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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:  Role of women and women’s organization,  

1) Women in Indian police are carrying out all types of duties, however women who are managing prisons and correctional administration are said to be unsung heroes. What kind of challenges are uniformed women facing in prisons? Discuss critically their role. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


Women officials have entered into all branches of police administration in India with prison administration being no exception. From being wardens to jailers and deputies, women handle sensitive duties from managing prison gates, barracks, peripheral and internal security to sending inmates to courts and attending to judicial duties regarding prisoners. With some states like Maharashtra allowing 33% reservation to women in prison administration, it has become imperative to study the challenges faced by such women officials in prison administration.

Challenges faced by women in prisons-

  • Prison administration, till the recent time was the male stronghold and women officials were limited to security of the women only. With their increasing numbers, they are also assigned the duties of male prisoners. This brings the unique challenge where women officials will have to fight patriarchal mindset and traditions set in the prison over the period of the time. For eg hitherto male-dominated culture broadly believes that prisons are places for the punishment for criminals and that the latter pose a risk to society rather than having reformative approach.
  • With the women official’s capabilities regarding prison administration yet to be exploited fully, most prison superintendents could be apprehensive of having women staff and their assimilation into the prison environment.
  • Nature of prison duties offers another set of challenges to the women officials. Long working hours, constant company of criminals and accused persons and lack of specialized training to deal with the prisoners can drain the physical and mental capacities of the women officials.
  • Poor sanitation, unhygienic conditions, opulence of diseases can discourage the women officials from working into such conditions.
  • Women officials have to balance the traditional family and societal obligations along with their duties which can prove detrimental to their efficiency and efficacy in discharging duties.
  • With many jails and prisons having security lapses and inadequate safety measures, itself can pose threats to security of the women officials.

Women official’s role in prison administration-

  • Women come with their own strengths viz teamwork, participative management, communication skills etc. They also herald a shift in favour of a correctional administration instead of the traditional punitive mindset.
  • Women officials can bring changes in the present mess of the prison administration. For eg reducing custodial deaths and rapes, reducing inhumane torture to the prisoners etc that have been the hallmark of the prisons served by male officials.
  • Women officials can improve the sanitary and hygienic conditions and overall environment of the prisons making them livable. The case study of improvement of Tihar jail under the administration of Kiran Bedi is speaking example of this.

While women officials bring many benefits in the prison administration, there is also some skepticism about their increasing role in it. Women officials are not yet fully trained and prepared to guard the male prisoners and overburdened jails. Women officials need to be emotionally strong to deal with the high work load and unnecessary political pressure. Further they need to secure the cooperation from male seniors, colleagues and subordinates transcending gender lines.

Increasing number of women in the prison administration is a healthy sign of breaking gender roles and reflection of changing India. Government needs to make special arrangements for the adequate training of such women officials so that they can prove the traditional and patriarchal norms wrong.   



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

2) With a favouring trend towards multilateralism, BRICS needs to be pegged at full potential. Comment on the effective of BRICS. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Multilateralism has emerged as the most preferred method for the global trade and partnerships. Even amidst the arguments of the protectionism from some countries, multilateralism seems unstoppable phenomenon. BRICS countries though having mutual differences, need to cooperate to maintain its relevance in the present global scenario.

  • BRICS is group of emerging economies having vast potential to revive the global growth. The group which forms 41% of the population of the world and 22% of the global GDP is seen as the propagator of the free trade and commerce.
  • BRICS is also working to create alternative institutions to Bretton woods institutions which are dominated by North American and European nations. New development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have come up to resist the hegemony of the western nations.
  • In the geo-political matters, BRICS nations are working actively to settle the global/international disputes in an amicable ways and without disturbing the sovereignty of concerned nations. For eg peace in Afghanistan, North Korea etc.
  • BRICS can also form the solid foundation against the global terrorism as reflected in the recent Xiamen declaration of the 9th Summit of BRICS.

Thus BRICS has not remained just economic block but is also participating in the geo-political issues concerning the security of the world. However effectiveness and efficacy of the BRICS forum is being questioned amidst the internal differences of the members.

