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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 3 September 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: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

1. There were multiple factors in play that resulted in the partition of India. No single individual brought it about or could have averted it. Critically Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Chapter 37- India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To critically comment on as to why Partition happened and responsibility of various individuals and organisations for it.

Directive word: 

Critically comment – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘comment’ is prefixed, we must express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by mentioning the divisive politics played by the British leading to communal tensions in the Indian society.

Body:

Discuss various factors that led to the Partition of India such as rising religious tensions, socio-economic differences between the Hindus and Muslims, role of British, Muslim League and Congress and important personalities involved and their political strategies.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning that Partition was neither a result of a planned agenda nor by chance. It was cumulative outcome of various factors at play.

Introduction

“Partition” – the division of British India into the two separate states of India and Pakistan on August 14-15, 1947 – was the “last-minute” mechanism by which the British were able to secure agreement over how independence would take place. At the time, few people understood what Partition would entail or what its results would be, and the migration on the enormous scale that followed took the vast majority of contemporaries by surprise.

Body

Factors in play that resulted in the partition of India:

  • Divide and Rule:
    • As colonizers, the British had followed a divide-and-rule policy in India.
    • In the census they categorized people according to religion and viewed and treated them as separate from each other.
    • They also were fearful of the potential threat from the Muslims, who were the former rulers of the subcontinent, ruling India for over 300 years under the Mughal Empire.
  • Separateness of Muslims by British:
    • To win them over to their side, the British helped establish the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College at Aligarh and supported the All-India Muslim Conference, both of which were institutions from which leaders of the Muslim League and the ideology of Pakistan emerged.
    • As soon as the league was formed, Muslims were placed on a separate electorate.
    • Thus, the separateness of Muslims in India was built into the Indian electoral process.
  • Communal politics:
    • Some scholars  see  Partition  as  a  culmination  of a  communal  politics  that  started  developing  in  the opening  decades  of  the  twentieth
    • They suggest that  separate  electorates  for  Muslims, created  by  the  colonial  government  in  1909  and expanded  in  1919,  crucially  shaped  the  nature  of communal politics.
  • Ideological divide:
    • There was also an ideological divide between the Muslims and the Hindus of India.
    • While there were strong feelings of nationalism in India, by the late 19th century there were also communal conflicts and movements in the country that were based on religious identities rather than class or regional ones.
    • Socio-religious movements such as Tablighi, Tanzim, Shuddhi, Sangathan all aimed at attacking the religious sentiments of both Hindus and Muslims
  • Role of Hindu revivalists:
    • Hindu revivalists also deepened the chasm between the two nations. They resented the Muslims for their former rule over India.
    • Hindu revivalists rallied for a ban on the slaughter of cows, a cheap source of meat for the Muslims.
    • They also wanted to change the official script from the Persian to the Hindu Devanagari script, effectively making Hindi rather than Urdu the main candidate for the national language.
  • Mistakes in Congress policies:
    • The Congress made several mistakes in their policies which further convinced the League that it was impossible to live in an undivided India after freedom from colonial rule because their interests would be completely suppressed.
    • One such policy was the institution of “Bande Mataram,” a national anthem historically linked to anti-Muslim sentiment, in the schools of India where Muslim children were forced to sing it.
  • British Government policies:
    • Pro-Muslim League attitude of the British in the August Offer, 1940
    • Failure of Cripps Mission and its acceptance of autonomy of Muslim majority province
    • Failure of Shimla Conference indirectly sub-served the League’s demands
    • The Cabinet Mission was the final nail in the coffin. This was followed by Jinnah’s brutal Direct Action Day culminating with the Mountbatten Plan 1947.

However, partition could have been averted:

  • If the long term failure of the Congress to draw in the Muslim masses into the national movement and stem the surging waves of Muslim communalism, which, especially since 1937, had been beating with increasing fury had been overcome.
  • If the common citizens would have understood the ill-intent of Britishers of pleasing one community over the other.
  • If Communal groups like Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim league had been dealt with strictly.

Conclusion:

As the noted historian Ramachandra Guha puts it – “the short sightedness of Congress, Jinnah’s ambitions and Britain’s amorality and cynicism had made partition inevitable”. In retrospect, the process of partition could have been implemented better which would have curbed many deaths, horrific incidents and helped maintain friendly relations between the neighbours, India and Pakistan.

 

Topic: The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.

2. What are the legacies of Indian National Movement? Analyse the weaknesses and limitations of the legacies of the nationalist movement in India. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Chapter 38 – India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.

