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[Mission 2023] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 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: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Discuss the importance of inscriptions in the study of history and culture of ancient and medieval India. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The outer walls of the Panamudishwarar temple are etched with inscriptions. The earliest of these stone epigraphs is dated 956 A.D. and belongs to the time of Prince Parthivendravarman who has been identified by historians with the Chola prince Aditya Chola, son of Parantaka I and elder brother of the illustrious RajarajaChola I.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of inscriptions in study if history and culture of ancient and medieval India.

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 inscriptions as a source of history.

Body:

First, write about the information provided by inscriptions for the various historical aspects – political, administrative, economic etc. Substantiate with examples.

Next, write about the light thrown by the inscriptions on the cultural history of that age. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Beginning from the age of Harappan civilization a number of inscriptions have been discovered belonging to different periods of early Indian history. These inscriptions throw light on the politico-administrative, socio-cultural and religious life of the people.  Generally, any historical information is acknowledged as true blue when it is substantiated by an epigraphical record. So too in the study of the history of literature and language, epigraphy has   a vital role to play.

Body

Inscriptions: Significance in study of ancient and medieval culture and history

History in inscriptions

  • The edicts of great sovereign king Ashoka Maurya, have played a very important role in the construction of Indian history. The gist of Ashoka’s edicts is what he calls dharma which refers to a code of morals which he believed to be the teachings of Buddha.
  • The Prayaga Prashasti inscription gives us an exhaustive account of political career of Samudragupta and the kingdoms conquered by him.
  • Inscriptions throw light on politico-administrative institutions and practices. Ex. Ashokan inscriptions contain the designations and the responsibilities of various officers.
  • In an inscription of the Vijayanagar king Bukka, we are told that the emperor settled the disputes between a Vaishnava seer and a Jain teacher by making them agree to be friends and raise no points of dispute.
  • Inscriptions also throw light on other social customs. For example, the Brahmadeyam inscription refers to the sati committed by the queen of Rajendra Chola.
  • The inscriptions also contain the details of wars and battles- Aihole inscription of Ravikirti indicates the defeat of Harsha by Pulakesi II.

Art and Culture

  • The earliest reference to dance is found in an inscription from Jogimara cave (Second century B.C.)
  • The inscriptions help in understanding the language and the script of the age. For instance, the Ashokan inscriptions inform that Prakrit was the common language and Brahmi the most common script.
  • The objects used for writing inscriptions help in understanding the material culture of the age. Ex. Harappan people used steatite. Mauryans used stone and copper plate inscriptions.
  • Inscriptions also help in understanding the social and cultural life of the ancient age. Ex. Eran inscription (510A.D) provides the first written record of Sati.
  • Many inscriptions contain details of the donations and land grants to temples, monasteries and men of education and learning.
  • Inscriptions throw light on the religious life as well. Mora inscription throws light on Bhagvatism.
  • Ancient Indians developed cultural and trades contacts with south-east Asian countries like Java, Sumatra, Cambodia and Borneo. A large number of inscriptions found in these places which are very much akin to Indian epigraphs in respect of their language and script reflect the expansion of Indian culture in these countries.

Conclusion

Epigraphy is a sine qua non for constructing the political and cultural history of ancient India. At the same time, they must be complemented and supplemented by literary sources and other evidence to create a better picture of the early Indian Historical Tradition.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

2. The national tele-mental health programme is a good step towards addressing gaps in mental health treatment in the country. But its capacity to reach a large audience and reduce stigma associated with mental illnesses in society will determine its success. Analyse.  (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 national tele-mental health programme and the need to destigmatise mental health for its success.

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 giving an overview of mental health set up in India and trends in mental health disorders.

Body:

First, write about the national tele-mental health programme, its features and the potential benefits from it.

Next, write about the need to reach masses and destigmatise mental disorders in the society – mention the steps that must be taken in this regard – creating awareness, accessible treatment, promoting well-being, harnessing AYUSH etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward of measures needed to further strengthen mental health in India.

