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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 April 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: geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

1. What are the causes for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Evaluate its impact on human health and the economy. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a vast area in the North Pacific Ocean where ocean currents have concentrated large amounts of plastic debris. The patch is estimated to cover an area of up to 1.6 million square kilometers (about three times the size of France), and it contains an estimated 80,000 metric tons of plastic debris.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the causes for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and its impact.

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: 

Describe the giving context.

Body:

First, write about the causes behind the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – poor waste management, plastic production and consumption, and ocean currents.

Next, write about its impact on health and economy – reduced marine population, damage to fishing nets and boats, and potential harm to human health due to the accumulation of toxic substances in the food chain. Cite examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the steps needed to mitigate it.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) also described as the Pacific trash vortex, is a gyre of marine debris particles in the north central Pacific Ocean. It is located about halfway between Hawaii and California. It’s the largest accumulation zone for ocean plastics on Earth.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a vast area in the North Pacific Ocean where ocean currents have concentrated large amounts of plastic debris. The patch is estimated to cover an area of up to 1.6 million square kilometers (about three times the size of France), and it contains an estimated 80,000 metric tons of plastic debris.

Body

Great Pacific Garbage Patch:

  • Twice the size of Texas, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch stretches for hundreds of miles across the North Pacific Ocean and is one of the most frightening examples of just how much human activity is violating the planet.
  • Marine debris and pollution consisting mostly of plastic trash is accumulating in oceans around the world.
  • The patch is characterized by exceptionally high relative pelagic concentrations of plastic, chemical sludge, and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.
  • Microplastics make up 94 percentof an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in the patch. But that only amounts to eight percent of the total tonnage.
  • As it turns out, of the 79,000 metric tons of plastic in the patch, most of it is abandoned fishing gear—not plastic bottles or packaging drawing headlines today.

The causal factors of GPGP are:

  • The cause of GPGP is entirely due to human beings.
  • Merchant ships expel cargo, sewage, used medical equipment, and other types of waste that contain plastic into the ocean.
  • The largest ocean-based source of plastic pollution is discarded fishing gear (including traps and nets).
  • Continental plastic litter such as Food Wrappers & Containers, Bottles and container caps, Plastic bags, Straws and stirrers etc. enters the ocean largely through storm-water runoff.
  • Micro plastics (particles of less than 5 mm) such as those used in scrubbers and cosmetics
  • Unlike POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) or chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Plastic pollution has received little attention in terms of international agreements.

Impact on Economy

  • Marine pollution also affects other economic activities such as shipping, fishing, aquaculture and recreation.
  • For example, each year the fishing industry bears significant costs of repairing boats and equipment damaged by discarded fishing gear.
  • In 2017, the United Nations estimated that waste pollution accounted for worldwide economic losses of $622 million per year from tourism and $51 million per year from fishing fleets.
  • The total negative impact on marine industries is estimated to be at least $8 billion per year.

Impact on marine and human life:

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

Measures to tackle plastic pollution:

  • Local actionsare 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 Gyresare 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. 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 – 2


 

Topic: Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these

2. The decrease in the number of Lok Sabha sessions has a detrimental effect on parliamentary democracy and there is an urgent need for the legislature to function effectively. Critically examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The 17th Lok Sabha, which is entering its final year, has functioned for 230 sitting days so far. Of all the Lok Sabhas that completed the full five-year term, the 16th Lok Sabha had the lowest number of sitting days (331). With one more year remaining, and 58 average sitting days a year, the 17th Lok Sabha is unlikely to sit for more than 331 days. This could make it the shortest full-term Lok Sabha since 1952.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the impact of parliamentary disruptions and measures needed to overcome the same.

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: 

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, write about the importance of parliamentary debates and discussion to our democracy.

Next, write about the impact of disruptions – delays in legislative work, waste valuable time and resources, erode public trust, deepen political polarization, and decrease the quality of debates.

Next, write about the measures that are needed to remedy this situation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Parliament is the most important symbol of Indian democracy. It is through summoning the House and calling MPs to participate in legislative and other business through discussion, debates, committee dispensations, and other mechanisms that Parliament enables the citizens of the country, through their representatives, to participate in decision-making and hold the government to account.

