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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 DECEMBER 2019

SECURE SYNOPSIS: 13 DECEMBER 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: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

1. What was the Nehru-Liaquat Agreement of 1950 that was recently referred to in the debates for Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019? Discuss its salient features (250 Words).

Indian Express

Why this question:

Amit Shah referred to the Nehru-Liaquat pact on a few occasions in Parliament to justify the Citizenship Bill.

Key demand of the question:

Discuss in detail the salient features of Nehru-Liaquat Agreement of 1950.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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 stating that It was an agreement between the Governments of India and Pakistan regarding Security and Rights of Minorities that was signed in Delhi in 1950 between the Prime ministers of India and Pakistan, Jawaharlal Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan.

Body:

Discuss why the pact came into existence –

The need for such a pact was felt by minorities in both countries following the partition, which was accompanied by massive communal rioting.

In 1950, as per some estimates, over a million Hindus and Muslims migrated from and to East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh), amid communal tension and riots such as the 1950 East Pakistan riots and the Noakhali riots.

Explain the salient features of the pact and associated nuances.

Under the Nehru-Liaquat pact –

  • Refugees were allowed to return unmolested to dispose of their property.
  • Abducted women and looted property were to be returned.
  • Forced conversions were unrecognized.
  • Minority rights were confirmed.

Conclusion:

Conclude with relevance of it as of today.

Introduction:

Delhi Pact, also called Nehru-Liaquat Pact, was made on April 8, 1950, following the escalation of tension between India and Pakistan in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) after economic relations between the two countries had been severed in December 1949. An estimated one million people—Hindus from East Pakistan and Muslims from West Bengal—crossed the borders during 1950. Union Home minister referred to the Nehru-Liaquat pact on a few occasions in Parliament to justify the Citizenship Bill

Body:

Salient features of Nehru-Liaquat Pact:

  • At the time the pact, officially the Agreement Between the Governments of India and Pakistan Regarding Security and Rights of Minorities, Jawaharlal Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan were the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan.
  • It was a bilateral agreement signed between India and Pakistan in order to provide a framework for the treatment of minorities in the two countries.
  • The need for such a pact was felt by minorities in both countries following Partition, which was accompanied by massive communal rioting.
  • In 1950, as per some estimates, over a million Hindus and Muslims migrated from and to East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh), amid communal tension and riots such as the 1950 East Pakistan riots and the Noakhali riots.
  • The Governments of India and Pakistan solemnly agree that each shall ensure, to the minorities throughout its territory, complete equality of citizenship, irrespective of religion, a full sense of security in respect of life, culture, property and personal honour, freedom of movement within each country and freedom of occupation, speech and worship, subject to law and morality.
  • Members of the minorities shall have equal opportunity with members of the majority community to participate in the public life of their country, to hold political or other office, and to serve in their country’s civil and armed forces.
  • Both Governments declare these rights to be fundamental and undertake to enforce them effectively.
  • It was agreed that both governments would ensure complete and equal right of citizenship and security of life and properties to their minorities.
  • Ensuring full fundamental human rights which included the rights of freedom of movement, freedom of thoughts and expression and the right of religion, was part of the deal.
  • A minorities commission was to be set up to make sure that they would be represented.
  • They vowed to not violate the rules of the pact and to make all efforts to reinforce it.
  • If the minorities faced any problem, it would be the duty of both the governments to redress their problems without delay.

Defending the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Union Home minister reiterated that both Pakistan and Bangladesh failed to protect religious minorities after Partition and claimed that the Narendra Modi government was correcting the historical wrong by offering citizenship to the religious minority refugees from these countries.

Conclusion:

In spite of the opposition of his colleague Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister of India, concluded a pact with Liaquat Ali Khan, prime minister of Pakistan, whereby refugees were allowed to return unmolested to dispose of their property, abducted women and looted property were to be returned, forced conversions were unrecognized, and minority rights were confirmed. Minority commissions were established to implement these terms, and confidence was in fact restored for a time; however, in the months following the pact, more than a million additional refugees migrated to West Bengal. The continuing struggle over Kashmir also strained relations between the two countries.

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

2. With 2.3 million children not vaccinated against measles last year, India has much to do to protect its young citizens, in the context of the above statement discuss the case of vaccine hesitancy and need for public awareness of vaccines. (250 Words).

The Hindu

Why this question:

Vaccine hesitancy has been highlighted for the staggering spread in cases globally. The article discusses the case of India and prevalence of Measles.

Key demand of the question:

One must present the case of Measles and discuss the phenomena of vaccine hesitancy.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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 vaccine hesitancy; Vaccine hesitancy has been highlighted for the staggering spread in cases globally. Vaccine hesitancy refers to delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services.

