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UPSC Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS : 3 JUNE 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

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

1. Puppetry in India is a vibrant and intricate expression of cultural narratives and regional identities, showcasing the country’s diverse heritage. 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 – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write puppetry as a traditional art and its regional identities.

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: 

Start with what Indian puppetry is and its diversity across Indian states.

Body:

Write in detail about how puppetry draws from painting, sculpture, music, dance, drama and other visual arts. Cite examples to substantiate your points.

Next, write about the diverse forms of regional Indian puppetry and its various types.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing about importance of puppetry as visual art.

Introduction

A puppet is one of the most remarkable and ingenious inventions of the man. Puppetry is a type of narrative theatre; at the crossroads between bardic storytelling and theatre plays. Shows include live music, narration and gestures taken from dance. Puppetry throughout the ages has held an important place in traditional entertainment. Like traditional theatre, themes for puppet theatre are mostly based on epics and legends. Puppets from different parts of the country have their own identity. Regional styles of painting and sculpture are reflected in them.

Body:

Puppetry in India

  • The earliest reference to the art of puppetry is found in Tamil classic ‘Silappadikaaram’written around the 1st or 2nd century B.C.
  • In Sanskrit terminology Puttalikaand Puttika means ‘little sons’.
  • Ancient Hindu philosophers have paid the greatest tribute to puppeteers. They have likened God Almighty to a puppeteer and the entire universe to a puppet stage.
  • Srimad Bhagavata,the great epic depicting the story of Lord Krishna in his childhood say that with three strings-Satta, Raja and Tama, the God manipulates each object in the universe as a marionette.
  • Natyashastra, the masterly treatise on dramaturgy written sometime during 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD., does not refer to the art of puppetry but the producer-cum-director of the human theatre has been termed as ‘Sutradhar’meaning the holder of strings.
  • Stories adapted from puranic literature, local myths and legends usually form the content of traditional puppet theatre in India which, in turn, imbibes elements of all creative expressions like painting, sculpture, music, dance, drama, etc.
  • For instance, theKathputli of Rajasthanis accompanied by a highly dramatised version of the regional music. In Kundhei of Odisha, the music is drawn from the popular tunes of the region and is sometimes influenced by the music of Odisha dance.
  • Almost all types of puppets are found in India. Puppetry throughout the ages has held an important place in traditional entertainment. Like traditional theatre, themes for puppet theatre are mostly based on epics and legends.
  • : In Tholu Bommalatta of AP, the music is dominantly influenced by the classical music of the region and the theme of the puppet plays are drawn from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas. Episodes enacted in Gombeyatta of Karnatakaare usually based on Prasangas of the Yakshagana plays. The music that accompanies is dramatic and beautifully blends folk and classical elements.
  • Puppets from different parts of the country have their own identity.
  • In Thogalu Gombeyatta of Karnataka, the puppets however differ in size according to their social status, for instance, large size for kings and religious characters and smaller size for common people or servants.
  • Regional styles of painting and sculpture are reflected in them.
  • : the traditional glove puppet play is called Pavakoothu. It came into existence during the 18th century due to the influence of Kathakali, the famous classical dance-drama of Kerala, on puppet performances. The face of the puppets are decorated with paints, small and thin pieces of gilded tin, the feathers of the peacock, etc. The theme for Glove puppet plays in Kerala is based on the episodes from either the Ramayana or the Mahabharata.

However, the art of puppetry is dying due to the following reasons:

  • Lack of patronage in the modern age.
  • Competition from Electronic media which is a preferred mode of entertainment. People find it more appealing to watch mythological stories of Ramayan and Mahabharat on electronic media rather than in Puppetry.
  • Puppetry Art is usually confined to only devotional and mythological stories.
  • With changing times, Puppetry does not take up modern social issues.
  • Puppetry lacks modernization in terms of script, lighting, sound and other stage effects.

Conclusion:

Besides traditional puppetry, India is home to a lively contemporary scene. Independent India opened up to artistic exchange, and new forms and techniques affected puppetry, introducing new styles and giving origin to a refined urban puppet theatre. The birth of modern troupes and the opening to the international scene created new contexts for traditional puppetry to flourish. Several festivals organized in the last decades offer the stage to traditional troupes. So far modernity threatened the very survival of traditional puppetry, but a more conscious use of contemporary means and opportunities is actually the key to preserve this rich heritage of India.

