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Insights Secure SYNOPSIS: 02 December 2016



Insights Secure SYNOPSIS: 02 December 2016


General Studies – 1;

Topic: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country

1) Critically analyse views of Gandhi, Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru and Ambedkar on patriotism. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Patriotism is an emotional attachment to motherland. It was the common thread for all freedom fighters for one common cause of Independence. Patriotism towards a subjugated nation under British Imperialism had many different shades and versions which made our constitution also vibrant and inclusive. Different Views toward Patriotism are as below:-

Gandhi’s view- He dreamt of Gram swarajya which means to make a village, self-sufficient and thereby being patriotic to first his local community and then to nation. This is a bottom-up approach of patriotism, which puts emphasis on self-character, love, truth, peaceful existence and compassion, swarajya and swadeshi ideology. In the heart of Gandhi’s ideology lies voluntary Individual effort toward making nation great.  In his views patriotism is same as humanity, for him service to mankind holds utmost importance

Tagore’s view- Tagore projected a free India as “Where mind is without fear, head held high, where knowledge is free and where the world is not broken with narrow domestic walls”. This reflects that his idea was liberal society with knowledge flowing free and accessible to everyone. For him, everyone needs to discover their own patriotic inclination based on their own understanding. For him, humanity comes first and patriotism second.

Tagore argued that when love for one’s country gives way to worship, or becomes a “sacred obligation”, then disaster is the inevitable outcome. To worship my country as a god is to bring curse upon it,” Tagore wrote in his 1916 novel, The Home and the World. However, he was criticised by Gandhi – “the poet lives in a magnificent world of his own creation — his world of ideas”.

Nehru’s view- He was a true internationalist, he emphasised that patriotism of two nation’s shouldn’t create conflict with each other, this can be evaluated by his effort to motivate Asian nations post-independence to ascertain their freedom, formation of NAM, Panchsheel and peaceful stance toward Sino-Indo and Indo-Pak conflict. His idea of making India a secular and socialist nations also emphasises the said view.

He believed in real patriotism working towards advancement of the society. He wanted to build modern India – well educated, industrialized and a pioneer in the field of science and technology. He supported development of scientific temperament. His views on patriotism were based on socialist pattern of society. Thus, he believed in service to humanity without any discrimination.

Ambedkar’s view – The father of our Constitutions had radical view towards equality on basis of economic upliftment of dalits. He once said “If God proclaims inequality based on caste, I don’t believe in such God”. He observed that – true nationalist are those who aspire and work for justice based on Social, Economic and Political. His true intent of patriotism can be seen in Preamble of Constitution adopted on 1949. For Dr Ambedkar a vision of India free from suppression, exploitation, slavery, bondage, upliftment of depressed classes is what defines patriotism.

Though their views may differ all of them ultimately states that humanity, non-violence, community service, progress and development in every field.

General Studies – 2

Topic: Pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

2) The proposition that populism harms democracy has been amply borne out by our history. Do you think the subordination of political parties to populist leaders is good for democracy? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Populism is a belief in the power of the masses and their right to have control over the government rather than the elite class. It is very common in democratic nations. It generally refers to political ideas and activities aimed at capturing support of the masses.

Advantages of a populist leader:-

  • A populist leader directly reaches out to the masses instead of through institutions, which bridges the trust deficit among the people.
  • It reduces pressure on other leaders of the party, who otherwise can contribute on implementation of schemes and policies, thus efficient governance.
  • It ensures that policies are aimed directly for the needs and demands of the people.
  • A populist leader can bring necessary changes in party’s ideology and principles according to the pulse of citizens.
  • When power is concentrated with one leader, then it enhances the decision making, thus efficient administration.

Disadvantages of a populist leader

  • Since a populist leader generally tries to please the population, he caters to the majority which may leave the minorities neglected.
  • It reduces the intra-party democracy. Populism gives birth to a cult of a leader, in front of whom party’s ideology and principles fade out.
  • Populist leaders aim at connecting directly with the people which may even involve bypassing institutional frameworks like legislatures.
  • It may lead to anti-incumbency factor because in case the leader loses their popularity or some mishap occurs, the whole party may collapse and loose in the elections.
  • A populist leader may bypass the advices of their party members and misuse democratic institutions. For example, during emergency institutions were misused by the government.
  • Most of the time policies designed by populists’ leaders are to serve the short term needs or please the people, but in long run it may not be beneficial for the long run. For example, many subsidies being given by government are burden on exchequer and loss for the economy.
  • Populism is a setback for democracy, representative party system, and collective responsibility.
  • Restricts the scope of debate and critical analysis of any policy or government actions.
  • Concentration of power with one leader is against the concept of democracy and it may lead to favouritism, nepotism and corruption.

