Print Friendly, PDF & Email



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:  Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues 

1) Discuss the relevance and significance of political philosophy of Jayaprakash Narayan. (200 Words)

The Indian Express


Introduction :- Jayaprakash Narayan (11 October 1902 – 8 October 1979), popularly referred to as JP or Lok Nayak was an Indian independence activist, theorist and political leader, remembered especially for leading the mid-1970s opposition against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, for whose overthrow he called a “total revolution“.

Political philosophy of Jayaprakash Narayan :- Relevance and significance

  • JP was fully convinced that socialism in India could be established if sufficient power was obtained by a socialist party. He was in support of adult franchise on a functional basis, organising cooperatives, strengthening the producing masses with the powers and overpowering role of the state in the economic life of the country. These ideas became the philosophy and objectives of the Congress Socialist Party.
  • He broadened the philosophy of socialism. As Socialism is not merely anti-capitalism, nor statism. Nationalization of industry and collectivization of agriculture are important aspects of socialist economy; but in themselves they are not socialism. Under socialism there is no exploitation of man by man, no injustice and oppression, no insecurity and an equitable distribution of wealth and services and opportunities.
  • He was a democrat. For him the state in socialist India must be a fully democratic state. There can be no socialism without democracy. He was convinced that a democratic society offers the chances for socialism to come into existence. Otherwise the bureaucratic state emerges with the support of the capitalist class. At this point people will resort to violent means; hence democracy is the only system for a free, non-violent socialist society.
  • In 1948 he, together with most of the Congress Socialists, left the Congress Party and in 1952 formed the Praja Socialist Party. Soon becoming dissatisfied with party politics, he announced in 1954 that he would thenceforth devote his life exclusively to the Bhoodan Yajna Movement, founded by Vinoba Bhave, which demanded that land be distributed among the landless.
  • In 1974 Narayan suddenly burst on the Indian political scene as a severe critic of what he saw as the corrupt and increasingly undemocratic government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Although he gained a following from students and opposition politicians, there was less enthusiasm from the masses.

The relevance of Jayprakash Narayan’s political views hold relevance today in terms of impact they have created not only on Indian masses but also on Indian constitution, welfare programs and changes brought by his total revolution. Movements like the one done by Anna Hazare can be gauged on lines of Jayprakash Narayan’s ideas and vision. There can be much positive results is we apply them in politico, socio and economic life of country.

Topic:  Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

2) What is soft power? How does it impact diplomacy? What do you think are India’s components of soft power and are they effective in diplomatic progress? Discuss. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and co-opt rather than by coercion (hard power), using force or giving money as a means of persuasion. Soft power is the ability to shape the preferences of others through appeal and attraction.

Soft power lies in a country’s attractiveness and comes from three resources:

  • Its culture (in places where it is attractive to others),
  • Its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad),
  • Its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority).

Though slower to yield results, soft power is a less expensive means than military force or economic inducements to get others to do what we want.

Indian foreign policy analyst C Raja Mohan observed that India holds “strong cards in the arena of soft power” to further its foreign policy goals. Indian soft power and impact on diplomacy :-

  • India’s Soft Power can be classified into a number of categories. The first is India’s cultural and spiritual heritage that has played a key role in building links with other regions including East Asia and South East Asia. For instance, Buddhist and Hindu influences have helped in building strong links with South East Asia.
  • The second is by way of political and ethical inheritances, among them the philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi and India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. Gandhian concepts like non-violence and non-cooperation have a world-wide following today with two key names in this respect being Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Both followed Gandhian principles during their respective struggles. The Non-Aligned Movement of which Nehru was a leading light showed the way forward to the entire developing world.
  • In the third category falls India’s film industry, especially Bollywood, and, more recently, its television soaps, which have acquired popularity across regions, not just in the neighbourhood. 
  • Successive Indian governments have in different ways deployed India’s Soft Power. This includes leveraging institutions like Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) that have been increasing awareness about India, and also providing scholarships to students from a number of countries. In 2006, the Ministry of External Affairs set up a Public Diplomacy Division to promote India overseas. India has also been providing financial assistance for capacity building and strengthening of democratic institutions. A strong reiteration of this point is Afghanistan where India provided financial assistance for the construction of a New Parliament building which was inaugurated in December 2015. In recent years, the presence of Indian businesses in different parts of the world, has also emerged as one of India’s sources of Soft Power.

