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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:  Art and culture

1) The state-funded cultural institutions have been asked to generate revenue amounting to 25-30 per cent of their budget initially and “eventually” achieve “self-sufficiency”. Critically discuss the role of these institutions in preserving culture and the kind of support they need from government. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Introduction :- State-funded cultural institutions have been asked to generate revenue amounting to 25-30 per cent of their budget initially and “eventually” achieve “self-sufficiency”. The idea will remain utopian unless professional cultural managers are inducted to lead these institutions.

India is among very few those countries which has been endowed with a very rich and diverse culture. Every state in India in itself represent as many culture which some of the countries even do not represent.
As we see that with increasing globalisation some of the cultural heritages are dying immature death as no one is there to take these cultural attributes forward. at the same time these cultural are not remunerative enough that a person can take them up for his livelihood. 
Here comes the role of state funded cultural institute since its not commercially remunerative so no private enterprise will take up this cause.
so government came up with state funded institute to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India.

These state funded institute did a great job in preserving and making Indian culture popular with in India as well as outside India. the popularity of Indian visual arts like bharat natyam, kathak, kathakali in world forum is because of the efforts of these institution like sagit kala academy, CCRT etc.

  • The government needs to create a cadre of professional cultural managers which calls for professionals with a host of skills and training, among which is the requirement to be sensitive and knowledgeable about the wide, diverse and complex cultures and traditions of the Subcontinent.
  • Such persons alone will be able to create business plans for these decadent institutions, provide a vision to connect them to audiences and “markets”, evolve practical strategies to conserve traditional knowledge skills and creative expressions. Only then can these organisations create self-sustainability and have renewed relevance. In their present form, these are white elephants.
  • Most of these institutions are now led either by artists (performing or visual) who have no idea of or training in administration, policy or management. Or, they are run or controlled by non-specialist bureaucrats.
  • The few professional cultural managers are not motivated to join since they are unable to provide appropriate remuneration and, most importantly, ensure functional autonomy. The dearth of professional cultural managers is unlikely to be addressed soon; not one eminent management institute in India offers a programme in cultural management.
  • Most state-run cultural institutions across India have been unable to chart a meaningful functional role for creative communities or the preservation of their cultural traditions.
  • Relevant outreach programmes have also not been created. Cultural ecosystems are rocked when a cultural skill or knowledge dies. It is similar to what happens when the tiger is endangered — the impact is felt all over the ecosystem. Several knowledge systems related to performing arts, crafts in India and communities that practice them now face the threat of massive deskilling and marginalisation.
  • There is no cultural policy that offers a holistic and realistic approach to this complex, contested terrain. Committees to formulate policies are mostly formed with artists and cultural academicians; rarely are cultural management professionals or cultural economists invited to join them.
  • Not surprisingly, these committees are unable to evolve strategies to ensure sustainability and conservation of creative communities, and other manifestations of our rich cultural heritage.
  • In the absence of professional cultural managers, bureaucrats in charge of these institutions take up the task of making India’s great cultural heritage visible on the international map. For example, the Festival of India model has not evolved since its inception in the 1980s.
  • Those in leadership positions can’t grasp the international discourse on culture as they are unfamiliar with its vocabulary. They fail to address conceptual frameworks while keeping in mind the Indian context and Indian artists’ interests.


General Studies – 2

Topic:  Functioning of the judiciary

2) “The Supreme Court’s use of its vast powers under the Article 142 has done tremendous good to many deprived sections. However, it is time to institute checks and balances.”  Discuss. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- In the early years of the evolution of Article 142, the general public and the lawyers both lauded the Supreme Court for its efforts to bring complete justice to various deprived sections of society or to protect the environment.

ART 142

  1. Enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court and unless as to discovery, etc ( 1 ) The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or orders so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe

 Subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, the Supreme Court shall, as respects the whole of the territory of India, have all and every power to make any order for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person, the discovery or production of any documents, or the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself

Constitution authorised judiciary for use of its vast power under article 142, which states enforcement of orders by the apex court. But when orders and judgements of supreme court override the other two organs of the govt. then it turns out as Judicial activism and Judicial overreach.

Favourable judicial activism :

  • Ban on alcohol sale near national and state highways as it will curb alcohol intoxication as per DPSPs and reduce road accidents
    due to drink and drive cases.
  • Respect of national anthem by enforcing an order for cinemas.