Body

background

  • The 17th Lok Sabha, which is entering its final year, has functioned for 230 sitting days so far. Of all the Lok Sabhas that completed the full five-year term, the 16th Lok Sabha had the lowest number of sitting days (331).
  • With one more year remaining, and 58 average sitting days a year, the 17th Lok Sabha is unlikely to sit for more than 331 days.
  • This could make it the shortest full-term Lok Sabha since 1952.
  • The Budget Session of Parliament for 2021 ended two weeks before the planned time due to involvement of political leaders in campaigning for the state assembly elections.
  • The Budget session of 2020 was also curtailed due to nationwide lockdown imposed due to the
  • The 18 days Monsoon session in 2020 also lasted for only 10 days while the winter session was cancelled.

Importance of parliamentary debates and discussion to our democracy

  • Parliamentary debates indirectly contribute to the quality of democratic decisions.
  • Debates involve deliberations over diverse perspectives which enable selection of most widely accepted views. The very existence of debates can be seen as a system for monitoring elected officials.
  • It allows MPs to voice the concerns and interests of their constituents, and they can also speak about issues brought to their attention by the public.
  • Parliamentary debates help the courts to comprehend the intent and object of the laws in a better way. The burden of the courts while interpreting or implementing the laws is less.
  • They have a clear picture of the purpose behind the making of a particular law and what the legislature thought while making the law.
  • The Opposition performs its duties of holding the government accountable via Parliamentary debates and discussions. These debates help to implement the accountability process, forcing ministers to speak, to listen to criticisms and to answer them.

Impact of disruptions

  • Reduced working hours of Parliament: The Parliament working hours are getting reduced day by day.
  • Disruptions May Help Ruling Party Evade Responsibility: The maximum number of disruptions have been found to take place in the Question Hour and the Zero Hour.
  • While these disruptions are largely attributable to the behaviour of members of the opposition, they may also be a consequence of executive action.
  • Frequent Adjournment of Parliament sessions: In recent times, Parliament sessions are adjourned frequently. This hampers the work of Parliament.
  • Lack of Dedicated Time For Unlisted Discussion: Disruptions also get triggered due to lack of adequate time for raising questions and objections in respect of matters that are not listed for discussion in a particular, or during a particular session.
  • Resort to money Bill route: Several key pieces of legislation have been passed as Money Bills, despite the fact that they did not fit this category.
  • Contentious issues not debated: When a contentious issue crops up, the government dithers on debating it, leading to Opposition MPs violating the conduct rules and disrupting the proceedings of Parliament.
  • Less scrutiny of Bills: Most of the bills were passed without any scrutiny, as they were passed in the same session in which they were introduced.
  • Lack of Parliamentary debate: For instance, in the recent monsoon session, out of 20 bills, 18 bills were passed without any discussion in Lok sabha.
  • Hindrance To Representative Democracy:Parliamentary discussion is a manifestation of a representative kind of democracy in operation, in the sense that representation of the people directly questions the government on matters of governance.

