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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 02 MARCH 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 02 MARCH 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) Mahatma Gandhi’s stride during the period of 1916 –1920 in accomplishment of  the technique of non-violent satyagraha accepted by the nation as a weapon of struggle against the British was unparalleled. Elucidate(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question:

The question expects you to assess the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi during the period of 1916 –1920 with primary focus on the utility of non-violent satyagraha as a powerful weapon against the British rule. You must justify how this approach was different from others’ and in what way it proved to be phenomenal.

Directive word:

Elucidate – means to explain and clarify the topic with the aid of examples.

Key demands of the question:

The answer should bring out the efforts made by Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian freedom struggle with special emphasis on the initial phase of the of his struggle through nonviolent Satyagraha.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

You can start by stating  how the conditions during this period had provoked Gandhiji and led him to reveal a sense of estrangement from the British Raj and thus taking charge of satyagraha struggle.

Body

Discuss the following aspects –

  • What was Gandhi’s concept of Satyagraha? What was his strategy?
  • influence of the works of Leo Tolstoy’s Civil Disobedience and Ruskin’s ‘unto to the last’ on Gandhiji.
  • Policy of Satyagraha
  • Causes of the struggle.
  • significant struggles- Champaran Satyagraha (1917), Ahmadabad Mill Strike (1918), Kheda Satyagraha (1918).
  • Associated events – Government of India Act, 1919, Rowlatt Act and Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919), Khilafat Movement etc.

Keywords: Ahimsa satyagraha, Non- cooperation movement .

Conclusion

Conclude  with importance of Gandhiji’s unmatched role in Indian freedom struggle.

Introduction:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi returned to his homeland after two decades of residence abroad in January 1915. The third and final phase of the Nationalist Movement [1917-1947] is known as the Gandhian era. His principles of nonviolence and Satyagraha were employed against the British Government.

Body:

Gandhian Strategy:

The Gandhian strategy is the combination of truth, sacrifice, non- violence, selfless service and cooperation. Non-violence was a cardinal principle of Gandhian philosophy and was imbibed from Jainism and Vaishnavism. His leading ascended from grass-root level to the top.  He never forced his authority upon the people.

Influences:

Gandhiji was greatly influenced by the works of Leo Tolstoy’s Civil Disobedience and Ruskin’s ‘unto to the last’. Tolstoy’s ideal of non-possession was developed by Gandhiji in his concept of ‘trusteeship’. He was also influenced by the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda. His political Guru Gokhale and Dadabhai Naroji also influenced him. South Africa was the crucible that forged Gandhi’s identity as a political activist and was an important prelude to his return to India.

Policy of Satyagraha:

His non-violent satyagraha involved peaceful violation of specific laws. Gandhi’s system of Satyagraha was based on nonviolence, non co-operation, truth and honesty. He used this to convert the nationalist movement into a mass movement.  He resorted to mass courting arrest and occasional hartals and spectacular marches. He had readiness for negotiations and compromise. His struggle against foreign rule is popularly known as ‘struggle-truce-struggle’.

During the course of 1917 and early 1918, Gandhiji was involved in three significant struggles:

  • Champaran Satyagraha (1917)
    • Gandhi’s first great experiment in satyagraha came in 1917 in Champaran, a district in Bihar.
    • The peasantry on the indigo plantations in the district was excessively oppressed by the European planters and were compelled to grow indigo on at least 3/20th of their land and so sell it at prices fixed by the planters, a system popularly known as ‘Theen-Kathia system’.
    • Several peasants of Champaran invited Gandhi to come and help them.
    • Accompanied by Babu Rajendra Prasad, Mazhar-ul-Huq, J.B. Kripalani, Narhari Parekh and Mahadev Desai, Gandhji reached Champaran in 1917 and through his method and efforts, the disabilities from which the peasantry was suffering were reduced and Gandhiji won his first battle of civil disobedience in India.
  • Ahmedabad Mill Strike (1918)
    • Gandhiji’s second struggle was at Ahmedabad in 1918 when he had to intervene in a dispute between the workers and the mill-owners.
    • He advised the workers to go on strike and to demand a 35 per cent increase in wages.
    • He insisted that the workers should not use violence against the employers during the strike.
    • He undertook a fast unto death to strengthen the workers’ resolve to continue the strike.
    • This put pressure on the mill owners who relented on the fourth day and agreed to give the workers a 35 per cent increase in wages.
  • Kheda Satyagraha (1918)
    • The farmers of Kheda district in Gujarat were in distress because of the failure of crops.
    • The government refused to remit land revenue and insisted on its full collection.
    • As part of the experiment, Mahatma Gandhi advised the peasants to withhold payment of revenue till their demand for its remission was met.
    • The struggle was withdrawn when it was learnt that the government had issued instructions that revenue should be recovered only from those peasants who could afford to pay.
    • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel became the follower of Gandhiji during the Kheda movement.

Rowlatt Act and Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919)

  • The Rowlatt Act was passed in March 1919 by the Central Legislative Council to control the militant nationalist struggles and curtailed the liberty of the people.
  • The Bill provided for speedy trial of offences by a special court and had no appeal.
  • The provincial government had powers to search a place and arrest a suspected person without warrant. These gave unbridled powers to the government to arrest and imprison suspects without trial for two years maximum.
  • It caused a wave of anger in all sections spreading a country-wide agitation by Gandhiji and marked the foundation of the Non-Cooperation Movement. Gandhiji organised the Satyagraha on 14th February, 1919. On 8th April, 1919 Gandhiji was arrested.
  • In Punjab, there was an unprecedented support to the Rowlatt Satyagraha. Two prominent leaders of Punjab, Dr Satya Pal and Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew, were arrested in Amritsar.
  • On 13th April, the Baisakhi day, a public meeting was organized at the Jallianwala Bagh. Dyer marched in and without any warning opened fire on the crowd killing hundreds of innocent civilians.
  • There was a nationwide protest against this massacre and Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood as a protest.
  • The Hunter Commission was appointed to enquire into the matter.
  • The Jallianwala Bagh massacre gave a tremendous impetus to the freedom struggle and became a turning point in the history of India’s freedom movement.

