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[Mission 2024] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 10 January 2024

 

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: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Mughal painting stands as a testament to the cultural synthesis that occurred in the Mughal Empire. 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 – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about features, development and evolution of painting under Mughal rulers.

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: 

Mention the origin and gradual evolution of Mughal painting.

Body:

First, mention that Mughal rulers further enriched the Indian painting. They introduced Persian court culture into Indian paintings. Then give an account of contribution of different Mughal rulers.  From this period book illumination or individual miniatures replaced wall painting as the most vital form of art.

E.g Emperor Akbar patronised artists from Kashmir and Gujarat; Humayun brought two Persian painters to his court. Mention Baburnama, Akbarnama, Abd-us-Samad Dasawanth and Basawan and their works.

Conclusion:

Form a concise and a fair conclusion on the above issue, based on your discussion

Introduction

Mughal  painting  is  the  style  of  miniature  painting  that  developed  in  the  northern  Indian  subcontinent  in  the  sixteenth  century  and  continued  till  the  mid–nineteenth  century.  It  is  known  for  its  sophisticated  techniques  and  diverse range of subjects and themes. The Mughal miniature painting inspired and resonated in subsequent schools and styles  of  Indian  painting,  thereby,  confirming  a  definite position  for  the  Mughal  style  within  the  Indian  school  of  paintings

Body:

Mughal Paintings: Salient features

  • The Mughal pictures were small in size, and hence are known as ‘miniature paintings’.
  • Though the Mughal art absorbed the Indian atmosphere, it neither represented the Indian emotions, nor the scenes from the daily life of the Indian.
  • Hence, Mughal painting remained confined to the Mughal court and did not reach the people.
  • The Mughal rulers brought Persian painters with them. At the same time they patronized Indian painters and the collaboration between these two schools of painters resulted in the synthesis.
  • Apart from Persian books of fables, themes from Mahabharata, Ramayana were also selected.
  • Indian scenes and landscapes came into vogue.
  • Paintings were based upon close observation of nature with high aesthetic merit.
  • Under Jahangir, the Mughal school paintings acquired greater charm, refinement and dignity.
  • The emperor Jahangir had a great fascination for nature and took delight in the portraiture of birds, animals and flowers.
  • Inspired by their overlord, the Mughal courtiers and the provincial officers started patronizing the artists trained in the Mughal technique of painting.
  • The artists who were employed in the Imperial Government were known as the first grade artists. The works accomplished by these first grade artists is known as the Imperial Mughal Painting.
  • Artists available to the provinces were of inferior merit, thus, the works accomplished in the provinces was known as ‘Popular Mughal’ or ‘Provincial Mughal’ painting, which possessed all the important characteristics of the Imperial Mughal painting with some inferior quality.

Mughal paintings involved a diverse range of subjects and themes

Life and times of Mughal rulers:

  • Mughal painting marks a unique blend of Persian and Indian ideas. Mughal painting was essentially a court art, developed under the patronage of the ruling Mughal emperors and began to decline when the rulers lost interest.
  • The subjects treated were generally secular, revolving around themes like battles, court scenes, receptions, legendary stories, hunting scenes, wildlife, portraits, and the likes.
  • Imperial Mughal painting represents one of the most celebrated art forms of India. It arose with remarkable rapidity in the mid-sixteenth century as a blending of three distinct traditions:
    • Court painting of Safavid Iran.
    • Indigenous Indian devotional manuscript illumination.
    • Indo-Persian or Sultanate painting, which is it is a hybrid of provincial Persian and local Indian styles.
  • The result of this merging resulted in paintings of unprecedented vitality, brilliant coloration, and impossibly precise detail, is something dramatically more than the sum of its parts.

Contemporary social and political life of the people:

  • Mughal Court paintings provide an insight into the life and times of rulers of the period. These paintings also reflect the contemporary social and political condition of the people. Social customs and courtly traditions are vividly depicted in these paintings.
  • Mughal painting forms a dramatic episode in the history of India. Its aims and standpoint are secular and realistic: it is interested in passing events and most typically in the exact delineation of individual character in the portraiture of men and animals.
  • It is dramatic rather than static, aristocratic more than surreal and academic rather than vocational.
  • After Mughal, there came “company paintings” in India. But they were not as realistic and detailed as Mughal miniature paintings.

