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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 – Part of static series under the heading – “Modern Indian History”

1) It would have been difficult for the Constituent Assembly to complete its historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India in just three years but for the experience gained with the Government of India Act, 1935. Discuss.(250 words)


Key demand of the question

The question basically expects us to debate how great an impact GoIA, 1935 had on the constitution, the similarities as well as the differences. We have to examine whether it  was merely the similarities with 1935 Act which fastened the constitution drafting process , or whether there were other sources of inspiration as well. Finally we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion regarding this.

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 – Explain about the constituent assembly and GoIA, 1935.


  • Discuss the features of the constitution which were borrowed from 1935 Act such as residuary power, Separation of powers by three different lists, Bicameralism, Powers of President. Explain what did the constituent assembly learn from the experiences of GoIA Act, 1935
  • Thereafter, explain that provision related to federalism in GoIA, 1935 never got tested because they were not implemented
  • Discuss the other provisions which got added to Constitution such as fundamental concepts like Equality, Freedom, Adult franchise.
  • Also explain that the seeds of principles of constitution were also laid down throughout the course of freedom struggle. Give other sources from where the constitution was inspired.

Conclusion – Your conclusion can be on these lines – While we agree that the GOI Act, 1935 reduced the time frames of constitution creation, we should not forget that it was created to manage (or control) the affairs of a colony upon vested commercial interests of The Great Britain. At the same time we need to accept that there were many Indian intellectuals laid a strong foundation well before GOI Act, 1935 for this cause.

Constitutional provisions borrowed from Government of India act 1935 :-

  • The majority of the today’s constitution has been drawn from this.
  • It delivers to the establishment of an All India Federation.
  • The previous names transferred and reserved subjects are changed as federal and provincial lists and concurrent list is definitely an addendum.  
  • It Abolished diarchy and introduced provincial autonomy.
  • Established the RBI, federal court, Provincial PSUs and Joint PSUs.
  • The federal structure of government, provincial autonomy, a bicameral central legislature consisting of a federal assembly and a Council of States and the separation of legislative powers between the centre and states are some of the provisions of the Act which are present in the Constitution of India. 
  • Office of Governor
  • Judiciary

However Indian constitution has been amalgamation of experiences from freedom struggle and other sources as well:-

  • British Constitution
    • Parliamentary form of government
    • The idea of single citizenship
    • The idea of the Rule of law
    • Institution of Speaker and his role
    • Lawmaking procedure
    • Procedure established by Law
  • United States Constitution
    • Preamble
    • Fundamental Rights
    • Federal structure of government
    • Electoral College
    • Independence of the judiciary and separation of powers among the three branches of the government
    • Judicial review
    • President as supreme commander of armed forces
    • Equal Protection under law
  • Irish Constitution
    • Directive principles of state policy {Ireland itself borrowed it from Spain}
  • Australian Constitution
    • Freedom of trade and commerce within the country and between the states
    • Power of the national legislature to make laws for implementing treaties, even on matters outside normal Federal jurisdiction
    • Concurrent List
  • French Constitution
    • Ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity
  • Canadian Constitution
    • A quasi-federal form of government — a federal system with a strong central government
    • Distribution of powers between the central government and state governments
    • Residual powers retained by the central government
  • Constitution of the Soviet Union
    • Fundamental Duties
  • Other Constitutions
    • Emergency Provision Under article 356 Weimar Constitution(Germany)
    • Amendment of Constitution, South Africa
    • Due Procedure of Law, Japan
    • Many of the features can be said to have sourced / influenced / borrowed from multiple sources. For example, India has a federal scheme with strong centre. This feature was in GOI Act 1935 and also in Constitution of Canada.
    • Similarly, Fundamental rights were not only influenced from US constitution but also the Universal declaration of Human rights.
    • Further, the Constitution Declares the Indian State to be sovereign, democratic, republic and from 1977 secular and socialist. Each of these concepts is intertwined with the social and political history of civilization, battle of ideas and system of Governance. The American Revolution, The French Revolution, The Russian Revolution and India’s own freedom struggle contributed to these concepts.
  • Freedom struggle:-
    • Due to caste and class differences rooted in religious systems .Indian leaders wanted a constitution which emphasizes on equality
    • To provide equal representation to all including women to alleviate and bring social and political equity and rule by people Leaders focusses on democracy

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

2) Discuss the reasons as to why the proposals of the Cripps mission were rejected by the Congress and the Muslim league. (250 words)


Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the salient provisions of the Cripps mission and bring out the reasons as to why those proposals were rejected by the Congress and the Muslim league.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the  Cripps mission. E.g signing of the Atlantic Charter guaranteed the “right of all people to choose the form of Government under which they will live.” Stafford Cripps with this aims and directives arrived in India bringing with him a new constitutional scheme approved by the British Cabinet.


