sufficiently clear. The scale of the challenge is also balanced by an opportunity. It’s the execution that will now determine the pace at which we proceed along that path.

India on path to achieve carbon neutrality

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

 

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

6. Disinformation spread through social networks can have dire political, economic and social consequences and is unequivocally bound to compromise national security. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The last few years have seen me focus more on information and how it is processed by individuals and households. Information matters because it helps shape up expectations—and expectations are important in determining economic outcomes.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the threats posed by disinformation and ways to tackle it.

Directive:

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving the context of spread of misinformation in the digital age.

Body:

First, write about the various political, economic and social consequences of the spread of misinformation and fake news. Substantiate with examples.

Next, write about how the above can compromise national security.

Next, write about the measures that are needed to tackle the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Fake news is news, stories or hoaxes created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers. Usually, these stories are created to either influence people’s views, push a political agenda or cause confusion and can often be a profitable business for online publishers. Ex: Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013: fake video fueled communal passions.

Body

Consequences of fake news

  • Social media has led to a dislocation of politics with people weighing in on abstractions online while being disengaged from their immediate surroundings.
  • Social media has led to a degradation of our political discourse where serious engagement has been supplanted by “hot takes” and memes.
  • It has obscured the providence of consequential interventions in our political discourse because of opacity in technology.
  • Misinformation and disinformation spread in media is becoming a serious social challenge. It is leading to the poisonous atmosphere on the web and causing riots and lynching on the road.
  • Platforms for harmful conspiracy theories and hate speech
  • Spread of false or discredited science – e.g. anti-vax movement
  • In the age of the internet (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter,) it is a serious problem as rumours, morphed images, click-baits, motivated stories, unverified information, planted stories for various interests spread easily among 35 crore internet users in India.
  • There have been many instances of online rumours leading to killings of innocent people. In some cases, ministers have deleted tweets after realizing the fake news which they shared earlier.
  • Fake news has also been used to deceive illiterate people financially. Example- Chit fund schemes introduced the concept of online fraud through spam emails.
  • Fake news has reduced people’s belief in social, print and electronic media = affect the benefits of these media.

Measures Needed:

  • The current response to fake news primarily revolves around three prongs— rebuttal, removal of the fake news item and educating the public.
    • Rebuttal:It is a form of fact-checking wherein the fake news is debunked by pointing out errors like mismatch, malicious editing and misattribution.
    • Removal of Fake news:Technical companies like Facebook and YouTube uses algorithms to proactively remove fake news from their platforms.
    • Also, WhatsApp has put a limit on forwarding messages, so as to limit the spread to fake news.
  • Education and Awareness: The government must take the initiative to make all sections of the population aware of the realities of this information war and evolve a consensus to fight this war. Itmust also take strict action against the fake news providers.
    • Ex: Italy has experimentally added ‘recognizing fake news’ in school syllabus. India should also seriously emphasize cybersecurity, internet education, fake news education in the academic curriculum at all levels.
  • Strict Regulation: News being spread using chatbots and other automated pieces of software should automatically be selected for special screening.
  • Bring out policy-: The government should bring out a draft seeking opinion from stakeholders regarding issues of controlling fake news.Any future guidelines on ‘fake news’ should target ‘fake news’ and not try to regulate media in the name of ‘fake news’.
  • Regulatory mechanism:The PCI needs to be reformed and empowered in a way so as to enable it tostrike a balance between the freedom of media and speech on the one hand, and right to know on the other.
  • Government should have independent agency: to verify the data being circulated in social and other media. The agency should be tasked with presenting real facts and figures.
  • An ombudsman Institution:To receive complaints on fake news and initiate immediate action. 
  • Accountability of Social Media:Social media websites should be made accountable of such activities so that it becomes their responsibility to have better control over the spread of fake news.
  • Using Artificial Intelligence: The artificial intelligence technologies, particularly machine learning and natural language processing, might be leveraged to combat the fake news problem. AI technologies hold promise for significantly automating parts of the procedure human fact checkers use today to determine if a story is real or a hoax.

 Conclusion

Fake news affects free speech and informed choices of citizens of the country, leading to the hijacking of democracy. Hence it is extremely important that there is a collective effort from all the stake holders involved to tackle this menace comprehensively.