 

Introduction

According to the World Health Organization, over 90 million Indians, or 7.5% of the population, suffer from mental health issues. A study published in Lancet in December 2019, titled “The burden of mental disorders across the states of India: The Global Burden of Disease Study 1990–2017”, also highlights the scale of the challenge.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in mental health-related problems among people of all age. Global research has highlighted the increased rates of depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, etc., in individuals affected by the virus.

Body

State of Mental healthcare in India

  • WHO has labelled India as the world’s ‘most depressing country’.
  • The National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) 2015–2016 conducted by NIMHANS revealed that one in five individuals suffer from some sort of mental health disorder and only 15% of those affected receive the treatment required.
  • This amounts to a massive untreated ‘mental health burden’ in our country.
  • There is just one qualified psychiatrist for 10 lakh people in India, the number of psychologists and psychiatric social workers being even fewer.

Importance of national tele-mental health programme

  • During her Budget 2022-23 Speech in the Parliament, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a National Tele Mental Health Programme.
  • The programme, which has been hailed by all sectors of people for having the potential of changing mental health care in the country, is proposed to consist of 23 tele mental health centres with NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences Bangalore) acting as the nodal centre.
  • Meanwhile, for this, International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIIT-B) would be providing the technological expertise.
    • Lack of awareness and sensitivity about mental health is one of the biggest issues. There is a big stigma around people suffering from any kind of mental health issues.
    • They are often tagged as ‘lunatics’ by the society. This leads to a vicious cycle of shame, suffering and isolation of the patients.
  • Tele-mental healthcare can bridge the gap by connecting people from remote areas to health professionals in times of need but also help train general physicians and community health workers in mental healthcare.
  • They form the backbone of our health infrastructure, and the ability to provide mental health services at a primary level under the tele guidance of psychiatrists is a fruitful and cost-effective exercise.
  • The national tele-mental health programme is expected to help people get easier access to quality counselling and care services related to mental health.

Challenges to National tele-mental healthcare

  • Mental health issues in India are hugely complex. Data on mental illness is remarkably patchy. Most data are based on self-reporting of conditions and extrapolation.
  • Like any other legal document, implementation is the key and a challenge at the same time. The Mental Healthcare Act (2017) came in with a lot of promises by revamping the old act of 1987.
  • Digital illiteracy, limited data connectivity, network glitches, ethical and legal lacunae related to tele-psychiatry guidelines, limitations in medical assessment through a virtual medium and data safety are the main concerns that riddle tele-mental healthcare.
  • As the Covid threat reduces with time, the inherent tendency of the masses to prefer in-person consultation will be on the rise rendering virtual consultations redundant.
  • Affordability issues related to telemedicine should also be borne in mind to prevent health inequalities.

Way forward

  • Human wellness is about body and mind. Lasting change is possible only through a collaborative effort of policy-makers.
  • Invest in institutional support mechanisms like hospitals, treatment centres, qualified health care support and community support mechanisms.
  • Implementation of tele-mental healthcare cannot be decoupled from efforts to improve digital literacy, data security and enhanced accessibility to services.
  • Advocacy by mental health professionals, media and policymakers are likely to make a lasting impact in this area.
  • We need large scale social security support or insurance to cover costs.
  • Mental illnesses should be covered in health insurance policies.
  • The government must ensure that treatment is widely available and costs are regulated.
  • India must draw lessons from other countries as well as draw upon its own ancient wisdom to holistically treat mental health.

Conclusion

This rare but apt mention of mental health in the national Budget holds true promise of delivering tele-mental health services in the post-Covid future. The proposed Tele-Mental Health Programme is a timely and much-needed move but whether it delivers in the long run depends on its implementation, advocacy and dealing with the associated digital challenges.

