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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 APRIL 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 25 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: Salient features of Indian Society, Social empowerment.

1) Voting in elections have turned into another fight against societal stigma for the Transgender sections of our Indian society. Discuss.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article paints a bleak picture of the poor participation quotient of the transgender community owing to societal stigma associated with the community.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must discuss the factor of societal ostracization faced by the transgender community and that leading to low voter turnout in the elections. Answer must evaluate the  factors responsible and what should be the way forward for it.

Directive word

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 highlighting the importance of inclusiveness in the election system of the country.

Body

The body of the answer should address the following dimensions:

  • Discuss the historical factors responsible for such ostracized status of the transgender community.
  • Explain – The fear, particularly of being judged and mocked, how the community is stigmatized when one stands in a polling queue with others.
  • Suggest what needs to be done to streamline and mainstream the community – A mechanism to instils confidence in the community to vote needs to be formulated, strong activism.

Conclusion

Conclude with steps to overcome such societal stigmas.

Introduction:

The Constitution of India grants socio-economic and political justice to all the citizens of India irrespective of their sex, place of birth, religion, race or caste. National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India is a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of India, which declared transgender people to be a ‘third gender’, affirmed that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable to transgender people, and gave them the right to self-identification of their gender as male, female or third-gender. However, for most transgenders, getting the ability to vote is a difficult climb over the mountain of bureaucracy that awaits them. Voting, it seems, is another fight against societal stigma.

Body:

Transgenders and Voting:

  • The number of third genders, who have enrolled themselves in the electoral list, has increased by nearly 127 per cent, from 918 in 2014 to 2,086 in 2019, according to the latest Election Commission (EC) data.
  • The increased number shows a willingness of the community members to identify themselves as transgenders.
  • Karnataka has a transgender population of more than 70,000, but only about 4,700 people from this community have enrolled for voting.
  • Discrimination has relatively reduced in urban areas due to activism, however in the rural areas, it’s still very evident.
  • The presence of queer issues, particularly transgender issues, in several party manifestos is a mark of progress from the 2014 Lok Sabha elections

Challenges faced by Transgender voters in India:

  • The insensitivity with which officials handle these cases only makes matters worse. It can double or triple the pain of transgender people if not heighten their anxiety, social humiliation and dysphoria. Thus many prefer not to undergo this ordeal.
  • There is fear, particularly of being judged and mocked. The community is stigmatised when one stands in a polling queue with others.
  • Before 2014, transgenders used to register as male or female until the Supreme Court judgment identified them as a different gender. Those who made voter cards before 2014 have not changed their id.
  • Some people have voter ID cards, but those cards pertain to the period before they became transgenders.
  • Only a few thousand have voter IDs because most of them don’t have any documents to say they are residents of their localities.
  • Many of them, surviving through begging and sex work, barely have any documents in their name. Those who do have a few documents, such as their birth and school-leaving certificates, struggle to get them updated with their Trans identity.
  • Medical certificates of a gender transition is sought despite the 2014 NALSA verdict that states that self-identifying as transgender is not necessarily tied to a case of medical transition
  • Transgenders are not given houses on rent by landlords because of their identity. They normally stay with their seniors, and documents are in their seniors’ names.
  • The gap is a result of not just social stigma but painful bureaucratic processes that renders the community helpless and exasperated.

Measures needed:

  • The EC and State government have to be more proactive if they want voter turnouts to increase.
  • To “uphold the rights of all transgender persons and remove the lacunae present in the current Transgender Persons Bill, 2018.
  • There has to be a mechanism that instils confidence in the community to vote.
  • Awareness programme where our officials go out and urge transgenders to vote.
  • Transgender activists, NGOs and CSO can play an imperative role in registration of the transgender voters.
  • Social media can be used to effectively reach out to the Trans communities and increase their participation and grant their constitutional rights.
  • Recently, Shreegauri Sawant was appointed as one of the goodwill ambassadors of the Election Commission in Maharashtra. Such innovative measures will help build confidence among other transgenders as well as sensitize people.

