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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 SEPTEMBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 01 SEPTEMBER 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– mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

1) Examine whether shoddy implementation of standards make children’s homes in India dens of exploitation and abuse?(250 words)

Financialexpress

Why this question

Several reports have come to light where children have been subject to exploitation in shelter homes. This raises questions over the measures and laws in place for protecting children from being subjected to such crimes. The matter has gained prominence and thus the laws, bodies and mechanisms to protect our children needs closer examination.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first highlight the incidents which has led to this topic being in news. Next, we need to examine why is it that despite several mechanisms, laws and bodies in place, the system failed to check such crime. Thereafter, we need to highlight the steps that needs to be taken to ensure that such actions of child abuse are not repeated in future.

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 – highlight the recent incidents of child abuse in shelter homes which has led to this issue being in news.

Body

  • Discuss the constitutional provisions related to protection of children, laws such as POCSO, scheme such as ICPS, bodies such as NCPCR which are responsible for protection of children from child abuse
  • Highlight the report of NCPCR that just 54 of a total of 2,874 child-shelters responsible for housing children who are either in the need of care and protection or in conflict with the law—in segregated quarters—could be given positive reviews
  • Bring out the other lacunae in the status of child protection homes – overcrowded facilities, no segregation of children based on offence or age etc that leads to such cases of child abuse
  • Bring out the need therefore to bridge the infrastructure lag, but also to ensure that reformation and protection agenda is implemented, and not paid just lip service. Discuss the need for educating children and other measures that can be undertaken to protect children

Conclusion – emphasize on the need to protect children by bringing in reforms and discuss way forward.

Background:-

  • The recent incidents of rampant physical and sexual abuse of minors and women in childcare institutions (CCIs) and shelter homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh reveal how the state as well as the civil society have failed in their role as protectors and watchdogs.
  • This has happened despite the constitutional provisions existing for children, enactment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act) , the existence of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR),POCSO act, schemes such as ICPS etc
  • NCPCR had told the supreme court, based on its audit, that just 54 of a total of 2,874 child-shelters responsible for housing children who are either in the need of care and protection or in conflict with the law in segregated quarters could be given positive reviews.

Implementation issues make Children’s home dens of exploitation :-

  • Overcrowding in the facilities:-
  • Most facilities overcrowded showing that the requisite infrastructure is lacking.
  • In many facilities, there is no segregation of children brought to shelters for protection
  • The construction and running of the homes is under the state list done either by state governments themselves or through NGOs they appoint, though much of the funding comes from the Centre. The Centre has monitoring authority over the working of these homes. The implementation has been lacking.
  • A mapping of 9000-odd CCIs across the country, carried out for the first time in 2017, showed almost half of them were unregistered despite the 2015 JJ Act requiring them to be registered within six months of the law coming into force.
  • Lack of social audit:-
    • The protocol for social audits and inspection committees too was developed only after the SC’s 2017 order. Several states are yet to conduct these.
  • Lack of monitoring and absence of inspection committees have led to the current predicament.
    • All CCIs are required to be registered under the JJ Act and every district needs to have a child protection officer, a child welfare committee, and a juvenile justice board. However, in practice, their functioning has not been effective enough to prevent the widespread misuse of power and money by those running these institutions.
  • Home Management Committee:-
    • This body has to conduct a meeting every month to ensure that all shelters in the district are being run according to the guidelines of the Juvenile Justice Act. These norms were clearly not followed .
  • Facts:-
    • An NCPCR survey has shown that only 32% of CCIs were registered under the JJ Act, while 33% were not registered with any authority.
  • Ministry failure:-
    • The Ministry of Women and Child Development, which provides funding to CCIs under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme, is duty-bound to carry out social audits in order to deter malpractices. However, either these institutions are allowed to function without any routine inspections
  • In the case of the Muzaffarpur CCI, inspections by multiple state agencies over the years find nothing amiss despite widespread abuse being present.
    • The District Inspection Committee is supposed to conduct a check on the shelters every three months. It is headed by the district magistrate and also has a member of the civil society on its board. Each of these bodies and members failed to detect what was happening at the shelter.
  • Action taken too late:-
  • Although the NCPCR has now been ordered to complete social audits of all CCIs and the state governments have ordered probes, this has come too late for the numerous lives traumatised by their very protectors.
  • Even the society failed :-
    • By giving up their responsibility towards the underprivileged children.
    • People have not created enough public pressure to force the institutions and the state to ameliorate the situation of such children
    • A patriarchal mindset of the society which leads to not taking such children into confidence while formulating laws and devising mechanisms for their protection etc.

