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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 January 2023

 

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: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1.  Critically evaluate the 28-month long rule of Congress in the provinces. Do you think they took substantial measures and reforms to provide adequate reprieve to people of the country? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the 28 of Congress rule in the province. Its successes and failures.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by mentioning the backdrop of formation of Congress ministries and wide and varied expectations of different sections of people from it.

Body:

Elaborate further on expectation from the diverse group of people. Their demands and expectations from INC. Briefly, mention the major demands from the various provinces.

In the next part, bring out the performance of congress in its 28 month short rule. In detail analyse how congress performed with respect to land reforms, labour reforms, Civil Liberties, Release of Political Prisoners, Press and Constructive work undertake by the Congress.

In the final part, mention the impediments to Congress rule and mention the shortcomings of it. Internal bickering, failure

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a balanced opinion on congress ministries.

Introduction

The 28 month congress rule based on the provisions of Government of India Act, 1935 was significant. During July 1937, it formed Ministries in six provinces: Madras, Bombay, Central Provinces, Orissa, Bihar and U.P. Later, Congress Ministries were also formed in the North-West Frontier Province and Assam.

Body:

Paradigm shift witnessed in the Indian politics between 1936-1939:

  • There was an immense increase in the prestige of the Congress as an alternative power that would look after the interests of the masses, especially of the peasants.
  • It was a novel experiment because a party which was committed to liquidate British rule took charge of administration under a constitution which was framed by the British and which yielded only partial state power to the Indians;
  • This power could moreover be taken away from the Indians whenever the imperial power so desired.
  • The Congress was now to function both as a government in the provinces and as the opposition vis-a-vis the Central Government where effective state power play.
  • It was to bring about social reforms through the legislature and administration in the provinces and at the same time carry on the struggle for independence and prepare the people for the next phase of mass struggle.
  • Thus, the Congress had to implement its strategy of Struggle-Truce-Struggle (S-T-S’) in a historically unique situation.

Evaluation of the 28-month long rule of Congress in the provinces:

Congress ministries tried to bring a lot of reforms in their sphere of jurisdiction. The reforms brought in with the achievements and limitations are as follows:

  • Civil liberty:
    • Achievements:
      • Emergency powers related laws repealed.
      • Restrictions and ban on press, certain books, newspapers, and illegal organisations was lifted.
      • In Congress provinces, police powers were curbed and the reporting of public speeches and the shadowing of political workers by CID agents stopped.
      • Thousands of political prisoners were released and many revolutionaries involved in kakori & other conspiracies released
    • Limitations:
      • Yusuf Meherally and S.S.Batliwala were arrested for inflammatory and seditious speeches.
      • M.Munshi used CID against communist and leftist.
    • Agrarian Reforms:
      • Achievements:
        • Legislated a number of laws relating to land reforms, debt relief, forest grazing fee, arrears of rent, land tenure sect.
        • In Bihar, Congress signed pact with Zamindars regarding the provisions of the Tenancy Bill .
        • Kisan Sabha launched number of movements at regional level to remind congress to implement Faizpur Agrarian Programme
        • In Bombay, They were able to restore lands to original owners which were confiscated due to no rent campaign of congress
      • Limitations:
        • Most of these benefits went to statutory and occupancy tenants while sub-tenants did not gain much.
        • Agricultural labourers did not benefit as they had not been mobilised.
      • Social welfare reforms:
        • Achievements:
          • Measures for welfare of Harijans taken-temple entry, education, etc.
          • Encouragement was given to khadi and indigenous enterprises.
          • In 1938 national planning committee set up under congress president Subhash Chandra Bose.
          • Reforms in education, public health, sanitation as well as in prisons were undertaken.
        • Economic Reforms:
          • Encouragement given to indigenous enterprises
          • Develop planning through National Planning Committee set up under Congress President Subhash Bose in 1938.
        • Labour:
          • Achievements:
            • Goodwill sought to be created between labour and capital with mediation of ministries.
            • Efforts were made to improve workers condition and secure wage increase for them.
            • Labour Committee appointed by Congress accepted a programme with Holidays with pay, Employment insurance, to devise a way to fix minimum wage, leave with pay during sickness.
          • Limitations:
            • Ministries failed in Bombay as mediator.
            • Leftist critics were unsatisfied.
            • Ministries took recourse to section 144 and arrested the leaders.

