UPPCS 2023 Mains Paper 3 Solution
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- Evaluate the policies of the Government of India regarding the promotion of food processing and related industries.
The Government of India has recognized the significance of the food processing sector in boosting the economy and ensuring food security.
- Investment Facilitation: The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY) has been instrumental in providing financial assistance for setting up food processing units.
- Infrastructure Development: Under the Mega Food Park Scheme, infrastructure facilities are being developed to ensure a better supply chain and value addition.
- Skill Development: The National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) are pivotal institutions offering courses and training, and conducting research in food processing.
- Ease of Doing Business: The government has eased FDI norms in the food processing sector. 100% FDI under the automatic route has been permitted for retail trading, including e-commerce, of food products.
- Cold Chain Development: The Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure scheme aims at reducing post-harvest losses by developing the necessary cold storage infrastructure.
- Incentives: Fiscal incentives like tax holidays, capital subsidies, and reduced GST rates have been given to businesses in the sector.
While the government’s policies have bolstered the food processing sector, a more holistic approach involving technological advancements and sustainable practices can elevate its growth trajectory further, ensuring India’s food security.
- Explain the implications of using E-technology to help the farmers.
E-technology in agriculture, commonly termed as ‘E-Agriculture’, harnesses digital solutions to benefit farmers. It promises a transformative shift in modern agriculture.
- Accessibility to Market Prices: With mobile apps and websites, farmers get real-time updates on market prices, ensuring fair transactions. For instance, the Indian Government’s ‘e-NAM’ connects farmers to nationwide markets.
- Weather Forecasting: Advanced weather apps provide precise meteorological data, helping farmers make informed decisions about planting and harvesting.
- Improved Crop Management: IoT devices monitor soil moisture and nutrient levels, optimizing irrigation and fertilization.
- E-Learning Platforms: Farmers access online tutorials and best practices, updating their skills and knowledge.
- Supply Chain Management: E-technology aids in tracking products from farm to fork, minimizing losses and ensuring quality.
- Direct Stakeholder Interaction: Farmers can directly interact with experts, government officials, and buyers, reducing dependency on intermediaries.
While promising, E-Agriculture necessitates internet connectivity, digital literacy, and initial investments, which might be challenging for some farmers.
- What are the important challenges faced in the implementation of land reforms in India? Give your suggestions to remove these challenges.
Land reforms have been vital for agrarian transformation in India. However, several challenges have plagued their effective implementation.
Challenges in Implementation:
- Historical Inequalities: Pre-independence landholding structures created deep-rooted disparities, challenging redistribution efforts.
- Bureaucratic Hurdles: Red tape and administrative delays have slowed reform processes.
- Loopholes in Laws: Many large landholders exploited legal loopholes, retaining control over vast tracts.
- Fragmented Landholding: Population growth led to subdivision, making landholdings smaller and non-economical.
- Tenancy Issues: The real cultivators, or tenants, often lack official rights or records, complicating the reform process.
- Political Interference: Local political dynamics, especially in states, have often been swayed by influential landowning classes, stymieing reforms.
- Strengthening Land Records: Digitization and updating of land records can ensure transparency.
- Legal Overhaul: Closing legal loopholes and ensuring stringent penalties for violations.
- Awareness Campaigns: Making landholders and tenants aware of their rights.
- Cooperative Farming: Promoting cooperative farming to make small landholdings economically viable.
For comprehensive agrarian progress, India must address land reform challenges. Embracing technology and fortifying legal frameworks can pave the way for equitable land distribution and use.
- Explain the budget making process of the Government of India. Also explain the difference between plan expenditure and non-plan expenditure.
The budget-making process in India is a comprehensive procedure involving various stages. It outlines the government’s revenue and expenditure for the upcoming financial year.
Budget Making Process:
- Drafting: Ministries and Departments prepare estimates of their expenditure.
- Budget Division: The Finance Ministry’s Budget Division reviews and consolidates these estimates.
- Discussion: The Finance Minister holds discussions with other ministries regarding provisions for their departments.