Way forward:-

  • To bring about a transformation in the conditions of vulnerable groups under state protection, it is essential that the primitive and patriarchal mindset which denigrates fellow human beings as unworthy of dignity and respect while perpetuating and reproducing violence against them needs to change.
  • More importantly, vulnerable groups need to be empowered by being treated as fully rights-bearing citizensand facilitated to playing an active role in addressing matters concerning them and their welfare.
  • The criminals running these institutions in the guise of protectors need to be weeded out of the systems of social protection and given due punishment, and systematic vetting of those running such shelters needs to be carried out, before basic human rights and a sense of self-worth can be restored among the multitudes condemned to live in these institutions.

Topic–  mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

2) Discuss the role of CDSCO in protecting the interests of Indian patients? Examine how can we ensure that such gross negligence that happened in Johnson and Johnson’s case is not repeated in the future?(250 words)

The hindu

Indianexpress

Why this question

The recent findings of the expert committee constituted by Ministry of health has highlighted the case of JnJ’s faulty prosthetic devices which means there is a need to review the regulatory architecture and our response to such incidents to ensure that such incidents of gross negligence does not take place in future.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first explain the role of CDSCO. Thereafter, we need to explain the case to highlight where CDSCO was found wanting. We need to bring out the lacunae in India’s regulatory architecture for such approval, quality control. Finally, we need to give suggestions to ensure that such incidents do not take place again.

Directive word

Discuss – Here you need to bring out the role of CDSCO and explain their linkage to this case

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 – Explain the case due to which this issue is in news.

Body

  • Explain about the role of CDSCO – Under the Drug and Cosmetics Act, the regulation of manufacture, sale and distribution of Drugs is primarily the concern of the State authorities while the Central Authorities are responsible for approval of New Drugs, Clinical Trials in the country, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs, coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organisations and providing expert advice with a view of bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
  • Explain the case of JnJ, where faulty prosthetics were approved, with little action being taken in the aftermath. Discuss the report of the expert committee.
  • Highlight the findings of the committee which suggests ways through which such incidents can be avoided in future

Conclusion – Emphasize on the need of improving the regulatory architecture and suggest way forward.

Background:-

  • An expert committee report on faulty hip prosthetics sold by a subsidiary of the U.S. firm Johnson & Johnson has revealed incriminating details about its negligence in dealing with Indian patients.
  • The report makes it clear that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation also failed in its job of protecting Indian patients

Role of CDSCO :-

  • Under the Drug and Cosmetics Act, the regulation of manufacture, sale and distribution of Drugs is primarily the concern of the State authorities while the Central Authorities are responsible for approval of New Drugs, Clinical Trials in the country, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs, coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organisations and providing expert advice with a view of bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
  • Though the global recall occurred in 2010, the drug regulator did not issue an alert until 2013
  • Functions of CDSCO
    • Approval of new drugs and clinical trials
    • Import Registration and Licensing
    • License approving of Blood Banks, LVPs, Vaccines, r-DNA products & some Medical Devices (CLAA Scheme)Amendment to D &C Act and Rules
    • Banning of drugs and cosmetics
    • Grant of Test License, Personal License, NOCs for Export
    • Testing of New Drugs
    • Oversight and market Surveillance through Inspectorate of Centre Over and above the State Authority

Johnson and Johnson’s case  :-

  • Expert committee set up by the Health Ministry has indicted Johnson & Johnson for suppressing key facts on the harmful effects of the company’s faulty hip replacement systems, withdrawn globally after complications required many patients to undergo revision surgery.
  • After the hip replacement surgery is done when the prosthetic ball and socket rub against each other, it causes wear. If the implant is metal on metal, this can sometimes releases metallic debris into the bloodstream. This can lead to complications, sometimes requiring revision surgery. Of the 93,000 patients implanted with ASR worldwide, many experienced serious adverse reactions, some requiring revision surgery to replace the ASR implant with another kind. Because of this, the company recalled the product in 2010.
  • In India, the company got the license to import the device in 2006. By the time it was recalled worldwide, an estimated 4,700 ASR implants had been done in the country.

