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SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 10, 2016

SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 10, 2016


This is a new feature. As feedback from our side on your answers is missing, we thought of providing detailed synopsis of important Secure questions on daily basis so that you could revise our synopsis and compare it with your answers. We intend to post synopsis of Secure questions every next day of posting questions on website. 

You must write answers on your own and compare them with these synopses. If you depend on these synopses blindly, be sure of facing disaster in Mains. Until and unless you practice answer writing on your own, you will not improve in speed, content and writing skills. Keep separate notebooks for all GS papers and write your answers in them regularly. Now and then keep posting your answer on website too (Optional).  Some people have the tendency of copying content from others answers and pasting them in a document for each and every question. This might help in revision, but if you do not write on your own,  you can’t write a good answer in real exam. This is our experience at offline classes. We have seen many students who think they were regularly following Secure, yet fail to clear Mains. So, never give up writing. 

Also never give up reviewing others answers. You should review others answers to know different perspectives put forth by them, especially to opinion based questions. This effort by us should not lead to dependency on these synopses. This effort should be treated as complimentary to your ongoing writing practice and answer reviewing process. 

These synopses will be exhaustive – covering all the points demanded by question. We will not stick to word limit. You need to identify most important points and make sure these points are covered in your answer. Please remember that these are not ‘Model Answers’. These are just pointers for you to add extra points and to stick to demand of the question – which you might have missed while answering. 

As you might be aware of, this exercise requires lots of time and energy (10 Hours), that to do it on daily basis! Your cooperation is needed to sustain this feature.

Please provide your valuable feedback in the comment section to improve and sustain this initiative successfully. 

General Studies – 1;

TopicRole of women and women’s organization

1) Countries like USA and Israel are opening all combat roles to women. Discuss the status of women in Indian defence forces and need for their induction in all combat roles. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Status of women in Indian defense forces

Before 1990, entry of women into defense services is limited to Army Medical Corps, the Army Dental Corps and the Military Nursing Service. But, later, inducted them into the non-combat wings of the armed forces as short-service commissioned service officers like, Education, intelligence, ordnance etc.

In 2014, India’s army had 3 per cent women, the Navy 2.8 per cent and the Air Force performed best with 8.5 per cent women.

Due to Physical, physiological and tactical limitations they were denied the combat roles. Moreover, issues of taking hostage as Prisoners of war, harassment of women soldiers in hostage situation were other deterrents.

 From june 18, 2016, women would finally be allowed in combat roles, beginning with the air force

Need for induction into all combat roles

  1. Gender equality – Equality before law (Article 14), Equality of opportunity
  2. General trend – World over combat roles are opened up to women as well (Example, US, Israel, Norway
  3. Improved technologies – like use of Drones, UAV, light weapons which can be made gender friendly, removes the physical and physiological concerns associated with women in combat roles
  4. Different perspective, strategy in operation – Induction of women infuses new strategic thinking, infuses feminine virtues which help to solve (or tone down) military civilian conflict (mistrust) in disturbed areas like J and K, North eastern region
  5. Women are equal to men – We cannot judge the ability of a person without giving opportunity.
  6. Women empowerment – serves as a source of inspiration to crores of girl children to choose their role models and achieve their goals
  7. Effective curbing of patriarchal mindset
  8. Stress handling abilities – are more innate to women than men, help in combat and critical situations


Topic: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism

2) It is argued that the cycle of communal hatred and violence can be stopped only by ending first the false equivalence between minority and majority communalism. Elaborate. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Demand for equivalence between minority and majority communalism ignores the fundamental distinction between two types of communalism.

Firstly, it equates the unequal things.

Secondly, it participates in the increasing conflation of Hindu communalism with nationalism

Distinctions between communalisms

Minority communalism is ghettoized and mainly adversely affects its own people (Example, following sharia law curtails women rights triple talak for divorce, Polygamy etc.) it represent.