- Final Approval: The final budget proposal is discussed in the Cabinet.
- Parliament Presentation: The Finance Minister presents the Union Budget in Parliament, covering both revenue and expenditure.
- Discussion & Voting: The budget undergoes discussion in both houses, followed by voting on demands for grants.
- Finance Bill & Appropriation Bill: After approval, they are sent to the President for assent.
Plan Expenditure vs. Non-Plan Expenditure:
- Plan Expenditure: Associated with the Five-Year Plans, this involves expenditure on productive projects like new projects, schemes, or initiatives.
- Non-Plan Expenditure: Ongoing expenditure not linked to any long-term plan. It includes defense, subsidies, interest payments, and general administrative costs.
Understanding the budget process is crucial for appreciating fiscal policy decisions. With the dissolution of the Planning Commission, distinctions between plan and non-plan expenditures have become less significant.
- “Infrastructure plays an important role in the economic development of a country. Discuss.
Infrastructure is the backbone of a nation’s growth story, acting as the primary facilitator for economic and social progress. It intertwines industries and catalyzes productivity.
- Economic Growth: Infrastructure projects, like roads and airports, stimulate local economies by generating jobs and attracting investments. For instance, according to the World Bank, every 10% increase in infrastructure provision can lead to a 1% increase in GDP.
- Trade Enhancement: Efficient ports, highways, and railways expedite trade, making exports competitive and imports cost-effective.
- Social Benefits: Good infrastructure ensures easy access to education and health, directly influencing human capital development.
- Tourism Boost: Well-maintained cultural sites and convenient transportation can make a country a favorable tourist destination, further adding to its revenue.
- Technological Advancement: Digital infrastructure can boost the IT sector, e-commerce, and start-ups, playing a pivotal role in modern economies.
- Energy Security: Investing in energy infrastructure, both renewable and non-renewable, ensures consistent energy supply, vital for industries and households.
- Real Estate and Urban Development: Efficient urban infrastructure attracts real estate investments and supports the development of smart cities.
A robust infrastructure framework is indispensable for sustained economic development. Initiatives like India’s ‘Bharatmala’ and ‘Sagarmala’ underline its importance in national progress and inclusive growth.
- What is ‘Blood moon? When does it happen?
A ‘Blood Moon’ is a colloquial term for a total lunar eclipse, where the moon takes on a reddish hue due to Earth’s shadow.
- Lunar Eclipse Mechanism:
- A lunar eclipse happens when Earth comes directly between the Sun and the Moon, casting a shadow over the latter.
- This phenomenon can only occur during a full moon.
- Appearance of the ‘Blood Moon’:
- As Earth blocks direct sunlight from reaching the moon, only the refracted light through Earth’s atmosphere illuminates it.
- Shorter wavelengths (like blue) scatter away, while longer wavelengths (red) reach the Moon, causing the reddish appearance.
- Lunar eclipses happen at least twice a year, but not all are total eclipses. ‘Blood Moons’ are rarer, usually happening less frequently than solar eclipses.
- Besides its stunning visual appeal, it holds cultural and religious significance in many societies. It’s also an essential event for astronomers and researchers.
India witnessed a ‘Blood Moon’ in May 2021. Such celestial events underscore the wonders of our universe and the predictable mechanics of our solar system.
- What are the key objectives of India’s moon mission program Chandrayaan-3′?
India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission, under the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is a testament to India’s burgeoning space capabilities, targeting Moon exploration.
- Technological Advancement: The mission aims to build upon the technological prowess showcased in Chandrayaan-2. Chandrayaan-3 incorporates advanced lander and rover systems for more efficient surface operations.
- Lunar Surface Exploration: The primary objective is to explore and analyze the lunar surface, mainly targeting the southern pole, known for shadowed regions possibly having water-ice.
- Data Gathering: Instruments onboard will collect detailed data about the Moon’s topography, mineralogy, exosphere, and the potential presence of water/hydroxyl.
- Soft Landing Achievement: Post Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander setback, a significant goal is to achieve a successful soft landing on the lunar surface.