How to avoid Johnson incidents in future :-

  • The expert committee has recommended that:-
    • The company should be made liable to pay at least Rs 20 lakh to each patient with such complications, and the reimbursement programme be extended until August 2025.
    • A central expert committee and a regional expert committee should be constituted by the Ministry for evaluation of patients claims in respect of disability and suffering caused due to use of faulty ASR. The regional committee will determine whether there is permanent disability, and whether such disability has affected or will affect the patient’s earning capacity, and then submit its report to the central expert committee.
    • The central expert committee will determine the quantum of compensation. According to the committee that examined ASR implants, the base amount should be Rs 20 lakh, and in addition to this, the patient should be given compensation on the basis of suffering on “account of monetary loss due to wages and other loss” and percentage of disability.
    • It has recommended that the maximum amount be at par with the maximum granted for clinical trial-related death and permanent disability as per rules and guidelines of the Drug Controller General of India.
    • With 3,600 patients yet to traced, the firm has to give due diligence to trace those remaining patients who have received ASR but have not registered with the helpline.
    • Health assessment of patients should be reported once a year till 2025 and compliance report periodically, preferably six-monthly, submitted to the Ministry. Follow-up should be done regularly.
    • An independent registry should be established for tracking usage of high-risk medical devices. Provisions for compensation should be included in Medical Device Rules if any serious adverse event or death is caused due to the sole use of a medical device.

General Studies – 3


TopicIndian Economy : Issues

3) In light of the recent RBI report regarding demonetization, critically analyze whether demonetization helped in curbing black money?(250 words)

Financialexpress

The hindu

 

Why this question

The issue of demonetization is back in the news due to RBI report highlighting that 99.2% of 500 and 1000 Rs notes in circulation have found their own back into the formal system. One of the key objective of demonetization was tackling the issue of black money and the article examines the effectiveness of demonetization in tackling black money.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the findings of RBI report, examine the success of demonetization in tackling black money, discussing why it failed to curb black money evident by the released reports. Finally we need to provide a fair and balanced view on demonetization effectiveness in tackling black money.

Directive word

Critically 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 . When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that tackling black money was one of the key objectives of demonetization.

Body

  • Bring out the findings of RBI report and assess what it implies.
  • Discuss the rationale given that suggests that demonetization has been moderately successful in tackling black money – increasing tax base, formalization of economy etc
  • Discuss why demonetization was an abject failure in tackling black money. Highlight reasons such as logistical difficulty in penalising all those who converted unaccounted money into legal tender, demonetisation worked as an unintended amnesty scheme etc
  • Examine the other impacts of demonetization which negated any small gains that were made – slow down in GDP, loss of jobs, hit the informal sector etc

Conclusions – Give a fair and balanced view on the success of demonetization.

 

Background :-

  • Reserve Bank of India’s annual report for 2017-18 reveals that 99.3% of currency notes that were demonetised have returned to the banking system.
  • Complex money-laundering networks sprang up in the wake of the demonetisation to help wealthy Indians deposit huge volumes of previously undeclared currency without exposing themselves to tax authorities.

Demonetisation helped in curbing black money :-

  • Number of income tax returns filed has surged a little over the trend growth rate. 
  • Cashless modes of payment have become more common, but financial savings in the form of currency have also risen, suggesting that people still value cash.

Criticism:-

  • The hope that a large chunk of unaccounted money would not return to the system failed.
  • Given the sheer logistical difficulty in penalising all those who converted unaccounted money into legal tender, demonetisation worked as an unintended amnesty scheme.
  • Demonetisation as a means of tackling the black economy, carried out on the incorrect premise that black money means cash. It was thought that if cash was squeezed out, the black economy would be eliminated. But cash is only one component of black wealth: about 1% of it.
  • Logistical difficulty in penalising all those who converted unaccounted money into legal tender, 

