SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 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 – Part of static series under the heading – “Effect of globalisation on Indian society”
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to examine how far globalisation and the resultant impact on economy and society has helped us in dealing with the problem of poverty, whether globalisation has helped in mitigating the issue or accentuating it.
Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences. You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Discuss the most significant impact of globalisation has been seen in the sphere of Liberalization of economy which has had several impacts including on poverty
- Mention that India was main mover of globalization. The government of India made major modifications in its economic policy in 1991 by which it allowed direct foreign investments in the country. As a result of this, globalization of the Indian Industry occurred at large scale.
- Discuss how globalisation resulted in reduction of poverty – Creation of jobs through growth in services sector, due to the liberalization policies, India has become a consumer oriented market where the changes are brought by the demand and supply forces. Due to the high demand and the supply chains, there has been significant growth in the market. As such, more and more job opportunities are being created in different sectors. This has increased the per capita income considerably which has improved the poverty level to a great extent, technological changes taking place due to globalisation, gender equality in access to working opportunities which has positively impacted females etc
- Discuss issues which have led to worsening of poverty – issues such as MSP under dispute at WTO, the problem of jobless growth, greater incorporation of technology which was ill suited for Indian labour market etc
Conclusion – give your view on whether globalisation has really helped in reducing poverty and how should the impact of globalisation be improved.
- The nature of poverty is protractedly characterised by symptoms of socio-economic deprivation, politico-cultural alienation, and inaccessibility to state resources and technology and particular type of spatial distribution. Globalisation led economic reforms have triggered a change in the very profile of poverty.
Globalisation reduced poverty :-
- High economic growth:-
- Globalization has become a major factor behind the high economic growth in the country. The favorable economic conditions have put a positive impact on the overall standard of living of the country.
- Between 1981 and 2001 the percentage of rural people living on less than $1 a day decreased from 63 to 42 per cent in India
- Percapita income increase:-
- Due to the high economic growth, there has been rapid progress in the civic amenities. The per capita income has increased which has improved the standard of living of the masses. As economic growth is a great factor behind the improvement of the poverty, the rise in the economic condition of India had a favorable impact on the reducing the rate of poverty in the country.
- Due to the high demand and the supply chains, there has been significant growth in the market. As such, more and more job opportunities are being created in different sectors. This has increased the per capita income considerably which has improved the poverty level to a great extent.
- Agriculture benefitted:-
- Due to the globalization, Indian agriculture has improved to some extent which has helped to reduce the poverty problems of the rural masses. Due to the globalization and introduction of better equipments, there has been a stark improvement in the techniques of agriculture.
- Improvement in health care costs
- Globalization has also positively affected the overall health care situation in the country. More and more medical innovations are coming in which are improving the health situation in India. The infant mortality rate and the malnutrition rate have significantly come down since the last decade.
- Technology has also increased access to education in India, especially to women. This has decreased the gap between men and women which was created by stratified gender roles.
- It offers advantages such as production-scale efficiency, innovative technology, efficient utilisation of labour, net of tax price equalisation, and equalisation of productive world savings and investment resources.
It also gave rise to new challenges :-
- Globalization created opportunities only for the skilled or wealthy people. This increases the inequality between the rich and poor. This has made urban poor lives much harder, and caused the creation of slums.
- On top of that, unhealthy process of urbanization is causing the deficiencies in the basic services such as housing, water supply, sanitation. This eventually made the poor as worst victims.
- With globalisation, a trend of establishing industries in the rural areas has started as the availability of land is cheaper as well as unorganized labour. This may sound fruitful but because of the pollution from the industries, lives of the rural people have deteriorated.
- Unemployment rate has increased and the growth of employment was slowed down during post-globalization period.
- The inequality also increased in terms of sectoral share in GDP and employment, and inter-states per capita income.
- In India, globalisation is leading to growth of a new generation of young and rich, and then there are millions of rural and urban poor and this inequality is growin The rich are becoming preoccupied with their own advancement, given global complexities, the poor are in a state of existential poverty.
- India is also infamous for child labour and underpayment.
- The problem of jobless growth persisted with many people participating in agriculture (disguised employment )
- Greater incorporation of technology which was ill suited for Indian labour market and gave rise to informal sector.
- Despite the onslaught of second generation reforms and India joining the club of top economic actors at the global level, there is a long way to go for India before it can boast of substantive achievements in these critical areas. In other experimentations, it is actually not just the pace of economic growth, but the orientation and quality of growth that has made the difference in poverty alleviation ventures.
Topic– Part of static series under the heading – “Effect of globalisation on Indian society”
Key demand of the question
The question is quite straightforward in its demand. The question expects us to highlight how globalisation has affected the Indian family structure and its values.
Discuss – Here your discussion should list out the nature and impact of changes as a result of globalisation on Indian families.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – The different aspects of globalisation – economic, political, social and cultural have important implications for human life, including the family life.
Body – discuss the impact of globalisation on structure and values of Indian families
- Increasing mobility of younger generation in search of new employment and educational opportunities allegedly weakened the family relations.
- Another striking impact is a gradual change took place in the family structure from joint / extended families to nuclear family pattern.
- traditional authority structure i.e. head of the family i.e. father / grandfather/karta started losing his authority to the breadwinner of the family.
- Even within the nuclear family one can witness the changing marital roles and distributions of power. Total subordination of women to men and strict disciplinarian / hitlarian role of father towards children are also changing.
- Younger generation, particularly those with higher education and jobs, no longer believe in total surrender of their individual interests to family interest. The individualism is increasing even within the family structure. The increasing costs of education, health services and new job opportunities opened up for the women outside the house once again brought the role of family into question
Conclusion – give your view on the changes that have taken place as a result of globalisation on Indian families.
