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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 JANUARY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 29 JANUARY 2019


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.


Topic – The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

1) Discuss Lala Lajpat Rai’s role as someone who embraced diversity as a crucial element of national culture?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

The article discusses the views of lala Lajpat Rai regarding the role of diversity as an element of Indian culture and its usefulness for the freedom struggle. Lala Lajpat Rai is an important personality of the freedom struggle and hence this article is important.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the views of lala Lajpat Rai with regards to diversity of India and relate it to how crucial an element it was in the national culture and freedom struggle.

Directive word

Discuss – Here your discussion should focus on bringing out the views of lala Lajpat Rai with regards to diversity in India and highlight the importance of his views.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the role of lala Lajpat Rai in freedom struggle.

Body

  • Discuss the evolution of his views with respect to diversity in India.
    • Having earlier conceived of Hindus and Muslims as separate “religious nationalities”, by 1915, he proclaimed that “religious nationalism” was a “false idea”, embodying a “narrow sectarianism” which could never be “truly national”. “Religion was a matter of individual faith,” he proclaimed, which “must not interfere with the common civil life of the country”. Instead, every person must transcend their religious community to realise their larger common interest as Indians.
    • Lajpat Rai argued that India’s natural geography brilliantly marked it off from the rest of the world, endowing its people with a common nationhood. At times, he pronounced that Indians — whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Parsi — were a common race. He argued that Indian Muslims were descendants of the Aryan race who had merely converted to Islam — they continued to be influenced by their ancestral Aryan-Hindu culture.
    • dismissed the idea that nations of the world comprised of single pure races to proudly proclaim that the Hindus, Muslims and Christians of India were a “racial mix-up”.
  • Discuss the significance of his views for the freedom struggle

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced summary of the views of lala Lajpat Rai and its significance.

Introduction:

                One of  the  legendary  triumvirate – Lal-Bal-Pal ( Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal  Gangadhar  Tilak and  Bipin Chandra  Pal)  of  India’s freedom movement against the British colonial  rule, Lala Lajpat Rai  was  a multi-faceted  personality and led a life of ceaseless activity dedicated to a self-less service to the nation. He realized that “the British people were indifferent to Indian affairs and the British press was not willing to champion Indian aspirations” as some Moderates believed.

Body:

Rai has been seen as “a champion of moral courage than of physical courage” and was aware of the basic problems of the society. The evolution of his views with respect to diversity in India  are

  • Rai was an advocate of an assertive Hindu politics, exemplified by his participation in the Punjab Hindu Sabha in 1909 and Hindu Mahasabha in the mid-1920s.
  • However, his vision of Hindu politics was very different from the exclusivist Hindu nationalism that demanded that either India’s religious minorities be forcefully assimilated into Hindu culture or be excluded from the nation.
  • Before 1915, Rai conceived of Hindus and Muslims as separate “religious nationalities”.
  • But post 1915, he proclaimed that “religious nationalism” was a “false idea”, embodying a “narrow sectarianism” which could never be “truly national”.
  • He became a staunch supporter of the idea that Religion was a matter of individual faith which “must not interfere with the common civil life of the country.
  • He also believed that every person must transcend their religious community to realise their larger common interest as Indians.
  • Lajpat Rai argued that India’s natural geography brilliantly marked it off from the rest of the world, endowing its people with a common nationhood.
  • He argued that Indian Muslims were descendants of the Aryan race who had merely converted to Islam.
  • He sometimes ceased speaking of a common Hindu culture to talk of a larger distinctive Indian culture that bound India’s diverse peoples.
  • His embrace of diversity as a crucial ingredient of national culture was evident in his strong aversion to the imposition of a homogenous culture on the Indian nation.

The significance of his views for the freedom struggle are as follows

  • His views helped recognize the importance of a united front against British.
  • The British efforts to divide India on communal lines as seen in the Acts of 1909 and 1919 was made clear to Indian leadership .
  • His thoughts of cultural diversity were given post independence by Nehru as ‘Unity in Diversity’.
  • His idea of people of all religions as true citizens of India, combined with Gandhiji’s ideas of inclusive fight against British led to Non- Cooperative movement linked with the Khilafat movement.
  • Rai’s understanding of the societal issues led him to form various social organizations like All India Trade Union Congress, Punjab National Bank which are still flourishing in India.