Other impacts of demonetization:-

  • The negative effect of demonetisation can be seen in terms of big losses to the unorganised sector, farmers and traders.
  • The start-up world has seen a drop in investment activity
  • The brunt of this move actually has been borne by those who never had any black money. The note shortage is slowly waning and the long-term economic and social effects are becoming evident.
  • The note ban had led to a huge fall in sex trafficking.
  • The Demonetisation has badly hit Maoist and Naxalites as well. The surrender rate has reached its highest since the demonetisation is announced. It is said that the money these organisations have collected over the years have left with no value and it has caused them to reach to this decision.
  • Mumbai Police reported a setback to Hawala operations.
  • The demand for point of sales (POS) or card swipe machines increased. E-payment options like PayTM and Instamojo Payment Gateway, PayUMoney also saw a rise.
  • The number of I-T returns filed for 2016-17 grew by 25 per cent and the advance tax collections during that period rose 41.8% over the 1-year period, as increased number of individuals filed their tax returns post demonetization

Way Forward:

  • Government should focus on ensuring growth, job creation and investment. The urgent need is to get the private sector to start investing. One way to avoid winds of deflation is to kick-start private investments. 
  • Reviving the investment cycle and tackling bad loans will be the key challenges to be tackled on a priority basis in the current fiscal. 
  • Government has launched a multipronged attack on corruption and black money. Government discretion has been reduced particularly in the allocation of natural resources.

Topic – Part of static series under the heading – “ Indian Ocean Dipole”

4) What is Indian Ocean Dipole? Discuss its combined impact with El Nino on monsoons in India?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what IOD is and discuss in detail how it impacts monsoons in India along with El Nino.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain IOD – The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is defined by the difference in sea surface temperature between two areas (or poles, hence a dipole) – a western pole in the Arabian Sea (western Indian Ocean) and an eastern pole in the eastern Indian Ocean south of Indonesia.

Body – Here discuss in detail how both IOD and El nino impact monsoons in India. Discuss the impact of both positive IOD and negative IOD. Discuss the combined impact of IOD and El Nino.

IOD:-

  • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is a coupled ocean­ atmosphere phenomenon in the Indian Ocean.
  • It is normally characterized by anomalous cooling of Sea surface temperatures in the south eastern equatorial Indian Ocean and anomalous warming of Sea surface temperatures in the western equatorial Indian Ocean.
  • Associated with these changes the normal convection situated over the eastern Indian Ocean warm pool shifts to the west and brings heavy rainfall over the east Africa and severe droughts/forest fires over the Indonesian region.
  • A positive IOD occurs when sea surface temperature is higher than normal in the Arabian Sea and less than normal in the tropical eastern Indian Ocean. The opposite is true in case of a negative IOD.
  • Impact:-
    • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) also has a strong influence on the Indian summer monsoon.
    • An IOD can either augment or weaken the impact of El Nino on Indian monsoon.
    • While a positive IOD can bring good rains to India despite an El Nino year, negative IOD leads to more monsoon break days.
    • Early IOD, which peaks in the mid-monsoon months (July and August), plays a significant role in enhancing monsoon rainfall even though its intensity is medium compared to other IODs.
    • During an early IOD, the combined effect of Arabian sea evaporation and stronger cross equatorial flow winds blowing from the southern tropics to the north across the equator  play an important role in enhancing the monsoon activity over the Indian subcontinent. Also, there are fewer breaks in monsoon conditions during early IOD events
    • An IOD can either aggravate or weaken the impact of El Nino on Indian monsoon. If there is a positive IOD, it can bring good rains to India despite of an El Nino year. For example, positive IOD had facilitated normal or excess rainfall over India in 1983, 1994 and 1997 despite an El Nino in those years. Similarly, during years such as 1992, a negative IOD and El Nino had cooperatively produced deficient rainfall.

  

 


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

5) The recently approved policy, allowing exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons in contract areas that were primarily allocated for extracting conventional hydrocarbons, is fraught with many environmental problems. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The policy has important implications for the environment especially the water resources which are already highly stressed in our country. It is therefore essential to discuss the issue.

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 form an opinion as to whether the given policy poses some environmental problems. We have to build our opinion based on a proper discussion highlighting how the policy does/ does not pose problems for the environment.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few lines about the recent policy of allowing private and government players to explore and exploit unconventional hydrocarbons (including shale gas) in contract areas that were primarily allocated for extracting conventional hydrocarbons.

