Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 October 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: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

1. Kargil war was a symbol of India’s proud, valour and steadfast leadership and also had key lessons for our border security. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

India has always viewed war as the last resort, but the armed forces have the strength and strategies to give a befitting reply to anyone who casts an evil eye on the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on October 24.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the symbolic importance of Kargil war and lessons from it for our border security.

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 context.

Body:

In the first part, write about the symbolic significance of Kargil war and how it continues to serve as a symbol of indomitable courage.

Next, write about lessons learnt from the Kargil war regarding border security and mention the recommendations of The Kargil Review Committee (KRC).

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Kargil War was fought between May-July of 1999 in the erstwhile Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC) in which India emerged victorious. Post Indo-Pak war of 1971, there have been many military conflicts between India and Pakistan. Both the countries conducted nuclear tests in 1998 which further escalated tensions and finally the Kargil War in 1999.

PM Modi celebrated Deepavali in Kargil with the Indian Army and said that India has been dealing with its enemies, both external and internal, with force.  He reiterated that India has always viewed war as the last resort, but the armed forces have the strength and strategies to give a befitting reply to anyone who casts an evil eye on the nation.

Body

Significance of Kargil war

  • One of the significant wars fought in the Indian history, Kargil war, was fought between May to July 1999 in the Kargil- Drass sector of Jammu and Kashmir when the Pakistani troops had unlawfully  invaded certain areas alongside the Line Of Control (LoC).
  • This three month long combat between the two nations has been deeply entrenched in the minds of both the nations.
  • Kargil war represents an example of high-altitude warfare in mountainous terrain and constitutes significant logistical problems for the counter sides.
  • In the war, ‘Operation Vijay’ was launched by the Indian Army to recapture the Indian territories from Pakistani intruders in the Kargil-Drass sector in 1999.
  • ‘Operation Vijay’ an Indian Army mission achieved ultimate success for India and the Air Force called the mission ‘Operation Safed Sagar’.
  • Kargil was yet another failure of Pakistan’s grand strategy.
  • Pakistani military force came to be seen as a substantial cause of the problems in India-Pakistan relations.
  • India confirmed its belief that Pakistan was an adventuristic, reckless, untrustworthy state.
  • Kargil motivated India to reconsider whether to engage Pakistan diplomatically on Kashmir Issue.
  • Kargil also strengthened the widespread perception that India’s intelligence infrastructure has endemic deficiencies.

Lessons learnt from the Kargil war regarding border security

  • The Indian Army, with the help of the Indian Air Force, wrested back the glaciated heights of Kargil, in the Ladakh sector, from the Pakistan Army.
  • The era of stand-off weapons had dawned on the sub-continent, and the time for close combat was over.
  • Had it not been for Israeli tech support in the form of litening pods that laser-painted the targets and guided the bombs fired from the French Mirage 2000s, the duration of war would have been extended until a ceasefire agreement, which the Pakistan Army was looking for in its favor.
  • The use of Israeli Searcher Mark I and II drones for reconnaissance of intruder positions in an airspace dominated by IAF fighters helped both the Indian infantry and artillery to target intruder bunkers. The use of laser-guided bombs by IAF — in Muntho Dalo in the Batalik sector and on Tiger Hill in Drass in June 1999 — was the turning point of the war.
  • Indian intelligence agencies must be empowered by the political leadership, unlike what had been done under the IK Gujral regime prior to the Kargil war.
  • The defanging of India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing, under the Gujral Doctrine ensured that actionable intelligence was not available before the onset of war.
  • However, RAW proved its mettle in June 1999 by intercepting a conversation between Musharraf in Beijing and his chief of staff General Mohammed Aziz to show the world that it was the Pakistan Army that had intruded in Kargil, not Kashmiri militants.
  • Apart from the permanent perfidy of Pakistan, the other lesson that need to be implemented is theatrization of military commands and operational synergy within national security agencies to counter growing threat of religious radicalization, cyberwarfare, and espionage from adversaries.
  • Even though cold start war and integrated battlegroups have been internally discussed by the national security planners, the theatrization of commands is hanging fire as a section of the top brass believes that India is one theatre and hence there should be one command.
  • Just like military jointmanship for integrated full spectrum warfare, India needs an integrated intelligence mechanism to counter terror, cyber and espionage threat to the country.
  • India needs to add teeth to its counter-intelligence capabilities as the penetration from northern and western neighbors with pliable proxies within grows by the day.

