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[Mission 2023] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 31 May 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: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

1. The artistic movement in Bengal during the struggle for India’s Independence played a crucial role in mobilizing public sentiment and fostering a sense of national pride and unity. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Insights on India

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 emergence of nationalist school of painting in Bengal during the early twentieth century.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by giving context that led to emergence of nationalist school of art.

Body:

Write about the artists of Bengal under the leadership Abanidranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose protested against British by rejecting to paint in Western style. Instead, they visited Ajanta and explored the possibilities of painting in Indian way by using natural, powder colours.

Next, write about the inspiration and influences they sought from east – Japanese artists, miniature art, revivalist style etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by the summarising.

Introduction

Originating in Calcutta and Shantiniketan, the Bengal School of Art promoted a distinctly Indian modernism which blossomed throughout India during the British Raj of the early 20th century. Founded by Abanindranath Tagore, this movement was associated with Indian Nationalism more specifically by the Swadeshi movement as a revolt against the tyranny of the British that posed a threat to Indian sensibilities and to revive traditional art forms. The Bengal school of art paved the way for the Progressive Artists Group which now constitutes a major portion of the Modern Indian artists.

Body

Characteristic features of Bengal School of art

  • Rooted in the pride of nationalism, the avant-garde movement transformed Indian art by bringing ‘Swadeshi’ values to Indian Paintings.
  • Bengal school in painting was called the Renaissance School as well as the Revivalist School because this movement endeavoured for revival of the Indian ancient and medieval traditions.
  • Led by reformers and artists like E.B. Havell and Abanindranath Tagore, the Bengal School of Art originated in erstwhile Calcutta and Santiniketan, but spread across the country as a voice against western influence.
  • By synthesizing folk art, Indian painting traditions, Hindu imagery, indigenous materials and depictions of contemporary rural life, artists of the Bengal School of Art celebrate humanism and bring a dynamic voice to Indian identity, freedom, and liberation.
  • The paintings were Simple and standard paintings with attractive colour scheme technique. Bright colours were not used in such paintings.
  • The paintings were so evocative and that they bore the potential to draw the viewers right into it immersing them in the story they told.
  • Every painting was unique given the style factor and displayed immense creativity of the painter.
  • The very iconic painting ‘Bharat Mata’turned out to be a complete deviation from earlier representations of India by other artists. Being gentle yet vulnerable and a subjugated figure, this became a symbol of national movement.
  • The Japanese influence of wash technique is apparent from the soft misty quality seen in the paintings which became a trademark.
  • The turned to the inspiration to medieval Indian traditions of the miniature paintings and ancient art of mural paintings in Ajanta Caves. The paintings of Ajanta and Bagh, Mogul, Rajput and Pahari miniatures provided the models.
  • The continuity of earlier traditions was sought to be maintained by borrowing from legends and classical literature like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, Gita, and Puranas, the writings of Kalidasa and Omar Khayyam.
  • The above experiments called “avant garde” in artist’s parlance, led to the development of the Bengal School of Art. Avant Garderefers to the people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics.
  • One more immediate reason of rise of such artists was the widespread influence of the Indian spiritual idea to west.
  • The other artists of this group were Gaganendranath Tagore, Asit Kumar Haldar, M.A.R Chughtai, Sunayani Devi (sister of Abanindranath Tagore), Kshitindranath Majumdar, Nandalal Bose, Kalipada Ghoshal, Sughra Rababi and Sudhir Khastgir.

Conclusion

With the spread of modernist ideas in the 1920s, the influence of the Bengal School began to decline. But there is no doubt that the revolutionary movement fuelled artists to look for a distinct Indian identity, and in that sense, the Bengal School was the harbinger of Modern Art in India. Till date, the Government College of Art and Craft in Kolkata and the Viswa Bharati University in Santiniketan continue to train students in the traditional styles of tempera and wash painting, carrying forward the legacy of one of the most significant period in Indian art.

 

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

2. Mughal painting is known for its intricate details, vibrant colors, and sophisticated techniques. It was heavily influenced by Persian, Central Asian, and Indian artistic traditions. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about features, development and evolution of painting under Mughal rulers.

