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    Civil Services Exams 2015 (200 Words, 12.5 Marks)
    The implementation of mega projects and industries in the name of “development” in the remote and tribal areas at times ironically further marginalises the local communities and tribal population. Malkangiri and Naxalbari are cases in point where development induced displacement of tribal population and local communities has given the impetus to the Left Wing Extremism.
    The following corrective strategies must be implemented:
    • Making development more inclusive: The local communities and tribal population are severely affected in the development of mega industries and other projects. The development and industrialisation should not take place at the cost of the local communities. The government must ensure that all the stakeholders get the benefits of the development.
    • Proper compensation: There are many instances across the country where the proper compensation is neither quantified nor the promised one is given to the local population. At times the local tribal population has to give up it's forest and community rights which are the lifeline of these communities. The establishment must ensure that compensation is properly quantified and delivered to the local population.
    • Strengthening democratic institutions and people’s participation: The local and grassroots institutions like Gram Sabha, Palli Sabha, Village Panchayats should be further strengthened. These institutions should play the decisive role in decision making related to the development projects, land acquisitions and quantifications of the compensation.
    • Socio-cultural dynamics: For the tribal and local communities the forests, animals and land are not just economic assets but they are their way of life. These communities are culturally and emotionally attached to the forests and land.  The administration and government must be sensitive to this aspect of the life of local communities as well.
    Civil Services Exams 2015 (200 Words, 12.5 Marks)
    ISIS is an acronym that stands for Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS)- a religious fundamentalist terrorist group. Earlier, the name of ISIS was only Islamic State (IS) but later its name has been changed to ISIS.
    Its mission is to bring the regions of Iraq and Syria under Islamic rule through illegal and terrorist ways. It also aspires to bring other regions of the world under direct Islamic rule. It has very serious intentions of spreading radical Islamic fundamentalist ideas across the world. It has also been indulged in other inhumane activities such as sex slavery, human trafficking, drug selling etc.
    Presently, not only for India but for the entire world, it poses serious security threats. It is recruiting radical vulnerable youth across the world and thus, endangering the next generations too.
    ISIS: a major threat to the national security
    • ISIS has radical religious background; therefore essentially it creates a divide among Indian people on religious sentiment. It threatens the social fabric of a diverse country like India. ISIS also been recruiting its fighters significantly from India online. Further, it washes-out the minds of youths from India by preaching radical inappropriate religious lectures.
    • The human development indices of Muslim population in India are lower than the national average. The incidence of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy among Muslim population in India is much higher than the national average. Any external trigger can easily alienate Muslim youths in the name of religion. Moreover, the   hostile neighbour and anti-India propaganda of its intelligence agencies in the name of religion can help ISIS to spread its ugly head.
    Civil Services Exams 2015 (200 Words, 12.5 Marks)
    India’s geological location makes it severely vulnerable to earthquakes. Though the entire country is classified and identified by a number of earthquakes zones measuring the intensity of earthquakes yet the country is susceptible to mild to severe earthquakes.
    India’s mitigation strategies of mitigation of earthquakes have following lacunae:
    LAW PASSED BUT NOT IN EFFECT: Institutional failures
    2005 law on disaster management has been put into effect at the national level, it exists only on paper in a few states and districts. The act created a National Disaster Management Authority, with the power to allocate resources and supervise disaster management across the country. A national disaster response force was also formed for rescue and evacuation. In addition, the act authorised the government to strengthen existing infrastructure in disaster-prone areas and help create an early-warning system. But none of them has been implemented effectively. The situation is so that our armed forces have become only as disaster relief force. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel are too low in strength and are poorly trained.
    NGOs and the civil society too have an important role in creating a State-society partnership for ramping up disaster preparedness and prevention among the public. After all, such systems would only work with imaginative planning and community preparedness — both crucial for emergency responses at the national, state, district, and city levels.
    The crucial issue of earthquake education must be addressed with the seriousness it deserves. The dos and don’ts to be observed during and after a quake, for instance, should be properly communicated to people to minimise losses. It would also be a good idea to have regular earthquake drills, with emergency alerts broadcast over radio, TV, and social networks about what to do when the ground starts shaking.