Measures needed

  • Increasing Number of Working Days: Recommended by the 2001 conference, there should be an increase in the working days of Parliament. It resolved that Parliament should meet for 110 days every year and state legislative assemblies for 90 days.
  • In the United Kingdom, where Parliament meets over 100 days a year, opposition parties get 20 days on which they decide the agenda for discussion in Parliament. Canada also has a similar concept of opposition days.
  • Prevent disruption of its proceedings: There should be a deepening of its role as the forum for deliberation on critical national issues. It is the only mechanism to ensure that disrupting its proceedings or allowing them to be disrupted ceases to be a viable option.
  • Enforcement of a code of conduct for MPs and MLAs:There must be strict adherence to the code of conduct for MPs and MLAs so that disruption of proceedings ceases to be an option.
  • Productivity Meter: The overall productivity of the session also can be studied and disseminated to the public on a weekly basis.
  • For this, a “Productivity Meter” could be created which would take into consideration the number of hours that were wasted on disruptions and adjournments, and monitor the productivity of the day-to-day working of both Houses of Parliament.
  • Modify the Anti-Defection Act: Currently, MPs who deviate from their parties’ position earn a fatal whipping and lose their seats.
    • There should be modifications to the anti-defection law so that it applies only in cases where the government’s survival is at stake.
  • Accord private member bills more space and respect: This will allow a variety of ideas to bubble up from the grassroots.
    • Governments will be able to listen to non-mainstream points of view and provide official support whenever appropriate.
    • This will enable your MPs to truly become lawmakers.
  • Televise parliamentary committee proceedings: Bipartisanship and well-researched discussions are often the hallmarks of parliamentary committees. Yet this crucial aspect of the parliamentary process is well-hidden from the public.
  • Enable “Public Interest Legislation: create a system that will enable MPs to hear the viewpoints of affected citizens and initiate appropriate policy responses.
  • Bring Transparency to the Clash of Interests: Before legislation is passed, various publics and groups find a way to articulate their viewpoints to key political decision-makers.
    • In India, this usually happens behind the scenes.
  • Developing an Index:Parliamentary disruption index should be created as a measure to monitor disruptions in legislatures and check indiscipline. It would also lead to the availability of more time for debate and discussion on issues before the House.

Conclusion

  • Parliament has the central role in our democracy as the representative body that checks the work of the government.
  • In order to fulfil its constitutional mandate, it is imperative that Parliament functions effectively.
  • Also, proper scrutiny of the bills is an essential requirement of a quality legislation.
  • Circumventing the parliamentary committees while passing legislations undermines the very spirit of the democracy.

 

 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

3. The government must change its approach from criminalising suicide attempts to suicide prevention by emphasizing the need for mental health support and compassion for those struggling with suicidal thoughts. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

The article discusses how India’s penal code criminalizes suicide attempts and punishes those who attempt suicide with imprisonment and fines. The author argues that this approach is counterproductive and fails to address the underlying mental health issues that drive people to attempt suicide.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the need to change in approach for suicide prevention.

Directive word: 

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 context by citing statistic elated to suicide in India.

Body:

In brief, write about the major issues in the current approach of criminalizing suicide attempts in India and how it is counterproductive punishment to prevention.

Next, write about the measures that must be taken in the above regard – Mental health awareness programs and campaigns, end the stigma, Empathy and compassion towards those affected, Safe spaces etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

India’s penal code criminalizes suicide attempts and punishes those who attempt suicide with imprisonment and fines. Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalises attempt to commit suicide. This approach is counterproductive and fails to address the underlying mental health issues that drive people to attempt suicide.

Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has announced the “National Suicide Prevention Strategy”. It is the first of its kind in the country, with time-bound action plans and multi-sectoral collaborations to achieve reduction in suicide mortality by 10% by 2030. The strategy is in line with the World Health Organization’s South East-Asia Region Strategy for suicide prevention.

 Body

Statistics

  • India has the highest suicide rate in the Southeast Asian region.
  • According to the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau 2019-21, 4.7 crore, including more than 17.56 lakh women, ended their life by taking recourse to various means to commit suicide in the 54 years for which records are available with the organisation.
  • Rate of suicides in India assumed alarming proportions from 1998 when 104,713 persons, including 43,027 women hung themselves to death.
  • The rate of increase in suicides started going up steeply from 1998. Since that year, the number of reported suicides went into six digits.
  • The numbers reached a peak in 2021 when 1,65,033 suicides were reported, as compared to 1,53,052 and 1,39,123 in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
  • Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-19 year-olds.
  • 77% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Ingestion of pesticide, hanging and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally.
  • Daily wage earners remained the largest profession-wise group among suicide victims in 2021, accounting for 42,004 suicides (25.6%) in India.
  • The suicide rate among Indian girls and women continues to be twice the global rate, though it has dropped in the last decade or so.

Negative impacts of criminalisation of suicide

A report of United for Global Mental Health, pointed that suicide has four negative impacts on the society

  • It leads to suppression of data,
  • Results in not treating suicide as a public health issue,
  • Results in compounding of stigma
  • Places people with mental health issues in places where such issues get aggravated.

