Discuss the Seven Principles of Public Life given by the Nolan Committee. (150 words – 10 marks)

The Nolan Committee provides 7 Principles which state that holders of public
office should:
i) Selflessness: act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in
order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family or their
friends.
ii) Integrity: Not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside
individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance
of their official duties.
iii) Objectivity: should make choices on merit in carrying out public business,
including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending
individuals for rewards and benefits.

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iv) Accountability: hold themselves accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
v) Openness: be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they
take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only
when the wider public interest clearly demands.
vi) Honesty: declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take
steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
vii) Leadership: promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

When the objective is noble, the means do not matter. Do you agree? Justify your stand with a suitable example. (150 words – 10 marks)

No, I do not completely agree with the statement. Even if the objective is noble,
the means through which it is to be achieved must not be compromised. For, if
they are compromised, the objective itself may lose relevance. A case in point is
the program of forced sterilizations that India witnessed in the 1970s. The
objective was noble, to control our rapidly burgeoning population. But such harsh
and draconian means would have violated the basic rights granted to us by the
Constitution, rendering the objective moot.
However, there may be circumstances where the situation is very compelling.
Here, usual norms can be overlooked as a matter of exception. But even so, the
means should not be contrary to public welfare. E.g. during disasters, the usual
rules can be relaxed, because this is being done for larger public good. But even
here, public welfare must not be jeopardized.

It is easier to build a boy than to mend a man. Discuss this statement in the light of selecting an individual for public office. 150 words

The basis of the statement lies in two elements: firstly, that it is possible to
change behavior but very difficult to change attitudes; secondly, that as one ages,attitudes become more rigid and difficult to change. Thus, the earlier we introduce interventions to correct or improve behaviours and attitudes, the greater the chances of a meaningful impact.
With regard to selecting an individual for pubic office, this emphasizes the
importance of the recruitment and training programs. The lower the age at entry, the more the possibility that the interventions will have the desired impact since it becomes easier to training the individual, with minimal resistance.
Similarly, the recruitment policy must ensure that the selected individuals are
genuinely pubic-spirited. This would ensure that their acceptance of the
organizational ethos is greater and attitudinal resistance is minimal.

 What is service quality? How can it be improved? (150 words – 10 marks)

Service quality can be defined as the difference between customer expectations
and customer perceptions. If expectations are greater than the customer’s
perceptions about service experience and outcome, the perceived quality is not
satisfactory. This emphasizes the fact that in assessing service quality, it is the
perspective of the customer that should be given precedence.
Improving the quality of public services requires interventions on the supply as
well as the demand side. The supply-side factors are:
i. Establishing objectivity in service standards through mechanisms such as
citizen’s charters, Sevottam etc.
ii. Inculcating a service orientation by selecting and nurturing a good quality of
human capital.
iii. Providing scope for inspection and corrections through tools such as a
Grievance Redressal Mechanism, Whistleblower Protection etc.
iv. Information dissemination.
Demand-side factors promote citizen engagement and a citizen-centric culture
within administration. They include:
i) Information dissemination.
ii) Capacity building and Community mobilization.
iii) Grievance Redressal Mechanism.
iv) Institutionalisation of citizen engagement mechanisms.

Everything about Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese Encephalitis

  • It is a viral disease that infects animals and humans.
  • In humans, it can cause inflammation of membrane around the brain.
  • Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the most important cause of viral encephalitis in Asia.
  • JEV is a mosquito-borne flavivirus and belongs to the same genus as dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses.
  • The first case of Japanese encephalitis viral disease (JE) was documented in 1871 in Japan.

Signs and symptoms

  • Most JEV infections are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but approximately 1 in 250 infections results in severe clinical illness.
  • Severe disease is characterised by rapid onset of high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and ultimately death.
  • Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) is a clinical condition caused by infection with JEV or other infectious and noninfectious causes.

Transmission

  • JEV is transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes of the Culex species (mainly Culex tritaeniorhynchus).
  • Domestic pigs and wild birds are reservoirs of the virus.
  • In most temperate areas of Asia, JEV is transmitted mainly during the warm season, when large epidemics occur.
  • In the tropics and subtropics, transmission can occur year-round but often intensifies during the rainy season.

TRAPPIST-1:

TRAPPIST-1:

  • It is an ultra-cool dwarf star about 40 light years away, located in the constellation Aquarius.
  • It is named after the telescope that discovered this system – TRAPPIST (Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescop) in Chile.
  • The planets have sizes and masses comparable to the Earth and Venus.
  • It is an ultra-cool star (unlike our sun). Therefore, liquid water could survive on planets very close to it as well.
  • All 7 planetary orbits are closer to their host star than Mercury is to our sun. The planets are very close to each other.
  • Based on their densities, the planets of this system are likely to be rocky.
  • The TRAPPIST-1 star is quite old: between 5.4 and 9.8 billion years. This is up to twice as old as our own solar system, which formed some 4.5 billion years ago.
  • Since it is a low mass star, the temperature and brightness almost remains constant. Therefore, it is expected to live 900 times longer than the current age of the universe – 13.7 billion years.

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How is atomic bomb different from hydrogen bomb?

How is atomic bomb different from hydrogen bomb?

  • A hydrogen bomb, also called a thermonuclear bomb or an H-bomb.
  • It is far more powerful than the relatively simple atomic weapons.
  • It uses a second stage of reactions to magnify the force of an atomic explosion.
  • The second stage is fusion.
  • Fusion is mashing hydrogen atoms together in the same process that fuels the sun.
  • When these relatively light atoms join together, they unleash neutrons in a wave of destructive energy.
  • A hydrogen weapon uses an initial nuclear fission explosion to create a tremendous pulse that compresses and fuses small amounts of deuterium and tritium, kinds of hydrogen, near the heart of the bomb.
  • The swarms of neutrons set free can ramp up the explosive chain reaction of a uranium layer wrapped around it, creating a blast far more devastating than uranium fission alone.

Nations having hydrogen bomb:

  • The United States tested a hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll in 1954 that was over 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
  • Britain, China, France and Russia have also created hydrogen bombs.
  • Other nations may also either have it or are working on it, despite a worldwide effort to contain such proliferation.