Body:

First explain why the issue of vaccine hesitancy persists – take the case of measles and discuss.

Use facts to substantiate your answer and provide for a detailed analysis of the causative factors, impact and what needs to be done to prevent and cure the situation.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Vaccine hesitancy is threatening the historical achievements made in reducing the burden of infectious diseases, which have plagued humanity for centuries.

Only a collaborative effort between pediatricians, family doctors, parents, public health officials, governments, the technology sector, and civil society will allow myths and misinformation around vaccination to be dispelled.

Introduction:     

Vaccine Hesitancy is defined as a reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines. According to WHO, vaccination prevents between 2-3 million deaths each year, a figure that will rise by another 1.5 million if vaccine coverage improves.

Body:

Findings:

  • There were over 1,32,000 reported cases in 2016. The numbers shot up to over 3,53,000 in 2018.
  • The numbers in 2018 were more than double the previous year, the numbers in 2019 have already surpassed those of 2018. By mid-November 2019, over 4,00,000 cases were reported globally.
  • WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the number of measles cases and deaths. Based on an updated estimation model, there have been nearly 10 million cases and over 1,42,000 measles deaths in 2018.
  • The situation worsened in Congo, with a nearly four-fold increase in cases (from 65,000 in 2018 to 2,50,000 in 2019) and over 5,100 deaths.

Reasons for Vaccine hesitancy:

  • Vaccine hesitancy has been highlighted for the staggering spread in cases globally.
  • In DR Congo, there is low institutional trust, misinformation, vaccine shortage and even attacks on health-care centers and workers leading to the spread of both measles and Ebola.
  • The Philippines and the small Pacific island of Samoa serve are textbook cases of the sudden emergence of vaccine hesitancy.
  • Mass immunization using a newly approved dengue vaccine in the Philippines, before the risks were reported by the manufacturer, shattered public trust in vaccines. Low vaccine coverage led to measles and polio outbreaks.
  • In Samoa, an error in preparing the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) injection led to the death of two infants. Fear-mongering led to a fall in vaccine uptake, leading to an outbreak of measles.
  • In many European countries and the U.S., vaccine hesitancy has been on religious grounds and primarily due to anti-vaccination campaigns spreading fake news about vaccine safety.
  • Some religious leaders prohibit vaccines, some cultures do not want men vaccinating children, some cultures value boys over girls and fathers don’t allow children to be vaccinated.
  • Vaccine mandates can provoke vaccine hesitancy not necessarily because of safety or other concerns, but due to resistance to the notion of forced vaccination.
  • A population can have general confidence in a vaccine and health service but hesitate as the health center is too far away or access is difficult.
  • Industry may be distrusted and influence vaccine hesitancy when perceived as driven only by financial motives and not in public health interest

Measures needed:

  • All child health workers must promote vaccination and must be afforded sufficient time with each family to effectively do so.
  • A clear presentation of the risks that delaying or refusing vaccination might pose to the child is pivotal to help parents understand how critical their decision is.
  • Governments and health policy makers should play an essential role in promoting vaccination, educating the general public, and implementing policies that reduce the public health risks associated with vaccine hesitancy.
  • Paediatricians and family doctors have a key role in helping parents appreciate the benefits of vaccination. In this context, physicians’ advice has been shown to be the most important predictor of vaccine acceptance.
  • Facebook announced that groups and pages that share anti-vaccine misinformation would be removed from its recommendation algorithm. Such partnerships are crucial for allowing widespread promotion of evidence-based information explaining the benefits of vaccination.
  • Effective use of counselling on immunisation should be implemented during contact with care seekers under Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or National Health Protection Scheme.
  • Available opportunities must be maximised, including the “home-based newborn care”, where health workers promote breastfeeding as well as programmes to promote the use of vaccines.
  • To counter rising hesitancy, about a dozen European countries have already introduced laws making vaccination mandatory.
  • New York City too introduced such a law when the U.S. nearly lost its measles elimination status.
  • Such laws may prove counterproductive in the long run, and the only way to increase vaccine uptake is by educating the public.
  • In most cases, interventions should be dialogue-based and directly targeted to a specific under-vaccinated population group.
  • By engaging collaboratively with health workers, caregivers/parents, and their families and communities, national authorities can generate the insights to develop better quality health services, systems, policies, and communication strategies that support and enable recommended vaccination behaviours.

