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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 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: Fundamental Rights

1. Article-19-has-its-own advantages and disadvantages in India. In this context explain how far India needs regulation over social media. Discuss.  (250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper II , part Indian polity.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is premised on the regulation of social media and its association with Article 19.

Directive:

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with some key data/statistics related to use of social media in India.

Body:

In the answer body first explain the statement “Article-19-has-its-own advantages and disadvantages in India” in detail.

List down in detail the merits and demerits of Article 19 enshrined in the Indian constitution.

Then discuss the need for regulation over social media in India. Present the issues associated and suggest solutions to it.  Explain how article 19 can act as both advantage and disadvantage in regulating social media.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a fair and balanced opinion.

Introduction

The Internet and Social Media has become a vital communications tool through which individuals can exercise their right of freedom of expression and exchange information and ideas. Article 19 is at the core of freedom of speech and expression. But recent incidents of social media in Cambridge Analytica case, hate speech leading to riots (Capitol riots) and mob lynching cases show the need for regulation and striking the right balance between liberty and regulation of free speech.

Body

Article 19 and social media

  • Freedom of speech and expression in India is also coupled with duty of responsibility and accountability. Freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1) of the Constitution goes hand-in-hand with reasonable restrictions that may be imposed under Article 19(2).
  • Social media’s reach is much wider than the traditional media. Access to smartphones and better bandwidth connectivity have increased the social media presence multiple times over.
  • Social media platforms are today extremely influential. So, it is necessary that when social media is used for disseminating news or information, the platforms should be treated on par or subject to a higher standard of care and accountability as compared to traditional media organizations.
  • Moreover today, social media giants like Facebook and twitter are becoming extremely powerful and acting as Sovereign powers. Eg: Twitter banning Trump permanently on its platform.

Need to regulate social media

  • Ability of digital/social Media to Reach, Scale and size is huge compare to print and other media.
  • While electronic media in India is regulated by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995, there was no law or body to oversee digital content. Some people are taking an undue advantage which leads to too much voice and noise in social media.
  • Recently, India has seen a surge in the number of fake news items in circulation, especially on WhatsApp and Face book.
  • Absence of editorial control in digital/ social media leads to large scale user-generated content which is unregulated
  • In 2018, fake information that was circulated on WhatsApp led to the lynching of five men in Maharashtra and there are many such instances.
  • In this time, when India is in conflict with its neighbouring countries like China and Pakistan, there is a possibility of Foreign-funded digital platforms running to defame our country.
  • There is also evidence of fake information influencing the process of election in the USA which undermines the root of democracy.

Issues with social media regulation

  • When it comes to regulating digital news content, new regulations may end up facilitating more governmental interference and censorship which impacts the Right to freedom of speech and expression (Article 19(1))
  • It is expected that regulations might be instrumental in suppressing the freedom, enjoyed by digital media till now and might be targeted at a section that has been bold and forthright in speaking truth to power.
  • Digital platforms were till now able to openly create the movies/videos on politically sensitive subjects, now they have to bow down to the political pressures.
  • If the government is providing any legislation to regulate the social/digital media then the wider/free for all media houses and persons might face a number of allegations which leads to a huge inflow of cases to the judiciary which is already overburdened.

Conclusion

Indian courts have held freedom of speech on a high pedestal but the freedom also comes with reasonable restrictions. Fact-checking mechanisms may need to be put in place before the platforms allow publication of content and therefore the consequent liability will need to be placed.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Fundamental Rights

2. Account for the significance of the right to protest in a democracy. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian polity by Lakshmikant

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper II , part Indian polity- fundamental rights.

Key Demand of the question:

The question is based on the theme of Fundamental rights of Indian constitution.

