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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 OCTOBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 OCTOBER 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: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

1) Post- Independence, integration and unification of India demonstrated to be a long process plagued with challenges. Examine.(250 words) 

 Post- independence India by Bipin Chandra

Why this question:

The question must discuss the challenges that were faced by 

Key demand of the question:

One must bring out, violence and displacement followed by the partition, integration of the princely states and redrawal of internal boundaries based on languages were immediate challenges faced by India post-independence. Explain them in detail.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief discuss the background of the question.

Body:

Explain the challenges to integration and unification of India after independence.

Briefly state the steps taken by the government to resolve these challenges.

Explain its significance in contemporary times.

Conclude by stating the possible steps that can be taken to maintain the unity and integrity of the country.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to overcome these challenges.

Introduction:

The post-independence period was marred with violence and displacement followed by the partition, the issue of integration of the princely states and re-drawal of internal boundaries based on languages were some of the immediate challenges faced by India post-independence. To maintain the democratic aspirations of the newly formed nation state, the government took several steps.

Body:

Challenges to the unification and integration of India:

  • Accommodating the diversity of Indian society by taking into account the regional aspirations of the people, balancing between the rights of different regions and linguistic groups to retain their own culture.
  • Formation of the states was not just a matter of administrative divisions. The boundaries had to be drawn in a way so that the linguistic and cultural plurality of the country could be reflected without affecting the unity of the nation. E.g.- the Vishalandhra movement caused great unrest and violence in the Telugu-speaking region.
  • Ethnic tension in North Eastern states: Over 635 tribal groups in the region with distinct language and culture along with its relative isolation from the rest of the mainland, resulted into social-political disturbances and unrest for a few years.
  • The isolation of the region, its complex social character and its backwardness compared to other parts of the country have all resulted in the complicated set of demands from different states of the North-East.
  • The vast international border and weak communication between the North-East and the rest of India further added to the delicate nature of politics there. First Nagaland and then Mizoram witnessed strong movements demanding separation from India.
  • Developing democratic practices in accordance with the Constitution by ensuring the development and wellbeing of the entire society and not only of some sections.
  • Partition had deepened the communal tension in the country and it was important to assure the minority communities of their equal protection of rights to avoid further communal divisions within the nation.
  • The discontent among these communities could destabilise the newly formed political system.
  • Integration of as many as 565 Princely states after independence. These states became legally independent and were free to join either India or Pakistan or remain independent. However, this decision was left not to the people but to the princely rulers of these states.
  • The integration of these states was important for the unification of the country.

Measures taken:

  • Under the State Reorganisation Act 1956, states were divided based on the linguistic and cultural differences between them. This ensured the united social life without losing the distinctiveness of the numerous cultures that constituted it.
  • The cooperative federalism enshrined in the constitution (Schedule VII) empowered the regional identity, aspirations and provided autonomy to the states to solve their specific regional problems.
  • At different points of time the Central Government created Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh out of Assam. Tripura and Manipur were upgraded into States too.
  • Autonomous Councils were created to satisfy the smaller groups within the states without breaking the states down.
  • Constitutional safeguards for marginalised and minorities: The adoption of the constitution of India highlighted the country’s strong beliefs in equality, liberty and secularism (reflected especially in the Fundamental Rights), assuring the marginalised sections of equality and justice.
  • Articles 29 and 30 specifically protect the cultural and linguistic rights of the minorities.
  • The leaders of independent India, especially Sardar Patel, negotiated with the rulers of princely states firmly but diplomatically bringing most of them into the Indian Union through the instrument of accession.

Conclusion:

The newly formed democracy in India came to terms with differences in society on several different lines and accepted the plurality of ideas and diverse ways of life. The challenges are still posed by the differences in the contemporary socio-political system of the country. These are reflected in continuing communal tension and intolerance towards the minorities and marginalised and also imperative in statehood demands.


Topic:  Parliament and State Legislatures—Structure, Functioning, Conduct of Business, Powers & Privileges and Issues Arising out of these.

2) As per Article 81, the composition of the Lok Sabha should represent changes in population. But it has remained more or less the same since the delimitation carried out based on the 1971 Census. Why is it so? Discuss.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The question is based on the importance that article 81 hold in Indian constitutional setup and its relevance to Indian population in the current times.

