1.Discuss the factors responsible for the uneven distribution of temperature. (GS Paper-1, Geography) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Discuss the factors responsible for uneven distribution on temperature
· Also mention the vertical variation in temperature
Latitude, land and sea contrast, relief and altitude, oceans currents, winds, vegetation cover, nature of soil, slope and aspect control the distribution of temperature in the world. The factors responsible for the uneven distribution of temperature are as follows:
- Latitude: The angle of incidence goes on decreasing from equator towards poles. Higher temperatures are found in tropical regions and they generally decrease at a considerable rate towards the poles. Temperature is below freezing point near the poles almost throughout the year.
- Land and Sea Contrast: Land gets heated more rapidly and to a greater degree than water during sunshine. It also cools down more rapidly than water during night. Hence, temperature is relatively higher on land during day time and it is higher in water during night. In the same way there are seasonal contrasts in temperature. During summer the air above land has higher temperature than the oceans. But the air above oceans gets higher temperature than landmasses in winter.
- Relief and Altitude: Relief features such as mountains, plateaus and plains control the temperature by way of modifying its distribution. Mountains act as barriers against the movement of winds. The Himalayan ranges prevent cold winds of Central Asia from entering India, during winter.
- Ocean Currents: Ocean currents are of two types – warm and cold. Warm currents make the coasts along which they flow warmer, while cold currents reduce the temperature of the coasts along which they flow. The North-Western European Coasts do not freeze in winter due to the effect of North Atlantic Drift (a warm current), while the Quebec on the coast of Canada is frozen due to the Cold Labrador Current flowing along it, though the Quebec is situated in lower latitudes than the North-West European Coast.
- Winds: Winds also affect temperature because they transport heat from one region to the other.
- Vegetation Cover: Soil devoid of vegetation cover receives heat more rapidly than the soil under vegetation cover. Because vegetation cover absorbs much of sun’s heat and then prevents quick radiation from the earth whereas the former radiates it more rapidly. Hence the temperature variations in dense forested areas are lower than those in desert areas.
- For example annual range of temperature in equatorial regions is about 5°C while in hot deserts, it is as high as 38°C.
- Nature of the Soil: Colour, texture and structure of soils modify temperature to a great degree. Black, yellow and clayey soils absorb more heat than sandy soils. Likewise heat radiates more rapidly from sandy soils than from black, yellow and clayey soils. Hence temperature contrasts are relatively less in black soil areas than those of sandy soils.
There is a fairly regular decrease in temperature with an increase in altitude. The average rate of temperature decrease upward in the troposphere is about 60C per km, extending to the tropopause. This vertical gradient of temperature is commonly referred to as the standard atmosphere or normal lapse rate, but is varies with height, season, latitude and other factors.
2.How can citizen’s participation improve the governance? Suggest mechanisms for citizen’s participation in Governance. (GS Paper-2, Polity) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Mention improvement in governance by Citizen’s participation
· Then discuss the mention mechanisms for citizen’s participation like RTI, Social Audit etc.
Citizens’ participation in governance embodies a shift in the development paradigm from citizens as recipients of development to one that views them as active participants in the development process.
Citizens’ participation in governance is seen as contributing to a healthy democracy because it enhances and improves upon the traditional form of representative democracy into a more responsive and thus a participative grassroots democracy.
Citizen’s participation can contribute in following ways in governance:
- It enables them to demand accountability which helps in making government more efficient, effective and responsive.
- It helps to make government services sustainable and citizen’s friendly.
- It creates a voice for the poor and marginalized in public policy and service delivery.
- It nurtures healthy grassroots democracy.
- Sense of ownership thereby effective policy formulation and implementation.
- Capacity building and creation of social capital.
Mechanisms for citizens’ participation in governance can be conceptualized on the following lines:
- Citizens Seeking Information: Access to information is a fundamental pre-requisite for ensuring citizens’ participation in governance. The RTI Act in India has in essence has laid the ground work for that and by greater citizens’ awareness of their rights under this act the vision of transparency can be realized.
- Citizens Giving Suggestion: Listening to voice of the Citizens not just during elections but on an ongoing basis is the starting point for participation of citizens in governance. Such listening can be done through public hearings, surveys, referenda etc. Citizens are in the best position to articulate their needs and suggest appropriate solutions. For ex- MyGov.in a portal started by the current government has taken a right step in this regard. Similar examples can be found in state level as well like Bangalore Agenda Task Force etc.
