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UPSC Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 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. Both Buddhism and Jainism share numerous similarities, yet their fundamental philosophical differences distinguish each as a distinct religion. 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 compare and contrast the tenets of Buddhism and Jainism.

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: 

Highlight a fact such as – Numerous religious sects arouse in the middle of Gangetic plains in the second half of the sixth century B.C. Of these sects, Buddhism and Jainism were the most important and they emerged as the most potent religious reform movement.

Body:

First, write about the similarities in the two religious philosophies such as – both were inspired by Upanishads, ideas of misery, caste, rituals etc.

Next, write about the differences such as in the aspects of – Moksha and means of its attainment, ahimsa, concept of soul etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Mahavira and Buddha were contemporaries and there was much in common between Buddhism and Jainism. Because of striking resemblances between the two, certain scholars have opined that Jainism owes its origin to Buddhism or Jainism is only a branch of Buddhism.

Body:

Similarities:

  • Both possessed the background of the Aryan culture and were inspired by the ascetic ideals and the philosophy of the Upanishads, particularly that of Sankhya-Yoga.
  • Both were the products of intellectual, spiritual and social forces of their age and therefore, both stood up as revolts against the prevalent Brahmanical religion.
  • Both emerged in eastern India which by that time had successfully retained some features of the pre-Aryan culture.
  • Both were started by the members of the Kshatriya caste and both appealed to the socially down-trodden, the Vaishvas who were not granted social status corresponding to their growing economic power, and the Sudras who were definitely oppressed.
  • Both, Mahavira and Buddha, the founders of Jainism and Buddhism respectively were Kshatriya princes and were able to get support for their cause from the contemporary ruling class, different Kshatriya rulers and economically prosperous Vaishvas.
  • Though both did not attack the caste system, they were opposed to it and therefore, drew large converts from the lower strata of the society.
  • Both opposed the ritualism and the sacrifices of Brahmanism and also challenged the supremacy of the Brahmanas.
  • Both believed that Nirvana or salvation of an individual meant his or her deliverance from the eternal chain of birth and death.
  • Both denied the authenticity of the Vedas as an infallible authority.
  • Both laid great stress upon a pure and moral life rather than practice of ritualism or even devotion to and worship of God as a means to attain salvation.

Distinctions:

  • Jainism is a much more ancient religion as compared to Buddhism. According to Jaina traditions it had twenty-four Tirthankaras and Mahavira was the last of them.
  • The Jaina concept of soul is different from that of Buddhism. Jainism believes that everything in nature, even stone and water, has a soul of its own. Buddhism does not believe so.
  • The concept of Ahimsa (non-violence) is different in Buddhism as compared to Jainism. While Jainism emphasized it very much, Buddhism remained liberal in its interpretation in foreign countries, and even permitted eating of animal flesh where it was a necessity or traditional diet of the people.
  • Buddhism emphasized elimination of caste distinctions more as compared to Jainism.
  • Jainism advised practice of strict asceticism to attain salvation while Buddhism advised its Upasakas to follow the middle path or Tathagata marg.
  • According to Jainism, women and men householders cannot attain salvation while, according to Buddhism, it is possible for both.
  • In Digambara sect of Jainism, it is necessary for the monks to go naked while Buddhism denounced it.
  • Buddhism emphasized the organisation of Sanghas more as compared to Jainism.
  • According to Jainism, salvation is possible only after death while according to Buddhism it is possible during one’s own life if one is able to detach oneself completely from the worldly existence. Thus, while Jainism describes Nirvana as freedom from body. Buddhism describes it as destruction of the self or detachment from worldly existence.
  • Buddhism proved more adaptable to circumstances as compared to Jainism. That is why while Buddhism spread all over Asia and accommodated the traditions of the local populace, Jainism remained confined to India alone.

Conclusion:

Thus, there is no doubt that Jainism and Buddhism were and still are two distinct and independent religious sects. Monier Williams is right in his conclusion when he writes, “Buddhism and Jainism were not related to each other as parent and child rather as children of common parents, born at different intervals though at about the same period of time and marked by distinct characteristics, though possessing strong family resemblances.”

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

2. The architecture under the Sultans of Delhi exemplifies a unique cultural synthesis where Islamic architectural principles blended harmoniously with indigenous Indian 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 nature of architecture under Sultans of Delhi, its evolution and influence of earlier Indian architecture on them.