Measures taken by Government of India

  • DecriminalisationSection 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)states whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or both.
    • Section 115 (1) of the Mental Healthcare Act 2017 of the Act provides, “Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the IPC,any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code.
    • However, this law applies only to those suffering from mental illness. There is presumption of severe stress in case of an attempt to die by suicide.
  • Mental Healthcare Act, 2017:
    • MHA 2017aims to provide mental healthcare services for persons with mental illness.
  • Kiran:
    • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched a 24/7 toll-free helpline “KIRAN”to provide support to people facing anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal thoughts and other mental health concerns.
  • Manodarpan Initiative:
    • Manodarpanis an initiative of the Ministry of Education under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It is aimed to provide psychosocial support to students, family members and teachers for their mental health and well-being during the times of Covid-19.

Conclusion and way forward

  • Limiting access to the means of suicide, such as highly hazardous pesticides and firearms.
  • Educating the media on responsible reporting of suicide.
  • Fostering socio-emotional life skills in adolescents.
  • Early identification, assessment, management and follow-up of anyone affected by suicidal thoughts and behaviour.
  • These needed to go hand-in-hand with foundational pillars like situation analysis, multi-sectoral collaboration, awareness raising capacity building, financing, surveillance and monitoring and evaluation.

Value addition

National Suicide Prevention Strategy

  • The strategy broadly seeks to establish effective surveillance mechanismsfor suicide within the next three years.
  • It seeks to establishpsychiatric outpatient departments that will provide suicide prevention services through the District Mental Health Programme in all districts within the next five years.
  • It also aims tointegrate a mental well-being curriculum in all educational institutions within the next eight years.
  • It envisages developing guidelines for responsible media reportingof suicides, and restricting access to means of suicide.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

4. Terrorism and terror financing pose significant threats to national security and stability, and it is essential to prevent such activities through effective measures. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the measures taken against terrorism and terror financing, their successes and limitation, and further measures that are needed.

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 statistics related the latest trends in containing terrorism.

Body:

First, write about the counter-terrorism measures taken in the recent past and evaluate their successes and limitations.

Next, write about the need to have a better understanding of terror funding and measures that are needed to overcome the above-mentioned limitations.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a forward.

Terrorism looms large over the world today. Amorphous terror groups, newer cyber linked terrorism, increasing lone wolf attacks are all adding to the ominous threats of violence. India has borne the brunt of terrorism and has witnessed serious loss of life and property in senseless violent explosions in large cities in the past few decades.

As the world shrinks with technological and communication changes, terrorists, weapons and funds are also able to move across national boundaries easily. International co-operation between law enforcement authorities in this area is a sine qua non for combating such cross border challenges.

Body

Challenges of terrorism and terror financing

  • No Global Definition of Terrorism: There are no universally accepted definitions for what constitutes terrorism, so it is hard to classify a particular activity as a terrorist activity, which provides terrorists with an edge and allows some countries to remain silent and veto any action at global institutions.
  • Expanding Web of Terrorism: The Internet provides a relatively unregulated and unrestricted place where terrorists can craft and disseminate propaganda through seemingly limitless numbers of websites and social media platforms, tailoring their pitch so as to target thousands of potential new recruits to join their organization and further their cause.
  • Terror Financing: According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, criminals launder an estimated two to nearly four trillion dollars each year. Fund movements by terrorists have also been concealed through charities and alternative remittance systems.
    • It taints the international financial system and erodes public trust in the integrity of the system.
    • Furthermore, the lack of regulation of crypto currency could make it a breeding ground for terrorists.
  • Bio-Terrorism: Biotechnology is boon for mankind but it is also a substantial threat because small amounts of biotic agents can be effortlessly hidden, transported and discharged into vulnerable populations.
    • Tropical agricultural pathogens or pests can also be used as anticrop agents to hamper food security worldwide.
  • Cyber Attack: The world is moving towards a digital village where data is the new oil, terrorists use unlawful attacks in a country’s cyberspace, networks and use the information to intimidate or coerce a government or its people in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Steps taken by government