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: 

Mention the origin and gradual evolution of Mughal painting.

Body:

First, mention that Mughal rulers further enriched the Indian painting. They introduced Persian court culture into Indian paintings. Then give an account of contribution of different Mughal rulers.  From this period book illumination or individual miniatures replaced wall painting as the most vital form of art.

E.g Emperor Akbar patronised artists from Kashmir and Gujarat; Humayun brought two Persian painters to his court. Mention Baburnama, Akbarnama, Abd-us-Samad Dasawanth and Basawan and their works.

Conclusion:

Form a concise and a fair conclusion on the above issue, based on your discussion

Introduction

Mughal  painting  is  the  style  of  miniature  painting  that  developed  in  the  northern  Indian  subcontinent  in  the  sixteenth  century  and  continued  till  the  mid–nineteenth  century.  It  is  known  for  its  sophisticated  techniques  and  diverse range of subjects and themes. The Mughal miniature painting inspired and resonated in subsequent schools and styles  of  Indian  painting,  thereby,  confirming  a  definite position  for  the  Mughal  style  within  the  Indian  school  of  paintings

Body:

Mughal Paintings: Salient features

  • The Mughal pictures were small in size, and hence are known as ‘miniature paintings’.
  • Though the Mughal art absorbed the Indian atmosphere, it neither represented the Indian emotions, nor the scenes from the daily life of the Indian.
  • Hence, Mughal painting remained confined to the Mughal court and did not reach the people.
  • The Mughal rulers brought Persian painters with them. At the same time they patronized Indian painters and the collaboration between these two schools of painters resulted in the synthesis.
  • Apart from Persian books of fables, themes from Mahabharata, Ramayana were also selected.
  • Indian scenes and landscapes came into vogue.
  • Paintings were based upon close observation of nature with high aesthetic merit.
  • Under Jahangir, the Mughal school paintings acquired greater charm, refinement and dignity.
  • The emperor Jahangir had a great fascination for nature and took delight in the portraiture of birds, animals and flowers.
  • Inspired by their overlord, the Mughal courtiers and the provincial officers started patronizing the artists trained in the Mughal technique of painting.
  • The artists who were employed in the Imperial Government were known as the first grade artists. The works accomplished by these first grade artists is known as the Imperial Mughal Painting.
  • Artists available to the provinces were of inferior merit, thus, the works accomplished in the provinces was known as ‘Popular Mughal’ or ‘Provincial Mughal’ painting, which possessed all the important characteristics of the Imperial Mughal painting with some inferior quality.

Mughal paintings involved a diverse range of subjects and themes

Life and times of Mughal rulers:

  • Mughal painting marks a unique blend of Persian and Indian ideas. Mughal painting was essentially a court art, developed under the patronage of the ruling Mughal emperors and began to decline when the rulers lost interest.
  • The subjects treated were generally secular, revolving around themes like battles, court scenes, receptions, legendary stories, hunting scenes, wildlife, portraits, and the likes.
  • Imperial Mughal painting represents one of the most celebrated art forms of India. It arose with remarkable rapidity in the mid-sixteenth century as a blending of three distinct traditions:
    • Court painting of Safavid Iran.
    • Indigenous Indian devotional manuscript illumination.
    • Indo-Persian or Sultanate painting, which is it is a hybrid of provincial Persian and local Indian styles.
  • The result of this merging resulted in paintings of unprecedented vitality, brilliant coloration, and impossibly precise detail, is something dramatically more than the sum of its parts.

Contemporary social and political life of the people:

  • Mughal Court paintings provide an insight into the life and times of rulers of the period. These paintings also reflect the contemporary social and political condition of the people. Social customs and courtly traditions are vividly depicted in these paintings.
  • Mughal painting forms a dramatic episode in the history of India. Its aims and standpoint are secular and realistic: it is interested in passing events and most typically in the exact delineation of individual character in the portraiture of men and animals.
  • It is dramatic rather than static, aristocratic more than surreal and academic rather than vocational.
  • After Mughal, there came “company paintings” in India. But they were not as realistic and detailed as Mughal miniature paintings.

