1.How cyclones are named? Discuss the damaged caused by cyclones. (GS Paper-1, Geography) (250 words)
|Structure of the Answer
- The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has devised a mechanism where countries submit a list of names from time to time. Names of cyclones are chosen from this pool.
- For tropical cyclones developing in the North Indian Ocean, countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan and Thailand send their names to the regional tropical cyclone committee.
- At present, all eight countries have submitted eight names each for naming future cyclones. For example name for cyclone Fani was suggested by Bangladesh.
- In 2018 Cyclone Titli hit Andhra Pradesh and parts of Odisha. This cyclone was named by Pakistan.
- In 2017, Cyclone Ockhi caused severe damage in Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu. Its name was given by Bangladesh.
- The names given by India are: Agni, Akash, Bijli, Jal, Lehar, Megh, Sagar and Vayu.
Damage caused by cyclones
- Cyclones are powerful storms that generate strong windspeeds and have the potential to trigger sudden and heavy rain in the affected areas.
- There are basically three aspects related to cyclones that have the potential to cause destruction-flooding due to rising sea, destruction caused by strong winds and damage due to heavy rains.
- When a cyclone is formed over the sea, it generates strong winds along it. These winds have the potential to generate storm surges. A storm surge is an abnormal rise in the sea level due to a storm (cyclone, hurricane etc).
- A storm surge becomes dangerous because it has the potential to flood low-lying areas along the coast.
- It can drown humans and animals, destroy infrastructure and damage environment by eroding beaches, flooding vegetation, among others.
- The second dame-causing aspect of cyclones is the strong winds that are generated by the storm. These strong winds that accompany cyclones can uproot trees, electricity poles, shatter houses etc.
- This is a common phenomenon in the United States of America which regularly weathers strong hurricanes.
- The third aspect with cyclones is their ability to cause sudden, heavy and prolonged rain in the affected areas.
- This causes floods in rivers, pollutes drinking water and if combined with storm surge, it becomes a double whammy.
- Unfortunately, all the three factors occur at the same time when a cyclone makes a landfall. The IMD states that of three factors, it is storm surge that is most catastrophic and causes widespread destruction.
2.Money Bills (article 110) have special provisions to ensure financial independence and continuity to government functioning. But these provisions are sometimes misused to bypass the Rajya Sabha. Discuss. (GS Paper-2, Polity) (250 words)
|Structure of the Answer
Reference– Laxmikanth/ Current Affairs
The central Information Commission (CIC) has become essential component of vibrant Indian democracy. Do you think CIC should be made constitutional body?
The Central Information Commission has been constituted under the Right to Information Act, 2005. Thus, CIC is a statutory body set up under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The jurisdiction of the Commission extends over all Central Public Authorities.
CIC is mandated to resolve appeals and complaints filed against government departments or public authorities by information seekers under the Right to Information Act. Thus, CIC is an appellate body. The decisions of the Commission are final and binding. RTI act is aimed at strengthening essence of democracy and CIC is important pillar of RTI regime.
Presently CIC suffers from various issues:
- The delay in the appointment of Chief information Commissioner and Information Commissioners has resulted into high pendency. Currently there are some 40,000 cases pending before it.
- RTI act provides that CIC can penalise PIOs with a fine. But, actually the penalty is imposed is in a very few cases. Given that more than half of the RTI applications get processed after 30 days, there is a very strong perception in the citizens and the Civil Society Organizations that the CIC is lenient towards the erring PIO.
- The CIC has the power to require the Public Authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to secure compliance with the provisions of this Act. However, there are inadequate processes and records available with the Information Commission to take the any step.
- CIC is a quasi judicial body. Yet it does not have effective punitive powers. For instance CIC has ruled political parties come under the purview of RTI act. But no party has followed the order.
- PIOs and First Appellate Authorities are inadequately trained. According to some estimates, only 55% of PIOs receive RTI training. Thus, information seekers are not satisfied with information provided by them. Thus, complains to CIC are increase.
Thus, making CIC a constitutional body at par with UPSC, CAG or Election Commission will be a right step. CIC will be more independent, will enjoy more powers. This will increase its effectiveness and help in establishing environment of openness and transparency in the country.
3. What is Money Laundering? What influence does money laundering have on economic development?
(GS Paper-3, Security) (150 words)
|Structure of the Answer
- Money laundering is the generic term used to describe the process by which criminals disguise the original ownership and control of the proceeds of criminal conduct by making such proceeds appear to have derived from a legitimate source.
