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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 APRIL 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 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: Indian Constitution– historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

1) The historic leap of faith taken in granting universal adult suffrage democratized Indian governance in inconceivable ways. Analyse. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article talks about democratic evolution of right to vote and its significance as a weapon to bring about large-scale social reconstruction.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must cover a detailed discussion on  the evolution of universal adult suffrage and its role in democratizing Indian governance.

Directive word:

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.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly narrate the historical coming of universal adult suffrage.

Body:

Discussion should have the following aspects  :

  • Evolution of voting as a right in Indian history.
  • Importance of Universal adult suffrage and its recognition.
  • Take cues from the article and discuss Ambedkar’s struggle with emphasis on social reconstruction that necessitated adult franchise.
  • Discuss the principles that formed the backbone of universal adult franchise in becoming part of the Constitution.
  • Bring out how it democratized today’s governance system .

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of leaders and the fact that universal adult franchise played a key role in changing fate of India.

Introduction:

Universal suffrage, also known as general suffrage or common suffrage, consists of the right to vote of all adult citizens, regardless of property ownership, income, race, or ethnicity, subject only to minor exception. Universal Adult Suffrage has been cornerstone of election process in India since its inception. BR Ambedkar, as the chairman of the Constitution’s drafting committee, played a crucial role in ensuring that India got universal adult franchise after Independence. Despite this Election Commission of India has achieved the major feat of conducting elections for all adult population.

Body:

Principles that formed the backbone of universal adult franchise in becoming part of the Constitution:

  • Adult suffrage had been one of the rallying cries of the freedom movement for around three decades preceding the drafting of the Constitution. It was enshrined, for example, in the 1931 Karachi Resolution, a proto-constitutional document drafted by the Congress
  • British made the use of limited franchise specifically to minimize their responsibilities to which nationalist leaders objected strongly.
  • Indian nationalist leaders truly believed in the concept that all human are born equal and they have certain rights just on account of being human irrespective of their nationalities.
  • Indian constitution makers were aware that limited adult suffrage would exclude the under-privileged and marginalized sections of the society to whom it is most needed. UAS makes government accountable and responsible to all citizens and compels them to work for all.
  • Ambedkar’s argument that voting was essential to citizenship and that voting served as a means of political education for the historically deprived sections was key to India’s voting rights
  • Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer of the constituent assembly said in November 1949, “the Assembly has adopted the principle of adult franchise with an abundant faith in the common man and the ultimate success of democratic rule and in the full belief that the introduction of democratic government on the basis of adult suffrage will bring enlightenment and promote the well-being, the standard of life, the comfort and the decent living of the common man. The principle of adult suffrage was adopted in no lighthearted mood but with the full realisation of its implications.”

Universal adult suffrage has democratized today’s governance system:

  • Attributes of Citizenship: the right of representation and the right to hold office under the State are the two most important rights that make up citizenship
  • Voter’s participation: the voter’s participation is imperative as they become a part of the governance and the policies of the government will directly or indirectly impact them.
  • Political and Social emancipation: voting could serve as a means of political education for those who had been denied any part of political and social life for all these years, and as a tool to “remove the evil conditions” that exists. The acknowledgment of electoral equality among all adult Indians, irrespective of class, caste, or community, was an entirely new experience for a society beset by historically entrenched inequalities.
  • Women empowerment: the women’s participation both in voters and as political leaders is present as UAS is universal. In fact women leaders form the one third proportion of total at the Panchayat level.
  • Rights to minorities and backward: UAS has preserved, protected and nurtured the political, cultural and socioeconomic rights of the minorities and backward communities of India.
  • Quest for good governance: UAS plays instrumental role in rising the standard of governance and making political leaders more accountable to the people.
  • The process of nation-building began in a newly serious way. The ideals of the freedom movement had unfolded with a new fullness, setting a capstone atop the movement’s momentous achievement.

