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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 July 2017

 


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 27 July 2017


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:  Urbanization – problems and remedies; changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes. 

1) Recently, the Tamil Nadu State government conceded the Government of India-owned Kamarajar Port Ltd’s (KPL) request to divert 1,000 acres of the hydrologically sensitive Ennore wetlands for industrial installations. Is it a wise move? Discuss ecological implications for Chennai and to Ennore Creek. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Wetlands are water logged areas like swamps, marshes which have high significance in Environmental sustainability. The recent act of apathy of the government by diverting 1000 acres of Ennore wetlands for industrial installation goes against the SDGs objectives of promoting sustainable environment and is not a wise move as it will have adverse impact on habitat and Humans as well.

Ennore famous for its ecological importance supporting various marine ecosystem and aquatic lives. At times of distress situation like 2015 flood, heavy rains during retreating monsoon, tropical cyclone like Vardah, this wetland site always emerged as a shelter reducing the adverse effects of natural phenomena. Its coastal plants prevent salty water from sea to get mixed with ground providing freshwater source during water crisis as Chennai always prone to.

The impact of Chennai and Ennore creek’s ecology and environment:

  1. Habitat of large no. of flora and fauna will be affected. For example: Migratory birds like Pelicans.
    2. Might lead to increased green house gases such as methane which tend to be trapped in wetlands.
    3. Sea water encroachment leading to reduction in availability of drinking water.
    4. Increased Flood incidents as wetlands will not be able to act as cushion.
    5. Absence of beauty and recreational places for the public.
    6. Increased erosion.
    7. India’s stand in International arena might get degraded due to violation of both SDGs and Ramsar convention.
    8. It will go against the constitutional tenet given under Article 48-A of the Indian constitution.

However, the move will lead to some benefits to such as:
1. Creation of employment.

2. Increased development opportunities.
3. Better infrastructure.

Conclusion

The debate between Environment and development has been ages old and needs to be decided on case to case basis. Since December 2015, Chennai has limped from one extreme weather-related shock to another — the floods, the failed monsoon of 2016, Cyclone Vardah, and now the water crisis. Chennai’s defining element is water. Located squarely in the intervening floodplains of three rivers on a high-energy coastline, Chennai is a disaster-prone location. Any badly located city can be vulnerable merely by virtue of its location.  Hence, in this case, the move is not wise and it is better to protect environment over development. Also, development should be sustainable, else in the long run, it will cost us dearly.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations  

2) In the light of recent Doklam crisis, many commentators have been implying that Bhutan is an Indian ‘protectorate’ state. Do you agree? How important is India for Bhutan’s economy and security? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

 

India-Bhutan relations have been friendly since the Independence when the Friendship Treaty was signed. Bhutan has been India’s major trustworthy state in economic, political and security issues. A full fledged democratic and responsible government functions in Bhutan.

The main reasons why India is important for Bhutan are as follows:

  • On Security:
  1. a) Indian army has been providing training to the Royal Bhutan Army consistently to cope up with any external and internal threats. 
    b) India has provided sufficient arms and defence equipment to the small state to protect it’s sovereignty with a belligerent neighbor at the gate.
    c) Issues such as Chumbi valley and Doklam crisis needs intervention by others where India plays a key role.
    d) India supports Bhutan’s interests at the United Nations (UN).
  • On Economy:
  1. a) Bhutan imports majorly from India and the centre even extends subsidies to the state. Hence, there is a large scale dependence on economic front.
    b) Geographically to seek markets for trade it depends upon India. Agreements such as BIMSTEC and BBIN Motor vehicle agreement seeks to increase this co-operation.
    c) India imports Electricity from Bhutan’s major hydroelectric power projects. It is the only natural resource by which the country can gain revenue.
    d) India represents Bhutan on the international organisations such as IMF, WB, etc.

India’s prime interest in Bhutan stems from the many needs:

  1. a) as a neighboring country, it acts as a buffer state to an expanding China;
    b) as a Himalayan State, it has huge hydrological potential; 
    c) as a landlocked state, it is a pure market for establishing a monopoly of India Inc.;
    d) it’s strategic location.

