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[Mission 2024] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 11 September 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: Role of civil services in a democracy.

1. Efficient and effective civil services are essential for a nation’s development and unity. Reforms aimed at improving their functioning can lead to better governance, reduced corruption, and enhanced service delivery. Elaborate. (250 words)

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-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of civil services and reforms that are needed in them.

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 writing a few introductory lines about the Civil services in India.

Body:

Discuss in points the role played by civil services in a democracy and try to connect them with Indian civil services – Role in Governance, Role in provision of public goods and services, Economic policy improvement and implementation, Role in fiscal sustainability, Role in institutional development etc.

Next, mention the various drawbacks and limitations with respect to civil services in India and the various reforms that are needed in this regard.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Civil services or Bureaucracy is an administrative body of officials whose roles are determined by written rules. It’s an impersonal system operating on the basis of calculable rules and staffed by full time appointed officials. Civil Services are the bedrock of public administration. Civil services have assumed more important role in democracy to ensure good governance, both in developing and developed countries.

Body:

  • They engage in collection of relevant data and information in order to identify core issues. The type of information required, the extent of substance in the information so collected and assimilation of the information is the task of the Civil Servants.
    • They then assist the government in terms of providing relevant data for substantiating policy proposals.
  • Owing to their enormous administrative expertise and capability of the civil services, they are privy to various problems and issues facing the country.
    • Their knowledge and experience so acquired is then put to use by assuming the role of the ‘think-tank’ of the government.
    • The Civil Servants assist the political executive in identifying policy issues by suggesting the nature of problems and the need for taking them up for consideration at higher levels.
  • The civil service engages itself in examining the issue taken up for policy formulation, it frames and reframes policy proposals keeping in view its viability, future prospects, resources available, acceptability, etc.
    • It is also the responsibility of the civil services to analyze policy proposals in relation to the provisions of the Constitution, the laws framed by the Parliament, and other existing rules and regulations.
    • In this way the civil services help in framing sound and effective policies.
  • Civil servants are responsible for implementing the laws and policies of government. By carrying out laws, it regulates the behaviour of the people in society.
    • The ideals and objectives of government may be very popular, the plans for national development may be extremely progressive and the resources of the country may be abundant, but without civil services, not much can be achieved.
    • An efficient civil service can avoid waste, correct errors, limit the consequences of incompetence or irresponsibility while implementing laws and public policies

Various roles and responsibilities

  • Setting right developmental goals and priorities in areas of education, health, communications etc. Formulation and implementation of strategies and programmes for the development and modernisation of the nation. E.g., Formulation of plans at district, state and national levels.
  • Creation of new administrative organisations and improving the capacity of the existing ones for the developmental purposes.
  • To develop agriculture, civil servants have to properly manage community resources such as land, water resources, forests, wetlands and wasteland development. E.g. the District Collector of Dewas, Umakant Umrao helped the farmers in Madhya Pradesh to fight against drought by constructing over 16,000 ponds.
  • To facilitate industrial development, infrastructural facilities such as roads, electricity, communications, market centres etc. have to be provided. In these countries, the civil service manages government owned business, industrial enterprises and public utility services.g. IAS officer Ritu Maheshwari, installed new electricity smart meters to tackle the prevalent electricity theft in Kanpur.
  • Development and mobilisation of natural, human and financial resources and their proper utilization for accomplishing developmental objectives. g. P Narahari, as district collector in Madhya Pradesh, worked towards building a barrier-free environment that ensures that people with disabilities can move about safely and independently.
  • Securing the support of the people for developmental activities by involving them in the process of development by creating appropriate attitude towards the socio-economic changes that are taking place in society. g. IAS Officer, Smita Sabharwal, popularly known as ‘the people’s officer’, launched a campaign called “Fund Your City” in Warangal. She appealed to residents to help her build the infrastructure of Naxal-affected areas, which resulted in the construction of traffic junctions and foot over-bridges.

