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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 4 February 2021


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 – 1


 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. Examine the elements of change and continuity from Rig Vedic age to Later Vedic Age. (250 words)

Reference: Class 11th History Book – Tamil Nadu

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the major changes witnessed during early Vedic and later Vedic age as well as continuity.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Write an apt introduction about the changing nature from nomadic tribal to sedentary way of life.

Body:

Write the major changes that were witnessed in polity, economy, society and religion from early to later Vedic age.

In polity, nature of polity, monarchy, powers of king, officials and importance of Sabha and Samitis etc.

In Ecoonmy, the symbol of wealth, extent of agriculture, extent of iron etc.

In society, Varna system, position of women, patriarchy etc.

In religion, important gods, rituals and sacrifices etc.

Next, write a few elements of continuity between early to later Vedic age.

Conclusion:

Continue how the major changes continued to evolve even in post Vedic age.

Introduction:

The Rig-Vedic age is dated between 1500-1000 BC and the Aryans were confined to the Indus region. The Later Vedic age started in 1000 BC and spans till 600 BC. The Satapatha Brahmana refers to the expansion of Aryans to the eastern Gangetic plains in later Vedic period.

Body:

Background:

  • The Rig Vedic society was patriarchal. The basic unit of society was family or graham. The head of the family was known as grahapathi.
  • The Rig Vedic Aryans were pastoral people and their main occupation was cattle rearing. Their wealth was estimated in terms of their cattle. When they permanently settled in North India they began to practice agriculture.
  • Condition of women: Women were given equal opportunities as men for their spiritual and intellectual development.
    • There were women poets like Apala, Viswavara, Ghosa and Lopamudra during the Rig Vedic period.
    • Women could even attend the popular assemblies.
  • There was no child marriage and the practice of sati was absent.

Elements of continuity:

  • Economic condition: Iron was used extensively in this period and this enabled the people to clear forests and to bring more land under cultivation. Agriculture became the chief occupation.
  • Social life: In the family, the power of the father increased during the Later Vedic period.
  • The women in the royal household enjoyed certain privileges.
  • The king performed various rituals and sacrifices to strengthen his position. They include Rajasuya (consecration ceremony), Asvamedha (horse sacrifice) and Vajpeya (chariot race).
  • Sacrifices were still important and the rituals connected with them became more elaborate.

Elements of Change:

  • Political life: Larger kingdoms were formed during the later Vedic period. Many jana or tribes were amalgamated to form janapadas or rashtras in the later Vedic period.
  • The Later Vedic people were familiar with the sea and they traded with countries like Babylon.
  • Social organisation: The four divisions of society (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras) or the Varna system was thoroughly established during the Later Vedic period.
  • Condition of women: They were considered inferior and subordinate to men. Women also lost their political rights of attending assemblies. Child marriages had become common. According the Aitreya Brahmana a daughter has been described as a source of misery.
  • Religion: Gods of the Early Vedic period like Indra and Agni lost their importance. Prajapathi (the creator), Vishnu (the protector) and Rudra (the destroyer) became prominent during the Later Vedic period.

Conclusion:

With the social organisation deepening, there was also emergence of new religions such as Buddhism and Jainism towards the end of Later Vedic period. Also, the authors of the Upanishads, which is the essence of Hindu philosophy, turned away from the useless rituals and insisted on true knowledge (jnana) for peace and salvation.

 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2. Against the background of rigid Vedic religion, based on sacrifices & polytheism, the 6th century India witnessed the rise of heterodox & monotheist belief systems. Elaborate. (250 words)

Reference: Class 11th History Book – Tamil Nadu

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the reasons for the emergence of heterodox sects in the ancient India.

Directive:

Elaborate – Give 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:

Write about the emergence of heterodox sects – Jainism, Buddhism and Ajivaka sects.

Body:

Give the reasons for their emergence – Proliferation of Sacrifices, Discriminatory institutions, Ambiguous scriptures, Need of New Thoughts, The charisma of Buddha and Mahaveera and the usage of common tongue for teachings etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with the importance of heterodox.

