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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 NOVEMBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 12 NOVEMBER 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 values and teaching of Guru Nanak and elaborate upon their relevance in the context of present social changes.(250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question:

Today being 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the article highlights in what way his teachings are more relevant than ever and how they provide for a road way to a better future.

Key demand of the question:

One must bring out the values and teaching of Guru Nanak and elaborate upon their relevance in the context of present social changes.

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 first discuss in short the facts related to Guru Nanak; Born in 1469 in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, He advocated Nirguna bhakti, He firmly repudiated practices of religions around him like sacrifices, ritual baths, idol worship, austerities, and scriptures of both Hindus and Muslims etc.

Body:

Explain in detail the philosophies propounded by him.

  • He took the god as formless which has now gender and proposed a simple way to connect to him by just remembering and repeating his name.
  • He set up rules for congregational worship (sangat) involving collective recitation.
  • He appointed Angad to succeed him as the Guru.
  • He never wished to establish new religion, but after his death his followers consolidated his practices and distinguished from both Hindus and Muslims by calling themselves ‘Sikhs’.

Then discuss that his teaching hold great value today in overcoming caste and religious discrimination, intolerance of other views, corruption, addiction of alcohol and drugs, clash of civilizations, terrorism and other social evils.

Conclusion:

Conclude that in a world that is increasingly fragmented with a narrow, tunnel vision, bigotry and dogmatism, we have to walk on the path shown to us by Nanak and other illustrious gurus to dispel the darkness that constantly threatens to envelop individuals, communities and nations.

Introduction:    

Guru Nanak (1469-1539), whose 550th birth anniversary is being celebrated on 12th Nov 2019, is the greatest thinker, philosopher, poet, traveller, political rebel, social leveller, mass communicator and spiritual master the land of Punjab has produced. He is the founder of Sikhism and was a contemporary of Kabir. He became acquainted with the teachings of both Hinduism and Islam and met holy men of both religions. In the process, he developed distaste for the superficial aspects of religious practice, questioning their efficacy and value in achieving God realization.

Body:

Values and teachings of Guru Nanak:

  • Nanak had played a very dominant role in the Bhakti movement of medieval India. Both Sufism and Bhakti had contributed to the development of Nanak’s religious philosophy.
  • So his teachings were composite by nature comprising of the noblest principles of Hinduism and Islam. At the same time, he discarded the retrograde elements of both religions.
  • Nanak believed in the presence of a soul in every human being. Good actions of a man help the soul to merge with the Eternal soul that is God.
  • Nanak Dev castigated ostentatious display of religiosity and superficial observation of religious conduct. He laid emphasis on inner virtue and adherence to truth, sincerity and honesty in devotion to God.
  • Evil actions increase the burden of sin for which the soul cannot rise high and remains in darkness. So each individual must do good and be virtuous to get eternal liberation from the bondage of the world.
  • Some basic teachings of Guru Nanak were:
    • Submission to the will of God (Waheguru)
    • One God
    • Goodwill for all
    • Speaking truth
    • Social Service
    • Overcoming 5 evils — Ego, Anger, Greed, Attachment and Lust
    • Adopting 5 virtues — Truth, Compassion, Contentment, Discipline and Contemplation
    • No discrimination
    • Stop following rituals/idol worship/superstitions
  • Guru Nanak traced the progress of the human beings on the path of liberation in five distant phases by attaining five distinct ideals: dharam, gian, saram, karam and sach.
  • Doing good works, finally he becomes eligible for the divine grace through which he comes face to face with the divine Truth (sach) and attains liberation.

