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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) What explains the decline of the already low female labour force participation rate in India, particularly during a period of rapid economic growth? Examine. (200 Words)


Introduction :- National Sample Survey (NSS) data for India show that labour force participation rates of women aged 25-54 (including primary and subsidiary status) have stagnated at about 26-28% in urban areas, and fallen substantially from 57% to 44% in rural areas, between 1987 and 2011. Different age groups or different surveys essentially tell the same story, even though the levels differ slightly. This is despite India enjoying economic and demographic conditions that would ordinarily lead to rising female labour-force participation rates.

Reasons for decline in FLFPR :-

  • One possible reason for this is India is behaving according to the feminization U hypothesis. According to it, in the development process, female labour force participation first declines and then rises.
  • Another reason is that the rising education and incomes are allowing women to get out of menial and undesirable employment, while jobs deemed appropriate for more educated women have not grown commensurately.
  • The lack of availability of agricultural and non-agricultural jobs in rural areas appears to be driving the declining participation in rural areas says one study.
  • Structural change in India also led to a rapidly shrinking agricultural sector in favour of a rapidly expanding service and construction sector.
  • A study by Klasen and Pieters shown that rising household incomes and husband’s education, falling labour market attachment of highly educated women, as well as adverse development in district-level labour demand, have contributed to declines in female participation.


Overall, better jobs for women benefit individuals, families, communities, companies, and economies. India which is riding on the high economic growth for last few years could ensure its sustainability by improving women’s participation in market. India can take cue from newly industrialized countries like China, South Korea, Malaysia etc which invested hugely in increasing the share of female in labour-force participation and are reaping its benefit.   

Topic: Urbanisation – problems and remedies; Population and associated issues

2) Urban Health Disorders are a self inflection despite resource availability. Comment. (200 Words)

Down to Earth

Introduction :- India is rapidly becoming urbanized. By 2030, around 40% of the country’s population will live in urban areas. The extent to which India’s health system can provide for this large and growing city-based population will determine the country’s success in achieving universal health coverage and improved national health indices. 

India has peculiar nutritional status where under nutrition and over nutrition coexist among urban population. While under nutrition has given rise to vitamin deficiencies, anemia and stunted growth, over nutrition is the reason behind the rise of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension and diabetes mellitus, among urban population.


  • Rajasthan, Kerala, Gujarat, New Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry have the highest obesity rates in the country with 44 per cent of adult women and 33 per cent of men being obese.
  • New Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala lead in hypertension rate with 31.1 per cent of men and 26.1 per cent of women being affected by it.
  • While 21.5 per cent of men and19.4 per cent of women are suffering from diabetes in the country, Puducherry and New Delhi have highest number of diabetes-affected people.
  • About 63 per cent of men and 72 per cent of women in urban India work for eight hours per day. They mostly lead a sedentary life.

Dichotomy of resource availability and health disorder in urban area :-

  • Cereals form the significant part of the diet among the households in India. However, it has been found that the average intake was 320g per day, lower than the recommended daily intake (RDI). 
  • Consumption of milk and sugar products is also below the RDI. Intake of other micronutrients like thiamine (vitamin B1), Niacin, iron, and energy and protein is lower.

Common urban health and social challenges include: overcrowding; air pollution; rising levels of risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol; road traffic injuries; inadequate infrastructure, transport facilities, poor solid waste management systems, and insufficient access to health facilities in slum areas.

WHO has appealed for helping the Urban health matters, in critical ways, for more and more people and has requested support for promoting urban planning for healthy behaviors and safety; improvement of urban living conditions; ensuring participatory urban governance; building inclusive cities that are accessible and age friendly; and, making urban areas resilient to emergencies and disasters.

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

3) Studies have shown that husbands’ participation and involvement in maternal health makes life more satisfactory for women worldwide. However, commitment to the policy and strategic changes are needed to achieve men’s participation for more suitable health results. Discuss. (200 Words)


Introduction :- There has been a lot of attention on men’s role now a days in women’s maternal health. For ex in Bangladesh, some mHealth activities have sought to recognise the roles of men as gatekeepers to women’s health. Instead of only sending SMS messages to pregnant women, they also send them to husbands or other significant men who have been identified by the women. Nepal has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in Asia, at 281 deaths per 100,000 live births. In rural Nepal, studies have shown that male involvement in maternal health and safe childbirth is complex and related to gradual and evolving changes in attitudes taking place.

