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Insights Secure SYNOPSIS: 01 December 2016



Insights Secure SYNOPSIS: 01 December 2016


General Studies – 1;

Topic: Population and associated issues

1) New data from the Civil Registration System of the Registrar General of India shows a fall in sex ratio at birth from 898 girls to 1,000 boys in 2013, to 887 in 2014. Examine the reasons for  declining sex ratio. Also examine why states such as Tamil Nadu which are progressive, are experiencing fall in sex ratio at child birth. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Background –  New data from the Civil Registration System of the Registrar General of India point to the hardening of the pattern, with a fall in sex ratio at birth from 898 girls to 1,000 boys in 2013, to 887 in 2014. This depressing trend is consistent with evidence from the Census figures of 2001 and 2011.

Reasons declining sex -ratio:-

  • Patriarchal mindset – Due to patriarchal mind-set, still baby girl is not welcomed by most of the families and they go for sex-selective abortions and female foeticide, thus causing low sex ratio.
  • Technological access- ultrasonography has become increasingly accessible especially in urban areas. The technology is being misused to determine the sex of the child before birth. This leads to sex selective abortions.
  • Girls are treated as a liability- there is a perception that girls are “paraya dhan” and hence cannot be counted for support during the old age. A girl child also means paying huge amounts as dowry in her marriage which poor people cannot afford. There is also a perception that a girl child needs to be protected more and there is higher chance of bringing disgrace to the family if something goes wrong. So, due to such fear, girls are being foeticide.
  • Poverty- perception that working outside home and earning income is the domain of men. Hence, a male child means another hand for labour which can ensure more income to family.
  • Prevalence of child marriage – causes low birth weight babies and poor development of mothers during pregnancy leads to miscarriage.
  • Neglect of health- Women are given less importance and are generally malnourished leading to more number Infant mortality rates ( IMR ) cases among them .Likewise ,High Maternal mortality Rate ( MMR ) are also responsible for the fall in sex ratio.

However, when states like Tamil Nadu- with a strong social development foundation- have slipped on sex ratio at birth (834), going by the CRS data for 2014, it becomes matter of concern.

Main cause for falling sex ratio in progressive states like Tamil Nadu are patriarchal societies that have translated their prejudice and fanaticism into a compulsive preference for boys and discrimination against girl child. Female foeticide is being practiced in some of the region of Tamil Nadu in the name of “Genetic counselling”.

The cradle baby scheme was started in 1992 in Tamil Nadu to raise the survival chances of girl children by encouraging mothers to give them anonymously for adoption. Yet, the latest numbers, together with the persistence of the programme after 24 years, and 260 babies being abandoned in just one centre over a six-year period, make it clear that national policy has achieved little in real terms.

There is a lag of massive social investments to protect girl child. Moreover there is a vicious cycle of low female literacy, social restrictions on females, females dependency on family/husband economically, restricting their role in family planning and contributing low sex ratio.

Way forward – Enforcement of the law that prohibits determination of the sex of the foetus must go hand in hand with massive social investments to protect both immediate and long-term prospects of girls — in the form of cash incentives through registration of births, a continuum of health care, early educational opportunities and social protection.

General Studies – 2

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

2) How does the development  Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) project offer India an opportunity to create its own win-win relationship with China, especially in the light of growing US – China face-off? Examine. (200 Words)


Background-  The BCIM is a 2,800km-long corridor that starts from Kolkata and passes through Bangladesh and Myanmar before ending at Kunming in China. It seeks to revive the southern Silk Route between Assam and Yunnan, and is expected to cost $22 billion. BCIM offers following opportunities to India:-

  • Given China’s long-term vision of the development of the One Belt, One Road, a $4 trillion project of which the CPEC and the BCIM are part, it is clear that China’s dominant strategy is to support both projects. India’s gain from the BCIM include the ability to connect to the One Belt, One Road project thus opening up markets to the east. It can also use the economic corridor to break out of the pattern of exporting primary products to China and importing manufactured goods by negotiating for downstream industries to be located within India. 
  • As India is mute on its involvement in OBOR, BCIM is considered to be indirect involvement of India, projecting an important role for India in regional diplomacy and development.
  • Better connectivity will ease the trade and ample opportunities of employment will be created. Since the route goes through the disputed land territory in Arunachal Pradesh, there is a possibility of conflict between India and China. Both the countries, however, can treat this project as opportunity to resolve ongoing conflicts.

