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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 DECEMBER 2018


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 DECEMBER 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 – Indian Art and culture.

1) Sufis and medieval saints failed to modify either religious ideas and practices or the outward structure of Hindu/Muslim societies to any appreciable extent. Comment.(250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the impact of Sufi and medieval saints on the society and highlight the reasons why they were not able to make an appreciable change.

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer

Introduction – The Sufi and Medieval saints represent an important aspect of the medieval times in India. This generation of saints emerged as a reaction to the growing orthodoxy and superstition in the Hindu religion, and decried the degrading situation of the social order

Body

  • Highlight that analysis of the impact of these saints reveal that they failed to mark a significant change in the social order. Discuss the reasons behind it
    • The Sufi and other saints generally propagated their ideas by singing and preaching to the local populace. While their message was received by a good number of audience, the memory of the same could not last long due to the nomadic nature of these saints.
    • no institutional structure formed by these groups. Thus, the message propagated failed to mark a long-term change. Also, without any organised structure of followers, the lineage of the saints could not continue.
    • The sufi and bhakti saints failed to offer a proper alternative to the social customs that they attacked. Thus, the absence of an alternative to the social customs left the status of the traditions unaffected.
    • Most of the followers of the sufi and bhakti movement came from the lower strata of the society. It was much difficult for such sections to break the shackles of the religious and social customs and form a new cult of their own.

Conclusion – Give your view on the the advancement made by these saints.

Background:-

  • There are some traditions like Sufism and Bhakti movement within the major religions that are focused more on the unity of humanity as a whole, overcoming sectarian divides.
  • Sufi and medieval mystic saints evolved as a reaction to orthodox, ceremonial, 
    superstitious and tyrannical practices prevalent in the society. These attained fame due to the messages of divine peace, harmony, love, humanity and attainability of God.

Impact:-

  • They have strong elements of mysticism, giving no importance to rituals, aimed at an understanding of the divine by transcending anthropomorphic understandings.
  • Bhakti and sufi traditions gave respectability to many low castes, posing a challenge to the upper caste hegemony; this tradition had an inclusive approach towards Muslims as well.
  • The Bhakti and sufi traditions opposed the rituals, hegemony of the elite of society. They adopted the languages more popular with the masses. Also, they talked of one God.
  • The importance of the Bhakti and Sufi saints lies in the new atmosphere created by them, which continued to affect the social, religious and political life of India even in later centuries.

The Sufi Saints  introduced radical ideas and notions to Indian Society but  their long-lasting impact on the  entrenched practices of both Islam and Hinduism was limited:-

  • Nowhere in the subcontinent did Sufism play a dominant role in the formation of modern state structure.The fact that hundreds and thousands of people visit shrines is not necessarily a reflection of Sufism’s political power. Sufism currently lacks the narrative which socio-economic modernity demands.
  • Their capacity to generate tolerance has serious limits:-
    • Increasing socio-political and socio-economic modernity has little space for Sufism
    • The lack of capacity of Sufi institutions to produce a counter narrative.
  • Inspite of their persistent teachings and preaches, it failed to modify any considerable religious ideas and practices as evident from the continued idol worship, human and animal sacrifices, untouchabilities, sati practices, polygamy, female foeticide, child marriages and so on.
  • The religions were still dominated by obscurantist and superstitious priests interpreting the religion for their own advantages.
  • The mystical ideas of Sufism were constantly in conflict with the orthodox elements of Islam
  • Though, Sufism did chip away at the orthodoxy, it did not completely abolish orthodox practices or discourage all its adherents. 
  • Sufis and medieval mystic saints did not have a defined vision to bring religious change 
    across the sub-continent. Their movements were localised in nature and lacked any 
    considerable institutional set-up, there by failed to make up prolonged changes.
  • Moreover, they undoubtedly delineated social evils, but failed to provide an alternative solution for the same. 
  • Gradually these movements turned out as lineage based movement, thereby increased 
    factionism, competition, etc.
  • Though Sufism did bring about social and cultural changes, it failed to evoke any appreciable changes in the age-old traditions and practices of Hinduism or Islam.

General Studies – 2


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

2) Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2018 fails to comprehend the multifaceted nature of trafficking and, presumes guilt rather than innocence. Examine.(250 words)

Indian express

Reference

Why this question

The bill which was already approved by Lok Sabha has triggered widespread protests from various section including NGOs and transgenders demanding its withdrawal fearing that it would adversely affect them. It is therefore important to analyze the bill in detail.