Conclusion –

The relation between the two neighbors has been more or less based on mutualism, except that India has had more to offer owing to its vastness, which rivals often describe with negative connotations like calling it a “protectorate state”. However, it is not a protectorate state of India and follows it’s own, independent development and foreign policy.

 


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

3) How will capping the price of medical stents would affect medical tourism and indigenous development of medical equipments in India? What policy should government follow when it comes to medical device development in India? Examine. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

 

Introduction :- The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capped prices of coronary stents. A stent is a tiny expandable metal scaffold to open up narrowed or blocked arteries. According to a notification on NPPA’s website, the ceiling price of bare metal stents has been fixed at Rs7,260 per unit and that of drug eluting stents and biodegradable stents has been fixed at Rs29,600 per unit. The ceiling price excludes local tax and will come into effect immediately. This price is also applicable to all stocks in the trade channel.

Impact on medical tourism :-

  • Bringing the stent devices under price control will enable more patients to make use of this life-saving procedure. Hence India can emerge as a preferable destination to many people from foreign countries. But in long run it can impact negatively.
  • Decrease in competition due to discouragement to domestic and foreign companies may left India with the old, inefficient stent and hence people may move to other countries for better, latest stent.
  • Fear of implementation of such policy for other devises may make the attitude of companies, people less preferable towards India for medical tourism.
  • All these things might hamper India’s image in global healthcare industries and market.

Impact on indigenous development of medical equipment :-

  • Development of such high values devices requires much investment also it take several years for them to become commercialised. Profit earned further helps in research and development. Abruptly capping prices may have adverse impact on stent development.
  • Several regulatory hurdles in India like testing, trials and controlled studies of such devices takes much time still they are not differentially treated when it comes to funding. Further price cap will discourage companies from developing them.
  • Financial unviability od Indian manufacturing companies may also deteriorate the quality of research and stent manufacturing.
  • Only 40% stents were indigenously developed before capping. Now with imported and domestic stents to be at equal price people will prefer imported stent and indigenous development will further receive a setback.

With over 75% devices in medical sector imported India must take suitable steps. Policy which must be followed when it comes to development of medical devices in India :-

  • Visionary policies, alignments of rule and regulation with global wavelength is needed. Like the rules, framed around the guidelines of the Global Harmonization Task force (GHTF) ensure that the Indian norms governing medical devices are on par with those in vogue globally. Medical devices, henceforth, both produced and imported, will conform to the best international practices of manufacturing, ensuring the prevalence of quality products in India. 
  • By establishing a common minimum standard and uniformly calling for changes in manufacturing processes in accordance with global norms, will create a level playing field for the industry. Ex the newly formulated Medical Device Rules.
  • Steps to set up more manufacturing parks dedicated to medical sector, promoting Medical in India, conferring distinct identity and status to medical sector will play crucial role in long run.
  • The government should also work toward creating an autonomous body to oversee the regulatory framework for medical devices, along with a dedicated registry that tracks individual instances where a particular device has failed or led to detrimental consequences on life or property. 

Conclusion :- With new rules in place, the medical devices sector can catalyze the ‘Make in India’ platform to leapfrog into a stable, affordable and most importantly, patient safety-compliant future. The government’s intent to harmonize Indian medical device rules with global norms will create a dynamic, yet robust standards ecosystem for the industry, boost domestic manufacturing and usher in, as the government hopes it will, greater foreign investment in the sector.

 


Topic:  Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

4) Recently, the Supreme Court declined to apply the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to mentally retarded adults whose mental age may be that of a child. Was it a  right decision? Discuss. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction-

Mentally retarded adults have been equally vulnerable to the physical and sexual abuse as those of children because both show the same lack of understanding about the situation they are in and incapacity to protest. Thus the recent decision of the Supreme Court may seem lacking the will and desire to protect the mentally retarded adults as like children. However it is not true.  

