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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 February 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: population and associated issues

1. Why is conducting census important? Analyse the impact of delay in conducting decadal census. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

The Centre’s recent decisions have sent the already-delayed decadal Census 2021 into a deep freeze. The government issued a notification in March 2019 for conducting the census and issued another in July 2019 for updating the National Population Register and launching the first phase of the census

Key Demand of the question:

To write about importance of collecting census data and the impact of delaying it.

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 giving context of census in India.

Body:

In the first part, discuss the importance of census – essential for planning the provision of health care, education, employment, etc, helpful in the debate related to reservation policy, targeted poverty reduction programmes etc

Next, write about the impact of delaying the conduct census – freezing the administrative boundaries, migration data, unemployment, poverty data and lack of targeted policy making etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. Census provides information on size, distribution, socio-economic, demographic and other characteristic of countries population.

The Census was first started under British Viceroy Lord Mayo in 1872. It helped in framing new policies, government programs to uplift areas of improvement in the community. The first synchronous census in India was held in 1881. Every ten years: Since then, censuses have been undertaken uninterruptedly once every ten years.

The decennial census exercise has been postponed till September 2023. The government informed States that the date of freezing of administrative boundaries has been extended till June 30.

Body

Importance of Census

  • Utility in Administration and Policy
    • The population census provides the basic data for administrative purposes. One of the most basic of the administrative uses of census data is in the demarcation of constituenceis and the allocation of representation on governing bodies. Detailed information on the geographic distribution of the population is indispensable for this purpose. The Census also gives information on the demographic and economic characteristics of the population at the district level.
  • Utility of Census data for Research Purposes:
    • The population census provides indispensable data for scientific analysis and appraisal of the composition, distribution and past and prospective growth of the population.
  • Utility of Census data in Business and Industry:
    • The census data has many important uses for individuals and institutions in business and industry. It is very difficult to make a full assessment of the multiplicity of ways in which trade and business make use of the census data.
  • Census as frame for Sample Surveys:
    • The rapidity of current changes in the size and other characteristics of populations and the demand for additional detailed data on social and economic characteristics which are not appropriate for collection in a full-scale census, have brought about the need for continuing programmes of intercensal sample surveys to collect current and detailed information on many topics which are usually investigated at ten-year intervals in the population censuses.
  • Utility of Census data in Planning:
    • The census data is indispensable for social and economic planning of the Country. The Planning Commission utilises the Census data on the distribution of population by age, sex classified by rural and urban regions, cities, town areas and social groups to analyse the growth of consumer demand and savings in the process of development.
  • Utility of Population Census to Electoral Rolls:
    • Some countries have taken advantage of the enumeration for a population census to collect, at the same time, information needed for the establishment of electoral rolls. This procedure is not generally advisable because of the deleterious effect the secondary purpose might have on the quality of the census results.
  • Utility of Population Census to other types of Censuses:
    • Certain information collected as part of a population census, or incidential to it, can be most useful in conducting and/or utilizing the results of housing, agricultural or establishment censuses taken at about the same time or near about as the population census.
  • Utility of population census to civil registration and vital statistics:
    • Census data serve as denominators for the computation of vital rates, especially rates specific for characteristics normally investigated only at the time of the census.

Impact of delay in conducting decadal census

  • Surveys have limitations and cannot be used to find answers to how many villages have literacy rates below 75% or which tehsils have a low percentage of people getting protected water supply.
  • In case of panchayats and municipal bodies, reservation of seats for SCs and STs is based on their proportion in the population.
    • There is no other source that can provide this information.
  • Delay in the Census means that the data from the 2011 Census would continue to be used.
  • Rapid changes in the composition of the populationover the last decade.
    • This means that either too many or too few seats are being reserved.
  • The rural-urban distribution of populationhas been rapidly changing over the years.
    • For example: Areas under the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike grew by 3(forty nine point three)% during 2001-11etc
  • The pandemic; It resulted in deaths among adults and the aged relatively more than children.
    • It would give indirect estimates of the number of deaths.