  1. Discuss the main proposals of the mission. E.g India was promised Dominion Status with the power to secede from the British Commonwealth; it proposed that immediately after the war is stopped, steps would be taken up to set up an elected body charged with the task of making the constitution for India adding that until the formation of the new constitution the British Government would remain responsible for the defence of India; The constitution finally framed by this body would also be implemented by the British Government but any province of British India would have the right to reject the constitution so made and to retain its existing constitutional position or frame another constitution by agreement with the British Government. The province had the option to accede subsequently to the Indian Dominion if it so desired etc.
  2. Discuss why the Congress rejected the proposals. E.g The Cripps proposals were rejected by the Congress in its meeting 11th April, 1942;The Working Committee expressed its disapproval of the proposed Composition of the Constitution making body and the right of the rulers of the Indian States to decide the future of millions of people living in these states. This was a “negation of both democracy and self determination.” The proposals therefore were rejected by the Congress as Vague and incomplete.
  3. Discuss why the Muslim league rejected the proposals. E.g The Muslim league rejected the proposals because it had given greatest importance and priority to the creation of one Indian Union. The League reaffirmed its conviction that the “only solution of India’s constitutional problem is the partition of India into independent Zones.”

Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


  • Cripps Mission was sent by the British Government in March 1942 to India with key objective to secure Indian cooperation and support for British War Efforts. Headed by Sir Stafford Cripps, this mission sought to negotiate an agreement with Indian leaders.
  • The proposal of the Cripps mission was that:
  • India would be a dominion associated with the United kingdom.
  • It promised that immediately after the war is stopped, steps would be taken up to set up an elected body charged with the task of making the constitution for India and provisions would be made so that the Indian states could participate in the framing of the constitution.
  • An Indian Union with a dominion status would be set up. It would be free to decide its relations with the Commonwealth and free to participate in the United Nations and other international bodies.
  • After the end of the war, a constituent assembly would be convened to frame a new constitution. Members of this assembly would be partly elected by the provincial assemblies through proportional representation and partly nominated by the princes.
  • The British Government would accept the new constitution subject to two conditions.
    • Any province not willing to join the Union could have a separate constitution and form a separate Union
    • The new constitution- making body and the British Government would negotiate a treaty to effect the transfer of power and to safeguard racial and religious minorities.
  • In the meantime, defence of India would remain in British hands and the governor-general’s powers would remain intact.
  • The making of the constitution was to be solely in Indian hands now
  • A concrete plan was provided for the constituent assembly.
  • Option was available to any province to have a separate constitution—a blueprint for India’s partition.
  • Free India could withdraw from the Commonwealth.
  • Indians were allowed a large share in the administration in the interim period.

The Congress objected to:

  • The offer of dominion status instead of a provision for complete independence.
  • Representation of the states by nominees and not by elected representatives.
  • Right to provinces to secede as this went against the principle of national unity.
  • Absence of any plan for immediate transfer of power and absence of any real share in defence; the governor- general’s supremacy had been retained, and the demand for governor-general being only the constitutional head had not been accepted.
  • The incapacity of Cripps to go beyond the Draft Declaration and the adoption of a rigid “take it or leave it” attitude added to the deadlock.

The Muslim League objected because:-

  • Criticised the idea of a single Indian Union.
  • Did not like the machinery for the creation of a constituent assembly and the procedure to decide on the accession of provinces to the Union.
  • Thought that the proposals denied to the Muslims the right to self-determination and the creation of Pakistan.

Topic– Important Geophysical phenomena

3) Explain how cyclones are formed and what happens after they hit land? Explain what is rare about Cyclone Titli?(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) for Africa and Asia, a 45-nation international organisation on disaster warning, has termed ‘Titli’, the severe cyclonic storm that devastated Odisha in October, as ‘rarest cyclone’. This provides us an opportunity to revisit our concepts related to cyclones and what makes titli such a rare cyclone.

Key demand of the question

The first part of the question is quite straightforward and can be answered using basic concepts of cyclones. The second part can be answered after going through the article.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain what cyclones are

Body – explain how cyclones are formed and what happens after their hit land. Thereafter explain what makes titli a rare cyclone. Titli cyclone is the rarest of rare in terms of its characteristics such as recurvature after landfall and retaining its destructive potential after landfall and recurvature away from the coastal areas for more than two days

Conclusion – mention the need for a detailed risk assessment in light of these facts.

Background :-

  • Cyclone is any large system of winds that circulates about a centre of low atmospheric pressure in a counterclockwise direction north of the Equator and in a clockwise direction to the south.
  • Cyclonic winds move across nearly all regions of the Earth except the equatorial belt and are generally associated with rain or snow.
  • Also occurring in much the same areas are anticyclones, wind systems that rotate about a high-pressure centre. 
  • Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) for Africa and Asia, a 45-nation international organisation on disaster warning, has termed ‘Titli’, the severe cyclonic storm that devastated Odisha in October, as ‘rarest cyclone’.

