SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 MAY 2018
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, their problems and their remedies.
Why this question
As the pace of urbanization in the country grows, migration will also increase and so will the associated problems. Understanding the causes of and impacts of migration from a gender perspective would enable us to understand the issues faced by female migrants much better.
Key demand of the question
Following issues are to be addressed in your answer
- The status quo regarding female migration
- The reasons behind female migration
- The issues faced by the female migrants
- How to address those issues
Discuss – Here the causes are to be mentioned which lead to female migration
Examine – Here the issues faced by female migrants and the impact of such issues have to be examined in detail. In the latter part of the answer way forward is to be provided as well.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – introduce your answer by explaining that urbanization is leading to greater migration. Highlight findings of economic survey regarding migration and mention that gender perspective on the same is missing
- Discuss some statistics around teenage migration to show that it is increasing off late
- Discuss the various reasons behind female migration – here the focus should be on explaining that unlike contrary expectations, marriage and personal reasons are not the only or the most predominant reason for migration
- Examine the issues faced by women under various heads like economic, social justice etc.
- Suggest measures to address shortcomings
Conclusion – highlight the need for improving participation of women in LFPR and thus the issues need to be resolved
- Women migration has been happening in India and world for centuries. The 2011 Census reveals that women form almost 70 per cent of internal migration.
Reasons for migration of women :-
- Marriage-induced migration or associated migration continues to be the predominant reason for the overwhelming presence of women among migrants.
- Education and employment:-
- Many middle and upper middle class women migrate to cities for improving their educational credentials and also to get suitable employment apparently in a quest for social advancement.
- Post liberalisation export-oriented economic development has created demand for women labour.
- Among the semi-literate, young girls migrating to towns/cities to work in export processing units, garment industry, electronic assembling and food processing units is continuously on the increase in the recent years
- Relay migration:
- To augment family income, families which have some land holdings in the rural area, send the daughters to work mostly as domestic servants
- Business as a reason for migration increased by 153 per cent during 2001-11, more than four times the rate for men.
Issues faced by women migrants:-
- The preference for women employees on the part of employers is mainly because women accepted lower wage, are not unionised and do not protest much against unpleasant working conditions
- Denial of basic needs and exploitation:-
- Women migrants in general face the denial of basic needs such as identity documentation, social entitlements, housing and financial services.
- Women remain mostly discriminated in the workforce and invariably suffer economic exclusion.
- Denied maternity benefits or special care and more vulnerable to sexual harassment
- Wage gap:-
- These women migrants are more likely to be paid less than male migrants and non-migrant women.
- Health hazards:-
- In addition to low pay and inhuman working conditions, low-skilled women migrants often get work that is saddled with health hazards.
- According to a study by Cividep, garment workers in Bengaluru, comprising 90 per cent women migrants, often suffer from respiratory illness, tuberculosis, ergonomic problems like back pain, mental health problems such as depression and reproductive health issues.
- Policy failure:-
- India does not have a direct exclusionary registration system of migrants like China’s “hukou” system, it discriminates against them more subtly through political, administrative, labour market, and socio-economic processes.
- For example, the ration card continues to be a person’s primary identity document, which is issued to the family.
- The absence of individual-specific ration cards and the need to surrender the old card to move to a new ration card poses unique problems for women migrants who are only recognised as dependents in a male-headed household. This also limits women migrants ability to access financial services.
- Despite internal migration being very high and the enactment of Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act that legally protects labour migrants rights, governments continue to exclude migrants from urban development policies.
Ways to alleviate women concerns:-
- Better data collection:-
- Capturing the complex dynamics of gender-specific migration would not only fill knowledge gaps in the gender dimension of migration but also improve the visibility of women as economic actors and help the state respond better to their needs.
- Aadhaar card to women migrants can ensure her access to basic needs, opening of Jan Dhan accounts and availing benefits of the National Health Protection Mission.
- International examples:-
- India can learn from countries such as Austria, Belgium, Norway, Romania, UK, etc which provide vocational training to improve employability of women migrants and access to support services.
- “We the Women” programme of Vietnam helped create job opportunities for women migrants is also worth studying.
- States should emulate Kerala which provide insurance and free medical treatment for its 30 million migrant workers.
- Policy :-
- An inclusive National Urban Policy should integrate migration and the needs of migrants, in particular women migrants, their aspirations and empowerment and ensure their right to the city and better infrastructure, and gender-friendly service delivery.