Conclusion:

The system of adult franchise is the bedrock of a democratic system. People are called political sovereign because they possess the right to vote a government into power, or to vote a government out of power. It contributed to forging a sense of national unity and national feeling, turned the notion of people’s belonging to something tangible. They became the focus of the new state’s leap of faith, in which they now had a stake.


Topic :Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

2) The 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments have remained as unfinished agenda. How does it hinder the accomplishment of economic democracy? Examine.(250 words)

Why this question:

The question is with respect to local self-government – The 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments that provided for devolution of power to Panchayats and Municipalities and the lacunae posed by it.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must analyse why the local self-government systems in India have remained an unfinished agenda and thus failing the goal of economic democracy.

Directive:

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:

Briefly narrate the significance of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments.

Body:

The discussion should have the following points :

  • The first half should discuss the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments, their evolution, characteristic features.
  • Discuss what factors lead to the lacunae – the Act containing mandatory and discretionary provisions and thus how devolution of powers and finances up to local level have remained an unfinished agenda in India.
  • Discuss other factors too – issues of Subjects shared by local bodies, taxation related autonomy , inefficient devolution etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with how vision of these amendments can be made real by proper political will and true deliberation and power devolution in  a responsible manner.

Introduction:

The 73rd, 74th constitutional amendment gave constitutional status to local self-governments. At present India has around 2.5 lakh institutions of local self-governance with 32 lakh representatives. They were created to realize the objectives of Article 40 of the Indian constitution to create a truly participatory democracy.

Body:

However, even after 25 years of existence, they have failed to be effective instruments of governance. The factors mentioned below combinedly resulted in ineffectiveness of local self-governments.

  • Systemic issues:
    • State finance commissions are not as effective as central finance commission
    • State election commissions are alleged over issues like delimitation of constituencies.
  • Issues related to funds functions and functionaries
    • Devolution of powers as per eleventh schedule except in few states like Kerala, Madhya Pradesh is not satisfactory.
  • Capacity building of both panchayats and urban local bodies is not proportional to the responsibilities they are assigned.
  • Departmentalization of development: A lot of government bodies have sidelined local bodies. For example, recently in Haryana, a rural development agency, presided over by the Chief Minister, to enter into the functional domain of panchayats.
  • Legislative approval of these parallel bodies legitimises the process of weakening decentralised democracy.
  • Mani Shankar Aiyyar committee observed that decentralization has led to decentralization of corruption
  • There are criticisms that initiatives like smart city projects affect the autonomy of urban local bodies.
  • In urban areas, participation from people in elections as well as in governance is very limited.
  • Structural lacunae:
    • No secretarial support – No dedicated carder of people or service is working for Panchayati raj. This make administrative and documentation work very difficult.
    • Low technical knowledge – has restricted the aggregation of planning from village to block to district to state to centre. Hence bottom up approach of planning is very limited.
    • Adhoc meetings – lack of clear setting of agenda in gram sabha, gram samiti meetings; there is lot of adhocism; no proper structure

There have been lots of positives too like improvement in women participation, building the foundation for participatory democracy , utilization of local resources, customization of projects to local needs.

Following steps can be taken to improve the effectiveness of LSG to realize their true potential.

  • Devolution of powers: Decentralization of governance as per eleventh schedule like in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. More financial resource generation powers should be given to these institutions.
  • Reservation for women should be increased from 33 % to 50 % like in Maharashtra and Bihar.
  • Principle of subsidiarity to be upheld at all levels like recommended by Second Administrative Reforms Commission.
  • Property taxation reforms to be introduced to make urban bodies self-sufficient financially.
  • Platforms like Mahila Gram Sabha need to be encouraged to help women voice their needs and participate in decision making process.
  • Adequate training: to develop expertise in the members so that they contribute more in planning process and in implementation of policies and programmes. Capacity building of all elected representatives especially women.
  • Social empowerment: must precede political empowerment. Only then problem of proxy members could be solved.
  • In the NREGA programme, 40% of the money allocated is for the material component, whereas the remaining 60% is for salaries. These funds are available with the states and can be used to build panchayat bhavans.

