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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 15 OCTOBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 15 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:  Indian Culture will cover the salient aspects of Art forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1) Discuss in detail the cultural contributions of Chalukyan dynasty.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

Inscriptions found on an ancient temple at Huligemmana Kolla near Pattadakalu in Karnataka have indicated that the place may have once been the royal burial site of the Chalukya dynasty. 

Key demand of the question:

Bring out the cultural contributions of Chalukyan dynasty. 

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 short explain the origin, expanse and general contributions of Chalukyas.

Body:

Explain who Chalukyas were.

Discuss their contributions to art and culture.

More specifically to the temple architecture, literature, society and religion.

Describe using examples of their contributions and highlight significance.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting significance of such cultural epitomes.

Introduction:

The Chalukya dynasty was a Classical Indian royal dynasty that ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries. During this period, they ruled as three related yet individual dynasties. The earliest dynasty, known as the “Badami Chalukyas”, ruled from Vatapi (modern Badami) from the middle of the 6th century.

Body:

Art and Architecture:

  • The Chalukyas were great patrons of art.
  • They developed the vesara style in the building of structural temples. However, the vesara style reached its culmination only under the Rashtrakutas and the Hoysalas.
  • The structural temples of the Chalukyas exist at Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal. Cave temple architecture was also famous under the Chalukyas.
  • Their cave temples are found in Ajanta, Ellora and Nasik. The best specimens of Chalukya paintings can be seen in the Badami cave temple and in the Ajanta caves. The reception given to a Persian embassy by Pulakesin II is depicted in a painting at Ajantha.
  • The Chalukya temples may be divided into two stages.
  • The first stage is represented by the temples at Aihole and Badami. Among the seventy temples found at Aihole, four are important.
    • Ladh Khan temple is a low, flat-roofed structure consisting of a pillared hall.
    • Durga temple resembles a Buddha Chaitya.
    • Huchimalligudi temple.
    • The Jain temple at Meguti.
  • Among the temples at Badami, the Muktheeswara temple and the Melagutti Sivalaya are notable for their architectural beauty.
  • A group of four rock-cut temples at Badami are marked by high workmanship. The walls and pillared halls are adorned by beautiful images of gods and human beings.
  • The second stage is represented by the temples at Pattadakal. There are ten temples here, four in the northern style and the remaining six in the Dravidian style.
  • The Papanatha temple is the most notable in the northern style. The Sangamesvara temple and the Virupaksha temple are famous for their Dravidian style. The Virupaksha temple is built on the model of the Kailasanatha temple at Kanchipuram.

Literature:

  • The Aihole inscription of Pulakeshin II (634) written by his court poet Ravikirti in Sanskrit language and Kannada script is considered as a classical piece of poetry.
  • A few verses of a poet named Vijayanaka who describes herself as the “dark Sarasvati” have been preserved.
  • Famous writers in Sanskrit from the Western Chalukya period are Vijnaneshwara who achieved fame by writing Mitakshara, a book on Hindu law, and King Someshvara III, a noted scholar, who compiled an encyclopedia of all arts and sciences called Manasollasa.
  • From the period of the Badami Chalukyas, references are made to the existence of Kannada literature, though not much has survived.
  • The Kappe Arabhatta record of c. 700 in tripadi (three line) metre is the earliest available work in Kannada poetics.
  • Karnateshwara Katha, which was quoted later by Jayakirti, is believed to be a eulogy of Pulakeshin II and to have belonged to this period.
  • Other probable Kannada writers, whose works are not extant now but titles of which are known from independent references are Syamakundacharya, who is said to have authored the Prabhrita, and Srivaradhadeva, the possible author of the Chudamani (“Crest Jewel”), a lengthy commentary on logic.
  • The rule of the Western and Eastern Chalukyas, however, is a major event in the history of Kannada and Telugu literatures respectively.
  • By the 9th–10th centuries, Kannada language had already seen some of its most notable writers. The “three gems” of Kannada literature, Adikavi Pampa, Sri Ponna and Ranna belonged to this period.
  • In the 11th century, Telugu literature was born under the patronage of the Eastern Chalukyas with Nannaya Bhatta as its first writer.

