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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 AUGUST 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 18 AUGUST 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 – 2


Topic–  Indian Diaspora

1) Examine the evolution of India’s policy towards its diaspora over the years and the specific interventions made to mobilize Indian diaspora for India’s advantage? (250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question

The article lists the achievement of Vajpayee regime in mobilizing India’s diaspora for India’s benefit. It lists several important initiatives undertaken by the government to engage our diaspora. The article will help in preparing the aforementioned topic for GS2.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the how our policy regarding our diaspora has evolved over the years. We also need to highlight and explain the specific steps taken by the government to engage Indian diaspora and the advantages it has had.

Directive word

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 .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that diasporas have emerged as powerful entities since they are recognized as ‘soft power’ in the realm of foreign policy strategy and also as an agent or catalyst of economic development of countries of origin beside their active role in the host countries.

Body

  • Highlight that Indian Diaspora has increasingly become more influential over India’s foreign policy and has evolved as a strategic asset for India in the recent decades. Mention that around roughly about 25 million people spread across 135 countries form a part of Indian diaspora.
  • Discuss the evolution of our policy wrt our diaspora –
  • ethnic Indians who chose to remain abroad would consider themselves as citizens or nationals of their respective host lands. In fact, they were encouraged to integrate with host culture and fight for the liberation of their adopted lands
  • Later, when there was a switch of foreign policy priorities from realism to inter- third world cooperation under the regime of Rajiv Gandhi, there was a slight shift in Diaspora policy as well. He offered his amicable support and tried to handle Fiji Indian crisis in 1986, which had strained our relationship with Fiji. Besides, having realized Indian Diaspora as a strategic asset, he invited Indian diasporic talents like Sam Pitroda to realize his vision of 21st century India and took administrative measures like the establishment of Indian Overseas Affairs department in 1984.At the same time, there were no constructive steps or consistent and clear-cut policies to deal or tap the overseas Indians until the coming of National Democratic Alliance government led by BJP.
  • Diaspora  was able to participate in the plethora of economic opportunities of  the unregulated and open Indian economy. It resolved the foreign currency crisis due to substantial investment and remittance from the Indian Diaspora. Subsequently, the Indian government changed its outlook towards Diaspora and reviewed its Diaspora policy. The NDA government led by BJP had initiated major steps to leverage upon the Indian Diaspora for economic growth and also as part of its larger vision of cultural nationalism.
  • Discuss the specific measures undertaken to engage diaspora such as the ones mentioned in the article.

Conclusion – Highlight how significant diaspora is for the development of our country and the way forward.

Background:-

Diasporas have emerged as powerful entities since they are recognized as ‘soft power’ in the realm of foreign policy strategy and also as an agent or catalyst of economic development of countries of origin beside their active role in the host countries.

