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[Mission 2023] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 November 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: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. What is nationalism? What were the factors that led to the rise of Indian nationalism in the mid-nineteenth century? Discuss the different views regarding nationalism for various Indian nationalists.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The wave of historical revisionism that India is experiencing today finds expression in different kinds of misrepresentation of the past in textbooks as well as in public discourse.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about nationalism, factors for its rise and different views regarding it.

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 defining nationalism.

Body:

First, write about the various factors that led to rise of nationalism in India – the Despotic nature of the rule, the racial discrimination, indiscriminate taxation, ruining of Industries, Introduction of modern education, the influx of ideas of liberalism and constitutionalism, the rise of an educated middle class, the impact of the press, the impact of socio-religious reform movements etc.

Next, write about the different views regarding nationalism for various leaders such as – Gandhi, Nehru, Savarkar, Bose, Tilak etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 

Introduction

Nationalism is an ideology that holds that a nation is the fundamental unit for human social life, and takes precedence over any other social and political principles. Nationalism typically makes certain political claims based upon this belief: above all, the claim that the nation is the only fully legitimate basis for a state, that each nation is entitled to its own state, and that the borders of the state should be congruent with the borders of the nation. Nationalism refers to both a political doctrine and any collective action by political and social movements on behalf of specific nations.

Body

Factors that led to the rise of Indian nationalism

  • Western Thought and Education: The introduction of a modern system of education afforded opportunities for assimilation of modern western ideas. This, in turn, gave a new direction to Indian political thinking, although the English system of education had been conceived by the rulers in the interest of efficient administration.
    • The liberal and radical thought of European writers like Milton, Shelley, John Stuart Mill, Rousseau, Paine, Spencer and Voltairehelped many Indians imbibe modern rational, secular, democratic and nationalist ideas.
  • The English languagehelped nationalist leaders from different linguistic regions to communicate with each other. Those among the educated who took up liberal professions (lawyers, doctors, etc.) often visited England for higher education.
    • There they saw theworking of modern political institutions in a free country and compared that system with the Indian situation where even basic rights were denied to the citizens.
    • This ever-expanding English educated class formed the middle-class intelligentsia who constituted the nucleus for the newly arising political unrest.It was this section which provided leadership to the Indian political associations.
  • Press: The second half of the nineteenth century saw an unprecedented growth of Indian owned English and vernacular newspapers, despite numerous restrictions imposed on the press by the colonial rulers from time to time.
    • The press while criticising official policies, on the one hand, urged the people to unite, on the other.It also helped spread modern ideas of self-government, democracy, civil rights and industrialization.
    • The newspapers, journals, pamphlets and nationalist literature helped in the exchange of ,political ideas among nationalist leaders from different regions.
  • Socio-religious reforms:These reform movements sought to remove social evils which divided the Indian society; this had the effect of bringing different sections together and proved to be an important factor in the growth of Indian nationalism.
  • Rise of middle-class intelligentsia: This class, prominent because of its education, new position and its close ties with the ruling class, came to the forefront. The leadership to the Indian National Congress in all its stages of growth was provided by this class.
  • Impact of Contemporary Movements Worldwide:Rise of a number of nations on the ruins of Spanish and Portuguese empires in South America, and the national liberation movements of Greece and Italy in general and of Ireland deeply influenced the nationalist ranks.
  • Reactionary Policies and Racial Arrogance of Rulers:  Racial myths of white superiority were sought to be perpetuated by adeliberate policy of discrimination and segregation. Indians felt deeply hurt by this. Lytton’s reactionary policies such as reduction of maximum age limit for the I.C.S. examination ‘from 21 years to 19 years (1876), the grand Delhi Durbar of 1877 when the country was in the severe grip of famine, the Vernacular Press Act (1878) and the Arms Act (1878) provoked a storm of opposition in the country.
    • It became clear, to the nationalists that justice and fair play could not be expected where interests of the European community were involved.

