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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 March 2017


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 22 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.

General Studies – 1;

Topic : Poverty and developmental issues

1) How is Human Development Index calculated? Why is India not improving its rank in the Index? Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu



The Human Development Index HDI is defined as the composite statistics used to rank countries by levels of human development. The HDI is a measure of health, education and income. It measures the average achievements in a country in these three basic dimensions of human development, calculated into an index.

HDI Dimensions and Indicators

The 2010 Human Development Report revised the HDI formula using data and methodologies that were not available in most countries when the first HDI was published in the 1990 Human Development Report. The HDI was calculated in 2010 using the following indicators:

  • Health – Life expectancy at birth
  • Education – expected years schooling for school-age children and average years of schooling in the adult population
  • Income – measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (PPP US$)

India’s statistics:-

1.Life expectancy at birth is 68.3
2.mean year of schooling: 6.3yrs
3.GNI per capita: 5661 PPP $


Recently released HDI have put India in Medium development category which is a promising news but still India is among the lowest HDI countries & even lag behind its South Asian & BRICS counterparts. Reasons for the same can be stated as:

  • The report says 1.5 billion people worldwide still live in multidimensional poverty, 54% of them concentrated in South Asia. While poverty fell significantly from 1990 to 2015, inequalities sharpened in the region. India shares major portion of this population.


  • Due to lesser spending on health nearly 1.3% of GDP , India shares a huge burden of NCDs & other diseases. Out of pocket expenditure , lack of awareness , focus on curative rather than preventive . low insurance penetration all these causes high IMR & MMR . Thus India scored poorly in life expectancy
  • Prevalent discrimination in society holds the women, disabled & other marginalised sections to enroll in schools & colleges. People opt for informal employments earlier in the life due to poverty thus resulting in exodus from schools & colleges.
  • Huge population is a burden on India . Though Economic reforms, distributive policies of government have resulted in increase in Per capita income, though the increase in insignificant due to huge population. Unemployment, lack of infrastructure, skills. Rising NPAs catch the growth, thus there is a reduction in per capita income.


The success of national development programs like Skill India, Digital India, Make in India and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, aimed at bridging gaps in human development, will be crucial in ensuring the success of Agenda 2030. Human development is crucial in order to be benefitted from demographic dividend hence work on improving it must be done on war footing level.


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

2) How does unusual warm weather in the Arctic affect other parts of the Earth? Examine. (200 Words)



Average sea-surface temperatures hit their highest levels ever last year, and overall temperatures over sea and land were 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period. Rising ocean temperatures that are melting polar ice sheets, killing marine life and flooding coastal communities may have increased more than previously reported last year, the WMO  said it in its recent report.


Global temperatures are expected to increase further during the 21stcentury. In the Arctic, this warming is expected to be substantially greater than the global average, and the following changes are expected over the current century  :

  • The average annual temperatures are projected to rise by 3 to 7 °C (5 to 13°F), with the greatest warming occurring in the winter months
  • Precipitation is projected to increase by roughly 20%.
  • Sea iceis expected to continue to decline significantly, reflecting less solar radiation and thereby increasing regional and global warming.
  • The area of Arctic land covered by snow is expected to decrease by 10 to 20%.

Changes in the Arctic can influence the global climate through three major mechanisms. .

  • The amount of the sun’s energy reflected back to spacedecreases as snow and ice melt, leading to a more intense surface warming.
  • The melting of Arctic ice and increased regional precipitation can add freshwaterto the oceans, and potentially affect ocean currents in the North Atlantic. 
  • As warming progresses, more greenhouse gasescould be released into the atmosphere by the thawing of the permafrost. However, warming can increase biological growth, and thus absorption of CO2
  • By 2100, melting of Arctic glaciersalone will have contributed to a sea level rise of roughly 5 cm out of the projected 10-90cm total rise for this century. Melting of the Greenland ice sheet may increase this number significantly. 
  • Access to Arctic resources is likely to be affected by climate change, including: wildlife, such as whales, seals, birds, and fish sold on world markets; and oil, gas and mineral reserves.
  • Arctic ecosystemchanges will have an impact on a global scale, notably by affecting migratory species’ summer breeding and feeding grounds.
  • Cold Waves -The warmer temperatures near poles can not contain the polar vertex (Cold winds) and they tend to meander more southwards causing cold waves during winters. Ex – USA in 2013 – High Snow Fall.
  • Ocean Current Cycle – The ocean current cycle where the warmer currents get cooled near poles and flow back as bottom currents will be disrupted.
  • Mid Latitudes – The mid latitudes which receive much of their rain from interaction of air masses will decrease due to decreased contrast between warm and cold air masses.



