SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 OCTOBER 2018

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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 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– Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

1) Do you think matrilineal family structure like the one practiced by Khasi tribe, disfavours men. Analyze.(250 words)

Insightsonindia

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 matrilineal family system of the Khasis of Meghalaya and bring out whether it disfavours men or not.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Define what is a matrilineal family structure.

Body-

  1. Discuss the matrilineal family structure of Khasi tribes in detail. E.g Women have a dominant role in the matrilineal society of Meghalaya. The youngest daughter of the family, the Ka Khadduh,[9] inherits all ancestral property. After marriage, husbands live in the mother-in-law’s home. The mother’s surname is taken by children. While the society is matrilineal, it is not matriarchal.  A woman inherits property from her mother and passes it on to her daughter, while a man controls his sister’s property and passes on control to his sister’s son. Thus, inheritance passes from mother to daughter whereas control passes from (maternal) uncle to nephew etc.
  2. Discuss whether it is discriminatory against men. E.g Khasi matriliny generates intense role conflict for men. They are torn between their responsibilities to their natal house on the one hand, and to their wife and children on the other. In a way, the strain generated by such role conflict affects Khasi women more intensely etc.

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

Background:-

  • Matrilineal is the tracing of descent through the female line. In a matrilineal tradition, the children take their mother’s last name.

Matrilineal family structure of Khasi tribe:-

  • The Khasi family is known as a ling. A typical ling consists of a mother, her husband, her unmarried sons, her married daughters, their husbands and children.
  • In matrilineal families, such as the Khasis, it is the husbands who come to stay with their wives.
    • The male children leave upon their marriage to stay in the houses of their wives. This pattern is called matrilocal residence.
  • The males contribute to the family income and their earnings to their mothers or to their sisters, and not to their own children, who belong to a different ling.
  • The youngest daughter is the heiress, following the principle of ultimo geniture. She acts as the priestess of the family and leads all family rituals, including the post death ceremonies that include cremation of the dead and interring of the bones into the common sepulchre (a family tomb).
  • The elder daughters of the family are dispatched to new places after their marriage. Usually, these new houses are in the same compound.
  • Only the youngest daughter lives in the mother’s ling as custodian of the house and responsible for family worship. Thus, she receives a larger share in the family property. The extended group of interconnected lings is called a kur, a clan.
  • Khasi women for instance carry their goods to the weekly markets, selling and shopping, and are entirely trusted by their men folk, a characteristic not peculiar in patrilineal societies like in the rest of India.
  • Man controls his sister’s property and passes on control to his sister’s son. Thus, inheritance passes from mother to daughter whereas control passes from (maternal) uncle to nephew etc.

How this system does not favour men in khasi tribe:-

  • Husbands need to move to wife’s house after marriage.
  • Also children don’t bear father’s name but the mother’s name.
  • Khasi matriliny generates intense role conflict for men. They are torn between their responsibilities to their natal house on the one hand, and to their wife and children on the other. In a way, the strain generated by such role conflict affects Khasi women more intensely etc.

Despite constraints men have significant power:-

  • Man’s position in the family is an honoured one and as the bread-earner and as the protector of his mother, his sisters and young daughters and sons and his position as the exalted defender of his mother’s family. 
  • Matriarchy is a social system in which females hold the primary power position in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property at the specific exclusion of man. But this is not true in case with the Khasi society which makes it matrilineal and not matriarchal.
  • In fact, Khasis have matrilineal residence and material descent only. Though descent is traced through the mother, yet father is the head of the family. 
  • It is the father who is expected to be the defender of the family and family’s property.
    • In the Khasi system of asset management, the Khasi uncles (Kñi) of the household (usually under the authority of the eldest Kñi), are the managers of their sister’s property. No decision can be taken without their consent. In their wife’s household too, they provide for their children like a normal father would. 

Topic -Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India

2) One of the most significant yet paradoxical changes in the caste system in the contemporary period is that it has tended to become ‘invisible’ for the upper caste, urban middle and upper classes. Comment.(250 words)

Insightsonindia

Wikipedia

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to form an opinion about reducing importance of caste system in upper caste people and urban middle and upper class. We have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and present points, facts, arguments in favour of our opinion.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the weakening of caste institutions and structures with time.

