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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 NOVEMBER 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 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: Salient features of Indian society.

1) ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ has been the guiding light for Indian family system. Comment.(250 words)

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Why this question:

The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu said at the International Conference of Global Mothers2019 that ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam’ has been the guiding light for the Indian family system since time immemorial and our ethos and socio-cultural fabric are woven around this perceptive phrase.

Key demand of the question:

One has to explain in detail the philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and its relevance to the Indian society.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief narrate the theory behind’ Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.

Body:

Discuss the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ first.

Explain that Indian family system discourages individualism and encourages collectivism. India has grown and attained its current stature under the strong and supportive framework of its joint family system. A strong family system can be the best possible solution to overcome several crippling social evils.

Also explain that with the advent of urbanization and modernization, even in India, joint families are being fragmented. But the principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam still is a guiding beacon for our society. 

Conclusion:

Conclude that Change is inevitable. Whatever the family system be, the core values that sustained and nourished Indian families for centuries together must never be compromised.

Introduction:    

‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is a quote from Maha Upanishad which means – the world is one family is often used to elucidate country’s global outlook. The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu recently said that ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ has been the guiding light for the Indian family system since time immemorial and our ethos and socio-cultural fabric are woven around this perceptive phrase.

Body:

‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – a guiding light for the Indian family system:

  • It is a philosophy that tries to foster an understanding that the whole of humanity is one family.
  • It is a social philosophy emanating from a spiritual understanding that the whole of humanity is made of one life energy.
  • Based on the Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, our forefathers developed the best family model based upon the values of sacrifice, respect and togetherness and practiced the same for ages together.
  • The Indian family system discourages individualism and encourages collectivism.
  • India has grown and attained its current stature under the strong and supportive framework of its joint family system.
  • A strong family system can be the best possible solution to overcome several crippling social evils.
  • The joint family system help develops a sense of responsibility, a propensity for adjustment and love for discipline in children, right from an early age.
  • Respecting and loving elders, caring for them and seeking their wise counsel while taking important decisions, are few practices which are followed in Indian joint families.

Indian family system has undergone drastic change in response to development in terms of industrialization, education and urbanization. Industrialization and urbanization, leading to accelerated rate of rural-urban migration, diversification of gainful economic activities and individual-friendly property laws, have had consequential impact in terms of drastic reduction in the size of family in the country

Relevance of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam in today’s world:

  • To promote idea of peace among citizens of the earth. UN peace keeping initiatives are important in this regard and India’s contribution is immense in preventing wars between nations.
  • To advocate universal human rights and values. It is important to promote universal brotherhood and to stop discrimination and atrocities based on race, gender, caste and class.
  • To promote global responsibility towards environment and to attract attention of the world community towards issues such as climate change and global warming.
  • To unite and seek support of world family to fight and deal with cross-border terrorism.

Conclusion:

The concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam has stood India in good stead. Although change is inevitable, whatever the family system be, the core values that sustained and nourished Indian families for centuries together must never be compromised. Even if families are far away physically, they must always remain close to one another, firmly bonded in the eternal values of love, brotherhood and sacrifice.


Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

2) What is separation of powers in the Constitution? Discuss the concept of checks and balances reflected in Indian Polity.(250 words)

 Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The question is from static portions of GS paper II.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the concept of separation of powers as enshrined in our constitution and explain in detail the philosophy of checks and balances.

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 separation of powers. 

Body:

Explain separation of powers, then discuss checks and balances It is a system by which no organ of the government abuses its own power. Checks and balances ensure that one organ does not become all too-powerful.

Discuss how it is different from the western notion of separation of power.

Highlight the significance using examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting the importance of these concepts in the Indian constitution.

Introduction:    

The concept of separation of powers was first coined by Montesquieu in the modern times during French revolution. According to The theory of Separation of Powers, there are three main organs of the Government in a State- (i) Legislature, (ii) Executive, and (iii) Judiciary. These three powers and functions of the Government must, in a free democracy, always be kept separate and be exercised by three separate organs of the Government. It means that one person or body of persons should not exercise all three types of powers of government. The legislature should exercise legislative functions and powers and should not administer or enforce it. The executive should not control the legislature nor should it take over the functions of the judiciary.

Body:

The theory of separation of the powers signifies the following three different things:

  • One organ of the government should not interfere with any other organ of the government.
  • One organ of the government should not exercise the functions assigned to any other organ.
  • The same person should not form part of more than one of the three organs of the government.

