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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 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

 


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Geomorphology: Earthquakes

1. With suitable illustrations examine why the Himalayan region is more prone to earthquakes than the Western Ghats. Also, suggest earthquake preparedness measures to abate the risks arising out of it. (250 Words)

Reference:  DTE

Why the question:

Tremors in Delhi-NCR again after the fresh quake in Nepal

Key Demand of the question:

Show using diagrams, why the Himalayas is more prone to earthquake than the Western Ghats. Deliberate upon the risks and vulnerability of earthquakes in the Himalayan region. Also, suggest earthquake preparedness measures to abate the effect of it.

Directive:

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:

One can start with the definition of an earthquake or give the context of a recent earthquake in Nepal.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss briefly the Earthquake proneness of regions in India especially the seismic zones of India in the Himalayas. Compare it with those in the Western Ghats. Draw a diagram and show why the Himalayas is more seismically active.

Explain the risks and vulnerability of earthquakes in the Himalayan region.

Suggest earthquake preparedness measures abate its effect of it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the way forward.

 

Introduction

Earthquakes struck Nepal thrice last week on November 9,10 and 12. Consequently, tremors were felt across the National Capital Region and Delhi simultaneously. The area is seismically very active falling in the highest Seismic Hazard zone V associated with collisional tectonics where Indian plate sub-ducts beneath the Eurasian Plate

Body

Himalayan region and earthquake vulnerabilities

  • India falls prominently on the ‘Alpine – Himalayan Belt’. This belt is the line along which the Indian plate meets the Eurasian plate. Being a convergent plate, the Indian plate is thrusting underneath the Eurasian plate at a speed of 5 cm per year.
  • The movement gives rise to tremendous stress which keeps accumulating in the rocks and is released from time to time in the form of earthquakes.
  • India has been divided into four seismic zones according to the maximum intensity of earthquake expected.
  • Of these, zone V is the most active which comprises of whole of Northeast India, the northern portion of Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Gujarat and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
  • The entire Himalayan Region is considered to be vulnerable to high intensity earthquakes of a magnitude exceeding 8.0 on the Richter scale.

Risks of high magnitude Earthquakes

  • Primary damage: Damage occurs to human settlement, buildings, structures and infrastructure, especially bridges, elevated roads, railways, water towers, pipelines, electrical generating facilities.
  • Aftershocks of an earthquake can cause much greater damage to already weakened structures.
  • Secondary effects include fires, dam failure and landslides which may block water ways and also cause flooding, landslides, Tsunami, chemical spills, breakdown of communication facilities, human loss.
  • There is also a huge loss to the public health system, transport and water supply in the affected areas.
  • Tertiary impactof earthquake includes Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD), long term psychological issues, loss of livelihood, disruption of social capital due to relocation related issues, etc.

Earthquake preparedness measures

  • Earthquake monitoring centres (seismological centres) for regular monitoring and fast dissemination of information among the people in the vulnerable areas should be established. Currently, Centre for Seismology (CS) is the nodal agency of Government of India responsible for monitoring seismic activity in and around the country.
  • A vulnerability map of the country along with dissemination of vulnerability risk information among the people can be done to minimize the adverse impacts.
  • Planning: The Bureau of Indian Standards has published building codes and guidelines for safe construction of buildings against earthquakes. Before the buildings are constructed the building plans have to be checked by the Municipality, according to the laid down by-laws.
  • Important buildingssuch as hospitals, schools and fire stations need to be upgraded by retrofitting techniques.
  • Community preparedness and public educationon causes and characteristics of an earthquake and preparedness measures is important. It can be created through sensitization and training programme for community, by preparation of disaster management plans by schools, malls, hospitals etc. and carrying out mock drills, by preparing documentation on lessons from previous earthquaes and widely disseminating it.
  • Engineered structures: The soil type should be analysed before construction. Building structures on soft soil should be avoided. Similar problem persists in the buildings constructed on the river banks which have alluvial soil.
  • Encouraging use of Indigenous methods – Indigenous earthquake-resistant houses like the bhongas in the Kutch Region of Gujarat, dhajji diwari buildings in Jammu & Kashmir, brick-nogged wood frame constructions in Himachal Pradesh and ekra constructions made of bamboo in Assam are helpful in this regard.

