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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 May 2016

 


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 03 May 2016


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 time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1;


Topic:  Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes

1) Many small island nations around the world are threatened by rising sea levels. What remedies are required to address concerns of these nations and how these remedies should be addressed? Discuss. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction-

A sea level rise is an increase in the volume of water in the world’s oceans, resulting in an increase in global mean sea level. Sea level rise is usually attributed to global climate change by thermal expansion of the water in the oceans and by melting of Ice sheets and glaciers on land. Melting of floating ice shelves or icebergs at sea raises sea levels only slightly.

The small island countries are most vulnerable to expected sea level rise in near future. In its Fifth Assessment Report (2013), The IPCC found that recent observations of global average sea level rise at a rate of 3.2 mm per year is consistent with the sum of contributions from observed thermal ocean expansion due to rising temperatures, glacier melt Greenland ice sheet melt mm per year), Antarctic ice sheet melt, and changes to land water storage .The report had also concluded that if emissions continue to keep up with the worst case IPCC scenarios, global average sea level could rise by nearly 1m by 2100 .If emissions follow the lowest emissions scenario, then global average sea level is projected to rise by between 0.28−0.6 m by 2100 (compared to 2005 baseline).

projections

 

Remedies to reduce impact of sea level rise:

  • The very first remedy for these changes is to slow down the rate of ice melting which is caused by global warming process. Though it is the long term strategy it is the main solution to solve problems caused by anthropogenic factors that are leading to global warming and climate change.
  • The compensatory mechanism must be strengthened in order to mitigate the damages caused by sea level rise to livelihood opportunities of island nations. The funds must be made available at International platform to provide substitute for lost livelihood opportunities.
  • Conservation of Coastal ecology is very crucial in order to reduce the impact of sea level changes in small island communities. The utility of Mangrove forests has been proved over a time period.
  • Certain degree of inundation that might include building flood-proof structures and floating platforms for agriculture can help to mitigate adverse impact in short term. Barriers could be temporarily deployed in semi enclosed areas to stand against Flooding.
  • The final step is to retreat. Managed retreat is a strategy that safely removes settlement from encroaching shorelines, allowing the water to advance unimpeded. It involves abandoning, demolishing or moving existing buildings and infrastructure to higher ground.Planned evacuation when no other options are available. The island nation of Tuvalu, threatened with imminent impacts from sea level rise, for example, has already arranged for retreat to New Zealand when necessary.

Addressing these remedies:

  • Increased initiative and political will at the local level with more community engagement and educational outreach and promote regional cooperation to promote more sustainable practices and encourage collaboration between local scientists, residents, policy makers, business owners, etc. in order to create a plan of action for sea level rise.
  • There has to be global platform for adjudication about issues linked with displacement that causes due to sea level changes and other impacts of global warming. Small Island should try to form separate UN tribunal to facilitate their migration and other issues emerged out the Global Greenhouse gas emission.
  • Technology transfer can play vital role in mitigation activities and resilience building in case of disaster events. Early broadcast and communication networking are very crucial in the event of disaster to save maximum possible lives.
  • Corporate social responsibility can be effectively implemented to save the poor island countries from ill effects of sea level rise.

Conclusion-

Thus the multi stakeholder approach can be implemented to bring the best possible solution to address and implement the remedies to mitigate sea level rise. International community needs to look into this matter with more sincerity and with more responsibility.

 


General Studies – 2


Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

2) It is argued that India should have its own foreign policy on Afghanistan and it should do more on its own initiative in Afghanistan. Discuss why such argument is made and reasons why India doesn’t have its own foreign policy in Afghanistan. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction-

Central Asian countries are now the important aspect of world politics .the rise in Islamic fundamentalism and political instability in many parts of central Asia has made it a global hotspot of International attention. In Indian context the importance of Afghanistan is far beyond any doubt and thus needs a detailed analysis of the relation between the two countries.