- Due to economic liberalisation and globalisation, the world has become a “global village”. There is increasing interaction between people of different countries.
- The different aspects of globalisation like economic, political, social and cultural have important implications for human life, including the family life.
Impact of globalisation on Indian family system:-
- Decline of Extended Family System:-
- There is a worldwide movement towards small, nuclear family maintaining a separate and independent household and breaking down of the traditional extended (joint) family system and other types of kin groups.
- Their influence is declining in every field of life. A modified extended family structure is emerging in which individual nuclear families retain considerable autonomy and yet maintain connections with other nuclear families or so-called ‘joint family’.
- Changing Authority Pattern :-
- There is a change in the division of labour and authority in the family. Male authority is declining in the modern family. The authority is slipping from the hands of family elders because of new economic and political opportunities.
- Young couples do not rely on family elders for job instructions or education of their children. Because of the dual-career marriages, there is a significant change in the attitude towards equality between married partners.
- Changing Status of Women :-
- The rights of women are becoming more recognized in respect to both initiation of marriage and decision-making in the family.
- Changing Economic Functions :-
- Modern family is no longer united by shared work on the farm. It is now a unit of consumption instead of a unit of production as it was in the agrarian society. It is now united by feelings of companionship, affection and recreation only.
- Decline in Family Size :-
- Economic considerations force the young to have smaller family with one or two children.
- Changing Attitudes towards Marriage:-
- There is an increase in male-female couples who choose to live together without marriage. This has given rise to the concepts of ‘living together,’ ‘living arrangements’ or ‘live-in relationships.
- Also new types of families crop with where same gender couples also cohabitate.
- Declining Trend in Non-essential Functions:-
- The most of the socializing functions today, like child raising, education, occupational training, caring of elderly, etc., have been taken over by the outside agencies, such as creches, media, nursery schools, hospitals, occupational training centres, etc. These tasks were once exclusively performed by the family.
- Increasing mobility of younger generation in search of new employment and educational opportunities allegedly weakened the family relations. The family bondings and ties started loosening due to physical distance as it rendered impracticable for members of family to come together as often as earlier. This affected the earlier idealized nation of ‘family’ as the caring and nurturing unit for children, the sick and elderly.
- As a part of the revolution, the nuclear family emphasizes the importance of the freedom of the individual to choose his/her own life and control his/her own destiny.
- Accelerated rate of rural-urban migration, diversification of gainful economic activities and individual-friendly property laws, have had consequential impact in terms of drastic reduction in the size of family in the country.
- Family is now essentially democratic and most of the decisions in the family are taken collectively. However, the extent of autonomy and democracy may vary from region to region, community to community and caste to caste, depending upon the degree of its adaptation of the modern values and the urban way of life.
- Marriage is considered not as a sacred one but a social contract. It has been found that, divorces and separation are on the increase.
- Much distress has been witnessed in the social relationships between husband and wife. No doubt, the technology has elevated the social status of women in the family. But at the same time it has put the fabric of social relationships at stake.
- Improved HDI as a result of globalization and urbanization. This has also led to better education, less social stratification among Indian caste system.
General Studies – 2
Topic – India and its bilateral relations
Why this question
A lot of developments keep on taking place in India’s relationship with china which along with USA, forms one of the most important bilateral relationship. The article discusses the new internal security agreement signed between India and China, and what it implies for the status and future of this bilateral relationship. This question will help you update your notes on India China bilateral relationship.
Key demand of the question
The question expects you to discuss the signing of an internal security agreement , the contents of it, the background and the context in which the agreement has been signed, and what it indicates about the nature and future of Sino India relationship.
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 – Mention about the signing of the recent internal security agreement between India and China and how it marks a change in the state of affairs post Doklam.
- Discuss the content of the internal security agreement – pact focuses on terrorism, narcotics and human trafficking, intelligence sharing and disaster management, signed by high level ministers on both sides which underlines the changes taking place in the relationship post Wuhan
- Comment on the overall developments of India China relationship from Doklam to Wuhan and now. Discuss how the two nations have managed to realise the stakes in the game and have resorted to diplomacy to settle any ruffled feathers.
- Discuss how the two nations have common concerns such as terrorism, climate change, disaster management and are cooperating at several bilateral and multilateral fora and what it speaks about the relationship
Conclusion – comment on the significance of the agreement and way forward for the relationship.
- The signing of an internal security agreement as part of Wuhan summit by India and China recently is an indicator of the special nature of their relationship. This features competition, conflict and cooperation.
Internal security agreement between India and China :-
- The pact focuses on terrorism, narcotics and human trafficking, intelligence sharing and disaster management.
- Mutual interest:-
- The agreement will be of practical use to deal with issues of mutual interest, such as narcotic smuggling ,terrorism, human trafficking, and disaster management.
- With the movement of Indians and Chinese in each other’s countries, there are often issues relating to arrests and imprisonment of their respective nationals. The agreement can pave the way for dealing with such issues and lead to the signing of an extradition treaty between the two countries.
- Information exchange:-
- `The agreement will feature an important component of exchange of information that will help in pre-empting criminal acts. Towards this end, the plan is to set up a 24×7 hotline to facilitate the exchange of information.
- Disaster management:
- It will definitely deal with cross-border infiltration and, more importantly, disaster management. Because rivers flow from China into India, there are often situations where forewarning is vital to prevent casualties from floods or landslides downriver.
- This will be the first such agreement between the authorities of India and China which look after internal security of the respective countries
- Besides Doklam, Sino-Indian relations had been roiled by the Chinese refusal to support India’s candidacy to the Nuclear Supplier’s Group and to put a hold on India’s efforts to have Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar put on a UN list relating to terrorism. The agreement does not bring any clarity regarding issues above.
