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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.

Topic:   Salient features of Indian society; 

1) Who are Chakma-Hajongs? Compare and contrast Chakma-Hajongs issue with that of Rohingya crisis. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Who are Chakma and Hajong refugees?

The Chakma are an ethnic group who began fleeing in the 1960s to northeastern India from former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, partly because they were being persecuted because of their religion. Out of those who reached India, most of them were Chakmas and only 2,000 were Hajong.

They are scattered in Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and West Bengal as well as in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh and western parts of Myanmar.

The Chakmas are Buddhists; the Hajongs are Hindus. Both groups originally entered India through the then Lushai Hills district of Assam (now Mizoram) and were then moved to Arunachal.

Who are the Rohingya?

The Rohingya are often described as “the world’s most persecuted minority”.

They are an ethnic group, majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar. Currently, there are about 1.1 million Rohingya who live in the Southeast Asian country.

The Rohingya speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, a dialect that is distinct to others spoken in Rakhine State and throughout Myanmar. They are not considered one of the country’s 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.

Comparing Chakma-Hajong and Rohingyas:

 The very basic similarity between two communities is that they are religious minorities who are facing the prosecution by their respective states. The absence of religious tolerance in their native land had forced these people to flee to neighbouring countries.

Both these communities are seeking the citizenship right from Indian government for sake of social security.

Chakma-Hajong are comparatively smaller in number than Rohingyas. The ruthless prosecution of many Rohingyas in Myanmar state has brought their agony in international discourse.

Being early migrators in Lushai region of present Mizoram Chakma-Hajong people has become the integral part of cultural setup in the region. On the contrary, Rohingyas has been denied compassionate treatment and are shifted to refugee camps by Indian government.

The original reason for fleeing of Chakma Hajong people was the submergence of their native land due to Kaptai dam project in the 1960s. The religious prosecution followed later.


The two images above explain the severity of the two issues. The Chakma-Hajong issue was not as grave as of Rohingyas. Chakma-Hajong when migrated to India, they were in very low number. On other side Rohingyas are already huge in number, whose migration is creating economic pressure and security challenges for government of India.

Recently GOI has taken the decision to provide citizenship to Chakma-Hajong people. No such provision has been made available to Rohingyas. Infact, Rohingyas cannot be given Citizenship status due to their huge numbers and other issues of security.


India has the international image of being a compassionate nation, who has opened its gates to outsiders from historical times. There is rising pressure on government to solve the Rohingyas problem in amicable manner. The solution to Rohingyas issue can be achieved by multistakeholder regional cooperation of south Asian countries. Rohingyas problem demands the immediate and compassionate action of the world community.

Topic:  Nationalism, Regionalism

2) What do you understand by subnationalism? Is it a threat to democracy? Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Sub-nationalism has been defined as:

The policy of asserting the interest of one’s own state/region/province, as separate from the interest of the nation and the common interest of all other states/regions/provinces.

Nationalism is inspiring, but needs internal strength, self-discipline and sacrifices: Sub-nationalism is heady as it caters to internal weaknesses, liberates from controls and promises great personal rewards – although, all at the cost of the nation.

Nationalism is a concept born in 19th century Europe when small states and principalities came together, often by use or threat of force, to form larger entities called nations, with defined geographical boundaries.

Nationalism proved both a blessing and a bane.  A blessing in that it made for greater political and economic cohesion and a bane in that it led to territorial disputes and wars.

Technological advances such as the Worldwide Web, or Internet, have made the concept of nationalism obsolescent, if not obsolete.  Cyberspace knows no physical boundaries; netizens have no nationalities.

