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[Mission 2024] Insights SECURE SYNOPSIS: 19 March 2024

 

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: 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.

1. What is the Anthropocene epoch? Throw light on the geological markers used in declaring Anthropocene epoch. Discuss its significance. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

An expert commission rejected a proposal to mark the start of the Anthropocene at a particular date, but the rejection was neither victory nor defeat.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about Anthropocene age, what is its significance and what are geological markers and evidences of the same in discussing Anthropocene epoch.

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: 

Start by defining Anthropocene age..

Body:

First, give a brief context of the above.

Next, write about geological markers – Some of the geological markers used in declaring Anthropocene epoch.

Next, write about the significance of the above.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising.

Introduction

The term ‘Anthropocene’ was coined in 2000 by Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer. Anthropocene denotes the present geological time interval in which human activity has profoundly altered many conditions and processes on Earth. The word combines the root “anthro”, meaning “human” with the root “cene”, the standard suffix for “epoch” in geologic time.

The International Commission on Stratigraphy rejected the proposal of the Anthropocene epoch after a committee of 18 scientists recently voted against it.

Body:

The Anthropocene is distinguished as a new period either after or within the Holocene, the current epoch, which began approximately 10,000 years ago (about 8000 BC) with the end of the last glacial period. Anthropocene Epoch, unofficial interval of geologic time, making up the third worldwide division of the Quaternary Period (2.6 million years ago to the present), characterized as the time in which the collective activities of human beings (Homo sapiens) began to substantially alter Earth’s surface, atmosphere, oceans, and systems of nutrient cycling.

Some of the geological markers used in declaring Anthropocene epoch are:

  • Artificial radionuclides:spread across the world by atomic bomb tests from the early 1950s would serve as the golden spike. The radionuclides are present almost everywhere from marine sediments to ice layers and even stalagmites and stalactites.
  • The rate of soil erosion:increased from intensive agriculture and the land-use conversion will leave a mark in rock strata.
  • Global warming:The rising air temperatures have caused glaciers and polar ice to melt and seawater to expand, both of which have contributed to a measurable rise in global sea level. Rising waters will change the stratigraphy in some places by submerging low-lying areas and allowing the ocean to deliver sediments farther inland than they do at present.
  • The decline in seawater PH:the depth at which carbonate minerals (e.g., limestone and chalk) form in the ocean will be shallower than it was during preindustrial times. Many pre-existing carbonate formations will dissolve in response to increases in ocean acidity, leaving a signature of striking dark layers of carbonate-depleted rock.
  • The rapid extinction rate:It is the most significant evidence of the Anthropocene in rock strata. Several ecologists have noted that the rate of species extinction occurring since the middle of the 20th century has been more than 1,000 times that of the preindustrial period, comparable to the pace of other mass extinctions occurring over the course of Earth’s history.
  • Deterioration of Forests: The ongoing conversion of forests: and other natural areas to agriculture and urban land and accelerated climate change resulting from alterations to the carbon cycle.

Significance of the Anthropocene Epoch:

  • increase in erosion and sediment transport associated with urbanisation and agriculture,
  • rapid environmental changes
  • global dispersion of many new ‘minerals’ and ‘rocks’ including concrete, fly ash and plastics, and the myriad ‘technofossils’ produced from these and other materials.
  • Although the scale of humanity’s influence over Earth is large in modern times, there is much debate in the scientific community surrounding when human activities began to dominate the planet’s natural systems.
  • Extinction of large Pleistocene mammals:is considered as the first signs occurred approximately 14,000 years ago. Though the incontrovertible proof linking humans to the demise of those mammals is lacking.
  • Rise of agriculture:Others note that the rise of agriculture between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago might mark the onset of the Anthropocene. however, this start time may be problematic since it roughly coincides with the beginning of the Holocene Epoch.
  • Dawn of the Industrial Revolution:a period of rapid change that brought about the advances in medicine, food production, and other technologies that fueled the recent growth in the world’s human population is also considered as the popular views among those who push for the formalization of the Anthropocene Epoch.

