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Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 26 April 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: Social empowerment

1. While it is important to celebrate the achievements related to the changes in the status of women in our society, it is even more pertinent to reflect on how far behind we are from our own goal of an equal society. Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  Deccan Herald

Why the question:

The question is based on the theme of social equity and specifically gender equity.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the concerns around achieving gender equity in our society and suggest solutions to address the same.

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:

Start with the definition of social equity and specifically gender equity.

Body:

The adoption of our Constitution was also a declaration of a dream for an equal society where everyone would have equal opportunities to schooling, good health, speak and dissent, work, elect and get elected. Although we have achieved gender parity, that is, equal representation of girls and boys, or men and women in certain respects, we are far from achieving substantive gender equality in most cases.
Examine the above case for sectors like – education, Health, economy etc. and analyse the roadblocks in them to achieve gender parity or concerns around status of women.

Discuss the policies and programmes of the government in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

The adoption of our Constitution was also a declaration of a dream for an equal society where everyone would have equal opportunities to schooling, good health, speak and dissent, work, elect and get elected. Although we have achieved gender parity, that is, equal representation of girls and boys, or men and women in certain respects, we are far from achieving substantive gender equality in most cases.

Body

Gender inequality in India

  • India scores quite low in when it comes to gender inequality, according to latest UNDP Human development report, India is ranked 125 of 159 countries in the Gender Inequality Index (GII).
  • Labour participation: In terms of labour participation only 23.3% of women (79.1% men) above 15 years are part of India’s labour force.
  • Wage gap: Research from India’ leading diversity and inclusion consulting firm Avtar Group shows that women are paid 34% less than men for performing the same job with the same qualifications.
  • Lack of Economic Empowerment: Women are underrepresented in senior managerial position and overrepresented in low paying jobs. Oxford Survey shows that globally only 19% firms have a female senior manager.
  • Access to productive capital: It is harder for women to access funds and capital for farming, starting a business or for other developmental works.
  • Secondary Education for women is lower than man in majority of countries while this stands at less than 80% in India.
  • Social norms and stereotypes: Classifying men as “bread winners” and women pursuing jobs as “career women” was reported by Oxford University Survey. It also highlighted that most of the unpaid work is seen as a women’s job.

Measures needed to bridge gender inequality

  • Behavioral Nudge: For instance, by using taxes to incentivize fairly sharing child-care responsibilities, or by encouraging women and girls to enter traditionally male-dominated sectors such as the armed forces and information technology. Eg Supreme Court in India declared that women could now hold commanding positions in Army.
    • Paternity leaves for men, to share the responsibility of child rearing.
    • Incentivizing companies to employ women, and reach 50% target.
  • Gender Justice at Work
    • Bridging the wage gap for equal work.
    • Making work places safer through strong laws. India has enacted Sexual Harassment at workplaces act.
    • Promote diversity and anti-bias courses for all employees.
    • Comprehensive leadership training for women to excel in their fields.
  • Gender sensitization: Breaking the social barriers by gender sensitization and education at families, schools and workplaces. Eg : In the NCERT Books, gender roles, bias and prejudice inducing writings were removed.
  • Social security and financial literacy: Formalization of jobs should be pushed to avail benefits to many women. Until then, social security benefits should be provided to women in unorganized sector. Eg : Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme in India
    • Embedding financial literacy in programmes where women have significant representation could be a good starting point.
  • Strong laws and policies wrt equal pay for equal work, maternity benefits are needed to promote women’s representation in economy.
  • Political Representation: India has provided 33% reservation for women in the Panchayats and Local Bodies. Capacity Building and training can increase their capabilities further.

Conclusion

Gender equality is a human right which entitles all persons irrespective of their gender to live with dignity and with freedom. Gender equality is also a precondition for development and reducing of poverty. Gender shouldn’t be an unreasonable determining factor curbing the potential of women.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

2. Do you think its time to take a re-look at the post of governor or at least codify their powers to ensure that tyranny of the unelected does not triumph over popular governments. Analyse with examples. (250 words)

Reference: Deccan Herald

Why the question:

The article presents to us a detailed analysis of the post of Governor and a re-look of it.  

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss with examples the need to recognise the codification of powers of the Governor to ensure that tyranny of the unelected does not triumph over popular governments.

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:

Start with brief background of the question.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Discuss the constitutionality of the post of the Governor, explain the powers and responsibilities enshrined.