- Cost-efficiency: Emphasizing indigenous technology and efficient project management, ISRO aims to conduct the mission cost-effectively.
- Global Collaboration: Chandrayaan-3 serves as an avenue for international partnerships, consolidating India’s position in global space collaborations.
Chandrayaan-3 embodies India’s vision for space exploration, emphasizing scientific discovery and technological prowess. Success will bolster India’s position in global space endeavors and lunar research.
- Cybercrimes are a big threat to national security. How can a country be protected from these crimes?
As digitization grows, cybercrimes have become a pressing threat to national security. Effective strategies are essential to safeguard a nation’s cyber infrastructure.
- Legislation: Enact comprehensive cyber laws that criminalize hacking, phishing, and other cybercrimes. For instance, the Information Technology Act, 2000 in India addresses cyber offenses.
- Cybersecurity Infrastructure: Invest in state-of-the-art cybersecurity infrastructure. Countries should prioritize national cyber defense centers, like the US’s Cyber Command.
- Collaboration: Public-private partnerships can harness expertise from the private sector in defense of national cyber infrastructure.
- International Cooperation: Cyber threats are global. International cooperation, through frameworks like the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, can help countries respond collaboratively.
- Education & Training: Initiate nationwide campaigns to educate the public on cybersecurity measures. Additionally, train law enforcement agencies in cyber forensics.
- Regular Audits: Continual assessments of cyber vulnerabilities within governmental agencies and key sectors like banking, energy, and transportation.
- Incident Response Teams: Establish dedicated teams to respond immediately to breaches, minimizing damage and identifying perpetrators.
While cyber threats are evolving, by fostering cooperation, strengthening infrastructure, and investing in education, countries can significantly mitigate risks and ensure a more secure cyber realm.
- How can India’s security forces be strengthened? Give your suggestions.
India’s security forces play a pivotal role in national defense and internal stability. Strengthening them is crucial for ensuring the nation’s sovereignty and safety of its citizens.
- Advanced Training: Continuous upgradation of training modules incorporating modern warfare techniques, cyber threats, and counter-insurgency operations.
- Technological Enhancement: Investment in advanced surveillance tools, drones, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity measures.
- Infrastructure Development: Develop border infrastructure to provide logistical support and rapid mobility during contingencies, especially in challenging terrains.
- Joint Military Exercises: Collaborate with friendly nations to exchange best practices, techniques, and strategies.
- Intelligence Integration: Strengthen intelligence agencies and ensure seamless integration and sharing between them.
- Personnel Welfare: Focus on the well-being of the armed forces, provide quality housing, medical facilities, and education for their families.
- Research and Indigenous Production: Promote research in defense technology and boost indigenous production through schemes like ‘Make in India’.
- Cyber Units: Establishment of dedicated cyber units to combat the increasing threats in cyberspace.
- Transparent Procurement: Ensuring a transparent and swift procurement process for defense equipment.
By prioritizing advanced training, technological upgradation, and welfare of personnel, along with the government’s initiatives like ‘Make in India’, India can ensure a fortified and future-ready security apparatus.
- What is India’s stand on the issues of nuclear proliferation? Explain.
India has consistently emphasized a commitment to global nuclear disarmament while maintaining a credible minimum deterrent. Its stance on nuclear proliferation is nuanced and rooted in regional security dynamics.
- No First Use Policy: India’s nuclear doctrine is based on a “No First Use” (NFU) policy, implying it will not initiate a nuclear strike but will respond if attacked with nuclear weapons.
- Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): India hasn’t ratified the CTBT, citing its discriminatory nature, even though it maintains a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing since 1998.
- Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): India is not a signatory due to the treaty’s discriminatory recognition of nuclear-weapon states. However, India’s nuclear program operates with a high level of transparency.
- Membership in Multilateral Export Control Regimes: India is a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and seeks membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), emphasizing its commitment to non-proliferation.
- Civil Nuclear Agreements: India has entered civil nuclear agreements with various countries, highlighting its peaceful nuclear intentions.
India’s stand balances its security interests and global non-proliferation goals, promoting responsible behavior while urging for a non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament framework.