Conclusion:

Congress ministries resigned in October 1939 after the outbreak of the Second World War. Indian self-government was necessary for radical social transformation got confirmed. It weakened the myth that Indians were not fit to rule. It did good work with minimum financial resources.

 

Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

2. The Quit India movement made the British realise that India, as a country, could not function without the cooperation of its people. People’s unfazed determination instilled a sense of fear among the rulers. Explain. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write how Quit India movement was different from the previous mass movements.

Directive word: 

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Give the context of political scene of the country that led to the launch of Quit India movement

Body:

Write about the factors that made the movement stand apart from other struggles or movements against the Imperial rule, on lines of, Gandhi’s strategy, emergence of new leaders, Violence, Princely States, new developements and mass involvement etc and the way it aligned the local interest with that of national interest.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning that the much-needed impetus towards conclusion to the national freedom struggle can be credited to the Quit India movement.

Introduction

The Quit India Movement, also known as ‘August Kranti’, was a freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi but drew protests from the All-India Congress Committee demanding what Gandhi called was “An Orderly British Withdrawal” from India. Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call of ‘Do or Die’ inspired thousands of party workers but also created frenzy among the British who rushed to imprison the entire Congress leadership. This forced the British to act immediately and soon all the senior INC leaders were imprisoned without trial within hours of Gandhi’s speech.

Body

Unfolding of August Kranti:

  • Several national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Abdul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were arrested.
  • The Congress was declared an unlawful association, leaders were arrested and its offices all over the country were raided and their funds were frozen.
  • The first half of the movement was peaceful with demonstrations and processions. The peaceful protest was carried till Mahatma Gandhi’s release.
  • The second half of the movement was violent with raids and setting fire at post offices, government buildings and railway stations. Lord Linlithgow adopted the policy of violence.
  • The Viceroy’s Council of Muslims, Communist Party and Americans supported Britishers.

Significance of Quit India movement:

  • The movement was carried forward without the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, or any other leader, all of whom were jailed on its commencement.
  • All sections of people participated in huge numbers.
  • Decentralized command was the prime significance of this movement.
  • The British began to seriously think about the issue of Indian independence after seeing the upsurge among the masses.
  • It changed the nature of political negotiations with British Empire in 1940s which ultimately paved the way of India’s independence.
  • The slogan of ‘Do or Die’ remains the most Krantikari slogan to this day.
  • It is also a symbol of political betrayal. Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha, Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) and even the undivided Communist party opposed Gandhi as well as his call for complete civil disobedience.
  • Despite heavy-handed suppression by the government, the people were unfazed and continued their struggle.

Impacts of QIM:

  • Though the movement initiated by Gandhi had no major impact in terms of attaining immediate independence, it did play a crucial role leading up to India’s eventual independence.
  • Firstly, the movement kept the Congress Party united through thick and thin and the movement established a fact in the minds of the British that to attain complete freedom the Indians were ready to dig deeper than they had expected.
  • The movement also conveyed to the British that India had the support of global leaders, as the then American President Franklin D. Roosevelt had urged the British administration to consider at least some of the demands put forth by the Indian leaders.
  • Another major impact the movement had on the independence was the destruction it had caused through various protests and violent activities.
  • Since the movement was responsible in the destruction of many edifices and facilities, the British had to reconstruct many facilities if they were to rule India for a longer period of time.
  • However, destruction and monetary loss incurred by Britain during the ‘Second World War’ made sure the British administration was left with insufficient funds to rebuild India.
  • Hence, the British understood that it was almost impossible for them to govern India in the long run.
  • Once the war came to an end in 1945, the only question that lingered on many British minds was how to exit India peacefully and gracefully.