    Civil Services Exams 2014 (200 Words, 12.5 Marks)

    As per an estimate, about 60 percent of the total operations in the agriculture and the allied sectors are managed by women in India.

    Land and other farming assets in rural communities in India are owned by male members. They have full control over the female members of the family as well. In such scenario, its very natural low value and labour intensive work would be delegated to the women.

    The unequal wage rates in country biased against the women makes them relatively economical compared to the male counterpart. In terms of growth rate and capital formation, the agriculture sectors lack far behind the manufacturing and service sector. The male work force is more mobile and readily migrates to urban centres to search for gainful employment in the non-agriculture sectors. On the other hand, woman workforce which lacks skills and access to the formal education due to patriarchal prejudices is left with very limited options apart from engaging in the agriculture and allied activities.

    In the patriarchal society like India, where male member is considered to be the primary bread earner while the woman is deemed to be responsible for the child-rearing and household chores, the rural woman has to essentially find work place near her home. This further retards her mobility in non-agriculture sectors and leads to increasing feminization of agriculture in India.

    Civil Services Exams 2014 (200 Words, 12.5 Marks)
    Himalayan glaciers have a significant influence on prevailing climate in the Indian subcontinent. The recent phenomenon of shrinking glaciers on the Himalayas has affected the climate in the subcontinent to a greater extent.
    Most of Himalayan Rivers in India are fed by glaciers of India. In such scenario, the increased rate of melting of ice on the Himalayas has resulted into increased water amount in Himalayan Rivers. Sometimes, it has increased so much so, that some states even had to face floods and unprecedented change in weather. Also shrinking glaciers have exposed Himalayan plateaus directly to sunlight creating exact opposite atmospheric conditions on the Himalayas. This has not only affected the atmospheric conditions in the northern region of the subcontinent but has also affected the rainfall patterns in the subcontinent. Irregular rainfall patterns are also one of the symptoms of shrinking glaciers on the Himalayas.
    One of the prime functions of Himalaya’s glaciers on Indian climate is that it bars the Siberian chilled winds from entering into the Indian subcontinent.  Recently, the average lowest temperatures have increased in the Indian subcontinent, which shows that the height of Himalayan peaks is decreasing. Shrinking of Himalayan glaciers may be one of the reasons behind it. 
    Civil Services Exams 2014 (200 Words, 12.5 Marks)
    All three regions South China Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico are essentially in the tropical zone.  The following are the reasons for a large number of cyclones:
    Temperature: Water temperatures in these regions are always greater than 26.5 °C, which is pre requisite for the formation of tropical cyclones. In other waters in tropical regions, temperature vary accordingly to the prevailing weather.
    The atmosphere in these regions unstable enough to sustain convection and thunderstorms: The ideal atmospheric conditions provide heat of condensation that powers a tropical cyclone.
    High humidity:  Atmosphere in these regions comprised high humidity, which is necessary for tropical cyclones to be formed
    Low amounts of wind shear: low amounts of wind shear as high shear is disruptive to the storm's circulation.
    Location factor: For tropical cyclones to be formed, a distance from the Equator is necessary, which should be at least 555 km or 5° of latitude, so that it allows the Coriolis effect to deflect winds blowing towards the low pressure centre and creating a circulation. Because the Coriolis effect initiates and maintains tropical cyclone rotation, tropical cyclones rarely form or move within about 5° of the equator, where the Coriolis effect is weakest.‚Äč
    Civil Services Exams 2014 (200 Words, 12.5 Marks)
    The Secularism was originally conceptualised is the West. When this concept was incorporated in the Indian constitution many of its nuances and connotations got altered because of the socio-economic and cultural contexts.
    Secularism in West draws a watertight compartment between the religion and state. Religion is considered to be an individualistic belief and is envisaged not to play any role in the governance.  The state thus keeps religion at an arm’s length. In various countries like France, any demonstration of religious symbolism in public is considered illegal.
    In medieval times, the Church and Pope in Europe had access to immense power and had their domination over both religion and politics. Modern day politics and nation states in West aroused after dismantling the hegemony of Church.  Thus there is a tacit antagonism between the religion and state in the West. On the other hand religion in India has been an integral part of the life of the people. It’s hard to separate religion from any realm of day-to-day life in India. Interestingly, despite this importance, the priestly class and religious institution never dominated the politics. Rather the ruling class used religion as an instrument to legitimise their status and supremacy. Thus Indian secularism can be best described to be based on the Gandhian principle of “Sarv dharam sam bhav” i.e. promoting all religion equally.
    In nut shell, Secularism in India means equal treatment of all religions by the state while in West it means strict dichotomy between state and religion.

