IASCLUB Synopsis : 28 September 2019

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1.Critically examine the impact of urbanization on tribal populations.(GS Paper-1, Social Issues) (250 words)

Structure of the Answer 

·         Introduction

·         Write the benefits of urbanisation on tribals

·         Examine the negative impact on tribals

·         Conclusion

Reference- NCERT


Urbanisation in India has affected tribal society in certain parts of the country. The tribals are typical natives to certain areas of the country, especially where there are forests as they depend on them for their livelihood.

Benefits of urbanisation:

  • The process of urbanisation led to new urban centres Jamshedpur, Bhilai, Rourkela etc and incursion of outsiders into hitherto tribal belts like Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Assam etc. Spread of modern means of transport and communication brought the tribals in contact with people from rest of India, with the consequent intermixing of customs and traditions.
  • Some tribals did benefit through urbanization as it led to new forms of employment opportunities as labour, introduction of more productive agriculture practices, establishment of TRIFED like institutions to market the tribal products, combined with focussed efforts by government through tribal subplans leading to improved socio-economic indicators of the tribals.

Impact of urbanisation:

  • The most significant impact of urbanisation on tribals has been the destruction of their natural habitat and their unique way of life.
  • Displacement and shifting of tribals to new settlements resulted in a loss of their identity.
  • Tribal religions got assimilated into major religions like Hinduism and Christianity, and the new beliefs are often in conflict with what they have practised for long.
  • The highly materialistic nature of forces of urbanisation destroyed the traditional tribal economic system of subsistence based on interpersonal relationships.
  • The influx of money and moneylenders led the tribals into heavy debt ridden status.
  • While the natural resources in the their own habitat were being exploited by outsiders, the tribals themselves remained in abject poverty.
  • Contact with new diseases like measles due to contact with outsiders led to depopulation in some tribes, like the jarawas of Andaman.

Despite many special safeguards in place on paper, the governments at all levels have failed to enforce them and protect the tribals from the dramatic impact of urbanisation. There is no single solution to overcome these issues. For urbanisation to be sustainable, the process must involve tribals right from the state of planning and must ensure adequate protections and progress for them.

A petition has been moved under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution questioning an electoral law which denies undertrials and convicts their right to vote. Comment.(GS Paper-2, Polity) (250 words)

Structure of the Answer 

·         Introduction

·         Write provisions of Art 32

·         Mention the voting rights of prisoners

·         Then discuss the violation of fundamental rights in voting rights of prisoners

Reference– Current Affairs

Model Answer:

The Supreme Court is hearing a plea questioning an electoral law which denies undertrials and convicts their right to vote. The petition has been moved under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution.

Article 32:

  • The right to move the SC by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights is guaranteed under this article.
  • The SC shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs any of the Fundamental Rights.
  • Parliament can empower any other court to issue directions, orders and writs of all kinds (for HC, under 226).
  • The right to move the Supreme Court shall not be suspended except by President during a national emergency (Article 359).
  • Only FRs can be enforced under Article 32 and not any other like non-fundamental constitutional rights, statutory rights, customary rights etc.

Voting rights of Prisoners

  • Section 62(5) of the RP Act of 1951 mandates that “no person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police”.
  • The provisions however exempt a person held under preventive detention from this rigor.

Violation of FR

  • The petition highlights how the Section sees both an under-trial and a convicted person equally. The former’s guilt is yet to be proved in a court.
  • A person is innocent until proven guilty by law. Despite this, it denies an under-trial the right to vote but allows a detainee the same. However, a person out on bail is allowed to cast his vote.
  • The plea argued that the provision violates the rights to equality, vote (Article 326) and is arbitrary. It is not a reasonable restriction.

What is Genetically Modified or GM Crops? Discuss the benefits and issues involved with the GM crops.                                                  (GS Paper-3, Environment) (150 words)

Structure of the Answer

·         Introduction: Define GM crops

·         Then discuss the benefits of GM crops

·         Conclude with the issues involved with GM crops

Reference– Current Affairs

 Model Answer:

Genetically Modified or GM Crops:

Genetically Modified or GM Crops are that type of plants whose DNA has been modified through genetic engineering for imbedding a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species. Foods produced from or using GM organisms are often referred to as GM foods.

Advantages of Genetically Modified or GM Crops

  • It improves production and raise farmer’s income.
  • It reduces the use of pesticide and insecticide during farming that might be great moves for the betterment of the food supply.
  • It can feed a rapidly increasing population because it shows dramatically increased yields.
  • It can produce more in small area of land.

Disadvantages of Genetically Modified or GM Crops

  • The production imposes high risks to the disruption of ecosystem and biodiversity because the “better” traits produced from engineering genes can result in the favouring of one organism. Hence, it can eventually disrupt the natural process of gene flow.
  • It increases the cost of cultivation and more inclined towards marketization of farming that work on immoral profits.
  • The transgenic crops endanger not only farmers but also the trade, and the environment as well.
  • It is biologically altered. Hence, biotech foods may pose a human health risk.
  • The excessive production of genetically modified foods will be rendered ineffective over time because the pests that these toxins used to deter might eventually develop resistance towards                                                                                                         
  • How does conscience supplement laws in promoting ethical governance?  (GS Paper-4, Ethics) (250 words)

Structure of the Answer

 ·         Introduction

·         Then discuss how conscience supplements laws

·         Conclusion

Reference: Lexicon’s Ethics

Model Answer:

Conscience helps an individual interpret and enforce the law judiciously. In the absence of an appropriate conscience, one may adhere to the letter of the law but violate its spirit with impunity.

Conscience supplements laws in the following manner:

  • Conscience helps neutralize conflicts. In situations where the law is silent, the voice of conscience assumes significance. This means that if there are no available or applicable laws, an individual’s conscience will help recognize the ethical dimensions that are involved and thus determine the most appropriate course of action.
  • Conscience keeps a system deontologically sound. When laws become out-dated and require renewal or repeal, conscience not only helps in recognizing the need to initiate the process but also in progressing towards the most suitable form.
  • Conscience helps an individual maintain a balance between his rights and entitlements on the one hand and his duties and responsibilities on the other. A decision influenced by a sound conscience is not just confined to legal prerogatives but is also consistent with a comprehensive sense of duty and responsibility.

Psychological studies have revealed that a conscience aims to make moral decisions in ‘overwhelming forces of inescapable situations’ despite the risk of adverse consequences. Conscience is important especially in democracy as it has various participants such as citizens, NGOs, corporates to be administered by the politicians who are elected by them only.

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