Conclusion

Anthropocene highlights the scale of our impact on Earth. It shows that the impact of our activities is global and irreversible which has generated a new geological epoch. It is necessary to think about the global issues which affect our planet like climate change, loss of biodiversity, environmental degradation, deforestation etc. which are being affected by human influence. The Anthropocene allows us to re-examine the relationship between humans and the rest of the natural world.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations.

2.  India faces several security challenges in the Indian Ocean region, which include traditional maritime threats, as well as emerging challenges of the twenty first century. Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The HinduInsights on India

Why the question:

While the Indian government’s focus from January 2021 was fixed on the Indo-Pacific with a sustained endeavour to strengthen the Quad, policy attention has shifted back to the Indian Ocean since October 2023.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the security challenges in the Indian Ocean Region and strategy to deal with it.

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.

Body:

First, write about the traditional challenges in Indian Ocean region – security threats, including piracy, maritime terrorism, and geopolitical rivalries etc.

Next, write about the emerging challenges in Indian Ocean region – extra-regional powers, competition for resources, and environmental concerns.

Next, write about the strategy that is needed to counter the above – cooperation with other countries, enhancing maritime capabilities, and diplomatic initiatives etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

The Indian Ocean region (IOR) accounts for more than two-thirds of the world’s oil shipmentsOne-third of bulk cargo and more than half of container traffic pass through it. The safety of these sea routes is not only directly connected to our economic interests, but it also establishes India as a net security provider in the IOR.

With challenges such as piracy, aggressive China’s String of Pearls, terror threats like Mumbai attack and disasters, there is growing need for a stable IOR with India at its helm. Towards this end, India has been actively participating in IOR in various aspects.

Body

Growing instability and security issues in IOR

Sovereignity:

  • China’s regressive behavior in the critical sea lanes in the South China Sea and there inroad to Indian Ocean are the centre of the entire maritime security challenge. Thus there is Concerns over maritime security and of rule-based order in Indo-Pacific.
  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) includes maritime infrastructure projects in the IOR, leading to strategic competition and concerns among regional countries..
  • The sea lanes of communication are critical for peace, stability, prosperity and development of the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The increasing presence of external powers in the IOR, including China, raises concerns about sovereignty and security for countries in the region. This has led to efforts to strengthen regional cooperation and build maritime capabilities.

Terrorism:

  • The undertaking of terrorist acts and activities within the maritime environment, using or against vessels or fixed platforms at sea or in port, or against any one of their passengers or personnel, against coastal.
  • Mumbai Attack on November 26, 2008, is the most glaring examples of how vulnerable the country’s coasts are.

Piracy:

  • The movement by sea of large volume of commercial freight and its mandatory movement through maritime choke points, such as the Panama Canal, Suez Canal, Strait of Hormuz, Strait of  Bab-el-Mandab, the Malacca Strait and the Bosporus Strait invite piracy. Near Somalia and the Gulf of Aden Piracy has been predominant in the seas of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden between 2005 and 2012.

Smuggling and human trafficking:

  • Organized crime, trafficking and smuggling are increasingly linked to global patterns of violence. Drugs and arms smuggling jeopardizing much of the Indian Ocean.
  • The IOR is a major route for trafficking in drugs, arms, and people. Trafficking networks exploit the vastness of the ocean and the porosity of maritime borders, posing a challenge to maritime security forces.
  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that the trafficking of drugs, arms, and people generates up to $90 billion annually.
  • Trafficking networks exploit the vastness of the ocean and the porosity of maritime borders, posing a challenge to maritime security forces.

Infiltration, Illegal Migration:

  • India’s land boundaries have always been porous to infiltration by large scale illegal migration. These large scale influxes over the decades have resulted in widespread political turmoil in the Border States.
  • Creek areas of Gujarat have been highly vulnerable.
  • The Tamil Nadu coast has been experiencing a steady inflow of Sri Lankan refugees since civil war broke out in that country.