Introduction:

The sixth century B.C. is considered a wonderful century in history. Great thinkers like Buddha, Mahavira, Heraclitus, Zoroaster, Confucius and Lao Tse lived and preached their ideas in this century. In India, the republican institutions were strong in the 6th century B.C. This enabled rise of heterodox sects against the orthodox religion dominated by rites and rituals.

Body

Rise of heterodox and monotheist belief system:

  • Religious factor: The primary cause for the rise of Jainism and Buddhism was the religious unrest in India in the 6th century B.C.
    • The complex rituals and sacrifices advocated in the Later Vedic period were not acceptable to the common people.
    • The sacrificial ceremonies were also found to be too expensive. The superstitious beliefs and mantras confused the people.
    • The teachings of Upanishads, an alternative to the system of sacrifices, were highly philosophical in nature and therefore not easily understood by all.
    • Therefore, what was needed in the larger interests of the people was a simple, short and intelligible way to salvation for all people.
    • Such religious teaching should also be in a language known to them. This need was fulfilled by the teachings of Buddha and Mahavira.
  • Socio-Economic factor: Other than the religious factor, social and economic factors also contributed to the rise of these two religions.
    • The rigid caste system prevalent in India generated tensions in the society. Higher classes enjoyed certain privileges which were denied to the lower classes.
    • Also, the Kshatriyas had resented the domination of the priestly class. It should also to be noted that both Buddha and Mahavira belonged to Kshatriya origin.
    • The growth of trade led to the improvement in the economic conditions of the Vaisyas.
    • As a result, they wanted to enhance their social status but the orthodox Varna system did not allow this.
    • Therefore, they began to extend support to Buddhism and Jainism. It was this merchant class that extended the chief support to these new religions.
  • Jainism and Buddhism: The language of Buddha and Mahavira were Pali and Prakrit, understood by common man.
    • They provided equal treatment to men and women, who could be part of the Sangha.
    • Buddha was a rationalist who tried to explain things in the light of reason and not on the basis of blind faith.
    • Though he did not make a direct attack on the caste system, he was against any social distinctions and threw open his order to all. Therefore, Buddhism was more a social than religious revolution.
    • It taught the code of practical ethics and laid down the principle of social equality.

Conclusion

Following the Vedic period that led to suppression of common man by priestly class, there was a need for an alternative order in the society. This was easily provided with the rise of Jainism and Buddhism and various other subsects, leading to rise of heterodox belief systems in India. These religious systems were spread to east of the subcontinent in the subsequent centuries.

 

Topic:  poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

3. Comfortable, safe and affordable public commuting has well-recognised multiplier effects for the economy and more generally for public health. Elucidate. What are the impediments to public commuting as part of urbanization in India? (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

With a clear focus on expansion of Metro Rail and bus services through Central funding, Budget 2021 has recognized a core component of urbanization.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the benefits of having affordable public commuting as the barriers to it.

Directive:

Elucidate – Give 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:

Start by describing the concept of affordable public commuting.

Body:

Cite relevant statistics or figures with respect to public commuting in India’s major cities.

Mention the various advantages of Comfortable, safe and affordable public commuting. Economic- the efficient connection of wealth and labour to the marketplace, the removal of productivity bottlenecks and maximising opportunities for individuals etc. Social and environmental benefits – employment opportunities, education and health services as well as recreational facilities business and government to increase income and asset value, and reducing carbon emissions etc.

Write about the major bottlenecks – funding, stalling of projects, environmental clearances, slow pace of projects, political opportunism in allotting projects, inordinate delays and dependence of foreign companies. Suggest measures to overcome the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction:

India is a country with the second largest road network in the world. Out of the total stretch of 5.4 million km of road network, almost 97,991 km is covered by national highways. Traffic congestion has increased dramatically in India. Congestion and the associated slow urban mobility can have a huge adverse impact on both the quality of life and the economy.

