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[Mission 2024] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 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: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

1. The principles of liberty, independence, and equality that emerged from American War of Independence resonated globally, inspiring movements for self-determination and human rights. 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 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the historical significance and impact of the American War of Independence.

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: 

Give the context of American War of Independence.

Body:

First, write about the impact of American War of Independence – Emergence of the United States as a sovereign nation, Nation-building, Formation of a new political system, democratic institutions, Constitution drafting etc.

Next, write about the global impact of American War of Independence and how it promoted decolonisation movements in various colonies.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

The American War of Independence culminated in the freedom of the American colonies and laid the foundation of the first democratic government with a written constitution in the world. It introduced new political, social and economic structure in the United States of America. It was not only a war against the colonial domination of England but was also fought against aristocracy and reactionary elements.

The American Civil War is also known as the “War Between the States”. It was one of the worst wars in American history and was fought between the northern and southern states of the US. The Civil War started in 1861 when the group of slaves of the south founded the Confederate States of America whose president was Jefferson Davis. The northern states, under, President Abraham Lincoln, were totally against slavery. Although the Confederates won some early battles but later the Union became stronger and defeated the southern states in 1865.

Body

Significance of American Revolution

  • The revolution led to the establishment of a republic based on the first written constitution in the world.
  • This was a clear contrast to the other states were Monarchies were still in power. This inspired people across the world to struggle for democratic and republican forms of government.
  • It established a federal state with powers divided between the federal government and states.
  • This provided a nice template for power-sharing in diverse countries that needed complex polities.
  • Besides, there was a separation of powers among various organs of the state.
  • Certain inalienable rights were given to the individuals – this limited the government against the authority of people and reduced government interference in their lives.
  • Democracy was established, but it was far from perfect. Sections like Negroes and women were denied voting rights. But the journey to democracy had begun.
  • It led to many uprisings in Europe, with the French revolution being the biggest. Many generals who participated in the war was instrumental in the French revolution.
  • Thinkers like Thomas Paine also participated in the revolution. This led to the spread of modern ideas in Europe.

Significance of Civil War

  • The civil war was one of the most important and historic wars in history. It brought about a revolution in the entire world. Some of the points are worth remembering and they are:
  • The war put an end to the so-called institution of slavery.
  • Because of the war, there was the use of more machines – which enhanced production.
  • National Banking Act was introduced and the use of paper currency which contributed to the growth of nations wide business.
  • After the war, new and advanced weapons were used.
  • The war led to the growth of large scale manufacturing industries and small scale industries as well.
  • The abolishment of the secession of states was done for all times to come.
  • More area was brought under cultivation – particularly in the western regions on North America.
  • Transport and communication were improved to a very large extent.
  • The war was an inspiration to other countries – to abolish slavery.
  • The Civil War of 1861-1865 determined what kind of nation is about to begin.

Conclusion

The war which started in 1775 finally ended in 1781 where British troops under the command of General Cornwallis surrendered to Commander in Chief Washington at Yorktown. The war finally came to an end by the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

After the American civil war the defeated states were gradually allowed back into the United States. The period after the war in which attempts were made to solve the political, social, and economic problems arising from the readmission to the Union of the former Confederate states is known as Reconstruction (1865–77).

 

Topic: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

2. Napoleon’s Continental System, intended to weaken Britain economically, turned out to be a strategic miscalculation. Instead of achieving its goals, it led to economic hardships for both France and its allies. Examine. (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 and mentioned as part of Mission-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how the continental system played a part in the downfall of Napoleon.

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 continental system.

Body:

First, write about the design of continental system and how its major target was to cripple Britain Economically.

Next, write about the limitations of continental system with respect to its design, implementation, aspects of under estimation the economic prowess of Britain etc which led to its failure.

Next, mention other factors that were responsible for the downfall of Napoleon.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning to what extent continental system was responsible for the downfall of Napoleon.

Introduction

Continental System, in the Napoleonic wars, the blockade designed by Napoleon to paralyze Great Britain through the destruction of British commerce. The decrees of Berlin and Milan proclaimed a blockade: neutrals and French allies were not to trade with the British. However, it proved largely ineffective and eventually led to Napoleon’s fall.

Napoleon was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars.