Conclusion:

Vaccine hesitancy is threatening the historical achievements made in reducing the burden of infectious diseases, which have plagued humanity for centuries. Only a collaborative effort between paediatricians, family doctors, parents, public health officials, governments, the technology sector, and civil society will allow myths and misinformation around vaccination to be dispelled. If we fail, the future health of unvaccinated children and their communities will suffer greatly.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

3. A wrangle between Executive and Judiciary over judicial appointments hampers entry to justice. Discuss the issues involved in the appointment procedure and suggest what needs to be done. (250 Words).

The Hindu

 

The question is based on the Important aspects of governance and tends to evaluate the wrangle between Executive and Judiciary over judicial appointments.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the ongoing wrangle between Executive and Judiciary over judicial appointments and in what way it hampers justice delivery.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In a judicial order, the Supreme Court has said that two hundred and thirteen names recommended for appointment to various High Courts are pending with the government/Supreme Court Collegium.

Body:

Start by explaining the order – The order states that at least the names on which the Supreme Court Collegium, the High Courts and the governments had agreed upon should be appointed within six months.

It emphasized that the appointments required a continuous, collaborative and integrated process, where the government is an important consultee.

The order is significant, coming at a time when inordinate delays in the appointment of High Court judges and depleting numbers in the higher judiciary threaten to affect the justice delivery mechanism.

Explain how the system works. Discuss why there is delay in the system.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Vacancies in the higher judiciary threaten every aspect of the justice delivery system, the government may disrupt the process through delays, but it is for the court to take an increasingly firm hand to ensure that the collegium system that it fought so hard to protect, despite flaws, actually functions effectively.

Introduction:     

The list of alarming numbers and figures relating to the depleting numbers in India’s higher judiciary has a new addition. The Supreme Court of India recently said that 213 names recommended for appointment to various High Courts are pending with the government. Data show that 38% of all sanctioned posts for High Court judges are lying vacant as of December 1. High Courts of some states including Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are functioning at below half their actual capacity.

Body:

Process of appointment of judges:

  • In the Third Judges Case (1998) (by a follow-up President’s Reference to the Court), the Supreme Court expanded the Collegium formed in the first (1981) and second (1993) judges cases to include the CJI and the next four (up from two) senior-most judges.
  • Once the collegium clears the names, the Law Ministry has to put up the recommendation to the Prime Minister in 3 weeks who will, in turn, advise the President. Thereafter no time limit is prescribed and the process comes to a standstill.
  • If the collegium reiterates the names, the court said that the government has no option but to appoint the judges.
  • With the 99th constitutional amendment act and NJAC Bill 2014, National judicial appointment commission was established by the union government to bring transparency and accountability in appointment of judges.
  • In the Fourth Judges Case (2015), Supreme Court set aside the 99th constitutional amendment creating the National Judicial Appointments Commission. The Supreme Court ruled that the amendment was a threat to judicial independence, an integral part of Basic Structure Doctrine. A majority of judges took pains to point out how much the independence of the judiciary was guaranteed by the collegium system of appointments.

The controversies often associated with the collegium system are

  • Credibility of the SC:
    • Controversial collegium system of judicial appointments undermines the independence of judges and raises doubts about the credibility of the highest court.
    • There is a failure to make an assessment of the personality of the contemnor at the time of recommending his name for elevation.
    • Example: The controversy over the proposed elevation of Justice P.D. Dinakaran of the Karnataka High Court to the Supreme Court by the collegium of the Chief Justice and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court was criticised for overlooking apparently suitable judges by the collegiums
    • The judiciary off late has been caught in many such situations of credibility crisis off late.
  • The executive has little or no role in the appointment of judges as a result.
  • Supreme court is overburdened:
    • The Supreme Court did not realise the burden it was imposing on the collegium of selecting judges for the Supreme Court and High Courts and transferring them from one High Court to another.
    • An administrative task of this magnitude must necessarily detract the judges of the collegium from their principal judicial work of hearing and deciding cases.
  • Lacking this infrastructural backup, the collegium resorts to ad hoc informal consultations with other judges in the Supreme Court who are expected to know the merits of a proposed appointee from a High Court or occasionally by sounding a member of the Bar.
    • These methods are poor substitutes for a full time intensive collection of data about an incumbent, his work, standing, merit, integrity and potential which requires to be made considerably in advance for filing in the vacancy.
    • This system overlooks several talented junior judges and advocates.
  • Besides, the collegium’s deliberations are secret, the system is opaque and the choice of a judge is only known when his name is forwarded to the Government for formal appointment.
  • The collegium has necessarily limited its field of choice to the senior-most judges from the High Court for the appointments to the Supreme Court, overlooking the several talented junior judges in the High Courts or members of the bar.
  • Skewed representation of socio economic backward classes like women, scheduled castes and tribes in the Supreme Court.

