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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) It is argued, credibly, that Gandhi “feminized” nationalist politics. Evaluate. (250 words)

The Indian Women’s Movement in Historical Perspective –, 24.07.2012 › apcity › unpan051009 (Pg 18)


Key demand of the question

The question makes an assertion that Mahatma Gandhi played a crucial role in feminizing the national politics during our freedom struggle. Thus we need to examine whether or not this statement is true by analysing the modes of protest that Gandhi incorporated, the role that women played in Gandhian Satyagraha, the gender perspective of several demands of INC etc. Ultimately, we have to comment on the veracity of the statement.

Directive word

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention that freedom struggle was a time when great many experiments were taking place in the domain of civil and gender rights.


  • Mention that Gandhi was deeply inspired by tolstoy farm which talked about equal treatment of men and women
  • Mention how Gandhian strategies allowed more women to come to the political centre stage
  • Mention the active role that women played in national movement post Gandhi’s arrival
  • Also mention that women did play a role earlier as well ( rani laxmi bai etc) but the numbers increased manifold during Gandhian struggle
  • Mention the civil rights demands of INC and how Gandhian philosophy had a role to play in it

Conclusion – Mention your own view on the veracity of the assertion made in the question.



  • Women issues have always taken the centrepoint in the Indian freedom struggle since 19th century itself. The women slowly gained confidence from the patriarchal hold and took part in the national struggle effectively.

Even before Gandhi women participation in politics was visible but the scale of influence was limited:-

  • Individual efforts:-
    • Women like Rani Laxmi Bai, Pandita Ramabhai,Savitra Bhai phule were active in uplifting women nd fighting against British
    • Kamini Roywas active in the Ilbert Bill agitation, organising girls at the Bethune School to hold meetings and wear badges supporting the Bill.
  • Women’s organisations:-
    • The primary goals of most women’s associations were to improve women’s literacy and health by abolishing child marriage, enforced widowhood, and purdah.
    • By the late nineteenth century several women’s organisations began to be formed in several parts of India such as the Banga Mahila Samajand the Aghorekamini Nari Samiti in Bengal, the Satara Abalonnati Sabha in Maharashtra, the Mahila Seva Samaj in Bangalore etc.
    • Women’s Indian Association and the National Council of Indian Women claimed to  represent all Indian women, but they were far removed from the masses of women whom they confidently sought to benefit. 
  • Indian national congress:-
    • From the 1920s the Indian National Congress began to forge linkages with peasant, worker, and women’s organizations to demonstrate mass support.
    • Women’s political participation was socially  legitimized, completely altering equations within the women’s movement. Some women were already  engaged in a variety of political activity.
    • From 1889 every meeting of the Indian National Congress included some women, a few delegates and many observers.
    • The leadership of the Indian National Congress, for instance, became committed to the civil rights program of women’s associations.
  • Their participation was often token and symbolic, but the women were educated and politically knowledgeable and were seeking new public roles. The Partition of Bengal (1905) and the Swadeshi movement attracted much larger numbers, including uneducated rural women.

Increased post Gandhi:-

  • Mahatma Gandhi extended the logic of feminine modes of protest to the whole of the nationalist movement. Gandhi “feminized” nationalist politics by emphasizing satyagraha and passive resistance and creating a special space for women.
  • He drew to the nationalist movement groups and numbers of women as never before.
  • Non cooperation:-
    • The Bengal women showed the way during the non-cooperation protests of 1921. Basanti Debi, Urmila Debi, and Suniti Debi joined picketing lines, courted arrest, and precipitated a broadening of the movement.
  • Gandhi exhorted women to take part in Satyagraha movement on par with men. That 17,000 of around 30,000 persons who courted arrest during the Salt Satyagraha were women volunteers is a conspicuous example of their equal role under the leadership of Gandhi.
    • It shows that the upliftment of women was given an important place in Gandhi’s constructive programme.
  • Women came out in large numbers giving up their sheltered and secluded existence to play their role in the national movement. Aristocratic women also marched to prison wearing coarse handspun khadi and handmade chappals.
  • Kamala Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, Anasuya Sarabhai, Sushila Nayyar and Miraben are a few of the illustrious women associated with the Gandhian movement.
  • Activities women participated:-
    • The picketing of liquor, opium and foreign cloth shops in the thirties was almost exclusively done by women.
  • Impact:-
    • Women’s participation legitimized the Indian National Congress and Gandhian politics.
    • It bolstered  claims of Indian unity against foreign rule.
    • It also undermined the civilizing mission of the British and the 
      government’s claim to be a protector of women.
    • Police violence toward and sexual abuse of female political 
      activists helped prove the illegitimacy of colonial rule.
  • Saraladevi, Muthulakshmi Reddy, Amrit Kaur, and others were committed to Gandhi and his non-cooperation and civil disobedience, 
    but they did not abandon the struggle for civil rights.
    • Women leaders who remained active in demands for 
      social reform or in the franchise movement were aware that the agenda for women and that for the nation diverged.
    • In 1931 Saraladevi, by then a veteran leader, led a move for a separate women’s Congress