 

 

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

3. The disruption in education caused by the pandemic resulted in an alarming regression in children’s foundational skills which can have long term repercussions on the learning outcomes. Suggest steps to bridge the gap in education. (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 impact of the pandemic on education and steps needed to offset the impact.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by highlighting some of the facts with respect to impact of covid-19 on education in India.

Body:

Firstly, mention the progress in education system before the pandemic. Cite a statistic to substantiate your point. Bring out the impact of learning deficit caused by the pandemic in India.

Next, mention the various ways to bridge the learning deficit that has emerged – readmitting dropouts, ensuring access to e-learning, special focus on most vulnerable states etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Introduction

India witnessed one of the longest school closures in the world. For the better part of the past two years, teachers struggled to cope with the pedagogical challenges posed by the switch to online classes. The country’s digital divide proved to be a hurdle for a large number of underprivileged learners. Field reports by private agencies and state government bodies have indicated that this disruption resulted in an alarming regression in children’s foundational skills — reading, writing, doing simple mathematics.

The National Assessment Survey (NAS), details the magnitude of this learning crisis across the country. Conducted in November 2021 among students of more than one lakh schools in 720 districts, the NAS shows a sharp dip in the performance of students in almost all subjects during the pandemic years.

Body

Background

  • Our answer to the education crisis during the pandemic has been to offer online education. However, there are serious issues related to access, devices, content, curation, teachers, training, testing, exams, grades, funding, facilities, salaries, parents and fees.
  • It is estimated that only about 25 per cent of Indian households have an internet facility.
  • For rural households, that number drops to 15 per cent. The worst affected, as always, will be the marginalised, rural and poor populations.
  • Digital education is not just about videos of lectures on blackboards by teachers on the internet. It is about appropriate platforms, technology, tools, interactivity, curation, content and a lot more.
  • Government schools and colleges do not have the resources to provide digital education. Private schools and colleges are no different. However, they all want parents to pay full fees to be able to pay their staff and maintain facilities.
  • In India, the situation is even more complex because of the lack of a proper policy on digital education, infrastructure and multiple languages.

Learning crisis in India and its impact

  • The public health emergency seems to have put on the back-burner the implementation of school education reforms envisaged by the NEP.
  • Funds for training teachers have been slashed by nearly 50 per cent in the current budget and the outlay for the Mid-Day Meal Scheme whose positive impact on school enrolment, student retention and nutrition of children is well-documented has come down by almost 10 per cent.
  • Instead, there seems to be an over-reliance on e-learning. But as the NAS shows, these methods cannot be a substitute for the interactions in a
  • According to ASER survey, students, especially those from poor families, are dependent more than ever on private tuition.
  • Of concern is the survey finding that the youngest learners also have the “least access to technology”. Almost a third of all children in Classes I and II did not have a smartphone available at home.
  • 4 per cent teachers flagged the problem of children being “unable to catch up” as one of their biggest challenges — which is also a warning that their learning outcomes are set to be affected unless addressed with urgency.
  • As per NAS survey teachers and field investigators across the country reported that primary grade kids struggled to make sense of questions to test basic comprehension and numerical skills.

 

Steps needed to remedy the education crisis

  • Relearning: The first step should be to acknowledge that children are returning to schools with diminished skills as well as recognise that some learners may have experienced more setbacks than their peers.
  • Creative teaching: Planners and school administrators should give teachers the freedom to adopt creative approaches that turn classrooms into spaces where students can shed the anxieties of the past two years and regain skills at their own pace.
  • Learner-centric: This would require re-imagining pedagogical practices and a shift from syllabus-centred approaches of the past to learner-centric methods.
    • The New Education Policy 2020, announced in the first year of the pandemic, recognises this imperative.
  • New Education policy: The policy reforms envisaged must be kick-started and implemented on war footing especially wrt pedagogical learning.
  • Vaccination of all children against covid-19 so that there wont be any disruption to schools and children attending schools.
  • Keeping a watch on school drop-outs and bringing everyone back to school should become the number one priority of the government.

