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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 SEPTEMBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 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 – 1


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

1) What characteristics can be assigned to monsoon climate that succeeds in feeding more than 50 percent of the world population residing in Monsoon Asia?(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the defining features of the climate of monsoons as experienced in Asia. here we don’t have to focus on the mechanism of monsoon but the character of monsoon. So writing about ITCZ shift etc is useless.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention the regions in Asia where monsoon climate is found and mention that the following are the chief characteristic of monsoon.

Body

  • Bring out the various characterstic of monsoons such as
  • The seasons of monsoons – hot weather season, cold weather season, advancing south west monsoon, retreating monsoon
  • Vegetation of monsoon climate – vegetation ranges from forests to thickets, and from savanna to scrubland, the trees in this climatic zone are usually deciduous
  • Bring out the diversity in Temperature, vegetation etc experienced in monsoons
  • Culture, agriculture of monsoon climate

Conclusion – mention that among all the climate regions of the world, the Monsoon climate is unique for its temperature, precipitation and the resultant seasons, which in turn have profound impact on the vegetation of the associated countries and the lifestyle and economic habits of its inhabitants.

Background:-

  • Monsoons are land and sea breezeson a much larger scale. Unlike equatorial wet climate, monsoon climate is characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons associated with seasonal reversal of winds.
  • Floodsin wet season and droughts in dry season are common.Usually there are three seasons namely summer, winter and rainy

Distribution of Tropical monsoon climate:-

  • Occurs within 5° to 30°N and S of the equator.
  • On-shore [sea to land] tropical monsoons occur in the summer and off-shore [land to sea] dry monsoons in the winter.
  • They are best developed in the Indian sub-continent, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, parts of Vietnam and south China and northern Australia.

Climate

  • The basic cause of monsoon climates is the difference in the rate of heatingand cooling of land and sea (This is old theory. New theory will be explained while studying Indian Climate).
  • In the summer, when the sun is overhead at the Tropic of Cancer, a low pressure is created in Central Asia.
  • The seas, which warm up much slower, remain comparatively at high pressure. At the same time, the southern hemisphere experiences winter, and a region of high pressure is set up in the continental interior of Australia.
  • Winds blow outwards as the South-East Monsoon, to Java, and after crossing the equator are drawn towards the continental low pressure area reaching the Indian sub-continent as the South-West Monsoon (Coriolis force).
  • In the winter, conditions are reversed.

Temperature

  • Monthly mean temperatures above 18 °C.
  • Temperatures range from 30-45° C in summer. Mean summer temperature is about 30°C.
  • In winters, temperature range is 15-30° C with mean temperature around 20-25° C.

Precipitation

  • Annual mean rainfall ranges from 200-250 cm. In some regions it is around 350 cm.
  • Places like Cherrapunji & Mawsynramreceive an annual rainfall of about 1000 cm.[They lie on the windward side of the Meghalaya hills, so the resulting orographic lift (orographic rainfall)enhances precipitation. Also, they are located between mountains which enhances cloud concentration due to funneling effect]

Seasons

  • Seasons are chief characteristics of monsoon climate.
    • The cool, dry season (October to February)
      • Out blowing dry winds, the North-East Monsoon, bring little or no rain to the Indian sub-continent.
      • However, a small amount of rain falls in Punjab from cyclonic sources (Western Disturbances: Frontal precipitation brought by jet streams) and this is vital for the survival of winter cereals.
      • North-East Monsoons blowing over the Bay of Bengal acquires moisture and bring rains to the south-eastern tip of the peninsula at this time of the year (Nov-Dec).
    • The hot dry season (March to mid-June)
      • The temperature rises sharply with the sun’s northward shift to the Tropic of Cancer.
      • Day temperatures of 35° C are usual in central India and the mean temperature in Sind and south India may be as high as 44° C.
      • Coastal districts are a little relieved by sea breezes. There is practically little rain. [Hailstorms (thunderstorms with hail) occurs here and there]
    • The rainy season (mid-June to September)
      • With the ‘burst’ of the South-West Monsoon in mid-June, torrential downpours sweep across the country. Almost all the rain for the year falls within this rainy season.
      • This pattern of concentrated heavy rainfall in summer is a characteristic feature of the Tropical Monsoon Climate.
    • The Retreating Monsoon
      • The amount and frequency of rain decreases towards the end of the rainy season. It retreats gradually southwards after mid-September until it leaves the continent altogether.
      • The skies are clear again and the cool, dry season returns in October, with the out blowing North-East Monsoon.

 

Tropical Monsoon Forests:-

  • Drought-deciduous forest; dry forest; dry-deciduous forest; tropical deciduous forest.
  • Broad-leaved hardwood trees. Well developed in southeast Asia.
  • Trees are normally deciduous, because of the marked dry period, during which they shed their leaves to withstand the drought [They shed their leaves to prevent loss water through transpiration].
  • The forests are more open and less luxuriant than the equatorial jungle and there are far fewer species.
  • Where the rainfall is heavy, e.g. in southern Burma, peninsular India, northern Australia and coastal regions with a tropical marine climate, the resultant vegetation is luxuriant.
  • With a decrease in rainfall in summer, the forests thin out into thorny scrubland or savanna with scattered trees and tall grass.
  • In parts of the Indian sub-continent, rainfall is so deficient that semi-desert conditions are found in summer. Monsoonal vegetation is thus most varied, ranging from forests to thickets, and from savanna to scrubland.

