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SYNOPSIS [23rd OCTOBER,2020] Day 11: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. Examine the importance of value based learning in the age of social media.
As the directive is examine, candidate is expected to investigate and establish key facts and issues. Candidate can start by defining what is value based learning and how social media has impacted learning now a days (either in positive or in negative or both). For the body part of answer, explain challenges posed by age of social media and how value based learning will help to tackle these challenges. Later on a counter argument could be made to show how social media is supplementing value based learning in short. While concluding one can write about how synchronization of value based learning with that of social media will help in better evolution of both the streams. The nature of question is open ended so don’t confine your answer to impart value based learning is academic curriculum.
Value based learning is the process by which moral values are exchanged between people. Inception of imparting value based learning takes place from family and it goes on throughout the life. Value based learning helps to have a sound society which works in harmony. Age of social media has posed variety of challenges to impart value based learning. Meanwhile, it has also supplemented value based learning in some way or other.
Value based learning strives to develop a sensible person with strong character and values. It is an action that can take place in human society, during which the people are helped by others.
Importance of value based learning in the age of social media:
- Hate speech and rumours in India have been responsible for acts of violence and deaths in many of the cases for quite some time now. For instance, The most recent being the case when two sadhus and their driver were lynched in Gadchinchale village in Palghar, Maharashtra this year due to WhatsApp rumors.
- Similarly Hate Speech on Social Media had a big role in the Delhi Riots of 2020. Here, comes in picture value based learning and its implementation.
- For instance, respecting each other and their point of view is taught in India for a very long time. It also imbibes the value of tolerance in person. However, these kind of incidences show that these values are degrading in the society.
- Fake News: There are a staggering number of edited images, manipulated videos and fake text messages spread through social media platforms and messaging services like WhatsApp making it harder to distinguish between misinformation and credible facts.
- Spread of fake news creates a chaos in society, which in turn hampers value of always adhering to truth. These kind of incidences impact societal values in negative way.
- Trolling is the new bi product of Social Media. Vigilantes take law in their own hand and start trolling and threatening those who don’t agree with their views or narratives. It has led to anonymous trolls who attack the reputation of an individual.
- Women face cyber rape and threats that affect their dignity severely. Sometimes their pictures and videos are leaked and are forced to cyber bullying.
These conflicts and contestations erode the democratic spirit and traditional values of society. Here, value based learning comes in to picture which will not only prove to be a medicine for the issue but it will root out the problem in following ways.
- Value based learning is a process of increasing the overall character of a person, it also includes character development, personality development and spiritual development. For instance, In the Vedic period, In Ashram education, the Guru insists his shishya to follow certain values throughout her life.
- Value based learning strives for development of values of such as developing scientific temper, large heartedness, co-operation, tolerance, respect for the culture of other groups. For instance, the way in which Japanese people greet each other and show respect, is not something happened over night. It’s their transmission of value based learning from one generation to other.
- These kind of values will not only help to have a sound society but it will also minimize the negative impact of social media.
- Value based learning awakens and improves curiosity, development of proper interests, attitudes, values and capacity to think and judge about oneself. For instance, the saying ‘ know thyself’ floats in various cultures across the world. The true essence of this saying lies in making a self aware individual who will work for betterment of her own self besides contributing values for betterment of society.
- A self aware individual will take decision according to her conscience, which will in turn help to tackle the problem of fake news posed by the social media and religious intolerance.
- The culture of law abiding citizen can be inculcated through value based learning. For instance, a person who doesn’t jumps the red light sets an example in front of others, that by abiding law we live in a more civilised world. It imbibes the value of abiding law in the society. It will in turn tackle the problem posed by social media where people are encroaching upon other persons right to privacy though social media.
- Value based learning in family is of utmost importance as it is the first sphere of human development. In a family where women are treated at par with men and they are not discriminated, here the value of respecting a woman is imbibed in the family, then it is less likely that a person will go on social media and abuse or threaten a woman.
- Values in Indian culture are known as ‘Sanskars’. The long tradition of sanskars has not only helped Indians to have a tolerant society but also to have a more harmonious society relative to other societies. For instance, People of different religions live in harmony with each other.
- These sanskars will help to tackle the problem of hate speech, fake news, fear mongering, trolling in variety of ways.
- Now a day’s terrorists are using social media to divert and influence youth. For instance, many of the terrorist organisations have their twitter handle to spread false propaganda.