But, in this interaction, India has no dominant strategy. India can improve its dominance by developing the North-East as well as kick-starting various projects already on paper, including the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway, BBIN, etc.

To further strengthen its negotiation and dominance, India should pursue a policy of support for the US.  The face-off between China and the US enables India to play one against the other to emerge as a leading power in its own right. India can emerge as a leading repository of soft power, a beacon for the pressing needs of our world—democracy, respect for diversity, and an urgent attention to the environment. Similarly ,the LEMAO agreement between US and India have further deepened the relations between the two nations at strategic levels and can help to balance Chinese presence in the Indian ocean as seen in the form of Maritime Silk route.

Topic: Role of women; Social empowerment (Paper-1); mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

3) Critically analyse the nature and scope of India’s conflict with Pakistan. (200 Words)

The Hindu

India-Pakistan has ever failing relationship. The confrontation between two have resulted in strained relations and number of attacks, wars and disputes- Indian Parliament attack, 2008 Mumbai attacks and recent attacks at Pathonkot, Uri and Nagrota. The relations between India and Pakistan have been strained due to many reasons:-

  • Terror attacks– Terror attacks has always been the centre stage of the conflict and s haled to 3 wars between countries in 1947, 1965, and 1999. Pampore, Uri and Nagrota terror attacks are examples of increased provocations from Pakistan. The upsurge in terror outfits such as Tehrik-e-Taliban, Lashkar e jhangvi and elements of Islamic State inside Pakistan have further reduced the possibility of India –Pakistan detente.
  • Zero sum approach of Pakistan-In the past several attempts have been made by Indian Prime Ministers to maintain peace between the two countries, which has turned futile as it was followed by terror attacks and least cooperation from Pakistan.
  • Weak international support-Though the world has condemned such terror attacks no concrete steps have been taken to combat it. UN has yet not declared Pakistan as a ‘terror state’. Even India’s vision of forming Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism has yet not materialised.
  • Role of Pakistan’s military-Pakistan’s military has been opposed to any understanding between India and Pakistan. It has been playing high handed role in derailing any peace progress.
  • Unrest in Jammu and Kashmir-The unrest and turmoil caused by separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir is giving Pakistan an opportunity to mobilise opinion against India on the issue of human rights violation. This is another aspect that militate against an India –Pakistan rapprochement.
  • Support from China-Pakistan is strategically crucial for China for achieving its One Belt One Road Initiative (CPEC, Gwadar port, infrastructure and military support). This has accelerated Pakistan’s recalcitrance towards India.
  • Water dispute- Though India signed generous “Indus Water Treaty” in 1960 but Pakistan still continuous to blame India and various hydroelectric project are on halt. At some instances, it has also become a matter of conflict.
  • Counterfeit currency and drugs – Various terrorist groups operating from Pakistan supply fake notes and illegal drugs, which has been an important security concern for India.

Scope of conflict:

  • Consistent rise of tension along the border and frequent cease fire violation may lead to susceptibility of use of nuclear weapons between to, which can be catastrophic.
  • Tension between both countries is now at its height and touched the sentiments of every citizen in India. It has potential to stall the relations in every dimension- be it Trade, Commerce, media, films, people to people contact, etc. in future.
  • More and more terrorist outfits are emerging in Pakistan’s region and its army is providing them every possible support, which along with ISIS poses a grave security concern, not only for India but for the whole region.
  • Such conflicts may lead India to change its strategy of dealing with Pakistan since peace is not at hand so any kind of compromise needs to be ruled out.
  • Increase support of China to Pakistan could be a potential cause for tension between India and China, as many steps China are antagonising like- construction of CPEC through a disputed region.