- State the important objectives of NITI Aayog. How are the principles and functions of NITI Aayog different from those of the planning commission ? Comment.
NITI Aayog, established in 2015, replaced the Planning Commission, marking a paradigm shift in India’s approach to planning and policy-making.
Important Objectives of NITI Aayog:
- Foster Cooperative Federalism: Facilitate the participation of states in the formulation of national policies.
- Innovative Policy-making: Introducing innovative policy reforms at the central and state levels.
- Inclusive Development: Ensuring benefits of development reach all sections of the society, including marginalized groups.
- Sustainable Development: Aligning India’s policies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN.
- Act as a Policy Think-tank: Offering technical advice to central and state governments.
Differences between NITI Aayog and the Planning Commission:
- Nature: While the Planning Commission had a top-down model of centralized planning, NITI Aayog emphasizes a bottom-up approach promoting cooperative federalism.
- Function: The Planning Commission was primarily responsible for allocating funds to states. NITI Aayog, however, does not have the mandate to allocate funds.
- Decision Making: The Planning Commission made decisions in closed rooms. In contrast, NITI Aayog aims for more transparent and inclusive decision-making involving states.
- Advisory Role: Unlike the mandate-driven Planning Commission, NITI Aayog serves as an advisory body, giving both technical and policy advice.
- Flexibility: The Planning Commission rigidly formulated five-year plans. NITI Aayog, on the other hand, is more adaptable, focusing on short, medium, and long-term goals.
The transition from the Planning Commission to NITI Aayog marks India’s commitment to cooperative federalism, adaptability, and inclusive growth, aligning with modern governance requirements.
- Explain the concept of inclusive growth. What are the issues and challenges with inclusive growth in India ? Explain.
Inclusive growth refers to economic progress that benefits all sections of society, emphasizing upliftment of the marginalized and ensuring equitable access to opportunities and resources.
- Understanding Inclusive Growth:
- Economic Prosperity: It’s not just about GDP increase but ensuring that the benefits percolate to all layers of society.
- Social Equity: It aims to bridge the gap between different social, economic, and gender groups, making sure no one is left behind.
- Issues and Challenges in India:
- Income Inequality: The rich-poor divide has expanded, with the top 10% earning multiple times more than the bottom 50%.
- Unemployment: As per government data, unemployment rates, especially post-pandemic, have surged, hindering inclusive progress.
- Access to Quality Education: Despite initiatives like ‘Right to Education’, disparities persist in access to quality education, especially in rural areas.
- Healthcare Access: The health infrastructure varies starkly between urban and rural settings. Major urban areas have advanced healthcare facilities, while rural areas often lack basic amenities.
- Digital Divide: The urban-rural divide is also evident in digital access, limiting opportunities in sectors like e-learning, e-commerce, and telemedicine for many.
- Land and Resource Allocation: Land acquisition controversies and the non-inclusive nature of some developmental projects have led to disputes and litigation, stalling progress.
- Societal Norms: Prevailing social structures and norms sometimes act as barriers, especially for women and marginalized communities, restricting their economic participation and opportunities.
To achieve inclusive growth, India must prioritize equitable policies, improved infrastructure, and societal reforms, leveraging schemes like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’.
- Describe the various efforts being made in to achieve the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 global goals by the United Nations aimed at addressing various global challenges by 2030.
- Awareness and Education:
- UN’s “The World’s Largest Lesson” campaign introduces children to the SDGs, fostering future ambassadors.
- Governments and NGOs are also integrating SDGs into educational curriculums.
- Public-private partnerships are pivotal. For instance, the UN Global Compact encourages businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable practices aligning with the SDGs.
- Financial Commitment:
- Many nations have pledged substantial amounts to fund SDGs. For example, the India-UN Development Partnership Fund supports projects aligned with SDGs in developing countries.
- Technological Innovation:
- Leveraging technology, especially in agriculture and health, has accelerated progress towards SDGs.
- Data Monitoring:
- Governments, with support from institutions like the World Bank, are developing mechanisms to track and report their SDG progress.