Population and Economy in Monsoon Climate

  • Monsoon climatic regions support high population density.
  • Income levels are low as most of these regions are underdeveloped or developing.
  • Subsistence farming is the main occupation. Intensive cultivation is common in regions with irrigational facilities.
  • Shifting cultivation is followed in North-East India and South-East countries.
  • Major crops include rice, sugar, cotton, jute, spices, etc..
  • Cattle and sheep rearing is carried out for domestic and commercial purposes. Livestock industry is not as profitable as in temperate regions.

Agricultural Development in the Monsoon Lands

  • Much of the monsoon forest has been cleared for agriculture to support the very dense population. Subsistence agriculture is the major occupation.
  • Tropical agriculture dependent on natural rainfall and a large labour force, reaches its greatest magnitude in the monsoon lands.
  • Crops
    • Rice is the most important staple crop.
    • Irrigation water from rivers, canals, dams or wells is extensively used in the major rice producing countries.
    • Other food crops like maize, millet, sorghum, wheat, gram and beans are of subsidiary importance. They are cultivated in the drier or cooler areas where rice cannot be grown.
  • Lowland cash crops
    • The most important crop in this category is cane sugar.As much as two-thirds of world’s sugar production comes from tropical countries.
    • Other crops include cotton, a major commercial crop of the Indian sub-continent.
  • Highland plantation crops
    • Thousands of acres of tropical upland forests were cleared to make way for plantation agriculture in which tea and coffee are the most important crops.
  • Lumbering
    • Most of the forests yield valuable timber, and are prized for their durable hardwood. Lumbering is undertaken in the more accessible areas. This is particularly important in continental South-East Asia.
  • Shifting Cultivation
    • As tropical soils are rapidly leached and easily exhausted, the first crop may be bountiful but the subsequent harvests deteriorate.
    • Shifting cultivation is so widely practiced amongst indigenous peoples that different local names are used in different countries.

Topic – History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

2) Why did the Central powers lose the first world war. Discuss.(250 words)

Norman Lowe; Mastering World History; The First World War and its aftermath.

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 main reasons which were responsible for the loss of the central powers in the first world war.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Write a few introductory lines about the first world war- when it started, what were the two rivalling groups of countries.

Body-

Discuss in points about the reasons responsible for the loss of the central powers in the first world war. E.g Schlieffen plan of the Germany failed; Allied seapower was decisive enforcing a deadly blockade Which caused desperate food shortage and crippled exports  of the central powers; The German submarine campaign failed in the face of convoys protected by British American and Japanese Destroyers; entry of USA brought new resources to the allies which made up for the departure of Russia from the war; Allied political leaders at the critical time where more competent than those of the central powers;  continuous strain of heavy losses told on the Germans and made them lose their best troops in the 1918 offensive and the new troops were young and inexperienced etc.

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

 

Background :-

  • World War I, also called First World Waror Great War, an international conflict that in 1914–18 embroiled most of the nations of Europe along with Russia the United States, the Middle East, and other regions.
  • The war pitted the Central Powers mainly Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey against the Allies mainly France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and, from 1917, the United States.
  • It ended with the defeat of the Central Powers.