Recommendations of The Kargil Review Committee (KRC)

  • The four member committee set up by the government to review the events leading up to Kargil headed by noted defence analysts and convenor of the National Security Council Advisory Board K. Subrahmanyam must consider the following military aspects while examining the intrusions.
  • Military command and control and its failure to anticipate the Kargil intrusions; improper threat appreciation.
  • Acquisition of equipment and weapons for the military.
  • Systemic intelligence problems; at the level of the information gathering agency and at the decision making level where information is processed for taking policy decisions.
  • Need  for  promoting  Jointness  within  the  Services
  • Restructuring  the  Ministry  of  Defence
  • Chief  of  Defence  Staff
  • Common  Law  for  the  Defence  Services
  • Joint  Training  for  the  Services  Personnel
  • Foreign  Training  for  the  Services  Personnel
  • Joint Intelligence
  • Cross Attachments

Conclusion

Over the last eight years, the government has worked on implementing reforms in the armed forces by deploying new technologies, developing infrastructure in border areas and opening up positions for women in the forces. The induction of women in the armed forces will boost our strength. Prime Minister Modi also said that ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ most important to the nation’s security and the country’s dependence should be minimal on foreign weapons and systems.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

2. For the constitutional democracy to function well, the governor’s position is paramount and his/her non-partisan behaviour is very essential to uphold the true spirit of federalism. Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Giving temporary relief to the eight Vice-Chancellors of the Universities, the Kerala High Court on Monday declared that the Vice-Chancellors can continue in services until they are removed as per the law by the Governor in his capacity as Chancellor of the universities after getting their explanations in response to the showcase notice issued to them.

Key Demand of the question:

To critically write about the issues with respect to office of the governor and his/her role in ensuring true spirit of federalism.

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: 

Give brief introduction of Governor in Indian Polity.

Body:

First, first the significance of the post of Governor as enshrined in the Indian constitution.

Discuss the issues related to abuse of post of Governor in federal polity failing to the functions impartially and efficiently and why the tag of ‘agent of centre’ is being associated with the office of governor. Substantiate with examples.

Next, Explain the misuse of Article 356, Power of Reserving bill, Partisan role in Hung assemblies etc. with examples of recent times.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward to overcome the above.

Introduction

Article 154 of the Constitution envisages Governor as the executive chief of the state. All executive actions are taken in his name. B R Ambedkar called the office of the Governor as the “office of dignity”. He is not an agent of the Centre, but the governor’s post in an independent Constitutional office. His office is the linchpin of Indian Cooperative Federalism.

Giving temporary relief to the eight Vice-Chancellors of the Universities, the Kerala High Court on Monday declared that the Vice-Chancellors can continue in services until they are removed as per the law by the Governor in his capacity as Chancellor of the universities after getting their explanations in response to the showcase notice issued to them.

Body

Need for relook into Governor’s post

  • Gubernatorial powers: Misusing the powers of Governor E.In Maharashtra, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had stalled the election of Speaker since the post fell vacant in February 2021. He had refused to accept the recommendation of the Council of Ministers on the nomination of 12 members to the Legislative Council, until the matter reached the High Court.
  • Locking horns with Government:: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has made allegations of impropriety in welfare schemes, questioned Government claims about investments in the State, and taken up the cudgels for the Opposition BJP. He has been summoning the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police on a regular basis, and when they do not turn up, taking to Twitter and often tagging the Chief Minister.
  • Governor’s appointmentArticle 155says that governor should be appointed (not elected) from amongst persons of high status with eminence in public. The elected government at the state is not even consulted while making appointment of the Governors. Further successive governments have reduced this important constitutional office to a sinecure and resting place for loyal and retired / about to retired / about to retire politicians apart from docile bureaucrats.
  • Appointment and dismissal of the Chief Minister: Governor appoints Chief Minister, other ministers, Advocate General, Chairmen and members of the State Public Service Commission in the state. After elections in the state, there is a convention to invite the largest party to form government in the state. This convention has been flouted many times at the whim of the governor. E.g.: The recent episode Maharashtra where Governor inducted a new government at 5:00 am without ascertaining the requisite numbers for the government.
  • Reservation of Bills for Consideration of President: As per Article 200of the Constitution, the governor can reserve certain types of bills passed by the State Legislature for the President’s consideration. Centre, through the governor in case of different parties ruling, used this provision to serve partisan interests. In Tamil Nadu, Governor R.N. Ravi has not acted upon the T.N. Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, adopted by the Assembly in September 2021. the indefinite delay in taking a decision amounts to undermining the legislature, and is unjustifiable.
  • Misuse of Article 356: Article 356is the most controversial article of the Constitution. It provides for State emergency or President’s rule in State if the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of a State. But since the SR Bommai case, this has been sparsely used.
  • Removal of the Governor:Article 156says that the governor will hold office during the pleasure of the President for five years. The governor has no security of tenure and no fixed term of office. This prevents to uphold neutrality of the governor, fearing retribution. E.g.: The mass changing of the governors of state whenever a new government comes to power at Centre..

