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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 14 March 2023

 

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


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India; Social empowerment

1. Do you think same sex marriages affect the Indian “social ethos”? Critically comment on the demand to legalise same sex marriages in the country. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud referred petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages to a Constitution Bench, but took the time on Monday to soothe the government’s anxiety about how such a move would affect Indian “social ethos”.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about legalising same-sex marriages in the country.

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 giving context with respect to same-sex marriages.

Body:

In the first part, write about the need to legalise same-sex marriages in the country post the Navtej Johar judgement – Equal rights, granting protection, for true inclusivity etc.

Next, mention write about the impediments and legal obstacles to legalising same-sex marriages and its impact on social ethos.

Next, write a way forward.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a balanced opinion on the issue.

Introduction

The debate over same-sex marriages is more of morality than on law. People try to establish a line of distinction between the ‘societal norms’ and ‘individual liberty’ especially in the culture where religion enjoys more prominence. The law on same-sex marriages in India is already indirectly established by the apex court. In March 2018, the Supreme Court of India has held that an adult has a fundamental right to marry a person of their own choice. The collective reading of this case with Navtej Singh Johar (September 2018) can be taken as a tacit recognition of same-sex marriage. Further in 2019, The High Court of Madras decreed and allowed the marriage under the Act.

Body

Background: Social ethos of same-sex marriage

  • With a steady advance in LGBTQ+ rights, a growing number of countries are legalising same sex weddings.
  • The institution of marriage in its current form, encompasses love, conversations, sex, procreation, sharing responsibilities and happiness.
  • There are technical aspects like property, inheritance, insurance, visitation rights in healthcare and custody and so on.
  • Marriage is the building block of stable communities. By what logic then should the government regulate the relationship between two consenting adults.
  • Specifically denying same sex couples the full rights of marriage is obviously discriminatory.
  • In India we have seen the Court intervene in cases of inter-religion and inter-caste marriages to protect our choices. This must extend to other groups. The law must ensure equality in the truest sense.
  • The battle for gay rights has been long and difficult. It took years for the courts to accept it is not an ‘unnatural offence’.
  • There was much reason to celebrate the abolishment of Article 377, but that is just the beginning.

Time for allowing same-sex marriage in India

  • The domain of marriages cannot be immune to reform and review.
  • Reform of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 to bring self-respect marriagesunder its very umbrella, is seen as a strong move towards breaking caste-based practices within the institution of marriage.
  • Self-respect marriages were legalised in Tamil Nadu (later, in Puducherry) through amendments to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
  • Self-respect marriages have done away with priests and religious symbols such as fire or saptapadi.
  • Solemnisation of such marriages requires only an exchange of rings or garlands or tying of the mangalsutra.
  • Similarly, understanding the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community, the law must expand the institution of marriage to include all gender and sexual identities.

Global laws

  • Globally, the recognition of the unequal laws discriminating against the LGBTQIA+ community has acted as a trigger to reform and modernise legal architecture to become more inclusive and equal.
  • As a result of a verdict by the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Civil Union Act, 2006 was enacted, enabling the voluntary union of two persons above 18 years of age, by way of marriage.
  • In Australia, the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws – General Law Reform) Act 2008was enacted to provide equal entitlements for same-sex couples in matters of, inter alia, social security, employment and taxation.
  • In England and Wales, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013enabled same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies or with religious rites.
  • In 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples.It held the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples to be a grave and continuing harm, serving to disrespect and subordinate gays and lesbians.

 

Conclusion

At least 29 countries in the world have legalised same-sex marriage. It is time that India thinks beyond the binary and reviews its existing legal architecture in order to legalise marriages irrespective of gender identity and sexual orientation. The law is however a dynamic concept. Inevitably the nature of marriage would change if there is a change in society.

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.

2. Critically analyse the e-courts project in enhancing Indian legal system’s efficiency and effectiveness. Can this be a solution to huge backlog of cases? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint , Insights on India

Why the question:

The Union budget for 2022-23 has a generous outlay of ₹7,000 crore for the third phase of the e-courts project administered by the e-committee of India’s Supreme Court in partnership with the ministry of law and justice.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the e-courts project, its strength and limitations.