Relevance in the current context:

  • The teachings of Guru Nanak are very relevant in the modern world, which is presently suffering from a deep moral and spiritual crisis, characterized by religious animosity, unbridled materialism, moral decline, superficial religiosity and misuse of religions and religious symbols.
  • His teachings transcend social and religious barriers and appeal to us directly as the guiding principles of an ideal human life that can bring out the best in our character and reconnect us with our source.
  • Guru Nanak would have declared that a Sikh would not become a true devotee of God and followers of his teachings by just being born in a Sikh family or wearing the five Ks or visiting a Gurudwara or by superficially reciting the Adi Granth.
  • More important than all these is adhering to truth, devotion to God, constantly remembering His name, practicing inner purity by overcoming the five enemies of lust, greed, attachment, anger and pride, cultivating selflessness and doing selfless service to humanity.
  • You can lead a normal and ordinary life, as a householder, just as Nanakji did, doing whatever you are interested in, but with a selfless attitude, keeping your heart and mind filled with devotion to God and dedicating your life to the service of God and His creation.
  • His teaching holds great value today in overcoming caste and religious discrimination, intolerance of other views, corruption, addiction of alcohol and drugs, clash of civilisations, terrorism and other social evils.

Conclusion:

Thus Nanak’s teachings rested upon two themes—praise of virtues and condemnation of vices. In other words, moral conduct and emphasis on moral values constituted the foundation of his teachings.


Topic:Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provision.

2) What do you understand by Judicial Review? Discuss the provisions in the Constitution that confers the power of Judicial Review. Do you agree that the scope of Judicial Review in India is much wider than it is in United States?(250 words)

Indian Polity by Lakshmikanth

Why this question:

The question aims to ascertain the concept of Judicial review.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the concept of JR in detail as provisioned in the constitution of India and in what way it is different from that of the US.

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: 

Start by explaining your understanding about Judicial Review like the doctrine of judicial review originated and developed in the USA. It was propounded for the first time in the famous case of Marbury V. Madison.

Body:

Define what Judicial review in Indian constitution means; Judicial review is the power of the judiciary to examine the constitutionality of legislative enactments and executive orders of both the Central and State governments.

Then directly discuss the provisions in the constitution that confers the power of Judicial Review to Supreme Court and High Court.

In the next paragraph differentiate the scope of Judicial Review between US and India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the significance of JR.

Introduction:    

Judicial review is the power of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to examine the constitutionality of the Acts of the Parliament and the state legislatures and executive orders both of the centre and state governments. It is one of the most important features of the judiciary. It is the power to reject such laws as are held to be it ultra vires. Judicial review is considered a basic structure of the constitution (Indira Gandhi vs Raj Narain Case).

Body:

Provisions in the Constitution:

There are specific and extensive provisions of judicial review in the Constitution of India such as Articles 13, 32, 131-136, 143, 226, 227, 246 and 372. Though the term judicial review is not mentioned in these Articles but it is implicit.

Judicial review in US:

The doctrine of judicial review is one of the invaluable contributions of the U.S.A. to the political theory. There is no clear mention of the Judicial Review power of the court in any part of the US Constitution. Its origin has been the result of a judicial decision and its continuance has been possible due to some conventions.

Judicial review in India:

  • Although the term Judicial Review has not been mentioned in the Constitution, the provisions of various Articles of the Constitution of India have conferred the power of judicial review on the Supreme Court.
  • Accordingly, the constitutional validity of a legislative enactment or an executive order may be challenged in the Supreme Court on the following grounds.
    • Violation of fundamental rights.
    • Outside the competence of the authority which has framed it.
    • It is repugnant to the Constitutional provisions.
  • The Supreme Court considerably widened the scope of judicial review in India through its judgement in Maneka Gandhi’s case.

