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[Mission 2023] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 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: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

1. Throw light on various types of volcanic landforms. Many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur around the rim of the Pacific Ocean. Why? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

The ground is shaking and swelling at Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, indicating that it could erupt. Scientists say they don’t expect that to happen right away but officials on the Big Island of Hawaii are telling residents to be prepared in case it does erupt soon.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about volcanic landforms and reasons for frequent eruptions and earthquakes in the rim of the Pacific Ocean.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by giving context about volcano and volcanism.

Body:

First, write in detail about the different types of volcanic landforms – Volcanic landforms are divided into extrusive and intrusive landforms etc.

Next, write about the Pacific Ring of Fire and explaining the reason behind its active state due to which it hosts the largest number of active volcanoes of the world, its association with plate tectonics.

Conclusion:

Conclude by Summarising.

 

Introduction

A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. The process is called Volcanism and has been ongoing on Earth since the initial stages of its evolution over 4 billion years ago.

Body

Volcanic landforms are divided into extrusive and intrusive landforms based on weather magma cools within the crust or above the crust. Rocks formed by either plutonic (cooling of magma within the crust) or volcanic (cooling of lava above the surface) are called ‘Igneous rocks’.

Extrusive Volcanic LandformsThese are formed from material thrown out during volcanic activity. The materials thrown out during volcanic activity includes lava flows, pyroclastic debris, volcanic bombs, ash and dust and gases such as nitrogen compounds, sulphur compounds and minor amounts of chlorine, hydrogen and argon.

 

  • Conical Vent and Fissure Vent:
    • A conical vent is a narrow cylindrical vent through which magma flows out violently. Conical vents are common in andesitic (composite or strato volcano) volcanism.
    • fissure vent, also known as a volcanic fissure or eruption fissure, is a narrow, linear volcanic vent through which lava erupts, usually without any explosive activity. The vent is often a few meters wide and may be many kilometres long. Fissure vents are common in basaltic volcanism.
  • Composite Cones or Strato volcanoes:
    • They are conical or central type volcanic landforms.
    • Along with andesitic lava, large quantities of pyroclastic material and ashes find their way to the ground.
    • They are accumulated in the vicinity of the vent openings leading to formation of layers, and this makes the mounts appear as composite volcanoes.
    • The highest and most common volcanoes have composite cones.
    • Example:Vesuvius, Mt. Fuji, Stromboli (Lighthouse of the Mediterranean) etc.
  • Shield Volcanoes or Lava domes:
    • These volcanoes are mostly made up of basalt, a type of lava that is very fluid when erupted. They are not steep.
    • They become explosive if somehow water gets into the vent; otherwise, they are less explosive.
    • Example: Mauna Loa (Hawaii).
  • Lava Plains and Basalt Plateaus:
    • Sometimes, a very thin magma escapes through cracks and fissures in the earth’s surface and flows after intervals for a long time, spreading over a vast area, finally producing a layered, undulating (wave like), flat surface.
    • Example: Deccan traps (peninsular India), Snake Basin, U.S.A, Icelandic Shield, Canadian Shield etc.
  • Cinder cone (Tephra cones):
    • Cinder cones are small volume cones consisting predominantly of tephra that result from strombolian eruptions.
    • They usually consist of basaltic to andesitic material.
  • Calderas:
    • After the eruption of magma has ceased from the cones, the crater frequently turns into a lake at a later time.
    • Water may collect in the crater. This lake is called a ‘caldera’.
    • Example:Lake Toba in Sumatra, Crater Lake in Oregon, USA.
  • Mid-Ocean Ridges
    • These volcanoes occur in the oceanic areas. There is a system of mid-ocean ridges more than 70,000 km long that stretches through all the ocean basins. The central portion of this ridge experiences frequent eruptions.
    • The lava is basaltic in nature.
    • Cools slowly and flows through longer distances.
    • The lava here is responsible for sea floor spreading.
    • Example: Mid-Atlantic ocean ridge; extension is seen in the Iceland.

Intrusive Volcanic LandformsIntrusive landforms are formed when magma cools within the crust. The intrusive activity of volcanoes gives rise to various forms.

  • Batholiths:
    • These are huge mass of igneous rocks, usually of granite.
    • These rock masses formed due to cooling down and solidification of hot magma inside the earth.
    • They appear on the surface only after the denudation processes remove the overlying materials and may be exposed on surface after erosion.
    • Example: Wicklow mountains of Ireland; the uplands of Brittany, France.
  • Laccoliths:
    • These are large dome-shaped intrusive bodies connected by a pipe-like conduit from below.
    • These are basically intrusive counterparts of an exposed domelike batholith.
    • Example:The laccoliths of Henry mountains in the Utah, USA.

