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[Mission 2023] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 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: urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1. The increase in urban population across India has led to changes in land use without considering natural land contours and weather patterns. The need of the hour are sustainable cities, which can mitigate the impact of urban settlements Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The first two weeks of September saw parts of India’s startup hub, Bengaluru, submerged under water. Excessive rainfall in a La Nina year, coupled with urban expansion built over natural water pools (lakes) resulted in multiple low-lying areas seeing several feet of waterlogging.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the impact of rampant changes in land use policies and need to have sustainable cities.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, write the impacts of increasing urban population and resulting changes in land use patterns. Cite statistic and examples to substantiate the points.

Next, write about the remedies for the above-mentioned problem which will result making Indian cities more sustainable and resilient to vagaries of climate change.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward to overcome the above.

 

Introduction

Mindless and rampant urbanisation has wreaked havoc in India.  A similar situation was observed during floods in Chennai and Mumbai in recent years—a clear sign that urban planning and development must take into account nature and climate.

Currently, India’s nearly 30% population lives in urban areas and it is expected to rise upto 50% by 2050. Being a developing country with a huge population pressure India is facing many challenges due to rural to urban migration. To contain these challenges and to make a proper trajectory towards new India, Sustainable urban planning is an important aspect.

Body

In absence of sustainable urban planning India is facing manifold challenges:

  • Rise in Slums: Few of the Asia’s largest slums are in Delhi and Mumbai where unplanned urbanisation led to polluted water, health issues and rising rate of crimes.
  • Urban flooding: Floods in Mumbai and Chennai are examples of urban flooding. These are results of unsustainable urbanisation.
  • Rising number of accidents: Fires in buildings and deaths in various urban accidents are daily routine in Indian cities.
  • Degrading environment: According to WHO report, out of 20 most polluted cities, 14 are in India.

 

Significance of sustainable urbanization:

  • Safe drinking water: According to a report by NITI Aayog, 21 cities will run out of groundwater by 2020. To avoid further worsening of such crisis we need careful urban planning.
  • Affordable housing: One of the largest government programmes is to provide affordable housing to citizens. Sustainable urban planning will help to manage land resources in equitable way.
  • Urban sewage and solid waste management: In India less than quarter of the waste generated gets proper treatment. For rapidly growing urban agglomerations we need planning to manage this rising challenge.
  • Transportation and communication: Sustainable urban planning will provide efficient and eco-friendly public transport facilities to overpopulated urban cities of India.
  • Sustainable urban planning will also help in equitable resources distribution and affordable service delivery.
  • It will also help in creating sustainable environment and disaster management.

Government efforts towards sustainable urbanization:

  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) as a step towards harnessing the agglomeration economies of the urban centres and making cities engines of growth.
  • It envisages convergence across various initiatives such as Amrut, Smart Cities, Hriday (National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Swachh Bharat.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for affordable housing with credit linked subsidy.
  • Smart cities Mission- It is an urban development programme launched by the government of India with the mission to develop 100 cities across the country and making them citizen friendly and sustainable.

Way forward:

  • India needs to work on achieving the goals set by United Nations under SDG-11 to be achieved by 2030.
  • Need for Comprehensive National urban plan for effective and timely implementation of policies and schemes
  • Ensure access for all through adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums, transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport.
  • Give special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women and children, persons with disabilities and older persons.
  • Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.
  • Provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces.
  • Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • Substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Conclusion:

The announcement of a new urbanisation policy that seeks to rebuild Indian cities around clusters of human capital, instead of considering them simply as an agglomeration of land use, is a welcome transformation. We need to empower our cities, with a focus on land policy reforms, granting urban local bodies the autonomy to raise funds and enforce local land usage norms.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

2. From the Indian perspective, discuss the relevance of ‘no harm rule’ in order to promote environmental and developmental policies while not causing damage to the environment of neighbouring countries or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

With the devastating effects of climate change visible, riparian states across the world must comply with all the procedural duties pursuant to the ‘no harm rule’

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the relevance of ‘no harm rule’ to promote environmental policies and preventing damage.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining ‘no harm rule’

Body:

First, write about the aims and features of the ‘no harm rule’.