Khilafat Movement

  • The main objective of the Khilafat movement was to force the British government change its attitude towards Turkey and restore the Khalifa to his former position.
  • Turkey was defeated in the First World War and the harsh terms of the Treaty of Sevres (1920) was felt by the Muslims as a great insult to them.
  • The Muslims in India were upset over the British attitude against Turkey and launched the Khilafat Movement which was jointly led by the Khilafat leaders and the Congress.
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, M.A. Ansari, Saifuddin Kitchlew and the Ali brothers were the prominent leaders of this movement.
  • In November 1919, a joint conference of the Hindus and the Muslims held under the chairmanship of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was particularly interested in bringing the Hindus and the Muslims together to achieve the country’s independence.
  • In February 1920, Gandhiji suggested to Khilafat Committee that it adopt a programme of nonviolent non-cooperation to protest the Government’s behavior.
  • On 9 June, 1920 the Khilafat Committee at Allahabad unanimously accepted the suggestion of non-cooperation and asked Gandhiji to lead the movement.
  • Four stages of non-cooperation were surrender of titles and honorary positions, resignation from civil services under the Government, resignation from Police and Army services and non-payment of taxes
  • Subsequently, the Khilafat Movement merged with the Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920.

Conclusion:

While Mahatma Gandhi’s mass appeal was undoubtedly genuine – and in the context of Indian politics, without precedent – it must also be stressed that his success in broadening the basis of nationalism was based on careful organisation. During this period Mahatma Gandhi became the undisputed leader of the National Movement.


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

2) The Morley- Minto Reforms did not and could not deliver a rejoinder to the Indian problems. Explain. (250 words)

Bipin Chandra, modern India – NCERT

 

Why this question:

The question is in the context of Morley- Minto Reforms;  critique of its achievements for the betterment of India in the past and present.

demand of the question:

The question expects you to explain in detail the effects of Morley -Minto reforms as to how it could not and didn’t address the Indian problems. The reforms of 19O9 could not come up to the expectations of the Indians, what the people of India demanded was that there should be set up a responsible

government in the country. But the core of the reforms of 1909 was despotism and it was basically an attempt to create a constitutional autocracy.

Directive word

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the  particular context. You must be defining key terms where ever appropriate, and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Introduce by stating the features of the Morley Minto Act 1909 and the background in which it came into existence.

Body

Discuss in detail the following aspects –

  • Background of the Act.
  • Salient Provisions under it.
  • Detail on – Expansion of the Legislative Councils, Communal Representation and other key features.
  • Critical Analysis of the Act .

Conclusion

conclude with how the act turned to be an eyewash and an indirect effort of the British in establishing constitutional autocracy.

Introduction:

The Morley-Minto reforms named after the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs Lord John Morley and the Viceroy Lord Minto was the alternative name given to Indian Councils Act 1909. It introduced for the first time the method of election, an attempt to widen the scope of legislative councils, placate the demands of moderates in Indian National Congress and to increase the participation of Indians in the governance. The Act amended the Indian Councils Acts of 1861 and 1892.

Body:

Background of the Act

  • In October 1906, a group of Muslim elites called the Shimla Deputation, led by the Agha Khan, met Lord Minto and demanded separate electorates for the Muslims and representation in excess of their numerical strength in view of ‘the value of the contribution’ Muslims were making ‘to the defence of the empire’.
  • The same group quickly took over the Muslim League, initially floated by Nawab Salimullah of Dacca along with Nawabs Mohsin-ul- Mulk and Waqar-ul-Mulk in December 1906.
  • The Muslim League intended to preach loyalty to the empire and to keep the Muslim intelligentsia away from the Congress.
  • John Morley, the Liberal Secretary of State for India, and the Conservative Viceroy of India, Minto, believed that cracking down on uprising in Bengal was necessary but not sufficient for restoring stability to the British Raj after Lord Curzon’s partitioning of Bengal.
  • They believed that a dramatic step was required to put heart into loyal elements of the Indian upper classes and the growing Westernised section of the population.

Features of the Act

  • It considerably increased the size of the legislative councils, both Central and provincial. The number of members in the Central Legislative Council was raised from 16 to 60. The number of members in the provincial legislative councils was not uniform.
  • It retained official majority in the Central Legislative Council but allowed the provincial legislative councils to have non-official majority.
  • The elected members were to be indirectly elected. The local bodies were to elect an electoral college, which in turn would elect members of provincial legislatures, who in turn would elect members of the central legislature.
  • It enlarged the deliberative functions of the legislative councils at both the levels. For example, members were allowed to ask supplementary questions, move resolutions on the budget, and so on.
  • It provided (for the first time) for the association of Indians with the executive Councils of the Viceroy and Governors. Satyendra Prasad Sinha became the first Indian to join the Viceroy’s Executive Council. He was appointed as the law member. Two Indians were nominated to the Council of the Secretary of State for Indian Affairs.
  • It introduced a system of communal representation for Muslims by accepting the concept of ‘separate electorate’. Under this, the Muslim members were to be elected only by Muslim voters. Thus, the Act ‘legalised communalism’ and Lord Minto came to be known as the Father of Communal Electorate.
  • It also provided for the separate representation of presidency corporations, chambers of commerce, universities and zamindars.

