1.What are rural settlements? Discuss the characteristics of rural settlements. (GS Paper-1, Human Geography) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Introduction: Briefly define rural settlement
· Discuss the Characteristics of rural settlements with examples
· Give examples to explain charateristics
Primitive humans began to lead a settled life about 10,000 years ago. The settlements were village habitations comprised of an enlarged primary group. Such village habitations are persistent aggregates of human society. Simple living and compact organization characterises rural societies.
Rural societies have low population density and limited opportunities. In India villages are significant as Indian culture is still preserved in villages. Most of the villages in different parts of the country have retained their specific cultural and societal features.
Characteristics of rural settlements
Rural communities possess special features:
- Agriculture forms the dominant occupation. Even those not directly working in fields, have occupations that are indirectly connected to agriculture. Village economy is based on agricultural economy.
- Joint family system: Joint family is a social and cultural institution more commonly found in village communities than in cities.
- Caste system: Social stratification based on castes is more pronounced in villages.
- Jajmani system: Each village is grouped into (i) jajmans and (ii) service provider castes who are paid in cash or kind. Jajmans are land owners. They come from upper castes while service provider castes are at a middle or lower level.
- Rural calendar: In Indian villages, people understand the Indian samvat and the Hijri calendars.
- Simple living: God-fearing and tradition bound villagers lead simple lives untouched by glamour of city life.
- Poverty and illiteracy are because of uneconomic land holdings and poor productivity due to fragmented and barren lands. Colleges, medical facilities, transport and civic amenities are not available inspite of several rural development schemes of the government.
- Averse to mobility and social change: Orthodoxy, illiteracy, superstitions and fear keep back youth from moving out or changing profession, caste and religion. Rural social norms have a big influence in preventing violation of traditional norms of rural society. The punishing authority of panchayats also contributes towards keeping back rural youth from taking new initiatives or adopting any change.
2.Differentiate between ‘procedure established by law’ and ‘due process of law’. Framers Of the constitution preferred a synthesis between judicial supremacy and parliamentary supremacy. (GS Paper-2, Polity) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Differentiate between Procedure Established by Law and Due Process of Law
· Discuss the synthesis of American and UK System
· Write about judicial review and current system of India
Procedure established by law
- It means that a law that is duly enacted by legislature or the concerned body is valid if it has followed the correct procedure.
- In this the court would assess that whether there is law or not, whether the Legislature is competent to frame the law and whether it had followed the procedure laid down to legislate and would not assess the intent of the said law.
- This doctrine has a major flaw. It does not assess whether the laws made by Parliament is fair, just and not arbitrary.
- “Procedure established by law” means a law duly enacted is valid even if it’s contrary to principles of justice and equity.
- Strictly following procedure established by law may raise the risk of compromise to life and personal liberty of individuals due to unjust laws made by the law making authorities. Thus, Procedure established by law protects the individual against the arbitrary action of only the executive.
Due Process of Law
- Due process of law doctrine not only checks if there is a law to deprive the life and personal liberty of a person, but also see if the law made is fair, just and not arbitrary.
- If SC finds that any law as not fair, it will declare it as null and void. This doctrine provides for more fair treatment of individual rights.
- Under due process, it is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person and laws that states enact must confirm to the laws of the land like – fairness, fundamental rights, liberty etc.
- It also gives the judiciary to assess the fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty of any legislation.
- Thus Due process of law protects the individual against the arbitrary action of both executive and legislature.
In India a liberal interpretation is made by judiciary after 1978 and it has tried to make the term ‘Procedure established by law’ as synonymous with ‘Due process’ when it comes to protect individual rights.
In Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India case (1978) SC held that – ‘Procedure established by law’ within the meaning of article 21 must be ‘right and just and fair’ and ‘not arbitrary, fanciful or oppressive’ otherwise, it would be no procedure at all and the requirement of Article 21 would not be satisfied. Thus, the ‘procedure established by law’ has acquired the same significance in India as the ‘due process of law’ clause in America.
The doctrine of sovereignty of Parliament is associated with the British Parliament while the principle of judicial supremacy with that of the American Supreme Court. Just as the Indian parliamentary system differs from the British system, the scope of judicial review power of the Supreme Court in India is narrower than that of what exists in US. This is because the American Constitution provides for ‘due process of law’ against that of ‘procedure established by law’ contained in the Indian Constitution (Article 21). Therefore, the framers of the Indian Constitution have preferred a proper synthesis between the British principle of parliamentary sovereignty and the American principle of judicial supremacy.
The Supreme Court, on the one hand, can declare the parliamentary laws as unconstitutional through its power of judicial review. The Parliament, on the other hand, can amend the major portion of the Constitution through its constituent power. In short it maintains the checks and balances on larger scale.