 

  • Lopolith:
    • As and when the lava moves upwards, a portion of the same may tend to move in a horizontal direction wherever it finds a weak plane.
    • In case it develops into a saucer shape, concave to the sky body, it is called Lopolith.
    • Example:The Bushveld lopolith of Transvaal, South Africa.
  • Phacolith:
    • A wavy mass of intrusive rocks, at times, is found at the base of synclines or at the top of anticline in folded igneous country.
    • Such wavy materials have a definite conduit to source beneath in the form of magma chambers (subsequently developed as batholiths). These are called the Phacoliths.
    • Example: Corndon hill in Shropshire, England.
  • Sills:
    • These are solidified horizontal lava layers inside the earth.
    • The near horizontal bodies of the intrusive igneous rocks are called sill or sheet, depending on the thickness of the material.
    • The thinner ones are called sheets while the thick horizontal deposits are called sills.
    • Example: Great whin sill of NE England
  • Dykes:
    • When the lava makes its way through cracks and the fissures developed in the land, it solidifies almost perpendicular to the ground.
    • It gets cooled in the same position to develop a wall-like structure. Such structures are called dykes.
    • These are the most commonly found intrusive forms in the western Maharashtra area. These are considered the feeders for the eruptions that led to the development of the Deccan traps. Cleveland Dyke of Yorkshire, England.

 

Ring of fire and volcanoes:

  • The Ring of Fire is a direct outcome of the tectonic activitiesin the Pacific Ocean. The lithosphere plates are in constant motion and collisions.
  • These plates making up the outermost layer of the earth are always moving on top of the mantle and sometimes pull apart, collide, or slide past each other resulting in divergent boundaries, convergent boundaries, and transform boundaries respectively.
  • The Ring of Fire is the result from subduction of oceanic tectonic plates beneath lighter continental plates. The area where these tectonic plates meet is called a subduction zone.
  • Subduction zones are also predominant due to the action of the tectonic movements when heavier plates slip under lighter plates, creating deep trenches.
  • The subduction alters the heavy mantle into buoyant magma which moves up the crust to the surface of the earth. When this occurs over millions of years, the rising magma brings about a series of active volcanoes referred to as volcanic arc.
  • The volcanic arcs and ocean trenches run parallel to each other thereby bringing about the ever expanding Pacific Ring of Fire.
  • For example, the Aleutian Islands in Alaska run parallel to the Aleutian Trench. What’s more, the Andes Mountains of South America runs parallel to the Peru-Chile Trench.
  • These parallel geologic features are the ones responsible for the subductions of the Plates.
  • When it comes to plate tectonic boundaries, it leads to faulting, crashing, and formation of rift valleys on the sea floor which contributes to the ejection of magma and powerful shaking of the ocean floor.
  • This leads to the formation of more cracks, vents, and fault lines which can trigger strong earthquakes and volcanic activities.
  • The ejected magma is cooled by the seawater to form new crust, creating high ridges on the ocean floor.
  • The East Pacific Rise is one of the major locations experiencing fast seafloor spreading in the ring of fire.

 

Ring of fire and earthquakes:

  • The world’s deepest earthquakes happen in subduction zone areas as tectonic plates scrape against each other – and the Ring of Fire has the world’s biggest concentration of subduction zones.
  • As energy is released from the earth’s molten core, it forces tectonic plates to move and they crash up against each other, causing friction. The friction causes a build-up of energy and when this energy is finally released it causes an earthquake. If this happens at sea it can cause devastating tsunamis.
  • Tectonic plates usually only move on average a few centimetres each year, but when an earthquake strikes, they speed up massively and can move at several metres per second.

Conclusion

Volcanoes have a huge impact on man and material as urbanization and globalization increases. The effects have impacts on flora, fauna and the global warming which can accelerate the climate change.

 

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

2.  Discuss the importance of Black Sea Grain Initiative. Do you think this can prevent escalating global food prices emanating from supply chain disruptions?  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

In a move that allayed concerns about yet another disruption to global food supply chains, Russia on Wednesday re-joined the Black Sea Grain deal. The reversal came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow would suspend, but not end, its involvement in the deal.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the Black Sea Grain Initiative and its efficacy in preventing escalating food prices.

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 about the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Body:

First, write about the major features of the Black Sea Grain Initiative – to provide for a safe maritime humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian exports, commercial ships are required to register directly with the JCC and its importance.

Next, write about the potential and the shortcomings of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Introduction

In a move that allayed concerns about yet another disruption to global food supply chains, Russia re-joined the Black Sea Grain deal. The reversal came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow would suspend, but not end, its involvement in the deal.