- The political inclusion of migrants would also democratise urban governance and ensure the building of cities on the basis of gender equality.
General Studies – 2
Topic: Role of civil services in a democracy.
2) Although civil services examination conducted by UPSC needs several reforms, including the performance during the Foundation Course (FC) for service allocation is fraught with many dangers. Comment.(250 words)
Why this question
The idea of including performance of the candidate during Foundation course (FC) for allocation of service in civil services exam conducted by UPSC is not new. The government has shown its keenness to implement such arrangement. However, the civil services exam conducted by UPSC needs other reforms as well. And this suggestion of including FC, has been criticized on various fronts. The issue is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-
Role of civil services in a democracy.
Key demand of the question
The question wants us to express our opinion on -what are the reforms required in civil services exam and – what are the dangers/ pitfalls involved in including performance in FC in deciding service and cadre allocation.
We have to brainstorm on the issue and based on the key demand of the question, frame our answer. We have to briefly discuss the areas where reform is required in civil services exam. Then we have to present our personal opinion on the issue of including FC performance.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– Mention the change in socio-economy of India and emergence of new hopes, aspirations and expectations from civil services, which demand major reforms in civil services examination.
- Discuss in points reforms required in civil services examination.
e.g restricting number of attempts, duration of exam is too long, problems in maintaining parity in case of optionals, changing governance paradigms, need for lateral entry etc.
- Discuss why the recent move to include performance in FC for the purpose of allocation of service and cadre is fraught with dangers.
e.g exam process will be further lengthened, high chances of bias and favouritism during FC, dilution of the basic purpose of FC- inculcation of officer like qualities etc.
Conclusion– Frame a fair, balanced and a concise opinion on the above issue and suggest a way forward.
- The civil services are seen as the backbone of governance for the Indian state. Over time, and with changes in technology, economy and society, the quality requirements for selection of civil servants have changed.
Why the examination needs reforms:-
- The current civil services examinations need to be thoroughly overhauled if it were to serve as an effective instrument for selecting suitable candidates for the country’s premier civil services.
- Nearly one-year long process, comprising preliminary screening test followed by mains and interview for shortlisted candidates, leaves unsuccessful candidates little time to devote to anything else or to take any break and they find themselves immersed again into another year devoted solely to preparations for the exam
- Colossal waste of human capital in the case of those who unfortunately are not able to crack the exams.
- Raising age limit has resulted in candidates taking multiple attempts without doing anything else and wasting prime years of their youth.
- Considering that most of higher education institutions are funded or subsidised by the Government, such non-utilisation of the technical degree for the intended professional purposes amounts to tremendous wastage of Government funds.
- It is also a loss of opportunity for someone else who might have utilised the professional education and degree better by contributing to the much-needed growth of manufacturing sector and economic development of the country.
- A big problem with the present structure of the civil services exam is that it requires extensive preparations leaving someone pursuing a regular or even part-time job severely disadvantaged, which explains why candidates either give up their jobs or decide not to take up any jobs while attempting the civil services exams.
- Long descriptive answers required to be given in the answer-sheets encourage rote learning of selected questions and not in-depth understanding and comprehension of the subject matter.
Several reforms needed are:-
- ARC report observed that most of the optional subjects had no relevance to the problems that a civil servant may need to address. Even the Alagh Committee on Civil Services Exam Review in 2001 noted that re-examining the candidates in their own subjects appears to be of doubtful utility.
- Most aspirants feel it would be a game-changer as there is a huge difference in the award of marks in the optionals, while some subjects have innate advantages
- Government must take immediate steps to simplify the civil services exam structure and to shorten the whole process to ensure that unduly strenuous preparatory work is not required to succeed and degree of subjectivity is reduced to the barest minimum.
- If this were done, one would be justified in reducing maximum age limit and the number of attempts.
Changes proposed recently:-
- Prime Minister’s Office wants to alter that process and allot services and cadres to candidates only after taking into account how they fare in the Foundation Course.
Implications of this move:-
- Could give rise to a trend where high-ranking candidates will no longer get services of their choice.
- Will destroy the purpose for which officers go through the Foundation Course as probationers will compete for every mark so that they get the service of their choice.
- Service recruitment rules will have to be amended to accommodate the new idea.