Body

The Continental System had some success in hurting British trade and economic interests. By some estimates, British trade declined by as much as fifty percent. It also benefited some parts of the French manufacturing sector by acting essentially as a protective tariff, making British imports unavailable or unaffordable in France and its territories. This stimulated the growth of some local manufacturing and many French capitalists and industrialists made large profits as a result of the embargo on British goods.

Flaws in the Continental System

  • It killed many trade based industries and deeply hurt the economies of major French ports such as Marseilles. Moreover, the Continental System could not be strictly enforced.
  • It was an impossible scheme. Every country was not expected to bear the innumerable stresses by following this scheme.
  • French navy was not so powerful to control the vast sea.
  • Most of the European countries including France depended British goods and they could not possibly live without these goods. But after the supply of these articles was stopped, people had to face great difficulties and they began to oppose this scheme vehemently. In 1807 Napoleon himself purchased fifty thousand overcoats from Great Britain through Holland at the time of the battle of Eyleau.
  • The smuggling of goods became widespread in the entire Europe and Napoleon could not check this black marketing due to his weak navy.
  • Portugal and Spain also did not join this scheme and extended their cooperation to England.

Conclusion

Napoleon’s ambition to implement the continental system dragged him to the peninsular war which he called “an ulcer that destroyed me”. The Portuguese and Spaniards turned and united against him at the battle of Trafalgar. This defeat proved to the world that Napoleon could be defeated, over 20,000 of his soldiers surrendered and it also weakened Napoleon’s military strength. This led to the downfall of Napoleon in 1815 . Thus, the continental system entangled Napoleon into disastrous Moscow campaign which was the turning point in his military and political career in France and Europe.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential;

3. Statistical data is a cornerstone for effective governance. Access to accurate and reliable statistical information is crucial for creating policies that respond to the dynamic needs of society and promote the overall well-being of the population. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

India’s statistical system is under the PMO’s lens. Given recent data dissonance, it clearly needs a relook.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about benefits of collecting census data.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of statistical data collection In India.

Body:

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

Next, Discuss the limitations in statistical data collection.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

For decades, India’s statistical machinery enjoyed a high level of reputation for the integrity of the data it produced on a range of economic and social parameters. A group of 108 economists and social scientists working around the world, have issued an appeal to convince the Indian government to stop suppressing uncomfortable data, restore access to public statistics and re-establish the independence and integrity of institutions.

India’s statistical system is under the PMO’s lens. Given recent data dissonance, it clearly needs a relook.

Body

Significance of Statistical data

  • The Indian National Sample Survey is respected the world over. Not just because of its size, but also for its sample design, that uses methods make perfect by some of the world’s most reputed statisticians.
  • This distinguished history, which India can claim with pride, makes the recent undermining of the credibility of our statistical outputespecially regrettable.
  • We can, however, ensure that when we look back on this several years from now, it represents an anomaly rather than a lasting, irreparable loss of institutional credibility.
  • It is also imperative to use the scientific methods for data collection and estimation and their timely dissemination, which form vital public services.
  • India, with its vastness and complexities, poses tremendous challenges for data collection.
  • The dualistic nature of the economy means a large unorganised sector coexists with the organised sector that the data collection systems are unable to fully cover.
  • Data collection and its utilisation helps in maintaining transparency between the citizens and the government. Citizens can view the outcomes based on data published in various periodicals, reports like Economic Survey.
  • Reliable and timely data helps in targeted interventions where it is easy for planners to allocate a targeted amount which is best beneficial for the economy. Eg, COVID data on food insecurity and lack of employment, forced the government to allocate money to schemes offering food grains and employment allowance.
  • Statistical data helps in ensuring the accountability of public officials as data helps in comparing current data with historical trends & evaluating the performance of officials according to the desired outcome.
  • Policymaking based on reliable data is grounded on solid evidence rather than personal preferences. Statistical analysis helps analyse past trends and project future performance based on logical assumptions. It helps policymakers evaluate different policy options and choose the ones that are most likely to achieve desired outcomes.

