1.Discuss the Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s contribution in improving the status of women in society. (GS Paper-1, History) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Point out Raja Ram Mohan’s contribution in women empowerment
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a champion of women’s rights in India. He laid the foundations of the women’s liberation movement in this country. He revolted against the subjection of women and pleaded for the restoration of their rights. The condition of the Hindu women in those days was very pitiable. They were subjected to different kinds of injustices and deprivations. According to Roy, the root cause of the all-round deterioration of Hindu women was the complete denial of their property rights. The Hindu girl was not given the traditional right to share with her brothers the property of her deceased father. The married Hindu woman was refused the right to share with her sons the property left by her deceased husband.
Efforts of Raja Ram Mohan for women empowerment
He pointed out that the ancient Hindu lawgivers gave the mother the right to have an equal share with her sons in the property left by her husband. The utter helplessness and humiliation of the Hindu widow was one of the major reasons that prompted the inhuman practice of Sati.
- Women completely robbed of their property rights quite naturally lost their independence and became the slaves of the male members of the family. They were thought to have less intellectual capabilities than the males.
- Men were free to marry as many women as they thought fit for the satisfaction of their lust. Women however were not allowed to marry a second time.
- Roy vehemently opposed polygamy and with utmost vigour and brought to light, its shameful evil consequences.
- Roy was in favour of the remarriage of women under certain circumstances. Brahmo Samaj which he founded paid special attention to women’s education.
- Perhaps the greatest social reform with which Roy’s name will be permanently associated is the abolition of the cruel practice of sati. Roy used all the means at his disposal to stop this inhuman practice, which forced the helpless widow to burn herself alive on the funeral pyre of her husband.
- Roy found that ignorance of the women about their legitimate rights, their illiteracy, customary denial of the property rights to the widow and the consequent helplessness, dependence, misery and humiliation were some of the causes behind exploitation of women. Roy pleaded strongly for the restoration of property rights of the women as well as for facilities for women’s education.
As equality of sexes was an article of faith for Roy, he could not accept that women were inferior to men in any respect. He believed that they were even superior to men in some respects. Whatever inferiority seemed to be on their part was the result, Roy argued, of keeping them away for generations from the sources of knowledge and the opportunities to shoulder different responsibilities in life.
2.What are the challenges faced by Indian Diaspora in abroad? (GS Paper-2, International Relations) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Discuss the challenges face by Indian diaspora abroad
Indian Diaspora is an inclusive term that refers to the people of Indian origin as well as Indian citizens living abroad for work or business. India has one of the most diverse and complex migration histories. Indians have established communities on every continent as well as on islands in the Caribbean, the Pacific and Indian oceans.
Challenges faced by Indian Diaspora
- Increasing crisis situations especially in West Asia and Africa as was witnessed recently in Yemen. Presently, attacks on Indians in Australia and USA have also increased.
- When people of Indian origin are brought back from crisis situations, there are no alternate arrangements for employment or livelihood. Thus during Operation Rahat, many Indians refused to use the facility for return back to India.
- Grievances with respect to travel to and from India and protection of their properties in India.
- The irregularity of Diaspora conferences and awards.
- Indian workers in USA face issues like denial of transfer of Social Security benefits on return to India.
- In addition they face other challenges at personal level: Language Barrier, Cultural Shock, Family and Peer Pressure, Ego and Pride Adjustment etc.
- India does not have any precise data on the number of Indians in different parts of the world, amount of risks they face, their profile etc.
- Evacuation operations are carried in ad hoc manner. Looking at the complexity of crisis situations India needs well-crafted Evacuation Policy.
- Special attention is needed to poor working in Africa and Gulf region.
For last two decades, India has started to see its Diaspora as an asset and has taken many steps to engage with them. Present government is giving special attention towards their Diaspora to leverage their potential in nation building.