Conclusion:

Lala Lajpat Rai dismissed the idea that nations of the world comprised of single pure races to proudly proclaim that the Hindus, Muslims and Christians of India were a “racial mix-up. His notions of respect of diversity are very vital in today’s Indian society which is being polarized on simple issues. There is a need of tolerance and fraternity among the people for a Vibrant and Resurgent India.     


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

2) The endorsement of bankruptcy law and its provisions by supreme court marks an end of “defaulter’s paradise”. Examine.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Financialexpress

Why this question

The article focuses on what it means now that the supreme court has upheld the insolvency and bankruptcy code in its entirely. The code has made a marked improvement in improving the insolvency proceedings in our country and the article examines how the verdict will make it even better.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain how IBC helps in dealing with defaulters, the reason why it was challenged in the court, details of the SC verdict and the implications of the same.

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the IBC.

Body

  • Discuss the issues with the code that were bring challenge
    • Section 29A of IBC
    • Section 12A of IBC etc
  • Discuss the verdict of the supreme court and how it helps in putting an end to defaulter’s paradise
    • tightening of section 29A which ensures that wilful defaulters or those who have been classified as NPAs for more than a year will not be eligible to submit a resolution plan. This means bankers will now be able to recover their dues faster.
    • apex court’s ruling establishes the hierarchy of creditors with bankers now right on top and operational creditors (OCs) below them; OCs were seeking a status equal to that of financial creditors and a seat on the Committee of Creditors. The judges noted that OCs had enough safeguards to protect their interests.
    • This ruling has far-reaching implications for the promoters of big defaulting companies on the block such as Essar Steel and Bhushan Power & Steel

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.

Introduction:

                The Government of India implemented the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to consolidate all laws related to insolvency and bankruptcy and to tackle Non-Performing Assets (NPA), a problem that has been pulling the Indian economy down for years.

                Before the introduction of IBC, it took companies about four to five years to dissolve its operations; the number has dropped drastically to a year. This has not only increased the ease of doing business but also imbibed a stronger sense of trust in lenders and investors.

Body:

Certain sections of the IBC were posing a challenge to the process:

  • Section 29 of IBC:
    • It disallows defaulting promoters and related persons from bidding for assets.
    • The intent is very clear that the defaulting promoters should not be in the driver’s seat once again.
    • It ensures that wilful defaulters or those who have been classified as NPAs for more than a year will not be eligible to submit a resolution plan.
  • Section 12A of IBC:
    • It allows the corporate debtor another chance to make good on the default and retain control over the firm even after the case is admitted to NCLT.
    • Under this provision, the adjudicating authority may allow the case to be withdrawn from insolvency proceedings if 90 per cent of the committee of creditors (CoCs) agrees to it.
    • Financial creditors, who form the CoC, may agree to such a proposal from the corporate debtor if the settlement amount offered is greater than the value they expect to receive through the IBC process.
    • Operational creditors provide services to companies and have the right to initiate insolvency proceedings if their payments are defaulted upon. But code bars them for participating in the resolution process through the committee of creditors.

The above sections had become contentious and the constitutional validity of IBC was questioned as a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court rejected the challenges mounted by some promoters who had defaulted. It upheld the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in its entirety, putting an end to the doubts and issues raised.

The verdict helps in putting an end to defaulter’s paradise as

  • IBC manages to get an exit mechanism which would help the reallocation of capital and ease the huge debt burden of banks in India.
  • IBC has become an effective tool for creditors, with a threat to refer a case under the insolvency law helping force many debtors to come to the negotiating table.
  • In 1,500 cases admitted until end-December 2018, only 79 ended in an approval of the resolution plans and liquidation in a little over 300 cases. The verdict will now help the numbers to rise further.
  • The Court has directed the government to set up circuit benches within six months to quicken the process of reducing pile of bad debts.
  • Tightening of section 29A which ensures that wilful defaulters or those who have been classified as NPAs for more than a year will not be eligible to submit a resolution plan. This means bankers will now be able to recover their dues faster.
  • the verdict establishes the hierarchy of creditors with bankers now right on top and operational creditors (OCs) below them.
  • Lowering the voting threshold for creditors to 66%, from 75%, is another pragmatic move which will prevent a handful of lenders from disrupting the process and pushing the company towards liquidation.