Existing issues with model of bureaucracy in India

  • The permanence of the job is a problem. Punishment for over-reach or misuse of power is a transfer, either from a weightier ministry to a lighter one or from high-profile capitals to geographically remote ones.
  • Accountability is lacking: The punitive action against bureaucrats is to remove them from public eye and exonerate them later on.
    • The result is that all civil servants, never mind their ability or competence, operate in a system of limited accountability.
  • No motivation or financial incentive to do good work: Many models across the globe serve as evidence that better financial incentive will shake the bureaucracy from their lethargy and prevent red tapism.
    • The bureaucratic entrepreneurship which transformed China’s economy can largely be attributed to pay reforms. The low base pay of bureaucrats was supplemented with high add-on pay for economic performance.
    • Similarly, the bureaucracy of Singapore enjoys high supplemental pay that incentivizes performance.
      • Bureaucrats in Singapore can earn four types of performance pay—a non-pensionable annual allowance, an annual variable component, a performance bonus and a national bonus.
      • All this can add up to 20 months of a bureaucrat’s regular salary.
    • Politico-bureaucratic nexus: A sense of professional duty is usually inadequate to motivate public servants, and other incentives such as plum postings are too weak and/or randomly assigned (with high error rates) to act as strong motivators.

Conclusion:

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel described Civil Services as the ‘Steel frame of India’. It is widely recognised that the civil services have contributed to stability in terms of maintenance of peace, the conduct of fair elections, managing disasters and the preservation of the unity of the nation, providing stability and maintaining order in a vast country prone to various conflicts 8 ethnic, communal, regional etc.

 

Topic: Citizen’s Charters

2. One of the primary limitations of citizen charters in India is their non-binding nature. They do not have the force of law, which means that there are no legal consequences for government agencies if they fail to meet the commitments outlined in the charters. Examine. (150 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-2024 Secure timetable.

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 defining citizen charter.

Body:

First, mention the shortcoming of citizen charters – not formulated through a consultative process, lack of awareness, absence of grievance redressal etc.

Next, suggest steps to overcome the above shortcomings.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on need to make the charters effective to provide high quality public service delivery.

Introduction

Citizens’ Charter represents the commitment of the Organisation towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redress mechanism, transparency and accountability. The concept of Citizens Charter enshrines the trust between the service provider and its users.

 Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in Government of India (DARPG) initiated the task of coordinating, formulating and operationalising Citizen’s Charters.

Body

The basic objective of the Citizens Charter is to empower the citizen in relation to public service delivery.

 

Importance of Citizen’s charter in the Governance of developing nation like India:

  • To make administration accountable and citizen friendly.
  • To ensure transparency.
  • To take measures to improve customer service.
  • To adopt a stakeholder approach.
  • To save time of both Administration and the citizen

Problems faced in implementation of Citizen’s charter:

  • One size fits all: Tendency to have a uniform CC for all offices under the parent organization. CC have still not been adopted by all Ministries/Departments. This overlooks local issues.
  • Silo operations: Devoid of participative mechanisms in a majority of cases, not formulated through a consultative process with cutting edge staff who will finally implement it.
  • Non-Dynamic: Charters are rarely updated making it a one-time exercise, frozen in time.
  • Poor design and content: lack of meaningful and succinct CC, absence of critical information that end-users need to hold agencies accountable.
  • Lack of public awareness: only a small percentage of end-users are aware of the commitments made in the CC since effective efforts of communicating and educating the public about the standards of delivery promise have not been undertaken.
  • Stakeholders not consulted: End-users, Civil society organizations and NGOs are not consulted when CCs are drafted. Since a CC’s primary purpose is to make public service delivery more citizen-centric, consultation with stakeholders is a must.
  • Measurable standards of delivery are rarely defined: making it difficult to assess whether the desired level of service has been achieved or not.
  • Poor adherence: Little interest shown by the organizations in adhering to their CC. since there is no citizen friendly mechanism to compensate the citizen if the organization defaults.