Judicial review in India broader than in US:

  • The scope of judicial review is wider in India as compared to USA. The Constitution of USA is concise and the words and expression used therein are vague and general in nature whereas Indian Constitution is rigid as well as flexible in nature as it has detailed provisions.
  • Though the term judicial review is not mentioned in these Articles but it is implicit. US Constitution also does not have any specific provision for judicial review.
  • Pre-Constitutional laws and Judicial Review in India:
    • Article 13 provides for ‘Judicial Review of Pre-Constitutional as well as Post- Constitutional laws’ whereas there is no such provision of judicial review of pre Constitutional laws in US and UK.
  • Dimensions of Judicial Review:
    • In India, the power of judicial review can be used in three dimensions such as Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments, Legislative Acts and Administrative Acts. Whereas US Constitution is very rigid in nature therefore review of Constitutional amendment in very rarely used.
  • Incorporation of doctrines:
    • In India, courts formulated various doctrines like doctrine of severability and doctrine of eclipse etc. these doctrines are also implicitly incorporated in US.

However, some argue that judicial review in India is narrower than in US:

  • The scope of judicial review in India is narrower than that of what exists in USA, though the American Constitution does not explicitly mention the concept of judicial review in any of its provisions.
  • In USA the judges exercise judicial review in a very aggressive manner. If the judges think that a particular law and the philosophy of it is not liked by the judges then, also the judiciary may reject the law. But such a thing never happens in India. The Indian judges reject a law only on the basis of unconstitutionality.
  • Moreover, it has also been seen that in USA, if a law is rejected by the Supreme Court then the court will make a new law in its place. Although law making is not the responsibility of the judiciary, the judiciary makes laws. Such judge-made laws are very common in USA.
    • But in India if a law is rejected by the Supreme Court, the Court leaves the matter of making new laws to the legislative. This has also been described as Judicial Activism by some of the constitutional experts.
  • The American Constitution provides for ‘due process of law’ against that of ‘procedure established by law’ which is contained in the Indian Constitution.
    • The ‘due process of law’ gives wide scope to the Supreme Court to grant protection to the rights of its citizens. It can declare laws violative of these rights void not only on substantive grounds of being unlawful, but also on procedural grounds of being unreasonable.
    • Indian Supreme Court, while determining the constitutionality of a law, however examines only the substantive question i.e., whether the law is within the powers of the authority concerned or not. It is not expected to go into the question of its reasonableness, suitability or policy implications.
  • In India the fundamental rights are not so broadly coded as in the USA and limitations there on have been stated in the constitution itself and this task has not been left to the courts. The constitution makers adopted this strategy as they felt that the courts might find it difficult to work act the limitations on the fundamental rights and the same better be laid down in the constitution itself. This is not the case in India
  • Super legislature:
    • American Supreme Court has consumed its power to interpret the constitution liberally and has made so thorough a use of the due process of law clause that it has become more than a mere interpreter of law. It has, in fact come to occupy the position of a maker of law and has been correctly described as a ‘third chamber of the legislature, indeed, as a super legislature.’ Of course, the US Supreme Court has assumed this position. This is not the case in India.
    • The Indian Judiciary including the Supreme Court is not a Third Chamber claiming the power to sit in judgement on the policy embodied in the legislation passed by the legislature.
  • In the USA, the Supreme Court can strike down legislation enacted by Congress if it finds the same to be incompatible with the constitution.

Conclusion:

While the Court’s jurisdiction as a soldier to protect and advance fundamental rights merits loud affirmation, the Court however should not to be seen as dismissive or disdainful of the processes of democratic governance. The presumption that the legislature understands the needs of its people and that even its discrimination and classifications are based on adequate grounds has also been acknowledged by the Supreme Court itself. The challenge, therefore, is to find the delicate balance between the three organs which nurtures and invigorates institutions designed to serve the ideals of a true republic. The Court can thus serve as a guiding light unto the nations even if it cannot become a sheriff unto the nations.


Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provision.

 3) Do you think Indian President is merely a Rubber Stamp? Critically Examine. (250 words)

Indian Polity by Lakshmikanth

Why this question:

The question aims to critically analyse the powers of the president.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain with suitable justifications as to how powers of president in India have merely remained as a rubber stamp.

Directive:

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

Though, the President is the head of the Indian State and is the first citizen of India, he is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers under Article 74.

