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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 28 NOVEMBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 28 NOVEMBER 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 – “Important personalities of freedom struggle”

1) Highlight the differences in the approach of Subhash Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question is quite straightforward in its demand. It expects us to elaborate on the difference in approaches of Gandhi and bose with respect to the national movement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the macro difference in their political approach – Subhash chandra bose was a supporter of Gandhiji during initial days, the later part of 1930s witnessed a radicalisation of his thought. He was not satisfied with Gandhiji’s strategies and unhappy with the lack of momentum in independence movement.

Body

  • Discuss their difference in thinking over issues such as
    • Moderate vs extremist
    • Complete independence vs independence in phases
    • Bose was more international in his outlook and approached Russia , Germany and japan while Gandhiji relied on indegineous forces like swadeshi and satyagraha.
    • Bose adopted violent means and led Indian National Army while Gandhiji relied on non violent means.For gandhiji it was “means justify the end” for Bose it was” end justifies the means. Etc

Conclusions – Highlight that both made significant contribution to freedom struggle in their own ways.

Background:-

  • Both Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose were stalwarts of Indian freedom struggle. Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose differed in their approach and had different understanding of political reality:

Differences:-

  • Violence vs non violence:-
    • Subhash Chandra Bose adopted violent means for liberation of India and thus led Indian National Army. Gandhi on the other hand was a firm believer of non-violence and led peaceful mass protests
  • Ideology:-
    • Ideologically Gandhi subscribed to socialist pattern of society where fruits of labour were evenly distributed and favoured trusteeship pattern of relation between Capitalist and labourers.
    • Subhash Chandra was a keen follower of radical leftist ideologyand organized trade unions
  • Bose wanted to grab the opportunity provided by second world war for India’s freedom, thus approached Germany, Japan while Gandhi saw facism and Nazism a greater danger to Indian polity and society thus co-operated with British. Thus they had a different understanding of same event.
  • Religious teachings had great importance in the life of Gandhiwhile Subhash Chandra Bose was a leftist and rationalist.
  • Gandhi’s idea of freedom was based on self rule and rule over self. Bose viewed freedom not only in terms of political self rule but also freedom from socio-economic inequalities, casteism, intolerance etc.
  • India’s participation in World war II:-
    • When the Second World War began and Britain got involved in it, Subhash insisted persistently that England’s difficulty is India’s 
      opportunity and it is the time opportune to launch  struggle for freedom.
    • Gandhi at the time was not prepared to oblige Subhash and immediately launch any struggle to achieve India’s freedom.
  • Bose sought complete severance from the British empire, while Gandhi’s goal posts vacillated between Spiritual Swaraj, Dominion Status and complete severance.
  • Vision:-
    • Stated visions of Gandhi and Bose differed substantially with respect to their desired evolution of India and her politics.
    • Gandhi advocated a vision comprising of spinning, khadi and local self-sufficiency at village level while Bose held steadfast to a vision of large scale industrialisationand a politics devoid of irrationality and religiosity.
  • Industrialisation:-
    • Bose had launched the National Planning Committee for drawing up a comprehensive plan of industrialisation and of development .
    • Bose believed that his launching of the National Planning Committee as the Congress President, in 1938, for drawing up a comprehensive plan of industrialisation and of development caused further annoyance to Mahatma Gandhi who was opposed to industrialization.
  • Bose was acutely conscious of the role the armed forces play in the political growth of a nation.

Similarities between Gandhi and Bose view :- (extra)

  • Gandhi and Bose did not differ on their choices between communism and capitalism. Both were socialists, as per their stated positions, and disassociated themselves from Communism (Bose certainly did).
  • Again, unlike what is commonly believed, Gandhi was not opposed to violence per se as he did not totally oppose violence during Quit India movement.
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose had the same objective of liberating the country from the yoke of British imperialism. 
  • Until the political clash at Tripuri they worked more or less together under the common platform of the Indian National Congress for about two decades.
  • Gandhi’s struggle i.e., averse mindset in the beginning of the Second World War and his uncompromising stance during the Quit India Movement, was in a way a victory of  Netaji’s strategy.
  • Gandhi’s tone and temper clearly  smacked of a revolutionary strategy quite akin to the  soul and spirit of Bose. Ideologically they appeared to come nearer.

 

Conclusion:-

  • Despite the differences both leaders had immense respect for each other and contributed significantly to the national movement and the nation.

Topic- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

2) Discuss the role of Sri Narayana Guru in social reforms in India. (250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the role and contribution of Sri Narayana Guru, as a social reformer in India.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  Sri Narayana Guru. e.g Sree Narayana Guru was a great saint, scholar, philosopher, poet, and the forerunner of social renaissance in Kerala. Sree Narayana Guru was born in 1856 in a middle class peasant family of the then untouchable Ezhava caste,in Thiruvananthapuram.  