Conclusion

It is not possible to prevent the occurrence of an earthquake; hence, the next best option is to lay emphasis on disaster preparedness and mitigation rather than curative measures. Hence, a robust early warning system, decentralised response mechanism is the best way forward.

 

 

Topic: Indian Society

2. The idea of population control based on perks and penalization is an outdated and regressive way to achieve sustainable population growth. Comment (10M)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: DownToEarth

Why the question:

The United Nations says November 15, 2022, is predicted to be the day that the global population reaches eight billion. 

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of population control and what needs to be done to achieve sustainable population growth.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Briefly explain what population control is and what the previous methods were.

Body:

First, write about the importance of population control- enough resources available, for societal benefits – equitable distribution, contributing to society etc.

Then mention how control based on rewards and punishment was not much effective leading to the population boom.

Next, write about what new kinds of measures can be adopted to control the population.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

India projected to become the most populous country in the world by 2027 (currently at 1.37 billion). In 2050, India’s population is projected to be 1.69 billion, which will be higher than that of China. Undoubtedly, India has a population problem, but any strategy to change fertility rates should be carefully thought out. India’s population concern is largely restricted to Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and MP.

Body

Population control based on perks and penalty is outdated ad regressive

  • Skewed sex ratio: The number of missing girls at birth has increased from 35 lakh in 1987-96 to 55 lakh in 2007-16. Such laws penalizing birth of more than certain offspring might worsen the sex ratio in states where sex-selective abortion is still practiced.
    • According to a study on the two-child norm (Nirmala Buch, Economic and Political Weekly, 2005) which was adopted by several Indian states like Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar, the move led to a spike to sex-selective and unsafe abortions.
  • Counter-productive measure: Through an affidavit filed in court, the central government argued that “international experience shows that any coercion to have a certain number of children iscounter-productive and leads to demographic distortions”.
  • Against international obligations: India is committed to its obligations under international law, including the principles contained in the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action, 1994.
  • Foremost in those principles was a pledge from nations that they wouldlook beyond demographic targets and focus instead on guaranteeing a right to reproductive freedom.
  • Against right to reproductive freedom and privacy: In Suchita Srivastava & Anr vs Chandigarh Administration (2009), the Court found that a woman’s freedom to make reproductive decisions is an integral facet of the right to personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21.
    • However, In Javed & Ors vs State of Haryana & Ors (2003), the Court upheld a law that disqualified persons with more than two children from contesting in local body elections.
  • In Devika Biswas vs Union of India (2016), the Court pointed to how these camps invariably have a disparate impact on minorities and other vulnerable groups.
  • Demographers like Srinivas Goli, a population studies professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, point out, citing the examples of Iran and China.
  • Any large-scale “unnatural intervention”, even if purely incentive-based, can dramatically change the future age profile of a population.
  • In Iran, in a short span between the late-1980s and early 2000s, the average number of children born to a woman in her lifetime plummeted from seven to less than three.
    • While population growth rate fell steeply, the share of Iran’s population in the working age band also fell.
  • Since the state-level laws linked the ability to contest Panchayat or local body elections with family size, the study found that men divorced their wives to run for elections and families put children up for adoption to avoid disqualification.

Way Ahead

  • Simply put, for every 1,000 people, demographers suggest that at least 550 must be of working age, in order to educate the young (below 15) and take care of the old (above 60).
  • The government’s Sample Registration System in 22 states shows that TFR for India declined to 2.2 in 2017 after being stable at 2.3 between 2013 and 2016.
  • Further, the country’s annual population growth rate fell from 2.5% in 1971-81—a time when ‘population explosion’ was bandied around commonly, and when India infamously experimented with forced sterilisation—to 1.3% in 2011-16.
  • Any intervention which doesn’t pay attention to this delicate age composition balance is “ignorant and foolish”
  • Success stories from within India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh) and from Indonesia and Bangladesh (predominantly Muslim countries) also show the central importance of investing in education and healthcare access to advance population stabilization.
  • India will also find it hard to announce a nationally mandated two-child policy since it is a signatory to the Cairo declaration in 1994, which gives couples the “right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children”.