Sub Nationalism: Challenge to democracy

  • India is going through a phase of strong currents of sub-nationalism superimposing them over the current of nationalism which was created during independence struggle by those who struggled, fought and even sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation.
  • In India, the concept of nationalism has always been undermined by what could be called the sub-nationalism of regionalism and caste. It is often said that what is called India is inhibited by citizens who first call themselves Bengali, or Punjabi, or Tamil, or Gujarati, or whatever, and add Indian only as an afterthought of identity.
  • Within the sub-nationalism of regionalism is the further sub-nationalism of caste. The system of job reservations is challenging the idea of national unity.
  • Sub nationalism may lead to get reflected in fragmented political set that represents particular strong group rather than overall population. Such kind of majoritarism threatens the very basic principles of democracy.
  • In some cases sub nationalism creates challenges for law and order situation that may topple the state establishment. This kind of parallel power is dangerous for democratic tradition.
  • The demand for separate statehood is also kind of subnationalism. India has long history of statehood demands coming from various corners of the country. The state demand creates the challenge in front of central government and overall democratic structure of country.
  • It has been observed that any guerilla type movement which has local populace’s support is rarely defeated; and more importantly, the Indian public, politicians, press and powers that matter even now do not realize the gravity of the situation and hence fail to act in unison.
  • Sub nationalism may create threat to the common culture and heritage if it promotes violence and separatism. The common understanding of brotherhood concept through belongingness of common culture and heritage to driving force of democracy.

Sub nationalism: Opportunity

  • The tendency to unite and fight for the common reason is not always anti national. In certain cases it may represent one of the most disadvantaged sections of the society and thus opens new avenues for their socio cultural upliftment.
  • In history as well one may observe such instances many times. The anti-Brahmin movement in South India brought the unity among remaining sections of society to fight against caste oppression.
  • Another reason is the huge area of the country with large states as its components. There is vast disparity within states itself in terms of socio economic development.
  • There are new identities that are establishing their existence in social domain. One such example is the third gender people. Their struggle for equality being challenge to current establishment must not be opposed by considering as anti-national sentiment.
  • This use of subnationalism as it relates to welfare is new and interesting for several reasons. It goes to deeper social level and caters the specific need of the community or the region.
  • Sub nationalism promotes ideal of competitive federalism where every state strives to compete with each other for prosperity.

Hence it can be rightly said that, there is very thin line between sub nationalism and anti-nationalism. Sub nationalism may prove to be good for people if it caters the right issue. Sub nationalism is also about the plurality in democracy and accommodating multiple identities with genuine implementatation of principle of tolerance.

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

3)  India and Japan share a commonality in the past and convergence of interests in the future. Comment. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


2017 holds special significance since it marks a decade of Shinzo Abe’s celebrated speech at the Indian Parliament— ‘Confluence of the Two Seas’, underscoring shared universal values and interests. Ten years down the line, India is envisioned as a critical strategic anchor in Japan’s latest ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy’. India-Japan ‘Special Strategic and Global Partnership’, aimed at securing strategic stability and economic prosperity of the Indo-Pacific space, culminated into the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) this year.

The history of the cordial relation between two countries is very long. The trade being one of the important components of relation both India and Japan has benefited both countries.

The Convergence of interests between two nations can be seen through following points:

  • The year 2012 marked the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and India. Various cultural events took place both in Japan and in India to promote mutual understanding between the two countries, under the theme of “Resurgent Japan, Vibrant India: New Perspectives, New Exchanges.”
  • India and Japan have unveiled an era of high-powered diplomacy. Bilateral and regional ambitions in the Indo-Pacific have been clearly laid out in ‘India-Japan Vision 2025’. Japan has demonstrated its will to shoulder responsibilities in the Indian Ocean region under Abe’s vision for Japan as a ‘Proactive Contributor to Peace’.
  • There is a shared recognition that a stronger bilateral strategic partnership entails wider cooperation while responding to global and regional challenges and jointly contributing to the stability of the Indo-Pacific region. Both countries have stressed the value of deepening interaction between the respective governments and defence industries with the aim of enabling collaboration in defence and dual-use technologies.
  • As maritime democracies, both nations have argued for rules-based international order, freedom of navigation and over flight, unimpeded lawful commerce, and peaceful settlement of disputes. Where there is an alignment of interests, India has invested in strengthening relations with likeminded countries.
  • Japan is increasingly emerging as a ‘natural partner for development of northeast.’9 India-Japan Coordination Forum on Development of Northeast was instituted in August 2017. Northeast is the space where Abe’s ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy’ and Modi’s ‘Act East’ policy ‘converge’ as it is situated at an ‘important juncture between India and Southeast Asia as well as within Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries’.
  • Regional connectivity both within India and infrastructure development in Southeast Asia, South Asia and adjoining region —for instance Iran and Afghanistan with specific reference to development of Chabahar, and collaborative projects in Africa, have been accorded priority by both countries.
  • The 2016 India-Japan Joint Statement underscores the importance of coordinating bilaterally and with other countries to develop better regional connectivity and facilitating industrial networks.


