Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 21, 2016

SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 21, 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;


Topic:- Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes

1) It is said that the availability of freshwater is increasingly a defining strategic factor in regional and global affairs, and unless water resources are managed with extraordinary care, the consequences could be devastating. Illustrate with examples. (200 Words)


Water is the basic of all needs, if not managed properly, it leads to devastating consequences,

It can be illustrative with following examples,

  1. Conflicts in the Middle East (disputes stemming from the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers among Turkey, Syria, and Iraq;
  2. the Jordan River conflict among Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and the State of Palestine) — conflicts revolve around scarce water resources. In Syria, civil war broke out after series of wars.
  3. In Africa (Nile River-related conflicts among Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan) – Conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia over the construction of Grand Ethiopian renaissance dam
  4. Central Asia (the Aral Sea conflict among Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) ——-Environmental degradation of the Aral Sea in Central Asia has caused a loss of livelihoods and led to resource competition over water amongst the states sharing the basin
  5. War in Drafur – The War in Darfur is a major armed conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan, began in 2003, between various rebel groups and the government. Centre of the conflict is water scarcity and discrimination against local groups.
  6. In India, Teesta water dispute with Bangladesh, Indus water dispute with Pakistan and Chinese unilateral construction of ROB dams on Brahmaputra are some of the conflicts

Although water conflict is closely related to regional tensions and environmental degradation and mismanagement of water resource. Strong institutional commitment and cooperation can overcome water crisis.

Some of the examples include,

  1. Indus water treaty survived two wars between India and Pakistan and successful in averting the conflicts related to the water sharing
  2. The Mekong Committee has also functioned since 1957 and survived the Vietnam War.
  3. Agreement between Canada and United states is another great example of water diplomacy

General Studies – 2

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

2) As per the recent Real Estate Bill, the central and the state governments must establish a regulatory authority within one year of the proposed Act coming into force. Examine some key legal and regulatory challenges facing the proposed real estate regulator. (200 Words)

Business Standard

Key legal and regulatory challenges facing the proposed real estate regulator

  1. No single window clearance system – Regulator challenge
  2. Mandatory approval and auditing requirements from professional agents like Lawyers, Chartered accountants increases unnecessary regulation, strengthens red tape, increases the cost of the project at same time delays the project
  3. NO provision for regulation of inflated market prices and their accounting during registration
  4. Lack of protection against nexus between developers, professionals and third party independent auditing agencies – Difficult to regulate these elements
  5. May lead to ambiguity of jurisdiction and lack of coordination – Land is a state subject, but, legislation passed by parliament (concurrent list) – No clarity on the compatibility and complementarily of state and central legislation in the real estate sector
  6. Regulation of residential real estate sector. Commercial real estate also comes under the ambit of the bill. 
  7. Smaller projects with less than 1000 sq m or 12 house apartments are excluded – Hence, large share of small units are not regulated – Exploitation of customers in this segment may rise.
  8. Improper registration of property, lack of clear land titles, ambiguity in registration procedure – May increase the legal cases – Difficult to regulate the sector without hurdles
  9. Use of black money in the sector – NO proper provision to address this issue
  10. Multiplicity of legislation – Act does not repeal the existing legislation – This may lead to clash of jurisdiction, ambiguity and exploitation of loop holes to bypass the legislation
  11. 70:30 provision – the rules for valuation of land will play a key role in making the 70-30 provisions effective. Each state may come out with different rules on valuation of land, leading to ambiguity in the provision,
  12. No power to determine the prices for the regulator (unlike TRAI for telecom and IRDA for insurance) — Difficult to protect the customers without this provision


TopicIssues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

3) What do you understand by fixed-dose combination (FDC) drugs? Recently, the union government banned Corex, a cough syrup whose most important element is codeine, along with 300-odd fixed-dose combination (FDC) drugs. Discuss the significance of this ban. (200 Words)

The Hindu


A fixed dose combination drug is a ,

  1. medicines containing two or more active components (Active pharmaceutical ingredients) in fixed proportions in a single dosage form
  2. several medications in fixed combination to be taken together, presented in composite packaging (co-pack)

It facilitating the general advantages of combination therapy

Improved medication compliance by reducing the pill burden of patients. It solves the problem of keeping track of several medications, understanding their various instructions, etc.