Conclusion:

Despite the small steps taken in the political landscape, stigma and patriarchy remain the biggest impediment. Therefore, the only way for these transgender women to overcome the challenges is by sticking their neck out in mainstream politics by breaking the glass-ceiling.


Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

2) Do you think educational qualification to stand for polls is against the very spirit of democracy? Critically analyse. (250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is about analyzing whether having a minimum educational qualification for contesting polls is problematic or a step forward in fulfilling true values of Democracy.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must give a detailed explanation and provide for a critical analysis of whether educational qualification should be made compulsory or not and what are the pros and cons associated with it. What should be the way forward.

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:

Begin with a brief background of the entire scenario.

Body:

  • The answer should provide for a balanced opinion, start with historical factors such as – Restrictions on voting rights on the basis of property, education, etc., were colonial concepts — upon independence, the framers of the Constitution extended the voting rights to all citizens above the age of 21 years, irrespective of their educational qualifications. The literacy rate in 1951 was a mere 21.82%.
  • Also provide for the viewpoint that literacy has not much bearing on this point; a man may be illiterate, none the less he may be very intelligent.
  • There is no empirical study which establishes that an educational qualification infuses administrative capabilities in an individual. Instead, individuals bereft of education or devoid of social justice and necessities can generate better ideas to counter the lack of the same. This leads to a more participatory form of government, where citizens can connect more with those at the helm of administration rather than seeing them as ruling elites.
  • Also discuss the aspect that –  whether school-level education be made a criterion if there are quality concerns around the education imparted in government schools?
  • although the job of MLAs and MPs requires a more complex understanding of Constitutional processes and administrative skills, there are no minimum educational qualifications for them — this is patently discriminatory.
  • Discuss how minimum educational qualifications has also led to further marginalization of the marginalized.

Conclusion:

Draw a fair and balanced conclusion.

Introduction:

Rajasthan government has approved to do away with the minimum education qualification required to contest panchayat and urban bodies’ elections. The education criteria was introduced by the previous government. The criteria was

  • To contest the municipal, zila parishad or panchayat samiti polls, a contestant must have a minimum qualification of secondary education (Class X).
  • To contest the sarpanch elections, an aspirant from the general category must have passed Class VIII and a SC/ST aspirant must have passed Class V.

Body:

Rationale behind Minimum Education Criteria:

  • The Minimum Education Criteria was introduced in Haryana too in 2015.
  • The constitutional validity of decision was subsequently upheld by Supreme Court in Rajbala vs. State of Haryana
  • The SC had ruled that “it is the education which gives a human being the power to discriminate between right and wrong, good and bad”.
  • The uneducated or illiterate can be easily misled by officials.
  • Supporters claim that the criteria will incentivize women’s literacy in rural areas.
  • To ensure that people who come into governance are socially and ethically aware of their duties and responsibilities.
  • There are other criteria like two-child policy too present in states. About 12 states currently have the policy, Assam being the latest entrant into the list.

Cons of Minimum Education Criteria:

Social:

  • The criteria penalises the people for failure to meet certain social indicators. E.g.: India which is home for 35% of World’s illiterate population will be at disadvantage.
  • The already marginalised sections like Dalits, women will be excluded. g.: The literacy rate (Census 2011) for women in Rajasthan is 52% and most of the literate women are in urban areas.
  • The criteria discriminates on the lines of religion, caste and sex, because mostly those who are deprived of education are the SC’s, ST’s and women.
  • The Right to Education became a fundamental right as recent as 2002, thereby putting many at disadvantage prior to it.
  • Mainstreaming of many sections of people will be hindered.

Political:

  • It violates the right of every citizen to vote and to contest elections, which forms the basic structure of our constitution.
  • There are no minimum education qualifications for MP’s or MLA’s in the Constitution.
  • The very essence of involving people at grass-roots level envisaged in 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments will be defeated by excluding a large chunk of people.
  • The State’s ineffectiveness in imparting education will bear a brunt on the people now.
  • To mandate what makes a person good goes against the spirit of democracy.