Judicial overreach :

  • Purpose of legislative is to make laws and judiciary shall interpret those laws. However ban on alcohol sale by Apex Court near
    highways(500 mt) can affect the business of common civilians as well as fundamental right of individuals. Drink and drive is not 
    sole reason for accidents.
  • Recent example of judiciary overreach is interference of SC in Bihar alcohol ban vs High court hearings.
  • Iron ore mining has been banned in Karnataka and Goa by Apex court is against livelihood of common people.
  • Interference in water tribunal judgements. Example of krishna water tribunal.


Conclusion :- The time has come for the Supreme Court to introspect on whether the use of Article 142 as an independent source of power should be regulated by strict guidelines so that, in the words of Justice Benjamin Cardozo, the judge “is not a knight-errant roaming at will in pursuit of his own ideal…”


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

3) Why do you think Russia, USA and India’s neighbours are taking keep interest in China’s Belt and Road Initiative? Does India stand isolated? In terms of geopolitics, examine whether India’s stance vis a vis BR initiative is justified or not. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- India decided to stake out a clear position of defiance against the Belt & Road Initiative (B&RI), an ambitious Chinese idea that seeks to reshape the Eurasian geo-economic space. India’s absence in Beijing’s high-profile summit with representatives from over 100 countries, including 29 heads of state, has evoked surprise and debate. USA , Russia and Indian Neighbour Took part in Meeting due to following reason :-

  • USA took U turn on last minute and sent delegation – It’s just sign to peruse china to pacify the north Korean Missile and nuclear programme.
  • For Russia , BRI is concomitant to her policy to deepened integration with Eurasia and It also provide Russian opportunity to expand her Oil and gas market.
  • Indian neighbour are mainly belong to developing world. They need the investment to develop own infrastructure and that why they show great interest in BRI.

Many perceived it as it Indian isolation but it not case as under as India have own projects to connect with Europe , Central Asia and Middle east as under :-

  • Chabahar – Delaram – Zerang road to connect Afghanistan and Iran.
  • North south transport corridor network of the 7000 km to connect Russia and Central Asia through meditteranean and Iran route.
  • India also enter Ashgabat agreement which complement the north south corridor network.

As far as Indian Stand is matter , There is two school of Though as under :-

  • BRI is not zero sum game as Russia and USA have own issues with china than also they join it as it provide opportunity to full fill own interest.
  • Second school believed that , BRI is related to the Core concern of the India that is Question of sovereignty. So India stand to boycott BRI is well moved step.


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

4) Examine how and why is India trying to balance its relations with Palestine and Israel. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


Recently Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited India and acknowledged the India’s consistent support for the cause of Palestine. Also Indian PM will travel to Israel in the month of July to become India’s 1st PM to do so after independence. The main purpose of this visit would be strengthening the ties between the two countries as Israel has become important partner in India’s foreign policy in the view of its increasing participation in providing latest technology in defence and security to India.

Why and How India is trying to balance its relations with the Palestine and Israel?

  • The balancing of Israel-Palestine act is underpinned by a confluence of competing values and interests driving India’s Middle East policy: Third World solidarity, non-violence, domestic politics, and expanding strategic and economic interests.
  • For most of the period since independence, India identified with the Palestinian struggle, spurred by a mix of anti-colonial solidarity with Arab states and commitment to the Non-Aligned Movement. India voted against Israel’s entry into the UN, and voted for Zionism to be condemned alongside racism. Despite this, New Delhi also projected an image of neutrality, recognizing the state of Israel in 1950. At the social level, India was known as one of the friendliest destinations for Israeli tourists.
  • Post-Cold War, Delhi furthered this neutral image.  India became the first non-Arab state to recognize Palestine in 1988 and subsequently established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992 after consulting with Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.
  • Another key driver of Indian policy coming under pressure was revealed in a statement by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee that “Our bilateral relations [with Israel] are independent of our relations with Palestine”. This driver is India’s tradition of neutrality – being a “friend-to-all” and keeping individual relationships free from entangling alliances.
  • India’s relationships with Palestine and Israel are totally separate, and should be weighed on their own merits. The former is about principled support for a cause; the latter is based on national interest.
  • In recent decades India strengthened ties with Israel, including buying arms. India recently signed three defence deals with Israel amounting to $ 3 billion, which included the acquisition of 164 targetting pods to be used by the Indian Air Force, and a number of precision-guided bombs. Israeli avionics have been routinely used on Russian defence hardware that is sold to India. While the Palestinians cannot provide India trade or military technology like Israel can, there are certain strategic gains for India of not alienating them. India is seeking permanent UN Security Council membership, requiring support from the Arab world and developing countries more broadly.


