[Mission 2022] SECURE SYNOPSIS: 21 October 2021 – PuuchoIAS


 

 

NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1


 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. Why is the theory of plate tectonics considered to be more complete than the continental drift theory? Examine. (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 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

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 write about plate tectonics and the movement of continents and various theories put forward to explain them.

Body:

Write in brief about the continental drift theory and explains it briefly – forces it considers for the movement, supporting evidences it considers, critique of theory regarding the movement of the continents and its acceptance among scientists etc.

In the next part, write about plate tectonic theory, the mechanism of it and how it successfully explained the movement of continents. Use small and neat diagrams for better representation.

Conclusion:

Mention about general importance of the two theories and conclude your answer.

Introduction

Continental drift describes one of the earliest ways geologists thought continents moved over time. It was a theory that explained how continents shift position on Earth’s surface due to various forces existing on the earth. The theory of plate tectonics states that the Earth’s solid outer crust, the lithosphere, is separated into plates that move over the asthenosphere, the molten upper portion of the mantle. Oceanic and continental plates come together, spread apart, and interact at boundaries all over the planet. Today, the theory of continental drift has been replaced by the science of plate tectonics.

Body:

Continental drift

  • The theory of continental drift is most associated with the scientist Alfred Wegener. In the early 20th century, Wegener published a paper explaining his theory that the continental landmasses were “drifting” across the Earth, sometimes ploughing through oceans and into each other. He called this movement continental drift.
  • Pangaea
    • Wegener was convinced that all of Earth’s continents were once part of an enormous, single landmass called Pangaea.
    • According to Wagener’s theory, during the Jurassic period, about 200 to 130 million years ago, Pangaea started to break up into two smaller continents, which he called Laurasia and Gondwanaland.
  • His theory was inspired by the fact that edges of the continents south America and Africa fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzlefossil remains of the same extinct animal or plant can be found across several continents, identical rocks could be found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. These rocks were the same type and the same age , evidence from ancient glaciers.
  • Scientists did not accept Wegener’s theory of continental drift. One of the elements lacking in the theory was the mechanism for how it works, why did the continents drift and what patterns did they follow

Plate tectonics:

 

  • Wegener’s idea eventually helped to form the theory of plate tectonics, but while Wegener was alive, scientists did not believe that the continents could move.
  • Continents rest on massive slabs of rock called tectonic plate The plates are always moving and interacting in a process called plate tectonics.
  • Plate tectonics is the theory explaining the motion of the outer crust or the lithosphere of earth. Lithosphere is divided into tectonics plates. The crust moves due to convective forces generated within the asthenosphere, fuelled by the internal heat of the earth’s core.

How  plate tectonics is an improvement over continental drift theory:

  • Plate tectonic explains the mechanism of the motion of the tectonic plates while continental drift theory left this question completely unanswered.
    • Tectonic plates have been constantly moving over the globe throughout the history of the earth. It is not the continent that moves as believed by Wegener. Continents are part of a plate and what moves is the plate.
  • Wegener had thought of all the continents to have initially existed as a super continent in the form of Pangaea. However, later discoveries reveal that the continental masses, resting on the plates, have been wandering all through the geological period, and Pangaea was a result of converging of different continental masses that were parts of one or the other plates.
  • At the time that Wegener proposed his theory of continental drift, most scientists believed that the earth was a solid, motionless body. However, concepts of sea floor spreading and the unified theory of plate tectonics have emphasised that both the surface of the earth and the interior are not static and motionless but are dynamic.
  • Sea floor spreading:
    • The mobile rock beneath the rigid plates is believed to be moving in a circular manner. The heated material rises to the surface, spreads and begins to cool, and then sinks back into deeper depths. This cycle is repeated over and over to generate what scientists call a convection cell or convective flow
    • The ultimate proof of this was the discovery of “magnetic stripes “on the seafloor later in the 1960s: the magnetic domains in oceanic rocks recorded reversal of Earth’s magnetic field over time. The pattern was symmetric to the ridge, supporting the idea of symmetric seafloor spreadingThe idea of subduction zoneswas born
    • With plate tectonics, we have a theory that explains Wegener’s observations and how lithosphere can be produced and consumed so that Earth does not change its size
  • Wegener’s continental drift theory lacked was a propelling mechanism. Other scientists wanted to know what was moving these continents around. Unfortunately, Wegener could not provide a convincing answer. The technological advances necessitated by the Second World War made possible the accumulation of significant evidence now underlying modern plate tectonic theory.
  • The following two forces are too small to bring in change:
    • Pole-fleeing or centrifugal force:
      • The spinning of Earth on its own axis creates a centrifugal force i.e., force oriented away from the axis of  rotation towards the equator. Wegener believed the centrifugal force of the planet caused the super continent to break apart and pushed continents away from the Poles toward the equator. Therefore, He called this drifting  mechanism as the “pole-fleeing or centrifugal force”
    • Tidal force:
      • Wegener tried to attribute the westward drift of the Americas to lunar-solar drag i.e., by invoking tidal force that is the gravitational forces of the sun and the moon .He also admitted that it is probable that pole- fleeing or centrifugal force and tidal force are responsible for the journey of continents. Wegener failed to devise a sound mechanism for the movement of the continents. For Wegener the drifting mechanism was the most difficult question to solve.
    • Plate tectonics is the grand unifying theory of geosciences that explains
      • Movement of continents
      • Earthquakes, volcanism most major features on Earth’s surface, including mountain building, formation of new lithosphere ,consumption of old lithosphere, mid-ocean ridges

Conclusion:

It took nearly 60 years for the idea of continental drift to be scientifically confirmed in the form of plate tectonic theory. Ultimately it added new dimension in the understanding of the global distribution of earthquakes, volcanoes and identification of disaster-prone areas.

 

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2. Explain the concept of sea floor spreading. What are the geographic features associated with sea floor spreading? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2022 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To explain sea floor spreading and geographic features associated with it.

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 by describing sea floor spreading.

Body:

Explain the causative factors of the sea floor spreading. Explain the mechanism involved.

Seafloor spreading and other tectonic activity processes are the result of mantle convection. Mantle convection is the slow, churning motion of Earth’s mantle. Convection currents carry heat from the lower mantle and core to the lithosphere. Convection currents also “recycle” lithospheric materials back to the mantle.

Use suitable diagrams to explain the processes involved in sea floor spreading.

In the second half of the answer, explain the geographic features associated with sea floor spreading.

Conclusion:

Conclude by suggesting how Seafloor spreading helps explain continental drift in the theory of plate tectonics.

Introduction

Seafloor spreading is a process that occurs at mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust is formed through volcanic activity and then gradually moves away from the ridge. The idea that the seafloor itself moves (and carries the continents with it) as it expands from a central axis was proposed by Harry Hess.

Body

Mechanism:

  • According to this theory, the intense heat generated by radioactive substances in the mantle (100-2900 km below the earth surface) seeks a path to escape, and gives rise to the formation of convention currents in the mantle.
  • Wherever rising limbs of these currents meet, oceanic ridges are formed on the sea floor and wherever the failing limbs meet, trenches are formed.
  • Seafloor spreading is a process that occurs at mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust is formed through volcanic activity and then gradually moves away from the ridge.
  • Seafloor spreading helps explain continental drift in the theory of plate tectonics. When oceanic plates diverge, tensional stress causes fractures to occur in the lithosphere.
  • Basaltic magma rises up the fractures and cools on the ocean floor to form new sea floor.
  • Older rocks will be found farther away from the spreading zone while younger rocks will be found nearer to the spreading zone.

Characteristics of Mid-Atlantic Ridge:

  • The continents bordering the Atlantic Ocean, for example, are believed to be moving away from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at a rate of 1–2 cm (0.4–0.8 inch) per year, thus increasing the breadth of the ocean basin by twice that amount.
  • Volcanic eruptions are common all along the mid-oceanic ridges and they bring huge amounts of lava to the surface in this area.
  • The rocks equidistant on either sides of the crest of mid-oceanic ridges show remarkable similarities
  • Rocks closer to the mid-oceanic ridges are normal polarity and are the youngest.
  • The age of the rocks increases as one moves away from the crest.
  • The deep trenches have deep-seated earthquake occurrences while in the mid-oceanic ridge areas, the quake foci have shallow depths.