Body-

Discuss in points what are the environmental problems posed by such a policy decision. E.g , a mixture of ‘pressurised water, chemicals, and sand’ (shale fluid) is required to break low permeable rocks in order to unlock the shale gas reserves. The process requires around 5 to 9 million litres of water per extraction activity, posing a daunting challenge to India’s fresh water resources; pollution due to the disposal of flowback (produced) water; No differentiation has been made in the EIA notification between conventional and unconventional oil and gas exploration in this sector; MoEFCC is yet to come out with a manual specific to fracking activities; shale fluid could possibly penetrate aquifers leading to methane poisoning of groundwater used for drinking and irrigation purposes etc.

ConclusionBased on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.

Background:-

  • The Central government approved a far-reaching policy that allows private and government players to explore and exploit unconventional hydrocarbons (including shale gas) in contract areas that were primarily allocated for extracting conventional hydrocarbons

Policy :-

  • Currently, a permit for exploration and production of conventional crude oil and natural gas does not allow exploitation of shale oil and gas and CBM.
  • So now government permitted simultaneous exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbon resources like coal-bed methane (CBM) and shale and conventional oil and natural gas to boost domestic output and spur investments by firms like Essar and ONGC. 
  • This permission would, however, be subject to payment of an additional 10 per cent profit petroleum or production level payment.

Benefits of the policy:-

  • This policy will enable the realisation of prospective hydrocarbon reserves in the existing Contract Areas which otherwise would remain unexplored and unexploited.
  • With this policy dispensation, new investment in exploration and production (E&P) activities and chances of finding new hydrocarbon and resultant increased domestic production thereof is expected, also the impetus to economic activities and generate additional employment.
  • This will open up here to untapped hydrocarbon resources and boost domestic output to meet energy needs of the world’s fastest growing economy.
  • Through this, exploration of unconventional hydrocarbon can be carried out under the existing Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs), CBM contracts and Nomination fields.
  • Moreover, ‘Uniform Licensing Policy’ which is presently applicable to Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) and Discovered Small Field (DSF) Policy, will be applicable to all operating fields. 
  • With this policy dispensation, the government is expecting increased chances of finding new hydrocarbon discoveries.

Criticism :-

  • Extraction of shale gas  process requires around 5 to 9 million litres of water per extraction activity, posing a daunting challenge to India’s fresh water resources.
  • The extraction process of Shale gas causes pollution due to the disposal of flowback (produced) water.
  • DGH guideline again touches upon the exclusive nature of the flowback water but neither proposes any substantive treatment method nor recognises the increase in flowback water during repeated extraction of shale gas from a well over a period of time.
  • EIA process does not differentiate between conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, and the DGH acknowledges this issue.
  • A mixture of pressurised water, chemicals, and sand (shale fluid) is required to break low permeable rocks in order to unlock the shale gas reserves.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), which generally releases sector-specific manual for environment clearance, is yet to come out with a manual specific to fracking activities.
  • Despite acknowledging the enormity of water requirement for fracking activities, the DGH guideline fails to give a general estimate of water requirement per unit of shale gas over the lifetime of a shale well.
  • As noted by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2017 while fracking the shale fluid could possibly penetrate aquifers leading to methane poisoning of groundwater used for drinking and irrigational purposes.
  • Implementation of the fracking processes without a consultative thought through process, especially on water usage policy , may result in larger issues including water stress, contamination of groundwater, and related health hazards

Way forward :-

  • As a first step, a sector-specific EIA manual on exploration and production of unconventional hydrocarbon resources may be a good idea.

Topic– Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

6) In the wake of major changes in its strategic environment there is an urgent need to revise India’s nuclear power doctrine. Analyze.(250 words) 

Reference

Livemint

Reference

Reference

Why this question

There have been calls from various intellectuals, journalists and politicians to revise India’s nuclear power doctrine which is 19 years old now. There have been significant changes globally as well as in our neighbourhood which warrant such a revision.

Directive word

Analyze-Here we  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts, and present them as a whole in a summary.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to delve deep into the issue and bring out the need to revise India’s nuclear power doctrine under the conditions of major changes in our strategic environment. We have to discuss the changes and then need for revision and present our answer as a whole in summary .