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the provisions of the bill in detail and bring out how the bill fails to comprehend the multifaceted nature of trafficking and how it presumes guilt rather than innocence.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  passage of the bill in the lok sabha recently and highlight the aims of the bill.

Body-

Discuss about the salient provisions of the bill which highlight that the bill has not recognised the multifaceted nature of trafficking and presumes guilt rather than innocence. E.g The Bill creates a law for investigation of all types of trafficking, and rescue, protection and rehabilitation of trafficked victims; The Bill provides for the establishment of investigation and rehabilitation authorities at the district, state and national level. Anti-Trafficking Units will be established to rescue victims and investigate cases of trafficking.  Rehabilitation Committees will provide care and rehabilitation to the rescued victims; In India, socio-economic inequalities are more acute, as 37 million people have been dispossessed by the agrarian crisis leading them to migrate, thus becoming vulnerable to trafficking and forced labour. Increased criminalisation is only likely to strengthen the hands of corrupt police officers leading to the persecution of vulnerable sections of society; The Bill is a draconian criminal law with offences unrelated to trafficking (distribution of material on sexual exploitation), vaguely worded offences (publicising obscene materials that may lead to trafficking), offences where only the act has to be proved and minimum, mandatory punishments with no clear sentencing policy;

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

Background :-

  • Trafficking in human beings is the third largest organized crime violating basic human rights. There is no specific law so far to deal with this crime. Accordingly, the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 has been prepared.
  • The Bill addresses one of the most pervasive yet invisible crimes affecting the most vulnerable persons especially women and children. The new law will make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking. 

Features of the bill:

  • Addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation.
  • Aggravated forms of trafficking, which includes trafficking for the purpose of forced labour, begging, trafficking by administering chemical substance or hormones on a person for the purpose of early sexual maturity, trafficking of a woman or child for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage or after marriage etc.
  • Punishment for promoting or facilitating trafficking of person:-
    • Which includes producing, printing, issuing or distributing unissued, tampered or fake certificates, registration or stickers as proof of compliance with Government requirements; or commits fraud for procuring or facilitating the acquisition of clearances and necessary documents from Government agencies.
    • The new law also seeks to make way for punishment of three years for a person found to be promoting or facilitating trafficking.
    • Punishmentranges from rigorous minimum 10 years to life and fine not less than Rs. 1 lakh in cases of “aggravated” crimes
    • In order to break the organized nexus, both at the national and international level, the Bill provides for the attachment & forfeiture of property and also the proceeds for crime.
  • The confidentiality of victims/ witnesses and complainantsby not disclosing their identity. Further the confidentiality of the victims is maintained by recording their statement through video conferencing (this also helps in trans-border and inter-State crimes).
  • Time bound trial and repatriation of the victims– within a period of one year from taking into cognizance.
  • Rehabilitation:-
    • Immediate protection of rescued victims and their rehabilitation. The Victims are entitled to interim relief immediately within 30 days to address their physical, mental trauma etc. and further appropriate relief within 60 days from the date of filing of charge sheet.
    • Rehabilitation of the victimwhich is not contingent upon criminal proceedings being initiated against the accused or the outcome thereof.
    • Rehabilitation Fund created for the first time.To be used for the physical, psychological and social well-being of the victim including education, skill development, health care/psychological support, legal aid, safe accommodation, etc.   
    • As per the Bill, the rescued adults would be given an opportunity before the Magistrate if they want to stay in protection homes or go to their native places.
  • Institutional mechanism:-
    • Designated courts in each district for the speedy trial of the cases.
    • The Bill creates dedicated institutional mechanisms at District, State and Central Level. These will be responsible for prevention, protection, investigation and rehabilitation work related to trafficking.  National Investigation Agency (NIA) will perform the tasks of Anti-Trafficking Bureau at the national level present under the MHA.
  • The Bill comprehensively addresses the transnational nature of the crime. The National Anti-Trafficking Bureau under national investigation agency will perform the functions of international coordination with authorities in foreign countries and international organizations

