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[Mission 2022] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 6 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: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

1. Despite the fact that the revolt of 1857 failed, it gave a severe jolt to the British administration in India. The structure and policies of the British were re-established and drastically changed. Explain. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Chapter 1- 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 impact created by the revolt of 1857.

Directive word: 

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by briefly mentioning how the 1857 uprising was successfully quelled by the British.

Body:

Mention the various re-alignment policies in administration such a British crown taking over control from EIC, Military strengthening, Transfer of Power, Divide and Rule, New Policy Towards the Princess, Search for New allies etc brought by the British as a way to avoid any such future uprising.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning that although the British succeeded in overpowering the Uprising, it proved to be the beginning of resistance from the people of India.

Introduction

The  Revolt  of  1857  has  been  hailed  as  the watershed in  the  colonial  history  of  British  India. It was  suppressed by the British Government in India by the end of 1859 through their superior means and due  to the drawbacks of the rebels., However, the revolt of 1857 marks a turning point in the history of India. It led to far-reaching changes in the system of administration and the policies of the British government.

Body

Various re-alignment policies in administration of the British after 1857 revolt:

  • Transfer of  power  from  the  East  India  Company  to  the British Crown:
    • The transfer  of political  and  administrative power  from  the East India Company to the British crown was achieved through the Act  for  the  better  Government  of  India,
    • Under this  Act  India would be governed directly by the crown acting through a Secretary of      He   was   made   directly   responsible   to   the   British Parliament.
  • The Queens Proclamation, 1858:
    • Queen Victoria  issued  a  proclamation which announced the acquisition of the Indian administration by the British crown.
    • Its aim was to tell the  Indian  people  about  the  end  of  the  rule  of the  East  India Company  and  the  assumption  of  the administration  of  India by  the British
    • According to it, the people of India would enjoy and they would be treated at par with the subjects of the British Crown.
  • Non-interference in internal affairs:
    • The native  princes  were  assured  that  all  treaties and  engagements  made  by  the  East  India  Company  with  them would  be
    • They were  further  assured  that  their  rights, dignity  and  honor  would  be  respected  and  the  British  Government would not interfere in their internal affairs
  • Home Government for India:
    • The Act for the better  Government  of  India was passed in  August 1858.
    • Under the  Act, the  power  of the  Crown  were  to  be  exercised  by  the  Home  Government  in England  consisting  of  the  secretary  of  state  for  India,  assisted  by the Indian Council.
    • It laid  the  foundation  of  a  new British policy in India for a period of about sixty years
  • Reorganisation of the Indian Army:
    • Two important changes  were  One  relating  to  the  proportion between the English and Indian Army and the other relating to the Future  organisation  of  the  forces.
    • The British element  in  the  Indian  army  was  strengthened  in  order  to  ensure loyalty  and
  • The Policy of Annexation was Given Up:
    • The British government gave up  the  doctrine  of  lapse  and  guaranteed  the  integrity  of  the Indian states by duly recognising the
    • The right of adoption by the native princes was duly recognised.
  • Freedom of religion and equal treatment guaranteed:
    • The proclamation  assured  freedom  of  religion  to  the  people of India and the British officials would not interfere in such matters.
    • The proclamation  assured  that  while framing and administering law, due respect would be shown to the ancient Indian rights, usages and customs.
    • Equal and impartial protection of law was promised to all Indians.

Conclusion

                However, the revolt also led to few negative effects from British such as the divide and rule policy, increase in the racial animosity against Indians, setback to the social reforms, rift between the Hindus and Muslims and territorial conquest was replaced by Economic drain. Even then  it  started  the  new  era  in  the  history  of  India  and  the  British Imperialism.

Value addition:

There were many causes which led to the collapse of this mighty rebellion.