Conclusion:

Local bodies need to be empowered to create greater inclusiveness, participation and women empowerment at the grassroots level. Integrating institutional reforms in local governance with economic reforms was Gandhiji’s far-sighted vision of ‘PoornaSwaraj’. The 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution which seek to create an institutional framework for ushering in grass roots democracy through the medium of genuinely self-governing local bodies in both rural and urban areas of the country.


Topic :  Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

3) Independence of local level institutions in a democracy are the true barometer of governance. Discuss.(250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is in the context of independence of local level institutions and their significance in bringing good governance.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must discuss whether the new social and political order calls for a reorganization and whether there is any guarantee for effective administration.

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

Introduce by underlining fundamentals of democracy and the role of local institutions in it.

Body

Discussion should revolve around how the independence of local self-governing institutions will ensure better functioning of democracy and good governance. Explain Governance and good governance concept, elements associated, role of Local government  in promoting decentralization, how it can act as an effective tool for ensuring a greater match of the administrative agenda with expectations of the people.

Conclusion

conclude your answer with significance of local institutions in bringing good governance.

Introduction:

Democracy is about meaningful participation. It is also about accountability.  In a democracy, it is not sufficient to have an elected government at the centre and at the State level.  It  is  also  necessary  that  even  at  the  local  level,  there should be an elected government to look after local affairs. Strong and vibrant local governments ensure both active participation and purposeful accountability.

Body:

The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts constitutionalized the local governments system at rural and Urban areas in India. It is now mandatory for the state governments to set up the local government and its machinery and devolve the sufficient powers and finance for them to perform the tasks.

Independence of local level institutions is imperative because:

  • Grassroots democracy can be seen as a propensity towards designing political processes where as much decision making authority as practical is shifted to the lowest level of organization.
  • It is at the level of local government that common citizens  can  be  involved  in  decision  making concerning  their  lives,  their  needs  and  above  all  their development.
  • It is necessary that in a democracy, tasks, which can be performed locally, should be left in the hands of the local people and their representatives.
  • Common people are more familiar with their local government than with the government at the State or national level.
  • They are also more concerned with what local government does or has failed to do as it has a direct bearing and impact on their day-to-day life.
  • If democracy means people’s participation in running their affairs, then it is nowhere more direct, clear and significant than at the local level, where the contact between the people and their representatives, between the rulers and the ruled is more constant, vigilant and manageable.
  • Decentralization is a main mechanism through which democracy becomes truly representative and responsive.
  • Local governments being closer to the people can be more receptive to local needs and can make better use of resources.
  • The democratic system in a country can be guaranteed only if there is huge participation in the governance.

Challenges to the independence:

  • The experience with the functioning of local government in the past decade has shown that local governments in India enjoy limited autonomy to perform the functions assigned to them.
  • Many States have not transferred most of the subjects to the local bodies. This means that the local bodies cannot really function in an effective manner.
  • Some people criticise the formation of the local bodies because this has not changed the way in which decisions are taken at the central and the State level.
  • People at the local level do not enjoy much powers of choosing welfare programmes or allocation of resources
  • Local bodies have very little funds of their own. The dependence of local bodies on the State and central governments for financial support has greatly eroded their capacity to operate effectively.

Way forward:

  • True devolution of powers to the local level of governance as recommended by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission.
  • Property taxation reforms to be introduced to make local bodies self-sufficient financially.
  • Introduction of Social Audit mechanisms and RTI to bring in more transparency and accountability in the operations of local bodies.
  • Involvement of people by reservations to make local governance more inclusive and participatory.

Conclusion:

Grassroots democracy is the political processes which are driven by groups of ordinary citizens, as opposed to larger organizations. Ultimately, democracy means that power should be shared by the people; people in the villages and urban localities must have the power to decide what policies and programmes they want to adopt. Thus, Independence of local level institutions in a democracy are the true barometer of governance.


Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources.

4) Can weeding out corruption help higher education, when there is a mismatch between number of aspirants and the number of opportunities that are available? Critically analyse .(250 words)

Epw

Why this question:

The question is in the context of corruption involved in higher education system of India and vis-vis the incongruity between number of aspirants and the number of breaks that are available for students.

