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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 OCTOBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 OCTOBER 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 – Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

1) Migrant workers in India play a vital role in the economy of the host state and yet, they have to face a lot of hardships. Comment. (250 words)

epw

Why this question

The recent violence in Gujarat remind us once again to the precarious state of life of a migrant labourer in India. In this context it is essential to examine the role of migrant workers and the problems they face.

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our opinion as to whether migrant workers play a vital role in the economy of the host state and what are the problems they face, if any.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– present some statistics highlighting the volume and pattern of migration of labour in India.

Body-

  1. Discuss the role played by migrant workers in the economy of the host state. E.g they provide cheap labour for construction and development works; increase consumption of the host economy etc.
  2. Discuss the hardships and deprivations they face. E.g face backlash for taking jobs and putting stress on public infrastructure, involvement in petty crimes etc; inability to claim government support and benefits from various subsidies etc; problems of residence- slums; problems of supporting family etc.

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

Background :-

  • The 2011 Census pegs the total number of internal migrants in the country, including those who have moved within and across States, at a staggering 139 million out of which 33 million or 8% of India workforce belong to migrant workers.
  • In recent weeks, Gujarat’s migrant workers, particularly those hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh, experienced mob violence which led them to flee the state in panic.
  • This recent case in a series of such cases over the years captures the dismal lives of poor migrant workers in almost all the prominent cities and towns.

How migrant workers contribute to the economy of the host states:-

  • Mumbai’s status as the commercial capital rests massively on the labour and services of migrants, as does the domestic services that the middle class particularly depends on.
  • Gujarat has for long depended on migrant labour for its premier manufacturing and entrepreneurial status.
  • Provide cheap labour in blue collar jobs , household work like cleaning , cooking etc. .This leads to keeping a check on inflation as the factor cost decreases.
  • They provide cheap labour for construction and development works leading to increase in consumption of the host economy.
  • Migrant workers who are highly skilled provide expertise for instance there are many engineers from different places working in government PSU’s .
  • Agriculture labour during sowing and harvesting.
  • The housing industry of the host state benefits especially due to semi skilled migrant workers
  • Local economy also receives impetus to fulfil the needs of the migrant workers.This also reduces the burden of employment of local population.

 

Migrant workers face lot of hardships:-

  • Political:-
    • Regional politicians can blame them for rising unemployment and crime graphs
    • The locals can vent their ire against them for being the cause of collapsing civic amenities
  • Cultural:-
    • The chauvinists can rant against them for not assimilating themselves culturally.
    • They are seen as outsiders by locals
  • Violence:-
    • Mumbai, a city that historically has benefited immensely from migrants of all hues and levels of qualifications, migrant workers face periodic bouts of violence particularly unleashed by regional parties.
  • Standard of living and access to schemes:-
    • Poor migrant workers in India face even more precarious work and living conditions than their local counterparts.
    • Whether it is benefiting from welfare schemes or their bargaining power for negotiations for wages and work conditions, they are in a much more vulnerable position.
    • These labourers are exploited, required to work below subsistence levels, and reside in subhuman conditions.
    • Problems of residence leads them to stay in squatter settlements or slums.
    • Less pay parity compared to locals.
  • Organisational dilemma:-
    • Even the established trade unions are not of much help to them for a variety of reasons. Many of these workers do not have any presence or agency as far as local government and services are concerned.
    • The migrant workers too prefer to join welfare associations based on regional identity for security and protection.
  • Governance failure:-
    • State does not provide services to them as the migrant workers most often do not proper documents, secure jobs, housing and provisioning of other public utilities .
    • The state systematically derecognises them in most of the cases and they are termed as as “illegal”. Illegality, in turn, results in labels such as criminals
    • Smart cities:-
      • There have been forced evictions and shelter demolitions in 32 out of the 99 proposed smart cities so far. Politically, inter-State migrants do not matter much because their votes do not count in the destination city.
    • Emotional:-
      • As most of them stay away from family they face emotional and psychological issues leading to depression
    • Not all migrant face similar hardships can also be written. Middle class and upper middle class migrants hardship is different from Lower labour class