Environmental security

  • The degradation of the environment, climate change and the overexploitation of ocean resources are threatening the interests and futures of all the region’s countries and peoples.
  • This will increase the likelihood of flooding, resulting in loss of life and damage to property, as illustrated by recent tsunamis and cyclones.

Unsustainable Ocean resources usage- Competition for resources in and under the oceans, specifically energy and protein, is intensifying.

 

India’s response in IOR and multiple initiatives

  • Security and Growth for All (SAGAR) Policy: India’s SAGAR policy is an integrated regional framework, unveiled by Indian Prime Minister during a visit to Mauritius in March 2015. The pillars of SAGAR are:
  • The primary responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity in the IOR would be on those “who live in this region”.
  • Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA): The aim of IOR-ARC is to open the region based on four major components: trade liberalisation, trade and investment facilitation, economic and technical cooperation, and trade and investment dialogue.
    • It does not address defence and security cooperation directly as the aim of ‘open and free trade’ implies maritime security.
  • The ‘Indian Ocean Naval Symposium’ (IONS): IONS is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.
    • The objectives of the IONS are to expand it to the next level of cooperation, create allied maritime agencies, establish a high degree of interoperability, share information to overcome common trans-national maritime threats and natural disasters, and maintain good order at sea.
    • The group has 35 members.
  • Indian Ocean Commission (COI): The COI (Commission de l’océan indien in French) is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1984 with the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, France and the Seychelles as members.
    • Engaging with countries beyond our shores with the aim of building greater trust and promoting respect for maritime rules, norms and peaceful resolution of disputes is one of the goals.
  • India is working on a range of projects to improve maritime logistics in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Conclusion

Indian occupies a central and strategic location in the Indian Ocean area. Its national and economic interests are inseparably linked up with Indian Ocean. Hence to keep the Indian Ocean as a zone of Peace free from superpower rivalry and increasing cooperation among littoral countries in the region has always been India’s foreign Policy’s goal for example Look East policy, Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation, BIMSTEC and Ganga-Mekong Cooperation etc.

Value addition

About IOR region

  • The region has 51 coastal and landlocked states, namely 26 Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) states, five Red Sea states, four Persian Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, France, Britain and 13 landlocked states.
  • Four critically important access waterways are the Suez Canal (Egypt), Bab el Mandeb (Djibouti-Yemen), Strait of Hormuz (Iran, Oman), and Strait of Malacca (Indonesia-Malaysia).
  • The region contains 1/3 of the world’s population, 25% of its landmass, 40% of the world’s oil and gas reserves.
  • A major concern of India in the Indian Ocean is energy. India is almost 70 per cent dependent on oil import, major part of which comes from gulf region.
  • The sea lanes in the Indian Ocean are considered among the most strategically important in the world. More than 80 % of the world’s seaborne trade in oil transits through Indian Ocean choke points, with 40 % passing through the Strait of Hormuz, 35 % through the Strait of Malacca and 8 % through the Bab el Mandab Strait.

 

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

3. Reducing import duties on electric vehicles (EVs) represents a positive step forward, yet a comprehensive approach is necessary to fully harness the potential of EVs. Evaluate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

The government’s decision to drastically reduce the import duty on fully-built electric vehicles from 70 percent to 15 percent is a big move that indicates a break with the past.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the impact of shifting to electric vehicles on the environment, economy and also to examine the impact of reduction in import duty for EVs.

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: 

Start by giving context.

Body:

Mention the impact the EV can have on India economically in terms of reducing dependence on crude oil and reduced import bill and improved domestic energy independence.

Next, write about the environmental benefits of shift to EV – Give facts and figures relation to vehicular emission in India, the impact of it and how shifting to EV can be environmentally advantageous as well as sustainable in the long run.

Next, examine the steps that are needed to further needed to promote EVs.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward to ensure maximisation of potential benefits.

Introduction

An electric vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion. An electric vehicle may be powered through self-contained battery, solar panels or an electric generator to convert fuel to electricity. India is among a handful of countries that supports the global EV30@30 campaign, which aims for at least 30 per cent new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030.

