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SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A August 09, 2016

SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A August 09, 2016


As we are not giving feedback on your answers, we thought of providing detailed synopsis of important Secure questions on daily basis so that you could revise them and compare with your answers. 

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. 

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General Studies – 1;

Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

1) Critically analyse the nature of cow protection movement in pre and post independent India. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Nature of cow protection movement:

Pre independence:-


  • Historians argue that the symbol of the cow was used as a means of mobilizing Hindus.
    • In the 1870s, cow protection movements spread rapidly in the Punjab, the North-West provinces, Awadhand RohilkhandArya Samaj had a tremendous role in skillfully converting this sentiment into a national movement.
  • During Swami Dayananda’s time, cow protection was not regarded nor ever advanced as an anti-Muslim or anti-Islamic phenomenon. Indeed, Swami Dayananda constructed a rational and respectable movement around a sincerely-held Hindu ethical precept. 


  • Slowly cow protection has been embedded in communal imaginaries, positioning of non-Hindus as the other, and communal rioting between Hindus and Muslims
  • But the project, fashioned by cultural entrepreneurs and innovators in late 19th century north India, succeeded in achieving by identifying and metaphorically crucifying Muslims as beef-eaters, and as killers of cattle particularly during the festival of Bakr-i-Id.
  • It unified a deeply divided and hierarchically ordered Hindu community under the banner of cow protection. Whether the so-called lower castes, who not only consume beef but are also fated to skin dead cows, bought into this upper-caste agenda is still a matter of debate among historians
  • A number of cow protection associations were set up throughout India.The outcome of these led to muslim community reacting strongly and communal riots in different parts in India .

Post independence:-

Negatives :

  • Because cow protection had become a politically significant issue, it was taken up in the Constituent Assembly. A provision for the protection of cattle was incorporated in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
  • In the 1960s, a major movement for banning of cow slaughter was conceptualised and authored
  • implementing one of the Directive Principles of State Policy on offer, Article 48, which enjoins the state to preserve and protect cattle. The project of saving the cow so ardently pursued by Hindutva cadres provides enough immunity to those who violate constitutional rights to life and dignity.
  • Leaders are openly issue fatwas condemning entire families, which just might have consumed beef, to punishment.
  • Gau Rakshaks( Cow vigilantes) sit in judgment on infringements of the project, lynch women, Muslims and Dalits, and string up ‘errant’ men on tree branches.
    • Recently cow vigilantes’ who freely torture, whip and kill Muslim cattle traders, and Dalits whose hereditary occupation is the skinning of dead cattle.
  • And police forces that should be bringing vigilantism to book provide a shield for criminals.
  • Cow protection has become big business for many, and poses a serious threat to the lives and liberties of others.It destroys bonds of citizenship through cynical deployment of divisive agendas signifying who belongs and who does not.


  • The Supreme Court has ruled that a ban on the slaughter of bullocks and bulls, despite being old age and no longer economically useful, amounted to imposing unreasonable restrictions on the butchers and was, therefore, ultra vires of the Constitution.

General Studies – 2

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

2) Critically analyse India’s policy vis a vis SAARC and Pakistan. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

India’s policy with SAARC :-

Positives :-

  • India is trying to actively engage with its neighbours to make SAARC a success.
  • In the recent ties many initiatives have been put forward like
    • By deciding to sign the multilateral motor vehicle agreement with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal,India has given a big boost to regional economic cooperation in the eastern part of the subcontinent.
    • India’s regional satellite which was proposed will no longer be “SAARC satellite” because of Pakistan’s veto. But there nevertheless will be a “South Asian satellite” as India is keen on expanding civilian space cooperation with the rest of the subcontinent
    • India’s new approach has been called by some as “SAARC Minus Pakistan”. that will not let Pakistan hold others in the region to go ahead with the iniatiatives they are interested in. This process also opens the door for sub-regional economic cooperation that is allowed under the SAARC charter.
  • The decision to participate in the SAARC home ministers conference also underlines Delhi’s refusal to give up on the regional forum


  • political differences between India and Pakistan that are real and have, for long, limited the progress of SAARC
  • Pakistan is acting like a stumble block for any initiatives to be fruitful in SAARC:
    • Pakistan pulled back from agreements that its senior officials actively participated in drafting.
    • There was, for example, a massive effort on bilateral trade liberalisation as well as efforts to boost energy and electricity exports. The initiative simply faded away as Islamabad held back. 
    • Pakistan’s reluctance to sign the South Asian Motor Vehicle Agreement, that was ready for signature at the Kathmandu summit, made it quite clear that the civilian leaders in Islamabad were not free to build South Asian regionalism. 

