The draft Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2014 is considered to be a step forward in ensuring rights of women. Do you agree? Enumerate the various merits it confers over the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971. 

The draft Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2014 is considered to be a step forward in ensuring rights of women. Do you agree? Enumerate the various merits it confers over the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971. 

Approach

  • Discuss how the medical termination bill 2014 is more aligned with needs of pregnant women.
  • Explain the merits of the new Bill over the old Act.
  • Conclude appropriately.
Model Answer :

Yes, the draft medical termination of pregnancy bill 2014 is a step forward in ensuring the reproductive rights of a woman as it recognises the reproductive right of a woman in light of article 21. It also enhances women’s choice to terminate pregnancy at later stages in genuine cases of congenital disorders or in cases of rape. The need for the amendments to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971 is the news again due to case by case approach being taken by the Supreme Court in dealing with them.

 

The various merits of this draft Bill over the 1971 Act:

Ceiling:

  • MTP 1971 places a 20 weeks ceiling on term of pregnancy.
  • MTP Bill 2014 increases the legal limit on pregnancy termination to 24 weeks from earlier 20 weeks.

 

Cases with feotal abnormalities:

  • MTP 1971 does not permit termination of pregnancy beyond 20 weeks limit even in cases of substantial foetal abnormalities.
  • MTP Bill 2014 amends the section 3 in the original bill and provides that the length of pregnancy shall not apply in a decision to abort foetus with abnormality developed after 20 weeks, as conclusive determination of foetal abnormality is possible in most cases after the 20th week of gestational age.

 

Rape cases:

  • Under MTP 1971, even rape victims were not allowed to abort after 20 weeks which compelled them to move to court.
  • Under the new Bill, a woman can take an independent decision in consultation with a registered health-care provider.

 

Legal abortions:

  • The severe restrictions under MTP 1971 led to increased unsafe abortions and maternal deaths.
  • The amended act will increase the availability of safe and legal abortions in India.

 

Way forward: 

Foetal abnormalities show up only by 18 weeks, and some defects could be revealed after 20 weeks has passed. The Supreme Court held that only the legislature could address the demand for change in the legal limit. The Parliament must move at the earliest for the safety of mothers while achieving a balance between the reproductive rights of pregnant women and the rights of feotuses.

Subjects : Social Justice

What were the differences between the extremists and moderates? Briefly describe how the extremists took the movement forward. (250 words)

What were the differences between the extremists and moderates? Briefly describe how the extremists took the movement forward.  (250 words)

Approach:

  • Introduce with mentioning about moderates and extremist.
  • Write about the difference in the methods of their movement.
  • Also mention about response of masses.
  • Conclude accordingly.
Model Answer :

Moderates used soft means for freedom struggle through petitions, speeches etc. They laid the initial building block of preparation and awakening of people for freedom struggle (during second half of 19th century). Extremists, who took over the leadership of the national movement after the extremists, believed in mass based struggle. Leaders like LalaLajpat Rai, Tilak and BC Pal were in favour of  extremism.

The difference between moderates and extremists:

  1. Moderates demanded constitutional reform where as extremist favoured extra constitutional means like boycott and passive resistance with Swaraj as primary objective.
  2. The moderates were mainly inspired by western liberal thoughts and European history where as extremists were inspired by Indian history, heritage and Hindu traditions.
  3. Moderates believed in British political connection with India and expressed loyalty to the crown but the extremists considered Britishers as exploiters and consider loyalty to crown as unworthy.
  4. Moderates believed that movement should be limited to middle class intelengesia and felt that masses were not ready for large scale movement. Extremists had huge faith on masses and wanted them to sacrifice for freedom struggle.

Movement leadership of the extremists:

The movement laid by extremist during Bengal partition and Swadeshi during 1905-1908 was a leap forward in freedom struggle. Hitherto the untouched sections like student, women, rural population also participated. The passive resistance and non cooperation trend started because of their new approach. The movement was not confined to political sphere but encompassed art, literature, science and industry also.

Although the differences between moderates and extremists led to split of INC at Surat, they led the foundation for mass awakening and mass struggle in India which was visible during WW1 phase and Gandhian era of freedom struggle. Both groups justifies their approach in their relative era because extremist of today will be moderates of tomorrow was rightly analysed by Tilak.

Subjects : History and Culture

What do you understand by disaster? Enumerate various types of natural and man-made disasters?

What do you understand by disaster? Enumerate various types of natural and man-made disasters?

