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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:  Social empowerment; Women; Paper-2 – Laws and mechanisms for vulnerable section

1) Choice and Consent are the pillars for women rights. With reference to abortion rights, explain how both these pillars need to be protected.  (200 Words)

The Wire


The numbers of pregnant women approaching the courts to seek permission for an abortion in the recent past have increased dramatically. Acts regulating abortions like Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971 interferes with the women’s rights such as Choice and Consent.

Insisting on having the consent of the guardian/parents or the husband is problematic insofar as it denies the woman of her right to make decisions concerning her body, which should be her prerogative. Thus in most of the cases these rights are easily violated. According to the provisions of the MTP Act, only the consent of the woman whose pregnancy is being terminated is required.

How Choice and Consent need to be protected?

  • It is necessary to improve the awareness about MTP guidelines amongst the police and doctors, such that issues of spousal consent and stereotypes about women’s primary role as mothers do not resurface.
  • People such as Doctors, police insisting on the consent from the relatives/husband should be censured to ensure the right implementation of the provisions of the law.
  • Social legislations need to be incorporated into medical curriculums, police training and school education.
  • In most of the cases women are unable to take such important decision on account of lack of awareness, illiteracy, probable consequences and social pressure. Thus there is need of counseling sessions by experts to women to make them capable of taking such decisions.
  • There is a need for better communication about abortion and its related Acts and busting of the associated stereotypes, which can be achieved through repeated emphases on the need to uphold women’s autonomy and bodily integrity.
  • Community awareness should be increased to keep vigil on any forceful persuasion of women by family members to undergo or to not to undergo abortions.
  • The Punjab and Haryana high court in Dr Mangla Dogra and Others v Anil Kumar Malhotra and Others in 2011 ruled thatconsent is required only of the woman undergoing MTP, and the husband cannot force his wife to continue a pregnancy. Such positive judgements would strengthen the confidence of women to take their own decisions regarding abortions.

Choice and Consent are the basic rights that provide women with dignity and self-respect. Despite exclusive provisions in the acts against their violation, they have been frequently encroached upon. Thus time is ripe for the upholders of the law to prove that legal system is facilitator to promote women’s rights and not the barrier.


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

2) Limiting discovery of tobacco products can prolong the resistance and not prevent it. India urgently needs a National Tobacco Control Policy with a special focus on children. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu



Smoking causes more than one in 10 deaths worldwide (equivalent to 6.4 million deaths), with 50% of these occurring in just four countries -China, India, US, and Russia, according to the latest estimates from the Global Burden of Disease study published in `The Lancet’.

India is also among the top 10 countries together accounting for almost two thirds of the world’s smokers (63.6%) in 2015.

Recently Health Ministry has taken decision to limit the exposure of children to tobacco products. Tobacco sellers would be given licenses and they will not be allowed to sell non-tobacco products. This may keep children away from the tobacco and reduce their consumption. However this does not address the root problem of the issue. There is need of comprehensive policy that could discourage the children from taking to tobacco and at the same time places the strict norms on the unregulated use of tobacco.

Children and youths are the special targets for the sellers of the tobacco products. Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) found that in 2009 nearly 15% of children (19% of boys and over 8% of girls) in India who were 13-15 years used some form of tobacco. Another 15.5% of children belonging to the same group who had never smoked before were likely to begin smoking the following year. The overall tobacco use among students aged 13-15 increased from 13.7% in 2006 to 14.6% in 2009. Thus children should be the special focus of the any national policy dealing with tobacco. The policy should contain-

  • Public awareness/mass media campaigns for awareness building and behavior change among children.
  • Investing in the research and developing tobacco products that contain minimum amount of tobacco to replace present more harmful ones.
  • To build strong regulatory authority to keep illegal tobacco products away from the reach of the customers/children.
  • Mainstreaming the program components as part of the health care delivery mechanism under the National Health Mission framework.
  • At state level, Tobacco control cells with dedicated manpower be created for effective implementation and monitoring of anti-tobacco laws and initiatives.
  • Setting up of Tobacco Cessation Clinics and de-addiction centers at district levels should be carried out. They are important links of tobacco control as it helps current users to quit tobacco use in a scientific manner.
  • Training of health and social workers, SHGs, NGOs, school teachers to check the spread of tobacco among children.
  • Special school programs should be organized to create awareness and sensitization about the ill-consequences of tobacco among the children particularly for those of adolescent ages.
  • Strict punishments for the violators of the acts dealing with tobacco control.

