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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 March 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 06 March 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.

STATIC Syllabus Timetable

General Studies – 1;

Topic: Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes

1) Critically comment on the issues involved in declaring the Western Ghats as ecologically sensitive zone. (200 Words)

The Hindu


The declaration of western ghats as ecologically sensitive sensitive area is being seen as development vs conservation issue by many. The recommendations of Gadgil committee and then the Kasturirangan Panel is in public domain and many issue are involved in declaring Western Ghats as ecologically sensitive area.


The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), also known as the Gadgil Commission after its chairman Madhav Gadgil, was an environmental research commission appointed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests of India. The commission submitted the report to the Government of India on 31 August 2011. The Expert Panel approached the project through a set of tasks such as:

  1. Compilation of readily available information about Western Ghats
  2. Development of Geo-spatial database based on environmental sensitivity, and
  3. Consultation with Government bodies and Civil society groups.
  • Recommendations:- The panel recommended a National-level authority, Western Ghats Ecology Authority (WGEA).
  • The Gadgil Committee report was criticised for being too environment-friendly.

The report was considered by UNESCO, which added the 39 serial sites of the Western Ghats on the World Heritage List.


The Kasturirangan committee report has sought to balance the two concerns of development and environment protection, by watering down the environmental regulation regime proposed by the Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel’s Gadgil report in 2012. The Kasturirangan report seeks to bring just 37% of the Western Ghats under the Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) zones — down from the 64% suggested by the Gadgil report. Dr. V.S. Vijayan, member of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) said recommendations of the Kasturirangan report are undemocratic and anti-environmental.



  • Conflicting views of two commitees:-The Gadgil and Kasturirangan committee have presented conflicting views while Gadgil panel wants to declare whole area as sensitive zone the kasturirangan panel recommends only 37% area sensitive.
  • Development vs conservation issue:- Ghats play an irreplaceable role in mediating the monsoon over the country and the forests harbour a rich biodiversity that has not even been fully studied. New species continue to emerge each year in an area that has endemic plants and animals, although, as the scientist Norman Myers wrote nearly two decades ago, only 6.8% of primary vegetation out of the original 182,500 sq km remains in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka taken together. There are many instances of destruction of the loss of ecology in Goa due to rampant, illegal mining.
  • Assessment of ecosystem services :- Gadgil, for instance, has underscored the unique value of some locations, such as those with fish or medicinal plant diversity peculiar to a small area, which should not get lost in the assessment process.While Kasturirangan panel have applied another criterias.
  • Opposition from states:-Mining forms very important share in states income hence declaration of Western Ghats as wholly or partially as an ecologically sensitive area will hamper the revenue generation capacity of state.
  • Displacement and rehabilitation of Indigenous people:-The declaration will lead to people’s migration from sensitive area as they wont be allowed to use forest resources or to carry on their traditional professions which may hamper the area.
  • Energy Development potential:- Hydroelectricity : The western ghats have great potential of HEP generation. If the area is declared as Ecologically sensitive, it’ll become more tough to construct such projects and ensure developmental activities in those region.
  • Tourism : Western Ghats have various tourist spots like Ooty, wayanad etc., Tourism will be greatly affected if the region is declared as ecologically sensitive and there’ll be a loss of livelihood.


Rather than propagating this issue as development versus conservation , We should try to build consensus among all stakeholders ie State government’s , industries and local population . Is should be based on scientific evidence and addressing public concern . Other alternatives can be explored i.e Community led mining activities , community led tourism , frequent social audits to combinely have development along with much affecting the ecology of western Ghats.


Topic: Changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes

2) How is coral reef formed? Examine the factors that are threatening corals around the world. Also examine what happens to oceans if corals are lost. (200 Words)

Goh Cheng Leong, Chapter 11


Coral reefs are diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals. Coral reefs are built by colonies of tiny animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps belong to a group of animals known as Cnidaria, which also includes sea anemones and jellyfish. Unlike sea anemones, corals secrete hard carbonate exoskeletons which support and protect the coral polyps. Most reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny and agitated waters.

