1.People in hilly areas face unique problems and innovative approach was needed for the development of these areas. Explain. (GS Paper-1, Geography) (250 words)
|Structure of the Answer
· Discuss the problems of Hill areas
· Discuss the approach taken to address the problems, and the programmes
Reference- NCERT/ Dutt and Sundaram
India’s physiography consists of Himalayas and Peninsular region and both of them have many regions classified as hill areas due to topography and elevation. India has large hilly areas where a good proportion of population resides, and they have unique problems which need special approach & strategy for their development.
Problems of Hill Areas:
- Ecological vulnerability:The main concern for hill areas are the pressure of increasing population on land and vegetation along with deforestation and soil erosion that are leading to the drying up of water sources, flash floods and decline in the yield of food and cash crops, fodder, fuel and other minor forest produce.
- Geographical remoteness and non-availability of well connected transport network.
- Vulnerability to disasters: Hill areas are prone to landslide, earthquake etc.
- Low Level of socio-economic development: Due to mainly agriculture and tourism basedeconomy, socio-economic development is lagging resulting in poverty and health issues.
- The major challenge, therefore, is to devise suitable location-specific solutions, so as to reverse the process of degradation and ensure sustainable development of the hill areas.
Approach towards Hill Area Development:
- To solve the problems of hilly areas, eco-preservation and eco-restoration approach was taken.
- It focuses on the needs and aspirations of local communities, particularly their participation in the design and implementation of the strategies for conservation of bio- diversity and sustainable livelihoods.
Hill Area development was undertaken through two flagship programmes:
- Hill Area Development Programme (HADP)
- The approach and the strategy of the HADP has evolved over time.
- The initial programmes implemented from the Fifth Plan period were mainly beneficiary oriented.
- It was in the Seventh Plan that particular emphasis was laid on the development of ecology and environment summed up as – eco-restoration, eco-preservation and eco- development.
- The five year plans after this continued with this approach, while focussing on specific practices modernising the agricultural practices and small scale industries and later evolved the Sub-Plan Approach for hill area development.
- Western Ghat Development Programme (WGDP):
- The WGDP started during Fifth plan and kept evolving since then.
- Here also, the approach evolved was that of eco-restoration and eco-preservation to maintain ecological balance and preserve genetic diversity.
- A schematic approach also evolved where the plan for these areas should be prepared as part of the district plan. Watershed-based development continues to be the basic thrust area of the programme to this day.
India’s hilly areas are unique and different on regional basis also in term of physiography, soil, climate etc. A system of three-tier development planning, taking into account carrying capacity of the environment, could be followed to address the problems of a particular area.
2.How can Electoral Bond Scheme ensure transparency in political funding? (GS Paper-2, Polity) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Introduction: Write about the need of Electoral Bond and its provisions
· Discuss the benefits of Electoral Bond
- Electoral bonds will allow donors to pay political parties using banks as an intermediary.
- Although called a bond, the banking instrument resembling promissory notes will not carry any interest. The electoral bond, which will be a bearer instrument, will not carry the name of the payee and can be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore.
- As per provisions of the Scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a citizen of India, or entities incorporated or established in India.
- Only the registered Political Parties which have secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last LokSabha elections or the State Legislative Assembly are eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.
- The electoral bonds are aimed at rooting out the current system of largelyanonymous cash donations made to political parties which lead to the generation of black money in the economy.
- The previous system of cash donations from anonymous sources is wholly non-transparent. The donor, the donee, the quantum of donations and the nature of expenditure are all undisclosed.
- According to government the system of Bonds will encourage political donations of clean money from individuals, companies, HUF, religious groups, charities, etc. After purchasing the bonds, these entities can hand them to political parties of their choice, which must redeem them within the prescribed time.
- Some element of transparency would be introduced in as much as all donors declare in their accounts the amount of bonds that they have purchased and all parties declare the quantum of bonds that they have received.
Opponents to the scheme allege that since the identity of the donor of electoral bonds has been kept anonymous, it could lead to an influx of black money. Others allege that the scheme was designed to help big corporate houses donate money without their identity being revealed.
3.What are the Advantages of beekeeping as an income generation activity? Discuss the measures needed for advancing beekeeping in India that can help in improving agricultural productivity.
(GS Paper-3, Economy) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Introduction: Significance of Beekeeping
· Then discuss the Economic Advantages of beekeeping
· Finally give solutions to improve Beekeeping
Reference– Current Affairs
As per Food and Agricultural Organization database, in 2017-18, India ranked eighth in the world in terms of honey production (64.9 thousand tonnes) while China stood first with a production level of 551 thousand tonnes.
Economic Advantages of beekeeping:
- Bee keeping requires less time, money and infrastructure investments
- Honey and beeswax can be produced from an area of little agricultural value
- The Honey bee does not compete for resources with any other agricultural enterprise.
- Beekeeping has positive ecological consequences. Bees play an important role in the pollination of many flowering plants, thus increasing the yield of certain crops such as sunflower and various fruits.
- Honey is a delicious and highly nutritious food. By the traditional method of honey hunting many wild colonies of bees are destroyed. This can be prevented by raising bees in boxes and producing honey at home.
- Beekeeping can be initiated by individuals or groups
- The market potential for honey and wax is high
Further, beekeeping can be an important contributor in achieving the 2022 target of doubling farmer incomes.
- Recognizing honeybees as inputs to agriculture and considering landless Beekeepers as farmers.
- Plantation of bee friendly flora at appropriate places and engaging women self-help groups in managing such plantations.
- Institutionalizing the National Bee Board and rechristening it as the Honey and Pollinators Board of India under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. Such a body would engage in advancing beekeeping through multiple mechanisms such as setting up of new Integrated Bee Development Centres, strengthening the existing ones, creating a honey price stabilization fund and collection of data on important aspects of apiculture.
- Recognition of apiculture as a subject for advanced research under the aegis of Indian Council for Agricultural Research.
- Training and development of beekeepers by state governments.
- Development of national and regional infrastructure for storage, processing and marketing of honey and other bee products.
- Simplifying procedures and specifying clear standards for ease of exporting honey and other bee products.
4.Discuss the Seven Principles of Public Life given by the Nolan Committee. (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (150 words)
|Structure of the Answer
· Explain even Principles of Public Life given by the Nolan Committee.
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
The Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) is an advisory non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom Government, established in 1994 to advise the Prime Minister on ethical standards of public life. It promotes a code of conduct called the Seven Principles of Public Life.
Seven Principles of Public Life:
- Selflessness: act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.
- Integrity: Not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
- Objectivity: should make choices on merit in carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits.
- Accountability: hold themselves accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
- Openness: be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
- Honesty: declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
- Leadership: promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
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