Jan. 29, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Jan. 29, 2020

Q. Describe briefly the features of bronze sculpture art that reached its zenith during the Chola era.

 Approach:

  • Introduce the Chola bronze art – why it is considered as the high stage of development

  • Divide the answer into subparts – patronage, religious purpose, technology, and iconography

  • Also mention various examples to substantiate the points

  • Within the subparts, try to trace the chronological development.

The Model Answer will be displayed at Jan. 30, 2020, midnight

Jan. 27, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Jan. 27, 2020

Q. The large-scale occurrence of floods is a result of multitude of factors. In this background discuss the causes of floods and steps to minimise the vulnerability to floods.

Structure of the answer:

  • Introduction

  • Causes of floods

  • Steps to mitigate vulnerability

  • Conclusion

Model Answer

Flood is a state of higher water level along a river channel or on coast leading to inundation of land that is not normally submerge. In India, 40 million hectares out of a geographical area of 3290 lakh hectares is prone to floods. Moreover, every year, 1600 lives are lost and the damage caused to crops, houses and public utilities is Rs. 1800 crores due to floods.

The main causes for floods are as follows:

The rivers bring heavy sediment load from catchments. These, coupled with inadequate carrying capacity of rivers are responsible for causing floods.

  • Some of the general causes are drainage congestion, erosion of river-banks, silting in deltaic areas

  • Moreover, about 75% of the annual rainfall in India is concentrated in 3-4 months of the monsoon season. As a result, there is very heavy discharge from rivers during the period causing widespread floods.

  • Further, cyclones, cloud bursts, storm surge cause flash floods and lead to huge loss of life and property.

  • Lastly, in urban areas the urban flooding is caused by increasing incidence of heavy rainfall in a short period of time, indiscriminate encroachment of waterways, inadequate capacity of drains and lack of maintenance of the drainage infrastructure. For ex.- Chennai floods.

Steps to mitigate flood vulnerability are as follows:

  • There is a need for identification and marking of flood prone areas and preparation of close contour and flood vulnerability maps.

  • Further, this must be followed by implementation of the schemes for expansion and modernisation of the flood forecasting and warning network, execution of flood protection and drainage improvement schemes

  • The focus must also be on development of hard management techniques like dams, embankments or artificial levees

  • Further, flood walls/ River defences/ Coastal defences can be built around settlements to protect them from floods.

  • Lastly, the focus must also be on afforestation, proper land use management

Thus, the causes of the floods being natural and man made requires, thus to control and mitigate the same requires interdisciplinary approach.

Subjects : Geography

Jan. 24, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Jan. 24, 2020

Q. What was the immediate trigger of the World War-I? What were the reasons for the breakout of the war? Comment

Model Answer

World War-I has its roots in the assassination of a prince. On 28 June 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by a Serbian terrorist at Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Austria saw the hands of Serbia behind this and served Serbia an ultimatum. Serbia refused to accept one of the demands of ultimatum. Hence, on 28 July 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia.  Then, Germany declared war on Russia and France. Britain declared war on Germany. Japan declared war on Germany with a view to capture its colonies in the Far East. Turkey and Bulgaria joined on the side of Germany. Italy initially remained neutral and later joined the war against Germany in 1915.

There are various reasons for the breakout of the war:

  1. Imperialist Rivalries: The scramble for colonies led to emergence of conflict between imperialist powers. By the last decade of 19th century almost all areas were under imperialist control and further conquest could only happen by dispossessing some other country. Rivalries resulted in attempts to re-divide the world creating conditions of war.

  2. Progress of the latecomer Germany: Germany made massive progress after its unification in 1870. It became leading producer of iron, steel and coal and left behind France and Britain. It entered shipping trade as well and possessed Imperator, the largest ship in the world. Since Germany was a late comer it could not grab as much colony as it desired.

  3. Clash of interests: Both Italy and Austria had their ambitions in the Ottoman Empire. Japan fought with Russia for extending its territorial possessions in the Far East. There was an intense naval rivalry between Germany and Britain as Britain defended its large territory. Germans accused Britain, Russia and France of trying to 'encircle' it.

  4. Serbian Nationalism: Serbia had the ambition of uniting all Slavs many of whom lived in Austria – Hungarian empire, which consisted of people from different nationalities (Slovaks, Czechs, Italian, etc.). Therefore, even Austria wanted to destroy Serbia.