Expanding strategic and economic stakes mean that Delhi will find it increasingly difficult to always be a “friend to all”.  But the evolving reality in the region ensures that India has greater leverage than before. The optimal balance of the competing drivers of India’s Middle East policy may indeed result in continuing a somewhat neutral stand.

Neutrality makes Delhi a more valuable diplomatic partner, giving India more leverage with Israel, Palestine, Arab states and Iran. If present government led by Narendre Modi can accurately gauge the value Middle Eastern countries place on ties with Delhi, it could be possible to achieve India’s interests while still adhering to its values.


Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

5) Recently, India’s Prime Minister addressed huge rally of Sri Lanka’s hill-country Tamils. Discuss the significance, status of and problems being faced by this community in Sri Lanka. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Recently Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tamil dominated northern province in his two-day visit to Sri-Lanka. When he addressed Malayaha Tamils at the Norwood grounds, he hailed them as the “indispensable backbone of Sri Lanka” emphasizing the important role played by them in Sri-Lanka. However this community still faces the exclusion from the main-stream political and economic opportunities.

Significance and status-

  • Economic-

Hill-country Tamils are important and integral part of the Tea-economy of the Sri-Lanka. Around quarter of the total population of these are employed in tea-estates.

  • Political-

In Sri Lanka’s key 2015 presidential elections, hill-country or Malayaha Tamils decisively voted for the President Maithripala Sirisena-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe opposition combine that ousted the authoritarian Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.

  • Cultural-

Although Sri Lankan Tamils are culturally and linguistically distinct, genetic studies indicate that they are closely related to Sinhalese ethnic group in the island. The Sri Lankan Tamils are mostly Hindus with a significant Christian population. 

Sri Lankan Tamil literature on topics including religion and the sciences flourished during the medieval period in the court of the Jaffna Kingdom. Since the beginning of the Sri Lankan Civil War in the 1980s, it is distinguished by an emphasis on themes relating to the conflict. Sri Lankan Tamil dialects are noted for their archaism and retention of words not in everyday use in the Tamil Nadu state in India.

Problems being faced by this community-

  • Hill-country leaders who met Mr. Modi sought greater assistance in education, which remains a crucial need. Most estate schools lack teachers for mathematics and science, limiting higher education and employment choices for students.
  • Although overall public health delivery system in Sri-Lanka is efficient and effective, public health delivery services and indicators in plantation areas are woefully inadequate. The India-funded hospital he inaugurated is no exception. Short-staffed and overburdened, it is struggling to serve the local community.
  • Several decades of neglect by the plantation companies and the state, that earned huge profits and export revenue from the estate workers’ cheap labour, have pushed hill-country Tamils to the margins of society. 
  • Often quick to empathize with the northern Tamils, Tamil Nadu politicians are never heard speaking for Malayaha Tamils, who came from the State to work in British-owned plantations. 
  • After decades of struggle over citizenship and the largely patronage-style politics of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) that traditionally represented them, the community has hardly escaped its exclusion. The highly politicised trade unions have weakened as the estate labour force has shrunk.
  • Slow political progress on many fronts, including post-war reconciliation with minorities and a political solution to Tamil grievances. 


It will take substantial political commitment from the government to deliver what is due to this community and bridge the gap between the hill country and the rest of the island. Indian government needs to ensure that this minority community does not remain the passive beneficiaries of the Sri-Lankan government but becomes the rightful citizens of the country.


Topic:  Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein

6) Is creating more districts a good of decentralization? In the light of panchayat’s powers to plan and carry out developmental activities, analyse critically. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


Administrative decentralization seeks to redistribute authority, responsibility and financial resources for providing public services among different levels of government. It is the transfer of responsibility for the planning, financing and management of certain public functions from the central government and its agencies to field units of government agencies, subordinate units or levels of government, semi-autonomous public authorities or corporations, or area-wide, regional or functional authorities.

Is creating more districts a good of centralization?

