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SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A April 08, 2016

SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A April 08, 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;


TopicDistribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent);

1) Indian mineral federation says that only about 13% of India’s 575,000 square kilometers of land with geological potential has been explored in detail. Why so less potential area has been explored? Examine. (200 Words)


Economic /Financial constraints:

  • Uncertainties about getting next concession
  • absence of incentives in Tax regime-tax burden acts as a discouraging factor when compared to the risk factor involved.
  • Inaccesibility of funds,underdeveloped risk capital market
  • No ease of doing business
  • Majority of exploration by public companies for instance Monopoly of coal mining by coal india and lack of commercial mining and lack of participation leading to discrepancies.

Legal and political Constraints:

  • Increasedf judicial scrutiny –SC banned ironore mining in Karnataka following the corruption scandals in allotment of mining blocks.
  • With decentralisation of power by 73rd amendment act and forest rights act 2006 gram sabhas in orissa have rejected mining and even tribals because of which investors do not show interest.
  • Chaotic regulatory an policy landscape led to drought of investment for instance the dispute between environment ministry and coal ministry in the past over go and no go areas.
  • Outdated mining laws despite having national mineral exploration policy and mines and minerals bill also

Geographical constraints:

  • The mineral rich regions are still largely unaccessible because of the geography they pertain with mountain ranges like western ghats,dense forests like in North East which makes the process of exploration difficult.
  • There is no proper assessment of India’s natural resources especially North east .

Structural constraints:

  • Inadequate infrastructure –poor connectivity ,lack of power especially to the remote areas where minerals are abundant in India like chattisgarh,Jharkkhand.
  • No proper railway network and port facilities along with threat from naxals,insurgents and other non state elements leading to delay in approvals.
  • Land acquisition is a huge problem for acquiring new mines.

Environmental constraints:

  • Environmental degradation made by illegal mining
  • The mineral rich regions are ecologically extremely rich regions any disturbance to their ecology can have huge ramifications on other sectors too
  • No oversight body

Technological constraints:

  • Airborne surveys have been carried out over just 18% of country’s surface area compared to 90% in Australia.


The last decade has seen mining contribution to India’s GDP fall from 1.2% to 1% according to mckinsey.

What needs to be done?

  • increase governmental support to exploration agencies
  • Promote contreact mining by specialists
  • Indentify special mining regions
  • Improve logistics and supply chain network
  • Minerals taxation reforms

General Studies – 2

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

2) Despite China’s repeated assurances of standing firm on the issue of terrorism at the bilateral level as well as at multilateral fora such as BRICS and RIC, it has let India down time and again in the past two years. Why does China do this to India? In your opinion, how should India deal more effectively with Pakistan based terrorists in the light of China’s non-cooperation? Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Since 2014 China has blocked India times in UNSC by its veto.Recently China blocked India’s attempt to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar. The reasons why china is doing this might be because of the following reasons:

  • The China-Pakistan cooperation is reaching new levels with Pakistan china economic corridor ,military supplies makes it more difficult for china to hold pakistan accountable on issues like terror.
  • Gap in raletions between India-china in the recent years with border issues,south china sea disputes,increasing closeness of India,US and Japan might have affected the decision
  • Also stems from the insistence of the United Nations Security Committee on Terrorism on “unanimity” and “anonymity” for all decisions on listing terror entities, which allows China to overrule India’s efforts with a “technical hold”.

How to deal with pakistan terrorists more effectively?

  • It is time India ‘internationalised’ the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism since this endangers regional and world peace.
  • India must send a special envoy to all the major countries like it did during bangladesh war in 1971 to explain how India has been a victim of cross-border terror.
  • India can get some help from pakistan’s allies like saudi arabia recently which made clear it it against terrorism and it does nt belong to any race,religion etc..
  • UNSC needs to clearly define terrorism
  • Indias border management and intelligence had to be improved especially the sir creek issue which is still vague and a major weakpoint in border security.
  • Continued cooperation with Biejing and deft diplomacy is required on the issue of terror as Xinjiang province is affected by terrorist activities.
  • Increasing cooperation with pakistan and reciprocity of information regarding terrorism related activities in both countries is needed.