- The wuhan summit also sends an important signal globally, that the two countries are quite capable of handling their differences through dialogue and discussion.
Topic– Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Why this question
India is presently a member of SCO as well as an important member of the India Pacific quad group. Both these groups represent different aspirations and dual membership of India creates several issues. The article beautifully discusses Indian interests with respect to both the groups.
Critically 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. based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to dig deep into the issue and identify and deliberate upon the pros and cons of India’s involvement in both the groups. Based on our discussion we have to form a personal opinion on the issue.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about India’s involvement in the two groups. E.g India is presently a member state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the largest transnational body in the Eurasian region and an important link in the emerging Quadrilateral (Quad) alliance between the US, Japan, Australia, and India.
- Discuss the pros and cons of being a part of quad group. E.g -countering Chinese aggression; Keeping vital sea lanes safe; countering terrorism. Currently, India is in no position to shape geopolitics because it has neither the capacity to be a sea power, nor the money to be a land power. Its peculiar geography, however, gives it a huge advantage but the larger role at the moment is limited to playing second fiddle to the US, supporting the empire in stemming its decline etc.
- Discuss the pros and cons of progress as being a member of SCO. e.g – The 21st-century power dynamics are different with the rise of China, a continental power that is willing to partake in the oceanic order designed by the West, but is insistent on reviving land routes for continental connectivity; India can ill afford to ignore the developments the Eurasian landmass, where Pakistan is fast emerging as the “zipper of pan Eurasian integration”; India cannot imagine itself being left out of these continental connectivity initiatives in its neighbourhood etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. Try to put forward a balanced viewpoint taking all the facets and complexities in mind.
- India is presently enjoying the luxury of being a member state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the largest transnational body in the Eurasian region and an important link in the emerging Quadrilateral (Quad) alliance between the United States (US), Japan, Australia, and India.
- The Quad expects to balance China and limit its regional and global ambitions. The SCO, on the other hand, aims at reducing American influence in global politics.
Benefits to India being part of SCO:-
- SCO’s relevance for India lies in geography, economics and geopolitics.
- SCO members occupy a huge landmass adjacent to India’s extended neighbourhood, where India has important economic and security interests.
- SCO will strengthen India’s relations with Central Asian republics and provide a new opportunity to pursue the “Connect Central Asian Policy”.
- India Pakistan relationship :-
- Harmonious cooperation in the SCO may pave the way for an India-Pakistan rapprochement. SCO membership had facilitated resolution of China’s boundary disputes with Russia and Central Asian countries.
- Non western perspective on global issues:-
- Besides expanding opportunities for India in Central Asia, the SCO is a platform for articulating a non-Western as distinct from anti-Western perspective on global issues. This includes opposition to selective advocacy of regime change, self-serving homilies on human rights and intrusive advice on domestic policies. It suits India that the SCO is not stridently anti-West in its pronouncements.
- Security is priority:-
- Qingdao Declaration by the SCO member states leaders calls for prioritising the implementation of the Cooperation Programme to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2019-2021 and speeding up the coming into effect the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism.
- India is believed to benefit from SCO’s regional anti-terrorist structure that provides key intelligence inputs on terror outfits, cyber security and drug trafficking. Also, counter terror exercises and military drills that Indian army will be exposed to, are likely to infuse more energy into the army.
- The SCO Anti-Drug Strategy for 2018-2023 and the Programme of Action for its implementation, as well as the Concept for the Prevention of the Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances adopted at the Qingdao summit, reveal security to be a priority of the SCO.
- The memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding export of non-Basmati rice, earlier denied access on phytosanitary grounds, was signed. The MoU assumes significance in the light of India’s widening trade deficit (which stood at $51 billion in 2016-2017) with China, one of the world’s biggest rice markets.
- In economic spirit, SCO holds immense opportunities for India to bolster its trade linkages with Central Asia, a resource rich region.
- SCO membership is also positively linked with development of International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the Chabahar port, both directed towards expanding transport and reducing costs of trade.
- Another MoU signed during the recent summit concerned the sharing of hydrological information on Brahmaputra
- The agreement enables China to provide hydrological data in flood season from May 15 to October 15 every year.
- It also enables the Chinese side to provide hydrological data if water level exceeds mutually agreed level during non-flood season.
- India would be able to seek mutually beneficial partnerships with SCO members in human capital creation, technology, education, and policy convergence in regional trade.
Issues with India being part of SCO:-
- India- Pakistan:-
- SCO will nudge both India and Pakistan to cooperate in sensitive areas. One example is the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the SCO, which coordinates cooperation for security and stability, through intelligence-sharing on criminal and terrorist activities.
- Defence cooperation :
- Enhanced linkages between armed forces is an SCO objective. India has agreed to participate in the SCO’s counter-terrorism military exercises in Russia later this year, when Indian and Pakistani troops will operate together.
- Reconciling Indian and Pakistani perspectives in the SCO’s initiatives on Afghanistan would be yet another challenge.
- Increasing Chinese dominance of the SCO:-
- There have been frequent instances of contradictions in the two nations international ambitions like China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of which falls into Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
- Another example of China-India disagreement is India’s NSG membership and China’s constant denial of support.
Benefits being part of Quad:-
- By joining the quad India has taken a significant turn in its policy for the subcontinent. It gives New Delhi a powerful platform to advance its interests in East Asia, coordinate strategies
with powerful friends and add more strength to its Act East initiative.
- The geostrategic term “Indo-Pacific” as opposed to “Asia-Pacific” has been gaining currency .It will deepen India’s ties with US, Australia and Japan with benefits in diplomatic leverage and
sharing of burden in defence.