Drawbacks of the movement:

  • The Quit India Movement did not result in immediate attainment of freedom.
  • Several political groups active during the Indian Independence Movement were opposed to the Quit India Movement.
  • Gandhi did not formulate any definite programme of action before he was arrested on 9th August.
  • The arrest of the leaders had left a powerful vacuum in communication between the leadership and the masses.
  • Use of violent methods by the volunteers and participants.
  • The movement was crushed in a relatively short period of time by the British.

Conclusion

Despite its failure, the Quit India movement is considered significant as it made the British Government realize that India was ungovernable in the long run. Post the Second World War, the question that was most prominent for the British was on how to exit India peacefully. Today we should perhaps give a new slogan for Quit India: Banish from India poverty, hunger, hatred and violence. True independence will be when we all work together to produce a sustainable and holistic India.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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

3. The new integrated food security scheme Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) is a crucial step in eliminating hunger and malnutrition. But the concerns associated with the distributions free foodgrains must be adequately addressed. Analyse.   (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu , pib.gov.in

Why the question:

The Central Government’s integrated food security scheme has been named as the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY), under which free foodgrains are being given to more than 80 crore poor people from January 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the integrated PMGKAY, its pros and cons.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about the aims and the objectives of the integrated PMGKAY.

Body:

First, in brief, write about the major features of PMGKAY.

Next, write about the role PMGKAY in addressing the food security challenges in the country. Cite statistics to substantiate. Highlight the role of similar schemes in addressing hunger and malnutrition in the country.

Next, write about the limitations of PMGKAY and suggest ways to improve it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana scheme (PMGKAY) was part of the Centre’s initial COVID-19 relief. The scheme aimed at providing each person who is covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 with an additional 5 kg grains (wheat or rice) for free, in addition to the 5 kg of subsidised foodgrain already provided through the Public Distribution System (PDS).

It was initially announced for a three-month period (April, May and June 2020), covering 80 crore ration cardholders. Later it was extended till September 2022. Its nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Finance. The benefit of the free ration can be availed through portability by any migrant labour or beneficiary under the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) plan from nearly 5 lakh ration shops across the country.

Body

Achievements of NFSA and PMGKAY

  • It was the first step by the government when pandemic affected India.
  • The scheme reached its targeted population feeding almost 80Cr people.
  • It has proven to be more of a safety net to migrant people who had job and livelihood losses.
  • This has also ensured nutrition security to children of the migrant workers.

Limitations of NFSA and PMGKAY

  • Expensive: It’s very expensive for the government to sustain and increases the need for an abundant supply of cheap grains. In 2022, India has had to restrict exports of wheat and rice after erratic weather hurt harvest, adding to pressure on food prices, and rattling global agricultural markets.
  • Increase Fiscal Deficit: It could pose a risk to the government’s target to further narrow the fiscal deficit to 6.4% of gross domestic product.
  • Inflation: The decision on the program could also affect inflation. The prices of rice and wheat, which make up about 10% of India’s retail inflation, are seeing an uptick due to lower production amid a heatwave and patchy monsoon.

Way forward

  • Study of scheme: The central authorities should commission a study and make its findings public. Just as it did in the initial months of the pandemic.
    • It should be the basis for updating the database of foodgrain-drawing card holders, scrutinizing the data critically and zeroing in on the needy.
  • Need to go beyond the mandate of the NFSA: as is being done under the PMGKAY, the government can supply the foodgrains at a reasonable price.
  • Ration on regular basis: Centre should consider providing 1 kg pulses free to States on a regular basis, or at least at highly subsidized rates.
  • Rules on quota: To keep the budgetary allocation under control, rules on quota for rice or wheat can be changed suitably.
  • Diversion from PDS: central and State authorities need to ponder over the scheme’s continuance, given the chronic problem of diversion from the Public Distribution System (PDS).