Body

Discuss in points, the role played by Sri Narayana Guru as a social reformer in India. E.g Even as a child he had strong abhorrence toward the caste distinctions and untouchability and he always protested against injustice; he himself consecrated a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Aruvippuram in 1888. When questioned by the Brahmins, he replied that he had consecrated a Shiva belonging to his community. The irony of the message was very clear – how could Shiva be owned by any particular community? It was a strong warning to the upper castes and a bold proclamation that everyone irrespective of his caste or religion has the right to realize God; He opened a Sanskrit school at Sivagiri to teach poor students, irrespective of their caste;He believed that other than the freedom from the curse of untouchability, the downtrodden classes needed education and wealth. They needed opportunities to improve like others. He was a real Karma Yogi and his whole life was dedicated for the betterment of the suppressed etc.

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

Background:-

  • Narayana Guru is a saint, prophet and social reformer from Kerala. His words and deeds ignited sparks of revolution that led to a remarkable cultural renaissance in the profligate society of Kerala.

Contribution:-

  • Temple entry:-
    • Aravipuram Movement  was launched by Sri Narayana Guru in1888. On that day, Sri Narayana Guru defied the religious restrictions traditionally placed on the Ezhava community, and consecrated an idol of Shiva at Aravipuram.
    • In 1925 Guru supported the famous Vaikom Satyagraha movement, which demanded entry for lower caste people in the Shiva temple at Vaikom and all temples in Kerala.
  • He redeemed the downtrodden human from the curse of casteism. ‘Oneness of Humanity’ was his dream.
    • His famous message “One Caste, One Religion and One God to Mankind”, which was a clarion call to the mankind to unite, instead of breaking down in the name of caste and religion.
  • He believed that other than the freedom from the curse of untouchability, the downtrodden classes needed education and wealth. They needed opportunities to improve like others.
    • Sri Narayana Guru articulated a doctrine aimed at improving the Ezhavas’ social position. He urged them to abandon the occupation of toddy-tapping and to abstain from liquor.
  • He formed a programme of action known as the Sri Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam
    • The Yogam took up several issues, including the right of admission to public schools, recruitment to government employment, entry into temples, on roads and political representation.
  • Guru did not approve polygamy and polyandry. He discouraged some unnecessary traditions in marriage.
  • Religion:-
    • He considered all religions to be a way for man’s goodness and welfare and thus are equal.
    • He held that the essence of all religions is one and the same, and advocated the comparative study of all faiths.
  • Literature:-
    • Sree Narayana Guru had proficiency in Sanskrit, Malayalam and Tamil and had written by way of hymns of prayer to different gods in all three languages, translations, philosophy and teachings.
    • Some of the notable ones are “Atmopadesa Sathakam” and “Darsanamala” which give in condensed way the moral and spiritual principles.
  • Sree Narayana Guru has made a silent revolution,without any blood shed or hatred, but with evoking respect and cooperation from all concerned. 

Topic– Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

3) Discuss the phases of the working class movements in pre-independent India.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the working class movements in pre-independent India; their phases and significant events etc.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  working class in pre-independent India. E.g The modern Indian working class arose in consequence to the development and growth of factory industries in India from the second half of the nineteenth century. It is however about the turn of the twentieth century, it took the shape of working class.

Body-

Discuss the phases of the working class movements in pre-independent India. E.g

  1. The First phase : 1850s -1918; The actions of the working class in the earliest stage were sporadic and unorganised in~ature and hence were mostly ineffective. It is only from the late 19th century in Madras, and from the second decade of the twentieth century in Bombay that serious attempts were made for the formation of associations that could lead organised form of protests; Though the Congress was formed in 1885,it seriously thought of organising the working class only in the early 1920s. The Working class in the country was organising struggles against capital much before the 1920s. Inthe last decades of the 19th century, Lieten informs us, there occurred strikes at Bombay,Kurla, Surat, Wardha, Ahmedabad and in other places;  The strikes however were only sporadic,spontaneous, localised and short-lived and were caused by factors such as reduction in wages, imposition of fines, dismissal or reprimand of the worker. These actions and militancy, which they showed, helped in the development of class solidarity and consciousness, which was missing earlier. The resistance was mediated by outsiders or outside leaders. Agitations grew and they were not on individual issues but on broader economic questions, thus leading to a gradual improvement later on.
  2. Second phase- 1918 to independence; The unorganised movement of the workers took an organised form;trade unions were formed on modern lines. In several ways the decade of the 1920s is crucial in this regard. Firstly in the 1920s serious attempts were made by the Congress and the Communists to mobilise the working class and hence from then onwards henational movement established a connection with the working class. Secondly, it was in 1920 that the first attempt to form an all India organisation was made; in this decade, India witnessed a large number of strikes; the strikes were prolonged and well participated by the workers. The number of strikes and number of workers involved in these strikes went on increasing in the subsequent decades etc.