- Working with US and its allies in the Asia-Pacific will provide New Delhi significant leverage in shaping US policies in Afghanistan-Pakistan to the benefit of India.
- As the US steps up its anti-China rhetoric India will be required to take sides, which will have an impact on its position in the SCO.
- Emergence of new players like the U.S. and Japan has only increased multiple regional rivalries in the region.
- While the quadrilateral grouping will bring developmental projects, it will considerably erode India’s primacy in the neighbourhood.
- India objected to Chinese naval presence in Sri Lanka. Now India will not be able to object to U.S. naval warships and Japanese presence there.
- Strategic analysts argue that India is dragging itself into the US-China rivalry.
- In essence, a zealous partnership with old ally Russia, unexplored Central Asia and growth competitor China along with good relations with US will act as a catalyst for India to extend markets, and establish geopolitical relations in extended neighbourhood and balance relations.
Topic – Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
Why this question
The article discusses the global nutrition scenario at present and attempts to bring out the deficiencies on part of the neoliberal and other states in eradicating hunger and malnutrition.
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 global hunger is not being given the due attention by the world. Our opinion is to be based on a proper discussion and presentation of valid arguments and facts.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the state of global hunger today. E.g The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 finds global hunger to have risen for three consecutive years since 2015, to reach 82.1 crore people or 11% of the global population in 2017.
Discuss the shortcomings and deficiencies on part of the world, which has been responsible for the prevalence of under nutrition and hunger in the world. E.g 29 out of the 37 countries identified by the FAO to be in need of external food assistance due to conflicts/displacement/weather shocks, are in Africa. While the (lack of) internal governance drives localised food insecurity, the widespread lack of access galvanises attention towards the modalities of international assistance to mitigate starvation; Immediate assistance saves lives, but inadvertently generates the risk of policy impasse to ameliorate “chronic” hunger in the long run; entrenched commercial interests in the export of surpluses (from donor countries)/in-kind food aid have denigrated/impeded local/triangular purchases of food aid; Discuss the deficiencies in India’s food programme and mention the recent cases of starvation death from various Indian states etc.
Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 finds global hunger to have risen for three consecutive years since 2015, to reach 82.1 crore people or 11% of the global population in 2017. This puts a question mark over the political commitment behind the Sustainable Development Goalof zero hunger by 2030.
Reasons why global hunger is still persisting or why India and the world failed to eradicate hunger are
- 29 out of the 37 countries identified by the FAO to be in need of external food assistance due to conflicts/displacement/weather shocks, are in Africa.
- Commercial interest:
- Entrenched commercial interests in the export of surpluses (from donor countries)/in-kind food aid have denigrated/impeded local/triangular purchases of food aid;
- Malnutrition issue:-
- High degrees of malnourishment and associated illnesses show that India is not investing sufficiently in its people.
- With more than a fifth of the country’s children under five suffering from “wasting” low weight for height India is among the very few countries that have made no progress, over the past 20 years, in arresting the problem.
- Endemic poverty, unemployment, lack of sanitation and safe drinking water, and lack of effective healthcare are main factors for the sorry state.
- Violent conflicts:-
- United Nations report in 2017 blames increasing conflicts and violence in several parts of the world for the rise in the number of hungry people.
- Countries with the highest incidence of hunger in 2018 are also places affected by conflict, political violence, and population displacement.
- Policy failure:-
- Hunger and its most extreme form famine are still allowed to occur, often because of deliberate policy or targeting, negligence, or lack of capacity that prevents people from getting access to the resources they need.
- While the (lack of) internal governance drives localised food insecurity, the widespread lack of access galvanises attention towards the modalities of international assistance to mitigate starvation.
- Activists working on food security believe that India’s policies for tackling hunger have largely remained focused on rural regions. In urban areas, there is a problem of awareness.
- In rural areas too, scarcity of jobs has led to migration which makes families including children more vulnerable to hunger.
- Food security act :-
- A 2015 survey by Swaraj Abhiyan, a political organisation, reveals unsatisfactory progress in the implementation of the Act. Data samples collected from Uttar Pradesh show that at places experiencing famine-like conditions, barely half of the poor families had eaten any pulses in the 30 days preceding the survey.
- Loss of food grains in FCI warehouses (due to rotting and theft) is an equally important reason for the lack of adequate access
- Problems are being observed in ensuring supply of quality food, and its uniform distribution. Anganwadi centres were established under ICDS to provide basic healthcare education and services across the country.
- Many workers are unable to play an effective role in attending to the problem of malnutrition because of low wages and inadequate training.
- The Anganwadi worker should be able to refer the child to the health facility with ease and a health workers should refer the child to anganwadiin case he is malnourished. This is not happening.
- Poshan Abhiyan:-
- Nutrition security is inextricably linked to food and agriculture, yet, the agriculture sector does not clearly fall within the scope of the Poshan Abhiyan.
- Food wastage is very high :-
- In developed countries a lot of food items are wasted due to improper eating habits. Whereas high losses in developing nations are mainly due to a lack of technology and infrastructure as well as insect infestations, microbial growth, damage and high temperatures and humidity.
- Socio Cultural Factors:
- World Bank studies consistently find that about 60% of those who are hungry are female. The apparent explanation for this imbalance is that, compared to men, women more often forgo meals to feed their children.
- Lack of awareness among people about proper dietary requirements and nutritional value of various food items causes malnourishment.
Measures being taken :-
- The global organization Hunger Project is working with rural and low income populations to help teach life skills and other sustaining behaviour to help overcome hunger.
- Humanitarian food assistance programme by World Food Programme to achieve the target of zero hunger.