- Using a probationer’s performance in the foundation course to decide his or her service will ruin whatever objectivity the UPSC examination provides and put pressure on probationers to appeal to the subjective assessments of their examiners.
- Technical issues
- The proposal raises a whole lot of technical questions that cannot be easily resolved given the current system of service allocation and training.
- The first question is about what the foundation course will consist of.
- Constraints with academies:-
- Pliant academies with extraordinary powers will open the doors of sought-after services to people whose ideological outlook suits the government, creating a loyal or committed bureaucracy over the long haul.
- Also the manpower in these academies is not trained to allot service and cadre to probationers.
- This move of deciding service after the foundation course would lead to large-scale litigation by bureaucrats right at the beginning of their careers.
- No probationer will ask questions during the foundation course for fear of getting a poor assessment and a service they do not want.
- In the present system, the moment their cadre is allotted, probationers start developing a loyalty to that state, start learning its language and history and interacting with people of that state. All of this will now get upended.
- Any decision needs to be taken only after dialogue and discussion involving multiple stakeholders especially aspirants as well whose life is at stake.
Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Judiciary
Why this question
There have been several reforms undertaken in recent years to improve polity, economy etc, however no reform has been forthcoming on the functioning of judiciary. There are several issues that are faced by the judiciary and underlining those issues and the reforms required to address issues in Judiciary and discussing them is the need of the hour.
Key demand of the question
Following aspects are to be highlighted in your answer
- The issues faced by indian Judiciary which merits reform
- The impact if status quo persisted in Judiciary
- The reforms required
- Way forward for implementing these reforms
Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. The issues mentioned above are to be discussed.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight some of the controversies in current news which indicate that judicial reforms are necessary.
- Analyze the issues plaguing judicary. Here discuss issues ranging from pendency of cases to appointment of judges to transparency in judicial functioning to Judicial standards and accountability bill etc
- Examine the impact that persistence of these issues have
- Mention the reforms required to improve the functioning of judicary. Discuss reforms under various heads in the same way that you would describe the issues
- Mention how can the reforms be implemented as in the way forward
Conclusion – Mention the need judicial reforms in a democracy for the smooth functioning of judiciary and how reforms should be implemented as soon as possible.
- As of September 30, 2016, the Supreme Court has nearly 61,000 pending cases, official figures say. The high courts have a backlog of more than 40 lakh cases, and all subordinate courts together are yet to dispose of around 2.85 crore cases. On an average, cases take three years and nine months to get disposed.
- Such is apathy faced by judiciary and hence reforms are necessary
Problems plaguing judiciary:-
- Under trials:-
- India has one of the world’s largest number of undertrial prisoners. A little over two-thirds of India’s roughly 4.2 lakh prisoners await trial.
- Cases stuck:-
- Usually cases near the final stage of hearing tend to be left over at disproportionate rates and often end up getting stuck in the system.
- The uncertainty around which cases will come up for hearing means neither judges nor lawyers can plan their preparation.
- This situation compels lawyers to waste time waiting in court and enables them to cite the simultaneous listing of multiple cases as an excuse for adjournments.
- Registry staff must manage the massive task of re-listing leftover matters in an already bulging docket, instead of streamlining case flow.
- Case listing:
- It is not uncommon to see more than 100 cases being assigned to judges on a given day. Such case listing affects the adjudication process and thus the justice delivery system as the judge rarely gets proper time for research.
- A pervasive reason for delays is adjournments. A study by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy (VCLP) conducted on Delhi HC found that in 91 per cent of cases delayed over two years, adjournments were sought and granted.
- These encourage delaying tactics, block judicial time, prevent effective case management and impoverish litigants. They deter many from seeking access to formal justice.
- Though the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 suggests not more than three adjournments should be given in each case, Vidhi finds the Delhi High Court gave more than three adjournments in nearly 70% of all delayed cases.
- Court infrastructure
- Inadequate support staff for judges to the dearth of basic courtroom facilities.
- Without research and secretarial support, judges are unable to perform their functions in a timely manner.
- Even though judges managed to hear many cases in a day, it takes time for the stenographers to finish typing the orders.
- Contribution of the courts to the problem by non-adherence to procedural timeframes.
- Lawyers :-
- 82% of all delays could be attributed to lawyers and not the judges per se.
- There is some anecdotal evidence that lawyers end up meeting their clients only when they are produced in court, thus giving them a very little time to effectively confer with their clients for their case.
