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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 MAY 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 04 MAY 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 Culture will cover the salient aspects of Art forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1) Discuss the contributions of master of all arts and crafts – Sri Vedanta Desikan to the Indian art and culture. (250 words)

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why this question:

A postage stamp to commemorate the 750th birth anniversary of Sri Vedanta Desikan was released yesterday, Sri Vedanta Desikan is one of the most prominent preceptors in the Srivaishnava tradition and one of the most effulgent luminaries.

Key demands of the question:

The answer must capture the contributions of such a personality, essential features of Sri Vedant Desikan’s philosophy, his contributions to Indian art and culture and its significance even today.

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

In a few introductory explain who was Sri Vedanta Desikan?

Body

Discuss the following aspects in the answer:

  • Discuss the background of who was he ? – Sri Vedanta Desikan (1268–1369), born in present day Tamil Nadu is also known as Swami Desika, Swami Vedanta Desika, Thoopul Nigamaantha Desikan. He was a multi-faceted personality – a spiritual teacher, a scientist, a logician, a mathematician, a literary genius, a linguist, a military strategist and much more. He was conferred the title of ‘Sarva-tantra-svatantra’ or master of all arts and crafts.
  • essential features of Sri Vedant Desikan’s philosophy – inclusion, irrespective of caste and creed could join the Sri Vaishnava fold etc.
  • explain his literary contributions – prominent works are Hayagriva Stotram, Abheethistavam, Achyutha Satakam, Bhagavat Dhyana Sopanam and Kamasikasthaka etc.
  • He received other titles such as ‘Kavitarkika-kesari’ and ‘Kavitarkika-simham’, the lion amongst poets.

Conclusion

Conclude with significance of such personalities and its uniqueness to India.

Introduction:

Sri Vedanta Desikan (1268–1369) was a Sri Vaishnava guru/philosopher and one of the most brilliant stalwarts of Sri Vaishnavism in the post-Ramanuja period. He was a poet, devotee, philosopher and master-teacher (desikan). He was the disciple of Kidambi Appullar, also known as Aathreya Ramanujachariar, who himself was of a master-disciple lineage that began with Ramanuja. He is considered to be avatar (incarnation) of the divine bell of Venkateswara of Tirumalai by the Vadakalai sect of Sri Vaishnavite.

Body:

His Philosophy:

  • The Sri Vaishnava philosophy that Saint Ramanuja initially propounded got a much wider audience with Vedanta Desikan’s writings and preaching.
  • One of the essential features of this philosophy was the aspect of inclusion. Anyone, irrespective of caste and creed could join the Sri Vaishnava fold. This is a truly democratizing movement that obliterated caste distinctions.
  • he has been an extraordinary individual who has shown a new path towards human fulfilment and spiritual upliftment

Contributions of Sri Vedanta Desikan:

  • Vedanta Desikan was much more than a spiritual teacher. He was a multi-faceted personality– a scientist, a logician, a mathematician, a sculptor, a civil engineer, a poet, a literary genius, a linguist, a geologist, a dietician, a behavioural scientist, a military strategist and much more.
  • He wrote poems, prose, drama, epics, commentaries, scientific texts and philosophical treatises in Sanskrit, Tamil, Prakrit and Manipravalam.
  • His magnum opus, the Rahasya Traya Sara, is a masterly treatise on Prapatti or surrendering oneself to the divine.
  • His masterpiece, Paduka Sahasram, reveals his poetic eloquence and his mathematical ingenuity. In two verses in this collection, Sri Vedanta Desikan gave a solution to a mathematical problem that was solved five centuries later by another mathematician, Leonard Euler.
  • Desikan showed his knowledge of the arts and sciences through other works such as Silparthasaram, a treatise on sculpture, and Bhugola-nirnayam – a research text on geography.
  • Taking cues from the Vedic scriptures, Vedanta Desikan authored Aahaara Niyamam that detailed how different food items help in maintaining a healthy mind and a disease-free life.
  • His ‘Subhashita Neevi’ contains a fund of moral and ethical advice which is relevant and practical.
  • Desikan’s Works in Tamil are numerous, out of which two need special mention: Paramathabhangam, where he describes and refutes 15 schools of philosophy.
  • Desikan’s talent as a military strategist came to the fore during the repeated invasions of the holy city of Srirangam by the forces of the Delhi Sultanate. Before the forces of marauding invaders like Mallik Kafur and Ulugh Khan arrived at Srirangam in 1327, Desikan hid the main Deity of the temple behind a newly built wall, and escaped with rare manuscripts that would otherwise have been destroyed by the invaders.