India Afghanistan relations:

afghanistan

  • India’s bilateral trade with Afghanistan stood at $684.47 million in 2014-15, an increase of 0.20 per cent over $683.10 million a year earlier, and 20.41 per cent higher than $568.44 million.
  • India also provided humanitarian aid to then Afghan President Najibullah’s government. Following the withdrawal of the Soviet forces, India continued to provide Najibullah’s government with humanitarian aid.
  • India is the important partner in Heart of Asia conference which aims to stabilize the political conditions in Afghanistan.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on December 25 inaugurated the newly built Afghan Parliament building. India has constructed the new building at a cost of about $90 million, as a sign of friendship.
  • India has delivered three Russia-made Mi-25 attack helicopters to Afghanistan in December last year. Reports suggest it is to deliver an additional helicopter soon. The defense level cooperation is one of the important dynamics of the relationship between two countries.
  • Salma Dam, officially the Afghan-India Friendship Dam, is a hydroelectric and irrigation dam project located on the Hari River in Chishti Sharif District of Herat Province in western Afghanistan. The Afghan cabinet renamed the Salma Dam to the Afghan-India Friendship Dam in a move to strengthen relations between the two countries.
  • In the aftermath of the 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul, the Afghan Foreign Ministry quoted India as a “brother country” and the relationship between the two as one which “no enemy can hamper”. Relations between Afghanistan and India received a major boost in 2011 with the signing of a strategic partnership agreement

Need of robust foreign policy for Afghanistan can be illustrated in following points.

chabhar

  1. Source of Energy
  2. Geopolitically important location of Afghanistan.
  3. Security of Infrastructural developments by India in Afghanistan. Eg, Garland road in Afghanistan that will be linked to Chabahar port in Iran. The assured road connectivity to Central Asian countries independent of Pakistan is on Indian Agenda for longer times now.

In spite of all above positive steps taken there is no specifies foreign policy by India towards Afghanistan. The reasons for this are:

  • Vacillating attitude of Afghan authorities between India and Pakistan is one of the main reasons. Political situation in Afghanistan limits India’s direct involvement which is a hindrance to engage itself proactively.
  • Active resistance of terrorist groups, unstable political environment, hostile relations with Pakistan and territorial barriers leave India with limited scope to have been actively involved with the affairs of Afghanistan.
  • Dominant role played by world superpower USA has seriously impacted the India Afghanistan relations. The military interventions by USA are against the democratic principles that India holds.
  • The civil society needs to play important role to bring this aspect of Indian foreign policy under public discourse to give innovative ideas and push towards a consolidated foreign policy document by India for Afghanistan.

Conclusion-

Afghanistan should push itself to help this war torned nation. It is inevitable for India to have an Afghanistan centered foreign Policy of its own to act as a true regional power which takes responsibility and come forward in times of need. Peace in neighbor is the guarantee for peace in our own country.

 


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

3) Examine progress made in India’s engagement with Turkey in recent years. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction-

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to New Delhi from April 30 – May 1, 2017 generated intense debate about India-Turkey relations, especially in the context of the Turkish suggestion for a ‘multilateral dialogue’ to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Progress made in India’s engagement with Turkey-

From the bilateral viewpoint, the visit was focused on three aspects — improving trade; enhancing two-way flow of investments; and establishing closer counter-terrorism cooperation.

  • Political relations-
    1. The political relations between the two countries were not so good because of Turkey pro-Pakistan Kashmir stance and supporting China’s views on blocking India’s entry into NSG.
    2. However Turkey’s South Asia engagement is likely to deepen after India has renewed its interest in the Southern Corridor of Asia-Europe Rail (SCAER) project which will connect Istanbul with Kolkata, extendable further to Myanmar and Thailand. Officials from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey have already concluded their first meeting in New Delhi on 16 March, 2017.
  • Trans-Asian Railway (TAR) was originally proposed by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in 1980s and endorsed by concerned countries in 1992. The rail link, if started, can revolutionise India’s trade connectivity to Central Asia, Europe and West Asia.
  1. Turkey’s Kashmir stand-

Turkish president talked about Turkey’s willingness to host a ‘multilateral dialogue’ to resolve the Kashmir issue ‘once and for all’. While it was seen as a diplomatic provocation, India remained poised in its response.