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 various legacies derived from out national movement and their limitations.

Directive word: 

Analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving a summation of Indian National movement, its various phases and diverse involvements.

Body:

Mention about various legacies of national movement such as formation of Indian nation, mass participation in Indian politics, promotion of civil liberties, modern science etc.

Also analyse the limitation/weakness of the legacies such as lack of a strong political cadre and some centrifugal forces among the masses that led to the partition of the country. Highlight some of its weaknesses as well in the backdrop of partition.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning that among the various diverse factors in the society, the Indian National movement evolved on the foundation of non-violent principles and keeping civil liberties as its core principle leading to the establishment of one of the greatest constitutions in the world.

Introduction

In a global context, the place of the Indian national movement in Indian history is broadly comparable to the place of French Revolution in the history of Europe  and  the  Russian  Revolution  in  Russian  history.  The  Indian  National Movement represented the largest possible consensus, particularly after 1920,when it came under Gandhi’s leadership. The consensus enabled the legacy of the movement to endure and survive. Plurality  was  an  important  uniqueness  of  the  national  movement.  Apart from providing diversity to the nationalist struggle, it also enabled the movement to make smooth transition from a struggle to State power in 1947.

Body

The legacies of Indian National Movement:

  • Making of the Indian Nation
    • The Indian nationalism that evolved since the second half of the 19th century was a variant of the generic global phenomenon called nationalism.
    • But it also evolved some distinctive features of its own. In a nutshell, it was territorial (as against ethnic), civic  (as  against  religious),  plural  (as  against  mono-cultural)  and remarkably  non-coercive.
    • It tried  to  evolve  national  unity  without  seeking  to impose it from the top. Its main tendency was homogenizing (as all nationalisms inevitably are) but without being unduly coercive.
    • Anti-imperialism and  national  unity  were  the  two  major  pillars  that  sustained  the edifice of Indian nationalism.
  • Mass Participation in Politics
    • Democratization of Indian politics and mass participation in politics was extremely important features of the national movement.
    • The democratization took the form of popular  participation  in  the  struggles  conducted  during  the  course  of  the movement.
    • Each phase  of  the struggle – from Swadeshi movement to Quit India – brought different segments –  urban  population,  peasants,  workers,  students,  women,  tribals  –  within  the orbit  of  the  national
  • Promotion of Civil Liberties
    • Tremendous focus  on  civil  liberties  is  another  major  legacy  of  the  national movement.
    • From the very beginning the leaders of the national movement showed concern for civil liberties, namely freedom of the press, speech and association.
    • The freedom of press was very central to early nationalist leadership, because their main political activities were conducted primarily through the press.
    • As part  of  their commitment to human rights, the Indian leadership, led by Motilal Nehru and Tej Bahadur Sapru, prepared a national constitution in 1928.
    • Generally known as Nehru  Report,  it  recommended  the  declaration  of  fundamental  rights,  a parliamentary system of government, adult franchise and an independent judiciary.
    • It should thus be clear that the Indian national movement provided a robust human rights framework to be pursued in independent India.
  • Economic Development  based  on  Modern  Science  and Technology
    • Almost from  the  very  beginning  of  the  national  movement,  the  leadership developed a vision of a future India as a modern industrial society and economy.
    • The economy was to be based on industrialism making full use of modern science and technology, as had happened in Europe.
  • Secularism
    • The Indian national movement was organized along secular lines and remained fully committed to secularism till the very end.
    • With the  convergence  and  synergy  of  ideas  between  Gandhi  and  Nehru,  the dominant  conception  of  secularism  that  developed  in  independent  India  was neither anti-religion nor was it based on a denial of religion in social life.
    • It was rather based on an opposition to communalism and to any discrimination on the basis of religion.
    • There is no doubt that this dominant model of Indian secularism derives entirely from the ideas and practices evolved during the course of the national movement, and constitutes its significant legacy
  • Independent Foreign Policy
    • The Indian  national movement was quite distinctive in this respect in that it showed a tremendous concern  with  the  question  of  a  foreign
    • It evolved  an  internationalist framework of policy during the course of the movement, which served to provide the blueprint for the foreign policy practiced by the State in independent India.