Significance:-

  • The Bill addresses one of the most pervasive yet invisible crimes affecting the most vulnerable persons especially women and children. The new law will make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking. 
  • The bill addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation(first to address the issue of victim rehabilitation).
    • Setting up of one or more special homes in each district for the purpose of providing long-term institutional supportfor the rehabilitation of victims is another feature of the Bill.
  • Unlike the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1956, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, and Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code, the new Bill takes a holistic view and aims to prevent traffickingfor forced labour, beggary and organ transplant, among many others.
  • The Bill also provides for designated courts in each districtfor time-bound trial and repatriation of victims within a period of one year from taking into cognizance. This is welcome move.
  • The Bill also provides for seizing of property located in foreign landswhich is a good effort to deal with such crimes.
  • It is gender-neutral and covers transgender persons.
  • It doesn’t criminalise the victims, but instead provides them with shelter, compensation, and counselling.
  • The Bill also relies on Article 21 of the Constitution, guaranteeing that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.
  • The Bill takes note of the fact that India has ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crimeand its three Optional Protocols, including the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

Concerns:-

  • National investigation agency is an understaffed organisation,that is already tackling the gigantic footprint of terrorism across the subcontinent and there are doubts whether it might be in a position to take on and investigate cases of human trafficking.
  • According to experts most of the trafficking is taking place in small towns so focus should be on policing and not NIA
  • Assertion that the bill covers ‘new’ forms of trafficking that are not addressed under existing laws is not completely true.
    • For instance while the new law focuses on removing and evicting sex workers from their occupation, the Bonded Labour Act protects the worker who was held in bondage from being evicted from the place where the individual has been working.
  • It does not harmonise different approaches and integrate existing laws into one.
  • The Anti-Trafficking Bill has not been preceded by any substantial research or analysis.

Measures needed :-

  • The trafficking bill 2018 need to be passed as it would plug the loopholes in earlier anti-trafficking laws and help tackle the menace of human trafficking as also the festering issue of illegal brothels by equipping the law enforcement agencies with more ammunition.
  • Instead for a multi-faceted legal and economic strategy
    • Robust implementation of labour laws
    • A universal social protection floor
    • Self-organisation of workers
    • Improved labour inspection, including in the informal economy
    • Corporate accountability for decent work conditions are needed.
  • Need for systemic reforms
    • To counter distress migration
    • End caste-based discrimination
    • Enforce the rural employment guarantee legislation
    • Avoid the indiscriminate rescue of voluntary sex workers
    • Protect migrants mobility and rights.
  • Victims of trafficking, especially children, need safe social and economic rehabilitation.
    • Higher budgetary allocations are needed for their immediate help and counselling, besides making arrangements for their vocational training, housing and repatriation.
    • The reintroduction to education is also a must. Also, changes in the education system to include rights-based information, if given to each child, can lay the foundations of an aware and secure generation.
    • Schools and parents must make children aware of the dangers of trafficking and prepare them to recognise and tackle it.

Conclusion:-

  • Trafficking bill is the first step in the measures which are bold and holistic response to a socioeconomic problem of labour exploitation and this can help India realise SDG 8.7.

Topic– Role of civil services in a democracy

3) Critically analyze the role played by bureaucracy in facilitating ease of doing business in India?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article analyses the role played by civil servants in facilitating ease of doing business, one of the major policy aims of the current government. This question would help you in preparing for aforementioned topic in GS2.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to bring out the positive and not so positive role played by civil servants in facilitating reforms led to ease of doing business. Finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion on the role played by civil servants and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Critically 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the improvement made in EODB rankings, and explain that apart from political commitment at the top, the role of bureaucracy has also been critical.

Body

  • Discuss the positive role played by bureaucracy in facilitating EODB
    • Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), who started a system of ranking states, leading to intense competition amongst them.
    • Further, DIPP did a detailed analysis and gave a list of as many as 340 parameters of reform.
    • At the state level, they worked as a team to issue government orders, take policy decisions and monitor implementation etc
  • Discuss the limitations in the role played by civil servants
    • Despite having a common application form and online clearances in a time-bound manner, there remained a tendency to raise unnecessary issues and force the entrepreneur to visit the concerned government office.
    • Rent seeking behaviour etc also created issues
  • Discuss how the reforms can be made to percolate down to the smaller cities and towns across India.

Conclusion – Give your view on the role played by civil servants and discuss way forward.