This was not the first time that Turkey has raised the Kashmir issue or issued statements that contradicted the Indian position. Turkey has been instrumental in issuing statements on Kashmir from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) forum and has been actively involved in the OIC over Kashmir.

For example, in August 2016, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated during a visit to Islamabad that ’Turkey fully supports Pakistan’s position on Jammu and Kashmir’ and that India should allow the OIC fact-finding team to visit Jammu and Kashmir.

  1. Turkey-Pakistan-India-

Traditionally, Pakistan and Turkey have maintained friendly relations and close ties. Pakistan has used its Islamic credentials since independence to evoke anti-India sentiments in Muslim capitals in the Middle East and countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey had been supportive of the Pakistani stand on Kashmir. 

With the changing global situation and India’s improved bilateral relations with some of these countries, the situation has changed to a large extent.

With Ankara, however, things have not changed much and a lack of strong bilateral relations has added to the problem. Ankara’s close political relations, economic links and ideological synthesis with Islamabad further complicate the issue.

  • Trade and commerce-
  1. Erdoğan was accompanied by a large business delegation including about 100 representatives of Turkish industry and business. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Erdoğan jointly addressed the India-Turkey Business Forum (ITBF), emphasizing on the possibilities and potential for improving bilateral trade and investment.
  2. India and Turkey are not major trading partners and do not feature even in the list of each other’s top 25 trading partners. However, the volume of trade is substantial and is in India’s favour. For example, in 2015-16, bilateral trade stood at USD 4.9 billion, with India exporting goods worth 4.14 billion and importing goods worth 776.94 million.
  • The main items of Indian exports to Turkey are petroleum and petroleum products, vehicles, textile, plastics in primary forms, organic chemicals, etc. On the other hand, the majority of Indian imports from Turkey comprises of crude minerals and fertilizers, ferrous and non-ferrous ores, power generating equipment, chemicals and cultured pearls and jewellery.
  1. Bilateral investments have taken off in recent times and, according to Turkish sources, more than 180 Indian companies have operations in Turkey while as many as 14 Turkish companies have been operating in India.
  2. The two sides decided to enhance bilateral trade to USD 10 billion by 2020 from the current 6.4 billion and agreed for cooperation in the fields of information technology (IT), pharmaceuticals, health and tourism. Both sides also expressed ‘willingness to improve cooperation in the fields of hydrocarbons, renewable energy (solar and wind) and energy efficiency’. Further, the joint statement noted the ‘immense untapped potential for growth’ as far as the bilateral ‘trade and investment relations’ between India and Turkey are concerned.
  • Counter-terrorism-

The present visit was focused on exploring possibilities for closer counter terrorism cooperation. India is concerned about some of its nationals joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), largely after becoming radicalized online. At the same time, Turkey has faced a number of terrorist attacks inside its territory, including the deadly New Year-eve attack in Istanbul. In this backdrop, there seems to be a mutual understanding regarding the need for closer counter terrorism cooperation.

  • Common Grounds

Despite the major differences over the Turkish position on Kashmir and the diplomatic faux pas on the eve of the visit, there are some common grounds which the two sides are looking to capitalize on. Significantly, the bonding between PM Modi and President Erdoğan has played a role in advancing relations.

This is Erdoğan’s second visit to India after 2008 when he visited New Delhi as prime minister. But this is his first visit after Indian PM Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014. PM Modi visited Turkey for the G-20 summit in 2015 and held talks with Erdoğan on the sidelines of that summit. Both sides had then expressed the desire to realize trade and business potentials.27 Turkey’s support for the UNSC reform as well as India’s bid for a UNSC seat reflects mutual concerns about global affairs. Further, the possibilities for enhancing trade and commerce and investments and probabilities for closer counter-terrorism cooperation provide common grounds which India and Turkey can pursue to take bilateral relations forward.