  • Narrow territorial base: The revolt of 1857 had limited territorial spread. It was not widespread and remained confined to North and Central India only. Even in the north, Kashmir, Punjab, Sind and Rajputana kept away from the rebels.
  • Lack of leadership: No national leader emerged to coordinate the movement and give it purpose and direction. Rani Lakshmi Bai, Tantya Tope and Nana Saheb were courageous but were not good military generals.
  • Infights: Their leaders were suspicious and jealous of each other and often indulged in petty quarrels. The Begam of Awadh, for example, quarrelled with Maulvi Ahmdullah, and the Mughal princes with the sepoy-generals. Thus, selfishness and narrow perspective of the leaders suppressed the strength of the revolt and prevented its consolidation.
  • No concept of Modern nationalism: There were diverse elements among the rebels with different ideology, plan and motive. Most of the leaders of the revolt were fighting for personal gains and lack a coherent idea for modern India. Modern nationalism had not yet evolved in India. In fact, it was a concept unknown to the people.
  • Lack of unified vision and ideology: They had no forward-looking plan in mind. The prominent leaders of rebellion like Nana Saheb, Begum of Awadh, Rani of Jhansi, etc., did not possess any unified programme. For example, Rani Lakshmi Bai fought to regain Jhansi, which she had lost as a result of the British policy of Doctrine of lapse while Nana Saheb and Tantya Tope tried to re-establish the Maratha power.
  • Lack of unity: No broad-based unity emerged among the Indian people during the rebel. While sepoys of the Bengal army were revolting, some soldiers in Punjab fought on the side of the British to crush these rebellions.
  • Fissures in the society: The modern educated Indians also did not support the revolt because, in their view, the revolt was backwards-looking. They believed mistakenly that the British would lead the country towards modernisation.
  • Lack of proper arms and equipment: The rebels were short of weapons and finances. Whatever few weapons existed, were old and outdated. In many areas, rebels fought with swords and spears which were no match for the sophisticated and modern weapons of the British.

 

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

2. Trace the development of Education in India under the Colonial rule. Discuss the impact   of introducing modern education in India by the British. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Chapter 30 – A Brief History of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum Publishers)

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 evolution of education in India under the colonial rule and its impact.

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: 

Begin by mentioning the Macaulay’s minute setting the stage for introduction of education system by the British in India.

Body:

Trace the evolution of education system in British India – orientalist v/s anglicist debate, setting up of Universities, Hunter Commission report, education system during the period of Diarchy rule, evolution of primary and higher education etc. You can make use of a flow chart for better presentation.

Write about the both positive and negative impacts of introduction of modern education in India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by mentioning the contribution of modern education in rise of nationalism in India.

Introduction

Although the beginning of changes in field of Education was done by Charter Act of 1813, the Macaulay’s Minute in 1835 set the tone for British Education in India. In a nutshell, the Education in India under the Colonial rule was driven by Downward filtration theory.

Body

Evolution of the development of Education in India under the Colonial rule

  • Charter Act of 1813
    • The Charter Act incorporated the principle of encouraging learned Indians and promoting the knowledge of modern sciences in the country.
    • The Act directed the Company to spend the sum of one lakh of rupees for the purpose.
    • But even this petty amount was not made available by the Company authorities till 1823.
  • Oriental- Anglicist conundrum
    • For years a great controversy raged in the country on the question of the direction that this expenditure should take.
    • While one section of opinion wanted it to be spent exclusively for the promotion of modern Western studies, others desired that, while Western sciences and literature should be taught to prepare students to take up jobs, emphasis should be placed on the expansion of traditional Indian learning.
    • Even among those who wanted to spread Western learning, differences arose on the question of the medium of instruction to be adopted in modern schools and colleges.
    • Some recommended the use of Indian languages, called vernaculars at the time, for the purpose, while others advocated the use of English.
  • Lord Macaulay’s minute
    • Lord Macaulay, who was the Law Member of the Governor-General’s Council, argued in a famous minute that Indian languages were not sufficiently developed to serve the purpose, and that “Oriental learning was completely inferior to European learning”.
    • The government soon made English as the medium of instruction in its schools and colleges and opened a few English schools and colleges instead of a large number of elementary schools, thus neglecting mass education.
    • Since the allocated funds could educate only a handful of Indians, it was decided to spend the money in educating a few persons from the upper and middle classes who were expected to assume the task of educating the masses and spreading modern ideas among them.
  • Wood’s Despatch,1854
    • Considered the “Magna Carta of English Education in India”, it was the first comprehensive plan for the spread of education in India.
    • It asked the government of India to assume responsibility for education of the masses, thus repudiating the ‘downward filtration theory’, at least on paper
    • It recommended English as the medium of instruction for higher studies and vernaculars at school level and laid stress on female and vocational education, and on teachers’ training.
    • It laid down that the education imparted in government institutions should be secular and recommended a system of grants-in-aid to encourage private enterprise
  • Hunter Education Commission (1882-83)
    • Earlier schemes had neglected primary and secondary education.
    • The Hunter Commission mostly confined its recommendations to primary and secondary education.
  • Indian Universities Act, 1904
    • In 1902, Raleigh Commission was set up to go into conditions and prospects of universities in India and to suggest measures for improvement in their constitution and working.
    • The commission precluded from reporting on primary or secondary education.
    • Based on its recommendations, the Indian Universities Act was passed in 1904.
  • Government Resolution on Education Policy, 1913
    • In its 1913 Resolution on Education Policy, the government refused to take up the responsibility of compulsory education.
    • However, it accepted the policy of removal of illiteracy and urged provincial governments to take early steps to provide free elementary education to the poorer and more backward sections.
  • Saddler University Commission (1917-19)
    • The commission was set up to study and report on problems of Calcutta University.
    • It held the view that, for the improvement of university education, improvement of secondary education was a necessary pre-condition.
  • Education Under Dyarchy
    • Under Montagu-Chelmsford reforms education was shifted to provincial ministries and the government stopped taking direct interest in educational matters, while government grants, liberally sanctioned since 1902, were now stopped.
  • Hartog Committee, 1929
    • The Hartog Committee was set up to report on development of education.
    • It emphasised on primary education but there need be no hasty expansion or compulsion in education.
  • Sergeant Plan of Education, 1944
    • It recommended for pre-primary education for 3-6 years age group; free, universal and compulsory elementary education for 6-11 years age group; high school education for 11- 17 years age group for selected children, and a university course of 3 years after higher secondary
    • liquidation of adult illiteracy in 20 years and stressed on teachers’ training, physical education, education for the physically and mentally handicapped.