Indian situation:

  • The Indian Constitution has not expressly recognized the Doctrine of Separation of Powers, but there is also the assumption that one wing of the government will not interfere with the other.
  • Article 50: State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive. This is for the purpose of ensuring the independence of judiciary.
  • Article 122 and 212: validity of proceedings in Parliament and the Legislatures cannot be called into question in any Court. This ensures the separation and immunity of the legislatures from judicial intervention on the allegation of procedural irregularity.
  • Judicial conduct of a judge of the Supreme Court and the High Courts’ cannot be discussed in the Parliament and the State Legislature, according to Article 121 and 211 of the Constitution.
  • Articles 53 and 154 respectively, provide that the executive power of the Union and the State shall be vested with the President and the Governor and they enjoy immunity from civil and criminal liability.
  • Article 361: The President or the Governor shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office.
  • Cases like R Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu and Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain, observed the separation of powers was limited, unlike the United States.
  • However, none of the three separate organs of the Republic can take over the functions assigned to the other, even by resorting to Article 368.
  • In India, not only is there a functional overlapping but there are personnel overlapping also.
  • The Supreme Court has the power to declare void the laws passed by the legislature and the actions taken by the executive if the violate any provision of the Constitution or the law passed by the legislature in case of executive actions.
  • Even the power to amend the Constitution by Parliament is subject to the scrutiny of the Court.
  • The Council of Ministers is selected from the Legislature and is responsible to the Legislature.
  • The Legislature besides exercising law-making powers exercises judicial powers in cases of breach of its privilege, impeachment of the President and the removal of the judges.
  • The Executive may further affect the functioning of the judiciary by making appointments to the office of the Chief Justice and other Judges.

Concept of Checks and Balances:

There is a system of checks and balances wherein the various organs impose checks on one another by certain provisions. The aim of checks and balances is to safeguard that different branches of government control each other internally (checks) and serve as counter weights to the power possessed by the other branches (balances).

  • The judiciary has the power of judicial review over the actions of the executive and the legislature.
  • The judiciary has the power to strike down any law passed by the legislature if it is unconstitutional or arbitrary as per Article 13 (if it violates Fundamental Rights).
  • It can also declare unconstitutional executive actions as void.
  • The legislature also reviews the functioning of the executive.
  • Although the judiciary is independent, the judges are appointed by the executive.
  • The legislature can also alter the basis of the judgment while adhering to the constitutional limitation.

Checks and balances ensure that no one organ becomes all-too powerful. The Constitution guarantees that the discretionary power bestowed on any one organ is within the democratic principle.

Conclusion:

Government is an organic unity. It cannot be divided into watertight compartments. The Doctrine of separation of power does play a vital role in the creation of a fair government and also fair and proper justice is dispensed by the judiciary as there is the independence of the judiciary. The smooth running of government is possible only by co-operation and mutual adjustment of all the three organs of the government.


Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

3) Discuss the significance of Lok Adalats as an effective dispute resolution institution in present scenario. (250 words)

Indian Polity by Lakshmikant

Why this question:

The question pertains to evaluate the role played by Lok Adalats in proving to be an effective dispute resolution mechanism.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the meaning of dispute resolution and the possible methods and procedures available in the country and then explain the role played by the Lok Adalats.

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 briefly what dispute resolution is.

Body:

Explain the origin, jurisdiction, nature of Lok Adalats.

Highlight that the concept of Lok Adalat (People’s Court) is an innovative Indian contribution to the world jurisprudence. The introduction of Lok Adalats added a new chapter to the justice dispensation system of this country and succeeded in providing a supplementary forum to the victims for a satisfactory settlement of their disputes. This system is based on Gandhian principles.

Conclusion:

Conclude with powers and advantages of such institutions in dispute redressal.

Introduction:    

Lok Adalat (People’s Court) is an innovative Indian contribution to the world of jurisprudence. The introduction of Lok Adalats added a new chapter to the justice dispensation system of this country and succeeded in providing a supplementary forum to the victims for a satisfactory settlement of their disputes. This system is based on Gandhian principles. Article 39 A of the Constitution of India provides for equal justice and free legal aid. It is, therefore clear that the State has been ordained to secure a legal system, which promotes justice on the basis of equal opportunity.