Way forward:-

  • Lessons from other states:-
    • Kerala government has shown the way by a series of measures for migrant labour in the state.
    • The construction industry, for example, which has a huge percentage of migrant labour, has a welfare board with a Rs.1,000 crore corpus, and the government has announced a survey of migrant workers’ living conditions, and assistance in procuring health insurance and legal aid.
  • The political class and civil society in the country need to shed their cynical and utilitarian view of migrant workers.
  • It must be emphasised that all citizens have the basic right to move anywhere in the country, and that their constitutional rights and duties are to be equally protected. 

 


General Studies – 2


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

2) While ‘Right to Education’ vastly expanded enrolment of children, not enough attention was paid to other important aspects, determining outcomes of education. Analyze.(250 words)

Indian express

Reference

Why this question

RTE is an important social legislation aimed at ending one of the worst deprivations in the life of a person-education. The article highlights the shortcomings of the RTE act and is therefore essential from UPSC exams point of view.

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 dig deep into the RTE act and analyze its shortcomings in terms of aspects neglected by it but having profound impact on the outcomes.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  RTE act- date of commencement, objectives etc. e.g The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted on 4 August 2009, which describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21a of the Indian Constitution.

Body-

Discuss the achievements of RTE  in terms of increased enrollment of children and then highlight the shortcomings of the act in terms of not paying enough attention to other important factors. E.g briefly discuss the role of

  • Teacher quality
  • Infrastructure
  • Medium, method and content of instruction etc.

Also highlight other socio-economic challenges related to education- poverty and undernutrition; One out of seven children in India is undernourished; two out of five are stunted (low height-for-age); and one out of five is wasted (low weight-for-height). Discuss its effects on learning outcomes etc.

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

 

Background:-

  • In 2002, the 86th amendment of the constitution in India declared that education is a fundamental human right, and that it should be provided to all children ages 6 to 14 years old. Following this, in 2009 the Right to Education Act (RTE)was passed to uphold the new declaration.
  • The Act states some important clauses for education in India:
    • All children should be able to attend school full time
    • All children should have access to education that is the same quality
    • Student-teacher ratios must ensure that there aren’t too many students in any one classroom
    • Teachers must be properly trained.
  • However recently there have been doubts regarding the effective outcomes from the act.

How RTE helped:-

  • Infrastructure:-
    • The act has led to significant improvements in the physical infrastructure of schools in India. This means that things like toilet facilities have improved especially in terms of toilet facilities to girls.
  • Better teacher to student ratio:-
    • India has also witnessed improvements in teacher to student ratio.
  • Increase in enrolment:-
    • There has also been improvements in the enrollment of girls in school in India and therefore overall there has been a definite drop in the total number of students who do not attend school so drop out rate has reduced.
  • Underlying idea behind the RTE is a good one as it focuses on the concept of underprivileged children attending private schools
  • There has been an ever-increasing number of children have access to education.

