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SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 14, 2016

SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 14, 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; Social empowerment

1) Should marital rape be criminalised in India? Substantiate.  (200 Words)

The Hindu

Section 375 of IPC criminalizes Rape, but, it has an exception “Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape”.

But, that exception must be removed and marital rape must be criminalized.


  1. Women have sense of identity, dignity and human rights of their own
  2. Not a commodity – Marriage is not a license to sex, they must have the decision making power in personal issues and their ownership is not transferred to husband once they are married – Women also have right to individual liberty and right to dignified life.
  3. It is the issue is of consent, not culture
  4. We have denounced orthodox religious practices like Sati system, Devadasi system, Marital rape should also be considered as backward and crime since, we are modernized and liberalized.
  5. India is signatory to Sustainable development goals, legitimizing Marital rape is against the international norms and violation of SDG norms
  6. Justice verma committee after Nirbhaya case, recommended criminalization of marital rape. It opined, ‘Marriage should not be considered as an irrevocable consent to sexual acts’
  7. Fuels the patriarchal mindset, threat to social equality
  8. It is not only a violence on the body of the woman, but also on the soul (Emotional harassment)
  9. To implement the DPSP – to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women; – Article 51(e)
  10. The UN Population Fund states that more than 2/3rds of married women in India, aged between 15 to 49 have been beaten, raped or forced to provide sex. Hence, to tackle the crime of such a large scale, Marital rape must be criminalized

But, only by passing amendments to criminalize marital rape will not help. Without change in the mindset of the society, patriarchal mentality no legislation can bring reforms (as we see in case of Dowry prohibition act).

If passed, Care must be taken not to misuse the legislation of criminalization of marital rape as a tool to harass the honest law abiding men, as we are witnessing in Dowry cases.

General Studies – 2

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

2) Do you think India should sign up for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)? Analyse merits and demerits. (200 Words)


Signing of RCEP is in India’s interest, but, wrt, TPP India must exhibit caution before taking any decision

Merits of TPP (More demerits than merits)

  1. Facilitates free trade with 12 countries including USA, Canada and 10 Asia pacific countries – Increased trade, less restriction, no protection
  2. Tariff barrier = 0% and minimum non tariff barriers – Facilitates trade
  3. Protection against Economic recession in Europe in general and Eurozone in particular
  4. Diversification of market

Demerits of TPP (More)

  1. Main purpose was to export Made in USA goods and services – Big blow to Make in India initiative, due to huge subsidy and other facilities to US firms by US compared to India – Lack of level playing field
  2. India have to amend its labour laws, Intellectual property laws, environment laws according to US standards —— Interest of common people compromised eg. IP act amendment may be big blow to Indian generic medicine industry (Poor patients suffers), labor laws (less protection to labors, hire and fire policy). Moreover, it is hegemony of US on India to follow their standards and diktats which is not appreciated in multipolar world
  3. Due to 0% tariff, Indian agriculture, SME, nascent Industries, startups cannot be protected and flooding of cheap US good may happen

Merits of RCEP (More merits than demerits compared to TPP)

  1. India is already a negotiating member. It will in the mean time join the league
  2. No obligation to reform labor, environment and IP acts — Space for social sector development, suited for developing country like India to balance the interests of the poor
  3. Local industry can be protected – Exemptions are allowed to protect SME, Agriculture and other weaker sectors from external trade.
  4. Diversification of trade, less dependence on weakening Eurozone and western markets
  5. Better development of North Eastern state due to proximity – Less insurgency, better integration
  6. Removes the fear of China about India joining US pivot to Asia.