The collegium system needs reforms:

  • The need of the hour is to revisit the existing system through a transparent and participatory procedure, preferably by an independent broad-based constitutional body guaranteeing judicial primacy but not judicial exclusivity.
  • The new system should ensure independence, reflect diversity, demonstrate professional competence and integrity.
  • The system needs to establish a body which is independent and objective in the selection process. In several countries of the Commonwealth, National Judicial Appointment Commissions have been established to select judges. Such judicial commissions have worked with success in the U.K., South Africa and Canada.
  • Setting up a constitutional body accommodating the federal concept of diversity and independence of judiciary for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary can also be thought of as an alternate measure.
  • There should be a fixed time limit for approval of recommendations.
  • As of now, instead of selecting the number of judges required against a certain number of vacancies, the collegium must provide a panel of possible names to the President for appointment in order of preference and other valid criteria.
  • New memorandum of procedure:
    • After the Second and Third Judges Cases, a Memorandum of Procedure had been formulated to govern how the process of how the Collegium would make recommendations to the Executive.
    • The government therefore suggested that a new MOP be drafted and finalised for appointment of SC judges and the Executive to get a veto over candidates for national security reasons in this new MOP.

Conclusion:

Faced with intense public scrutiny and government pressure, the judiciary’s institutional weaknesses are being laid bare. These are not simply the moral failings of one individual or the consequences of the misjudgement of a few. It is another illustration of the institution’s inability to accept its internal infirmities.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

4. E-governance is not only about use of the clout of new technology, but also much about grave importance of the ‘use value’ of information. Explain. (250 Words).

Governance in India by Lakshmikant

 

Why this question:

The question aims to evaluate the relevance of ‘use-value’ of the information and technology to the e-governance aspects of the government.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the concept of e-governance and present the case of use of technology along with significance of utility of the information.

Directive:

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving 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:

Define E-governance; it is application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at all the level of the Government in order to provide services to the citizens, interaction with business enterprises and communication and exchange of information between different agencies of the Government in a speedy, convenient efficient and transparent manner.

Body:

Explain that although e-governance is about utilization of the power of new technology like satellite technology, GPS, computer, internet, mobile, biometrics etc. in an efficient manner, it is also very much about how the information collected is utilized to better cater to the needs of the citizens.

The information collected should help in ‘clarity’ in the objective setting, not only in ICT terms (computers, networks etc.) but also the process outcomes and the measurements post implementation.

Information should be used for data mining and for supporting the management decisions and not merely for word processing.

By knowing the value of information and its foundation, information can be improved and can provide better support in decision making and better assessment can be made.

Conclusion:

Conclude that thus the focus of e- governance should not only be limited to efficiently utilizing new technologies but it should also be oriented toward ensuring good governance using the information gathered.

Introduction:     

e-Governance which also known as electronic governance is basically the application of Information and Communications Technology to the processes of Government functioning in order to bring about ‘Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent’ governance.

e-Governance involve the use of ICTs by government organisations for exchange of information with citizens, businesses or other government departments, faster and more efficient delivery of public services, improving internal efficiency, reducing costs / increasing revenue, re-structuring of administrative processes and improving quality of services.

Body:

E-governance is about utilization of power of new technology:

  • Initiatives by government like National optical fibre network, Digital India, Aadhar card, DISHA etc. focus much on the technological aspect and digitization and less on governance. Participative and decentralised decision making is missing as the programmes initiated by government mostly follow top down approach.
  • E-RTI focused upon e-filing of RTI’s making it a quick and efficient process. But there has less focus on redressal of public grievances.
  • The networks like E-SWAN in states have been commended for connecting all government departments to websites. But websites are not uploaded regularly and this defeats the purpose of transparency, openness and accountability in governance.
  • Similarly, national judicial data grid has not reduced pendency of cases.
  • Due to low digital literacy the real benefits of the initiatives do not reach the common man.
  • Lack of matured technicians:
  • There is lack of matured technicians in the country who can advise the government on technical grounds. A good technician will not only help the government to reduce the cost of installation, but will also be able to handle the technical problems easily.
  • Lack of qualified administrators:
  • There is a lack of qualified administrators in the country, who are not very techno-friendly.