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

2. Protecting the intangible heritage of India is imperative to preserve the nation’s diverse cultural fabric and historical legacy. Discuss. (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 the need for protecting intangible heritage of India.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about the intangible cultural heritage.

Body:

In the first part, write about the need for protecting intangible heritage of India – cultural heritage, source of livelihood, dying arts. Celebrating diversity etc.

Next, write about the steps that have been take to protect intangible heritage of India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating the importance of intangible heritage of India.

 

Introduction

‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ indicates ‘the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their Cultural Heritage’ (UNESCO, 2003). Examples of intangible heritage are oral traditions, performing arts, local knowledge, and traditional skills.

Body

UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage is a coveted list is made up of those intangible heritage elements that help demonstrate diversity of cultural heritage and raise awareness about its importance. The list was established in 2008 when the Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage came into effect.

Importance of protection of intangible heritage of India

  • It helps to recognize the diversity of Indian culture embedded in its intangible heritage.
  • It reflects India’s multicultural identity as a people and nation, and resonates strongly with Indians across all races and social strata.
  • It intends to enhance the “visibility of communities’ cultural practices and know-how”, aiming to “safeguard the intangible cultural heritage of communities nationally & globally”.
  • Its importance is not in the cultural manifestation itself, but in the wealth of knowledge, know-how and skills that are transmitted from one generation to the next.
  • There is a need to raise awareness about the various intangible cultural heritage elements from different states of India at national and international level and ensure their protection.
  • The Union ministry of Culturehas also launched the draft National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India.

 

  • The National ICH List is an attempt to recognize the diversity of Indian culture embedded in its intangible heritage. This initiative is also a part of the Vision 2024 of the Ministry of Culture.

Measures aimed at protecting and preserving ICH

  • The National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India is an attempt to recognize the diversity of Indian culture embedded in its intangible heritage.
  • It aims to raise awareness about the various intangible cultural heritage elements from different states of India at national and international level and ensure their protection.
  • The National ICH List is an attempt to recognize the diversity of Indian culture embedded in its intangible heritage. This initiative is also a part of the Vision 2024 of the Ministry of Culture.
  • The Ministry of Culture has formulated a Scheme titled “Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India”, with the objective of reinvigorating and revitalizing various institutions, groups, individuals, identified non-MOC institutions, non-government organisations, researchers and scholars so that they may engage in activities/ projects for strengthening, protecting, preserving and promoting the rich intangible cultural heritage of India.
  • The Scheme will cover all recognized domains of ICH such as oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage, Performing arts, Social practices, rituals and festive events, Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, traditional craftsmanship etc.
  • The Union ministry of Culturehas also launched the draft National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India.
  • India has successfully inscribed 14 Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) elements in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity under the 2003 Convention.
  • Following UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, this list has been classified into five broad domains in which Intangible Cultural Heritage is manifested:
    • Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
    • Performing Arts
    • Social practices, Rituals, and Festive events
    • Knowledge and practices concerning Nature and the Universe
    • Traditional Craftsmanship

Conclusion

India has a vast basket of living and diverse cultural traditions, traditional expressions, intangible cultural heritage comprising masterpieces which need institutional support and encouragement with a view to addressing areas critical for the survival and propagation of these forms of cultural heritage. Though, such preservation efforts are being carried out in a scattered form, a need is being felt to have an institutionalized and centralized Scheme for concerted efforts in the direction of professionally enhancing awareness and interest in Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), safeguarding, promoting and propagating it systematically.

Value addition

UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage from India

S.No.ICH ElementYear of Inscription
 Tradition of Vedic chanting2008
 Ramlila, the traditional performance of the Ramayana2008
 Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre2008
 Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas, India2009
 Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala2010
 Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan2010
 Chhau dance2010
 Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India2012
 Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur2013
 Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab, India2014
 Yoga2016
 Nawrouz, Novruz, Nowrouz, Nowrouz, Nawrouz, Nauryz, Nooruz, Nowruz, Navruz, Nevruz, Nowruz, Navruz2016
 Kumbh Mela2017
Durga Puja in Kolkata2021

Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

3. The bifurcation of states in India, though aimed at enhancing administrative efficiency and addressing regional aspirations, presents significant challenges that require careful consideration. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

It is 10 years since Andhra Pradesh was divided into two States.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the aims and impact of bifurcation of states in India.

