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SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 24, 2016

SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 24, 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:- Communalism; Secularism; 

1) Differentiate between nation and state. In your opinion, what constitutes Hinduism? Should India be called the ‘Hindu Nation’? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

The Hindu

A Nation can be defined as a larger groups or collectives of people with common characteristics attributed to them—including language, traditions, customs (mores), habits, and ethnicity.

A state is an organized political community living under a single system of government. It is a territorial concept.

Difference between Nation and State

Difference in elements – State has four elements without which it loses its Character –Population, territory, Sovereignty and Government.

Where as Nation is a group of people with strong sense of unity and consciousness

  1. State is a Political Organisation while Nation is a social, cultural, psychological, emotional and political unity
  2. Reference to definite territory is essential for State, but not for Nation. Nation is a abstract concept
  3. Sovereignty is essential for State, but not Nation
  4. Nation is more stable than state. When, state looses sovereignty it loses its character, but not the Nation – For example, Palestine is not a fully independent state, but, it a nation with unity among the people, USSR comprised of many nations, but one state. But, now it has been divided into many states.  
  5. State is created, but, Nation is always an product of evolution


What constitutes Hinduism?

            Hinduism is a way of life. Hinduism is achieving Purusharthas, proper goals of life, Dharma (Righteousness, Ethics, Duty), Artha (Prosperity or Work), Kama (Worldly pleasure) and Moksha (liberation from endless cycles of birth and death).

Should India be called a Hindu nation?

            No, India is shaped by different ethnic groups, religious ideologies, different cultures and value systems. India had witnessed waves of migration, assimilation throughout its history since the advent of Aryans to the arrival of Central Asian kings like Kushanas and others. Later, Mughals enriched the country through their diverse lifestyles and religious ideologies.

Each religious group added value to the idea of India; hence idea of India cannot be attributed to any religious group.

Moreover, our constitution, provides for Secular country with Right to freedom of religion provided through Article. 25, 26, 27 and 28. In addition to that idea of “Secular” is considered as basic structure of the constitution, which cannot be altered even by constitutional amendment.

            In a country where all the major religions of the world are practiced and diverse ethnic, cultural, linguistic groups are residing, in order to establish confidence, mutual harmony and cooperation we need to follow the path of Equality, mutual acceptance, compromise instead of coercion and imposition of one’s ideas.

Hence, calling India as Hindu nation is against the national interest (which we are witnessing in our neighbor Pakistan (Islamic state).

General Studies – 2

TopicBilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

2) India is in the final stages of talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government for storing crude oil in the coming underground strategic crude oil storage facilities in Karnataka. Why does India need such reserves? Discuss the details of the agreement. (200 Words)

Business Standard

Why India needs such reserve?

India imports more than 80% of its fuel requirements, a majority of which is sourced from west Asia. Given the volatile situation in West Asia and to prevent any economic tragedy associated with Crude oil shortage, we need strategic storage facility.

1990 Gulf war kind of situation may put India under severe strain, given the recent clashes of Saudi Arabia and Houti rebels and emergence of ISIS in Iraq and Syria —- All these necessitates building up of strategic storage facility.

India has a world-class high-capacity refining infrastructure, which contributes to export of petroleum product, hence to provide the safe, secure and steady supply of Crude oil — This deal is a must.

It helps to insulate Indian economy from uncertainty in global crude oil supply for short term and it also provide stability of crude oil prices (Ability to store the crude oil during low price situations)

Pursuance of independent foreign policy – With strategic reserves at disposal, it could pragmatic decisions without keeping in mind about oil diplomacy (relations with West Asian countries).

Details of the agreement

According to the proposal, ADNOC will fill the 1.5-million-tonne (mt) Mangaluru facility. Around two-thirds of the storage will be available to India for free for strategic use and remaining one third will be used by ADNOC for commercial purposes.

Agreement required cooperation of the Karnataka Government. The storage will be made tax neutral so that competitiveness is maintained.