The impact of introducing modern education in India by the British

Positive impacts:

  • Indians could develop modernity, secularism, democratic attitudes and rationality along with Nationalistic ideals.
  • The impetus was received for the local literature and languages. This facilitated unity in thinking process among the educated class.
  • Periodicals started emerging which scrutinized the policies and working of the government which in turn enabled the Indians to have critical opinions on various issues.
  • New social and religious reformation movements
  • The thoughts of thinkers like S. Mill, Rousseau and Montesquieu brought fresh thinking in the mind of educated youth of India.
  • The advancements in education brought by the British have actually led to the shaping of the current education system in place and also has helped change the approach and outlook of Indians over the years.

Negative impacts:

  • It created a division between English educated Indians and the rest of Indians .
  • Technology and  natural  science  were  neglected  and  without  such  knowledge  the intellectual advancement as well as economic development of a country was hampered
  • The basic purpose of  the  education  policy  was  inseparable  from  the  political  interests  of  the colonial government.
  • Indigenous literature and thought were ignored.
  • British textbooks glorified the British Administration and philosophy .

Conclusion

The British did loot India of its wealth but they also did bring various technical advancements to the Indian society. The education system before the British was more religion based and the society was full of evils and superstitions. The British brought a rather modern and logic-based education system that led to the evolution in the thinking of the people and helped ban a lot of social evils in India.

 

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

3. Compare and contrast between El-Nino and La-Nina. How does El-Nino impact Indian Monsoon? Can better prediction models help mitigate its adverse impact? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

There is a growing body of research suggesting that climate change can cause extreme and more frequent El Nino and La Nina events.

Key Demand of the question:

To differentiate between El-Nino and La-Nina, write its impact and to comment on the efficacy of prediction models in mitigating its impact.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the answer by writing about the cyclical phenomenon El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Body:

In the first part, bring out the difference between El-Nino and La-Nina on the basis of their occurrence, mechanism, frequency of occurrence, duration, conditions required to occur etc.

Next, in detail write about how the El-Nino negatively impacts the monsoon rainfall and bring out its impact.

Next, write about new prediction models such as supercomputing etc which can help us better predict these extreme events and their efficacy.

Conclusion:

Pass a judgement as to if better information via prediction model can lead to better mitigation of adverse effects.

Introduction

El Niño and La Niña represent opposite extremes in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The ENSO cycle refers to the coherent and sometimes very strong year-to-year variations in sea-surface temperatures, rainfall, surface air pressure, and atmospheric circulation that occur across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. El Niño refers to the above-average sea-surface temperatures that periodically develop across the east-central equatorial Pacific. It represents the warm phase of the ENSO cycle. La Niña refers to the periodic cooling of sea-surface temperatures across the east-central equatorial Pacific. It represents the cold phase of the ENSO cycle.

Body

Differences:

Similarities:

  • They both originate in the same equatorial location – eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, so in this way they are similar.
  • Together, El Niño and La Niña are part of a natural cycle that can significantly impact not only global weather, climate, and ocean conditions but also food production, human health, and water supply.
  • These systems typically last about one to two years, with the cycle alternating every three to seven years.
  • El Niño and La Niña affect not only ocean temperatures, but also how much it rains on land.
  • Both events are related to extreme weather events. Depending on which cycle occurs (and when), this can mean either droughts or flooding. Typically, El Niño and its warm waters are associated with drought, while La Niña is linked to increased flooding.
  • Both El Niño and La Niña are being impacted due to climate change events and global warming.

