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[Mission 2023] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 09 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: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1. Learning in their mother tongue, benefits children in numerous ways. It associates them with their culture, ensures enhanced cognitive development, and supports the learning of other languages. In the light of the above statement, mention the need of preserving the linguistic diversity in India. (250)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has completed the Mother Tongue Survey of India (MTSI) with field videography of the country’s 576 languages.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of learning in mother tongue and the need to preserve the linguistic diversity of India.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Briefly explain what linguistic diversity is.

Body:

First, write about the importance of learning in mother tongue – he Mother’s tongue is vital in framing the thinking and emotions of people. Learning to speak in the mother tongue is very necessary for a child’s comprehensive development.

Next, write about the importance of preserving linguistic diversity – Cultural Identity, Cultural Diversity, glimpse of our past etc. Write about the links between promoting linguistic diversity and social inclusion and national solidarity.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

At the foundational stage, ensuring the understanding of literacy and numeracy by the learners is by far more important than thrusting the language of commerce. In a 1953 report entitled “The use of vernacular languages in Education”, by the UN, two aspects stood out. One, its iteration that “every child of school age should attend school, and the best medium of teaching is the mother tongue of the pupil.” And two, its emphasis that “all languages, even the so-called primitive ones, are capable of becoming media for school teaching; some perhaps merely as a bridge to a second language, while others maybe used at all levels of education”.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has completed the Mother Tongue Survey of India (MTSI) with field videography of the country’s 576 languages.

Body

Benefits of Education in mother tongue

  • Mother tongue is critically important for cognitive, psychological and personality development, education and learning.
  • Psychologists say it’s important that expressions and vocabulary are chosen with care when we talk to children.
  • Research shows how the brain differently absorbs and recalls languages learnt in early childhood and later life.
  • Every language spoken in the world represents a special culture, melody, colour and is an asset.
  • Several psychological, social and educational experiments proved that learning through the mother tongue is deeper, faster and more effective.
  • Much of a child’s future social and intellectual development hingeson the milestone of mother tongue.
  • Incomplete first language skills often make learning other languages more difficult.
  • Children of migrant families are finding themselves at crossroads, being unable to master either the first or the second language they are forced to study in.
  • Gandhiji warned: “If the English educated neglect as they have done and even now continue, as some do, to be ignorant of mother tongue, linguistic starvation will abide.”

Challenges in implementation

  • The National Education Policy, 2020 has advocated, that “wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother tongue/local language/regional language” for both public and private schools. There are a few challenges in realising the NEP tenets.
  • A given class may have learners from more than one mother tongue, teachers are not recruited on the basis of languages understood, spoken and written by them, and often resources are not available in the languages understood by the child.
  • While there is no need for haste in making educational materials available in Indian languages, the approach and methodology should be discussed threadbare by policymakers and educationists,without political pressure or interference.
    • In Tamil Nadu, for instance, the bid to impart engineering education through the Tamil medium has not created any impact despite the principal political players using language as a political too
  • What should be made obvious is that the use of English, wherever desirable, should be retained, with no aversion shown on the ground that it is a “foreign” language.

Need and Significance to preserve India’s linguistic diversity:

  • Ecological diversity.
  • Cultural diversity through oral traditions, stories, songs, poetry, and rituals passed down from generation to generation.
  • Languages express identity
  • Languages are repositories of history
  • Language contribute to the sum of human knowledge
  • Languages are interesting in themselves
  • improved cognitive abilities in children when they are taught in their mother tongue in primary school

 

Conclusion

There is enough research and evidence now to prove that if children are taught in their mother tongue, particularly in the foundational years (ages 3 to 8), then higher retention, higher proficiencies, lesser repetition of grades, and improved test scores are seen. To create a student-centric environment, we cannot allow the “sink or swim’ approach of submersion. Given the available resources, bilingual teaching, with the aid of bilingual textbooks and e-content, etc. can be a great beginning to secure the future of our learners and their abilities.