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

Background:-

  • The modern Indian working class arose in consequence to the development and growth of factory industries in India from the second half of the nineteenth century. It is however about the turn of the twentieth century, it took the shape of working class 

Working class movements in pre independence period:-

  • According to the labour historians, the span of working class activities in India is divided into three distinct phases.
  • The first phase spans from 1850 to 1890:-
    • The actions of the working class in the earliest stage were sporadic and unorganised in nature and hence were mostly ineffective.
    • Some philanthropists in the 1880s sought to improve working conditions by urging the British authorities in India to introduce legislations for improving its condition. S. S. Bengalee in Bombay, Sasipada Banerjee in Bengal and Lokhandya in Maharashtra were prominent among them.
    • In the last decades of the 19th century, there occurred strikes at Bombay, Kurla, Surat, Wardha, Ahmedabad and in other places.
    • The strikes however were only sporadic, spontaneous, localised and short-lived and were caused by factors such as reduction in wages, imposition of fines, dismissal or reprimand of the worker.
    • These actions and militancy, which they showed, helped in the development of class solidarity and consciousness, which was missing earlier.
    • The resistance was mediated by outsiders or outside leaders. Agitations grew and they were not on individual issues but on broader economic questions, thus leading to a gradual improvement later on.
  • The second phase from 1890 to 1918 :-
    • It is only from the late 19th century in Madras, and from the second decade of the twentieth century in Bombay that serious attempts were made for the formation of associations that could lead organised form of protests.
    • Between 1915-1922, there was resurgence of workers’ movement along with the Home Rule movement and the Non-cooperation movement. The most important development was undoubtedly, the formation of All-India Trade Union Congress under the leadership of Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai.
  • The third phase from 191 8 to 1947 :-
    • It was after World War I that the working class struggle in the country entered into a different phase. The unorganised movement of the workers took an organised form
    • Trade unions were formed on modern lines.
    • Firstly in the 1920s serious attempts were made by the Congress and the Communists to moblilise the working class and hence from then onwards the national movement established a connection with the working class.
    • Secondly, it was in 1920 that the first attempt to form an all India organisation was made. Tilak, was instrumental in the formation of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)
    • Thirdly, in this decade, India witnessed a large nurnber of strikes. The strikes were prolonged and well participated by the workers. The number of strikes and the number of workers involved in these strikes went on increasing in the subsequent decades
    • The clearest policy of the Congress came only in 1936 when it appointed a committee to look after labour matters. Thus it was from the late 1930s that the Congress established deep links with the working class in the country
    • Communists who arrived in the 1920s seriously became interested in working class questions and therefore they sought to mobilise the working class through the Workers and Peasant Parties (WPPs) in which they were active throughout the country.
      • The WPPs were able to organise the working class considerably. ‘The WPPs were most successful in Bombay where it organised a strike in 1928 than in other cities of India. 
    • There was a radicalisation of working class activity by the end of the 1920s but what is also crucial is that there also grew differences between the Moderates and the Communists; as a result, the AITUC split and the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) was formed by the moderate leaders 
    • The RTUC merged with the AITUC in 1935 and the NTUF affiliated itself with the AITUC in 1938. As a result of this, there was a growth of trade unions and trade union activity throughout the 1930s and the 1940s. The number of strikes went up by the end of the 1930s.
      • The strikes spread to several smaller industrial towns in the country
      • The working class during these struggles were not only defensive but were also offensive in the sense that they demanded among other things restoration of wage cuts, recognition of their union rights and resisted new forms of oppression of labour.
      • It has also been found that increasing number of women workers came to the forefront of the workers struggle
    • On the industrial front, from 1939 onwards the working condition of the workers was affected seriously.
      • There was increase in the working hours, multiple shift systems were introduced, wages were significantly reduced, and workers. on the whole, were subjected to great hardships.
      • As a result, strikes erupted throughout the country and probably the most important demand of the workers was the demand for a Dearness Allowance against rising prices and cost of living.
    • The last years of the colonial rule also saw a remarkable sharp increase in strikes on economic issues all over the country. The all-India strike of the Post and Telegraph Department employees being the most well known among them.