Directive word: 

Critically analyze – 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 aims and objectives of e-courts project.

Body:

First, write about the major features of e-courts project – electronic access to court proceedings, case management, and related services.

Next, bring out the major advantages associated with it – digitizing court records, creating a centralized database of cases, and enabling online filing of cases and e-payment of court fees. Write about the role of e-courts reducing judicial backlogs.

Next, write about the major shortcomings of the above and ways to overcome them.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

e-Courts project as part of virtual judiciary was conceptualized on the basis of the “National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary – 2005” submitted by eCommittee, Supreme Court of India with a vision to transform the Indian Judiciary by ICT enablement of Courts. The e-Committee of the Supreme Court of India recently released its draft vision document for Phase III of the e-Courts project. Phases I and II had dealt with digitisation of the judiciary, i.e., e-filing, tracking cases online, uploading judgments online, etc.

The Union budget for 2022-23 has a generous outlay of ₹7,000 crore for the third phase of the e-courts project administered by the e-committee of India’s Supreme Court in partnership with the ministry of law and justice.

Body:

 

Advantages of online dispute resolution to the Indian judiciary:

  • The key advantages of establishment of Electronic Courts in India is bringing in a justice serving mechanism that is transparent, efficient, affordable, time saving, protects the interests of witnesses, reduces the backlog of pending casesand most importantly reduces the number of unscrupulous activities.
  • Entire information related to a particular case would be available online. It would be available to the attorneys, parties and the general public through the help of internet.
  • Registered attorneys can file their case document directly from their home or office. They do not have to worry about postage, traffic congestion or messenger services. They can create a docket sheet and update it immediately, when the documents are filed.
  • With the help of internet, the documents of a case can be accessed easily from anywhereat any time.
  • E-courts would help in the computerization of work flow management in courts. Thus, it would help to create a better court and case management.
  • Video conferencing facilitieswould be installed in every court complex. Evidence of eyewitness, who are unable to attend the court can be recorded through this method.
  • The information would not be misplacedas all the information regarding the case would be carefully recorded and stored. Data keeping would include maintaining the records of e-file minute entries, bail orders, warrants etc.
  • In many cases, the witnesses are not able to come to the courtand make their statement as the other party is too strong and scares them of the consequences. e-Courts can help in dealing with such cases.

Challenges posed by e-Courts project:

  • E-courts in India is an endless and complicating process. The process of e-filing a document is a difficult process. All the evidence cannot be produced in a digital format.
  • Virtual Courts witness technical interruptions during hearings owing to poor connectivity, echoes and other disruptions.
  • Other issues might involve the litigant’s lack of confidence in the process due to lack of proximity.
  • Hackers are getting strongerwith every passing day. The possibility of e-Courts getting hacked in such a case cannot be denied.
  • Several individuals and organisations have warned against the zeal of the data collection exercisescontemplated by the draft proposal. The “seamless exchange of information” relies on large-scale gathering and sharing of data.
  • Challenges can erupt due to insufficient infrastructure and non-availability of electricity and internet connectivity in most of the Talukas/villages.
  • Targeted Surveillance:there has been a dangerous trend towards creating a 360-degree profile of each person by integrating all of their interactions with government agencies into a unified database.
  • No clear explanationhas been offered for why the Home Ministry needs access to court data that may have absolutely no relation to criminal law. This process serves no purpose other than profiling and surveillance.
  • The paralegal staff is not well equipped and trained to effectively handle document or record evidence, and make them readily accessible to the litigant, to the council as well as to the court.