Topic Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

3) The financial markets in the advanced economies are increasingly getting affected by what is happening in emerging market economies (EMEs). How and why advanced economies are getting affected? Examine. (200 Words)


Financial integration:

  • Increasing globalisation led to financial institutions and countries a very closely knit network.Any impact in emerging markets would also affect developed countries too.
  • More than 190 countries are part of world trade organisation and most of the countries have free trade agreements so developed countries are vulnerable.
  • Some of the emerging markets like India ,China are some of largest economies of the world which themselves provide huge markets for developed countries either investing in stocks or foreign direct investment. Increase in global capital flows due to mutual fund investments.
  • Emerging markets share in global GDP is continuously rising .
  • Changes in the emerging market asset prices explain over the third of the rise and fall in global equity prices and exchange rates.
  • the larger the financial institutions the larger the spillover effect , Amplification of shocks and transmission of excess financial volatility in developed countries.
  • Fluctuation in oil prices and energy resources like steel production in china was reduced had a multiflier effect in the world.
  • Emerging markets are a huge manufacturing market to the developed countries as the processing is cheap in those countries like Apple ‘s products are manufactured in China.
  • Excessive outsourcing led to Service sector dependence on emerging markets especial south asia including India.
  • Also any currency devaluation done in china affects Us ,Europe as well leading to currency wars.
  • When inflation in high in emerging markets investment hurts and investment are also pulled back like in FII’s.
  • Also the weak recovery from the economic crisis of 2008 and euro crisis making the economy vulnerable of developed countries increased their dependence on emerging markets.

TopicIssues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources

4) Droves of IIT graduates have left for good research and employment prospects abroad, raising the question whether India derived adequate social returns for the beneficial and relatively low-cost education that these institutions offered them. Do you think funding system has a role to play in retaining talent? Also comment on recent raise in annual undergraduate student fees at the Indian Institutes of Technology  by HRD ministry. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Funding system of higher education in India plays a important role

  • by letting the socially and economically disadvantaged sections have access to premier institutes.
  • equal chance of every student augmenting their future earnings.
  • Also egalitarianism can be promoted with students not discriminating amongst themselves
  • Without government funding,students have to pay for most of the costs involved, often by taking loans.

However funding needs to be supported with various other factors to retain talent from not going abroad for further studies or employment:the reasons why such trend is there in India is because:

  • India has poor infrastructure with respect to research and development with not much political commitment to increase public R&D.neglect of research in higher education has led to very low research intensity; 90 per cent of our universities end up as teaching institutes where research is given a low priority for lack of funds. Science and technology policy 2013 is silent on strengthening research in higher education.
  • Startup trend is still not very encouraged with funds from venture capital and angel investors still not sufficient.
  • Quality of higher education is not very good and because of shortage of teachers at research level students from IIT prefer going abroad to learn.
  • Higher salaries ,quality of life are other factors which play a role.
  • Comprehensive personality development with much focus on attitude,application based knowledge is what western countries follow contradictory to indian theoritical based education.
  • IIT’s have veryfew International faculty and students..

Recent raise in annual undergraduate student fees at the Indian Institutes of Technology  by HRD ministry:

  • annual fee for undergraduate courses in Indian Institute of Technology colleges (IITs) will be hiked from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh from upcoming academic session as Anil Kakodkar committee had suggested
  • students belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and differently-abled categories will get a full tuition-fee waiver at all IITs. The general category students will get 0% interest free loan if they require.

Positive implications:

  • Despite fee to be paid is 2 lakhs the IITs are still burdened with extra 1.5 lakh they spend per student
  • Rationalisation of fees was long overdue and students wont be burdened with such a move as there are mechanisms available to handle that based on devang khakhar committee.
  • Now IIT can use the funds for research and development or improvements in the quality of education.