  5. Alliance Formation: Opposing groups were formed and vast sums of money were spent to increase size of army and navy and develop deadly weapons. Europe became a vast armed camp. Propaganda for war and projecting own country as superior to other started.

  6. a) Triple Alliance (1882) - Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.

  7. b) Triple Entente or Understanding (1907) - France, Britain and Russia. Loose group based on mutual understanding.

The First World War was the most frightful war the world had seen so far in terms of devastation it caused, the number of people who fought it, the famines and the social problems it created. Instead of destroying imperialism, it helped the victorious powers in enlarging their possessions.

Subjects : World History

Jan. 22, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Jan. 22, 2020

Q. The Citizen’s Charter is an ideal instrument of organisational transparency and accountability. Identify the importance and components of Citizen’s Charter. Tracing out its limitations, suggest measures for its greater effectiveness.

Approach:

  • Start introduction mentioning the challenges in public service delivery.

  • Define Citizen’s Charter stating its importance and it components.

  • Discuss the limitation in implementation of Citizen’s Charter.

  • Discuss the measures to ensure its effective implementation.

Model Answer

The public service delivery of India faced a problem of bureaucratic corruption and delays. The government functioned in a very opaque and unaccountable manner. There existed a problem of information asymmetry between the government department and the consumers. There was an absence of grievance redress mechanism with in government framework.

Keeping this in concern, Citizen's Charters were introduced in India in the 1990s. Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) defines Citizen’s Charter as a document which represents a systematic effort to focus on the commitment of the Organisation towards its Citizens in respect of Standard of Services, Information, Choice and Consultation, Accessibility and Grievance Redress.

Citizen’s Charter aims at:

  • Making administration transparent and accountable

  • Bringing time bound delivery of services

  • Promoting awareness among the consumers about the quality of service to be delivered.

  • Promoting citizens friendly administration

  • To improve the experiences of customers by improving service delivery.

  • To address the grievances of citizens through Grievance Redress Mechanism.

Citizen’s charter possess following components to achieve its aim. Its six components are:

  • Vision and Mission Statements

  • Details of business transacted by the Organisation.

  • Details of Clients

  • Details of services provided to each client group.

  • Details of grievance redress mechanisms and how to access them

  • Expectations from clients

The Institutionalisation of concept of Citizen’s charter is there in every government department in India since 1997.  However, its implementation is still in embryonic stage. Earlier, Introduction and implementation of the concept of Citizens’ Charter in the Government of India was much more complicated due to the old bureaucratic set up/procedures and the rigid attitudes of the workforce. 

 Various Limitations/ Hurdles encountered in these initiatives are:

  • Citizen’s charter was viewed as an exercise to be performed by getting direction from top. It lacks participation and consultation process. Hence, it just becomes one of the routine activities of the organisation and had no focus.

  • The concerned staff are not sufficiently trained and sensitised. The commitments of the Charter cannot be expected to be delivered by a workforce that is unaware of the spirit and content of the Charter.

  • Sometimes, transfers and reshuffles of concerned officers at the critical stages of formulation/implementation of a Citizens’ Charter in an organisation severely destabilised the strategic processes which were put in place and hampered the progress of the initiative.

  • Awareness campaign to teach the client about Charter is not conducted properly.

  • There are cases where standard or norms of the services mentioned in the Charter are either too negligent or too tight and are impractical.

  •  The notion behind the Citizens’ Charter is not accurately understood. Information brochures, publicity materials, pamphlets produced earlier by the organisations are mistaken for Citizens’ Charters.

Various effective measures that can be taken to deal with the above hurdles are:

  • The department should guard against the tendency to promise more than they can deliver. A realistic assessment of quality and standard of service delivery is needed.

  • Proper training and sensitisation programme among staff are needed. Implementing the Charters without the staff owning them will defeat the purpose of the Charter.

  • Consultation exercise is a must to ensure bottom up approach in its implementation.

  • Easy grievance redress system and time bound deliver act is needed.

  • Independent audit of results is important after a period of implementation of the Charter.

To summarize, A Citizens’ Charter denotes the promise of an organisation towards standard, quality and time frame of service delivery, grievance redressal mechanism, clearness and accountability.