 

Achievements:

  • He was celebrated as ‘sarva-tantra-svatantra’or master of all arts and crafts;
  • He was awarded the title ‘kavi tarkika-kesari’, the lion amongst poets and logicians;
  • He was glorified as ‘ramanuja-daya-patram’, the recipient of Ramanuja’s blessings.

Conclusion:

Leading a very active life and achieving success in diverse fields, he scaled the greatest spiritual heights as well as other fields of knowledge and human welfare. His versatile intellectual and creative output did not make him vain or pompous. He remained a humble devotee of the Lord he believed in. Humility was his hallmark, simplicity his strength.


TopicStructure, organization and functioning of the Judiciary

2) While the Judicial system of the country  preaches people transparency, it thyself has remained as the country’s most opaque institution. Critically analyse under the recent controversies surrounding it. Do you think it requires an institutional reset ?(250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

Off-late the  SC has been making headlines more for controversies than for its position of giving diktats. The current Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, just like his two immediate predecessors, Justices Dipak Misra and JS Kheharis dealing with a crippling controversy and many such errors have been pointed out around the judicial system that highlights the opaqueness of the system.

Demand of the question:

This question seeks to examine the issues surrounding the judicial system of the country, the causes and consequences associated with it. One should also suggest what needs to be done to overcome such a state of affairs in the country’s Judicial system.

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

Start with brief introduction of the background of events surrounding the Judicial system.

Body

Discuss the following points in detail:

  • What are the issues surrounding the system that makes it opaque?

Corruption.

  • Lack of transparency (particularly in the appointment of judges).
  • abuse of the office of the Chief Justice of India.
  • fragility of judicial independence
  • Under trials of the accused.
  • Lack of information and interaction among people and courts.
  • What needs to be done ?
  • Discuss the need for institutional reset; what should it be like?
  • Conclude by re-asserting the necessity of judicial system remaining transparent.

Conclusion

It is not enough to assert that judicial independence will be at risk whenever any matter related to the judiciary is sought to be debated. Instead, mechanisms must be evolved to ensure due process , where protecting judicial independence is one of the factors involved while ensuring transparency is another.

Introduction:

The Chief Justice of India (CJI) is the head of the judiciary of India and the Supreme Court of India.  The recent allegation of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice of India (CJI), is now turning into a crisis of credibility, not just for the CJI but the judiciary and our constitutional scheme of government as a whole. The current Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, just like his two immediate predecessors, Justices Dipak Misra and JS Khehar, has had to deal with a crippling controversy.

Body:

The crises surrounding Judiciary off late:

  • The Chief Justice’s conduct in the sexual harassment allegations has sent a signal that he is above all principles of natural justice, above all due process, above all law and entitled to be a judge in his own cause.
  • The controversies regarding the CJI being the master of the roster and how the cases were allotted to various benches in partisan manner.
  • The issue of 4 senior most judges holding a public press conference wrt the above issue.
  • Lack of transparency particularly in the appointment of judges has led to issues like that of errant judges like Justice CS Karnan.
  • The sealed cover has now become a problem of opacity. In the Rafale case, the NDA government’s evidence is in a sealed envelope, as indeed are all the reports of the officer in-charge of the National Register of Citizens process in Assam. In former Central Bureau of Investigation chief Alok Verma’s case, the Central Vigilance Commission’s report remains in a sealed cover, as do the NIA’s reports in the Hadiya conversion case.
  • Parliament had tried to create the National Judicial Accountability Commission (NJAC) exactly for such situations but the SC struck it down (4-1) as unconstitutional.
  • The Supreme Court protects the Right to Information Act for us, but claims immunity for itself. Only seven of 27 SC judges have disclosed their assets. There is no transparency or disclosure of the collegium proceedings or even explanation when it changes its mind on an appointment.

Institutional reset:

The judiciary of India has proved itself time and again by upholding the rule of law, fundamental rights of citizens and upholding the constitution of India. The rulings in Kesavananda Bharti, Maneka Gandhi, Shreya Singhal, Justice Puttuswamy are some of the shining examples of Judiciary’s strength. The need of the hour is not an institutional reset but reforms to uphold the judicial independence and transparency.

Measures needed:

  • An independent enquiry towards complaints of Sexual harassment is needed to uphold the credibility of the SC.
  • The Gender Sensitization and ICC should inquire into the affidavit of the complainant to ensure justice is done.
  • Appointment:
    • More transparency in the appointment of judges, the Memorandum of Procedure must be adopted at the earliest.
    • All India Judicial services (AIJS) for uniformity and efficiency in appointment process.
  • Strengthening alternative dispute resolution mechanisms
  • Adequate funding to expand physical infrastructure.
  • Modernization of court process; use of technology to be expanded. Initiatives like CIS should be supplemented by file tracking and knowledge management system.
  • Analyzing appropriate court-related data for better understanding of problems. This would also help in proper case listing
  • Application of management principles; full utilization of court managers; include external support agencies to work with judicial officers to cater to the needs of institution better.
  • Creation of a transparent mechanism to discipline judges
    • Judicial Standards and accountability Bill, 2012: The Bill seeks to put in a place a system to probe complaints against High Court and Supreme Court Judges.