Value addition

Laws and Regulation to Curb Fake News in India:

  • Press Council of India:It is a regulatory body which can warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, the news agency, the editor or the journalist or disapprove the conduct of the editor or the journalist if it finds that a newspaper or a news agency has violated journalistic ethics.
  • News Broadcasters Association:It represents the private television news and current affairs broadcasters. The self-regulatory body probes complaints against electronic media.
  • Indian Broadcast Foundation:It looks into the complaints against contents aired by channels.
  • Broadcasting Content Complaint Council: It admits complaints against TV broadcasters for objectionable TV content and fake news.
  • Indian Penal Code:Section 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) and Section 295 (injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) can be invoked to guard against fake news.
  • Information Technology Act 2000: According to the Section 66 of the act, if any person, dishonestly or fraudulently, does any act referred to in Section 43 (damage to computer, computer system), shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees or with both.
  • Civil or Criminal Case for Defamation:It is another resort against fake news for individuals and groups hurt by the fake news. IPC Section 499 (defamation) and Section 500 (whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both) provide for a defamation suit.
  • Fake news has existed since the dawn of the printing press but in the age of the internet and social media, it has found a tremendous application.Manipulation of algorithms of social media and search engines is a global trend now.
  • Misinformation and disinformation spread in the media is becoming a serious social challenge.It is leading to the poisonous atmosphere on the web and causing riots and lynching on the road.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships.

7. In your opinion, drug addicts and consumers of narcotic substances can be considered as morally wrong or need to be considered as criminals? Comment. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Conceptual Tuesdays’ in Mission-2023 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about taking an empathetic approach towards helping drug addicts recover from drug addiction.

Directive:

Comment– here we must express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by stating that concept of retribution and deterrence approach to counter drug menace has not been fruitful and has only led to the drug networks remaining underground.

Body:

First mention that the harsh approach has created a lot of stigma and lack of intent to approach medical institutions people addicted to drugs. Many a times being unaware and unguided, leads to overdoses and death.

Next, state the need for a humane and persuasive approach to deaddiction on lines of Portugal model. This would lead to a number of people voluntarily accessing the public health care facilities for drug related concerns.

Next, write about the criminal aspect of the above issues and how drug menace has led t 0widespread crime.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating a balanced opinion.

Introduction

Every youth who destroys his life by drug addiction is a loss to our society. Instead of treating it as a law-and-order issue, we must think of pro-active solutions to stop people from consuming drugs. We must identify and rehabilitate such people who are addicted so that they can become productive part of society. Moreover, branding addicts as criminal will ostracise them and make it difficult to integrate them in the society due to the stigma attached.

Body

Background

There is also a correlation between drug abuse, social problems, antisocial behaviour and crime in many areas. People under the influence of drugs and alcohol have lowered inhibitions and this makes them more likely to commit crimes or indulge in antisocial behaviour. Petty theft to obtain funds to buy drugs is also more common in areas with high drug usage. Drug abuse places a huge burden on the financial and human resources. In India, consumption and possession of drugs is illegal and is an offence where arrest can be made.

Whether drug addiction  is a moral issue

Treat the problem as social, not criminal.  With addicts, treat them as patients and not as criminals because addiction is a medical problem. They need patience and care.  Drug addiction is a social problem that needs to be taken seriously by society as a whole and not be swept under the carpet. One of the best ways to deal with drug dependency is for the addict to get the help that they need and for their family to be supported through the recovery process.

Residential rehab treatment has proved to be one of the most effective ways of treating drug addiction.

There are two types of people: those who believe that drug addiction treatment should be given to everyone, and those who think that drug addiction shouldn’t be treated as a criminal issue. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who suffers from addiction, criminal or not. With the proper help and treatment, one will be able to overcome addiction and fit into society once again. Due to the process of drug rehabilitation, there is almost a countless number of people who took the necessary steps to beat their crippling addiction and even become pillars of various communities.

A middle path such as dealing drugs can be considered illegal and a crime, while drug addicts who are habitually consuming drugs must be identified and given the necessary help.

Government initiatives such as ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat’, or Drug-Free India Campaign which focuses on community outreach programs can go a long way in solving this issue.

Conclusion

Addiction should not be seen as a character flaw, but as an ailment that any other person could be struggling with. Therefore, the stigma associated with drug taking needs to be reduced. Society needs to understand that drug-addicts are victims and not criminals.

 


Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE

Join our Twitter Channel HERE 

Follow our Instagram Channel HERE