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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:  Urbanization – problems and remedies 

1) Discuss the best practices and innovative approaches for waste management that can be adopted in Indian cities. (200 Words)

The Indian Express




Solid waste management is a challenge for the cities’ authorities in developing countries such as India mainly due to the increasing generation of waste, the burden posed on the municipal budget as a result of the high costs associated to its management, the lack of understanding over a diversity of factors that affect the different stages of waste management and linkages necessary to enable the entire handling system functioning.

Cities around the world face many challenges to their cleanliness and environmental sustainability, including rising greenhouse gas emissions, unsanitary public spaces, foul odors, growing energy demand, low recycling rates, and limited space.

Smart cities and waste management:

The idea of smart cities was first developed by technology giant IBM, which created a worldwide initiative called Smarter Cities aimed at helping cities and companies leverage data to improve operational performance in many sectors, including waste management. And now, with the concept of a circular economy gaining more traction, the trend of smart cities is on the rise.

Magnitude of Problem

Per capita waste generation is increasing by   1.3% per annum. With urban population is increasing between   3– 3.5% / annum. Annual increase in waste generation is around 5% annually. India produces 42.0 million tons of   municipal solid waste annually at present. Per capita generation of waste varies from   200 gm to 600 gm per capita / day. Average of waste generation rate is 0.4 kg per capita per day in 0.1 million plus towns.

Reasons of Improper Management of Waste

  1. Improper planning for waste management while planning the townships
  2. Impractical institutional set up for waste management and planning and designing in urban local bodies
  3. Lack of technical and trained manpower
  4. Incomplete community involvement
  5. Less expertise and exposure to the city waste management using modern techniques and best practices
  6. Partial awareness creation mechanism
  7. Outdated Management Information Systems
  8. Fewer funds with ULBs
  9. Indifferent attitudes of ULBs in user charges and sustainability




  • Infrastructure:

There is urgent need of capital investments to build or upgrade waste sorting and treatment facilities, close dumps, construct or refurbish landfills, and provide bins, dumpsters, trucks, and transfer stations.

  • Legal structures and institutions:

Projects advise on sound policy measures and coordinated institutions for the municipal waste management sector can provide innovative and effective solutions on solid waste management.

  • Citizen engagement:

Behavior change and public participation is the key to a functional waste system. The government must supports designing incentives and awareness systems to motivate waste reduction, source-separation and reuse.

  • Climate change and the environment:

Projects promote environmentally sound waste disposal. They support greenhouse gas mitigation through food loss and waste reduction, organic waste diversion, and the adoption of disposal technologies that capture biogas and landfill gas. Waste projects also support resilience by reducing waste disposal in waterways and safeguarding infrastructure against flooding.

  • Health and safety:

The efforts should be made in municipal waste management to improve public health and livelihoods by reducing open burning, mitigating pest and disease vector spread, and preventing crime and violence.

  • Social inclusion:

Resource recovery in most developing countries relies heavily on informal workers, who collect, sort, and recycle 15-20% of generated waste. Projects address waste picker livelihoods through strategies such as integration into the formal system, as well as the provision of safe working conditions, social safety nets, child labor restrictions, and education.

Proper and safe methodology has to be developed in order to take out material which can be reused and recycle from waste. Emphasis must be given on taking out maximum material from waste for the purpose of recycling and reuse.


Managing waste properly is essential for building sustainable and livable cities, but it remains a challenge for many developing countries and cities. Effective waste management is expensive, often comprising 20-50% of municipal budgets. Operating this essential municipal service requires integrated systems that are efficient, sustainable, and socially supported.

Success story (Case Study):

The systematic management of waste through the strict enforcement of norms for segregation of garbage and imposing of penalties on violators helped the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) bring some order to the hotel waste problem during its six-month campaign last year. This initiative has lessons for waste managers, as hotels and eateries in urban areas contribute predominantly to the bulk of the total waste generated in towns and cities.


General Studies – 2


Topic:  Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies  

2) Examine how the constitution of India has defined the role of the President and Vice President of India. Can these functionaries use their offices to present their personal ideologies to the nation? Critically comment.  (200 Words)

The Hindu


President of India:

  • Part V of the Constitution under Chapter I lists out the qualification, election and impeachment of the President of India. 
  • The President of Indiais the head of state of the Republic of India.
  • The President is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of India
  • President is the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces. 
  • As per Article 53 of the Constitution of India states that the President can exercise his or her powers directly or by subordinate authority, with few exceptions, all of the executive authority vested in the President is, in practice, exercised by the Council of Ministers (CoM).