  • Coral reefs begin to form when free-swimming coral larvae attach to submerged rocks or other hard surfaces along the edges of islands or continents.
  • As the corals grow and expand, reefs take on one of three major characteristic structures —fringing, barrier or atoll.
  • Fringing reefs, which are the most common, project seaward directly from the shore, forming borders along the shoreline and surrounding islands. Barrier reefs also border shorelines, but at a greater distance.
  • They are separated from their adjacent land mass by a lagoon of open, often deep water. If a fringing reef forms around a volcanic island that subsides completely below sea level while the coral continues to grow upward, an atoll forms.
  • Atolls are usually circular or oval, with a central lagoon. Parts of the reef platform may emerge as one or more islands, and gaps in the reef provide access to the central lagoon.


Threats to coral reefs:-

  • Climate Change

One factor — believed to be the greatest threat to reefs, according to the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report of 2009 — is climate change. When severe weather events increase in frequency, this causes rises in both sea temperatures and sea levels. The problem with water temperatures rising is that coral reefs need to sustain a sea temperature between 73 and 84 degrees F to sustain growth.

  • Pollution

Coral reefs are strongly affected by humans and their pollution. Boating and even coming into contact with coral reefs can cause damage to the ecosystem. Sewerage, contaminants and land clearing are also factors that affect reefs

  • Overfishing and Blast Fishing

Fish might taste delicious but catching too many can be harmful to a coral reef. It can be difficult for a species to sustain life when too many fish are taken from one area. Overfishing of herbivorous fish can also lead to a reef having high levels of algal growth. Another factor affecting coral reefs is blast fishing. This practice involves catching fish by using explosives to blow apart sections of a coral reef.

  • Disease Outbreaks

Coral reefs are susceptible to disease outbreaks caused by stress, which include the presence of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Other types of stress include physical and chemical changes, such as ultra-violet radiation, changes in water temperatures or pollutants.

  • Human Intervention

The trawling machinery,  the digging of canals and access into islands and bays are localized threats to coral ecosystems. Rock coral on seamounts across the ocean are under fire from bottom trawling. Reportedly up to 50% of the catch is rock coral, and the practice transforms coral structures to rubble. With it taking years to regrow, these coral communities are disappearing faster than they can sustain themselves

  • Other Fctors

The ocean’s role as a carbon dioxide sink, atmospheric changes, ultraviolet light, ocean acidification, viruses, impacts of dust storms carrying agents to far-flung reefs, pollutants, algal blooms and others. Reefs are threatened well beyond coastal areas. Coral reefs with one type of zooxanthellae are more prone to bleaching than are reefs with another, more hardy, species


1.Coral reefs are one of the prominent reason for thriving biodiversity in the ocean. They give shelter to various species who depend on corals for food.
2. They are first level protection against floods tsunami, which lessen the impact on coastal areas. These are barriers to surge, storms.
3. Corals prevent erosion of coastal areas
4. Coastal population depends on corals as these provide tourism & recreational activities thus diminishing economy. 5.Decrease in corals will lead to shifting of fishing community from their


Corals are rightly called “Tropical Rainforest of Sea” as they play an prominent role in sustaining biodiversity in marine life. We should strive for conservation of corals to safeguard our enviroment.


Topic : Salient features of world’s physical geography. 

3) How ocean currents originate? Discuss how ocean currents impact trade and commerce. (200 Words)

Goh Cheng Leong, Chapter 12


An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of seawater generated by forces acting upon this mean flow, such as breaking waves, wind, the Coriolis effect, cabbeling, temperature and salinity differences, while tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon.