General Studies – 2


Topic– Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

4) The next step in addressing sanitation woes should be a focus on waste management. Analyze. (250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

Successfully tackling the issue of waste management is one of the major challenges facing the Indian state and hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to draw a linkage between addressing sanitation woes and how waste management can help in. Thereafter, we need to bring out the current issues surrounding waste management and the steps that need to be taken to make it more effective and efficient for the success of clean India campaign.

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that India is projected to have an additional 300 million new urban residents by 2050. This is cause for alarm. Policy makers, planners, the private sector, innovators, researchers and others need to create a sustainable ecosystem for sanitation.

Body

  • Explain that Centre launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) with an aim to eradicate open defecation by 2019. Since then, the number of people practising open defecation has decreased significantly with 1,678 cities declared open defecation free at the end of 2017. But, in order to further strengthen its mission of universal sanitation, India now needs to make human waste treatment a sustainable business proposition. This is also an important step to helping India achieve the sixth Sustainable Development Goal—sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  • Explain that sustainable sanitation ecosystem includes not only access to toilets, but also effective evacuation, transport, and treatment of waste along with reuse or responsible disposal of the treated product.
  • Discuss the major issues related to waste management – financial requirement to build, operate and maintain piped sewerage networks and treatment plants, issues in urban planning etc
  • Explain how these issues can be resolved.

Conclusion – you can conclude by giving your opinion on how crucial waste management is for success of swachh Bharat mission and the way forward.

Background:-

  • Swachh Bharat Mission is a campaign which was launched on 2 October 2014, and aims to eradicate open defecation by 2019, and is a national campaign, covering 4,041 statutory cities and towns. Its predecessors were the “Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan” and before that the “Total Sanitation Campaign”.
  • Recent Parliamentary Committee report clearly says this programme is unlikely to make India open-defecation free. The rationale of the 51st Standing Committee on Rural Development report is that even a village with 100 per cent household toilets cannot be declared open defecation-free till all the inhabitants start using them.

What is the need to modify the present Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and address on waste management :-

  • Purity and pollution:-
    • The key reason for this is that basic latrines that need to be emptied out manually or pumped by simple machines are unacceptable to higher caste Hindus.
    • It is considered polluting to the individual and the home, and historically associated with untouchability. So people rather defecate in open than having a toilet at home.
    • It is not just a matter of access but a problem of perceptions of pollution, ritual purity, and caste.
    • Even if the government builds free toilets without any leakage or corruption, India will at best have 80 million new toilets that a large proportion of Indians do not want to use.
  • Contract labour :-
    • Municipalities began to employ more contractual labourers mostly scavengers forced into the profession by their caste to remove waste.
    • The sanitation campaign burdens the contractual labourer with an ‘exclusive’ right to cleaning public spaces, while making it a voluntary act for the ‘public’ to not defecate, urinate or litter in random spaces. This reinforces the marginalization and stigmatization of such labourers.
  • The Swachh Bharat campaign hardly addresses a reworking of the underground sewerage system due to which many such labourers have died recently while cleaning jammed manholes that open into the sewerage system etc.
  • The rate of open defecation is not decreasing much:-
    • India has far higher levels of open defecation than other countries of the same GDP per capita. For example, India has a higher GDP per capita than Bangladesh, but in Bangladesh only 8.4% households defecate in the open, compared to 55% in India.
  • Funds unspent:-
    • Centre has literally forgotten to spend the money earmarked to promote the use of toilets, a concern raised in the State of India’s Environment in Figure: 2018.
    • Centre has also failed to exhaust its budget for Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin. This, despite the fact, that the budget for the scheme has seen a dipover the past year. 
  • Implementation issues:-
    • Sanitation coverage figures seemed to be more on paper but the actual progress at the ground level is very lethargic. Behavioural change is still a distant reality.
  • Quality:-
    • Standing committee has also raised questions over the construction quality of toilets and said that the government is counting non-functional toilets, leading to inflated data. 
  • Unable to reach target:-
    • Access to free toilets has not helped resolve open defecation in India.The programme is unlikely to succeed in its primary task of eliminating open defecation by October 2019
  • Why concentrating on developing sewage system makes Swachh Bharat a success:-
    • Deeply entrenched cultural contexts must be taken into account for successful policy outcomes. India needs to change perceptions of ritual purity through education and awareness in rural areas. This can be done by investing in sewage systems.
  • Enabling local governments to construct sewage systems will solve the purity issue :-
    • A toilet that flushes away human waste into the sewage and waste management system solves the problem. If there is a functional sewage system, it is relatively low cost for households to build a toilet in every home that is connected to the sewage system. 
    • Developing proper sewage system in village would also have wider impact with water not stagnating any more, lesser vector borne diseases etc so the wider objective of sanitation will be achieved.
    • Also it would not put stress on manual scavenging and this occupation can slowly fade away giving sense of dignity and equality to the most vulnerable sections.
    • Modernising the sewer lines and septic tanks and investing money and energy on smart techniques of sanitation.