Approach

  • Define disaster as per NDMA.
  • Mention both man-made and natural disasters, with examples
  • Mention some national and international initiatives and conclude accordingly.
Model Answer :

According to NDMA Act 2005, “Disaster” means a catastrophe, or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or manmade causes, or by accident which results in substantial loss of life or damage to property and environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area.

Disasters can be triggered by natural hazards or be human-induced, or result from a combination of both. Broadly disasters are classified into two categories i.e. Natural Hazard and Manmade Hazard.

Types of Natural Hazards:

  1. Geophysical: Geological process or phenomenon that adversely affect of life, property or environment are of this category. Example: earth-quake, volcano
  2. Hydrological: Events caused by deviations in the normal water cycle and/or overflow of bodies of water caused by wind set-up. Example: Floods
  3. Meteorological: Events caused by short-lived/small to meso-scale atmospheric processes. Example: Cyclone, Dust-Storm, Snow.
  4. Climatological: Events caused by long-lived meso- to macro-scale climatic processes. Example: Drought, Extreme cold or hot.
  5. Biological: Process or phenomenon of organic origin or conveyed by biological vectors. Example: Epidemics due to viral, bacterial etc.

 

Manmade Disasters:

  • Accidental: These are the hazard due to various accidental events. These include industrial accidents, building collapse, fires, mine flooding, development within high-risk zones etc.
  • CBRN: Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear hazards rank very high in among the human-induced risks, these also includes war related and terrorist attack.
  • Transportation: Disasters which are caused due to transportation activity inroad, air, rail, on river or sea etc are transportation disaster.
  • Pollution: These disasters are those which cause severe pollution air, land and water. These can be due cumulative impact of above three factors also.

 

Most of the disasters have multiple effects. They not only affect humans but also other species and environment (For example the climate change/global warming itself gets intensified due to pollution caused by humans). The Sendai framework, Marpol oil spill response, IAEA provisions are some international initiatives to counter various disasters. India is also a signatory of Sendai framework and already incorporated this plan (including SDG and UNFCC) in its national disaster management plan i.e. NDMA 2016.

Subjects : Disaster Management

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 – FRA – aims to correct ‘historical injustice’, which is admirable. However, the Act adversely affects the country’s natural ecosystems and wild life. Discuss.

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 – FRA – aims to correct ‘historical injustice’, which is admirable. However, the Act adversely affects the country’s natural ecosystems and wild life. Discuss.

Approach:

  • Introduce with why FRA was brought in in 2006
  • Discuss the FRA provisions meant to rectify the shortcomings in the previous Forest Act
  • Explain how some FRA provisions may be harmful to environment
  • Conclude with suggestions on meeting twin objectives of justice to dwellers and conserving the ecosystem and wild life.
Model Answer :

Under the Indian Forest Act, areas were often declared to be “government forests” without recording who lived in these areas, what uses they made of the forest and so on. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 was enacted to rectify these anomalies.

FRA: Correcting historical injustice

  • The FRA provides grants of land to forest dwellers – in situ – to the extent of their present holding but not exceeding four hectares.
  • Addition of a category of people termed as Other Traditional Forest Dwellers further extends these rights to others who have been living in forests for generations.
  • Gram Sabha has been empowered to take important decisions regarding development.
  • Compensation and livelihood opportunities have been ensured by recognising rights of communities over forest resources like forest produce, waterbodies and pastures. The decision to remove bamboo from the category of tree will further help the local economy.

However, concerns have been raised that FRA might adversely affect the environment.

Effect on environment:

  • Over the last three decades, habitat fragmentation has been identified as the single largest threat to biodiversity. By granting land to forest dwellers, FRA has set the stage for another round of massive fragmentation. This will also lead to serious human–wildlife conflict.
  • Weak procedures prescribed for identifying beneficiaries will be exploited to the hilt by powerful land-grabbers. Many tribal beneficiaries will be short-changed, while mining and logging companies could enter previously protected areas piggy-backing on land given to forest dwellers.

Conclusion:

  • The act is indeed a progressive step, however, other ways to correct the ‘historical injustice’ meted out to our forest dwellers may be explored. Compensation and livelihood opportunities outside reserves and important corridors through resettlement is a good option.
  • The huge corpus of funds collected from compulsory levies imposed on mining and developmental projects can be devolved to States specifically for voluntary resettlement projects.
  • Only then, we will be able to achieve the twin objective of correcting the historical injustice and maintaining our ecosystem.

Subjects : Current Affairs

 What is net neutrality? Discuss the merits and demerits of net neutrality in light of TRAI’s recent recommendations.

 What is net neutrality? Discuss the merits and demerits of net neutrality in light of TRAI’s recent recommendations.

