Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS | 20th September 2021

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UPSC Syllabus: Mains: GS Paper I, II: social sector and social welfare
Sub Theme: Education system | UPSC 

What is SEL?


SEL is foundational for human development, building healthy relationships, having self and social awareness, solving problems, making responsible decisions, and academic learning. 


Key elements of SEL include cultivating empathy and theory of mind:


  • ‘Empathy’ is the ability to understand another person’s emotions and be aware of why they might be feeling those emotions from their perspective. 
  • ‘Theory of mind’ is the ability to understand others’ intentions, knowledge and beliefs and recognise that those might be different from your own. 


Research finds that students with greater social skills and emotional regulation are more likely to have success.


Attributes of an emotionally intelligent person


Sound at components of emotional intelligence – Self-awareness; Self-regulation; Social awareness; Empathy and Motivation

Effective communication about his emotional perception, assimilation and state of mind. 

Happy state of mind – working as per message of Karl Barth, “Joy is the simplest form of gratitude”.

Satisfied and contended – due to control of negative emotion of greed and hedonism. 

Positive attitude – despite unfavorable conditions.

Christopher Nolan puts beautifully in his movie (Batman Begins) – Why do we fall?. So that we learn to pick ourselves up”.

Not get disturbed by accusation or rumors – as Gandhiji said, “Nobody can hurt me without my permission”.

Endurance in adversity – As Sahir Ludhianvi’s lyrics says – 


Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya

Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udata Chala Gaya

Nishkama Karma


Easy adaptability and quick learning – Charles Darwin proved that emotion helps in adaptability. As Plato said, “All learning has an emotional base.”

Predictability in behaviours – due to control of emotions of anger etc. 

Healthy personal relation – due to management of emotion. 

Efficient professional performance – 80% of adult success depends on EQ as per Daniel Goleman.

Persuasive power The only way to change someone’s mind is to connect with them from the heart. – Rasheed Ogunlaru. 


2.   What the Q1 GDP numbers say

UPSC Syllabus:  Mains – GS III: Indian economy
Theme:  GDP trends | UPSC      


Subjective well-being (SWB)


  • Subjective well-being (SWB) is a self-reported measure of well-being, typically obtained by questionnaire.


  • SWB typically exclude objective conditions such as material conditions or health, although these can influence ratings of SWB. 


  • Definitions of SWB focus on how a person evaluates his/her own life, including emotional experiences of pleasure versus pain in response to specific events and cognitive evaluations of what a person considers a good life.


  • It describes as how people experience the quality of their lives.


  • It includes both emotional reactions and cognitive judgments such as life satisfaction.


  • SWB therefore encompasses moods and emotions as well as evaluations of one’s satisfaction with general and specific areas of one’s life. 


  • SWB is one definition of happiness.


  • The emotional component of SWB can be impacted by situations; for example, the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, lowered emotional well-being by 74%. 


  • There is evidence that health and SWB may mutually influence each other, as good health tends to be associated with greater happiness, and a number of studies have found that positive emotions and optimism can have a beneficial influence on health.


Components of SWB


There are two components of SWB. One is Affective Balance and the other is Life Satisfaction.

  • Affective balance – Affective balance refers to the emotions, moods, and feelings a person has. These can be all positive, all negative, or a combination of both positive and negative. 
  1. Life satisfaction – Life satisfaction with specific life domains (e.g. work satisfaction) are considered cognitive components of SWB. The term “happiness” is sometimes used in regards to SWB and has been defined variously as “satisfaction of desires and goals”. 




Personality: DeNeve (1999) argued that there are three trends in the relationship between personality and SWB. Firstly, SWB is closely tied to traits associated with emotional tendencies (emotional stability, positive affectivity, and tension). Secondly, relationship enhancing traits (e.g. trust, affiliation) are important for subjective well-being. Happy people tend to have strong relationships and be good at fostering them. Thirdly, the way people think about and explain events is important for subjective well-being.

Social influence: A person’s level of subjective well-being is determined by many different factors and social influences prove to be a strong one. Results from the famous Framingham Heart Study indicate that friends three degrees of separation away (that is, friends of friends of friends) can affect a person’s happiness. From abstract: “A friend who lives within a mile (about 1.6 km) and who becomes happy increases the probability that a person is happy by 25%.”


Family – Research has not demonstrated that there are significant differences in subjective well-being between childless couples and couples with children. A research study by Pollmann-Schult (2014) found that when holding finances and time costs constant, parents are happier and show increased life satisfication than non-parents.


Wealth – Research indicates that wealth is related to many positive outcomes in life. Such outcomes include: improved health and mental health, greater longevity,  lower rates of infant mortality, experience fewer stressful life events, and less frequently the victims of violent crimes. However, research suggests that wealth has a smaller impact on SWB than people generally think, even though higher incomes do correlate substantially with life satisfaction reports.


In a study done by Aknin, Norton, & Dunn (2009), researchers asked participants from across the income spectrum to report their own happiness and to predict the happiness of others and themselves at different income levels. In study 1, predicted happiness ranged between 2.4-7.9 and actual happiness ranged between 5.2 and 7.7. In study 2, predicted happiness ranged between 15-80 and actual happiness ranged between 50 and 80. These findings show that people believe that money does more for happiness than it really does.


Health – There are substantial positive associations between health and SWB so that people who rate their general health as “good” or “excellent” tend to experience better SWB compared to those who rate their health as “fair” or “poor”.


Cultural variations – Although all cultures seem to value happiness, cultures vary in how they define happiness. There is also evidence that people in more individualistic cultures tend to rate themselves as higher in subjective well-being compared to people in more collectivistic cultures.



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