Conclusion

When the Mughal Empire was in decadence, various other schools of painting with Mughal influence emerged in several regional courts, including the Rajput and Pahari paintings.

Value addition

Contributions of Mughal emperors to Painting:

Akbar:

  • Akbar ordered the creation of many paintings and also paid close attention to the final output of all these artworks.
  • He was very particular about the details and the artistic elements involved.
  • Akbar had an impressive number of painters in his court. Between 1560 and 1577, he commissioned a number of massive painting projects.
  • One of the earliest painting projects commissioned by Akbar was ‘Tutinama’ which literally translates to ‘Tales of a Parrot.’ There is Hamzanama as well.
  • Akbar and his successors brought revolutionary changes to painting and sensual illustrations.
  • From this period book illumination or individual miniatures replaced wall painting as the most vital form of art.
  • Akbar also encouraged the art of making portraits.

Jahangir:

  • Much like his father (Akbar), Jahangir too had an inclination toward arts, which proved beneficial for the growth of Mughal art.
  • The Mughal painting continued to grow under his reign.
  • It is generally stated that during Jahangir’s time, the art of painting reached its climax and with him departed its soul.
  • Jahangir was not only interested in painting; he was also its keen judge. He established a gallery of painting in his own garden.
  • Since Jahangir was largely influenced by European painting, he ordered his painters to follow the single point perspective used by European artists.
  • This gave a whole new perspective to the Mughal painting.
  • Jahangir even used European paintings that portrayed the images of Kings and Queens as references and asked his painters to take a leaf out of these paintings.
  • As a result, most of the Mughal paintings commissioned by Jahangir had finer brush strokes and lighter colours.
  • One of the major projects commissioned by him was the ‘Jahangirnama.’
  • It was an autobiography of Jahangir and it consisted of several paintings that included unusual themes, such as fights between spiders.
  • Several individual portraits of Jahangir were also made by his painters.
  • However, he also commissioned many paintings of birds, animals and flowers which were portrayed in a realistic manner.
  • Artists began to use vibrant colours such as peacock blue and red and were able to give three dimensional effects to paintings
  • Overall, the Mughal painting continued to flourish and also continued to evolve under Jahangir’s rule.

Shahjahan:

  • Though Mughal painting continued to expand during the reign of Shah Jahan, the paintings that were displayed in the court became increasingly rigid and formal.
  • However, he commissioned a large number of paintings meant to be his personal collection.
  • These paintings were based on themes like gardens and pictures that gave great aesthetic pleasure.
  • He also ordered many works that portrayed lovers in intimate positions.
  • One of the most important works produced during his reign was the ‘Padshanama.’
  • This work was made to look lavish with generous volumes of gold plating.
  • The ‘Padshanama,’ which narrated the achievements of the King, contained several paintings of the courtiers and servants as well.
  • The work was so elaborate that even servants were painted with amazing details that provided a great individuality to each and every character.
  • While the servants and courtiers were portrayed using the frontal view technique, the king and other important dignitaries were portrayed by adhering to the rules of strict metamodeling.
  • During the reign of Shah Jahan, the aesthetics of Mughal painting were retained which contributed to the growth and development of Mughal paintings.
  • Many of the paintings produced under the leadership of Shah Jahan are now housed at various museums around the world.

 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2. Although the sub-schools of Rajput style of paintings were geographically close, they significantly varied in their execution and development of pictorial styles. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy     

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the main style and themes of Rajput (Rajasthani) School and its main centers.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Write in brief about aesthetics of Rajput paintings and their origins.

Body:

In the first part, write about the main style and themes that are depicted in the paintings. Elements depicted, colors used, notable genre and any other important features.

Next, write about the major centers where it flourished – Mewar School, Bundi school and Kishangarh school. Write about their important features.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting their special place in the artistic history of India.

Introduction

The term ‘Rajasthani Schools of Painting’ pertains to the schools of painting that prevailed in the princely kingdoms and thikanas of what roughly constitutes Rajasthan and parts of Madhya Pradesh in the present time, such as Mewar, Bundi, Kota, Jaipur, Bikaner, Kishangarh, Jodhpur (Marwar), Malwa, Sirohi and other such principalities largely between the sixteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Like the Mughal Emperors, the Rajput rulers were also lovers of art and gave their patronage to miniature paintings.