The government’s decision to drastically reduce the import duty on fully-built electric vehicles from 70 percent to 15 percent is a big move that indicates a break with the past.

Body

Progress  of electric vehicles in India

  • The Electric vehicle adoption, be it four-, three-, two-wheelers, or buses, has seen a massive uptick over the past year or so.
  • As an example, Hero Electric, India’s pioneering electric two-wheeler manufacturer, clocked its highest ever calendar year volumes in 2022, with more than 1,00,000 units finding new homes across the year
  • As fuel prices skyrocket, there are rising concerns about the steep increase in the cost of running petrol and diesel vehicles. Electric vehicles seem to be coming into their own at last.
  • The Indian electric vehicle market was valued at USD 1,434.04 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach USD 15,397.19 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 47.09% during the forecast period (2022-2027).
  • The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles in India (FAME I and II) helped create the initial interest and exposure for electric mobility.
  • To promote the domestic electric vehicle industry, the Indian government has provided tax exemptions and subsidies to EV manufacturers and consumers.
  • India’s shift to shared, electric and connected mobility could help the country save nearly one giga-tonne of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

Potential of EVs in India

  • Help tackle Climate change and air pollution:
    • India has committed to cutting its GHG emissions intensity by 33% to 35% percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
    • As per NITI Aayog’s reportEVs will help in cutting down as much as 1 Gigatonne (GT) of carbon emissions by 2030.
    • Electric vehicles don’t produce emissions that contribute to climate change and smog than conventional vehicles.
    • All-electric vehicles produce zero direct emissions, which specifically helps improve air quality in urban areas.
    • According to a recent study by WHO, India is home to 14 out of 20 most polluted cities in the world. EVs will help in tackling this problem by reducing local concentrations of pollutants in cities.
    • Cost reduction from better electricity generating technologies. This has introduced the possibility of clean, low-carbon and inexpensive grids.
  • Energy security:
    • India imports oil to cover over 80 percent of its transport fuel.
    • Electric mobility will contribute to balancing energy demand, energy storage and environmental sustainability.
    • Electric vehicles could help diversify the energy needed to move people and goods thanks to their reliance on the wide mix of primary energy sources used in power generation, greatly improving energy security.
  • Cutting edge Battery Technology:
    • Advances in battery technology have led to higher energy densities, faster charging and reduced battery degradation from charging.
  • Innovation:
    • EVs manufacturing capacity will promote global scale and competitiveness.
  • Employment:
    • Promotion of EVs will facilitate employment growth in a sun-rise sector.

Challenges in adoption of EVs

  • Despite being the third-largest auto market and several incentives dished out by New Delhi and state governments, India remains a laggard in electric vehicles (EV).
  • The country is a ripe target for EV makers but is slow to catch up with other markets, according to a recent report by S&P Global Ratings.
  • Domestic sales of EVs have more than doubled, but they barely represent 2% of the total light-vehicle sales in the last 12 months.
  • India is technologically deficient in the production of electronics that form the backbone of EV industry, such as batteries, semiconductors, controllers, etc.
  • The lack of clarity over AC versus DC charging stations, grid stability and range anxiety (fear that battery will soon run out of power) hinder the growth of EV industry.
  • India is dependent on countries like Japan and China for the import of lithium-ion batteries.
  • EVs have higher servicing costs and higher levels of skills is needed for servicing. India lacks dedicated training courses for such skill development.
  • Affordability of e-vehicles (EVs) and the range they can cover on a single battery charge.