Approach

  • Introduce with Net Neutrality
  • Discuss why it is important
  • Make arguments on why net neutrality is not needed
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :

Net neutrality is the principle that supports treatment of all data on the Internet equally. It means a service provider should allow equal access to all content and applications regardless of the source.

Net Neutrality: Need of the hour

  • Net Neutrality will preserve the internet architecture that has enabled the fast and innovative development so far.
  • Without net neutrality, the Internet will look like cable TV in which few big companies will control the medium.
  • Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open Internet to launch their businesses.Twitter, Wats app etc. would not have gained the current popularity, had they been discriminated in their initial phase.
  • The internet has become a global heritage of mankind and it would be ethical to adhere to the principles of net neutrality.
  • Today freedom of speech and expression also includes right to seek, receive and impart information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. Without net neutrality, a service provider could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. This would be against the idea of free speech.

Arguments against net neutrality

  • Traffic management is inevitable, and neutrality has never existed.
  • Without net neutrality restrictions in commercial agreements with content and service providers, telecome operators will be able to raise funds which would make them more interested in investing in infrastructure.
  • This will encourage new services and innovations along with guaranteed quality of service.
  • The open market is based on choice, and users can always change their Internet provider if not satisfied.
  • Any form of government regulation will be against the idea of free market and it may have repercussions on its growth and creativity.

Conclusion:

The debate on net neutrality is primarily about what kind of Internet can nurture a fair society. Concerns regarding digital equality, individual rights, business interests of smaller players, national economic interests etc. are hidden across the layers of the Internet eco-system. Hence, net neutrality is the need for India as suggested by TRAI and a Committee headed by A K Bhargava.

Subjects : Current Affairs

Despite being heavily dependent on agriculture for food and livelihood security, the state of this sector in eastern India remains poor. Discuss. Suggest steps to usher in sustainable agriculture revolution to this region.

Despite being heavily dependent on agriculture for food and livelihood security, the state of this sector in eastern India remains poor. Discuss. Suggest steps to usher in sustainable agriculture revolution to this region.

Approach

  • Introduce with agriculture in eastern India
  • Discuss various aspects of agriculture that compare poorly to rest of India – including returns, yield, vulnerability etc.
  • Discuss measures to bring sustainable agriculture revolution – like diversification, integrated farming, infrastructure etc.
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :

A large fraction of the population in Eastern India is dependent on agriculture for food and livelihood security. Though the region has the best of soils in the country and an abundance of water, sunshine and labour, agricultural performance is largely of subsistence level.

Poor state of agriculture in Eastern India:

  • Poor returns: The average annual farm incomes in eastern states are also nearly half of the national average, and much less (5-7 times lower) compared to the north-western states.
  • Poor yield: The crop yields are low and almost stagnating in eastern India. Average yield of rice per hectare is less than half that in Punjan and Haryana, while the average yield of wheat is significantly below the national average.
  • Vulnerable to climate change: The region is also highly vulnerable to climate change, making agriculture more vulnerable to climate extremes such as droughts and floods, resulting in high inter-year crop yield variability.
  • Poor marketing: In the absence of suitable marketing facilities in the region, most farmers sell their surplus at non-remunerative prices soon after harvests.
  • Others: The region also has experienced low adoption of improved varieties of crops and new technologies as well as low investment in agriculture development.

In recent years, agriculture in this region has begun to transform with aid of schemes like BGREI (Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India). But the pace of transformation needs to be accelerated through reforms to usher in Green Revolution.

Measures to bring in sustainable green revolution in the region:

  • Agri-diversification: Diversification of agriculture in eastern India towards high-value produce will be a significant step forward to increase farmer’s income. There is enormous scope for dairy, horticulture and fisheries in eastern India.
  • Integrated-farming system: An integrated-farming-system (IFS) approach – through innovation in farming, community-led systems for water conservation, organic farming along with activities like dairy, poultry, fishery, goat-rearing – can generate additional incomes for farmers.
  • Infrastructure: Physical and financial infrastructure such as agro-processing, rural warehouses, cold storages, cold chains, and financing institutions should be provided.
  • Others: Access to efficient input- and output-markets, irrigation etc. are also needed.

A comprehensive approach by integrating technologies, policies, institutions and agri-infrastructure is necessary to usher in a new green revolution in eastern India. The success of all efforts will rely on how farmers are consolidated through self-help groups or farmer-producer organisations or cooperatives to take advantage of economies-of-scale.

Subjects : Editorials

What are the key provisions of America’s new Afghanistan policy? Discuss its implications for India and Pakistan.