Evaluation of the Reforms:

  • The reforms of 1909 afforded no answer and could afford no answer to the Indian political problem. Lord Morley made it clear that colonial self-government (as demanded by the Congress) was not suitable for India, and he was against introduction of parliamentary or responsible government in India.
  • The ‘constitutional’ reforms were, in fact, aimed at dividing the nationalist ranks by confusing the Moderates and at checking the growth of unity among Indians through the obnoxious instrument of separate electorates.
  • The Government aimed at rallying the Moderates and the Muslims against the rising tide of nationalism.
  • The officials and the Muslim leaders often talked of the entire community when they talked of the separate electorates, but in reality it meant the appeasement of a small section of the Muslim elite only.
  • Congress considered separate electorate to be undemocratic and hindering the development of a shared Hindu-Muslim Indian national feeling.
  • Besides, system of election was too indirect and it gave the impression of infiltration of legislators through a number of sieves.
  • And, while parliamentary forms were introduced, no responsibility was conceded, which sometimes led to thoughtless and irresponsible criticism of the Government.
  • Only some members like Gokhale put to constructive use the opportunity to debate in the councils by demanding universal primary education, attacking repressive policies and drawing attention to the plight of indentured labour and Indian workers in South Africa.
  • The position of the Governor- General remained unchanged and his veto power remained undiluted and the Act was successfully maintained relentless constitutional autocracy.
  • The reforms of 1909 gave to the people of the country a shadow rather than substance.

The Act of 1909 was important for the following reasons:

  • It effectively allowed the election of Indians to the various legislative councils in India for the first time, though previously some Indians had been appointed to legislative councils.
  • The introduction of the electoral principle laid the groundwork for a parliamentary system even though this was contrary to the intent of Morley.
  • It also gave recognition to the elective principle as the basis of the composition of legislative council for the first time.
  • It gave some further avenues to Indians to ventilate their grievances. They also got opportunity to criticise the executives and make suggestions for better administration

Conclusion:

Indian Council Act of 1909 was instituted to placate the moderates and appeasement to the disseminate Muslims from National Movement by granting them separate electorate. The people had demanded self-government but what they were given was ‘benevolent despotism’.


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

3) Discuss the salient features  of the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018. How far will it address the unfair trade practices? Critically analyse.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The  article brings out the merits of the recently introduced Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 in the parliament. It discusses in detail the provisions of the Bill.

Key demand of the question:

Provide the salient features of the bill, how is it different from its previous version; establishment of an executive agency — Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), other provisions of the Bill including mediation, misleading advertisements and inclusion of imported products etc.

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, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Start by bringing out the importance of consumer protection in the country.

Body:  

Body should discuss the following broad aspects in detail –

Importance of the policy, key features, how is it different from the previous one, its link with the current changing trends of the market . various special features – establishment of Consumer Protection Councils at the district, state and national levels to render advice on consumer protection, — Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), other provisions of the Bill including mediation, misleading advertisements and inclusion of imported products etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with how it is a better version of the previous one and thus should be brought into action as early as possible.

Introduction:

There are a host of products and services in the market. Issues of adulteration, false weights, monopoly, unfair trade practice are very high and are to be addressed to protect the consumer against it. Consumers in any modern market economy often experience information asymmetry and a significant imbalance of bargaining power as compared to producers and sellers of products and services.

Body:

Consumer markets for goods and services have undergone a drastic transformation since the enactment of Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Consumer protection Bill 2018 seeks to replace the existing Act of 1986 to address emerging consumer vulnerabilities.

The salient features of the Consumer Protection Bill 2018 are:

  • It defines the “consumer” as a person who buys any good or avails a service for a consideration.
  • The Bill covers transactions, both online and offline, and includes tele-shopping and multi-level marketing.
  • Definition of “consumer rights” in the Bill exhaustively covers the right to be protected against the marketing of goods, products or services that are hazardous to life and property.
  • It also focuses on the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods, products or services, as the case may be, so as to protect a consumer against unfair trade practices.
  • It also includes the right to be assured, wherever possible, of access to a variety of goods, products or services at competitive prices.
  • It involves the right to seek redress against unfair or restrictive trade practices, or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers.

Comparison of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 with the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018

Provision 1986 Act 2018 Bill
Ambit of law All goods and services for consideration, while free and personal services are excluded All goods and services, including telecom and housing construction, and all modes of transactions (online, teleshopping, etc.) for consideration. Free and personal services are excluded.
Product liability No provision. Claim for product liability can be made against manufacturer, service provider, and seller. Compensation can be obtained by proving one of the several specified conditions in the Bill.
Unfair trade practices Includes six types of such practices, like false representation, misleading advertisements. The new Bill adds three types of practices to the list, namely: (i) failure to issue a bill or receipt; (ii) refusal to accept a good returned within 30 days; and (iii) disclosure of personal information given in confidence, unless required by law or in public interest.
Unfair contracts No provision. Defined as contracts that cause significant change in consumer rights. Lists six contract terms which may be held as unfair.
Central Protection Councils (CPCs) CPCs promote and protect the rights of consumers. They are established at the district, state, and national level. The new Bill makes CPCs advisory bodies for promotion and protection of consumer rights. Establishes CPCs at the district, State and national level.
Regulator No provision. Establishes the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect, and enforce the rights of consumers as a class.

CCPA may: (i) issue safety notices; (ii) pass orders to recall goods, prevent unfair practices, and reimburse purchase price paid; and (iii) impose penalties for false and misleading advertisements.

Pecuniary jurisdiction of Commissions District: Up to Rs 20 lakh; State: Between Rs 20 lakh and up to Rs one crore; National:  Above Rs one crore. District: Up to Rs one crore; State: Between Rs one crore and up to Rs 10 crore; National:  above Rs 10 crore.
Composition of Commissions District: Headed by current or former District Judge and two members.

State:  Headed by a current or former High Court Judge and at least two members.

National:  Headed by a current or former Supreme Court Judge and at least four members.

District:  Headed by a president and at least two members.

State:  Headed by a president and at least four members.

National:  Headed by a president and at least four members.