Subjects : Polity

Jan. 20, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Jan. 20, 2020

Q. To resolve the issue of unemployment, there is a need for multi-prong approach. In this light discuss the steps needed to resolve this long-standing issue and also mention the measures taken by the government in this regard.

Structure of the answer:

  • Introduction

  • Steps needed for unemployment

  • Steps taken by the government

  • Way forward

Model Answer

Unemployment is a situation where person is capable of working both physically and mentally at the existing wage rate, but does not get a job to work. As per the recent statistics unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2% in 2019.  Unemployment represent itself in various forms such as: disguised, seasonal, cyclical, frictional unemployment etc. 

To tackle the issue of unemployment following steps must be adopted:

  • There is a need for rapid industrialization so as to shift the labour forces from agriculture to manufacturing sector.

  • The curriculum at education centers should be changed to focus on learning and skill development.

  • Self-employment must be encouraged with the help of liability free loans, government assistance etc.

  • Incubation centers need to be promoted to cultivate original business ideas that will be financially viable.

  • Government as well as business houses should seek to invite more foreign collaboration and capital investment so as to increase avenue for employment.

  • The labour intensive manufacturing sectors such as food processing, leather and footwear need to be promoted to create employment.

Further, to increase the avenue for employment, the government has taken various steps such as:

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) to provide social security by guaranteeing a minimum of 100 days paid work.

  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) with objective of enabling a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training.

  • Start Up India Scheme aims at developing an ecosystem that promotes and nurtures entrepreneurship.

  • Stand Up India Scheme/ MUDRA scheme to facilitate bank loans between Rs 10 lakh and Rs. 1 crore to at least one SC or ST borrower and at least one women borrower per bank branch for setting up a greenfield enterprise.

Thus, to tackle unemployment a strategy of multi prong approach need to be adopted so as to tap demographic dividend.

Subjects : Economy

Jan. 17, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Jan. 17, 2020

Q. Discuss the difference between Himalayas and Peninsular drainage system. Also put forth importance of the river system in India.

Structure of the answer:

  • Introduction

  • Difference between Himalayan and Peninsular river system

  • Importance of river system in India

  • Conclusion

Model Answer

Rivers are considered as the lifelines of a country as they provide the most valuable thing for the survival i.e. water. The rivers in India can be broadly categorized into two different categories based on their origin: the Himalayan Rivers and the Peninsular Rivers.

The difference between the two is tabulated below:

Himalayan Rivers

Peninsular Rivers

1.      These rivers originate from the Himalayan mountain ranges.

1.      These rivers originate from the peninsular plateaus.

2.      They are longer and larger than the peninsular rivers.

2.      They are comparatively smaller than the Himalayan Rivers.

3.      They have larger basins and catchment areas.

3.      They have smaller basins and catchment areas.

4.      The bedrocks of these rivers are soft, sedimentary and easily erodible.

4.      The bedrocks of these rivers is hard and not easily erodible.

5.      They are perennial in nature.

5.      They are seasonal and non-perennial.

6.      They are fed by the meltwater from glaciers/ rains.

6.      They are fed only by rains.

7.      They form V-shaped valleys.

7.      They form U-shaped valleys.

8.      They form meanders.

8.      They may not form meanders.

9.      They form big deltas.

9.      They form small rivers and estuaries.

10.   They are antecedent rivers.

10.   They are consequent rivers.

 

In light of the aforesaid, it is also important to discuss the importance of the rivers as such:

  • Rivers are the biggest source of fresh water for drinking.

  • Rivers provide fertile soil, which is important for increasing agricultural productivity.

  • Rivers are not only important for human beings but also for animals and trees. Various aquatic animals and plants breed in rivers, which is important to maintain the balance in the food chain.

  • These are also a source of energy as help generating electricity. For ex.- Bhakra Nangal Dam.

  • Rivers also help in improving the economy by providing cheap means of transportation.

Thus, considering the importance of river system and impending climate change, it is important that steps are taken to protect rivers.

Subjects : Geography

Jan. 15, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Jan. 15, 2020

Q. The reason for malnutrition/ hunger are multidimensional. In this light, discuss the factors contributing to malnutrition and also suggest suitable measures to improve malnutrition in India.