Ethical:

  • Honesty, reliability, ability to connect with people, deal with crisis are traits of a leader for which education is not necessary.
  • Experiences have shown that wisdom plays a greater role than education at local governance levels.
  • As Dr. B.R Ambedkar opined, an illiterate person is not necessarily an unintelligent person.

Pros of Minimum Education Criteria:

  • The candidates will be better aware of the provisions of Constitution and cannot be misled by conniving officials or vested interests.
  • With education, the states will have to truly devolve the functions that local governments can take care of by themselves.
  • Ministry of Panchayat reports have successively highlighted difficulty in training uneducated representatives.
  • The issue of “Token Representation” or “Panchayat-Pati” system would be eliminated as education gives a sense of confidence among the marginalised sections.
  • The criteria in itself promote the awareness of importance of education among the parents which will benefit the generations to come.

Conclusion:

The need of the hour is to implement the ground reforms like adult education, right to free and compulsory education better before implementing such laws. There is more imperative need to tackle challenges like criminalization of politics, transparent electoral funding currently.


Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.

3) Discuss the impact of recent US sanctions on Iran on the geopolitics of the world with emphasis on effects it has on India. (250 words)

Reference

NewIndianexpress

Why this question:

The question is amidst the recent sanctions posed by US on Iran. President Trump, in a move that could have implications on India’s energy security, recently decided not to grant sanctions exemptions to any oil customers of Iran, further squeezing Tehran’s top export commodity. The US re-imposed sanctions on Iran last November, after Trump pulled out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must thus evaluate the impact of such decisions on the world economy and India in particular.

Directive word:

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 with context of the question.

Body:

  • Explain why the sanctions were imposed?
  • What impact does it have on the Iranian economy?
  • Impact on Indian economy?
  • Should the sanction change the modus operandi of the Chabahar project? – take cues from the article, discuss associated pros and cons.
  • Discuss what should be India’s stand?

Conclusion:

Conclude with the impact it has on the world economies.

Introduction:

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran deal, was signed on July 14, 2015 between Iran, the U.S., China, France, Russia, the U.K., Germany and the European Union. It was considered a landmark deal which would eventually bring peace and harmony to the turmoil-stricken Middle East. However, President Donald Trump recently decided to unilaterally pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and to re-imposing nuclear sanctions against that country.

Body:

Details of the deal:

  • Under this deal, Iran agreed not to build any more heavy water facilities, eliminate its stockpile or medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, and reduce the number of its gas centrifuges.
  • Other nuclear facilities in Iran would have to be converted into non-nuclear facilities.
  • In return, Iran will recover assets worth $100 billion frozen in overseas banks, and sanctions on the country by the U.S., the U.N. and the E.U. will be lifted.

Impact on geopolitics of world:

  • The United States pulling out does create more than a few uncertainties for regional security, for non-proliferation, and for American credibility more generally.
  • Undermining it despite no clear evidence of Iranian violations could hasten an arms race or outright regional conflict.
  • The JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea.
  • Indeed, at a time when world is rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes with Iran the very outcome that world is pursuing with the North Koreans.
  • Keeping the deal’s constraints on Iran’s nuclear program will also help counter Tehran’s aggressive regional behaviour.
  • A number of French firms have signed billion dollar agreements with Iran since the nuclear accord was signed in 2015.
  • Aside from Airbus, they include French oil giant Total and the car makers Renault and Peugeot. Companies would have to wind up investments by November or face US sanctions.

Implications for India:

  • Oil and Gas:
    • The impact on world oil prices will be the immediately visible impact of the U.S. decision.
    • Iran is presently India’s third biggest supplier (after Iraq and Saudi Arabia), and any increase in prices will hit both inflation levels as well as the Indian rupee.
    • The negotiations on the Farzad-B gas field remain stuck, with both sides blaming the other for shifting the goalposts. It was remained on paper because of Iranian unhappiness over India’s stand in the IAEA.
  • Chahbahar port:
    • India’s moves over the last few years to develop berths at the Shahid Beheshti port in Chahbahar was a key part of its plans to circumvent Pakistan’s blocks on trade with Afghanistan.
    • India has already committed about $85 million to Chabahar development with plans for a total of $500 million on the port, while a railway line to Afghanistan could cost as much as $1.6 billion.
  • INSTC:
    • Beyond Chahbahar, India has been a founder of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) since it was ratified in 2002.
    • It starts from Iran and aims to cut right across Central Asia to Russia over a 7,200-km multi-mode network, cutting down transportation and time taken by trade by about 30%.
    • New U.S. sanctions will affect these plans immediately, especially if any of the countries along the route or banking and insurance companies dealing with the INSTC plan also decide to adhere to U.S. restrictions on trade with Iran.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation:
    • India joined the SCO along with Pakistan last year, and both were formally admitted in June 2018, when Prime Minister travelled to the Chinese city of Qingdao for the SCO summit.
    • Chinese officials say they will consider inducting Iran into the 8-member Eurasian security organisation.
    • If the proposal is accepted by the SCO, which is led by China and Russia, India will become a member of a bloc that will be seen as anti-American, and will run counter to some of the government’s other initiatives like the Indo-Pacific quadrilateral with the U.S., Australia and Japan.
    • The move may also rile other adversaries of Iran, like Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel, with whom the government has strengthened ties in an effort to balance its West Asia policy.
  • Rules-based order:
    • India has long been a proponent of a “rules-based order” that depends on multilateral consensus and an adherence to commitments made by countries on the international stage.
    • By walking out of the JCPOA, the U.S. government has overturned the precept that such international agreements are made by “States” not just with prevailing governments or regimes.

Way forward for India:

  • Allowing Indian investment in rupees and initiating new banking channels to go ahead with oil trade.
  • The near-term developments in its neighbourhood are a priority for Tehran even as India tries to find a balance with his stated preference to develop closer ties with both the U.S. and Israel.
  • India and Iran are looking to swiftly conclude a preferential trade agreement and a bilateral investment treaty.
  • Newly relaxed visa norms announced by Iran in addition to India’s proposal for Indian businesses to invest in rupees in Iran are all moves in the right direction.
  • Nonetheless, they may be insufficient to cement commercial ties if USA sanctions do return.
  • India should give its full support for the effective implementation of the JCPOA. Only successful implementation of the JCPOA over a period of time can create the political space for additional negotiations.
  • Both the nations can take leverage of their historical and civilizational relations to steer ties so much. The visit proved to be a much-needed reality check to the India-Iran partnership.

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

4) Discuss the recent major environmental orders taken by the Judicial wing of the country and analyse their significance in keeping a check on the decisions of the executive.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The article brings out a detailed narration of recent verdicts with respect to environmental concerns by the judicial wing.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate top environmental cases heard in the supreme court, high courts and national green tribunal recently and their impact.

Directive word:

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:

Begin with importance of such verdicts in tackling environmental concerns.

Body:

In brief discuss –

  • The recent verdicts ranging from – SC permitted felling of 202 trees in Perumalai Forest for road with conditions, Joint committee to look into compliance of NGT orders on solid waste dumping in Vrindavan etc.
  • Then highlight how these verdicts provide for a check against the decisions of the executive.
  • Quote examples where the executive and the judiciary are at rift and conclude that despite the turf , such relationship best favors in addressing the concerns of the environment in the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting way forward.

 

Introduction:

In recent years, there has been a sustained focus on the role played by the higher judiciary in devising and monitoring the implementation of measures for pollution control, conservation of forests and wildlife protection. Many of these judicial interventions have been triggered by the persistent incoherence in policy-making as well as the lack of capacity-building amongst the executive agencies. Devices such as Public Interest Litigation (PIL) have been prominently relied upon to tackle environmental problems, and this approach has its supporters as well as critics.

