SYNOPSIS [3rd July,2020] Day 21: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. Do you think, family as a social institution, is losing its influence on the way the collective morality of a society is shaped? Discuss.
क्या आपको लगता है, एक सामाजिक संस्था के रूप में परिवार, किसी समाज की सामूहिक नैतिकता को आकार देने के तरीके पर अपना प्रभाव खो रहा है? चर्चा करें।
Demand of the question:
It expects students to define family as a social institution and collective morality. Students should also write about influence of family in shaping collective morality of society.
Social institutions are structures of society like family, education, religion, etc. that fulfil the needs of the society. They guide and shape the expected behaviour of individuals, they also help to build and sustain the society itself.
Morality is dominantly considered as the individual sense of right and wrong while, Collective Morality is collective sense of right and wrong of the group, community, etc.
Family is the basic and important social institution that has important role in influencing the individual as well as collective morality:
- Family nurtures and preserves cultural and social values
- It is major source of emotional bonding, socialization and generate the sense of right and wrong.
- Children are seen as making moral judgments according to the “social conventions” of their parents, their peers, and their society.
- It is first source of habit formation like discipline, respecting, obedience, etc.
- Family system is a single, powerful strand which for centuries, has woven the our rich, social fabric replete with diversity, into a whole.
- It provides stability to society by providing law abiding citizens.
However, due to following reasons family as a social institution seems to be losing its influence in shaping collective morality of a society:
- Increase in geographically dispersed and fragmented nuclear families erodes into emotional bonding and socialization.
- Dispersed families are exposed to diverse cultural and social values thus impact on collective traditions, ideas.
- Socio-economic and physical stress of fast paced world provide causing less time for nurturing of younger generations.
- Increasing divorce and separation rates, domestic violence, inter-generational conflicts, social problems of drug abuse, juvenile delinquency etc.
- Increasing influence of technology, internet, social media easily make diverse ideas, cultural aspect available to individuals and groups. E.g.: many Indians reacting to ‘#BlackLivesMatter’ but are ignorant about the manifestation of domestic racism, casteism.
- Family as an institution is lagging behind in keeping pace with changing values of globalized world. E.g.: Global outlook is now accepting girls as equal stakeholder but restrictive family morals are still not letting girls out.
Still, Family as a social institution is crucial in shaping collective morality of society:
- The scope of family as concept has increased, today it is not restricted to a group of individuals with blood relations. Globalization backed by technology has made whole world as great one family.
- Our solidarity and sensitivities are not limited to blood relatives, neighbours; today they cut-across borders. E.g.: #BlackLivesMatter is now a global movement and has initiated discussions on domestic issues also thus, shaping progressive collective morality of future.
- Healthy competition among countries to eliminate social evils for harmonious future. E.g.: In India, Enrolment of girls has increased at par with boys, job opportunities are increasing.
- Even environment is being increasingly seen as part of family – encouraging ecological values and ethos in society.
Covid-19 pandemic has generated a sense of global consciousness which is similar to ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’ principle of India which expects whole world to fight and come out of this crisis as one global healthy family and pass on this collective wisdom to coming generations.
2. Should educational institutions be mandated to impart traditional knowledge in the field of medicine, astronomy and general science? Critically comment.
क्या शैक्षणिक संस्थानों को चिकित्सा, खगोल विज्ञान और सामान्य विज्ञान के क्षेत्र में पारंपरिक ज्ञान प्रदान करने के लिए बाध्य किया जाना चाहिए? समालोचनात्मक टिप्पणी करें।
Demand of the question:
It expects students to write about importance of traditional knowledge. Students should also write about both aspects of whether to mandate imparting of traditional knowledge in educational institutions or not.
On 21st June, world celebrated ‘Yoga Day’; yoga is part of India’s traditional knowledge about medicine and life. India has a very rich and diverse treasure of traditional knowledge; though India intends to share it with the world there are concerns over little or no efforts to pass this knowledge to future generations of India.
Mandating educational institutions to impart traditional knowledge has following benefits:
- Help students realize the richness of traditional knowledge and generate curiosity about its real life applications. E.g.: Charak Samita in Medicine, Aryabhattiya on astronomy and mathematics, etc.
- Make traditional knowledge sustainable which not only benefits current generation but also the future generation by passing on time tested wisdom.
- Benefits student’s intellect and mental peace as Indian traditional knowledge is mixture of material and spiritual world.
- Knowing true essence of traditional knowledge will boost confidence of Indian students. Currently, there is a feeling of inferiority about traditional knowledge which cascades into India’s approach in global affairs.
- It will encourage innovation and research, boost startups based on traditional knowledge.
- Help in fulfilling constitutional duty of Indians with scientific temper
- It will help in updating traditional knowledge with the latest studies in science and make it more relevant. E.g.: Quantum physics, gravitational waves, etc.