 

Conclusion

Experiences from other States in India show us that there are more efficacious and alternative measures available to control the growth of population, including processes aimed at improving public health and access to education.Thus, the need of the hour is better education and awareness rather than an iron hand policy to control the population. Government should improve the implementation of poverty alleviation measures which can also help control population.

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. Provide a discourse on the evolution of the concept of judicial review, with special emphasis on the ninth schedule of the Indian Constitution. (150 words)

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

In recent times there have been multiple calls for the inclusion of quota laws in the Ninth Schedule of Indian constitutions. In the present case, the Jharkhand government has issued the such call.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the evolution of the concept of judicial review in the constitutional history of India.

Directive:

Discourse – 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 them with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define what judicial review is and how the 9th schedule is related to it.

Judicial Review is the power of Courts to pronounce upon the constitutionality of legislative and executive acts of the government which fall within their normal jurisdiction.

Body:

Next, discuss the evolution of the concept of judicial review starting with the 1st Constitutional amendment. Also, give a few points on the present EWS SC judgement and quota laws in some states which they want to be included in the 9th schedule.

The role of Judicial Review in the Indian Constitution is to protect/provide liberty and freedom for the people. Some Indian thinkers have observed that the scope of Judicial Review in India is very limited, and the Indian Courts do not enjoy as wide jurisdiction as the courts in America.

Suggest some suggestions to reform issues regarding the 9th schedule as well.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the importance of JR and the 9th Schedule.

 

Introduction

Judicial review is the power of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to examine the constitutionality of the Acts of the Parliament and the state legislatures and executive orders both of the centre and state governments. It is one of the most important features of the judiciary. It is the power to reject such laws as are held to be it ultra vires. Judicial review is considered a basic structure of the constitution (Indira Gandhi vs Raj Narain Case).

Body

Provisions in the Constitution:

There are specific and extensive provisions of judicial review in the Constitution of India such as Articles 13, 32, 131-136, 143, 226, 227, 246 and 372. Though the term judicial review is not mentioned in these Articles but it is implicit.

Judicial review in India:

  • Although the term Judicial Review has not been mentioned in the Constitution, the provisions of various Articles of the Constitution of India have conferred the power of judicial review on the Supreme Court.
  • Accordingly, the constitutional validity of a legislative enactment or an executive order may be challenged in the Supreme Court on the following grounds.
    • Violation of fundamental rights.
    • Outside the competence of the authority which has framed it.
    • It is repugnant to the Constitutional provisions.
  • The Supreme Court considerably widened the scope of judicial review in India through its judgement in Maneka Gandhi’s case.

Evolution of Judicial Review in the constitutional history of India:

  • In India the power of judicial review was exercised by the courts prior to the commencement of the constitution of India.
  • The British Parliament introduced Federal System in India by enacting the Government of India Act 1935.
  • The constitution of India envisages a very healthy system of judicial review and it depends upon the India judges to act in a way as to maintain the spirit of democracy.
  • In the present democratic setup in India, the court cannot adopt a passive attitude and ask the aggrieved party to wait for public opinion against legislative tyranny, but the constitution has empowered it to play an active role and to declare a legislation void, if it violates the constitution.
  • the scope of judicial review before Indian courts has evolved in three dimensions – firstly, to ensure fairness in administrative action, secondly, to protect the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights of citizens, and thirdly, to rule on questions of legislative competence between the centre and the states.
  • The power of the Supreme Court of India to enforce these fundamental rights is derived from Article 32 of the Constitution. It gives citizens the right to directly approach the Supreme Court for seeking remedies against the violation of these fundamental rights.
  • With the advent of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and dilution of the concept of locus standi [the right or capacity to bring an action or to appear in a court] in recent decades, Article 32 has been creatively interpreted to shape innovative remedies such as a ‘continuing mandamus’ for ensuring that executive agencies comply with judicial directions.
  • It was through the expansive interpretation of Article 21 of the Constitution in Maneka Gandhi v Union of India (1978), the Court held that the “procedure established by law” envisaged in the said article had to be just, reasonable and fair to pass the test of constitutionality.
  • In M Nagaraj v Union of India, the Court declared that fundamental right in Articles 14, 19 and 21 “stands atop in constitutional value” in a fulsome recognition that “human dignity, equality and freedom were conjoined, reciprocal and similar values”.
  • Instances of the Court’s intervention to expand the frontiers of these rights to include redressal for the killing of innocent people in false encounters and relief to the victims of custodial violence etc, has multiplied in recent times.
  • The Court therefore has established the foundational principles for the exercise of its judicial review jurisdiction traceable to Articles 13, 32, 136, 142 and 147 of the Constitution. The high court’s judicial review jurisdiction is anchored in Article 226 of the Constitution.