Body:

Public transportation contributes to both the economical and physical health of individuals, it brings financial benefits to communities, and it provides not only jobs in the industry itself, but is also a key component of a healthy business ecosystem by increasing mobility options for both job commuters and customers alike.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Economic Benefits:
    • Reduces Congestion
      • Urban congestion is one of the greatest challenges of developed nations.
      • The solution to this nightmare lies in the expansion of public transportation.
      • For instance, a single railway can get rid of 1000 cars from the roads.
    • Enhances Productivity
      • Public transportation plays a significant role in enhancing opportunity and productivity by moving knowledge, labor, and skills between and within markets.
    • Financial Benefits of Communities
      • Approximately for every dollar invested in public transportation, economic returns generated are $4, and for every $1 billion in investments in the sector, 50,000 jobs are generated and supported.
    • Increases Land Value
      • Improved access to public transport has shown to increase land and property value.
      • Planning that puts public transportation development on top of its agenda rips huge benefits in the long run.
      • Land that would have been used for parking and roads is put to profitable use, such as the generation of revenue to the city council.
    • Environmental benefits:
      • Ensures a Cleaner Ecosystem:
        • Public transportation significantly reduces the number of cars on the road. This means less pollution from motor vehicle emissions.
      • Prevents Global Warming
        • As the impacts of global warming become more apparent, world leaders are looking for ways to bring down these effects.
        • One of the easiest sectors to deal with is transportation, and this involves having fewer automobiles on the roads.
      • Reduces Carbon Footprint
        • Public transportation offers an immediate alternative for individuals seeking to reduce their energy use and carbon footprints.
      • Social benefits
        • Improves Health
          • Bringing health policies in line with transport can significantly reduce the burden on health services by encouraging active lifestyles.
          • Public transport ensures citizens are at their best healthwise by encouraging them to walk to bus and railway stations, at the same time alleviating the stress that comes with driving a car on congested roads.
          • Research learns that every hour spent driving a car increases the possibility of obesity by more than 6%.
        • Benefits the Aging Population
          • Older adults heavily depend on public transport to access essential services. This is why public transport authorities must work hard to cater to this aging population.
        • Freedom and Increased Mobility
          • Many people are unable to drive, and even drivers would appreciate the ability to walk, cycle, or take public transit, at least when it requires.
          • Public transportation allows them personal mobility to get to work, to school, to the grocery store or doctor’s chamber, or for visiting friends, without having to engage a friend or relative to do the driving.
        • Public Transportation is Safer
          • Taking public transport is safer than driving a car, considering not only the safety of the vehicles that are maintained on a regular basis than a personal car but also the driving habits and training of the operators.
          • Transit operators receive much more training than the average automobile driver

Problems faced by public transport in India:

  • Unprecedented Transport Growth: According to Niti Aayog, the number of registered motor vehicles has increased from 5.4 million in 1981, to 210 million in 2015. This rapid growth in demand in the absence of widespread public transport system has caused a rapid increase of private car ownership in India.
  • Inadequate Public Transport: According to government data, there are about 19 lakh buses in the country and only 2.8 lakh of them are run either by state transport undertaking or under stage carriage permits.
  • Further, a CSE study points out that the share of public transport is expected to decrease from 75.5% in 2000-01, to 44.7 per cent in 2030-31, while the share of personal transport will be more than 50%
  • Urban Pollution: According to a WHO study 14 out of the top 15 most polluted cities in the world belong to India. Vehicular pollution has been one of the major contributors to rising urban air pollution in Indian cities along with other factors such as construction activity, road dust and industrial activity.
  • Urban Congestion: Major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru are ranked among world’s most congested cities. For example: Average speed for vehicles in Bengaluru is reported as 17 km/h. These high levels of congestion have huge economic implications in the form of reduced productivity, fuel waste, and accidents. Further, there is an acute shortage of parking spaces both on and off the streets in the urban centres.
  • Road safety: Traffic injuries and fatality: According to the Report ‘Road Accidents in India-2016’, road accidents in India have decreased by around 4.1% in 2016 from 2015. However, fatalities resulting from these accidents have risen by about 3.2%. The major reasons for traffic crashes include poor quality of roads, poor traffic management, unsafe and overcrowded vehicles and unsafe driving behaviour.
  • Equity Issues: Unplanned urbanization in India has led to gentrification (as per upper and middle socio-economic class) of city centres and lower income groups are forced to live in peripheral suburbs which have increased their cost and time they allocate to commute. Most of the lower income groups and urban poor fail to afford private transport and even public transport are high for them. For example, a CSE study ranks Delhi Metro as the second most unaffordable metro (after Hanoi in Vietnam) with lower income group people spending nearly 22% of their monthly transport on Delhi Metro fares.
  • Mobility for women: Safety or the lack thereof, is the single biggest factor constraining women’s mobility. According to Action Aid UK, 79% of women in major Indian cities reported being harassed on streets. Overcrowding in public transport adds to insecurity and safety issues with a large number of women complaining about harassment in public transport across major Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
  • Fearing crowd infections, commuters prefer travelling in private modes like two-wheelers.
    • Cities, that resumed services, observed less ridership than the allowed 20 passengers per bus, despite the limited frequencies on many routes.
    • Although bus crowding is seen in some cities such as Mumbai, it is temporary and due to a lack of alternatives.
  • Congestion due to Increasing use of personal vehicles: Already, in parts of China, car-use in the still recovering economy has surpassed pre-Covid levels as commuters shun public transit to maintain social-distancing.
    • They appear willing to accept traffic congestion and longer travel times in the process.
    • The collapse of oil prices has only served to increase the appeal of personal car-use.
    • If this reverse migration away from public transit to personal cars continues, cities will become unliveable due to congestion and unhealthy air.