Vice President of India:

  • The Vice-President of India is the second-highest constitutional office in India, after the President.
  • Article 63 of Indian Constitution states that “there shall be a Vice-President of India.”
  • The Vice-President acts as President in the absence of the President due to death, resignation, impeachment, or other situations.
  • The Vice-President of India is also ex officio Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
  • Article 66 of the Indian Constitution states the manner of election of the Vice-President.

As long as the role of the president defined in the constitution of India, it is more of a ceremonial in nature and thus acts as a head of the state above all kind of controversies. The core function of the post of president and vice president is to uphold the constitution of India. The discretionary powers provided to these two constitutional posts can be analysed in order to study the above motioned question.

Discretionary powers of the President:

  1. Suspensive veto
  2. Pocket veto
  3. Under article 78 the President enjoys the right to seek information from the PM regarding the administration of the affairs of the union.
  4. When no political party or coalition of parties enjoys the majority in Lok Sabha, then the President has discretion in inviting the leader of that party or coalition of parties who in his opinion is able to form a stable government.

Though the discretionary powers are few and their scope of application is limited, the president is able to use them as a way to check hasty and ill-considered legislation by the parliament. Disapproval by the president is also not taken lightly as it comes from the highest constitutional office of the land.

Can these functionaries use their offices to present their personal ideologies to the nation?

  • Though there is scope to slightly expand the discretionary power of the president, it is not done because it has a chance to undermine the de facto executive of the country and his council of ministers. The president can however use his office and its back channels to communicate any and all grievances to the government informally.
  • The very nature of the posts of the President and Vice President does not allow them to present their personal ideology. As advice of the Council of Minister headed by Prime Minister is binding on the President (Art 74), there is little scope for President to exercise his/her personal ideologies. Even if President can put forward his/her personal ideology in public, it cannot be institutionalized. Hence there are visible limitations on the powers and functions of the President.
  • The very high post of President and vice president of India is dignified and thus not expected to use office to present personal views. Being the first citizen of India and head of the state, no ideology stands valid in front of the top most constitutional post. The essence of the constitutionality and fundamental moral values of governance are to be upheld and to be protected by the chair of the president and vice president of India.
  • The vice president of India though second to the seat of President, has equal amount of responsibility to protect the sanctity of honorable constitution of India. Being the ex officio head of the Rajya sabha, s/he is expected to follow highest degree of non-partisan behavior while leading the state representation. Vice president occupies the position of President in certain cases and thus not expected to promote personal ideologies through the office.


Thus it is amply clear that, though highest in precedent, the posts of powers of office of President and Vice President cannot be used to propound personal ideology. Being the head of the state, expects President to be highly impartial so that dignity and respect of the constitution are maintained and preserved. 


Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections

3) Discuss the role of public institutions in ensuring social justice. Do you think these institutions are losing their importance these days? Critically examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu



The concept of social justice is a revolutionary concept which provides meaning and significance to life and makes the rule of law dynamic. When Indian society seeks to meet the challenge of socio-economic inequality by its legislation and with the assistance of the rule of law, it seeks to achieve economic justice without any violent conflict. The ideal of a welfare state postulates unceasing pursuit of the doctrine of social justice. That is the significance and importance of the concept of social justice in the Indian context of today.

The Constitution of India and Social Justice:

  • Article 19: individual rights of freedom and the claims of public good.
  • Articles 23 and 24 provide for fundamental rights against exploitation.
  • Article 39 clause (a) State to ensure operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity
  • Article 41 recognizes every citizen’s right to work, to education & to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness & disablement and in other cases of undeserved want.
  • Article 42: securing just and humane conditions of work & for maternity relief.
  • Article 43 : living wage
  • Article 46: Importance of the promotion of educational and economic interests of schedule castes, schedule tribes and other weaker sections.

These rights and moral precepts about social justice are expected to get implemented through public institutions at very priority level. Any discrimination by private institution/organization is equally liable for non-compliance of protection measures for discriminated group of society.

Being the public institution, such organizations are expected to be torch bearer for equality and social justice. Unfortunately, in many cases the sheer ignorance of people in these institutions leads to cases of serious social injustice and inhumane treatment to particular group of people.

Role of Public institutions to promote social justice:

  • Through wider representation and accommodation of all sections of the society.
  • Public advocacy function that involves:
  • Resisting unequal power relations (like patriarchy) at every level -from personal to public -from family to governance
  • Engaging institutions of governance -to empower the marginalized
  • Creating and using ‘spaces’ within the system -to change it
  • Strategizing the use of knowledge, skills and opportunities –
  • To influence public policies
  • Bridging the micro-level activism and macro level policy initiatives
  • Role in financial inclusion through grass root mobilization.
  • For generation of political will and administrative efficiency to implement such legislations that protects the marginalized section of society.
  • To weed out incompatibility between the libertarian or liberal constitutional values and the traditional socio-cultural practices (like caste) and religious values (like fatalism).
  • Generation access for information to all the people within specified time in known format and language.