Body:

NALSA along with other Legal Services Institutions conducts Lok Adalats. Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms, it is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably. Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Under the said Act, the award (decision) made by the Lok Adalats is deemed to be a decree of a civil court and is final and binding on all parties and no appeal against such an award lies before any court of law. If the parties are not satisfied with the award of the Lok Adalat though there is no provision for an appeal against such an award, but they are free to initiate litigation by approaching the court of appropriate jurisdiction by filing a case by following the required procedure, in exercise of their right to litigate.

The objective of Lok Adalat is to settle the disputes which are pending before the courts, by negotiations, conciliation and by adopting persuasive common sense and human approach to the problems of the disputants.

Significance of Lok Adalats:

  • There is no court fee and even if the case is already filed in the regular court, the fee paid will be refunded if the dispute is settled at the Lok Adalat.
  • There is no strict application of the procedural laws and the Evidence Act while assessing the merits of the claim by the Lok Adalat. The parties to the disputes though represented by their advocate can interact with the Lok Adalat judge directly and explain their stand in the dispute and the reasons therefore, which is not possible in a regular court of law.
  • Disputes can be brought before the Lok Adalat directly instead of going to a regular court first and then to the Lok Adalat.
  • The decision of the Lok Adalat is binding on the parties to the dispute and its order is capable of execution through legal process. No appeal lies against the order of the Lok Adalat whereas in the regular law courts there is always a scope to appeal to the higher forum on the decision of the trial court, which causes delay in the settlement of the dispute finally.
  • The reason being that in a regular court, decision is that of the court but in Lok Adalat it is mutual settlement and hence no case for appeal will arise. In every respect the scheme of Lok Adalat is a boon to the litigant public, where they can get their disputes settled fast and free of cost.
  • Last but not the least, faster and inexpensive remedy with legal status.

Need for Lok Adalats:

Law Courts in India face mainly four problems:

  • The number of courts and judges in all grades are alarmingly inadequate
  • Increase in flow of cases in recent years due to multifarious Acts enacted by the Central and State Governments
  • The high cost involved in prosecuting or defending a case in a court of law, due to heavy court fee, lawyer’s fee and incidental charges
  • Delay in disposal of cases resulting in huge pendency in all the courts

Conclusion:

Lok Adalat has a positive contributory role in the administration of justice. It supplements the efforts and work of the courts. Area of contribution chosen for the purpose specially concerns and helps the common man, the poor, backward and the needy-most sections of the society. Lok Adalats play a very important role to advance and strengthen “equal access to justice”, the heart of the Constitution of India, a reality. This Indian contribution to world ADR jurisprudence needs to be taken full advantage of. Maximum number of Lok Adalats need to be organized to achieve the Gandhian Principle of Gram Swaraj and “access to justice for all”.


Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

4) Elucidate upon the key areas of cooperation between India and Sri Lanka while commenting on the significance of the relations between the two countries upon the South Asian region at large.(250 words)

The hindubusinessline

Why this question:

The recent Gotabaya’s victory in the presidential elections, where the minority communities in the north and the east of the island voted in unison against him, was a decisive verdict from the over 70 per cent Sinhala majority in the country. Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

Highlight the relations between India and Sri Lanka and the significance of the same to the South Asian region.

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 short trace the relations of India and Sri Lanka from past to present.

Body:

Explain the importance of each other to the neighboring countries; India and Sri-Lanka. 

Bring out the relevance key areas of cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

Highlight the role that the two countries have to play together in the South Asian region.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:    

The relationship between India and Sri Lanka is more than 2,500 years old. Both countries have a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic interaction.  In recent years, the relationship has been marked by close contacts at all levels. Trade and investment have grown and there is cooperation in the fields of development, education, culture and defence.

Body:

The key areas of cooperation include:

  • Diplomatic Cooperation:
    • Diplomatic relations between India and Sri Lanka are marked by visits of high level Government functionaries.
    • A notable diplomatic event in the recent past was our Indian Prime Minister’s address to the Sri Lankan parliament in 2015
    • India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission was established in 1992. The commission facilitates discussions relating to bilateral affairs of both the countries
    • India and Sri Lanka signed a civilian nuclear energy deal in 2015. The agreement aims at cooperation to explore nuclear energy for peaceful purposes
  • Economic Cooperation:
    • India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2010. India is Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner
    • India is the source of one of the largest foreign direct investments in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is also a potential source of foreign investment in India
  • Defence and Security Cooperation:
    • Colombo and New Delhi have long history of security cooperation. In recent years, the two sides have steadily increased their military-to-military relationship.
    • India and Sri Lanka conducts joint Military (‘Mitra Shakti’) and Naval exercise (SLINEX).
    • India also provides defence training to Sri Lankan forces.
    • A trilateral maritime security cooperation agreement was signed by India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives to improve surveillance, anti-piracy operations and reducing maritime pollution in Indian Ocean Region.
    • In April 2019, India and Sri Lanka also concluded agreement on countering Drug and Human trafficking.
    • In the aftermath of the horrific Easter bombings, Sri Lankan Prime Minister thanked the Indian government for all the “help” given.
    • The alerts issued by Indian agencies before the attacks had warned specifically about the use of radicalised suicide bombers attacking churches and the Indian High Commission in Colombo.
  • Development Assistance:
    • The war between Sri Lankan Government and LTTE came to an end in 2009. The armed conflict led to many casualties and internal displacement
    • As an immediate response India provided all war relief measures including food, medicine etc.
    • As a long term measure, India announced reconstruction of 50000 houses to provide shelter to Internally Displaced People (IDP).
    • India is one of the largest provider of development credit to Sri Lanka. As of 2016, a total of USD 1284 million has been provided by India. The credit is mostly provided for the Sri Lanka’s infrastructure development
    • India has provided medical equipment and ambulances to hospitals in Sri Lanka
  • Cultural and Educational Cooperation:
    • India and Sri Lanka signed a cultural cooperation agreement back in 1977
    • India Sri Lanka foundation was setup in 1998. It aims at technical, scientific, cultural and educational cooperation by engaging civil society organizations of both the countries
    • India cultural centre in Colombo promotes Indian culture by providing courses in Indian music, dance, yoga etc.,
    • India provides scholarships to qualified Sri Lankan students in Undergraduate and research studies
    • Tourism is one of the important areas of cooperation. Sri Lankan tourists are one of the top ten visitors to India
    • Sri Lanka is also a partner in Nalanda university project of India
    • India and Sri Lanka commemorated the 2600th year of the attainment of enlightenment by Lord Buddha (Sambuddhathva Jayanthi) through joint activities.
    • The two Governments also celebrated the 150th Anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala in 2014.
    • The People of Indian Origin (PIOs) comprise Sindhis, Gujaratis, Memons, Parsis, Malayalis and Telugu speaking persons who have settled down in Sri Lanka and are engaged in various business ventures.
    • Government of India formally launched the e-Tourist Visa (eTV) scheme for Sri Lankan tourists on 14 April 2015 to increase the people to people contact.

Significance of the relations:

  • India shares a common cultural and security space with the countries in the South Asian region especially Sri Lanka.
  • Sri Lanka’s location in the Indian Ocean region as an island State has been of strategic geopolitical relevance to several major powers.
  • As a prominent Asian nation with critical national interests in South Asia, India has a special responsibility to ensure peace and stability in its closest neighbourhood.
  • India should shed its big brother image and actively take part to rebuild the war-torn country.
  • India needs the support of Sri Lanka to emerge as a Blue water navy in the Indian Ocean and also in pursuing the permanent membership in United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
  • China’s string of pearl’s strategy is aimed at encircling India to establish dominance in the Indian Ocean.
  • Post 2015, Sri Lanka still relies heavily on China for Port city project and for continuation of Chinese funded infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka.
  • Sri Lanka’s location can thus serve both commercial and industrial purposes and be used as a military base.

Way forward:

  • As both countries have a democratic setup there is scope for broadening and deepening the ties.
  • Both countries should try to work out a permanent solution to the issue of fishermen through bilateral engagements.
  • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) must be signed to improve the economic cooperation between both countries.
  • India needs to focus more on its traditional and cultural ties to improve relations with Sri Lanka.
  • Starting of ferry services between India and Sri Lanka can improve people to people linkages.
  • Mutual recognition of each other’s concerns and interests can improve the relationship between both countries.

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

5) Evaluate the adverse effects of junk food on human health and discuss the significant role of institutions and the government in drafting Laws for Junk Food Regulation.(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question:

Draft regulations have been released by the FSSAI (The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) known as the Food Safety and Standards (Safe food and healthy diets for school children) Regulation, 2019. This has been drafted to ensure that children acclimatize and adapt healthy eating as a part of their daily habit. 

Key demand of the question:

The question is in the backdrop of Food Safety and Standards (Safe food and healthy diets for school children) Regulation, 2019. And the status of health of children in the country owing to increased consumption of Junk food.