Conclusion

There should be an all-encompassing database for migrant workers and their family. This should accurately capture the data on migration. The One Nation One Ration Card should be implemented in true spirit by all the states. Along with food security, there should be a sustainable income support through schemes like MGNREGS accompanied by free vaccines in nearest future. The leakages in PDS should be minimized through modernize PDS. To avoid leakages, there should be food-token system.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Discuss the major reasons for an increase in man-animal conflict in recent years. What have been the major steps undertaken by the government for abatement of the conflicts? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

In the latest in a series of wild elephant attacks in Kerala, a daily worker, was attacked by a rouge elephant at Sulthan Bathery town adjacent to the Wayanad wildlife Sanctuary

Key Demand of the question:

To explain the major causes for rising cases of man-animal conflict and steps taken by government to control it.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

start with what you understand by Man-Animal conflicts.

Body:

Start by explaining what you understand by man-animal conflicts. Discuss what the main causes of man wildlife conflict are – The cause of human wildlife conflict was human settlement, agricultural expansion, illegal grass collection, over grazing by livestock and deforestation in national park. As a result, local communities disliked wildlife inhabiting in and around their surroundings. human population growth and expansion, habitat degradation and fragmentation, land use transformation and increasing densities of livestock grazing in protected areas are considered as major causes of man-carnivore conflicts.

Write about the various government policies and programmes in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Man-animal conflict is an existential crisis not only for the animals, but for human beings as well with data showing that about one person has been killed every day for the past three years by roaming tigers or rampaging elephants. India is a unique country with respect to wildlife conservation. Despite a billion people we still have most of our large wildlife species. Compared to relatively lower human density countries in south-east Asia, India today has the largest population of the tiger, Asian elephant, leopard, sloth bear, gaur and many others.

Wild elephants in Odisha face imminent danger from live electric wires. Several tuskers have fallen prey to low-hanging naked wires and even traps with live conduction by poachers, raising a serious question regarding their safety.

Body

Major causes of man animal conflict

  • Unsustainable development:
    • Tiger reserves, national parks and sanctuaries exist only as islets in a vast sea of human, cattle and unsustainable land use.
    • People are increasingly encroaching into the country’s traditional wild spaces and animal sanctuaries, where people compete with wildlife for food and other resources.
    • These conflicts have increased as elephants increasingly find their usual corridors blocked by highways, railway tracks and factories
    • Urbanisation and growth agendas alter landscape dynamics, which has a cascading effect on the ecological dynamics of wildlife. This results in ecological dislocation of sorts, wherein endangered wild animals like tigers either cause distress or land themselves in trouble
  • Failure of government measures:
    • ‘Human-Wildlife conflict mitigation’ said most of the measures are dysfunctional, haphazardly implemented and therefore not effective
    • Elephants are used to travelling long distances, most of which fall outside the protected areas.
    • Wildlife experts claim that territorial animals do not have enough space within reserves and their prey do not have enough fodder to thrive on. This is forcing the wild animals to move out and venture close to human habitation in search of food.
  • Primary reason for the increasing human-animal conflicts is the presence of a large number of animals and birds outside the notified protected areas. Wildlife experts estimate that 29 per cent of the tigers in India are outside the protected areas.
  • Road kill of wild animals is the new enemy to India’s wildlife
  • There is no proper land use planning and management, cumulative impact assessments or wildlife management
  • There is no buffer zone between wildlife and human settlements
  • Monkeys along with grey langurs have adapted to urban habitats over the years.
  • Continued destruction and divergence of forest lands.