Scholar Annand Coomaraswamy in 1916 coined the term ‘Rajput Paintings’ to refer to these as most rulers and patrons of these kingdoms were Rajputs.

Body

Main features of Rajasthani School of paintings

  • Each Rajputana kingdom had its own distinct style with a few common features.
  • Unlike Mughal painting which is primarily secular, the art of painting in Central India, Rajasthani and the Pahari region etc. is deeply rooted in the Indian traditions, taking inspiration from Indian epics, religious texts like the Puranas, love poems in Sanskrit and other Indian languages, Indian folk-lore and works on musical themes.
  • The cults of Vaishnavism, Saivism and Shakti exercised tremendous influence on the pictorial art of these places.
  • Among these the cult of Krishna was the most popular one which inspired the patrons and artists.
  • The notion of ‘love’ was cherished as a religious theme, where a delightful synthesis of sensuousness and mysticism was perceived
  • The themes from the Ramayana., the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata, the Siva Purana, the Naishadacarita, the Usha Aniruddha, the GitaGovinda of Jayadeva, the Rasamanjari of Bhanudatta, the Amaru Sataka, the Rasikapriya of Kesavadasa, the Bihari Satasayee and the Ragamala etc., provided a very rich field to the painter who with his artistic skill and devotion made a significant contribution to the development of Indian painting.
  • Apart from depicting stories from the Ramayana and the royal lifestyle of kings and queens, Rajasthani miniature paintings often portrayed the legacy of present and past rulers.
  • They also portrayed social values and the changes introduced by kings for the betterment of society. The background of the paintings formed a special feature of the Rajasthani school.
  • Colours used were often bold and contrasting in nature.
  • Natural colours, extracted from plants, minerals, shells, gold, silver and precious stones, were used.
  • The preparation of colours itself would often take weeks and only fine brushes were used.
  • The difficult art of miniature painting still exists in Rajasthan where the painters often use paper, ivory and silk as their canvas.
  • However, natural colours are no longer used as they have been replaced by artificial colours.

Various schools

The Malwa School

  • It flourished between 1600 and 1700 CE and is most representative of the Hindu Rajput courts.
  • Its two-dimensional   simplistic   language   appears   as   a   consummation   of   stylistic   progression   from   the   Jain   manuscripts to the Chaurpanchashika manuscript paintings.
  • Unlike the specificity of Rajasthani schools that emerged and flourished in precise territorial kingdoms and courts of their respective kings, Malwa School defies a precise centre for its origin and instead suggests a vast territory of Central India, where it got articulated with a sporadic mention of few places, such as Mandu, Nusratgarh and Narsyang Sahar.
  • Among the few early dated sets are an illustrated poetic text of Amaru Shatakadated 1652 CE and a Ragamala painting by Madho Das in 1680 CE.

Mewar school of painting

  • Mewar is conjectured to be a significant early centre of painting in Rajasthan, from where, hypothetically, one would have been able to formalise a continuous stylistic tradition of painting—from pre-seventeenth century bold, indigenous styles to the subsequent refined and finer style post Karan Singh’s contact with the Mughals.
  • However, long wars with the Mughals have wiped out earliest examples.
  • Therefore, the emergence of the Mewar School is widely associated with an early dated set of Ragamala paintings painted at Chawed in 1605 by an artist named Narain.
  • Sahibdin painted the Ragamala (1628), Rasikapriya, Bhagvata Purana (1648) and the Yuddha Kanda of Ramayana (1652).

Bundi School of Painting

  • A prolific and distinct school of painting flourished in Bundi in the seventeenth century, which is remarkable for its unblemished colour sense and excellent formal design.
  • Bundi Ragamala dated 1591, assigned to the earliest and formative phase of Bundi painting, has been painted at Chinar in the reign of Bhai Singh (1585–1607), the Hada Rajput ruler.
  • A distinct   feature   of   Bundi   and   Kota School is a keen interest in the depiction of lush vegetation; picturesque landscape with varied flora, wildlife and birds; hills and thick jungles; and water bodies.
  • Bundi artists had their own standards of feminine beauty—women are petite with round faces, receding foreheads, sharp noses, full cheeks, sharply pencilled eyebrows and a ‘pinched’ waist.