Recommendations made regarding the Governor Posts

Sarkaria Commission Report Recommendations

  • “The Governors tenure of office of five years in a State should not be disturbed except very rarely and that too for some extremely compelling reason. It is very necessary to assure a measure of security of tenure to the Governor’s office.”
  • Governor should be an eminent person and not belong to the state where he is to be posted.
  • State chief minister should have a say in the appointment of governor
  • Governor should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in recent past.
  • Governor should not be a member of the ruling party.
  • Governor should be removed before his tenure only on the grounds as if aspersions are cast on his morality, dignity, constitutional propriety, etc.

The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution recommendations:

  • Governor’s appointment should be entrusted to a committee comprising the prime minister, the home minister, the speaker of the Lok Sabha and the chief minister of the concerned state.
  • If they have to be removed before completion of their term, the central government should do so only after consultation with the Chief Minister.

The Punchhi commission recommendations

  • The person who is slated to be a Governor should not have participated in active politics at even local level for at least a couple of years before his appointment.
  • For office of Governor, the doctrine of pleasure should endand should be deleted from the constitution. Governor should not be removed at whim of central government. Instead, a resolution by state legislature should be there to remove Governor.
  • There should be provisions for impeachment of the Governor by the state legislature along the same lines as that of President by President.
  • The convention of making the Governors as chancellors of universities should be done away with.
  • The commission recommended for “localising emergency provisions” under Articles 355 and 356, contending that localised areas— either a district or parts of a district — be brought under Governor’s rule instead of the whole state.

The Supreme Court’s interpretation

  • In 2010, a constitutional bench of the Supreme Court interpreted these provisions and laid down some binding principles (B.P. Singhal v. Union of India), the Supreme Court held:
  • President, in effect the central government, has the power to remove a Governor at any time without giving him or her any reason, and without granting an opportunity to be heard.
  • However, this power cannot be exercised in an arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable manner.  The power of removing Governors should only be exercised in rare and exceptional circumstances for valid and compelling reasons.
  • The mere reason that a Governor is at variance with the policies and ideologies of the central government, or that the central government has lost confidence in him or her, is not sufficient to remove a Governor.  Thus, a change in central government cannot be a ground for removal of Governors, or to appoint more favourable persons to this post.
  • Such a decision, to remove a Governor can be challenged in a court of law.

Conclusion

Despite several commissions appointed by Government themselves and the Supreme Court guidelines, the post of governor is misused again and again.

It is, however, time for a thorough review of the Governor’s powers and the process of appointment and removal.

  • New rules and conventions may need to be put in place so that Governor’s constitutional mandate is strengthened.
  • All part conference to review the role of the Governors, the powers exercised by him and the manner in which he should be appointed and removed.
  • The Constitution should be amended and security of tenure must be provided to the Governors. The judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in B. P. Singhal case is the law of the land and the Government should respect it.
  • The Governors should be treated with dignity, and should not be fired only for political considerations.
  • The Constitution of the land prohibits the arbitrary exercise of power and the Government is not an exception to the equality law.

 

 

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

3. The elevation of a person of Indian origin – Rishi Sunak-as the prime minister of the U.K is an opportunity for both India and U.K to work closely together on global issues and implement the roadmap 2030 for bilateral relations. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu , Insights on India

Why the question:

Rishi Sunak has won the race to be the leader of the Conservative Party and will become Britain’s next Prime Minister — the third this year.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the development and opportunities for India-U.K ties under P.M Rishi Sunak.

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 context.

Body:

First, in brief, trace the relationship between India and U.K since independence.

Next, write about the current major bilateral issues between the both and various challenges in it.

Next, write about the opportunities provided by the election of Rishi Sunak to implement roadmap 2030 and address global issues together. Suggest ways to develop them further.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Introduction

India and the United Kingdom share a modern partnership bound by strong historical ties. India’s multifaceted bilateral relationship with the UK intensified with its up-gradation to a Strategic Partnership in 2004. The Roadmap 2030 for India-U.K. future relations was launched last year. The bilateral relationship, while warm, has been under-performing in many respects. Hence, the imperative to more closely align strategic and economic interests.

