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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 APRIL 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 APRIL 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: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

1) Do you think artificial recharge of the groundwater can solve India’s groundwater crisis? Present your argument with suitable case study.(250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is in the context of significance of artificial recharge of ground water in the times of increasing severity of ground water crisis. One has to examine the means and ways of recharging ground water with special emphasis of artificial recharge.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must provide for a detailed discussion as to how Artificial recharge of the groundwater can solve the issue substantially but not completely because of very high rate of groundwater exploitation.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

In a few introductory lines explain the significance of ground water, provide for some statistics highlighting the alarming depletion of ground water scenario in India.

Body

Discuss the following aspects in the answer:

  • The water scarcity is one of the major issue which is yet to not solve completely and depletion of the water table has become a major problem across the world. Demands for water increases as our population grow. Though 75% of the earth is covered by water, only a small percentage of it is fit for human use. The excessive demand has put a strain on our water resources. In many areas groundwater, which makes about 20% of our fresh water supply, is being used extensively for a variety of human, agriculture and industrial use. The recharge rate is much less than the rate at which the water is being pumped out.
  • Discuss the effects of overexploitation – has a lot of environmental effects which include degradation of water quality, reduced quantity of water in wells and springs, and land subsidence to name a few.
  • Explain the case of India – more prominent in areas with a high agriculture economy, though it is high in urban areas also.
  • Case study – National Capital Delhi
  • Significance of artificial recharge.
  • What are the other methods?
  • What can be done?

Conclusion

Conclude with significance of the water as a critical resource for life.

Introduction:

India is the largest user of the groundwater in the world with almost 90% being used for drinking water and almost 60-70% for irrigation. Current statistics also show that nearly 50% of urban water supply comes from groundwater. India is on the threshold of a very serious groundwater crisis, which needs mitigation both in the fields and at the policy corridors of the country.

Body:

The groundwater crisis is embedded at two different levels:

  • Groundwater exploitation of aquifers (where groundwater is stored) in different parts of the India.
  • Groundwater contamination that find origins, both in geogenic source such as Arsenic and Fluoride along with anthropogenic sources of contamination primarily due to poor disposal of waste and wastewater.

Artificial recharge (also known as aquifer re-injection) is the process of injecting (or recharging) water into the ground in a controlled way, by means of special recharge wells. The water is pumped from the dewatering system and then piped to the recharge location, which may be a considerable distance away, where the water is injected back into the ground. Water may have to the treated prior to recharge, to reduce the risk of clogging of recharge wells.

Artificial recharge of the groundwater can solve the issue substantially but not completely because of very high rate of groundwater exploitation. This method can solve the crisis in two types of the areas.

Areas with high rainfall but the high water runoff due to deforestation or urbanization:

  • Cities such as Mumbai and certain areas such as southern part of Tamil Nadu receive high monsoon rainfall but still has low underground water table due to surface runoff of rain water.
  • In such areas artificial recharge methods such as “Ditch and Furrow system”, “Stream Augmentation”, “Over irrigation” can be deployed where the rain water is to made spread over land for long period of time so that the water could percolate in to ground.
  • Roof top rain water harvesting” methods can also be deployed specially in metro cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, where the run off occurs due construction of road and buildings which prevent water from percolating into ground.

Areas with low rainfall:

  • Certain semi arid areas such as Gujarat and Rajasthan where rainfall is low and ground water is major source during dry period.
  • In such areas methods such as “Recharge well, Recharge pit/shaft, Dug well” can be deployed where a pit or well is dug and rainwater is channelized in to it, so that water could percolate in to ground.