Reasons why Central powers lost the first world war are :-

  • Tactical failures :-
    • Failures were classified as the most important because it was a huge driving force in the loss of the Central Powers in the First World War.
    • Schlieffen Plan
      • One example is the Schlieffen Plan that was created by the German General Alfred Von Schlieffen to avoid war on two fronts by attacking France first through Belgium and Holland. But as the plan progressed, problems aroused.
      • There were gaps created by German advancing armies which gave a slight advantage to the French, furthermore the British Expeditionary Force joined the war to help France.
      • Both allied countries used the gaps and attacked through them which eventually led to the retreat of the German armies
    • Underestimating Belgians by Germans:-
      • The Germans had underestimated the capabilities of the Belgian Army. While the Belgians had only 43,000 men, they had put up a strong fight that was even unanticipated by the Germans. Some tactics even flooding their own land or destroying their own infrastructure in order to slow down the German advance
    • The lack of communications between the German armies along with a failure to resupply efficiently weakened the troops.
      • This helped the Allies by giving the British more time to reinforce the French lines and when Germany finally had broken through Belgium into France, they were intercepted at the River Marne in France by the allied troops.
    • German U-boat Campaign:-
      • It was designed as a counter-blockade to the blockade Great Britain has on Germany. For the German U-Boat campaign to work Germany declared that the area around Britain,
      • Ireland, and Northern France a war zone where any ship, neutral or not will be shot and sunk. This German action dramatically led the USA to enter the war on the allies side, because its passenger ship, the Lusitania was sunk and led to the death of nearly 2000 lives, most of them American.
    • British naval blockade:-
      • British Blockade was one of the key factors in the defeat of Germany and her allies. When the blockade was put into effect towards the end of 1914, Germany’s imports had fallen by 55% of pre-war import levels. One of the more prominent imports that were cut off were nitrates, these were used to create explosives and fertilizer. 
    • Zimmerman note :-
      • It was probably one of the more direct reasons that the Americans decided to join the war. The content of this note is that if Mexico attacked America for the land they had claimed before, then Germany would support them with arms and supplies.
      • This was a very big threat to America and as a result they thought it would be in their best interests to join the war.
      • By 1917, both sides of the conflict were exhausted and demoralized. The United States were able to support the Allied front with a million fresh soldiers, this greatly improved Allied morale and demoralize the Germans and her allies further.
    • Battles fought by each of the great nations in the First World War played a significant part in the loss of the Central powers:-
      • There were various German and Central Power offensives but most of them ended up in failures and some actually were successful.
      • The first battle of the Marne was based on the Schlieffen Plan, which was a failure because of the German army’s disorder when they became close to Paris.
      • The offensives created by Germany were not as efficient as the ones by The Great Powers, which led to the end of the war. This is a solid reason justifying why the central powers lost the war.
    • The weakness of Germany’s allies:-
      • Both Austria-Hungary and the Turkish Empire were huge empires with internal problems with diverse ethnic groups trying to gain independence.
      • Furthermore, both countries wanted to go into war to decrease the unrest in the empire, this later backfired on them because by the end of the war, both lost their empires and new nations were set, such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Trans-Jordan and Palestine.
      • This deeply affected Germany at the time of the war because it had unstable allies who can break away at any time.
      • Moreover, Germany’s allies were considerably weak compared with Britain and France and faced huge losses at different times in the war.
      • Because of this, Germany was always forced to send reinforcements to these nations to help them which affected their own performance in the war.
    • Social and Economical pressure played a noteworthy part for the loss of the Central Powers in the First World War:-
      • An anti-war mood was increasing in each of the nations involved in the war because of different factors and mainly inflation. Prices of consumer goods increased heavily while wages didn’t as much, therefore living standards declined and voices against the war increased.
      • By the end of the war, 1918, Germany did not have enough resources and men to fight in the war .Furthermore their country was devastated because of food shortages and war movements against the war.
      • Eventually, because of the starvation, 750,000 Germans died from hunger which increased the unrest in the country and the number of people against the war. 
    • The tank played an important part in making the Central Powers lose the war, especially in the last offensive where over 250 tanks where put into action which later resulted in the end of the war.
    • Alternatively, aircrafts played an important part for the allies and the central powers in the war.All the new technological advances which led to mechanized warfare played a standard part in the outcome of the war.
    • Leadership:
      • Allied political leaders at the critical time were more competent than those of the central powers.

General Studies – 2


Topic – Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

3) Discuss the structure, priority areas and various achievements of the Food and Agriculture organization.(250 words)

Reference

Wikipedia

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 structure of FAO. It also wants us to write in detail about the priority areas of FAO and its various programmes and achievements.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about FAO. e.g The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger; Its goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide etc.

Body

  • Discuss the structure of FAO. e.g The agency is directed by the Conference of Member Nations, which meets every two years to review the work carried out by the organization and to Work and Budget for the next two-year period. The Conference elects a council of 49 member states (serve three-year rotating terms) that acts as an interim governing body, and the Director-General, that heads the agency.FAO is composed of eight departments: Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department, Economic and Social Development, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, Corporate Services and Technical Cooperation and Programme Management.
  • Discuss the priority areas of FAO. e.g Help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; Make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable; Reduce rural poverty etc.
  • Discuss the achievements of FAO. e.g FAO and the World Health Organization created the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1961 to develop food standards, guidelines and texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/ WHO Food Standards Programme. The main aims of the programme are protecting consumer health, ensuring fair trade and promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations; World Food Summit; International Plant Protection Convention etc.

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

Background:-

  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.
  • With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. We believe that everyone can play a part in ending hunger.

Structure:-

  • The agency is directed by the Conference of Member Nations, which meets every two years to review the work carried out by the organization and to Work and Budget for the next two-year period. The Conference elects a council of 49 member states (serve three-year rotating terms) that acts as an interim governing body, and the Director-General, that heads the agency
  • FAO is composed of eight departments: Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department, Economic and Social Development, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, Corporate Services and Technical Cooperation and Programme Management.

Priority areas:-

  • Help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition
    • FAO mandate is to support members in their efforts to ensure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food.
    • It can help by supporting policies and political commitments that promote food security and good nutrition and by making sure that up-to-date information about hunger and malnutrition challenges and solutions is available and accessible.
  • Make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable
    • FAO must ensure that increased productivity does not only benefit the few, and that the natural resource base can provide services (pollination, nutrient cycling in soils, quality water, etc.) that enhance sustainability
  • Reduce rural poverty
    • Rural poverty remains widespread especially in South Asia and Africa. These regions have also seen least progress in improving rural livelihoods.
    • FAO strives to help smallholders improve farm productivity whilst aiming to also increase off-farm employment opportunities and, through social protection, find better ways for rural populations to manage and cope with risks in their environments .
  • Enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems
    • With increasing globalization, agriculture as an independent sector will cease to exist, becoming instead, just one part of an integrated value chain. This poses a huge challenge for smallholder farmers and agricultural producers in many developing countries where even the most economically valid smallholders can easily be excluded from important parts of the value chain.
    • Increasing their participation in food and agricultural systems is critical to achieving FAO’s goal of a world without hunger.
  • Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises
    • FAO’s mission is to help countries govern, prevent and mitigate risks and crises and support them in preparing and responding to disasters.

