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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 January 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 17 January 2017

NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


General Studies – 1;

Topic: Distribution of key natural resources

1) Increasingly ineffective usual responses to water shortages and drought situations in some states, especially in southern states such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, have not helped mitigate the problem. What long-term measures should be taken to tackle drought and water shortage problem? Critically examine. (200 Words)



The recent water disputes between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu shows the growing scarcity of water and need to take steps for long term measures of drought mitigation

  • A technical body involving geographers and scientists to be set up to know about the topography,hydrological mapping,data aggregation and weather forecast.
    2) Water Management boardfor any future issues involving representation from these states.
    3) Promotion of sprinklers and drip Irrigation(short term as well) to save water, increase productivity, prevent soil erosion.
    4) Go for water harvesting, less groundwater exploitation, construction of small dams, preserving rain water, artificial ponds to save further water.
    5) Farmers should go for less water intensive crops, moreover save virtual water since India is the largest exporter of virtual water.
    6) Going for inter-state collective farming groupsto enhance bonding preventing hostility.
    7) Overdeveloped river basins to be checked and further urban sprawl has to be controlled.
    8) Going for afforestation dense forest will provide livelihood as well as prevent the region from drought and flash flood also from bad effect of ELNINO.
    9) Wells near the basin should be recharged and a check on sand contractors and siltation of the dams.
    10) Pollution and toxic waste should be treated and also heavy penalties if there is violation.
    11) Scientists to find ways to recharge the water also go for international exposure like recently with Japan and Israel.
    12) Political consensus and effective schemes and legislation with proper implementation and monitoring.
  • Implementing Mihir Shah commission recommendations of grading te water.
  • Promoting Tank irrigation which is a traditional methods of water conservation and irrigation.
  • Urban water use policy for urban area as their demands are higher compared to rural area and the industries, residents can be effectively regulated.
  • Water reuse and recycle policy can be formulated with component for new high rise colonies and Industrial usage with effective monitoring.
  • Mainstreaming water conservation through rain water harvesting
  • The water usage efficiency must be seen in the long term. Construction of Hydroprojects and lift irrigation is a key for many states. Mini irrigation projects, check dams and other water works in the villages.


General Studies – 2

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

2) In the post – Trump era, do you think China will replace USA as world’s economic superpower? Where will India fit in? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


With emergence of New World order, owing to change in political dynamics of Western nations, have given an opportunity to China to further the grip and establish its dominance in global parlance.

Dragon to replace Eagle

  1. Increasing Protectionism:-US withdraw from TPP, Brexit, potential Frexit may give headway to China to fill the gap through its aggressive FTA.
  2. Russia factor:-Russia has been the most important ally of China post-cold war, and have been integral part of multiple forums Eg:-BRICS. SCO, AIIB
    So increased cooperation would help in Chinese exerting more influence in the region.
  3. Geopolitical shift:-Increasing Connectivity through OBOR, Maritime Silk road would help in increasing Chinese influence in both Eurasian and African nations and has a chance to improve its image preferably in Europe and Latin America.
  4. Non-political agenda:- Unlike the US or USSR, China doesn’t seek to export an ideology or universal system like democracy or communism (non-interference in internal matters) Eg- Nepal, Sri Lanka.
  5. Manufacturing and Patent Hub :-China while being a manufacturing hub and demographic potential also leads US and is 1 in patent applications (2 in granted), which provides a greater boost to its economy

Dragon cannot fly as high as Eagle yet

  1. Unsustainable Chinese methods -> Opposition in many countries to Chinese unequitable and non-inclusive method of investments which has led to exploitation Eg Burma, Sri Lanka, Some African nations.
  2. Russia-US bonhomie:- In case, if friendship between US-Russia increases in future it may undermine Chinese efforts to control Eurasian region.
  3. Aggressive attitude:-SCS debacle and non-recognition of global sentiments and laws, and simultaneously adopting repressive policies to silence the discontent at home makes it un-trustworthy partner (Tibet policy, One-China policy, Muslim Uighur exploitation).
  4. Multipolar World:-US-China-Russia tussle would result in world becoming increasingly multipolar, with regional powers gaining in influence Eg-> Factions in Middle East, BRICS, RCEP

Role for Tiger

  1. Economic angle:- Can utilize OBOR, AIIB, SCO,RCEP to increase cooperation with China to cater to untapped markets and increase domestic infra, while also maintaining balance between US-Russia relationship (Defense and Nuclear deals, Export markets).
  2. Soft diplomacy:-Increased Indian investments in Africa, Latin America, MENA region accompanied by inclusive development in these regions (Eg Salma Dam – Afghanistan, Airtel in Africa, ONGC exploration in Iran, LAtAM,CIS etc) have led to greater integration.
  3. Follow dual approach:-“Cooperate and Compete” at the same time and accept the new world order however, protection of national interests are paramount

The role for Tiger is to choose between either watching the Eagle-Dragon fight and feed on remains, or establish its own territory. We should strive for the latter, and make our foreign policy more dynamic and responsive to the current geopolitics.