Measures needed:

  • Any solution if expected to be successfully implemented will definitely require effort and planning on a huge scale. This is especially for when we are coming up with plans which can reach the entire country.
  • Corruption will have to be curbed, and it will be extremely vital that the raw material is of the highest quality are used for the longevity and strength of the roads.
  • Road pricing system: people should be charged based on the length of the road and the duration for which they use the road. This will be difficult to implement and will require huge technological investment to become possible.
  • Improvement in public transport and additional schemes like BRT. The Bus Rapid Transport is implemented in some cities like Pune, and it can be very helpful if implemented correctly.
  • People should try and use carpooling and bike pooling as much as possible. Use of bicycles for smaller distances also improves individual health along with reducing pollution and road congestion.
  • Strict and stringent measures against traffic violators. A regulation in the traffic rules and fines levied for breaking them.
  • Metro can play a huge role in improving the traffic issues to a great extent. If Nagpur metro becomes successful, it will pave the way for implementation in other cities as well which can be very beneficial.
  • Increase in the use of CNG and electric vehicles and providing relief to those who use the same.
  • Well engineered, safe infrastructure for travel should be ensured. Further, there is an urgent need to address the issue of low woman mobility by ensuring women safety through gender-sensitive transport policies, dedicated seats/ coaches and emergency helplines.
  • There should be focus on enhancing non-motorised transport. Focus should be to encourage use of non-motorised transport for short distances. Further, Pedestrian zones, bike lanes should be made to ensure safety to commuters. For example, well designated Bike-lanes and bike-sharing solutions have promoted use of bicycles as a mean of transport in cities like Amsterdam and Paris.
  • Commuters should be provided with multiple modes of connectivity. To ease out travelling, a single smart card can be provided. For example, London’s Oyster “smart” card enables a commuter to change from one mode to another with minimal loss of time or effort.

Conclusion:

Transport is the backbone around which a city functions. A radical transformation is needed, and we must only look at instances of global cities that used transportation to rejuvenate and reinvent themselves away from the auto-centric cities they once were — Istanbul transformed itself through pedestrianisation, Amsterdam by inculcating a bicycling culture, Bogota through integrating bus networks and land use, and Seoul by turning urban highways into public places. India must use this crisis as an opportunity.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

4. From a restricted standpoint, if India were to balance the positive with the negative, and compare the incoming Biden Administration with the previous Trump Administration, the balance sheet could be marginally negative. Critically analyze the possible impacts of the new administration on India. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Dispelling very real concerns that existed about disruption of the Inauguration ceremony, Joseph R. Biden Jr was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the possible changes in the Indo-U.S relations under the Biden Administration.

Directive:

Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, 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:

Begin the answer by giving the context regarding the regime change in U.S especially after such a tumultuous inaguration.

Body:

In detail, discuss one by one, the various contours of India’s strategic security and how the new regime will impact. You need write about what might change and what might continue the same.