E-governance is much about the critical importance of the use value of information:

  • Increased effectiveness and efficiency: Improved government services in terms of accomplishing the government purpose and functioning
  • Better services: E-government can provide quick and timely services to stakeholders
  • Transparency by dissemination and publication of information on the web: This provides easy access to information and subsequently makes the system publicly accountable. Also as the web enables the free flow of information, it can be easily accessed by all without any discrimination.
  • Accessible anytime and anywhere: As e-government services are provided through web-enabled technology they can be accessed anytime and anywhere
  • User-centred ICT enabled services: The services are primarily intended for the use of citizens, businesses, and the government itself
  • Reduced cost and time: As the services are provided through internet they are effective in terms of time and cost
  • Economic Development: The deployment of ICTs reduces the transaction costs, which makes services cheaper. For example, rural areas suffer on account of lack of information regarding markets, products, agriculture, health, education, weather, etc. and if all this could be accessed online would lead to better and more opportunities and thereby prosperity in these areas.
  • Social Development: The access to information empowers the citizens. The informed citizenry can participate and voice their concerns, which can be accommodated in the programme/ project formulation, implementation, monitoring and service delivery. Web-enabled participation will counter the discriminatory factors affecting our societal behaviour.
  • Reduced bureaucracy: E-government minimizes hierarchy of authority for availing any government services
  • Automation of Administrative Processes: A truly e-governed system would require minimal human intervention and would rather be system driven.
  • Enhanced communication and coordination between government organizations: An automated services can be accessed by different organizations coordination and further communication became relative
  • Paper Work Reduction: An immediate impact of automation would be on the paperwork. Paperwork is reduced to a greater extent with communication being enabled via electronic route and storage and retrieval of information in the electronic form. All this has led to the emergence of less paper office’.
  • Quality of Services: ICT helps governments to deliver services to citizens with greater accountability responsiveness and sensitivity. Quality of services improves, as now the people are able to, get services efficiently and instantaneously.
  • Elimination of Hierarchy: ICT has reduced procedural delays caused by hierarchical processes in the organisation. Through Intranet and LAN, it has become possible to send information and data across various levels in the organisation at the same time.
  • Change in Administrative Culture: Bureaucratic structures have been plagued by characteristics aptly described by Victor Thompson as ‘bureau-pathology’. From the day s of New Public Administration, efforts have been made to find ways to deal with the pathological or dysfunctional aspects of art.
  • Strategic Information System: Changing organisational environment and increasing competitiveness have put pressures on the performance of the functionaries. Information regarding all aspects needs to be made available to the management at every point to make routine as well as strategic decisions.

Some of the e-Governance models implemented in India: Customs and Excise (Government of India); Indian Railways; Postal Department; Passport/Visa; Bhoomi – Automation of Land Records (State Government of Karnataka); Gyandoot: Intranet in Tribal District of Dhar (State Government of Madhya Pradesh); e-Mitra – Integrated Citizen Services Center/ e-Kiosks (State Government of Rajasthan) etc.

Way forward:

  • In the absence of judicial reforms, periodic updation of citizen charter, administrative reforms in terms of business process restructuring (2nd ARC), the E-governance will merely remain “E” without governance.
  • Government should adopt various other effective projects and initiatives to eradicate ICT
  • illiteracy and emphasize on the need of digitalization.
  • An initiation towards setting up of number of computer centers and kiosks is needed and also
  • training to people by setting up IT training centers in various parts of cities and villages is
  • This will help in building an information based society.
  • The government should launch various awareness programs, which will help people to know
  • the benefits of E-governance and will motivate them to accept the change.
  • Government should encourage technology rich countries and companies to invest in the Indian
  • Infrastructure is a crucial part of any country’s development. So, the government should work
  • on improving ICT infrastructure by providing Electricity and good Internet connection.
  • Strategic framework for implementation of E-governance is needed.
  • It is important for the government to create a trust factor among the citizens by being consistent in taking feedback and undertaking corrective actions for the deviations.
  • Another important suggestion for the government is to hire highly professional technicians
  • who can easily curb any technical issue and keep the system updated.
  • A support from the other political parties is also required to infuse E-governance in the system.

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

5. Evaluate the factors leading to the high levels of pollution in Indian rivers. What can be done to protect and prevent our rivers from degradation and slow death? Discuss. (250 words).

The Hindu

Why this question:

A study conducted by Central Water Commission (CWC) from May 2014 to April 2018 revealed that India’s major river systems are contaminated with heavy metals.

Key demand of the question:

One must evaluate the factors leading to the high levels of pollution in Indian rivers and discuss what can be done to protect and prevent our rivers from degradation and slow death.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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:

State the findings of the report; quote the facts and relevant case study.

Body:

First discuss the main sources of river pollution – agriculture, mining, milling, plating and surface finishing industries that discharge a variety of toxic metals.

Discuss then their impact.

Quote the discussion provided by the report of CWC.

Take hints from the article and cover relevant aspects.

Conclusion:

Conclude with urgency to address the issue of River pollution in the country.