But, majority communalism affects the society at large including minorities. This is due to several factors,

  1. Majority population (80%)
  2. Major influence on vote bank politics, electoral process
  3. It sets the sociopolitical discourse to a direction that it wants, leaving minority community defense less (due to lack of voice) and ghettoize further
  4. It becomes dangerous if it becomes official ideology of the State (minority communalism cannot aspire to become ideological source for state due to low population strength)

Jawaharlal Nehru once quotes: both Hindu and Muslim communalism are bad. “But Muslim communalism cannot dominate Indian society and introduce fascism. That only Hindu communalism can.”

Hence, in all communal riots in any place of the country, majority killed are Muslims. Hence, it is counterintuitive for Muslims to provoke riots — Since, they end up at the receiving end.

Hence, if Majority communalism is curbed, it stops the vicious cycle of communal hatred and violence, since, minority communalism has no incentive or intuition to promote communalism against majority community, since it does not possess required numerical strength and strength to influence sociopolitical discourse and also to influence electoral process.

At the outset, communalism itself is evil, whether it is majority or minority. There cannot be milder (minority) or extreme (Majority) effects of communalism on society. Hence, only solution is to uproot the concept of communalism itself through various confidence building measures.

These include promotion of inclusive growth, non discrimination on the basis of religion, wider consensus in legislations related to religious issues (Uniform civil code), confidence building measures, promotion of communal harmony.

General Studies – 2

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

3) “For India, a closer relationship with the U.S., Japan, and Australia should not only be seen in defence terms — it could help secure its energy supplies.” Discuss. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Not only defense cooperation

  1. Strategy to Contain china through regional cooperation – Strategy of Necklace of Diamond to China in collaboration with Australia, Japan, USA (as against string of pearls strategy on India)
  2. Mitigation of Chinese threats – In South China sea and East China sea – Securing unrestricted access to international waters
  3. Joint counter terrorism strategies
  4. Anti piracy operation and patrolling – in Indian ocean region

But also, helps in Securing energy supplies,

Australia –

  1. Third largest supplier of Uranium, India imports 40% of its Uranium requirements – Stable source for Civil nuclear power plants

(Kazakhstan, also an important source of Uranium, but, Transit route with instable Afghanistan through Chabahar port is difficult) 

  1. One of the largest supplier of Coal – India imports 20% of its coal requirements

(Recent agreement with Adani group is testimony. Helps to feed UMPPs, energy security)

  1. Top producer of LNG – with LNG prices fallen by 75% since 2014, time is ripe to strike a deal – Helps reduce low carbon emission and achieve energy security through diversification
  2. Opportunity for joint exploration of energy resources in Indian ocean region


  1. Nuclear energy cooperation – Indio US nuclear deal, with General electric and Westinghouse keen to establish nuclear power plant installations in India – Energy security, clear, reliable, sustainable and steady source of energy (Compared to Solar and Wind)
  2. Shale Gas – has one of the largest reserves — Helps to reduce dependence on volatile West Asia (Saudi, UAE, Qatar, Iran, Iraq etc) for fossil fuel
  3. International solar Alliance – Helps to increase the efficiency, reduce cost of Solar energy along with Japan, Australia and other, being the members of this group.


  1. Japan assistance in providing technology in clean coal technologies
  2. Facilitation of Indo US nuclear deal through supply of equipments for construction of nuclear reactors

To return to double digit growth, energy supplies must be increased to the tune of 3 to 4 times over the next few decades. To achieve this, we need to collaborate with US, Japan and Canada in a meaningful way.


Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

4) “It is not possible for India to be a world leader or an Asian leader without first being a South Asian leader.” Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

India need to gain confidence in its neighborhood first as a regional leader, then only it could aspire for world leadership

Reasons are several, these include,

  1. Proactive leadership in South Asia is essential to promote prosperity through financial aid, technical assistance (SAARC satellite, scholarships for students, satellite services), business to business cooperation etc. —– This results in peaceful neighborhood —India could concentrate on world leadership without much worries at home

(But, perception of India as big brother (always interfere in internal matters, bullying), friendly cooperation is not satisfactory. For instance, Tamil issue in Srilanka, water sharing issues, infiltration issues with Bangladesh, Madheshi and constitutional crisis with Nepal —— These restricting India’s energy to South Asian theatres)

  1. Strategic support of South Asian nations to outside powers (against Indian interests) – like provision of space for establishing defense installations, docking of submarines (eg. In Colombo by China), establishment of defense bases, missile installations will severely restrict India’s energy and resources to south Asia.