Are the Indian soft power component effective in diplomatic progress :-

  • Government has promoted recently many soft power areas. its focus has been on Ayurveda, Yoga, and Buddhism, besides reaching out pro-actively to the Indian Diaspora. A major success in this regard is the international recognition accorded to Yoga through recognizing 21st June as International Yoga day.
  • India has been reaching out to East Asian and South East Asian countries through Buddhism in the past, one of the major steps taken in this direction was the revival of the Nalanda University in Bihar. 
  • Modi has also used Sufism to build links with Central Asia. The 2016 Sufi conference held in New Delhi from March 17-20, 2016, and attended by a number of Sufi leaders from different parts of the world, including Pakistan, must be viewed in this context.
  • The Prime Minister has addressed the Diaspora in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Singapore. However, a less noticed interaction has been with Indian workers in the Middle Eastern countries the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. During his visit to Africa, too, he reached out to communities settled there. A Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs was also set up to address issues pertaining to the Diaspora which has recently been merged with the MEA.

Currently, India does not figure in the list of top 30 countries in terms of soft power. “India remains a minor soft power in the contemporary world”. It is time that Indian statecraft consciously and strategically exploits its natural soft power advantages by tapping into its many such resources and tactically employing these as valuable instruments to further its foreign policy objectives in an increasingly globalizing world. Under the Modi administration, a soft power strategy seems to be in the making. PM Modi is promoting the country as a strong economic partner by highlighting India’s soft power, especially its values and culture.

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

3) Law on Euthanasia is based on judicial precedent and requires a comprehensive legislation to address all conditionality. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

Introduction :- Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering.

Euthanasia is categorized in different ways, which include voluntary, non-voluntary, or involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries. Non-voluntary euthanasia (patient’s consent unavailable) is illegal in all countries. Involuntary euthanasia (without asking consent or against the patient’s will) is also illegal in all countries and is usually considered murder.

Legality of Euthanasia in India :-

  • In India, euthanasia is undeniably illegal. In most of the instances of euthanasia or mercy killing, there is always an intention on the part of the doctor to kill the patient.
  • Thus, such cases would plainly fall under Section 300,clause one of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Conversely, as in such cases, if there is the lawful consent of the departed, then, Exception 5 to the stated Section would be engrossed.
  • The doctor or any mercy killer would be liable to punishment under Section 304of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for the culpable homicide, not amounting to murder. But this exception is applicable only in cases of voluntary euthanasia (where the patient consents to death).
  • The cases of involuntary and non-voluntary euthanasia would be canceled out by the first proviso to Section 92 of the IPC, which talks about “Medical Negligence” and thus is considered illegal.

In July 2014, a five-judge supreme court bench had decided to adjudicate the legality of active and passive euthanasia and the emerging concept of ‘living will’ after shying away for decades from examining this highly emotive and legally complicated issue. The law on Euthanasia is based on judicial precedent and requires a comprehensive legislation.

The need to legalize euthanasia can be seen as follows :-

  • Euthanasia means ending the life a person who is suffering from some terminal illness which is making his life painful as well as miserable or in other words ending a life which is not worth living. But the problem is that how should one decide whether his life is any longer worth living or not. Thus, the term euthanasia is rather too ambiguous. A comprehensive legislation will address this confusion.
  • Euthanasia provides a way to relieve the intolerably extreme pain and suffering of an individual. It relieves the terminally ill people from a lingering death.
  • The essence of human life is to live a dignified life and to force the person to live in an undignified way is against the person’s choice. Thus it expresses the choice of a person which is a fundamental principle.
  • In many developing and under developed countries like India, there is lack of funds. There is shortage of hospital space. So, the energy of doctors and hospital beds can be used for those people whose life can be saved instead of continuing the life of those who want to die.
  • Article21 of the Indian Constitution clearly provides for living with dignity. A person has a right to live a life with at least minimum dignity and if that standard is falling below that minimum level then a person should be given a right to end his life. 

Arguments Against Euthanasia:


  • Euthanasia devalues human life.
  • Euthanasia can become a means of health care cost containment.
  • Physicians and other medical care people should not be involved in directly causing death.
  • There is a “slippery slope” effect that has occurred where euthanasia has been first been legalized for only the terminally ill and later laws are changed to allow it for other people or to be done non-voluntarily.