A well designed public education campaign that is integrated with community and school-based programs, strong enforcement efforts, and help for tobacco users who want to quit, can successfully counter the negative externalities of the tobacco industry.

Topic:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, 

3) Digitisation of financial services also expands allows the sector to expand its scope to other expertise driven domains. Analyse. (200 Words)

The Hindu

In contemporary era the right to service is at the core of government philosophy. The tools used such as internet, mobile, bank accounts all are used to achieve the timely delivery of goods and service with minimum cost. E governance is the surest way to have welfaristic governance in India.

Digitalisation of financial services is very important because:

  • Financial services are mandatory part of business chain and thus exist in almost every domain of government or any other agencies working.
  • In government sector, digitalisation of financial services will lead to remarkable fall in the corruption due to decrease in human interface. In government sector , digitalisation of financial services has been linked to upcoming initiatives such as linking PAN with bank account or linking cash details with GST etc.
  • In case of private entities digitalisation of finances leads to its upwards and downward linkages to the many areas associated with that particular business. This leads expansion and economic advantages to institute or an organisation if it focuses on digitalisation of financial services.
  • Financial services are always linked with the accountability though right to information or through other means of checks and balances. Digitalisation ensures this accountability and thus enhances the credibility of an organisation. The seamless information exchange attracts the linkages with other areas as well.
  • This the era of not just digitalisation but also about the convergence of many services of single platforms. On such multispectral and multilevel platforms, digitalisation of financial services is the first step that to be built for digital infrastructure.
  • It’s important to engage customers across numerous channels, ensuring workforces are engaged and have all the information they need at any time. Only then an organisation can break down siloes and enable smarter collaboration between teams, colleagues, and business networks.
  • with more and more digitalisation the focus is shifting from transaction execution and product selling to adding value – which requires a completely different mindset and business model.
  • Digital products – computer software, for example – are fundamentally different from traditional, physical products. Once a program has been created, it can be copied practically without limitations on capacity. In a digital economy, production is replication. It is theoretically possible for a single producer to fill the entire global demand: in these markets, the winner can take it all.
  • Digitalisation of financial services will help to improve consumer satisfaction through convergence of multiple sources and timely grievance redressal mechanism.


Everything that can be digitised has to be digitised. This will require investments not only in information technology, but also in leadership, incentive and reward systems. As a strategic task, the responsibility falls on the all involved stakeholders such as government, private institutes , expert agencies in financial and digital technologies etc.

Supplementary information:

Government efforts for digitalisation:

  1. As per the union budget 2017, Government has banned the cash transaction above Rs. 3 Lakh. This could be looked as the government is making a serious push against the parallel economy. The demonetization and the ban on cash transaction may result in the end of the parallel economy which is equivalent almost no black money.
  2. In order to push digital payments, Government has removed all duties such as basic customs duties, excise duties, countervailing duties, special additional duty on devices used in the process of cashless transactions like the point of sales machines, fingerprint readers etc.
  3. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is promoting cashless transaction and has set up a target of touching 2500 crore transactions in the year 2017-18 through UPI, USSD, Adhaar Pay, Credit/Debit Cards, IMPS Immediate Payment Service etc.
  4. BHIM is recently integrated with UID and also allowing payments via Aadhaar number. The 2 incentives that government is planning to launch are referral payments for individuals and the other will cash back for a merchant who accepts payments from BHIM.
  5. The government is also working on the concept of digital villages—rural areas that will have telemedicine facilities, virtual classes and solar power-based WiFi hot spots.