How El-Nino impact Indian Monsoon

  • El Nino, characterized by warming of surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, is associated with lower than normal monsoon rainfall in India.
  • El Nino has been found to impact almost half the world triggering droughts in Australia, India, southern Africa and floods in Peru, Ecuador, the United States, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Colorado River basin.
  • El Nino affects the flow of moisture-bearing winds from the cooler oceans towards India, negatively impact the summer (south-west) monsoon.
  • After all, the south-west monsoon (June-September) accounts for over 70% of the country’s annual rainfall and irrigates over half of the crop land.
  • The rain-fed kharif crops are heavily dependent on the monsoon and the quantity of rainfall determines agricultural production.
  • El Niño years tend to be drier than average, but one of the strongest El Nino of the century (1997-98) produced a monsoon season with above-average rainfall for India.
  • Researchers also believe that even the location of the warming in the Pacific may possibly have an influence on the monsoon.

Can better prediction models help mitigate its adverse impact?

  • Understanding the main mechanisms of ENSO has given us the ability to operationally forecast it a season or more ahead.
  • Recently, South Korea’s fastest supercomputers, Aleph conducted climate model simulations to understand ENSO’s response to global warming.
  • They noticed sea-surface temperature anomalies at CO2-doubling conditions and it became robust at CO2 quadrupling.
  • Machine Learning has helped in the skill enhancement of forecasts for weather and particular climate phenomena, such as the ENSO in the tropical Pacific.

Conclusion

Just as for weather forecasts, the future evolution of the atmosphere can be predicted by knowing the observed atmosphere and ocean state at a given time and applying the equations of motion. Impact-based information with long‑lead times may also substantially support the shift towards more anticipatory and preventative risk management, as urged in several international frameworks such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these

4. In the parliament, debates, discussions and deliberations on important issues facing the country, are the cornerstone of parliamentary democracy. In the light of the statement, evaluate the legislative process in India and suggest steps to make it more robust. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

The deterioration in the quality of deliberation in Parliament over time has prompted calls for reform from different stakeholders. On Independence Day, Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana also highlighted this problem.

Key Demand of the question:

Directive word: 

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming an opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by writing about the importance of parliamentary debates and discussion to our democracy.

Body:

Further elaborate how these debates and deliberations are enriching for our democracy. Cite examples to substantiate your points.

Next, evaluate the legislative process with respect of debates and discussions. Mention hasty passage of bills, frequent litigations, lack of expertise, bypassing Rajya Sabha, lack of referral to parliamentary committees etc.

Mention the measures that are needed to remedy this situation.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana recently lamented the “sorry state of affairs” of law-making and Parliamentary debate in the country, saying there was “a lot of ambiguity in laws” which was triggering litigation and causing inconvenience to citizens, courts and other stakeholders.

Body

Background

  • The CJI’s observations follow closely after the Parliament cleared the Tribunal’s Reforms Bill of 2021, which has sought the abolishment of as many as nine appellate tribunals, including the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunals despite Opposition charge that the legislation undermined the independence of the judiciary.
  • The Bill has also revived provisions of tenure and service of Tribunals’ Members which were earlier struck down by the Supreme Court in a judgment.

Debates, discussions and deliberations: Cornerstone of parliamentary democracy

  • Many rely on the volume of Bills passed by Parliament in a session as a measure of its efficiency.
  • However, this measure is flawed as it does not account for what is lost when efficiency is achieved by passing laws without adequate notice and deliberation.
  • Most, if not all, of these laws create burdensome obligations on persons and often affect their fundamental rights.
  • Legislators, as representatives of the people, are expected to exercise a duty of care before casting their vote.
  • This entails due deliberation about the implications of the law, posing amendments and questions to the concerned Minister, and requiring expert evidence through standing committees.
  • Deliberation in Parliament ensures that the views of persons who are adversely affected by a law are heard and actively engaged with.
  • Rushed law-making, rendering Parliament a rubber stamp, sacrifices two core ideals of a constitutional democracy, namely, equal participation and respect for fundamental rights.

Legislative process in India: Issues

  • The proportion of Bills being referred to parliamentary committees for study and consultation has drastically fallen in the current Lok Sabha.
  • As per an analysis, between June 2014 and May 2019, 186 Bills were introduced out of which 142 saw no prior consultations.
  • As per another analysis, the proportion of Bills being referred to parliamentary committees for study and consultation has drastically fallen from 60 per cent in the 14th Lok Sabha (LS), 71 per cent in the 15th LS, 27 per cent in the 16th LS to just 11 per cent so far in the current LS.
  • One such Bill, reorganising the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, saw an unprecedented breakdown of all channels of consultation, within and outside the Parliament.
  • Another such Bill redefining the relationship between the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and elected Chief Minister of Delhi saw no consultation whatsoever with either the people of Delhi or the elected legislature; in other words, the affected parties were denied the opportunity to participate in making the law.
  • Even where consultation has been carried out, it has left much to be desired. Last year, amidst the pandemic, the government proposed drastic changes to the Environment Impact Assessment procedures.
  • Concerned citizens had to approach the courts to get the deadline for the consultation extended and to get the government to make the notification available in all scheduled languages so that everyone could meaningfully participate in the consultation.