- Assist in devising environmental friendly agricultural techniques. Compost, green manure, neem coated urea, etc.
- The importance given to environment in traditional knowledge will help in conservation and achieving climate mitigation goals. It will bring students close to nature and generate appreciation and awareness.
However, there are few concerns in imparting traditional knowledge via educational institutions:
- Including traditional knowledge in curriculum without proper evaluation will harm progress of traditional knowledge and students.
- Rigid religious motives in imparting traditional knowledge will cause divide in society and rob society of true benefit from traditional knowledge.
- Forcing ill-prepared syllabus on students will discourage students in continuing with traditional subjects.
- There should not be undue conflict between traditional and upcoming latest knowledge, any rational conflict should be resolved scientifically.
- It should also accommodate scientific knowledge of tribes.
Government of India has taken steps to promote traditional knowledge:
- AYUSH Ministry to encourage and initiate scientific studies in India’s ancient medical practices. India was able to convince world about efficacy of yoga via empirical evidence.
- Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is a pioneering Indian initiative to prevent exploitation and to protect Indian traditional knowledge from wrongful patents.
Thus, need to conserve and pass on traditional knowledge to coming generations and the world at large so that India emerges as ‘Atma Nirbhar’ and ‘Jagat Guru’.
3. What are your views on the recent decision by the government to ban Chinese apps? Is it mere symbolism? Substantiate your views.
चीनी ऐप पर प्रतिबंध लगाने के सरकार द्वारा हाल के फैसले पर आपके विचार क्या हैं? क्या यह केवल प्रतीकवाद है? अपने विचारों की पुष्टि करें।
Demand of the question:
It expects students to express their views on the recent decision by the government to ban Chinese apps. The question also demands from students to analyse the decision in the light of symbolism with substantiation.
In view of the emergent nature of threats, Government of India banned 59 Chinese apps under section 69A of the Information Technology Act in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.
The move comes as an exercise of coercive diplomacy with China amid the tense standoff in Ladakh which caused martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers and huge public resentment by Indian masses.
The banning of Chinese apps can be called a strategic move or ‘digital strike’ because:
- It could serve as a warning to China and its bigger government controlled businesses in India
- It rallies masses of India against the provocation and shows a united front against aggressor nation to hold them accountable for their misadventures
- The Ministry of Information and Technology (Meity) claimed reports and complaints on misuse of some mobile apps, breach of privacy and data theft.
- The move aims to enable data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians.
- The apps can be used to monitor movements of Indian troops and stealing of strategic information.
- The ban aligns with a strong public demand to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.
- Hurt Chinese apps customer base and revenue, e.g.: TikTok app has over 100 million active users in the India (30% of their global customers)
- The Indian app market is growing in quantity and quality. Internet costs here are one of the lowest in the world, and consumers number over 800 million. This may encourage Indian alternatives in the app space
- The move is in-line with ‘Atma Nirbhar’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative.
- A ban on physical goods would have also adversely affected India’s business and economy while hardly making a dent on China’s. The move is thus being seen as one that could be more effective.
- Huge data generated will help India’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) initiatives and Digital India prospects.
- It will help diffuse tensions peacefully without escalating the issues between nuclear capable rivals.
However, this move looks mere symbolism because:
- Resolving complex border issues will need efficient diplomacy and better preparedness in border region. App ban cannot replace these crucial necessities.
- India’s trade deficit with China in around $52 billion, mere app ban cannot bridge the deficit gap.
- It will hamper income source of many Indians as most of these platforms have Indian creators and offices in India. Thus it also hurts common Indians.
- Without clear cut policy Indian app developers cannot fill the void created by the ban.
- India’s high dependence on procured weapons need urgent indigenisation of military equipment.
- Reactionary approach and long neglect of basic border infrastructure cannot be covered with app ban.
- Need of sustained demand for Indian goods will require effective preference change of citizens.
- The inefficiencies in Indian market like inverted duty structure, complex procedures-approvals, etc. that prevents Indian goods from being competitive with Chinese goods need more than just app bans.
Government has taken steps to sustain the intent behind app ban:
- ‘Look East’ to ‘Act East Policy’ by improving relations with ASEAN and countries like South Korea and Japan.
- 20 lakh crore package with substantial benefits to MSMEs.
- ‘Quad initiative’ – India, Japan, Australia and the US to cooperate economically, militarily and strategically for free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region that serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large
- Modernizing India’s Armed Forces Power: Efficient and speedy procurements e.g.: Raffale, Mig-21, Apache Helicopters; Focus on technology sharing and encouraging Indigenous production of military equipment e.g.: Tejas, Brahmos.
- Rallying likeminded nations against China at global forums like G7, United Nations, etc.
So, app ban though seems symbolic in nature but the intent behind the ban to deal with unilateral provocation strongly sends a strong message to rivals and global community about India’s determination to safeguard its sovereignty and its preference to peaceful means to resolve conflicts.