1. Discuss the various reform introduced by Napoléon Bonaparte in France.(GS Paper-1, World History) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Discuss various reforms introduced by Bonaparte
· Conclude with effects of his reforms
Napoléon Bonaparte was a French military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the France from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815. Napoleon instituted various reforms, such as higher education, a tax code, road and sewer systems, and established the Banque de France, the first central bank in French history.
Reforms introduced by Napoleon having lasting impact on French society and whole of Europe are:
The Napoleonic Code: It codified laws based on Legal Equality, Principle of Merit etc. It reorganized the entire legal structure into a unified, progressive system. It was introduced first in France, and then to other parts the empire. Today, the Code Napoléon is the basis of law in France and a number of other countries.
Economic Reforms: Napoleon tried to improve the economic condition of France. He introduced fair taxes, Monetary Policy, and for this he set up a Central Bank. He also undertook many trade facilitation measures, like unified market, single currency, etc. He also tried to check the evils like black marketing, speculation, profiteering and punished economic offenders very severely.
Administrative Reforms: Napoleon centralized the government, putting control firmly in the hands of the national government. It became more efficient. Advancement in civil services and the military was based on merit rather than rank.
Religious Reforms: He harmonized the relations between the state, the church, and religious freedom of people. He also put an end to all of restrictions on Jews, and made them full French citizens.
Education Reforms: Napoleon reorganized France’s education system. He promoted education for girls and greatly improved teacher training. Literacy levels in France soared under Napoleon’s reforms.
Cultural Reforms: He promoted unified French language all over the France and made Paris the Cultural Capital of France.
Consolidation of European states: His wars resulted in the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and sowed the seeds of nationalism that led to the consolidations of Germany and Italy.
Spread of Revolutionary Ideals: He spread, through his conquests, the modern, progressive ideals throughout his dominion. These ideals were instrumental in defining the European Continent for all times to come, like ideals of equality, liberty, etc.
Napoleon was responsible for spreading the values of the French Revolution to other countries, especially in legal reform and the abolition of serfdom. After the fall of Napoleon, not only was the Napoleonic Code retained by conquered countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, parts of Italy and Germany, but has been used as the basis of certain parts of law outside Europe including the Dominican Republic, the US state of Louisiana and the Canadian province of Quebec.
2. A pregnancy can be terminated under the MTP Act 1971 under few conditions. Discuss the issues associated with legal abortions. (GS Paper-2, Social Justice) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Briefly highlight the conditions of legal abortion as per MTP Act 1971
· Discuss the issues associated with such abortions
There are 5 conditions that have been identified in the MTP Act 1971.
- Medical: where continuation of the pregnancy might endanger the mother’s life or cause grave injury to her physical or mental health.
- Eugenic: Where there is substantial risk of the child being born with serious handicaps due to physical or mental abnormalities.
- Humanitarian: Where pregnancy is the result of rape.
- Socio-economic: Where actual or reasonably foreseeable environments (whether social or economic) could lead to risk injury to the health of the mother.
- Failure of contraceptive devices
Issues associated with legal abortions
Physical and Medical Issue
A woman is made physically and psychologically for motherhood. This is the basic fact of her life. If this process of becoming a mother is suddenly stopped, the shock will have its effect. This effect may be physical or mental, immediate or long term.
There is emotional and physical unrest experienced during the first few weeks of pregnancy. It is at this time that the expectant mother may be subjected to maximum pressure to agree to an abortion. The common psychological problems associated with abortion are depression, neurosis, guilt etc.
Legalised abortion saves lives by reducing the number of illegal attempts. Antiabortionists emphasize their fears that without any restriction, except the individual women and her conscience, an ‘Abortion Mentality’ develops so that abortion becomes too common and are performed too easily or for reasons that are not serious: For example teenage pregnancy tend to become a common occurrence among several college students in urban areas with free access to abortion facilities.
Much of the controversy about abortion has centered around the moral issues. In ordinary justice, the child has as much claim as the mother to life and should have even more claim to legal protection of its right, since it is incapable of defending itself.
Rights of the Unborn Child
The UN declaration on the Rights of the child maintains that “The Child by reason of its physical and mental immaturity needs special safeguards and care including appropriate legal protection before as well as after the birth.”
The Anti-abortionists claim that science has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that human life begins at fertilization. The foetus from the beginning has its own life, is a totally new human being, a new person, with a genetic code quite distinct from the genetic code of its parents. That new life is completely there at fertilization, lacking only development and growth. Abortion always takes away the innocent’s already existing life.
3.Terrorism is the biggest threat to the security of the world at the present scenario. What are the causes of terrorism? (GS Paper-3, Security) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Discuss the causes of terrorism
· Conclude with suggestions
Terrorism begets a sense of repugnance and disgust deep in the people’s mind. It can destroy the world peace with its indiscriminate attacks. Terrorism does not observe any code of conduct concerning the value of life. Terrorism builds a kind of psychological state of extreme fear, insecurity and anxiety, besides the physical damages it causes in terms of loss of life and material goods.