Other measures needed for alleviating this situation are

 

  • Reducing electricity subsidies:
    • An analysis of panel data across 370 districts in India found that a reduction in electricity subsidy was correlated with a decrease in groundwater extraction.
    • Most empirical studies are in favour of pricing electricity on the basis of actual consumption. They show that the energy prices at which the farmers start responding to tariff changes in terms of reducing the demand for water and electricity would be socio-economically viable.
  • Micro-irrigation:
    • Encouraging farmers to adopt micro-irrigation techniques such as drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers.
    • According to the CWMI report, adopting micro-irrigation techniques can save roughly 20% of the groundwater used annually on irrigation in India.
  • Creating awareness:
    • Creating sustainable change would require a bottom-up approach by empowering the local community to become active participants in managing groundwater.
  • Proper implementation of initiatives:
    • 12th five-year plan proposed a policy of participatory groundwater management (PGM), which involves a collaborative approach among government departments, researchers, NGOs and community members. The plan involves training community workers to carry out aquifer mapping and implement innovative ways to use groundwater conservatively with the local community.
    • Government has come up with a Rs. 6,000-crore World Bank-aided Atal Bhujal Yojana with community participation to ensure sustained groundwater management in overexploited and ground water-stressed areas in seven States.
    • World Bank’s Water Scarce Cities Initiative seeks to promote an integrated approach to managing water resources and service delivery in water-scarce cities as the basis for building resilience against climate change.
  • Crisis can be tackled by restoring and enhancing groundwater recharge areas, stopping polluted water from recharging groundwater, rainwater and roof top harvesting and the restoration of ponds, lakes and other river systems.
  • Growing less water-intensive crops in the dry season and transitioning away from irrigation-intensive systems where there is little water.
  • In urban areas putting in place an efficient piped supply system has to be top on the agenda of policymakers and planners.
  • Successful community-based groundwater management experiences from different states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan must also be studied. Collaboration, combination of ideas and community partnerships hold the key to the success of groundwater management in India.

Conclusion:

A new regulatory regime for the source of water that provides domestic water to around four-fifths of the population and the overwhelming majority of irrigation is urgently needed. The proposed new regime will benefit the resource, for instance through the introduction of groundwater security plans, and will benefit the overwhelming majority of people through local decision-making. Overall, the increasing crisis of groundwater and the failure of the existing legal regime make it imperative to entrust people directly dependent on the source of water the mandate to use it wisely and to protect it for their own benefit, as well as for future generations


Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2) Examine the constructive and destructive effects of volcanic eruptions with suitable examples. (250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is straightforward –

Demand of the question:

Discuss – Constructive effects of volcanic eruptions – Formation of Fertile Soils- Volcanic soils, Creation of new land, Provides useful materials, Geothermal energy, Volcano Tourism etc. Destructive effects of the volcanoes include – mudflow or debris flow that contains magma, Nuée ardentes, Environmental damage etc.

Directive word:

ExamineWhen asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

The question is straightforward and conceptual , thus there is not much to discuss, one can start by defining what are volcanoes.

Body

Explain in detail what you understand by volcanism. And discuss the both constructive and destructive effects of volcanic eruptions with suitable examples like volcanic soils – In India, such soil type is referred as Laterite soil, which is mainly concentrated in the eastern and western ghats, new island formed in the South Pacific due to Hunga Tonga volcano eruptions etc.

Conclusion

Conclude with consequences of such changes in earth building activities.

Introduction:

A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. The process is called Volcanism and has been ongoing on Earth since the initial stages of its evolution over 4 billion years ago.

Body:

Constructive effects of volcanic eruptions:

  • Global Cooling:
    • Volcanoes help cool off the earth removing heat from its interior.
    • They play a vital role in periodically cooling off the planet.
    • When volcanic ash and compounds like sulfur dioxide are released into the atmosphere, it can reflect some of the Sun’s rays back into space, thereby reducing the amount of heat energy absorbed by the atmosphere.
    • This process, known as “global dimming”, therefore has a cooling effect on the planet.
  • Formation of new landforms:
    • Volcanic landforms are divided into extrusive and intrusive landforms based on weather magma cools within the crust or above the crust. Rocks formed by either plutonic (cooling of magma within the crust) or volcanic (cooling of lava above the surface) are called ‘Igneous rocks’.
    • Volcanoes make islands and add to the continents. It can create new land for human habitation. For example, new island formed in the South Pacific due to Hunga Tonga volcano eruptions.
  • Geothermal energy:
    • The heat trapped in the heart of the volcanoes can be utilised as geothermal energy to produce electricity.
  • Hot Springs:
    • Hot springs are now being used for supplying hot water in various buildings in New Zealand and Iceland. They are also used for the generation of electricity. Water from hot springs is used for treating skin ailments.
  • Outgassing and Atmosphere formation:
    • Volcanoes are a very important source of life. Volcanic emissions have produced the atmosphere and the water of the oceans. This has been happening for 4.5 billion years
  • Formation of Fertile Soils:
    • Volcanic soils are fertile, rich in minerals and very good for agriculture. In India, such soil type is referred as Black soil, which is mainly concentrated in the Deccan plateau for cotton cultivation.
  • Source of Precious stones and Minerals:
    • Volcanic eruptions sometimes result in the formation of precious stones like the diamond mines Kimberley in South Africa. Many minerals are also found in the volcanic region like copper deposits in Butte in USA.
    • Most of the metallic minerals mined in the world, such as copper, gold, silver, lead, and zinc, are associated with magmas found deep within the roots of extinct volcanoes.
  • Provides useful materials:
    • Volcanic eruptions provide useful igneous rocks such as granite and basalt. Both granite and basalt are highly used in construction projects.
  • Abrasives:
    • Pumice and volcanic ash are used as abrasives, mostly in hand soaps and household cleaners. The finest grades are used to finish silverware, polish metal parts before electroplating, and for woodworking.
  • Volcano Tourism:
    • Fireworks from active volcanoes draw several tourists from different parts of the world and make the volcanic island a popular tourism spot.

Destructive effects of the volcanoes:

  • Natural disasters:
    • Volcanic eruptions can cause earthquakes, fast floods, mud slides, and rock falls.
  • Lahars:
    • It is a type of mudflow or debris flow that contains magma, minerals and water.
    • During volcanic eruption such mud flows in the surrounding region and has devastating impacts on villages, towns and environment.
  • Nuée ardentes:
    • These are dense clouds of hot ash and poisonous gases that are ejected from a volcano. Such volcanic clouds travel at very high speed and to long distances. These cause serious atmospheric disturbances to aircrafts movement.
  • Environmental damage:
    • Ash discharged very high into the stratosphere can have negative consequences on the ozone layer.
    • Volcanic eruption releases poisonous atmospheric gases such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide.
    • Lava can travel very far and burn, bury, or damage anything in its path, including people, houses, and trees.

Conclusion:

A volcano eruption is one of the most impressive events in the planet and the effects of volcanoes and their eruptions could be felt as far away as a different continent. The type of effects of volcanoes depends on the size of the eruption.


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

3) What are FDC drugs and why has the govt decided to ban them? Do you think the battle on combination drugs seems far from over. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Govt may ban over 150 combination drugs (mint ePaper, 8 Apr 2019, Page1)

Why this question:

Fixed-dose combination (FDC) medicines, which are a cocktail of two or more active drugs packed in a single dose, are in the spotlight currently due to government’s ban on them.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must  discuss in detail the importance of Fixed drug combinations, why is the government putting ban on them, What is the controversy around it and what needs to be done to overcome this issue.

Directive word:

Critically analyzeWhen 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:

write a few introductory lines about what you understand by FDCs.

Body:

Answers must discuss in detail the following points :

  • What are FDCs and What is the logic behind FDCs? – behind FDCs is to improve adherence, simplify therapy and/or to maximise benefit for the patient courtesy the added effects of the multiple medicinal products given together.
  • Explain the current scenario – Popular FDCs, now banned, include the painkiller Saridon, the skin cream Panderm, antibiotic Lupidiclox and combination diabetes drug Gluconorm PG.
  • What makes them so popular? – because of cost. Instead of buying two, or more, separate medicines, a patient can buy just one FDC medicine to treat multiple illness symptoms, which typically works out easier on the wallet. Pharma companies, meanwhile, love them because it is far cheaper and quicker to combine existing active ingredients to make new products than to discover new medicines and manufacture them separately.
  • Why has the government banned them?
  • How will the pharma sector get affected by this ban?
  • What needs to be done?

