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SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A August 19, 2016

SYNOPSIS: Insights Secure Q&A August 19, 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:  Social empowerment; Salient features of Indian Society

1) Do you think rapid industrialization and market forces are best bet for Dalit empowerment? Critically comment. (200 Words)



  • Ambhedkar exhorted the oppressed communities to leave the villages for city life as the city is often viewed as a liberating space where rigid social structures make way for secular transformations.
  • Dalit empowerment via the market in the form of its Stand Up India initiative, launched earlier this year—a scheme for encouraging greenfield enterprises by SC/ST and female entrepreneurs by facilitating bank loans between Rs.10 lakh and Rs.1 crore.
  • Results of a survey done in Uttarpradesh confirmed the power of the market to change Dalit circumstances.The survey found significant social and material benefits among all Dalit households in two Uttar Pradesh blocks in the years after liberalization—as well as a concomitant increase in the number of Dalits running their own businesses
  • Making it easier for Dalits to start businesses would be more effective in bringing about social equality than any affirmative action.
  • Venture capital fund to help people of backward classes, and loans being given under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Can empower Dalits further .


  • Caste and community links play a role in various aspects of the Indian market, from securing capital to integration into supply chains. There is rarely a clear demarcation between formal business networks and informal community networks.
  • Residential segregation and identity-based discrimination are on a steady rise in urban spaces. According to a recent study of spatial inequalities in 10 Indian populous cities (based on ward level census data), rapid growth in cities has not reduced spatial segregation by caste or religion. Dalits and Adivasi are still heavily concentrated within certain geographical areas of cities, mostly in unauthorised settlements and poor neighbourhoods.
  • The socio-religious characteristics of the neighbourhoods in question determine the municipal services available to them.
  • Faultlines are being created for future conflicts. This current form of urbanisation that is producing “urban winners” and “urban losers” should alert urban planners and key policy makers to the necessary reforms.

What is needed?

The private sector has played a significant role in bolstering black capitalism in the US via targeted inclusion of black enterprises in supply networks. This will be necessary in India as well in the Dalit context. While there have been positive signs from groups like Tata and Godrej, there is little to show for it yet in a wider context.

Topic: Urbanization – problems and remedies

2) What are the key challenges to urbanisation in India? Does urbanization lead to well being of people? Comment. (200 Words)


Key challenges to urbanisation:

  • Institutional challenges 
    • Urban Governance

                   74th amendment act has been implemented half-heartedly by the states, which has not fully empowered the Urban local bodies (ULBs).

  • Planning
  1. In fact for big cities the plans have become outdated and do not reflect the concern of urban local dwellers, this needs to be take care by Metropolitan planning committee as per provisions of 74th amendment act. Now the planning needs to be decentralized and participatory to accommodate the needs of the urban dwellers.
  2. Also there is lack of human resource for undertaking planning on full scale. State planning departments and national planning institutions lack qualified planning professional.
  • Finances
  1. Major challenge is of revenue generation with the ULBs. This problem can be analyzed form two perspectives. First, the states have not given enough autonomy to ULBs to generate revenues and Second in some case the ULBs have failed to utilize even those tax and fee powers that they have been vested with.
  2. At present due to lack of revenue generation capabilities, banks don’t give loan to ULBs for further development.
  • Regulator
  1. There is exponential increase in the real estate, encroaching the agricultural lands. Also the rates are very high, which are not affordable and other irregularities are also in practice.
  • Infrastructural challenges
  • Housing
  1. Housing provision for the growing urban population will be the biggest challenge before the government. The growing cost of houses comparison to the income of the urban middle class, has made it impossible for majority of lower income groups and are residing in congested accommodation and many of those are devoid of proper ventilation, lighting, water supply, sewage system, etc.
  2. finding affordable housing within an hour-and-a-half’s commute for everybody to their work. 


  • Safe Drinking Water

The safe drinking water sources are also found to be contaminated because of water in the cities are inadequate and in the future, the expected population cannot be accommodated without a drastic improvement in the availability of water. The expenses on water treatment and reuse will grow manifold.