Way forward:

  • Wide consultation process: CC be formulated after extensive consultations within the organization followed by a meaningful dialogue with civil society.
  • Participatory process: Include Civil Society in the process: to assist in improvement in the contents of the Charter, its adherence as well as educating the citizens about the importance of this vital mechanism.
  • Firm commitments to be made: CC must be precise and make firm commitments of service delivery standards to the citizens/consumers in quantifiable terms wherever possible.
  • Redressal mechanism in case of default: clearly lay down the relief which the organization is bound to provide if it has defaulted on the promised standards of delivery.
  • One size does not fit all: formulation of CC should be a decentralized activity with the head office providing only broad guidelines.
  • Periodic updation of CC: preferably through an external agency.
  • Fix responsibility: Hold officers accountable for results: fix specific responsibility in cases where there is a default in adhering to the CC.

Conclusion

Citizen’s Charter is playing a prominent part in ensuring “minimum government & maximum governance”, changing the nature of charters from non-justiciable to justiciable & adopting penalty measures that will make it more efficient & citizen friendly. The Sevottam model proposed by 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission for public Service Delivery can be regarded as a standard model for providing services in citizen centric governance.

 

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

3. Examine the importance of New Delhi Declaration in fostering international collaboration and optimism for addressing critical global problems. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian ExpressLive Mint

Why the question:

The linked article discusses the “New Delhi Declaration,” highlighting its significance as a document of hope.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the significance of New Delhi Declaration.

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 objectives of New Delhi Declaration.

Body:

First, write about the major announcements of New Delhi Declaration with respect to – Ukraine and Geopolitical Tensions, Sustainable Growth, Creating a More Inclusive World and Gender Equality etc.

 

Next, write about the significance of the declaration in addressing various global problems.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

At the G20 Summit in New Delhi, leaders from member countries reached a consensus and adopted the New Delhi Declaration. This declaration outlines significant commitments and agreements on various global issues.

Body

Background

  • On 9 September, G20 leaders adopted the New Delhi Declaration.
  • India’s diplomacy made a major success by fostering consensus and avoiding falling back on ‘Chair summary’ as it happened in a few previous G20 meetings when it was impossible to reach an agreement on the text about the war in Ukraine.
  • It starts with “We are One Earth, One Family, and we share One Future.”

 

G20 New Delhi declaration

·        War in Ukraine

  • Peaceful Resolution: The G20 countries emphasize the importance of peace and call on all states to uphold the principles of international law, including territorial integrity and sovereignty.
  • Humanitarian Concerns: The declaration expresses deep concern about the human suffering and adverse impacts of wars and conflicts worldwide, specifically addressing the war in Ukraine.
  • UN Charter Principles: It emphasizes that all states must act in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter, refraining from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition.
  • Nuclear Disarmament: The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is deemed inadmissible.
  • Countering Terrorism and Money Laundering
    • Condemnation of Terrorism: The G20 condemns terrorism in all its forms, including those rooted in xenophobia, racism, and intolerance or carried out in the name of religion.
    • Holistic Approach: A holistic approach based on international law is advocated to effectively counter terrorism, with an emphasis on strengthening international cooperation to deny terrorist groups safe haven, freedom of operations, and financial support.
    • Illicit Trafficking: Concerns about illicit trafficking and diversion of small arms and light weapons are addressed, with an emphasis on international cooperation among states to combat these phenomena.
    • Financial Action Task Force (FATF): The G20 leaders commit to supporting the resource needs of the FATF and FATF Style Regional Bodies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • Economy & Climate
    • Sustainable Growth: G20 leaders call for strong, sustainable, and inclusive growth in response to the uneven recovery from the pandemic.
    • Climate Action: Trillions of dollars will be required for countries to meet their climate goals and invest in clean energy technologies.
    • Reforming Financial Institutions: Reforms of international financial institutions are urged, along with efforts to manage debt vulnerabilities in low and middle-income countries.
    • Crypto Asset Taxation: The exchange of tax-relevant information on crypto assets is set to begin by 2027.
    • Energy Transition: The declaration calls for accelerated efforts to phase down unabated coal power and eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
    • Financial Stability: Emphasis is placed on the need for well-calibrated monetary, fiscal, financial, and structural policies to promote growth, reduce inequalities, and maintain macroeconomic and financial stability.