Achievements:-

  • CODEX:-
    • FAO and the World Health Organization created the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1961 to develop food standards, guidelines and texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/ WHO Food Standards Programme.
    • The main aims of the programme are protecting consumer health, ensuring fair trade and promoting co-ordination of all food standards work undertaken by intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • World food summit :-
    • In 1996, FAO organized the World Food Summit, attended by 112 Heads or Deputy Heads of State and Government. The Summit concluded with the signing of the Rome Declaration, which established the goal of halving the number of people who suffer from hunger by the year 2015
  • TeleFood:-
    • In 1997, FAO launched TeleFood, a campaign of concerts, sporting events and other activities to harness the power of media, celebrities and concerned citizens to help fight hunger. Since its start, the campaign has generated close to US$28 million, €15 million in donations.
  • FAO Goodwill AmbassadorsProgramme
    • The FAO Goodwill AmbassadorsProgramme was initiated in 1999. The main purpose of the programme is to attract public and media attention to the unacceptable situation that some 1 billion people continue to suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition in a time of unprecedented plenty.
  • Right to Food Guidelines
    • In 2004 the Right to Food Guidelineswere adopted, offering guidance to states on how to implement their obligations on the right to food.
  • Response to food crisis
    • In December 2007, FAO launched its Initiative on Soaring Food Prices to help small producers raise their output and earn more.
    • Under the initiative, FAO contributed to the work of the UN High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis, which produced the Comprehensive Framework for Action.
    • FAO has carried out projects in over 25 countries and inter-agency missions in nearly 60, scaled up its monitoring through the Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture, provided policy advice to governments while supporting their efforts to increase food production, and advocated for more investment in agriculture. 
  • Food security programmes
    • The Special Programme for Food Security is FAO’s flagship initiative for reaching the goal of halving the number of hungry in the world by 2015 as part of its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals.
    • Through projects in over 100 countries worldwide, the programme promotes effective, tangible solutions to the elimination of hunger, undernourishment and poverty. 
  • Online campaign against hunger
    • The 1billionhungry project became the Ending Hunger campaign in April 2011. Spearheaded by FAO in partnership with other UN agencies and private nonprofit groups, the Ending Hunger movement pushes the boundaries of conventional public advocacy.
  • International Plant Protection Convention
    • FAO created the International Plant Protection Conventionor IPPC in 1952. This international treaty organization works to prevent the international spread of pests and plant diseases in both cultivated and wild plants.
    • Among its functions are the maintenance of lists of plant pests, tracking of pest outbreaks, and coordination of technical assistance between member nations. As of July 2018, 183 contracting parties have ratified the treaty.
  • Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition
    • Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition (AAHM) aims to address how countries and organizations can be more effective in advocating and carrying out actions to address hunger and malnutrition.
  • Integrated pest management
    • During the 1990s, FAO took a leading role in the promotion of integrated pest management for rice production in Asia. Hundreds of thousands of farmers were trained using an approach known as the Farmer Field School (FFS).
  • Transboundary pests and diseases
    • FAO established an Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseasesin 1994, focusing on the control of diseases like rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease and avian flu by helping governments coordinate their responses. 
  • Statistics
    • The FAO Statistical Division produces FAOSTAT, which offers free and easy access to data for 245 countries and 35 regional areas from 1961 through the most recent year available.
  • FAO is both a global clearinghouse for information on forestsand forest resources and a facilitator that helps build countries’ local capacity to provide their own national forest data. 
  • Animal genetic resources:-
    • FAO has a unit focused on Animal Genetic Resources. FAO assists countries in implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources. FAO supports a variety of ex situand in situ conservation strategies including cryo conservation of animal genetic resources.
  • Investment in agriculture
    • FAO’s technical cooperation department hosts an Investment Centre that promotes greater investment in agriculture and rural development by helping developing countries identify and formulate sustainable agricultural policies, programmes and projects.

Topic– Issues related to health

4) Universal health coverage is getting prioritised as a part of political reform with the launch of two pillars of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). Explain these pillars and analyze how the insurance model under NHPM be implemented to cover maximum people at lowest cost?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The focus of the government is on improving the health outcomes for which PMJAY rests on two pillars. The article discusses the issues with the insurance model adopted under NHPM and suggests how the insurance model can lead to enhanced coverage for maximum people at lower price. Issues related to healthcare, and particularly the closer examination and analysis of aforementioned scheme is quite important for mains.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to answer the following points

  • Explain the two key pillars of PMJAY – what it seeks to achieve and how
  • Discuss NHPM in greater detail and being out the issues with the insurance model as envisaged
  • Discuss how the coverage and effectiveness of insurance model under NHPM be enhanced

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the two pillars of PMJAY and emphasize that the focus has shifted on universalizing healthcare with the launch of these schemes

Body

  • Explain the details of AB and NHPM – their aim, how these schemes plan to achieve these goals, the principles of the working of these schemes.
  • Discuss National Health Protection Scheme in greater detail. Bring out the issues with the current health insurance model. Discuss why achieving the targets under NHPM would be challenging considering the inefficiencies at various levels in the system and the limitations with the capacity of the company and the government.
  • Discuss how the outcomes under the NHPM be enhanced to ensure more robust insurance coverage

Conclusion – Give your view on these programs launched and discuss the way forward for enhancing effectiveness.