Kota School of Painting:

  • The accomplished tradition of painting at Bundi gave rise to one of the most outstanding Rajasthani Schools, Kota, which excels in the depiction of hunting scenes and reflects an exceptional excitement and obsession for animal chase.
  • Kota paintings    are    characteristically    spontaneous, calligraphic in execution and emphasise on marked shading, especially, the double–lid eye.
  • Artists of the Kota School excelled in rendering animals and combat.

Bikaner School of Painting

  • Rao Bika Rathore established one of the most prominent kingdoms of Rajasthan, Bikaner, in 1488.
  • During his regime, Anup Singh (1669–1698) instituted a library in Bikaner that became a repository of manuscripts and paintings.
  • As a result of long association with the Mughals, Bikaner developed a distinctive language of painting that was influenced by the Mughal elegance and subdued colour palette.
  • The custom of having portraits of artists is unique to the Bikaner School and most of them are inscribed with information regarding their ancestry. They are referred to as Ustas or Ustad.
  • Accounts from the Bahis, royal archival day-to-day diaries, and numerous inscriptions on Bikaner paintings make it one of the best documented schools of painting.

Kishangarh School of Painting

  • Widely held among the most stylised of all Rajasthani miniatures, Kishangarh paintings are distinguished by their exquisite sophistication and distinct facial type exemplified by arched eyebrows, lotus petal shaped eyes slightly tinged with pink, having drooping eyelids, a sharp slender nose and thin lips.
  • A distinctive style of the state with a general tendency to elongate the human form, making lavish use of green and penchant for depicting panoramic landscapes had evolved by the early eighteenth century
  • With the Pushtimargiya cult of Vallabhacharya, Krishna Lila themes became personal favourites for the rulers of Kishangarh and represented a major portion of their court art.
  • Savant Singh’s most celebrated and outstanding artist was Nihal Chand.
  • Nihal Chand worked for Sawant Singh between 1735 and 1757, and composed paintings on Sawant Singh’s poetry that portrayed the theme of divine lovers—Radha and Krishna, in courtly surroundings, often appearing tiny in the vastness and minutiae of their panoramic landscape settings.
  • Kishangarh artists revelled in the depiction of vistas in accentuated colours.

Jodhpur School of Painting

  • With the political presence of Mughals since the sixteenth century, influence of their visual aesthetics made its way in the style of portraiture and depiction of court scenes, etc.
  • However, the formidable indigenous folkish style was so widespread and deeply embedded in culture that it resisted getting overpowered and prevailed in most illustrated sets of paintings.
  • One of the earliest sets painted in Pali is a Ragamala set by artist Virji in 1623.
  • The last phase innovative of Jodhpur painting coincided with the reign of Man Singh (1803–1843).
  • Significant sets painted during his time are the Ramayana (1804), Dhola-Maru, Panchatantra (1804) and Shiva Purana.
  • Ramayana paintings are interesting as the artist has employed his understanding of Jodhpur to depict Rama’s Ayodhya.
  • Hence, one gets an inkling into the bazaars, lanes, gateways, etc., of Jodhpur during that period.
  • This is true for all schools, wherein, local architecture, costumes and cultural aspects get interwoven with the stories of Krishna, Rama and others, and get depicted in paintings

Jaipur School of Painting

  • The Jaipur School of painting originated in its former capital Amer, which was nearest of all large Rajput states to Mughal capitals—Agra and Delhi.
  • Jaipur School of paintings thrived under Sawai Jai Singh’s reign and emerged as a well-defined independent school.
  • Court records reveal that some Mughal painters were brought from Delhi to become a part of his atelier.
  • Artists during his reign painted sets based on Rasikapriya, Gita Govinda, Baramasa and Ragamala, where the hero’s figure is in striking resemblance with the king.
  • Portrait painting was also popular during his time.
  • During Pratap Singh’s time, apart from royal portraits and representations of courtly pomp and splendour, literary and religious themes, such as Gita Govinda, Ragamala, Bhagvata Purana, etc., got renewed stimulus.
  • As elsewhere, many copies were also produced by means of tracing and pouncing.
  • By the early nineteenth century, there was a lavish use of gold.
  • Jaipur preferred large size formats and produced life-size portraits.