Next, write about the ways ‘no harm rule’ has resulted in a country’s sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

Next, write about limitations of the ‘no harm rule’.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward in order to deal with the present changes.

 

Introduction

The no-harm rule is a widely recognised principle of customary international law whereby a State is duty-bound to prevent, reduce and control the risk of environmental harm to other states.

States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. (Rio Principle 6)

Body

International law

  • In accordance with customary international law, no state has to use its territory in a manner that causes harm to another state while using a shared natural resource; this amounts to saying that there is a binding obligation on all states not to release water to cause floods in another co-sharer of the river water.
  • This obligation gives rise to other procedural norms that support the management of floods, which include notification of planned measures, the exchange of data and information, and also public participation.
  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ), in the Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina vs Uruguay) case (2010), upheld that conducting a transboundary environmental impact assessment (TEIA) of a planned measure or projects on the shared water course is part of customary international law.
    • In fact, the ICJ noted that the acting state must notify the affected party of the results of TEIA to “enable the notified party to participate in the process of ensuring that the assessment is complete, so that it can then consider the plan and its effects with a full knowledge of the facts”.

Relevance of no-harm rule for India

  • Closer home, there is the case of China being the upper riparian in the Brahmaputra, which spans India and Bangladesh, enjoying apparent leverage vis-à-vis lower riparian India. During the monsoon, flooding has been the recurrent feature in the last several decades in Assam.
    • India faces other woes in the form of the construction of dams by China.
    • China’s excessive water release, as a “dam controller”, in violation of customary international law has the potential to exacerbate flooding in Assam in future.
  • India’s main concern is that there is no comprehensive sub-basin or all basin-level mechanism to deal with water management of Brahmaputra.
  • Neither India or China are party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (UNWC) 1997 or the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes 1992 (Water Convention).
  • In the absence of any mechanism, India relies on its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China in 2013 with a view to sharing hydrological information during the flood season (June to September).
  • The MoU does not allow India access to urbanisation and deforestation activities on the Chinese side of the river basin.
  • With the MoU in the background, India by becoming a party to either the UNWC and the Water Convention could lay the groundwork for a bilateral treaty on the Brahmaputra but subject to the reservation that it should not insist on the insertion of a dispute settlement mechanism provision.

 

Conclusion

Governments of respective countries should command the developers of transboundary river infrastructures to conduct EIA and SIA in all project-affected communities of state borders and share the report so that preventive and precautionary measures can be taken.

 

 

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

3. India and Russia have to navigate a complex geopolitical landscape while deepening ties. Comment in the light of recent developments. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the changes in Indio-Russian relations in the recent past in the light of changing geo-political developments.

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 of ‘all weather’ friendship between India and Russia.

Body:

In the first part, Highlight the strength of the relationship – Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership, the long history, defence partnership, nuclear power plants etc.

Next, bring out the issues in the relationship by dividing them into geopolitical, geostrategic and at bilateral level – Russia-Pakistan, Russia-China, and USA-India, Changes in Afghanistan, Ukraine war and issues emanating from them.

Discuss how should India and Russia navigate the tides moving forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude by commenting on their current nature of evergreen friendship.

 

Introduction

Russia’s war on Ukraine has decisively shaped international opinion. Indian foreign policy is also going to be affected in a profound manner. While there has always remained a pro-Russian popular sentiment in India, rooted in Moscow’s support during the Cold War era, particularly against the pro-Pakistani diplomatic activism by powerful Western countries in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), a majority of Indians today seem taken aback by Russia’s misadventure against a sovereign country.