Government Policy Interventions and Programmes to Combat Hunger and Malnutrition
|Direct Policy Measures||Plans, Programmes and Missions|
|· Expand the safety net through ICDS to cover all vulnerable groups (children, adolescent girls, mothers, expectant women)
· Fortify essential foods with appropriate nutrients (e.g., salt with iodine and/or iron)
· Popularise low cost nutritious food
· Control micro-nutrient deficiencies amongst vulnerable groups
Indirect Policy Measures
· Ensure food security through increased production of food grains
· Improve dietary pattern by promoting production and increasing per capita availability of nutritionally rich food
· Effecting income transfers (improve purchasing power of landless, rural and urban poor; expand and improve public distribution system)
· Other: Implement land reforms (tenure, ceiling laws) to reduce vulnerability of poor; increase health and immunisation facilities, and nutrition knowledge; prevent food adulteration; monitor nutrition programmes and strengthen nutrition surveillance; community participation
|· Mid-day Meal Programme, 1962-63
· Goitre Control Programme, 1962 (now known as National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme)
· Special Nutrition Programme, 1970-71
· Balwadi Nutrition Programme, 1970-71
· Nutritional Anaemia Prophylaxis Programme, 1970
· Prophylaxis Programme against Blindness due to Vitamin A Deficiency, 1970
· Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), 1975
· National Diarrhoeal Diseases Control Programme, 1981
· Wheat-based Supplementary Nutrition Programme, 1986
· National Plan of Action on Nutrition, 1995
· Public Distribution System, 1997
· National Nutrition Mission, 2003
· National Health Mission, 2013 (subsumes former Rural & Urban Health Missions)
· National Iron+ Initiative, 2013
· Promotion of Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices Guidelines, 2013
· Weekly Iron & Folic Acid Supplementation, 2015
· National Deworming Day, 2015
· Establishment of: Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres; Village Health Sanitation & Nutrition Committee
· Bi-annual Vitamin-A Supplementation
· Village Health & Nutrition Days (at Anganwadi centers
- Focus resources and attention on the regions of the world where the majority of displaced people are located: Low- and middle-income countries and the least-developed countries.
- Displaced people and host communities in these countries should receive strong, sustained support from governments and international organizations.
- Provide stronger political and humanitarian support to internally displaced people (IDPs) and advocate for their legal protection.
- Governments must accelerate progress under the UN Plan of Action for Advancing Prevention, Protection, and Solutions for Internally Displaced People 2018–2020.
- Follow up on UN Resolution 2417 (2018), which focuses on the links between armed conflict, conflict-induced food insecurity, and the threat of famine. Introduce a robust monitoring, reporting, and accountability mechanism for addressing violations.
- Prioritize actions to address the special vulnerabilities and challenges of women and girls.
- Ensure that displaced women and girls have equal access to assets, services, productive and
financial resources, and income-generating opportunities. Work with men, women, boys, and girls to end gender-based violence and exploitation.
- Scale up investment and improve governance to accelerate development in rural areas, where large numbers of displaced people originate and where hunger is often greatest. Support people’s efforts to diversify their livelihoods and secure access to land, markets, and services. Promote sustainable agricultural practices that increase households’ resilience and enhance domestic food supplies.
- Ensure that displaced women and girls have equal access to assets, services, productive and
- Implement Long-Term Solutions
- Strengthen the resilience of displaced populations by providing access to education and training, employment, health care, agricultural land, and markets so they can build their self-reliance and ensure their long-term food and nutrition security, as outlined in the core commitments on forced migration from the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.
- Implement durable solutions, such as local integration or return to regions of origin on a voluntary basis. Expand safe, legal pathways for refugees through resettlement programs, such as humanitarian admission programs. Create mechanisms to accelerate status determination so that people do not have to live with uncertainty for long periods. Equally, pursue long-term solutions for displaced people living outside of camps, who often receive little or no official support.
- Design policies and programs that recognize the complex interplay between hunger and forced migration as well as the dynamics of displacement. For example, support flexible approaches that allow people to maintain businesses, livelihoods, and social ties in multiple locations.
- Show Solidarity, Share Responsibility
- Adopt and implement the UN Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), and integrate their commitments into national policy plans.
- Monitor and report regularly on progress
- Deliver on and scale up government commitments to international humanitarian organizations that support refugees and IDPs and close the funding gaps that already exist.
- Uphold humanitarian principles and human rights when assisting and hosting refugees, IDPs, and their host communities.
- Address the root causes of forced displacement, especially in the areas of poverty and hunger reduction; climate action; responsible consumption and production; and promotion of peace, justice, and strong institutions.
- Government can help to ensure that mothers and children have access to healthy and diverse foods and that parents understand what constitutes a healthy diet for their children.
- Issues such as women’s empowerment and education are also part of the big picture, and contribute to the nutrition situation of the family.
- The agencies of State governments have to adopt a comprehensive and coordinated multi-sectoral approach which is formulated by taking into account the varied nature of local-level challenges. They have to demonstrate better governance, too.
- For its part, civil society must respond in a responsible manner. In particular, attention needs to be paid on building neighbourhood health and nutrition profiles and carrying out interventions based on identified needs.
General Studies – 3
Topic – Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
Why this question
India is one of the largest consumer as well as importer of palm oil. In this context it is important to examine the reasons behind as to why domestic production of palm oil has not increased.
Critically examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to dig deep into the issue and bring out the reasons as to why India has not been able to increase its palm oil production despite a growing and sustained demand in the domestic market.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about India’s palm oil consumption and import. E.g India’s vegetable oil economy is the fourth-largest.Yet the country relies on imports to meet over 70 percent of its vegetable oil requirements; almost 60 percent of the requirement is met through palm oil.