However challenges exist :-

 

  • Problem of political incentives when it comes to building waste management systems:-
    • It takes years to build sewage systems, and local politicians face all the costs upfront, and the benefits are far in the future.
    • Disgruntled citizens and voters complain about the digging of neighbourhoods for years, causing much nuisance to their daily lives.
    • These problems essentially act as disincentives of the political class to take action to solve the sanitation problem. 

Way forward:-

  • Pursuit of Swachh Bharat also requires strengthening public health services. Services such as good drainage systems, absence of swamps and ponds that are home to stagnant water, and the supply of safe drinking water all of which reduce exposure to and spread of diseases  are classic examples of public goods and require effective government intervention
  • Behavioural change:-
    • Adopt System 2 drivers of change
      • Community led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programmes is one such approach. It promotes the mobilisation of local communities to talk openly about, appraise and analyse their defecation practices.
    • States experience:-
      • Maharashtra with its adoption of the ‘Good Morning Squads’, Indore with its ‘dibba gang’ and Delhi with its Gabbar posters, are all using System 2 drivers to trigger behavioural change. This can be emulated in other states as well.
    • Include System 1 drivers:-
      • Incentive programs for increased latrine use can also issue text message reminders, scheduled and framed to promote latrine usage at the same time and place each day.
      • Strategic timing of key interventions can also go a long way in disrupting behaviour. For example, promoting the use of toilets during the monsoon, when people find it difficult to defecate openly is a way to ensure a new behaviour is developed.
    • SBM++ needs to be scaled up and fully integrated into sanitation solutions. This will require a supportive regulatory and policy framework that includes requirements for desludging, transport of waste to treatment plants, and environmentally sound treatment, reuse and disposal
    • In addition, there is a need for investment and market incentives to spur innovation around effective solutions.
    • Government’s role:-
      • Should consider taking additional actions such as adopting the new international standard for non-sewered sanitation systems (ISO 30500)
      • Helping to de-risk new technologies through supported pilot projects
      • Rolling out policy incentives for creating useful byproducts from human waste
      • Developing policies to regularise waste collection and transport to ensure consistent flow of material to new treatment plants.

Topic-  Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections

5) The misery or sanitation workers need to be put to an end, for the success of swachh Bharat mission. In this regard, analyze the problems faced by sanitation workers and ways to resolve it?(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The plight of sanitation workers is an oft recurring issue. While the government is focussing so severely on toilet provision in tandem with Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, the focus on behavioural change towards sanitation and a moral change towards sanitation workers is what is lagging behind and hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the key issues plaguing sanitation workers, explain the steps being taken to protect them, lacunae therein and finally suggestions for improvement.

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight that while the government is focussing so severely on toilet provision in tandem with Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, the focus on behavioural change towards sanitation and a moral change towards sanitation workers is what is lagging behind.

Body

  • Paint a picture of the status quo of sanitation workers – Over 1.1 million sanitation workers, primarily engaged in sewer cleaning, septic tank cleaning, railway cleaning, and community/public toilet cleaning, more than 500,000 of these are women.  CEC study of 200 DJB manhole workers found that 92.5% of workers wore the safety belt. But this did not prevent 91.5% of them suffering injuries, and 80% suffering eye infections.
  • Discuss the major issues faced by sanitation workers –
    • Economic issues – contractual workers and thus no job security
    • Health issues
    • Socio-economic issues – experience untouchability, are unable to find employment outside sanitation work, and their children, despite gaining basic level education, are unable to find any other form of employment
  • Discuss the steps taken by the government
    • The Prohibition Of Employment As Manual Scavengers And Their Rehabilitation Act, 2013
    • Prevention of Atrocities Act, commissions such as National Safai Karmchari Commission (NSKM), and schemes available through National Safai Karmchari Development and Finance Corporation (NSKFDC) and SC/ST Development Corporation (SDC) at national level and Maha Dalit Vikas Missions at state level
  • Examine the lacunae in these measures
    • most sanitation workers are unaware of their rights under these schemes; even when they are aware, they do not know the processes to avail benefits. Further, because most sanitation workers are urban poor and reside in informal settlements, they do not have adequate documents such as residence proof, birth certificates and identity cards making it next to impossible for them to apply for these schemes.
  • Give suggestions regarding what can be done

Conclusion – emphasize on their plight and the need to address it for the success of swachh Bharat mission.

