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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: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors
/contributions from different parts of the country.

1) Discuss the significance of Individual Satyagraha in Indian freedom movement. Why did Congress working committee decide to suspend Individual Satyagraha?(250 words)

Bipan Chandra – India’s struggle for independence pg 459

Key demand of the question

The question demands us to answer how individual Satyagraha helped take the national movement forward. The second part demands us to answer the reason why the movement was suspended.

Directive word

Discuss – The focus should be on detailing the significance of individual Satyagraha for our freedom movement. One can also bring out the limitations of the movement and how the movement failed to achieve anything tangible.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – explain briefly about individual Satyagraha


  • Discuss the background in which the decision was taken to launch individual Satyagraha
  • Discuss how it took the national movement forward – channelize the masses political energy, highlight their grievances in front of the British etc ; the leadership question got resolved etc
  • Discuss the limitations of the movement
  • Examine the reason why CWC decided to end the movement – questions over the safety and defence of India etc

Conclusion – summarise the significance of individual Satyagraha.


  • Individual Satyagraha was direct result of August Offer. 
  • The Congress was in a confused state again after the August Offer. The radicals and leftists wanted to launch a mass Civil Disobedience Movement, but here Gandhi insisted on Individual Satyagraha.

Individual Satyagraha:-

  • The Individual Satyagraha was not to seek independence but to affirm the right of speech.
  • The non-violence was set as the centerpiece of Individual Satyagraha. This was done by carefully selecting the Satyagrahis.
  • The first Satyagrahi selected was Acharya Vinoba Bhave, who was sent to Jail when he spoke against the war.
  • Second Satyagrahi was Jawahar Lal Nehru.
  • Aims ofIndividual Satyagraha:-
    • To show that nationalist patience was not due to weakness.
    • To express people’s feeling that they are not interested in the war and that they made distinction between Nazism and double autocracy that ruled in India.
    • To give another opportunity to the Government to accept congress demands peacefully. The demand of the Satyagrahi was using freedom of Speech against the war through an anti-war declaration. If government did not arrest the Satyagrahi, he or she will move repeating it in villages and start march towards Delhi (Delhi Chalo Movement)

Significance :-

  • The campaign started again in January 1941, this time, thousands of people joined and around 20 thousand people were arrested.
  • Though the aim of Satyagraha was limited one, it was successful in displaying unity and patience in masses of India.
  • This Satyagraha forced to bring Cripps Proposal which was much different from August offer as it provided way for Constituent Assembly and Option to any Province to withdraw a blue print for India’s partition.
  • Individual Satyagraha had a dual purpose while giving expression to the Indian people’s strong political feeling, it gave the British Government further opportunity to peacefully accept the Indian demands. 
  • More importantly, Gandhi was beginning to prepare the people for the coming struggle. The Congress organization was being put back in shape opportunist elements were being discovered and pushed out of the organization and above all the people were being politically aroused, educated and mobilized.
  • It had been carried on for fourteen months and although it did not put any great political pressure on the Government, it had psychological and symbolical effect on the people.
  • Political Parties were not united over the question of Civil Disobedience.

Why was it suspended :-

  • Since it was not a mass movement, it attracted little enthusiasm and in December 1940, Gandhi suspended the movement.
  • Indian leaders, released from prisons  were worried about the safety and defence of India as world war II was at its doorstep.
  • Anxious to defend Indian territory and to go to the aid of the Allies, the Congress Working Committee overrode the objections of Gandhi and Nehru and passed a resolution  offering to fully cooperate in the defence of India and the Allies if Britain agreed to give full independence after the War arid the substance of power immediately.
  • The Japanese threat was increasing and there were air raids on Assam and Bengal. Naturally, it was not thought expedient that, at such a critical time the Congress leaders should be, again, in prison. Hence the Individual Satyagraha movement was suspended.

General Studies – 2

TopicIndia and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

2)India should not be a party to Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.  Examine. (250 words)




Why this question

The centre had set up a committee to prepare a report on the issue of inter-country parental child abduction. In its report, it has questioned one of the basic principles of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The issue is related to GS-1 syllabus under the following heading-  

India and its neighborhood- relations. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out the reasons why India should and should not sign the Hague Convention and support our answer with necessary justifications.