Topic:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, 

4) Journalist Rights are as important as Press Rights. How can Journalist rights be strengthened in India?Discuss. (200 Words)

The Wire


Freedom of press has been constitutionally recognized in India. Government has bounden duty to preserve this space and freedom. However it has found that there is no guarantee for the safety and security of the journalists even though they are integral part of press rights. There have been numerous incidences of violent attacks including killing of journalists or threats of such attacks in the recent pasts.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) study in the last 25 years, 41 journalists have been killed and many more have been injured in India. This highlights the shrinking free space and independent thinking in India. This has even affected the independence of work for journalists. The pressure from state and non-state actors, the fear of litigation and the risk of physical attacks often dictate what makes the news – but more importantly, what doesn’t. 

How can journalist rights be strengthened in India?

  • Media is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy and its independent and impartial functioning is important for the good governance. Thus there should be special provisions in the Indian Penal Code to deal with the physical attacks on journalists which should attract stringent punishments.
  • Regional journalists face an added layer of risk while reporting the issues related to caste, religion or any other communal issues. Thus state governments need to provide more security covers to regional journalists.
  • Police administration has failed to effectively solve the previous cases of attacks on journalists. This has emboldened the attackers to be reckless. Police must ensure stringent punishments culprits to create effective deterrence to the future attacks.
  • Powers of the Press Council of India must be increased to have them powers like independent investigation of the cases, to check purposeful lapses on the parts of police or ministers, censuring concerned authority for flawed handling of the issues etc.
  • Intelligence system of the states must be strengthened to predict or foretell the attacks on journalists. Further there must be co-ordination among different intelligence agencies to forestall any cross-border attacks.
  • Women journalists particularly face more adverse conditions and harsh environment performing their duties. In addition to physical violence, there are often attempts of character assassination, threats of sexual assault etc. Thus central and state governments must provide special attention to the safety of the women journalists by providing police security, taking threats to them seriously and addressing them at the earliest and not after the actual attacks and media houses too should take the responsibility of safety of their women employees working in tough conditions.
  • According to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) study 56% of the total murdered journalists since 1992 were working on politics or corruption. Thus these two subjects carry more risks than others. Thus safety of journalists working on these issues must be reviewed periodically and protection be provided if necessary.

Safety and security of the journalists is must for the independence and impartial functioning of the press. They are the ones who question the wrong doings of the government and increase the awareness of the common people which in turn rises the quality of the governance. Thus safety of the journalists must be given highest priority which would also ensure effective functioning of the press rights.

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

5) The progress of a Nation lies in the investment it makes in Research. Comment on the status of investments in Research and Development in India and suggest some measures to amplify it.  (200 Words)

The Wire

Research is the precondition of quality development through process of innovation that suits the specific needs of the indigenous conditions. It has been observed that the countries with more research oriented attitude have developed in terms of socio economic parameters.

Status of investment in research and development in India:

The status of research in India is full of disparities as there are very few areas in which the research is going on. Pharma, IT, Agriculture are some of the areas with good status for research efforts while electronics, forestry, social sciences are still lagging behind.

The disparity also exists in the institutions that carry out the research. Most of the research activities are undertaken by public entities and universities. Though private sector is beneficiary of this research it hardly contributes in this activity.

India has excellent record in defence and space related research due to immense contribution of government owned institutions such as DRDO and ISRO. There is need of additional efforts by other stakeholders in this strategic area of national security.

India’s public spending on research has been stagnant at around 0.8% of GDP for over a decade. More tendencies are there to import the ideas and to adjust them in India setting as per the need.

Most of the investment in the research takes place in urban areas by mega business houses or by government institutions. Rural areas are far behind in capabilities to provide infrastructure to research.

Disparity occurs at state level as well. States such as Kerala, Tamil nadu, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra are ahead in investment for research and development.