The weaknesses and limitations of the legacies of the nationalist movement in India:

  • Couldn’t bring major changes in social structure
    • The capacity of the movement couldn’t carry out a rapid and radical transformation of the Indian social structure in a modern direction.
    • As a result, the society that emerged after 1947, contained not just the positive features of the Indian tradition, but also some of its negative features such as hierarchy, patriarchy, caste prejudices, among others.
  • Presence of centrifugal pressures and fissiparous tendencies
    • At the  local  level,  the  national  movement  was  not  carried  out  by  doctrinally trained political cadre but by ordinary men and women.
    • Also, the channels of control at the top were held rather loosely. Considerable autonomy was exercised by the participants of the movement at various levels.
    • This lack of strict control from the  top,  along  with  multiple  diversities  that  existed  in  the  movement  as well as in the society, meant that the movement as a whole was never completely free from centrifugal pressures and fissiparous tendencies.
  • Partition of India couldn’t be averted
    • The fissiparous tendencies developed and grew stronger, the leadership of the movement found  it  very  difficult  to  handle  these  pressures
    • The development of  such  political  tendencies  and  the  inability  of  the  Congress leadership to successfully counter it actually resulted in the partition of the country and the national unity being compromised.

These weaknesses too appear to have carried  into  the  body  politic  of  independent  India.

Conclusion

The  Indian  National  Movement  left  a  rich  legacy  for  independent  India. For independent India this legacy was something like ‘ancestral wealth’; it could either be nurtured or thrown away. It  can  therefore  be concluded that society and politics in independent India may be considered to have lived under the shadows of the national movement.

 

 


General Studies – 2


  

Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

3. What are the roles and responsibilities of the speaker of Lok Sabha? How is the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha elected? The office of the Deputy Speaker is not a ceremonious post but a constitutionally mandated one. Comment on its importance. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The Delhi High Court gave time to the Centre to give its stand on a petition alleging inaction by Constitutional functionaries in not holding election to the post of the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the powers of Speaker, the process of appointment of the Deputy Speaker and importance of his office.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning Article 93 of the Indian Constitution.

Body:

First, in detail enumerate the various roles and personalities of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha in the functioning of our parliamentary democracy.

Next, mention the process of the election of the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Shed light on the convention followed in electing the Deputy Speaker.

Next, give the context of vacancy of over two years in electing the Deputy Speaker. Write about that importance of the office of Deputy Speaker in the Indian parliamentary proceedings.

Conclusion:

Conclude by underscoring the need to fill constitutionally mandated positions.

Introduction

The Speaker is the presiding officer of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), the lower house of the Parliament of India. The speaker is elected generally in the very first meeting of the Lok Sabha following general elections. Serving for a term of five years, the speaker chosen from sitting members of the Lok Sabha (House of the People), and is by convention a member of the ruling party or alliance.

Body

Roles and responsibilities of the speaker of Lok Sabha:

  • Speaker of Lok Sabha is basically the head of the house and presides over the sittings of Parliament and controls its working.
  • The constitution has tried to ensure the independence of Speaker by charging his salary on the consolidated Fund of India and the same is not subject to vote of Parliament.
  • While debating or during general discussion on a bill, the members of the parliament have to address only to the Speaker.
  • Whenever there is a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha), the Speaker of the Lok Sabha presides over this meeting.
  • In the normal circumstances the Speaker does not cast his vote over any matter in Lok Sabha. But whenever there is a tie on votes between the ruling party and opposition, the Speaker at that time can exercise his vote.
  • It is the Speaker who decides the agenda of various discussions.
  • The speaker has the power to adjourn or suspend the house/meetings if the quorum is not met.
  • The Speaker ensures the discipline and decorum of the house. If the speaker finds the behaviour and a member of Parliament is not good, he/she can punish the unruly members by suspending.
  • The Speaker decides whether a bill brought to the house is a money bill or not. In the case Speaker decides some bill as a money bill, this decision cannot be challenged.
  • Speaker is the final and sole authority to allow different types of motions and resolutions such as No Confidence Motion, Motion of Adjournment, Censure Motion
  • The Speaker of Lok Sabha does not leave the office just after dissolution of the assembly. He continues to be in the office till the newly formed assembly takes its first meeting and elects the new Speaker.

Election of the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha:

  • The Constitution neither sets a time limit nor specifies the process for election of Deputy Speaker.
  • It leaves it to the legislatures to decide how to hold these elections.
  • In Lok Sabha and state legislatures, the President/Governor sets a date for the election of the Speaker, and it is the Speaker who decides the date for the election of the Deputy Speaker.
  • Usually, the Deputy Speaker is elected in the first meeting of the Lok Sabha after the General elections from amongst the members of the Lok Sabha.
  • It is by convention that position of Deputy Speaker is offered to opposition party in India.