- Legislation and Policies:
- Many countries have aligned their national policies with SDGs. For instance, the National Development Plan of South Africa is explicitly linked to SDGs.
- Local Initiatives:
- Local bodies and communities play a crucial role. Cities are adopting SDGs in their urban planning, like the ‘Smart Cities’ initiative in India.
- Addressing Climate Change:
- SDG 13 focuses on taking urgent action to combat climate change. The Paris Agreement, ratified by numerous nations, aims to mitigate global warming.
- Gender Equality:
- SDG 5 targets gender equality. Programs like UN Women foster global initiatives to uplift and empower women.
While significant strides are being made towards SDGs, collective global effort, continuous monitoring, and adaptive strategies are imperative to achieve these ambitious targets by 2030.
- “Despite various measures to address food security, major challenges remain.” Explain with reference to India.
ndia, with its 1.3 billion population, has taken substantial measures like the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 to ensure food security. Yet, challenges persist.
- Gap in Coverage: Although NFSA promises to cover 75% rural and 50% urban population, many deserving beneficiaries are often left out due to outdated data or identification issues.
- Storage and Wastage: India witnesses significant post-harvest losses due to inadequate storage, transportation, and processing facilities. As per the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, about 16% of fruits and vegetables get wasted annually.
- Nutritional Security: Mere calorie intake doesn’t ensure nutritional well-being. Malnutrition remains a challenge, with the National Family Health Survey-4 reporting 38% of children under five being stunted.
- Public Distribution System (PDS) Inefficiencies: Leakages, lack of transparency, and corruption in PDS hinder the efficient distribution of subsidized food grains to the deserving population.
- Climate Change: Changing climate patterns affect agricultural yield. As NITI Aayog reported, almost 50% of India’s population might not have enough drinking water by 2030, impacting agriculture.
- Economic Challenges: The cost of farming vis-a-vis its return is discouraging. Many farmers face indebtedness leading to distress and farmer suicides.
- Technology Adoption: Lack of technological advancement in agriculture results in lesser yield compared to the global average. It’s vital to introduce modern techniques and practices.
While policies like NFSA indicate intent, there’s an urgent need to plug operational gaps, modernize agriculture, and ensure holistic nutrition to genuinely secure India’s food future.
- “The Public Distribution System (PDS) has proved to be the most effective instrument of Government policy over the years in stabilizing prices and making food available to consumers at affordable prices.” Explain the statement.
The Public Distribution System (PDS) is an Indian governmental initiative aimed at distributing staple foods at subsidized prices to vulnerable segments of society.
- Stabilizing Prices:
- Buffer Stocking: PDS, through the Food Corporation of India (FCI), maintains large buffer stocks of food grains. This allows the government to release or purchase grains to stabilize prices.
- Reduction in Black Marketing: With grains available at standardized rates in fair price shops, the chances of hoarding and black marketing reduce, maintaining price stability.
- Availability at Affordable Prices:
- Subsidized Rates: Essential commodities like rice, wheat, and kerosene are provided at much lower than market prices, ensuring that even the economically weaker sections can afford them.
- Uniformity: Items under the PDS are available at a uniform price all over the country, irrespective of the seasonal price variations or inflationary pressures.
- Food Security:
- Targeted PDS: Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013, PDS was revamped to focus more sharply on the poor, ensuring that they get the required caloric intake.
- Coverage: According to the government data, over 800 million people in India benefit from PDS, reflecting its expansive reach and impact.
- Checks and Balances:
- Digitization: With the introduction of digital methods like e-PoS devices, the transparency and efficiency of PDS have increased, reducing pilferage and corruption.
- Linking with Aadhaar: The government’s move to link ration cards with Aadhaar has curbed duplications and fake beneficiaries.
PDS, complemented by recent technological and legislative measures, continues to fortify India’s fight against food insecurity, playing a pivotal role in socio-economic stability.
- What steps are being taken to meet the continuously increasing demand of energy resources in India? Discuss with special reference to renewable and sustainable energy resources.