Bring out the lacunae in the codification of powers of a Governor. Give examples to justify the same.

Take hints from the article and explain what needs to be done to ensure the post is more mature in terms of exercising its powers and responsibilities.

Conclusion:

Conclude that it is perhaps time to take a re-look at the post of governor itself or at least codify their powers to ensure that tyranny of the unelected does not triumph over popular governments.

Introduction

Article 154 of the Constitution envisages Governor as the executive chief of the state. All executive actions are taken in his name. B R Ambedkar called the office of the Governor as the “office of dignity”. He is not an agent of the Centre, but the governor’s post in an independent Constitutional office. His office is the linchpin of Indian Cooperative Federalism.

Body

Tyranny of the unelected in recent times

  • Gubernatorial powers: The task of inviting the largest party/alliance post-election is a discretion of the Governor which is wrought in controversy. Eg: Karnataka, in 2018 election presented a hung assembly. Ultimately the issue had to be resolved in Supreme Court leading to fall of the government that couldn’t prove its majority.
  • Governor’s appointment: Article 155 says that governor should be appointed (not elected) from amongst persons of high status with eminence in public. The elected government at the state is not even consulted while making appointment of the Governors. Further successive governments have reduced this important constitutional office to a sinecure and resting place for loyal and retired / about to retired / about to retire politicians apart from docile bureaucrats.
  • Appointment and dismissal of the Chief Minister: Governor appoints Chief Minister, other ministers, Advocate General, Chairmen and members of the State Public Service Commission in the state. After elections in the state, there is a convention to invite the largest party to form government in the state. This convention has been flouted many times at the whim of the governor.g: The recent episode Maharashtra where Governor inducted a new government at 5:00 am without ascertaining the requisite numbers for the government.
  • Reservation of Bills for Consideration of President: As per Article 200 of the Constitution, the governor can reserve certain types of bills passed by the State Legislature for the President’s consideration. Centre, through the governor in case of different parties ruling, used this provision to serve partisan interests.
  • Misuse of Article 356: Article 356 is the most controversial article of the Constitution. It provides for State emergency or President’s rule in State if the President, on receipt of report from the Governor of a State. But since the SR Bommai case, this has been sparsely used.
  • Removal of the Governor: Article 156 says that the governor will hold office during the pleasure of the President for five years. The governor has no security of tenure and no fixed term of office. This prevents to uphold neutrality of the governor, fearing retribution. E.g.: The mass changing of the governors of state whenever a new government comes to power at Centre.

Need for codification of powers of the Governor

Below committee recommendations must be codified to remove any ambiguity.

  • Rajamannar Committee: Consultation of the CM must become mandatory before the appointment of the Governor.
  • Punchhi Commission: The phrase “during the pleasure of the President” should be deleted from the Constitution.
    • Governor should be removed only by a resolution of the state legislature.
    • Qualification for the post must be laid down in Constitution while giving security of tenure. This will enable the Governor to take impartial and neutral decisions.
  • Sarkaria Commission Report (1988): On appointment of Governor: –
    • Governor should be an eminent person and not belong to the state where he is to be posted.
    • State chief minister should have a say in the appointment of governor
    • Governor should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in recent past.
    • Governor should not be a member of the ruling party.
  • Other recommendations: Governor must act at all times in aid and advise of CM, unless as given specifically in the Constitution.
    • He or she must not overpower or assume the role of state government.

Conclusion

In a federal structure, the states cannot function as vassals of the Centre. Governors are a relic of the British past and many of them have downgraded themselves to mere agents of the Centre with utter disregard to constitutional provisions, conventions, precedents and even court verdicts. It is perhaps time to take a re-look at the post of governor itself or at least codify their powers to ensure that tyranny of the unelected does not triumph over popular governments.

 

 

Topic: GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

3. A sector led, action based approach could provide the framework to drive low carbon transformation in our country. Comment. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

The article explains a low carbon future based on sector led approach.  

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the significance of a sector led approach in driving the low carbon transformation in the country.

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:

Start with brief background of the question.

Body:

Explain first the hurdles in the adoption of a net-zero targets by India – Compromised development: Though a large country and economy, we are still a very poor country with a significant development deficit — our per-­capita carbon emissions are less than half the world average.

Talk about alternative strategy.