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 mentioning the with arrival of Turks, new form of architecture got introduced in India.

Body:

First, mention the major religious and secular structures constructed under the various dynasties of the Sultanate with a special reference to Tughlaq dynasty.

Next, write about significant and new changes in construction technologies introduced by the Sultans. Give examples of few monuments.

Next, mention the influences of earlier Indian architecture which was adopted by Sultans of Delhi. Cite examples by substantiating.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

The Muslim invasions into India had ultimately resulted in the establishment of Delhi Sultanate which existed from A.D. 1206 to 1526. Five different dynasties – the Slave, Khalji, Tughlaq, Sayyids and Lodis – ruled under the Delhi Sultanate. New architectural forms and styles were introduced in India during the medieval period. The synthesis of Indian and Islamic architectural features led to emergence of Indo-Saracenic or Indo-Islamic architecture.

Body

The Indo-Islamic architecture under the sultans of Delhi includes both religious and secular structures

  • Both secular and religious buildings are influenced by Indo-Islamic architecture which exhibit Indian, Islamic, Persian, Central Asian, Arabic and Ottoman Turkish influences.

Religious buildings

  • Earliest example of building activity by a Sultan of Delhi was the Quwat-ul-Islam mosques built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak.
  • Another architectural specimen of this period was the mosques-Arhai Din ka Jhonpra, built at Ajmer.
  • Other notable imperial monuments constructed by Iltutmish were Hauz-i-Shamshi, Shamsi-idgah, the Jami Masjid at Badaun and the Atarkin ka Darwaza at Nagpur.
  • Alauddin Khilji built Jamait Khan Mosque at the shrine of Nizam -ud-din Auliya and the Alai Darwaza at the Qutub Minar.
  • The Tombs of Mubarak Shah and Muhammad Shah of the Sayyid Dynasty and the Tomb of Sikandar Lodhi of the Lodhi Dynasty were noteworthy architectural specimens of the Sayyid and Lodhi rule.

Secular Buildings

  • The most magnificent piece of architecture of this era was the Qutub Minar. Qutub-ud-din Aibak started the construction of the Qutub Minar at Delhi but could not complete it during his life time. It was completed by Iltutmish.
  • Alauddin Khilji founded the city of Siri and built a palace of thousand pillar within it,
  • Alauddin Khilji also constructed a magnificent tank known  as the Hauz-i-Khas near the city of Siri.
  • The city of Tughlaqabaad constructed by GhiyasuddinTughlaq was a notable construction of the Tughlaq rule.
  • Mohammad bin Tughlaq constructed the new city of Jahanpanah near the City of old Delhi, the fort of Adilabaad and some other buildings in Daulatabaad.
  • The city of Firozabaad, Firoz shah Kotla fort- palace were important imperial constructions of the time of Firoz Shah Tughlaq

The new structural changes introduced by the Sultanate rulers

  • The Turks introduced arche and dome method, slab and beam method, lofty towers or minarets and decorations using the Arabic script. They used the skill of the Indian stone cutters.
  • The use of lime-mortarin the construction of buildings and houses altered the building techniques
  • They also added colour to their buildings by using marbles, red and yellow sand stones.
  • Synthesis of indigenous motifsuch as ball motif, lotus etc.
  • In the beginning, they converted temples and other structures demolished into mosques. For example, the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque near Qutub Minar in Delhi was built by using the materials obtained from destroying many Hindu and Jain temples.
  • Later, they began to construct new structures. The most magnificent building of the 13th century was the Qutub Minar which was founded by Aibek and completed by Iltutmish.
  • With the arrival of artisans from West Asia the arch and dome began to show up with precision and perfection. Gradually local artisans also acquired the skill. The tomb of Balban was adorned with the first true archand the Alai Darwaza built by Alaud-din Khalji as a gateway to the Quwwatul-Islam Mosque is adorned with the first true dome.
  • Tughlaqs went for introduction of innovative features in architecture also, such as
    • “batter” or sloping walls
    • use of stone rubble as the principle building material
    • a new type of arch called the four centred arch
    • the emergence of the pointed dome
    • the introduction of an octagonal plan of tomb building.