 General Studies – 2

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

3) Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) observed that the Ayodhya dispute must be settled amicably through “a cordial meeting” of all parties. Critically comment on this observation and also on the justification given by the SC on this observation. (200 Words)


The Hindu


Ayodhya dispute is a long standing dispute involving the delicate social fabric of the nation. Despite many hearings, the case has failed to get a lasting solution.

SC suggested that the issue should be solved out of the court and amicably on the basis of negotiation, mediation and conciliation.

Merits of this judgment are:

  • The issue involves religious sentiments which should be solvedamicably on a dialogue basis, free from legal technicalities.
  • It isless expensive & less time consuming. 
  • Parties will be free todiscuss their differences of opinion without any fear of disclosure of this fact before any law courts. 
  • Theill-will that would have existed between them will also end.
  • The method would beparticipatory and the parties to the dispute will participate in the solution-finding process. This would be lasting as both the parties will honor the solution with commitment. Judicial pronouncements do not enjoy this privilege of mutual agreement.
  • Mediation would provide a lasting solutionstrengthening the secular fabric of India.

However, there are some shortfalls of this judgment too:

  • The case has been pending for over 20 years, involvescomplex interpretations of laws and cases. Hence parties to the conference may find it difficult to come at single point solution.
  • A number of attempts at out of courts settlements have already failed.
  • The same ruling party in the Centre and State may twist the solution in favor of majoritarian.
  • It might createcommunal tensions in case of delays.
  • It might provide a negative image of judiciary in public.

Supreme Court suggested out of court settlement because according to it “These are issues of religion and sentiments. These are issues where all the parties can sit together and arrive at a consensual decision to end the dispute”.

Supreme Court was well within its right to pronounce its judgment on the dispute. But such top-down order could not have satisfied all the stakeholders. Further it could have created tensions among the two communities and would have disturbed the social fabric of society.

Out of court settlement may take some time, but participation of all the stakeholders would give it bottom-up approach thereby increasing the chances of long lasting solution. This would also legitimize the solution and strengthen the social fabric of society.


Topic:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

4) Why do you think Indian sports federations are not governed well? Discuss the steps taken to improve professionalism and efficiency of sports federations in India. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Sports are associated with national pride and acts as a vital force to enhance integrity of our nation. Sport federations function as a heart that pumps blood to all areas of a particular sport. But, high direct/indirect outsider influence and vested interests of stakeholders have caused undue influence on overall working of sport federations-

Indian sports federations are poorly governed because-

  • Administrative issues- There are no common code/rule/legislation/law for governing the administration (elections, funding, schedules and events, qualifications and time limit for different admin posts etc.) of different sports associations. These associations have their own constitutions and rules. As a result, they are neither transparent nor fair to athletes as well as officials.
  • Inappropriate representation of ex-sportspersons in administrative bodies has been a common problem with all sports in India. Most of the associations have their official staff which is alien to that sport. It leads to dissatisfaction among players as their problems are not understood and solved by that superimposed staff.
  • Lack of transparency- Functioning and administration of most of the sports federations are opaque with little transparency. This has hampered the efficiency and effectiveness of discharging their duties. It has also made corporate sector skeptical for sponsoring sports players.
  • Lack of accountability-Many sport federations don’t publish financial statements, and only one (Football federation) have it audited, which paves way for rampant corruption and leakage of already-short funds.
  • Lack of Vision- Most of the sport federations do not have clear goals and defined objectives which hampers their progress. Many sport federations like All India Tennis Association, Basketball Federation of India, and Indian Amateur Boxing Federation have not come out with their future strategies.

Steps taken to improve professionalism and efficiency of sports federations in India-

  • Government has brought all the national sport federations receiving grant of Rs10 lac or more under the ambit of definition of public authority under RTI act, making it mandatory for them to appoint Public Information Officer (PIO) and Appellate authorities. Sport federations like BCCI which are not under RTI, should be brought under it.
  • Special task force has been created to prepare an action plan for the next 3 Olympics – 2020 to 2028, and provision to give sport federations autonomy on similar lines like IOA is under deliberation. At the same time efforts are being taken to increase private investment in sports.
  • Revamping of National Sports Policy is under consideration to remove bottlenecks in sport federation’s administration, monitoring of financial assistance and increase their accountability.
  • Lodha panel has given valuable recommendations regarding matters like check on political influence, and chairmanship tenure and enforce appointment limits at higher levels, cleaning up election process, appointment of independent ombudsman. This would increase the transparency and accountability on the part of sport federations.
  • Some of the sport federations have themselves started to adopt a Conflict of Interest policy (Eg – Hockey India), and review committees have been set up by many to analyze the poor performance of players at international levels.
  • Government has undertaken sports code of India to make sport federations more professional.