Evolution of India’s policy towards its diaspora:-

  • Nehruvian era :-
    • After achieving independence in 1947, there was a paradigm shift in the position of Diaspora policy as a result of India’s foreign policy being guided by Nehruvian ideals of anti-imperialism and racial apartheid, respect for Sovereignty and non-alignment.
    • On the economic front, India chose to follow self-reliance as its goal for economic development.
    • Nehru categorically announced that ethnic Indians who chose to remain abroad would consider themselves as citizens or nationals of their respective host lands. In fact, they were encouraged to integrate with host culture and fight for the liberation of their adopted lands.
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri’s time :-
    • Nehru’s successor Lal Bahadur Shastri entered into an agreement with Srilanka to resolve the question of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Otherwise, the Nehruvian trend was continued and extended to till 1980 by successive governments.
  • Indira Gandhi’s time:-
    • There was no change of position in the Diaspora policy .Owing to oil shocks and Balance of Payment crisis, the government pushed for a remittance –centric approach especially for the Gulf Indians.
  • Rajiv Gandhi’s time:-
    • Later, when there was a switch of foreign policy priorities from realism to inter- third world cooperation under the regime of Rajiv Gandhi, there was a slight shift in Diaspora policy as well.
    • He offered his amicable support and tried to handle Fiji Indian crisis in 1986
    • Besides, having realized Indian Diaspora as a strategic asset, he invited Indian diasporic talents like Sam Pitroda to realize his vision of 21st century India and took administrative measures like the establishment of Indian Overseas Affairs department in 1984.
  • Post 1991:-
    • On the advent of  new economic model, the Indian  Diaspora  was able to participate in the plethora of economic opportunities of  the unregulated and open Indian economy. 
    • It resolved the foreign currency crisis due to substantial investment and remittance from the Indian Diaspora.
  • Subsequently, the Indian government changed its outlook towards Diaspora and reviewed its Diaspora policy:-
    • The NDA government had initiated major steps to leverage upon the Indian Diaspora for economic growth and also as part of its larger vision of cultural nationalism.
    • In the light of this, long and short term comprehensive policy measures were unveiled to engage its diverse Diaspora during its regime such as the appointment of High Level Committee on Indian Diaspora, launching of PIO card scheme, organizing  annual Pravsi Bharatiya Divas on 9th January, giving out Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards, offering Dual citizenship (OCI) and so on.
    • The subsequent governments established a separate Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs which has taken several initiatives for engaging the Diaspora, the Overseas Citizen of India Card, NRI funds and voting rights for Indian citizens abroad.
    • The government has decided on a single identity card to make it easier for the diaspora to connect with the homeland, secure lifelong Indian visas, avoid checks at local police stations during visits, and own land.
    • India also allowed visitors from 43 countries, including the United States, Australia and Fiji, to receive visas upon arrival, replacing the previous process, which took weeks.
    • Moreover, the merger of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards has brought the relationship closer

How India used its diaspora to its advantage :-

  • In the wake of   globalization and radical structural changes in the Indian economy, India Diaspora was considered a viable and potential source to bail out the threatening foreign currency crisis of 1990s.
  • US Indian community’s stupendous lobbying efforts were laudable in relation with the cracking of the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Co-operation Agreement, defeating the Burton Amendment and justifying India’s nuclear tests in 1998 and the Kargil war in1999.
  • On various occasions, Indian Caucus on Capitol Hill and various other advocacy and lobby groups were instrumental in pushing India’s national and security interests forward.
  • The significant presence of diverse Indian community in the various parts of the globe has also had implications on India’s diplomatic relationship with many countries. The exploitation and ill-treatment of Indian workers in the Gulf countries has always been a cause of concerns in India’s relationship with those countries. 
  • The twenty five million diverse Indian Diaspora are indeed a tool for ‘soft power diplomacy’ for its retention of  cultural richness of India. They have been bridges, mediators, facilitators, lobby and advocacy groups for taking primacy of India’s’ national security and economic interests.
  • The expertise of Indian academic intellectuals in various US  and  European Union universities  could be an asset for revamping our falling standards of higher education. India can harness upon its well-exposed diasporic youths and make them partners for raising India’s human capital.
  • The East African Indian successful entrepreneurs who are key players in the global economy can be a spring board for India to play its role in the international trade.
  • Many diasporic Indians are members of parliament in many countries who could be a liaison between their government and India.
  • The governments repeatedly urged the community abroad to contribute money, time and technical expertise to signature programs, including cleaning the Ganges River, making India garbage-free and building rural toilets.
  • The Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative aimed at helping Indian Americans invest in India.

General Studies – 3


Topic– Money-laundering and its prevention.

2) What do you understand by Money laundering. Discuss. Also, examine the need to revisit the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

Money laundering is a key concern for the governments across the globe and India is not immune to it. It is therefore important to know the meaning of the concept and discuss the need to modify the law related to it.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Examine- Here we have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about money laundering- definition, purpose, means etc. It also wants us to discuss why there is a need to relook the PMLA.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few lines about the meaning of money laundering- e.g Money laundering is the process of creating the appearance that large amounts of money obtained from criminal activity, such as drug trafficking or terrorist activity, originated from a legitimate source. The money from the illicit activity is considered dirty, and the process “launders” the money to make it look clean.