Directive word

Examine- We have to to dig deep into the question and find out the implications of not signing the Hague Convention.  We have to justify it with proper arguments/ facts/ examples.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Give a brief introduction of Hague Convention, its year of coming into force, vision etc.


Take a stand on the above issue- why India should not formally accede to Hague Convention in its present form. Briefly discuss the reasons/ arguments in points.

E.g mention statistics about Indian diaspora- intercountry marriages, data about cases of parental abduction- who is generally the victim, judicial remedies available and how they affect the rights of the women (mother), misuse of the law by the husbands in alimony cases etc.

Conclusion- mention the Japan experiment and mention the need for a similar law in India.  



  • Over three crore Indians living abroad have cross-border marriages. When such a diverse family unit breaks down, children suffer as they are dragged into an international legal battle between their parents. India has not signed the Hague treaty yet.

Hague convention:-

  • The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty that establishes procedures that provide for the prompt return of children wrongfully retained or removed from their habitual residence. 
  • According to the treaty, a child will be said to have been wrongly removed when the move is in violation of the rights of custody attributed to someone by the authorities of the country where the child has been living. 

Reasons why India should not sign this convention:-

  • The Convention deals with what has come to be known as “international child abduction”. The word “abduction” when used by a parent is misplaced as no parent can ‘abduct’ her own child.
  • Indian law does not automatically recognise foreign judgments. Now by signing the Hague Convention, India will be compelled to recognise a foreign judgment regardless of the justness of the decision on custody under Indian law or whether was delivered ex-parte.
  • Gender issue:-
    • India’s original reason for not signing the treaty was because the government felt that most cases of child removal are committed by women trying to escape a bad or abusive marriage in another country.
    • Criminalising the act and forcing her to return to the country of habitual residence would therefore add to her problems.
    • The convention would amount to victimising women escaping a bad marriage.
    • The convention shows no recognition of the role domestic violence plays in compelling a mother to go back to her country of origin. If India adheres to the provisions of the convention, the woman, just to be with her children, will be forced to go back to a violent relationship.
    • If India’s proposed move to sign the Hague Convention goes through she will not only become a child abductor but will also be denied the protection of the Indian courts which she now has.


  • Normally, as per the framework of the Hague Convention, the Requested state is expected to adhere to or comply with such requests from the Requesting State, irrespective of its own laws regarding child abduction. 
    • If India were to sign the Hague Convention and thereafter were to receive requests from another Contracting State for return of an abducted child, the Indian Courts would be requested to comply with such requests notwithstanding the fact that as per existing Indian law.
  • In effect, signing the Hague Convention would mean bowing down to foreign pressure and accepting a foreign interpretation of law which is contrary to law as interpreted in India. This would also amount to an attack on the very sovereignty of India as an independent democratic nation. 
  • It would even nullify Section 13 of the Code of Civil Procedure, in so far as foreign decrees/orders in child abduction cases from Contracting Parties are concerned.
  • Children will not benefit:-
    • India becoming a signatory to the Hague Convention would never prove to be beneficial for the interests of persons and children of Indian origin or to citizens of India, because there are very few instances of Indian children being taken away from India to a foreign country by either one of the child’s parents.
    • Even if such incident were to occur, the question of India making such requests of return of such Indian children from a Contracting Party to which the said children have been so removed, would never arise.
    • The signing of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction will enable the government to force children away from their mothers and immediate family, and be sent to a foreign country without considering whether this is in the ‘best interest of the child’.
  • Indian judiciary:-
    • The Indian Supreme Court is already empowered to provide recourse and remedies to aggrieved parents in such cases 

India should consider being part of the convention:-

  • Present status is very complicated:-
    • India is not only not a signatory of the Convention, but also does not yet recognise removal of child by a parent as an offence. Thus the only legal route open to the left-behind parent is to initiate legal proceedings in the country of habitual residence and then armed with the order from that court, come to India and file a case of Habeas Corpus in India. Once the child is produced in court, the case turns into a custody battle.
  • Foreign pressure:-
    • According to US government data, there were more than 80 cases of parental child abduction cases from the US to India.
    • Besides the law commission, there was also pressure from the US, which reported maximum cases of child abduction, mostly by mothers, for India to join the treaty.
  • There has been a steady rise in parental abductions as more and more Indians go abroad to work or study. Children often bear the brunt of their parents marital disputes and are often forced to return to India by one of the quarelling parents. 
  • Signing the treaty will ensure that the child is sent back to his/her country of residence with the parent, who would be tried for abduction in the country he or she fled from.
  • Over the years, the number of Indians marrying and staying abroad and giving birth to children abroad have increased.  Therefore, India should be forward-looking and should change itself and sign the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. 
  • If India becomes a signatory to the Convention, it will help in the return of those Indian children who have been abducted and taken abroad.
  • The argument in favour of signing the convention has been that it will benefit mothers as well when fathers abduct children