·        Global Growth

  • Policy Coordination: The G20 leaders reiterate the need for well-calibrated monetary, fiscal, financial, and structural policies to promote growth, reduce inequalities, and maintain macroeconomic and financial stability.
  • Central Banks Commitment: They also stress that central banks remain committed to achieving price stability in line with their respective mandates.
  • Financial Stability Board (FSB): Initiatives by the FSB, Standard Setting Bodies (SSBs), and jurisdictions to examine lessons from recent banking turbulence are welcomed.

·        Multilateral Development Banks

  • Enhancing MDBs: G20 leaders emphasize the importance of delivering better, bigger, and more effective multilateral development banks (MDBs).
  • Leveraging Private Capital: Financial institutions are encouraged to leverage private capital through innovative financing models and partnerships for maximum development impact.
  • Capital Adequacy Frameworks (CAFs): The roadmap for implementing the recommendations of the G20 Independent Review of MDBs CAFs is endorsed.

·        Cross-border Payments

  • Payment Improvements: The G20 reaffirms its commitment to achieving global targets for faster, cheaper, and more transparent cross-border payments by 2027.
  • CBDC Discussion: Discussions on the potential macro-financial implications of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are welcomed, especially concerning cross-border payments and the international monetary and financial system.

·        Education

  • Digital Education: The G20 recognizes the importance of investing in human capital development and supporting digital technologies to bridge educational divides.
  • Scientific Collaboration: The promotion of open, equitable, and secure scientific collaboration and mobility of students, scholars, researchers, and scientists is encouraged.
  • Inclusive Education: Emphasis is placed on inclusive, equitable, high-quality education and skills training, with foundational learning as a primary building block.

·        Agriculture

  • Trade Facilitation: Rising commodity prices contributing to cost of living pressures are addressed.
  • Rules-Based Trade: The G20 leaders commit to facilitating open, fair, predictable, and rules-based trade in agriculture, food, and fertilizers, in line with relevant WTO rules.
  • Food Security: Support for developing countries’ efforts to address food security challenges is emphasized, aligning with the G20 Deccan High-Level Principles on Food Security and Nutrition 2023.

·        Religion

  • Religious Tolerance: The G20 strongly condemns acts of religious hatred against individuals, religious symbols, and holy books.
  • Cultural Diversity: Emphasis is placed on promoting respect for religious and cultural diversity, dialogue, and tolerance.
  • Rights Interdependence: The interdependence of freedom of religion or belief, freedom of opinion or expression, peaceful assembly, and freedom of association is recognized as a means to combat intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.

·        Corruption

  • Zero Tolerance: The G20 reaffirms its commitment to zero tolerance for corruption.
  • International Cooperation: Strengthening international cooperation and information sharing for combating corruption is urged.
  • Asset Recovery: The joint Declaration also called for strengthening asset recovery mechanisms for combating corruption.

 

Significance of G20 New Delhi declaration

  • Global Economic Cooperation: The G20, or Group of Twenty, is a forum for major economies that includes 19 individual countries and the European Union. It represents a significant portion of the global economy. G20 declarations are important because they often address pressing economic issues that have global implications.
  • Policy Coordination: The G20 provides a platform for member nations to discuss and coordinate policies related to international financial stability and economic growth. The declarations typically include commitments and recommendations on areas like fiscal policy, monetary policy, trade, and investment.
  • Crisis Response and Recovery: G20 declarations can be especially significant during times of economic crisis or uncertainty. They often include measures and strategies to stabilize the global economy, mitigate the impacts of financial crises, and promote recovery.
  • Multilateralism and Diplomacy: G20 meetings and declarations serve as opportunities for leaders of major economies to engage in diplomatic efforts. They allow for the exchange of ideas, negotiation of policies, and the building of relationships that can have broad geopolitical implications.
  • Global Challenges: In addition to economic matters, G20 declarations may address broader global challenges such as climate change, public health crises, poverty alleviation, and other issues that require international cooperation and coordination.
  • Setting Agendas for International Organizations: G20 declarations can influence the priorities and agendas of other international organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and World Trade Organization (WTO). The G20’s policies and recommendations can carry substantial weight in these institutions.
  • Market Confidence and Investor Sentiment: Statements and commitments made in G20 declarations can impact market confidence and investor sentiment. Investors often look to G20 meetings for signals about the direction of global economic policies.
  • Normative and Regulatory Frameworks: G20 declarations can influence the development of normative and regulatory frameworks in various areas, including financial regulation, trade rules, and sustainable development goals.
  • Addressing Inequalities: Declarations may focus on inclusive growth, reducing income inequality, and promoting social development. These aspects are crucial for creating sustainable and equitable economic systems.