  • There are few things common in the BRICS nations. While India, Brazil and South Africa are democratic nations, Russia is more of Authoritarian democracy and China as one party rule of communists.
  • Further India is drifting more towards USA which is antagonizing China and Russia and reducing the possibilities of deep cooperation between them.
  • Similarly tense and even hostile relations between India and China are limiting the scope of cooperation in the BRICS. Recent stand-off at Doklam, China’s special relationship with Pakistan, China vetoing India’s entry in NSG etc have hampered the possibilities of close cooperation among both countries at the BRICS platform.
  • Even many of the times BRICS nations found themselves on the opposing sides of the global issues making it very difficult to function with effectiveness. For eg Navigation in the South China Sea, WTO negotiations etc.
  • BRICS suffers from other infirmities as well. Brazil and South Africa are increasingly becoming peripheral to BRICS’ aims and objectives. Russia is currently more preoccupied with establishing its supremacy in Eurasia, and its interest in BRICS is not of the same order as in the past. This leaves only India, and limits the scope of BRICS to issues and regions such as Afghanistan that have featured in previous BRICS meetings.

Thus BRICS to succeed, it is very important for the member nations to de-hyphenate their other global commitments and work as a cohesive body on minimum certain issues for mutual benefits. It is very important for BRICS to show path to other multilateral forums in the environment of rising voices for protectionism.


Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,

3) Encephalitis is a national health risk and needs to be targeted on priority with dedicated State Measures. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Encephalitis is a potentially life-threatening but rare disease causing “acute inflammation” of the brain.

Japanese Encephalitis is recognised as the leading cause of the disease in India. According to a report by Indian Council of Medical Research, JEV was first recognised in 1955 in the country, when cases of encephalitis were reported in North Arcat district of Tamil Nadu.

The report further states that since 1972, the disease has spread to newer regions including West Bengal, Uttar Praesh, Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Pondicherry and Karnataka. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are two states, which have seen the most number of encephalitis cases in recent years.

While the age group of people affected by the disease in southern areas remain children below 16 years of age, in North India, citizens of all age group are affected. In 2012, at least 272 cases of the disease were reported in Odisha, including 24 deaths. By 2014, at least 550 cases of deaths due to encephalitis were reported in the country. At least 102 people died in West Bengal and 43 deaths were reported in Assam in 2014.

Thus Encephalitis needs to be targeted on priority with dedicated state measures. Following are some of the measures that needs to be taken on priority basis.

  • Mass awareness and door-to-door campaigns in districts severely affected by encephalitis, about the causes of the disease and ways of prevention, should be a priority.
  • A study specific to Gorakhpur had suggested a possibility of faecal-oral transmission of the virus by contaminated drinking water. Sanitation, mosquito control, prevention of open defecation, and ensuring clean drinking water can help prevent an outbreak.
  • The State governments need to allot maximum funds to those districts most affected by encephalitis. More infrastructure is required in states like UP and Bihar where the prevalence rate is high.
  • Further, cost-effective PPP models could also be explored to not just reach out, but also conduct research.
  • Encephalitis vaccine has been included in the Universal Immunization Program (UIP) since 2011. It has helped to reduce the prevalence rate among the children. However, a study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research showed that only three out of four children in Gorakhpur had received at least one dose of JE vaccine. The coverage of the second dose was low. Failure to administer the vaccine simultaneously with other vaccines was the most common reason for the lack of coverage and has led to many deaths. Thus there is need to cover every child under the UIP with comprehensive coverage.

Encephalitis is a predictable disaster. Its transmission intensifies during the rainy season, during the pre-harvest period in paddy-cultivating regions, and in flood-prone districts. Thus careful measures taken by state will surely improve the present condition and help in towards eliminating the disease completely.


Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

4) “Countries need to rise above national interest and ally loyalties to ensure the UN serves its purpose of an impactful intergovernmental organisation.” Comment with special focus on India’s UN diplomacy.  (200 Words)

The Hindu

The Indian Express

As a founding member of the United Nations, India strongly supports the purposes and principles of the UN and has made significant contributions in implementing the goals of the Charter, and the evolution of the UN’s specialised programmes and agencies. The UN reforms and it potential to work more efficiently for global peace is under continuous discourse at International level.

Multilateral diplomacy of India is the practice of involving more than two nations or parties in achieving diplomatic solutions to supranational problems. UN is most suitable platform for it.

There is need of finding out a common ground for countries to unite under UN umbrella, because:

  • Preventive diplomacy is the emerging concept at International level. Preventive diplomacy refers to diplomatic action taken to prevent disputes from escalating into conflicts and to limit the spread of conflicts when they occur. As India has many border issues with neighbouring countries, this kind of diplomacy is way ahead.
  • UN reforms must be taken on agenda with a multilateral participation. UNSC reforms have been the bone of contention from long back. The justification for rational representation to many countries in the world has been well accepted and thus needs to push forward collectively.
  • The work of the United Nations in conflict prevention extends well beyond traditional preventive diplomacy to involve a broad constellation of United Nations entities operating across a wide range of relevant disciplines — poverty-eradication and development, human rights and the rule of law, elections and the building of democratic institutions, the control of small arms, to name just a few. This has been the part of India’s soft diplomacy as well.
  • UN must be held at the upmost level due to rising conflicts in International spaces, such as International waters and Artic region. As old ideological divisions break down at the UN, India must now take the lead in promoting practical solutions to international challenges. The changes in foreign policy of India also highlights the tilt towards realpolitik that only ideological stand.
  • India has become successful at United Nations, to push for principle of non-interventionism. This needs to be continued in future as well.
  • Terrorism is an international worry that has international characters. Multilateral diplomacy of creating pressure on havens of terrorism is best solution to counter terrorism. India being one of the victim, must apply multilateral diplomacy to get desired results.
  • Today, attention is turning to issues such as infectious diseases, environmental degradation, electronic crimes, weapons of mass destruction, and the impacts of new technologies, which in the past would have been the concern of individual nations but have now grown to international stature. The UN’s capacity to deal with these questions must also grow.


India has always been the important player in the various issue linked with UN, as it’s also member of G4 countries and one of the largest contributor in peacekeeping force. It is the high time to apply multilateral diplomacy with efficient application of multi-track diplomacy also.

Additional information:

India and UN:

  1. India’s Contribution to UN Efforts for Peace and Disarmament: Since independence, India has consistently pursued the objective of global disarmament based on the principles of non-discrimination. Given the destructive capacity of nuclear weapons, India has always believed that a world free of nuclear weapons would enhance global security.
  2. India as Supporter of Human Rights in the UN: India is a strong supporter of the UN efforts for protection of human rights. Ever since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 1948, India has cooperated in implementation of human rights related decisions and resolutions. The two human rights covenants have received India’s wholehearted support.
  3. An important issue being addressed to in India is to empower women by the Panchayati Raj System. The Government of India, assisted by UNDP and UNICEF (United Nations Children‟s Fund) has initiated massive country-wide training programme to equip about 8,00,000 women members of the Panchayats to manage local government effectively and transform them into effective agents of social change. Once considered “invisible” in the economy, women today are an important percentage of the country’s workforce.
  4. India’s Efforts for Permanent Seat in UN Security Council: Since the UN Charter came into force in 1945, there have only five permanent members (P-5) in the Security Council and each had the power to veto decisions of a majority of other members. Three of the five are European, representing about ten percent of humanity, while only one is Asian, representing more than 30 per cent of humanity. India believes its permanent membership of the Council would moderate the arbitrariness of the present permanent members in decision-making matters, particularly to do with international peace and security. Indeed, India wants to be involved in the steering and have a say in these matters.
  5. Peace keeping forces: India always played a significant role in the UN Peace Keeping Operations. India has always viewed UN as a vehicle for peace and for peaceful change in world politics. Apart from this, India has always expected UN to actively involve countries to moderate their differences through talks or negotiations.