Conclusion

When the Mughal Empire was in decadence, various other schools of painting with Mughal influence emerged in several regional courts, including the Rajput and Pahari paintings.

Value addition

Contributions of Mughal emperors to Painting:

Akbar:

  • Akbar ordered the creation of many paintings and also paid close attention to the final output of all these artworks.
  • He was very particular about the details and the artistic elements involved.
  • Akbar had an impressive number of painters in his court. Between 1560 and 1577, he commissioned a number of massive painting projects.
  • One of the earliest painting projects commissioned by Akbar was ‘Tutinama’ which literally translates to ‘Tales of a Parrot.’ There is Hamzanama as well.
  • Akbar and his successors brought revolutionary changes to painting and sensual illustrations.
  • From this period book illumination or individual miniatures replaced wall painting as the most vital form of art.
  • Akbar also encouraged the art of making portraits.

Jahangir:

  • Much like his father (Akbar), Jahangir too had an inclination toward arts, which proved beneficial for the growth of Mughal art.
  • The Mughal painting continued to grow under his reign.
  • It is generally stated that during Jahangir’s time, the art of painting reached its climax and with him departed its soul.
  • Jahangir was not only interested in painting; he was also its keen judge. He established a gallery of painting in his own garden.
  • Since Jahangir was largely influenced by European painting, he ordered his painters to follow the single point perspective used by European artists.
  • This gave a whole new perspective to the Mughal painting.
  • Jahangir even used European paintings that portrayed the images of Kings and Queens as references and asked his painters to take a leaf out of these paintings.
  • As a result, most of the Mughal paintings commissioned by Jahangir had finer brush strokes and lighter colours.
  • One of the major projects commissioned by him was the ‘Jahangirnama.’
  • It was an autobiography of Jahangir and it consisted of several paintings that included unusual themes, such as fights between spiders.
  • Several individual portraits of Jahangir were also made by his painters.
  • However, he also commissioned many paintings of birds, animals and flowers which were portrayed in a realistic manner.
  • Artists began to use vibrant colours such as peacock blue and red and were able to give three dimensional effects to paintings
  • Overall, the Mughal painting continued to flourish and also continued to evolve under Jahangir’s rule.

Shahjahan:

  • Though Mughal painting continued to expand during the reign of Shah Jahan, the paintings that were displayed in the court became increasingly rigid and formal.
  • However, he commissioned a large number of paintings meant to be his personal collection.
  • These paintings were based on themes like gardens and pictures that gave great aesthetic pleasure.
  • He also ordered many works that portrayed lovers in intimate positions.
  • One of the most important works produced during his reign was the ‘Padshanama.’
  • This work was made to look lavish with generous volumes of gold plating.
  • The ‘Padshanama,’ which narrated the achievements of the King, contained several paintings of the courtiers and servants as well.
  • The work was so elaborate that even servants were painted with amazing details that provided a great individuality to each and every character.
  • While the servants and courtiers were portrayed using the frontal view technique, the king and other important dignitaries were portrayed by adhering to the rules of strict metamodeling.
  • During the reign of Shah Jahan, the aesthetics of Mughal painting were retained which contributed to the growth and development of Mughal paintings.
  • Many of the paintings produced under the leadership of Shah Jahan are now housed at various museums around the world.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

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. Reforms at a structural level are necessary in India’s corporate governance system to enhance transparency, accountability, and efficiency. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: moneycontrol.com

Why the question:

The article discusses how the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has identified deficiencies in corporate governance practices at banks, despite the existence of guidelines. The RBI Governor highlighted the importance of strong corporate governance in maintaining the stability and integrity of the banking sector.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the reforms that are needed in corporate governance in India.

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 defining corporate governance.

Body:

First, write about the various issues plaguing the corporate governance in India and substantiate with examples.

