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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.

General Studies – 1


Topic:   Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India

1) Does India need an anti-superstition law?  Considering India’s social and cultural diversity, do you think such a law would achieve its objectives? Critically comment. (250 Words)

The Hindu





Despite making huge technological progress one can still hear cases of people indulging in superstitious acts. Many uneducated people often fall prey to such propagations by mafias who trick innocent people to steal their money. 

There is an urgent need to bring in a law against superstitions because of the following reasons


  1. Vulnerable sections most affected
  • The burnt of such practices often falls upon the most vulnerable sections such as women, dalits, Scheduled tribes. 
  • For eg., women in Andhra have been forced into the devadasi system forever condoned to live in the temple in “service of God”.

    2.Violence of varying kind prevalent

  • Practices like limiting women’s movement during menstruation or sacrificing animals at the altar are utterly inhuman. 
  • These practices are also against the right to life and liberty as enshrined in Article 21 and also against the fundamental duty to protect nature.
  • Superstitious practices that are utterly dehumanising, brutal and exploitative need to be dealt with by a law that specifically addresses them.
  • Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013. this is a law that addresses exploitation in the name of religion. inhuman practices in the name of religion.

    3.Deficiency in IPC

  • The cognisance of human sacrifice is in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) only after the murder is committed. Thus, legislation has a capacity to act as a deterrent. The Maharashtra legislation has stopped the act of human sacrifice.
  • The present IPC is not equipped to take care of crimes committed on account of black magic and other superstitious practices
  • A separate law is necessary because the relationship between a devotee and so-called godman is of a peculiar nature, often marked by violence.  




However given the social cultural diversity of the country it would be difficult to formulate such a law. 

  • Every superstition cannot be removed by the force of law. For that, a mental change is necessary
  • Simply placing restrictions might result in strong reactions from the orthodox communities. For example, one of the reasons for the revolt of 1857 was the prohibition of sati and other radical transformation made in the social life of the people


Way forward

  • Education is a liberating force that cuts across the barriers of caste and class. Greater attention should be given to educating the rural youth so that they can spearhead anti superstitious movements.
  • A multi stakeholder approach is required involving media, administrators, teachers, NGO’s and the civil society to bring a behavioural change


General Studies – 2


Topic:   Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure 

2) The proposal for simultaneous elections goes against basic principles of the parliamentary system and the Indian Constitution. Analyse. (250 Words)

The Indian Express



Simultaneous Election is mechanism to  to conduct Lok Sabha and all State Legislative Assemblies Election simultaneously for period of five years.


Benefits of simultaneous elections


  1. Stability in governance
  • This was even mentioned in the 117th report on Reform and Electoral Laws (1999) by the Law Commission of India.
  • Frequent elections hamper long-term policymaking because every decision is seen as reason for votes.
  • Elections in states lead to the imposition of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) puts on hold the entire development programme and activities.
  • Continuous election has an impact on the functioning of essential services. The rallies and the like do cause traffic problems as well as loss of productivity.
  • Simultaneous election would reduce the type of manpower and resource deployment necessary for the conduct of elections.

    2.Reduce election expenditure

  • It would reduce the massive expenditure that has been pegged at around Rs.4,500 crore.


Simultaneous Election per se not against basic principles of the parliamentary system but it is the follow up mechanism which makes it antithetical.


Against Parliamentary system

  • SC has ruled Parliamentary form of Govt. as a Basic structure in the Kesavananda Bharti case of 1973.
  • The twin principles of parliamentary system are accountability to the legislature and the five-year term, which are impinged due to simultaneous elections.


  1. Accountability to legislature dented
  • The implication of a “confidence vote” would be that a government cannot be removed, however anti-people or under-performing it may be, or in spite of being hopelessly in a minority, if the Opposition is not united enough on an alternative to replace the existing ministry. In either case, it will violate the basic features of the parliamentary system.
  • As the NITI Aayog mentions, if the mechanism of confidence vote fails and the Lok Sabha is to be prematurely dissolved, then, instead of fresh elections, if the period is short, the president can carry on the administration with advice from a council of ministers (which obviously does not have the support of the legislature). This would be the most blatant violation of the principle of responsible government.

