Q.1 Discuss key factors that influence air temperature and its variation. (250 words)
Relevance : General studies Paper – I Geography
Structure of the Answer
• Discuss important factors that influence air temperature
(Five key factors influence air temperature: latitude, surface type, coastal or interior location, elevation, and atmospheric and oceanic circulations)
Air temperature is the temperature of the air as observed at 1.2 m (4 ft) above the ground surface.
Air temperature conditions many aspects of human life, from the clothing we wear to the fuel costs we pay. Air temperature and air temperature cycles also act to select the plants and animals that make up the biological landscape of a region. And air temperature, along with precipitation, is a key determiner of climate.
Five important factors influence air temperature:
1. Latitude: Daily and annual cycles of insolation vary systematically with latitude, causing air temperatures and air temperature cycles to vary as well. Yearly insolation decreases toward the poles, so less energy is available to heat the air. But because the seasonal cycle of insolation becomes stronger with latitude, high latitudes experience a much greater range in air temperatures through the year.
2. Surface type: Urban air temperatures are generally higher than rural temperatures. City surface materials— asphalt, roofing shingles, stone, brick—hold little water, compared to the moist soil surfaces of rural areas and forests, so there is little cooling through evaporation. Urban materials are also darker and absorb a greater portion of the Sun’s energy than vegetation- covered surfaces. The same is true for areas of barren or rocky soil surfaces, such as those of deserts.
3. Coastal or interior location: Locations near the ocean experience a narrower range of air temperatures than locations in continental interiors. Because water heats and cools more slowly than land, air temperatures over water are less extreme than temperatures over land. When air flows from water to land, a coastal location will feel the influence of the adjacent water.
4. Elevation: Temperature decreases with elevation. At high elevation, there is less atmosphere above the surface, and greenhouse gases provide a less effective insulating blanket. More surface heat is lost to space. On high peaks, snow accumulates and remains for longer time. The reduced greenhouse effect also results in greater daily temperature variation.
5. Atmospheric and oceanic circulations: Local temperatures can rise or fall rapidly when air from one region is brought into another. Temperatures of coastal regions can be influenced by warm or cold coastal currents.
Q.2 What is the importance of Model Code of Conduct (MCC)? Repeated violations of the MCC have raised questions on its effectiveness. Do you think MCC should be made a part under RPA act 1951? (250 words)
Relevance : General studies Paper – II Polity
Structure of the Answer
• Brief introduction of MCC and its importance
• Then give arguments for and against to make MCC as part of RPA
Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for conduct of political parties and candidates during elections mainly with respect to speeches, polling day, polling booths, election manifestos, processions and general conduct. These set of norms has been evolved with the consensus of political parties who have consented to abide by the principles embodied in the said code in its letter and spirit. The Model Code of Conduct comes into force immediately on announcement of the election schedule by the commission for the need of ensuring free and fair elections.
Importance of MCC
• The experience of past years has demonstrated that electoral malpractice is a clear and present danger to Indian democracy, with political parties resorting to myriad under-handed tricks to capitalise on voters’ poverty, their lack of education or social and communal tensions in order to get to that chair.
• In such a situation, it might not be the best candidate that wins the poll, but the one that successfully intimidated the population of a constituency. That’s what the MCC tries to prevent.
However, this code is frequently violated by political parties. It was very much evident in recently held
Bihar elections, where leaders used issues like religion, caste and nationalism to get the favour. Social media is also used for vitiating the election environment.
Consequently, the idea of making MCC statutory part under RPA act 1951 is widely argued on following grounds:
• It will become legal framework which can be justifiable in the court.
• It will also seek to regulate activities in social media.
• This will enable the election commission to take adequate action as per the violation committed by political parties.
• It will create a fair play for all contestants without vitiating the atmosphere which can lead to law and order problem.
But this action of creating statutory framework has various implications:
• It can blur the image of election commission as neutral body as an action taken by EC can be seen as a biased action.
• If the model code of conduct is converted into a law, it will result into increase litigation and delay the election process.
• Various political parties also seen this move of legalizing the MCC as an attempt of taking power of election commission.
Legalizing the MCC will be an attempt to fill the loopholes in the laws. However, these loopholes can be easily plugged by inner party democracy and pragmatic election commission’s decisions.
Q.3 What is disaster management? Discuss key phases of disaster management in India. (250 words)
Relevance : General studies Paper – III Disaster management
Structure of the Answer
• Define disaster and disaster management
• Discuss disaster management process
• Mention key Phases of Disaster Management
A Disaster is an event or series of events, which gives rise to casualties and damage or loss of properties, infrastructure, environment, essential services or means of livelihood on such a scale which is beyond the normal capacity of the affected community to cope with. Disaster is also sometimes described as a “catastrophic situation in which the normal pattern of life or ecosystem has been disrupted and extra-ordinary emergency interventions are required to save and preserve lives and or the environment”.
Disaster Management refers to how we can protect or preserve maximum number of lives and property during a natural disaster. Disaster management plans are multi-layered and are aimed to address such issues as floods, hurricanes, fires, and even mass failure of utilities or the rapid spread of disease.
Disaster Management involves a continuous and integrated process of planning, organising, coordinating and implementing measures which are necessary or expedient for:
• Prevention of danger or threat of any disaster.
• Mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or its severity or consequences.
• Capacity building including research and knowledge management.
• Preparedness to deal with any disaster.
• Prompt response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.
• Assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster.
• Evacuation, rescue and relief.
• Rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Disaster Management Cycle
The traditional approach to disaster management has been to regard it as a number of phased sequences of action or a continuum. These can be represented as a disaster management cycle. The basic disaster management cycle consist of six main activities:
Key Phases of Disaster Management
There are three key phases of activity within disaster management:
1. Pre – Disaster:
Before a disaster to reduce the potential for human, material or environmental losses caused by hazards and to ensure that these losses are minimized when the disaster actually strikes.
2. During Disaster: It is to ensure that the needs and provisions of victims are met to alleviate and minimize suffering.
3. Post Disaster: After a disaster to achieve rapid and durable recovery which does not reproduce the original vulnerable conditions.
Traditionally people think of disaster management only in term of the emergency relief period and post disaster rehabilitation. Instead of allocated funds before an event to ensure prevention and preparedness. A successful disaster management planning must encompass the situation that occurs before, during and after disasters.
Q.4 What is moral dilemma? Discuss the view of Kantians and Utilitarians on moral dilemma.(250 words)
Relevance : General studies Paper – IV Ethics
Structure of the Answer
• Explain moral dilemma with example
• Discuss view of Kantians and Utilitarians on moral dilemma
Reference: Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude
A moral dilemma may be described as a situation where one seems morally obliged to do two different acts but for some reason or other he cannot do both. He is between two strong obligations where doing one directly opposes the other. In the Crito, Socrates wrote about his moral conflict. He had been condemned to death by the Athenians; but, though imprisoned for final execution; he had an opportunity to escape from the prison. But if he escaped, he would be disobeying the state law.
In fact, moral philosophers always differ in their views regarding the nature of moral conflicts or dilemmas. Some believe that moral philosophy arises if and when men are confronted “with situations in which different desires promise opposed goods and in which incompatible courses of action seem to be morally justified.”
However, some opine that there are no genuine moral dilemmas, as an adequate moral theory is supposed to resolve the dilemmas. Very few moral philosophers consider these genuine dilemmas as actual. The followers of Kant and the Utilitarians are of the view that moral dilemmas are unreal.
As for Kant, the fundamental moral principle is derived from ‘practical reason’. Therefore, the existence of moral dilemmas would amount to internal incoherence within reason and this would go against his own doctrine.
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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