Looking Ahead

India and Turkey are driven by the desire to tap the possibilities for business, trade and investments. In recent times a number of Indian companies have started their operations in Turkey and many Turkish businesses are showing interest in the Indian market. Moreover, there is a momentum as far as people-to-people contacts is concerned with the number of Indian tourists visiting Turkey increasing significantly in the past decade. At the same time, the popularity of the Indian entertainment industry and films in Turkey has witnessed a rise. Undoubtedly, Erdoğan’s visit comes at a crucial time with India’s growing international stature and geostrategic developments in the Middle East. India-Turkey relations are expected to gradually move in a positive direction based on new found interests and some common grounds. However, given the diplomatic entanglements, it would be difficult to anticipate that the relations are set to take off immediately.

  


Topic:   Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,

4) Since a diversified diet that meets all nutritional requirements is difficult to provide, fortification of food is relied upon by many countries to prevent malnutrition. How should India go about fortification of food? How does fortification address malnutrition problem? Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- Food fortification or enrichment is the process of adding micronutrients (essential trace elements and vitamins) to food. It may be a purely commercial choice to provide extra nutrients in a food, while other times it is a public health policy which aims to reduce the number of people with dietary deficiencies within a population.

As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), fortification refers to “the practice of deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, ie. vitamins and minerals (including trace elements) in a food irrespective of whether the nutrients were originally in the food before processing or not, so as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and to provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health”, whereas enrichment is defined as “synonymous with fortification and refers to the addition of micronutrients to a food which are lost during processing”.

fortified foods

Vitamins and minerals often used in flour and rice fortification and their role in health include:

  • Iron, riboflavin, folic acid, zinc, and vitamin B12 help prevent nutritional Anemia which improves productivity, maternal health, and cognitive development.
  • Folic acid (vitamin B9) reduces the risk of neural tube birth defects
  • Zinc helps children develop, strengthens immune systems, and lessens complications from diarrhea.
  • Niacin (vitamin B3) prevents the skin disease known as pellagra.
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2) helps with metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1) prevents the nervous system disease called beriberi.
  • Vitamin B12 maintains functions of the brain and nervous system.
  • Vitamin D helps bodies absorb calcium which improves bone health.
  • Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of childhood blindness. It also diminishes an individual’s ability to fight infections. Vitamin A can be added to wheat or maize flour, but it is often added to rice, cooking oils, margarine, or sugar instead.

 

food fortification offers a number of advantages over other interventions aimed at preventing and controlling MNM. These include:

  • If consumed on a regular and frequent basis, fortified foods will maintain body stores of nutrients more efficiently and more effectively than will intermittent supplements. Fortified foods are also better at lowering the risk of the multiple deficiencies that can result from seasonal deficits in the food supply or a poor quality diet. This is an important advantage to growing children who need a sustained supply of micronutrients for growth and development, and to women of fertile age who need to enter periods of pregnancy and lactation with adequate nutrient stores. Fortification can be an excellent way of increasing the content of vitamins in breast milk and thus reducing the need for supplementation in postpartum women and infants.
  • Fortification generally aims to supply micronutrients in amounts that approximate to those provided by a good, well-balanced diet. Consequently, fortified staple foods will contain “natural” or near natural levels of micronutrients, which may not necessarily be the case with supplements.
  • Fortification of widely distributed and widely consumed foods has the potential to improve the nutritional status of a large proportion of the population, both poor and wealthy.
  • Fortification requires neither changes in existing food patterns – which are notoriously difficult to achieve, especially in the short-term – nor individual compliance.
  • In most settings, the delivery system for fortified foods is already in place, generally through the private sector. The global tendency towards urbanization means that an ever increasing proportion of the population, including that in developing countries is consuming industry-processed, rather than locally-produced, foods. This affords many countries the opportunity to develop effective strategies to combat MNM based on the fortification of centrally-processed dietary staples that once would have reached only a very small proportion of the population.
  • Multiple micronutrient deficiencies often coexist in a population that has a poor diet. It follows that multiple micronutrient fortification is frequently desirable. In most cases, it is feasible to fortify foods with several micronutrients simultaneously.
  • It is usually possible to add one or several micronutrients without adding substantially to the total cost of the food product at the point of manufacture.
  • When properly regulated, fortification carries a minimal risk of chronic toxicity.
  • Fortification is often more cost-effective than other strategies, especially if the technology already exists and if an appropriate food distribution system is in place.