Various views of Indian nationalists on nationalism

  • The early nationalist leaders, such as Dadabhai Navroji, S N Banerjee, Pherozeshah Mehta, Gokhale and Ranade, were uncritical admirers of western political values of equality before law, freedom of speech & press, principle of representative government etc.
    • Being staunch believers in liberalism they adopted ‘moderate’ politics based on constitutionalism and peaceful methods as most appropriate to avoid direct friction with the ruler.
    • Their ‘moderate’ politics and loyalty to the British rule in India was based on the idea that the British rule was a providential mission capable of protecting India’s future.
    • They considered its continuity as ‘sine qua non’ of India’s progress as a civilized nation. They considered the disciplining & lawful rule of British to be superior than the division & disorder of the 18th century.
    • However, to mould the British rule in India’s peculiar conditions, they favored reforms in administration to meet the interests of the Indians.
  • Extremist nationalism:The Extremists gave the idea of India’s independence the central place in India’s politics. The goal of independence was to be achieved through self-sacrifice. Its leaders were Aurobindo, Tilak, B.C. Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai—had different perceptions of their goal.
    • For Tilak, swaraj meant some sort of self-government, while for Aurobindo, it meant complete independence from foreign rule.
    • But at the politico-ideological level, their emphasis on mass participation and on the need to broaden the social base of the movement was a progressive improvement upon the Moderate politics.
    • They raised patriotism from alevel of ‘academic pastime’ to one of ‘service and sacrifice for the country’.
  • Revolutionary nationalism:The idea was to strike terror in the hearts of the rulers, arouse people and remove the fear of authority from their minds. The revolutionaries intended to inspire the people by appealing to their patriotism, especially the idealist youth who would finally drive the British out. Bhagat singh, Barindra Kumar Ghosh, Jatindranath Banerjee were leaders of this trend.
  • Gandhian nationalism:Unlike the pre- Gandhian nationalists conception of ‘swaraj’ as political freedom, Gandhi defined ‘Swaraj’ in its widest possible connotation as not merely political liberation but also human emancipation based on social, spiritual and moral foundations.
    • Gandhi introduced the technique of‘non-violent satyagraha’ as the only technique capable of meeting the nationalist aims and aspirations. He used this technique in envisaging the most ‘spectacular mass movement’ based on the strategy of ‘struggle-Truce-struggle’.

Conclusion

Thus, the nationalist response in India was articulated differently in different phases of India’s freedom struggle. Each phase ultimately culminated in the freedom of India from British imperialism leading to independence and constitution of a sovereign nation.

 

Topic: Role of women and women’s organization

2. Discuss the contributions of Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) as a meeting point for poor, Indian women who are regularly marginalized across rural landscapes and isolated to urban slums and bringing together women across castes and class who share experiences of labour exploitation.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Elaben Bhatt, 89, noted Gandhian, leading women’s empowerment activist, and renowned founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) passed away on Wednesday in a hospital in Ahmedabad after a brief illness.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about SWEA model and its contributions.

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 the aims and objectives of SEWA.

Body:

First, write about the context that led to the formation of SEWA and its Gandhian ideals.

Next, write about the features of SEWA model – economic tools, Governmental tools, Action oriented research, Social platform, full employment and self-reliance etc.

Next, write about the various achievements of the SEWA model.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 

Introduction

SEWA is a national trade union registered in 1972 with a membership base of over 1.5 million (2018) poor, self-employed women workers from the informal economy across 16 states in India. SEWA was founded in 1972 by Gandhian and civil rights leader Ela Bhatt as a branch of Textile Labour Association (TLA), a labour union founded by Gandhi in 1918

It grew out of the Women’s Wing of the Textile Labour association, TLA, India’s oldest and largest union of textile workers founded in 1920 by Anasuya Sarabhai and Mahatma Gandhi. The original purpose of the Women’s Wing was to provide training in sewing, spinning, knitting, embroidery, and other welfare activities to the wives and daughters of mill workers.

Body

Goals and objectives

  • Full Employment:Achieve work security, income security, food security and social security viz. healthcare, childcare, nutrition and shelter and
  • Self Reliance: Autonomous and self-reliant at both individual and community levels in terms of economic as well as decision making abilities.
  • Objectives:
    • Organizing for collective strength
    • Capacity building to stand firm in competitive market
    • Capital formation for risk mitigation & fight poverty
    • Social security to enhance well-being & productivity

 