Government Initiatives to reduce the man-animal conflicts are:

  • Awareness programmesto sensitize the people about the Do’s and Don’ts to minimize conflicts
  • Training programmes for forest staffand police to address the problems of human wildlife conflicts
  • Approach by wildlife protection act, 1972is that the model of conservation enshrined in is premised on creating human-free zones for the protection of rare species based on the erroneous notion that local people are the prime drivers of wildlife decline. This approach has been successful in protecting certain species, not all species.
  • Providing technical and financial supportfor development of necessary infrastructure and support facilities for immobilization of problematic animals.
  • Providing LPG to villagers: LPG should be provided to those villagers who frequently go to the forest areas specially wildlife habitats to fetch fuel wood for their chullahs so that they may stop penetrating into forest and stop inviting Man- Animal Conflicts.
  • State governments:
    • Assistance to state government for construction of boundary walls and solar fences around the sensitive areas to prevent the wild animal attacks
    • Supplementing the state government resources for payment of ex gratia to the people for injuries and loss of life in case of wild animal attacks
    • Encouraging state government for creation of a network of protected areas and wildlife corridors for conservation of wildlife.
    • Eco development activities in villagesaround protected areas to elicit cooperation of local community in management of the protected areas.
    • Supporting involvement of the research and academic institutions and leading voluntary organisations having expertise in managing human wildlife conflict situations.
    • To control poaching: Poaching of wild animals should be stopped so that the no of wild animals can stabilize at its carrying capacity which would reach equilibrium in the ecosystem and this equilibrium between the numbers of prey animals and predators in the forest ecosystem would be maintained.
  • Technology:
    • Information technology like radio collars, GPS, satellite uplink facilities are used by research institutions to monitor the movement of wild animals
    • Centrally sponsored schemes of project tiger, project elephant and integrated development of wildlife habitats
    • Solar Fencing around agriculture fields:Agriculture fields situated near wildlife habitat/forest areas can be protected by stone fencing or solar fencing. Solar fencing has been tried with quite good effect in Wardha District of Maharashtra.

Way Forward:

  • Forest corridorslinking protected areas must be maintained where they exist.
  • Existing habitats have to be surveyed and improved to provide food for the elephants
  • Local communitiesneed to be educated to have reduced stress levels in elephants during conflict mitigation, no fire, no firecracker and no mob crowds.
  • There is a need for a monitoring mechanismwhich will record and disperse information on such conflicts
  • Experts suggest the other way to reduce the man-animal conflict is to increase the population of wild ungulates, namely hares and the wild boars, both of which are prolific breeders, as a prey for wild carnivores. Separate big enclosures can be made in the jungles to breed them. The excess stock can be released in the jungles at regular intervals for the wild carnivores to prey upon.
  • The draft National Forest Policywill be an overarching policy for forest management. Also there is a proposal for National Community Forest Management (CFM) Mission which will be launched soon.
  • In order to be truly effective, prevention of human-wildlife conflict has to involve the full scope of society: international organizations, governments, NGOs, communities, consumers and individuals. Solutions are possible, but often they also need to have financial backing for their support and development

 

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

5. Growing population, rapid urbanisation, shifting consumption pattern and changing lifestyles have resulted in the mismanagement of plastic waste, which is causing severe marine pollution and growing burden of marine debris. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to EarthInsights on India

Why the question:

India generates 55 million tonnes of municipal waste, of which only 37 per cent is treated, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need to tackle plastic pollution by regulating its manufacturing as well as managing plastic waste.

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 a statistic regarding the extent of plastic pollution in India and the world.

Body:

First, mention the various sources of plastic pollution and its impact.

Next, write about the steps that have been taken to regulated the manufacture of plastic in India.

Next, enumerate policy measures and other initiative to tackle plastic waste management in India. Examine the performance the above measures.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to holistically tackle the issue of plastic pollution.

Introduction

Oceans are the largest water bodies on the planet Earth. Over the last few decades, surplus human activities have severely affected marine life on the Earth’s oceans. Ocean pollution, also known as marine pollution, is the spreading of harmful substances such as oil, plastic, industrial and agricultural waste and chemical particles into the ocean. Since oceans provide the home to wide variety of marine animals and plants, it is the responsibility of every citizen to play his or her part in making these oceans clean so that marine species can thrive for a long period of time.

A recent study found that the amount of plastic waste entering the ocean from land each year exceeds 4.8 million tons (Mt), and may be as high as 12.7 Mt. The quantities of plastic entering the ocean are growing rapidly with the potential for cumulative inputs of plastic waste into the ocean as high as 250 Mt by 2025.