    2.Five year term 

  • If the legislature is to be inevitably dissolved with a larger portion of the five-year term still remaining, then it is suggested that fresh elections are held but the legislature shall not have the full five-year term; instead, it would have a truncated term that remained from the previous legislature’s term. 
  • This would jeopardise the constitutional protection that a legislature, once elected, gets a five-year term.


Against Constitution


Political autonomy of states

  • Simultaneous elections impinge on the political autonomy of States.
  • Today, any elected State government can choose to dissolve its Assembly and call for fresh elections.
  • If elections are to be held simultaneously, States will have to give up this power and wait for a national election schedule.
  • There can be legitimate reasons for State governments to dissolve their Assemblies and call for fresh elections.
  • Under a simultaneous elections regime, the State will be beholden to the Union government for elections to its State, which goes against the very grain of political autonomy under our federal structure




To achieve simultaneous Election, it requires Constitutional amendments. Our constitution is organic in nature to absorb new socio-economic and political challenges. So, amending constitution for Simultaneous Election per se is not wrong. However, the follow up mechanism should be formulated in such way that it is not antithetical to the basic principles of Parliamentary system.

Topic:  Poverty and Hunger

3) “Global Hunger Index offers a needed reality check for India’s big power aspirations.” Comment. (150 Words)

The Indian Express



  • The recently published GHI report of International Food policy research institute (IFPRI) ranked India 100 out of 119 countries on the following parameters.
  •  India falls behind war-ravaged Iraq, and the international “outcast”, North Korea. Only two countries in Asia — Afghanistan and Pakistan — are below India in the ranking. India is now ahead of only countries such as Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Chad and Yemen, all “one-party” democracies otherwise seen as dictatorships.


Low human development


Besides GHI index, there are numerous reports on human development which appropriate India a lower status than most countries and thus gives reality check to big power ambitions.

  • A World Bank report referred to the illiteracy rates in India. 
  • Thomas Piketty wrote about the income inequality in India that top 0.1 per cent of India’s population having the same share of growth in income as the bottom 50 per cent
  • ASER has consistently referred to abysmal primary and secondary schooling standards
  • Similarly repeated studies on nutrition, and child mortality in India establish the critical situation in this regard. 
  • Clearly, there is no shortage of reminders of the terrible condition of the “common man”.


Social sector in shambles

  • Major reforms in the social sector are yet to be ushered in. 
  • There is inadequate recognition that the common man’s needs have to be the priority of a democratic government. Even a superpower will not remain stable if the bottom 25 per cent of its population lives in penury. 
  • There is not enough recognition of the power of the informal sector, currently numbering six crore, as a change agent, and the critical importance of making resources available to them at non-usurious rates. 
  • There is no awareness that primary and secondary education can be a major change agent in 10 years, if there is genuine reform.

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

4) Examine the economic and strategic benefits of the India-Australia-Japan-US quadrilateral (or Quad) dialogue to India. (250 Words)

The Indian Express

The Hindu

The Hindu



  • Quad dialogue was held in recently held ASEAN summit in Manila. It is joint marintime security grouping in Indo Pacific region by India, USA, Japan and Australia.
  • The Quad was born from the close coordination among the governments of the four countries in the aftermath of the catastrophic tsunami in December 2004 that brought death and destruction to several nations in South and South-East Asia. 
  • The Indian Navy was among the first to deliver relief and succour to the affected despite India’s own southern coast and islands in the Andaman Sea being ravaged by the unprecedented maritime disaster. The naval forces of the US, Japan and Australia came in later.
  • It was this experience which led the Americans to suggest that as four democracies with substantial naval capabilities, our countries should set up a consultative forum for regular exchange of views on regional challenges, in particular dealing with maritime emergencies and security threats such as piracy.
  • But later in 2006, the Americans decided not to take this initiative forward so as not to “provoke” the Chinese and the Russians, whose support they had sought in the UN Security Council on the Iran nuclear issue as well as their cooperation in the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue.