Concerns Related to the Indian Statistical System

Institutional and Structural IssuesNot released timely: The government have a timetable for the release of national accounts, the Index of Industrial Production and inflation. But there are no specific timelines for the release of labour force statistics and consumption expenditure surveys
Apprehensions regarding NSSO: Under MoSPI, it has become part of the general bureaucracy and ceases to exist as an autonomous body. Moreover, the fear is that in the absence of the oversight of independent bodies like the CSI and NSC, the statistical system may become amenable to political interference.
 Past few years there has been a shortfall in data collection owing to the pandemic and administrative difficulties. There is a delay even in important data like Census.
 Members of data collection agencies are selected based on political preference and to portray the ruling government in good light. This erodes the confidence of the public and creates a legitimation crisis.
Methodology

 

Use of small surveys for estimations
Challenges in price adjustment for GDP calculations
The faulty approach in data collection and collation
The incoherence of GDP data
Nature of DataUnreliable data on the unorganised sector
Shortcomings in MCA21 data used for GDP calculations

Way forward

  • The strength of the national system is integrally dependenton the strength of the state statistical systems.
  • In this direction, the Dholakia Committee Report 2020 on sub-national accounts is crucial; it could pave the way for state governments in pursuing and adopting a bottom-up approach, thereby strengthening the data collection capacities of the state governments.
  • Several states are yet to initiate building institutional frameworksat the state and district levels.
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) launched the India Statistical Strengthening Project with financial support from the World Bankfor enhancing the capacities of state statistical systems for data collection.
  • Parallel Efforts on Both National and State Level
    • To enhance and institutionalise inter-agency coordination covering both national and sub-national statistical systems.
    • Madhya Pradesh has taken the lead by establishing a permanent state statistical commission for improving and integrating the statistical data flow systems.
  • Finalise National Policy on Official Statistics Quickly
    • To catalyse and synergise these efforts, the National Policy on Official Statistics, announced in the Budget 2020 needs to be finalised quickly along with appropriate institutional support and resources.
    • This will ensure that we are able to track India’s progress on the Sustainable Development Goals using a bottom-up approach and also ensure that no one is left behind.
  • Emphasis on Data Quality: A large part of statistical reforms should not merely focus on the availability, frequency and largeness of data, but greater emphasis should be placed on data quality.

Conclusion

This is the time for all professional economists, statisticians, independent researchers in policy — regardless of their political and ideological leanings — to come together to raise their voice against the tendency to suppress uncomfortable data, and impress upon the government authorities, current and future, and at all levels, to restore access and integrity to public statistics, and re-establish institutional independence and integrity to the statistical organisations.

 

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

4. The India-France relationship is characterized by a strong and diversified partnership that goes beyond bilateral ties. The strategic, economic, and cultural dimensions of this relationship showcase a comprehensive engagement that benefits both nations and contributes to stability and development at the regional and global levels. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressIndian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

Macron, who will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on January 26, will begin his Jaipur trip by visiting Amer Fort, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal on Thursday.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the achievements of Indo-France strategic partnership and ways to further it.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of of Indo-France strategic partnership.

Body:

First, discuss about the historic relations between the India and France in brief.

Next, write about the major areas of cooperation and major achievements in the Indo-France relationship.

Next, write about the further potential in the Indo-French relations especially given the current geopolitical turmoil in Europe. Elaborate on the aspect of importance of multilateralism and have a common respect for international rules and regulations that both the countries share.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward in order to achieve the potential.

Introduction

India and France have traditionally close and friendly relations. In 1998, the two countries entered into Strategic Partnership which is based on three pillars of defence cooperation, space cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation. In the recent years, there have been increasing convergences between both the countries.

French President Emmanuel Macron was given a red carpet reception in Jaipur and is the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi.

Body

Highlights of the talks between India and France

  • The talks are expected to chart the course for finalising new initiatives in a raft of key areas, including defence, space, collaboration in the vast Indo-Pacific region where China is seeking to expand its footprint, industrial cooperation, promoting cross-investments and responding to challenges such as the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and poverty eradication.
  • Macron’s visit seeks to consolidate the ambitious renewal of the India-France strategic partnership that the two leaders decided on in Paris on July 14 through the Horizon 2047 Roadmap whose three pillars are “partnership for security and sovereignty, partnership for the planet, and partnership for the people”.
  • Macron’s visit comes at a time when India is looking at buying 26 Rafale M fighters from France for the navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, the 45,000-tonne INS Vikrant.
  • India is also planning to build three more Scorpene-class submarines with technology from France to enhance the Indian Navy’s undersea capabilities. The two deals are estimated to have a combined value of €9 billion to €10 billion.
  • Macron’s visit also seeks to stress France’s commitment to creating more opportunities for Indian students, artists, investors and tourists.France seeks to welcome 30,000 Indian students by 2030.
  • Business ties and cross-investments will also be promoted during the visit, under the banner of France’s ‘Make it Iconic’ nation-branding campaign, which has targeted India as a priority country