Appointment Selection Committee (comprising a judicial member and other officials) will recommend members on the Commissions. No provision for Selection Committee.  Central government will appoint through notification.
Alternate dispute redressal mechanism No provision. Mediation cells will be attached to the District, State, and National Commissions.

 

Penalties If a person does not comply with orders of the Commissions, he may face imprisonment between one month and three years or fine between Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000, or both. If a person does not comply with orders of the Commissions, he may face imprisonment up to three years, or a fine not less than Rs 25,000 extendable to Rs one lakh, or both.

 

E-commerce No provision. Defines direct selling, e-commerce and electronic service provider. The central government may prescribe rules for preventing unfair trade practices in e-commerce and direct selling.

 

Merits:

  • Provide time-bound redressal of their grievances.
  • It will allow Central government to regulate e-commerce and direct selling among other important measures.
  • It is a welcome step towards tackling misleading endorsements
  • Provides for simplification of consumer disputes adjudication process for faster disposal of grievances through filing of complaints by a consumer from his place of residence, e-filing and video conferencing for hearing.
  • The CCPA will act in a manner similar to enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US. This will be a landmark step in upgrading the implementation mechanism to global standards
  • This is the first time that powers to take action for damage caused by a product have been introduced in a consumer protection framework.

 Demerits:

  • It has penalty provisions for the endorsers and on the other it is giving them a route to get away because the clause of due diligence will act in their defence
  • It lags behind in tackling misleading advertisements endorsed by any celebrity
  • This step will act as a deterrent for manufacturers since the liability quotient has increased

Way Forward:

  • Several countries like Canada, Estonia have devised advertisement regulations for unhealthy foods targeted at children
  • Countries such as the UK, Ireland and Belgium have specifically banned celebrity endorsement of unhealthy foods. The impact of such restrictions has been reported to be significant.

Conclusion:

The emergence of global supply chain, rise in global trade and rapid development of e-commerce have led to a new delivery system for goods and services and also provided new options and opportunities for consumers. Misleading ads, tele-marketing, multi-level marketing, direct selling and e-commerce pose new challenges to consumer protection and will require appropriate and swift executive intervention to prevent consumer detriment. This bill is the step in the right direction in addressing these issues.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation./ Security challenges and their management in border areas.

4) The recent Pulwama attacks have exposed the gaps in our security systems and the urgent need to have a well- defined national security doctrine. However the recent act of the Government agencies to monitor computers have sparked privacy fears among the people. Critically analyse.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

Department of Science and Technology (DST) recently  launched National Mission on Inter Disciplinary Cyber Physical Systems  dealing with self-driven cars, autonomous unmanned vehicle and aircraft navigation systems.

Key demand of the question:

The main demand of the question is to analyse the debate of national security vs privacy of individual in the context of recent government’s step of monitoring computers in the name of national security.

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, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Narrate the background of the Pulwama attack, failure of the Indian Intelligence to forecast.

Body:

Weigh the pros and cons of such an act, how there needs to be a balance between the two elements, one shouldn’t be compromised at the cost of the other.

Keywords:

Right to privacy, Checks and balances, Information Technology Act of 2000, Section 69 of IT Act, online monitoring etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion and discuss way forward.

Introduction:

The Pulwama terrorist attack is one of the worst in recent years with over 40 CRPF jawans killed in a terrorist attack. Lapses in the quality and timeliness of intelligence inputs and the standard operating procedures (SOP) being followed by the armed police force convoys is highlighted. India remains deficient in intelligence-analysis, inter-agency coordination, and, above all, a national security doctrine.

Body:

The Union Home Secretary promulgated an order authorising 10 Central agencies to monitor, intercept and decrypt information which is transmitted, generated, stored in or received by any computer. Under the order, an individual who fails to assist these government agencies with technical assistance or extend all facilities can face up to seven years of imprisonment or be liable to be fined.

An affidavit was filed in response to petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of Section 69 of Information Technology Act, 2000, Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the order dated December 20, 2018 issued under Section 69(1) of the IT Act and Rule 4 of the Information Technology Rules, 2009 which enables government agencies to intercept personal information of citizens under certain conditions.

The pros of order:

  • Grave threats to the country from terrorism, radicalisation, cross border terrorism, cyber crime, organised crime, drug cartels cannot be understated or ignored.
  • There is no blanket permission to any agency for interception or monitoring or decryption, as the authorised agencies still require permission of the competent authority i.e. Union Home Secretary in each case as per due process of law and justification for interception or monitoring or decryption.
  • Cases shall be restricted strictly to the purposes mentioned in Section 69 (1) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, viz., in the interests of the sovereignty of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order, or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognisable offence relating to above or for investigation of any offence.
  • It ensures that right to privacy of law-abiding citizens is not violated by any intermediary, agency or person
  • A strong and robust mechanism for timely and speedy collection of actionable intelligence, including signal intelligence, is imperative to counter threats to national security.

The concerns regarding the order:

  • Section 69 allows mass surveillance even when only law and order is affected while public order prevails: merely for precluding the incitement of the commission of an offence
  • Section 69 of the IT Act after K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India — ‘the right to privacy case’, in 2017 — seems to fail the litmus test of constitutionality
  • Phrasing of “intercept” in the rules might include traffic diversion, which may permit code injections and malware attacks. Such a broadly worded provision can have potential ramifications on free speech
  • The notification also permits decryption, which might require the service provider to break their encryption protocols.
  • The home ministry says that each case will continue to be approved by the Union home secretary. But a specific clearance on each case is obviously meaningless because the record shows about 100 clearances daily on average.
  • The scrutiny is therefore remains only on paper, and there is no safeguard against misuse.
  • The rules provided that the home secretary’s clearance should be obtained within a week.
  • This could make the agencies to tap at will without clearance.
  • There is a blanket authorisation being given to security agencies, without any safeguards regarding its misuse.
  • This was given even to foreign-focused agencies that have no business on surveillance of Indian citizens such as the Research & Analysis Wing.
  • Many of the agencies named in the order from the home ministry are neither under parliamentary scrutiny nor are their actions subject to judicial control.
  • A heavily bureaucratised and minimally accountable regime of surveillance does nothing to enhance security, but does have significant privacy costs. Example: while examining the U.S. National Security Agency’s programme of mass surveillance, an American court found that out of more than 50 instances where terrorist attacks had been prevented. Not even a single successful pre-emption was based on material collected from the NSA’s surveillance regime.