Japan’s attitude towards India has been shaped by a few important variables such as arrival of China as a major actor in international politics; decreasing US influence in the region; growing US interest vis-à-vis India; the need to secure trade and energy networks in critical maritime space; and tapping the emerging market potential. Meanwhile, India is cultivating Japan for investments in sustainable infrastructure; accessing civil nuclear technology in order to cater to the energy appetite of Indian economy; and securing supply of high-end defence technology.


Topic: Indian economy – growth and development

4) Income inequality is the greatest irony of a Welfare State. Addressing implications of income inequality, elucidate measures the State can take to address the issue. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Income inequality is the unequal distribution of household or individual income across the various participants in an economy. Income inequality is often presented as the percentage of income to a percentage of population.

Income inequality is often associated with the idea of income “fairness.” Most people consider it “unfair” if the rich have a disproportionally larger portion of a country’s income compared to the general population. The causes of income inequality can vary significantly by region, gender, education and social status.

First and foremost cause of undermining equality in India is growth factor. With economic growth taking place at a higher rate than before, different people in the country continue to earn differently. In particular, the incomes of Indians in upper and middle quartiles are rising faster as compared to those for the poor do. This is a common phenomenon when an economy is in its growing stage. The main explanation for this disparity is the shift from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy.

Implications of income inequality:

  1. High and sustained levels of inequality, especially inequality of income and opportunity can entail large social costs. Entrenched inequality of outcomes can significantly undermine individuals’ educational and occupational choices.
  2. Inequality of income does not generate the “right” incentives if it rests on rents. In that event, individuals have an incentive to divert their efforts toward securing favored treatment and protection, resulting in resource misallocation, corruption, and nepotism, with attendant adverse social and economic consequences.
  3. Income inequality (as measured by the Gini coefficient, which is 0 when everybody has the same income and 1 when one person has all the income) negatively affects growth and its sustainability.
  4. Higher inequality in income lowers growth by depriving the ability of lower-income households to stay healthy and accumulate physical and human capital.
  5. Income inequality dampens investment, and hence growth, by fueling economic, financial, and political instability.

Ways to tackle inequality in India:

  • Despite being important to the electorate, inequality of income is absent from major political campaigns. There is need to make inequality as a political agenda.
  • Government should work towards reducing asset inequality through redistributive land reforms but also through rationalising taxes, preventing monopoly of control over water, forests and mineral resources and reducing financial concentration.
  • There is need to tackle bias against caste and gender first of all by recognising the value and dignity of all work (including unpaid work) and all workers (including those in the most difficult arduous and degraded occupations).
  • Inequality can be reduced by providing greater voice to traditionally oppressed and suppressed groups, including by enabling unions and association, and making public and corporate private activity more transparent and accountable to the people generally.
  • The media in India plays a role in sustaining inequality. This is becoming an urgent problem. We must take measures to reduce corporate takeover and manipulation of mass media.
  • Policymakers should not forget that technology has helped in reducing some of the access barriers in India, particularly in relation to access to information. Policymakers should focus on making technology cheaper and deepening its penetration.
  • As far as India is concerned, most of the public places are inaccessible to people with disabilities. As per the 2011 census, India has about 2.7 million people with disabilities, and only a handful of those enjoy education and/or employment.
  • The gender inequality can be reduced by woman empowerment in genuine manner with a right based approach, rather that treating woman as a beneficiary of public schemes.