Introduction:     

Rivers are increasingly being treated as lifelines to an ever-growing population, the realisation of which is still to sink in as far as India is concerned. More than half the rivers in India are polluted, with the developing economic power unlikely to meet demand for fresh water from its still-growing population. Samples taken from two-thirds of the water quality stations spanning India’s major rivers showed contamination by one or more heavy metals, exceeding safe limits set by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

Body:

Findings from the third edition of an exercise conducted by the Central Water Commission (CWC) from May 2014 to April 2018:

  • The study spanned 67 rivers in 20 river basins.
  • Samples from only one-third of water quality stations were safe.
  • The rest, or 287 (65%) of the 442 sampled, were polluted by heavy metals.
  • Samples from 101 stations had contamination by two metals, six stations saw contamination by three metals.
  • Iron emerged as the most common contaminant with 156 of the sampled sites registering levels of the metal above safe limits.
  • None of the sites registered arsenic levels above the safe limit.
  • The other major contaminants found in the samples were lead, nickel, chromium, cadmium and copper.
  • Lead, cadmium, nickel, chromium and copper contamination were more common in non-monsoon periods while iron, lead, chromium and copper exceeded ‘tolerance limits’ in monsoon periods most of the time.
  • Arsenic and zinc are the two toxic metals whose concentration was always obtained within the limits throughout the study period.

Table_01

Stat_of_river_polution

Factors behind high pollution of rivers:

  • Chemicals & Effluents
    • The main sources of heavy metal pollution are mining, milling, plating and surface finishing industries that discharge a variety of toxic metals into the environment.
    • Industrialisation along the river belt is polluting the water with chemicals and other industrial effluents.
    • While large corporations adopt advanced techniques to treat effluents and chemicals to negate or reduce their toxicity, smaller firms often have no such considerations and violate environment safety standards.
  • Failure of regulatory agencies and implementation of laws:
    • According to the recent finding of the Central Pollution Control Board that the number of critically polluted segments of India’s rivers has risen to 351 from 302 two years ago is a strong indictment of the departments responsible for environmental protection.
    • The data show that the plethora of laws enacted to regulate waste management and protect water quality are simply not working.
    • The study by CPCB also underscores the failure of many national programmes run by the Centre for river conservation, preservation of wetlands, and water quality monitoring.
    • Low priority is accorded to the enforcement of laws by SPCBs and pollution control committees.
  • Garbage Dumping
    • High population density around the river banks and the reckless dumping of non-biodegradable waste, especially plastics, is further adding to water pollution.
    • Despite warning and strict fines imposed by local administrations on those found dumping garbage into rivers and their estuaries, this uncivilised practice continues unabated.
    • The other reasons for contamination are population growth and rise in agricultural and industrial activities.
  • Washing & Sewage
    • Laundering clothes on river banks is a common sight in India. Modern detergents are made of chemicals that contaminate river waters.
    • Defecating around river banks is yet another horrible practice in rural parts of the country that contributes to rising pollution of rivers in India.
    • The situation is worsened by local administrations and private operators of sewage collection tankers dumping the waste in rivers and their estuaries.
  • Cremation & Last Rites
    • Devout Hindus attach a lot of significance to life after death. Hence, cremation grounds in rural India are located on the banks of rivers.
    • Varanasi, also known as Kashi, is one such place with cremation grounds located right on banks of river Ganga which is also one of the longest rivers in India.
    • Unfortunately, lots of Indians families that cannot afford cremation consign mortal remains of loved ones to rivers. These human cadavers cause severe water pollution.
  • Sand Dredging
    • High-quality sand from river beds is needed for India’s booming construction industry. This has led to rising pollution in Indian rivers.
    • Dredging operators- usually the unlicensed ones- deploy kerosene and diesel-fueled cheap watercraft manned by cheap labour for sand dredging. Engines of these boats cause pollution.

Measures needed to protect and prevent our rivers from degradation and slow death:

  • CPCB should be reporting more frequently on pollution, and carrying out intensive measures through State Pollution Control Boards to eliminate pollutants, starting with sewage and industrial effluents.
  • Low priority accorded to enforcement of laws by the SPCBs and Pollution Control Committees. So the immediate plan should be to expand the supply of treatment plants. Sustained civil society pressure on governments is vital to ensure that this is done in a time-bound manner.
  • On the industrial side, the plan to bring all liquid effluent discharge from textile units and tanneries to zero has to be pursued vigorously, giving industries the assistance to help them choose the best technologies for the recovery of waste water for reuse.
  • These measures are urgently needed to revive India’s many dying rivers, protect its agriculture, and prevent serious harm to public health from contaminated water.
  • All state governments must make it mandatory to have rain water harvesting techniques in government as well as private buildings and make roof water and surface harvesting mandatory.
  • Include embankments, embankment roads, and roads on either side of the river need to be developed as greenways, with walkways, cycle paths and recreational centres to facilitate the link between citizens and the river.
  • Rejuvenation of wetlands: These wetlands can store millions of gallons of flood water and recharge ground water and also enhance the river flow during lean period
  • Reforestation and protection of forested catchments: Forested catchments reduce soil erosion and siltation of the river, they regulate stream flows and micro climate. A protected catchment automatically means lesser silt in rivers
  • Vegetated and protected riparian banks: These protect the river banks, reduce erosion and maintain water quality.