Negative implications:

1.Weaken the future of IITs, kill new IITs and be a death knell for public and affordable education:

  • IIts are challenged by the private rivals like BITS pilani and other universities but the brand advantage worked in their favour but with the hike of fees especially the newer IITs are at a disadvantage of attracting talent.
  • Tomorrow it will be other public (and private) institutes as IITs often set the benchmark for fees. So an average Indian, already under severe stress because of reduced income growth as a result of rural distress and lower-than-promised growth, will bear the double whammy of increased expenditure and less income.
  1. Thwart free think and create graduates enslaved to their loans
  • But now with such a large fee, IIT students will become enslaved to loans. They will no longer be as free to pursue their studies and passions as their minds will be filled with the worries of repaying fat loans. This will create a society poorer in terms of ingenuity, innovation and free thinking .

3.Body blow to Start-up India

  • But raising IIT fees will disincentivise the start-up culture. Because students burdened with loans to repay will have a hard time taking the path of entrepreneurship, which involves high risk and low profitability in the initial phase.
  1. Widen campus divide
  • The move will create a more divided campus and, in effect, a more divided society. As the difference between the fees of those enjoying exemptions and those paying full fees rise, the resentment among those paying full fees will also rise, so there will be less harmony in the campuses and hence, in the society.

General Studies – 3

Topic: Awareness in IT; Issues relating to intellectual property rights.

5) It is said that open source softwares are the future and patent is a drag on innovation. Examine why and also examine how India’s patent rules are affecting innovation in India. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Why is open source the future?

  • Because much of the Internet itself is built on many open source technologies—like the Linux operating system and the Apache Web server application—anyone using the Internet benefits from open source software.
  • it helps students become better programmers. Because open source code is publicly accessible, students can learn to make better software by studying what others have written. They can also share their work with others, inviting comment and critique.
  • anyone can view and modify open source software, someone might spot and correct errors or omissions that a program’s original authors might have missed.
  • because so many programmers can work on a piece of open source software without asking for permission from original authors, open source software is generally fixed, updated, and upgraded quickly.
  • The main advantage for business is that open source is a good way for business to achieve greater penetration of the market. Companies that offer open source software are able to establish an industry standard and, thus, gain competitive advantage..It has also helped to build developer loyalty as developers feel empowered and have a sense of ownership of the end product.
  • lower costs of marketing and logistical services are needed for OSS.
  • OSS also helps companies keep abreast of technology developments. It is a good tool to promote a company’s image, including its commercial products.The OSS development approach has helped produce reliable, high quality software quickly and inexpensively
  • Those who engage in open source benefit from lower friction in their ongoing operations — reducing the burden of regressions, improving the flow of innovation and sharing the task of security review. It’s the ultimate IT lubricant in the Internet age.
  • Businesses have moved beyond seeing open source as a way to avoid license fees and are seeing its real value: putting architectural control back in their own hands, gaining new choices for consulting, service, and support, then regaining negotiating power with their vendors. Today’s business masters of open source indeed see reduced costs.

Why patents are drag on innovation?

  • The companies which are at the forefront of innovation do not worry about patent .technologies of mobile phones ,setup boxes,online shopping ,Apple ,Facebook are all based on open source and do not rely on patent protection.
  • Monopolies which stifle innovation are the ones that go behind patents.
  • Evergreening curbs innovation as the same product without any modifications or development is given protection.
  • CRI guidelines are merely a recognition of what the world has concluded that patents make no sense in
  • In the history of software industry innovation flourished long before software patents.key technologies of web,flexibilityand sophistication of web depends on freely available scripting languages like PHP invented by developers who did not seek patents.
  • Underlying platforms of big data,e-commerce,world of cloud computing are all patent safe or open source software tools.
  • Acoording to a Harvard study patent litigation leads to reduction in Research and development spending Given that programmers typically lack the resources to defend against trolls, this basically means a stunting of technical progress and innovation.
  • Rising number of low quality patents and opportunistic use of these patent by trolls makes innovation less rather than more profitable.
  • Lack of clear boundaries in softwares means that even law abiding software developers who intend not to violateanothers patent have no clear means of avoiding it.