Conclusion:

The rule of the Chalukyas marks an important milestone in the history of South India and a golden age in the history of Karnataka. The rise of this empire saw the birth of efficient administration, overseas trade and commerce and the development of new style of architecture called “Chalukyan architecture”.


Topic:History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

2) Trade wars are wars of mutual abrasion and do not always have the intended consequences. Examine how the flaws in the Napoleonic Continental System became reasons for his downfall. (250 words) 

 

Why this question:

The question aims to ascertain the causes and consequences of Trade wars.

Key demand of the question:

The question seeks to know the impact that continental system type trade wars had on the Napoleonic Empires downfall.

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: 

Start by defining trade wars and in brief about continental system of Napoleon.   

Body:

First part of the body should write about how trade wars are skirmishes of mutual attrition and in what all ways they impact the country even if the aggressor.

The next part should briefly address the objectives of the Napoleonic continental system as a tool for economic imperialism. Then the flaws in its design and implementation must be addressed in detail.

The how these flaws resulted in the downfall of Napoleon must be linked. This will make the answer holistic.

Conclusion:

Conclusion should address how the continental system designed to choke England ended up in choking Napoleon himself.

Introduction:

During the Napoleonic Wars, the Continental System was an attempt by French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to cripple Britain. By creating a blockade, he had planned to destroy their trade, economy, and democracy. Because British and allied navies had impeded trade ships from exporting to France, the Continental System was also an attempt to reshape the French export market and economy.

Body:

The Continental System had some success in hurting British trade and economic interests. By some estimates, British trade declined by as much as fifty percent. It also benefited the some parts of the French manufacturing sector by acting essentially as a protective tariff, making British imports unavailable or unaffordable in France and its territories. This stimulated the growth of some local manufacturing and many French capitalists and industrialists made large profits as a result of the embargo on British goods. However it also killed off many trade based industries and deeply hurt the economies of major French ports such as Marseilles. Moreover, the Continental System could not be strictly enforced.

The flaws of the continental system:

  • The Continental System represents one of Napoleon’s first great miscalculations.
  • Economically, he damaged those areas of France and his allies which relied on trade with Britain for only a small increase in production in some areas of France.
  • It was an impossible scheme. Every country was not expected to bear the innumerable stresses by following this scheme.
  • He also alienated swathes of conquered territory which suffered under his rules.
  • Britain had the dominant navy and was more effective in blockading France than the French were in trying to cripple Britain.
  • As time passed, Napoleon’s efforts to enforce the blockade bought more war, including an attempt to stop Portugal trading with Britain that led to a French invasion and the draining Peninsular War, and it was a factor in the disastrous French decision to attack Russia.
  • Portugal and Spain also did not join this scheme and extended their cooperation to England.
  • Most of the European countries including France depended British goods and they could not possibly live without these goods. But after the supply of these articles was stopped, people had to face great difficulties and they began to oppose this scheme vehemently.
  • In 1807 Napoleon himself purchased fifty thousand overcoats from Great Britain through Holland at the time of the battle of Eyleau
  • It is possible that Britain would have been harmed by a Continental System that was properly and fully implemented, but as it was, it harmed Napoleon far more than it harmed his enemy.
  • Napoleon lost the sympathy of people. They began to hate for his selfish and tyrannical rule. Napoleon failed to cope with the rising tide of public opinion.

Conclusion:

Napoleon’s ambition to implement the continental system dragged him to the peninsular war which he called “an ulcer that destroyed me”. The Portuguese and Spaniards turned and united against him at the battle of Trafalgar. This defeat proved to the world that Napoleon could be defeated, over 20,000 of his soldiers surrendered and it also weakened Napoleon’s military strength. This led to the downfall of Napoleon in 1815.