India’s policy towards Pakistan:

  • India’s policy with Pakistan has been to maintain friendly relations with it and resolve issues like border,terrorism amicably.
  • It tried to enhance economic cooperation with Pakistan and see that they strengthen SAARC as an organisation together.
  • However the Pakistan’s approach in acting as a catalyst for terror attacks in india and its way of approaching the Kashmiri dispute put the two countries at bay.
  • India’s patience with Pakistan and persistence with SAARC, however, must be complemented by a very active engagement with the rest of the subcontinent through all available means, unilateral, bilateral, sub-regional and trans-regional. 

Topic:Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

3) Discuss how USA can help advance the cause of arms control, Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. (200 Words)

The Hindu

How can USA help advance the cause of arms control ?

  • Include introducing a no-first use (NFU) policy on nuclear weapons
  • Bringing the U.S. strategic forces to a state of de-alert
    • De-alerting of nuclear weapons by any country, especially a major power like the U.S., would be a big step forward in lowering the risk of a nuclear catastrophe
  • Reaffirming the international norms against nuclear testing despite the Senate’s refusal to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
    • S. ratification of the CTBT would send a strong signal to countries like Iran, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan that the United States is serious about preventing another nuclear weapon from ever exploding on the Earth.
    • Ratifying the CTBT would also be a significant step toward rebuilding the network of arms control treaties
  • Extending the term of the New START arms reduction treaty by another five years
  • Cutting back long-term plans for modernising the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
  • International :
    • US budget keeps growing day by day.Reducing its budget for weaponry may encourage other nations like China to reduce the military expenditure .
    • The recent measure where American and South Korean military officials agreed to deploy the THAAD missile defense system in the country to counter North Korea’s growing threats and use of ballistic missile and nuclear tests would not help
    • START and Nuclear Security Summit have not yielded much benefit so they have to be promoted further by actively re-engaging with Russia.

Topic: Issues of governance; Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

4) Is India ready to host Olympics? Do you think hosting the Olympic will act as a tool of development fo rthe host country? Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Is India ready to host Olympics?


  • India’s medal tally has improved in the last few events but the improvisation has been to one medal more in each event. It needs a boost for the players and to accord them better facilities and training, hosting Olympics can act as the best ever catalyst. 
  • India should host national level sports events to encourage more and more participation and to promote the sporting spirit in the country
  • Hosting the Olympics would put up pressure on administrators to ensure proper infrastructure and good facilities
  • Being one of the fastest growing economies in the world and an aspiring world power Olympics provides a perfect platform to show its might.


  • In a country fighting poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, corruption, malnutrition, and many more challenges in every sector, it cannot be a wise decision to spend Rs 50,000 crore on hosting Olympics.
  • If India is to host Olympics, it won’t be abe to compete with the other nations that have hosted the event earlier in terms of expenditure and arrangements.
    • The Commonwealth games in Delhi cost the government Rs 11,600 crore while the original budget was of Rs 1,850 crore since the Delhi government had to spend another Rs 16,500 crore on city infrastructure.
    • India is not ready for something much bigger with this kind of financial planning.
  • Major cities in India are mostly overpopulated.Accommodating the visitors of the Commonwealth Games was a difficult chore and Olympics attracts far more visitors from around the world.
  • India is not a very sports enthusiastic country so there is no assurance that large number of viewers from our country will be eager to go watch the event when there will hardly be a few Indian athletes to cheer for.
  • India needs to first make lives of sportspersons other than cricket better by providing them basic amenities and help them train well to be able to participate in games at international level than hosting the Olympics.
  • The Government of India cannot bid for the Olympics the bid has to come through IOA (Indian Olympic Association) which is currently in turmoil. IOA need to spend billions on the Olympics, which is not practical with current developments in sports.
    • Due to indecisiveness between IOA and sports ministry, India failed to bid for the 2018 Asian games
  • Sports infrastructure is non existent and sports federations are fighting each others which is leading the elite athletes to make regular foreign trips for world class training.

