IASCLUB Synopsis : 03 June 2019

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1.Discuss the problem faced by human population due to modification in the environment.

                                                                                                 (GS Paper-1, Human Geography) (150 words)

Structure of the Answer

 ·         Introduction: Explain how human affect environment

·         Discuss the impact of Human-caused environmental change

·         Conclude with suggestions

Reference- NCERT

Model Answer:

Human beings are part of the environment and important components of biosphere. Like any other living organism humans exchange materials with the surroundings. Besides this give and take from the environment, human influence on other life forms and ability to change and control the environment to some degree, has affected the global environment drastically. Hence, one can say that human population and human activity has immense impact on the environment.

 Impact of Human-caused environmental change

In spite of all the intelligence at its source, human beings have not been able to conquer the environment completely. Natural as well as human-made modifications in the environment have, through various periods, offered fatal blows to the human population. Some such problems confronting us are:

(1) Food shortage or famine: It could be because of less agricultural production; transfer of agricultural land for utilization; improper and inadequate storage, transport- facilities; economic poverty to purchase food etc.

(2) Inadequate shelter: Every individual is not provided with safe shelter and is exposed to extremes of high and cold temperatures of atmosphere, and falling prey to tigers, lions, wolves, leopards, rats, snakes etc.

(3) Diseases: Malnutrition, inadequate sanitation, lack of medical facilities, increased susceptibility to disease especially among young and old, as well as invasion and mutation of the pathogens leads to epidemic/fatal attacks of bubonic plague, malaria, yellow fever, typhoid, tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, dengue, influenza etc.

(4) Calamities: Natural calamities such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami, avalanches etc. uproot human settlements and damage property.

(5) Miscellaneous: Various mostly human-made, accidents involving explosions, fire, pollution, ship wrecks, air and road accidents wipe out lives.

Thus, there is a tussle between man to change environment to his liking and the environment striking back in one form or the other. If, humans are able to interact with the environment judiciously, an environment friendly life can be led by them.

2. What is alternative dispute resolution (ADR)? Discuss different types of alternative dispute resolutions present in India.                                                                                                                        (GS Paper-2, Polity) (250 words)

Structure of the Answer

 ·         Introduction- Briefly explain Article 368 on Constitution

·         Discuss types of amendments in Indian Constitution

·         Conclude with the relevance of ADR in India


Model Answer:

Dispute resolution is an indispensable process for making social life peaceful. Dispute resolution process tries to resolve and check conflicts, which enables persons and group to maintain co-operation. It can thus be said that it is the sin qua non (an essential condition) of social life and security of the social order, without which it may be difficult for the individuals to carry on the life together.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a term used to describe several different modes of resolving legal disputes. It is experienced by the business world as well as common men that it is impracticable for many individuals to file law suits and get timely justice. The Courts are backlogged with dockets resulting in delay of year or more for the parties to have their cases heard and decided. To solve this problem of delayed justice ADR Mechanism has been developed in response thereof.

Different types of alternative dispute resolutions


Conciliation is an alternative dispute resolution process whereby the parties to a dispute use a conciliator, who meets with the parties separately in order to resolve their differences. They do this by lowering tensions, improving communications, interpreting issues, providing technical assistance, exploring potential solutions and bring about a negotiated settlement. It differs from Arbitration in that.


Now, worldwide mediation settlement is a voluntary and informal process of resolution of disputes. It is a simple, voluntary, party cantered and structured negotiation process, where a neutral third party assists the parties in amicably resolving their disputes by using specified communication and negotiation techniques. Mediation is a process where it is controlled by the parties themselves. The mediator only acts as a facilitator in helping the parties to reach a negotiated settlement of their dispute. The mediator makes no decisions and does not impose his view of what a fair settlement should be.

Lok Adalat:

The concept that is gaining popularity is that of Lok Adalats or people’s courts as established by the government to settle disputes through conciliation and compromise. It is a judicial institution and a dispute settlement agency developed by the people themselves for social justice based on settlement or compromise reached through systematic negotiations. The first Lok Adalats was held in Una aim the Junagadh district of Gujarat State as far back as 1982. Lok Adalats accept even cases pending in the regular courts within their jurisdiction.

