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General Studies – 1;

Topic:  Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. 

1) A case is gaining momentum in favour of revisiting Part XVII of the Constitution which envisages, in essence, the replacement of English language with Hindi at the national level and with other languages in the Eight Schedule in their respective states. Critically discuss why is this issue complicated and how should India address this challenge. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- India has a rich heritage in terms of languages and every language spoken, even by the most remote areas, is respected by the Constitution through the likes of Article 29 and Schedule VIII. “History demonstrates that, from times immemorial, India has been a multilingual country, each language having a certain region in which it was supreme, but none of these regions truly constituted unilingual kingdom or principality.”

Background :-

When the Indian Constitution was being framed in the Constituent Assembly, the question of choosing one language as the official language arose in the minds of the Constitution makers. The official language of the Central government was the single most divisive official issue in the Indian Constituent Assembly. There were two problems regarding Hindi being the official language: a) the dialect of Hindi; and  b)the other languages existing in India.

Hindi is spoken in around 13 different dialects. This is so because India was called Hind in ancient times. So every language spoken in Hind was referred to as Hindi. Gradually, Indians also started calling their languages Hindi which eventually led to the development of various dialects of Hindi. So debate arose as to which of the dialect was to be chosen as the official Hindi dialect. Later, Hindi dialect that was adopted was the one spoken in Delhi-Agra region with Sanskrit vocabulary. 

However, that was a minor issue. The key issue which was to be tackled with before this was which language was to be chosen as the official language of the country.

Most of the members of Constituent Assembly wanted to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream who had opined that there should be a national language which would give a distinct identity to the nation. Dr. N.G.Ayyangar says in one of his speeches at the Assembly, “There was one thing about which we reached a fairly unanimous conclusion that we should select one of the languages in India as the common language of the whole of India, the language that should be used for the official purposes of the Union.

They chose the most popular language of the country to be crowned as the official language of the Union of India. But the solution and road to that solution was not that simple. As soon as the proposal was laid down before the Assembly, many members of the assembly opposed it on the ground of it being unfair for the non-Hindi speaking population who’ll suffer in terms of employment opportunities, education and public services because of their non-Hindi background. Several arguments were raised for the inclusion and non-inclusion of Hindi language. Some of the members of the Constituent Assembly including L.K.Maitra and N.G.Ayyangar demanded that the regional languages should also be recognized (at State level) and the chosen national language should not be made exclusive. There were others like Lokamanya Tilak, Gandhiji, C. Rajagopalachari, Subhash Bose and Sardar Patel who demanded that Hindi should be used throughout India without any exceptions and the states should also resort to the use of Hindi language because it would promote integration.

Ultimately, when the Constituent Assembly was on the verge of losing its unity, a compromise called Munshi-Ayyangar formula was adopted without dissent. It was a half hearted compromise because no group got what it wanted. According to this formula, English was to continue as the official language of India along with Hindi for a period of fifteen years but the limit was elastic and the power of extension was given to the Parliament. A statute titled ‘Official Languages Act, 1963’ was enacted when the period of fifteen years was about to expire in an attempt to prevent agitation in the non-Hindi speaking States. But the provisions of the Act could not satisfy the views of the protestors.

Why replacement of English with Hindi is complicated?

  • Own Languages: States in the south (Andhra pradesh,Tamilnadu etc) have opposed this idea of making Hindi as national language in apprehension to extinction of their own languages i.e. Telugu, Tamil etc.
  • Freedom of speech and expression: Replacement of Hindi language with English is not in conformity with Art. 19 which guarantees the right of speech and expression.
  • Widely used language: Today, English is widely used language and became part of life in the globalized world where world has become village. Moreover, English itself is used in our Supreme Court and parliamentary proceedings so that we can not even to think obviate the English language.

state of language

How should we address this problem

  • Voluntary AdoptionImposition is not right way instead people should be encouraged to adopt Hindi voluntarily without affecting their own languages
  • Protection and promotion of other languages: Government should promote and protect other languages also to preserve our cultural diversity which is the strength of India.
  • Awareness: Awareness about importance of national language and benefits of doing that should be made so that people might eventually opt for the HIndi as as national language

Government programmes like ‘Ek Bharat, Shresht Bharat’ is the step in the right direction for the unity and integrity of the people of India. It should be taken care of that acceptance of Hindi as national language must be on wish of the people of India and not by imposition.


General Studies – 2

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

2) The current uncertainty in the relations between America, China and Russia demands that India move closer to the European middle powers — France and Germany. Do you agree? If yes, how should both India and these European powers go about establishing a strong relationship? Examine. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Introduction :- Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s travels this week to Russia, France, Germany and Spain provide an opportunity to recalibrate India’s approach to European geopolitics. Delhi must also devote more attention to other parts of the continent, from Spain to Sweden and Portugal to Poland, that have so much to offer India. 