Solutions

  • The Pre-Legislative Consultation Policy (PLCP) was instituted in 2014 requiring that every Ministry and Department “proactively” publish every proposed draft legislation or subordinate legislation, its justification, essential elements, financial implications and an estimated impact assessment on rights, lives, livelihoods, environment, etc.
  • The policy also provides that all such information should be put in the public domain for a minimum period of 30 days and the feedback received should also be published on the website of the concerned ministry or department.
  • The policy also provides that the summary of this pre-legislative process should be made available to any Parliamentary standing committee to which the subsequent Bill may be referred.
  • Thus, the policy envisaged a consultation while the Bill is being drafted and a study and consultation by a Parliamentary committee after it is introduced in Parliament.

Conclusion

In a country governed by the rule of law and a liberal Constitution providing for representation of marginalised sections in law-making positions, it is not difficult to argue that a closed and exclusive access to law-making processes is antithetical to the justice — social, economic and political — that our Constitution guarantees to everyone. By adopting arbitrary and discretionary processes and not clearly identifying and including all stakeholders in the policy-making process, the government denies equality before law to those excluded. It also curtails freedoms of speech of such excluded groups to undertake legitimate advocacy on law and policy issues.

To remedy the situation, a transparent consultation process must be initiated, to design a law on public participation in law and policy-making and to regulate lobbying and advocacy in an equitable manner.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country

5. Millets have enormous potential to form a core component in climate smart agriculture whilst offering nutritional and food security benefits. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 2023 the International Year of Millets, as proposed by India to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Key Demand of the question:

To write about plethora of benefits offered by Millet production with respect to tackling climate change and food security.

Directive word:

Elaborate – Give a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning giving context that the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets.

Body:

Mention about the low demand of water and soil fertility needs to cultivate millets and millets as a nutritional package with whole lot of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids etc. Also mention that millets also offer a significant cost advantage over maize as a feedstock for bio-ethanol production. Bring in the aspect of food security and ecological benefits.

Conclusion:

Conclude by saying millets are the way forward in the food consumption area as it addresses the twin challenge of both nutritional security as well as climate change.

Introduction

                With nearly 60 percent of India’s cultivated area is rain-fed, the damage caused by climate change is huge in agriculture sector. In order to save the farmers from such calamities, climate smart agricultural practices are increasingly promoted by government and other stakeholders. Millets cultivation is one such practice which seems to be the answer to fighting climate change, poverty and malnutrition. The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 2023 the International Year of Millets, as proposed by India to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Body:

Millets – a core component in climate smart agriculture:

  • Millets help in reducing the atmospheric CO2 and thus contribute in mitigating the climate change. They have a good ability to sequester carbon and so help climate adaptation, particularly the global projection of increased methane emission from rice fields.
  • Being hardy crops, they can withstand extreme temperatures, floods and droughts.
  • They also help mitigate the effects of climate change through their low carbon footprint of 3,218-kilogram equivalent of carbon dioxide per hectare, as compared to wheat and rice, with 3,968kg and 3,401kg, respectively, on the same measure.
  • Most bio-ethanol in India is produced using sugar molasses and maize.
  • However, a study conducted among farmers in Madhya Pradesh showed that bio-ethanol can be created using sorghum (jowar) and pearl millet (bajra), and that this fuel could bring down carbon emissions by about half.
  • Millets can play a role in India’s sustainability policy interventions. Contemporary research developments have shed light on the influence of millets on energy optimization, climate resilience and ecosystem restoration.

Nutritional and food security benefits:

  • Millets are rich source of nutrients. A regular consumption can help to overcome malnutrition among majority of our Indian population. Research has established the following nutritional contributions of millets;
  • Millets are richer in calcium, iron, beta-carotene etc. than rice and wheat.
  • Millets are rich in dietary fibre, which is negligible in rice. Jowar has 8 times more fibre, ragi has 40 times more calcium and bajra has 8 times more iron and 5 times more both riboflavin and folic acid than rice.9
  • Millets help check diabetes, improves digestive system, reduces cancer risk and strengthen the immune system.
  • With no gluten and low glycaemic index, millet diet is ideal for those with celiac diseases and diabetes.
  • Millets contain high amounts of lecithin are useful for strengthening the nervous system.
  • Millets are comparatively richer in minerals and fibres.

