IASCLUB Synopsis : 27 September 2019

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1.Increasing human activities have severely affected the marine life on the Earth’s oceans. Comment.                                                              (GS Paper-1, Geography) (250 words)

Structure of the Answer

·         Introduction: Highlight the importance of Oceans

·         Discuss the impact of human activities on marine life

·         Conclude appropriately

Reference- NCERT

Model Answer:

Marine wildlife has sustained human civilizations for thousands of years, providing food; materials for construction; and enriching lives culturally, spiritually and recreationally. Today, some three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.

But human activity is posing major problems, both for the planet’s oceans and for human lives, particularly in coastal communities.

Impact of human activities on marine life:

  • Marine Pollution: Sewage, toxic chemicals from industries, large scale oil spills, ocean mining, disposal of plastic are all destroying the marine life.
  • Climate Change: Increased se CO2 levels and sea temperature due to human induced climate change can cause, ocean acidification etc harm the habitat of marine life, especially corals.
  • Physical disturbance of sea-bed habitat and marine biota: This occurs as a result of bottom trawling, dredging for shipping, offshore hydrocarbon industries, deep sea mining and land reclamation projects.
  • Increased demand for marine space from fisheries, aquaculture, shipping routes, tourism etc.
  • Underwater noise from shipping, offshore exploration, mining etc.
  • Changes in seasonal life cycles of marine life due to climate change. Example: Species such as bluefin tuna have experienced decrease in productivity.
  • Phytoplankton and marine bacteria carry out most of the first degree production on which food webs depend. The increase in sea temperature is affecting their productivity, which in turn will have serious implications for human food security and nutrient cycles.
  • Rising ocean temperatures and de-oxygenation particularly impact corals which are a key part of the ocean ecosystem.
  • Runoff of excess nutrients from agriculture and sewage causes algal blooms which create dead zones where the fish cannot survive.
  • Oil spill is extremely toxic to marine life, often suffocating marine animals to.
  • Bioaccumulation of hazardous substances damages immune and reproductive systems and also causes the death of marine life.
  • All coastal habitats – mangroves, seagrass beds, kelp forests face threats from anthropogenic pressures. Overexploitation has destroyed large area of mangrove forests.

About 30-35% of critical marine habitats have been overused or destroyed. The Sustainable Development Goal 14 on “Life below water” aims to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution. Given the state of ocean ecosystems, it is paramount for nations to collaborate scientifically and create networks for conservation.

2.Earlier Election Commission has banned release of Narendra Modi biopic during MCC period. In this context present the view of Supreme Court. What was the rationale behind this move?                                                                                                                        (GS Paper-2, Polity) (150 words)

Structure of the Answer

 ·         Introduction

·         Explain Art 324 and power of EC

·         Then present the view of SC in this issue

·         Conclude with the reason of this ban

Reference– Current Affairs

Model Answer:

The Election Commission of India banned the release of any biopic, including a film on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was scheduled to release before election.

Under Article 324 of the constitution, superintendence, directions and control of elections are bestowed upon the commission and it is its main duty to take necessary measures to create a level playing field and provide a conducive electoral environment to all the stakeholders.

Supreme Court Order

  • In the context of the biopic titled PM Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court had held that ‘whether the film will tilt the electoral balance in favour of any political party, is a question that can and should be addressed by the Election Commission of India.’
  • The court had also observed that if the film is to be released before election, the conditions governing such a release are matter that the Election Commission has to decide.

The EC said that any biopic material in nature of biography subserving the purpose of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it, which has potential to disturb level playing field during the election, should not be displayed in electronic media including cinematograph during the operation of the Model Code of Conduct.

3.India is facing the challenge of increasing solar e-waste. Discuss. What are the measures to reduce solar e-waste?                                      (GS Paper-3, Environment) (250 words)

Structure of the Answer

·         Introduction: Briefly define solar e-waste

·         Then discuss the challenges in India due to increasing solar e-waste

·         Conclude with the possible solutions

Reference– Current Affairs

 Model Answer:

Solar e-waste includes photovoltaic cells that have reached their life cycle and haven’t been recycled.

Challenges:

  • Solar cell modules are 80% glass and aluminium, and non-hazardous. Other materials that are used includes polymers, metals, metallic compounds and alloys, and are classified as potentially hazardous. They contain potentially hazardous chromium, silicon tetrachloride, cadmium, selenium and sulphur hexafluoride.
  • By 2050, India will likely stare at a pile of a new category of electronic waste, namely solar e-waste. India’s PV (photovoltaic) waste volume is estimated to grow to 200,000 tonnes by 2030 and around 1.8 million tonnes by 2050.
  • India is among the leading markets for solar cells in the world, buoyed by the government’s commitment to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022. India has installed solar cells for about 28 GW.
  • However, currently, India’s e-waste rules have no laws mandating solar cell manufacturers to recycle or dispose waste from this sector.

 Way ahead:

  • Specify liability and responsibility of each stakeholder for waste management and treatment.
  • Mandate module manufacturers to use environmentally sustainable design and materials with end-of-life in mind.
  • Lay down standards for PV waste collection, treatment and disposal.
  • Encourage mutual recycling responsibility agreements between module suppliers, project developers and power purchasers.
  • Undertake regular surveys of recycling facilities to understand technology and capacity levels. Identify investment and technical requirements for dedicated PV recycling facilities with focus on high-value recovery.                                                                                                                                                                                        4.What are the ethical concerns involved in a country’s decision to deny asylum to refugees?  (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (150 words)
Structure of the Answer

 ·         Introduction

·         List down the concerns of host county in migration process

·         Conclusion

Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics

Model Answer:

Immigration policies are hotly debated in our society. Supporters of immigration argue that immigrants benefit the country but may need special programs to assist them in their adjustment, whereas opponents suggest that immigrants drain resources that could be spent on other national priorities.

Such ethical concerns can be considered in two time-frames.

Short-term concerns:

  • Greater strain on scarce national resources, at the expense of ones own citizens.
  • Security risks, since the refugees are more vulnerable to recruitment by terror groups.
  • Provides no clear benefits to the host country, apart from possibly a moral high ground.

Long-term concerns:

  • Turning down refugees will make it difficult for them to survive; will resort to trafficking, arms dealing etc. In an inter-connected, such problems are bound to adversely affect other nations too.
  • Creates further hostility against some nations, perceived as dominating the world community e.g. it is very unlikely that an American refugee seeking asylum would be treated similarly.
  • Reflects a weak and selfish national character; further polarizes the international community.

The ethics of migration are complex. There are many perspectives on why people migrate, how people migrate, what impact migration has on receiving, transit and sending countries, and whether countries should encourage, discourage, or limit migration.

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