Body

Complex issues facing India while balancing Moscow and the West

  • ‘China’ problem: There are understandable reasons for India’s (subtle) pro-Russia position.
    • An aggressive Russia is a problem for the U.S. and the West, not for India.
    • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) expansion is Russia’s problem, not India’s.
    • India’s problem is China, and it needs both the U.S./the West and Russia to deal with the “China problem”
  • Geopolitics rather than emotions: There is today a sobering recognition in New Delhi about the weakening of the U.S.-led global order and the rise of China as a counter-pole, geographically located right next to India.
    • withdrawal from the region and its decline as the principal system shaper has complicated India’s place in regional geopolitics.
    • Neighbouring China as the rising superpower and Russia as its strategic ally challenging the U.S.-led global order at a time when China has time and again acted on its aggressive intentions vis-à-vis India, and when India is closest to the U.S. than ever before in its history, throws up a unique and unprecedented challenge for India.
  • Beyond all weather friendship: For India, Russian ties are important. It must be recalled that Ukraine was against India during 1998 nuclear tests and had spoken against India with issue of Kashmir.
    • India’s Russia tilt should be seen not just as a product of its time-tested friendship with Moscow but also as a geopolitical necessity.
    • If in the future there is Chinese aggression or Pakistan tries adventurism on India, India will need all hands on the deck. Russia being the most important.
  • Russia’s support to solve continental problems: There is an emerging dualism in contemporary Indian strategic Weltanschauung: the predicament of a continental space that is reeling under immense pressure from China, Pakistan and Taliban-led Afghanistan adding to its strategic claustrophobia; and, the emergence of a maritime sphere which presents an opportunity to break out of the same.
  • Defence supplies: New Delhi needs Moscow’s assistance to manage its continental difficulties through defence supplies, helping it ‘return’ to central Asia, working together at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) or exploring opportunities for collaboration in Afghanistan.
    • Russia, to put it rather bluntly, is perhaps India’s only partner of consequence in the entire Asian continental stretch.
    • Therefore, having Russia on its side is crucial for India, more than ever.
    • Moscow may or may not be able to moderate Chinese antagonism towards New Delhi, but an India-Russia strategic partnership may be able to temper New Delhi’s growing isolation in a rather friendless region.

 

Way forward for India

  • India’s past record has been maintaining balance between the West and Russia. On January 31, India abstained on a procedural vote on whether to discuss the issue of Ukraine.
  • New Delhi had then articulated its position on “legitimate security interests” that echoed with a nuanced tilt towards the Russian position, and had abstained along with Kenya and Gabon.
  • Despite abstention, India has reiterated and has called for cessation of violence in no ambiguous terms.
  • India has also quoted the international charter on sovereignty, highlighting that all nations must respect the same, intended towards Russia.
  • For India, Russian ties are important. It must be recalled that Ukraine was against India during 1998 nuclear tests and had spoken against India with issue of Kashmir.
  • Hence strategic autonomy is the way forward as India has been doing.

Conclusion

India’s position also shows the unmistakable indication that when it comes to geopolitics, New Delhi will choose interests over principles. And yet, a careful reading of India’s statements and positions taken over the past few days also demonstrates a certain amount of discomfort in having to choose interests over principles.

However, New Delhi’s response to the recent crisis, especially its “explanation of vote” at the UNSC indicates a careful recourse to the principle of strategic autonomy: India will make caveated statements and will not be pressured by either party. In that sense, India’s indirect support to the Russian position is not a product of Russian pressure but the result of a desire to safeguard its own interests.

  

 

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

4.  India and EU should not let divergence of views on some issues overwhelm the convergence of views on other areas. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why this question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need for great cooperation between India-EU in critical areas and ways to achieve it.

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: 

Start with brief background of the context of the question.

Body:

Explain first that after limited economic gains from its FTAs with Asian partners, India is reassessing its FTA options. While a good beginning has been made with the UK, India must also renegotiate with the EU—the bloc is very important for India as far as trade relations are concerned, and an FTA with the EU is, thus, based on sound reasoning.

Discuss that FTAs need to be designed in a manner that they enhance complementarities amongst partners and overcome regulatory hurdles that inhibit trade. Account for potential of India –EU trade relations.

Present the challenges before India in realizing this potential.

Conclusion:

Suggest way forward and conclude.