Value Addition

Linguistic diversity in India

  • The rich demographic mixture of India can be gauged from the fact that it has 28 states and 9 union territories.
  • Each State has its own commonly spoken language, and the spoken dialect of the language can change every hundred kilometers.
  • Multilingualismis the way of life in India as people in different parts of the country speak more than one language from their birth and learns additional languages during their life time.
  • According to the Census of India (2011), there are 121 languages spoken across India.
  • Out of these, 22 are scheduled languages, which can be given official status by respective states or be used to conduct administrative work or used in the state legislature; the remaining 99 languages have the status of non-scheduled languages.
  • The two official languages of India (federal government) are Hindi and English, while the states have the authority to designate their own official language.
  • Though officially there are 122 languages,Peoples Linguistic Survey of India has identified 780 languages, of which 50 are extinct in past five decades.
  • The twenty-two languages that are recognised by the Constitution are: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kannada, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu are included in the Eighth Schedule of the constitution.
  • 14 of these scheduled languages have more than 10 million speakers each. To put this figure into perspective, the population of some countries, e.g. Norway is much less than 10 million.
  • There are around 528 million Hindi speakers, while there are 3 million speakers of Odiya and 1.4 million speakers of Bodo.
  • Tamil (declared in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia (2014)have been recognised as classical languages with special status and recognition by Government of India.
  • The classical languages have written and oral history of more than 1000 years. In comparison to these, English is very young as it has the history of only 300 years.
  • Rabindranath Tagoreonce said “If God had so wished, he could have made all the Indians speak one language, the unity of India has been and shall always be a unity in diversity.”
  • There are many more languages that are spoken in India, and astonishingly all these languages further have numerous dialects.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

2. Discuss the role of the Law Commission of India in conducting research and advising the Government of India on legal reform. According to you, what are the major legal reforms that are needed in the country? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

The Centre on Monday (November 7) constituted the Law Commission of India with Justice (retd) Rituraj Awasthi, former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, at its head. Law Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted that the other five members on the panel would be former Kerala High Court judge Justice K T Sankaran, M Karunanithi, and law professors Anand Paliwal, D P Verma, and Raka Arya.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of the Law Commission of India and major legal reforms that are needed 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 writing aim of Law Commission of India.

Body:

First, write about the major functions of Law Commission of India – judicial experts acts as an advisory body, recommend legislative reforms with a view to clarify, consolidate and codify particular branches of law where the Government felt the necessity for it etc.

Next, write about major legal reforms that are needed in the country as per you.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

 

Introduction

The Law Ministry describes the Law Commission of India as a non-statutory body that is constituted by a notification of the Government of India, with definite terms of reference to carry out research in the field of law.

Retired High Court Chief Justice Rituraj Awasthi has been appointed as the chairperson of the 22nd law commission of India which was constituted in 2020. The other five members on the panel would be former Kerala High Court judge Justice K T Sankaran, M Karunanithi, and law professors Anand Paliwal, D P Verma, and Raka Arya.

Body

Role of Law Commission

  • The Law Commission shall, on a reference made to it by the Central Government or suo motu, undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms and enacting new legislation.
  • It shall also undertake studies and research for bringing reforms in the justice delivery systems for elimination of delay in procedures, speedy disposal of cases, reduction in cost of litigation, etc.
  • It also suggest such legislations as might be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble of the Constitution.
  • It helps revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities”.
  • The Commission makes recommendations to the Government in the form of Reports as per its terms of reference.
  • The Law Commission was first constituted in 1955, and has so far submitted 277 reports.

Shortcomings of Law Commissions

  • The reports and recommendations made by the Law Commission are non-binding, that is, it is up to the Government’s discretion to accept or reject the recommendations made by the Commission.
  • However, it is estimated that about 45 per cent of its recommendations have been acted upon or made into law till now.
  • The gap between the constitution of two consecutive Law Commissions is usually too long. For instance, the tenure of the 21st Law Commission ended on 31 August 2018 and the 22nd Law Commission got approval in 2020.
  • The Government has often been accused of practising favouritism while appointing members to the body.
  • It has been observed in recent times that the Commission’s report is less detailed because of a lack of a research backup team.