 

Efforts by FSSAI and other players for fortified food:-

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released a set of standards and a logo last year. Since then, it has focussed on awareness- and consensus-building. Now, a number of enterprises will begin adding premixes of micronutrients to launch fortified foods.
  • In the next few months, General Mills India, ITC, Hindustan Unilever and Patanjali will launch wheat flour, Adani Wilmar, Marico, Borges India, and Kaleesuwari Refineries are working on oil, LT Foods, DCP Food, and KKR Food are launching races, and in salt, other brands will join Tata, which already has a double fortified brand in the market.
  • Milk cooperatives in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Assam and Maharashtra will fortify their products too. Targeting children, the Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh governments have begun using fortified oil for their mid-day meal schemes.
  • West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands are now distributing fortified wheat flour through the public distribution system, and the Maharashtra government has started a pilot project.
  • The FSSAI is also working with small local suppliers, for instance local flour grinding mills, to get them to add premixed micronutrients.

Ways to promote fortified food:-

  • Adding set standardized level of micro-nutrients at production level itself.
  • Ensuring availability of fortified food at affordable rate at fair price shops.
  • Marking some specific food processing industries and make fortification mandatory.
  • Availability of fortified and diversified food at mid day meal in schools.
  • Providing fortified food items to lactating mothers at Anganwadi level.
  • Giving incentives like tax rebate to industrial units involved in fortification of food.
  • Robust public distribution system strengthened by JAM trinity can be of great help.

 


Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,

5) What are the components of antiretroviral therapy (ART)? Discuss ART guidelines and how should India implement them. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the combination of several antiretroviral medicines used to slow the rate at which HIV makes copies of itself (multiplies) in the body. A combination of three or more antiretroviral medicines is more effective than using just one medicine (monotherapy) to treat HIV.

The use of three or more antiretroviral medicines-sometimes referred to as an anti-HIV “cocktail”-is currently the standard treatment for HIV infection. So far, this treatment offers the best chance of preventing HIV from multiplying, which allows your immune system to stay healthy. The goal of antiretroviral therapy is to reduce the amount of virus in your body (viral load) to a level that can no longer be detected with current blood tests.

art-hiv

Antiretroviral medicines that are often used to treat HIV include:

  • Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors, also called nucleoside analogues, such as abacavir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir. These medicines are often combined for best results.
  • Nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), such as efavirenz, etravirine, and nevirapine.
  • Protease inhibitors (PIs), such as atazanavir, darunavir, and ritonavir.
  • Entry inhibitors, such as enfuvirtide and maraviroc.
  • Integrase inhibitors, such as dolutegravir and rotogravure.

 

How should India implement guidelines:-

  • As per 2015 estimates, India has 2.1 million HIV-positive people, of which only 1.6 million have been diagnosed and about a million are on treatment. But over half a million people are not even aware of their HIV status.
  • With the government changing its treatment guidelines, the 0.6 million who have been diagnosed but not been on treatment are now eligible for treatment. Of the 0.6 million, about 0.25 million have been enrolled for pre-ART care and can be started on treatment almost immediately. 
  • Even as efforts are on to expand the 1,600 treatment delivery sites that are currently operational, there should be greater focus now on identifying people with HIV.
  • The government has plans to start community-based testing to bring it closer to those in need, and target special groups that are more vulnerable to infection such as partners of people who are HIV-positive.
  • Medical facilities: Circulation of changed treatment guidelines to all health centres, Expansion of adequate testing and treatment facilities, Availability of the essential drugs at subsidized cost.
  • Target Special groups: Targeting risk prone groups such as sex workers, partners of people with infection and bring them into clinical care.