Background:-

  • India is ranked 77th among 190 countries by leapfrogging 23 ranks in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) 2018 rankings. This improvement should be welcomed as it will attract more investment, help the depreciating rupee, help towards structural reforms, boost entrepreneurship etc
  • Ease of doing business index has become a popular tool tracked by governments trying to show the world that they offer a favourable investment climate for private businessmen.

How bureaucracy contributes to ease of doing business:-

  • Higher bureaucracy has piloted reforms for India’s rank to improve in ease of doing business and is deeply committed to them. It was the Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), who started a system of ranking states, leading to intense competition amongst them. 
  • DIPP did a detailed analysis and gave a list of as many as 340 parameters of reform.
  • At the state level, they worked as a team to issue government orders, take policy decisions and monitor implementation etc

Limitations in the role played by civil servants:-

  • Despite having a common application form and online clearances in a time-bound manner, there remained a tendency to raise unnecessary issues and force the entrepreneur to visit the concerned government office.
  • Rent seeking behaviour also created issues.
  • The investor may receive an NOC from the pollution control board, but faces constant harassment from frequent visits by pollution control officers to his plant

Way forward:-

  • The mindset change can be brought about by repeated and rigorous training, linking the performance of officers with their positive contribution to reforms, and, also enforcing rules which minimise interference in business activity by predatory officers.

Topic- Indian polity issues.

4) Centre’s surveillance order challenges the supreme court’s verdict on privacy. Critically examine.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The December 20 order allowing 10 different Central agencies to snoop on people is seen as a challenge to the nine-judge Constitution Bench judgment of the Supreme Court, which directed the government to protect informational privacy of every individual. The above issue needs to be examined in detail.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain the order of the central government in detail and examine whether the order violated the spirit of the judgement given in puttaswamy case where supreme court upheld right to privacy and tried to balance the imperatives of individual rights versus national security. Finally, we need to provide our fair and balanced opinion on the order and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Critically 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the recent order and the controversy it creates.

Body

  • Highlight that the December 20 order allowing 10 different Central agencies to snoop on people is seen as a challenge to the nine-judge Constitution Bench judgment of the Supreme Court, which directed the government to protect informational privacy of every individual. The December 20 order allows central agencies — from the Intelligence Bureau to the Central Board of Direct Taxes to the Cabinet Secretariat (RAW) to the Commissioner of Delhi Police — to intercept, monitor and de-crypt “any information” generated, transmitted, received or stored in “any computer resource”. The government order is based on Section 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, and Rule 4 of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009.
  • Discuss issues arising because of the order. Discuss the verdict of the SC in Puttaswamy judgmental where apex court had asked the government to always carefully and sensitively balance individual privacy and the legitimate concerns of the state.
  • Also highlight that order does not provide the procedure or the object for such an exercise or the quantum of period for which a person’s private data could be intercepted
  • Discuss what needs to be done in such cases where national security is pitted against individual privacy

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

Background :-

  • Recently the government passed an order allowing 10 different Central agencies to snoop on people caused huge furore in the country.

Centre surveillance order :-

  • It allows central agencies from the Intelligence Bureau to the Central Board of Direct Taxes to the Cabinet Secretariat (RAW) to the Commissioner of Delhi Police  to intercept, monitor and de-crypt “any information” generated, transmitted, received or stored in “any computer resource”.
  • The government order is based on Section 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, and Rule 4 of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009..
  • In today’s times, when fake news and illegal activities such as cyber terrorism on the dark web are on the rise, the importance of reserving such powers to conduct surveillance cannot be undermined.

How is it against the judgement of supreme court’s right to privacy :-

  • Issues with the order:-
    • The order does not provide the procedure or the object for such an exercise or the quantum of period for which a person’s private data could be intercepted. 
    • Government has clarified that existing processes will be followed and every case of interception would continue to require permission from the home secretary and review by a panel headed by the cabinet secretary. However, even these processes do not have adequate safeguards against misuse
      • For example, in emergent situations a designated agency can approach a service provider and seek immediate access to electronic information. It would only need to notify the home secretary in three days. In case there is no post-facto approval in seven days, the interception will have to stop. Therefore agencies effectively have a blanket licence to snoop for a period of about ten days.
    • An individual may not even know if her electronic communications are being intercepted/monitored. If such surveillance comes within the person’s knowledge, due to the obligation to maintain confidentiality and provisions in the Official Secrets Act, the person would not be able to know the reasons for such surveillance. This can make surveillance provisions prone to misuse.
  • Goes against the nature of SC verdict:-
    • SC in Puttuswamy judgment had asked the government to always carefully and sensitively balance individual privacy and the legitimate concerns of the state. This has been neglected.