Conclusion

In essence, the New Delhi Declaration serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts of G20 member countries in addressing global challenges and striving for a more prosperous, peaceful, and sustainable world.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

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

4. Safe disposal of e-waste is essential not only to protect the environment and public health but also to recover valuable resources and promote sustainable consumption and production practices. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The article discusses the issue of electronic waste (e-waste) in India, particularly focusing on the informal recycling sector.

Key Demand of the question: 

To mention the cause for the exponential growth of e waste across the world and effective measures to check 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: 

Begin by giving few facts regarding the rising number of e waste production every year.

Body:

Firstly, highlight the various factors leading to high amount of e waste generation such as low product life cycle, technology getting redundant very quickly, low opportunities for repairs and recycles etc and impact of this on developing countries like India wand environment.

Next, suggest various measures to control and minimise the cause of e waste production, highlight some of the provisions of e waste management rules,2016 and also the benefits of recycling e waste.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

E- Wastes are discarded and end- of- life electronic products ranging from computer, TV and other electronic equipment and their electronic components. India is the third largest E-waste generator, after USA and China. E-waste is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 30% in the country.

Body

Factors leading to rise in e-Waste

  • India is the third-largest e-waste generator in the world after Chinaand the USA (Global E-waste Monitor 2020).
  • E-waste management in India is predominantly informal, with roughly 90% of collectionand 70% of recycling handled by the informal sector.
  • E-waste generation in India increased by 43 per cent in just three years.
  • The demand for electronics, especially in the form of information and telecommunication equipment, has been fuelled after novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • As the demand for electronic equipment increases, so does the amount of E-waste generated.
  • An attractive electronics market with new design and innovation as well as a downward pricing trend allure consumers to purchase new electronic products way before the older ones become dysfunctional.
  • Lack of Extended Producer Responsibility of collecting e-Waste.

Issues with handling e-waste

  • E-waste Generation in India: According to the Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB), India generated more than 10 lakh tonnes of e-waste in 2019-20,an increase from 7 lakh tonnes in 2017-18. Against this, the e-waste dismantling capacity has not been increased from 82 lakh tonnes since 2017-18.
  • Unsafe disposal:In 2018, the Ministry of Environment had told the tribunal that 95% of e-wastein India is recycled by the informal sector and scrap dealers unscientifically dispose of it by burning or dissolving it in acids.
  • Gap in collection:National Green Tribunal noted gaps in collection targets, as the amount of e-waste collected in 2018-19 was 78,000 tonnes against a target of 1.54 lakh tonnes. There are clear governance deficits on the subject.
  • Involvement of Child Labor: In India, about5 lakh child laborers in the age group of 10-14 are observed to be engaged in various E-waste activities and that toowithout adequate protection and safeguards in various yards and recycling workshops.
  • Hazardous: E-waste contains over 1,000 toxic materials, which contaminate soil and groundwater.
  • E-waste Imports: Cross-border flow of waste equipment into India- 80% of E-waste in developed countries meant for recycling is sent to developing countries such as India, China, Ghana and Nigeria.

Various measures needed to control and safely dispose e-waste

  • E-waste clinic:India’s firste-waste clinic for segregating, processing and disposal of waste from household and commercial units has been set-up in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
  • It is needed to come up with a strategy to engage with informal sector workersbecause doing so will not only go a long way in better e-waste management practicesbut also aid in environmental protection, improve the health and working conditions of labourers and provide better work opportunities to over a million people.
    • This will make management environmentally sustainable and easy to monitor.
  • The need of the hour is to generate employment, which can be done throughidentifying and promoting cooperatives and expanding the scope of the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016to these cooperatives or the informal sector workers.
  • Effective implementation of regulations is the way ahead to managing the e-waste that is yet to be regulated in at least 115 countries.