Demand of the question:

Discussion should focus mainly on two aspects – 1. Corruption in higher education system of India. 2. Lack of opportunities to students for jobs and any inter relationship between the two if any.

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

one can start by highlighting the current education system and the alarming picture of corruption in it.

Body

The question must analyse the corruption scenario in the higher education system – explain how corruption has invaded whole systems of higher education and threatens the reputation of research products and graduates, regardless of their guilt and innocence.

  • sale of fake degree certificates of well-established universities and the operation of institutions that provide degrees with hardly any period of study, commonly known as degree mills.
  • involvement of fraudulent recruitment agents, universities graduating poorly qualified or unqualified, widespread plagiarism, cheating and exploitation.
  • Corruption is also suspected among faculty and senior administrators who may clandestinely negotiate any number of benefits for themselves.
  • Examples – Vyapam scam

Then move on to relating it to lack of opportunities and thus the desperation of students to obtain degrees.

Conclusion

Base on your opinion conclude with a balanced reasoning and suggest what should be done to overcome the menace.

Introduction:

Education is the foremost sector that shoulders the biggest responsibility of shaping the future of nation. India, though renowned since ancient time for higher educational institutions like Nalanda, is presently facing multiple challenges in education. India’s education system is mired in corruption which needs to be addressed at the earliest.

Body:

Reasons for Corruption in Higher Education:

  • Dramatic increase in output from secondary sector, Higher Education Institutes cannot accommodate all the students.
  • Over-regulation by regulators such as UGC, MCI, which decide on aspects of standards, appointments, fees structure and curriculum has further deterred new institutions from opening campuses.
  • Pressure for admission to best universities and to professional programmes–medicine, law, engineering. This has led to increased middle-men.
  • A university degree now a prerequisite for most white-collar jobs –many jobs even require a Masters or PhD
  • A degree enables moving up the social ladder and increasing family income
  • National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in its assessment report pointed out that 68% of institutions in India are of middle or poor quality. Recruitment of undergraduates as teachers, ad-hoc appointments and low pay scale, inadequate teacher training are all factors that have caused deterioration in the quality of education. As a result, nearly three-fourth the numbers of graduates remain unemployable.
  • Insufficient funds in public HEIs: need to generate income in a competitive environment
  • Commercialization of Higher education: private HEIs operate as corporate, profit-making entity by politicians, businessmen etc.
  • Withdrawal of public sector has left the space open for private institutions that have turned education into a flourishing business. Most of the teachers in private colleges are underpaid and over-worked. There has been a rampant expansion in the number of colleges with scant regard for standards and quality. This phenomenon also shows the lapses in the regulatory structure which are riddled with corruption.
  • Multiplicity of regulatory bodies and regulatory standards has prevented foreign educational institutions from opening campuses in the country. As a result curricular and pedagogy lacks competitiveness.
  • Dramatic improvement in IC

Measures to tackle the corruption:

  • Alternate methods: Alternative, perhaps more humane way of examining students’ aptitude and competence needs to be identified. However, if the root cause of the problem is left unaddressed, then decontextualised pedagogic solutions alone are unlikely to solve the problem.
  • Financing: Tiered Funding model can be adopted, whereby institutes with higher performance standards get more funds and also more autonomy. This approach is followed in Singapore and has enabled it to develop world class institutes. Besides, mobilisation of funds in state universities should be explored through other means such as endowments, contributions from industry, alumni, etc
  • Regulatory overhaul: National Knowledge Commission recommended that UGC be stripped off its powers of sanctioning grants and should not exert influence on administrative decisions.
  • Accreditation: A robust credit rating system involving rating agencies, media houses and industry associations will further enhance competition among universities. Further, National board of accreditation is to play a key role in quality enhancement and quality assurance.
  • Entrepreneurship skills: Students should be helped in honing their entrepreneurship skills
  • Meaningful choices: Make education more meaningful that supports students to make choices that are not influenced by their social prestige (like engineering and medicine) and more importantly, be given opportunities and supported to develop different facets of their personality.
  • Responsive education: Make education responsive to employment skills required. However, a unilateral relationship between education simply responding to market needs will do more harm than good.
  • More jobs: Establish more public institutions of high quality and create more job opportunities. Clearly the state needs to take this responsibility and the private sector, despite their enormous contribution cannot be relied upon for an equitable economic growth of the country.  In the neo-liberal environment, where private is celebrated and public, condemned, further withdrawal by the state will only intensify the struggle for a large majority of people and one will have to continue to contend with paper leakages, cheating and student suicides etc.