  • Mahatma Gandhi has played an important role in the participation of women in political activities in India. Gandhi becomes uncompromising in the matter of women’s rights. According to him woman is companion of man and gifted with equal rights of freedom and liberty. This idea needs to be made reality in India.

General Studies – 2

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

2)Discuss the key issues involved in the Citizenship amendment bill, 2016 and how it will only widen the old fault lines in Assam.(250 words)

Indian express


Why this question

Although an old yet an important issue, Citizenship amendment (CA) bill raises several important concerns. Recently a Joint Parliamentary committee visited Assam to review the work done. The issue is related to GS 2 syllabus under the following heading-

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

Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key demand of the question

The question simply wants us to discuss the key issues involved in CA bill and analyse how it will widen the old fault lines in Assam.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write in detail about all the important issues involved in the CA bill and relate them with the old fault lines in Assam.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- Briefly discuss the aim and context (illegal migration, internal security etc) of the CA bill, 2016.


  1. discuss the key issues involved. ( e.g violation of article 14 i.e right to equality, wide grounds for cancellation of OCI etc.)
  2. Mention the fault lines (Hindu-Muslim, Barak valley Bengalis vs insiders) in Assam and explain how they will be widened by  the CA bill, 2016.

Conclusion– present a fair and balanced opinion on the CA bill, 2016 and suggest a way forward.



  • Politics in Assam has always been dominated by the discourse of citizenship and the ‘insider-outsider’ conundrum. Recently Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is having discussions  before deciding on a report to be presented before Parliament on the Bill .

Citizenship amendment bill 2016:-

  • The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.
  • Under the Act, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months, and for 11 of the previous 14 years.  The Bill relaxes this 11 year requirement to six years for persons belonging to the same six religions and three countries.
  • The Bill provides that the registration of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders may be cancelled if they violate any law.

Issues it creates:-

  • Endorsing Hindus:-
    • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 imagines India as a Hindu homeland, which is a refutation of the constitutional idea of the republic.
    • Experts see it as a move to endorse Hindus from Bangladesh who migrated to Assam after 1971.
  • The Bill makes illegal migrants eligible for citizenship on the basis of religion. This may violate Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees right to equality.
  • OCI:-
    • The Bill allows cancellation of OCI registration for violation of any law. This is a wide ground that may cover a range of violations, including minor offences
  • Breaching Assam accord:-
    • Would breach the clauses of the historic Assam Accord, which states that all illegal foreigners who came to the state after 1971 from Bangladesh, irrespective of their religion, have to be deported.
  • Discrimination of Muslims:-
    • Alleged illegal migration from Bangladesh has been at the heart of Assam’s discontent .Not just the Muslim Bengali, but the Hindu Bengali has also been a reason for political mobilisation in the state. But only Hindu Bengalis are being favoured by the bill.
    • While Hindus and Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians might be naturalised, Muslims will not be offered the same advantage even if they are persecuted


  • India’s citizenship provisions are derived from the perception of the country as a secular republic. In fact, it is a refutation of the two-nation theory that proposed a Hindu India and a Muslim Pakistan. Independent India adopted a Constitution that rejected discrimination on the basis of religion and the birth of Bangladesh undermined the idea that religion could be the basis of a national community. So citizenship bill amendments need to be on this line.

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


3) President Trump’s JCPOA withdrawal creates new challenge for Indian diplomacy. Analyze. (250 words)


Financial express


Why this question

Culling of the Iran deal from USA’s side puts India in a tough spot again. The nuclear deal and the impact that USA’s withdrawal will have to India needs to be analyzed in greater detail.