Origination of Ocean Currents:-

  • WINDS:-Surface currents are generated largely by wind. Their patterns are determined by wind direction, Coriolis forces from the Earth’s rotation, and the position of landforms that interact with the currents.  Surface wind-driven currents generate upwelling currents in conjunction with landforms, creating deepwater currents.
  • DENSITY DIFFERENCE:-Currents may also be generated by density differences in water masses caused by temperature and salinity variations.  These currents move water masses through the deep ocean—taking nutrients, oxygen, and heat with them. 
  • OCCASIONAL EVENTS also trigger serious currents. Huge storms move water masses. Underwater earthquakes may trigger devastating tsunamis. Both move masses of water inland when they reach shallow water and coastlines. Earthquakes may also trigger rapid downslope movement of water-saturated sediments, creating turbidity currents strong enough to snap submarine communication cables.
  • Bottom currents scour and sort  sediments, thus affecting what kind of bottom develops in an area—hard or soft, fine grained or coarse. Bottom substrate (material) determines what kinds of communities may develop in an area.
  • Finally, when a current that is moving over a broad area is forced into a confined space, it may become very strong. On the ocean floor, water masses forced through narrow openings in a ridge system or flowing around a seamount may create currents that are far greater than in the surrounding water—affecting the distribution and abundance of organisms as well as the scientists and their equipment seeking to study them.


1.Place where cold and warm current meets create conducive environment of fish growth such as meeting of kurosio and oya shio along west of japan. It provide huge fish production.
2. Places along cold current are dry so often create desert so no production of grains.e.g. Atacama desert in Peru
3. Warm current such as north Atlantic drift helps to save port along west Europe from freezing.
4. In also helps to move easily along the current flow and difficult against flow (in terms of fuel and time).



Topic : Salient features of world’s physical geography.

4) Differentiate between weather and climate. Examine the salient features of Indian climate. (200 Words)

Goh Cheng Leong, Chapter 13


Weather and Climate are the terms used to describe the atmospheric conditions of the place.

WEATHER is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere, and its short-term variation in minutes to weeks. Generally weather is the combination of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind conditions over a certain area at a particular time.
weather conditions change from hour to hour and even neighborhood.

CLIMATE is the weather of a place averaged over a long period of time, often 30 to 40 years. Climate information includes the statistical weather information that tells us about the normal weather, as well as the range of weather extremes for a location.
Climate conditions, on the other hand, are far less volatile, and they are often used to describe larger areas—such as parts of countries, whole countries 

Weather for a place may change at any moment. It may be sunny in the morning and rainy in the evening. But Climate gives the idea for the long period so it can’t be varying in the short intervals.

Salient features of Indian Climate:-

  1. THREE DISTINCT SEASONS – Indian climate is said to be consisting of three climatic conditions: Warm and dry climate, Cool and dry climate and Monsoon or rainy climate.
  1. MONSOONAL RAINFALL – Most of the period in India is dry (October to May) and there are about four months when monsoonal precipitation occurs heavily. It causes rain in most parts of the Indian subcontinent. This happens due to :
  • Seasonal reversal of winds (monsoons) due to upward and downward motion of the ITCZ and associated pressure changes.
  • seasonal variations in the wind pattern (NE trade winds) with respect to the Pacific oscillation (ENSO).
  • High pressure Vs low pressure over the Indian subcontinent owing to the differential heating of the land and oceans.
  • In the month of October-November, the condition reverses and so the wind direction causing rain at the east coast of Tamilnadu.
  1. ROLE OF HIMALAYAS – protection from Siberian freezing winds affecting Indian climate significantly.
  1. WESTERN DISTURBANCES – they form anticyclonic conditions and also affect rainfall in Indian sub continent.
  1. HUGE VARIATION AND DIVERSITY ALONG THE ENTIRE E-W AND N-S STRETCH – For example: highest rainfall in Mawsynram (Meghalaya) Vs Thar Desert (one of the hottest and driest regions of the world), tropical evergreen forests on the Andaman to conifers in the higher regions of Himalayas.
  2. PRONE TO THE NATURAL CALAMITIES like cyclones along the Eastern borders like Odisha and TN, floods in the UK, HP states, and others.