Body-

  • Discuss the steps in money laundering- Placement-criminally derived funds are introduced in the financial system; Layering-the property is ‘washed’ and its ownership and source is disguised; Integration-‘laundered’ property is re-introduced into the legitimate economy;This three staged definition of money laundering is highly simplistic. The reality is that the so called stages often overlap and in some cases, for example in cases of financial crimes, there is no requirement for the proceeds of crime to be ‘placed’.
  • Discuss why there is a need to relook the PMLA. e.g The term “reason to believe” is a vague term, which is not defined in the PMLA, thus giving wide powers to the enforcement directorate to attach the properties; The concerned authorities appear more interested in putting the accused behind bars and attaching their properties, thus bringing a big stretch of offences covered under Indian Penal Code, Income-tax Act, Wildlife Act, Copyright Act, etc, as shoots of the parent money laundering offences.  Banks also become the “victims of crimes” as they are not able to alienate or dispose of secured assets into their hands to recover the money and bring liquidity and finances into the market, thus increasing NPAs and bad debt etc.

Conclusion– sum up your discussion in a few lines and form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the above issue.

 

Money laundering:-

  • Money laundering is the process of creating the appearance that large amounts of money obtained from criminal activity, such as drug trafficking or terrorist activity, originated from a legitimate source. The money from the illicit activity is considered dirty, and the process “launders” the money to make it look clean.
  • A case of Money laundering ostensibly appears to be an above-board financial transaction, however, the criminality underneath is hidden by a three stage process :
  1. The first stage is when the crime money is injected into the formal financial System. This is called ‘placement’;
  2. In the second stage, money injected into the system is layered and spread over various transactions with a view obfuscate the tainted origin of the money. This process is called ‘layering’;
  3. In the third and the final stage, money enters the financial system in such a way that original association with the crime is sought to be obliterated so that the money can then be used by the offender or person receiving as clean money. This is called ‘Integration

PMLA:-

  • In India, the specific legislation dealing with money laundering is the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 .The law was enacted to combat money laundering in India and has three main objectives :
    • To prevent and control money laundering
    • To provide for confiscation and seizure of property obtained from laundered money
    • To deal with any other issue connected with money-laundering in India

Why there is a need to revisit PMLA:-

  • India will have to make money laundering an explicitly standalone offence to upgrade its compliance ahead of the on-site mutual evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is due in November-December 2020.
  • Despite several amendments, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) remains a predicate-offence-oriented law:-
    • This means a case under the Act depends on the fate of cases pursued by primary agencies such as the CBI, the Income Tax Department or the police. The latest instances are the verdicts in the 2G spectrum and Aircel-Maxis cases by the CBI courts, in which the money laundering angle probed by the Enforcement Directorate fell apart.
    • The term “reason to believe” is a vague term, which is not defined in the PMLA, thus giving wide powers to the enforcement directorate to attach the properties
    • The concerned authorities appear more interested in putting the accused behind bars and attaching their properties, thus bringing a big stretch of offences covered under Indian Penal Code, Income-tax Act, Wildlife Act, Copyright Act, etc, as shoots of the parent money laundering offences. 
    • Banks also become the “victims of crimes” as they are not able to alienate or dispose of secured assets into their hands to recover the money and bring liquidity and finances into the market, thus increasing NPAs and bad debt etc.
  • Government is yet to implement the legislation effectively, especially with regard to criminal convictions
  • Law enforcement agenciesin India open criminal investigations reactively and seldom initiate proactive analysis and long term investigations
  • While the Indian government has taken action against certain hawala financing activities, prosecutions have generally focused on non-financial businessesthat conduct hawala transactions as a secondary activity.
  • The government has not taken adequate steps to ensure all relevant industries are complying with AML/CFT regulations.
  • The degree of training andexpertise in financial investigations involving transnational crime or terrorism-affiliated groups varied widely among the federal, state, and local levels and depended on the financial resources and individual policies of various jurisdictions
  • According to experts US investigators have had limited successin coordinating the seizure of illicit proceeds with Indian counterparts
  • While the Indian government supervised, regulated, and monitored these entities to prevent misuse and terrorist financing, a large unregulated and unlicensed MSB sector remained vulnerable to exploitation by illicit actors

Conclusion:-

  • The Indian government is serious about curbing money laundering so India has to focus on financial literacy education so that people are aware.