Hence, persuasive leadership to prevent such actions must be developed.

  1. Regional support is essential in international forums like UN, WTO, IMF, WB to establish legitimacy in world leadership

(Irony is that, Shashi Tharoor candidature for UN secretary general post was opposed by Afghanistan and Srilanka itself)

  1. Regional support in totality is essential to establish claim on UNSC permanent candidature for India

(But, opposed by Pakistan in association with China)

  1. Projection of India’s leadership in south Asia in coordinating actions to combat terror, fight drug trade (from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan), response to natural disasters (earthquake in Nepal, floods in Pakistan.,etc.)
  2. it is important for India to work on uniting, connecting, and sharing its prosperity with its neighbours before seeking the same from outside.
  3. If we cannot integrate with our region, we cannot integrate with other regions – Hence, first focus on neighborhood is must

But, perception of big brother attitude, frequent dragging into internal matters of neighbors (Tamil issue in Srilanka, Madheshi in Nepal, water sharing issue with Bangladesh, use of subsidy termination as a tool to influence elections in Bhutan), interference of other world powers like US, China in our backyards, antagonist attitude of Pakistan towards India, failure of SAARC as effective region group (and India’s inability to make it a successful group), political instability, terrorism ——- These issues are limiting factors to gain acceptance of India as regional and world leader.

General Studies – 3

Topic: Issues relating to intellectual property rights

5) What do you understand by Compulsory licensing? What is its importance in countries like India? Also examine if providing Compulsory licensing to generic pharma companies is in violation of WTO rules. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Compulsory licensing?

Compulsory licenses are generally defined as “authorizations permitting a third party to make, use, or sell a patented invention without the patent owner’s consent.”Under Indian Patent Act, 1970, the provision with regard to compulsory licensing is specifically given. The inbuilt flexibility provided under TRIPS agreement also paved the way to grant of compulsory licensing. This is done while keeping in mind the interest of public at large.

How is it important to India?

  • Patents on medicine may become harmful for developing countries like India and may be an impediment to providing cheap essential medicines.Compulsory licensing is important considering the large number of poor people unable to afford essential medicines. The recent case of where india granted compulsory licensing to a drug company-Bayer pharmaceuticals in view of the public health interest is one such.
  • Sometimes Compulsory licensing is useful in breaking up of cartels, monopolies who abuse patent rights. Helps in relieving “patent pressure”.
  • Delay in development of important technology may occur due to deadlocks between the “improver” and the “patentee”. Compulsory licensing can ensure brisk agreement between the two.
  • Developing nations like India lack the required infrastructure and research capabilities to foster innovation, in order to combat the nation’s problems such as health.Borrowing the patents of others and working upon the same, to establish the primacy of national interests over any trans-national intellectual property rights, hence, becomes necessary
  • With some modifications to these patents, Indian researchers can innovate according to India’s needs
  • In other sectors than pharmaceuticals like the softwares, IPRs may not have direct effects on essential public interests to apply compulsory licensing and hence they may enjoy better safeguards.
  • Price of some very much important articles are very high( unreasonable) at this time CL can help to manufacture these products at affordable rate.
  • It prevent the patent companies to establish Monopoly
  • Patent protection favors advanced nations but not countries like India which have fewer patents to protect.
  • It established the primacy of the right of member nations to protect public health and promote access to medicines for all. Each member has the sovereign right to decide the grounds for granting compulsory licences according to national interests, and implicitly did away with the need for an emergency or a situation of urgency, which are listed both in Trips and in the IPA. 

Is doing tht to generic pharma companies a Violation of WTO rules?

India is the world’s third-largest pharmaceutical drug producer by volume; in 2011 the domestic pharmaceutical market reached a record of US$12.2 billion in sales.Indian generic pharma companies do not violate WTO rules because –

  • WTO TRIPS Agreement under section 31 mentions grounds such as ‘national emergencies’, ‘other circumstance of extreme urgency’ or ‘public non-commerical use’ for granting Compulsory licensing.WTO clarified that each member has the sovereign right to decide the grounds for granting compulsory licences according to national interests, and getting away with the need for an emergency or a situation of urgency, which are mandates of TRIPS and in the Intellectual property agreement. Hence it balanced the imperative of national health against transnational rights to intellectual property and established the primacy of the right of member nations to protect public health and promote access to medicines for all.