Next, write about various reforms that are needed to make corporate governance more effective in India – choosing independent directors, diversity in the selection of board members, penalties and effective regulation etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices, and processes by which a firm is directed and controlled. Corporate governance involves balancing the interests of a company’s stakeholders such as shareholders, senior management executives, customers, suppliers, financiers, the government, and the community.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has identified deficiencies in corporate governance practices at banks, despite the existence of guidelines. The RBI Governor highlighted the importance of strong corporate governance in maintaining the stability and integrity of the banking sector.

Body

Relevance of Corporate Governance

  • Corporate governance establishes the relationship, among various primary participants of the firms those are shareholders, directors, and managers, in formulating the directions and performance of their firms.
  • In a broader sense, it delineates the rights and responsibilities of each primary stakeholder and the design of institutions and mechanisms that induce or control board directors and management to best serve the economic interests of shareholders along with safeguarding the interest of other stakeholders of a firm.
  • A company’s corporate governance is important to investors since it shows a company’s direction and business integrity.
  • Good corporate governance helps companies build trust with investors and the community.
  • As a result, corporate governance helps promote financial viability by creating a long-term investment opportunity for market participants.
  • Communicating a firm’s corporate governance is a key component of community and investor relations. Example, On Apple Inc.’s investor relations site, for example, the firm outlines its corporate leadership—its executive team, its board of directors—and its corporate governance, including its committee charters and governance documents, such as bylaws, stock ownership guidelines and articles of incorporation.
  • Most companies strive to have a high level of corporate governance.
  • For many shareholders, it is not enough for a company to merely be profitable; it also needs to demonstrate good corporate citizenship through environmental awareness, ethical behavior, and sound corporate governance practices.
  • Good corporate governance creates a transparent set of rules and controls in which shareholders, directors, and officers have aligned incentives.

Issues in corporate governance

  • Conflict of Interest:The challenge of managers potentially enriching themselves at the cost of shareholders e Recent case of former ICICI bank head Chanda Kochar approved a loan to Videocon for a quid pro quo deal for her husband.
  • Weak Board:Lack of diversity of experience and background represents a major area of weakness for these boards. There have been questions about board performing in the larger interests of the shareholders. In case of IL&FS, not a single red flag was raised by any board member.
  • Separation of ownership and management:In case of family-run companies, the separation of ownership and management remains a key challenge in majority of companies including some of India’s top ones.
  • Independent directors:Independent directors are partisan and are not able to check promoters unethical practices.
  • Executive Compensation:Executive compensation is a contentious issue especially when subject to shareholder’s accountability. Executive compensation needs to stand the test of stakeholders’ scrutiny.
  • Concentration of powers:Ownership of corporations in India, is still held in a few hands. A single shareholder or family controls a large group of companies. This leads to several governance related challenges and has often led to poor decision making that harms company’s profits.
  • Board directors: Independent directors were supposed to be the biggest corporate governance reform. However, they have hardly been able to make the desired impact due to the passive role played by them on board. The frequent removal of directors by promoters of the company is an issue. This has not been addressed effectively yet, despite the strengthening of the regulations regarding independent directors.
  • No Proper Structure:Corporate Governance has no proper structure or design and is largely ambiguous. There is still a lack of awareness about various issues like compliance with rules and regulations, roles and responsibilities of Board of Directories, shareholder’s rights, etc. This leads to poor governance and impacts the working of companies.
  • Insider Trading:Corporate insiders like officers, directors and employees by the virtue of their position have access to confidential information. Many misappropriate that information to reap profits. SEBI lacks the thorough investigative mechanism and a vigilant approach due to which the culprits are able to escape. In most of the cases, SEBI failed to produce evidence and corroborate its stance before the court.
  • Noncompliance with disclosure norms: Noncompliance with disclosure norms is common in Indian businesses with hardly any punitive action. While the Companies Act provides clear instructions for maintaining and updating registers, in reality minority shareholders have often suffered from irregularities in share transfers.
  • Family-owned business:Many Indian businesses are old family establishments. With the growth of family and its business, there is an increase in inefficiencies and internal conflicts that threaten the continuity of the business. Family control also brings governance problems like a lack of checks and balances over executive decision making and a lack of transparent reporting.