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

3) Discuss the significance and role played by Prime Minister’s Science, Technology And Innovation Advisory Council in the development of science and technology domain of the country.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is about the significance and role played by Prime Minister’s Science, Technology And Innovation Advisory Council in India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer is direct and straightforward, one must discuss the roles and responsibilities handled by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology And Innovation Advisory Council.

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 the need to have such regulatory to develop the domain of sci and tech in the country.

Body:

Following to be discussed in detail –

  • About Prime Minister’s Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) – is an overarching body for assessment, creation and implementation of major scientific, technology and innovation interventions for India.
  • Explain the composition.
  • The other important terms of reference of the Council is to formulate, converge, collaborate, co-ordinate and implement multi-stakeholder policy initiatives, mechanisms, reforms and programmes aimed at:
  • Synergizing S&T covering fundamental to applied research in collaboration with multiple stake holders both in central and state governments 
  • Enabling future preparedness in emerging domains of science and technology
  • Formulating and coordinating major inter-ministerial S&T missions 
  • Providing an enabling ecosystem for technology led innovations and techno-entrepreneurship
  • Driving innovation and technology delivery towards solving socio-economic challenges for sustainable growth
  • Fostering effective public-private linkages for driving research and innovation
  • Developing innovation clusters with multiple stakeholders including academia, industry and government
  • Skilling in current and futuristic technologies. 

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of such regulatory bodies.

Introduction:

The Prime Minister’s Science, Technology And Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) is an overarching Council that facilitates the PSA’s Office to assess the status in specific science and technology domains, comprehend challenges in hand, formulate specific interventions, develop a futuristic roadmap and advise the Prime Minister accordingly. PSA’s Office also oversees the implementation of such interventions by concerned S&T Departments and Agencies and other government Ministries.

Body:

The other important terms of reference of the Council is to formulate, converge, collaborate, co-ordinate and implement multi-stakeholder policy initiatives, mechanisms, reforms and programmes aimed at:

  • Synergizing S&T covering fundamental to applied research in collaboration with multiple stake holders both in central and state governments
  • Enabling future preparedness in emerging domains of science and technology
  • Formulating and coordinating major inter-ministerial S&T missions
  • Providing an enabling ecosystem for technology led innovations and techno-entrepreneurship
  • Driving innovation and technology delivery towards solving socio-economic challenges for sustainable growth
  • Fostering effective public-private linkages for driving research and innovation
  • Developing innovation clusters with multiple stakeholders including academia, industry and government
  • Skilling in current and futuristic technologies.

During the period between October 2018 to January 2019, the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India held four meetings of the PM-STIAC, which resulted in the formulation of nine different technology missions.

  • Natural Language Translation Through a combination of machine and human translation, the mission aims to enable access to teaching and research material bilingually i.e. in English and one’s native Indian language.
  • Quantum Frontier This mission aims to initiate works in control of the quantum mechanical systems, with a large number of degrees of freedom, as one of the great contemporary challenges in fundamental science and technology.
  • Artificial Intelligence The mission focuses on efforts that will benefit India in addressing societal needs in areas such as healthcare, education, agriculture, smart cities and infrastructure, including smart mobility and transportation.
  • National Biodiversity Mission This mission involves Comprehensive documentation of India’s biodiversity with the potential for cataloguing and mapping all lifeforms in India including associated cultural and traditional practices. Assessment of the distribution and conservation status of India’s biodiversity.
  • Electric Vehicles The mission aims to reduce India’s fossil fuel emissions and mitigate emissions by making Electric Vehicles economical and scalable through focused research, development and innovation and building of indigenous capacity.
  • BioScience for Human Health The mission through the use of healthy and disease samples aims to understand the impact of nature and nurture on health. The mission aims to construct comprehensive reference maps of genomes and to understand the dynamics of how exposures to different environments have an impact on our bodies.
  • Waste To Wealth The mission aims to identify, develop and deploy technologies to treat waste to generate energy, recycle materials and extract worth. The mission will work to identify and support the development of new technologies that hold promise in creating a clean and green environment.
  • Deep Ocean Exploration The mission aims to scientifically explore the deep oceans towards improving our understanding of the blue frontier. The information from this mission will address issues arising from long term changes in the ocean due to climate change.
  • Agnii This mission aims to support the national efforts to boost the innovation ecosystem in the country by connecting innovators across the industry, individuals and the grassroots to the market and helping commercialise innovative solutions.