Conclusion

Seafloor spreading helps explain continental drift in the theory of plate tectonics. Sea floor spreading proposed the magma as the cause of new crust and subduction of crust at the ocean-continent boundaries. This was further expanded by scholars to propose plates and their movement due to this magma. It is these tectonic plates and not the continents that have been moving since the inception of earth.

 

Topic: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

3. For the Indian LGBTQIA+ community, a truly inclusive society remains a distant dream. Comment. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

A recent advisory from the National Medical Commission (NMC) emphasising the need to avoid derogatory references to the LGBTQIA+ community in medical textbooks or teaching methods has underscored the value of institutional awareness on issues concerning queer and trans people.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the discrimination and injustice faced by the LGBTQIA+ community in India.

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 stating that even though LGBTQIA+ people are given legal backing by abolishing section 377, they are still at the bottom of the hierarchy when it comes to basic human rights within the unit of family and society.

Body:

First, state that the social media campaigns and corporate ads for an inclusive society with respect to LGBTQI+ community have only been to a limited urban population. Many families especially in the rural areas are homophobic and transphobic and often treat people from the community to have some kind of psychological disorder.

Next, mention about issues such as forced rapes within families, admission into hospitals for change of sexual orientation, medical institutions admit people from the community along with other psychologically disturbed and conducting some psychological and sexual experiments, instances of suicides, families abandoning those who come out leading to financial insecurity etc.

Conclusion:

Next mention few NGOs and support groups that are trying to mainstream the cause of LGBTQIA+ community and create a truly inclusive society.

Introduction

A recent advisory from the National Medical Commission (NMC) emphasising the need to avoid derogatory references to the LGBTQIA+ community in medical textbooks or teaching methods has underscored the value of institutional awareness on issues concerning queer and trans people. The advisory came after the Madras High Court voiced concern over “unscientific and derogatory information” in some textbooks.

Body

Background

  • The Delhi High Court’s verdict in Naz Foundation vs Government of NCT of Delhi (2009) was a landmark in the law of sexuality and equality jurisprudence in India.
  • The court held that Section 377 offended the guarantee of equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution, because it creates an unreasonable classification and targets homosexuals as a class.
  • In a retrograde step, the Supreme Court, in Suresh Kumar Koushal vs Naz Foundation (2013), reinstated Section 377 to the IPC.
  • However, the Supreme Court in Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. vs Union of India (2018) declared that the application of Section 377 IPC to consensual homosexual behaviour was “unconstitutional”.
  • This Supreme Court judgment has been a great victory to the Indian individual in his quest for identity and dignity.

Issues faced by LGBTQIA+ community in India

  • No legal recognition of marriage: Same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in India even though many countries like USA, UK have legalised it.
  • Issue of rights: The rights enjoyed by opposite-sex couples are not enjoyed by same-sex couples. They are prohibited from those rights. For example-
    • The lack of a legal structure around their relationship became increasingly stark when they tried to bring each other on as nominees in insurance and financial plans, just as a married couples did.
  • Lack of family support: Lack of communication between LGBT children and the parents often leads to conflict in the family.
    • Many LGBT youths are placed in foster care or end up in juvenile detention or on the streets.
    • Most often than not, LGBTQ children from poor families are abandoned. They end up begging as there is no avenue for education or employment.
    • In some parts, secret honour killings are planned so that the only way for a young gay man to survive is to run away in the cover of the night to some city, with no money or social support.
  • Sanctioned rape: In other parts, lesbian women are subjected to family-sanctioned corrective rapes, which are often perpetrated by their own family members.
    • Village medics and babas often prescribe rape to cure lesbians of homosexuality. Refusal to marry brings more physical abuse
  • Education and health: The LGBTQ children are abandoned and marginalised, who end up being isolated by the rest of the society. They are denied the fundamental right of education as well as health.