Conclusion

The Rajasthani style of painting including that of Malwa, is marked by bold drawing, strong and contrasting colours. The treatment of figures is flat without any attempt to show perspective in a naturalistic manner. Sometimes the surface of the painting is divided into several compartments of different colours in order to separate one scene from another. Mughal influence is seen in the refining of drawing and some element of naturalism introduced in figures and trees. Each school of painting has its distinct facial type, costume, landscape and colour scheme.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., 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.

3. What are Rock glaciers? Analyse the consequences of Himalayan permafrost melting due to the phenomenon of global warming. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

The Kashmir Himalayas are dotted with permafrost structures called ‘rock glaciers’, with significant ice volumes within, a new study mapped.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about rock glaciers, its distribution in the Himalayas and impact of its thawing.

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 Rock glaciers.

Body:

First, with a map, show the major distribution of permafrost in the Himalayas.

Next, write about the thawing of permafrost under the impact of global warming.

Next, write about the impact of thawing of permafrost – Thawing permafrost can raise water levels in Earth’s oceans and increase erosion, resurrecting trapped pathogens, giving rise to potential public health threats etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to handle the above challenges.

Introduction

A rock glacier is a mass of rockicesnow, mud, and water that moves slowly down a mountain under the influence of gravity. The rock glacier might consist of a mass of ice covered by rock debris, or it might consist of a mass of rock with interstitial ice. A gradient of compositions between these two states also exists.

The Kashmir Himalayas are dotted with permafrost structures called ‘rock glaciers’, with significant ice volumes within, a new study mapped.

Body

Unlike an ice glacier, rock glaciers usually have very little ice visible at the surface. If you are on the ground looking at one from a short distance away, it might not look at all like a glacier. The very slow movement, typically between a few centimeters and a few meters per year, also helps hide the rock glacier’s identity.

Thawing of Permafrost

  • While global warming is upping temperatures around the world,the Arctic is warming twice as fast as anywhere else and faster than it has in the past 3 million years.
  • And when surface air temperatures rise, below-ground temperatures do, too, thawing permafrost along the way.
  • Scientists estimate there is now 10 percent less frozen groundin the northern hemisphere than there was in the early 1900s.
  • One recent study suggests that with every additional8°F (1°C) of warming,an additional 1.5 million square miles of permafrost could eventually disappear.
  • Even if we meet the climate targets laid out during the 2015 Paris climate talks, the world may still lose more than 2.5 million square milesof frozen turf.

Impact of permafrost thawing

  • Huge Carbon Sink:An estimated 1,400 gigatons of carbon are frozen in Arctic permafrost, making it one of the world’s largest carbon sinks.
    • That’s aboutfour times more than humans have emitted since the Industrial Revolution, and nearly twice as much as is currently contained in the atmosphere.
    • According to a recent report,2 degrees Celsius increase in temperature, expected by the end of the century will result in a loss of about 40 percent of the world’s permafrost by 2100.
  • Loss of trapped Green house gases: Packed with many thousands of years of life, from human bodies to the bodies of woolly mammoths, permafrost is one of earth’s great stores of global warming gases.
    • Indeed, permafrost in the Arctic alone is estimated to hold nearly twice as much carbon as exists in the atmosphere now, as well as a sizable amount of methane—a powerful greenhouse gas that traps more than 80 times more heat on the planet than carbon does.
  • Toxins:A recent study found that Arctic permafrost is a massive repository of natural mercury, a potent neurotoxin. Indeed, it’s estimated that some 15 million gallons of mercury—or nearly twice the amount of mercury found in the ocean, atmosphere, and all other soils combined—are locked in permafrost soils.
    • Once released, however, that mercury can spread through water or air into ecosystems and potentially even food supplies.
  • Crumbling Infrastructure:About 35 million people live in a permafrost zone, in towns and cities built on top of what was once considered permanently frozen ground.
    • But as that solid ground softens, the infrastructure these communities rely on grows increasingly unstable.
    • Eg: Recent Russian Norilsk diesel oil spill is an ongoing industrial disaster, which occurred at a thermal power plant that was supported on permafrost, crumbled.
  • Altered Landscape:Thawing permafrost alters natural ecosystems in many ways as well. It can create thermokarsts, areas of sagging ground and shallow ponds that are often characterized by “drunken forests” of askew trees.
    • It can make soil—once frozen solid—more vulnerable to landslides and erosion, particularly along coasts.
    • As this softened soil erodes, it can introduce new sediment to waterways, which may alter the flow of rivers and streams, degrade water quality (including by the introduction of carbon), and impact aquatic wildlife.
  • Diseases and viruses:it can also trap and preserve ancient microbes.
    • It’s believed that some bacteria and viruses can lie dormant for thousands of years in permafrost’s cold, dark confines before waking up when the ground warms.
    • A 2016 anthrax outbreak in Siberia, linked to adecades-old reindeer carcass infected with the bacteria and exposed by thawed permafrost, demonstrated the potential threat.
    • In 2015, researchers in Siberia uncovered theMollivirus sibericum, a 30,000-year-old behemoth of a virus that succeeded in infecting a rather defenseless amoeba in a lab experiment.
    • About a decade earlier, scientists discovered the first Mimivirusa 1,200-gene specimenmeasuring twice the width of traditional viruses, buried beneath layers of melting frost in the Russian tundra. (For comparison, HIV has just nine genes.)
    • This can be the case with other diseases, such as smallpox and the 1918 Spanish flu—known to exist in the frozen tundra, in the mass graves of those killed by the disease.
    • Human contact with zombie pathogensmay risk new pandemics, if there is unabated mining of metals from permafrost.