India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, faces an escalating energy demand. Emphasis is on renewable and sustainable resources for a future-ready energy solution.
- Solar Power:
- India launched the National Solar Mission under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission aimed to achieve 100 GW solar capacity by 2022.
- Tax incentives and subsidies have been provided to encourage solar installations.
- Solar parks in states like Rajasthan and Gujarat harness significant solar energy.
- Wind Energy:
- India ranks 4th in wind energy capacity globally.
- Coastal areas, especially in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, have seen significant wind farm installations.
- Promoting biomass gasification projects to convert agricultural waste into energy.
- Initiatives like SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) aim to promote Compressed Biogas as an alternative fuel.
- Hydro and Tidal Energy:
- India is leveraging its vast coastline and riverine resources. Projects like the Sardar Sarovar Dam produce hydroelectricity.
- Tidal energy projects are being explored on the western coast.
- Nuclear Energy:
- Despite controversies, India views nuclear energy as a sustainable option. New reactors, with improved safety measures, are being set up.
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation:
- Programs like UJALA by the Government of India distribute energy-efficient LED bulbs at subsidized rates.
- The Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme pushes industries to improve energy efficiency.
- International Collaborations:
- India became a founding member of the International Solar Alliance to enhance solar technology cooperation.
India’s energy strategies underscore sustainability and efficiency. Harnessing renewable resources and international collaborations will pave the way for a greener, energy-secure future.
- What are India’s main achievements in biotechnology? How will these help in the upliftment of poor sections of society?
India has marked significant milestones in the biotechnology sector, establishing itself as a major player in the global arena.
- Agriculture: India’s prowess in genetically modified crops, particularly Bt cotton, has transformed the cotton industry.
- Pharmaceuticals: India is at the forefront of producing affordable generic medicines and has recently made progress in developing indigenous vaccines, like Covaxin for COVID-19.
- Bioinformatics: Indian IT professionals are increasingly integrating with biotechnologists, leading to breakthroughs in computational biology and genomics.
- Biosimilars: India’s emerging biosimilar market, with products like Insulin, pegfilgrastim, and trastuzumab, has gained international acclaim.
- Bio-energy: Pioneering work in converting biomass to fuel, reducing dependence on non-renewable resources.
Upliftment of the Poor:
- Agricultural Advancements: Genetically modified crops have increased yields, ensuring food security and higher incomes for farmers, especially the marginalized ones.
- Affordable Healthcare: Indigenous drug development and vaccine production have facilitated cheaper healthcare solutions, making it accessible for the economically challenged population.
- Job Creation: The biotech industry has spurred job creation, offering employment opportunities in research labs, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural sectors.
- Environmental Protection: Bio-energy projects, promoting cleaner energy, indirectly benefit the poor, as they bear a significant brunt of environmental degradation.
- Nutritional Security: The development of bio-fortified crops like Golden Rice, rich in Vitamin A, promises to address malnutrition challenges prevalent among the poorer sections.
Biotechnology’s advancements in India, combined with proactive government policies and initiatives, promise to catalyze inclusive growth, benefiting the nation’s socio-economically marginalized groups significantly.
- Distinguish between natural and manmade disasters. Also, elucidate the effectiveness of the disaster management system in India.
Disasters disrupt societal functioning, and based on their origin, they’re classified as natural or manmade. India, given its vast and diverse geography, faces both types frequently.
- Natural Disasters
- Definition: These arise due to natural processes of the Earth.
- Examples: Earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, floods, droughts, and volcanic eruptions.
- Data: As per the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), cyclones affect 13% of India’s land area, impacting 8% of its population.
- Manmade Disasters
- Definition: Events caused due to human actions, negligence, or error.
- Examples: Industrial accidents, nuclear spills, oil spills, deforestation, fires due to negligence, and armed conflicts.
- Data: The Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, one of the world’s worst industrial disasters, resulted in over 3,000 immediate deaths and several thousand subsequent casualties.
- Effectiveness of Disaster Management in India
- National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA): Formed under the Disaster Management Act of 2005, NDMA has formulated policies and plans for disaster management.