Time tested India France relationship

  • Partnership in the Indian Ocean:France was the first European country to launch an IndoPacific strategy and India is a key pillar in that strategy. Thus, the relationship between India France has grown beyond bilateral to focus and includes intensified maritime and naval cooperation in Indian Ocean and more broadly the Indo Pacific.
    • France has specific interests in the Indian Ocean due to its overseas territories (Reunion Island and Mayotte) home to over a million French citizens, and more than 10% of the Indian Ocean’s surface.
  • Strategic convergence:On the regional front, France is as concerned as India at the rising Chinese profile in the Indo-Pacific. Both would like to work to offer credible alternatives to Chinese economic and military assistance in the region.
    • On the international front, both are deeply concerned about the breakdown of the rules based global order.
  • Global cooperation:After their joint efforts to limit climate change and develop the International Solar Alliance, India and France have turned to more ambitious ideas. In this direction, both countries issued the road map on cybersecurity and digital technology.
  • France’s support on international platforms:France is among the countries that have consistently supported India’s permanent membership to UNSC.
    • Also, France has offered unstinted support for India on targeting the sources of violent extremism in Pakistan and helped limit the international backlash against India’s effort to rewrite the rules of engagement in J&K.
  • Nuclear Cooperation:After the nuclear tests in May 1998 when India declared itself a nuclear weapon state, France was the first major power to open dialogue and displayed a far greater understanding of India’s security compulsions compared to other countries. Both signed, civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2008.
    • “Industrial Way Forward Agreement”was signed in 2018, between France and India for the construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur.
  • Defence Cooperation: France remains a vital source of arms supply to India. Defence cooperation with France began in the 1950s when India acquired the Ouragan aircraft and continued with theMystères, Jaguar, Rafale, Scorpène submarines, etc.
    • Both countries also signed reciprocal logistics support agreement to receive logistical support, supplies and services from each other during authorised port visits, joint exercises, etc.
    • The PM’s visit is likely to see agreements or announcements on the acquisition of 26 Rafale-M (the marine version) fighters for the Indian Navy, and co-production of three more Scorpene class submarines at the public sector Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, which has already produced six Scorpene/Kalvari-class submarines under an earlier agreement.
  • Cooperation in Space and Technologyhas continued since the 1960s when France helped India set up the Sriharikota launch site, followed by liquid engine development and hosting of payloads. Currently, other projects include joint satellite mission – TRISHNA (for eco-system stress and water use monitoring) and also accommodation of French instrument on India’s OCEANSAT-3 satellite.
  • Counter terrorism: Terror strikes in France by home-grown terrorists provide much scope for counterterrorism cooperation, in terms of both intelligence-sharing and de-radicalisation strategies.
  • climate change initiatives: Last October, they signed a Road Map on Green Hydrogen, which aims “to bring the French and Indian hydrogen ecosystems together” to establish a reliable and sustainable value chain for a global supply of decarbonised hydrogen.
  • Digital Tech initiatives: roadmap on digital technology co-operation may be on the cards for 6G, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. An MoU signed last month between NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL) and Lyra, a France-based payment services provider, may be implemented soon to enable UPI and RuPay payments in Europe.
  • Given its expertise in the sphere of urban planning France is also helping in the Smart Cities Mission. The three such smart cities are Chandigarh, Nagpur and Puducherry.

Challenges in the relationship:

India and France don’t have Free Trade Agreement, which limits the potential for increased trade and economic cooperation. Also, there is a trade imbalance in favour of France (France exporting more to India). Also, France has many times expressed concern on India’s stance at WTO, Climate summit and on India’s protection of intellectual property rights

Way forward

  • Even though above specified areas provided a robust basis for engagement, it remained primarily at a government-to-government level.
  • In recent years, it was clear that for a wider partnership, strengthening business-to-business and people-to-people relationships was essential. Also, the trade between India and France, although growing, is yet to reach its potential.
  • By leveraging the potential of convergences, France can be India’s gateway to Europe and India France’s first strategic partner in Asia.
  • The underpinnings of global geopolitics are being rapidly altered with China’s rise, the West being consumed by internal problems and Russia, the“America First” priorities of the US Administration, and growing threats to globalization.
  • With such background, France and India have a shared interest in developing a coalition of middle powers with a shared commitment for a rule-based multipolar world order.