- Citizens demanding better services: Government agencies have to realize that the citizens need to be given voice so that their grievances are taken care of while providing services.
Several model initiatives have been taken on this like the Metro Customer care (MCC) by Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, recently Indian railways started an SMS based on demand cleaning services in train coaches etc. These initiatives not only provide feedback but also sparked pressure from citizens for further reforms by raising expectations.
- Citizen holding government agencies accountable: Making public agencies work and ensuring that their service delivery would meet the criteria of efficiency, equity and customer satisfaction requires citizens to voice their dissatisfaction in an organized manner. The mechanisms used could include citizens’ feedback and surveys, citizen’s report card and social audit.
- Citizens’ active participation in decision making: Examples include- Participatory municipal budgeting, allowing citizens to vote directly through referendum, mandatory public hearings before approval of projects like that of in Environmental Impact Assessment, empowering Gram Sabha to decide on issues of implementation of government welfare schemes. Social Audit is the best example which brings about social engagement, transparency; communication of information and greater accountability of officials.
Giving Citizens ongoing access to the decision making process, beyond periodic consultations is a more mature and intensive form of citizens’ participation in governance which can help them negotiate with government for better policy, better plans etc. Several steps have been taken and service delivery has improved now over previous decades, but there is a lot of scope for improvement and these initiatives should be implemented in every aspect of governance in letter and its spirit.
2.Many of the important issues facing modern society are the result of human modifications of the environment. Discuss. (GS Paper-3, Environment) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Then discuss the impact of modification in environment
In spite of all the intelligence at its source, human beings have not been able to conquer the environment completely. Natural as well as human-made modifications in the environment have, through various periods, offered fatal blows to the human population. Some such problems confronting us are:
(1) Food shortage or famine: It could be because of less agricultural production; transfer of agricultural land for utilization; improper and inadequate storage, transport- facilities; economic poverty to purchase food etc.
(2) Inadequate shelter: Every individual is not provided with safe shelter and is exposed to extremes of high and cold temperatures of atmosphere, and falling prey to tigers, lions, wolves, leopards, rats, snakes etc.
(3) Diseases: Malnutrition, inadequate sanitation, lack of medical facilities, increased susceptibility to disease especially among young and old, as well as invasion and mutation of the pathogens leads to epidemic/fatal attacks of bubonic plague, malaria, yellow fever, typhoid, tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, dengue, influenza etc.
(4) Calamities: Natural calamities such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami, avalanches etc. uproot human settlements and damage property.
(5) Miscellaneous: Various mostly human-made, accidents involving explosions, fire, pollution, ship wrecks, air and road accidents wipe out lives.
Thus, the man wants to change environment to his liking and in response the environment striking back in one form or the other. If humans are able to interact with the environment judiciously, an environment friendly life can be led by them.
3.What are the characteristics found in people who demonstrate gratitude? Discuss the benefits of gratitude.(GS Paper-4, Ethics) (250 words)
Structure of the Answer
· Briefly define gratitude
· Then discuss the characteristics found in people who demonstrate gratitude
· Finally list down the benefits of gratitude
Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics
Gratitude is essentially the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience – the acknowledgment of the positive things that come our way that we did not actively work toward or ask for.
Virtues are qualities that support the inherent goodness that resides within each human being. Gratitude is both a social and a theological virtue.
Characteristics found in people who demonstrate gratitude:
- Grateful individuals do not feel that they are deprived and would otherwise feel a sense of abundance.
- They acknowledge the contribution and involvement of other people in the attainment of their well-being.
- They appreciate the simple pleasures in life thereby subjecting them to more frequent feelings of gratitude.
- These individuals realize the importance of experiencing gratitude and see to it that they express such emotion.
Gratitude reaps a lot of physical and social benefits. Such as:
- Psychological benefits include feelings of alertness and wakefulness, higher levels of joy, pleasure, optimism and other positive emotions.
- Physical benefits include improved immune system and blood pressure, decreased occurrences of aches and pains, more inclined to exercise and healthy living, and better sleeping patterns.
- Social benefits include feeling less lonely and demonstrating better social interactions by showing more signs of forgiveness, being outgoing, helpful, compassionate and exhibiting generosity.
- Gratitude results in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and sleep duration and quality. Grateful people also report lower levels of depression and stress, although they do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.
- Those with a disposition towards gratitude are found to give less importance to material goods, are less likely to judge their own or others success in terms of possessions accumulated, are less envious of wealthy people, and are more likely to share their possessions with others.
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