Conclusion:

                IBC as a structural reform has demonstrable impact, which is reflected in behavioural change among debtors, creditors and other stakeholders, it is the IBC or the insolvency law which has trumped even the GST. The Supreme Court’s verdict upholding the IBC is in entirety is a shot in the arm for the law, reducing the NPA crisis and big boost to ease of doing business.

           


    

Topic–  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

3) What are the measures which can help reduce agrarian distress in the country. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

India is reeling under a protracted agrarian distress and the importance of agriculture in India’s society, economy and polity cannot be overstated. In this context it is important to discuss what measures should be taken to rescue India’s agriculture from the distressing situation it is in today.

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 measures required to alleviate agricultural distress in India. In our approach we should be as pragmatic and practical as possible.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  agriculture and its importance in India. E.g mention the share of agriculture in total GDP and employment. Also mention that Agrarian distress, in the present context, is mainly in terms of low agricultural prices and, consequently, poor farm incomes.

Body-

Discuss in points as to what measures should be taken to help alleviate the agricultural distress in India. E.g

  • Raising the MSP, price deficiency payments or income support schemes can only be a partial solution to the problem of providing remunerative returns to farmers.
  • A sustainable solution is market reforms to enable better price discovery combined with long-term trade policies favourable to exports.
  • The creation of a competitive, stable and unified national market is needed for farmers to get better prices.
  • The next issue is the low productivity of Indian agriculture. Basics such as seeds, fertilizers, credit, land and water management and technology are important and should not be forgotten. Similarly, investment in infrastructure and research and development are needed.
  • water-use efficiency can be improved significantly with better use of technologies that include drip irrigation.
  • We need to have policies for land consolidation along with land development activities in order to tackle the challenge of the low average size of holdings etc.

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

Introduction:

                Agrarian distress, in the present context, is mainly in terms of low agricultural prices and, consequently, poor farm incomes. Low productivity in agriculture and related supply side factors are equally important. An issue that is connected is the declining average size of farm holdings and the viability of this size for raising farm incomes.

Body:

                Government has set up many committees like Swaminathan committee and the recent Ashok Dalwai committee to give solutions to agrarian distress in India. The measures that can help agrarian distress in the country are as follows:

  • Credit, finance and Insurance:
    • Raising the MSP, price deficiency payments or income support schemes can only be a partial solution to the problem of providing remunerative returns to farmers.
    • A functional institutional credit system which is accessible and accountable to all cultivators.
    • This covers not only land-owning farmers but also sharecroppers, tenants, adivasi and women farmers, and animal-rearers.
    • Credit products for agriculture need to be tailor-made based on cropping and rain cycle, specific to a particular region. The regional offices of commercial banks should contribute in this exercise. Registration of all cultivators and providing Kisan credit cards.
    • The period of crop loan should be extendable to four years, given that, on average, every second or third year the spatial distribution of rain pattern is erratic in India.
  • Land holdings:
  • The average size of farm holdings declined from 2.3 hectares in 1970-71 to 1.08 hectares in 2015-16.
  • Policies for land consolidation along with land development activities in order to tackle the challenge of the low average size of holdings.
  • Farmers can voluntarily come together and pool land to gain the benefits of size. Through consolidation, farmers can reap the economies of scale both in input procurement and output marketing.
  • Input Costs:
    • It is more important to make agriculture sustainable by reducing input costs of seeds, fertilizers and other inputs.
    • Investment in infrastructure and research and development are needed.
    • There is a need for collaboration of industry-academia for coming out with cost-effective solutions to agrarian distress.
    • There is a need to make a shift from rice and wheat-centric policies to millets, pulses, fruits, vegetables, livestock and fish.
  • Remunerative Prices:
    • Extending reach of minimum support price which has been dedicated to few crops and in a narrow geographical area is important.
    • Set up of Futures and Trade markets, tie up of farmer and private companies for procurement should be looked into as alternative methods against distress sale.
  • Agro- Produce Marketing and Processing:
    • The creation of a competitive, stable and unified national market is needed for farmers to get better prices.
    • For better price for farmers, agriculture has to go beyond farming and develop a value chain comprising farming, wholesaling, warehousing, logistics, processing and retailing.
    • The agro-processing industry and warehousing needs to expand so that agricultural produce can be stored when prices plunge.
    • Promoting viable farmer collectives to act as a “collective voice of marginal and small farmers”.
    • Legislations on the basis of NITI Aayog’s new model law — Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitating) Act (APLM) should be enacted in all states.
    • A sustainable solution is market reforms to enable better price discovery combined with long-term trade policies favourable to exports.
  • Technology:
    • Use water-use efficient technologies that can improve significantly the produce like drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation.
    • Precision agriculture, GM Crops should be encouraged drought prone areas.
    • Space technology and Mobiles should act as “Eyes and Ears” of the farmers to assist in farming.
  • Distress Management:
    • Establish farmers’ distress and disaster relief commissions at the national and State levels, based on the model of Kerala Farmers’ Debt Relief Commission.