The importance of this organization though not reducing is facing multi-dimensional challenges in contemporary context like-

  • Lack of competence, at the policy design and formulation level restricts the effective functioning of Public institutions in many sectors.
  • Impediments in compliance with new technological interventions such as E auctioning and digital mapping are dragging the overall development of public institutions.
  • Still there is stereotypical conceptualization that government instructions work with red-tapism and delays that cannot be solved. This kind of negative attitude still haunts the culture of public governance.
  • Challenges linked with competent industry and educational institutions.
  • Delays in justice delivery mechanism and other lacunae in grievance redressal mechanism erode the public faith on these institutions.
  • Corruption is the major issue eroding the very basic credibility of public institutions in country.


In a situation where inequality is rising, caste and religion discrimination persists, women are still subjected to harassment within and outside the homes and millions of children facing abuses in their childhood the importance of public institution in country like India cannot get reduced. In fact public institutions are assuming greater significance and have important role to play in making India truly welfare oriented society as envisioned in the constitution.


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

4) What lessons should India learn and implement from the G20 Africa Partnership document that was released during the Leaders’ Declaration of G20 meeting in 2017? Examine. (200 Words)



The G20 Summit which concluded in Hamburg, Germany recently comes with an added annexure which is called the “G-20 Africa Partnership”. The G-20 club includes only one African nation, South Africa. The partnership supports private investment, sustainable infrastructure and employment opportunities in African nations.

The lessons India needs to learn –

  1. Historical attitude towards Africa: 
  • The recent statement given by French President towards Africans on their human development, democracy and African women reflects West’s belief in the superiority of its civilization.
  • India must take note of this and strengthen its social, cultural and trade ties with Africa.
  • India can also pick up Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation (ITEC) programme to provide for capacity building of the officials from such low income countries.
  1. Promoting Asia Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC):
  • While most of the G20 members are racing to become a nerve-Centre in Africa, India can activate Asia-Africa Growth Corridor(AAGC), its joint initiative with Japan, through the G20 compact and lay emphasis on infrastructure development, investment and capacity building in the region.
  1. Support for Private Investment and trade:
  • Due to the poor infrastructure, intra-Africa trade accounts for only 14% of the total African trade. The problem lies with the lack of a trade facilitation culture and customs resulting in hindered movement of cargo. Indian banks can come into picture here and lay banking and financial sector services in the region to provide investments in road & rail infrastructure. 
  • The private sector investment has been highly criticized within African nations but it is a clear opportunity for Indian banks to regain its relevance in Africa which it has lost over time and compete with Chinese banks who have already acquired stakes in the leading banks.

Conclusion –

The land that gave India its Mahatma needs an active global, and more active Indian, co-operation to write the development story of its citizens and the initiatives like G20 Africa partnership with development first approach can truly help it achieve the same.


Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

5) “India’s new bankruptcy law, promulgated last year, while marking a positive departure from the old and fragmented system that existed earlier, is far from ideal.” Comment. (200 Words)


Insolvency Act was passed in 2016, by the govt, with following salient features:

  1. Constitution of the IBBI to regulate insolvency professionals and agencies. It provides for the Insolvency Professionals (IP)who will propose & plan for the insolvency in a time bound manner (180 days, extendable to 270 days). This plan is put to Committee of Creditors(COC) for vote.
  2. Development of a uniform bankruptcy code.
  3. Provision of appellate tribunals against NCLT and DRT awards, coupled with the time-frame (180 days).

Though this act is a welcome step and is a booster to promote ease of doing business in the country, there are some issues like:

  1. The cost of bankruptcy and insolvency resolution is still high.
  2. Too much discretion in the hands of Insolvency professionals and the agencies.
  3. NCLT and DRT are already overburdened and this provision will aggravate the problem.


 An innovative and pragmatic approach: 

According to this, the whole distressed assets is converted into common security called ‘reorganisation rights’. Then one internal auction and external auctions are held. In the former, a claimant is allowed to purchase RR at preferential price, and in the later an investor cash bids for these RR.

The RR are prices are kept high, so as to avoid them being acquired at throwaway prices, the external bid allows claimants and others to be paid in cash. And the external bid doer – the investor then gets a say in reorganisation plan and further course of action for the organisation.

This approach is more open, removes discretion powers from the Investment professionals, is market friendly, and the court has only supervisory role. This most importantly reduces the financial and time cost, and does away with need to establish and maintain special bankruptcy courts, investment professionals and even experts for operating firms.