Conclusion

By reducing our carbon footprint, investing in energy-efficient products, and supporting climate-friendly businesses, legislation, and policies, we can help preserve the world’s permafrost and avert a vicious cycle of an ever-warming planet.

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

4. International law can provide a basis for humanitarian interventions in cases of widespread human rights abuses or atrocities, allowing for collective action to protect vulnerable populations. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

International law and its attendant structures are not ideal. But the world would be worse off if they weren’t there

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the importance of international law.

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 international law.

Body:

First, write about the major features and components of international law.

Next, write about the importance of it – global challenges, promoting cooperation, and preventing conflicts.

Next, major criticisms it has faced – enforcing its provisions, inequality, sovereignty concerns etc.

Next, write about the various measures that are needed to address the criticism.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Introduction

The concept of humanitarian intervention within the framework of international law is a complex and controversial issue. Traditionally, international law respects the principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. However, in the face of widespread human rights abuses or atrocities, there has been a growing recognition that the international community has a responsibility to protect vulnerable populations. This principle is often referred to as the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P).

Body

Background for humanitarian intervention

  • The idea of humanitarian intervention relies on the belief that state sovereignty is not absolute and that there are circumstances where the international community has a duty to intervene to prevent or stop mass atrocities.
  • The development of this concept gained momentum in the late 20th century, particularly in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.
  • The legal basis for humanitarian intervention is not explicitly codified in international law, but it is often argued that there are certain principles and norms that can provide a foundation for such actions:
  • United Nations Charter: The UN Charter prohibits the use of force except in cases of self-defense (Article 51) or when authorized by the UN Security Council (Chapter VII). However, Article 2(4) of the Charter prohibits the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.
  • Responsibility to Protect (R2P): The R2P concept, endorsed by the United Nations in 2005, emphasizes that sovereignty comes with a responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. It provides a framework for collective action, including the use of force if necessary, to prevent and halt such crimes.
  • Customary International Law: Over time, certain principles may become customary international law through consistent state practice and opinio juris. The increasing acceptance of the responsibility to protect vulnerable populations could contribute to the formation of customary law.

 

Arguments against humanitarian intervention

  • Consent and Sovereignty: Many states remain wary of interventions that may be perceived as violating their sovereignty. The principle of non-intervention is deeply ingrained in international relations.
  • Security Council Approval: The reliance on UN Security Council authorization for the use of force poses challenges, as geopolitical considerations and veto powers can hinder decisive action.
    • Eg: A coalition of countries, primarily led by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), took military action in Libya. The intervention included airstrikes against Gaddafi’s forces and installations.
    • The intervention in Libya faced criticism on several fronts. Some argued that the mission expanded beyond the initial mandate of protecting civilians, leading to regime change.
  • Selective Intervention: There are concerns about the selective application of humanitarian intervention, where interventions may be influenced by political interests rather than purely humanitarian concerns.
  • Unintended Consequences: Military interventions may lead to unintended consequences, such as exacerbating violence, causing civilian casualties, or destabilizing the region further.