Directive:

EvaluateWhen you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgment about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

In brief explain what junk food is.

Body:

A food is classified as junk if it doesn’t offer any or has very little nutritional benefits and is generally high in sugar or fat. The junk foods are also observed to be very low in fibre and very high in calories. 

Then move on to explain the adverse effects of junk food on human health.

Discuss the prevailing laws to regulate the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting what should be the way forward.

Introduction:    

In a welcome step, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has notified a draft regulation aimed at prohibiting the sale and advertisement of food rich in fat, sugar and salt to schoolchildren inside the school premises and within 50 m around it. Generally, a food is classified as junk if it doesn’t offer any or has very little nutritional benefits and is generally high in sugar or fat. The junk foods are also observed to be very low in fibre and very high in calories. It comes in response to the 2015 order from the Delhi High Court directing the central agency to frame norms to promote healthy diets in schools.

Body:

FSSAI regulations:

  • Ban on advertising and sales: It prohibits the sale and advertisement of food rich in fat, sugar, and salt to schoolchildren inside the school premises and within 50 m around it.
  • Promote a balanced diet: It requires schools to simultaneously encourage and promote a safe and balanced diet.
  • No branding: Food companies are prohibited from using their logos, brand names and product names on books and other educational materials, as well as on school property such as buildings, buses, and athletic fields.
  • Healthy Diet: The agency recommends the use of a combination of whole grains, milk, eggs, and millets.
  • Guidelines for food products: It also listed a set of general guidelines for the selection of food products that can be offered in schools.

Adverse effects of junk food on human health:

  • Regular consumption of such food will deprive the body of essential nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, and protein.
  • Their regular consumption will have debilitating effects on the physical and mental health during the long run.
  • Most of the junk foods are highly processed, which indicates that they’re high in sugar, salt and fat. This results in a higher risk of obesity.
  • The side-effects of eating junk food are all interlinked. Regular consumption results in the unhealthy fat getting deposited, leading to plaque build-up, while consecutively lowering the metabolism of the body. This, thus lowers the rate of breakdown of fat by the body, leading to obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
  • The high salt content present as a preservative and stabilizer in most of the junk food causes an increase in blood pressure, resulting in high blood pressure and can even cause strokes. High blood pressure places a lot of stress on the heart resulting in heart problems and making consumers susceptible to hypertension too.
  • The additional salt in the blood would result in a shift of the water from the cells to the body fluid, which often causes a build-up of fluid in the brain thereby causing seizures. The junk foods have also been found to have adverse effects on the cognitive development in children thereby not letting them develop to their fullest potential.
  • Most of the junk foods have been found to contain carcinogens, which can potentially cause cancer.
  • Conditions such as obesity result in the individual developing psychological issues such as depression and social stigma, which result in a loss of self-confidence.

Significant role of institutions and the government in drafting Laws for Junk Food Regulation:

There are certain laws which govern the safety of food products for consumption such as:

  • Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954: Ensures prevention of adulteration of food products.
  • Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006: Formulates the regulations regarding the standards and guidelines with respect to the food and the systems to enforce the standards given.
  • Fruit Products Order,1955: To ensure maintenance of sanitary and hygienic conditions during the manufacturing of fruit and vegetable products.
  • Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947: Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947 along with Vegetable Oil Products (Standards of Quality) Order, 1975 have been replaced by a single Order called “Vegetable Oil Products (Regulation) Order, 1998.” It holds the responsibility to lay the standards for the oil products’ quality during the manufacturing process. The Directorate of Vanaspati, Vegetable Oils and Fats holds the responsibility for implementation of the standards of quality of the vegetable oil product.
  • Meat Food Products Order, 1973: Lays the limit for the heavy metals, insecticides residues, preservatives, and hormones present in the meat products. It also enlists the sanitary standards for the various meat products and is propagated by the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
  • Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011: Requires the labelling of every ingredient which is responsible for characterising the food product, and is expected to be present in the food product by the customer, whose omission could be considered as deceit of the customers.

Way forward:

  • The onus of inculcating healthy eating habits also starts at home.
  • Besides taking steps to reduce the intake of unhealthy food, both schools and parents should ensure children get adequate physical activity, which is increasingly being neglected for various reasons.
  • It is a combination of healthy food and regular physical activity that will go a long way in bringing up healthier children.