Way forward:-

  • Before India becomes party to the Hague Convention, India has to put in place a strong mechanism with built-in checks and balances. Creating a central authority, with a judge to head it, which will receive all applications on parental child abduction and removal and facilitate return and exchange is in the interest of India.
  • To be a signatory to the Hague Convention, a country needs to have a domestic law on wrongful removal and retention of a child. In 2016 the Ministry of Women and Child Development drafted a Bill against parental child abduction. The Bill is available on the department’s website. But it is yet to be passed. The Law Commission of India has also advised that India become a signatory of the Hague Convention.
  • Japan has shown awareness of domestic violence while signing the convention through the Act on Implementation of Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. India can follow this approach.

General Studies – 3

TopicIndian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

3) “Decline in manufacturing jobs is not necessarily a cause of concern”. Critically examine the issues created due to premature deindustrialization in India and ways to address them. (250 words)

Financial express


Why this question

Creation of jobs is one of the most critical step required for India in light of its demographic situation. The lack of growth in manufacturing sector raises many issues for Indian economy. The focus of the government on programmes like make in India and skill India makes it imperative for us to analyze why despite sustained efforts, commensurate benefits are not being reaped.

Key demand of the question

The question demands us to examine the issues created by premature deindustrialization in India, whereas also stating that decline of manufacturing jobs is not necessarily a matter of concern. Following points are to brought out in the answer

  • Status quo – lack of productive jobs
  • Why the lack of productive jobs is a problem
  • Also need to examine how non creation of jobs in manufacturing sector is not that big an issue
  • The new challenges that employment situation in India poses to us
  • Ways to deal with the challenge

Directive word

Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Discuss in brief about premature deindustrialization and the problem of employment in India, particularly acute due to lack of new jobs creation.


  • Present the status quo of employment in the country – sectoral division, nature of jobs etc
  • Examine the issues raised by premature deindustrialization in the country
  • Examine in light of WEO and IMF report, whether the assertion made makes sense for India. Whether transitioning to service sector jobs directly is sustainable.
  • Discuss the concerns that we have to be mindful of in light of lack of manufacturing jobs – productivity of jobs, social security etc
  • Discuss the steps by government to deal with unemployment and ensuring the health of our economy – make in India , Skill India and what more can be done to boost employment

Conclusion – mention your view on whether manufacturing jobs is critical or not in Indian context.


  • India could serve as growth engines for the world as all of those people creating new households provide almost unlimited consumer demand. But for consumer demand to flourish there must be a strong economy endowing consumers with spending power. History teaches that a strong economy begins with a viable manufacturing base.
  • Premature deindustrialization happens as manufacturing shrinks in poor countries that never industrialized much in the first place. India with its armies of low wage workers could have gone on a manufacturing binge like China, but its manufacturing output is actually declining as a percentage of the economy.

Issues due to premature deindustrialization:-

  • Lack of infrastructure:-
    • Manufacturing needs a solid infrastructure to enable efficient transfer of raw materials and shipment of finished goods to market. The roads, rails, ports and air service in India are woefully inadequate.
  • Unskilled labour:-
    • India like the rest of the world are today flooded with low cost manufactured goods made in China and other Asian nations, and with the advent of the robot age the value of unskilled labour is declining everywhere.

Why decline in manufacturing sector is not that of concern ?

  • A smaller manufacturing sector implies slower economic growth and a scarcity of well-paying jobs for low- and middle-skilled workers therefore contributing to worsening inequality might not hold true.
  • Declining share of manufacturing jobs need not hurt growth or raise inequality, provided the right policies are in place.
  • Some services sub-sectors can match the productivity levels of manufacturing.
  • Bypassing traditional industrialisation and shift of employment from the agriculture sector directly to the services sector need not hurt growth.