Conditions Favourable for Cyclone Formation:-

  1. Large sea surface with temperature higher than 27° C
  2. Presence of the Coriolis force enough to create a cyclonic vortex:-
    • The Coriolis force is zero at the equator(no cyclones at equator because of zero Coriolis Force) but it increases with latitude. Coriolis force at  latitude is significant enough to create a storm [cyclonic vortex].
    • About 65 per cent of cyclonic activity occurs between 10° and 20° latitude.
  1. Small variations in the vertical wind speed
  2. A pre-existing weak low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation
  3. Humidity Factor
    • High humidity (around 50 to 60 per cent) is required in the mid-troposphere, since the presence of moist air leads to the formation of cumulonimbus cloud.
    • Such conditions exist over the equatorial doldrums, especially in western margins of oceans (this is because of east to west movement of ocean currents), which have great moisture, carrying capacity because the trade winds continuously replace the saturated air.
  1. Upper divergence above the sea level system.
    • A well – developed divergence in the upper layers of the atmosphere is necessary so that the rising air currents within the cyclone continue to be pumped out and a low pressure maintained at the center.
  1. Low-level Disturbances
    • Low-level disturbance in the form of easterly wave disturbances in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) should pre-­exist.
  1. Temperature contrast between air masses
    • Trade winds from both the hemispheres meet along inter-tropical front. Temperature contrasts between these air masses must exist when the ITCZ is farthest, from the equator.
    • Thus, the convergence of these air masses of different temperatures and the resulting instability are the prerequisites for the origin and growth of violent tropical storms.
  1. Wind Shear
    • Wind Shear = differences between wind speeds at different heights
    • Tropical cyclones develop when the wind is uniform.
    • Because of weak vertical wind shear, cyclone formation processes are limited to latitude equator ward of the subtropical jet stream. 
    • In the temperate regions, wind shear is high due to westerlies and this inhibits convective cyclone formation.

What happens when the cyclones hit land:-

  • A cyclone or a hurricane forms over the seas and loses its strength immediately after landfall. The reasons are :-
  • Resistance
    • Cyclones always form over the sea, in open spaces and that’s where they gain strength. The terrain of the sea helps a storm gather its maximum strength whereas on land that strength is immediately cut off due too much resistance around.
    • The increased friction over land acts as a somewhat obstacle, i.e. in the form of bushes, trees and houses and buildings, thus decreasing the speed of sustained winds. These sustained winds become weaker because of the dampening effect of larger roughness i.e. over land versus a relatively smooth ocean.
  • Moisture 
    • A tropical cyclone over land will begin to weaken rapidly not just because of friction, but also because land lacks the moisture and heat sources that the oceans provide. This depletion of moisture and heat hurts the tropical cyclone’s ability to produce thunderstorms near the storm’s center.
    • Without this convection, the storm rapidly fills. However, recent studies done by ‘Nature’ showed that even over a swampy area a hurricane would weaken because of limited heat sources.
  • Sea temperatures 
    • Adequate temperature is the most important factor in the formation and strength of a cyclone. Cyclones usually dissipate over land or over colder regions where the temperature profile varies widely and changes constantly. Land temperatures of 30⁰C and 20⁰C (in this case, in south India) at day and night, hinder the sustenance of a storm.
  • Strength:-
    • Not necessarily will a cyclone lose its intensity over land. There are times when a cyclone loses its strength over the seas itself. This happens because of proximity of the cyclone to the coast for a longer period, making the cyclone weak. The winds coming in from land are usually drier and thus affect the storm.
  • Tropical cyclones usually weaken when they hit land, because they are no longer being “fed” by the energy from the warm ocean waters. However, they often move far inland, dumping many inches of rain and causing lots of wind damage before they die out completely.

What is special about cyclone Titli:-

  • Characteristics:-
    • In terms of its characteristics such as recurvature after landfall and retaining its destructive potential after landfall and recurvature away from the coastal areas for more than two days.
  • Considering the history of cyclone tracks, no synthetic track projection captures the Titli type of cyclones. The forecast information available lacks actionable early warning information such as no indication of occurrence of secondary hazards, including landslides far away from the coasts.
  • The severe cyclone had changed its path after landfall.
    • Cyclone Titli made a landfall in the Andhra Pradesh coast, entered Gajapati district of Odisha, made a surprise turn towards adjoining districts and continued as a severe cyclonic storm and deep depression for more than 48 hours.
    • Thus, Titli proved to be an all-dimensional hazard: non–coastal, coastal and marine.
    • It also retained its destructive potential as it moved far away from coasts and towards the interior districts.
  • Titli’s track is unprecedented in 200 years of the cyclone’s record, observes a report of the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Asia and Africa (RIMES) on the post-landfall impacts of Titli.
  • Cyclonic storms generally lose strength after landfall.  So far, only two cyclones in 200 years of recorded history that struck the Odisha coast retained strength after landfall: the 1999 Super Cyclone and Titli.
  • The unexpected track movement of Titli for two days baffled everyone –a pattern meteorologists, disaster managers, and residents never saw before
  • Translating impacts into actionable and location-specific early warning information for disaster managers and residents remains a challenge for rare cyclones that cause secondary impacts away from coastal region, such as localized landslides .The RIMES report states that this gap should be addressed to develop a system for translating cyclone movement and strength into sector and location-specific impacts. This needs a robust system for risk assessment and impact-based early warning.