Topic: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.

3) The seeds of World War-ll were sown in the peace of World War-I. Critically Analyse.(250 words)

 

Why this question:

The question is based on the theme of the factors that led to world War-II. 

Key demand of the question:

The question seeks the link between the Paris Peace Treaty and start of the world War-II. 

Directive:

analyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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: 

Introduction should encompass the drawbacks of The Paris peace conference that had potential fault lines for occurrence of second World War.

Body:

The body should analyze the treaty of Versailles. The Treaty vis-a-vis German treatment and its reaction in aftermath of it must be clearly stated. 

The treatment of Italy by the ‘Big 3’ and the reactions for it building up for second war must be stated. 

Elements of impracticality in the treaty and the humiliation faced by the defeated states outlined.

Conclusion:

The conclusion must present that Paris Peace though harsh and humiliating wasn’t the sole reason for outbreak of World War-II. It was outcome of lot many geopolitical and economic factors acting in tandem

Introduction:

Many of the seeds of World War II in Europe were sown by the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. In its final form, the treaty placed full blame for the war on Germany and Austria-Hungary, as well as exacted harsh financial reparations and led to territorial dismemberment. For the German people, who had believed that the armistice had been agreed to based on US President Woodrow Wilson’s lenient Fourteen Points, the treaty caused resentment and a deep mistrust of their new government, the Weimar Republic. The need to pay war reparations, coupled with the instability of the government, contributed to massive hyperinflation which crippled the German economy. This situation was made worse by the onset of the Great Depression.

Body:

The First World War came to an end in 1919 with the defeat of Germany, Austria Hungary, Italy to the England-France-Russia-USA alliance. A post war treaty called the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the palace at Versailles near Paris.

The treaty of Versailles was basically an unfair treaty. It fixed the sole responsibility for the First World War on Germany. It was basically the intention of France and England to punish Germany to such an extent that it would never cause trouble again.

The treaty consisted of harsh conditions like:

  • Demilitarisation of Rhineland
  • Loss of resource rich Alsace Lorraine to France
  • Loss of territories in the east to Russia
  • Loss of Germany’s African colonies to the League of Nations
  • Germany was not supposed to build any more war ships
  • Germany’s military strength is to be confined to 100000
  • Huge war indemnity of 6600 million pounds was imposed on Germany
  • Germany should not impose compulsory military training upon its citizens

It cannot be said only the failure of peace treaty of Versailles was the major reason for the Second World War. The other reasons involve:

  • Growth of Fascism and Nazism:
    • Mussolini (Italy) and Hitler (Germany) strongly glorified war and violence.
    • While West was fighting communism, Germany and Italy started massive militarization.
  • Rise of Japan:
    • Rome-Berlin-Tokyo axis (1936).
  • Neglect of minority interests:
    • New countries like Poland, Czechoslovakia and Austria were formed after the First World War. While drawing boundaries the interests of minority groups in each of these countries were neglected.
  • Military Alliances:
    • Allies – Britain, France, USA, USSR and China vs Axis Powers – Germany, Italy and Japan
    • Leaders – Churchill (Britain), Roosevelt (USA), Stalin (USSR)
  • Germany’s attack on Czechoslovakia:
    • In-spite of the Munich Pact between Germany and Britain (1938), Germany re-attacked and sized Czechoslovakia.

Conclusion:

As such, the Treaty of Versailles may be seen as leading to many of the causes of World War II in Europe. As Foch had feared, the treaty simply served as a twenty-year armistice with World War II beginning in 1939.


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

4) The latest Noble prize in the discipline of economics is recognition of the fact that there’s still hope to fight poverty without succumbing to the polarizing debate between right and left wing populism. Critically analyse.(250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

A trio of economists were awarded the Nobel Prize on Monday for their work to alleviate global poverty.  Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer pioneered an approach to poverty reduction that was based on carefully designed experiments that sought answers to specific policy questions, according to the prize committee.