Directive:

Account – Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter- arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with what you understand by Right to Protest.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

  • Importance of dissent in a democracy. The Right to protest peacefully is enshrined in the Indian Constitution—Article 19(1)(a) guarantees the freedom of speech and expression; Article 19(1)(b) assures citizens the right to assemble peaceably and without arms.
  • Explain how by virtue of exercising Right to protest, citizens become watchdogs and constantly monitor governments’ acts. It also provides feedback to the governments about their policies and actions after which the concerned government, through consultation, meetings and discussion, recognizes and rectifies its mistakes.
  • Link of right to protest with freedom of expression. Give examples of constitutional provisions.
  • Provide a balanced argument against the right to protest.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

Introduction

The right to protest, to publicly question and force the government to answer, is a fundamental political right of the people that flows directly from a democratic reading of Article 19. The protests against Citizenship Amendment in 2020 and recent farm protests show that any policy, law or regulation needs the ‘consent of the governed’.

Body

Right to Protest as a fundamental right

  • The Right to protest peacefully is enshrined in the Indian Constitution—Article 19(1)(a) guarantees the freedom of speech and expression.
  • Article 19(1)(b) assures citizens the right to assemble peacefully and without arms.
  • Article 19(2) imposes reasonable restrictions on the right to assemble peaceably and without arms.
  • Reasonable Restrictions: If the security of the State is in danger; If the friendly relations we share with a neighbouring country are threatened; In case of violation of public order; If there is contempt of court; If India’s sovereignty and integrity are threatened.
  • In Ramlila Maidan Incident v. Home Secretary, Union of India & Bears, the SC held that, ‘Citizens have a fundamental right to assembly and peaceful protest that cannot be removed from arbitrary executive or legislative action.’

Significance of right to protest in a democracy

  • The right to free speech and expression transforms into the right to freely express opinion on the conduct of the government.
  • The right to association becomes the right to associate for political purposes — for instance, to collectively challenge government decisions and to even aim, peacefully and legally, to displace the government, to not merely check abuse of power but to wrest power.
  • This is the basis of our multiparty system where Opposition parties are valuable adversaries, not enemies, and compete healthily for political power.
  • Finally, the right to peaceably assemble allows political parties and citizenship bodies such as university-based student groups to question and object to acts of the government by demonstrations, agitations and public meetings, to launch sustained protest movements.
  • This cluster of inter-related political rights (expression, association, assembly, petition and protest) is meant to ensure that even when the government works in our interests, we don’t sit back and allow it to conduct business as usual.

Conclusion

The background of the Indian constitution is formed by the anti-colonial struggle, in which the seeds of the political sphere and the democratic constitution were sown. The government must welcome reasonable demands and constructive criticism of people, and in any case, the right to non-submission should not be suppressed, as protests are the way in which society as the guardian of government activities can point to the work of government or policies they do not like or can demand those rules necessary for them.

 

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

3. Throw light upon the fundamental challenges in effective implementation of Anti- defection law in the country. (250 words)

Reference:  Hindustan Times

Why the question:

The article explains how the anti-defection law has been singularly responsible for stifling debate in our Parliament and state legislatures. For example, approximately 250 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Lok Sabha have declared their profession as farmers.

Key Demand of the question:

One must discuss in detail the fundamental challenges in effective implementation of Anti- defection law in the country.

 Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the anti-defection law.

Body:

In the body, explain its importance first and then explain how it has been often misused.

Mention about the working of Anti-Defection law, the issues concerning the same.  Explain the flaws of the current Anti-defection law.

Also, mention the importance of intra-party debates and dissent and the effect of anti-defection law on healthy democracy. Present relevant court judgments to substantiate your stand wherever required. Conclusion:

Conclude that there is a need to define the procedure clearly and set a definite and reasonable time limit for each step of the process, ensuring transparency.

Introduction

Recently, some of the sitting MLAs in the Puducherry government defected to the opposition creating instability in the Union Territory’s polity. This politics of defection in Puducherry is not unique, there have been some other recent examples of defection in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Body

Background

  • For a very long time, the Indian political system was impacted by political defections by members of the legislature. This situation brought about greater instability and chaos in the political system.
  • Thus, in 1985, to curb the evil of political defections, the 52nd constitution amendment act on anti-defection was passed and the 10th Schedule was added in the Indian Constitution.
  • 91st Constitution Amendment Act-2003 was enacted and was aimed at limiting the size of the Council of Ministers to debar defectors from holding public offices, and to strengthen the anti-defection law.