- A person who loves to live in harmony with each other in society will not fell to these kind of false propagandas. Hence, here also value based learning is important.
- Value based learning in academic curriculum imbibes the values of tolerance, harmony, respect for each other thereby ensuring overall and balanced development of child’s mind. It also overcome the problem posed by IQ based education system.
- Value based learning also develops the emotional intelligence (EI) in a person. The EI helps the person to be of balanced nature thereby ensures calmness, right decision making in her. An emotionally intelligent person is a self aware person who is more efficient in maintaining good societal relations.
Though social media has posed variety of challenges in front of society, it has supplemented the value based learning in following ways:
- Variety of organisations which work in the field of developing a sound society have their own WhatsApp groups, Facebook Pages and You Tube channels through which they spread value based learning.
- For instance, ‘vkendra’ you tube channel spreads value based learning and conducts variety of online courses for value based learning.
- There are many You tube channels which tell the moral stories through their channels to spread moral values in society. For instance, Dare to do motivation is a channel which tells moral stories through it.
- Recently, a controversy arise due to interfaith marriage advertisement by Tanishq where hash tag ‘#boycotttanisq’ was trending. However, many of the people over the twitter supported the interfaith advertisement of tanishq through hash tag #wesupporttanishq. It shows our value of tolerance are even continuing and evolving in the age of social media too.
- Besides governments various social media handles strives hard to find and eliminate the fake news, hate speech thereby ensure the value based fabric of society doesn’t gets hampered. For instance, CyberDost handle of Ministry of Home affairs, Government of India time to time aware the people about fake news, rumour mongering etc.
There is no doubt that the age of social media has posed new challenges in front of values cherished by society over the period of time. However, social media has proved to be a ‘double edged sword’ which if used judiciously will help to supplement the value based learning in society which in turn ensure a more prosperous future for humankind.
2. What do you understand by ‘perseverance’ as a human value. Explain its importance.
In introduction, provide simple definition of ‘perseverance’. In body, provide importance of perseverance with good examples.
Perseverance is the value of being constant and firm in achieving a goal or overcoming an obstacle. Perseverance is the quality of being persistent and preserving, it includes the act of struggling – “to try hard and continuously” – in spite of obstacles and difficulties to hit the target.
Perseverance’ means to attempt again and again for doing anything with a view to gaining success. Perseverance corresponds to persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
- Thomas Edison endured years of work and thousands of failures in his quest to develop the incandescent light bulb.
- Isaac Newton laboured for years to develop the calculus needed for his system of physics. Centuries later, Einstein displayed similar perseverance in developing a physical system that would surpass Newton’s.
- Dasrath Manji, famously known as the mountain man of India, carved a path through a hill through his persistence work of 22 years.
- Rajaram Mohan Roy overcame the hardships and was instrumental in abolishing the inhuman Sati system.
Importance of ‘perseverance’:
- Perseverance is vital for success in every field of life. Modern science, architecture, literature, music -in every sphere of life – perseverance is the root cause of success and glory.
- Perseverance makes you push through your obstacles to reach your goals. Perseverance calls for steadfastness and persistent determination in pursuing our vision, mission, aspirations or assignments in the context of family, work, community and our nation. With a firm resolve, perseverance enables one to withstand all forms of obstacles and weather every setback.
- In context of public service, Perseverance is an important value or attribute. A civil servant often faces difficulties in the performance of his duties. In this regard, it is important to develop the attribute of perseverance. This quality gives the character a stability and conviction, which ensures that the ends are achieved despite of the difficulties that come in the path. Perseverance helps him remain motivated and dedicated towards a cause even in the face of adversity.
- Perseverance builds character: The power of perseverance shows the willingness to keep moving forward despite the obstacles that stand in the way. This is how perseverance builds character. This perseverance muscle builds the more you use it. As a result, your character builds too.
Perseverance will always be the key to success if we do what we like, with love and passion, does not mean that reaching the top, being the best in something or even a fair remuneration, refers to being the best that can be, giving it get our dreams and have the satisfaction of doing what gives us joy.
3. Decline of family as an institution is a disturbing social reality. Do you agree?
What are its implications? Discuss.
It expects students to write about family values and family as an institution along with evidence of decline. Student should also write about implications of decline of family as an institution if there is any decline at all.