Introduction

India-EU relationship dates back to 1960s when India was the first country to establish relationship with European economic union which later evolved into common market -European union. For more than a decade, the EU and India partnership had been slow-moving and fragmented, struggling to maintain momentum. India was acknowledged as a strategic partner in 2004. But seventeen years on there is still no mutually agreed set of clear priorities. The EU-India relationship fails to acknowledge each partner’s individual realities. Today’s changed circumstances provide the two sides with a new set of opportunities to move forward on the long-stalled agenda of stronger ties between India and European Union.

While India celebrates its 75th year of Independence, it also celebrates 60 years of diplomatic relations with the European Union (EU). A cooperation agreement signed in 1994 took the bilateral relationship beyond trade and economic cooperation..

Body

Various facets of India-EU bilateral relations:

  • Trade and Investment:
    • The EU is India’s largest trading partner, accounting for 12.9% of India’s overall trade. Further the trade in services have almost tripled in last decade.
    • Overall, the EU is the second largest investor in India, with €70 billion of cumulative FDI from April 2000 to March 2017, accounting for almost one quarter of all investments flows into India.
  • EU and India remain close partners in the G20 and have developed a regular macroeconomic dialogue to exchange experience on economic policies and structural reforms.
  • Energy Cooperation:EU – India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership.
  • Research and Development:India, participates in international ITER fusion. India also participates in research and innovation funding programme ‘Horizon 2020’
  • Environment and Water:The EU and India also cooperate closely on the Indian Clean Ganga initiative and deal with other water-related challenges in coordinated manner.
  • Migration and mobility:The EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM) is a fundamental cooperation agreement between India and EU.
  • Development cooperation:Over €150 million worth of projects are currently ongoing in India.

India and the EU have been keen to maintain the momentum in their bilateral interactions due to the opportunities

  • The EU wants to pivot away from China. It recently signed a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with China, which has drawn a lot of flak and its ratification has now been suspended because of diplomatic tensions.
  • The European Parliament remains overwhelmingly opposed to this deal after China imposed sanctions on some of its members, in response to the EU imposing sanctions against China for its treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region.
  • With the EU being India’s largest trading partner and the second-largest export destination, the economic logic of strong India-EU economic relations is self-evident.
  • The virtual summit saw India and the EU launching an ambitious “connectivity partnership” in digital, energy, transport, and people-to-people sectors, enabling the two to pursue sustainable joint projects in regions spanning from Africa, Central Asia to the wider Indo-Pacific.
  • Exports to EU: India has an untapped export potential of $39.9 billion in the EU and Western Europe. The top products with export potential include apparel, gems and jewellery, chemicals, machinery, automobile, pharmaceuticals and plastic.
  • India benefits from tariff preferences under the EU’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for several of these products.
  • In fact, India is among the major beneficiaries of the EU’s GSP, with exports under the GSP valued at nearly $19.4 billion in 2019, accounting for nearly 37% of India’s merchandise exports to the EU.
  • New emerging world order after COVID-19:As EU seeks to move away from a global supply chain that is overly dependent on China, India can emerge as its most natural ally.
  • There is a significant untapped potential to expand India-EU bilateral trade relation through an FTA.
  • The FTA will deliver on enhancing India’s market access in key services.
  • For this to happen, regulatory barriers in cross-border supply as well as provision of services through temporary movement of professionals will need to be addressed.

Concerns in India-EU ties

  • Stalled EU-India BTIA: It is being negotiated since 2007 and both sides have major differences on crucial issues such as: –
    • EU’s demands: significant duty cuts in automobiles, tax reduction on wines, spirits etc, a strong intellectual property regime, relaxation in India’s data localisation norms, protection to all its items with Geographical Indication etc.
    • India’s demands: Data secure’ status (important for India’s IT sector); Ease norms on temporary movement of skilled workers, relaxation of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) norms etc.
  • Trade imbalance: India accounts for only 1.9% of EU total trade in goods in 2019, well behind China (13.8%). Trade imbalance is expected to further increase with ratification of the European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement, which will make Indian exports less competitive.
  • India’s perception of EU:It views EU primarily as a trade bloc, preferring bilateral partnerships with Member States for all political and security matters. This is evident from lack of substantive agreements on matters such as regional security and connectivity.
  • Brexit:It is unclear how U.K.’s withdrawal from EU will affect India’s relation with EU as whole.
  • Human Rights concerns of EU: The European Parliament was critical of both the Indian government’s decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in 2019 and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Way Forward