Flaws of the current Anti-defection law

  • Does not prevent Defection: The Anti-defection law has failed to curb “horse trading” and defection, leading to toppling of governments through machinations of corrupt legislators.
    • Eg: The 17-MLA’s of coalition government resigned in Karnataka, leading to change in government. The 17 MLA’s later contested from the party that formed new government.
  • Wholesale defection: The law prevents individual defections, but not wholesale defections.
    • Eg: Congress government in Madhya Pradesh lost majority due to resignations of MLA’s.
  • Against the true spirit of representative democracy: The anti-defection law seeks to provide a stable government by ensuring the legislators do not switch sides.
    • However, this law also enforces a restriction on legislators from voting in line with their conscience, judgement and interests of his electorate.
  • Impedes legislative control on government: The anti-defection law impedes the oversight function of the legislature over the government, by ensuring that members vote based on the decisions taken by the party leadership.
    • In short, if legislators are not able to vote on laws independently, they would not act as an effective check on the government.
    • The Anti-Defection Law, in effect, dilutes the separation of powers between the Executive and the Legislature – and centralises power in the hands of the executives.
  • Role of presiding officer of the house: The law lays down that legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.
    • However, there are many instances when presiding officers play a part with the vested interests of a political party/government in power.
    • Also, the law does not specify a time period for the Presiding Officer to decide on a disqualification plea.
    • The decision thus is sometimes based on the whims and fancies of the presiding officer.
  • Affects the debate and discussion: The Anti-Defection Law has created a democracy of parties and numbers in India, rather than a democracy of debate and discussion.
    • In this way, it does not make a differentiation between dissent and defection and weaken the Parliamentary deliberations on any law.

Steps to be taken

  • To be used for major decision making: Several experts have suggested that the law should be valid only for those votes that determine the stability of the government. e.g. passage of the annual budget or no-confidence motions as recommended by Dinesh Goswami Committee.
  • Non-partisan authority: Various commissions including National Commission to review the working of the constitution (NCRWC) have recommended that rather than the Presiding Officer, the decision to disqualify a member should be made by the President (in case of MPs) or the Governor (in case of MLAs) on the advice of the Election Commission.
  • Independent committee for disqualification: Justice Verma in Hollohan judgment said that tenure of the Speaker is dependent on the continuous support of the majority in the House and therefore, he does not satisfy the requirement of such independent adjudicatory authority.
    • Also, his choice as the sole arbiter in the matter violates an essential attribute of the basic feature.
    • Thus, the need for an independent authority to deal with the cases of defection.
  • Intra-party democracy: 170th Law Commission report underscored the importance of intra-party democracy by arguing that a political party cannot be a dictatorship internally and democratic in its functioning outside.
    • Thus, the parties should listen to the opinions of the members and have discussions on the same. This would give the freedom of speech and expression to its members and promote inner-party democracy.
  • Limiting Speaker’s discretion: Recent Supreme Court Judgement ruled that Speaker must decide on disqualification within three months of receiving application. It cannot be the discretion of the Speaker to take no action.

Conclusion

There is a need to prevent unholy defections that lead to instability in the governance system of the nation. The current law is clearly flawed and has not effectively curbed defection due to lure of power and money. There is a need for a more rationalised version of anti-defection laws which will help establish a truly representative democracy.

 

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to education

4. Examine the gaps in the India’s online learning experience. Suggest measures to address the same. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article “The blank pages in India’s online learning experience” explains the challenges before India in online learning experience.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the issues related to India’s online learning experience.

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 with the current context of online education in the country.

Body:

Start by explaining the fact that the world is presently grappling with the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the social, economic and political spheres. India can be counted among those nations that have been impacted severely.