 Key demand of the question:

Analyse the relevance of such a research that seeks to address one of the very major problems of the world – poverty. Also analyse the methods propounded by the trio and suggestions thereof.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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 judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief narrate the background of the question.

Body:

Explain what is global poverty? Why is it prevalent?

Discuss the root causes of poverty across the world.

Present suitable arguments of the research that bagged the Noble prize.

Explain in what way reshaped development economics, had a clear impact on policy and improved our ability to fight global poverty.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

A trio of economists were awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics, 2019 for their work to alleviate global povertyAbhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer pioneered an approach to poverty reduction that was based on carefully designed experiments that sought answers to specific policy questions, according to the prize committee.

Body:

Global poverty continues to be a massive challenge. The award follows Angus Deaton, who received it in 2015 for his contributions to development economics—the field that studies the causes of global poverty and how best to combat it—particularly, his emphasis on people’s consumption choices and the measurement of well-being, especially the well-being of the poor.

Well developed theory can highlight what causes poverty and, based on this, suggest policies to combat it. But it cannot tell us exactly how powerful specific policy measures will be in practice. This is precisely where the contributions of Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer lie. The Nobel citation gives several examples of their impact, including how their research has helped education, health and access to credit for many in the developing world, most famously in India and Kenya.

According to poverty action lab at MIT set up by Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer:

  • It might not be enough to announce a free vaccination programme to reduce child mortality.
  • Giving a couple of kilogrammes of pulses or a steel bowl might be the critical factor in determining whether mothers walk the extra mile to bring their children to the vaccination centre.
  • The Nobel Committee’s decision to award this year’s prize to above economists is an endorsement of the fact that those seeking to reduce poverty would do better to know how the poor behave.
  • They and their comrades devote a lot of time conducting randomised controlled field trials (RCTs), particularly in India, to find out what works and what doesn’t to fight poverty.
  • Poverty can’t be eradicated without recognising that the poor have an agency and RCTs are needed to understand how exactly such agencies work.

However, the above approach has been criticized:

  • Their peers have accused them of belittling theoretical and structural constraints in the fight against poverty. It is true that RCTs cannot replace macroeconomics.
  • RCTs can’t help us understand recessions which can throw millions into poverty at once.
  • That is no reason to ignore their work and contribution in the fight against poverty, though.

Way forward to fight global poverty:

  • Governments across the world spend big money on social schemes without the vaguest of ideas on whether their objectives have been met.
  • The field-work based approach that these economists have perfected has revolutionised the field of development economics and made it more relevant in policy making.
  • The government would do well to borrow from the research of these laureates to understand the impact of its several schemes and where necessary.
  • It will tweak them to derive maximum benefit for the thousands of crores of rupees that it spends.

Extra information:

  • Rajasthan experiment– Despite immunisation being free, women were not bringing in their children for the vaccination shot.
  • The two MIT economists decided to give a bag of pulses free to women who brought their babies for vaccination.
  • Word soon spread and the rate of immunisation shot up in the region.
  • Mumbai and Vadodara experiment– With this, they wanted to understand the learning outcomes in the field of education.
  • They wanted to know whether it is the lack of access to textbooks or hunger that caused poor learning outcomes.
  • Through field studies, Mr. Banerjee and Ms. Duflo established that the problem is that teaching is not adapted to the needs of the students.
  • Learning outcomes improved in schools that were provided with teaching assistants to support students with special needs.
  • One of their studies resulted in benefiting 5 million children in India through programmes of remedial tutoring in schools.

TOPIC:  Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

5) A sustainable solution for price stabilisation is the need of the hour than merely relying on ad-hoc measures. Discuss in the context of Operation Green-TOP.(250 words)

Indianexpress

 

Why this question:

Tomatoes-onions-potatoes (TOP) are the three basic vegetables that face extreme price volatility and the government often finds itself on the edge in fulfilling its dual objectives of ensuring remunerative prices for farmers and affordable prices for consumers. Thus necessitating us to examine the relevance of a sustainable price stabilization scheme.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain the challenges the operation Green has come across in dealing with the issue of price stability. Explain the challenges and suggest solutions.