Start by, mentioning of role in iconic U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement and the India-U.S. strategic partnership.

Next in detail analyze -Indo-US bilateral relations – immigration, Diaspora, security etc. Then explore, U.S-China, U.S-EU, QUAD, U.S-Pakistan, Middle East especially Iran deal, U.S-Russia and analyze all these vis-a-vis Indian strategic security perspective.

Conclusion:

Stress on how India should prepare itself to handle the changes that might forth come diplomatically.

Introduction:

With U.S. Democratic candidate and former Vice-President Joe Biden assuming charge after the recent inauguration, the attention in India turns to what kind of foreign policy changes he will bring to India-U.S. relations.

Body

Background:

  • Biden as Vice-President was well known, as having played a critical role as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in pushing through the iconic U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement.
  • He was also as a firm proponent of the India-U.S. strategic partnership.
  • Hence, under a Biden Administration, defence and security cooperation between India and the U.S. are likely to be further stepped up.
  • Regional security cooperation is also likely to be further enhanced, at least till such time as U.S.-China relations improve.

Areas of cooperation between USA-India:

  • Defence partnership: USA’s Defence secretary said that it will operationalise India’s ‘Major Defence Partner’ status and continue to build upon existing strong defence cooperation to ensure the US and Indian militaries can collaborate to address shared interests.
  • Middle east geopolitics: Biden’s revival of nuclear deal JCPOA will provide respite for India in terms of energy security.
    • India’s interests are primarily the opening of Iran’s energy supplies, the rights on development and usage of Chahbahar, stability of the Gulf nations where the large Indian diaspora resides and a general absence of violence.
    • However, this may undo the Arab peace (Abraham Records) with Israel, which may cause new turbulence.
  • Quad and Indo pacific: The Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, launched under the Trump administration and developed in part as a way of recognising India’s growing role in the region, seems likely to persist in some capacity under Biden.
  • With USA joining Paris deal, there will be benefit accrual in the form of technology transfer and investment into India.
  • Terrorism: Biden administration noted in its campaign that there can be no tolerance for terrorism in South Asia – cross-border or otherwise. It was a veiled reference to Pakistan.
  • Immigration: The issue of mobility for Indian workers may finally get some traction in the Biden administration.

Areas of Friction:

  • Where there is likely to be some friction with the Indian government is, especially given India’s pending review by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, is where the Democratic Party leadership have been particularly vocal: Jammu-Kashmir, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, communal and caste-based violence, actions against non-governmental organisations and media freedoms.
  • These are areas Mr. Trump ignored for most part, but are areas where Mr. Biden has criticised the policies.
  • US-Russia and India relations: The S-400 deal remains contentious in US eyes with no certainty about application of CAATSA. If the world starts to inch towards a likely Cold War between the US and China, India’s relationship with Russia is going to prove challenging.
  • The U.S. could also be less forthcoming in its open support to India and in its ongoing confrontation with China in Eastern Ladakh.

Critical Analysis:

  • Though areas of friction seem more significant, over the last 20 years, every US President — Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump — had differences on many issues, but if there was one common theme on which all of them agreed was this: a stronger relationship with India.
  • What that means is that there has been a tradition of bipartisan support in favour of better ties with India, and every US President has made it better than what he inherited from his predecessor over the last two decades.
  • So, there is no reason to believe that Biden will not continue the tradition, but he will have his own style and nuances, and will put his personal stamp on the relationship.

Conclusion:

Above all, Mr. Biden’s foreign policy will be watched for just how much he reverses Mr. Trump’s pull-out from the multilateral world order, including the World Health Organisation, UNESCO, Human Rights Council, agreements such as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Accord. All of these will have a bearing on India USA relationship in major way.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

5. What is the concept of ‘’Smart Wall” with respect to border management? Examine the scope of smart wall in protecting the territorial borders of India? (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

United States President Joe Biden stopped the construction of the much-publicised “border wall” between the U.S. and Mexico but an alternative has been offered — a ‘smart’ wall that replaces the physical and armed patrolling with advanced surveillance tech.

Key Demand of the question:

To explore the possibility of a smart wall to further secure India’s territorial integrity on its borders.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by defining a smart wall in border management.