Directive:

Critically analyze – 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by giving context.

Body:

First, write about the reasons behind bifurcation of states – better governance, economic development, and recognition of distinct ethnic, cultural, or linguistic identities etc.

Next, write about the impact of the above – administrative and governance issues, economic disparities, social and cultural disruptions, and political instability. Cite examples to substantiate your points.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a balanced opinion on the issue.

Introduction

It is 10 years since Andhra Pradesh was divided into two States. A decade is a long enough time examine the political, economic and historical implications of the division of the political geography of the Telugu people, for them as well as for the Indian Republic. The messy way in which the state was divided and the ongoing tussle with respect to resources shows that bifurcation of state is a complex matter and must not be done in haste for political gains.

Body

Advantages of bifurcation of state

  • Better Governance and Administration: Smaller states can lead to more focused governance.
    • For instance, Chhattisgarh, post its formation, saw a more targeted approach to its tribal areas and mineral-rich regions.
  • Cultural and Regional Identity:  Creation of new states can recognize and preserve the unique cultural and linguistic identities of regions.
    • The formation of Uttarakhand, for example, was a result of distinct regional aspirations.
  • Economic Development:  With the formation of a new state, there’s a fresh emphasis on infrastructural and economic development.
    • For instance, Uttarakhand witnessed an influx of industries and businesses after its formation.
  • Enhanced Political Representation:
    • New states often ensure better political representation for regions that might have felt marginalized in a larger state setup.

 

Challenges associated with bifurcation

  • Economic Strain: The initial setup of administrative machinery, infrastructure, and institutions in a new state can strain financial resources.
  • Boundary Disputes: New states can lead to territorial disputes with neighboring regions, leading to prolonged conflicts and tensions, as seen in the case of Assam-Nagaland or Karnataka-Maharashtra border disputes.
  • Resource Allocation: Dividing resources, especially if they are scarce, like water in the case of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, can lead to inter-state disputes.
  • Potential Social Disruptions: If not managed properly, the process of state bifurcation can lead to social tensions and conflicts, as populations adjust to the new political reality.

 

Conclusion and way forward

  • The idea of the linguistic reorganisation of India had a long incubation period. It was thought through, elaborately debated, agreed upon and then implemented.
  • That idea was seen in the national context. But a departure from it was neither thought through nor debated. It was done as a political expediency to pacify an ongoing agitation.
  • Therefore, from the clumsy drafting of the act, its messy passing, the placatory assurances and their half-hearted implementation characterised the departure of a six-and-a-half decade-old mature Republic from a core organising principle of its political geography.
  • The Republic cannot afford such clumsy and thoughtless handling of major departures from its core organising principles. The Andhra Pradesh bifurcation and its fallout merit a deeper and mature examination to ensure a firm footing for our Republic.

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

4. Improving the participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is crucial for achieving gender equality and fostering innovation. Analyse.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live MintInsights on India

Why the question:

Historically, academies have been male bastions with the significant exclusion of women scientists, irrespective of their contributions and work.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how to improve participation of women in STEM courses and be made more inclusive and sensitive for women empowerment.

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 a statistic about the representation of women in higher academic sciences.

Body:

In the first part, mention how historically gender norms and patriarchal attitudes continue to affect women in academic sciences.

Next, write about the measures that are needed make higher science inclusive and sensitive – promoting awareness, giving choice, continuous academic support, re-inclusion after a break, policy support etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Science, technology, engineering, and medicine –together known as ‘STEM’ fields –suffer from lack of women, especially in India. In school exam results, we hear of how girls have outshone boys, but when it comes to those who take up research in later life, the number of women is minuscule. This means that many of our best brains that showed the maximum potential do not pick research as a career.

Since independence, successive governments in India have taken many steps in bringing gender empowerment. However, various developmental indices reflect that still, a lot needs to be done in this regard. One such area of improvement is increasing gender participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.

Body

India tops world rankings in producing female graduates in STEM with 43% but employs only 14% of them. In comparison, Sweden produces 35% female STEM graduates and employs 34% of them.