Body:

The question is of analytical variant, where one has to give both sides of the statement, that is, in what way the president of the country is a mere Rubber stamp and how he is not too.

Discuss how he is just a rubber stamp. He is the nominal head of the government but the real power lies with the Prime Minister. Discuss article 53, 74, 75 etc. use suitable examples of recent incidents from which it is evident that he is a mere rubber stamp.

Explain otherwise if any incidents exist to prove; situations where President has powers and does not act as a rubber stamp. For Example -Veto powers of president like pocket veto, suspensive veto etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by highlighting the importance of President in Indian Parliamentary system.

Introduction:    

Article 53 reads as ‘The executive power of the Union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers’ subordinate to him’. In spite of the expression ‘directly’ in Article 53 of the Constitution, India’s President merely ‘reigns and does not rule’. The role of president is largely ceremonial in nature. This was the consequence of 42nd Constitutional Amendment that drastically curtailed the President’s powers with respect to the Council of Ministers. Article 74 (1) now mandates the President to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. This prevents the president becoming a power center rivalling that of prime minister.

Body:

President’s role in Indian political setup:

  • The President of India is the Head of State and the Chief Executive. The executive powers of the Union are in the hands of the President.
  • The President of India is vested with Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers. But as the advice given by CoM is binding on Indian President, in reality, most of these powers rest with the COM; but decisions are taken in the name of President of India.
  • He exercises these either directly or through officers subordinate to him. However, being the head of a parliamentary system, he is only a constitutional/titular head and exercises nominal power.
  • The President always acts in accordance with the advice of the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister. All his powers are really used by the Prime Minister and the Union Council of Ministers.
  • The President holds the highest office in India, represents the sovereignty of India, enjoys the highest position and plays a valuable part in the working of the Indian Constitutional system.
  • President is also the supreme commander of armed forces and has powers to prorogue or dissolve the Parliament.
  • He/She further makes appointments to important posts including the PM, state governors and Supreme Court and High Court judges.

By looking at the powers of the President, it becomes quite easy to evaluate the position of the President. At the face value, the powers of the President appear to be very big and formidable. A close review, however, reveals that President of India is a nominal and constitutional executive head who exercises all his powers on the advice of the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers. The President is always bound to accept the advice of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. However, despite such a provision, the President is neither merely a figure head nor a rubber stamp in the hands of the Ministry.

President’s discretionary powers:

  • Suspensive Veto:
    • The President has discretionary power when he exercises suspensive veto ie. when he returns a bill (not money bill) for reconsideration of the parliament.
    • However, if the bill is passed again by the Parliament with or without amendments and presented again to the President, it is obligatory for him to give his assent to the bill.
  • Pocket Veto:
    • This is not a provision mentioned in the Indian constitution, but this is a possible situation when the President of India can use his discretionary power. In this case, the President neither ratifies nor reject nor return the bill, but simply keeps the bill pending for an indefinite period.
    • As the time limit within which the President has to take the decision with respect to a bill presented to him for assent, has not been mentioned in the constitution, in effect the inaction of the President stops the bill from becoming an act.
  • President can seek information from Prime Minister:
    • Under article 78 the President enjoys the right to seek information from the PM regarding the administration of the affairs of the union.
    • Under the established convention, the President has the right to warn or encourage the Council of Minister (CoM) in the exercise of its power.
  • Case of no sitting of both houses:
    • Under Article 85, the President can summon each House of Parliament to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit, to ensure that six months shall not intervene between its last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its sitting in the next session.
  • Case of no majority:
    • When no political party or coalition of parties enjoy the majority in Lok Sabha, then the President has discretion in inviting the leader of that party or coalition of parties who in his opinion is able to form a stable government.
  • Case of no-confidence with CoM- dissolving Loksabha:
    • It is for the president to decide if he should dissolve Loksabha or not when CoM loses the majority in Lok Sabha. The President can dissolve Lok Sabha only on the advice of CoM but the advice is binding only if the government is a majority government.
  • Case of no-confidence with CoM- dissolving CoM:
    • It is for the president to decide if he should dissolve CoM or not when CoM loses the majority in Lok Sabha.
  • Case of a caretaker government:
    • A caretaker government does not enjoy the confidence of Lok Sabha and hence it is not expected to take major decisions but only to make the day-to-day administrative decisions. It is for the President to decide the day-to-day decisions.