Measure of Income inequality: Gini coefficient

In economics, the Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation’s residents, and is the most commonly used measure of inequality. It was developed by the Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini.

The Gini coefficient measures the inequality among values of a frequency distribution (for example, levels of income). A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality, where all values are the same (for example, where everyone has the same income). A Gini coefficient of 1 (or 100%) expresses maximal inequality among values.

The Gini coefficient is usually defined mathematically based on the Lorenz curve, which plots the proportion of the total income of the population (y axis) that is cumulatively earned by the bottom x% of the population (see diagram). The line at 45 degrees thus represents perfect equality of incomes. The Gini coefficient can then be thought of as the ratio of the area that lies between the line of equality and the Lorenz curve (marked A in the diagram) over the total area under the line of equality


Topic: Indian economy – growth and development

5)  Rising corporate debt is inversely proportional to multi-sectoral growth and economic stability. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- India’s corporate debt rose to a seven-year high at the end of March. More than a fifth of large companies did not earn enough to pay interest on their loans and the pace of new loans fell to the lowest in more than six decades. India’s annual GDP growth in the quarter ended June dropped to 5.7%.

IMF recently stated that A third of the corporate debt in India has a debt-to-equity ratio of more than three, the highest degree of leverage in the Asia-Pacific region, A high debt-to-equity ratio indicates that a company has been borrowing to fund expansion instead of raising money from the market. This can harm the health of a firm if interest rates rise and economic growth falters.

High corporate debt poses a systemic risk because it is widespread among sectors like infrastructure, power, road, textiles and gems and jewellery

It could impact our exports as well as employment

In India and China, about half of the corporate debt is owed by firms with return on assets below 5%, and some of it is owed by firms that are posting losses, the fund said. Return on assets indicates the earnings generated by a company from its invested capital.

More than a fifth of 513 Indian companies had interest cover of less than 1%.

New loans are also hard to come by. On an annual basis, the pace of new loans in the year to the end of March, fell to the lowest since the fiscal year ended in March 1954.

The impact can be seen in the GDP data. Gross capital formation, a gauge of private investment, fell to less than 30% of GDP in the June quarter, from 31% a year earlier and 38% a decade ago.

All these things can impact the confidence of people in Indian economy, the foreign direct investment, Money supply and ultimately the macroeconomic stability in India.

Addressing the NPA problems at earliest, implementing necessary reforms like structuring PARA, SARFAISE act and effectively using institutions like BBB, S4A, Indradhanush strategy, Corporate debt management, Bankruptcy code etc can be way ahead.

Topic: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth. 

6)  What are White Collar Crimes? Why do you think Law Enforcement in India is seemingly unequipped to aptly counter such offences? Suggest some remedial measures. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Introduction :- White-collar crime refers to financially motivated nonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals. Within criminology, it was first defined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation”. Typical white-collar crimes could include fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, labor racketeering, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery.

India and White collar crime :-

  • Like any other country, India is equally in the grip of white collar criminality. The reason for enormous increase in white collar crime in recent decades is to be found in the fast developing economy and industrial growth of this developing country.
  • The Santhanam Committee Report in its findings gave a vivid picture of white collar crimes committed by persons of respectability such as businessmen, industrialists, contractors and suppliers as also the corrupt public officials .
  • The Report of the Vivin Bose Commission of Inquiry into the affairs of Dalmia Jain group of companies in 1963 highlights how these industrialists indulge in white collar crimes such as fraud , falsification of accounts, tampering with records for personal gains and tax evasion etc.