What are the key provisions of America’s new Afghanistan policy? Discuss its implications for India and Pakistan.

Approach

  • Start with the recent decision of US govt. about Afghanistan.
  • Give provisions of US new Afghanistan policy.
  • Then discuss its implications for India and Pak.
  • Conclude appropriately

Telegram: https://t.me/SimplifiedIAS

Model Answer :

Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump laid out the long-awaited U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia. After 16 years, Afghanistan remains America’s longest war. It has spent more than $800 billion and nearly 2,400 U.S. soldiers have lost their lives.

Key provisions of Trump’s new Afghanistan policy are:

  • The US will not indulge in a a rapid exit from Afghanistan, whose consequences would be “predictable and unacceptable.”
  • It was made clear that the purpose of the U.S. military presence “is not nation-building”, but “killing terrorists”.
  • It declared that US military would ramp up troop levels in Afghanistan by several thousands.
  • It lifted restrictions on the US commanders to attack the Taliban and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
  • Mr. Trump said that Afghanistan will require the integration of diplomatic, economic and military solutions in which one day, a political settlement could occur that might involve elements of the Taliban.
  • It called Pakistan a country that shelters terrorists and threatened to cut off US aid to Pakistan.
  • It recognized the larger role of India in providing economic and development assistance to Afghanistan, and called for U.S. to further develop its relationship with India.

Implications of the new policy on India:

  • It elevated India as key security and economic partner of US which is a departure from previous approaches.
  • It also gives India an opportunity to work with US for overall development of Afghanistan. So, India’s role in Afghanistan’s peace and stability will rise.

Implications of the new policy on Pakistan:

  • New policy might force Pakistan to stop harboring the terrorists groups.
  • It may also force Pakistan to rethink its foreign policy of using terror as instrument.
  • Pakistan may move close to China to deal with US pressure which would further enhance influence of China in Pakistan.

The new Afghanistan policy of US correctly recognizes that quick and complete withdrawal of troops will only result in undesirable outcomes. It also recognizes the need to put an end to terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan and has decided to take a tough stance on Pakistan. The success of this new policy once again depends on how successful US is in convincing Pakistan to stop its support to Afghan terrorists.

Subjects : International Relations

What are the causes which lead to the appointment of Simon Commission? Why it was opposed? What were the reactions of different sections of resistance movement?

What are the causes which lead to the appointment of Simon Commission? Why it was opposed? What were the reactions of different sections of resistance movement?

Approach

  • Provide brief Introduction Simon commission
  • Causes for the appointment of Simon Commission and Reasons for its opposition
  • Explain how different section reacted
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :

The Indian Statutory Commission, commonly referred to as the Simon Commission after its chairman Sir John Allsebrook Simon, was sent to India in 1928 to study potential constitutional reform. In 1930, it published a two-volume report known as the Simon Report.

Causes for the appointment:

  • The Commission was set up in response to the nationalist movement, to look into the functioning of the constitutional system in India.
  • Government of India Act 1919 had introduced the system of dyarchy to govern the provinces of British India, and promised to investigate the progress of the new governance scheme by 1929 and suggest new steps for reform.
  • The 1919 reforms fell short of the aspirations of the Indian people.
  • Moreover, the Government of Britain led by Conservatives  feared a defeat in the elections scheduled to be held shortly and wanted to oversee reform before that. In March 1927, it announced its decision to appoint the “Statutory Commission” in advance of the prescribed date.

Reason for opposition:

  • As no Indian was included in the Commission, it was considered to be a direct insult to the Indians, thus opposed by all shades of the Indian public opinion and provided a common meeting ground for the different political parties.

Response:

  • The Indian response against the commission was immediate and nearly unanimous. What angered the Indians most was the exclusion of Indians from the commission and the basic notion behind the exclusion that foreigners would discuss and decide upon India’s fitness for self-government. It was seen as a violation of the principle of self- determination, and a deliberate insult to the self-respect of Indians.
  • The Congress decided to boycott the commission “at every stage and in every form”. The Liberals of the Hindu Mahasabha and the majority faction of the Muslim League also supported the boycott. On the other hand, the Unionists in Punjab and the Justice Party in the south decided not to boycott the commission.
  • All-India hartal was observed on the day of Commission’s landing in India. Protest demonstrations were held everywhere with  black flags and slogans of ‘Simon Go Back’.

The Simon boycott movement provided the first taste of political action to a new generation of youth. It provided a fertile ground for the germination and spread of new radical ideas of socialism. Under these circumstances, the INC in its Madras session (1927) adopted resolutions to draft a Constitution for India.