Topic– Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment;

Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc

3) Greater diversification of energy will be imperative for Indian refining and marketing companies in order to mitigate the disruptive potential of EVs over the longer term. Comment.(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

Growing pollution concerns and increasing demand and adoption of EVs which is bound to increase to 40% on medium term basis, are serious threats to the refining and marketing companies of India. Thus it is important to discuss what are the  risks and how to mitigate them.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to discuss the disruptive potential of EVs in the long run and express our opinion as to how risks are posed by them to the Indian refining and marketing companies and how they can be mitigated by energy diversification.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few lines about the growing need to combat air pollution, of which the automobile sector is a major source, and the growing popularity of EVs. Mention their anticipated growth rate.

Body-

  • Discuss further the growing popularity and reducing costs of EVs and mention that strong incentives by countries/governments such as lower taxes and toll exemptions auger well for EV growth. Nonetheless, the main challenge to growth is the need to build adequate infrastructure for charging EVs, which is bound to take time etc. mention that in the near future EVs will have a disruptive effect in automobile sector especially the  refining and marketing companies.
  • Discuss what are the risks posed. E.g mention the growing oil demand; domestic refining and marketing companies’ expansion of refineries to cater to the rising demand for petroleum products as the economy progresses; substitutes in the form of domestic gas and LNG could slow down the demand of other petroleum products like naphtha, furnace oil and LPG, which could put more pressure on profitability.
  • Bring out the need for energy diversification in order to mitigate the risks involved.

Conclusion– Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • In order to achieve emission targets, overhauling the transport sector is a key imperative, as it accounts for about 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions .In this regard, electric vehicles (EVs), both battery EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs, are seen as the silver lining, for they can help reduce carbon footprint, lower operating costs and are more energy-efficient.
  • Globally, EV sales have already surpassed 1 million in numbers supported by their growing familiarity, improvements in driving range, fall in battery prices, along with the availability of tax and other incentives.
  • Electric vehicles (EVs) are growing in popularity and certainly in mind space. They are cleaner and more efficient, easy to maintain and there is an advantage of regenerative braking. On the whole it is a package to fight against climate change and global warming as green house gas emissions are reduced .

Problems with current Electric vehicles model in India:-

  • Most worries hinge on battery costs and manufacturer readiness. Also at current the electric vehicles take longer time to charge than conventional vehicles.
  • A more India-specific concern will be that of the electricity gridas there are doubts when it can successfully handle the demand.
  • India needs to focus on ecosystem EV because the present system does not help environment as most power comes from coal-fired power
  • Will use solar photovoltaics (PV) to charge EVs. This means that Renewable energy may at best contribute some fraction of energy at different times but with personal vehicles and public transport mostly charged at night solar energy advantage as an alternative is constrained.
  • The main challenge to growth is the need to build adequate infrastructure for charging EVs, which is bound to take time.

Disruptive potential of electric vehicles:-

  • Impacts profits:-
    • Substitutes in the form of domestic gas and LNG could slow down the demand of other petroleum products like naphtha, furnace oil and LPG, which could put more pressure on profitability.
  • Domestic refining and marketing companies are investing in brownfield and greenfield expansion of refineries to cater to the rising demand for petroleum products as the economy progresses.
  • Widespread adoption of battery-powered vehicles is a serious threat to the oil industry
  • Big electricity utilities burning fossil fuels such as gas or coal face the risk of batteries solving the intermittency problem of wind or solar plants that cannot generate on windless days or at night.

Need for energy diversification:-

  • Greater diversification to petrochemicals and other forms of energy including natural gas chain, EV infrastructure and renewable energy will be imperative for Indian refining and marketing companies in order to mitigate the disruptive potential of EVs over the longer term.
  • Making sure that the electricity generation is done mostly from renewables sources as well as companies be given incentives based on their PAT and RPO ratings.
  • PPP:-
    • Coal bed methane, shale gas, poly-metallic nodules, methane hydrates, are some areas that are relatively untapped in india but have immense potential.