Status of Women in STEM Fields

  • About 43% of STEM graduates in India may be women, which is the highest in the world, but women’s share in STEM jobs in India is a mere 14%.
  • Most of the women STEM graduates in India either pursue another career or do not work at all. Women across the world face the ‘leaky pipeline’ problem in STEM fields.
  • Women leave the workforce, due to the absence of supportive institutional structures during pregnancy, safety issues in fieldwork and the workplace.
  • The STEM field is so perpetuated with gender stereotypes. It has a very strong male-dominated culture. Further, there is a lack of role models for girls and women.
  • Not just societal norms but issues related to poor education and healthcare access are responsible for a lesser number of women in these fields.

 

However, as per the Department of Science and Technology data, the number of women scientists has gone up in over the past two decades. The findings of a report in August 2022 are as follows

  • Women among researchers: Increased from  9% (2015) to 18.7% (2018)
  • Good number of participation of women till post-graduate level and then there is a drop at the post-doctoral level.
  • Women in Engineering (14.5%) < Women in natural Science (22.5%) < Women in Health (24.5%)

Reasons for this gender gap

  • When highly qualified women drop out of the workforce, it results in considerable depletion of national resources in science and technology.
  • Stereotypes encountered by girls to the family-caring responsibilities.
  • Patriarchal society.
  • Women face bias when choosing a career.
  • Women continue to face the same kind of discrimination at work as they face in society.
  • According to a recent Accenture research report, the gender pay gap in India is as high as 67 percent.
  • Various studies have found that girls excel at mathematics and science-oriented subjects in school, but boys often believe they can do better, which shapes their choices in higher studies.
  • In 2015, an analysis of PISA scores by OECD found that the difference in math scores between high-achieving boys and girls was the equivalent of about half a year at school.
  • But when comparing boys and girls who reported similar levels of self-confidence and anxiety about mathematics, the gender gap in performance disappeared — when girls were more anxious, they tended to perform poorly.

Government Initiatives so far to bridge the gender gap in STEM: 

  • Vigyan Jyoti scheme:
    • Announced in the 2017 budget for the Ministry of Science and Technology.
    • The scheme aims to arrange for girl students of classes 9, 10 and 11 meet women scientists, with the IITs and the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research.
    • It is intended to create a level-playing field for the meritorious girls in high school to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in their higher education
    • It also offers exposure for girl students from the rural background to help to plan their journey from school to a job of their choice in the field of science.
  • GATI Scheme:
    • The Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) will develop a comprehensive Charter and a framework for assessing Gender Equality in STEM.
  • Inspire-MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge)
    • Attract talented young boys and girls to study science and pursue research as a career.
  • Unnat Bharat Abhiyan programme
    • Launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2014.
    • Connect India’s elite institutes with local communities and address their developmental challenges with appropriate technological interventions.
  • Indo-US fellowship for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine to participate in international collaborative research in premier institutions in America
  • Women-centric programmes under the Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN)initiative
  • Bio-technology Career Advancement and Reorientation (Bio-Care)

Way Forward

  • Promote gender equality as an explicit human right.
  • Identify and eliminate practices that create systemic and structural impediments to the advancement of women in science.
  • Support the empowerment of women to enable them to flourish in the scientific profession.
  • Identify potential risks and hindrances to women in their pursuit of science and implement strategies to eliminate them.
  • Engage with the Government of India, scientific institutions and the civil society to promote and support gender equality in general, and in science in particular.
  • Replicating ISRO Model:The role of women engineers in the launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2 shows that how social shackles pertaining to women are loosening. Thus, there is a need for emulating ISRO’s model in STEM fields.
  • Bringing Behavioural Change:Subdued gender participation emanates from social-economic issues, which can be treated by bringing behavioural change. For this, the contributions of women in the STEM sector should be highlighted in textbooks. This may motivate the next generation of girls to be leaders in the STEM sector.
  • Women’s participation in STEM should be encouraged from primary school level rather only in higher studies.
  • Awareness about gender inequality and its outcome has to be increased and the community should be supportive and understanding of career prospects for women.
  • Companies can provide more internship opportunities for women and give STEM scholarships to meritorious yet economically backward girls.
  • India’s forthcoming Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) should focus on the thrust on gender equity and inclusion. Digital India too provides an opportunity to impart education in the STEM field to women.

Conclusion

A research report by McKinsey said that narrowing the gender gap in STEM can lead to an increase of $12-28 trillion in the global economy. Thus, India should look at Gender equality as an essential facet of the development perspective.