Contributions of SEWA towards women empowerment

  • SEWA’s successful efforts have mobilized large numbers of poor self-employed women for empowerment. From small beginnings in 1972, as a group of poor, illiterate women working as casual laborers in the wholesale textile markets, SEWA’s membershiphas grown to 535,000 in its home state of Gujarat, and to around 700,000 throughout India.
  • The annual rate of membership growth hasaveraged between 25 percent and 35 percent in each of the past three five-year periods.
  • Earlier, with the opening of the SEWA bank and later the union, the women who worked in the informal sector became the stakeholders and social security was also provided.
  • There are 110 women’s collective enterprises in Gujarat, of which 65 continue to be active—more than six timesthe success rate of regular start-ups in India that have a 10 per cent success rate
  • In rural areas,SEWA cooperatives have helped women improve the quality and design of the handicraft and woven items they produce for sale. In most cases, the women are already highly skilled at embroidery or weaving or other crafts, and the task is mainly to ensure consistency, timely delivery, and that the items produced are of a quality, size and style that can easily be sold.
    • Cooperatives have also promoted new agricultural products, and techniques that add value to traditional products.
  • SEWA has had a much broader impact through activities that involve it directly in marketing what members produce. A rural marketing organization, SEWA Gram Mahila Haat (Village Womens Market), was set up in 1999. Three years later, in 2002,it arranged sales of more than $3.5 million for 23,000 members organized into almost 1000 different producer groups.
    • By far the largest shares in the sales total were for handicrafts and woven items (47 percent) and agricultural produce (43 percent) salt and gum accounted for around 5 percent each.

Conclusion

No account of SEWAs impact is complete without reference to the gains in self-confidence and dignity that members repeatedly mention and demonstrate in their everyday behavior. While these are extremely hard to measure, they are the very heart of SEWAs work, and their significance is enormous in bringing members to the point where they not only assert their rights, but also make effective use of the access they achieve

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Critically analyse the provisions of the draft Indian Telecommunications 2022 bill, which aims to address the issues in the telecom sector and improve the ease of doing business in the digital ecosystem, promoting innovation, and incentivising investments. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

Indian Telecommunication Bill, which reimagines and reshapes the digital architecture while creating possibilities for the start-up ecosystem. The proposed draft Bill brings together telecom operators (providers of physical infrastructure), Over-the-Top service providers (OTTs) and internet-based communication systems under one roof.

Key Demand of the question:

To critically examine the draft Indian Telecommunications 2022 bill, its positives and limitations.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving aims and objectives of the draft Indian Telecommunications 2022 bill

Body:

In the first part, mention salient features of the draft Indian Telecommunications 2022 bill

Next, write about how the draft Indian Telecommunications 2022 bill will result in addressing problems in the telecom sector by generating more revenue, equitable growth etc.

Next, write about the limitation the proposed draft bill.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

The draft Indian Telecommunication Bill reimagines and reshapes the digital architecture while creating possibilities for the start-up ecosystem. The proposed draft Bill brings together telecom operators (providers of physical infrastructure), Over-the-Top service providers (OTTs) and internet-based communication systems under one roof.

The draft Bill consolidates three separate acts which currently govern the telecommunication sector — the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, and The Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Protection) Act, 1950.

Body

Draft Telecommunications 2022 bill: Features

  • OTT regulation: The government has included internet-based and OTT communication servicessuch as WhatsApp calls, Facetime, Google Meet etc under telecom services.
    • It was the long-standing demand by telecom operators for creating a level playing field. At present, whiletelecom companies need a licence to offer services, OTT platforms do not.
    • Further, bringing OTTs under the ambit of telecom services means that OTT and internet-based communications would require a licence to offer services.
  • Consumer protection: To curtail the ever-increasing incidence of spam calls and frauds, the draft Bill proposes that the identity of the person communicating using any form of telecommunication services shall be available to the user receiving such communication.
  • Role of TRAI:The current draft considerably dilutes TRAI’s position in a number of ways reducing it from a regulatory to a recommendatory body.
    • First, the government would no longer be required to seek recommendations from the TRAI before issuing licences.
    • Second, it also removes the power of the TRAI to requisition from the government information or documents that are necessary to make such recommendations.
    • Moreover, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will no longer be required to refer back to TRAI the recommendations for reconsideration — those recommendations that it does not agree with, as it was required to do previously.
  • Internet shutdown: For the first time in the Indian legal framework, a specific provision enabling the government to order suspension of internet power has been introduced through the draft Bill.