Measures and way forward

  • Implement the recommendations of Uday Kotak Panel, such as:
    • Minimum 6 directors to be on board of listed entities; every listed entity to have at least 1 independent woman director
    • More transparency on appointment of independent directors and should play a more active role on the boards.
    • Audit Committee must review use of loans/adv/ investment by holding co in arm over Rs 100 crore.
  • Diverse boards are better boards: In this context, ‘diverse’ is all-encompassing, including gender, ethnicity, skills and experience.
  • Robust risk management policies: Adoption of effective and robust risk management policies for better decision making as it develops a deeper insight into the risk-reward trade-offs that all Corporations face.
  • Effective governance infrastructure: Policies and procedures which guide ethical behaviour should form the base of any organizational behaviour. Ensure separation of the line of responsibility between board and management.
  • Evaluation of the Board’s performance: The Board should consider addressing weaknesses uncovered in board evaluations, enhancing their governance processes.
  • Communication: Facilitating shareholder communication with the board is key. There is a need to provide a contact person with whom shareholders may discuss any issue.
  • Responsibilities of the Board: The corporate governance framework should ensure the effective monitoring by the board and the board’s accountability to the company and the shareholders.
  • Objective performance evaluation: Privileges and compensation of executive directors should be based on an objective performance evaluation process conducted by the board.
  • Enhancing objectivity: A code of conduct and code of corporate governance should be put in place in order to dictate desired behaviour.
  • Relations with Shareholders: The board should be responsible for ensuring that an appropriate dialogue takes place among the organisation and its shareholders. The corporate governance framework should ensure the equitable treatment of all shareholders, including minority and foreign shareholders.
  • Effective internal audit function: An effective audit mechanism should be in place to prevent insider trading. Both the board and the management should establish formal and transparent arrangements to appoint and maintain an appropriate relationship with the organisation’s auditors.
  • Transparency: The corporate governance framework should ensure that timely and accurate disclosure is made on all material matters regarding the corporation, including the financial situation, performance, ownership, and governance of the company.

 

Conclusion

Corporate governance is very essential for overall growth of the companies. Ethical culture can be regarded as the insurance for successful business. So for good corporate governance ethics is essential. It is every company’s moral duty to implement the ethical codes in their business.

Corporate governance is a system that aims to instill policies and rules that helps maintain the cohesiveness of an organization. It exists to help hold a company accountable, while helping them steer clear of financial, legal, and ethical pitfalls while addressing conflict of interests at various levels. The importance of corporate governance is made abundantly clear by the direct benefits seen when a good corporate governance framework is in place.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

4. While microfinance has the potential to contribute positively to these goals, its effectiveness can vary depending on various factors such as the regulatory environment, the availability of support services, and the sustainability of microfinance institutions. Elucidate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint , Insights on India

Why the question:

The article highlights the growth of the microfinance sector in India during the fiscal year 2022-2023. According to data from Sa-Dhan, a self-regulatory organization for microfinance institutions (MFIs), the microfinance portfolio witnessed a growth of 21% during this period.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of microfinance in inclusive growth and development.

Directive word: 

Elucidate – 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: 

Start by defining micro-finance and give context with respect to growth of micro-finance in India.

Body:

First, with examples, write about the role of micro finance in poverty reduction, empowerment of women, assisting vulnerable groups, and improving standards of living – financial inclusion, credit provision, financial services in unbanked areas, growth of NBFC’s, financial sustainability of the MSME sector and promoting women entrepreneurship etc.

Next, write about the shortcomings of MFIs.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

Micro financing is the delivery of financial services to poor and low income households with limited access to formal financial institutions. It can also be described as banking for the underprivileged. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) came into being in the 90s as banks’ reluctance to lend to those without credit history provided an opportunity to those willing to take risk and organize rural communities.  According to Mohammed Yunus (founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh) access to credit was a human right, essential for the poor to create self-employment and income.