The Black Sea Grain deal endeavours to tackle escalating food prices emanating from supply chain disruptions because of Russian actions in the world’s ‘breadbasket’.

Body

About the Black Sea Grain Initiative and its importance

  • The deal, brokered by the United Nations (UN) and Turkey, was signed in Istanbul on July 27 this year.
  • Initially stipulated for a period of 120 days, with an option to extend or terminate thereafter in November, the deal was to provide for asafe maritime humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian exports (particularly for food grains) from three of its key ports, namely, Chornomorsk, Odesa and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi.
  • The central idea was tocalm markets by ensuring an adequate supply of grains, thereby limiting food price inflation.
  • Ukraine is among the largest exporters of wheat, maize, rapeseed, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil, globally.
    • Its access to the deep-sea ports in the Black Sea enables it to directly approach Russia and Europe along with grain importers from the Middle East and North Africa.
    • Russia’s action in the East European country has now disturbed this route, earlier used to ship 75% of its agricultural exports – precisely what the initiative sought to address.
  • The deal put in place a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), comprising senior representatives from Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN for oversight and coordination.
  • All commercial ships are required to register directly with the JCC to ensure appropriate monitoring, inspection and safe passage.
  • Inbound and outbound ships (to the designated corridor) transit as per a schedule accorded by the JCC post-inspection. This is done so as to ensure there is no unauthorised cargo or personnel onboard.Following this, they are allowed to sail onwards to Ukrainian ports for loading through the designated corridor.
  • All ships, once inside the Ukrainian territorial waters, are subject to the nation’s authority and responsibility.
  • Moreover, in order to avoid provocations and untoward incidents, it is mandated that monitoring be done remotely.
  • No military ships or unmanned aerial vehicles can approach the corridor closer than a pre-decided distance agreed upon by the JCC. This too would require consultation with the parties and authorisation of the JCC.

Role in preventing escalation of prices

  • As per the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, approximately 9.8 million tonnes of grains have been shipped since the initiative was commenced.
  • The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) Food Price Index, which assesses the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities,fell for the sixth consecutive month in a row this October.
  • Following thefifth consecutive month of decline, the supply situation in markets was seen to be easing, with the potential for further price drop
  • People hoarding the grain in the hope of selling it for a sizeable profit owing to the supply crunch were now obligated to sell.
  • The initiative has also been credited forhaving made a “huge difference” to the global cost of living crisis.
  • About 44% of the shipments, which include corn, wheat, rapeseed, and sunflower oil among others, reached high-income countries (including Spain, Netherlands and Italy among others), 28% reached low and middle-income countries (Egypt, Iran, Sudan and Kenya among others) and 27% reached upper-middle income countries (Turkey, China and Bulgaria among others).
  • It is important to note here that certain countries here may be re-exporters of a certain grain— thus, the indicator might only reflect the first point of export.

Conclusion

As Ukraine typically accounted for about 10% of global wheat exports before the war, the effect on global markets is akin to back-to-back droughts over three years in a major wheat-producing region, and it likely means that global stocks will not recover for at least another year. This initiative can be the solution to the current price volatility but then again, it alone cannot solve the escalating prices.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

3. Policy-makers have given a higher priority to the poverty-reducing properties of inclusive growth rather than growth per se that has resulted in in the reduction of absolute poverty in the past couple of decades. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question: 

The recent release of the NFHS data for 2019-21 allows for a detailed analysis of the progress in the reduction of absolute poverty and related determinants like nutrition.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about impact of inclusive growth and reduction in absolute poverty in the country.

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 regarding in decline in absolute poverty.

Body:

First, write about the emphasis on inclusive growth by the policy makers in the past couple of decades and the steps and measures that were taken in this regard.

Next, write about the successes and limitations of the above-mentioned measures.

Next, write about the further measures that are needed to end absolute poverty.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Introduction

The recent release of the NFHS data for 2019-21 allows for a detailed analysis of the progress in the reduction of absolute poverty and related determinants like nutrition. There is decline in poverty between periods of 2004-2013 and 2014-2021 and that India’s economic growth has been the most inclusive between 2014 and 2019.

The two time periods under examination i.e. 2005 to 2011 (P-1) and 2011 to 2021 (P-2) are separated by per capita income growth declining in the world (2.8 to 2.2 per cent) and in India (from 6.3 to 4.4 per cent).