Hosting Olympics will lead to development:

  • In light of a war-torn past, it was imperative for the governing classes in each of these countries to renew and assert their political identity. The need was to reorient the developmental path. The hosting of global mega events was one of the ways of doing this.
    • This pattern was seen after the Second World War too, with the most notable example being of Tokyo hosting the 1964 Olympics to shed Japan of its militaristic past
  • In Rio Olympics 2016 the ‘big issues of the day’, climate change and environmental disaster, were highlighted. The struggles against racism and xenophobia were addressed as the loudest cheers were reserved for a team of refugees.
  • Raising the profile of a city can lead to lasting economic benefits. For example, cities which host the Olympics can be assured of a persistent increase in recognition and tourism.
  • A  significant benefit is the long-term investment which comes from preparing for a major event.
    • The city / country will have a legacy of improved sporting venues.
    • Also, cities will usually have to invest in infrastructure and transport to cater for influx of cities.
    • For example, there has been significant investment in public transport projects around London. This left a lasting legacy for residents of London, especially East London. From the 2012 London Olympics, the east of London has benefited from improved public transport.
  • The several years of planning and investment will help create jobs and can revitalise depressed cities.
    • This was an important claim of the London Olympics, choosing a site in East London, which at the time was relatively depressed.
    • It is estimated the London Olympics 2012, will create 8,000 full time jobs, and lead to a boost in economic output of close to £2bn
    • Spain’s unemployment rate fell by a staggering five percent when Barcelona hosted the games and that rates are likely to stay low specifically if developing nations host them.
  • Major sporting event can create enthusiasm and excitement for such an event.
    • It can help promote uptake of sport which has lasting benefits for the nation’s health.
    • Also, a major sporting event can lead to a rise in volunteerism which promotes civic virtues.
  • The Olympics will see a surge in visitors, athletes and media. This will provide an increase in spending and injection of money into the local economy
  • Many facilities built for the Olympics can never be fully used again. e.g. an 80,000 athletic stadium will rarely be full outside of the Olympics. This can be mitigated by careful planning.g. the London Olympic stadium will be used by West Ham football team. Other Olympic facilities, like the Olympic village will be converted into affordable housing.

 Olympics might not necessarily lead to development :-

  • Sometimes it’s about countries trying to prove the world they are second to none.
    • China, with its staging of the 2008 Games, wanted to assert this very aspect
  • In the case of Brazil the current recession is its worst in decades, principally owing to the slide in global commodity prices. Crime and corruption are enormous. The general feeling is that olympics is indifferent to the problems of the real world and the big issues of the day such as class inequality and social inclusion.
  • Extensive construction led to hotel overcapacities, investors defaulted on state-backed loans, and there is no coherent plan for the after use of venues and some of the largest infrastructure projects. As a consequence, the Sochi Olympics will continue to be a burden for the Russian state, with expenses for operation, maintenance, and foregone interest and tax revenue in the order of $1.2 billion per year. 
  • To host a major sporting event like the Olympics can cost significant sums, which have to be paid for by the taxpayer.
  • Major sporting events increasingly have to implement higher levels of security. This is both costly and can restrict freedom of movement of local citizens during games.

TopicIssues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein

5) Do you think competitive federalism is working in India? Discuss. (200 Words)


Competitive federalism is a concept where centre competes with states and vice-versa, and states compete with each other in their joint efforts to develop India.  
Yes,it is working for India:-

  • NITI Aayog is formed to empower and strength the state governments.
    • The one way flow of policy is replaced with participation of the states in policy formulation.
    • The state governments will not have to look towards centre for policy guidance and fiscal resources because now the share of fiscal resources for each state will be transferred to be spent by the state governments autonomously based on their own priorities and the priorities will also be decided by the state on their own
  • The centre has increased the share of states in central tax revenue from the earlier 32% to 42%.
    • The government also declared that the states will have freedom to plan their expenditure based on their own priorities and the states are free to change centrally sponsored schemes. This is a long-time demand from the states. 
    • It follows the concept of bottom-up approach as it will bring the change from the states
  • The concept of competitive federalism is driving the Indian states to rush in for reforms to make processes easy for doing business in their state and expediting the pending project clearances.
    • States are also encouraged to streamline the procedures to attract more investment and establishment of single window registration for obtaining licences.


