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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: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

1) How did Nehru view and respond to rightist parties and their agenda? Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- Jawaharlal Nehru adopted socialism. He wanted to develop India as a Socialist democracy. This inclination of his is responsible for Indian inclination towards the Soviet Union over the U. S. A. But, the horrors of partition gave voice to many rightist elements in politics.

To the economic right, was the eminent leader C. Raja Gopalachari. He disliked the way land reforms were being implemented. The government responded to the court petitions by amending the Constitution and there by protecting land reforms from unconstitutionality.

In politics, there were organizations like RSS to the right. Nehru was strictly against communalism. He dealt with communal elements of both Hindus and Muslims in a hard way. He outlawed RSS for its communal tendencies.

However, Nehru was very accommodative and inclusive. His cabinet comprised of people of different ideologies. Shyam Prasad Mukherjee etc., were conservatives and yet found a place in his cabinet. Thus it can be said that Nehru was accommodative to the right unless it threatened the security of the nation.


General Studies – 2

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

2) “China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a geopolitical and economic master stroke.” Critically comment. (200 Words)


Introduction :- Belt and road initiative, China’s flagship program to improve the connectivity and cooperation in the area, can be seen as the ultimate love against globalisation from which it has changed its destiny and fight against protectionism. The initiative if successfully executed, for sure leads the way to Chinese leadership on a global scale.

Geopolitical advantages : 

  • Though it can be seen as a development initiative, we can’t ignore the hidden agenda of China’s supremacy and desire to rule Asia.
  • Most of the countries in Eurasia belt are not connected on full scale and the trade is only on bilateral level, with the BRI, China becomes the undisputed leader.
  • The proposals of BRI requires Chinese presence in all the countries and deployment of Chinese military In the name of protection, neo- colonialism, we can call it that.
  • China has been constructions ports in the Indian ocean region undermining the security​ of India.

Economic issues –

  • China has been growing on a massive scale from 1990s and it has survived till now with huge and cheap manufacturing.
  • Recently the protectionist policies and reduced competitiveness of Chinese manufacturing industries it needed a different approach, it till now worked on a investment model rather than a consumption model. New opportunities under BRI can make china stand again for another century and it is heavily needed to do something like this after stock Market crash years back.
  • It provides opportunities for Chinese youth to go to other Countries and find employment as demand is more in China.
    Chinese GDP is projected to cross American by 2030, thanks to BRI that won’t be taking much time now.


Topic:  Functioning of judiciary

3) In the light of Justice Karnan episode, critically comment on the problems with judicial appointment and accountability in India. (200 Words)


Introduction :- The recent episode of Justice Karnan has highlighted the loopholes in judicial appointment and accountability.

Problems with judicial appointments:

  • The process of judicial appointments is opaque and lacks transparency.
  • Charges have been levelled against at times of nepotism and favouritism.
  • Attempt to reform the process has been met resistance by judiciary citing the basic structure doctrine which calls for independence of judiciary.
  • Indian judiciary has good track record of delivering justice and judicial review and activism has helped to safe guard the rights of the citizens, protect the environment, curb corruption among others. However their is requirement to reform the procedure of appointments to higher judiciary internally if interference of executive or legislature is not welcomed.

Issue of judicial accountability:

  • Independence of judiciary limits any external scrutiny of the functioning and accountability of the judiciary.
    Hence the pace of justice and quality of justice is monitored only by itself internally. Judiciary is not accountable either to legislature or people though its decisions have wide impact on several aspects of life. 
  • There is demand to fix judicial accountability to fix the responsibility of the judges. The need is again to develop internal mechanisms to improve accountability.

Separation of powers has been the hallmark of democracy to which vibrant democracy of India too has adhered. It is necessary so that the three pillars i.e. legislature, executive and judiciary act independently without fear or favour. However it becomes important that the each pillar and in present case judiciary practice self restrain and constantly reform itself to better serve the democracy and increase legitimacy of itself also as an institution.


General Studies – 3

Topic: Indian economy – employment; S&T

4) Discuss how technology can formalise and organise traditional informal workers in India. (200 Words)


Introduction :- Rise of Globalization and Privatization increased the informal economy to a great extent. The nature of informal sector is often characterized as a compliance defied small business unit which mostly employs manual labour and poor working conditions with minimal job security. Technology is a boon to these workers in unorganized informal sector. It can help in the following ways:

  • Livelihood EnhancementAs an app to a driver, household-workers, caterers, launderers; As an e-commerce site to artisans and weavers etc Technology plays a major role in raising their livelihood from workers to micro-entrepreneurs . It also formalizes the connection between the worker and govt which fruition to increased tax generation
  • Consumer connectivityA simple internet connection and registering as a service provider in social sites will increase their consumer base which leads to more revenue generation for their households.
  • Integration with Govt schemes and welfare measuresWith dedicated Aadhar in place, DBT Subsidy from scholarships to LPG Subsidy, RSBY and other social sector subsidies reach them directly as part of PMJDY financial inclusion without any middlemen or delay. The govt is only a click away.
  • Bank ConnectivityEarlier migrated workers suffered from poor connectivity and less saving options. But now due to more net connectivity like Jio and affordable smartphones, managing online bank account, transfer funds to home and receiving payments simplified to a large extent.
  • More Economic and Social AwarenessThrough social media, Knowledge of labour laws and rights, social security options and organised demonstrations for equality in workplace and gender pay gap have increased which are true indicators of more awareness at labour level.