- Other government institutions leading to indirectly affecting judiciary:-
- Delays in the legal system are caused not only because of a shortage of judges, but also because of a shortage of police officers (who have to investigate cases and then come to court on a regular basis), prosecutors (who are often underpaid and over-worked), inadequate judicial infrastructure (overcrowded court rooms or inadequate support staff such as stenographers)
Reforms needed :-
- Vacancies in the Supreme Court and in the High Courts need to be filled up. Most High Courts are functioning with half or one third the sanctioned strength.
- The infrastructure in the courts needs improvement
- There needs to be appointment of ad hoc or additional judges to clear pending cases .
- Reforming the system of appointing judges and holding their functioning to account is another priority.
- Accepting applications for appointments as High Court judges:-
- This is followed in the U.K. and can be adopted in India too. There must be full and complete disclosure of relationships and affiliations of applicants to sitting and retired judges. Minimum eligibility criteria for consideration need to be laid down, including appearances in important cases.
- Three member Permanent Commission to scrutinise the credentials of candidates and recommend names may be constituted.
- These Permanent Commissions should also be vested with the power to scrutinise complaints of dishonesty and lack of integrity of judges, to make recommendations to the collegiums to withdraw work from those judges pending impeachment.
- The Law Commission has recommended hearing cases continuously, avoiding postponements and reaching speedy verdicts. This is possible only when the caseload per judge is of a reasonable size.
- Creating an Indian Judicial Service to create a large pool of trained, dedicated judges who would enlarge the pool of talent available for elevation to the higher judiciary would be a big step forward.
- Diverting cases from the courts to alternate dispute resolution forums (such as mediation and Lok Adalats) and specialised tribunals.
- Both jail adalats and plea bargaining, reduce the backlog in courts, by encouraging accused in certain cases to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence.
- Specification of time limits has emerged as a distinctive feature of process reforms across jurisdictions that have been able to quantifiably minimise judicial delay, such as the UK and Singapore.
- Reduce government litigation, simplify procedures, recommending precise capacity reinforcements and use of technology.
- Courts must become more open to applying management principles to optimise case movement and judicial time. In this, external support agencies competent in strategic thinking should be allowed to work with judicial officers to understand and help the institution function better.
- Using technology in courts cannot remain limited to digitising records alone but must affect how cases actually move through the system.
- Initiatives such as CIS must be supplemented with file-tracking and knowledge management systems, to help courts achieve an optimal level of functioning.
General Studies – 3
TOPIC: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development
Why this question
The recent takeover of majority stake in Bhushan steel by Tata steel has raised hopes from Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Bhushan Steel was one among the 12 major accounts referred to the National Company Law Tribunal at the behest of the Reserve Bank of India last year to ease the burden of bad loans on banks. The question is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Key demand of the question
The question wants us to highlight the Bhushan Steel deal, and then identify and describe in detail about the challenges still faced by IBC.
Analyse- we have to identify the key issues which are hampering the loan-resolution process under IBC. We have to write in detail about these issues and explain/ describe such issues individually.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– mention the aim of IBC and also mention the Bhushan steel deal.
Body– Discuss in points, the problems/ issues still plaguing the loan resolution process under IBC.
e.g eligibility criteria, strict time limit for resolution process, not a stakeholder approach, etc.
Conclusion- Bring Out a fair, balanced and concise conclusion on the above issue and suggest a way forward.
- Recently Tata Steel acquired 73% stake in the bankrupt firm Bhushan Steel for about ₹35,000 crore making it the first major resolution of a bankruptcy case under the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
Bankruptcy resolution process:-
- The IBC is a welcome piece of legislation to the extent that it subsumes a plethora of laws that confused creditors and instead it now offers a more streamlined way to deal with troubled assets.
Bhushan steel case:-
- Bhushan Steel was one among the 12 major accounts referred to the National Company Law Tribunal at the behest of the Reserve Bank of India last year to ease the burden of bad loans on banks.
How it resolves bankruptcy resolution process:-
- The proceeds from the acquisition will go towards settling almost two-thirds of the total outstanding liabilities of over ₹56,000 crore that Bhushan Steel owes banks.
- Bhushan Steel resolution is nevertheless an encouraging sign for banks because they typically manage to recover only about 25% of their money from defaulters. In fact, between April 2014 and September 2017, the bad loan recovery rate of public sector banks was as low as 11%, with non-performing assets worth ₹2.41 lakh crore written off from their books.