Various measures taken by the government to promote electric vehicles

  • Most recently, Government think-tank Niti Aayog has prepared a draft battery swapping policy, under which it has proposed offering incentives to electric vehicles (EVs) with swappable batteries, subsidies to companies manufacturing swappable batteries, a new battery-as-a-service business model, and standards for interoperable batteries, among other measures.
  • Government has set a target of electric vehicles making up 30 % of new sales of cars and two-wheelers by 2030.
  • To build a sustainable EV ecosystem initiative like –National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric vehicles in India (FAME India) have been launched by India.
  • NEMMP was launched with an aim to achieve national fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles in the country.
  • FAME India Scheme was launched with the objective to support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and manufacturing ecosystem.
  • The Union power ministry categorized charging of batteries as a service, which will help charging stations operate without licenses.
  • Implementation of smart cities would also boost the growth of electric vehicle

Way Forward

  • For EVs to contribute effectively, we need commensurate efforts in developing an entire ecosystem.
  • Need to shift the focus from subsidizing vehicles to subsidizing batteries because batteries make up 50% of EV costs.
  • Increasing focus on incentivizing electric two-wheelers because two-wheelers account for 76% of the vehicles in the country and consume most of the fuel.
  • A wide network of charging stations is imminent for attracting investment.
  • Work places in tech parks, Public bus depots, and Multiplexes are the potential places where charging points could be installed. In Bangalore, some malls have charging points in parking lots.
  • Corporates could invest in charging stations as Corporate Social Responsibility compliances.
  • Addressing technical concerns like AC versus DC charging stations, handling of peak demand, grid stability etc.
  • India needs to leap into EV battery manufacturing.
  • Private investment in battery manufacturing plants and developing low cost production technology is needed.
  • Need for a policy roadmap on electric vehicles so that investments can be planned.
  • Acquiring lithium fields in Bolivia, Australia, and Chile could become as important as buying oil fields as India needs raw material to make batteries for electric vehicles.
  • Providing waiver of road tax and registration fees, GST refunds and free parking spaces for EVs.
  • There is also the task of bringing skilled professionals into the workforce that are knowledgeable about the benefits and advantages associated with electric vehicles.

 

 


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. Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), while offering various benefits, it also presents challenges that need to be addressed for successful implementation. Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

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-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the ZBNF, its pros and challenges.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by defining ZBNF.

Body:

In the first part, examine the potential of this technique if implemented on a nationwide scale, especially in light of productivity. Mention without using any credit, and without spending any money on purchased inputs. ‘Natural farming’ means farming with Nature and without chemicals.

Next, write about its benefits – reduced production costs, environmental sustainability, improved soil health, resilience to climate change, and health benefits etc.

Next, write about its challenges – yield variability, faces market challenges, demands effective pest management, and has limited scalability etc.

Conclusion:

Conclude by way forward to ramp up its application.

Introduction

Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a set of farming methods, and also a grassroots peasant movement, which has spread to various states in India. It has attained wide success in southern India, especially the southern Indian state of Karnataka where it first evolved.  The movement in Karnataka state was born out of collaboration between Mr Subhash Palekar, who put together the ZBNF practices, and the state farmers association Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS).

Body

 

About Zero budget natural farming

  • The “four wheels” of ZBNF are ‘Jiwamrita’, ‘Bijamrita’, ‘Mulching’ and ‘Waaphasa’.
  • Jiwamrita is a fermented mixture of cow dung and urine (of desi breeds), jaggery, pulses flour, water and soil from the farm bund. This isn’t a fertiliser, but just a source of some 500 crore micro-organisms that can convert all the necessary “non-available” nutrients into “available” form.
  • Bijamrita is a mix of desi cow dung and urine, water, bund soil and lime that is used as a seed treatment solution prior to sowing.
  • Mulching, or covering the plants with a layer of dried straw or fallen leaves, is meant to conserve soil moisture and keep the temperature around the roots at 25-32 degrees Celsius, which allows the microorganisms to do their job.
  • Waaphasa, or providing water to maintain the required moisture-air balance, also achieves the same objective.
  • Palekar also advocates the use of special ‘Agniastra’, ‘Bramhastra’ and ‘Neemastra’ concoctions again based on desi cow urine and dung, plus pulp from leaves of neem, white datura, papaya, guava and pomegranates for controlling pest and disease attacks.