Though one does not deny that power to review is very important, at the same time one cannot also give an absolute power to review and by recognizing judicial review as a part of basic feature of the constitutional Courts in India have given a different meaning to the theory of Checks and balances this also meant that it has buried the concept of separation of powers where the judiciary will give itself an unfettered jurisdiction to review anything everything that is done by the legislature.

Ninth Schedule and Judicial Review

  • The Ninth Schedule contains a list of central and state laws which cannot be challenged in courts. Currently, 284 such laws are shielded from judicial review.
  • The Schedule became a part of the Constitution in 1951, when the document was amended for the first time.
  • It was created by the new Article 31B, which along with 31A was brought in by the government to protect laws related to agrarian reform and for abolishing the Zamindari system.
  • While A. 31A extends protection to ‘classes’ of laws, A. 31B shields specific laws or enactments.
  • Although Article 31B excludes judicial review, the apex court has said in the past that even laws under the Ninth Schedule would be open to scrutiny if they violated fundamental rights or the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • While most of the laws protected under the Schedule concern agriculture/land issues, the list includes other subjects, such as reservation.
  • A Tamil Nadu law that provides 69 per cent reservation in the state is part of the Schedule.

Conclusion

While the Court’s jurisdiction as a soldier to protect and advance fundamental rights merits loud affirmation, the Court however should not to be seen as dismissive or disdainful of the processes of democratic governance. The presumption that the legislature understands the needs of its people and that even its discrimination and classifications are based on adequate grounds has also been acknowledged by the Supreme Court itself. The challenge, therefore, is to find the delicate balance between the three organs which nurtures and invigorates institutions designed to serve the ideals of a true republic.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and development of new technology.

4. Critically examine the measures India has taken to become self-reliant in defence production in recent times. Suggest what more needs to be done to achieve higher levels of indigenization in Indian defence production. (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 the Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the measures taken by India in becoming self-reliant in defence production. And suggest measures of what more can be done.

Directive word:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by showing data or facts about India’s defence sector.

Body:

First, write about India’s spending on defence and how self-reliance is important in this sector.

Next, write about measures taken by India – Make in India, Defense procurement from indigenous manufacturers etc. How far they have been successful?

Next, write about the issues hovering indigenous defence industry and what measures can be taken to tackle them.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a forward.

 

Introduction

The Government has taken several policy initiatives and brought reforms to promote self-reliance in defence manufacturing. These policy initiatives are aimed at encouraging indigenous design & development, innovation and manufacture of defence equipment in the country, thereby reducing dependency on imports in long run.