Evergreening issues – It is used to evergreen the off patent drugs – FDC drug products may be developed by pharma company in effect extend proprietary rights and marketability of a drug product. Since FDCs may be protected by patents, a company may obtain exclusive rights to sell a particular FDC or formulation thereof, even though the individual active ingredients and many therapeutic uses thereof may be off-patent.


  1. Side effects – dizziness, nausea, hallucinations. It is also addictive
  2. FDC drugs are the highest self medication drugs in India. Consumed without prescriptions (especially cough syrups) – Not safe for patients
  3. FDC drugs especially Cough syrups with Codeine are suppressants rather than Curative. Hence, it distorts the perception of patients (that is the better medicine).
  4. With FDC drugs, side effects cannot be traced out to a single API. Hence, it may lead to lot of adverse effects on patients. It can leads to complications resulting from adverse interactions of the drugs
  5. Antibiotic resistance can be reduced – Since, multiple combinations of same therapeutic value are clubbed together, it provide chance for microbes to develop resistance ——– Ban may bring some relief in this respect
  6. Elimination of irrational drug combinations and control the irrational prescriptions
  7. Encourages the use of home remedies having same result without side effects like use of Honey, pepper, turmeric to remedy against Cough and cold

On the other hand,

  1. Lack of time for retailers to prepare for the ban and to clear their stocks
  2. Manufacturers opinion and their view points were not solicited before banning
  3. FDC had general advantage of Combining therapy, we may sacrifice this due to ban wrt some drugs
  4. Pill burden of patients may rise due to ban on > 300 FDC drugs
  5. Reduced investment on R & D in FDC drugs by pharma companies, due to ban on OTC medicines like cough syrups


TopicEffect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

4) Examine the problems currently faced by the Chinese economy and their possible impact of on world and Indian economy. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Problems faced by Chinese economy

  1. Experiencing world’s largerst credit bubble. The massive creation of credit since 2008 took China’s debt-to-GDP ratio from 125 per cent in 2008 to around 280 per cent

China is the most highly indebted emerging market economy.

  1. A colossal real-estate bubble has left ghost cities around the country while massive investment has created overcapacity in most manufacturing sectors at a time when domestic and external demands are both falling.
  2. persistent over-investment has destroyed the return on capital – Result, is falling investment is causing slowdown and stall in economic progress
  3. Increased standard of living result in demand for rise in wages – Loss of competitive edge for export (Its traditional stronghold)
  4. Resource hungry exploitative foreign and trade policy – Chinese motives are seen with suspicion leading to resistance to investment, halting of project and non cooperation by localites

Increased NPA

  1. Increased pollution due to pollution intensive manufacturing industries – Public criticism, resentment. Both political and economical challenge.
  2. Huge capital flight taking place in China, may severely strain its forex reserves (even though they are largest)


Impact on world economy

  1. Financial contagion – Due to highly integrated global financial system
  2. It affects the developing countries more, than developed countries – Because, rapid growth of developing countries was mainly due to demand from china for commodities. With slowdown, overall demand reduces – Reduces the price.