Indian Presidents are not rubber-stamps:

  • While India’s first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad is known to have frequently disagreed with then PM Jawaharlal Nehru, seventh President Giani Zail Singh is known to have a rocky relationship with PM Rajiv Gandhi.
  • K R Narayanan, India’s tenth President, famously told the Parliament that he is ‘not a rubber stamp’ while returning a proposal calling for imposition of President’s rule in UP.
  • Pranab Mukherjee was more assertive than any of his predecessors. Although he is known to have rejected 28 mercy petitions, a record number, he commuted four sentences, in defiance of the government’s wishes and refrained from sending those back to the government for reconsideration.

President can play an effective role:

The President is not a silent institution and his role stands beyond the constitutional provisions and established conventions. The powers of the President flow from the oath he takes under Article 60 to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and submit himself to the service and well -being of people of India’. Therefore, new norms can be devised and used to preserve the faith and belief of the common man in the system. These norms can be:

  • The Constitution is silent on the limitations on the President’s activities in public affairs. Public speaking of president can initiate the debate in the society.
  • Use of pocket veto in the cases which are considered to be undermining the Constitution.
  • Reaching out to the people of India.

Conclusion:

The office of the President should not be conceived as merely a ceremonial post or a rubber stamp. Within the confines of constitution, a president can redefine the activities of his office. The President can declare Emergency, suspend rights, dissolve state Assemblies and declare the government bankrupt.


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

4) Discuss the significant role played by T N Seshan in establishing progressive and autonomous election commission machinery in the country.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article is in the backdrop of Death of former Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan who played a key role in reforming election system in the country.

Key demand of the question:

One has to discuss in detail the significant role played by T N Seshan.

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 explain about T N Seshan – best remembered as the man who cleaned up elections in India.

Body:

Explain the following facts and aspects – 

  • Mr. Seshan was the only one to hold the post of CEC for six years from 1990 to 1996 in the last 50 years.
  • It was during Mr. Seshan’s period that the Commission was made a multi-member body in October 1993.
  • In the mid-1990s, Mr. Seshan was seen as a crusader against corruption and electoral malpractices. His work was recognized internationally when he was given the Ramon Magsaysay Award for 1996 for exemplary work in government service.
  • Discuss his major achievements in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude that he played an important role in establishing progressive and autonomous election commission machinery. Despite facing a volley of criticism that he was exceeding his powers, Mr. Seshan had demonstrated to the outside world that the post of the CEC was no pushover.

Introduction:    

T.N. Seshan, the former chief election commissioner of India who transformed the way polls were conducted and contested in the country passed away recently. Born on December 15, 1932 in Palakkad, Kerala, Mr. Seshan belonged to the 1955 batch of Tamil Nadu cadre officers of the IAS. Tough and a stickler to the rulebook, TN Seshan fearlessly took on both inert officials and slack political parties to ensure fair and free elections in the country during his trail-blazing six-year stint between 1990 and 1996 as the chief election commissioner.

Body:

Electoral reforms under TN Seshan:

Electoral Photo Identification Card:

  • N. Seshan, as Chief Election Commissioner during 1990-96, had initiated the process of cleaning up the electoral system.
  • The introduction of electors’ photo identity cards was a measure towards this direction.