Discuss the significance of sectoral decarbonisation of Power Sector, explain the sector led approach such as – Create a multi-stakeholder Just Transition Commission, Address existing problems, Towards leadership in technologies of future etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

India is at a critical moment in history where it has the power to create a thriving, innovative net-zero carbon economy. Governments, businesses and sector experts are coming forward with commitments and solutions for clean policy, investment and technology.

Body

Background

  • So far, India is committed to have a national grid with 40% installed electric capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030, under the Paris Agreement.
  • As of March 2020, the country already stood at 24% (87GW) of renewable energy installed capacity (not including large hydro projects).
  • India has also kick-started the e-mobility transition with the Government of India entering the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles scheme – FAME II.
  • The scheme works to promote the manufacture and purchase of electric vehicles by providing capital subsidies and drive action on State-led EV policies.

India’s transition to low carbon economy

India can accomplish this by focusing on sectoral low-carbon development pathways that combine competitiveness, job-creation, distributional justice and low pollution in key areas where India is already changing rapidly.

  • Despite the recent advent of renewable energy, India is still powered by coal, with 77% of electricity generation coming from coal plants.
  • A first, bold, step would be to pledge that India will not grow its coal-fired power capacity beyond what is already announced, and reach peak coal electricity capacity by 2030, while striving to make coal-based generation cleaner and more efficient.
  • Natural gas and nuclear energy make up only 8% in the energy basket, but have not yet been able to gain a significant foothold in India’s power sector. This needs to be expanded with better technology.
  • In order to curb its reliance on coal and fulfil its obligations under the Paris accord, India must look into further developing alternative energy sources. Investments in its natural gas infrastructure and its domestic nuclear energy manufacturing capacity could hold the key for a carbon-free future.
  • FAME-ll scheme of government of India can prove significant if the target of 30% is reached by 2030.
  • With charging infrastructure in place, the demand for electric and hybrid vehicles would take off.
  • Electric and hybrids are cheaper to run and would gain market share rapidly.
  • The Railways in India are going in for rapid electrification as it is cheaper to run trains on electricity.
  • With most of surface transport using electricity and most of electricity coming from renewables, India would become a low carbon economy.

Conclusion

The next 10 years are crucial to India stepping up action and commitment to address climate change. We know the opportunities for renewable power and electric mobility in a rapidly growing Indian market (not completely phased by the pandemic). We now have to set ourselves to collectively – businesses, governments and sector experts – identify the gaps in driving clean energy and mobility and find innovative solutions to address these.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

4. Maoism is a social, economic and developmental issue manifesting as a violent internal security threat, In this context, discuss the issues and suggest some measures to end the Maoists extremism in India. (250 words)

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The article explains the security threat that Maoism poses.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the issue of Maoism in India and suggest solutions to address the same.

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 statistics related to Maoism in India or brief history of it.

Body:

The answer body must have the following aspects covered:

Explain the history and evolution of Maoism in India.

Then discuss in what way Maoism is a social, economic and developmental issue manifesting as a violent internal security threat.

Highlight the problems in detail.

Suggest solutions to address them, one can also comment on the policies of the government in this direction.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

The left-wing extremism or Naxal insurgency in India originated in a 1967 uprising in Naxalbari, West Bengal by the Communist Party of India (Marxist). They are the group of people who believe in the political theory derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong. The Naxals strongly believe that the solution to social and economic discrimination is to overthrow the existing political system.

Body

Causes of left-wing extremism in India

  • Inequitable development: The failure of land reforms especially land redistribution after independence.
    • Socio-economic inequities, unemployment, despair about the future.
    • Dishonest and self-serving dominant groups.
    • Political deprivation leading to hopelessness or a sense of powerlessness.
    • Lack of title to public land cultivated by the landless poor.
    • Governance deficit in the remote parts of Red Corridor regions.
    • Lack of food security – corruption in the Public Distribution System (which are often nonfunctional).
    • Disruption of traditional occupations and lack of alternative work opportunities.
  • Displacement of people: Eviction from lands traditionally used by tribals.
    • Forced Displacements caused by mining, irrigation and power projects without adequate arrangements for rehabilitation. As a result livelihoods were lost.
    • Large scale land acquisition for ‘public purposes’ without appropriate compensation or rehabilitation
  • Discrimination against tribals: Poor implementation of laws prohibiting transfer of tribal land to non-tribals in the Fifth Schedule areas.
    • Non-regularisation of traditional land rights under FRA,2006.
    • Hasty rejections of land grants to tribals.