Righteousness of the Supreme Court’s legislation-

Positives of including the mentally retarded adults whose mental age may be that of child under POSCO-

  • There have been numerous instances where mentally retarded adults particularly women have been subjected to sexual abuse on account of their lack of maturity and their inability to convey or express such things. The methods of conducting trials under the provisions of POSCO act are child friendly. Thus it would help such victims to come forward against the perpetrator and take legal recourse.
  • The general provisions of the law for sexual abuse have not deterred the criminal or perpetrators from engaging into such crimes. The provisions of the POSCO which demand quick trials and early disposal of cases may help in creating deterrence for such offenders.
  • The liberal interpretation of the term ‘Child’ should also encompass the mentally retarded adults whose cognitive abilities are equal to that of child.
  • Expanded definition to encompass both biological and mental age within the POCSO framework would have helped extend its beneficial features to another section of vulnerable persons.

However the Supreme Court was right in its decision to refuse to accept the mentally retarded adult under the term Child because-

  • Need of Legislative enactment-

POCSO is meant to protect children from sexual offences. To extend it to adult victims based on mental age would require determination of their mental competence. This would need statutory provisions and rules; the legislature alone is competent to enact them.

  • Judicial overreach-

The said interpretation of the term ‘Child’ would have exceeded beyond the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

  • Wrong precedent-

Although interpreting the child in liberal manner would help to give immediate respite to such victims, this could also set the wrong precedent for the judiciary in longer run and could disturb the legislative-judicial relations.

  • Judicial conferment of power to trial courts to treat some adults as children based on mental capacity would, in the Bench’s opinion, do violence to the existing law protecting children from sexual offences. It noted that there may be different levels of mental competence, and that those with mild, moderate or borderline retardation are capable of living in normal social conditions.

Conclusion-

Though in principle it is accepted that mentally retarded adults require same protection as children, the required provisions should come from legislature and not the courts. The parliament should take the due notice of the present situation and should bring such amendments in the law.

 


TopicIndia and its neighborhood- relations

5) Critically examine how has the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord signed in July 1987 changed politics in Sri Lanka and the its relations with India. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction-

The accord of the 1987 signed between Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi and his Sri Lankan counterpart J R Jayewardene heralded new political arrangements in Sri Lanka. The accord was also effort on India’s part to pacify the militant Tamil groups with whom there was general sympathy in India and particularly in Tamil Nadu. 

How the accord changed the politics in Sri Lanka?

The accord had two immediate objectives. The first was to end Sri Lanka’s ethnic war by persuading the Tamil militant groups to lay down their arms and then join the so-called political mainstream. The second was to alter the constitutional and structural framework of the Sri Lankan state and offer regional autonomy to the minority Tamil community through devolution of powers. The two objectives have been met with only partial success.

  • End of militancy-
  1. In Sri Lanka, the most important political change since 1987 has been the total military defeat and demise of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Tamil militant groups, with the exception of the LTTE, agreed to follow the political path opened up for them by the accord of 1987. LTTE chose not to accept the award and went on war with Sri Lanka to which India also became a party against the LTTE.
  2. The militant group (LTTE) was finally eliminated in 2009, effectively and permanently ending the ‘political-solution’ approach to the ethnic conflict — an approach that guided the drafting of the accord in July 1987.
  • Constitutional amendment-
  1. The second objective of the accord required a constitutional amendment. The 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution was passed by Sri Lankan Parliament in November 1987.
  2. The new law, which closely followed the Indian constitutional model of power-sharing, created a system of Provincial Councils in Sri Lanka’s nine Provinces. Though rejected by the LTTE as an inadequate solution to the Tamil national question, the 13th Amendment at least restructured, de jure, Sri Lanka’s post-colonial state, which had remained un-reformable in the direction of pluralism and multi-ethnicity.
  3. This, in retrospect, is the single-most significant and lasting contribution that the pact has made to Sri Lanka’s contemporary politics.
  • Official acceptance of diverse nature of Sri Lanka-
  1. The accord of the 1987 led to acknowledgment of the diverse nature of the Sri Lankan society and polity. The 1987 system of devolution was created on the basis of a set of important assumptions, as clearly articulated in the text of the accord.
  2. These included:

Sri Lanka is a multiethnic and multicultural society; Tamil demand for secession is not politically tenable, though understandable; regional autonomy is the best alternative both to a unitary state and separation; and Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict can be best managed by political means, grounded in the acknowledgement that the ethnic minorities have legitimate political and other grievances and aspirations.