Conclusion

Later on, with the Mughals, the art of pietra dura, jali work became more prominent. They also built lofty forts, palaces and cities. The Mughals were also fond of laying gardens with running water, which is an extension of gardens introduced by Delhi Sultanate. Delhi Sultanate paved way for large scale construction of buildings in Indo-Islamic architecture.

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

3. Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State in the Indian Parliament serve different but complementary roles. Compare and Contrast. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

President Draupadi Murmu administered oaths to the Central Council of Ministers of the new NDA government.

Key Demand of the question:

To write compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities of Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State in the Indian Parliament.

Directive word: 

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context of Article 74 of the constitution.

Body:

Compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities of Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State in the Indian Parliament on the following parameters – position and rank, role and responsibilities, policy making, authority and decision-making, reporting and responsibility, leadership, powers, budget control, and meeting participation etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

Article 74 states that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head. Their role is to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his functions.

President Draupadi Murmu administered oaths to the Central Council of Ministers of the new NDA government on 9th June 2024 evening at Rastrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Body

Roles and Responsibilities:

Cabinet Ministers:

  • Position and Rank:
    • Cabinet Ministers hold senior positions within the Council of Ministers.
    • They head key ministries such as Home, Defense, External Affairs, etc.
  • Role and Responsibilities:
    • Formulate policies crucial for national development and welfare.
    • Coordinate among government departments for effective policy implementation.
    • Act as chief crisis managers during emergencies.
    • Handle major legislative and financial matters.
  • Policy Making:
    • Chief policy-formulating body of the Central government.
    • Supreme executive authority.
    • Advisory body to the President, and its advice is binding.
  • Authority and Decision-Making:
    • Key decision-makers in the government.
    • Responsible for major policy directions.
  • Reporting and Responsibility:
    • Report directly to the Prime Minister.
    • Accountable to Parliament for their actions.
  • Leadership and Powers:
    • Hold significant portfolios.
    • Represent the government at national and international levels.
  • Budget Control:
    • Influence budgetary allocations for their ministries.
  • Meeting Participation:
    • Regularly attend Cabinet meetings.

Ministers of State (MoS):

  • Position and Rank:
    • MoS are junior ministers.
    • Assist Cabinet Ministers.
  • Role and Responsibilities:
    • Support Cabinet Ministers in their duties.
    • Handle specific areas within ministries.
  • Policy Making:
    • Participate in policy discussions but have limited influence.
  • Authority and Decision-Making:
    • Limited decision-making authority.
    • Implement policies set by Cabinet Ministers.
  • Reporting and Responsibility:
    • Report to the respective Cabinet Minister.
    • Accountable for their assigned tasks.
  • Leadership and Powers:
    • Limited leadership roles.
    • Represent the government in specific contexts.
  • Budget Control:
    • Involved in budget discussions but not primary decision-makers.
  • Meeting Participation:
    • Attend Cabinet meetings occasionally.

Difference between Cabinet and Council of Ministers India

CabinetCouncil of Ministers
The Cabinet is a smaller, select group within the Council of Ministers, consisting of key ministers and senior members.The Council of Ministers is a larger group comprising all ministers, including junior ministers.
The Cabinet is the decision-making body that handles important policy decisions and governs the country.The Council of Ministers serves as an advisory body to the President/Prime Minister, providing suggestions and recommendations on policy matters.
The Cabinet consists of ministers who hold significant portfolios and ministries that are crucial for governance.The Council of Ministers includes all ministries and departments, covering a wide range of areas and sectors.
The members of the Cabinet are appointed by the President/Prime Minister based on their expertise and seniority.The members of the Council of Ministers are appointed by the President/Prime Minister on the advice of the Prime Minister, considering factors such as political representation and expertise.
The Cabinet is a smaller group, typically comprising around 15-20 members, focused on key decision-making and policy formulation.The Council of Ministers can have a larger number of members, including both senior ministers and junior ministers, supporting the functioning of various ministries.
The Cabinet plays a crucial role in the governance of the country, making significant policy decisions and ensuring their implementation.The Council of Ministers supports the functioning of the Cabinet, assists in the execution of policies, and coordinates efforts among ministries to achieve government objectives.
The meetings of the Cabinet are chaired by the President/Prime Minister, who leads discussions and finalizes decisions.The meetings of the Council of Ministers are presided over by the Prime Minister or a designated Minister, who facilitates discussions and seeks input from the members.
The members of the Cabinet share collective responsibility for the decisions taken collectively, ensuring unity and accountability.The members of the Council of Ministers also bear collective responsibility for government policies and actions, working together to achieve common goals.