Topic – Conservation, environmental degradation

4) Examine the impact of increasing human footprint on world’s oceans? Also suggest ways through which we can tide over this crisis?(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The article talks about the impact humans have had on marine ecology which is a problem which has been in the limelight off late. The article discusses the issue in detail, examining the causes and the effects which makes it useful for preparing environment section in GS3.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the status of world’s oceans, the impact of growing human footprint on the world’s oceans and the ways in which we can mitigate this crisis. We also need to bring out what would happen if status quo is allowed to prevail.

Directive word

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 .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss the status of world’s oceans. According to a recent study by the Wildlife Conservation Society, only 13 percent of the planet’s oceans are untouched by human activity. The only unaffected portions are in remote protected parts of the Pacific Ocean and around the poles; even there, apparently, the tide is turning, making the waters unsafe for marine life. Also highlight that dead zones in the oceans have quadrupled.

Body

  • Discuss the ways in which human footprint impacts oceans – exploiting for resources, waste disposal, fishing
  • Discuss humanity’s impact on the oceans through activities such as fisheries, exploitation of other oceanic resources, global warming, plastic pollution etc
  • Bring out the various ways in which the condition can be made better – establishment of protected spaces – The United Nations believes that setting aside sanctuaries in the oceans will help improve the state of fish stocks and the health of marine habitats in general, waste management, lessening the use of plastic, focussing on Blue Economy where IORA has made several strides etc

Conclusion – Highlight why this issues needs our urgent attention and the way forward for cleaner oceans.

Background:-

  • Across the globe, marine habitats are in a state of dramatic decline. According to a recent study by the Wildlife Conservation Society, only 13 percent of the planet’s oceans are untouched by human activity.

Impact:-

  • Marine dead zones are areas with little or no oxygen supporting microbial processes that also remove nitrogen from the ocean have quadrupled since the 1950s, and industrial fishing areas now cover half of the world’s oceans. 
  • Humanity’s growing footprint in the world’s oceans is primarily a product of increased fishing activity.
    • According to recent estimates, roughly 90 percent of the world’s fish stocks are now fully fished, overfished, or depleted, with nearly one-third of all marine stocks exploited beyond biologically sustainable levels.
    • Not only are marine resources being depleted, the fishing industry is failing spectacularly at curbing illegal fishing.
    • To make matters worse, devastating practices like bottom trawling and the use of seine nets in shallow spaces like the Palk Bay are further depleting marine wealth.
  • Plastic pollution:-
    • Littoral Asia is drowning in a sea of synthetic trash. India’s coastal regions are witnessing their most rapid expansion of plastic pollution in recent years. 
  • Oil spills in the ocean usually happenwhen an ocean oil rig springs a leak or when an ocean going tanker (carrying oil) wrecks.
  • Chemicals released into the ocean cause a myriad of problems. Pesticides, coming from runoff of agricultural land into the ocean damages marine organisms.
  • Thermal pollution is a byproduct of the ocean’s use as a cooling agent:-
    • The cool ocean water taken in is released at a higher temperature. Although the temperature of release is usually controlled by laws, and is not such a threat as the other forms of pollution mentioned here, one could imagine what it would be like if more and more plants began using ocean water as a coolant.
    • This change in temperature, due to humans in this case, would change the makeup of the species in these areas.
  • Noise pollution is one of the more recent threats to marine life.
    • Several studies have shown that the noise produced by boats interferes with many species of marine life. The number of large tankers now cruising the oceans creates a significant level of noise that may make it difficult for whales to communicate.
  • Habitat destruction occurs directly when man ‘develops’ marine areasby filling them in with sediment to create more usable acreage.
  • The main areas of human impact can be divided into those related to ocean pollution, habitat destruction, and the introduction of alien species.

Way forward:-

  • One remedy for shrinking habitats is the establishment of protected spaces.
    • The United Nations believes that setting aside sanctuaries in the oceans will help improve the state of fish stocks and the health of marine habitats in general.
  • The political leadership needs to impose limitations on technology-based economic development, pushing the industry to meet its social obligations for the protection and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems.
  • The challenge is to get industry interested in a social model of blue growth that does not focus exclusively on pecuniary gains.
  • Supporting communities to securing coastal livelihoodsand restoring fish stocks should be central to any strategy.
  • WWF works with governments, partners and the private sector to design and implement a true Sustainable Blue Economyto ensure that the ocean economy contributes to prosperity and the resilience of coastal communities, today and long into the future.
  • Waste management, lessening the use of plastic, focussing on Blue Economy where IORA has made several strides need to be initiated successfully
  • Reduce Your Plastic Use:
    • Reduce plastic pollution by refusing single-use plastics and using reusable bags, cups, and tableware instead.
  • Dispose of waste in an environmentally safe way: 
    • Harmful waste can end up the ocean when not properly disposed of, hurting the health of the ocean. Recycle and reuse whenever possible, and dispose of chemicals properly .