Body

Background: Statistics

  • Poverty downturn: NFHS estimates put emphasis that poverty fell sharply after 2011 based on these two periods i.e. P-1 to P-2
  • Depiction:Multidimensional poverty declined at a compounded annual average rate of 4.8 per cent per year in P-1 and more than double that pace at 10.3 per cent a year during P-2.
    • The average equally weighted decline for nine indicators was 1.9 per cent per annum in P-1 and a rate of 6 per cent per annum, more than eight times higher in P-2.
    • This unambiguous and strong conclusion however needs further investigation that what made growth so inclusive in P-2.
  • Bolstering reveals:Also the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) nutrition index improved at a 2.5 per cent rate during 2005-11 and at a more than five times faster rate during 2020-11.
  • About DHS:The DHS are nationally-representative household surveys that provide data for a wide range of monitoring and impact evaluation indicators in the areas of population, health, and nutrition.
    • A similar improvement is found in nutrition deprivation, which registered a CAGR decline of 11.6 per cent from 2015 onward.
  • Contrasting findings: On other hand, the Global Hunger Index (GHI) released recently depicted a worsening of hunger in India between 2014 and 2021, and hence contradicts the large improvement documented in the NFHS data.
    • It ranked India 107 out of 123 countries, dropping from the rank of 101 in 2021 and put it in “serious” category and behind all south Asian countries except the war-torn Afghanistan.
  • However, unlike the GHI, the NFHS provides comparative state-level data, including the main pointers that determine health and nutrition.

Inclusive growth prioritised in recent times

  • Access to toilets : The current government’s Swachh Bharat mission in P-2 constructed over 110 million toilets.
  • Access to electricity: Close to one-third of Indians were deprived of electricity till as recently as 2014. However, after a dedicated push ofSaubhagya Yojana, India managed to electrify every village, and eventually households.
    • Electricity deprivation declined by a 28.2 per cent rate post-2014, but from 2005-2011 (P-1), the rate of decline was close to zero.
  • Financial inclusion: Jan Dhan Yojana, providing basic banking facilities to the underprivileged, made financial inclusion a reality in India, especially for women.
    • It presently has in excess of 472 million accounts with deposits in excess of ₹1.75 lakh crore.
  • Access to modern cooking fuel: Through the Ujjwala Yojana, deprivation was nearly halved from 26 per cent to 14 per cent in just five years. The previous halving (2005/6 to 2015/16) took 10 years.
  • Affordable housing scheme: Under Awas Yojana,less than 14 per cent are now deprived, compared to thrice that number in 2011/12.
  • Clean water:More recently, after 2019, India has embarked on an ambitious project of ensuring universal access to piped water under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
    • Rural piped water coverage was a little less than 17 per cent in 2019, but is now well above 54 per cent and expected to at least be near, if not meet, the 100 per cent target by 2024.

Measures needed

  • To engineer an inclusive and sustainable growth for India, the social infrastructure like education, health and social protection are being given utmost priority by the Government
  • The gaps in the expenditure on social infrastructure like health and education should be closed by strengthening the delivery mechanisms of the government initiatives. Protecting and investing in people’s health, education, and skilling is vital for reducing income inequality, and sustained inclusive economic growth.
  • India needs to increase its spending on health and education. As recommended by the National Health Policy 2017 and the NEP 2020, India needs to increase its spending on health and education to at least 2.5 % in 6 % of GDP respectively from its current levels. Enhancing policies to maintain and even increase health and longevity will therefore be necessary.
  • The current situation calls for more and better schools, especially in rural areas. It also calls for better transportation links between rural areas and regional urban hubs.
  • India has to invest morein human capital formation at all levels, from primary education to higher education, cutting-edge research and development as well as on vocational training to increase the skill sets of its growing working-age population.
  • The flagship schemes such as Skill India, Make in India, and Digital Indiahave to be implemented to achieve convergence between skill training and employment generation.
  • Bridging the gender gaps in education, skill development, employment, earnings and reducing social inequalities prevalent in the society have been the underlying goals of the development strategy to enhance human capabilities.
  • Improved infrastructure, skill development, access to easy finance, reducing barriers to entrepreneurship and forums for mentorship of emerging entrepreneursin partnership with corporates are some of measures.
  • Decentralized models of development: Social policies for each state must be differentiated to accommodate different rates of population growth. The populations in south and west India are growing at a much slower pace than in the central and eastern states.

Conclusion

The policy-makers and academics have given a higher priority to the poverty-reducing properties of inclusive growth rather than growth per se. Given the estimated poverty decline in India, time has come to change our economic policies; concentrate on what causes growth, not what causes poverty to decline.