Commodity export driven countries like Brazil, Russia, South Africa are severely hit

  1. Yuan devaluation to promote exports may trigger currency war, global financial instability
  2. To mask the domestic problem, China may resort to bullying in South China and East china sea regions with neighbors in the name of nationalism
  3. Commodity prices may go down due to reduced demand


Impact on India

  1. Yuan devaluation will affect India’s competitiveness in exports
  2. Increased frequency of dumping of Steel and Rubber products in Indian markets due to over capacity and associated issues
  3. Indian companies with higher stakes in china like TCS, Tata motors will be severely affected
  4. Reduced demand from China due to slowdown affects export of Indian products

Positive impacts on India,

  1. India, could tap commodity and natural resource market to fuel make in India campaign in the absence of Chinese completion
  2. Higher wages in China, may provide competitive edge to India due to lower wages to boost exports and to gain china’s place as major exporter

TopicIssues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

5) In recent years, popularity of ayurveda products – both pharmaceutical and food – are on the rise in India. Examine why. (200 Words)

Business Standard


Ayurveda,the Indian traditional medicinal system has a market size of 25000 crore and its trend has been on the rise in the recent years in both pharma and food industries.
The reasons are:
  • Many of the top MNCs have been embroiled in legal battles concerning the ill effects or harmful chemicals in their products. This has reduced trust of people on these MNCs and they are shifting towards Ayurveda.Recent maggi contoversy puts this point in the forefront.
  • Although the formal sector in Ayurveda is only at 12%, it is increasing fast. Companies like Patanjali, Himalaya are gaining a foothold in the market.
  • Indian people are becoming more apprehensive about chemical products and are placing their trust on healthy ayurvedic products.
  • The recent ban on Fixed drug compositions has made people suspicious about the quality and efficacy of those drugs. Hence now they find only Ayurveda reliable since it doesn’t contain any chemicals.
  • There are increased advertisements about Ayurveda products citing their efficiency , comparative advantage and their “swadeshi” nature . This has contributed to their increased usage.
  • Yoga gurus and spiritual leaders who are popular among the people are promoting such products leading to their increased usage.
  • government has been proactive in giving a push to ayurveda like  a separate AYUSH ministry, national institute of ayurvedic studies under AYUSH and research centres, jan aushadi centres for low cost drugs for the poor.
  • Ayurveda is believed to have lesser side effects as natural ingredients used through traditional methods. Eg- kottakkal arya vaidya sala.
Suggestions (Extra Points):
  • Like in China India also should go for the integrative medicine strategy where alternative and allopathic medicines have been synergised,
  • With 88% of ayurvedic business still under unorganised sector Government should bring strategies on making these profitable.
  • Doctors have to be made more aware about the benefits of the ayurveda so that they can combine both the medicines and use the knowledge.


TopicIssues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

6) Write a note on the objectives and components of the India Newborn Action Plan (INAP). (200 Words)

The Hindu

The India Newborn Action Plan (INAP) is India’s committed response to the Global Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP), launched in June 2014, to advance the Global Strategy for Women s and Children’s Health. India however aspires to achieve the global ENAP targets by 2030—five years ahead of the global deadline—with all the states to individually achieve the targets by the end of 2035.
Ending Preventable Newborn Deaths to achieve “Single Digit NMR” by 2030, with all the states to individually achieve this target by 2035
Ending Preventable Stillbirths to achieve “Single Digit Still birth Rate” by 2030, with all the states to individually achieve this target by 2035  
  • It prescribes 6 intervention packages for various stages.
    • Preconception and antenatal care, Care during labour and childbirth, Care for immediate newborn, Care of for healthy newborn, Care of small and sick new born and Care beyond newborn survival.
  • It also prescribes 4 new kinds of priority vaccination- influenza vaccine, cholera vaccine, Human papillamovirus vaccine( HPV) and Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
  • A monitoring and evaluation framework to keep tabs on the mother child till the age of 2 years and to provide reliable information on common causes of death has been ushered.
  • Web based Health Information Management System (HIMS) to provide data on services, facilities, etc.
  • A comprehensive assessment of the plan will be done starting from 2020 after a gap of 5 years to ensure that the states are coordinating with the center for achieving the targets.
  • serving as a framework for the States facilitate the States to formulate their own need-based action plans
1 . special focus is needed in tribal areas – sanitation , mosquito nets , community participation.
2. Need to integrate with PNPCDT Act to prevent female infanticide 
3 .Record of child health under Integrated Child Health Record – National Health Database – track immunisation / health status.
INAP along with the Universal immunisation programme, Indradhanush will go a long way in reducing IMR and MMR to ensure improvement of HDI and realising the SDG targets.