Conclusion –

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

A fixed dose combination drug is a medicine containing two or more active components (Active pharmaceutical ingredients) in fixed proportions in a single dosage form. According to US healthcare provider IMS Health, almost half the drugs sold in India in 2014 were FDC, making it a world leader in combination drugs.

Body:

The Chandrakant Kokate-led expert panel, which was probing the efficacy of about 500 fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs, suggested quite a number of FDCs are irrational and hence recommended them to be banned.

Popularity of FDCs are due to:

  • Cost to customer: Instead of buying two, or more, separate medicines, a patient can buy just one FDC medicine to treat multiple illness symptoms, which typically works out easier on the wallet.
  • Cheaper Manufacturing cost: Pharma companies, meanwhile, love them because it is far cheaper and quicker to combine existing active ingredients to make new products than to discover new medicines and manufacture them separately.
  • Evades Price Control: pharma companies preferred them to circumvent price control rather than single-ingredient drugs which fall under price control.
  • Market capture: Companies vie with one another for a share of the market for the same class of drugs. In order to provide something ‘new’ to prescribers, they develop and market FDCs (often irrational, but promoted as a unique and innovative product by each company) purely for commercial reasons, and support its sales through sophisticated (and often unethical) marketing strategies.
  • Ease of Availability: Mostly sold as the Over the Counter drugs and needs no prescription.
  • FDCs have shown to be particularly useful in the treatment of infectious diseases like HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, where giving multiple antimicrobial agents is the norm.
  • FDCs are also useful for chronic conditions especially, when multiple disorders co-exist.

Reasons for the Government to ban FDC drugs:

  • Therapeutic benefits of many combination drugs could be doubtful and some may even pose health risks. Side effects like dizziness, nausea, hallucinations. It is also addictive.
  • FDC drugs are the highest self medication drugs in India. Consumed without prescriptions (especially cough syrups) – Not safe for patients.
  • FDC drugs especially Cough syrups with Codeine are suppressants rather than Curative. Hence, it distorts the perception of patients (that is the better medicine).
  • With FDC drugs, side effects cannot be traced out to a single API. Hence, it may lead to lot of adverse effects on patients. It can leads to complications resulting from adverse interactions of the drugs
  • Antibiotic resistance can be reduced – Since, multiple combinations of same therapeutic value are clubbed together, it provide chance for microbes to develop resistance. Ban may bring some relief in this respect
  • Elimination of irrational drug combinations and control the irrational prescriptions
  • Encourages the use of home remedies having same result without side effects like use of Honey, pepper, turmeric to remedy against Cough and cold.

Problems in banning FDCs:

  • The problem of unapproved FDCs mainly affects those who get treated in the private sector. In the absence of a strong pharmacovigilance mechanism in India, there is no data on adverse events of these unapproved FDCs.
  • There are multiple deficiencies in the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), the country’s drug regulator’s approval process for FDCs.
  • Main amongst them are institutional problems such as understaffing, lack of skills, and inadequate infrastructure.
  • The most significant issue is the issuance of manufacturing licenses by the State Licensing Authority without the prior clearance of the Drug Controller General of India DCG (I), the head of CDSCO.
  • According to a study, of the 110 anti-TB (tuberculosis) Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs) available in India, only 32 (less than 30%) have been approved by the CDSCO.
  • The market size of the banned drugs is estimated to be around Rs 20-22 billion. The ban, if comes into force, will thus impact the country’s top drug-makers.
  • Large pharma companies have reportedly said that the impact is expected to be negligible since the FDCs in question are less than 2% of the pie.
  • They added that over the last couple of years, they have either phased out such drugs or changed the combination.

Way forward:

  • It is not advisable to ban each and every FDC drug considering the huge market size. However, the rationality of FDCs in the future should be determined based on certain key aspects as follows
  • The ingredients in the combination should work by different mechanisms.
  • The pharmacokinetics (effect of the drug in the body) of ingredients must not be widely different.
  • FDC should not have toxins created due to a combination of ingredients.
  • Only those FDCs approved by WHO can be made available.