Key demand of the question:

One has to throw light on the unchanged composition of Lok Sabha despite changes in population numbers and relevance of the same and suggest what needs to be done.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief describe article 81 of the Indian constitution – Article 81 of the Constitution defines the composition of the House of the People or Lok Sabha. It states that the House shall not consist of more than 550 elected members of whom not more than 20 will represent Union Territories.

Body:

Explain in detail the why the number of Lok Sabha seats need to be rationalized on the basis of population?

What are the provisions related to it in the constitution? – provide here for an in-depth analysis for article 81 and the significance of these provisions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done and way ahead.

Introduction:

Article 81 of the Constitution defines the composition of the House of the People or Lok Sabha. It states that the House shall not consist of more than 550 elected members of whom not more than 20 will represent Union Territories. Under Article 331, the President can nominate up to two Anglo-Indians if he/she feels the community is inadequately represented in the House. At present, the strength of the Lok Sabha is 543, of which 530 have been allocated to the states and the rest to the Union Territories.

Body:

Article 81 also mandates that the number of Lok Sabha seats allotted to a state would be such that the ratio between that number and the population of the state is, as far as possible, the same for all states. This is to ensure that every state is equally represented. However, this logic does not apply to small states whose population is not more than 60 lakh. So, at least one seat is allocated to every state even if it means that its population-to-seat-ratio is not enough to qualify it for that seat.

The number of seats has remained the same since 1971 census due to:

  • The population-to-seat ratio, as mandated under Article 81, should be the same for all states.
  • Although unintended, this implied that states that took little interest in population control could end up with a greater number of seats in Parliament.
  • The southern states that promoted family planning faced the possibility of having their seats reduced.
  • To allay these fears, the Constitution was amended during Indira Gandhi’s Emergency rule in 1976 to suspend delimitation until 2001.
  • Although the freeze on the number of seats in Lok Sabha and Assemblies should have been lifted after the Census of 2001, another amendment postponed this until 2026.
  • This was justified on the ground that a uniform population growth rate would be achieved throughout the country by 2026.
  • So, the last delimitation exercise – started in July 2002 and finished on May 31, 2008 – was conducted on the basis of the 2001 Census and only readjusted boundaries of existing Lok Sabha and Assembly seats and reworked the number of seats reserved for SCs and STs.
  • With the total seats remaining the same since the 1970s, it is felt that states in north India, whose population has increased faster than the rest of the country, are now underrepresented in the Parliament.
  • It is frequently argued that had the original provision of Article 81 been implemented today, then states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh would have gained seats and those in the south would have lost some

Conclusion:

While 2026 is still a few years away, if we do not start a debate now on how to deal with the problems that are likely to arise, we will be forced to postpone the lifting of the freeze to a future date as was done in 2001. This will only postpone the problem for which we must find a solution sooner or later. Even the various proposals for electoral reforms which have been recommended by various Commissions over the past decade do not address these issues. These are challenges which our political leaders have to address in the immediate future.


Topic: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

3) Discuss the correlation between mothers’ education and the nutrition levels of children and its overall impact on well-being of children. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

A recent Pan-India study of 1.2 lakh children by Health and Family Welfare Ministry shows children received better diets with higher levels of schooling among mothers. Thus it is important to understand such a correlation and its impact.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain in detail the correlation between mothers’ education and the nutrition levels of children and its overall impact on well-being of children.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief bring out the findings of the survey made by Health and Family Welfare Ministry.

Quote data from Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNSS). 

Body:

Explain first importance of nutrition in Children.

Discuss the determining factors of child nutrition in general and explain the role played by mothers in ensuring total nutrition to their children.

Discuss why is it important for mothers to be educated? How does it impact nutrition among children?

Quote data from the survey to justify your answers better.

Conclusion:

Conclude with what needs to be done to overcome the challenges of nutrition.

Introduction:

Malnutrition in India also persists because of the age-old patterns of social and economic exclusion. According to UNICEF, 38% of children younger than five years of age in India are stunted, a manifestation of chronic undernutrition. Stunting and other forms of under-nutrition are thought to be responsible for nearly half of all child deaths globally. Pan-India study of 1.2 lakh children by Health and Family Welfare Ministry shows children received better diets with higher levels of schooling among mothers. Maternal education accounted for about 12% of the gender related factors attributing to malnutrition.