Body-

Discuss how caste has become invisible for the upper caste, urban middle and upper classes. E.g For the majority of the upper caste, their status had been crucial in ensuring that these groups had the necessary economic and educational resources to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by rapid development.At the same time, they were also able to take advantage of the expansion of state sector jobs in the early decades after Independence. In this initial period, their lead over the rest of society (in terms of education) ensured that they did not face any serious competition. As their privileged status got consolidated in the second and third generations, these groups began to believe that their advancement had little to do with caste. For this group, it now seems that caste plays no part in their public lives, being limited to the personal sphere of religious practice or marriage and kinship etc.

Background :-

  • The present form of caste as a social institution has been shaped very strongly by both the colonial period as well as the rapid changes that have come about in independent India.

Tended invisible for the upper castes,classes etc :-

  • These groups have benefitted the most from the developmental policies of the post colonial era so for these people caste appeared to decline in importance because it has done its job so well. 
  • Their caste status had been crucial in ensuring that these groups had the  necessary economic and educational resources to take full advantage of the  opportunities offered by rapid development.
  • In particular, the upper caste elite were able to benefit from subsidised public education, specially professional education in science, technology, medicine and management.
  • At the same time, they were also able to take advantage of the expansion of state sector jobsin the early decades after Independence.
  • In this initial period, their lead over the rest of society (in terms of education) ensured that they did not face any serious competition.
  • As their privileged status got consolidated in the second and third generations, these groups began to believe that their advancement had little to do with caste.
  • Certainly for the third generations from these groups their economic and educational capital alone is quite sufficient to ensure that they will continue to get the best in terms of life chances. For this group, it now seems that caste plays no part in their public lives, being limited to the personal sphere of religious practice or marriage and kinship.
  • However, a further complication is introduced by the fact that this is a differentiated group. Although the privileged as a group are overwhelmingly upper caste, not all upper caste people are privileged, some being poor.

Visible in many respects:-

  • For the so called scheduled castes and tribes and the backward castes the  opposite has happened. For them, caste has become all too visible, indeed their caste has tended to eclipse the other dimensions of their identities.
  • Because they have no inherited educational and social capital, and because they must compete with an already entrenched upper caste group, they cannot afford to abandon their caste identity for it is one of the few collective assets they have. 
  • Moreover, they continue to suffer from discrimination of various kinds. The 
    policies of reservation and other forms of protective discrimination instituted 
    by the state in response to political pressure serve as their lifelines.
  • But using this lifeline tends to make their caste the all-important and often the only aspect of their identity that the world recognises.
  • Now a days even in the case of upper castes ,classes caste identity is becoming significant which is visible in the demand for reservation by the dominant and landholding castes like Marathas, Jats etc.

Conclusion:-

  • The juxtaposition of these two groups a seemingly caste-less upper caste group and an apparently caste-defined lower caste group  is one of the central aspects of the institution of caste in the present.

Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Salient features of Indian society and diversity”

3) The spirit of tolerance and love is not only an interesting feature of Indian society from very early times, but it is also playing an important part at the present. Elaborate.(250 words)

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to provide origin of India’s diversity. Next, we need to illustrate how it was an interesting feature in early and mediaeval times. Thereafter, we need to bring out how love and tolerance is playing an important role in the current society, how it counters destructive forces and creates economic opportunities.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that India is a vast country with a lot of diversity in her physical and social environment. People of different racial stocks, ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs have settled down here. While their food habits, dress patterns and languages vary but the spirit of love and tolerance is common elements among all of them.

Body

  • Discuss how the spirit of love and tolerance developed in early times from Buddhism, Jainism to Sufism etc.
  • Discuss how spirit of love and tolerance played an important role in modern times in freedom struggle etc
  • Discuss the role played by this spirit in creating opportunities and economic benefits within India, the societal advantages it has etc. discuss how this spirit also extends to our diaspora.

Conclusion – mention that barring occasional incidents of violence and hatred, Indian civilization has always celebrated plurality and promoted love & tolerance. This spirit has countered the destructive forces within India and created opportunities for Indians both within and outside our country.