Euthanasia is a topic which touches various aspects of our society. It requires a focussed perspective considering all the pros and cons. The dilemmas regarding the legal issues surrounding euthanasia are often due to the ethical aspects which raises question about the rights of a person to take someone else’s life. The debate over the ethicality of euthanasia is a never-ending one. Hence, to resolve this conflict between pain and death, the sooner that a comprehensive law on the subject is enacted, the better it will be for society. Even if permitted, euthanasia should be used in deserving cases only, that too sincerely, honestly and consciously under strict control and supervision of a statutory body.

Topic:    Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources

4) Teachers need to be taught how to teach well. In light of the recently guidelines issued by a State government, how can teacher quality be improved in school education?   Examine. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Introduction :- The guidelines for teachers quality in India has been much debated. First of all there is a lack of comprehensive consensus and criteria for teachers quality, capacity etc. The recent guidelines by Telangana State for recruiting teachers through a test by Telangana Public Service Commission has started a much needed step.


How can quality of teachers be improved in school education :-


  • More rigorous accountability, including calling for teacher ed programs to do a better job of monitoring their programs, ensuring they are up to par, and guaranteeing they are meeting the needs of the school districts filling teaching jobs.
  • Strengthening Candidate Selection and Placement, with a careful eye to making teacher recruitment programs more selective and more diverse.
  • Revamping Curricula, Incentives, and Staffing, with a commitment to couple practice, content, theory, and pedagogy in the place.
  • Emphasis on teachers education and testing the capabilities of teachers through TET, compulsory assessments on various fronts like communication skill, capacity to get involved with students etc. before recruitment.
  • Though this sound mammoth task if the 600 odd District Institutes of Education and Training used for this purpose then this vibrant system can be the basis for a transformation of our in-service teacher education.
  • Teachers must be incentivized to do a better job, punishment for lack of improvement in learning levels of children or better pay for clear improvements. This can be seen in  “No Child Left Behind” in the US.
  • Reasonable compensation, good recruitment practices, conditions to support professional satisfaction—are important in order to attract better talent in Indian education system.
  • Developing the capacity of teachers currently serving in the system is needed in order to keep the ongoing education system on track. This can be done to mid-career reviews, tests and skilling, training of teachers.


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

5) World Health Organisation (WHO) plays a dual role in health assistance and health policy formulation. Comment on its role and how its relationship with India can be strengthened. (200 Words)

The Hindu


Introduction :-  The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. It was established on 22 July 1946 headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. Its predecessor, the Health Organization, was an agency of the League of Nations.

Role of WHO :-

  • Providing leadership on matters critical to health and engaging in partnerships where joint action is needed;
  • Shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge;
  • Setting norms and standards and promoting and monitoring their implementation;
  • Articulating ethical and evidence-based policy options;
  • Providing technical support, catalysing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity; and
  • Monitoring the health situation and assessing health trends.


How relationship of WHO can be strengthened :-

  • Soumya Swaminathan’s recent elevation to the post of Deputy Director-General for Programmes (DDP) at the World Health Organisation (WHO) signals the increasing role of Indians in WHO.
  • The focus is increasing on bringing affordable, quality healthcare and scaling up the use of innovations. The various innovations that are happening mostly in the private sector, among entrepreneurs and start-ups in India in devices, diagnostics, sensors, and drug delivery systems will be helpful to WHO in strengthening it’s role further.
  • India specific problems will show that there are several diseases now with elimination targets — for kala-azar, filariasis, and measles. There are also neglected diseases like snake bite which causes an estimated 50,000 deaths in India and is an important cause of death in both India and Africa. One of the biggest areas of concern is Universal Health Coverage, a priority laid out in the National Health Policy. We need to factor in a bit of task-shifting, using available health-care providers, training community health-care providers, and launching health literacy campaigns. WHO role will prove to be change makers in this regard.
  • WHO can play bigger role in policy formulation and influence. For ex India has very high number of people with diabetes The WHO will now bring health into all policies. Measures like labelling of food for high salt, sugar, and fat content; higher taxes on these products; some kind of package labelling to indicate whether it is a healthy choice or not will help.
  • Also, balancing the needs and demands of intellectual property protection vis-a-vis access and equity in that access is going to be a challenge. The WHO is the only agency that can be central in that.

Topic:  Environmental pollution; 

6) Restricting fireworks during festivities prevents a high usage tenure but still does not solve the larger problem of air pollution effectively. Comment. (200 Words)

The Hindu

The Hindu


Introduction :- Delhi, the sixth-most populated metropolis in the world (second largest if the entire NCR is included), is one of the most heavily polluted cities in India, having for instance one of the country’s highest volumes of particulate matter pollution. In May 2014 the World Health Organization announced New Delhi as the most polluted city in the world.