Background:-

  • India is concerned with many health issues be it malnutrition, infant mortality, rising non communicable diseases, growing number of deaths due to cancer etc. Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) is the step in the right direction which can give impetus to healthcare in India.

Two pillars of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY):

  • Ayushman Bharat (AB) where 1.5 lakh health sub-centres are being converted into health and wellness centres
  • National Health Protection Mission (NHPM) aims to provide health cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family, per annum, reaching out to 500 million people.
  • The scheme has two objectives:
    • Creating a network of health and wellness infrastructure across the nation (for primary health care services).
    • Provide insurance cover to minimum 40% of India’s total population (for secondary and tertiary health care services).
  • Beneficiaries of heath insurance under the scheme will include 50 crore economically weak citizens of Indiaas defined in the social, economic and ethnic census 2011 database. It will cover both rural (8.03 crore) and urban (2.33 crore) families.
  • Ayushman Bharat will subsume the existing Rashtriya Sawasthya Bima Yojna, launched in 2008 and the Senior Citizens Health Insurance Scheme.

Benefits of the scheme would be :-

  • This mission enables increased access to in-patient health care for the poor and lower middle class. The access to health care is cashless and nationally portable.
  • It spurs increased investment in health and generate lakhs of jobs, especially for women, and will be a driver of development and growth. It is a turning point for the health sector.
  • The scheme will replace Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana under which, the government provided Rs.30,000 annually for healthcare. Under NHPS, Rs.30,000 is increased to Rs. 5 lakhs.
  • Will bring healthcare system closer to the homes of people.
  • The new program would be a vast expansion of health coverage, allowing people to visit the country’s many private hospitals for needs as varied as cancer treatment and knee replacements. 

The following problems with Indian healthcare system need to be resolved to make Ayushmann Bharat a success:-

  • Massive shortages in the supply of services(human resources, hospitals and diagnostic centres in the private/public sector) which are made worse by grossly inequitable availability between and within States.
    • For example, even a well-placed State such as Tamil Nadu has an over 30% shortage of medical and non-medical professionals in government facilities.
  • Health budget:-
    • The health budget has neither increased nor is there any policy to strengthen the public/private sector in deficit areas.
    • While the NHPS provides portability, one must not forget that it will take time for hospitals to be established in deficit areas. This in turn could cause patients to gravitate toward the southern States that have a comparatively better health infrastructure than the rest of India.
  • Infrastructure constraints:-
    • There are doubts on the capacity of this infrastructure to take on the additional load of such insured patients from other States, growing medical tourism (foreign tourists/patients) as a policy being promoted by the government, and also domestic patients, both insured and uninsured.
  • In the absence of market intelligence, arbitrary pricing and unethical methods cannot be ruled out:-
    • Aarogyasri scheme has only package rates, a procedure that all States have since followed as a model. Package rates are not a substitute for arriving at actuarial rating.
    • More importantly, there is no way the government or the payer has an idea of the shifts in the price of components within the package.This knowledge is essential to regulate/negotiate prices to contain costs. This also explains why there is no dent in the exorbitant health expenditures being faced in India despite government-sponsored schemes.
  • Absence of primary care:-
    • In the northern States there are hardly any sub-centres and primary health centres are practically non-existent.
    • The wellness clinic component is a step towards bridging that lacuna but funding constraints are here too.
  • Out of pocket expenditure high:-
    • Even the poor are forced to opt for private healthcare,  and, hence, pay from their own pockets. Resultantly, an estimated 63 million people fall into poverty due to health expenditure, annually. 
  • Inequities in the health sector existdue to many factors like geography,  socio-economic status and income groups among others. Compared with countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and China, which started at almost similar levels, India lags behind peers on healthcare outcomes.
  • The Government has launched many policies and health programmes but success has been partial at best.
    • The National Health Policy(NHP) 2002 proposed to increase Government spending on health by two to three per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010 which has not happened yet. Now, the NHP 2017, has proposed to take it to 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025.
  • Healthcare does not have holistic approach:-
    • There are a lot of determinants for better health like improved drinking water supply and sanitation; better nutritional outcomes, health and education for women and girls; improved air quality and safer roads which are outside the purview of the health Ministry.
    • These issues are increasingly being recognised with emerging challenges such as Anti-microbial resistance, air pollution, and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
  • While private sector healthcare providers play an important role in the overall delivery of health services, any engagement of Government hospitals with private sector is seen with suspicion.
  • A number of health institutions, established since independence, seem to have outlived their utilityfor instance  institutions solely focus on family welfare.
  • Finally, universal health coverage (UHC) is a widely accepted and agreed health goal at the global level and has been included in the broader Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda as well. In India, the momentum seems to have been lost. The inclusion and articulation of core principles of UHC as central aim of NHP 2017, is a sign of hope. 
  • Rural medical practitioners (RMPs), who provide 80% of outpatient care, have no formal qualifications for it. 
  • Given low salaries, colleges face serious difficulties in filling the positions. The result has been extremely slow expansion of capacity in many states.
  • Pricing of medical equipment :-
    • Private hospitals are charging exorbitant prices for these and poor suffer the most and there is no price capping yet.