General Studies – 2

Topic– Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

4) There is a need to strengthen the whistleblower protection mechanism not dilute it. Discuss in the context of proposed changes to whistleblower protection Bill?(250 words)

Financial express

Why this question

While the Whistle Blowers Protection Act 2014 (WBP Act), passed to protect the whistle-blowers, has not yet been notified, an amendment Bill has been introduced, seeming to dilute the original statute rather than strengthening it. Hence there is a need to know about this amendment and discuss issues related to it.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to establish the need of a string whistleblower protection mechanism, talk about the proposed amendments to Whistleblower protection Bill and analyze why there is a need to strengthen it.

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 – Explain why this issue is in news by talking about the amendment Bill.


  • Explain why there is a need for strong whistleblower protection mechanism – you can highlight some of the rankings of India in Corruption Perceptions Index, issues with transparency etc that are direct fallout of poor whistleblower protection mechanism
  • Discuss the changes proposed by the newly introduced bill and highlight why diluting the provisions would not be a good idea.
  • Bring the other side of the debate with respect to official secrets act etc

Conclusion – Give a balanced view which brings out that strengthening the whistleblower protection mechanism will go a long way in ensuring that the integrity of the fourth pillar of democracy is protected, cherished and upheld.


  • While the Whistle Blowers Protection Act 2014 (WBP Act), passed to protect the whistle-blowers, has not yet been notified, an amendment Bill has been introduced.
  • As far as India is concerned, whether it is the public or corporate private sector, it is whistle-blowers and RTI activists who have contributed the most to exposing large-scale corruption. Lack of strong protection mechanisms and a loophole-free law to protect whistle-blowers harms all citizens, the economy and the environment.

Whistleblower protection Bill:-

  • The Proposed amendment removes the immunity given to WB from being prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
  • It prohibits any disclosure that might affect the sovereignty, integrity, security or economic interest of the country.
  • No action will be taken on the disclosure if the identity of WB is not disclosed or if it’s incorrect or wrong. Even though the WBP Act applies only to disclosure made to the competent authority.
  • Puts bars on disclosure of some information, which can only be disclosed if it is obtained under the RTI Act.

Why India needs a strong whistleblower protection mechanism:-

  • A strong whistle-blower protection law in India would expose financial corruption in a way that reinforces ethical business practices.
    • Whistle-blower protection laws incentivise integrity to help detect and deter unethical business practices and fraud. This type of law has been very successful elsewhere.
    • These laws place pressure on companies that are engaged in unethical practices to respect the law, commit to compliance, and not retaliate against whistle-blowers. After all, it is better to prevent violations than to penalise after the act.
  • The case against Ranbaxy marked the triumph of Dinesh Thakur, who tapped into United States’ whistle-blower protection laws that incentivise and protect people who expose unethical business practices.
    • The False Claims Act, a federal law in the US, provides private individuals protection and incentives to expose fraud. The law has helped the US recoup billions of dollars lost to fraud and corruptionwhile protecting the identity of the whistleblower. India can take inspiration from this.
  • There is no dearth of examples found in India of whistle-blowers being brutally attacked or even murdered for blowing the lid of huge corruption cases.
    • The murder of several whistle-blowers in recent years makes it necessary to protect the whistleblowers In 2003, Satyendra Dubey was killed for exposing financial irregularities in the Golden Quadrilateral highway construction project in Bihar.
  • The government should welcome whistleblowers, be their advocate, and use their unique status as insiders to guarantee the integrity of social programmes.
  • Strong whistleblower act compliments RTI:-
    • The RTI law has empowered the common man to have access to information from public authorities which only government officials were earlier privy to making every citizen a potential whistle-blower.
    • It helps in better governance with better transparency and accountability .
    • Both the acts when complemented bring the irregularities in the government system to the public domain.
  • While in the international context, on numerous occasions in the past year, the journalists, with the help of sources, have not only questioned the authorities on fraud and illegal activities, but also have been instrumental in exposing corruption, leading to many head of countries stepping down .
  • In the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index, India ranked 81st most corrupt country of the 180 countries surveyed. Therefore, combating corruption and, at the same time, protecting the sources who disclose such acts of corruption should be a priority in India.
  • At present, India has no law to regulate or protect the anonymity of any person who divulges top secret information to the journalists. 
  • Laws are deficient:-
    • While the Information Technology Act of 2000 does lay down that the central government may prescribe the mode or methods for encryption for the secure use of electronic medium (Section 84A), it has failed to prescribe any.
    • Also, the Draft Personal Data Protection Data Bill, 2018, may be step towards compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but it is completely deficient in providing specific provisions for protection of anonymity of sources or the information that may be given by users to the journalists.
  • Scams like Coalgate, 2G, Vyapam shows lack of transparency and accountability in government functioning.
  • Issues with the bill:-
    • Above proposed amendments of the bill are criticised for limiting the protection provided to the whistleblowers and has increased threat to their life.