According to data from Sa-Dhan, a self-regulatory organization for microfinance institutions (MFIs), the microfinance portfolio witnessed a growth of 21% during this period..

Body

Microfinance can facilitate the achievement of national policies targeting vulnerable sections

  • Empowerment of women: About 95 percentof some loan products extended by microfinance institutions are given to women, as well as those with disabilities, those who are unemployed, and even those who simply beg to meet their basic needs.
  • Poverty alleviation:They provide easy credit and offer small loans to customers, without any collateral.
    • Microfinance disrupts the cycle of poverty by making more money available. It creates the possibility of future investments.
  • Savings in rural households:It helps the poor and marginalised section of the society by making them aware of the financial instruments available for their help and also helps in developing a culture of saving.
    • Families benefiting from microloans are more likely to provide better and continued education for their children.
  • Creating employment: Microfinance is also able to let entrepreneurs in impoverished communities and developing countries create new employment opportunities for others.

Benefits from MFIs:

  • It allows people to provide for their families. Through microfinance, more households are able to expand their current opportunities so that more income accumulation may occur.
  • It gives people access to credit. “By extending microfinance opportunities, people have access to small amounts of credit, which can then stop poverty at a rapid pace,”
  • It serves those who are often overlooked in society. About 95 percent of some loan products extended by microfinance institutions are given to women, as well as those with disabilities, those who are unemployed, and even those who simply beg to meet their basic needs.
  • It creates the possibility of future investments. Microfinance disrupts the cycle of poverty by making more money available.
  • It can create jobs.Microfinance is also able to let entrepreneurs in impoverished communities and developing countries create new employment opportunities for others.
  • It encourages people to save.“When people have their basic needs met, the natural inclination is for them to save the leftover earnings for a future emergency,”

Issues with microfinance institutions

  • According to World Bank’sGlobal Financial Inclusion Survey (2012), only 35% of adults in India had access to a formal bank account and only 8% borrowed from institutional and formal sources.
  • As per Census 2011, only 58.7% of households are availing banking services in the country.
    • However, as compared with previous Census 2001, availing of banking services increased significantly largely on account of increase in banking services in rural areas.
  • At present, only about 5% of India’s 6 lakh villages have bank branches.
    • There are 296 under-banked districts in states with below-par banking services.
  • In a diverse country like India, financial inclusion is a critical part of the development process. Since independence, the combined efforts of successive governments, regulatory institutions, and the civil society have helped in increasing the financial-inclusion net in the country.
    • Thus, there exists both a great need and the potential to tap into the unbanked population and bring them into the financial net.
    • Microfinance institutions are a way to do the same.

Way forward:

  • There is a need for MFIs to consider adopting more flexible operating models, providing skills training and offering services such as portability of accounts to provide greater access for a longer duration of time.
  • diversified menu of micro loan products linked to sustainable income generation activities via micro enterprises or a creation of community-based pooled enterprise could possibly make it more attractive and compatible with the requirements of women.
  • In addition, linking such developmental initiatives to an institution to nurture, monitor and handhold those activities in the formative stages is crucial for sustainability.

Conclusion

As per the World Bank estimates, more than 500 million people have improved their economic conditions via microfinance-related entities. Strengthening the credit check and debt collection processes and educating the villagers about products and consequences is important. A model to retain and recycle within the target population could possibly lead to a sustained route for poverty alleviation.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

5. AI (Artificial Intelligence) has emerged as a powerful tool in early warning systems for disaster risk reduction. It plays a crucial role in saving lives and minimizing the economic impact of natural hazards. Examine.  (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: indiaai.gov.in

Why the question:

The article discusses the development of an early warning system using AI technology to predict potential tsunami risks.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the role of AI based early warning systems in disaster management.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining early warning systems as part of disaster management with an example.

Body:

Frist, mention the various types of early warning systems for varied disasters.

Next, write about the role of AI in early warning systems in preventing loss of life during a disaster – evacuation, information, rehabilitation etc.

Next, write about the role of AI in early warning systems in as reducing the economic impact of natural hazards – better planning, coordination etc. Cite examples.