CAUSES OF TERRORISM
Terrorism has several causes which can be related to social, historical, cultural, religious, economic, and psychological aspects. The following could be seen as some of the causes of terrorism:
The Reality of Persistent Disputes:
Terrorism has its breeding ground in conflicts. Reasons for conflicts, however, can vary widely. Basically, it is the differences in objectives and ideologies that show the way to conflict. Some of the historical examples to this effect are: dominance of territory or resources by various ethnic, linguistic, religious or cultural groups; aspiration for freedom from foreign regimes; imposition of a particular form of government, such as democracy, theocracy, oligarchy, or dictatorship; economic deprivation of a population; and real or perceived instances of injustices.
Dearth of Reasonable Redressal Procedure:
The absence of a systematic and proper redressal system can cause continued terrorist activities. If such a system were to exist, people will have recourse to it and thus solve conflicting situations. When such systems are not available due to their nonexistence, sloth, corruption; or unaffordable cost, the socially and culturally wounded people will get tempted to seek solution by themselves. Terrorist activities thus can arise from a sense of denial of lawful right of a certain group of people, for which they have been demanding determinedly.
Weakness of the Distressed People:
When there are violent discords coupled with the absence of a genuine redressal system, there could be attempts to find solutions to the problems by force. This could result in various kinds of organized violence like communal riots and war. However, violence takes an ugly form through terrorism when the distressed people realize their inability to influence the dominator, due to their weakness. In such a situation, they are unable to face the oppressive forces face to face or in a direct manner. Therefore, they go underground and fight for their cause.
When children and youth are not brought up responsibly by their parents or guardians, there is a high risk for them to get involved with violent groups or militancy. There are vested interested groups who indoctrinate young minds to take up arms to right for their causes which are sometimes fabricated. Often, ideologies of hatred in the name of religion, ethnic loyalty or nationalism are injected into the minds of people. These youngsters are trained to cause destruction and are armed with deadly weapons. Their misguidance becomes complete when they are taught to regard the death and destruction of their enemies as a glorious achievement and their own possible death in the process as heroic martyrdom.
It can be said that globalization, though not a direct cause of terrorism, it can often contribute to the menace of terrorism. The situation brought about by the linkage, even fusion, around the world of communications and financial systems has contributed to the promotion of global terrorism. Again, new communications such as the Internet and satellite phones have made it possible for the extremist terrorist and political organizations to build large organizational networks, exchange information, and combine resources.
According to psychologists, terrorism is purely the result of psychological forces, not a well-thought-out strategy aimed at achieving rational, strategic ends. There is another psychological view which says that the terrorists are normal individuals, who due to their deep emotional need and a high order of motivation on the grounds of nationalism or religious sentiment forces him to take up the path of violence. Another reason for taking up terrorism could be due to the desire to overcome loneliness. They claim that many terrorists are people who have been rejected in some fashion by society and tend to be loners. Since it is in human nature to be part of a group, an alienated loner is naturally drawn towards any group that will accept him, give him a sense of mission, and provide him the ways and means of accomplishing it, along with monetary gains too.
The fight against terrorism can be effective only if governments cooperate more closely especially through the exchange of relevant information concerning the prevention and combating of terrorism, identification, arrest and prosecution or extradition of terrorists. People should be educated for international thinking. Peace education should be encouraged in all the educational institutions.
4.What do you understand by moral dilemma? Explain with examples. Highlight the view of Utilitarians about moral dilemma? (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Define moral dilemma
· Give examples of conflicting moral situations
· Present view of Utilitarians on moral dilemma
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
The term ‘Moral dilemma’ is applied to any difficult moral problem. Dilemmas raise hard moral questions. In the context of relevance of morality, moral philosophers state moral dilemma when one moral reason conflicts with another. Moral reasons normally conflict with religious or aesthetic reasons. Bur moral dilemmas occur only when there is conflict between two moral reasons. A moral reason is a moral requirement just in case it would be morally wrong not to act on it without an adequate justification or excuse.
- Ramesh has just paid for his groceries and left the shop and discovered that he was given Rs 50 too much in change. A person just outside the shop is in need of some money.
- A child is crying in the street. No one is helping her. You need to catch the bus to visit your friend who is about to have an operation.
- Your neighbour has Alzheimer’s and is also very anti-social. She gets extremely offended with any offer of help and prides herself on her independence. Sometimes she forgets to turn off the stove, or shut her door properly. You notice that her door is open.
Utilitarians view on moral dilemma
As far as Utilitarians are concerned, since all other moral principles are included in the general principle of ‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number’, a moral dilemma for them is like a ‘technical problem’ to find out which of the alternatives of an apparent moral dilemma would actually produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number.
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