Challenges being addressed

  • Declining Average Revenue Per User (ARPU):ARPU decline now is sharp and steady, which, combined with falling profits and in some cases serious losses, is prompting the Indian telecom industry to look at consolidation as the only way to boost revenues.
    • In 2019, the Supreme Court allowed the government’s plea to recover adjusted gross revenue of about Rs 92,000 crore from telcos, that further adds to their stress.
  • Limited Spectrum Availability: Available spectrum is less than 40% as compared to European nations and 50% as compared to China.
  • Low Broadband Penetration:Low broadband penetration in the country is a matter of concern. As per white paper presented on broadband at the last International Telecommunication Union (ITU), broadband penetration in India is only 7%.
  • Over the Top (OTT) applications such as WhatsApp, OLA and so on do not need permission or a pact with a telecommunications company. This hampers the revenue of telecommunication service providers.
  • Huge fluctuations in the duties on Telecom Equipmentwhich contribute to connecting the whole system from the central server to the consumer.

Limitations and concerns with the draft bill

  • Regulatory overlaps:The broad of the definition of ‘telecommunication services’ include OTT communication platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal among others, may potentially lead to regulatory or jurisdictional overlaps.
  • Unchecked use of State powers:The Bill gives broad powers to the central government in prescribed situations without any accompanying checks and balances. The Bill empowers the central and state government to intercept messages in the interest of public safety and emergency without the providing clearly defined guardrails for it.
  • Undefined National security: The term, national security is left undefined and does not match constitutional precedent or text which instead uses the phrase,in the interests of the security of state
  • Users Less choice in the privacy and security of their digital footprint:
  • Power to prescribe standards under Clause 23, which may result in regulations as recently issued by the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) that have resulted in the closure of servers or services by leading, global VPN providers such as Proton and TunnelBear.
  • All of this practically means that users will have less choice in the privacy and security of their digital footprint, as these powers will lead to requirements to locally register and host data, and comply with requirements to identify users (KYC requirements).

 

Conclusion

There should be some reasonable basis or some tangible evidence to initiate or seek approval for interception by State authorities. Any digression from the ethical and legal parameters set by law would be tantamount to a deliberate invasion of citizens.

 

Value addition

India’s telecom industry

  • The Telecom industry in India is the second largest in the worldwith a subscriber base of 1.17 billion as of 2022. India has an overall teledensity of 85.11%.
  • The industry’s exponential growth over the last few years is primarily driven by affordable tariffs, wider availability, the roll-out of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), expanding 3G and 4G coverage,and evolving consumption patterns of subscribers.
  • The Telecom sector is the3rd largest sector in terms of FDI inflows, contributing 6.44% of total FDI inflow, and contributes directly to 2.2 million employment and indirectly to 1.8 million jobs.
  • Between 2014 and 2021, the FDI inflows in the Telecom sector rose by 150%to USD 20.72 billion from USD 8.32 billion during 2002-2014.
  • 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has now been allowed in the Telecom sector under the automatic route.
  • India is on its way to becoming the second-largest smartphone market globally by 2025 with around 1 billion installed devicesand is expected to have 920 million unique mobile subscribers by 2025 which will include 88 million 5G connections.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. What is climate change? How is climate change impacting India? Evaluate India’s efforts at mitigating the effects of climate change. (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 implications of changing climate on various aspects of Indian region and also evaluate upon the Key actions taken by India towards combating and adapting to climate change.

Directive word:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming an opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining climate change.

Body:

First, write in detail the implications of changing climate on various aspects of Indian region such as – food security, Agriculture systems, water security, Energy infrastructure and supply, coastal ecosystem etc. Also explain its effect on human health, social issues, cascading of climatic hazards etc.

Then discuss the key actions taken by India towards combating and adapting to climate change. Evaluate their impact. Cite statistics and examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a forward.

 

Introduction

 

Climate Change is a periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about due to the changes in the atmosphere as well as the interactions between the atmosphere and various other geological, chemical, biological and geographical factors within the Earth’s system.

Climate change is accelerating due to global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and there is resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns.