Structure of the answer:   

  • Introduction

  • Causes of malnutrition in India

  • Measures to overcome

  • Conclusion

Model Answer

Malnutrition is a physical state that includes undernutrition (wasting, stunting, underweight), inadequate vitamins or minerals, overweight, obesity, and resulting diet-related non-communicable diseases. As per Reports 31.4% of children are malnourished.

The factors contributing to malnutrition are as follows:

  • Despite increase in food grain production access to rice, wheat and other cereals has not increased at the same rate, resulting in malnutrition.

  • Further, the relative increase in consumption of unhealthy food such as fast food, processed food, and sugary beverages has also contributed to the problem.

  • The PDS that was viewed as a critical nutritional supplement is facing the issue of poor targeting e. having 40% leakages.

  • The lack of availability of safe drinking water also hinders proper digestion and assimilation of food.

  • Poor sanitation and environmental conditions further lead to spread of diseases that stunt children’s growth.

  • Lastly, there is lack of adequate awareness about nutritional needs of infants and young children.

To above causes need to be tackled on multiple fronts by adopting following steps:

  • There is a need for systematic data collection at the district level for formulation of policy and programme.

  • An institutional mechanism in form of a Food and nutrition commission should be established, headed by the Prime Minister.

  • The fortified foods need to be incorporated into a mid-day meal, public distribution shops and anganwadi centres.

  • The humongous task also need collaboration with civil society to educate women about family planning and child nourishment.

  • The above steps need to be adopted in association with increasing awareness about exclusive breastfeeding, use of antenatal care, consumption of Iron Folic Acid

Finally, the use of technology needs to be promoted to improve the flow of information and to encourage greater policy coherence.

Subjects : Social Issues

Jan. 13, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Jan. 13, 2020

Q. The Britishers formed Indian National Congress (INC) to act as a safety valve. However, the Indians used the forum as a lightning conductor much to the whammy of Britishers. In this light the purpose behind formation of INC and the intention of Indians in respect of the same.

Structure of the answer:

  • Introduction

  • Safety valve theory/ Britisher’s intention on formation of INC

  • Use of INC by Indians for propagating nationalist interest

  • Conclusion

Model Answer

There is wide spread belief that reason behind the formation of INC was safety valve theory i.e. Britishers wanted to pacify the raising discontent among Indian masses through INC. The discontent among Indians was due to issues like passing of Vernacular Press act, Illbert bill controversy (1883), general discrimination etc.

In this background the INC was formed by retired British Civil Servant A.O. Hume and some of the reasons put forth for formation of INC are as follows:

  • C Banerjee says that INC was to gauge the extent of discontent among the Indians masses so as to take pre-emptive steps against large scale flare up.

  • Further, the Britishers did not want another face off with the Indians like Revolt of 1857. So, they gave the Indians a tool with which they can vent their frustration.

  • The Britishers also wanted to remain informed of the pulse of the masses.

  • Moreover, the Britishers knowingly allowed formation of INC so that Indian Intelligentsia would be busy inside INC rather than politically instigating mass.

However, the above justification appears to be a half truth after considering the following propositions:

  • Formation of INC was not a sudden incident as since 1860s many regional associations were active in India. For ex.- Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, Bombay Presidency Association

  • Leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherojshah Mehta wanted an all India political body to give a proper shape to the movement and to mobilize the whole country against oppressive rule of British.

  • Further, Indians formed this platform with help of Britishers to prevent any suppression as happened in 1857. Thus, wanted to use Hume as a lightning conductor for the same.

Thus, once INC was formed, the reason for its formation did not matter much as INC evolved over a period of time and helped India to get much needed freedom.

Subjects : Modern History

Jan. 10, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Jan. 10, 2020

Q. Discuss the difference between the code of ethics and the code of conduct.

Approach:

  • Briefly discuss about the code of ethics and the code of conduct.

  • Differentiate between the given terms.

  • Substantiate your answer with relevant examples.

Model Answer

Code of ethics and code of conduct specify the ethical standards that a group (e.g., staff or a professional group) should follow in order to continue as a member of the group. They are generally formally stated and members are required to accept them as part of their membership of the group while accepting employment/membership.  It is generally adopted by organizations to assist members in developing an understanding of right and wrong. Thus, the Code is built on three levels namely:

  • Values and ethical standards 

  • Principles based on these values and ethics (Code of Ethics) 

  • Code of Behaviour which is based on professional ethics (Code of Conduct)

Difference between the code of ethics and the code of conduct:

Code of ethics: 

  • Code of Ethics refers to a set of guidelines to bring about acceptable behaviours in members of a particular group, association or profession. 