Way forward:

  • As millets farming has been traditionally fitted within the multi cropping farming approach, it needs to be ensured that millets do not follow the monoculture route under the government extension programmes.
  • Government should make provisions for incentives to encourage millets cultivation.
  • Greater thrust must be given to value addition of the millets to increase demand among the urban consumers.
  • Government and CSOs should work together to generate awareness about the benefits conferred by millets and their role in nutrition and carbon sequestration needs.
  • Farm mechanisation should be equally prioritized to remove the drudgery associated with its traditional processing of millets.

Conclusion:       

The value of millets is evident in their relevance to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of food security, nutrition and poverty eradication. Brimming with potential, millets can act as a vital cog in the country’s sustainable development wheel if backed by policies that promote their production, incentivize farmers and strengthen market linkages.

Value addition:

Millets cultivation in India:

  • Rainfed farming which covers approximately 60 percent of the total farming area in the country contributes 44% of the total food grain production of the country, produces 75% of pulses and more than 90% of sorghum, millet and groundnut from arid and semi-arid regions.
  • Millets are traditionally being grown in rainfed conditions especially by the marginal farmers and tribals. Millets are among the oldest cultivated crops in India and rest of the world.
  • Millets comprise two main groups of species, major millets includes Sorghum and pearl millets and the minor millets are represented by six cultivated species viz. Little millets, Indian barnyard millets, Kodo millet, Foxtail millets, Finger millets, Proso millet.
  • Nearly 60 million acres of land in India are under millet cultivation. India is the largest producer of sorghum and millets, accounting for over 80% of Asia’s production.
  • In the last few decades, India has evinced a sharp decline in the area under millets due to several factors. The decrease in cultivated area is about 80% for small millets, 46% for finger millet, 59% for sorghum, and 23% for pearl millet.
  • The production of small millets has also decreased significantly from 56.24 in 1960 to 30.52 in 2010. State policies related to crop loan, subsidies, favourable conditions for commercial agriculture, supply of food items like rice, wheat, maida and rava at reasonable cost through the public distribution system (PDS), have shaped the minds of people to neglect minor millets.
  • The food policies pursued over the years have pushed many people away from millets despite it being more nutritious than rice and wheat. The approach of selective utilisation of crops and varieties have reportedly threatened agro biodiversity leading to rapid erosion of natural resources and consequently affecting the nutritional security of people.
  • It is the impacts of climate change for which the so far unrecognised millets have received a fair recognition. Global bodies are pushing millets farming with the idea that it reduces agriculture’s carbon footprint while ensuring food and nutritional security.
  • In India and other parts of the world, a growing number of farmers are switching to millets cultivation. The Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR) has suggested that millets are the way forward for countries like India where food security and nutrient security are a major challenge and as water-guzzling wheat and paddy will face tough challenges with temperatures increase due to global warming.
  • CGIAR has estimated that the global production of wheat, rice and maize could decrease by 13 to 20 percent in the coming decades because of climate change. Global agricultural production will have to battle against this loss, even as production needs to rise by an estimated 70 percent to feed the 9 billion people by 2050.
  • As India’s agriculture suffers hugely from the vagaries of monsoon, millets which are also known as “famine reserves” for their prolonged and easy storability under ordinary are of great relevance. They are most suitable for mixed and intercropping, thus offer sustainable resources use, food and livelihood security to farmers.
  • Additionally, given the fact that millets are very good source of nutrients, developing countries like India which reports dramatic rates of malnutrition (around one fifth of the population) particularly among children and women, promotion of millets farming can help in fighting malnutrition.
  • The 2014 National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) report has revealed the exponential drop in the consumption of hardy millets from 32.9 kg in 1960 to 4.2 kg in 2010 since urbanisation made Indians switch to wheat and rice. Cultivated as dual-purpose crops (food & fodder), millets contribute to the economic efficiency of farming and provide food/livelihood security to millions of households, particularly the small/marginal farmers and the inhabitants of rain fed/remote tribal regions.
  • Research says that a 1% productivity increase could reduce poverty by 0.65% (National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research Report, 2011). Increasing productivity is more important in rain fed areas as these are 30% less productive than irrigated areas. It seems that millets could be the answer to fighting climate change, poverty and malnutrition.

 

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

6. In our quest to achieve renewable energy targets, we need a pragmatic approach towards solar. For India, scaling rooftop solar is a better way forward than large solar parks. Critically Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: scroll.in

Why the question:

As India is inching closer to 2022, it increasingly becomes clear that achieving an installed capacity of 40-gigawatts from the rooftop solar sector by 2022 is nearly impossible.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the potential of rooftop solar over large solar parks in India.

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 giving the context of India’s solar push towards achieving its renewable target commitments made in 2015.