Way forward:-

  • Circumstances permitting such surveillance must be very clearly and narrowly defined.
  • Moreover, a measure of judicial oversight can be brought in as well.
  • In the US, security agencies require a court order to read unopened emails. India should consider similar safeguards.
  • Need for review committee:-
    • The role of the review committee is quite significant. The committee will aid in checking any arbitrariness in the exercise of these powers. 

General Studies – 3


Topic – Indian economy and issues related to employment

5) As one of the youngest countries in the world, going forward employment is going to be a major problem for the state. Analyze the issue and suggest how can we create employment opportunities for so many additions to the Labour Force?(250 words)

Livemint

Why this question

The article discusses the challenges related to employment that India is likely to face on account of its demography in the years to come and how India can successfully deal with this challenge. Hence this question would help us in preparing issues related to employment.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss how changing demography provides both opportunity and challenges with respect to employment and labour force participation. We need to bring out the issue and thereafter discuss how the challenges with respect to employment can be managed.

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 a young country and unfortunately for India job creation is not keeping pace with new addition to the Labour Force.

Body

  • Discuss the issues arising out of the young demography of the country –
    • Social tensions are rising as “two Indias” emerge from a demographic perspective. The north and east have high fertility rates, low labour force participation and high marginal employment. In contrast, the west and south have low fertility rates and, in some instances, is showing shortage of manpower. This is resulting in interstate migration, creating social tensions.
    • The north and east are likely to experience increasing social strife when a digitally alive population fails to fulfil their aspiration.
    • Creating large-scale local employment will be essential for inclusive growth, and is a key agenda for the country over the coming decade.
  • Discuss the issues with our current strategy of generating employment and how the situation can be improved.
    • Challenges to job creation are automation, labour laws serving as an entry barrier, challenges faced by MSME sector etc
    • Employment generation requires district-level effort for job creation that link local entrepreneurs to markets, with solutions that use local resources.
  • Discuss the alternative in detail

Conclusion – Emphasize on the importance of the task at hand and discuss way forward.

Background:-

  • India has one of the youngest populations in an aging world. By 2020, the median age in India will be just 28. Demographics can change the pace and pattern of economic growth. While China’s spectacular growth has already benefited from a demographic dividend, India is yet to do so.

Why employment is going to be a major problem for India:-

  • Low standards of education is harmful for India’s demographic dividend:-
    • The focus on rote learning and lack of creativity in education leads to inefficient workforce graduating from colleges which do not meet the requirements of the industry.
    • Many youngsters are clueless about their strengths and the career they should pursue. Inability to choose the right course impacts their career adversely. 
    • India is a culture focused on academic learning and professional qualifications. But today, due to volatile nature of the business environment, formal educational qualifications are not enough.
    • India is home to the world’s largest concentration of illiterate people in the world. It has made gains in human development, but challenges remain, including big barriers to secondary schooling, low-quality public services, and gender discrimination.
  • Lack of unemployment :
    • According to the International Labour Organisation, in 2016, the global unemployment rate for youth stood at 13.1%. Data by the Labour Bureau suggest that, during that period, India was on par with the global average i.e.., 13.2% of those between 18 and 29 years of age who were seeking a job in 2015-2016 remained unemployed.
    • Growth benefit of a demographic dividend is not automatic. A lot depends on whether the bulge in working population can be trained, and enough jobs created to employ the 10 million more people who will join the labour force every year.
    • There is mounting concern that future growth could turn out to be jobless due to de-industrialization, de-globalization, and the fourth industrial revolution and technological progress.
    • While digital technologies may enable the creation of new products and more productive jobs, they may also substitute existing jobs. India may not be able to take advantage of these opportunities, due to a low human capital base and lack of skills.
    • Lack of jobs combined with a demographic dividend will increase the share of the population that is dependent on the working population. This will increase the economic insecurity of the elderly, as there will be fewer people generating wealth.
  • How lack of skill is detrimental to exploiting India’s demographic dividend leading to unemployment :
    • According to the National Sample Survey, out of the 470 million people of working age in India, only 10% receive any kind of training or access to skilled employment opportunities.
    • There’s a huge mismatch between demand and supply when it comes to skilled workforce and employment opportunities, which could place a strain on the economy in the long run.
    • Though recent initiatives such as “Skill India Mission” aim to train and create an employable skilled talent pool of 500 million people by 2020, there still is a long way to go.
  • The north and east have high fertility rates, low labour force participation and high marginal employment. In contrast, the west and south have low fertility rates and, in some instances, is showing shortage of manpower. This is resulting in interstate migration, creating social tensions.