Background:-

  • India has been well renowned for its pluralistic tradition. Numerous cultures, ideologies and traditions have not only existed but flourished in India. The spirit of tolerance and love can be witnessed since the early times. In his book “The Argumentative Indian”, Amartya Sen has made a compelling case to highlight the tradition of dissent, discourse and tolerance in India.

Spirit of tolerance and love in early times:-

  • Indian society from very early times is tolerant society, ancient religions like, Buddhism, Jainism preaches us tolerance and path of nonviolence.
  • There were attacks from foreign rulers, internal wars were fought, but incident of communal riots, communal attacks among different sections were not taken place in the Indian history.

Spirit of tolerance and love in medieval and modern times:-

  • Though attackers, rulers plundered the temples and destroyed them belonging to different religions, but people never fought among themselves by taking it as a pretext.
  • People accepted foreign culture without any hesitation and assimilated it into their own culture. Level of acceptance shown at foreign religions like Islam, Christianity revels the tolerant levels of Indian society
  • Sufi saints sense of piety, tolerance, sympathy, concept of equality attracts both Muslims and Hindus. Populace, Hindu and Muslim alike, deeply venerated the Sufi saints as the embodiment of religious piety.
  • Emperor Akbar listened to scholars from different religions at the Ibadat Khana in Fateh Pur Sikri at Agra on every Thursday. He even started a faith called Din-i-Illahi which encompassed ideas from various religions.
  • Parsis were persecuted in Iran, Jews in Hitler’s Germany. But both have inter-mingled with us for several thousands of years and have become an integral part of the Indian society.
  • Gandhi and many other freedom fighters / social reformers strived for Hindu-Muslim harmony, fought against social evils such as child marriage and untouchability and were successful.

Spirit of tolerance and love in recent context:-

  • To increase their cadre strength, the Left-wing extremists (LWE) try to create divisiveness between poor vs rich, Dalits vs upper caste, Tribals/Christians vs outsiders, yet they are unable to expand their ideological base beyond the Red-corridor and within this Red-corridor they’re struggling to retain existing followers.
  • ISIS could recruit only a handful of misguided youth from India, unlike the western countries where ISIS could not only find more recruits, but also carried out multiple “Lone-Wolf-Attacks” on innocent civilians.
  • Despite the rise of fake news and provocative messages over social media- communal disturbances are usually confined within a small geographical area and are tackled within a short time frame.
  • Persecuted communities from our neighboring countries always want to enter India shows the level of tolerance the country shows.
  • Minorities play a significant role during disaster rehabilitation. Local Muslims have been instrumental in relief and rescue operations during snow storms, landslides and floods in this area. Sikhs played a significant role during the Kerala floods.
  • Similarly, Hindus find work around Sufi Dargahs and Mughal monuments as shopkeepers, guides and tour operators.
  • People from all religions have tolerant attitude towards the festivals of other religions.

Spirit of tolerance is visible even in Indian diaspora :-

  • Indian diaspora is not usually persecuted in middle-east or Africa.
  • It’s not uncommon to find Indian-origin persons commanding high positions in the executive and legislative wings of Western democracies.

Conclusion :-

  • Barring occasional incidents of violence and hatred, Indian civilization has always celebrated plurality and promoted love and tolerance.
  • This spirit has countered the destructive forces within India and created opportunities for Indians both within and outside our country.

General Studies – 3


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

4) India has been identified as the country with the most expected damage from rising levels of carbon dioxide.  However, India has a large number of successful examples of transformative innovation around energy production and access, land, livelihoods and climate resilience. Discuss such examples.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

India is in an uneasy position where its economic growth and vast poverty favour a large scale exploitation of environment and natural resources while at the same time a huge number of vulnerable people in terms of environmental degradation and climate change favours green and on a short term expensive development. The article discusses the efforts made by India in balancing both these demands.

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 examples from India, of transformative innovation around energy production and access, land, livelihoods and climate resilience.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  about the impending threats of global warming and climate change and mention India’s unique position in the world in terms of development needs, stable and fairly growing economy, status of environmental degradation and the proportion of vulnerable people.

