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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 4 November 2020


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.


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.  

1. The US constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an” indestructible union composed of indestructible states “ while on the other hand India is a “indestructible union of destructible state”. Compare and contrast. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article presents to us in detail the constitutional modalities of US system.

Key Demand of the question:

One has to differentiate the US and India models of constitution of the Union and its States.

Directive:

Compare and contrast – provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the provisions of Indian constitution with respect to Union and State.

Body:

Start by explaining in detail why the Electoral College still has powers to choose President in the United States. Discuss the fact the idea that state legislatures have the power to decide on who gets to elect the president of America.

Discuss the Indian constitutional mechanism, compare and contrast the two, present points to justify the either mechanisms.

Explain the flaws associated with either of the systems.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of both as applied to their respective systems.

Introduction:

Federalism is a system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units. The Constitution of India establishes a federal structure to the Indian government, declaring it to be a “Union of States”. Indian model of federalism is called quasi-federal system as it contains major features of both a federation and union.

Body:

Similarities between the federalism of US and India:

  • Written Constitution: The Constitution of both US and India is a written Constitution, which provides for a federal political structure where both the governments exercise their respective powers.
  • Bill of Rights and Fundamental Rights: The US Constitution has given its citizens fundamental rights such as the right to equality, freedom, right against exploitation, freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, right to property, and the right to Constitutional remedies etc. by means of ‘The Bill of Rights’, Part III of the Indian Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights of the people as given in Articles 14 to 34.
  • Supremacy of the Federal or Union Government: In both the countries, the federal government works at the centre in which various states have acceded to. While both the Central as well as State Government is empowered to makes laws on subjects given in the concurrent list, the law enacted by the Federal or Union Government will prevail over the law enacted by the states on the same subject in case of dispute.
  • Separation of powers: Both US and Indian Constitutions provides for separation of powers among three institutions namely executive, legislature and judiciary. Each division is empowered with a separate power.
  • Powers of Checks and Balances: Though there is a clear-cut separation of powers between executive, legislature and judiciary in both countries, still there can be overlapping of these powers. There are chances of abuse of power or arbitrariness. Thus, there is a need for a system of ‘checks and balances’ prevalent in both countries.

Differences between the federalism of US and India:

  • Form: While India has holding together federation where power is shared among various state and they derive their power from Indian constitution. USA has coming together federation where independent states come together to form a big unit and sacrifice some powers
  • In India, there is indestructible union with destructible states while in USA, there is indestructible union with indestructible states.
  • Citizenship: In India, there is single citizenship i.e. no separate citizenship of states but in USA, there is a dual citizenship states i.e. citizenship of states as well.
  • Head of the state: In India, it is nominal and appointed by the centre while in USA, head of state is real and elected by the people.
  • Residuary powers: In India, there are vested to centre while in USA, same are given to states.
  • Constitution: In India, there is single constitution while in USA, every state has their own constitution.
  • Judicial system: In India, there is integrated judiciary while in USA, state and union level has separate jurisdiction.
  • Federation: In India, there is federal polity with union bias whereas in USA, there is equal federal with rigid division of power.
  • Representation of upper house: In India, it is based on the population of states for e.g. UP has 31 members while Sikkim has only 1. But, in USA, equal representation is given to all states irrespective of population.
  • Flexibility: Indian constitution is flexible in term of amending federalism power for e.g. Renaming state, redefining state boundaries while USA constitution is rigid.

Conclusion:

Thus, it can be concluded that there are certain features of federalism which are common to both India and the USA. On the other hand, India and the USA differ in many aspects related to the federal character of their Constitution. However, both the US and the Indian Federalism despite having limitations are by and large successful

 

Topic : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

2. India has finally joined the democracies that have decriminalized same-sex relationships. It is now time to join the many democracies which recognise the right of a citizen to marry anyone she chooses. Comment. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The author of the article brings to fore the importance of Marriage equality as a constitutional right in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

With suitable justification explain the need to recognise the right of a citizen to marry anyone she chooses.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Set the context of the question by first discussing the background of the question briefly.

Body:

In the answer body explain the fact that India has finally joined the democracies that have decriminalized same-sex relationships. It is now time to join the many democracies which recognise the right of a citizen to marry anyone she chooses.

Discuss the concerns and challenges being faced by individuals involved in same sex relationships.

Explain what have been the implications so far in the Indian societal setup. Present the reasons for non-acceptance.