Conclusion

Cabinet Ministers wield significant authority, formulate policies, and lead major ministries. Ministers of State play supportive roles, assist in implementation, and handle specific tasks. Together, they form a cohesive team responsible for governing the nation.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

4. India’s poor performance on the Global Gender Gap report is attributed to several factors. Improving political participation of women is pivotal for achieving gender equality and has far-reaching impacts on society. Discuss. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Down to Earth

Why the question:

Gender Gap Report 2024: India fares worse than Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the causes of gender gap prevalent in India, its impact, and role of improving political participation of women to bridge gender gap

Directive:

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 background of the issue and relevant statistics.

Body:

First, write about the Factors leading to gender gap viz. – low female labour force participation, significant wage disparity, and high dropout rates among girls, skewed sex ratio, gender-based violence etc.

Next, write about role of improving political participation of women to bridge gender gap – promotes inclusive governance, empowers women, and leads to more equitable policy-making.

Next, write about the steps that are needed to overcome the above issues and address the gender gap.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

India has slipped two places on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap index to 129th place, while Iceland retained its top position in the rankings published on June 12, 2024.

Within South Asia, India was ranked fifth after Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, while Pakistan was ranked last. Globally, Sudan was ranked last on the index of 146 countries, while Pakistan slipped three places to 145th.

India figured among the economies with the lowest levels of economic parity, alongside Bangladesh, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, and Morocco. All of them registered less than 30% gender parity in estimated earned income.

Body

Other findings from report

  • India showed the best gender parity in terms of enrolment in secondary education, while it scored well on political empowerment of women at 65th rank globally.
  • With regard to parity in the number of years with female/male heads of state for the last 50 years, India was ranked 10th.
  • With a population of more than 140 crore, India has closed 64.1% of its gender gap in 2024 and the decline of two places from 127th last year, mainly happened due to small declines in ‘Educational Attainment’ and ‘Political Empowerment,’ parameters, while ‘Economic Participation’ and ‘Opportunity’ scores slightly improved.
  • The WEF said India’s economic parity score has trended upwards for the past four years.
  • In the Political Empowerment subindex, India scored within the top-10 on the head-of-state indicator, but its scores for women’s representation at the federal level, in Ministerial positions (6.9%) and in Parliament (17.2%), remain relatively low.
  • The WEF said the world has closed 68.5% of the gender gap, but at the current pace it will take another 134 years — equivalent to five generations — to achieve full gender parity.
  • Since last year, the gender gap has closed by 0.1 percentage points.

Factors Leading to Gender Gap:

  • Low Female Labor Force Participation:
    • Globally, only 55% of adult women participate in the labor market, compared to 78% of men.
    • In India, women face barriers such as social norms, caregiving responsibilities, and lack of safe workplaces.
  • Wage Disparity:
    • Women still receive 34% less wages than men for the same work.
    • The gender pay gap affects women of different ethnicities and races differently.
  • High Dropout Rates Among Girls:
    • Girls from lower socioeconomic backgrounds often lack access to education.
    • Lack of toilets in schools and proper menstrual hygiene management facilities contribute to dropout rates.
  • Gender-Based Violence:
    • Violence against women sets them back economically and perpetuates inequality.
    • Discriminatory social norms and laws contribute to this issue.

Role of Improving Political Participation:

  • Inclusive Governance:
    • Women’s active political participation ensures diverse perspectives in decision-making.
    • Inclusive policies benefit society as a whole.
  • Empowerment:
    • Political representation empowers women, giving them a voice in shaping policies.
    • It challenges traditional gender roles and stereotypes.
  • Equitable Policy-Making:
    • Women bring unique insights and priorities to policy discussions.
    • Gender-sensitive policies address specific needs and promote equality.