Enforcing Model Code of Conduct:

  • Seshan also waged war against the tendency of politicians to flout the model code of conduct, which they were supposed to abide by.
  • He was known as a no nonsensical CEC and one who had enforced, in his own way, discipline on political parties and contestants.
  • He did not compromise on his position that every election had to be held in accordance with the model code of conduct and electoral laws.
  • Some of his big achievements include implementation of the election process and the Model Code of Conduct, enforcing limits on poll expenses, and elimination of several malpractices like distribution of liquor, bribing voters, ban on wall writing, use of loud speakers, use of religion in election speeches etc.
  • The Election Commission ultimately drew up a very strict model code of conduct. Parties could no longer take voters to polling stations; they were required to obtain the authorities’ permission before setting up camps where they traditionally helped voters find the candidates of their choice on facsimiles of the ballot paper, which, admittedly, is sometimes festooned with a hundred-odd names!

Expansion of Election Commission of India:

  • As part of his variant of electoral reforms, the Election Commission had listed 150 malpractices in the elections.
  • It was during Mr. Seshan’s period that the EC was made a multi-member body in October 1993 with the appointment of M.S. Gill and G.V.G. Krishnamurthy.
  • Though he had opposed the government’s move, the Supreme Court had upheld the government’s decision to appoint Election Commissioners.

Conclusion:

As the criminalisation of Indian politics was affecting elections as never before in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, the Supreme Court initiated a new form of “judicial activism”. But the Election Commission contributed in its way to boosting the rule of law. Even the most virulent critics of his megalomaniac and autocratic tendencies recognised Seshan’s unprecedented efficiency in protecting the electoral process.


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

5) Rising political discourse over the issues of nationalism and national security have pushed other vital issues such as health, education and the environment to the background. Critically analyse the statement with suitable justifications.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article weighs the pros and cons of national security being at the centre of developmental agenda and the cost that it imposes upon other factors of development such as in the issues of health, education and the environment.

Key demand of the question:

One must use hints from the article and explain with examples in what way everything else goes at the altar of national security.

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 why the concept of national security is often emotive in nature.

Body:

Explain that nationalism, religious identity, terrorism, national security; and so on have a heightened priority in the country to such an extent that it catastrophically pushes under the carpet the most vital issues of development: health, education and the environment.

Use suitable examples; the 2019 elections had the focus around Pulwama, Balakot and Pakistan terror attacks.

Even after the Lok Sabha elections, the discourse on national security has only hardened with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Kashmir (note: not the plight of Kashmiris), Article 370, and Pakistan (still) dominating the news space.

Conclusion:

Conclude that it’s high time for the development agenda to shift its focus to key parameters of development such as health, education and the environment.

Introduction:    

Human development and ecology have always been given the short shrift in India. Offlate, there is an increased emphasis on nationalism, religious identity, terrorism and national security. This discourse of nationalism and national security catastrophically pushes under the carpet the most vital issues of development: health, education and the environment.

Body:

Emphasis on national security and other issues:

  • The discourse on national security has only hardened with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Kashmir (note: not the plight of Kashmiris), Article 370, and Pakistan (still) dominating the news space.
  • The discourse on national security has only hardened with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Kashmir (note: not the plight of Kashmiris), Article 370, and Pakistan (still) dominating the news space.
  • An analysis done by political satirist Ramit Verma showed that of the 202 popular prime-time news debates across four major Hindi channels till October 19, at least 79 were about attacking Pakistan; 66 about attacking the Opposition; 36 about praising the Prime Minister and the ruling party; and 14 about Ram Mandir.

Neglect of health, education and environment:

  • The GHI 2019 notes that India’s child wasting rate is at 20.8%, “the highest wasting rate of any country” for which data is available. Its child stunting rate, at 37.9%, is also categorised as “very high”.
  • The government, rather than taking up these issues on a war footing, dismissed the GHI as an inadequate representation of India’s data in 2017.
  • An IndiaSpend report also said that India has the unhealthiest work force in South Asia, and its human capital rank was 158th out of 195 countries (with only a marginal improvement from 162 in 1990).
  • India’s public spending on health and education has been abysmal (despite superficial programmes with meagre actual funding ke Ayushman Bharat and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao), the prime cause for its poor human capital.
  • 1,02,677 children (under five) died from easily preventable diarrhoeal diseases in 2017, or that 8,75,659 children (under five) were killed by communicable, neonatal and nutritional diseases.
  • The burden of deaths from diseases like cardiovascular ones has drastically increased from about 13 lakh in 1990 to 26.32 lakh in 2017.
  • The current dystopian visions emanating from New Delhi’s unprecedented climate emergency are the singular example of the apathy.
  • This is when latest studies indicate that life expectancy in North India will likely reduce by seven years because of air pollution.