The family, in Indian society, is an institution by itself and a typical symbol of the collectivist culture of India right from the ancient times. The joint family system or an extended family has been an important feature of Indian culture, till a blend of urbanisation and western influence started jolting it as institution.
Family as informal institution:
- 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.
- Social stability: It provides stability to society by providing law abiding citizens. It helps in building collective consciousness in individual. Family system is a single, powerful strands which for centuries, and has woven the rich, social fabric replete with diversity, into a whole.
- Role in socialisation: It is major source of emotional bonding, socialization and generates the sense of right and wrong, in a way shaping morality. Children are seen as making moral judgments according to the “social conventions” of their parents, their peers, and their society. It strengthens individual character. It is first source of habit formation like discipline, respecting, obedience, etc.
- Ethical robustness: It provides flexibility to individual to rely on family members, relatives in difficult time without hesitation. It avoids use of unethical means to deal with difficulties. Family helps to people to develop feminine perspective towards worldly problems.
Evidence of decline in family as institution:
- Fragmentation as symbol of decline: Many believes that the family is fragmenting, there is also an increase in the legal and social acceptance of marital breakdown, cohabitation and so on.
- Individualism over collectivism: Carrier oriented, competitive and highly aspirational generations are keeping restraint from so called complicated family structures. Individualism led to assertion of rights and freedom of choices. It forced generations to see sense of achievement in life through only material prosperity perspective.
- Parochial attitude: High earnings and less responsibility to other family members have attracted extended families to split up.
- High divorce rates: Technology driven change in attitude, behaviour and compromised values becoming major cause for breaking down of marriages. Anti-social behaviour is increasingly destroying families.
- The most of the socializing functions today, like child raising, education, occupational training, caring of elderly, etc., have been taken over by the outside agencies, such as crèches, media, nursery schools, hospitals, occupational training centres, hospice institutions, funeral contractors, etc. These tasks were once exclusively performed by the family.
Implications of decline of family institution:
- Emotional connection will be hampered: The integration bonds in a family are mutual affection and blood ties. A family is a closed entity and is held together not only due to a tag but also due to emotional ties.
- Moral degradation: Family breakdowns contribute to moral degradation because they cause children to lose self respect and respect for others.
- Socio-economic cooperation and support getting wiped out: Families continue to provide the natural framework for the financial and material support essential to the growth and development of their members, particularly infants and children, and for the care of other dependants, including the elderly, disabled and infirm. Decline of family system is making elderly more vulnerable at the time when they require utmost care and love.
- Lack of meaningful life: A disadvantage of decline of family system is less imbibing qualities of too sharing, caring, empathy, co-operation, honesty, listening, welcoming, recognition, consideration, sympathy and understanding.
- Decreased stress tolerance, increased anxiety and depression like mental health issues are on rise in recent times. Family system can relieve person mentally with expression of deep insecurities by talking to elderly members, playing with children etc. Decline in family system might create case for more individuals to face mental health issues.
- Decline in family as institution will bring structural changes in society. On the positive side, Indian society might see decreased growth of population and feminisation of workforce as impact of decline in family as institution.
However, there is need to understand structural changes from joint family to nuclear family cannot be called as decline of family system. Indian family system certainly is transition from joint family to nuclear family. Indian society also inhabits unique feature of fusion and fission of family in which even though some members of family live separately in different locations still remain as one family.
Family is a very fluid social institution and in the process of constant change. Modernity is witnessing the emergence of same-sex couples (LGBT relationship), cohabitation or live-in relations, single-parent households, a large chunk of divorced living alone or with their children. These kinds of families might not necessarily function as traditional kinship group and may not always prove institution for socialisation.
4. Man needs difficulties in life because they are necessary to enjoy success. Comment.
It expects students to write about different virtues of difficulties. Describe how difficulties are important to enjoy destination of success. In end also write that success can be still enjoyable without difficulties.
In the quote India’s former President Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam highlighted role of difficulties in success. He has given connectivity between difficulties we face in life and enjoying success.
Difficulties are necessary in life to enjoy success because:
- Difficulties in life exist in order to make humans realise that there’s something in this world more powerful than us. These difficult situations help man to grow, to develop in several ways. So if we never faced a difficult situation in life we would presume ourselves to be the greatest and would never bow down to anything. If we never faced a difficulty, we would be deprived of instances that would help our being to grow, to improve.
Exa: Light has no importance without darkness
- Joy has no importance without sadness
- Life has no importance without difficulties.