Background :-

  • Manual scavenging was banned 25 years ago with the passing of the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993, but it continues to find practitioners. The occupation persists mainly because of the continued presence of insanitary latrines.
  • There are about 2.6 million insanitary latrines (dry toilets) that require cleaning by hand, according to Safai Karmachari Andolan.

Measures taken:- (extra)

  • The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act was passed by the parliament in 1993, and set imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of Rs 2,000 for pushing a person to manual scavenging.
  • Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers(SRMS), a successor scheme to NSLRS ( National Scheme for Liberation and Rehabilitation of Scavengers and their Dependents), was introduced in 2007 with the objective to rehabilitate remaining manual scavengers and their dependents in alternative occupations, in a time bound manner.
  • Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, forbids the employment of any person for the task of manual scavenging by any agency or individual.
    • As picking up untreated human excreta is harmful to one’s health and hygiene, the Act seeks to completely ban the practice.
  • Supreme Court issued a slew of directions in 2014 to prevent and control the practice and also to prosecute the offenders.
    • It also directed the government to pay a compensation of 10 lakh rupees to the family members of those killed in acts of manual scavenging since 1993.
  • Also, the right to live with dignity is implicit in the Fundamental Rights guaranteed in Part III of the Constitution. Article 46 of the Constitution, on the other hand, provides that the State shall protect the weaker sections particularly, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes  from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
  • Apart from these under Swachh Bharat Mission focus has been given on conversion of insanitary latrines into sanitary latrines.

Challenges remaining for sanitation workers :-

  • However, the dehumanising practice of manual scavenging, arising from the continued existence of insanitary latrines and a highly iniquitous caste system, still persists in various parts of the country. 
  • Design:-
    • Septic tanks are designed badly. They have engineering defects which means that after a point, a machine cannot clean it.
  • Under the Swacch Bharat Mission, millions of septic tanks are being built in rural India
    • By 2019, some 30 million septic tanks and pits would have been dug along the Ganga. If the Central, state and local sanitation programmes do not take up faecal sludge management as a priority, the onus will shift to the lowest rung of the society to clean millions of dry toilets.
  • Sewage issues :-
    • Many cities do not have sewerage that covers the whole city. Sometimes, sewage lines are connected to storm water drains which get clogged and demand human intervention.
  • Open drains:-
    • Open drains are also badly designed, allowing people to dump solid waste into them, which accentuates the problem. Improper disposal of sanitary napkins, diapers etc clog the drains, which machines cannot clear.
  • Manual scavenging is not only a caste-based but also a gender-based occupation with 90 per cent of them being women.
  • Irony of Swachh Bharat Mission :-
    • On the one hand it aims at protecting dignity of women by providing them with private sanitation spaces, and on the other, it is perpetuating humiliation of women manual scavengers as they are the ones who clean human excreta from dry-pit latrines.
  • Legislative failure:-
    • In 2013, the ‘Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act came into force. However this law leaves people helpless.
    • In the earlier Act, the district magistrate had the power to solve all the cases, but that’s not the case with the current one. If the assigned public official isn’t doing his duty of identifying manual scavengers and processing their rehabilitation, there is no mechanism to pull them up
    • The Act does not address critical aspects of provisions like the rehabilitation of those who were liberated from manual scavenging before passing the law in 2013.
    • Liberated manual scavengers regularly face brutal atrocity and violence.
    • The law enjoins upon the government to provide Rs 10 lakh to the families of those who die inside sewers. However, data presented by the Central Monitoring Committee in 2017 said only seven states had paid compensation for such deaths in the past 25 years.
  • Safety issues:-
    • Requirements of oxygen cylinder, torches, and constant monitoring of workers through computers etc. are not mentioned in the act and hence are not provided to the cleaners.
  • Lack of education:-
    • Low level of education, awareness about their rights, laws and low self esteem force them to take such work.
  • National Safai Karmachari Commission which was mandated to implement the act has not been functioning properly. Its website has not been updated about recent developments and new initiatives.
  • Lack of credible data:-
    • One big obstacle before evolving policies for the welfare of sewage and septic tank workers is the lack of credible data.
    • There are no official numbers available on those employed in sewer and septic tank cleaning as opposed to those engaged in the relatively less hazardous cleaning of dry latrines, open drains and single pit toilets.
  • Biggest reason why the mechanised cleaning of septic tanks, the prescribed norm, remains only on paper, is lax implementation by enforcement agencies.

