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SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 26, 2016

SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A March 26, 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:- Salient features of Indian society

1) Health and social activists have pointed out that the social ostracism and stigma is even more virulent than the virus when it comes to prejudice and the stigma for people living with HIV (PLHIV). Why does this happen? How can it be addressed? Examine. (200 Words)


Why social ostracism and stigma and prejudice for people living with HIV?

  1. Lack of awareness – NFHS -4 data shows that around 82% women and 70% men in the 13 states surveyed (including the high burden ones) do not have much knowledge of AIDS/HIV and safe sex practices. Ignorance is the mother of all evils.
  2. Taboo subject – AIDS and the HIV-positive condition are associated with sex—another of India’s taboo subject, which complicated the situation in ensuring awareness generation and removing suspicious and myth in the minds of the people.
  3. Deadly perception – The disease is always associated with death. People exert extra fear while dealing with HIV patients, which is reinforced by ignorance and lack of awareness by the public
  4. Absence of medication to cure effectively – Deterrent for people to interact with HIV patients fearing the contact of disease
  5. Promotion of attitudinal change in Health workers – like ASHA, ANM, Nurses and Doctors – Need to be sensitized about not only medical issue, but also social and emotional part of the disease
  6. Identification and provision of medical facilities to high risk groups like – Transgenders, Sex workers, drug addicts etc.
  7. Established counseling centers with competent personnel – to infuse confidence in HIV patients to face the society and its prejudices as a short term measure


How it can be addressed?

  1. Widespread awareness generation across all platform – TV, Radio, Print media, Internet, Social media and through street plays, drama, door to door awareness campaign etc.
  2. Sex education at School level – Awareness generation, rational thinking and promotion of informed decision making in social issues
  3. Mass campaign to participate in regular medical check ups, easily accessible treatment facilities
  4. Strict legislation, regulation and monitoring authority to prevent denial services, jobs and education to the patients of HIV/AIDS —— To protect their fundamental right
  5. Involvement of civil society organizations and NGO in creating awareness, removing prejudices in the society. Dedicated fund and provision of CSR to support this initiative


Topic: Social empowerment; Poverty and developmental issues

2) A large number of the poor, the Dalits and people from the minority communities are languishing in jail as undertrials because of a property-based bail system and a poor legal aid mechanism. How can speedy dispensation of justice be ensured to these undertrials? Comment. (200 Words)


In India, 67% jailed persons are undertrials, due to property based bail system and dysfunctional free legal aid with least accountability superimposed by ignorance and lack of awareness about the means to get bail, a significant number of poor, Dalits and minorities are languishing in jail as undertrials.

            Speedy dispensation of justice can be ensured through the following measures,

  1. Fast track courts need to be strengthened
  2. Free legal aid to the poor (Under Article 39A and NALSA) also need to be strengthened and properly funded. Lawyers must be sufficiently paid according to their service to prevent complacency towards poor legal requirements
  3. Awareness campaigns must be conducted to create awareness about the rights of the undertrials, free legal aid etc. through radio, street plays, dramas, print media and counselling sessions
  4. Conducting Lok adalats for speedy trials of compoundable criminal cases —- Reduces the burden
  5. A dedicated national funds to provide bail services on good terms for needy extremely poor prisoners to provide equity in justice (Equity with rich people)
  6. India has 12 judges/million population, whereas USA has > 50/million. For speedy judicial system, we need to raise the proportion of judges per million population, which also reduces the burden on existing judges
  7. Release of undertrials under Section 436A of Crpc – Section 436-A says that undertrial prisoners, who suffered detention “during the period of investigation, inquiry or trial” for one-half of their maximum imprisonment, should be released by the court on personal bond with or without sureties. (Here, fund must be established to support the poor undertrials to get released on bail)
  8. The state should engage competent legal aid lawyers,
  9. State has the primary duty of controlling crime – Which results in reduced undertrials


Topic: Urbanization – problems and remedies

3) In less than two decades, new viruses that were thought to have been controlled have re-emerged worldwide. Socially disadvantaged individuals and urban health inequities may help spread such diseases. Discuss how urbanization has contributed to outbreak of these diseases. (200 Words)


Urbanization and its contribution to the outbreak of these diseases

  1. Unsustainable and Unscientific waste management – Indian cities produce 0.14 million tonnes of garbage every day, out of which 83% are collected and out of 83%, only 29% is processed, remaining wastes are dumped in the dumping yards unscientifically.