Body-

Discuss some examples of transformative innovation around energy production and access, land, livelihoods and climate resilience, seen in India in recent years. E.g The Bureau of Energy Efficiency has showed how government ‘nudges’ are made effective through appliance labelling and large-scale procurement of efficient devices; In the building and cement industry, innovation around housing and new materials, including natural fibre composites, could make far-reaching changes in infrastructure through low-carbon modular technologies; India expects to reach its ambitious solar target of 100 GW capacity by 2022 ; Zero Budget Natural Farming; Sustainable approaches to land are evident in cases such as forest conservation in Mendha-Lekha village in Maharashtra and community delivery of public services in Nagaland etc.

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. Bring out to intensify such efforts on a large scale, community participation, budgetary and international support etc.

Background:-

  • Climate change poses a serious threat to efforts to reduce global poverty. According to the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change, the changing climate will have widespread effects on human life and ecosystems. It brings heat waves, flooding, droughts, intense tropical cyclones, rising sea levels, and damages biodiversity.
  • Recently study in Nature regarding Climate Change identifies India as the country with the most expected damage from rising levels of carbon dioxide.

Examples of success:-

  • The Bureau of Energy Efficiency showed how government nudges are made effective through appliance labelling and large-scale procurement of efficient devices.
  • In the building and cement industry, innovation around housing and new materials, including natural fibre composites, could make far-reaching changes in infrastructure through low-carbon modular technologies.
  • India expects to reach its ambitious solar target of 100 GW capacity by 2022 primarily through large centralised solar power plants. As some States have shown, renewable-based microgrids can become an important feature of electricity policy.
    • Jharkhand, which has 249 remote villages powered by solar microgrids, is now considering their use even in villages that are already grid connected.
  • Sustainable approaches to land are evident in cases such as forest conservation in Mendha-Lekha village in Maharashtra and community delivery of public services in Nagaland. These and several other instances are documented in initiatives such as Vikalp Sangam. India has for long had strongly rooted cultural movements about living sustainably with land and its ecology that provide practical models.
  • Some research groups have recognised that agro-ecology methods are best suited for increasing crop yield, raising profits, trapping soil carbon, reducing dependence on fertilisers and pesticides. Successful models are already effective on small scales in many States. Andhra Pradesh is attempting to replicate widely one such approach, Zero Budget Natural Farming, to all its farmers by 2024 with an expected savings of 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This is with 6 million farmers across 8 million hectares

Challenges remain:-

  • To bring a vast population out of poverty and into decent lives is a challenge To do this while dealing responsibly with the global carbon challenge and building resilience to climate change adds further complications.
  • That past development frameworks have not improved well-being across social strata. Instead, evidence indicates that economic growth has gone hand-in-hand with rising inequality and the creation of a small but powerful class of the super-rich.
  • In transport and urbanisation, the challenge is to create isotropic communities in the areas of the peri-urban, the rapidly expanding hinterland, which would have to be designed around not cars but walking, cycling and sustainable neighbourhood vehicles. Energy and livelihood gains from such alternative visions could be far more significant than conventional ways of replacing fossil-fuelled infrastructure with renewables.

Way forward:-

  • Large investments are needed to make the transitions in each sector that would take the country to a near zero-carbon economy. But given the shortage of external support India could finance this through a ‘luxury’ carbon tax that curbs non-essential consumption.
  • In the near future, entrepreneurs could make use of rapidly lowering storage costs to build decentralized, neighbourhood-scale micro-utilities, managed by locally owned enterprises and cooperatives.
  • With modern power electronics and innovations in hybrid waste to energy, water recycling and community gardens could be integrated as standalone modules that are connected to larger grids.
  • It is critical to invest in climate-smart infrastructure like water management, transport, and energy because they provide critical social and economic services not only to the city but also to regions beyond that. These need to be done now because changing them requires a significant amount of lead time to design and implement
  • There is a need to build the principles of climate resilience into coastal infrastructure development. This would mean incorporating them into already-existing urban infrastructure. For future infrastructure development, climate resilience will need to be built in right from the planning stage.
  • Planning for climate resilience would need to start from the time of locating the infrastructure facilities. For instance, infrastructure for solid waste management, especially landfills, have to be located keeping in mind the projected sea level rise. Similarly, planning for climate resilience would mean ensuring water supply channels have back-ups for extreme weather events.
  • Capacity building for strengthening roots or mentoring to build resilience is more recent. The Climate Change Research Institute through its research in the energy sector, are working on capacity building among the youth in schools (K12) and colleges. This needs to be expanded further.
  • Climate change education for awareness, capacity building and innovation is still in a nascent stage and should become part of the structured education. 
    • Find a way to help mitigation of climate change through of science, technology and innovation. Climate Change Education will help not only in ‘development’, which is core objective education, but also in ‘sustainable development’.
    • Problem solving innovations in developing clean energy alternatives, in improving farming techniques, in water resource management and others are possible by building technical knowledge mainstreamed in the formal education.