Body

Plastic pollution in marine areas

  • The main sources of marine plastic are land-based, from urban and storm runoff, sewer overflows, beach visitors, inadequate waste disposal and management, industrial activities, construction and illegal dumping.
  • Ocean-based plastic originates mainly from the fishing industry, nautical activities and aquaculture.
  • Under the influence of solar UV radiation, wind, currents and other natural factors, plastic fragments into small particles, termed microplastics (particles smaller than 5 mm) or nanoplastics (particles smaller than 100 nm).
  • In addition, microbeads, a type of microplastic, are very tiny pieces of manufactured polyethylene plastic that are added as exfoliants in health and beauty products, such as cleansers and toothpastes. These tiny particles easily pass through water filtration systems and end up in the ocean and lakes.
  • Plastic particles washed off from products such as synthetic clothes contribute up to 35% of the primary plastic that is polluting our oceans.

Impact of marine plastic pollution:

  • On Marine Environment:
    • Affects movement of marine organisms:
      • Ghostnets, a term coined to describe purposely discarded or accidentally lost netting, drift through the ocean, entangling whales, seals, and turtles.
      • An estimated 100,000 marine animals are strangled, suffocated, or injured by plastics every year.
    • Direct harm to species:
      • Of the 1.5 million Laysan albatrosses that inhabit Midway, nearly all are likely to have plastic in their digestive system.
      • Approximately one-third of their chicks die, and many of those deaths are due to being fed plastic by their parents.
      • Fish and whales may also mistake the plastic as a food source.
    • Spreading invasive species:
      • Marine plastics also facilitate the spread of invasive species that attach to floating plastic in one region and drift long distances to colonize other ecosystems.
      • Research has shown that this plastic marine debris affects at least 267 species worldwide
    • On Food and Health:
      • Affects Food-chain:
        • Because the garbage blocks sunlight, algae is not growing as it should. With less algae, the entire food chain is experiencing a negative disruption.
        • In addition, the plastics floating in the ocean are leeching harmful chemicals into the water, which are likely entering the food chain.

 

  • Indirect harm to species via the food chain:
    • Besides the particles danger to wildlife, on the microscopic level the floating debris can absorb organic pollutants from seawater, including PCBs, DDT, and PAHs.
    • These toxin-containing plastic pieces are also eaten by jellyfish, which are then eaten by fish.
    • Many of these fish are then consumed by humans, resulting in their ingestion of toxic chemicals
  • Bio-magnification:
    • Toxic contaminants accumulate on the surface of plastic materials as a result of prolonged exposure to seawater. When marine organisms ingest plastic debris, these contaminants enter their digestive systems, and overtime accumulate in the food web.
    • The transfer of contaminants between marine species and humans through consumption of seafoodhas been identified as a health hazard, but has not yet been adequately researched.
  • On Climate Change:
    • Plastic, which is a petroleum product, also contributes toglobal warming.
    • If plastic waste is incinerated, it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thereby increasing carbon emissions.
  • On Tourism:
    • Plastic waste damages the aesthetic value of tourist destinations, leading to decreased tourism-related incomes and major economic costsrelated to the cleaning and maintenance of the sites.

Measures needed:

  • Existing international instruments should be further explored to address plastic pollution. The most important are:
    • The 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Other Matter (or the London Convention).
    • The 1996 Protocol to the London Convention (the London Protocol).
    • The 1978 Protocol to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
  • Recycling and reuse of plastic materials are the most effective actions available to reduce the environmental impacts of open landfills and open-air burning that are often practiced to manage domestic waste.
  • Governments, research institutions and industries also need to work collaboratively redesigning products, and rethink their usage and disposal, in order to reduce microplastics waste from pellets, synthetic textiles and tyres.
  • Implement renewable energy sources,such as wind or solar power, to limit off-shore drilling.
  • Limit agricultural pesticides and encourage organic farming& eco-friendly pesticide use.
  • Proper sewage treatmentand exploration of eco-friendly wastewater treatment options.
  • Cut down on the industry and manufacturing waste and contain it into landfillsto avoid spillage.
  • Use of Biotechnology:Bioremediation (use of specific microorganisms to metabolize and remove harmful substances) to treat oil spills.
  • At individual level reduce carbon footprint by adopting a “green” lifestyle.
  • Have a global treatyon banning single-use plastics and collaborated effort to clean up the ocean.
  • Identify chemical pollutants hotspots, control the use and release of chemicals in mining, promote recycling of used oil in urban areas.
  • Increase funding for marine pollution prevention and control by introducing market-based incentives, applying the “polluter pays” principle.
  • Public-private partnerships should also be established to provide financing, improve public awareness and develop innovative approaches to reduce marine pollution.