Next, write about steps that are needed to promote AI based early warning systems.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward to include AI based early warning systems as an important part of disaster response.

Introduction

Early Warning System is an integrated system of hazard monitoring, forecasting and prediction, disaster risk assessment, communication and preparedness activities systems and processes that enables individuals, communities, governments, businesses and others to take timely action to reduce disaster risks in advance of hazardous events.

The potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize humanitarian early warning systems is an exciting prospect. AI-driven systems can provide faster, more accurate, and more comprehensive information than traditional methods, helping to reduce the risk of disasters and mitigate their impacts.

Body

Types of Early Warning system

  • Earthquake Early Warning Systems: AI algorithms can analyze seismic data in real-time to detect the initial waves of an earthquake. By continuously monitoring and analyzing seismic activity, AI can provide advance warnings to potentially affected areas, enabling people to take cover or evacuate before the more destructive waves arrive.
  • Flood Prediction and Monitoring: AI algorithms can process data from various sources, such as weather forecasts, river levels, and historical flood records, to predict and monitor flood events. By analyzing patterns and correlations, AI can provide early warnings to communities at risk, allowing time for evacuation and flood mitigation measures.
  • Disease Outbreak Detection: AI can monitor vast amounts of health data, including reports from hospitals, social media posts, and news articles, to identify patterns that indicate the emergence of a disease outbreak. By analyzing symptoms, geographical locations, and other relevant factors, AI can provide early warnings to public health agencies, helping them respond quickly and prevent the spread of diseases.
  • Wildfire Detection and Monitoring: AI algorithms can analyze satellite imagery and other sensor data to detect the presence of wildfires in real-time. By identifying smoke patterns, heat signatures, and changes in vegetation, AI can provide early warnings to firefighters and communities, enabling rapid response and evacuation if necessary.

Role of AI in EWS

  • Data collection and integration: AI can collect data from various sources, such as sensors, satellites, social media, and historical records. It can integrate and aggregate this data to provide a comprehensive view of the situation.
  • Data preprocessing and analysis: AI algorithms can preprocess and analyze the collected data to identify patterns, anomalies, and correlations. This can involve techniques such as data cleaning, feature selection, and statistical analysis.
  • Machine learning algorithms: AI can utilize machine learning algorithms to train models that can detect early warning signs based on historical data. These algorithms can learn from patterns and make predictions about potential threats or risks.
  • Anomaly detection: AI can detect anomalies or deviations from normal patterns in real-time data streams. By comparing incoming data to historical patterns, AI algorithms can identify unusual behaviors that may indicate a potential problem or threat.
  • Natural language processing (NLP): AI-powered NLP techniques can monitor news articles, social media posts, and other textual data sources to identify relevant information related to potential risks or threats. This can help in early identification and response to emerging situations. Eg: Human-induced hazards such as mob lynching can be detected, riots and so on.
  • Image and video analysis: AI can analyze images and videos from various sources, such as surveillance cameras or satellite imagery, to identify visual cues that may indicate an impending disaster or crisis. This can include identifying changes in landscapes, weather patterns, or other visual indicators.
  • Real-time monitoring and alerts: AI can continuously monitor incoming data streams in real-time and generate alerts or notifications when certain predefined thresholds or conditions are met. These alerts can be sent to relevant stakeholders or decision-makers for prompt action.
  • Predictive modeling: By analyzing historical data and utilizing predictive modeling techniques, AI can forecast potential risks or threats. This can provide decision-makers with valuable insights and enable proactive measures to mitigate or prepare for future events.
  • Decision support systems: AI can provide decision support by synthesizing and presenting relevant information to decision-makers. It can offer visualizations, simulations, and scenario analysis to help them understand the potential impact of different actions or strategies.
  • Continuous learning and improvement: AI can continuously learn from new data and feedback to improve its accuracy and effectiveness over time. By adapting to changing conditions and incorporating new information, early warning systems powered by AI can become more robust and reliable.