Suggestions :-

  • International instances:-
    • In Sweden, for example, a source who divulges information to a journalist on condition of anonymity is protected under the Constitution, and to breach this confidentiality agreement is a criminal offence, punishable up to a term of one year or fine.
  • Technological issues need to be resolved:-
    • India fares even worse when it comes to protection of the information which may be communicated by the whistle-blowers through different means of technology.
    • The lack of protection provided to the confidential sources is further accentuated by the lack of encryption laws in India. 

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

5) The World Malaria Report 2018 of the World Health Organisation notes that India’s record offers great promise in the quest to cut the number of new cases and deaths globally. Critically Analyze.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

The World Malaria report, 2018 provides a moment of satisfaction or India. The report highlights India’s recent achievements in controlling the disease and deaths associated with it. It is therefore important to analyze the report in order to learn from the initiatives taken in this direction.

Directive word

Critically analyze-  here we 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. based on our discussion we have to form a concluding opinion on the issue.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to dig deep into the issue and bring out the findings of the given report and deliberate upon the initiatives responsible for the success achieved by India and also form a personal opinion in the form of  discussion of any further suggestions in this direction.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  recent world Malaria report. E.g The World Malaria Report 2018 of the World Health Organisation notes that India’s record offers great promise in the quest to cut the number of new cases and deaths globally by at least 40% by 2020, and to end the epidemic by 2030.


  1. Discuss the initiatives/ reasons responsible for the reduction of incidence/ deaths due to malaria in India. E.g  In Odisha( one of the most endemic States) investments were made in recruiting accredited social health workers and large-scale distribution of insecticide-treated bednets, together with strategies to encourage health-seeking behaviour; The WHO report highlights a sharp drop in the number of cases in the State. The reduction in cases by half in 2017 compared to the same study period in 2016 appears to reinforce research findings: malaria cases in Odisha have been coming down steadily since 2003, with a marked reduction since 2008, attributed to greater political and administrative commitment. This positive trend should encourage authorities not just in Odisha, but in the northeastern States and elsewhere too to cut the transmission of the disease further etc.
  2. Discuss what more should be done by India to reduce the burden of the disease and the deaths associated with it. E.g Eliminating malaria requires an integrated approach, and this should involve states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, which have a higher burden of the disease. Odisha’s experience with using public health education as a tool and reaching out to remote populations with advice needs to be replicated etc.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. E.g Given that emerging resistance to treatment has been reported in Myanmar, among other countries in this belt, there is a need for a coordinated approach to rid southern Asia of malaria.


  • The World malaria report showed that progress against malaria has stalled in many countries, and that the world was unlikely to achieve the WHO Global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 ,morbidity and mortality targets for 2020.
  • Despite this India has played a significant role in decreasing the number of malaria cases in the country. Since 2000, India has reduced malaria deaths by two-thirds and halved the number of malaria cases.

How did India reduce malaria burden :-

  • Indian government has released a National Strategic Plan (NSP) for malaria elimination for years 2017-2022, targeting eradication by 2030.
  • Scaling up a diagnostic testing, treatment and surveillance
  • Ensuring an uninterrupted drug and diagnostics supply chain
  • Training community workers to test all fever cases and provide medicines, and distributing medicated bed-nets for prevention, under its ‘test-treat-track’ in the endemic north-eastern states and Odisha.
  • Odisha played a significant role:-
    • Investments made there in recruiting accredited social health workers and large-scale distribution of insecticide-treated bednets, together with strategies to encourage health-seeking behaviour, seem to have paid off.
    • Odisha is a driver of India’s success against malaria, where innovations, such as improving health care worker skills, expanding access to diagnostics and treatment and strengthening data collection, has led to the state recording a path-breaking decline of over 80% in reported malaria cases and deaths
    • In Odisha, the National Institute of Malaria Research and the Odisha government collaborated with Medicines for Malaria Venture for an operational research programme called the Comprehensive Case Management of Malaria, which provided universal access to malaria diagnosis and treatment, and improved the quality of services and surveillance, and distributed 11 million medicated bed-nets.

Issues left:-

  • Emergence of antimalarial drug and insecticide resistance is yet another problem.
  • Lack of public health infrastructure in rural areas