  • Failure of Provincial councils –
  1. Provincial council in the North-Eastern province could not gain real regional autonomy from rigid, unsympathetic and evasive political class and bureaucracy in Colombo. This led to declaration of independence in the North Eastern province by the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), the most leftist among Tamil militant groups, which had formed a coalition after winning the first Provincial Council election.
  2. Provincial Councils continued in the Sinhalese-majority Provinces, seven in all, where there was no demand for devolution. Confined to these seven Provinces and caught up in a powerful ideological paradigm of a centralised unitary state, the entire system of Provincial Councils found new political reasons for their existence other than regional autonomy. Two of them stand above others.
  3. First, the Councils, contrary to the original intention of the law, became institutional extensions of the Central government and the ruling party in Colombo.
  4. Second, they evolved into institutions through which political corruption and patronage politics got decentralised and democratised. Even the Northern Council, which was formed anew after the war in 2013, and run by a Chief Minister of the Tamil National Alliance, has not been able to reverse this institutional paralysis.

How the accord changed Sri Lanka’s relations with the India?

  • The accord tried to bring harmony between the two nations after India’s ill-fated military intervention to suppress militancy issue. Though the relations have improved, there are still some points of differences that strain the relationship of the two.
  • Sri Lanka has skeptical of external intervention of India into its internal affairs. The successive governments in Sri Lanka after the accord have been suspicious of India and it could also be one of the reasons behind the slow progress of the implementation of the accord.
  • State of Tamil Nadu has played crucial role in the relations between India and Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu in particular is vocal against the lack of real autonomy to the provincial councils in Sri Lanka as per the 1987 accord. This has strained the relations between the two neighbors. The coalition government of the Dr Manmohan Singh had to vote against the Sri-Lanka at UN on the issues of human rights violation.
  • India’s continued insistence in devolution of powers to Sri Lankan Tamilians has raised sovereignty issues in Sri Lanka and very often latter has tried to balance India with Chinese help particularly of economic nature.
  • Although with the election of new government in Sri Lanka, the relations between the two nations are improving, the permanent solution to the Tamil issue is the key to achieve the full potential of the relations.

Conclusion-

Sri Lanka is important neighbor for India due to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean. India stands to lose if it expects complete reciprocity on the part of Sri Lanka. India needs to be as impartial as possible when it comes to Tamilian issue and must encourage Sri Lanka to find amicable ways and methods with taking all the stakeholders together in achieving the true objective of accord of 1987.   

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices

6) Critically evaluate merits and demerits of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). (200 Words)

The Indian Express

 

Introduction-

The launch of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) was considered to be solution for the deep structural problem of providing cushion to famers in cases of crop failures. However the some of the recent results of the scheme shows inconsistency in its objectives and outcomes.

Merits-

  • Low rate of premium for farmers-

Farmers had to pay high premium along with the capping of insurance in the previous crop insurance schemes (NAIS and MNAIS). Under PMFBY premium amount is low at 2 percent for Kharif crops and of 1.5 percent for Rabi crops. So more farmers are adopting the insurance.

  • Large areas covered-

For the first time, farmers’ share of the premium was pegged at 2 per cent for kharif crops and 1.5 per cent for rabi crops. As a result, the area covered under insurance increased from 27.2 million ha in kharif 2015 to 37.5 million ha in kharif 2016, and the sum insured increased from Rs 60,773 crore to Rs 1,08,055 crore over the same period.

  • Returns if yield falls below threshold level-

If the actual yield of an insured crop in a particular village falls below a ‘threshold’ (the average for the past seven years excluding calamity years), it entitles all farmers in that area to a claim, equal to the difference divided by the threshold yield and multiplied by the Sum Insured (SI). And the processing, approval and payment of final claims is to happen within three weeks from the receipt of yield data, which shall be available within a month from harvest.

  • Use of technology-

PMFBY also promises speedy claim settlements through use of technology: Remote sensing/satellite imagery and drones for generating crop yield estimates and GPS handheld devices/smartphones for capturing field of images and transmission of data on real time basis.