Analyse in detail how initiating a rapid transition to synchronized digital learning following the pandemic has many learnings for Indian education system.

Discuss challenges like – lack of realistic assessment, lack of reach in terms of technology penetration etc.

Explain what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions.

Introduction

The digital medium has emerged as a powerful passport for millions of citizens to register their expectations from the state and make their voices hear. Especially at a time when the nation was under a lockdown to combat an unprecedented pandemic, the glaring inequality in the access to the digital world was laid out bare.

Body

Gaps in India’s Online experience

  • Digital Divide: According to the Indicators of Household Social Consumption on Education in India report, less than 15% of rural Indian households have Internet connection (as opposed to 42% urban Indian households).
    • Those with no access to the internet are still excluded from quality learning. Further, classes at times get disturbed due to connectivity issues.
    • As per NSSO data, only 4.4% of rural households and 23.4% of urban households have computer/laptop.
    • Thus 75% of students are using smartphones to watch online classes.
  • Teachers are apprehensive about students using smartphones because of distracting apps.
  • Difficult for parents to adjust to the online system: Parents complain of increased screen time for children, aren’t comfortable with technology themselves and increased pressure from the added household work due to the absence of domestic help adds to their problem.
  • Gender divide: Increased domestic responsibilities especially for girls is impairing the atmosphere of learning.
    • According to a recent UN report, only 29% of all internet users are female, which indicates that transitions to digital learning may compound the gender gap in education.
    • India already ranks 112th in WEF’s Gender Gap Index’s educational attainment component.
  • Lack of vernacular content: Most of the content and existing lectures on internet are in English. In India, the Ministry of HRD data shows that there are only 17% English medium schools.
  • Creating new inequality: Only a handful of private schools, universities and IITs could adopt online teaching methods.
    • Their low-income private and government counterparts, on the other hand, have completely shut down for not having access to e-learning solutions

Measures to address online learning gaps

  • VidyaDaan is national program, in which individuals (teachers, educationists, subject experts etc.) & organizations (schools etc.) can contribute to e-learning in the education domain.
  • Diksha platform was launched in 2017, by MHRD to provide supplementary learning material for students and for upgrading the skills of teachers. The high-quality e-learning material both for students and teachers are available on this portal.
  • Access to Education: ‘SWAYAM’ scheme provides an opportunity to students to access courses taught in classrooms from ninth standard to post graduation, that can be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time.
    • This digital scheme not only brings education at the door step of numerous students but also aims to bridge the digital divide as students who cannot join mainstream or formal education can access this application.
    • Another digital scheme is ‘ePATHSHALA’ which disseminates all educational content through website and mobile app.
  • Inclusive learning solutions need to be developed: With a rapid increase of mobile internet users in India, which is expected to reach 85% households by 2024, technology is enabling ubiquitous access and personalization of education even in the remotest parts of the country. This can change the schooling system and increase the effectiveness of learning and teaching.
  • Reducing the Gender Divide by leveraging the digital solutions to enrol out of school girls. Targeted Information and Education campaigns, curated content borrowing from behavioural science and interactive media can be used to incentivize girls to re-join the education journey.

Conclusion

Promotion of telecommunication infrastructure in rural India is the most important condition for bridging the rural-urban digital divide and Indian government can play a significant role in creating the IT infrastructure in rural India. A special expenditure should be marked for bridging the digital divide in rural India. Government should come up with innovative schemes for giving technology access to rural areas

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

5. In the context of recently proposed National Hydrogen Energy Mission, analyse the prospects for hydrogen as an energy carrier.  (250 words)

Reference:  Economic TimesIndian Express

Why the question:

The article explains pros and cons of hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Thus the context of the question.

Key Demand of the question:

One must analyse the prospects for hydrogen as an energy carrier.

Directive:

AnalyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Hydrogen is expected to play a key role as an energy carrier in future.