Discuss why India has not been able to increase the domestic production of palm oil. E.g By 2012, the government had identified 2 million ha across the country for oil palm cultivation and decided to implement the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17). Though the Mission received an initial enthusiasm, the targets have been routinely missed; Like other perennial tree crops, oil palm requires regular pruning of fronds, weeding and watering, which is manually quite expensive;Oil palm is not economical for small landholders and tenant farmers as there is practically no income in the first few years. Besides, it is susceptible to market and seasonal fluctuations; market trends show prices have risen and fallen by up to 50 per cent over the past 15 years. Agricultural returns are also cyclical in nature. Farmers harvest almost 65 per cent of the annual yield between June and September and earnings remain low during the lean winter months etc.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.
- India is one of the major growers of oilseeds. Its vegetable oil economy is the fourth-largest after the US, China and Brazil. Yet the country relies on imports to meet over 70 per cent of its vegetable oil requirements; almost 60 per cent of the requirement is met through palm oil.
- India has not been able to achieve self-sufficiency in palm oil production despite 40 years of efforts.
Palm oil potential in India :-
- Apart from being used as common cooking medium, it is used for making a vast array of food and consumer products, right from vanaspati (hydrogenated vegetable oil), ice creams to lipsticks, soaps and shaving foams.
- Since 2001, palm oil consumption in the country has increased from 3 million tonnes to nearly 10 million tonnes that is a growth of over 230 per cent.
- It is the highest-yielding perennial edible oil crop and needs a fraction of the area used to grow in comparison to other oilseeds. This is indeed potentially attractive in a country like India, where land is increasingly scarce as the population rockets.
- On a per-hectare basis, oil palm trees are 6-10 times more efficient at producing oil than temperate oilseed crops such as rapeseed, soyabean, sunflower or ground nut.
- The current government has announced a package of Rs.10,000 crore over three years, which is intended to support farmers until the trees begin to yield
- The government has identified nine States with suitable climatic conditions. In November 2015, the government has also allowed 100 per cent FDI in palm oil plantations, a move the industry believes will boost domestic production, bring in more funds and newer technologies into the sector.
- It has price advantage and good digestibility make it readily acceptable as cooking medium. It is also used as a raw material to manufacture oleochemicals used in making soaps, candles etc.
Why India could not increase domestic production:-
- Geographical location
- Although the tree has naturalized in the tropical regions within 20° of Equator; yet the most ideal location for oil palm tree are within the 8° latitude north and south of equator. Thus, India’s mainland is not ideal geographical position for oil palm cultivation.
- The oil palm tree needs regular rainfall, a characteristic of tropical climates. The hydrology of most states in India is such that it does not support the abundance of oil palm.
- Long gestation period
- Although oil palm has high productivity in comparison to other crops such as mustard. Yet, the cultivator needs to wait for four years for trees to start yielding oil.
- Small farm holdings
- The farmers in India have small farm holdings and this makes palm cultivation challenging.
- Oil palm is not economical for small landholders and tenant farmers as there is practically no income in the first six years.
- Unstable policy
- Domestic prices of Oil Palm are significantly affected by cheaper imports from Malaysia and Indonesia, thus demoralising the production. Further, there is only an ad-hoc and un-remunerative FFB price fixing formula. Further, the financial support and institutional credit to this sector has been insufficient.
- By 2012, the government had identified 2 million ha across the country for oil palm cultivation and decided to implement the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17). Though the Mission received an initial enthusiasm, the targets have been routinely missed.
- Limited investments by private sector
- Unlike Malaysia and Indonesia, the entry of large corporate into planting has been limited in India and subject to much regulation including Land ceiling rules.
- Moreover, the current import duty is not supportive of oil palm farmers and the industry.
- The Land Ceiling Issue in Oil Palm Cultivation
- Land is a state subject in India and various state governments have passed the land reforms acts. Such acts restrict the size of land holdings by individual farmers and purchase of land by non-agriculturists. This land ceiling problem occurs with only Oil Palm because so far Oil palm has not been recognized in India as a plantation crop like tea, coffee and rubber.
- This is an important reason as to why land ceiling laws don’t allow commercial cultivation of oil palm by private companies in India.
- Palm Oil Cultivation and Sustainability Issues
- In recent times, there has been a constant rise in demand of palm oil from all parts of the world. This has led to a high rate of growth in oil palm production at a CAGR of more than 6% both by high yield and high acreage. But this has raised several sustainability issues globally. The major problems created include deforestation; loss of biodiversity; climate change; misuse of pesticides etc.
- Besides, it is susceptible to market and seasonal fluctuations.
- Farmers harvest almost 65 per cent of the annual yield between June and September and earnings remain low during the lean winter months.
- Like other perennial tree crops, oil palm requires regular pruning of fronds, weeding and watering, which is manually quite expensive.
- The government needs to provide a level playing field to the domestic refining industry. Otherwise, Indian edible oil importers will be perpetually fighting a losing battle with cheap rival palm oil from top producers Malaysia and Indonesia.
- The key to improve oilseeds production lies in ensuring the availability of quality seeds, bridging the awareness gap in farmers regarding better techniques, developing supportive infrastructure facilities and ensuring an efficiently managed market for better price recovery.
- New location-specific high yielding varieties should be developed.
- Investment in palm oil research and development is a key element and should be stepped up.
- Dissemination of technology is equally important and needs to be strengthened through effective agricultural extension system”.
- Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)and Green Palm are such initiatives that promote the sustainable production of palm oil
- The palm oil industry deserves the highest priority and encouragement from the government to meet the internal demand of edible oil, resulting in a strong imprint on savings of foreign exchange, employment generation and boosting India’s food security.