Challenges still plaguing the bankruptcy resolution process:-
- Issues such as the proposed eligibility criteria for bidders have left it bogged down and suppressed its capacity to help out creditors efficiently.
- Also, the strict time limit for the resolution process as mandated by the IBC is an area that has drawn much attention.
- No other restructuring law in the world has such restrictive thresholds
- Adequacy of the resolution professionals management expertise:-
- Currently, a resolution professional is either a chartered, cost accountant or a lawyer with a minimum-10 years in practice and having qualified the exam conducted by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI). However, in most cases, hands-on business experience is missing.
- The transparency of the bid evaluation process and the procedural details of the resolution process :-
- Closed-door negotiations, reliance on a small batch of individuals called insolvency professionals of extremely uneven quality, and a massive cumbersome regulatory superstructure.
- Problems to banks, given the probability of higher hair-cuts and delay in the resolution process
- Resolutions may happen at a lower-than-anticipated valuation because promoters, in a bid to retain control of existing assets, may have potentially bid higher, thereby setting a higher benchmark for other bidders
- Likelihood of delay in resolution process as fresh bids will have to be called
- The lack of strong promoter bids may dilute the competitive process between the remaining resolution applicants and so, lower the recovery for lenders.
- India is short of professional participants in the Insolvency Resolution Process of the IBC. For example, as yet foreign capital has been largely blocked. There will be fewer participants and the highest bid will be a bargain.
- The IBC is best applied at an early stage in the difficulties of a company, but most existing NPAs have been ripening for many years. For those cases, there is really nothing to be done but to pick at the bones of the corpse.
- Going forward, amendments to the bankruptcy code should primarily be driven by the goal of maximising the sale price of stressed assets. This requires a robust market for stressed assets that is free from all kinds of entry barriers
Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
Why this question
Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. With over 70% mortality rate, the disease has taken many lives in Kerala recently. The question is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-
Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
Key demand of the question
The question wants us to write at length about the Nipah virus disease- its cause, transmission, clinical signs, treatment and control. It also wants us to highlight the role NCDC in controlling various disease- in terms of its functions.
Discuss- we have to write in detail about the Nipah virus disease- cause, transmission, signs, treatment and control.
Highlight- we have to briefly mention the key functions of NCDC and how it works in controlling various diseases.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– mention the cause of Nipah virus disease, its history along with first reporting in India and the recent epidemic in Kerala.
- Discuss the transmission- how the infection passes from one individual / animal to another; Clinical signs and mortality rate, its treatment and how to control the epidemic- before and after outbreak.
- Discuss the role of NCDC in controlling various communicable diseases in the country- e.g to provide expertise to the States and Union Territories (UTs) on rapid health assessment and laboratory based diagnostic services, Surveillance of communicable diseases and outbreak investigation etc.
Conclusion– Mention the growing importance of zoonotic diseases in India and highlight the importance of a robust animal and human healthcare system to handle them.
- Kerala’s Kozhikode is on high alert as a deadly virus called ‘Nipah’ (NiV) claimed many lives in the state. The fast-spreading virus Nipah reported has a mortality rate of 70 per cent.
- Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans.
- Zoonosis means a disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals.
- The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus (fruit-eating species), according to WHO.
- Fruit bats are considered the main carrier of the virus for which there is no vaccination, according to the World Health Organization.
- Transmission of Nipah virus takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs, or from other NiV-infected people. humans often contracted the disease by drinking raw date palm sap tapped directly from trees, a sweet treat that fruit bats also enjoy.
- The common triggers of this virus include the following:
- If the person is infected, then close contact with that communicate the virus.
- If an individual eats any fruit that has come in contact with the saliva of the infected bats, the virus can spread to them as well.
- Drinking or eating (infected) date juice can also infect an individual with this pathogen.
- Nipah induces flu-like symptoms that often lead to encephalitis and coma.
- Nipah virus is associated with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). An infected person shows symptoms of fever and headache within three-14 days of exposure and an incubation period of five to 14 days.
- The clinical signs are fever, headache, dizziness and vomiting, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion. More than 50 per cent of the patients faced a reduced level of consciousness and prominent brain-stem dysfunction.
- Some patients have a respiratory illness during the early part of their infections, and half of the patients showing severe neurological signs showed also pulmonary signs.