Way Forward

  • The LGTBQ community needs an anti-discrimination law that empowers them to build productive lives and relationships irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation and place the onus to change on state and society and not the individual.
  • Police must not harass sexual minorities. There must be changes to the police conduct rules to provide for punishing erring police personnel in this regard.
  • Government bodies, especially related to Health, and Law and Order need to be sensitised and made aware about the changed position of law to ensure that the LGBTQ community is not denied public services or harassed for their sexual orientation.
  • Enumerating sexual orientation and gender identity in non-discrimination and anti-bullying policies is an important step toward acknowledging diversity, protecting vulnerable students.
  • Training school staff empowers them to respond when they encounter abuse. Younger generations of Indians will grow up knowing of criminalisation as a thing of the past, and that will be a boon to their basic rights.
  • In 2014, the Supreme Court issued a sweeping judgment in NALSA v. India, which held that transgender people should be legally recognised according to their gender identity, enjoy all fundamental rights, and receive special benefits in education and employment. This must be implemented and enforced.

Conclusion

The queer and gender non-conforming people have found an ally in the court, but they would need greater effort on the part of the authorities at various levels, if their rights are to be protected. In any case, any change in law in terms of recognising same-sex relations or understanding self-identification of gender must be complemented by an attitudinal change in society at large.

Government must sensitise the general public and officials, to reduce and finally eliminate the stigma associated with LGBTQ+ community through the mass media and the official channels. School and university students too should be sensitised about the diversity of sexuality to deconstruct the myth of heteronormativity. Heteronormativity is the root cause of hetero-sexism and homophobia.

 

 


General Studies – 2


 

Topic: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

4. Our constitution has ideals and values inspired by great personalities and their philosophies which has enriched our democracy. Elaborate. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Easy

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Lord Buddha is the inspiration for India’s Constitution even today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the various influences on Indian constitution and its impact.

Directive word: 

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

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by highlighting some of the ideals and values of the Indian constitution as enshrined in the Preamble.

Body:

Associate the ideals and values with leaders such as Gandhi- Local Governance, Nehru – Socialist state, Ambedkar – Equality (social-economic-political), Buddha- Inclusive society and few others  and you may also link it with the relevant articles of the constitution.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that the constitution was framed based on the Indian Independence struggle and a major part of it is shaped on the ideals of our leaders along with some being borrowed from other constitutions based on the suitability to our society.

Introduction

The Constitution of any country serves several purposes. It lays down certain ideals that form the basis of the kind of country that we as citizens aspire to live in. A country is usually made up of different communities of people who share certain beliefs, but may not necessarily agree on all issues. A Constitution helps serve as a set of principles, rules and procedures on which there is a consensus. These form the basis according to which the people want the country to be governed and the society to move on. This includes not only an agreement on the type of government but also on certain ideals that the country should uphold.

Body

Ideals & values inspired by great personalities & their philosophies in Indian Constitution

  • We Indians have had a tradition of maintaining our Indian identity while also welcoming noble ideas emanating from all the sources.
  • This cultural ethos also finds its reflection in the making of our Constitution.
  • We have adopted the best practices from several other Constitutions of other countries.
  • In addition, the imprint of our age-old values​​ and the ideals from our freedom struggle can also be seen in our Constitution.
  • Our Constitution is a national document whose different facets also reflect the democratic systems prevalent in our ancient Assemblies and Sabhas, Lichchhavis and other ancient Indian republics and the Buddhist Sanghas.
  • Lord Buddha is the inspiration for India’s Constitution and the ‘dhamma chakra’ on the tricolour is the driving force for the country.
  • His ideals of non-violence and compassion are strongly etched in the Fundamental rights and DPSPs.
  • Swami Vivekananda propounded ‘man-making education’ which involves the harmonious development of the body, mind and soul. According to him, the lasting foundation for nation-building was not economics or politics but education.
  • This is envisioned in Right to Education in FR and recent NEP.
  • Gandhiji envisioned an India in which there shall be no high class and low class of people; an India in which all  communities  shall  live  in  perfect  harmony and where Women will enjoy the same rights as men.
  • This has been implemented in the right to equality, right against untouchability, local governance with self-rule of people
  • The dream  of  an  India  that  has eliminated inequality  was  shared  by Ambedkar, who played a key role in the making of the Constitution.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru was a staunch advocate of socialism, democracy and anti-imperialism.
  • The ideals of Socialism was promoted by Bhagat Singh too through HSRA.
  • Bose viewed freedom not only in terms of political self-rule but also freedom from socio-economic inequalities, casteism, intolerance etc. Bose held steadfast to a vision of large scale industrialisation and a politics devoid of irrationality and religiosity.
  • Thakkar Bapa promoted and stood for the Tribal Rights which is enshrined in the 5th and 6th Schedules of Constitution.