Significance of Quad


Economic benefits


Trade with the region

  • It will increase connectivity in the Indo-Pacific region and provide economic opportunity for all stakeholders.
  • India will be able to negotiate with ASEAN, APEC and RCEP trade multilaterals from the position of strength.


Secure trade routes

  • It will provide safety to international maritime trade routes like Malacca strait and increase trade given that 40% of India’s trade pass through this part of ocean waters.


Financing for infrastructure 

  • There will be new financial avenues opened to counter China led BRI as well, which will not benefit other developing countries but also India in infrastructure development. India and Japan are bilaterally cooperating in Asia Africa Growth Corridor already.
  • It will also induce institutions like US dominated World Bank and Japan led Asia Development bank for India’s needs.


Strategic benefits


Counter Chinese hegemony in Indo-Pacific

  • Each country had made it clear in the earliest days in 2000s that the quad would not take on a military dimension and that it would not be directed against any third country. 
  • India had looked upon it as being no different from other regional fora that it was already a part of, such as the India-China-Russia trilateral or the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
  • However, both China and Russia interpreted the proposed “quad” as a camouflage for a military alliance. China in particular criticised it as a potential “Asian NATO”.
  • But now it has assumed again critical role in countering China.


Providing security in the Indo-pacific region

  • As the world has stakes in the Indo-pacific region, particularly India and ASEAN, it is imperative to reinforce international law in ocean waters.
  • As any one country can’t provide security in vast oceans, the regional security fora of such kind is important.


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

6) Examine how Karnataka’s Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act, 2007 can pave way for universalisation of healthcare in the state and also act as model to other states. (250 Words)

The Hindu




As an expert group of the Planning Commission in 2011 proposing a road map for universal coverage, Karnataka is pursuing needed reform the same, notably on containing the cost curve in establishments that operate for profit and where patients with state-supported insurance get treated.

Karnataka proposed to amend Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act,2007. It seeks to laying down standards, containing treatment costs, mandating transparency and creating a binding charter that empowers patients are all basic components of healthcare reform.




  1. Mandatory registration of the PMEs
  • This would control and regulate a large number of unregistered PMEs as the state has witnessed their growth in last a few decades.

     2.Capping of prices of medical procedures

  • It would minimize the common trend of out-of-pocket expenditure, would bring in the specialized treatments within the reach of common people.

     3.No advance payment

  • No advance payments for providing life-saving or stabilizing emergency treatment will have to be made.

    4.Patient charter

  • Displaying the Patient’s Charter & PMEs’ Charter have been made mandatory
  • These would act as a grievance redressal mechanism in case of medical negligence, unethical medical practices, etc, thereby empowering patients.


Lessons for other states

  • Karnataka’s decision to set up a regulator for government hospitals is a response to the criticism that nothing is being done to raise standards in these institutions and bring in accountability. Ideally, all health institutions participating in a universal access programme should be governed by common regulations, for which national, State and district-level authorities are the answer. Such a comprehensive approach can eliminate fragmentation of functions. 
  • Other states can adopt this model,with equal emphasis on putting in a quality public healthcare services,as they also have been facing the common phenomena of lack of universal health coverage due to rapid growth of unregulated PMEs.
  • However, other issues such as an equal emphasis on public health sector especially in rural areas,increasing doctor to patient ratio etc have not been been addressed as a large chunk of population still depend upon this sector for their health treatment.



  • There is a need, of course, to ensure parity in services offered by government and private institutions, and end the neglect of public facilities especially in rural areas. 
  • The transition to universal health access, provided free at the point of delivery, must be a national priority as it is the key Sustainable Development Goal relating to health to be achieved by 2030.