Topic :  Climatic anomalies Indian monsoons.

4) Discuss the pressure that below average Monsoon has on rural employment and the economy as a whole in India and what needs to be done by the administration to manage the same?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article captures the  assessment from agency, Skymet about the forecast of a below average monsoon in India for this year. It assesses that  there is a prospect of an El Niño, often associated with drought conditions to be considered along with other factors that seem to weaken the El Niño link, such as a dipole weather phenomenon in the Indian Ocean.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must cover a detailed discussion on  significance of the indications given and quoted by the report; discuss the scenario with causes and effects. Second half of the answer must emphasize on the role of administration in managing such situations.

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:

Highlight the indications of the report.

Body:

Discussion should have the following dimensions :

  • The highlights of the report.
  • Why a weak monsoon ? – causes
  • The consequences of the weak monsoon must be discussed in special context of rural economy and its association with employment – discuss effects on agriculture direct and indirect.
  • Then move on to discuss what needs to be done in terms of administrative efforts – significant role of local administration; take cues from the article to capture multiple dimensions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The private weather forecaster Skymet said it expects the 2019 monsoon rains to be “below normal” and about 7% short of the 89 cm the country usually gets from June to September. Not only is the monsoon expected to begin sluggishly but rain in July — a key month for agriculture — is expected to be nearly 9% short, the company said at a press briefing recently.

Body:

The highlights of the report:

  • A forecast of a below average monsoon in 2019, after last year’s erratic rainfall that flooded Kerala and crippled agriculture in eastern and western States, is a cause for worry.
  • In terms of geographical risk, Skymet expects that eastern India, along with a major portion of Central India, is likely to be at a higher risk of being rain deficient, especially during the first half of the season.
  • The onset month of June is going to have a very sluggish start and deficit rains are likely to spill into July.
  • The second half of the season would see better rainfall wherein August is expected to be a shade better than September.
  • There is a 15% chance of a drought (seasonal rainfall less than 90% of the average), 30% chance of normal (seasonal rainfall that is between 96%-104% of the long period average or LPA), and 55% chance of below normal (seasonal rainfall that is between 90%-95% of LPA).

Reasons behind a weak monsoon:

  • The key culprit, according to Skymet, was the El Niño — the warming of the central Pacific Ocean that’s frequently associated with drying monsoon rains.
  • An El Niño is declared when three straight months register a 0.5-1 degree C rise in sea surface temperatures in the Central Pacific.
  • If the assessment from Skymet, is any indication, there is a prospect of an El Niño, often associated with drought conditions, taking hold.
  • This must, of course, be considered along with other factors that seem to weaken the El Niño link, such as a dipole weather phenomenon in the Indian Ocean.
  • According to Skymet — the Indian Ocean Dipole, when the western Indian ocean is warmer and has more rain clouds than the east — appeared favourable to the Indian monsoon.

Consequences of the weak monsoon

Rural Employment:

  • The monsoon is the lifeblood for India’s farm-dependent $2 trillion economy, as at least half the farmlands are rain-fed.
  • The country gets about 70% of annual rainfall in the June-September monsoon season, making it crucial for an estimated 263 million farmers.
  • About 800 million people live in villages and depend on agriculture, which accounts for about 15% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and a failed monsoon can have a rippling effect on the country’s growth and economy.
  • Whereas, a normal to above-normal and well-distributed monsoon boosts farm output and farmers’ income, thereby increasing the demand for consumer and automotive products in rural markets.

Indian Economy:

  • The monsoon has a direct impact on the country’s agricultural GDP.
  • The planting of key kharif, or summer, crops like rice, sugar cane, pulses and oilseeds begins with the arrival of monsoon rains in June.
  • Summer crops account for almost half of India’s food output and a delayed or poor monsoon means supply issues and acceleration in food inflation, a key metric which influences Reserve Bank of India’s decision on interest rates.
  • Lower output of pulses and oilseeds will lead to increased imports, denting the food import bill which in turn will impact the fiscal deficit and economy.
  • A deficit monsoon could also lead to a drought-like situation, thereby affecting the rural household incomes, consumption and economic growth.
  • A poor monsoon not only leads to weak demand for fast-moving consumer goods, two-wheelers, tractors and rural housing sectors but also increases the imports of essential food staples and forces the government to take measures like farm loan waivers, thereby putting pressure on finances.
  • Below normal monsoon can also lead to drought-like situation, thereby affecting the rural household incomes.
  • Other sectors affected by the health of the rural economy are banking, NBFCs and microfinance institutions.
  • Droughts result in NPAs, as farmers are unable to repay loans.
  • Whereas a normal monsoon results in a good harvest, which in turn lifts rural incomes and boosts spending on consumer goods. It also has a positive impact on hydro power projects.

Measures needed:

  • While the farming sector has its own set of risks, like any other economic activity, to increase and ensure stable flow of income to farmers it is vital to manage and reduce the risks by analysing, categorising and addressing them.
  • In rainfed areas, water security primarily depends upon rainwater harvesting and the efficient use of the available water through techniques like drip irrigation, and the appropriate choice of farming systems.
  • Groundwater augmentation and management is an important method of ensuring adequate and timely availability of water for crops. Fortunately, the concept of ‘more crop per drop’ is being promoted by the government.
  • The government must resolve to address the structural issues and there is a need to give farmers not just a better, but also more stable, return on their crops.
  • The monsoon-dependent Indian economy needs climate-sensitive budgeting.
  • The excessive dependence on monsoon may be mitigated by the construction of modern irrigation canals, afforestation, and diversification of Indian industries.
  • Farmers, especially smallholder farmers, need advance warning of emergent weather conditions at a local level.
  • Develop climate-smart agriculture practices.
  • Build adaptive capacities to climate variability and strengthen the sustainability of farming systems.
  • Preventive measures for drought that include growing of pulses and oilseeds instead of rice.
  • Mobile telecommunication systems are increasingly cost-effective and an efficient way of delivering weather-based agro-advisories to farmers at a large scale.
  • Allied agricultural practices like Agroforestry, Apiary, Fisheries, Animal husbandry should be promoted which can act as economic alternative in times of Monsoon failure.

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

5) Discuss the significance of global coalition for clean cooling that was recently adopted, also trace India’s efforts in this direction.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The Global Cooling Coalition was launched recently at the first Global Conference on Synergies between the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement held at Copenhagen, Denmark.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of global coalition of cooling along with India’s efforts in this direction.

Directive:

DiscussThis 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:

Briefly discuss  the idea of cooling.

Body:

The discussion should have the following points :

    • Why is the concept of cooling gaining importance day by day?
    • What are effects it has in efforts to tackle global climate change scenario.
  • Discuss the Global Cooling Coalition –  is supported by the UN, Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program and Sustainable Energy for All. The coalition includes environment ministers from Chile and Rwanda and foreign affairs from Denmark as well as heads of Danish engineering firms ENGIE and Danfoss and leaders from civil society, research and intergovernmental institutions.
  • India’s efforts  – national cooling action plan launched by the Union environment ministry.
  • Way forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward and assert the significance of such steps.

 

Introduction:

The first-ever global coalition on clean and efficient cooling was launched at the recently held First Global Conference on Synergies between the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Cool Coalition is a global effort led by the United Nations Environment, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program, and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).

Body:

Significance of Global Coalition for clean cooling:

  • As the world gets warmer, the demand for air conditioners is projected to grow and the greenhouse gas it emits will endanger the planet.
  • Clean, efficient cooling appliances and equipment can save up to $2.9 trillion in energy use by 2050, and help avoid 0.4° Celsius warming of the planet
  • The global demand for cooling is growing at a rapid pace as unprecedented temperatures peaks have been increasing every year.
  • Throughout the world, 2018 was the fourth hottest year, preceded by 2017, 2015 and 2016.
  • Already, the world’s 30 percent of the population face potentially dangerous temperatures for more than 20 days in a year. Heatwaves cause 12,000 deaths annually.
  • Millions of people are at risk today from extreme heat and need equal protection from both increasing temperature and increased carbon emissions due to the increasing use of cooling units, irrespective of their economic status.
  • According to an International Energy Agency (IEA) report, the global stock of air conditioners in buildings will grow to 5.6 billion by 2050, up from 1.6 billion today, which will amount to 10 new ACs sold every second for the next 30 years. This will require 3 times more electricity by that period from the 2016 level.
  • In the upcoming next 20 years, India’s cooling requirement will increase by around 8 times, with AC alone consuming more than half of the total energy required for cooling in the country by 2037-38.