Conclusion:

The first step in systemic reform is recognizing that a problem exists. India has a storied history of excellence in higher education. To overcome the corruption that impairs confidence and quality, India’s epic history should serve as an archetype for a post secondary system that promotes research and workforce development. At the moment, the ethical base underpinning India’s educational system is being eroded, undermining the very basis of mutual trust and educational standards.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

5) Discuss the achievements made by Namami Gange programme. How was it different in its approach from the previous policies aimed at cleaning Ganga?(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

Recently  the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was awarded the distinction of “Public Water Agency of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit in London. Thus it becomes necessary for us to examine the achievement.

Key demand of the question:

The question is about analyzing the significance of Namami Gange programme and the achievements made by it, one has to analyse what policy changes led to the success of program over the other past programs that aimed at same goal.

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:

In a few introductory lines brief upon the background.

Body:

The question must discuss the following points :

  • about the program – is an umbrella programme which integrates previous and currently ongoing initiatives by enhancing efficiency, extracting synergies and supplementing them with more comprehensive & better coordinated interventions. Government of India is supplementing the efforts of the state governments in addressing the pollution of river Ganga by providing financial assistance to the states
  • Salient features of Namami Gange programme.
  • Method of implementation – entry level, medium term activities and long term activities that makes it different from other programs.
  • How it happened to be an integrated mission for Ganga rejuvenation, a comprehensive multi-sector intervention with multi-stakeholder involvement that adopted a basin-based approach etc.
  • Compare it with previous programs.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such programs.

Introduction:

Namami Gange Programme is an umbrella programme which integrates previous and currently ongoing initiatives by enhancing efficiency, extracting synergies and supplementing them with more comprehensive & better coordinated interventions. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) endeavours to deploy best available knowledge and resources across the world for Ganga rejuvenation. Clean Ganga has been a perennial attraction for many international countries that have expertise in river rejuvenation.

NMCG was awarded the distinction of “Public Water Agency of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit in London.

Body:

Salient features of Namami Gange programme:

  • River front development.
  • Conservation of Aquatic life and biodiversity
  • Improvement of coverage of sewerage infrastructure in habitations on banks of Ganga.
  • River Surface cleaning for collection of floating solid waste from the surface of the Ghats and River
  • Afforestation
  • Industrial Effluent Monitoring
  • Development of Ganga Gram
  • Creating Public Awareness

Achievements of Namami Gange:

  • Namami Gange has a well-balanced spread of 221 projects, which include STP, ghat development, surface cleaning afforestation, sanitation, and public awareness, out of which 58 have been completed.
  • There is a concerted focus on 10 towns that contribute to 64% of the total sewage discharged in Ganga.
  • To address the cross-functional challenge faced by GAP, Namami Gange has synergized itself with government schemes by signing MoUs with 10 central ministries.
  • More than 90 per cent villages across river Ganga have been declared open defecation free, and by October 2017, the rest of the villages would become ODF as well.
  • The programme has also successfully renovated over 180 ghats and built 112 new crematoriums.
  • 4,464 villages situated on the bank of Ganga have been declared as open defecation free (ODF). Moreover, Namami Gange was instrumental in constructing more than 12.7 lakhs household toilets.
  • Trash skimmers have been deployed in 11 cities to collect any surface waste.
  • Six public outreach programmes were organised in areas around Ganga basin:
    • Swachhata Pakhwada
    • Ganga Sankalp Divas
    • Ganga Nirikshan Yatra
    • Ganga Dusshera
    • Ganga Vriksharopan Saptah
    • Swachhta Hi Seva Pakhwada

Evaluation of Namami Gange and previous plans:

  • A major advantage enjoyed by the Namami Gange programme is the fact that it’s headed by the National Mission For Clean Ganga (NMCG), an institutional body which has been given due financial and administrative powers as per the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016.
  • A singular institutional structure makes it easier for decision making. Namami Gange has also brought the states onboard, something the previous programmes were unable to.