Body:

Further elaborate on its technological features.

Write about the various border management issues on LoC, Indo-Pak border, LAC, Indo-China border and Indo-Bangladesh border etc. Draw a simple and representation for better illustration. The recommendation of Lt General (Retd) D B Shekatkar headed expert committee.

Next, write about how smart wall and the advantages it offers with respect to various issues in Border managements in India. Write about the impediments in implementing it – cost, terrain, technology, limitations of smart walls and very wide and long border.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction:

A ‘smart’ wall replaces the physical and armed patrolling with advanced surveillance tech is the proposed future of border security now. Smart-wall refers to a collection of discrete technologies that work together to prevent illegal entry, smuggling, and all the various threats posed by a porous southern border. There is no one single definition for this recently-conceived solution. Using internet-of-things technologies like in-ground sensors, security cameras and software solutions, a smart wall could empower border officials with enhanced situational awareness to prevent illicit activity.

United States President Joe Biden stopped the construction of the much-publicised “border wall” construed as “Smart Wall” between the U.S. and Mexico as part of a series of executive actions.

Body:

smart_wall

How it works:

  • Hundreds of mobile surveillance towers would be deployed, and along with them, the complete system of a virtual wall would consist of a radar satellite, computer-equipped border-control vehicles, control sensors and underground sensors.
  • Along with surveillance towers and cameras, thermal imaging would be used, which would help in the detection of objects.
  • The system would even be capable of distinguishing between animals, humans, and vehicles, and then sending updates to handheld mobile devices of the army.

Scope of smart wall in protecting the territorial borders of India:

  • India has been struggling with the problem of terrorists and smugglers infiltrating into the country and efforts are ongoing to secure our borders and curb cross-border infiltration.
  • Therefore, it is proposed that it is high time we start envisaging the use of technology to help India secure its borders.
  • A critical factor that must be considered to enable the usage of such a system along Indian borders is that the terrain in the region is rugged, and, furthermore, not even clearly defined. Hence, erecting fences, walls or any physical structures is extremely difficult.
  • A “smart” wall, however, makes use of systems that would be designed in such a way that they can operate even in rugged areas.
  • Imperatively, in the U.S., various other benefits, such as cost-effectiveness, less damage to the environment, fewer land seizures, and speedier deployment are being noted that give the “smart wall” concept an edge over traditional physical borders.
  • Smart walls, even if not feasible for our long boundaries, may still be deployed to enhance critical security establishments of the country and complement the already-existing physical fencing and walls.
  • The attack on the Pathankot Air Force base highlighted that often, it may become difficult to secure establishments due to their vast size.
  • Further, it is imperative for Indian armed forces to be well-equipped and simultaneously have the latest technological advantage over its enemies.

Conclusion:

Reimagining border security is a complex challenge — one that many argue cannot be fully addressed with a physical barrier. A smart wall, however, presents a 21st-century solution to reducing illicit border crossings without an exorbitant price tag or disruption to those that live along the border.

Unlike steel or concrete, a smart wall leverages the power of data to generate actionable insights. When cutting-edge tech is combined with a connected data platform, border security can build a common operating picture that allows officers to survey vast territory and respond to threats in real time. A smart border wall, therefore, provides a nuanced solution to the border control problem, one that can evolve with the changing physical and political landscape.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

6. Anekantavada of Jainism is multi-dimensional and an inclusive approach. Justify. (150 words)

Reference: Ethics by Lexicon publications.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain the multi-dimensional and the inclusivity of the philosophy of Anekantavada.

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:

Begin by defining the philosophy of Anekantavada.

Body:

Explain how according to it, no single definite, decisive or conclusive aspect (ek- anta) of anything is existed; on the contrary, various kinds of possibilities or meanings (aneka-anta) were existed when we make a statement about anything. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stressing on the importance of Anekantavada in the present day.

Introduction:

Anekāntavāda, meaning “non-absolutism,” is one of the basic principles of Jainism that encourages acceptance of relativism and pluralism. According to this doctrine, truth and reality are perceived differently from different points of view, and no single point of view is the complete truth. It refers to the simultaneous acceptance of multiple, diverse, even contradictory viewpoints.

