Current Affairs SSC

  PASSAGE ON YOGA   Spirituality is not a path for the weak-hearted. Swami Vivekananda has said, I need lions and not sheep." He said so because spirituality is a platform where one has to constantly work on oneself. Every moment we work on ourselves to make sure we reach the ultimate aim of enlightenment. It's a journey that we take from what we are for the outside world to what we are really inside.   The journey can be started only after the rite of initiation is over. And when it comes to spiritual realm, this rite of initiation is in the form of the five fundamental qualities that is espoused by Patanjali under the step of yama'. The primary elements of Patanjali's Astanga Yoga, starting with yama, niyama etc., can be better appreciated and actually realised by a few moments of daily meditation.   The word yama5 has different connotations and meanings. . In Sanskrit, it means 'regulation' or 'self-discipline', yama means to give up. It is actually giving up one's desires, and all passions other than the passion for spiritual enlightenment. It is disciplining one's mind and body so that it becomes strong and pure enough to take in the whole of spiritual truth.   In Hindu mythology, Yama is the god of death. How is the god of death connected to the very first step of spirituality? The answer lies in the right understanding of life itself. The ending and beginning of life is all subjective. The beginning is when the soul gets attached and the end is when the soul withdraws itself.   The real secret is to die when you are still alive. You have to go beyond your attachments and aspirations of your present self and control your inner desires to realize what you really are. Meditation is also called a process of conscious annihilation. But people get sacred when they go deep into meditation, and they open their eyes immediately. They are unaware of the real goal and are thus scared.   Live as if you are going to die the next moment. Though it sounds negative in the beginning, there is a deep wisdom conveyed in the whole idea. This idea of the living dead is nothing but transcending one's ego with love. And this in turn removes all the restriction that was being placed in one's spiritual journey, thus leading to spiritual enlightenment.   PRECIS   YAMA-THE FIRST STEP TO SPIRITUALITY   Spirituality suits people who are strong-minded since it requires constant self-analysis. It's a path that begins with rationality and ends in consciousness. This journey can begin only after the the follower is initiated into the five qualities mentioned by Patanjali, that starts with Yama. niyama etc. Yama is disciplining oneself, and to purify one's mind. Yama is the cessation of attachment to life which can only take more...

1. Essay Writing   ANYONE CAN WRITE AN ESSAY!  Surprised? Don't be. With the right tools and average level of content, anyone can write an essay. And that's what we are going to give you-   THE RIGHT TOOLS   Before writing an essay, you need to know what an essay is, and what it isn't. Essay is not an illogical arrangement of ideas. It's not a haphazard array of sentences. It is a flow of ideas with a single idea- as the backbone; the other ideas complementing this single idea. And these set of ideas when set in a proper structure become a good essay. All essays might look the same to an untrained eye, but they're not. There are different types of essays, according to the way in which the writer deals with the topic at hand. They are:"  
  • Personal
  • Narrative
  • Descriptive
  • Expository
  • Analytic
  • Persuasive
  • Argumentative
  •   PERSONAL ESSAYS Personal essays are what one may call writing from the heart. They have a personal touch and are often written in a conversational manner, and may be called an autobiographical non-fiction.   NARRATIVE ESSAYS Narrative essays can be said to be closely related to personal essays in which we write from first person perspective. These are narrations of an event or a situation, generally a real-life experience.   DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS Descriptive essays are closely related to narrative essays, but differentiated by the absence of first person perspective ('I'). These are descriptions of a person, place, object or even memory of special significance. Expository essays are essays completely separated from the above-given types in that they completely avoid any reference to personal feelings. They are fully based on factual knowledge, and present the conclusion on the basis of facts, statistics and examples.   ANALYTICAL ESSAYS Analytical essays are a type of expository essays with personal analysis in addition. In this, the writer analyses the given data and presents a balanced view in the conclusion. Persuasive essays are analytical essays with a strong emphasis on one's viewpoint, so as to persuade the reader to accept the writer's point of view or recommendation.   ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAYS Argumentative essays are a stronger form of persuasive essays, but they differ in the fact that in it, the author presents his view in contrast to the other viewpoints that exist, while in persuasive essays, the author just gives his own viewpoint in the attempt to persuade. According to the topic and the context in which one is writing the essay, one can decide which type of essay one wants to write. How to write an essay? Now that we have dealt with the description and types of essay, we come to the most important part-how to write an essay. All essays should have three parts-
  • Introduction,
  • Content, and
  • Conclusion
  •   INTRODUCTION Introduction is the part where one initiates the topic. It is an insight into what the writer is going to write in the following passages. While it should have more...