Aspects where RTE failed are :-

  • Quality:-
    • Not enough attention was paid to the quality of the schools, the teachers and the instruction.
    • Growing amount of data points to the fact that student learning levels are unacceptably low, and that improving schooling inputs have had a very limited impact on improving learning outcomes.
    • The RTE’s focus on inputs to education rather than on learning outcomes of students may ensure that children are in school, but is unlikely to result in them getting a meaningful education.
  • How have states failed:-
    • Five States (Goa, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Telangana) have not even issued notifications regarding admissions under the RTE. 
    • States have failed to undertake the most basic steps to implement Section 12(1)(c) of an Act that mandates private unaided schools to reserve 25% of seats for children from economically weaker sections (EWS), in the age bracket of six to 14 years.
    • Per child costs:-
      • States have to notify per-child costs to pay the private schools, on behalf of the children admitted under this provision. However, out of 29 States and seven Union Territories, only 14 have notified their per-child costs
      • In 2017-18, of the 15 States which submitted their reimbursement claims to the Central government, only six were approved. Many of the claims of the States were not provided funds by the Centre, as they had not notified the per-child costs.
      • According to Indus Action, there are higher order issues like the methodology used by States to calculate the per-child cost and lack of coverage of ancillary costs in the reimbursements.
    • Also the absence of a streamlined disbursement framework both at the Central and State levels is one of the biggest reasons that reimbursements are not processed. If the States are not provided sufficient funds, private schools would be forced to bear the costs of the children.
  • The act doesn’t address the root of the problem in India.
    • By some estimates, private schools attendance accounts for only about 30 per cent. So, 70 per cent of the country’s school students still depend on inadequate government schools where teacher quality is abysmal, attendance is poor, infrastructure non-existent, and corruption rampant. The RTE does nothing to address this gaping and urgent problem.
  • RTE is riddled with poorly conceived conditions:-
    • A requirement for a minimum plot size of 2000 square meters, means that it is impossible to build small, affordable schools in slums or villages.
    • The act’s insistence that all schools be officially “recognised” means that lakhs of small schools doing good work in poor areas are now illegal. 
  • Poverty and undernutrition:-
    • RTE failed to deal with the overall development of the child as one out of seven children in India is undernourished, two out of five are stunted (low height-for-age), and one out of five is wasted (low weight-for-height). 

Way forward:-

  • Government needs to fix its failing public school system, attended by around 70 per cent of Indian students. Even with limited resources, this can be done by first improving the monitoring of teachers and teaching standards and second, by regulating the financial management of the state school system.
  • Experts call for an approach to private school regulation based on transparency and disclosure of audited performance metrics as opposed to inputs. The approach outlined in Gujarat’s model rules of recognizing private schools based on meeting performance standards is path-breaking model to follow.

 


General Studies – 3


Topic– Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment; Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

3) The Agriculture Census 2015–16 establishes that structural constraints continue to exacerbate the agrarian crisis. Examine.(250 words)

Epw

Why this question

India depends on its agriculture for it still employs about 48% of the population. Therefore any poverty reduction initiative will not succeed unless India accounts for the poor state of its farmers. In this context it is important to examine the Agriculture Census 2015–16 and its key findings.

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to examine into the details of agriculture census and its salient findings which highlight that structural constraints continue to exacerbate the agrarian crisis.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  agriculture in India- employment, contribution to GDP etc.

Body-

Discuss the key findings of the census and form your points in light of the key demand of the question. E.g According to the Agriculture Census 2015–16, the total area under farming in India declined from 159.59 million hectares in 2010–11 to 157.14 million hectares in 2015–16. At the same time, the number of operational holdings increased by 5.33%, from 138 million in 2010–11 to 146 million in 2015–16. Thus, the average size of operational holdings in India declined from 1.15 hectares to 1.08 hectares, reflecting the pressure of the increasing farming population on agricultural land, which is a critical factor of production that is also limited in supply; t shows that there has been a proliferation of small and marginal landholdings since the last agriculture census in 2011; The census also reveals that Scheduled Caste (SC) groups operated only about 9% of the total available area and that the average size of their holdings was 0.78 hectares. Also, about 92% of holdings operated by SC groups comprised small and marginal holdings. These figures disclose the extent of deprivation as a social group with respect to the operation of landholdings. This also establishes that structural constraints related to differences in the operational holding size across caste groups had been overlooked by most states and had not witnessed any major transformation so far etc.

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

Background:-

  • Distress has set in the rural economy in many areas, even forcing farmers to commit suicides as an extreme reaction. Low growth, poor earnings and  distress behaviour such as large-scale internal migration and disproportionately high suicides have signalled that something is wrong with the rural sector.