  • Sanitation
  1. The poor sanitation condition is another gloomy feature in urban areas and particularly in slums and unauthorized colonies of urban areas.
  2. This unsanitary conditions lead to many sanitation related diseases such as diahorrea and malaria. Unsafe garbage disposal is one of the critical problem in urban areas and garbage management always remained a major challenge.
  • Health conditions
  1. The health condition of urban poor in some areas are even more adverse compared to rural areas. As many as 20 million children in the developing countries are dying consequent to drinking water.
  2. Urban education system also is becoming elite in private institution due to limited seats and high charged fee. The condition of public educational institution is dismal.
  3. Rapid urbanization has brought increased mortality from non-communicable diseasesassociated with lifestyle, including cancer and heart disease.
  • Urban public transport
  1. As high income individual are buying more private vehicle and use less public transport. Also the penetration of public transport is less, which make people use private vehicle. There is also lack of infrastructure and poor maintenance of existing public transport infrastructure
  2. Public transport is a huge component because if one is spending three hours of your day standing on an unsafe, unreliable public transit, their life is not very good.
  • Other challenges
  • Environmental concern
  1. Vulnerability to risk posed by the increasing man-made and natural disasters. According to UNDP 70 % of Indian population is at risk to floods and 60% susceptible to earthquakes.
  2. The risk are higher in urban areas owing to density and overcrowding. Urban areas are becoming heat islands, ground water is not being recharged and water crisis is persistent.
  3. The occurrence of eutrophication in bodies of water is another effect large urban populations have on the environment
  • Urban Crime
  1. The mega cities are facing increased criminal activities on account of unchecked migration, illegal settlements and diverse socio-cultural disparities, organized groups, gangsters, professional criminals for wishing a lavish life in metropolis.
  2. The cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have accounted for 16.2 percent, 9.5 percent and 8.1 percent respectively of the total crime reported from 35 mega cities.
  • Poverty
  1. Roughly a third of the urban population today lives below the poverty line. There are glaring disparities between haves and have-nots in urban areas.
  2. There is rise in urban inequality, as per UN habitat report, 2010, urban inequality in India rose from 34 to 38 % based on consumption in period of 1995 to 2005.
  • Provision of Employment
  1. Providing gainful employment to the growing urban population is a major challenge before the government. It is generally observed that the literate and semi-literate migrants are absorbed with minimal works, carrying lower wage and more hour of work.
  2. The urban workers are increasingly being pushed into the informal sector.
  3. capability to integrate migrants –migrants, for example, are the leading source of entrepreneurship. In Silicon Valley, for instance, 40-50% of companies are headed by people who came from other countries. This is true globally. For most cities, growth is going to come not through population, but from migration.


Yes it leads to well being:

  • Being urbanised is a necessary condition to become a prosperous society
  • The Kudumbashree initiative has today succeeded in addressing the basic needs of the less privileged women, thus providing them a more dignified life and a better future especially in urban areas.
  • Timarpur Okhla Municipal Solid Waste Management project is the first commercial waste-to-energy facility in India that aims to convert one-third of the Delhi garbage into the much-needed electricity, enough to serving 6 lakh homes. It has become the first to get carbon credits from United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in the country in 2013.
  • Delhi metro -To ensure reliability and safety in train operations, it is equipped with the most modern communication and train control system. For its energy efficient practises, it has earned carbon credit points from UN.
  • In urban areas, especially in the metropolitan cities, people of extremely divergent cultures live together. This has a positive impact. People come to know about each other’s culture and they exchange their ideas, breaking the barriers which earlier used to exist between them. This results in cultural hybridisation.
  • Urbanization has undermined old forms of political mobilization based on caste and religious identities and favors local issues to be resolved on right based approach. 
  • There are positives in the reduction of expenses in commuting and transportation while improving opportunities for jobs, education, housing, and transportation

Way forward?

  • At present urban governance needs improvement for urban development, which can be done by enhancing technology, administrative and managerial capacity of ULBs.
  • Need is to expand the scope of planners from physical to integrated planning– Land use, infrastructure, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, risk reduction, economic productivity and financial diversity.
  • There is need to broaden the user charge fee for water supply, sewerage and garbage disposal. Since these are the goods which have a private characteristics and no public spill over, so charging user fee will be feasible and will improve the revenue of ULBs , along with periodic revision.
  • A regulator which can make level playing field and will be instrumental for affordable housing and checking corrupt practices in Real estate sector is needed.