Demerits of RCEP

  1. Restriction in decision making related to external trade
  2. Damage to Multilateral trading system i.e, WTO
  3. It will instigates other regional trade agreements, finally may endanger multilateral trade itself (India is one of the promoter of multilateral trade)
  4. China may show hegemony through this platform

Make in India campaign may suffer due to less protection to local industries, opening up of trade to more efficient Chinese and Japanese industries


TopicGovernment policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

3) Comment on significance of the Real Estate Bill that was recently passed by Rajya Sabha. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Significance of Real estate bill,

Real estate bill addresses the anomalies in the Real estate sector like, haphazardous functioning, presence of unscrupulous operators, misleading provisions like buyer beware caution, lack of fulfillment of promises by builders

By addressing these, it would give homebuyers enough confidence – resulting in solving the problem of Excess inventory (Customers buy home due to confidence in industry), raising NPA (more sales, more debt repayment) and lack of demand (Demand will be created due to certainty, clarity)

This is very significant to Indian economic growth – Because, Real estate contributes about 9% to GDP and its stability, growth is essential for other sectors like cement and steel, services etc. – Employment generation

Some of the provision of the bill facilitates sense of comfort, confidence and certainty in the Industry – Which is very significant for the growth of the industry and the economy

  1. It regulates the haphazard functioning and the presence of unscrupulous operators in the real-estate business,

Bill brings in a sense of comfort and feeling of security to homebuyers.

  1. Compulsory registration of any project of the size of 500 square metres in size or involves eight apartments

(Prevents the uncertainty and haphazard regulation – Increase confidence in Industry)

  1. Separate escrow account to park collections,

(Prevents diversion of funds by builders to other projects, assurance against any breach of commitment by builder to home buyers)

  1. greater clarity in the definition of carpet area,

(More confidence – Growth – manageable inventory)

  1. a tighter penalty norm for structural defects in construction,

(Prevention of man made disasters like building collapse)

  1. A mandatory consent clause for changes in construction plans and other such provisions

Penal provisions

Stringent disclosure norms and penalty provisions, including imprisonment, in some cases, for delays and other contractual failures on the part of a builder

(Cleaning up of Real estate sector)

All these provisions will create demand sentiment, sense of clarity in the operation and facilitate attraction of prospective investors towards real estate.


TopicIndia and neighbourhood relations

4) In recent months, India has signed many agreements with Myanmar which are said to have potential to strengthen India – Myanmar exponentially.  Discuss these agreements and, how and why India needs to implement these agreements. (200 Words)


Recent agreements between India and Myanmar,

Regional connectivity and trade agreement on 17 and 18 February, as part of the eighth edition of the India-Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Delhi Dialogue.

Key components –

  1. Kaladan multimodal transit transport corridor to connect Seaports of Kolkota and Sitwe (Myanmar) – to be completed by this year

(Why – Need for better connectivity of the NE states with other parts of India, Reduces the time, Connects Mizoram with Kolkota through Myanmar, Counter Bangladesh’s black mail of not allowing transit route for India to connect North Eastern states)

How – Through special purpose vehicle, special cell to facilitate investment, and to remove red tape, coordination at the highest level)

  1. renewed commitment to complete the 3,200-km India-Asean trilateral highway that extends from Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand via Mandalay, Myanmar.

(Why – Gateway to South East Asia, better transit route to ASEAN countries, Development of NE states with assured market, reduced transportation cost, opening up of border for trade with ASEAN countries —– Reduces insurgency due to trade and prosperity, better integration)

(How – Multilateral funding from WB, ADB, better coordination at highest level, )

  1. Nine borderhaats or trading posts are also being considered along the 1,640-km land border with Myanmar.

(why – People to people contact, assured market, reduced transportation cost, curb illegal trade of opium due to ever vigilant border, reduced insurgency on both sides due to enhanced prosperity

How – Infrastructure for banking operations, storage, grading, packing, credit facilities, IT enabled trading posts for better tracking of produce and trade)

  1. Expeditednegotiations for concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between India and the Asean countries (Myanmar is a member country) were discussed. The RCEP will expand India’s trade and investment circle in the Indian Ocean region.