- The overall scheme of this process returns the money to the launderer in an obscure and indirect way.
Impact of money laundering on economic development
- Launderers are continuously looking for new routes for laundering their funds. Economies with growing or developing financial centres, but inadequate controls are particularly vulnerable as established financial centre countries implement comprehensive anti-money laundering regimes.
- Differences between national anti-money laundering systems will be exploited by launderers, who tend to move their networks to countries and financial systems with weak or ineffective countermeasures.
- Some might argue that developing economies cannot afford to be too selective about the sources of capital they attract. But postponing action is dangerous. The more it is deferred, the more entrenched organised crime can become.
- As with the damaged integrity of an individual financial institution, there is a damping effect on foreign direct investment when a country’s commercial and financial sectors are perceived to be subject to the control and influence of organised crime. Fighting money laundering and terrorist financing is therefore a part of creating a business friendly environment which is a precondition for lasting economic development.
4.Discuss the ethical teachings of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and The Brahmo Samaj. (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
Reference- Lexicon’s Ethics
Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s lifelong endeavor was to recreate human brotherhood and unity on a religious basis, by rediscovering the harmony and unity of all religious strivings of mankind.
His desire to combine the best of both East and the West led him to advocate the introduction of the western system of education for Indian students. Like other contemporary Indian thinkers, he also pleaded for the scientific basis of education. But his deep study of ancient Hindu culture despite his love for scientific education did not make him appreciate materialism of the west.
Many social evils such as child-marriage, Sati, degradation of women and division of Hindu society into endless castes and sub-casts weakened the whole Hindu society. The degraded social system and artificial compartmentalization resulted in mutual hatred and discontent. It was the time when India began to pass through the age of general resentment, reaction and opposition to the existing religious and social values. It was also the time when India saw the new light of renaissance, reformation, enlightenment and reconstruction. The religious movements like the Brahma samaj, was an earnest effort to recast Hindu religion into a new form in order to meet the requirements of the new society.
The fundamental principles of the Brahmo Samaj, founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1828 are:
- There is only one God, who is the creator, and the savior of this world. He is spirit, infinite in power, wisdom, love, justice and holiness, omnipresent, eternal and blissful.
- The human soul is immortal and capable of infinite progress, and is responsible to God for its doings.
- Man’s happiness in this and the next world consists in worshipping God in spirit and in truth.
- Loving God, holding communion with Him, and carrying out His will in all the concerns of life, constitute true worship.
- No created object is to be worshipped as God, and God alone is to be considered as infallible.
To this, Raja Ram Mohan Roy added “The true way of serving God is to do good to man.” Since no one person is considered to be infallible, the Brahmos hold all the great religious leaders of the world in respect, and believe that truth is to be gleaned from all the scriptures of the world. To that extent, the Brahmo religion is truly eclectic. Universalist in nature, it is “dogmatically undogmatic”.
Faced with the superstitious beliefs and rituals of popular Hinduism on the one hand and seeing distinctly on the other, the truth contained in Islam and Christianity as well as in the Upanishads the Raja found a layman’s solution to the complicated problem. He seized the theistic elements common to the three faiths and declared them to be at once the original truths of Hinduism. In so doing he believed, he was restoring the Hindu faith to its original purity. As a humanist he thought that mankind could be united if the basic elements of the major religions like Hinduism, Islam and Christianity were brought home to the people.
Raja wanted to provide a rational basis for religion condemning all irrationalities. In this sense he had the honor of bringing about revival of Hinduism. His efforts in the direction can be treated in three parts, namely, his conception of religion, his attack on the existing form of religion, and founding of the Brahmo Samaj for realizing his ideals. He found that religious conflicts were based on ignorance.
Apart from the spiritual aspect he was well interested in the social and ethical aspects of religion. He did not believe in the existing formalistic religion of the Hindus and introduced his conception of ideal and inspirational religion based on strict monotheism and humanism.
His attack on orthodox Hindu customs not due to any narrow sectarian bias but guided by his desire to reform Hinduism of all the rubbish of superstition and priestcraft created during centuries of ignorance.
He always emphasized that all human problems must be solved in human ways. The social problems in India were only due to inhuman practices. He condemned religious sanctity attached with social evils.
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