India’s bilateral relations with the U.K. may well be poised to see greater two-way exchanges as Rishi Sunak was installed as Britain’s first Indian-origin Prime Minister on Tuesday, scripting an impressive political comeback in British politics..

Body

Recent developments in India-UK relations

  • Despite the challenge posed by the Ukraine crisis, the India-UK relationship has been on an upward trajectory, exemplified by the conclusion of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2021.
  • The agreement also established a 2030 Roadmap for India-UK relations, which primarily outlines the partnership plans for the bilateral relationship. Its a vision to revitalise and re-energise trade, investment and people-to-people ties.
  • The UK and India have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the maritime domain as the UK will joinIndia’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and become a major partner on maritime security issues in Southeast Asia.
  • In January 2022, India and the UK managed to conclude the first round of talks for an India–UK Free Trade Agreement.
  • The negotiations reflected shared ambitions to secure a comprehensive deal between the fifth (UK) and sixth (India) largest economies in the worldas technical experts from both sides covered over 32 sessions encompassing 26 policy areas.

Major challenges in Indo-UK bilateral relations

  • Colonial Prism:
    • India’s post-colonial engagement with Britain has been riddled with multiple contradictions. India’s lingering post-colonial resentmentsand the UK’s unacceptable claim for a special role in the Subcontinent generated unending friction.
    • The consequences of Partitionand the Cold War made it harder for the two countries to construct a sustainable partnership.
    • However, the recent regional and international upheavals provide a new basis for mutually beneficial engagement.
  • Pakistan:
    • Pakistan also has been one of the major obstacles in the bilateral relations of India with Britain. Britain’s advocacy of Pakistan has always been a matter of concern for India .
    • Unlike the US and France, which are committed to an “India first” strategy in South Asia, the UK remains torn between its new enthusiasm for India and the inertia of its historic tilt towards Pakistan.
  • Britain’s Domestic Politics:
    • The domestic dynamics of Britain have also tended to sour ties with India.
    • It was a reigning assumption in Delhi that the Labour Party was empathetic to India while the Conservative Party was not. Although this view turned out to be quite the opposite, antipathy towards India existed in one way or the other.
    • The Labour Party had become rather hostile on India’s internal matters, including on Kashmir.

Measures needed

  • post-Brexit Britainneeds to make the best of its historic ties; having walked out of Europe, the country needs all the partners it can find and a rising India is naturally among the top political and economic priorities.
    • Both India and the UK are serious in overcoming legacy issuesand engaging in robust dialogues to promote cooperation on strategic and defence issues both in the Indo-Pacific as well as at the global level.
    • India meanwhile has become supremely self-assured in dealing with the UK; with the Indian economy set to become larger than Britain’sin the next couple of years, it is and shall be no longer defensive about engaging Britain.
  • Britain remains the fifth-largest economy, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a global financial hub, a centre of technological innovation, and a leading cyber power. It has a significant international military presence and wide-ranging political influence.
    • India should try harder toleverage these British strengths for India’s strategic benefit.
    • The forthcoming visit of the British Prime Ministerto India signifies the importance of India’s role in the dynamically changing global order as the latter prepares itself to host multiple foreign leaders in the upcoming months and the G20 presidency in 2023.
    • In the upcoming visit,furthering the negotiations on the India-UK FTA should be one of the key focus areas.
    • The newer areas of cooperation — namely,fintech, market regulation, sustainable and green finance, and cyber security could emerge as the new frontiers of this engagement.

Way forward

  • India needs to recognise the lack of harmony between different strands of the relationship. Long joint statements and unreachable ambition are not the answer. Arriving at common ground on issues troubling India should be the foremost concern
  • This relationship has had many beginnings. Just to stay in the game, we have to concede to geopolitics. Britain (post- Brexit) and India (with the China challenge) need partners. Given India’s difficulties amid the pandemic, Britain has early advantage
  • Hence, the need to bank on the profound ties of culture, history and languageto further deepen relations between India and UK

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Desertification is caused by human activity on lands that are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and improper agricultural methods and has heavy socio-economic and environmental implications. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the causes and consequences of desertification in India.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining desertification and present statistics regarding it.

Body:

First, write about its causes – It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one third of the world ‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land use.

Next, elaborate upon the socio-economic impact of desertification.

Next, stress on the measures needed to fight desertification.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations. Desertification does not refer to the expansion of existing deserts. It occurs because dryland ecosystems, which cover over one-third of the world‘s land area, are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and inappropriate land usePoverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing and bad irrigation practices can all undermine the productivity of the land.