Way forward:-

  • There is a need for multi-sectoral planning and ‘health in all policies’ approach,where initiative of different departments and Ministries is developed and planned coordination, accountability  assigned and progress monitored jointly. It has to be coordinated at the level of Prime Minister or the Chief Minister’s office, as the case may be.
  • PPP in India needs a nuanced approach and systematic mechanisms, includinglegislation and regulatory aspects. The process requires wider stakeholder engagement and deliberations and oversight from top leadership.
  • There is a need to reform and re-design institutions to broader health system goals to contribute achieve sustainable development goals.
  • Policy proposals, such as setting up of Indian Medical Service, establishing public health cadre as well as mid-level healthcare providers and exploring lateral entry of technical experts in academic and health policy institutions, including in the health Ministry (up to the levels Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary levels) should be deliberated and given due priority.
  • A competitive price must be charged for services provided at public facilities as well. The government should invest in public facilities only in hard to reach regions where private providers may not emerge.
  • The government must introduce up to one-year long training courses for practitioners engaged in treating routine illnesses. This would be in line with the National Health Policy 2002, which envisages a role for paramedics along the lines of nurse practitioners in the United States.
  • There is urgent need for accelerating the growth of MBBS graduates to replace unqualified “doctors” who operate in both urban and rural areas. 
  • The government needs to provide adequate funding to improve the quality of services as well.
  • In a federal polity with multiple political parties sharing governance, an all-India alignment around the NHPS requires a high level of cooperative federalism, both to make the scheme viable and to ensure portability of coverage as people cross State borders.
  • State governments, which will administer it through their own agency, will have to purchase care from a variety of players, including in the private sector, at predetermined rates. Reaching a consensus on treatment costs through a transparent consultative process is vital for a smooth and steady rollout.
  • A large-scale Information Technology network for cashless treatment should be set up and validated. State governments need to  upgrade the health administrative systems. The NHPM has a problem with the distribution of hospitals, the capacity of human resources, and the finances available for cost-sharing.

Conclusion:-

  • The healthcare servicesavailable in India need to developed and their affordability for its citizens has to be improved. As the public spending on these services are quite low compared to the world average, schemes like Ayushman Bharat are a welcome step. The Government and private hospitals need to cooperate so that a scenario of universal heath coverage in India may get closer and poor people are able to get better and affordable heath care services.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic-  Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges

5) What do you understand by data localisation? Discuss the importance of data localisation for India and analyze India’s present and proposed policies related to data localisation with respect to their effectiveness?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

Data, it is said, is the new capital in digital age. The article discusses why the issue of data localization is important for a country and the issues with the policies related to data localization. Such issues have become important, because of the debates raised by Srikrishna committee. The article would help us prepare the issue of data localisation which has been an issue of debate.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to answer the following points

  • The meaning of data localization and what it entails
  • The benefits that get accrued out of data localization
  • The issues and challenges faced as a result of policies – present and proposed, related to data localization. We have to bring out how the provisions related to data localisation be made more effective.

Directive word

Discuss – Here the importance of data localization for a country is to be brought out.

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  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.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – In the introduction, explain what is meant by data localisation.

Body

  • Bring out the reasons why data localization is important – security, data as a resource, socio economic benefits. The reasons have to brought out in detail. Mention that reports suggest that cross-border data flows contributed $2.8 trillion to the global economy in 2014, which is expected to touch $11 trillion by 2025. Data has often been referred to as the new oil, an economic resource, that is fuelling the fourth industrial revolution.
  • Thereafter, we need to analyse the policies related to data localisation. Mention that like in many other countries, the political narrative in India also seems to be tilting towards data localisation. This may be gauged from recent developments in the regulatory and policy frameworks on data governance, which may compel companies to set up their data centres within Indian shores.
  • Highlight the indian policies related to data localisation – Goals set in the Draft National Digital Communications Policy 2018, along with various government notifications and guidelines such as Reserve Bank of India’s notification on Payment Data Storage 2018, and the Guidelines for Government Departments for Contractual Terms related to Cloud Storage 2017, show signs of data localisation. Discuss the rationale behind them and also analyze whether they help in furtherance of the objective of data localization. Also mention Srikrishna committee recommendations related to data localisation

Conclusion – Give your view on the present policies related to data localisation and the way forward.