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

3) Jawaharlal Nehru University has adopted ‘deprivation points system’ in its admission policy? What’s ‘deprivation points system’? Can it be adopted in formulation and implementation of welfare schemes? Examine. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


 “Deprivation point system”- which has been adopted by the JNU in its admission policy is the system where the points have been allotted to an individual on certain parameters like graduating location, Annual Income, caste, category, gender etc. The more points allotted , the more chances to get enrolled.

It can be formulated and implemented in welfare schemes by maintaining a database of each individual on the basis of some deciding factors and then identifying the beneficiaries of welfare schemes.

Such as educational background of parents may be given as criteria for Right to education Act implementation and preference to student. Social status in terms of family traditions job as Sweepers etc may be given preference in employment scheme such as MNGERA and skill building.

1.FAIR AND BALANCED GROWTH: Even the last person of distant region can be benefited by this scheme as it provide more support the most deprived and remotely areas of the country and thus get equal treatment like other in developed region.
2. Probability of accessing welfare schemes if based on criteria like female education, health etc can help in motivating the families towards their improvement, and in this way can deal with problems like MMR, skewed sex ratio, Illiteracy etc.

3 Objectivity in Identification of beneficiary 

Concerns –
1.Maintaining and accessing individual level data on the wide range is a herculean task especially in the position where electricity, connectivity, infrastructure etc are the barriers for any implementation.

2. Pilferages identity fraud, corruption are the blots on the intention of welfare schemes.
3. Required trained task force, infrastructure, etc which could incur heavy drain on national exchequer.

  1. Political manipulationof identification criteria as done for BPL etc.
  2. Issue of migrationwill create difficulty as different states will have to follow different criteria based on the principle of FEDERALISM.

The scheme covering wide deciding criteria rather than focusing on income, caste, gender etc individually is the need of hour, proper fund allocation, monitoring and management are the issues to be dealt with effectively. Criteria identified in Socio-economic cast census may act as guiding point for deprivation Index. Such experiments have been successful in Countries like US and may be implemented in India for effective management of resources.


Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

4) What’s the nature of India’s relationship with Syria? Critically analyse what role could India play in post-War Syria. (200 Words)


Nature of India’s relationship with Syria-

Bilateral relations between the India and Syria are historic where the two have ancient civilisational ties. Both countries were on the silk route through which civilisational exchanges took place for centuries.

  • India’s Pro-Arab Policy and Reciprocity of relations-

The urge to pursue relations with the Muslim world in general, and the Arab world in particular, was strengthened in light of the partition of India on religious grounds. A common nationalism and secular orientation, membership of NAM and similar perceptions on many issues further strengthened a bond between the two states. India supported “Syria’s legitimate right to regain the occupied Golan Heights.” In turn, this was reciprocated with Syrian recognition that Kashmir is a bilateral issue as well as general support of India’s concerns and even candidature at various international forums

  • Cultural relations-

India and Syria shares the cultural relations since the beginning of the millennium. The first Christian presence in India was that of the Church of the East. The ancient Syriac language among the Syrian Christians of Kerala was also brought to Kerala by St Thomas in the 1st century CE. Since then cultural relations have continued to develop between the two.

  • Educational programs-

India and Syria also have educational exchanges. In addition to a large Syrian student population in India, each year five scholarships under the CEP programme are offered to Syrian students for pursuing higher studies in India.

  • Relations during Syrian civil war-

India and Syria have maintained good ties through the war years. A steady stream of officials from Damascus have visited New Delhi for talks and consultations while business delegations from India have visited Damascus, such as one organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India in 2014, led by Delhi-based Cosmos Group, even at the height of the civil war.

What role India can play in post-war Syria?