No,its not working:

  • There are only few well-off states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu which are competing.
  • There are deficit states or the backward regions or the states under debt. Those states should not be treated on par with the well-off states.
    • The states like West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and Assam have protested against the uniform approach in funding because of their special situations in which the central government has to provide special funds to these states.
    • Without special funding these states cannot imagine their participation in competitive federalism
  • Though the states are provided with financial independence, it is a fallacy to assume that all the states would perform uniformly in the process of development because
    • while some states have favourable factors like skilled labour, capital and infrastructure, innovative service industries other states lagging behind. For that states with unfavourable climate still need the help from Centre.
  • Presently, the union government is taking unilateral decisions on issues like international treaties, WTO obligations, environmental issues, and decisions on FDI liberalisation in various sectors of economy etc. To protect the interest of affected states, an institutional mechanism must be evolved where important decisions are appropriately discussed with states.
  • The competition alone cannot give the best results it is competition with cooperation that will drive the real change. There has to be a balance between cooperative and competitive federalism.

General Studies – 3

Topic: Economics of animal-rearing

6) Recently, Water Resources Minister  told Lok Sabha that the government was planning to create “fish ladders” in the Ganga near the Farakka Barrage to help hilsa travel upstream to spawn. What do you understand by fish ladders? What’s the purpose of this move? Examine. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Fish ladders:

  • A fish ladder, or fishway, is essentially a structure that allows migrating fish passage over or around an obstacle like dams, culverts, waterfalls on a river.
  • The ladder contains a series of ascending pools that are reached by swimming against a stream of water. Fish leap through the cascade of rushing water, rest in a pool, and then repeat the process until they are out of the ladder
  • Fishways give fish whose survival depends on migration a detour, and have been considered critical in keeping up fish stocks.
  • Fish ladders are common in the US, and are of designs that depend on the obstruction, river flow, and species of affected fish. 


  • Ecologically designed fish ladders do help the fish get across the impediment of dams in some cases.
    • For example, a weir on River Elbe in Germany counted its Millionth migrating fish in January 2013, 3 years after it was built.
  • Following the construction of Farakka Barrage, the number of hilsa available in the Ganga has gone down dramatically, as the sea water which seeps in, created hurdles in its breeding. The fish breeds in fresh water. Fish ladders can ensure that hilsa gets fresh water to breed.


  • Actual numbers of fish who make it to their spawning grounds above dams with fish passages is a small fraction of targeted goals of these facilities.
    • species such as Atlantic sturgeon cannot pass fish ladders.So for certain species, fishways do not work at all.
  • water released from the fish ladders is not enough for the fish species to survive in the downstream.


  • Dams should notbe built in ecologically important regions with documented fish diversity like in Western Ghats, Eastern Himalayas, near river confluences and near estuaries.
  • Existing dams should have  fish ladders and passages designed for Indian species, these should be monitored by independent committees with local participation

Topic: Issues relating to intellectual property rights.

7) Do you think using law enforcement approach as a primary tactic to fight digital piracy would help the cause? What other approaches can be used? Analyse. (200 Words)


Law enforcement alone does not ensure dividends as seen from the following reasons:-

  • There is no clear economic logic and the numbers available to show that digital piracy can be totally brought down by law enforcement.
  • Lawsuits may seem like an obvious way to stop piracy, but legal action is typically a last resort. 
    • With the global nature of the Internet, it is time consuming and expensive to track down all the parties that would be involved in a lawsuit.
    • Piracy lawsalso vary from country to country, making enforcement rather difficult.
    • For large corporations, negative publicity is a factor as well. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) came under fire in 2000 for suing thousands of individuals accused of illegally downloading copyrighted songs through Napster, including college students, stay-at-home parents, and retirees.
    • World needs to create an Internet Copyright law that stands independent of all other copyright laws.But with the Internet it is different.  What exactly constitutes a “copyright” on the Internet?  .
  • File-sharing sites where content infringing copyright can be uploaded like Rapidshare and Megaupload were both taken down, only for other sites to mushroom. 
  • Legislation such as the Stop Online Piracy Act, introduced and then abandoned in the US Congress due to controversy over its provisions, is an example of the danger of overreach.
    • There are issues related to freedom of speech and chaos that fosters digital innovation.
  • Many websites that facilitate peer-to-peer content distribution are not illegal in themselves.Innocent individuals and enterprises are also hurt when such sites are shut down, denying access to services and uploaded data. 