Poverty is now not just about food but living standards like sanitation, housing, piped water, electricity, education, health, and jobs. And on each of these elements, the focus should shift to quality, not quantity

 

 

 

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

4. Do you think that climate engineering is a good strategy to overcome the challenges posed by global warming? State your opinion. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: en.wikipedia.org

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 analyse if climate engineering could be a viable option to overcome the climate crisis.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the answer by defining climate engineering.

Body:

You can use a bubble diagram to show the various modes of geo-engineering such as Shoot Mirrors into Space (Solar Sunscreen), Copy a Volcano, Build Fake Trees etc.

In the first part of the body, write about how the above strategies work and will be beneficial for the planet above and over existing mitigation strategies to tide over the climate crisis. Clearly outline as to why it may be needed.

In the next part, mention about the major drawbacks, impediments and concerns regarding the implementation of the above strategies

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a balanced opinion.

 

 

Introduction

Geoengineering interventions are large-scale attempts to purposefully alter the climate system in order to offset the effects of global warming. Geoengineering is the intentional, large-scale technological manipulation of the Earth’s systems. It is also known as Climate Engineering because it is often discussed as a technological solution for combating climate change.

Most geoengineering proposals can be divided into two types: solar radiation management (SRM) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Geoengineering offers the hope of temporarily reversing some aspects of global warming and allowing the natural climate to be substantially preserved whilst greenhouse gas emissions are brought under control and removed from the atmosphere by natural or artificial processes.

Body:

 

Positives of geoengineering:

  • As expected, the climate would begin to cool once geoengineering commences. This initial cooling phase, would provide relief, particularly for species that were unable to keep up with past warming.
  • Also, birds and fish which may have moved in response to elevated temperatures in the past will possibly turn back.
  • If solar geoengineering were ramped up slowly to half the rate of warming over the coming decades, then it seems likely it would reduce many climate risks. Solar geoengineering deployment can be ended without the impacts of a termination shock if it is gradually ramped down over decades.
  • The climate models reveal that the large-scale action would indeed calm things down a bit and potentially reduce the number of North Atlantic cyclones.

Negatives of geoengineering:

  • A recent study shows that rapid application, followed by abrupt termination of this temporary tech-fix can in fact accelerate climate change.
  • The increase in temperature from the abrupt termination is so quick that most species, terrestrial or marine, may not be able to keep up with it and eventually perish.
  • The increase in temperature is two to four times more rapid than climate change without geoengineering. This increase would be dangerous for biodiversity and ecosystems.
  • Reptiles, mammals, fish and birds that have been moving at 1.7 km/year on average will now have to move faster than 10 km/year to remain in their preferred climatic zones. This raises serious concerns, especially for less-mobile animals like amphibians and corals.
  • Not just species but entire ecosystems could collapse by suddenly hitting the stop button on geoengineering.
    • For example, temperate grassland and savannahs, which are maintained by specific combinations of temperature and rainfall, may experience increasing rates of temperatures, but an opposing trend in rainfall, after 2070.
  • Ineffectiveness
    • The effectiveness of the techniques proposed may fall short of predictions.
    • In ocean iron fertilization, for example, the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere may be much lower than predicted, as carbon taken up by plankton may be released back into the atmosphere from dead plankton, rather than being carried to the bottom of the sea and sequestered.
  • Model results from a 2016 study, suggest that blooming algae could even accelerate Arctic warming.
  • Moral hazard or risk compensation
    • The existence of such techniques may reduce the political and social impetus to reduce carbon emissions
  • Albedo modification strategies could rapidly cool the planet’s surface but pose environmental and other risksthat are not well understood and therefore should not be deployed at climate-altering scales.
  • In the case of environmental risks, the offsetting of greenhouse gases by increasing the reflection of sunlight is not going to be perfect. Some people, potentially a small minority, will get less rainfall. There is concern about what particles might do to the ozone layer.
  • The drop off of tropical storms in one area would actually lead to a spike in drought in parts of Africa, according to the data.

Way forward:

  • The potential of natural systems as an effective solution for sequestering carbon dioxide has led to several efforts to scale nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change.
  • These proliferating efforts, however, must take cognisance of the fact that these solutions are effective only when applied while protecting the already existing forest.
  • Additionally, we must not run blindly after planting trees; instead, we must back reason with science.
  • Trees should be planted where they belong, that too with native species, and in consultation with local communities.

Conclusion:

In any case in the meantime, two aspects are certain: under no scenario could climate engineering serve as a substitute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and it would be better to implement such technologies with more nuanced research.