Importance of post of deputy speaker in Lok Sabha:

  • The post of the Deputy Speaker is not ceremonious but constitutionally mandated by Article 93 of the Indian Constitution
  • The Deputy Speaker is the second highest ranking legislative officer of the Lok Sabha.
  • A Deputy Speaker also presides when a Speaker is not there or when the Speaker’s office is vacant on account of resignation, or illness, or death or any other reason, thereby ensuring the continuity of the Speaker’s office.
  • When the Speaker’s post falls vacant, it is the Deputy Speaker who assumes all the powers of the Speaker and exercises both legislative powers and administrative powers
  • A Deputy Speaker is also the ex-officio chairman of some committees by virtue of his position.
  • The Deputy Speaker has an important role in ensuring that the “varied functions” of the Parliament are discharged effectively and that the business of the House is conducted in a manner befitting the needs of India’s representative democracy.
  • In addition, when a resolution for removal of the Speaker is up for discussion, the Constitution specifies that the Deputy Speaker presides over the proceedings of the House.
  • It is thus a matter of grave importance that the post of Deputy Speaker in Lok Sabha lying vacant for over two years now, which amounts to flouting of the parliamentary norms by the government.
  • The Honourable Delhi High Court recently directed the central government to explain its stand over the issue of not holding elections to the post of Deputy Speaker of LS. The position has remained vacant for last 830 days.
  • Keeping the post of deputy speaker vacant is a violation of Article 93 of the Indian constitution.

Conclusion

The Office of the Speaker in India is a living and dynamic institution which deals with the actual needs and problems of Parliament in the performance of its functions. Thus, it is imperative to keep the office of Deputy Speaker also in functionality who can assume role of the Speaker in times of need.

 

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

4. As India strengthens its relationship with the west, Russia still remains a very crucial partner for India. Examine the statement in the light of possibility of imposition of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on India by the U.S. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

While the possibility of United States’ sanctions looms large once India receives the first set of S-400 long-range air defence system in a couple of months, India and Russia, which have several other deals lined up.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the changing contours of India and Russia relations and the possible impact of CAATSA on their defence ties.

Directive word:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate 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: 

Begin by giving context regarding CAATSA.

Body:

In the first part mention the growing affinity of India and U.S on various aspects especially with an emphasis on QUAD. Also, mention the growing relations between Russia and Pakistan.

Next, mention how Russia remains a vital partner for India with respect to Defence, Recent developments in Afghanistan, Renewable energy, trade, Space, vaccine and other technology etc. Elaborate upon defence ties and the possible implications with respect to CAATSA.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward suggesting India has to do what is necessary for India to preserve and protect its national security interests.

Introduction

As Russia and India both desire a multi-polar world, they are equally important for each other in fulfilling each other’s national interests. However, due to the changing geopolitical scenario, Russia is growing closer to China and becoming anti-west, while it is vice-versa for India. Despite the changing dynamics, Indo-Russia ties have stood the test of times especially in defence sector.

Body

Historical ties

  • Even as India is diversifying its defence trade partners, Russia still dominates the Indian defence inventory to the tune of about 60 per cent.
  • Russia remains the only partner that is still willing to give India critical technologies, such as a nuclear submarine.
  • Russia also reaffirmed its “unwavering support” to India for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.
  • Russia expressed its support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • Both countries have mutual benefits in supporting struggle against terrorism, Afghanistan, climate change; organisations like SCO, BRICS, G-20 and ASEAN.

Indo-Russia relations: Crucial Significance for India

  • Defence: The relations between India and Russia are one of “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership” and the ongoing military contracts between the two sides will be maintained as the defence minister reiterated the same.
    • India became the top foreign buyer of US weapons in 2014. Given that the military-technical ties were historically the bedrock of India and Russia’s relationship, a drop in the sector was a clear matter of concern.
    • While in overall terms, Russia remained India’s top supplier of defence items during the period 2014-18, the total exports fell by 42 percent between 2014-18 and 2009-13.
    • Russia still commands 58 percent of total arms imports by India, followed by Israel and the US at 15 and 12 percent, respectively.
  • Nuclear: Russia is an important partner in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and it recognizes India as a country with advanced nuclear technology with an impeccable non-proliferation record.
    • Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is being built in India with Russian cooperation.
  • Maritime corridor: Chennai Vladivostok Maritime Corridor is a sea route covering approximately 5,600 nautical miles, or about 10,300 km, aimed at increasing bilateral trade between India and Russia.
  • Despite India-China border aggression, be it during Doklam or Galwan clash, Russia never once made a statement against India despite their closeness to China. In all fairness, Russia would never want to play second fiddle to China.
  • India and Russia are also working on building nuclear plant in Bangladesh. Rooppur nuclear plant in Bangladesh will be constructed jointly with help of India.
  • Make in India initiative has welcomed Russian companies from the public and private sectors. Russian firms have shown a willingness to invest in India in construction, major infrastructure projects such as dedicated freight corridors and industrial clusters, smart cities, and engineering services, sharing technologies and skills.