Conclusion

There are various start-ups and companies in India that have now started to collect and recycle electronic waste. We need better implementation methodologies and inclusion policies that provide accommodation and validation for the informal sector to step up and help us meet our recycling targets in an environmentally sound manner. Also, successfully raising collection rates required every actor to be involved, including consumers.

 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management

5. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is a holistic and proactive approach that involves the systematic identification, assessment, and mitigation of risks and vulnerabilities to reduce the impact of disasters on communities, infrastructure, and the environment. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

The article emphasizes the need to intensify efforts to reduce disaster risks in the face of increasing challenges.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

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 defining Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

Body:

First, write about role of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in mitigating the impact of disasters – identifying potential hazards, assessing the risk they pose, and taking steps to reduce the likelihood of a disaster occurring.

Next, write about the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in search, and rescue, medical assistance, shelter and basic needs, communication and coordination, and damage assessment.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

A disaster is a result of natural or man-made causes that leads to sudden disruption of normal life, causing severe damage to life and property to an extent that available social and economic protection mechanisms are inadequate to cope.

It is an undesirable occurrence resulting from forces that are largely outside human control. It strikes quickly with little or no warning and requires major efforts in providing statutory emergency service.

Body

India’s vulnerability profile

  • India is vulnerable, in varying degrees, to a large number of disasters. Around 59% of the landmass is prone to earthquakes of moderate to very high intensity.
  • About 12% (over 40 million hectares) of its land is prone to floods and river erosion.
  • Close to 5,700 kms, out of the 7,516 kms long coastline is prone to cyclones and tsunamis.
  • 68% of its cultivable area is vulnerable to droughts; and, the hilly areas are at risk from landslides and avalanches.
  • Moreover, India is also vulnerable to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) emergencies and other man-made disasters.
  • Disaster risks in India are further compounded by increasing vulnerabilities related to changing demographics and socio-economic conditions, unplanned urbanization, development within high-risk zones, environmental degradation, climate change, geological hazards, epidemics and pandemics.
  • Clearly, all these contribute to a situation where disasters seriously threaten India’s economy, its population and sustainable development.

 Impact of disaster

  • Disaster impacts individuals physically(through loss of life, injury, health, disability) as well as psychologically.
  • Disaster results in huge economic loss due to destruction of property, human settlements and infrastructure etc.
  • Disaster can alter the natural environment, loss of habitat to many plants and animals and cause ecological stress that can result in biodiversity loss.
  • After natural disasters, food and other natural resources like water often becomes scarce resulting into food and water scarcity.
  • The disaster results in displacement of people, and displaced population often face several challenges in new settlements, in this process poorer becomes more poor.
  • Disaster increases the level of vulnerability and hence multiply the effects of disaster.

 

National Disaster Management Plan

 

  • National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) is the first ever national plan prepared to handle disasters in the country. The NDMP has been aligned broadly with the goals and priorities set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • For each hazard, the approach used in this national plan incorporates the four priorities enunciated in the Sendai Framework into the planning framework for Disaster Risk Reduction under the five Thematic Areas for Actions:
    • Understanding Risk
    • Inter-Agency Coordination
    • Investing in DRR – Structural Measures
    • Investing in DRR – Non-Structural Measures
    • Capacity Development
  • The Response part of the Plan has identified eighteen broad activities which have been arranged into a matrix to be served as a ready reckoner:
    • Early Warning, Maps, Satellite inputs, Information Dissemination
    • Evacuation of People and Animals
    • Search and Rescue of People and Animals
    • Medical Care
    • Drinking Water/ Dewatering Pumps/ Sanitation Facilities/ Public Health
    • Food & Essential Supplies
    • Communication
    • Housing and Temporary Shelters
    • Power
    • Fuel
    • Transportation
    • Relief Logistics and Supply Chain Management
    • Disposal of Animal Carcasses
    • Fodder for livestock in scarcity-hit areas
    • Rehabilitation and Ensuring Safety of Livestock and other Animals, Veterinary Care
    • Data Collection and Management
    • Relief Employment
    • Media Relations
  • Governance: The Plan has also incorporated a Chapter on Strengthening Disaster Risk Governance. The generalized responsibility matrix given in this section summarizes the themes for strengthening Disaster Risk Governance and specifies agencies at the Centre and State with their respective roles. The matrix has six thematic areas in which Central and State Governments have to take actions to strengthen disaster risk governance:
    • Mainstream and integrate DRR and Institutional Strengthening
    • Capacity Development
    • Promote Participatory Approaches
    • Work with Elected Representatives
    • Grievance Redress Mechanism
    • Promote Quality Standards, Certifications, and Awards for Disaster Risk Management