Body:

The recent major environmental orders by judiciary to keep a check on Executive:

  • SC permits felling of 202 trees in Perumalai Forest for road, but with conditions
    • The Supreme Court (SC) granted permission for removal of 202 trees in the Perumalai Reserve Forest at Lingavadai Village in Natham Taluk, Dindigul district from L Malaiyur Forest Road upto Rajakadu for road construction.
    • The permission was granted subject to the fulfilment of conditions including payment of Net Present Value (NPV) and compensatory afforestation to be undertaken in the non forest area identified for the purpose under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
    • Further, the SC ordered that a six monthly report be submitted to the CEC with respect to plantation and its rate of survival and growth of newly planted trees.
  • Joint committee to look into compliance of NGT orders on solid waste dumping in Vrindavan
    • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered that a joint committee be formed, comprising representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and Nagar Palika Parishad, Vrindavan, to look into the compliance of orders passed by the tribunal from 2016 to 2017 on unregulated dumping of municipal solid waste on the flood plain area of river Yamuna and burning of municipal solid waste.
  • TSDF facility violating environmental norms in Karnataka: NGT asks for a report
    • The NGT was hearing a case on the violation of environmental norms by M/s Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd and M/s Ramky Infrastructure Ltd while operating Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF). The case has been transferred from the High Court of Karnataka.
    • The NGT directed that a factual analysis report be submitted by a joint committee, comprising representatives of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), CPCB and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) within a period of two months.
  • Darjeeling District Magistrate to submit report on construction on the banks of river Balasan
    • The NGT was hearing a case filed by Monojit Das on the violation of environmental laws in raising illegal constructions on two sides of the river bank barrage near Balasan river and Chamta river, near Siliguri town in West Bengal.
    • The tribunal directed the District Magistrate, Darjeeling, to furnish a report on the issue.

However, there have been situations where the judicial activism in order to protect the environment has been judicial overreach.

  • Gujarat High Court has ordered that all new vehicles registered in the state should run on compressed natural gas.
  • Iron ore mining has been banned in Karnataka and Goa.
  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered that no 15-year-old petrol-driven or 10-year-old diesel-driven vehicle will ply in Delhi, and the Supreme Court has directed impounding such vehicles, though neither the NGT nor the Supreme Court are legislative bodies.
  • In C. Mehta v. Union of India (2018), the court annulled the statutory Rule 115(21) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, when it directed that no BS-4 vehicle should be sold after March 30, 2020, and that only BS-6 vehicles can be sold after that date.
  • In Arun Gopal v. Union of India (2017), the Supreme Court fixed timings for bursting Diwali fireworks and prohibited the use of non-green fireworks, although there are no laws to that effect.

Conclusion:

The Indian judiciary plays a remarkable role in uplifting the goal of preservation through its various landmark decisions and the Acts and laws which provides a platform so as that one cannot exploit the nature and its gift for his or her greedy needs. Others measures such as educational camps, and other movements such as Swacch Bharat Abhiyan should be introduced further. Environment is the gift of nature and we have to respect it. It is the duty of every individual to conserve the beauty of environment.

Extra information: Some remarkable principles and doctrines propounded by the Indian judiciary:

  • Polluter Pays Principle has become a very popular concept lately. ‘If you make a mess, it’s your duty to clean it up ‘- this is the fundamental basis of this slogan. The Supreme Court in Vellore Citizen’s Welfare Forum v. Union of India has declared that the polluter pays principle is an essential feature of the sustainable development.
  • Doctrine of Absolute Liability in THE BHOPAL CASE: Union Carbide Corporation v. Union of India. In this case, the court held that, where an enterprise is occupied with an inherently dangerous or a hazardous activity and harm results to anybody by virtue of a mishap in the operation of such dangerous or naturally unsafe movement coming about, for instance, in getaway of poisonous gas, the enterprise is strictly and completely obligated to repay every one of the individuals who are influenced by the accident and such risk is not subject to any exemptions.
  • Precautionary Principle: The Supreme Court of India, in Vellore Citizens Forum Case, developed the following three concepts for the precautionary principle: Environmental measures must anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of environmental degradation; Lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures; Onus of proof is on the actor to show that his action is benign.
  • Public Trust Doctrine in C.Mehta v. Kamal Nath and Others: The Public Trust Doctrine primarily rests on the principle that certain resources like air, water, sea and the forests have such a great importance to people as a whole that it would be wholly unjustified to make them a subject of private ownership.
  • Doctrine of Sustainable Development in Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of UP: The court for the first time dealt with the issue relating to the environment and development; and held that, it is always to be remembered that these are the permanent assets of mankind and or not intended to be exhausted in one generation.