Way forward:-

  • It is a social and gender issue and can be eradicated by sensitising people about its ills.
  • The implementation of these laws and provisions should be ensured by appointing people who can make sure that these are being followed, and that anybody who does not follow the rules and regulations is punished.
  • Entire process of the liberation of scavengers includes not just talks about value conflicts or rehabilitation and the few changes in their means of livelihood. The liberation of these people is also closely associated with the change in their social status and the ‘mould’ of their social relationships. All these aspects of liberation can be achieved only when dry latrines are not used at all. 
  • Swachh Bharat Mission may be used to actively target conversion of insanitary latrines on priority basis. Liberated manual scavengers must be linked to social security and other welfare schemes to ensure that they are not dependent on this inhuman work for their survival. 

General Studies – 3


Topic – Awareness in the fields of Space.

6) Discuss about the NASA’S InSight mission on Mars?(250 words)

Indian express

Why this question

The landing of InSight on Mars is a significant development in the field of space technology. In the past, UPSC has asked about such space mission, like the question on Juno and thus this event needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain about the InSight mission, discuss its objectives and explain about its significance.

Directive word

Discuss – The discussion herein, should revolve around the key demand of the question.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the current event due to which InSight is in news.

Body

  • Explain about the InSight mission
    • Mars Insight’s goal is to listen for quakes and tremors as a way to unveil the Red Planet’s inner mysteries, how it formed billions of years ago, and by extension, how other rocky planets like the earth took shape.
    • The unmanned spacecraft, launched nearly seven months ago, is NASA’s first to attempt to touch down on Mars since the Curiosity rover arrived in 2012.
    • More than half of 43 attempts to reach Mars with rovers, orbiters and probes by space agencies from around the world have failed.
    • NASA is the only space agency to have made it, and is invested in these missions as a way to prepare for the first Mars­bound human explorers in the 2030s.
    • InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is on a 24-month mission. The landing site is Elysium Planitia, where InSight can stay still and quiet all through.
  • Discuss its objectives – InSight won’t be looking for life on Mars. It will study its insides — what it’s made of, how that material is layered and how much heat seeps out of it. This is important because Earth and Mars used to be similar — warm, wet and shrouded in thick atmospheres — before they took different paths 3-4 billion years ago. Mars stopped changing, while Earth continued to evolve. With InSight, scientists hope to compare Earth to Mars, and better understand how a planet’s starting materials make it more or less likely to support life.
  • Explain why it is significant

Conclusion – Highlight that this is a major development and would help us enrich our knowledge about the solar system and conditions necessary for formation of life.

NASA’s insights mission :-

  • InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a Mars lander designed to give the Red Planet its first thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago.
  • It is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth the inner space of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core.
  • The lander uses cutting edge instruments, to delve deep beneath the surface and seek the fingerprints of the processes that formed the terrestrial planets. It does so by measuring the planet’s vital signs: its pulse (seismology), temperature (heat flow), and reflexes (precision tracking).
  • This mission is part of NASA’s Discovery Programfor highly focused science missions that ask critical questions in solar system science.
  • The InSight Mars lander has two science objectivesthat support the Mission’s science goals:
    • Formation & Evolution: 
      • Understand the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets through investigation of the interior structure and processes of Mars.
    • Tectonic Activity: 
      • Determine the present level of tectonic activity and meteorite impact rate on Mars.

Significance:-

  • Studying Mars interior structure answers key questions about the early formation of rocky planets in inner solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars – more than 4 billion years ago, as well as rocky exoplanets.
  • The InSight mission seeks to uncover how a rocky body forms and evolves to become a planet by investigating the interior structure and composition of Mars. The mission will also determine the rate of Martian tectonic activity and meteorite impacts.
  • More than half of 43 attempts to reach Mars with rovers, orbiters and probes by space agencies from around the world have failed. NASA is the only space agency to have made it, and is invested in these missions as a way to prepare for the first Mars­ bound human explorers in the 2030s.

Topic –  Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.

7) Well-being within ecological limits requires a societal transformation redefining ‘happiness’. Comment in the context of the rising environmental pollution in India.(250 words)

Livemint

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our opinion on the rising environmental pollution in India and the requirement for social transformation in order to secure well-being within ecological limits.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the increasing environmental pollution in India.