Conclusion

While the legal basis for humanitarian intervention is not entirely straightforward, there is a growing acknowledgment that the international community has a moral responsibility to protect populations facing mass atrocities. Striking a balance between the respect for sovereignty and the need to prevent or stop egregious human rights abuses remains a challenging task in the realm of international law. The ongoing debates and discussions on this issue reflect the complexities inherent in balancing state sovereignty and the protection of human rights on a global scale.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: issues relating to intellectual property rights.

5. Do you think the award of a Geographical Indication (GI) tag is effectively serving its primary purpose of linking the quality, reputation, and characteristics of the product with its geographical origin? State your opinion. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

17 products from across six States/Union Territories got the Geographical Indications (GI) tag.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about GI tag and its benefits and limitations.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining a GI tag.

Body:

In the first part, in brief, write about the various aspects that are considered before according a GI tag.

Next. write about the benefits offered by the GI tag – legal protection to traditional products and their producers, preserves traditional knowledge and skills, creates market differentiation, and leads to increased demand and better prices for traditional products etc.

Next, write about the limitations and shortcomings of the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a balanced opinion.

Introduction

The award of a Geographical Indication (GI) tag is intended to protect and promote products with unique qualities, characteristics, or reputations associated with a specific geographical origin. GIs help consumers identify and choose products with specific attributes tied to their geographic roots, while also supporting local economies and traditional practices.

In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003. The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05. The Manamadurai pottery recently earned a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Body

Laws governing GI tag

  • Under Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, GIs are covered as an element of IPRs.
  • GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • In India, GI tag is governed by Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999.
  • This Act is administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also Registrar of Geographical Indications.

 

Benefits of GI tag

  • GI tag helps the producers to differentiate their products from competing products in the market.
  • It enables the producers to build a reputation and goodwill around their products, which often fetch a premium price.
  • The products help in export earning, promotion of tourism, cultural heritage and national identity.
    • For example, Kanjeevaram silk sarees and Pochampally Ikat contribute to exports and popularity.
  • GIs have great potential to play a major role in trade between countries.
  • Legal protection to GIs protect livelihoods and encourage employment generation.
  • Owing to the premium prices that many GIs command today, there is a possibility of preserving many traditional skills.
  • Benefit to the rural economy by improving the incomes of farmers or non-farmers
  • GI allows genuine producers to capture the market and creates entry barriers for fakes

 

Critical analysis

  • Implementation and Enforcement: The effectiveness of a GI tag often depends on the implementation and enforcement mechanisms in place. Strong legal frameworks and enforcement measures are crucial to preventing misuse and ensuring that only products meeting the specified criteria are marketed with the GI tag.
  • Awareness and Marketing: The success of a GI tag also relies on efforts to create awareness among consumers about the significance of the tag and the unique qualities associated with the geographical origin. Effective marketing strategies can help highlight the connection between the product’s characteristics and its origin.
  • Community Involvement: In some cases, the involvement and support of local communities in the production and promotion of GI-tagged products are essential. This ensures that the benefits of the GI protection reach the local producers and contribute to sustainable development.
  • Global Recognition: GIs may have varying levels of recognition at the international level. Achieving global recognition can enhance the effectiveness of a GI tag, especially for products that have export potential.
  • Product Diversity: The effectiveness of a GI tag may vary based on the diversity of products associated with a geographical region. Some products may have well-established connections with their origin, while others might face challenges in establishing a strong association.

 

Conclusion

The effectiveness of a Geographical Indication tag in linking the quality, reputation, and characteristics of a product with its geographical origin depends on a combination of legal, marketing, and community-related factors. When implemented and managed effectively, GIs can contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage, the protection of local economies, and the assurance of product quality for consumers. However, challenges such as enforcement issues, awareness gaps, or the need for global recognition can impact the overall success of the GI system.

 

Value addition

Challenges facing India regarding GI-Tags include:

  • Lack of Commercial Strategy: Insufficient strategies for leveraging GIs in global markets.
  • Limited Organized Efforts: Absence of coordinated efforts beyond establishing distinctiveness.
  • Quality Control Neglect: Focus on source indication rather than quality control, as seen with Alphonso Mango.
  • Marketing and Branding Gaps: Inadequate promotion, branding, and advertising, exemplified by Basmati rice.
  • State Conflicts: Ongoing state-level disputes over GI ownership, as seen in the Rasogolla case.
  • Unauthorized Use: Misuse of GIs by unauthorized parties, misleading consumers and hurting genuine producers.
  • Revenue Loss: Unfair practices lead to revenue loss for legitimate GI right-holders.
  • Ongoing IP Controversy: GI protection remains a contentious issue in intellectual property rights.