Possibility of CAATSA sanction over defence ties with Russia

  • Given the nature of India-US relations, it is unlikely that USA will sanction India under CAATSA. In a future confrontation for the U.S. with China, India will be playing a key role. The U.S. will do their best to attract India in their campaign with China and wouldn’t risk by sanctioning India.
  • Moreover, India has upheld its strategic autonomy time and again. It is not bound by mandate of USA to do defence deals with other nations.
  • India does not recognise any sanctions other than the UN mandated sanctions.
  • India and Russia have also secured their payment channels to pay for the deals in the national currencies in case of possible sanctions.
  • Hence, there is no getting away from Russia in India’s defence matrix for the foreseeable future

Conclusion

Experts say Russia will continue to remain India’s top defence partner for some time to come while the U.S. is unlikely to impose sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) over the S-400 deal, given the nature of relations.

Value addition

CAATSA

  • CAATSA is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
  • It includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.
  • India could also face USA sanctions for purchasing the S-400 Triumf missile defense system from Russia under the CAATSA.
  • The USA suspended Turkey from its F-35 aircraft programme and barred it from purchasing the jet, following Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 from Russia.
  • The USA President was given the authority in 2018 to waive CAATSA sanctions on a case-by-case basis.

 


General Studies – 3


  

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

5. Hydrogen Fuel can be a game changer in ensuring energy security as well as our battle against climate change. Discuss the steps taken by India with respect to adoption of hydrogen fuel technology. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

India is increasingly looking towards hydrogen as an alternative source of fuel to reduce its carbon footprint and meet its growing energy needs.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the potential of Hydrogen as an eco-friendly fuel and steps India has taken in this regard.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Mention the properties of Hydrogen that makes it a favourable alternative to present day fossil fuels.

Body:

Distinguish between Brown, Blue and Green Hydrogen. Mention how the Hydrogen fuel can secure India’s energy security as well as help cut down carbon footprint.

Next mention the steps to promote hydrogen use instead of fossil fuels such as the National Hydrogen Mission being launched to promote Green Hydrogen and the pilot mode of blending hydrogen with CNG for buses in Delhi, various public and private sector intiative etc.

Mention that India has a number of obstacles to overcome in terms of technology, storage, transportation, new materials research, safety standards etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to maximise the benefits of the hydrogen fuel technology.

Introduction

Hydrogen is all set to play a significant role in decarbonising energy system. The hydrogen economy is an envisioned future where hydrogen is used as fuel for vehicles, energy storage and long-distance transport of energy. The different pathways to use hydrogen economy includes hydrogen production, storage, transport and utilization.

In this regard, A National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM) to transform transportation in India was announced during Union Budget 2021-22.

Body

Hydrogen Fuel can be a game changer in ensuring energy security as well as our battle against climate change:

  • 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, non-metallic, odourless, tasteless, colourless, 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.
  • It can be produced from renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind. At present, there are a number of ways to produce hydrogen, but the most common method is natural gas reforming and electrolysis.
  • Its use can reduce CO2 related emissions significantly and decarbonise the entire value chain, enabling reduced emissions and climate change threats.
  • Hydrogen can also bridge the gap between supply and demand, in both a centralized or decentralized manner, thereby enhancing the overall energy system flexibility.
  • Hydrogen can be used to meet both seasonal and daily supply-demand mismatch in the case of renewables.
  • At present, the current global demand for hydrogen is 70 million metric tons, most of which is being produced from fossil fuels– 76% from natural gas and 23% from coal and remaining from the electrolysis of water– consumes 6% of the global natural gas and 2% of the global coal. This results in CO2 emissions of around 830Mt/year out of which only 130Mt/year is being captured and used in the fertilizer industry.
  • Much of the hydrogen produced is used for oil refining (33%), ammonia (27%), methanol production (11%), steel production via DRI (3%) and others.