Benefits of such approach :-

  • It encourages and make men aware about their role and responsibilities towards maternal health foe a healthy family.
  • It pave the way for an integrated approach in patriarchal society which otherwise will be neglected.
  • Men can affect pregnancy and childbirth through responding to complications, seeking medical help, paying for transport, and allocating household resources.
  • With men’s due attention and care the reproductive health care can be improved with much ease.


Despite global efforts towards creating awareness and involving men in maternal and reproductive health of women, their participation remains low, particularly among the tribal population. Hence commitment to policy and strategic changes are needed.

  • Understanding men’s role and responsibilities in the maternal health of women is a multidimensional exercise. To make it a reality will not only need efforts from below but force from above owing to the deeply patriarchal nature of Indian society.
  • In South Asian contexts, research has found that men possess little knowledge and experience regarding maternal health. A comprehensive policy will make it easy for them to understand their role.
  • To address the issue strategically internal reforms in systems are required. There is a need to grant paternity leave, paternity allowances, removing ego issues related to men’s role towards their wives in society etc

Increasing men’s or husbands’ participation in maternal healthcare is one of the crucial aspects that contribute towards safe motherhood for women. Recognising the value of their roles is a key step towards no longer seeing men on the periphery but as part of the solution. A sensitive husband with adequate information regarding maternal health would provide better financial support, help in household chores, accompany the wife for routine care during pregnancy, and provide appropriately nutritional food to his wife.

Topic:  Poverty and hunger

4) Replacing food rations with cash could effectively undercut efforts to reduce malnutrition. Comment. (200 Words)



Introduction :- Malnutrition refers to the situation where there is an unbalanced diet in which some nutrients are in excess, lacking or wrong proportion. Simply put, we can categories it to be under-nutrition and over-nutrition. Despite India’s 50% increase in GDP since 1991, more than one third of the world’s malnourished children live in India. Among these, half of them under 3 are underweight and a third of wealthiest children are over-nutrient.

Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen praised India’s Public Distribution System (PDS). He said that markets couldn’t address issues of poverty and starvation on their own, that government programs must resolve these issues. India has built the largest, though not necessarily the strongest, PDS in the world. This is a commendable step for development in India.

However India’s such commendable food system suffers from much problems like Identification of poor by the states is not fool proof, a large number of poor and needy persons are left out and a lot of fake cards are also issued, fair Price Shop owner gets fake Ration cards and sell the food grains in the open market, people do not get the permitted amount of food grains from the Fair price shop, diversion of Food grains by Fair Price Shops holder and mediator. This all have impacted the role of PDS in addressing food security and thereby malnutrition.

Benefits of replacing ration with cash to address malnutrition :-

  • Globally, Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) have emerged as an effective policy tool in driving developmental change. Evidence of successes of programmes like Progressa and Bolsa Familia successful in reducing poverty, bridging inequality and inducing desired behavioural changes have been documented through rigorous third party evaluations. Similar results have been observed in the case of Mamata in Odhisa.
  • Cash provides the choice, freedom to opt for food according to one’s health and can make other nutritional facilities available to people rather than restricting them to ration food only.

However there is a dark side too :-

  • Economic Surveymentions that between 2004–05 and 2011–12, household purchases through the PDS grew by 117%, indicating greater, more efficient coverage, while leakages came down from 54% to 35%.
  • Extrapolated to 2016, a further reduction to 20.8% is expected, without accounting for improvements in technology and expansion of coverage that must have occurred in these years.
  • Even where PDS has been substituted with cash transfers, as in the three UTs, there was no guarantee that the cash reached the beneficiaries. Surveys in 2017 under the aegis of the Niti Aayog show that around 35% of the targeted beneficiaries did not receive any cash in their accounts.
  • So clearly, replacing cash for food is no panacea to improve delivery, as leakages can be present in cash schemes as well.