Topic – Environmental pollution and degradation

5) Pollution situation in Delhi is so grave that it can hardly be resolved by piecemeal steps such as the cracker ban. Discuss.(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

The article discusses the grave situation of pollution in Delhi and analyzes the various steps taken by the government and the courts to tackle pollution and comments on their effectiveness. The article also touches upon the order of cracker bans in Delhi and whether such orders can salvage the situation in Delhi. Since pollution in Delhi remains in the news quite often, and there has been an important court judgement on this, hence this question needs to be prepared.

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the nature of scattered steps taken to tackle pollution, discuss pros and cons of such measures, examine whether such measures can help mend the situation and discuss the way forward.

 

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Give a brief overview of the situation of pollution in Delhi.

Body – Discuss the various steps taken by the government to tackle pollution such as odd even, tackling stubble burning , ban and now regulation of sale on crackers etc. Examine whether the above series of scattered steps have helped resolve the problem of pollution in Delhi. Discuss the shortcomings of such measures as highlighted in the article. Discuss measures through which the situation can come under control in Delhi.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view and discuss way forward.

Background:-

  • Recently SC has ordered that, across the nation, only green firecrackers, that are free of chemicals that emit certain toxic gases on combustion, will be allowed, and only between 8 pm to 10 pm.
  • Cracker-bursting on other festivals and weddings will also be restricted to the prescribed time-window
  • SC has directed the Union and state governments to organise community fireworks displays in open fields.
  • Air quality in Delhi did worsen during Diwali and symptoms of eye itching, coughing, relatively more hospital visits and high metal levels in urine do reflect adverse impact of firecracker bursting.

Cracker ban is necessary:-

 

  • Benefits of past judgments:-
  • Last year, the SC ban on sale of crackers in NCR ensured that the Air Quality Index registered a PM2.5 pollution of 269 on Diwali at the Dilshad Garden measuring station as compared to 427 the year before.
  • The chemical footprint of crackers is deadly.
  • Impact on children:-
    • The impact of crackers on children is far greater than it is on adults because their defence mechanism is much poorer and their ability to metabolise and detoxify environmental agents is different.
    • Moreover, due to their high level of physical activities, children inhale more volume of air as compared to adults and so breathe in more toxic air.
  • Toxicity:-
  • Fire crackers have carbon and sulphur and they produce a range of gases. Plus, there are a number of chemicals that act as colouring agent, reducing agent, oxidiser, stabiliser and binder.
  • These gases cause respiratory problems. Hospitals in Delhi report at least 30%-40% increase in wheezing, respiratory disease, bronchial asthma, bronchitis, and worsening of asthma.

But the cracker ban is insufficient due to the following reasons:-

  • According to the numbers submitted in the court by the counsel representing the Firecrackers’ Association, there’s already a huge stock of crackers from last year in the city and its outskirts. Most of this stock has already been sold. What makes matter worst is the massive fresh stock that has illegally entered Delhi NCR this year.
  • Absence of public consciousness for the larger good.
  • The main factors which contribute air pollution in India are neglected like
    • The road dust contributes 56% and 38% of Delhi’s PM10 and PM2.5 pollution
    • Industries including power plants are responsible for over 50% of the NOx pollution
    • Crop stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab adds considerably to NCR pollution over a longer period than crackers
    • Construction industry
    • Vehicular pollution
  • There has been no comprehensive solution for segregating and processing waste.