3.Discuss the impact of consumption pattern of food articles due to increase in income level and suggest policy options for management and control of agricultural prices. (GS Paper-3, Economy) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Explain the pattern of consumption pattern with increasing income
· Also highlight the policy solutions for management of agricultural prices
Food prices are the major contributor to inflation. With rising incomes, consumption pattern generally accelerates with the pattern of consumption differing between food items and non-food items.
Further, within food items there will be shift towards higher protein food articles. The recent trends in India in food inflation reflect a growing demand for protein rich food articles consisting of fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat and dairy products. This shift in higher protein rich food is noticeable across regions/classes. In particular, for rural Indian households, the proportion of food budgets on cereals has fallen. The demand pressure on cereals tends to be lower with increase in income levels.
The importance of ‘foodgrain stock management’ can be underscored as the first policy option.
- The second is ‘increasing agricultural output and productivity’ by a comprehensive strategy with a focus on technology, improved water management, rural infrastructural development, agricultural diversification, food security, private sector investment in marketing and agro-industry development, etc.
In this context, the success of Gujarat is offered as a salutary example of how such a comprehensive approach could work.
- A third policy option suggested is to ‘delink the safety net from direct public procurement of wheat and rice’ by increasing the role of the private sector in foodgrain marketing. This option is not meant to be an end to subsidized distribution of food but only aimed at increasing the efficiency in management by minimizing losses.
- A fourth option is to focus on ‘development of market based tools for management of risks’. Due to volatility in exchange/interest rates, commodity prices have reached unprecedented peaks. This is not likely to ease owing to uncertain political and economic conditions which have become common to contend with. This has generated renewed interest among borrowers and policy planners in market based tools for assistance in management of risks.
4.Discuss the current ethical issues in organ transplantation. (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Point out the ethical issues in organ transplantation
· Elaborate these issues with examples
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
Around the world, countries are trying to encourage more people to donate their organs after death to help those desperately in need of transplants. Ethical issues in organ transplantation are commonly related to well-known problems in health care. Among others, they have to deal with:
- managing scarcely available treatment due to the shortage of donor organs;
- determining accurately the onset of death (brain death and heart death) as starting point for organ donation;
- getting informed consent from donor, relatives of a deceased donor and from the patients ;
- the question whether or not donors should be rewarded for the altruistic deed of offering a donor organ;
- in the case of research and experimental medicine, determining the acceptable balance between risk for the patient and benefit for society.
Current ethical issues
Currently, as transplant legislation is in place, brain death determination and informed consent are no longer major issues. The same can be stated for research and experimental medicine, as the pioneer era of organ transplantation has passed, and transplantation medicine has developed to a high tech routine. Organ donation is seen as an act of altruism. There is no remuneration system in most of the countries.
However, the continuous shortage of donor organs makes the management of scarce treatment an important issue. Related to this there are two ethical issues:
- The ethics of allocating organs for transplant poses a classical problem: any criteria defined to allocate organs efficiently, maximizing utility, can easily lead to situations perceived as grossly unjust or unfair. Advocates of efficiency (utilitarianism) have an eye towards doing as much good as possible with a limited resource. Advocates of justice have their eye on a fixed pattern of distribution of the limited resource that they consider fair such as giving benefit to the worst off, giving organs to the sickest patients, systematically implies decreased survival rates. On the other hand, defining benefit is also controversial: social utilitarianism would focus on all the good a transplant might do including the social usefulness of the transplant recipient. Medical utilitarianism attempts to determine how much medical benefit could come from an available organ for each candidate on the waiting list, taking into account the probability of the benefit occurring. Medical benefit might include preserving life, reduction in morbidity, relief of pain and relief of suffering caused by illness.
- First and second generation immigrants from a different ethnic background on the waiting list have different tissue characteristics and therefore generally have to wait longer than native patients. As in many cases the awareness on the benefits of organ donation in populations of immigrants is low, relatively few donor organs are available for patients from these populations. Attempts to increase the awareness on organ donation and to increase the willingness in these populations to donate organs can help to reduce waiting time for these patients.
The ultimate goal for countries should be ethical systems for organ transplantation that not only encourage and support donation but also provide a high standard of care for patients after transplantation.
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