Topic: Indian economy – growth and development;

5) Does ageing population pose a huge threat to economic growth? It is said that technology aided workforces can potentially reduce economic stagnation while improving quality of life. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu


The phenomenon of population ageing is becoming a major concern for the policy makers all over the world, both for developed and developing countries. Our country too is not immune to this demographic change. The changing demographic profile has thrown many new challenges in the social, economic and political domains.

Dealing with Challenge of ageing population, through:

  • There is need of attitudinal change towards old people as mere burden on the economy. The policy must provide positive interventions in order to involve elderly people in economic and social activities as not just an experienced but also a profitable component.
  • The targeting old age people with specific needs or conditions are also crucial. For Eg, an old poor woman of tribal community in some rural area of north eastern India will surely at disadvantage as compared to a rich elderly in Delhi. This difference must be seen at policy level and positively intervened.
  • As the population of a country ages, the supply of labour decreases and drives up wages. This, in turn, pushes businesses to adopt technologies that can help them save on labour costs. Technology can be the effective tool for industries to deal with
  • Technological intervention can improve the lives of elderly who has lesser physical strength to work. Technology can effectively improve healthcare quality, delivery and results. Technology can support the possible mobility for old person.
  • Private players hardly take any initiative in the issues linked with elderly people, except the healthcare industry. The boost must be given to innovation to instruments and software applications that can make life of an elderly person happier to live.
  • Technology will strengthen the government capacity to effectively deliver public goods and services to elderly people. This will make the process if identification, authentication, intervention and regulation far simpler and effective work for government.


In conclusion, current trends in demographics coupled with rapid urbanization and lifestyle changes have led to an emergence of a host of problems faced by the elderly in India. Improving the quality of life of the elderly, calls for a holistic approach and concerted efforts by the smart technological intervention in all sectors of socio economic sphere.

Supplementary information:

Demographics and future prediction of elderly population In India;

According to Population Census 2011, there are nearly 104 million elderly persons in India; 53 million females and 51 million males. It is interesting to note that up to Population Census 1991, the number of elderly males exceeded the number of females. In the last two decades, however, the trend has been reversed and the elderly females outnumbered the elderly males.

This is also a major concern for policy makers as elderly women are more vulnerable on all fronts compared to elderly men. As regards rural and urban areas, more than 73 million persons i.e. 71 per cent of elderly population reside in rural areas while 31 million or 29 per cent of elderly population are in urban areas.

Details of Policy and Programmes for the Welfare of Elderly Persons in India

  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal Ministry for the welfare of senior citizens. The Ageing Division in the Social Defence Bureau of the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment develops and implements programmes and policies for the senior citizens in close collaboration with State Governments, Non-Governmental Organisations and civil society.
  • The National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP) was announced in January 1999 to reaffirm the commitment of the State to ensure the well-being of the older persons. The Policy envisages State support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter and other needs of older persons, equitable share in development, protection against abuse and exploitation, and availability of services to improve the quality of their lives.
  • The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 was enacted in December 2007, inter alia, to ensure need based maintenance for parents and senior citizens and their welfare.

The Act provides for:

  1. Maintenance of Parents/ senior citizens by children/ relatives made obligatory and justiciable through Tribunals
  2. Revocation of transfer of property by senior citizens in case of negligence by relatives

 iii. Penal provision for abandonment of senior citizens

  1. Establishment of Old Age Homes for Indigent Senior Citizens
  2. Protection of life and property of senior citizens
  3. Adequate medical facilities for Senior Citizens
  • In pursuance of the National Policy for Older Persons (NPOP), a National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) was constituted in 1999 under the Chairpersonship of the Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment to oversee implementation of the Policy. The NCOP is the highest body to advise the Government in the formulation and implementation of policy and programmes for the aged.


Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

6) Financial Inclusion is the precondition before comprehensive success of Mobile Wallets. Analyse. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Mobile wallets are the smart phone applications that allow digital or electronic transactions through the person’s bank accounts. After the demonetization exercise in India, digital transactions particularly through mobile wallets have emerged as popular method.