Body:

Correlation between mothers’ education and the nutrition levels of children:

  • The data recorded show 31% of mothers of children aged up to four years, 42% of women having children aged five to nine and 53% of mothers of adolescents aged 10-19 never attended school.
  • Only 20% of mothers of pre-schoolers, 12% of those of schoolchildren, and 7% of those of adolescents had completed 12 or more years of schooling.
  • Data from the CNNS study show that with higher levels of schooling in a mother, children received better diets.
  • Only 11.4% of children of mothers with no schooling received adequately diverse meals, while 31.8% whose mothers finished Class XII received diverse meals.
  • The study found 3.9% of children whose mothers had zero schooling got minimum acceptable diets, whereas this was at 9.6% for children whose mothers finished schooling.
  • Moreover, 7.2% of children in the former category consumed iron rich food, whereas this was at 10.3% for children in the latter category.
  • The proportion of children aged two to four consuming dairy products, eggs and other fruits and vegetables the previous day increased with the mothers’ education level and household wealth status.
  • For example, only 49.8% of children in that age group whose mothers did not go to school consumed dairy products, while 80.5% of children of mothers who completed their schooling did so.
  • These trends also show among older children and adolescents — only 25.4% of children in the 5-9 age group with uneducated mothers received eggs, but 45.3% of children whose mothers studied till Class XII had eggs.
  • Stunting among children aged up to four was nearly three times for the former category (19.3% versus 5.9%), and the number of underweight children was nearly double among them (14.8% versus 5.1%) as compared to the latter category.
  • Also, 5.7% of the children were wasted in the former category, while this was at 4.3% in the latter category.
  • Anaemia saw a much higher prevalence of 44.1% among children up to four years old with mothers who never went to school, versus 34.6% among those who completed their schooling.
  • The HUNGaMA (Hunger and Malnutrition) Survey across 112 rural districts in 2011 by non-profit Naandi Foundation shows the impact of the world’s oldest anti-malnutrition programme. Eighty per cent of the mothers have not heard the word malnutrition in their local language.

However, the study also found that higher level of education among mothers also had its adverse impacts on education:

  • On the flip side, a higher level of education among mothers meant that their children received meals less frequently, perhaps because their chances of being employed and travelling long distances to work went up.
  • About 50.4% of children in the age group of 6-23 months born to illiterate mothers versus 36.2% among those who had finished schooling.
  • Such children were also at higher risk of diabetes and high cholesterol as relative prosperity could lead to higher consumption of sugary drinks and foods high in cholesterol.
  • Children in the age group of 10-19 showed a higher prevalence of pre-diabetes if their mother had finished schooling (15.1% versus 9.6%).
  • The prevalence of high cholesterol levels was at 6.2% in these children as opposed to 4.8% among those whose mothers never attended school.

Measures needed:

  • A decentralized approach should be promoted with greater flexibility and decision making at the state, district and local levels.
  • The ownership of Panchayati Raj and urban local bodies is to be strengthened over nutrition initiatives.
  • Mothers should be made aware of the right nutrition their child will need to stay strong and healthy.
  • Anganwadi workers, ANMs and ASHAs should be educated and help educate the mothers about motherhood, sexual practices, hygiene and sanitation in the rural areas.
  • Providing sexual health education to the adolescent females and mothers to be.

Conclusion:

Thus, maternal education has definite and significant effect on nutritional status of children. This is the key factor to be addressed for prevention or improvement of childhood malnutrition. For this it is imperative to launch sustainable programs at national and regional level to uplift women educational status to combat this ever increasing burden of malnutrition.


TOPIC: Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life. Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology.

4) Lithium-ion batteries are the edifice of the wireless technology revolution. In this context discuss their significance and challenges facing these rechargeable Lithium Batteries.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article discusses in detail the coming of Li-ion batteries and in what way they have set off a technology revolution. The 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for working towards the development of practical lithium-ion batteries, thus making it important from exam point of view.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain in detail the technological revolution that Li-Ion batteries have brought in and the importance of the same with challenges.

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: 

First explain the coming of Li-ion batteries.

Body:

Explain first why Li-ion batteries are important?

Discuss the genesis of the same.