Global efforts for clean cooling:

The Global Cool Coalition

  • The Global Cool Coalition is a unified front that links action across the Kigali Amendment, Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. It is expected to inspire ambition, identify solutions and mobilise action to accelerate progress towards clean and efficient cooling.
  • It will complement and build upon ongoing successful programmes to advance clean and efficient cooling, including, the Cooling for All Secretariat, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme, private sector action like the Global Cooling Prize, and other initiatives.

Kigali Amendments:

  • The Kigali Amendment introduced in 2016, was the first modification to the Montreal Protocol (now ratified by 197 countries) to monitor substances that did not contribute to ozone depletion.
  • In January 2019, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol started phasing down these gases, known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Montreal Protocol:

  • In 1987, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was introduced, the first international policy effort to protect the ozone.
  • This treaty called for the phase out of ozone-depleting compounds like chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).
  • This proved to be a major success for the restoration for the ozone layer, which is expected to return to 1980 coverage around 2050.

Indian efforts:

National Cooling Action Plan:

  • India has already developed a national cooling action plan that was launched by the Union environment ministry in March this year.
  • The plan acknowledges that “there is an immense potential to rationalize the rise in the requirement for active refrigerant-based cooling in the country by the adoption of passive cooling design strategies across sectors.”

International Solar Alliance:

  • The ISA’s major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.
  • This will help reduce the carbon emissions from Thermal power plants.

Green India mission:

  • GIM is one of the eight missions launched under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
  • The objective of the mission is to increase green cover to the extent of 5 million hectares (mha) and improve quality of existing green cover on another 5 mha, improve eco-system services like carbon sequestration, hydrological services and biodiversity

Conclusion:

This Global Coalition is a positive development, as it recognizes the importance of cooling not only as carbon emission and development issue but as a larger social equity issue. It will complement and build upon ongoing successful programs to advance clean and efficient cooling. To survive in a sustainable manner, the world needs to start looking at adaptive comfort and not just cooling.


TopicTransparency and accountability.

6) What do you understand by Public finance management system & how it has the potential of increasing transparent & accountability? Also elaborate on the challenges of adopting it. (250 words)

 

why this question:

The question is about discussing Public finance management system and significance of transparency and accountability therein.

Key demand of the question:

The question is straightforward from the syllabus and doesn’t require much deliberation.

Directive word:

Elaborate – Detail upon  the topic by giving an in depth insight as to how and why it occurred, or what is the  particular context. You must provide for a wider account of the same.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines define what you understand Public finance management system.

Body:

In brief discuss –

  • What is Public finance management system? – trace its evolution.
  • It is an end-to- end solution for processing payments, tracking, monitoring, accounting, reconciliation and reporting. It is implemented by Controller General of Accounts and administered by the Department of Expenditure, both in Ministry of Finance.
  • Discuss how transparency and accountability are key to the PFMS.
  • What can be done to implement these virtues in it ?
  • Justify the above points using suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of transparency and accountability in good governance and functioning of public systems.

Introduction:

Public finance management system (PFMS), earlier known as Central Plan Schemes Monitoring System (CPSMS), is a web-based online software application and an electronic fund tracking mechanism. It compiles, collates and makes available in real- time, information regarding all government schemes. Besides, it will significantly provide government real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes.

Body:

The PFMS Scheme has been rolled-out by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) at the behest of Finance Ministry, Department of Expenditure as a cherished Public Finance Management (PFM) reform in the country.