  • National Investigation Agency (NIA): The NIA aims to set the standards of excellence in counter terrorism and other national security related investigations at the national level by developing into a highly trained, partnership oriented workforce. NIA aims at creating deterrence for existing and potential terrorist groups/individuals. It aims to develop as a storehouse of all terrorist related information.
    • New powers were granted to NIA to investigate outside India and the list of offences under it’s jurisdiction was expanded.
  • NATGRID : It is a core database of security agencies to collect intelligence. It will be easily accessible to all state and central security agencies.
  • National Security Guard is a counter terror unit under Ministry of Home Affairs. It was raised post 1984 Operation Blue Star. India has raised four Regional Hubs of NSG battalions in important strategic locations, to meet any unforeseen challenges.
  • Multi Agency Centre under Intelligence Bureau collects 24×7 real time intelligence and acts as a fusion centre.
  • Navy’s IFC-IOR (Fusion Centre in Indian ocean Region) provides info on commercial shipping to littoral nations.
  • Coastal Security : Coastal Security Scheme (CSS) to strengthen security infrastructure of Marine Police Force in coastal states/UTs.
    • Central Marine Police Force (CMPF): to protect sea, coasts, ports and vital institutions and investigate crimes committed in the coastal water
  • Financial Intelligence Unit-IND (FIU-IND) is the central national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analysing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.
  • The Navy constituted a Joint Operations Centre to keep vigil over India’s extended coastline. Operation Sagar Kavach post 26/11 has led to coordination between Navy, Indian Coast Guard and marine Police.

Conclusion and way forward

  • There is a need for National Counter Terrorism Centre. A centrally co-ordained Terrorism Watch Centre, which could also operate as a think tank with sufficient inputs from academic and private experts.
  • A strategy for fighting terror in India has to be evolved in the overall context of a national security strategy.
  • Socio-economic development is a priority so that vulnerable sections of society do not fall prey to the propaganda of terrorists promising them wealth and equity.
  • A more comprehensive approach, as embodied in the proposed Convention on Countering International Terrorism (CCIT) is required in tackling the contemporary form of terrorism.

 

Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

5. What is a proxy war? Examine various threats to India from a proxy war and suggest strategies to promote peace and stability.  (250 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 Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question: 

To write about proxy wars, its impact and how it can be defeated.

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: 

Start by defining proxy war.

Body:

Firstly, in detail, mention the various modes of proxy war and its impact on security and society of the nation.

Next, write about the ways in which proxy war can be tackled and its effects neutralised permanently.

Next, write the importance of social change in the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

proxy war is an armed conflict between two states or non-state actors, one or both of which act at the instigation or on behalf of other parties that are not directly involved in the hostilities. A proxy war occurs when a major power instigates or plays a major role in supporting and directing a party to a conflict but does only a small portion of the actual fighting itself.

Examples include Pakistan’s action in India’s J&K region, Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and the Iranian sponsoring of Hezbollah against Israel.

Body

Background

  • The prosecution of hybrid warfare through irregulars and non-state actors has gained currency over a period of time.
  • Pakistan, after enacting the role of a front line state and supporting the mujahideen to defeat then Soviet Army in Afghanistan in the 1980s at the behest of the United States, has gone on to master this art.
  • Having repeatedly failed to defeat India in conventional war, the Pakistan Army has pursued the low intensity warfare option, with non-state actors as its strategic asset. It has employed terrorists belonging to various groups to wage proxy war in order to achieve its prime political objective of internationalizing the Kashmir issue.
  • As a low cost option, this has also well served the interest of Pakistan’s military to keep the Indian Army engaged in combating terrorism.
  • To inflict casualties of the magnitude of the Uri strike through conventional meanswould imply launching a major operation with a high risk of own losses.
  • Thus the proxy war strategy suits the political bosses in Islamabadand the military brass in Rawalpindi. Given its internal turbulence, Pakistan is likely to continue to pursue this policy, may be even more proactively in future, unless India takes effective counter measures to thwart Islamabad’s grand design.