In a country where every third child is undernourished, a hasty decision to replace food by cash can be detrimental to the nutritional requirements for those who need it the most. The ICDS does more than just fill essential nutrient gaps for children. Anganwadis provide nutrition counselling, growth monitoring and health services such as antenatal care and immunisation. With the launch of the National Nutrition Mission that lays out a framework for multisectoral interventions for reducing malnutrition in the country, there is an opportunity to strengthen the ICDS and make it deliver. Cash can never ensure that food will reach the children who need it most. This reality must inform future policy.


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

5) India–China relations have always been shaped by contradictory factors, with forces of cooperation limited by competing geopolitical ideas and interests. Comment. (200 Words)


Introduction :- The history of India–China relations has witnessed it all. Nearly every facet of strategic interaction: from learning to coexist after a prolonged period of colonial debilitation, groping for a new framework in a common neighbourhood, colliding at their common frontiers, engaging in ideological competition, and cooperating to reform the fraying United States (US)-led order.

This relationship has always been too complex to classify under a single theme. Competition–cooperation–conflict is an often evoked typology underscoring the contradictory nature of the relationship. 

These forces of Co-operation and competing geopolitical ideas, interest are reflected in many areas :-

  • Some common order-building endeavors that have brought India and China together in recent years. For ex non-Western multilateral institutions and networks—such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)—have seen co-operation of Indi China due to material and ideological convergence.
  • Unsatisfied with the Bretton Woods approach to development finance or the G7’s stranglehold over the levers of global governance, China and India have discovered enduring reasons to promote new institutions that can make up the governance deficit with respect to the developing world, as well as create real bargaining leverage to persuade the West to reform its institutions and beliefs on the world order.

These co-operative aspects get affected when the geopolitical ideas and interests gets into swing :-

  • The suspicions date to 1962, when India lost a short but decisive war to China. China occupies territory claimed by India, India occupies territory claimed by China, and both compete for access to scarce water and energy resources. 
  • China’s aggression over One road One belt projects, implementing CPEC through Indian territory, remarks over Dalai Lama visits in Tawang, skirmishes in border areas, recent Doklam standoff, obstruction to India’s entry into NSG etc. shows this conflicting aspect of relationship.

 Conflict and cooperation are not mutually exclusive in international relationships.  The most realistic arrangement for India–China relations is, therefore, one that enables both sides to manage their contradictions and positive aspects of their interactions, while keeping the door open to a new modus vivendi should international circumstances change.

Topic:  Linkages between development and spread of extremism. 

6) “The relationship between underdevelopment and Maoist activity cannot be explained in simple economic terms.'” Comment. (200 Words)


Introduction :- A Naxal or Naxalite is a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The term Naxal derives from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the movement had its origin. Naxalites are considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology.

It was perceived that Naxalism stems from the economic causes. The alienation of tribal from their forest resources, wrecking of their land rights etc. Hence efforts were made to spread economic developments through spread of industries, IITs and NITs level educational institutions.

However other factors have played huge role in Moist activities :-

  • The lack of human development causes anger and resentments amongst the people. They feel alienated and excluded. In addition often local elites are engaged in exploiting, harassing and even torturing the tribal population

  • Their causes for supporting the violent movement are manifold. Among these groups persists low degree of employment and qualification, new forest policies with restriction for their livelihoods, cultural humiliation, weak access to health care, education and power, restricted and limited access to natural resources, multifaceted forms of exploitation, social atrocities, displacement and deficient rehabilitation programs, political marginalization and suppression of protests.
  • The slow implementation of land reforms is the main reason for the growth of Naxalism. Landlords frequently moved the court to delay implementation of these reforms. They also connived with local politicians and bureaucrats, making the land reform process slow and cumbersome.
  • The social structure of society in these areas could be cited as a second reason for emergence of the Naxalite problem. Invariably, wherever the Naxalite problem exists, there is a poor section of society, with no resources to meet their quality requirements.
  • The most Naxal affected areas Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh are rich in natural resources. In this area, natural resources are not only reason of promoting Naxalite movement. It could be one of the reasons, but not the only reason.
  • The failure of the government to reach out to these areas is another major factor that aids the growth of Naxalism in these areas. The governance is poor or worse, in certain places it is nonexistent. Popular schemes take long to devise but longer to implement. Even while implementing, the benefit always reach those who are the „naves‟ and not those who are in need.
  • The Indian aboriginals, known as adivasis, live these richly forested lands, which are wanted for development by businesses. The conflict between economic progress and aboriginal land rights continues to fuel the Naxalite‟s activities.