Explain that For many years, nickel-cadmium had been the only suitable battery for portable equipment from wireless communications to mobile computing. Nickel-metal-hydride and lithium-ion emerged In the early 1990s, fighting nose-to-nose to gain customer’s acceptance. Today, lithium-ion is the fastest growing and most promising battery chemistry.

List down the advantages and limitations of the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

 

Introduction:

                Lithium-ion batteries are the edifice of the wireless technology revolution that made possible portable compact disc players, digital wrist watches, laptops and the mobile phones of today. It is also seen as important to a fossil-free future of electric cars that governments envisage to address climate change. The 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for working towards the development of practical lithium-ion batteries.

Body:

Lithium Ion Battery:

  • It is type of rechargeable battery that contains several cells.
  • Each cell consists of cathode, anode and electrolyte, separator between electrodes and current collectors. Li-ion battery use intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material.
  • When the battery is charging up, the lithium-cobalt oxide, positive electrode gives up some of its lithium ions, which move through the electrolyte to the negative, graphite electrode and remain there.
  • When the battery is discharging, the lithium ions move back across the electrolyte to the positive electrode, producing the energy that powers the battery.

Advantages:

  • Li-ion batteries are rechargeable (lifecycle of 5000 recharges), highly space efficient, light-weight and low-maintenance vis-à-vis lead acid batteries.
  • High energy density: The much higher power density offered by lithium ion batteries is a distinct advantage.
  • Rate of self-discharge is much lower than that of other rechargeable cells such as Ni-Cad and NiMH forms.
  • It can provide instant torque to the electric motor and maintain constant voltage throughout entire discharge cycle.
  • Clean and safe technology vis-à-vis fossil fuels.

 

Challenges:

  • Raw materials are concentrated only in few places on earth. Example: Afghanistan, China etc.
  • They are not as robust as some other rechargeable technologies and require long durations for charging.
  • They require protection circuitry incorporated to ensure they are kept within their safe operating limits.
  • Typically they are around 40% more costly to manufacture than Nickel cadmium cells.

Conclusion:

India is one of the largest importers and in 2017, it imported nearly 150 Million US Dollar worth Li-Ion batteries. Indian manufacturers source Lithium Ion Battery from China, Japan and South Korea among some other countries.

The Lithium Ion batteries currently score over the Hydrogen Fuel cells due the former’s wide applications from mobile phones to wearable devices to e-Vehicles. The FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan whose main thrust is to encourage electric vehicles by providing subsidies. India must however make a concerted attempt to incentivize both EVs and FCEVs.


TOPIC: Important Geophysical Phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes. Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Disaster and Disaster Management.

5) Mangroves can act as first line of defence against coastal flooding. Elucidate. ( 250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article discusses a case study dealing with significant contributions of mangroves to coastal flooding.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain the importance of Mangroves as a strong mechanism to prevent and manage the issue of coastal flooding.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief state the recent coastal flooding witnessed by the Indian states like Kerala and Karnataka.

Body:

First explain the causative factors of coastal flooding.

Discuss the need to manage these floods; their impact.

Explain the role played by Mangroves – what are mangroves? Advantages and in what way they act as natural seawall.

Illustrate with suitable examples to justify better.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Mangroves are salt tolerant trees, also called halophytes, which survive high salinity, tidal regimes, strong wind velocity, high temperature and muddy anaerobic soil – a combination of conditions hostile for other plants. The mangrove ecosystems constitute a symbiotic link or bridge between terrestrial and marine ecosystems. They are found in the inter-tidal zones of sheltered shore, estuaries, creeks, backwaters, lagoons, marshes and mud-flats.

Body:

Mangroves act as first line of defence against coastal flooding:

  • Mangroves are to a coastal area what rain forests are to the Western Ghats.
  • They are extremely important in maintaining a peaceful coastal ecosystem, as they form a natural seawall.
  • Mangrove plants have (additional) special roots such as prop roots, pneumatophores which help to impede water flow and thereby enhance the deposition of sediment in areas (where it is already occurring), stabilize the coastal shores, provide breeding ground for fishes.
  • It prevents soil erosion, protects the coastline and has its own ecological natural habitat. The floods of these two years made us think of what we could do to check flood waters and strengthen our coastline.
  • Mangroves moderate monsoonal tidal floods and reduce inundation of coastal lowlands.
  • They protect coastal lands from tsunami, hurricanes and floods.