Way forward:

  • The courts have made the home secretary accountable for all surveillance by central agencies and created a monitoring committee in 1996.
  • There is a need to increase the capacity available, and not to subvert the due process.
  • Reason should be given before taking up any case and responsibilities should be assigned for the surveillance agencies.
  • Such cases also need authorisation from a magistrate, who has to record the specific reasons in each case.
  • Any well-constructed system of surveillance should balance both public security and individual rights.
  • It can be considered an opportune moment to reform India’s intelligence apparatus and bring it on a sound legal and constitutional footing.

Conclusion:

A system of government surveillance has a chilling effect upon the exercise of rights, across the board, in society. In the famous ‘privacy-security trade-off’, therefore, it is exceedingly important to assess the balance on the basis of constitutional principles and fundamental rights, rather than blindly accepting the government’s rhetoric of national security.


Topic:  Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

5) Recently the Government of India introduced 10% quota for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among General Category candidates in government jobs and educational institutions. Should economic-status based reservations be extended to the SC,ST and OBC’s too to help correct the centuries-old wrongs on the lower castes?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article provides for a close examination of the necessity of economic-status based reservations even for Dalits, as there are substantial inequalities even within Dalits. Thus In addition to the 15 per cent quota, the community should also have reservation based on socioeconomic criteria.

Key demand of the question:

One needs to address the needs of economic-status based reservations even amongst the vulnerable and backward sections of the society who are already being given caste based reservations as socioeconomic differentiation is as well pronounced in these communities.

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Discuss the significance of economic-status based reservations in India.

Body:

You must weigh the pros and cons of such a system of affirmative  action, what needs to be done? What are the imperatives? To what extent can reservation – caste based and socio- economic address the problems of weaker and poorer sections of the society? Should reservation be the only solution to fix the problem.

Conclusion –

Conclude with how reservation is only part of a solution and not a permanent fix to the vulnerability of the socially and economically weaker section and thus we must look for alternatives and an integrated approach .

Introduction:

                 The President of India has given his assent to the bill providing 10% reservation in jobs and educational institutions to the economically weaker sections in the general category. The legislation will be known as the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019.

Body:

                The amendment has renewed the debate whether a similar criteria is needed among SC, ST and OBCs. The latter idea has been mulled since the time of framing constitution in India.

  • While the constitution-framers did recognise the group identity of a community while creating reservations for Scheduled Castes and Tribes, they had a significantly more ambivalent attitude towards the category of ‘other backward classes’ or OBCs.
  • In post-independence India, a significant section of the politically active population voiced concerns that caste-based reservations would be divisive and compromise national unity.
  • Till as late as the 1980s, the dominant opinion in New Delhi – represented by successive central governments and national parties – preferred income over caste as the determining factor for any proposed reservation scheme.
  • Numerous academics and lawyers insisted that since ‘class’ did not mean the same thing as ‘caste’, the ‘other backward classes’ must be identified on an economic or class basis.
  • In Balaji v. Mysore, 1962, the Supreme Court noted that ultimately, poverty, rather than community identity, was the real marker of social and educational backwardness. While the court did not categorically reject using caste identity to determine the beneficiaries of quota or reservation schemes, the damage had been done.
  • However, in the watershed Indra Sawhney case, the Supreme Court held that exclusively “economic criteria” were unconstitutional since the category of “poor” did not reflect “social backwardness”.

Positives of Economic-status based reservation for SC, ST and OBCs

  • EWS reservations will allow ‘excluded’ sections in lower castes to “share the fruits of the policies of the government”.
  • To provide equal opportunity as far as equity is concerned, reservation policy should be associated with economic status and rich/poor classification.
  • This will prevent the privileged classes in minority communities from unduly benefiting from caste based reservation, whether it is in government jobs or medical admissions.
  • India still lives in her villages and instead of caste based reservation, income based reservation will be more beneficial because people from rural areas and low income groups will benefit.
  • Even the urban poor need assistance and special affirmative action programs will be able to ensure their continued upliftment.
  • Income based reservation will see to it that people from high income groups are barred from advantages given that they have already received the benefits of economic upliftment.
  • Many castes are making attempts to be classified as backward to avail the benefits. Consider the Patels or Patidars of Gujarat who are an economically and politically dominant community. Given that the Patels have worldwide presence as entrepreneurs and NRIs, it seems ironical that they are demanding caste based reservation for their community.
  • Caste based reservation has failed to assimilate SC and ST within the mainstream.
  • Income based reservation will ensure that the creamy layer does not make off with a majority of the benefits while those from poorer sections yet belonging to minority communities are left on the sidelines.
  • Discrimination is still rampant against members of SC and ST community especially in rural areas. Reservation in the name of caste has done nothing to prevent this.
  • The poor, educated youth will benefit from income based reservation and get a chance to access a brighter future.

Findings of The India Human Development Survey, and its last two rounds of 2004-05 and 2011-12

  • In terms of their annual per capita mean income (APCMI), Jatavs( a type of Dalit) are not at all doing better than other important Dalit jatis of UP: They earned only Rs 6,135 a year in 2011-12, against Rs 6,643 for the Pasis and Rs 9,077 for the Dhobis.
  • Among the Mahars, for instance, the socioeconomic differentiation is as pronounced as among the Jatavs. Here again, the richest 20 per cent earned 10 times more than the poorest 20 per cent (Rs 68,401 against Rs 7,254).
  • To be a Dalit in UP and to be a Dalit in Maharashtra is not the same thing in terms of income, education and occupation.
  • Dalits are not catching up yet — far from that — even if the growth rate of their APCMI is among the highest. It was more than 200 per cent between 2004-05 and 2011-12 — a record — but Mahars were still earning 40 per cent less than the Brahmins of Maharashtra and 27 per cent less than the Marathas.
  • The socioeconomic differentiation within the Dalit jatis is as pronounced as in other caste groups. To address the problems of the most disadvantaged, a class element has to be taken into account within each jati.