For the second time since November 2016, the Supreme Court has temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region. The idea is to test whether it cuts the deadly pollution levels seen in Delhi during and after Deepavali. 

However such restriction prevents a high usage tenure but doesn’t solve larger problem of air pollution :-

  • To forecast pollution levels on October 19, 20 and 21 as a result of this ban, a research group, Urban Emissions, simulated three scenarios using weather and emissions data. In the first, the ban led to no reduction in firecracker use; in the second, there was a 25% reduction while in the third, the drop was 50%.
  • The high pollution despite the ban also showed that other pollution sources, such as vehicular emissions, stubble burning have been neglected by the government

This shows that a knee-jerk reactions can’t give us cleaner air. A slower, evidence-based approach will. Hence efforts need to be taken in this regard.


  • ·         The first fact we have to recognise is that this is not a Delhi problem. Hundreds of cities in the country are as badly or worse polluted than Delhi. We have to ensure that four or five multidisciplinary centres for data gathering, research and policymaking are set up in academic institutions in the NCR with assured funding for the next five years. Accurate data predictability plays a very crucial role in tackling the problem.
  • ·         To address vehicular emissions efforts has to be taken to set emission standards that debar unwanted vehicles automatically irrespective of the fuel used. Adopting EURO 6 norms is a right step in this direction. Other measures can be to start with an annual pollution tax of Rs 10 per cc of engine size for all vehicles, a parking fee of Rs 100 per day in all offices and banning free parking on government property.
  • ·         Strict monitoring of air polluters such as industries, stone crushers, construction industry, should be done with protocols, procedures and practices implemented. 
  • ·         the practice of crop stubble burning needs to be seriously looked at and a solution worked out. Crop stubble is biomass which can be used for a variety of purposes and we need to encourage research, innovation and adaptive use of this biomass, rather than simply burning.



Topic: Ethics in human actions; Attitude

7) Censorship is a ethical decision more than a legal one. Comment with adequate examples. (150 Words)


Introduction :-

“Censorship is when a work of art expressing an idea which does not fall under current convention is seized, cut up, withdrawn, impounded, ignored, maligned, or otherwise made inaccessible to its audience.”

— Ritu Menon, for Women’s World Organisation for Rights,
Literature, and Development 

Censorship in India, which involves the suppression of speech or other public communication, raises issues of freedom of speech, which is protected by the Indian constitution.

The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of expression but places certain restrictions on content, with a view towards maintaining communal and religious harmony, given the history of communal tension in the nation.  According to the Information Technology Rules 2011, objectionable content includes anything that “threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order”.

In 2017, the Freedom in the World report by Freedom House gave India a freedom rating of 2.5, a civil liberties rating of 3, and a political rights rating of 2, earning it the designation of free.

Censorship is an ethical decision more than a legal one :-

  • There was a huge controversy with regards to the kissing scene in Dhoom 2 which ended in people burning its movie posters and obstructing people from entering the cinema halls to watch the film. 
  • Vishwaroopam, a Tamil film was blocked by the Tamil Nadu government after a protest from the Muslim Community. The director was forced to delete some important scenes from the movie before releasing the same.
  • The Vishwa Hindu Parishad protested against the women modelling dresses bearing images of Hindu Gods, a Fatwawas brought against all girls rock band saying it was Un-Islamic.
  • Therefore, on observing the above incidents it seems that it’s not actually the government censoring but rather the self employed moral police doing the job.

Around the world the utmost concern of censors is the depiction of violence and sex. The censor board’s job is to control the “corruption of the mind’ and to stop pornographic films. But on the other hand it is ironical that anyone with internet access can see endless amounts of pornography. Today a child with access to internet can see all kinds of pornography by typing three letters “sex”, while the censor board has long discussions on the permissible duration of a kissing scene in a movie. In today’s age the censor board has to understand that this generation exercises their right to freedom of speech and expression.

It seems that censorship can be a weapon in the hands of the State to make people agree with its ideology. Often the Censor Board functions to impose the State’s notion of Indianness and nationhood. The reach and power of films in India is massive. If a director wants to show the reality, he has to put it in a movie and then what happens, the censor board removes it. The Dirty Picture and other ‘A’ films, according to the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), can be screened on television without cuts after 11pm.

Now is the time to look into the role that can be played by healthy criticism, analysis, and cinema literacy, rather than relying on a Censor Board that acts as a moral police, stopping the dissent.