But this approach is not valid for India:-

  • The share of agriculture in employment has not come down drastically, with the sector still accounting for almost 50% of overall employment.
  • In the recent decades, the manufacturing sector has been a laggard in capturing the share in employment and has lost it to the services sector.
  • Skewed labour and output distribution has implications for India’s labour productivity.
  • Lack of labour productivity:-
    • Data by the Conference Board the global business membership and research association shows that while India’s labour productivity has improved by 70% over the last decade, the overall productivity levels still lag behind those of other developing Asian economies.
    • Average growth in labour productivity at an aggregate level for India during the period 2011-12 to 2015-16 stood at 5.8%, as against 7.4% in the preceding five years.
    • While Make-in-India is trying to focus on improving the country’s manufacturing base with a special focus on labour-intensive sectors, data shows that labour productivity growth fell during the 2011-12 to 2015-16 period across major manufacturing sectors.
  • Barring business services, the growth in labour productivity in the rest of the sectors has remained negative. This essentially means that India kept pushing employment in unproductive sectors. While the country is undergoing a structural transformation, the economy is not benefiting to the full extent.
  • Movement of labour from manufacturing and agricultural to services may not be a positive trend for India.
    • In fact, movement to low-skill and low-income services such as security guards and hyperlocal delivery personnel will not benefit India in raising the income levels and labour productivity at an aggregate level in the long run. 
  • Growth of high productivity sectors can be constrained by skill shortage. 


Ways to address them :-

  • There is a need to re-look at the Make-in-India initiative and realign the focus on manufacturing as well as services.
  • Government policy should focus on promoting productivity enhancement across all sectors through technology adoption and skill development.
  • The blurring of lines between manufacturing and services sectors further necessitates the need to focus on a broad range of sectors, rather than a few.
  • While there is a growing wave of protectionism across the globe, research has shown that increased trade and financial integration can help in faster convergence of sectors.
  • Best way forward would be to align “Skill India” and “Make-in-India” with a focus on India’s comparative advantag As mentioned in the IMF WEO and the Economic Survey, a single-minded pursuit of increasing India’s manufacturing base might not yield the best results.

Topic: Investment models. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

4)What are hybrid instruments. Discuss why there is a need to have a wider choice of hybrid instruments that would provide flexibility in terms of control and holding .(250 words)

Economic times




Why this question

Raising financial capital is a critical step in operationalization and success of any startup. Indian startups have been facing problems in raising capital and dearth of hybrid securities catering to the needs of the investors and entrepreneurs alike is one of the main reasons behind that. In this regard,the GoI has decided to introduce more sorts of hybrid securities in Indian financial market. The question is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading-

Investment models. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to describe the meaning of hybrid securities, their purpose and need in the context of Indian financial market.

Directive word

What- we have to provide a brief and complete-in-meaning description of hybrid securities.

Discuss- We have to write in detail about the need to have more kinds of hybrid securities in Indian financial market.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- define hybrid securities/ instruments, along with examples of a few hybrid securities e.g  convertible bonds, preferred stocks etc.

Body- Discuss in points about the need for providing flexibility in terms of ownership and holding and how customized financial instruments will help in that regard, so that foreign and domestic investment is spurred. E.g need for attracting foreign investment, providing entrepreneurs with necessary capital, existence and exploitation of different hybrid instruments in countries like China, US etc, innovation in finance is required to cater to industry’s needs and to create meaningful employment etc.

Conclusion– mention that as per existing regulations, only equity based instruments, that is, instruments vesting ownership rights on the holder are allowed under FDI, which needs to be changed and new types of hybrid securities introduced.


Hybrid instruments :-

  • India will soon unveil a wide array of hybrid instrumentson the lines of those available in developed markets.
  • Hybrid instruments have the characteristics of debt and equity and come with differential voting rights. In a number of IT companies overseas, promoters hold less than 15% equity but exercise full control.
  • The most common type of hybrid security is a convertible bondthat has features of an ordinary bond but is heavily influenced by the price movements of the stock into which it is convertible.
  • They also give the holders an option to convert into equity at a later date