Suggest what needs to be done to ensure their constitutional rights to marriage are secured.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Marriage is a legally, and socially recognised union between two individuals, that is regulated by laws, customs and beliefs’ – this is a very dry definition of what one hopes is a meaningful and loving journey with our partners for life. Right to marry the person of one’s choice is an integral part of Right to life under article 21. India has finally joined the democracies that have decriminalised same-sex relationships. However, this right of marriage of same sex couples is subject to restrictions due to stereotypical mind-set of Indian society.

Body:

Recently, three couples (two males, one female) have filed petitions, two in the Delhi High Court, and one in the Kerala High Court, arguing that the state’s refusal to recognize their marriages violates their constitutional rights.

In their plea, the couple stated that they were aggrieved by the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 whereby the law only permits a heterosexual (opposite sex) couple to get married and a homosexual couple like them is denied equal access to the institution of marriage.

Special Marriage Act of 1954:

  • This Act covers marriages among Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.
  • This Act applies not only to Indian citizens who belong to different castes and religions but also to Indian nationals who live abroad.

Challenges posed to SMA 1954:

  • The Supreme Court in Navtej Johar had recognised the right of same-sex couples to express their sexual identity, right to privacy and non-interference in the conduct of their personal affairs, and the right to be recognized as full members of society.
  • To refuse their plea under the Special Marriage Act would cause them very real, tangible damage.
  • Considering that marriage carries a range of legal rights and protections, available during the marriage as well as on its dissolution by divorce or death.

Yes, it is time for India to join the democracies which recognise the right of a citizen to marry anyone she chooses. There is a need to deal with the various issues of prejudice and stereotype regarding the same-sex couple marriages.

Need for a multi-pronged approach to deal with issue of prejudice and discrimination prevalent in society:

  • In March 2018, the Supreme Court of India has held that an adult has a fundamental right to marry a person of their own choice. The collective reading of this case with Navtej Singh Johar (September 2018) can be taken as a tacit recognition of same-sex marriage. Further in 2019, The High Court of Madras decreed and allowed the marriage under the Act.
  • Recognition of same-sex marriages will reduce their marginalisation and lead to wider acceptance in society
  • The social purpose of marriage is to provide stability; financial, physical or emotional care and support; sexual intimacy and love to individuals; and to facilitate procreation and child-rearing.
  • Marriage, commitment and family are not abstract legal concepts, but stages of human development, aspiration and give meaning to their personal lives.
  • Same-sex marriage is recognised in nearly 30 countries across the world. Recognition of same in India will enrich the Democratic culture in India whereby every citizen is treated equally irrespective of their sexual orientation
  • Marriage carries a range of legal rights and protections, available during the marriage as well as on its dissolution by divorce (the right to seek maintenance) or death (the right to inherit property).

Conclusion:

The petition before the Kerala High Court represents a unique opportunity — a potential first step towards making marriage, as an institution, as a legal concept, more accessible and egalitarian, less arbitrary and exclusionary. It gives the High Court the chance to prioritize the fundamental and human rights of the petitioners over the abstract heteronormative tendency of the majority to deny legitimacy to relationships that challenge oppressive social structures and established hierarchies.

 

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

3. Implementing strategic, evidence-based interventions with a life-cycle approach for ensuring nutrition is the key to ensure economic return for investing in child and women nutrition in the country. Explain. (250 words)

Reference: Financial Express 

Why the question:

The article explains the efforts of the GoI for nutritional security; it is implementing a comprehensive programme on anemia prevention among children, adolescents, women in the reproductive age group, and pregnant and lactating women under Anaemia Mukt Bharat programme.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in what way implementing strategic, evidence-based interventions with a life-cycle approach for ensuring nutrition is the key to ensure economic return for investing in child and women nutrition in the country.

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:

Begin by presenting the status of Nutrition of Women and children in the country, quote reports and data.

Body:

Explain why implementing strategic, evidence-based interventions with a life-cycle approach for ensuring nutrition in the first 1,000 days is essential and necessary.

Discuss the need to address the issues related to Nutrition in the country.

List down the policies in this direction from past to present, highlight the need to change the modus of addressing by focusing on a life-cycle based approach.

Take hints from the article and suggest suitable solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Malnutrition, defined as ill health caused by deficiencies of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals interacting with infections and other poor health and social conditions, saps the strength and well-being of millions of women and adolescent girls around the world. The gender gaps in nutritional status of women in India are due to preferential changes in availability of diets to girl child against a boy in their adolescence.