The frequency and duration of drought is increasing at an alarming rate across the world since the onset of the 21st century, according to the Drought in Numbers, 2022 report released May 11 at the ongoing 15th Conference of Parties (CoP15) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Body

Main reasons that cause desertification in India are:

  • Man-Made Causes:
    • Overgrazing: It reduces the usefulness, productivity, and biodiversity of the land. India lost 31% of grasslands between 2005 and 2015.
    • Deforestation: A forest acts as a carbon sink. Deforestation releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere contributing to the greenhouse effect.
    • Farming Practices: Slash and burn agriculture exposes the state to soil erosion hazards. Heavy tilling and overirrigation disturbs mineral composition of the soil.
    • Urbanization: As urbanization increases, the demand for resources increases drawing more resources and leaving lands that easily succumb to desertification.
    • Climate Change: It may exacerbate desertification through alteration of spatial and temporal patterns in temperature, rainfall, solar radiation and winds.
    • Overexploitation of Resources: Increasing demand for land resources due to issues like overpopulation leaves land vulnerable to desertification.
  • Natural Causes:
    • Natural Disasters: Natural Disasters like Floods, Droughts, landslides results into
      • Water Erosion
      • Displacement of fertile soil.
    • Water erosion: It results into Badland Topography which itself is an initial stage of desertification.
    • Wind Erosion: Sand encroachment by wind reduces fertility of the soil making the land susceptible to desertification.

Consequences of Desertification

Socio-economic impacts:

  • Farming becomes next to impossible
    • If an area becomes a desert, then it’s almost impossible to grow substantial crops there without special technologies.
    • This can cost a lot of money to try and do, so many farmers will have to sell their land and leave the desert areas.
  • Decrease in Crop Yields
    • A major effect of desertification is the decrease in crop yields.
    • Once land turns from arable to arid, it is often on longer suitable for farming purposes anymore.
    • In turn, many farmers may lose their livelihood, since they often solely rely on farming as their single source of income.
    • If their land becomes arid, they may no longer be able to provide sufficient crop yields to make a living out of it.
  • Hunger
    • Without farms in these areas, the food that those farms produce will become much scarcer, and the people who live in those local areas will be a lot more likely to try and deal with hunger problems.
    • Animals will also go hungry, which will cause even more of a food shortage.
  • Overpopulation
    • When areas start to become desert, animals and people will go to other areas where they can actually thrive.
    • This causes crowding and overpopulation, which will, in the long run, end up continuing the cycle of desertification that started this whole thing anyway.
  • Poverty
    • The problem of desertification can lead to poverty if it is not kept in check.
    • Without food and water, it becomes harder for people to thrive, and they take a lot of time to try and get the things that they need.
  • Migration
    • The desertification implies the destruction of the livelihood of farmers.
    • This problem becomes even worse when large areas of land that are currently used for farming will then no longer be suitable for farming due to a lack of water triggered by global warming.
    • This results in serious migration movements.

Climatic Impacts

  • Flooding
    • Without plant life in an area, flooding is a lot more imminent.
    • Not all deserts are dry; those that are wet could experience a lot of flooding because there is nothing to stop the water from gathering and going all over the place.
  • Poor Water Quality
    • If an area becomes a desert, the water quality is going to become a lot worse than it would have been otherwise.
    • This is because plant life plays a significant role in keeping the water clean and clear; without its presence, it becomes a lot more difficult for you to be able to do that.

Environmental Impacts

  • Biodiversity Loss
    • In general, the destruction of habitats and desertification may also contribute to a loss of biodiversity.
    • While some species may be able to adjust to the altered environmental conditions properly, many species will not be able to do so and may suffer from serious declines in population.
  • Endangerment and Extinction of Species
    • The desertification results in a decline in population for which species may become endangered or even extinct.
    • This problem is especially severe for species that are already endangered as the small number of animals or plants that remains may also die off over time, which may even lead to the extinction of species.
  • Destruction of Habitats
    • Desertification often leads to a loss of habitats for many animals and plants.
    • Desertification may alter the living conditions of the local flora and fauna that makes it impossible for animals and plants to sustain their populations.
    • After desertification, regions suffer from water shortages due to climate change and animals may suffer and die since water is vital for all life on our planet.