General Studies – 3


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

7) Robust industry-academia relationship is crucial to India’s global competitiveness and its place in the global knowledge economy. Examine how digitisation and disruptive technologies are crucial to meaningful industry-academia relationship. (250 Words)

The Indian Express



  • The ensuing phase of fourth industrial revolution ushered in by cyber physical infrastructure and Artificial intelligence are bringing in unprecedented changes in many aspects of our living. 
  • However India significantly lags in industry-academia relationship which can be buttressed by the use of digitisation and disruptive technologies.
  • Turning learning into action and outcomes is perhaps the greatest challenge for all stakeholders in education. 
  • Businesses, even in the most mundane commoditised sectors, today depend upon their ability to innovate to survive and grow. 
  • Moreover, innovation is not limited to businesses, governments and non-profits are also actively looking for innovative solutions to social and global challenges.


Industry contribution to research low

  • Other than a few islands of excellence (mostly IITs and IISc), research in India degenerates into academic sloth with little encouragement from industry or government. 
  • In terms of funding, industry contribution to research even at the IITs is, at 10-15 per cent, far below global standards. 
  • In the absence of an active interface between industry and academia, the chances of innovative ideas being absorbed for commercial exploitation are low. 
  • This impacts the country’s global competitiveness and its place in the global knowledge economy. 


Significance of digitisation and disruptive technologies

  • Through telecommuting and virtual presence devices, geographical distance can be nullified, decreasing the distance between enthusiastic, creative students and mentors and domain experts
  • Cloud computing can be used to provide ubiquitous access to shared pools of configurable system resources over the internet. This will be more useful when more number of people use it, due to what is known as network effects.
  • Smart contracts, blockchain and internet of things can be used to share information in a 2 way process between industry and academia
  • They can also help to increase the awareness about IPR regimes, and ensure that local communities and individuals who are holders of traditional knowledge are compensated adequately when their ideas are commercialised



  • In the era of technological leapfrogging, adapting new developments in technology only will help to unleash what Joseph Schumpeter calls as ”forces of creative destruction”
  • With the new age economy powered by digitisation and disruptive technologies, the industry-academia relationship is undergoing a rapid transformation. 
  • As we move to multidisciplinary job roles, corporates now support incubators and accelerators instead of grants to academic research


General Studies – 4

Topic:  Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators




Being corruption free and a nation of beautiful minds require having sound ethical values in citizens. 

Children of today are the citizen of tomorrow and the values imbibed in a child during its formative years plays an important role in the holistic progress of the nation.

In this respect, three most influencing stakeholders i.e. father, mother and teacher are critical in shaping the impressionable mind by inculcating right values.



Inculcating honesty, empathy, truthfulness, compassion towards fellow living beings can be effectively done by parents only.

  • These all require that parents provide emotional security and meet material requirements of the child.
  • A large portion of the time is spent by child where it acquires habits observing its parents. Hence parents should not only preach but lead by example by exercising the aforementioned values.
  • Parents also form the formative mind of children when they tell moral based stories.
  • Exposing the children to good literature and movies also can be done by parents. Like Harichandra stories which portrays “honesty”.
  • Father is always the first role model for a child. Children learn by emulating their fathers. This with time becomes ingrained in thier minds and become a part of their own character.
  • Mother is often referred to as the first teacher and guide for a child. She teaches him emotional intelligence, empathy, compassion. It is often the mother who guides our perception of what is right and wrong. This in a early stage gets inculalcated and becomes a part of our conscience. Mother influences our religious beliefs, cleanliness habits.



  • In addition to above stated values, teachers play a vital role in stoking curiosity in child, fostering his creative ability and bring out latent talent and passions
  • Teachers also play an important role in imbibing discipline and regulating the child’s inter-personal interaction with peers.
  • Value based edu in school should be prominent as envisaged by Gandhiji in Wardha scheme of education.
  • Given the fact that children spent almost half of their chidhood in school, the role of teacher is paramount.


Other factors like media, peers and friends, siblings also play a vital role in shaping an individual. But primarily it is the troika of teacher, mother and father.