  • It is essential to build professional standards by ensuring ethical practices are followed. It boosts confidence in the organization in the public eye. 

  • The Code stands for fundamental values and principles of public service. It sets out general principles that guide behaviour. 

  • The codes focus on broader issues and are often framed as a belief statement regarding the organization’s mission, its values and expectations for its members. 

  • These codes are idealistic, non-punishable, general and implicit. Eg. Helping the needy, respecting co-workers, avoiding conflict of interest etc.

Code of conduct: 

  • It refers to a framework for public officials for carrying out their duties. 

  • It serves as a tool for public officials in making right decisions especially in cases when they are tempted or confused in keeping the public interest. 

  • These are designed to prevent certain types of behaviours like conflict of interest, self-dealing, bribery and inappropriate actions. It is essential to protect the employees and the reputation of the organization.

  • It sets out specific rules designed to outline specific practices and behaviours that are to be encouraged or prohibited under an organization. 

  • The codes lay out guidelines and procedures to be used to determine whether violations of the code have occurred and delineate consequences for such violations. 

  • These are in form of Dos and Don’ts for all employees of the organization and are usually supplemented with a Code of Ethics. 

  • These codes are specific, and explicit and often amount to punishment upon violation. Eg. Model Code of Conduct by Election Commission, not divulging internal company matters to the media, following the orders of seniors etc.

  • The Code can have a legislative or administrative basis and are in line with constitutional conventions. It is thus regularly updated. 

Thus, although both the Codes are different from each other, yet they are important for a public servant. The Codes make sure that the public official should uphold public interest over any personal motive or interest. 

Subjects : Ethics

Jan. 8, 2020

Mains Daily Question
Jan. 8, 2020

Q. What do you mean by climate forcing? Explain the factors that causes the Earth's climate to change.

Approach:

  • Explain the meaning of climate forcing  and related phenomenon with relevant examples.

  • Discuss various natural and anthropogenic causes of climate change.

  • Conclude the answer, as per the context.

Model Answer

Any external factor that originates from outside the climate system and can become a cause of climate change is called Climate Forcing. These factors are specifically known as forcings because they drive the climate to change. There are natural forcings and man-made forcings. For examples:

  • Surface reflectivity (Albedo).

  • Human-caused, or anthropogenic climate  forcing include emissions of heat-trapping gases (also known as greenhouse gases) and changes in land use that make land reflect more or less sunlight energy. 

  • Atmospheric aerosols due to human activity or volcanic eruption etc. that put light-reflecting particles into the upper atmosphere.

The peculiar feature of all climate forcing is that they influence the balance of the energy entering and leaving the Earth system i.e, the amount of energy we receive from the sun, and the amount of energy we radiate back into space.  Climate change refers to the change of climate that alters the composition of the global atmosphere. It is usually measured in major shifts in temperature, rainfall, snow, and wind patterns lasting decades or more.

The causes of climate change can be classified into two types; natural and anthropogenic.

Natural causes:

  • Solar Irradiance: The change in energy output of the sun brings changes in climate. Solar output varies according to the 11 year solar cycle.

  • Volcanic Eruptions: When volcanoes erupt, thousands of tons of sulfur dioxide is released into the atmosphere which cause cooling and warming of the earth respectively.

  • Plate tectonics: Tectonic plates rearrange the topography of the earth which  brings changes in the circulation of oceans and subsequently changes the patterns of the global climate.  

  • Variations in the Earth’s Orbit: Variations in the orbit of the planet bring changes in seasonal and geographical distribution of the light from the sun that affects the global climate.

Anthropogenic causes:

  • Emission of Greenhouse Gases: Release of greenhouse gases like Carbon dioxide is one of the main reasons for climate change.  For example, human activities such as deforestation, burning of fossil fuels, surface mining, agriculture, emissions from industries etc. are also releasing other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

  • Land Use Change: Climate change is also assisted by changes in land use and land cover that are caused because of human activities such as agriculture.

Many of these factors are interrelated, and atmospheric, ocean and land interactions can involve complex feedback mechanisms can either enhance or dampen changes to the climate system.

Subjects : Environment
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