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the history of India’s nuclear doctrine- e.g Until the May 1998 nuclear tests, almost nothing was known about India’s nuclear doctrine in the public domain. A draft nuclear doctrine was prepared by the National Security Advisory Board chaired by the late K. Subrahmanyam and handed over to the government on August 17, 1999. The government issued a statement in 2003, spelling out India’s nuclear doctrine.

Body-

  • Discuss the salient aspects of the doctrine. E.g India will build and maintain a credible minimum deterrence; follow a no-first-use posture; and will use nuclear weapons only “in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere.” etc.
  • Discuss the changes in our strategic environment which warrant a revision of the nuclear doctrine. E.g the rapid rise in the employment of dual-use platforms and delivery vehicles by India, China and Pakistan. This elevates the risk of escalation based on a single misperception;  increasing relevance of seaborne deterrence in all the three countries. Juxtaposed with the first trend, this introduces new complexities into naval engagements; Pakistan has moved from “credible minimum deterrence” to “full spectrum deterrence”, marked by acquisition of tactical nuclear weapons; China is also witnessing a debate between traditional advocates of a “minimum deterrence” and new arguments for a more flexible “limited deterrence”; India has removed the phrase “minimum” from “credible minimum deterrence” etc.

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

Background:-

  • Last year the defence minister’s statement questioning the need and desirability of the ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons policy has spurred a flurry of commentaries reviewing India’s nuclear doctrine, even though it does not reflect any change in India’s no first use commitment per se

India’s nuclear doctrine:-

  • India’s nuclear doctrine was first enunciated following a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting in January 2003.
  • Some of the main features of India’s nuclear doctrine are :-
    • Building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent
    • A “No First Use” posture; nuclear weapons to be used only “in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere
    • Nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be “massive” and designed to inflict “unacceptable damage”
    • Nuclear retaliatory attacks to be authorized only by civilian political leadership through the Nuclear Command Authority.
    • Non use of nuclear weapons against non nuclear weapon states.
    • India to retain option of retaliating with nuclear weapons in the event of a major attack against it with biological or chemical weapons
    • Continuance of strict controls on export of nuclear and missile related materials and technologies, participation in FMCT negotiations, continued moratorium on testing
    • Continued commitment to goal of nuclear weapon free world, through global, verifiable and non discriminatory disarmament

No change is necessary :-

  • India’s current doctrine has helped India secure crucial international deals, such the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) waiver as part of the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal in 2008.
    • More recently, India signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Japan, which is quite surprising as Japan is known for its staunch anti-nuclear stance and India is not a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
    • India is currently also seeking to join the NSG as a permanent member which is a doctrinal shift and is only going to give China more reason to delay India’s entry. This posture would also play into the hands of Pakistan, which has long accused India of duplicity over its no first use policy and called India’s expanding arsenal a threat to the region’s stability.
  • No First Use works well:
    • It builds stability into deterrence by credibly promising nuclear retaliation in the face of extreme provocation of a nuclear first strike by one’s adversary.
  • Change in stance will create issues:-
    • All the gains enjoyed by India in the international community by the restraint of India nuclear posture would be frittered away if there is change in stance of nuclear doctrine
    • It would enormously complicate and increase the expenditure incurred by us in regard to our command and control mechanisms which would have to be reconfigured to engage in calibrated nuclear war fighting.
    • It would weaken the possibility of our engaging in conventional warfare insulated from the nuclear overhang.
    • It would encourage the use of tactical nuclear weapons against under the illusion of no massive response.
    • It would facilitate the painting of South Asia as a nuclear flashpoint and thereby encourage foreign meddling.