Way forward:

  • The immediate plan should be to expand the supply of treatment plants.
  • Civil societies pressure on the Government is the vital aspect.
  • All liquid effluent discharge from the textile units and tanneries should be brought down to zero and it is to be pursued rigorously. Assistance to be given to industries to choose the best technologies for recovery of waste waters for reuse.
  • By adopting a zero-waste lifestyle that consists of “Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost and Close the Loop (4R2C)”, we can limit our trash output and save tonnes of solid waste from ending up in landfills and rivers.
  • The adoption of a river can also be done as a part of corporate sustainability responsibility programmes organised together with the local communities with the support of local government agencies.
  • These measures are urgently needed to revive India’s many dying rivers, protect its agriculture, and prevent serious harm to public health from contaminated water.

Topic:Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6. “Agriculture will play a crucial role in addressing the planet’s future challenge and is a key to providing important adaptation, mitigation synergies to climate change as well as socio-economic and environmental co-benefits.” In the context of the statement discuss the concept of Climate Smart Farming Systems and its relevance. (250 Words).

PIB Government of India

The question is based on the concept of Climate Smart Farming Systems.

Key demand of the question:

One must explain what is Climate Smart Farming Systems and relevance of agriculture and its contribution in mitigating the effects of climate change.

Directive:

Discuss – This 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 stating that International Seminar on Climate Smart Farming Systems’ for BIMSTEC countries is being held in Delhi.

Body:

Define – Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an approach to help farmers respond effectively to climate change and ensure food security.

State the objectives of it –

  • Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes;
  • Adapting and building resilience to climate change; and
  • greenhouse gas emissions mitigation

discuss the important aspects of it – methods, impact and utility,

Conclusion: Conclude by highlighting the significance of it.

Introduction:     

Agricultural production systems are facing increasing competition from other sectors for limited natural resources. The availability of these resources and their quality are also being affected by unsustainable management practices and changing climatic and weather conditions. To respond to this situation, the agriculture sectors must improve their sustainability performance and adapt to the impacts of climate change in ways that do not compromise global efforts to ensure food security for all. FAO defines Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) as “agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, enhances resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes GHGs (mitigation) where possible, and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals

Body:

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural production systems and food value chains so that they support sustainable development and can ensure food security under climate change.

Relevance of CSA:

  • Increased productivity: Produce more food to improve food and nutrition security and boost the incomes of 75 percent of the world’s poor who live in rural areas and mainly rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
  • Enhanced resilience: Reduce vulnerability to drought, pests, disease, and other shocks; and improve capacity to adapt and grow in the face of longer-term stresses like shortened seasons and erratic weather patterns.
  • Reduced emissions: Pursue lower emissions for each calorie or kilo of food produced, avoid deforestation from agriculture and identify ways to suck carbon out of the atmosphere.
  • The climate-smart agriculture approach seeks to reduce trade-offs and promote synergies to make crop and livestock systems, forestry, and fisheries and aquaculture more productive and more sustainable.

Challenges:

  • With patchy rains, crop failures become common. There is hardly any greenery in many villages, making it difficult for farmers to even maintain cattle.
  • Quick adaptation for new changes is hard, with farmers varying and mixing crops across seasons, along with heavy investments in borewells, tractors, and threshers.
  • Because of continuous crop failures, farmers are increasingly abandoning their lands and heading to nearby towns to find work as laborers.
  • Though India is fortunate to have the monsoon, it is also uniquely vulnerable to rising temperatures, with the country ranked 14th on the Global Climate Risk Index 2019.
  • India has over 120 million hectares of land suffering from some form of degradation. This has consequences, especially for marginal farmers.
  • According to one estimate, they may face a 24-58% decline in household income and 12-33% rise in household poverty through exacerbated droughts.
  • With rain-fed agriculture practiced in over 67% of our total crop area, weather variability can lead to heavy costs, especially for coarse grains (which are mostly grown in rain-fed areas).
  • A predicted 70% decline in summer rains by 2050 would devastate Indian agriculture.
  • Within 80 years, our Kharif season could face a significant rise in average temperatures (0.7-3.3°C) with rainfall concomitantly impacted, and potentially leading to a 22% decline in wheat yield in the rabi season, while rice yield could decline by 15%.