Agricultural census 2015-16:-

  • The size of the landholding itself is a significant factor determining the sustainability of farm incomes, the census has found that persisting trend of fragmentation of landholdings and their skewed distribution across size classes is visible in India. These provisional results corroborate the observed signs of agrarian distress and simmering discontent in the rural heartlands across India.
  • Total area under farming has declined:-
    • According to the Agriculture Census 2015–16, the total area under farming in India declined from 159.59 million hectares in 2010–11 to 157.14 million hectares in 2015–16.
  • At the same time, the number of operational holdings increased by 5.33%, from 138 million in 2010–11 to 146 million in 2015–16. Thus, the average size of operational holdings in India declined from 1.15 hectares to 1.08 hectares, reflecting the pressure of the increasing farming population on agricultural land, which is a critical factor of production that is also limited in supply.
  • The census shows that there has been a proliferation of small and marginal landholdings since the last agriculture census in 2011. In 2015–16, about 86.21% of the landholdings in the country consisted of small and marginal holdings (0 to 2 hectares).

Structural constraints aggravationg agrarian crisis are:-

  • Caste prejudice:-
    • The census also reveals that Scheduled Caste (SC) groups operated only about 9% of the total available area and that the average size of their holdings was 0.78 hectares.
    • Also, about 92% of holdings operated by SC groups comprised small and marginal holdings.
    • These figures disclose the extent of deprivation as a social group with respect to the operation of landholdings.
    • This also establishes that structural constraints related to differences in the operational holding size across caste groups had been overlooked by most states and had not witnessed any major transformation so far
    • Studies show that caste-based discrimination places socially marginalised groups like SCs at a disadvantage in agriculture, as they are likely to have lesser access to resources, resulting in lower levels of productivity and realisation of returns.
  • Fragmented landholdings:-
    • It also shows lower per capita productivity of smallholdings and widespread incidence of poverty.
    • Marginal holdings of less than one hectare are too small to provide farmer households with sufficient incomes. It is the low level of returns from farming that has led to the persistence of agrarian distress, and the fragmentation of holdings has significantly contributed to this phenomenon.
    • Given the lack of sufficient off-farm and non-farm employment, the increasing fragmentation is thus indicative of the intensification of the agrarian distress and the pauperisation of the peasantry tied to agriculture for livelihood, with no exit options. 
  • Institutional credit:-
    • Studies also show that only a small proportion of the small and marginal farmers have had access to institutional credit and that they often tended to depend on middlemen
    • RRBs were designed to combine local feel and low cost of the cooperatives and 
      professionalism of commercial banks. Somewhere the hybridization process went wrong and what emerged finally was the high cost structure and culture of commercial banks. 
  • Land records:-
    • The consolidation of landholdings would not be an easy process, especially for small and marginal farmers, due to the dearth of accurate land records.
  • High cost of inputs:-
    • Demand for credit emanates from demand for inputs and services needed for various farm operations. It constitutes a major portion of  liquidity with farmers and imparts the needed purchasing power to the capital starved farmers.
  • Failure of cooperatives:-
    • Cooperative system displayed inherent rigidity and did not change with times. It grew bigger in size over time. But, it did not adopt the technology and professionalism needed to manage the structure. 
  • Monsoon dependent:-
    • Agriculture in India is largely depends on monsoon. As a result, production of food-grains fluctuates year after year. A year of abun­dant output of cereals is often followed by a year of acute shortage. This, in its turn, leads to price income and employment fluctuations. 
  • Unemployment :-
    • Conditions of most agricultural labourers in India are far from satisfactory. There is also the problem of surplus labour or disguised unemploy­ment. This pushes the wage rates below the sub­sistence levels.
  • The systems and techniques of farming:-
    • Crop rotation:-
      • Since the farmers are not aware of the need for crop rotation they use the same type of crop and, consequently, the land loses its fertility considerably.
    • Inadequate use of manures like cow-dung or vegetable refuge and chemical fertilisers makes Indian agriculture much less productive than Japa­nese or Chinese agriculture.
    • The use of poor quality seeds:
      • In India, not much use has been made of improved varieties of seeds. The main cereals (rice, millets and pulses) are still grown chiefly with unimpro­ved seeds.
    • Inadequate water supply:
      • Farmers also suffer due to lack of irrigation facilities.
      • Present prob­lem is one of discovering cheap and easy methods of utilising these vast supplies of water.
    • Inadequate use of efficient farm equip­ment:
      • The method of cultivation in most areas of India are still primitive
    • The marketing of agricultural products :-
      • One of the major causes of low income of the Indian farmers is the difficulty in marketing their crops. Due to the small size and scattered nature of agricultural holdings, the productivity per acre is low.
      • Consequently, the collection of these sur­pluses for the purpose of marketing presents a seri­ous problem.
      • Agricultural marketing problems arose due to the lack of communications, i.e., con­necting the producing centres with the urban ar­eas which are the main centres of consumption. The difficulty of communication prevents the farmer from marketing his own produce. So he has to rely on a number of middlemen (intermediaries) for the disposal of “his crops at cheap prices.
    • Agricultural Prices:
      • In order to increase food production, it is necessary to ensure that prices of ofod-grains set by the Government from time to time give suffi­cient incentive to farmers so that they can earn reasonable incomes. In India, bumper crop leads to fall in revenue of farmers.
    • Logistics:-
    • India’s transportation costs are, on average, 20-30 percent higher than those of other countries mainly due to a fragmented supply chain. This fragmentation is itself the result of policies that have inhibited investment, integration and competition in transport, storage and distribution