Family Courts:

The Family Courts Act, 1984 was enacted to provide for the establishment of Family Courts with a view to promote conciliation and secure speedy settlement of disputes relating to marriage and family affairs.

Gram Nyayalayas:

The Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 has been enacted to provide for the establishment of the Gram Nyayalayas at the grass roots level for the purposes of providing access to justice to the citizens at their doorsteps and to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen due to social, economic or other disabilities.

The disputants want a decision and that too as quickly as possible. As the problem of overburdened Courts has been faced all over the world, new solutions were searched. Various Tribunals were the answer to the search. In India, we have a number of Tribunals. However, the fact of the matter is that even after the formation of so many Tribunals, the administration of justice has not become speedy. Thus, it can be safely said that the solution lies somewhere else. All over the globe the recent trend is to shift from litigation towards Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is a very practical suggestion, which if implemented, can reduce the workload of Civil Courts by half.

3.What are human modified ecosystems? Explain characteristics of any one human modified ecosystem. Also discuss its disadvantages.                                                                                                            (GS Paper-3, Environment) (250 words)

Structure of the Answer

·         Introduction on human modified ecosystems

·         Give some examples of human modified ecosystems

·         Explain any human modified ecosystems (like agro-ecosystems or aquaculture) and its characteristics.

·         Finally highlight its disadvantages

Reference– NCERT

Model Answer:

The greed and need of human being has modified and changed the natural ecosystems greatly. The main reasons for the modification of natural ecosystems are and 1) increasing human population 2) increasing human needs and 3) changing life styles.

Some examples of human modified ecosystems are:

(1) Agro-ecosystems

(2) Plantation forests

(3) Urban ecosystems

(4) Rural ecosystems

(5) Aquaculture

(6) Industrial areas

(7) Laboratory cultures


 Agro-ecosystems are large areas where commercial crops are cultivated. Crop plants are sown and harvested by humans for economic purposes. They are also known as crop ecosystems and mostly cultivated as monoculture (growing only one type of crop) on the entire field or sometimes growing two or more crop species in the same field at the same time.

Characteristics of agro-ecosystems

 (1) They are highly simplified ecosystems supporting monoculture of a crop species.

(2) Species diversity is lowest

(3) Highly unstable and not self-sustaining.

(4) Attract weeds and susceptible to plant diseases.

(5) Soil are poor, deficient in nutrients, require supplement of chemical or fertilizers.

(6) Need artificial irrigation and water management.

(7) Dependent on human care and management.

 Economic importance

(i) Agro ecosystems fulfill the basic requirements of food, fruits, edible oil etc.

(ii) Good quality grains can be produced with high yield.

(iii) Provides livelihood to a large number of people .More than 60 % of Indian population depends on agriculture.

Disadvantages of agro-ecosystem

  1. Large scale monoculture of agricultural crops results in severe loss of native biodiversity including genetic diversity of crop plants.
  2. High yielding varieties of crop plants are more susceptible to disease e.g. smut of sugarcane, maize and sorghum and rust of wheat and bajra are common plants diseases.
  3. To protect crop from pests and diseases requires large scale use of pesticides and chemicals which pollute the environment.
  4. Deplete ground water in many areas due to well irrigation.
  5. Run off water from agricultural field laden with fertilizers and pesticides pollute river, lakes and ponds.
Other important inforamtion

Characteristics of human modified ecosystems

(1) Highly simplified.

(2) Species diversity is very low.

(3) Food chains are simple and small.

(4) Depend on human (anthropogenic) support for survival; need for fossil fuel energy, fertilizers, irrigation etc.

(5) Attract large number of weeds.

(6) More susceptible to epidemic diseases.

(7) Suffer from soil erosion.

(8) Highly unstable.