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 short explain the TOP Scheme. 

Body:

First discuss the key features of the current program of the government of India that seeks to address price volatility issue in agriculture system of the country.

Explain what are the possible long term solutions that can be taken forward.

Suggest sustainable solution for price stabilisation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way ahead.

Introduction:

Operation Greens seeks to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops and to ensure availability of TOP crops throughout the country round the year without price volatility. In the budget speech of 2018-19, a new Scheme “Operation Greens” was announced on the line of “Operation Flood”, with an outlay of Rs.500 crore to promote Farmer Producers Organizations, agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management.

Body:

Operation Green objectives:

  • Price stabilisation for producers and consumers by proper production planning in TOP clusters.
  • Reduction in post-harvest losses by creation of farm gate infrastructure, development of suitable agro-logistics, and creation of appropriate storage capacity linking consumption centres.
  • Enhance value realisation of TOP farmers by targeted interventions to strengthen TOP production clusters and their FPOs.
  • Increase in food processing capacities and value addition in TOP value chain.
  • Set up of market intelligence network to collect and collate real time data on demand and supply and price of TOP crops.

Need for price stabilization of TOP crops:

  • The scheme is launched on the lines of Operation Flood and seeks to replicate the success of milk in fruits and vegetables.
  • Idea behind Operation Greens is to double the income of farmers by the end of 2022.
  • The problem with vegetable commodities is that when their production increases sharply, their prices collapse because there is not enough modern storage capacity.
  • The links between processing and organized retailing are very weak and small in India which often result in farmer receiving less than 1/4th of what consumers pay for their produce in major cities.
  • Operation Greens will focus on these problems for basic ingredients and not on additional commodities in agriculture.

Challenges in implementation of Operation Green:

  • There are so many varieties of TOP vegetables, grown in different climatic conditions and in different seasons, making marketing intervention (processing and storage) all the more complex, unlike in milk that is a relatively homogenous product produced round the year.
  • Viable technology options for long-term storage, transport, and processing are still being developed.
  • Energy intensity of available technologies, especially with rising fuel prices, poses additional challenge.
  • Organized market at present is very small in relation to total production. The market has to be developed through a viable business model which is both time and cost consuming.
  • The scheme has no provision for institutional setup in implementing the scheme like the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in Operation Flood.

Measures needed:

  • There is a need to link major consumption centre to major production centre with a minimal number of intermediaries.
  • Increase processing capacities for TOP. Linking the processing industry with organized retailing. On an average, about one-fourth of the produce must be processed. Budget announcement of increasing the allocation for the food processing industry by 100% is a welcome step in this regard.
  • By developing forward and backward linkages, the government can ease large price fluctuations, raise farmers’ share in the price paid by the consumer and at the same time, ensure lower prices for the consumers — a win-win situation for all.

TOPIC: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

6) Explain the significance of C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration. Why do you think cooperation at global level is necessary?  Discuss the challenges and ways to address air pollution across the global cities.( 250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

Clean Air Cities Declaration’ was unveiled at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, an event that occurs once every three years and is designed to implement “substantive clean air policies by 2025”.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the significance of C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration and the increasing need to address the issue of air pollution across the world cities.

Directive:

Comment

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

One can start by quoting relevant statistics/data highlighting the air pollution issue.

Body:

Explain first the key features of the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration.

  • Through this Declaration, mayors commit to using their power and influence to reduce air pollution and work towards meeting the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Guidelines.
  • This means cities will continually reduce their local emissions, and advocate for reductions in regional emissions, resulting in continuous declines in air pollution levels that move towards the WHO guidelines.