Body:

Malnutrition situation in India:

  • India experiences a malnutrition burden among its under-five population. As of 2015, the national prevalence of under-five overweight is 2.4%, which has increased slightly from 1.9% in 2006.
  • The national prevalence of under-five stunting is 37.9%, which is greater than the developing country average of 25%. India’s under-five wasting prevalence of 20.8% is also greater than the developing country average of 8.9%.
  • An average girl child aged less than 5 years is healthier than her male peers. However, over a period of time they grow into undernourished women in India.
  • Malnutrition and anaemia are common among Indian adults.
  • A quarter of women of reproductive age in India are undernourished, with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 kg/m (Source: NFHS 4 2015-16).
  • Both malnutrition and anaemia have increased among women since 1998-99.
  • 33% of married women and 28% of men are too thin, according to the body mass index (BMI), an indicator derived from height and weight measurements.
  • Underweight is most common among the poor, the rural population, adults who have no education and scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
  • 2% of women and 24.3% of men suffer from anaemia, and have lower than normal levels of blood haemoglobin.
  • Anaemia has increased in ever-married women from 1998-99. Among pregnant women, anaemia has increased from 50% to almost 58%

Poor Nutrition Throughout the Life Cycle of woman:

nutrition

The various causes for gender gaps in nutritional status are:

  • Patriarchal mindset: Despite social progress, women largely continue to navigate through systems that are defined by masculinity. Class and caste hierarchies further sharpen the patriarchal grip, making it difficult for women to escape discrimination.
  • Early Marriage: Which make them deprived of iron reach diet and also leads to early sex and child bearing.
  • low social status: Preference of male child over the girl child affecting the girl health the most.
  • Low diet diversity: The diets of women in India are often too poor to meet their nutritional needs. Iron deficient and other micronutrient diet affects the most.
  • Poverty: Low income lead to less availability of food to people.
  • Low literacy: Low literacy among the mother’s and girl child make them vulnerable to less nutritious diet and physical changes in body.
  • Lack of awareness: Lack of awareness among the people about the importance of particular nutrition and vitamins make the situation worst.
  • Women’s reproductive biology and lack of access to healthcare & proper medicines: When mothers take only short intervals between pregnancies and have many children, this can exacerbate nutrition deficits, which are then passed on to their children.
  • Sociocultural traditions and disparities in household work patterns can also increase women’s chances of being malnourished.

Consequences:

  • an undernourished mother inevitably gives birth to an undernourished baby, perpetuating an intergenerational cycle of undernutrition.
  • Undernourished girls have a greater likelihood of becoming undernourished mothers who in turn have a greater chance of giving birth to low birth weight babies, perpetuating an intergenerational cycle.
  • This cycle can be compounded further in young mothers, especially adolescent girls who begin childbearing before they have grown and developed enough.

Importance of improving women’s nutrition:

  • Addressing women’s malnutrition has a range of positive effects because healthy women can fulfil their multiple roles — generating income, ensuring their families’ nutrition, and having healthy children — more effectively and thereby help advance countries’ socioeconomic development.
  • Women are often responsible for producing and preparing food for the household, so their knowledge — or lack thereof — about nutrition can affect the health and nutritional status of the entire family.
  • Promoting greater gender equality, including increasing women’s control over resources and their ability to make decisions, is crucial.
  • Improving women’s nutrition can also help nations achieve three of the Millennium Development Goals, which are commonly accepted as a framework for measuring development progress.

Measures undertaken by Government to tackle Malnutrition:

  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme.
  • National Health Mission.
  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
  • Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojna (IGMSY).
  • Mother’s Absolute Affection.
  • National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan) seeks to ensure a “malnutrition free India” by 2022.
  • Strengthen MGNREGA to ensure better food security.
  • PoshanMaah: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a campaign declaring the month of September as “POSHAN Maah 2020”. By inviting citizens to send nutritional recipes, the campaign aims to create awareness about the POSHAN Abhiyan through community mobilisation

Measures needed:

  • Improving the quantity and nutrient level of food consumed in the household: improving access to generalized household food ration through public distribution system. Also providing access to supplementary foods under the integrated child development services scheme.
  • To impart knowledge to improve the local diet, production and household behaviours through nutrition and health education.
  • Preventing micronutrient deficiencies and anaemia: This through providing the Iron Folic Acid Supplementation deworming, Pre and peri-conceptual folic acid supplementation, Universal access to iodized salt, Malaria prevention and treatment in malaria-endemic areas, Access to knowledge and support to stop use of tobacco products during pregnancy, Maternal calcium supplementation, Maternal vitamin A supplementation.
  • Increasing women’s access to basic nutrition and health services: By providing early registration of pregnancy and quality of antenatal check-up, with emphasis on pregnancy weight gain monitoring, screening and special care of at-risk mothers.
  • Improving access to water and sanitation health (WASH) education and facilities: By providing sanitation and hygiene education, including menstrual hygiene.
  • Empowering women to prevent pregnancies too early, too often and too close together: By ensuring marriage at/after legal age of 18 through awareness and ensuring a girl completes secondary education. Also preventing maternal depletion by delaying first pregnancy and repeated pregnancies through family planning, reproductive health information, incentives and services.
  • Expanding the maternity entitlement: Promoting community support system for women, skill development, economic empowerment as part of maternity entitlement. Providing community support system for women to support decision making, confidence building, skill development and economic empowerment.

Way forward:

  • There is a need to develop a strategic, convergent action plan on nutrition-specific and sensitive areas by all stakeholders.
  • There has to be advocacy for the development and enforcement of law, policies and guidelines on ensuring nutritional security.
  • There is also a need to improving visibility, coverage and quality of the programmes, ensure community participation and involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) and facilitate operational research in existing programmes to find out the gaps and solutions.
  • Replication and scaling up of evidence-based innovations and best practices further established on regional food and food habits are also needed.
  • Apart from this, low coverage areas need to be mapped and strategic plans for these areas to improve the coverage have to be developed.
  • The economic return for investing in child nutrition always remains high.
  • The cost-benefit ratio of investing in nutritional interventions in a child is estimated to be at 1:16, with a 10% compounded rate of return (IFPRI 2014).

Conclusion:

Adequate nutrition is important for women not only because it helps them be productive members of society but also because of the direct effect maternal nutrition has on the health and development of the next generation. There is also increasing concern about the possibility that maternal malnutrition may contribute to the growing burden of cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases of adults in less developed countries. Finally, maternal malnutrition’s toll on maternal and infant survival stands in the way of countries’ work toward key global development goals.

 

Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.  

4. Critically examine various Initiatives taken for Scheduled caste development by the Government of India. (250 words)

Reference: vikaspedia.in

Why the question:

The question is premised on the welfare measures taken by the GoI for the development of Scheduled caste in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Examine various Initiatives taken for Scheduled caste development by the Government of India.

Directive:

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Scheduled castes are those castes/races in the country that suffer from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness arising out of age-old practice of untouchability and certain others on account of lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation, and who need special consideration for safeguarding their interests and for their accelerated socio-economic development.

Body:

Start by first presenting the constitutional mechanism available for upliftment of SC in the country.

Then talk about the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and its responsibilities towards development of SC.

Explain the Initiatives taken for SC development in detail.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Scheduled castes are those castes/races in the country that suffer from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness arising out of age-old practice of untouchability and certain others on account of lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation, and who need special consideration for safeguarding their interests and for their accelerated socio-economic development. These communities were notified as Scheduled Castes as per provisions contained in Clause 1 of Article 341 of the Constitution.

Body:

Initiatives taken for Scheduled Caste development:

Educational Empowerment:

Various scholarships are provided to the students belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SCs) to ensure that education is not denied due to the poor financial condition of their families. These Scholarships are provided at both pre-matric and post-matric levels. Scholarships are also provided to SC students for obtaining higher education in India and abroad, including premier educational institutions. The Scholarships can broadly be classified into the following three types:

  • Pre-Matric Scholarships: The objective of the pre-matric Scheme is to support the parents of SC children for educating their wards, so that the incidence of drop outs at this stage is minimized.
  • Post Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Caste Students (PMS-SC): The Scheme is the single largest intervention by Government of India for educational empowerment of scheduled caste students.
  • Scholarships for obtaining Higher Education and Coaching Scheme: These include:
    • Top Class Education for Scheduled Caste Students
    • National Fellowship
    • National Overseas Scholarship
    • Free Coaching for SC and OBC Students

Economic Empowerment:

  • National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC): NSFDC assists the target group by way of refinancing loans, skill training, Entrepreneurship Development Programmes and providing marketing support through State Channelizing Agencies, RRBs, Public Sector Bank and Other Institutions
  • National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC): It is another corporation under the Ministry which provides credit facilities to beneficiaries amongst Safai Karamcharis, manual scavengers and their dependants for income generating activities for socio-economic development through State Channelizing Agencies
  • Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan (SCSP): It is an umbrella strategy to ensure flow of targeted financial and physical benefits from all the general sectors of development for the benefit of Scheduled Castes.
  • Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Scheduled Castes: The objective of this Scheme is to provide credit guarantee facility to Young and start-up entrepreneurs, belonging to Scheduled Castes, who aspire to be part of neo middle class category, with an objective to encourage entrepreneurship in the lower strata of the Society resulting in job creation besides creating confidence in Scheduled Castes.
  • Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes: The objective of the fund is to promote entrepreneurship amongst the Scheduled Castes who are oriented towards innovation and growth technologies and to provide concessional finance to the scheduled caste entrepreneurs.

Social Empowerment:

  • The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955: The Act extends to the whole of India and provides punishment for the practice of untouchability.
  • Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989: Financial assistance is provided to the States/ UTs for implementation of these Acts, by way of relief to atrocity victims, incentive for inter-caste marriages, awareness generation, setting up of exclusive Special courts, etc.
  • The ‘Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013’ (MS Act, 2013): Eradication of dry latrines and manual scavenging and rehabilitation of manual scavengers in alternative occupation has been an area of high priority for the Government.

It is a matter of disgrace that even after 73 years of Independence, the socio-economic indicators of the Scheduled Castes are miserable. The Government has time and again come up with developmental programmes for welfare of the Scheduled castes, yet the issues pertain. These are due to:

  • despite several constitutional provisions, the representation of SCs and STs in government services has not improved substantially during the last seven decades
  • Untouchability is practiced in public places like wells, temples, hotels etc. though it is a crime to do so. Yet many times the concerned police officers do not take any action even after complaints have been made.
  • It is widely alleged that false criminal cases are filed against SCs and STs when they lodge complaints about atrocities committed against them. This defeats the very purpose of the POA Act.
  • practices like social and economic boycott and social and economic blackmail imposed upon SCs and STs by the upper castes are not listed as crimes of atrocities under Section 3(2) of the POA Act
  • Absence of exclusive Special Courts that have an exclusive special public prosecution machinery and a special investigating agency in every district against those who have committed atrocities.
  • land reform programmes have not substantially altered the conditions of SCs and STs in rural areas. In fact, landlessness is increasing at a faster rate among SCs and STs than others, as more and more small and marginal cultivators are becoming landless labourers.
  • According to the government guidelines, the proportion of funds allocated under each plan should be equal to the proportion of SC and ST population in each State. In reality this proportionality is hardly maintained.
  • In many cases the unspent money lapses back to the government because departments which have the responsibility of spending the funds are unable to promptly finalise the welfare schemes.
  • amongst the poor, SCs and STs are worst affected by the problem of malnutrition. Maternal anaemia, children with low birth weight related deficiencies are other problems that affect SC/ST communities. As a combined result of social neglect and denial of opportunities, these communities have not been able to realise their potential.
  • The talents of children from weaker sections of society waste or wither away due to lack of opportunity.
  • the governments have failed to abolish the employment of manual scavengers (safai karamcharis) completely
  • Lastly, members of the public services in general are reluctant to working in fields relating to SCs and STs. It is also felt by some that many public servants are guided by their own biases and prejudices instead of the Constitution’s objectives and aspirations. This results in denial of the rights of the SCs and STs

Way forward:

  • Providing Education and awareness to the scheduled castes to avail the various benefits provided to them.
  • Rehabilitation of the workers who are rescued from manual scavenging.
  • a mechanism for monitoring the nutritional status of SCs and STs. The proposal requires the district administration to do the monitoring on their own or with the help of voluntary organisations.
  • it is necessary to identify and groom talent amongst boys and girls belonging to SC, ST and other BCs and train them in special talent schools. This will enable them to compete with the rest of society in an equal manner.
  • Sensitization of the public servants to treat all citizens equally.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic : Disaster and disaster management.

5. “Floods have been a recurrent phenomenon in India and cause huge losses to lives, properties, livelihood systems, infrastructure, and public utilities.” In light of the above statement, critically analyze how unplanned urbanization induces problems in India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The question talks about the correlation of unplanned urbanization and floods in the country.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain in detail the issue of floods in the country and its relation with unplanned urbanisation.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When 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:

Urbanization in flood plain areas increases the risk of flooding due to increased peak discharge and volume.