Additional information:-

According to National AIDS Control Organization of India, the prevalence of AIDS in India in 2013 was 0.27, which is down from 0.41 in 2002. While the National AIDS Control Organisation estimated that 2.39 million people live with HIV/AIDS in India in 2008–09, a more recent investigation by the Million Death Study Collaborators in the British Medical Journal (2010) estimates the population to be between 1.4–1.6 million people.

The last decade has seen a 50% decline in the number of new HIV infections. According to more recent National AIDS Control Organisation data, India has demonstrated an overall reduction of 57 percent in estimated annual new HIV infections (among adult population) from 0.274 million in 2000 to 0.116 million in 2011, and the estimated number of people living with HIV was 2.08 million in 2011

 

Government policies :-

Soon after the first cases emerged in 1986, the Government of India established the National AIDS Committee within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This formed the basis for the current apex Government of India body for HIV surveillance, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). The majority of HIV surveillance data collected by the NACO is done through annual unlinked anonymous testing of prenatal clinic (or antenatal clinics) and sexually transmitted infection clinic attendees. Annual reports of HIV surveillance are freely available on NACO’s website.

The first National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) was implemented over seven years (1992–1999), focused on monitoring HIV infection rates among risk populations in selected urban areas. The second phase ran between 1999 and 2006 and the original program was expanded at state level, focusing on targeted interventions for high-risk groups and preventive interventions among the general population. A National Council on AIDS was formed during this phase, consisting of 31 ministries and chaired by the Prime Minister.

HIV/AIDS was understood not purely as a health issues, but also a development issue and as such it was mainstreamed into all ministries and departments. The third stage dramatically increased targeted interventions, aiming to halt and reverse the epidemic by integrating programmes for prevention, care, support and treatment. By the end of 2008, targeted interventions covered almost 932,000 of those most at risk, or 52% of the target groups (49% of FSWs, 65% of IDUs and 66% of MSM).

In 2009 India established a “National HIV and AIDS Policy and the World of Work”, which sough to end discrimination against workers on the basis of their real or perceived HIV status. Under this policy all enterprises in the public, private, formal and informal sectors are encouraged to establish workplace policies and programmes based on the principles of non-discrimination, gender equity, health work environment, non-screening for the purpose of employment, confidentiality, prevention and care and support. Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute have called for greater attention to migrant workers, whose concerns about their immigration status may exclude them from these policies and leave them particularly vulnerable.

No agency is tasked with enforcing non-discrimination policy, instead multi-sectoral approach has been developed involving awareness campaigns in the private sector. The AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan (AIDS Anti-Discrimination Movement) had prepared many citizens reports challenging discriminatory policies, and filed a petition in the Delhi High Court regarding the proposed segregation of gay men in prisons. A play titled ‘High Fidelity Transmission’ has focused on discrimination. the importance of the condom as compared with abstinence and illegal testing of vaccines. HIV/AIDS-related television shows and movies have appeared in the past few years, mostly in an effort to appeal to the middle class. An important component of these programs has been the depiction of HIV/AIDS affected persons interacting with non-infected persons in everyday life.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic:  Role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges

6) In the light of banning of social media in the Kashmir Valley, critically comment on the role of social media in making or breaking of Kashmir crisis. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- Kashmir is witnessing a surge in protests across the valley at an unprecedented level after the death of Burham Wani, a Hizbul commander. Youths including school going girls seem to be fearless and pelting stones on army men. This shows the level of distress and rage in the minds of youth. Social media has played a crucial role in spreading hatred among youth in following ways:-