Conclusion:

A nation that is in a state of suspended animation looking out for both external and internal enemies cannot afford to talk about the state of its citizens.


Topic Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment. . Disaster and disaster management.

6) What is eco-anxiety? Discuss the causative factors of it and suggest solutions to overcome the same. (250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

The article explains the new concept of eco-anxiety in detail.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what do you understand by eco-anxiety, what are its causative factors and in what way can it be overcome. 

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 define what eco-anxiety is; The feeling of being overwhelmed by the challenges of climate change and the fear about the state of the environment. 

Body:

Discuss the concept in detail – eco-anxiety is the helplessness that makes us see ourselves as just one insignificant entity on the planet, unable to reverse the crisis. It is also the sense that no matter how hard we work, nothing will ever be enough.

One can use the case study of air pollution menace that the capital Delhi is facing and causing anxiety among people and making them insecure.

Suggest what needs to be done and how can one overcome this anxiety.

Conclusion:

Conclude that making climate change an integral and crucial factor in our lifestyle habits and consumption patterns can prove to be a key to the problem.

 

Introduction:    

Eco-anxiety is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the challenges of climate change and the fear about the state of the environment. It is the helplessness that makes us see ourselves as just one insignificant entity on the planet, unable to reverse the crisis. It is also the sense that no matter how hard we work, nothing will ever be enough. To feel powerless against a supposedly impending doom shoots up stress levels and causes anxiety, say medicos. In 2017, the American Psychological Association referred to this condition as Eco-anxiety.

Body:

Causative factors:

  • Climate change: The World Health Organisation regards climate change as “the greatest threat to global health in the 21st Century”.
  • Unprecedented and Extreme weather events is a risk factor for mental illness, particularly in rural areas which are being hit the hardest by unseasonal drought, fires and floods.
  • Long-term environmental changes, including once fertile land turning to desert, erosion of soil and coastlines, and sea level rise, are predicted to result in large-scale displacement, a major risk factor for mental illness.
  • Many thousands of people around the world are displaced from their homes as a result of climate events, putting them at perhaps even higher risk of mental illness.
  • The existential dread of what the future holds in the face of unmitigated climate change is having documented impacts on their mental health.
  • A less obvious impact arises from the strong connection between nutritional status and mental health. Climate-related impacts on agriculture lead to reduced availability of nutritious foods, and poor nutritional intake can affect mental health.

Solutions:

  • Climate change adaptation strategies aimed at strengthening communities, particularly rural communities most severely affected by drought.
  • It will also be important to invest in areas where mental health services are under-resourced, which are often the rural areas where the mental health effects of climate change are likely be most severe.
  • Public awareness must be generated through the tireless work of advocacy groups and purposeful media reporting of farmers’ personal stories of distress.
  • Relaxation exercises through yoga and meditation are the best sustainable options for a life with low stress.
  • Make climate change a factor in the decisions you make around what you eat, how you travel, and what you buy (Lifestyle habits).
  • Increasing awareness of the mental health effects of climate change across the community, private, and government sectors.
  • Demand that politicians and companies make it easier and cheaper to do the right thing for the climate.

Conclusion:

There will be no single solution to address the mental health impacts of climate change; a broad perspective and a range of actions will be necessary. As the climate crisis continues to unravel in Australia and globally, this will require strong leadership and some innovative thinking.