Way forward

  • The existence of numerous faiths and languages as well as the expansion or extinction of such communities will be known only via population Census.
  • A regular Census at the national and sub-national levels has been a matter of pride for India.
  • It has to be continued until India achieves a fool-proof civil registration system and a dynamic National Population Register.
  • Census is necessary since it forms the basis of all the plans and programmes that the government wants to implement.
  • Postponing the Census has immediate and long-term negative consequences for India.
  • Separate census from NPR: It is advisable to separate these two and disassociate the Census from a politically sensitive issue.
  • This would help complete the Census as early as possible and maintain reliability of data.

Conclusion

Census is a major pillar for development and hence, Centre, States as well as local bodies must help for smoother process of Collection of data.

 

Topic: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent);

2. Discovery of lithium deposits in Jammu and Kashmir can be crucial to cut dependence on imports of lithium. Write a note on potential distribution of lithium deposits in India and importance of lithium as a strategic mineral. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Live MintInsights on India

Why the question:

earlier, a small find in Karnataka had made news, but it’s a bulky discovery in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) that could put India on the world map of this metal’s reserves, after the Geological Survey of India reported “inferred” lithium resources of 5.9 million tonnes in Reasi district.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the potential distribution of lithium and its strategic significance.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

In the first part, write about the potential distribution of lithium deposits in India. Draw a small representative map for better presentation.

Next, write about the strategic significance of the above – reduce dependence on imports, make India self-sufficient, boost to our EV programme, use of lithium in other industries etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Lithium is a soft, silvery-white metal. Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element. It is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in mineral oil. It is an alkali metal and a rare metal.

Geological Survey of India (GSI) has for the first time established Lithium inferred resources of about 6 million tonnes in the Salal-Haimana area of the Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir (UT). 51 Mineral Blocks including Lithium and Gold were handed over to State Governments.

Body

Potential distribution of lithium deposits in India

  • Preliminary surveys on surface and limited subsurface by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) have shown presence of Lithium resources of 1,600 tonnes in the pegmatites of Marlagalla – Allapatna area, Mandya district, Karnataka.
  • Mica beltsin Rajasthan, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Pegmatite(igneous rocks) belts in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
  • Brines of Sambhar and Pachpadrain Rajasthan, and Rann of Kachchh in Gujarat.

Importance of lithium as a strategic mineral

  • India imports almost all of its need for rare earth metals and of lithium, Cobalt (mostly from China)
  • India’s demand for these critical resources has risen 6 fold in the last five years as it tries to be the electronic and solar manufacturing hub
  • Thus, the current find helps to reduce the need for imports
  • Boost to the manufacture of rechargeable batteries: Lithium is one of the key components of Li-Ion batteries and taking into consideration the financial impact of obtaining Lithium, the new discovery is significant.
  • The recent discovery of this sizable lithium deposit in India may be able to assist the nation in supplying its expanding domestic metal demand, which has been driven up recently by the popularity of electronic gadgets and electric vehicles.

 

  • The finding of this significant lithium deposit in India may help the nation become a significant player in the global lithium marketin addition to satisfying domestic demand
  • Improve employmentopportunities and gives a Boost to the Economy
  • Push for India’s Clean Energy targets: Lithium is a key component in batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage systems

Conclusion

The thermonuclear application makes Lithium a “Prescribed substance” under the Atomic Energy Act, of 1962 which permits AMD to the exploration of Lithium in various geological domains of the country.

Value addition

Applications of Lithium:

  • Batteries: Lithium is widely used in batteries due to its high electrochemical potential and low weight.
  • Glass and Ceramics: Lithium is added to glass and ceramics to improve their thermal stability, transparency, and strength.
  • Aerospace: Lithium is used in the production of lightweight alloys for the aerospace industry.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Lithium is used in the treatment of bipolar disorder due to its ability to stabilize mood swings.
  • Lubricants:Lithium is used as a lubricant in high-temperature and high-vacuum environments.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

3. A constitution’s preamble is the first portion of the introduction of the document. It usually includes the country’s history, fundamental ideas and goals, and a declaration of the country’s intentions. Elaborate.