Body:

Firstly, write about the various approach India has taken towards renewable source of energy.

Next, mention the solar parks that been created across the country. Cite examples of few. Mention their advantages and disadvantages.

Next, write about rooftop solar. Though small projects but have a lot of potential if scaled up. Mention their pros and cons.

Conclusion:

Mention that India’s must consider solar projects by a through analysis and long-term impacts.

Introduction

The Union government has set a target of producing 40 gigawatt of rooftop solar power by 2022. However, the country could produce only 4.4 GW rooftop solar energy till March 31, 2021, according to the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Though rooftop solar is still at a very nascent stage in India, the sector has very huge potential.

Body:

Potential of rooftop solar energy:

  • Solar rooftop is also a perfect solution for commercial and institutional buildings that operate mostly during the day. Their rooftops can be utilised to generate electricity, and they can, partially or completely, replace diesel generators. This would also help them reduce their electricity bills.
  • Solar rooftop power is cheaper than grid-supplied electricity.
  • They help minimise transmission and distribution losses, as the generated power is consumed locally.
  • In large cities, they can act as a back-up, replacing polluting diesel generator sets.
  • Solar rooftop can be harnessed for demand-side management (for example, time-of-day pricing to match household demand with solar generation).
  • With falling solar prices and steadily increasing tariffs of distribution companies (discoms), SRT systems are being seen as financially attractive.
  • According to a 2014 report by The Energy and Resources Institute, a Delhi-based non-profit, the total market potential for rooftop solar photovoltaic cells in urban settlements of India is around 124 GW.
  • Residential consumers account for less than 20 per cent of the total installed capacity of rooftop system.

Challenges:

  • The capital expenditure and technical know-how needed for these processes decreases from the first item to the last.
  • In other words, silicon production is more capital-intensive than module assembly.
  • Most Indian companies are engaged in only module assembly or wafer manufacturing and module assembly.
  • No Indian company is involved in silicon production, although a few are making strides towards it.
  • Uncertainty in weather:The design of a solar power generation system involves either the use of historical weather data or weather forecast methods to predict the future temporal evolution of the solar energy system.
  • Solar irradiance:Solar irradiance is essential in operation of the PV systems and it can have a significant impact on the efficiency and power quality response of the whole system.
  • Initial Cost:The high initial cost of solar PV systems is one of the most significant barriers to PV adoption.
  • The total funding requirement for installing 40 GW of SRT systems by 2022 is estimated to be over Rs 2.8 lakh crore ($40 billion). A 30 per cent capital subsidy support from the government does cover a portion of this cost. However, most prospective customers either do not have the savings to cover the upfront costs, or are simply unwilling to invest, given the relatively large amount. Also, most customers do not have access to bank financing.
  • Lack of easy and cheap funding, and increasing cheap imports from China and Taiwan is hurting the domestic industry.
  • Surplus Power: In India, net metering system is currently not available and thus the surplus power generated from renewable energy sources cannot be sold to the utilities.
  • Transmission & Distribution losses that at approximately 40 percent make generation through solar energy sources highly unfeasible.
  • Manufacturers are mostly focused on export markets that buy Solar PV cells. This could result in reduced supplies for the local market.
  • Energy Storage:Off grid PV systems typically use batteries for storing energy, and the use of batteries could increase the size, cost and complexity of the system.
  • Education:PV systems present a new and unfamiliar technology; few people understand value and feasibility. This lack of information slows market and technological growth.

Way Forward:

  • One of the quickest ways for the government to introduce solar rooftop in existing buildings would be to promote the replacement of diesel generators with solar rooftop systems in housing societies
  • integrated policies fully supported by States. Industry must get help to set up facilities and avail low cost financing both important elements in China’s rise and be able to invest in intellectual property.
  • Manufacturing of solar cell is dominated by a handful number of countries. India, in order to become a world leader in solar power, need for indigenous development of Solar Cells.
  • There is an immediate necessityto develop the entire value chain ecosystem to become competitive and achieve sustainable growth in the long run.
  • Flexible financing optionsfor individuals to install rooftop solar installations would also support a faster adoption of clean energy.
  • Focus on last mile connectivityin remote areas through small solar installations
  • solar community grids by using a domestically manufactured PV Cells with small power inverters or batteries in every home cam ensure power for
  • Rapid progress requires a strategic shift to aid competitive domestic manufacturing.
  • The government would recognise, the idea of building a domestic solar cell manufacturing industry that delivers increasing volumes of quality photovoltaic cells, modules and associated equipment is long in the tooth.
  • Viewed against the goals set five years ago for the Paris Agreement on climate, of installing 100 GW of solar power by 2022, there could be a sharp deficit.
  • Combined with low domestic cell manufacturing capacityat 3.1 GW last year, and heavy reliance on China, high ambition must now be supported by aggressive official policy.