Reforms needed

  • Changing the status of Law Commission from an advisory body to a statutory or constitutional one.
  • The Law Commission should be brought under a statute with definite terms on appointments, its functions and powers spelt out.
  • Allocation of adequate funds to ensure quality research by experts having in-depth knowledge on law subjects, especially juristic ones.
  • There is also a need to reduce the gap between the constitution of two consecutive Commissions to ensure continuity.

Conclusion

The Law Commissions of India have made remarkable contributions to law formulation in the country through their in-depth and dedicated research as well as specialized and well-thought suggested reforms and reports.

Value addition

Composition:

  • Apart from having a full-time chairperson, the commission will have four full-time members, including a member-secretary.
  • Law and Legislative Secretaries in the Law Ministry will be the ex-officio members of the commission.
  • It will also have not more than five part-time members.
  • A retired Supreme Court judge or Chief Justice of a High Court will head the Commission.

 

 

Topic:  I Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government;

3. Collegium system of appointing judges has been criticised as “opaque, not accountable” and involving a “lot of politics”. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Justice D Y Chandrachud, who will take over as the 50th Chief Justice of India Wednesday, said criticism of the Collegium system must be looked at in a “positive light” and attempts made to improve it.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the process of selection of SC and HC and evolution of the process of the appointment of Judges to the SC and the reforms that are needed to the existing collegium system.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of collegium system.

Body:

Frist, show evolution of appointment process. Mention, in brief, the three judges’ cases and NJAC act, 2014.

Next, write about the reasons which call for reforms to the existing collegium system. Opaqueness, lack of accountability, lack of representation from weaker sections, slow pace of appointments and lack of public faith etc.

Suggest reforms to overcome the above issues that are affecting the collegium system.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Introduction

The judges of the Supreme Court and High Court in India are appointed by President as per article 124(2) and 217 of the constitution. In such appointment, the President is required to hold consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as he may deem necessary for the purpose.

Justice D Y Chandrachud, who will take over as the 50th Chief Justice of India, said criticism of the Collegium system must be looked at in a “positive light” and attempts made to improve it.

Body

Collegium system:

  • The Collegium System is a system under which appointments/elevation of judges/lawyers to Supreme Court and transfers of judges of High Courts and Apex Court are decided by a forum of the Chief Justice of India and the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.’
  • The collegium of judges is the Supreme Court’s invention. It does not figure in the Constitution, which says judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts are appointed by the President and speaks of a process of consultation.
  • In effect, it is a system under which judges are appointed by an institution comprising judges.
  • After some judges were superseded in the appointment of the Chief Justice of India in the 1970s, and attempts made subsequently to affect a mass transfer of High Court judges across the country, there was a perception that the independence of the judiciary was under threat. This resulted in a series of cases over the years.
  • The ‘First Judges Case’ (1981)ruled that the “consultation” with the CJI in the matter of appointments must be full and effective.
  • The Second Judges Case (1993)introduced the Collegium system, holding that “consultation” really meant “concurrence”. It added that it was not the CJI’s individual opinion, but an institutional opinion formed in consultation with the two senior most judges in the Supreme Court.
  • On a Presidential Reference for its opinion, the Supreme Court, in the Third Judges Case (1998)expanded the collegium to a five-member body, comprising the CJI and four of his senior most colleagues.
  • The recommendations of the Collegium are binding on the Central Governmentif the Collegium sends the names of the judges/lawyers to the government for the second time.

Procedure followed by the collegium:

  • The President of India appoints the CJI and the other SC judges. As far as the CJI is concerned, the outgoing CJI recommends his successor.
  • For other judges of the top court, the proposal is initiated by the CJI. The CJI consults the rest of the collegium members, as well as the senior most judge of the court hailing from the High Court to which the recommended person belongs.
  • The Chief Justice of High Courts is appointed as per the policy of having Chief Justices from outside the respective States. The collegium takes the call on the elevation. High Court judges are recommended by a collegium comprising the CJI and two senior most judges.