What needs to be done:-

  • Urgent need to consolidate operational holdings through reforms so as to enable the economies of scale to operate in farming. 
  • Updating of land records and titling would also be required before any attempts at consolidation of holdings.
  • Cooperative farming or organising small and marginal farmers into producer companies would also be a possible solution to overcome the problem of fragmented landholdings. 
  • Create an integrated and competitive domestic agricultural market and improve communication, transport, storage, distribution, and agricultural support services.
  • Providing farmers better access to services from transportation to distribution will enhance the economic gains from, and strengthen the political case for, agricultural trade liberalization.
  • Implement M.S. Swaminathan committee report on MSP.

Topic– Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

4) Analyze the controversy regarding use of Glyphosate as herbicide, and also discuss how India has reacted to the issue.(250 words)

Reference

Reference

Why this question

India has recently taken some steps to check use of glyphosate, a herbicide, incriminated in causing development defects and a rare form of cancer.  In this context it is essential to analyze the reasons behind the controversy and also steps taken by India in this regard.

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 dig deep into the issue and bring out the reasons behind the use of Glyphosate herbicide and discuss steps taken by the Indian government in this regard.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  glyphosate- its use and mention the recent controversy regarding Monsanto and Glyphosate.

Body-

  1. Discuss the use of Monsanto and mention Glyphosate resistant crops. E.g Farmers quickly adopted glyphosate for agricultural weed control, especially after Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready crops, enabling farmers to kill weeds without killing their crops. From the late 1970s to 2016, there was a 100-fold increase in the frequency and volume of application of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) worldwide, with further increases expected in the future, partly in response to the global emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds etc.
  2. Discuss the adverse effects of use of Glyphosate. E.g In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic in humans”- non-Hodgkin lymphoma in humans; developmental defects in babies etc.

 

  1. Discuss the recent testing requirements announced by the government and mention Maximum Residual Limits prescribed thereunder.

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

Background:-

  • In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer labelled glyphosate as probably carcinogenic and implicated it in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Farmers quickly adopted glyphosate for agricultural weed control, especially after Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready crops, enabling farmers to kill weeds without killing their crops.
  • From the late 1970s to 2016, there was a 100-fold increase in the frequency and volume of application of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) 
  • As much as 8.6 billion kg of glyphosate has been used globally since it was introduced in 1974.