Treatment and control:-
- According to WHO, there is no vaccine currently available for either humans or animals and NiV-infected patients are currently limited to supportive care.
- People have also been cautioned that they should not consume fruits that have fallen on to the ground.
- It has no treatment and can only be managed through intensive supportive care. people living in areas inhabited by bats or wildlife animals should be alert as there can be other infections that can afflict them.
- Prevention of Nipah virus infection is important since there is no effective treatment for the disease.
- The infection can be prevented by avoiding exposure to bats in endemic areas and sick pigs. Drinking of raw palm sap (palm toddy) contaminated by bat excrete eating of fruits partially consumed by bats and using water from wells infested by bats should be avoided.
- It is important to practice standard infection control practices and proper barrier nursing techniques to avoid the transmission of the infection from person to person.
- All suspected cases of Nipah virus infection should be isolated and given intensive supportive care. Ribavirinhas been shown effective in in vitro tests, but has not yet been proven effective in humans
- The ways to prevent exposure to such virus entails the following:
- Make sure that you never in close contact with infected people.
- Wear high-end gas masks to protect yourself.
- Make sure that you wash your hands on a regular basis.
- Do not eat half-eaten fruits.
- Stay away from anime pens.
Role of national centre for disease control in controlling various diseases :-
- This Institute is under administrative control of the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India.
- It functions as the nodal agency in the country for disease surveillance facilitating prevention and control of communicable diseases.
- In coordination with the State Governments, NCDC has the capacity and capability for disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, and rapid response to contain and combat outbreaks.
- Entomological expertise is made available by a separate division dealing with entomology and vector management.
- NCDC also provides referral diagnostic support, capacity building and technical support to States/UTs in the country. It also provides referral diagnostic services to individuals, community, medical colleges, research institutions and state health directorates.
- The Institute takes leading role in undertaking investigations of disease outbreaks all over the country employing epidemiological and diagnostic tools.
- Outbreak investigations & recommendations on control measures for the out-break of various communicable diseases in the States/UTs all over the country
- Evaluation of chemical compounds & Assessment of biochemical parameters to establish clinical diagnosis e.g. Thyroid function tests etc.
General Studies – 4
Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
Why this question
The question is related to GS 4 syllabus under the following heading-
Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
Key demand of the question
The question wants us to give an account of Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts on ethics and morality and then form an opinion on whether they were based on normative ethics and to what extent they were practical in nature.
Comment- we have to form a personal opinion on the above issue and provide necessary justification in its support.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– Mention about the early life and overall contribution of Swami Vivekananda.
Body– Discuss in points, about the teachings, thoughts, quotations, works done by Swami Vivekananda on ethics and morality. Take help of the article attached with this question to frame your answer. You can also take help of other related articles to add to your answer.
Conclusion– Form a balanced and fair opinion on the issue of normative ethics and Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts.
Ethics, according to Vivekananda, is nothing but a code of conduct that
helps a man to be a good citizen of the world. The world needs good citizens for the betterment of the people. Without good citizens, no system, social or practical can functions in right ways. The basis of all systems social or political rests upon the goodness of men.
Ethics is also a mean to reach the goal, but it lies beyond laws. The strength of morality is greater than those facts.
His ethics is practical and normative:-
- It is practical as it throws lights on the practical life of a man. It addresses both the aspects of ethics containing two vital parts how and why a man will lead an ethical life.
- It is not Meta ethics as it does not deals only with the theoretical meaning and reference of moral proposition and how their truth values may be determined.
- Normative ethics deals with the practical means of determining a moral course of action. Swami Vivekananda clearly makes distinction between two concepts of moral and immoral. He says, that which is selfish is immoral, and that which is unselfish is moral.
- A man who wants to behave in accordance with the code of ethics must put himself last, i.e. he must show his attention for the interest of others first.
- The background of ethics of Swami Vivekananda is The infinite oneness of the soul is the eternal sanction of all morality.
- From this thinking of Swami Vivekananda it is clear that the boundary of morality is extended to non-human beings also to treat them as ethical beings.
- To him, doing good is a secondary consideration. We must have an ideal. Ethics itself is not the end, but the means to the end
Therefore the concept of ethics of Swami Vivekananda may be designated as holistic ethics, as it tends to address the whole world. It is the duty of human beings not to show ethical behavior only to other fellow beings, but also to the whole universe. The whole universe is the subject matter of Vivekananda‘s ethics.