Topic – Disaster and disaster management

5) Discuss the reasons why Kerala is experiencing unprecedented flooding? Also, highlight how can we enhance our preparedness for such events?(250 words)

timesofindia

Reference

Why this question

Kerala is suffering from the worst flood the state has experienced in past 100 years. The loss to life and property is immense. We need to understand the reasons why Kerala is facing a situation of such unprecedented havoc, and the ways in which we can enhance our preparedness for such extreme weather events.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the various reasons why the situation in Kerala is so bad. Also we need to bring out the reforms needed in our disaster management efforts to help us better deal with such extreme weather events.

Directive word

Discuss – here your discussion should focus on bringing out the main reasons for such unprecedented disaster in that state.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the situation in Kerala as on date.

Body – Explain the various reasons behind the floods in Kerala – incessant rains, lesser dry spells in between, injudicious land utilisation, non implementation of Gadgil committee recommendations on Western Ghats etc. Highlight the reforms required to help is deal with such disasters effectively. You can discuss the recommendation of 2nd ARC committee with respect to reforms in the area of disaster management.

Conclusion – Highlight that with climate change, such extreme weather events are going to become a norm rather than exception and highlight the way forward.

Background:-

  • Recently incessant rains in the past couple of weeks has caused massive flooding across Kerala.

Reasons for flooding in Kerala:-

  • More than average rainfall:-
    • India’s western coast has received above-average rainfall on account of sustained low-pressure conditions.
  • Land use:-
    • Injudicious use of land is responsible for making some regions of the state more prone to floods and landslides.
    • However, other factors such as a change in land use patterns and climate change could have contributed to the situation on the ground.
  • Incursions into catchment areas of rivers that have dried up and mountainous areas have rendered settlements in their vicinity vulnerable to the vagaries of nature.
  • Kerala is yet to implement recommendations of the Gadgil Committee on conservation of Western Ghats.
  • The state is an exception that it does not have a single batallion of SDRF task force which is mandatory as per rules to tackle natural calamities..
  • Dam management:-
    • Also state did not gradually release water from about 30 dams in anticipation of rains.
    • Local officials have been blamed for exacerbating the situation by failing to gradually open the dams dotting the state’s complex river network, waiting instead until they were already full before unleashing the excess water. 
  • India’s Central Water Commission has also been under fire for failing to introduce a flood forecasting system to issue warnings.
  • Climate change and global warming:-
    • Recent research indicates that rising temperatures have led to huge fluctuations in the monsoon winds carrying the moisture from the Arabian Sea, resulting in heavy-to-extreme rains over the Western Ghats and central India, lasting for two to three days.
  • Deforestation :-
    • Unfettered development activity in the Western Ghats had increased the chances of landslides, a major cause of casualties during the floods. 
  • Wetlands have been lostto development projects, construction of roads, and buildings at places too close to rivers.
  • CAG report:-
    • As per the 2017 CAG report, Kerala had not conducted a dam-break analysis or prepared an Emergency Action Plan. Neither has the state prepared the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Manuals for any of its dams.
    • The audit also observed that prescribed quality checks were not conducted by monitoring agencies in all four projects in Kerala.