  • To translate their common values into common action, EU and India in can work in third countries to consolidate democratic processes and build capacities of transitioning regimes through strengthening electoral and parliamentary institutions.
  • EU can collaborate with India to facilitate connectivity and infrastructure projects in third countries, particularly smaller states in South Asia that often fall prey to power politics and fiscal instability resulting from China’s loans and political influence as part of its BRI.
  • Thus, as highlighted by EU strategy on India, adopted in 2018, India EU should take their relations beyond “trade lens”, recognizing their important geopolitical, strategic convergence.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

5. The Chief of Defence staff (CDS) is responsible not only for integration of the armed forces but also for solving issues in planning, budgeting and force structuring for a military based on a coherent strategic vision. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The Government on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, appointed former Eastern Army Commander Lt. General Anil Chauhan as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The post has been vacant since the death of the country’s first CDS Gen. Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash in December 2021.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of CDS to the nation’s security

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning the rationale behind creation of the post of CDS.

Body:

In the first part, He will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999.

Next, mention the roles and responsibilities of CDS – oversees and coordinates the working of the three Services. The charter of the CDS, if implemented properly, will prepare the 15-lakh strong armed forces for the wars of the future. The CDS is mandated to ensure the Army, Navy and IAF, which often pull in different directions, truly integrate to slash wasteful expenditure amidst the ongoing severe fund crunch for military modernization because of the ballooning pay and pension bills.

Next, write about the various limitations associated with CDS in its shorts existence and steps needed to overcome them.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the need of CDS to make India ready for new generation warfare.

 

Introduction

The Government is reassessing the concept of post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as well as the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) and is looking to streamline the setup. The CDS is a four-star General/Officer who acts as the Principal Military Advisor to the Defence Minister on all tri-services (Army, Navy and Indian Air Force) matters.

 

Body

Rationale behind creation of CDS

  • Increasing demands
    • With the increasing complexity of security challenges in the modern warfare arena, there was a need for an integrated approach towards defence strategy.
    • There are communication issues, budgetary overruns by individual commands, inter-alia which demanded joint working of Army, Navy and Air Force.
  • Jointness:
    • CDS will ensure and promote thejointness (functioning together of the three services independently) through joint planning of command operations, logistics, transport, training, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years of operation.
    • This will ensure close cooperation and collaborationamongst the defence forces.
  • Integration:
    • There is a need for inducing integration (putting together the three Services at different levels and placing them under one commander) in different services.
    • However, there is a difference between integration and jointnessof command.
  • Lack of Resources:
    • CDS as‘first among equals’ will act as a single point advisor and could be held accountable for his actions and decisions taken.
    • Restructured military commands for optimal utilization of resources will avoid unnecessary duplication and wasteful expenditure.
  • Expertise:
    • Being into the services for so long, the expertise and knowledge of CDS to deal with the adverse situations could be appropriately utilized in order to achieve the desired aims, creating an architecture for joint commands.

Responsibility of CDS:

  • CDS will administer the tri-services organisations/agencies related to Cyber and Space.
  • CDS will look into monitoring of contracts, promoting the use of indigenous equipment, leveraging of current systems and transforming them, and prioritising the procurement of defence equipment in a better way.
  • He will also assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget.
  • CDS will bring reforms to augment the combat capabilities of the forces and is expected to evaluate plans for ‘out of area contingencies’ for countries in India’s neighbourhood.