    DARE TO DREAM   Key Points:   Introduction
    • Kalam’s quote
      Why Dreams?
    • Makes human life simple
    • Push civilization forward
    • Chang the world into a better place
    • Success
    • The world needs more dreamers
      What One Has TO Do
    • Perseverance
    • Single-minded focus
    • Dedication
      Introduction             "Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep". One of the greatest dreamers, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said this to the young generation, to make us realize how important it is to dream. Our dreams, as he said, shouldn't be mere daydreams, but ones that we are willing to fight for.   Why Dreams? The world as we see today was made by dreamers of the past who worked relentlessly with faith in nothing but their dreams. While other people got on with their routine, they pondered on the complex questions to make human life simple. Human civilization is pushed forward not by fate, but by the ideas created by humans who wanted to change the world into a better place. Be it cultural or political or economical sphere or any walk of life for that matter, it is these people's dreams that we celebrate as success.   What ones has to do To dream is not enough, but one has to persevere for it, and work so hard that one ceases to see anything but the goal in front of him. Each of his action should take him closer towards his goal, and other things should be seen as distractions. Single-minded focus and dedicated work are the keys. The world needs more dreamers, because there is more of the world left to be known, to be discovered, to be written, and to be sung. The whole world is left for the dreamer to experiment on. All one has to do is dare to dream and then work for it. The whole world will be at your feet if you succeed in achieving it.   Note:   We have given keywords at the beginning of every essay, which provides the structure for the essay. Study how the structure has evolved. For your convenience, we have highlighted those keywords in the essay too.

    CORRUPTION IN INDIA   Key Points:   Definition
    • Abuse of entrusted power
      Problem associated
    • Red tapism
    • Interrupts genuine officers
    • Paid out of taxes
    • Hampering India’s growth
      Solution
    • Transparency International   
    • Legislation
    • Right to information
    • Lokpal bill
    • Digitalizing card linking
    • Aadhar card linking
    • Penalizing
    • Transparency and accountability
      THE ESSAY BEGINS Public service is a service much-coveted by people from all sections of society, for the power and prestige it holds. Ever since the time of the origin of democracy in Greece, it has attracted the best of the youth towards it. That the same service is going towards deterioration now is a matter of serious concern. The Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International' defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gains. It is prevalent in both public and private sectors. Corruption by people in public sector leads to greater damage, because they are the people chosen to administer the country, and their salary is paid out of the taxes. Corruption slows down the entire public work machinery because it leads to Red-tapism, since it takes bribes to move a file at each stage of the process, and interrupts genuine officers from working, thus hampering India's growth. India's rank of 76 out of 168 countries in the Global corruption index reflects how poor we are when it comes to tackling this menace. Recent attempts to shed light on public officials using strong legislation like the Right to information act and the Lokpal bill have helped the citizens take a stand against corruption. Digitalizing official records and functioning of public offices has helped in bringing the much-needed transparency and accountability to public life. The country is progressing on the right path with the linking of Aadhar card with any activities related to public sphere like the public distribution system and strictly penalizing corrupt officials. With adequate steps in this direction on the part of the government and an aware citizenry, this menace can be curtailed in the near future.

    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION   Key Points:   Introduction
    • Kofi Annan quote
    • Mother nature
    • Kaavu
      Pollution reasons
    • Population explosion
    • Over-exploitation of available resources
      India and environmental protection
    • Paris agreement
    • Historical responsibility
    • Green highway project
    • NGO's
    • Movements
    • Chipko movement
    • Narmada bachao andolan
      Why Ahead
    • Balance of environment protection and economic development
    • Sustained development
      THE ESSAY BEGINS... 'The earth is not ours; it is a treasure we h Id in trust for our children and grandchildren." This African proverb cited by Kofi Annan in his millennium address to the United Nations General Assembly summarizes how we should treat our environment. Environmental protection is not a new thing to India. Since Vedic ages, we have been treating earth as Mother Nature, respect and protection towards it being part of our daily life. 'Kaavus', the sacred groves of Kerala, are an amalgamation of religion and environmental protection with numerous rare plants grown inside. Pollution has been growing at an alarming rate in our country, and with population explosion resulting in overexploitation of available resources, the level will only increase. India, being a responsible country, has made a big commitment to reduce the emissions intensity by 33-35% of the GDP by 2030 from 2005 level at the Paris Agreement, even though it doesn't have a historical responsibility. Green Highway Project and similar projects by the government, when supplemented by the efforts of the citizens of the country will definitely help in curbing the pollution level of the country. Environmental protection has been taken up by NGOs and environmental activists too, ranging from Chipko movement to Narmada Bachao Andolan. To balance environmental protection and economic development is the need of the hour. Assuring clean air and water to our progeny can only be achieved through sustainable development, which will lead a nation to a great future.