General Studies – 2

Topic: Pressure groups

5) What is a pressure group? Analyse their role in development. (200 Words)

Laxmikanth, Political Dynamics – Pressure Groups

A pressure group refers to any organized group that has members with common interests and these members making joint efforts to pressurize or influence the formal political system to protect and pursue their interests. They can also be described as ‘interest groups’, ‘lobby groups’ or ‘protest groups’.

Pressure groups are such organizations who influence public and policy matters of government for a particular cause. These interests can be in general public matters of importance or vested interests of any particular group. Generally they adopt approaches like propagandizing, electioneering, lobbying , persuasion, debate, correspondence etc.

Pressure groups do not participate in general elections and neither do they form any party. There are plethora of such groups in India which have contributed immensely in raising their voice for development of nation. eg. AITUC, IMA, Kisan Sangh etc 

Although there is no explicit provision in the Constitution regarding Pressure Groups, yet they exist because of Article 19, which gives citizens the right to form associations and unions.

Some Types of PG in India –
1.Business and Industry, Professional Pressure Groups – ASSOCHAM, SIAM, FICCI, Trade Unions
2.Peasants Pressure Groups – AIKS, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh
3.Student’s Pressure Groups – AISF, ABVP, JNUSU
4.Community associations – VHP, LGBT rights movement, Jat committee, etc.
5.Linguistic groups – Tamil Sangh, Hindi Vikas Mandal

Role in development –
       1.REPRESENTATION AND VOICE – Providing mouthpiece for groups and interests that are not adequately represented through the electoral process or by political parties thus striving for equality and justice . Role in Strengthening democracy through promotion of representation and participation of people and Promotion of debate, discussion, criticism.
Eg – Enable Tribals, minority groups, SC/ST, differently abled people, LGBTQ and women to voice their opinions.

  1. EDUCATION – Many PG devote significant resources to carry out research, commenting on Govt. policy, information dissemination, facilitate collaboration between academicians and industrialists 
    Eg- ASSOCHAM research on boosting agri-processing
  2. POLICY FORMULATION – Provides vital source of information, advice and criticism to the governments and are regularly consulted in policy decisions .
    Eg- SIAM lobbying for less tax on automobile, and rate cuts by RBI; Trade unions for rebates in export duties
  3. DIRECT ACTION – Can organize strikes, blockades through effective mobilizing of people 
    Eg- Anna Hazare’s Anti-Corruption movement, Jat-stir for reservation .
  4. GOVERNANCE – Increase transparency and accountability of Govt. to public and adoption of effective moral standards. Role in Checking authoritarianism.
    Eg- Dasra foundation for improving Governance structure, Transparency International India
  5. ECONOMY – Help in development of all sectors
    Eg- Peasants PG lobby for policies to improve agri, while businesses for secondary and higher sectors.


  1. there is debate regarding indirect major influence exerted by PG, given the fact that they do not represent electoral politics – which may result into divisive policies, favoritism etc. Ex. Political , Communal Pressure groups having divisive agenda to benefit themselves.
  1. Unaccountable, Lack of transparency, no statutory mechanism for regulating them.
  1. Irrational demands, mass extortion ,mob pressurization.
  1. Vested goals –
    ex- Acting as agents of MNC’s or any Country to promote their interest i.e Allegations that NGO protesting against Kudankulam project (Russian collaboration ) getting support from USA , Human rights organizations demanding labor law reforms etc.
  1. Lobbying industry in India is also unregulated and informal unlike US, which results into bribery, corruption etc. Thus, passing of Disclosure of Lobbying Activities Bill, 2013 (DLA Bill) holds much significance to organize activities of PG in India.



In today’s Participative, Democratic ,Sustainable development agenda, role of pressure groups should be for the welfare and benefit of people. It should help in formulating , implementing welfare and just policies and should not act as an obstacle to development . Concerns should be raised and resolved through the democratic ways .


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

6) Why is there a need for electoral reforms in India? Discuss measures already taken to bring reforms in electoral politics. (200 Words)

Laxmikanth, Political Dynamics – Pressure Groups

India is the largest Democracy in the World.Democracy can function successfully only when the elections are free and fair and not manipulated and rigged.