Conclusion:

Farmers’ distress is due to low prices and low productivity. Limited procurement, measures to improve low productivity, and consolidation of land holdings to gain the benefits of size, can help in reducing agrarian distress. The challenge before government is to deliver on the institutional solutions backed by a long term policy demanded by farmers as against temporary solutions of loan waivers.


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

4) What do you understand by 5g technology? Discuss the advantages it offers? (250 words)

 

Key demand of the question

The question is quite straightforward in its demand. Explain what the technology, the characteristics which set it apart and the advantages of this technology.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain that 5G is a wireless communication technology. It is the next generation mobile networks technology after 4G LTE networks. The final standard for 5G will be set up by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Body

  • Explain about 5g technology. The 5G Connectivity is name given to latest Technology in Internet technology that would ensure Fast Broadband Speeds along with capacity to perform well without regionalisation barriers. Characteristics Of 5G – Fast Speeds, Reliable, Higher Bandwidth, Low Latency Rate, Mobile Connectivity with many interconnected devices
  • Discuss its advantages such as
    • As per the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Committee on Digital Economic Policy, 5G technologies rollout will help in increasing GDP, creating employment and digitizing the economy.
    • The 5G technology will offer far greater upload and download speed available today.
    • This will help cloud systems to stream software updates, music, and navigation data to driverless cars. In other words, it will help aid incorporate Artificial Intelligence in our lives.
    • It will enable Smart devices to exchange data seamlessly providing the ecosystem for Internet of Things (IoT)

Conclusion – Discuss the immense application of 5g technology and how India should move ahead with respect to 5g.

 

Introduction:

5G is the fifth generation mobile network. It’s a unified platform which is much more capable than previous mobile services with more capacity, lower latency, faster data delivery rate and better utilisation of spectrum. The standards for the usage of 5G are defined and driven by 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

Body:

Characteristics of 5G technology:

The potential advantages it offers:

Challenges present to adapt to 5G are:

  • Indian operators have far less spectrum in comparison to international operators. This increases their cost of operations.
  • Many of the Indian operators are also weighed down by debt.
  • Faster rounds of new technology introduction when prior technology investments have not been recouped add further complexity.

Way forward:

  • Need to align Digital India with 5G technology.
  • Incentivize design and manufacture of 5G technologies, products and solutions in India.
  • Allocate funds and incentivise local technology and telecom firms to develop their internal capacities which would in turn help 5G technology succeed in the country
  • Promote 5G start-ups that enable this design and manufacturing capabilities.
  • Promote generation of IPR backing the above designs.
  • Manufacture of 5G chipsets, this may require massive investments.
  • Appropriate test-beds and technology platforms to enable and help Indian technical ecosystem to have an edge in 5G.
  • Accelerated deployment of next generation ubiquitous ultra-high broadband infrastructure with 100% coverage of 10 Gbps across urban India and 1 Gbps across Rural India.

Conclusion:

5G will act as the catalyst for Digital India—a watershed moment in digital transformation. India is at the cusp of a next generation of wireless technology 5G. It provides an opportunity for industry to reach out to global markets, and consumers to gain with the economies of scale. It can help in better service delivery, faster access to services and deeper penetration of digital services.

Extra Information:

  • The Steering Committee constituted for identifying the 5G deployment roadmap for India has submitted its 5G high level forum report titled ‘Making India 5G Ready’ to Telecom Secretary.
  • The key recommendations and action plan for the report include spectrum policy; regulatory policy; education and awareness promotion; application and use case labs; participation in international standards; development of application layer standards; and major 5G trials.
  • It has also asked for setting up a Standing Committee with five-year term to advice on building Spectrum Technology Infrastructure.