Body

Measures taken to make India self-reliant in defence production

  • DPP-2016 has been revised as Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020, which is driven by the tenets of Defence Reforms announced as part of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.
  • In order to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ category has been accorded top most priority for procurement of capital equipment.
  • Ministry of Defence has notified ‘First Positive Indigenisation list’ of 101 items on 21st August 2020 and ‘2nd Positive Indigenisation list’ of 108 items on 31st May 2021 for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timelines indicated against them.
    • This offers a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture these items using their own design and development capabilities to meet the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
    • These lists include some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircrafts, light combat helicopters (LCHs), radars, wheeled armoured platform, rockets, bombs, armoured command post vehicle, armoured dozor and many other items to fulfill the needs of our Defence Services.
  • The ‘Make’ Procedure of capital procurement which is aimed at encouraging design, development and manufacture of defence products by Indian private industry, primarily for import substitution, has been simplified.
    • There is a provision for funding upto 70% of development cost by the Government to Indian industry under Make-I category. In addition, there are specific reservations for MSMEs under the ‘Make’ procedure.
  • Procedure for ‘Make-II’ category (Industry funded), introduced in DPP 2016 to encourage indigenous development and manufacture of defence equipment has number of industry friendly provisions such as relaxation of eligibility criterion, minimal documentation, provision for considering proposals suggested by industry/individual etc. So far, 62 projects relating to Army, Navy & Air Force have been accorded ‘Approval in Principle’.
  • The Government of India has enhanced FDI in Defence Sector up to 74% through the Automatic Route for companies seeking new defence industrial license and up to 100% by Government Route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology.
  • An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has been launched in April 2018.
    • iDEX is aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.
  • Government has set up the Technology Development Fund (TDF) to encourage participation of public/ private industries especially MSMEs, through provision of grants, so as to create an eco-system for enhancing cutting-edge technology capability for defence applications.
  • An indigenisation portal namely SRIJAN has been launched in August 2020 for DPSUs/Services with an industry interface to provide development support to MSMEs/Startups/Industry for import substitution.
    • So far, 18023 Defence items, which were earlier imported, have been displayed on the portal. The Indian industry have shown their interest in 3826 items. Out of them, 3190 have already been indigenized.
  • ‘Offset portal’ has been launched in May 2019 to ensure Greater transparency, efficiency and accountability in the process.
    • Reforms in Offset policy have been included in DAP 2020, with thrust on attracting investment and Transfer of Technology for Defence manufacturing, by assigning higher multipliers to them.
  • Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model in May 2017, which envisages establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they may tie up with global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.
  • Government has notified a ‘Policy for indigenisation of components and spares used in Defence Platforms’ in March 2019 with the objective to create an industry ecosystem which is able to indigenize the imported components (including alloys & special materials) and sub-assemblies for defence equipment and platform manufactured in India.
  • Government has established two Defence Industrial Corridors, one each in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to attract investments of Rs 10,000 Cr in each corridor by year 2024-25.
    • So far, investment of approx. Rs 3,750 crore in both the corridors by public and private sector companies have been made.
    • Moreover, the respective State Governments have also published their Aerospace & Defence Policies to attract industries including foreign companies in these two corridors.
  • An Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on “Mutual Cooperation in Joint Manufacturing of Spares, Components, Aggregates and other material related to Russian/Soviet Origin Arms and Defence Equipment” was signed in Sep 2019.
    • The objective of the IGA is to enhance the After Sales Support and operational availability of Russian origin equipment currently in service in Indian Armed Forces by organising production of spares and components in the territory of India by Indian Industry by way of creation of Joint Ventures/Partnership with Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) under the framework of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • Defence Products list requiring Industrial Licences has been rationalised and manufacture of most of parts or components does not require Industrial License. The initial validity period of the Industrial Licence granted under the IDR Act has been increased from 03 years to 15 years with a provision to further extend it by 03 years on case-to-case basis.
  • Defence Investor Cell (DIC) has been created in Feb-2018 by the Ministry to provide all necessary information including addressing queries related to investment opportunities, procedures and regulatory requirements for investment in the sector. Till date, 1325 queries had been received and addressed by Defence Investor Cell.