    CHILD LABOUR   Key Point:   What it is?
    • Definition
      Why?
    • Society silent
    • Lack of workers
    • Poverty and illiteracy
    • Trafficking
      Remedies
    • Legal
    • International
    • Social
    • Education
    • Awareness
      THE ESSAY BEGINS… A child is like a butterfly, a beautiful butterfly that is waiting to come out of its moth, and we break the wings of that butterfly when we make their gentle fingers toil for daily bread. Child labor is defined by the ILO as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development, where the term 'child5 covers the age-group 5 to 14. Societies sometimes cite lack of workers as a reason for employing children. Children are chosen over adults because they are the cheapest form of labor, are submissive, obedient. Honest and easily available. Poverty and illiteracy also forces parents to send their children for work. Trafficking of kids is another reason. This evil can only be eradicating through education and awareness. Social sanctions work best since a society can't have child labor if people don't allow. Legal sanctions also exist like the Child labor (Prohibition and regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 and fundamental right under Article 24 of the Indian Constitution. International, organizations like UNICEF also deal with the same issue, Children of today are creators of tomorrow. We will never progress as a civilization if we allow their exploitation to go on. Every single individual has to keep his eyes wide open to make sure that this doesn't continue to the next generation.

    POPULATION EXPLOSION   Key Point: What?
    • Definition
      Why?
    • Poverty
    • Unemployment
    • Illiteracy
    • Lack of awareness
    • Lack of health facilities
      Solutions
    • Awareness
    • Woman empowerment
    • Education
    • Economic
    • Restricting polygamy and child marriage
    • Accessibility of birth-control measures
    • Incentive from government
      THE ESSAY BEGINS.., Human resource is always considered the most important of a nation's resources, but when it grows beyond a level where it can be provided for, it becomes population explosion, i.e. a sudden and large increase in population size. A nation's progress from being developing to developed advertently brings population explosion, as seen in countries of Asia and Africa. A successful nation is one which efficiently tackles this problem and converts the human population to human resources. Poverty is cited as the main cause of population explosion, often accompanied with un- employment and illiteracy. Lack of medical facilities and unawareness about population-control measures also contribute to this issue. High fertility rate is also found in societies where women hold a subordinate position, The best ways to tackle the problem of population growth are providing education and awareness. Economic empowerment of women and restricting the practices of polygamy and child marriage would strengthen the voice of women in the family. Government should also focus on providing incentives to those who adopt birth-control measures, and also to those doctors who persuade them to do it. Easy accessibility of birth control measures would also help in curbing population growth. International efforts in this regard are also noteworthy, since they support countries that are not able to take proper measures due to their low economic level. India's population which grew at 2, 2% in 1981 has gone down to a rate of 1.2% in 2013, and is expected to stabilize in 2050. The slowing growth rate signifies that the population control measures are showing some success. The resources of the Mother Nature belong to the future generations as well, and population control is the only way we can ensure they don't get exhausted.