Measures needed

  • UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework:It is the most comprehensive global commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) in order to restore the productivity of vast expanses of degraded land, improve the livelihoods of more than 1.3 billion people, and reduce the impacts of drought on vulnerable populations to build.
  • Setting up of an Intergovernmental Panel on Land and Soil will be very helpful in speeding up efforts to check desertification.
  • Farmers must be incentivised to choose cropping patterns that require less water, and go for drip irrigation or other water management mechanisms to save our only available deeper aquifers.
  • Developing countries need to integrate their poverty eradication programmes with strategies to fight desertification.
  • Lessons from the world:
    • In Africa, several countries have come together to form a 12,000 sq.km “great green wall”extending from Senegal to Djibouti with the participation of local communities.
    • People’s participation is crucial in reclaiming lands. China’s “great green wall”project is on a massive scale and is now starting to show results.
  • The techniques include agro-forestry and farmer-managed natural regeneration. Small community initiatives like
    • Closure of degraded lands for grazing
    • Curtailing farming
    • Growing fast-growing plants
    • Raising tall trees that serve as a barrier against winds and sandstorms are very effective.
  • National governments could consider building large green belts, prioritise forestry programmes and launch projects of fixing and stabilising sands.

Conclusion

Desertification is being accentuated by climate change. Thus, a comprehensive sustainable developmental approach is needed by the countries.

 

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

5. The warming of worldwide oceans from climate change has drastic consequences for aquatic ecosystems across the world. 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 – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the impact of warming of oceans on the aquatic ecology.

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: 

Start with what ocean warming is.

Body:

Explain that covering about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface; the world’s oceans have a two-way relationship with weather and climate. The oceans influence the weather on local to global scales, while changes in climate can fundamentally alter many properties of the oceans.

As greenhouse gases trap more energy from the sun, the oceans are absorbing more heat, resulting in an increase in sea surface temperatures and rising sea level. Changes in ocean temperatures and currents brought about by climate change will lead to alterations in climate patterns around the world.

Give examples in support of answer.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Introduction

Sea level rise is an increase in the level of the world’s oceans due to the effects of global warming and other factors. According to a draft report of United Nations Intergovernmental Penal on Climate Change destructive changes have already been set in motion. The draft report says that even with most optimistic emission reduction scenario, by the year 2050 many low-lying megacities and small island nations will experience extreme sea level events every year. Report says that the big four – United States of America, China, India and European Union will face most devastating fall out of the ocean and ice related impacts of climate change.

Body

Alarming rate of sea level rise

  • Sea levels have risen by between 180 to 200 mm since 1900.
  • Nearly5-0.7% of the world’s land area is at a risk of episodic coastal flooding by 2100, impacting5-4.1%of the population assuming there are no coastal defences or adaptation measures in place.
  • By 2100, the global population potentially exposed to episodic coastal flooding will increase from 128-171 million to 176-287 million.

Consequences of sea-level rise on coastal states

  • Loss of habitat: Almost 3 billion people are living within 200 km of the coasts and islands all over the world.
    • A sea level rise will lead toloss of habitation and hence leads to de-urbanization.
    • Indonesia is planning to shift its capital fromJakarta, the “world’s fastest-sinking city” owing to sinking of land by 25 cm per year.
    • It may also significantlyaffect tourism and recreation through impacts on landscapes (e.g., beaches), cultural features etc.
  • Agriculture: SLR will affect agriculture mainly through land submergence, soil and fresh groundwater resources salinisation, and land loss due to permanent coastal erosion, with consequences on production, livelihood diversification and food security.
  • Coastal fisheries and aquaculture: The negative effects of SLR on fisheries and aquaculture are indirect, through adverse impacts on habitats (e.g., coral reef degradation, reduced water quality in deltas and estuarine environments, soil salinisation, etc.).
  • Impact on Small Island Nations: Because of small islands’ high coastline to land area ratio, most of their human settlements, agricultural lands, and critical infrastructure are at or near the coasts.

Vulnerability of India to global warming induced sea level rise

  • As per the study by Hyderabad-based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services,Sea levels along the Indian coast are projected to rise between 3.5 inches to 34 inch (2.8 feet) by the end of century due to global warming.
  • India’s coastal regions, home to about 170 million of the country’s 1.4 billion people, are on the front lines of a shifting climate, experiencing sea-level rise, erosion, and natural disasters such as tropical storms and cyclones.
    • The latest evidence of this vulnerability occurred in May 2020, as the strongest storm recorded in decades in the Bay of Bengal—Cyclone Amphan—hit, forcing several million people to evacuate.
  • Climate change is expected toinundate significant sections of Mumbai by 2050, impacting millions of people.
  • India lost 235 square kilometers of land to coastal erosionbetween 1990 and 2016, placing people’s livelihoods and homes in jeopardy, with flight to safer places occurring voluntarily or, as a last resort, through government intervention.
  • Scientific prediction suggests that 36 million Indiansare likely to be living in areas experiencing chronic flooding by 2100.
  • Sea level aroundAsia in the North Indian Ocean has increased faster than global average, with coastal area loss and shoreline retreat.
  • Similarly, mega cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata are at high risk of flooding and sea-level rise, with millions living in these urban coastal areas likely to be relocated to safer places in the future.
    • In such circumstances, forced migration and displacement would be inevitable in the absence of well-managed, pre-emptive relocation of populations from high-risk areas.