  • Creating more districts are intended to provide smooth and effective public services delivery to the people. Often other factors like geographical area, population etc are also taken into account. In fact state governments have resorted to this technique in quest to improve district administration and public service delivery. However the gamble has not paid off as intended by governments.
  • Whenever we talk about decentralised planning, we tend to think of districts — and nothing below. The administrative machinery below the district level in usually neglected in the process of decentralization process. The result is that we could not exploit the full potential of this machinery.
  • Going back to the 1950s, government development programmes were carried through community development blocks (CD blocks), under the overall charge of a BDO (block development officer). Other than the BDO, there is the tehsildar/talukdar and the intermediate-level panchayat, variously referred to as the mandal, taluka or block panchayat or panchayat samiti below district level. Sure, the BDO, MP and MLAs are members of the panchayat samiti. But there isn’t a sense that there is a coherent governance structure at the panchayat samiti level, straddling the elected, the executive and land and revenue administration.
  • Decentralised planning is meant to start from below and “below” doesn’t mean the district. Gram panchayats/gram sabhas are supposed to have several “planning” functions. The intention is to make planning participatory. But unlike the district, and like the block, we don’t have a coherent governance and administrative structure. Unlike even the panchayat samiti, there is no direct link between the executive and the elected in the gram panchayat.
  • Even at district level the process of decentralization is fraught with many problems. Once there is a new district, barring time-lags, there will also be a new ZP, through the relevant state election commission. Think of various entities involved in a district’s development — the district collector/district magistrate/district Commissioner, the DRDA, the MP, multiple MLAs and ZPs. Unless they work together, a lot of resources, not just financial, will be frittered away.


General Studies – 3

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

7) For the first time in 11 years, in 2015-16 the combined fiscal deficit of India’s 29 States as a proportion of the size of their economies breached the 3% threshold recommended as a fiscally prudent limit by successive Finance Commissions. What are the causes? What should be the role of centre in addressing this problem? Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu


The breach of fiscal deficit by the states needs to be analyzed with the different dimensions and considering the internal and external economic conditions.  Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian has asserted that the 3% of GDP benchmark for the fiscal deficit of the States or the Centre is not a magic number. Yet, it serves as an anchor for fiscal discipline in a country whose two biggest crises in recent decades — the balance of payments trouble in 1991, the currency tumble in 2013 — were precipitated by fiscal irresponsibility.


  • UDAY scheme-

The present government has formulated a scheme to financially revive the loss-making state DISCOMs. Under the scheme state governments had to take on the massive debts of these DISCOMs which has led state governments to incur huge amount of money on them.

  • Increased borrowing-

Tepid economic growth hasn’t helped, and States have had to resort to higher market borrowings even after the Centre hiked their share from tax inflows to 42% from 32%, starting 2015-16.

  • The Centre has been short-changing States by relying on special levies such as surcharges, cesses and duties that are not considered part of the divisible tax pool, So, instead of a 10% rise in the States’ share of gross tax revenue, the actual hike in 2015-16 was just 7.7%.
  • Declining private investment-

Due to large-scale reduction in the share of private investments in state governments made state governments to spend more to compensate the reduction.

  • Ad-hoc loan waivers-

The increasing farm loan waivers from state governments has made them to spend more on non-productive tasks.

  • Pay commission hikes-

Increasing the salaries and payments of state employees in the line with 7th Pay commission would incur more expenditure.

Lack of fiscal discipline among the states and limited revenue generating capacities of the states have intensified the problem.

Role of central government in addressing this problem-

  • Central government needs to increase the taxation base in India so that the actual amount of funds going to states would increase.
  • The central government should take care of compensation to be granted to the states as the implementation of the GST begins. The effective implementation of GST is considered to supplement the revenues of both Central and State governments.
  • The Central government could effectively monitor the populist measures taken by state government like farm loan waivers, subsidies etc.
  • Central government could give encouragement to the state governments to follow fiscal discipline through fiscal incentives.
  • Central government could take steps in developing co-operative and competitive federalism where states cooperate and compete to attract businesses, investments, industries etc. This could help to boost the revenue generating capacity of the governments.


The N.K. Singh panel on fiscal consolidation has recommended a focus on overall government debt along with fiscal deficit and a 20% debt-to-GDP ratio for States by 2022-23. Not just the Centre, but States (with outstanding liabilities to GDP of around 24% as of March 2017) also need to tighten their belts considerably from here, even as they await the constitution of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.