Steps taken by India towards hydrogen economy:

  • India has a huge edge in green hydrogen productionowing to its favourable geographic conditions and presence of abundant natural elements.
  • India’s goal of attaining 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and to decarbonise by 2050 got an impetus in the Union Budget 2021-22.
  • The National Hydrogen Mission has created a road-map for this, and pilot projects on blue hydrogen, green hydrogen and hydrogen compressed natural gas (CNG) have been initiated.
  • The proposed introduction of green hydrogen consumption obligations for fertiliser and petroleum refining industry, indicate the country’s resolve to transition towards an economy fuelled by green hydrogen.
  • The government has given impetus in scaling up the gas pipeline infrastructureacross the length and breadth of the country, and has introduced reforms for the power grid, including the introduction of smart grids. Such steps are being taken to effectively integrate renewable energy in the present energy mix.
  • In October 2020, Delhi became the first Indian city to operate Hydrogen-enrichedCNG (H-CNG) buses in a six-month pilot project.
  • The Government of India is planning to focus on five key areas: (a)Research and Development (b) Demand creation (c) how to use it in the industry (d) how to create an eco-system (e) how to bring it on board along with international partnerships.

Way forward for India:

  • At this juncture, with a calibrated approach, India can uniquely position itself to take advantage with increasing investment in R&D, capacity building, compatible legislation, and the opportunity for creation of demandamong its vast population. Such initiatives can propel India to become the most favoured nation by exporting hydrogen to its neighbours and beyond.
  • Proactive industry collaboration with the government is key to creating a hydrogen economy in India.
  • This will help bring best-in-class hydrogen technology, equipment, and know-how to create a hydrogen supply chain in India — in many cases, these could be “Made in India”.
  • By prioritising national hydrogen demonstration projects, innovations to further reduce the cost of hydrogen will become prominent locally.
  • A robust policy framework akin to the one that guided the country’s solar revolution could lead to an increase in production and demand of this green fuel.
  • The Government of India should consider setting up a multi-agency mission to bring multiple ministries, private industry and academia together in a partnership to scale up the deployment of hydrogen across sectors and industries.
  • Having a clear mid-term and long-term target inspires confidence in the private sector to make their investments in a new energy source.
  • Tax benefits that solar and wind receive should be extended to all players in the green hydrogen ecosystem.
  • In the short term, the price of hydrogen generated through steam methane reformation should be capped.
  • Generating hydrogen from biomass should also be incentivised as it also has the potential to increase farmer incomes.
  • India should ramp up international collaborations for more effortless transfer of technology and resources related to hydrogen.
  • Low solar prices coupled with pragmatic policies can help India take a leadership position in driving the global hydrogen economy.
  • India needs to secure supplies of raw materials that are needed for this technology.
  • Major institutions like the DRDO, BARC and CSIR laboratories have been developing electrolyser and fuel-cell technologies, which could further boost hydrogen economy.
  • There is a need for a manufacturing strategy that can leverage the existing strengths and mitigate threats by integrating with the global value chain.

Conclusion

Green hydrogen is one of the most promising fuels in the efforts to reduce carbon emissions. 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.

Value addition:

Challenges:

  • One of the biggest challenges faced by the industry for using hydrogen commercially is the economic sustainability of extracting green or blue hydrogen.
  • The technology used in production and use of hydrogen like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)and hydrogen fuel cell technology are at nascent stage and are expensive which in turn increases the cost of production of hydrogen.
  • Several challenges in scaling up the commercial-scale operations of green hydrogen persist.
  • Maintenance costsfor fuel cells post-completion of a plant can be costly.
  • The commercial usage of hydrogen as a fuel and in industries requires mammoth investment in R&D of such technology and infrastructurefor production, storage, transportation and demand creation for hydrogen.
  • Another key challenge has been portability and transporting the gas.
  • Currently costs of production of Green Hydrogen are too high to be competitive with other fuels.
  • Most renewable energy resources that can produce low-cost electricity are situated far from potential demand centres

 

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security;

6. Owing to the technological complexity and anonymity associated with social media, it has become a safe haven for cybercrimes. Critically analyse to what extent the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 will reduce crimes on social media? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over fake news being spread over social media platforms and web portals stating that they exhibit no accountability.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the complexity of cybercrimes and the scope of Information Technology) Rules 2021 in reducing it.

Directive word: 

Critically analyse – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them 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 balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by highlighting the mass forum that social media opens up but with a lot of potential crimes such as cyberstalking, hacking of personal data, cybertheft etc.

Body:

Bring out the impact of above. Cite facts and figures to substantiate your points.

List out the various provisions brought out by the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 such as the social media entities to have a Grievance Redressal Officer (GRO), having the ability to trace the first source of an information in matters of sovereignty and Integrity of India etc.