Reasons For Growth Of White Collar Crimes In India

  • White collar crimes are committed out of greed. The people who usually commit these crimes are financially secure.
  • Financial or physical duress.
  • White collar crimes are estimated to cost society many times more than crimes such as robbery and burglary. The amount of death caused by corporate mishap, such as inadequate pharmaceutical testing, far outnumbers those caused by murder.
  • The emergence of cutting edge technology, growing businesses, and political pressures has opened up new avenues for these criminal organizations to prosper.
  • This increase is due to a booming economy and technological advancement such as the Internet and fast money transfer systems. Law enforcement is sometimes reluctant to pursue these cases because they are so hard to track and investigate.
  • It is very difficult to detect as white collar crimes always committed in privacy of an office or home and usually there is no eyewitness.

Law enforcement for white collar crime :-

The Indian parliament considered it necessary to give effect to the resolution by which the General Assembly adopted Model Law on Electronic Commerce adopted by the United Nations Commission on Trade Law.

In the wake of growing “white collar” crime globally, the CBI has formed an “Economic Intelligence Wing” to tackle it even as list of run away economic offenders was being readied for extradition

The wing has been tasked to gather intelligence and also share and act on information being provided by organisations like Stock Exchange Board of India and Intelligence Bureau.

Government would introduce a legislation on Serious Frauds Office (SFO) to track white-collar crimes, even as Parliament approved the legislation to give more teeth to the market regulator SEBI including search and seizure powers.

How to reduce :-

There are some of the remedial measures for combating white-collar criminality, which are, creating public awareness against these crimes through the media of press, and other audio-visual aids and legal literacy programmes. Special Tribunals should be constituted with power to award sentence of im­prisons upto 5 years for white-collar crimes. Convictions should result in heavy fines rather than arrest and detention of white-collar criminals. And public vigilance seems to be corner-stone of anti-white-collar crime strategy. Unless people strongly detest such crimes, it will not be possible to contain this growing menace.


Topic: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

7) The State must strike a balance between necessary retaliation and human rights while addressing an aggressive protest. Comment with regards to the use of Pellet Guns during recent protests. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- A pellet is a non-spherical projectile designed to be fired from an air gun.

Pellets guns are intended to injure individuals and cause pain. They are effective over short ranges up to 500 yards but when fired from close quarters can be lethal, particularly when sensitive parts like eyes are hit. Pellets can penetrate soft tissues. An official said security forces were asked to open minimal fire at protesters and if necessary “below their waist.”

How does a pellet look like?

A cartridge of a pellet gun contains few hundred pellets made of Lead. Pellets can be of various shapes either like ball bearings or irregular. When fired, the cartridge disperses few hundred pellets over few hundred metres depending on the type.

Who manufactures them?

Pellet guns are manufactured at the Ordinance Factory, Ishapore.

When were they introduced?

They are used by Jammu & Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). They were first introduced in August 2010. The CRPF has 600 such guns.

Where are they put to use?

These guns are used in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas but they are mostly used in the Kashmir Valley.


Initially pellet type 4/5 was in use but after 110 people were killed in Kashmir in 2010, it was decided to change the type to 8/9. For the last two and half years, type 8/9 is being used and it is believed to be non-lethal.

CRPF Fatalities in the valley

In 2016, 1022 CRPF personnel were injured. Of this 956 were injured in pelting of stones in the Valley between July 8-16 during the unrest. For the rest of the year from January 1 to July 7, 22 were injured in pelting of stones and 44 injured in grenade blasts.

The response of state and Army in latest Kashmir valley protest is being seen as an irresponsible and autocratic behavior. The human rights violation were highlighted by many civil society organizations and recently The Amnesty International-India has asked the government “to immediately prohibit pellet shotguns in the Kashmir Valley.” In a report released on Wednesday, it highlighted the plight of those who lost their eyesight in pellet gun firing between 2014 and 2017.