Background :-

  • Although Indian resources contributed massively to the victory of the allied forces in the First and Second World Wars, India and Europe found themselves marginal to each other in the second half of the 20th century. India’s domestic political confusion in dealing with the Second World War, the Partition of the Subcontinent and the Cold War put India and Europe on opposite sides of the great political divide. Delhi aligned with the Soviet Union and Europe was divided into Russian and American spheres of influence.
  • After the Cold War, and the historic rapprochement between the West and Russia, India did announce the intent to construct bilateral strategic partnerships with Germany and France and collectively with the European Union. Although these partnerships have grown, they have hardly flourished.
  • Europe has been preoccupied with its own integration, India on its neighbourhood and the major powers. Europe and India have remained loveless after the Cold War. Can Modi change that? As the world enters a period of geopolitical convulsion, India and Europe need each other more than ever before.


Global power model moving towards the multi polarity form the Unilateralism of the USA. As per current power distribution, China, Russia and USA, All three are the important power pole. Uncertainty prevailing between these three as under:-

  • Traditional ally of the Europe, USA is now moving towards the close relations with Russia after the victory of trump.
  • With the rise of the china, USA seek the cooperation from china instead of conflict. This makes the Traditional Allies of USA, Japan and Korea in worry state.
  • The Russia also seeking the close cooperation form china to full fill own oil and Gad market and Infrastructure interests.

India Should Seek cooperation form France and Germany due to following reason :-

  • Russia ended the arm embargo on the Pakistan and decided to sell arms to Pakistan. India has to find new partners to meet the demands of the armed forces for her modernization. France and Germany are leaders in this.
  • USA is vast market for the Indian product specially IT and Apparel. Inward looking policies of USA may hurt Indian interest and Indian has to search new market.

Following area where India and EU states can increase cooperation :-

  • Trade :- India and EU Free trade agreement ( FTA) is pending since long time.
  • Energy security:- India and EU both depended on the Politically unstable Arab state for that. Joint R&D projects of the Non renewable energy shall be carried out.
  • India will have to look beyond Russia, USA for its defence purchases as France and Germany have a wide base in defence manufacturing and also naval exercises which India already has with France
  • Trade agreements and especially FTA with EU will open a big opportunity for both the countries to exploit the opportunities
  • India can find market for its IT export to the EU countries with USA coming up with stringent policies relating to H1B


Topic: Issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure

3) “The proposed ban on the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at agricultural markets violates fundamental rights of food and livelihood, and the spirit of federalism.” Critically comment. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Introduction :- The government of India has sought to effectively prohibit cattle slaughter across the country through rules made under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Though the rules do not explicitly ban slaughter, they ban the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at agricultural markets and therefore, in effect, are attempting to put an end to all kinds of cattle slaughter across the country. It is a constitutional misadventure on multiple grounds involving fundamental rights, separation of powers and federalism.

It was the Indian Parliament that enacted The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (the Act) and that legislation empowers the Government of India (as the executive) to make rules to implement the Act. 

The Act through section 11 criminalises cruel treatment of animals by listing a wide range of activities and then, in sub-clause (3)(e) of that very provision, declares that killing an animal for food will not be an offence unless it is “accompanied by the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering”.

Also, Animal welfare board of India was constituted to advise the regulation of building and maintenance of slaughter houses.

Also, art 19 guarantees freedom of trade or business, but, the current amendment of cruelty to animals rules effects this freedom and also freedom of food and even the spirit of federalism:

  • It is being determined that cutting the animal for food is cruelty to animals, but, in the legislation only cattle has been included, not other animals such as chicken.
  • Human beings including indians have eaten animal meat for survival since the days of discovery of fire, and animals eating has become choice and lifestyle thing. Plus, animal meat has got its own nutritional value.
  • All animals in this world get food by eating other living beings, except plants. If eating a living being is wrong, then only plants will be able to survive in the world. Humans have/had to eat meat due to historical reasons of survival and we should focus of promoting equality and securing rights of humans. For animals, not harming them unnecessarily is good enough, but, for sustainable use, they can be cut down.

So, we can clearly see that this legislation is an assault on the right to food and occupation. Also, beef eating, camel eating etc are part of culture of states like Kerala. And cattle is a state subject. So, making rules on cattle and their use is solely the rights of state and doing this legislation is against the spirit of federalism, and hence should be avoided. Also, there is no compulsion or necessity for such laws and hence unnecessarily conflicts should not be invited.


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

4) In its pursuit to become regional and global power, what lessons can India learn from Israel in handling geopolitical adversaries and making progress on technology front? Discuss. (200 Words)


Introduction :- India has much to learn from Israeli’s application of hard power, who are living in a part of the world where most of their neighbours don’t even acknowledge their right to exist. India too faces existential threats but for too long, our political elite were both unwilling to acknowledge this fact and to draw the correct lessons from the Israeli experience.