Mention the challenges posed with the rules such as compromise of Individual privacy, technological challenges in tracing of information etc.

Suggest additional measures that are needed to make social media a safe space.

Conclusion:

Conclude by saying the striking a balance between the fundamental rights and their reasonable restrictions has been a constant challenge, even more so in the digital world.

Introduction

Recently, Chief Justice of India remarked that, many social media and news media communalise content leading to polarisation in the country. The remark from the CJI came while hearing petitions highlighting how some media outlets aired communal content linking the spread of the coronavirus to a Tablighi Jamaat meet held at Nizamuddin in Delhi. The hearing witnessed Chief Justice Ramana upbraid the lack of accountability on the part of social media platforms.

Body

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

  • Due diligence by intermediaries: Intermediaries are entities that store or transmit data on behalf of other persons. Intermediaries include internet or telecom service providers, online marketplaces, and social media platforms.
  • The due diligence to be observed by intermediaries includes: (i) informing users about rules and regulations, privacy policy, and terms and conditions for usage of its services, (ii) blocking access to unlawful information within 36 hours upon an order from the Court, or the government, and (iii) retaining information collected for the registration of a user for 180 days after cancellation or withdrawal of registration.
  • Intermediaries are required to report cybersecurity incidents and share related information with the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.
  • Significant social media intermediaries: A social media intermediary with registered users in India above a threshold (to be notified) will be classified as Significant Social Media Intermediaries.
  • Additional due diligence to be observed by these intermediaries include: (i) appointing a chief compliance officer to ensure compliance with the IT Act and the Rules, (ii) appointing a grievance officer residing in India, and (iii) publishing a monthly compliance report.
  • Intermediaries which provide messaging as a primary service must enable the identification of the first originator of the information on its platform.
  • This originator must be disclosed if required by an order from the Court or the government. Such order will be passed for specified purposes including investigation of offences related to sovereignty and security of the state, public order, or sexual violence.

IT Rules and its efficacy on reduction of crimes via social media

  • The government announce that the Code is “soft-touch oversight” mechanism to deal with issues such as persistent spread of fake news, abuse of these platforms to share morphed images of women and contents related to revenge porn or to settle corporate rivalries.
  • The speed and reach of digital media especially social media have meant that subversive rumours and fake news get aired with impunity.
    • This has resulted in serious law and order problems.
  • In India, this phenomenon has assumed dangerous proportions. Fake news and hate speech have led to lynchings and communal flare-ups in many parts of the country. This menace needs to be curbed.
    • g.: Delhi Riots, DG Halli riots in Bangalore.
  • It is very important that crores of social media users be given a proper forum for resolution of their grievances in a time bound manner against the abuse and misuse of social media.
  • Checks and balances against executive excesses is in place as a court order is needed to extract information from social media companies. Additionally, no such order would be passed in cases where other less intrusive means were effective in identifying the originator of the information and the intermediary would not be required to disclose the contents of any electronic message.
  • The government must be mindful that it did not over-regulate leaving a deleterious impact on the users’ right to privacy and free speech.

Critical analysis and way forward

  • In the current form, these guidelines could undermine the principles of open and accessible Internet and violate the right to privacy and free speech of users, particularly in the absence of robust data protection law.
  • These could also lead to an erosion of the ‘safe harbour’ protection given to intermediaries under Section 79 of the IT Act.
  • There is no denying that there are problems with online content, which the government has rightly highlighted now.
  • Its release has referred to a 2018 Supreme Court observation that the government “may frame necessary guidelines to eliminate child pornography, rape and gangrape imageries, videos and sites in content hosting platforms and other applications”, besides making a mention of discussions in Parliament about social media misuse and fake news.
  • Besides the regulation, data privacy law must be passed immediately as it has been on the back burner. State must also be held accountable in upholding privacy rights of its people.

 

Topic: Case Study.

7. Jallikattu has been known to be practiced during the Tamil classical period (400-100 BCE). It was common among the Ayar people who lived in the ‘Mullai’ geographical division of the ancient Tamizh Nadu. Yet despite its cultural significance, Jallikattu continues to face increasing scrutiny in light of animal rights issues.