  Prevention and preparedness

  • Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and reduce the causal factors of disasters.
  • Pre-Disaster risk reduction includes-
  • Mitigation: To eliminate or reduce the impacts and risks of hazards through proactive measures taken before an emergency or disaster occurs.
  • Preparedness: To take steps to prepare and reduce the effects of disasters.
  • Post-Disaster risk reduction includes-
  • Rescue: Providing warning, evacuation, search, rescue, providing immediate assistance.
  • Relife: To respond to communities who become victims of disaster, providing relief measures such as food packets, water, medicines, temporary accommodation, relief camps etc.
  • Recovery: This stage emphasises upon recovery of victims of disaster, recovery of damaged infrastructure and repair of the damages caused.

Conclusion

Disaster management must be implemented at all levels of society and must have a bottoms up approach. Every disaster can be mitigated if there is preparedness and risk reduction should be first step to reduce the impact of a disaster.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance;

6. The concept of rights plays a central role in contemporary moral and ethical frameworks, guiding our understanding of permissible actions and just institutions. Elaborate. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Philosophical Mondays’ in Mission-2024 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how Moral philosophies guide our moral compass to describe conscience, our inner sense of right and wrong offers a framework to guide our actions.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by describing what you understand by the concept rights in modern day.

Body:

Elaborate on how the moral rights aids in deciding what right from is wrong. Use examples to substantiate your points. Example, Rights Theory that obligates us to respect the rights of others and live up to our obligations towards them.

Conclusion:

Complete by summarising.

Introduction

Rights theory, also known as rights-based ethics or deontological ethics, is a moral framework that emphasizes the importance of individual rights and duties. It asserts that certain actions are inherently right or wrong, regardless of their consequences, and that individuals have fundamental rights that should be respected.

Body

John Locke believed in the concept of natural rights, which he argued were inherent to human beings by virtue of their existence. He identified three primary natural rights: life, liberty, and property. The idea of human rights and universal human rights came from this concept.

 

Concept of rights

  • Inherent Rights: Rights theory posits that individuals possess certain inherent rights simply by virtue of being human. These rights are not contingent on societal or legal recognition; they exist regardless of external factors.
  • Universal and Inalienable: Rights are considered universal, meaning they apply to all individuals regardless of their culture, nationality, or any other characteristic. Additionally, they are viewed as inalienable, meaning they cannot be taken away or surrendered, even if an individual desires to do so.
  • Negative vs. Positive Rights: Negative rights are rights that impose a duty on others to refrain from interfering with an individual’s freedom (e.g., the right to free speech, the right to privacy). Positive rights, on the other hand, require action to fulfill them (e.g., the right to education, the right to healthcare).
  • Duties and Obligations: Rights theory emphasizes that with every right comes a corresponding duty or obligation. For example, if individuals have a right to life, then others have a duty not to intentionally take that life.
  • Moral Autonomy: Rights theory respects the autonomy and agency of individuals. It holds that individuals have the capacity to make moral decisions for themselves and should be allowed to exercise their rights within the bounds of a just society.
  • Conflict Resolution: In situations where rights conflict, rights theory may require a careful examination to determine which right takes precedence. This can be a complex process, as not all rights are absolute, and some may be subject to reasonable limitations.