More reforms that can be implemented

  • The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) could examine the defence acquisitions from a tri-service angle, this may avoid delays and speed up the defence procurement process.
  • Mandatory Transfer of Technology for Subsystems: It is imperative that when India imports any weapon systems, there should be a plan for the ammunition and spares to be eventually manufactured in India so that we are not driven to seek urgent replenishments from abroad during crises.
    • The same goes for repair, maintenance and overhaul facilities for the upgrading of the weapons platforms.
  • Modernising Ordnance Factories Board: Over the decades, ordnance factories have been the backbone of indigenous supplies to India’s armed forces, from weapons systems to spares, ammunition and auxiliaries.
    • Their structure, work culture and the product range now need to be responsive to technology and quality demands of modern armed forces.
  • Overhauling of Existing Regulations and Practices: A long-term integrated perspective plan of the requirements of the armed forces should give the industry a clear picture of future requirements.
    • The next Defence Procurement Procedure should incorporate guidelines to promote forward-looking strategic partnerships between Indian and foreign companies, with a view to achieving indigenisation over a period of time for even sophisticated platforms.
  • Promoting Defence Exports: Investment, Indian or foreign, will be viable when the door to defence exports is promoted with a transparent policy.
  • Resolving Conflict of Interest: The role of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as the government’s sole adviser, developer and evaluator of technologies creates a conflict of interest for entry of private players.
    • Thus, the role of DRDO should be revised, in order to give private industry a level playing field for developing defence technologies.

 

Conclusion

Self-reliance in defence manufacturing is a crucial component of effective defence capability and to maintain national sovereignty and achieve military superiority. The attainment of this will ensure strategic independence, cost-effective defence equipment and may lead to saving on defence import bill, which can subsequently finance the physical and social infrastructure.

 

 

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and development of new technology.

5. Clarify with examples how nanotechnology is leading the way in pollution control. (150 Words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about nanotechnology, its applications in pollution control

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start the answer by defining nanotechnology.

Body:

First, elaborate on the various ways nanotechnology can be applied in daily life with a few examples.

Next, write about how specifically Nanotech can be used in pollution control – Nano absorptive materials, Nano filters can be used to filter out PM etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a forward.

 

Introduction

Nanotechnology is the science of materials at the molecular or subatomic level. It involves manipulation of particles smaller than 100 nanometres (one nanometre is one-billionth of a metre) and the technology involves developing materials or devices within that size — invisible to the human eye and often many hundred times thinner than the width of human hair. The physics and chemistry of materials are radically different when reduced to the nanoscale; they have different strengths, conductivity and reactivity, and exploiting this could revolutionize various fields of humanity.

Body

Nanotechnology in pollution control

  • Air pollution control
    • The use of nano-catalysts with increased surface area for gaseous reactions.
    • Catalysts work by speeding up chemical reactions that transform harmful vapors from cars and industrial plants into harmless gases.
    • Catalysts currently in use include a nanofiber catalyst made of manganese oxide that removes volatile organic compounds from industrial smokestacks.
    • Nanocatalysts are also available to make chemical reactions more efficient and less polluting.
    • Another approach uses nanostructured membranes that have pores small enough to separate methane or carbon dioxide from exhaust.
    • Carbon Nano Tubes can trap gases up to a hundred times faster than other methods, allowing integration into large-scale industrial plants and power stations.
    • This new technology both processes and separates large volumes of gas effectively, unlike conventional membranes that can only do one or the other effectively.
  • Water Pollution control
  • Pollutant Sensing
    • Carbon Dotsprovide an excellent possibility for fluorescence and colourimetric environmental pollutants detection.
    • They are widely used as a fluorescent nanoprobe for pollutant detection because of their high fluorescence emission.
    • They also enable the detection of pollutants with colour change by the colourimetric method.
  • Contaminant Adsorption
    • The technology can provide many surfaces adsorption sites due to their small size and large specific surface area.
  • Water Treatment
    • CDs can also beuseful for water treatment as they are promising nano-fillers in fabricating thin-film nanocomposite membranes where they can form chemical bonds with other compounds.
    • CDs have been produced from water hyacinth waste, which showed green fluorescence under UV light. They were also proven to be fluorescent sensors to detect herbicides causing trouble in aquatic bodies.
  • Pollutant Degradation
    • The technology can also be useful for pollutant degradationby providing a cutting-edge approach for next-generation photocatalysis.
      • Photocatalysis includes reactions that take place by utilising light and a semiconductor.
    • Organic pollutants in polluted water can act as electron and hole transferring agents, while carbon dots act as photosensitiser.
  • Cleaning up oil spills
    • Recent developments of nano-wires made of potassium manganese oxide can clean up oil and other organic pollutants while making oil recovery possible.
    • These nanowires form a mesh that absorbs up to twenty times its weight in hydrophobic liquids while rejecting water with its water repelling coating.
  • Renewable Energy
    • A new semiconductor developed by Kyoto University makes it possible to manufacture solar panels that double the amount of sunlight converted into electricity.
    • Nanotechnology also lowers costs, produces stronger and lighter wind turbines, improves fuel efficiency and, thanks to the thermal insulation of some nanocomponents, can save energy.