Body:

Start by explaining how urbanization affects flooding? – Urbanization generally increases the size and frequency of floods and may expose communities to increasing flood hazards. Urbanisation means more surfaces of concrete and tarmac which are impermeable. Precipitation cannot infiltrate these surfaces and is channeled into drainage networks and gets to the river very quickly, making it more likely to flood.

Present case studies to justify and suggest way forward to overcome the challenge.

Conclusion:

Conclude with suitable solutions to address the concerns caused by Urbanisation directly on the flood factor in the country.

Introduction:

Urban flooding is the inundation of land or property in a built environment, particularly in more densely populated areas, caused by rainfall overwhelming the capacity of drainage systems, such as storm sewers. Due to rapid, unscientific, unplanned urbanization across the globe, the carrying capacity of urban areas is often breached leading to impending disasters. The cases of floods in Chennai in 2016, Bangalore, Gurgaon in 2017 are instances of urban flooding. Floods and water-logging show that urban planners have paid scant respect to hydrology.

Body:

Unscientific urbanization leading to Urban floods:

Natural factors:

  • Increasing downpour:
    • Southwest monsoon rainfall across the country from June 1 to July 13, 2020 was 12 per cent more than normal for this time, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
    • The southwest monsoon distribution, however, has not been uniform across all regions.
    • Several states in the north, central and southern India have received excess rainfall. Andhra Pradesh received the highest — 61 per cent more than normal — followed by Bihar with an excess rainfall of 57 per cent.
    • Delhi received around 70 millimeters of rain July 19, 2020, the most in the past five years, according to reports.
  • Cyclonic storms and thunderstorms
  • occurrence of high tides impeding the drainage in coastal cities

Anthropogenic factors:

  • Concretization:
    • Most cities had water bodies — lakes, ponds, streams, rivulets — which served three purposes: They replenished groundwater, catered to the city’s water needs and channelized excess rainfall to larger water bodies. Most such aquifers have fallen prey to concrete.
    • In Delhi, for example, a stream used to feed the Yamuna at about the place where the busy ITO today stands. It’s not without reason that the area is one of the most water-logged when it rains heavily in Delhi.
  • Wiping out of the wetlands:
    • Natural streams and watercourses have formed over thousands of years due to the forces of flowing water in the respective watersheds.
    • The encroaching of lakes in the cities by filling with mud and construction waste to recover the land leaves no place for water to get collected.g. Bengaluru had more than 250 lakes in the 1960s. There are scarcely 10 such water-bodies in a healthy state in the city today.
    • Chennai’s flood sink on its southern outskirts — the Pallikarnai marsh — was around 5,000 hectares in the 1950s. After the horrific floods in November last year, it was found that it had shrunk to 600 hectares.
    • The rivers, Cooum and Adyar, and the Buckingham Canal in Chennai have become dumping grounds. So have Mumbai’s wetlands near Sewri and other areas in New Mumbai. In fact, the city became alive to the river it has lost to real estate — the Mithi — after the terrible floods of 2005.
  • Poor Water and Sewerage Management:
    • With most cities lacking proper sewerage facilities, people dispose sewage in stormwater drains. The problem becomes worse when industries discharge their polluted water into such drains.
    • All this compromises the capacities of stormwater drains and also results in polluted water flowing into the larger water bodies.
    • Storm water drainage systems in the past were designed for rainfall intensity of 12 – 20 mm.
    • These capacities have been getting very easily overwhelmed whenever rainfall of higher intensity has been experienced.
    • Further, the systems very often do not work to the designed capacities because of very poor maintenance.
    • Stormwater drains cannot take the burden of the water that once used to seep into the ground.
    • Moreover, cities do not make the distinction between Stormwater drains and sewage disposal outlets.
  • Encroachment and Illegal constructions:
    • Encroachments are also a major problem in many cities and towns.
    • Real estate activity blocks the path of water; the city roads get waterlogged.
    • there have been large scale encroachments on the natural drains and the river flood plains.
    • Consequently, the capacity of the natural drains has decreased, resulting in flooding.
    • Improper disposal of solid waste, including domestic, commercial and industrial waste and dumping of construction debris into the drains also contributes significantly to reducing their capacities.
  • Deforestation:
    • Large areas of forests near the rivers/catchment of cities are used to make room for settlements, roads and farm lands and is being cleared due to which soil is quickly lost to drains.
    • This raises the drain-bed causing over flow and in turn urban flooding.