Change is needed :-

  • No first use :-
    • Such an approach unnecessarily kept India on the back foot and on the defensive and made it axiomatic that India would have to face the consequences of a first strike before being able to respond. Moreover, it prevented India from keeping a potential adversary off balance. 
  • Despite being party to formulating the no-first use policy in 2003, the time has come to re-examine it. It has been 15 years since we adopted the doctrine, a lot has changed since then
  • There is increasing evidence of Pakistan’s proclivity to use tactical nuclear weapons against India.
    • Pakistan’s acquisition of a TNW such as the Hatf IX missile, with a range of 60 kilometres and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead of an appropriate yield, has attracted widespread attention in various Indian debates on strategic stability.
    • It has been argued that Pakistan’s acquisition of TNWs has lowered the deterrence threshold and thereby affected the overall strategic stability in the region.
    • Emphasising this change in India’s strategic environment, the proponents of doctrinal review argue that India’s existing doctrine is ill-suited to deter Pakistan from using TNWs against India
  • China:-
    • China is also witnessing a debate between traditional advocates of a “minimum deterrence” and new arguments for a more flexible “limited deterrence”.
    • The latter envisages counterforce operations and supports building nuclear war-fighting capabilities, including a greater and diverse arsenal.
  • Advocates of a change in India’s NFU policy would like its nuclear doctrine mimic those of most of the established Nuclear Weapon States which contemplate the use of nuclear weapons even in sub nuclear conflicts.

Way forward:-

  • Periodic statements about the nurturing and upgradation of India’s nuclear arsenal and systems including alternate command structure.
  • An indication that India’s nuclear arsenal will be large enough to take care of all adversaries and will have to be in the mid triple digits.
  • Appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff and upgradation of the NTRO as a capable apex techint organization which would in a fool proof manner provide indicators of any attack on us and ensure swift and massive nuclear retaliation inflicting unacceptable damage.
  • Nuclear testing:-
    • Two things need to be done to configure and laboratory-test sophisticated thermonuclear weapons designs.
    • The laser inertial confinement fusion facility at the Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore, needs to be refurbished on a war-footing, and a dual-axis radiographic hydrodynamic test facility constructed.

General Studies – 4


Topic-  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

7) Life extension – using science to slow or halt human aging so that people live far longer than they do naturally – may one day be possible. Discuss the ethical concerns involved in the issue.(250 words)

Reference

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.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the ethical issues involved in the issue. We have to identify the main ethical issues here and deliberate upon them. We can be as exhaustive as possible (while keeping the word limit in mind).

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the man’s pursuit for longevity of life and its present status, future possibilities.

Body– Discuss in points  (paragraphs) about the ethical problems involved in the issue.

  • Immortality would become intolerably boring if one never changed. If people changed enough to avoid intolerable boredom, they would eventually change so much that they’d be entirely different people.
  • Everyone has the right to liberty and decide for themselves. Thus the pursuit of immortality is not bad in itself. However, our liberty right is limited by the “harm principle.” The harm principle says that the right to individual liberty is limited by a duty not to harm others. There are many possible harms: Dictators might live far too long, society might become too conservative and risk-averse and pensions might have to be limited, to name a few.
  • Life extension would be available only to the rich and make existing inequalities even worse.Indeed, it is unjust when some people live longer than the poor because they have better healthcare. It would be far more unjust if the rich could live several decades or centuries longer than anyone else and gain more time to consolidate their advantages etc.

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

Answer:-

There have been researches done that  focus mainly on preventing age-related diseases, but its research could lead to methods for slowing or preventing aging itself.

Ethical issues:-

  • Quality vs quantity:-
    • One of the key ethical questions is whether a life-extension pill would extend our healthy years or simply prolong frailty towards the end of life. 
  • A much longer-lived society might also exacerbate inter-generational problems. Those with extended life-spans might be able to maintain their positions in society and build wealth to a greater level, possibly making it harder for younger people to establish themselves. 
  • Extended life might become boring, or that they would miss out on the benefits of growing old, such as gaining wisdom and learning to accept death.
  • Life extension would be available only to the rich and make existing inequalities even worse.
  • World will become overcrowded. Many people, including philosophers  are concerned that extending human life would cause severe overpopulation, pollution and resource shortages.
  • Widespread life extension might make death worse for some people.
  • People will lose sense of personal identity

 

However everyone has the right to liberty and decide for themselves. Thus the pursuit of immortality is not bad in itself. However, our liberty right is limited by the “harm principle.” The harm principle says that the right to individual liberty is limited by a duty not to harm others. There are many possible harms: Dictators might live far too long, society might become too conservative and risk-averse and pensions might have to be limited, to name a few.