Need for reforms in the Collegium system:

  • Credibility of the SC:
    • Controversial collegium system of judicial appointments undermines the independence of judges and raises doubts about the credibility of the highest court.
    • There is a failure to make an assessment of the personality of the contemnor at the time of recommending his name for elevation.
    • Example: The controversy over the proposed elevation of Justice P.D. Dinakaran of the Karnataka High Court to the Supreme Court by the collegium of the Chief Justice and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court was criticized for overlooking apparently suitable judges by the collegiums
    • The judiciary off late has been caught in many such situations of credibility crisis off late.
  • The executive has little or no role in the appointment of judges as a result.
  • Nepotism:
    • Unfortunately, in some cases, it has not covered itself with glory. There have been cases where the nearest relative of Supreme Court judges has been appointed as a high court judge, ignoring merit.
    • During the regime of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, judges far lower in the combined All India Seniority of High Court judges were appointed to SC, and the reason assigned was that those selected were found more meritorious.
  • Supreme court is overburdened:
    • The Supreme Court did not realize the burden it was imposing on the collegium of selecting judges for the Supreme Court and High Courts and transferring them from one High Court to another.
    • An administrative task of this magnitude must necessarily detract the judges of the collegium from their principal judicial work of hearing and deciding cases.
  • Lack of Transparency:
    • The lack of a written manual for functioning, the absence of selection criteria, the arbitrary reversal of decisions already taken, the selective publication of records of meetings prove the opaqueness of the collegium system.
    • No one knows how judges are selected, and the appointments made raise the concerns of propriety, self-selection and nepotism.
    • The system often overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates.
  • NJAC, A Missed Opportunity:
    • The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) could guarantee the independence of the system from inappropriate politicization, strengthen the quality of appointments and rebuild public confidence in the system.
    • The decision was struck down by the SC in 2015 on the ground that it posed a threat to the independence of the judiciary.
  • Lack of Consensus among Members:
    • The collegium members often face the issue of mutual consent regarding appointment of judges.
    • The shadow of mistrust between the members of the collegium exposes the fault lines within the judiciary.
    • For instance, recently retired CJI Sharad A. Bobde was perhaps the first chief justice to have not made even a single recommendation for appointment as SC judge due to lack of consensus among the collegium members.
  • Unequal Representation:
    • The other area of concern is the composition of the higher judiciary. While data regarding caste is not available, women are fairly underrepresented in the higher judiciary.
  • Delay in Judicial Appointments:
    • The process of judicial appointment is delayed due to delay in recommendations by the collegium for the higher judiciary.

Reforms needed in the collegium system:

  • The need of the hour is to revisit the existing system through a transparent and participatory procedure, preferably by an independent broad-based constitutional body guaranteeing judicial primacy but not judicial exclusivity.
    • The collegium members have to make a fresh start and engage with each other.
    • A transparent process adds accountability that is much needed to resolve the deadlock.
    • Individual disagreements over certain names will continue to take place, but care must be taken that the institutional imperative of dispensation of justice does not suffer.
  • The new system should ensure independence, reflect diversity, demonstrate professional competence and integrity.
  • The system needs to establish a body which is independent and objective in the selection process.
    • In several countries of the Commonwealth, National Judicial Appointment Commissions have been established to select judges.
    • Such judicial commissions have worked with success in the U.K., South Africa and Canada.
  • Setting up a constitutional bodyaccommodating the federal concept of diversity and independence of judiciary for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary can also be thought of as an alternate measure.
  • There should be a fixed time limit for approval of recommendations.
  • As of now, instead of selecting the number of judges required against a certain number of vacancies, the collegium must provide a panel of possible names to the President for appointment in order of preference and other valid criteria.
  • New memorandum of procedure:
    • After the Second and Third Judges Cases, a Memorandum of Procedure had been formulated to govern how the process of how the Collegium would make recommendations to the Executive.
    • The government therefore suggested that a new MOP be drafted and finalized for appointment of SC judges and the Executive to get a veto over candidates for national security reasons in this new MOP.

Conclusion

Faced with intense public scrutiny and government pressure, the judiciary’s institutional weaknesses are being laid bare. These are not simply the moral failings of one individual or the consequences of the misjudgment of a few. It is another illustration of the institution’s inability to accept its internal infirmities.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. What is Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)? CDM has been a useful source of finance to industry and may build a viable domestic carbon market in future on the foundations of industry interest as well as environmental protection. Discuss. (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 CDM, and its role in building a carbon market and protecting the environment.