    Civil Service Exams 2016, (200 words, 12.5 Marks) 

    The governmental response to the demands of neo-liberal era can be considered as mixed. Nonetheless there are many realms where the responsiveness can be improved to a great extent.

    The changed role

    The government has to act like a facilitator and regulator to be responsive in the neo-liberal era.

    As a facilitator government has to ensure an “enabling environment” and level “playing fields” for the non-state actors to flourish. In response to this although the country has seen the end of licence and permit Raj but still as the environment for businesses in India cannot be considered as world class. Lack of adequate infrastructure and archaic labour laws, permissions from various governmental agencies are still deemed as road blocks. It’s not surprising that rank of India in indices like “Ease of Doing Business” is still far behind the small Asian peers like Bhutan and Sri Lanka.

    As a regulator the government has to ensure that markets behave in the people friendly manner. It’s a fact that market inherently are not people friendly and they have to be made so by proper regulations. However, in terms of the regulation the country has witnessed a dismal trend. Due to improper and lack of regulation we have seen various examples of emerging crony capitalism in the country. The Coal Scam, 3G Scam etc. are some case in points.

    The road ahead

    The small but strong government is need of the hour. The government should encourage network approach in the governance along with apt practices like downsizing, rightsizing, strengthening citizen charter etc. Devolution, decentralization and ensuring transparency will also make government responsive for the neoliberal era

    Civil Service Exams 2016, (200 words, 12.5 Marks) 

    After the 1991 reforms with the roll-back of the state, the role of non-state actors like market and Civil Society is gradually increasing in the governance. While the roles of these actors are relatively low vis-à-vis other developed countries but it would be misnomer to accept that the role has been marginal.

    Role of market in governance: the increasing trend

    After the 1991 reforms, the state ideally has to roll back itself as the direct provider of the goods and services to the citizens. It is expected that this void would be filled by market and civil society. The governance system has witnessed the enlarged role of market in this context.

    Apart from the handful sectors which are strategically important like railway, law and order and defence the market (private sector) has penetrated deep inside the governance system. The sectors like health, education, food processing, telecommunication, retail etc. are dominated by the market. Today it’s impossible to image a robust governance system without market.

    Role of Civil Society

    Akin to market the role of civil society has also observed to be on an increasing trend. In the social sector the civil society in India is playing a remarkable. Apart from the direct provider of goods and services, the civil society is also involved in advocacy, shaping public policy and other interventions. All the major developmental schemes targeting for the social sector today recognise civil society as an important stake holder in the socio-economic development.

    Civil Service Exams 2016, (200 words, 12.5 Marks) 

    The structure of Indian bureaucracy is based on the traditional Weberian Model while the culture of colonial era still lingers on our bureaucracy, making it non responsive and status-quoist. 

    Indian bureaucracy is based on classical Weberian model and is expected to be neutral, impersonal, hierarchical and rule oriented. This model was apt for the administration in 19th-20th century where the primary purpose of bureaucracy was to maintain the status quo. In 21st century the paradigm of governance has completely changed. The need of the hour is the bureaucracy that is goal oriented, sensitive towards the needs of the citizens and is adaptive to face the challenges of the globalized world. The obsession for rules rather than outcomes has infused malice like red tape and unresponsiveness in bureaucracy hampering the pace of socio-economic development.

    Indian bureaucrats like in the British Raj are still expected to be the passive masters of citizenry. Ideally they should be co-actors in the development process. This has created a huge cleavage between ordinary citizens and bureaucracy and at times the developmental works done by bureaucracy are either redundant, irrelevant or does not match the popular aspiration. Apart from the culture of nepotism, favouritism and primarily serving the vested interest of political masters also makes the bureaucracy insensitive towards the socio-economic development of the citizens.