Making water harvesting compulsory in urban areas will be beneficial.

Topic: Resources

3) Do you think the proposed National Water Commission (NWC) is a step in right direction to address India’s water problems? Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu


  • The committee on restructuring the Central Water Commission and Central Ground Water Board in its final report has recommended a new National Water Commission (NWC) be established as the nation’s apex facilitation organisation dealing with water policy, data and governance.

Yes it is a step in the right direction :-

  • The Central water commission and Central ground water board were created in an era when India faced a very different set of challenges. Today the challenge is different. India created 113 million hectares of irrigation potential. But whether this water is reaching the farmers is questionable.
    1. Maharashtra-the State has 40 per cent of the country’s large dams, but 82 per cent area of the state is rainfed.
  • Groundwater is the main source of water in India. So far CGWB has promoted endlessly drilling for groundwater through tubewells. This has actually aggravated India’s groundwater crisis, as water tables fall and water quality declines, with arsenic, fluoride and even uranium entering our drinking water.
  • Also, at present, the CWC, which develops surface water projects, and the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), which monitors ground water use and contamination, carry out functions independent of each other. The one issue that really highlights the need to unify CWC and CGWB is the drying up of India’s peninsular rivers, the single most important cause of which is over-extraction of groundwater.
  • Focus on river basins which must form the fundamental units for management of water is very much needed. The regional absence of the CWC and CGWB need to be avoided and a way forward is needed whereby the NWC is present in all major river basins of India.
  • Broad Mandate
    1. The functions of national water commission will include Irrigation Reform, River Rejuvenation, Participatory Groundwater Management, Urban and Industrial Water, Water Security (including droughts, floods and climate change) and Water Quality.
  • The NWC will be a knowledge institution providing solutions to water problems faced by State governments, farmers and other stakeholders, on demand, in a truly user-friendly manner.
  • Recent instances of droughts and farmers’ suicides underscored the gravity of the situation. Climate change poses fresh challenges as more extreme rates of precipitation and evapo-transpiration exacerbate impacts of floods and droughts.NWC can look into these challenges.
  • The commission aims at reducing inter-state water disputes, bring greater efficiency, better planning and increased emphasis on conservation of water.
  • It also ensures that all water resources in the country are managed in a holistic manner and not separately as surface water, groundwater or river water
  • To shift focus from construction to decentralised management and maintenance in order to ensure har khet ko paani‘(water for every field) under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana.
  • The proposed NWC will not just be focused on building dams
    1. but will also enable state governments to implement irrigation projects in reform mode
    2. take a lead in national aquifer mapping and groundwater management
    3. take steps to insulate agrarian economy and livelihood systems from the effects of drought, floods and climate change and move towards sustainable water security.

Some concerns are:

  • It can become an another bureaucratic body .
  • Awareness regarding Irrigation mechanisms is not much in India as rainfed areas grow water intensive crops .So awareness building is a challenge.

Central water commission is opposing the move because of the insecurity of the employees.

General Studies – 2

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

4) According to India’s draft National Health Policy 2015, the country’s out-of-pocket (OoP) expenditure for health (at 60% of total health expenditure) is one of the highest in the world. What are the challenges that India is facing in providing affordable healthcare to all its people? What’s the way forward? Examine. (200 Words)



  • Unless a country spends at least 5-6% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health and the major part of it is from government expenditure basic healthcare needs are seldom met. In India, public spending on health is 1.1% of GDP.
  • Very low health insurance coverage in the country.The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, meanwhile, claims that only 17% of the population has some form of insurance coverage.
  1. The problem is that the healthcare financing system in India is highly fragmented and has multiple components and models.
  2. Several publicly managed insurance schemes cater to government employees, while the private insurance sector largely caters to higher income groups, mostly employed in the private sector.
  3. Unfortunately, most of these insurance plans are largely limited to covering inpatient hospital care as opposed to primary care medications needed to treat chronically ill patients
  • Not much focus on NCD:
  1. With rising industrialisation and urbanisationIndia’s disease burden has shifted from communicable to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).According to the latest figures available, in 2015-16, only 3% of the total health budget was earmarked for NCD programmes.
  • Living conditions:
  1. The living conditions in which people live will build up their health because health lies beyond healthcare. 
  • Infrastructure concerns:
  1. large number of primary healthcare centres already setup although they all are not efficiently functioning.
  2. not connecting the primary health care structure system with the tertiary healthcare system adequately. 
  • Malnutrition:
  1. In children among all the deaths that occur below the age of five years, half of the deaths are associated with or have to do with malnutrition