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

5) Discuss about the CRISPR gene editing technology and the concerns raised by it.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question

The CRISPR technology is a revolutionary technology which has enhanced our capabilities to edit genetic information. It finds use in many cutting edge research and clinical programmes. It is therefore important to discuss in detail about the technology as well as issues raised by it.

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 CRISPR gene editing technology- a brief description, scope and its use. It also wants us to write in detail about the concerns raised by the technology.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  CRISPR technology. E.g Often described as “a pair of molecular scissors,” CRISPR is widely considered the most precise, most cost-effective and quickest way to edit genes.

Body-

  1. Discuss further about the technology in detail. E.g
  • CRISPR forms an integral part of the “immune system” in bacteria, allowing them to fight off invading viruses. When a virus enters the bacteria, it fights back by cutting up the virus’ DNA. This kills the virus and the bacteria stores some of the leftover DNA.
  • The leftover DNA is like a fingerprint, stored in the CRISPR database. If invaded again, the bacteria produce an enzyme called Cas9 that acts like a fingerprint scanner. Cas9 uses the CRISPR database to match the stored fingerprints with those of the new invader. If it can find a match, Cas9 is able to chop up the invading DNA.
  • Its potential applications are far-reaching, affecting conservation, agriculture, drug development and how we might fight genetic diseases. It could even alter the entire gene pool of a species.
  • It might be used to fight HIV infection, combat invasive species and destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • One particular leap in cancer therapy options is the genetic modification of T cells, a type of white blood cell that’s critical for the human immune system etc.
  1. Discuss the concerns raised by the technology. E.g
  • One of the chief barriers to getting CRISPR effectively working in humans is the risk of “off-target effects.” When CRISPR is tasked with hunting down a gene, it sometimes finds genes that look very similar to its target and cuts them, too.
  • An unintended cut may cause mutations in other genes, leading to pathologies such as cancer, or it may have no effect at all
  • Gene editing can also be used to edit embryos and thus, change the human gene pool.

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

 

Introduction:

        CRISPRs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) are sections of DNA, while CAS-9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) is an enzyme. Often described as “a pair of molecular scissors,” CRISPR is widely considered the most precise, most cost-effective and quickest way to edit genes.

A scientist in China created the world’s first genetically edited babies, in a potentially ground-breaking and controversial medical first. He Jiankui created the world’s first gene-edited babies last November using the genetic technique CRISPR (or CRISPR-Cas9).

 

Body:

CRISPR technology is basically a gene-editing technology that can be used for the purpose of altering genetic expression or changing the genome of an organism. The technology can be used for targeting specific stretches of an entire genetic code or editing the DNA at particular locations. CRISPR technology is a simple yet powerful tool for editing genomes. It allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function. Its many potential applications include correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases and improving crops.

 Working of CRISPR-CAS9 Technology:

  • CRISPR-Cas9 technology behaves like a cut-and-paste mechanism on DNA strands that contain genetic information.
  • The specific location of the genetic codes that need to be changed, or “edited”, is identified on the DNA strand, and then, using the Cas9 protein, which acts like a pair of scissors, that location is cut off from the strand.
  • A DNA strand, when broken, has a natural tendency to repair itself.
  • Scientists intervene during this auto-repair process, supplying the desired sequence of genetic codes that binds itself with the broken DNA strand.

But editing the genes using CRISPR-CAS9 raises grave safety, social, and ethical concerns.

  • Study by Stanford University, U.S. , found that the CRISPR-Cas9 system introduces unexpected off-target (outside of the intended editing sites) effects in mice. The fear that the CRISPR system is being prematurely rushed for clinical use lingers. Three recent reports have exacerbated this fear even further.
  • Studies highlighted that CRISPR-Cas9-edited cells might trigger cancer.
  • P53 protein:
    • CRISPR-Cas9 system induced activation of a protein called P53. This P53 protein acts like a gatekeeper or guardian in the cells to keep them healthy and prevents them (the cells) from turning cancerous. In many cancers, cells lose their ability to repair deleterious genetic changes due to an impaired P53 function.
    • In cells where editing is adequate, the cell’s P53 protein may be dysfunctional. Therefore, a functional pP53 protein is good for the cells to be healthy but makes the Cas9-mediated editing process less effective.
  • The impending danger of mosaicism, in which some cells inherit the target mutation, while others don’t.
  • Scientists are far from understanding how exactly individual genes influence phenotypes, or the visible traits of people.
  • Every gene likely influences multiple traits, depending on the environment it interacts This makes it hard to predict the ultimate outcome of an embryo-editing exercise without decades of follow-up.
  • Every gene influences trade-offs, which scientists barely understand today. Example: while protecting against HIV, a deactivated CCR5 gene can also make people more susceptible to West-Nile Fever.
  • Editing human embryos to repair disease-causing genes is far more controversial.
  • Issue of Designer babies: The eyes of the mother, the hair of the father, the complexion from the maternal side and a cute little dimple from the paternal is what makes the kid loved by one and all. Designing the babies to look like celebrities might get the kids to thank you later in life but might loosen the bond that is supposed to be the significant part of the relationship.
  • There are prospects of irreversible harms to the health of future children and generations, to concerns about opening the door to new forms of social inequality, discrimination, and conflict.
  • Such living experiments are done in secret, outside of any formal institution, and apparently without any independent scrutiny or review by the scientific fraternity.
  • Bioethicists fear abuse of gene editing, not just by misguided governments hoping to create a ‘superior’ race.