Body:

Start by explaining what is a hydrogen fuel; Hydrogen is the lightest and first element on the periodic table. Since the weight of hydrogen is less than air, it rises in the atmosphere and is therefore rarely found in its pure form, H2.

Explain the energy scenario in the country. Discuss the pros and cons of hydrogen fuel.

Highlight the coming of National Hydrogen Energy Mission, its ambition, mission and significance.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need for recognising hydrogen as a potential fuel.

Introduction

Recently, the Finance Minister in the Union budget for 2020-21 formally announced the National Hydrogen Energy Mission NHM which aims for generation of hydrogen from green power resources. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has also disclosed that the draft regulations for NHM will be finalised by the end of this month and will thereafter proceed for approval of the Union Cabinet.

Body

Importance of National Hydrogen Energy Mission

  • The mission is important for better management of energy sector and reducing carbon emissions.
  • Since, most of the energy in India is produced through thermal power plants; the mission will be economically more viable.
  • The Green Hydrogen Mission is essential for de-carbonizing heavy industries such as steel and cement.
  • This initiative to set up green energy-based hydrogen plants will help India to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
  • These plants will also serve as feedstock for ammonia production along with ‘grid scale storage’ solutions. The mission aims to promote green economy by using hydrogen energy.

Hydrogen as an energy carrier

  • Hydrogen is the lightest and first element on the periodic table. Since the weight of hydrogen is less than air, it rises in the atmosphere and is therefore rarely found in its pure form, H2.
  • At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a nontoxic, nonmetallic, odorless, tasteless, colorless, and highly combustible diatomic gas.
  • Hydrogen fuel is a zero-emission fuel burned with oxygen. It can be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines. It is also used as a fuel for spacecraft propulsion.
  • Storage: Hydrogen can be stored physically as either a gas or a liquid.
    • Storage of hydrogen as a gas typically requires high-pressure tanks.
    • Storage of hydrogen as a liquid requires cryogenic temperatures because the boiling point of hydrogen at one atmosphere pressure is −252.8°C.
    • Hydrogen can also be stored on the surfaces of solids (by adsorption) or within solids (by absorption).
  • Availability: Molecular hydrogen is not available on Earth in convenient natural reservoirs. Most hydrogen on Earth is bonded to oxygen in water and to carbon in live or dead and/or fossilized biomass. It can be created by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Prospects of Hydrogen as a fuel

  • The only by-product or emission that results from the usage of hydrogen fuel is water — making the fuel 100 per cent clean.
  • Hydrogen is considered an alternative fuel. It is due to its ability to power fuel cells in zero-emission electric vehicles, its potential for domestic production, and the fuel cell’s potential for high efficiency.
  • In fact, a fuel cell coupled with an electric motor is two to three times more efficient than an internal combustion engine running on gasoline.
  • Hydrogen can also serve as fuel for internal combustion engines.
  • The energy in 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of hydrogen gas contains about the same as the energy in 1 gallon (6.2 pounds, 2.8 kilograms) of gasoline.

Conclusion

Green hydrogen energy is vital for India to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions and ensure regional and national energy security, access and availability. Hydrogen can act as an energy storage option, which would be essential to meet intermittencies (of renewable energy) in the future

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Case study

6. You are a civil servant posted in a state where elections were recently held. The newly elected Chief Minister had promised to ban alcohol in several of his election campaigns as well as his election manifesto, which was widely praised and supported by women of the state. Fulfilling his electoral promise, the Chief Minister has ordered a blanket ban on the sale of alcohol in the state. Following the ban, concerns have been raised about the feasibility of the ban and whether the government should interfere in what is considered by many to be a matter of personal choice. (250 words)

(a) Who are the stakeholders in this case and how are they affected by the ban?

(b) Is blanket ban on alcohol a feasible action?

(c) Identify the issues that may arise while enforcing the ban and the steps you will take to handle them, as a civil servant. 

Why the question:

The question is a case study.

Key Demand of the question:

One must weigh the ethical conditions in the question and give solutions.