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

5) Suspension of cross LoC trade between Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK) is part of a larger change in the strategy for dealing with Kashmir at the policy level. Discuss.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article discusses the effects of the suspension of  cross LoC trade between Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK)  that was in force with effect from April 19. The article discusses the possible ill effects it has on the relations and stability of the region.

Demand of the question:

The answer must evaluate in detail the reason for suspension of cross-LoC trade, the impact it had on other aspects and whether the decision was in favor of the situation.

Directive word:

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

Start by narrating a brief background of the situation amidst which the decision was taken.

Body

  • First explain the Importance of LoC trade – how it benefits the local economy, helps generate employment, political value it carries , catalyzes  peace negotiations etc.
  • Then move on to discuss the concerns it poses – security concerns, regional imbalance in terms of trade etc.
  • Discuss the policy level changes associated with it.
  • What are the strategic impact that it brings.
  • Conclude with what should be done?

Conclusion

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The trade between the two parts of Jammu and Kashmir, across the Line of Control (LoC), which started in 2008, was stopped in April 2019. The suspension of the cross-LoC trade, announced by the Union Home Ministry, is part of a larger change in the strategy for dealing with Kashmir at the policy level. The consistent violation of Ceasefire, pumping in of terrorists, the recent incident of hostage crisis of Indian Air force Lt. Commander have together resulted in this decision.

Body:

Importance of LoC trade:

  • The trade survived major political crises during the last decade emphasizing the importance of economics of the people on either sides of the region.
  • the annual trade volume cranked up to Rs 3,500 crore last year despite hostility between Indian and Pakistani Governments.
  • This was almost evenly split between goods “traded out” and “traded in”. This with a truncated list of barely two dozen commodities. The business potential stands well established.
  • It is a model of regional economic integration that could have been replicated in the Subcontinent. For instance, Tamil Nadu could develop similar trade links with Sri Lanka, the two Punjabs could build a mutually beneficial economic interdependence, as might West Bengal and Bangladesh or parts of Rajasthan and Sindh.
  • As against regional cooperation between governments, this one is a process that binds the societies and economies of neighbouring countries together much more closely.
  • Going beyond economics, the essence of LoC trade was to extend the familial and social interconnectedness into the arena of business and commerce.

Reasons for cessation of LoC trade:

  • Guillotining the trade appeared a thoughtless action.
  • The timing and method suggest a hidden agenda linked to the issue of Article 35A. For this trade was meant only for locally-produced goods to be traded by local traders; in other words, “state subjects”, a category that the present dispensation wants to get rid of.
  • The stated reasons for the drastic action are that the trade was being “misused” for fake currency, weapon supply and narcotics. Incidentally, as soon as the trade was started, traders from Amritsar and Lahore started the bogey of LoC trade being a conduit for fake currency and hawala operations.

Potential of Loc Trade:

  • To start with, this trade was meant to result in interaction between people and help build partnerships across the two parts of J&K.
  • In the second phase, it would have progressed into an economic and commercial interdependence between the two parts of J&K.
  • Finally, it would result in a network of institutions like banks, trade bodies, and regulators across the LoC aligning with each other.
  • An institutionalisation of relations would automatically happen. In this process, a constituency of commerce for peace and normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan would be built.
  • LoC trade was a major Confidence Building Mechanism, and a step towards the resolution of the impending issue of Kashmir crisis.

Way forward:

  • A financing mechanism comprising of a banking arrangement and payments system is complex but the most critical of the five networks.
  • A creative solution, which avoids the minefields of sovereignty, political control, medium of exchange, its risk, and credit arrangements, has to be worked out.
  • A communication system for reliable transmission of information as a decision support system.
  • A transport and logistics network for off-take and delivery, a regulatory framework for ensuring legitimate transactions and banning contrabands.
  • A legal mechanism for dispute resolution and settlement.