 

Measures needed:

  • There is a need to address data privacy and data security concerns while developing a new platform for India’s judicial system.
  • Infrastructure needs to be updated with sufficient machinery and data connectivity to provide virtual proceeding.
  • A user-friendly e-courts mechanism can be developed, which is simple and easily accessible by the common public, which will encourage litigants to use such facilities in India.
  • Creating awareness around e-courts through talks and seminars can help bring to light the facilities and the ease that e-courts can facilitate.
  • One aspect that needs to be focused on is the deployment of a robust security system that provides secure access to case information for appropriate parties. The security of e-courts infrastructure and system is of paramount importance.
  • Also, user friendly e-courts mechanism, which is simple and easily accessible by the common public will encourage litigants to use such facilities in India.
  • The government must also make dedicated efforts in the training of personnel to maintain all the e-data.
  • Also, conducting training sessions to familiarize the Judges with the e-courts framework and procedure can give a huge impetus to the successful running of e-courts.

Way forward for Indian litigation and arbitration:

  • In India, a significant amount of time is spent in resolving disputes which has been the real bane of the Indian judiciary system.
  • The e-courts project, if implemented, would go a long way in saving costs and time for the litigants.
  • The present government is taking active steps to establish e-courts all over India. All these government efforts will result in providing quick and cost effective solutions to the litigants.
  • The judiciary system in India with the help of e-courts can overcome the challenges and make the service delivery mechanism transparent and cost efficient.
  • Further, the e-court project also requires the executive and the judiciary to reaffirm their resolve to support a speedy, efficient and quality justice delivery in the country.
  • It is also important to discuss steps required to surmount the various challenges facing the justice system.

Value Addition:

The Supreme Court passed directions for all courts across the country to extensively use video-conferencing for judicial proceedings saying congregation of lawyers and litigants must be suspended to maintain social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to challenge traditional services’ delivery, including access to justice and effective justice delivery. Given the worrying situation in terms of pendency and time taken for resolution of disputes, the pandemic has led to introspection and an immediate pivot to fast-tracking innovation led by technology. Despite some hiccups, the Supreme Court and High Courts have been able to function online. This was made possible by the e-Courts project, monitored by the e-Committee of Honourable Supreme Court.

 

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

3. Data governance must enable a secure, more egalitarian, and trustworthy digital future for all in the country. Analyse. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

In recent years, India has made great strides in its digital strategies and data governance. India has embraced technology and digitalisation to drive economic growth and to improve the lives of its citizens. However, as the country continues to evolve, it must also ensure that its digital strategies and data governance are inclusive, transparent, secure, and conducive to sustainable development.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about data governance, its potential and challenges associated with it.

Directive:

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 defining data governance.

Body:

First, write about the various aspects of data governance – data stewardship, data quality management, data security, data privacy, and compliance. Write about its potential.

Next, write about the major challenges of data governance – lack of executive sponsorship, poor data quality, data silos, lack of data literacy, compliance and regulatory issues, and technology limitations.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Data governance (DG) is the process of managing the availability, usability, integrity and security of the data in enterprise systems, based on internal data standards and policies that also control data usage. Effective data governance ensures that data is consistent and trustworthy and doesn’t get misused. It’s increasingly critical as organizations face new data privacy regulations and rely more and more on data analytics to help optimize operations and drive business decision-making.

Body

Aspects of data governance

The aspects are captured in the principles of the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill as seven principles.

  • Firstly, usage of personal data by organisations must be done in a manner that is lawful, fair to the individuals concerned and transparent to individuals.
  • Secondly, personal data must only be used for the purposes for which it was collected.
  • The third principle talks of data minimisation.
  • The fourth principle puts an emphasis on data accuracy when it comes to collection.
  • The fifth principle talks of how personal data that is collected cannot be “stored perpetually by default” and storage should be limited to a fixed duration.
  • The sixth principle says that there should be reasonable safeguards to ensure there is “no unauthorized collection or processing of personal data”.
  • Seventh principle states that “the person who decides the purpose and means of the processing of personal data should be accountable for such processing”.