Administrative factors:

  • Lack of flood control measures:
    • The growth in concretization of land has increased surface run-off due to near lack of percolation of water into underground aquifers. This coupled with no strict laws with respect to rain water recharge facilities an ideal flooding situation.
  • Multiple authorities in a city but owning responsibility by none:
    • The real estate mafia and corruption in local revenue offices are a deadly combination for converting wetlands into concrete structures. This reduces the area of lakes and may even vanish lakes out of official records.
    • Lack of sufficient financial resources with the urban local bodies.

Measures needed:

Structural Measures:

  • Conservation of wetlands in urban areas like lakes, ponds, streams.
  • Construction of differential slope along sidewalks, roads to drain excess water into reservoirs.
  • Strengthening of Storm water drainage system.
  • Pre-monsoon desilting of all major drains to be completed by March 31 each year.
  • Every building in an urban area must have rainwater harvesting as an integral component of the building utility.
  • Concept of Rain Gardens to be incorporated in planning for public parks and on-site storm water management for larger colonies and sites those are to be developed.
  • Suitable interventions in the drainage system like traps, trash racks can be provided to reduce the amount of solid waste going into the storm sewers.

Non-structural Measures:

  • National Hydro-meteorological Network as per NDMA is needed for all urban cities in India.
  • Flood hazard assessments should be done on the basis of projected future scenarios of intensities and duration of rainfall and land use changes.
  • Better forecasting of rainfall events; timely dissemination of information to the mass- ‘Nowcasting’ alerts or real-time weather updates.
  • Restrict encroachments in natural drainage areas; clearance of river beds, proper implementation of Coastal Regulation Zone rules.
  • Provisions for flood-proofing of buildings
  • Storm water pollution control, i.e. source is controlled by imposing quality standards for wastewater and solid waste disposals in urban environments

Conclusion:

Floods in India are an outcome of both natural and anthropocentric changes. However, the latter has been more responsible for floods in the current age of Anthropocene. With climate change accelerating at unmitigated pace, it becomes all the more critical for planned urbanization. The understanding of the geohydrology goes a long way in preventing the urban floods. Thus, a comprehensive urban planning which reconciles both environment and economic needs is required.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic :  Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of Family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

6. Ethics is derived from social norms but all social norms are not ethical. Explain with examples. (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is about tracing the fact that all social norms are not ethical however ethics are often derived due to social norms.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the correlation of ethics and social norms with suitable examples.

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:

Introduction should explain the meaning of social norm in brief.

Body:

Define what social norms are; Norms deal with standards of appropriate behavior. There is no value judgment by the individual as there is with morals. Ethics are based upon rules of what is morally good or bad behavior. Since ethics are rules, they are generally determined by society.

Explain how social norm contributes to ethics.

 But not all social norms can be considered as ethical.

Give suitable examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude that Ethics is not only about social norms rather it is broader term.

Introduction:

Social norms are generally accepted standards to do with behaviour accepted by the majority of social members. A norm is not a rule, nor a law, but an accepted standard that is learnt by osmosis; that is, by merely living in a society that accepts these ‘norms’ as ‘the right way to behave.’

Ethics is also a social norm but it is usually a behavior which is practiced by a vast majority in the society or in a profession.

Body:

Ethics is derived from social norms:

  • Humans live in a society and all the actions are influenced by or directed at the society, thus it is natural for one’s actions to be guided and governed by the social norms which does good for all.
  • These societal norms help in maintaining peace and harmony in the society and nudge individuals towards right behaviour.
  • As a result, the ethics is derived from and guided by the societal norms to a great extent.
  • For instance, to not lie or not commit adultery is an ethical principle followed by most in society and in professions and it can also be considered a popular social norm.
  • Another example is Stealing is not considered right in any society, whereas respect and gratitude are always welcomed.

However, all social norms are not ethical in nature:

  • It is a well-known fact that social norms contribute to establishing ethical behavior but all social norms are not ethical.
  • Certain social norms are based on the societal structure and the actions are thus guided by them.
  • This could lead to injustice meted out to few sections of the society or few individuals.
  • For instance, the practice of Female genital mutilation present in the Dawoodi Bohra community. It prescribes female genital mutilation as a social norm but the practice is against human dignity of females as well as ethically wrong.
  • Another example is of same sex marriage which is considered as wrong practice according to few religions, but goes against the individual rights of humans.

Conclusion:

Society has an imperative role in development of perception of right or wrong. However, the latter should not be entirely based on the social norms and should have space for logical thinking in case the social values are against the human values.

 

Topic : challenges of corruption.