Measures to amplify investment in research:

There is need for developing some mechanisms of a university—industry interaction programmer so that academics can get ideas from practitioners on what needs to be researched and practitioners can apply the research done by the academics.

Research is still not attractive field of career for young minds in country. The behavioral change must be brought up through early years of education by highlighting the importance of research in education field.

Research must be commercialised through the process of incubation. The economic part of research cannot be ignored in order to attract best talent of the country in the field of research.

Competition must be increased in field of research. In today’s conditions lack of smart competition is one of the stumbling block research fields.

Policy must support and promote the small indigenous research at very grass root level to satisfy needs of local Indian conditions. Such kind of research and innovations must get appreciation at national level.

More research efforts are required in certain ignored but crucial areas such as energy , forestry , poverty Conceptualisation, anthropology,  hydrology etc.

For India to be at the forefront of science and technology we need better governance systems for universities, institutes and research labs. We need more capable academics to provide leadership, nurture young talent and establish a superior research enterprise.

Increasing the budgetary provision for research is also the part of strategy. This funding must be monitored for results that should get appreciation and monetary benefits through rational intellectual property protection.


While the nation remembers  one of its greatest citizens, A.P.J Abdul Kalam, it becomes important to recollect what he had to say for the policymakers, “When grand plans for scientific and defence technologies are made, do the people in power think about the sacrifices the people in the laboratories and fields have to make ?


Topic:  Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism 

6) “India’s internal security concerns must override humanitarian impulses.” Comment in the  context of Rohingya crisis. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


The ongoing mass migration of Rohingyas in many parts of Asia including India has raised the concerns over internal security threat it possess accompanied by the humanitarian aspects linked with the poor fleeing Rohingyas in agony. Indian government has taken the clear stance about its priority to the internal security with a decision to deport back the illegal residence in many parts of India.

The security linked aspects are:

  1. Deporting back migrating Rohingyas do not attracts any infringement on constitution of India , thus it is completely constitutional for India to go as per the provisions of article 19 which provides right to settle and move freely to citizens of India only.
  2. It has been reported by intelligence agencies that, Pakistan based terror organisations are entering in India through the cover of migrating Rohingyas in country. India has always faces the security threats from pak based terror organisation.
  3. Change in demographic composition in north eastern India due to heavy immigration from foreign land has created challenge to the very identity of many indigenous people. Migrants has changed the equation of economics as well that has created the feeling of unrest in many parts of bordering states.
  4. Refuges always come with the heavy cost on country in the forms of services that are must to provide for them. Rohingyas has already created strain on Indian economy.
  5. India can withstand international pressure as it is neither a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees nor the 1967 Protocol Relating to Status of Refugees.

6 As per the ground observations by security agencies, Rohingyas has been found in illicit activities such as fund mobilisation through hawala channels, human trafficking and procurement of fake Indian identity documents.

Humanitarian aspects:

Denying protection to helpless Rohingyas will be damaging to India’s image as a country that provides asylum to many communities over the thousands of years.

Rohingyas challenge on Bangladesh will have spillover effect on India as well. India just cannot deport back the people as issue will always linger on our borders for coming decades.

The National Human Rights Commission added that the Supreme Court had declared that fundamental rights are applicable to all regardless of whether they are citizens of India. Government cannot easily ignore to this stance taken by one of the highest constitutional entities of the country.


The issue of Rohingya minority is humanitarian in nature and involves the aspect of international ethics as well. The common solution needs to find out in order stop the homicide of innocent people. The south Asian countries needs to create a platform to sort out this issue and in such case India must take an initiative to reach common agreed solutions to deal with the situation compassionately.


Topic:  Environmental pollution; Agriculture

7) Efficient management of municipal solid waste is good for agricultural productivity and soil quality of our farms. Discuss. (200 Words)

The Indian Express

Municipal solid waste management is the upcoming area of concern for policy makers in India. With rapid urbanisation, the country is facing massive waste management challenge. Over 377 million urban people live in 7,935 towns and cities and generate 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per annum. Though the municipal solid waste management is the urban area issue , it has some intrinsic linkages with agriculture economy and soil health therein.