Measures to tackle marine plastic pollution:

  • Local actions are required for mitigating plastic pollution, using mechanisms such as bans on plastic bags, maximum daily limits for emissions into watersheds, and incentives for fishing gear retrieval.
  • Countries should come together to establish measurable reduction targets for plastic waste. A meaningful international agreement—one with clearly defined waste reduction targets is the need of the hour.
  • Effective policies must take into account all stages of the lifecycle of plastic—connecting producers to users and ultimately to waste managers.
  • Nonprofits like 5 Gyres are now pushing an agenda toward public awareness, corporate responsibility and the idea of a circular economy — an economy that focuses on keeping waste to a minimum while maximizing materials’ use.
  • Fossil fuel subsidies incentivise the plastic market. Hence, Countries should end fossil fuel subsidies. Annually, 4–8% of oil is used to produce raw plastic.
  • India has a major problem dealing with plastics, particularly single-use shopping bags that reach dumping sites, rivers and wetlands along with other waste.
  • The most efficient way to deal with the pollution is to control the production and distribution of plastics.
  • Banning single-use bags and making consumers pay a significant amount for the more durable ones is a feasible solution.
  • Enforcing segregation of waste will retrieve materials and greatly reduce the burden on the environment.
  • Waste separation can be achieved in partnership with the community, and presents a major employment opportunity.
  • Eco-friendly substitutes (cloth/paper/jute bags, leaves/areca leaf plates, paper straws) should be developed. For this, scientific and financial support (soft loans and subsidies) is required.

Conclusion

Marine plastic pollution is a “planetary crisis,” and we should hope for a “Paris-style” global treaty aimed at tackling it. Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. In this context, ocean health must be treated as a global issue and all nations should act in concert to implement Sustainable Development Goal 14 i.e. to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. We cannot transform our world into a ‘plastic planet’. What is needed is collective public effort to stop plastic pollution and safeguard our ecosystem/biodiversity.

 

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.

6. Emotional intelligence amidst a crisis situation helps decision makers to maximize the pertinent of emotional intelligent skills to improve decision making. Elucidate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Key Demand of the question:

To explain how EI makes a difference in extreme crisis situations.

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In your own words, define Emotional intelligence.

Body:

Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to the capability of a person to recognize, understand and manage own emotions, as well as to understand, manage and influence emotions of others. It is not always virtuous and can be used as a tool for positive and negative ends.

Very briefly describe the key 5 components of EI.

Explain why it is so valuable in the context of crisis situations. Mention how it makes a difference and people with high EI can manage any situation and rise above it. Cite examples to substantiate your points.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.

Body:

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are four key elements to it viz. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness & relationship management.