Topic:   Agriculture

5) In the light of the anniversaries of the Champaran agitation led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Naxalbari uprising, throw light on structural challenges in agriculture in India. (200 Words)


Introduction :- Champaran satyagraha in Bihar was against rent seeking to leave indigo farming while Naxalbari uprising was against the exploitation of farm workers and tenant farmers by zamindars in the West Bengal. Much of the structural problem Indian agriculture persist from the colonial times which are discussed below:

  • Instability: Agriculture in India is largely depends on monsoon. As a result, production of food-grains fluctuates year after year. A year of abun­dant output of cereals is often followed by a year of acute shortage. This, in its turn, leads to price income and employment fluctuations. However, for the thirteen year, in successive (1987-88 to 1999-00) a normal monsoon has been observed.
  • Cropping Pattern: The crops that are grown in India are divided into two broad catego­ries: food crops and non-food crops. While the former comprise food-grains, sugarcane and other beverages, the latter includes different kinds of fibres and oilseeds. In recent years there has occurred a fall in agricultural production mainly due to fall in the output of non-food articles. Moreover rabi pro­duction has become as important as kharif pro­duction in the late 1990s. In 1999-2000, for exam­ple, of the total grain production of 209 mn. tones, rabi accounted for 104 mn. tones. This indicates a structural change in agricultural production.
  • Land Ownership: Although the owner­ship of agricultural land in India is fairly widely distributed, there is some degree of concentration of land holding. Inequality in land distribution is also due to the fact that there are frequent changes in land ownership in India. It is believed that large parcels of land in India are owned by a- relatively small section of the rich farmers, landlords and money-lenders, while the vast majority of farmers own very little amount of land, or no land at all. Moreover, most holdings are small and uneco­nomic. So the advantages of large-scale farming cannot be derived and cost per unit with ‘uneco­nomic’ holdings is high, output per hectare is hec­tare is low. As a result peasants cannot generate sufficient marketable surplus. So they are not only poor but are often in debt.
  • Sub-Division and Fragmentation of Hold­ing: Due to the growth of population and break­down of the joint family system, there has occurred continuous sub-division of agricultural land into smaller and smaller plots. At times small farmers are forced to sell a portion of their land to repay their debt. This creates further sub-division of land. Sub-division, in its turn, leads to fragmenta­tion of holdings. When the size of holdings be­come smaller and smaller, cultivation becomes un­economic. As a result a major portion of land is not brought under the plough. Such sub-division and fragmentation make the efficient use of land virtually impossible and add to the difficulties of increasing capital equip­ment on the farm. All these factors account for the low productivity of Indian agriculture.
  • Land Tenure: The land tenure system of India is also far from perfect. In the pre-independence period, most tenants suffered from insecurity of tenancy. They could be evicted any time. How­ever, various steps have been taken after Independ­ence to provide security of tenancy.
  • Conditions of Agricultural Labourers: The conditions of most agricultural labourers in India are far from satisfactory. There is also the problem of surplus labour or disguised unemploy­ment. This pushes the wage rates below the sub­sistence levels.
  • Other Problems: There are various other problems of Indian agriculture. These are related to: The systems and techniques of farming, the marketing of agricultural products and the indebtedness of the farmers.


Topic: Indian economy

6) Why was Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) set up? Why has government decided to phase it out? Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was a national agency of Government of India, with the remit to consider and recommend foreign direct investment (FDI) which does not come under the automatic route. It acts as a single window clearance for proposals on foreign direct investment (FDI) in India. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was housed in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. FIPB will be abolished in financial year 2017-18, as announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during 2017-2018 budget speech in Lok Sabha.

  • Henceforth, the work relating to processing of applications for FDI and approval of the Government thereon under the extant FDI Policy and FEMA, shall now be handled by the concerned Ministries/Departments in consultation with the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion(DIPP), Ministry of Commerce, which will also issue the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for processing of applications and decision of the Government under the extant FDI policy. 
  • In addition, Foreign Investors will find India more attractive destination and this will result in more inflow of FDI. The move will provide ease of doing business and will help in promoting the principle of Maximum Governance and Minimum Government.
  • FIPB as of now was responsible for vetting the very few brownfield FDI whereby govt. Practice extreme caution. It is a political imperative also be protectionist in the face of challenges from globalisation
  • Despite plethora of measures India is rated bbb- by global rating houses . The ease of doing business is not coming down as per the popular business class perception. So as a slew of new measures the cabinet decided to phase out FIPB.
  • It is believed to cut down red tapism and facilitate the starting business with foreign investment. Other argument for its irrelevance is its control over investment is trivial because of majority investment being greenfield which is approved under automatic route by RBI