Benefits of ZBNF to farm incomes

  • Low input cost: Zero budget’ farming promises to end a reliance on loans and drastically cut production costs, ending the debt cycle for desperate farmers.
  • Higher yield: Besides reduced input cost, farmers practising ZBNF gets higher yields. In Andhra Yields of five crops (paddy, groundnut, black gram, maize and chillies) have increased by 8-32 per cent for ZBNF farmers.
    • Farmers are able to get five quintals of red gram under ZBNF compared to three quintals under non-ZBNF.
    • Farmers use bio fertilizers and that make the soil fertile, thus giving higher yields.
  • Net income raised: There will be increase in net income for farmers and will improve the cash flow of poor and vulnerable farmers, and may enhance their ability to deal with economic shock
    • Crop cutting experiments from 2016 and 2017 indicate that ZBNF farmers in AP earn better net incomes and can raise their disposable incomes. Farmers vulnerable to economic shocks have an important safety net against short-term shocks.
  • Andhra Pradesh: With its combination of delta regions, arid and hilly tribal areas, districts in Andhra Pradesh are similar to those in other parts of the country and could therefore serve as a model for replication.
    • The approach taken to monitor the improvements is vital to understanding the outcomes of large-scale changes that are under way; this is critical to expanding the ZBNF to other States.
    • As ZBNF is applied in India’s various agro-ecological zones, making farmers the innovators is essential.
  • Resilient food systems are the need of the day given the variability of the monsoons due to global warming and declining groundwater in large parts of India.
    • The drought-prone Rayalaseema region (Andhra Pradesh) is reportedly seeing promising changes already in farms with the ZBNF.
  • Mixed cropping is the key to recover the cost of production:
  • The farmers have to practise mixed cropping, the cost of main crop is recovered by the sale of cash crops that you sow alongside.
    • Also, it is about using organic manure,” It takes time but ultimately yields positive results.

Conclusion

The implementation of this project at scale will impact a multitude of stakeholders, and also help India progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) to facilitate the post-2015 development agenda.

Agricultural scientists in India have to rework their entire strategy so that farming is in consonance with nature. The dominant paradigm of chemical-based agriculture has failed and regenerative agriculture is the emerging new science.

The world is at critical junctures on many planetary boundaries, and establishing a system that shows promise in improving them while supporting people sustainably is surely one worth pursuing.

 

Topic: economics of animal-rearing.

5. Recognizing the importance of the livestock sector is essential for supporting rural livelihoods, improving food security, and promoting inclusive agricultural growth in India. Discuss. (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-2024 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To examine the role of livestock in India farmers’ economy and ways to further augment it.

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 giving the statistic related to livestock as part of agriculture in India.

Body:

First, explain the contributions of livestock in ensuring better returns to Farmers, additional income, giving choice and security in the period of distress.

In the next part, write about the various measures taken by promote livestock in the country and further measures that are required so that it yield maximum returns.

Conclusion:

Conclude by writing a way forward.

Introduction

India’s livestock sector is one of the largest in the world. About 20.5 million people depend upon livestock for their livelihood. Livestock contributed 16% to the income of small farm households as against an average of 14% for all rural households. Livestock provides livelihood to two-third of rural community. It also provides employment to about 8.8 % of the population in India. India has vast livestock resources. Livestock sector contributes 4.11% GDP and 25.6% of total Agriculture GDP.

Body

Trends in livestock population: (Source: 20th Livestock Census)

  • Total Livestock population is 535.78 million- an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012.
  • Total Bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak)-79 Million in 2019- an increase of about 1% over the previous census.
  • decline of 6 % in the total Indigenous/ Non-descript cattlepopulation over the previous census.
  • The population of cows in the country has risen by 18 per cent in the last seven years, while that of oxen dipped by 30 per cent, according to the latest census of livestock.
  • there was a spectacular 16.8 per cent increase in the poultry population in the country to 851.81 million, mainly on account of a 46 per cent rise in backyard poultry birds, whose numbers have gone up to 317 million.
  • The number of female cattle is 145.12 million, which is 18 per cent over the 122.98 million in 2012. The number of male cattle, on the other hand, dropped to 47.4 million as against 67.92 million in 2012.
  • While cattle accounted for 35.94 per cent of total livestock in the country, goats accounted for 27.80 per cent, buffaloes: 20.45 per cent, sheep: 13.87 per cent and pigs: 1.69 per cent.