Why there is a need to have a wider choice of hybrid instruments :-

  • Foreign investments:-
    • Hybrid instruments are suitable for attracting foreign investments in several niche areas, especially for the startups and venture capital firms
    • To attract foreign investment to spur job generation and economic growth.
  • Innovation:-
    • The policy would address the requirements of industry now and reflect the innovations in finance.
    • It will allow promoters to retain control of an entity even with a minority stake a move that will make fundraising easier, particularly for startups.
  • The US has different classes of shares with differential control. China has a variable interest instrument that allows foreign investors to have only an economic interest in companies in restricted sectors.
  • Instruments that are fully and mandatorily convertible into equity within a specified period are regarded as equity under the FDI policyand eligible to be issued to persons residing outside India.
  • Any instrument that is not mandatorily converted is considered debt and governed by external commercial borrowing rules. The proposed policy is expected to go beyond this categorisation with built-in pricing freedom.
  • Present issues can be resolved:-
    • The window is not available if economic interest to foreign investors goes beyond 49%.
    • Company law provisions make it further complex and limit the ability to decide and negotiate commercial returns, priority distribution, optionality etc on investment, which is important for high-risk capital.
  • It helps in providing entrepreneurs with necessary capital.

Way forward:-

  • The current policy allows Indian-owned and Indian-controlled companies (with less than 50% foreign holding) to invest in any activity, without being subjected to FDI policy conditions. Amendments would be required in exchange control regulations, FDI policy and the Companies Act.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment, Disaster and disaster management.

5)A multi-pronged strategy needs to be adopted to drive the behavioural change in farmers’ community for extracting more value out of the farm waste. Discuss in the light of the NITI Aayog’s report on biomass management.(250 words) 



Why this question

India generates a huge amount of biomass annually, especially from the agricultural sector. Burning of this biomass creates air pollution problem in the northern states of India, where the practice is more prevalent. Recently, a task force on biomass management submitted its report. The task force has suggested a two-pronged approach to tackle the issue: a) ploughing the residue back into the field and; b) extraction and usage for other purposes. The issue is related to GS-3 syllabus under the following heading-

Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment, Disaster and disaster management.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to discuss the need for and course of action for imparting behavioural change in farmer’s community, for better use and management of farm waste.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to dig deep into the given issue and write in length about the reasons for the particular behaviour, why there is need for behavioural change and how to impart it.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention India’s plan to achieve 10GW capacity of energy generation from biomass and current installed capacity of around 5 GW.


  • Discuss the reasons for burning of farm waste by farmers- e.g lack of knowledge about alternate use, very less time for farm preparation, unorganized nature of biomass market, which is characterized by lack of mechanization in agriculture sector, fragmented land holdings, and vast number of small or marginal farmers etc.
  • Briefly discuss some of the ex-situ and in-situ methods of farm waste utilization. E.g prali char, compositing, Bio-Power, Bio-CNG, Pelletisation Plant, Briquetting Plant, Pyrolysis (biochar), biogas Plant etc.
  • Mention and briefly discuss in points, about the strategies suggested by the task force of NITI Aayog- e.g subsidies on various technologies, regulatory support to businesses, creating awareness by field visits and by using ICT tools, reward scheme for individual farmers and for panchayats, creating efficient monitoring mechanisms etc.

Conclusion- bring out a fair, concise balanced conclusion out of the above discussion.


  • Disposal of farm waste, either from farm as residues or from crop residues, has always been an issue to dispose them , after crop residues are consumed as fodder by the livestocks , besides posing an invitable environmental threat , popularly known as crop residue burning.
  • About 32% of the total primary energy use in the country is derived from biomass and more than 70% of the country’s population depends upon it for their energy needs.
  • Biomass from agriculture is available only for a short period after its harvesting, which can stretch only for 2-3 months in a year. So there is a need to have robust institutional and market mechanism for efficient procurement of the required quantity of biomass, within this stipulated short time, and safe storage till it is finally used.

Farm waste in India and why is it burned :-

  • The reason why farmers burn paddy stubble is that they do not have an option. Earlier, when harvesting was manual, the crop waste was sold by farmers to paper mills for use as raw material.However, with most harvesting becoming mechanical, the waste is left in the fields.
  • Farmers have the option of burying the crop waste in the fields and turning it into manure. But it is an expensive option, which few are willing to try.
  • Primary reason to burn is pathogen control. Without burning, there is an increased reliance on chemicals to control these unwanted pests and diseases.
  • The stubble needs to be removed before farmers prepare the farm for the winter crop.
  • With cost concerns, the short gap between summer and winter crops, lack of incentives from the government and shortage of equipment, most farmers resort to residue burning
  • Most of the farmers are small and marginal with extremely small landholdings and they lack awareness.