Though populist leaders have advantages, they should not be allowed to completely overshadow a party. There should be a level playing field for all the leaders in a party to ensure a representative democracy. The way forward is to have appropriate checks and balances by strengthening other democratic institutions like the judiciary and civil society groups who would be able to oppose the dictatorial tendencies of the populist leader .

Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions

3) Do you think measures like demonetization which have bearing on all the citizens, should have been implemented through legislative support? If the Supreme Court intervenes in the validity of demonetization move, will it amount to judicial overreach? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

4) In the light of upcoming Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan, critically analyse evolving nature of India’s relationship with Afghanistan. (200 Words)

The Hindu

The Indian Express

Background – India hosts the Heart of Asia (HoA) conference this week in Amritsar. It is aimed at speeding up reconstruction in war-torn Afghanistan and bringing peace and normalcy to the nation. It will see participation from 14 states: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates.

The HoA process (Istanbul process), supported by the wider international community, originated under the aegis of the Istanbul Conference in November 2011, which underscored the need for regional cooperation and confidence-building to resolve underlying problems facing Afghanistan and anchoring the state’s development in a regional environment that is stable, economically integrated and conducive to shared prosperity.

Evolving nature of India’s relationship with Afghanistan:-

  • Military – India has already delivered MI-25 attack helicopters and is about to gift Mi-24 attack helicopters to Afghan forces. Other than this, heavy machinery, artillery weapons and T-72 tanks,etc have already been given to Afghan forces which show India’s resolve to preserve equities in troubled neighbour. India is also trying to establish Indian Military Training Team (IMRAT) in Afghanistan.
  • Strategic – Both countries have common consensus over isolating Pakistan, which was showcased by Afghanistan by withdrawing from attending SAARC summit in Pakistani. Both view Pakistan as the state responsible for terrorism in their respective territories.
  • Economic– India- Afghanistan are members to TAPI agreement which shows commitment towards economic interests of India in Afghanistan.
  • Security and peace – India aims towards revival of trilateral process between Kabul-Delhi-Washington and a better utilisation of Russia-China-India (RIC) consultation mechanism on regional security of Afghanistan. Afghanistan favoured inclusion of India on Quadrilateral co-ordination group (QCG) for peace talks has strengthened India’s position in the regional negotiations.
  • Developmental- India is building road connectivity to join Chabahar port in Iran through Zanraj- Delaram High to Garland highway in Afghanistan, which will boost connectivity. Infrastructure projects has also been initiated by India like- Construction of parliament, hospitals, Salma dam, etc.
  • Cultural- There have been increasing cultural ties between the two countries, with Afghani students being given scholarship support to pursue education in India. Bollywood has huge fan following in Afghanistan.

However, there are certain challenges to this evolving nature of relationship:-

  • Direct involvement of India in Afghan’s security has raised security threat to India. Indian interests, including its embassy and consulates, are being repeatedly targeted in Afghanistan. Terror groups like – LeT and Jaish have connections with Taliban, which poses the threat of terrorist attack to India.
  • Delay in progress of TAPI pipeline, is postponing the opportunities which both countries can tap through this.
  • The leadership crisis in Afghanistan brings a threat and halt to India-Afghan relations.

India is willing to move towards a partnership which is more than military and economic-based. A recent survey in Afghanistan, conducted by US agencies highlighted that, 90% Afghanistan people appreciate India’s support to their nation.

India should work upon with other countries like Japan in Afghanistan to Balance the threat of China and Pakistan’s Strategic dominance in the region rather than going alone because this would be both economically and strategically viable.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health; Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

5) Recently, the World Health Organisation released guidelines on HIV self-testing. Discuss its significance and also examine mechanism used in its OraQuick HIV self-testing. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Recently WHO released guidelines on HIV self-testing in order to improve access to diagnosis.


  • Prevent new infections – Nearly 40 % people in world unaware of their infection and it poses a risk of unknowingly transmitting it. Hence diagnosis will reduce risk of transmission.
  • Early treatment – Diagnosis will enable, early detection, thus timely treatment would enhance chance of survivors to live longer & healthier.
  • Privacy & Confidentiality– People with HIV are suspected to face discrimination, thus self-testing will ensure privacy & confidentiality.
  • Portability of the device- it’s like having “lab in hand” and the device is cheaper so it is affordable for low income households.

However, there are challenges related to proper counselling of patients. Innovative methods of counselling can be used like over telephone as being done in USA. And since, the accuracy of tests is not 100%, there should be proper arrangements for easy and early detection. There is need for creating awareness on its usage – especially in developing and LDC nations where literacy is less.

Mechanism of Oraquick :-  WHO-approved OraQuick HIV self-testing is based on HIV antibodies present in oral & blood samples. The oral sample is then given as an input to the device and it would take around 20 minutes for the device to show the result, which can be either- positive or negative. It can detect antibodies developed within three months of infection. It is a screening test, & positive result will be confirmed through a blood-based test.