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

5. While some degree of inequality can drive economic growth and foster political dynamism, excessive inequality poses significant threats to democratic processes. Do you agree? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Several argue that inequality harms democratic processes. Some inequality, others argue, is actually beneficial.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the pros and cons of inequality in the country and your opinion on it.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining inequality.

Body:

First, write about the pros of a degree of inequality in the country – incentivize innovation, economic growth, and political dynamism by encouraging competition and efficient resource allocation.

Next, write about the cons of inequality – undermine political equality, concentrate power among the wealthy, disenfranchise poorer citizens, erode social cohesion, and lead to biased policies favouring the affluent etc. Cite statistics and examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a balanced opinion on the issue.

Introduction

If we look at our own growth dividend from 1980 to 2016, a 66% share is estimated to have gone to the top 10%, 23% to the middle 40%, and the bottom 50%’s gain has been a measly 10%. This is a worrying statistic, showcasing gross inequality in India. Inclusive growth remains elusive as ever because of populist measures and lack of long term focus on growth.

Body                         

Reasons for inequality

  • Historical reasons: Discrimination against certain sections of the society since historic times. This has affected their choice, opportunity, and accessibility to education, employment and health. Though policies like Reservation have been implemented since Independence, they were successful only in the economic and political sphere that too to a limited section of people but failed largely in social upliftment.
  • Gender inequality: Females were always treated to be subordinate and weaker to males. Girl education is considered to be a burden on the family and women have limited choices in employment.
    • Women comprise over 42 per cent of the agricultural labour force in the country, yet they own less than 2 percent of its farm land according to the India Human Development Survey (IHDS).

 

  • Large-scale informal employment: 80% of the Indian labour force is employed in the informal sector.
    • Informal sector jobs are more insecure without regular pay and social security benefits.
    • This increases the wage gap between formal and informal sectors.
    • A huge proportion of the population is still dependent on agriculture but the share of agriculture to the total GDP is falling.
  • Inter-state inequalities: Growth has been different across sectors and regions. For examples, Green Revolution has disproportionately benefitted Western and Southern India when compared to Eastern India.
  • Globalization: Studies show that globalization and opening up the economy has benefited the rich more than the poor, thus raising the inequali
    • Global platforms like WTO have resulted in increased trade competitiveness affecting the returns of local investors and producers.
    • According to the paper by famous Economist Thomas Piketty, tax progressivity which is a tool to contain the rise in inequality was progressively reduced.
  • Wage inequality dispersion also increased in many sectors, as privatizations removed government-set pay scales, which were less unequal.
  • Lack of skill development and jobless growth: There is also no inclusive growth and the welfare schemes have not trickled down and benefitted the most vulnerable in the nation.

 

Promoting inclusive growth in India

Despite these challenges, there are strategies India can employ to promote inclusive growth:

Investing in social sectors:

  • Education: Prioritize quality education for all, including vocational training and skill development, to improve employability.
  • Healthcare: Increase access to affordable and quality healthcare services, particularly in rural areas.
  • Social safety nets: Strengthen social safety nets and targeted programs to assist the most vulnerable populations.

Addressing inequality:

  • Empowering women: Implement policies and programs to improve women’s education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.
  • Affirmative action: Implement effective affirmative action programs to address historical disadvantage faced by marginalized groups.
  • Inclusive policies: Design policies and programs that consider the needs and perspectives of all segments of society.

Improving infrastructure and services:

  • Rural development: Invest in rural infrastructure, sanitation, and agricultural development to bridge the rural-urban divide.
  • Public-private partnerships: Leverage private sector participation to improve infrastructure development and service delivery.
  • Decentralization: Empower local governments to better address local needs and ensure efficient resource allocation.

Enhancing governance:

  • Tackling corruption: Implement anti-corruption measures and improve transparency in government processes.
  • Effective policy implementation: Strengthen monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure effective implementation of policies and programs.
  • Land reforms: Streamline land acquisition processes to facilitate infrastructure development and industrial growth.

Sustainability and environment:

  • Green growth: Promote sustainable development practices and investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Climate adaptation: Build resilience to climate change impacts through infrastructure development, resource management, and early warning systems.

