CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 13-October, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


13th October, 2017

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Averting disaster {Disaster Management}

(The Hindu)


Context

This article explains the effects of recent natural disaster in many countries and recommends the ways to reduce natural calamity globally.

Few consequence of natural disaster

  • In recent times, Category 5 hurricanes in the Caribbean and in the American mainland; record floods across Bangladesh, India and Nepal; and drought emergencies in 20 countries in Africa have damaged these regions, killed hundreds, and ruined the lives of millions.
  •  During the last two years, over 40 million people, mainly in countries which contribute least to global warming, have been forced from their homes by disasters.
  • There is clear consensus rising temperatures are increasing the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere, leading to more intense rainfall and flooding in some places, and drought in others. Some areas experience both.

How to tackle climatic change?

  • The Paris Agreement has set the world on a long-term path towards a low-carbon future, it is a windy path that reflects pragmatism and realities in each individual country.
  • Thus, while carbon emissions are expected to drop as countries meet their targets, the impacts of climate change may be felt for some time, leaving the world with little choice but to invest, simultaneously, in efforts to adapt to climate change and reduce disaster risk.
  • This will require international cooperation. Restoring the ecological balance between emissions and the natural absorptive capacity of the planet is the long-term goal.
  • The November UN Climate Conference in Bonn provides an opportunity to not only accelerate emission reductions but to also boost the work of ensuring that the management of climate risk is integrated into disaster risk management as a whole.

READ MORE about recent natural disaster………………………

How global warming effects the earth?

Related image

 The impact of increased surface temperatures is significant in itself. But global warming will have additional, far-reaching effects on the planet. Warming modifies rainfall patterns, amplifies coastal erosion, lengthens the growing season in some regions, melts ice caps and glaciers, and alters the ranges of some infectious diseases. Some of these changes are already occurring.

  • Ice is melting worldwide, especially at the Earth’s poles. This includes mountain glaciers, ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland, and Arctic sea ice.
  • Many species have been impacted by rising temperatures. For example, researcher Bill Fraser has tracked the decline of the Adélie penguins on Antarctica, where their numbers have fallen from 32,000 breeding pairs to 11,000 in 30 years.
  • The sea level has been rising more quickly over the last century.
  • Precipitation (rain and snowfall) has increased across the globe, on average.
  • Some invasive species are thriving. For example, spruce bark beetles have boomedin Alaska thanks to 20 years of warm summers. The insects have chewed up 4 million acres of spruce trees.

Other effects in later this century, if warming continue

  • Sea levelsare expected to rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 and 59 centimeters) by the end of the century, and continued melting at the poles could add between 4 and 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters).
  • Hurricanes and other storms are likely to become stronger.
  • Floods and droughts will become more common. Rainfall in Ethiopia, where droughts are already common, could decline by 10 percent over the next 50 years.
  • Less fresh water will be available. If the Quelccaya ice capin Peru continues to melt at its current rate, it will be gone by 2100, leaving thousands of people who rely on it for drinking water and electricity without a source of either.
  • Some diseases will spread, such as mosquito-borne malaria (and the 2016 resurgence of the Zika virus). Ecosystems will change: Some species will move farther north or become more successful; others won’t be able to move and could become extinct.
  • Wildlife research scientist Martyn Obbard has found that since the mid-1980s, with less ice on which to live and fish for food, polar bears have gotten considerably skinnier. Polar bear biologist Ian Stirling has found a similar pattern in Hudson Bay. He fears that if sea ice disappears, the polar bears will as well.

Will India get over its obsession with godmen? {Social Issue}

(The Hindu)


Context

This article talks about the belief, irrationality of Indian population on god-men.

Why in news?

The recent revelations about the ‘divine preoccupations’ of godmen in the sacred area designated for specific or restricted use of their ashrams have been shocking.

When did all this started?

From the time of the Maharaj libel case (1862) through the intrigues of Chandraswami and Dhirendra Brahmachari.