Challenges:

  • Mandate for defence of the nation is still with the Department of Defence but the procurement process except capital acquisitions lies with CDS.
  • This gives birth to dichotomy as on one hand CDS is expected to prioritise the expenditure between the three services but the wherewithal still lies with the Defence Secretary.
  • Hence, the budgetary power still lies with the bureaucrats which demands timely intervention by the government.
  • CDS has the mandate of force planning(planning associated with the creation and maintenance of military capabilities).
  • Changing role of warfare- being more technology-oriented over rationalisation/rightsizing of manpower needs to be addressed properly.
  • India faces frequent conflicts on its land frontiers. Balancing this realisation that both maritime and air power are going to play an increasingly important rolein India’s rise as a leading power will be among the initial strategic challenges that would be faced by the CDS.
  • The government is yet to take a call on who the new CDS will be, despite the post lying vacant for nearly five months.

 

Conclusion and way forward

  • The appointment of a CDS, can lead to the development of theatre commands in the future.
  • Theaterisation has its advantages but the debate among the services on the need for such a move is far from over.
  • The success of the CDS will depend on the kind of powers the person appointed to the post enjoys. For the CDS to be effective, he would need to have control on the decision-making apparatus.
  • If the Ministry of Defence has the power to overrule the CDS, especially in the case of procurement of equipment for the three services, the move may yield low dividends.
  • The positives that this move may have can’t be ascertained until the government reveals the nuts and bolts of its plan.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour;

6. The prevalence of various addictions among young people in the nation is rising. Mention compassionate strategies to stop this trend. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

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 taking empathetic approach towards de-addiction.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of rising forms of addictions – drugs, gaming, alcohol, social media etc.

Body:

First, bring out the adverse impact of addictions in brief.

Next, write about empathetic approach towards de-addiction – breaking the stigma, persuading, care ethics, compassionate support, follow up etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing about saving the youth from various addictions.

Introduction

Addictive substances are chemicals that affect the body’s functioning. A person who is addicted focuses only on the rewards of the substance. Addiction can be of drugs, alcohol, gaming, social media validation etc.

He is likely to shirk personal and professional responsibilities, and avoid family and friends because he wishes to focus only on the habit. This addiction gradually affects his work and close relationships.

Body

Reasons for getting an addiction

  • Addiction is a learned coping behaviour that we pick up along the way.
  • Every human being responds to stressful life events in their own way.
  • Some people release their stress through exercise and working out. Others use food and overeating to cope with difficult life circumstances. For those who have been affected by addiction, the consumption of drugs or alcohol has been their coping mechanism.
  • At some point in the past, addicts and alcoholics used substances to cope with a stressful life event – and it worked.
  • The burden of life was not so heavy anymore. They felt they could finally manage their situation. Most of all, it gave them relief.

Harmful effects of addiction

  • Vulnerability to psychotic disorders, mental and behavioural problems
  • General health problems: liver damage (alcohol abuse), lung cancer (tobacco abuse), and damage to the nervous system (drug abuse). Alcohol and tobacco users are at a greater risk of developing cancer and other non-communicable diseases.
  • Toxicity, the risk for which increases when a person is addicted to both alcohol and tobacco
  • Risk-taking behaviour due to intoxication: This could include violence, reckless driving or sexual behaviour, causing domestic violence, accidents and injuries.
  • Sexual exposure (particularly among young women) and the possibility of contracting sexually transmitted diseases
  • Sepsis, infections and other transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, in the case of injected drugs.
    • Many people believe that using the same needle repeatedly does not cause any infections because it isn’t shared with others.
    • However, this is not true. Using the same needles without sterilizing them can cause infections.
  • Social isolation or withdrawal due to the obsession with the substance
  • Problems with the law: caused by impaired judgment and risk-taking behaviour, or due to exploring illegal means to get hold of their next dose.

Empathetic approach towards Addicts and helping in de-addiction

  • Empathy and understanding work for addiction, not because they are a non-intervening, permissive attitude. But, knowing just how difficult it is to give up something you love (drugs and alcohol) makes the person who is addicted realize that you’re willing to understand, to relate.
  • The long-term recovery is dependent upon a holistic approach to treatment. We are fortunate to live in a moment of human history, where there is a plethora of treatment options available for addiction.
  • Recovery includes a plan for the future to ensure success, and reinforces a solid foundation. Recovery is a process that includes the entire familial and support system of the patient.
  • Instead of ostracising someone for addiction, one must show empathy and try to reason with their behaviour. Counselling youth, making them realise the pain caused to those around them is one way to go about it.
  • Rehabilitation of drug addicts and timely medical intervention are important ways of de-addiction of substance abuse.
  • Finally, recovery is a holistic process and involves the rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul.