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:

Start with

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Identify the stakeholders in the case and the effect of alcohol ban on them.

  • Comment on whether blanket ban is a feasible action or a coercive action taken by the government.
  • State the issues that will arise after the enforcement and suggest measures to handle them.

Conclusion:

Conclude with solutions.

Introduction

High rates of alcohol consumption are correlated with adverse outcomes at both individual and societal levels; well-documented examples include increased rates of mortality, injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and criminal activity. Moreover, it is taxing on women who bear the brunt of violence due to alcoholic male counter parts.

Body

The case involves concerns regarding feasibility of liquor ban and whether government must interfere and regulate personal choice of an individual.

(a) Stakeholders in the case

  • State government and excise revenue
  • Chief Minister elected to power on basis on election manifesto promising liquor ban
  • Women of the state who reposed faith in the CM and elected the leader.
  • Women and their socio-economic household and well being
  • Alcohol addicts and those on vulnerable to become alcoholics.

(b) Blanket ban as a feasible option

YES

  • To reduce crime and corruption. ADRI report on prohibition in Bihar noted there was a 66.6% dip in cases of kidnapping for ransom, followed by 28.3% dip in murder cases and 2.3% in dacoity.
  • To reduce the state’s expenditure otherwise spend on public health and law & order. To improve health and hygiene. ADRI report finds an impressive rise in sale of honey (380%), cheeses (200%), butter milk (40%), flavoured milk (28.4%) and lassi (19.7%)
  • To bring positive impact on women and families. 58% women feel they were given more respect and played a better role in making household decisions.
  • Prohibition helps money to get directed towards health and education in family. It paves way for development. 19% of households acquired new assets from the money they earlier splurged on alcohol.
  • In India, the common mass is generally occasional drinker. Curtailing alcohol supply will in hand curtail their drinking behavior.
  • According to NCRB data, 15 people die every day – or one every 96 minutes – from the effects of drinking alcohol. Many accidents are fuelled by alcohol. Many a times it leads to sexual harassment of women and robberies.

NO

  • Nearly 57 million Indians are addicted to alcohol, according to a 2019 study by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Aiims). India stopped liquor sales during the pandemic lockdown.
  • Acute withdrawal symptoms can manifest as seizures, delirium and aggressive behaviour, and can even be fatal. In the first week of the lockdown, nine people in Kerala who were reportedly addicted to liquor committed suicide.
  • By the second week, six in Tamil Nadu had died after trying to substitute alcohol with after-shaves and varnish.
  • Media reports suggest production of home-made liquor like rice beer or toddy has increased in rural areas while a grey market for bottled liquor has mushroomed in urban areas.
  • Some of them add that bottled alcohol is being sold at twice its rate in parts of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.

There are definite repercussion of an outright liquor ban and unforeseen consequences like above. Several states and doctors would prefer a calibrated approach to liquor access rather than a complete ban on sale

(c)  Issues that may arise while enforcing the ban and the steps to be taken

  • Spurious liquor and bootleggers: Create community vigilance groups who are properly trained to act as informers and create awareness against consumption of such liquor. This can stop death from poisoning and toxic country made liquor.
  • Black-market profiteering: Conducting inspection against hoarding of liquor is needed.
  • Awareness camps: Especially among the youths against the perils of alcoholism and the economic impact it has on livelihoods and poverty.
  • Rehabilitation of addicts: Outright ban may do much harm to severe addicts. Open up Rehab centres to ensure people undergoing acute withdrawal symptoms are treated and rehabilitated from the addiction.
    • De-addiction and rehabilitation centres should be made easily and widely accessible and be fully functional before any decision on prohibition is taken.
  • Check diversion of chemicals: A stronger rule to monitor the use of methanol and frame policies that award a severe penalty for its diversion towards uses other than those for which it was acquired.

Way Forward

The principal reason why a lot of prohibition strategies fail is because they seem to be based on the simplistic assumption that cutting off the supply impacts effective demand for alcohol.