Value addition

Some geoengineering techniques and its drawbacks:

Carbon capture and storage technologies:

  • This carbon dioxide removal approach focuses on removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and locking them away.
  • The process starts with the capture of generated CO2 which undergoes a compression process to form a dense fluid. This eases the transport and storage of the captured CO2.
  • The dense fluid is transported via pipelines and then injected into an underground storage facility.
  • Captured CO2 can also be used as a raw material in other industrial processes such as bicarbonates.
  • The CCS has significant backing from the International Energy Agency and the IPCC.
  • However, it still is hanging in uncertainty due to high upfront costs in the instalment of such plants.
  • A growing number of corporations are pouring money into so-called engineered carbon removal techniques.
  • However, these technologies are at a nascent stage and need an overhaul to be exploited.
  • Carbon dioxide may be stored deep underground. Reservoir design faults, rock fissures, and tectonic processes may act to release the gas stored into the ocean or atmosphere leading to unintended consequences such as ocean acidification etc.

solar radiation modification:

  • This process does not affect atmospheric greenhouse gases but aims to reflect the solar radiation coming to the earth.
  • The science of the method is, however, largely model-based, and the impacts of deflecting the solar radiations could be unpredictable.
  • Additionally, due to the thermal inertia of the climate system, removal of the radiation modification could result in the escalation of temperature very quickly, giving significantly less time to adapt.
  • Another side effect of the radiation modification process could be natural vegetation.
  • Since solar radiation is responsible for photosynthesis, sudden masking of solar radiation could significantly affect the process.
  • While these questions remain unanswered, the futures of these technologies remain uncertain.

 

 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

5. Landslides are unparalleled catastrophes. Landslides are among the major hydro-geological hazards that affect large parts of India besides the Himalayas. The dangers of not taking ecological challenges related to deforestation seriously is making landslides more catastrophic. 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 analyse the natural anthropogenic causes of landslides and to account for their increased risk.

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:

Briefly introduce landslide by defining them. Give examples of some major landslides in the recent past.

Body:

Mention the natural factors behind the causes of landslides in India with a few examples. Mention the areas which are most prone to landslides. Draw a small illustrative map showing the same.

Next bring in the instances of human activity induced landslides. Bring forth the anthropogenic factors responsible for causing Landslides. Substantiate with facts and figures regarding the incidence of landslides. For eg:  a 2018 report from Copernicus Publications, which states that 18% of global human-induced landslide casualties occur in India. Mention the stats from recent NCRB report on casualties from Landslides.

Reason as to why the increase in anthropogenic induced landslides is alarming and cause of concern. Give solutions to overcome the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

 

Introduction

landslide is defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope. Landslides are a type of “mass wasting,” which denotes any down-slope movement of soil and rock under the direct influence of gravity.

The massive landslide occurred due to incessant rains which caused damage to the Tupul station building of the ongoing Jiribam – Imphal new line project. The massive debris has blocked the Ijei River, creating a reservoir that may inundate low-lying areas.

Body

 

Vulnerability of India to landslides

  • About 12.6 per cent of the total land mass of India falls under the landslide-prone hazardous zone, according to a study by the GSI
  • The most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)stated that a global rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius (from pre-Industrial times) was inevitable in the next two decades. This would increase glacier melt and more water would flow over the steep slopes, thereby generating more landslides.
  • Highly unstable, relatively young mountainous areas in the Himalayas and Andaman and Nicobar, high rainfall regions with steep slopes in the Western Ghats and Nilgiris, the north-eastern regions, along with areas that experience frequent ground-shaking due to earthquakes, etc., which can result in an increased number of landslides.
  • The rivers in Himalayan regions are mighty and in their youthful stage. They do a lot of downcutting, which enhances the occurrence of landslides.
  • Landslides due to mining and subsidence are most common in states like Jharkhand, Orissa. Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Kerala.
  • India was one of the countries most affected by human-triggered fatal landslides in the 2004-16 period, found a study by researchers at Sheffield University, UK.
  • A 2011 estimate suggested that India suffers Rs 150-200 crore of monetary loss every year from landslides, said a study by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM)

The causes of the landslides can be studied under the following heads.