Potential of PFMS to bring about Transparency and Accountability:

  • The Scheme aims at promoting transparency and bringing about tangible improvements in the overall Central Government Financial Management as well as implementation of various Central Government Schemes across the country.
  • The ambit of PFMS coverage includes Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes as well as other expenditures including the Finance Commission Grants.
  • The PFMS aims to help in complete tracking and monitoring flow of funds to implementing agencies and ensuring timely transfer of funds.
  • PFMS provides platform for efficient management of funds through tracking of funds and real time reporting of expenditure and receipts through Treasury and Bank Interface. It will help government to ascertain actual status of utilization of funds by multiple implementing agencies of central and the state governments.
  • It allows government expenditure to adopt a Just-in- Time (JIT) approach, with payments made only when they are needed.
  • It will also cut need for paper work and in long way help in monitoring and tracking of any unnecessary parking of funds by implementing agencies, thus minimising cases of delay and pending payments to large extent.
  • PFMS is used for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) payments under MGNREGA and other notified schemes of the Government of India. It will help to plug leakages in system and help to manage and maintain data that government can use to develop more scientific approach.

Challenges of implementing PFMS:

  • The intergovernmental  resource  transfer  system  in  India  continues  to  be      It  involves  several  conduits  like  the  Finance  Commission,  Planning  Commission  and  several Central  Ministries.
  • A direct  transfer  of  resources  to  state  budgets  would  seem  to  have  merit  in  terms  of 
  • Chartered accounts  audit  Centrally  Sponsored  Schemes  rather  than  the  Comptroller  and  Auditor General of India. The information on availability of funds and actual expenditure by the service delivery units, schools or health service units, often in remote areas, is limited.
  • The lack of digitization to the last mile is another major challenge.

Conclusion:

Government has made use of PFMS mandatory for Central Schemes. This in inline with the Digital India initiative and helps bring in transparency and accountability in finances of the Government.


Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

7) Moral defiance is better than Moral silence. Comment.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon

Why this question:

The question wants us to write in detail about the meaning and scope of ethics and morals and discuss in what ways are they similar and in what ways do the differ. We have to illustrate our discussion with the help of examples.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the importance of moral disobedience and in what way it is better that moral muteness.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines write about how the two words are used interchangeably, but in reality they are different from each other and have their own significance in defining the morals of an individual.

Body:

Discuss –

  • Define both the terms individually. Give a simple definition.
  • What makes moral defiance better ? explain using examples.
  • Discuss why is moral silence bad or not appreciated.
  • Discuss their significance in ethical behaviour and moral conduct of an individual.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of morals in ethical conduct and their importance in Public services.

Introduction:

Defiance is behaviour or an attitude which shows that you are not willing to obey someone. Silence on the other hand is refusal or failure to speak, communicate, etc, when expected. In normal course of life, people use these interchangeably although there is a huge difference between the two.

Body:

Moral Silence occurs when people witness unethical behavior and choose not to say anything. It can also occur when people communicate in ways that obscure their moral beliefs and commitments.

When we see others acting unethically, often the easiest thing to do is look the other way. Studies show that less than half of those who witness organizational wrongdoing report it. To speak out risks conflict, and we tend to avoid conflict because we pay an emotional and social cost for it.

Moral Defiance is when we see something is wrong and stand up against it. Gandhiji knew when to defy the Britishers and their rule. He led thousands on a ‘March to the Sea’ where the protesters boiled up salt water to make illegal salt – a symbolic act of defiance against British rule. He was arrested and the campaign escalated, with thousands refusing to pay their taxes and rents. The British gave in and Gandhi travels to London to join the conference.

The other acts of moral defiance are that of Rosa Parks, who decided to defy racial segregation rules by not giving up her seat for a white passenger when asked. Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who raised their fists during the national anthem as a political gesture for human rights, after winning gold and bronze medals in the Men’s 200m Finals in Olympics.

Moral defiance is better than moral silence as the former guides the ethical behaviour in times when others are in need of help. With Defiance comes the values of empathy and compassion, where as silence comes only with sympathy.

Conclusion:

Courage and self confidence stand out in morally defiant individuals. Education and awareness can also help people become morally defiant.