Conclusion

Thus, the values that inspired and guided the freedom  struggle  and  were  in  turn nurtured   by   it,   formed   the foundation  for  India’s  democracy. These  values  are  embedded  in  the Preamble, FR and DPSPs  of  the  Indian  Constitution.

 

 


General Studies – 3


 

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

5. The crisis of unemployment and jobless growth is a cause of concern which must be resolved at the earliest. Examine as to how can India avoid jobless growth in the post pandemic recovery phase? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Difficult

Reference:  Indian Express

Why the question:

The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook has underlined that employment growth is likely to lag output recovery after the pandemic.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about the steps that policy makers must take to avoid jobless growth.

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 stating that extreme automation is leading to massive job destruction globally especially in the post pandemic scenario and strategic policy intervention is need of the hour.

Body:

First, mention that the model of economic growth prioritises capital over labour and is unlikely to resolve the unemployment crisis. Mention about labour replacement technologies such as 3D printers, AI etc that is replacing human labour.

Next, stress on the fact that the unorganised sector contributes highly to employment creation. Further mention the need for high end skill training of our existing labour force and planned training coupled with placements along with social security needs, more focus on services sector etc is the need of the hour.

Introduction

The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook has underlined that employment growth is likely to lag output recovery after the pandemic. Employment has always figured as an important element of the growth and development process of the Indian economy. India being a highly populated country, employment becomes a crucial element. Employment acts as a link between economic growth and poverty reduction.

Body

Background

  • Employment around the world remains below its pre-pandemic levels, reflecting a mix of negative output gaps, worker fears of on-the-job infection in contact-intensive occupations.
  • There are also childcare constraints, labor demand changes as automation picks up in some sectors, replacement income through furlough schemes or unemployment benefits helping to cushion income losses, and frictions in job searches and matching.
  • Further, young and low-skilled workers are likely to be worse off than prime-age and high-skilled workers, respectively.
  • As far as GDP is concerned, India’s growth rate hasn’t been tweaked for the worse. In fact, beyond the IMF, several high-frequency indicators have suggested that India’s economic recovery is gaining
  • But what the IMF has projected on employment — that the recovery in unemployment is lagging the recovery in output (or GDP) — matters immensely for India.

Crisis of unemployment and jobless growth in India

  • Pre-pandemic employment: To begin with, according to the data available with the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the total number of employed people in the Indian economy as of May-August 2021 was 394 million — 11 million below the level set in May-August 2019.
    • In May-August 2016 the number of employed people was 408 million.
    • In other words, India was already facing a deep employment crisis before the Covid crisis, and it became much worse after it.
  • K-shaped recovery: India is witnessing a K-shaped recovery. That means different sectors are recovering at significantly different rates.
    • And this holds not just for the divergence between the organised sector and unorganised sector, but also within the organised sector.
  • Services sector growth: India’s economic growth since the 1990s has largely been on account of an expansion of the services sector, in which exports are seen as having played an important role.
    • The share of the services sector in total employment was relatively low, and despite the expansion of services, the growth of employment in this sector has been limited.
    • Tertiary sector employment in 2009-10 amounted to only 25 per cent of the work force, despite the fact that around 55 per cent of GDP came from this sector.
  • Low employment growth in Manufacturing: Agriculture work needs to be replaced by work opportunities in some other sector usually in (manufacturing, electricity and construction) that grow much faster than agriculture during transition of an economy.
    • However, in the post reform period the growth of manufacturing industries has been constrained by competition from imports
  • Unorganised sector recovery is slow: The big reason for worry is that the bulk of India’s employment is in the informal or unorganised sectors.
    • So, a weak recovery for the informal/unorganised sectors implies a drag on the economy’s ability to create new jobs or revive old ones.