Measures needed:-

  • Tackle road dust:-
    • The Delhi government has talked of mechanised sweeping and water-sprinkling but what would be more beneficial is if the sides of the roads could be paved or covered with grass that holds the soil together and stops the production of the dust in the first place.
  • Reducing the vehicle density on Delhi’s streets needs the city to vastly improve its public transport:-
    • More and more people should use bus and metro instead of cars and scooters, as they can carry a lot more people in one journey. Car pool is also a good option.
  • Completing the peripheral highways around the capital to lower the movement of trucks into the area.
  • There should be an efficient involvement of Resident Welfare Associations in various localities in collection, segregation of garbage from houses and the societies.
  • Citizens can take steps to convert the garbage into compost in their localities.
  • More and more trees must be planted in every locality.
  • Every individual should keep a proper check on the pollution level of their vehicles.
  • Making more use of CNG.
  • One of the best ways to control pollution is to manage wastes of all types in a proper manner.
  • Each and every citizen should abide by the 3Rs: Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.
  • Controlling the use of energy and making use of electricity in an efficient manner.
  • One can also reduce water pollution by reducing the use of chemicals, cleaning agents, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers etc.

Topic – Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

6) What do you understand by Quantum computers and explain how will it revolutionize computing?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses quantum computers and the advantages that it offers which is an important scientific development, yet in its nascent stage, that needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain what quantum computers are, the principles based on which they function and highlight their potential and pitfalls.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that today’s smartphones have the computing power of a military computer from 50 years ago that was the size of an entire room. However, even with the phenomenal strides we made in technology and classical computers since the onset of the computer revolution, there remain problems that classical computers just can’t solve. Many believe quantum computers are the answer.

Body – Explain what quantum computers are – Quantum computers are not intended to replace classical computers, they are expected to be a different tool we will use to solve complex problems that are beyond the capabilities of a classical computer. mention that when we enter the world of atomic and subatomic particles, things begin to behave in unexpected ways. In fact, these particles can exist in more than one state at a time. It’s this ability that quantum computers take advantage of. Discuss the concept of qubits and how quantum computers ensure faster speed. Discuss the applications and constraints ( in terms of developing the technology) of quantum computers.

Conclusion – Give your view on what it means to have an exponential rise in the power of computing.

Background:-

  • Quantum computing takes advantage of the strange ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at any time. Due to the way the tiniest of particles behave, operations can be done much more quickly and use less energy than classical computers.
  • In classical computing, a bit is a single piece of information that can exist in two states – 1 or 0. Quantum computing uses quantum bits, or ‘qubits’ instead. These are quantum systems with two states. However, unlike a usual bit, they can store much more information than just 1 or 0, because they can exist in any superposition of these values.

How quantum computers revolutionise computing:-

  • While today’s computers struggle or are unable to solve some problems, these same problems are expected to be solved in seconds through the power of quantum computing.
  • It’s predicted that artificial intelligence, and in particular machine learning, can benefit from advances in quantum computing technology
    • Quantum computing algorithms allow us to enhance what’s already possible with machine learning.
  • Quantum computers are better equipped to solve sequential problems efficiently. The power they give businesses and even consumers to make better decisions might just be what’s needed to convince companies to invest in the new technology when it becomes available.
  • Quantum computers will allow for quick analysis and integration of our enormous data sets which will improve and transform our machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities.
  • Quantum computers operate on completely different principles to existing computers, which makes them really well suited to solving particular mathematical problems, like finding very large prime numbers.
    • Since prime numbers are so important in cryptography, it’s likely that quantum computers would quickly be able to crack many of the systems that keep our online information secure. 
  • In quantum computing qubit is the conventional superposition state and so there is an advantage of exponential speedup which is resulted by handle number of calculations. 
  • The other advantage of quantum computing is even classical algorithm calculations are also performed easily which is similar to the classical computer. 

Disadvantages:-

  • The main disadvantage of computing is the technology required to implement a quantum computer is not available at present. The reason for this is the consistent electron is damaged as soon as it is affected by its environment and that electron is very much essential for the functioning of quantum computers.
  • This is due to the fact that the coherent state, fundamental to a quantum computers operation, is destroyed as soon as it is measurably affected by its environment. Attempts at combating this problem have had little success,
  • The research for this problem is still continuing and the effort applied to identify a solution for this problem has no positive progress. 