Conclusion

Several studies, including the annual ASER reports, have underlined that most of the failings of the country’s educational system stem from the lack of connect between the lived experiences of most students and what is taught in classrooms. The pandemic-induced crisis, no doubt formidable, is an opportunity to apply correctives. Failure to do so will imperil the academic future of an entire generation.

 

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

4. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) benefits a firm just as much as it benefits the community. CSR initiatives can strengthen the relationship between workers and businesses, and contribute positively to the society. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

A When COVID-19 spurred a nationwide lockdown in India in 2020, a grave need for localised social support emerged. Giving, both private and public, flowed to NGOs working towards combating pandemic-induced challenges such as loss of livelihood for vulnerable communities, food banks, and health and medical support.

Key Demand of the question:

To wrote about the advantages of CSR and steps needed to make it more effective.

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 defining CSR and its evolution in India.

Body:

First, write about the various aims and objectives behind CSR in India. Write about the important advantages of CSR in India. Cite examples to substantiate.

In the next part, write about the various issues in CSR – lack of community participation in CSR activities, need to build local capacities, issues of transparency and non-availability of clear CSR guidelines.

Next, write about the various measures that are needed to make CSR more effective.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

Introduction

The term “Corporate Social Responsibility” in general can be referred to as a corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on the environment and impact on social welfare.

In India, the concept of CSR is governed by clause 135 of the Companies Act, 2013. India is the first country in the world to mandate CSR spending along with a framework to identify potential CSR activities.

Body

Background: CSR in India

  • The CSR provisions within the Act is applicable to companies with an annual turnover of 1,000 crore and more, or a net worth of Rs. 500 crore and more, or a net profit of Rs. 5 crore and more.
  • The Act requires companies to set up a CSR committee which shall recommend a Corporate Social Responsibility Policy to the Board of Directors and also monitor the same from time to time.
  • The Act encourages companies to spend 2% of their average net profit in the previous three years on CSR activities.
  • The indicative activities, which can be undertaken by a company under CSR, have been specified under Schedule VII of the Act. The activities include:
    • Eradicating extreme hunger and poverty,
    • Promotion of education, gender equality and empowering women,
    • Combating Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and other diseases,
    • Ensuring environmental sustainability;
    • Contribution to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund or any other fund set up by the Central Government for socio-economic development and relief and funds for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women etc.

Benefits of Corporate social responsibility to the firms

  • CSR increases employee engagement: Giving back to the community is a virtuous circle in which engaged employees are enriched by volunteering opportunities that further engage and encourage them.
  • Contributes to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals
  • Presents press opportunities: It provides more marketing for firms and increases brand engagement with the public.
  • Increases customer retention and loyalty: CSR gives a company a chance to showcase consistency and win loyalty, which ultimately converts into customer retention and increased sales.
  • CSR improves employer branding: It’s increasingly important for companies to have a socially conscious image. Consumers, employees, and stakeholders prioritize CSR when choosing a brand or company, and they hold corporations accountable for effecting social change with their beliefs, practices, and profits.  

Issues pertaining to CSR

  • Finding Right Partners: Despite growing awareness about the significance of CSR compliance, the challenges remain in identifying the right partners and projects, as well as in selecting projects that are long-term impactful, scalable, and are self-sustaining.
  • Lack of Community Participation in CSR Activities: There is a lack of interest of the local community in participating and contributing to CSR activities of companies.
    • This is largely attributable to the fact that there exists little or no knowledge about CSR within the local communities as no serious efforts have been made to spread awareness about CSR.
    • The situation is further aggravated by a lack of communication between the company and the community at the grassroots.
  • Issues of Transparency: There is an expression by the companies that there exists lack of transparency on the part of the local implementing agencies as they do not make adequate efforts to disclose information on their programs, audit issues, impact assessment and utilisation of funds.
    • This reported lack of transparency negatively impacts the process of trust building between companies and local communities, which is a key to the success of any CSR initiative at the local level.
  • Non-availability of Well Organised NGOs: There is non-availability of well organised NGOs in remote and rural areas that can assess and identify real needs of the community and work along with companies to ensure successful implementation of CSR activities.