Way forward :

  • The government needs to understand the growing healthcare and economic threat posed by NCDs. Ideally, the allocation should be doubled by 2020 and tripled by 2025.
  • India desperately needs a holistic care system that is universally accessible, affordable and at the same time effectively reduces out pocket expenditure.    
  1. Increasing private investment in healthcare for broader and more comprehensive insurance is necessary.
  2. Developing subscription-based primary healthcare clinics and plans are also options.
  • Other steps are
  1. strengthening tertiary tier healthcare
  2. developing local health systems to be able to screen the maximum number of people
  3. providing extensive diagnostics and free essential drugs
  4. offering disease-specific insurance schemes
  5. providing coverage even to those in unorganized sectors
  6. using corporate social responsibility involvement to strengthen healthcare
  7. switching focus from patient care to preventive care, will all go a long way.
  • Tiered pricing is one way to achieve such economic sustainability.
  1. By charging rich patients more, health service providers can generate cross-subsidies for the poor.
  • Public-private partnerships present an other option. Ziqitza has a contract to deliver ambulance services for the states of Bihar, Orissa and Punjab and generates extra revenue from corporate advertising on the sides of its vehicles.
  • Keeping costs low offers another obvious route to economic viability.Asian Health Alliance (AHA), a low-cost provider of diagnostic services in the state of Karnataka, benefits from lower business rates and real estate costs because it operates primarily in semi-urban and rural areas.

The patent law in India allows granting of compulsory license to produce and sell cheaper versions of drugs under certain circumstances, including if drugs are priced so high that they are not affordable to patients. India has so far granted only one compulsory license.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

5) For many years, Baloch nationalists have sought India’s support for their cause. Why do they need Indian support? What are the consequences of extending support by India to Baloch nationalists? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Why do Balochs need Indian support ?

  • Baloch nationalists have always wished to be seen and treated as an entity separate from Pakistan. Recent prime minister’s statements have granted them that recognition. 
  • Given Balochistan’s geostrategic location and increasing Chinese involvement there, the Baloch will have no option but to search for allies in the region to protect their land and resources. India and Afghanistan are two possible allies.
  • Pakistan has lost so much support among ordinary Baloch people because of its repressive policies that any outside force is likely to be welcomed and assisted by segments of the Baloch nationalists.
  • It was part of British India before Indias independence and partition

Consequences of India’s support:

Positives :

  • India to declare moral and diplomatic support for the freedom movement in Balochistan, while calling for a peaceful resolution of the conflict
  • Baluchistan can be much more than a negotiating card to contain Pakistan’s proxy terrorism .
  • A free independent Baluchistan can act as a antidote to Pakistan China anti India coalition .
  • To be a great power in the world India has to take risks . India has always stood for the righteous sufferers as seen in its role in liberation war of Bangladesh 1971. A successful Balochistan policy premised on Indias historical association with just causes would also lead to forging of successful Pakistan policy.
  • Experts believe this might distract pakistan’s interference in Kashmir.


  • China and Pakistan relation with India will be very tensed 
  • India’s policy of not interfering in internal affairs of other entities might be compromised.

General Studies – 3

Topic Basics of Cybersecurity

6) What is ransomware? How much of a risk does India face from ransomware? Examine. (200 Words)



  • Itis a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the users’ files unless a ransom is paid. 