Role of Rights in the contemporary moral and ethical framework

  • Individual Autonomy and Dignity: Rights recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every individual. They affirm that each person possesses a set of fundamental entitlements that should be respected, irrespective of their social status, identity, or circumstances.
  • Moral Foundations of Law: Rights often form the basis of legal systems in democratic societies. Laws are crafted to protect and uphold individual rights, providing a framework for resolving disputes, ensuring fair treatment, and maintaining social order.
  • Limiting Government Power: Rights serve as a check on government authority. They establish boundaries on what governments can and cannot do, preventing them from infringing upon the liberties and freedoms of citizens. This limitation is crucial in preventing authoritarianism and safeguarding democracy.
  • Balancing Conflicting Interests: Rights provide a framework for resolving conflicts between individuals or groups with competing interests. For instance, when the right to free speech clashes with the right to privacy, ethical deliberation and legal interpretation are necessary to find a just balance.
  • Social Justice and Equality: Rights theory forms the basis for discussions on social justice. It prompts questions about the distribution of resources, opportunities, and benefits within a society. This perspective is particularly relevant in addressing issues of inequality and discrimination.
  • Ethical Dilemmas: Rights theory helps navigate complex ethical dilemmas. When faced with difficult decisions, considering the rights of all parties involved can guide us towards morally defensible courses of action.
  • International Human Rights: The concept of rights has been extended beyond national borders, leading to the development of international human rights frameworks. These agreements, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, provide a global standard for the treatment of individuals and set expectations for states’ behavior.
  • Responsibilities and Duties: Alongside rights come responsibilities and duties. Recognizing that individuals have rights implies that others have corresponding obligations to respect and protect those rights. This reciprocal relationship is essential for maintaining a just and stable society.
  • Cultural and Moral Pluralism: The notion of rights allows for diverse perspectives and values to coexist within a society. It provides a framework for negotiating differences while upholding the dignity and autonomy of all individuals.
  • Dynamic and Evolving Concept: The understanding of rights is not static. It evolves over time in response to changing social, political, and technological landscapes. This adaptability ensures that the concept remains relevant in addressing emerging ethical challenges.

Conclusion

In summary, the concept of rights forms a cornerstone of contemporary moral and ethical frameworks. It anchors discussions on justice, liberty, and the responsibilities we have towards one another. By recognizing and upholding rights, societies strive to create environments that respect individual autonomy, promote fairness, and foster the well-being of all members.

 

Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics;

7. Normative ethics indeed plays a pivotal role as the foundation for ethical reasoning and decision-making. Explain. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Philosophical Mondays’ in Mission-2024 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about Normative ethics and its role in ethical decision making.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In the introduction, given brief of major aspects of normative ethics.

Body:

Explain the detail the various of features of normative ethics and its role in helping decide the rightness or wrongness of the actions. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Normative ethics is the branch of philosophy that theorizes the content of our moral judgments or, as a limiting case, denies that any such theories are possible (the position of the so-called antitheorists).

Body

The word ‘normative’ is an adjective which comes from the word ‘norm’, which means a ‘standard’, or a ‘rule’, so moral norms are standards or principles with which people are expected to comply.

While meta-ethics focuses on foundational issues concerning the semantics of moral utterance and how our moral views fit more broadly into a general conception of reality, normative ethics focuses on the major theoretical approaches to the content of moral reflection.

It is shaped by the historical inheritance of the tradition of moral philosophy in the West in its focus on deontology, consequentialism, and virtue ethics as the major forms of normative ethical theory.

Virtue, deontological, and consequentialist (utilitarianism, for example), theories are all instances of normative ethical theories. These theories aim to arrive at standards or norms of behavior, and in doing so provide a framework for ethical thinking.

Conclusion

Thus, Normative ethics addresses such questions as “What should I do?”, thus endorsing some ethical evaluations and rejecting others. They examine the rightness and wrongness of actions. In a sense, it is a search for an ideal litmus test of proper behavior.


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