Electoral reforms refer to the initiatives undertaken with an objective to strengthen the electoral processes. They are necessary due to the dynamism displayed in the politics of India. Bringing about reforms from time to time is necessary in order to establish India as a DEMOCRATIC republic as outlined in the preamble and other constitutional principles.

Need for electoral reforms 

  1. Criminalization of politics: 30% of LS and 17% of RS MPs have criminal background. (ADR+NEW report for data since 2004)
  2. Money and muscle power still influencing election outcomes.
  3. Electoral participation is only 66% in 16th LS elections. So, there is need to increase electoral participation.
  4. Women constitute only 11.3% in the 16th LS.
  5. Role of EC – more Powers should be awarded. Appointments to EC need to be more transparent.
  6. Political funding – Highly non-transparent and corruption prone zone.
  1. victimization of voters – through booth and constituency profiling.

Electoral reforms so far undertaken are summarised below: 

  1. Election Commission of India was constituted as an independent institution under Art 324 for superintendence, direction and conduct of elections.

Later number of Commissioners were increased to 3. 

  1. RPA, 1951 was passed with statutory provisions for fair elections.
  2. Due to increasing instances of booth capturing in 1960s, Section 58A of the RPA was introduced to

empower ECI to adjourn or cancel elections on the ground of booth-capturing. 

  1. Lowering the Voting age to 18 years done by 61st Constitutional Amendment Act,1988 to encourage youth to participate in democracy. 
  2. Anti Defection law was passed to curb evil of political defections.
  3. Increase in Security deposits to keep a check on non serious candidates.
  4. Introduction of Electronic Voting Machines in 2008. 
  5. Restriction on exit polls and opinion polls as prescribed by ECI. 
  6. Introduction of Model Code of Conduct and Expenditure Control Mechanism. Compulsory declaration of income and criminal record by candidates.
  7. NOTA option since 2013 enabling the elector to register his disinterest in any candidate.
  1. Introduction of VVPATs to prevent rigging of EVMs. Introduction of SVEEP during elections.
  2. Electoral Bonds, ceiling of rs. 2,000 on the amount of cash donation per person as announced in Budget 2017.

However, there is a need of more innovative reforms to ensure – internal democracy, financial accountability in parties. A slew of reforms like use of vote- totaliser machines to protect voters privacy, simultaneous elections, penal provisions for compliance of Sec 29C, statutory backing to MCC , bringing political parties in RTI ambit, further increasing transparency in pol-funding , measures to increase political participation,etc. are needed for a strengthening our democracy.


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

7) Critically comment on the progress of reconciliation efforts by the Sri Lankan government towards Sri Lankan Tamilians. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Sri Lankan Civil War

The Sri Lankan Civil War was an armed conflict fought on the island of Sri Lanka. Beginning on 23 July 1983, there was an intermittent insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers), which fought to create an independent Tamil state called Tamil Eelamin the north and the east of the island. After a 26-year military campaign, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, bringing the civil war to an end.

For over 25 years, the war caused significant hardships for the population, environment and the economy of the country, with an initial estimated 80,000–100,000 people killed during its course.


The area of Sri Lanka claimed by the LTTE as Tamil Eelam, where, vast majority of the fighting took place





Mr Sirisena’s tenure so far has adopted a far more conciliatory tone than that of his predecessor Mahinda Rajapakse.

Efforts by new government in Sri Lanka:

  • The Government has agreed to a UN call to set up a special court to investigate wartime atrocities, but has rejected requests for the involvement of foreign judges.
  • It has secured international support for ethnic peace, while high-profile visits by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Secretary of State John Kerry last year effectively ended Sri Lanka’s pariah status.
  • State has taken an initiative to establish drafting committee, to bring in suitable amendments concerning greater devolution of powers.
  • It has also taken steps towards the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, based on the four pillars of truth, reconciliation, accountability, and non-recurrence.
  • Creation of an Office for Missing Persons, for resolving the issue of the missing persons during the civil war.