Its implementation has been divided into:

  • Entry-Level Activities (for immediate visible impact),
  • Medium-Term Activities (to be implemented within 5 years of time frame) and
  • Long-Term Activities (to be implemented within 10 years).

Challenges faced:

  • CAG in its report claimed that the NMCG neither circulated Ganga Rejuvenation Basin Management Programme (GRBMP) to different ministries/departments for consultation and seeking their opinion, nor finalised the Ganga Rejuvenation Basin Management Programme (GRBMP) for initiating the long-term intervention on the Ganga.
  • There have been issues regarding untreated waste that flows into the river, restoring the flow of the river, sludge management in Ganga basin towns, cost overruns in execution of projects and governance glitches.
  • Sewage treatment:
    • As far as sewage infrastructure projects are concerned, 68 projects were sanctioned after the Namami Gange was approved by the cabinet and only six were completed till August.
    • New projects are delayed because land acquisition and other related activities were taking a lot of time.
  • A river is a self-purifying system only when water flows through it. The Ganga fails this basic test except during monsoons. So it’s not just about unclean Ganga. It is about the existence of Ganga.
  • The water resources ministry signed MOUS with 10 ministries for better implementation of Namami Gange. However, till date no detail is available as to how these ministries are functioning for better convergence.

Conclusion:

Ganga is an integral part of the socio-eco-cultural-political fabric of India. However, the longest river has faced the brunt of increasing industrialization, which has not only affected the flow but also the quality of its water. Namami Gange Programme aims to restore the purity and flow of water in the Ganga River through abatement of pollutants and treatment of discharged water. Namami Gange has not only taken lessons from the failure of GAP, but, it has also ensured cross-state cooperation as well as public support to expedite the processes.


Topic :Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation

6) Critically analyse  India’s Domestic Climate Policy. Suggest solutions to overcome the current concerns associated with it.(250 words)

Epw

Why this question:

the article provides for a critical analysis of India’s domestic climate policy  and highlights how it is fragmented and brings out the deficiencies it has on clarity front.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must  critically examine India’s Domestic Climate Policy, the lacunae it has and suggest what needs to be done to overcome these issues.

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 India’s current Climate Policy.

Body:

Answers must discuss in detail the following points :

    • Features of India’s Domestic Climate Policy.
    • What are the issues associated?  – disjointed institutional architecture, lack of environmental governance, Issues with the enforceability of global climate agreements etc.
    • Failures of policies – causes and consequences. Take cues from the article.
  • suggest what should India do? – need for a comprehensive policy document with a new vision, new policy must include stakes from incorporates inputs from policymakers, natural and social scientists, the academic community, civil society and communities from across the country, prospect for future research and deliberation. Etc.

Conclusion –

Conclude with optimism and suggest way forward.

Introduction:

India’s climate policy is located in a variety of sources, including international treaties, parliamentary legislations, government regulations and policy documents, planning and guidance documents, and judicial decisions.

The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) was initiated primarily in response to developments at the international level, the eight missions focus on India’s domestic development needs. In 2015, India also submitted her Intended Nationally Determined Contributions towards the Paris agreement of UNFCCC.

Body:

India’s domestic policy success so far:

  • India has improved its ranking in the Climate Change Performance Index 2019 by climbing three places to rank 11.
  • The government’s pledge to strengthen its renewable energy capacity, coupled with market factors, such as falling renewable energy prices, suggest that India may meet its NDCs target of achieving 40% electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based resources well ahead of schedule.
  • Similarly, India is also expected to achieve its quantified NDCs goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission intensity.
  • India along with France was instrumental in setting up the International Solar Alliance which further gives a fillip to our 100GW goal of solar energy.