Measures needed

  • Beyond just allocating funds, the companies shall conduct regular reviews on progress of CSR compliance and put in place some measures for a more professional approach towards the same. Also, they should set clear objectives and align all the stakeholders with them.
  • It is equally important to let their NGO partners know of their business needs.
    • The latter should know that companies which award money from their CSR budgets are sincere about the causes they pick.
  • The Companies must also refresh the roles of Board, CSR Committee, CFO and set-up new SOPs including a defined process for fund utilisation, determine applicability of impact assessment, prepare a detailed checklist of processes with the owners and timelines and formulate an annual action plan.
  • The government must ensure that the activities included in the CSR Policy of a company are implemented by it.
  • It is also the responsibility of the government to address the issues of non availability of the NGOs and create awareness in the society about the significance of the CSR and its activities.
  • The government plans to use technology tools such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to do data mining of the mandated reports to bring changes to its policy on CSR.
    • Leveraging technology to improve the oversight of India Inc is welcome, but this should be applied to the financial and governance aspects of companies before moving on to their social obligations.

Conclusion

More CSR decision-makers are shifting their focus from compliance with CSR laws to the social impact they are making. CSR funders are following several themes to make this transition, such as hiring professionals, coming together in collaboratives, and defining and publishing their impact metrics to hold themselves accountable. The idea is to move beyond signing cheques to recognising that, ultimately, what’s good for Indian society is also good for business.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: issues of buffer stocks and food security;

5. Examine the various threats to India’s food security. Suggest measures in order to have sufficient production and proper distribution of food grains amidst rising geopolitical tensions.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express , Insights on India

Why the question:

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Food Price Index has increased by 30 per cent in the year 2021-22. The last time it had increased in similar proportion was in 2010-11.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the various threats to food security and measures needed to ensure it.

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 statistic related to food security scenario in the country.

Body:

First, write the about the various threats to food security in the country – geopolitical tension, adverse weather events like floods and droughts, improper supply chains, storage issues etc

Next, write the measures needed to overcome the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward on overcoming the above shortcomings.

 

Introduction

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Food Price Index has increased by 30 per cent in the year 2021-22. The last time it had increased in similar proportion was in 2010-11. This phenomenon was one of the factors that led to the Arab Spring. Currently, at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic had already disrupted the food supply chains around the world in 2020, tensions are exacerbated by Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine: Russia and Ukraine represent 27 per cent of the world market for wheat, 16 per cent for corn, 23 per cent for barley, and 53 per cent for sunflower.

Body

Background: India and food crisis vulnerability

  • India, currently has the largest number of undernourished people in the world around 195 million.
  • India has high undernourishment (about 16% of the population), wasting (about 17%),stunting (about 31%) and low exclusive breastfeeding practice (only 58%)
  • Nearly 47 million or 4 out of 10 children in India do not meet their full human potential because of chronic undernutrition or stunting.
  • 9% of children under 5 years are stunted and 20.8% are wasted, compared to the Asia average of 22.7% and 9.4% respectively.
  • Rate of overweight and obesity continues to rise, affecting almost a fifth of the adults, at 21.6% of women and 17.8% of men.
  • Inequities in food and health systems increase inequalities in nutrition outcomes that in turn can lead to more inequity, perpetuating a vicious cycle.