Role of livestock in socio-economic life of India:

The livestock plays an important role in the economy of farmers. The farmers in India maintain mixed farming system i.e. a combination of crop and livestock where the output of one enterprise becomes the input of another enterprise thereby realize the resource efficiency. The livestock serve the farmers in different ways.

  • Income:
    • Livestock is a source of subsidiary income for many families in India especially the resource poor who maintain few heads of animals.
    • Cows and buffaloes if in milk will provide regular income to the livestock farmers through sale of milk.
    • Animals like sheep and goat serve as sources of income during emergencies to meet exigencies like marriages, treatment of sick persons, children education, repair of houses etc.
    • The animals also serve as moving banks and assets which provide economic security to the owners.
  • Employment:
    • A large number of people in India being less literate and unskilled depend upon agriculture for their livelihoods.
    • But agriculture being seasonal in nature could provide employment for a maximum of 180 days in a year.
    • The land less and less land people depend upon livestock for utilizing their labour during lean agricultural season.
  • Food:
    • The livestock products such as milk, meat and eggs are an important source of animal protein to the members of the livestock owners.
    • The per capita availability of milk is around 355 g / day; eggs is 69 / annum;
  • Social security:
    • The animals offer social security to the owners in terms of their status in the society.
    • The families especially the landless which own animals are better placed than those who do not.
    • Gifting of animals during marriages is a very common phenomenon in different parts of the country.
    • Rearing of animals is a part of the Indian culture. Animals are used for various socio religious functions.
    • Cows for house warming ceremonies; rams, bucks and chicken for sacrifice during festive seasons;
    • Bulls and Cows are worshipped during various religious functions. Many owners develop attachment to their animals.
  • Gender equity:
    • Animal husbandry promotes gender equity.
    • More than three-fourth of the labour demand in livestock production is met by women.
    • The share of women employment in livestock sector is around 90% in Punjab and Haryana where dairying is a prominent activity and animals are stall-fed.
  • Draft:
    • The bullocks are the back bone of Indian agriculture.
    • The farmers especially the marginal and small depend upon bullocks for ploughing, carting and transport of both inputs and outputs.
  • Dung:
    • In rural areas dung is used for several purposes which include fuel (dung cakes), fertilizer (farm yard manure), and plastering material (poor man’s cement).

Measures to strengthen Livestock sector

  • Increase in the market share depends on how dairy firms’ capabilities and their resources are utilised given the opportunities and threats emanating from emerging markets economies.
  • Contract/corporate dairying and emerging global dairy trade are required to rope in dairy supply chains stakeholders in order to expand their outreach and “on-the-go” product positioning into the target segment.
  • Digital technology-enabled dairy firms need to identify their compatible partners and competitors for co-creation through product-process innovation via relationship/value-based marketing.
  • Freshness in milk, and convenience to store milk or milk products can be a technology innovation brought in by large dairy firms in association start-ups.
  • Education and Training at Panchayat level for small and medium size farmers
  • Subsidizing cattle production and encouraging cattle markets
  • Facility of logistics for produced milk
  • Improved Veterinary facility specially in artificial insemination of cattle
  • Encouraging private sector firm to procure dairy produced at rural level
  • Low interest loans for small and medium scale farmers for cattle purchase
  • Encouraging rural women to take up animal husbandry
  • Insurance of cattle against diseases like Anthrax, Foot and Mouth, Peste des Ruminantes, etc.
  • Nurture dairy entrepreneurs through effective training of youth at the village level coupled with dedicated leadership and professional management of farmers’ institutions.
  • Agricultural practices, sanitation, quality of drinking water & fodder, type and quality of pipelines – all of these need to be aligned to the goal of healthy milk

Conclusion

With increasing population, persistent rise in food inflation, unfortunate rise in farmer’s suicide and majority of the Indian population having agriculture as the primary occupation, the practice of animal husbandry is no more a choice, but a need in contemporary scenario. Its successful, sustainable and skilful implementation will go a long way in ameliorating the socio-economic condition of lower strata of our society.  Linking the animal husbandry with food processing industry, agriculture, researches & patents has all the possible potential to make India a nutritional power house of the world. Animal husbandry is the imperative hope, definite desire and urgent panacea for India as well as the world.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

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)

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Difficulty level: Easy

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Elaborate upon the quote and mention the role of education in making a person ethical. Mention the ways in which education shapes up ethics. Cite examples to substantiate.