Promoting inclusive business practices:

  • Corporate social responsibility: Encourage businesses to adopt responsible practices that contribute to social and environmental development.
  • Fair trade practices: Ensure fair wages and working conditions for all workers, including those in informal sectors.
  • Supporting small and medium enterprises: Foster an enabling environment for small and medium enterprises to contribute to job creation and economic growth.

 

Conclusion

Inequality is corrosively divisive. A high level of inequality is anti-growth because the losers are prone to lack of trust and violence. Once it is clear that the dividends of economic growth are going to a relatively small group, opposition to growth can spring up. This can add to the existing fault lines in the society. The only way ahead is inclusive growth while ensuring Sabka Saath and Sabka Vikas in letter and spirit.

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

6. Addressing baby trafficking requires a comprehensive approach that targets both the supply and demand sides of this heinous practice. Analyse. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Both supply and demand sides of baby trafficking need to be stopped.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about ways to stop baby trafficking in the country.

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 a statistic related to baby trafficking in the country.

Body:

First, write about measures needed to tackle supply side – alleviating poverty, enhancing social safety nets, raising community awareness, empowering women and girls through education, and enforcing stricter laws against trafficking

Next, write about measures on the demand side – ensuring transparent and ethical adoption processes, providing support for infertile couples, and launching public awareness campaigns etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

 

Introduction

According to a recent UNICEF report, between 2012 and 2014, more than 60,000 child trafficking cases were detected in over 100 countries and regions. However, it’s important to note that the actual number of victims is likely significantly higher.

An inter-State gang smuggled children from Delhi and Pune and sold them to prospective parents in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. As many as 11 people were arrested for the smuggling of as many as 50 babies in the past year.

Body

Measures to Tackle Supply-Side Issues:

  • Alleviating Poverty: Poverty is often a driving force behind child trafficking. Addressing poverty through economic empowerment programs, vocational training, and job creation can reduce vulnerability.
  • Enhancing Social Safety Nets: Strengthening social safety nets ensures that families have access to basic necessities, reducing the likelihood of selling children into trafficking.
  • Raising Community Awareness: Educating communities about the dangers of child trafficking, recognizing signs, and reporting suspicious activities can help prevent victimization.
  • Empowering Women and Girls Through Education: Education is a powerful tool to empower women and girls. When girls receive education, they are less likely to fall prey to traffickers.
  • Enforcing Stricter Laws Against Trafficking: Implementing and enforcing stringent laws and penalties for traffickers is crucial. Legal frameworks should focus on both prevention and prosecution.

Measures on the Demand Side:

  • Transparent and Ethical Adoption Processes: Ensuring that adoption processes are transparent, ethical, and legally sound prevents child trafficking under the guise of adoption.
  • Support for Infertile Couples: Providing emotional support and counseling to infertile couples can reduce the demand for illegal adoption or child trafficking.
  • Public Awareness Campaigns: Educating the public about the consequences of child trafficking and the importance of ethical adoption can create a more informed society.

Conclusion

Addressing child trafficking requires a multifaceted approach. Combining supply-side interventions with demand-side awareness and legal measures is essential. Governments, NGOs, and communities must collaborate to protect vulnerable children and create a safer environment for their growth and development. By working together, we can build a future where no child falls victim to trafficking.

 

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

7. The three Jewels of Jainism hold significant relevance in modern society, offering timeless guidance for personal development and social harmony. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Write a few introductory lines about the Jain philosophy.

Body:

Discuss about the three jewels of Jainism – Right faith – Samyak darshan, Right knowledge – Samyak jnana, Right conduct – Samyak charitra.

Next, write about its relevance in modern society. Use examples to substantiate your points.

Conclusion:

Conclude by Summarising.

 

Introduction

Jainism is an ancient religion that is rooted in the philosophy that teaches the way to liberation and a path to spiritual purity and enlightenment through disciplined nonviolence to all living creatures.

Jainism believes that the universe and all its substances or entities are eternal. It has no beginning or end with respect to time. Universe runs on its own accord by its own cosmic laws.All the substances change or modify their forms continuously. Nothing can be destroyed or created in the universe.

There is no need for someone to create or manage the affairs of the universe.Hence Jainism does not believe in God as a creator, survivor, and destroyer of the universe.