Least importance is given to segregate the wastes like Dry, Wet, Biomedical, E waste etc. Wet wastes with rotting and moisture content provides perfect ecosystem for spread of vector borne diseases like Dengue, Malaria, JE etc.

  1. Improper drainage system – during rains floods the streets, underpasses and low lying areas (due to encroachment of lakes and wetlands for real estate) —– This provides perfect place for breeding of vectors for vector borne diseases
  2. Proliferation of Slums on the urban fringes – Slums with poor drainage facilities, improper sanitation and congested locations spreads the infectious diseases like H1N1 and H5N1 like forest fire, this together in association with congested public utilities like Bus services, local trains and public centers provide scope for rapid spread of the disease
  3. Urban centres are junctions of Globalization – These serves as connection points between different centers of the world —- Witness large floating population from diverse countries — Infectious diseases like EBOLA, MERS etc. has greater chance to spread from one city to another across the world —– Due to increased connectivity and footfall.
  4. Urban heat islands – creates optimum temperature for the proliferation of vectors which spread various infectious viral diseases
  5. Unscientific dumping of waste (unsegregated) waste in open landfills – Contaminates the groundwater through seepage and also pollutes the surface water bodies —– Poor, who consumes these polluted water, are more prone to infections and are more prone to lose immunity to diseases, which sets in motion a vicious cycle
  6. Lack of awareness among the poor (about common diseases like Diarrhea, flu) and lack of access to basic medical facilities superimposed by malnutrition and reduced immunity creates a pool of infected sources in urban areas, which are acting as vehicles to spread the disease throughout the city due to its interconnected and compact nature.
  7. Improper disposal of infected medical wastes and lack of safety gears for waste collectors and rag pickers – subject them to secondary infections, which is then spread to larger population due to increased connectivity and population density in urban areas

General Studies – 2

Topic:Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

4) Why was the International Criminal Court (ICC) established? What are its objectives? Recently it held the former vice president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) guilty of using rape as a weapon of war and is the first time the ICC has convicted someone for sexual crimes. Comment on the significance of this conviction. (200 Words)


Why International Criminal Court (ICC) established?

The International Criminal Court (ICC )is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal established to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

It was intended to complement existing national judicial systems and exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the UNSC or individual states refer investigations to the Court.

Objectives of ICC

To replace a culture of impunity for the commission of very serious crimes, which has existed and still exists to a large extent, with a culture of accountability.

  1. To ensure the perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes,
  2. to serve as a court of last resort that can investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes
  3. assist national judiciary in the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators with the aim to allow States to be the first to investigate and prosecute and
  4. Help promote peace and security be deterring potential perpetrators.

Significance of Conviction related to sexual crimes

  1. It is a landmark judgement which set the precedent – All the war crimes involving violation of woman’s bodily integrity will prosecuted
  2. It fixes the accountability and responsibility on the military commanders to conduct War according to principles of war with least collateral damage especially to women
  3. Starting point to recognize the unreported crimes against humanity in war and conflict situations
  4. It act as a deterrent not use Rape as a weapon of war


TopicIndia and its neighbourhood relations

5) In recent months, there is an increased emphasis on connectivity in South Asia in Indian foreign policy. Why is there an emphasis? It is said that there so much potential for connectivity in South Asia, yet it’s not been realized. Discuss why. (200 Words)