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about importance of preamble.

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving various views of significance of Preamble for the constitution.

Body:

In the first part, write about the all the core constitutional features of the Preamble.

Next, Mention about the significance of the constitution like how it tells the nature of Indian state, objective of constitution, how it is useful to judiciary.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising that the preamble represents the soul and spirit of the Indian constitution.

Introduction

Preamble to a constitution is the window to what is there inside the constitution. It is a resolution of Indian people to establish a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic. In this republic, people will have justice – social, economic and political; liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; and equality of status and opportunity; this will promote fraternity among them and assure the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation.

Body:

Background:

  • The preamble was written after the Constituent Assembly had written the whole constitution.
  • It emerged from the Objectives Resolution which was introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru on the fifth day of the inaugural session of the Constituent Assembly debates.
  • In the Keshavananda Bharati Case in 1973, Preamble was held as an integral part of the Constitution.
  • The original Preamble did not mention “Secular”, “Socialistic”, and “and Integrity”. They were inserted in it through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment.

Significance of Preamble

  • The Preamble embodies the basic philosophy and fundamental values—political, moral and religious —on which the Constitution is based.
  • It contains the grand and noble vision of the Constituent Assembly, and reflects the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers of the Constitution.
  • In the Berubari Union 16 case (1960), the Supreme Court said that the Preamble shows the general purposes behind the several provisions in the Constitution, and is thus a key to the minds of the makers of the Constitution.
  • Further, where the terms used in any article are ambiguous or capable of more than one meaning, some assistance at interpretation may be taken from the objectives enshrined in the Preamble.
  • The Preamble contains the fundamentals of constitution. It serves several important purposes, as for example
    • It contains the enacting clause which brings the Constitution into force.
    • It declares the basic type of government and polity which is sought to be established in the country.
    • It declares the great rights and freedom which the people of India intended to secure to its entire citizen.
    • It throws light on the source of the Constitution, viz., the People of India.
    • The Preamble can also be used to shed light on and clarify obscurity in the language of a statutory or, constitutional provision.
    • The preamble acts as the preface of the constitution of India and lays down the philosophical ideas.
    • It also states the objects which the constitution seeks to establish and promote.
  • Preamble as Projector of ‘Desired Established State’
    • The Preamble proclaims the solemn resolution of the people of India to constitute India into a ‘Sovereign socialist secular democratic republic’.
  • Preamble as Interpreter of Legislation and statutes:
    • The Constitution of India starts with a preamble which contains the spirit of the constitution. Every legislation framed is in conformity with the spirit of the preamble and thus the constitutionality and objects of the statutes are tested.

Views of stalwarts about the Preamble

  • In the words of Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Iyer, a member of the Constituent Assembly who played a significant role in making the Constitution, ‘The Preamble to our Constitution expresses what we had thought or dreamt so long’.
  • According to K M Munshi, a member of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly, the Preamble is the ‘horoscope of our sovereign democratic republic’.
  • Pandit Thakur Das Bhargava, another member of the Constituent Assembly, summed up the importance of the Preamble in the following words: ‘The Preamble is the most precious part of the Constitution. It is the soul of the Constitution. It is a key to the Constitution. It is a jewel set in the Constitution. It is a proper yardstick with which one can measure the worth of the Constitution’

Conclusion

Preamble shows the vision of India and strives for the values enumerated in it, for the people of India. Both in ideas and expression it is a unique one. It embodies the spirit of the constitution to build up an independent nation which will ensure the triumph of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. However, it is non-justiciable and is neither a source of authority or prohibition on powers of Parliament. Yet it epitomises the very idea of India as an Independent nation.