Topic – Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
7) The decentralisation of Environment Impact Assessment processes has improved the enforcement of environmental regulations and been successful in reducing polluting activities in India. Discuss. (250 words)
Why this question
Any programme, intervention that helps in better environmental management per se is an important issue as far as the health of the planet and UPSC exams are concerned. Therefore it is important to discuss how decentralisation of Environment Impact Assessment processes has improved the enforcement of environmental regulations and been successful in reducing polluting activities in India.
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 decentralised EIA process and how it has helped in enforcement of environmental regulations and reduced pollution.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the decentralized Environmental Impact Assessment process.
- Discuss how decentralization of EIA has happened.
- Discuss the advantages of the decentralised EIA and how it has helped in better environmental regulations enforcement and reduced pollution. E.g It helps to promote more transparent and efficient use of natural resources, as well as to increase local participation based on the homogeneity of common goals and priorities; the decentralisation process has led to an increase in the average regulatory stringency and has been successful in reducing the number of polluting activities. The effects are varied between states, wherein the majority of the high-enforcement states have accrued environmental benefits, while more needs to be done in other states etc.
- Discuss the cons/ limitations. E.g the decentralised powers could be futile if state governments intend to actively pursue industrialisation for their respective state, or be ineffective if state authorities lack technical and financial capacity.
- Compromised decision-making on development and infrastructure projects have already wrecked the lives of rural and forest dwelling people. Mining and industries pollute their water sources and farmlands and prohibit their access to forests. So a comprehensive environmental impact assessment is necessary.
Decentralisation of environment impact assessment:-
- 2006 reform of the EIA process delegated the responsibilities for environmental clearance, previously under the control of the central government, to newly established state-level authorities for certain sectors, namely, the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA).
- Following the 2006 reform, the second and final stages i.e.., scoping and appraisal were delegated to state-level authorities, if the project belonged to specific sectors and met certain criteria.
- EIA process was amended further in 2016 to address issues related to specific sectors through a notification. Accordingly, the District Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (DEIAA) and District Level Expert Appraisal Committee (DEAC) are responsible for granting environmental clearance for mining of minor minerals.
How it has been successful in reducing polluting activities in India :-
- Decentralisation of environmental regulation helps with better understanding of local environmental problems, to promote more transparent and efficient use of natural resources, as well as to increase local participation based on the homogeneity of common goals and priorities.
- Findings indicate that the decentralisation process has led to an increase in the average regulatory stringency and has been successful in reducing the number of polluting activities.
- Decentralisation was associated with relatively fewer firm births in states with stricter environmental enforcement.
- Faster decision making and faster clearance of projects which is good for economy.
- Increased participation of lower executives in decision making on clearances.
- At the same time, there could be trade-offs on the success of any decentralisation process such as weak administrative or technical capacity, lack of financial resources, poor coordination between national and local policies and the risk of local elite capture
- Descriptive evidence suggests that state pollution authorities such as the SPCBs suffer from inadequate technical facilities and skilled personnel for monitoring and filing charges.
- Consultants for EIAs and the regulator’s own staff may have incentives to under-report pollution. They observe that independent verification of pollution reports through overlapping monitoring regimes may have similar effects, based on environmental audits.
- Further, in weaker enforcement regimes, collusion between state-level authorities and regulated firms can also become an issue.
- Centre could also be involved in enabling knowledge sharing of best practices between states, as well as in capacity building for resource constrained states to develop technical, financial and administrative performance. Without addressing the technical, financial and administrative needs of different states, increased environmental stringency could translate into excessive bureaucratic burden on firms.
- Collaboration between public and private sector is needed:-
- EIA and SEIAA, together with the SPCB, could do more to regulate pollution in Delhi and other eight Indian cities which are among the most polluted cities in the world based on particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels, according to the World Health Organization .
- Developing stronger centre-state, intra- and interstate collaborations would be beneficial for knowledge and resource sharing and improving technical, financial and administrative capabilities across states.
- A critical evaluation of all high polluting firms should be undertaken in order to assess and accordingly include all relevant firms into the regulatory process.
- It is essential to reassess the inclusion of all relevant industries, including the automobile industry, for the EIA process. Regular monitoring and reporting should be mandatory.
- It is necessary to enhance responsible and effective governance and judicial processes to be more conducive to improve the implementation of regulations.
- Ensuring public consultations and representations and engagement with civil society and allied organisations would be beneficial for ensuring compliance with regulations.
- In any future reforms, it would be beneficial to consider extending EIA processes to be applicable to small and medium enterprises, as it can contribute greatly towards achieving India’s goals for environmental sustainability.
Topic – Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
Why this question
The article highlights the growing issues with marine habitats and how India should alter it’s blue economy strategy to make it in line with socio economic goals. The issue of dead zones was asked in this year’s mains as well. Hence this is a growing concern which needs smart tackling on part of India so that the mistakes of past are not repeated in the new developmental paradigm.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to bring out the problems plaguing marine ecosystem around the world and thereafter, highlight how and why is it affecting India. Thereafter, we need to discuss the blue economy goals of Indian government, the nature of it and how it should be modified to take into account the sustainability aspect as well.
Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Mention that the status of marine habitats is in danger and mention reports which highlight the same.
- Discuss the status of marine economy
- Highlight the prominence of dead zones and what it means for marine habitats
- Discuss the impact of fishing on world’s oceans
- Highlight the magnitude of problem plaguing India – complicating factor has been its inability to rein in the fisheries subsidies program,
- Discuss the government’s aim to kick-start Blue economy , seabed mining etc
- Discuss what shape should such a program take –
- broader need for inclusive social development, environmental balance and ecological security should not be subservient to the driving imperative of financial expansion and industrial growth
- improve the lives of coastal communities. For this, the political leadership needs to impose limitations on technology-based economic development, pushing the industry to meet its social obligations for the protection and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems. The challenge is to get industry interested in a social model of blue growth that does not focus exclusively on pecuniary gains.