Reasons for emphasis on Connectivity in south asia:
  • China is making massive strides in south asia integration with string of pearls,one belt one road plan,kunming initiative,trans himalayan railways etc… despite showing interest in Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar corridor  India has to emphasise on connectivity to counter china’s strategy.
  • Chabahar port construction costs and security concerns in Afghanistan can be overcome when there is connectivity via kashmir.So india is pushing for regional connectivity.
  • Tourism potential is immense especially the buddhism piligrim sites,temples,islamic shrines etc.
  • Resources in other countries can be tapped by increase in connectivity.The government apparently aims to rejuvenate various infrastructure projects in south east asia like the hydropower plants in nepal .
  • To give an impetus to SAARC initiatives like SAFTA.
  • India’s north east can be developed on learning from the development of Xinjiang in chinese border.Also kaladan mutli modal transport can revive the trade in north east.
Potential in the region:
  • South Asia has atleast three attributes which make it well suited for integration by connectivity and trade:-the highest population densities in the world,linguistic and ethnic overlap across the borders,and the presence of a large number of cities close to the borders.
  • With good connectivity piracy and security problems in Indian ocean also can be taken care of and combined patrolling activities can be done.
  • “Hub and spokes approach”-A well connected south asia ensures India being the hub and the neighbours being the spokes  so regional prosperity is possible.
  • huge infrastructure is required for connectivity which can give a huge boost to india’s  manufacturing sector and generate employment and export.
  • Regions like North East would benefit most from proper connectivity.
Reasons for not utilizing the potential:
  • Structural asymmetry of south asia :
    • India’s size, power and it sharing borders almost all the south Asian neighbours which is not the case with those countries.So they look at India with wariness and resentment and accuse India as a big brother
  • The geographical difficulties especially across the borders being inhabitable and difficult to be connected needs mammoth infrastructure investment.
  • Security concerns between the nations with terrorist activities originating from the neighbour countries enhances the trust deficit.
  • Political disputes be it kashmir and bitter partition with pakistan,tamil eelam problem with Srilanka,constitutional crisis in Nepal etc.., reduce the attraction of economic ties in the subcontinent.
  • THe people in the region are so diverse with different languages,ethnicities,religions.India as a democracy assimilates all religions equally but the other countries want to maintain their identities.
  • The neighbours do not want to dragged into competition game of connectivity and infrastructure developemnt between china and India.They look towards china now to avoid india’s hegemony in the region.
  • SAARC is also not very effective in promoting a holistic plan regarding the connectivity and the betterment of relations within the subcontinent.
Therefore India understood that its shift from look east to ” act east ” has to be taken seriously and connectivity is the main agenda which can keep the policy alive.

Topic:Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability; Performance of welfare schemes

6) Comment on the objectives and performance of the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana is designed to provide continuous power supply to rural India. The scheme will replace the existing Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).Out of 597,464 census villages, 586,024 villages (98%) have been electrified under the scheme.
  1. To provide electrification to all villages
  2. Feeder separation to ensure sufficient power to farmers and regular supply to other consumers
  3. Improvement of Sub-transmission and distribution network to improve the quality and reliability of the supply
  4. Metering to reduce the losses
  • To make the process transparent, real-time data on villages being electrified has been made available to the public through a mobile app and a Web dashboard called GRAMEEN VIDYUTHEEKARAN.Alongside, 309 Gram Vidyut Abhiyantas (GVAs) were deployed by the government to monitor the electrification process and enter the data on the GARV application
  • The criteria to declare a village as electrifies is not proper. Note that a village is considered electrified if public places in the village and 10 per cent of its households have access to electricity.
  • misclassified as electrified villages in government books as number of villages said to be electrified in the last year is exaggerated.
  • One major source of discrepancy is regarding those villages where the GVA has noted that the village is un-electrified, yet it is counted as electrified on the app.
  • uninhabited villages have been marked as electrified.
The scheme ensures Betterment in social security due to availability of electricity by which Rural areas shall get increased opportunities for comprehensive development so a transparent and regular evaluation of progress is indeed necessary.