Demerits-

  • Technological aspects not yet integrated-

The system of crop damage assessment has not changed much and most of the states could not even procure smartphones that were supposed to facilitate the faster compilation of crop cutting experiments.

  • Low returns for the farmers-

In most states like Tamil Nadu; the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan; or the likes of Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, farmers have received only a fraction of the estimated crop damage claims.

  • Flaws in the design of the scheme-
  1. The first is its not being a fully Centrally-funded scheme. 50 per cent of the premium subsidy is borne by the states that are also responsible for conducting the requisite number of crop cutting experiments (CCE) at the village level for submitting to the insurance company. Such a skewed incentive structure wherein the states put in more than half of the money and hard work, but the Centre takes all the credit is intrinsically prone to implementation failure.
  2. States have in many cases delayed issuing of the necessary notifications well before the sowing season, while doing the same with paying their part of the subsidy and submitting CCE-based yield data. The ultimate casualty of all this has been the farmer unable to avail claims for prevented sowing or not receiving payment from the insurance company in time.
  3. At present, farmers have no direct connection with insurance companies, who do not even maintain landholding-wise or crop-wise databases of their supposed clients. As a recent ground-based assessment by the Centre for Science and Environment, has shown that farmers receive no insurance policy document or receipt.

The premiums are deducted by banks against crop loans extended by them without even their consent. Low farmer awareness, coupled with irregular funding that gives insurance companies all the more reason not to expedite claim payments would bring discredit to a well-intended scheme.

  • Reluctance on the part of state governments-

Some state governments did not take the cost of cultivation as the amount to be insured with a view to saving their outgo on the premium subsidy. Many state governments did not pay the premium on time, as a result of which the farmers’ claims could not be settled expeditiously.

Conclusion-

The Union government must work on rectifying the implementation challenges and flaws in the design of the scheme. With the irregularity of monsoon increasing, PMFBY can prove game changers for farmers and allow them to focus more on improving crop productivity rather than worrying about natural calamities.

 


Topic:  Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics,

7) Discuss critically various opinions  expressed against Artificial Intelligence by scientists, philosophers and technology leaders. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Artificial intelligence-

  • The concept of artificial intelligence is that computer systems can be used to perform tasks that would normally require a human. These can range from speech recognition and translation into different languages, all the way through to visual perception and even decision making.
  • Broadly speaking, anything can be considered artificial intelligence if it involves a program doing something that we would normally think would rely on the intelligence of a human. Quite how this is achieved is not the point – just the fact that it can be done, is a sign of artificial intelligence.

Various opinions expressed against AI by scientists, philosophers and technology leaders-

  • Job losses- There is little doubt that artificial intelligence will displace many low-skilled jobs. Arguably, robots have already taken many jobs on the assembly line – but now this could extend to new levels. Take, for example, the concept of driverless cars, which could displace the need to have millions of human drivers, from taxi drivers to chauffeurs, very quickly.
  • Distribution of power Artificial intelligence carries the risk, in the minds of some, of taking control away from humans – de-humanizing actions in many ways. Nations that are in possession of artificial intelligence could theoretically kill humans without needing to pull a trigger.
  • Lack of judgement calls Humans can take unique circumstances and judgement calls into account when they make their decisions, something that artificial intelligence may never be able to do. One example occurred in Sydney, Australia, in 2014 when a shooting drama in the downtown area prompted people to make numerous calls to Uber in an effort to escape the area. The result was that Uber’s ride rates surged based on its supply and demand algorithm – there was no consideration involved for the circumstances in which the riders found themselves.
  • High Cost: Creation of artificial intelligence requires huge costs as they are very complex machines. Their repair and maintenance require huge costs. They have software programs which need frequent up gradation to cater to the needs of the changing environment and the need for the machines to be smarter by the day. In the case of severe breakdowns, the procedure to recover lost codes and re-instating the system might require huge time and cost.
  • No Original Creativity: While machines can help people design and create, they are no match for the power of thinking that the human brain has or even the originality of a creative mind. Human beings are highly sensitive and emotional intellectuals. They see, hear, think and feel. Their thoughts are guided by the feelings which completely lacks in machines. The inherent intuitive abilities of the human brain cannot be replicated.
  • Domination over humans- It is feared that machines capable of thinking and taking independent decisions can dominate the humans. This may have disastrous consequences for human race as a whole.