4.Discuss the role of Satyagraha in conflict resolution. Explain the principles of Satyagraha.                                                                                                                                                                              (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (250 words)

Structure of the Answer

 ·         Explain Satyagraha

·         Explain method of conflict resolution of satyagrahi

·         Discuss the principles of Satyagraha

Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics

Model Answer:

Violence to persons and property has the effect of clouding the real issues involved in the original conflict while non-coercive, nonviolent action invites the parties to a dialogue about the issues themselves. Gandhi, therefore, warns that we must “Hate the sin and not the sinner”. When opponents are seen as the valuable human personalities that they are and through nonviolent, non-coercive means the conflict is conducted in such a way that opponents are allowed, or encouraged, to realise their own human potential, existential rewards also accrue to the satyagrahi.

In Gandhi’s words Satyagraha is: “The essence of nonviolence technique is that it seeks to liquidate antagonisms but not the antagonists themselves”; “Satyagraha is a relentless search for truth and a determination to reach truth”; and “The satyagrahi’s object is to convert, not to coerce, the wrong-doer”.

In conflict situations satyagraha merely means that the satyagrahi follows no other plan than the adherence to nonviolence and has no other goal than to reach the truth. The truth being the end of the process, nonviolence the means to achieve it. Because good ends can never grow out of bad means, the opponent (for the satyagrahi there may be opponents but there are never enemies) is not forced to expose themself to loss. There is no threat, coercion or punishment. The person offering the satyagraha instead undergoes self-suffering with the optimistic belief that the opponent can be converted to see the truth of his or her claim by touching the opponent’s conscience, or that a clearer vision of truth will grow out of the dialectical process for both parties. While satyagrahis try to convert, they must themselves also remain open to persuasion.

Satyagraha in its pure sense aims not so much at changing the behaviour of the opponent as at changing their attitudes so that they may then change their behaviour. Changed behaviour without changed attitudes can only be maintained through coercion, which is fundamentally opposed by the philosophy of satyagraha. Satyagraha, then, goes beyond redressing merely the immediate grievance that has surfaced as conflict, but aims to resolve the distrust and friction that are the underlying sources of the conflict.

Principles of Satyagraha

The principles of satyagraha Satyagraha is far more than a set of actions. It is also an attitude, for example, a boycott may be part of a satyagraha campaign but if the underlying principles of satyagraha are not present then a boycott alone cannot accurately be described as satyagraha.

The basic precepts and rules of a satyagraha can be systematised in the following ten points:

(1) Violence is invited from opponents if they are humiliated or provoked. It is never the intention of a satyagrahi to embarrass the wrong-doer. The appeal is never to his fear; it is, must be always to his heart.

(2) A violent attitude is less likely on the part of a would-be satyagrahi if they have made clear to themself the essential elements of their case and the purpose of the struggle.

(3) Opponents are less likely to use violent means the better they understand the satyagrahi’s case and conduct. As a satyagrahi, he must always allow himself to be examined and re-examined at all times and make reparation if an error is discovered.

(4) The essential interests which opponents have in common should be clearly formulated and cooperation established on this basis.

(5) Opponents should not be judged harder than the self.

(6) Opponents should be trusted. Satyagraha is based on the principle “that the only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him, and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him”

(7) Unwillingness to compromise on non-essentials decreases the likelihood of converting the opponent. Satyagraha requires that demands made be the “irreducible minimum”; they should never be lowered just to please the adversary, but both parties should be prepared to “make large concessions on all points except where a principle is involved”, in fact in cases short of matters of principle. A satyagrahi never misses, can never miss, a chance of compromise on honourable terms. Gandhi claimed that he himself was essentially a man of compromise “because I can never be sure that I am right”.

(8) The conversion of an opponent is furthered by personal sincerity. Opponents are more likely to resort to violence if they believe that the satyagrahi’s case is unjust.  Genuine satyagraha, however, by definition being a quest for truth, cannot be used in an unjust cause.

(9) The best way of convincing an opponent of the sincerity of the satyagrahi is to make sacrifices for the given cause.

(10) A position of weakness in an opponent should not be exploited.


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