Conclusion:

Growing up on junk food will lead to improper cognitive development in children, and result in lack of well-rounded intelligent individuals which is very important for a country like India which is banking on their demographic dividend for development. Therefore, the focus of the entire draft is to ensure a healthy future for the children as their health is of primary concern.


Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

6) Articulation of vision of multilateralism comes at an important time at BRICS for India. Analyse the significance of BRICS for India at the current juncture of its economy.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question:

A summit of the world’s five biggest emerging economies, now in its 11th year, called BRICS recently began in Brazil’s capital with the theme this year being strengthening economic growth.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain the importance of multilateralism with BRICS as a key example and the significance of it for Indian economy.

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: 

In brief narrate the background of the question.

Body:

Explain first why this summit is significant; Slowdown in the global GDP growth; trading arrangements in disarray; questions over the relevance of the World Trade Organization (WTO) etc.

Discuss that India and China have buoyed the grouping with their growth, and even though the idea behind BRICS has been dimmed by sluggish growth in

Brazil and South Africa, and Russia’s sanction-laden slowdown, the group has adapted to the times and proven its resilience.

Suggest that It is greater connectivity and more trade that will allow the BRICS countries to claim their rightful space, and provide the leadership and energy that the global economic order needs urgently.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance of it to India.

Introduction:    

The 11th BRICS Summit, which concluded recently, focussed on building mechanisms for counter-terrorism cooperation and strengthen India’s ties with the world’s five major economies. India is the world’s most “open and investment friendly” economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as he wooed the BRICS business leaders and urged them to invest in the country’s infrastructure development.

Body:

Multilateralism in BRICS:

  • BRICS has proved its naysayers wrong since the idea of grouping the world’s “five emerging economies” was coined two decades ago.
  • India and China have buoyed the grouping with their growth, and even though the idea behind BRICS has been dimmed by sluggish growth in Brazil and South Africa, and Russia’s sanction-laden slowdown, the group has adapted to the times and proven its resilience.
  • Despite the five countries are heading in different directions politically, they have found ways to build a common vision for the world’s economic future with an emphasis on multilateralism and a joint statement at Brasilia that decried “unilateral and protectionist” actions.

Significance of BRICS for India:

  • For India, in particular, the articulation of this vision comes at an important time, given that it faces its own economic crisis, and troubled trading ties with several nations.
  • The failure of officials to resolve issues in time to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) had raised questions about whether India is reversing its market liberalisation and openness to trade.
  • It is significant that India and China used the BRICS platform for continued talks on bringing India back into the RCEP fold and focused on resolving their trade issues through the recently launched mechanism led by Finance Ministers.
  • BRICS countries acknowledged the weakening of global economic growth in their statement.
  • BRICS countries reassured their commitment to the WTO though the original promoter of the multilateral structure, the U.S., is retrenching its interest in the body.
  • They also presented a vision for “rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open, free and inclusive international trade”.
  • The efforts of the BRICS-led New Development Bank was commended and the BRICS business council in ensuring that BRICS countries, major drivers of growth in the past decade, continue to represent “close to a third of global output”.

However, there are challenges:

  • BRICS has failed its founders in the vision of interdependence between the five countries.
  • Despite their combined population accounting for 40% of humanity, intra-BRICS trade still makes up just 15% of world trade.
  • It is claimed by critics that heterogeneity of the BRICS nations with its diverse interests possess a threat to the viability of the grouping.
  • All the countries in BRICS grouping trade with China more than each other, therefore it is blamed that as a platform to promote China’s interest. Balancing trade deficit with China is huge challenge for other partner nations.
  • Amidst, global slowdown, trade war and protectionism, the critical challenge for the BRICS consists in the development of a new global model of governance which should not be unipolar but inclusive and constructive.

Way forward:

  • Greater connectivity and more trade that will allow the BRICS countries to claim their rightful space is much needed measure.
  • BRICS must provide the leadership and energy that the global economic order needs urgently.
  • BRICS should promote comprehensive development of all states — both big and small — and enhanced mutually beneficial cooperation among them on the basis of shared interests.
  • Democratization of international issues i.e. agreements on global agendas should be reached with the widest and equal participation of all stakeholders and be based on universally recognised legal norms.
  • The principle of respect for cultural and civilizational diversity of the world should be a top priority.
  • BRICS nations should strive for peaceful and politico-diplomatic settlement of crisis and conflict in various regions of the world.