Controversy regarding use of glysophate as herbicide :-

  • The use of glyphosate is linked to adverse effects on kidney, liver damage, changes in gut microflora, cancer, endocrine disruption, neurological damage and immune system dysfunction.
  • For example, polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA) used as an adjuvant to increase the efficacy of glyphosate has been found to be 3,450 times more toxic to human embryonic kidney cells than the herbicide itself.
  • The use of glyphosate on the HT (herbicide tolerant) cotton crop kills the weeds, while allowing the resistant plants to grow.
  • The number of cases in the US against Bayer’s Monsanto over alleged cancer risks of the glyphosate-based herbicide have now doubled to 8,000.
  • India :-
    • Glyphosate is a popular herbicide in India too where farmers use the chemical as an alternative to expensive manual weeding.
    • Farmers in India want the chemical as it helps them control weeds in their farms at a lower cost. Cost of weeding can be as much as three times lower if glyphosate is used instead of manual labour. Farmers use glyphosate on all kinds of crops
  • In 2014, Sri Lanka had banned it when a study linked it to chronic kidney disease. Argentine study published in April 2018 shows that in areas of that country where glyphosate-tolerant GM soy is cultivated, miscarriages are three times the national average and birth defects are two times the national average.
  • However ABLE-AG claims that glyphosate is degraded over time by soil microbes into naturally-occurring substances and is safe for the environment. The association says that robust data establishing that glyphosate is safe is available.

How India reacted on this issue :-

  • The Telangana government had in 2018, put restrictions on the sale of glyphosate in a bid to curb the illegal use of herbicide-tolerant BT cotton.
  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has asked its imports division to check consignment of pulses for the presence of herbicide glyphosate. These samples would be tested by regional laboratories and the results have to be shared with FSSAI every 15 days, 
  • Frequent testing of Indian samples too is to be done given the amount of illegal use of glyphosate in the country.
  • Since India does not have any set standards for maximum residual limits for glyphosate, the FSSAI has decided to use the standards set by Codex Alimentarius, a joint committee set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

Topic– Linkages between development and spread of extremism; Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

5) What are the tactics and objectives of terrorism? Has terrorism increased in the past few decades? Discuss.(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 meaning of terrorism and its objectives. We also have to discuss whether terrorism has decreased in recent years.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a simple yet comprehensive definition of the term, terrorism.

Body-

  1. Discuss the objectives of terrorism. E.g Terrorism is a tactic – a strategy used to achieve a specific end. This strategy is often used in asymmetric power struggles when a weaker person, or group, is fighting against a powerful nation-state. The violence is aimed at creating fear in the targeted population and often provokes prompt and violent response from the state; Many forms of terrorism were inspired by warfare between races, struggles between the rich and poor or battles between political outcasts and elites.Some are ethnically based separatist movements; Many terrorist groups are inspired by a specific interpretation of religious or prophetic scriptures; Terrorists often justify their bloody acts on the basis of perceived social, economic and political unfairness. Or they take inspiration from religious beliefs or spiritual principles etc
  2. Discuss whether terrorism has decreased in the past few decades. E.g yes. Because – Despite the intensity of media coverage and public perception, terrorism is actually not more frequent today than a few decades ago. For instance, terrorist attacks were far more common during the Cold War period than during the post-9/11 era. Some experts believe terrorism peaked during the 1970s; Worldwide, terrorism is highly concentrated in a handful of countries etc.