Conclusion:

It will be headed by Principal Scientific Advisor to the government of India. It has nine members, including Chairperson. It aims to bring together all science and technology partners from academia and institutes to industries near such centres or cities.


TopicStatutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

4) In the recent times misuse of drugs has been on rise in India and the need for stringent provisions to prevent their misuse has become the need of the hour. In this context discuss the major functions played by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in regulating the manufacture, sale and distribution of Drugs.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

In the recent past the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has asked commonly-used antibiotics manufacturers to ensure its details be made available to the general public. This decision was taken considering directives from the National Co-ordination Centre of the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI).  Thus it is important for us to know the functions of CDSCO.

Key demand of the question:

The question must highlight About CDSCO, its role as a regulator, its functions and significance.

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 brief on CDSCO, how they function.

Body:

  • Discussion should include the following aspects –
  • About CDSCO: The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization(CDSCO) under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) of India.
  • What are its Functions ?
  • Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, CDSCO is responsible for approval of New Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials,
  • laying down the standards for Drugs,
  • control over the quality of imported Drugs in the country and coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organizations by providing expert advice with a view of bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
  • CDSCO along with state regulators, is jointly responsible for grant of licenses of certain specialized categories of critical Drugs such as blood and blood products, I. V. Fluids, Vaccine and Sera.
  • Discuss issues or concerns if any associated with it.
  • Explain its significance.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) of India. CDSCO along with state regulators, is jointly responsible for grant of licenses of certain specialized categories of critical Drugs such as blood and blood products, I. V. Fluids, Vaccine and Sera.

Body:

Medication misuse in India:

  • In India, it has been estimated that 50% of family spending on healthcare is on unnecessary medications or investigations.
  • Failures in the pharmaceutical regulatory environment in India have contributed to oversupply and ease of access to various medications including many with little evidence to support their safe use.
  • poor community literacy about medication safety and usage potentiates misuse and overuse of medications in India.
  • This, in turn, can contribute to ill-health, public health predicaments such as antibiotic resistance.
  • This has seemingly contributed to increasing rates of antibiotic resistance and further impoverishment.
  • There are only 348 drugs on India’s essential medicine list yet there are known to be 60,000–80,000 brands of drugs available on the market within India, even accounting for different preparations of drugs this is an extraordinary number.
  • This results in an overwhelming workload for the already stretched regulators1 and feeds into what has been reported as a growing culture of irrational and unnecessary prescribing and consuming practices.

Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, CDSCO is responsible for approval of New Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs in the country and coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organizations by providing expert advice with a view of bring about the uniformity in the enforcement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

Challenges faced by CDCSO:

  • Institutional problems such as understaffing, lack of skills, and inadequate infrastructure.
  • The most significant issue is the issuance of manufacturing licenses by the State Licensing Authority without the prior clearance of the Drug Controller General of India DCG (I), the head of CDSCO.
  • According to a study, of the 110 anti-TB (tuberculosis) Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs) available in India, only 32 (less than 30%) have been approved by the CDSCO.
  • The market size of the banned drugs is estimated to be around Rs 20-22 billion. The ban, if comes into force, will thus impact the country’s top drug-makers.

Way forward:

  • Prevention is one of the ways in which drug abuse can be dealt with.
  • Prevention programmes involving entities such as families, schools and the immediate communities are important in this regard.
  • Media – especially the entertainment segment – also needs to understand its role in this context and play a positive role by resisting the urge to earn millions by romanticizing and glorifying drug abuse.
  • These treatment programmes also impart the skills and capability required in order to say no to drugs in the future, which is highly critical for a complete cure to drug abuse.
  • Government programs like Red line campaign should be advertised better and reached out to more people.
  • Reducing the sale of Over-the-Counter drugs and mandating the prescription from registered medical practitioners. Sale on online e-pharmas should also be constructively regulated.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy

5) The Indian Power sector has undergone a paradigm change, India jumped to 24th rank in 2018 on World Bank’s Ease of Getting Electricity in the world as against 111th rank in 2014, Analyse this quantum leap and suggest what should be the way forward for India to ensure power for all in coming future. (250 words)

Power for All – A Dream Coming True, Yojana Feb 2019 issue: Infrastructure

Why this question:

Over the years there has been a transformational change in the Power Sector. Regulatory frame work is being reformed with a new Tariff Policy and amendments to the Electricity Act. In sum, the Indian Power sector has undergone a paradigm change. Thus it is important for us to evaluate the power for all scenario of India.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must provide for a detailed analysis of the transformative changes that Indian power sector has witnessed recently. Our country jumped to 24th rank in 2018 on World Bank’s Ease of Getting Electricity in the world as against 111th rank in 2014. This is a quantum leap. One has to justify the developments and bring out the shift in policy making that has led to such a transformative change. Also suggest what should be the way ahead to ensure power for all.