Initially, ADNOC will be allowed to fill a 0.75 mt compartment at the Mangaluru facility. Of this, 0.5 mt storage will be available to India for free and the rest will be used by ADNOC for commercial sales. “


TopicIndia and its neighborhood- relations

3) Discuss the recent initiatives taken by India and Bangladesh to improve their mutual relationship. (200 Words)

Business Standard

Initiatives taken by India and Bangladesh to improve mutual relationship

  1. India Bangladesh land boundary agreement – Swapped the enclaves (India compromised some of the territories for greater good), ending one of the world’s most difficult border disputes that has kept thousands of people in stateless limbo for almost 70 years.
  2. Settlement of delimitation of maritime boundary through UNCLOS permanent counrt of Arbitration – Dispute settled amicably and strengthened relationship further since both countries respected the arbitration
  3. TheBangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) a sub regional coordinative regional architecture. Cooperation in the area of  water resources management, connectivity of power grids, multi-modal transport, freight and trade infrastructure gives further impetus to South Asian regional cooperation despite roadblocks from Pakistan.

This initiative strengthens the mutual trust and cooperation between countries.

  1. Recently, India began supplyingelectricity to Bangladesh in return for internet bandwidth will help connect its north eastern states – Win win situation for both with complementary relationship.

(India will supply 100 megawatt (MW) of electricity in return for 10 Gigabits per second Internet bandwidth.)

  1. Promotion of Kolkota – Agarthala link – Roadway from Kolkota to Agarthala through Dhaka (Cuts the travel time, Journey significantly) – It shows mutual cooperation between Bangladesh and India
  2. India’s offer to provide SAARC satellite for whole SAARC region, immensely benefits Bangladesh as well
  3. Extradition treaty India and Bangladesh – ULFA leader Anup Chetia was extradited to India ———- Shows Bangladesh concern for sovereignty and integrity of India —— Increased mutual cooperation.
  4. India Bangladesh Myanmar gas pipeline to be started soon ——– Will be achieved through cooperation of Bangladesh
  5. Border haats (trading posts) were setup —- Increased people to people contact and augmented mutual relationship


Topic:Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,

4) Under which conditions can India grant compulsory licences? Do these conditions violate WTO rules? Also critically examine complaints made against India’s generic drug industry. (200 Words)

Business Standard


Compulsory licensing is an action where a government allows someone else to produce the patented product or process without the consent of the patent owner. It is one of the flexibilities on patent protection included in the WTO’s agreement on intellectual property — the TRIPS agreement.

An application for grant of a compulsory license may be made under the following provisions in India according to Indian Patent act, 1970

It is governed by Section 84, Section 91,  Section 92. Section 92A of the Indian patent act, 1970

These sections provides for provision of compulsory license for a person, for the following reasons,

  1. If the patented product is not satisfying the public needs effectively
  2. patented invention is not available to the public at reasonably affordable price
  3. In situation of Public health emergencies
  4. Patented invention is not worked in the territory of India

Does this violates WTO rules?

No, because, They always existed in the TRIPS agreement and IP act, 1970 is TRIPS compliant. Compulsory licensing is a sovereign right of a country which can be granted to meet its national health emergencies

Complaints made against Indian generic drug Industry

  1. Liberal use of compulsory licensing to gain access to production of patented product

(Patented drugs for critical diseases are very costly, not affordable to even higher middle class population, in such a situation, it demands the invocation of Compulsory licensing,eg. Novartis case)

  1. Application of section 3 (d) of Indian patent act (which seeks to prevent evergreening of a drug) to deny Patent for new formulation of an existing drug

(Indian patent act only provides scope for genuine patents, it effectively blocks all the routes for evergreening of patent produce after their expiration. Hence, it is the best governance model to encourage innovation. But, in USA due to intense pharma lobby, evergreening is still possible)

  1. Non compliance with respect to safety provisions, rampant culture of data falsification within the Indian pharmaceutical industry.
  2. Manufacturing standards of generic drug makers are under suspicion (FDA prohibits Ranbaxy’s Toansa, India facility from producing and distributing drugs for the U.S. market)


TopicBilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

5) BRICS is not a trading bloc or an economic union per se. Nor is it a political coalition. In your opinion what it is and what it should be, especially vis a vis India’s geo-political interests? Discuss. (200 Words)