Conclusion

While military cooperation remains important, the Indo-French relationship could expand beyond arms sales. Initiatives like the International Solar Alliance and exploring Mini-lateral and multilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific could bring additional dimensions to their partnership.

 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

6. We need to recognize the potential shifts in riparian paths and the drying up of rivers that may result from seismic activities in the Himalayan region. It is essential to undertake comprehensive preparedness measures in response to potential earthquakes in the Himalayan region. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

Kiren Rijiju, the Union minister of earth sciences, told the Lok Sabha last December that there had been an increase in earthquakes in India between January and November 2023.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the vulnerability of India to earthquakes and measures needed to develop resilience.

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 context.

Body:

First, write about the vulnerability of India to earthquakes. Draw a map showing different seismic zones. write about the factors that have led to an increase in the number of earthquakes in the Himalayan region- activation of Almora Fault, increased dam seismicity etc.

Next, write about the potential impact of the above.

Next, write about several measures the government needs to take mitigate their impact – building codes and standards, retrofitting old buildings, early warning systems, education and awareness, and emergency response planning.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The Union minister of earth sciences, told the Lok Sabha last December that there had been an increase in earthquakes in India between January and November 2023. The area is seismically very active falling in the highest Seismic Hazard zone V associated with collisional tectonics where Indian plate sub-ducts beneath the Eurasian Plate

Body

Himalayan region and earthquake vulnerabilities

  • India falls prominently on the ‘Alpine – Himalayan Belt’. This belt is the line along which the Indian plate meets the Eurasian plate. Being a convergent plate, the Indian plate is thrusting underneath the Eurasian plate at a speed of 5 cm per year.
  • The movement gives rise to tremendous stress which keeps accumulating in the rocks and is released from time to time in the form of earthquakes.
  • India has been divided into four seismic zones according to the maximum intensity of earthquake expected.
  • Of these, zone V is the most active which comprises of whole of Northeast India, the northern portion of Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Gujarat and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
  • The entire Himalayan Region is considered to be vulnerable to high intensity earthquakes of a magnitude exceeding 8.0 on the Richter scale.

Risks of high magnitude Earthquakes

  • Primary damage: Damage occurs to human settlement, buildings, structures and infrastructure, especially bridges, elevated roads, railways, water towers, pipelines, electrical generating facilities.
  • Aftershocks of an earthquake can cause much greater damage to already weakened structures.
  • Secondary effects include fires, dam failure and landslides which may block water ways and also cause flooding, landslides, Tsunami, chemical spills, breakdown of communication facilities, human loss.
  • There is also a huge loss to the public health system, transport and water supply in the affected areas.
  • Tertiary impactof earthquake includes Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD), long term psychological issues, loss of livelihood, disruption of social capital due to relocation related issues, etc.

Earthquake preparedness measures

  • Earthquake monitoring centres (seismological centres) for regular monitoring and fast dissemination of information among the people in the vulnerable areas should be established. Currently, Centre for Seismology (CS) is the nodal agency of Government of India responsible for monitoring seismic activity in and around the country.
  • A vulnerability map of the country along with dissemination of vulnerability risk information among the people can be done to minimize the adverse impacts.
  • Planning: The Bureau of Indian Standards has published building codes and guidelines for safe construction of buildings against earthquakes. Before the buildings are constructed the building plans have to be checked by the Municipality, according to the laid down by-laws.
  • Important buildingssuch as hospitals, schools and fire stations need to be upgraded by retrofitting techniques.
  • Community preparedness and public educationon causes and characteristics of an earthquake and preparedness measures is important. It can be created through sensitization and training programme for community, by preparation of disaster management plans by schools, malls, hospitals etc. and carrying out mock drills, by preparing documentation on lessons from previous earthquaes and widely disseminating it.
  • Engineered structures: The soil type should be analysed before construction. Building structures on soft soil should be avoided. Similar problem persists in the buildings constructed on the river banks which have alluvial soil.
  • Encouraging use of Indigenous methods – Indigenous earthquake-resistant houses like the bhongas in the Kutch Region of Gujarat, dhajji diwari buildings in Jammu & Kashmir, brick-nogged wood frame constructions in Himachal Pradesh and ekra constructions made of bamboo in Assam are helpful in this regard.