 

Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

4. Form a critical assessment of the parliamentary form of government adopted by the Indian polity. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 2 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about features of parliamentary form of government, its pros and cons.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by describing parliamentary form of government adopted by India.

Body:

In the first part, write about the major features of Parliamentary forms of government in India. Nominal and Real Head, Executive is a Part of Legislature, Majority Party Rule, Collective Responsibility etc.

Next, write about its advantages – Represents Diverse Group, Better Co-Ordination Between Legislature and Executive etc.

Next, write about its limitations of the parliamentary form of government.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a balanced opinion on parliamentary form of government.

Introduction

India is a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic and Republic country which follows the Parliamentary form of government which is also known as Westminster model of government or Cabinet government or Responsible government. This form of government is prevalent in Britain, Japan, Canada and India among others. Parliamentary system has been taken from the United Kingdom because U.K. constitution is the mother constitution of parliamentarianism.

Body

Major features of parliamentary form of government

  • Bicameral legislature: System may be either bicameral (two houses of the parliament) or unicameral(single house of the parliament). India follows a bicameral legislature in which the members of the Lower House (Lok sabha) are elected by the people and members of Upper house (Rajya sabha) by elected representatives.
  • The President can dissolve the Lok Sabha on recommendation of the Prime Minister while Rajya Sabha is a permanent house and cannot be dissolved.
  • Nominal and Real Executives:There are two parts of the executive in India, nominal executive, and real executive. The President, the Head of the State is the nominal executive.
  • Theoretically, the Constitution of India vested all the executive powers in the President of India. But, in practice, are actually used by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is the real executive.
  • Majority Party Rule:The party which wins majority seats in the elections of the Lower House forms the government. The President appoints the leader as the Prime Minister and the other ministers on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
  • The President may invite a coalition of parties to form the government, in case no party got a clear majority.
  • Collective Responsibility:The council of ministers is collectively responsible to the parliament. The lower house of parliament can dissolve the government by exercising the no confidence motion.
  • Opposition:Party who gets the second highest vote counts in elections forms an opposition party. The opposition plays a crucial role in keeping a check on the ruling government.
  • Secrecy:The members of the executive follow the principle of secrecy in official legal matters of the country. Ministers take oaths of secrecy before entering their office.

Advantages of parliamentary form of government

  • Better coordination between the administration and the legislation: Since the administration is part of the legislation, and most legislatures generally support the government, it is easier to pass laws and implement them.
  • Prevent authoritarianism:since the executive branch is accountable to the legislature and can vote against it with motions of no confidence, there is no authoritarianism. Also, unlike a presidential system, power will not be concentrated in one hand.
  • Participatory and inclusive decision-making.
  • Responsible government ministers are accountable to Parliament for their actions. Tools: time for questions, debates, motions for adjournment, motions of no confidence.
  • Be prepared to replace the government if you lose majority support. “The leader of the opposition party is the deputy prime minister” Jennings.
  • Representation of different groups:In this system, the parliament provides representation for different groups in the country. This is especially important for countries like India.
  • Flexibility: The system is flexible because the PM can be easily changed as needed. During World War II, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was replaced by Winston Churchill. This is different from the presidential system, which can only be replaced after the entire term or in the event of impeachment.

Demerits of Parliamentary form of Government

  • Unstable Government: The parliamentary system does not provide a stable government. The government depends on the mercy of the majority legislators for their continuity and survival in office. Political defection or evils of the multiparty coalition can make the government unstable.
  • No Continuity of Policies:The parliamentary system is not conducive for the formulation and implementation of long-term policies. A change in the ruling party is usually followed by changes in the policies of the government.
  • Dictatorship of the Cabinet:Whenever the ruling party enjoys an absolute majority in the Parliament, the cabinet becomes autocratic and exercises nearly unlimited powers.
  • Against Separation of Powers:In the parliamentary system, the legislature and the executive are together and inseparable. The cabinet acts as the leader of the legislature as well as the executive. Hence, the whole system of government goes against the letter and spirit of the theory of separation of powers.
  • Government by Amateurs:The parliamentary system is not conducive to administrative efficiency as the ministers are not experts in their fields. The Prime Minister has a limited choice in the selection of ministers; his choice is restricted to the members of Parliament alone and does not extend to external talent.