Topic– internal security

7) India might lose the cyber space face offs unless IT infrastructure of the military is indigenise soon. Examine.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article brings out the problem of India’s lack of capability to indigenise the IT and digital infra in the military etc and the impact of this. Considering that several reports and books have talked about how countries like US, China etc are gearing themselves for a cyber space face off, India still is walking on the first step of the ladder. Examining this issue would be important for GS3 – Internal Security.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the status of digital infrastructure in India and compare it vis a vis other countries to understand our shortcomings. Next we need to discuss the reasons why we need to upgrade and highlight that other countries are fast taking lead. Next, we discuss the steps taken by government and military in India to modernize the cyber space and examine issues in it. Finally, we need to provide a way forward.

Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss some of the recent incidents of cyber space face offs such as the report that indicated that China placed microchips on electronics supplied to US, which indicates the kind of importance that must be given to such issues.

Body – Explain with the help of examples how the capability of other digital armed forces and espionage techniques are much more sophisticated than what we have. Discuss the steps taken by India to improve its current position such as the incorporation of BOSS OS in military etc through which India is trying to take baby steps in modernizing and indigenization. Highlight the lacunae in Indian approach and while discussing global best practices, mention the way forward for India.

Conclusion – Emphasize on the urgency of taking action and discuss way forward.

 

Background:-

  • India is increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks that range from intrusions that 
    affect the integrity of data to large-scale attacks aimed at bringing down critical 
  • Unlike conventional arenas of warfare, cyberspace has seen, and will continue to witness the proliferation of non-state actors, widely ranging in profile and capabilities. Instances of ‘weaponising’ the internet are on the rise using its technologies for activities like recruitment of terrorists, radicalisation on the basis of specific narratives, disruption of crucial public services like electricity grids and the financial sectors, and the theft of commercial secrets.

 

Why IT structure of Indian army needs to be indigenised:-

  • The vulnerability to cyber attacks is largely a function of India’s digital economy, which is a net information exporter that relies heavily on devices manufactured outside the country.
    • Over 60 per cent of software and hardware being used by BSNL is sourced from either Huawei or ZTE. This is despite Huawei being probed for hacking a BSNL network in 2014.
  • The overseas custody of data also exposes the sensitive information of citizens vulnerable to foreign attacks
    • For example, were a foreign databaselocated in foreign soil but hosting the information of Indian citizens be attacked by a third party, Indian authorities have limited jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators.
  • Other countries experience:-
    • Australia has banned Huawei from supplying equipment for 5G mobile network, citing national security risks.
  • The Indian Army mostly uses the Microsoft Windows operating system on its official computers.
    • Windows is a closed-source software owned by a company that is bound by US laws and historically tied to the American intelligence community.
  • Another complicating factor is the density of India’s cyberspace which does not permit a uniform legal or technical threshold for data protection laws. 
  • India has been one of the prime targets for spying by different countries which is visible in the overall list of countries targeted by PRISM, India stood at the fifth place.
  • PRISM programme:-
    • Leaked documents showed the very close involvement of US technology companies like MicrosoftGoogleYahooFacebook and Applein the programme. According to the documents, the NSA was collecting data directly from the servers of US service providers.
  • Terrorists are very much technology oriented and that India needed to stay ahead of them to keep the edge.
    • Indian armed forces must learn to exploit cyberspace to its advantage and enjoy the benefits of it  if the terrorism has to be ended. Cyber is not just important for in conventional warfare domain but also in sub-conventional or proxy warfare

India’s initiatives:-

  • The government has sanctioned the raising of a cyber agency that will steer the planning and conduct of cyber warfare in the military. Hopefully, once the doctrine has matured, the cyber agency will be expanded to a much-needed cyber command.
  • Incorporation of BOSS OS in military through which India is trying to take baby steps in modernizing and indigenization.
  • National Security Database, Computer Emergency Response Team which alerts and issues the guidelines on Cyber incidents and ISAC which helps in providing security to cyber space, to name a few.
  • There are dedicated Cyber Command Centers for the 3 wing – Army Navy and Air Force. The country shares a handful of MoUs Memorandum of understanding with other countries for information sharing.
  • Indian army has announced that they are setting up Defence cyber academy, which will comprise of 1000 personnel which will be from all wings of military. It will defend military assets and will also fight against proxy warfare.