Sport federations play important role in making nation a sport superpower. They are the pivots around which whole network of sport moves. In this context recommendations of Abhinav Bindra committee are valuable and be adopted gradually. 


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

5) What are the compelling reasons for the USA to give up isolationism? What role can fora like G20 play in helping the US government to embrace multilateralism? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu


The protectionism in US is brewing since Trump has taken office. But the isolationism will not only affect US economy but has a potential to damage it. Compelling  reasons to give up isolationism.

1] The US was founded by the immigrant population that made US their home. Diversity in US is an asset, diversity is essential for innovation and entrepreneurship.
2] Economic interdependence- Global world is interdependent, via Foreign Direct Investment, Foreign Institutional Investment , export and trade, defense is one of the biggest industries of US and us needs to maintain relations with world to continue its trading dominance.
3] Corporate Competitiveness- low labor cost of immigrants used to increased competitiveness of US companies which is not at stake due to high labor cost. As a result Companies might shift to other places to gain advantage.
4] Capital Market- of US is very active due to increased investments from around the world and major financial transactions, volatility in stock market is increasing due to protectionism.
5] Social Instability – Xenophobia, increased hate speech and violence degrading social values and democratic outlook.                                                                                     6] Lesson from the history: similar attitude of USA in 1920-30 had been the reason for the rise of Nazism, Fascism and ultimately became the reason of world wars.                                                                                    

 7] Unstable Europe: isolationism of USA will create rise of right wing governments in Europian countries and also pave the way for Russian expansion.                                                                                                       

 8] As an undisputed superpower post Malta summit that ended cold war.The role of US in the world politics is highly integrated.Sudden reversal may cause instability.

But the recent developments of protectionism will only harm the US economy and increased inequality in world can make US victim of Terror attacks.

Role of G20
1] The G20 can persuade US to have better immigration policy which will continue to boost the globalization process.
2] The countries like UK and Germany allowing Chinese takeovers is showing world is in need of more liberal attitude.
3] China is in favour of Consolidation of globalization rather than reversing it. 
4] Soft stance of Trump towards Russia and China will help have new Trade and Investment Negotiations. 
5] India has a role to play by focusing on Financial reforms and Boosting investment to revive world Growth. 
6] G20 can pressurize US to have more liberal attitude towards trade and investment


The need of the hour is working together to face the greater challenges like climate change, global poverty, Terrorism and Human development. The protectionism and isolation will only become hurdle to overcome these Challenges. Efforts from all over world community through forum like G20 are much appreciated.


General Studies – 3

Topic: Environmental pollution

6) It is said that wastewater remains an untapped resource, especially in India. What are the threats posed by untreated wastewater? What should India do to recycle wastewater and tap this resource effectively? Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Wastewater, also written as waste water, is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. Wastewater can originate from a combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff or stormwater, and from sewer inflow or infiltration.


Wastewater can come from:



  • There are numerous processes that can be used to clean up wastewaters depending on the type and extent of contamination. Wastewater can be treated in wastewater treatment plantswhich include physical, chemical and biological treatment processes.
  • Municipal wastewater is treated in sewage treatment plants(which may also be referred to as wastewater treatment plants). Agricultural wastewater may be treated in agricultural wastewater treatment processes, whereas industrial wastewater is treated in industrial wastewater treatment
  • For municipal wastewater the use of septic tanksand other On-Site Sewage Facilities (OSSF) is widespread in some rural areas, for example serving up to 20 percent of the homes in the U.S.
  • One type of aerobic treatment system is the activated sludgeprocess, based on the maintenance and recirculation of a complex biomass composed of micro-organisms able to absorb and adsorb the organic matter carried in the wastewater.
  • Anaerobic wastewater treatment processes (UASBEGSB) are also widely applied in the treatment of industrial wastewaters and biological sludge. Some wastewater may be highly treated and reused as reclaimed waterConstructed wetlandsare also being used.