  • Israeli approach is to balance strength and military and strategic superiority and a focus on deterrence on the one hand, with the ability to be compassionate and emphatic on the other. Thus, it is little known that on Israel’s northern border with Syria on the Golan Heights, where civil war is raging between government and rebel forces, those in need of medical care, often injured in the shelling and firing, cross over to the Israeli side and get treated at Israeli hospitals free of cost. These were people who grew up thinking of Israel as their mortal enemy that needed to be destroyed.
  • It’s striking that Israeli settlers have ventured right up to the UN administered buffer zone between Israeli occupied Golan, neighbouring Syria and Lebanon, confident that Israeli forces will protect them.
  • Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Jammu and Kashmir, where indigenous Pandits were driven out while the Indian state looked the other way and in which it’s not even legally permissible for non-Kashmiri Indians to settle there. Nor can Indian security forces guarantee safety in regions affected by Maoist and other insurgencies.
  • India could well take a cue from how Israel maintains stringent external and internal security, allowing Israeli settlements right up to the border of conflict zones. In India, by contrast, we seem to be in perennial reaction mode, trying to contain situations as they’re unfolding rather than pre-empting trouble before it happens.
  • Israelis understand that genuine compassion and empathy even toward those bent on destroying them comes from a position of strength, not of weakness. But all of this requires political will and a deeper commitment and investment to our military and security establishment. The former requires that there be a broad political consensus that India faces existential threats from within and without. The latter requires taking these existential threats we face seriously as the Israelis do theirs.
  • In 1967, Israel faced a threat to its very existence from Arab neighbours and vanquished its enemies. In 1962, India faced abject defeat at the hands of Chinese neighbours who continue to occupy some of our territory.


  • Agricultural practices: Despite lacking resources, Israel has emerged as exporter of agricultural products. India can learn and adopt the practices from them to ensure food security.
  • Defence forces : Highly trained, encompassing gender equity and modernised equipments should serve as lesson to plug the shortcomings in India’s defence forces.


General Studies – 3

Topic:    Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life 

5) What do you understand by telematics? Discuss its applications. (200 Words)


Introduction :- Telematics is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses telecommunications, vehicular technologies, road transportation, road safety, electrical engineering (sensors, instrumentation, wireless communications, etc.), and computer science (multimedia, Internet, etc.). Telematics can involve any of the following:

  • The technology of sending, receiving and storing information via telecommunication devices in conjunction with effecting control on remote objects
  • The integrated use of telecommunications and informatics for application in vehicles and with control of vehicles on the move
  • Global navigation satellite system(GNSS) technology integrated with computers and mobile communications technology in automotive navigation systems
  • (most narrowly) the use of such systems within road vehicles, also called vehicle telematics


Vehicle tracking

Vehicle tracking is monitoring the location, movements, status and behaviour of a vehicle or fleet of vehicles. This is achieved through a combination of a GPS(GNSS) receiver and an electronic device (usually comprising a GSM GPRS modem or SMS sender) installed in each vehicle, communicating with the user (dispatching, emergency or co-ordinating unit) and PC-based or web-based software. The data is turned into information by management reporting tools in conjunction with a visual display on computerised mapping software. Vehicle tracking systems may also use odometry or dead reckoning as an alternative or complementary means of navigation.

Trailer tracking

Trailer tracking is tracking the movements and position of an articulated vehicle’s trailer unit, through the use of a location unit fitted to the trailer and a method of returning the position data via mobile communication network or geostationary satellite communications, for use through either PC- or web-based software.

Container tracking

Freight containers can be tracked by GPS using a similar approach to that used for trailer tracking i.e. a battery-powered GPS device communicating its position via mobile phone or satellite communications. Benefits of this approach include increased security and the possibility to reschedule the container transport movements based on accurate information about its location.

Fleet management

Fleet management is the management of a company’s fleet. Fleet management includes the management of ships and or motor vehicles such as cars, vans and trucks. Fleet (vehicle) Management can include a range of Fleet Management functions, such as vehicle financing, vehicle maintenance, vehicle telematics (tracking and diagnostics), driver management, fuel management, health and safety management and dynamic vehicle scheduling.

Satellite navigation

Satellite navigation in the context of vehicle telematics is the technology of using a GPS and electronic mapping tool to enable the driver of a vehicle to locate a position, plan a route and navigate a journey.

Mobile data

Mobile data is the use of wireless data communications using radio waves to send and receive real time computer data to, from and between devices used by field based personnel. These devices can be fitted solely for use while in the vehicle (Fixed Data Terminal) or for use in and out of the vehicle (Mobile Data Terminal). 

Wireless vehicle safety communications

Wireless vehicle safety communications telematics aid in car safety and road safety. It is an electronic sub-system in a car or other vehicle for the purpose of exchanging safety information, about such things as road hazards and the locations and speeds of vehicles, over short range radio links. This may involve temporary ad hoc wireless local area networks.

Emergency warning system for vehicles

Telematics technologies are self-orientating open network architecture structures of variable programmable intelligent beacons developed for application in the development of intelligent vehicles, with the intent to accord (blend, or mesh) warning information with surrounding vehicles in the vicinity of travel, intra-vehicle, and infrastructure. Emergency warning systems for vehicles telematics are developed particularly for international harmonisation and standardisation of vehicle-to-vehicle, infrastructure-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to-infrastructure real-time Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) systems.