Some people consider Jallikattu a cruel sport. Many animal rights activists often protest Jallikattu, citing the needless endangerment of the bull and bullfighter. As there were incidents of injury and death associated with the sport, both to the participants and to the animals forced into it, animal rights organizations have called for a ban to the sport, resulting in the court banning it several times over the past years. However, with protest from the people against the ban, a new ordinance was made in 2017 to continue the sport

Some cities around the world where Jallikattu type bullfighting was once popular, including Coslada (Spain), Mouans-Sartoux (France), and Teocelo (Mexico), have even declared themselves to be anti-bullfighting cities. Other places, including some towns in Catalonia (Spain), have ceased killing the bull in the fight, but continue bullfighting.

To other people, the spectacle of the bullfight is not mere sport. The event is not only culturally significant, but also a fine art in which the bullfighter is trained in a certain style and elicits emotion through the act of the fight. Writer Alexander Fiske-Harrison, in his research and training as a bullfighter, defends the practice and circumstances of the bull, “In terms of animal welfare, the fighting bull lives four to six years whereas the meat cow lives one to two. …Those years are spent free roaming…” And others similarly argue that the death of the bull in the ring is more humane than the death of animals in a slaughterhouse.

  1. What are the ethical issues involved in the above case?
  2. Do you believe that Jallikattu is an ethically wrong practice or a justifiable cultural event? Explain your reasoning.

(Answer in 250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate.

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Case Study Fridays’ in Mission-2022 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Mention the conflicts between cultural practices and modern-day ethical norms that arise in the society.

Body:

  1. Mention the ethical issues and ethical dilemmas involved in the given case study such as cultural conservation v/s animal rights and others issues.
  2. Mention the pros and cons of continuing the tradition of Jallikattu and frame an argument either in favour or against the practice by giving ethical and practical reasons to support your argument.

Conclusion:

Conclude by balancing the conservation of traditions at the same time let go of certain aspects of it in the light of present-day ethics.

 Introduction

Jallikattu is a bull taming event practiced in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations. Jallikattu is recently in news because of the Supreme Court rulings, Government interventions and agitations from the public against the Jallikattu ban. Debate against the event by animal rights activists versus people supporting the event has been ongoing.

Body

Ethical issues involved in Jallikattu case

  • Grievous injury and death: The event have caused several human deaths and injuries and there are several instances of fatalities to the bulls.
  • Inhumane handling of animals: Animal welfare concerns are related to the handling of the bulls before they are released and also during the competitor’s attempts to subdue the bull.
  • Against human welfare: Practices, before the bull is released, include prodding the bull with sharp sticks or scythes, extreme bending of the tail which can fracture the vertebrae, and biting of the bull’s tail.
  • Brutality: There are also reports of the bulls being forced to drink alcohol to disorient them, or chilli peppers being rubbed in their eyes to aggravate the bull.
  • Cruel treatment: During attempts to subdue the bull, they are stabbed by various implements such as knives or sticks, punched, jumped on and dragged to the ground.
  • Political motive in revoking ban: To appease a section of people, government revoked the ban on Jallikattu in 2016 after Supreme Court had banned the event in 2014.
  • Loss of livelihood upon ban: For some, the event is a major source of income as they raise bulls specially for the event. Upon ban, these bulls were sent to slaughter houses while income loss was suffered by many.

Do you believe that Jallikattu is an ethically wrong practice or a justifiable cultural event? Explain your reasoning.

According to its protagonists, it is not a leisure sport available but a way to promote and preserve the native livestock. Some believe that the sport also symbolizes a cordial man-animal relationship. Jallikattu is a way through which farmers flaunt their personal strength, the strength of their bulls, love for their cattle and how well they have looked after them and a chance to find out the most potent bull to mate their cows.

For a Tamilian, the bull is a member of the family and to establish their identity as a hardworking, self-sufficient and powerful Tamilian. The supporters of jallikattu argue that on the basis of these rare issues the Supreme Court cannot ban 2500 years old tradition. If the sport is banned, farmers will be forced to abandon the raising of native livestock (Bos indicus bull, such as the Pulikulam breed or Kangayam breed) which already stands threatened due to the extensive use of motor pumps, tractors, and mechanized agriculture.

Despite these arguments, one cannot deny the loss of animal and human life during the event with many suffering injuries. Even innocent bystanders have been injured and, in some cases, also death. The matter is now before a constitution bench in Supreme Court. Until the court verdict is out, guidelines and strict implementation of safety features must be in place before Jallikattu event takes place. Rather than overly politicising the issue, there must be rational discussion and deliberations to make it a disaster free event.

Conclusion

Animals definitely have the right to be treated in a humane way. Now the challenge before the Government is showing alternative source of income to those, who raises bulls in case of complete ban in the future. And even bigger challenge is to stop the cruelty on animals in the slaughter houses.


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