Body:

The Jain doctrine states that objects have infinite modes of existence and qualities so they cannot be completely grasped in all aspects and manifestations by finite human perception. Only the Kevalins—the omniscient beings—can comprehend objects in all aspects and manifestations; others are capable of only partial knowledge. Consequently, no specific human view can claim to represent the absolute truth.

Anekāntavāda is literally the doctrine of “non-onesidedness” or “manifoldness;” it is often translated as “non-absolutism.” As opposed to it, ekānta (eka+anta “solitary attribute”) is one-sidedness. Jains compare all attempts to proclaim absolute truth with adhgajanyāyah or the “maxim of the blind men and elephant.” In this story, one man felt the trunk, another the ears and another the tail. All the blind men claimed to explain the true appearance of the elephant, but could only partly succeed, due to their narrow perspectives.

Anekāntavāda encourages its adherents to consider the views and beliefs of their rivals and opposing parties. Proponents of anekantvāda apply this principle to religion and philosophy, reminding themselves that any religion or philosophy, even Jainism, which clings too dogmatically to its own tenets, is committing an error based on its limited point of view. In this application, anekantvāda resembles the Western principles of cultural and moral relativism.

Conclusion:

The principle of anekāntavāda also influenced Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of religious tolerance, ahimsa and satyagraha.

 

7. Defending tolerance requires not to tolerate the intolerant. Critically analyze. (150 words)

Key Demand of the question:

To debate upon whether or not the society should tolerate intolerance.

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:

Begin the describing the intolerance paradox.

Body:

If a society is tolerant without limit, its ability to be tolerant is eventually seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Karl Popper described it as the seemingly paradoxical idea that in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.

On side, you can eliminate intolerance, reduce discrimination but on the other it may further embolden it. Give examples to substantiate the points.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced way forward.

Introduction:

The paradox of tolerance is a paradoxical situation where a society that shows unlimited tolerance towards people with intolerant ideas eventually loses its capacity to be tolerant as the intolerant group destroys their rights. This was elaborated by Austrian philosopher Karl Popper in The Open Society and Its Enemies.

Body:

Popper argued that for a liberal society to sustain itself, it must be intolerant towards intolerance. However, Popper did not propose that intolerant ideas need to be suppressed. It is only intolerant actions like violence that he thought need to be stopped in a liberal society.

A common rebuttal to accusations of hate speech or discrimination is the idea that calling out intolerant behaviour is itself an act of intolerance. The implication is that by calling out and rejecting intolerance, society is being intolerant. As such, it could be argued that a tolerant society should tolerate intolerance.

Let’s imagine a tolerant society that chooses to extend the concept of tolerance to everyone, including the least tolerant in society. This means that the intolerant behaviour and beliefs of Neo-Nazis and groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda would be accepted as part of an open society.

Popper argued that these groups would inevitably take advantage of the lack of restrictions placed on them and begin to practice intolerance and persecution openly.

For example, if Neo-Nazis are given unchecked freedom within a tolerant society they can be expected to persecute Jews, socialists, Gypsies, homosexuals and others. Within a tolerant society, these members of society, and tolerant individuals who would otherwise seek to protect them, have no means by which to fend off the Neo-Nazis. In this society, any attempt to defend the suppressed would inevitably be seen as an oppressive act of intolerance.

In this example, unchecked extremists can be expected to remove or abandon all tolerant individuals that possess position of power, replacing them with a (wholly intolerant) system of dictatorship. This would lead to the eradication or seclusion of any remaining and outspoken members of a tolerant society.

Therefore, a tolerant society that chooses to extend its tolerance to those who do not deserve it is likely to trigger its own collapse. Popper contends that, as paradoxical as it may seem, if a society is to defend tolerance, it must not unequivocally tolerate the intolerant.

Conclusion:

Tolerant societies should be careful in placing restrictions on intolerance and must maintain a clear legal division between actions of deeply harmful intolerance and inevitable, albeit contentious, variances in political and religious views. Having different views on issues such as religion, politics and society (and the right to voice them openly) should be tolerated in society, as long as political or religious groups do not adopt a mantra of hate and persecution.


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