Addressing India’s jobless growth in post-pandemic phase

India’s demographic dividend, touted as competitive advantage, is critically dependent on meeting growing aspirations of those entering or wishing to enter labour force.

  • Analysing and Improving Labour Market Data: Availability of detailed, reliable, and comprehensive information on the labour market is critical to meet the employment challenge through well-targeted policies and programmes.
  • Create Labour Market Information System (LMIS) for identifying skill shortages, training needs and available employment opportunities.
    • This would facilitate greater synchronization with portals like National Career Service to address skill shortages and meet the demand for labour in different sectors.
  • Education and Skill Development: Government must ensure that the education, training and skill development system is aligned with the changing requirements of the labour market.
    • It includes measures to integrate vocational education with formal education (NEP 2020), ensure greater participation of the private sector in skill development and wider use of the apprenticeship programmes by all enterprises.
  • Improving Women’s Participation in the Economy: The employment policy, in line with SDG 5 on Gender Equality, should focus on developing women’s human capital and capabilities; providing support for their care responsibilities (e.g. Maternity Benefits Act 2016); establishing gender-sensitive labour market regulations; and enhancing their voice and capacity for collective action.
  • Address the issues facing agricultural sector: It will have a direct impact on the welfare of nearly half the country’s workforce, increase in domestic demand, reduce the rural-urban earnings gap, migration, informality and unemployment, and therefore lead to better working conditions in the cities and a fall in commodity prices and reduced inflationary pressures.
  • Targeted Programmes for Employment Generation: Programmes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme must be reformed to ensure that rural unemployed find adequate employment on a more sustainable basis and there are increased opportunities for women and other socially disadvantaged groups.

Way forward

  • Focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) & entrepreneurship with special packages for labour intensive industries.
  • Revamping industrial policy to provide for tax incentives (e.g. wage subsidy), FDI, coastal & special economic zones, industrial craft clusters and change in labour regulation regimes.
  • Adopt a universal basic services approach particularly in health, education, transportation etc can have significant multiplier impact on job creation.
  • Income support schemes like Mukhya Mantri Yuva Nestam Scheme in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Lastly, the government must curb corruption and regulate other drivers of inequality and joblessness such as crony capitalism

Value-addition

Steps taken by government in recent times

  • Dedicated Shram Suvidha Portal: That would allot Labor Identification Number (LIN) to units and allow them to file online compliance for 16 out of 44 labor laws.
  • Random Inspection Scheme: To eliminate human discretion in selection of units for Inspection, and uploading of Inspection Reports within 72 hours of inspection mandatory.
  • Universal Account Number: Enables 4.17 crore employees to have their Provident Fund account portable, hassle-free and universally accessible.
  • Apprentice Protsahan Yojana: Government will support manufacturing units mainly and other establishments by reimbursing 50% of the stipend paid to apprentices during first two years of their training.
  • Revamped Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana: Introducing a Smart Card for the workers in the unorganized sector seeded with details of two more social security schemes.
  • The National Career Service is being implemented as a mission mode project to provide various job-related services information on skills development courses, internships etc

 

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

6. India has made considerable progress in its efforts towards decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions. Do you think India should commit to net zero emissions by 2050? Critically examine. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Live Mint

Why the question:

The coal crisis has forced the Indian government to ramp up domestic production and imports of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, while the world focuses on net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Key Demand of the question:

To examine if India is in the position to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 given its developmental concerns.

Directive word: 

Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into 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. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by stating some of the initiatives of the government to promote clean energy. But on the contrast according to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) non-renewable fossil fuels account for 70% of the current (2020) generation capacity and also the major source of carbon emissions.