Adaptation measures

  • Integrated coastal management: It will help in resource management following an integrative, holistic approach and an interactive planning process in addressing the complex management issues in the coastal area.
    • Coastal Regulation Zone notifications issued under Environmental Protection Act, 1986 will help in this integrated management.
  • Community ownership: Policy makers should engage stakeholders in the early stages of decision-making and throughout the entire decision-making process to enhance overall resilience in coastal areas, while supporting community ownership.
  • Barriers to urban areas:Rotterdam has offered a model to other cities seeking to combat flooding and land loss. Rotterdam has built barriers, drainage, and innovative architectural features such as a “water square” with temporary ponds.
  • Adaptation to Sea Level Rise
    • Relocating utility infrastructure, such as treatment plants and pump stations, to higher elevations would reduce risks from coastal flooding.
    • Understanding and modelling groundwater conditions will inform aquifer management and projected water quantity and quality changes.
    • Coastal restoration plans may protect water utility infrastructure from damaging storm surge by increasing protective habitat of coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and wetlands.
    • Theinjection of fresh water into aquifers can help to act as a barrier, while intrusion recharges groundwater resources.
  • Limiting global warming: More use of renewable energy (wind, solar) can help reduce carbon emissions. Nations must act fast to attain their NDC’s and work on carbon sequestration.

Conclusion

The Paris Agreement provides a clear vision on limiting global warming and thus, Sea level rise. There must be awareness among the representatives of the public, different agencies of the government, scientists, industry and the communities on the threat posed by climate change and the steps to counter it. Sea level rise is a slow disaster that will become magnanimous and all steps must be taken to ensure that such disasters are mitigated.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and nonpartisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.

6. The ability to see things from another person’s perspective and empathize with another’s emotions plays an important role in our social lives. Elaborate. (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Easy

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of empathy.

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 by defining empathy.

Body:

Briefly touch upon the concept of empathy and thereafter elaborate on how empathy is the most important component of being emotionally intelligent – ability to communicate, understanding others’ thoughts, views, and feelings, important aspect of EQ etc.  Give examples to justify the same.

Conclusion:

Give a concise summation of your views to conclude the answer.

 

Introduction

Empathy is the ability to be aware of, understand, and appreciate the feelings and thoughts of others. Empathy is “tuning in” (being sensitive) to what, how, and why people feel and think the way they do. Being empathic means being able to “emotionally read” other people.

Body

Empathy helps in the following:

  • Understands Unspoken content:
    • Demonstrates active listening skills (such as asking probing questions, not interrupting)
    • Picks up signals when others are not feeling comfortable and displays consideration.
    • Ex: The ground level implementation of many welfare programmes are wrought with problems. For instance, in PM Ujjwala Yojana, the lack of last mile delivery of gas cylinders pushes people to go back to firewood or cow dung cakes, thus defeating the programme. In such case, a patient civil servant can listen to woes and help overcome people’s issues.
  • Has concern for others:
    • Open to diversity of opinion.
    • Probes to understand people’s issues, unspoken thoughts, and feelings
  • Expresses concern for Others:
    • Demonstrates empathy by correctly understanding reactions or emotions of others.
    • Builds trust by demonstrating respect for other’s point of view.
  • Example: Pati.NO.1 campaign done in Agra to encourage Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, involving both husbands and wives of the district to be a part of the behavioural change after understanding that the inhibitions associated with the use of toilets for women.
  • Acts as a Role-model:
    • Makes a balanced assessment of a person’s strengths and weaknesses based on a deeper understanding of the individual
  • Example: The Secretary of water and sanitation ministry himself demonstrated the usage and cleaning of the twin pit system under Swachh Bharat Mission. This helped allay the fears, doubts of people and also helped overcome the ill-thoughts of untouchability associated with sanitation.
  • Creates and provides an environment of Respect:
    • Creates a culture of mutual trust and respect.
  • Example: In the remote areas of Manipur, with no road, connectivity to the two villages of Tusem and Tamenglong was a huge problem and the locals had to either walk for hours, or swim across the river. Armstrong Pame, an IAS officer collected Rs 40 lakh through social media for the construction of the road and got a 100 km stretch of road constructed in the state.