Key demand of the question

Following points need to be brought out in your answer

  • What is the JCPOA deal
  • Why is it in news currently
  • What are the challenges that withdrawal from JCPOA pose for india
  • How should India deal with those challenges

Directive word

Analyze – When asked to analyze, you  have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Mention what is JCPOA and why is it news currently


  • Discuss the challenges that USA’s withdrawal from the deal would have on India Iran relations, India USA relations, energy security, regional connectivity etc
  • Discuss how should India deal with these challenges

Conclusion – mention the need for maintaining a policy of principled equidistance and the need for securing national interest. In that respect, Iran’s importance in Indian strategic and geopolitical objectives can not be overstated.


  • Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was meant to stall Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, was finalized in  2015.  The deal was concluded between Iran and the P5 (United States, Russia, France, China, and United Kingdom) plus Germany and the European Union. 
  • Despite United States decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal itself won’t be scrapped as long as Iran and the other signatories: the U.K., France, Russia, China, Germany and the European Union remain committed to it.

Creates new challenges for India:-

  • Even though India was not party to the deal, India supported it. India had watched the growing tensions between Iran and the United States before the deal was reached because a war could have had multiple negative consequences for India, including threats to the very large Indian expatriate population, disruption of oil supplies, and being forced to pick sides between Iran and the United States, to name just a few. 
  • Oil prices: 
    • The impact on world oil prices will be the immediately visible impact of the U.S. decision.
    • Iran is presently India’s third biggest supplier and any increase in prices will hit both inflation levels as well as the Indian rupee, which breached ₹67 to the U.S. dollar this week.
    • Higher inflation might prompt central banks of developed economies, particularly the US, to follow a monetary policy tighter than expected before. This can have a negative spillover on capital flows into emerging markets, including India.
  • Chabahar:
    • India’s moves over the last few years to develop berths at the Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar was a key part of its plans to circumvent Pakistan’s blocks on trade with Afghanistan, and the new U.S. sanctions could slow or even bring those plans to a halt depending on how strictly they are implemented.
    • Sanctions could affect this timeline and delay the handing over of the project further.
  • A broader concern is about the general stability of the region
    • If the increasing tension in the region should ignite into a full-scale war, India faces a number of challenges. Millions of Indian expatriates live in the Arab states of the Gulf, and they would be in the direct line of fire. 
    • Politically, it will become very difficult for India to continue playing the balancing game between Iran on one side and Israel, the Arab states and the United States on the other.
  • Finally, India will also have to balance its other interests with the developments in the Gulfas this  could impact India in a range of areas, including overseas projects, exports, payments for oil, and even international relations.
  • During the era of sanctions, India had major backlogs in terms of payments towards oil imports from Iran. When the sanctions were lifted, both New Delhi and Tehran heaved a sigh of relief, and payments could be made.
  • China has been considering the induction of Iran into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).If Iran is inducted after the re-imposition of US sanctions, India could be seen as being part of an anti-America bloc.
  • INSTC:
    • Beyond Chabahar, India has been a founder of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) since it was ratified in 2002. Plans for INSTC sped up after the JCPOA was signed in 2015 and sanctions on Iran were lifted.
    • New U.S. sanctions will affect these plans immediately, especially if any of the countries along the route or banking and insurance companies dealing with the INSTC plan also decide to adhere to U.S. restrictions on trade with Iran.
  • Rules-based order: 
    • India has long been a proponent of a rules-based order that depends on multilateral consensus and an adherence to commitments made by countries on the international stage.
    • By walking out of the JCPOA the U.S. government has overturned the precept that such international agreements are made by States not just with prevailing governments or regimes. This could also impact all agreements India is negotiating both bilaterally and multilaterally with the U.S.

However impact can be minimal:-

  • Trade between India and Iran is unlikely to suffer on account of re-imposition of US sanctions as these have been in place for long and India has maintained good trade relations with Iran. Re-imposition of the sanctions might actually give India better bargaining power when trading with Iran.
  • Non-oil trade with Iran which stood at about $2.69 billion of the total trade figures of $12.89 billion in 2016-17 may not be impacted as much,as New Delhi and Tehran have instituted several measures in the past few months, including allowing Indian investment in rupees, and initiating new banking channels, between them.