Way forward –

The World Bank’s Doing Business Index 2017 states that India takes on an average 4.3 years to resolve insolvency—about two years more than the average for South Asia. For India to improve its rankings in the doing business index, it is not enough to simply have a bankruptcy code in place. The code must be robust, decentralized, less costly, inclusive and speedy. This would help businesses exit sooner and capital to be redeployed faster to productive firms, thereby improving economic output and employment.


General Studies – 3


Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

6) Discuss the significant role played by U R Rao, Vikram Sarabhai and others in building India’s space program. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Introduction :- Indian space program evolved over last four decades enjoys an important place in world today. It saw many challenges and obstacles but committed, extraordinary force of people like Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, U R Rao and others played crucial role in it’s development.

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai :-

With the live transmission of Tokyo Olympic Games across the Pacific by the American Satellite ‘Syncom-3’ demonstrating the power of communication satellites, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the founding father of Indian space programme, quickly recognized the benefits of space technologies for India.

  • Sarabhai was considered as the Father of the Indian space program; He was a great institution builder and established or helped to establish a large number of institutions in diverse fields. He was instrumental in establishing the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad : after returning from Cambridge to an independent India in 1947.
  • Vikram Sarabhai played a key role in establishing the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR). Following the establishment of the INCOSPAR, the first rocket launch from India took place in November 1963. The ICONOSPAR grew to become the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1969.
  • Homi Jehangir Bhabha, widely regarded as the father of India’s nuclear science program, supported Sarabhai in setting up the first rocket launching station in India.

U R RAO :-

  • After taking charge as Chairman, Space Commission and Secretary, Department of Space in 1985, Rao accelerated the development of rocket technology resulting in the successful launch of ASLV rocket in 1992.
  • He was also responsible for the development of the operational PSLV launch vehicle, which successfully launched an 850 kg. satellite into a polar orbit in 1995. Rao initiated the development of the geostationary launch vehicle GSLV and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.
  • He was responsible for successful launch of INSATsatellites during his stint at ISRO. The launch of INSAT satellites gave a thrust to communications in India, during the 1980s and 1990s. The successful launch of INSAT provided telecommunication links to remote corners of India.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam :-

  • Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committeeworking under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) where he was the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980

Dr. Satish Dhawan :-

  • He was a rocket scientist, who is considered by the Indian scientific community to be the father of experimental fluid dynamics research. He was one of the most eminent researchers in the field of turbulence and boundary layers.
  • In 1972, he succeeded Vikram Sarabhai as the Chairman of ISRO. During this period he directed the Indian space programme through a period of extraordinary growth. 
  • His efforts led to operational systems like INSAT- a telecommunications satellite, IRS – the Indian Remote Sensing satellite and the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) that placed India in the big league.


General Studies – 4



Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function

7) Define attitude? Discuss the nature of attitude and its components. (200 Words)

NCERT Class XII Psychology textbook Chapter 6

Introduction :- Attitudes are evaluations people make about objects, ideas, events, or other people. Attitudes can be positive or negative. Explicit attitudes are conscious beliefs that can guide decisions and behavior. Implicit attitudes are unconscious beliefs that can still influence decisions and behavior. Attitudes can include up to three components: cognitive, emotional, and behavioral.

Example: If someone believes that smoking is unhealthy,she feels disgusted when people smoke around her, and avoids being in situations where people smoke.

ethics qn

Nature of attitude :-

  • Attitudes often result in and affect the behaviour or action of the people. Attitudes can lead to intended behaviour if there are no external interventions.
  • Attitudes constitute a psychological phenomenon which cannot be directly observed. However, an attitude can be observed indirectly by observing its consequences. For example, if a person is very regular in his job, we may infer that he likes his job very much.
  • Attitudes are gradually acquired over a period of time. The process of learning attitude starts right from childhood and continues throughout the life of a person. In the beginning the family members may have a greater impact on the attitude of a child.
  • Attitudes are evaluative statements, either favourable or unfavourable. When a person says he likes or dislikes something or somebody, an attitude is being expressed.
  • All people, irrespective of their status and intelligence hold attitudes.
  • An attitude may be unconsciously held. Most of our attitudes may be about those which we are not clearly aware. Prejudice furnishes a good example.

Components of Attitude :-

  • Informational or Cognitive Component: The informational component consists of beliefs, values, ideas and other information a person has about the object. It makes no difference whether or not this information is empirically correct or real.
  • Emotional or Affective Component: The informational component sets the stage for the more critical part of an attitude, its affective component. The emotional components involve the person’s feeling or affect-positive, neutral or negative-about an object.
  • Behavioural Component: The behavioural component consists of the tendency of a person to behave in a particular manner towards an object.