Ever-increasing hostility is hurting India more than Pakistan in form of causalities, economic down in the Kashmir region, which could intensify the existing concerns among Kashmiri people. Hence India should lead in pursuing a long term policy to lessen the tensions.

General Studies – 3

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

4) At least 89 security personnel have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir so far in 2016. Do you think, despite measures being taken by India to avert terrorist attacks in border areas, terrorists are gaining upper hand? How can India minimise loss of lives of security personnel in Kashmir? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu

The Indian Express

Loss of 89 Indian security personnel lives despite high security alert has raised questions on the existing security aspects near the border (both IB and LOC) and also in Indian military bases. The reasons which have

contributed in favour of terrorist to have the upper hand are:

  • The unrest in Kashmir valley fuelled by low growth unemployment has been capitalised by the terrorist and separatist outfits.
  • The porous border and existing anti-infiltration obstacle system becomes difficult to maintain in extreme weather conditions which facilitates the infiltration.
  • Lack of reliable intelligence reports or non-action on the available reports is also one of the reason. Along with it lack of coordination among various central agencies – intelligence and military.
  • Lack of clear roadmap on the responsibilities of various security forces, roles of state police department, paramilitary agencies, border security agencies and Intelligence agencies in case of normal and emergency situations
  • Not all borders could be fenced due to terrain and riparian challenges. BSF standing in these unfenced areas had been made as a solution. These borders are now being guarded by laser fence. But intrusion of technology is minimal.
  • Improper following of SOPs.
  • Ceasefire violations by Pakistani Army provides a cover to terrorists’ cross-over.

Measures needed to minimize the loss of lives :-

  • Investing in a “grid-based” system where ground troops would be given access to advanced technology like satellites for surveillance, besides help from intelligence agencies and police.
  • Israel –type border fencing would reduce the infiltration
  • Organizing drills between different agencies and security forces at regular intervals.
  • Plugging the loopholes responsible for such attacks and fixing the
  • Promoting education and employment in the valley that will help in taking the locals into confidence.
  • Modernising security forces is the need of the hour. Perimeter Intrusion Detection System, Buried Intrusion detection systems are to be developed. Surveillance by UAVs, Satellite imagery should be strengthened.
  • Adopting a National Security doctrine, mainly needed to sensitize the state police agencies as most of the counter attacks are ineffective due to non-trained police forces to handle terror attacks. Also coordination among three wings of military and other security agencies is the need of the hour.
  • Complete fencing of Indo-Pak border in multiple layers as per Madhukar Gupta committee report. Committee flagged serious gaps in fencing, especially in riverine areas and tough terrain. Their recommendations should be implemented to close the gaps.
  • There should be one single point of coordination between various security and intelligence agencies like NATGRID.
  • Codified SOPs must be followed to its fullest.
  • Militants have allegedly infiltrated under Pakistani cover firing. Hence, while peace is not completely in the hands of India, we should make efforts at DGMO/NSA level to start working on CBM for a long-lasting ceasefire.
  • Local people can play a crucial role in informing security forces about the movements of militants. Army and government need to win their support through CBM, spreading awareness about schools and hospitals run by army.

Indian soldiers are the pride of the nation. Their loss could never be compensated. They have to be saved to save our nation. A strong security measure with a peaceful atmosphere in the valley is the only way to reduce the number of security personnel killed due to militant attacks.

Topic: Conservation

5) In September 2016, the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department issued an order that banned all forms of fishing within a radius of 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) at 90 sites along the State’s coastline. Do such measures aid the conservation of olive ridleys? What long-term solutions are required? Critically discuss. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Background- The Olive Ridley turtles, inhabiting the warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans, which has been recognized as ‘Vulnerable’ by ICUN red list. In India, they are found along the eastern coast mainly in the states of Orissa, Tamil Nadu. Recently, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department issued an order that banned all forms of fishing within a radius of 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) at sites along the State’s coastline.