  • Untreated solid waste is generally get dumped to the areas outside the cities on a fringe between rural and urban region. These areas are providers of fruit and vegetable to nearby urban centers. Untreated dumped solid waste is deteriorating the soil and water health in these fringe farm lands.
  • Rivers are the connecting links between urban and rural areas. Polluted cities make polluted rivers. Rivers are the main source of irrigation for farms located on the river banks.
  • Urban solid waste if segregated and used for city compost then it is the best source for nutrients that can be diverted to the rural farm lands. This urban compost can replace the huge chemical load of chemical fertilisers in country side.
  • Government is using costly measure such as incineration and pyrolysis to deal with the urban waste. These methods are not environment friendly and should get replaces with sustainable approaches such as city compost and other dumping methods.
  • Solid waste management models are the guiding ways for the upcoming challenges for waste management in rural area. Rural areas are turning to be urban centers in near future. There is need of establishing the culture of scientific urban waste management as a model for coming generations.
  • The key to efficient waste management is to ensure proper segregation of waste at source and to ensure that the waste goes through different streams of recycling and resource recovery. Dumped mixed solid waste leads to groundwater pollution due to seepage of polluted water. This as a part of cycle leads to soil pollution and water resources pollution at distant location.

Way ahead:

  • Urban solid waste management must get segregated at the point of its origin itself. This strategy will save huge cost and labour involved in later stage.
  • Municipal corporations should target indivisual household or the small building societies to treat waste in their limited areas. This will give boost to the behavioural change among people to take responsibility of waste generated by them.
  • The efforts should be made by municipal waste management agencies to improve public health by reducing open burning, etc in rural areas.
  • Incentive based model can attract the private agencies to deal with the municipal waste in effective manner. Role of private and joint ventures between public and private institutes must not be ignored and should be considered at policy level.
  • Compost generated in urban areas should get demand in rural area and in farm land. Proper establishments should be provided for such kind of transfer with involvement of economic benefits for urban areas.


Urbanisation is the continuous process with increasing rate in India that will create new challenges every day. The concept of rural urban divide needs to be seen in the new contexts as both cannot be separated beyond certain level. Win win situation must be created for both areas in area of solid waste management.




Topic: International ethics

8) What do you understand by Sympathy and Empathy? How can these qualities help a civil servant perform this duties better? (150 Words)

Introduction :- Sympathy and empathy are separate terms with some very important distinctions. Sympathy and empathy are both acts of feeling, but with sympathy we feel for the person we are sorry for them or pity them but we don’t specifically understand what they’re feeling.

Empathy can best be described as feeling with the person. It may be impossible to be fully empathetic because each individual’s reactions, thoughts and feelings to tragedy are going to be unique. Yet the idea of empathy implies a much more active process. Instead of feeling sorry for, we are sorry with and have clothed ourselves in the mantle of someone else’s emotional reactions.

Civil servant and qualities of sympathy and empathy :-

  • It will make the civil servant more compassionate towards the weaker sections of society. They are essential in bringing efficiency, honesty in the work of a civil servants.

Armstrong Pame who made the “ People’s road”  without government fund and with peoples help is the right example.

  • They changes the work culture in office. Being sympathetic and empathetic with colleagues will enhance the team work, understanding and will help in bringing efficiency at work place.
  • They are prerequisite for good governance which has transparency, accountability as its pillars.
  • Better utilisation of public funds and allocation of public services are the natural outcomes when the officers have theses qualities.
  • They drive civil servants to walk an extra mile for the betterment of society caught in adversities. Work of Ganjam District collector in philine is also well known.

As it was rightly said if a civil servant has empathy nothing else matters and if he/she doesn’t have empathy then also nothing else matters. Hence having theses qualities is a necessary requirements for civil servants.