Body:

First, mention some reasons why India should go for net zero approach such as increasing impact of climate change such as floods, droughts and international pressure etc.

Next, mention the various challenges such as technological, managerial and regulatory capacity to manage major transformation to clean sources of energy production, the major constraint of finance, high-cost, high-risk, long-gestation investments etc

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that clean energy sources are the only option for a sustained energy production in the long run and must be given aggressive policy impetus.

Introduction

Net-zero emissions are a way of measuring the release of heat gas into the atmosphere by the absorption of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. In zero-carbon combustion, the country will focus on reducing carbon emissions. But in Net-zero carbon the country will focus on bringing carbon emissions to zero.

Body

Net zero output

  • In the first phase, the country will focus on reducing human emissions such as burning mineral fuels, measuring factory emissions, etc.
  • Gradually, however, net-zero releases can be extended to other remaining locations.
  • Globally the idea of net-zero emissions by 2050 is gaining momentum. It is being advised by many countries as a solution to tackling climate change.
  • To date 58 countries have announced targets for zero emissions. Together these countries make up more than half of the current GHG emissions worldwide.
  • Over the next 30 years, they all aim to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other GHGs. There are requests from international forums that India also needs to accept the release of net-zero emissions.
  • But there are other environmental factors that do not allow you to accept the objectives of the Net-zero release. They say it’s not fair in developing countries.

Indian Climate actions

  • India is expected to significantly exceed the Paris Agreement’s commitment to reduce its GDP emissions by 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030.
  • Emphasis on renewal:India impresses the world with its leading renewable energy output and target of 450GW by 2030, linked to its leadership in the International Solar Alliance and the latest national hydrogen strategy.
  • Businesses:Indian companies are also on the rise, with Tata team winning awards for sustainability, Mahindra is committed to net-zero by 2040, and Reliance by 2035.
  • In addition to logical arguments about historical obligation, individual exclusion, and equality, India’s national interests in climate action are now operating in more efficient ways than waiting for donor support to create prominence.

Achieving net zero emissions are not easy for India

  • The country is trying to balance its growing energy needs with demands to slash emissions, which could make the goal of achieving carbon neutrality difficult.
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that India’s energy demands will grow more than any other country over the next 20 years. By 2030, it is expected to overtake the European Union as the third biggest energy consumer.
    • Although renewable energy’s share in India’s energy mix is increasing, coal accounts for almost 70 per cent of the country’s electricity generation, according to the IEA. It plays a major role in global warming and contributes to deadly air pollution.
  • India is the world’s third-biggest emitter of GHG.
  • India’s per capita CO2 emissions – at 1.8 tonnes per person in 2015 – are around a ninth of those in the USA and around a third of the global average of 4.8 tonnes per person.
  • India must also meet the aspirations of 1.4 billion people for faster economic development. This will limit India’s development potential.
  • Meeting the nation’s existing target of 450 gigawatts of renewables by 2030 is already a massive lift. Hitting net zero will require an even more dramatic acceleration.
  • By 2050, India’s total electricity demand would be about 5500 to 6000 terawatt-hours (TWh), roughly a factor of five on today’s level.
  • In developed countries, emissions have already peaked. Their decision is only about the path to net-zero. Emerging economies like India, instead, will go through a high-growth phase with rising energy demand and emissions. So, before a net-zero year can be targeted, India must discuss options for its peaking year
  • Many argue that net zero is not equitable and fair as it does not differentiate between developing and developed countries in sharing the burden of mitigation.
  • Some also criticise mid-century net zero as allowing uncontrolled emissions today while relying on uncertain technologies to offset emissions in the future.
  • Many net zero pledges are premised upon trading and offsetting emissions, allowing the rich to continue emitting and buying their way out.