 

Challenges of data governance

  • Lack of Awareness:
    • One of the biggest challenges with data protection in India is the lack of awareness among individuals and organizations about the importance of data protection and the risks associated with data breaches.
      • This makes it difficult for individuals to take necessary precautions to protect their personal data.
    • Weak Enforcement Mechanisms:
      • The existing legal framework for data protection in India lacks strong enforcement mechanisms, making it difficult to hold organizations accountable for data breaches and non-compliance.
    • Limited Scope:
      • The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 applies only to the processing of personal data by entities within India.
      • It does not cover data processing by entities located outside India, which can make it difficult to protect the personal data of Indian citizens in such cases.
    • Lack of Standardization:
      • There is a lack of standardization in data protection practices among organizations in India, which makes it difficult to implement and enforce data protection regulations.
    • Inadequate Safeguards for Sensitive Data:
      • The current data protection framework in India does not provide adequate safeguards for sensitive data such as health data and biometric data, which are increasingly being collected by organizations.

 

Way forward

  • Develop a Comprehensive Data Protection Law:
    • India needs a robust data protection law that protects citizens’ privacy rights while also facilitating the use of data for legitimate purposes. The law should be in line with global best practices and should provide for strong enforcement mechanisms.
  • Build Digital Infrastructure and Skills:
    • India needs to invest in building digital infrastructure and developing digital skills to ensure that data is collected, stored, and used in a responsible and accountable manner.
  • Develop Clear and Accountable Data Governance Policies and Regulations:
    • India needs to establish clear policies and regulations that govern the collection, storage, and use of data by governments, businesses, and citizens. These policies and regulations should be transparent, accountable, and enforceable.
  • Balance the Interests of all Stakeholders:
    • India needs to balance the interests of governments, businesses, and citizens to ensure that data governance supports sustainable development and benefits all stakeholders.
  • Promote Open-Source Solutions:
    • India can promote the development and implementation of open-source solutions to ensure that underlying data architectures are a social public good, and to promote digital technologies to become accessible and affordable for all.
  • Ensure Alignment with Broader Development Strategies:
    • India needs to ensure that its data governance regime is aligned with its broader development strategies and values, and that it supports the development of a secure, more egalitarian, and trustworthy digital future for all.
      • India Stack can be designed and implemented in a way that is consistent with India’s broader development strategies.
        • India Stack is a unified software platform that provides digital public goods, application interfaces and facilitates digital inclusion.

 

Conclusion

In recent years, India has made great strides in its digital strategies and data governance. India has embraced technology and digitalisation to drive economic growth and to improve the lives of its citizens. However, as the country continues to evolve, it must also ensure that its digital strategies and data governance are inclusive, transparent, secure, and conducive to sustainable development.

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

4. Examine the major bottlenecks hindering agricultural research in India. What is its impact? How can these be overcome? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question: 

To write about the challenges faced in agricultural research, its impact and steps needed to overcome them.

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.

Body:

First, write about the major challenges in agricultural research – climate change, soil health, water scarcity, food security, inclusive development, and funding.

Next, write about their impact – low productivity, food insecurity, environmental degradation, limited economic growth, and reduced competitiveness.

Next, write about the steps that are needed to overcome the above challenges.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Agriculture and allied sectors account for approximately 14% of India’s GDP, and 50% of its entire workforce. India’s agricultural research system has contributed in a large way to increasing agriculture production and productivity. Development of high yielding and disease resistant varieties has been its major hall mark. The country has one of the largest Public Agricultural Research Establishments

However, India with entrenched poverty requires low-input, high-output agriculture; low input in terms of both natural resources and monetary inputs. Very little attention is being given to reducing the natural resource inputs — most critical being water —and agricultural R&D. This cannot be achieved without science and technology.

Body

Major bottlenecks hindering agricultural research in India

  • climate change: Average temperatures are rising, winters are getting shorter and the number of rainy days is falling even with overall “normal” monsoons. Growing crops and rearing animals under such circumstances — of extreme hot and cold or prolonged dry weather and intense downpours — is becoming increasingly tough,
  • soil health: With increased use of chemical fertilizers and repeated crop cycles, the soil health is declining with macro and micro nutrients taking a hit.
  • water scarcity: farmers also facing problems of depleting water-tables, soaring energy costs and emergence of new pests and diseases.
  • food security: The United Nations estimates India’s population (1.39 billion now) to overtake China’s by 2027. This will pressure the country’s economy, food security and agriculture.
  • inclusive development
  • funding