  • State governments should have to be prepared to deal rapidly with the management of man-made disasters such as liquor tragedies.
  • Increase legal age of drinking and bring about uniformity in the same across all the states.
  • Ban marketing and advertisement of all kinds so as to contain its reach and spread.
  • The medical fraternity needs to be educated in rapidly responding to and treating victims of liquor tragedies.
  • Governments could consider linking de-addiction centres with primary health centres in rural areas.
  • Invest in creating better awareness among citizens about the negative impact of alcohol consumption.
  • Document good practices tried and tested by NGOs and other institutions for managing alcohol problems not only within the country but also outside the country.
  • Civil society should demand from its political parties a comprehensive policy that addresses all the related issues instead of uncritically demanding or accepting proclamations of prohibition.

 

Topic: Quote based quotation

7. “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is”. Explain. Further examine the role of religion in formation of political attitude in the Indian context. (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is a quotation based one.  One must examine the role of religion in formation of political attitude in the Indian context.

Key Demand of the question:

Examine the role of religion in formation of political attitude in the Indian context

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:

Start with basic idea of the quote.

Body:

This is the quote given by Mahatma Gandhi, which underlines the importance of religion in shaping political and moral attitude of people. The answer can be framed in the following manner

Elaborate the statement and its assumptions in detail.

Discuss how religion played an important role in shaping political attitude in India.

Partition of India on communal lines and existence of political parties adhering to a particular religious ideology are examples and validation of the above quote by Mahatma Gandhi.

Conclusion:

Conclude that in a developing society, like India, where tradition coexists with modern practices, religion still plays a very important role in the distribution of power in society. Hence, the idea that politics is immune from religious ideas is tantamount to ignorance about the powerful role religion plays in the socio-political life of Indian society. It can be said that religion still fundamentally shapes political attitude of a large section of people in India.

Introduction

The relation between religion and politics continues to be an important theme in political philosophy, despite the emergent consensus on the right to freedom of conscience and on the need for some sort of separation between religion and state. One reason for the importance of this topic is that religions often make strong claims on people’s allegiance, and universal religions make these claims on all people, rather than just a particular community.

Body

Religion and politics

Gandhi showed the link between religion and politics on a spiritual basis. He said “For me, politics bereft of religion are absolute dirt, ever to be shunned. Politics concern nations and that which concerns the welfare of nations must be one of the concerns of a man who is religiously inclined, in other words, a seeker after God and Truth. For me, God and Truth are convertible terms, and if anyone told me that God was a god of untruth or a god of torture, I would decline to worship Him. Therefore, in politics also we have to establish the kingdom of Heaven.”

In a different connotation, politics and religion linkage has changed today. We see fault lines being created due to religion. The emergence of ISIS on one side and Islamophobia on the other. Eg: Even though France has strict separation of State and Religion, the Charlie Hebdo case and recent beheading of a teacher for making a caricature of Prophet Mohamud and France vowing to fight Islamic extremism shows how the connect between Religion and Politics.

Hence those whose say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.

Religion in formation of political attitude

  • The two concepts are very intricately linked especially in countries like India, which is a multi-party democracy.
  • The people’s mobilisation can happen only when there is strong ideology espoused by the party.
  • Nothing can be more important than religion and its ideals in a life of individual. It is a strong unifying factor. Hence politics of religion has become a recurring theme in Indian polity.
  • The rise of Janata Party and later the BJP was based on the Ram Janm Bhoomi issue and the Hindutva ideology. The majoritarian politics was based on Hinduism. On the other side, Congress has been called a minority appeasing party.
  • In States like Maharashtra, MNS and Shiv Sena also have been carrying out politics based on Hindutva ideology.

Conclusion

Ideally as Gandhiji said, Religion should pervade every one of our actions. Here religion does not mean sectarianism. It means a belief in ordered moral government of the universe. It is not less real because it is unseen. This religion transcends Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc. It does not supersede them. It harmonises them and gives them reality.


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