 

Way Forward:

 

  • India’s current regulatory architecture for approving novel treatments is ambiguous and assigns overlapping functions to different governmental bodies. This framework needs to be restructured to optimize trial approval time while addressing safety requirements.
  • A two-step model wherein the government works with industry and research groups to accelerate clinical research is recommended. This model consists of a national apex committee working in collaboration with existing institutional ethics committees and independent accreditation agencies.
  • It is envisaged that, India will emerge as a significant contributor to the world bioinformatics market and position itself as a global hub for bioinformatics.
  • Indian bioinformatics sector has numerous strengths and competitive advantages to make bioinformatics sector a sunrise industry of India.
  • With the improvements in the IPR regime, increasing support from the government and continuing efforts of the private sector companies, it is very much likely that India could repeat its IT success story in bioinformatics too.
  • Much research on animal models and isolated human cells should be conducted before any full-scale routine application in humans.

 

Conclusion:

CRISPR technology is indeed a path-breaking technology, to alter genes in order to tackle a number of conventional and unconventional problems, especially in the health sector. However, experiments and tests to validate its use must be subjected to appropriate scrutiny by the regulators, and their use must be controlled to prevent commercial misuse.


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

6) India has huge opportunity to become an AI specialist but there are several challenges involved therein . Critically analyze.(250 words)

Reference

Timesofindia

Why this question

India has been touted as one of the leading AI ready nations in the world. However the progress has not been upto the mark especially in comparison to countries like China. In this context it is important to analyze the extent to which India is an AI specialist.

Directive word

Critically analyze-  here we have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts, and present them as a whole in a summary. based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– mention a recent international survey which highlights India’s performance vis a vis AI technology. E.g In a recent survey announced that India is the 13th most advanced country the world in terms of the development of artificial intelligence technologies.

Body-

  1. Discuss the progress and achievements of India in this regard. E.g
  • In the last few years, numerous entrepreneurs have come up with AI-based services in applications ranging from farming to healthcare and education.
  • We have also seen the government undertaking initiatives to adapt AI in its policies as well. It has partnered with several AI institutes to implement AI projects.
  • It is these AI projects that have helped the country do so well in the field. Also, partnering with various reputed international AI institutes has helped the country develop an effective AI strategy.
  • NITI Aayog’s unique brand called #AIforAll is an approach that focuses on how India can leverage the transformative technologies to ensure social and inclusive growth in line with the development philosophy of the government.
  • With this initiative, it has extended its support in the areas of healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure and smart mobility and transportation sectors.
  • Andhra Pradesh government has been using cloud management and data storage in governance to resolve issues of the people in the state.
  • Big Indian companies such as Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are setting up AI labs. Indian IT services giants such as Infosys and Wipro are making huge investments in AI etc.
  1. Discuss the limitations and challenges lying ahead. E.g

a) Lack of enabling data ecosystems

b) Low intensity of AI research

c) Core research in fundamental technologies

d) Transforming core research into market applications

e) Inadequate availability of AI expertise, manpower and skilling opportunities

f) High resource cost and low awareness for adopting AI in business processes

g) Unclear privacy, security and ethical regulations

h) Unattractive Intellectual Property regime to incentivise research and adoption of AI

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

 

Introduction:

        A recent survey announced that India is the 13th most advanced country in the world in terms of the development of artificial intelligence technologies. Over the past decade, India has flourished greatly in AI.