How to create employment opportunities:-

  • Indian companies have to work with high schools and colleges to upgrade the current education system with the latest technology and know-how.
  • There is a need to invest in research and analysis which will help build relevant training modules and syllabi as per the changing industry requirements.
  • The process of guiding youngsters along the right career path should begin early at school. 
    • Experienced career counsellors can help the students understand their potential and interests and on the basis of industry trends, guide them to choose the right course and form of training.
  • Companies have to identify and work with individuals in communities, where they operate to build and run specialised personality and soft skills development programmes that focus on body language, work ethics, time management, team management and communication skills.
    • Companies can also offer career counselling, vocational training and guidance through apprenticeships to high school graduates.
  • Investing in people through healthcare, quality education, jobs and skills helps build human capital, which is key to supporting economic growth, ending extreme poverty, and creating more inclusive societies. 
  • New technology could be exploited to accelerate the pace of building human capital, including massive open online courses and virtual classrooms.
  • High-quality education is one of the strongest ways for countries to reduce poverty, achieve gender equality, and create more jobs. Building human capital translates into higher rates of economic growth and job creation.
  • Focus on districts:-
    • Employment opportunities will require focus on smaller districts that house a majority of population and still remain rural or semi-urban and in some cases tribal.
    • Employment generation requires district-level effort for job creation that link local entrepreneurs to markets, with solutions that use local resources.
    • Agro-processing, dairy, non-timber forest product, local tourism are resources that are specific to a region or a district and should be a starting point for employment generation.
    • Local resources, production units, have to be better connected to the market for creating employment.

Topic: conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

6) For coral colonies that have taken millions of years to form, climate change poses a great threat that would affect millions of islanders across the world. Comment. (250 words)

The hindu

The hindu

Why this question

Coral reefs are a sensitive ecosystem which have been put to huge stress in the face of climate change. The recent IPCC report highlights the danger posed by the climate change to the corals and it is essential to discuss the issue in detail because coral reefs play a huge role in the ecosystem as well as the society.

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 threats faced by the coral reefs from climate change and how it will impact the environment and the society.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  declining health of corals across the world. E.g The Global Warming of 1.5ºC report of the IPCC has predicted that coral reefs would suffer a mass die-off by as soon as 2040, just 22 years away etc.

Body-

Discuss the issue in detail and bring out how the coral damage will impact millions of islanders across the world. E.g Corals, and the atolls and lagoons they form, are now in grave danger from global warming; Coral reefs would decline by 70-90% with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (more than 99%) would be lost with a rise of 2°C compared with pre industrial times- IPCC report; A quarter of all marine life depends on coral reefs, and over 500 million people worldwide rely on coral reefs for food security, economic well-being and cultural identity; A combination of rising ocean temperatures due to global warming and localised threats has resulted in the loss of 50% of reef-building corals in the past 30 years etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g there is an imperative to swiftly and drastically lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and effectively reducing local stresses to reefs and atolls.

Background:-

  • Recently a study found that coral reef cover in Lakshadweep has shrunk by as much as 40% in just 18 years.

Impact of climate change on corals:-

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s largest body of climate scientists and experts, in a special report called Global Warming of 1.5ºC painted a grim picture of the impacts of climate change if earth’s temperature continues to rise.
    • It also predicted that coral reefs would suffer a mass die-off by as soon as 2040.
    • Coral reefs would decline by 70-90% with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (more than 99%) would be lost with a rise of 2°C compared with preindustrial times
  • A quarter of all marine life depends on coral reefs, and over 500 million people worldwide rely on coral reefs for food security, economic well-being and cultural identity
  • A combination of rising ocean temperatures due to global warming and localised threats has resulted in the loss of 50% of reef-building corals in the past 30 years etc.