Measures needed:

  • Farmers, especially smallholder farmers, need advance warning of emergent weather conditions at a local level.
  • Mobile telecommunication systems are increasingly cost-effective and an efficient way of delivering weather-based agro-advisories to farmers at a large scale.
  • Radio (especially community radio), television, newspapers, folk media, and village level public address systems will also need to be used to bridge this “communication divide.”
  • Weather-based agro-advisories must be locale-, crop-and farmer-specific; need to also recommend soil, water, and biodiversity conservation practices.
  • Build adaptive capacities to climate variability and strengthen the sustainability of farming systems.
  • On-site training and awareness campaigns, technology demonstrations, farmer-specialist interactions, and engagement with local governance bodies.
  • Soil health and need-based irrigation management need to be addressed adequately.
  • Closer collaboration between public, civil society, and private technology and financial service providers so that farmers get access to accurate information, and affordable technologies

Conclusion:

Climate-smart agriculture is not a new agricultural system, nor a set of practices. It is an innovative approach for charting development pathways that can make the agriculture sectors more productive and sustainable and better able to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Topic: Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service , integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections

7. What do you understand by the following terms? Point out their specific relevance in public service:

1. Intellectual integrity

2. Spirit of service

3. Commitment

Ethics by Lexicon publications

Why this question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper IV.

Key demand of the question:

One must discuss the terms with suitable examples and also explain two more such attributes that are important to public servants.

Directive:

Justify – When you are asked to justify, you have to pass a sound judgement 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 using suitable case studies or/ and examples.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define the terms in question.

Body:

Intellectual integrity is the discipline of striving to be thorough and honest to learn the truth or to reach the best decision possible in a given situation. A person with intellectual integrity has a driving desire to follow reasons and evidence courageously wherever they may lead.

Spirit of Service; This quality in public service makes the foundation of such job requirement. Spirit of service towards the nation and its people is the cornerstone of pub. Service and requires readiness to serve in all and every condition.

Commitment: Being always responsible and genuine to the words, deeds and promises. It is the most important ingredient of public servant. There might be a chance to flout promises and rebuild our relationships in personal life. But in official capacity, breaking a promise or vow can’t be undone or taken back because it affects public at large.

Explain each term with suitable and relevant example.

Conclusion:

Conclude with their importance to public services.

1. Intellectual integrity:

Intellectual integrity is defined as recognition of the need to be true to one’s own thinking and to hold oneself to the same standards one expects others to meet. The early Greek philosophers (e.g., Socrates, Plato and Aristotle) changed the world because they forged a new path toward intellectual integrity.

Intellectual integrity is required in a person in order to lead one’s life with principles, dignity, respect and proud. It will help an individual to enhance his/her credibility in eyes of themselves and people. It if positively conceived will contribute in betterment of society.

For a civil servant it is an indispensable quality:

  • Intellectual integrity will help him in leadership, team work, professionalism, prudency and in exercise of public ethos in service.
  • It will help him to become more welfare oriented and transparent, accountable like an intellectually oriented person will think twice before indulging in anti-social activity.
  • The intellectual integrity of the person will guide the person in path of right, keep him away from getting involved in corrupt practices and will enhance the institutions efficacy in long term.

2. Spirit of service:

Spirit of service is the quality of being committed to public service without any self-motives. It includes inculcation of love and compassion while delivering the duty. It means expecting nothing in return for the services rendered and brings true happiness and security for the service provider. The spirit of service protects, builds and nurtures the constitutional pillars that give us legitimacy and purpose.

Importance of Spirit of Service in Public Services:

  • A civil servant works not for monetary benefits, promotion or easy postings but for the chance to work for the public welfare is a prize in itself.
  • It will help him keep motivated and focused towards his ultimate goal.
  • Without this value, a civil servant will be a machine working in the system.
  • He/she should have feeling towards the downtrodden and poor citizens.
  • Spirit of service will awake a power in him to transform the lives of million people living in poverty
  • Helps civil servants to operate in a politically neutral way so that it can loyally and effectively serve successive Governments
  • Is open and transparent so that citizens can see the working, engage, and hold to account the civil servants

Example:  A high official from the Water and Sanitation Ministry took upon himself the responsibility to educate people about the safety of twin-pit system. This helped alleviate the notion of ‘pollution’ in the minds of people