    POVERTY IN INDIA   Key Point:   Introduction
    • Definition
    • Fastest growing economy
    • Rural poverty
    • Poverty line
      Initiatives taken
    • By NGOs
    • Care India
    • Smile foundation by NGOs
    • By government
    • Education
    • Employability
    • Employment
    • Make in India
    • Skill India
    • Food security
    • NFSA
    • Antyodaya Anna Yojna
    • PDS-AADHAR linking
    Way Ahead
    • Change the impractical poverty line estimate
    • MDPI by world Bank
    • Don’t depend on nutritional intake
    • Multifaceted approach
    • Continue with present initiative
      THE ESSAY BEGINS.., "Poverty is hunger, lack of shelter. It's being sick and not being able to see a doctor. It's not having access to school and not knowing how to read. It's not having a job, fear for the future, living one day at a time. It's losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom.." This alternate definition of poverty given by World Bank shows clearly how it is to be a poor person, and that it's not just earning less than $1.90 per day. India, with the growth rate of 7.4%, is the fastest growing economy at present. Still, the poverty in our country is widespread among the rural population which is 70% of the total. The poverty line of 33 Rs a day can't fulfill a person's needs in the present world. Initiatives taken by various NGOs like Care India and Smile Foundation and the union and state governments have changed things to a great extent. Government schemes like National Food Security Mission and Antyodaya Anna Yojana has ensured food security among the citizens. The public distribution system has received a boost with it being connected to AADHAR card thus preventing leakages. It's better to teach a man fishing than feeding him fish. Rather than giving people free food and money, the best way to alleviate poverty is to create employment, which is bound to increase with programs like Make in India and Skill India. Education, an empowering tool for people has a big role to play in poverty alleviation. India needs to spend more on public education, and should increase the quality of the same, and care should be taken to convert education to employability. The poverty line estimates are too impractical and the government should take steps to bring it to a pragmatic level. Multidimensional poverty Index that was recently introduced by the World Bank takes factors beyond income level, which should be adopted by India, keeping in mind that the present concept of defining it by nutritional intake doesn't cover all the dimensions of poverty. Being a phenomenon having cascading effect, this hydra-shaped monster can be tackled through multi-faceted approach only. The government needs to continue with their own initiatives and people should do whatever little they can to create an India of Gandhiji's dreams.

    URBANISATION IN INDIA   Key Point:   Introduction
    • Unplanned urbanization
    • Urban population
      Challenges
    • Depleting resources
    • Deterioration of living quality
    • Weak urban local babies
      Why Ahead
    • Providing basic amenities at affordable price
    • Govt schemes
    • Smart city
    • AMRUT
    • HRIDAY
    • Sustainable cities
    • Innovation
      THE ESSAY BEGINS. The recent floods in Mumbai and Chennai has brought into discussion a topic people have comfortably ignored for long, the unplanned urbanization in India, 2011 census has put urban population at 31 %, which is bound to increase with the rural areas lacking much employment opportunities. The sheer magnitude is putting pressure on depleting resources, and without proper planning, this will lead to deterioration of living quality in the cities. Lack of infrastructure is the biggest problem, and when coupled with weak urban local bodies which lack the necessary expertise, it becomes a plan for disaster. The absence of clarity in the functional domain of these bodies, and the non-fixed tenure of Mayors make these bodies weaker. Many states have not yet transferred funds, functions and functionaries, mostly because of unwillingness on the part of the states. Even the city planning function has not been transferred in many states, even though it's required as per the 74th constitutional amendment. Providing basic amenities at affordable prices should be the first priority of the government, and schemes like Smart City, AMRUT and HRIDAY have been launched to ensure this. Sustainable cities with focus on linking public transportation and residential complexes need expert planning, and for this innovation should be done at the local level, emphasizing the need for real power and funds in the hands of urban local bodies. Indian cities can develop into truly global ones only when they are planned innovatively, governed efficiently and managed sustainably.

    DOWRY IN INDIA   Key Point: What it is?
    • Definition
    • History relevance
      Problem associated
    • Not always wilful
    • Domestics violence
    • Feticide and infanticide
    • Financial pressure on parents
    • Marriage lases sanctity
      Remedies
    • Legal
    • Dowry prohibition act
    • IPC
    • Awareness
    • Social sanction
    • Gender equality
      THE ESSAY BEGINS., Marriages in some cultures are performed according to rituals, accompanied with a. custom of giving and taking of dowry. Dowry in forms of property, jewelry, cash, furniture etc. is supposed to give women economic and financial security in their family, at least in theory. Finding its origin in ancient times where it was given for religious reasons, it has grown into a norm that cripples the very sanctity of marriage. The inheritance system in India, religions factors, unawareness, rituals and customs, unequal legal status are some of the basic causes of prevalence of dowry in India. Many a time it is given out of social compulsion, rather than one's own wish and capacity. Non-fulfillment of dowry demands sometimes leads to emotional abuse, physical torture, cruelty, domestic violence and even abetment to suicide. The ill-effects of dowry are clearly visible in the cases of female feticide and infanticide. The girl child is treated as a burden and deprived of education as well as other amenities resulting into gender inequality, The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, Section 304B and 498A of IPC prohibit and criminalize giving and receiving of dowry, but still it is prevalent, and atrocities and subjugation of women have not been checked completely due to the inefficiency of these laws. Social sanctions, giving equal legal status, ensuring gender equality in addition to strict laws can help in curbing this menace, thereby, ensuring social justice and women empowerment in real terms in India.


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