(Why – To promote exports, diversification of trade, less dependence on slowing EU and other western countries, precursor to custom union. It is liked to prosperity of NE states, due to proximity to large market, promotion of services and other manufacturing industries due to assured, vibrant market

How – Intense negotiation, better follow up, Conferences and negotiation with stake holders like Industrial bodies, interest groups, policy of non exploitation in negotiation )

  1. Joint Naval Patrol – In bay of Bengal

(Why – Enhanced security, Coordination during disasters, military compatibility to face adverse situation

How – Better collaboration, Naval drills)


Myanmar isolation for the past 50 years pushed the country to depend overly on China for most of its trade and investments. These projects reduces dependence on China and help to increase India’s influence

India needs a stable neighbor in the east to control, consolidate and cater better to the northeastern region

General Studies – 3

Topic: Cropping pattern; Awareness in biotechnology and IPR related issues

5) How did biotechnology impact cotton production in India? It is said that certain recent government decisions related to Bt cotton pricing might adversely affect ‘cotton revolution’ in India. Examine why. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Biotechnology impact on cotton production:
  • Production:
    • From the time of adoption of bt cotton in 2002-03 India witnessed an astounding revolution in the cotton sector, not seen for another crop. Cotton production shot up from 14 million bales in 2000-01 to 39 million bales in 2014-15, a 178 per cent increase .
    • cumulatively, India produced 140 million bales “extra” (compared to BAU) during 2002-03 to 2014-15.
  • Change Of Indian Status:
    • From a net importer in 2000-01, India became a net exporter (the second-largest after the US) in 2014-15 as well as the largest producer 
  • Economic Benefits:
    • India saved  an import bill of $24.2 billion, cumulatively, in 2002-15 with the increase in cotton production.
    • Besides, due to surplus production, India’s exports of raw cotton soared and added around $21.2bn to our export earnings.
    • Further, India earned about $9.3bn from the “extra” yarn exports, made possible by enhanced cotton production. 
  • Benefits to cotton farmers:
    • Cultivation Of hybrid Bt cotton seeds which began in 2002-03 has seen the average income of farmers increasing by almost 575%
  • The use of bt cotton seeds in India has increased cotton yield from 308 kg per hectare in 2001 to 590 kg per hectare in 2009
  • negative impact was on the environment and poor farmers who lacked the technology.
  • Gm seeds are resistant to only a few diseases for example recent whitefly attack in Punjab shows the vulnerability.
  • Issues like defective seeds, prevalence of GM-resistant pests like pink bollworm
Recent government decision:
It is becoming control-centric in Bt cotton seeds pricing, including trait fees between the parent company (Mahyco Monsanto Biotech Ltd) and licensee companies, which have entered into private contracts.
  • the government’s policy brings down the price of Bollgard II seeds from Rs 830 to Rs 800 per packet (450 grams), and reduction in the trait fee from Rs 163 to Rs 49. So, while the cost of seed to the farmer has reduced by only 4 per cent, the royalty being paid by domestic licencees to the parent company goes down by a whopping 70 per cent 
    It will lead to cheaper seeds (Bolgard II) for farmers thus leading to a reduction in production costs. It is estimated to bring up to 250 cr. Savings for the Maharashtra cotton farmers. It will help them in increasing production and cope better with droughts, etc.
  • Garment industries may get revival due to more availability of cotton but low quality may affect it adversely.
  • IMPACT ON LICENSED SEED COMPANIES:The reduction in royalty fees will give a boost to Indian seed companies who can pass on benefits to the farmers.
  • A government order overriding private company contracts can be a contentious issue especially in the light of Vodafone issue recently.
  • This may affect India’s ease of doing business index more.It is more adverse in the backdrop of hinged GST bill.
  • This initiative will hit India’s credibility in protecting IPR and, most global seed companies may feel hesitant in bringing their latest technologies to India
  • public research is in a very appalling state Ex: the amount spent on R&D for CSIR is no where near Monsanto spending.As It’s clear that future agri-wonder seeds are going to increasingly come from global private players, and India must learn to acquire them amicably like china did with syngenta.
  • However with government’s recent decision farmers may not get access to new technologies and can become stagnant.
1. Developing indigenous seed technology not only for BT cotton but also for those crops which are dependent in foreign sedds.
2. More investment in R & D in agricultural sector.
3. Encourage agricultural universities and studies .