Conclusion

It’s important to note that while AI can enhance early warning systems, human expertise and judgment remain crucial for interpreting the alerts and taking appropriate actions. AI should be seen as a tool to assist and augment human decision-making rather than replace it entirely.

 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators;

6. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Quotes Wednesdays’.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin the answer by explaining the quote in your own words.

Body:

Explain the role of influence from the family, teachers and friends in the shaping of our attitudes. Elaborate upon as to how these various factors leads to formation of moral attitudes and thereby governing our behaviour. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing about need of cultivating the right attitude via positive influence.

Introduction

The statement “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” is a popular concept often attributed to motivational speaker Jim Rohn. The idea behind this statement is that the people we surround ourselves with can significantly influence our attitudes, behaviors, and overall outlook on life. While this notion may hold some truth, it is important to consider it within the context of individuality, personal growth, and diverse social interactions.

Body

Meaning of the quote

  • Influence and Inspiration: The people we spend the most time with can have a direct impact on our thoughts, beliefs, and actions. If we surround ourselves with positive, motivated, and ambitious individuals, their influence can inspire us to strive for personal growth and success.
  • Shared Values and Beliefs: The individuals we associate with tend to share similar values, beliefs, and interests. When we spend time with people who align with our values and goals, it can create a supportive and encouraging environment that facilitates overall development.
  • Broadening Perspectives: While it is valuable to have like-minded individuals in our lives, it is also essential to interact with a diverse range of people. Exposure to different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences can broaden our horizons, challenge our thinking, and foster personal growth.
  • Personal Responsibility: While the company we keep can influence us, it is crucial to remember that we are ultimately responsible for our own choices and actions. We have the power to make decisions that align with our values, regardless of the influence of others.
  • Individuality and Autonomy: Each person is unique, with their own dreams, passions, and goals. While the people we spend time with can contribute to our growth, it is important to nurture our individuality and pursue our own path, even if it diverges from those around us.

Conclusion

In summary, while the concept of being the average of the five people you spend the most time with can hold some truth in terms of influence and inspiration, it is important to maintain individuality, seek diverse perspectives, and take personal responsibility for our choices and actions. Ultimately, personal growth and development are multifaceted and influenced by a variety of factors beyond just the immediate social circle.

 

Topic: Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators.

7. What does this quote means to you? (150 words)

“Truth is like a torch; the more it’s shaken, the more it shines.” – Napoleon Bonaparte


Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

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

Directive word: 

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the quote in your word.

Body:

The sun sets, but we all know it will rise again in the morning. The moon rises when the sun sets and sets when the sun reappears. In other words, something that exists can be hidden for a certain period of time, but it will always reappear and the truth is the same. You can manipulate, distort the truth, hide it, but at some point, the truth will be known. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Conclude by emphasising on the importance of leading a truthful life.

Introduction

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth” -Gautama Buddha

The above statement highlights the importance of truth and how truth alone triumphs no matter how hard one tries to suppress or hide it. It is like the Sun and the moon, no matter what they will rise and come up in the sky even when the clouds seem to mask them for a while..

But still, the truth remains. There it is. Unwanted, unappreciated, unwelcome. But it just won’t go away.

Body

Honesty, or telling the truth the first time and every time, is important because without a reputation for honesty, who could possibly belive you when you are in need of help? Honesty, and a reputation for the lack of it, is the moral of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” story.

While honesty is but one aspect of character, a lack of honesty will impune the entirety of your character. Who can believe any statement or rumor of virtue when it is told by a known liar? Eventually, the truth will be known, but the reputation of the liar will delay the revealing of the good while it will hasten the revelation of the lies. Remember that trust is the first victim of a lie. Only afterwards does the reputation fall.

“Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son: give me your blessing: truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man’s son may, but at the length truth will out.“ (Merchant of Venice)

It basically means that no matter what one does to cover something up, the truth will eventually come out. Even the act of covering up the truth reveals that there is a truth being covered up. That truth is within you.

Conclusion

Truth alone triumphs is in the emblem of India and no matter how trivial or the big the matter is, truth in all circumstances prevails over falsehood/lies.


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