The Hindu 

Will be posted later

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

6) The increasing resistance to tuberculosis (TB) drugs among patients has become a major public health concern in India. Examine why it’s considered as major public health concern and the reasons why resistance to TB drugs is increasing. Also discuss measures taken by government to deal with this health concern. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


The Hindu

India is home to largest number of TB patient in the world. As per WHO more than five lakh patient die every year. And in 9 million cases around the world india has alarming 2.2 million cases.This shows the need for urgency in the treatment of TB.But the resistance to The drugs has been a worrying trend.
Reasons for its fast spread and it being a public health concern are:-
  • Especially in India it is even more dangerous because of the high population density.
  • Easy availability of antibiotics over the counter without prescription and usage of fixed dose combination.
  • require longer regimens for treatment and people not sticking to it
  • TB Bacilli is successfully adopting its resistance against new forms of its becoming very difficult to treat.
  • no international recognition of total drug resistance especially by WHO
  • lack of awareness among patients about how critical the problem is especially TB being an air borne disease so spreads very easily, .one patient can directly spread the disease to atleast 10 others if it is not checked at the initial stage itself.
  • ethical issues of testing new drugs on patients is only adding to the menace.
  • Infrastructure with respect to treatment centres is not very satisfactory and also in rural areas no proper treatment available at the earliest.
  • Improper diagnosis and lack of profiling of patients before medication.
Government efforts:-
  • National tuberculosis control program and revised NTCP with cartridge based nucliec acid amplication test ,adherence to DOTS and DOTS + for MDR TB treatment of WHO.
  • Making it part of Indradhanush can help detecting the cases at the earliest itself.
  • Ministry has introduced Bedaquiline into the national tuberculosis (TB) programme.Bedaquiline a drug for Multi-Drug Resistant TB, is being introduced at six identified tertiary care centres across India.
  • An online portal for TB patients called NIKSHAY.
  • Recent ban of fixed drug composition cough syrups by Government can help patient to be early diagnosed.
  • personalised treatment for people affected with MDR-TB and XDR-TB
  • Schemes like RSBY has help the poor with the treatment of TB.
  • states role: in karnataka the high-detection rate after it procured 26 gene Xpert machines to augment the diagnosis of TB at the district level.
Despite all these efforts still TB is on the rise. So with proper investment in Research, making people aware of the hazards of consuming antibiotics for every small problem can help in India’s fight against TB.

General Studies – 3

Topic: Disaster management

7) In 2014, nine institutions, including the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) announced the Resilient Cities Initiative, a worldwide collaboration to make cities safer. How can India build Resilient cities to withstand disasters and to better manage post-disaster crisis? In the light of objectives of Resilient Cities Initiative, discuss. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


The Resilient Cities Program is a multi-year initiative to help cities strengthen their ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions, and to withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions related to climate change, natural disasters, and other systemic shocks.
In the light of these objectives India can build resilient cities to withstand disasters and better manage post disaster crisis in the following ways:-
  •  Floods are the most frequent of all natural calamities and, with the likely growth in high rainfall events, storm surges, and sea-level rise, urban vulnerability will only increase. India can learn from the example of Seoul which has tackled frequent flooding by combining hydraulic modelling of stormwater drains allowing flood waters to be pumped out into the sea in times of heavy rain.
  • Waste management: Important to upgrade waste collection as carelessly handled garbage and construction debris are a major cause of clogged water outlets.
  • Enforcing building codes will be imperative and also making the builders to be accountable if any mishap happens. Especially in India where almost 60 per cent of the landmass is seismically vulnerable. a large percentage of structures fails to meet standards and many are too high for an earthquake-prone region. India can learn from global examples like Istanbul which has emerged as one of the most proactive cities in the world in safeguarding against seismic risks by retrofitting more than 700 public buildings and trained more than 4,50,000 people in disaster preparedness.other states need to learn the example of  Gujarat where all schools conduct exhaustive earthquake and fire drills that instil a deeprooted culture of safety and preparedness
  • Cyclones:National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project is developing a digital platform that will help determine vulnerabilities to weather-related events along India’s coastline. This will help define land-use along the 7,500-km coast three-fourths of which is cyclone-prone.
  • Involving local communities is also critically important. In Odisha, for example, local volunteers have been trained and equipped to provide first-aid and conduct search and rescue operations.same needs to be emulated in other regions as well.Using MGNREGA  to address infrastructure challenges like lack of shelter homes, bunkers, etc.
  • to improve communication , the govt can also install more towers in the disaster prone regions.
  •  Active cooperation with other countries  and use of satellites to have a proper forecast.
With over $2.2 billion in support, the World Bank is helping India better prepare for natural disasters and recover stronger from those that occur. Smart Cities Initiative offers a tremendous opportunity to help Indian cities prepare for the worsening challenges posed by climate change.