How to eradicate malaria :-

  • Strong surveillance system requires high levels of access to care and case detection, and complete reporting of health information by all sectors, whether public or private.
  • Lessons from Srilanka:-
    • Most of these people live in forest-rich districts also affected by the Naxalite problem. By reaching out to marginalised communities living in inaccessible areas and also to Naxal cadres with the help of civil society India can expect to eradicate malaria.
    • Improving public health system and rolling out malaria control interventions in these areas is critical if India wants to eliminate malaria by 2030.
    • Malaria control in border districts in the north and the north-east.
    • Web-based surveillance: 
      • All fever cases were tested for malaria and each case notified with the Anti ‘Malaria Campaign at the ministry of health. People with a travel history to countries with malaria transmission were closely tracked for symptoms, as were people in the armed forces on peacekeeping missions, immigrants, emigrants, tourists and pilgrims.
    • Rationing medicines: 
      • Anti-malarial medicines were only available with the AMC, which compelled the private health sector to notify all cases. With malaria cases sharply falling, it soon became unprofitable for the private sector to stock anti-malarial medicines.
    • 24×7 hotline: 
      • AMC ran a 24-hour hotline to notify, track and treat the patient in isolation to stop further spread of infection.
    • Parasite control:
      • In the early1990s, the AMC changed from vector-control (mosquito control) to parasite control strategy to contain infection. From 1999 onwards, cases have steadily declined and by 2008, less than 1,000 cases were being reported per year.
    • Health access: 
      • A strong public health system, sanitation and roads lowered mosquito breeding and took treatment to people in the remotest of places. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment by trained health workers with focus on high-risk areas lowered disease and deaths.
    • Stakeholder partnerships:
      • Intensive disease surveillance, integrated vector (mosquito) management, rigorous community engagement and research increased social, technical and financial support for eradication.

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

6) Regional agreements such as the BRI could embrace greater trade liberalisation goals. Do you agree. Comment.(250 words)

The hindu

Why this question

In the face of growing protectionism being witnessed across the globe it is important to evaluate the BRI of China to see how it could positively balance or even overcome the protectionism policies and politics.

Directive word

Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.  

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to express our knowledge and understanding of the Belt and Road initiative of China and form an opinion as to whether such regional agreements could help in achieving greater trade liberalisation goals.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the  trade protectionism witnessed across the world in recent years. E.g  write a few introductory lines about the growing protectionist policies and politics of the US and the China.


  1. Discuss the positive points of the BRI in terms of how it could help embrace greater trade liberalisation goals. E.g There is indeed an ambition to influence the world if not directly control it — by making the rules on which it functions. This normative determination to achieve a far greater objective has hardly been addressed when analysing China’s BRI and its impact; The BRI “shared interest” and “shared growth” hence coexist with Marxism-Leninism and “capitalism with Chinese characteristics” in a country now said to be more trade-friendly than its protectionist American rival, the U.S. Beijing has never been afraid of contradictions in terms and this capacity to ‘Sinicise’ concepts is a signature trait; The BRI indeed develops without any dedicated law, nor is it a comprehensive trade or economic partnership. It is different from conventional trade agreements that seek to eliminate market access barriers, harmonise regulations and impose preconditions for entry; The BRI’s dispute resolution will be predominantly on commercial disputes, involving either projects or contractual obligations. However, with the world trading system passing through a turmoil, the possibility of regional trade agreements or amorphous legal devices such as the BRI embracing greater trade liberalisation goals cannot be entirely ruled out.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


  • The BRI initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and aims to build a trade, investment and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
  • BRI was launched in 2013 and has become the most ambitious project of the Chinese government to reshape the regional and global order. 
  • The BRI covering 76 countries from Asia, Africa and Europe, account for half the world’s population and a quarter of global GDP. 
  • Five key areas of cooperation:
    • Coordinating development policies
    • Forging infrastructure networks
    • Strengthening investment and trade relations
    • Enhancing financial cooperation
    • Deepening social and cultural exchanges.

BRI boosts trade liberalization goals:-

  • The Belt and Road Initiative is intended to integrate markets, promote infrastructural development and cooperation
  • Improving connectivity for trade and investment would lead to decrease in trade costs and thereby promote opportunities of mutual trade.
    • For instance shipping is the main means of transporting goods to and from the Pacific Islands, and one way to improve transport efficiency is to promote integration of different means of transportation
    • The Belt and Road Initiative will reduce shipment times for BRI economies, particularly along economic corridors.
    • Reduction in travel times translates into significant reductions in trade costs.
  • Chinese-led investment program is creating a web of infrastructure, including roads, railways, telecommunications, energy pipelines, and ports. This would serve to enhance economic interconnectivity and facilitate development across Eurasia, East Africa and more than 60 partner countries.
  • It is different from conventional trade agreements that seek to eliminate market access barriers, harmonise regulations and impose preconditions for entry
  • The BRI’s dispute resolution will be predominantly on commercial disputes, involving either projects or contractual obligations.
  • If appropriately implemented, the “Belt and Road” initiative has the potential of rebutting protectionism while fostering inclusive growth.
  • The B&R initiative has the potential to strengthen cross-border dialogue and to foster multinational cooperation, which will in turn create stability and encourage mutual investment beyond the home country.
  • While the bulk of the funding is denominated in RMB, China has encouraged the use of local currencies instead of major currencies such as the US dollar for B&R projects. In doing so, the risks of exchange rate fluctuations and the cost of foreign exchange conversion could be reduced.
  • In an increasingly fragmented global economy, the B&R initiative promotes cooperation and common development. It seeks to boost efficiency in the flow of production and integration of markets to achieve diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development. As such, the initiative should bring about a greater level of economic activity among participating countries.