Conclusion

Nanotechnology offers the ability to build large numbers of products that are incredibly powerful. The development processes are heavily intertwined with biotechnology and information technology, making its scope very wide. Nanotechnology based products are capable of overcoming the limitations of traditional methods. But, the major challenges are yet to prevail over its toxicity, environmental hazards, production cost and accessibility to the un-reachable at far-off areas.

 

 

Topic- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, the role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges

6. “Data localization policies, while allowing government agencies to regulate the data efficiently, hinder the growth of the global trade and investments”.  In this context, analyze the pros and cons of data localization for India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu: “Are data localization requirements necessary and proportionate”

Why this question

Data, it is said, is the new capital in the digital age. The article discusses why the issue of data localization is important for a country and the issues with the policies related to data localization. Such issues have become important, because of the debates raised by the Sri Krishna committee.

Key demand of the question

Write about the meaning of data localization and what it entails. The benefits that get accrued out of data localization (esp. for internal security and sovereignty of the country). The issues and challenges faced as a result of policies – present and proposed, related to data localization.

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and presenting them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – In the introduction, explain what is meant by data localisation.

Body

Bring out the reasons why data localization is important – security, data as a resource, socio-economic benefits. How data localization helps security agencies gain control over the flow and extent of data.

Then show how too much control and government interference may not be good for business and investment in India. Point out the case of China, where companies are shying away due to governmental regulations.

Highlight the Indian policies related to data localisation – Recommendations of Sri Krishna Committee. Guidelines are given by RBI etc.

Conclusion –

Give your view on the present policies related to data localisation and the way forward.

 

Introduction

Data Localization means storing the data within the territorial boundaries of the country. It is a set of policy initiatives that limit data flows by restricting the physical storage and processing of data inside the boundaries of a specific jurisdiction. In June 2019, RBI gave clarifications regarding the rules stating that in case the processing is done abroad, the data should be brought back to India in not later than 24 hours, and also the data should be deleted elsewhere. And in the case of cross-border transactions, a copy of data can be stored abroad.

Body

Issues with data localisation

  • At present, India does not have the well-developed infrastructure to ensure the security of data.
  • On the other hand, developed countries already have an efficient infrastructure. So, rushing towards data localisation may not be a wise step. Because without efficient infrastructure, the data is prone to cyber-attacks.
  • And the risk is severe here because it is financial data. But as the laws are made, it is a big challenge to develop efficient infrastructure at a faster pace.
  • Storing data in India means higher operational costs for payment system operators. Because in other countries they have cheaper alternatives. And also, for cross-border transactions, they have to store the data in two places, which increases costs. There is a probability that these extra costs may pass on to the consumers.
  • And there is no guarantee that they will delete the data elsewhere. They may continue to store and analyse the data for their own advantage.
  • We are in a globalised world. At present, the world is running on the free flow of people, goods, services and data. Data localisation laws seem to be a part of protectionist policies, which is a threat to the free flow of data.
  • The base of the internet is the free flow of data. Data localisation is also a threat to the main essence of the internet.
  • US is against to the data localisation laws. Its stance is natural because it increases the operational costs of US companies. India-US bilateral relations are important for both countries because we are intertwined in export and import of IT services, professionals and goods etc. So, imposing data localisation laws without threatening the Indo-US relations is another challenge.
  • Innovation thrives when there is no much financial burden. And hence data localisation laws may threaten the innovation attempts in the digital payments industry.
  • If the processing of the payment transactions is done in another country, that country may ask these companies to submit the data. So, asking them to delete the data in 24 hours may interfere with the laws of the country where the processing is done.
  • Data localisation may result in government surveillance of its citizens.
  • It is also against intellectual property rights because they use their intelligence to form systems that can benefit from the data it generates, but in the end, they are deprived of these benefits and someone else may use this data in their favour.