Conclusion

As the representative body that checks the government’s activities, Parliament plays a crucial role in our democracy. It is critical for Parliament to function properly in order to fulfil its constitutional purpose.

Value addition

Reasons for India to adopt parliamentary system of Government:

  • By the time of constitution framing, India already had some experience of the parliamentary system under the Government of India Act 1919 and 1935. So Indian people were familiar with it.
  • This experience also showed that the executives can be effectively controlled by the representatives of the people.
  • The makers of the constitution wanted to make the government responsible to people’s demands and should be accountable to them.
  • The makers were reluctant to go for the presidential system as it gives excessive powers to the president who works independently with the legislature.
  • The presidential system is also prone to the personality cult of the president.
  • The makers of the constitution wanted to have a strong executive branch but with strong safeguards to avert the risk of a personality cult.
  • In the parliamentary system, there are several mechanisms to make the executive more answerable to and controlled by the people’s representatives.
  • So, the constitution adopted a parliamentary system for India.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

5. Millet International Initiative for Research and Awareness (MIIRA) is in line with the designation of 2023 as the International Year of Millets by the UN and aligns with the goal of the government to establish India as a leading hub for millets. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

“MIIRA” or Millet International Initiative for Research and Awareness will be aimed at coordinating millet research programmes at the international level.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the MIIRA initiative to popularise millets.

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving aims and objectives of Millet International Initiative for Research and Awareness (MIIRA).

Body:

First, give context about the 2023 being declared the international year of millets of the U.N and importance of millet cultivation.

Next, write about the how the MIIRA initiative by India will help in overcoming various limitation in the cultivation of millets -– lack of renumeration, lack of promotion, lack of awareness etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

With food security and nutrition a top priority in agriculture during its G20 Presidency, India is planning to propose the launch of a global initiative – MIIRA, to encourage the consumption and production of millets.

A draft charter of the initiative is ready and will be placed for approval at the first meeting of the Agricultural Deputies (under G20) from February 13-15 at Indore, MP.

 

Body

Background

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYM), a proposal sponsored by the Government of India to promote these “nutri-cereals.”
  • The declaration will be helpful to the Government of India in articulating its goal of making IYM 2023 a “People’s Movement” as well as presenting India as the “Global Hub for Millets,” as India produces one-fifth of the world’s millets.
  • The year 2023 is also significant because of India’s G20 Presidency, which will also have five meetings on agriculture.
  • In her Budget speech (2023-24), while describing various types of millets as ‘Shree Anna’, the Union Finance Minister said that the Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will be supported as the Centre of Excellence.
    • This will help in sharing best practices, research and technologies at the international level.

About MIIRA

  • The global initiative will be aimed at coordinating millet research programmes at the international level and will be launched keeping in mind the nutritional value and the climate resilient nature of millets.
  • Besides setting up a web platform to connect researchers and holding international research conferences, the plan is also to promote millet consumption by raising awareness.
  • India would provide the “seed money” for MIIRA to take off, and each G20 member will subsequently be required to pay to its budget in the form of a membership fee.
  • According to the sources, the MIIRA secretariat will be in Delhi, and India being a major producer of millets, will ensure a flow of investment from the country’s industry and research bodies.