Threats posed by untreated wastewater:-

  • Water borne diseases- such as polio, cholera, typhoid etc; slum dwellers are at a greater risk due to poor drainage in slums.
  • Threat to water bodies & aquatic life- wastewater is rich in nutrients which eutrophics water bodies causing algal bloom, increase in BOD, killing the aquatic life beneath.
  • Biomedical waste- many city hospitals dump biomedical waste into drains thereby multiplying the toxicity of wastewater.
  • Pollution of Rivers:- Indian rivers like Ganga, Yamuna are being severely polluted by effluents discharges by industries hence wastewater by domestic and other sources adds to the problem.
  • Reduced flow and corrosion in sludge pipesdue to build-up of organic content hence it severely damages the infrastructural set up.
  • Toxic gaseslike Hydrogen Sulphide, CO2, ammonia, methane produced from slurry can become hazardous to people and animal around.

The 2017 United Nations’ Water Development Programme’s World Water Development Report (WWDR) – Wastewater: The Untapped Resource, to be officially released today on World Water Day, notes that more than 80% of the world’s wastewater — over 95% in some least developed countries — is released into the environment untreated. In Thailand, 77% of wastewater was untreated in 2012; it was 81% in Vietnam the same year and 82% in Pakistan in 2011.

  • When safely treated, wastewater can be a source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials that is both affordable and sustainable.
  • The extraction of wastewater by-products such as salt, nitrogen and phosphorous has proven lucrative in Asia-Pacific.
  • In Southeast Asia, revenues from fertilizer have paid for the operational costs of the systems to extract them several times over.

Tapping and Recycling waste water resouces:-

  • Need of national Water policy, on lines of Rajasthan – 1st state to implement sewage water policy
  • Extraction of by-products- such as salt, nitrogen, phosphorous will be useful for local businesses.
  • Industrial applications- for cooling purposes in power stations, industrial machinery etc; Singapore uses reclaimed water called ‘NEWater’ to serve 30% of its needs.
  • Role of government, municipalities- need to enforce stricter norms regarding dumping of wastewater, improve process for treatment of wastewater.
  • Improve infrastructure- setting up more wastewater treatment plants in every municipality funding them through municipality bonds.
  • Cultural change- the culture of wasting water needs to be changed through educational campaigns.
  • New technology-like sequencing batch reactor – C-TECH technology that was adopted in Navi Mumbai,meets the standards of EUROPEAN UNION in terms of treated water quality.


TopicEnvironmental pollution

7) Discuss the technological measures and meteorological controls available to control industrial air pollution. (200 Words)

ICSE Class 10 Environmental Science

Introduction :- 

Industrial air pollution is the major source of pollution contributing to deteriorating air quality, major health effects on humans, green house gas emissions etc.



  • AT SOURCE :- Adoption of clean and new technology i.e Industries can use modified chimneys to reduce air pollution, affluent treatment plants , zero discharge methods etc .
  • Cleaning Smokestacks and Exhaust Pipes:-The leading sources of air pollutionare power plants, factories, and vehicles. They constantly emit fumes and gaseous waste into the atmosphere. In power plants and manufacturing industries, electrostatic smoke precipitators that use static electricity to trap soot and dust from the gaseous waste leaving the smokestacks is a significant technological cleaning measure which can be used to control air pollution.
  • Mechanical devices generally work on the basis of the following:
    – Gravity: In this process, the particles settle down by gravitational force.
    – Sudden change in direction of the gas flow. This causes the particles to separate out due to greater momentum.
  • Fabric Filters: The gases containing dust are passed through a porous medium. These porous media may be woven or filled fabrics. The particles present in the gas are trapped and collected in the filters. The gases freed from the particles are discharged.
  • Wet Scrubbers: Wet scrubbers are used in chemical, mining and metallurgical industries to trap SO2, NH3, metal fumes, etc.
  • Electrostatic Precipitators: When a gas or an air stream containing aerosols in the form of dust, fumes or mist, is passed between two electrodes, then, the aerosol particles get precipitated on the electrode.

Meteorological Controls:-

  • Wind speed data to Disperse the pollutants.
  • Determining height of the Chimney
  • Rainfall and Convection of Air to Decrease Pollutants in Air.
  • Air Quality Indicators and Warning systems.
  • Meteorological Control option can be use of human induced rains that is cloud seeding technologies to reduce pollution i.e as done in Beijing.