Way forward

  • Given the massive shifts underway in India’s energy system, we would benefit from taking stock of our actions and focusing on near-term transitions.
  • This will allow us to meet and even over-comply with our 2030 target while also ensuring concomitant developmental benefits, such as developing a vibrant renewable industry.
  • We can start putting in place the policies and institutions necessary to move us in the right direction for the longer-term and also better understand, through modelling and other studies, the implications of net-zero scenarios before making a net-zero pledge.
  • It would also be in India’s interest to link any future pledge to the achievement of near-term action by industrialised countries.
  • That would be fair and consistent with the principles of the UNFCCC and also enhance the feasibility of our own actions through, for example, increasing availability and reducing costs of new mitigation technologies.

Conclusion

The world is not going to achieve its targets of halting global warming unless India is able to reduce its carbon emissions and India changes its trajectory right now. India is now rightly recognised for having come of age and becoming a major global power. But coming of age also brings with it the ability to take a stand, and resist being buffeted by the winds of shifting political agendas. While we, like others, have a responsibility to the international community, we also have a responsibility to our citizens to be deliberate and thoughtful about a decision as consequential as India’s climate pledge.

 

 


General Studies – 4


 

Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance;

7. India should take the approach of treating drug addiction as moral and a medical hazard rather than a criminal challenge. Analyse. (150 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude by Lexicon Publications.

Why the question:

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

Key Demand of the question:

To write about taking an empathetic approach towards helping drug addicts recover from drug addiction.

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 stating that concept of retribution and deterrence approach to counter drug menace has not been fruitful and has only led to the drug networks remaining underground.

Body:

First mention that the harsh approach has created a lot of stigma and lack of intent to approach medical institutions people addicted to drugs. Many a times being unaware and unguided, leads to overdoses and death.

Next, state the need for a humane and persuasive approach to deaddiction on lines of Portugal model. This would lead to a number of people voluntarily accessing the public health care facilities for drug related concerns.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that human rights and public health must be centre of the discourse rather than punishing the victims of drug addiction.

Introduction

Substance abuse disorder, or drug addiction, can be defined as a progressive disease that causes people to lose control of the use of some substance despite worsening consequences of that use. Substance use disorder can be life-threatening.

Body

Fifty years after the first UN Convention on Drugs, the debate over the enforcement-based approach that dominates drug policies worldwide is heating up.

Issues with the current approach of tackling Drug Menace

  • All the available evidence shows, beyond any doubt, that punitive measures alone, no matter how harsh, do not achieve the goal of reducing drug consumption.
  • Worse, in many cases prohibition and punishment have disastrous consequences.
  • The stigmatization of drug users, the fear of police repression and the risk of criminal prosecution make access to treatment much more difficult.
  • Drug dependencies largely go untreated; inside most prisons there is no access to needle exchange, opiate substitution or other treatments.
  • HIV and Hepatitis C spread easily.
  • Large numbers of inmates take up drug use in prison, and many overdose shortly after release. Prison is simply not the answer to drug use and minor drug-related offenses. We need to find a better, more humane response.
  • Confronted with the disastrous effects of these policies, many countries are rethinking the repressive strategies that have failed to limit the supply and use of drugs and have often devastated individuals and societies.
  • There is a wide consensus in the world that the ‘war on drugs’ has failed and that it is time to open up a broad debate about viable alternatives and new solutions.
  • Instead of insisting on repressive measures that are, at best ineffective, at worst counterproductive, it chose a bold approach that favours more humane and efficient policies.

Portugal Model of Drug Policy

  • Portugal’s national drug policy represents a desirable paradigm shift in global drug policy.
  • Under the new strategy, the purchase, possession, and consumption of illicit drugs have been downgraded from criminal to administrative offenses.
  • A key concept underlying Portugal’s drug policy is prevention
  • Portugal is wisely investing in harm reduction and in forms of social regulation to reduce drug consumption. That is why it puts so much emphasis on dissuasion and prevention.
  • Portugal proves that decriminalization does not increase drug use. To the contrary, it has demonstrated that humanitarian and pragmatic strategies can, in fact, reduce drug consumption, addiction, recidivism, and HIV infection.
  • Preventive measures may only be effective when they are systematic and not onetime actions

Conclusion

Recognition of the need to respect human dignity, understand the life choices and social circumstances of others, and uphold the constitutional right to health lay behind the change of approach toward drug consumption.


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