Discuss why we need a global action to tackle the menace of air pollution?

Suggest solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

C40 is a network of the world’s megacities taking action to address climate change. It is a group of 94 cities around the world that represents one-twelfth of the world’s population and one-quarter of the global economy. The summit was launched in London in 2005 when the then London Mayor convened representatives from 18 megacities.

Body:

Significance of C40 Clean Air cities declaration:

  • The aim of the summit is also to show how cities are delivering their strong commitments for healthier, sustainable, resilient and inclusive future.
  • C40 supports cities to collaborate effectively, share knowledge and drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change.
  • It has been created and led by cities and is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.
  • Signatories set ambitious pollution reduction targets within two years that meet or exceed national commitments, putting them on a path towards meeting World Health Organization guidelines;
  • Implement substantive clean air policies by 2025 that address the unique causes of pollution in their cities
  • They publicly report progress on achieving these goals.

Need for global level cooperation:

  • It helps to take bold action to address the issues of climate change and air pollution.
  • Nowadays, air pollution is an international problem with several impacts on living organisms

Challenges posed by air pollution:

  • The role of air pollution in climate change dynamics is a question that must be urgently addressed.
  • For example, the importance of air pollution and greenhouse warming vs. aerosol cooling needs to be discussed with air pollution cooling, dominated by aerosol content
  • Many open questions still remain, such as the measurement and monitoring of air pollution, including the exploration of new technologies and methods like remote sensing and in-situ observations.
  • Air pollution also impacts historic and modern buildings and materials, affecting sites of cultural heritage by damaging structural materials of monuments, statues, and even paintings.
  • Air pollution has become a year-round phenomenon particularly in north India which causes health impacts far beyond the seasonal rise of respiratory illnesses.
  • It is now the leading risk factor for chronic obstructive lung disease in India, and a major contributor to pneumonia and lung cancer.
  • In 2017, air pollution accounted for 12.4 lakh deaths in India, which included 6.7 lakh deaths due to outdoor particulate matter air pollution and 4.8 lakh deaths due to household air pollution.
  • According to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), India had the highest share of welfare costs (or a loss of income from labour), of about $220 billion (about ₹1.4 trillion), in South and South-East Asia of a combined total of $380 billion from mortality due to air pollution.
  • In addition to human lives lost, there’s an estimated global cost of $225 billion in lost labour, and trillions in medical costs, Greenpeace report says.
  • Government is keen to ascend the World Bank’s “ease of doing business” chart, but images of people walking around Delhi in safety masks do little to attract investment.

Measures needed:

  • Short term measures should be accompanied by measures that increase the forest cover of the land and provide farmers with an alternative to burning the remains of their crops.
  • An innovative approach could be to use climate change funds to turn farm residues into a resource, using technological options such as converting them into biofuels and biofertilizers.
  • Proactive engagements are necessary to persuade and reassure farmers.
  • It is important to find other uses for stubble such as biomass, which may encourage farmers to look for alternative sources of income.
  • India should at least now give high importance to the WHO warning about air pollution being the new tobacco. Sharply escalated, deterrent parking fees can be implemented.
  • From an urban development perspective, large cities should reorient their investments to prioritise public transport, favouring electric mobility.
  • Incentives for adoption of alternate mobility technologies should be promoted.
  • The World Bank has said it is keen to enhance its lending portfolio to tackle air pollution, opening a new avenue for this.
  • Governments should make the use of personal vehicles in cities less attractive through strict road pricing mechanisms like Congestion tax, Green-house Gas tax
  • Need to speed up the journey towards LPG and solar-powered stoves.
  • Addressing vehicular emissions is within India’s grasp but requires a multi-pronged approach. It needs to combine the already-proposed tighter emission norms (in form of BS VI), with a push for shared mobility and public transport and adoption of alternate mobility technologies.
  • NCAP should take precedence from emerging practices in the country—pollution cess in Delhi on truck entry, big diesel cars, and diesel fuel sales and the coal cess—to generate dedicated funds to finance clean air action plan.
  • Tackle road dust by mechanised sweeping and water-sprinkling but what would be more beneficial is if the sides of the roads could be paved or covered with grass that holds the soil together and stops the production of the dust in the first place.
  • Attention to non-technological aspects such as urban planning, to reduce driving, and to increase cycling, walking, and use of public transport are needed.

Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world

7) Hero worship is endemic in our country and personality cult flourishes, in politics, hero-worship is a path to degradation and eventual dictatorship. Critically analyse. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

The article captures the thoughts propounded by Babasaheb Ambedkar with respect to hero-worship in politics and its ill effects.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain what hero worship is, what are the concerns around it and its linkages to politics and ill effects.

Directive:

Critically analyzeWhen asked to analyse, 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 judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief explain what is Hero-worship. 

Body:

Discuss the context of the question using relevant examples from past to present and explain what hero-worship is and what are its linkages with politics.

Explain that there is nothing wrong in admiring our leaders as heroes, but the risk is that in the process, the tendency is to entrust such persons with vast powers and uncritically accept the exercise of these powers, without insisting on accountability, which is a sine qua non of any genuine democracy.

Conclusion:

Conclude with logical conclusion and need for a balanced approach towards leadership recognition especially in the aspects of hero-worship and politics.

Introduction:

Hero worship can be defined as a feeling of extreme admiration for someone, imagining that they have qualities or abilities that are better than anyone else’s. Hero worship is endemic in our country and personality cult flourishes. A strong democracy is built on strong institutions. Individual political leaders may have great achievements and great claims regarding their actions but lacks the checks and balances built in democratic processes. It is in this context the Ambedkar warned against Bhakti or hero worship of individual in politics and emphasized the institutional democracy.

Body:

Harmful effects of Hero worship:

  • Reduces Accountability: In democratic system accountability of leaders is important; however hero worship of a leader reduces the willingness and ability of people to question the leader. Any reasonable question is seen as disrespectful to leader personally effectively undermining the checks and balances built in through rule of law.
  • Subversion of institutions: John Stuart Mill argued “not to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with power which enables him to subvert their institutions”. A powerful leader who is blindly trusted by his follower can effectively subvert the institutions like judiciary, civil services, independent election machinery without raising eyebrows because of blind trust the followers put in him. This situation leads to dictatorship.
  • Compromise the role of opposition: Opposition in democracy is axiomatic, without opposition true democracy cannot exist; this is true in case of opposition with in parliament as well as opposition in form of dissent by civil society or individuals through free speech. Hero worship threatens role of opposition. Any opposition to venerated leader is met with threats harming role of opposition and dissent.
  • Absolute power corrupts absolutely: Absolute power wielded by an individual enjoying the blind faith of follower leads to corruption as the institutional checks are missing and accountability is not fixed for the actions of venerated leader.
  • Threat to internal party democracy: Inner party democracy is essential for larger democratic process in a democracy e.g. individuals with right credentials may get to contest election if there is inner party democracy. On the other hand an unquestionable leader is likely to make those people contests the election, which will perpetuate his rule, the public good will not be on his priority.

However, personality cult has sometimes been effective:

  • It led to the inception of several path breaking schemes like the Mid-Day meal scheme introduced by M.G Ramachandran in Tamil Nadu.
  • Leads to the government providing many items which would have otherwise not reached the poorest strata, like the free laptops and cycles given by the TN government.
  • Also leads to combating of poverty and increased food security a process seen with the opening up of canteens to provide subsidized meals in various cities of TN.

Conclusion:

Therefore, hero-worship, though good in moderation to ensure social justice and economic empowerment, should not be allowed to become all encompassing and overarching the constitutional and ideological planks on which elections were designed to be fought. There is need to make voters aware about their role in parliamentary democratic setup to choose the right candidate to govern them based on rationality and reason.