The other side-

  • The protagonists of AI suggest that even if some jobs are made redundant by machines, they would create new ones for the future generations.
  • Further they argue that there are absolutely no reasons that intelligent machines will even want to dominate the world and/or threaten humanity. The will to dominate is a very human one (and only for certain humans).
  • A lot of the bad things humans do to each other are very specific to human nature. Behavior like becoming violent when we feel threatened, being jealous, wanting exclusive access to resources, preferring our next of kin to strangers, etc were built into us by evolution for the survival of the species. Intelligent machines will not have these basic behaviors unless we explicitly build these behaviors into them.
  • One massive advantage of artificial intelligence is its potential to complete mundane tasks through intricate automation that will increase productivity. Theoretically this can even remove “boring” tasks from humans and free them up to be increasingly creative.
  • Using artificial intelligence alongside cognitive technologies can help make faster decisions and carry out actions quicker.
  • With artificial intelligence, people can arguably lessen the risks that expose humans to, in the name of research. Take, for example, space exploration and the Mars rover, known as Curiosity. It can travel across the landscape of Mars, exploring it and determining the best paths to take, while learning to think for itself. Using artificial intelligence in this manner could potentially lead to massive benefits in areas such as demand forecasting, medical diagnosis and oil exploration.

Conclusion-

In near future, AI through algorithms would decide who should get a job, which part of a city needs to be developed, who should get into a college, and in the case of a crime, what should be the sentence. It is not super intelligence of robots that is the threat to life as we know it, but machines taking over thousands decisions that are critical to us and deciding social outcomes.

A group of AI researchers met in Asilomar and drew up a set of principles for what should be the goals of AI – common good, no arms race using AI, shared prosperity. While not as strong as the Asilomar principles drawn up in 1975 that barred certain kind of recombinant DNA technology at that time, they still articulate clearly that AI needs to be developed for public good and be socially regulated. It is our humanity that is at stake, not the end of the human race as a Stefen Hawking or Elon Musk fears.

 


TopicAwareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics,

8) “Data is the oil of the 21st century.” Discuss. (200 Words)

Livemint

Introduction-

Oil proved to be most important commodity in the 20th century which practically changed the world, the way it worked. Numerous battles and wars were fought over it and the nations strove hard to secure continuous oil supply for their booming economies. Data seems to taking place of oil in 21st century with respect to importance, its use in economies of the nations and in the ever increasing digital space.

How and why data is considered oil of the 21st century?

Benefits of using Data-

  • Data and Artificial Intelligence-
    • Over the past five years, the new thing has been the use of data in Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI has been around as an idea for 40 years but the availability of data, changed its contours.
    • The breakthrough was deep learning, which uses layers of neural networks to automate problem-solving. Because of data, software and machines have become more intelligent. Data combined with AI creates scale and speed.
    • For eg Netflix in USA, when Netflix began, it was not in the content business but in the distribution business. In 2013, it started creating its own content. It stores and analyzes data, who is watching what, when, how, and what they like. Today, it has over 100 million customers worldwide.
  • Business importance-
    • Companies like Apple, Facebook are essentially using data for commerce to understand customers’ preferences and selling them just what they wanted. Between 2000 and 2010, data was used largely for monetization gains.
    • For eg In the US, Google and Facebook have a 71% share of total digital advertising spending. In 2015-16, they captured 89% of all incremental digital advertising.
    • China’s mobile payments are a staggering $5.5 trillion. These payments are dominated by two companies—Alipay, part of the Alibaba Group, and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat. These two companies own over 90% of the payments market in China.
  • Huge future potential- 
    • Out of 5.5 billion people in the world over the age of 14, 2.5 billion have a smartphone. By 2020, every person will have four personal digital devices. The Internet of Things will soon bring 50 billion devices online. Smart companies have realized this.
    • Apple, Google, GE, Siemens, Amazon, Tencent, Baidu—all are moving from products and pipes to platforms. These platforms enable products that solve problems but they also capture and own data produced in the interaction.
    • They also use the data produced to become better at what they do. That, in turn, attracts more customers, generating more data.