  • India argues that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project violates its sovereignty because it passes through the part of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir that belongs to India.
  • Debt trap:-
    • BRI projects are pushing recipient countries into indebtedness, do not transfer skills or technology and are environmentally unsustainable.
    • For instance story of Sri Lanka being saddled with great amounts of debt to China was well known.
  • Behind the rhetoric of harmony and mutuality lies a substantive strategy for growing an emerging China-led operating system for the international economy. 


  • For the time being, it may be worthwhile to carefully evaluate those components of the BRI . Countries like India must strengthen defence ties with USA and Russia to strengthen naval and military power. Moreover, there must be separate and independent dispute settlement body for the BRI so as to ensure transparency.


General Studies – 3

Topic –  Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

7) Discuss the key challenges to India’s counterterrorism efforts and also suggest solutions?(250 words)


Indian express

Why this question

26 Nov 2018 marks a decade of Mumbai terror attacks and forces us to rethink about the progress we have made in stepping up our counterterrorism efforts. Hence this question.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to highlight the major challenges to India’s counterterrorism efforts, explain how we are countering such challenges and discuss the way forward.

Directive word

Discuss – Here your discussion should bring out the key challenges, explain how we are dealing with them and thereafter suggest steps for the future.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain the rising challenge of terrorism and innovative ways used by terrorists which forces law agencies to upgrade themselves.


  • Explain about the major challenges in India’s counterterrorism efforts
    • terrorism is handled by different state police systems with no legal role by the central government under Schedule 7 of our Constitution
    • Lack of citizen participation and private sector participation in beefing up the security apparatus
    • absence of “bottom up” security architecture
    • Lack of coordination between agencies etc
  • Discuss the ways in which we are beefing up our counterterrorism efforts by focussing on intelligence – creation of a new National Investigation Agency, Multi Agency Centers (MAC) collate intelligence information from different sources and disseminate them, stringent acts such as UAPA etc. Analyze how effective these reforms have been.
  • Suggest reforms – Capacities of the state police forces should be increased, cyber security and intelligence gathering and dissemination requires improvement (NATGRID) etx

Conclusion – Emphasize on the need for beefing up our counterterrorism efforts and end with way forward.


  • Terrorism has become a global phenomenon posing major threat to international peace, security and stability.  Access to advance technology, including cyberspace, sophisticated communications, global funding and military grade weapons has given such groups enormous strength.
  • Therefore, that terrorism constitutes one of the principal challenges at the global, regional and national levels and has become a key factor in national security planning.

Key challenges in India’s counterterrorism efforts :-

  • Providing sponsorship and safe havens have further played a major role in the phenomenal growth of global terrorism.
  • In addition, State support has granted terrorist groups access to resources, guidance and logistics, which would normally be beyond their capabilities. Any effort to counter the activities of terrorist groups carries the danger of placing the victim nation in direct confrontation with the host nation and its resources.
  • Terrorism is handled by different state police systems with no legal role by the central government under Schedule 7 of our Constitution. Similarly, the intelligence provided by the central government to the states is only of advisory nature.
  • In many countries concurrent powers are given to the central government to intervene when a state fails to take security measures. Unfortunately, India does not have that system.
  • Intelligence agencies which were once able to operate beyond their borders are finding it difficult to detect transnational tentacles, even within their country, of al Qaeda or IS.
  • Lack of citizen participation and private sector participation in beefing up the security apparatus
  • Absence of “bottom up” security architecture
  • Lack of coordination between agencies
  • India’s counter-terror efforts continue to be thwarted due to lack of international collaboration in respect of exchange of information and evidence or of extradition of the accused persons who are hiding outside India’s territory.
  • New challenges:-
    • The online propagandaof the terrorist groups is radicalising the youth for instance ISIS influencing the youth

Measures taken :-

  • India has taken steps for setting up of Joint Working Groups (JWGs) on counter-terrorism/security matters with key countries.
  • Bilateral treaties on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLATs) in Criminal matters to facilitate investigation, collection of evidence, transfer of witnesses, location & action against proceeds of crime etc. have been signed with other countries. 
  • India boosted the security-related infrastructure at the border management by launching new schemes, and have been able to successfully minimize cross-border-infiltration. 
  • Similarly, Indian government has allocated substantial funds to the police modernisation programmes all over the country with a view to ensure quick and better response mechanisms.  
  • India has raised Regional Hubs of NSG battalions in important strategic locations, to meet any unforeseen challenges.  
  • India created a new Division in the Home Ministry exclusively to deal with Counter Terrorism. 
  • Stringent acts such as UAPA
  • Coastal securitywas given high priority, and it is with the Navy/Coast Guard/marine police.
  • specialised agencyto deal with terrorist offences, the National Investigation Agency, was set up and has been functioning from January 2009.
  • The National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)has been constituted to create an appropriate database of security related information.
  • The Multi Agency Centre,which functions under the Intelligence Bureau, was further strengthened and its activities expanded.
  • The Navy constituted a Joint Operations Centreto keep vigil over India’s extended coastline.
  • Financial Intelligence Unit-IND (FIU-IND)is the central national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analysing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions.
  • A special Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Cellhas been created in the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2011, to coordinate with the Central Intelligence/Enforcement Agencies and the State Law Enforcement Agencies for an integrated approach to tackle the problem of terror funding.