Steps to Overcome Gender Gap:

  • Education and Skill Development:
    • Ensure equal access to quality education for girls.
    • Skill-building programs can enhance employability.
  • Workplace Policies:
    • Implement maternity leave policies that support working mothers.
    • Promote flexible work arrangements and equal pay for equal work.
  • Role Models and Mentoring:
    • Encourage more female role models and mentors.
    • Representation matters for inspiring future generations.
  • Transparent Pay Structures:
    • Eliminate wage disparities by ensuring transparent salary structures.
    • Regular audits can identify and rectify gender-based pay gaps.
  • Political Participation:
    • Encourage women to participate in local and national politics.
    • Quotas or reserved seats can increase representation.

Way Forward:

  • Holistic Approach:
    • Address gender inequality across education, health, and economic sectors.
    • Recognize intersectionality (race, ethnicity, caste, etc.) in policy formulation.
  • Legal Reforms:
    • Strengthen existing laws and enforce them rigorously.
    • Promote gender-sensitive legislation.
  • Awareness and Sensitization:
    • Educate society about gender equality.
    • Challenge stereotypes and discriminatory practices.
  • Corporate Responsibility:
    • Companies should promote diversity and equal opportunities.
    • Mentorship programs can foster women’s leadership.
  • Community Engagement:
    • Grassroots initiatives can empower women at the local level.
    • Encourage women’s participation in community decision-making.

Conclusion

Achieving gender equality requires concerted efforts from governments, organizations, and individuals. By addressing systemic barriers and promoting women’s active participation, we can bridge the gap and create a more equitable world.

 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

5. The debate over including heatwaves as a notified disaster under India’s Disaster Management Act, 2005, underscores the urgent need for formal recognition to improve preparedness and mitigate the growing impacts of extreme heat events. Examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian Express , Insights on India

Why the question:

The ongoing spell of extreme heat in many parts of the country has once again reopened discussions on the inclusion of heatwaves as one of the notified disasters under the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about heat waves and their increasing incidence and the need to include them in DM act, 2005.

Directive word:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by defining a heat wave.

Body:

In the first part of the body, mention the causes behind  increasing incidence heat waves in India. Write about the climatic factors and anthropogenic factors.

Next, write about the need to include heatwaves under DM act, 2005 – formal recognition would lead to better preparedness, resource allocation, and coordinated response efforts, ultimately reducing the health, economic, and social burdens of heatwaves etc.

Next, write about the bottlenecks to include heatwaves under DM act, 2005 etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing about measures that must be taken to tackle heatwaves in India.

Introduction

heatwave is a period of unusually hot weather that typically lasts two or more days. During a heatwave, temperatures rise significantly above average, often exceeding normal levels for a given area. These extreme conditions can have severe impacts on human health, agriculture, energy consumption, and the environment.

The ongoing spell of extreme heat in many parts of the country has once again reopened discussions on the inclusion of heatwaves as one of the notified disasters under the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005.

Body

Causes of Increasing Heatwaves in India:

Climatic Factors:

  • High-Pressure Systems and Atmospheric Circulation:
    • Heatwaves form when a high-pressure area in the upper atmosphere strengthens and remains over a region for several days to weeks.
    • This traps heat near the Earth’s surface, leading to abnormally high temperatures.
  • Transportation of Hot, Dry Air:
    • Favorable atmospheric conditions involve the prevalence of hot, dry air over a region.
    • The absence of moisture prevents temperatures from moderating.
  • Cloudless Skies:
    • Clear skies allow maximum insulation, intensifying heatwave conditions.
  • Large Amplitude Anti-Cyclonic Flow:
    • Heatwaves typically originate over Northwest India and then move progressively south and east.
    • Prevailing winds during the season are westerly to northwesterly.

Anthropogenic Factors:

  • Climate Change:
    • Accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contributes to increased temperatures.
    • Global warming exacerbates heatwave frequency and intensity.
  • Urbanization and Heat Islands:
    • Urban areas experience higher temperatures due to concrete structures, asphalt roads, and reduced green cover.
    • Urban heat islands intensify local heatwaves.

Need for Inclusion Under DM Act, 2005:

  • Formal Recognition:
    • Heatwaves are not currently included as a notified disaster under the DM Act.
    • Formal recognition would lead to better preparedness, resource allocation, and coordinated response efforts.
  • Health Burden Reduction:
    • Declaring heatwaves as a disaster allows states to use disaster response funds for compensation, relief, and preventive measures.
    • Timely interventions can reduce health-related burdens, including heat-related illnesses and fatalities.
  • Economic and Social Impact Mitigation:
    • Recognizing heatwaves enables targeted policies to minimize economic losses, lost work capacity, and labor productivity.
    • Coordinated efforts can address social vulnerabilities during extreme heat events.