Impact of climate change on islanders :-

  • Climate change will cause continued increases in air and ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific, increased frequency of extreme weather events
    • This would entail distinct changes to the small, diverse, and isolated island ecosystems and biospheres .
  • Economic impact:-
    • As sea level rises island nations are at increased risk of losing coastal arable land to degradation as well as salinification. Once the limited available soil on islands is salinified it becomes very difficult to produce subsistence crops .This would severely impact the agricultural and commercial sector in Island nations
    • In addition local fisheries would also be severely affected by higher ocean temperatures and increased ocean acidification.
  • Biodiversity:-
    • As ocean temperatures rise and the pH of oceans increases, many fish and other marine species would die out or change their habits and range.
    • As well as this, water supplies and local ecosystems such as mangroves, are threatened by global warming.
  • Tourism:-
    • The tourism sector would be particularly threatened by increased occurrences of extreme weather events such as hurricanes and droughts.

Way forward:-

  • To save coral reefs, the Coral Reef Alliance has urged action on two fronts i.e.., swiftly and drastically lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and effectively reducing local stresses to reefs and atolls. 

Topic– Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

7) What do you understand by a responsible supply chain. Discuss. Also discuss what steps can be taken to make a supply chain responsible. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question

In the face of rapidly growing consumerism and climate change coupled with environmental degradation, it is imperative for us to make our supply chains sustainable. Therefore it is essential to under the concept of responsible supply chain in depth.

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the meaning and relevance of responsible supply chain management and also write in detail as to how a supply chain can be made responsible.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the growing size and importance of businesses etc.

Body-

  1. Discuss about the concept and its relevance in detail. E.g Over the years, businesses have evolved beyond purely profit making ventures and job creators to take on wider responsibilities around societal and environmental impact. It is now common for leading organizations to have robust corporate social responsibility policies in place covering a variety of themes from greenhouse gas emissions of their operations to treatment of their staff. There is also an expectation that this responsibility extends into the supply chain;
  2. Discuss how to make supply chains responsible etc E.g For a supply chain program to be truly sustainable it needs to be based around a sound business case; Expectations should be developed for the company’s suppliers. These should be based off existing respected standards, such as the UN’s Global Compact. This will help suppliers to put in place systems that can meet requirements; knowing who suppliers are, who supplies them, and so on. Knowing who suppliers are provides a better understanding of where efforts can have the greatest impact, where there is the most need, and where there is the most risk; ambitious but achievable targets need to be set and clearly communicated to suppliers. Posting targets and reporting supplier performance against them, helps to ensure there is momentum and buy-in; provide resources, guidance and training etc.

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

Responsible supply chain :-

  • A responsible supply chain is a link of business actors who jointly adopt, implement and coordinate values, strategies and tactics in order to connect all levels of corporate social responsibility to the business processes in the chain.
  • This definition reflects a collective (joint) responsibility to sustain a responsible supply chain. But the capabilities and resources, opportunities and power may vary significantly among the individual actors in a supply chain.
  • The responsible supply chain does not necessarily require all actors in the chain to equally implement all three dimensions of Corporate social responsibility and Supply chain management , even though the responsibility to do their best according to their resources and position in the chain remains.
  • The achievement of a responsible supply chain is a challenge. The number of actors and complexity of interaction between actors in the chain is high, the competition and cost pressure hard, cultural differences in a global chain are difficult to handle, and an unlimited number of demanding stakeholders makes the responsible supply chain a dynamic and sometimes ambiguous mission.
  • Over the years, businesses have evolved beyond purely profit making ventures and job creators to take on wider responsibilities around societal and environmental impact.
  • It is now common for leading organizations to have robust corporate social responsibility policies in place covering a variety of themes from greenhouse gas emissions of their operations to treatment of their staff. There is also an expectation that this responsibility extends into the supply chain.