Significance of Emotional intelligence:

  • Appraising emotions arising from situations:
    • Using emotions for reason based decisions and policy making.
    • Identifying emotions in faces, voices, postures, and other content during public management activities.
  • Stress tolerance:
    • To stay focused, stress should be managed and it involves own reactions to stress or the reactions of others to the stress.
  • Impulse control:
    • Independent people evaluate the alternatives and initiate the work by taking appropriate action by executing the right options. People who manage their impulses avoid being distracted and losing control of the situation.
  • Negotiation:
    • Whether you’re dealing with a trading partner, competitor, customer or colleague, being able to empathize and be creative in finding win-win solutions will consistently pay off.
  • Peer relationships:
    • Good networking skills are a staple of job effectiveness for the average worker. Networking has too often been associated with “using” other people, but a heightened EQ ensures a mutually beneficial approach to others.
  • Social responsibility:
    • When a leader cares about others, he is not a centre of attention and keeps everyone in the loop by making their intentions known.
  • Optimism:
    • Optimistic people have a target that they’re aiming toward. These people are confident in their ability to carry out the required actions and meet the target by looking for successful solutions to problems.

Ways to develop emotional intelligence in civil servants:

  • Assessing personal strengths and limitations
  • Providing feedback with care
  • Maximizing learner choice
  • Encouraging participation
  • Linking learning goals to personal values
  • Adjusting expectations
  • Gauging readiness
  • Fostering a positive relationship between the trainer and the learner
  • Maximizing self-directed change
  • Setting clear goal
  • Maximizing opportunities to practice emotional intelligence
  • Providing frequent feedback on that practice
  • Enhancing insight into emotions and thought patterns

Conclusion:

The Center for Creative Leadership even draws on research to suggest that 75% of careers are negatively impacted by emotional competency-related themes. These include the inability to respond adaptively to change, nurture trust, lead teams during tough times, and deal effectively with interpersonal problems. So developing your EI skills will help civils servants perform better in the workplace.

 

Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour;

7. With various forms of addictions on a rise among the youth of the country, empathy must play an essential role in long-term recovery of addicts. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about taking an empathetic approach towards de-addiction.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of rising forms of addictions – drugs, gaming, alcohol, social media etc.

Body:

First, bring out the adverse impact of addictions in brief.

Next, write about empathetic approach towards de-addiction – breaking the stigma, persuading, care ethics, compassionate support, follow up etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing about saving the youth from various addictions.

Introduction

Every youth who destroys his life by drug addiction is a loss to our society. Instead of treating it as a law-and-order issue, we must think of pro-active solutions to stop people from consuming drugs. We must identify and rehabilitate such people who are addicted so that they can become productive part of society. Moreover, branding addicts as criminal will ostracise them and make it difficult to integrate them in the society due to the stigma attached.

Body

Background

There is also a correlation between drug abuse, social problems, antisocial behaviour and crime in many areas. People under the influence of drugs and alcohol have lowered inhibitions and this makes them more likely to commit crimes or indulge in antisocial behaviour. Petty theft to obtain funds to buy drugs is also more common in areas with high drug usage. Drug abuse places a huge burden on the financial and human resources. In India, consumption and possession of drugs is illegal and is an offence where arrest can be made.

Whether drug addiction is a moral issue

Treat the problem as social, not criminal.  With addicts, treat them as patients and not as criminals because addiction is a medical problem. They need patience and care.  Drug addiction is a social problem that needs to be taken seriously by society as a whole and not be swept under the carpet. One of the best ways to deal with drug dependency is for the addict to get the help that they need and for their family to be supported through the recovery process.

Residential rehab treatment has proved to be one of the most effective ways of treating drug addiction.

There are two types of people: those who believe that drug addiction treatment should be given to everyone, and those who think that drug addiction shouldn’t be treated as a criminal issue. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who suffers from addiction, criminal or not. With the proper help and treatment, one will be able to overcome addiction and fit into society once again. Due to the process of drug rehabilitation, there is almost a countless number of people who took the necessary steps to beat their crippling addiction and even become pillars of various communities.

A middle path such as dealing drugs can be considered illegal and a crime, while drug addicts who are habitually consuming drugs must be identified and given the necessary help.

Government initiatives such as ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat’, or Drug-Free India Campaign which focuses on community outreach programs can go a long way in solving this issue.

Conclusion

Addiction should not be seen as a character flaw, but as an ailment that any other person could be struggling with. Therefore, the stigma associated with drug taking needs to be reduced. Society needs to understand that drug-addicts are victims and not criminals.


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