General Studies – 3

Topic:Effects of liberalization on the economy;

7) India established several independent regulators in sectors like electricity, telecommunications and insurance after economic liberalisation. In the light of complaints against certain regulators in recent days, discuss how these regulators can be effectively scrutinised and oversight by legislative bodies strengthened. (200 Words)


India’s economic liberalisation in 1991 led to establishment of independent regulators to guarantee a level playing field for public and private agencies and to ensure their independence from government departments.
However regulators suffer from democratic deficit as they are not directly accountable to people or the representatives.In the light of controversies like RBI and IRDA disputing over their control over ULIPS,RBI and CCI tussle over merging of funds,the recent dispute of TRAI and facebook over freebasics there is a need for effective scrutiny and oversight by legislative bodies over the regulators.
Measures that can be taken are:-
Parliamentary oversight:
  • During question hour and parliamnetary debates The related minister answers the questions related to regulators despite having no role in them.In the 16th lok sabha out of 3889 discussions only two are related to independent regulators.This mechanism need to be looked into.
  • Requiring the approval of parliament for budgets may be a way to exercise control on regulators.
Standing committees:
  • Departmental standing committees may review the working of regulators within their respective departments.but there are no reports on the functioning of regulators tabled in 15th or 16th lok sabha.Also regulators need not submit their reports periodically to these committees.So regulators should be present before the standing committees to explain their actions and be subjected to legislative questions as recommended by second administrative reforms commission.
  • Sector specific committees need to scrutinise the regulators.
  • To address the issue of overlapping of powers like the dispute over the issue of abuse of large state electricity corporations to dominate market between  CCI and Central Electricity Regulation Commission (CERC)  a dedicated joint parliamentary committee to oversee regulatory bodies need to be established.
Transparency in appointment:
  • The appointment of the members in the regulators is at the discretion of the executive in india .It can be made transparent by making appointments subject to ratification by parliament like in USA,UK.
  • A unified financial agency as recommended by the FSLRC needs to be established as overseeing the regulators becomes easy and any disputes arising can be settled with the financial securities apellate tribunal.
  • Reports should be made accessible to public to make them accountable.
  • There is a need for the mechanism of appealing against regulatory orders.
  • A comprehensive code of conduct need to be made for the regulators.
The effective standards set by the regulators in the recent days like food safety and standards authority of India in handling the maggi controversy,efficient functioning of RBI,SEBI,IRDA can be further enhanced by implementing the measures.

General Studies – 4

Topic: Citizen charters

8) Citizen charters, which are also known as Service charters play an important role in improving public service delivery. Examine the benefits and limitations of the charters. (200 Words)

OECD (Page 15 – 24)

Service or citizen charters are addressed at external stakeholders and give staff a clear picture of what kind of service standards customers expect.The objective is to build bridges between citizens and administration and to  streamline administration in tune with the needs of citizens.
  •  can avail services in a time bound manner and is part of democratic reforms .
  • Citizens will not have to depend on the mercy of the bureaucracy and do not have to face long delays due to red tape. For a passport, a birth or death certificate, a driving licence or a ration card, Aam  Aadmi need not have to sweat it out. There will not be any need to grease palms  of corrupt officials to get things done.
  • It aimed to improve public services  by making administration accountable and  citizen friendly,ensuring transparency and the right to information., for example in ministry websites the information regarding government programmes  is given in detail and people can become more aware of what services their governments are providing and can demand as well.
  • Grievances redressal mechanism :in case service is not delivered citizen can seek compensation for undue delay in delivery of service.For ex: In  Europe people are compensated if the train gets delayed.
  • Standards are poorly defined, it becomes tough to assess whether the desired level  of service has been achieved or not.
  • Most charters are verbose.For a common man it becomes difficult to comprehend the charter.Also vernacular language charters are not present.
  • If the service is not delivered then very hard for citizen to get compensation as even now citizen is burdened to make trips to the government offices so many times to get things done.
  • In India Government jobs are known to be the relaxing jobs but with charters the employees have to work hard to provide quality service delivery to citizens.The behaviour and attitude of the employees in the services is not of compassion and strict adherence to duty but of superiority and treating common man like nothing.
  • the needs of senior citizens and the  disabled are not considered when drafting
  • A comprehensive study on Citizen charter  in India that assessed 760 charters from  across the country, showed that even after years of its implementation, the Citizen charter programme has not lived up to its promise yet.
  • Poor complaint redressal systems  and Staff not trained properly
Therefore by imbibing the work culture and ethics within the public servants of the importance of service delivery citizens,by effective implementation strategy,with adequate awareness campaigns the actually goal of citizen charter can be achieved.