Measures and change in strategy needed to solve Maoism

Home Ministry came up with the strategy of Samadhan. It is a strategy to frame short term and long-term policies to tackle LWE.  It includes: S- Smart Leadership; A- Aggressive Strategy; M- Motivation and Training; A- Actionable Intelligence; D- Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas); H- Harnessing Technology; A- Action plan for each Theatre; N- No access to Financing.

In lieu of this, governments must pro-actively tackle left wing extremism.

  • Modernizing the police force: The scheme focuses on strengthening police infrastructure by construction of secure police stations, training centres, police housing (residential) and equipping police stations with required mobility, modern weaponry, communication equipment and forensic set-up etc.
    • On the administrative side, changes include separation of investigation from law and order, specialized wings for Social and Cyber Crimes are initiated in several states.
    • Various technological reforms are pushed including modernization of the control room, fast tracking Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS), pushing for National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) and pushing for incorporation of new technology into policing
  • Social Integration: State Governments have surrender and rehabilitation policy, while the Central Government supplements the efforts of the State Governments through the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme for LWE affected States.
    • Additional incentives are given for surrendering with weapons/ammunition.
    • The surrenderers are also imparted vocational training with a monthly stipend for a maximum period of 36 months.
    • Skill Development: Skill Development in 34 Districts affected by Left Wing Extremism” under implementation from 2011-12 aims to establish ITIs and Skill Development Centres in LWE affected districts.
  • Infrastructure Development: Road Connectivity, communication needs to be rapidly scaled up in LWE affected districts. Eg: Mobile towers being set up in remote areas.
  • Major counter-insugency measures in states
    • Andhra Pradesh established elite force called Greyhounds to successfully crack down on naxal leaders. It also squashed mass organisation activities through civilian “vigilante” groups that had been encourged through the surrender and rehabilitation package.
    • West Bengal government implemented confidence building measures with the people living in the Maoist infested Jangalmaha region. It created a linkage between people and the institution.
    • Odisha and Chhattisgarh trained many local tribal youths as Special Police Officers against Maoist insurgency.
    • Bihar had set up a 400-member special task force and Special Auxiliary Police for counter insurgency operations. Currently the naxal influence has come down from 22 districts to 4.
    • Maharashtra created a district level force called as C-60 Commando.
  • SMART Policing: Smart policing paradigm promotes integration & interoperability of information & communication systems.
    • Broadly, smart policing involves interventions incorporating application of evidence-based and data-driven policing practices, strategies and tactics in order to prevent and control crime.
    • Recruit specialized personnel: Specialized crimes require specialized approach and personnel to deal with them. There should be core technical team to handle modern technology related crimes.
    • Community policing improves interface with citizens and makes police more sensitive. E.g. (i) Janamaithri Suraksha Padhathi, Kerala (ii) Friends of Police Movement (FOP), Tamil Nadu (iii) Suraksha Setu – Safe City Surat Project
    • Improve communication network: There should be sharing of information & knowledge to improve the functioning of police force.
    • Better Surveillance and Monitoring with standardisation, deployment and integration of private security surveillance system.
    • It promotes pro-active policing by preventing criminal activity through enhanced police visibility and public engagement.

Need of the hour

  • Central and State governments, the administration and the security establishment need to recognize that the movement cannot be approached from a purely law and order point of view.
  • The process of improving the conditions of the poor and the tribals clearly need to be speeded up if the movement is to be effectively checked.
  • Winning the hearts and minds of the tribal population and other marginalised groups will lie at the core of the counter-insurgency strategy
  • Development of road and rail infrastructure will not only enhance economic growth and development but will also help in countering Maoist propaganda
  • The improved road connectivity will also have a multiplier effect on the effectiveness of the security forces in carrying out operations.
  • Providing incentives and alternate life support system to those surrendered

Conclusion

An ideology based on violence and annihilation is doomed to fail in a democracy which offers legitimate forums of grievance redressal. Through a holistic approach focusing on development and security related interventions, the LWE problem can be successfully tackled.

 

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

5. Analyse the challenges in commercialization of green hydrogen as energy fuel in India. (250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why the question:

India will soon join 15 other countries in the hydrogen club as it prepares to launch the National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM).  Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Analyse the challenges in commercialization of green hydrogen as energy fuel in India

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:

Start with what you understand by Green Hydrogen.