Impacts of the bottlenecks

  • Low productivity
  • food insecurity
  • environmental degradation
  • limited economic growth
  • reduced competitiveness

Measures needed

  • Investment in agricultural research and education should be raised to provide 2% of the GDP to R&D in agriculture and allied sector to facilitate the development of basic and strategic research.
  • In the field of genetic enhancement, premier institutions should be identified where breeding of specific crops should be carried out. Both molecular and transgenic technologies need to be given equal and high importance.
  • Development of district-wise crop-potential map is needed to focus research on crop improvement and production management within the potential region for each crop. Block level agro-climatic, land use and socio-economic data collection and analysis should be carried out.
  • Focused research on climate tolerant and rainfed crops of rice, wheat is needed. Under it biofertilizer, zero-tillage and organic nutrient based crop improvement research has to be initiated as priority.
  • Bio-Safety Testing and Research at national and regional level be strengthened and facilities is an absolute necessity. India should focus on high-quality product development research with commercialization prospects to quickly and safely reach the farmers.

Conclusion

Agricultural Research and Development generates new technologies and passes them to farmers. In the coming years, agricultural technology will play a vital role in addressing their concerns related to conservation and management of rural resources. In spite of successful R&D initiatives around crop cultivation and protection and huge investments from the private sector, a majority of farmers in India have not been able to get optimum yield in the absence of expert scientific advice. The need of the hour is to bridge the gap between research and practice.

 

Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

5. The role of India’s Public Distribution System (PDS) in ensuring food security across the country is pivotal, as it acts as a safety net by providing essential commodities at subsidized rates. However, improvements in the PDS supply chain are necessary to make it more robust and end malpractices. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 3 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the PDS, its role reforms that are needed.

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 context of PDS and its role in delivery of food grains.

Body:

In the first part, mention the various bottlenecks, limitations and the shortcomings with respect to PDS in India. Cite statistics and reports to substantiate your points.

Next, write about the steps that are required to ensure a seamless supply chain to overcome hunger and malnutrition.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

The Public Distribution System (PDS) is an Indian food security system which evolved as a system for distribution of food grains at affordable prices and management of emergency situations. It distributes subsidized food and non-food items to India’s poor. This scheme was launched in June 1947. It functions through a network of Fair Price Shops at a subsidized price on a recurring basis.

The government recently said nearly 6.83 lakh tonnes (lt) of fortified rice has been distributed under the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the second phase beginning April this year.

Body

Importance of PDS

  • Food grains to the poor, at prices lower than the price of food grains at private shops.
  • Food grains are directly purchased from farmers, assuring farmers with a greater price.
  • Make goods available to consumers, especially the disadvantaged /vulnerable sections of society at fair prices.
  • Rectify the existing imbalances between the supply and demand for consumer goods. Check and prevent hoarding and black marketing in essential commodities.
  • Ensure social justice in distribution of basic necessities of life.
  • Even out fluctuations in prices and availability of mass consumption goods.
  • Support poverty-alleviation programmes, particularly, rural employment programmes, (SGRY/SGSY/IRDP/ Mid-day meals, ICDS, DWCRA, SHGs and Food for Work and educational feeding programmes.

Challenges faced by PDS

Procurement:

  • Open-ended Procurement: All incoming grains accepted even if buffer stock is filled creating a shortage in the open market.
  • The recent implementation of Nation food security act would only increase the quantum of procurement resulting in higher prices for grains.
  • The gap between required and existing storage capacity.
  • The provision of minimum support price has encouraged farmers to divert land from production of coarse grains that are consumed by poor, to rice and wheat.

Storage:

  • Inadequate storage capacity with FCI.
  • Food grains rotting or damaging on the CAP or Cover & Plinth storage.
  • The storage of food grains inculcates high carrying costs on the government.

Allocation of food grains:

  • Identification of poor by the states is not fool proof. A large number of poor and needy persons are left out and a lot of fake cards are also issued.
  • Illicit Fair Price shops: The shop owners have created a large number of bogus cards or ghost cards (cards for non-existent people) to sell food grains in the open market.