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: 

Start by defining CDM and its aims and objectives.

Body:

First, write about the role of CDN in ensuring finance through creation of a carbon market. Cite statistics to substantiate.

Next, write about how the above has resulted in a cleaner environment and reduction of emissions.

Next, write about the shortcomings of CDM and steps that are needed to overcome them.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

 

Introduction

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets. Along with China and Brazil, India is a leader in CDM. 

The mechanism is seen by many as a trailblazer. It is the first global, environmental investment and credit scheme of its kind, providing a standardized emissions offset instrument, CERs. A CDM project activity might involve, for example, a rural electrification project using solar panels or the installation of more energy-efficient boilers.

Body

Significance of CDM

  • The CDM permits the public and private sectors in high-income countries the chance to buy carbon credits from offset projects in low- or middle-income countries because it is the largest regulatory project-based mechanism.
  • CDM assists developed countries in meeting their pledges to reduce emissions.
  • It helps developing countries achieve long-term development.
  • CDM projects generate tradable, saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, which can be used by industrialised countries to meet a portion of their Kyoto Protocol emission reduction targets.
  • CDM projects provide other benefits such as:
    • investment in climate change mitigation projects in developing countries;
    • technology transfer or diffusion in host countries; and
    • improved community livelihoods through job creation or increased economic activity.

Shortcomings

  • Most developed countries are strongly opposed to permitting the carryover of CDM projects and their credits into the Paris Pact’s mechanisms.
  • It has been argued that CDM has failed to demonstrate environmental benefits in addition to the normal exchange of carbon credits or providing technological benefits.
  • Naysayers also contend that CDM’s transition to new mechanisms will have adverse impacts on carbon prices and investor sentiments in future markets.
  • There is also worry that Double-counting could compromise global ambition on reducing Green House Gas emissions.
  • The demand in the European Union,which has been the largest market for CDM credits, has declined sharply over the last decade because of regulatory barriers.
  • Thecredits lying unsold with the CDM projects could lose their economic worth.
  • Also, the CDM projects will have to go through the process of validation and registration againwith the new mechanism. This will involve additional financial and administrative costs.
  • According to some civil society organizations, the majority of CDM projects benefit large corporations while harming marginalized individuals.
  • A grassroots campaign of waste pickers began to oppose a CDM project in New Delhi in 2012.
  • The CDM does not penalize increased emissions, but it does reward them. As a result, it is almost like a subsidy for carbon reduction.
  • As a result, businesses may have a perverse incentive to increase their emissions in the short term in order to qualify for credits for long-term emission reductions.
  • The Kyoto Protocol’s environmental efficacy requires additional emission reductions from the CDM.
  • The CDM is essentially a transfer of income to non-Annex I nations without any additionality. However, additionality is a tough concept to demonstrate and is hotly contested.

Way forward

  • pragmatic assessment of possible gains and lossesfrom competing approaches to CDM transition into new mechanisms is the need of the hour.
  • CDM project proponents should be free to choose available cost-effective technologiesas long as the objective of emission reductions is achieved.
  • CDM projects should not be judged only on the criterion of technologybut the investments and ability to overcome market barriers should also be considered.
  • Countries which are having stakes in CDM should try to negotiate with ICAO for long-term use of credits originating.
  • In project/programme-based mechanisms, countries should make arrangements to prevent double-counting of emission reduction units in their national accounts.
  • CDM has been a useful source of finance to industry and India may build a viable domestic carbon market in future on the foundations of industry interest as well as environmental protection.

Conclusion

The mechanism promotes sustainable development and emission reductions while providing industrialised countries with some flexibility in meeting their emission reduction or limitation targets. A project utilizing a clean development mechanism must result in quantifiable advancements in climate change mitigation. The project must be able to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offer genuine, long-term benefits.

 

 

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

5. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has been criticised for following a narrow preservationist agenda centred on protecting charismatic species through trade-restrictive policies that disregard the livelihood strategies of communities living alongside wildlife. Evaluate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

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 working of the CITES, its shortcomings and to suggest further improvements.