Body-

Discuss why there is a need to redefine happiness and how it should be defined in order to stay within the ecological limits. E.g mention consumerism as a major driver of ecological degradation and environmental pollution; In addition following technological solutions for the consequences of human behaviour, we should really consider how to change that behaviour itself; Industrialization, infrastructure development and urban consumption patterns cumulatively contribute to well-being; Infrastructure, rather than industry, is indispensable for the provision of services essential for human well-being. It has used up half of the material stock, has no substitute and will use up more than half the available carbon budget before saturation levels are reached around 2050. By modifying long-term trends, we can enhance the remaining budget and abate urban air pollution; Even after industrialization and infrastructure reach stabilization levels, consumption will continue to be propelled by the shift of the economy to the services sector and increasing levels of pollution from wasteful lifestyles. Two-thirds of the energy use and emissions of carbon dioxide come from cities; two-thirds of this is from vehicles etc.

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

Background :-

  • In the modern society happiness is equated with better standard of living however this focus has been achieved through adverse impact on environment through exploiting forests, land degradation, excessive power consumption etc leading to environmental pollution.
  • Two-thirds of the energy use and emissions of carbon dioxide come from cities, two-thirds of this is from vehicles, the major cause of poor ambient air quality, and buildings and diet. 
  • Currently, four-fifths of the global net primary energy supply comes from fossil fuels.

Why behavioural change is necessary for redefining happiness :-

  • Western countries prioritise technological solutions for the consequences of human behaviour however India need not follow the same approach. India has historically been known for living in harmony with nature. So wasteful ways of life must be questioned. 
  • The optimum solution is to lower energy demand in all dimensions while maintaining the level of energy services.
  • Consumerism as a major driver of ecological degradation and environmental pollution need to change.
  • Buildings account for one-third of final energy demand and one-fifth of emissions, and both are predicted to more than double by 2050. Their pattern of use is dependent on their density and size, which are shaped by behavioural norms, culture and practices of convenience, just as in the case of transport. This needs to be emphasized.
  • Transport is the fastest growing and soon to be the largest source of pollution. With shared transport, if vehicle occupancy increases by 25% and vehicle usage per day by 75%, it delivers the same intra-urban mobility.
  • Housing and roads are being seen as part of the social system, rather than the alternative of providing for automobiles. There is a focus on mobility instead of transport. This should be the core of ‘smart cities’.
  • A recent survey has pointed out that more than 80% of people in cities would prefer to take public transport if there is affordable and robust last-mile connectivity. Significantly, six out of 10 non-users of public transport were willing to shift provided safety, coverage and frequency were improved.
  • Minute changes in one’s home like restricting consumption of power, judicious use of petrol, water etc can lead to happiness for the future generations.

 


General Studies – 4


Topic– Ethics in private and public relationships.

8) Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality. Comment in the light of dwindling public services values in India.(250 words)

Reference

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding of the importance of morality in one’s life and in the world, and the importance of truth as a value in determining, shaping, influencing and strengthening our moral character.

Structure of the answer
Introduction– introduce your answer by briefly presenting a picture of degrading public service values in India. E.g mention the abundance of corruption in public life, inefficiency of public services etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss why/ how morality is the basis of things. E.g man is a social animal and without morality no cooperation would be possible rendering humans as wild and uncivilized as any other animal etc. Give examples from hypothetical situations in public services to support your answer.
    B. Discuss how truth is the basis of morality. E.g not being true in any sense/ any situation is a sign of weak morals of a person, no morality can be based on lies (briefly discuss why), etc. Give examples from hypothetical situations in public services to support your answer.

Conclusion– present a balanced, fair and concise conclusion based on the above discussion.

Answer:-

Morality is a particular system of values and principles of conduct concerning with the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour. Moral values are important in life because: If a person has never learned about moral values then how can he/she decide between the good and the bad. Moral values reflect an individual’s character and spirituality. They help in building good relationships in personal as well as professional lives.

For instance morality in the form of respecting parents and elders, showing love and affection towards family members is visible in families. Morality in the form of public welfare is visible in political arena. So it has multifaceted utility

Morality describes the principles that govern our behaviour. Without these principles in place, societies cannot survive for long. Everyone adheres to a moral doctrine of some kind. So it is basis of all things.

Without morality humans would never had the following ethical traits like compassion, empathy ,kindness etc. Lack of morality in one’s dealings impact the working of the society, nation and the world. At times leading to chaos, anarchy and injustice.

Truthfulness is very much important as it is directly related to a person’s moral character. A truthful person is respected, trusted, regarded by people everywhere. Truth gives morality the strength to face the world For instance Martin Luther king was truthful to his mission against racial discrimination which was moral quality.

By not being truthful a person’s morality comes under question. If a person is cheating in the exam he is not being truthful to himself so his integrity comes under question which is a moral trait. The society judges that some person is a criminal the basis on which evidence is found is the truth. A civil servant can be moral only when he/she can see the truth of the conditions of the society. So truth guides people to be moral and gives an ethical dimension to life.