Body

Impact of Climate Change on India

  • Coastal areas:7500 km long coastline is already vulnerable to various disasters like cyclone, coastal flooding, storm surges, heavy rainfall (as seen in Mumbai) etc.
    • The rise in the sea temperature and level will only increase the frequency of such hazards endangering the life and livelihood of the coastal population.
    • Also, India being close to the equator will experience much higher increase in sea level than higher latitudes
  • Monsoon: Phenomenon such as El Nino will increase the variabilityof the monsoon worsening the agricultural crisiswith more than 50% area still being rain-fed and threatening the food security.
    • Climate change has about 4-9 per cent impact on agriculture each year.
    • As agriculture contributes 15 per cent to India’s GDP, climate change presumably causes about 1.5 per cent loss in GDP(1).
  • Disasters:More weather aberrations as recently seen in Mumbai and Chennai and increase incidence of the disasters likeflood and drought will threaten both rural and urban economy
  • Biodiversity: Loss of biodiversity put the livelihood of the forest dependent and hill communities at risk and disturb the biogeochemical cycles that help maintain the flow of nutrient, water and pure air.
    • Increase in human-wildlife conflict as observed in State like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand is another threat.
  • Health: Increased disease outbreaks especially of the tropical diseases like Malaria and Dengue, heat waves aggravating the urban heat island effect andwater scarcity compelling people to consume polluted water will increase the burden of mortality and morbidity.
  • Migration: Rising inequalities as poor will be most affected due to climate change will increase the burden of migration and cripple the urban economies.
    • Illegal migration from the neighbour countries will also cause security threats.

India’s action for Climate Change

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): outlines existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation. The Action Plan identifies eight core “national missions” running through to 2017: Solar Energy; Enhanced Energy Efficiency; Sustainable Habitat; Water; Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem; Green India; Sustainable Agriculture; and Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change. Most of these missions have strong adaptation imperatives.
  • National Clean Energy Fund:The Government of India created the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) in 2010 for financing and promoting clean energy initiatives and funding research in the area of clean energy in the country. The corpus of the fund is built by levying a cess of INR 50 (subsequently increased to INR 100 in 2014) per tonne of coal produced domestically or imported.
  • Paris Agreement:Under the Paris Agreement, India has made three commitments. India’s greenhouse gas emission intensity of its GDP will be reduced by 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030. Alongside, 40% of India’s power capacity would be based on non-fossil fuel sources. At the same time, India will create an additional ‘carbon sink’ of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Co2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • International Solar Alliance:ISA was launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November 2015 by India and France, in the presence of Mr. Ban Ki Moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • Bharat Stage (BS) Emission Norms:Emissions from vehicles are one of the top contributors to air pollution, which led the government at the time to introduce the BS 2000 (Bharat Stage 1) vehicle emission norms from April 2000, followed by BS-II in 2005. BS-III was implemented nationwide in 2010. However, in 2016, the government decided to meet the global best practices and leapfrog to BS-VI norms by skipping BS V altogether.

Evaluation of India’s response to climate change

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

Conclusion and way forward

  • Any self-sacrificial declaration of carbon neutrality today in the current international scenario would be a wasted gesture reducing the burden of the developed world and transferring it to the backs of the Indian people.
  • India’s twin burdenof low-carbon development and adaptation to climate impacts, is onerous and no doubt requires serious, concerted action.
  • India’s approach to eventual net-zero emissions is contingent on deep first world emissions reductionsand an adequate and unambiguous global carbon budget.
  • Meanwhile, India must reject any attempt to restrict its options and be led into a low-development trap, based on pseudo-scientific narratives.

 

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

5. India faces an increasing threat from acid rain. Acid rainwater may cause irreparable damage to the country’s biodiversity, crop yields and the economy. What measures are required to counter them? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Environment by Shankar

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 explain the adverse impacts of acid rain and steps needed to counter them.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin the defining acid rain.

Body:

Frist, in brief explain first the major reasons behind the occurrence of acid rains.

Next, discuss that acid rains are harmful for both biotic and abiotic elements. it corrodes the surface and rendered it riddled with hole. Yellowing of marble and lime stone and other such delicate surface gets destroyed. It is also harmful for textile and metals as it reduces their quality and make them weak. Moreover, it makes the soil acidic and reduces the fertility.

Next, discuss what needs to be done. Highlight the efforts of the government in this direction

Conclusion:

Write a way forward to mitigate the impact of acid rain.