Conclusion

Addiction comes with a cost, be it financial or quality of life. Different addictions ultimately affect not just the individual but also the family and friends. A public health approach is needed to address the wide range of interacting factors that influence substance misuse and substance use disorders in different communities and coordinates efforts across diverse stakeholders to achieve reductions in both.

 

 

Topic: challenges of corruption.

7. Is whistleblowing ethically justified? Debate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

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 the importance of whistleblowing.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by defining whistleblowing.

Body:

Explain What are the moral and ethical justification of whistleblowing – whistleblowing is morally required when it is required at all; people have a moral obligation to prevent serious harm to others if they can do so with little costs to themselves. Mention how it prevents corruption. Give examples to justify your points.

Conclusion:

Complete the answer by summarising its importance.

 

Introduction

A whistle-blower is a person who comes forward and shares his/her knowledge on any wrongdoing which he/she thinks is happening in the whole organisation or in a specific department. A whistle-blower could be an employee, contractor, or a supplier who becomes aware of any illegal activities. Personal Values and Organizational Culture are the Foundation of Whistle-blowing

A good civil servant is one who is kind, responsive, fair, has sense of duty, objective judgement skills with a hint of rebellion.

Body:

In the course of civil service, an officer is bound to face challenges of various types. One must find innovative solutions to such problems by working around the problems. However, when there are inevitable situations, it becomes necessary to whistle blow, albeit within the system.

Challenges in finding a solution from within the system:

  • Non-cooperation of peers
  • Inertia of status quo, the lack of incentive to accept change within the system
  • Pressure from politicians and other groups.
  • Threats of demotion and frequent transfers
  • lack of evidence in most of the cases renders his case weak

Merits of whistleblowing:

  • Exposing Unethical Behaviour: When corporations and government agencies step over legal and ethical lines, whistle-blowers can make these practices public knowledge, which can lead to violators being held accountable.
  • Take care of things internally: Stronger whistle-blower protection laws all over the world, such as in the EU and Australia, mean that if you do not listen to and act upon whistleblowing tips internally, people may decide to report externally, for example to the media, and are legally protected if they do so.
  • Reduce losses when misconduct occurs: Whistleblowing benefits organisations through significant loss savings. Organisations that did not have a whistleblowing system in place suffered losses that were twice the size compared to those who did have a whistleblowing system.
  • Build trust in your brand: 50% of the participants responded that building trust was the main benefit of a whistleblowing system. An openness to whistleblowing demonstrates a commitment to high ethical standards and builds trust in the company.
  • Ensure legal compliance: Having a system in place for whistleblowing benefits organisations by reducing compliance risk.

Demerits of whistleblowing:

  • The world, government, corporates and even society to an extent do not like whistle-blowers and some countries go so far as to call them ‘traitors’
  • The case of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange of Wikileaks proves the point
  • Whistle-blowers face legal action, criminal charges, social stigma, and termination from any position, office, or job.
  • Vindictive tactics to make the individual’s work more difficult and/or insignificant, assassination of character, formal reprimand, and difficult court proceedings

Ethical perspective:

The ethics of whistleblowing is a tricky matter. Whistle-blowing brings two moral values, fairness and loyalty, into conflict.

In the case where a company does serious harm through its service or product, the disclosure of such information for the sake of public constitute the ground for an understanding that takes whistleblowing as an ethical behaviour.

The situations where whistleblowing is morally justified:

  • Whenever and wherever the product/service of the firm will cause considerable harm to the public.
  • Whenever an employee feels serious threat or harm to him or anybody he should report to the firm.
  • If an immediate boss does not care for report (whistle blowing) the employee should go up to highest level to present his case.

Conclusion

A good civil servant would adhere to the foundational principles and fight against corrupt practices in a pragmatic way as the situation demands.

 


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