What is needed?

  • Consumers who are always hunting for deals turn to free P2P services or cheaper pirated versions of media because the real stuff is simply too expensive.Consumers are ready to pay for legal content if the price point is right and convenience of access is high.
  • Sensible legislation centred around digital rights management coupled with constant evolution in content delivery mechanisms could do a far better job.
  • There are four possible approaches:
    • Raising awareness
      • Although the representatives of the entertainment industry are currently pushing massive anti-piracy educational campaigns onto the public sphere, their efforts are not enough.
      • The facts about piracy need to be incorporated into public school curriculums across the country.
      • High school government classes should stress the consequences of copyright infringement.
      • Parents should take part in addressing the dangers of piracy before they teach their children how to use computers. 
    • improving business strategies
    • adjusting enforcement techniques
    • embracing policy amendments.
  • Lessons from the world
    • Covenant i-Fan Model
      • Although the architecture of the internet allows for programmers to construct P2P infrastructures, the same architecture can also be used to control or at least disrupt these networks.
      • The most common countermeasure is hiring third party security companies such as Covenant Corporation to upload false media files to discourage users from downloading.
      • Through this i-Fan system, Covenant Corporation also encourages users to distribute these files through their personal computers.
    • Hongkong youth Ambassador program:
      • One, the program is aimed to promote the importance of intellectual property rights.
      • Two, by hiring today’s youth, government officials hope to expand its abilities to monitor illegal internet activity.
      • And three, if enough reports come in, the government hopes to reduce the amount of illegal BitTorrent seeds available online.
    • Open Source Initiative serves as a “community-recognized body for reviewing and approving licenses as OSD (open source development) conformant.”
    • Technology has been a key component in helping to stop piracy.
      • Music companies have been experimenting with ways to put anti-copying software onto the CDs they sell.
      • Software programs can be created to require authorization codes or online registration forms that serve to make piracy more difficult because they are only given with legal copies. 
      • For downloadable content, digital rights management systems limit the number of devices that can play a particular movie or song in order to stop people from sharing unauthorized copies. 

TopicIndian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

8) What do you understand by Restrictive Interest Rate Policies (RIRP), Zero Interest Rate Policies (ZIRP) and Negative Interest Rate Policies (NIRP)? It is said that RIRP will not lead to higher inflation even though ZIRP and NIRP generate and entrench deflation. Elaborate. (200 Words)


  • A negative interest rate policy (NIRP) is an unconventional monetary policy tool whereby nominal target interest rates are set with a negative value, below the theoretical lower bound of zero percent.
    • A negative interest rate means the central bank and perhaps private banks will charge negative interest: instead of receiving money on deposits, depositors must pay regularly to keep their money with the bank.
    • This is intended to incentivize banks to lend money more freely and businesses and individuals to invest, lend, and spend money 
  • ZIRP is a method of stimulating growth while keeping interest rates close to zero. Under this policy, the governing central bank can no longer reduce interest rates, rendering conventional monetary policy ineffective. As a result, unconventional monetary policy such as quantitative easing is used to increase the monetary base. 
  • Restrictive monetary policy is how the central banks slow economic growth. It’s called restrictive because the banks restrict liquidity, which lessens the amount of money and credit that banks can lend. This reduces the money supply by making loans, credit cards and mortgages more expensive. That lowers demand, which slows economic growth and inflation.
  • Zero Interest Rate Policies (ZIRP) and Negative Interest Rate Policies (NIRP) are actually deflationary. When interest rates fall so low or go negative, savers find that their targeted savings for retirement or other needs grow more distant and end up saving even more, rather than less. That drags down the economic growth rate.

General Studies – 4

Topic: Attitude; moral and political attitudes

9) In your opinion, what qualities should a person aspiring to become the Prime Minister of India should have? Critically comment. (150 Words)

The Hindu