Directive:

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 mentioning about CITES and its aims and objectives.

Body:

First, Write about working of the CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system.

Next, write about criticism faced by CITES- e.g many of its member countries lack the strong governance needed to effectively enforce CITES restrictions; emphasis on charismatic species; Treaty is often criticised for being open to influence by political or emotional motives; The “classic” approach to wildlife protection – law enforcement and protected areas – is holding back conservation in developing countries etc.

Conclusion:

Write a way forward to protect and conserve biodiversity.

Introduction

The international trade of animals and plants stands as one of the biggest threats to many endangered species worldwide. Illegal wildlife trade (including illegal logging) is thought to generate up to USD$175bn annually, making it almost as lucrative as drugs-, arms and people trafficking.

The sole global body regulating this trade is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Body

About CITES

  • CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is aninternational agreement between governments.
  • CITES was drafted as a result of a resolutionadopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
  • Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties itdoes not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.

Working of CITES

  • CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls.
    • Allimport, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system.
    • Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authoritiesin charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.
  • Thespecies covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need.
    • Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
    • Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.
    • This Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade.
    • Changes to Appendix III follow a distinct procedure from changes to Appendices I and II, as each Party’s is entitled to make unilateral amendments to it.
  • For the most part it is the member nations that must enforce CITES regulations in their own countries, although the CITES Standing Committee does have a mechanism to recommend trade suspensions on countries that are persistent offenders.
  • In this year’sCoP member governments were asked to explicitly incorporate corruption into their policies against wildlife trafficking.
  • CITES has been widely regarded as one of themost effective international environmental treaties in existence.
  • Through a permitting system implemented between its 183 member states, the Treaty protects over 35,000 species of plants and animals.
  • A study by TRAFFIC was presented which showcaseda 96 per cent drop in the amount of legal ivory openly for sale in Bangkok’s markets subsequent to their inclusion in the CITES-led National Ivory Action Plan process.

Criticism and shortcomings

  • Some maintain that the focus of CITES on the classic approach to wildlife protection law enforcement and protected areas is holding back conservation in developing countries.
  • In 2014, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) announced a ban of international trade in specimens of five shark species and all manta ray species, including meat, gills and fins. However, the ruling is not enforceable and the trade in shark fin and manta gill-rakers for TCM soups, potions and other absurd concoctions still goes on.
  • CITES simply cannot force member countries to take necessary action to combat a highly organised criminal systemworth tens of billions of dollars.
  • The recent CITES meeting at Johannesburg did not implement a recommendation to impose sanctions on Madagascar, instead gave the country more time to clean up its act.
  • Many of its member countries lack the strong governance needed to effectively enforce CITES restrictions.
  • The decisions made by the Parties of CITES are intended to be based on scientific evidence, but the Treaty is often criticised for being open to influence by political or emotional motives.
    • In 2010, for example, the commercially valuable Atlantic Bluefin tuna was denied CITES protection, a decision widely believed to have been influenced by economic self-interest and politics.
  • CITES has rarely produced results for protected populations on its own.On the occasions where CITES protected species have shown significant improvement, it has almost always been part of a combination of efforts such as habitat restoration, captive breeding, community engagement in species and habitat management and law enforcement.

Conclusion

CITES as a body and group of governments must act with urgency especially with levels of legal and illegal trade at all-time highs, coupled with massive habitat loss, a burgeoning human population, and a seemingly endless number of threats to all species.  Poaching of wildlife is still rampant as wildlife trade and demand exists especially in south-east Asian countries and China. This requires a collective effort on part of governments and CITES must aid in encouraging nations to take more binding and tough measures to prevent destruction of wildlife.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

6. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“Live your life in such a way that you’ll be remembered for your kindness, compassion, fairness, character, benevolence, and a force for good who had much respect for life, in general.” – Germany Kent

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about the importance of kindness, compassion, fairness, character and benevolence in life and it reflects in the society. Cite examples of the above to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the importance of quote in the present day.