Way forward:-

  • Policy decision to indigenise India’s cyber space will have greater and more far reaching national security implications
  • India’s rise as a cyber power will likely by driven by the following key factors: 
    • The articulation of a comprehensive national cyber space strategy
    • The technological development of cyber security capabilities
    • The development of human resources and human capital at operational 
      levels
    • A synchronised governance/organisational structure
    • Training and assimilating a cyber force for offensive and defensive operations.
  • India should setup cyber defence academies and should recruit tech people to groom them for cyber warfare and security.
  • The Indian government should develop and update their indigenous systems that are used for their security and military purpose to avoid any unwanted foreign contacts. Nation should try to induce the cyber knowledge to school students from the beginning so as to keep up with the race and have an edge in the cyber space.
  • 2013 cyber security policy was largely the output of deliberations within a single ministry. Given that the responsibilities of securing India’s civil and military infrastructure have been distributed among several ministries, agencies and departments, it is important that the next version must involve inter-ministerial consultations.
  • Territorial Army (Cyber) Battalions:
    • Cyber is a specialised capability that needs a dedicated cadre. Raising Territorial Army(TA) battalions to cater for the requirement of skilled cyber manpower would go a long way in meeting this requirement.

General Studies – 4


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

8) If you don’t have a rational reason to adopt a rational ethics system, you’re failing before you begin. Do you agree. Comment. (250 words)

Reference

Wikipedia

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to form an opinion on the given statement. We can form our opinion in favour of or against the statement but our opinion has to be based on a proper discussion and presentation of valid arguments and facts.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– define rationalist ethics or moral rationalism/ ethical rationalism. E.g Moral rationalism, also called ethical rationalism, is a view in meta-ethics according to which moral principles are knowable a priori, by reason alone.

Body-

Discuss why there is a need to adopt a rational reason/ motivation before undertaking a rationalist ethics approach. E.g Rationality is a -means-, not an ends.  A “rational ethics system” is merely an ethical system based on logic, on reason; the very first step in adopting a rational ethics system is determining -why- you want to adopt a rational ethics system.  “I want to be more rational” is irrational. “I want to know the truth” is a better reason for wanting to be rational; illustrate your point with the example of truth having an inherent value; mention that A rational ethics system must have its axioms.   It is the values that your ethics system seeks to maximize which are its most important axioms etc.

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

Answer:-

  • Rational ethics is according to which moral principles are knowable a priori, by reason alone.
  • Rational ethics is a system that allows you to choose between different values by a method of comparison. The key to rational ethics is to have a single standard of value. A standard of value is just a standard of evaluation that you use to weigh the different possible values. It has to be something that every possible value can be weighed against, and so you can pick between them. Different systems of ethics will have different standards by which they make the comparisons, leading to different results.
  • Some prominent figures in the history of philosophy who have defended moral rationalism are Plato and Immanuel Kant

Why rational reason is important:-

  • Many moral rationalists believe that moral reasoning is based on practical reason, which involves choices about what to do or intend to do, including how to achieve one’s goals and what goals one should have in the first place. In this view, moral reasoning always involves emotional states and hence be intrinsically motivating.
  • Immanuel Kant expressed this view when he said that immoral actions do not involve a contradiction in belief, but a contradiction in the will, that is, in one’s commitment to a principle which one intends to motivate actions. 
  • Rationality is a means and not an end.  The very first step in adopting a rational ethics system is determining why one wants to adopt a rational ethics system. If one gives an argument that “I want to know the truth” is a better reason for wanting to be rational than I want to be rational.So a clear logic is needed to support one’s arguments.
  • However sometimes clear reasoning is difficult to put forward and actions are based on one’s ethical beliefs and experience as well. For instance a person with compassion and empathy can try to help others even though there is no reason for him/her to help.