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:

write a few introductory lines – quote relevant facts justifying changing scenario of Indian power sector.

Body:

Answers must discuss the following aspects :

  • Access to reliable and affordable energy increases the ease of living and generates employment. It powers the development of the country.
  • Discuss the recent initiatives taken by the government in this direction, marked shift in policy making from traditional methods to modern technologies.
  • Achievements – More than one lakh megawatts of new generation capacity has been added.
  • Energy deficit has been brought down from 4.2 per cent to almost zero.
  • India has become an exporter of electricity exporting electricity to Nepal and Bangladesh.
  • One lakh circuit kilometres to the inter-state transmission capacity-connecting the entire nation to one grid.
  • Now, for the first time we have One nation- One Grid –the entire network operating on one frequency. Power can be transferred seamlessly from one corner of the country to another.
  • A major landmark to universal access to electricity was crossed when our country achieved 100% village electrification.
  • What should be the way forward?
  • Significance of power for all .

Conclusion –

Conclude with need for sustainable energy in future.

Introduction:

Electricity is the key element in modern day life. Right from powering industrial units and running   irrigation   pumps   to   charging your mobile phones electricity does it all. Access to reliable and affordable energy increases the ease of living and generates employment. It  is  a  prerequisite  to  digital  connectivity in rural India, thereby opening new vistas for  the  people  hitherto  unconnected  to the outer world. India’s power sector is one of the key sectors which form the foundation of the growth of the country.

Body:

The recent initiatives taken by the government in this direction:

  • Government of  India  launched  “Pradhan Mantri  Sahaj  Bijli  Har  Ghar  Yojana‟  (Saubhagya) in Sept. 2017 to achieve the goal of universal household electrification in the country by 31st March 2019.
  • The scheme envisages providing last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all remaining households in rural as well as urban areas.
  • In order    to    encourage    Renewable Generation,  Ministry  of  Power  extended the  waiver  of  ISTS  Transmission  charges and  losses  for  Solar  and  Wind  based Projects upto March 2022. 
  • In order  to  achieve  the  Renewable  target of 1,75,000 MW of Renewable capacity by 2022,  MOP  issued  Long  Term  Growth trajectory Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO)  for  Solar  as  well  as  Non-Solar  till the year 2022. 
  • With the   aim of   promoting   renewable generation   and   reduction   of   emission, MOP issued a scheme on Flexibility in generation   and   scheduling   of   Thermal Power Stations to reduce emissions.
  • MoP has  issued  a  direction  to  the  CERC under  section  107  of  the  Electricity  Act, 2003 on 30th May, 2018 for implementation   of   new   Environmental Norms     for     Thermal     Power     Plants suggested by MOEF&CC.
  • In order  to  reduce  the  overall  cost  of generation  as  well  as  cost  of  power  to consumer   (Company   level   merit   order operation),   MOP   issued   a   scheme   on Flexibility in generation and scheduling of Thermal Power Stations to reduce cost of power to consumers.
  • In our endeavour for revival of the stressed assets, a Pilot Scheme was introduced by MOP in     April 2018 to facilitate procurement of aggregated power of 2500 MW  for  3 (three)  years  (covered  under medium    term)    from    the    generating companies   having   coal   based   Power Plants  which  are  already  commissioned without    having    a    power    purchase agreement  for  the  quantum  of  power  the Bidder is willing to bid.
  • Major reform  initiatives are  being  taken by   Ministry   of   Power   which   includes addressing  various  issues  being  faced  by electricity sector through draft amendments  proposed  in  Electricity  Act 2003 and Tariff Policy, 2016.

Despite the fact that India has surplus energy, it is facing huge problems which serve as an obstacle for supplying electricity to all needy people. The troubles of power companies can be traced to structural issues such as the 

  • Absence of meaningful price reforms
  • Unreliable fuel supply – Shortage of fuel for power plants has become very critical in recent months. Many of the coal mines sold off in auction, mandated by the Supreme Court verdict, are simply not operational.
  • The unsustainable finances of public sector power distribution companies.
  • Grid reliability challenges are more severe in dispersed rural areas than in cities.
  • To install electrical connections to about 30 million homes that are still off the grid is a big challenge.
  • Electricity supply is controlled and maintained by India’s state governments, and, these government-owned distribution companies “remain the weakest link” in the power sector value chain.