Government has taken many steps to address the problem of Naxalism like Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007, Forest Rights Act, 2006, Chhattisgarh Special Public Securities Act, 2006, schemes like Nai Roashani etc. The complexity of the causes of the Naxalite problem as well as its implications both for internal and external security reflect a solution that is multi-dimensional and calls for a synergy between the central governments and the states.

Therefore the state must start to fight the conflict legally, minimize collateral damage, strengthen the leadership of the security forces and abstain from any human rights violation. The security forces should better start protecting the population living within the area of conflict instead of merely confronting the Maoists on large scale. The Naxalite movement must be challenged politically by presenting better alternatives to the Maoist approach and offer new perspectives. In this regard the state should start addressing the basic needs of the poor and fulfilling its main responsibilities to deliver human development to these disadvantaged areas.

Topic:  Indian economy growth and development

7) Are investments in education and agricultural research and development, and in rural infrastructure development and health provisions have improved farm income and reduced poverty levels in India? Examine. (200 Words)


Introduction :- Poverty reduction requires economic growth which, when accompanied by sound macroeconomic management and good governance, investment in critical areas results in sustainable and socially inclusive development.

  • Asian Developmental Bank 1999

Greater access of the poor to education and health services, water and sanitation, employment, credit, and markets for produce is needed in order to reduce poverty. Moreover, the vulnerability of the poor to economic shocks and natural disasters must be reduced to enhance their well-being and encourage investment in human capital and in higher-risk and higher-return activities.

Investment in critical areas of education, health, infrastructure and poverty performance :-

  • Public expenditure on investments and subsidies is assumed to impact agricultural growth and poverty through several channels: by improving technology and the availability of inputs and by increasing irrigation, relative prices, wages, and non-farm employment.
  • Investing in infrastructure creates income opportunities and generates jobs. Directly as employment can be created during the construction and maintenance of infrastructure by using labour-based methods. An increased use of local resources (labour and materials) in addition will have backward and forward linkages further stimulating the local economy. Indirectly as the assets created by themselves will improve access to income and employment opportunities hence poverty reduction.
  • Education is not only an influential role in every individual’s personal life, it also benefits society as a whole. If everyone in the world had an equal opportunity at an education, the world would no longer have to face the horrible issue of global poverty. 

Economists like Fan, Sen, Ahluwalia has emphasized ublic investment, if rationally targeted, helps in reducing poverty directly and/or indirectly through pro-poor growth.

The paper produced by Seema Bathla, Sukhadeo Thorat, P K Joshi, Bingxin Yu states that education and agricultural research and development produced the highest marginal returns for promoting agricultural income, while investments in rural infrastructure development and health provisions are the most effective in reducing rural poverty.


Topic:  economics of animal-rearing.

8) Write a critical note on the “Kochi Initiative” of fisheries management. (200 Words)


Introduction :- The Kochi Initiative resulted in agreements between the fishermen and scientist community for the problems occurring in the fisheries for small pelagics such as oil sardines and mackerel. 

The reduction in migratory fish stocks has induced both small-scale fishers and their mechanised boat counterparts to approach the scientific community and agree to codes of conduct for both ring seining and trawling. 

These codes include “scientifically proven” regulations to reduce overfishing. Moreover, the state is argued to be buying into the initiative, creating conditions for responsible co-governance.