Body:

In 2030, according to an analysis by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), green hydrogen demand could be up to 1 million tonnes in India across application in sectors such as ammonia, steel, methanol, and transport and energy storage. However, several challenges in scaling up to commercial-scale operations persist. We propose five recommendations.

Discuss the challenges in detail.

Suggest what needs to be done; First, decentralised hydrogen production must be promoted through open access of renewable power to an electrolyser (which splits water to form H2 and O2 using electricity). Second, we need mechanisms to ensure access to round-the-clock renewable power for decentralised hydrogen production. And we must take steps to blend green hydrogen in existing processes, especially the industrial sector and so on.

Conclusion:

Conclude with importance.

 

Introduction

India will soon join 15 other countries in the hydrogen club as it prepares to launch the National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM). The global target is to produce 1.45 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2023. Currently, India consumes around 5.5 million tonnes of hydrogen, primarily produced from imported fossil fuels.

Body

Green Hydrogen: Meaning

  • Green hydrogen, which is produced using electricity from renewable resources, could be the key to curb our carbon footprint.
  • Green hydrogen is made through a process known as electrolysis. Here, a device known as an electrolyser splits a compound into its constituent elements using an electric current.
  • Most often this compound is water, which is divided into hydrogen and oxygen.
  • If the electricity used comes from renewable sources, like wind and solar, the subsequent hydrogen is known as “green.”

Challenges to commercialise green hydrogen as energy fuel

  • Currently, most renewable energy resources that can produce low-cost electricity are situated far from potential demand centres. If hydrogen were to be shipped, it would significantly erode the economics of it.
  • Fuel cells, which convert hydrogen fuel to useable energy for cars, are still expensive. And the hydrogen station infrastructure needed to refuel hydrogen fuel cell cars is still widely underdeveloped.
  • We need mechanisms to ensure access to round-the-clock renewable power for decentralised hydrogen production.
  • Establishing an end-to-end electrolyser manufacturing facility would require measures extending beyond the existing performance-linked incentive programme.
  • India needs to secure supplies of raw materials that are needed for this technology.

Conclusion

India needs to add better renewable sources of energy in its energy basket and achieve the goals of Nationally determined contributions under Paris agreement. India can lead the world in terms of green economy and kickstart the momentum needed to achieve carbon neutral world by 2050.

 

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

6. Explain what constitutes Marine litter? And account for the effects it has on Economy and public health. (250 words)

Reference:  DDI News

Why the question:

Indian Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and German Environment Ministry’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH India signed an agreement recently on Marine litter. Thus the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain what constitutes Marine litter and account for the effects it has on the economy and public health.

 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 the definition of Marine litter.

Body:

Explain the impact of Marine litter – Marine litter threatens ecosystems and adversely affects fishery and tourism industries around the globe. In addition to negative economic impact, it affects public health with increased concerns about micro-plastic and risk of particles entering the food chain.

In recent times, the level of plastic waste that has accumulated in our oceans and marine ecosystems through the increasing production and use of durable synthetic materials has alarmed the public and policy makers alike. It is estimated that 15-20% of all plastics are entering oceans via riverine ecosystems of which 90% are contributed by 10 of the world’s most polluting rivers. Two of these river systems are located in India, namely Ganga and Brahmaputra.

Discuss what needs to be done.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

A recent study found that the amount of plastic waste entering the ocean from land each year exceeds 4.8 million tons (Mt), and may be as high as 12.7 Mt. The quantities of plastic entering the ocean are growing rapidly with the potential for cumulative inputs of plastic waste into the ocean as high as 250 Mt by 2025.

Body

Marine Litter: Definition

“Marine debris” is defined to include any anthropogenic, manufactured, or processed solid material (regardless of size) discarded, disposed of, or abandoned in the environment, including all materials discarded into the sea, on the shore, or brought indirectly to the sea by rivers, sewage, storm water, waves, or winds.”