 

Introduction

Acid rain, or acid deposition, is a broad term that includes any form of precipitation with acidic components, such as sulfuric or nitric acid that fall to the ground from the atmosphere in wet or dry forms.  This can include rain, snow, fog, hail or even dust that is acidic.

Body

India faces an excessive threat of Acid rain

  • India faces an increasing threat from acid rain — earlier believed to be the scourge of the West.
  • The large-scale industrial growth and reliance on the use of coal and crude oil distillates like diesel have led to acidification of the atmosphere.
  • The burning of fossil fuels is mainly responsible for creation of sulphur dioxide ( so 2 ) and oxides of nitrogen ( no x ) which lead to the formation of acid rain.
  • Automobile exhaust fumes are partly to blame, but the worst culprits are coal-burning thermal power plants and the steel industry.
  • India enjoys the dubious distinction of releasing the maximum pollutants in the atmosphere after China. Total sulphur emissions are expected to rise from 4,400 kilotonnes (kt) in 1990 to 6,500 kt in 2000, 10,900 kt in 2010 and 18,500 in 2020.

Impacts of Acid rain

  • Forest Ecosystem
    • Dead or dying trees are a common sight in areas effected by acid rain. Acid rain leaches aluminum from the soil. That aluminum may be harmful to plants as well as animals.
    • At high elevations, acidic fog and clouds might strip nutrients from trees’ foliage, leaving them with brown or dead leaves and needles. The trees are then less able to absorb sunlight, which makes them weak and less able to withstand freezing temperatures.
  • Soil
    • Acid rain highly impacts on soil chemistry and biology.
    • It means soil microbes and biological activity as well as soil chemical compositions such as soil pH are damaged or reversed due to the effects of acid rain.
  • Lakes & Rivers
    • Without pollution or acid rain, most lakes and streams would have a pH level near 6.5.
    • Acid rain, however, has caused many lakes and streams across places to have much lower pH levels.
    • In addition, aluminum that is released into the soil eventually ends up in lakes and streams.
    • Unfortunately, this increase in acidity and aluminum levels can be deadly to aquatic wildlife, including phytoplankton, mayflies, rainbow trout, small mouth bass, frogs, spotted salamanders, crayfish, and other creatures that are part of the food web.
  • Health Problems
    • Air pollution like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides can cause respiratory diseases, or can make these diseases worse.
    • Respiratory diseases like asthma or chronic bronchitis make it hard for people to breathe. The pollution that causes acid rain can also create tiny particles.
    • Nitrogen oxides cause ground-level ozone. This ground-level ozone causes respiratory problems, like pneumonia and bronchitis, and can even cause permanent lung damage.
  • Statues, monuments & buildings
    • Statues, buildings, vehicles, pipes and cables can all suffer. The worst affected are things made from limestone or sandstoneas these types of rock are particularly susceptible and can be affected by air pollution in gaseous form as well as by acid rain.
    • The chemicals found in acid rain can cause paint to peel and stone statues to begin to appear old and worn down, which reduces their value and beauty.
    • : Taj Mahal, one of the 7 wonders of the world, is largely affected by acid rain. The city of Agra has many industries which emit the oxides of sulphur and nitrogen in the atmosphere. People continue to use low-quality coal and firewood as a domestic fuel, adding to this problem.
    • Statue of Libertyin USA which is made of copper has also been damaged by the cumulative action of acid rain and oxidation for over 30 years and is, therefore, becoming green.

Measures needed

  • Reduce emissions:
    • Burning fossil fuels is still one of the cheapest ways to produce electricity so people are now researching new ways to burn fuel which don’t produce so much pollution.
    • Governments need to spend more money on pollution control even if it does mean an increase in the price of electricity.
    • Sulphur can also be ‘washed’ out of smoke by spraying a mixture of water and powdered limestone into the smokestack.
    • Cars are now fitted with catalytic converters which remove three dangerous chemicals from exhaust gases.
  • Alternative sources of energy
    • Governments need to invest in researching different ways to produce energy.
    • These include wind energy, geothermal energy, solar energy, hydropower, and nuclear power.
    • Fuel cells, natural gas, and batteries can also substitute the use of fossil fuel as cleaner energy sources.
  • Conserving Resources
    • Greater subsidies of public transport by the government to encourage people to use public transport rather than always travelling by car.
    • Every individual can make an effort to save energy by switching off lights when they are not being used and using energy-saving appliances – when less electricity is being used, pollution from power plants decreases.
    • Walking, cycling and sharing cars all reduce the pollution from vehicles
  • Restoring the Damage done by Acid Rain
    • Lakes and rivers can have powdered limestone added to them to neutralise the water – this is called “liming”.