General Studies – 3

Topic: Environmental pollution

7) What is fly ash? In the past few years concerns have been raised over its environmental impact from several quarters. What are these concerns? How they can be addressed? Examine. (200 Words)


Fly ash is produced from the coal combustion process. It is usually used to fill mine voids. But in the past few years concerns have been raised over its environmental impact from several quarters.
Environmental impact :
  • groundwater:
    • the interface between the water and fly ash at the bottom of fly ash filled void results in leaching of heavy metals into groundwater system as evident by high levels of trace elements particularly heavy metals in ground water samples
    • reduction in recharging of groundwater due to fly ash filled mine voids. 
  • Vegetation problem:ash-filled voids cannot support tree species because of poor root system development which in turn results in uprooting of trees even by low velocity winds.
  • Fly ash gets easily ingested through respiration, which causes many diseases such as asthma,neurological disorders.
  • fly ash disposal remains a major problem with only about 50-60% of the total fly ash generated by the power sector being utilised.
  • Suspended fly ash in the air acts as a global warming agent and heats the earth’s surface.
  • instead of dumping it on ash ponds ,can be used for construction due to its reuse as pozzolan which is more workable and less costly
  • due to its grain size distribution ,enhanced strength premeability it can be used to construct embankements at road construction,concrete dams like GHATGHAR DAM
  • it can be used as a soil stabiliser.
  • Prevention by using filtration techniques such as electrostatic precipitators at the production unit and new units to be opened far from the habitation.
  • Bricks can also be made out of fly ash which help reduce the amount that need to be dumped
  • Fly ash can also be used in sewage sludge treatment plants to transform it into organic fertilizer .
So fly ash can be converted into a beneficial remedy but the long term effects of it have to be studied to be prepared in a better way to handle it.

General Studies – 4

Topic:Political attitude; Ethics in public administration 

8) Several recent incidents have proven that few politicians in India and around the world lack moral values and their political attitude is indifferent to common man’s woes.  In your opinion, what makes people in power, particularly politicians, behave unethically? What should be done to inculcate values in them? Critically comment. (200 Words)



With great power comes great responsibility. However with the Recent incidents of political representatives being cruel to animals, indulging in corruption, centralizing and misusing powers and candidates like Mr.Trump spreading hatred in the society show how power can corrupt politicians ethically.
Politicians behave unethically because:-
  • The greed of power makes them to deliver false/unachievable promises. When they are unable to meet people’s aspiration they tend to hide their mistakes. Illegal gratifications derived from the power becomes the cause of being indifferent to common man’s woes.
  • lack of education in moral conduct and lack of sensitivity.
  • To either increasing their popularity or for taking benefit of their power so that they continue to hold the power for long.
The following measures can be taken to imbibe the values in them:
  • An internal and external independent audit on ethics and protection to the Whistleblowers will help keep a check on them.Parliamentary ethics committees have a great role to play here.
  • Whistleblowers and Ombudsmen can be appointed to look into this issue.
  • Party High commands have a major role to play as they should send a clear signal that unethical behaviour is not acceptable.
  • Citizens of the country need to be make conscious decisions in not letting unethical politicians come to power.
  • politicians lack the quality of moral accountability to the people who have elected them .This needs to be overhauled by making it mandatory for the politicians to disclose about the work done by them every week which will slowly bring the change in their attitude in the long run .
As Lincoln quoted Nearly all man can stand adversities, but if you want to test a man’s character of a person give him the power.This should be guideline in any political representatives mind that they are remembered as great leaders because of their ethical values and not for the power they hold.