TopicEnvironmental pollution; Conservation

8) Recently the Environment Ministry issued new norms regarding managing e-waste in the country. Discuss the significance of these norms. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Business Standard

 Nearly 1.7 million tonnes of e-waste reportedly produced in India in 2014 and increasing annually at between four and five per cent, experts have warned of its dangers to the environment as well as health. The e-waste rules brought in by the government recently  is the much needed right step. 
  • Extended producer responsibility made more stringent:
    • Manufacturers of  electrical and electronic items will have to set up “collection centres” to take back the e-waste generated through their products.This led to doing away with the process of Getting letters from pollution boards to start collection centres which was the excuse earlier made by the manufacturers.
    • Manufacturers will also have to ensure that the e-waste, including hazardous electronic parts, thus collected is properly recycled
    •  the portion to be recycled would be gradually raised upto 70% of projected sales in coming years.
  • The new rules have plugged a number of loopholes by addressing the specific responsibilities of various stakeholders. But, implementation will be key.
  • States have also been brought into the picture with the rules authorising industry departments to ensure space is allocated for recycling plants.So cooperative federalism is further strengthened.
  • state will have to set up e-waste dismantling and recycling units in industrial park as well as register the workers involved with the e-waste business and finally, take up industrial skill development activities and ensure health and safety of workers
  • higher fines  charged for not following guidelines
  • Inclusion of CFL and other mercury containing lamps as electronic waste is also a significant step.
New e-waste management norms promise both economic and environmental advantages. However care need to be taken with the proper implementation by innovative methods like e-waste exchange , deposit refund scheme.

General Studies – 4

Topic: Utilization of public funds

9) What do you understand by Outcome based performance budgeting? How important it is in better utilization of public funds? Examine. (200 Words)




Outcomes are expected results not only in terms of monetary units or physical infrastructure but also in terms of qualitative targets and achievements. Outcome budgeting is expected to lead to efficient service delivery, transparency, and accountability.
It has three elements:
Result (final outcome) , Strategy (different ways to achieve final outcome) and Output (what is actually done to achieve the final outcome)
Importance in utilization of funds: 
  • Education sector:
    • Financial allocations under primary education are outlays, construction of an x number of primary school buildings could be the desired output, the outcomes could be to educate an x number of children up to the primary level or  augmentation of existing school and associated infrastructure etc..This will help in inclusiveness and quality of service delivery.
  • Handling corruption:-chances of leakages,fraud and embezzlement of funds get reduced as there is proper outcome already decided.This ensures good governance on the part of the public servants.Outcome budgeting is based on teleological approach and ensures accountability of public servants.
  • Time bound results: periodic inspections and review reduce the time lag and utilization of public funds productivity is increased.
  • Online grievance redressal mechanism becomes easy as outcome budgeting focusses on technology and fast delivery.
  • Participation of stakeholders: All the stakeholders in the society in decision making are included ,this will not only lead to pooling of funds with investor confidence but also reiterates the tenets of democracy.
However there are some implicit challenges present within the system for the efficient implementation of outcome budgeting:-
  • local bodies and states have not adopted planning and service delivery processes which are oriented around outcomes.
  • Programme managers do not spell out deliverables that can be effectively measured. The deliverables identified are quite vague
  • lack of programme formulation, programme implementation and programme monitoring capabilities in the ministries of the government.
With outcome performance based budgeting the long cherished dreams of citizens of India who have expressed a clear mandate for efficient governance and clear accountability, together with expectation of high quality citizen services delivery mechanism. In this regard, proper utilization of public funds is necessary.