This time the incidents of sex, murder and mayhem, which were reportedly enacted in their ashrams, are lurid and startling.

What is  the issue?

The unflinching faith of the followers in the divinity of godmen is the latter’s main capital, which is assiduously constructed over time. Under coercion or consent, the devotees appear to submit to the extortion or exploitation of godmen.

Contemporary India looks like a modern country with scientific establishments, and high-speed trains and expansive highways, but set in a social situation reeking of medievalism, caste discrimination, religious obscurantism, gender inequality and superstitions.

Modernity and irrationality

  • In recent times, the increasing number of godmen (and women) are spotted in State governments and corporate board meetings, educational institutions, and all other important places.
  •  They are not spiritual men but ambitious con artists who purvey deception, falsehood and religiosity in the name of god.

Irrationality

It is cognition, thinking, talking, or acting without inclusion of rationality. It is more specifically described as an action or opinion given through inadequate use of reason, or through emotional distress or cognitive deficiency.

Irrational behaviors of individuals include taking offense or becoming angry about a situation that has not yet occurred, expressing emotions exaggeratedly (such as crying hysterically), maintaining unrealistic expectations, engaging in irresponsible conduct such as problem intoxication, disorganization, and falling victim to confidence tricks.

Is education enough to tackle these issues?

  • Education is not enough
  • Rationalists and liberals looked upon education which promoted scientific temper and rational thinking as the antidote to what they conceived as a result of cultural and social backwardness.
  •  But education has not adequately fulfilled this role. After all, the substantial following that godmen command is not from the illiterate masses, but from the pretty well-educated middle class that tends to celebrate the irrational in the name of culture.
  • Popular media, either consciously or unconsciously, promotes and reinforces irrationality and superstition. 

Behaviour tips for Swachh Bharat {Social Issue}

(Indian Express)


Context

This article gives many example of framing a easy government policies for any issue.

Policy design in India needs to learn: If you want to encourage someone to do something, make it easy

Few example of policy and its delivery         

 Singapore is so spick and span, they say, you could eat out off the road. Locals file at the Tokyo metro entry and exit in perfect straight lines like automatons without a prompt, every single day of their commute.

British government called in game theorists to help design auctions for 3-G mobile telecoms’ operating licences in 2000, and ended up raising a cool $35.4 billion, exploiting the competitive gaming behaviour of the bidders.

British government now has a full-fledged “Behavioural Insights Team” (BIT) also called the “Nudge Unit” working with the Cabinet Office.

The two mantras informing all policy

  •  If you want to encourage someone to do something, make it easy (here is a case for simplifying tax returns).
  •  We can’t do evidence-based policy without evidence (perhaps a case for more decentralised planning tailored to local needs). 

In short, understanding strategy requires a perspicacious look into social norms and habits, and into human behaviour guiding such norms and habits. Policy needs to be informed thus.

In case of Indian policiesImage result for swachh bharat abhiyan

Swachh Bharat, a proverbial horse and water scenario. Building toilets and creating infrastructure has not proved to be enough to make people use them. Naming and shaming has met with limited success to change preferences here.

Solution

In the absence of social disincentives with everyone indulging in the same behaviour, and the practice being a collective habit perfected over the years, something more than building toilets (mostly without water supply) needs to be done here.

Another case

“win-win-win” incentive whorl created by our agricultural policy owing to the MSP guarantee to a limited number of crops, mainly rice and wheat.

It’s a winning scenario for farmers growing crops underwritten by the MSP. Fertiliser subsidies encourage more use and productivity in the short term — a win-win for both farmers and suppliers.

Government procurement further fortifies overflowing FCI godowns, adding to our confidence of being sufficient in grain, adding the third win.

What has Indian Government done for mass participation in framing policies?

 

Image result for https://www.mygov.in

 

The PMO’s website welcoming crowdsourcing of ideas for better insights and policy design.  https://www.mygov.in


 

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