Way forward:-

  • India needs to have private discussions with U.S. counterparts for a more effective way of safeguarding its Iran-related interests.
  • Oil and fertilisers are key strategic import items, and India should try to diversify its trading partners to shield itself from any adverse consequences.

Topic – Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these

4) Discuss whether creation of post poll alliances is in line with the spirit of democracy?(250 words)


Why this question

The fractured mandate post Karnataka elections will reignite the debate over post poll alliances and hence needs to be discussed.

Key demand of the question

The question demands us to analyze the pros and cons of post poll alliances – the constitutional, legal, by convention perspective along with role of governors etc needs to be analyzed in this question.

Directive word

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight why this topic is in news. Mention some past incidents which has already caused controversy.

Body – Discuss the pros and cons of post poll alliances in democracy by bringing out the diverse perspective on the necessity ( or not) of post poll alliances.

Conclusion – present a balanced view and way forward.


  • Recent Karnataka assembly elections along with past instances from Goa, Meghalaya etc showed post poll alliances have become the new normal for the political parties for forming the government .

Post poll alliances is undemocratic:-

  • Having chief minister from a party that did not have the majority at the hustings both in terms of seats and vote percentages seems ‘undemocratic’.
  • Undemocratic  on the grounds that voters had no inkling about it when they cast their votes.
  • Some criticise it as a breach of the promises made by the political parties during the election campaigns.

However there are many precedents which justify post poll alliances:-

  • Avoid another election:-
    • There were several national and regional parties and often such alliances have to be entered into to ensure a government is formed as it would not be feasible to conduct elections till one party has an absolute majority.
  • Due to post poll alliances going into elections, every party will think twice before launching forth a barrage of personal attacks on its adversaries. So, this could jolly well usher a new climate of polite electoral politics.
  • Sarkaria commission:-
    • Commission report specifically dealt with the situation where no single party obtained absolute majority. It provided the order of preference the Governor should follow in selecting a Chief Minister in such a fluid situation:
      • An alliance of parties that was formed prior to the elections.
      • The single largest party staking a claim to form the government with the support of others, including independents.
      • A post-electoral coalition of parties, with all the partners in the coalition joining the government.
      • A post-electoral alliance of parties, with some of the parties in the alliance forming a government and the remaining parties, including independents, supporting the government from outside.
    • Supreme court:-
      • The precedent that’s been set by the Supreme Court is that the Governor invites the largest pre-poll alliance, then the single-largest parties.
      • In 2015, hearing a public interest litigation, SC had expressed its inability to step-in an act against two political parties that chose to form a post-poll alliance. SC observed that a promise made by a political party was not a promise enforceable by law.

General Studies – 3

TOPIC:Linkages between development and spread of extremism; Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

5) Under the present  circumstances, a unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir is not only fraught with dangers, but also difficult to secure. Analyse.(250 words)

The hindu

why this question

Militant recruitment and terrorist attacks in J & K  have increased in recent years and so have the incidents like stone pelting, student protests etc. The local representatives have called for a ceasefire in the wake of the Ramadan, but there are several issues involved. The question is related to GS 3 syllabus under the following heading-

Linkages between development and spread of extremism; Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to deliberate upon the present situation in J&K and  analyse why it will be difficult or even a wrong to secure a ceasefire ( unilateral or bilateral).

Directive word

Examine- we have to bring out all the necessary facts/ arguments to see why securing a ceasefire agreement in J&K would be dangerous and difficult.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention the present proposal of the political parties in J&K to secure a ceasefire and the previous time when such an agreement could be secured ( under AB Vajpayee).


  1. Discuss the dangers involved in securing such agreement. ( e.g increase in attacks on, and casualty of security forces, decrease in morale of security forces etc).
  2. Discuss in points why it would be difficult to achieve. ( e.g To BJP, talks are not acceptable with separatists, separatist camp dominated by hardliners, absence of parallel talks with Pakistan etc).

Conclusion– Summarize your discussion in a concise manner and suggest some measures to ameliorate the situation ( e.g peace building measures like relaxation in AFSPA, release of first time offenders etc.).


  • The Indian government has finally instructed its forces to halt military operations in Kashmir and observe a ceasefire during the month of Ramazan.