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

Background:-

  • Terrorism is a chosen strategy in which the deliberate targeting of innocents as victims is of its essence. The risk of terrorism is of great concern to many countries and significant resources are spent to counter this threat. A better understanding of the motivation of terrorists and their reasons for selecting certain modes and targets of attack can help improve the decisions to allocate resources in the fight against terrorism.
  • According to the FBI: Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Tactics and objectives of terrorism:-

  • Propaganda and the rallying of support :-
    • Due to terrorist acts the organisations achieve worldwide publicity and this stimulates not only recruitment but also emulation. In terms of these aims, terrorism succeeds when an act attracts publicity and recruits
    • Strategy of terrorism remains to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. 
  • Terrorism does not attempt to challenge government forces directly, but acts to change perceptions as to the effectiveness or legitimacy of the government itself. 
  • The terrorists plan their attack to obtain the greatest publicity for their acts, choosing targets that symbolize what they oppose. 
  • The effectiveness of the terrorist act lies not just in the act itself, but in the public’s or government’s reaction to the act. 
  • Fear:-
    • More than immediate victims, Terror acts try to inculcate fear in the minds of the viewer e.g. in case of 9/11 attacks and 1972 Munich Olympics etc. 
  • Generally do not accept any limitation in their actions such as International law, moral constraints, sympathy towards weaker sections etc. For instance 1993 serial bomb blast in Mumbai; 9/11 attack on twin towers etc.
  • Terrorism is a strategy used to achieve a specific end. This strategy is often used in asymmetric power struggles when a weaker person, or group, is fighting against a powerful nation-state.
  • Many forms of terrorism were inspired by warfare between races, struggles between the rich and poor or battles between political outcasts and elites. Some are ethnically based separatist movements
  • Terrorists often justify their bloody acts on the basis of perceived social, economic and political unfairness or they take inspiration from religious beliefs or spiritual principles etc.
  • Terrorism as a strategy earlier had political ends:-
    • First, the destabilisation of government
    • Second, the replacement of that order.
    • For the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), that meant no united Ireland, according to Hamas’s 1988 charter, the rejection and replacement of the state of Israel.
  • New terrorists tend to be religiously motivated:-
    • Many terrorist groups are inspired by a specific interpretation of religious or prophetic scriptures
    • Because religious terrorists are usually more interested in killing outsiders than causing political change, they tend to be more lethal.
  • New terrorism:-
    • Newest terrorists encourage more frequent active violence, hostage-takings and kidnappings. They seek to kill in the most horrifying ways. They distribute acts of violence widely in time and space.
    • New terrorists are more drawn to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. For instance, from 2014 through 2016, IS used chemical weapons at least 52 times in Iraq and Syria 
    • These newest terrorist use information and communication technologies to communicate with the public directly. These technologies are even used to attract targets to the site of the attack.
    • In the 21st century, terrorist groups are most strikingly those concerned with ‘global jihad’ often lack clear political goals, some not even claiming responsibility for their acts. Now, the means  the sacrifice of the perpetrators’ lives  seems to be the end in itself leading to martyrdom and the passage to heaven that it claims to bring.
    • Newest terrorists aim to kill as many people as possible, as frequently as possible, as horrifically as possible, intimately, suicidally, with the most accessible weapons, in the most accessible public spaces.

Terrorism has decreased in the last few decades:-

  • Despite the intensity of media coverage and public perception, terrorism is actually not more frequent today than a few decades ago. For instance, terrorist attacks were far more common during the Cold War period than during the post-9/11 era. Some experts believe terrorism peaked during the 1970s.
  • Despite the recent attacks, the U.K. and Western Europe experienced relatively low terrorist activity during the period 2000 to 2016 compared with the period 1970 to 1995.
  • In the United States, terrorism attacks were in sharp decline from 1970 to 2011, decreasing from approximately 475 incidents a year to fewer than 20.
  • Worldwide, terrorism is highly concentrated in a handful of countries.
    • Terrorist attacks in 2014 were mainly concentrated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria. These countries saw 78 percent of the deaths and 57 percent of all attacks in the world. Since 2000, only 3 percent of deaths caused by terrorist attacks took place in Western countries, including Australia, Canada, members of the European Union and the United States.
  • Based on international studies of 457 terrorist groups worldwide since 1968 the terrorist groups lasted an average of eight years before they lost support or were dismantled. No terrorist organization wes able to conquer a state, and 94 percent were unable to achieve even one of their strategic goals.