Negatives of Economic-status based reservation for SC, ST and OBCs

  • The “creamy layer” formula — which relies on class-related criteria — would not do either because of the stigma still associated with untouchability.
  • Surveys show that when the same CV was sent to a potential employer in response to a call for applications, those with a Brahmin name were much more likely to result in a call for job talk/interview, compared to the CV bearing a Dalit name — which generated a large number of negative responses (or no reply at all).
  • Indeed, in institutions where there is no reservation for SCs (the judiciary, Rajya Sabha, etc.), Dalits remain massively under-represented despite the fact that they have, in their ranks, a large number of people with the required diplomas and skills.

Conclusion:

Unlike the historical debates, the ‘economic criterion’ today is not proposed as a competing idea to caste and community, but as an allied one. By validating the 10 per cent quota for the “general category”, the Supreme Court has unintentionally opened a window of opportunity for revisiting the reservation policy in favour of the needful Dalits.


Topic– Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing. Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

6) Discuss how the recently launched department of Fisheries in the union government will help in meeting the objectives of Blue Revolution in India? What are the challenges being faced by the sector? Suggest a way forward.(250 words)

Indianexpress

 

Why this question:

The article is in the context  of formation of a separate department for fisheries in the Union government. It discusses how fresh policies have given a spurt  to productivity of fish farms.

Key demand of the question

The answer must address the following aspects –

  • Department of Fisheries and its effect on Blue revolution.
  • Challenges facing the sector
  • performance of this sector in India – past to present
  • what needs to be done?

Directive word

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

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Start with how Blue Revolution aims to recognize the potential and possibilities in the fisheries sector of the country by unlocking country’s latent potential through an integrated approach.

Body:

The body should cover – the scope and reach on creating an enabling environment for integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for socio economic development of fishers and fish farmers. The importance of the department, it’s role, various schemes and policies of the government, what are the challenges in the sector, what needs to be done to make it a success.

Conclusion:

  • Conclude by relating it to the vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

Introduction:

Blue Revolution, the Neel Kranti Mission has the vision to achieve economic prosperity of the country and the fishers and fish farmers as well as contribute towards food and nutritional security through full potential utilization of water resources for fisheries development in a sustainable manner, keeping in view the bio-security and environmental concerns.

Body:

Current status of Indian fisheries:

  • Fisheries are the primary source of livelihood for several communities.
  • India is the world’s second-largest fish producer with exports worth more than Rs 47,000 crore.
  • Fisheries are the country’s single-largest agriculture export, with a growth rate of 6 to 10 per cent in the past five years.
  • Its significance is underscored by the fact that the growth rate of the farm sector in the same period is around 2.5 per cent.
  • It has a marine fisher population of 3.5 million; 10.5 million people are engaged in inland fishery and fish farming.

The importance of the department and its role:

  • The new department will give undivided attention to creating and strengthening infrastructure facilities in marine and inland fisheries and give a boost to aquaculture and post-harvest activities.
  • The investment of Rs 3,000 crore in the Blue Revolution is being supplemented through the Rs 7,523-crore Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund. This will meet the capital investment requirement of this sector.
  • The productivity of freshwater fish farms has gone up to more than 3 metric tonnes per hectare from the 2.5 tonnes per hectare.
  • Productivity of brackish water coastal aquaculture has touched 10 to 12 metric tonnes per hectare — a sharp increase from the previous two to four tonnes per hectare.
  • Thirty thousand hectares have been added to the area under fish farming.
  • The government has invested in hatcheries to meet the ever-increasing demand for good quality fish seed.
  • The expansion of aquaculture would increase this demand exponentially.
  • The introduction of cage culture in reservoirs and other open water bodies has led to an increase in output. Nearly 8,000 cages have been installed and even though a cage gives a modest yield of three tonnes of fish, this translates into a more than 1,000 per cent increase in productivity.
  • This new practice gives freedom to fishermen from the risk of traversing dangerous rivers and restricted reservoirs.

Challenges faced:

  • Sustainability: The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture reports note that nearly 90 per cent of the global marine fish stocks have either been fully-exploited or over-fished or depleted to an extent that recovery may not be biologically possible. While the near-shore coastal waters are highly overfished, the high value fish stock proliferates in the deep seas.
  • Increasing demand: In order to meet the ever-increasing demand for animal protein, global fish production should touch 196 million tonnes by 2025 — it currently stands at 171 million tonnes. Taking into account the current depletion rate of marine fish stocks that seems next to impossible.
  • Productivity: the productivity in both sectors is low — in terms of per fisher, per boat and per farm. In Norway, a fisherman/farmer catches/produces 250 kg per day while the Indian average is four to five kg.
  • Insufficient Mechanization: Marine capture fishery comprises largely of small fishermen who operate traditional boats — either non-motorised vessels or boats with a basic outboard motor. These vessels cannot operate beyond near shore waters. High value species such as tuna cannot be caught by fishermen who use these vessels.
  • The lack of refrigeration facilities leads to spoilage of the huge catch. Use of formalin to keep the stock fresh has lead to ban on export of fish catch.
  • Bottom-trawling, improper demarcation of fishing boundaries has posed problems in form of killing, arresting of fishermen by neighbouring countries like SL, Pakistan etc.