Issues with millet cultivation

  • Decline in the Area Under Millet Cultivation:
    • Millets were earlier cultivated in an area of 35 million hectares of land. But it is now being grown in only 15 million hectares.
    • The reasons for a shift in land use include low yields, time-consuming and laborious tasks in the processing of millets which are undertaken by women.
      • Additionally, very little was marketed, and a tiny share of grain was processed into value-added products.
      • In 2019-20, the total offtake of cereals through the Public Distribution System (PDS) and the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and also school meals was around 54 million tonnes.
      • If about 20% of rice and wheat were to be replaced by millet, the state would have to procure 10.8 million tonnes of millet.
    • Low Productivity of Millets: Over the last decade, the production of sorghum (jowar) has fallen, the production of pearl millet (bajra) has stagnated, and the production of other millets, including finger millet (ragi), has stagnated or declined.
    • Lack of Awareness: Many people in India are not aware of the health benefits of millets, leading to low demand.
    • High Cost: Millets are often priced higher than traditional cereals, making them less accessible to low-income consumers.
    • Limited Availability: Millets are not widely available in traditional and modern (e-commerce) retail markets, making it difficult for consumers to purchase them.
    • Perceived Taste: Some people believe that millets have a bland or unpleasant taste, which discourages them from consuming them.
    • Agricultural Challenges: The cultivation of millets is often associated with low yields and low profitability, which can discourage farmers from growing them.
    • Competition from Rice and Wheat:
      • Rice and wheat are staple foods in India and are widely available, making it difficult for millets to compete in the market.

 

Conclusion

Millets are the only crop that will address important issues in the future like food, feed, fuel, malnutrition, health, and Climate Change. Millets are adapted to a wide range of ecological conditions demanding less water and inputs and fit well even in the infertile soil. For all the right reasons millets should be promoted and branded well to broaden its visible benefits.

 

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

6. The development of infrastructure along India’s Borders with its neighbours is crucial for strategic and security reasons. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

At an unscheduled briefing during a Parliament session this week, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar released details of the government’s projects on border infrastructure and connectivity. It focused on initiatives in the north and east along India’s 3,488 km border with China (Line of Actual Control or LAC), including ramping up infrastructure on the Indian side in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, as well as projects connecting India to “friendly” neighbouring states such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of border infrastructure for strategic and security reasons.

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: 

Start by giving status of border infrastructure of India.

Body:

First, write about the strategic reasons for development of border infrastructure – strategic autonomy, strengthen regional connectivity, improve overall political relations between the countries etc.

Next, write about the security reasons for development of border infrastructure – prevent encroachment, prevent infiltration, guard against cross border terrorism, check smuggling and trafficking etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

India shares its border with seven different countries. Most of these borders are man-made and do not follow any natural barrier. India’s vast coastline and island territories also make it open to attacks and infiltration. In addition, politcial instability, cultural radicalism and patronage of mafia and terrorism in the few neighbouring countries make border management an important aspect to guard India’s sovereignty.

Body

Background

At an unscheduled briefing during a Parliament session this week, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar released details of the government’s projects on border infrastructure and connectivity. It focused on initiatives in the north and east along India’s 3,488 km border with China (Line of Actual Control or LAC), including ramping up infrastructure on the Indian side in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, as well as projects connecting India to “friendly” neighbouring states such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar.

Importance of Border Infrastructure

  • Strategic reasons: Successive skirmishes with the Chinese PLA in Chumar in 2014, Doklam in 2017, and the Galwan clashes in 2020.
  • Border preparedness: To update the quality of structures, the technology involved and their maintenance.
  • Resilience against security threats: Border infrastructure helps in dealing with transnational issues like cross-border terrorism, infiltration of armed militants and insurgents, narcotics and arms smuggling; illegal migration; left-wing extremism and separatist movements fuelled by external powers.
  • Better trade relations: Robust border infrastructure helps in building ties with the neighbouring countries. Example: Border Haats with Bangladesh.
  • Inclusive growth: Border road infrastructure plays a significant role in the overall development of the region, especially in harsh terrains such as Desert (Rajasthan), extreme hilly area (northeast) and Cold desert (Jammu Kashmir and Leh Ladakh).
  • Unravel tourism: Proper road infrastructure would help in promoting tourism in the lofty Himalayas.
  • Maintaining peace and stability: Border road infrastructure helps in maintaining peace and stability in the border areas.
  • Disaster management: Better border infrastructure in the difficult and harsh terrains of Indian borders will make the country prepared and self-sufficient to handle the wide range of disasters.