How India’s patent rules are affecting innovation in India?

  • Innovation is happening in India primarily because of lack of distraction from patents
  • Section 3(k) of the patent act describes that there is no patent on invention of any mathematical or business method or a computer program me or algorithms. The Indian Patent Law does not contains any specific provision regarding the protection of computer software. Computer related invention guidelines in India state that only software attached to a novel hardware can be patented.It will actually promote innovation especially in the light of digital India,startup india and India’s stand on net neutrality.
  • protections for those inventions where the novelty being protected did not reside exclusively in the software portion of the invention.
  • Research has demonstrated that not only do software patents restrict technological progress and encourage monopolisation, they massively enhance costs through the creation of patent thickets and through the diversion of funds from productive R&D towards litigation and discovery/licenses.
  • as per World Intellectual Property Organisation statistics, only about 22 per cent of all patents granted by the Indian Patent Office were to Indian residents. As the percentage of patents held by Indians is so low, it is questionable whether it makes economic and strategic sense to permit enhancement of patent protections
  • In novartis case The Supreme Court said that it was not ruling that all incremental innovations were non-patentable and that every case would be examined. Indian law says that new forms of known substances which do not have enhanced efficacy are in effect advances without real innovation. Therefore, Section 3(d) is actually a catalyst for genuine inventions.

TopicLatest developments in S&T

6) Recent research has shown that the gut microbiome has been linked to nutrition and immunity. Disturbances in this friendly force have been related to an increased susceptibility for several health disorders. Discuss this finding and examine its implications for countries like India. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Microbiomes residing in human body have multiple utility especially the gut microbiome is linked to immunity and nutrition.

From the recent discovery about gut microbiome the following findings were made:

1.This microbiome was immature and less diverse in malnutritioned children and mature and diverse in healthy children.

2.Growth of Brain,Liver,Muscle and bones are affected by the changes in the microbiome.

3.Mature gut microbiome activates growth hormones.

4.some studies also link them with obesity development

5.protective bacteria through the passage of natural birth matter is gifted to the newborn via normal delivery.

6.symbiotic relationship is maintained between the human body and microbiome as they shape the immune system of humans and inturn thrive upon the modified sugar not used by babies from the mother’s milk.

7.Disturbances in the gut microbiome are related to increased susceptibility of health disorders.

8.Mother’s milk provides stimulus to growth and maturity of infant’s microbiome.

9.malnutirtioned mothers have low levels of sugar in the milk so microbiomes fail to mature leading to malnutritioned kids.

Implications for India:

1.India has the highest number of malnourished children so it shows that microbiomes have not matured leading to a generation of less immunity and multiple health effects.Mid day meals ,Sabla and other government schemes need to ensure nutrition is not neglected

2.Because of the patriarchal setup right from the birth girl child faces neglect and maternal mortality rate is high in india .So gender equality and importance of health of women especially pregnant women should not be neglected and programmes like janani suraksha yojana,matritva sahyog yojana need to be implemented.

3.Because of lifestyle changes people prefer fast food more which is causing obesity .This is agin related to the microbiome

4.Normal delivery is not preferred these days due to the pain the mother has to endure .Most of the hospitals do cesarean sections .this is not a healthy habit as protective bacteria is deprived to the child leading to less immunity.

General Studies – 4

Topic: Laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance

7) It is said that the Panama Papers indicate that a large section of the rich contribute not only to inequality of income and wealth but also to the inequality of ethicality. Examine why. In your opinion, who is most unethical – the rich who accumulate wealth without following law of the land, or the rich who follow rules but show indifference towards less privileged section of society? Justify. (200 Words)


TopicAttitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour;

8) Critically discuss the ethicality of coercion and tit-for-tat behaviour. (200 Words)

The Hindu