Way forward:

  • The new National Policy on Marine Fisheries talks of introducing deep-sea fishing vessels and assisting fishing communities to convert their vessels and gears for the waters beyond.
  • There is a need to factor in the sustainability challenges and acknowledge that fishing is a primary livelihood activity for a large number of communities and individuals.
  • The policies framed by the new department should aim at enhancing productivity, better returns and increased incomes.
  • The policy envisages intensive fish farming through increased stocking of seed, better feed quality and diversification of species.
  • Innovative practices such as re-circulatory aquaculture system aim to realise the goal of more crop per drop.
  • We must prioritise seed production in order to attain self-sufficiency in the sector.
  • Open sea cage culture is at a pilot stage and the initial trials have given promising results. This may prove another game changer.

Conclusion:

A concentrated effort by an independent department could help the government achieve its objective of doubling farmers’ income, provided its policies address the challenge of sustainability. The country should be producing more than 15 million tonnes fish by the end of 2019. It should be on its way to become a hub for sustainable fish production.  


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

7) The Tiger population in India has more than doubled in the past decade with focused conservation efforts , however man-Tiger conflicts have also been on the rise in India. Does this call for a rethink of conservation policies?  Examine. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article provides for an assessment of rising man-animal conflict and on how development projects in tiger habitats and the fragmentation of migration corridors have called for a rethink of conservation policies.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must first appreciate how the dedicated conservation policies have helped double the Tiger population in the past decade, however the policies have missed to take into account the limited habitat for the increased population leading to man-animal conflicts. You must analyse the current conservation policies, what needs to be done to manage the situation in the best interest.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin with quoting some facts justifying rising population of the wild cats due to directed conservation programmes in the country. Also highlight the recent examples of man-animal conflicts.

Body:

Discuss the following :

  • Causes of Man-Animal conflict: specific to Wild cats
  • Impact of Man-Animal Conflict
  • Case-Studies like Tiger-Human Conflict- Pilbhit Tiger reserve,
  • Government Initiatives in this direction – Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change Guidelines on Man-Animal conflict, Best International Practice etc.
  • What changes are needed in the current conservation policies to overcome the problem.

Conclusion:

Conclude with Environmental justice and man -animal harmony as the need of the hour.

Introduction:

                The 2006 tiger census by the National Tiger Conservation Authority had pegged the number of tigers at 1,411. In 2010, there were 1,706 tigers, and in 2014, the number jumped to 2,226. Officials involved with the 2018 tiger census operations say that the number is now closer to 2,600. Aided by excellent conservation efforts, more awareness, and forest management and control over poaching, the overall tiger population in the country has gone up.

Body:

The rising tiger population is news to rejoice as the conservation efforts are being paid off well. However, there is an increase in the man-tiger conflicts as well. Man- tiger conflict is an existential crisis not only for the animals, but for human beings as well with data showing that about one person has been killed every day for the past three years by roaming tigers or rampaging elephants. The causes and impacts of the man-tiger conflicts are:

  • A rising tiger population is forcing the animal to seek out new hunting grounds, as tigers need a huge prey base.
  • Unsustainable development:
    • Continued destruction and divergence of forest lands.
    • Tiger reserves, national parks and sanctuaries exist only as islets in a vast sea of human, cattle and unsustainable land use.
    • People are increasingly encroaching into the country’s traditional wild spaces and animal sanctuaries, where people compete with wildlife for food and other resources.
    • These conflicts have increased as elephants increasingly find their usual corridors blocked by highways, railway tracks and factories
    • Urbanisation and growth agendas alter landscape dynamics, which has a cascading effect on the ecological dynamics of wildlife. This results in ecological dislocation of sorts, wherein endangered wild animals like tigers either cause distress or land themselves in trouble
  • Failure of government measures:
    • ‘Human-Tiger conflict mitigation’ said most of the measures are dysfunctional, haphazardly implemented and therefore not effective
    • Tigers are used to travelling long distances, most of which fall outside the protected areas.
    • Example: A tiger, fitted with a tracking collar, was found to have travelled 500 km in 72 days, starting from its habitat in the 138 sq. km Bor Tiger Reserve in Wardha district. It travelled through Amravati and Nagpur before getting electrocuted on a farm in Wardha.
    • Wildlife experts’ claim that territorial animals do not have enough space within reserves and their prey do not have enough fodder to thrive on. This is forcing the wild animals to move out and venture close to human habitation in search of food.
    • Example: The Pench Tiger Reserve has 30 tigers. While an adult tiger requires 25-40 sq km of forested area to enjoy sufficient quantity of prey, now there is one tiger for every 8-10 sq km, leading to spillage says Vinod Thakur, a Veterinary doctor and conservation activist.
    • There is no mapping of the tiger corridors, or any of the well-defined routes that the tigers may be using for migration and resettlement. Adding to the confusion is that there are many forest tracts that abut the roads.
  • Primary reason for the increasing human-animal conflicts is the presence of a large number of animals and birds outside the notified protected areas. Wildlife experts estimate that 29 per cent of the tigers in India are outside the protected areas.
  • Example: Monkeys along with grey langurs have adapted to urban habitats over the years.
  • There is no proper land use planning and management , cumulative impact assessments or wildlife management.
  • There is no buffer zone between wildlife and human settlements. The hamlets on the fringes of the jungle have expanded rapidly. Example: Sarati, which didn’t exist before 2003, has 1,057 voters, Vihirgaon has 719 voters, and Lone, another village where Avni claimed a human life, has 417 voters near Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra.
  • Road kill of wild animals and Electrocution are the new enemies to India’s tigers. Example: road kill incidents are quite common on NH 44 (connecting Srinagar to Kanyakumari), which passes through some of the most picturesque river valleys, ridges, and forested zones in central India. About 16 tigers have been killed in road and train accidents over the past five years. Forty-two leopards have also come under wheels.
  • The ‘four-laning’ of the national highway running through the Pench Tiger Reserve and Kanha Tiger Reserve, and the widening of the railway line in central India from narrow gauge to broad gauge, for the fragmentation of the habitat.
  • The large-scale projects that are coming up near the sanctuaries. Example: Forest Department officials have trans-located a village called Agarzari on the border of the Pench Tiger Reserve. But the resorts that cropped up there after changes in land use continue to operate. These use barbed wire and electrified fencing to keep animals at bay, leading to accidents.
  • Avni (T-1), the tigress that is said to have killed 13 villagers in and around Yavatmal district of Maharashtra

Impacts of Man-Tiger conflicts:

  • Crop Damage.
  • Animal Deaths.
  • Loss of Human Life.
  • Injuries to People.
  • Injuries to Wildlife.
  • Livestock Depredation.