Way forward: We need innovative solutions to address the electricity access challenges posed by rural India:

  • The federal government must push the state-run distribution companies to carry out robust ground surveys and organize frequent camps to achieve the target so that not one household is left out from electrification.
  • Considerable improvement in the operational efficiency of distributors through extensive and intensive change management and capacity-building programmes as well as strengthening of the electricity sub-stations and sub-transmission network are required.
  • Decentralized renewable energy solutions such as mini-grids and rooftop solar, where the grid can’t reach or reliably serve, and operating together is the most sustainable last-mile solution to reach consumers and achieve universal access to energy.
  • Supply of coal will have to be increased by Coal India by following a strategy pursued during 2014-15 and 2015-16, when coal production saw an unprecedented increase
  • Power-generating companies should not be saddled with the burden of cross-subsidising the renewable sector. This can be borne by the society (through taxation) and not by the entities that are already in trouble.
  • Village-level entrepreneurs could be contracted to operate and maintain the local distribution while generating bills and collecting revenues from the customers.
  • Banking on community relationships, these entrepreneurs could improve compliance on payments as well as curb stealing of power.
  • Recruiting and training local youth could help address maintenance issues. This will also help in creating more skilled jobs and entrepreneurs in rural areas.
  • Pre-paid and smart metering systems are other ways to encourage payments. Such solutions need to be piloted and tested.

Topic : Disaster and disaster management.

 6) Underline the development perspective to disaster management with focus on disaster management in coastal regions.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question is in the backdrop of recent cyclone Fani that has hit coastal regions of coastal Odisha. Thus it is important for us to evaluate the significance of Disaster management in such regions.

Key demand of the question:

The answer is intended to evaluate the development perspective of Coastal area and the planning and management of the same with a focus on disaster management and the protective role of coastal ecosystem.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines narrate the onset of cyclone Fani/ disasters that have been witnessed by coastal regions of India.

Body:

  • Explain – The recovery process post such disasters in the coastal regions continue to generate awareness of the need for an integrated approach to decision-making in coastal regions that balances the need to accommodate seemingly conflicting objectives such as ecosystem management, housing and economic development.
  • Discuss that analysis of communities that have experienced disasters reveal that too often in the rush to return to “normal,” rebuilding occurs in such a way as to recreate, and often increase exposure to repeat hazards, while not taking into consideration lessons learned from the event such as the protective role of forests and dense vegetation buffers. Such rapid rebuilding tends not to be based on plans developed before the event that identified safety set-back distances, creation of buffer zones and optimal land uses.
  • Discuss the Regional Vulnerabilities in Indian scenario with special emphasis on coastal regions
  • What are the current institutional arrangements available? What needs to be done to make them better and make them work more effectively? .
  • Discuss what should be done to overcome such situations.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need for managing Disasters with focused approach.

Introduction:

Cyclone Fani is only the second severe cyclone in the last 118 years to form in the Bay of Bengal (BOB) in the month of April and cross over to the Indian mainland, according to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

April cyclones are rare and the track and severity of Fani makes it even rarer. In recent times, cyclones have either had unusual timing, like Cyclone Pabuk in January, or they have intensified rapidly before making landfall, like Cyclone Ockhi in 2017 and Cyclone Titli last year.

Body:

India’s key vulnerabilities:

  • Coastal states, particularly in the eastern coast and Gujarat on the west coast are vulnerable to cyclones.
  • 4 crore hectare land mass is vulnerable to floods.
  • 68% of the net sown area is vulnerable to drought.
  • 55% of total area is in Seismic zones –III to V and vulnerable to earthquakes.
  • Sub-Himalayan region and western Ghats are vulnerable to landslides.

Disasters  lead  to  enormous  economic  losses  that  are  both  immediate  as  well  as  long  term in nature and demand additional revenues. Also, as an immediate fall-out, disasters reduce revenues from the affected region due to lower levels of economic activity leading to loss of direct and indirect taxes.  In  addition,  unplanned  budgetary  allocation  to  disaster  recovery  can  hamper  development interventions  and  lead  to  unmet  developmental  targets.

With  the  kind  of  economic  losses  and  developmental  setbacks  that  the  country  has  been suffering year after year, the development process needs to be sensitive towards disaster prevention and  mitigation  aspects.  There  is  thus  need  to  look  at  disasters  from  a  development  perspective  as well.