Subjects : History Modern

Quotes for Essays:

Quotes for Essays:

1) Gandhi: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/mahatma-gandhi-quotes-for-essays/

2) Marx: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/karl-marx-quotes/

3) Aristotle: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/aristotle-quotes-for-essay/

Telegram: https://t.me/SimplifiedIAS www.upscexpress.com

4) Buddha: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/indian-political-thoughts-buddha-quotes/

5) Plato: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/plato-quotes-for-essay/

6) Ambedkar: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/dr-babasaheb-ambedkar-quotes/

7) Kautilya: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/kautilya-chanakya-quotes/

8) Aurobindo Ghosh: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/aurobindo-ghosh-quotes-for-essay/

9) Socrates: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/western-political-thoughts-socrates-quotes/

10) Machiaveli : https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/%E2%80%8Bmachiavelli-father-of-realism-quotes/

11) Hobbes: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/wesrer-political-thoughts-thomas-hobbes-quotes/

12) Rousseau: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/rousseaus-quotes-father-of-french-revolution/

!3) John Locke: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/16/john-locke-quotes-man-who-influenced-american-constitution/

14) J.S. Mill: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/j-s-mill-quotes-father-of-liberalism/

15) Gramsci : https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/gramsci-follower-of-marxism-quotes-for-essay-and-ethics/

16) Vivekananda : https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/vivekananda-quotes-on-spiritualism-and-life/

17) Montesquieu: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/montesquieu-quotes-use-in-political-essays/

18) Bentham: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/jeremy-benthams-quotes-father-of-utilitarianism/

19) Voltaire : https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/voltaire-quotes-for-ethical-and-political-questions-and-essays/

20) Hannah Ardent: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/hannah-arendt-vip-quotes-for-essay-and-ethics/

21) Simone de Beauvoir: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/%E2%80%8Bsimone-de-beauvoirs-quotes-an-ardent-feminist/

22) Immanuel Kant https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/immanuel-kant-quotes-use-for-ethical-case-studies/

23) Mother Teresa: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/mother-teresa-quotes-on-peace/

24) F riedrich Nietzsche : https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/%E2%80%8Briedrich-nietzsche/

25) Edmund Burke : https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/17/edmund-burke/

26) Jean-Paul Satre: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/18/jean-paul-saree-quotes/

27) Sigmund Freud: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/18/sigmund-freud-quotes/

28) Friedrich Hegel: https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/20/friedrich-hegel-quotes-ardent-defendant-of-state-as-an-institution/

29) Henry David Thoreau : https://upscexpress.com/2017/07/20/%E2%80%8Bhenry-david-thoreau/

What are the expectations behind the proposal to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes? What could be the issues that may be faced in achieving the goals?

What are the expectations behind the proposal to grant constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes? What could be the issues that may be faced in achieving the goals?

Approach

  • Introduce with why a constitutional NCBC was created
  • List expectation from new constitutional body
  • Discuss issues that are to be addressed
  • Conclude with how this is a good move
Model Answer :

In order to safeguard the interests of the socially and educationally backward classes in India more effectively, a proposal was made to grant Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). At present, NCBC is a statutory body with limited functions. NCBC as a constitutional body will work for the welfare of backward classes on the lines of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC).

 

Expectations from the proposed NCBC:

  • All matters regarding the welfare and development of backward classes will be addressed and their complaints will be investigated.
  • Union and state governments will consult the Commission on all significant policy matters affecting the socially and educationally backward classes.
  • Similar to SC and ST lists, there will be only one central BC list for each state. There will be no separate state list.
  • Inclusion & exclusion in the list will be decided by the Parliament. Hence demands by any group will be subjected to greater scrutiny and only the most deserving will get included.

Issues in achieving goals:

  • Criteria for defining backwardness: Proposed Constitutional amendment bill has not set for any criteria to identify a caste as backward.
  • Federalism: Parliament will be the final authority on inclusion of communities in the BC list and, therefore, takes away the authority of states. The states can now only send requests to the NCBC.
  • Difference in the Central & State lists: In some states, there are a few differences in the central and the state list of BCs. Their position should have been clarified so that there is no anxiety for the backward classes.
  • Social unrest: Once this bill becomes a law, it will be very difficult to include Jats, Marathas, Patidars—it’s a very lengthy process. These agitations may get more aggravated.

Though some issues need to be sorted out yet, the proposed new commission for backward classes with constitutional status fulfils the long standing demand of the community. Its effectiveness will be measured by its ability to help address the developmental needs of the backward section of the society that has been the cause of much social unrest.

Subjects : Social Justice