Conclusion

It is not possible to prevent the occurrence of an earthquake; hence, the next best option is to lay emphasis on disaster preparedness and mitigation rather than curative measures. Hence, a robust early warning system, decentralised response mechanism is the best way forward.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: ethical issues in international relations and funding;

7. What do you understand by international morality? Does morality exist in international relations? (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write international morality and its nature.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining international morality.

Body:

Start by explaining what is international ethics – moral principles, customary International Law, Human rights, Cooperation, Non-aggression etc. Cite examples to substantiate your points.

Next, write about if it is just a theoretical concept or it is applied in practise as well.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a balanced opinion on international morality.

Introduction

International Morality consists of moral principles which are endorsed by a number of nations. The rules of customary International Law reflect International Morality. One of the major sources and sanctions of International Law has been International Morality.

Body:

The Charter of the United Nations reflects International Morality in many of its provisions, for example, in calling for respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination as to race, sex, language or religion. The moral desirability of peace is formally affirmed almost universally, though with provisions and conditions attached. War is now recognized as immoral and even when it has to be resorted to, the nations accept and follow limits on methods of waging it.” Thus there exists an international code of moral values which is popularly called International Morality.

Do Ethical considerations have a say in international relations?

To answer this question, realists and idealists have an ongoing debate. But since the second world war, the debate was settled largely in favour of the realists.

Hans Morgenthau, gave 6 principles of Realism in International Relations

  • Politics is governed by Objective Laws which have roots in Human Nature:
    • The first principle of political realism holds that “politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature.” Humans are power seeking by nature and so are the states.
  • National Interest defined in terms of National Power:
    • No considerations of Moral Imperatives when it comes to national interest. For eg: Even though India espoused Panchsheel principles, China went to war with India in 1962 without as much of a warning.
  • National Interest is always dynamic and it keeps changing. Eg: Russia had imposed arms embargo on Pakistan by being a friend to India, which was lifted recently.
  • Abstract Moral Principles cannot be applied to Politics:
    • Politics is not ethics and the ruler is not a moralist. The primary function of a state is to satisfy and protect the demands of national interest by means of national power.
  • No universal moral principle in international relations
    • Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of a particular nation with the moral principles that govern the universe. It refuses to accept that the national interests and policies of any particular nation reflect universally applied moral principles.
  • Autonomy of International Relations: It is neither ethics nor law or economics. It is an autonomous discipline where national interest reigns supreme

However, it must be noted that, it is without the element of morality that USA decided to use nuclear bomb on Japan. Only after this plan was executed, the world became aware of the devastating consequences that had ensued. Below are examples that highlight this norm.

  • The alleged just war cause where a country thinks it’s their moral responsibility to save the world. E.g.: USA and Iraq war.
  • Threat to the Rules-based order of the world by side-lining of the Global bodies like UNSC, WTO such as USA. Pursuing unilateralism and Protectionism goes against the ideal of Rules-based international world order.
  • China’s dominance in the South China Sea and its policy of “Debt-Trap diplomacy”, “Island-encirclement” and “String of Pearls” show that there is no adherence to morality.

International morality and International Relations

  • Rights and Responsibilities: The UNPeackeeping mission is based on the principle of universal peace. This is the responsibility of the Security Council and all the nations to maintain universal peace. India believes in this ideology and has been the largest cumulative troop contributing nation.
  • Equality: Ethics aim at “Peaceful World”, “Respect for All” & “Equality” while forming international organizations, declarations & forums. E.g.: The demand for equality in IMF & UNO shows the demand of adhering to ethics in a way.
  • Resolving Tensions: Ethics helps to avoid the “Ego Clash” & “Ideological Clash” between two or more nations. For instance, the disruption between India & Pakistan relations can be avoided if both take a decision based on ethics.
  • Solidarity: Natural disasters and refugee crisis situations require a more compassionate view of the global community. These are not isolated events and rather, the duty of every global citizen to help in the times of crisis. g.- Aid during natural disasters (Nepal earthquake)
  • Human rights: Adherence to human rights is vital after the Decalaration of Human Rights in the UN Charter. Eg- lack of ethics in the international relation has been the cause of wars & genocide many times in history (Rawnda and Burundi) and also like the first world war.

Conclusion:

Thus, International Morality plays an important role in international relations of our times. It has been acting as a limiting factor of national power. The realization towards the need for preserving international peace and for directing efforts towards the promotion of universal human welfare has increased the importance of morality in international relations.


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