Body

Jewels of Jainism

  • Right faith/perception – Samyak darshana: In the process of self-realization one should avoid superstitious beliefs to exercise a logical attitude in life. According to this doctrine one should first try to realize, follow and appreciate the reality of life, one’s own self, aims of religion and its path. Right perception is therefore defined as faith in truth. The absence of that faith or having a wrong faith constitutes the wrong perception. We have remained ignorant of our true self since the time immemorial and have been identifying ourselves with the physical body and other worldly connections that we get as the result of our Karma. Moreover, we also come across wrong beliefs and happen to subscribe to them. That is termed as adopted wrong perception.3Cultivation of right perception is a great challenge or task to accept because it requires a great deal of discipline and enthusiasm. In order to have a better perception in the nature of the reality the followers will have to keep a total faith in the preaching of Térthaìkaras and their scriptures called Ägamas.
  • Right knowledge – Samyak jnana: In order to differentiate between right knowledge and wrong knowledge, right perception is very important. From right perception comes the right knowledge. Right knowledge can be acquired from six eternal substances and nine principles or nine Tattvas.
    • The six eternal substances are : i) Soul (jéva), ii) Matter (pudgala), iii) Principle of Motion (dharma), iv) Principle of Rest (adharma), v) Space (äkäça) and vi) Time (käla). Each of these eternal entities is unbreakable, enduring, and everlasting and continuously goes through countless changes.
    • The nine Tattvas include : i) Jéva (soul), ii) Ajéva (non- living elements), iii) Puëya (good deeds), iv) Päpa (bad deeds), v) Äsrava (influx of karmas), vi) Saàvara (stoppage of karmas), vii) Bandha (bondage of karmas), viii) Nirjarä (eradication of karmas), ix) Moksha (liberation).
    • One writer puts it like this: “if our character is flawed and our conscience is not clear, knowledge alone will not help us achieve composure and happiness”.
  • Right conduct – Samyak charitra: Right perception leads to right knowledge and right knowledge leads to right conduct. Right conduct aims to inculcate right ethics, values, principles and discipline by which a person can attain his ultimate freedom. Right conduct can be realized by doing what is right. In other words, one should live their lives according to some ethical rules of Jainism. The Jainism followers are expected to not harm any living being and also should not be attached with any worldly possessions. This resolves into taking twelve great vows to attain the right conduct.

 

Relevance in modern society

  • The world is going through a crisis creating lots of chaos and confusion which is leading to uncertainty of our future. Day by day it is witnessing some unwanted situations and circumstances. The world has become a global village due to the advancement in science and technology but it failed to bring closeness in the minds of man who is seen drifting away from each other. The people are growing greedy, selfish, self centered and egoist without having concerns for the society and the community. There is no feeling of brotherhood among people but are ready for the bloodshed or massacre, sometimes in the name of caste or creed or sometimes in the name of religion so on and so forth.
  • The violence against women is prevalent not only in India but all over the world. Everywhere there is report of sexual harassment, rape, murder, assault, domestic violence and gender discrimination etc. against women. However, the cause of the situation lies in the degradation of moral and social values in the society. It is disheartening to say that some of the religions are gender centric. But Jainism since time immemorial has been supporting women and its existence. The women not only acquire a very respectable position in the society but are also considered equal with men in every sphere.
  • We are living in a modern world so are trying to accommodate ourselves with the characteristics of modernity. We are making ourselves accustomed with different advanced technological gadgets and equipment to keep pace with the changing time. The people with this new modern life are very busy and forget to have contacts with family, friends and society. But, however modern we might be we should never forget to keep our feet on earth. We should always try to do good things in life. Because it is our karma which will decide our fate. It is believed that if we do good karma, good things will happen but if we do bad karma then bad things will happen and would follow to many generations. Jainism denies the existence of God, and hence they worship the twenty four Tirthankaras. The Jains believe that man is the designer of his own fate and one can escape the brunt of karma by only living a simple life of purity and virtue.

Conclusion

It is true that our society is going through a horde of problems arising from different sectors. In the present day condition there is violence, communalism, regionalism, murders, rapes, gender discrimination, and lack of solidarity prevailing everywhere. It is the need of the hour to inculcate moral and social values among us to boost our physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects. The doctrines of Jainism with respect to the present time situation are found to be very much relevant. The Jainas has proved time and again the effectiveness of spiritual progress by putting it into the practice in their own lives. With these doctrines of Jainism we can bring back the peace and harmony in the society and the world.

 

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