 

Various threats to India’s food security

  • Conflict: The Russia Ukraine Conflict has forced elements of Ukraine witnessing decrease sowing due to the struggle, the web impression of global food provide shocks might be felt in every single place.
    • Ukraine and Russia export wheat across the globe and a sudden stopper has made nations take steps such as export ban of wheat as in India.
    • In peacetime, the Black Sea ports, now blocked, account for about 95 per cent of grain exports from Ukraine.
  • Weather Extremes: The Global Drought Observatory has reported that drought is probably going to have an effect on 47% of European soil. The newest EU forecast suggests a decline of 16% for maize to 5% for wheat and 8-10% for edible oil.
    • While China has seen warmth waves and drought in a number of elements of the nation, the US can also be struggling a dry season with excessive warmth and poor rains.
    • Similar circumstances have affected Brazil, with its agricultural worth output declining by 8% within the first quarter, main to excessive food inflation.
    • With most massive food producers reporting drops in manufacturing, there seems to be a powerful chance that the approaching months will see global provide shortages for many farm commodities.
  • Economic Shocks: Over 30 million people in 21 countries / territories suffered acute food insecurityin 2021 due to economic shocks, down from over 40 million people in 17 countries / territories in 2020.
  • Crop diseases: With experiences of the standing paddy crop in main rice-producing states witnessing a thriller dwarfing illness in India, the web decline in paddy manufacturing may very well be anyplace at 15-20% in contrast to regular ranges.

Measures to fortify food security in India

  • Stock regulation in private sector: The Indian government could ensure more transparency on food stocks and regulate the private sector. For that, there is a need to set restrictions on the reserves that the private sector can hold, as they often tend to hoard food stocks to later sell at a profit.
    • This will help prevent the opaqueness of private sector reserves, which often fuels speculation by large international financial actors.
  • Agriculture-Nutrition linkage schemes have the potential for greater impact in dealing with food security malnutrition and thus, needs greater emphasis.
    • Recognising the importance of this link, the Ministry for Women and Child Development launched theBharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh in 2019.
    • There is a need to promote schemes directed to nutrition-agriculture link activities in rural areas. However, implementation remains the key.
  • Underutilisation of Resources:It has been pointed out many a times that expenditure made under many nutrition-based schemes is considerably lower than what was allocated under them. Thus, emphasis needs to be on implementation.
  • The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, legally entitles up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System.
    • The eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above is mandated to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards under the Act.
  • Convergence with other Schemes:Nutrition goes beyond just food, with economic, health, water, sanitation, gender perspectives and social norms contributing to better nutrition. This is why the proper implementation of other schemes can also contribute to better nutrition.
    • The convergence of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Jal Jeevan Mission with schemes pertaining to nutrition,will bring holistic changes to India’s nutrition scenario.

Conclusion

Food security of a nation is ensured if all of its citizens have enough nutritious food available, all persons have the capacity to buy food of acceptable quality and there is no barrier on access to food. The right to food is a well-established principle of international human rights law. It has evolved to include an obligation for state parties to respect, protect, and fulfil their citizens’ right to food security.

India needs to adopt a policy that brings together diverse issues such as inequality, food diversity, indigenous rights and environmental justice to ensure sustainable food security.

 

 


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.

6. Standards are necessary for ethics, but they cannot be mechanically obeyed. Even in a volatile, constantly-changing environment, each person must have their own firm set of basic beliefs and the integrity to accept responsibility for their own judgement and choices. Elaborate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

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

Key demand of the question:

To write about ethics and importance of core values in a ever changing environment.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin the answer by defining ethics.

Body:

Explain in detail the importance of core values system in changing and turbulent times – how integrity and core values help a person stay on the right path despite changing standards. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the importance of core value system.

 

 

Introduction

Ethics is what guides us to tell the truth, keep our promises, or help someone in need. There is a framework of ethics underlying our lives on a daily basis, helping us make decisions that create positive impacts and steering us away from unjust outcomes. They help form our core value system. Core values are a defined system of beliefs that helps people tell the difference between right from wrong.

Body

We live in a dynamic world. Be it in personal or professional lives, our decisions are changing at lightning speed. With every step, every decision we must ensure that they are ethical. Values such as integrity must guide us in our decision-making process. Ethical way of life does not come through mere imposition of code of conduct, rather it is an inherent value system and beliefs engraved within us.