How to ensure such incidents don’t happen in future:-

 

  • Reservoir operation and management need to be taken more seriously
  • Implementation of committee recommendations:-
    • Kerala should relook the Gadgil committee and the Kasturirangan committee reports. It has put forth objections to both reports and tried to reduce the area under ecologically sensitive zones (ESZs). It is time for it to re-evaluate its position regarding ESZs.
    • The Gadgil panel report calls for government intervention to curb activities such as quarrying, mining, land clearance or construction in ecologically-sensitive zones such as those close to riverbanks and violation of Wetlands Protection Rules too need to be looked into.
  • Kerala should set up a State Flood Commission to evolve a comprehensive approach to manage extreme rainfall in the state.
    • This commission should examine the impact of major land use changes on the hydrology of the state.
    • It should also look at the dam management systems.
    • Besides this, district-level sub-commissions should be set up to identify the areas where roads, railways, hydropower, embankments and other infrastructure projects aggravated flood problems and suggest mitigation measures.
  • As a country, India needs to improve environmental governance while working with other countries to halt global warming.
  • Flood control can be effected through an Integrated Dam Management System, which is totally computerised and automated, the only exception being lifting and lowering of shutters which has to be done manually.This system which can be called IDMS, has to be evolved and developed independently. 
  • Integrated approach to managing floods requires a sound understanding of the patterns that rivers such as the Ganga and its tributaries display during the monsoon. Governmental understanding of the problem generally relies not so much on advanced techniques such as mapping based on satellite imagery and Geographic Information Systems, but on ground-level surveys and anecdotal reporting. This needs to change.

Topic Part of static series under the heading – “Tsunami”

6) How are tsunamis caused and highlight the areas which are prone to tsunami? Discuss the working of tsunami early warning system? (250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question has three parts which need answering. First of all we need to explain what causes tsunamis, the areas where tsunamis are more likely based on the geographical features which cause tsunami. Finally, we need to discuss the different kinds of tsunami early warning systems and their working.

Directive word

Discuss – In your discussion, the explanation to the various parts asked in the question is to be written.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what tsunamis are

Body – Discuss how tsunamis are caused. Examine what physical features are more likely to cause tsunami and mention the areas of the world where the likelihood of tsunami is more. The areas most prone to tsunamis are coastal areas that are near earthquake-prone regions or near areas of undersea volcanoes and face the open ocean. Thus, the coast of Japan, south-east Asia and coastal parts of south-east India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are prone to tsunamis, also Ring of fire in the pacific. Finally, mention the different kinds of tsunami early warning systems such as buoys floating in the ocean, through remote sensing satellites. Explain it as well.

Tsunami:-

  • Tsunami is a series of large waves generated by an abrupt movement on the ocean floor that can result from an earthquake, an underwater landslide, a volcanic eruption or – very rarely – a large meteorite strike. 
  • However, powerful undersea earthquakes are responsible for most tsunamis. Seismologists say only earthquakes measuring greater than 7.0 on the Richter scale can produce a major tsunami. 
  • Most earthquakes that generate tsunamis occur in areas called subduction zones, where pieces of the Earth’s crust press against each other. The friction between two slow-moving plates of the Earth’s crust creates vast amounts of seismic energy which is released in the form of an earthquake.
  • When a strong undersea earthquake strikes a relatively short distance below the sea floor, it abruptly pushes up one of the immense plates of the Earth’s crust. That suddenly displaces an enormous amount of ocean water which becomes a tsunami, spreading outward in every direction from the epicenter of an earthquake – like ripples on a pond, only on a much larger scale. 
  • Tsunamis generated in the open ocean appear to be only small waves, but they can grow rapidly in size as they reach shallow water before crashing into seacoast settlements.

Areas that are prone to Tsunami:-

  • Damage is usually worst in areas closest to the undersea quake, often because the fast-moving waves will hit land so quickly.
  • The areas most prone to tsunamis are coastal areas that are near earthquake-prone regions or near areas of undersea volcanoes and face the open ocean.
  • Thus, the coast of Japan, south-east Asia and coastal parts of south-east India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are prone to tsunamis, also Ring of fire in the pacific.