The actions by state were justified on basis of maintenance of law and order and also to save human lives from unruly protests. However the gross human rights that were violated for this cant be sidelined and justified. It violated fundamental rights like right to equality (art 14) right to personal life and liberty (art 21) Hence need is to adopt balanced approach like :-

  • Increasing the intelligence gathering and watch for possible unlawful activities in advance with community policing, deployment of police in civil forms. In order to prevent any such incidences to occur at first place itself.
  • Use of possible minimum force in extreme cases with well laid down standard operation procedures. Dissipating the crowd with consoling and warnings in advance.
  • Using alternatives to the pellet guns like potent and newly developed PAVA shells, a chilli-based less-lethal munition, which temporarily incapacitates the target and renders them immobile for several minutes
  • Sensitization of police, army men and other security persons for the rights of people to protest and impact of use of these weapons on their life will ensure its minimum and rational use.

Topic:   Ethics in private and public relationships

8) Predatory Journals are ethical blot on the sanctity of accredited research. Comment.  (150 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- A scam of the most scholarly kind on the Internet — publishing “scientific papers” in fake open access journals (also called as predatory journals) — has become more insidious and grown tremendously in size. And tragically, India has singularly contributed to the cancerous growth of pseudo-science.

42 per cent of fake single-journal publishers are based in India.

Reasons :-

The introduction of academic performance indicator (API) by the University Grants Commission (UGC), lack of clarity in identifying and evaluating journals, the focus on ‘quantity’ over ‘quality’, unhealthy competition between peers, and overall, a favorable non-scientific publishing environment have led Indian researchers to publish in mediocre journals wherein most manuscripts are published without any peer review. Perhaps it is also the fear of peer review that has nourished predatory journals, making India one of the world’s largest base for predatory open-access publishing.

Implications :-

Predatory journals raise a thorny problem for the scholarly literature. Peer review traditionally is the hallmark of scholarly publication, and manuscripts published without peer review are considered to have not passed a critical hurdle, as imperfect as it is

Even if science done in India has not grown much in the last few years, India has successfully played a vital role in polluting the scientific literature with trash.

When the percentage of fake journal publishers based in India tops the list in the world, scientists based in India who publish sub-standard or downright trash are also questioned for their legitimacy and knowledge.

Indian researchers publishing in predatory journals could be willing or ignorant participants but they leave an impression of degrading science in India.

The rapid rise of predatory journals — publications taking large fees without providing robust editorial or publishing services — has created what some have called an age of academic racketeering.

It also reflects the lack of standard ethical practices, non partisanship, presence of collusive corruption and mis guidance of reader etc. Predatory journals misrepresent who they are and what services they offer, including not providing peer review, editing and indexing services.

Way forward :-

  • Institutions should use existing tools to educate their faculty and students about how to identify predatory journals and ensure that they understand the ethical and professional consequences of submitting their work to predatory journals.
  • These tools do not rely on lists of journals, but rather approaches to suspect a journal may be predatory. For example, “Think.Check.Submit.” provides simple steps for authors to use to identify predatory journals.
  • A tool developed by Laine and Winker on behalf of WAME provides an algorithm to follow and a list of warning signs that should increase suspicion that a journal is predatory.
  • Institutions should avoid creating or following lists of unacceptable journals because of their tendency to inadvertently penalize legitimate journals. For example, the Medical Council of India declared that academic institutions should only consider journals with a print version for promotion and tenure decisions .
  • New journals or journals from low or middle income countries may not meet criteria for listing in indexes, and may meet other “predatory” criteria of some lists, despite their legitimate practices.

Conclusion :-

Predatory journals pose a number of ethical issues as well as conundrums for authors and academic institutions who must decide how to deal with content submitted to and/or published in them. Everyone – authors, institutions, editors, and publishers – has a responsibility to support the legitimate scholarly research enterprise, and to avoid supporting predatory journals by not publishing in them, serving as their editors or on the Editorial Boards, or permitting faculty to knowingly publish in them without consequences. Institutions need to refrain from raising unrealistic expectations that drive authors from making unwise decisions. Only by addressing the underlying reasons for the continued presence of predatory journals can this challenge to the scholarly research enterprise be solved.