Impact of proxy wars

  • States use proxies for many reasons. For the United States, the issue is often cost: Locals fight, and die, so Americans do not have to.
  • In addition, because they are local, proxies are often (though not always)more accepted by the affected communities.
    • Therefore, they can better gain intelligence from those communities and are less likely to promote the sort of nationalistic backlash that so often accompany foreign interventions.
  • If the proxy is a guerrilla force, they often know the terrain better and can blend in with the population in a way that foreigners never can.
  • Most states lack the power-projection capacity of the United States and turn to proxies as a way to influence events far from their borders.
    • Iran lacks a navy or massive airlift capacity necessary to sustain large forces in Yemen
  • Despite the power asymmetry, proxies almost invariably act according to their own interests and impulses.
    • Right after 9/11, the United States asked the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, its key Afghan ally made up primarily of minorities, not to take Kabul so that a force composed of ethnic Pashtun, Afghanistan’s dominant community, could do so and assuage the fears of minority dominance.

Tackling proxy wars

  • Stopping support to fringe elements in the society to carry out attacks. Civilian government and democratic ideals can help in ensuring this.
  • Strict regulation of movement of dual use technologies and weapons lest it falls in wrong hands. A global pact must be done.
  • Ensuring an egalitarian society, where the divides aren’t extreme that may lead to unrest and flourishing of nefarious activities.
  • Education of the youth and behavioural nudge to the youth of minority communities who are at risk of radicalisation.
  • To prevent the further spread of proxy warfare in the region, the institutional conflict of interest in the Security Council must come to an end. The U.N. should establish a standing body to investigate the source and use of conflict armaments to ensure compliance with the laws of armed conflict and the U.N. Charter.
  • The body could function in a similar manner as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) — an intergovernmental organization that rates governments’ performance on efforts to reduce money laundering and terrorism financing.

Conclusion

Only through the collective and visible effort of the General Assembly will it be possible to change the calculus of arms-supplying nations supporting proxies in armed conflicts around the world.

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

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

“Honesty is telling the truth to ourselves and others. Integrity is living that truth.” – Kenneth H. Blanchard

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about being honest with oneself and how its importance in developing character. Elaborate upon how being honest with oneself results so many benefits for individual morality. Substantiate with examples.

Next, write about integrity and its role with respect to honesty.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

Honesty is not just about telling the truth. It’s about being real with yourself and others about who you are, what you want and what you need to live your most authentic life. Honesty promotes openness, empowers us and enables us to develop consistency in how we present the facts. Honesty sharpens our perception and allows us to observe everything around us with clarity. I

ntegrity is the practice of synchronization of thought, words and actions. It can be correlated to honesty but unlike honesty it’s more a professional value. It’s related to institution. It advocates sacrifice of personal gains in favour of organisational objectives.

Integrity is having a strong set of ethical principles, being able to tell the truth no matter the consequences, admitting to a wrong even if you could get away without doing it. Integrity is about doing the right thing; it is being incorruptible, honest, and above all, doing all these things when no one is around to see it.

Body

Integrity can be described as the strength of someone’s honesty and ethical standing. A person with strong integrity is less likely to be influenced by those of a lesser moral value. You can have honesty without integrity, but you cannot have integrity without honesty.

For instance a person finds a wallet on the side of the road pick it up and takes it for himself. When questioned by a family member as to who the wallet belongs the person states his intention that he found it and intends to keep it. The person is exhibiting the trait of honesty but not integrity as he makes no effort to return the wallet to the rightful owner. He is stealing essentially even if he is been honest.

Honesty is telling the truth, both in word and deed. Integrity goes a bit further. It means being true  to who you are, what you say, and what you believe. And doing so even when no one is around to see.

Integrity is a four-step process: keeping in mind the aim/ purpose of one’s action or inaction and acting consistently with that choice—even when it is inconvenient or unprofitable to do so; choosing the right course of conduct in conformity with moral principles; openly declaring one’s intentions or where one stands; and results of one’s actions.

In 1964, Mandela was sentenced to 27 years in prison at Robben Island. He accepted it with dignity. He knew that overthrowing apartheid called for struggle and sacrifice, and was prepared for the long walk to freedom.