Conclusion – Emphasize on the need to address this soon and Summarize based on arguments made above, what needs to be done.
- According to a recent study by the Wildlife Conservation Society, only 13 percent of the planet’s oceans are untouched by human activity.
- Across the globe, marine habitats are in a state of dramatic decline. According to a recent study by the Wildlife Conservation Society, only 13 percent of the planet’s oceans are untouched by human activity.
Marine habitats are under threat due to the following reasons :-
- Marine dead zones are areas with little or no oxygen supporting microbial processes that also remove nitrogen from the ocean have quadrupled since the 1950s, and industrial fishing areas now cover half of the world’s oceans.
- Humanity’s growing footprint in the world’s oceans is primarily a product of increased fishing activity.
- According to recent estimates, roughly 90 percent of the world’s fish stocks are now fully fished, overfished, or depleted, with nearly one-third of all marine stocks exploited beyond biologically sustainable levels.
- Not only are marine resources being depleted, the fishing industry is failing spectacularly at curbing illegal fishing.
- To make matters worse, devastating practices like bottom trawling and the use of seine nets in shallow spaces like the Palk Bay are further depleting marine wealth.
- Plastic pollution:-
- Littoral Asia is drowning in a sea of synthetic trash. India’s coastal regions are witnessing their most rapid expansion of plastic pollution in recent years.
- Oil spills in the ocean usually happenwhen an ocean oil rig springs a leak or when an ocean going tanker (carrying oil) wrecks.
- Chemicals released into the ocean cause a myriad of problems. Pesticides, coming from runoff of agricultural land into the ocean damages marine organisms.
- Thermal pollution is a byproduct of the ocean’s use as a cooling agent:-
- The cool ocean water taken in is released at a higher temperature. Although the temperature of release is usually controlled by laws, and is not such a threat as the other forms of pollution mentioned here, one could imagine what it would be like if more and more plants began using ocean water as a coolant.
- This change in temperature, due to humans in this case, would change the makeup of the species in these areas.
- Noise pollution is one of the more recent threats to marine life.
- Several studies have shown that the noise produced by boats interferes with many species of marine life. The number of large tankers now cruising the oceans creates a significant level of noise that may make it difficult for whales to communicate.
- Habitat destruction occurs directly when man ‘develops’ marine areasby filling them in with sediment to create more usable acreage.
- The main areas of human impact can be divided into those related to ocean pollution, habitat destruction, and the introduction of alien species.
- Centerpiece of India’s marine developmental initiative is a $1.1 billion sea exploration proposal focused mainly on ocean energy and seabed mineral resources. The prospect of mining seabed resources has been the focus of official attention. Few have any idea what to do about marine life conservation.
- Additional nutrients in the sea can lead to excessive phytoplankton growth that results in ‘blooms’. When these large numbers of organisms die, the sharp increase in decomposition of the dead organisms by oxygen-using bacteria depletes oxygen levels.
- Introduced species :-
- Not all introduced species will spread or even survive, but once established, they may be difficult or impossible to remove. For example, the Japanese seaweed, wakame Undaria pinnatifida, which probably arrived in 1987, is now widespread. Scientists are still monitoring its impact on our native marine organisms.
- Ocean acidification
- There is evidence to suggest that human activities have caused the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere to rise dramatically. This impacts on the marine environment as the world’s oceans currently absorb as much as one-third of all CO2 emissions in our atmosphere.
- This absorption of CO2 causes the pH to decrease, resulting in the seawater becoming more acidic.
- The ‘Blue Economy’ or the ‘Oceans Economy’ is defined by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as “A subset of, and complement to, the evolving development paradigm emphasising greener and more sustainable and inclusive economic paths.”
- It seeks to expand the economic frontiers of coastal countries beyond their land territories.
- The development of Blue Economy can serve as a growth catalyst in realizing the vision to become a $10 trillion economy by 2032.
- Blue economy initiative launched in 2015 is a multi-disciplinary approach for the exploitation of hydrocarbons and other marine resources, deep sea fishing, preservation of marine ecology, mitigating climate change by addressing environmental issues and disaster management.
- Government initiatives like CRZ, Integrated coastal management plan, marine national parks, supreme court decisions etc are initiated by India but more needs to be done.
How should India kickstart blue economy:-
- Broader need for inclusive social development, environmental balance and ecological security should not be subservient to the driving imperative of financial expansion and industrial growth
- Improve the lives of coastal communities
- For this, the political leadership needs to impose limitations on technology-based economic development, pushing the industry to meet its social obligations for the protection and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems.
- For India, the marine services sector could be the backbone of its blue economy. In line with the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives India must focus on marine ICTs, and transport (shipping) and communication services, and the creation of a knowledge hub for marine research and development, alongside the more traditional sectors like fisheries and coastal tourism.
- The creation of the Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) and the ‘Sagarmala Project’ are welcome moves in this direction. However, further efforts will be required to avoid fragmentation and overlapping of policies, while also creating a sustainable framework for the development of connectivity infrastructure.
- India’s commitment to strengthen its cooperation with the regional partners and build a sustainable ocean economy aligns well with its domestic mega-modernisation projects that will enable the nation to harness the full potential of the Ocean based Blue Economy
- Blue economy as a concept is not much explored in India because there are no specialised courses. So this issue needs to be looked through.
- Setting up of Sanctuaries:-
- A demarcated and protected area in the Sea where any commercial activity will be forbidden for the protection of marine habitat.
- Principles of blue economy, therefore, will be important in creating complementarity between discrete plans and policies, which have a common broad objective of sustainable ocean development.