Conclusion:

The three progressions — interactions, interdependence and institutionalisation — would, over time, make the LoC less of a barrier by forging a functional unification between the two parts of J&K; a de facto unification without disturbing the sovereignty claims and the de jure political status of either side.


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

6) “Man-induced famines have become more common than the nature-induced ones.” Comment. (250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question:

The article talks about the woes of helpless farmers in the arid Saurashtra region that is facing acute water crisis leading to agrarian crisis.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss mainly the aspect that the famines, drought conditions and the recent agrarian crisis are more of a man made outcomes than due to the natural factors.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer

Introduction:

Introduce by highlighting the alarming situation of the famines across the country.

Body:

The question is direct, one must discuss in detail the factors responsible for such famines, conditions of austerity that are an outcome of manmade factors – such as increasing population pressure, land degradation, climate change all leading to change in natural geo-hydrological cycles thus affecting the agrarian systems, natural ecosystem leading to famine conditions.

List out all possible interlinkages.

Suggest what needs to be done – at policy level, societal level and individual level to overcome and address the situation.

Conclusion –

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Famines are sustained, extreme shortages of food among discrete populations sufficient to cause high rates of mortality. Famines have been common ever since the development of agriculture made human settlements possible. Arid Saurashtra in Gujarat, South Sudan, are few such places which are witnessing man-induced famines.

Body:

The factors responsible for such famines:

Natural Causes:

  • Floods, cyclone, and storms: floods and earthquakes can destroy the crops or food storage places.
  • Droughts: Draughts cause extreme scarcity of water and thus results in crop failure.
  • Earthquake
  • insect plagues
  • plant diseases

Anthropogenic causes:

  • Low food system productivity, weak markets, poorly governed institutions, the lack of basic infrastructure, and continued political conflicts have exacerbated droughts into famines.
  • Faulty agricultural practices like growing of water-guzzling crops in drought-prone areas.
  • Crop irrigation failure due to excessive ground water usage.
  • Long-term climate change (itself a confluence of natural and human effects) is a contributing factor to the occurrence of drought that also impairs the functioning of food systems.
  • Desertification is on the rise due to increased deforestation.
  • Lack of food due to no crop failure or no storage of food.
  • Population growth and lack of adoption to renewable sources.
  • No proper food distribution in certain regions because of inequities that result in a lack of purchasing power on the part of the poor
  • Consumption of contaminated water and air.
  • Wars and other conflicts drive the rich to migrate to safe zones, leaving the poor and the vulnerable behind, and eroding the ability of communities to cope up with the drought-induced food shortages.
  • Enforced starvation as a political tool with abnormal distribution or relief movements of food.

Measures needed:

  • Eliminating the recurrent threats of famines and building coping capacity largely depends on long-term efforts to reduce poverty and food insecurity.
  • The food crisis of 2007-08 demonstrated that countries need stronger assessment, monitoring, and surveillance systems to minimize the risk and mitigate the effects of food crises on the vulnerable.
  • The Horn of Africa famine in 2011-12 showed that countries face recurrent famine-like conditions due to low levels of resilience in their food systems, and that building resilience requires a transformation of the food system.
  • Finally, the examples of Ethiopia and Bangladesh over the last two to three decades demonstrate that sustained investment in agricultural research, extension, and rural infrastructure, combined with improved social safety nets, can increase food system resilience—and that of communities against droughts and famine-like conditions.
  • Sincere planning can reduce the risk and damage to life and land.
  • Climatic risks should be resolved as part of mainstream development planning.

Way forward:

  • Humanitarian aid:
    • To address the immediate crisis, begin with general food distributions, followed by targeted food aid, along with the provision of heath care, clean drinking water, and sanitation.
    • This should be followed quickly with supply of modern inputs and health care to aid vulnerable groups, in order to prevent epidemics and reduce the movement of people in search of food.
  • Rebuild communities:
    • While food or cash assistance is a good beginning, quick follow-up with communities that are starting to rebuild and relatively safe from violent conflict is essential.
    • Rebuilding typically involves invigorating local economies through safety net programs such as public works—for example, employing able-bodied individuals to construct irrigation systems, feeder roads, and other essential infrastructure.
  • Strengthen local food system resilience:
    • As rebuilding takes hold, communities must begin to stand on their own feet; this depends on efforts to build resilient food systems.
  • Focus on long-term economic strategies:
    • Finally, development assistance should aim to foster economic diversification and otherwise expand employment opportunities.
    • This will help ensure food security, especially when combined with investments in microcredit programs, market development, and long-term agricultural research.