Unilateral ceasefire would not help:-

  • Past experience:-
    • During the first three months of the 2000 ceasefire, casualties amongst security forces rose sharply.
  • There might be continuing attacks on security forces under a unilateral ceasefire.
  • Time is not right for ceasefire:-
    • There is little public pressure on the armed groups. The impetus for peace has been replaced by communal stand-offs, anger and hatred. 
    • More civilians, militants and security forces have died in the first five months of 2018 than in corresponding periods for the previous decade. 
    • In the Valley, alienation from India is as high as it was in the early 1990s, when insurgency took root.


Why ceasefire is imperative:-

  • Curtail violence:-
    • It is imperative to curtail the violence that people in Jammu and Kashmir suffer, and a ceasefire might provide the best opportunity to de-escalate. 
    • As the rising number of youth turning to arms attests, the last four years of counterinsurgency have not succeeded in ending insurgency. So ceasefire might provide that opportunity.
  • From past experience it is visible that  even though the counterinsurgency of the 1990s did not end insurgency, it did pave the way for a peace process that made progress towards ending armed conflict .
  • There will be immediate relief to the beleaguered residents of the State
  • Can give way for further discussions:-
    • The ceasefire can only provide an opportunity for other steps to be taken, such as India-Pakistan talks, dialogue with the Hurriyat and allied groups, and backchannel negotiations for a reciprocal ceasefire by armed groups. 
    • This initiative has the potential to end the deadlock and facilitate a larger engagement and dialogue, not only between the governments of India and Pakistan but also among civil society groups which exist on both sides of the Line of Control.
    • It is clearly evident that the Kashmir dispute can neither be settled through military means nor is war a viable option. So ceasefire can lead to dialogues.
  • International pressure:-
    • Ceasefire would put considerable international pressure on Pakistan’s civil-military leadership to restore the 2003 ceasefire along the International Boundary and the Line of Control. 

Way forward:-

  • The 2000’s ceasefire experience also showed that casualties among the security forces could have been minimised had more urgent attention been paid to tightening defence of security installations and personnel. This needs to looked into now.
  • Externally, wide-ranging peace talks between India and Pakistan, the Indian administration and ‘azaadi’ groups is needed and internally, peace-building on the ground by multiple stakeholders involved is necessary.


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

6) Oceans are claimed to be ‘last frontiers’ of growth and development,  however, this potential needs to be utilised in a balanced manner. In this backdrop, examine whether creation of Marine protected areas is in sync with India’s Blue economy strategy?(250 words)


Financial express


Why this question

The discussion on global conservation accord for the oceans brings into focus the blue economy strategy of various countries. India has off late taken a lead in creating awareness and implementing blue economy strategies for itself and indian ocean littoral countries. Thus the balance between usage of ocean resources and sustainable management of oceans has to be found.

Key demand of the question

The following points are to brought out in your answer

  • The immense potential of ocean resources
  • The need to maintain a balance and what is understood by balance
  • What is blue economy and how the creation of Marine protected areas is linked to blue economy
  • Examine whether for a country like india, having several pressing developmental needs, creation of protected areas will lead to issues in growth. How to reconcile the two
  • Strategy that should be followed

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 . Here discuss the issues as discussed above.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the growing emphasis on Blue economy, explain blue economy in brief.


  • Highlight the immense potential of ocean resources, which enhances the risk of over exploitation and hence the need for maintaining a delicate balance. Talk about the problems faced on account of ocean pollution.
  • Discuss the global accord on ocean conservation and the debates that it raises for countries like india
  • Probe deeper into india’s blue economy strategy and discuss the pros and cons of creating MPAs. In cons, one can discuss cases like the opposition to Meenakumari committee on deep sea fishing which advocated creation of protected areas to boost fish population.
  • Discuss what should be a balanced strategy for india

Conclusion – provide your view and way forward on MPAs


  • India has the seventh longest coastline in Asia at 7,516.6 km, covering nine states and two union territories. These states are not only highly vulnerable to natural disasters, lacking in resilience and adaptive capacity, but are also faced with development deficits, to begin with.
  • This can change when India focuses on being blue economy and begin to take a more proactive role in global discussions on ocean resources.