TopicIPR related issues

6) Recently US industry groups recently claimed the Indian government offered them a “private” assurance that compulsory licences will not be issued, save in emergencies and for non-commercial purposes. What are the implications for patients and generic drug makers in India if government stops issuing compulsory licences. Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Compulsory licensing is a process under which someone other than the patent holder uses the technology, usually during conditions of overpricing or non-availability. Govt’s private assurance to the US Trade group of not issuing Compulsory licenses, allowed as per the Indian patent Act 1970 which is in compliance with WTO TRIPS agreement, would lead to the following implications :The implications of removal of CL are :
1.It will lead to increased cost of essential medicines.
2. Due to prevailing out of pocket payment culture in India, this will lead to increased burden for affected households.This done  by patients would adversely affect their demand resulting in barrier to GDP growth.
3. Will lead to increased cartelization and monopolies which will create “patent pressure” leading to higher prices and a closed market for prospective competitors. 
4. Refusal to issue CL will create monopoly of MNCs which will act as detterance to newcomers indians.
5. As worldwide demand is rising due to the prevalent cardiac diseases & emerging lifestyle diseases, this rising demand will be captured by the MNCs resulting in huge market loss for Indian Pharma Companies.
6. India is today worldwide leader because it can produce drugs at the lowest cost & this competitive edge for Indian pharma industry would not be so useful if they are denied CL.
7.Make In India (MII) : The move will halt the growth of Indian pharma Industry which will be a big jolt for the MII.


1.Protection of IPR rights.
2. Companies will spend more on R&D because they will have incentive to do so in form of royalty profits. This may lead to development of Indian pharmaceutical industry.
3. Will lead to increased FDI in health sector and placating US industrial groups
4. India may be removed from the ‘priority watch list’ in the ‘Special 301 Report’ of USTR.
5. Increase in India’s rating, in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-International Intellectual Property Index where it is has a ranking as low as 37 out of 38 countries rated.
In today’s world, connection between IPR & Real Innovation has completely been broken. Further, Indian Patent act 1970 as well as WTO’s TRIPS agreement has allowed CL. It is imperative that GoI should continue the CL as it is in interest of patients, India’s MII, Pharma Industry & most importantly Nation’s interest.

Topic: Environmental pollution; S&T; Disaster management

7) What are the inherent risks associated with operating nuclear reactors? What safety measures should be taken to ensure safety of nuclear reactors? Comment on India’s record in this regard. (200 Words)