Self-testing will help more people to get tested & treated along with maintaining their privacy. The way forward would be for the WHO (World Health Organization) to partner with the government and provide the self-test kit either freely or affordable prices to the areas that has high prevalence of population affected with HIV.

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

6) Recently, Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone devastated its society and economy.  How did it impact various sections of Sierra Leone’s society? Also examine role of various international agencies in situations like this. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Ebola outbreak has been one of the gravest tragedy experienced by the people of Sierra Leone after the civil war of 1990s by devastating the society and the economy.

Impact on Ebola on various sections of Sierra Leone’ society:-

  • Unemployment – Fuelled by fear and stigma, it experienced decrease in trade and drop in foreign investment and tourism, which raised the unemployment rate among the working force of the country.
  • Children – Huge impact on education of children as schools were closed for about eight months. Individual responsibility of children to take care of themselves and their younger siblings was increased, as they were rendered orphan.
  • Women- Many women and young girls have been exposed to harassment after the disruption due to loss of families and there was large scale prevalence of teenage pregnancies.

Role of international agencies: – International agencies play a vital role in such situations, especially when the concerned nation is not economically and politically sound and has crippled infrastructure. It does in following ways:-

  • Spread awareness and coordinated international response: – WHO declared it as “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”
  • Streamlining and accruing financial aid: – UN declared it “a threat to international peace and security” urging states to provide more resources.
  • UNICEF aided in addressing problems related to education of children by providing make shift schools for the pregnant teenagers who were facing social stigma in attending normal schools.
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNHP) have been recording the number of people with pregnancy and is instrumental providing appropriate relief for safe deliveries of the babies.
  • Surveys and statistical analysis by various institutions like Amnesty international has helped in better understanding of problems.

Epidemics have time and again displayed devastating consequences and elucidated the importance of a coordinated international response. There is an urgent need of building infrastructure, technology transfer and training especially for the poor nations to systematically address such issues in future.

General Studies – 3

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology

7) Indian researchers have developed a wound-healing nanofibrous mat that interacts with the body to help it heal faster and without scarring. Discuss its mechanism and applications. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Nanofibrous mat which help it in faster healing of wound without scares has been developed recently by Indian scientists at IIT Guwahati. It is produced by mixing of non-protein polymer (PVA) with silk protein and coated with antibiotic & epidermal growth factor.

Mechanism:- During regular healing of wound slow attraction of body cells & progenitor cells around wound takes place for healing purpose. But Nano-fibrous mat contains amino acid which attract more cells and thus making process of healing faster. It also allows better attachment of cell with each other. Further it promotes cell development & inhibits growth of common bacteria.


  • Medical Devices: It can be used in production of medical devices with controlled physical & mechanical properties.
  • Tissue Engineering:It can also be used in procedures for repair of damaged tissues and organs.
  • Biosensors: It can be used to produce Biosensors & generation of new multifunctional protein alloy biomaterials with tuneable properties.
  • Medical Uses: It can be used in contact lenses, wound dressings, controlled release of drugs due to its tensile strength, bio-compatibility and biodegradability. Its faster process of healing can be used to treat diabetic patients, burn victims, for skin grafting. Can be also used in military treatment during war times for faster wound heals.

Since Nanofibrous mat can heals wounds with all skin layers removed & even bigger as 6 mm in diameter along with help to diabetics with very slow healing capacity it is a highly significantly development and needs proper utilization.

General Studies – 4

Topic: role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

8) Is patriotism more important than humanity? Justify.  In your opinion, how patriotism should be inculcated among citizens? Comment. (150 Words)

The Hindu

The Indian Express

Patriotism is an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. This attachment, also known as national feeling or national pride, can be viewed in terms of different features relating to one’s own nation, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. On the other hand humanity is the quality of showing benevolence towards other human beings.

Humanity is more important than patriotism because the former is guided by the empathy and compassion towards the human mankind irrespective of caste, sex, race, religion and nationality. Whereas patriotism as a feeling imbibes love for one’s own nation, thus creating boundaries and dividing the human race on physical lines.

The views of leaders on varies, Tao Lin said- “Patriotism is the belief that all human are worth the same”. For Gandhi ji both were same he said“I am patriotic because I am human and humane”.

Patriotism should be inculcated for maintaining unity and integrity of the nation, especially for countries like India, with vast diversity. It can be inculcated by spreading the message of the struggles faced by the countries in the past and taking pride in the sacrifices by our forefathers for the country. Such contributions can by propagated through articles, short films, skits, etc.

Role of institutions like family and school plays very important role in inculcating important values like humanity and patriotism among students, as they are the learning seats for children. 

However, patriotism should come from the heart and should not be forced. It is the responsibility of government institution along with citizens to make their country a better to place to live, so that future generations feel proud and thus patriotic about their countries.