  • In August 2016, India’s minister of state for external affairs, M.J. Akbar, visited Damascus to hold talks with Assad. During these consultations, the Assad regime invited New Delhi to participate in its post-war reconstruction efforts.
  • India can help Syrian government to build critical infrastructure as like in Afghanistan. Notably, India has already renewed its commitments to its pre-war projects, specifically the Tishreen power plant, which can be looked upon as India’s premier developmental undertaking in the country.
  • India being the largest democracy in the world can help Syria to nourish the democratic roots through its expertise in democratic system.
  • India can play important role in providing humanitarian aid to war torn Syria particularly in the field of health and education.
  • Through groupings such as BRICS, India can create the environment for the negotiation of the crisis and about the reconstruction efforts. The financial institutions like New Development Bank would be of great importance in supplementing investments in post war Syria.
  • India can resume its pre-war projects in Syria. India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), had acquired a 37% stake in Syria’s Al Furat Petroleum Co. OVL had also won the bid for exploration of oil/natural gas at Block 24 in Syria’s Deir Ezzor province—all investments had to be abandoned.
  • Syrian economy has been badly hot by the civil war. Thus India can invest in Syrian economy in sectors like Automobile, Pharmaceutical, Services and IT. This would benefit both the countries.
  • India could help in training the Syrian Army for Anti-insurgency and counter-terrorist strategies.


India has already demonstrated its reconstruction capacities in the Afghanistan. Thus India is poised to play major role in reconstruction of the Syria. Though concerns like presence of Islamic state and political instability looms over Syria, India as a country with ambitions to become a global political and economic power, cannot hide behind the veil of ambiguity and diplomatic fence-sitting. This trajectory only undermines India’s own ambitions on the global stage, and as the world’s largest democracy, whether it likes it or not, India has a responsibility to speak up on globally critical events.


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

5) “Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s presidency saw a historic shift in Iran’s ties with India, laying the groundwork for the cooperation that has unfolded, haltingly, over the past 20 years.” Discuss. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Rafsanjani was a pivotal figure in the Iran’s path since the 1979 revolution: a founding father, a military leader in the war with Iraq, and twice President. More parochially, his presidency also saw a historic shift in ties with India, which laid the groundwork for greater cooperation between the two countries.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani-

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was an influential Iranian politician, writer and one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic who was the fourth President of Iran from 3 August 1989 until 3 August 1997. During the final years of Iran–Iraq War Rafsanjani was the de facto commander-in-chief of the Iranian military. Rafsanjani was elected chairman of the Iranian parliament in 1980 and served until 1989. He played an important role in the choice of Ali Khamenei as Supreme Leader.

Rafsanjani has been described as having been a pragmatic Islamic conservativeThe Economist called him a “veteran kingmaker.” He supported a free market position domestically, favoring privatization of state-owned industries and a moderate position internationally, seeking to avoid conflict with the United States and the West.

India-Iran Relation before Rafsanjanii-

Independent India and Iran established diplomatic relations on 15 March 1950. During much of the Cold War period, relations between the Republic of India and the erstwhile Imperial State of Iran suffered due to different political interests, non-aligned India fostered strong military links with the Soviet Union while Iran enjoyed close ties with the United States.

Transforming ties with India-

  • In September 1993, P.V. Narasimha Rao became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Iran since the revolution. Rafsanjani termed this visit as ‘turning point’ in the India-Iran relations. Result of this visit was visible when in March 1994, Iran bailed out India in the UN Commission on Human Rights, blocking a consensus on Kashmir.
  • Though relations between the two countries witnessed tensions in the following months due to issues like Babri Masjid riots and insistence of Iran to include leaders of Hurriyat Conference in India-Pakistan talks, they soon improved with the visit of Rafsanjani to India in April 1995.
  • It turned out to be landmark visit. Rafsanjani signed a three-way India-Iran-Turkmenistan transit agreement, allowing India to avoid Russian or Ukrainian ports. He also urged a Tehran-Delhi-Beijing axis to strengthen relations between big Asian nations. He also donated $10 million for the upkeep of Bara Imambara of Luknow. He cunningly refused to get drawn into any debate about Babri Masjid riots and praised India’s efforts to solve Kashmir issue peacefully. He denied need of American mediation in Kashmir issue supplementing the position of India.
  • As a relative pragmatist, he was able to overcome those in Iran who had argued for a tilt to Pakistan and a continued focus on Kashmir and communal issues. Rafsanjani’s trip marked several themes that would shape India-Iranian relations for the next two decades. One was economic diplomacy focused on connectivity, energy, and trade. Another was mutual concern over the future of Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s role there.



Thus he set the new tone for India-Iran relations in 90s. The present strong relations between India and Iran have roots in the foundation laid by Rafsanjani. India is building Chabahar port in Iran as a counter to Chian’s Gwadar port in Pakistan. Further India would get transit lines to Central Asia through Chabahar. The relations went on to improve since then except the brief period when India reduced its oil supplies from Iran under the US economic sanctions on Iran.