However, the issues with India’s domestic climate policy are:

  • It is outdated and relies on a disjointed institutional architecture, without having clarity on foundational values.
  • The official Indian position in international climate negotiations and domestic climate policy debates is expressed in troubling binaries: economic development versus climate change mitigation, centralised command-and-control environmental governance regimes versus decentralised adaptive governance mechanisms, transitioning to renewable energy versus carbon sequestering through forests.
  • India is a “dualist” system, which means that international agreements (such as the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC) must be translated into domestic law to become enforceable within the country.
  • There is no time-bound requirement for India to enact domestic legislation to give effect to the provisions of international agreements on climate change either.
  • The wording of international climate agreements has, therefore, allowed the Indian government to avoid comprehensive domestic legislation and clear regulatory frameworks focused on the threats of climate change
  • A guiding document embodying a vision for climate change adaptation and mitigation across sectoral legislations and policy documents is conspicuously absent.
  • India’s domestic climate policy is further complicated by the country’s federal structure wherein the legislative domains of the central government and the state government are distinct.
  • Institutional, systemic and process barriers, including financial constraints, inter-ministerial coordination, lack of technical expertise and project clearance delays, stand as major challenges in the efficient implementation of the missions.
  • There is tremendous variation between the different State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs), due to differences in ascribing priority to climate change, institutional heterogeneity, developmental circumstances, and resource availability.
  • Significant devolution of powers relating to environmental and climate change concerns has not taken place to the third tier of governance in most states.
  • An excessive focus on quantified mitigation goals often diverts attention away from core questions of environmental and social justice involved with climate change response in India

Measures needed:

  • India’s domestic climate policy urgently needs a coherent vision for tackling climate change that should be clearly reflected in the framing of legislation and policy documents addressing multiple sectors.
  • It must be aligned with multiple federal levels in the design of appropriate institutional frameworks to achieve climate policy objectives of mitigation and adaptation in a holistic and non-fragmented way.
  • Such a new domestic climate policy must result from a collaborative and democratic exercise that actively seeks and incorporates inputs from policymakers, natural and social scientists, the academic community, civil society and communities from across the country.
  • Aside from budgetary facilitation, the centre can also play a crucial role in providing relevant data to the states.
  • States must have access to scientific predictions of climate impact in their territory, for which the centre can play an important role in facilitating the transfer of relevant data
  • Stakeholder engagement must be based on equitable terms, with due recognition and compensation for the utilisation of the local participants’ knowledge, research, time and resources.
  • The role of villages, cities and states in co-creating India’s climate policy must be explicitly endorsed and promoted.
  • Simultaneously, the Parliament, state legislatures, and courts must carefully re-examine the existing policy framework through the lens of climate change, and revise the framework, as necessary.

Conclusion:

Policy integration, institutional design for effective implementation, and climate justice must play a central role in this new vision for India’s domestic climate policy.


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

7) What do you understand by cognitive dissonance?  Discuss examples of civil servants facing such a dissonance.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is to analyse the concept of cognitive dissonance and its applicability in public services.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss briefly what you understand by cognitive dissonance, why is it necessary to reduce cognitive dissonance. Provide for some examples /case studies where civil servants have faced dissonance and what is ideal to be done in such situations.

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:

Brief upon importance of cognitive dissonance and control necessary over it.

Body:

First provide for theory of cognitive dissonance – as presented by  Festinger. That Cognitive dissonance is a sense of internal anxiety that is experienced when a person holds two inconsistent cognitions.

Discuss how No individual can completely avoid dissonance. So people have to cope with dissonance.

According to Festinger, the desire to reduce dissonance would be determined by the importance of the elements creating the dissonance; the degree of influence the individual believes he or she has over the elements and the rewards that may be involved in dissonance.