Conclusion:

BRICS, being one of the pillars of the emerging fairer polycentric world order, plays an important stabilising role in global affairs. In the storming ocean of world politics, BRICS can contribute significantly in maintaining international stability and ensuring global economic growth and becoming a united center of the multipolar world.


Topic:   Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

7) To what extent do you think Social media has reshaped caste mobilisation tendencies among people? And if so, in what possible ways? Critically analyse.(250 words)

Hindustantimes

Why this question:

The advent of social media has heralded a new era in public discourse. Popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have allowed the forging of new networks among like-minded people, and changed the contours of public debate and socio-political mobilisation.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss how social media has reshaped caste imagination and mobilisation in the country.

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 discuss social media, its key aspects.

Body:

First trace the mobilisation of caste historically in the absence of social media.

Then discuss the impact social media has shed upon the caste mobilisation factor.

Discuss both pros and cons.

Explain with examples how it is evident that the trends of mobilisation are changing with the influence of social media.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to regulate social media with respect to caste mobilisation factor in a positive direction.

Introduction:    

Popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have allowed the forging of new networks among like-minded people, and changed the contours of public debate and socio-political mobilisation. Since caste is omnipresent in India, it is not surprising that it has touched social media. According to a recent Lokniti-CSDS study, the spread of social media has largely been among the upper-castes in urban centres, followed by the Muslims. But there is an increasing presence of those belonging to the SC/ST and OBC communities in recent years.

Body:

All around the world, social media has given a voice to anyone who wants to speak. In India, it has empowered the country’s most oppressed group, dalits (formerly known as untouchables), to speak their minds, without fear of punishment, for the first time in history.

Social media is reshaping Caste mobilization:

  • Historically, the representation of the subaltern castes in the media has been negligible.
  • Unable to find their voices and issues heard in the mainstream media space, they created an alternative space for information dissemination.
  • While social media is often accused of being casteist and discriminatory, it is the only media space that has provided the subaltern castes with the freest and least-discriminatory platform to create their discourse and ideate.
  • It has led to the organic growth of subaltern media, and explosion of a Dalit-Bahujan discourse, including that of the Pasmandas (the subaltern lower caste Muslims).
  • Social media is replacing pamphlets in the political rallies of parties such as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as the preferred medium of dissemination of counterculture.
  • The social media channels of Dalit-Bahujan groups have thousands of subscribers now, and their posts and videos are shared widely, even though they may be invisible in mainstream discourse.
  • Social media has also reshaped caste imagination because now people can overcome the ghetto mentality, which was ingrained by caste-based socialisation.
  • For a large number of youth in the villages and small towns, social media has provided an opportunity to interact with people who don’t think like them and don’t fit into their social worldview.
  • This has sharpened the contrast between the subjective notions of the social status of their caste, with the objective reality, resulting in bitterness and aggression.
  • This has enabled caste-based mobilisation on a far larger scale.

Recent instances of how social media is reshaping caste mobilization:

  • Recently, protests broke out against Twitter over the allegations of a systematic denial of the blue tick verification to handles belonging to the Dalit and backward communities.
  • Even the official handles of Prakash Ambedkar or the Bhim Army chief were not verified, while the handles of even the lesser-known members of liberal chatterati, with a few thousand followers, would have the blue tick.
  • Hard-hitting Twitter hashtags trended for several days accusing the company of being a casteist enterprise, and asking it to either verify the handles of public figures of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) communities, or cancel blue ticks of all accounts.
  • Caste mobilization using social media was visible during the April 2018 protests against an order of the Supreme Court on the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  • YouTube is also flooded with the new age songs of caste-assertion and caste-glorification, often descending into humiliating “others”.

Challenges faced:

  • Despite having a rapidly-growing user base on social media platforms, these communities hardly find any representation in the organisations and policymaking of these companies.
  • This has led to allegations of a systematic caste bias in the policies and the social media platforms’ ways of working.
  • The top echelons of the social media companies are headed by the upper caste hindu people or foreigners.

Way forward:

  • Social media companies need to have a transparent user policy and take action against caste-based abuse and demonetisation.
  • Currently, the standard reply of Twitter to such abuse is that it doesn’t find a violation of rules in the reported content.
  • There must also be more transparency in the parameters used in their algorithms and mechanisms adopted for decision-making.
  • Suspension of accounts will go a long way in ensuring the credibility of these platforms amid allegations of ideological, political or social biases.