Had life been without difficulties it would be boring, uninteresting, joyless, futile
- It makes a individual more self-confident and empowers him/her to overcome challenges to achieve more success.
- They encourage self-motivation to overcome difficulties.
- It makes a individual more humble and empathetic.
- Provide recognition and includes others in enjoying success.
- Example: Hima Das a athlete belongs to a remote village of Assam with less resources but still achieved won multiple gold medals and humbly dedicated her success to nation and donated her prize money for welfare
- It makes you tough and tough by passing days. It makes you build up your own confidence.
- Exa: Even after spending 30 yrs. in prison, Nelson Mandela didn’t leave his fight against apartheid.
- You better know your capabilities. You are ready to face any situation.
- It enhances your personality, makes you creative.
- It gives you the actual goal and lots of experience about life.
However, success can be enjoyed with less or no difficulties. Well planned dedicated efforts cause less difficulties, provide success with enjoyment. If e-governance provides affordable easily accessible services, then common people face less difficulties to achieve success and enjoy it.
The purity of gold shines when it passes through fire. Diamond shines when its polished. Similarly, for enjoying our success it’s important to face difficulties. Difficulty is a learning and as you cross each one you become a better human. So it’s important that to evolve as a human, to find the potential within you you face difficulties.
5.The happiest people are those who lose themselves in the service of others. Do you agree? Substantiate your views.
It is straightforward question; it expects student to write about reason due to people feel happier by serving other. Give examples or data to substantiate your views.
Volunteering once time, money, or energy to help others doesn’t just make the world better—it also makes person better. Studies indicate that the very act of giving back to the community boosts your happiness, health, and sense of well-being.
Losing in Service of others makes people happy because:
- Gives you purpose: Volunteering provides a sense of purpose and responsibility. Giving back increases self-esteem. Knowing that you’re doing your part in helping others makes you feel good about yourself, and that’s something no one can take away from you. It not only increases self-esteem, but it also allows you to become more aware of the world around you. We know that volunteering has a great benefit of self-fulfilment, which also plays a role in finding who you are as a person. By giving back and helping others, you can reveal your true passion in life, while at the same time inspiring others to “pay it forward.”
- Decreased feelings of loneliness: Surrounding yourself with people you empathize which decreases loneliness. A study done in 2013 showed that the more interaction people were getting from Facebook rather than people face to face, the lonelier and more depressed they became. Living in a world where technology is advancing, it gets easier for people to interact primarily through social media. Volunteering upends that notion and gives us the opportunity to develop interpersonal relationships. When you volunteer, you’re able to work in teams to solve problems and give back.
- Helping is rewarding: Knowing that you are a part of the reason why someone else’s life is just a little bit better creates a sense of accomplishment. Doing something for the greater good and setting an example for those who look up to you can help you feel fulfilled. Putting a smile on someone’s face or making someone laugh is rewarding enough, but in terms of knowledge and experience, you gain more than you give.
- Increased sense of gratitude: Research shows that gratitude can not only make you happier, but also healthier. It can make you appreciate the small things that life has to offer. Listening to the stories of those you help makes you put your life into perspective, and suddenly your major problems aren’t so bad. Volunteering makes a huge difference in the lives of those you are helping and may improve the overall quality of your own life.
- Gratitude from volunteering can in fact make you healthier. It can improve your physical and mental health. Volunteering allows you to stay active, whether it be working with others or individually, you’ll always be busy. Collaborating with others allows us to think differently, shifting our perspective. The gratitude that derives from helping others can also lower your blood pressure, improve your immune system, and decrease stress levels.
- Compassionate acts bring happiness in others life which also reflects in life of compassionate actor. Serving others create a positive social surrounding, enhancing happiness. It brings people together and encourage collective efforts.
- Some renowned individuals like freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekahr Azad, social workers etc. feel highest happiness in sacrificing for freedom of their country and its people
- It provides opportunity to share one’s own sorrow with others and increase happiness
- E.g: A husband sharing household responsibilities with his wife in lockdown: increases happiness of his wife, his family and makes husband the happiest
Happiness begins from the moment you do something for others. When you give happiness to others, you will receive happiness. Whatever you give is what you get back – this is the law of Nature. This world is in the form of an echo. Whatever you do echoes and returns to you with interest. Therefore, if you give happiness, you will receive a lot more happiness in return.