Blue economy:-

  • The ‘Blue Economy’ or the ‘Oceans Economy’ is defined by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as
    • A subset of, and complement to, the evolving development paradigm emphasising greener and more sustainable and inclusive economic paths.
  • It seeks to expand the economic frontiers of coastal countries beyond their land territories.
  • Blue Economy is based on the idea to use locally available resources and employ renewable inputs, for example, “ocean-as-a-resource” that addresses the problems of resource scarcity and enables sustainable development . 
  • This marine-based economic development will reduce environmental risks and mitigate ecological challenges. As a result, the optimized and responsible resource utilization will enable to achieve balanced socio-economic development.


Significance of oceans and their exploitation:-

  • International waters, account for two-thirds of Earth’s oceans and provide 90% of the habitat for life. 
  • They also are the bedrock of up to $16 billion worth of fishing every 
  • Oceans are abundant with resources, particularly in the sectors of fisheries, aquaculture, ocean energy, sea-bed mining and minerals, and provides tremendous economic opportunities to develop marine tourism and shipping activities.
  • Among these resources, fisheries and minerals are the most commercially viable industries. Commercial and artisanal fisheries sustain the livelihoods of more than 38 million people worldwide.
  • Polymetallic nodules and polymetallic massive sulphides are the two mineral resources of commercial interest to developers in the Indian Ocean. 
  • The Indian Ocean Region is of strategic importance to India’s economic growth as the most of the country’s oil, and gas is imported through the sea.
  • They already account for significant trade and commerce in the fields of shipping, offshore oil and gas, fishing, undersea cables, and tourism. Besides these areas, there are other emerging industries such as aquaculture, marine biotechnology, ocean energy and sea-bed mining that have the potential to create jobs and spur worldwide economic growth.
  • Exploitation of oceans and why a balanced strategy is needed:-
    • Only the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) regulates activity in international waters, including sea-bed mining and cable laying while 20-odd organisations regulate shipping as also fishing, whaling and local conservation.
    • As per a Nature report, there is scientific consensus that nearly 30% of the global ocean needs to be “cordoned off” to stave off mass extinction of marine populations.
    • Global accord on conservation of the oceans will, apart from establishing safeguards for the ocean, lay down rules on resource-sharing and commercial activity, including mining, research, etc.
      • A major concern of the negotiations will agreement on creation of marine protected areas (MPAs)
      • Even though a new strategy is being considered other challenge will be to get the treaty, along with punitive provisions, enforced. 
      • Challenge is to get countries to make ambitious commitments on creation of MPAs. This will mean large-scale giving up on exploration of oceanic resources


India’s blue economy strategy :-

  • The development of Blue Economy can serve as a growth catalyst in realizing the vision to become a $10 trillion economy by 2032. 
  • Blue economy initiative was launched in 2015 is a multi-disciplinary approach for the exploitation of hydrocarbons and other marine resources, deep sea fishing, preservation of marine ecology, mitigating climate change by addressing environmental issues and disaster management. 
  • As a green-oriented effort, it can facilitate a circular economy with zero-waste and zero-pollution and more employment.
  • Employment:-
    • Marine biotechnology and services also open the vistas for a new cadre of technical work- force with immense opportunities.
  • Marine industries such as boat and ship building along with sea product processing firms join the “blue agenda.” Marine industrialization brings coastal urbanization in its train.
  • It helps minimize environmental risks and ecological scarcity with 
    optimization of natural resources within ecological limits. 
  • Blue economy guarantees a green perspective to maritime economy and takes into cognisance the cost of all negative externalities including environmental degradation and ecological imbalance.
  • Blue economy as a strategy is not devoid of challenges  for India.
    • Despite the demand for marine food products on a global scale, India would find it harder to identify the consumers owing to the competition among other blue economies such as Mauritius, Maldives, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and China.
    • Besides, the lack of culture of storage and adequate facilities for the same pose another hindrance in the process.