- National Disaster Response Force (NDRF): A specialized force for responding to disasters and conducting relief operations.
- Early Warning Systems: For cyclones and tsunamis, advanced warning systems have been deployed along the coasts.
- Community-based disaster management: Initiatives to involve communities in disaster preparedness and response.
- Challenges: Despite systems in place, rapid urbanization, lack of infrastructure resilience, and public awareness are areas of concern.
Disaster management in India has made commendable progress. Continued investment in technology, public awareness, and infrastructure resilience will further enhance India’s disaster response and mitigation capabilities.
- “Money laundering poses a serious threat to a country’s economic sovereignty. Information and communication technology has made it more challenging.” Explain.
Money laundering undermines a nation’s economic sovereignty. The proliferation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has added complexities to detecting and curbing such illicit financial flows.
- Definition: Money laundering involves processing illegally-acquired gains to make them appear legitimate.
- Economic Threat:
- Distorts Economy: Illicit money entering the legal economy can inflate asset prices, such as in real estate, making it unaffordable for average citizens.
- Financial Instability: Sudden influxes or outflows of illicit money can cause economic instability, affecting currency value and investment rates.
- Facilitates Crime: Money laundering aids organized crime, terrorism, and corruption by making it feasible to benefit from illicit activities.
- Role of ICT:
- Digital Transactions: The rise in online banking, e-wallets, and digital transactions provides launderers with myriad ways to move money discreetly.
- Cryptocurrencies: Digital currencies like Bitcoin are sometimes used to obscure the origin of funds due to their decentralized and often anonymous nature.
- Offshore Online Platforms: Internet-based platforms in tax havens can hide the true owner of assets, making tracking difficult.
- Cyber Crime: Phishing, hacking, and digital fraud can lead to illicit gains, which then need laundering.
- Tracking: Digital transactions can cross multiple jurisdictions in seconds, complicating tracking efforts.
- Regulation: Regulatory frameworks struggle to keep pace with rapidly evolving digital platforms and tools.
- Anonymous Transactions: Advanced technologies offer high levels of encryption and anonymity.
To counteract ICT-enhanced money laundering, countries must adopt advanced digital forensics, tighten international cooperation, and regulate digital financial platforms, like India’s Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
- What positive and negative changes occurred due to the media revolution. in India and around the world? Explain the role of media in national and international security.
The media revolution, predominantly driven by digital advancements, has reshaped communication globally, with India mirroring global trends. It brings both prospects and challenges to societies.
- Increased Accessibility: Digital platforms allow instant access to information. For instance, over 50% of India’s population now has internet access, democratizing information reach.
- Global Connectivity: The world has become a ‘global village’. People in remote locations can communicate effortlessly, bridging geographical divides.
- Citizen Journalism: The rise of platforms like Twitter has enabled ordinary individuals to report and share firsthand accounts, sometimes even faster than traditional media.
- Transparency and Accountability: With real-time reporting, malpractices, corruption, and injustices can be exposed quickly, as seen during movements like the Arab Spring.
- Misinformation and Fake News: Rapid dissemination without verification has led to fake news crises, which sometimes incite violence or cause public panic.
- Privacy Concerns: Digital media often infringes upon personal privacy. Unauthorized data collections by some apps pose security threats.
- Media Polarization: The customization algorithms of many platforms create echo chambers, intensifying divisive opinions and sometimes even radicalizing users.
Role of Media in National and International Security:
- Awareness Creation: Media educates the public on security issues, be it cyber threats or terrorist activities.
- Intelligence Gathering: Open-source intelligence (OSINT), often gleaned from media, aids in security analytics.
- Diplomatic Tool: Countries use media to convey diplomatic stances. For instance, India and China’s standoff news coverage shaped public opinion and diplomatic stances.
- Potential Threat: Unregulated media can be used for propaganda, recruitment by extremist groups, or cyber espionage.
While the media revolution offers immense potential for societal progress, its unregulated aspects can threaten security. Balanced policies and media literacy are crucial for harnessing its true potential.
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