Conclusion

Concerted efforts at global and national levels across the globe can help us tide over the harmful effects of Acid Rain.

Value addition:

Formation of Acid Rain

  • Acid rain results when sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are emitted into the atmosphere and transported by wind and air currents.
  • The SO2and NOXreact with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form sulfuric and nitric acids.
  • These then mix with water and other materials before falling to the ground.

Causes of Acid Rain

The major sources of SO2 and NOX in the atmosphere are:

  • Burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.  Two thirds of SO2and one fourth of NOXin the atmosphere come from electric power generators.
  • Vehicles and heavy equipment.
  • Manufacturing, oil refineries and other industries.
  • Volcanic eruptions.

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

6. Integrity is a highly valued trait, especially in civil servants. When you live with integrity, you’re more likely to be considered for important positions. Substantiate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

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 how Integrity is important for civil servants.

Directive word: 

Substantiate – When you are asked to Substantiate, you must pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question using suitable case studies or/ and examples.

Introduction: 

Begin by defining what is Integrity.

Body:

Mention how integrity boosts the moral values such as honesty, fairness, decency etc that boosts one’s moral character and contributes to an ethical system. Use examples to support the argument.

Also, write about how with having Integrity as foundational value, we can add more virtues for ethical development.

Conclusion:

Mention that it further boosts self-awareness of individuals and aids for a just society.

 

Introduction

“In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” (Warren Buffet)

Integrity is having a strong set of ethical principles, being able to tell the truth no matter the consequences, admitting to a wrong even if you could get away without doing it. Integrity is about doing the right thing; it is being incorruptible, honest, and above all, doing all these things when no one is around to see it.

Body

Integrity is a four-step process: keeping in mind the aim/ purpose of one’s action or inaction and acting consistently with that choice—even when it is inconvenient or unprofitable to do so; choosing the right course of conduct in conformity with moral principles; openly declaring one’s intentions or where one stands; and results of one’s actions.

In 1964, Mandela was sentenced to 27 years in prison at Robben Island. He accepted it with dignity. He knew that overthrowing apartheid called for struggle and sacrifice, and was prepared for the long walk to freedom.

Ten thousand days in prison failed to break Mandela and he refused to compromise on his beliefs or leave the struggle midway.

 

Integrity embraces all qualities

  • The civil servants need to be people of absolute integrity because only then they can take the civil service as a ’vocation’. It strengthens the sense of mission which a civil servant is supposed to undertake to serve the public; perform duties and fulfil obligations.
  • A similar doctrine of vocation was enunciated several thousand years ago by Lord Krishna in Bhagwad Gita. It has been mentioned there, that ‘’Securing” universal welfare by one’s action is the ultimate measure of a human being but more so of those who hold the public office”.
  • Civil servants have to set out highest standards of integrity and morality. This requires self-sacrifice a concept that rises above individualism and ‘hedonism’to create an environment of public duty among the civil servants. An exemplary civil servant is not simply one who obeys the laws and behaves within the confines of law but is also one who strives for a moral government.
  • Integrity requires in a civil servant toincorporate the values of honesty, sympathy empathy, compassion, fairness, self-control and duty so that she/he will be able to uphold high personal and professional standards in all circumstances.

Conclusion

Honesty is telling truth to other people, but Integrity is about being truthful to oneself.

‘Civil Service Conduct Rules’ recommends ‘absolute integrity’ for civil servants, irrespective of their department. Also, every civil servant is supposed to take all possible steps to ensure the integrity of all government servants for the time being under his control and only be honest but should also have the reputation of being so. Integrity has been considerably widened by declaring that a civil servant must keep himself within bounds of administrative decency.

 

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.

7. The importance of empathy is rooted in our capacity to understand what others feel and act on it. Elaborate. (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 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.

 


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