Conclusion:-

  • Terrorism is a menace which has huge socio economic ramifications so there is a need for holistic approach with all the countries coming together to find the solution to this menace.

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

6) Untimely snowfall due to climate change not only affects agriculture but also affects the socio-economy of a place. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

Climate change has conspicuously started to affect our environment and untimely snowfall is one such fallout of climate change. India has several states running through Himalayas and it is therefore essential to discuss how it impacts local agriculture and the socio-economy.

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 untoward effects of untimely snowfall on agriculture and how it affects the socio-economy of a place.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent untimely snowfall in H.P and other himalayan states.

Body

  1. Discuss the adverse effects of untimely snowfall on agriculture. E.g Snowfall provides a lot of moisture. Unlike rainfall, snow allows root development. Even when the top of the crop lies dormant, if the roots are well developed, the crop receives more nutrition. Furthermore, snow prevents the soil from being washed away with heavy rainfall and it has an insulating temperature as it takes longer for moist soil to get cold than dry soil; untimely snowfall leads to loss of fruits, flowers, buds and grains; late snowfall decreases moisture content in the soil and is hence unfavourable for agriculture etc.
  2. Discuss how it impacts the socio-economy of a place. E.g Under such adverse conditions the farmers are pushed towards other occupations e.g tourism industry- in himalayan areas etc.

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

Background :-

  • Climate change is affecting every aspect of human life . It has conspicuously started to affect environment and untimely snowfall is one such fallout of climate change.
  • India has several states running through Himalayas and it is therefore essential to analyse its impacts on local agriculture and the socio-economy.

Untimely snowfall affects agriculture :-

  • Untimely snowfall in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul-Spiti district, which is 3,000 or more metres above sea level, resulted in loss of apple, potato and cabbage crops this season.
    • According to the preliminary estimate, more than 95 per cent of apple trees and crops have perished in the recent untimely snow,
  • The following benefits of regular snowfall are lost due to untimely snowfall due to climate change :-
    • According to scientists, normal snowfall at the right time is beneficial to the wheat crop in more ways than one. Snow provides soil moisture the crops need to grow.
    • Winter snowfall helps during the growing season because of the stored moisture that works its way down into the soil as the snow melts. 
    • It can actually benefit winter wheat crop to a great deal. Snow has distinct benefits on winter wheat:
      • Provide insulation for the young plants protecting them from fluctuation in air temperatures
      • Provide soil moisture in the spring when snow melts.
      • A layer of snow on winter wheat fields insulates the dormant crop. Wheat that is not protected by a blanket of snow can die known as “winter kill” in bitterly cold temperatures.
    • Unlike rainfall, snow allows root development. Even when the top of the crop lies dormant, if the roots are well developed, the crop receives more nutrition.
    • Furthermore, snow prevents the soil from being washed away with heavy rainfall and it has an insulating temperature as it takes longer for moist soil to get cold than dry soil.

Untimely snowfall affects the socio economy of a place :-

  • Places that benefit from snowfall, such as ski resorts, rely on winter weather to draw visitors.
  • With food especially, if customers cannot get to the shops or retailers do not have stock, then there will be an economic impact.
  • Under such adverse conditions the farmers are pushed towards other occupations such as tourism industry which is visible in Himalayan areas.
  • Work on construction and infrastructure projects will slow or be stopped altogether, as continuing in bad weather can be unsafe. 
  • Reduced footfall at shops, leisure facilities, theatres, cinemas and restaurants would lower economic activity.
  • Public utilities and services like health and education gets disrupted. Also Road and rail and air disruption also takes place.

Way forward:-

  • Scientists can research and develop seeds which are less affected by adverse climate condition suitable for regions like these.
  • People need to look for alternate occupations taking examples from the economies of cold areas around the world.