Other significance:

  • Mangroves are a rich zone of biodiversity, as they are the main breeding grounds of brackish water fish species.
  • The trees offer sanctuary to a number of bird species.
  • They play an active role in carbon sequestration
  • Mangroves enhance natural recycling of nutrients.
  • Mangrove supports numerous flora, avifauna and wild life.
  • Provide a safe and favourable environment for breeding, spawning, rearing of several fishes.
  • They supply timber, fire wood, medicinal plants and edible plants to local people.
  • They provide numerous employment opportunities to local communities and augment their livelihood.

Scientific management measures for conservation of Mangroves:

  • The mangrove species under grave threat must be included in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Suitable sites are to be identified for planting mangrove species. Mangrove nursery banks should be developed for propagation purposes.
  • Environmental monitoring in the existing mangrove areas should be taken up systematically and periodically.
  • Various threats to the mangrove resources and their root causes should be identified, and earnest measures should be taken to eliminate those causes.
  • The participation of the local community should be made compulsory for conservation and management.
  • Floristic survey of mangroves along the coast is to be taken up to prepare biodiversity atlas for mangroves.
  • Potential areas are to be identified for implementing the management action plan for mangroves, especially in cyclone prone areas.
  • Coastal industries and private owners need to be persuaded to actively participate in protecting and developing mangrove biodiversity.
  • The forest department officials should be trained on taxonomy, biology and ecology of mangrove species.

Way forward:

  • The impact of environmental and human interference on marine flora and fauna needs to be assessed.
  • The traditional rights of coastal communities to use the natural resources in their surrounding natural habitats for their livelihood should also be recognised on priority basis.

Topic: Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration: Status and Problems; Ethical Concerns and Dilemmas in Government and Private Institutions; Laws, Rules, Regulations and Conscience as Sources of Ethical Guidance; Accountability and Ethical Governance; Strengthening of Ethical and Moral Values in Governance; Ethical Issues in International Relations and Funding; Corporate Governance.

6) Corporate Firms with a better balanced gender ratio are better governed and deliver superior results. Do you agree? Discuss in the context of relevance of gender diversity in corporate governance. (250 words)

Livemint

Why this question:

The article discusses the role that women have in the development of corporates.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in what way Firms with a better balanced gender ratio are better governed and deliver superior results thus emphasizing on the role that gender diversification has to play in development of corporate governance.

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: 

Define what you understand by corporate governance.

Body:

Discuss the following aspects in the answer:

Why should there be gender diversification in corporates?

What difference women make in corporate firms – list down advantages and disadvantages of it.

Quote examples where the presence of women leaders in corporates has impacted the firms largely.

Conclusion:

Conclude that business leaderships must act in favour of gender diversity—if not out of a sense of justice, then for the sake of enhancing shareholder value.

Introduction:

Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a firm is directed and controlled. It includes the rules relating to the power relations between owners, the board of directors, management and the stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers as well as the public at large. It essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s many stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, customers, suppliers, financiers, government and the community. Ethics is at the core of corporate governance, and management must reflect accountability for their actions on the global community scale.

Body:

Gender diversity enhances Corporate Governance:

  • Groupthink is avoided: With gender diversity, the dangers of “groupthink”, or the tendency of all members of a team to think alike is avoided and thus valuable alternative views can be obtained.
  • There exists a significant body of global research that correlates higher gender diversity with better financial results.
  • Firms with at least one woman on the board show higher returns on equity and better stock performance than those with all-male boards.
  • According to a recent research brief put out by McKinsey and Co., a consultancy, companies that figure in the top quartile on the parameter of gender diversity are 15% more likely to financially outperform those in the bottom quartile.
  • Other studies have linked a higher ratio of women directors with more ethical corporate behaviour in particular and better governance overall.
  • Meanwhile, a survey published in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics indicates that a single woman director is all it takes for an enterprise to lower its risk of bankruptcy by a fifth.
  • Business leaderships must act in favour of gender diversity—if not out of a sense of justice, then for the sake of enhancing shareholder value.

Conclusion:

It is often the quality of board directorship that determines their future. Success in this age of complexity calls for wide perspectives and varied voices. On grasping this aspect of business reality, men seem to lag women. Induct more female directors, and this gap will also begin to close.