  • Youth and adolescents are tech savvy and are effectively using social media to galvanise support among a wide section of people
  • Extreme representations and emotional version of protest events, response of army and state’s apathy
  • Many of these social media groups and campaigns have trans-border origin
  • There is a counter popularisation of anti-Kashmir sentiments by calling them anti-nationals with in the country by fringe elements. Thus, further fanning the protests.
  • Fake news are spread all over Facebook regarding atrocities commuted by army which help boil the blood of young Kashmiris.
  • Propaganda regarding Indian state is continuously escalated by showing fake videos.
  • messaging services like What’s app and telegraph are used to spread hatred.
  • Indian state is held responsible for underdevelopment and unemployment.
  • Videos such as recently using a man as human shield by army escalates the already disturbed youth.
  • youth gets inspiration from Arab Spring which was a result of social media itself.
  • Pakistan can now radicalize youth aggressively as their reach has increased many fold.
  • distorted and fake photos are shared across social media and blaming it on army.
  • News of discrimination to Kashmiri people across India reaches to more people now than it used to be.
  • with the help of hostile neighbours, recruitment of young minds for terrorist operation has become a bitter reality.

Way forward:- Social media can be used to create positive atmosphere in valley and also to promote peace and harmony in fact.

  • State and intelligence and security agencies need to step up cyber monitoring and halt such malafide social media propaganda
  • Alternatively countering this propaganda through social media sources itself by presenting authentic information and coverage of events
  • Promoting balanced outlook of listening to people of Kashmir and finding peaceful solutions through social media initiatives such as ‘Restoring peace in Kashmir’.

 


Topic:  Issues relating to intellectual property rights.

7) In your opinion, what reforms should be introduced to prevent crisis in public sector banks. (200 Words)

Livemint

Introduction :- Financial institutions hold promise for not just for the sustainability of financial environment but for the overall progress and development of the nation. Considering the importance of healthy financial institution time demands reform in administrative approach towards it. The needs of 1970’s favoured nationalisation of banks to ensure financial inclusion, enhance deposit & saving habit among the mass, to reduce population per branch ratio etc. but with the pass of 4 decade the thing & theme of financial system has undergone vast change and hence some reforms are needed to prevent crisis in public sector banks.

  • Government ownership of the Indian banking sector needs to be drastically reduced. Reducing the government equity below 51%, and attracting some strategic investors, would be a very major step. It will not only reduce the pressure on the budget to provide funds for recapitalization, it will also set the stage for a more commercial orientation for public sector banks. This is critical if public sector banks are to compete more effectively with private sector banks.
  • Allow new private sector banks to bloom. Privatization of public sector banks will necessarily be a slow process. It requires legislative change. Investor interest in many of the weaker banks will most likely be absent.The government should thus shift its attention away from the current enthusiasm for public sector bank consolidation to promoting bank competition through the creation of new private banks. 
  • India needs a more diverse financial system so that banks are not burdened with tasks they are not suited for. The current mountain of bad debts can at least partly be explained by the pressure from New Delhi during the tenure of the previous government to fund large infrastructure projects as well as generally push lending at a rate that was far faster than the underlying growth in nominal gross domestic product. The result was a credit bubble that later popped.
  • Accelerating recoveries from NPAs:-The traditional strategy for dealing with NPAs has been to reschedule the loans. However, this helps only where projects suffer from a short-term “liquidity problem”. It cannot help when there is a “solvency problem”, i.e. the income stream simply cannot service the debt even over a longer period. Most of the large NPAs reflect solvency problems. revenue streams were overestimated and costs have increased beyond original projections. Hence schemes like strategic debt restructuring is needed.
  • No discriminatory regulation on PSBs: The Government should cease to issue any regulatory instructions applicable only to public sector banks, as dual regulation is discriminatory. RBI should be the sole regulator for banks, with regulations continuing to be uniformly applicable to all commercial banks.
  • Enhancing investment in banks by other investors: In order to permit certain kinds of investors to take larger stakes, it is proposed that a category of Authorised Bank Investors (ABIs) be created, comprising all diversified funds which are discretionaly managed by fund managers and which are deemed fit and proper.
  • Another area that needs urgent attention of PSBs is improving the staff productivity. Most PSBs are saddled with a large number of inadequately trained or demotivated personnel. Such banks need to downsize staff and cut their costs. They also need to redistribute and train staff to strengthen the neglected areas of marketing and innovation, which are needed to retain and win over more customers.