Such steps certainly aid the conservation process of Olive Ridleys as, accidental killing of adult turtles through entanglement in trawl nets also harm the turtles. Between 1993 and 2003, more than 100,000 olive ridley turtles were reported dead in Odisha, India from fishery-related practices.

But, it would not check the damage being done to turtles due to uunsustainable egg collection, slaughtering of nesting females on the beach, and direct harvesting adults at sea for commercial sale of both the meat and hides. Coastal development also threatens newly hatched turtles through the effects of light pollution.

Since, proportion of Olive Ridley turtles in Tamil Nadu is much less than Gahirmatha Beach in Odisha, which is the largest mass nesting site followed by coast of Mexico and Coasta Rica, this step will not have far-reaching impact. Such drastic measures also tend to alienate the small-scale fishermen and decrease the support for turtle conservation from them.

Long term solutions required:-

  • Faulty fishing practices like bottom trawling and their impact on marine environment should be considered and steps should be taken.
  • Strict regulation should be put in place to avoid the Industries from discharge effluents into the sea and rivers that changes the pH level of the water near the coast directly impacting the marine life.
  • The government should form a community of fisherman, environmentalists and the government representative to take a collective decision to conserve the environment as well as protect the lives of fisherman.
  • Accidental killing of adult turtles through entanglement in trawl nets should be controlled by making Turtle Excluder Device (TED) mandatory for trawlers. It is suspected by fishing community that setting up TED would restrain fishing catch.
  • State government along with WWF should sensitise the fishing community and mentioning the loss would be only minimal.
  • Other measures like – Beach patrolling, planting endemic species instead of exotic species near the beaches. Inviting local participation and creating awareness on its conservation by conducting turtle walks, turtle festivals (Chennai is doing) across the eastern coastal states.

Although, it is appreciable move but there have been rampant violations of such orders in the past not only in Tamil Nadu but also in the state of Odisha. In addition, a complete ban would affect the lives of small fisherman due to loss of employment in the sector. Indian government, both union and the state departments along with WWF, volunteers and local people should work its conservation as it is a constitutional directive to protect the biodiversity per Article 48, 51 A.

General Studies – 4

Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

6) The Supreme Court has ruled that the national anthem must be played in cinema halls across the country before a film is screened, and everyone present must stand to pay respect. Do you think patriotism could be inculcated by forcing these orders on citizens? What are the ethical issues involved in this order? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu

The Indian Express


“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.” 
― Mark Twain


Patriotism is the feeling of loving your country more than any others and being proud of it. Basically it is an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. This attachment, also known as national feeling or national pride, can be viewed in terms of different features relating to one’s own nation, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. Supreme Court has ordered to be play National anthem in all the cinema halls before film screening with people standing to show respect towards national anthem. When such directives are forced upon the citizens, there would be resistance.

National anthem and national symbols usually have a deep impact on people’s psychology and fosters feeling of ”Unity in diversity’. Such symbolic representations encourage spirit of brotherhood, love, compassion and national integration among citizens. But, patriotism cannot be aroused among people, through forced directives.

Respect or honour is subject to the one’s internal conscience. Government should make the nation better place to live and let citizen feel proud to be part of it.

Ethical Issues:

Such orders coming from the highest court is an example of Judicial overreach. This order transgresses into the personal liberty of the citizens. This move is a shot in the arm for moral policing groups to resort to violent methods to force citizens to show their respect to the nation, thereby questioning their integrity as noticeable from a recent incident in a theatre in Maharashtra.

Because this is an order from the Supreme Court, it gives legitimacy to other similar measures that could be adopted by governments and fringe groups to force a particular type of nationalism on citizens.

Moreover, it raises a question that why not singing national anthem be made compulsory before each court proceedings or during every legislative meetings. This hypocrisy might make citizens become cynical and lose trust in the highest court itself.