Marine protected areas:-

  • MPAs include marine reserves, sanctuaries, parks, and no-take zones, are areas designated to protect marine species and habitats from both global and local threat
  • Concerns:-
    • MPAs can’t ward off the effects plastic dumping in oceans, or the impact of climate change on oceans such as increasing acidity, temperatures, etc.
    • Widespread lack of personnel and funds are preventing MPAs from reaching their full potential. 
    • The risk is that MPAs proliferate without further investment in MPA management, leaving new sites without the resources they need to deliver on their promises.
    • There was a united fight against the Meenakumari committee report by the fishermen which advocated creation of protected areas to boost fish population.
  • Positives:-
    • They can give marine populations a protected area.
    • At MPAs with sufficient staffing, increases in fish populations were nearly three times greater than those without adequate personnel.

Way forward :-

  • Indian Ocean region needs a sustainable and inclusive framework for international partnerships. Countries in the region need to not only coordinate and manage the growing security challenges in the region but also realize the substantial economic potential the Indian Ocean area presents.
  • India’s commitment to strengthen its cooperation with the regional partners and build a sustainable ocean economy aligns well with its domestic mega-modernisation projects that will enable the nation to harness the full potential of the Ocean based Blue Economy. 


  • Ocean’s potential needs to be harnessed in a balanced manner, where the preservation and health of Oceans are given their due importance, along with adherence to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 that states “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development .“


General Studies – 4

TopicContributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

7) Discuss the contribution of Immanuel Kant to the field of moral philosophy.(250 words)


Why this question

The question is related to GS 4 syllabus under the following heading-

Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.

Key demand of the question

The question wants us to write in detail about the contribution of Immanuel Kant to the field of moral philosophy.

Directive word

Discuss- we have to write at length about the contribution of Immanuel Kant- his books, works, thoughts, quotation etc.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– Mention Kant’s role to effect Copernican revolution in philosophy and his overall status as a philosopher.

Body– Discuss in points, about the contribution of Immanuel Kant to the field of moral philosophy. Mention the important works of Immanuel Kant and discuss their moral philosophy. Take help of the article attached with this question to frame the answer.

e.g Critique of Practical Reason, Critique of Judgement, Metaphysics of Morals etc.

Conclusion– Bring Out the relevance and overall importance of Kant’s works and mention some of  his favourite quotation on morals and ethics.


Having mastered epistemology and metaphysics, Kant believed that a rigorous application of the same methods of reasoning would yield an equal success in dealing with the problems of moral philosophy.

Kant believed that people’s actions should to be guided by moral laws, and that these moral laws were universal. He held that in order to apply to all rational beings, any supreme principle of morality must itself be based on reason.According to Kant a good person is someone who always does their duty because it is their duty.  It is fine if they enjoy doing it, but it must be the case that they would do it even if they did not enjoy it.  The overall theme is that to be a good person you must be good for goodness sake. 

Kant believed that certain types of actions (including murder, theft, and lying) were absolutely prohibited, even in cases where the action would bring about more happiness than the alternative.Kant’s theory is an example of a deontological moral theory–according to these theories, the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequences but on whether they fulfill our duty.

Kant believed that there was a supreme principle of morality, and he referred to it as The Categorical Imperative.  The CI determines what our moral duties are.

Kant argues, the moral value of the action can only reside in a formal principle or “maxim,” the general commitment to act in this way because it is one’s duty. So he concludes that “Duty is the necessity to act out of reverence for the law.”According to Kant, then, the ultimate principle of morality must be a moral law conceived so abstractly that it is capable of guiding us to the right action in application to every possible set of circumstances.

Basis of Moral Knowledge

  • The mission of moral philosophy is to determine how we are able to arrive at principles of behaviour that are binding upon all people.
  • Kant did not believe that induction was a suitable method for determining these principles since that would simply tell the people do behave not how they ought to behave.
  • For Kant the moral judgment, “we ought to tell the truth” is arrived at in the same way as the scientific statement, “every effect has a cause.”
  • These judgments are derived from reason not experience. According to him, theoretical reasoning brings the category of causality whereas, practical reason brings the “ought to be”.
  • He states that in science and in moral philosophy the concepts should go beyond any particular facts like science, practical reason employs a priori judgments.
  • The basis of obligation must not be sought in human nature or in the circumstances of the world but a justified argument in the concepts of reason.

Postulates on morality:-

  • The postulate of immortality was that the belief in immortality has to be based on the moral disposition and not one hope of future rewards.
  • Kant’s system, neglects to identify or, rather, to justify the existence of the moral law.
  • It neglects the value of nature


Kant’s moral philosophy is still largely relevant in the present modern world.