Body:

        Over the last few years, tech services industry in India has had a significant impact on its economy and accounted for 7.7% of India’s GDP in 2016.

India’s progress and achievements in AI is due to the huge opportunities available to it:

  • Government Policies:
    • The Indian Government’s push to catapult the services into 4th IR by supporting policies in leveraging AI.
    • In 2018, the Policy Commission of India, that is the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), launched an AI-focused research programme. It came up with a National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.
    • NITI Aayog’s unique brand called #AIforAll is an approach that focuses on how India can leverage the transformative technologies to ensure social and inclusive growth in line with the development philosophy of the government.
    • Example: NITI Aayog using AI is its development of an AI-based crop yield prediction model for a real-time advisory to farmers on crop yield and pest outbreak.
    • The state governments are putting their best foot forward in making use of AI.
    • Example: the Andhra Pradesh government has been using cloud management and data storage in governance to resolve issues of the people in the state.
  • Talent Pool:
    • A copious pool of STEM talent and with growing population of youngsters, India will be banking on AI for its economic growth and improvement in quality of life of its citizens.
    • There are more than 200 AI-based startups in India that are helping different sectors.
    • IT industry body Nasscom is setting up Centre of Excellence (COE) in AI in Karnataka and Telangana with companies like IBM, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Intel and AWS, on the lines of its successful 10,000 Startups program.
  • Collaborations & Partnerships:
    • There are many collaborations and partnerships that the country involves itself in when dealing with the advancement of AI.
    • These partnerships are not just within the country but also across the globe.
    • Example: Tech giant Microsoft is working with the state government to predict dropout rates in government schools in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It makes use of AI to predict with some margin of error, who among the current cohort are likely to drop out.
  • Market:
    • India has burgeoning market with about 750 million potential users with diverse choices and needs.

However, there are limitations and challenges to this booming sector:

  • Connectivity
    • A fundamental challenge with regards to the development of AI in India is the quality of connectivity in the country.
    • India has taken great strides in improving access to the internet over the last decade; the internet penetration rate reached 30 percent in 2016—a huge jump from less than 4 percent in 2006.
    • The development of future AI technologies is closely linked to 5G networks.
    • India is not expected to begin rolling out 5G networks until 2020, and it may take up to five years to fully deploy.
    • Example: for complicated uses of AI, such as self-driving cars, decision-making must happen at near zero latency.
  • AI ‘black box’:
    • India’s AI strategy stands out for its overt focus on the social sector—but the implications of such use in the social sector are not fully clear.
    • Given a data set, AI is trained to perform a particular task. This can lead to many negative real-world implications, as AIs can be biased by the data set they are exposed to.
  • AI Ecosystem:
    • Lack of enabling data ecosystems and very low intensity of AI research.
    • High resource cost and low awareness for adopting AI in business processes.
    • Transforming core research into market applications is a challenge.
    • High Global competition from big players like USA (Amazon, Walmart); China (Tiktok, Helo).
  • Quality of STEM talent:
    • The low-quality of higher education in India and the significant brain drain from the best institutions over the last several decades.
    • The 2018 India Skills Report found that only 45 percent of graduates are employable.
    • India also has a shortage of qualified faculty to teach AI courses.
    • The ‘brain drain’ that happens from the best technical institutions across India to developed markets globally.
  • Security issues:
    • Unclear privacy, security and ethical regulations are hindering the AI start-ups.
    • Data-thefts, cyber attacks of big data, AI devices can leave many vulnerable as many AI apps are in the social sector.
    • The huge battery of data on which AI works is a potential target of anti-social elements like terrorists, child-pornography etc.
    • Users fear to try out the new products due to safety and security issues.
    • Unattractive Intellectual Property regime to incentivise research and adoption of AI for the companies.

The 2018 India Skills Report found that only 45 percent of graduates are employable

Way Forward:

  • A strong policy-framework defining our path.
  • Improve connectivity through BharatNet.
  • Create incentives to reverse the ‘brain drain’.
  • Training programs for AI.
  • Industry- Academia collaboration should be pushed.
  • Strengthen the data security and regulation for AI products.

Conclusion:

        With a rich spread of talent in the sector of computer science and data science and the related fields, the country is making its mark in the AI world market. India must make the most out of the 4th IR to benefit the socio-economic problems of herself and similar countries across the world.