Next, write about the counter view that education can also be devoid of ethics and its consequences. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the quote in the present day.

Introduction

“A bad character is like a flat tire; you can’t go anywhere until you change it” — Zig Ziglar

Education promotes the metamorphosis of a child to become a full-fledged adult. Mere learning without promotion and development of values even discards the definition of education. Education of values and principles shapes and moulds a soul

Body

Achieving academic excellence for all students is at the very core of any school’s purpose, and will inform much of what they do. Character education is not a new thing, extending as it does back to the work of Aristotle. Yet it could be argued that the pursuit of success in schools in more recent years has sought to put the cart before the horse. In driving students to think of success solely in terms of exam grades and university places, pressure is created that can often be counter intuitive to student well- being and academic progress.

It does not matter how educated or wealthy one is, if the inherent character or personality lacks morals. In fact, such personalities can be threat to a peaceful societyE.g.: Mussolini, Hitler are all examples of education devoid of morality leading mankind to their destruction.

In contemporary times it is equally relevant. For instance, An educated man taking dowry will be a death spell for gender equality and gender justice. The seven sins of Gandhiji will materialise when we are educated without morality like Science without humanity as is the case with nuclear weapons today.

Thus, Education without values as useful as it seems makes a man, a clever devil.

Conclusion

Education without morals is like a ship without a compass, merely wandering nowhere. It is not enough to have the power of concentration, but we must have worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. It is not enough to know truth, but we must love truth and sacrifice for it.

 

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)

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by explaining the literal meaning of the quote.

Body:

Write about being honest with oneself and how its importance in developing character. Elaborate upon how being honest with oneself results so many benefits for individual morality. Substantiate with examples.

Conclusion:

Summarise by highlighting the importance of the honesty in the present day.

Introduction

Honesty is a component of moral character that connotes positive and virtuous attributes, such as integrity, truthfulness, and openness including clarity of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating etc. Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment and it is the capacity to understand Emptiness.

Body

Honesty also involves being reliable, trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere. While wisdom is the ability to both think and act using experiences, skills, and judgment. To be wise, one must intentionally act with prudence and common sense. Wisdom has a connotation of judiciousness, pause, and discipline.

Wisdom, the discipline to synthesize knowledge and experience to do what is required, begins with honesty. Being true to oneself is the key to wisdom: One must first be true and honest with oneself. One must be principled in one’s dealings with others as one can’t be wise without also being truthful and honorable.

Dishonesty is synonymous to deception: Honesty is the foundation of wisdom. If a person is proven dishonest, how could you believe him or her even if he or she has managed to become wise. Even people indulging in ‘inconsequential lies’ without any intent to deceive anyone are portraying their lack of wisdom. These acts of dishonesty, even if done to become more socially acceptable, without being rude or offensive, put a blanket over one’s wisdom in another’s eyes.

Wisdom breeds trust only with honesty. For instance, for a civil servant, there cannot be a more immoral act than being dishonest. Being dishonest can make people think that the person holding the public office is not trustworthy and aspersions are cast over his character as well. Once a public servant loses trust of the public, all is lost. His/her wisdom has no meaning. But being honest can assure others that the person can be trusted.

Conclusion:

Thus, being honest often requires courage and sacrifice, especially when others try to persuade to justify dishonest behavior. When you are honest, you build strength of character that will allow you to be of great service to others. At a personal level, an honest person will be blessed with peace of mind and self-respect. Thus, honesty is necessary for both learning and teaching and practicing wisdom.

 

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