Bottlenecks to Inclusion:

  • Perceived Common Occurrence:
    • Historically, heatwaves were not considered unusual weather events but regular occurrences during summers.
    • Lack of formal recognition stems from their frequent occurrence.
  • Finance Commission’s Decision:
    • The Finance Commission has been cautious about expanding the list of notified disasters.
    • Convincing authorities to include heatwaves remains a challenge.

Measures to Tackle Heatwaves in India:

  • Early Warning Systems:
    • Improve heatwave forecasting and disseminate alerts through media channels.
    • Raise public awareness about preventive measures.
  • Heat Action Plans:
    • Develop and implement localized heat action plans.
    • Provide heat-proof shelters, especially in vulnerable areas.
  • Promote Green Spaces:
    • Increase urban green cover to mitigate urban heat islands.
    • Plant trees and create parks to provide shade and cool the environment.
  • Access to Drinking Water:
    • Ensure easy access to clean drinking water during heatwaves.
    • Hydration is crucial to prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • Health Infrastructure Preparedness:
    • Strengthen health facilities to handle heatwave-related cases.
    • Address power shortages during heatwaves to maintain health services.

Conclusion:

Recognizing heatwaves as a disaster under the DM Act is essential for better preparedness, timely response, and minimizing the adverse effects on health, economy, and society. By implementing targeted measures, India can tackle heatwaves effectively and protect its population during extreme weather events.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

6. Evaluate the various benefits and risks associated with the Agnipath scheme. Suggest reforms that are needed in the scheme. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The government on Tuesday unveiled its new Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers across the three services. The new defence recruitment reform, which has been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security, will come into effect immediately, and the soldiers recruited under the scheme will be called Agniveers.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about Agnipath scheme, its benefits and risks; refroms needed in it.

Directive:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming an opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin the writing about aims and objectives of Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers

Body:

Frist, discuss the key features of the scheme – recruitment, salary, duration and post tenure etc.

Next, write about the major benefits from the scheme.

Next, write about various concerns associated with the scheme in the short term and long term. Cite examples to substantiate.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to address these shortcomings.

Introduction

Agnipath Defence Policy Reform is a government scheme launched to recruit young men and women in the Indian Armed forces. The Agnipath scheme was announced by the defence Minister Rajnath Singh on June 14th 2022.

The government on Tuesday unveiled its new Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers across the three services. The new defence recruitment reform, which has been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security, will come into effect immediately, and the soldiers recruited under the scheme will be called Agniveers.

Body

About the Agnipath scheme

  • Agnipath is a new defence recruitment model that would allow “patriotic and motivated” youth to serve in the armed forces for a period of four years.
  • The process of recruitment will commence in 90 days.
  • The plan is to recruit about 45,000-50,000 personnel below officer rank in the three services every year through a biannual exercise with a six-month gap.
  • As per the Agnipath scheme, this year there will be a planned intake of about 46,000 young men and women.
  • Soldier recruited through Agnipath scheme will be known as ‘Agniveers’.
  • This scheme will be the only form of recruitment of soldiers into the three defence services Armed Force, Indian Navy and Air Forces, hereon.
  • Enrolment of Agniveers to all three services will be through a centralized online system, with special rallies and campus interviews at recognised technical institutes such as the Industrial Training Institutes, and the National Skills Qualifications Framework. The Model is based on an all-India merit-based selection process.

Objectives

  • It aims at providing an opportunity to the patriotic and motivated youth with the ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ to join the Armed Forces.
  • It is expected to bring down the average age profile of the Indian Armed Forces by about 4 to 5 years.
  • The scheme envisions that, the average age in the forces is 32 years today, which will go down to 26 in six to seven years.