 

Introduction

There are a myriad of things the world could benefit from having more of. Kindness is one of them. When you are a kind person, you’re not only helping others, you are helping yourself, too.

“Kindness  and compassion is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Body

Kindness, compassion, benevolence, solidarity, all these come from the same source – a good heart and it’s not just a noble sentiment, it’s the most rewarding state of mind that we can cultivate, one that gives a purpose to our lives.

Performing a selfless act increases one’s sense of gratitude, as one is in a position to do something generous for another person Doing a kind act for another person can increase the sense of feeling connected to another person, which in turn helps people see the worth and value in their own lives.

Take for instance the example of Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa was the epitome of compassion. If ever one would dare to give a core competency to her, it is this single characteristic of being a compassionate person. She radiated this quality, when on earth, in a way, few humans could ever do; her love for the marginalized and the vulnerable and particularly for the poorest of the poor and the dying destitute was boundless.

Compassion is a virtue that involves Acknowledgment, understanding, and emotional resonance linked with action aimed at understanding the person and the amelioration of suffering

 

Conclusion

The world desperately stands in need of compassion today. A compassion, which reaches out to the unloved, the ostracized, the marginalized and the vulnerable. A compassion, that takes a stand for the poor, the victims of injustice, the refugees and the displaced. A compassion, that is able to negate and overcome the hate and divisiveness. The humankind must be compassionate to each other to see the world thrive.

 

 

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

7. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“The features of character are carved out of adversity.” ― Rick Barnett

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about how hard times brings out the best of the people and it moulds the character of individuals and communities. Cite examples to substantiate. However, you can also present a counter view that not all adversities leads to good character, it can also lead to negative character building.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.

Introduction

Adversity can be defined as an unfavourable fortune, incident or fate; a condition marked by misfortune, calamity or distress. It is inevitable that in our lifetime, we will undergo adverse situations and circumstances, and learning to embrace these situations with grace and dignity can be beneficial for our personal journeys. Rich roots of character can be developed when learning to embrace adverse situations life throws, when one learns to ask which lessons can be derived from their misfortunes and every adversity has a distinct and unique lesson that can only be learned when the adversity is embraced.

Body

One is able to see people’s true colours-real friend’s surface. Although adverse situations can be painful and daunting, they can be viewed and deemed as blessings in disguise, no matter how independent one is, you’ll need people and its often in the most adverse of times will one’s true friends be revealed.

When faced with adverse situations, one is aware that sitting and crying about it will not bring much solutions, the seeking of a remedy to the situations is how one becomes creative.

Adversity is a Better Teacher Than Good Fortune. Under the greatest adversity, there exists the greatest potential for doing good – both for oneself and others. Adversities often push us into new direction. The greatest advantage of adversity is that it shakes us out of our complacency. It brings before us greater challenges and teaches how to deal with them. It gives a ‘wake-up call’. So, every adversity is an opportunity and not a curse or punishment. Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all, but the things that cannot be torn, that we see ourselves as we really are.

Great people see adversity as an opportunity, and they know there is something they can learn. They pursue the difficulty and work endlessly to fix it. They do not give up and they generate the greatest potential in tough times for their self and others.

During India’s freedom struggle, Gandhiji lead by example. He braved arrest and went on hunger fast several times, just to ensure that morale of people does not come down and they are kept motivated even when British were ruthlessly suppressing the dissent and protesting people. This was the key to success of Salt Satyagraha and Quit India Movement. He not only faced the adversity, but his actions in this time were defining moments of India’s struggle. The freedom we enjoy today can be attributed to his actions in the face of adversity.

Great people see adversity as an opportunity, and they know there is something they can learn. They pursue the difficulty and work endlessly to fix it. They do not give up and they generate the greatest potential in tough times for their self and others.

 

Conclusion

No one goes through life without facing adversity; it is an integral part of life. Let the adversity be a teacher to us. It will build the character and will test our determination. But, in the end, it will make one stronger.  We must ensure to take time to learn from the difficulties that life is sure to send our way. Otherwise, the failure will define us instead of us moving forward and using it to propel us to higher dimensions. Seize it as an opportunity rather than cause for fear and self-doubt.

 

 


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