  • Natural Causes:
    • Earthquakes: Himalayas are situated at the convergent plate boundary zone of two continental plates viz. Indo-Australian plate in the south and Eurasian plate in the north. Thus geologically Himalayas are highly active seismic zone and Orogenesis is still in process. The earthquakes loosen the soil, which trigger the landslides.
    • Rainfall:Himalayan region receives quite heavy rainfall that leads to percolation of water in the lower layers, soil erosion, solifluction & landslides.
    • Slope:The steep slopes of Himalayan Mountains are one of the major reasons of frequent landslides than any other mountain ranges in India.
    • Structure:large portion of Himalayas is made up of sedimentary Rock which is more fragile.
  • Anthropogenic Causes:
    • Jhum Cultivation: popularly known as slash & burn typeof cultivation practiced particularly in the Himalayan region.
    • Deforestation & Grazing:Himalayan region is centre of huge diversity when it comes to trees & this diversity has led to indiscriminate chopping of trees. The trees help in holding the soil together, curbing the erosion and landslides to maximum extent. Increased grazing has led to wiping out of many grassland areas causing soil erosion and easy prey for landslides.
    • Illegal mining & Industrial activities: The rampant commercial activities have huge impact on the sensitive zones of Himalayas. The constant blasting of rocks, increased vibrations due to drilling, boring etc. lead to loosening of rocks and soil particles in turn causing landslides when there is enough fluidity.
    • Infrastructure projects: Himalayas being source of many rivers has led to construction of multipurpose dam projects like Tehri. This has affected the already fragile Himalayas. There has been increase in number of developmental projects of highways, tunnels through hills which causestress and sheer in the surrounding regions. Example: Chenani-Nashri tunnel project.
    • Unsustained Urbanization and Tourism: Increasing migration to cities has led to urban sprawl clearing the forest areas. Increased vehicular traffic, clearing of forest land to build infrastructure like roads, hotels etc. have affected the geography of the region.
    • Climate change: Global warming has led to quicker melting of snow and more percolation of water within the underlying surface of hill.

The measures to control landslides are

  • Structural measures:
    • Stopping Jhum cultivation.
    • Store Excess water in catchments areas to reduce the fury of flash floods, recharge the ground water and improve the environment. Dig runoff collection ponds in the catchments.
    • Grow fuel / fodder trees in all of the common lands.
    • Plantation in barren areas, especially on slopes, with grass cover is an important component of integrated watershed management programme.
    • Grazing should be restricted. The grasses of industrial importance should also be planted so that there is some economic return to the farmers as well.
    • Use the surface vegetative coverto protect the land from raindrop’s beating action, bind the soil particles and decrease the velocity of flowing water.
    • Construction of engineering structures like buttress beams,retaining walls, geogids, nailings, anchors to stabilise the slopes.
  • Non-structural measures:
    • Environmental Impact Assessment of the infrastructure projectsbefore commencing the work.
    • Declaration ofeco-sensitive zones where mining and other industrial activities are banned. Eco-tourism should be promoted.
    • Hazard mapping of the region to identify the most vulnerable zones and take measures to safeguard it.
    • Local Disaster Management force for quick relief and safety of the people affected by landslides.
    • Teaching people about landslides & ways to mitigate.
    • Constructing a permanent assessment team comprising scientists & geologists for better mitigation and adaptation techniques.
    • Involving the local peoplefor sustainable development of Himalayas

Conclusion

Himalayas are of vital importance to India in terms of climate, monsoon, water source and a natural barrier safeguarding the peninsula. The National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem under NAPCC is a step ahead to address a variety of issues Himalayas is facing today.

 

  •  

    General Studies – 4


     

    Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators

    6. Explain the core elements of Buddhist ethics. (150 words)

    Difficulty level: Moderate

    Reference: plato.stanford.edu

    Why the question:

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

    Directive:

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

    Structure of the answer:

    Introduction:

    In the introduction, given brief of major aspects of Buddhist ethics.

    Body:

    Explain the detail that Buddhism proposes a way of thinking about ethics based on the assumption that all sentient beings want to avoid pain. Thus, the Buddha teaches that an action is good if it leads to freedom from suffering.

    Next, Mention the Do No Harm principle, Compassion, Justice and Accountability etc which the Buddhist philosophy emphasises.

    Mention its application in daily life,

    Conclusion:

    Conclude by mentioning Buddhist moral claims of compassion and equality can contribute to the thinking of modern educational issues, such as peace education, ecological education

     

Introduction

Buddhist philosophy and doctrines, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, give meaningful insights about reality and human existence. Buddhism teaches the Middle Path renouncing extreme steps like indulgence and strict abstinence. According to him everyone was responsible for their own happiness in life, stressing upon the individualistic component of Buddhism.