Such answers are best explained with examples – A police officer who believes in nonviolence has to take decision of Lathi charge or using pellet guns to disperse crowd faces such cognitive dissonance.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance and necessity of values such as high emotional intelligence, high morals to overcome situations of cognitive dissonance.

Introduction:

Cognitive dissonance is a phenomenon in which a person experiences psychological distress due to conflicting thoughts or beliefs. It is the mental stress or uneasiness experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory views, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. It means people prefer their attitude and behaviour to be aligned in the same direction.

In order to reduce this tension, people may change their attitudes to reflect their other beliefs or actual behaviours.

Body:

Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and behavior in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance). This is known as the principle of cognitive consistency. When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviors (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance.

Civil servants could face cognitive dissonance in number of situations like

  • Development v/s Environment: A public servant faces dissonance when she has to take decision on displacement of tribal population for any development project.
  • Consider the case of loan waivers, where the civil servant knows it will harm the economy and create a moral hazard, but he is bound to implement the orders of political master. Such actions create dissonance.
  • Strict adherence to ethical conduct may cause problems in carrying out certain aims both in public and private life causing disaffection arising out of inability to reach goals. Being upright also pits the person against powerful vested interest, endangering his and his family’s life, which may create inconsistency (dissonance) in civil servants’ mind.

Ways to eliminate Cognitive Dissonance:

  • Changing minds about one of the facets of cognition.
  • Reducing the importance of cognition.
  • Increasing the overlap between the two.
  • Re-evaluating the cost/reward.

Conclusion:

A civil servant should always follow the constitutional moral values, code of conduct of services and act within ethical framework of public service in any case of cognitive dissonance.


Topic: Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

8) Compare and contrast Deontological ethics  and Consequentialism. (250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question focuses on different approaches of ethical evaluation.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must provide for a detailed analysis involving comparison and contrast of the two philosophies of ethics namely – Deontological ethics  and Consequential ethics .

Directive:

Compare and contrast provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

One can start by defining the two types- Deontological ethics  and Consequential ethics.

Body:

The question is straightforward , one has to define specific feature of each school of ethics – Deontological ethics  and Consequential ethics, respective features, differences and provide for comparison that both are necessary and are to be applied situationally. Discuss how Consequentialism is significantly different from Deontology.

Explain the different types in each school with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the two schools.

Introduction:

Consequentialism and Deontological theories are two of the main theories in ethics. However, consequentialism focuses on judging the moral worth of the results of the actions and deontological ethics focuses on judging the actions themselves.

Body:

Consequentialism or teleological ethics focuses on the consequences or results of an action. One of the most well known forms of consequentialism is utilitarianism which was first proposed by Jeremy Bentham and his mentee J.S. Mill.

For instance, most people would agree that lying is wrong. But if telling a lie would help save a person’s life, consequentialism says it’s the right thing to do.

Two examples of consequentialism are utilitarianism and hedonism. Utilitarianism judges consequences by a “greatest good for the greatest number” standard. Hedonism, on the other hand, says something is “good” if the consequence produces pleasure or avoids pain. Some have argued that this is flawed as it does not allow for one to be able to follow certain moral rules and it concentrates too much on the ends rather than the means.

Deontology is also referred to as duty-based ethics. Deontological ethics focuses on how actions follow certain moral rules. So, the action is judged rather than the consequences of the action. The biggest proponent of deontological ethics was Immanuel Kant who said that moral rules should be adhered to if universalising the opposite would make an impossible world.

It is based on each individual’s duty or obligation towards each other, all living things, and the environment based on moral beliefs and values. It teaches about always acting in good faith and adheres to the Golden Rule to treat others the way you want to be treated by them.

The Ten Commandments are examples of deontology. They are moral duties that we have been taught since we were children, and we are moulded by them in the way that we should treat others, to be fair and not using them to serve selfish intentions.

Conclusion:

While deontology is based on man’s absolute duty towards mankind and how it is given priority over results, teleology is based on the results of an action and on whether an action produces greater happiness and less pain.