However, efforts must be made to spur R&D culture in the country rather than copying an invention every time.



Topic: Resource mobilization

6) It is said that since the 2008 crisis in global financial markets, the Basel III has been a “work-in-progress”. Discuss. (200 Words)

Business Standard

In year 2008, global financial crisis can be attributed to imprudent decisions taken by Banking organisations. Increase in number of defaulted loans led to banks failure. Since Banks are the backbone of any economy, therefore it becomes very much necessary to ensure the financial security of Banks and keep them out of excess of risk.

The Basel III standards were framed in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, stipulating capital adequacy norms for banks, so that they would never again need taxpayer financed rescue. In india the Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) will be implemented from March-end 2016.

However there are some ongoing issues going on which makes the norms “work in progress” like:- 

Old methods:

  • revised models for measuring market and credit risks are based on the same principles as the models used by major banks before 2008 for measuring the same risks in their portfolios of mortgage securities.

Implementation Issues:

  • There are  industry-wide concerns about the potential stresses (of the implementation of the regulations) on the asset quality and consequential impact on the performance/profitability of banksas they need  some lead time  to raise capital within the internationally agreed timeline .RBI postphoned the basel III implentation to 2019.
  • The fact that the European Central Bank recently gave itself another four years to review Basell III implementation

global factors:

  • the global financial markets have not staged a complete recovery across the world, especially in the developed markets.
  • There has been increased provisioning (8%) to ensure banks do not run into losses. But to finance this provision banks will have to lend at high rates which is not feasible. 


  • There has been a mandate to increase the buffer on risky liabilities to the tune of 15-23% , which is also work incomplete and many nations are contemplating if this is a prudent strategy.
  • complex models and variables that measure vulnerability cannot be modelled to sufficient accuracy.This regulatory framework is still largely academic in nature, and the operational part is still being installed
  • Complexities of Contingent convertible bonds and perpetual bonds are not understood by the investors rendering them dysfunctional

other factors

  • include the balance sheet syndrome ,rising NPA’s , lack of capital to infuse , stagnant global growth , static projects , wilful defaulters , no credit default swaps , debt into equity all these factore show basel norms are still a work in progress.
  • The recent step by the Indian Government to infuse 25000 crores for public sector banks is a welcome step and can prepare banks to implement basel III.


TopicEffects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth. 

7) Recently, the Union government announced creation of  the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). Discuss its objectives and  comment on India’s disinvestment policy. (200 Words)

Business Standard

India’s disinvestment policy always have had the objective of identifying the role of PSUs in reducing the financial burden on govt.It identifies PSUs as wealth of nation in which citizens also have some say but major role is to be played by govt.

This objective has put into force as seen in the following benefits:-

for the government:

  • Raising valuable resources for the government, which could be used to bridge the fiscal deficit for one, but also for various developmental projects in key areas such as infrastructure. Even a 10% stake sale in the ten large public state undertakings that are likely disinvestment candidates can bring in USD 17 bn
  • Apart from generating a one-time sale amount, a lot of these stake sales would also result in annual revenues for the government, as has been shown in the past.
  • The government can focus more on core activities such as infrastructure, defense, education, healthcare, and law and order.
  • A leaner government with reduction in the number of ministries and bureaucrats.

For the Markets and Economy

  • Brings about greater efficiencies for the economy and markets as a whole 

For the Taxpayers

  1. Letting go of these assets is best in the long term interest of the tax payers as the current yield on these investments in abysmally low

For the Employees

  1. Monetary gains through preferential issue of shares
  2. Pay rises, as has been seen in past divestments
  3. Greater opportunities and avenues for career growth- further employment generation