Body

Core elements of Buddhist ethics

  • Believe in ‘Karma’:Human beings must believe in ‘Karma’ theory which has a cause and effect relationship.
  • Serve the Sick: According to him, serving the sick means serving the God.
  • Morality:He believed in two golden rules of Christianity i.e. principle of equality and the principle of reciprocity. It means we must behave or act in the way, we expect from others. As per Buddha all human beings are equal and we must follow moral and ethical values being good human beings.
  • Mental Development: This is the only path which can strengthen and control our mind. Mental Development is possible by concentration and meditation. This will help in maintaining good mental health and conduct.
  • Love:As per Buddha the end of hatred is to do love and compassion. We can conquer anger by love and affection to others.
  • Harmony:He strived to maintain a balance and harmony between all living and non-living things in the universe in order to attain enlightenment.
  • Spread of Peace: Human society can be peaceful by accepting this very aim of Buddha. Peace can be attained through the practice of non-violence, equally brotherhood and friendship.
  • Self- Reliance – Human society and nation can be developed by self-power, unity and self- reliance. Unity got and grown by the strength of weapons is not last longing. True unity lies with courtesy and self-sacrifice.
  • Patience and Calmness– One must have the ability to be calm and clear while facing various obstacles like delays, frustrations etc. Human beings should have ability to remain peaceful and abstain from anger during the time when other people try to harm them. With due patience, It is easy to control all unpleasant situations.
  • Perseverance– It is the capability to utilize all of our energy into productive and constructive purpose which may benefit to all mankind.
  • Self-Analysis– Self-analysis and self-observation is required for self-improvement. A little practice to improve ourselves is needed in every day of our life. Right practice will become our habit which ultimately becomes the part of our character.

Conclusion

To live is to act, and our actions can have either harmful or beneficial consequences for oneself and others. Buddhist ethics is concerned with the principles and practices that help one to act in ways that help rather than harm. The core ethical code of Buddhism is known as the five precepts, and these are the distillation of its ethical principles. The precepts are not rules or commandments, but ‘principles of training’, which are undertaken freely and need to be put into practice with intelligence and sensitivity.

 

 

 

Topic: laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance;

7. A moral compass helps provide an objective standard to help each of us define and address our ethical or moral weaknesses. Elaborate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question: To write about how moral compass leads to describe conscience, our inner sense of right and wrong offers a framework to guide our actions.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by describing what you understand by moral compass (conscience) which governs the actions you take in day-to-day life.

Body:

Elaborate on how a moral compass helps people make ethical decisions by helping to determine which actions would help or harm others, society, or the environment. It also helps people see how their actions can have consequences for other people and cultures.

Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Complete the answer by bring out how the moral compass prevents us acting purely from self-interest and helps us live a life of integrity.

 

Introduction

Moral compass is a term used to describe our inner sense of right and wrong offers a framework to guide our actionsConscience is inner moral sense of a person which guides him/her to regulate his behaviour. Voice of conscience corresponds to an inner voice that judges your behaviour. Voice of conscience is the source of ethical decision making for many.

Body

Conscience can be defined as something within each of us that tells us what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, if one uses his/her conscience when making decisions it would be guided by what is the right thing to do and what is wrong.

The traditional test is to apply ethical decision-making methods such as Rights Theory that obligates us to respect the rights of others and live up to our obligations towards them. Another approach is to evaluate the possible benefits and harms of alternative courses of action on stakeholders who may be affected by our possible actions and choose the one that maximizes net benefits.

  • Our conscience is our inner guide and it helps you figure out how to make good choices. As we grow up, we learn right from wrong. Our conscience is the thought and feeling we have that tells us whether something is a right or wrong thing to do or say. Thus voice of Conscience is a consistent guide to ethical decision making.
  • A person can prepare himself/herself to heed to the voice of conscience by:
  • Pausing and thinking about the dimensions of issue.
  • Practicing the power of silence.
  • Meditating and prayer.
  • Freeing oneself from external influences and selfish interests.
  • A human being always comes across ethical dilemmas in the decision making the process. Voice of Conscience acts as the guide for taking correct decisions when we have to choose between competing sets of principles in a given, usually undesirable or perplexing, situation. Example: Helping accident victim on your way to an interview.
  • The voice of conscience of an individual help in analysing the situation from different perspectives and help in taking the right decision.
  • Voice of Conscience helps in avoiding Conflicts of interest for better decision making. It can help in deciding between personal gains and public welfare.
  • Voice of Conscience is our ability to make a practical decision in light of ethical values and principles.
  • Voice of Conscience is a person’s moral compass of right and wrong as well as the consciousness of one’s actions. Expressions such as ‘gut feeling’ and ‘guilt’ are often applied in conjunction with a conscience.
  • The voice of conscience might suggest different principles and different behaviours to different situations. But it for a moment help individual from not doing wrong based on universal values.

Conclusion

Acting purely from self-interest, at best, keeps us parallel to the original position and can turn our compass south if our actions do harm to others. We avoid going in that direction by living a life of integrity. We also need to understand and appreciate why we should consider the needs of others before acting. We could simply go back to The Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. None of us, presumably, wants to be disrespected so we should treat others respectfully.

 


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