3.Discuss the various problems caused by urbanisation. (GS Paper-3, Environment) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Discuss effects of urbanisation on environment
· Elaborate energy and water limitation due to urbanisation
· Write about pollution caused by urbanisation
With economic development comes urbanization and with urbanization comes destruction of the environment. Urbanization causes environmental and social upheaval.
Urbanisation and environmental degradation
- Since cities are located near rivers, along coastlines, the expanded urban inhabitants often overtake the good agricultural land for housing, industry etc.
- Loss of such an important and delicate habitat effects many rare and endangered species.
- Forests are cut.
- Wetlands are filled with soil.
- Soil is removed from productive use.
- Many hazardous materials are released into surroundings.
- Air, water and soil are polluted.
Urbanisation and socio-economic factors
- Population is redistributed;
- Peasant society changes to factory/business dependent community;
- Automobiles/industries pollute air;
- Civic amenities are unable to cope with increased sewage disposal;
- Poor sanitation leads to water and soil pollution
- Poor sanitation breed pathogens/vectors resulting in rise of communicable diseases;
- Over-crowding, unemployment lead to unbalanced urban life which causes, in turn, a number of social evils.
Urbanization and limited energy resources
Energy is a critical input for most of the production processes and consumption activities. With urbanization comes increased need for energy sources. In last sixty years we have had more than four-fold increase in total energy use for less than one-third rise in the population. However, the commercial activity has shown a 10 fold rise during the same period. This shows that the bulk of non-commercial energy use has had shifted to commercial use (mostly, due to urbanization). Of the various sectors that use commercial energy around 70-75% is consumed by industry and transport.
Non-conventional resources of energy such as solar, garbage, wind are negligible and insignificant. With growing population and increasing rural migration to cities, our country must cope with increased energy requirement.
Urbanisation and scarcity of water
Regular supply of water on earth is maintained through its circulation in the atmosphere. Precipitation of water vapour, in the form for rain, snow, dew, hail etc. is the main source of water in the environment. Water vapours present in the atmosphere, in turn, come from the water bodies such as lakes, streams, oceans, ponds, moist earth as well as from living organisms.
With rapid population growth and rising migration from villages to cities, expectation for better life, the natural resources of our earth face even increasing pressure.
Urbanisation and Pollution
With urbanization population gets unevenly dispersed. This results in unbalanced demand for resources and even unbalanced release of harmful matter into the surroundings. Such harmful and often hazardous material comes from industrial, domestic, transport, vehicles etc. When released, they severely affect the soil, water and air. Pollutants can prove to be dangerous to human beings and other organisms.
4.What does Kant mean by the Categorical Imperative as the Principle of Morality? (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Explain the meaning of Categorical Imperative
· Differentiate hypothetical imperatives and categorical imperatives
· Elaborate Categorical Imperative with examples
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
Kant viewed human nature as a battlefield of unceasing struggle between desires (subjective) and reason (objective) wherein our desires have a stronger appeal than reason has; therefore, we find that acting rightly requires an effort that acting on feeling does not. Categorical Imperative is a term invented by Immanuel Kant to refer to a command that orders us to do something unconditionally – that is, regardless of what we want or what our aims and purposes are.
According to Kant, we experience the principle of morality as Categorical Imperative. Kant’s categorical imperative is categorical because it admits of no exceptions and is absolutely binding, inescapable. It is imperative because it gives instruction about how one ought to act and, thus, is a command.
The nature of categorical imperative is further expounded in comparison with hypothetical imperatives. For instance, “you should not kill yourself” is a categorical imperative and “you should not kill yourself because God will punish you” is a hypothetical imperative; the former is unconditioned, objective, and binding on everybody and the latter is conditioned, providing an extraneous reason only to the person who has the end mentioned in the antecedent.
All of the imperatives that Kant calls hypothetical, thus, depend for their force on some external source of authority – an agency by which they have been issued. In contrast to the hypothetical imperatives, categorical imperatives ensue from within by virtue of our reason.
Kant captures the cream of his ethics in the form of a supreme norm that “there is one categorical imperative, namely this: Act on that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”
This procedure of testing the morality by applying the categorical imperative in concrete consists always in finding out whether one can will his or her maxim (subjective) to become a universal law (objective) or not. That is to say, if what one does could be done by all rational beings, it is morally permissible and if not, it is not. So when I do something, I must make sure that I want everybody else to do the same if they are in the same situation. Only then will I be acting according to the moral law within. And this applies to all people in all societies always. I should do my moral duty because it is my moral duty and for no other reason. If I look for results, such as my own happiness or the betterment of others, then I am acting hypothetically.
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