Government Initiatives to reduce the man-tiger conflicts are:

  • Awareness programmes to sensitize the people about the Do’s and Don’ts to minimize conflicts
  • Training programmes for forest staff and police to address the problems of human wildlife conflicts
  • Approach by wildlife protection act, 1972 is that the model of conservation enshrined in is premised on creating human-free zones for the protection of rare species based on the erroneous notion that local people are the prime drivers of wildlife decline. This approach has been successful in protecting certain species, not all species.
  • Providing technical and financial support for development of necessary infrastructure and support facilities for immobilization of problematic animals.
  • Providing LPG to villagers: LPG should be provided to those villagers who frequently go to the forest areas specially wildlife habitats to fetch fuel wood for their chullahs so that they may stop penetrating into forest and stop inviting Man- Animal Conflicts.
  • State governments:
    • Assistance to state government for construction of boundary walls and solar fences around the sensitive areas to prevent the wild animal attacks
    • Supplementing the state government resources for payment of ex gratia to the people for injuries and loss of life in case of wild animal attacks
    • Encouraging state government for creation of a network of protected areas and wildlife corridors for conservation of wildlife.
    • Eco devlopment activities in villages around protected areas to elicit cooperation of local community in management of the protected areas.
    • Supporting involvement of the research and academic institutions and leading voluntary organisations having expertise in managing human wildlife conflict situations.
    • To control poaching: Poaching of wild animals should be stopped so that the no of wild animals can stabilize at its carrying capacity which would reach equilibrium in the ecosystem and this equilibrium between the numbers of prey animals and predators in the forest ecosystem would be maintained.
  • Technology:
    • Information technology like radio collars ,GPS, satellite uplink facilities are used by research institutions to monitor the movement of wild animals
    • Centrally sponsored schemes of project tiger, project elephant and integrated development of wildlife habitats
    • Solar Fencing around agriculture fields: Agriculture fields situated near wildlife habitat/forest areas can be protected by stone fencing or solar fencing. Solar fencing has been tried with quite good effect in Wardha District of Maharashtra.

Way Forward:

  • Forest corridors linking protected areas must be maintained where they exist.
  • Existing habitats have to be surveyed and improved to provide food for the elephants
  • Local communities need to be educated to have reduced stress levels in elephants during conflict mitigation, no fire, no firecracker and no mob crowds.
  • There is a need for a monitoring mechanism which will record and disperse information on such conflicts
  • Experts suggest the other way to reduce the man-animal conflict is to increase the population of wild ungulates, namely hares and the wild boars, both of which are prolific breeders, as a prey for wild carnivores. Separate big enclosures can be made in the jungles to breed them. The excess stock can be released in the jungles at regular intervals for the wild carnivores to prey upon.
  • The draft National Forest Policy will be an overarching policy for forest management. Also there is a proposal for National Community Forest Management (CFM) Mission which will be launched soon.
  • In order to be truly effective, prevention of human-wildlife conflict has to involve the full scope of society: international organizations, governments, NGOs, communities, consumers and individuals. Solutions are possible, but often they also need to have financial backing for their support and development.

Topic –  Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

8) What do you understand by ‘voice of conscience’? Narrate one incident in your life when you were faced with a crisis of conscience and could you prepare yourself to heed to the voice of conscience? (250 words)

 

Key demand of the question:

You are expected to come up with one good example of an ethical issue faced by you  that involved crisis of conscience and weather you could hear to the voice of conscience or not.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining what is conscience.

Body:

Depending on the example you  must first bring out the meaning of voice of conscience, explain what you understand by it. How do you prepare yourself to heed to the voice of conscience? And then relate it to ethical decision making and its importance.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of conscience in the society, at the individual level as rightly suggested in the quote –“ There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.” –M K Gandhi.

Introduction:

Conscience is inner moral sense of a person which guides him/her to regulate his behaviour. It is a cognitive process that elicits emotion and rational associations based on an individual’s moral philosophy or value system.  Often Conscience is related to religious text and supreme command to be followed by one’s inner self. Conscience comes to play when a person is in moral dilemma and need deep assessment of scenario and his behaviour.

Body:

Voice of conscience:

It corresponds to an inner voice that judges your behaviour. Voice of conscience is the source of ethical decision making for many.

A person can prepare himself/herself to heed to the voice of conscience by

  • Pausing and thinking about the dimensions of issue.
  • Practicing the power of silence.
  • Meditating and prayer.
  • Free yourself from external influences and selfish interests.

Crisis of conscience:

  • It is a situation in which it is very difficult to decide what is the right thing to do.
  • The term is also used when someone is worrying because they think that they have done something unfair or morally wrong.
  • It is a case of ethical dilemma, but often in a more strong sense.
  • When there is a crisis of conscience, the individual fear that his action may be against the voice of conscience and hence ethically wrong.

You can narrate your personal incidents here when you were faced with a crisis of conscience.

Conclusion:

To quote Gandhiji, “There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.” Thus, the voice of conscience guides a person in treading the moral highway. Conscience is a concept in national and international law, is increasingly conceived of as applying to the world as a whole.