Various benefits to Youth

  • Upon the completion of the 4-years of service, a one-time ‘Seva Nidhi’ package of Rs 11.71 lakhs will be paid to the Agniveers that will include their accrued interest thereon.
  • They will also get a Rs 48 lakh life insurance cover for the four years.
  • In case of death, the payout will be over Rs 1 crore, including pay for the unserved tenure.
  • The government will help rehabilitate soldiers who leave the services after four years. They will be provided with skill certificates and bridge courses.
  • Furure Ready Soldiers: It will create “future-ready” soldiers.
  • More Employment Opportunities: It will increase employment opportunities and because of the skills and experience acquired during the four-year service such soldiers will get employment in various fields.
  • Higher Skilled Workforce: This will also lead to availability of a higher-skilled workforce to the economy which will be helpful in productivity gain and overall GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth.

Issues related to the scheme

  • Difficult to Find Another Job:The ‘Agnipath’ scheme opens the way for recruitment of about 45,000 soldiers into Army, Navy and Air Force in the first year but on a short-term contract of four years. After the completion of the contract, 25% of them will be retained and the rest will leave the forces.
    • The four years of service will mean other jobs will be out of reach after that, and they will be left behind their peers.
  • No Pension Benefit: Those hired under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme will be given a one-time lumpsum of a little more than Rs 11 lakh when they end their four-year tenure.
    • However, they do not receive any pension benefits. For most, seeking a second job is essential to support themselves and their families.
  • Training May Remain Unutilized: Forces will lose experienced soldiers.
    • The jawans joining the Army, Navy and Air Force will be given technical training so that they are able to support the ongoing operations. But these men and women will leave after four years, which could create a void.

 

Conclusion

Despite the reservations, there is potential for future employment to these youth as the defence industry is ready to take off in a huge manner in India. Once this happens, the industry will have readily skilled youth for the jobs and hence there is also future to these youths. At the same time, national security is ensured.

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) “Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.” ― H.G. Wells

Difficulty level: Tough

Why the question:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

First, explain moral indignation and substantiate with examples.

Next, write about the correlation of moral indignation with that of Jealousy with halo. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

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

Introduction

“Those who can’t, will make sure that those who can, don’t” captures the essence of the quote.

Indignation is anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean. Moral indignation is typically a reactive emotion of anger over perceived mistreatment, insult, or malice of another. It is akin to what is called the sense of injustice.

Body

Moral indignation introduces an ethical element to this emotion. To be righteous is to position yourself as morally ‘correct’. Another term for this concept is therefore righteous anger.

In other words, a state of moral indignation effectively says, ‘I am right to be angry about this situation’.   However, morality is not reality. People vary in their beliefs and attitudes about life’s rights and wrongs. Therefore, moral indignation is typically murky territory as people assert their opinions.

Eg: The teacher became indignant when fired from their job for misconduct.

Righteous indignation is not self-righteousness in which people feel proud of themselves and think that they are always right and no one is better than them.

Moral outrage is external-directed energy. It is a form of reactive emotion regarding Anger that emerges when faced with a situation concerning offensive attitudes, mistreatment, or injustice. Sometimes someone in your life does things that don’t meet your standards and expectations, or someone does such an unjust act against the laws of society and the laws of nature. Anger can occur when negative feelings are sparked and wrongful actions and behaviors come to blame. Under such circumstances, one gets filled with rage.

But this may also be purely out of jealousy that we show such behaviour against others. We may feel inadequate in front of others and inflict such judgement upon them by taking a false moral high ground.

Moral indignation is considered a positive thing when someone with this type of anger is on the right side. Or when someone feels an adrenaline rush when thinking about a situation that is not morally fair or right. It must not be confused with self-righteousness.

If something is happening against the laws of nature, acts of society, and laws of humanity. And you are getting mad at it; then your Anger is righteous indignation. Suppose you want to change that unfair treatment. Or you may be hurt because other people are not considering the unjust situations dangerous. But you wish to spread justice and righteousness; then your Anger is a positive thing.

Here is the example of Mahatma Gandhi. He used his reactive emotion of Anger for a productive purpose and used it wisely. India was under British rule for over 250 years. He used the positive power of righteous indignation to compel the British to leave India. It shows that righteous Anger is a good thing if we use it as a positive power.

Conclusion

It has both aspects to it and depends on the perception of the person who is thinking about righteousness. Therefore, one must be careful about moral beliefs and ethics before using it as a yard stick to judge others or take any action. An honest impartial inquiry o