Positives of the initiative :-

  • Tamil Nadu has seen the number of its fishers increase over the years, with innovations contributing to higher catches, but—alarmingly—also to serious evidence of overfishing. This has led to predator species becoming scarcer and sizes and numbers of catch declining. Kochi initiative can address this problem.
  • The willingness of fishers to engage with management is unique, they also overlook the strong traditions and practices of management that exist within the fishing population.
  • It will not only maintain the health of the ecosystem and of important fish stocks but also the need to have fairness in the distribution of access to and proceeds from the fisheries

However there are concerns too :-

  • Calling upon state agencies to take decisive action, fisher populations are frustrated by what they see as indecision and a proclivity for symbolic gestures, leaving core problems unaddressed.
  • While co-management policy, which gathers fishers and government officials in a common decision-making structure, is gaining adherence in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu, state agencies find it difficult to engage with fisher populations in policy discussions, which necessarily involves the application of science but also practitioner knowledge.


While the Kochi Initiative is a worthwhile endeavour, it is unlikely to be replicated on a broad scale. With a future in fisheries being experienced as highly uncertain, many fisher families in Kerala and Tamil Nadu are sending their children to school and hoping that they will eventually find jobs outside the sector. It is unlikely, however, that they will succeed in the short term. It is for this reason that realising a sustainable management regime in fisheries is so incredibly important.


Topic: Ethics in human actions; Moral philosophers

9) “The young lacking experience of the world, should not study ethics, for ethics is not a science.” Comment. (150 Words)


Introduction :- Ethics are the moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity. Ethics and ethical behaviour is often linked with experience and thereby to age. It has no rigid laws and rules to govern. It can be relative and subjective like killing a person is unethical but if it is done by State under law it is ethical. The practice and conduct of ethical behaviour and understanding needs maturity. Young people are often impatient, lacks broader perspective about things and could not view situations holistically hence may fall to practice ethical behaviour.

Hence it is said that the young lacking experience of the world, should not study ethics, for ethics is not a science.

However ethics is an inherent need of human existence. It can’t be taught like a subject. It is being built in a person through many factors like family background, parents, educational systems, societal norms etc. A person’s own observation and learning capacity also determines the ethical absorption in him/her.

Every wise man today was a young person lacking maturity in past. The young should not study ethics as such but they must learn it through everyday incidences and people in contact. They need to up grade their understanding gradually to be experienced. Young people are more vulnerable to the negative things like crime, addiction, indulgence in misconducts hence they need to learn ethics more than the experienced.

Topic: Ethics in human actions; 

Introduction :- Capital punishment is the practice of executing someone as punishment for a specific crime after a proper legal trial.

Many ethical issue are involved in both in execution and in method adopted:-

Ethical issues in execution :-

  • Value of life :- Everyone thinks human life is valuable. Some of those against capital punishment believe that human life is so valuable that even the worst murderers should not be deprived of the value of their lives.
  • Right to live :- Everyone has an inalienable human right to life, even those who commit murder; sentencing a person to death and executing them violates that right.
  • Execution of the innocent :- The most common and most cogent argument against capital punishment is that sooner or later, innocent people will get killed, because of mistakes or flaws in the justice system.
  • Retribution is wrong :- Many people believe that retributionis morally flawed and problematic in concept and practice.
  • Failure to deter :- The death penalty doesn’t seem to deter people from committing serious violent crimes. The thing that deters is the likelihood of being caught and punished.

However the method of execution also involves many ethical issues :-

  • The most common methods used in the world include hanging, lethal injection, lethal gas, firing squad, and electrocution. Hanging was a very popular technique used for execution.
  • Article 21 (right to life) of the Indian constitution also includes the right of a condemned prisoner to a dignified mode of execution, so that death becomes less painful. It is violated with the hanging used as a method of death penalty.
  • The condemned should die in peace and not in pain. If he/she is dying in pain then it’s a double punishment which is against all ethics. He/she is already being deprived of life and that too in a very painful manner.
  • Such acts of cruelty are against humanity, dignity of individual and can be called as sophisticated atrocities, brutalities.


The government should take into account the “dynamic progress” made in modern science to adopt painless methods of carrying out the death sentence. Global efforts are also being made with The World Coalition against the Death Penalty was created in Rome in 2002, and 10th October 2006 was World Day against the Death Penalty.