7. What is corruption in public administration? What are the causes of corruption in the public sector? Discuss. (250 words)

Reference: Indian Express 

Why the question:

The article brings to us the dismal picture of the scholarship scam of the state of Jharkhand and the corruption involved therein.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is premised on the theme of corruption in public administration.

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:

Present briefly in the introduction about corruption in India.

Body:

Talk about public administration. Public administration represents the organizational arrangements, managerial practices, and institutionalized values which officials legislate in the chase of policy implementation and in the endorsement of the will of governments.

Historically, the institutional culture of public administration has been a system of protection against corruption and prevention efforts within the control of the public administration are often engaged at associating the professional integrity of public officials. That’s why; corruption is regarded as adversative to the purpose of public administration.

Explain the causes of corruption in the public sector. Corruption in the public sector is said to exist when officials, whether politicians or civil servants, behave unlawfully and misuse the public power entrusted to them in order to satisfy their private interests.

Give examples.

Conclusion:

Suggest solutions.

Introduction:

Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines rule of law, leads to violations of human rights and allows organized crime to flourish. Corruption in India is not limited to collusive high-level scams. Petty corruption, which affects the delivery of basic services and rights to people, is rampant.

Corruption can take many forms, and can include behaviours like:

  • public servants demanding or taking money or favours in exchange for services,
  • politicians misusing public money or granting public jobs or contracts to their sponsors, friends and families,
  • corporations bribing officials to get lucrative deals.

Body:

Corruption in India:

  • According to the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, India is ranked 76 out of 167 nations
  • India’s ranking increased from 81st in 2017 to 78 in 2018. India had slid from 79th rank in 2016.
  • The annual Kroll Global Fraud Report notes that India has among the highest national incidences of corruption (25%).
  • The same study also notes that India reports the highest proportion reporting procure­ment fraud (77%) as well as corruption and bribery (73%).

causes of corruption in the public sector:

  • Administrative factors behind Corruption:
    • Weak Enforcement of Law: Various laws have been made to curb the evil of corruption but their weak enforcement has acted as a hindrance in curbing corruption
    • Procedural complexities and the need of middleman to get things done.
    • Redtapism in Bureaucracy
    • Weakness of the internal grievance redressal machinery.
    • Bureaucratic resistance to administrative reforms
    • General culture of secrecy in the bureaucracy.
    • Peer pressures
  • Political factors behind Corruption:
    • Criminalization of politics
    • Absence of political will to fight corruption.
    • Politicization of civil service management (transfers etc)
    • Political system does not encourage neutrality
    • Excessive use of money power in elections
    • Lack of voter maturity (keep voting back the same corrupt govt.) 
  • Miscellaneous factors:
    • The large number of functionaries between the citizen and final decision-makers makes accountability diffused and the temptation to abuse authority strong.
    • Greed for Illegitimate Money: Various scams like the telgi stamp scam took place due to the inexhaustible appetite for illegal illegitimate funds.
    • Colonial Legacy of Unchallenged Authority: In a society which worships power, it is easy for public officials to deviate from ethical conduct.

Measures needed:

  • Legislation for an effective mechanism to hold officials accountable was introduced in Parliament in the form of a Grievance Redress Bill in 2011. Unfortunately, it lapsed with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 2014 and needed to be reintroduced.
  • Mere enacting anti-corruption laws are not enough. There must be a strong agency to implement those Acts effectively and prevent corruption in public life.
  • The collective effort of the legislature along with a proactive approach taken by the judiciary may be very helpful in bringing some positive results in the context of prevention of corruption.
  • It is the need of the hour to bring Central Bureau of investigation and other Central and State investigation agencies out of control of the government so that a fair investigation may be brought out and the culprit may be punished as per the provisions of law.
  • There should be a comprehensive package to fight against corruption. The government must strengthen existing laws like whistle blower protection act, lokpal act etc.
  • The government should also address the regulatory concerns in Competition act, the companies act, income tax etc.
  • Government must ensure citizen participation and transparency in decision making to eradicate corruption.
  • There should be an equal focus on judicial reform and police reform to create deterrence.

Conclusion:

Corruption has a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, increasing costs and reducing access to services, including health, education and justice. Corruption erodes trust in government and undermines the social contract. This is cause for concern across the globe, but particularly in contexts of fragility and violence, as corruption fuels and perpetuates the inequalities and discontent that lead to fragility, violent extremism, and conflict. Hence it is imperative that all forms of corruption are rooted out for a “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.


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