The Hindu

The shutdown of the 220 MW Unit-1 of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station located in Gujarat’s  following leakage of heavy water used to cool the nuclear reactor is at once a reminder of the inherent risks associated with operating nuclear reactors and the importance of augmenting safety mechanisms. 
The inherent Risks With operating nuclear reactors are:
  • meltdown occurred, a nuclear power plant could release radiation into the environment like in Fukushima disaster.
  • Biggest challenge is how to dispose radioactive waste.
  • Health concerns:
    • if a person were exposed to significant amounts of radiation over a period of time, this exposure could damage body cells and lead to cancer.
  • Environment concerns:
    • Nuclear power plants use water from local lakes and rivers for cooling. Local water sources are used to dissipate this heat, and the excess water used to cool the reactor is often released back into the waterway at very hot temperatures. This water can also be polluted with salts and heavy metals, and these high temperatures, along with water pollutants, can disrupt the life of fish and plants within the waterway.
  • Terrorists and anti national forces may target nuclear plants.
Safety Measures to be taken:
  • Continuous check on control rods, lubricants so there remains no mechanical problem during operation
  • Strict regulation guides for checking and measuring radiation level regularly
  • More innovative security system should be installed with continuous up gradation
  • Promoting Private or PSU companies to use nuclear waste for electricity generation so that over or unnecessary disposal can be minimized
  • Setting up nuclear reactors in non-seismic zones to prevent possibility of nuclear disasters.
  • Regulating body should stay vigil and lay detailed guidelines.
  • enhancement of the level of safety of the backup systems in reactors that are under construction in India
India’s Measures so far:
1. India has highly equipped nuclear plants with full safe shutdown system,early warning systems, combination of active and passive coolant system and robust containment to prevent releases.
2. Mechanisms to withstand extreme weather phenomena.
3. Periodic and unannounced safety reviews by NPCIL and AERB.
4. Coastal plants have appropriate bunds to prevent shoreline pollution. 
5. AERB lays minimum safety regulations that all plants have to follow. 
6. Licenses are only given to operators with in depth knowledge and skill.
7.All nuclear plants have been made in seismically inactive zones
8. The disposal of nuclear waste is as per standards of procedure and no violation has been found till date
9.They are highly protected sites by our intelligence and armed forces
10.All Indian plants have double dome built-up
India plans to increase the installed nuclear power capacity from the current 5,780 MW to 10,080 MW by the end of the Twelfth Plan (2017) and 20,000 MW by 2020. Also, India gave an assurance in Paris that by 2030 it would reduce carbon emissions relative to its GDP by 33-35 per cent from 2005 levels and also generate 40 per cent of the country’s electricity from non-fossil fuel-based sources, using among others the solar, wind and nuclear options. In this light efficient mechanisms need to be brought in the interest of humanity.

General Studies – 4

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

8) Inter – caste marriages in India are opposed mostly on the grounds that the Hindu ethics prohibits inter-caste marriages.  Is it ethical to stop or oppose inter-caste marriages? Critically comment. (150 Words)

The Hindu


Marriage is a natural institution where hearts and minds of two individuals of opposite sex unite in a consensual and contractual relationship recognised by law. Revisionist definition considers union between any two individuals as marriage. Inter caste marriages have long been a taboo in India marred with some violent incidents like Honour killings especially in parts of Tamil Nadu and Haryana.
It is unethical to oppose inter-caste marriages on the following grounds:
Hindu Ethics prohibits inter caste marriages on the basis of maintaining purity of caste and family honour.  Same caste marriages perpetuate casteism, hence discrimination.  Opposing inter-caste marriages is ethical as it – according to Ambedkar – ‘directly attacks the most pertinent characteristics of caste that is endogamy on which the caste stands’. 
Choosing a life partner is a fundamental right and in a country like India where caste discrimination hinders individual progress, inter-caste marriage is an opportunity for lower caste men and women to move up in the social hierarchy. From the point of common good of society, it is unethical to stop such upward mobility as long as two individuals are marrying each other with full consent of their heart and mind. 
Real marriages are moral realities that create moral privileges and obligations between people, independently of legal enforcement. The Supreme Court has ruled in Lata Singh vs State of UP that inter-caste marriages are not banned under the Hindu Marriage Act or any other law. It has said that inter-caste marriages are in national interest and stopping them is illegal. Hence, it is unethical. 
It is also unethical because the foundation of the Hindu ethics that prevents inter-caste marriage is unscientific and not founded on sound reasoning. In fact, inter-caste marriages are believed to improve gene pool of a community. 
Moreover, opposition to inter-caste marriages is an assault on free will of an individual. It also violates the principle of equality.
However, if opposition to inter-caste marriage, or any kind of marriage should be opposed as long as such marriages are forced ones and are against the will of an individual. But, opposing them solely based on caste is unethical and can not be defended on the basis of any cultural, religious or legal principles.