Transportation:

  • Leakage and diversion of food grains during transportation.
  • Uneven distribution of Food generations, procurement and distribution. For example: north eastern states are very far from Punjab and Haryana, from where wheat is procured. To transport food grains from Punjab to far flung areas in North east will entail cost and time both.

Other issues:

  • Many times, good quality food grains are replaced with poor quality cheap food grains.
  • Public distribution system includes only few food grains such as wheat and rice, it does not fulfil the requirement of complete nutrition.
  • Fair Price Shop owner gets fake Ration cards and sell the food grains in the open market.

PDS Reforms undertaken by Government

  • Aadhaar Linked and digitized ration cards:This allows online entry and verification of beneficiary data. It also enables online tracking of monthly entitlements and off-take of food grains by beneficiaries.
  • Computerized Fair Price Shops:FPS automated by installing ‘Point of Sale’ device to swap the ration card. It authenticates the beneficiaries and records the quantity of subsidized grains given to a family.
  • DBT:Under the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, cash is transferred to the beneficiaries’ account in lieu of food grains subsidy component. They will be free to buy food grains from anywhere in the market. For taking up this model, pre-requisites for the States/UTs would be to complete digitization of beneficiary data and seed Aadhaar and bank account details of beneficiaries. It is estimated that cash transfers alone could save the exchequer Rs. 30,000 crores every year.
  • Use of GPS technology:Use of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to track the movement of trucks carrying food grains from state depots to FPS which can help to prevent diversion.
  • SMS-based monitoring:Allows monitoring by citizens so they can register their mobile numbers and send/receive SMS alerts during dispatch and arrival of TPDS commodities
  • Use of web-based citizens’ portal: Public Grievance Redressal Machineries, such as a toll-free number for call centres to register complaints or suggestions.

Way forward

  • Primacy should be given to ensuring that the functioning of FCI is streamlined and fast paced as per recommendations of the Shanta Kumar Committee.
  • 100 lakh ton silo storage capacity must be created in the country. For this, RITES has been assigned the task of changing the silo model and they will give their recommendations in 90 days to FCI.
  • At present, there are 3 types of labourers in FCI namely Departmental, Daily Payment System (DPS) and No work no pay workers along with contractual labour. Government of India is deliberating to finish the 3 different arrangements and bring all workers of FCI under a single, uniform system which will bring stability of tenure and secured wages for all.
  • To improve the usage of Information Technology in FCI, a Human Resource Management System (HRMS) must be implemented.

Conclusion

PDS has helped bring about the socio-economic justice by helping alleviate hunger, malnutrition, anaemia among poorest of the poor, BPL citizens, women and children. The use of ICT to reduce the touch-points will further increase the efficiency of PDS.

 

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

6. What is superconductivity? Discuss its potential to revolutionize various areas of science and technology. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

Physicists and engineers have been toiling to find materials that superconduct electricity in ambient conditions, i.e., at one or a few atmospheres of pressure and at room temperature. Given their potential, finding such materials is one of the holy grails of physics and materials science.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about superconductivity and its various applications.

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 defining superconductivity.

Body:

In the first part, in brief explain the concept of superconductivity and how it works.

Next, write about the applications of superconductivity – from healthcare and energy to transportation and communications, MRI machines, power transmission, particle accelerators, transportation, and energy storage etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.

Introduction

Superconductivity is a state in which a material shows absolutely zero electrical resistance. While resistance is a property that restricts the flow of electricity, superconductivity allows unhindered flow Materials are said to be exhibiting superconductivity when they exhibit the following two characteristics after being cooled below their critical temperature: zero electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic fields (Meissner effect). All the electrons align themselves in a particular direction, and move without any obstruction in a “coherent” manner. Because of zero resistance, superconducting materials can save huge amounts of energy, and be used to make highly efficient electrical appliances. IISc researchers have reported superconductivity at room temperature. Their finding, now under review, will be a breakthrough if verified.