Tsunami early warning system:-

  • It is made up of two equally important components:-
    • A network of sensors to detect tsunamis
    • A communications infrastructure to issue timely alarms to permit evacuation of the coastal areas.
    • It ismade up of a network of seismic-monitoring stations and sea-level gauges. These detect earthquakes and abnormal changes in sea level and help scientists decide whether a tsunami has been triggered by an earthquake.
  • When operating, seismic alerts are used to instigate the watches and warnings; then, data from observed sea level height (either shore-based tide gauges or DARTbuoys) are used to verify the existence of a tsunami.
  • Other systems have been proposed to augment the warning procedures; for example, it has been suggested that the duration and frequency content of t-waveenergy (which is earthquake energy trapped in the ocean SOFAR channel) is indicative of an earthquake’s tsunami potential.
  • At present, early warning systems rely on measuring the movement of dart buoys which record changes in the sea level or assessing the bottom pressure of the propagating tsunami. The problem is that these systems require the tsunami to physically reach the measurement location. 
  • With the speed at which tsunami waves travel through open water, no system can protect against a very sudden tsunami, where the coast in question is too close to the epicenter


General Studies – 4


Topic– Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions

7) There is a growing conflict on how public organizations try to balance competing or conflicting values: classical governmental or bureaucratic values vs the businesslike values. Comment.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding on the conflicting values of the public organizations and how this conflicts manifest themselves in the public administration.

Structure of the answer’

Introduction- mention the increasing stress on the importance of being pro-business for the governments as well as the increasing need for regulation and control over the complex  economic activities etc.

Body-

  • Discuss what are the conflicting values involved. Classical government/ Democratic values like integrity, neutrality, legality and impartiality on the one hand and ‘businesslike’ values such as efficiency, innovation, responsiveness and effectiveness on the other.
  • Discuss the three approaches to deal with such conflicts- universal approach, stakeholder approach, institutional perspective.
  • Mention the Stewart’s six strategies to manage tensions between competing public values: (1) ‘Cyclical’: attention to different values is distributed during the process; (2) ‘Firewalls’: in which the safeguarding of different values is distributed between different institutions; (3) Casuistry: gathering and consulting a taxonomy of specific cases where similar conflicts arose; (4) Hybridization: policies and practices, derived from different values, can coexist; (5) Incrementalism: conflicts are ‘softened’ through small, minor changes; (6) Bias: in which, dependent on the dominant discourse, preference is given to certain values.

ConclusionConclusion- Based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


Value conflicts are prevalent, the public context can be characterized by value pluralism and instrumental rationality does not seem to be the most useful to understand or improve value conflicts in public governance. There is tremendous stress on the importance of being pro-business for the governments as well as the increasing need for regulation and control over the complex  economic activities etc.

 

The conflicting values involved are Classical government/ Democratic values like integrity, neutrality, legality and impartiality on the one hand and ‘businesslike’ values such as efficiency, innovation, responsiveness and effectiveness on the other.

 

The universal approach takes as a starting point that public values are given and absolute and therefore have to be protected by government. Trade-offs between public values are perceived as a zero-sum situation in which protecting one value comes at the expense of protecting another .To protect and safeguard public values formal laws and control mechanisms are employed. This rather hierarchical approach brings forth multiple problems due to its inflexibility.

The stakeholder approach views both the establishment as well as the meaning of public values not as static and absolute, but as a political process between the actors involved. The importance and meaning of public values is negotiated.

According to the institutional perspective the institutional context influences the choice for specific values and the way we attribute meaning to them. Public values are neither universal nor do they derive their meaning from just negotiation processes. With regard to the safeguarding of public values, the institutional perspective does not accept a generic model for 6 safeguarding but assumes that the question how public values should be safeguarded, is dependent on institutional practice and the value systems involved.

 

Tensions between competing public values often lead to intentional or sometimes unintentional deviant behaviour, because pressures simply overwhelm managers and employees, or they see no other way to cut corners to realize one value at the cost of acting with integrity. competing values may lead to misguided or short-sighted decisions, simply because an official is not equipped to deal with the tensions that are a result of the experienced competition.

 

Stewart recently described six strategies to manage tensions between competing public values:

(1) ‘Cyclical’: attention to different values is distributed during the process

 (2) ‘Firewalls’: in which the safeguarding of different values is distributed between different institutions

(3) Casuistry: gathering and consulting a taxonomy of specific cases where similar conflicts arose

(4) Hybridization: policies and practices, derived from different values, can coexist

 (5) Incrementalism: conflicts are ‘softened’ through small, minor changes

 (6) Bias: in which, dependent on the dominant discourse, preference is given to certain values.