A United Nations report released last week on the progress of reconciliation efforts by the Sri Lankan government has raised the following concerns:

Lack of accountability and transparency in reconciliation efforts threatens the lasting peace in war torn areas of island nation.

As per UN report, cases of torture, excessive use of force, arbitrary arrest still continues in Srilanka that may lead to dwindle support of people to current local government. This may lead to military coup by Rajapaksha and thus further complicating the reconciliation process.

Issue of return of confiscated land of local Tamil people during war time is not yet solved properly and many people are agitating in front of administrative offices.

Srilanka is under struggling phase of transformation and thus political stability is essential for longing peace and secured human rights. Rebuilding of war torn infrastructure and destroyed minds need much more efforts by domestic government as well as international community. This can happen only when the domestic political setup is strong and works for genuine reconciliation.


Topic:  India and its neighborhood- relations. 

8) What ordeals did Indian immigrants face in the US during early twentieth century? Critically examine causes of the discrimination being faced by Indian diaspora in the US at present. (200 Words)

The Hindu


The recent government change in United States and the policy of protectionism has made people to look into the history in Indian immigrants to can draw a peculiar pattern and repeated act of discrimination towards migrants from long time by leading country who promotes the philosophy of globalization. During early twentieth century, Indian immigrants faces severe discrimination on the basis of race , lifestyle , economic status , professional choices etc.


Labor issues:

The early discrimination and violence happened against Indian immigrants due to fear of cheap labour from Asia. Such incidences happened mostly in cities such as Washington DC.

Racial theories:

The debate over Aryan race and caucus race of both American and Indians has led to the US court decision on this matter. Indian workers though accepted as a distant brothers of Americans racially, the intermarriages with Dravidians was sighted as a reason for impurity of Indian race.

Political reasons:

 Efforts to prevent mobilizing of too many Indians at single place and forceful evacuation of Indians through vigilantism (Asiatic Exclusion League), striping of citizenships (acquired through naturalization) by Govt., imposing travel bans and providing meager representation in politics are some of the early political reasons for inhumane treatment to Indian immigrants.

Indians in USA:

Today, Indian citizens are the top recipients of temporary high-skilled worker H-1B visas, accounting for 70 percent of the 316,000 H-1B petitions. More than half of Indian immigrants in the United States obtain lawful permanent residence (also known as receiving a “green card”) through the employment-based preference. Compared to the overall foreign- and native-born populations, Indian immigrants are significantly higher educated, more likely to be employed, and have a higher household income. As of 2015, more than 2 million Indian-born immigrants resided in the United States, accounting for 4.7 percent of the 41.3 million foreign-born populations.

In contemporary scenario, following are the reasons for discrimination towards Indians

  1. Soft skill industry dominance:

 Indians has done excellent work in software industry and thus acquired a dominant position in many American multi-national companies. The bad stage of economic growth in USA has made American Citizens cautious about the jobs they are losing due to strong Indian hold on software industry.

  1. Mistaken Identity:

Post 9/11 Sikhs became target as many Americans mistook them for Muslims, while attacks were carried out on Mosques and Gurudwaras.

  1. Racial theory:

It is hard truth to accept that Indians are still seen as a lower race as compared to elite ‘white’ Americans. Racist propaganda theories state that Indians degraded themselves through slavery, casteism while Americans are the elites and face of progress and civilization of 21st century.

  1. Nature of Migration:

United States of America is facing the problem of large number of illegal migration. The recent statement by President Donald Trump specifically targets illegal migrants and not the all migrated people to America.

While every government has an obligation to protect the Rights and ensure the betterment of the people of their country, careful analysis and proper diplomatic channels are to be used to address the issues of immigrants rather than merely supporting the acts of discrimination by its people.