Methods already undertaken:-

  • Bio-char is readily available in cities but it still needs to be promoted as an integral part of rural economy.
  • The ‘Paddy-straw to bio-ethanol’ has the potential to achieve zero-burning in rural areas and contribute to availability of cleaner fuels in urban areas.
    • Paddy straw is converted into Prali char and Biochar through the process of pyrolysis which involves burning straw in controlled manner in Prali brick (clay kiln) or top lift up-draft gasifier.
    • The briquette and pellet are produced by compressing paddy straw to 5-6 times using mechanical / hydraulic press or other techniques depending on scale of the plant
    • This makes the biomass much more compact to storage, handle and transport for using in various end-use applications.
  • Bio-ethanol could become viable for commercial deployment in future and has potential to address the air-pollution in rural and urban areas at the time by diverting paddy straw to ethanol production and blending ethanol for cleaner transport fuel.


Suggestions to change the farmers behaviours :-


  • 1500 lakh tonne agro waste is produced in India every year. India needs to promote entrepreneurship development in the field of agro-waste management. This will result in a boost to the rural economy, help farmers earn more with the same crop and other people in the village can also be gainfully employed in the industries based on these products,
  • Making pellets and briquettes to be used as alternative to coal, firewood, cooking gas 
  • Generating power through biomass 
  • Turning into ethanol as alternative to fossil fuels
  • NITI Aayog report on biomass management :-
    • Individual farmers are provided with financial support for implementing some of the in-situ and on-farm straw management techniques. 
    • Awareness campaigns should be conducted to raise  farmer’s awareness and educate them on viable options for either utilising the farm residue in-situ or convert it into other useful products using on-farm management techniques.
    • Recommended that impact fund could be created (with a dedicated fund manager) for promoting future  investments in clean technologies . The aforesaid impact fund is recommended to receive financial resource from the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF).
    • Making the shared infrastructure affordable to farmers in the long  run should be given the due focus.
    • These efforts can be  supplemented by leveraging the existing local  governance structures and providing them sense of  ownership and participation in the ongoing efforts to stop farm fires.
    • Reward scheme needs to be designed for the villageswhich do not burn their waste and become a role model for other villages.
    • In-situ use of crop-residue for mulching
    • Utilisation of crop residue in bio-ethanol, biochar, briquettes, pellets, etc.  The reports evaluates the cost-effectiveness of each solution proposed
    • Provision of storage facilities in the form of warehouses and better farm equipment which could be shared among farmers
    • In addition to technical solutions to the problem of paddy straw burning, the report explains the need for strengthening of state level remote sensing to keep a track on crop burning cases.
    • Re-assess the fuel quality criteria for briquettes/pellets made out of crop residue:
      • Directive for power plants to procure paddy-straw briquette/pellet
      • Remove the size limitation for   Bio-power captive generation

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

6)Examine the reasons behind acute groundwater shortage in India and suggest steps to deal with the situation?(250 words)



Why this question

Groundwater is a critical resource whose sound management is absolutely necessary. Various reports have pointed out the alarming drop in groundwater levels across the country. The issue compels us to examine the root cause behind this shortage and suggest steps to deal with the issue

Key demand of the question

Following points are to be highlighted in the answer


  • Paint the picture of acute shortage of groundwater in the country
  • Probe deeper into the various factors that have led to this crisis
  • Ways to deal with the crisis


Directive word

Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – highlight studies that point towards the rapidly declining groundwater level in the country which forces us to examine this issue in greater detail.



  • The problem of groundwater shortage in India is to be highlighted. Take cues from the down to earth article
  • Examine the reasons behind groundwater shortage under various heads – policy lacunae, overexploitation, lack of legal provisions, indiscriminate pollution etc
  • Suggest ways to deal with the crisis. Quote from research articles, policy strengthening, legal provisions like groundwater management bill etc


Conclusion – Re-emphasize on the importance of groundwater as a natural resource and the necessity to manage it well for our own good – keeping into account the growing water crisis.