Risk India faces:

  • According to reports India is already the 5th-most attacked country in the world and 3rd-most attacked in Asia.
  • Ransomware is already spreading out fast – especially within the government and banking institutions.
  • Most of the ransomware attacks in India are crypto-ransomware. This is an attack where all the data of connected devices are encrypted so that user cannot use them until they pay up money as directed by the cyber attackers
  • The main targets other than the Indian government servers are entities based on Internet of Thingsand the ones using Android smartphones. With huge population using mobile phones it is a concern.
  • The Internet population in India as of June 2016 end, is around 462 million people. With such a large user base that does not even take Online Privacy,India is ransomware susceptible.
  • Several other businesses are still running Windows XP, even after the end of support. These firms are at high risk of being hacked and injected with ransomware.
  1. Some Bank ATMsare still using Windows XP. They have not yet started upgrading despite the RBI urging them to upgrade at least to Windows 7.
  2. They say the cost would be too high.
  • E-governance and Aadhar being part of governent’s administration now.The huge personal data is susceptible to cyber crime. It could be a huge mess – completely derailing the system
  • India is on the road to economic progress and as a result, the ferocity & frequency of ransomware attacks are expected to increase exponentially

However some experts say the impact is significantly low in India because:

  • Cybercriminals typically seek return on investment (ROI) from their crimes. Hence, it makes more sense to seek ransom from people in developed countries who have more money. 

What can be done to be protected from Ransomware:-

The best way to protect yourself and prevent Ransomware attacks  is to regularly back up data to a different location, use a good anti-ransomware tool, a fully updated modern operating system, ensure that all the installed software, especially security software & browser are updated to the latest version, and exercise caution while clicking on any web link or opening email attachments.

TopicComparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries

7) In your opinion, what should be the aims of professional military education (PME) in India? In the light of the draft bill for the proposed Indian National Defence University (INDU), critically analyse. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Aims of professional education:

  • The Draft INDU Bill lists out some nine objectives.
  1. INDU will propagate higher education in National Security Studies, Defence Management and Defence Technology and promote policy oriented research on all aspects relating to national security, both internal and external.
  2. INDU will inculcate and promote coordination and interaction not just between the three Armed Services but also between other agencies of the government, civil bureaucracy, PMF, CAPF, intelligence services, diplomats, academicians, strategic planners, university students and officers from friendly foreign countries.


  • The INDU proposal was not only meant to augment existing PME capacities, but to provide the intellectual underpinnings for “jointness” among the different services.
  • To establish a world class fully autonomous institution of national importance under defence ministry
  • It will be a teaching and affiliating university for the existing training institutions of the three Services, which will develop and propagate higher education in National Security Studies, Defence Management and Defence Technology and promote policy oriented research on all aspects relating to national security, both internal and external.
  • It would also cater for open and distance learning program for service personnel deployed in far flung areas and it will inculcate and promote coordination and interaction between the Armed Forces and other government agencies including friendly foreign countries.


  • Jointness cannot be achieved simply by creating additional empires for serving and retired military officers. It requires new ways of thinking and bringing actors across a wide spectrum to understand and learn from each other and build networks of trust that reach across narrow bureaucratic and service silos.
  • There has been little public debate over how this institution should be built.
  1. The conceptualisation and implementation of the INDU has been left almost entirely to the military and the Defence Ministry.
  2. Their penchant for secrecy, a convenient cloak to avoid scrutiny, has denied the public access to crucial planning documents like the CONDU and DPR reports
  • By handing over the project to an ill-equipped public sector undertaking, which prepared the DPR, any prospect of conceptual creativity was dashed from the very beginning. 
  • While this university is expected to incorporate the existing tri-services institutions for PME, it does not have any plans to address an existing anomaly, the absence of civilian faculty.
  1. civilians are denied the opportunity to teach at higher defence colleges, which prevents military officers from having precisely the type of broader exposure that is unavailable to them in the course of their service duties. 
  • The Draft Bill has lengthy elaboration about the top functionaries of INDU but no elaboration whatsoever on the three proposed Schools – National Security Studies, Defence Management and Defence Technology.

What is needed to be done ?

  • Government should broaden the membership of the INDU cell located in the Integrated Defence Staff beyond the military officers who serve on a rotational basis and lack expertise in higher education or professional military education. 
  • Requires conscious partnering with institutions like the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Administration and Sardar Patel National Police Academy, as well as the intelligence agencies. Only then can the INDU emerge as an institution that fosters greater cooperation and understanding between different arms of the Indian state.

General Studies – 4

Topic: Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions;

8) Discuss the ethical and moral issues involved in imposing prohibition by governments, especially in India. (150 Words)

The Hindu