Data localization :-

  • Data localization is the new trend in the internet world where there is borderless flow of information. In recent years, countries are instructing companies to keep critical data about consumers to be stored and processed within their domestic territories.
  • Laws asking entities to keep data about citizens were enforced by several jurisdictions including the EU. As per the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), important data are to the stored within the EU territory.

Importance of data localization for India :-

  • For securing citizen’s data, data privacy, data sovereignty, national security, and economic development of the country.
  • Recommendations by the RBI, the committee of experts led by Justice BN Srikrishna, the draft ecommerce policy and the draft report of the cloud policy panel show signs of data localisation.
  • The extensive data collection by technology companies, has allowed them to process and monetize Indian users’ data outside the country.
  • To curtail the perils of unregulated and arbitrary use of personal data.
  • Digital technologies like machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) can generate tremendous value out of various data.
  • It can turn disastrous if not contained within certain boundaries.
  • With the advent of cloud computing, Indian users’ data is outside the country’s boundaries, leading to a conflict of jurisdiction in case of any dispute.
  • Data localization is an opportunity for Indian technology companies to evolve an outlook from services to products.
  • International companies will also be looking at the Indian market, and this will benefit the growth of the local ecosystem.
  • More data centres in India could mean new, power-hungry customers for India’s renewable energy market. That means Data localisation could boost India’s renewable energy.

Policies that imply data localization :-

  • When enacted, India’s data protection law will not be the first to recommend data localisation. The Srikrishna Committee wants to localise data for law enforcement to have easy access to data, to prevent foreign surveillance, to build an artificial intelligence ecosystem in India, and because undersea cables through which data transfers take place are vulnerable to attacks
  • In April, the Reserve Bank of India imposed a hard data localisation mandate on payment systems providers to store payment systems data only in India. 
  • Barring limited exceptions, telecom service providers are not allowed to transfer user information and accounting information outside India.
  • Goals set in the Draft National Digital Communications Policy 2018, and the Guidelines for Government Departments for Contractual Terms related to Cloud Storage 2017, draft e-commerce policy and the draft report of the cloud policy panel show signs of data localization.

Concerns / Challenges :-

  • Several of the recommendations in including the draft e-commerce policy, falter on a key ground like they gloss over the negative economic impact of data localization. This approach exhibits lack of evidence-based policy making.
  • Having data in India does not mean that domestic companies will be able to access this data. Localization might aid the growth of the data centre and the cloud computing industry in India, but as matter of wider public policy, such an approach is extremely myopic. 
  • Mandating localization is less of a solution for data protection and might be less relevant to promote e-commerce.
  • The $167 billion Indian IT industry is export-driven and deals with data of citizens and companies in the US, the EU and other parts of the world. Given the comparative trade advantages enjoyed by one section of Indian industry in this context, mandating a strict data localization regime could be perceived as a restrictive trade barrier and spur retaliatory measures.
    • Data localisation increases cost for companies, especially MNCs.
    • Data localisation restrictions can negatively impact GDP of countries mandating it.
    • Such policies often reflect an authoritarian regime and are seen as a tool to enable local surveillance.
    • They also increase the cyber vulnerability and restrict access of SMEs to global services.
  • Data localisation laws often do not mandate a blanket localisation of data. Europe’s new data protection regime does not introduce localisation requirements but instead puts limits on cross-border data flows to countries that don’t have data protection laws.
  • The possible rise in prices of foreign cloud computing services in case of a data localisation, and its impact on MSMEs as well as start-ups relying on these services.
  • The possibility of triggering a vicious cycle of data localisation requirements by other countries as a response to India’s possible data localisation will be detrimental for the global data economy.
  • Growth will be restricted if data cannot be aggregated internationally.
  • Infrastructure in India for efficient data collection and management is lacking.

Way Forward

  • There is an urgent need to have an integrated, long-term strategy for policy creation for data localisation.
  • Data localisation needs to integrate a wide range of social, political and economic perspectives.
  • Creating an opportunity for local data centres all over the country.
  • Devising an optimal regulatory and legislative framework for data processors and data centres operating in the country.
  • Adequate infrastructure in terms of energy, real estate, and internet connectivity also needs to be made available for India to become a global hub for data centres.
  • Adequate attention needs to be given to the interests of India’s Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industries, which are thriving on cross border data flow.
  • Data needs to be shared with start-ups so that they can have a level playing field in offering innovative services with large and often global data companies.

General Studies – 4


Topic: Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance;

6) Discuss some of the philosophical dilemmas faced by the present generation, as part of a modern society.(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 some of the philosophical dilemmas faced by the present generation, as part of a modern society.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about how the present age is different from the previous ages- growing consumerism; increasing role of technology; stress on individualism etc.

Body-

Discuss in points/ paragraphs, the philosophical dilemmas faced by the present generation. E.g We all like to be free to say what we think – nobody should have the right to censor us, or to threaten us with harm if we don’t shut up. At the same time, most of us would accept that context matters, and that what some people say can cause harm to others; In a globalised world where supply chains reach all around the globe, it’s almost impossible to know the stories behind the assembly of all the items in your wardrobe and office- Given our general awareness of these facts, is it wrong to buy a product whose production probably depends on harsh conditions further up the supply chain? Should we, for example, boycott products until those selling them provide assurances about how they were made, even if that bumps the price up a bit?;  the dilemma of immigration and immigration controls; when social norms appal us, we should realise that those who obey them are typically conforming. Not conforming can lead to ostracisation, sometimes for entire families, which can then impact on the next generation when trying to find spouses of their own. Strange as it may sound to us, conformity, hard as it may be, can still be the rational choice etc.