  • India faces an acute shortage of safe and sustainable water, specifically groundwater, a crisis that will exacerbate with factors like indiscriminate use and climate change,
  • According to a 2012 World Bank report, India is the largest user of groundwater in the world
  • Punjab is the highest groundwater exploited state, where 76 per cent of the assessment units being overexploited

Reasons behind acute groundwater shortage in India :-

  • Successive droughts and erratic rainfall have led to excess extraction of groundwater. That explains 61 per cent decline in groundwater level in wells in India between 2007 and 2017. 
  • Farmers are digging more and more borewells, but the sources of the problem are many, including transition to water-intensive crops and spate of construction activity along catchment areas.
  • A recent Down To Earth story highlighted how Bengaluru is losing its capacity to recharge groundwater as the number of water bodies like lakes has reduced by 79 per cent.
  • India’s huge groundwater-dependent population, uncertain climate-reliant recharge processes and indiscriminate land use changes with urbanization are among the many factors that have rendered the Indian groundwater scenario to become a global paradigm for water scarcity, for both quantity and quality.
  • Trans-boundary upstream water sources and archaic irrigation methods for the water shortage.
  • Government failure:
    • The government finance for well digging and pump installation with capital subsidies, massive rural electrification and pervasive energy subsidies all have enabled this process to aggravate.
    • In the north western parts of India and southern peninsula, the early and rapid rural electrification, free or subsidised power to the farm sector, large productive farmers and attractive procurement prices for major cereals led to intensive use of groundwater.
    • Zero marginal cost of pumping and lack of restriction on volume of water resulted in inefficient and unsustainable use of the resource.
  • Lack of adequate planning, crumbling infrastructure, indiscriminate drilling of borewells, large-scale consumption of water, and a false sense of entitlement in using water carelessly are causing water shortages. 

Steps to deal with the situation :-

  • Crisis can be tackled by restoring and enhancing groundwater recharge areas, stopping polluted water from recharging groundwater, rainwater and roof top harvesting and the restoration of ponds, lakes and other river systems.
  • Most empirical studies are in favour of pricing electricity on the basis of actual consumption. They show that the energy prices at which the farmers start responding to tariff changes in terms of reducing the demand for water and electricity would be socio-economically viable.
  • With metering, there would be no need for restricting power supply, as done now.
  • More efficient irrigation, growing less water-intensive crops in the dry season and transitioning away from irrigation-intensive systems where there is little water.
  • India needs better policies that directly help small-holders and labourers to adapt and adjust to risks associated with groundwater depletion and a more variable future climate.
  • World Bank’s Water Scarce Cities Initiative seeks to promote an integrated approach to managing water resources and service delivery in water-scarce cities as the basis for building resilience against climate change. 
    • Government has come up with a ₹6,000-crore World Bank-aided Atal Bhujal Yojana with community participation to ensure sustained groundwater management in overexploited and ground water-stressed areas in seven States. 
  • In urban areas putting in place an efficient piped supply system has to be top on the agenda of policymakers and planners.
  • Micro irrigation practices like drip and sprinkler systems have to be promoted in a big way for efficient use of water for agriculture. Both in urban and rural areas, digging of rainwater harvesting pits must be made mandatory for all types of buildings.
  • Conscious efforts need to be made at the household level and by communities, institutions and local bodies to supplement the efforts of governments and non-governmental bodies in promoting water conservation.
  • Sustained measures should be taken to prevent pollution of water bodies, contamination of groundwater and ensure proper treatment of domestic and industrial waste water. Reduce, reuse, and recycle must be the watchwords if we have to handover a liveable planet to the future generations.

General Studies – 4

TOPIC Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

7)Discuss the role of the family in inculcating values. The dilemma for a modern society is how to preserve  family values in a nation of diverse tastes. Comment.(250 words)



Why this question

The first part of the question is a direct excerpt from the mains syllabus while the second part is its extension to conflict between diversity of tastes vs family values. the issue is related to GS-4 syllabus under the following heading-

Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out the role of family in inculcating values in a person and then form a personal opinion on the dilemma of the society to preserve family values in the face of diverse tastes.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in detail about the role of a family in inculcating values in a child.

Comment- we have to present the the present structure and nature of a modern society and how it influences a family’s capacity of inculcation and transmission of values.