Body

Applications

  • SQUIDs (Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices)can be used to take magnetic cardiograms based on magnetic fields generated by electrical currents in the heart.
  • These are used in the memory components of computersand fast digital circuits (including those based on Josephson junctions and rapid single flux quantum technology).
  • Transportation: powerful superconducting electromagnets used in maglev trains, magnetic confinement fusion reactors (e.g. tokamaks), and magnets used in particle accelerators
  • Transforming the Electricity Grid: Superconductor technology provides loss-less wires and cables and improves the reliability and efficiency of the power grid. It saves power and with it the financial savings and the environmental benefits also accrue
  • Medical diagnosis:One of the first large-scale applications of superconductivity is in medical diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, uses powerful superconducting magnets to produce large and uniform magnetic fields inside the patient’s body.
  • Superconductors are also being employed forundersea communication, submarine detection and geophysical prospecting
  • high sensitivity particle detectors, including the transition edge sensor, the superconducting bolometer, the superconducting tunnel junction detector, the kinetic inductance detector, and the superconducting nanowire single-photon detector
  • rail gun and coilgun magnets
  • electric motors and generators

Conclusion

Technical barriers have till now hindered the large scale usage of superconductivity phenomenon. With the new discovery, the true potential of super-conductivity can be reached out for socio-economic development of the country.

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: dimensions of ethics;

7. Moral relativism is the philosophical belief that moral truths are not absolute but are instead relative to the individual or culture. Explain. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: plato.stanford.edu

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Conceptual Tuesdays’ in Mission-2023 Secure.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain the concept of Moral Relativism using examples.

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: 

Begin the answer by defining moral relativism and its aspects

Body:

Write the core argument on which moral relativism is based on, the existing differences in the moralities that people accept and live by. Mention various factors that give rise to Moral relativism.

Give few illustrations in the context of capital punishment, euthanasia, eating meat etc. and the varied constraints and dimensions based on which the morality of a situation or action is judged.

Conclusion:

Conclude by saying often, morality is more relative than absolute.

Introduction

Moral relativism is the idea that there is no universal or absolute set of moral principles. According to moral relativism, there is not a single true morality. There are a variety of possible moralities or moral frames of reference, and whether something is morally right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, etc. is a relative matter—relative to one or another morality or moral frame of reference. Something can be morally right relative to one moral frame of reference and morally wrong relative to another.

Body

Moral relativism can be captured in two following points

  • Moral judgments are true or false and actions are right or wrong only relative to some particular standpoint (usually the moral framework of a specific community).
  • No standpoint can be proved objectively superior to any other.

Different groups of people may play different versions of football. Different societies may have different legal systems. Different people speak different languages. And different people may have different moralities. Moralities accepted at one time may fail to be accepted at another time. Individuals within any given group may have different moralities. A particular person may accept different mutually incompatible moralities at different times and even at the same time.

Various dimensions in which moralities differ

  • Moralities differ in what they imply about abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, religion, etiquette, slavery, caste systems, cannibalism, eating meat, what sorts of experiments on animals are permitted, and what sorts of experiments on human beings are permitted.
  • They may differ concerning the relative importance of chastity in men and women, how many wives or husbands people can have, homosexuality, incest, and whether people in their twenties have special obligations toward their parents.
  • They differ about whether there is an obligation not to lie to strangers and whether there is an obligation to help strangers who need help.
  • They differ concerning the relative importance of equality versus liberty, who gets what, preserving natural beauty, and the acceptability of littering.

Over the years moral relativism has attracted a great deal of criticism, and not just from professional philosophers. One reason for this, of course, is that it is widely perceived to be a way of thinking that is on the rise. Another reason for so much trenchant criticism is that a relativistic view of morality is thought by many to have pernicious consequences.

Conclusion

Moral relativism is on the opposite end of the continuum from moral absolutism, which says that there is always one right answer to any ethical question. As relativists see it, they are not countenancing immorality, injustice, or moral nihilism; rather, they are trying to say something about the nature of moral claims and the justifications given for them.  The main problem they face is to show how the denial of objective moral truth need not entail a subjectivism that drains the rationality out of moral discourse.   Their critics, on the other hand, face the possibly even more challenging task of justifying the claim that there is such a thing as objective moral truth.


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