How to make supply chains responsible :-

  • Keep it simple: 
    • Cost pressures mean there is often a tendency for supply chains to become more complex as companies try to trim overheads by switching suppliers. But this extra complexity, which sometimes results in the use of tiers of sub-contractors and impacts on supply chain visibility, inevitably exposes the buyer to increased risk
  • Make ethical considerations part of every buying decision
  • Businesses should collaborate, but stick to your principles:
    • Businesses should emphasise any ethical expectations, alongside any commercial ones. If sub-contracting is against the rules, make this clear and part of any contractual agreements. Tell the supplier what will happen if they are found to have breached the rules.
    • Customers and their markets need to know what businesses are doing and how the business is actively involved in supporting global development initiatives.
  • For a supply chain program to be truly sustainable it needs to be based around a sound business case.
  • Expectations should be developed for the company’s suppliers. These should be based off existing respected standards, such as the UN’s Global Compact. This will help suppliers to put in place systems that can meet requirements.
  • Knowing who suppliers are, who supplies them and so on :-
    • Knowing who suppliers are provides a better understanding of where efforts can have the greatest impact where there is the most need and where there is the most risk.
  • Ambitious but achievable targets need to be set and clearly communicated to suppliers. Posting targets and reporting supplier performance against them helps to ensure there is momentum and buy-in, provide resources, guidance and training etc.

General Studies – 4


Topic– part of the case studies series for ethics.

8) You’re a manager of a nonprofit organisation. Your supervisee has been a planned-giving fundraiser there for five years. Four years ago, his performance was poor because he was undergoing chemotherapy. Since then, it’s improved to average but, in the past few months has declined severely again—He’s raised only half as much money as before. He explains that his cancer has recurred and has spread to his lymph nodes, so he’s in the middle of a six-month round of chemotherapy and his prognosis is not good. He says he prefers to keep working but if you terminate him, he won’t file a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He is his family’s sole source of income and his non-profit salary is modest and so he has little in savings. He’s just getting by.

 

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 possible options available to us in the given circumstances and the ethical implications of those options. It also wants us to discuss as to what should be our response in such situation.

Structure of the answer

  1. Discuss the issue in detail and what are the options available. E.g
  1. a) retaining him: Most organizations but especially nonprofits espouse putting people above profits. To let him go when he’s been an acceptable performer and now has to endure treatment for recurred cancer would be hypocritical, especially since you know he is his family’s sole support and he’s saved little because he’s worked for nonprofits. From a pragmatic standpoint, letting him go would hurt the organization’s morale. Besides, with his cancer having recurred and in his lymph nodes, it’s unlikely he’d want or be able to stay employed for very long. Retaining him would be an appropriate “cost of doing business.”
    b) Firing him: Less money raised means less services to the many needy people the nonprofit services. He’s only one person. Yes he’s an employee but the wise person makes decisions mainly based on what will do the most good, not giving extra consideration to the person in front of you. You can mitigate the toll to staff morale by telling the employees the ethical basis for letting him go and giving them ample opportunity to process it. To help him financially, you might give a generous severance package. That would still save much money compared with keeping him on.
  1. Discuss your response along with the reason for such a response.

Answer :-

The case study deals with ethical issues based on compassion and empathy vs efficiency and has the following people as stakeholders i.e.., the employee, manager, society etc 

The options available are :-

  • Retain him :-
    • Most organizations but especially nonprofits espouse putting people above profits.
    • To let him go when he’s been an acceptable performer and now has to endure treatment for recurred cancer would be hypocritical, especially since I know he is his family’s sole support and he’s saved little because he’s worked for nonprofits.
    • From a pragmatic standpoint, letting him go would hurt the organization’s morale.
    • However as his cancer has recurred and in his lymph nodes, it’s unlikely the employee would want or be able to stay employed for very long. Retaining him would be an appropriate cost of doing business as well.
  • Not retain him :-
    • Less money raised means less services to the many needy people the nonprofit services.
    • Even though he’s an employee but the wise person makes decisions mainly based on what will do the most good, not giving extra consideration to the person in front of you.
    • I can improve the staff morale by telling the employees the ethical basis for letting him go and giving them ample opportunity to process it.
    • To help him financially, I can give a generous severance package. That would still save much money compared with keeping him on.
  • I would follow the following course of action i.e., I can give him leave for the duration of the treatment and can ask him to join once his treatment is over :-
    • I would choose to give the employee a holiday and tell him to focus on his health and permit him to join after the treatment is over.
    • The credibility of NGO would only be legitimized due to this course of action as the organisation’s primary goal of welfare to people also means welfare to its employees.
    • I will also ensure that he files a claim under Americans with disabilities act so that he can get compensation or insurance for expenses of his treatment.
    • When the organization is true to its motto and its employees there are greater chances of people donating more to the NGO fund as well .