General Studies – 3

Topic: Indian economic growth and development

9) Despite decent economic growth, what structural challenges should it overcome to sustain its growth momentum? Analyse. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Despite dull condition of world economy and demonetization drive carried out by present government, Indian economy is set to grow with around 7% growth rate in the current fiscal year. According to OECD and IMF Indian economic growth is robust, propelled by consumption demand and accelerated structural reforms. Notwithstanding these GDP growth numbers, widespread unemployment and displacement of job workers coupled with rural distress now looks clearly misaligned with actual outcomes. Thus to overcome these challenges and to sustain present rate of economic growth India will have to undertake further structural reforms.

Structural challenges to overcome-

  • Weak manufacturing sector- Manufacturing sector remains the weak link of Indian economic growth. Services sector has witnessed the high rate of growth but not the proportional increase in job creation. It is the manufacturing sector which can provide large number of jobs and sustain India’s economic growth over the period of time.
  • Overburdened agriculture – India urgently needs to remove disguised employment from agriculture and shift them into secondary and tertiary sectors of economy. This would increase the efficiency and efficacy of agriculture and provide labour-force for other economic activities.
  • Inadequate infrastructure and energy insufficiency- India’s infrastructural facilities or economic and social overheads of capital are inadequate. It consists of (a) transport and communications, (b) energy, (c) finance, housing and insurance, (d) science and technology, and (e) health, education, etc. Availability of these infrastructures creates the conditions for favourable growth. The superstructure of an economy largely depends on the availability of infrastructural facilities.
  • Low level of Technology adoption- Due to low level of literacy, use of advanced or sophisticated technology is rather an exception in India. Because of the limited growth of technological institution, we are forced to use primitive methods of technology whose productivity is low.

Though modern industrial sectors employ advanced technology, village industries still employ old and hackneyed methods even in the age of modern science and globalized world. This is nothing but technological dualism that persists in developing countries like India. Truly speaking, low productivity of Indian labour is explained in terms of low level of technology.

  • Banking- Indian banking system is fraught with the challenges like high NPAs, twin balance-sheet problem, lack of credit discipline among credit holders, erosion of profitability etc.

The concept of a centralised Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency (PARA) envisaged as a ‘Bad Bank’ spin-off model has gained some traction and could reduce the problem of bad loans. Also steps like bank consolidation need to be implemented quickly to minimize NPA issue and to take on global competition.

  • Financial inclusion and digital literacy- India still has long way to go in providing financial services at affordable costs to marginalized and disadvantaged groups in the society. Further, large number of masses not only in rural areas but also in urban and semi-urban areas lack digital literacy which is important aspect of achieving financial inclusion.

Schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, emphasis on cashless transactions, incentives to digital economy by govt are steps in right direction to achieve financial inclusion.

  • Low tax resources- In India only around 5.5% who earn or 4% of voters are tax payers according to economic survey 2015-16. The tax to GDP ratio at 16.6%, as a result, is well below that of the emerging market economies of 21 per cent and OECD average of 34 per cent. According to economic survey at least 23% of voters should pay tax. This would increase the spending in social sector and also energize the economy.
  • Slowing down investments- Interest rate reductions alone will not help bring investment on track. It is not high real interest rates, but other impediments such as policy uncertainty, delayed project approvals, slow project implementation and electricity shortages that are holding back investment activity.
  • Job scarcity- Despite hitting high numbers on economic growth, creation of employment opportunities for ever burgeoning work-force remains critical challenge for Indian economy. Former prime minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh had himself expressed anguish to this paradoxical situation in India. Every year around 12 million people enter into India’s market but it is estimated that only around quarter of that number gets job in formal economy. Thus there is urgent need of creating employment opportunities in formal sectors of economy to drive human resource of India in right direction.
  • Lack of adequate skill-set and qualification– On one hand there is job scarcity on the other hand employers complain about lack of quality education and required skill and qualification among graduates seeking employment. Thus government needs to focus on providing quality education and better vocational training to job aspirants. Without this demographic dividend would turn into demographic disaster.


The overall macroeconomic framework, notwithstanding challenges, remains robust and credible. India stands as hub of human resource for the world. India is actively taking steps towards structural reforms and need to maintain its pace for sustainable growth and development.