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

Answer:-

The methods of philosophy may be ancient, but they remain as relevant as ever when it comes to life’s difficult questions. With changing times present generation is facing with new situations leading to ethical and philosophical dilemmas.

For instance elders were treated with utmost respect in the ancient societies.In the modern society with the increase in nuclear families the elders are not given due respect and are made to live in their world with their children ignoring them in most cases.
Similarly the freedom of speech despite not being a dilemma the restrictions imposed by government in the name of national interest are difficult to comprehend. Also most of us would accept that context matters, and that what some people say can cause harm to others.

In a globalised world where supply chains reach all around the globe, it’s almost impossible to know the stories behind the assembly of all the items in your wardrobe and office. Given our general awareness of these facts, there are confusions whether it is wrong to buy a product whose production probably depends on harsh conditions further up the supply chain

When social norms appal us, we should realise that those who obey them are typically conforming. Not conforming can lead to ostracisation, sometimes for entire families, which can then impact on the next generation when trying to find spouses of their own. Strange as it may sound to us, conformity, hard as it may be, can still be the rational choice etc.

Conflict of interest between individual interest and society interest :- Conformity towards society has reduced and the community feeling which people were associated with strongly earlier is reduced drastically and individuality has increased.

The idea of achieving success is mostly equated with how much money one earns or the position one reaches rather than how one achieves the success.

 


Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions

7) Object of the law should be maximum happiness of maximum number. Comment in the context of India.(250 words)

Why this question

The World Happiness Report (WHR) 2018, which ranked 156 countries, placed India at the 133rd place on the index of global happiness. While India’s performance on this can be attributed to several factors, there’s no denying the fact that there is an intrinsic relationship between law and people’s happiness. The article has explored this interrelationship between law and people’s happiness which is important in India’s context.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to first bring out the meaning of the statement mentioned which is that the objective of law should be maximum happiness for maximum number. We have to bring out what is the linkage between law and happiness of maximum number. Next, we have to bring out that relationship in the context of India.

Directive word

Comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Initially we have to mention that the statement mentioned is a part of utilitarian philosophy.

Body

  • Explain what is meant by maximum happiness of maximum number and how law can bring about happiness.
  • Analyse the pros and cons of the statement and give your view on whether that is indeed the object of law, or is it something else. Debate over the ‘object of law” and give your interpretation
  • Discuss in the context of India whether laws are designed to ensure maximum happiness of ten greatest number.

Conclusion – Give your view on the statement asked.

Answer :-

Happiness has come to be accepted as a goal of public policy. And this discourse has given a fillip to a new narrative where the interconnections between law, governance and happiness are being searched. Experiences from several nations confirm that the countries with higher GDP and higher per capita income are not necessarily the happiest countries and there exists a link between the state of happiness and rule of law.

There is an intrinsic relationship between law and people’s happiness. The World happiness report, over the years, confirmed that people tend to have poor mental health, a low score of subjective well-being and poor perception about the governance and law and order, despite high income levels.

 

Jeremy Bentham said the object of the law should be the maximum happiness of the maximum number.

Making people happy is the best crime prevention. The connection between crime and happiness is understandable from the experience of Bhutan, which introduced Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a measure of good governance. The data show that a great majority of the Bhutanese population are happy and only 4 per cent reported being victimised by crime over the last 12 months. Further, the crime rate in Bhutan is extremely low. A negative correlation between crime/victimisation and happiness is observed.

individuals living in nations with high crime rates are less happy and satisfied than individuals living in nations with a comparatively lower crime rate.

Laws and legal regimes are the distributors of unhappiness in many ways. India has about 3.3 crore cases pending in various courts in the country. Each case is not a mere number as  it involves tension, anxiety and deprivation to all those associated with it. A group of people like family members, relatives, friends and others of the parties involved are necessarily affected because of such cases. So none of them would be in a state of happiness on account of being linked to the case. Inevitably, the criminal justice administration for these people is a source of unhappiness. Moreover, not more than 30 per cent people approach the courts in India. There is a visible decline in civil litigation, which suggests that a large number of people in the country are living with unresolved conflicts. This too dents the state of happiness in general.

The countries scoring high on the Rule of Law Index are those who are higher on the index of happiness as well. Among these countries are Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Austria. The fact that happiness ought to be part of the agenda to improve rule of law, and vice versa, is a new thrust in the emerging policy discourse in many jurisdictions.

 

It is probably time to change the narrative  to shift the discourse of policy making towards the larger satisfaction of the people with the public institutions they have to regularly approach for various purposes. For example, in India, increasing incidents of cow vigilantism, communal and gender bigotry, ultimately make the society intolerant and dissatisfied. It is, perhaps, time to turn the narrative of law, policy and development, towards building a happier society.