Mobile wallets come with many advantages for the user. Ease of transactions, quick transfers, records of the transactions, high security provided by banks and apps etc have attracted the new customers.

However the large scale use of mobile wallets is limited to urban area and within the digitally literate communities only. Lack of financial inclusion is proving to be major hurdle for the comprehensive success of the mobile wallets.

Most of the mobile wallets need person to have bank account for transactions. Further people should be regular user of such accounts. Also digital literacy plays the central role in effective use of the mobile wallet system. People should understand the advantages and disadvantages of the mobile wallets.

Hackers normally exploit the vulnerability of the new users to carry out digital thefts. Thus it is important to have thorough knowledge of the mobile wallet system.

Indian government has already taken steps to achieve 100% financial inclusion. Some of them are launching of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana to open bank accounts, applications like Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), Digital Saksharata Abhiyan, incentives for carrying out digital transactions etc.

However it should be taken into consideration that along with financial inclusion, government needs to work on creating sound digital infrastructure, ensuring cyber security and availability of cheap smart phones. Further it takes times to bring behavioral changes among the people. That is, even after achieving the financial inclusion, it will need sufficiently long time to make people comfortable with the use of mobile wallets.

Topic: ethical issues in international relations 

7) Necessity of Action and Collateral Damage must be weighed in before attempting the Use of Drones. Identify the ethical issues involved in the usage of drones and what would should the guiding principles be. (150 Words)

Washington Post

Introduction :- Nations have been using drones in combat since at least World War II, and they’ve made up an important part of the aerial arsenal.  There is a massive increase in drone usage due to expansion of communications bandwidth has combined with the ongoing miniaturization of electronic components to produce a Golden Age of UAV technology.  Drones, once relegated to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, have become star players in the U.S. Wars on Terror, and now play critical roles in the military establishments of many nations.

The United States of America, China, Israel, Russia use them as one of the most potent weapons. However their use is debated on ethical grounds :-

  • Drone usage are involved in not only weaponry attack purposes but also for spying, surveillance which encroaches upon privacy of individual.
  • Use of drone in warfare such as against ISIS an AL Qaeda kills not only the target but large scale innocence human population.
  • It violates national sovereignty, territorial integrity of nations and put bad precedents in front of world community encouraging breach of morals, ethics of warfare.
  • It can be seen as example of misuse of technology hence questions about discrimination of humans, creating fear about technology in peoples mind and the impact of it on mankind.
  • Their increasing use shows the changing approach of humans towards solving the crisis in world. The peaceful negotiations and conciliations are being replaced with stern attitudes, direct actions and destructive tendencies.
  • The damage, destruction and instability created by these attacks shows complete lack of moral responsibility on any party for reconstruction and rehabilitation work for affected civilian population.

However drone use is a necessity today  owing to their service benefits like

  • From the national security perspective they are crucial
  • From the industry’s perspective, manufacturing drones is a good opportunity
  • From the social welfare perspective, drones can be used to do good; for example, humanitarian relief and wildlife conservation projects have benefited from drone deployments.
  • In todays international warfare they are proving their utility with precision, risk reduction for human combatants and their impact on terror

Hence Certain minimum guidelines must be followed for the use of drones :-

  • Ownership and Responsibility :- The civilian drone regulations must address the crucial issue of identifying drones, identifying drone owners, and assigning liability for any mishaps and for military drones the full responsibility must be taken by country.
  • Drone Definition and Classification :- For any regulations on drones to remain relevant, they must first define what a drone is, and then differentiate between drones based on their weight, potential uses, payload type, and intelligence level.
  • Minimum possible usage of drone must be the first guiding principle for their use and deployment. Drones use should be the secondary choice in comparison to other peaceful options being explored first.
  • Addressing the issue of their legality :- Drones are not specifically mentioned in weapon treaties or other legal instruments of international humanitarian law. However, the use of any weapon system, including armed drones, in armed conflict situations is clearly subject to the rules of international humanitarian law.