However, like oil, monopolistic tendencies over Data can be harmful for people and consumers because-

  • Data is its own means. It is an unlimited non-rivalrous resource. Yet, it isn’t shared freely. What began as a differentiator is now the model itself. Platforms that accumulate user data disrupt industries, wield disproportionate influence and create silos. This leads to data domination.
  • There are multiple risks from data domination: violation of privacy, data colonization, and a winner-takes-all scenario that stifles innovation and competition. This isn’t just a technology challenge but also a policy one.

Thus Data is being compared with the oil with regard to its importance in the daily lives of the people and their rights connected to it.

Way forward-

  • Data has to be owned by the user and used only with her consent. Individuals should be in control of their own data. It should be used to empower the individual, not the state, or the companies.
  • Apart from a strong data protection law, we need an efficient consent process. This could take the form of data consent, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs ) that allow consent collection, storage, and audits. And at any time, users have the right to pull out their data. They can choose what they want to be part of, and what they don’t.
  • This prevents data colonization, yet enables and empowers AI. It tilts the privacy debate in favour of the user. And it creates real user choice at every level. Data is empowering in the hands of people. Inverting it allows freedom and choice. This leads data democracy.

 


General Studies – 4


70 Days ETHICS PLAN

 

Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function

9) a) Differentiate between prejudice and stereotype.

b) Is behaviour always a reflection of one’s attitude? Explain with example.

c) What are the factors that influence the formation of attitude? Discuss with examples.

NCERT Class XII Psychology textbook Chapter 6

 

Introduction :-

Prejudice and stereotype :-

Prejudice is a kind of prejudgment or assumption about somebody before having sufficient knowledge to judge with accuracy. Prejudice refers to beliefs without sound knowledge of the facts concerned with the belief.  Much of prejudice is based on negative feelings towards people belonging to other groups but showing favour towards people belonging to one’s groups. Black people are uncivilised is a prejudice. Disliking a co worker or subordinate without knowing their abilities, just because of their caste, religion, region, nationality, etc.

The word ‘stereotype’ is derived from the Greek word ‘stereos’ meaning ‘firm’ or ‘solid’. They are standardized beliefs about people based on some prior assumptions. Stereotypes are developed mostly from ones experience, upbringing. It is believed that childhood influences are indeed some of the very profound factors in developing stereotypes. People may stereotype women as more nurturing, caring than men.

Does behaviour always reflection of attitude :-

Attitudes can positively or negatively affect a person’s behavior. A person may not always be aware of his or her attitude or the effect it is having on behavior. A person who has positive attitudes towards work and co-workers (such as contentment, friendliness, etc.) can positively influence those around them. Behaviour is mostly a reflection of attitude but not always. A person can treat the lady co worker in office respectfully, equally and with much dignity but he may have patriarchal attitude.

The factors which lead to development of attitudes can be :-

  • Family: Family is the most powerful source for formation of attitudes. The parents, siblings provide information about various things.
  • Peers:- As the individual develops, he comes in contact with outer world and peers in first place. Peers include same age friends, neighbours, classmates, etc. The child tries to internalise the attitudes of these people.
  • Conditioning: When we are conditioned or adjusted to a certain set up of people, situation, etc., we will be influenced by that. Hence, our associations lead to develop attitudes. Many times the kind of reinforcement we get from environment also leads to develop attitudes. On the other hand, negative reinforcement like punishment, teasing, criticizing, troubling may lead to develop negative attitude. Examples: when a patient’s life is saved by a particular hospital at critical moments, he will develop a favourable attitude and if the life is lost he will develop a negative attitude towards hospital, doctor.
  • Direct instruction: Sometimes direct instruction can influence attitude formation. For example, somebody gives information about a hair dye or usefulness of some fruit, we develop an attitude about that product, may be positive or negative.
  • Satisfaction of wants: Individual develops favourable attitudes towards those people and objects which satisfy his wants and unfavourable attitudes towards those who do not satisfy.