Conclusion:

Renewable energy, particularly solar, is crucial to India’s future. Due diligence should be exercised while selecting and procuring solar modules, effective development of photovoltaic cells, including verifying the antecedents of the manufacturer, and independent checks on the quality of the modules imported into India.

Value addition:

Solar Energy Scenario in India:

  • India has recently achieved the installed capacity of 100 GW of renewable power but the majority of that – about 78% – is due to large-scale wind and solar power projects.
  • Solar power in Indiais a fast developing industry. The country’s solar installed capacity reached 35.12 GW as of 30 June 2020. India has the lowest capital cost per MW globally of installing solar power plants.
  • The Indian government had an initial target of 20 GW capacity for 2022, which was achieved four years ahead of schedule.
  • In 2015 the target was raised to 100 GW of solar capacity (including 40 GW from rooftop solar) by 2022, targeting an investment of US$100 billion.
  • Rooftop solar power accounts for 2.1 GW, of which 70% is industrial or commercial.
  • In addition to its large-scale grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) initiative, India is developing off-grid solar power for local energy needs.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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

7. Justify how Rawls’ theory of justice guarantees a just and morally acceptable society. (150 word)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: plato.stanford.edu

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about how Rawl’s theory of justice an lead a morally better society.

Directive word: 

Justify – When you are asked to justify, you must pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidence.  You must appraise the worth of the statement in question using suitable case studies or/ and examples.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning how John Rawls gave his theory of how a just society must be in order to have a fair and equitable system for all.

Body:

Discuss Rawls ideas of Justice and his theory to bring maximum benefit to the most underprivileged section of the society and establish social ethics. Use examples or cases to justify your answer.

Conclusion:

Conclude on the point that John Rawls primarily promoted principles of equity, social justice and a universal system of fairness.

Introduction

John Rawls was an American moral and political philosopher in the liberal tradition. Rawls’s theory of justice revolves around the adaptation of two fundamental principles of justice which would, in turn, guarantee a just and morally acceptable society. The first principle guarantees the right of each person to have the most extensive basic liberty compatible with the liberty of others. The second principle states that social and economic positions are to be to everyone’s advantage and open to all.

Body:

John Rawls theory of Social Justice guarantees a just and morally acceptable society:

  • Rawls’ theory of justice as fairness encompasses a central contention that principles of justice is essential to the structure of a constitutional democracy. It must be viewed as political in contrast to more comprehensive moral, philosophical or religious doctrines.
  • His concept of social justice gives emphasis to fairness, it must be fair to all, to the most talented as well as the most disadvantaged section.
  • Rawls uses the idea of a veil of ignorance to argue that fair and just distribution can be defended on rational grounds. He says that if a person keeps herself/himself under the ‘veil of ignorance’ then s/he would come up with the just distribution, fair laws and policies that would affect the whole society.
  • Rawls further says that the institutions must be fair or just. They must keep themselves above parochial interests. In many societies there are such institutions which have been created to serve group’s interests and such institutions cannot serve the interests of justice.
  • The contents of the “social primary goods” specified by Rawls are of particular importance, for the fair distribution of them, namely, liberty and opportunity, income and wealth and basis of self-respect in a society will undoubtedly help to achieve the much-needed social justice.
  • For example: The recent 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections in education and jobs; reservations for SC/ST etc.
  • Another important aspect of his theory is that while laying emphasis on the equal distribution of the “social primary goods”, he envisages “an unequal distribution” of the “social primary goods” if such unequal distribution is “to the advantage of the least favoured”.
  • Example: progressive tax system in India, multi-tiered GST system, Philanthropy.
  • In envisaging such “unequal distribution” of the social primary goods to benefit the “least favoured” in the society.

Conclusion:

His works have influenced famous thinkers like Amartya Sen, Thomas Nagel, Thomas Pogge etc. The concept of Social and Economic Justice is adopted in our Constitution in the form of Directive Principles of State Policy.

Value addition:

Basic principles of his theory:

  • Rawls suggests two basic principles of justice.
  • Principle of Equal Liberty:
    • It means each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.
    • Examples: freedom of thought, speech and expression, universal suffrage, freedom from arbitrary arrest and seizure, the right to hold public office etc.
  • Difference Principle: There are 2 parts under this
    • Fair equality of opportunity: It postulates that public policies are reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage and public position and offices are open to all.
    • Difference principle: It justifies only those social and economic inequalities that maximize benefits to the least advantaged citizens.
  • These principles provide an operating logic for the determination of public interest by the decision- makers.

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