Arguments in favour of data localisation

  • Sovereignty and government functions; referring to the need to recognise Indian data as a resource to be used to further national interest (economically and strategically), and to enable enforcement of Indian law and state functions.
  • The second claim is that economic benefits will accrue to local industry in terms of creating local infrastructure, employment and contributions to the AI ecosystem.
  • Finally, regarding the protection of civil liberties, the argument is that local hosting of data will enhance its privacy and security by ensuring Indian law applies to the data and users can access local remedies.

Way forward

  • A multiple stakeholder approach: It can help in looking not only at data localisation but also other issues such as privacy and governance.
  • Data encryption rather than delocalisation:In this age of rapid technological growth, governments should shift to alternate standards of data encryption.
  • Glocalization approach:Wherein laws can be harmonised globally, but by paying attention to local interests.
  • Assess the security of domestic systems for storing sensitive data.

Conclusion

Data is the enabler of businesses and digitisation has been essential for growth and innovation. There must be a balance between the sovereignty-based model for data localization and the need for data to be independent and autonomous.. However, taking steps towards ensuring the privacy and security of the citizens’ data is a very progressive step.

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

7. When a person is aware of one’s strengths, they can make an informed decision. Discuss how this awareness can help in informed decision-making for a civil servant. (150 Words)

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of being aware of one’s strengths and using them for informed decision-making.

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:

Introduce by discussing what awareness of strength means and how it is beneficial. Give a brief context with an example.

Body:

Mention what happens when one is aware of their internal as well as external strengths both in personal and professional life. Then with a few practical examples show how this can be beneficial for civil servants in their day-to-day decision-making.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

Self-awareness is a trait that helps one become more conscious of the feelings, strengths and weaknesses. Cultivating this skill set can help us evaluate ourself, manage emotions, align our behavior with values and understand our self-worth. Increasing  self-awareness is essential to improving workplace productivity and relationship with others.

Body

Being self-aware and its benefits

  • Ensures empathy toward others: When we are self-aware, we are more empathetic. This can help one build long-term relationships.
  • Improves critical thinking skills: To become self-aware, reflect on ourselves and our actions. we do this by conducting in-depth analysis, which can improve critical thinking skills.
  • Improves leadership skills: Self-awareness in leadership is understanding how personality, habits and traits affect the interaction with others. Self-awareness leads to personal growth and control that can help improve the leadership capabilities.
  • Provides more self-control: Being self-aware allows us to understand our emotions but not react to them. This can help one calmly respond to workplace situations because, instead of getting angry, one can demonstrate more self-control.
  • Increases creativity: Self-awareness can increase creativity and help one find creative solutions to workplace problems.
  • Increases adaptability: Being self-aware can help you become adaptable because you have experience implementing changes in your behaviour and traits.
  • Ensures higher self-esteem: Another benefit of being self-aware is higher self-esteem and confidence. When developing self-awareness, we realise we can learn from our failures and increase our confidence.

Awareness aiding civil servants in decision making

  • Self-awareness is important because it helps in both personal and professional life. When we know our capabilities, we can reduce our weakness and enhance our strengths.
  • It can help civil servants set achievable organizational goals and create strategies to achieve them. Using this trait, civil servants can understand the feelings of others and develop healthier and more meaningful workplace relationships.
  • Civil servants with well-developed emotional self-awareness are more effective intuitive decision makers.
    • In complex situations, intuitive decision makers process large amounts of sometimes unstructured and ambiguous data, and they choose a course of action based on a “gut feeling” or a “sense” of what’s best.
    • This type of decision making is becoming more important as the rate of change and the levels of uncertainty and complexity in their competitive environments increase.

Conclusion

Just as being able to see your reflection in the mirror helps you to fix your hair, feedback on your characteristics and behaviors helps one to develop management skills and improve our judgment.  Self-awareness–i.e., knowing our personal characteristics and how our actions affect other people, government results, etc.–is an essential first step toward maximizing the management skills.


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