Topic– Role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7) Media plays an important role in inculcating and shaping our values.  Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

Directive word

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

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the role of media as an agent of inculcating and shaping our values and value system.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  growth and importance of media in our life and society.

Body-

  • Mention that over the last two decades the media industry has changed at a breakneck pace due to these adjustments and wholesale development of the industry. New media have joined the arena while others have been forced to grow. These changes have been brought by advancements in technology and media usage.
  • Discuss in points, what role does media play vis a vis value inculcation and development. E.g
  1. ERADICATING STEREOTYPE: Media is more likely to affect our beliefs about reality when an individual do not have first-hand experiences to rely upon. Thus, in the case of ethnic stereotypes at least, one would more easily accept media primes about such groups if individual did not have first-hand experience to complicate them.
  2. CONCEPTUALIZING ABOUT THE WORLD: Media influences us in one way by shaping our subjective understanding of reality, i.e. our beliefs about the world— what it is and how it works, etc. Even though the creators of media messages may not intend to change attitudes or beliefs, over time the media consumer tends to believe that the real world resembles the world presented in media. 3.

ATTITUDE : As already mentioned above, previous media research showed that the intent to actively change social attitudes did not work in early media campaigns. Instead, ironically, people being persuaded by media messages that weren’t even designed to change attitudes or behavior.

  1. “IDENTIFICATION” AS A FACTOR OF SOCIALIZATION:Any individual specially the present time generation acquires values and lifestyle through imitation of “socialized actors”. Acquisition of values is not given entity but it is a result of action.

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

 

Introduction:

        Media refers to the communication channels through which we disseminate news, music, movies, education, promotional messages and other data. It includes physical and online newspapers and magazines, television, radio, billboards, telephone, the Internet, fax and billboards.

        Media from the value development point of view build desirable form of thinking and ability to deal with issues related to values. The role of the mass media in influencing the values is becoming increasingly very high.

Body:

Media’s positive role in shaping our values:

  • Eradicating stereotype: Media is more likely to affect our beliefs about reality when an individual don’t have first-hand experiences to rely upon.
    • Example: The injustice meted out to transgenders is due to the stereotype is now reducing due to plight being spread by the media. The recent Supreme Court verdict decriminalizing section 377 of IPC is also educated and sensitizing people to be compassionate and empathetic by media.
  • Conceptualizing about the world: Media influences us in one way by shaping our subjective understanding of reality, i.e. our beliefs about the world— what it is and how it works.
    • Example: Movies made about various social issues like child labour, untouchability, human trafficking show the true plight of the sufferers. Media has helped tackle many such issues through awareness, education of the people.
  • Attitude: media research showed that the intent to actively change social attitudes did not work in early media campaigns. Instead, ironically, people being persuaded by media messages that weren’t even designed to change attitudes or behavior.
    • Example: Swatch Bharat Abhiyan, is majorly a behavioural and attitudinal change towards sanitation and hygiene. The media and celebrities with their SBM challenges have influenced people to keep their surroundings clean by imbibing civic sense.
  • “Identification” as a factor of Socialization: Any individual specially the present time generation acquires values and lifestyle through imitation of “socialized actors”. Acquisition of values is not given entity but it is a result of action.
    • Example: media has played a major role in making Delhi gang rape victim DAMINI the focal point of attention, with high level discussion over ways to be adopted to stop these terrible crimes.
  • Transparency & Accountability: The incorporation of media in various walks of life has increased the answerability of many responsible figures. This has in turn increased the credibility of the faithful.
    • Example: e-Governance, RTI act has brought in the values of accountability and transparency among the government and its functionaries.

Media’s negative role in shaping our values:

  • Sensationalization of news by media houses, lack of free and fair media due to patronage by politicians, business conglomerates lead to lack of objectivity, impartiality in media.
  • Social media is today used to radicalise people based on religious values and recruit for heinous activities against humanity and society. It inculcates the negative values like hatred, violence, communal disharmony and intolerance.
  • Paid news, Fake news and communal propaganda undermine the democratic values of our society of fraternity, tolerance and mutual love and trust towards other fellowmen.
  • Obscene and violent content like child pornography, rape, murders, revenge porn has affected the psyche of many including children.

Conclusion:

        The media has played an important role in positive developments like the fight against racism, gender bias, unemployment, poverty, and spreading awareness about the need for world peace.