Ten thousand days in prison failed to break Mandela and he refused to compromise on his beliefs or leave the struggle midway.

 

Conclusion

Honesty is telling truth to other people, but Integrity is about being truthful to oneself.

‘Civil Service Conduct Rules’ recommends ‘absolute integrity’ for civil servants, irrespective of their department. Also, every civil servant is supposed to take all possible steps to ensure the integrity of all government servants for the time being under his control and only be honest but should also have the reputation of being so. Integrity has been considerably widened by declaring that a civil servant must keep himself within bounds of administrative decency.

 

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

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

“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a cleverer devil.” – C.S. Lewis

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Elaborate upon the quote and mention the role of education in making a person ethical. Mention the ways in which education shapes up ethics. Cite examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the counter view that education can also be devoid of ethics and its consequences. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

Education gives us knowledge and awareness. Knowledge gwes us skill and makes us prepare for our career, livelihood. Education has multiple roles to play. Education is the proet!is of imbibing external progressive ideas, thoughts and belief into our internal thinking, which eventually gets reflected in our action. Role of education is immense towards a moral, ethical and just society. The knowledge which are supposed to guide students to success may be abused or even misused for malicious acts. In order to prevent this, a set of values is necessary to guide the use of these knowledge. Values are principles or standards of behaviour and it is someone’s judgement of what is important in life. Values are essential in education to prevent students from developing into a manipulative individual.

Body:

In the Vedic period, in Ashram education, the Guru (Teacher) instruct his Sishya (student) to follow certain values throughout the life. In modern education system, value oriented-education gets priority over others. It helps to develop scientific temper of mind, large heartedness, co-operation, tolerance, respect for the culture of other groups etc. Value education can take place at home, as well as in schools, colleges, universities, jails and voluntary youth organisations.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has taken strong steps to introduce values among schools and teachers training centres. Value Based Education and has now been made an integral part of the New Education Policy 2020. The 5 universal values specifically mentioned in NEP 2020, are “Truth, Peace, Non-violence, Love, Righteous conduct

Value based education is the only means which can give the young generation the right direction. In modern time people are extremely focused in the pursuit of their own success and self interest with killer instincts. They need success at any cost In this process, they do not remain human and become robots. Their activities become heartless and value free. Success may come to us but at the end we are not having a sense or feeling of fulfillment It happens due to the lack of values. Swami Vivekananda pinpointed value education as a total upliftment of society. Martin Luther King Jr said that the function of education is to teach one to think intensively and critically. Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education. All scams and episodes of corruption in the recent times in our country and the world are evidence to failure of human being, not because of lack of education, but because of immoral character Good character never allows one to perform under pressure or greed.

Osama bin Laden, a dreaded terrorist was a civil engineer, whose higher education could not help him to follow virtuous path. Education without values tends to make man a clever devil. It is important to have an intelligent mind, but it is far more important to have a good heart. Nelson Mandela rightly said that a good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination Gandhiji took the path of non-violence and taught us to follow value-based right path in our life.

If we analyse the activities of a soldier and a terrorists, we can find that a solider gives life for his people and his country, whereas a terrorist takes the lives of innocent people either in the name of religmn or in the name of politics. A soldier has both brain and heart but the terrorist has got only the brain. Now-a-clays many educated youth take the path of terrorism. This highlights that how education can be used to propagate ideas which are not only irrational but against peace, harmony and progress of human society. Values help us to differentiate between good and bad acts, while education only teaches us about the various acts.

The real education should come with moral values and character. Only the education with values can lead a man to path of virtue. Thus, our education system should adopt value-based education at all levels. The value-oriented educational programme should not be led only during the school level, but should be carried on further up to the level of higher education too, as 1t is from there that the nation’s bureaucrats, army personnel and future leaders would emerge.

Conclusion

Only the value-laden education can bring developments in form of eradication of poverty. generation of employment, removal of social ills, empowerment of women, problem-solving skills, decision making power and an inclusive society. With the value-based education we can achieve a society, “where the mmd is without fear and the head is held high, where the knowledge is free.”


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