Current institutional measures to tackle such incidences:

  • The National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP), to be implemented with financial assistance from the World Bank, is envisaged to have four major components:
    • Component A: Improvement of early warning dissemination system by strengthening the Last Mile Connectivity (LMC) of cyclone warnings and advisories.
    • Component B: Cyclone risk mitigation investments.
    • Component C: Technical assistance for hazard risk management and capacity-building.
    • Component D: Project management and institutional support.
  • These components are highly interdependent and have to be implemented in a coherent manner.
  • In 2016, National Disaster Management Plan was unveiled to tackle disaster. It provides a framework to deal with prevention, mitigation, response and recovery during a disaster.
  • The NDMA had come up with its National Guidelines of Management of Cyclones in 2008. The basic premise of these guidelines is that the mitigation has to be multi-sectoral.
  • Developing Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) frameworks for addressing the sustainability and optimal utilisation of coastal resources as also cyclone impact minimisation plans.
  • Ensuring cyclone resistant design standards are incorporated in the rural/ urban housing schemes in coastal areas
  • Implementing coastal flood zoning, flood plain development and flood inundation management and regulatory plans.
  • Coastal bio-shields spread, preservation and restoration/ regeneration plans.
  • There is a need for private sector participation in designing and implementing policies, plans, and standards.
  • Need of Disaster Management program to be inclusive including women, civil society, and academia.

Way forward:

  • For addressing  natural  calamities  such  as  floods  and  drought,  there  already  exist  a  number of plan schemes under which a lot is being done and can be done.
  • State Governments need to make full use of the existing plan schemes and give priority to implementation of such schemes that will help in overcoming the conditions created by the calamity.
  • Reconstruction efforts must involve rebuilding in a better way. Climate proofing in Kerala calls for structures to be built with wind- and water-resistant materials.
  • People need to relocate out of harm’s way. During the 2015 floods, Chennai illustrated the price of unrestricted urban development.
  • Early warning is vital. Because of investments in these systems, Cyclone Phailin (2013) claimed less than 40 lives in Odisha. In Kerala, there was no timely forecast from national weather services. The State needs a reliable flood forecasting capability.
  • There needs to be tougher implementation of logging and mining regulations in fragile ecologies. Deforestation worsened the effects of Kerala’s floods and mudslides, as the report of the Western Ghats ecology expert panel 2011 had warned.
  • Non-structural measures for flood forecasting provide early warning in flood prone areas have proved to be successful for flood management. High-tech warning systems on the ground will not be useful until the authorities, key stakeholders and communities are trained to act upon the information obtained from these facilities.
  • Different stakeholders need to come together for mapping risks, vulnerabilities, and resources, engage in regular preparedness actions like drills and capacity building, develop and update emergency plans, check the availability of resources at the local level and act upon early warning intimations.

Conclusion:

India should prepare to mitigate and deflect the destruction caused by Cyclones. We need to employ technology, strict following of command structure and most importantly the participation and cooperation of local communities in the affected area.


Topic: Ethics in private and public relationships.

7) Define trust and explain the expected outcome of having trust in a relationship. Use an example of a situation that an individual may encounter in a professional domain to illustrate issues arising out of trust deficit. (250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon publications.

Why this question:

The question is about analyzing the quality of Trust in an individual, what can happen if there is a mistrust or trust deficit in a relationship – be it individual, societal or professional. One has to analyse and suggest solutions to such a situation using an example/illustration.

Key demand of the question:

Analyse in  detail the quality of ‘Trust’ , its significance in one’s life. Discuss the impact of trust deficit

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a few introductory lines explain the significance of Trust.

Body:

In brief cover the following aspects –

  • Discuss What does trust in the workplace mean to you? Trust at individual level and its impact on concerned relations.
  • Benefits of virtue of Trust –
  • Individuals who trust each other don’t expend as much of their time and energy watching their backs. They often redirect that energy towards productivity and innovation.
  • When individuals are given the trust to execute, they are more likely to become engaged with the relationship and align more with its mission.
  • What is trust deficit ? how to overcome it?
  • How to earn trust? Do what you say you will do and don’t overcommit. Be honest – When others know your feedback focuses on attaining the same goal, they’ll trust you to not to spin etc.
  • Use an example – say one involving trust between two teammates working in an office – workplace and illustrate the trust – trust deficit scenario.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance.  

Introduction:

Ethics and trust are inextricably linked. Trust refers to reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person. Trust relationships exist at many levels: between two people, among members of a team, between teams, within an organization, between workers and management and even within an entire system, like the financial system or the air traffic control system.

Body:

Consider a scenario of public servant and why he needs to be trustworthy. Trust in government has been identified as one of the most important foundations upon which the legitimacy and sustainability of political systems are built.