Suggestions :-

  • Capacities of the state police forces should be increased
  • Dealing with the menace of terrorismwould require a comprehensive strategy with involvement of different stakeholders, the Government, political parties, security agencies, civil society and media.
  • There is a need for National Counter Terrorism Centre. A centrally co-ordained Terrorism Watch Centre, which could also operate as a think tank with sufficient inputs from academic and private experts.  
  • A strategy for fighting terror in India has to be evolved in the overall context of a national security strategy. To tackle the menace of terrorism, a multi-pronged approachis needed.
  • Socio-economic developmentis a priority so that vulnerable sections of society do not fall prey to the propaganda of terrorists promising them wealth and equity.
  • A more comprehensive approach, as embodied in the proposed Convention on Countering International Terrorism (CCIT) is required in tackling the contemporary form of terrorism.


General Studies – 4

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

8) The life of Martin Luther King provides us with many valuable lessons. Discuss.(250 words)


Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the lessons we can learn from the life of Martin Luther King.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few introductory lines about Martin Luther King. E.g Dr. King left us not only a world historical legacy of thought and practice, but defined us as a moral and social vanguard across the world. At the heart of his ethical philosophy is his recognition and reaffirmation of the rights, dignity, divine destiny and potentiality of Black people.


Discuss in points the lessons one can learn from his life. E.g

  1. Dr. King rightly saw that unless we believe in ourselves, we could not believe in or successfully carry out our mission. And thus, he called for respect for the Divine in us and for what he called “a divine dissatisfaction” with the wrongs and evils of the world—oppression, injustice, inequality and war.


  1. the moral right and responsibility to resist evil and injustice, including disobeying the established order and its unjust laws.

“to accept passively an unjust system is to cooperate with that system.” One also collaborates when one turns a blind eye to injustice. For “to ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.”


  1. like all our great leaders, taught that religion must have a social role as well as a spiritual one. Indeed, he taught they are interrelated. A true religion, he states, is obligated to deal “with the whole man; not only with his soul but also with his body, not only with his spiritual well-being, but also with his social wellbeing.”


  1. centrality of struggle, not only to free ourselves, but also to repair, transform and strengthen ourselves in the ongoing efforts to build and sustain the Beloved Community or good world. “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable,” he stated. “Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle.”

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.


Martin Luther King was famous for using nonviolent resistance to overcome injustice, and he never got tired of trying to end segregation laws. At a time when white people were considered superior he forced a nation to live up to the true essence of the words of the Constitution.

At the heart of Dr. King’s philosophy was the concept of service. He believed that a person’s worth should not be measured by his or her colour, culture, or class but rather by his or her commitment to making a better life for all.

Some of the principle values he focussed on are:-

  • Courage :-
    • King believed that if you had nothing you were willing to die for, you had  nothing you were living for.
  • Non-violence :- 
    • Revolution is a social, political and cultural transformation that humans bring to their world through what they think and feel and do, and the values that they assign to their thinking, feeling and doing. In the case of King, this value was non-violence. 
    • The revolution that accompanied it was the democratisation of America. As such, his greatest achievement is, without doubt, his non-violent struggle against injustice.
  • Soul force :-
    • The power of a person’s love and humanity to awaken other people’s 
  • Justice:-
    • He considered that an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere and had to be confronted. 
    • Concept of democracy necessarily compelled further action against injustice.
  • Community:-
    • He believed that oppression of any part of the human family hurt the whole human family. 
  • Love:-
    • Even the enemy is a neighbour who must be loved into doing right–for the  enemy’s sake as well as for the sakes of his or her victims.
  • Suffering and sacrifice:-
    • Those who would stand up for justice must be willing to endure much for the sake of their cause. 
  • Human dignity:-
    • All people deserve to be treated with equality and respect simply because they are human beings. 
  • Forgiveness:-
    • The victim must forgive the victimizer and make room for repentance and 
  • Faith:-
    • Eventually right will prevail because the universe is founded upon justice.
    • He challenged the social and political injustice of American society with ideas and values that met the demands of contemporary humanism and inclusive emancipation.


  • King’s civil rights campaign played a pivotal role in ending racial segregation and the denial of voting rights to African Americans in the southern states. It also created a cultural shift in attitudes on race issues
  • Half a century after the end of racially discriminatory statutes in the US, there are stark limitations of mere equality. The informal segregation of black and white communities in some parts of the US, caste discrimination in India, religious fundamentalism, rich-poor gap still exist .
  • The racist bias in the criminal justice system means that black people continue to account for 40 per cent of the prison population, despite being only 12 per cent of the population overall in US.
  • The only way to honour the civil rights icon is to depart from the path of self-defeating hate that world finds itself stuck on today.
  • Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle.


King thereby laid the foundation for a revolution of values in American society, but also for our world, beyond the ideals and actions of any other American of his generation. He created a new image of America  an image of compassion and justice, which can overcome its own evils of arrogance, pride and prejudice.