Conclusion:

Famines are due to varying combinations of inadequacy of food supplies for whatever reason and the inability of populations to acquire food because of poverty, civil disturbances, or political interference. Despite the role of natural causes, the conclusion is inescapable that modern famines, like most of those in history, are man-made. A decentralised Public Distribution System is democratic and involves rural communities at every stage of planning and implementation


Topic : Ethics and Human Interface.

7) To attach to towering moral standards and ideals in a highly immoral society is bare act stupidity. Critically analyse with examples.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications.

 

Why this question:

The question is based upon the conduct of Moral behaviour and its practice in real life. A world of today which is often being considered immoral.

Key demand of the question:

The question is about evaluating the conduct of moral standards and values across varying situations, one has to evaluate how an individual can or can not profess a moral conduct amidst an immoral society.

Directive:

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:

Define first – what you understand by Moral conduct .

Body:

First start by explaining – what are Moral values ? – they are set of principles guiding us to evaluate what is right or wrong. They are the standards of good and evil, which govern an individual’s behaviour and choices.

Discuss how today’s world is being recognized as highly immoral owing to its changing culture day by day.

Explain why is the world immoral today – issues at societal level ranging from corruption of attitudes, capitalist tendencies, intolerance towards the less empowered etc.

Then quote examples to show how a person professing high morals in such a society gets to be called stupid and foolish.

Provide for examples to support your opinion, suggest what should be done to overcome the crisis.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of morality in the society .

Introduction:

Moral values are set of principles guiding us to evaluate what is right or wrong. They are the standards of good and evil, which govern an individual’s behaviour and choices. Today’s fast-changing society seems to be ‘immoral’ because of rampant corruption, crony capitalism, self-interest driven attitude, political opportunism, a tendency of backstabbing etc.

Body:

In such a scenario, a person sticking to high moral values and standards may seem to be stupid as the person may bear the cost of being moral.

For instance,

  • Honest and non-corrupt civil servants who stick to high moral values often face quick transfers, harassment, threats etc.
  • Persons raising their voice against injustices of the society face social isolation. Social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy faced criticism from conservatives.
  • Gandhiji, in his struggle for independence, faced impediments due to his principles of truth and non-violence (Ahimsa).

Societies are biased and guided by caste, religion, region, money etc. The best person always may not be rewarded and the one who must be punished may not get the punishment. In our daily lives too, in some instances, we face problems when we adhere to our moral values and principles.

  • A person paying tax regularly may be economically disadvantaged to the one who evades it.
  • Student cheating in exam might get more marks than the honest student.
  • The moral hazard faced by farmers due to voluntary default and waiting for loan waivers despite having the capability to repay loans.

In spite of such negative atmosphere, there are many people, who despite facing adversities, have been quite successful in their professional as well as personal lives.

  • One such example of our times is of Dr. B R Ambedkar, who in his various capacities could lead a successful life despite facing societal problems.
  • Mother Teresa despite facing flak for adhering to high moral values and standards could prove her worthiness to the world.
  • People like Warren Buffett, Narayana Murthy etc. have shown high corporate governance values despite being in highly competitive crony capitalist world.

Apart from these, there are innumerable people working in their respective fields, who hold their heads high because of their adherence to high moral values and work ethics. Such people are internally happy and have pride associated with their work. They act as an inspiration to others and society as a whole.

Conclusion:

Simultaneously it is imperative to be practical and cautious enough while taking decisions and doing any actions. Though moral values are required they must be well thought out and must be backed up by our conscience, so as to be relevant in the today’s fast-changing society. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to stick to high moral values and standards despite being in such negativity.