Importance of Empathy:

  • Empathy allows people to build social connections with others. By understanding what people are thinking and feeling, people are able to respond appropriately in social situations.
  • Empathizing with others helps you learn to regulate your own emotions. Emotional regulation is important in that it allows you to manage what you are feeling, even in times of great stress, without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Empathy promotes helping behaviours. Not only are you more likely to engage in helpful behaviours when you feel empathy for other people; other people are also more likely to help you when they experience empathy.
  • Despite claims that empathy comes naturally, it takes arduous mental effort to get into another person’s mind and then to respond with compassion rather than indifference.

Conclusion

While empathy might fail sometimes, most people are able to empathize with others in a variety of situations. This ability to see things from another person’s perspective and sympathize with another’s emotions plays an important role in our social lives. Empathy allows us to understand others and, quite often, compels us to take action to relieve another person’s suffering.

 

 

Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion

7. Do you think ethical leadership at the top can translate into an ethical workplace culture? (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 if ethical leadership results in ethical culture at workplace or not.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining what is ethical leadership.

Body:

Highlight the need for an ethical leader in the present context of rising scams and blind race against mere monetary gains of businesses and how it translates into ethical work place culture. Give few examples highlighting cases of leadership with and without ethics and its impact on the organisation as well as the society.

Write about the limitations of the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the above points highlighting the need for ethical leadership

Introduction

From a collective perspective, leaders can inspire those around them to behave ethically. By setting an example and giving the direction for ethical behaviour, others will observe and act similarly. In this way, ethical leaders can positively influence many others, presenting them with a set of actions that they can adopt for the greater good.

Body

Traits of ethical leadership

  • Honesty: Honesty makes ethical leaders worthy of the trust others place in them. It means leaders commit to presenting facts as they are, playing fair with competitors, and communicating honestly with others.
  • Justice: To be fair means to treat everyone equally, offer opportunities with no favouritism, and condemn improper behaviours and manipulations, as well as any other actions that could harm someone.
  • Respect: Ethical leaders respect others around them, regardless of their position or identifying characteristics. This means they listen to each stakeholder, foster inclusion, and value diversity.
  • Integrity: Integrity is shown when values, words, and actions are aligned and consistent. It is not enough to talk the talk; one has to walk the walk to demonstrate integrity.
  • Responsibility: Responsibility means accepting to be in charge, embracing the power and duties that come with it, and always responding and being present in challenging situations.
  • Transparency: Transparency concerns mainly the communication with all stakeholders. It means keeping an open dialogue, accepting feedback, and disclosing the information others need to deliver their work.

Gandhiji showed the world by attaining freedom for India that only truth and non-violence can help achieve even the most impossible targets. He led by example and demonstrated the power of the principles he followed during non-cooperation movement, the Dandi March and Quit India movement.

Nelson Mandela, another leader sacrificed his life for the sake of South Africa and was jailed for 27 years. He never lost his focus on the vision of Independence and gave everything he had to ensure the same.

Abraham Lincoln’s existence on this planet was a true gift for humanity.  His fight for equality and the will to bring people together for the greater good was as astounding today as unimaginable then.

However, there are multiple challenges for ethical leadership in today’s world like the rise of ‘jingoistic nationalism’, Increasing encroachment of the private sphere by a ‘surveillance state’ through the abuse of digital technologies and Artificial Intelligence systems, The global retreat of democracies, relegation of the ethical imperative to an obsessive pursuit of raw power as an end in itself, a crisis of institutional legitimacy, and the challenge of forging a political consensus needed for hard but necessary decisions interrogate the proclaimed assumptions of democratic resilience.

Traits necessary for a leader in today’s era

  • In a reshaped world, formal authority is less potent. Only moral authority can build trust, inspire colleagues, create meaning and help people imagine a better future.
  • Leadership in today’s world should consist of an approach which is open and transparent.
  • Leaderships goals and visions should be communicated fast and effectively.
  • Everyone then has time to think about how they fit into the changes which are going to be made.
  • Leaders today must also listen to and hear everyone’s input and solutions, including our youth.

Conclusion

Ethical leadership is of great importance. A good leader is followed, but a moral leader is respected and trusted. In ethical leadership, leaders are supposed to lead their peers by their own ethical activities. Behaving in an honest, ethical, and unselfish manner is pivotal in setting examples for others.

 


Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE

Join our Twitter Account HERE 

Follow our Instagram  Account HERE