For the PSUs

  1. Greater autonomy leading to higher efficiencies

However there have been some serious concerns:-

  • Confused objectives, complicated procedures, the habitual slo-mo pace of government functioning and serial stockmarket scams have contrived to ensure that over the quarter-century of disinvestment, the Government of India has managed to garner a modest Rs 1.9 lakh crore from disinvestment.The government met or outperformed targets in only four of the 20 years in which specific targets were set 
  • Bundling methodology based on Net Value Addition failed to achieve its target of increasing the fund.
  • Rangarajan Committes’s recommendations to disinvest 100% share holding of PSU by govt was ignored.
  • Disinvestment commissions’s recommendations were partially implemented.
  • National renewal Fund to finance voluntary retirement and re training schemes for PSUs was used for bridging fiscal deficit.
  • A survey indicated 0.5% retail participation  in equity market.Meaning, only Large corporates and financial institutions will benefit from this drive.It’ll not help in “financial inclusion”
  • After disinvestment employees of PSUs will loss their jobs.If board of directors have many private sector experts- they may approve plans to reduce staff strength, to increase profitability.
  • Allegations  that PSEs are sold cheap to preferred parties e.g. BALCO
  • To complete the disinvestment targets, Government asks one PSUs to buy shares of another PSU..e.g. ordering LIC to buy ONGC’s shares. In such cases, disinvestment doesn’t decrease Government control over those companies.

To rectify the lack of policy approach by various governments so far ,In order to revive strategic stake sale of PSUs, the Department of Disinvestment, which was carved out of the Finance Ministry in 1999, has been renamed as the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). 


It will work in conjunction with the NITI aayog for the following objectives :
1. Efficient management of government stake in PSUs
2. Sale of stake in PSU’s on recommendations of the NITI aayog.

  1. Decide new avenues of investment.

4.centralising the government’s role as promoter and chief interferer in PSU functioning, replacing the meddling by individual ministries

With growing confidence of Indians on market economy and multi directional growth like in “Make in India”, “Start up India” may help in the transition process of Disinvestment of Assets to Investment in Assets and finally towards the sustainable development of overall society.


General Studies – 4

Topic: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics

8) Is an ‘honest mistake’ unethical yet forgiveable? Illustrate with suitable examples. (150 Words)

The Hindu

“An honest mistake” is a mistake committed unintentionally without the intent to hurt anyone or oneself. An ‘Honest Mistake’ may or may not be unethical – it depends on the degree of pain caused, violation of rules and laws, and the degree of guilt felt.

Some may emphasise on an Individual’s character (Virtue Ethics) and to the fact that no Human Being is infallible; others may see the consequences or the rules being defied (Deontological/Teleological Ethics) to decide whether the mistake is ethical or unethical.

If a 6 year old child playfully shoots at his younger sibling using a loaded gun and kills her, it is neither unethical nor unforgivable. The child is ignorant and innocent. It is an honest mistake of whose consequences the child is unaware of.

An honest mistake can be forgiven if the person who has committed mistake immediately realizes, sincerely apologises and bears responsibility to the consequences. Even if the act is unethical, such as killing someone’s pet dog to save a small child on the road if situation demands so.

Forgiveness is the virtue which depends on the value system of the victim. In the example, if the person, who owns the dog, forgives the driver, it’s an example of ethical behaviour as it lessens the guilt of the driver and also makes the forgiver magnanimous. Even though killing the dog is unethical here, the act can be forgiven thanks to the life of child saved as a consequence of this act.

If a surgeon commits a mistake that’s unintentional and results in loss of a life, the act might be considered unethical and unforgivable by the kith and kin of the diseased. Even though the doctor might have wanted to save the patient, he is unsuccessful due to a mistake – intentional or unintentional. Because it’s is his profession, he cannot justify on the grounds of honest mistake. If the death was cause even after following correct procedures, the act is both ethical and forgiveable.

In the recent case of Sharapova’s confession about consuming the banned drug meldonium for past ten years, the act is not an honest mistake as the drug is already a banned drug by USFDA in USA where she is living for past many years. It is unforgivable as it’s a breach of trust of fans, and non-compliance of rules governing the sport. It is unethical as her act has violated equality and fairness in competition.

Thus, an honest mistake can both be ethical and unethical, or forgiveable and non-forgiveable: it depends of circumstances, value system of individuals and society, intent of the act and on the degree of consequences.