Importance and Outcome of Public Trust:

  • A decline in trust can lead to lower rates of compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Citizens and businesses can also become more risk-averse, delaying investment, innovation and employment decisions that are essential to regain competitiveness and jumpstart growth.
  • Nurturing trust represents an investment in economic recovery and social well-being for the future.
  • Trust is both an input to public sector reforms – necessary for the implementation of reforms – and, at the same time, an outcome of reforms, as they influence people’s and organisations’ attitudes and decisions relevant for economic and social well-being.
  • As a result, trust in government by citizens and businesses are essential for the effective and efficient policy making both in good times and bad.
  • Investing in trust should be considered as a new and central approach to restoring economic growth and reinforcing social cohesion, as well as a sign that governments are learning the lessons of the crisis

For example, a fund for rehabilitation of destitute old-aged people is setup. In such a situation, if a person of dubious character is put in charge of that fund, then it may cause great tragedy for the concerned people, furthering their pain. Here a trustworthy person is needed to be made in charge of it.

Conclusion:

Trust is essential for social cohesion and well-being as it affects governments’ ability to govern and enables them to act without having to resort to coercion. Consequently, it is an efficient means of lowering transaction costs in any social, economic and political relationship.


Topic:  Foundational values for Civil Service.

8) Social influence and persuasion are fundamental functions of communication, in relevance to pubic services, discuss the significance of these values to a public servant’s life.(250 words)

Ethics by Lexicon

Why this question:

The question is intended to evaluate the significance of the values of Social influence and persuasion as fundamental functions of communication.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the importance of values of Social influence and persuasion in communication aspects of public servants while rendering their service to the people.

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:

In a few introductory lines appreciate the need for such values in a public servant.

Body:

  • Define first – what do you understand by social influence and persuasion ?

Social influence – A change in person’s behaviour, thoughts, feelings and attitudes that results from interaction with another individual in society.

Persuasion – ability to make someone do something through the use of words to manipulate their thoughts, behavior, and actions.

  • What is the difference between social influence and persuasion?
  • Discuss How can a civil servant/public servant be more persuasive?
  • Use examples wherever possible to justify their importance.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of the above virtues to public servants in their service.

Introduction:

Social influence occurs when a person’s emotions, opinions, or behaviours are affected by others. Social influence takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing.

Persuasion is symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people through transmission of a message to change their attitudes or behaviours.

Body:

Social influence is the change in behavior that one person causes in another, intentionally or unintentionally. Persuasion is symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people through transmission of a message to change their attitudes or behaviours. Thus, Persuasion is one form of social influence on attitude; in fact it represents the intersection of social thinking and social influence of everyday life.

Persuasion can occur through appeals to reason or appeals to emotion. For example, school-based substance abuse prevention programs using the social influences model consistently produce better results than programs emphasizing only health information.

They are used to appeal to a person’s attitude, behavior and cognition. Advertisements are the robust examples of persuasion. The government has also utilized this tool for the success of the initiatives like

  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan- cleanliness drives
  • Ujjwala Yojana’s Give it up campaign.
  • Disclosing excess income campaign
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao by making parents understand it is necessary to protect and educate a girl child

Reputation and peer pressure contribute to the desired behavioural change required for effective implementation of public policy. For example, District Collector sending his/her child to the government school can have indirect effect on the functioning of the school and also the attitude of the parents.

Principles on which focus is needed to increase the social influence and persuasion:

Robert Cialdini has earmarked the following cues of influence.

  • Reciprocity
    • Reciprocation is considered as a strong tool of persuasion which leads to a sense of obligation. The rule of reciprocity is highly effective and overpowering.
  • Commitment and Consistency
    • Both the values are considered highly important as they are a valuable short-cut through the complicated nature of modern existence. If a person makes any commitment, he or she will likely take up all steps to honour that.
    • Likewise, consistency is highly valued in society as it allows a person to make effective decisions and process information accordingly.
  • Social proof
    • The behaviour of people surrounding us has a great effect on our thoughts and actions. The ‘power of crowd’ is considered very important. This becomes utmost effective when there are uncertainties or similarities in a situation.
  • Liking
    • This is simple as people usually agree to people whom they like. There are two primary factors which contribute to overall liking. They are: physical attractiveness and similarities of attitudes.
    • This is followed in many advertisements where public figures who are liked and respected by the people are roped in to influence people about the programmes.
  • Authority
    • People always listen to those who are either knowledge or trustworthy. The words of an expert are always taken seriously by everyone concerned as compared to a beginner.
  • Scarcity
    • Scarcity is often underestimated by people as a method of persuasion. Anything which is of limited availability is given more importance by people. People want more of you when they cannot have.

Conclusion:

Thus, Persuasion is one form of social influence on attitude; in fact it represents the intersection of social thinking and social influence of everyday life. Understanding these shortcuts and employing them in an ethical manner can significantly increase the chances that someone will be social influenced and persuaded by the public policy.