 

 


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)

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”  – Aristotle

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about difference that people say one thing and do not follow it up with action. Mentions that practising what one preaches is the hallmark of one’s character. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

“Virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions,” Aristotle said. The writer Will Durant interpreted it thusly: “We are what we repeatedly do… therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

This aphoristic observation echoes a post-Victorian meme of hard work, repetition, diligence. These are also a form of back-handed jibe against the one-off, the single flash of brilliance, the moment in the sun. Excellence, in Aristotle’s characterisation, has something of the Zen thinking of a thousand years later: repetition, honing and persistence. Indeed, one could even argue that the pursuit of excellence is as important as achieving excellence.

Body

Our character, basically, is a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, habits constantly express our character and produce our effectiveness – or our in effectiveness.

In other words, Excellence isn’t this thing you do one time. It’s a way of living. It’s foundational. It’s like an operating system and the code this system operates on is habit.

As Epictetus would later say, “capability is confirmed and grows in its corresponding actions, walking by walking, and running by running… therefore, if you want to do something, make a habit of it.” So if we want to be happy, if we want to be successful, if we want to be great, we have to develop the capability, we have to develop the day-to-day habits that allow this to ensue.

Excellence is what that has been continuously overcome the constraints and loopholes. It is neither a one top shot nor embracing a zenith rather its reaching to a state where you balance your deeds, duty and authority. Example: Nelson Mandela was in island jail for 27 years and then he became the president of South Africa.

Conclusion

In todays’ modern world where competition is the only means of survival good habits come in handy. Economic uncertainty, Personal adversity these things can sink you or they can be opportunities to improve. They can be obstacles you triumph over or setbacks that bring you to your knees. Habits answer that question. If you can cultivate good habits, you can survive—even thrive on—what lies ahead. If you relapse and fall to the level of your worst habits, these hard times will only be harder.

 

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)

“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” – Isaac Newton

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote and highlighting its core meaning about importance of truth.

Body:

Write about facts can be manipulated and manufactures to suits the narrative. Give examples of justify your points. Mention that despite facts may point to different things generally the truth is only one.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

A fact is something that’s indisputable, based on empirical research and quantifiable measures. Facts go beyond theories. They’re proven through calculation and experience, or they’re something that definitively occurred in the past.

Truth is entirely different; it may include fact, but it can also include belief. Oftentimes, people will accept things as true because they fall closer to their comfort zones, are assimilated easily into their comfort zones, or reflect their preconceived notions of reality.

Body

Firstly, truths are not necessarily facts and facts are not necessarily true however this does not mean that they cannot coexist. A great example of oppression where the truths and facts are worlds apart is when opposition parties use facts for their propaganda. For instance, at one point in time, 50% Indians were vaccinated with one dose while 20% were given two doses. The opposition party stated that only 20% were fully vaccinated while the government said that 50% of Indians were vaccinated. Both are facts, but the truth is based on how the facts were perceived.

The difference between fact and truth is that fact is something that exists in real form, while Truth is the true state of a particular thing or a matter like a person, place, animal or thing. Well, facts are things that can be seen visually and can be verified properly. Fact is indisputable while truth is acceptable. To call something a fact is, presumably, to make a claim that it is true. This isn’t a problem for many things, although defending such a claim can be harder than you think.

Truth used to be an absolute. In today’s world, it feels less so. While facts have always been cherry-picked to make an argument stand, the ability to see and understand the context of those facts used to be more of a constant.

In this post-truth era, perception is real, truth is not. Here, one chooses the narrative first and the facts will follow. And the data will meekly fit into the groove because, like water, it takes the shape of the container in which the narrative is served. Once you have picked your own narrative, you have chosen your own truth, a truth untainted by objective reality.

Conclusion

From an endless stream of political misinformation to inescapable lies on social media, the signs that we are living in a post-truth world are hard to ignore. Thus, there must be earnest efforts to ensure that truth is upheld despite many facts.


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