Structure of the answer

Introduction-  give a brief definition of values and family.


  • Discuss in points the role of family in inculcating values in a child.

E.g discuss individual values of truthfulness, sense of responsibility, happiness, peace,  etc are inculcated without any conscious effort.

  1.  present the current scenario of nuclear families, single parents and how it affects the transmission and inculcation of values.

E.g stress on materialism/ consumption, high competition, presence of superstructures like globalization, nations, social media etc.

Conclusion– Based on the above discussion, form a fair, balanced and concise opinion on the second part of the question.

Answer :-

Family is the foundation on which values are built. Moral values like truthfulness, happiness, peace, justice are instilled in children’s thoughts, feelings and actions and they function as ideals and standards that govern their actions in their life.

The value system practised in the family becomes automatic to the young family members if they are taught moral values systematically. The family, shapes the child’s attitude towards people and society, and helps in mental growth in the child and supports his ambitions and values. Blissful and cheerful atmosphere in the family will develop the love, affection, tolerance, and generosity.

A child learns his behaviour by modelling what he/she sees around him/her Family plays a major role in helping a child socialize and has great influence and bearing on the emotional and physical progress of the child.

Joint family system, the presence of elders in the family plays the effective role in social and moral development of the children. It also helps young generation of the family to imbibe human values and eradicate their negative mental tendencies when they are among elders.

The behavioural problems are set correct only by the involvement of family in the child’s life as they spend most of their time in adolescence with the parents. Family is the first social organisation that provides the immediate proximity from which the child can learn his behaviour.

Customs And Traditions followed and taught by the family leads a disciplined and organized life. Families values helps the child to stand strong on his views despite others efforts to break through with opposing beliefs. In addition,

Thus, family is important in developing the moral values of child. There is a close contact between the parents and children, which determine the personality of child.

Dilemma is to preserve family values :-


Modern families are undergoing transformations as they adapt to an everchanging world, which brings changes in the family functions, forms and structures as well as the family education model


In the modern society the traditional joint family system is rarely seen and many new versions of families are cropping up like single parent families, nuclear families, same sex families etc.


Materialism and pursuit of money have turned the people especially the youth into cold and callous machines in search of worldly comforts. Man has lost peace of mind and quietude.  In the past social norms bound the society together but now the attitudes are changing. These disturbing trends are eating up the vitals of the families and the society.


The amount of time parents spend with their children has been dropping 
dramatically. As a result, education responsibility has been taken over by institution and other people, which may lead to the deterioration of family constituting the basis of the proper upbringing of children.


Increasing consumerism has gradually led to the materialization of society

and perception of values formed on the basis of one’s own possessions. As a result, interpersonal relationships have been weakened mainly due to an increased focus on one’s own individual needs as well as self-realization.


The deepening widening processes of globalization have changed the family structures, relationships among family members and parents perception of parental responsibility. Parents spend more time reaching their goals, which causes a decrease in family interaction.

The children seem to have difficulty in learning and understanding the importance of the moral values determining a child’s attitudes and behaviour.

Modern parents decision to have children is associated with their belief about prestige, life satisfaction and important investment.


Children are considered both parents tools to fulfil their dreams or plans and evidence of social status and economic possibilities of the family. Parents in today’s society are also restricted as to how to discipline their children in many cases parents are getting sued. 


In the modern family material goods, family traditions or moral values are not traditionally handed down from generation to generation. Limitations of contacts between grandparents and grandchildren have a negative effect on children’s development, depriving them of many valuable experiences.

 Spending the  time with people from the older generation children can broaden their knowledge, get to know moral norms, learn empathy and understanding for others.


Weak bonds with the family may lead young people to emotional instability and 
moral confusion. That, in turn, may result in dangerous activities, self-destruction,

aggression and brutal behaviours.

However a modern family is a basis preparing a young generation for independent life  it helps to gain education, supports individual development of a person taking into consideration the person’s talents, needs and interests.


Only a well axiologically prepared young person can resist such negative influences of the modern world. That is why entering the world of values must take place from the earliest years of life of the child in its family environment, and should be based on normal relationships between all its members.


Despite the changing face of the family, it is still the way in which most people live. The family remains an institution that plays a key role in the way society is organised and controlled, and which adapts, not to the whims of individuals, but to the conflicting priorities placed upon it by the world at large.