In today’s society, ethical integrity has become a modern lifestyle. When a person has a strong moral character, they are said to be a person of integrity and to live an honest life is said to be the most important virtue a person can have. Consistency is a concept of ethical integrity and people should act according to their moral principles. In other words, people should do what they say. For example, if a company owner speaks about the need to improve productivity in the workplace, he/she would show integrity for offering in-house training programs for the employees to improve their skills. Moreover, ethical integrity begins from headship, which can result in ethical behaviour

Core values drive behaviour and form beliefs. Examples of core values include reliability, dependability, loyalty, honesty, commitment, consistency, and efficiency.

Conclusion

Core values serve as criteria or standards, guiding the choice or evaluation of people, actions, or events. We decide what is justified or not based on the possible impact our decision would have on our values. We do not always do this consciously. Sometimes, we become aware of their values when the judgment or action they are considering has ambiguous implications for their cherished values.

 

Topic: Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

7. Emotional intelligence is about being aware of how emotions affect your communication and even leveraging human emotions to make yourself more persuasive. Explain. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

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 develop a link between emotional intelligence and persuasion.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining emotional intelligence (EI).

Body:

First mention the role of EI in – perceiving emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and managing emotions.

Next, link the emotional aspect of EI with communication and persuasion – attempting to influence an outcome or followers using – authority, consistency and commitment, liking and reciprocity/reciprocation etc.

Conclusion:

Complete the answer by stressing on the implications for leaders and employers in understanding the importance of interpersonal relationships in the organizational context.

 

Introduction

Emotional intelligence refers to the capability of a person to manage and control his or her emotions and possess the ability to control the emotions of others as well. In other words, they can influence the emotions of other people also.

 

Body

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.

It is said to have five main elements such as – self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Of these, self-regulation is of significant importance in this context, especially for civil servants.

For instance, watching social media and comparing ourselves with someone else might lead to extreme anxiety about our inadequacies or shortcomings. Instead of indicting ourselves for our situation, one must understand that every individual has their own trajectory in life. And circumstances surrounding one’s riches or well-being can be very different.

Significance of Emotional Intelligence

  • The chances of succeeding are skewed towards people who are better able to manage themselves and others emotionally, one’s who are likeable and trustworthy.
  • Research shows that more than 80% percent of success is due to skills in “human engineering,” personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge.
  • Additionally, Nobel Prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price.
    • Hence, instead of exclusively focusing on conventional intelligence quotient, one should make an investment in strengthening his/her EQ (Emotional Intelligence). The concepts of EQ may be difficult to measure, but their significance is far greater than IQ.
  • Simply put, emotional intelligence is that “something” within us that help us to sense how we feel and enables us to truly connect with others and form a bond.
  • It gives us the ability to be present and listen to someone when they most need it. It is that sense of internal balance within us that enables us to keep our composure, make good decisions, communicate successfully, and maintain effective leadership even when under stress.

Developing Emotional Intelligence

  • Self-regard: Having high self-regard means that one has a good understanding of his

strengths and weaknesses. Acting on this understanding requires that you have good self-

knowledge and effectively strike a balance between being confident and being arrogant.

People are more comfortable helping others who demonstrate the right amount of humility.

  • Optimism: People find optimism and happiness attractive attributes. People are more likely to cooperate with someone who’s optimistic.
  • Approachability: Approachability, like optimism, attracts people. When we’re happy others are more pleasant to be around. Being happy add to “likability” factor. It can also be contagious. Everybody likes to be happy, and being around happy people contributes to one’s own happiness.
  • Self-evaluation: By self-evaluating oneself, one can know one’s emotions and reactions to different situations. By observing others, one can comprehend feelings of others.
  • Communication: By improving one’s expression, one can communicate better.

Conclusion

High-EI individuals, could reduce the effects of negative emotions like anger or rage on their decision-making. Rage and anger are not only removed as hindrances, but also used to enhance the quality of decisions.


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