General Studies – 3

Topic: Employment

6) The mismatch between the number of people who annually reach working age and the availability of jobs has been a matter of constant concern globally during the better part of the period since the global financial crisis of the last decade. Examine the nature of this problem and suggest measures to bridge this mismatch. (200 Words)

The Hindu

The recently released report by ILO titled ‘World Employment and Social Outlook for 2017’ the extent of problem of unemployment in the world. The report observes-

  • Economic growth continues to disappoint and deficits in decent work remain widespread Global GDP growth hit a six-year low in 2016, at 3.1 per cent, well below the rate projected in the previous year. Looking ahead, global economic growth is expected to pick up modestly in 2017 (3.4 per cent) and 2018 (3.6 per cent).

The rather disappointing economic performance in 2016 and the below-trend outlook for 2017 raise concerns about the ability of the economy to (i) generate a sufficient number of jobs, (ii) improve the quality of employment for those with a job, and (iii) ensure that the gains of growth are shared in an inclusive manner. Countries around the globe are facing the twin challenges of repairing the damage caused by the crisis and creating quality employment opportunities for new labour market entrants.

  • The numbers of jobless people will increase by 3.4 million in 2017- The global unemployment rate is expected to rise modestly in 2017, to 5.8 per cent (from 5.7 per cent in 2016) – representing 3.4 million more unemployed people globally.
  • Vulnerable employment – at 1.4 billion worldwide – remains pervasive– Workers in vulnerable forms of employment are typically subject to high levels of precariousness, e.g. they often have limited access to contributory social protection schemes, which tend to be more common among wage and salaried workers.
  • Reductions in working poverty are slowing, endangering the prospects for eradicating poverty as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals– Working poverty remained a problem in 2016, with nearly half of workers in Southern Asia and nearly two-thirds of workers in sub-Saharan Africa living in extreme or moderate working poverty (i.e. living on less than US$3.10 per day in purchasing power terms).
  • Inequalities in opportunities and social discontent persists- Underlying these aggregate labour market and social trends are disparities, often wide, across a number of demographic groups. Of notable concern are gender disparities in labour market opportunities, which cut across and persist in a number of areas.
  • Many of the recent labour market dynamics reflect both cyclical factors and structural factors – e.g. low productivity growth and widening income inequality – which may lead to secular stagnation. Under a scenario where secular stagnation intensifies, the ILO estimates that global unemployment could rise by an additional 1 million over the next two years. Developed economies would be most affected, while emerging and developing countries would benefit initially from higher capital inflows before also suffering from the negative spillover effects caused by lower trade and investment.

Measures to mismatch this gap-

  • Policy efforts must focus on how to overcome structural impediments to growth, including inequality. Achieving the right policy mix is essential. Accordingly, policies that address both the root causes of secular stagnation and structural impediments to growth need to be incorporated into macroeconomic policies and placed at the forefront of the policy agenda.

The ILO estimates that a coordinated effort to provide fiscal stimulus – an increase in public investment – that takes into account each country’s fiscal space would provide an immediate jump-start to the global economy. This could lower global unemployment, relative to the baseline, by 0.7 million in 2017 and 1.9 million by 2018. In the medium term, such efforts might also remove fears of low growth and, thereby, raise investment demand.

  • In short term, there is need to improve credit conditions for the small firms. Measures should be taken to help small firms grow into medium sized enterprises. People from disadvantaged sections must be encouraged to take up entrepreneurial tasks and thereby making economic growth more inclusive.
  • Governments around the world must focus on improving skill, technique and abilities of the people so that they would contribute in generating economic activities in the country.
  • Countries facing economic stagnation should focus on expanding fiscal capacity by spending more on infrastructure and other projects which would generate jobs and thereby purchasing capacity of the people. This would set the economic cycle in right direction producing more jobs.
  • There has to be more emphasis on generating jobs for women so that gender inequality in the workforce is reduced.


Countries around the world are facing stiff challenges in stabilizing the economy and creating employments. However, economic growth is expected to pick up slightly in 2017 (to 3.4 per cent) and 2018 (to 3.6 per cent). The upward trend is largely being driven by anticipated improvements in emerging countries, notably in Brazil and the Russian Federation, where major contractions in 2016 dragged down economic growth. Furthermore, the negative impact of the sharp terms-of-trade shock experienced by commodity exporters is likely to reverse and an increase in capital inflows should help to buttress economic improvements.