Effects on economy and public health

  • Marine litter threatens ecosystems and adversely affects fishery and tourism industries around the globe.
  • In addition to negative economic impact, it affects public health with increased concerns about micro-plastic and risk of particles entering the food chain.
  • Plastic litter in particular, is estimated to lead to the mortality either directly or indirectly of one million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals (including 30,000 seals) and 100,000 turtles globally every year; either through entanglement or ingestion.
  • Beached marine litter such as broken glass, medical waste, fishing line, and discarded syringes can harm beach users as well as the risks associated with the leaching of poisonous chemicals.
  • Sewage related debris is particularly harmful and is considered a potential biohazard and may act as a vector for viruses and bacteria.
  • Threats to fishermen can include the snagging of fishing gear on marine litter, increasing the risk of capsize, and in some circumstances resulting in loss of life.
  • Plastic waste damages the aesthetic value of tourist destinations, leading to decreased tourism-related incomes and major economic costs related to the cleaning and maintenance of the sites.
  • Plastic, which is a petroleum product, also contributes to global warming. If plastic waste is incinerated, it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thereby increasing carbon emissions.

Conclusion

To effectively address the issue of marine plastics, research and innovation should be supported. Knowledge of the full extent of plastic pollution and its impacts would provide policy-makers, manufacturers and consumers with scientific evidence needed to spearhead appropriate technological, behavioural and policy solutions. It would also accelerate the conceptualisation of new technology, materials or products to replace plastics.

 

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

7. Absence of alignment to take and own responsibility as moral development is the leading cause of pitiable work ethics in government’s offices. Do you agree with the statement? Explain. (250 words)

Reference:  Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications

Why the question:

The question is based on the work ethics in government offices.

Key Demand of the question:

Discuss the need for proper orientation and need to own responsibility as moral development to ensure effective functioning of government offices ethically.

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:

Discuss what you understand by Absence of alignment to take and own responsibility as moral development.

Body:

Discuss the concept of work ethics; explain the need to take responsibility.

Such answers are best explained with case studies/examples, one must give day to day office situation to explain the need for moral responsibility as a key feature to ensure good work ethics.

Discuss why there is lack of moral development in the government offices? Suggest how it can be inculcated. Explain and suggest solutions.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction

Work ethic is an attitude of determination and dedication toward one’s job. Those with a strong work ethic place a high value on their professional success. They exhibit moral principles that make them outstanding employees in any position. If you have a strong work ethic, you believe in the importance of your job and typically feel that hard work is essential to maintaining a strong character.

Body

Reasons for pitiable work ethics in government

  • There is clear absence of alignment to own responsibility. This means that most employees are either risk averse or lethargic who cannot perform to the level expected.
  • This may stem from the fact that government job security is usually high and non-performance in work is not an immediate criterion for termination.
  • Performance based pay is not a norm in government salary in India. This does not incentivise the employees to deliver on their tasks efficiently or with agility.
  • High discretionary power, even at the lower levels for movement of files gives lot of avenues for corruption. This impedes moral development.
  • Most government servants are unaware of the commitments in the Citizen Charter or simply ignore the Charter.
  • Lack of transparency and accountability is another reason for pitiable work ethics in the government.
  • Huge tea and lunch breaks, being absent from work desk for long, doing personal work during work hours are clear signs of lack of work ethic and moral development.

Steps to improve the work ethics in the government

The 2nd Administrative Reform Commission suggested the following ways to improve work culture in government offices.

  • Reorganization of Ministries and Departments: Revisiting and redefining the role of the Ministries and Departments in the context of the evolving role of governance and the need for greater collaboration.
  • Uniformity: There is a need to bring greater uniformity in the description of the roles and functions of various Ministries/Departments
  • Performance Management System (PMS) : For each public service, the major components of PMS are the service’s aims and mission, strategic objectives set by the organization offering it, breaking down of the objectives for the components of the organization, the identification of agreed-upon targets of individual manager and his/her key result areas, periodic reporting of performance against targets and standards, review by superior authority, and remedial action.
  • Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms:  Ensuring accountability and promoting an ethical approach in governance institutions is vital to improved governance. The Commission has already made detailed recommendations on this issue in its Fourth Report on Ethics in Governance.
  • Timely resolution: Ensure effective and timely resolution of public grievances as part of efforts to ensure improved work culture in government offices.
  • Encourage technology: Identification and repeal of rules or processes and archaic acts and to encourage the use of information and communication technology in the submission of information.
  • Periodic changes in policies – Like private organizations, government organizations are not immune to dynamic changes. Policies need to be evaluated and reformed periodically to enhance productivity.

Conclusion

The development of positive work culture with full of ethical values in public administration or government offices is vital to address issues in India such as socio-economic backwardness and extreme poverty. Ultimately the larger role of the government is to act as facilitator and as a welfare state that upholds greater good of the society. For this, transformation must start from the bureaucracy.


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