Way forward & Conclusion

  • Improving the functionality and efficiency of BRO: with Manageable Workload, Greater Financial Autonomy, Delinking Pay and Allowances, Higher Incentives and changes in the organisation structure in order to meet the deadlines.
  • Leveraging technology: Integrated command and communication centres, scaling up of CIBMS, use of AI and moving a step closer to smart border management as recommended by Madhukar Gupta committee.
  • Cross-border cooperation (CBC):The core principle of cross-border cooperation (CBC) is the information sharing and collaborative approach between neighbouring countries for border security threats like human trafficking arms smuggling, terrorist threats, etc.
  • Given the volatile situation on LAC, emphasis must be on quick completion of existing projects because border Infrastructure not only gives us security but it could strengthen regional connectivity, thereby boosting economic linkages at a sub-regional level. The benefits that can accrue to the border regions from trade cannot be overlooked.

 

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7. “The only end of man is enjoyment produced by sensual pleasures”. Critically examine this statement. (150 word)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: plato.stanford.edu

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 form a critique of hedonism.

Directive:

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 explaining hedonism.

Body:

First, explain in detail the various components of hedonism.

Next, write to what extent how sensual pleasures can be considered as the ends and the limitations of the above school of thought. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced opinion.

Introduction

The above statement belongs to Charvaka school of Indian philosohy which believes in “Eat and make merry”.  Atheists and  and materialists were apparently common in ancient India, for the Hindu scriptures found it necessary to respond to the arguments of non-believers on many occasions. The materialist systems were often called “Lokayata,” or ”Carvakas” which means “that which is found among people in general.”

Body

The Carvakas believed there was nothing wrong with sensual indulgence, and that it was the only enjoyment to be pursued. That the pleasure arising to man from contact with sensible objects, is to be relinquished because accompanied by pain— such is the reasoning of fools. The kernels of the paddy, rich with finest white grains, what man, seeking his own true interest, would fling them away because of a covering of husk and dust?

The only end of man is enjoyment produced by sensual pleasures. Nor may you say that such cannot be called the end of man as they are always mixed with some kind of pain, because it is our wisdom to enjoy the pure pleasure as far as we can, and to avoid the pain which inevitably accompanies it. Thus the man, who desires fish takes the fish with their scales and bones, and having eaten the parts he wants, desists. Or the man, who desires rice, takes the rice, straw and all, and having taken that which he wants, desists. It is not therefore for us, through a fear of pain, to reject the pleasure which our nature instinctively recognizes as congenial. Men do not refrain from sowing rice because there happen to be wild animals to devour it; nor do they refuse to set the cooking-pots on the fire, because there happen to be beggars to pester us for a share of the contents. if any one were so timid as to forsake a visible pleasure, he would indeed be foolish like a beast,

Carvaka ethics urged each individual to seek his or her pleasure here and now. “As long as you live, live life to the fullest,” said Carvaka. “After death, the body is turned to ashes. There is no re-birth.” These words, so full of love for humanity and life, are strikingly reminiscent of the life-enhancing philosophy of Epicurus. What is meant by heaven is the pleasure one has in eating, drinking, making merry and singing. And hell is the pain one experiences in this world itself. There is no point in trying to obtain salvation and a life of eternal quietude; there is an end to life at death and all will be quietened then.

While life remains, let a man live happily, let him feed on butter though he runs in debt; when once the body becomes ashes how can it ever return again?

Conclusion

The Carvakas way of life speaks that the differences between castes and their distinctive duties are laid down misleadingly by interested people. There are no objective ethical laws, so one can do what one wishes to, provided he is careful that his actions do not bring pain as an outcome.

 


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